January 31, 2014

Luistro encourages private schools to focus on the needs of their locality

“Come up with relevant programs that will allow your graduates to work in the very city where they were born.”

Department of Education (DepEd) Secretary Br. Armin Luistro FSC encourages private schools to focus on the needs of their locality.  He added that schools can help in its respective communities by providing job opportunities for its graduates; thereby, preventing them from being uprooted from where they were. He said that “it will be a challenge that is worth the while of institutions that truly wish to anchor their offerings to the needs of a locality.”

“You will notice that in the past, if you review programs, both high school and tertiary, of both public and private schools, we’ve had the phenomenon of graduates of various programs and careers moving to the big cities. And therefore cutting them off from the very schools and communities where they studied.”

During his keynote address for a two-day conference on the Senior High School (SHS) program organized by the Catholic Educational Association of the Philippines (CEAP), Luistro explained that revolutionizing education by creating programs that answer the needs of the community will open venues to sustainable jobs for the alumni.

“Come up with relevant programs that will allow your graduates to work in the very city where they were born,” said Luistro. He added that schools can help in its respective communities by providing job opportunities for its graduates; thereby, preventing them from being uprooted from where they were. He said that “it will be a challenge that is worth the while of institutions that truly wish to anchor their offerings to the needs of a locality.”

Towards reforms in education 

The education chief also encouraged the private schools to “engage the Department regarding the remaining areas in the SHS curriculum, the other tracks that may not yet be complete.” He added, “You do not have to wait for the final and official curriculum to be out. The Department is happy to be engaged by schools in this regard.”

Aside from this, he emphasized the importance of having educational reforms that would impact the learners. He said, “Like many Filipinos, part of our dreams and hopes is to institutionalize reforms that will really matter. It is easy to change things around. The most difficult thing to do is to ensure that those are the things of great priority.” He said that despite the transition that would take place in education, the learners were still the top priority.

He highlighted the milestones on the implementation of K to 12 program. One of the highlights he noted was the formal institutionalization of the program itself by the virtue of Republic Act 10533, also known as the Enhanced Basic Education Act of 2013, which was signed in 2013. 

“The Philippine now belongs to the community of nations with at least 12 years of pre-university with the passing of that law. For those of you who have international linkages, it has implications with regard to the mobility of the students and teachers as well as exchange programs between you and your international partners,” he addressed the private schools. In addition to this, he said that K to 12 program also “institutionalized Mother Tongue-Based Multilingual Education (MTB-MLE).” He said, “This main principle of MTB-MLE is to start the learner in a language that he or she is comfortable with.”

He added that the K to 12 curriculum and learning materials were available for download on the DepEd website. More than this, he stressed that the Department would “continue to reach out to private schools” to help in the alignment of their plans and programs for Senior High School.

The Biggest Director’s Club Cinema Branch At SM City BF Parañaque

People from the South can now have the convenience of watching the most awaited blockbuster hits with the opening of the biggest Director’s Club Cinema branch in the country with four new and modern Director’s Club Cinemas in SM City BF Parañaqaque. The Director’s Club Cinema is the premier cinema line of SM Cinema that caters to people who prefers intimate and personalized movie experience that’d make them feel like they never left home.

The Director’s Club Cinema boasts of extensive luxurious features. It is equipped with top notch projection equipment, latest technology in surround sound, first rate acoustics and crystal clear digital screen that promises beyond amazing movie watching experience. Unlike the regular cinema, Director’s Club has 30-50 comfortable reclining chairs and personalized butlers who will offer the Director’s Club Cinema movie goers special eats. With each ticket purchase at the Director’s Club Cinema, a bowl of complimentary SnackTime Popcorn are freshly made and delivered to each guest’s seat.

One of the biggest problems that we all go through when watching blockbuster films are the long queue of lines on the ticket booths. However, Director’s Club Cinema movie goers will have the advantage of avoiding the long lines as Director’s Club Cinema provides access to seat reservations to guarantee slots to big ticket films. Those who enjoy watching movies and throwing a fun movie night out with friends or family can book the Director’s Club Cinemas for private screenings, parties or corporate events to experience the best movie experience.

Apart from the branches in SM City BF Paranaque, Director’s Club Cinema is located in two other SM Supermalls branches: One at the Mall of Asia in Pasay and two at SM Aura Premier at The Fort. Director’s Club Cinema is expected to open soon in more SM Supermalls branches.

Visit the Director’s Club Cinema Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/directorsclubcinema
or Follow its Twitter at@directorsclub_ 
and Instagram at @directorsclubcinema.
You may also visit www.smcinemas.com or call the SM Cinema Hotline at 470-2222 
for more details on Director’s Club Cinema.

About SM Cinema
SM Cinema is the country’s leading exhibitor—boasting 252 cinemas and 7 IMAX Theatres in 47 branches nationwide. SM Cinema continues to expand and lead the country’s development in cinema technology.

For a more convenient way of watching a movie, experience the newest from SM Cinema—the CINEMOBILE: Your mobile, your movie ticket. With its turnstile system, SM Cinema delivers a more convenient movie-going experience to its patrons.
You may also avail SM Cinema’s e-PLUS (Entertainment, Privileges, Lifestyle, Upgrades and Surprises) card to make your movie-watching more convenient, rewarding and fun. On top of the reward point scheme, e-PLUS is loaded with VIP privileges, special promos like a 50 percent discount on select movies, seasonal offers, quarterly raffles and invites to exclusive events. e-PLUS members can also avail promos and discounts from partner merchants. The e-Plus starter kit comes with your personalized e-Plus card, free movies, snacks and a premium item.

