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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 tourism.gov.ph 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 www.visitph2015.com.

Sources and references of text: Globe Press Release | tourism.gov.ph | AT&T

Photos and images: Globe Press Release | tourism.gov.ph | @raffypekson #capturebyKata

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 29, 2015 at 4:17 pm

Posted in Government & Politics, ICT, Travel & Tourism

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Best Travel Photographer Contest Launched by AirAsia and Nikon

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AirAsia in cooperation with ThinkDharma Inc., the exclusive distributor of Nikon cameras, got together to launch the first AirAsia Travel Photographer for 2015. Four newbie photographers and office workers will be coached and assisted by multi-awarded photographers from the Philippines and Malaysia as they all travel across Asia for one week starting July 21, 2015.

AirAsia Philippines Chairperson Maan Hontiveros was present during Thursday’s event held at the function rooms of ActiveFun in Bonifacio Global City. She introduced the four mentors and coaches of the contest, namely:

George Tapan – a self-taught photographer, Tapan served as director of photography of Philippine Airlines Mabuhay Magazine for eight years, won the ASEAN Tourism Association Award in 1999, won the gold prize for Pacific Asia Tourism Association twice, and first place in the Places Category for the National Geographic Photo Contest in 2011.

Christian Raymond Cruz – a graphic designer and one of the pioneers of landscape photography in the Philippines, also a self-taught photographer who spent the last seven years traveling the country and the world to capture the best nature scenery, and spends time sharing his knowledge and experience under the Redefining Vision Landscape Photography Workshops.

Philip Anthonie (Parc) Cruz – started as a hobbyist photographer in 2005, Cruz spent a lot of time tagging along with other photographers until he found his niche – portraits and cinematic shots. He is a privileged part of Nikon’s pool of endorsers and has since traveled around the Philippines and the world while imparting and encouraging other photo hobbyists to develop their creativity through visual images.

Adam Lee – an award-winning portrait and travel photographer who was trained in Los Angeles, he spent the last seven years assisting organizations to use photography as a means to tell stories and build communities. Lee is AirAsia’s resident photographer who contributes a large portion of his work to the airline’s in-flight magazine, marketing and communications, social media and brand management. Lee has won three silver awards and two honorable mentions in the Prix de la Photographie Paris 2014 competition and awarded the 27th ASEANTA Award of Excellence for Best Asean Tourism Photo in 2013.

The selected newbie photographers who will partner with these four photography masters are:

Marie Velvet Lagman-Macasaet – Marie is 36-year old an Executive Assistant to the SVP and Country Manager of VXI Global Solutions and mom to a 5-year old boy named Paco. She recently finished a half-marathon and bathing in an onsen (Japanese hot spring) while backpacking in Tokyo. She enjoys hiking, trekking and scuba diving. She is partnered with Coach Adam Lee.

Sarah T. Garcia – Sarah is a Front Office Agent at the Lancaster Hotel n Madaluyong City and loves to eat, love everything extraordinary and loves art. She is partnered with Coach George Tapan.

Paul Vincent Delfin – Paul is a Barista of Starbucks at the Greenbelt 3 branch. He’s into Indie music, loves football and loves long trips. He is an eager photography enthusiast as a form of art. He is partnered with Coach Parc Cruz.

Antonio Nepomuceno III – a marketing professional of Toyota in Taytay, Rizal, he is definitely a car enthusiast who is outgoing and loves the company of people, a necessity for his type of job. He is partnered with Coach Raymond Cruz.

Each team will be traveling around some exotic places in Hong Kong, Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand to help everyone capture their best entries in categories that include landscape, food, portrait, architecture and travel. Winners will be awarded with over 200,000 BIG Points, AirAsia’s global loyalty program, or its equivalent free flights to any of AirAsia’s 100 destinations.

Online voting through www.airasiatravelphotographer.com will be opened to the public starting August 20, 2015 with Nikon cameras and BIG Points to be given away to lucky voters. The grand winner will be announced on September 11, 2015.

During the launch, AirAsia and Nikon drew lots to pick four lucky bloggers who will accompany each team in their respective trips to Asian destinations. My colleague in the Philippine Bloggers Network or PBNet Edel Santiago of The Kitchen Goddess blog won a spot among the four chosen bloggers.

Source: Press release – Manila, 16 July 2015

All photos by @raffypekson

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

July 23, 2015 at 12:01 am

Posted in Fashion & Lifestyle, Food & Beverage, Incentives & Promotions, News & Articles, People, Planes, Transportation, Travel & Tourism

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Did You Know That Globe Has a Flat Rate for Unlimited Data Roaming Service for Prepaid Customers

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Globe Telecom has been offering its flat rate for unlimited data roaming service of P599 per day to its prepaid customers, providing over 97% of its total mobile customer base uninterrupted access to the internet in over 50 countries worldwide—over 4 times bigger than the footprint of competition.

With Globe Prepaid Roam Surf, prepaid customers can access the internet abroad for an entire 24-hour cycle, making their data connectivity experience more seamless and worry-free.

Prepaid customers traveling to Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, China, Croatia, Czech Republic, Dominican Republic, Estonia, Fiji, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Indonesia, Japan, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Macau, Malaysia, Mexico, Nauru, Netherlands, Panama, Poland, Portugal, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Singapore, Slovakia, South Africa, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey, UAW, Uganda, United Kingdom, and USA can avail of Globe Prepaid Roam Surf.

Roam Surf for Globe Prepaid offers customers the ability to choose from three variants,

  • P599 for 24 hours
  • P1797 for 3 full days
  • P2995 for 5 full days

Customers can dial *143# and access the International and Roaming menu to register to the service without having to memorize registration keywords.

In 2014, Globe launched the flat rate for unlimited data roaming service of P599 per day to its postpaid customers, paving the way for a boost in its data roaming business with its customer base growing by two-fold as a result of strong take-up of the service and the increasing appetite for data connectivity while abroad.

Source of text from globe.com.ph.

Photo from globe.com.ph.

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San Miguel Corporation to Buy Shares of Esso Malaysia, Local ExxonMobil Companies

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San Miguel Corporation, today’s conglomerate in the Philippines, is planning to acquire 65 percent of Esso Malaysia or 175.5 million shares from ExxonMobil International Holdings, including two local ExxonMobil companies, for more than 600 million USD. This acquisition adds to the portfolio of oil refining and marketing businesses outside the Philippines that San Miguel owns or has shares with.

Esso Malaysia has about 560 retail stations in Malaysia. Currently, San Miguel also owns 68 percent of Petron Corporation, the largest oil refining company in the Philippines.

Read more at The Star Online

Photo by nafim at Flickr.com

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Written by Raffy Pekson II

August 18, 2011 at 3:50 pm