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SM Bowling opens at SM CDO Downtown Premier May 3

April 29, 2019

The City of Golden Friendship now has a new past time to look forward to, as SM Bowling launches its 10th branch at SM CDO Downtown Premier this summer!    The new sports & leisure center had its soft launch on April 26, and the Grand Opening on May 3, 2019. SM Bowling will have 14 modern synthetic lanes, and an up-to-date scoring system for its players. It will also be featuring multiple recreational activities including Archery, Table Tennis, KTV, and Billiards, evolving the brand from a traditional bowling alley into a full recreational center for everyone to enjoy.   SM Bowling CDO will be the first branch to feature the new Modern Industrial design of SM Leisure Centers, which will be rolled-out in the coming years across all SM Bowling centers nationwide. This new look showcases a combination of modern design with age-old materials such as wood, brick walls, raw finishes, and metal bars that make it look fresh, spacious, and lets patrons focus on the experiences the venue offers.   Come and join the fun at the #CoolestPlaceInCDO, SM Bowling CDO, located at the 4th Floor of SM CDO Downtown Premier, beside Bigby’s Restaurant. For more information on upcoming events and promos, follow @SMBowlingCenters on social media.    ABOUT SM LIFESTYLE   SM Lifestyle Entertainment Incorporated or SMLEI is the lifestyle and entertainment company of SM Prime Holdings Inc. that offers the best in events, and leisure. The company has now grown major brands, which include the Mall of Asia Arena, SM Tickets, e-PLUS Tap to Pay, SM Skating, SM Bowling and Leisure Center, Snack Time, and SM Cinema.  SMLEI aims to promote bonding activities among Filipino families and friends, through entertainment and leisure facilities, while advocating the ease of use and personalized service created to complement the Filipino lifestyle.

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Cebu Pacific keeps travelers connected with CEB WiFi Kit

April 22, 2019

No more #FOMO for Cebu Pacific passengers as the Philippines’ leading airline launches the CEB WiFi Kit, a rentable, portable hotspot, for those who need roaming and web access services throughout their trip. In partnership with Big Sky Nation, the CEB WiFi Kit allows travelers to enjoy unlimited data roaming with up to 4G/LTE speeds in over 100 countries. It can connect to up to five devices and can also function as a power bank.  “Staying connected is now a must-have in every traveler’s journey. With this in mind, we have looked into how we may delight our passengers further and make more moments happen on their travels,” said Candice Iyog, Cebu Pacific Vice President for Marketing and Distribution. “The CEB WiFi Kit is a cost-efficient and convenient alternative to buying temporary SIM cards or renting WiFi kits at foreign destinations.” In its pilot phase, the CEB WiFi Kit is available for flights departing at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. A kit may be reserved on the website, as a travel add-on, while booking or managing a booking, up to four hours before the flight is scheduled to depart. Passengers may pick-up their rented devices at the CEB WiFi Kit booth located before the boarding gates at the NAIA Terminal 3. On-the-spot rentals are also accommodated at the booth, subject to device availability, up to one hour before the scheduled time of departure. The CEB WiFi Kit comes with a hard-shell case, a USB cable, an embedded battery pack, and a user manual. Daily rental depends on the destination and how long the device will be needed, plus a refundable security deposit of PHP4,000. Zone 1, which covers all the Cebu Pacific destinations in Asia, except Brunei and the United Arab Emirates, costs P450.00 a day; while Zone 2, covering CEB destinations in Australia and Guam, is available for only P550.00. Upon returning to Manila, CEB WiFi kit renters can return the device and claim their deposit at the Arrival Hall of the NAIA Terminal 3. For more information about the CEB WiFi Kit, visit www.cebupacificair.com.

