PLDT, Smart, Cignal, and PayMaya offer biggest discounts yet on National Heroes Day weekend

Customers of PLDT, Smart, Cignal TV and PayMaya will receive exclusive discounts at SM during the National Heroes Day weekend on August 28 to 31, 2020.

Up for grabs in all SM malls nationwide are discounted prices for prepaid load bundles, data cards, Smart Bro and PLDT products and services — such as the Double the Data Promo of PLDT Home FamLoad.

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Basilan school shows the way in distance learning

Once a thriving trading center in Mindanao, Basilan has had a troubled history in the last half-century, marked by clashes between the military and Moro secessionists and attacks by terrorist groups. But while communities are constantly displaced, residents brave hardship and strive to survive.

Now faced with yet another challenge, the COVID-19 pandemic, Basilan reaffirms its resilience, particularly in education.

As schools and teachers nationwide prepare for the shift to blended and distance learning, the Concepcion National High School (CNHS) in Basilan is simply building on lessons drawn from years of teaching in times of crisis.

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Megaworld optimistic on quick recovery, rolls out 4-point plan to rise from pandemic

Property giant Megaworld is optimistic that it can recover quickly from the pandemic next year following reports of coronavirus vaccines to be released before year-end.

In his message at the company’s Annual Stockholders’ Meeting via live webcast, Megaworld chairman and CEO Dr. Andrew L. Tan said the company is ready to bounce back as it “adjusts to the new demands of the diverse market.”

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PH notches ‘impressive improvements’ in 4G availability, download speeds: Opensignal

Mobile network experience in the Philippines has had “impressive improvements” since 2017 as Filipinos spent more time on 4G/LTE, according to the latest analysis by independent mobile analytics firm Opensignal.

The analysis, which is available on Opensignal’s website, found that between the fourth quarter of 2017 and the second quarter of 2020, 4G Availability in the Philippines increased by nearly 20 percentage points.

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Bike-friendly parking at SM Supermalls

With more and more people turning to biking as a mode of transportation during the Modified Enhanced Community Quarantine (MECQ), SM Supermalls has created bike parking facilities across its malls.

With organized and secure parking zones designated solely for bicycles, SM hopes to make the riding experience safe and convenient for the growing number of bike commuters, especially in communities where SM malls are located. And the good news is that these spaces are currently free of charge.

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Nestlé Philippines shifts to paper straws in ready-to-drink products

Nestlé Philippines is switching from plastic to paper straws for its ready-to-drink (RTD) products – a move that will eliminate 130 metric tons of plastic straws by yearend. The move is the first of its kind and scale in the country.

The shift is part of its global commitment to make 100 percent of its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.

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Megaworld grows office business even during pandemic

Office rental income growth of 10% helped cushion pandemic impact even as H1 profits registered 34% drop

Megaworld, the country’s leading developer of integrated urban townships, posted a 34% drop in its net income during the first half of the year, from P8.9-billion to P5.9-billion. Consolidated revenues for the first six months declined by 25% year-on-year to P23.8-billion from P31.7-billion last year.

The company, on the other hand, recorded P2.1-billion net profit during the second quarter this year, a 56% decline from P4.8-billion during the same period last year, as the country was reeling from the impact of the nationwide lockdown that affected most businesses.

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Megaworld creates unit for digital technology investments

Andrew Tan-led property giant Megaworld is creating a wholly-owned subsidiary that will spearhead the company’s investments and ventures into digital innovations and technology as it takes advantage of opportunities brought about by changes in consumer behaviors and lifestyles in this digital age.

AGILE Digital Ventures is Megaworld’s digital investment arm that will engage in investing and building technology start-ups that hopes to support the country’s food, retail, and hospitality industries during these challenging times.

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10 fun areas to dine in at SM

Who says social distancing while eating out can’t be fun?

As dine-in services resume in the new normal, SM malls nationwide are offering a new and safer dining experience for shoppers who want to satisfy their cravings and have a good time with family and friends. As part of its #DineInSM campaign, SM malls have created fun, social distancing-compliant dining areas with lively and colorful themes and décor for everyone to safely enjoy dining in at their fave restaurants.

Here are some themed, Instagram-worthy dining areas you can check out at an SM mall near you:

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GrabCar resumes operation in Cebu City, Talisay

Following the recent announcement of the government placing Cebu City under GCQ, GrabCar will resume its services in Cebu City and Talisay City to provide safe and reliable mobility solutions for its commuting public and help Cebu safely reopen its economy.

To further Grab’s commitment of helping the Cebuano economy, for the first two weeks of GCQ, GrabCar rides paid through GrabPay will have a 50% fare reduction to be able to meaningfully assist the essential service workers, small business owners, and the general commuting public in going about their daily activities.

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Technology enables disaster resilience in communities

The new normal posed by COVID-19 has fast-tracked the adoption by local government units and organizations of technology-based programs to keep people informed and help students resume their studies despite the pandemic.

Nagiel Banacia, Officer-in-Charge of the Lapu-Lapu City Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office, has been at the front and center of the ongoing health crisis. He says that while traditional forms of communication like tarpaulins, leaflets and recorridas still work, tech-powered communications channels are more effective in reaching quickly and safely communities under lockdown.

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Smart 5G goes live

5G handsets available, 5G coverage in key CBDs

Starting July 30th, the 5G mobile phone network of Smart Communications is going live as a commercial service.

