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.

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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)

Categories
Community

CCLEC employees partner with associations in reforestation program

The Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation (CCLEC), owner and operator of Cebu-Cordova Link Expressway (CCLEX) project, mobilized its employees to Barangay Buot, Cebu City and planted guyabano seedlings with the officers and members of Buot Livelihood Association Inc. (BULAI) and Cebu City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) on August 10, 2019.

The company also partnered with Camp 4 Manipis Minglanilla To-ong Association (CAMMITA) Inc. for a reforestation program that involves the provision and planting of 66,561 indigenous forest and fruit trees in Manipis, Talisay City.

CAMMITA, which has 158 members, will ensure that the planted trees in the area are well-maintained and protected until fully grown.

CAMMITA is an accredited people’s organization (PO) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) in ecological development and management of the Central Cebu Protected Landscape for the past 21 years in line with the government’s National Greening Program (NGP).

Cebu Cordova Link Expressway Corporation tree planting

BULAI, also a people’s organization duly accredited by DENR, was tapped by CCLEC as its partner for its employees’ Tree Planting Activity and will guard and nurture the 500 guyabano seedlings planted in Barangay Buot until they are fully grown.

“This is CCLEC’s way of contributing for the protection of the environment. We are also ecstatic with our reforestation program because aside from helping increase Cebu’s water supply, enhance biodiversity and mitigate climate change, it will also help provide livelihood for the people’s organization that we engaged for the project,” said CCLEC Project Manager Herbert C. Laboy, who led the employees in the activity.

CCLEX is an 8.5-kilometer toll bridge that will link the Municipality of Cordova in Mactan Island to Cebu City through the South Road Properties. Construction of CCLEX, which is going to be the first expressway in Cebu, is in full swing and is expected to be completed by 2021.

CCLEC is a subsidiary company of Metro Pacific Tollways Corp. (MPTC), the toll road arm of Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC), a publicly listed infrastructure holding company and is a member of the MVP Group of Companies.

MPTC is the largest toll road concessionaire and operator in the Philippines, which expansion goals include establishing toll operations in the Visayas, other parts of the Philippines, and in neighboring countries notably Thailand, Vietnam and Indonesia. (Press Release)

Categories
Tech

PayMaya brings cashless payment options, more perks to Big Bad Wolf Book Sale in Cebu

Cebuano book lovers can look forward to a more convenient and rewarding shopping experience as PayMaya enables cashless payment options at the Big Bad Wolf Sale on its second run in Cebu from August 16 to 26, 2019.

PayMaya customers are in for a surprise as they can get a chance to receive up to 100% cashback each time they pay using PayMaya QR from August 16-26, 2019. For new PayMaya users who will scan-to-pay at least P1,000 for the first time, they can enjoy an extra treat of P100 PayMaya credits.

WORLD'S BIGGEST BOOK SALE. Book lovers and new readers will have time to search for their favorite titles and authors as the BBW Book Sale will be open 24 hours daily until Aug. 26, 2019 at the IEC Convention Center (IC3) in Cebu City.

WORLD’S BIGGEST BOOK SALE. Book lovers and new readers will have time to search for their favorite titles and authors as the BBW Book Sale will be open 24 hours daily until Aug. 26, 2019 at the IEC Convention Center (IC3) in Cebu City.

Aside from that, shoppers paying via their PayMaya physical card can also get up to 100% cashback for a minimum spend of P1,000. This promo is part of PayMaya’s Online Shopping Promo that will run until August 20, 2019.

Big Bad Wolf Book Sale shoppers can experience seamless cashless payments as cashiers are equipped with One by PayMaya Business, a device that can accept credit and debit cards powered by VISA or Mastercard as well as QR payments through the PayMaya app.

“Through our continued partnership with Big Bad Wolf Sale, shoppers can definitely enjoy an upgraded book shopping experience with the help of PayMaya QR and the One by PayMaya Business device. We’re really happy to support the Big Bad Wolf Sale and offer cashless convenience and amazing rewards to all Cebuano book lovers,” said Raymund Villanueva, Director and Head of Growth and Marketing of PayMaya.

