Bits and Snippets of the Philippines

Basic Reading of Global Filipinos

Use Your GCash MasterCard or GCash American Express Virtual Pay and Win P20,000 Online Shopping Spree

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Use your GCash Mastercard or GCash American Express Virtual Pay to buy at Lazada, Zalora, eBay, Amazon, or any of your favorite online store from November 25 to December 1, 2016 and you may win P20,000 online shopping spree and even a brand new Nissan Juke.  Each successful transaction entitles you to one (1) raffle entry.

You can easily avail of the GCash MasterCard debit card for only P150.  Check out www.globe.com.ph/gcash-mastercard to find out where to get your GCash MasterCard which you can use to transact in any of over 33 million MasterCard partner outlets worldwide.  On the other hand, simply register your GCash wallet and email address online at https://mgcash.globe.com.ph/gcashamex if you want a free GCash American Express Virtual Pay account. Once your account is validated, you will get a personalized US address in partnership with My Shopping Box shipping company so you don’t need to worry about delivery of goods to the Philippines.

Promo Mechanics:

  1. Every week leading to Christmas, we will be giving out gifts to our GCash customers as they accomplish certain GCash tasks. To qualify for the November 25 – December 1 promo, a GCash customer must successfully shop online using GCash MasterCard or GCash American Express Virtual Pay to earn one (1) raffle entry.  This week’s raffle draw is on December 2.
  2. This promo is open to all users of GCash who are currently residing in the Philippines.
  3. Only entries accumulated within a given period shall qualify for a specific draw.
  4. Winners of the weekly draw can also win in the grand raffle draw and also can join the next weekly raffle draws. Winner should be a transacting subscriber and not a transacting partner.
  5. Prizes are not transferable and non-convertible to cash.
  6. All GCash employees including their relatives up to the second degree of affinity or consanguinity are disqualified in joining the promo.
  7. Winners will be notified through registered mail, FB post, and a call from a GCash representative.
  8. Prizes will be delivered to the winners as reflected in their registered address.
  9. Final taxes on the cash credit prizes as well as the registration and other related expenses on the vehicle will be shouldered by GCash.
  10. Winners can claim the prize until 60 days from the receipt of notification, unclaimed prizes should be forfeited.

DTI-FTEB-SPD Permit No. 15271 Series of 2016

Source: Mynt

Image from source

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Microsoft Philippines Introduces Windows Server 2016 to Help Philippine Business Leaders Prioritize Hybrid Cloud

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Microsoft Philippines recently introduced Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 to help Philippine business leaders prioritize and accelerate the move towards hybrid cloud. This was revealed during the Microsoft survey recently presented for business leaders so that they can move towards a digital transformation of their enterprise with a clear hybrid cloud strategy without sacrificing control or security.

Since the dawn of Windows NT, its nascent server solution for local area networks, Microsoft has always played a vital role in transforming small, medium and large enterprises into the fast-paced information technology world. With the entry of the internet and the world wide web, most of the business-oriented web sites and online solutions have been running on Windows server versus the less expensive and often free Linux server solutions, the latter of which is more challenging to manage and maintain.

However, there are still legacy systems in existence and many local and wide area networks continue to be the major IT structure of large enterprises. A hybrid cloud over the public or private cloud solutions is something that garnered more interest, with enterprise decision makers making the shift to modern cloud-based IT infrastructure to achieve their digital business needs.

Sixty percent of the top 1,000 Asia Pacific corporations plan to have digital transformation – to prioritize the shift to a hybrid cloud – as the center of their corporate strategy by 2017.

Thirty-one percent of the Microsoft survey respondents in the Philippines are already implementing hybrid cloud installs and this is expected to increase to 46 percent in the next 12 to 18 months. In addition, 45% are (still) using private clouds while 15% are using purely public clouds. The study also reveals that none of the respondents will be increasing investments in private- or public-only cloud solutions, but are seriously considering the hybrid approach.

On the average, there are about 400 apps being operated and managed per organization in the Philippines compared to only 340 in the Asia Pacific region. These entities spend 50% of their time maintaining these apps, including managing compliance and operation issues. Another 26% of their time on developing new digital capabilities, and 24% working with the leaders of their organization on digital transformation endeavors. This only means respondents from the Philippines are spending more time optimizing operations than engaging customers or empowering employees, including less time in innovating new products and services.

The top three skills needed in most organizations are security (65%), data analytics (58%) and cloud app management (57%). Security is always a top need because of the forever-going malware, data theft, and even employees connecting their personal devices into the business network.

In the Philippines, 72% of respondents say they need to invest more in IT security solutions and services, and 61% agree on the need to reduce complexity of managing the increasing portfolio of IT security solutions and services.

