Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Amazing Race Asia Season 5 Episode 1 Recap

Wazzup Pilipinas!

After a much-needed rest, the teams depart early for their second leg of the race to Taman Mini Indonesia. Although Alphaeus & Brandon are the first to arrive, Taman Mini Indonesia only opens at 6am, giving all the other teams an equal footing at the start of the challenge.

Here, the nine remaining teams have to ride on Grab bikes to spot marked letters that spell out the clue to their next destination – BANDUNG. JK & Mike make great progress, finding the clues first while Yvonne & Chloe and Alex & Will misread their clues, putting them behind in the race.

After Taman Mini Indonesia, the teams race to Cikole National Park for their next Detour challenge. They need to decide between ‘Basket Bikes’ and ‘Bandung Biathlon’. In ‘Basket Bikes, teams must ride along a 5KM bicycle trail and deliver 2 dozen sellable eggs in their baskets to the egg merchant. In ‘Bandung Biathlon’, teams must hit a set of targets with traditional bamboo guns while trekking in a pair of tandem land skis.

JK & Mike (#TARAJKMike), Parul & Maggie (#TARAMagParul), Rach & Vicky (#TARAVickRach) and Alphaeus & Brandon (#TARABrandonAlph) choose ‘Basket Bikes’ while Tom & Anita (#TARATomAnita), Eric & Rona (#TARAEricRona), Will & Alex (#TARAAlexWill), Yvonne & Chloe (#TARAChloeYvonne) and Treasuri & Louisa (#TARATrezLou) choose ‘Bandung Biathlon’. 

Duterte's China visit: A Missed Opportunity to Present a Truly Independent and Progressive Foreign Policy

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There is no question that the Philippines needs to move towards a more independent and progressive foreign policy position. To achieve this, the government must make a strong commitment against superpower games to accumulate power and influence against each other.

An independent and progressive foreign policy must be founded on the principles of equality and human rights, particularly the right to life and dignity. It must have strong gender and ecological lens in finding peaceful resolutions to sovereign disputes. It must also be in solidarity with different countries, pursuing principled cooperation based on mutual respect of each other's national sovereignty and integrity.

"From one colonial master to another"

Unfortunately, President Rodrigo Duterte's visit to China missed the unique opportunity to present such a foreign policy. He missed the chance to represent the collective aspirations and independence of the Filipino people. Behind President Duterte's fiery anti-west rhetoric is a confused foreign policy riddled with contradictions.

President Duterte must understand that the country cannot possibly have a respectable foreign policy by ditching the chains of one colonial master in exchange for another, by rejecting US imperialism only to accede to the Chinese government's regional bullying and "social-imperialism", by preferring another power because it turns a blind eye on the government's alleged human rights violations. Sadly, it appears that President Duterte has capitulated to the very same superpower realpolitik that he wants to veer away from.

The shelved Hague ruling

Equally disheartening is the government's decision to shelve our historic victory at the Hague tribunal in its bilateral talks with China. This victory was the product of determined diplomatic work on the part of our foreign affairs representatives and the thousands of ordinary Filipinos who marched to the streets to defend our sovereignty. President Duterte's attempt to make a deal with China in grave disregard of the Hague ruling is wrong. That we have to get China's "approval" in order for our fishermen to gain access to Philippine marine resources is absurd. This renders our hard-fought victory hollow and our sovereignty severely compromised.

The risk of Chinese loans

I also raise my concerns on the multi-billion loans that the Duterte government received from China. Firstly, it appears that we traded the West Philippine Sea to China for these loans. On this basis alone, we are at the losing end of this "bargain." Secondly, Chinese loans, while devoid of attached neoliberal economic prescriptions, come with grossly unfair and unconscionable terms that will bind us to Chinese contractors and Chinese state industries. The implementation of these loan-funded projects also lacks transparency and integrity. We do not have to go too far back in history to find evidence against Chinese loans: the hallmark of Chinese-funded NBN-ZTE and Northrail projects during the time of the Arroyo government was high-level, high-value corruption. It is also worth remembering that China attempted to illegally lease 1M hectares of Philippine agricultural lands, violating patrimony and land reform laws. While loans are not inherently bad, President Duterte himself must see to it that these will not be abused, he must ensure that these will not compromise our laws and sovereignty; these loans must benefit the people without imposing an unnecessary burden.

We should not underestimate the importance of a concrete strategy when it comes to foreign affairs, the promotion of national interests and peaceful cooperation with other countries. I urge the president to conduct extensive foreign policy dialogues and consultations with his Cabinet, the legislature, foreign affairs experts and other stakeholders to craft a foreign policy truly reflective of the Filipino people's interests and aspirations.

An extremely important matter such as this simply cannot be left to the mere judgment of one man alone.

Statement of Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros

Friday, October 21, 2016

Duterte Witnesses Signing of Globe with Huawei, Nokia, Wuhan FiberHome

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Increasing investments to continuously improve internet services in the country, Globe Telecom signed several agreements involving its technology partners Huawei Technologies, Nokia and Wuhan Fiberhome International Technologies amounting $750 million over a period of 5 years to accelerate use of new LTE technologies to enhance its data services and improve customer experience.

"Globe is deeply committed in giving a wonderful experience to our customers by continuing to build and invest on our network. We are confident that our collaboration with Huawei, Nokia and Wuhan FiberHome will translate into a more robust Globe network that will meet the country’s future digital demands,” Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu said.

The agreements signed by Globe include the deployment of new LTE spectrum in the country. Specifically, Cu and Globe Director Fernando Zobel de Ayala signed a memorandum of confirmation with Chen Yuhua, the head of Nokia international business, relating to the implementation of this project in Visayas and Mindanao. A similar memorandum of confirmation was signed between Globe and Huawei CEO Kevin Gao relating to deployment of LTE spectrum in Luzon.

This project aims to provide wider LTE coverage and better indoor penetration, through an estimated 4,600 sites in the country. The project will increase data and fixed-wireless broadband capacity to provide telecommunications services in many areas in the country that at present have no access to broadband services. In addition, the project will strengthen telecommunications infrastructure and address the adverse impact of typhoons that constantly hit the country as well as enhance support to the government’s thrust for higher availability of broadband internet services.

