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THE PHILIPPINES' FIRST TECH LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Food

THE AJINOMOTO VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE Glorious Stevia Raising Food Delivery Standards

Gadgets Lab

TOSHIBA LOW-SUGAR MULTI-COOKER Secretlab Omega 2020 Series ThinkPad E l 4 Gen 2 Infinix HOT 10 PLAY Nokia 1.4 Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner

Mobility

HONDA SUPRA GTR150

The All-New Honda Dio Subaru Evoltis Nissan LEAF Why the Hybrid Car delivers more value

the science behind yummy


Contents

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12 Acer Aspire Vero 14 Acer Swift X 16 Acer Predator Triton 500 SE 18 Acer Predator Helio 500 20 vivo X60 22 vivo 21 series 24 POCO M3 Pro 5G 26 Lenovo Legion 5 | 5 Pro | 7 28 realme 8 Pro 29 realme 8 30 realme Buds Q2

JUNE 2021

VOLUME XXI • Issue X

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COVERSTORY

54 Technology and Fast Food 58 The Hidden Battle For Your Food 62 Food Logistics Amid A Pandemic

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MOBILITY

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GADGETS LAB gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

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32 Secretlab Omega 2020 Series 36 Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 40 Toshiba Low Sugar Multi-Cooker 1.0L 44 Infinix Hot 10 Play 48 Nokia 1.4 52 Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner

64 Test Drive: Honda Supra GTR150 68 All-new Honda Dio 70 Subaru Evoltis 74 Nissan Leaf 78 Why Hybrid Car Delivers More Value 82 Isuzu Subic Rising 86 17th Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards 88 Yamaha Sniper155

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92 The Best Airline Worldwide 94 Agoda Quarantine Package

96 Getting An OLED TV? 98 Light Up Your World

TRAVEL

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FEATURE


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Pru Life UK www.prulifeuk.com.ph

Pru Life UK - Official

@PruLifeUK

@PruLifeUK

Pru Life UK

Established in 1996, Pru Life UK is the pioneer of insuravest, or investment-linked life insurance products, in the Philippines and is one of the first life insurance companies approved to distribute US dollar-denominated investment-linked life insurance policies in the country. Since its establishment, Pru Life UK has expanded its reach to over 190 branches in the Philippines, with the biggest life agency force of about 32,000 licensed agents. The company ranked first (1st) among the country’s life insurers based on the Insurance Commission’s FY 2020 rankings in terms of new business annual premium equivalent. Pru Life UK is headquartered in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City. Pru Life UK and Prudential plc are not affiliated with Prudential Financial, Inc. of the United States, Prudential Assurance Company (a subsidiary of M&G plc, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom), Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company, Prudentialife Plans, Inc. or Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. (all Philippine-registered companies). Pru Life UK is a life insurance company and is not engaged in the business of selling pre-need plans. For more information: www.prulifeuk.com.ph


Contents

110

JUNE 2021

VOLUME XXI • Issue X

122

EDUCATION

GAMING

110 Immersive Education Solutions

100 Resident Evil Village

114 Rainbow Classroom

102 Kalaro

116 Stem Femme Warriors Club

104

ENTERPRISE 104 Cobots Improve Manufacturing Productivity 106 Caravan Digital Export Platform 108 Shopee University Summit

144 FOOD

120

GREEN

gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

Together We Can: 60 Years of Conservation

118

EMPLOYMENT Compassion In The Workplace

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122 The Ajinomoto Virtual Experience 126 Glorious Stevia 128 Raising Food Delivery Standards


Thank you for trusting Pru Life UK!

WE ARE RANKED #1 based on the Insurance Commission’s FY 2020 rankings in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent

Listening. Understanding. Delivering.

Pru Life UK Celebrates with You! Don’t miss out on winning big with Pulse!

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Download Pulse for free and register to the raffle to join! Scan the QR code or download the app via Google Play or the App Store.

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www.prulifeuk.com.ph

Pru Life UK - Official

@PruLifeUK

@PruLifeUK

Pru Life UK

A subsidiary of Prudential plc, Pru Life UK was established in 1996 when the Insurance Commission granted the Company the license to operate and sell life insurance products in the Philippines. Since then, Pru Life UK has expanded its reach to over 190 branches, with the biggest life agency force of more than 35,000 licensed agents. *Pru Life UK ranked first (1st) based on the Insurance Commission’s FY 2020 rankings in New Business Annual Premium Equivalent. Pru Life UK is headquartered in Uptown Bonifacio, Taguig City. Pru Life UK is the pioneer and current market leader of insuravest, or investment-linked life insurance products, in the Philippines, and is one of the first life insurance companies approved to distribute US dollar-denominated investment-linked policies in the country. Pru Life UK is a life insurance company and is not engaged in the business of selling pre-need plans. Prudential plc is an Asia-led portfolio of businesses focused on structural growth markets. The business helps individuals to de-risk their lives and deal with their biggest financial concerns through life and health insurance, and retirement and asset management solutions. Prudential plc has 20 million customers and is listed on stock exchanges in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and New York. Pru Life UK and Prudential plc are not affiliated with Prudential Financial, Inc. of the United States, Prudential Assurance Company (a subsidiary of M&G plc, a company incorporated in the United Kingdom), Philippine Prudential Life Insurance Company, Prudentialife Plans, Inc. or Prudential Guarantee and Assurance, Inc. (all Philippine-registered companies).


Contents

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JUNE 2021

VOLUME XXI • Issue X

WELLNESS 134 May Measurement Month 136 Breast Cancer Protection 137 Improving Local Healthcare Through Telemedicine 138 Don’t Put Your Health On Hold

130

SNAPSHOTS #FoodPhotography

138

VISUAL SPACE Defy Limits Art

142

CYBERSECURITY Web browser exploits, RAT-infested delivery alerts, DOSfuscation, and other hacker activity

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GOVERNMENT

gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

#REGITOVOTE

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NEWSBYTES The latest in the world of tech 10

153

RELIC Can Opener


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Notebook

Acer Aspire Vero

This emphasis on sustainability carries over to the design language, too. All graphics on the shipping box are printed with soy ink, and the notebook itself contains no paint on the chassis, reducing the impact on the environment. It is held together

by easily accessible, standardized screws for a simpler disassembly process. The notebook stands out with unique yellow and volcano grey accents on its bumpers. Behind all of this is an attractive and impressive computer. The latest 11th Gen Intel Core processor with Intel Iris X e graphics lets it power through daily productivity tasks and more, while up to 1TB of M.2 SSD storage gives users plenty of space to store music, movies, and files. This display features a lifting-hinge design that slightly elevates the notebook when opened, allowing for a more ergonomic typing experience, while AI noise suppression offers clarity during video calls. The notebook also comes with Intel Wi-Fi 6 (Gig+), a USB Type-C port, two USB 3.2 ports, and an HDMI 2.0 port for video-out.

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ACER’S ASPIRE VERO is the world’s first laptop made from recycled materials. Post-consumer recycled (PCR) plastic is used throughout the device’s chassis and keyboard caps. Eco-friendly packaging takes this a step further: the Aspire Vero ships in a box made from 80-85% recycled paper pulp, and plastic bagging for adapter protection is reduced by using paper sleeves instead. Furthermore, the laptop bag and the sheet between the keyboard and screen is made with 100% industrial recycled plastic.

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Acer Swift X gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

Notebook

THE NEW ACER Swift X (SFX14-41G) notebook represents a new segment within the Swift portfolio. It is the first of its series to come powered with discrete graphics, all at an impressive 1.39kg. Its NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Laptop GPU, based on NVIDIA’s Ampere architecture, combined with up to an AMD Ryzen 7 5800U Mobile Processor and 16GB of RAM offers creative professionals such as video editors or photographers plenty of power. True to the Swift family, all this hardware has been fitted into a metal chassis just 17.9mm (0.7in) thin.

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The productivity capabilities of the Acer Swift X are further enhanced by up to 2TB of SSD storage, allowing all of a user’s work to be taken with them, and a fast-charging 59W battery that offers up to 17-hours of use.

The notebook also includes a fingerprint sensor for more secure sign-in through Windows Hello, AIenhanced noise suppression for smoother video calls, and Acer BlueLightShield technology to help lessen eye strain during long editing sessions.

The Swift X features a 14-inch FHD IPS display with an 85.7% screen-to-body ratio, 300nits brightness, and 100% sRGB—enough for editing 4K video or getting photographs just right. A plentiful array of ports, including full-function USB Type-C, ensure ultra-fast data transfer, video streaming, and battery charging, facilitating this process, while Wi-Fi 6 means faster overall connectivity.

Built with heavier work sessions in mind, the new Swift X leverages a fan with fifty-nine 0.3mm blades and a pair of D6 copper heat pipes to optimize its thermal efficiency. A number of other innovations also improve the notebook’s cooling efficiency: an air inlet keyboard design expels around 8-10% more heat than a standard keyboard, and a stereo ring with an inclined plane sitting along the top of the fan delivers up to a 5-10% improvement in airflow.

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Acer Predator Triton 500 SE gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

Gaming Notebook

THE PREDATOR TRITON 500 SE (PT516-51s) is a “special edition” notebook designed for gamers who want a machine capable of getting through both the latest AAA games and the workday. Powered by up to an 11th Gen Intel Core i9 Processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, and up to 64GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory, the notebook offers more than enough gaming power—but at just 19.9mm (0.75in) thin with up to 12 hours of battery life and NVIDIA Advanced Optimus technology, gamers can easily slip it into a backpack or squeeze in a bit of work between matches. The notebook’s sleek, clean appearance means that it could even double as a work laptop for professionals who enjoy gaming, and with up to 4TB of high-speed PCIe Gen4 storage, it has plenty of space for games, footage, and the odd spreadsheet or two. Players will appreciate the Predator Triton 500 SE’s 16-inch 16:10 display with an 87% screen-to-body ratio and three-panel options, including a 165Hz WQXGA LCD display; a 165Hz WQXGA Mini LED panel with 1250

June 2021

peak nits and 100% coverage of the sRGB color gamut; or a 240Hz WQXGA IPS PolarBlack panel with a 3ms response time and 100% coverage of the DCI-P3 color gamut for an even smoother gameplay experience. Just under the notebook’s all-metal chassis, a suite of thermal management technology ensures that everything runs cool. The Triton 500 SE employs Acer’s Vortex Flow cooling design, featuring a triple-fan cooling system, including a 5th Generation custom-engineered AeroBlade 3D Fan, five dedicated heat pipes for the CPU and GPU, plus strategically placed intake and exhaust vents that continually draw in cold air and expel hot air. The laptop’s PredatorSense allows gamers to monitor their system, overclock the computer’s GPU and adjust fan speed with different modes such as quiet, extreme, or turbo. As a final touch, the notebook’s full range of USB 3.2 Gen 2 ports, including dual Thunderbolt 4 Type-C ports, which support DisplayPort and an SD 7.0 card reader, provides players with plenty of room for all their peripherals.

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Acer Predator Helio 500 Gaming Notebook

Mini LED 120Hz display powered by AUO AmLED technology that supports full-array local dimming and is comparable to VESA Display HDR 1000, allowing for top-of-theline color saturation and contrast, or AUO’s superfast FHD 360Hz display rocking a 3 ms response time for the smoothest image possible. The laptop’s Vortex Flow technology leverages two fans, including a 5th Gen AeroBlade 3D Fan, to redirect airflow to critical components and boost performance during heavy gaming sessions. Users can use PredatorSense to enable Predator Pulsar lighting and customize light bars to personalize their keyboard

via per-key RGB backlighting. Additionally, the WASD keys can be enhanced with Acer’s Racing keys or MagForce keys, which feature MagTek mechanical switches to make keypresses function like a controller’s joystick, giving players precise control over their avatar’s movement. To give players even further control, the Helios 500 includes multiple ports: one HDMI 2.1, one mini-DP 1.4, two USB Type-C Thunderbolt 4, three USB 3.2 Gen2 ports that support offline charging, and one RJ45 port. An Intel Killer E3100G Ethernet Controller, Intel Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i, and Control Center 2.0 provide gamers with better connectivity and lower latency, while features like DTS:X Ultra audio and 3D simulated surround sound allow for an even more immersive experience. Additionally, the optional Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro 5G combines the power of 5G with Intel Killer Ethernet and Wi-Fi products for blazing-fast gaming experiences no matter how users stay connected. Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro 5G can smartly route important gaming traffic to the fastest network connection available for fun, seamless gameplay.

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THE PREDATOR HELIOS 500 (PH517-52) boasts up to an overclockable 11th Gen Intel Core i9 processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 Laptop GPU, and 64GB of DDR4 3200MHz memory, giving players more than enough power to take on all of the latest titles while a pair of PCIe NVMe SSDs in RAID 0 and one SATA HDD means that the notebook has plenty of space for the next generation of games, too. Furthermore, a choice of displays lets players get the most out of this hardware. Depending on their preferences, users can equip the 17.3-inch Helios 500 with a 4K

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vivo X60 Smartphone

VIVO’S NEW FLAGSHIP X60 series sports a Qualcomm Snapdragon 870 processor that promises smoother daily user experiences. With a substantial boost in CPU and GPU performance, these energy-efficient processors also contain integrated 5G basebands that can make the user’s 5G wireless network lightning fast with minimal latency.

The camera system of the vivo X60 supplements the enhancement of image details and sharpness to help users get ultra-HD images. It utilizes a VIS 5-axis video stabilization technology, allowing users to obtain clear shots of objects in dynamic motion with greater accuracy. The Extreme Night Vision 2.0 helps users to recreate shades of night with a single tap, capturing the impressive expanse of the night through vivo’s innovative AI noise reduction algorithm. Users may also choose between HDR Super Night Portrait, Ultra-Wide Night Mode, Super Pano, Pro Sports Mode, Kids Snapshot, and Starry Sky, amongst many others.

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The X60 boasts a stunning 6.56-inch flexible Ultra O Screen containing a 3.96mm front camera punch-hole centered at the top with ultra-narrow bezels. Exuding elegant 3D curvature with futuristic aesthetics, the X60 series has carried on the elegance of the X50 with super-slender curves and a sleek silhouette. The contours are more captivating than ever and adorned with a choker – a beautiful band that runs along the top edge to complete a picture of grace. The rear cameras are encased within the vivo X60 series’ New Dual-Tone Step, an ingenious layered design that refrains from an otherwise bulky look. Fashioned in thin cascading panels that rise in subtle steps, the Dual-Tone Step integrates all of the professional-grade imaging technologies and photography features coengineered with ZEISS. As slim as 7.36mm and weighing 176g, the latest models are available in shimmer blue or midnight black.

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The vivo X60 series features a 120Hz refresh rate and 240Hz response rate running on an edge-to-edge AMOLED display. The 120Hz refresh rate allows for effortless scrolling and viewing, while the 240Hz response rate induces an ultraresponsive touch screen to optimize user performance in gaming or occupational capacities. Additionally, the X60 series has been awarded with certifications, including HDR10+SGS Eye Care Display, SGS Seamless, and Hi-Res Audio; consumers can look forward to vivid clarity with stunning displays, leading

to rich and immersive visuals that won’t strain the eyes after long periods of usage.

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To accelerate the speed of its flagship processor, the X60 series also come with UFS 3.1 ultrafast flash memory to meet consumers’ need for running and storage.


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vivo V21 series Smartphone

vivo V21 5G - PHP 23,999

THE VIVO V21 is for those who want to take control, fashionably. This ultra-thin smartphone weighing 176 grams is not only stylishly designed with an antiglare matte glass that is both scratchresistant and fingerprint-free but is also ergonomically designed to give users a smooth, yet firm, grip. From selfies to video calls, users can rely on the vivo V21 to provide them with a fashion-forward and camera-focused device. The optimal image stabilization technology integrated into its front

June 2021

vivo V21e 4G - PHP 17,999

camera is the world’s first — making sure users capture their shine whether they shoot in high or low light. For those who love to vlog, this smartphone also makes a great choice as it offers a super still quality even as the user walks, talks, and films. It also has a Dual-View Video feature, letting people record two videos at the same time using both the front and rear cameras. Additionally, they can capture scenes crystal-clear with the vivo V21 delivering 4K selfie videos.

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vivo incorporates advanced 5G technology in its V21 models. It boasts of faster speeds for downloads and uploads, video streaming, real-time game interactivity, and more. People can also delight in more freedom as the V21 allows them to upgrade their memory by 3GB, on top of its built-in 8GB internal storage. For further edge, the vivo V21 supports uninterrupted movement with its 4000mAh battery giving long-lasting power.

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POCO M3 Pro 5G Smartphone

THE POCO M3 PRO 5G is equipped with the flagship-level MediaTek Dimensity 700 5G processor and offers brilliant performance and entertainment experience with 5G dual SIM support and a super smooth 90Hz display, all while delivering optimal power efficiency for ultra-long battery life.

With the 90Hz refresh rate, POCO M3 Pro 5G offers faster visuals and a smoother experience for users. POCO M3 Pro 5G also upgrades from POCO M3’s Dot Drop to a DotDisplay. DynamicSwitch enables the display to automatically switch between 90Hz, 60Hz, 50Hz, and 30Hz, allowing it to

adapt refresh rate to content while saving power. The 6.5” FHD+ display produces images in a clear 1080P resolution and sports dual light sensors on the front and back to enable 360° light detection, allowing it to adjust between 4096 levels of brightness. The triple camera array features a 48MP main camera along with a 2MP macro camera and 2MP depth sensor completes POCO M3 Pro 5G’s allaround user experience. The 48MP main camera enables users to capture clearer and more detailed images, particularly in low-light conditions. A host of camera software features, such as Night mode, Time-lapse video, and

Supporting all this power is a large 5,000mAh battery that can last up to more than 2 days. With 18W fast charging support and a 22.5W in-box charger, users can top up the battery and be back on the move in no time. POCO M3 Pro 5G foregoes typical smartphone designs in favor of something more unique. Crafted with an ergonomic, 3D curved back design and glossy finish, the device feels natural and comfortable to hold while standing out with a stylish and premium look. The phone also comes in three amazing colors: POCO yellow, power black, and cool blue. The device is also designed with usability in mind, offering a complete suite of features for ease of daily use, including an IR blaster, NFC, and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

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POCO is making use of MediaTek Dimensity technology, offering enhanced overall performance and speed. The powerful MediaTek Dimensity 700 offers flagship-level performance while maintaining lower power consumption for a long-lasting battery thanks to its 7nm processing technology. With an integrated 5G modem, the device supports dual 5G standby, providing users with 5G that’s always on without physically swapping out SIM cards.

Timed burst, greatly increases the camera array’s usage scenarios and allows users to get creative with photography and videography.

POCO M3 Pro 5G comes in two variants, 4GB+64GB and 6GB+128GB.

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Notebooks

Legion 7 - starts at PHP 139,995

LENOVO LEGION 5 | 5 PRO | 7 LENOVO’S NEW ARSENAL embraces innovation by providing better resolution displays, AI-bolstered thermal cooling and framerate customization, and the power to completely immerse gamers or face difficult tasks at ease with the AMD Ryzen 5000 H-series mobile processors and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 Series GPUs. Users can work hard during the day and play harder at night with the

June 2021

savage performances of the Legion 5, Legion 5 Pro, and Legion 7 notebooks. The new Legion 5, Legion 5 Pro, and Legion 7 are among the first notebooks equipped with the AMD Ryzen 5000 H series mobile processors, the only processors in the world to have 8 highperformance cores suited for ultra-thin gaming notebooks.

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Complementing these processors are the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3000 Series GPUs developed to bring the ultimate gaming performance. These graphics cards are jam-packed with new internals such as the award-winning NVIDIA Ampere architecture, 3rd Generation Ray Tracing Cores, 2nd Generation Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors to give gamers and content creators the

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most realistic graphics ever along with cutting-edge AI to fine-tune art to the smallest detail. They also feature NVIDIA DLSS 2.0 Technology that also uses AI to accelerate the laptop’s performance when playing games. The Legion 5, Legion 5 Pro, and Legion 7 come with the Lenovo Legion AI Engine that currently supports the top-16 AAA games and enables them to be played as smoothly as ever. The engine combines the best-in-class hardware, software, and machine learning to overclock PC performance.

The new Legion lineup also utilizes AI in the Coldfront 3.0 thermal management system to keep the temperature inside cooler as gaming action heats up. Coldfront 3.0 packs an intelligent intake system that allows for an increased airflow of up to 18% as compared to the last generation by using turbo-charged dual-fans and quad-channel exhausts with vapor chamber technology.

7. They now come with the Vantage Smart Performance Services solution that reduces PC downtime by scanning, detecting, and removing traces of spyware, malware, and adware. Gamers can also use the new solution to significantly reduce lag and latency issues while playing online multiplayer games through its ability to fix network and access issues.

Lenovo’s upgraded Vantage software is also bringing the speed in the Legion 5, Legion 5 Pro, and Legion

The Legion 5 comes in stingray white and phantom blue; the Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7 both come in storm grey.

Aiding the Lenovo Vantage in enabling seamless play among the new devices is their 3-Year Premium Care warranty service that’s bundled together with the notebooks upon purchase.

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Upon booting up a game, the Legion AI Engine automatically detects and routes the most ideal Thermal Design Power (TDP) settings to the CPU and GPU to achieve the maximum frames per second (FPS) in games. It also uses machine learning in other games to continuously tune gaming performance for maximum results.

The new Legion lineup’s Harman speakers are now optimized with Nahimic Audio. Designed for gamers, Nahimic gives a competitive edge with 360-degree audio and features such as Night Mode with smart volume reduction, and Sound Tracker that visually points out a sound’s source and direction in a game. Nahimic Audio also enables crystal-clear video calls with its background noise suppression feature, and it also comes with Sound Sharing that allows the streaming of audio from a PC to two different headsets without the need for audio adapters.

Legion 5 - starts at PHP 74,995 Legion 5 Pro - starts at PHP 84,995

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Both the Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7 are the first gaming laptops in the world to come out with 16” Quad High Definition (QHD) displays, allowing them to have a taller and clearer (2560 x 1600 resolution) 16:10 aspect ratio. Combined with up to a 165Hz refresh rate, 100% sRGB, and 500nits of brightness, gamers are treated to a cinematic-like experience that also assists in competitive games. The larger display raises a gamer’s sightlines and provides a better field of view, so they’ll detect enemies faster. Moreover, both displays of the Legion 5 Pro and Legion 7 have 3ms response times and can come out VESA DisplayHDR 400 Certified and with Dolby Vision and NVIDIA G-SYNC support.

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Realme 8 Pro Smartphone

PHP 15,990

THERE IS NO STOPPING content creators and digital savvy Filipinos in their quest for success, making the realme 8 Pro their perfect lifestyle partner. The realme 8 Pro is perfect for photography enthusiasts and content creators thanks to its powerful 108MP rear quad camera setup. It is powered by a Samsung HM2 camera sensor that captures images with eight times more pixels compared to 12MP smartphones.