CONVENIENT PAYMENT. With PayMaya, Cebuano book lovers can look forward to a more convenient and rewarding cashless shopping experience.

CONVENIENT PAYMENT. With PayMaya, Cebuano book lovers can look forward to a more convenient and rewarding cashless shopping experience.

After a successful debut in Cebu last year, the Big Bad Wolf Sale is once again bringing 24-hour book shopping on heavily discounted books at the IEC Convention Center (IC3) in Cebu City.

From best-selling novels to popular children’s books, Big Bad Wolf shoppers can enjoy a wide-range of book selections and conveniently use their PayMaya app as their wallet to scan and pay for their book purchases via PayMaya QR. They can also avoid bringing cash or coins as they can pay using their debit or credit card via the One by PayMaya Business device.

To know more about how you can maximize your PayMaya account for shopping, visit www.paymaya.com/deals or follow @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

Categories
Business Tech

Ayala Corp. to go cashless with GCash

Ayala Corporation (Ayala), one of the oldest and largest conglomerates in the Philippines, has adopted GCash’s Powerpay+ disbursement platform to release incentives to its employees at the parent company.

Powerpay+ is a bundled funds disbursement facility that allows companies to pay out salaries, commissions and allowances more conveniently and securely to people by crediting funds directly to employees’ GCash accounts. It provides the flexibility to disburse scheduled or recurring payouts and is easily accessible via mobile phone. GCash is operated by Mynt, a partnership among Globe Telecom, Ayala Corporation and Ant Financial.

Logical next step

“Digital payments within the group was a natural move for us at Ayala. As a 185-year-old company, we are taking advantage of a new digital format that gives our employees ease, convenience, and security. We used to give gift cheques, which later became electronic gift cheques, so the move to e-wallets was a logical next step for us following the increasingly digitally savvy lifestyle of our employees and GCash’s recent exponential growth as the country’s leading mobile wallet,” said John Phillip Orbeta, Ayala’s Chief Human Resources Officer and Corporate Resources Group Head.

Mynt CEO Anthony Thomas also emphasized the added security and convenience that are innate to e-wallets. He says that with a digital format, “you have a trail, you have the ability to send out money for any purpose. Payroll is one, but incentives, reimbursements, agent commissions—all these needs are taken care of through an enterprise interface which allows you to pay instantly, and even small amounts, making it very efficient.”

Daily tasks

Like the rest of GCash’s 20 million users, Ayala employees have been using the platform to accomplish daily tasks like buying prepaid load, paying bills online, booking movie tickets, sending money to other GCash accounts and traditional bank accounts, and transacting with over 50,000 QR-enabled merchant partners nationwide. GCash also offers GSave, which gives the highest savings rate in the country and requires no minimum balance, and GCredit, which uses alternative credit scoring models to provide microloans.

GOING CASHLESS. Anthony Thomas (left), President and CEO of GCash, and John Philip S. Orbeta, Ayala Chief Human Resource Officer & Group Head of Corporate Resources.

Orbeta says that using the Powerpay+ platform will simply take their Ayala employees’ GCash use to another level.

At Ayala’s 2019 Annual Stockholders’ Meeting last April, Ayala Chairman and CEO Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala said the company is undergoing a massive transformation to ramp up the digitalization of its companies, as this was key to propelling the company into the future.

Zobel emphasized that the corporation, with business interests in real estate, banking, telecommunications, water, power, infrastructure, industrial technologies, health care, and education, has started “to participate in digital businesses that we believe are disruptive. These

Digital transformation journey

investments are designed to complement our group’s traditional brick-and-mortar operations, future-proof our existing portfolio, and broaden the digital experience of Filipinos.”

“We spend significant time studying other markets that are in the advanced stages of digital maturity and we have teams constantly looking at emerging trends and technologies,” Zobel added. “Absorbing and learning from these experiences, we have become more deliberate in our own digital transformation journey and have elevated it into a group-wide strategic agenda.”

