Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

Basic Reading of Global Filipinos

Microsoft Office 365 for Co-Working Spaces

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If yesterday that I set up my small business, co-working spaces already existed, then I could have saved a bundle of money and, should things turned to the worse – which it did – I didn’t have to lose big time. Even just less than a decade ago, setting up shop for your new small business meant a huge bundle of money to spend on capital expenses whose depreciation period is at least two years. For a startup small business owner, that’s a huge investment.

So, Microsoft Philippines recently invited me to showcase their solution for a freelancer, entrepreneur or small business owner. But instead of a small business owner setting up production by renting or leasing an empty office space, building its interiors, buying furniture and fixtures, contracting a systems integrator to install structure cabling, servers and networks, buying all the enterprise or premise-based software you need, subscribing to a dedicated internet connection that’s much expensive than your regular home DSL service, hiring a receptionist, security guard and all-around administrative assistant, and other minor expenses that drive up the cost of starting a business with hardly any income coming it (Whew! That was long!), you subscribe to a co-working space.

This is where Microsoft Philippines’ Office 365 comes into the picture, a technology solution that gives the freelancer, the entrepreneur and the small business owner the ability to save on long-term cash by paying on-the-go or on-demand. Combine this with a co-working space like Penbrothers and the small business owner today has a way to reduce start-up costs (expenses that needs to mature for a long time before it goes back as an investment) and start the business without huge capital expenditures and worrying about the upkeep and maintenance of the workplace.

I’ve been a Microsoft Philippines Office 365 customers for quite a while now. For a mere $5 a month, you get both online and offline versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote and a few others I don’t really use. You also get 1TB of cloud space for your files – called OneDrive – which you can automatically sync on-the-go or manually update your files. Your Microsoft Windows Explore will reflect your OneDrive so you can just drag-and-drop files between your OneDrive and hard drive. I also have all five Microsoft Office 365 apps on my other devices in case I don’t have my laptop with me and I have to edit.

That 1TB of cloud space in my OneDrive is a biggie. It costs $3 or $5 per month to get an extra 100GB space in your Gmail; of course, Google Apps is free to use but I’m really more comfortable with Microsoft Office. I’ve also had a cloud drive of about 50GB since 2007 or something like that, and use that to store photos and images that I want my blogs to access it, as opposed to uploading photos to my blog’s limited cloud space.

Going back, the partnership of Microsoft Philippines technology solutions and Penbrothers co-working space just makes sense. One solution that Microsoft Philippines offers Penbrothers customers is Windows 10 Pro for Business, an upgrade from my Windows 10 Home or personal edition. Like today’s requirement of work from anywhere, anytime, the Pro for Business edition has the built-in security and flexibility to keep up with an entrepreneur or small business owner’s growth, protecting your files and business information from digital threats.

Microsoft Philippines is on the road to more partnerships with co-working spaces in the country, as more and more freelancers, entrepreneurs and small business owners choose to start up in these virtual office space than the traditional but expensive route.

To learn more about Microsoft Philippines Office 365 and Windows 10 Pro for Business, go to

To learn more about Penbrothers co-working spaces, visit

Source: Press event from Dominguez Marketing Communications

Photos from (1) | (2)


Philippines Ranks 3rd and 6th in APAC Mobile Internet by Akamai

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Finally! The Akamai Technologies report on the Asia Pacific (APAC) mobile internet speeds is out. And at sixth place is… the Philippines! Wait! The title says third and sixth. What gives?

Well, it turns out that on the average, Akamai reports that the Philippines placed sixth in average mobile internet speeds along its neighbors, garnering an average speed of 8.5 Mbps (Megabits per second). But the country also ranks third when it comes to peak mobile internet speeds, shooting up 105.1 Mbps, next to Australia and Thailand.

Globe Telecom recently issued this press release reporting the latest Akamai report as a segue to what the telecommunications giant has been doing for the past year, spearheaded by its #WeWant1stWorldInternet (“We want 1st World Internet”) campaign.

Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu said “…the company is maximizing the use of additional frequency assets it obtained from the sellout of San Miguel’s telco assets in line with its commitment to the National Telecommunications Commission to deploy about 4,500 multiband, multimode software defined radio base station equipment to 95% of total municipalities and cities in the country, intended to improve overall customer experience in terms of speed and reliability of mobile internet services.”

So, what has Globe been doing more or less for the past twelve months?

