2022v22n8-Digital Nomads

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Contents

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FEATURE

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08 Xiaomi 12 Series 10 Lenovo Yoga 9i 12 LG Dual Cool 13 Nokia C21 14 motorola edge 30 Pro 16 Razer Leviathan V2 17 Roidmi X30 Pro 18 Canon imagePROGRAF 20 Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G 22 LEGO Vehicle Sets

30 Asus Vivobook 13 Slate OLED 34 Relx Infinity & Essential 38 TouchElex Harley/Venus 42 realme Pad Mini

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GADGETS LAB

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COVERSTORY 46 How The Digital Nomad Came To Be 50 My Personal Travel + Work Story 54 Tech Essentials You Must Have When Moving to A New Place

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MAY 2022

VOLUME XXII • Issue VIII

This Laptop Has Multiple Security Functions

EMPLOYMENT 58 How To Make Hybrid Work ‘Work’ 62 Hybrid Work Depends On Quality Internet 4


66 All-New Toyota Veloz

Ninja Van Automated Hub

LOGISTICS

MOBILITY 70 The New Peugeot 2008 SUV 74 Awards For The All-New Kia Carnival 76 Maxxis Trepador 78 AVATR 80 3M School Zone Transformations 84 PriceLOCQ App

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GAMING 88 Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands 92 Game Well-Played

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Kroma

98 Rambutan

EDUCATION

ENTERTAINMENT

100 2022 CCNOW Awards 102 UP Student Makes Film Campus Cut in Italy

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Contents

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FINTECH 108 Meet Maya 110 Lista Ipon Challenge

10 Tips For Safe Online Shopping

114 MarCoPay 116 SHAREIt

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118 Top Travel Destinations For Filipinos

Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Simulator

TRAVEL

MAY 2022

VOLUME XXII • Issue VIII

CYBER SECURITY

120 Go Where Your Mind’s Been Wandering

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EasyBrand

The BEST Case Scenario For Waste

FOOD

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WELLNESS

GREEN

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The latest in the world of tech

Company Town

NEWSBYTES

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RELIC



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Smartphones

XIAOMI 12 SERIES LIVING YOUR BEST LIFE means having the right tools to help you embrace all your passions. Today’s young and dynamic achievers know with their minds, hearts, and guts that it’s no longer a choice between these experiences and interests. They are all within reach as long as one has mastered the digital lifestyle.

The QUAD speakers with SOUND BY Harman Kardon give the crispest, cleanest sound, while the WQHD+ dynamic 120HZ AMOLED display delivers spectacularly clear colors and visuals, providing an incomparable entertainment experience. Living in the moment also means being able to perform important tasks efficiently and when needed. From paying the bills to video call meetings, catching up on social media, and recreational activities, these have become more convenient and even fun to do on a smartphone. This is why the Xiaomi 12 series’ HyperCharge and Turbo Charging features on its battery matter significantly, ensuring that your phone always has the energy for all tasks, whether important or fun.

Xiaomi 12 Pro Key Specs: • Pro-grade triple 50MP camera array: 50MP telephoto and 50MP ultra-wide lenses • Leading Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Advanced 4nm processor with 5G • All-Around Elevated Sensory Experience: WQHD+ dynamic 120HZ AMOLED display and Quad speakers, SOUND BY Harman Kardon • Smart 120W Xiaomi HyperCharge: 50W wireless turbocharging Xiaomi 12 Key Specs: • 50MP Pro-grade main camera: Ultra-wide and telemacro lenses • Leading Snapdragon 8 Gen 1: Advanced 4nm processor with dual 5G • All-round elevated sensory experience: 120Hz AMOLED display and Dual speakers, SOUND BY Harman Kardon • 67W wired and 50W wireless turbocharging: Long-lasting 4,500mAh battery

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The Xiaomi 12 series’ wired charger with up to 67W wired charging lets you charge completely and at an unprecedented speed of just 39 minutes. On the other hand, the 50W wireless charging fills the battery in just 53 minutes.

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The Xiaomi 12’s camera possesses a ProFocus feature that allows it to learn and track the algorithm of the subject allowing for clear capture of a moving subject. Moreover, the Great Portrait Mode and Ultra Night Video make it a snap to capture spectacular images even in low-light conditions, as it automatically brightens the scene and details in the photo or video. These features make the Xiaomi 12 and Xiaomi 12 Pro among the best camera phones in the market today.

The Xiaomi 12 Series are peak performance smartphones running on Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 processor and have the following key specs:

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LENOVO YOGA 9i Laptop

Starts at PHP 109,995

WITH ITS ICONIC 360-degree flexible hinge design, the Lenovo Yoga laptop redefined the industry 10 years ago when it debuted. Now a decade later, the Yoga spans and stretches across form factors, bringing bold innovation and refined craftsmanship to consumers in a ‘work/learn/play-from-anywhere’ world.

The Yoga 9i offers a four-side narrow bezel with a 90% Active Area Ratio for a new mode of viewing that reveals more vertical content when browsing the web or working with documents. It also has a 14-inch Lenovo PureSight 2.8K 90Hz OLED display, powered by the latest Samsung E4 OLED technology for superior image reproduction. The OLED breakthrough self-lit technology enables ultra-wide viewing angles with minimal brightness, contrast loss, and color shift when viewed from any angle, making it perfect for movie marathons with family and friends.

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The Yoga 9i embeds the all-new 12th Gen Intel Core P-series processor with a performance hybrid architecture that features up to 6 performance and 8 efficiency cores built on the new Intel Core i7 processor for revolutionary performance and responsiveness. You can also find AI-powered features that enhance consumers’ convenience and user experience ranging from the Smart Note application that enables convenient note-taking right from the lock screen to Lenovo Smart Power which optimizes the laptop for best-in-class performance by letting consumers ramp up to max power with a press of Fn-Q or through a 1-click function key to shift into Performance Mode, the Smart Lenovo Smart Appearance that enables you to look your best in photos and video calls, and many more for an optimized computing experience. Powered by Windows 11, you can enjoy the great new features that give Yoga 9i more ways to create and innovate, especially in the new hybrid world. The Yoga 9i weighs just 1.4kg and is as thin as 15.25mm. It provides up to 14 hours of battery life and also a 3-year Accidental Damage Protection on top of the best-in-class 3-Year Premium Care Warranty.

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The display is also Dolby Vision HDR certified, capable of showing bright and vibrant colors, wider color contrast, and scene-by-scene color and brightness optimization. With the firstever Bowers & Wilkins rotating soundbar

speakers that adapt to your usage mode, Yoga 9i brings you high-quality entertainment experience.

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Designed for versatility and portability to help trendsetters achieve and explore more, the Lenovo Yoga 9i offers consumers who desire premium experiences and intuitive design with the latest technology can offer. It comes with an all-new Comfort Edge, jewel design, which was made to be both a statement piece and an entertainment powerhouse that is easier to be carried anywhere. With its stunning Lenovo PureSight OLED True Black display and powerful 3D audio in all modes from the Bowers & Wilkins rotating soundbar enhanced with Dolby Atmos®, the Yoga 9i is ideal for people who want to put an immersive experience first.


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LG DUAL COOL gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

AIR CONDITIONER

AS THE SWELTERING heat of summer fast approaches, high electricity bills are sure to follow. During this season, a lot of people are still staying at home — children studying and adults working — so air-conditioning is crucial for the comfort of the entire household. Not all air-conditioning units are made the same, however. Some are not up to the task of extended use, while others use outdated technology that consume a lot of power. These can quickly create issues with regard to maintenance, repairs, and astronomical electricity bills. LG Electronics recognizes the need for a reliable, worry-free, and economical airconditioning solution. LG’s line of Dual Cool air-conditioners is powered by a dual inverter for dual savings. Available as split type and window type, they offer the perfect choice for any residence, May 2022

whether big or small. You can sleep soundly knowing that you have a reliable, hassle-free air-con that maximizes your budget. The workhorse behind the savings is the Dual Inverter Compressor. This innovation from LG solves improper, ineffective, and noisy problems, resulting in an air conditioner that cools faster, lasts longer, and runs quieter. The Dual Inverter Compressor is extremely energy efficient. It provides up to 70% more energy savings than other air conditioners with a constantspeed compressor. LG Dual Cool constantly adjusts a compressor’s speed to maintain desired temperature levels. It also comes with a 10-year warranty, ensuring users can enjoy the benefits of the LG air conditioner for a longer period of time.

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LG Dual Cool air-conditioners are designed to quickly cool rooms and make them as comfortable as possible. The compressor works its magic by cooling the air fast using its high-speed cooling range, so it expels air farther and cools spaces faster. Amidst all this action, the LG Dual Cool is also whisper quiet. Both the window type inverter and split type units operate at sound levels as low as 44dB when in low mode, for smooth operation that you’ll barely notice. The Dual Cool air-conditioners also come with LG’s ThinQ AI technology, giving you the ability to control it anytime, anywhere. You can start or stop your LG air conditioner, change the mode, or set the temperature, no matter where you are using the ThinQ app on your smartphone. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


NOKIA C21 Smartphone

Starts at PHP 5,490

HMD GLOBAL, the home of Nokia phones, welcomes the newest member and hero of the C-series family – the Nokia C21. Whilst maintaining the excellent build quality, signature security promises, and the all-day battery life signature of the popular C-series, the new Nokia C21 comprises even more value. It brings upgraded photography, better privacy, and improved speed for an extra smooth experience.

The Nokia C21 boasts a streamlined operating system on a higher memory smartphone with a multi-core processor that brings efficiencies without sacrificing the signature all-day battery life – download at speed and enjoy fast app opening times, for an even snappier experience. For many, smartphones store one’s most private information. Nokia C21’s AIpowered face unlock is now supported by a fingerprint sensor for extra security and convenience. Two years of regular security updates come as standard for C-series, so users are assured that the

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Made from sturdy polycarbonate, the body of the Nokia C21 is supported by a metal chassis on the inside and toughened cover glass on the outside. From force measurements to vigorous tumble, over 50 tests are carried out on every Nokia phone to ensure hardware durability, and Nokia C21 is no exception. The result is a smartphone that honors the long-lasting, Nordic excellence you’d expect from HMD Global, so users can hold on to their device for longer. The beautiful Finnish aesthetic is also functional, designed with micro-texture on the back and curved sides to ensure a good grip in style. Nokia C21 comes in 2/32 GB and 3/64 GB variants, in Dark Blue and Warm Grey color variants. May 2022

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Nokia C21’s improved 8MP camera with autofocus technology lets one capture cherished moments with their loved ones in more detail while navigating a world of QR codes with ease. Users can take advantage of Panorama mode to take sweeping landscape photos in a single

shot. Plus, the front 5MP camera with flash is perfect for making memories day or night. Then, users can relive it all in breathtaking definition on a stunning 6.5” HD+ display.

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Nokia C21 works hard in the background to keep everything in the phone safe, so fans can go about their day worry-free.