To know more about the company, visit SM Cinema’s website at www.smcinema.com. You may also like SM Cinema on Facebook (facebook.com/smcinema) and follow them on Twitter (twitter.com/sm_cinema). To connect with IMAX on Facebook, follow facebook.com/imaxsmcinema and like them on Twitter.com/imax_smcinema. 

TGP reveals results of human clinical study done on TGP Paracetamol

With more people looking for better and more affordable alternatives to quality healthcare, the country’s largest drugstore chain, The Generics Pharmacy® (TGP), continues to provide its customers with generic medicines that are equally safe and effective as off-patent branded medicines.
One example is the TGP Paracetamol. In a recent human clinical study conducted by the Center of Biopharmaceutical Research at the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute (DLSHSI), it was found that the TGP Paracetamol, the company’s first private label generic medicine, is as safe and effective as the leading and innovator paracetamol brands in the market. 

A human clinical study is a particular kind of research that is usually done by pharmaceutical companies to assess the safety and efficacy of a new drug. The TGP Paracetamol prides itself as the only clinical and human trial-tested private label paracetamol that is proven to be in equal effectiveness to off-patent brands.

Led by Director for Research Support and Extension Services, and Chairman of the Bioavailability Unit and Drug Testing Laboratory at DLSHSI, Dr. Rita Grace Alvero, the team tested the rate and extent of absorption of the TGP Paracetamol after single dose administration against the leading and innovator brands. 

The team’s study made use of a randomized three-way crossover single dosed bioequivalence study. A bioequivalence study is the objective way of measuring absorption in the body while a three-way crossover entails that one subject had to take the three drugs in different dates or intervals. 

“We are not measuring the clinical effects; we are more focused on the quantitative analysis of the TGP Paracetamol. This includes monitoring the safety and tolerability of the three drugs,” explained Dr. Alvero during the study presentation.

“Our study design was a standard one and it is in accordance with the guidelines of the FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMEA).”

After a three-month period, results of the study revealed that the parameters involved in the evaluation of the TGP Paracetamol were more or less similar to the other two drugs. 

“The final check of bioequivalence depends on the confidence interval. In this case, the TGP Paracetamol falls between the limit of acceptance which is 80-125. Thus, we can say that the TGP Paracetamol is bioequivalent or has the same clinical effects of the leading and innovator paracetamol brands,” added Dr. Alvero. 

The study also proves that the TGP Paracetamol and the two other drugs are therapeutically equivalent. All three are well tolerated and have the same formulation and safety profile, proving that TGP Paracetamol is as safe and effective to use as other brands yet more affordable with a price of only P1.00 per tablet. 

With over 1,600 outlets nationwide, TGP is the country’s largest drugstore chain. The company offers its customers a wide range of safe, effective and affordable generic medicines like vitamins, treatment for colds and cough, and maintenance medicines for the heart, diabetes and cholesterol. 

Customers can also get free medical consultation by availing of TGP’s Dial-A-Doc service via the number 732-3333. The service is available from Mondays to Saturdays, from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

e-PLUS Tap to Pay Solidifies Partnership with Banking Giant BDO and the SM Food Retail Group

e-PLUS Tap to Pay welcomes 2014 with two exciting news for the e-PLUS Tap to Pay cardholders to look forward to. 

To uphold its promise of providing the cashless convenience for its cardholders, e-PLUS Tap to Pay recently sealed its partnership with the country’s largest Food Retail Group : SM Hypermarket, SM Supermarket and Savemore in bringing cashless convenience to its shoppers. Held last November 25, 2013 at the SM Corporate Office Building E at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay, the contract signing was attended by Mr. Edgar Tejerero - SVP, West Avenue Theatres Corporation; Mr. Jose Mendoza, President, SM Supermarket; Ms. Bang Manalad, AVP for Operations, Savemore; Mr. Robert Kwee, President, SM Hypermarket. The e-PLUS Tap to Pay Card will be accepted in select stores by February and will be rolled out nationwide by 3rd quarter of this year. Starting the month of December 2013, the SM Food Retail Group has officially began accepting e-PLUS Tap to Pay allowing e-PLUS Tap to Pay cardholders to experience cashless payments for their purchases. 

Aside from the nationwide acceptance of e-PLUS Tap to Pay by the SM Food Retail Group, e-PLUS Tap to Pay is now giving its cardholders more reloading options. e-PLUS Tap to Pay seals its partnership with the one of country’s largest ATM network, BDO as one of its reloading partners at a contract signing held November 29, 2013 at the Mall of Asia Arena A-List Lounge. Beginning December 1, 2013, e-PLUS members may reload their e-PLUS Tap to Pay cards in over 2,000 BDO ATMs nationwide. The contract signing was attended by Sahara Jean Garnica - AVP, e-PLUS Tap to Pay; Djoanne Czarinna Dela Cruz - ATM Product Development Officer, BDO; Juvencio Pereche Jr. - ATM Channel Head, BDO; Edgar Alan Fernando - ATM Product Development Head; and Haidie Esmero - Senior Manager, e-PLUS Tap to Pay

The e-PLUS Tap to Pay card is now available in e-PLUS stations at all SM Cinema branches nationwide. Once you get your own e-PLUS Tap to Pay card, you can start breezing through daily transactions with a simple tap.