Aside from enjoying the benefits of going digital, Thomas said GCash users also contribute to Philippine environmental sustainability efforts through GCash Forest, a feature within the app that computes how transactions done via GCash help the environment. The app computes one’s carbon credits, which upon hitting a predetermined target will require GCash to plant a tree at the Ipo Watershed, the biggest source of water for Metro Manila. (Press Release)

Categories
Community Travel

MCIA recognized as a breastfeeding friendly airport

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport (MCIA) was recognized as a Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place by the Philippine Pediatric Society (PPS) during the 7th Breastfeeding Congress and the 1st Asia-Pacific Breastfeeding Conference in EDSA Shangri-La Hotel today, August 7.

The Breastfeeding Friendly Public Place Award recognizes the efforts of MCIA in providing a welcoming and safe space for breastfeeding mothers and their families at the airport, announced the GMR MEGAWIDE Cebu Airport Corporation (GMCAC) and the Mactan-Cebu International Airport Authority (MCIAA).

FOR MOTHERS. The Baby Care Room in MCIA Terminal 1.

FOR MOTHERS. The Baby Care Room in MCIA Terminal 1.

Resort-themed airport

“The baby care room was one of the significant changes introduced to MCIA after we had our first Airport User’s Forum (AUF) and this award recognizes the result of that successful collaboration. Moreover, this is a testament of our commitment to continue transforming MCIA as the world’s friendliest resort-themed airport,” said GMCAC chief executive advisor Andrew Acquaah-Harrison.

Through the feedback and insights gathered from the AUF, the baby care room was redesigned into a welcoming, clean, and friendly facility where mothers can safely and comfortably attend to their children.

The baby care room in MCIA’s Terminal 1 was opened in May 2016 and features 4 breastfeeding cubicles with curtain partitions to provide privacy. It also has lavatories for handwashing and sanitizing breast milk containers; a refrigerator and a microwave oven for storing and reheating breast milk; and nappy changing stations. A FIDS (flight information display system) monitor is also installed inside so mothers can keep track of their flights without having to get out of the baby care room.

AWARD FOR MCIA. (From left) PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, GMCAC Safety, Quality Head John Binamira, GMCAC Terminal Operations Head (T1) Nenette Castillion, and Dr. Claire Pascual from the PPS Breastfeeding Committee during the awarding.

AWARD FOR MCIA. (From left) PPS President Dr. Salvacion Gatchalian, GMCAC Safety, Quality Head John Binamira, GMCAC Terminal Operations Head (T1) Nenette Castillion, and Dr. Claire Pascual from the PPS Breastfeeding Committee during the awarding.

Mothers working at MCIA

Aside from traveling mothers, the facility is also available for mothers who are working at the airport. It is open daily and can be found in Terminals 1 and 2.

With the vision of transforming the traveling experience of and providing a friendly service to its passengers, private operator GMCAC invited different airport users to share their feedback and suggestions in a forum dubbed the Airport User’s Forum (AUF).

Launched in August 2015, The AUF forms part of GMCAC’s stakeholder engagement initiatives where it endeavors to seek feedback from airport users to ensure that the airport’s improvements and development meet the needs of passengers with specific traveling needs and requirements.

“This initiative is designed to go beyond the traditional approach of the airport operator carrying out improvements without consultation and feedback from community users,” Harrison said. (Press Release)

Categories
Business Properties

Megaworld’s 1st half 2019 earnings up 18% to P8.9B

Residential, rental, and hotel businesses register double-digit growth

Megaworld, the country’s pioneer in and largest developer of townships, grew its net income by 18% to P8.9-billion in the first half of 2019 from P7.5-billion during the same period last year. Excluding a non-recurring gain of about P189-million in the first six months of 2019, the company saw a 15% increase in earnings compared to the same figure last year.

Net income attributable to parent company, on the other hand, rose 16% to P8.3-billion from P7.2-billion during the same period the previous year.