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PLDT is PH’s Undisputed Leader in Home Broadband

April 22, 2019

Telco giant earmarked historic-high capex at P78.4 Billion for improved customer services   Telecom and digital services leader PLDT, Inc. boosted revenues of its Home Business Group by 10% to its highest-ever level of P36.4 billion in 2018, powered by rising customer demand for its fiber-powered broadband services. In the past year, PLDT signed up 245,000 new Home customers for its fiber-powered internet services which increased its broadband subscriber base to over 1.9 million.   This raised PLDT Home’s data service revenues by 33% to P27.5 billion, which now accounts for 75% of total Home revenues. “2018 has been a stellar year for PLDT Home,” PLDT-Smart SVP and Consumer Business Market Development Head Oscar A. Reyes, Jr. said. “With our aggressive network expansion, we were able to provide Filipinos everywhere in the country with the most powerful network, world-class products and diverse content that allow them to fully embrace and enjoy their digital lifestyles.” Reyes said demand for high-speed broadband services at Home has been driven by the growing appetite of Filipinos for online video entertainment services such as Netflix, iflix, Cignal and the NBA. “Several recent studies have shown that Filipinos are among the most enthusiastic users of online video in the world.  We are now watching more video online than through broadcast TV,” he explained. To serve this growing demand, PLDT expanded its fixed and mobile broadband networks through a record-high capital expenditures (capex) program that reach P58.5 billion in 2018.  As a result, PLDT’s increased the coverage of its fiber-powered fixed network by 57% to 6.3 million homes passed, exceeding by end-2018 its 2020 target.  Along with greater coverage, PLDT increased the available capacity of its fixed broadband network to 2.6 million ports, 2.6 times more versus the previous year. To support this rapid expansion, PLDT also added nearly 70,000 kilometers of fiber cables, expanding its total fiber network to over 244,000 kilometers by 2018, a 39% increase from end-2017. PLDT’s aggressive nationwide fiber expansion, through its Fibr City program, continued in 2018. With the cooperation of Local Government Units (LGUs), PLDT has fiber-powered numerous areas, including favorite tourist destination El Nido in Palawan, as well as the country’s bustling shoe capital Marikina City in Metro Manila. Earlier, It transformed key urban areas into PLDT Fibr Cities starting with Toledo City in Cebu, General Santos in Mindanao, Naga City in the Bicol region, as well as South Metro Manila, East Metro Manila, and central business districts like Rockwell Makati and Bonifacio Global City, while Cavite became the first “Smart Province.” For 2019, PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications are further raising the bar by allocating a new historic-high capex program of P78.4 billion, P20 billion higher than 2018.  This includes a substantial allocation for “Customer Capex” which covers the cost of last-mile and customer premises equipment like modems and acquisition of vehicles, equipment and office space for the new corps of technicians that will fast-track and improve the quality of installation and repair of fixed broadband connections. “This increased allocation for customer capex will enable us to quickly connect more homes and businesses with fiber-powered, high-speed fixed broadband,” Reyes explained. PLDT’s continuing network expansion and improvement efforts have raised the level of internet services to its growing customer base.  This has been confirmed by leading international internet testing companies. For example, global internet testing and analysis leader Ookla cited PLDT as the Philippines’ fastest fixed network in 2018.  In the third and fourth quarters of last year, PLDT posted a Speed Score™ of 18.57, with top download speeds of 52.28 Mbps and top upload speeds of 55.95 Mbps. Late last year, PLDT beefed up its service portfolio with the launch of Google Wifi and Prepaid Home WiFi. The telco giant ushers a new era of home broadband by introducing the new PLDT Home Google Wifi plans that enable customers to enjoy unlimited high-speed Fibr in every room of the house through strategically placed Google Wifi ‘points.’ These ‘points’ form part of a mesh networking technology that eliminate WiFi dead spots to make the most out of PLDT Home’s fastest unlimited Fibr connection for the family. The Prepaid Home WiFi is PLDT’s first ever prepaid broadband service that is powered by Smart’s LTE network, the Philippines’s fastest mobile Internet service according to the latest Speedtest® of both of Ookla and UK-based mobile analytics firm OpenSignal. An affordable wireless Internet service for the household, Prepaid Home Wifi allows families to connect up to five (5) WiFi-ready devices such as a smartphone, tablet, or laptop, to Smart’s high-speed Internet service. Also in 2018, PLDT reaffirmed its commitment to empowering the country’s burgeoning esports community as one of the six founding corporations of The Nationals—the country’s first franchise-based esports league. More recently, PLDT and Smart also unveiled the PLDT-Smart Omega, its very own professional gaming team for The Nationals.  “As we look to 2019, we will continue to blaze the trail for data and digital services in the Philippines and raise the bar in delivering unparalleled customer experiences,” Reyes said.