To know more about the features of e-PLUS Tap to Pay and its many benefits, please visit www.eplus.ph

January 30, 2014

WeChat Upgrades to Versions 5.1 play by play updates by the country's top searched app

Enjoy the world of the WeChat! Experience chatting in a whole new way and connect with friends across mobile platforms!

WeChat, the new way to connect, available for iPhone, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Nokia (Symbian).

WeChat—The most-searched social messaging app according to Google Trends in Philippines, ahead of key competitors and the 3rd most searched item in general.—lets you carry on making connections with a handful of entertainment at the side.

WeChat has almost 500 million users as of July last year, with 100 million of them coming from China.

Steve Zheng, WeChat’s senior business development manager, citing Google trends, said their app is one of the Top 3 searched apps in the Philippines. Moreover, noting that they are now available in some parts of Southeast Asia. WeChat have yet to expand to other countries.

WeChat has developed a lot of features such as animated stickers. "We made a lot of new stickers to engage them so they can better express their emotions.” Zheng said

China’s hot messaging app WeChat recently launched its newest version in the Philippines, which includes three games, more animated stickers and an expanded group chat feature. WeChat 5.1 can now accommodate up to 100 users in its group chat service from the previous limit of 40.

Download WeChat's latest 5.1 update and read on to know more about how WeChat skyrockets excitement to your every day with its latest feature such as Games, which lets you challenge your friends with fun and addictive games while you're on the move.

WeChat 5.1 hopes to attract more casual gamers with the side-scrolling race game “Gunz Dash” and the puzzle games “2 Day’s Match” and “Craz3 Match,” which are all available for iOS, Android, Symbian, Windows Phone and BlackBerry users.

The mobile revolution is no longer just about messaging - especially in the Philippines, which aside from being the global texting capital, is also gaining stance as one of the fastest growing market for smartphones. It's good to note that while the popularity of social networking access via smartphones have won everyone's attention, games are continuing to mark its place in the digital scene to fill in people's idle gaps with fun, too.

WeChat—The most-searched social messaging app according to Google Trends in Philippines, ahead of key competitors and the 3rd most searched item in general.—lets you carry on making connections with a handful of entertainment at the side.

Download WeChat's latest 5.1 update and read on to know more about how WeChat skyrockets excitement to your every day with its latest feature such as Games, which lets you challenge your friends with fun and addictive games while you're on the move.

Challenge your friends with fun and addictive WeChat Games!
Gunz Dash, one of the pioneering titles of WeChat Games, lets players choose their favorite heroes and let them embark on exciting adventures in a fantasy universe. Whether in solo or multiplayer mode, users can speed through worlds and collect coins for a high score in this exciting 2D animated, side-scrolling race game. Plus point: Gunz Dash's setting can be customized to activate music and sound effect to enhance the gaming experience.
(Official site: http://games.wechat.com/gunzdash/)

To take the puzzle gaming further, WeChat's second title Craz3 Match makes players match tiles in groups of three and eliminate some seriously cute animals. Users can also boost their scores with magical items like Quick Hint, Shark, Time Reverse, Unlock, and Level Up to boost their points against other players.
(Official site; http://games.wechat.com/craz3match/)

Level up your social life. Expand your Chat

Aside from the Games, the latest 5.1 upgrade also comes with enhanced features which allow users to support the latest platforms of iOS and Android, use group messaging to converse with a regular of 40 users or join at most two sized-up group chats with up to100 users each.

Tell your story with StoryCam for WeChat

Tell your story with StoryCam for WeChat (Official site: http://camera.wechat.com)! You can use your own words to describe the 'what', 'where' and 'when' of your photos with this exclusive app. With festival watermarks, filters and real-time location based information, you can now personalize and share any moment. Download StoryCam for WeChat for free and start telling your photo stories!

Features of StoryCam for WeChat include:

- Choose from five photo themes: Featured, Place, Weather, Food and Lifestyle
- Enhance photos with up to 13 free filters
- Receive real-time location, weather and date updates
- Edit your location and stories
- Place watermarks wherever you want on your photos
- Share photos easily with WeChat friends, on Moments or by email

WeChat StoryCam

WeChat's not stopping there, the app has more new features that make connecting even more enjoyable.

• Edit 'Favorite Messages' - Save your favorite text and voice messages, photos and videos to 'Favorite Messages'- the first cloud-based storage service on mobile social communication apps - to view and share again anytime. You can edit and add new content to saved messages in any way you want.
• Register with Email Address - You have more choices to connect with WeChat - you can register with your email address to start chatting with friends.
• Gmail Contact Integration - Link to your Google account, find out who else is using WeChat and add them to your friends list.
• Supports Latest Smartphone iOS Platforms - WeChat 5.1 is optimized to support the latest versions on both iOS and Android.

The latest WeChat 5.1 and StoryCam for WeChat are now available for both Android and iOS users. Visit www.wechat.com for the latest information

WeChat users can add friends via a wide range of innovative actions and methods, including scanning QR codes, connecting users' phone books and activating location-based functions such as "People Nearby" and "Shake". The platform enhances social interaction by supporting exchanging of text, voice and video, stickers, and photos with their friends over data networks or under Wi-Fi environments. Users can choose to communicate one-on-one, or within their closed social network through "Moments".

