Summer is about to end, it’s time to pack your bags and say goodbye to summer. Whether you are a Herschel person or a Jansport guy or even a The North Face type, your choice of bags speaks to your needs and style.
If you haven’t found the best bag for this school year, we’ve got here the best school bags of different types and brands. See which one perfectly works for you.
Remember, your bag isn’t just about carrying all your stuff to school, it is a fashion statement as well. Make sure you have one that will keep your things organized, is durable enough to last the entire school year and is, of course, a cool accessory.
This Herschel backpack is perfect for students with 15” laptops since it features padded laptop sleeve inside. This Vancouver-based brand is a hip and trendy accessory to complete your school OOTDs.
JanSport Hatchet is the perfect student companion whether for school or for an adventure. It brings together outdoor influence with modern functionality. It features a 15” laptop sleeve, and organizer panel, a tablet pocket, and water bottle pockets.
For students who want bold and stylish silhouettes, Mad Rabbit Kicking Tiger (MRKT) has it. It features clean, minimal, unique and functional designs. It promises not just stylish look but durability as well.
4) Sakroots (tote bag)
Sakroots prints are original creations of artists from around the world that share the same mission with the brand to make the world better. This Sakroots satchel is a perfect fashion statement for college students who want express hip and relaxed vibe.
5) The North Face
Are you adventurous and on-the-go? You can stay organized with this The North Face backpack. It features a 15” laptop sleeve in the main compartment and a tablet sleeve in the front compartment. It is redesigned for all-day comfort whether you are in the campus or outdoors.
Express your style with Mi-Pac backpacks. Mi-Pac is a British brand that embodies creativity, and is designed to express individuality, freedom of expression, and personal style.
They say that your bag doesn’t just complete your outfit; it’s an expression of style and personality. Which one’s yours?
Brands above are available at Bratpack Ayala Center Cebu and Bratpack Robinsons Galleria Cebu. For more info you may call them at 415-8343 and 261-4254.
Smart Communications is delivering the fastest LTE service in the country, with average download speeds steadily improving through the months, a J.P.Morgan study showed.
In an April 2017 report based on the actual mobile experience of OpenSignal app users, J.P.Morgan said Smart “leads in overall LTE download speeds and at regional levels.” The OpenSignal app enables mobile data users to run their own speed tests.
At the country level, Smart recorded an average LTE download speed of 10.91 Mbps from December 2016 to February 2017. It averaged 11.76 Mbps in Metro Manila, 8.56 Mbps in South Luzon, and 10.42 Mbps in the Visayas in the same period.
Average LTE speeds improved
Aside from beating competition in the LTE arena, Smart has also improved its average LTE speeds in all areas covered by the study. Its latest figures are its highest in the last eight testing periods of OpenSignal.
Moreover, Smart led in terms of average 3G download speeds at the country level (2.22 Mbps) and in Metro Manila (3.25 Mbps). These 3G figures are also Smart’s highest in the last eight testing periods.
“We are happy to know that our subscribers are increasingly enjoying our newest and fastest LTE network. We have made intensive capital outlay to accelerate the deployment of LTE sites because LTE significantly boosts the speed, quality, and reliability of our mobile data service,” said PLDT-Smart chief technology and information advisor Joachim Horn.
Better indoor coverage
Smart is re-equipping its cell sites to use low-frequency bands such as 700 MHz and 850 MHz to provide better indoor coverage. It is also deploying high-frequency bands like 1800 MHz and 2100 MHz to increase the cell sites’ capacity to handle mobile data traffic.
PLDT and Smart have committed to make LTE progressively available to 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities by the end of 2018.
“While the J.P.Morgan study did not include Mindanao, our subscribers are already experiencing improved LTE service there, particularly in Metro Davao where we have completed our network overhaul program,” Horn said.
Superior digital experience
“Soon, more Filipinos from all over the country will enjoy a digital experience like never before,” said PLDT-Smart chief revenue officer Eric Alberto. “Our network dominance and reliability will enable us to deliver a superior digital experience to Filipinos, whose appetite for relevant digital content is constantly growing.”
Horn said that through its LTE rollout, Smart was also laying the foundation for further service improvements, such as LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) which can provide even faster speeds and greater capacity to subscribers.
He added that while Smart was boosting its LTE services, it continued to fortify its 3G network to better serve the majority of its smartphone-owning subscribers, who are using 3G handsets. (Press Release)
If you still haven’t decided what to give that special group of people in your life, those daring adventurers who make the outdoors their weekend stops, the R.O.X. Gift Coach may just have the answer for you.
More and more people have discovered the fun and excitement of forest treks and mountain jaunts, and chances are you have loved ones and friends who answer nature’s siren calls now and then.
The country’s biggest outdoor concept store, R.O.X., extends a helping hand in your quest to find the ideal gifts in time for your adventurers’ next big adventure.
The R.O.X. Gift Coach is a holiday campaign to help shoppers find the right gifts to suit your family’s and friends’ next weekend trips, be it a relaxed getaway or an itinerary-packed excursion.
With the store’s very own pool of outdoor experts, who have mastered the ins and outs of nature jaunts, you are guaranteed to pick out presents that will make your loved ones’ next adventure a truly memorable experience.
The best thing about the R.O.X. Gift Coach? You can easily get in touch with one online.
So how does one exactly enlist the help of the R.O.X. Gift Coach? Easy! One may simply send a private message to ROX Philippines on Facebook on weekdays, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Outdoor lifestyle store
From advice on well-suited gifts for different kinds of adventures to personalized recommendations based on a person’s favorite outdoor activities, the R.O.X. Gift Coach can certainly cover a wide range of topics.