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motorola edge 30 pro gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

Smartphone

PHP34,995

THE MOTOROLA EDGE 30 PRO is a phone that can handle anything. A high-quality camera, fast refresh rate, and connection, wide-screen display, long battery life, and stellar device performance are the boxes to tick when scouting for a new device. Powered by the ultra-powerful Snapdragon 8 Gen 1, Qualcomm’s latest, fastest, and most advanced processor, users are guaranteed a powerful allaround high-quality phone experience anytime and anywhere. The motorola edge 30 pro is equipped with a UFS 3.1, the latest in storage technology that works faster and more efficiently, allowing the phone to hold up to 256GB of built-in storage — all while keeping the device running smoothly with 12GB of LPDDR5 memory. The phone’s main camera features 50MP with Omni-directional PDAF. Its 60MP front camera with Quad Pixel technology allows users to capture any kind of photo with sharp details day or night. The camera also features its bigscreen quality, allowing users to record cinematic videos with 8K resolution right on the phone. With its HDR available in the viewfinder, users are able to preview intricate details to snap the perfect shot. Camera modes available include Ultra Wide, Macro Vision, Dual Capture, Spot Color, Super Slow Slow-mo, and Audio Zoom. May 2022

With the motorola edge 30 pro, users can connect to 5G networks and get blazingfast speeds whether loading social media applications or streaming favorite TV shows. It features an ultra-smooth 6.7” Max Vision OLED display with FHD+ 2400 x 1080 resolution and 144Hz refresh rate that automatically adjusts based on the type of content on the screen. With an HDR10+ certification, the phone offers vivid and true-to-life colors with improved brightness and contrast. Users can also customize their screen settings using its Night light mode and High brightness mode and can expect a reduced visible screen flicker with the new DC dimming technology.

with a simple Bluetooth connection to a controller. Feel like you’re right in the room during video calls with family, friends, and colleagues. Working from anywhere is also possible with Ready For. Use your apps on a desktop display and connect to your keyboards and mouse extensions with Bluetooth. The new assistant allows access to both your phone and the PC on one screen to transfer files between connected devices, taking multitasking to the next level. The motorola edge 30 pro comes with a powerful 4800mAh battery. A new 68W TurboPower can power up the phone to 50% in just 15 minutes.

Two large stereo speakers offer a new dimension of audio with threedimensional sound by Dolby Atmos. Users can pinpoint cleaner vocals and clearer notes at higher volumes.

The motorola edge 30 pro is engineered with Android 12 and among its features is the ability for users to customize and personalize the device to their own tastes, from the fonts, sizes, colors, icon shapes, and layout, to display size and many more. On top of the redesigned Motorola+ Material You, it allows users to control Android 12’s visual elements and move them according to the user’s preference.

Users can project their phones to a bigger screen without any trouble. Move your phone’s games to the big screen

For aspiring gamers, aside from being able to enjoy desktop-quality gaming thanks to the Qualcomm Snapdragon

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Elite Gaming, the Android 12 lets users jump right into gameplay without waiting for the full download to finish; the Moto Gametime also provides different controls that block notifications, allow screen recording, and give full control of audio.

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Designed to be sleek and sophisticated, the motorola edge 30 pro features a premium 3D matte satin glass finish that shimmers with hints of color. Other than the aesthetically pleasing looks, the phone is equipped with different functions that make for a more intuitive user experience. Unlock the motorola edge 30 pro quickly by touching the fingerprint reader and accessing your favorite apps with a simple double-tap with the all-new Power Touch.

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Razer Leviathan V2 PC Soundbar

PHP15,790

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THE NEW RAZER LEVIATHAN V2 is Razer’s latest PC soundbar that delivers audio clarity for a detailed, immersive listening experience right from the desktop. Armed with 2 full-range drivers, 2 passive radiators, 2 tweeters, and a downfiring subwoofer, the Razer Leviathan V2 achieves crisp, clear treble and deep, punchy bass to elevate any entertainment experience. The multi-driver PC soundbar is designed to provide fullrange and high-fidelity sound for a realistic soundstage, ensuring clarity in dialogue for every game and movie, and heart-thumping lows for those suspenseful action scenes and music soundtracks.

In addition, the Razer Leviathan V2 is powered by Razer Chroma RGB with 18 lighting zones on the speakers, so gamers can deepen their immersive experience and access full RGB customization with countless patterns for dynamic in-game lighting effects. The Razer Leviathan V2 comes with Bluetooth 5.2, providing users a stable connection and added convenience when switching between paired devices. Additional to its compact design, the Razer Leviathan V2 also has

detachable feet, enabling gamers to adjust the soundbar to the perfect angle for the best fit under the monitor, making it the essential soundbar for an immersive true-to-life experience for all gaming and entertainment needs.

Building on the immersive entertainment experience through patented technology, the Razer Leviathan V2 offers THX Spatial Audio that is activated on a PC.

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Roidmi X30 Pro Cordless Vacuum Cleaner

PHP27,999

The X30 Pro also includes a self-disinfection feature as it is equipped with Novaron Ion Antibacterial Materials and an Ion Anti-Bacterial Rear Filter which prevents the escape of bacteria in the exhaust gas. This ensures that the air coming out of the vacuum will be filtered and harmless. The cordless vacuum also includes a NEX V brush that has an ionic antibacterial coating to inhibit the growth of bacteria when not in use. Because of its Nanoscale Hydrophobic fiber, it makes the cordless mop water- and stain-resistant.

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THE X30 PRO IS ROIDMI’S most powerful machine, powered by ROIDMI’s proprietary Engine-X 2.0. Running at 120 thousand revolutions per minute with a suction power of 150AW, the Engine-X 2.0 boasts stronger performance, longer battery life with less noise as it also has an optimized battery management system — the BMS-X 2.0 — extending battery life up to 70 mins allowing the X30 Pro to clean up to 450 square meters of space in just one single charge.

The X30 Pro also comes with a pet brush tip which is ideal for pets’ shedding season (or even giving them a soothing and relaxing massage).

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CANON imagePROGRAF

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Large format printer

CANON ANNOUNCED the launch of its imagePROGRAF large format printers (LFP), the first in the world to offer Aqueous Pigment Fluorescent Ink. Both the imagePROGRAF GP540 (44 in) and GP-520 (24 in) use 10 pigmented aqueous inks and fluorescent pink ink to create vivid and colorful Point-of-Purchase (POP) displays, while the imagePROGRAF GP-5300 (36 in) and GP-5200 (24 in) use 5 pigmented aqueous inks plus fluorescent pink ink to meet the market’s demand for quality and vibrant campaign visuals. Each comes equipped with a new Radiant Infusion technology that enhances bright and soft color reproduction by layering a newly developed fluorescent pink ink with other inks on the paper surface during printing; and a new web software PosterArtist that allows users to create professional-looking posters easily, even if you have no skills or experience developing your own creative materials. Fluorescent pink ink is at the heart of the new Radiant Infusion technology. Users have the choice of printing with or without it but adding this special ink in specific areas such as text, clipart, and graphics in pink and orange will create an exceptional neon-like color expression and make stunning POP art graphics. The imagePROGRAF GP-520 and GP-540 feature new red, orange, green, violet, and fluorescent pink inks especially developed to maximize May 2022

new printer performance. These new inks expand the range of color reproduction possible, empowering the latest imagePROGRAF series with the widest color gamut to date, and enabling physical output to mirror visuals on monitors. To improve operator efficiency, an intelligent media handling function automatically performs paper supply and feeding, detects the paper type and width, estimates the remaining amount of paper, and adjusts the condition to enable printing, beginning by simply placing the roll paper in the printer. In addition, the Multifunction Roll System available on the imagePROGRAF GP540 and GP-520 achieve dual roll feeding and rewinding printouts on roll (a media take-up unit). All operations related to printing, such as setting and replacing roll paper and ink tanks as well as removing printouts, can be performed from the front of the printer. Since the printer can be installed flush against the wall, it takes up minimal space. Print job data can be saved to a Hard Disk Drive (HDD) and printed directly from the printer without using a PC.

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REDMI NOTE 11 PRO+ 5G Smartphone

PHP 19,999 - 8GB+128GB

As the first-ever Redmi smartphone equipped with 120W wired charging, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G charges its 4,500mAh battery to 100% in merely 15mins. Built with industry-leading dual charge pumps

to deliver the blazingly fast charging speed, the device also ensures charging safety and stability with more than 40 safety features, as well as attaining TÜV Rheinland’s Safe Fast-Charge System certification. Raising the bar for a flagship camera experience, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G again features a 108MP primary camera, complemented by an 8MP ultra-wide and a 2MP telemacro camera. The main camera features a Samsung HM2 sensor and dual native ISO, allowing you to capture every moment in high resolution and true-tolife details, even in low light conditions. The device also comes with a 6.67” FHD+ AMOLED DotDisplay, with a 120Hz refresh rate and 360Hz touch sampling rate that makes scrolling and swiping a treat for your eyes.

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WITH THE LAUNCH OF Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G, Xiaomi is pushing the legacy of Redmi Note Series one step further by delivering a performance that exceeds expectations. Featuring 120W Xiaomi HyperCharge and an ultra-clear 108MP camera, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G sets a new standard in the segment by making exceptional performance available at a highly affordable price, making it a top-ofthe-line contender in its bracket.

P 21,999 - 8GB+256GB

Powered by an octa-core MediaTek Dimensity 920 processor, Redmi Note 11 Pro+ 5G takes your mobile performance to a whole new level thanks to its energyefficient 6nm process.

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LEGO VEHICLE SETS Plastic Construction Toys

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GEAR UP! LEVEL UP! Turn on your kid’s inner turbo with all-new rebuildable LEGO® vehicle sets. From the exhilarating CITY, Speed Champions and Creator 3-in-1 series to the more complex Technic builds, there is bound to be a dream car for every child to live out their racing fantasy. Be it sports cars, race cars, or collectible classics, each set allows kids to build their favorite supercars, be inspired by the marvels of engineering, and ignite their creativity and imagination as they drive their own high-speed, action-packed adventures. The racing fun will never stop! Highlights of the range include:

76906 LEGO® Speed Champions Ferrari 512M (PHP1,299.00) Get up close to one of the world’s most iconic race cars with this incredible recreation of the ferocious Ferrari 512M. Perfect for play and display, this faithful LEGO® recreation captures the essence of the legendary 1970’s supercar – famed for its fearsome performance and epic on-track duals.

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60322 LEGO® City Race Car (PHP549.00) Introduce kids to a world of fun and excitement with this toy playset, featuring an F1-style car, plus tools and a winner’s trophy. Just add the mechanic and racing driver minifigures for hours of exciting racing adventures! 31127 LEGO® Creator 3-in-1 Street Racer (PHP1,299.00) Prepare for awesome racing action with three different superfast cars. Get behind the wheel of the souped-up Street Racer with its side pipes and spoiler; rebuild and hit the racetrack with a Race Car, or use the bricks to build another vehicle for speedy adventures. The fast-paced fun never stops with this 3-in-1 set.