Double-digit growth

Megaworld’s earnings was fueled by a collective growth of 16% in its core businesses related to residential sales, leasing of Megaworld Premier Offices and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls, as well as operations of the brands under Megaworld Hotels. Each of the company’s core businesses exhibited double-digit growth from January to June this year.

Likewise, consolidated revenues of the company went up 18% to P31.7-billion during the first half of 2019 from P27-billion during the same period last year. Broken down, Megaworld’s residential business, rental, and hotel operations, accounted for 63%, 26%, and 4% of total revenues, respectively. The balance of 7% came from its non-core revenues.

Megaworld Hotels: The company’s hotel business was the fastest-growing segment for the first half of the year, growing 80% compared to the same period last year.

MEGAWORLD HOTELS. The company’s hotel business was the fastest-growing segment for the first half of the year, growing 80% compared to the same period last year.

“The current economic landscape is quite favorable so we continue to be optimistic on the remaining five months of 2019. Interest rates are on a downtrend, which is a very positive news for our residential business. Vacancies in both office and commercial segments are on an all-time low, and we don’t see this changing in the near future due to the robust sign-ups we are seeing from big companies and business owners. Tourism growth, likewise, remains strong, and this should continue to fuel our blossoming hotel operations especially that we are opening more hotels henceforth,” said Kevin L. Tan, chief strategy officer, Megaworld.

New inventory

Residential sales improved to P20.2-billion during the first six months of 2019 from P18.1-billion during the same period in 2018, registering a growth of about 11% year-on-year.

The company launched a total of P39-billion in new inventory during the first half of the year while sales reservations reached P80-billion by the end of the period.

On the rental front, Megaworld’s leasing revenues soared to P8.1-billion during the first six months of the year from P6.8-billion in the same period in 2018, a remarkable 20% growth year-on-year.

By yearend, the company is expected to complete more than 230,000 square meters of leasable space from its two rental brands of Megaworld Premier Offices and Megaworld Lifestyle Malls all over the country.

MCKINLEY HILL. The 50-hectare McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and serves as a home to 90,000 office workers.

MCKINLEY HILL. The 50-hectare McKinley Hill in Fort Bonifacio celebrates its 15th anniversary this year and serves as a home to 90,000 office workers.

Megaworld Lifestyle Malls

Just a few weeks ago, the company announced that it plans to expand its Megaworld Lifestyle Malls footprint outside of Metro Manila with the opening of 8 new malls and commercial centers in key regional centers in the next three years. The plans will cover as much as 200,000 square meters of fresh retail inventory until 2022.

The company’s hotel operations under the Megaworld Hotels brand became the fastest growing segment during the first half of 2019, soaring 80% to P1.3-billion from P715-million last year.

Megaworld Hotels is expected to add another 1,000 room keys this year with the scheduled openings of Belmont Hotel Boracay and Savoy Hotel Mactan Newtown before year-end.

Megaworld Hotels now has 8 homegrown hotels across the country: Richmonde Hotel Ortigas, Eastwood Richmonde Hotel, Richmonde Hotel Iloilo, Savoy Hotel Manila, Savoy Hotel Boracay, Belmont Hotel Manila, Hotel Lucky Chinatown, and Twin Lakes Hotel.

Masterplanned townships, lifestyle communities

Celebrating its 30th year in the real estate industry, Megaworld already has 24 masterplanned townships and integrated lifestyle communities across the country, namely: Eastwood City in Libis, Quezon City, (18.5 hectares); Newport City in Pasay City (25 hectares); McKinley Hill (50 hectares), McKinley West (34.5 hectares), Uptown Bonifacio (15.4 hectares) and Forbes Town (5 hectares), all in Fort Bonifacio, Taguig City; The Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu (30 hectares); Iloilo Business Park in Mandurriao, Iloilo City (72 hectares); Sta. Barbara Heights in Sta. Barbara, Iloilo (173 hectares); Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island (150 hectares); Twin Lakes in Alfonso, Batangas near Tagaytay (1,200 hectares); ArcoVia City in Pasig City (12.3 hectares); Southwoods City in the boundaries of Cavite and Laguna (561 hectares); Davao Park District in Lanang, Davao City (11 hectares); Alabang West in Las Piñas City (62 hectares); Eastland Heights in Antipolo, Rizal (640 hectares); Suntrust Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite (350 hectares); Maple Grove in General Trias, Cavite (140 hectares); The Hamptons Caliraya in Lumban-Cavinti, Laguna (300 hectares); The Upper East (34 hectares) and Northill Gateway (50 hectares) both in Negros Occidental; Capital Town Pampanga beside the Pampanga Provincial Capitol in the City of San Fernando (35.6-hectares); Westside City in the Entertainment City in Paranaque City (31 hectares); and Highland City in Cainta, Rizal (24 hectares). (Press Release)