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Ripple Awards 2019 Shortlists Movers in the HIV Advocacy

April 22, 2019

The Ripple Awards 2019 will again recognize the movers in HIV advocacy as it shortlists a total of 20 nominees, called Ripplers, from a hundred of qualified entries in three categories (Individual, Organization and Project of the Year). From the list of 20 Ripplers, five (5) individuals, three (3) organizations and a project will be conferred the highest honors at the Love Gala 2019 (www.lovegala.org) to be held on 11 May 2019 at the ABS-CBN Vertis Tent, Vertis North, Quezon City.  Just like the first recipients in 2017, the 2019 Ripple Awardees should demonstrate the genuine ability to mobilize their community towards uplifting the lives of the people affected by the HIV-AIDS epidemic in the Philippines. The Ripplers in their respective categories:  Individual Category 1.       Gat-Joriz Alatiit has been pivotal in the creation of the HIV/AIDS Core Team (HACT) and the HIV treatment services at the Ospital ng Biñan. Alatiit also played a major role in drafting the Biñan HIV/AIDS City Ordinance that led to the formation of the City’s local AIDS Council, which has an approved budget of PHP6 million for its HIV program implementation. 2.       Mikhail Zion Taggueg built the "Cagayan Valley Support System" together with Victor Silba of GIV Group of Brazil. The organization focuses on the promotion of HIV/AIDS prevention, education, and providing care to people living with HIV (PLHIVs) in Isabela province. Taggueg became the HIV focal person in the Cagayan Valley region. 3.       Daryl Simon Pecson is a working student who co-founded the Juan Posi+ive Movement (JPM), a community-based organization that spreads awareness and proper education about HIV/AIDS to the public as well as promote proper treatment and care to clients living in the remote areas of Pampanga. Pecson's leadership was instrumental in the success of JPM.  4.       Ronchie Santos, putting his passion into action,established on his own the Luntiang Silong, an HIV treatment hub located at the Bulacan Medical Center that provides medical assistance to PLHIVs. Santos is also part of the Usbong ng Bulacan Support group that assists pregnant mothers living with HIV to safely deliver their babies in a hospital. 5.       Joseph Michael Manlutac, the current HIV/AIDS and Viral Hepatitis Program Coordinator in Central Luzon, has helped establish 11 HIV treatment hubs and 11 primary HIV care clinics by encouraging local chief executives and heads of hospitals in a bid to boost testing and link-to-care for PLHIVs across the region. Manlutac also facilitated the creation of 12 advocacy/support groups in the region and harmonize them through the Regional PLHIV Support Network. 6.      Marc Lester F. Quintana, a nurse, uses his extensive medical knowledge to raise HIV/AIDS awareness in Laguna and Batangas. Quintana pioneered the Innovative HIV Education (innoHIVe), an HIV/AIDS awareness program of the Laguna University for their different local colleges and universities. 7.      Oscar Obenza Jr. serves as the Chairperson of the Olympus Society of Davao, Inc., an organization leading the way towards an inclusive, empowered, and engaged community in Davao. As a trailblazer in the HIV and AIDS advocacy, Obenza is also committed to uphold human rights and promote a gender-fair society. 8.      Dr. Regina Berba is the Director of the I-REACT Clinic (I Am Responsible thru Early Assessment, Consultation, and Treatment) at The Medical City (TMC), a DOH-accredited HIV treatment hub. Under her leadership, I-REACT’s primary mission is to provide medical, psychosocial, occupational, and emotional care to people living with HIV. 9.  Renato "Nato" Roque immerses himself in the community to aid PLHIVs struggling to meet their medical, psychosocial, and financial needs. Nato strongly advocates for the proper implementation of the Philippine HIV and AIDS Policy Act of 2018 that would impact on the lives of PLHIVs and transform the HIV landscape of the country. 10.    Darwin Tenoria is one of the founders and now the president of Positively Empowered People of Antipolo (PEPA), a group dedicated to intensively promote HIV awareness in Rizal province, particularly in Antipolo City. As the first PLHIV to come out publicly in the city, Darwin has been instrumental in innovating and developing their community’s response to the epidemic. Organization Category 1.       Positive Action Foundation Philippines, Inc. (PAFPI),a community-based organization (CBO) founded in 1998, seeks to empower PLHIVs and their families to live a normal, happy, and productive life. PAFPI contributes to the national response in HIV prevention, treatment, care, and support for PLHIVs by complementing the efforts of other non-government organizations and advocates to provide accessible services for PLHIVs. 2.       Olympus Society of Davao Inc.