In this initial phase of its commercial deployment, Smart Signature, Infinity and other Smart postpaid subscribers will be able to enjoy the super-fast data service of Smart 5G in key business districts of Metro Manila using Smart-certified handsets with 5G-activated SIMs.

These areas include the Makati Central Business District (CBD), Bonifacio Global City CBD, Araneta City, SM Megamall and Mall of Asia Bay Area. Smart 5G is also being rolled out in key high-traffic areas such North Avenue in Quezon City and Taft Avenue in Manila, as well as in Ortigas CBD, and Clark Green City in Pampanga.

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PH among countries with most improved Video Experience: Opensignal

With most Filipinos staying at home during the community quarantine amid COVID-19, veteran chef Rose Marie Lim of Cebu’s Caro and Marie, one of the country’s longest-running baking and culinary schools, turned to video to stay connected with cooking and baking aficionados both here and abroad.

Through a cooking and baking video series on Facebook, Chef Rose has been able to share Filipino recipes not just with Filipinos outside Cebu, but with a worldwide audience.

“You don’t have to be a master chef for to prepare simple dishes for your family and friends. And if you’ve never cooked or baked since birth, now is the time to try it! Just watch my videos!” she said.

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Google Philippines celebrates Dolphy’s 92nd birthday with doodle

Today, Google Philippines celebrates the 92nd birthday of the comedian, actor, producer, and philanthropist Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon with a doodle. This illustrates the country’s King of Comedy whose charm and humor warmed hearts and made him a household name among millions of Filipinos.

Born on this day in 1928 in Manila, Dolphy’s interest with the performing arts began in his childhood when he was selling peanuts and watermelon seeds at movie theaters. Able to watch movies for free, the young Dolphy started dreaming of becoming an actor and landed his first small film role at age 19. This was followed by years of hard work and success in film and radio before he made his big television debut with the 1960s series “Buhay Artista” (“Actor’s Life”).

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SSS members can now receive claims, benefits via PayMaya

Social Security System (SSS) members can now safely and conveniently claim proceeds from their SSS benefits without leaving their homes by enrolling their PayMaya accounts as their default disbursement option in their My.SSS online portal.

SSS members only need to enroll their PayMaya accounts through the My.SSS member portal ( by entering their PayMaya-registered mobile number under the “Account Number” field at the Bank Enrollment portion of the portal.

Proceeds from the SSS funeral and unemployment benefits, among others, may be coursed through the member’s PayMaya account. Soon, members may also receive their calamity, salary, and other loan proceeds via PayMaya.

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Smart-backed Dynamic Learning Program to benefit DepEd ALS Butuan’s ‘second-chance’ learners

Riding a motorcycle to different learning centers in hinterlands, sustaining the attention of distracted learners, and handling a multi-grade classroom are just some of the challenges that Alternative Learning System (ALS) mobile teachers face every day. The COVID-19 health crisis has made it even tougher for them, as they had to look for ways to continue teaching their learners remotely.

To help the Department of Education (DepEd) – ALS of Butuan City continue teaching in the new normal, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) conducted an online workshop on the implementation of the Dynamic Learning Program (DLP). 49 mobile teachers and education program specialists joined the first run of the virtual training, dubbed as DLP In Action.

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So Many Markdowns at the SM Store

After being homebound for some time, now is the best time to re-visit The SM Store and enjoy its So Many Markdowns.

You’ll love our great bargains and finds. Get as much as 50% OFF on selected items from July 1 to 31, 2020, whether it be fashion must-haves, baby needs, home essentials and so much more.

Rediscover how much fun it is to shop for the home and for the kids, for whom there are Mickey Medium Foldable Trikes and Picolo Pinkstripe Strollers. You can also make distance learning fun for tweens with SM Stationery Unicorn Sequins Notebooks and SM Accessories Earphones.

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How to join Toyota’s GR Supra GT Cup Asia

Do you want to experience speeding through the world’s famous racing circuits, driving no less than Toyota’s pure sports car the GR Supra? Have you ever dreamed of representing the Philippines and using your racing skills to bring honor to the country in an international motorsport event?

It’s now possible, and it can all happen online! Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) recently announced the launch of its first virtual motorsport competition, the GR Supra GT Cup Asia – Philippines. You may be the top esports racing champion that TMP is looking for to field against Asia’s racing champions.

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Megaworld’s reservation sales hit P38B in first half of 2020

Megaworld, the country’s largest developer of integrated urban townships, has booked P38-billion in reservation sales for various residential projects during the first half of the year.

For the entire second quarter, the Megaworld Group generated P17 billion in reservation sales, at a time when most parts of the country were placed under “enhanced community quarantine.”

“While the method of selling real estate during quarantine period was quite challenging, our digital sales strategies that we’ve been working on since two years ago paved the way for faster, smoother and safer transactions, and client engagements. We thank all our customers for the trust and confidence even during this time,” said Megaworld Chief Operating Officer Lourdes Gutierrez-Alfonso.

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Cebu City’s NOAH Complex receives tech support, connectivity from PLDT

Cebu City’s new COVID-19 treatment and isolation center has been equipped with high-speed WiFi for the use of patients and frontliners.

The New Normal Oasis for Adaptation and a Home (NOAH) Complex at the city’s South Road Properties now has enterprise-grade Internet and WiFi using Cisco Meraki Access Points provided by leading telecoms and digital services provider PLDT.

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