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It also features the world’s first Tilt-shift Timelapse Video and Starry Time-lapse Video mode on smartphones that can turn the real world into a miniature world and lets users capture the beauty of the night. The Tilt-shift Time-lapse video

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mode also lets users manually adjust the shape, angle, position, and size of the blur effect. The realme 8 Pro also features the 50W SuperDart Charge technology and is packed with a 4,500mAh battery. With this feature, it only takes 17 minutes to reach a battery life of 50% and 47 minutes for 100%, letting users enjoy digital activities and content creation with a shorter charging time. It comes in two colors — infinite blue and infinite black.

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Realme 8 Smartphone

PHP 13,990

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FOR GAMING ENTHUSIASTS, the realme 8 is the top choice. It boasts a powerful MTK Helio G95 processor that delivers the best in gaming. Users can enjoy a smooth and outstanding performance in top mobile games like Mobile Legends, Call of Duty Mobile, League of Legends: Wild Rift, PUBG Mobile, and more. The realme 8 features a 30W Dart Charge and a 5,000mAh battery — a sleek package ideal for the youth on the go with the growing demand for a smartphone that can keep up with their needs and style.

It has two color variants, cyber silver and cyber black.

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The ultra-bold “DARE TO LEAP” logo at the back of the device uses a special fluorescent material that absorbs light and emits a magical glow around the camera in low light. This design feature embodies the youth’s trendy and fierce personality, not being afraid to express their emotions and dare to stand out.


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realme Buds Q2 True Wireless Earbuds

PHP 1,290

THE REALME BUDS Q2 offers a 20hour long battery life so you can binge up to eight movies or listen to 400 songs uninterrupted. With its built-in 40mAh battery in buds and 400mAh battery in charging case, the realme Buds Q2 gives 3-hour single continuous calling time and 5-hour single continuous listening time. It also quickly recharges at 2.5 and 2 hours for the buds and charging case, respectively, through micro-USB. The realme bud Q2’s 10mm Dynamic Bass Boost Driver that uses high-quality PEEK & TPU polymer composite diaphragm also gives an incredible sound experience. With the brand’s updated Bass Boost + solution found in recent realme smartphones, the Buds Q2 further unlocks the bass potential for real heart-thumping music.

June 2021

You can also get a perfect sync between video and audio while playing games or watching movies by switching to the realme Buds Q2’s low latency Gaming Mode. This reduces latency by as much as 51% and transfers sound from your phone to the Buds Q2 in just 88ms. Also, enjoy clearer and more engaging conversations with significantly reduced surrounding noise during calls. The earbuds’ single microphones form a powerful noise reduction system supported by the ENC noise canceling algorithm. The realme Buds Q2 also offers instant connection with Bluetooth 5.0 technology and ensures high

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transmission speed, powerful antijamming capability, low power consumption, and stable signal even from a distance of up to 10 meters. With its Intelligent Touch Control, you can switch between music, calls, and activate gaming mode more intuitively. In order to reduce the weight, a streamlined internal structure design makes the set as light as 39g. A single headphone is just 4.1g and very comfortable in-ear for long periods. It has an IPX4 water resistance rating against splash, rain, and sweat. It also comes in perfectly complementing colors sleek back and stylish blue.

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REVIEWED BY maribelle alba

SECRETLAB OMEGA 2020 SERIES Gaming CHAIR

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You don’t have to be a gamer to appreciate the benefits of a great gaming chair like the Secretlab Omega 2020 series. After a couple of months of daily use, here’s why I think it’s going to be hard to find anything better.

design Secretlab designed even the packaging to be of the highest quality. When you open the box, the individual pieces are all nicely ensconced in black plastic foam cut out to securely — everything. It also comes with a large easy-to-follow instruction board, and even the needed tools came in a compact case that I’ve added to my toolbox.

For additional comfort, the Secretlab Omega 2020 Series also comes with a separate head pillow made of memory foam with cooling gel and a memory foam lumbar pillow.

hardware Secretlab didn’t stint on the hardware that goes into the Omega 2020 Series. First, the steel frame is able to carry a load of up to 110kg. It rides on a balanced and reinforced aluminum wheelbase fitted with extra-large polyurethane (not plastic or rubber) caster wheels that are

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sturdy, wear-resistant, and quiet. The lifting mechanism is powered by bestin-class Class 4 hydraulic gas pistons for consistency, stability, and safety. The recline mechanism is made of a highgrade spring that allows you to lie back almost flat at 165o. The cold-cure foam mix used for the seat and backrest is so special Secretlab has a patent-pending for its manufacturing process. It is firm yet supple for wholeday sitting comfort, much like how an orthopedic mattress optimizes sleeping comfort.

June 2021

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The variant that I received came in a charcoal gray Softweave fabric made from dense short yarn with an ultra-soft and fluffy texture. Because it’s breathable, it does not get warm, and you don’t get sweaty. The full-length backrest and the seat itself have raised lateral supports

reminiscent of racing seats, which not only look great but actually also add to the excellent ergonomics.


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Secretlab Omega 2020 Series

user experience

move my arms more freely. The Secretlab Omega lets me adjust the armrests to my preferred position — up/down, right/left, angled right/left, forward/backward — and it is the best feeling ever to finally be able to comfortably rest my elbows while working.

from the floor to the seat base is 46mm — I find I need a footrest for a more comfortable sitting position. Finally, the fixed headrest makes it hard to properly position the head pillow — I don’t use it when working and just pop it under my neck for reclining support.

VALUE

Yes, it requires assembly. And because it is rather large and heavy, you would need an extra pair of hands. Putting everything together was pretty straightforward — just follow the steps on the large instruction board and took maybe half an hour or so.

You don’t appreciate how good something is until you realize everything that has stopped bothering you — like rising up from several hours of intense typing on your computer without the lower back pain or the tired arms. There are also those things that you never did before but now do, simply because you can — like stretching out on your back and putting a pillow under your neck for a quick refreshing break all without leaving your seat.

Among the things I like best about the Secretlab Omega 2020 Series are its 4-way adjustable armrests. I have this thing about armrests and usually have them removed from my office chairs so I can

What don’t I like about the Secretlab Omega 2020 Series? Okay, this is really nitpicking, but it’s a bit large and heavy, and so you need some floor space to accommodate its bulk. The lowest height

My previous work chair was a run-of-themill swiveling office chair with a mediumheight mesh backrest, and as I wasn’t into reclining or tilting or any of the fancy stuff, a premium gaming chair was never on my wishlist. So, when the Secretlab chair finally arrived, I wasn’t terribly excited until I opened the box. From the quality of the packaging alone, I knew this was something very special.

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Listed at PHP23,990 on Lazada, the Secretlab Omega 2020 Series is premiumpriced, reflecting the top-notch build and materials quality of the product. Backed by a 3-year international manufacturer warranty, extendable to 5-years, you should think of this as a long-term investment. After all, you’d probably spend more time in this chair than in bed, and being able to enjoy the benefits of an ergonomic, well-built chair should more than outweigh the cost factor. Get it on a 36-month installment plan and you’ll hardly notice the less than PHP1,000 monthly charge.


SPECIFICATIONS

what's hot  Premium materials  Topnotch build quality

what's Not  I wish it could go lower Rather bulky

BOTTOMLINE Truly the best seat in the house — and not just for gamers.

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Chair/seatback: Full-length backrest Foam type: Cold cure foam Upholstery: Softweave fabric; also available in Prime 2.0 PU leather and Napa leather Logo stitching: Machine embroidery Armrests: (LxW) 27x10cm, 4-directional, full-metal mechanism. soft PU coated Tilt: multi-tilt mechanism with tilt and tilt-angle locks Recline: High-grade spring, 85-165o Lift: Hydraulics gas piston class 4 Frame construction: Steel Base: ADC#12 aluminum alloy Casters: XL PU-coated Head pillow: Memory foam with cooling gel Lumbar pillow: Memory foam Weight: 30kg Recommended height: 160-180cm Maximum load: <110kg


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REVIEWED BY gabriel pe

Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 Gaming Laptop

Lenovo has been steadily outputting new powerful but budget-friendly business-oriented notebooks. The Lenovo ThinkPad particularly has seen new models come out at astonishingly low prices for the tech the pack. The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 particularly, can pack a punch, all without costing an arm and a leg.

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design I may sound like a broken record, but Lenovo’s ThinkPads are simply an icon and the ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is no different. Design-wise the E14 Gen 2 carries all the ThinkPad elements from its predecessors, the black body with very minimal red accents on the logo and the trackpad, the iconic ThinkPad TrackPoint nub on the keyboard, and the red LED on the logo on the cover.

In terms of numbers, our unit was able to achieve a 1048 single-core score and 3719 multi-core score in Geekbench 5. It achieved 4421 in PCMark 10 with 7905 in Essentials and 7310 in Productivity, what pulled it down was its digital content creation score at 4059. Lastly, Cinebench R23 had it at 4265 points for Multi-core and 1143 for single-core performance.

The ThinkPad E14 Gen2 wasn’t made for gaming, but nonetheless I did try playing Dota 2 and Fall Guys on it. For Dota 2 low settings yielded 100+ fps, while medium settings averaged in the 70 fps, high settings would bring down the fps count to 40+ and ultra -settings was, in simple terms, unplayable. Fall Guys meanwhile averaged around 30-40 fps.

The ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 features a 14inch FHD IPS display, which isn’t the brightest nor the sharpest in the market. I found that the display was a bit dim for my liking, especially when I was working under strong light. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

Like all the ThinkPads I tested before, the real value in the ThinkPad line is the great typing experience on them, and the E14 Gen 2 certainly carries the same legacy. Add to that great trackpad and suddenly I found myself independent from mice. Before I forget, the power button doubles as a fingerprint scanner, a good option for logging in. If there’s one thing not to like about the E14 Gen 2, was the lack of I/O port choices. On the left of the device were the USB-Type C power input, a USB-A port, an HDMI port, and a 3.5mm audio port. On the right was a Kensington lock hole, another USB-A port, and the ethernet port (RJ45).

hardware Underneath the ThinkPad E14 Gen2 is some powerful stuff. Our unit had a 4th Ryzen 5 mobile processor (4500U) with 6 cores and 6 threads clocked at 2.38GHz but rated at 4.0GHz max. The processor comes with integrated AMD Radeon graphics. Memory-wise, ours had 8GB of RAM with 256GB of NVMe storage, but Lenovo is offering more memory and storage configurations in the market.

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Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2

user experience The Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen2 isn’t the most portable nor most powerful ThinkPad in Lenovo’s lineup, but it is one of the most affordable and most importantly, it gets the job done.

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What I found interest about the ThinkPad E14 Gen2 during my time with it was that it was able to keep up with me. Its specs are pretty much mid-range and honestly, if you’re a simple user, like me, it has everything you need. But there are key areas where it was better than the standard laptop.

As a tech writer, I am pretty much typing stuff every day, and as I said in all my previous reviews on ThinkPads, these guys have the best keyboard for typing. You just need to note that the Ctrl and Fn keys can be interchanged in the Lenovo Vantage app, they are interchanged by default so just check if it’s not your fancy. The Lenovo ThinkPad Gen 2 lasted me a whole working day with a light workload. But if you find yourself needing to juice up, the included charger was light enough to be carried around and charged the device to 100% from 5-10% in two hours, pretty fast for a laptop.

First, you’re the type to enjoy some nice beats after a hard day’s work, then the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen2’s two Harman Kardon tuned speakers would be a perfect partner. These were loud yet maintain great mid and highs. I found myself enjoying Netflix and video streaming on the ThinkPad E14 Gen2 thanks to these speakers despite the pretty mediocre screen.

VALUE Priced at PHP 43,399 the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen 2 is a ThinkPad for the masses. This budget powerhouse can do almost anything you throw at it, and for that price it’s definitely worth it.

Second, the Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen2 was the perfect working companion.

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Display: 14-inch FHD IPS Processor: AMD Ryzen 4500U Graphics: AMD Radeon Graphics Storage: 256 GB NVMe SSD (238GB usable space) RAM: 8 GB Connectivity: Realtek 2x2 AC, Bluetooth 5.0 Ports: 1x USB 3.1 Type-C Gen1, 2x USB Type A 3.1, 1x HDMI, 1x RJ45, 1x Audio Input/Output combo, 1x Kensington Lock Features: 2x 2W Harman Kardon Speakers, Fingerprint reader, ThinkShutter privacy, Backlit keyboard, TrackPoint Battery: 45 Whr Battery Weight: 1.69kg Dimensions: 325 x 232 x 20.5mm

BOTTOMLINE A ThinkPad at this price point? What’s not to like?

what's Not  Not the greatest display in the market  Does not have a lot of I/O ports 39

what's hot  Great speakers  4th Gen Ryzen processor does everything  Same great ThinkPad keyboard switches June 2021

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SPECIFICATIONS


REVIEWED BY MARIBELLE ALBA

Toshiba Low Sugar MultiCooker 1.0L gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

MULTI-COOKER

Type-2 diabetes runs in the family, so as my doctor keeps reminding me, it’s not a matter of if but when. This means I need to be careful about my food choices and stay away from food high in sugar and carbohydrates—like, sadly, rice. But with the Toshiba Low Sugar MultiCooker, can I start enjoying hearty rice meals again?

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design The Toshiba Low Sugar Multi-Cooker has only a 1.0L capacity, so its black boxy body does not take up too much counter space. Over the top lid is a glass layer with an LED display and touch panel for the control buttons. Lining the upper lid is a removable plate with a steam vent. A round button on the front portion of the body unlatches the hinged lid. Inside is the inner pot that’s 3mm thick with 7 layers to transfer heat evenly. This is coated with non-stick Japanese Binchotan charcoal — derived from high-quality Japanese oak — which purifies the water and absorbs other undesirable substances. Nestled on top of this is a cooking basket/ steamer made of SUS304 stainless steel for cooking “healthy rice.”

The Toshiba Low Sugar Multi-Cooker uses 3D heating induction technology for consistent cooking from anywhere within the inner pot due to an optimal simmering process, micro-pressure, and precise temperature control. The cooking basket utilizes starch removal technology where unhealthy starch is isolated from the rice into the water while still retaining the essential nutrients. There are preset menu functions for various types of rice — white rice, brown rice, Gaba brown, and mixed rice— plus a dedicated button for “healthy rice.” Additional menu options include quick cook, steam, and congee, as well as keep warm/reheat. The Toshiba Low Sugar Multi-Cooker is SGS certified to deliver a 58% increase in healthy digestive resistant starch and 35% reduction in sugar through its starch removal technology.

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hardware


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Toshiba Low Sugar Multi-Cooker 1.0L

user experience Cooking “healthy rice” is easy. First, in the cooking basket, you put in the desired quantity of rice (up to 2 cups), then rinse the grains, place the cooking basket into the inner pot, add water to the indicated level, position the inner pot into the multi-cooker, close the lid, and press the dedicated Healthy Rice button to start the 40-minute cooking process. A tone sounds to tell you when it’s done, and the multi-cooker switches automatically to “keep warm” mode for up to 12-hours.

June 2021

There’s also a convenient 24-hour preset timer that lets you schedule when you want the rice to be cooked, so you can pop in the rice before you start work in the morning and have It freshly cooked in time for lunch or dinner. Or get everything ready the night before to enjoy healthy steamed rice for breakfast. In the “healthy rice” mode, not all the water is absorbed by the rice grains, and you’ll see starchy water in the inner pot under the cooking basket. The cooked rice is soft and fluffy while still warm but turns a bit firm and chewy as it cools. I suppose this is because most of the soft starch has been drained out of the rice grains.

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When used as a regular rice cooker (without the cooking pot), the Toshiba Low Sugar Multi-Cooker produces really delicious, great-tasting rice, thanks to its Japanese Binchotan inner pot. The preset functions determine the optimum cooking time depending on the quantity and type of rice you’re cooking. It also does double duty as a steamer or for making congee or soup. Possibly the only complaint I have is that with just a 1.0L capacity, you can cook only up to 2 cups of rice in the cooking pot or a maximum of 3 cups for mixed/brown rice and 5.5 cups of white rice directly in the inner pot, so it’s not ideal for large households.


VALUE The Low Sugar Multi-Cooker is listed at PHP9,476 — discounted from the PHP11,995 suggested retail price — at the Toshiba PH online store. Even for a multi-cooker, that’s a price point that most people would balk at. However, for diabetics who must absolutely keep their blood sugar levels under control, or weight-watchers on a low carb diet, being able to enjoy guilt-free rice can be priceless.

SPECIFICATIONS

what's hot  Healthier rice! Multi-function

what's Not  Small capacity Quite pricey

BOTTOMLINE Guilt-free rice is life!

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Inner Pot: 3mm multi-layer with PFA Binchotan non-stick coating Cooking Basket: SUS304 stainless steel (1.0L capacity) Heating Technology: 3D induction Controls: Glass layer with LED display and touch panel Menu Functions: 9 presets (Healthy Rice, Quick Cook, Steam, Congee, White Rice, Brown Rice, Gaba Brown, Soup, Mixed Rice); 24-hour preset timer; automatic keep warm (up to 12hrs) Power Rating: 1000W Voltage: 230V Dimensions: 219x239x262mm Weight: 4.4kg Color: Black/Gray


SMARTPHONE

INFINIX HOT 10 PLAY

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REVIEWED BY ALYSSA JOJI SILVA

June 2021

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Let the Infinix HOT 10 PLAY take you to a whole new level of gaming experience. In just the palm of your hands, you could play your favorite games longer and faster as with the phone’s MediaTek Helio G35 processor.

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DESIGN I can only describe simple and yet astonishing things from the look of the Infinix HOT 10 PLAY smartphone. The review unit that we received came in the obsidian black colorway. It has a stylish pattern design on the back of the phone and its slim build made it easier to hold in one hand. The display is 6.82-inch and houses an earpiece and the 8MP AI front camera. The back of the phone features the 13MP AI dual rear camera with quad-flashlight and a fingerprint scanner. The power and volume buttons are on the right side while on the left side is the tray for 2 sim cards and a microSD. Last but not least are the microphone, micro-USB charging port, and headphone jack on the bottom part of the smartphone.

HARDWARE Here comes the juicy part, the Infinix HOT 10 PLAY is powered by a MediaTek Helio G35 Gaming processor. It has an octa-core chip that delivers speeds up to 2.3GHz for a better, faster, smoother entertainment and audio/ visual experience. It has 4GB RAM with 64GB of internal storage. power down to only 5%, turning on the Ultra Power Mode gives an additional 19 hours of Equipped with a 6000mAh battery, its Power Marathon Tech lasts for 5 days, and even with battery life.

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Infinix HOT 10 PLAY

USER EXPERIENCE When I first picked up the phone from the box, I expected it to be heavier since it’s a gaming phone — but I was wrong. The phone was surprisingly lighter than expected, with a comfortable button reach. Even the fingerprint scanner is reachable enough for me to easily press it and the look of the phone is ideal for one of the New Generation like me.

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In the box are two screen protectors, a silicon phone case that helps keep the phone from slipping, a sim ejector pin, the 10W battery charger, a micro-USB cable, and a dollar bill that invites you to the XClub, an online forum for Infinix fans. The rear camera is good enough to use for photoshoots. The images it captures came out vibrant and well-balanced between the soft and sharp tones. Unfortunately, the front camera is a bit soft-toned with images coming out less sharp and with less contrast. Since the Infinix HOT 10 PLAY is considered a gaming phone, I tested 3 mobile games with notifications on. Now, everyone knows that notifications are quite annoying every time one pops up on the screen during gameplay as it results in lags, and blocks off the top view of the screen. In the HOT 10 PLAY, the notification slides through the screen from right to left without a white background so you can still see the screen while you’re playing. In Call of Duty: Mobile the notification does not slide across the screen but only gives off a notification sound. The same goes for Genshin Impact. Note that even after downloading three mobile games, memory usage was only 1.89GB out of 4GB for RAM and 26.10GB out of 64.00GB for the internal shared storage. This indicates how your gaming experience will be as smooth as butter. Now let’s talk about graphics. In Mobile Legends: Bang Bang the graphic setting was automatically on high and there was no lag at all. I tried changing it on the highest setting for more high-definition visuals, but the phone can only register the high setting. June 2021

For Call of Duty: Mobile the default graphics setting was on medium, which was still good for me. I was also able to change it to the high setting. However, Genshin Impact is only at the low setting. I tried changing it to the medium and high but the game warned me that the experience would be laggy and the game could crash. I was still able to play the game smoothly, but it also tended to lag when battling some dragons and monsters. The screen of the phone is wide enough to enjoy watching movies on Netflix and

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gameplays on YouTube. Somehow it was stupendous because I could see everything perfectly — the map of the games, the colors of the graphics and videos, and the high definition quality of the movies that I watched. It was like a visual playground inside the smartphone. The placement of the speaker was quite smart because instead of the back of the phone it was actually on the top front of the phone. I didn’t need to worry about covering the speakers while playing. The sounds it produced were quite loud and I liked how you can hear everything. Audio was crystal clear and resonated while I


SPECIFICATIONS

WHAT'S HOT played games, music, and watched movies from the phone.

VALUE

As for the battery, I played games for an entire day and the phone was able to keep up with me. Even at only 10% power, I was still able to squeeze in a couple of hours of Mobile Legends: Bang Bang. Here’s the most thrilling part: even during heavy gameplay, this phone doesn’t get scorching hot. It did warm up when I playing for a while, but never to uncomfortable levels.

Available on the Lazada app, the Infinix HOT 10 PLAY with MediaTek Helio G35 is priced at only PHP4,990 — really great value for something that’s good enough to satisfy your needs and keep you entertained every day.

 Widescreen display  Excellent gaming processor  Long battery life  More memory  Light to carry

WHAT'S NOT Low resolution front camera Limited app usage on the Ultra Power Mode Cannot handle heavy gameplay

I also tried putting it on standby, used it for online school work, played music, watched videos, and spent a lot of time scrolling through my social media feed. After all those activities, guess what, the battery is still half-full, and good for another whole day.

BOTTOMLINE A visual playground and practical phone for anyone.