(OSDI), a recognized CBO of the DOH in Region 11, was established in March 2015. OSDI is the first group to successfully organize an LGBT coalition in Davao City that coordinates with other CBOs and LGBT groups to expand the reach of their free health services and other sexual health programs. To date, OSDI has 40 LGBT groups under its umbrella.  3.       Kagay-an PLUS (Preserving Life, Uniting Society) Inc.is a non-government organization recognized by the DOH in Region 10, a partner of the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) City Health Office, and an active member of the CDO Local AIDS Council. The organization advocates for human rights and HIV/AIDS awareness and testing not only in CDO, but in Northern Mindanao. The group also links PLHIVs to treatment hubs. 4.       DIOSSA (Decent Image of South Signal Association)is a CBO composed of compassionate member-volunteers, mostly from the LGBTQI+ community, who actively work together to educate, inspire, and support PLHIVs through various activities, including conducting counselling and testing caravans. DIOSSA enables and empowers PLHIVs by helping them regain their self-worth and their drive to cope with their situation. 5.       Family Planning Organization of the Philippines - Iloilo City Chapter (FPOP), founded four decades ago,has not given up on its mission to help improve the quality of life of Filipinos. FPOP has emerged to become the leading reproductive health care service provider, and sexual and reproductive health rights advocate, not only in Iloilo City but in the entire Philippines. Project of the Year Category  1.       HIV Gaming, Engaging, Testing (HIV GET): Battle in the Blood (#BitB), the country’s first anti-HIV gaming application, allows the player to “fight” HIV in the bloodstream, while practically battling ignorance and stigma surrounding the virus. #BitB is an engaging platform for users to learn more about HIV, understand what it does to the body, and recognize the importance of regular testing and prompt and consistent treatment. 2.       Community-Based HIV Screening(CBS) is a project initiated by the HIV & AIDS Support House (HASH) to address the concern regarding the inadequate proximity and presence of HIV testing centers throughout the country. It simply takes the HIV testing closer to the people. Supported by several NGOs, social hygiene clinics, and private organizations, CBS was able to reach areas and key populations with limited access to HIV services. 3.       It’s Cool to Be Safe (#ItsCoolToBeSafe) campaign is an HIV awareness campaign launched by the Olympus Society of Davao, Inc. The campaign aims to engage and involve members of the LGBT community, and encourage HIV advocates and PLHIVs to further support the groups’ HIV/AIDS initiatives.  4.      Mister and Miss Kagay-An Plus 2018 is an HIV advocacy beauty contest to help inspire advocates and increase HIV awareness. Already on its third season, the pageant aims for a unified campaign to send a stronger message about the cause. The crown serves as a symbol of both triumph and task for the titleholders to be the true champions of HIV awareness and LGBT rights in their communities. 5.      PLHIV Response Center (PRC)links PLHIVs to existing service delivery networks. PRC primarily acts as a communication and coordinating platform (e.g., Facebook, e-mail, Twitter, Wordpress, telephone and mobile lines as well as SMS) for PLHIV seeking treatment, people searching for information about HIV, and individuals asking assistance for testing. This year’s Ripple Awardees will be deliberated by a roster of judges from the World Health Organization, UNAIDS, and other reputable institutions. In addition, the public can also vote through social media, and that will form part of the score in the final judging. Support the Ripplers by visiting Love Gala’s Facebook page (@lovegala.org) and like, love, or share the Rippler’s profile to gain 1 point, 2 points, or 3 points for each action respectively.  Deadline of online voting is on April 30, Friday, 11:59 PM PST. Love Gala 2019 is hosted by The LoveYourself, Inc. and UNAIDS. LoveYourself is the leading community-led HIV advocacy group in the country, and UNAIDS leads the global effort to end AIDS as a public health threat by 2030. Love Gala is supported by AIDS Healthcare Foundation, World Health Organization (WHO), Department of Health (Philippines), PhilHealth, Save the Children Philippines, Philippine National AIDS Council, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. and Australian Federation of AIDS Organisations (AFAO); co-presented by Durex, Camber Pharmaceuticals, Inc., Hairdressers Against AIDS by L'Oreal, Cape Lupe; and sponsored by Gilead Sciences, TELUS International, Victoria Court, SIP, Inspi Philippines, Absolut Vodka & Olmeca Tequila, Okamoto Philippines, Maquillage Professionnel, Business Mirror, Digital Out of Home with contributions from Mont Albo, Shopee, Cognizant, Rotary International D3780, MASS TV, F1 Hotel Manila.

