Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

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Experience the New Kata M4s Smart Phone

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Kata finally cracked the fast-response 4G/LTE mobile phone market by introducing the Kata M4s, one of the three good Kata smart phones I’ve ever handled. It looks like a winner, so far, and like most almost-a-phablet size, guys like me always go for the big versus the small.

MY KATA EXPERIENCE

The first was the Kata M1 which I bought second-hand from a friend more four years ago. I think it’s a 5.5-inch sized phone (or maybe a little bigger) with a whooping 4000+ mHa battery. It was an engineering unit and the battery gave up two years later; unreplaceable, it now sits as a relic to a good sub-P10,000 phone.

My second was the Kata i3, which I eventually gave to a friend of mine who needed a good, reliable phone. For a 3G device, it was one of the fast-response phones of Kata, even if I still opted for the bigger size. The status is “borrowed, not given.” I’m still sentimental with that phone though I won’t be using it anymore.

And then, we come to my newest Kata – the M4s. The first reaction was, “Oh! It responds fast compared to other Kata phones! I like this.” If you’ve handled many tier-2 smart phone brands (meaning not a Samsung and not an iPhone), especially the sub-P5,000 devices, you’ll really notice the sluggishness of response; it’s like tap-then-go-to-the-fridge-to-get-a-beer activity – well, sort of. The M1 and i3s were responded faster than most. The Kata M4s belongs to these fast response smart phones.

WHY I LIKE THE KATA M4S

I have the engineering unit of the Kata M4s which by definition is like a “Beta Test” device that Kata lent me. I’m not a die-hard techie who does hardware tests. My requirements are simple, and to simplify these, I decided to put in a table or worksheet format:

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Special mention are:

USB TYPE-C

I read that as far as Android-based phones are concerned, a USB Type-C connector is far better than your typical Micro USB version. For one, the latter can charge your phone up to 2.5 watts of power; the Type-C goes up to 100 watts. It’s reversible (don’t you hate it when it’s dark and you have to plug your phone? LOL!). It’s bi-directional, which means your phone can either send or receive power, something that can even charge your laptop which usually requires 60 watts. And the transfer rate is 5Gbps up to 10Gbps. Good choice, Kata!

FINGERPRINT SCANNER

The fingerprint scanner is also a nice touch, much like the iPhone 6s Plus I have. It makes it a little easier to get to the home screen (or whatever screen I left it) than having to tap in coded passwords. I haven’t had the chance to use it for other apps other than logging-in to my phone, but I’m sure the future of fingerprint scanners make the Kata M4s in tune with the times.

IT’S MADE OF GLASS

Though the front of any smart phone is made of clear glass, I’m surprised the back is also encased in glass. Wow! Which makes “the feel” of the Kata M4s a little on the heavy side but solid as a rock, so to speak. It’s like saying, “it’s not for the weak of heart”; “It’s not a dainty phone.” So, I like it.

However, they should have made it out of Gorilla Glass. It’s not; it’s simply glass-encased on top of its AMOLED (Active Matrix Organic LED) display. This means if you’re NOT the OCD type, it’s better to buy TWO clear, plastic films to protect both front and back of the phone from scratches, or any anti-scratches medium placed on top of the glass.

CURVED SIDES

I love that the Kata M4s curves on all sides, both faces, very much similar to the Samsung Edge; but not too much. The problem most people didn’t like about the Samsung Galaxy S6 Edge was the accidental tapping of the phone when one holds the phone on its edge. I had friends return back the Edge for the normal S6. The Kata M4s (probably) also knew people’s experience on the S6 Edge and made sure the Kata M4s wasn’t as edgy as the S6. So, yeah – that’s cool!

PRICE

There’s no announcement of the retail price for the Kata M4s but I’m guessing it will be above P10,000 but lower than P15,000. It will be good if goes sub-P10,000.

