Re/Discovering Cebu, one story at a time

Smart gets special award for free Wi-Fi in Cebu City library

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has been cited by the Cebu City local government as an “outstanding institution” for providing free Smart WiFi services at the Cebu City…

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has been cited by the Cebu City local government as an “outstanding institution” for providing free Smart WiFi services at the Cebu City Public Library (CCPL), the country’s first 24/7 public library.

Smart received the Mayor’s Special Award for Outstanding Institution from Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña alongside 14 other individual and institution awardees honored during Cebu City’s 82nd Charter Day Anniversary celebrations.

Last year, PLDT and Smart signed a Memorandum of Agreement to make carrier-grade Smart WiFi available to students, researchers and other visitors of the Cebu City Public Library and Information Center, which at the time had just started its 24/7 operations.

Smart WiF award

AWARD. Representatives from PLDT-Smart, led by Visayas-Mindanao Public Affairs head Atty Maria Jane Paredes, receive the award from Mayor Tomas Osmeña.

 

Access to online materials

“This award is in appreciation of Smart’s invaluable support to Cebu City by providing free Wi-Fi services in the Cebu City Public Library, the country’s first 24/7 public library that gives its clients access to online course materials and allows them to download research subjects and academic journals,” the citation read.

“This is a night of recognition, it’s not about me, it’s about Cebu, and all the people who make this possible,” Mayor Osmeña said, addressing the honorees.

“By providing quality connectivity for Filipinos across the country, PLDT and Smart continue to lead the country’s digital transformation in an ever-evolving digital world,” said Juan Victor Hernandez, Senior Vice President and Head of Enterprise for PLDT and Smart.

“With the help of our partners and government, we continue to invest in ICT infrastructure to empower individuals, businesses and enterprises, and improve the quality of life of Filipinos all over country,” Hernandez added.

Best digital experience

“PLDT and Smart are proud to join forces with government partners like Mayor Osmeña and the Cebu City government, in helping build a nation of well-informed citizens across the country and making the wealth of knowledge available on the Internet accessible to more Filipinos,” said Ramon R. Isberto, PLDT-Smart Public Affairs head.

A backhaul capacity of up to 200 megabits per second allows users to have the best digital experience when participating in online classes and interactive learning sessions, as well as when discovering relevant digital content online.

Connected Cebu

Aside from the CCPL, Smart WiFi is also available for students at Cebu Institute of Technology, Cebu Technological University, Sacred Heart Ateneo de Cebu, University of Cebu Banilad, Don Bosco Cebu, Holy Name University, University of Cebu, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, Velez College and UP Cebu, to name a few.

In 2015, Cebu City Hall was the first establishment in Cebu that offered public Smart WiFi. Other areas with Smart Wifi are the Cebu Provincial Capitol, Larsian Food Center, Cebu North and South Bus Terminals, and Cebu Port Terminals 1 and 3.

The nationwide rollout of Smart WiFi complements Smart’s ongoing network expansion and modernization program across the country. Early this year, Smart also fired up LTE sites in the mountain barangays of Bonbon and Guba, Cebu City, where residents, their businesses and livelihoods, and vital facilities like schools and hospitals now can tap mobile data services to improve their lives.

Parent company PLDT has committed historic levels of resources to support network transformation. For 2018, PLDT capex was expected to reach P58 billion, including allocations for the aggressive roll-out of its fiber broadband service, which also supports the stepped-up deployment of the mobile network by providing high-capacity links for cellular base stations.

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Rizal Memorial Library and Museum

Along the modern urbanscape of Osmena Blvd. stands the pre-World War II neo-classical building the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum or commonly known to Cebuanos as the Cebu City Public…

Along the modern urbanscape of Osmena Blvd. stands the pre-World War II neo-classical building the Rizal Memorial Library and Museum or commonly known to Cebuanos as the Cebu City Public Library.

The structure grew out of contributions from civic-minded residents way back in 1939 and is named after the country’s national hero and multi-talented scholar, Dr. Jose Rizal, who immortalized the phrase “the youth is the hope of our fatherland.”

Fronting the building is the statue of Jose Rizal with a book spread on his lap as he reads with two little children.

Rizal Memorial Library

BUILT FROM CONTRIBUTIONS. During the war in the 1940s, the Rizal Memorial Library was used as Japanese headquarters while the books and all were dumped in a nook at the Capitol building. (Photo used with permission by the Cebuano Studies Center of the University of San Carlos)

Contributions by Cebuanos

The monument’s plaque reads. “To the memory of the most outstanding Filipino educator, patriot, and martyr who is conscious of the importance of education, the people of Cebu voluntarily contributed to the construction of this memorial.”

The contribution came from the net proceeds of the literary-musical programs and carnival-expositions periodically held since 1919 in celebration of Rizal Days.

A committee composed of Cebu’s prime movers invested the money from the activities in the Cebu Mutual Loan Association, where, forgotten in later years, it was earning dividends.

Rizal Memorial Libray

The Jose Rizal Memorial Library today. (Photo from the Gabii Sa Kabilin app)

Japanese headquarters

In 1935, Governor Sotero Cabahug led the construction of the building, which on Dec 30, 1939 was inaugurated and christened as the Rizal Memorial Library.

During the war in the 1940s, the library building was used as Japanese headquarters while the books and all were dumped in a nook at the Capitol building. In 1953, the institution was reopened due to public clamor. The Cebu City Government appropriated a budget for the library collection and other operating expenses.

In 2009, the library was closed for the renovation of a cultural museum which is now located in the second level of the building. It resumed its operation in 2009.

The library is open from Monday to Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. In March 2018, however, Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña ordered the library to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week upon the request of a student.

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