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Other dream vehicles include the 60319 LEGO® City Fire Rescue & Police Chase, 60314 LEGO® City Ice Cream Truck Police Chase, 60324 LEGO® City Mobile Crane, 76903 LEGO® Speed Champions Chevrolet Corvette C8.R Race Car, and 1968 Chevrolet Corvette, 10947 LEGO® DUPLO Race Cars, 41707 LEGO® Friends Tree-Planting Vehicle, 41701 LEGO® Friends Street Food Market, 42134 LEGO® Technic Monster Jam™ Megalodon™

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Feature Words by Gabriel John Pe

THIS LAPTOP HAS MULTIPLE SECURITY FUNCTIONS INCLUDING A BUILT-IN TRACKER

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ince the pandemic started, there has been a sharp rise in cyberattacks worldwide. Most security experts attribute the spike to unsecured devices accessing crucial data in public spaces. These attacks range from unauthorized access to spoofing to something as extreme as ransomware. Most cyber threats can be utilized by having a decent antivirus and antimalware software on your device. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case for physical attacks such as theft, and unauthorized use of your device.

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Since you never know where threats can come from, you need a device that has the security to prevent any unwarranted snoopers. That’s where MSI’s Summit-series laptops come in. TOBIIAWARE TO PREVENT UNWANTED EYES The MSI Summit-series laptops have loads of security features built-in. One of these is tobii Aware. Tobii Aware is a security feature that uses the user’s presence to fortify the laptop. If the user is away from the screen it automatically locks your MSI Laptop from any unwarranted access. Additionally, it provides users privacy by automatically blurring the screen if you leave for a second, it also alerts users when it detects someone peeking behind them.

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THE LAPTOP WITH A BUILT-IN TRACKER Second and the most impressive security feature is the “Find your laptop” feature which MSI co-created with tile, the Bluetooth tracker professionals. The Find with tile, allows users to connect their MSI Summit laptop on their phone and with a press of a button alerts the user where the laptop is. It can also determine where the laptop was last placed via the tile map on the app. Of course, it goes the other way around, with the user able to locate their phone via their MSI Summit laptops. Aside from tobii Aware and File with tile, the laptops also have the newest hardware-based security standard TPM 2.0, a webcam, USB and SD Card slot switch lock, a fido certified fingerprint reader, and a separate LED notification for your webcam.

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WHY THE MSI SUMMIT SERIES IS THE PERFECT LAPTOP FOR ON-THE-GO PROFESSIONALS Aside from its impressive security features, the MSISummit Series is also the perfect productivity tool for professionals on the go. All Summit-series laptops, the MSI Summit E14 EVO, and the Summit 16 Flip are equipped with up to the latest 12th Gen Intel Core i7 processors. This powerful processor is paired with up to 32 GB of the latest DDR5 RAM to make the most of it. The E14 EVO has the latest Intel Iris Xe graphics; but for professionals who need the extra graphics power, the MSI Summit E16 Flip has up to an NVIDIA RTX 3050 Ti discrete graphics. Since the MSI Summit-series was made with professionals in mind, MSI has fitted with software to help boost video conference experience. The laptops are

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equipped with quadruple microphones with MSI’s AI Noise Cancellation to suppress background noise wherever you are. There’s also the Noise Reduction Camera which focuses only on the user speaking. Lastly, the MSI has equipped the Summit-series laptops with their MSI Center Pro. The Pro version of their highly acclaimed MSI Center software, now has the added System Analysis feature to help the user easily troubleshoot their laptops, as well as the Customer Service menu to immediately contact an MSI professional for additional support. The MSI Summit E16 Flip will retail for PHP 124,995 while the MSI Summit E14 Flip EVO will retail for PHP 89,9995 for the Intel Core i7-1280P variant, and PHP 79,995 for the Intel Core i5 1240P variant.

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REVIEWED BY GABRIEL JOHN PE

ASUS VIVOBOOK 13 SLATE OLED 2-IN-1 LAPTOP

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Hybrid 2-in-1s were the rage back in the early 2010s but as time moved on, they slowly disappeared. That’s why when I was offered to look at the ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED (T3300) I was excited. ASUS was among the best when it came to making 2-in-1s back in the day, and this one looks like it’s a worthy successor.

Design-wise the main tablet is pretty standard-looking. It has a 13.3-inch FHD OLED Display. Also in front is the 5-megapixel webcam. At the back is the 13-megapixel camera. Port selection is also pretty alright, on the left are two USB 3.2 Type-C ports that support both power and display, there’s also the 3.5mm audio port, and a microSD card reader. Also found on the left are two of the four speakers. On the right are the volume buttons and the two other speakers. On top is the power button that doubles as the fingerprint reader. Lastly, the bottom has the connection point for the detachable keyboard. The whole Vivobook 13 Slate OLED package also includes a carrying sleeve, the detachable keyboard, the detachable stand, a 65W charger, and the new ASUS Pen 2.0 stylus.

Going back to design, the stand, and the keyboard has this sort of minimalist street aesthetic to them which I found to be pretty cool. It’s mostly found at the back of the keyboard and besides the rear camera, but there’s also a subtle nod with the enter key.

massive tablet as your main shooter over your phone? What I found the rear camera useful is for scanning. If you’re a student, this would be a great companion when you need to scan that book page or note. It’s easier as well with the photos immediately uploaded to the tablet for you to add to your notes. Speaking of notetaking, the included ASUS Pen 2.0 stylus was a treat! It has 4096 pressure levels with a 266 Hz sampling rate. While it’s not a high-end drawing tablet replacement, it does perform really well for other non-technical sketches. In my use case, I found it a treat to use for note-taking in class. The stylus’ battery life is also great, I’ve only charged the stylus once, when I got the device, and haven’t changed it since, though I am a light user so your mileage may vary.

HARDWARE Powering the ASUS Vivobook Slate 13 OLED is an Intel Pentium N6000 quadcore processor that runs at a 1.1 GHz base but boosts up to 3.3 GHz. Our review unit had 8GB of RAM and 128 GB of PCIe SSD. Like I said earlier the webcam is a 5-megapixel camera, it was great, especially during zoom sessions. The back’s 13-megapixel shooter is alright. You can take good daylight photos with it, but let’s be real, are you really going to use this

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Lastly, battery, ASUS has noted that the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED has a 50Whr battery and boy does it keep going. In my experience of class and media consumption, I got around 2-3 days of use, which is amazing to say the least. Charging the device got me from 12% to 62% in around 35-minutes, pretty fast. But it will trickle down charging to protect the battery that it needed around two and a half hours to fully charge to 100. May 2022

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DESIGN


ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED

USER EXPERIENCE

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I had a great time with the Vivobook Slate 13 OLED, particularly on the media consumption side. Like I said in my first impressions, the display was amazing and the speakers alright. With its portable and versatile nature, it was much more fun to bring the tablet on the bed compared to a laptop.

The definite best feature of the device, as I said in my first impressions, is the OLED display. The colors are more vivid on the Vivobook compared to my daily driver LCD monitor and my tablet. OLED displays showcase deeper blacks than LCD panels and more distinct colors because the pixels are individually illuminated so there’s none of that white backlight glare you tend to see on LCD panels.

The detachable stand makes it much more functional than a regular tablet. Usually, I lay the tablet flat on the bed and watch laying on my stomach, but with the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED, I could just let it stand and get much more comfortable on my sides.

The ASUS Vivobook 13 OLED Slate had some of the best viewing experiences I had with a tablet hands down. It also comes with both Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos support for cinematic-level experience. There’s also HDR500 certification, meaning the Vivobook 13 OLED Slate has some great dynamic range.

The detachable stand connects via magnets and is pretty secure. But there is a downside since it’s magnetic you do need to hold it down when adjusting the hinge at the back otherwise it will disconnect from the tablet. It’s not really a dealbreaker but can be a hassle at times.

The keyboard of the Vivobook 13 Slate OLED was a joy to type on. Key spacing was great and felt like a true laptop keyboard. The palm rests were also enough for my tiny hands, but I feel that larger hands would feel cramped. Another great thing about the keyboard is the

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massive touchpad, honestly, I feel that it’s even bigger than on the other laptops that I’ve reviewed. There’s just the issue of the thinnest. Since the whole keyboard was pretty thin, I found that you can actually register a click when you flex the keyboard so make sure you type on a flat surface to avoid issues later on. For productivity, the ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED can perform basic office tasks and even light photo editing. I was pleased to know that it came with Microsoft Office apps out of the box; this saves users thousands of Pesos for a subscription to Office. Unfortunately, the Intel N6000 isn’t the most powerful processor out there so don’t expect it to perform heavy tasks like video editing. Gaming is also out of the question, but you can run some older console emulation. I also found that it was the perfect device for remote gaming. With its Wi-Fi 6, I was able to run my Steam games via remote play smoothly. From there the OLED display did what it does best, providing some of the bestlooking gameplay I’ve seen.

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SPECIFICATIONS

Starting at PHP 39, 995, the ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED has some pretty tough competition from other laptops and Chromebooks. But it does have its own ace in its sleeves. It’s the only detachable 2-in-1 that runs Windows for that price range. This makes it ultra-portable and much more productive than the rest. The

OLED display also makes a huge difference. But it needs to be said that the Intel Pentium N6000 is not a powerful processor. So if you feel you’ll need a much more powerful device for work or school, you may want to consider ASUS’ other laptop offerings. If you do want to check the ASUS Vivobook 13 OLED Slate, here is a list of ASUS concept stores in the Philippines where you can check it out.

WHAT'S HOT  Portable and Versatile  OLED Display  Windows 11

WHAT'S NOT  Not the most powerful processor  Only up to 128GB of Internal storage

BOTTOMLINE The ASUS Vivobook 13 Slate OLED is a great multimedia device that doubles as a laptop

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VALUE

Display: 13.3-inch, FHD (1920 x 1080) OLED 16:9 aspect ratio, 0.2ms response time, 550nits peak brightness, 100% DCI-P3 color gamut, 1,000,000:1, VESA CERTIFIED Display HDR True Black 500, 1.07 billion colors, PANTONE Validated, Glossy display, 70% less harmful blue light, Touch screen, With stylus support Screen-to-body ratio: 83% Processor: Intel Pentium N6000 quad-core processor Memory: 8GB LPDDR4X Internal Storage: 128 GB NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD OS: Windows 11 Camera: 5-megapixel Front, 13-megapixel Rear Battery: 50 WHr, included 65W Charger (charges up to 60% in 39-minute) Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Type-C support display/power, 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, Micro SD card reader Connectivity: Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 Dimensions: 309.9 x 190x 7.9mm Weight: 0.78kg


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REVIEWED BY FRANCESKA AGUILA

RELX INFINITY & ESSENTIAL POD SYSTEM VAPE

Struggling to stop smoking? You’re cigarette-free for a week and then the next week, you’re lighting up a smoke again? Are you also tired of building and reassembling your vape mods? If you’re having these problems, then we’ve got one of the best solutions to help you transition smoothly to a better lifestyle with style and convenience. It’s #NoSmoke May and we’re here to inspire you to switch to Super Smooth. May 2022

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DESIGN Unboxing the Relx Infinity in Forest Allure and Relx Essential in Gold Spark, it came with a USB-C cable and an information packet that includes a 7-day Challenge guide for first-time vapers, everything you need to know about your Relx device, and a user agreement. Both devices are made out of aluminum alloy, they are almost the same in function and composition but still have a few differences in their design; the Infinity has a smooth and slim symmetrical unibody and a dotted circle LED light indicator, while the Essential has ridges on its body and a vertical LED light indicator.