Categories
Business

Pag-IBIG Fund taps PayMaya to offer convenient digital payments to members

In line with the directive of President Rodrigo Duterte to make public services more convenient for Filipinos, Pag-IBIG Fund has made it more convenient for its members to pay for their savings and loan repayments anytime and anywhere.

This convenient way to pay is now possible as the agency partnered with leading digital financial services firm PayMaya to bring digital and card payments to its online and branch channels.

Through the partnership, Pag-IBIG Fund members can now remit their savings and pay for their loan amortizations using any Visa, Mastercard, or JCB credit, debit, and prepaid card. PayMaya account holders can also pay using their mobile number linked to their e-wallet via Pag-IBIG Fund’s online portal.

One by Paymaya

PayMaya will also soon equip Pag-IBIG Fund branches nationwide with One by PayMaya point-of-sale (POS) devices, which will enable the agency to accept PayMaya QR payments and any Visa, Mastercard, or JCB credit, debit, and prepaid card. One by PayMaya is the only POS device that can accept multiple modes of cashless payments via swipe, tap, and dip for cards, and pay-to-scan via QR.

Aside from bringing convenience to customers, offering alternative cashless payment methods will also lessen cash handling in paying Pag-IBIG Fund dues for better security and efficiencies.

CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR PAG-IBIG MEMBERS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and PayMaya formally signed its partnership agreement to offer digital payment options for Pag-IBIG Fund members online and through the agency's branch channels, delivering greater convenience and accessibility to its members nationwide. Present during the signing ceremony at the Pag-IBIG Fund Head Office in Makati City were Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti (2nd from left), PayMaya Founder and CEO Orlando B. Vea (2nd from right), Pag-IBIG Fund OIC - Support Services Cluster and Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Robert John S. Cosico (leftmost), and PayMaya COO and Managing Director Paolo Azzola (rightmost).

CONVENIENT PAYMENT OPTIONS FOR PAG-IBIG MEMBERS ANYTIME, ANYWHERE. The Home Development Mutual Fund (Pag-IBIG Fund) and PayMaya formally signed its partnership agreement to offer digital payment options for Pag-IBIG Fund members online and through the agency’s branch channels, delivering greater convenience and accessibility to its members nationwide. Present during the signing ceremony at the Pag-IBIG Fund Head Office in Makati City were (from left) ), Pag-IBIG Fund OIC – Support Services Cluster and Chief Legal Counsel Atty. Robert John S. Cosico, Pag-IBIG Fund CEO Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, PayMaya Founder and CEO Orlando B. Vea (2nd from right (leftmost), and PayMaya COO and Managing Director Paolo Azzola (rightmost).

All these channels complement the existing bills payment section in the PayMaya mobile app that already allows for in-app payments of Pag-IBIG Fund transactions for millions of PayMaya and Smart Padala by PayMaya customers.

PayMaya is the only digital financial services company with an integrated suite of solutions for consumers and merchants complemented by the widest remittance partner agent network. It is the financial technology arm of Voyager Innovations, the leading technology company in the country backed by PLDT, KKR, Tencent, World Bank’s IFC, and the IFC Emerging Asia Fund.

Its “one payment platform” enables the country’s top eCommerce sites, major retail and quick-service restaurants, government institutions, as well as MSMEs, allowing them to accept multiple kinds of cashless payments.