CONTACT

You may contact Kata at (02) 706-5395 local 2900, e-mail them at info@katadigital.com or visit their website at www.katadigital.com.

Note: This is not a paid post.

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The OPPO F3 Back to School Special Discount

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PRESS RELEASE (July 5, 2017) —- Limited time Php1,000 “back to school” special discount for OPPO F3 from June 1 to July 31, 2017. The OPPO F3 is a 5.5 inch camera phone with dual selfie cameras for wider selfies and added bokeh effect. Starting June 1, 2017 until July 31, 2017, customers can avail a Php1,000 special discount when they purchase an OPPO F3 in any OPPO authorized resellers nationwide.

Aside from the special discount, OPPO also encourages everyone to join the online “Back to School Giveaway” in OPPO’s official Facebook page. Anyone can be part of it by simply following the mechanics such as submitting a school groufie, visiting OPPO Philippines official social media channels and more to earn points to serve as entries.

Participants with successful entries are eligible to win prizes such as premium backpacks, OPPO A37 smartphones and a grand prize of an OPPO F3 smartphone and laptop. The online giveaway will start from June 5, 2017 until July 2, 2017.  Announcement of winners will be on July 7, 2017 via OPPO’s official Facebook account.

Stephen Cheng, Brand Marketing Manager of OPPO Philippines: “OPPO strives to deliver the best experience to its customers. This special Php1,000 discount for the OPPO F3 is a delight for students and parents who want to avail the latest groufie smartphone. This is also a great opportunity for anyone to share their best moments in school and might even win prizes from our online contest.”

The OPPO F3 and F3 Plus are now available in the market for Php15,990 (limited time offer) and Php23,990 respectively. OPPO’s back to school giveaway promotion will run until July 31, 2017 with DTI Permit No.88319 series of 2017.

For more details about the OPPO F3, please visit http://www.facebook. com/OPPOPH/ or log on to http://www.oppo. com/ph/index.html.

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Source: M2.0 Communications

Image from source.

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Sophos Awards Microgenesis Business System Partner of the Year 2017

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Sophos, the leader in next-generation endpoint and network security, awards Microgenesis Business System Partner of the Year for ASEAN at the 2017 APJ Sophos Discover Partner Conference in Bangkok, Thailand, held on May 30 – June 2, 2017.

Joergen Jakobsen, Regional Vice President & Managing Director, Asia Pacific & Japan, Sophos: “It is always a great pleasure to be able to meet our partners face to face at these events as they play a crucial role in our success as a business. It’s a fantastic opportunity to gather feedback, to hear our partners’ validation of our strategy across the endpoint and network and to see it helping to make their businesses a success. I am delighted Microgenesis Business System has won the award for Sophos Partner of the Year for ASEAN. They have had a fantastic year and it’s very well deserved.”

Jeffrey Choa, Executive Director, Microgenesis Business System: “We are honoured to be named Partner of the Year and believe this award is testament to our commitment to Sophos for the past 15 years. With the support and dedication from Sophos, we have been able to integrate our market insights with Sophos’s expertise and product suite, to deliver our promise of making IT easy for businesses. We are motivated by the constant developments at Sophos which aims to address evolving security concerns of customers, and look forward to working closely together to lend greater value to enterprises in Philippines.”

Also present at the Sophos sales and partner event was Sophos CEO Kris Hagerman and the executive leadership team, and more than 650 people which includes partners delivered by key business, product, technical and sales experts.

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About Microgenesis Business System

Microgenesis is a leading information technology solutions provider in the Philippines. A software company since 1998, it is now a system solutions provider. Its clientele are mainly the top 5000 corporations in the country. For more information, visit www.mgenesis.com.

About Sophos

Sophos, headquartered in Oxford, UK and publicly traded on the London Stock Exchange, is a leader in next-generation endpoint and network security, with a portfolio of endpoint, network, encryption, web, email and mobile security solutions. More than 100 million users in 150 countries rely on Sophos solutions as a protection against sophisticated threats and data loss. For more information, visit www.sophos.com.