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Memory: 64GB + 4GB / 32GB + 2GB Connectivity: GPS / WIFI / LTE / BLUETOOTH Battery Capacity: 6000mAh Operating System: Android 10 Front Camera: 8MP FF with Flashlight Rear Camera: 13 MP + Portrait AI Dual Camera with Quad-Flashlight Processor: MediaTek Helio G35 Network: 4G/3G/2G Dimension: 171.52x77.96x8.9mm Display: 6.82” HD + Water-Drop Display Resolution: 720x1640 Colors: aegean blue, morandi green, obsidian black, and purple Other features: Face Unlock and Fingerprint Protection, XOS 7.0 (custom android UI or skin, still based on Android 10)


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REVIEWED BY TRINITY SALVIO

NOKIA 1.4 SMARTPHONE

The Nokia 1.4 lives up to the brand’s famed reliability and lasting durability as a beautifully sleek and family-friendly smartphone perfect for any diverse household. Everyone can have fun together for longer with its 2-day battery life equipped with a big screen and macro camera, a winner for memory-making every day.

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DESIGN The review unit came in fjord blue that had iridescent purple undertones when light reflects upon the surface. The plastic back and frame make for its durable yet simplistic build that catches the eye with a slightly matte finish. The relatively thin but flexible jelly case brings added protection for the device without adding too much weight. Easy on the eyes, as always for most Nokia smartphone designs.

The right side is where the typical volume and power keys are. Finally, the loudspeaker is at the lower left side of the phone, the 3.5 mm headphone jack and USB micro-B connector is found at the very bottom of the frame alongside the microphone.

Coming up to a display size of 6.51 inches and an aspect ratio of 20:9, it definitely delivers with a wide HD+ screen built specifically for a better viewing experience for children and adults alike. The 8-megapixel main camera and flash are seen at the back with their signature ‘cyclops’ look and the fingerprint scanner just down below, with the 5-mega-pixel selfie camera at the front.

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The left side of the frame is where the Dual SIM slot and Micro SD card tray fit snugly alongside the Google Assistant button (or Google Search for other units available in different countries) that also acts as an alternative lock feature.

HARDWARE The performance rides on a Qualcomm QM215 mobile platform with an Android Go operating system. The internal storage comes starts at 32GB with expandable storage in a MicroSD card slot that supports up to 128 GB and a 2GB ram. The 4000mAh non-removable battery is able to do much of the hefty work if you plan on using several apps all at once, a reliable feature for continuous network browsing, long periods of video calls, and extensive learning sessions for the kids.

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Talk and standby times last for up to 17-31 hours and 26 days respectively with audio playback time up to 65 hours and video playback time up to 8.5 hours. The battery life lasts for up to 2 days even after heavy usage and takes about 2-3 hours until fully charged. Talk about an all-around phone built to last all day!

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Nokia 1.4

USER EXPERIENCE

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I grew up on Nokia phones and have always loved the lasting battery life and durability of their designs. After using the 1.4 unit for a few days, they managed to surprise me with a minimalist smartphone that can handle almost anything that I could throw at it, figuratively of course. It has the standard features of your typical smartphone with an organized interface that can be easily navigated thanks to its simple setup. The unit offers a faster and secure way of going about my digital routine with Android 10 (Go edition). I was able to set up my accounts within the hour and connected almost immediately with various Google products and services in the pre-installed apps. The Google Assistant feature can be utilized for the family to find what they need on the phone. The Gallery Go offers a built-in gallery connected to a Google account that can automatically back up pictures online along with Camera Go and Google Lens that acts as an accurate translator for picturing documents and other items in different languages. The overall camera and video quality are decent enough as expected in a budget smartphone. A storage indicator can be seen at the upper left corner beside the camera settings that show the number of photos that can be taken, a nice reminder for parents to back up a few photos after reaching the limit. Portrait mode blurs the background for family photos whilst Night mode enables users to take photos in low-light without using a flash. The selfie cam also flips photos to ensure selfies and background text come outright. The downside is the low-lighting system that makes skin tone appear duller and lifeless against brightly lit or dark backgrounds. Some added grain can be seen in some shots because of this. The auto-focus feature could only do so much before a slight nudge will ultimately ruin the image quality, June 2021

definitely not suitable for serious photography and videography. On the entertainment side, it’s not the best in providing a smooth gameplay experience. Fast-paced RPG games with complex graphics like Honkai Impact 3 are still playable but the continuous lag was a huge letdown. Getting interrupted during combo attacks, cutscenes freeze, and delayed sequences made it very taxing and I got frustrated afterward and decided to move to the next game, The Arcana. It can still run the interactive visual story game with some minor lag here and there. The Nokia 1.4 still manages to support relatively chill games that aren’t heavy on transitions and graphics. As for multitasking, some apps can’t operate at the same time and their additional features are either unavailable or unsupported by the device. Using Android widgets is out of the question the home screen settings are reduced to adding app icons and screen rotation. Opening up a bunch of applications and switching back and forth to either one can be quite tedious with the tiny preview icons for the recently used apps list. All in all, it takes a while getting used to and navigating before you can seamlessly go about your daily digital routines

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SPECIFICATIONS Network: LTE CAT 4 OS: Android 10 (Go edition) CPU: Qualcomm 215 Mobile Platform Memory and storage: RAM: 2GB, ROM: 32GB3 | MicroSD card slot supports up to 128GB Display: 6.517” HD+ | v-notch | 20:9 Camera and flash: Main: 8MP (Autofocus) +2 MP Macro | Flash, Front: 5MP Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n | Bluetooth® 4.2 | GPS/AGPS | Ambient light sensor | Proximity sensor | Accelerometer (G-sensor) Charging: 5V1A Charger Battery: 4000mAh4 | Non-removable I/O: Micro-USB (USB 2.0) | 3.5mm audio jack Dimensions: 166.42x76.72x8.7mm | Weight 178g (±5g) SIM slot: Dual SIM | Nano SIM + Nano SIM + Micro SD Other: Google Assistant button5 | FM radio (headset required) | Microphone | Fingerprint sensor Talk and standby times: Standby time up to 26 days; Talk time up to 31 hours (2G), 21 hours (3G), 17 hours (4G); Audio playback time up to 65 hours (LCD off); Video playback time up to 8.5 hours

 Affordable price  Durable design  Solid build  Easy phone setup with Android Go

WHAT'S NOT  Not suitable for fast-paced gaming  Limited customization  Grainy camera quality

BOTTOMLINE The Nokia 1.4 certainly lives up to its name as a budget smartphone perfect for the family.

With a selling retail price of PHP 4,990, the Nokia 1.4 offers standard smartphone features at an affordable price. The budget easily reflects the limited capabilities of several apps but delivers on the overall durability and simplicity of the device. Nothing more, nothing less.

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VALUE

WHAT'S HOT


REVIEWED BY maribelle alba

MIDEA ROBOT VACUUM CLEANER gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

vacuum

Home is where all the action is these days, and with the whole family cooped up inside, each doing his own thing, it’s much more difficult to keep everything spick and span. How long has it been since you actually swept the floor under your bed? Or moved the couch so you could vacuum under? These are just a couple of reasons why you need the Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner.

design The contents of the box include the main vacuum unit, the charging unit with a power adaptor, a remote control plus batteries, 4 side brushes, 1 HEPA filter, and a cleaning tool. The Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner itself is a disk that’s just under a foot in diameter and a bit over 3-inches off the floor, with a “bumper” on the outer perimeter of its shell. There’s a small LED-lit power button on the upper surface, and in the center

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is the flip cover over the dust bin. The removable dust bin has a primary filter and a HEPA filter that can be dismantled and cleaned.

The underside of the main vacuum unit reveals the various components that make it work. There’s the automatic charging pole piece and the steering wheel on one side, underneath which is the battery cover and vacuum port. On either side are the right and left rotating brushes that lift dust up for suctioning. Finally, there are the right and left wheels.


hardware The Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner is able to intelligently navigate areas due to its anti-fall and anti-collision smart sensors that detect obstacles such as furniture, walls, stairs. Powered by a 14.4V nickel-metal hydride battery, it produces 0.6kpa suction power and has a continuous running time of about an hour. Cleaning speed is about 30cm/ sec or about 1ft/min. Operating noise is at 70dB, comparable to office noise.

The remote control unit has an on/off button, direction control buttons, plus three buttons — return to base, mode settings, and vacuum strength.

user experience What do I love most about the Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner? Seeing it disappear under the bed! Barely 4-inches in height and able to navigate by itself, it is able to go into hard-to-reach areas that even a long-handled broom or mop can’t get to. It is very fulfilling to empty out a full dust bin when it reemerges because then you know that it’s sucked up all the dust and allergens that’s been building up out of sight.

Does it replace your regular vacuum? Definitely not! For one, the dust bin is rather small with a capacity of only 350ml, which is about a regular glass of water, so it won’t do for heavy cleaning. I have two dogs and a cat — all heavy shedders — and the Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner can’t manage the fur.

VALUE On the official Midea online shop, the suggested retail price of the Robot Vacuum Cleaner is PHP10,995, with a discounted offer of PHP7,697. A quick price comparison of the product category indicates that prices vary widely, possibly depending on features, product quality, and brand reputation. The Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner is not the cheapest nor the most expensive, but it would still be quite a stretch for most, considering its rather limited use.

BOTTOMLINE

SPECIFICATIONS Floor type: Hard floor and thin carpet Filter: Double filtration (HEPA+primary filter) Cleaning modes: 4 — auto, spot, edge, zigzag Dust bin: 350ml Vacuuming power: 0.6kpa Rated power: 20W Cleaning speed: 30cm/sec Working time per charge: 60min running time + 15min duration time Battery: NI-MH 14.4V rechargeable battery, 1500mAh capacity, 180min charging time Other features: anti-fall, cross-over obstacle, remote control operation, auto-charging, auto-return to base, 70dB noise level Net weight: 2.8kg Dimensions (DxH): 295x79mm

what's hot  It’s smart  Goes into hard-to-reach spots

what's Not  Small dust bin  No cleaning mode indicator

Perfect for neatniks who want everything dust-free, even those areas they can’t see.

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The charging dock comes with an adaptor so you can plug it into a power source. On the top case is an infrared transmitter with a signal indicator, below which is an IR pilot signal transmitting window. These IR transmitters allow the main unit to automatically return and attach to the forked base with charging pins when not in use.

To my mind, the Midea Robot Vacuum Cleaner is perfect for condo living. Reach for the remote while you’re having breakfast and watch it do its thing. In auto cleaning mode, it adjusts settings according to the environments. It can also do spot cleaning, circling around an area that needs more attention. Or you can choose edge cleaning, so it brushes corners for deeper cleaning. And for those areas that don’t have too much furniture, you can choose the quick and efficient zigzag mode.


Cover Story

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Words by Ren Alcantara

Few things have changed the world like fast food. From important food moments such as the first drive ins, to greater, historical milestones such as McDonald’s breaking through what was left of the iron curtain with their first branch in Russia in 1990. Fast food is something we usually take for granted, but there’s a lot of tech and history has gone, and continues to go into it to keep all those mouths fed. It’s mostly a logistics game, shortening the time needed for each step, whether it’s for production of raw materials, food prep, ordering, or paying.

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The real secret behind the fast food revolution happens in places we can’t see, and while it’s a technological advancement, it’s a process, not a device. Fast food is possible because of optimized logistics — moving all those supplies around isn’t easy, and it’s not something just any restaurant can do. Let’s give a loose figure of a thousand burgers a day for a reasonably busy brWorWanch. That’s a lot of patties, bread, sauce, cheese, and veggies (and quite a few extra pickles, for those like me). Those ingredients have to come from somewhere, and that’s where the magic happens. Distribution centers in key areas take all these supplies to the stores in their area in large refrigerated trucks, in the most efficient way possible. Those centers are in turn supplied by manufacturing plants whose sole purpose is to churn out food that requires the barest minimum of preparation — a quick fry, a flip on the griddle, or a toss in the soft-serve machine.

millions of pounds of meat, wheat, milk, and everything else that comes together to make your meal. Whole industries exist just to keep these production facilities running, with acres upon acres of ground each. Like we said, the logistics are mind-boggling. Consider that the next time you bite into your value meal, and thank all that logistics muscle that made it possible. There are other interesting technologies in place to make fast food happen, and the first one is quite ubiquitous. It’s the microwave. The first industrial microwave ovens were created for restaurant use in the 1940s, and were immediately put to use in faster food preparation. Where a hotdog, bowl of soup, or pot of water could take precious minutes to prepare on a conventional stovetop, a microwave could complete the same process in a fraction of that time, further putting the “fast” in “fast food.”

These production facilities in turn are supplied by farms that produce the raw materials in staggering quantities — we’re talking

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More recently though, there have been some more technological advancements that

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streamline the fast food experience even further. Some fast food stores now have kiosks that allow customers to order and pay without having to line up at the counter. In the fast food business, it’s all about speed (which is why they have the menus right above the counter, so you can make your mind up even before you get to the cashier to order), and the kiosk cuts down ordering and payment times significantly, by letting the customers do all the ordering themselves. Digital payment options increase the efficiency even further, removing the need to count and prepare change. This process also optimized food preparation by sending orders straight to the kitchen, and potentially lowering the need to have a buffer prepared for orders, reducing wait time and spoilage. Really, fast food businesses are among the most efficient enterprises you will ever see.

and delivery. While food delivery has been available for some time, the pandemic has taken this up to a whole other level. Instead of taking calls in call centers and forwarding these to the relevant stores, centralized ordering online had cut the time from order to delivery by more efficiently dealing with the order forwarding process.

What about the future? You can bet the fast food industry isn’t going to stop until they start teleporting food straight into our stomachs. Fine, so that might be a stretch, but there’s more efficiency to be had. A pivot that this pandemic has brought is online food ordering

Literally every human being needs to eat, and as such, the fast food industry has had a lot of practice adopting technology to make their process faster. They’ve had a LOT of practice, and as technologies appear, we can count on this industry to accelerate even further.

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Then there’s the robot in the room, or rather, the kitchen. CaliBuger has a robot, prosaically named Flippy, that’s able to prepare burgers faster than human workers, without sacrificing quality. You can be sure AI is going to be making its way in there to make the process even better. As the cost of adoption goes down, and implementation goes up, it’s really only a matter of time before robots start popping up in fast food kitchens everywhere.

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Words by Gabriel Pe

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s you enjoy that slice of pizza, that bite of burger, and that scoop of ice cream, you need to know that a battle was fought to keep that food fresh and safe to consume despite being days on the shelf.

While not transmissible through food, the COVID-19 pandemic has reminded us to be more vigilant about sanitation, to practice proper hygiene when handling meals, and to ensure that what we ingest is healthy and germ-free.

New tech influencing food safety Food safety and sanitation, like most fields, have greatly benefitted from recent technological advances. In fact, new technology has made it easier and faster for tests to be developed against new microbes, or robots to segregate what may be contaminated food before they’re even harvested. As many food scientists and safety experts point, we are currently in a food safety technological revolution.

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Newer, faster, and more accessible tests In food safety, there is a constant race against time to prevent the next bacterial outbreak. This means testing, testing, and more testing of all ingredients to check if they have been contaminated or not. Recent developments have enabled newer, faster, and more accessible tests that even restaurants can perform on their kitchen inventory as they open for the day. DNA sequencing is also now being used to help in detecting possible food-borne bacterial outbreaks. The technology has been around for quite a while now, and it is constantly improving. It is also now portable enough that food safety checkers may soon be able to utilize it in the field. Aside from portability, the food industry is looking forward to the day when these new microbiology and DNA tests become more affordable and more accessible to the general public. This will ensure that even small-scale farmers can test their own produce for any possible outbreaks they may not have noticed.

Blockchain and digitalizing the food system If there’s one technology that may change food safety, it will be blockchain. One of the holy grails of food safety is traceability so food manufacturers and even consumers can track where the ingredients in their food came from, the processes these went through, and whether they were thoroughly checked before hitting the market. Food traceability will give consumers full transparency about the food they’re eating. With blockchain technology, consumers and food producers can have the transparency they demand on an encrypted public system where no fraud can transpire. Another benefit is that with food traceability, consumers can be directly notified in case of recalls. Consumers can also hold any manufacturer responsible for food products that have not gone through the proper process.

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AI and machine learning robotics Among the leading changes in the food safety space is the rapid adoption of AI and robotics for food harvesting and manufacturing. A lot of manufacturers already have integrated robots handling food in their factories. By limiting human movement and human handling in the manufacturing process, factory robots allow for more controlled sanitation and also reduce possible human injuries due to accidents. In the future, AI and robotics can be implemented further down the food system. Researchers have already created an AI that recognizes bacteria on microscopes. This can pave the way for an AIdriven robot that recognizes bacteria on vegetables or fruits at a farm even before they’re prepared for shipment. Future implementation can also have AI recognizing which farm animal is sick and isolate them before they cause a local outbreak. Even consumer products such as dishwashers or refrigerators can have AI integration to notify users if there are bacterial colonies forming on their dishes and food.

3D printing and lab-grown meat The rise of 3D food printing is a game-changer for food safety. There are a lot of possibilities for 3D-printed food. In fact, 3D printed food can shift the way we eat and the way we look at food safety. Depending on the device used, 3D printed food can be instantly available with minimal exposure to possible contaminants. This means that bacteria that may be introduced during the latter part of the food processing cycle may be eliminated altogether. Aside from food printing, lab-grown produce can also ensure our food security and food sustainability in the future. While still not commercially available, lab-grown meat has been engineered from healthy animals to avoid any possibility of diseases. Even lab-engineered vegetables can change the way we look at food safety. They’re made from healthy plants or animals and can be engineered to be disease-resistant and harmful bacteria-repellant. Many of these food safety technologies are still just possibilities for the near future. Some may be reaching our kitchens in the next decade or so, while others may still be far-fetched. For now, the best way to have safe, healthy, and nutritious food is to practice proper hygiene and proper food handling.

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Words by Trinity Salvio

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When freedom of movement is restricted by health and safety protocols, changes and compromises must be made to keep the economy afloat and continue delivering necessities like food, water, and shelter. Government, NGOs, and private enterprises had to come together to maintain the availability of these essentials and sustain economic activity. The protection and management of the food supply chain are critical economic processes that cannot be disrupted, especially amidst a global pandemic. Food logistics — the organization and implementation of operating production procedures and the overall movement of food products, including handling, packaging, and storage — needed to adapt quickly to the new normal. Before COVID-19 turned the world upside down, everyone had the privilege to dine out with friends and family, whether at popular gourmet restaurants or at intimate coffee shops. Although food delivery services were already available, most people preferred to spend time with others dining at a table away from home. The beautiful scenery, relaxed ambiance, and delicious food prepared by professional chefs are always appreciated, especially when they take time to prepare. When the food’s worth the wait, people are often willing to suffer through a long line just to get a taste. When COVID restrictions were enforced, the best we could do was order in food that we used

to enjoy at our favorite dining spots. Sure, we have to pay delivery fees and wait a little longer for food to arrive, but it’s better to be safe than sorry during these trying times. Food delivery services quickly ramped up their operations to successfully manage food logistics on the go. One such company is foodpanda, a leading global online food delivery marketplace with a presence in more than 40 countries across 5 continents. In a 2019 business interview with Cheena Abellon, marketing head of foodpanda Philippines, the company planned on expanding across the e-commerce market in the country from Luzon to Mindanao. They were able to quickly achieve this, now with over a thousand partner restaurants nationwide. Success is a road paved with good intentions and the company managed to waltz its way to the lead with an effective business model. The system includes simple strategies that will survive beyond the pandemic. These include online food ordering using online apps and a website, fast delivery, and live tracking. Here, the future of food delivery services relies on the adaptation of simple yet effective business models that focus on accessibility and ease. In the new normal, companies like foodpanda, thrive because they take the extra effort to bring us quality food from restaurants and brands that we love. Thus, the crisis has been a golden opportunity to expand and maintain control over the food supply chain in the digital landscape.

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TEST DRIVE:

HONDA SUPRA GTR150 Reviewed by Gilbert Chao Photos by Kit Pilla

Sport Underbone is a delightfully paradoxical machine. A performance motorcycle sold under the commuter segment, it’s a niche market within a budget-sensitive customer base. Hence, most manufacturers only have one or two of these bikes in their stable. Yet, they pour in massive efforts in securing a big slice of the relatively small pie because Sport Underbones not only vie for a position in the cutthroat motorcycle industry, they also win trophies for their respective brands on the race track. Case in point, the Honda Supra GTR 150.

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DESIGN A name that sounds like a combination of two popular performance cars should already be indicative of the Supra GTR150’s sporty nature, but the aerodynamic silhouette and the aggressive lines ensure that you make no mistake. From the tire hugger front fender to the upswept muffler, you’ll know it’s meant to be ridden hard on the pavement. The rear winkers, separated from the tail light, give additional road presence while the sleek pillion pegs exude a premium feel. The discreetly positioned radiator and integrated undercowl complement an overall design that is well put together. No component seems out of place.

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TEST DRIVE

HONDA SUPRA GTR150

USER EXPERIENCE

HARDWARE

Full Digital Meter Panel

Sport Muffler

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The Supra GTR150 is propelled by a liquid-cooled, 4-valve, single-cylinder engine, which produces 11.5-kilowatts of power and 13.6-newton-meters of torque. With performance as its major selling point, the Supra GTR150 is equipped with some features that are fairly common in motorcycles in this price range, such as an LED headlight, digital instrument panel, and a pair of disc brakes. It would have been nice to have an anti-lock brake system, but Honda threw in a bank angle sensor instead. It is an automated safety system that shuts off the engine when the motorcycle’s bank angle exceeds 51 degrees on either side. Well, at least you won’t have to chase your bike after you’ve fallen off the saddle.

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I’d give it 5 stars if it is to be used as a track bike exclusively. In the real world, however, there some things left to be desired. I totally get the firm saddle and stiff suspension, but I began questioning myself after half an hour on the road. Having a tank between the legs would have helped as I was constantly sliding down the seat towards the front. But alas, this is an underbone after all. Maybe such things were just not designed for lanky, middle-aged riders like yours truly. Yet, whenever I found myself on an open stretch of road, I twist the throttle, and suddenly things make sense. I forgot about joint discomfort and lower back pain: all that remained, a feeling of visceral joy and a gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


propensity to hooliganism. On second thought, maybe the Supra GTR150 is designed specifically for weary old dudes. As for young novice riders, they might find the friction zone of the manual clutch a bit narrow or small. Pay extra attention to your throttle input so as not to stall the bike during take-off, especially on an inclined road. I use second gear when on a level surface because the first gear has loads of torque, and it requires a good amount of finesse to keep the bike from jerking forward. Good thing the digital display has a gear indicator. While it was fairly easy to modulate the brakes, I’d still feel more confident about riding the bike to the limit if it had ABS.

VALUE

Pillion Step 6-Speed DOHC 4-Valve Liquid-Cooled Engine

At PHP 102,900, you’d be forgiven for expecting more features that offer convenience and creature comforts like a smart key system or a slipper clutch, maybe. The Supra GTR150 rides on its promise of performance and, on that, it delivers with flying colors. If that alone is enough for you to justify forking over six figures, then, by all means, do so. You won’t have any regrets there.