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HARDWARE Engineered by Relx, the Super Smooth promises a smooth performance for its users; made possible by 2 technologies– the Air Boost airway design that helps in producing clouds or a great amount of vapor, and the Active Steam Pro that consistently controls the volume and quality of the vapor and also balances its temperature. The Inifinity’s battery is at 380mAh and the Essential is at 350mAh, both devices have a USB C charging port, the difference is that the Infinity has pogo pins compatible with the Relx wireless charging case. The Relx Pod Pro holds 1.9mL of e-juice, the pod itself is built with a leak-resistance maze to keep the liquids in. It comes in 20+ flavors and different nicotine percentages – 3% and 5%.

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RELX Infinity & Essential

USER EXPERIENCE I was a heavy smoker from college till the time that I started working, as I’m getting older I realized that I needed to change my ways and consider a nicotine-free life and it wasn’t very easy to do since I had nicotine dependent. Lucky for me, there were alternatives to cigarettes like vape mods and vape pens but that didn’t work for me either. When I found out about Relx, I immediately got the Classic one and it was an interesting experience I used it for a couple of months, I then switched to Relx Infinity and that’s what I’ve been using ever since.

there was an improvement with the body, the matte finish gave it a slightly gritty texture which I like compared to their older colors. The pod that I used was Garden’s Heart which is a fruityflavored e-liquid with 3% nicotine content. It’s profoundly smooth, with no liquid popping out of the mouthpiece as you take a drag, and the cartridge doesn’t heat up compared to vape mods. What I like about the Relx experience is that the vapor doesn’t leave a putrid smell on your clothes, fingers, and in your mouth. Plus, it’s lightweight and you don’t need to put yourself through the hassle of constantly building your device, changing the atomizer, and refilling the juice, Relx is as easy as ABC,

once done, remove the pod and replace it with a new one and you’re good to go. Another feature that I admire about the Infinity is its smart function called a SmartPace Vibrate Alert, the device vibrates to notify you of your consumption within the last 15 minutes, unfortunately, the feature is not available in the Essential. Both devices can run up to 2-3 days depending on your usage. Both have LED light indicators that tell you if you’re running out of battery. The light turns on per drag and blinks in red if your battery is running low. When charging, the light blinks slowly from red then white, and when fully charged within one hour, it’s a solid white light.

I received a demo unit of Relx Essential in Gold Spark and another Infinity in Forest Allure in their new colors, it’s the first time that I tried the Essential, it’s one of the most aesthetically pleasing devices I’ve seen and used, it was lighter than the Infinity and the ridges of the device gave my hands a better grip and it kept the device from slipping. The Infinity has a deep forest green color and a matte finish, and I noticed that May 2022

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The RELX Infinity has an SRP of PHP1250.00 and the Essential at PHP800.00. It is relatively less expensive than smoking, I’ve done the computations and 1 pack of cigarettes costs PHP150.00 and 1 Relx pod is approximately 2.5 packs of cigarettes with an SRP of PHP250.00, and that’s PHP125.00 savings already.

SPECIFICATIONS RELX INFINITY Pod: RELX Pod Pro (Symmetrical) Performance: Super SmoothTM Leak-Resistant: Leak-resistant maze pod Charging: USB-C Charging, Built-in Pogo pin Other Accessories: Infinity Charging Case Intelligent Function: SmartPace Vibrate Alert Battery Capacity: 380mAh Colors: Forest Allure, Arctic Mist, Deep Blue, Sky Blush, Silver, Red, Gold, Black

WHAT'S HOT  No ash  No harsh hits  No bad smell  Wide variety of flavors  Better value than cigarettes

WHAT'S NOT  No troubleshooting instructions in the information packets Essential didn’t have the SmartPace Vibrate Alert

RELX ESSENTIAL Pod: RELX Pod Pro (Symmetrical) Performance: Super SmoothTM Leak-Resistant: Leak-resistant maze pod Charging: USB-C Charging Battery Capacity: 350mAh Colors: Gold Spark, Blue Glow, Blue, White, Red, Green, Neon Purple, Steel Blue, Black

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BOTTOMLINE RELX Infinity/Essential can provide Filipinos with a better alternative to cigarette smoking.

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VALUE


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REVIEWED BY MARIBELLE ALBA

TOUCHELEX HARLEY | VENUS SMARTWATCH

TouchElex is a new brand of smartwatches entering the Philippine market. Two variants are now available: the rectangular-faced Harley and the round-faced Venus. Except for the shape of the display and side buttons, both versions have the same basic specifications. May 2022

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DESIGN The TouchElex smartwatches are designed to be stylish and attractive, with good build quality for a premium look. The rectangular-shaped Harley has a 1.75-inch high-definition screen topped by a 2.5D high-strength glass. The round-faced Venus, on the other hand, has a 1.19-in Super Retina AMOLED display, also encased in 2.5D high-strength glass. The build quality of both TouchElex smartwatches is first-rate, with an aerospace aluminum middle frame seamlessly integrated into the plastic back with the sensors and charging pins. The straps are made of soft rubber. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph

For sure, TouchElex smartwatch users will not be shy about showing off this arm candy.

HARDWARE Apple Watch Series 5

TouchElex Harley

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Both the TouchElex Harley and TouchElex Venus smartwatches are equipped with the same basic hardware specifications. Both are powered by an Apollo 3.5 processor that delivers computing power for smooth operation with lower power consumption. With a fast-charging battery, both variants take only 1.5hours to be fully charged which, on the Harley can last up to 10 days, and up to 7-days’ use on the Venus. TouchElex installed sensors to help you track activity as well as basic health functions. These include an accelerometer, a heart rate and SpO2 sensor (so essential now in the fight against COVID), and a capacitive touch sensor. It has Bluetooth connectivity for pairing with your smartphone.

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RELX Infinity & Essential

USER EXPERIENCE Setting up a TouchElex smartwatch is a breeze, even for a newbie. When you first turn on the device, it will ask you to choose your language setting and then show a QR code onscreen so you can quickly download the accompanying TouchElex app on your smartphone. It works on both Android and iOS. After pairing, it may then look for an OTA update so you can get the latest firmware.

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You can then configure your TouchElex settings including your step goals/ calories target, alarms, notifications, and even reminders to stand or drink water.

Fitness buffs can easily monitor their exercise programs, with sports activities such as running, cycling, ball sports, etc. built into the smartwatch. Even if you don’t have a regular exercise routine, TouchElex can still help with your wellness goals through its heart rate monitoring and blood oxygen saturation detection capabilities in real-time. It also has a sleep monitoring function that breaks down even your sleep stages. Women’s health is also taken into consideration with the menstrual calendar. The TouchElex smartwatch gives you access to a host of features on your wrist. You can check app notifications and updates, read messages, check the weather, set an alarm, use it as a timer or stopwatch, control your phone music and camera, and even find your phone. All functions are intuitive and easy to use. May 2022

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VALUE The TouchElex Harley is priced at PHP4,990 while the TouchElex Venus retails for PHP5,990 — not the cheapest, but not exorbitantly priced either, and definitely just a fraction of the price of its more premium lookalikes.

SPECIFICATIONS

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TOUCHELEX HARLEY (TGW006) Screen & Resolution: 1.75in TFT display, 320x385pixels Sensors: Accelerometer, heart rate & SpO2 sensor, capacitive touch sensor Bluetooth: Version BLE5.0 Weight (with strap): ~43.8g Battery Capacity: 220mAh Colors: Black, Pink, Green TOUCHELEX VENUS (TWG008) Screen & Resolution: 1.19in AMOLED display, 390x390pixels Sensors: Accelerometer, heart rate & SpO2 sensor, capacitive touch sensor Bluetooth: Version BLE5.0 Weight (with strap): n/a Battery Capacity: 200mAh Colors: Black, Pink

WHAT'S HOT  Premium looking  Premium functions

WHAT'S NOT  A bit buggy initially

BOTTOMLINE An affordable, stylish smartwatch for an active lifestyle. 41

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REVIEWED BY Isaac James Zayco and Pamela Zayco

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realme pad mini TABLET

Realme has launched a smaller tablet called the Realme Pad Mini. It looks awesome so I was super excited to test and review it!

design realme has maintained the very premium look of its tablet with the aluminum chassis of the realme Pad Mini. It has a matte finish at the back that gives it an expensive look. It has a slim 7.6mm metal body with flat sides and weighs 372g. The tablet has slim side bezels and slightly thicker top and bottom bezels for fingers to rest on when in landscape mode. The power and volume buttons are found on the upper right side. There is a soft bump to the buttons and they’re crisp to press. The sim and microSD slots are on the left. There is a 3.5mm audio jack and a loudspeaker on top. Meanwhile, the bottom has another loudspeaker and the USB-C port.

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enough for basic tasks. The tablet that I tested has 4GB RAM and 64GB internal storage (but is expandable up to 1TB).

The realme Pad Mini has an 8.7” display with 1340 x 800 resolution. It has an 8-megapixel rear camera and 5-megapixel front camera.

It has a 6400mAh battery and the 18W fast charging makes it easy to quckly recharge your gadget whenever needed.

Powering the realme Pad Mini is a Unisoc T616 processor, which is good

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hardware

The tablet also has phone functionality and can be used to make calls. It has 4G LTE, Wifi, and Bluetooth 5.0.

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realme Pad Mini

user experience I enjoyed using the realme Pad Mini as it is very compact — fits into bags easily and convenient to bring along anywhere. I brought this with me when we went camping and it was our form of entertainment when my younger brother and I were already tired with the day’s activities.

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My hands also did not get tired from holding the tablet as it was lightweight enough for me. The realme Pad Mini is not hi-res but the bright colors make watching videos and gaming still enjoyable. For some reason though, I could not find Netflix on Play Store and could not install it. I have read about other people encountering the same issue. With my dad’s help, we were able to install Netflix through the APK. Under Chrome Settings, allow Install apps from other sources. Download and install Netflix directly. For games, I downloaded Roblox, 1v1. lol, and Mobile Legends. The tablet lags a bit for some games but generally works well. The graphics settings can be kept to a minimum to keep this from happening. I also found battery life to be sufficient — one charge could last an entire day or more depending on use. My regular use consists of doing some school work, a lot of games and YouTube videos. Battery performance would be between 8-10 hours.

