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Archive for June 2014

Free Calls for LINE Philippines Subscribers

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Beginning Tuesday, June 17, 2014 until July 1, 2014, LINE Philippines will offer its Philippine subscribers LINE Premium Call Credits (up to 300 credits in total) that will allow users of the mobile messenger app free calls to any fixed/land line or mobile phone in the world. In addition to this, LINE users will get an exclusive LINE sticker set by sending LINE messages during the promo period.

The maximum number of FREE call credits a LINE user can receive in one (1) day is 100 call credits. Maximum number of FREE call credits a LINE user can receive during the duration of the promo is 300 call credits, equivalent to up to 30 minutes worth of calls to any mobile or landline number in the world. Credits will be valid for 30 days.

LINE Free Calls promo is open to all existing and new LINE users in the Philippines using Android (LINE version 4.1 and above) or iOS (LINE version 4.2 and above) using mobile phones only. Only those who registered their mobile numbers on LINE are eligible to avail of the promo.

In addition, LINE will raffle off premium items such as ten (10) LINE USBs and one (1) SAMSUNG Galaxy S5 per day from June 17 to July 1, 2014 only (for a total of 150 LINE USBs and 15 S5s). Qualified entries are your LINE messages sent during the day. Entries will be refreshed daily throughout the promo period. The more messages sent via LINE, the higher the chances of winning.

Randomly chosen via electronic raffle, winners will be announced via the LINE Philippines Official Account and the LINE Philippines official Facebook page . Winners will also receive a private message for verification and prize redemption procedures.

To download LINE, visit for more info.

About LINE

LINE Corporation is an ISO-certified Japanese company, a subsidiary of South Korean company Naver Corporation. The company’s business is mainly associated with the development of mobile applications and internet services. LINE is a smartphone app which allows users to make calls and messaging with other LINE users, both nationally and internationally. The service was launched in June 2011, and it is being used in 230 countries around the world.

Sources: wikipedia | press release from @prasiaworldwide.

Photos and images from @prasiaworldwide and @linephilippines.


MiniPhilippines Introduces the New MINI by MINI Philippines

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Now, that’s a lot of minis!

Friends in the digital media world kid me aside that I should sell my MiniPhilippines domain name to MINI Philippines, even just for an entry-level MINI which costs only P2.1 million. I quipped I’d be happy with that. Who knows?

But that’s not the story here. It’s about MINI Cooper, the car.

Driving in a MINI Cooper S to the MINI Global City showroom

Driving to the MINI showroom

The Philippine Bloggers Network was invited to an early announcement of “The New MINI.” But there was no fan fair, no bells and whistles, no glitz and glamour, and no celebrity hosts. It was just cocktails and dinner with good food at Vyne, Hyve’s boutique restaurant and gastropub in the heart of Bonifacio Global City, light banter with the management team of MINI Philippines (Owee Cruz, Mae Valdez, Richard Alarcon, Ryan Watson, Willy Tee Ten and Mike Chua), a few photo ops and a quick drive to MINI Philippines’ BGC showroom in a Cooper S (or was it a Paceman?) That was Monday.

The hush-hush secret before today (and today is Wednesday) is the unveiling of the new generation MINI. Okay, I know some of you (like most of us) only know the MINI because of its popularity in “The Italian Job.” I only know the MINI because of Charlize Therone. Okay, now I’m kidding. But yes, Mark Wahlberg and his Ocean’s six team all drove MINI Coopers (actually, only the red MINI was a Cooper S; the others were Coopers) in that remake heist film which was also the highest-grossing film produced by Paramount in 2003. The classic MINI made a cameo appearance driven by Charlize. Ayayay!

Raffy Pekson inside one of the MINI Cooper at the MINI Global City showroom

At the showroom showing off in a MINI Cooper


Mini (styled MINI) is both the name of a subsidiary of BMW, and a car produced by that subsidiary since 2001. The car is marketed as a “retro” redesign of the original Mini, and manufactured in Cowley, Oxford, United Kingdom, in what was historically the Morris car plant.

The MINI (yes, that name stays all-caps for the official styled branding) is now a subsidiary of BMW and the car is marketed as a retro design of the original Mini and manufactured in the old Morris car plant. Morris and Austin were the two manufacturers of the first Mini cars. For the curious history buff, BMW actually made a curious decision to buy Britain’s beleaguered Rover Group in 1994. Things didn’t pan out that well and in 2000 BMW decided to dump all of the Rover’s brands except one: Mini. The rest is history.

