PLDT, Smart boost data connectivity in Davao airport

PLDT and Smart Communications have strengthened access to the internet with the installation of Smart Wifi in Davao City’s Francisco Bangoy International Airport.

The upgrade of the wireless connectivity in the airport would enable travelers using the passenger terminal to maximize their digital experience while connecting to their loved ones and friends via social media, or checking out details like the weather and must-do’s in their next destination. With a bandwidth of 1 gigabit per second, Smart Wifi promises a world-class digital experience. Single-user tests done during the inauguration showed speeds of up to 226mbps for downloading, and up to 126mbps for uploading.

“Connectivity is important for a country of many islands like the Philippines. The Smart Wifi is just the first in a series of projects that the Department of Transportation intends to roll out in the coming days in partnership with PLDT and Smart,” said Transportation Undersecretary Roberto Lim.

PLDT and Smart strengthen wireless connectivity at the Davao International Airport. In photo are from left, Arnold Dellosa, Head, Smart Regional Development for Mindanao; Regina Pineda, Head, Smart Wifi Marketing and Project Management; Transportation Undersecretary Bobby Lim, Finina Tabuena-Gorres, VP for enterprise customer operations management sector at PLDT and Smart, Davao International Airport manager Efren Nagrama, and Harold Kim Orbase, Head of Enterprise Fulfillment Management at PLDT.
PLDT and Smart strengthen wireless connectivity at the Davao International Airport. In photo are from left, Arnold Dellosa, Head, Smart Regional Development for Mindanao; Regina Pineda, Head, Smart Wifi Marketing and Project Management; Transportation Undersecretary Bobby Lim, Finina Tabuena-Gorres, VP for enterprise customer operations management sector at PLDT and Smart, Davao International Airport manager Efren Nagrama, and Harold Kim Orbase, Head of Enterprise Fulfillment Management at PLDT.


Gateway to the south

“A tourist’s impression of a country will be largely based on the first and last experience of his destination. Smart Wifi contributes to improving this experience and to the success of having them come over and visit again,” added Lim.

Considered as the gateway to the southern corridor, the Davao airport is the third busiest airport in the country serving close to 3 million passengers annually. For the first quarter of this year alone, over 818,000 inbound and outbound passengers made use of the airport, according to data from the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines office in Davao.

“Davao City, a growing regional tourism and business hub, welcomes Smart Wifi. Travelers will be delighted to stay connected even when they are on the go. Passengers can check emails, browse websites, chat with friends, read news, and a whole lot more. These make traveling a whole lot better,” said Davao City Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos.

Internet can ease the waiting

“Potential flight delays and waiting time for passengers won’t be as difficult anymore because Internet access can ease the waiting. As airport manager, I find that free Internet access also lessens our burden in ensuring that passengers have a good time while traveling to and from their destinations,” said Davao International Airport manager Efren Nagrama.

“The Smart Wifi rollout in the Davao airport is in line with our commitment to the public to improve Internet access and coverage nationwide. With the data connectivity, travelers will get to enjoy a seamless digital experience for more meaningful journeys,” said Eric R. Alberto, Executive Vice President and Head of Enterprise and International Carrier Business at PLDT and Smart.

The Davao airport is one of 21 major transport hubs identified by the DOTr for installation of Smart Wifi as outlined by the Memorandum of Understanding signed by Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade and PLDT and Smart chairman, president and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

Smart Davao Airport
Davao City Councilor Joanne Bonguyan-Quilos (right) and Finina Tabuena-Gorres, VP for enterprise customer operations management sector at PLDT and Smart try the speed test using the Smart Wifi at the Davao City airport.


Initial rollout

The initial rollout also includes all four passenger terminals of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as well as airports in Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Kalibo, Laguindingan, General Santos, Clark, Laoag, Cebu, Caticlan, and Zamboanga, as well as seaports in Batangas and Mindoro.

Commuters will get to experience fast connectivity in the station platforms, light rail vehicle, and on the street level of the entire lines of MRT3, and LRT 1 and 2.

It will also be available at the terminals of major bus companies including Alps, Five Star Bus, Isarog Bus, Jam Liner, Philtranco, and Victory Liner.

Over time, Smart Wifi’s footprint will also be expanded to cover more public areas, such as city halls, schools, hospitals, and establishments such as malls, restaurants, and coffee shops, among many others, amid the increasing demand for more public Wifi hotspots in the country.

The rollout is backed by PLDT’s robust and resilient fixed and wireless networks. (Press Release)


Enjoy the Pokemon GO craze with freenet, PayMaya

Filipinos keenly anticipating the launch of Pokemon GO can now stay updated on the upcoming release of the game in the Philippines and fully enjoy the game when it launches with the help of freenet and PayMaya.

Now a certified worldwide phenomenon, Pokemon GO is a location-based mobile game developed by Niantic Labs in partnership with Nintendo affiliate The Pokemon Company. The mobile game allows players to catch Pokemon or “pocket monsters” as if in real life using the GPS and camera of their smartphones.

The game is currently available in Australia, New Zealand, USA, UK, and select European countries. It has yet to launch in any Asian country, including Japan where the original Pokemon game originated.


Get Pokemon GO updates with freenet

Those who want to stay updated on news about the upcoming release of the game in the Philippines may now download the freenet app on the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store. Through freenet, Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers will be able to read the latest news and social media feeds from the local Pokemon GO community for free and with no data charges.

This is part of freenet’s mission to enable communities such as those who are eager to play Pokemon GO to stay active and participate in various activities and discussions through digital means.

This follows the successful livestreaming of President Rodrigo Duterte’s inauguration and the Gilas Pilipinas FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament games through freenet, which allowed Filipinos to be digitally present in these historic events even if they are not physically able to do so.

Purchase Pokecoins with PayMaya

Once the Pokemon GO app launches in the Philippines, players will be able to fully enjoy the game through in-app purchases with the help of PayMaya, the easiest way to pay online even without a credit card.

Players only have to download the PayMaya app on the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, load up their accounts with at least P60 to cover the standard app store verification fee, and link their virtual VISA card to their app store accounts to be able to make in-app purchases for Pokecoins, the in-app currency used inside the Pokemon GO game.

With the help of Pokecoins, players will be able to purchase various items that will help them easily navigate the game, such as Pokeballs to catch Pokemon with, Pokemon eggs that allow them to “hatch” Pokemon, Potions to restore the health of their Pokemon, and Incense and Lure Modules that make it easy to attract wild Pokemon to their immediate vicinity.

In-app purchases are made more convenient with PayMaya as mobile game players can easily load up at any of the over 15,000 PayMaya reloading stations nationwide that include SM Malls Business Centers, Robinsons Department Stores, Bayad Centers, 7-Eleven stores with Cliqq kiosks, TouchPay Kiosks, and Smart Padala Centers, on top of online banking via BDO.

PayMaya physical card

Aside from the mobile app, PayMaya customers can also opt to have their own PayMaya physical prepaid card which can be used in brick-and-mortar stores worldwide that accept Visa. A variant also comes with its own beep™ wallet, allowing users to ride the MRT, LRT, some city buses and other beep-powered transportation for their daily commute, so they can easily explore the city in search of wild Pokemon.

Users who upgrade their PayMaya account can use their PayMaya for peer-to-peer money transfers and ATM withdrawals.

For more information about PayMaya and how users can get their own PayMaya card, visit To know more about the free and fun way to connect through freenet, visit (Press Release)


More fun for geeks in Panglao Island, Bohol with Geeks On A Beach 4th edition

Geeks, people who are connoisseurs of tech, design and startups, will find Panglao Island a fun-filled and exciting place to visit.