9-year old Ikey enjoys trying out the new realme Pad Mini

VALUE The realme Pad Mini retails at PHP9,990 [3GB RAM + 32GB ROM] and PHP11,990 [4GB RAM + 64GB ROM]. The price is reasonable enough as the tablet can be used as a phone, for online school, video calls/meetings, entertainment, and games.

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SPECIFICATIONS Processor: Unisoc T616 processor Storage: RAM 3GB/4GB, ROM 32GB/64GB expandable to 1TB Display: 8.7in LCD, 1340 x 800 resolution Charging & Battery: 6400mAh battery, 18W quick charge Camera: 8MP rear, 5MP front Connectivity: LTE, WiFi, Bluetooth 5.0 Dimensions (LxWxH): 211.84 x 124.48 x 7.6mm Weight: 372g

 The tablet is very handy and easy to bring wherever.  Battery life is good for this much smaller device.  The phone capability is also a good feature for communication.

what's Not  Camera is not that great– pictures appear a bit pixelated.

BOTTOMLINE The realme Pad Mini is an adequate tablet for basic everyday use. It is a good school and entertainment gadget for students or for people who are not heavy gamers/users. Overall, I think it offers good value for its affordable price.

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what's hot


Cover story

How the

digital nomad came to be Words by Gabriel Pe

A

new trend emerged among young workers, especially during the pandemic. The shift to remote work or even hybrid work encouraged young professionals to reevaluate how to live and work. Some decided to uproot from their daily routine to explore the world, venture out of their comfort zones, and take to the road and enjoy the journey. These new workers are digital nomads, and their lifestyle has gained popularity during the pandemic.

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Cover story

Who are digital nomads?

In their simplest forms, Digital nomads are individuals who work remotely via the internet, hence the digital. The nomadic life is much more interesting and exciting. Digital nomads, like their namesake, do not stay in any location for extended periods, only lingering as long as they want or for the duration of their travel visas or work permits. When work shifted mostly to remote and hybrid due to the pandemic, people saw the perfect opportunity to bring work to different locations. In the US, a study found a 50% increase in workers becoming digital nomads from 2019 to 2020. The same study notes that 10 million Americans identify as digital nomads. Another study predicts their number to grow to as large as 1 billion globally, as work adopts a remote setup. The fad isn’t just in the US or other western countries. Even in the Philippines, digital nomads have started exploring the world outside of the office. Some Filipino professionals have already taken the opportunity to move out of the metro to areas where they can feel at ease and productive. Some popular destinations are beach towns, with many Luzon and Metro Manila workers heading for the surf town of San Juan, La Union. At a time when tourism was essentially all but dead, digital nomads helped keep the tourism-dependent economies afloat, as many availed of long-term stays in resorts and patronized local cafés to work. It also presented excellent opportunities to meet new people, as our writer Ces Aguila found out.

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How do digital nomads work?

Digital nomads, believe it or not, are not products of the pandemic. Even prior to COVID, there were already individuals trying out the lifestyle. You might know some people yourself, as many of them often shared their experiences on social media. In fact, blogging/vlogging is one of the livelihoods of digital nomads; but it is not the only one. As the world embraces remote work, opportunities have also come in droves. Getting remote freelance jobs is one way to earn a living. Other people have asked their employers to adjust their office-bound jobs to remote ones. But before packing your bags and moving off, many digital nomads will tell you to first do your research. Learn about your destination, where you’ll be staying, working, and even eating. If you’re going abroad, find out where your country’s embassy is located, as they’ll be your go-to for documentation troubles. Also have a list of the emergency hotlines for where you’re going. Consider access to banks and how you’ll manage your funds, for such mundane details like whether your current bank has local partners and what international fees may be charged.

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“But before packing your bags and moving off, many digital nomads will tell you to first do your research. Learn about your destination, where you’ll be staying, working, and even eating.” How legal is being a digital nomad?

The life of a digital nomad

It is this uniqueness that has prompted other countries to create specialized visas for digital nomads. Depending on the country, this guarantees digital nomads a right to work remotely in the country. Of course, there are countries where you need to pay taxes if you earn income even if you’re not a citizen, so add this to your research.

There are also digital nomads who, after a time, return to the hustle and bustle of the city. Many point to starting their own families as the reason for settling down. Others have grown weary of the itinerant life and miss the feel of staying put once again.

Being a digital nomad is not illegal. There are often questions about the legality of working and being a digital nomad when you’re on a tourist visa. It is a complex issue since you are technically working but, at the same time, you are just a tourist who will leave once your permit to stay expires.

The first and foremost reason why becoming a digital nomad is appealing is the power it gives back to you. It gives you the opportunity to break out of a boring routine and experience all that life has to offer. Digital nomads look like they have achieved the quintessential work-life balance, enjoying what life has to offer without sacrificing their careers.

Also, some people just aren’t made for the digital nomadic life. It gets quite lonely after a time, the sights become old, expenses pile up, and many other reasons. But even for those who return to a settled lifestyle, it’s interesting that no one expresses regret at the time spent on the road. To experience what the world has to offer and the thrill of a brand-new place or a new routine — that is the allure of the nomadic life.

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Cover story

I

n the last couple of years that I’d been working inside an office pre-pandemic, I had a personal realization that I was being worn out by the environment that I was in – silent hallways and offices, cubicles, and boring wall paint. It was demotivating me and I was losing morale. So one weekend, as I was browsing online, I stumbled upon an article about digital nomads, and I read about how these backpackers traveled and worked at the same time. It caught my interest and I started doing my research. It took a couple of weeks to find the perfect location, save enough funds for my trip, plan an itinerary, figure out how to go to my destination, and organize my work files. I wanted a trial period to see if it works for me, and I was fortunate that my work allowed me to work remotely for 2 weeks.

MY PERSONAL TRAVEL

+

WORK STORY Words by Franceska Aguila

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Cover story

HOW THE PLANNING WENT: I had to choose a location that’s accessible by public land transport, somewhere not too far but far enough to disengage from the city life. I had my top 3 choices; Zambales, La Union, and Baler. I ended up choosing Liw-Liwa, Zambales — 4 hours away from Manila by bus.

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Next was finding a place to stay. It was a tough choice between a beachfront property which was a bit pricey for me, or a property near the river that connects to the beach that was PHP500 per night. The latter was obviously so much cheaper and I would have the entire place to myself. Plus, the owners gave me a huge discount as I was staying long term. I proceeded to send a downpayment, and then paid in full when I got to Zambales.

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Funds were the trickiest part of the trip to sort out. Rent aside, I was only doing a rough estimate

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on my other expenses like groceries, pocket WiFi, and money for leisure. My 2-week rent was about PHP4,200 and I didn’t have to pay for electricity and water. The place didn’t have WiFi, and mobile data wasn’t enough to cover my daily internet usage for work so I had to get a pocket WiFi which cost PHP999. I didn’t want to eat out every day for 2 weeks, so I set aside PHP2,000 for groceries, excluding bath and skincare essentials that I brought from home. For days that I would work in local cafes and have leisure time, I allocated a PHP2,500 budget. And for my commuting expenses, I had at least PHP1,200. The total cost of my 2-week stay in Zambales was around PHP 10,000, and I carried some extra cash for emergencies. Organizing my files at work was surprisingly easy. Since we rarely use actual papers, it was just a bunch of files and data transfers to my laptop. I had everything sorted

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out in Google sheets. I also made sure that all my meetings were scheduled and confirmed, and informed our clients beforehand that I will be joining the meetings virtually for the next 2 weeks. The day of my travel finally came and I brought a piece of small luggage with me along with a small tote bag. It was a bit of a hassle as I didn’t have a car to bring to Zambales. I asked my family to take me to the Cubao bus station on a Saturday morning. When I arrived at the terminal, I bought a ticket, hauled my stuff into the bus compartment, took my seat, and slept most of the trip. I had to transfer to a different bus since there wasn’t any direct route to Liw-Liwa, and when I arrived in the town proper, I rode a tricycle and paid the PHP20 environmental fee that the LGU charges upon entry to Liw-Liwa. I spent the rest of my Saturday resting and bought some groceries to stuff the fridge the following day.

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A DAY IN THE LIFE OF A DIGITAL NOMAD In the city, I would force myself to wake up early for work, commute for 2-3 hours, work for 8 hours, and commute back home for another 2-3 hours. In Zambales, I surprisingly woke up at 6 or 7 in the morning, I had time to make breakfast, take a stroll on the beach, and work out before starting work. Without prejudice, I can confidently say that I was more focused and productive, I got more work done, and I finished early.

again. Doing my work in local cafes or at the beach was interesting. I was able to meet local and foreign backpackers who also travel and work, and I got to hear about their jobs and life stories which were refreshing to hear. I was surprised that we all had the same reason why we’re not working in our offices. I also got to talk to the locals, who explained how important nature was to them, and I got invited to participate in a coastal cleanup activity.

Most days, I would work at my place; other days at a beachfront cafe, sipping on coffee or a cocktail. I would work in intervals, 3 hours in the morning, take a 2-hour break, and then back to work

During my 2-week stay, I realized a lot – that this kind of life is possible. We often glamorize the grind and hustle culture, and it’s not always bad since we all have bills to pay and families

to feed, but I learned that leisure and travel are as important as work. These offer us time and space to breathe and relax, meet new people and expand our network, hear amazing stories, appreciate different cultures, experience a new lifestyle, improve our mental health even. Sure, there are also some obstacles, especially with regard to finances. It may seem expensive, but definitely worth it in long term. I started to become a digital nomad in 2018, and some years later, I’m still doing it. And if you’re asking me if you should try out this life, I suggest that you do! You don’t need to miss out on your life because of work because you can definitely have both.

“And if you’re asking me if you should try out this life, I suggest that you do! You don’t need to miss out on your life because of work because you can definitely have both.”

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Cover story

Words by Chris Noel Hidalgo

Tech Essentials You Must Have When Moving to A New Place

I

f you were fresh out of college when you got your first office job during the pandemic, then you may have worked from your parents’ or relatives’ home. However, with the easing of pandemic restrictions, the permanent or part-time return to the physical office space is inevitable. With commuting being back to where it was pre-pandemic, it may be worth it to lease a home closer to work. Should it be your first time moving into a place of your own, then here are some of the tech things you should have to make the transition a little easier.