WHAT’S HOT • Build quality • Class-leading performance

WHAT’S NOT • No under-seat compartment • No ABS

BOTTOMLINE An absolute crotch rocket that could double as a commuter

Aerodynamic Body Design

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A SCOOTER YOU'LL SURELY LOVE THE ALL-NEW HONDA DIO otorcycles are fast becoming the ride of the new normal. So, if you are one of those looking for a new ride that can help you take on your daily tasks or travel for leisure, then you will surely love this all-new scooter from Honda, the No.1 motorcycle manufacturer in the Philippines.

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A scooter much-loved as a durable, multi-purpose companion for daily commutes and weekend rides, the All-New DIO is expected to grace the streets of every town in the Philippines, with its stylish look, design, and other functional features. Its LED headlight and position light are sure to make it an eye magnet, perfectly complementing its vibrant color

choices of candy jazzy blue, sports red, and vibrant orange. The All-New DIO is powered by an air-cooled, 109cc, four-stroke single overhead cam (SOHC) engine that enables a maximum power of 5.89kW at 7500rpm and a maximum torque of 8.91Nm at 5000rpm. Fuel efficiency is rated at 58.3km/L, ensuring an economical ride for your daily travels. Its wheels sport steel rims with 10-inch tubeless tires, matched with front and rear drum brakes. The wider and more comfortable dual seat with a wide step floor, as well as its spacious 14.4-liter capacity U-Box for essentials all help to make your everyday ride a pleasure. An informative meter panel, as well as a secure key shutter with a seat opener, make for a safer and more secure riding experience. A front hook offers added convenience for hanging bags and baggage, and the retractable rear hook can be put to use if you need to carry more cargo.

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“As the latest addition to our motorcycle offerings, The All-New DIO is our way of helping everyone face today’s everyday challenges. People will surely love it because, with this multipurpose scooter, they can always seize the day,” said Honda Philippines Inc. president Susumu Mitsuishi. The All-New DIO is available at all Honda dealerships nationwide with a PHP49,900 suggested retail price. As part of Honda’s “One Dream” campaign, this motorcycle aims to cater to everyone’s daily travel needs and to fulfill their dreams through the joy of mobility. Explore more from Honda and its wide array of motorcycles. For more details about Honda products and promos, visit their website at www.hondaph.com and follow them on Facebook, Honda Philippines, Inc., and Instagram, @ hondaph_mc. Their contact numbers are landline (02) 8581-6700 to 6799, and mobile 0917-884-6632.

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SUBARU A PREMIUM SUV WITH MORE

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EVOLTIS otor Image Pilipinas, Inc., the exclusive distributor of Subaru vehicles in the Philippines, is proud to announce that the All-New 2021 Subaru Evoltis is now officially available in the country. The Subaru Evoltis (also known as the Subaru Ascent in North America) is the largest vehicle in Subaru’s line-up. The Philippines will be the only market in the Motor Image Group in Asia to offer the model, which is made in the United States.

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PERFORMANCE AND SAFETY The launch of the All-New Subaru Evoltis also marks the Philippine debut of Subaru’s latest generation of awardwinning Boxer Engines. Powered by the new FA24, a 2.4-liter turbocharged Boxer Engine that generates a robust 260-horsepower and 375Nm of torque, this 3-row SUV offers effortless acceleration and packs enough grunt to haul the entire family, and perhaps an additional trailer with its 5,000-pound towing capacity, to destinations that other SUVs would have difficulty reaching. It also boasts an exceptional 220mm of ground clearance, which will enable it to breeze through most floods. The All-New Evoltis comes with all of Subaru’s core technologies. Built on the Subaru Global Platform, Subaru Symmetrical All-Wheel Drive with X-MODE is standard. It sets the benchmark for safety in its segment with over 100 safety features, headlined by EyeSight, the only stereo-camera-based safety system in its class. Equipped with high-tech driver-assist safety technologies found in luxury European brands such as adaptive cruise control, pre-collision braking, pre-collision

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throttle management, lane departure warning, lane sway warning, and lead vehicle start alert, it promises a safe, solid, responsive, and secure ride. SPACE AND COMFORT The Evoltis stands out with its highquality cabin and promises true comfort with a 2-2-3 layout, where the 2nd row is equipped with captain seats, ensuring maximum ride enjoyment. With over 4,700-liters of cabin space, it has a more spacious interior and is more comfortable than other premium SUVs.

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Furthermore, there is also the attention to detail. Passengers are pampered with luxurious features such as a 14-speaker, 792-watt Harman/Kardon sound system and 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a large 54-inch panoramic sunroof, threezone automatic climate

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control with rear-seat controls, smart rear-view mirror, and multiple USB ports, power outlets, and an industryleading 19-cup and bottle holders located throughout the cabin.

row seating. It may not be the cheapest in its segment, but it is the best value proposition for the family,” said Gerry Hernandez, country manager of Motor Image Pilipinas, Inc.

“We are entering the Premium 7-seater SUV market with this spacious, featurepacked model. It has the best safety features in the segment with EyeSight as standard. It has excellent handling, drivability, and power, possessing all the hallmarks of a Subaru vehicle built on the Subaru Global Platform and equipped with a Symmetrical AllWheel Drive. It can even tow boats! It is well-designed and practical, with thoughtful details to make every journey comfortable for all passengers, such as 2nd-row captain seats and true 3rd-

Only one variant will be made available — the Evoltis 2.4 Touring EyeSight. It will retail for PHP3,480,000 and will be available in five colors: crystal white

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pearl, ice silver metallic, crystal black silica, crimson red pearl, and abyss blue pearl, a brand-new color. The first 50 customers who register online at https://www.subaru.asia/ evoltis/ and complete their purchase of an All-New Subaru Evoltis will also receive a limited-edition Evoltis watch to match their brand-new vehicle.

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NISSAN LEAF AN ELECTRIC REVOLUTION Nissan’s flagship full-battery electric vehicle (EV), the Nissan LEAF, is now available in the Philippines for PHP2.798M in 3 dealerships. Nissan is also establishing 7 charging stations in the country through its dealerships, creating the largest nationwide EV charging station network.

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he zero-emission Nissan LEAF is the embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the automotive company’s approach to changing the way cars are driven, powered, and integrated into society. The Nissan LEAF exemplifies this philosophy in three key aspects: Intelligent Power, Intelligent Driving, and Intelligent Integration.

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INTELLIGENT POWER As an embodiment of Nissan Intelligent Mobility, the Nissan LEAF represents innovations in the areas of power delivery. The Nissan LEAF has a 40-kWh lithium-ion battery that has a range of up to 311 kilometers on a full charge, based on the New European Driving Cycle (NEDC) standards. This is the equivalent of traveling between Quezon City and Bonifacio Global City twice a day for five days for a daily commute or a one-way out-of-town trip to Baguio.

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Powering the Nissan LEAF is a revolutionary, all-electric e-powertrain providing a maximum output of 110kW or 150ps and 320 Nm of instant torque. The Nissan LEAF can go from zero to 100kph in 7.9-seconds and is capable of reaching a top speed of 140kph. Charging the Nissan LEAF is easy and convenient as owners are provided with multiple charging options. The Nissan LEAF can be fully powered up in 15 to 18 hours at home through a dedicated wall outlet with the supplied universal charging cable. Owners can also go to quick charging stations found in select Nissan dealerships nationwide and power up their Nissan LEAF to a full charge in as fast as 40 to 60 minutes.

Nissan LEAF ideal for stop-and-go city traffic since the need to shift from one pedal to another is reduced, making driving simpler and more convenient. The Nissan LEAF is also packed with intelligent driving assistance features that give drivers more confidence and peace of mind. These features include intelligent cruise control, intelligent around-view monitor, high beam assist, and hill start assist. It also features intelligent emergency braking, intelligent driver alertness, rear crosstraffic alert, blindspot warning, lane departure warning, intelligent lane

intervention, and intelligent trace control to help ensure the safety of both the driver and passengers. Both contemporary and timeless, the Nissan LEAF has a sleek design starting with the two-tone body and its iconic floating roof. The EV Blue accents and V-Motion grille complement the entire look. Inside, the Nissan LEAF greets both drivers and passengers with spacious seating for five. INTELLIGENT INTEGRATION More than just a car, the Nissan LEAF also has vehicle-to-everything (V2X)

INTELLIGENT DRIVING A welcome innovation for drivers everywhere is the Nissan LEAF’s e-Pedal. This feature allows drivers to start, accelerate, decelerate, and stop using just one pedal by increasing or decreasing the pressure applied to the accelerator. When the accelerator is fully released, regenerative and friction brakes are applied automatically, bringing the car to a complete stop. This makes the June 2021

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technology that enables bi-directional charging to use energy from the LEAF battery to power homes and equipment, or simply give back energy to the power grid. “Finally bringing the Nissan LEAF to the Philippines is a high point in our efforts throughout the years to inform and educate the Filipino public on the benefits of EV adoption. The Nissan LEAF is key to realizing our vision of enriching Filipino lives towards a more connected, sustainable, and resilient society,” says Atsushi Najima, president and

managing director of Nissan in the Philippines. “The Nissan LEAF’s launch in the Philippines is the latest chapter in our electrification strategy in ASEAN. This is part of Nissan’s DNA of daring to do what others don’t as we make electrified mobility more accessible to the people in the region,” adds regional vice president for Nissan ASEAN Isao Sekiguchi. The Nissan LEAF also comes with a 3-year vehicle warranty or for the first 100,000-kilometers, whichever

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comes first. It also comes with an 8-year battery warranty or for the first 160,000km, whichever comes first. Customers can avail of the Nissan LEAF from three dealerships: Nissan Mantrade Makati, Nissan Otis, and Nissan Cebu South-V. Rama, each equipped with EV charging systems for the exclusive use of Nissan LEAF owners. Four more dealerships will offer the much-awaited EV within this year, all similarly equipped with charging facilities. For more information, visit nissan.ph.

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WHY THE

HYBRID CAR DELIVERS MORE VALUE

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ustainable lifestyle is the catchphrase these days. As the effects of global warming hit close to home, more people are recycling, reducing waste, and using eco-friendly products. In the Philippines, a study conducted by Kantar revealed that 75 percent of Filipinos are actively seeking alternative solutions to help save the environment. Fortunately, technological developments in the auto industry make it possible to own a car nowadays while still being kind to the environment.

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Driving with a better purpose Knowing the importance of a more environmentally sustainable mode of transportation, Toyota has long been working on new and innovative ideas and technologies and in 2015, announced its long-term initiative, the Toyota Environmental Challenge 2050, which aims to achieve zero CO2 emissions and a net positive environmental impact. The six challenges initiated encompass Toyota’s entire operations, from the manufacture of new vehicles to plant emission, entire vehicle life cycle, water usage optimization, recycling technologies and systems, and connecting nature conservation activities. Toyota’s global vision of reducing adverse environmental impacts aligns with the UN Sustainable Development Goals of Affordable and Clean Energy, Climate Action, Clean Water and Sanitation, and Responsible Consumption

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and Production. Toyota envisions a sustainable world where automobiles and the environment are in harmony. As it continues to strive to become the leading innovator of mobility, Toyota provides consumers with an alternative mobility solution through its hybrid cars. Sophisticated design and mindful performance Hybrid cars aren’t a new innovation. In fact, Toyota launched Toyota Prius in Japan in 1997 – the first mass-produced hybrid car in the world. It gained more popularity when it was introduced in the United States in 2000 attracting the interest of A-list celebrities. The Toyota Corolla Altis is one of Toyota Motor Philippines’ latest generation of cars utilizing the hybrid system, which also comes at an affordable price.

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Powered by a 16-valve 1.8L engine and an electric motor and delivering a maximum output of 97hp at 5,200rpm and a maximum torque of 142Nm at 3,600rpm, the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid automatically switches between driving modes seamlessly: conventional engine only, electric engine only, or combination of the two, depending on the road and driving conditions. The Continuously Variable Transmission (CVT) complements the 1.8L engine to improve responsiveness and ensure a smoother and quieter ride. The Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid’s electric motor is ideal for city driving. When the battery is sufficiently June 2021

charged, it automatically powers the vehicle to save fuel. During acceleration in uphill driving, both the engine and battery supply power for optimum performance. The motorgenerator recovers the kinetic energy from braking, which recharges the hybrid battery.

(TNGA) program, the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid is part of a family of vehicles that are made even better. This innovative car-making approach changes the basic architecture of cars for enhanced basic performance and overall product appeal. With optimized manufacturing and smart

Design-wise, the Toyota Corolla Altis is sleek and classy. It has a clean-cut look on the outside and an elegant feel on the inside. The compact sedan’s cabin is spacious and features upgraded driving ergonomics that put emphasis on both functionality and comfort to make the ride more enjoyable. Developed under the Toyota New Global Architecture 80

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collaboration with suppliers and production sites, this initiative leads to a reduction in development resources and reinvestment of reserves. Toyota’s latest hybrid offering also has the built-in Toyota Safety Sense — a proprietary safety feature designed to help protect drivers and passengers while on the road. The advanced features include a pre-collision system, automatic high beams, lane tracing assist, lane departure alert, and dynamic radar cruise control functions to keep passengers safe. The greener advantage Fuel-efficient cars help the environment by reducing pollution and

smog. The Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid stands out with its dual-power ability, offering a greener advantage than the most fuel-efficient traditional or electric-powered vehicle.

Consumers can have peace of mind knowing they can enjoy the freedom of mobility while also championing the environment with the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid.

With the Toyota Corolla Altis Hybrid’s self-charging electric battery, there’s no need to worry about the car running out of power or getting stranded. When the car’s battery runs low, it automatically switches to the gas motor and goes on to charge the battery without needing to be plugged into an outlet. This makes for an added environmental benefit as there’s less need to charge and consume electricity. Plus, the hybrid battery comes with a 5-year warranty.

Follow TMP’s official pages — Toyota Motor Philippines on Facebook and Instagram, toyota.com.ph, Twitter (ToyotaMotorPH), and Viber (Toyota PH) — for regular updates on products and services, dealer operations, announcements, and events. For safely distanced viewing, check out Toyota models online and inquire at toyota.com.ph/showroom, and choose preferred dealership. Go to mytoyota.ph for after-sales needs and service.

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ISUZU SUBIC RISING I

suzu Philippines Corporation (IPC) has formally solidified its partnership with Isuzu Subic under Velocity Motors Sales Corporation.

Isuzu Subic’s 3,799sqm dealership will follow the Isuzu Outlet Standard (IOS) and include a display showroom, a customer mezzanine, and a parts warehouse. Although the main area already holds a 1,380sqm service workshop that caters to both commercial and light commercial vehicles, there will also be a dedicated 1,518sqm off-site space with a preparation bay and paint booth for body repairs in an effort to accommodate more vehicles, especially trucks, that require heavy-duty maintenance.

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“IPC officially welcomes Velocity Motors Sales Corporation to our growing network. As you may all know, we are on our ‘Road to 50 Dealerships’ and this seals our 47th outlet nationwide. We have been wanting to further establish our presence in Zambales so thank you to Velocity Motors for partnering with us in capturing the market and being part of our expansion project. We are committed to continuously provide the best products and services in our new home in Subic,” IPC president Hajime Koso says. Velocity Motors, represented by its president and director Jason Hao and director Jeffrey Hao Lin, is highly recognized on the northern coast of Central Luzon for its expertise and achievements when it comes to trucks and bodybuilding. “Isuzu is without a doubt the undisputed number one brand for trucks and equally successful in the SUV and pickup segments. At Velocity Motors, we choose to invest only in the best and IPC is such in its circle of competence,” notes Hao. “Headed by Mr. Koso, we are confident that IPC will always choose the best balance of products and systems of operations for its clients, shareholders, June 2021

and us dealers ensuring success for years to come.” IPC was recently recognized by Isuzu Motors Limited in Japan for earning Triple Stars in the 2020 Aftersales Awards. Only four other distributors and dealers in the six regions around the globe were awarded the top rating. The company is striving to sustain this feat in the coming years and Isuzu Subic’s extended facility and increased capacity is just one of the action plans to provide more access to the brand’s highest quality of aftersales servicing and parts fulfillment in the country. “Subic is primed to become the most competitive international services and logistic center in Southeast Asia, continuously leading to be one of the country’s major economic engines

Hajime Koso President/CEO, Isuzu Philippines Corporation

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receiving numerous investment projects. Despite some unrealized revenue targets as a result of the pandemic, the city remains thriving especially its trading and shipment industries. Isuzu Subic is our response to the growing transportation requirements in Zambales most especially for trucks as IPC has begun expansion so as to contribute to our customers’ success,” Koso added. In parallel, Hao said, “Velocity Motors will persevere and see to it that we will uphold Isuzu’s commitment to Filipinos here in Subic. Being in business for over 40 years, we have been witnesses to the cycles of industry and commerce in the region being in constant evolution, more so now in transition to the new normal. But we are in this for the long haul and believe that winners are tested and built through time.”

Jason Hao, President/Director, Velocity Motor Sales Corp.

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MOBILITY

June 2021

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17TH AUTO FOCUS PEOPLE'S CHOICE AWARDS ONLINE PUBLIC POLL NOW OPEN rganized by Sunshine Television (STV), and led by its Chairman/ CEO and motoring media personality Ray Butch Gamboa, the Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards (AFPCA) is a premier motoring industry merit program that seeks to determine the Philippines’ most popular automobile brands and models via an annual public poll. The awards program features Model and Automobile of the Year honors for sedans, SUV/crossovers, sports cars, vans/MPVs, and pickups in separate Standard and Premium/Luxury classes. 2021 marks the 17th annual undertaking of this unique poll, the only one of its kind in the country.

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“Thankfully, this year’s edition of the AFPCA has launched without the uncertainties and challenges that faced us in March last year with the onset of the present COVID pandemic and strict lockdown conditions about to be imposed throughout the Philippines.” STV’s Gamboa exclaimed. “Looking back at that point in time, we actually considered putting the program on hold. The business prognosis for the motoring industry in the forthcoming months appeared grim, and no one knew how and when the worsening crisis would end. So, the most important question STV and the organizing committee had to tackle was: Would the AFPCA continue to benefit the car industry and its customers during the

period? The group saw this in a positive light and we went for the green light. I can now openly declare, without any doubt whatsoever that I’m happy the AFPCA streak remained intact, and that the 2020 experience subsequently gave us new and valuable insights that are being applied this year.” A new development pertinent to the AFPCA Rules and Guidelines will come into play this year. Gerry Aquino, Chairman of the AFPCA Awards Committee, and Gamboa reviewed in more depth the essence and value of being enshrined in the AFPCA Hall of Fame. Over the past 16 years, only a handful of models have gained such elite status. Among the chosen few are the Isuzu Crosswind; Hyundai Grand Starex; Toyota Camry; Toyota Innova; Mitsubishi Montero Sport; Toyota HiAce; Toyota Fortuner; Toyota Hilux; Nissan Navara; Lexus IS350; Lexus RS350; and Toyota Alphard in the Model of the Year Hall of Fame. The Automobile of the Year Hall of Fame counts two honorees: the Toyota Vios and the Toyota Fortuner. Aquino clarified: “The rules imply that this rare, hard-to-attain award of excellence has elevated winners to the pinnacle of their respective model categories, and therefore, further recognition is no longer unnecessary. Well and good, perhaps, but several factors now require us to re-think this

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particular rule.” The key considerations were: One, most of the Hall of Fame models are still concurrent, which is testimony to their continuing popularity. Two, the AFPCA is based on people’s choices and votes, and therefore, why will a model the public still prefers be excluded from the Official Entry List simply by virtue of its Hall of Fame status? Three, if a model truly deserves to win, why deprive it of this privilege when it’s still out there in the market competing with other contenders? And lastly, the more complete the Official AFPCA Entry List is, the more credible the voting results and scores will become. With these in mind, the organizers opted to return all Hall of Fame models into voting circulation and again become eligible for Model and Automobile of the Year awards.” “I believe that this will in no way diminish the prestige of the elite status these models have already earned, and that lofty position can only be embellished by further honors that may they may attain,” Gamboa concurred. The public may participate in the online poll of the 2021-2022 Auto Focus People’s Choice Awards. To go to the AFPCA Voting Page, please click on this link https://autofocus.com.ph/ afpca2021/. Participants may vote every day and can register as many as 5 daily choices each in the separate Standard and Premium/Luxury categories from June 1 to November 30, 2021. June 2021


MOBILITY

amaha Motor Philippines, Inc. introduces the latest edition of the new Sniper155 combining racing excellence, metropolitan ingenuity, and superior control to your ride.

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The Sniper brand has always been lauded for its 2-way versatility, offering excellence on both racetracks and streets. The new Sniper155 was developed to have the Yamaha Racing DNA, with an aerodynamic feel with a modern, tight, and compact design with a right horizontal feel that expresses speed like never before. The innovative design shows a massive, powerful, and dynamic movement within the mass-forward silhouette with its short and upward rear end. The design allows you to have a riding posture that gives the impression of solo riding like a super sports bike. Overall, it maintains its masculine & tough image. It is perfect for the rider looking for a high-performance everyday machine with the latest technological advancements for a lifestyle above the rest.

variable valve actuation (VVA) plus an assist and slipper clutch (A&S), and 6-speed transmission. Its individual ignition timing maps that efficiently draw out the power of the engine are a first for a Yamaha moped. The maps switch when the VVA system is active or

The new Sniper155 was tested out on the Carmona Racetrack where DJ Rico Robles was on-site to discuss the different features of Yamaha’s ultimate moped. It has an upgraded liquidcooled 155cc SOHC 4-valve fuelinjected engine. It is now equipped with

inactive and there are separate maps for low speeds and high speeds. This makes the engine easy to use when in gear at low speeds, but also provides lasting pull at higher speeds. Special guest and professional racecar driver Marlon Stockinger got the chance to test the ride and share his experience with the viewers. The new Sniper155R keeps the racing traits of the standard version but includes some add-ons fit for city rides. Its exclusive features combine high performance, advanced innovation, with a stylish design for a fast-paced and comfortable ride. These include the smart key system, front brake with 2-pot caliper, a 12V power socket, and a sports style seat made from a special material for comfort and grip.