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Source: Press release by Dominguez Marketing Communications Inc.

Title photo from source.

Photo caption: Jeffrey Choa, Executive Director, Microgenesis Business System (in the middle) with the Sophos team at 2017 APJ Sophos Discover Partner Conference

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Makatizen Card Launched – Makati to become Country’s First Connected City

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The Makati City government launched yesterday the Makatizen Card which will allow the city’s 500,000 residents to access city government services and transact with the LGU – receive cash allowances, stipends, and other benefits – while allowing the cardholders to pay fees and taxes, remittances, and other financial transactions. The Makatizen Card also functions as an ATM card and is considered as a valid government ID card. The Card is in collaborations with Globe Telecom, GCash (G-Xchange Inc. or GXI), and iBayad Online Ventures.

Around 1,000 functioning sample Makatizen Cards were given out and tested yesterday morning. Beside the city residents, Makati City government employees can use their Makatizen Card to receive salaries and allowances.

The Makatizen Card comes with a Near-Field Communication (NFC) feature that allows city offices equipped with iBayad machine readers to verify the identity of residents and Makati City employees in a single tap. It stores the information which easily identifies the card holder availing of various city government services without the need to present additional documents.

GXI (GCash) will serve as the financial service provider for the Makatizen Card while iBayad will deploy the mPOS terminals and build the merchant network where the cards will be accepted.

Makati Mayor Abigail Binay: “The Makatizen Card goes beyond providing Makati citizens with instant access to essential services of the city government, which in itself is a major leap forward for the city. The wide range of digital and mobile services offers the people of Makati  more convenient and cost-effective ways of meeting their day-to-day needs and obligations.”

Ernest Cu, Globe President and CEO:For the Philippines to truly become a digital nation, we need to fully take advantage of new digital opportunities and innovations to enable growth in every corner of our country.  We laud the vision of the Makati City government whose support of this initiative is critical to build the city-wide digital ecosystem, a step towards the realization of our dream for the Philippines to become an admired nation.

Albert Tinio, President of GXI (GCash):Each Makatizen Card carries the features of the GCash mobile wallet but is also customized to be used in the city-wide local merchant network.  All services that they will get in Makati City, whether it is payment of taxes, cash allowances for health and other benefits, etc. will be directly credited to this GCash wallet that is linked to  the card.  They don’t have to carry anything except this ID and their mobile phone.

iBayad Founder and CEO Paolo G. Saycon: “For us, the Makatizen Card Project is as much a social endeavour, as it is a business venture. This undertaking is aligned with iBayad’s purpose of developing socially relevant and meaningful financial innovations that will transform the way people pay. Our objective is to accelerate the adoption and transformation of every consumer’s traditional spending behaviour from cash-centric to electronic payments.”

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More on Globe Telecom

Globe has been ramping up network investments in a bid to amplify benefits of its new spectrum assets and enhance mobile services particularly for data. The company has announced a capital spend of $750 million for the year in an effort to continuously improve mobile and data services.  Globe is also aggressively building on its fiber broadband services, aiming to create an internet super highway nationwide. The company aims to deploy fiber optics in 20,000 barangays by 2020 which will provide ultra-fast internet access to around 2 million homes nationwide.

Globe Business, the enterprise information and communications technology (ICT) arm of Globe, is leading the way in encouraging local government units like Makati City to adopt the integration of ICT and governance as a means of improving the delivery of government services and exchange of information.  The said initiative supports Globe’s drive to transform the Philippines into a digital nation by instilling the importance of eGovernance to offices ranging from the local government units up to the national government.

One of the capabilities derived from an improved mobile and broadband infrastructure is the creation of a city-wide cashless ecosystem wherein e-payment methods such as e-money and debit/credit cards are utilized instead of physical cash.  This will benefit not only the residents but also schools, hospitals, government offices, transportation facilities, and other micro, small, and medium-size enterprises.