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Cover story A rice cooker is an essential piece of kitchen equipment One of the first things I bought when I moved into my own place many years ago was a rice cooker. Not a refrigerator. Not a microwave. Not an induction cooker. A humble rice cooker. More than automatically preparing our beloved carbohydrate with just a push of a button, the rice cooker can also be used for your other kitchen endeavors. You can also use it to steam food, deep fry, bake cakes, whip up one-pot meals, and even make full-on stews such as nilaga and sinigang. Even with the advent of air fryers, a rice cooker is still arguably a more versatile piece of cookware.

Extension cords with USB ports for more convenient power access Some appliances and gadgets such as refrigerators, televisions, laptops, or routers have plugs that take up too much space on a standard wall outlet. If you are living in a studio space or if your bedroom is quite small, then that is automatically one less socket that you can use for other things. That gets old really quick when you have multiple gadgets that you need to use or charge simultaneously. Worse, multiple plug types are found locally, including two- and three-prong US-standard ones and round EU-standard ones. A universal extension cord easily fixes this problem while giving you a little more distance from the wall, perfect for when you don’t have a direct wall outlet by your bed or table. You can also get extension wires with USB sockets built-in so you would not have to worry about scrounging for charging adapters anymore.

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Make sure you have backup internet routers Even if you have a stable DSL or fiber connection, it pays to always have backup internet, whether in the form of a pocket Wi-Fi or a prepaid broadband router across all networks if possible. For one, you never know when your wired connection will suddenly go out or be painfully slow. Another reason is that wired internet relies on electricity. If your home or building does not have a generator when the power runs out, then say goodbye to your internet. Having a pocket Wi-Fi modem means that you can continue working from home for as long as your devices have battery power even when there is a blackout. The same can likewise be achieved with prepaid broadband routers; you will just need a power bank and a 5V to 12V USB power cable.

Get fresh clothes safer and more conveniently with your own washing machine Before the pandemic, I used to frequent do-it-yourself laundromats as well as neighborhood laundry shops on a weekly basis. During the early lockdown periods, I resorted to handwashing to minimize contact with other people, but my hands quickly became wounded from the harsh detergent and bleach combination. I got myself a washing machine shortly after and it has been one of my best purchases yet. Sure, having others do your laundry for you is more convenient. However, not only is doing your own laundry safer virus-wise, it is also more convenient especially when you need a set of new clothes or bed sheets for the next day. You can also easily wash your bags that have been exposed to the daily commute. If you are worried about the bill increasing with washing machines, then do not worry. My electricity and water bills have not grown eye-openingly larger despite having two wash cycles every week.

Movies on a television’s larger screen are still better than on your mobile devices One of the last appliances I bought was a television because I thought, “I already have a phone and a laptop. I can just watch movies and television series on those!” I finally got one in a flash sale and my bingeing time has never been better. Even just a 32-inch screen is a much more comfortable and immersive experience versus a phone’s measly 6-inch or a laptop’s 14-inch display. Pair it up with a decent soundbar and you’d be hard-pressed not to click on “next episode”—even if it means losing a few hours of sleep during a weekday.

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Employment

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HOW TO MAKE HYBRID WORK ‘WORK’ M

icrosoft Corporation recently released its second annual Work Trend Index report, “Great Expectations: Making Hybrid Work ‘Work’.” After sitting on the cusp of hybrid work for more than a year, many companies are at a longawaited inflection point: the lived experience of hybrid work. One thing from the research is clear: We are not the same people who went home to work in early 2020. The past two years have left a lasting imprint, fundamentally changing how people define the role of work in their lives. The challenge ahead for every organization is to meet employees’ great new expectations head-on while balancing business outcomes in an unpredictable economy.

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To help leaders navigate the shift, the 2022 Work Trend Index outlines five urgent trends from an external study of 31,000 people in 31 countries, including the Philippines, along with an analysis of trillions of productivity signals in Microsoft 365 and labor trends on LinkedIn:

their company is planning a return to full-time in-person work in the year ahead, compared to 50% globally. 46% of managers in the Philippines say leadership at their company is out of touch with employee expectations and

1. Employees have a new “worth it” equation. 67% of employees in the Philippines say they’re more likely to prioritize their health and wellbeing over work than before the pandemic. And the Great Reshuffle isn’t over: 46% of Gen Z and Millennials in the Philippines are likely to consider changing employers in the year ahead.

3. Leaders need to make the office worth the commute. 48% of hybrid employees in the Philippines say their biggest challenge is knowing when and why to come into the office yet only 38% of leaders have created team agreements to define these new norms. 4. Flexible work doesn’t have to mean “always on.” 66% of workers in the Philippines are open to using immersive digital spaces for meetings in the next year, compared to 52% globally.

2. Managers feel wedged between leadership and employee expectations. 69% of leaders in the Philippines say May 2022

81% of managers in the Philippines say they don’t have the influence or resources to drive change for their team.

5. Rebuilding social capital looks different in a hybrid

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Five years since the launch of Teams, more than 270 million people rely on Teams for hybrid work. The company has announced new features across Microsoft Teams, Microsoft 365, Surface Hub, and Microsoft Viva to empower hybrid work and address employees’ new expectations for the workplace. Making hybrid work ‘work’ for everyone will require intentional leadership around how, when, and where to work — and technology has a key role to play. Microsoft is introducing new product innovations designed to improve the hybrid work experience. Available in public preview at the end of the month, Teams Connect shared channels enable collaboration with people inside and outside the organization from a shared workspace. To bridge the gap between digital and physical workspaces, a new meeting layout for Teams Rooms, front row, is available in preview.

world. With 60% of hybrid workers in the Philippines considering a shift to full-remote in the year ahead, companies cannot rely solely on the office to recoup the social capital we’ve lost over the past two years. 43% of leaders in the Philippines say relationship-building is the greatest challenge of having employees work hybrid or remote. “There’s no erasing the lived experience and lasting impact of the past two years, as flexibility and well-being have become non-negotiables for employees,” said Jared Spataro, corporate vice president, Modern Work, Microsoft. “By embracing and adapting to these new expectations, organizations can set their people and their business up for long-term success.”

New touch-enabled display solutions for Teams Rooms from Neat and Yealink are in the process of being certified for Teams Rooms on Android. These devices combine audio, video, touch display and compute in a single unit — allowing easy deployment and enhanced collaboration experiences. The new AI-powered Microsoft Surface Hub 2 Smart Camera uses automatic framing technology to dynamically adjust your Teams video feed to provide remote team members with a dynamic view of in-room interactions. The language interpretation feature in Teams enables live interpreters to convert what the speaker says into another language in near realtime. The meeting organizer can assign interpreters and select up to 16 source and target language combinations, while attendees will hear the translation. Microsoft Whiteboard in Teams offers a rich set of new capabilities that bring visual collaboration to life, including collaboration cursors, more than 50 new templates, contextual reactions, and the ability to open existing boards and collaborate with external colleagues in Teams meetings.

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To improve hybrid brainstorming, completion of action items, and making decisions together without having to switch context or apps, Microsoft is introducing Loop components in Outlook mail. RSVPing for a meeting in Outlook now allows attendees to note whether they plan to join in person or virtually. Microsoft is introducing a new offering in Microsoft Teams Phone called Operator Connect Mobile, in partnership with some of the world’s largest telecom operators. This assigns a single business-provided mobile phone number for desktop and mobile devices, making it seamless to move calls across networks and devices with no interruptions. With vibrant and fun styling, over 1,800 new 3D fluent emojis can infuse expression and playfulness into messages. And with the skin tone selector, users have the option to pick emojis that better represents themselves. To support flexible work styles, two PowerPoint experiences, cameo and recording studio, are being brought together. This will make it possible for presenters to deliver presentations with PowerPoint Live in Teams, whether or not they attend the meeting. A new feature called the Inspiration library is coming to Microsoft Viva in public preview as part of the Viva Insights app in Teams. The library is designed to give employees, managers, and leaders easy access to thought leadership and best practices from top sources such as “Harvard Business Review” and “Thrive.” May 2022


Employment

Hybrid Work Depends on Quality Internet Philippine Workforce Demand Access to Fast and Reliable Internet to Succeed with Hybrid Work, Cisco Study Says

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he success of hybrid work hinges on the quality and availability of the internet. 91% of workers say broadband services need to dramatically improve to support this new way of working. Workers also demand not only speed but also a high level of reliability and quality. A similar proportion (91%) say the reliability and quality of broadband connections are important to them. Dependence on high-performance internet access is underlined by the fact that over eight out of 10 (86%) Philippine workers actively use their broadband at home for four hours or more each day. Meanwhile, three or more people use the internet at the same time in 83% of Philippine households.

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Employment Many teleworkers need more than a basic level of connectivity to support their livelihoods. To address the demands on their broadband connection, more than half (52%) of Philippine workers surveyed are planning to upgrade their internet service in the next 12 months. “With hybrid working continuing to be the mainstay for Philippines’ workforce, access to high-performance, secure, and reliable internet is critical for employees to work effectively and productively when they are away from the office,” said Zaza Soriano Nicart, managing director, Cisco Philippines. “At Cisco, we work closely with our service provider customers to provide best-in-class internet infrastructure and services across the Philippines, enabling the success of a future-proof hybrid workforce, where employees can collaborate seamlessly and securely, no matter where they are.” Critical for Small and Medium Enterprises With 48% of the Philippines’ workforce now relying on their home internet to work from home or run their own business, access to secure, reliable internet is more important than ever to ensure the smooth running of operations.

May 2022

This is especially critical for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), that do not have the same resources and IT infrastructure as larger enterprises.

that security is top of mind for many respondents.

At the same time, a new digital business environment has emerged where ambitious entrepreneurs, start-ups and SMEs can prosper, fostering innovation across industries. 99.5% of all businesses in the Philippines are Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises (MSME), according to the 2020 List of Establishments of the Philippine Statistics Authority. To that end, broadband connectivity will play a key role in the growth and evolution of this core business category.

Beyond the business world, improving the quality of access to the internet has a far broader impact on the economy and society. 92% of respondents in the Philippines believe that having access to fast and reliable internet is critical to future economic growth, and 90% believe it is critical to developing and maintaining a well-educated population. A similar number of Philippine respondents (91%) say everyone should be able to securely connect to fast and reliable internet, regardless of location.

Security Is Vital In order to work from anywhere, employees need to connect to their company’s networks and applications from outside the office, accessing private data across multiple locations, through multiple devices, and via public and private networks. Workers are becoming increasingly aware that safety and security, as well as speed and reliability, will be vital to the success of hybrid working. 66% of Philippine workers who work remotely full time or in a hybrid work arrangement would pay more for a safe broadband connection, revealing

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Bridging the Digital Divide

“As of today, more than 40% of the world still remains unconnected. The inability to connect those roughly 3.4 billion people over the next 10 years risks widening the digital divide even more,” said Guy Diedrich, SVP & global innovation officer, Cisco. “As business leaders and technologists, we must help the rising tide of the digital age lift all ships; time is of the essence.” Data from the Cisco Broadband Index survey underscores concerns regarding the digital divide: 78% of Philippine respondents say access to affordable and

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reliable broadband will become a major issue for people, as connectivity becomes even more vital for access to job and educational opportunities. More than eight out of 10 (87%) of the Philippines’ workforce say they were unable to access critical services such as online medical appointments, online education, social care, and utility services during the lockdown, due to an unreliable broadband connection.

digitization agenda and deliver beneficial services to Filipinos. For example, as part of its Country Digital Acceleration program, Ugnayan 2030, Cisco is working with PLDT on joint private 5G trials, to deep dive into the best solutions that will enable enterprises to leverage the benefit of 5G in terms of speed, security, and reliability,” added Nicart.