Check out some of the features here:

Video Call
Hold to Talk

WeChat also comes with comprehensive privacy setting functions, which enables user to tailor their security level as needed

For more details and application download, please visit www.wechat.com

For more fun and exciting, WeChat had become the means for purchasing vendo products like drinks and other goodies for users-on-the-go. Users don't need to bring cash and just flash your QR Code you can even get drinks in public places!

Download your WeChat now at www.wechat.com. WeChat can also be downloaded at Apple App, Google Play, Windows Phone, Nokia S40, OS 5.0, OS 6.0 and above, Symbian and Blackberry.

For more information please visit www.wechat.com and follow WeChat Philippines on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/WechatPH

For more information about the app, just visit WeChat’s official website and WeChat Philippines on Facebook.

WeChat Bloggers Night was held at Makati Shangri -la Hotel.
Photos:  https://www.facebook.com/WechatPH/posts/390388001097153

January 29, 2014

“All must go” in Smart’s five-day gadget sale at Jump Experience Center

Smart’s “All Must Go” deals for five days starting NOW - January 29 at Jump Experience Center , SM Megamall ! 

Get two free smartphones with your UnliSurf plan. Own a laptop or tablet powered by hours of Internet surfing for as low as P499 a month.

Enjoy huge savings with 75% off on Smart Bro Prepaid Rocket Devices. These are just some of the deals being offered at the biggest gadget sale of leading wireless services provider Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).

From January 29 to February 2, 2014, Smart is holding its “All Must Go” Gadget Sale only at Jump Experience Center located at the fourth floor (Cyberzone) of SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

For a limited time, customers can take advantage of amazing deals and big savings on some featured gadgets, while enjoying the mobile leader’s widest network coverage and reliable data services.

Prospective postpaid subscribers can “Buy 1 Win 1” with their Smart Postpaid UnliSurf Plan 999 which includes unlimited surfing, and nine minutes of calls and 99 texts to all networks.

Aside from the free smartphone bundled with the plan (Samsung Galaxy S3, Samsung Galaxy Note 2, LG Nexus 4, O+ USA 8.15 and many more available on the plan), subscriber will also automatically win one more mystery smartphone.

Those who thrive on Internet on-the-go meanwhile may get a free laptop or tablet with Smart Bro Gadget Plus Plans. For as low as P499 a month and with zero one-time fee, subscriber can take home a free gadget such as the Acer Aspire One Netbook or Neo VC2EW Netbook powered by free 30 hours of Internet surfing and every month. 

Offer is also available with Smart Bro Gadget Plus Plan 699 that comes with a free gadget such as Asus EEE Pad Slider, Asus Nexus 7 Tab and more – with 50 hours of Internet Surfing every month. 

These plans come free with a Smart Bro Pocket Wifi or Power Plug-It and the Anti-Bill Shock feature that allows subscribers to have unlimited Internet surfing with maximum data bill of P1,199 for Gadget Plus Plan 499 and P1,299 for Gadget Plus Plan 699.

Subscribers also have the option to get the Smart Bro device of their choice under the Easy App plan with no lock-in period by just paying a one-time fee.

For those who want to unleash the full potential of their existing gadgets – whether laptops, tablets, smartphones – Smart Bro is also offering 75% off the Smart Bro Rocket Plug-It, Rocket Chic and Rocket WiFi Plus.

Surf the Internet on rocket speed with either the tough and rough-looking Smart Bro Rocket Plug It or the pink and stylish Smart Bro Rocket Chic, now for only P495 each (previously P2,345), backed by 4G High Speed Packet Access Plus (HSPA+) technology of up to 12 Mbps.

The ultra-fast Smart Bro Rocket Wi-Fi Plus is also now available for only P1,495 (previously P6,495). Running on HSPA+ network with speeds of up to 12 Mbps, the Smart Bro Rocket Wi-Fi Plus can easily connect up to five gadgets.

Smart’s “All Must Go” deals are valid until supplies last. 

For more information on Smart’s “All Must Go” sale and to check the list of all available devices, visit http://www1.smart.com.ph/postpaid/smartgadgetsale.

 Smart Bro is the wireless broadband service of Smart Broadband, Inc., a subsidiary of Smart.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Solaire!

Solaire Resort invites you to celebrate the Chinese New Year to usher in the auspicious Year of the Wooden Horse on Friday, January 31, 2014.

There will be a Lion Dance accompanied by a cacophony of drums and cymbals and an exhibition of firecrackers which marks Chinese New Year and guests will be able to witness this ceremony in the resort’s Porte cohere. The lion dancers will perform in the hotel's lobby and will move to different areas of the resort.

To highlight the significance of this annual indulgence, Solaire brings you the lucky “Koi fish-shaped” Tikoy in elegant gift boxes.
Guests can enjoy this popular take-out treat available at Red Lantern located in the resort’s ground level until 14 February 2014. For bulk orders of Tikoy, guests should call the resort at 888 8888.

Dine at Red Lantern and savor the unique a la carte menu comprising sumptuous dishes: Braised Pork Trotter with Chinese Mushrooms and Vegetables, Sautéed Prawns with Vegetables and X.O. Sauce and Salmon Fish ‘Yee Sang’.

Diners can choose from three variations of set menus: each of them comprising more than 8 dishes priced at P1,888.00** per person; P1,988.00** per person and P2,888.00** per person.

“Great Prosperity Set Menu”
“Rich Fortune Set Menu” 
“Fa Fa Fa Fortune God Set Menu” 

Guests who also plans to stay overnight, Solaire Resort offers a Chinese New Year Package for only P8,800** for a Grand Deluxe room! The room package includes one night’s accommodation and breakfast buffet at "Fresh". 