Panglao Island has been the favored watering hole of tourists, diving enthusiasts, and nature lovers alike with its pristine waters, palm trees, white sand beaches, and coral reefs. A small town of over 68,000 people, Panglao is a mere half-hour drive from the provincial capital in Tagbilaran City. Its proximity to an urban area while retaining its charms as an almost untouched tropical paradise should make it the perfect place for adventure-seeking yet tech-dependent geeks.

This is the place to be for geeks looking for an all-in-one escapade with resorts, bars and souvenir shops in an 80.5 square kilometer island considered to be one of the leading marine biodiversity hotspots in the world. Geeks can go island-hopping, dolphin watching, or take a dip in an underground lake inside a coral cave. Panglao is also the site of Hinagdanan Cave that hides within its naturally lighted depths a lagoon. It is also very near Loboc River which is world-famous for its river-cruise and floating restaurants.

Alona Beach

Interestingly, Alona Beach is Panglao’s most famous beach. One intriguing detail about Alona Beach, where many of Panglao’s resorts and shops are located, is its name. This one and a half kilometer stretch was named so by locals after sexy star Alona Alegre filmed a television advertisement for an alcoholic drink in the beach wearing revealing bikini attire on horseback.

Panglao has been named by the prestigious Travel+Leisure magazine as one of the 15 best secret beaches on earth in 2012 which are said to be “understated, unexpected, and —at least for now—under the radar.” Geeks looking for a haven that is not as crowded as Boracay can choose this destination which has been favorably compared with Todos Santos in Mexico, Puako in Hawaii, Ibo Island in Mozambique, Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam, Salema in Portugal, Palm Beach in Barbuda, Cirali Beach in Turkey, Koh Lanta in Thailand, and Alagoas in Brazil.

Geeks will be happy to know that all these will become closer to more people as the Philippine government has begun the construction of a new world-class eco-friendly airport in the area. Expected to be completed by the year 2018, the eco-airport will feature state-of-the-art environmentally sustainable technologies including the use of LED lights, natural lights, and ventilation for public areas and the use of solar energy to power airconditioning.

Geeks On A Beach Panglao Island Bohol
PANGLAO ISLAND. This beautiful island in Bohol will host the 4th edition of Geeks On A Beach, a global conference focused on technology, entrepreneurship, and startups. (Photo by InnoPub Media)


4th Geeks on a Beach

This August, Panglao Island will be the host of the country’s biggest tech event, the fourth edition of the annual global tech and startup event Geeks on a Beach (GOAB). Geeks who want to experience all the great stuff in Panglao should attend GOAB. It will be held on August 25-26 at the Bellevue Hotel in Panglao.

GOAB is open to all, whether you have a tech background or not. If you are interested in the topics of tech, business and design then you will find like-minded people at this event. Startups are defined as high growth, high risk tech-enabled businesses. Facebook, Instagram and Viber used to be startups but are now billion dollar companies.

Industry leaders

This event will feature industry leaders from the Asian region as well as Silicon Valley. It is suitable for anyone already in or interested in the tech or startup business; those who are interested in doing businesses in Asia; those who want to know how tech/online tools can help their businesses. No need to go abroad to find these world renowned speakers as they are coming to the Philippines.

GOAB is held in partnership with HappyGaraje,, PR Works, Zalora, Mynimo, Teradoor, Pouch Nation, A Space, USAID-STRIDE, Yoyo Holdings, Eurekloud, Payoneer and Startechup Inc. GOAB4 organizational partners are Philippines Software Industry Association (PSIA), National ICT Confederation of the Philippines., UP,, Game Developers Association of the Philippines., Digital Commerce Association of the Philippines., Developers Connect, STAC Silicon Valley and GoNegosyo. This year’s GOAB media partners are Newsdesk Asia, Auza.Net, Tech in Asia, Geeks in Cambodia,,, InnoPub Media,, Jumpstart Magazine and Mobile Ecosystem Forum.

For more information, to sponsor or purchase tickets, visit,; or contact [email protected]. Facebook: Geeks On A Beach and Twitter @GeeksOnABeach. (Press Release)


Smart to spend P1 billion for nationwide Smart Wifi rollout

PLDT subsidiary Smart Communications (Smart) is rapidly widening the footprint of its Smart Wifi service in key transport hubs, government offices, and business establishments across the country.

Smart has earmarked close to P1 billion for the rollout, which forms part of PLDT’s P43-billion capital expenditure program for this year alone.

Smart WiFi hotspots

Smart Wifi public hotspots are currently undergoing upgrades in all the four terminals of Ninoy Aquino International Airport in Pasay City; Francisco Bangoy International Airport in Davao; Iloilo International Airport; Bacolod-Silay International Airport in Negros Occidental; and Dumaguete-Sibulan Airport in Negros Oriental.

Smart WiFi is also now available for use by waiting passengers at the terminals of major bus companies including Alps, Five Star Bus, Isarog Bus, Jam Liner, Philtranco, and Victory Liner.

Aside from major transport hubs, Smart Wifi has also expanded to cover more public areas, such as city halls, schools, and establishments such as malls, restaurants, and coffee shops, among many others, addressing the growing demand for more public Wifi hotspots in the country.

Improve access, coverage

“Over the past months, we have aggressively broadened the Smart Wifi footprint through our key partnerships with government institutions and business establishments, consequently improving internet access and coverage nationwide,” said Eric R. Alberto, Executive Vice President at PLDT and Smart, and ePLDT President and CEO.

“The Smart Wifi rollout complements our long-standing efforts to give Filipinos a seamless digital experience, while providing businesses and institutions solutions that suit their needs, and a platform to reach out to a wider audience,” he said.

Internet for All

“Smart has built a solid reputation of connecting Filipinos, and Smart Wifi is very much part of our commitment to make ‘Internet for All’ happen through faster, more reliable, and more accessible products and services,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, FVP and Wireless Consumer Operations Head at Smart.

Beyond providing internet access to as many people as possible, Smart Wifi is also designed as an essential tool for small and medium enterprises and institutions.

“With more people using Wifi provided by establishments they patronize, Wifi connectivity has been proven to contribute to business growth,” said Alberto. “Smart Wifi is designed to do this and more, by equipping SMEs and various organizations with an indispensable tool to engage customers, build loyalty, and gather significant information that will help them understand customer needs.”

With Smart Wifi, users can take advantage of free connectivity for an initial number of minutes, after which the service allows them to conveniently purchase credits from Smart to extend and boost their internet session.

The rapid expansion of Smart Wifi is supported by PLDT’s robust and resilient fixed and wireless networks, backed by the country’s most extensive fiber optic footprint spanning over 100,000 kilometers, and its three-year network expansion program to deliver faster, more reliable, and more affordable internet services to more Filipinos nationwide. (Press Release)

Business Tech

Companies that put people first will be winners in digital economy: Accenture

Leading companies that develop a people first approach will win in today’s digital economy, according to the latest global technology trends report from Accenture. As technology advancements accelerate at an unprecedented rate – dramatically disrupting the workforce – companies that equip employees, partners and consumers with new skills can fully capitalize on innovations. Those that do will have unmatched capabilities to create fresh ideas, develop cutting-edge products and services, and disrupt the status quo.

“In the Accenture Technology Vision 2016, we’ve identified five technology trends that are critical to digital success,” said Paul Daugherty, Accenture’s chief technology officer. “Digital means people too and a cornerstone of this year’s vision is people first. Companies that embrace digital can empower their workforce to continuously learn new skills to do more with technology and generate bigger and better business results.”

In a companion survey of more than 3,100 business and IT executives worldwide, Accenture found that digital has an impact in 33 percent of the global economy. Additionally, 86 percent of survey respondents anticipate that the pace of technology change will increase at a rapid or unprecedented rate over the next three years.

Digital culture shock

The Accenture report highlights how companies can often feel overwhelmed by the pace of technology change, experiencing “digital culture shock” at the prospect of keeping up with the competition. However, companies can adopt a people-first approach that will allow them to create new business models that drive digital disruption.