The Makatizen Card is a product of the Makati City government, Globe Telecom, GCash (GXI) and iBayad, as part of the thrust of Makati City to be the first connected city.

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Source: Press release from Globe Telecom Corporate Communications

Photos from source.

Title photo caption: (L-R): Makati City Vice Mayor Monique Lagdameo; SVP for Enterprise Peter Maquera; Chief Commercial Officer Albert de Larrazabal; Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu; Makati City Mayor Abby Binay; GXI President Abet Tinio; Makati City Administrator Claro Certeza; iBayad CEO Paulo Saycon.

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Globe Telecom’s Rogue One Mask, Create Courage Campaign Finalist in Tangrams Effectiveness Spikes Awards

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Globe Telecom’s “Rogue One Mask”, created by Publicis JimenezBasic, was shortlisted as a finalist in the Tangrams Effectiveness@Spikes Awards. The Tangrams (formerly Asian Marketing Effectiveness and Strategy Awards) are Asia Pacific’s foremost awards honoring clients and their agencies for marketing strategies that deliver solid results to transform businesses and brands.

The annual awards are evaluated by a panel of top client and agency professionals who review the submissions against stringent criteria to determine the winners.

The Tangrams awards will be held at Spikes Asia on 27 September at Suntec Singapore.

Globe stated (in a press release sent to @miniphils) that instead of focusing on revenue-generating marketing activities like for-sale merchandising, the company launched “Create.Courage.” (or #CreateCourage), a campaign designed to advocate for non-judgmental understanding and to celebrate bravery during struggle.

If you recall, the YouTube video-short showed the younger sibling of a brother wearing a Stormtrooper helmet/mask walking to school and inside the classroom, at home, during play, in bed and even while brushing their teeth. When the youngster enters the classroom the following day, all the classmates were all wearing the same Stormtrooper headgear. Only then did the she reveal what was inside the headgear… Well, it’s best you watch it (again).

In the press release, Globe said it created the video to raise awareness for the plight of the Philippine General Hospital (PGH), which needed to raise funds for the rehabilitation of its pediatric oncology clinic. Globe enlisted the support of its millions of viewers to donate to the clinic, so that the hospital could make it a warmer, more cheerful environment conducive to the children’s recovery.

Globe Chief Commercial Officer Albert De Larrazabal said,Rogue One is the story of unlikely heroes who banded together to do unexpected heroic feats. Our story pays homage to people like that, who persevere through untold odds. In particular, we wanted to recognize children who are facing tremendous challenges but whose spirit and heart keep them going, determined to prevail.  We are honored by the recognition from Tangrams and grateful to have been given the chance to try and positively impact the real world.

The first time I watched it, I had to shed a tear; or two; or a pail! LOL!

Incidentally, there are also five more organizations from the Philippines in the shortlist, namely:

  • Splash Corporation for “The Beautiful Truth” by Publicis JimenezBasic
  • Smart Communications for “Accepted” By Dentsu Jayme Syfu
  • Unilever for “The Good Experiment” by Dentsu Jayme Syfu
  • MMDA for “IsThereAProblemOfficer.ph” by McCann Worldgroup
  • CARMMA* for “Correcting History” by TBWASantiago Mangada Puno

*Campaign Against the Return of the Marcoses to Malacañang

Globe is competing against 102 organizations in 14 countries, namely Australia (24 entries), China (16), Hong Kong (3), India (13), Indonesia (1), Japan (2), Malaysia (1), New Zealand (7), Pakistan (1), Singapore (11), Taiwan (5), Thailand (5), and Vietnam (5).

For the complete list, please visit www.tangrams.asia/general/2017-effectiveness.

Congratulations to Globe Telecom. Hope you guys win the Tangrams Effectiveness@Spikes Awards for your “Rouge One Mask” / Create Courage campaign entry.