For a "Two Bay Suite Package" inclusive of one night accommodation with breakfast at the Executive Lounge, the rate is P16,888** Available only from January 30 till February 2, 2014.

** Prices are subject to service charge and applicable government tax. Prior reservations required, call 888 8888.

Celebrate Chinese New Year in Solaire Resort in Pasay City , 
Entertainment City (Near SM Mall of Asia), Parañaque City 

For more updates and info, visit Website: http://www.solaireresort.com 
and Email: info@solairemanila.com

"Ultrablessed" by Sponge Cola

Ultrablessed reflects the Diamond-recording band Sponge Cola’s fun journey as musicians. Composed of 10 new songs, the album gives people a glimpse of the more than a decade of friendship between the members of the band.
Ultrablessed will be launched this January 31, 8 p.m., at the Eastwood Central Plaza. A bonus DVD of their last concert Maximum Capacity is also included in the album.

Composed of Yael on vocals, Armo on lead guitar, Gosh on bass and TedMark on drums, Sponge Cola considers this album as a celebration of years of blessings.
“We have been chillin’, doing the things we love to do all these years,” says Yael. “So, looking back, we are not just really blessed, but we are Ultrablessed.”

According to Yael, the album contains 10 new fun songs, but quickly clarified that, “basically, all the tracks in the album are ‘fun’ songs, but not necessarily happy. Some songs are sad, but they are fun.”

Yael further explains that the album has that fun vibe, which is a product of the band members’ current state of mind.

“When you are happy, of course, you come up with ‘fun’ songs,” he adds. “This album has that vibe in it, so I hope we can share this to everyone.”

The album’s first single Anting-Anting, which also features Gloc-9 and Denise Barbacena, talks about empowerment among victims of bullying. Its music video is set to premiere on MYX in a few days.

Ultrablessed also features the band’s collaboration with Yeng Constantino. Aptly called +63, the area code of the phillipines, the song talks about long distance love, a familiar theme in everyday Filipino life.

"Communication softens the blow of distance,” explains Yael. “Nothing beats the real thing, but distance forces us to make do with what little interaction we can have.”

For Yael, Ultrablessed is also special because, like the band’s earlier hits, his brother Yannyi Yuzon worked on the project as producer.

He adds, “Yanny, alongside Eric Perlas of tower of doom. It's a very similar setup to what we had with the first album with Jorel Corpus formerly of kjwan co-producing the band's first album Palabas.”

Coincidentally, the band went on a quick workation in the United States with first album co-producer Jorel Corpus, now a Berkeley School of Music Graduate, to film a road tripping musical show called “This is How We Travel,” which will air on the band's youtube channelyoutube.com/spongecolamusic on February 15.

"We've been touring nonstop,” states Yael. “So we wanted to unwind, but we had a camera with us so we filmed our quirky west coast roadtrip along with some performances as well."

Ultrablessed CD Track List

1. Hawla
2. Kailangan Kita
3. Anting-anting (feat. Gloc-9 and Denise Barbacena)
4. Iyong-Iyong-Iyo
5. 9 To Sawa
6. +63 (feat. yeng constantino)
7. Walk Away
8. R.I.C.E
9. Singapore Sling (Dahil Kilala Na Kita)
10. The Answer

Maximum Capacity Concert DVD Track List:

1.     22
2.    KLSP
3.    Tuliro
4.    Tambay - Ako Na Lang with Zia Quizon
5.    Una
6.    Jillian
7.    Gemini
8.    Ayt with Gary Valenciano
9.    Puso
10.   Neon
11.   Jeepney
12.   Dragonfly
13.   XGF
14.   Bitiw
15.   Kay Tagal Kitang Hinintay

Follow Sponge Cola:
Facebook: spongecola

Twitter: @sponge_cola 
Instagram: @spongecolamusic

YouTube: spongecolamusic

Samsung Galaxy Data SIM Promo

Samsung Philippines has been promoting the Samsung Galaxy Data SIM. The SIM card is actually part of Samsung’s new promo for its 3G-capable smartphones and tablets. Powered by Globe Telecom’s network, the SIM card enables new buyers of Samsung smartphones and tablets to instantly enjoy their device.

The Samsung Galaxy Data SIM bestows users free two months of Globe Telecom’s PowerSurf 299 or equivalent to a total of 600MB free mobile data (300MB per month in two months). Such an amount of data enables users to deliver up to 19,000 tweets on Twitter, download 150 songs, or watch 300 minutes of online video.

The Samsung Galaxy Data SIM can be acquired by purchasing any 3G-capable smartphone or 3G tablet from participating Samsung Experience stores or kiosks.

Promo runs until February 28, 2014. For more information on the details and the mechanics of the promo, visit https://www.facebook.com/SamsungMobilePH.

January 28, 2014

TGP and Kuya Kim partner to promote generic medicine awareness

Passionate in his advocacy of a healthy Filipino community, Matanglawin host, TV Patrol’s resident weatherman and the country’s king of trivia, Kuya Kim Atienza, recently partnered with the country’s largest drugstore chain, The Generics Pharmacy® (TGP), to promote generic medicine awareness in the Philippines.

Having gone through a massive stroke and currently battling a rare medical disorder, Kuya Kim believes that aside from the quality of a certain medicine, price is highly crucial especially with the current state of healthcare systems in the country and when it is assumed generally by private individuals. 