Having said all of the above, the best bet for Philippine business leaders is to implement a hybrid cloud strategy because of the country’s fast-growing consumer economy, eyeing the latest digital tools to keep up with competition. However, the challenges posed include additional investments and time required to fulfil digital transformation. Yet, 8 out of 10 IT department heads say they would prioritize an integrated hybrid cloud that is not too much far away from the management tools used in private and public clouds.

While 83% of the respondents from the Philippines say they would be comfortable hosting all their business applications on the public cloud in the future, they only want to use basic applications such as email (74%) and customer facing applications (43%). In fact, only 22% of respondents are using the cloud for application development and operations.

Herns Hermida, Microsoft Philippines Cloud & Enterprise Business Lead:

“Hybrid cloud is a natural progression for all enterprises in the Philippines, regardless of size and budgets, to digitally innovate their processes to make their businesses highly competitive. The cloud holds rich new applications which will enable better management tools, intelligent applications and advanced analytics to not just reduce cost and increase efficiency but to also innovate and enable faster time to market. As such, it can’t be ignored but it needs to be managed.”

“There are four areas where businesses need to step up to enable digital transformation. First, they need to get up to speed with the modern tools of managing increasing security and complexity. Second, gain control of your infrastructure with software management tools spanning across public, private, and multiple branded clouds. Third, move quickly to an integrated hybrid cloud which will allow them to benefit from the best of both worlds. And last, they need to drive more sophisticated workloads in the cloud to innovate, shorten time to market and maximize the potential which new digital technologies have to offer.”

This is where Microsoft Windows Server 2016 and System Center 2016 come into play.

Windows Server 2016 is already a cloud-ready operating system. It supports any current workload while introducing new technologies that make it easier and safer to transition to cloud. It includes advanced multi-layer security to prevent cyber-attacks and detect suspicious activities; software-defined compute, storage and network features inspired by Azure; and a cloud-ready application platform to deploy and run existing and cloud-native applications.

System Center 2016, on the other hand, makes it easy for organizations to deploy, configure and manage virtualized, software-defined datacenters and hybrid cloud infrastructures. The new capabilities include the ability to meet the most demanding business requirements, providing support for everything from provisioning the physical and virtual infrastructure to IT process and service management. When complemented with Operations Management Suite, organizations will be able to effectively simplify and manage multiple cloud solutions from a single console.

You can start now by trying out the System Center 2016 evaluation, Operations Management Suite as well as downloading the Windows Server 2016 Evaluation.

About Microsoft

Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT” @microsoft) is the leading platform and productivity company for the mobile-first, cloud-first world, and its mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more.

Microsoft Philippines, the local subsidiary of Microsoft Corporation, has been constantly bringing innovation and making its technology available to Filipino businesses and individuals since 1995. As a committed and trusted partner in nation-building, Microsoft Philippines has made it its mission to fuel growth and healthy communities, as well as transform locally-based businesses and empower them to compete in the global economy.

Source: Press release from Microsoft Philippines/Dominguez Marketing Communications, Inc.

Photos by @raffypekson and from source.

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

November 25, 2016 at 6:08 pm

Posted in ICT, Press Release

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British American Tobacco’s Vype Launches the Ultimate Vape in the Philippines

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Bank Bar is a discrete afterhours place in the heart of Bonifacio Global City. Discrete in the sense that you literally have to enter a 7-Eleven convenience store before entering a door without a sign, into a nondescript room, and through the curtains to reveal the bar. Inside and fronting the probably 60 or so square meter place was the registration table where bloggers like myself had to write down contact details.

This was the media launch of British American Tobacco’s Vype ePen ultimate vape product, following its successful launch in Europe and South America. But here’s the thing: isn’t British American Tobacco also the makers and distributors of Lucky Strike?

I’m a smoker and shifted to Luckies long before the enormous tax imposed by the Philippine government on all tobacco products. I asked the people of British American Tobacco why are they launching a vape product when they also make cigarettes? Probably to target quitting smokers to shift to vape rather than go cold turkey. Maybe. Read more.

I call Vype the ultimate vape product simply because it isn’t your usual vape product. Ultimate because not only smokers like myself hate vape smokers blowing vapor-smoke like a chimney stack of a diesel-powered power generator, as if they think people around them don’t get annoyed because “Hey! It ain’t smelling cigarettes.” Yeah, right. Ugh!

But Vype is different. I think it was designed primarily for the real smokers who’d like to try vaping without looking like a steam-powered train (wreak!) Haha!

First, it looks like a fat pen; hence, the “ePen” label. Not the size of a cigarette case or a bulky cell phone. A pen.