One may also ask questions about outdoor activities as well as the most suitable outdoor products based on different age groups. Once one has decided on a gift, he or she may have the gift reserved for up to three days and pay for the gifts at the store.
Apart from getting in touch with the R.O.X. Gift Coach on Facebook, one may also approach the R.O.X. Gift Coach in all R.O.X. stores daily, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. With the assistance of the R.O.X. Gift Coach, one can easily choose from among the wide array of premium adventure and outdoor lifestyle products inside the store.
From outdoor lifestyle products well-suited to the recipient’s personality to adventure essentials that will make his or her experience smooth-sailing and hassle-free, finding the right gift for your adventure-seeking loved ones just became so much easier with the R.O.X Gift Coach!
You can check out R.O.X. Bonifacio High Street Manila, R.O.X. Solenad 3 Nuvali, Laguna, R.O.X. Marquee Mall Pampanga, R.O.X. Camp John Hay Baguio, R.O.X. Ayala Cebu, R.O.X. Abreeza Davao, R.O.X. The District, Cagayan De Oro, and R.O.X. Ayala Mall, Legazpi. You can also follow @roxphilippines on Facebook for news and updates on your favorite outdoor brands.
R.O.X. is the only store that lets you in so you can get outside.
R.O.X. is owned and operated by the Primer Group of Companies, Asia’s next retail giant. (Press Release)
Tinolang manok, kare-kare, and adobong pusit alongside The Original Pino’s popular dishes and delicacies are on the menu this week when Cebu’s best value-for-money restaurant presents the best of Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao as prepared by renowned culinarian Chef Tatung.
“From Heart to Platter with Chef Tatung” begins August 24 at The Original Pino, where diners get to enjoy the cooking of one of the most sought after chefs in the Philippines on top of the restaurant’s popular menu.
Viewers of ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda know Chef Tatung as the resident chef and presenter of the cooking segment “Kwentong Kawali,” where he imparts his love and knowledge of Filipino cuisine.
A Manila-based Cebuano, he is well-known for his passion for Philippine cuisine and the restaurants which he founded, namely Tatung’s in Quezon City, Chef Tatung in Taguig, and Agos, which opens soon at the SM Mall of Asia. He was one of only two Filipinos who joined some of the best chefs in the world at the Madrid Fusion 2016.
His love for Filipino cooking finds fruition in his first book, “Philippine Cookery: From Heart to Platter,” which is currently on the National Bookstore Bestseller List.
Here, he delves into the heart of his native cuisine by showing how to cook Filipino through basic cooking methods—steaming, grilling, sautéing, frying, curing, among many techniques.
Featured are recipes perfected from Chef Tatung’s many years of research around the country. These include basics like tinolang manok, kare-kare, adobong pusit, as well as more unusual fare like bulanglang, piyanggang, and pinaupong manok sa asin.
Throughout, he explores important ingredients like vinegar, coconut, rice, as well as traditional kitchen tools like the palayok or claypot, and bamboo tubes used for boiling.
The Original Pino is open daily and serves buffet lunch for only P299 net and dinner buffet for only P399, both inclusive of orange juice, kangen water, and bottomless iced tea. There are no hidden charges.
For reservations and inquiries, call (032) 5054840 or (+63) 926 672 2007 (tap on numbers to call on your phone). The Original Pino is located on Wilson Street, Lahug, Cebu City.
Forever 21 is launching on June 8 in Cebu the Style Insider, a styling service that is the first of its kind from any high street brand in the Philippines. The launch, happening in the Forever 21 store in the Northwing at SM City Cebu, will be hosted by model and TV host Mia Ali and will feature the styling prowess of Cebuano social media influencers Kym Maitland-Smith, Lance de Ocampo, Jean Yu, Toni Pino-Oca, and stylists Blaq Mafia.
Fashion blogger Kym Maitland-Smith of @kmaitlandsmith and styling team, Blaq Mafia, are each styling a 10-piece capsule collection that will be on display in the store. A collective comprised of Edward James Castro, Ching Villar, and Axel Que, Blaq Mafia has done styling for numerous magazine covers and fashion editorials.
Exciting gifts are also up for grabs courtesy of MasterCard. Shoppers can get a free golf umbrella or USB flash drive if they present a P2,000 single receipt purchase with their BDO F21 MasterCard or a free power bank for a P5,000 single receipt purchase with their BDO F21 MasterCard.
During the launch, Forever 21 will also give out one P21,000 shopping spree to be awarded to a raffle winner and Forever 21 gift cards worth P5,000 each to be awarded to two best-dressed guests. Customers who try the Forever 21 Style Insider service from June 8-11, 2016 will receive a 10% discount on a minimum purchase of P5,000 on regular-priced items.
Forever 21’s Style Insider is an all-inclusive personal styling and shopping service, offered for free and with no purchase requirement at all Forever 21 stores in the Philippines including its two stores in Cebu in SM City Cebu and SM Seaside Cebu. The service aims to make shopping an easier and more intuitive experience, with a unique touch from Forever 21’s in-house stylists.
The Style Insider service begins with a personalized consultation. The Forever 21 stylist then creates a Style Prescription outlining the customer’s body type and flattering fits and cuts for their shape. The Forever 21 stylist proceeds to curate pieces from Forever 21’s expansive collections to suit the prescription.