“Cisco is committed to working with government agencies, industry partners, and the academia in the Philippines to accelerate the country’s national

The critical need for universal broadband presents a big opportunity for governments and industries to work together and take action. 91%

Partnering for Digital Inclusion

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of respondents would like to see governments accelerate plans to ensure high-speed and reliable internet is available to everyone. Governments can establish broadband policies and programs that encourage competition, drive internet investments, and expand their reach. Employers can support their workforce by adopting the right technology for their particular hybrid work model. Service providers can partner with governments to develop programs that address the needs of the unserved or underserved and adopt new ways of networking to power the ‘Internet for the Future’ that will meet demand.

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ALL-NEW

TOYOTA VELOZ The 7-Seater Reinvented

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eading automotive and mobility company Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) has further expanded its Commercial Vehicle (CV) lineup with the reintroduction of the All-New Veloz as its newest sub-compact SUV. “The arrival of the All-New Veloz is very timely. With the reopening of the economy, and destinations all over the country already welcoming travelers, it is Toyota’s goal to address the ever growing need of Filipinos to move together with thrill and joy. And so we introduce this new sub-compact SUV perfect for families and friends seeking to discover new adventures,” said TMP president Atsuhiro Okamoto during the launch event.

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The newly unveiled 7-seater boasts of a modern striking design inside and out exuding the premium feel of an SUV. Positioned as a sub-compact group carrier for adventurous families and friends, Toyota prioritized comfort and convenience in designing the spacious cabin. And along with the excellent performance ready to take on the demands of users seeking thrill and excitement of their daily drives, comes life-enhancing safety features for added protection and peace of mind. The All-New Veloz comes in two variants and is now available through all of TMP’s 72 dealers nationwide, starting at PHP1,185,000 for the 1.5 G CVT and PHP1,225,000 for the 1.5 V CVT. Every ride on the All-New Veloz is an invitation to “Discover the Extraordinary” through a full sensory May 2022

experience. Guided by a new global design platform, the vehicle is engineered to provide improved driving and riding experience that combines driving power, pleasure, and safety. Both the 1.5 V and 1.5 G variants come with a 4-cylinder, dual VVT-i gasoline engine and are available in CVT transmission with 3 drive modes — Normal, Eco and Sport. On the outside, its new sleek design is fronted by a modern-looking front grille accented by split-type LED headlamps with sequential turn signals. Complementing this is an equally commanding rear with LED line guide back door garnish. The stylish ride package also comes with outside rear view mirrors with auto fold and welcome lamp features, and 17-inch alloy wheels. Exclusive to the

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Philippine build of the All-New Veloz is the overfender to accentuate its SUV design. The keyless Smart Entry and Push Start System features makes the ride intuitive, convenient, and suited for the on-the-go profile of the All-New Veloz’ target customers. Inside the vehicle, passengers are welcomed by an ambient lighting that complements the overall feel of the interior, accented by fabric and synthetic leather seat materials. Whether on-the-move or stationary, seating is made more comfortable and spacious, with the long sofa mode as an added option. The 7-inch TFT Multi-Information Display rests perfectly on the dashboard along with the 9-inch multimedia display (8-inch for G CVT) equipped with Apple Carplay gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


and Android Auto for seamless mobile connectivity and controls. Power will not be a problem during long drives as the All-New Veloz also has wireless smartphone charging capability. The All-New Veloz also comes with a whole new level of safety with the V CVT variant being the latest to be equipped with useful Toyota Safety Sense (TSS) features. Road trips and long drives are now safer with PreCollision System, Automatic High Beam, and Lane Departure Alert - all added on top of other standard and advanced safety features like the panoramic view monitor and rear cross traffic alert, blind spot monitoring, hill start assist control, six SRS airbags aided by other instinctive driving

features like the electronic parking brake with auto hold. Discover extraordinary adventures today with the All-New Veloz available in Dark Red Mica Metallic, Black Metallic 1, Purplish Silver Mica Metallic and Platinum White Pearl Mica. For complete specifications and other information, visit toyota.com.ph/veloz.

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THE NEW

PEUGEOT 2008 SUV The New PEUGEOT 2008 SUV is a 5-seater compact, next generation SUV and is the ultramodern interpretation of an instinctive and versatile driving experience.

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“The New PEUGEOT 2008 completes our SUV line-up for the Philippines alongside the New PEUGEOT 5008 and New PEUGEOT 3008. All three SUVs give Filipinos access to the unmatched experience that our PEUGEOT global SUVs offer, in three size options that meet the varying needs and lifestyles of our customers,” said Maricar Parco, Brand Head, PEUGEOT Philippines. Top of the Class Power and Performance The New PEUGEOT 2008 SUV is equipped with driving aids and safety features, such as Visiopark 1 180° rear view camera, Active Lane Keeping Assist, Driver Attention Assist, Blind Spot Monitoring, and Active Safety Brake. Other standard safety features May 2022

include six SRS Airbags, Hill Start Assist, and Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which includes Anti-lock Braking System (ABS), Electronic Brake-Force Distribution (EBD) and Emergency Brake Assist (EBA).

The New PEUGEOT 2008 is assembled at the Stellantis manufacturing plant in Gurun, Malaysia. All vehicles built at the Stellantis manufacturing plant

It also comes with conveniences such as Advanced Keyless Entry (with AutoUnlock & Walk Away Lock), Front & Rear Parking Sensors, Rear Camera, Roof Rails and Electric Foldable Wing Mirrors. Powered by the award-winning 1.2L 3-cylinder turbocharged PureTech engine, the New PEUGEOT 2008 SUV delivers a robust 130 horsepower and 230 Nm of torque. The turbocharged engine is paired with a quick-shifting, six-speed automatic transmission.

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in Gurun undergo specific endurance and quality testing in Malaysia, to deliver best-in-class performance for local conditions and to meet the needs of customers in Southeast Asia. The New PEUGEOT 2008 has successfully endured 200,000 kilometres of testing in Malaysia’s diverse climate and environmental landscape. An Award-Winning SUV The New PEUGEOT 2008 was recently awarded Thailand Car of the Year accolades at the 2022 Thailand Car of the Year Awards, together with the New PEUGEOT 3008. The PEUGEOT 2008 was named Best Petrol SUV under 1,200 cc and the PEUGEOT 3008 was awarded Best Petrol SUV under 1,800 cc, at the awards ceremony held in Bangkok last month.

“We are honored that two of our PEUGEOT vehicles, built here in South East Asia, are the recipients of such prestigious and notable awards in Thailand,” said Christophe Musy, Senior Vice President ASEAN & General Distributors at Stellantis. “There’s never been a better time to get behind the wheel of the PEUGEOT 2008 and the PEUGEOT 3008, to discover just what makes these award-winning SUVs so special.” Pricing, Colors and Availability The New PEUGEOT 2008 SUV is priced at PHP 1,550,00 and offered in four colors: Amazonite Grey, Pearl White, Nera Black, and the model’s exclusive color Fusion Orange. It comes with a manufacturer warranty of three years or 100,000 kilometers, whichever

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comes first, and periodic checks for every 10,000 kilometers mileage interval. Customers are invited to book a test drive by contacting their nearest PEUGEOT Philippines dealer. Visit https://www.peugeot.ph to download the eBrochure of the New PEUGEOT 2008 and to read more about PEUGEOT Philippines. May 2022


MOBILITY

AWARDS FOR THE ALL-NEW KIA CARNIVAL 2021 GOOD DESIGN Awards: Top Honors in the Transportation Category Two Kia models recently bagged the top honors in the ‘Transportation’ category. The all-new Carnival and the EV6 were awarded for their bold and elegant designs. “Securing these GOOD DESIGN awards is an endorsement of the approach we took with the styling of the Kia EV6 and Kia Carnival,” said Karim Habib, Head of Kia Design Center. “We are determined to ensure Kia keeps challenging the boundaries of automotive design.” May 2022

GOOD DESIGN is one of the oldest and most prestigious design competitions in the world. Each year, they recognize innovators and products that aim to push the boundaries of design, function, and sustainability. 2021 IIHS: Top Safety Pick Award The all-new Carnival (US specs) also received the Top Safety Pick Award in the Minivan category from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The model was applauded for its superior crash avoidance and mitigation systems.

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The IIHS is a globally-respected organization that champions road safety through intense research and careful evaluation. To qualify for an award, models must earn high safety ratings in different criteria. The Carnival received top marks in all of them. And Kia’s Award-Winning Streak Doesn’t Stop There! Other Awards The Carnival was also named the 2022 “Family Vehicle of the Year” by AutoGuide, a US-based automotive media group trusted by millions globally. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


Among the hundreds of models driven and tested, the Carnival stood out for its spectacular interior capacity, advanced safety features, and stylish design. In addition, it was awarded as one of the ‘Best New Cars for 2022’ by online auto marketplace AutoTrader, whose Executive Editor Brian Moody praised the model’s high-quality design and overall value. Finally, the annual Newsweek Autos Awards named it the Best Minivan. It won for its dynamic performance, luxurious interior, advanced safety features, and overall design.

Aside from the Carnival, the Kia EV6 was hailed as 2022 Car of the Year in the prestigious European Car of the Year Awards. Indeed, Kia has firmly established itself as an innovative and inspiring awardwinning brand. “From the beginning, we have anchored ourselves on the brand’s reliability,” said Manny Aligada, president of Kia Philippines. These recent acknowledgments just boosted our motivation to inspire the automotive market and up the game in terms of giving the market what they truly deserve.”

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Feeling inspired to bring home an award-winning vehicle from an awardwinning brand? Good news! The luxurious Kia Carnival is now available in the country after its Philippine launch last February 17, 2022. It comes with a starting price of PHP 2,540,000. Find the dealer nearest your location now via www.kia.com. May 2022


MOBILITY

MAXXIS TREPADOR O

ff-road driving in the Philippines is such a thrilling experience. Imagine braving the terrain that only a few have conquered and maneuvered! Nothing beats the perfect off-roading conditions that the Philippines has — the challenging terrain conditions, the steep departure angles, and the adrenaline brought by the weather.