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DSWD Field Office 10 installs monitoring system to track payout for Marawi siege survivors

April 16, 2019

Marawi City – Information and Communication Technology experts of DSWD (Department of Social Welfare and Development) Field Office 10 have developed and installed a monitoring system to track payout development for Marawi siege survivors here.      Members of the Regional Information and Communication Technology Management Section of DSWD Field Office 10 ran its pilot test of the monitoring system during the payout for the Livelihood Settlement Grant (LSG) and Transitory Family Support Package (TFSP) and it was successful.      The monitoring system shows a real-time update of the payout, both served and unserved beneficiaries of a certain barangay in this city.      Unserved beneficiaries are those verified recipients who failed to claim the LSG and TSFP grants during the scheduled payout while served beneficiaries are those who successfully claimed the assistance.      The program is fed by a database from the Kathanor (biometric profiling) which is the baseline data for the payout.      DSWD Field Office 10 Regional Director, Mari-Flor Dollaga-Libang, lauded the development of the information system of the RICTMS because it gives the user a real-time update of the payout.      Director Dollaga-Libang said the development has made the monitoring easy among rehabilitation partners of the city.      The system is hosted by a local server and can be accessed through a web browser using a computer or a smart phone.

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SWU Now Offering 5-Week Coding Courses

April 16, 2019

·         Beginner and advanced courses available ·         Beginners’ course for those with little background in programming, advanced course offers immersive boot camp-style courses ·         SWU PHINMA to address demand for skilled IT professionals Southwestern University PHINMA’s College of Information Technology’s new 5-week Coding Program is now open for enrolment.  The program covers information technology (IT) courses geared towards both beginners and advanced IT professionals who wish to enhance their computer skills.  According to Rigan Ap-apid, Dean of SWU’s College of Information Technology, it “offers an opportunity for people wanting to acquire meaningful skills to make their lives better.” Dean Ap-apid envisions the program to help companies find great developers, and for developers with great potential to be discovered by companies in need of such personnel.  The Coding Program will feature the best programmers in the country as trainers and mentors, which will give participants great value for money, as they will be learning from and working with highly respected gurus of the industry.  Dean Ap-apid added that participants can also benefit by growing exponentially in their professional and industry network. Participants in the program will be working on real-life projects, with a series of activities that will team them up and require them to solve programming-related issues by writing the needed software. Another feature of the new program is that companies can choose to be involved in the training of these future developers. They can do this by sponsoring course projects as well as by lending their ace coders and IT personnel to participate as trainers. Companies are also encouraged to provide incentives such as providing opportunities for participants to get hired. “We are targeting new companies with small in-house development teams needing additional programming muscle for say, getting an important product launch. We are also looking at established organizations with existing products that they want to see leveraged in a new way," Dean Ap-apid said, describing some of the program’s additional goals.  “In any case, the coding program will provide access to innovative coders to create amazing things that these companies may not have thought of yet," he added. The program’s pilot run will focus on Google Cloud and Web Applications such as Git and Python. It will run for five weeks.  Interested individuals may message 0927-487-5761 or visit the SWU PHIMA College of IT.

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