No more hunting for the right size, or searching for the perfect color, or being unsure if the latest trend is appropriate – Forever 21’s stylists do the hard work so you can enjoy a fuss-free and fun shopping experience.
Now, everybody can not only shop at Forever 21, they can be #StyledByForever21. (Press Release)
The country’s biggest summer music festival, the 2016 Ipanema Summer Sunscream, is taking place on May 21 in the Green Lagoon Park in Compostela, Cebu.
Top-billed in the event are Filipino rockstar Bamboo Mañalac, actress Bela Padilla, and international club DJs Jason Dewey (USA) and Danny Kay (UK).
Four of the country’s best bands, < S >andwich, Pedicab, Gracenote and Powerspoonz, are set to play during the event. Manila’s Katsy Lee and Tip Fucoy front the line-up of seventeen of the country’s best DJs.
Ipanema Summer Sunscream pool party
The Summer Sunscream signature pool party will kick off at 12:00 noon. The foam party will happen simultaneously with the evening concert.
Now on its 9th year, the event will also include two sports events, the Dip & Dash Aquathlon and Beach Volleyball Tournament, both presented by Rider Sandals.
The Rider Dip & Dash Aquathlon has categories for Elite (male and female), Age Group (male and female) and Kids (male and female) for full distance (2 km swim and 10 km run), half distance (1 km swim and 5 km run) and kids distance (500 m swim and 3 km run). Registration is open and available at Autofocus in Banawa, Gold’s Gym in J Centre Mall, Metrotiles in A.S. Fortuna, and Toni & Terry Altershop in Banilad. Those interested can register online on www.cornerstone8080events.com.
The Rider Beach Volleyball Tournament is a competition to watch as it will have 24 games played by 8 teams with CESAFI and two teams with the UAAP. The tournament will run on May 20 and 21.
The Ipanema Summer Sunscream has consistently packed a massive audience of up to 15,000. This year’s installment is expected to be no different.
Tickets to the 2016 Ipanema Summer Sunscream are available at the SM City Cebu Customer Service Counter, Ayala Center Cebu, Concierge Desk, KOA Tree House in Gorordo Avenue, Dong Juan (Guadalupe, Persimmon, Parkmall, Panagdait and Insular Square), Green Lagoon Park and the Compostela LGU. For reservations or more information on tickets, call Kyle at (0932) 101-3233 or Cara at (0998) 553-8105.
The 2016 Ipanema Summer Sunscream is presented by Ipanema and co-presented by Bioderm, Lecit-E, Omega Pro and Casino Ethyl Alcohol. Major Sponsors include San Miguel Beer, Bacardi, Nature’s Spring and Smart. Minor sponsors include Greenwich, SkyCable, Y101 and Home Radio. The sports events are presented by Rider Sandals while major sponsors include Omega Pro and Gold’s Gym.
The event is powered by KTM Entertainment, Cornerstone, The Right Access and Tiller Media. Special thanks go to MagikMoments, Drawingboard, Click and Smile Digital Photography and Leylam’s Shawarma. Magic 92.3 and Magic Nationwide are the official media partners, while Sleeves Shirt Depot is the official shirt printer. (Press Release)
Following the cyber theft of voters’ records from the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) database, PLDT and Smart Communications are encouraging their subscribers to take precautions to protect their online privacy and security.
According to published reports, the data breach disclosed voters’ personal information such as their names, birthdates, home and email addresses, the full names of their parents and in some cases passport details. These information can be used for identity theft and other fraudulent activities.
As a starting point, here are some simple, practical tips to ensure your peace of mind by properly managing your online passwords.
Update your passwords. Make it a habit to change passwords regularly for all your online accounts – email, social (like Facebook and Twitter), online banking accounts among others.
Make your passwords strong. This means creating passwords with a mix of letters and numbers, with a mix of capital and lowercase letters, and with symbols like “&” or “@”. It is best to use passwords with at least six letters, numbers and symbols.
Avoid predictable passwords. Like birthdays (yours, your spouses or children, etc.) Or common number or alphabet patterns like “123456” or “abcdef”. Or, predictable words like “password.”
PLDT and Smart are stepping up measures to strengthen your online security and will periodically share information that can help subscribers protect themselves.
When managing information regarding your PLDT and Smart accounts, please use only our official channels.
Megaworld’s residential development 8 Newtown Boulevard located within the 30-hectare Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City won big at the 2016 Philippine Property Awards held recently in Makati City.
8 Newtown Boulevard took the Best Condo Development in Cebu as well as the Best Residential Interior Design and Best Landscape Architectural Design awards, making it the most awarded residential development in Cebu during the event.
The four-tower residential cluster is Megaworld’s first residential development in Mactan Newtown.
The condominium development’s awards are among the 17 that Megaworld earned this year, which also included the most coveted Best Developer.
“We are very happy for this major award given to 8 Newtown Boulevard. This just shows a glimpse of the kind of exciting, world-class projects that Megaworld is bringing to The Mactan Newtown, our first and only township by the beach,” said Megaworld Cebu Properties, Inc. president Noli D. Hernandez.
8 Newtown Boulevard boasts of a lavish interior, from a spacious condominium lobby to quaint East Asian-inspired design elements that give a relaxing yet polished vibe.
The property also features top-of-the-line amenities that complement Mactan Newtown’s beach setting, including an amenity deck with a 61-meter infinity pool, a fitness center, and unparalleled views of Cebu’s Hilutungan Channel and Magellan Bay.
The residential cluster also has Japanese-inspired gardens, courtyards, and bathing rooms.