MINI Cooper cabin showing off the front panel from the passenger's view

The new design of the spacious interior of a MINI Cooper

Going back to MINI Philippines, the new kid in town is the souped up version of the popular old version of the MINI Cooper and MINI Cooper S, to wit:

  • MINI Twin Power turbo technology engine
  • BMW patented Valvetronic variable valve control system
  • Better driving performance
  • Improved fuel consumption and reduced emission levels as much as 27 percent from predecessor versions
  • Enhanced six-speed dynamics
  • New automatic engine start/stop function – now this is something to reckon for!
  • Optimized weight and aerodynamic drag
  • Brake energy recuperation
  • Energy-efficient electromechanical power steering
  • Active cooling air flaps
  • Extensive underbody trim
  • Optimized suspension technology
  • New driving modes in mid, sport or green mode
  • Better ambient lighting
  • Improved LED center displays
  • Debut of Dynamic Damper Control
  • Bigger exterior proportions for better agility and ride comfort
  • Innovative driver assistance systems like the new MINI Heads-Up-Display
  • Camera-based cruise control and distance control function
  • Collision and pedestrian warning system with initial brake function

The Philippine Bloggers Network with the management team of MINI Philippines

There is a host underlying detailed descriptions and adjacent addenda to each of items I listed above. Each one of us have our own pet peeves when it comes to cars, much less this retro-styled subcompact car that’s better than your average subcompact. The United States automobile ranking system scores the 2014 MINI Cooper as:

  • Affordable Small Cars (#17)
  • Affordable Subcompact Cars (#8)
  • Hatchbacks (#17)
  • Affordable Convertibles (#4 but it hasn’t been introduced in the Philippines… yet!)

The all-new 2014 MINI Cooper is said to have a good nimble handling that makes it a lot of fun to drive. The cabin is as classy as a BMW in a subcompact environment.



Standard Features:

Servotronic, 15” light alloy wheels Heli Spoke silver, Roof and mirror caps white,  Floor Mats in Velour,  Warning Triangle, Height adjustment for front passenger speed, Storage compartment package,  Colour Line Carbon Black, Interior Surfaces Hazy Grey, MINI Excitement Package, Fog lights, Rain Sensor, Automatic Airconditioning, Speedometer with kilometer reading, On board computer,  Lights package, Rear Fog light,  Bluetooth Handsfree Interface,  White Turn Indicators, Pepper Package, Cloth Firework upholstery.

Retail Price (incl. VAT): Php 2,100,000


Standard Features:

Servotronic, Multifunction for Steering Wheel, 17” light alloy wheels Tentacle spoke Silver, Sport Automatic transmission, Performance Control, Leather steering Wheel, Bonnet stripes, Floor mats in Velour, Warning Triangle, Height adjustment for front passenger seat, Sport seats for driver and passenger, Storage compartment Package, Color Line Carbon Black, Interior Surfaces Black Checkered, MINI Excitement Package, MINI Driving modes, Rain Sensor, Automatic Air conditioning, Cruise Control with breaking function, Speedometer with Kilometer reading, On board computer, Lights Package, LED Fog lights, LED Headlights, Rear Fog light, Radio MINI Visual Boost, MINI Connected, White Turn Indicators, Chilli Package, Cloth/Leather combination Diamond.

Retail Price (incl. VAT): P2,600,000

Note the following terms and conditions:

  • Warranty coverage: 2 years unlimited mileage.
  • Price is subject to confirmation upon order.
  • Does not include LTO registration (Php 15,000) and motor vehicle insurance.
  • Price and specifications are subject to change without prior notice

So, is it a good deal or what? Come by the MINI Philippines showroom at the corner of 5th Avenue and 26th Street in Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City now and experience the pleasure of driving home a great subcompact yet very stylish car.

And who says it’s only got to be an Italian Job?

British United Automobiles, Inc.
5th Ave. and 26th St., Bonifacio Global City
Taguig City 1634

Photos by MINI Philippines | Ted Claudio | @raffypekson


Written by Raffy Pekson II

June 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

Posted in Lifestyle, Transportation

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BBC Travel Show Features The Philippines

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Episode 14 of The Travel Show was aired on BBC News just last May 25, 2014.

Rajan Datar heads to the Philippines, a country recently in the eye of one of the worst storms ever, to see how locals are turning unparalleled disasters into an opportunity.

He heads to the busy metropolis of Manila to explore its cutting-edge music scene, learns how to direct traffic with a dancing policeman, and gets up close and personal with the world’s oldest living primate, the tarsier.