Mike Wang, President at Nokia Networks Greater China, said: “This is a significant agreement with a longstanding collaborator. It strengthens Nokia’s position as Globe Telecom’s premier end-to-end solution provider. We are committed to delivering technologies that allow operators to smoothly transit to intelligent, virtual networks and seamless connectivity, to change how people communicate and connect.”

“Huawei is very happy to sign the MoC and through these cooperation, we hope to provide high quality products and professional services and work with our Philippine partners to bring a better connected service to this country,” Gao said.

Globe also signed a separate memorandum of confirmation with Huawei and Nokia relating to a capacity expansion program for its corporate data network. The fixed line network modernization project will improve the quality of its corporate network with capabilities, capacities, features and functionalities that are constantly responsive to business and enterprise requirements. The project will re-design and transform the network to make it future-proof and meet specified minimum engineering and technology end-state requirement, making the network more agile in serving the heavy data traffic of its enterprise customers.

In addition to these, Globe signed another memorandum of confirmation with Huawei and Wuhan FiberHome relating to the company’s plan to build a fiber infrastructure to support the rollout of fixed broadband lines in Filipino homes. With a robust fixed broadband network, more customers will be better served by high speed internet connections.

Globe signed the agreement with Wuhan Fiberhome International Technologies President Zhiqiang Fan, Wuhan Fiberhome International Technologies Philippines CEO Hui Liu and Huawei CEO Kevin Gao.

“It is a great honor to be the partner of Globe on its nationwide broadband building program which will provide Filipinos with the state-of-the-art fiber technology. We believe that FiberHome’s expertise in telecommunications over the last 40 years will be of great value to Globe Telecom’s infrastructure build. We are proud to contribute to a vision of building a fiber network that will benefit Filipinos nationwide and we look forward to further enhancing our partnership with Globe," said Fan.

Aimed at improving the coverage and capacity of Globe Telecom’s fixed broadband network, the project involves deployment of fiber optics in 20,000 barangays by 2020, which is expected to provide ultra-fast internet access to around 2 million homes nationwide.

Restoration of Energy Facilities in Full Swing - Sec. Cusi

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As Typhoon Lawin heads out of the Philippine Area of Responsibility, Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi directed concerned energy agencies to execute full and immediate restoration of power facilities damaged by the typhoon.

"Restoration of power facilities are underway to bring back electricity service in the typhoon-hit areas in Northern Luzon," said Secretary Cusi.

The Secretary said, “Public safety is the primary consideration when it comes to rehabilitation, so we have to first check and assess the effect of the typhoon to these facilities.”

“I am also urging our kababayans to coordinate with their local officials and authorities on any incidents affecting these facilities and for their families to take extra caution in using their electrical equipment,” Cusi advised.

“On the distribution lines, the National Electrification Administration (NEA) is monitoring and assessing the status of electric cooperatives (EC) for rehabilitation.”

“The typhoon-affected areas are covered by 14 ECs including the Cagayan I & II Electric Cooperatives (CAGELCO I & II), Isabela I & II Electric Cooperatives (ISELCO), Nueva Vizcaya Electric Cooperative (NUVELCO), Quirino Electric Cooperative (QUIRELCO), Abra Electric Cooperative (ABRECO), Benguet Electric Cooperative (BENECO), Mt. Province Electric Cooperative (MOPRECO), Ifugao Electric Cooperative (IFELCO), Kalinga Electric Cooperative (KAELCO), Ilocos Norte Electric Cooperative (INEC), Ilocos Sur Electric Cooperative (ISECO) and La Union Electric Cooperative (LUELCO).”

Secretary Cusi informed, “As of October 20, 2016, 7:00 pm, the ECs have partially or totally restored electricity service in 31 municipalities out of the 248 municipalities or 12.5% of the typhoon-affected areas as follows: two in BENECO, seven in ISECO , 12 in LUELCO, one in ISELCO I and nine under NUVELCO.”

As of 2:00 p.m., the National Grid Corporation of the Philippines (NGCP) reported the status of the rehabilitation on the following transmission lines servicing the provinces of La Union, Kalinga, Apayao, Isabela, Cagayan, Abra, Benguet, Mountain Province, Ilocos Norte Sur, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya and Quirino:

In Search of the Truth About the Controversial Dengue Vaccine

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"The majority of the people are not really aware on how Dengue really attacks the body. I do believe if we can educate them the chances of surviving will increase dramatically and we may even reach a point that dengue deaths will be zero. Thus, this advocacy." - Dr. Richard Mata

Sanofi Pasteur, a French multinational pharmaceutical company, led by Dr. Bouckenooghe, Mr. Joshua_Nealon, and Dr. Ruby Dizon, recently conducted a media conference about the dengue vaccine.

The event was held at the Dusit Thani hotel in Makati city on October 20, 2016. It allowed us the opportunity to ask them several questions about the dengue vaccine, including the many issues that has made it very controversial.

While the Department of Health (DOH) Secretary Paulyn Jean Ubial assured that the newly registered vaccine was safe for use, there has been an awful lot of questions about this sudden, undue haste in providing the dengue vaccine. The vaccine is the first ever approved for use to prevent dengue, a mosquito-borne disease endemic in the Philippines. Should we express concern that children in the Philippines are being used as “guinea pigs” since the country was the first in Asia to implement the vaccination?

The government purchased the dengue vaccine in March this year and was delivered in the same month. The vaccine was just registered by the Food and Drug Authority on Dec. 22, 2015. The Department of Health (DOH) started to give the first of three doses of the vaccine from April to July this year to almost 500,000 children in Metro Manila, Southern Luzon and Central Luzon.

Disney and Globe Launch Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream

Wazzup Pilipinas!

In one way or another, girls all over the world have seen themselves as a Disney Princess. Disney Princesses are an inspiration to most and inspire young girls to dare to dream big and make it a reality.

Inspired by the empowering values of Disney Princesses, in association with Globe, a first-of-its-kind, digital reality-series comes to life with Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream. The producers are calling on all girls aged 9 to 16 years old to join the open auditions to be one of the six that will be chosen for the show.