Second, it’s sleek design is colored black. Well, I got a black colored Vype. I’m not sure if here are other colors. Pink for women? Who knows. And I’m always wondering why all vape products are colored silver, as if when we go broke, we might be able to sell its metal.

Third, no more spilling liquids while refilling your vape machine that’s as fat as your cell phone. Vype has refillable small tubes or vials which you insert, twist and that’s it. The vial is thinner than a Bic ball pen tube and is as short (or shorter) than your pinky finger.

Fourth, the Vype ePen disassembles into two parts, not three nor four. Just two. When you disassemble it, that’s when you insert and twist your refillable liquid.

During the event, I won a contest for disassembling the Vype, removing the small cap on the vial, inserting and twisting the vial into the Vype, then assembling the Vype back as one – all done within seven seconds! Can you do that with those fat, silver vape products?

Fifth, no batteries required. Since we are in the era of charging every tech equipment we have, why not charge your vape product? It only takes two hours to fully charge a dead Vype; dead meaning no power. There’s always a 99% chance you could charge your Vype – electrical outlets, portable power banks, computers, televisions, and a whole caboodle of other charging resources available. Finally!

And lastly, you smoke it like it was a cigarette, not a cigar. Geez! If I wanted to puff that much smoke like a cigar, I’d just buy a real cigar. Just think about it! You’re about to try to quit nicotine-cigarette smoking by shifting to vaping yet the feeling of smoking becomes… umm… monstrous! Vype let’s you inhale vapor like it was a cigarette and exhale like a cigarette. No more annoying fire-breathing smoke that envelops the next five people beside you.

Yeah, I think British American Tobacco got it! It just got the real way to shift from cigarette smoking to vaping. No more “Made in China” vape products or God-knows-where those other dang vape products are manufactured from. I mean, you’re using a product from one of the world’s five largest tobacco companies, with cigarette products sold in over 50 countries and operations in around 180 countries, and known brands such as Dunhill, Lucky Strike, Kent, Pall Mall, Kool, Benson & Hedges and Rothman, among others. Need I say more?

Slogans like “Vaping Made Simple” and “Switching Has Never Been Easier” truly voices Vype, no doubt about it. Simple and easier – I like those words because they truly are what makes Vype a great vaping product.

How much, you ask? ₱1,199 for the Vype Starter Kit that comes with two vials or eCaps (another term) with flavors labeled “Blended Tobacco” and “Crisp Mint,” and ₱499 for a refill pack that contains three ePens or eCaps; confusing so I just call them vials. LOL!

Where do I buy it? At about 100 branches of 7-Eleven convenience stores to start with. The British American Tobacco Philippine people say there will be more places to sell it.

So, trust me as a smoker who has now (probably) found the better or best vape product to shift to. I think British American Tobacco was thinking of me when they developed Vype. Hmm?

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About Next Generation Products

Next Generation Products is part of British American Tobacco Group, focused on developing and delivering high quality nicotine alternatives to adult smokers in the key areas of: Vapor and Tobacco Heating Products.

About British American Tobacco Group

British American Tobacco is a global tobacco Group with brands sold in more than 200 markets. It employs more than 50,000 people worldwide and has over 200 brands in its portfolio, with its cigarettes chosen by one in eight of the world’s one billion smokers.

For more information, please visit www.govype.com.

Sources: Press release from British American Tobacco Philippines (and my story)

Photos by @raffypekson and British American Tobacco Philippines

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

November 21, 2016 at 10:26 pm

Posted in Events and Expos, Fashion & Lifestyle

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Use Your GCash MasterCard or GCash American Express Virtual Pay and Win a Sony Playstation 4

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That was a mouthful, right? But it’s true! Shop in your favorite online store using your GCash MasterCard or GCash American Express Virtual Pay from November 18 to 24, and you get a chance to win a Sony Playstation 4 gaming console. Shop for your favorite digital content such as music, apps, games, among others from Spotify, Steam, Google Play, iTunes Apple Store, Netflix, NBA League Pass, etc.

With GCash MasterCard and GCash American Express Virtual Pay, you can buy from major online shopping sites in the country and abroad without the need for a credit card because they are linked to your mobile wallet.  All you have to do is cash-in or add funds to your GCash wallet for free at over 10,000 GCash accredited partner outlets nationwide.

GCash MasterCard is a debit card which allows you to securely and conveniently transact at any of over 33 million MasterCard partner establishments worldwide without extra charges.  Check out www.globe.com.ph/gcash-mastercard to see where you can avail of GCash MasterCard for just P150.