Ride above the rest with the new

Yamaha Sniper155 June 2021

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MOBILITY

Features common to the standard Sniper155 and the Sniper155R are the increased 5.4L fuel tank capacity, negative LCD instrument panel, and handlebar-mounted low LED beam headlights that shine in the same direction as the handlebars while the high beams are built into the body. The new Sniper155 has an SRP of PHP114,900 and is offered in the following colors: race blu, yellow hornet, and black raven. Meanwhile, the new Sniper155R comes in matte titan with an SRP of PHP120,900. Both variants are now available at the YZONE, REV ZONES, and Yamaha 3S Shops nationwide. The new Sniper155 and Sniper155R were launched digitally on the Yamaha Stadium online platform, in a presentation aptly themed “Yamaha

Sports and Style: Ride above the Rev”. The Yamaha Stadium is a virtual sports news hub that provides details about the latest products, designs and concepts, and even updates from Yamaha’s racing program. Also at the launch event, Yamaha Racing Philippines manager Jordan Cornista and Team Philippines racer Masato Fernando shared their continued preparation for future racing campaigns. It was also revealed that McKinley Kyle Paz, the mystery rider

12V DC Power Socket

KEY FEATURES 155cc Fuel-Injected Engine (Upgraded Feature)

The new Sniper155 has a liquid-cooled 155cc SOHC 4-valve fuel-injected with model-specific settings. KEYengine FEATURES It also has a 4.6-liter air cleaner box resonator with optimized specifications. Its ample volume contributes to linear response when the throttle is opened and closed. These result in strong acceleration from a stop and excellent performance at high speeds. 6-Speed Transmission

A 6-speed transmission is adopted to reduce the feeling of a busy engine at higher rpm, lower noise levels, and improve fuel economy.

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Variable Valve Actuation (VVA) Allows smooth riding in both the low rpm range as well as at high speeds. There are two cams that drive the intake valves: one for the low and mid-rpm and one for the high rpm. These are activated depending on riding conditions. The intake valves used at high rpm are open longer, increasing intake efficiency and raising the overall performance.

Exhaust System Layout Both the exhaust pipe and muffler are designed for power output across the entire rpm range and also to reduce noise. To quicken catalyzation in the catalytic converter, it is positioned closer to the tail end of the exhaust pipe inside the muffler to better use the high temperature of the exiting exhaust.

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Assist & Slipper Clutch (A&S) This reduces clutch lever load, eases the machine’s behavior during downshifts, and contributes to a more comfortable ride. It is comprised of an assist cam and a slipper cam, and is the same system used in models like the YZF-R1 and YZF-R15.

Fuel Tank

A large 5.4-liter fuel tank in tandem with the fuel-efficient engine allows you to ride farther and longer. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


who tested the new Sniper155 on the racetrack, will be the 1st Filipino to compete in the FIM CEV REPSOL - Moto2 Category under the VR46 Junior Team. Paz is the 1st Filipino to be part of the highly exclusive VR46 and Overall Champion in the 150UB Category of the Asia Road Racing Championship. He now stands as an icon for Filipino racing and the future looks bright for the young rider. For more, visit www.yamaha-motor. com.ph for more details.

Smart Key System

Negative LCD Instrument Panel The full LCD multi-function instrument panel displays a speedometer, tachometer, gear indicator, VVA indicator, and other information in a compact arrangement. The angle of the panel itself has also been optimized to suit the riding position for better readability. Individual Ignition Timing Maps for Each Gear A first for a Yamaha moped, this feature efficiently draws out the power of the VVA-equipped engine. The maps switch when the VVA system is active or inactive and there are separate maps for low speeds and high speeds. This makes the engine easy to use when in gear at low speeds, but also provides lasting pull at higher speeds.

New Lightweight Frame A newly designed backbone frame with an excellent balance of strength and rigidity achieves both a feeling of stability at mid- to high-range speeds and maneuverability in tight, low-speed maneuvers.

Separate High/Low-beam LED Headlight The low beam light is mounted to the handlebar assembly which allows the headlight to shine in the same direction as the handlebars, while the high beams are built into the body. This layout is a first for Yamaha and gives the high beams excellent dispersion.

Sports Style Seat The seat offers a good grip, is slipresistant, and provides excellent ride comfort. The shape of the area that contacts the rider’s inner thighs has been carefully shaped and offers easy leg reach to the ground. The Sniper 155R Edition features a special material and stitching.

Smart Key System (SNIPER155R Exclusive) The Sniper 155R features a Smart Key system. When the rider carries the Smart Key, the machine detects the rider and allows the engine to be started with a simple turn of the knob. It also has an answer-back function to help find its current position.

12V DC power socket (SNIPER155R Exclusive) Provides access for the rider to recharge their digital devices.

Front Brake with 2-Pot Caliper (SNIPER155R Exclusive) The front brake employs a 245mm disc to ensure excellent stopping power.

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mirates has been voted Best Airline Worldwide for the eighth consecutive time by the Business Traveller Middle East Awards 2021. The airline also took home accolades for Airline with the Best First Class and Airline with Best Economy Class.

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When to comes to protecting customer travel plans, the airline has also expanded initiatives to offer greater assurance and flexibility for a stress-free experience. Customers now have more protection when they plan and rebook their trips with a seamless rebooking experience should their

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circumstances change for up to 36 months. On the Skywards front, Emirates has extended its members’ tier status until 2022 and continues to roll out more ways to earn miles, including online and retail shopping, as well as co-branded credit cards and other brand tie-ups.

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The airline was a first mover in the industry when it introduced free Covid-19 cover to help customers travel with more confidence. The initiative generated positive feedback from customers and the wider industry, with many airlines following suit. Emirates expanded this to offer the airline’s industry-first, multi-risk travel insurance and COVID-19 cover. This generous cover is offered by Emirates on all tickets at no cost to customers. In addition to COVID-19 medical cover, it also accounts for personal accidents during travel, winter sports cover, loss of personal belongings, and trip disruptions due to unexpected air space closure, travel recommendations or advisories, and other circumstances. When customers are ready to get back into the skies, an elevated onboard experience awaits them across every

cabin class. True to its Fly Better promise, Emirates continued to invest in the onboard experience in spite of pandemic challenges. The Emirates’ First Class experience leads the industry as one of the most luxurious in the skies. In addition to the much-talked-about Boeing 777-300ER Gamechanger fully enclosed suites, the latest A380 private suites have been recently refreshed with additional enhancements including wider and taller doors for even more privacy and comfort. Customers traveling on the airline’s flagship A380 can also look forward to the in-flight Shower Spa, the Onboard Lounge, and many other touches that take flying to a whole new level. As customers return to travel, Emirates is bringing them a generous and comfortable experience in Economy Class. On its latest A380, Emirates has replaced its Economy seats onboard with more 93

ergonomically designed seats that come with full leather headrests and flexible side panels which can be adjusted vertically for optimum support, a step up from the version currently installed on Emirates’ Boeing 777 Gamechanger aircraft. Each seat features an elegant wood grain finish on tray tables, as well as a 13.3” personal screen to enjoy Emirates’ award-winning ice offering more than 4,500 channels on demand. The Business Traveller Middle East awards are dedicated to business travel, covering all aspects of the industry from airlines, airports, hotels, and loyalty programs. The awards were presented virtually and attended by hundreds of industry professionals from across the region. Shortlisted companies are judged by a panel of travel experts, alongside the magazine’s editorial team, in addition to feedback from readers. June 2021


ilipinos traveling back home, or domestically inter-bubble can now easily book quarantine accommodation packages at over 120 hotels in the Philippines on Agoda’s digital travel platform. Agoda has launched similar alternative state quarantine packages successfully in Thailand in collaboration with the Thai Government in 2020, listing over 95 hotels across three cities in the country, and in Hong Kong in early 2021.

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Agoda has automated the booking process for those traveling to and within the Philippines — bringing benefits to both participating hoteliers and travelers, by simplifying the search and booking process on one easily accessible platform. The Agoda Quarantine Packages in the Philippines comply with the requirements of the Bureau of Quarantine (BOQ) and provide access to accommodations accredited by the Department of Tourism (DOT) for frontliners and COVID-19 positive patients in isolation, as well as hotels for inbound guests to fulfill mandatory quarantine period. Agoda Quarantine Package options include airport transfer and all meals of the day for the convenience of guests and to help limit unnecessary contact. Through the Agoda Quarantine Package landing page, travelers can easily select from quarantine properties on the platform including those in Manila, Cebu, Angeles, Batangas, and Cavite.

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With over 120 hotels to choose from, inbound Filipinos and inter-bubble domestic travelers who are required to complete a mandatory 14-day quarantine (with the first 10 days completed in a quarantine facility and the remainder to be fulfilled at home), as well as people who would like to self-isolate to protect their families, will be able to search for and book DOT-approved quarantine properties via a dedicated booking platform (https://www.agoda.com/en-gb/quarantineph). The dedicated link allows travelers to search availability, room type, and pricing in real-time. Quarantine hotel package bookings are required as part of the process to obtain approval from Philippine embassies as well as compliance with airline requirements before booking their trip.

Whether you are traveling back home or isolating to protect your family, we are able to offer an easy, convenient way to search and compare quarantine packages

Using our technology, we are able to make the quarantine experience accessible to travelers, complying with local authority requirements. Through collaboration with our partners, governments, and tourism authorities, we aim to deliver solutions that help the traveling public to cost-effectively and safely return home

— Enric Casals

Agoda regional director of Southeast Asia and Oceania

For regular travelers, Agoda has introduced pandemic-friendly products like GoLocal, HygienePlus, and EasyCancel in 2020, prioritizing new travel preferences in the Philippines and across the world.

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Feature

GETTING AN OLED TV? Here’s what to know about screen burn-in he demand for OLED TVs is still on a steady rise in 2021. According to Consumer Reports, more brands are expected to come out with entry-level OLED sets, making them more accessible to people looking for affordable TVs with 4K quality.

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That being said, however, the concern over screen burn-in is expected to also grow alongside June 2021

it. But what is it exactly and what causes it? Simply known as “burn-in,” this is a permanent defect in areas of a TV display that can be caused by cumulative effects of displaying the same image or scene for long periods of time. This usually starts as image retention — when a TV shows what appears to be a shadow of the original image even after it has disappeared.

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An OLED display is much more susceptible to burn-in because it relies on the self-emissive nature of its individual pixels. Therefore, when a TV is on for hours, the pixels that light up a static image can “burn-in” due to pixel aging with its brightness diminishing to a lower state. In the past, there have been reports of OLED TVs installed at prominent spots such as the Incheon International Airport that gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


OLED TV at a local airport waiting area with burn-in, as evidenced by the dark shadow in the middle of the screen.

showed signs of burn-in. This made customers worry about the long-term reliability of the device. OLED TV owners might be able to fix the problem and prevent permanent damage by turning down an OLED TV’s brightness and avoid leaving static images on for several hours or even days. Some displays have “pixel refreshers” that automatically shift an entire image on TVs by a few pixels.

They can also prevent burn-in by consuming less of certain types of content that show static graphics remaining on the screen for a long period of time. These types of content can include news channels and live sports that show scores, tickers, and channel logos as well as video games that show health meters, status bars, or maps on a certain part of the screen. But even then, there is still a possibility that some images will be retained. The static image somewhat disappears when switching channels but eventually, it becomes a major cause of concern when the image is transfixed on the same spot. It becomes a constant eye-sore and the only way to enjoy watching TV again is by buying a new one.

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To check for burn-in, a popular method called the gray screen test will let you see image retention and burn-in more clearly. Samsung has also developed a burn-in detection video test for easier checking. If you’re an OLED TV owner and are looking to switch, consider opting for a QLED TV instead because this TV technology uses a backlight to provide brightness. This means that the pixels aren’t susceptible to uneven aging, which ensures that the screens are safe from burning in. For more information about Samsung’s unrivaled QLED 8K technology, visit https://www. samsung.com/ph/tvs/qled-tv/ highlights/. June 2021


Feature

LIGHT UP YOUR WORLD G is setting the stage to make your viewing experience even better than before, with the LG OLED evo setting a new standard and redefining what TV can be.

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The next-gen OLED panel has been redesigned to include an extra layer and a stronger emissive material. June 2021

These optimize the structure of the panel and refines the wavelengths of light. The result is brighter, punchier picture quality, and improved clarity of content — it’s not just the display that’s evolved; it’s your viewing experience. The key to LG’s unparalleled picture quality is its millions of self-lit OLED

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pixels. Unlike LED/LCD TVs that are restricted by backlight technology, LG OLED TVs are capable of extreme realism and thin designs. When it comes to picture quality, OLED provides the best picture quality possible. That’s because OLED has millions of self-lit pixels capable of producing perfect black and accurate color. The result is a viewing gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


experience like no other. What’s more, global testing agency Intertek has confirmed that LG OLED displays have 100% color fidelity. This means that the colors you see on the screen closely match the colors of the original image. So everything you watch looks as the creator intended it to be. At the core of every LG 4K OLED TV is the α9 Gen4 AI Processor 4K, a groundbreaking chip that uses deep-learning algorithms to analyze and optimize content. Every adjustment to picture and sound is automatic, so everything you watch is spectacular. AI Picture Pro uses a vast database of visual data points, so the deep-learning algorithm recognizes content, removes noise, and optimizes picture quality. And the new Scene Detection feature

can now analyze the type of scene being shown and improve the picture accordingly. AI Sound Pro, on the other hand, learns from audio data points; the processor identifies voices, effects, and frequencies so it can then optimize the sound by genre for a more immersive experience. In addition, the new Auto Volume Leveling feature maintains consistent voice levels across different types of content. The newly designed home screen shows personalized content suggestions, gives you easier access to favorites, and lets you control connected devices all in one place. Another thing that’s redesigned is the Magic Remote which functions more like a magic wand. The ergonomic design is

easy to hold, and its point and scroll system allows faster searching. Built-in AI provides easy access to services, while hotkeys for major content providers give you shortcuts to all your favorites. In addition to all that, you now have Magic Tap, a clever new trick that connects your phone to your TV. Just tap an NFCenabled smartphone to the remote, and you’ll be able to share content between your TV and smartphone. Exciting times are ahead for LG. LG Philippines managing director Sungjae Kim says, “LG OLED technology has been the industry leader for the past few years. We hope that with this new campaign, customers will see for themselves how OLED can provide the best possible TV viewing experience anywhere.”

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Gaming

Developer platform

PUBLISHER

Capcom

Capcom

PC, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, Stadia, Xbox One, Xbox Series S, Xbox Series X

Words by Jose Alvarez

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rowing up, no game scared me more than Resident Evil. The horror game genre has gone through many ups and downs over the years. Some horror games included jump scares while others sought to maximize the amount of blood and gore. No matter what kind of genre of horror you like, Resident Evil has been at the forefront of the horror genre for over 25 years.

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In Resident Evil Village, a direct sequel taking place three years after Resident Evil 7: Biohazard, Ethan Winters (the protagonist of RE7) is taken to Europe by Chris Redfield, the protagonist of the original Resident Evil. Ethan has to rescue his daughter Rosemary this time around. The village is dwarfed by Castle Dimitrescu. Lady Alcina Dimitrescu is a vampiric aristocrat, Donna Beneviento is a dollmaker, Salvatore Moreau is a grotesque merman, and Karl Heisenberg uses magnetism to create Frankenstein-like monsters. Each sub-genre of horror is represented in Resident Evil Village, and all four report to the head witch, Mother Miranda. There is a huge cabal of beasts waiting for Ethan as he tries to rescue his daughter, including horror staples such as zombie ghouls, flying gargoyles, werewolves, and more. Ethan is far more prepared since his last adventure. Despite the vast amount of enemies in Resident Evil Village, a merchant called The Duke is willing to assist Ethan, but at a steep price. You’ll often be forced to comb every nook and cranny in Resident Evil Village to stay stocked up. You can even bring animals to The Duke to help boost Ethan’s health and defense, and there are rare animals that you can find using photographic clues hidden throughout the game. The game overall also incorporates puzzlesolving, although it doesn’t take much to solve said puzzles. Boss fights seem to be overall lacking, requiring pure firepower and reflexes over strategy and skill. However, closer and closer to the end, bosses ramped up in difficulty rather than in length; it would have been more satisfying to slay an enemy that required you to use every single thing at your disposal and then more. You can do this if you choose to play the game at a higher difficulty such as Hardcore mode, where every enemy will test your abilities. If you regularly play first-person shooters, the learning curve will drop a bit.

Overall, Resident Evil Village felt more like a hybrid between horror and action than purely horror such as in years past, but even old school fans will enjoy this game. Of course, games today have numerous updates, and things will change. Multiplayer will return to the game in Re:Verse mode, which will debut later in the year, and allow you to play against your friends using familiar faces from the franchise such as Leon S. Kennedy, Jill Valentine, Ada Wong, and Claire Redfield. I’ll continue to blast away at the many horror tropes this game has to offer in the time being.

Once you finish the story mode, you can use points from objectives to unlock infinite ammo weapons in subsequent playthroughs or even concept art. You can also compete in Mercenaries mode, which has you traversing stages from the game with additional perks such as high-powered headshots, exploding enemy corpses, or faster movement speed. This mode can be addicting if you wish to get S or SS ranks.

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Gaming

The Super App that Empowers Filipino Gamers magine a life where you are in control of what you want to do and choose the things you love and want. You can play your favorite games, stream online to earn, train to compete for tournaments, eat, sleep, wake up, and have fun again all day. This is the life that many people dream of achieving. This is the life of a gamer who has the control buttons on his hand, literally and figuratively.

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Be the lethal assassin Guison who never runs out of tricks in Mobile Legends or shoot the lights out as Stephen Curry with a 3-point barrage to dominate NBA 2k21. In countries like the US and China, gamers are empowered to track a career in eSports. This is possible because of the

support that they receive from their government and other institutions. Many colleges and universities in those countries have accepted and approved the inclusion of online games as part of the school curriculum. Sadly, despite the recent achievements of Pinoy gamers in the online global arena, the maturity of eSports in the country is still behind due to various reasons, such as: (1) The stigma and poor acceptance of gaming as a sport and being a professional gamer as a career; 2) the lack of inclusivity and diversity due to low discoverability as not everyone has the resources and the space to play and be seen; and (3)the lack of official and organized spaces to practice or a one-stop-shop that would advocate and create an organized movement for the community.

The super app for gamers While it may sound like the Philippines has a lot of catching up to do, the good news is that there is a new eSports digital platform created by Pinoys for the Filipino gaming community to empower local players. Kalaro is a super app that serves as a single portal to a wide range of virtual features and services not only for gamers but also for content creators, game strategists, tournament organizers, and entrepreneurs. In a nutshell, it is the first Pinoy gaming platform that offers tournament management, social media, video hub, and more. The people behind Kalaro understand the potential of the eSports industry and how gamers and other stakeholders could actually benefit and level up the quality of their lives when the whole community works and plays together. Born out of the desire to uplift every gamer, Kalaro also aims to gather Filipino eSports enthusiasts to come together and nurture or groom gamers to be the best that they can be by providing them with opportunities to learn and grow together by leveraging the power of technology.

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The eSports industry at a glance According to GroupM, the world’s leading media investment company, the gaming market worldwide was valued at USD151.55 billion in 2019 and grew by 20% to USD179.7 billion in 2020 despite the global pandemic.

in recent years. In just a span of four months, Team Philippines was declared as champions in the Mobile Legends: Bang Bang M2 World Championship last January 2021 and in the Regional Championship of FIBA Esports in April.

There is an estimated 495 million global audience for eSports or organized forms of competitive gameplay in tournaments and leagues. In the Philippines alone, there are already 43 million eSports enthusiasts. Thus, it is no surprise that Filipino gamers have dominated some international online gaming competitions

How much further could Filipino gamers go, if they had all the support they needed? The Philippines has the potential to be an eSports powerhouse internationally. With our unique skills and talents, Pinoys are definitely capable of reaching greater heights using innovations like the Kalaro super app.

How Kalaro can help Pinoy gamers Tournament Management

With just a few clicks on the Kalaro app, one can take charge of player registration, team formation, bracketing and promotion of multiple tournaments. Managing and scaling eSports competition anytime anywhere has never been this easy. For gamers, they can join in active tournaments with ease and this can serve as their training ground to practice and improve their skills to prepare for more competitive and bigger tournaments in the future.

Brand Integration

Kalaro can be a platform to combine monetization and activation of brand campaigns at the same time. Companies have the opportunity to organically tap the gaming community that is known to support products and services that sponsor eSports events. Gamers and tournament operators can also start building networks through Kalaro.

In-app Social Media and Content Browsing

Widen your network with real-time interaction with other gamers while you hone your gaming skills at the same time. There is a bigger chance of discoverability since this will also serve as a social media platform and video hub of the gaming community. There is an in-app currency made up of gems for cashless transactions and a better gaming experience.

In-app Advocacy

Kalaro also promotes work-life balance while driving eSports and public sustainability. One of its goals is to also see gamers gain the discipline needed to be recognized as true athletes in the world of eSports. When these things are achieved, more companies will realize the value of using eSports as a teambuilding initiative to develop camaraderie, schools will accept online games as part of their curricula like in other countries, and the government to further support the eSports industry.

Reaching your full potential as a gamer is now made more possible and this can be your key to a better future as you play the games you love and earn a living at the same time. Kalaro believes that the eSports industry can serve as a lifeline to many Pinoy gamers who can now connect and compete with gamers overseas. As Kalaro takes bigger steps to reach out to Filipino eSports enthusiasts, its thrust is to also have the whole of Asia use the platform. And who knows? Perhaps the rest of the world as well. Visit www.kalaro.net and sign up now. You can also get more information from the official Kalaro social media accounts: www.facebook.com/OfficialKalaro, www.twitter.com/OfficialKalaro, www.instagram.com/OfficialKalaro, and www.youtube.com/c/kalaro.

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Enterprise

Cobots improve manufacturing productivity niversal Robots (UR), Denmark-based collaborative robots (cobots) technology market leader, has advised leaders from the Philippine manufacturing industry to implement cobots as an effective solution to address skills and labor shortage and help achieve higher productivity.

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According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, manufacturing production in the Philippines reported an annual rate of -46.5 percent in February, a drop from its previous months’ annual rate of -16.7 percent. This downturn was continuous from February

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“UR’s cobots allow employees to move from repetitive, lowvalue tasks to higher-value activities that increase work productivity and quality.”

last year amid the disruptions caused by the pandemic. To address strict distancing measures, collaborative robots are the solution to help perform tasks that people in groups could not safely do. An additional advantage is that cobots are immensely capable of handling increased workload due to backlogs. With this, there is an optimism that the country’s Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) will continue to improve in 2021. According to the Collaborative Robot Market by Payload, Component, Application, Industry, and Geography - Global Forecast to 2026 report by Markets and Markets, cobots are increasingly being adopted by various industries due to advantages such as increased productivity and effective employee utilization. The market is expected to reach USD7,972 million by 2026 at a CAGR of 41.8%. In 2021, the cobot market in APAC is also expected to surpass that in Europe due to large-scale manufacturing industries especially automotive, electronics, and metals sectors which are increasingly deploying cobots.

confined, structured spaces, and environments. Additionally, cobots can work around the clock and can produce consistent output at any given condition. Today, UR’s cobots allow employees to move from repetitive, low-value tasks to higher-value activities that increase work productivity and quality. “Ever since the term ‘Collaborative Robotics’ was coined, we have been the frontrunners in the robotics industry. We have also marked an entire decade since the very first cobot from Universal Robots was deployed in South Asia. Safety is imperative and has become the cost of entry into the cobot market now. UR believes in developing affordable, lightweight, and flexible cobots that could deliver a rapid ROI for the manufacturing industry,” says James McKew, regional director of Asia-Pacific in Universal Robots.