Auditions will be held on October 22, 2016 at Cortes delas Palmas, Alabang Town Center, and on October 23, 2016 at Ayala Center Cebu, from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Disney Princess: I Dare to Dream celebrates the aspirational values of the beloved Disney Princesses who have achieved their dreams, and hopes to encourage and inspire young girls in the Philippines to dare to dream, too. In the web series, the chosen girls will be staying in a house where they will be paired with a mentor who excels in the field that they aspire to be. The audience will be able to join their journey as they take that first step in living their dreams through a 10-episode web series.

“We are proud to bring to our customers our very first original content in collaboration with Disney. I Dare to Dream gives us an engaging platform to that will possibly change the lives of its participants. Not only are we able to give new and fresh entertainment content to our customers, but we also become part of a meaningful project,” says Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business Dan Horan.

Apart from the live auditions, interested participants may also submit their video auditions via In the video, the contestant needs to introduce herself and talk about her big dream. Submission of entries will be until November 4, 2016.

The time has come for girls who look up to their favorite Disney princess to embrace their ambitions, achieve their potential, and above all, dare to dream!

To stay updated on the digital reality series, just visit For more information, just follow Globe and its official Facebook page as well as at @enjoyGlobe on Twitter and Instagram.

DOE Wins Thrust Towards Full Implementation of RCOA, Ensuring Consumer Choice in the Power Industry

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Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi welcomed the Supreme Court (SC) issuance, which is pivotal to the implementation of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act (EPIRA) that gives the electricity consumers the power of choice.

On 10 October 2016, the Department of Energy (DOE) together with the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) scored a victory with the recent Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) issued by the SC in allowing the full implementation of the Retail Competition and Open Access (RCOA) provision of the EPIRA.

Secretary Cusi emphasized that “The DOE and the ERC are pushing reforms to implement the provisions that gives the consumers the power of choice. But some distribution utilities are preventing it.”

“The Supreme Court saw the need to uphold the role of the DOE - ERC in giving consumers the power of choice,” Cusi said.

“With RCOA in place, “Constestable Customers” or those consuming 1 megawatt (MW) of electricity are now able to choose their power supplier/s to reduce their costs.”

Cusi explained, “In the previous set up, electricity customers were captured by the distribution utilities within their franchise area and were forced to pay the contracted supply of their respective distribution utilities.”

“Currently, the DOE is undergoing the preparatory stage to include consumers consuming 750 kilowatts as Contestable Customers.”

The SC issued a TRO enjoining the Regional Trial Court, Branch 157, Pasig City, from continuing the proceedings in the Petition for Declaratory Relief filed by the Manila Electric Company (MERALCO) against the DOE and the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC).

In the said Petition, MERALCO sought to nullify DOE Circular No. DC2015-06-0010 (released 19 June 2015) and related resolutions issued by the ERC, enjoining the DOE and ERC from implementing them. Under DC2015-06-0010, electricity end-users with a monthly average peak demand of at least 1 MW for the preceding 12 months will be the Contestable Market upon initial implementation of the RCOA. Two (2) years afterwards, the threshold level for the Contestable Market will be reduced to 750 kilowatts (kW). Subsequently, the ERC is required to evaluate the performance of the electricity market and gradually reduce the threshold level until it reaches household demand level.

Globe Brings the Hottest Party at Masskara Festival with Loudfest 2016

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One need not go far to see festivals or masquerades in other countries as “The City of Smiles,” Bacolod, gears up for another weekend celebration for their annual Masskara Festival.

The festival is a visual treat of locals garbed in elaborate and ingenious costumes, fabrics of cheerful colors and patterns, shiny sequins, and gigantic headgear. But the most iconic is the mask worn by participants. These are always adorned with smiling faces that have become the trademark for the celebration.

Whether you’re a local or a tourist, you will enjoy Bacolod for the street parties and festivities, and Globe is tagging along to party with you! From October 21-23, starting at 4:00 p.m., head to Lacson Street in Bacolod City for LOUDFEST 2016 and paint the town with all the colors you love! Dance the weekend away to the beats and mixes from the country’s most sought after DJs like Mars Miranda, Callum David, Funk Avy, Katsy Lee, and many more.

“The Masskara festival is just one of the most colorful festivals Filipinos will ever experience! Globe joins this celebration by making the experience more wonderful with on-ground events filled with surprises and the best dance music perfect for a festive weekend,” says Globe Senior Advisor for Consumer Business, Dan Horan.

Because Globe makes everything more fun with events like the Masskara Loudfest 2016, extraordinary and unforgettable experiences are guaranteed. Put your party hat on and join the festival of smiles! For more updates on #GlobeMasskara and how you can enjoy the weekend just visit the official Globe Facebook page or follow @enjoyGlobe on Twitter or Instagram.

Globe Provides Free Calls and Text to Super Typhoon Victims

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Leading telecommunications company Globe Telecom reaches out to victims of Super Typhoon Lawin by providing free calls and text for one day and by setting up Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging stations in severely affected provinces.

Globe gave active TM customers in Cagayan Province, Kalinga, Apayao, Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Batanes, Aurora, and Abra free Unli Intra SMS + 50 Allnet SMS + 10 Minutes Call to TM/GP valid for 1 day while active Globe prepaid customers in the said provinces were provided with free Unli Allnet SMS + 10 Minutes Call to GP/TM valid for 1 day to assist with their communication needs.

At the same time, Globe offers Libreng Tawag and Libreng Charging centers in Isabela, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, La Union, Benguet, Mountain Province, and Cagayan. Libreng Internet is also available in select stations.

“Globe, through our Bangon Pinoy program, continues to help Filipinos affected by disasters by providing communications facilities so that they can easily connect to their families and friends to request for aid if necessary or assure them of their safety,” said Fernando Esguerra, Globe Director for Citizenship.