GCash American Express Virtual Pay provides shoppers a personalized US address in partnership with a reliable shipping company, My Shopping Box, to enable smooth and worry-free delivery of goods in the country. Getting the GCash American Express Virtual Pay is fast, easy, and FREE. Simply register your GCash wallet and email address online at https://mgcash.globe.com.ph/gcashamex. Once your account is validated, you will immediately receive your Virtual Pay account details, your personalized US shipping address, and other pertinent information via email.

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Promo Mechanics:

  • <strong>Every week leading to Christmas, we will be giving out gifts to our GCash customers as they accomplish certain GCash tasks. To qualify for the November 18 – November 24 promo, a GCash customer must successfully purchase digital content using GCash MasterCard or GCash American Express Virtual Pay to earn one (1) raffle entry. This week’s raffle draw is on November 25.
  • This promo is open to all users of GCash who are currently residing in the Philippines.
  • Only entries accumulated within a given period shall qualify for a specific draw.
  • Winners of the weekly draw can also win in the grand raffle draw and also can join the next weekly raffle draws. Winner should be a transacting subscriber and not a transacting partner.
  • Prizes are not transferable and non-convertible to cash.
  • All GCash employees including their relatives up to the second degree of affinity or consanguinity are disqualified in joining the promo.
  • Winners will be notified through registered mail, FB post, and a call from a GCash representative.
  • Prizes will be delivered to the winners as reflected in their registered address.
  • Final taxes on the cash credit prizes as well as the registration and other related expenses on the vehicle will be shouldered by GCash.
  • Winners can claim the prize until 60 days from the receipt of notification, unclaimed prizes should be forfeited.

DTI-FTEB-SPD Permit No. 15271 Series of 2016

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Source: Press release from Globe Telecom/Mynt

Image from source

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

November 20, 2016 at 12:01 am

Posted in ICT, Incentives & Promotions

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Withdraw Using Your GCash and Win a Samsung Tablet This Week 7

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Withdraw Using Your GCash and Win a Samsung Tablet This Week 7

It’s another gift-giving week of the 12 Weeks of Christmas promo of GCash.

The prize for Week 4 was a Bose Soundlink Speaker if you paid your bills using GCash. Then, Week 5’s prize was a Huawei Watch worth about P17,000 on retail, if you used your GCash MasterCard to purchase items in-store. Last Week 6, the prize was a Fitbit Alta Wristband if you funded or cash-in your GCash in any of over 10,000 accredited GCash Partner Outlets nationwide.

This week, withdraw money using your GCash card from any of over 10,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide which include Globe Stores, SM Business Centers, Puregold supermarkets, and Tambunting and Cebuana Lhuillier pawnshops, and you may win a Samsung Tablet, this Week 7 of the 12 Weeks of Christmas promo by GCash.

Each cash-out transaction from November 11th up to the 17th entitles you to one (1) raffle entry for this Week 7 raffle of a Samsung Tablet.

It also qualifies you for the grand raffle draw of a brand new Nissan Juke.

As always, using GCash is safe, secure, and hassle-free. You can buy prepaid load, pay bills, send money, make donations, do online shopping, and even purchase goods.

To know more about GCash products and services, visit www.globe.com.ph/gcash.

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Promo Mechanics:

  • Every week leading to Christmas, we will be giving out gifts to our GCash customers as they accomplish certain GCash tasks. To qualify for the November 11 – November 17 promo, a GCash customer must successfully cash-out at their favorite GCash Partner Outlet to earn one (1) raffle entry.  This week’s raffle draw is on November 18.
  • This promo is open to all users of GCash who are currently residing in the Philippines.
  • Only entries accumulated within a given period shall qualify for a specific draw.
  • Winners of the weekly draw can also win in the grand raffle draw and also can join the next weekly raffle draws. Winner should be a transacting subscriber and not a transacting partner.
  • Prizes are not transferable and non-convertible to cash.
  • All GCash employees including their relatives up to the second degree of affinity or consanguinity are disqualified in joining the promo.
  • Winners will be notified through registered mail, FB post, and a call from a GCash representative.
  • Prizes will be delivered to the winners as reflected in their registered address.
  • Final taxes on the cash credit prizes as well as the registration and other related expenses on the vehicle will be shouldered by GCash.
  • Winners can claim the prize until 60 days from the receipt of notification, unclaimed prizes should be forfeited.

DTI-FTEB-SPD Permit No. 15271 Series of 2016

Source: Press release from Globe Telecom

Image from source.

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Globe, Cebuana Lhuillier, Mynt Partner to Help Filipinos Gain More Financial Services

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Globe, Cebuana Lhuillier, Mynt Partner to Help Filipinos Gain More Financial Services 1

“Financial inclusion” is the byword that this event presented the members of media, including Miniphilippines. To achieve this, it meant the need for innovative offerings, the value of convergence and the importance of technology.