Making Pag-IBIG services more convenient

“With this partnership, our members now have an even wider range of options whenever they need to transact with Pag-IBIG Fund. For those who don’t want to leave their homes or offices, they can pay conveniently online. Overseas Filipino Workers would also be able to have easier access to payment options through our website powered by PayMaya. This is our way of bringing our services one convenient step closer to Pag-IBIG Fund members, wherever they may be,” said Acmad Rizaldy P. Moti, Chief Executive Officer of Pag-IBIG Fund.

Customer convenience and government efficiencies

“We are glad that government agencies like Pag-IBIG Fund are embracing digital payment technologies to help bring convenience to all Filipinos. We at PayMaya are proud to be the partner of Pag-IBIG in delivering more accessible public services, which is in line with our goal of digital and financial inclusion for the Philippines,” said Orlando B. Vea, Founder and CEO of PayMaya Philippines.

By equipping government agencies with digital payment options, PayMaya is also helping the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas achieve its goal of transforming 20% of all transactions in the country to digital by the year 2020.

To know more about the digital payment products and services offered by PayMaya to businesses and enterprises, visit business.paymaya.com. (Press Release)

Categories
Food Travel

Huge discounts for rooms, buffet, and more at Quest Hotel Cebu Super Sale 2019

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu will offer discounts of up to 60% on accommodation, dining, and banquet events at the upcoming Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019. In celebration of Quest Hotel’s upcoming 7th anniversary, the hotel will offer vouchers to guests and patrons at special rates exclusively at the hotel’s pop-up in Ayala Center Cebu from August 16 to 18, 2019.

Quest Hotel accommodation vouchers start at P2,750 net for an overnight stay in a Deluxe Room. Vouchers for Premier Deluxe, Junior Suite, and Executive Suite are available as well. Premier Deluxe vouchers start at P2,950 net; Junior Suite vouchers at P4,450 net, and Executive Suite vouchers at P5,450 net.

Huge discounts for the spacious Quest Serviced Residences are also up for grabs. Vouchers for the 1-Bedroom Serviced Residence start at P3,700 net while those for 2-Bedroom Serviced Residence is at P5,000 net. The Quest Serviced Residences boasts of higher floors and are equipped with living area, dining, and kitchen facilities.

Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019

Be it for business or leisure, guests seeking the ultimate hotel experience will revel in the room’s delightful amenities and scenic sky-high views of the metropolis. Guests enjoy complimentary access to the Fitness Center and the swimming pool, where they may also have bar chow and beverages at the Pool Bar.

Guests craving for delicious bites will have a blast at the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, Pusô Bistro & Bar. Recently awarded by TripAdvisor with the Certificate of Excellence 2019, the award-wining restaurant presents an array of flavors both international and local from morning till evening. Discounted vouchers for the buffet and a la carte are available at the sale.

Pusô Bistro & Bar

Pusô Bistro & Bar was recently awarded by TripAdvisor with the Certificate of Excellence 2019.

Pusô Bistro & Bar’s highly acclaimed Breakfast Buffet is offered at only P450 net per person from the regular rate of P600 net per person. Lunch Buffet vouchers are available at P560 net per person and Dinner Buffet vouchers are available at P680 net per person. A La Carte Value vouchers are available at P2,650 net for a consumable value of P3,500; and at P1,600 net for a consumable value of P2,000.

Parties, whether for birthdays, reunions, or wedding receptions take center stage at Quest Hotel. The three-star hotel is renowned for its 10 state-of-the-art function spaces that can accommodate either intimate gatherings or grand soirees of up to 200 persons. Banquet Value vouchers are available at the Quest Hotel Super Sale at discounted rates of P15,000 net for a consumable value of P20,000; and at P10,000 net for a consumable value of P15,000. Banquet Value vouchers are applicable for social events only.

Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu

It surely is a grand, super sale at the Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019. Guests and patrons are in for an array of exciting options to choose from. To know more about the discounted offers, interested guests may visit bit.ly/QuestSuperSale2019 or call Quest Hotel & Conference Center Cebu at (+6332) 402 5999.