The Libreng Tawag and Charging stations are open until October 23 from 8am to 6 pm in Cauayan, Isabela and until October 24 in the following locations:

Across Cauayan City Hall
Globe PD Store - along National Highway across Ilagan Public Market
Cabagan Municipal Hall
Tumauini Municipal Hall
Ilocos Norte
Provincial Capitol, Brgy 10 JP Rizal Street, Laoag City
Ilocos Norte
Paoay Civic Center, Poblacion
Ilocos Norte
Badoc Municipal Hall
Ilocos Sur
Vigan Public Market
Ilocos Sur
Bantay Arcade
Ilocos Sur
Sto Domingo Public Market
Mt Province
Poblacion, Bontoc
Brgy Hall, Dominican Hill, Baguio City
La Union
Poblacion, Bacnotan (across Municipal Hall)
La Union
Bangar Public Market
Brgy Namabbalan Norte, Tuguegarao City
Brgy. Pengue Ruyu, Tuguegarao City
Brgy. Gosi, Tuguegarao City
Brgy Buntun, Tuguegarao City
Brgy Carig, Tuguegarao City
Onon Marketing Office, Tuguegarao City
Onon Marketing Warehouse, Tuguegarao City
Brgy. Dadda, Tuguegarao City
Brgy. Tagga, Tuguegarao City
Brgy. Larion, Tuguegarao City

NBA League Pass Launches New Monthly Subscription Package and Highlights Feature

Wazzup Pilipinas!

NBA League Pass, the league’s live games subscription service, will tip off the 2016-17 NBA season with new features designed for basketball fans outside of the United States. Throughout the season, fans will have the option to select NBA Game Choice, a new monthly subscription, which enables fans to select any two live games per week (eight live games per month).

This season, NBA League Pass will also introduce NBA Rapid Replay, a new highlights feature providing fans with in-the-moment updates on great NBA action from around the league. NBA Rapid Replay can be accessed as part of the live game experience from the NBA App on iOS and Android.

To tip off the season, NBA League Pass will have a week-long free trial beginning with the first night of the season on Wednesday, Oct. 26 and running through Wednesday, Nov. 2.

From a variety of game packages to multi-screen views of the action, NBA League Pass will deliver more ways to experience the NBA. This year’s features include:

·         BEST PLAYS OF THE DAY: This new series wraps up the day’s action with the best content from around the league.
·         ON-DEMAND CHOICES: Fans have the ability to download replays of full-length games or condensed games for convenient on-the-go viewing.
·         VIDEO ARCHIVES: NBA League Pass opens up the NBA vault providing fans with more access than ever before to classic games, interviews, highlights and documentaries, including 60 hours of new content.  Throughout the season, new NBA content will be added to the Video Archives.

Along with the new offerings and features, NBA League Pass will continue to offer its traditional, comprehensive full season package providing access to every NBA regular season game, as well as the entire NBA Playoffs, the NBA Finals and the 66th annual NBA All-Star Game. 

NBA Team Choice, available for all 30 teams, will return to give fans the option to follow one team and watch their favorite players all regular season long.  In addition, NBA League Pass will enable fans to watch individual live games throughout the season.

Fans will be able to enjoy the subscription-based service across computers, tablets and mobile devices (iPhone and iPad; Android phones, tablets), as well as a wide variety of connected devices including the Apple TV; Android TV; Chromecast; ROKU; XBOX One; PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4 and Amazon Kindle.

NBA League Pass is also available through Globe Telecom, the official wireless and broadband services partner of the NBA in the Philippines.  Globe provides its customers with three service offerings—NBA499 for a 30-day premium access, NBA299 for 7 days, and NBA50 for a 24-hour access—to enable sports fans to watch the NBA on their mobile devices through its streamlined registration process.

To subscribe to NBA League Pass, visit or and follow the NBA on Facebook ( and Twitter ( for all the latest news and updates.  

The Pink Run: D’Feeting Breast Cancer

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The Philippine Society of General Surgeons, Inc. (PSGS) is a fellowship of highly competent, safe, compassionate and ethical surgeons dedicated to pursuing excellence in the art and science of general surgery as a distinct specialty. The PSGS is recognized for its pioneering achievements in continuing surgical education, training and research. It is dedicated to promote the welfare of its members, and provide compassionate and quality health care, responsive to the needs of the community. 

For this year the PSGS organized the 6th fun run called “The Pink Run: D’Feeting Breast Cancer” which aims to raise funds and to raise awareness against breast cancer. This event will take place at the FILINVEST CITY/FESTIVAL MALL ALABANG, MUNTINLUPA CITY on October 30, 2016 (Sunday) at 5:00 am.

Race category in 3 KM, 5 KM, 10 KM and 16 KM runs. 

All runners in all categories will receive medals and free Breast Exam. Top finishers per category will receive special prizes and medal

For the benefit of Project Pink:

There is an ongoing online registration at Onsite registration are available at Toby’s Festival Mall, Asian Breast Cancer Institute at Asian Hospital and PSGS Office (Ms. Ollie M. Palma ( /09178098853/456-8411/926-8432).

PH Privacy Commission Gets International Accreditation

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The Philippines’ newly formed data protection and privacy authority, The National Privacy Commission (NPC) has received international recognition for its data protection regime from several notable international authorities. The NPC was created March of this year.

The International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners (ICDPPC) recently accepted the NPC as a member of the organization. Accreditation by the ICDPPC signifies that a country’s Data Protection agency meets stringent standards, and out of the 12 applications received by the ICDPPC Executive Committee this year, only 5 were approved including the NPC. The ICDPPC has been the premier global forum for data protection authorities for 40 years, providing global leadership in data protection and privacy by connecting the efforts of over 110 privacy and data protection authorities from around the world.

NPC Chairman Raymund E. Liboro was pleased with the recognition of the Commission’s efforts of to upgrade the standards of privacy and data protection in the Country. "Admission to the ICDPPC augurs well for the Philippines, it recognizes that we are committed to international standards in protecting personal data and privacy in the country, and that the commission is viewed as independent and vested with the authority to do so". Chairman Liboro said.