One example is GE, which established a new approach called FastWorks that connected employees much more closely to customers and ultimately led to the rapid development of innovative solutions that sold well because they met and exceeded customer expectations. Additionally, Virgin America, the only airline based in Silicon Valley and the highest rated, has gone so far as to collaborate with its frequent flyers, returning customer loyalty with stock options before the company went public.

Accenture Technology Vision
DIGITAL DISRUPTION. Accenture says companies can often feel overwhelmed by the pace of technology change, experiencing “digital culture shock” at the prospect of keeping up with the competition. However, companies can adopt a people-first approach that will allow them to create new business models that drive digital disruption.


5 technology trends

In the report, Accenture identifies five technology trends fueled by the people first principal that are essential to business success in the digital economy. The trends include:

1) Intelligent automation. Leaders are embracing automation – powered by artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and augmented reality – to fundamentally change the way their business operates and drive a new, more productive relationship between people and machines. Significant investments are well underway with 70 percent of survey respondents acknowledging increased AI-related technology investments compared to two years ago, and 55 percent revealing that they plan on using machine learning and embedded AI solutions like IPsoft Amelia extensively.

2) Liquid workforce. By exploiting technology to enable workforce transformation, leading companies will create highly adaptable and change-ready environments that are able to meet today’s dynamic digital demands. The competitive advantage offered by a liquid workforce is apparent as survey respondents indicated that “deep expertise for the specialized task at hand” was only the fifth-most-important characteristic they required for employees to perform well in a digital work environment. Other qualities such as ‘the ability to quickly learn’ or ‘the ability to shift gears’ were ranked higher.

3) Platform economy. Industry leaders are unleashing the power of technology by developing platform-based business models to capture new growth opportunities, driving the most profound change in the global macroeconomic environment since the Industrial Revolution. This is reinforced by 81 percent of our survey respondents who agree that platform-based business models will become part of their organization’s core growth strategy within three years.

4) Predictable disruption. Fast-emerging digital ecosystems are creating the foundation for the next wave of disruption by straddling markets and blurring industry boundaries; forward-thinking leaders can proactively predict these ecosystem trajectories to gain a competitive advantage. Companies are already significantly or moderately experiencing ecosystem disruption, with 81 percent of survey respondents indicating that they are seeing this in their industry.

5) Digital Trust. Trust is a cornerstone of the digital economy, said 83 percent of survey respondents. To gain the trust of individuals, ecosystems and regulators in this new landscape, businesses must focus on digital ethics as a core strategy; better security alone won’t be enough.

For nearly 16 years, Accenture has taken a systematic look across the enterprise landscape to identify emerging technology trends that hold the greatest potential to disrupt businesses and industries. For more information on this year’s report, visit or follow the conversation on Twitter with #TechVision2016. (Press release)

Events Lifestyle

PLDT HOME brings Regine Velasquez to Cebu

OPM or Original Pinoy Music and PLDT HOME ambassador Regine Velasquez is coming to Cebu to perform live via the widely popular Regine Concert Series.

Powered by PLDT HOME, the musical extravaganza is a show of gratitude from the country’s number one digital and multimedia services provider for the massive support of its customers throughout the years.

The concert series, which was extended for a second year due to its success, aims to help promote the Regine Telset Series—a set of limited edition landline phones available for only P99 per month—launched last year, with stocks running out fast as soon as it was made available to the public.

PLDT HOME Regine Velasquez Gary Dujali
PLDT HOME shows its love for Cebu by bringing the Regine Series experience to the Queen City of the South. In photo are Asia’s Songbird and PLDT HOME ambassador Regine Velasquez and PLDT VP and Home Marketing Director Gary Dujali.

Regine Concert Series

It kicked off last April 10 at SM Bacoor in Cavite, followed by another full house gig at SM City Pampanga. From one jam packed mall to another and in response to insistent public demand, the Regine Concert Series is finally on its way to the Queen City of the South for its much-awaited VisMin debut.

The Cebu leg will feature a 10-piece band helmed by award-winning musical director Raul Mitra, with a special performance by Your Face Sounds Familiar first runner-up Michael Pangilinan. Fans will be in for a free world-class musical treat on July 30 at 3 p.m. as the Asia’s Songbird performs well-loved hits at the SM Northwing Atrium, SM City Cebu.

Regine Telsets

PLDT VP and Home Marketing Director Gary Dujali said, “The Regine Telsets, when bundled with PLDT HOME DSL, form the foundation of a digitally connected and smart home. PLDT HOME has been making it big in the hearts of Cebuano families, and we look forward to helping them forge the strongest connections with their families through powerful connections and world-class music.”

The Regine Concert Series is also scheduled for a Davao stopover on August 6.

For more information on the Regine Telset Series, visit (Press Release)


Watch Gilas games live on mobile for free with freenet app

Filipino basketball fans can throw their support behind Gilas Pilipinas wherever they are by tuning in to the mobile livestream of the Philippine team games at the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament via the freenet app (formerly SafeZone), available for free download and free from data charges for all Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers nationwide.

All they have to do is download the freenet app from the Google Play Store or the SafeZone app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store and register to the service to catch the FIBA qualifiers on their phones wherever they are. This is made possible by PLDT and Smart’s digital innovations arm Voyager Innovations in cooperation with Sports5 and TV5, the official broadcaster of the qualifying games.

“Just last week, Pinoys witnessed history unfold as they watched the inauguration of President Rodrigo Duterte through freenet on their mobile devices. Today we’re once again letting all Filipinos from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao express their support to the Philippine team for the historic Gilas bid for the 2016 Rio Olympics through their phones–all for free for Smart, TNT and Sun users nationwide,” said Manuel V. Pangilinan, Chairman at PLDT, Smart, and Voyager Innovations.

Fiba Gilas livestream freenet

Watch Gilas from anywhere

Through freenet, basketball fans can watch the Philippines vs. France game at 9PM on July 5 (Tuesday) and the Philippines vs. New Zealand match at 9PM on July 6 (Wednesday) even if they are still in the office or braving the heavy traffic going home.

Led by former NBA player Andray Blatche, the 2016 Gilas Pilipinas pool is composed of Terrence Romeo, Jeff Chan, Jayson Castro, Gabe Norwood, Ranidel De Ocampo, June Mar Fajardo, Marc Pingris, Japeth Aguilar, Ray Parks, Ryan Reyes and Troy Rosario.

Should Gilas make it to the semifinals and finals of the tournament, fans may still tune in to the games through freenet on July 9 and 10.

And if the Philippines emerges on top of the Manila FIBA qualifiers, they will earn the solitary spot for entry into the 2016 Olympic Games to be held in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in August.

Digital 6th man

Dubbed the “free and fun way to connect,” freenet likewise offers fans an avenue to support the Philippine team by providing free basic social media access to Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram through the app, so they can be the so-called “digital sixth man” of the team during the games.

They can do this by sharing words of encouragement and support on their accounts along with the hashtags #LabanPilipinas, #SmartGilas, #GilasTime and the fan-favorite #PUSO or “heart,” which has captured the spirit of the team in tournaments.

“We’re a basketball-crazy nation, and we’re also known as the social media capital of the world. So it’s only natural for Pinoys to show their support to the Gilas Pilipinas team through digital means, and we’re more than happy to give them that avenue through freenet. Let’s once again unite and rally behind our national team–by watching the games live, on TV, or through mobile!” said Benjie Fernandez, chief operating officer at Voyager.

Going mobile

During the free mobile livestreaming of the Duterte inauguration, the SafeZone app became one of the top trending app searches in the Apple App Store–signifying a sea change in the way Filipinos participate in national events, which is increasingly going mobile.