  • Globe has already completed deployment of LTE 700 in 200 sites, mostly in Metro Manila as well as LTE 2600 in 900 sites, mostly in the Visayas and Mindanao.
  • The company has also expanded its GoWiFi network as it recently completed deployment of the service in close to 500 sites that include Ayala Malls, fast food chains, bus terminals, convenience stores and other public places. Its target is to deploy GoWiFi services in close to 1,000 sites across the country, not only Metro Manila but also in Davao, Cebu, Bulacan, Cavite, Cagayan Valley, Cagayan de Oro, Nueva Vizcaya, Dumaguete, Zamboanga and Boracay. Launched in 2015, GoWiFi, the company’ premium open national WiFi network, is now serving close to 3 million customers per month.
  • Globe is also about to complete deployment of free Wi-Fi services in all MRT Line 3 stations, enabling Globe customers riding the MRT to efficiently make use of their transit time as they are now able to access the internet for free. This will benefit around 350,000 daily passengers of MRT Line 3.
  • Aside from MRT Line 3, Globe also signed an agreement to provide free Wi-Fi services in all 20 LRT stations.
  • Globe will also provide fiber optic cable system that will extend the length of the entire LRT 1 and cover all LRT stations and LRMC’s depot in Pasay City.
  • Globe also recently signed with the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) a similar agreement that will allow the telco provider to deploy wireless infrastructure in MMDA controlled areas as part of its efforts to enhance network coverage and capacities.

Source: Globe Telecom Press Release

Photo from


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 12, 2016 at 8:12 pm

The Best Eats in Life are Free with SEATS

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The Seats App, together with Globe Prepaid, recently partnered Earth Kitchen restaurant - 1

The best things in life are free,
But you can give them to the birds and bees.

LOL! I remember the Flying Lizards electronic pop song’s first few stanzas, which makes you realize how ‘80s I can get. But this article isn’t about music, lyrics and songs. This is about a foodie app.

Yep! I’m here to talk to you about the SEATS App, the restaurant reservations app that’s going to kickstart your holiday season of no cooking at home and just purely binging out, eating out to your heart’s delight; and Earth Kitchen, a new restaurant with a new moniker: farm-to-table restaurant. If you’ve got Uber, Grab, AirBnB, GCash, HotelQuickly and the rest of ‘em service-oriented apps that make life easier for the digital Filipino, then there’s got to be one for dining out, too.

Worldwide, online booking has been the preferred way of making restaurants reservations. Without the need for a phone call or waiting for your calls to be answered, it is the easiest and most convenient way of finding and making restaurant reservations.

The Seats App was created by a group of young professionals passionate about technology and food. The Seats App is a service that ties these two together. Its aim is to provide better customer experience by connecting restaurants with their guests. In turn, the Seats App provides restaurants with the right tools so they can manage reservations more efficiently, improve in-house productivity and provide restaurant customers with better service.

The Seats App takes away the hassle that comes with trying to get a table at restaurants. The Seats App provides free and instant bookings at your favorite places.

The Seats App recently partnered with another dining institution – Earth Kitchen. With the Seats App, sure-seat reservation is now guaranteed at BGC’s farm-to-table restaurant.

The Seats App, together with Globe Prepaid, recently partnered Earth Kitchen restaurant - 2

Earth Kitchen is a restaurant dedicated to support local farmers and indigenous communities around the Philippines. Its dishes are specifically crafted to showcase the produce of the Got Heart Farms in Tarlac and its partner communities from Luzon to Mindanao. Earth Kitchen is a partnership project of Got Heart Foundation and Hizon’s Catering. Today, the Got Heart Shops and Earth Kitchen now have more than 100 community partners.

The Seats App, together with Globe Prepaid, recently partnered Earth Kitchen restaurant - 3

Use your Globe Postpaid Plan with the Seats App because you are sure to discover more great finds to match your lifestyle, with much ease, speed, and freedom; nothing beats getting the best seat in the house.

With Globe Postpaid, you can create your plan by choosing one that lets you live the way you want. You can keep your budget on track with myStarter Plan and getting it for as low as P300 per month. You can roll over your data with myLifestyle Plan. You can stay connected with 6 GB shared data plus unlimited calls and texts for 3 lines and 3 devices for only P999 per month with myShare Plan. You can experience longer browsing time plus non-stop calls and texts to family and friends without any lock-up.

To apply for a Globe Postpaid Plan, visit For information, go to

Sources: Press release from Globe Telecom | Seats | Earth Kitchen | Globe Prepaid

Photo from sources.


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 12, 2016 at 2:31 pm

Posted in Food & Beverage, ICT, Press Release

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Guam Visitors Bureau New Official Philippine Representative

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Guam Visitors Bureau New Official Philippine Representative

I went to Guam by way of Guam Visitors Bureau, the official tourism agency for the U.S. Territory of Guam, which gave the go-signal to the previous representative company in the Philippines to fly half-a-dozen media people to Guam; I was representing a travel magazine at that time. For six days, Guam Visitors Bureau toured us around their tiny island state, and showed us the sights, sounds, thrills and food that anyone visiting Guam for the first time, or the nth time, should go, do, listen, watch and savor.