Earlier last month the Hogan Lovells Chronicle on Data Protection posted an article on its website featuring the release of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the Data Privacy Act of 2012 (R.A. 10173) the article mentioned that “the IRRs represent a significant development in data privacy regulation in the Philippines, and will affect multi-national businesses that use or provide services in or from the Philippines, as well as local vendors with data processing facilities in the Philippines. It is fair to say that the IRRs set one of the higher bars for compliance standards in the Asia-Pacific region”

This is good news for the Information Technology - Business Process Management (IT-BPM) industry as it reinforces the Philippines’ reputation as an ideal IT-BPM destination. According to Benedict Hernandez of the Information Technology and Business Process Association of the Philippines (IBPAP), the industry association for the IT-BPM sector , “With IT-BPM being a key employment generator and one of the country's growth pillars, the fact that our Data Privacy Standards meet International Standards means we can expect more companies to prefer the Philippines over other countries.” Mr. Hernandez said.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

SAP Announces SAP HANA, Express Edition, for Rapid Application Development on a Personal Computer or in the Cloud

Wazzup Pilipinas!

SAP SE announced SAP HANA, express edition, a streamlined, downloadable version of its in-memory platform optimized for fast and continuous development of data-driven applications. This latest release provides developers with ubiquitous access to the SAP HANA platform to build applications free of charge on a laptop or desktop, or in the cloud.

SAP HANA, express edition, supports the rising demand for developers with SAP HANA experience — identified as one of the top-paying skills in a recent 2016 Dice Salary Survey. SAP now delivers a downloadable version of SAP HANA along with tutorials, sample code and a vibrant SAP developer community to help developers get up to speed quickly with flexible deployment environments.

“With this new starter SAP HANA, express edition, we have been able to jump-start our development immediately, using our existing personal computers,” said Jean Safar, chief architect, Calypso Technology Inc. “With the preconfigured virtual machine option, it has been really simple to get hands-on experience with in-memory technology and develop our initial version on sample risk-related data sets. Additionally, the availability of flexible upgrade options to full-use editions will help us further experiment and leverage SAP HANA to support our future technology innovation plans.”

Brand-New Cars Up for Grabs at the Lamudi Housing Fair

Wazzup Pilipinas!

Solid Pattern Home Builders is giving away brand-new Toyota Vios 2017 units at the Lamudi Housing Fair, happening on November 18 to 20, 2016, at Megatrade Hall 3, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong. This exclusive offer is open to all Housing Fair attendees who will sign spot-on cash contract with Solid Pattern Home Builders worth Php4.32 million.

According to Solid Pattern Home Builders, this exciting promotion offers Filipino families, OFWs, retirees, and even companies looking for a company to build their dream home or office building, and get to own a brand new Toyota Vios in the process. A brand new Toyota Vios 2017 will be bundled when one avails of a Php4.32 million contract (terms and conditions apply) with the company during the Housing Fair.

Recognizing the boom of the construction industry in 2011, Solid Pattern Home Builders used their expertise to provide first-rate building services to Filipinos. The company since then has delivered innovative homes with modern architectural designs while still maintaining reasonable and value-for-money rates. Determined to change the unfair reality in the industry where construction and materials are substandard and interest rates are so high, the company is consistently coming up with ideas to serve their clients better.

Solid Pattern Homebuilders is a gold sponsor at the upcoming Lamudi Housing Fair. Other sponsors include Eton Properties, Lhoopa, Filinvest, and Hoppler. They will be joined by exhibitors such as Abenson, Bayan, The New Apec Development Corporation, Green Circle, DMCI Homes, Phinma Properties, HT Land, Sandari Batulao, Infinite Edge, RCBC Savings Bank, New San Jose Builders, Shang Properties, Greenfield Marketers One, Property 101 Incorporated, Data Land, Sky Residences, Castille, Damosa Land, and many others.

The Lamudi Housing Fair will be the largest housing event in the country to feature the widest selection of properties and offer exclusive discounts to home buyers and property investors. Visitors may also take advantage of investment and home-buying seminars and foreclosure property auction with partner banks and brokerages at the Housing Fair.

Other fun games, promos and activities will also be available for the whole family and exciting prizes awaits the first 100 attendees to register at the Lamudi Housing Fair Booth.

For more information, visit

Equinox: A Drag | Rave Halloween Ball

Wazzup Pili[inas!

The most anticipated Pre-Halloween Event in Metro Manila; Equinox A Drag|Rave Halloween Ball. Featuring up and coming Filipino LGBT Superstar Artists, DJ SweetHeart, SuperStarletXXX and DJ Duo "Boys Can Trance"

The Ball will also feature suprise live performances and a mini Drag Battle with Amateur Drag Performers.

Happening this Friday; October 28, 2016, 11:45PM until morning at the newest Super Club in the Metro; "BeLOW"- Driveway Exit, New World Hotel Makati (beside Greenbelt 3).

Tickets are pre-sold at PHP 350 (w/ 1 free Hennessy VS Cocktail) and can be purchased at SM Ticket Centers at all SM Malls nationwide or online via Tickets will be sold at Php 400 at the venue on the event date.

The following tables are available:

• Standing/Cocktail table (PHP 5,000); inclusive of 1 Hennessy VS bottle, 1 mixer, and 13 complimentary tickets

• Couch table (PHP 10,000); inclusive of Hennessy VS Bottles, 2 mixers, and 25 complimentary tickets

For inquiries and table reservations, kindly contact Equinox Hotline (09064549523) or private message Emergence at

iDEFEND Condemns Police Brutality on Successive Dispersals of Indigenous People’s Rallies

Wazzup Pilipinas!

iDEFEND strongly condemns the mowing down of Lumad protesters near the US embassy yesterday, and the firing of water cannons at them in front of Camp Aguinaldo last Tuesday.

The rallies called for a stop to militarization and intrusion of foreign corporations in ancestral territories. The groups further demanded an end to the presence of U.S. troops in the country, supporting what they believe to be the call for an ‘independent foreign policy’ by President Rodrigo Duterte.

The President’s call for investigation stopped short of condemning the use of brute force against the rallyists who traveled all the way from Mindanao to air their grievances. The commander-in-chief has command responsibility over their actions and should have stated the inacceptability of such forms of violence.