Aside from free mobile livestreaming and social media access, users may also use the freenet app to access a select number of apps and mobile sites. To date, about 70 brands and enterprises are already using the freenet platform to allow their users to access their sites and apps for free.

So make sure to be part of Philippine sports history and download the freenet app for your Android or the SafeZone app for iOS devices today. For more information, visit or like the freenet page on Facebook. (Press release)


Mobile app links rural health workers to doctors based in city

Most government health facilities in the provinces have a shortage of doctors. Health workers who badly need the advice and expertise of medical specialists have to fend for themselves in both routine and emergency situations.

Hx Factfinder, a mobile application developed at the recent #thinkOPENhealth: Hackathon for Health aims to solve this problem.

“Our app connects primary health institutions, mostly maternal and child health facilities, with the larger health institutions like city hospitals,” says Philip Sales.

Coding marathon

Full-time app developers Sales, Jonathan Tabac, and Paulo Balleza of Team Jeepers Creepers bagged the bronze award for the app during the 24-hour coding marathon organized by PLDT wireless unit—Smart Communications (Smart), the Department of Health (DOH), and the Department of Science and Technology – Philippine Council for Research and Development (DOST-PCHRD) in coordination with SmartDevNet, Smart’s developer community.

The hackathon was a venue for developers to create plug-ins for the SHINE OS+, an open-source electronic medical record (EMR) system developed by the Ateneo Java Wireless Competency Center in partnership with Smart.

SHINE OS+ has opened its API to allow data sharing and exchange for interoperability. Over 20 teams comprised of IT students and professionals as well as health professionals joined the event.

Hx Factfinder #thinkOPENhealth: Hackathon for Health
Team Jeepers Creepers designed a mobile app that would link up rural health workers with city doctors. The team is joined by Smart executives led by Public Affairs Group head Ramon R. Isberto (3rd from left, 2nd row) and Jill Lava, manager for community partnerships (4th from left, 2nd row). (Photo: Smart Communications)

Linking rural health workers with doctors from big hospitals

Using the team’s app, health workers in remote areas can ask for medical advice from doctors in big hospitals.

“When the patient goes to the nearest rural health facility, there’s a high probability his or her medical needs will not be met because there is no doctor on duty. The patient has to go to other health facilities in other towns or worse, in the city, to find expert advice or to have medical procedure done,” says Tabac.

The Hx Factfinder works two ways: Users can either use a smartphone or a GSM phone. “The app for the smartphone is intuitive. The user doesn’t need to memorize SMS keywords. For locations that do not have 3G or internet connection, the user can instead use a GSM phone. You just have to type in keywords in your text message,” says Balleza.

Team Jeeper Creepers won P30,000 from DOH and DOST; assorted gadgets from Smart; plus a chance to be incubated by DOH, DOST-PCHRD and IdeaSpace, the incubator arm of the First Pacific Group of Companies in the Philippines.

They plan to join hackathons on a regular basis as a means to earn income, or as Sales would put in the vernacular, “Mag-hackathon para may baon.” (Press Release)


Smart GigaSurf50 offers 1GB data for P50

Smart Communications has unveiled the country’s first 1GB data offer for only P50. Valid for 3 days, GigaSurf50 also comes with an additional 300MB for streaming on sites like YouTube and iflix.

To subscribe to this latest offer, simply text GIGA50 to 9999.

Smart said the new offer empowers subscribers to ride the digital wave and enjoy more data, video and music right at their fingertips.

Bigger and better digital lifestyle

“With the country’s first 1GB offer at only P50, Smart is truly changing the way Filipinos enjoy their mobile phones for a much bigger, better and richer digital lifestyle,” said Katrina Luna-Abelarde, Smart Wireless Consumer Operations Head.

“This huge data offer allows you to go bigger on your passions – whether you are an info junkie who likes to surf all the time, a social media butterfly with constant updates on Facebook, Snapchat, Instagram and Twitter, or a music and video buff who likes streaming on sites like YouTube and iflix, among many others.”


Pasadata with GigaSurf50

GigaSurf50 is also big enough for subscribers to share with others through Pasadata, Smart’s innovative feature that lets subscribers pass on a chunk of their data to friends and loved ones. To share part of your GigaSurf50, simply text PASADATA <Recipient #=””> <Amount>MB and send to 808.

With GigaSurf50, you can go beyond your usual mobile Internet activities, from speaking your mind on the latest trending topic on Facebook and Twitter, watching the latest viral videos on YouTube, and binge-watching your favorite movies and series on iflix.

GigaSurf50 also lets you record more of your day’s best moments on Snapchat and Instagram, share more of your latest musings on your personal blogs, and connect more with your groups on Messenger, Viber and Whatsapp, among many others.

Bridging gaps and breaking barriers

GigaSurf50 follows a string of awesome products and services that Smart launched since it refreshed its brand last June 13 to show a stronger commitment in empowering Filipinos to live a digital life without barriers.

Smart recently launched its P1,288 Prepaid Smartphone kit to offer the most value-packed big-screen smartphone in the country today, meant to break barriers for many Filipinos to own a smartphone. Smart also recently unveiled its Smartlife app, a breakthrough digital discovery portal that lets subscribers enjoy exclusive daily perks, movies, music and games at their fingertips.

Network boost nationwide

All these new products go hand in hand with Smart’s rapid LTE deployment and network expansion to deliver faster, more reliable and affordable Internet services throughout the country.

To keep updated with Smart’s biggest offers, follow its official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Watch Duterte inauguration livestream on your phone for free with freenet

Filipinos will be able to watch the livestreaming of the June 30 inauguration of Rodrigo Duterte as the 16th President of the Republic of the Philippines on mobile and for free.

Smart, TNT and Sun subscribers nationwide will be able to do this using freenet, the free data platform of Voyager Innovations, the digital innovations unit of PLDT and Smart Communications (Smart), in cooperation with Cignal TV.

Subscribers only need to download the freenet mobile app from the Google Play Store or the SafeZone app from the Apple App Store to view the free mobile livestream of Duterte’s inauguration on June 30 and take part in the historic event no matter where they may be in the country.

Freenet platform

The occasion also marks the launch of the new freenet brand for Voyager’s sponsored data platform, previously called SafeZone. Through freenet, users will continue to be able to access select apps and websites for free by downloading the freenet app on their phones and never worry about unintended data charges. About 70 brands and enterprises are already using the freenet platform to allow their users to access their sites and apps for free.

“Just a few weeks ago, we told our subscribers to ‘Welcome Change’. In the coming days, we’ll all be witness to the coming of that change as we welcome the new leader of our country. Smart is proud to enable Filipinos to digitally participate in this occasion using their mobile devices for FREE, through freenet,” said Ariel P. Fermin, executive vice president and head of consumer business at Smart and PLDT.


Duterte Inauguration livestream

“At Voyager we see a future with no digital divide, with each and every Filipino able to take part in the emerging digital economy. Giving them free livestream access to the next President’s inauguration is a step in our pursuit toward digitally enabling our citizens from today and beyond, through game-changing digital initiatives such as the newly rebranded freenet” added Orlando B. Vea, President and CEO at Voyager Innovations.

‘Social Media President’

Widely dubbed as the country’s first-ever “Social Media President” for having fully utilized the power of social media during the elections, president-elect Duterte is expected to break tradition as he assumes the highest post in the land inside the Rizal Hall of Malacañang, instead of the usual bigger location at the Quirino Grandstand.

But despite having a more intimate venue, the incoming administration has vowed to let as many Filipinos witness the pivotal event with the aid of the same technology that helped Duterte get elected into office – social media.

With almost half of the country having access to the Internet via their mobile phones, millions of Filipinos are expected to tune in as the country welcomes a new President.