At the F1 Hotel in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City, Globe Telecom, Cebuana Lhuillier and Mynt agreed to partner together, and work together, to realize financial inclusion that helps Filipinos gain more access to the many financial services banks offer but are limiting to the average citizen, as well as business-to-business solutions that benefit micro, small and medium enterprises or MSME in the country.

Globe Telecom, Cebuana Lhuillier and Mynt partnership was presented this afternoon by Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu, Cebuana Lhuillier President & CEO Jean Henri Lhuillier, and G-Xchange President Albert Tinio, the latter of which is a subsidiary of Globe’s financial services unit, Mynt. To clarify this article even more, the commonly known micro-service payment affiliated to Globe called GCash will play a major role in this tripartite partnership.

Using Cebuana Lhuillier’s thousands of branches nationwide, GCash customers can now perform both cash-in and cash-out transactions in any of these 1,800 centers. There are solutions being developed that will allow GCash account holders to pay for Fuse loans and receive international remittances.

Both Globe and Cebuana Lhuillier have their own loyalty programs or the use of rewards points to compensate each of their loyal customers. Because of the Globe, Cebuana Lhuillier and Mynt partnership, Filipino patrons can convert these rewards points between loyalty programs.

In addition, also under development are programs like cross-selling of Cebuana Lhuillier’s microinsurance product, development of donation channels for Cebuana Lhuillier’s chosen beneficiaries, real-time posting of Globe Bills, reselling of Globe AMAX, and a mass market postpaid product, to name some.

Globe, Cebuana Lhuillier, Mynt Partner to Help Filipinos Gain More Financial Services 2

Ernest Cu: “The idea is to disrupt the traditional banking system of having to personally go to a bank, fill out forms, fall in line and pay for bills or deposit money. This initiative will create an avenue for the companies to leverage on each other’s strengths and capabilities to create a better financial system for the consumers.”

Jean Henri Lhuillier: “This undertaking is a great opportunity to address the financial concerns of many Filipinos, especially those in unbanked and underbanked communities which is very aligned to what we do as a company. I am glad that Cebuana Lhuillier, together with Globe and Mynt, is taking this big step to revolutionize the way we serve our mutual clients. I am certain that this partnership will positively impact the lives of many individuals.”

Globe Telecom presently has about 65 million mobile subscribers, while Cebuana Lhuillier has over 1,800 branches in the Philippines, and Mynt is a FinTech startup wholly-owned by Globe that offers a range of key financial services. Altogether, these three giants will be able to help Filipinos really gain a lot of conveniences and options when it comes it comes to personal and small business financial services, currently limiting or otherwise.

Sources: Press conference | Press release from Globe’s Corporate Communications Group

Photos by @miniphils | L-R: Ernest Cu, Jean Henri Lhuillier and Albert Tinio

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

November 11, 2016 at 3:10 pm

Posted in Banking & Finance, ICT

Tagged with , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Miss Saigon 25th Year Anniversary Special Screening on November 14th

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Miss Saigon 25th Year Anniversary Special Screening on November 14th

Twenty-five (25) years after Lea Salonga, Simon Bowman, and Jonathan Pryce performed for the first time in front of a sold-out audience at London’s Prince Edward Theatre, Filipino fans can now get a chance to watch the Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Special Screening this November 14th at select SM Cinemas.

Miss Saigon tells the tragic story of 17-year-old Kim and American soldier Christopher “Chris” Scott in the 1970s during the Vietnam War. Our very own artists like Rachelle Ann Go (as Gigi) and Tanya Manalang (an alternative of Kim) were also part of the West End revival which closed on February 2016 after more than 700 shows. The cast also includes Jon Jon Briones as The Engineer, Eva Noblezada as Kim, Alistair Brammer as Chris, Hugh Maynard as John, and Tamsin Carroll as Ellen. There will be a 35-minute preview of the 25th anniversary gala with Lea Salonga, Simon Bowman, and Jonathan Pryce.

Witness this once-in-a-lifetime experience of the Miss Saigon 25th Anniversary Special Screening thru PMCM Events Management. This Movie Block Screening will be held on November 14 (Monday) at 7:30pm in SM Megamall Cinema 1.

Reserve your seats now! PMCM Events Management can only accommodate 300 guests.

PROMO: Buy 5 seats, get 1 free.

For ticket sales and more information, please SMS/text message 0917-834-4978 or call their landline numbers via (02) 505-3746 or (02) 501-0029.

Source: PMCM Events Management

Image from source.

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