The public saw that rather than maximum tolerance and restraint, the violent action of the police showed a complete disregard for the lives of the people. Indigenous elders and women were run over by a police car, a woman’s hair pulled by the police, a driver beaten in the head until he lost consciousness, and several others dragged and severely beaten up before the very eyes of the public, as videos of the dispersal spread like wildfire in the quad-media.

Five remain confined with serious injuries while others are still under police custody.

The conduct cannot be divorced from the conduct that has exhibited violence and impunity in the first one hundred days of the Duterte administration with more than four thousand extra-judicially killed as a result of his violent and hard-line approach to drugs and criminality.

Though we welcome the move of the National Capital Region Police Office (NCRPO) of the Philippine National Police (PNP) which ordered for an administrative relief of police officials involved in the violent dispersal, we demand for an impartial investigation and immediate filing of criminal as well as administrative sanctions for those responsible.

iDefend has been reiterating that political violence has no place in a democratic society. There is nothing that can justify the inhuman act against those who were just exercising their freedom of speech and assembly.

Clearly, the police and military were emboldened by the President’s promise of protection amid mass killings by the uniformed groups.

This brazen act of violence shows the prevailing culture of brutality among the police force who are now acting above the law.

If they think that they can get away with murdering handcuffed drug suspects for allegedly resisting arrest, it is not surprising that they would not think twice to mow down anyone who are exercising their constitutional rights.

We stand in solidarity with the protesting indigenous people. They, like us, are human rights defenders. We stand steadfast in the face of attacks against the people’s democratic rights as well as any form of curtailment of such rights.

PHL Team to Represent Country at Crossfire Finals in China

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Philippines’ very own Pacific Wara took home the championship title at the CrossFire Stars National Finals recently held at the SMX Convention Center in Pasay City. 

This is one of the CrossFire competitions, held alongside the CrossFire Invitational Manila 2016, which was attended by thousands of gamers from the region. The Pacific Wara team went home with the US$10,000.00 grand prize. 

They will also represent the country in the CrossFire Stars Grand Finals happening in China this December. 

As for the overall tournament winner, the AllGamers team from China bested top CrossFire teams from other countries during the CrossFire Invitational Manila 2016. 

The AllGamers took home the grand prize amounting to US$15,000.00. 

Globe Board Approves New Capex of US$300 Million for Network Expansion

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The Globe Board of Directors approved new capital expenditure (capex) of US$300 million for network expansion, consisting of US$160 million for mobile; US$50 million for corporate data; and, US$90 million for broadband. Previous to this new approval, the Company’s 2016 capex availment and capex cashflow were the same at U$750 million. The additional network spending will bring 2016 capex availment to U$1 billion while the capex cashflow will range between U$750 – 810 million depending on the final network build completion in the fourth quarter of this year.

In line with Globe’s vision for the Philippines to become an admired nation for having first world Internet connectivity, the Company is kick-starting an additional mobile capex program for more deployment of LTE services using the 700 megahertz (MHz) and 2600 MHz frequencies, increased 3G capacities and further expansion of mobile coverage. Consistent with the Company's commitment to the government for the improvement of mobile internet services and expanding LTE coverage across the Philippines, Globe plans to roll-out additional 700 LTE 700 sites, close to 2,700 LTE 2600 sites and additional core and transport upgrades.

In parallel, Globe has started the deployment of fiber broadband technology that will provide ultra-fast internet access to two million homes in 20,000 barangays by 2020. Lastly, Globe is investing for capacity augmentation of its corporate data network to address the bandwidth requirements of enterprise clients for the use of various data solutions to improve business efficiency, enhance productivity and boost competitiveness.

“Guided by our new purpose of ‘creating a Globe of Good’, the Company is aggressively fast-tracking a multi-pronged network infrastructure and capacity expansion build to provide our customers a better internet experience”, said Globe President and CEO Ernest Cu. “We are leveraging our additional 700MHz and 2600Mhz spectrum by investing heavily on LTE to improve both mobile data and fixed wireless broadband. The Company is now in the best position more than ever to deliver the best video platforms and expand our data services, in line with the future of our business.” “Mr. Cu added.

From a product perspective, data has remained Globe’s catalyst for growth across all the product segments. For the first half of 2016, the Company’s data-related revenues accounted for 50% of consolidated service revenues, up from 37% in the first half of last year. Total data revenues, which consist of mobile data, home broadband and corporate data services, reached Php29.6 billion in the first six months of the year, up 48% from the Php20.0 billion pesos reported last year.

Carbon Black Lands Top Score in Prevention and the Highest Score Possible In Detection Capabilities Criteria

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Carbon Black, the leader in next-generation endpoint security, today announced that the company was named a “Leader” in the Forrester Research Inc. report, The Forrester Wave: Endpoint Security Suites, Q4 2016, achieving the highest score possible in the detection capabilities criteria and the top score for the prevention capabilities criteria.

"Carbon Black offers a strong balance of prevention, detection, and remediation functions without relying on signature blacklists," according to the Forrester report, authored by Chris Sherman. According to the Forrester report: “antivirus technologies have become less effective at protecting employee endpoints and servers. Numerous competing technology vendors have risen up to take aim at the stagnant antivirus market as a result.”

As one of these competing vendors, Carbon Black earned a “Leader” distinction.

Said Carbon Black Chief Executive Officer, Patrick Morley: “The emerging next-generation endpoint-security market must go beyond prevention to incorporate detection and remediation capabilities, empowering business to get to the root of their security issues. We believe we are the first and only next-generation antivirus (NGAV) company designated as a ‘Leader’ by Forrester.”

According to the Forrester Report: “With its more recent acquisition of Confer in 2016, the company demonstrates its commitment to a more balanced portfolio, with prevention and detection capabilities.”

Carbon Black’s leadership is built on having a complete endpoint-security solution that addresses evolving customer demands to include market-leading prevention, detection and remediation.

The Cb Endpoint Security Platform uniquely couples behavioral-based prevention techniques, with detection and response capabilities, delivering a complete endpoint security platform. Carbon Black’s disruptive behavioral-based prevention monitors all processes on an endpoint for attack patterns. When these patterns emerge, Carbon Black immediately and definitively prevents the attack and offers visibility into what the attacker tried to do.