The Philippine manufacturing industry may leverage the use of robotics in processes that involve repetitive work in

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Enterprise

CARAVAN DIGITAL EXPORT PLATFORM aunched during the pandemic, Caravan (caravan.1export.net) is an e-commerce platform developed by 1Export, one of the leading digital exporters in the Philippines that has helped over 450 local micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) overcome export barriers and enter the world of international trade.

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“Many MSMEs in the country have lost their local demand during the pandemic and suffered from substantial losses. Through Caravan, we provide these businesses opportunities to create new markets and to continue to grow, all the while creating and empowering more Filipino entrepreneurs overseas.” Mel Nava CEO & co-founder 1Export

Caravan offers a wide variety of Filipino goods produced by these MSMEs on its tech-enabled platform and provides the local suppliers access to the overseas market, especially the growing community of Filipinos abroad who are looking to start and grow their own reselling businesses. Currently, Caravan is in fifteen international markets and has been fully committed to championing Filipino entrepreneurship in the United States, Europe, Australia, and the Middle East, among others. Caravan ships to 800 online and offline storefronts globally. With Caravan’s export-compliant products and robust export solutions, coupled with its 100%

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port clearance rate, the initiative has consistently facilitated efficient partnerships between local suppliers and overseas Filipino resellers and businesses. With a wide range of supplier partners from the Philippines, Caravan works with everything from social enterprises to legacy brands. Caravan was able to generate as much as USD20,000 worth of export sales for small businesses in just the 1st quarter of 2021. As a whole, it has contributed USD400,000 or PHP20 million in MSME export sales throughout the course of the pandemic. Through Caravan, what was merely a pipe dream for many partner suppliers, is now turning into reality.

June 2021


Enterprise

SHOPEE UNIVERSITY SUMMIT

Helping MSMEs Succeed in the Digital Marketplace

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Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, successfully wraps up its inaugural Shopee University Summit in partnership with the Department of Trade and Industry, AdSpark, Facebook, and brands such as HP, Messy Bessy, and Globe myBusiness. Current and aspiring entrepreneurs learned about the e-commerce landscape, understood the importance of marketing tools and strategies, and heard success stories from accomplished online sellers on Shopee.

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Martin Yu, director at Shopee Philippines, said, “Shopee is proud to have launched our first-ever Shopee University Summit last May 27. With the steady growth of e-commerce, it’s essential that we support our sellers as they transition online. Shopee will amplify our efforts in providing accessible training and seminars to help Filipino entrepreneurs rise up, succeed, and achieve continuous business growth amidst the ongoing pandemic.” Asec. Jean Pacheco from the Department of Trade and Industry was present to share the various initiatives to help MSMEs go digital. Representatives from different industries such as Marty Buragay from Facebook talked about the new purchasing habits and expectations in the new normal, while Joey Flores from digital agency AdSpark discussed the significance of an effective ad and the importance of strategic planning. Industry leaders from top brands like HP also shared insights on how e-commerce

can help MSMEs grow their businesses. The pandemic brought about challenges to a majority of Filipino entrepreneurs. For some, it was about learning to shift to an online model overnight or enabling a remote workforce. For others, it was about optimizing their processes or finances to keep the business running. At the Shopee University Summit, HP shared how the existing tools, programs, and platforms can support small business owners in their journey to recovery and, eventually, thrive in the new normal. Christian Edmond Reyes, Philippines and Pakistan managing director at HP Inc., said, “At HP, we are committed to our broader strategy of bringing about digital transformation to the retail experience in collaboration with partners such as Shopee. We look forward to working more closely with and sharing the passion and hard work of

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many Filipino businesses to build a sustainable, secure, and connected economy.” Aside from brands and industry experts, two Shopee Marketplace sellers also shared their experience in e-commerce. Jennalyn Indigado, owner of Small Wonders, said that while her e-commerce journey on Shopee started as an accident, her business grew bigger when she joined Shopee and now ships approximately 800 orders daily. Meanwhile, Nikka Solomon of ClosetByNikka2600, a former banker-turned-onlineseller, doubled her orders when she started using Shopee Live to promote her fashion items, especially during big campaigns. To learn about the onboarding process or if you’ve decided to start your e-commerce journey with Shopee, sign-up at bit.ly/ ShopeeUniOnboarding. Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

June 2021


Education

Immersive Education Solutions icrosoft has introduced new technological tools and updates designed to support the 5 key areas educators require to create a holistic learning environment and move education forward: (1) student centricity, (2) skills focus, (3) social learning, (4) safety, security, and (5) scalability.

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In partnership with YouGov, Microsoft found that 71% of K-12 educators felt technology has helped them improve their instruction and expanded their teaching capacity. With the rise of digital classrooms and hybrid learning environments, Microsoft recognizes how crucial it is to help teachers find new ways to engage students remotely. New tools and solutions launched include Reading Progress, to enhance students reading skills remotely, and features like Group Assignments and third-party app integrations in Microsoft Teams that will empower educators and support students in their classroom experience. Other updates include the availability of Minecraft: Education Edition outside the classroom and the launch of Reflect, a Microsoft Teams app that provides teachers with capabilities that support their students’ well-being virtually. “We are grateful for the resilience and commitment educators have displayed in evolving their teaching styles over the past year, and we aim to keep supporting them to deliver quality education for their students during these challenging times. At the beginning of the pandemic technology often served as a much-needed lifeline between students, teachers, and parents enabling remote and hybrid learning. As time moved forward many educators transformed their teaching, their pedagogy, their professional development, and more, with technology often being a critical component enabling that change. Innovation will continue to transform learning experiences and stands to help prepare students for their futures – we are honored to partner with educators and schools across Asia in our mission to help every student on the planet achieve more,” said Larry Nelson, regional general manager, education, Microsoft Asia.

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Reading Progress: Enabling student-centered learning Studies show that reading skills have declined for some students due to the pandemic. To reverse learning loss, educators are seeking ways to evaluate their students’ progress and help them advance at their own pace. With this in mind, Microsoft is introducing Reading Progress, a free tool designed to support readers who are learning a new language or educators trying to raise students’ general comprehension. With Reading Progress, educators can: • Save time by creating reading fluency assignments for either the entire class or for individual students to complete independently. Teachers can also review assignments with built-in auto-detect features for the English language that analyze results and jump to any part of the recording to review detected words and passages. • Visualize reading progress with a holistic view of data and insights, including accuracy rate and actionable feedback useful for guiding class progress. • Engage students in independent practice on their own time where students can work at their own pace, record as many times as they like, and make progress without pressure. Available prior to the next school year, Reading Progress is free for all students and teachers using Microsoft Teams for Education and is compliant with the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA).

Teams: New tools to support student engagement in the classroom Microsoft is also enhancing Teams and other tools to help educators unlock digital experiences that complement and enrich in-person learning. These new free offerings will be available ahead of the next school year and were inspired by insights from education experts, system leaders, educators, and students alike. • Group assignments: Educators can now organize their students into assignment groups so they can work together to create, collaborate, and submit the same work. • Use your favorite apps in Assignments: Teachers will now be able to issue assignments from a variety of thirdparty apps directly in Teams, saving time and increasing student creativity. • Calendar integrations: New calendar integrations allow students to see when their classes are and when assignments are due in the Teams and Outlook calendars – all in one place. • Learning Management System (LMS) Updates: Microsoft is working with LMS providers such as Instructure and Blackboard to improve integrations between LMS and Microsoft Teams, Teams meetings, and OneDrive, providing a more seamless experience for educators.

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Minecraft: Making learning more engaging and fun Educators are recognizing how pivotal immersive experiences can be to engage students on a deeper level. To support them in seeking different ways to keep students actively engaged, Microsoft is releasing new features to Minecraft: Education Edition. This will provide more opportunities for students to play and learn in the classroom and out. • Integrating Minecraft Education Edition with Teams and Flipgrid: Educators can now embed a Flipgrid topic, Forms quiz, or assessment tool using new Resource links within a Minecraft world or lesson. Students, on the other hand, can open a Flipgrid Topic, record and share their creation, and invite others to join a world they have created—with just a few clicks. • Minecraft Education Edition for Camps and Clubs: Beginning this summer, camps, clubs, homeschool organizations, and nonprofits can purchase licenses for Minecraft: Education Edition to support critical thinking, collaboration, and game-based learning for all ages outside of the classroom.

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Reflect: Supporting student well-being Emotional well-being is key to student success and research shows that approaches to support student wellbeing are in high demand, but low supply. New tools to equip educators with the ability to understand the complexities students face, and their emotional state, as they guide them in navigating the challenges of today have also been introduced. • Reflect, a free app in Microsoft Teams, provides a way for educators to create regular check-ins with individual students or classes to share how they are feeling, and help learners better understand how their emotions may impact their learning. • Embedded tools in OneNote and Teams, such as praise badges and sticker packs, help students and educators feel more connected and foster the growth of effective relationships. These will be critical in helping build students’ confidence and enabling educators to facilitate valuable learning conversations in and beyond the classroom.

Supervised Chat: Enabling safe and secure classrooms Lastly, with more learning taking place outside the physical school, the increase in digital traffic and the number of connected devices brings new challenges: from malicious attacks to uninvited guests in the digital classroom. To ensure students’ safety in digital and physical spaces, Microsoft is launching Supervised Chat in Teams. This feature allows designated educators to initiate chats with students while preventing students from starting new chats unless an appropriate educator is present — meaning students can engage in safe discussions.

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June 2021


Education

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lcatel-Lucent Enterprise, a leading provider of communications, networking, and cloud solutions tailored to customers’ industries, has launched Rainbow™ Classroom, a unique cloud-based virtual classroom engine enriched with real-time collaboration and communication tools.

Effective remote learning requires an intuitive, integrated, and secure platform which can be tailored to educators’ specific needs. Rainbow Classroom enables teachers to empower their teaching styles to meet their students’ needs through the creation of an all-encompassing virtual learning environment. Teachers are able to encourage students’ academic and social engagement with a host of real-time, secure collaboration tools such as monitored study groups, whiteboarding, audio, video, IM functionality, as well as file and screen sharing.

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Pierre Samson, senior vice president, Asia Pacific, AlcatelLucent Enterprise said, “Institutions across the region continue to face unprecedented challenges in light of the pandemic — reinforcing the need for institutions to pave the way for continuous, uninterrupted learning models. To enable this, a digital learning environment is an ideal incubator of educational development for students and teachers alike. Rainbow Classroom will provide students in Asia-Pacific the ability to maintain their learning progression while enhancing the student experience.”

Rainbow Classroom also enables the curation of all classroom activities through its ability to retain all documents, conversations, and posts until the term is complete. It seamlessly integrates with existing Learning Management Systems (LMS) to enable a familiar virtual learning environment and toolset. Rainbow Classroom is also fully compliant with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and approved by The Open Web Application Security Project® (OWASP). Because it is hosted on Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise’s infrastructure, it will enjoy the robust level of security applied to all Rainbow products, where communications are encrypted in transit and at rest. With Rainbow Classroom, educators have an innovative solution to enable them to meet the ever-shifting needs of students — empowering their success.

“Our education system abruptly shifted from physical venues to virtual classrooms, so educators, students, and even parents alike are still in the phase of growing accustomed to the new setup. In addition, learning will be more difficult if the tools they have, or the lack thereof, cannot meet the flexibility and function that they need. Hence, we made the Rainbow Classroom with digital learning in mind, to ensure that users can experience a truly flexible and intuitive platform that supports their learning,” notes Kit Andal, country manager for the Philippines, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise.

“Home learning is a trend that is here to stay,” comments Moussa Zaghdoud, EVP, Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise cloud communication business division. “However, this change requires flexibility among learning establishments, and we created Rainbow Classroom to meet that exact need. Rainbow Classroom can be tailored by a school or university to optimize the remote learning experience while ensuring data security and ease of use for teachers and students alike. “Rainbow Classroom’s inherent versatility enables it to be leveraged in any learning environment. By using the platform, a business, school, or university can turn a simple web browser into a sophisticated and powerful learning tool. Alcatel-Lucent Enterprise is here to support you in the evolution to a hybrid digital learning environment.”

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Education

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ano Amiga Philippines recently kicked off their STEM Femme Club, a virtual and at-home program for young girls who want to deepen their understanding and appreciation of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM).

The STEM Femme Club is a program that encourages girls ages 11-17 to start taking their first steps into the field of STEM. The program is under Mano Amiga’s STEM Warriors Camp, which seeks to create a virtual STEM camp for kids ages 7-9 and girls ages 11-17. The STEM Warriors Camp is supported by an international education grant from 3Mgives, the global social investment arm of 3M.

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In partnership with 3M Philippines, Mano Amiga Philippines has launched this camp which aims to bring the STEM world to one’s doorstep. The program has three major components: (1) a Take Home Lab, wherein STEM kits are sent to Mano Amiga’s students for them to do experiments at home; (2) STEM instructional videos, which showcase doable STEM activities for kids to do at home, using readily available materials; and (3) the STEM Warriors Club for Girls, which exposes girls to the STEM world and for them to consider pursuing careers in the STEM fields.

Meanwhile, Janice Lao, a multi-awarded Filipina environmental scientist, development economist, and sustainability leader, opened up about her personal experiences in STEM and shared both the highs and lows of her journey. “The beauty with science is that it does not claim to know the answers before it asks the questions,” shared Lao. “There is nothing wrong with not knowing; it means there is more to learn.”

Through these activities, the STEM Warriors aims to strengthen core skills, create an early interest, and foster a lifelong love for STEM learning among kids all over the Philippines. The club now has close to 600 members nationwide.

This continuous curiosity of hers is what pushed Lao to pursue a career in STEM, and her love and connection to nature are what encouraged her to go into environmental science. Her connection to the environment is brought up in her next point—that the way STEM is taught needs to be changed. “The way we teach math and science is so disconnected from reality,” commented Lao. “If only we taught math and science as if it is a natural part of our world, then that’s when we start seeing its beauty. And that’s why I love this club, that’s why I love Mano Amiga.”

Members of the STEM Femme Club will get to have exclusive activities such as STEM challenges with prizes, meet-and-greet opportunities with women in STEM, and a STEM tour with 3M Philippines. The kick-off event was also an opportunity for the girls to make new friends, as well as learn more about the opportunities for girls and women in the STEM field. Young girls are empowered to overcome gender biases and pursue future careers in the fields they desire.

Mano Amiga Philippine executive director Lynn Pinugu shared, “Gender stereotypes about STEM make it challenging for girls to express their interest in STEM and to pursue activities and engagements that will help them in succeeding in the field. Joining the STEM Femme club will not only give girls access to STEM resources and networks that will be helpful for them, but it will also give them the confidence to pursuing STEM through the support of the community and inspiration from meeting STEM Heroes who are just like them.”

“With science being more important than ever to solve our global challenges, it is critical that the general public appreciates, celebrates, and supports science,” explained Atty. Chel Ramirez-de la Cruz, 3M Philippines’ Asia consumer business group general counsel, country general counsel, and country government affairs and markets lead. “Science isn’t just for metro cities. It works for everyone who wants to do good, for everyone who is curious.” As a science-based company, 3M allocates resources and shares knowledge to promote science among different publics.

“3M believes in the power of collaboration and that people are our biggest assets. We recognize and celebrate their strengths, talents, and diversity. 3M’s partnership with Mano Amiga Philippines is proof of their commitment to making STEM resources accessible to teachers, parents, and students everywhere,” stated Ramirez-de la Cruz. For more information about the STEM Femme Club, please visit: https://www.stemwarriorsclub.com/

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Employment

Compassion in the Workplace BO Philippines, in partnership with Australian Aid, Investing in Women, JobStreet Philippines, Microsoft, and Youth Business International, recently hosted a panel discussion among female tech leaders on the topic of Leading Through a Pandemic: Lessons from Pinay Tech Leaders.

place in it. “Less than a fifth of our tech startup founders are women,” Chan stated. “There is a community out there; there is support out there, but how do we get more women to opt-in and participate?”

Katrina Chan, executive director of QBO Philippines and IdeaSpace Foundation, opened the discussion and shared insights on her experience in heading one of the pioneering companies in the Philippine startup industry. In line with the organization’s mission to grow, develop, and collaborate with the ecosystem and startup community, QBO’s program Startup Pinay aims to encourage and empower more women to enter and lead the startup industry.

Throughout the discussion, the overarching answer could be summarized into just one word: compassion.

Chan shared that as the tech and startup economy continues to thrive, Startup Pinay fully intends to help women find their

There has been a long-running discourse on gender roles in the workplace and challenging any perception that women are more

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This key statistic raises the following questions: Why do we need more women in tech? What do they bring to the table that’s different? What can we learn from their stories?

“There is no other response to what is going on right now but compassion,” shared Kass Monzon, CEO & cofounder of Workbean, when asked about what people are looking for in potential employers. “We want employers to talk about compassion; we want them to talk about how they listen to people in their organizations.”

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suited to support rather than lead. Certainly, infusing the tech industry with the kind of leadership brought by women founders ushers in benefits previously not seen before. In a male-dominated industry, women leaders bring new perspectives into the room, and with these a culture of support and compassion. During the panel discussion, the speakers would often go back to the importance of compassion in the workplace. It gave listeners insight into how an idea is born — it is not from being aggressively pitched, but it is born out of active and earnest listening, constructive criticism, and genuine support until the idea is fully cultivated. The speakers shared that most of their best decisions were born out of compassion. It is instances like these that emphasize the need for women in the field of tech, and how compassion is one of the greatest things that they can bring to the table.


Compassion has taught leaders to listen

Compassion brings about empowerment

“My role now in leading the whole company is giving everybody a voice and allowing people to collaborate better,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, international and carrier business group head of PLDT Global. “This is what the pandemic has also taught me — to invest in platforms that allow people to collaborate and to make sure that people are noticed.”

“We are equal opportunity partners — we empower not just women, not just men,” explained Grace Vera Cruz, country head of Grab Philippines. “Any gender, any nationality, we try to serve them and empower them through our technology and through our platform.”

Since the pandemic started, Luna-Abelarde and her team have listened to what the employees need and have provided them with work-fromhome essentials such as computer chairs and ring lights. Since then, productivity has increased greatly.

Vera Cruz shared that at Grab, they treat everyone as business partners instead of employees, giving them opportunities to thrive and create value for themselves and their respective businesses. In addition, in trying to create an environment of compassion and empathy, Grab has initiated an internal forum wherein their partners can open up about their concerns and lend an ear, especially parents who are working from home.

Compassion brings about all-around diversity Diversity, equity, and inclusion were also highlighted as crucial pillars in corporate culture. It is important that tech leaders assure that these pillars are integrated into the workplace — with awareness and consciousness as the vital first steps in fostering fair and equitable representation and opportunities for everyone.

Compassion brings about inclusivity “We really made sure no one was left behind,” said Elaine De Velez, co-founder & CEO of Frontlearners, a startup whose goal is to make sure that everyone can access education, no matter how limited their technology may be. “In a way, the pandemic has increased the collaboration between a startup like us and the entire education ecosystem.”

These anecdotes from the speakers are exactly why we need more women, more compassion, and more diversity, in the workplace. Their stories highlight the importance of bringing new voices into the room, exchanging a wider range of insights, and presenting more solutions to the table. It opens up more room for conversation, discourse, and collaboration on topics that people used to shy away from.

De Velez shared that Frontlearners has reached out to the Department of Education because they believe that no one sector can handle the issues in education brought about by the pandemic. In fact, Frontlearners initially offered their e-learning camp for free, because they truly believe that education should be accessible to all. The company has closely collaborated with its clients and has tweaked its services to best suit their needs.

More and more women have taken their place in traditionally male-dominated industries, but much more remains to be done for equal representation. Initiatives and programs like Startup Pinay offer a platform for women to realize their ideas and solutions in the tech industry. When men and women have the same kind of support and opportunities, the possibilities are endless—and the ecosystem that Startup Pinay is helping bridge can only be enabling for all.

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June 2021


Green

Together We Can 60 years of conservation

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s part of the World Wide Fund for Nature’s (WWF) 60th-anniversary celebrations, WWF-Philippines has launched the Together We Can campaign in commemoration of six decades of conservation work.

The Together We Can campaign looks back on the conservation milestones the WWF Network has achieved since it was first established. WWF made the first-ever public appeal for conservation in 1961. In 1997 WWF, together with Unilever, helped launch the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) label, which was the first publicly-promoted ecolabel in history. The Convention of International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) was able to pass a global ban on the ivory trade after much lobbying from the WWF Network.

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Despite these achievements, however, WWF recognizes the many pressing and emergent environmental issues still plaguing natural ecosystems, and the risks they pose to human populations. The Together We Can campaign serves also as a reminder of the continuing need to safeguard the environment, for the sake of both people and planet. “During this 60th anniversary of WWF, we especially thank and give credit to all who have worked in partnership with us, and who have contributed in various ways to our mission of building a world in which people live in harmony with nature. There is still much left for us to confront - but these past wins are proof that we can unite to ensure a better future for all,” said WWF-Philippines executive director Katherine Custodio. WWF was founded in London in 1961, with the goal of protecting endangered species across the planet. Known originally as the World Wildlife Fund, the conservation organization recently changed its name to the World Wide Fund for Nature. This was in recognition of their growing scope of work, as the Network set out on a wide range of projects that focused on the protection of both people and planet.

The WWF Coral Triangle monitors and manages six million square kilometers of the Pacific in one of the biggest marine conservation endeavors in history, while the Network helped establish the 9.5millionacre Tumucumaque Mountains National Park in the Amazon.

Local offices have since been established in over 100 countries and territories across the globe. The country’s national office, WWF-Philippines, was first founded in 1997, with projects including the conservation of endangered sea turtles in the Sulu Sea and the protection of whale sharks in the Ticao-Burias Pass Protected Seascape.

WWF-Philippines, meanwhile, has helped protect approximately 2.5 million hectares of marine protected area since 1997. The local office has also supported the livelihoods and climate resiliency of thousands of fishers and farmers, and has worked on projects and pushed for policies aimed at addressing issues from water security to deforestation to plastic pollution.

The WWF Network has worked toward many wins for the environment over the past sixty years. While there is reason to celebrate what has been achieved, there is still much work to be done to build a sustainable future for both people and planet. Support WWF-Philippines, and work toward a future where humans and nature thrive.

