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Posts Tagged ‘Cebu

Globe Gives Away Free SIM Cards to All Foreign Tourists and OFWs

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Globe Telecom, in partnership with Tourism Promotions Board of the Philippines, announced today to give away free SIM cards to all foreign tourists and Overseas Contract Workers (OFW) visiting or coming back to the country, respectively. Starting tomorrow, July 30, 2015, Globe will start issuing the free SIM cards to incoming foreign tourists and OFWs through its booths inside the airports of NAIA, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Iloilo, and Clark. Tourists can present their non-Philippine passports or foreign resident cards, while OFWs can show their Seaman’s book or OFW E-card. This free SIM cards promo will end on December 31, 2015.

So, how many free SIM cards is that going to be? Roughly about 2.23 million!

The Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) is the marketing arm of the Philippine’s Department of Tourism (DOT). The board was tasked to promote the Philippines as the top tourist destination in Asia through its “Visit the Philippines Year 2015” tourism campaign, with a goal of garnering 5.5 million foreign tourists arriving in the Philippines. With this goal, it has partnered with Globe Telecom, the first telecommunications company it has done so, through the International Business Group of the telecom giant to offer various services to the millions of tourists visiting the Philippines, and for the OFWs returning home. The two entities conducted the formal contract signing at the Aracama in the Fort Strip of Bonifacio Global City, Taguig City this morning in front of a backdrop that said:

Staying Connected – More Fun in the Philippines.

Buffet lunch at Aracama was served with the main course being three kinds of lechon: Original lechon, Spanish lechon and Truffle lechon. Of course, I tried all three and concluded the Spanish style was the best tasting one. Kudos to Chef Fernando Aracama for this kind of gastronomic treat!

After lunch, Tracy Abad opened the event by describing who the two entities were and a description of the partnership that was about to happen. However, I was still curious if what they were going to announce was a smartphone app, a website or something else. Tracy Abad is currently the morning show host for Mellow 94.7, a Philippine FM radio station. She was the TV show host with the now-discontinued QTV of GMA Network.

Opening remarks were delivered by the representing officers of both entities. First on the stage was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of TPB Domingo Ramon Enerio III who gave a synapse of inbound tourism in the country.

Summarizing what he said, there were a total of 2.23 million tourists who arrived in the Philippines between January and May this year, an 8.15% leap compared to last year of the same period. The average stay of a tourist in the country is 10 nights and the average tourist spends more than $100 a day. That’s a whooping 93.9 billion Pesos in tourism earnings for the first five months of 2015.

I did some Google-ing (is there such a word?) and found out that between 1991 and 2015, the highest recorded foreign arrivals in the country was December last year at 487,654 tourists while the lowest recorded foreign arrivals was February of 1991 at 63,628. Also during the event, Enerio enumerated the top 10 countries for incoming foreign tourists come from, mainly:

  1. Korea
  2. USA
  3. Japan
  4. China
  5. Australia
  6. Singapore
  7. Canada
  8. Taiwan
  9. UK
  10. Malaysia

But another Google-ing led me to and the top spending markets based on visitor earnings were not the same. The top three countries in the government website was the same but the 4th highest was listed as Australia, not China which was in 5th place. Then, it was more different for the 6th to 9th place, namely: (6) Canada, (7) UK, (8) Singapore, and (9) Spain. Taiwan was missing from the website’s top 10 list. Okay, maybe I’m reading the stats on the website differently.

After Enerio, the Senior Vice President for International Business of Globe Telecom Rizza Maniego-Eala entered the stage and spoke of the need to help the promotions board hit their 5.5 million tourist target, and Globe’s role to do so. This is when she announced their intent to give away free SIM cards to every incoming foreign tourist and OFW – the first campaign in a series of more campaigns to come.

Called the Globe Traveler SIM, it is a local prepaid SIM card that offers the same services as every prepaid customer of Globe enjoys – local rates for calls, text messaging, and mobile internet services, giving foreign tourists and OFWs a more cost-efficient way to communicate and connect rather than using an international number which charges expensive roaming rates for calling, text messaging and internet browsing while in the Philippines. For example, they can use the Globe Traveler SIM and call the U.S. for as low as $0.40 per minute. That’s low compared to high roaming charges – for example, AT&T would bill an American $2.50 per minute to call from the Philippines to anywhere in the world, including home country USA.

Eala adds, “We are happy to be the first telco partner of the Tourism Promotions Board in their thrust to make the Philippines the ultimate destination hub for tourists worldwide. Offering free SIMs is our way of helping travelers further enjoy their stay by enabling easy, affordable and hassle-free communications.”

A question-and-answer portion followed for people in media and guests to ask for more information about the partnership. Then, a table was set where both Enerio and Eala sat down to formally sign the partnership contracts while everyone witnessed, video-taped and snapped photos of the moment.