Aside from Duterte’s inauguration, June 30 likewise marks “Social Media Day” all around the world. In the Philippines, the occasion will be marked with a community event led by TweetUp Manila at the Samsung Hall of SM Aura Premier in Taguig City, a celebration supported by Smart, Voyager Innovations and PayMaya Philippines.

With the theme “#TayoPH,” the event sets forth a reminder that social media can be used to bridge, to give a voice and to empower citizens–the way it did during the last elections.

“With the most digitally engaged elections we have witnessed so far, we have seen people use social media to advance their causes but also, sadly, to put down others with a different point of view,” added Voyager Innovations Chief Operating Officer Benjie Fernandez. “As we witness the coming of change promised by the new President, let us also remember the critical role of social media and digital innovations for social good and the socio-economic development of our fellow Filipinos.”

Through game-changing digital platforms such as freenet, Fernandez said Voyager Innovations aids in the digital and financial inclusions of Filipinos with the help of technology. Among the areas of digital life that its platforms and services are enabling include financial technology, digital commerce, rich mobile marketing, digital payments and next-generation communications. (Press release)


Smart launches SmartLife app to boost Pinoy digital lifestyle

Smart is set to change the way Filipinos enjoy their smartphones with the launch of the SmartLife app, where people can discover exciting perks and free digital content right at their fingertips.

Initially available to Android smartphone users via the Google Play Store, the SmartLife is a discovery portal for perks, mobile videos, music, and games, giving users easy access to digital content. This allows Filipinos to explore and discover how mobile internet can change the way they experience their passions and interests.

Exciting and enriching digital experiences

“The SmartLife app is a breakthrough in our efforts to provide our subscribers with the most exciting and enriching digital experiences,” said Ariel Fermin, EVP and Consumer Business Head at PLDT and Smart.

“Our goal for the app is to allow Filipinos to discover more of what Smart’s digital services have to offer, and for them to explore the best mobile entertainment and perks available out there. This will ultimately empower them to live a richer digital life,” he said.

No matter what their interests are, SmartLife app users can have the world at their fingertips just by leafing through the app’s four major tabs: Perks, Videos, Music, and Games.

Smartlife app
MOBILE PORTAL. SmartLife is a discovery portal for perks, mobile videos, music, and games, giving users easy access to digital content.

Exclusive daily lifestyle treats on the app

Under Perks, subscribers can check out exclusive daily lifestyle treats from Smart’s partner-merchants, ranging from food, shopping, fitness, tech and gadgets, lifestyle, and travel.

Perks also includes freebies, giveaways, special discounts and access to Smart events, including the biggest concerts, parties, product launches, and exhibits – exclusive to the users of the app.

Subscribers can check out random surprises every day, such as free Chicken Joy and Yumburger meals from Jollibee; free movie passes from SM; and discount coupons for everything from Krispy Kreme doughnuts; vouchers from Uber and Airbnb; to sports shoes from Zalora and digital watches from Lazada. To top it all, they can even snag a pass to the most talked about music act in town.

Expansive mobile content library

On the other hand, under the Video tab, film and TV buffs can stream movies and shows culled from Smart’s expansive video content library, boosted by its world-leading digital content partners, including iflix, and Fox, among many others.

For the music savvy, the app has a Music tab that curates current earworms in featured playlists, while gamers are treated to easier E-Pin transactions for today’s hottest PC games like League of Legends; Steam Wallet codes for games like DOTA 2; and MOLpoints for credits to other top gaming titles – all in one easy-to-access hub through the Games tab.

The first stage of the SmartLife app focuses on curating the hottest digital content in one platform, and more perks and content are being uploaded daily. The next stages for SmartLife will roll out exciting new functionalities to provide subscribers with more delightful experiences.

Download the SmartLife app now for free on Google Play Store and start discovering the most awesome perks and digital content. To learn more, visit or follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. (Press release)


Lenovo brings virtual reality technology via smartphones to Cebu

Cebuanos can now experience virtual reality through Lenovo smartphones as the company brings its first smartphones with TheaterMax to Cebu starting today until June 26.

The Lenovo TheaterMax Caravan will visit SM City Cebu on June 24 to 26 and people can try three smartphones with TheaterMax technology – the Lenovo VIBE X3, Lenovo VIBE K4 Note and the Lenovo VIBE A7000 Plus.

TheaterMax is Lenovo’s Virtual Reality (VR) technology. It can convert any multimedia content to become VR-enabled when viewed through a VR headset.

For three days, the Lenovo TheaterMax Caravan will allow people to try the amazing and immersive multimedia experience offered by the Lenovo VIBE X3, Lenovo VIBE K4 Note and Lenovo A7000 Plus in Android 5.1.

Lenovo VIBE X3
Lenovo VIBE X3

In booths situated near the SM City Cebu cinemas, the caravan will hold various activities and redemption promos. Customers will get a chance to experience these smartphones first-hand as these will be loaded with games, movies and applications that would highlight their virtual technology capability and prove why these smartphones are the perfect personal theater companion.

Lenovo will be giving out free VR headsets upon purchase of these smartphones in participating retail stores during the caravan. On top of that, exclusive discounts during the event are offered for the K4 Note, which will be available at a special price of P9,999 (from P10,699), and the VIBE X3 at a special price of P19,999 (from P22,099). The VIBE A7000 Plus, meanwhile, will be priced at P7,999 and will also come with a Free VR headset during the event.

Lenovo VIBE X3

Get a different kind of viewing experience with its 5.5” screen coupled with the innovative TheaterMax technology. Incorporating the world’s first large-chambered front stereo speakers for a louder output and improved bass performance, it boasts an all-new Dolby Atmos lifelike audio experience and is engineered with Lenovo Sound, featuring the industry’s highest performance 32-bit mobile audio DAC (Digital-to-Analog Converter) for ultra-low distortion and supreme audio clarity.

The VIBE X3 is powered by top-of-the-line 64-bit Qualcomm Snapdragon 808 hexa core processor, has 3GB RAM, and features 21MP PDAF rear camera with 4K Utra HD video recording capabilities, plus 8MP front camera.

Lenovo VIBE K4 Note

Another unit boasting of TheaterMax is the Lenovo VIBE K4 Note. It is equipped with advanced sound input and recording capabilities for those aspiring to produce their own digital content. Lenovo’s configured 3-mic system and state-of-the-art Wolfson audio codec effectively filter out ambient noise and greatly enhance sound quality during recording.

Its twin front ported stereo speakers enabled by Dolby Atmos minimize noise and voice distortion when playing voice clips and songs, automatically fine-tuning any audio experience for listeners.

An embedded 3300mAh battery and 64-bit octa-core processor ensure the performance of the VIBE K4 Note. Combined with a 13MP PDAF rear camera and a 5MP fixed-focused selfie camera, these features make VIBE K4 Note ideal for creative content producers.

Lenovo VIBE K4 Note
Lenovo VIBE K4 Note

Lenovo VIBE A7000 Plus

With its latest upgrade to Android 5.1, the Lenovo VIBE A7000 Plus is now Virtual Technology ready. Boasting a 5.5” full HD screen, it can now offer an immersive cinematic experience powered by TheaterMax when viewed using VR glasses. Users can also revel in an utmost audio experience as it is equipped with the Dolby Atmos surround sound speakers.

To complement that, the Lenovo A7000 plus is also packed with a 13-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel selfie camera as well as features a 3000mAh battery and a 1.7GHz MediaTek MT6752 octa-core processor, which make it the perfect budget-friendly multimedia smartphone.

Pricing and availability

The Lenovo VIBE X3 retails at P22,099 and comes in Pearl White, while the Lenovo VIBE K4 Note is priced at P10,699 and is available in Matte White and Matte Black. The Lenovo A7000 Plus can be bought at P7,999. All three are bundled with a free screen protector and back cover, and are now available at all authorized Lenovo dealers nationwide. (Press release)



You can now use PayMaya with Uber; promo offers 50% on first ride until July 10

Those without credit cards can now use transport service Uber via PayMaya, the pioneering and leading digital payments app in the Philippines. PayMaya Philippines (formerly Smart eMoney, Inc.), the digital financial services unit of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), recently announced a partnership with Uber that will allow more Filipinos to experience the ride sharing service even without a credit card.