Follow WWF-Philippines on social media for more from the Together We Can campaign, and for further events commemorating the 60th anniversary of the WWF Network.

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Food

THE AJINOMOTO VIRTUAL EXPERIENCE: BE MORE

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oing on field trips or educational tours is one of the most exciting ways to learn. Before the pandemic, food factory tours were widely used as an avenue for interactive learning for students aspiring to be part of the industry. To replicate this activity, Ajinomoto Philippines Corporation (APC) brings its factory tour online with the launch of The Ajinomoto Virtual Experience: Be More, this time not only targeting students but homemakers as well. Aside from a detailed tour around Ajinomoto’s factory, the virtual space is also packed with kitchen tips and games that everybody will enjoy.

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“Meeting eager participants on factory tours is one of the things we miss during these times. More than sharing what we do, the tour has been an avenue for us to educate about food safety and proper nutrition, as well as to share our advocacy on environmental sustainability,” says Roann Co, APC’s general manager of marketing and public relations. “Now that we’re bringing it online, we are excited that we can reach not only those from NCR but students and homemakers nationwide empowering them to be more knowledgeable and responsible members of the community.” A trip down the grocery lane The Supermarket is the first virtual station of the online tour. This is where visitors can learn more about Ajinomoto’s products and learn about the company’s brief history. From farm to kitchen After the informational and nostalgic trip, the next stop is the Factory which shows how APC’s products are made. Since this is an online tour June 2021

with no physical logistical restrictions, participants can also view the farm where raw materials are harvested. From there, visitors are bound to a detailed tour of the factory where aspiring food innovators can learn about top-notch methods and technologies that keep food safe and of quality. Finishing the Factory tour leads guests to a choice between the

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Office or the Cooking Plaza. For students, a 360° tour of the Ajinomoto Office will allow them to learn the 5S organization method— Sort, Shine, Set, Standardize, and Sustain—which is widely implemented within the company. On the other hand, the Cooking Plaza features an interactive kitchen where homemakers can learn about the 5Ms of a great meal—Malinis, Masustansya, Masarap, Matipid, at gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


Madaling Gawin—and apply them by virtually cooking dishes, playing games, and answering quizzes.

aid consumers to slowly incorporate sustainable practices into their daily lives.

Towards a more sustainable future The Ajinomoto Virtual Experience: Be More ends with a message for the future. The last station, Community, features Ajinomoto’s environment education campaign that aims to

“At Ajinomoto, our commitment towards a more sustainable future is embedded in our Ajinomoto Group Creating Shared Value (ASV) which represents our unchanging mission of helping resolve society’s

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issues such as global sustainability, food resources, and healthy living. Through the best practices we shared at The Ajinomoto Virtual Experience: Be More, we hope to inspire Filipinos to lead a healthier and eco-friendlier lifestyle,” says Co. To try the fun and educational tour, visit ajinomotobemore.com.

June 2021


Food

GLORIOUS STEVIA lorious, the Philippines’ first Stevia grower and manufacturer, is positive about its outlook despite almost two years into the pandemic. As more people turn to healthier alternatives, sales of stevia products continue to grow. In fact, according to agribusiness finance giant Rabobank, Stevia sales are expected to hit USD700 million worldwide in the next few years.

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Through Glorious, consumers in the Philippines can now get their calorie-free sugar needs from stevia, a natural alternative now widely used as a substitute for artificial sweeteners in many products. “Stevia has been touted as a safe and healthy sugar substitute with proven health benefits. It can sweeten foods, and it has several health benefits, including decreased calorie intake, lower blood sugar levels, and less risk of cavities,” said Maura De Leon, the woman behind Glorious. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


“What’s even better is that you can use Stevia to make healthy desserts that are diabetic and keto-friendly. This is great for people who have a sweet tooth but can’t indulge because of health restrictions.” While it has zero calories, stevia is 200 times sweeter than refined sugar and does not affect blood sugar. It is a popular option for people looking to lose weight while reducing their sugar intake. Stevia is a natural sweetener taken from the leaves of a bushy shrub that has been grown in tropical climates for centuries. The Stevia plant (Stevia rebaudiana) has 150 species known to have originated from North and South America, but it can be quickly grown elsewhere. Currently, it is produced by lots of countries, with China as the number one exporter of stevia products, and can be purchased at garden centers for home growing.

could lead to heart disease due to reconstructing triglyceride and cholesterol levels, contributing to children’s weight gain. Substituting stevia for sugar can minimize these risks. At the same time, moderate consumption of foods with stevia and other sweeteners can prevent adverse side effects and promote overall health. What’s even better is that you can use Stevia to make healthy desserts that are diabetic and keto-friendly. This is great for people who have a sweet tooth but can’t indulge because of health restrictions.

Stevia products such as teas, juices, healthy coffees, chocolate beverages, and natural sweeteners manufactured by Glorious are approved safe by the Food and Drug Association (FDA). All Glorious Blend beverages — from the 3-in-1, 5-in-1, 7-in-1 mixes — use zero-calorie Stevia which has no carbohydrates and a zero glycemic index. All of the Glorious instant drinks will keep you alert and energized throughout the day. For more information, check out https://gidc.com.ph.

“Stevia is much sweeter than sugar, so you don’t have to add much. It’s good to note that the Philippines is also catching up on the use of this natural sweetener in various food preparations,” added De Leon. Diabetics, in particular, can benefit from Stevia. Choosing pure stevia extract can help maintain normal blood sugar levels and should be used in moderation. Stevia can also help cut down sugar consumption, which can be beneficial for children. High sugar intake in children

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n conjunction with World Food Safety Day last June 7, Grab Philippines announced new initiatives to raise the bar for safety, hygiene, and quality standards in the food delivery industry. Through Grab Philippines’ partnership with the Food Safety and Hygiene Academy of the Philippines (FoodSHAP), and additional measures to help ensure cleanliness, safety, and quality throughout the entire food delivery life cycle. These efforts ladder up to Grab’s broader GrabProtDSect program where Grab Philippines continues to raise the bar for food safety and quality — giving consumers greater peace of mind that their food orders are prepared following strict safety and quality standards.

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With more consumers relying on food delivery services for their everyday meals, their expectations on food delivery platforms have grown, placing a huge premium on safety and quality. As the industry leader in food delivery, Grab Philippines is taking the lead in effecting positive change. This partnership with FoodSHAP and new measures will further strengthen consumer trust in the Grab platform and in our partners, contributing to improved sales, and better livelihoods. Grab Philippines will continue to leverage its platform and partnership with FoodSHAP to implement a range of measures and initiatives that will continue to raise the standards of safety, hygiene, and quality throughout the entire food delivery life cycle. June 2021

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Food safety training for all merchant and delivery partners

Helping merchant partners enhance their service quality standards

Starting June 2021, Grab Philippines and FoodSHAP will conduct monthly food safety and quality training for their merchant partners through the GrabAcademy Merchant platform and webinars. To ensure safety and cleanliness throughout the food delivery life cycle, Grab Philippines will also conduct mandatory food safety training for its delivery partners through the GrabAcademy platform by offering online courses developed by FoodSHAP.

Apart from the food safety and quality training, Grab Philippines will also introduce new measures to help merchant-partners continuously improve their service quality standards.

FoodSHAP is the Philippines’ first and leading educational institution at the forefront of food safety and quality with years of expertise in developing internationally recognized certificate programs for top chefs, restaurant owners, and food handlers. FoodSHAP is the first food safety certificate program developer in Asia to be fully accredited by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is recognized by the Department of Health (DOH) and accredited by the Department of Education (DepEd). Grab Philippines is the first platform in the country to offer food safety courses to its partners and is also the first platform to collaborate with FoodSHAP in offering best-in-class learning experiences to merchant and delivery partners on safety and hygiene protocols, proper food handling, and food quality assurance.

Grab will provide its merchantpartners real-time consumer feedback focusing on food safety and quality, allowing them to address key consumer issues and enhance their service quality and performance. This will be done through the introduction of the Merchant Quality Score where performance against key performance indicators and customer feedback on food safety and quality will be shared directly with merchant-partners in-app. This aims to allow merchants to refer to detailed feedback, identify areas of improvement, and refer to tips on what to do to improve their business.

Conducting food safety and quality audits Grab Philippines will hire an internal auditor to conduct food safety and quality audits to ensure that merchant-partners are able to continuously maintain the service quality and adhere to the food safety protocols. “As an advocate for food safety, we want to empower the public in promoting a positive food safety culture, making every meal we prepare and serve be safe for

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consumption. The organization believes that collaborative efforts are vital as Food Safety is everyone’s business. This partnership with Grab Philippines is something that we are proud of–we are looking forward to helping our countrymen in safeguarding their health especially during these times of pandemic. Let us all team up for food safety for a safe and healthy tomorrow,” says Elsie Gatpayat, director of FoodSHAP. “The food delivery industry in the Philippines has provided meaningful services to many of our kababayans, and as we continue to grow and serve the needs of our consumers, we should also continue to raise the bar on safety, hygiene, and quality to outserve their needs and expectations. We are committed to leveraging our platform to raise the safety and hygiene standards in the food delivery industry in the Philippines, and by doing so, we are able to provide consumers with greater peace of mind every time they order from our platform, contributing to the business of our merchant partners, and the livelihoods of our delivery partners. Our partnership with FoodSHAP is a significant milestone in our ongoing efforts on food safety and quality, and we will continue to innovate and introduce meaningful initiatives to help meet the ever-changing needs of our kababayans,” says Greg Camacho, Head of GrabFood Philippines.

June 2021


Snapshots

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#FOODPHOTOGRAPHY Words by Alyssa Joji Silva

hen you check your social media feed, there are always food photos posted by the people we follow. Somehow it satisfies our sense of sight, and it increases our cravings to make or buy the food that we see on our newsfeed. Food photography, or sharing food photos on social media accounts, has become a trend because of its relevance and simplicity. You only need food and a camera.

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Snapshots

SOCIAL MEDIA MEETS FOOD PHOTOS “Why do these people take photos of their food?” Food photos are delectable to look at. They stimulate our brain to recreate or imagine the taste of the food that we see on our social media feeds. It can also play with our minds; a simple photograph can make us believe “it’s delicious” about a dish we’ve never tasted. Particularly among the younger set, taking a photo seems to make the food more delectable, like adding some special seasoning. In this vast digital world, anyone can be a photographer. Smartphone cameras now allow us to take great photos that are worth sharing on social media. With features that capture vibrant and clear images, smartphone cameras have the capability to make the photographed food more gorgeous and especially appealing. Social media opened up the culinary world to food art because, in case you haven’t noticed, every food photo that’s shared on social media is presented well. Some photos only need a simple setting because the arrangement of the food is a sight to behold by itself. Of course, some editing also enhances the food photo. The popularity of food photography in social media has also greatly influenced digital marketing. Customers can advertise the food that they eat, or they can also turn into food critics. These social media posts can make or break a restaurant.

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INFLUENCE OF FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY Interest in food photography intensified in the new normal as people started exploring new interests and developing unrecognized skills such as cooking. Stuck at home, a lot of people started showcasing their inner culinary prowess on social media through food photography. Taking pictures of the food they had prepared, and sharing these in the digital world, generates a sense of fulfillment in the effort exerted. Others, seeing these, are similarly inspired to produce their own versions and taste these for themselves.

Celebrities and vloggers are also sharing their food—mostly healthy—on social media. Their popularity inspires people to live and eat well because of the food photos they share on their platforms. Influencers have also inspired people to create meal plans based on the food photos that they see. They, in turn, share their healthy meals by taking photos and posting these online, along with testimonials about the effectiveness of the healthy food photos espoused by celebrities and food bloggers.

CREATIVITY BEHIND FOOD PHOTOGRAPHY Food photography has aspects of creativity because it is all about the imagination or the visuals that you capture from the dish in front of you. By taking photos and posting these on social media, customers can help promote a food business, an effective and cheap means of advertising. It generates buzz about the culinary world because of its propagation of food art and culture. Most importantly, a good visual must also translate to great-tasting food. After all, food photos encourage us to purchase the food or create the food to try it out. In the digital world, anyone can be flaked, especially if the post was false. This is why the beauty of food photographs must be aligned to the taste of the food because sharing these in the digital space means you want the public to know how incredible your food is.

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June 2021


Wellness

Campaign pushes for home blood pressure monitoring

he ongoing global health crisis has affected millions of people the world over, and hypertension remains the biggest contributing risk factor to global death. More alarmingly, high blood pressure (BP) is the number one preventable cause of premature deaths in the Philippines.

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Deaths related to hypertension in the Philippines reached 14,488 or 2.38 percent of total deaths, according to 2018 WHO data. Hypertension-related diabetes is among the leading causes of mortality in the country, and hypertension will likely continue to be a great health risk factor as its prevalence rate is expected to increase from 26% to 29% of the world’s population by 2025. This is further compounded by the fact that hypertension is among the common comorbidities for COVID-19 severe illness. Despite these alarming figures, awareness, treatment, and control of hypertension in the country remain relatively low. To help address these, the Philippine Society of Hypertension (PSH) is continuing its annual May Measurement Month (MMM) campaign this 2021 with a new implementation approach. Having been deferred in 2020 in consideration of the prevailing COVID-19 situation across the globe, the MMM this year has been reimagined to be relevant to the present status of the healthcare industry. PSH partnered with the local government of Manila, the healthcare business of OMRON, and other organizations to ensure the campaign’s success amid the pandemic.

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MMM 2021 extended The International Society of Hypertension (ISH) made some changes to the format of this year’s MMM campaign to meet its objectives even while complying with the safety protocols implemented in participating countries. The campaign is usually held on World Hypertension Day, which is observed every May 17, but MMM 2021 is extended and will run from May 1 to November 30. “Aside from the extension of the campaign period, we are putting in place measures to ensure that we are promoting awareness not just about hypertension but overall public health as well. This means making

sure that throughout the campaign, our volunteers, partners, and participants can join without worrying about their safety and wellness,” shared Dr. Alejandro F. Diaz, MMM 2021 country lead. This 2021, the campaign is centered on encouraging individuals to participate by monitoring their blood pressure at home. The captured data can be logged at the MMM official website or the MMM mobile app. Screening sites will also still be established in key locations, as approved by the Department of Health. The Manila City Mayor’s office is supporting the launch of the campaign as well as the actual submission process of

captured data from onsite screening efforts. OMRON, which has been the official equipment partner for MMM since its inception in 2017, has also pledged more than 1,000 BP monitors in support of the MMM 2021. “We want our fellow Filipinos to be mindful of the symptoms of hypertension as they prioritize their health during these challenging times. Filipinos of all ages and across all backgrounds are susceptible to high blood pressure. The adverse effects of hypertension are what PSH and MMM are rallying to prevent,” shared PSH president Dr. Deborah Ona.

Healthy heart at home As home blood pressure monitoring (HBPM) becomes a major component of the MMM campaign during the pandemic, PSH is also rolling out reminders on the proper method of taking blood pressure readings. Clinically validated BP monitors are key tools for capturing accurate readings and better data tracking instead of manual monitors. OMRON’s Healthcare business in the Philippines, an active campaigner for HBPM even before the pandemic, aims to deliver technologies that can

help Filipinos attain a healthy heart all the more so during this time.

Pacific Pte. Ltd–Philippine Branch (Healthcare Division).

“The Philippine Society of Hypertension’s goal is a reflection of what OMRON is committed to — improving lives and contributing to a better society. As we aim to remain safe at home, now is an opportune time to be more aware of our overall physical health. We hope MMM 2021 will be the catalyst to making home blood pressure monitoring a routine that Filipinos can comfortably integrate into their daily lives,” said Yusuke Kato, general manager for OMRON Asia

Aside from raising awareness about hypertension, PSH is pushing governments to improve BP screening facilities and healthcare systems. The campaign aims to reduce the global burden of disease and death caused by high blood pressure. In the past three years, people from more than 100 countries have been screened as part of the largest free public blood pressure screening program in the world.

For more information on May Measurement Month 2021, you may visit www.maymeasure.org. The May Measurement Month participation survey can be accessed online at https://maymeasure. org/mmm-at-home/ or by scanning the QR code.

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June 2021


Wellness

Breast Cancer

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eading life insurer Pru Life UK has launched its latest health protection product designed for the independent and empowered women in our lives, the PRUHealth Prime-Select Breast Cancer, through Pulse, the company’s all-in-one health and wellness app.

“This protection product, designed for the women in our lives, be it our mother, sister, daughter, daughter-in-law, or grandmother, goes a long way for less than PHP 2 a day. With it, Pru Life UK underscores women’s health by giving hardworking and caring Filipinas financial protection from breast cancer, currently the most common cancer among women in the Philippines and worldwide1,” shared Pru Life UK chief customer marketing officer Allan Tumbaga. PRUHealth Prime-Select Breast Cancer comes in two packages. A one-time premium of PHP 150 provides a lump sum amount of PHP 10,000 upon diagnosis, while a one-time premium of PHP 425 offers a lump sum amount of PHP 10,000 upon diagnosis and a guaranteed lump sum amount of PHP 20,000 when undergoing Mastectomy or Lumpectomy. This is valid for one year. PRUHealth Prime-Select Breast Cancer protection is the first cancer-specific product offered in the market. The protection is available for purchase through Pulse, which can be downloaded for free on any Android or iOS mobile device. To get this product, visit this link (https://www.prulifeuk.com.ph/en/health-insurance/ pruhealth-prime-select-breast-cancer/). Recently, Pru Life UK also introduced two new optional supplemental critical illness (CI) benefits or riders, the Select Top 42 and Select 523 Critical Illness riders to PRUHealth Prime, an insuravest plan with critical illness coverage against all forms of cancer. The Select Top 4 Critical Illness Benefit provides for the top 4 covered late-stage critical illness conditions, while the Select 52 Critical Illness Benefit provides for 52 covered late-stage critical illness conditions. Customers who are availing of PRUHealth Prime but would want to be covered against other critical conditions can purchase either of the two new critical illness riders during the new business application process and/or after policy issuances.

For more premium payment options and detailed product information, customers may refer to the Terms & Conditions on the Pru Life UK website or by booking an appointment with a Pru Life UK insurance agent.

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Improving local healthcare through telemedicine ast year, leading international telemedicine provider Medgate entered a partnership with the Department of Health (DOH) and the National Privacy Commission to deliver free telemedicine services, thus providing patients with alternative treatment options to ease hospital occupancy and help curb the spread of COVID-19.

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“With travel and movement restrictions in place, our capabilities, resources, and partnerships have enabled us to provide healthcare solutions to people in need across the country. Our high case resolution rate is proof of telemedicine’s efficiency as a platform for delivering quality care,” says Stavros Athanasiou, president of Medgate Philippines. “With the majority of our patient concerns handled through teleconsultations, our services show that a true doctor-patient connection can be established through telehealth,” he added. Medgate saw a 170% increase in local teleconsultations last year.

Despite the jump, Medgate maintained an 80% case resolution rate. This means all cases handled are treated entirely through telemedicine. Medgate met the sudden surge in demand through a 24/7 tele-treatment program that connects patients to licensed specialist doctors, provides e-prescriptions, laboratory requests, and certificates of medical teleconsultation, and facilitates medicine delivery. Patient concerns were handled through a medical co-management approach where doctors are able to collaborate to establish a diagnosis and provide the best possible treatment. These efforts are in line with Medgate’s drive to provide care that comforts regardless of location and situation. As the Philippines is home to almost 80 million smartphone users, Medgate’s teleconsultation program harnesses modern technology to deliver comprehensive and personable healthcare solutions to all kinds of patients, whenever and wherever they may find themselves in need. Over a year into the pandemic, the fight continues against COVID-19. As the Philippines continues to grapple with the

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disease, telemedicine has paved a way forward to improve the country’s current healthcare systems and reduce the load of the healthcare professionals tasked with managing them. “As the health landscape continues to evolve, so too must our ways of delivering quality healthcare solutions,” Athanasiou notes. “At Medgate, innovative healthcare made easy is our mission. By understanding the changing behaviors of Filipinos, especially when it comes to the use of technology, we will continue to improve our services to focus on delivering a telehealth experience that prioritizes patients at every point of care.” Avail of the Medgate Unliconsultation Plan for only PHP 999/yr (VAT Ex). Download the Medgate app for free from the App Store and Google Play Store, or visit their website at medgate.ph.

June 2021


Wellness

Don’t Put Your Health on Hold

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The Surgery Center at Centuria Makati pioneers safe and efficient outpatient surgery

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s Filipinos ease into the beat of the new normal, there are continued concerns about the risks that hospital visits entail. Some have opted to deprioritize what would typically constitute a medical emergency in order to better manage the risk of contamination in hospitals. In the ever-changing terrain of the healthcare industry, navigating the landscape of options and recommendations available can prove to be quite a challenge.

Ambulatory Surgery Centers, also known as ASCs, have transformed the outpatient experience for patients by providing a more convenient substitute to hospital-based outpatient surgery. At the helm of premiere medical innovation in the Philippines is The Surgery Center at Centuria Makati, a modern healthcare facility focused on providing same-day surgical care, diagnostic, and preventive procedures. In most cases, an outpatient procedure in an Ambulatory Surgery Center proves to be more costefficient than hospital-based procedures. With less administrative paperwork and a more convenient user experience, patients can enjoy leaving ASCs more quickly after surgery, translating to less time lost. Another key advantage of ASCs is greater efficiency which allows surgeons to treat more patients in the same amount of time it would take them to do so in a hospital setting. ASCs also allow doctors better control over procedures and standards in areas such as staffing, safety precautions, and post-operative care. At a time when hospital visits are put on hold, The Surgery Center provides a more convenient alternative for both patients and surgeons with its rigorous safety and security measures, as well as a track record of positive patient outcomes. The Surgery Center also allows for a more comfortable outpatient setting as all procedures are scheduled ahead of time and are thoroughly prepared for. Driven by the mission to transform the outpatient experience for Filipinos through world-class healthcare and a state-of-the-art surgical facility, The Surgery Center works hand in hand with the most dedicated and finest leaders of the medical community. With 9 operating theaters equipped with medical equipment and supplies, well-trained support staff, and an extensive list of surgical specialists, this first-rate outpatient facility offers personalized and high-caliber care at a more affordable rate. The Surgery Center located at Centuria Medical Makati, the country’s largest Medical Mall, currently caters to various types of outpatient procedures including general, vascular, plastic, and orthopedic surgery. While hospitals continue to play a crucial role in providing the full range of healthcare services, the Surgery Center at Centuria Makati expands our local options by providing alternative support and revolutionizing the healthcare experience in the Philippines.