The Quest Hotel Super Sale 2019 vouchers are valid for use from September 1 to November 30, 2019. Hotel terms and conditions apply. (Press Release)

Categories
Travel

MCIA Terminal 2’s The Cabin Bar wins Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year

MCIA Terminal 2’s airport bar, The Cabin by London-based travel F&B operator SSP, was named as Asia Pacific Airport Bar of the Year in the Airport Food and Beverage (FAB) Awards held in Dallas, Texas on June 27, 2019. The Cabin Bar is the first full bar operating inside a Philippine airport.

The Cabin Bar exudes a resort feel with its open, flowing concept and wide, spacious countertops. The open bar allows customers to see the creativity and technique of the staff while preparing the drinks. Situated in a very central and visible location in the airport, the Cabin Bar surely stands out with its bright, blue chairs and towering canopy.

The FAB Awards recognizes the best in travel food and beverage worldwide.

Categories
Business

Bid July goodbye with up to P2,650 in cashback, more amazing perks from PayMaya

The rainy season is here and with it comes a deluge of discounts, cashback, and other perks as the leading digital financial wallet and app PayMaya brings more amazing surprises to all account holders every time they pay using their PayMaya account.

From today until July 31, you can get up to a total of P2,650 in cashback when you pay your purchases with your PayMaya account!

“With all of these perks and rewards, it’s time to leave your wallet at home because paying using your PayMaya account today brings you even more value than cash or your credit card! PayMaya is not just convenient, it also offers you the best cashback deals and discounts for all the things you have to pay every day–whether it’s shopping online, buying load, or paying at the supermarket,” said Raymund Villanueva, Head of Growth and Marketing at PayMaya.

Until July 31, PayMaya account holders can enjoy the following perks and discounts for every transaction:

  • Get up to 100% cashback every time you buy load (max. P200) in the PayMaya Shop so you can keep calling and texting your friends and family
  • Buy discounted Mobile Legends: Bang Bang gaming pins and get up to 100% cashback on all gaming pins (max. P200) for all-day power-ups for your games
  • Get P300 cashback when you shop online with your PayMaya card (min. P3,000 single transaction) so you can snag the latest deals on your favorite e-Commerce sites
  • Get P150 cashback when you send money of at least P3,000 to another PayMaya user so you can easily send money to friends and family
  • Get up to P1000 cashback whenever they pay using PayMaya QR at any partner merchants (for upgraded accounts) for more value each time you shop

And from July 29 to 31, PayMaya is multiplying the fun as users can get double the cashback on QR purchases (maximum P500), which means double the savings on every purchase so you can splurge on that gadget accessory or cute dress you’ve seen in the mall.

What’s more, qualified users who pay their bills with PayMaya can also have the chance to earn as much as P200 cashback for two bills paid from July 29 to 31.

Not yet a PayMaya account holder? Signing up for one is easy. Simply download the PayMaya app on the Play Store and the App Store and sign up using your mobile number.

Get started on transacting by instantly adding money to your account through more than 30 bank partners via Instapay, or through the more than 40,000 PayMaya Add Money channels nationwide that include Smart Padala by PayMaya centers, Smart stores, Bayad Center, SM Business Center, Robinsons Business Center, Gaisano Capital Business Center, 7-Eleven, ExpressPay, Palawan Pawnshop, Cebuana Lhuillier, RD Pawnshop, Shopwise, Wellcome, UnionBank ATMs, BDO, Metrobank, RCBC, iBayad, ECPay, VMobile and Touchpay, eTAP & Pay&Go Kiosks, among many others.

PayMaya, the digital financial services arm of Voyager Innovations, is the only FinTech company in the Philippines offering integrated consumer and merchant payment solutions with the widest on-ground branch network. It is the first to give millions of Filipinos an e-wallet that allows them to pay cashless transactions at any time of the day, anywhere in the world, and from any device.

To know more how you can maximize your PayMaya account, visit paymaya.com/deals or follow @PayMayaOfficial on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. (Press Release)