8 Newtown Boulevard is the first residential development at Mactan Newtown, where other luxury residences, business hubs, leisure hotels, a lifestyle mall, and school will soon rise to bring Megaworld’s perfected live-work-play-learn lifestyle concept to Cebu.
The Philippines Property Awards is one of the highly-recognized award giving bodies in the country organized by Property Report, Asia’s leading luxury real estate, architecture, and design magazine.
Top winners from the Philippines this year will compete with their counterparts from eight Asean countries at the grand finals of the 2016 South East Asia Property Awards this November 10 in Singapore. (Press Release)
The most promising local growth startups working on solutions in the Internet of Things (IoT), big data analytics, content delivery, cyber security, or customer experience enhancement space have a new opportunity to scale their business through Go Ignite, the recently-announced alliance of the Singtel Group with its European counterparts.
The alliance, comprising the innovation arms of Deutsche Telekom (hub:raum), Orange (Orange Fab), Singtel (Singtel Innov8), and Telefónica (Telefónica Open Future), offers to help top startups in the Philippines and abroad find business development opportunities, accelerate the commercialization of their innovations and bring their business outside their home market.
Up to five startups will be selected for the program: the global call for startups to apply is open until 11:59PM CET on April 30, 2016. Applications need to be submitted via the Telefonica Open Future platform. Shortlisted startups will be invited to pitch to the Go Ignite Alliance members.
Path to global market
“We are thrilled to see developments like Go Ignite giving Philippine startups a path to penetrating the global market. Through the collective resources of these four major global carriers, any startup shortlisted to the top five would have a wealth of opportunities and services to help them accelerate their global growth aspirations,” said Minette Navarrete, president of Kickstart Ventures, Inc., a wholly-owned venture capital firm of Globe Telecom which is also a part of the Singtel Group.
Kickstart is a founding member of Singtel Group’s Innov8 Sparks, a network of technology startup support and funding initiatives. Kickstart helps startups by breaking down barriers that prevent founders from accessing capital, mentors, and markets. The VC firm’s network of business connections build virtual bridges to enable close and relevant engagement between the business community and startup founders.
Benefit for startups
To translate their ideas into viable solutions quicker, selected startups will benefit from the alliance members’ insights into different markets, introductions to partners, use of co-working spaces, potential investment, coaching, mentoring, invitations to showcases and events, and access to the alliance members’ operating businesses.
They will also have the opportunity to gain access to Go Ignite alliance members’ business units and their collective customer base, which includes enterprises and consumers, equating to over one billion mobile customers across five continents.
Singtel Innov8 chief executive officer Edgar Hardless said, “The Go Ignite alliance helps startups succeed in multiple markets by providing them with the right resources that are critical for their commercialization. Selected startups can expect access to the alliance’s business units and refine their solutions within a sizeable customer base. Combining our resources together, the Go Ignite program can give startups a better chance to scale across markets worldwide.”
To be eligible for the Go Ignite Global Call, all members of the startup should be above the age of 18. The startups are expected to be in their growth stage with a ready product that can be taken to ecosystems across Asia, Africa, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Interested parties may find out more about the Go Ignite global call by visiting http://go-ignite.com. (Press Release)
A 30-minute run to kick start the day. Biking to and from work. Yoga classes thrice a week after work. A trek to the mountains on weekends, then an out-of-town trip to recharge after a hectic month. If any of these are part of your routine, then you’re most likely part of the growing population of active and health-conscious Filipinos who are driven by the desire to experience more out of life
Recognizing and emphasizing the growing need to complement the active Filipinos’ lifestyle, FWD Life Philippines—the fastest-growing insurance provider in the country today—has spearheaded the “Live to Move” movement, a wellness campaign inspired by the virtue that achieving better health is key in getting ready to live life to the fullest.
Cebu shakes it up
“Live to Move” is centered on the FWD Motion, a four-minute workout specially designed by fitness coaches Jim and Toni Saret to provide Filipinos the health benefit equivalent to an hour’s worth of exercise. Depending on the intensity of the routine and the number of repetitions, the work out is scientifically proven to burn as much as 600 calories through four primary steps: jump, squat, push up, and lunge.
Following its successful maiden run last year at the Bonifacio Global City and recently in Cagayan de Oro, FWD is bringing “Live to Move” to Cebu today, April 23, at 3 p.m. in Ayala Center Cebu as part of its regional efforts to promote healthy lifestyle and expand awareness for the brand and its advocacy this 2016.
For FWD Philippines President and CEO, Peter Grimes, a lifestyle anchored on health and wellness puts people at the best position to do and achieve more. “We’ve conceptualized the idea of the Live to Move campaign by placing a huge emphasis on lifestyle continuity and pursuit for passions, en route to empowering Filipinos to get ready to live their lives to the fullest,” he said.
Get moving to start living
Research says, regular, moderate activity helps add several years to one’s life expectancy, which means more time for better and more rewarding life experiences. Also, regular exercise—the kind that gets the heart pumping—not only has been linked to better mood and increased energy, but also improved memory and better thinking skills.
The Live to Move wellness campaign is in support of the Philippine Heart Association’s (PHA) 52100 advocacy, a simple guide to remind people of the essentials of good health, with each number representing a daily target: 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, 2 hours maximum recreational screen time, 1 hour of moderate activity, zero sugared drinks, and zero smoking/second-hand smoke.