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June 2021


Visual Space

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Inspiration and Wellbeing in Workspaces The country’s largest flexible workspace provider, KMC Solutions, is partnering with Modeka Art to bring original Filipino art into its flexible workspace at The Podium. Set to last for three months, this pop-up exhibit will allow KMC members and guests alike to view and appreciate the paintings that newly adorn the walls. This collaboration is of course a forward-thinking one. In the world of commercial real estate, flexible workspaces tend to be sparely designed and decorated, so that they can accommodate a wide variety of

tenants and coworkers. KMC Solutions believes that design and artistry do not have to be all or nothing - there is a middle ground that can empower both commercial tenants and the wider community. According to Gian Reyes, the vice president of marketing and strategic partnerships at KMC Solutions, this collaboration could not have come at a better time. “There have been many studies showing how workplace design and aesthetics can improve well-being. It was in this

spirit that we decided to partner with Modeka Art to bring in their paintings from great local artists. We wanted to further enliven our already thoughtfully designed workplaces with even more art at a time people need it the most,” said Reyes. The emphasis of KMC solutions on beautifully designed and decorated spaces has distinguished the brand in the industry, enabling it to grow to more than 55 flexible workspaces spread across 23 locations all over the Philippines, including Metro Manila, Cebu, Clark, and Iloilo.

Empowering the art community Tenants and guests who come in to view the paintings will adhere to KMC safety procedures. Each person must fill out an online declaration form prior to entering, wear a mask and face shield throughout their entire visit, and follow social distancing procedures. In addition to viewing the paintings, guests have the option to purchase any work of art that they like. The ability to purchase works of art at a pop-up exhibit represents an innovation in the way art is showcased and experienced. People

are accustomed to going to specific places, such as museums and galleries, to view art. The collaboration between Modeka and KMC turns this formula on its head: Together, the two partners are bringing art to you. According to Riccardo Corsini, founder and creative director of Modeka Art, patronage from KMC members and guests eager to experience this new pop-up exhibit will empower the art community. “From the very start of Modeka Art, we have always been championing new ways

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of experiencing and collecting art. While the industry is moving digital, being able to enjoy art in person is still challenging during these times; this tends to amplify the perception of art as an exclusive experience. The collaboration with KMC Solutions allows us to bring the artworks outside of the gallery walls, giving it new context and a new audience; this pop-up exhibition works in great synergy with the collaborative spaces of KMC Podium West Tower, building on the shared purpose of engaging, inspiring, and creating invaluable moments,” said Corsini.

June 2021


P Inc. released its new Quarterly Threat Insights Report, providing analysis of real-world attacks against customers worldwide. The report found that 29% of malware captured was previously unknown due to the widespread use of packers and obfuscation techniques by attackers seeking to evade detection. 88% of malware was delivered by email into users’ inboxes, in many cases having bypassed gateway filters. It took 8.8 days, on average, for threats to

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June 2021

become known by hash to antivirus engines, giving hackers over a week’s ‘head-start’ to further their campaigns. The report provides a unique glimpse into the behavior of malware in the wild, as — unlike other endpoint security tools, which aim to prevent or intervene in an attack — HP Sure Click lets malware run, tricking malware into executing, while capturing a full infection chain within isolated, micro-virtual machines. This hardware-enforced 142

approach to security renders malware harmless and keeps customers safe. “This report highlights the deficiencies in traditional defenses that rely on detection to block malware,” said Dr. Ian Pratt, global head of security for personal systems at HP Inc. “Attackers have repeatedly found new ways to bypass traditional detectionbased tools, making it more important than ever for organizations to build zero-trust design principles into their security architecture.”

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WEB BROWSER EXPLOITS LEADING TO FICKERSTEALER:

DELIVERY-THEMED LURES TEMPTING USERS INTO LETTING THE RATS IN:

A malware campaign that relied on misspelled domains of popular instant messaging services. Visitors were redirected to RigEK landing pages that attempted to exploit web browser and plugin vulnerabilities to infect visitors’ PCs with information-stealing malware called FickerStealer.

A new Office malware builder called APOMacroSploit was used to target victims in delivery-themed spam campaigns, tricking them into opening weaponized XLS attachments, ultimately leading to the BitRAT remote access Trojan being deployed on their computers.

THE ART OF MISDIRECTION THROUGH DOSFUSCATION:

THE RETURN OF ZLOADER:

Emotet’s final burst of activity before its takedown in January 2021 saw its operators modify the downloader using DOSfuscation techniques to make its obfuscation more complex. The downloader also generated an error message when opened, helping to avoid suspicion from users when the malicious documents didn’t behave as expected.

An increase in ZLoader banking Trojan activity, using a combination of techniques – including Word documents masquerading as pharmaceutical invoices that run malicious macros only after the document has been closed.

EMAIL THREAD HIJACKING OF GOVERNMENT TARGETS:

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HP Sure Click stopped email thread hijacking attacks against government organizations in Central America, where stolen email data was used to craft convincing phishing lures to distribute Emotet.

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Other key findings in the report include:

Agent Tesla and Formbook RATs that were delivered as executables attached to emails,” continued Holland. “The largest rise was in Dridex campaigns, which are typically > Trojans made up 66% used by attackers to deploy of malware samples analyzed, ransomware. Ultimately, any driven largely by malicious spam attacker gaining a foothold campaigns distributing Dridex on an endpoint is bad news malware, which a recent HP blog > A 12% growth in malware — they can use this access flagged as having increased in that exploits CVE-2017-0199, to scrape credentials, move prevalence by 239%. which is commonly used to laterally between systems, run malicious scripts to deploy exfiltrate data, or sell their > 88% of malware malware when a user opens an access to other cybercriminals detected was delivered via email Office document. — with the most common lures — so it creates a huge risk for being fake invoice attachments businesses.” “Q4 saw attackers shift — while web downloads were from Word documents to responsible for the remaining “For every new malware executable files to deliver 12%. variant hackers create, RATs. There was an uptick in they have a few days’ > The most common type malicious email campaigns head-start to capitalize on of malicious attachments were: targeting German users with their campaigns, infecting June 2021

documents (31%), archive files (28%), spreadsheets (19%), and executable files (17%). > Malicious executables rose by 12%, with CVE-2017-11882 — a memory corruption flaw in Microsoft Office’s Equation Editor — accounting for nearly three-quarters of the exploits isolated by HP Sure Click.

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machines before detection tools catch up. With automation, this process is now easier than ever,” continues Dr. Pratt. “Trying to detect every threat is futile, as something will always slip through the net,” Pratt notes. “The best cyber defense is being able to isolate risks on the endpoint through microvirtualization. This kind of hardware-enforced isolation removes the opportunity for malware to cause harm to the host PC — even from novel malware — because it does not rely on a detect-to-protect security model. By having security built-in at the hardware

level, endpoint devices can help to defend users and recover from attacks automatically, improving business resiliency. This way, businesses can carry on doing what they do best, safe in the knowledge that their users and data are protected.” “Work-from-home and hybrid work is part of the new normal, and as more people work remotely, we need to ensure that we prioritize data security,” said Christian Edmond Reyes, Philippines managing director, HP Inc.

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For more information on how you can optimize your learning and working experiences from home and remote work sites, please visit the official HP flagship store at Lazada and Shopee or visit HP.com.

June 2021


Government

#REGITOVOTE There’s an easier way for you to register for the 2022 national elections—just check your Viber!

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022 isn’t just any other year. It’s a national elections year that could determine the future of the Philippines’ recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic that has impacted Filipino lives. It’s a must that the recovery plans should be allencompassing; no one should be left behind.

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But to secure a people-first post-pandemic recovery, the voice of every citizen should be heard. You should exercise your right to vote. This why Viber, one of the world’s leading messaging apps, is joining over 29 organizations from the private sector, academe and youth-oriented civic groups, religious associations, welfare advocacy groups, community organizers, election protection groups, thought leaders, and influencers to support Eleksyon 2022 Koalisyon. Magparehistro. Bumoto. Para Sa Bukas Natin.

To help promote voter registration and education, Viber has rolled out a series of in-app activities in time for the official launch of Koalisyon’s campaign Regi To Vote: Love Kita, Pinas. Eleksyon 2022 Koalisyon has started its own Viber Community, RegiToVote: PH for Voter Reg, where members can receive reminders and guidelines for voter registration, details on various voter registration initiatives in the country, updates on the upcoming elections, and exclusive content from celebrities and personalities who have lent their voices for this important cause. A fun sticker pack on voter registration that’s also linked to the Community is also available for download.

Eleksyon 2022 Koalisyon is a nonpartisan and multisectoral coalition that aims to inspire seven million prospective voters to register or reactivate their voting status with the Commission on Elections (COMELEC) by September 30, 2021, the last day of registration for the upcoming national elections in 2022. COMELEC previously revealed that 7 million voter accounts have been deactivated, with only around 700,000 reactivated.

A Viber Chatbot is being set up to help users register to vote. With this Chatbot, you can access resources, download needed forms before heading to Comelec, get all the information you need to register, and even volunteer for the Koalisyon. After September 30, the Community and Chatbot will be updated to focus on voter education, including sharing vetted information on the upcoming elections, which can help voters cut through election-related misinformation.

“We couldn’t emphasize enough how important the 2022 national elections are in our future as a nation as we transition to a new normal. The Koalisyon wants to empower as many Filipinos as possible to register and vote next year and make their opinions matter, their voices heard,” says Christian Monsod, former COMELEC Chair and the coalition’s lead convenor. “More than anything, it is our duty as citizens to help in paving the way for a better future for the Philippines. And it begins by simply casting your votes in the national elections.”

“Viber has always been supportive of the causes that matter most to our users. This partnership with Eleksyon 2022 Koalisyon comes at the most opportune time. Now that the national elections are getting closer, our users will be able to turn to Viber to get accurate information on voter registration, the platforms of the candidates, and other election matters,” says David Tse, the APAC senior director at Rakuten Viber. “We hope that this easy access to verified information will further entice our users to register to vote and make informed decisions come May 9, 2022, and also inspire those within their circles to do the same.” Discover the power of voting, discover the power of the collective by joining RegiToVote: PH for Voter Reg today!

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June 2021


Newsbytes

MASTERCARD APPOINTS INDUSTRY VETERAN SIMON CALASANZ AS PHILIPPINES COUNTRY MANAGER Mastercard announced the appointment of Simon Calasanz as its country manager for the Philippines, bringing nearly two decades of local experience in the banking and finance industry to the organization’s local leadership team.

Calasanz holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Commerce with a major in Marketing Management, as well as a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology, from De La Salle University.

As country manager, Calasanz will be focused on accelerating acceptance and usage of digital payments, especially for smaller merchants and businesses, while also expanding on Mastercard’s ongoing digital and financial inclusion initiatives in the country.

"In my previous positions, I've seen first-hand the important contributions that Mastercard has made to the Philippines economy. I look forward to advancing Mastercard's commitment to creating a digitized interoperable world and introducing new technologies that will allow the Philippines to leapfrog some of the traditional stages of digital payments and become a leader in cashless payments in the region",” said Calasanz.

Calasanz’s ‘digital-first’ business acumen and two-decadeslong career in the Philippines payments industry will support Mastercard to double down on work with partners in different industries. Calasanz will also focus on accelerating the uptake of contactless card payments and strengthening Mastercard’s proposition as a multi-rail payments technology company. “Simon is an invaluable addition to Mastercard’s leadership team in the Philippines. He brings with him unrivaled experience in the Philippines’ finance and banking sector and a wealth of knowledge and strategic insights about the intricacies of the market and consumers. Simon will support Mastercard in doubling down on efforts to build an inclusive and digitalized economy in the Philippines while enabling customers and partners to better prepare for economic recovery and growth,” said Ari Sarker, co-president, Asia Pacific, Mastercard. Calasanz started his career with the HSBC Group where he moved up through the company to positions such as senior vice president for product management in personal financial services. His last position with HSBC was in 2015 as senior vice president, head of sales, in the bank’s retail banking and wealth management department. Calasanz was then appointed to the position of President of RCBC Bankard Services Corporation towards the end of 2015 — a position he held until 2020 when he was promoted to the role of executive vice president, head of consumer lending at RCBC. Calasanz also served as the president of the Credit Card Association of the Philippines from 2010 to 2014 where he championed the development and initiatives of the industry.

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SAMSUNG BRINGS SERVICE CLOSER TO CUSTOMERS WITH THE GALAXY MOBILE SERVICE CARAVAN

Samsung redefines the future of customer care by offering the Galaxy Mobile Service Caravan, a roving service center that makes troubleshooting and repairs more accessible to everyone. "The Galaxy Mobile Service Caravan is a way for us to reach our customers and still promote health and safety guidelines. By bringing our world-class service to them, they don't have to venture too far from their homes to restore their muchloved Galaxy devices. This is especially important now as we continue to stay indoors and rely more on our smartphones and tablets", says Samsung Electronics Philippines Corporation president James Jung.

repair service in Quezon City last May 3 to 10. Its launch came with a special 40% discount on parts for medical frontliners as a “thank you” for their brave fight against COVID-19. The Galaxy Mobile Service Caravan will continue its operations in Metro Manila for the next 2 months and will cover Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, and Rizal once travel restrictions are lifted. Samsung will also deploy caravans in key areas in North Luzon, South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao to make it more convenient for customers around the country to have their Galaxy devices checked.

The Galaxy Mobile Service Caravan is equipped with state-of-the-art equipment to handle basic to complex repair services for Samsung devices.

The Galaxy Mobile Service Caravan will now be part of Samsung’s customer service business continuity plan. It will be made available during lockdowns, calamities, and other instances when customers can’t go out to have their devices repaired.

The caravan can accommodate smartphones, tablets, and accessories. Samsung kicked off its on-the-go

For more information about the Samsung Galaxy Mobile Service Caravan, visit samsung.com/ph

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Newsbytes

CONVERGE ICT TIME OF DAY PROVIDES CUSTOMIZABLE INTERNET PLANS FOR BUSINESSES AND RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS As the pandemic continuously brings about new challenges for Filipinos, both in businesses and in residences, everyone keeps looking for ways to adapt to the changes. Large businesses and small-and-medium enterprises strive to bring efficiency to a workplace that is now transitioning to a more digital space, while individuals have been shifting their internet consumption at home to accommodate their daily needs and habits. To address their customers’ increasingly demanding connectivity requirements, Converge ICT has recently introduced the new Time of Day products, a range of cost-efficient internet plans that fit the consumers’ internet requirements, whether they are managing large or small-and-medium-sized businesses, or working and relaxing at home. “Right now, for our customers to better adjust to the changing norms, they need a tool that adjusts to them as well. By introducing our Converge Time of Day products, we aim to provide our

June 2021

subscribers from all segments custom internet options, giving them more bandwidth when needed and, equally important, enabling them to save on costs,” Converge ICT chief operating officer Jesus Romero said. With Converge Time of Day, enterprises, SMEs, and residential customers will be able to experience twice the speed of their subscribed bandwidth during their chosen preset period, without having to double their monthly subscription fee. “We know how important it is to have a reliable internet service that allows you to do more with additional bandwidth while allocating your valued resources where you need it,” Romero added. For the Enterprise business segment, Converge Enterprise Dedicated Internet Access Time of Day provides resources that will help the business run efficiently during its preferred work schedule. Created for SMEs, Converge FlexiBIZ has flexible plans for companies that

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have peak working hours during the day, doubling the subscribed internet speed from 7:00AM to 6:59PM. Homeowners and residential customers will also be able to experience this speed boost with Converge FiberX Time of Day. Offering two plans, Day Plan or Night Plan, subscribers will be able to maximize their budget while getting two times the internet bandwidth during their chosen time of the day. New and existing customers may easily avail of this plan through the website, hotline, and sales representatives. For enterprises, on the other hand, there are designated account managers to assist in the customization of their plans according to their specific needs. “No matter how varied our customers’ internet consumption requirements are, Converge ICT remains committed to providing the Filipino people with fast, reliable, and affordable connectivity options,” said Romero. Visit convergeict.com for more details.


EPSON BRINGS ECO-FRIENDLY PRINTERS TO NEIGHBORHOOD CLASSROOMS IN MARGINALIZED COMMUNITIES

Learning in the new normal has become a challenge especially for marginalized communities. The blended approach is particularly difficult for those who may not have the right tools to access educational materials which are badly needed to facilitate learning. To help address this challenge, Epson Philippines partnered with the world’s leading independent children’s organization, Save the Children, for a donation initiative to support blended learning in its partner communities.

their operations since they lacked the resources in producing modules and other educational materials for their students, putting the development of early literacy, numeracy, self-care, health practices, and socialization among these children into a halt.

The pandemic has disrupted the operations of groups working to establish early learning spaces in the most deprived areas in the country. One such example is Save the Children Philippines’ Kapit Bahay Aralan (KBA), an alternative, neighborhoodbased learning program for children residing in urban settlements or in far-flung areas.

As a global technology leader, Epson recognizes the role it can play in addressing the issues that the new normal posed in all levels of education. Collaborating with Save the Children Philippines, Epson hopes to ease the situation by providing eco-friendly inkjet printers that will help the KBA’s para-teachers, students, and parents continue with blended learning. Through the donation initiative, Save the Children Philippines received EcoTank L15160 inkjet printers, ink refills, and paper supplies to support the remote learning of more than 900 KBA students across six barangays in Caloocan.

This period of remote learning made it harder for the KBAs to continue

Aside from helping make blended learning easier and more attainable

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for Filipino children, Epson also encourages a shift to sustainable technology among its partners through its new printer sustainability campaign titled Be Cool, which reminds customers that it is possible to maximize productivity while reducing environmental impact. Developed with Epson’s revolutionary Heat-Free Technology, the L15160 printers donated to Save the Children Philippines will be able to produce learning materials efficiently while consuming less energy. “We are pleased to have the opportunity to partner with Save the Children Philippines in helping marginalized communities get quality education amid the pandemic. Through our small donation initiative, we hope we can help the para-teachers and students in the community adapt better to learning in the new normal by making printed educational materials more accessible to them,” said Eduardo Bonoan, Head of Marketing for Epson Philippines.

June 2021


Newsbytes

SHOPPING SIMPLIFIED WITH J&J PH CHAT & SHOP E-commerce has become a significant tool in ensuring customers have access to daily essentials such as groceries, toiletries, and utilities throughout the ongoing community quarantine. With the need to constantly adjust to varying social distancing protocols and limited movement to lessen chances of community transmission, Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. has launched J&J PH Chat & Shop, the healthcare company’s official social-commerce platform to simplify purchasing of their various consumer health products. According to Denise Peralta, eCommerce head for Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc., the decision to launch this new platform comes from the influx of online shoppers during the lockdown. She shares, “Given current buying behaviors, we recognize that digital adoption and e-commerce are not just seasonal trends among Filipino consumers. With the pervasiveness of social media, we saw an opportunity to enhance our customers’ shopping

June 2021

experience by introducing a safer, more convenient way to purchase their favorite J&J products.”

brands, including Aveeno, Neutrogena, Johnson’s, Listerine, Modess, Carefree, and Band-Aid.

In Kantar’s 2020 COVID E-commerce report, data showed that 72% of Filipinos have switched or extended their spending to e-commerce platforms, with Facebook as the third most-frequented platform for procuring their daily essentials. Personal care products ranked second as those most commonly purchased online, following food and groceries.

“We are thrilled to be introducing Chat & Shop to our loyal Johnson & Johnson users. As a healthcare company, we want to be able to extend our expertise and products to our customers as seamlessly as we can during these trying times. With the launch of this new platform, we hope to ease some of the burden of our customers, so that they no longer have to risk leaving their homes to get their essential healthcare products,” says Raghu Krishnan, Johnson & Johnson (Philippines), Inc. president and managing director.

In line with this trend, J&J Philippines also noticed an uptick in user traffic on their social media platforms, as well as a steady increase in orders and purchases on their active online shopping channels over the last few months. Peralta adds, “With just a few clicks, you can now purchase your most loved J&J essentials and have them delivered straight to your doorstep, without the hassle of leaving your home.” The online shop currently carries J&J Philippines’ bestselling products from their portfolio of consumer health

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Shoppers all over the country can now have a worry-free shopping experience, with delivery services available nationwide. To make it even more convenient, the platform also accepts all major credit cards and cash on delivery for all transactions. Let’s CHAT & SHOP now at https:// www.facebook.com/jnjphchatshop.


Relic

Words by Jose Alvarez

anned goods have been around since at least the 18th century. In 1772, the Netherlands developed the preservation of food in tin cans, particularly salmon. Freshly caught salmon were cleaned, then boiled in brine, and then smoked and placed into tin-plated iron boxes. By 1797, this practice went international, and the preservation of food in tin cans was patented in 1810 by an English merchant, Peter Durand. Another inventor and engineer, Bryan Donkin, purchased the patent in 1812 and created the world’s first commercial canning factory in 1813.

C

By 1820, canned food had become widespread across Europe, and by 1822, the United States had also adopted canned food. The first cans actually were heavier than the food they held and had no direct way of opening them. One set of instructions required that people cut open the cans around the top using a hammer and chisel. Several decades would pass before an actual can opener was invented. In 1866, the twist-key can opener was invented. There was still no general purpose can opener at the time, so each can came with a spotwelded or soldered-on twist-key can opener which required snapping off. Each type of food had its own can opener. Canned fish and meat were sold in rectangular cans, while coffee, beans, and other meat used

June 2021

cylindrical cans. Milk cans used puncture devices. By the 1850s, lever-type can openers were introduced, but it was not until 1858 that the sickle can opener was invented. Ezra Warner invented this can opener in time for the United States Army to use during the Civil War. The bull’s head can opener was invented towards the end of the Civil War and was used until the 1930s. By 1870, the rotating wheel can opener was patented by William Lyman and produced by the firm Baumgarten in the 1890s. By the 1920s, Edwin Anderson used a can opener which functioned like handheld pliers. The first can opener I ever saw was the 1925 double-wheel design developed by the Star Can Opener Company of San Francisco, California, which used Lyman’s design but added a second serrated wheel called a feed wheel that gripped the edge of the can. This design is used to this very day. The church key can opener is usually used to pry caps off of a glass bottle and has been in use since 1892. It is still in use today. In fact, I have a church key can opener attached to a set of my own house keys. There are also can openers for military use called the P-38 and P-51, nicknamed the “John Wayne” because John Wayne himself was in a training film opening a can of rations with this

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specific can opener. The P-38 is no longer in individual use as soft-pack MREs were introduced in the 1980s. Of course, electric can openers were invented as early as 1931 using the rotating wheel design. They did not show any success and were reintroduced in 1956. However, electric can openers are very niche and are not as widely used as manual can openers today. The can opener is a very good example of an old gadget that has withstood the test of time and can be easily found in your kitchen. This is an example of technology that cannot be replaced with something else (unless we can find a way to replace tin cans entirely).


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