Rajan Datar has been host of fast:track, and now its successor The Travel Show, for six years, travelling to over 50 countries on five continents. Currently he is the presenter and writer of Country Direct – half-hour special travelogue documentaries.

Source: YouTube | BBC | BBC

Image from BBC.


Philippine Airlines Giving Away 116 Free Tickets Today Only

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On the 116th anniversary of the Philippine independence (that’s today), Philippine Airlines or PAL will be raffling off 116 free flights or free tickets.

You will need a Facebook account as entry form is inside their Facebook Page /FlyPAL.

For desktop/laptop users, click here to join PAL116FreeFlights.

For smartphone/tablet users, click here to join PAL116FreeFlights.

Good luck!


Photo from source.


WordPress Founder Matt Mullenweg Visits the Philippines

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Monday June 9, 2014 was a historic day for many of the WordPress bloggers, developers and enthusiasts who trekked to The Globe Tower in Bonifacio Global City to meet Matt Mullenweg, the creator, founder and developer of WordPress, the widely used open source blogging tool, publishing platform and content management system (CMS) based on popular web programming language PHP and database structure MySQL. This cross-platform blogging software is free to download, use and alter under the GNU GPLv2 public license.

Though largely developed by the community surrounding it, WordPress is closely associated with Automattic, the company founded by Matt Mullenweg. On September 2010, Automattic handed the WordPress trademark to the newly created WordPress Foundation, which is an umbrella organization supporting (including the software and archives for Plugins and Themes). As a free and open source platform, WordPress relies on peer support. Its primary support website is This support website hosts both WordPress Codex, the online manual for WordPress and a living repository for WordPress information and documentation, and WordPress Forums, an active online community of WordPress users.

WordPress is being used by more than 22 percent of the top 10 million websites. Notable customers as seen it its “Showcase” web page are TechCrunch, Sony Music,, Fortune, Time Inc., Beyonce, Google Ventures, Facebook Newsroom, Justin Bieber, The New York Times, CNN, Forbes, Reuters, General Motors, UPS, eBay, Best Buy, Katy Perry, Jay-Z, Izod, Samsung, and Mashable. The list has thousands of name brands.

The event at The Globe Tower last Monday was the third visit of Mullenweg to the Philippines. His Philippine team in Automattic is actually based in Davao and that was his first visit. He has also gone to Cebu but has not had the chance to tour the country much less the sights. Light food and iced tea were served by the host, Globe Telecom and the entire event took more than three hours, capping it off with a long line of attendees wanting to get a photograph with Mullenweg and some for his autograph.

Some information taken from

Photos by @raffypekson.


Professional Bloggers Taking it to the Next Level

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Below is an excerpt from about the announcement and press release communication piece of the Philippine Bloggers Network.

Manila, Philippines. June 7, 2014.  The Internet and mobile landscape is developing in such a rapid pace, it’s like melted mercury that is absorbed in every country in the planet. In this digital age, internet and social media users increase in number every second, thus making online publishing and digital marketing a very effective communication tool for an individual, company and organization. The publicity is immediate, viral, and the reach is unlimited.

Online publishers and bloggers have been cropping up over the past decade, and many of them are presently great influencers or endorsers of products and brands. These top bloggers have a great following, boasting of a worldwide audience.

The Birth of Philippine Bloggers Network #PBNet

A group of fifteen (15) Filipino online publishers came together as one force to form Philippine Bloggers Network (“PBNet”), an organization that aims to professionalize the blogging industry. Taking blogs or online publishing to the next level, PBNet is a solid mass marketing group to any business and clientele, who are seeking premium and professional online communication services.

Read the entire announcement at

Photo from source.


U.S. Interested in Philippine Due to Its Economic Growth

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Philippine President Benigno Aquino III gestures while talking to visiting U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker during her visit to the presidential palace in Manila on June 4. –Reuters

U.S. Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker told the Wall Street Journal that the United States is very much interested in expanding its economic footprint in the Philippines beside militarily.

The lift-off of the Philippine economy has clearly piqued American interest, with the Philippines’ gross domestic product – hitting $250 billion in 2012 – set to top $1 trillion by 2030, the Wall Street Journal wrote.

“We see that there’s a plethora of sectors where U.S. businesses could be more active here in the Philippines,” Ms. Pritzker told The Wall Street Journal, listing infrastructure, telecoms and healthcare as areas in which American businesses could thrive.

Read more at The Wall Street Journal Blogs.

Photo from source.