“When I had my stroke, I realized just how pitiful our healthcare system is. What’s worse is that if you are not that well off and you suddenly get sick, it will probably cost you a fortune especially with those expensive treatments,” explained Kuya Kim. “You can also add the increasing price of medicines to the list.” 

“This has been my motivation to push for affordable yet equally safe and effective alternatives when it comes to medicines. For someone who needs to spend a lot on a daily basis as treatment for my sickness, this includes constant intake of paracetamol for the pain, I am thankful that we have generic medicines that are readily available in the market today,” he added. 

Kuya Kim, a health buff and fitness enthusiast, was recently diagnosed with the Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare disease that causes the body’s immune system to attack the nerves, and when not treated early, can paralyze the entire body. 

He currently stars in TGP’s latest multi-media campaign featuring the human clinical study conducted by the De La Salle Health Sciences Institute (DLSHSI) to prove the safety and efficacy of the TGP Paracetamol, the company’s first private label generic medicine. 
TGP President and CEO Benjamin Liuson (left), and TGP Chief Marketing Officer Philip Tan (right) with the company’s newest brand ambassador, Matanglawin host Kuya Kim Atienza.

The TGP Paracetamol is the first clinical and human-trial tested private label generic medicine brand that is proven to be in equal effectiveness to off-patent brands. This was tested via a randomized three-way crossover single dosed bioequivalence study against the leading and innovator paracetamol brands in the market. 

“Kuya Kim is the epitome of a true survivor. His experience, both in his medical battles and in his career, provides great credibility and truthfulness in our advocacy towards the promotion of generics in the country,” said TGP President and CEO Benjamin Liuson. “We are very much excited with what this partnership will bring.” 

With over 1,600 franchised outlets nationwide, TGP is strengthening its pro-health advocacy by getting reputable and well-known personalities like Kuya Kim and Batangas Governor Vilma Santos-Recto to support their cause. 

The company is committed to providing the highest quality of healthcare possible at a very affordable price by adding to its wide range of generic medicines like vitamins, maintenance medicines for the heart, diabetes and cholesterol, and the new TGP Paracetamol, which can be bought at only P1.00 per tablet in all TGP outlets. 

TGP also offers its customers a Dial-A-Doctor service wherein they can get free medical consultation from a doctor on duty and receive recommendations right away by simply dialing 732-3333.

The service is available from Monday to Saturday, from 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM.

Tigerair offers hassle-free transfer from Kalibo to Boracay

Tigerair Philippines believes in bringing customers the best value for money through customer-friendly, high-quality service and excellent standards of safety, security, and reliability. As their aim to provide their customers with seamless travel process so they don't have to be stressed as they travel.

As the President and CEO of Tigerair Philippines, Olive Ramos said that "the premium in flying with Tigerair Philippines is that we are always on the look out for innovative solutions that will make traveling as smooth and stress-free as possible. With us, your vacation begins the moment you board any of our daily direct flights to Kalibo from Manila, Clark or even Singapore by availing of the Tiger Transfer Service, exclusive for passengers going to Boracay from Kalibo and vice-versa."

That is why for your much-anticipated vacation among Boracay's powdery white sands and panoramic sunsets, take Tigerair's Transfer Service and experience a trip as relaxing as your destination. Say goodbye to that queuing to buy tickets for multiple transfers from the airport to the boat port, or looking for a ride to your accommodation, only to be overcharged with tourist prices.

With the Tiger Transfer Service, all you need is one ticket. As soon as you land, you are assisted to a scenic land transfer in an air-conditioned bus from Kalibo International Airport to Caticlan port, express boat transfer from Caticlan Port to Boracay Port, and prompt land transfer from Boracay Port to your hotel ---all with its own priority lane.

With the  Tiger Transfer Service, the passengers will get to the island paradise of Boracay via the seamless multiple transfer service at the convenience of just one ticket.

The Tiger Transfer Service voucher may be purchased on board before landing in Kalibo International Airport, and through the check-in counter at the Manila and Clark Airports.

To facilitate the Tiger Transfer Service, Tigerair Philippines tapped Aklan's tourist transport service pioneer Southwest Tours Boracay Inc. under a specially-priced agreement. 

"It is our thrust in Tigerair Philippines to offer value-for-money services, something I am proud to say, is shown through our Tiger Transfer service--- best value-for-money through excellent standards of safety, security, and reliability as we seek to make travel more convenient and enjoyable for our customers. " Ramos adds.

Tigerair Philippines is the first commercial airline to fly direct between Kalibo and Singapore. The carrier also flies to local destinations such as Clark, Bacolod, Cebu, Iloilo, Davao, Puerto Princesa, and International destinations such as Hongkong, Bangkok and Singapore.

In honor of the Chinese New Year, Tigerair offers promo of Php88, one-way Domestic fare and Php888, one-way International way if you book from Jan 27-29.

Travel period for this promo is from Feb 1- March 29.

Smart Bro’s Asus Transformer Book T100 offer a game-changer

Tablets are great for games and entertainment, but what if you want to maximize the power of your high-tech device? Change the way you see and use your trusty slates as Smart Bro makes the Asus Transformer Book T100 available for as low as P1,299 a month.

Now available under Smart Bro’s Gadget Plus Plan 1,299, the groundbreaking Asus Transformer Book T100 combines the best of multimedia entertainment on a tablet with the productivity afforded by a full-fledged laptop.