This unique partnership in Southeast Asia will enable faster, more secure, and convenient cashless transactions for Uber. Through the partnership, consumers can now link their virtual PayMaya Visa account to their Uber account via the Uber app, so they can request for an Uber ride even without a credit card. Consumers just need to download the PayMaya app from Google Play or App Store and register to get a 16-digit PayMaya virtual Visa account that can immediately be topped up and used for digital transactions.

“Today, PayMaya has once again changed the game for digital payments by pioneering a unique partnership with Uber. Filipinos who do not have credit cards will now have a chance to experience Uber and the ease of cashless transportation. We’re excited to collaborate with the world’s leading ride-sharing service and support Uber’s mission of ‘making transportation as reliable as running water, everywhere, for everyone,’” said PayMaya Philippines president and CEO Orlando Vea.

PayMaya Uber
PAYMAYA-UBER PARTNERSHIP. (From left) Benjie Fernandez, Co-COO of PayMaya Philippines and COO of Voyager Innovations; Laurence Cua, General Manager of Uber Philippines; Manuel Pangilinan Chairman of PLDT, Smart, and Voyager Innovations; Orlando Vea, President and CEO of Voyager Innovations during the announcement of the PayMaya-Uber partnership.


Uber Philippines general manager Laurence Cua said, “PayMaya and Uber share the same vision of reliable services for all. For Uber, it’s reliable transportation everywhere, for everyone. For PayMaya, it’s digital payments made available for everyone, anywhere. Together, the synergies in payment and transportation will create an unparalleled commuting experience for users founded on convenience and reliability.”

Aside from the mobile app, PayMaya customers can also opt to have their own PayMaya physical prepaid card which can be used in brick-and-mortar stores worldwide that accept Visa. A variant also comes with its own beep wallet, allowing users to ride the MRT and LRT for their daily commute. Users who upgrade their PayMaya account can use their PayMaya for peer-to-peer money transfers and ATM withdrawals.

Going cashless with PayMaya

Ever since its launch in 2014, Filipinos have found Uber to be an innovative transport alternative, even if credit card penetration remains at a low 7 percent of the population, according to the Credit Card Association of the Philippines. While Uber has been accepting cash transactions since late 2015, the partnership with PayMaya today will allow consumers to enjoy the digital convenience that both services offer.

Cashless transactions are more convenient since paying through cash causes delays for both riders and Uber drivers. It also eliminates the security risk of cash handling for Uber partner drivers. Consumers who use PayMaya have more control over their expenses compared to credit card holders. A text message of the transaction is automatically sent to the user’s mobile number upon end of trip. The latest transaction history can be viewed on the PayMaya app for easier expense tracking.

Loading up a PayMaya account is also convenient as it can be topped up at any of the over 15,000 PayMaya reloading stations nationwide that include SM Malls Business Centers, Robinsons Malls Business Centers, Bayad Centers, 7-Eleven stores with Cliqq kiosks, TouchPay Kiosks, and Smart Padala Centers, on top of online banking via BDO.

50% off on first ride

As a special promo for PayMaya users, who take their first Uber trip from June 10 to July 10, 2016 will get 50% off on their ride when they use the promo code PAYMAYAxUBER. The promo is valid for both Black Car and UberX rides (Metro Manila and Cebu only). To avail of the promo, PayMaya users just need to have at least Php300 in their account.

PayMaya is powered by Visa and regulated by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas to ensure all user transactions are secure. Aside from being the first non-financial institution in Asia to be granted by Visa with an issuing and acquiring license, PayMaya Philippines also counts MasterCard as its partner giving it the unique opportunity to offer both Visa and MasterCard products.

For more information about PayMaya and how users can get their own PayMaya card, visit Talk to us on social media:,, and (Press release)


Get the new Chromecast for P99 a month from Globe

The Google Chromecast is a device that allows people to “cast” or broadcast content from personal devices like phones, tablets and computers to bigger screens like a TV through an HDMI connection. The content can be movies, TV shows, music, and even games.

Globe, in collaboration with Google, is offering the new generation of Chromecast as an add-on to their broadband subscription at P99 a month.

Google Chromecast Globe
Google Chromecast allows you to display content in your phone on bigger screens like the TV.

Broadband plan add-on

Globe Broadband customers with any plan can get the new Chromecast for P99 add-on monthly in a 24-month period. Subscribers can avail by calling 02-730-1010, browsing online at or visiting Globe Stores nationwide. The offer is available until Nov. 18, 2016.

“Customers today are no longer just tied in using their smartphones and PC’s at home for personal consumption, they also demand better content to share and experience on a bigger screen,” the company said in a press statement.

The new Chromecast, according to the Globe announcement, is equipped with better connectivity with the latest 802.11ac dual band Wi-Fi and three antenna structure for a faster and stable, with less buffering, streaming using the latest mobile devices.

Digital lifestyle

Aside from providing better hardware, the new Chromecast is also fully compatible to cast with the latest entertainment apps including Globe exclusive digital content partners such as HOOQ, NBA and Spotify.

“With our continuous partnership with Google, we stay true in providing new and meaningful innovations to fully maximize the digital lifestyle of our customers. The latest installment in this is the new Chromecast, now with better features and compatibility to our content partners such as Spotify, HOOQ, NBA to a more immersive casting experience,” said Globe senior vice president for broadband business Martha Sazon.

During the first quarter of this year, Globe Broadband logged a significant growth of 51% in revenue and additional subscribers of 41% resulting in a total broadband revenue of P3.5 billion. The impressive growth in revenues was driven by the increasing demand for data connectivity and positive response to various home broadband offerings bundled with entertainment-related content, Globe said. (From a press release)

Events Lifestyle

Wedding and debut exclusives in One Sweet Day at Marco Polo Plaza on June 18

What if we told you that Marco Polo Plaza can make your wedding and debut dreams come true?

To all soon-to-be-wed couples and soon-to-be-debutantes, come up to Nivel Hills on June 18 and be part of One Sweet Day: A Day of Wedding & Debut Exclusives. This will be held at the newly-renovated Cebu Grand Ballroom where our Banquet Sales Team will be at your service from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Why are we calling it One Sweet Day? If you book your wedding or debut with us on this special day, you will get all the benefits of our well-crafted celebration packages, plus the added One Sweet Day advantage.

Marco Polo Plaza One Sweet Day

This includes a 20% discount on the celebration package price. You will also get to choose two more premium benefits from the following: waived corkage for wines and lechon, additional complimentary night’s stay before or after the event, a gift certificate for Chocolate Indulgence Spa treatment for two, in-room Champagne Breakfast during your hotel stay, waived clearing fee for your dessert buffet, or a gift certificate for an overnight stay with breakfast for two at Marco Polo Ortigas Manila.

This irresistible offer is only valid on June 18 with the following terms and conditions: a reservation fee of P30,000 should be paid on that day, this is valid only for new bookings, the wedding or debut must be in 2016 or 2017 and the benefits can only be availed upon confirmation and full payment on or before February 2017.


Sweet things can happen in one sweet day. Allow our team of professional event specialists to help you make your dream celebration come true.

For more information, you can call (032) 253-1111 local 8109 or email [email protected]. For real time updates, like the Facebook page at or follow on Twitter at @5StarInCebu. (Press release)


Enjoy mobile games, videos at breakneck speeds via Smart LTE-Advanced

Bigger, faster, better.