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Sources: Press release from Globe Telecom’s Corporate Communications | Tangrams Asia | Globe YouTube Channel

Photo – Screenshot from YouTube video

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Money Grows on Trees, The Book Launch

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Two weeks ago, a friend of mine asked me if I would be interested to attend a book launch at Fully Booked in Bonifacio Global City (this afternoon) on April 22nd. I asked what the book title is. “Money Grows on Trees,” he quipped. I hesitated with “Umm… we’ll see.” A week later, he came back to me to ask me again. Being my good friend, I agreed. It turned out, I didn’t regret it.

I made my way up through the escalators of Fully Booked until I reached the fourth floor, then up the stairs to the enclosed roof deck where the book launch was going to happen. There was probably seating for a hundred or more in the main hall, with the foyer set up with a food table, selling of the book and a previous edition entitled, “I Wish They Taught Money in School (So I Can Start My Own Business Right Away)”, a Sun Life Insurance booth, and the registration tables. I saw the word “Bloggers” labeled onto a makeshift place card and walked to it. A nice woman asked me to register. My friend, who I hitched a ride with to Fully Booked, introduced me to one of the authors, Sharon Que, who pointed me to another part of the registration area to get my goody-bag – her two books, a notepad and a bookmark.

When the event was midway, I was surprised that the hundred-plus seating capacity was almost filled up. Wow! This is one of the most attended book launches I’ve ever gone to. The daughter of a Filipino magnate was there; even Alice Dixson was there.

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Sharon Que and Clarissa de la Paz are co-authors of the 104-page book entitled “Money Grows on Trees.” It’s quite different that each author had half of the book written by one, then flip the book upside down and the other author’s writing begins. Their previous book, “I Wish They Taught Money in School” is 148 pages, longer than their second book. During their presentation, they mentioned it took them 90 days to finish their second book. How prepared they were when they started is something I missed hearing.

Clearly, each one gave their reasons for writing the first and second books. They were advocates of vision boards and showed the audience what each of theirs looked like. “Passive income” and “achieve your dreams” were a few of the phrases mentioned. At those instances, I was attentive (I was busy taking a few photos and sharing them in social media – what a digital nut I am; really!), I heard Sharon say she and other business partners bought a building with only ₱60,000 cash on hand.

I fell in line to have both first and second books autographed by Sharon and Clarissa, with a photo op, of course. Mind you, the snacks they prepared for all the attendees were filling – five or six pieces of one-fourth sandwiches, chips, popcorn and juice. Cool!

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Writing both books all boiled down to their advocacy of teaching financial literacy to the public, financial freedom and independency – through their books. They have a website, www.lifestyleupgrade101.com or Lifestyle Upgrade 101, where their books are sold online. The regular retail price of the second book is ₱400.

“Do I have time to read it?” Aww, c’mon. The average reading speed worldwide is 200 wpm (words per minute) and the average number of words per page of a book is 250. Do the math and you can finish a page in 1-minute and 15-seconds. Reading 104 pages non-stop will take you only 130 minutes or two hours and ten minutes. Fine. Round it up to two-and-a-half hours. That’s even lesser time than watching a Star Wars movie, and you don’t get financial literacy from Jedis and the Dark Force.

“Should I fork out ₱400 of my cash?” Four hundred Pesos is like two Grande Frappuccino drinks at Starbucks. I’m sure you can equate it to other consumable items. It’s not much to invest in a personal finance book, right? Buy one now! I’m pretty sure Fully Booked has the book stocked. National Bookstore appears in their website with a testimonial; so, that’s another place to go.

It’s Sunday tomorrow. So, marathon reading, here I come!

P.S. Congratulations to Sharon Que and Clarissa de la Paz for a job well done, not only with the event but by writing books that educate and inspire Filipinos to become financially free to fulfil theirs and their family’s dreams in life. Keep it up!

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