“Increasingly, we are seeing users adopting the so-called ‘multi-gadgeted lifestyle,’ where they bring around two to three mobile devices wherever they go,” said Michele Curran, Data and International Services Marketing Head at Smart. Smart Broadband, Inc. (Smart Bro) is a subsidiary of Smart.

“Smart Bro combines the flexibility of the Asus Transformer Book T100 with its unparalleled mobile broadband service to empower multiple gadget users with the best mobile experience possible,” Curran added.

The Asus Transformer Book T100 comes with a 10-inch tablet that can easily be connected to a dock with a full-sized keyboard, offering the convenience of quickly shifting from play mode with the tablet to work mode when combined with the dock.

And with Windows 8 and Microsoft Office built-in, this latest addition to Smart Bro’s expanding gadget lineup provides a powerful platform that allows users to have fun with their tablet and still be productive even while on the go.

The Asus Transformer Book T100 is just the latest in the ever-expanding list of gadgets available under Smart Bro’s Gadget Plus Plans, which enable users to get their hands on the latest mobile devices without the need for a credit card.

Payable over 24 months under Plan 1299, this latest offering provides 50 hours of Internet surfing every month via a Smart Bro Pocket WiFi device with speeds of up to 7.2 Mbps. This comes with the standard Anti-Bill Shock Guarantee that activates automatically, which means subscribers wouldn’t have to pay more than P1,899 on their monthly bills.

With more than 10,000 4G-capable sites (HSPA+, LTE and LTE-Advanced) nationwide, Smart provides the most reliable and high-speed mobile broadband service in the Philippines with up to 42 Mbps of LTE speeds.

The telco recently completed a combined 150-kilometer undersea fiber-optic project in Bohol, bringing its total fiber footprint to 78,000 kilometers nationwide, providing four times more fiber power than any other provider in the country today.

To apply for the Asus Transformer Book T100 under Smart Bro’s Gadget Plus Plan 1299, interested individuals simply need to proceed to selected Smart Stores nationwide or order from the Smart Online Store (smart.com.ph/store). The device is also available under Plan 999 with a P6,000 initial cash-out upon application.

They may also visit smart.com.ph/bro, contact 6727277 on their landline phones, or dial *888 for existing Smart subscribers.

Yes, Giorgio! Brittany launches new home design in Amore in Portofino, Alabang

Real property developer Brittany Corporation launches Giorgio in Portofino, Alabang and had the blessing yesterday, January 26, 2014.
 Joan Patricia Dial and Manny B.Villar
Amore, the 32-hectare Tuscan region-inspired enclave Portofino in Alabang, has a new offering that lets would-be residents indulge their passion for living: Giorgio, a home that combines comfy, cozy living spaces with an elegant, rustic Italian design—all built from the finest quality materials and craftsmanship. 
Brittany has always been known for keeping at the forefront of innovation, and its homes in Amore are crafted with an eye for blending elements of timeless beauty with modern improvements suitable for today’s lifestyles and tastes.
Giorgio features the latest improvements from a previous design. The second floor balcony is now part of the master’s bedroom. Rooms have been maximized, resulting in airier, expanded spaces without sacrificing the overall aesthetic experience.

The result is that homeowners now have greater freedom to move around and enjoy the beauty and comforts of home. 

Giorgio is just one of three elegantly designed rustic Italian homes in Amore, all of which are inspired by the rustic Tuscan region of Italy—the birthplace of the Renaissance, a time when human knowledge and artistic genius spread from Italy towards the rest of Europe, bringing forth legacies in science, architecture, and art that continue to inspire and put us in awe until today. 

Amore is nestled in on prime, fertile, windswept terrain cradled by trees. It is accessible through three major road arteries. It is only seven minutes away from the central business district of Alabang and just 35 minutes’ drive from Makati. 

According to Patricia Dial, Brittany's Marketing Head, the Italians’ passion for life and the legacy of the Renaissance provided the perfect inspiration for the design of Giorgio and the rest of the Amore property.

“We created the cluster concept to provide a rustic and relaxed environment for families to gather and enjoy each other’s company. Enjoying life with one’s family and friends is really a priceless experience. We made improvements in Giorgio and in the rest of the property to enhance this experience even more,” she explained.

Besides Giorgio, the house-types in Amore include Leandro, Tavola and Giorgio. Their floor areas range from 211sqm to 264sqm; available packages range from P14 million to P22 million. 
These homes are arranged according to a unique feature developed by Brittany called Clusters. A Cluster is an assemblage of 4 single-detached residential units with a common treated driveway and a landscaped pocket garden. The landscape features promote a quaint, rustic and romantic ambience - providing a sense of community without sacrificing security and privacy.

Amore has first-class features and premium utilities designed for homeowners to enjoy the fullest living experience possible. For example, power and communication cables are installed underground so residents enjoy an unobstructed view of the landscape. There are perimeter fences and buffer trees that serve as the boundary between lots to ensure security. There’s also a 24/7 security system that safeguards the entire property.

Uninterrupted water service is assured by deep wells and water reservoirs while the entire community is kept clean and environmentally sound through regular garbage collection and waste disposal every other day. Overseeing the entire community is a professional property management team to make sure that Amore’s high standards of living and excellent security are maintained. 

“With the improvements and amenities now in place, it’s the best time to come by Amore now and see for yourself the high quality of life possible when you make your home there—whether you are starting out in your new life with your family or are looking for a home to spend the best of your retirement years,” said Dial.