A game-changer in the insurance industry, FWD Life Philippines is geared towards providing easy-to-understand products to their customers, aided by digital technology for a more relevant brand presence. Recognizing Cebu’s standing as one of the most progressive provinces in the country, FWD also looks into broadening its reach by raising awareness about how Filipinos can truly achieve more and get ready to live with the most rewarding experiences through campaigns like “Live to Move.”
“Our goal is really to change the creative and passionate Filipinos’ perception about pursuing multi-faceted and mostly active lifestyles. Among the ways we’re setting this goal in motion is through our Live to Move campaign,” adds Grimes.
April marks the onset of full-on sizzling summer in the Philippines. It also marks one of the most anticipated events in the calendar, Make Your Own Havaianas. From April 22 to May 1, step into a celebration of self-expression and creativity inside All Flip Flops SM Seaside City at the lower ground floor of the mall’s Mountain Wing and mix and match buttery-soft, colorful soles with vibrant straps and fun pins.
Havaianas was born in Brazil in 1962, but an interesting fact is that the very first flip-flop was inspired by the Zori, a type of Japanese sandal made of fabric straps and rice straw roles. Today, Havaianas flip-flops show marks of these iconic rice patterns, making it a fusion of eastern Zen and western joy.
Each year, MYOH highlights a destination or theme that celebrates its heritage or encapsulates the ‘always summer’ state of mind and on its 11th year, it is its Japanese roots that MYOH pays tribute to, from this year’s 2016 limited edition commemorative sole inspired by Shibori, a Japanese fabric-dyeing technique, to its selection of kawaii pins. With Japan being an all-time favorite summer destination of Cebuano Havaianaticos, embellishments such as the The Sakura, Ramen, The Japanese Fan, The Empress, The Zori, Ninja and statement pins, among others celebrate the love for travel and the land of the rising sun’s unique lifestyle and influence on today’s pop culture.
Let your creativity bloom like the season’s cherry blossoms and share your Make Your Own Havaianas experience at #MYOHCEBU2016 and #MYOH2016. For more details, check out Havaianas Philippines on Facebook and @Havaianasphils on Instagram and Twitter. Register online and try out the many ways you can personalize your flip-flops at http://myoh.havaianasphilippines.com/.
Following a historic year marked by successful partnership launches with renowned global brands like iflix and Fox Entertainment Channels for content, and Microsoft and Intel for the TVolution Stick, PLDT HOME, the digital services unit of leading telco PLDT, is back in the spotlight, this time to herald the arrival of a new era in ultimate gaming at home.
After bagging the best digital innovation honor at the recently concluded CIO Asia Awards, PLDT HOME’s most powerful brand, Fibr, in partnership with multinational entertainment giant Sony, is set to provide the best home gaming experience with an exciting partnership offer for fun-loving Filipino families and gaming enthusiasts.
Powerful gaming console
Considered by gamers as one of the most powerful gaming consoles in the world, the PS4 provides deeply immersive experiences through rich and high-fidelity graphics. It is powered by a custom chip that contains eight x86-64 cores and a state of the art 1.84 TFLOPS graphics processor with 8 GB of ultra-fast GDDR5 unified system memory. This translates to easier game creation and enhanced richness of content achievable on the platform.
One of the most popular games for PS4 is the Nathan Drake series dubbed Uncharted. Widely known as one of the most revered game series of all time, it is recognized as a genre-defining epic that changed the game for adventure storytelling. After three successful installments, a fourth chapter, entitled Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End, is expected to be released this year. It picks up several years after the last adventure of retired fortune hunter Nathan Drake as he is forced back into the world of thieves.
PLDT VP and Home Marketing Director Gary Dujali said, “Last year, we raised the bar for home entertainment with our compelling product and multimedia content portfolio. This year, we’re bringing gaming into the fold and leveling up the experience for our subscribers by empowering them to enjoy ultimate gaming at home.
PLDT Home Fibr bundle
PLDT HOME Fibr will be bundled with a Sony PlayStation 4 (PS4) gaming console for an additional P749 per month within a 36-month period. And for only an additional P100 at P849 per month, subscribers will also get complimentary copy of Uncharted 4: A Thief’s End when it launches on May 10th.
“We’re thrilled to be working with a like-minded digital leader like PLDT HOME.” President and Managing Director of Sony Philippines Nobuyoshi Otake added.
PLDT HOME Fibr delivers the first and fastest Internet of up to 1 Gbps, allowing high-speed browsing of multiple websites and the country’s first symmetrical speed service. Fibr is now available in over 1,600 Fibr-powered villages nationwide.
For more information on the country’s most powerful broadband, visit pldthome.com/fibr.
(PlayStation Network is currently not available in the Philippines.)
PLDT HOME Telpad, the Filipino family’s all-in-one entertainment device and kids’ favorite gadget at home, levels up its content portfolio with fresh and fun Disney activities for kids in time for summer vacation.
“This summer, PLDT HOME Telpad aims to cultivate a rich and entertaining experience for kids at home,” PLDT VP and HOME Marketing Director Gary Dujali said. “Introducing new Disney content is the perfect way to engage kids and families. A timeless entertainment organization, Disney offers a spectacular range of well-loved classics and modern content—more than enough for kids to learn, to discover, to imagine and to be entertained.”
Games, e-books, apps
The favorite home gadget of kids and kids-at-heart is now pre-loaded with 50 free Disney games, e-books and apps. Kids can now put their critical thinking skills to the test with fun puzzle games like Frozen Free Fall and Where’s My Water? 2, and unleash their creative storytelling abilities with the help of mom using story theatre apps like Disney Princess: Story Theater.