This is how unrivaled mobile services leader Smart Communications is changing the way Filipinos are enjoying their favorite apps, games and videos on their smartphone with its recent launch of the country’s first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service in the renowned island of Boracay in Aklan.

Using a capability called “carrier aggregation,” which combines two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds, Smart’s LTE-A services has posted speeds of up to 250 Mbps, allowing users to download and upload huge files in seconds, stream movies and music seamlessly, and play their favorite games on a LTE-A capable device – such as the Samsung Galaxy S7 – without any hiccup.

Smart LTE-A Launch
Smart’s LTE-Advanced site in Boracay – the first of its kind in the country – offers blazing speeds of up to 250Mbps on a LTE-A capable device such as the Samsung Galaxy S7.

Technology forefront

“LTE-A is like being able to put together two or more separate highways in order to create a wider highway through which vehicular traffic can flow more freely and at a much faster rate,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT and Smart chief technology and information advisor.

“With the introduction of our LTE-Advanced service, the next stage of development of 4th generation of mobile technology, Smart is again at the technology forefront, setting the bar higher for mobile service and changing our customers’ digital experience for the better.”

“This is a milestone for Filipino mobile users, whose lives are constantly changed for the better by Smart’s mobile innovations and services,” said Smart Wireless Consumer Operations Head Kat Luna-Abelarde at the launch.

Future of mobile Internet

“Smart has brought the future of mobile internet experience here and now, sparking a fundamental shift in our lifestyle and the way we pursue our passions, connect, and celebrate life-defining moments with our family and loved-ones.”

This latest development also goes hand in hand with Smart’s push for a richer digital experience through super-sized data and compelling device offers, which cater to the growing appetite of Filipinos for mobile videos, games and music.

“LTE-A, along with our continuing efforts to improve existing network technologies, strengthen our efforts to give our subscribers the best internet services and mobile video experience.”

SMART LTE-A LAUNCH. Representatives of Smart Communications and technology partners Samsung and Huawei toast to the deployment of the country’s first ever Smart LTE-Advanced service in Boracay island. In the photo are (from left) Samsung Electronics Rhinn Piczon, Smart Broadband Head Pamela Santiago, Smart Consumer Broadband Marketing Head Gary Dujali, Smart Infinity Head Julie Carceller, Samsung Electronics Minsu Chu, Smart Chief Financial Officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla, PLDT & Smart Chief Technology & Information Advisor Joachim Horn, Smart Brand Head Kathy Carag, Smart Network Portfolio Management Senior Supervisor Christopher Alzona, PLDT & Smart Network Services Head Mario Tamayo, PLDT Chief Operating Advisor & Board of Directors Member Tadashi Miyashita, Huawei Account Director for PLDT Jerry Li Zhichao.
SMART LTE-A LAUNCH. Representatives of Smart Communications and technology partners Samsung and Huawei toast to the deployment of the country’s first ever Smart LTE-Advanced service in Boracay island. In the photo are (from left) Samsung Electronics Rhinn Piczon, Smart Broadband Head Pamela Santiago, Smart Consumer Broadband Marketing Head Gary Dujali, Smart Infinity Head Julie Carceller, Samsung Electronics Minsu Chu, Smart Chief Financial Officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla, PLDT & Smart Chief Technology & Information Advisor Joachim Horn, Smart Brand Head Kathy Carag, Smart Network Portfolio Management Senior Supervisor Christopher Alzona, PLDT & Smart Network Services Head Mario Tamayo, PLDT Chief Operating Advisor & Board of Directors Member Tadashi Miyashita, Huawei Account Director for PLDT Jerry Li Zhichao.

Enhance network

Since the start of the year, Smart launched the country’s hottest device deals such as the P888 handset with free data and load rebates and, even more recently, the P888 Pocket WiFi – making it easier for Filipinos to discover the real-life benefits of online connectivity.

To deliver a super-sized mobile Internet experience to subscribers, Smart has also doubled its data offer for Big Bytes 50, which now comes with 700MB – up from the previous 350MB – for surfing and streaming plus 650MB for YouTube, YouTube Gaming and iflix – valid for 3 days, still at P50.

Apart from deploying the country’s first LTE-A service, Smart has also been working on its 2G, 3G and 4G/LTE networks to enhance network resiliency and quality of data services to deliver the best possible digital experiences for subscribers nationwide. (Press release)


Fitbit Blaze, Fitbit Alta now available in the Philippines

Fitbit, the leader in the global connected health and fitness market, announced the availability of Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta devices in the Philippines. These products are now available at leading retail and online stores across the country including all Digital Walkers and Beyond The Box stores, as well as select Toby’s outlets.

A part of the Fitbit platform – consisting of of devices, apps, social and motivational features, advice and personalized coaching – these products help people make behavioral changes to be more active, exercise more, eat smarter, track their sleep and manage their weight.

Fitbit Blaze is a highly-rated device among consumers.
Fitbit Blaze is a highly-rated device among consumers.

As part of the global launch, Fitbit shipped more than one million Fitbit Blaze devices in its first month of availability, exceeding internal Fitbit sales forecasts. Fitbit also announced that more than one million Fitbit Alta devices shipped since US retail availability began on March 9.

Consumer response

These are the highlights of the consumer response to Fitbit Blaze:

  • Fitbit Blaze, which won 18 awards at CES, has captured the ranking of #1 bestselling device in the smart watch category on Amazon in the US
  • Fitbit Blaze has earned more than 1,600 customer reviews on Amazon in the last month, with 82% giving Fitbit Blaze a 4- or 5-star rating.

These are the highlights of the consumer response to Fitbit Alta:

  • Fitbit Alta is currently one of the top selling devices in the fitness tracker and pedometer categories on Amazon in the US
  • Fitbit Alta is one of the top selling devices in the fitness tracker and pedometer categories on More than 75% of customer reviews on Amazon give Alta a 4- or 5-star rating.

“At Fitbit, we continue to focus on developing innovative and motivating fitness-first products that our customers love and that help them achieve their health and fitness goals,” said Steve Morley, Vice President and General Manager, Fitbit Asia Pacific. “We’ve received positive response around the globe for Blaze and Alta, and we’re excited to bring these new products to the Philippines as our most motivating and most stylish devices for active and everyday consumers.”

Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Alta join the diverse line of award-winning products from Fitbit including Fitbit Surge, Fitbit Charge HR, Fitbit Flex, Fitbit One and Fitbit Zip activity trackers, as well as the Aria Wi-Fi Smart Scale. The devices are part of the Fitbit platform, which empowers people with information, offering a fun and engaging experience, providing insights and guidance for users to get the most out of their trackers and help them reach their health, fitness and wellness goals.

Fitbit Blaze (P9,999)

Fitbit Blaze.
Fitbit Blaze.

Fitbit’s most motivating and smartest fitness tracker – puts the emphasis on next generation health and fitness features first and foremost, such as PurePulse continuous, wrist-based heart rate tracking; SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition; automatic sleep tracking; and FitStar by Fitbit on-screen workouts.

Curated to fit your life, Fitbit Blaze includes the smart notifications that matter most, like call, text and calendar alerts, so you can stay connected to what’s important. It also has a long battery life that lasts up to 5 days , allowing you to keep up with your life, day and night.

Fitbit Blaze and Fitbit Blaze accessory bands began shipping to retailers and consumers in North America in late February and are now available in the Philippines, Asia and Australia, as well as Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Latin America. Blaze will begin shipping to China, Korea and Japan later this Spring.

Fitbit Alta (P6,479)

Fitbit Alta.
Fitbit Alta.

This model is a slim, sleek fitness wristband designed with a satin finish, stainless steel body and features a line of stylish, interchangeable bands in multiple popular colors and premium materials so you can find the right style for every occasion. Features include Reminders to Move, SmartTrack automatic exercise recognition, and all day activity and automatic sleep tracking.