Brittany Corporation is a maverick real estate developer of innovative and creative lifescapes. Its eclectic and vibrant portfolio includes CrossWinds, Portofino, Georgia Club, Mosaic at Greenbelt, KL Mosaic at Legaspi, and Avant at The Fort. With master planned developments steeped in character, stylistic and thematic appeal, rich architectural details and excellent craftsmanship, it successfully and continuously reinvents the local real estate landscape. 

For inquiries and property previews, call 794 9999 / 0917 883 8103 or visit www.brittany.com.ph.

Photos : Click Here.

12th Gawad Tanglaw Awards for Best Magazine.

StarStudio named the Best Magazine, the country’s best source for entertainment news and celebrity lifestyle taking things notches higher this 2014, following a win at the prestigious 12th Gawad Tanglaw Awards.

Setting the bar with its recent success, StarStudio aims to up its game of bringing the latest happenings in showbiz, as featured in its newest February issue.

This February, StarStudio Magazine presents “The Love Diaries”—an issue packed with celebrity love stories that will make for the perfect reading this month of love.

Leading the couples featured in this issue are Sarah Lahbati and Richard Gutierrez, who share the exclusive story of how they met and fell in love. The much talked about celebrity couple also give readers a look into their personal travel photos with captions that Sarah wrote herself.

StarStudio looks into celebrity weddings—Melai Cantiveros and Jason Francisco, Miss Universe 2011 3rd Runner-up Shamcey Supsup and Lloyd Lee, and director-turned-Congressman Lino Cayetano and ex-Ateneo volleyball star Fille Cainglet.

A newly-minted couple also takes on the spotlight in StarStudio this February to model day and night date looks, as Gretchen Ho and Robi Domingo show readers ways to look their best for the upcoming Valentine’s day.

All this and more are featured in the February 2014 issue of StarStudio, which was recently named Best Magazine in the 12th Gawad Tanglaw Awards in which ABS-CBN was also named TV Station of the Year.

StarStudio Magazine,  available at bookstores and newsstands nationwide. 

For updates, visit and like StarStudio on Facebook (www.facebook.com/StarStudio.Magazine) and follow the magazine’s official Twitter and Instagram accounts (@starstudiomag) for your best source of entertainment news and celebrity lifestyle.

Binibining Pilipinas 2014 Announces 40 Official Candidates

The Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) has announced the 40 official candidates to the Binibining Pilipinas 2014 Pageant in a much anticipated event held January 27 at the Gloria Maris Banquet Hall.

From over a hundred beauty pageant hopefuls, the girls went through a rigorous 4-day screening that saw the list come down to 72 and 60 before the list of the 40 official candidates was completed.

Present during the final screening and the announcement of the official candidates were Madame Stella Marquez Araneta, Chairperson of the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc., as well as members of the BPCI Board of Directors Conchitina Bernardo and Betsy Westendorp. Reigning 2013 queens Ariella Arida, Bea Rose Santiago, Johanna Datul, and Cindy Miranda, and Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner up Shamcey Supsup were also among the beauty queens present during the event.

Since 1964, the Binibining Pilipinas Charities, Inc. (BPCI) has been the country’s prestigious discoverer and trainer of young ladies who represent us in well-known international beauty tilts. In a span of five decades, BPCI has proven its caliber as a credible institution that eyes these potential candidates, vaunting a resume that begins with Gloria Diaz’s Miss Universe win in. In the last few years, the Philippines is gradually being known as a beauty powerhouse with the impressive top five finishes of Venus Raj, Shamcey Supsup, Janine Tugonon, and Ariella Arida in the last four Miss Universe contests.

Last year’s golden batch of winners, led by Miss International 2013 Bea Rose Santiago and Miss Supranational 2013 Johanna Datul, Miss Universe 2013 3rd runner up Ariella Arida, and Miss Tourism Queen International 2013 Top 10 finalist Cindy Miranda, brought immense pride to the country by doing well in their respective international competitions.

The Official Candidates are as follows:
Julian Aurine Flores
Mary Ainjely P. Manalo
Joanna Angelica M. Romero
Parul Shah
Hanna Mariz D. Dela Guerra
Anabel Christine G. Tia
Aiza Faeldonia
Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach
Joy Antonette Diaz
Shauna Indra Salina Curran
Laura Victoria Lehmann
Sarah Jireh Asido
Kris Tiffany M. Janson
Emma Mary F. Tiglao
Kimverlyn O. Suiza
Zahara Mae O. Soriano
Diana B. Arevalo
Ellore Noelle Punzalan
Mae Liezel J. Ramos
Kenneth Santiago
Racquel D. Kabigting
Mary Anne Bianca G. Guidotti
Nichole Marie R. Manalo
Ednornance Agustin
Mary Jean Lastimosa
Hanna Sheena L. Manuel
Hannah Ruth Sison
Carla Jenina Cabrera Lizardo
Krischelle DG. Halili
Joy Marie Gangan
Angelique Celine L. De Leon
Jeslyn Santos
Gabrielle Erika Tilokani
Leonalyn D. Dela Cruz
Yvette Marie A. Santiago
Krystal Alonday
Vanessa N. Saliba
Janine A. Asanion
Ladylyn Riva
Vessica L. Sambo

The 40 girls will vie for following crowns: Miss Universe-Philippines 2014, Binibining Pilipinas-International 2014, Binibining Pilipinas-Tourism 2014, and Binibining Pilipinas-Supranational 2014. The Binibining Pilipinas Grand Coronation Night will be held on March 30 at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.


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