In fact, 18,704 Filipinos have visited Guam just for their 2016 fiscal year, a 52.3 percent increase versus the previous fiscal year. So, what is the total number of people who have visited Guam this year? It’s a staggering 1.51 million visitors, 10 times more than its tiny population of 165,00. Whoa!

The same Guam Visitors Bureau just announced the appointment of Tropical Productions, Inc. as its exclusive and official Philippine Market In-Country Representative. Tropical Productions went through a rigorous selection process by Guam Visitors Bureau with a dozen or so other companies in the Philippines vying for the in-country representative designation. I got this good news from our friend Carmel Carpio, Tropical Productions’ Integrated Marketing Communications Director, who also happens to be the Market Account Director of Guam Visitors Bureau.

Congratulations to Carmel Carpio and the rest of the Tropical Productions team!

In statement released by Guam Visitors Bureau, its President and CEO Nathan Denight says, “GVB thanks all the companies that put in time to submit their proposals and congratulates TPI on being the highest ranked qualified offeror. This is a unique opportunity to work with a company that has local roots. They know the Guam brand well and their expanding marketing network will strengthen the relationship between Guam and the Philippines. We look forward to working with them in promoting the events, activities and attractions that our island paradise has to offer.

In response to Denight’s statement, Tropical Productions CEO EJ Calvo replied back, saying:

We are excited to work with GVB to showcase what makes Guam unique and attract more visitors from the Philippines. We are committed to promoting all our island has to offer, utilizing our international business experience, marketing expertise and resources in the Philippines.

The Guam Visitors Bureau, a non-profit membership corporation, is the official tourism agency for the U.S. Territory of Guam. Among its responsibilities, Guam Visitors Bureau is charged with setting tourism policy and direction; developing and implementing Guam’s tourism strategic and marketing plans; managing programs and activities that enhance and showcase Guam’s people, place, and culture in order to deliver an incomparable visitor experience.

Tropical Productions, Inc. (TPI) is a full service Marketing Communications agency that caters to the marketing needs of the company’s internal clients and industry partners. TPI offers advertising, event management, public relations, digital marketing, branding & corporate communication services and specializes in developing and executing content marketing initiatives. Incorporated in 1991 as a Guam corporation, TPI has over 25 years of event management experience and offers a complete suite of live entertainment and event services. In the Philippines TPI is legally incorporated as Calvo Tropical Productions, Inc., with its office located inside Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City.

To know more about Guam, you may visit the Guam Visitors Bureau’s Philippine Facebook Page at, or follow them in Instagram via or use @visitguamph.

Sources: Tropical Productions Press Release | Tropical Productions, Inc. | Guam Visitors Bureau

Photo: Tropical Productions Press Release – Left-to-Right: TPI COO John Paul Calvo, GVB Marketing Manager Mark Manglona, and TPI CEO EJ Calvo.


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 12, 2016 at 5:45 am

Posted in Press Release, Travel & Tourism

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ACCEL is the No. 1 Filipino Sportswear Brand

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I was recently privileged to sit down with Paolo Ortiz who is the second generation of the families running and managing the top Filipino sportswear company in the country which is more popularly known for its primary sports brand – ACCEL (pronounced /əkˈsel/).  I met him at his main warehouse in Pasig City and together with three other journalists and bloggers, we all casually talked to Paolo to hear his thoughts and experiences regarding the company and brands they have given to the Filipino public since its inception in 2002.

Hey! I remember owning a pair of ACCEL rubber shoes. Back then, probably around 2005, I always thought Accel was an international brand. “Well, what didn’t I know then?” So, I should shout, “Proudly Filipino!”

There are presently 342 outlets nationwide of Sporteum Philippines, Inc., the company that manufactures, markets and sells the ACCEL line of sportswear, most of which are concession-oriented and outright stores, while around 10 are company-owned specialty boutique shops. By research, I also found out Lazada is also selling the ACCEL brand though I do not know if it is a direct sale from Sporteum. But no franchising for now.

The sportswear brand ACCEL is more known for its rubber shoes (Yep! That’s old school terminology, kiddos!), particularly in the area of Philippine basketball since Sporteum has been a licensee of the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) for quite some time – jerseys, caps, sports sandals and bags.

Besides sports shoes, Accel also has sports sandals, shorts, indoor shoes, basketball shoes, caps and other accessories as its more marketable brand categories. You have past and present ACCEL endorsers like Asi Taulava, Manny Pacquiao before he became famous, including the likes of Bearwin “DaBear” Meily (Filipino actor), Rey Saludar (boxing), Dennis Orcollo (billiard), Engelberto Rivera (bowling), Onyok Velasco (boxing), Treat Conrad Huey and Ceil Mamiit (tennis), La Salle Green Archers (2007 83rd UAAP), Gilas Pilipinas, Maico Buncio (superbike), Gary David (basketball), Natasha Alquiros (women’s football), and Diego Dalisay (tennis).

