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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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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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Globe Project Wonderful Yields Wonderful Results

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I was privileged to be invited in another of Globe’s event, this time, introducing the collaboration of Globe with the online music giant Spotify. It was hosted by no other than Andi Manzano and Rikki Flores, online stars themselves and mainstay hosts of top FM radio Magic 89.9. I said hello to Andi during her break and talked about, oh well, anything under the stars. She’s still up to her blogging activity besides being a radio deejay, event host and newly wed.

But I’m digressing. Going back to the event, Globe Telecom’s Project Wonderful consists of three things:

  • Nation-building,
  • Culture-building and
  • Brand-building.

All told, its campaign has yielded a 9% growth in the first quarter of 2014 in revenue and income, and that in its thrust to create a wonderful world.

Spotify is a collaboration of Globe with the world’s biggest music platform. Being a music-over-the-web geek myself, I’d rather listen to web radio than have to decide what playlist to create and listen to. Spotify hits the spot for people like me, letting the platform decide the playlist based on my mood. This brings Spotify to the smartphone with Globe’s consumable mobile internet data plan GoSURF available to prepaid, postpaid and Tattoo-prepaid, an on-the-go service with free access to Spotify.

GoUNLI20 gives prepaid customers unlimited calls to Globe and TM customers, 15MB of data, and 20 texts to all networks for P20 a day.

With the popularity of Samsung Galaxy S5 gaining ground in the Philippines (CNet reports 11 million S5 phones sold since its April launch), Globe is offering the S5 for as low as P1,699 a month with its mySUPERPLAN, complete with a five-month subscription to Spotify Premium. There’s also a Galaxy Forever Plan 1599, Plan 1999 and Plan 2499 for those who want to get the latest Samsung Galaxy S every year.

The broadband brand Tattoo gets a kick with a Fiber-Fast home broadband connection ranging from 10 Mbps up to 150 Mbps available through Tattoo Platinum. Too bad my current condominium in Bonifacio Global City can only accommodate up to 3 Mbps. So, not all locations can avail of that high-speed connectivity. I wonder when I can get 150 Mbps at home?

Being a small business advocate, I’d rather focus on Globe’s myBusiness solutions built for small and medium enterprises (or SMEs), specifically their CCTV product and Globe Charge, an innovative smartphone-based point-of-sale (POS) device you attach to your mobile phone. And Globe partnered with Google to offer Google Apps for Business. I’m not sure how that’s done since the latter is available to anyone in the world in Google’s website. It’s probably a billing intergration thing but I’m just guessing.

Going international, Globe also offers local numbers in select countries for overseas and migrant Filipinos (or OFWs) so that they can call their in-country number that gets routed to their family in the Philippines. I believe they’ve established that kind of service in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Spain, Japan and South Korea. Adding to this, the Globe International Business Group that is handling this service is actually using my company’s cloud-based call center telephony solution to outsource telemarketing to small Filipino call centers calling the overseas and migrant Filipinos in the countries where the service exists. Yay!

I was surprised to see my good friend Jun Leido at last Wednesday’s event of Globe. It turns out, he is Globe’s consultant and liaison for the nation-building project of the telecom giant as the Presidential Assistance for Rehabilitation and Recovery (PARR)-appointed development sponsor in Aklan. Jun’s job, now a month old, is to faciliate and fast-track Globe’s projects in Aklan as part of the PARR initiative. Jun and I met years ago in the call center industry when he worked for an American-owned call center at the Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga. From then on, he went on to work for various local government units (LGU) and from time to time only touched base with him through SMS, e-mail or Facebook. I wish him and Globe all the best in their endeavor to help Aklan. Way to go, Jun!

Culture-building is a unique thing that Globe is undertaking. I already believe Globe to be the best in telecom customer service, having had experiences with all the telecom companies in the country, besides being recognized by Telecom Asia as the best Asian telecom carrier which also recognized its Google Free Zone campaign as the most innovative telecom project. Now, they have an initiative called Project DNA (Deliver the Next Act), a mindset concentrated in providing a genuine, more caring, and wonderful customer experience. Hats off to Globe for not having to rest on their laurels and continuing to go above their par.

Speaking of awards, here are a few more: Best Network-based Solution for Servicing Customers Award in the 19th Annual Global Mobile Awards and the New Consumer Product of the Year in the first Asia Pacific Stevie Awards, both for Globe’s GoSakto: Create Your Own promo. It also garnered the Customer Service Leader of the Year, a Gold Stevie for its Twitter support channel @talk2Globe, Bronze Stevie for New Consumer Service of the Year for its international service Globe Seafarer, a bronze award for Innovation in Customer Service–Telecommunications, gold for Best Use of Technology in Customer Service–Telecommunications, three international Gold Quill awards, Anvil Award of Excellence, a Merit Award for its crisis and disaster communications social media campaign, and the Integrated Communication Category in the ASEAN Corporate Sustainability Summit and Awards 2014.

I guess there’s more to life in Globe than just mobile phone signal and service. I recently encountered my most gad-awful customer service experience in a competing mobile carrier that my procrastination of moving from a prepaid Globe service to a postpaid one is now a decision of the type of phone. I just hope I decide more quickly; or would you think Globe should give me a discount for writing this? Hehe.

Photos by @raffypekson.

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How to Help Philippine Super Typhoon Victims

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It has been three days since Haiyan or Yolanda, the most powerful tropical cyclone or typhoon ever recorded, has brought death to thousands of Filipinos in Central Philippines, and millions more have been affected and displaced with destroyed homes. On top of this, chaos has emerged among the populace because of the lack of food, water and basic social services.