A virtual hub for kids and parents alike, the Telpad lets them enjoy exciting and family-friendly apps that revolve around other Disney treasures like Inside Out, Toy Story, Sofia the First, Star Wars and many more.
Digital entertainment portal
“The Telpad serves as a digital entertainment portal which, just like Disney, is designed to be part of a child’s upbringing and create happy moments for families,” Dujali added. “Whether it’s through an adventurous game, an animated e-book or special edutainment activities, the Telpad’s upgraded suite lets kids of all ages experience the magical world of Disney.”
Downloading Disney games on the Telpad comes in a simple three-step process. Users can: 1) go to the Telpad’s knAPPsack which is similar to the Google Play Store of Android devices; 2) click on the Disney icon and 3) select a game and download. Unlike other content stores, the Telpad’s knAPPsack offers these all-inclusive Disney selections for free.
Families can easily upgrade their PLDT HOME DSL plan to a Telpad plan by adding as low as P500 to their monthly subscription. With a Telpad plan, they can enjoy a landline, HOME DSL connection, speed boost and multifunctional tablet. And for an additional P199 per month, they also get a Smart Watch with a SIM slot, camera and Bluetooth which can be connected to the Telpad, truly making it the center of the connected home. (Press Release)
PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications (Smart) has begun to roll out the country’s first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service, which can provide significantly higher data speeds than existing LTE services using a capability called “carrier aggregation.”
Initially deployed in Boracay, Aklan, one of the country’s leading tourist destinations, Smart’s LTE-A service there has posted speeds of up to 260 Mbps.
“With the introduction of our LTE-Advanced service, the next stage of development of 4th generation of mobile technology, Smart is again at the technology forefront, setting the bar higher for mobile service experience,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT and Smart chief technology and information advisor.
Smart joins the short list of operators around the world that have tested and rolled out the technology, which is also referred to as 4.5G. This list includes Optus in Australia, Sprint in the US, and Turkcell in Turkey, among others.
Boost internet services
“Combined with our other network improvement initiatives for both our mobile and fixed line networks, the introduction of LTE-A will help boost internet services in the country and enable more Filipinos to enjoy and benefit from the fast-growing range of digital services that PLDT and Smart offer,” he said.
“We are also planning ahead, in anticipation of future advances in technology. Our current investments in network facilities are already being done in a way that will enable us to be ready for 5G when it arrives sometime in 2020. For this purpose, we are working closely with NTT DoCoMo, which is one of the global pace-setters in the development of 5G,” Horn added.
Carrier aggregation refers to the ability of LTE-A to combine two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds to mobile users.
“This is like being able to put together two or more separate highways in order to create a wider highway through which vehicular traffic can flow more freely and at a much faster rate,” Horn said.
“Wireless technologies being a shared resource, the actual customer experience is typically less than the peak speeds being registered during tests. But, carrier aggregation on LTE-A, by combining the capacities of two or more frequency bands, will enable Smart to deliver to subscribers with LTE-A devices consistently higher speeds than is possible using LTE. In Boracay, we have combined three frequencies, which is a first in the country,” he said.
For Smart subscribers using LTE-A capable devices, this translates into superior experiences when using various data services, particularly bandwidth-heavy services like video- and audio-streaming, and gaming.
Currently, the LTE-A capable devices include the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge. Other handset manufacturers are expected to introduce their own LTE-A devices soon.
Smart ran several tests of LTE-A in 2013 – in Boracay during the Geeks on a Beach startup conference; in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival; and in Makati City. The introduction of LTE-A capable devices since then has opened the door for its roll-out.
Horn explained that LTE-A is the “cutting edge” of a broader effort to improve the cellular and mobile internet services of Smart and Sun subscribers.
In a network integration program started last year, for example, Smart and Sun have been synergizing their networks to improve the coverage and quality of service for the subscribers of both brands using 2G, 3G and LTE capable devices.
Increase in coverage
“For example, where it makes technical and marketing sense, we equip a single cell site – either of Smart or Sun – so that this can serve the subscribers of both brands,” Jorn said.
As a result of this program, depending on the area, the effective coverage for Smart and Sun subscribers increases by anywhere from 50% to 100%. The program is expected to be completed by end-2016 or early 2017. This was part of PLDT’s P43-billion capital expenditure program (capex) in 2015 and will be funded by the 2016 capex budget which has been set at the same level.
In this program, specific attention is being given to enhancing 3G/HSPA/HSPA+ coverage and capacity because about 90% of Smart and Sun subscribers who go online use 3G handsets.
“Improving our 3G data service thus delivers immediate benefits to the largest number of people in our subscriber base. At the same time, we have been expanding the coverage of our LTE network because the number of subscribers using LTE phones is steadily rising,” Horn said.
“And now, we have also begun to deploy LTE-A. The pace of this deployment will be driven by several factors, including the rate at which subscribers start using LTE-A capable devices,” he added. (Press Release)
Emperador Inc., the world’s largest brandy company, reported a net income of P7 billion on revenues of P43.6 billion last year, inclusive of foreign operations. The company made the highest quarterly net income in the fourth quarter of 2015, amounting to P2.26 billion, showing a 38% year-on-year increase versus the fourth quarter of 2014 and as much as 56% quarter-on-quarter increase against the third quarter of 2015.