For more information on the FREE Globe Traveler SIM, please visit the Globe Traveler SIM website. For jetsetters, backpackers, and thrill-seekers, Visit the Philippines Year 2015 provides a year-round calendar guide for all adventures, whether it be food trips, walking tours, or festivals. For information on activities and events, please log on to

Sources and references of text: Globe Press Release | | AT&T

Photos and images: Globe Press Release | | @raffypekson #capturebyKata


Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Government & Politics, ICT, Travel & Tourism

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Alorica Philippines to Open New Center in Cebu

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U.S. outsourcer Alorica is opening a new customer service call center in the Philippine province of Cebu.

The new center represents Alorica’s growing presence in the Philippines. Alorica already employees some 3,000 people in the Philippines and plans to significantly increase that number in the next year. “Opening a new facility, offering employment and career growth opportunities is always exciting to announce,” Alorica chairman Andy Lee said.

Alorica Incorporated is a call center company with 36 facilities worldwide. Established in 1999, the company has grown to twenty-thousand employees. Currently, the company is headquartered is in Chino, California.

Read more at Fifth Quadrant

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

February 23, 2012 at 9:43 am

82 Tourist Police Deployed in Central Philippines

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Photo by Blackmantis (R.L.Black) at

Eighty-two new tourist police officers were recently deployed in tourist spots around the Central Visayas. The officers will man tourist police assistance centers in Cebu, Lapu-Lapu City, Bohol, Negros Oriental and Siquijor. In addition to being trained in the usual skills to aid tourists, the police were taught scuba diving so they can assist in ocean emergencies. Another 60 officers are being trained for duty on Cebu because the province has so many beach resorts.

Source: World Travel Watch

Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 27, 2010 at 4:49 pm

Philippine Cities Cebu, Makati, Quezon City, Mandaluyong in Top Global Outsourcing Lists

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Cebu City hits the number one spot in’s Top 50 Emerging Global Outsourcing Cities. Shanghai and Beijing cities, both in China, followed Cebu City in the list. Makati City, on the other hand, makes the 8th place in the Top 8 Global Outsourcing Centers. This list includes (from the top) Bangalore, Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mumbai and Pune, all from India, and Dublin in Ireland.

There are also two Philippine cities that is part of the 2008 Top 50 newly-emerging outsourcing hotspots, namely, Quezon City (21st) and Mandaluyong City (45th).

The studies’ overall ranking are based on the following location assessment categories: scale and quality of workforce, cost, business catalyst, risk profile, infrastructure availability, and quality of life. Also, the “choice city” has now given way to “choice of country.”

The lists are according to a study by CyberMedia’s Global Services and investment advisory firm Tholons.


Written by Raffy Pekson II

October 12, 2009 at 6:43 am

Qantas Holidays and Viva! Holidays in the Philippines

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Qantas Holidays and Viva! Holidays announce the release of the new Philippines product range. As the only major wholesaler currently selling the 2009/2010 range of Philippines holiday packages, the focus is on offering a ‘one stop shop’ option for agents and their clients. A comprehensive selection of almost 30 different hotels spread across regions including Manila, Cebu, Mactan Island, Boracay, Palawan and Bohol, giving agents the opportunity to create unique and varied holidays for honeymooners, couples, adventure travellers and families. Options include packages such as five nights accommodation including breakfast at the Boracay Regency Beach Resort from $460 per person, twin share. Valid for travel on selected dates from 31 August – 30 September 2009.

For more information or to book, call 13 27 87 or visit

Source: Travel Blackboard.

Written by Raffy Pekson II

September 1, 2009 at 5:27 pm

New BPO Center in Cebu

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724Care Inc. is a premier provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) services. The US company has reportedly opened a new call center in Cebu Philippines to accommodate increasing demand from a range of international clients. Nikolai Boutvine, CEO of 724Care, says his clients are very pleased with the Cebu talent as it relies on the recruitment and training of qualified call center personnel. Founded in 2006, 724Care is currently focusing on the sales inbound voice support and non-voice based segment of contact center services.

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

May 28, 2009 at 3:14 pm

First “Green” IT Building Opens in Cebu

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The Philippines’ first “Green” IT building will open its 9-story, 100,000 square-foot building next month in Cebu. It will be located at the North Reclamation area located in Mandaue City. Robinland, Inc., the owner of the new building, says BPO companies and other locators can save on utility costs as the building boasts to be efficient in the consumption of energy and water, besides the materials used to build the ediffice. Solar energy, efficient use of new aircondition equipment, cooling processes that block external heat and other technologies will be implemented in the said building.

Click here to read the Business World article.

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

May 28, 2009 at 12:14 pm