Customers can use the Cb Endpoint Security Platform to replace legacy antivirus technology, lock down critical systems, and arm incident-response teams with advanced tools to proactively hunt down threats. The Cb Endpoint Security Platform is the only solution that provides the flexibility and security required to grow and evolve with an organization’s security needs, and is available in the cloud or on-prem. Through Carbon Black’s extensive partner program, and integration with IBM’s BigFix, Carbon Black provides robust remediation capabilities.

The Cb Endpoint Security Platform is powered by the “Cb Collective Defense Cloud,” which provides an assessment of what’s safe and what’s not, based on advanced-analytic techniques applied to data from millions of endpoints. It continuously records data from more than seven million endpoints protected by Carbon Black products, and constant interactions between the Cb Collective Defense Cloud and Carbon Black’s offerings strengthen the system’s ability to identify malicious activity and become more resilient over time.

Download the complete Forrester Wave™: Endpoint Security Suites, Q4 2016 report

Lawin Disrupts Communications Services in Some Parts of Northern Luzon

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Globe gears up restoration activities and business continuity protocols.

Two-hundred twenty five (225) kph-strong winds from Typhoon Lawin resulted in commercial power interruption, multiple fiber cuts and service disruption in parts of Northern Luzon. Globe reported voice, call and data service disruptions in selected areas in Abra, Cagayan, Kalinga, portions of Ilocos Norte and Apayao.

Customers in the said areas will temporarily experience difficulty in accessing communications services. PAGASA has donwngraded Lawin from supertyphoon to typhoon level offering opportunities for early restoration of Globe services. Network redundancies were activated to alleviate the impact of service disruptions to customers.

Globe technical teams have already been deployed to restore damaged facilities. In the meantime, Globe is also in close coordination with government agencies to deploy relief operations in areas affected by the typhoon. Further advisories will be released to update customers on the restoration of various services.

As of 3:30 pm Thursday, about 95% of Globe Telecom’s total wireless network in northern Luzon are already online, enabling the company to provide critical telecommunication services in areas severely affected by Typhoon Lawin.

Following accelerated restoration efforts implemented by the company, Globe Telecom’s mobile services have been immediately restored in key areas that include Baguio, Benguet, Laoag, parts of Tuguegarao City and Cagayan including Ballesteros, Cauayan and other areas in Isabela.

Globe assures its customers that it will continue to step up restoration efforts until we have completely restored voice, text and data services are fully restored in all typhoon-hit areas.

Meanwhile, Globe also began reaching out to typhoon victims in Cauayan, Isabela by setting up a Libreng Tawag and Libreng charging station across Cauayan City Hall to assist residents who needed to assure their family and friends of their safety or to request for aid if necessary. The facility is available from October 20-22, 8 am to 6 pm. —Yoly Crisanto, Senior Vice President for Corporate Communications.

CBN Asia Premieres Oyayi this October 23 on ABS-CBN

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CBN Asia, in partnership with the National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT), premieres its newest kiddie show for the whole family entitled “Oyayi”, this October 23, 2016 on ABS-CBN

The show aims to create an awareness among the Filipino children about the environment, culture, family, and arts through educational and fun-filled episodes that teach them to be wise citizens at their young age. 

“There are many programs that children can watch but they are not designed for children. We need quality children’s programs that will teach values in a very entertaining way,” says CBN Asia’s Executive Vice President-Chief Operating Officer Robert John Tan, the Director of the show. 

Oyayi, a Filipino word which means lullaby, is based on a children’s storybook written by Fernando Rosal Gonzalez. It was the chosen winner in the NCCT Nationwide Search for the Coolest Television Proposal in 2012. 

After months of preparations, it was successfully molded into an all new quality children’s show co-produced by CBN Asia and NCCT. 

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Rinnai: Advanced Precision Cooking Ranges to Enhance Your Culinary Passion

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Rinnai, the largest manufacturer of gas appliances in Japan since it was established in 1920, recently launched its series of cooking ranges at an event held at the Atrium of SM Megamall on October 19, 2016.

Dubbed as Rinnai: Passion and Precision, the event highlighted its new brand ambassador, Celebrity Chef Rosebud Benitez who can be seen in her show called Quickfire, a 10-minute television cooking show broadcast several times daily on GMA News TV, a sister station of GMA Network.

Chef Rosebud, together with Masashi Morita, Marketing Manager from Rinnai Japan, went around the display showcase of Rinnai cooking range to talk about its basic features. Mitsui Industria Corporation, distributor of Rinnai products in the Philippines. 

The key management handling the brand like Rinnai Japan's Naohito Shibata and Mitsui Industria Corporation’s General Manager John Chuakaw, also shared their messages on stage.

A pasta dish cooking demo was also done by Chef Rosebud so the attendees can actually see one of the cooking range in action.

NCCA Leads Dayaw 2016 Festivities as Part of Commemorating Indigenous People's Month

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The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) held on October 19, 2016 a press conference at its office lobby in Intramuros, Manila to formally initiate the start of the series of activities lined up as part of the commemoration of Indigenous People's Month. It is said that we are to expect a month-long series of activities that will end sometime third week of November.

The main event of Dayaw will be held in Manila from November 21 to 23. 

Forming the panel of key personalities involved in the celebrations were OIC-executive Director Marichu G. Tellano; Dr. Edwin Antonio, Head of the National Committee on Northern Cultural Communities; Cirio Pastolero, Director IV from the Office of the Cabinet Secretary; Lee Arroyo, OIC-Executive Director of the NCIP; and Dr. Al-Anwar Anzar, Commissioner of the SCCTA.

At this media launch, the organizers also incorporated traditional music and dances as part of the program to both entertain and inform the press conference attendees of our cultural history.

Everyone in the panel gave their opening messages, as well as closing messages after a Q&A to answer all inquiries from the media and other people present at the event.

OIC-executive Director Marichu appreciates the attendance of the media and mentioned that they are grateful for the support in disseminating information. She also replied to an inquiry about partnering with the Department of Education (DepEd) in integrating the knowledge about IPs and other related matters by making it as part of the curriculum or as a subject or topic discussed in school. Our understanding is that they are already collaborating with DepEd and may soon come out with more visible solutions.