Emperador chairman Dr. Andrew L. Tan said, “The fourth quarter of 2015 also marked a significant milestone in Emperador’s history as an agreement with Beam Suntory Inc was reached to buy Fundador – Philippines’ best-selling premium brandy and an iconic brand for more than 150 years. The purchase also included other Spanish assets like Terry Centenario, Spain’s number one selling brandy; Tres Cepas, the number one brandy in Equatorial Guinea; and Harveys, the number one selling sherry wine in the United Kingdom. The turnover of the Spanish assets recently occurred early this month.”
Bigger global presence
Emperador Inc. president, Winston Co, said, “This recent development truly marks an epoch in Emperador’s history. The long-term potential of our brandy business is more compelling than ever. We have become even more global.”
Emperador now has a much bigger product portfolio of brandy and whisky that has greater global presence. The core local product, Emperador brandy, will benefit from this international route to market given export opportunities in other countries.
Co said, “We are best positioned to capitalize on premiumization opportunities in the Philippine market. We now have a broad spectrum of products available locally ranging from standard to ultra-premium offerings. Our core local product, Emperador brandy, remains to be the undisputed leader in the local liquor industry. We also now have a compelling presence in foreign liquor in the Philippines with our Fundador brandy and single malt whisky products, The Dalmore and Jura.”
Emperador Inc. is majority-owned by Alliance Global Group, Inc. (Press Release)
Megaworld, the country’s largest developer of integrated urban townships and the biggest lessor of office spaces, has breached the P10-billion mark in net core income for 2015. The company’s core profit reached P10.40-billion (net of P181-million non-recurring gain from P10.58-billion), up 10.58% from last year’s P9.40-billion (net of P12.16-billion non-recurring gain).
“We already have a strong roster of townships across Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao that are backed by adequate landbanking and carefully-thought masterplans. We have already mastered the art of township development. What we want to put focus on now is how to further grow our rental portfolio, which is integral to being a township developer. Malls and offices are key components of an urban township,” said Megaworld chief finance officer Francis Canuto.
Megaworld core businesses
Megaworld’s consolidated revenues, excluding non-recurring gains, grew 9.37% year-on-year in 2015 to P44.81-billion from the previous year’s P40.97-billion. Each of Megaworld’s core business – residential, rental and hotel operations – hit double-digit growth in 2015.
Megaworld’s leasing business has been the fastest growing business segment in 2015, as rental income grew to a remarkable 23.46%. Leasing income from malls, commercial centers, and offices reached P8.73-billion in 2015 from P7.07-billion the previous year.
“Our rental business had been growing exponentially the last five years. We are confident that we will reach the P11-billion target by the end of this year as we see continuous growth in consumer spending as well as further expansion of BPO companies, particularly in key growth areas in Visayas and Mindanao where Megaworld is already present,” adds Canuto.
The company launched five townships in 2015, bringing its total township developments across the country to 20. These are Eastwood City in 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 Center (5 hectares), all in Fort Bonifacio; The Mactan Newtown in Cebu (28.8 hectares); Iloilo Business Park (72 hectares) and Sta. Barbara Heights (173 hectares), both in Iloilo;
Boracay Newcoast in Boracay Island (150 hectares); Twin Lakes in Tagaytay (1,300 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); Suntrust Ecotown in Tanza, Cavite (350 hectares) and The Upper East (34 hectares) and Northill Gateway (50 hectares) both in Negros Occidental; a vast property beside the Pampanga Provincial Capitol in the City of San Fernando (35.6-hectares); and Westside City in the Entertainment City in Paranaque (31 hectares.) (Press Release)
PLDT HOME, the home digital services unit of telecoms leader PLDT, has been recognized for its leadership in digital innovation in Asia for its pioneering data sharing initiative, done in partnership with Smart Communications (Smart), in the recent CIO Asia Awards.
PLDT HOME won in the Leadership category and is one of only five outstanding companies in the region included in the Roll of Honour list at the 15th Annual CIO Asia Awards.
“The PLDT HOME DSL data sharing offer is just the beginning of more game-changing converged innovations from PLDT and Smart. This recognition from CIO Asia fuels our inspiration to raise the bar and continuously break new ground in digital and mobile technology,” said PLDT VP and Home Marketing Director Gary Dujali.
Product of collaboration
The converged data sharing service from PLDT HOME and Smart is a product of collaboration between the Business and IT teams of the country’s digital and mobile leaders. It is the Philippines’ first data plan that enables subscribers of Home DSL service to share their data allocation with their family’s Smart-powered mobile phones.
It is offered under the Speedster Fam Plan 1299 which gives PLDT HOME DSL subscribers speeds of up to 10 Mbps and a monthly data allocation of 50 gigabytes. By upgrading their Speedster Plan with a Smart Mobile Plan 399 or Plan 600, subscribers can share up to 6 gigabytes of their monthly allocation to their mobile phone lines which they can use even outside the home.
In its citation, CIO Asia Awards said that PLDT HOME and Smart’s data sharing service is “particularly relevant in the Philippines where large, closely-linked family units are common.”
Also in the Honour Roll in this year’s awards are Singapore’s National Library Board for the Innovation category, Philippines’ Manila Water for Transformation, US’ Avnet Inc. for Growth, and Malaysia’s Fraser & Neave Holdings Berhad for Performance.
The CIO Asia Awards is a “prestigious annual listing of the top Asian companies that have deployed information and communications technology to derive the highest strategic value and to yield the greatest returns for their key operations and businesses.” It was organized by CIO Asia, a leading resource for IT and digital developments in the region.
