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Posts Tagged ‘Davao

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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GMR-Megawide Consortium Bids to Manage 5 Airports in Philippines

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The Philippine government in December 2012 initiated an international competitive bidding process for the management and development of the Mactan Cebu International Airport or MCIA. In December 2013, GMR Infrastructure in partnership with Megawide Construction Corporation of Philippines emerged as the highest bidder after offering a bid premium of 14.4 billion Philippine Pesos (approximately US$ 320 million). The consortium, called GMR Megawide Consortium (GMCAC), has taken full operational control for the renovation and modernization of MCIA in November 2014.

Now, GMCAC is in a race with five other companies to acquire operations of five other airports in the country worth 108.19 billion Pesos or US$ 2.4 billion under the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) model.

As defined by, PPP is a contractual agreement between the Philippine Government and a private firm targeted towards financing, designing, implementing and operating infrastructure facilities and services that were traditionally provided by the public sector. It embodies optimal risk allocation between the parties – minimizing cost while realizing project developmental objectives. Thus, the project is to be structured in such a way that the private sector gets a reasonable rate of return on its investment.

These PPP projects include the development, operations and maintenance of the five regional airports. The airports involved are located in the following cities:

  • Bacolod-Silay
  • Iloilo
  • Davao
  • Laguindingan
  • New Bohol (Panglao)

GMR was founded by G.M Rao of India and has since then evolved as a major player in the global infrastructure sector, particularly in high growth areas such as airports, energy, transportation and urban infrastructure. GMR operates two airports in India and one in Cebu, 15 power generation assets, 6 operations highways, a foray of property development and construction, promotion of sports teams, and various corporate social responsibility (CSR) projects in education, health and hygiene, and community development.

Megawide Construction Corporation is a publicly-listed construction firm in the Philippines and is recognized for its use of advanced construction methods and technology. The company’s brand of engineering excellence has turned it into the country’s leading construction firm. Its vision, innovation and commitment of a group of young, dynamic and highly trained engineers. Megawide projects include residential, office and commercial, hotels and casinos, PPP and social infrastructures, mixed use and industrial infrastructures. Michael Cosiquien is Megawide’s Chairman and CEO while Edgar Saavedra is its President and COO.

Sources: | | |

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Paris Hilton to Visit Philippines Soon

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Paris Hilton will soon be visiting Manila and is looking forward to seeing her fans out there! Check back on her website for more updates and an official announcement on August 17th!

The Paris Hilton Brand already has three existing stores in the Philippines: Robinson Place, Newport City Mall and Abreeza Mall in Davao City. These stores offer her Handbags & Accessories line, including fragrances and watches.

Last week, her website announced a brand new Paris Hilton store that opened it’s doors for the first time this week in SM MegaMall. This will be the 4th store to open in the Philippines.



Kadayawan sa Davao Festival

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The 24th Kadayawan sa Davao, an annual thanksgiving celebration for a bountiful harvests centered on the importance of “communion with the Earth.” The festival has two main components: the Lumadnong Kasaulogan (Indigenous Peoples Festival), which is the core of the Kadayawan Festival showcasing the indigenous peoples’ culture and arts and the Subay sa Lumadnong Kagikan (Contemporary Indigenous-motivated celebrations) that showcases the impact of the indigenous culture and traditions to contemporary artists and communities. The Kadayawan sa Davao is celebrated from August 17 to 23.

Source: CBCP News

Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 23, 2009 at 11:49 pm