An exhibit at a nearby room was also formally opened through a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Manila Gears Up for International Innovation & Startup Conference Bootstrap Manila on October 22, 2016

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International Organisations are recognizing the Philippines as one of the leading Innovation Hubs in the region. Thus, the local startup scene will be shaken up with a major event happening this week, the organizers are Impact Hub Manila, one of the country’s leading startup incubator/accelerator, and LaunchGarage, one of the top innovation and coworking hubs in the metro,

They host the first ever Bootstrap Manila 2016, an international innovation conference, on October 22, 2016 at Green Sun Hotel, Makati from 8:00 AM to 5:00PM.

The one-day conference highlights the emerging startup scene in the country with an exciting speaker lineup of innovators and disruptors namely: Luis Buenaventura of Bloom Solutions, a fintech and cryptocurrency expert; Manny Ayala, Managing Director of the Philippine office of Endeavor, a global nonprofit focused on accelerating high-impact entrepreneurs; and Ibba Rasul-Bernardo, an IT entrepreneur committed to bringing technology to the BOP (base of pyramid).

Joining them are experts from the vibrant and established ecosystems of Berlin, Jakarta, and Bangalore - Rainer Seider the Head of Unit European and International Co-operation, Ministry for Economics, Technology and Research; Deepesh Agarwal, CEO MoveInSync Technology Solutions Pvt Ltd.; Fajar Anugerah of Bali Recycling; Geraldine de Bastion, Founder of the Global Innovation Gathering; Yatan Blumenthal, Co-Founder Betahaus/; and Paula Schwarz, Founder of Startupboat.

Slots are limited and tickets are available online at Bootstrap Manila.

Bootstrap is part of the four-city StartHubs AsiaBerlin Startup and Innovation Roadshow that includes Berlin, Bangalore, and Jakarta. It is an initiative of the City Senate of Berlin in collaboration with the Deutsche Gesellschaft fuer Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH to shine the spotlight on the four important startup hubs and foster cooperation among these diverse yet interconnected ecosystems. With better communication and coordination, including knowledge sharing, among the different hubs, this innovative project aims to develop opportunities and initiatives relevant to current global concerns,

Representing the Philippine delegation are Matthew Cua, Founder and CEO of SkyEye Inc.; Joe Maristela, serial entrepreneur, member of the Manila Angel Investors Network and CEO of; Pia Angeli Bernal, Social Enterprise Investments Manager of Kickstart Ventures; Jay Fajardo, serial tech entrepreneur and CEO of LaunchGarage; and Mathias Jaeggi, serial entrepreneur, Co-Founder of both Impact Hub Manila and Sporttrip GmbH.

Another highlight of the conference is the formal presentation of the winners of the Impact Hub Fellowship Program on Sustainable Energy Solutions, in partnership with the World Wildlife Fund (WWF)-Philippines and Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), supported by the Asian Development Bank (ADB). Cleverheat, a solar-powered refrigeration system, HiGi, environment-friendly briquettes for cooking, and Solar Sari-Sari Store, portable solar charging stations, share the accolade for the best innovative ideas designed to address the needs for sustainable energy solutions in the country today.

Government Open Data to Improve with Data Sharing Directives

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The free-flow of information within the government is expected to improve with the National Privacy Commission’s (NPC) issuance of its latest memorandum circular (NPC MC 16-02) on Data Sharing Agreements Involving Government Agencies.

This latest issuance from the NPC reinforces its mandate to support the free-flow of information and safeguard the right to privacy of information. Privacy Commissioner Raymund Enriquez Liboro said the law was intended to strike a balance between the need for information freedom and data privacy as indispensable components of nation building. “Freedom of information is more than just access requests to government, it is about responsible data sharing. Open data will contribute significantly to improving government services and coming up with new ones, supporting innovation and growth,” Liboro said.

The Freedom of Information (FoI) Executive Order was recently issued by the government, and the privacy commission clarified that the Data Privacy Act (DPA) cannot be used as a shield against FoI. It pointed out that the DPA is for the protection of any personal data that may be contained in government records that is not relevant to the freedom of information request, particularly when it affects private citizens.

The government is considered the largest collector and repository of personal data. E-governance initiatives and innovations in public services allow for citizens to avail of these services online, eliminating the need to queue up or having to fill out paper-based forms with personal data that the government already has.

The Data Sharing Issuance requires that personal information controllers (government agencies) to implement safeguards for data sharing. These safeguards include adhering to data privacy principles, entering into Data Sharing Agreements, reviewing technical security measures when allowing online access, and providing for the return, destruction or disposal of transferred personal data. Violation of directives contained in the issuance may lead to sanctions.

Mustard Seed Holds Business & Tech Blogging Seminar for Bloggers

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Mustard Seed Systems Corporation recently invited business and technology bloggers to a Business & Tech Blogging Seminar on September 29, 2016 held at the Limbaga 77 Cafe & Restaurant located in Tomas Morato, Quezon City.

The seminar's guest speaker was Chay Lazaro, Creative Director for Gadgetmatch and a contributor for Rappler. She discussed techniques on blogging and gaining more followers for blogs.

It was a bit off since both online publications or media outfits do not consider themselves as blogs. But what separates  blogs from news, or reviews and features, sites? I believe there is a thin line already on how to make your site, whether it's a blog or anything else, as long as it's online, they would follow the same rules and principles just like any other site.

Since the main owner, Josh Villanueva, of Gadgetmatch also came from Rappler, we would see the reason why their site also gained momentum. I've been seeing Josh even at product launching and events outside the country, and though they reviews some gadgets on loan from the brands, Chay has revealed that they also pay for their own travel fares and some times also buy their own units too to passionately put content on their sites.

They also made extra efforts on their video productions since Gadgetmatch was originally known for their YouTube video channel. This is where Chay's strength comes in as she is the Creative Director of the team handling the "creative" requirements of the site. This includes making their videos memorable by being graphically pleasing and interesting enough.
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