To know more about the PLDT HOME Speedster Fam Plan 1299, log on to pldthome.com. (Press Release)
Travel to amazing destinations with AirAsia’s Red Hot Seat Sale that gives travellers access to over a hundred local and international destinations across 22 countries.
AirAsia, together with its long-haul, low-cost affiliate carrier AirAsia X are offering three million promo seats for travel to popular local destinations like Kalibo, Palawan, Bohol, Cebu, Davao, Tacloban and Manila and international destinations like Korea, Malaysia, China, Macau, and Hong Kong.
The airline’s seat sale starts at P1.00 base fare, excluding applicable taxes and fees. Booking period is from March 7 to 13, 2016 on www.airasia.com as well as AirAsia’s mobile site mobile.airasia.com. Travel period is from October 1, 2016 to May 22, 2017.
“This time around, we are pleased to offer three million promotional seats. Guests may grab this perfect opportunity to make advance travel plans and enjoy extra value for their money. We have introduced many new and undiscovered routes throughout the region and grabbing a promo seat is the best way to discover new destinations,” said AirAsia Group chief commercial officer Siegtraund Teh.
AirAsia X destinations
“Guests from around the region can take advantage of our Fly-Thru service to connect to many exciting AirAsia X destinations such as Auckland, Sapporo, Tokyo, Gold Coast, Sydney and more. In conjunction with this special promotion, AirAsia X’s Premium Flatbed to all AirAsia X destinations are also on sale,” he added.
AirAsia BIG members and AirAsia BIG Prepaid MasterCard cardholders can earn 1 AirAsia BIG points for every P28 spent while booking the promo seats on www.airasia.com. Bargain hunters can also save up to 50% and more when they book their hotel with promo seats on www.airasiago.com.
Philippines AirAsia Commercial head Gerard Peñaflor said, ”With AirAsia’s massive network in the whole of ASEAN and extending as far as India, Japan and China, we offer guests the convenience of connecting seamlessly and at the same time ensuring that they enjoy only the best quality service from us. Filipinos traveling from Manila, Cebu and Kalibo to Korea, China, Malaysia, Macau and Hong Kong would be thrilled to know that Red Hot One-Peso seat sale also include these amazing destinations.”
Red Hot P1 Seat Sale
For added convenience, AirAsia strongly encourages guests to pre-book their baggage allowance at the time of flight booking to enjoy the lowest rate.
Alternatively, guests can use the “Manage My Booking” function to pre-book or add more baggage allowance at airasia.com up to four hours before the scheduled time of departure.
Keep updated with AirAsia’s latest promotions and activities via Twitter (@AirAsiaPH), Facebook (AirAsiaPhilippines) and Instagram (@AirAsiaPH).
The Red Hot P1 Seat Sale is for base fare only and does not include airport taxes, fees and other optional services.
The sea floor sloped down as we made our way from the shallows to the murky depths, ready to take on our first and possibly best diving experience at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark in Mactan Island.
It seems difficult to believe but just half an hour before, we put on our first wet suit and oxygen tank and learned how to correctly breathe underwater at the resort’s simulation pool used only for diving exercises.
We learned the underwater language of divers: thumbs up to go up, thumbs down to venture down further, forming a circle using thumb and index fingers while raising three other fingers for “okay.”
The dive master of Marine Boy Water Sports Center, which operates within the Jpark Island Resort and offers a host of water activities including diving and the best stand up paddle boards. H prepared us for possible occurrences underwater: in case we accidentally let go of our breathing regulator or water gets under our masks and what to do when the pressure build-up leads to pain in our ears.
Jpark Island diving package
As beginners to the underwater scene, we made our way down the sea through the beach.
I have to admit it was scary going so far down the sea it had become darker and colder but my fear soon gave way to excitement at the scene that unfolded before us.
Splashes of green, purple, red, yellow, orange, and black greeted us in the varieties of fish, corals, and seagrass that grow and live beneath the Mactan sea.
The underwater scene is a treasure trove of slopes and steep walls, seagrass beds and drop-offs, plateaus and caverns populated by a rainbow of marine life, and you can experience the beauty of this vast liquid world through the diving activities offered at Jpark Island Resort and Waterpark.
Best diving spot
Sports, entertainment, and activities (SEA) manager Carlo Cajoles said the part of the sea just in front of Jpark is among Mactan’s best diving spots.
“This is why Jpark can offer beach entry. The diving spot is very accessible to us, and it’s one of the most beautiful in Mactan. There exists in that area a wall full of corals. This is why we are trying very hard to have this declared into a marine sanctuary from being a protected area,” he added.
As we swam underwater, we couldn’t help but agree with him. We passed by harmless schools of Nemos and other varieties I do not recognize and a solitary lion fish here and there to remind that the sea is beautiful but it can be deadly.
The guides provided by Marine Boy Water Sports Center brought bread and it was fun to see these underwater creatures rushing to get the bits and pieces of food that we scattered around.
We stopped at a lush spot and had our photos taken and too soon it was back up to dry land.
Jpark diving rates
Although my jaw was tired and my mouth dry from clamping down firmly on the breathing equipment, it was a wonderful though brief sojourn beneath the sea. Marine Boy at Jpark Island Resort provided us, first-timers, with our best diving experience.
I don’t know about my other companions but I couldn’t wait to do that again.
Interested in exploring this underwater world? This diving package is for US$60 per person and includes free training and briefing at the pool, diving companion for each guest, unlimited pictures and videos that will be saved in a CD, and use of diving equipment. Including the training, this runs for a maximum of an hour and 20 minutes.