Fitbit Alta also helps you stay connected with the smart notifications you need, delivering call, text and calendar notifications when your phone is nearby with a gentle vibrating alert on its vibrant, slender display. Fitbit Alta lasts up to 5 days on a single charge and is compatible with more than 200 Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices and computers.

LONG-LASTING. Fitbit Alta lasts up to 5 days on a single charge and is compatible with more than 200 Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices and computers.
LONG-LASTING. Fitbit Alta lasts up to 5 days on a single charge and is compatible with more than 200 Android, iOS and Windows mobile devices and computers.

Fitbit Alta and Fitbit Alta accessory bands began shipping to retailers and consumers in North America on March 9 and are also currently available in Philippines, as well as Hong Kong, Singapore and South Asia Pacific and Latin America. Alta will begin shipping to additional global locations in Europe, Asia, Middle East and Africa later this Spring. (Press Release)


Something Blu: A wedding-of-a-kind by Radisson Blu Cebu

Make Radisson Blu Cebu your touch of Something Blu of the wedding you’ve always dreamed about. Stylish, sophisticated, stress-free and flawless, experience a bespoke approach in creating one of your life’s lasting moments.

As your day-come-true unravels, savor the unparalleled service of a seasoned wedding team dedicated to meet your needs along with the finely-detailed wedding menu crafted by the executive chef – all happening in the exquisite celebratory spaces of Radisson Blu Cebu’s grand ballrooms.

Delight in a collection of premium Signature Wedding Packages from Tru Blu to Royal Blu starting at P1,600 to P2,000 per person, tailored to appeal to every budget and taste.

Radisson Blu Something Blu: A Wedding of a Kind
BRIDAL FAIR. The Something Blu: A Wedding of a Kind will be held on June 10 and 11 and will gather over 40 top wedding industry movers in an exquisite display of the finest wedding options. (Photo: Radisson Blu Cebu)

Something Blu bridal fair

Your journey to “I Do” begins on June 10 and 11 as Radisson Blu Cebu presents Something Blu: A Wedding of a Kind at the Northwing Atrium of SM City Cebu from 10AM to 9PM. On this two-day bridal fair, over 40 top wedding industry movers gather in an exquisite display of the finest wedding options handpicked for your day come true. Exclusive deals await from all suppliers and the SM Gift Registry.

On June 10, catch celebrated wedding videographer Jason Magbanua as he shares the process of his renowned visual storytelling followed with a bridal fashion show by leading Cebu designers – Barbie Alvez, Edwin Ao, Hanz Coquilla, Protacio Empaces Jr., Ronald Enrico, Dino Lloren, Mel Maria, Lord Maturan, Wendell Quisido, Philip Rodriguez, Mary Ty and Philipp Tampus. Interactive events are happening on June 11 featuring a talk show on real wedding advice by Cebuano personalities and an exhibition by junior stylists.


Bride pampering options

For all brides-to-be, pamper yourself and toast in style with your friends in a SparTea. Bask in Afternoon Delight which includes a 1-hour aromatherapy massage and afternoon high tea with cups of premium Dilmah tea for P2,000 net per person or Relax and Rejuvenate with a 1-hour facial treatment and Aromatherapy massage plus an afternoon high tea with cups of the finest Dilmah tea and a glass of Prosecco.

Keep up-to-date with the hotel’s latest offerings by joining us on Facebook at, Twitter, Instagram (@radissonblucebu) or Pinterest. (Press release)


Globe fires up PH 1st 700 MHz cell site; logs speeds ranging from 60 to 100 Mbps

Globe Telecom fired up over the weekend the country’s first cell site that uses the 700 megahertz spectrum, generating speeds that range between 60-100 Mbps. The company expects to deliver performance improvements as it completes ongoing optimization.

The move came less than a week after Globe acquired half of San Miguel Corp.’s telecommunication assets that included the 700 MHz frequency.

700 MHz cell sites rollout

According to Joel Agustin, Globe senior vice president for program governance, Network Technical Group, the first 700 MHz cell site is located near Hardin ng Bougainvillea in UP Diliman, Quezon City. It benefits customers within a 2.2 kilometers radius from the cell tower.

So far, there are almost a hundred customers in the area using devices compatible with the LTE 700 MHz band experiencing the value of the technology. Officials of the National Telecommunications Commission, led by Deputy Commissioner Edgardo Cabarios inspected the site last Monday, June 6.

Agustin said the company plans to initially roll out 200 sites using this particular frequency. “The intention is that the first batch of the 200 sites we plan to roll out will be in areas where connectivity matters most to our customers as well as in locations with high convergence of users like here in the National Capital Region,” he said.

NEW CELL SITE. Photo shows the 700MHz antenna, 2.5 meters in height, mounted on a Globe cell site in Diliman, Quezon City.
NEW CELL SITE. Photo shows the 700MHz antenna, 2.5 meters in height, mounted on a Globe cell site in Diliman, Quezon City.

Decongestion of other frequencies

Globe plans to activate all 200 sites progressively, which means that more and more customers will get to experience the benefits of the 700 MHz moving forward. Users of phones that are not compatible with LTE are also expected to benefit from the deployment of 700 MHz cell sites as this will lead to decongestion of users on other frequencies.

The 700 MHz frequency is considered a key in providing faster internet speeds in the country as it can easily penetrate buildings and walls and has greater coverage with fewer infrastructures needed compared to frequencies on higher bands. Its qualities make it the most valuable frequency range for 4G/LTE technology.

Agustin emphasized that use of the 700 MHz bodes well with the company’s capacity enhancement initiative amid increasing demand for bandwidth on growing customers’ propensity for multi-media content.

Better coverage

“About 70% to 80% of our customers are transacting data indoors and we need the 700 MHz spectrum to provide better coverage and stable connectivity inside their homes. Indoor connectivity is one issue that the 700 MHz spectrum addresses,” he said.

Agustin further emphasized that using the 700 MHz would allow the deployment of a high-capacity LTE-based wireless and fixed broadband network in rural areas, supporting the company’s initiative of expanding internet reach to many Filipinos. “Using low-frequency 700 MHz enables mobile signals to travel farther, which, in turn, will enable the company to significantly improve the coverage of its broadband services in rural areas and allow our customers in those locations to gain internet access,” he added.

More and more devices are supporting the 700MHz that now include Samsung’s S6 Edge+, Note 5, S7, S7 Edge, and J5 2016. (Press release)


Looking for a Father’s Day gift? Put a spring in Dad’s step with Havaianas

Instead of the usual socks and jocks, why not give something fun for Dad this year? Here are four Havaianas styles that are perfect for the occasion.

Havaianas Top Basic
Havaianas Top Basic

Havaianas Top Basic is a go-to style perfect for the go-to guy in your life. The designs are simple, unassuming and go well with almost everything.


Havaianas 4nite
Havaianas 4nite

Is Dad a rock star? Make him feel like a hotshot with Havaianas 4nite! It features rock and roll glow in the dark prints. Come on, need we say more? They glow in the dark!


Havaianas Casual
Havaianas Casual

If Dad’s style includes skinny jeans, V-neck shirts, thick-rimmed glasses and a mustache for good measure, then he’s definitely a hipster! He will fancy a pair of Havaianas Casual which features a bi-color matte strap for a surefire style.


Havaianas Disney
Havaianas Disney

A young-at-heart dad is as fun to shop for as he is to hang around. He’s fun, easy going and does not take himself too seriously. It’s easy to picture him in a pair of Havaianas Disney Stylish with soles printed with well-loved Disney characters you grew up watching with him.

So save the date. Father’s Day this year is on June 19. Whatever style you decide to get, just make sure to make him special because he deserves it.

Check out the rest of the Havaianas Collection on and follow @havaianasphils on Twitter and Instagram. (Press Release)