Now, the international call for help has loudly been broadcast by several international relief organizations to come to the aid of the predominantly Catholic country in Southeast Asia.

Here are several ways YOU CAN HELP through the various local and international organizations listed below. If there are any errors to the links, kindly report it to MiniPhilippines.com so the author and webmaster can fix the issue.

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IN THE PHILIPPINES

Philippine National Red Cross (www.redcross.org.ph)
Hotline: 143
Telephone: 527-0000

text RED<space><amount-in-Pesos> to
2899 (Globe)
4483 (Smart)

Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)

Gawad Kalinga Operation Operation Walang Iwanan (Typhoon Yolanda)

ABS-CBN Sagip Kapamilya

Ayala Foundation’s Laging Handa Fund

ShelterBox

Caritas Filipinas Foundation

Victory – Every Nation

St. Scholastica’s College
Cash/check donations pay to “St. Scholastica’s College Manila”
BDO account number 4580-000-210
E-mail your transaction receipts to lizaban2@gmail.com for proper acknowledgment.

One La Salle Relief Drive (Yolanda)

Ateneo De Manila Disaster Response and Management Team

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INTERNATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS

Check the credentials of any charitable organization

Canadian Red Cross

American Red Cross

British Red Cross

Australian Red Cross

U.N. World Food Programme
Text AID to 27722 to donate $10 in the USA

AmeriCares

The Salvation Army USA

United Arab Emirates
LBC in UAE accepts in-kind donations but not “used clothes” a problem with Philippine customs policies. LBC will accept blankets, shoes or slippers, canned goods, and toiletries. All boxes of goods should be addressed to the LBC Foundation that will send the goods to the Red Cross. Drop them at the Karama and Abu Dhabi offices of LBC in UAE. Read more at source.

Oxfam – United Kingdom

Care International – United Kingdom

Care Australia

Médecins Sans Frontières – Australia

World Vision – Australia

International Rescue Committee (IRC) – USA and Canada

Doctors Without Borders

International Medical Corps Emergency Response Fund

Save the Children

United Nations’ Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) – Donate Now

United Nations’ Childrens’ Fund (UNICEF) – Australia

United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) – Australia

Mercy Corps

Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development Canada – Government of Canada
Canada launches matching fund to help those impacted by Typhoon Haiyan

Habitat for Humanity
Plans to offer shelter repair kits for families who need to re-build their damaged houses.

Operation USA

National Alliance for Filipino Concerns (NAFCON) – USA

The American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee

Plan – UK
Plan is a global children’s charity.

Child Fund – Australia

Caritas – Australia

Christian Aid – Australia

Catholic Relief Services

Convoy of Hope

Samaritan’s Purse International Rellief

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Sources: USA Today | CBS News | In-a-gist Forum | NBC World News | SBS Australia | CNN International

photo by salingpusa at flickr.com

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Preserving a Culture of Life in the Philippines

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Freedom to Love Conference poster by CBCP for Life

A short documentary film entitled “The Philippines: Preserving a Culture of Life” was recently aired on Eternal Word Television Network (EWTN) in the USA and Canada. Produced by Human Life International (HLI), this film has been aired several times at EWTN in the Philippines.

The film is a pro-life documentary that highlights the fight for life in the Philippines. It features pro-life advocates who are leading the fight against the RH Bill, the likes of Cebu Archbishop Jose Palma, Congressman Golez, HLI Director Bullecer, and former pro-abortion Department of Health manager Dr. Ligaya Acosta.

HLI is presently working with other pro-life organizations in the Philippines to promote the new documentary, groups such as the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) and the Filipinos for Life, a volunteer group whose mission is to speak the truth about the dignity and sanctity of human life in all its stages, from natural conception to natural death.

HLI is also hosting a contest on Facebook where pro-lifers are invited to leave a brief prayer for the Philippines or a note of encouragement for a chance to win a free DVD copy of the documentary.

Read more at LifeNews.com

Photo by CBCP For Life at their Facebook Page

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Miss Philippines Tops Online Votes in Miss Universe 2010

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Preliminary judges have already selected the Top 15 candidates for the 2010 Miss Universe beauty contest now being held in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA. The 83 contestants were ranked based on evening gown and swimsuit, during a two-hour presentation at the Mandalay Bay Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Early favorites who got the loudest cheers from the audience were the candidates from Philippines, Haiti, Canada, Australia, USA, Mexico, and Puerto Rico.

Miss Philippines Maria Venus Raj tops the online votes.

Go to AllVoices to read more.

Photo from annalyn at Flickr

US Anti-outsourcing Bill a Filipino-American Concern

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Photo by banggigay at Flickr.com


The recent anti-outsourcing bill proposed by Senator Charles Schumer is a source of concern for the Filipino American community.  The Shcumer bill, places a tax on outsourcing and Filipinos in the U.S. it is going to hurt businesses in the Philippines and give the U.S. a bad image. The bill puts a 25-cent tax on each call made to a call center based outside the U.S. Members of the Filipino-American community traveled to the capital to visit Senators Kristen Gillibrand and Charles Schumer to express their opposition to the bill. A letter from the National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) to Sen. Schumer said that the proposal is incongruous with the impression of America as a big brother.

The proposal has passed in the House. It is now in the Senate for scrutiny and its primary purpose is to create a disincentive for outsourcing.

Read more at Blogger News Network