As prominent is ACCEL to men’s sports, the sportswear company is now aggressively marketing its women’s line for the past two years, starting with women’s sport shoes and following it with women’s sports apparel – footwear, sports sandals, apparel, leggings, sports bra and more.

While interviewing Paolo Ortiz, I learned that he actually finished with a degree in Landscape Architecture and ventured out on his own before joining the family business two years ago. Sporteum was founded by three families, namely the Ortiz, Laroza and Go families, with Willie Ortiz more known with the ACCEL brand. Prior to setting up Sporteum, these three sportswear industry stalwarts actually came from another well-known sportswear company, Rubber World, which as I recall was the first distributor of Adidas in the country. This only means these founders have been in sportswear industry for decades.

ACCEL has only one market – the Filipino market. They are competing head-on with internationally known brands like Addidas and Nike but are priced well below these expensive sportswear products so that the average Filipino can afford ACCEL – with equal quality and durability to the international brands. A local brand, World Balance, may well be its direct local competitor but ACCEL outpaces it in variety, availability and affordability. This is because ever since they started, Sporteum’s goal was to be the No. 1 Filipino sports brand. Today, I believe that to be very true.

A new addition to the ACCEL brand is not a sub-brand but rather a new technology, which they call Quantum Plus (or Quantum+ as it is popularly labeled). This is a patented technology inside select ACCEL sportswear products that provides a healthy balance of ionized charge. Something similar to magnets and infrared (IR) in wearables like bracelets and necklaces, Quantum Plus balances out the negative charges for us urban dwellers; rural folks have a balanced diet of these charged ions. From sport shoes to apparel, Quantum Plus is (still) in its promotional stage despite being launched sometime early 2014. Wearing something with Quantum Plus is like placing nature’s energy in your shoes to boost your stamina, whether it involves casual sports or extreme ones. If you go to one of ACCEL’s outlets, the Quantum Plus products are visibly labeled with a large, prominent tag. Of course, there are no scientific or medical claims for endurance and strength but global research will tell you a balance of charged ions can provide a healthy balance for the body. In fact, one of the interviewers attested giving her extra endurance on her regular jogs when she started using ACCEL with Quantum Plus.

The prevailing market of ACCEL products have always been the Gen X (generation), seeing that the company began as the official licensee of PBA in its early days. But Sporteum is slowly developing products for the Millennial market, especially the women’s segment. Besides conducting surveys for new and upcoming designs, they also rely on feedback from their endorsers and other athletes.

September next month is the anniversary of ACCEL. Paolo says they have promotions in store which he did not want to reveal – not just yet. Sporteum will continue to add Quantum Plus in more of their products and continue to support Filipino sports with the likes of PBA, UAAP, NCAA, Shakey’s V-League, PBA D-League, Philippine Olympic Committee, Philippine Sports Commission, Philippine Sportswriters Association, PBA Press Corps and the UAAP-NCAA Press Corps.

For more information, visit or follow them at Facebook and Instagram.

Source of text from an interview with Paolo Ortiz, Operations Director of Sporteum Philippines, Inc.

Photos by @raffypekson


Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 21, 2016 at 6:50 pm

Posted in Business & The Economy, News & Articles, Small Business & Entrepreneuring, Sports

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Emergency Telephone Number 911 Replaces Patrol 117 Starting August 1

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Starting August 1, 2016, the US-formatted emergency number “911” will now be operational in the Philippines. This a replacement of the existing Patrol “117” that has existed since 2003 and is managed by the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), referred to as the “Emergency Network Philippines (ENP).”

Original link:

Patrol 117 call centers nationwide have handled some 15 million calls since its inception. However, the majority of 117 calls are prank calls, leading the DILG to urge local government units to issue ordinances penalizing those who make hoax 117 calls.

Historically, 117 was solely used in the Metro Manila area by the Philippine National Police for the reporting of ongoing crimes as part of a program called the “Patrol 117 Street Patrol Program” in cooperation with the Foundation for Crime Prevention. Efforts to expand the capabilities of 117 began in the 1990s, starting with the addition of emergency medical services to the scope of 117 in Metro Manila through a private-sector initiative called Project EARnet (Emergency Assistance and Response network).

Government involvement in the expansion of 117’s scope began in late 1998, when the DILG announced the formation of Emergency Network Philippines, a project that sought to support a national emergency telephone number in order to enable the faster delivery of emergency services to the Filipino people.

By virtue of Executive Order No. 226, 117 became the official national emergency telephone number of the Philippines on July 14, 2003.

The P1.4 billion project was completed on August 2, 2003, with the opening of a new 117 call center in Quezon City, serving the entire Metro Manila area.[3] Four more 117 call centers were opened in 2006, and the full 117 network, consisting of sixteen networked call centers, was rolled out in 2007.

Sources of text and image: Wikipedia | LSGH ’81 Viber Group