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its unique tread element arrangement that creates a uniform and bigger contact patch. The tire, which is perfect for mud terrain, has a heavy-duty bias-ply construction known for excellent durability and tread flexibility. Feel the grip from every angle with its sidewall biting points that sustain and improve contact on difficult off-road and rocky terrain. If you’re afraid to drive it on roads, don’t worry because it’s been DOTapproved and recommended for vehicles with a maximum speed of 100kph. Designed to conquer off-road terrain with ease, the Trepador M8060 is the championship-winning tire for Ultra4 European 2019 Champion Jim Marsden. “When racing the world’s most extreme off-road races, you need a tire that delivers, and that for me is the Maxxis Trepador. Its aggressive multi-lug tread pattern performs well at speed and in harsh environments,” Marsden said.

To conquer the challenging terrain, one needs both unparalleled driving skills and top-of-the-line tires to unleash one’s potential.

TREPADOR M9060: Bringing uncompromised safety and endurance Meanwhile, the Trepador M9060 is reliable on all types of terrain, whether it’s wet or dry. Also known as the mud Trepador, the tire is designed to withstand punctures, endure low air pressure, improve off-road stability and handling, and provide strong traction in all types of terrain for superior driving performance. It is perfect for unpaved roads and off-road trails as it delivers sports traction and endurance yet never compromises on safety. Just like the M8060, the Trepador M9060 has a nylon and composite belt that reinforces tire construction which significantly improves puncture resistance and prolongs tread life. The tire is an off-road warrior with its staggered shoulder pattern offering better grip even if you’re on a difficult muddy track or rocky terrain. And thanks to its unique tread, you are guaranteed an even tread contact even for rock-solid road holding. When it comes to off-roading tires, Maxxis is unlike any other, says Dungca. The two tires are sure to give racers safety, performance, value, and grip, regardless of the off-road condition. And because Maxxis can come up with products that are truly top of the line, nothing can endure the tough life of a 4x4 than these two off-road beasts.

TREPADOR M8060: The choice of champions The Trepador M8060 is an extreme 4×4 off-road tire, proven in a huge number of championships internationally. It is extremely resistant to punctures, thanks to its nylon and high tension composite belt that also acts as reinforcement for extreme “air down” capability and extra high-speed stability. It provides excellent traction on and off-road with

Maxxis Trepador tires are available at selected dealers nationwide. Visit https://www.maxxis.com.ph/ to choose a dealer nearest you!

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MOBILITY

AVATR

Changan Embarks on Global EV Offensive

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ith China regaining dominance in the global EV market, cornering 53% of global sales in 2021, Changan Automobile levels up its new energy vehicle capabilities with the addition of the Avatr EV brand. Changan Auto, entered into a joint venture with 5G leader Huawei, and Contemporary Amperex Technology Co., Limited (CATL), the world’s leading lithium battery maker, to develop a new breed of intelligent high-performing electric cars under the Avatr brand. Avatr will operate as an independent entity, assembling EVs based on its new architecture, using automotive chips designed by Huawei. The first Avatr model is expected to hit the China market this year, boasting

“Given these exciting developments, Changan is truly on a massive EV offensive. Under its new energy program, the Shangri-La Plan, it aims to be a global leader in EV by 2030. With the rising fuel prices and the Electric Vehicles and Charging

Stations Act (Senate Bill No. 1382) soon to be passed into law, we are optimistic that the much-desired EV ecosystem will be established, so that more and more Filipinos will be given the chance to enjoy the benefits of owning one of world’s best-selling pure electric cars,” said Ma. Fe PerezAgudo, CMPI President and CEO of Changan Motor Philippines, Inc. (CMPI), the official distributor of Changan cars in the Philippines.

Ma. Fe Perez-Agudo, CMPI President and CEO

Known to dedicate some 5% of its annual sales to research and development, the Changan Group recently announced a whopping USD12.55-billion priority investment on NEVs by the end of 2025 with projected sales of 1.5 million electric cars and plug-in hybrids or some 35% of the company’s total sales for that year.

200kW of supercharging, a driving range of up to 700km on one charge, and acceleration time of zero to 100kph in less than four seconds.

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MOBILITY

3M School Zone Transformations 100-school commitment to serve as a global model to help children get to school safely by increasing pedestrian visibility and road safety

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oad traffic accidents are the leading cause of death for children five years and older worldwide, according to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. To help protect the lives of our most vulnerable pedestrians—children—3M announced its commitment to increase safety and visibility in 100 school zones in 23 countries, around the world including the Philippines and ten other countries in Asia by 2024. As part of its ongoing commitment to road and transportation safety, 3M commissioned third-party independent research in 11 countries back in 2021 to identify the top concerns of adults relative to getting to and from home safely, as well as their views on the current state of transportation safety in their communities. In Asia Pacific (APAC), as many as 46% of those surveyed reported having a family member or close friend who has died or been seriously injured in a traffic accident, significantly higher than the 33% globally. Ranking high among community transportation safety concerns, 84% of parents (vs 75% globally) are concerned about getting their children to and from school safely.

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In fact, according to the International Road Assessment Programme’s (iRAP) Vaccines for Roads Big Data Tool, traffic accidents kill nearly 2,000 people and injure 54,000 every day across the Asia Pacific region. In the Philippines, over 65,000 road accidents were recorded in Metro Manila last 2020, averaging 178 road-crash incidents per day. Improving school zone safety by 2024 3M has been working in communities around the world to help make roads safer for all, with the mission of helping bring families home safely. From this year to 2024, 3M aims to amplify its commitment to keeping roads safe with its school zone transformations. Underdeveloped roadways, a lack of crosswalks and poor visibility in school zones put our youngest pedestrians at particular risk when walking and biking to and from school. The rate at which these incidents happen drastically increases within low-income countries and communities indicating a clear need for change, according to the World Health Organization. 3M recognizes the urgency in addressing these dangers and the need for safer school zones. “3M’s commitment to improve school zone safety centers on the belief that every child deserves a chance at an education and getting to school safely shouldn’t be a barrier,” says Dr. Dan Chen, president, 3M Transportation Safety Division. “Over the next two years, we will work with NGOs and government agencies to improve safety in school zones and develop a scalable model for high-risk and underresourced communities to create safer roads for all children.” “In addition to continuing our advocacy work for improving road safety standards, we at 3M Philippines are

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committed to helping schools across the country become more secure for their students by keeping the roads around them safe,” said Reggie Pulumbarit, 3M Philippines Country Leader. “We are currently partnering with several local schools and institutions to support our mission to advance safety in school zones and road systems in order to keep our children safe, and their education secure.” Community collaboration For more than eight decades, 3M’s Transportation Safety Division has had the mission to advance transportation infrastructure and mobility globally. The installation of high-performance road materials and technologies, like Diamond Grade Reflective Sheeting for school zone signage and Pavement Marking Tape to help improve reflectivity and visibility for motorists and pedestrians, have helped families return home safely. And while technology and innovation are necessary steps to create safer road conditions, 3M continues to collaborate and work with communities, civic and government leaders, policymakers, NGOs and other organizations to help lead change and create safer roadway systems globally. As a member of the UN Global Compact, 3M believes in the role public-private partnerships can play in solving pressing global issues, such as road and transportation safety. 3M is a signatory of the Call on President Biden to End Roadway Fatalities and a pledge of the United Nations General Assembly Decade of Action for Road Safety to prevent at least 50 percent of road traffic deaths and injuries by 2030. To get involved and learn more about 3M’s School Zone Road Safety, visit 3M.com/schoolzonesafety.

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“3M’s commitment to improve school zone safety centers on the belief that every child deserves a chance at an education and getting to school safely shouldn’t be a barrier,”

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MOBILITY

PriceLOCQ App

Fuel-saving mobile app now accepted in more SEAOIL stations nationwide

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riceLOCQ — the fuel-saving mobile app powered by SEAOIL in partnership with LOCQ, OPC, a fintech company — continues to grow as it rolls out to more stations nationwide.

purchased fuel to drivers anywhere in the Philippines via SMS through the portal. Once sent to recipients, they can simply present the code sent and gas up at SEAOIL branches nationwide that accept PriceLOCQ.

“PriceLOCQ’s primary goal of helping our consumers be more cost-efficient and save on fuel costs is timelier than ever. The app being available to more motorists is needed as fuel prices are volatile due to events happening around the world that affect the global fuel market,” said SEAOIL president for Retail and CFO Mark Yu in a statement.

As a reminder, SEAOIL shared some tips on how to maximize PriceLOCQ’s money-saving benefits. First, understand price trends by making long-term and short-term comparisons. Compare long-term price trends to

Yu added that businesses can also make the most out of their fuel budget through PriceLOCQ for Business (PLB). Packaged as an all-in-one web portal, PLB can lock current oil prices before a projected increase for future use, and fuel can still be redeemed at the same price. Fleet managers and businesses can opt to buy and store as much as 10,000-liters of gasoline or diesel in a virtual tank, reflected as “fuel balance.”

Since its introduction to the market in 2020, PriceLOCQ has grown to have more than 200,000 active users. More than 260 SEAOIL stations now accept the PriceLOCQ app, and targets more than 400 participating stations nationwide before the year ends.

And in keeping up with contactless and real-time transactions, fleet managers and owners using PLB can distribute May 2022

understand if current prices are really high or if this is a short fluctuation. Conversely, use shortterm price trends to plan current fuel purchases. Second, maximize savings from PriceLOCQ bybuying fuel when prices are low and redeeming when prices are high. Remember, fuel can be purchased ahead of time through the PriceLOCQ app and PriceLOCQ for Business platform. Lastly, be realistic about the amount of fuel that is purchased. Understand your fuel consumption and use that as a base line. Don’t forget to consider your risk tolerance for fuel price movements.

For more information on PriceLOCQ, visit www.pricelocq. com.

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“PriceLOCQ’s primary goal of helping our consumers be more cost-efficient and save on fuel costs is timelier than ever. The app being available to more motorists is needed as fuel prices are volatile due to events happening around the world that affect the global fuel market,”

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Logistics

NINJA VAN AUTOMATED HUB T ech-enabled logistics company Ninja Van Philippines continues to strive for operational excellence in order to better meet the needs of its customers nationwide. Along with strengthening its core services and improving delivery speed, the company has installed new sortation systems in its new automated hub in Cabuyao, Laguna. Spanning 21,000sqm, this is the largest automated hub and sortation system in the whole Ninja Van Group.

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With integrated parcel measurement and real-time parcel status connectivity, these latest sortation systems will ensure that Ninja Van Philippines has the capacity to fulfill the growing delivery demand in the country. One of the key highlights is a double-deck cross belt sorter that simultaneously measures, weighs, photographs, and sorts parcels at an estimated throughput rate of 20,000 units per hour. Not only that, but the new belt also provides seamless real-time parcel data, sharing instant feedback and updates to shippers and shoppers on their parcel status. Faster deliveries can be expected as the crossbelt sorter boosts Ninja Van Philippines’s receiving capacity by 300% with a 400% increase in outbound speed. In terms of speed, it has increased the number of parcels processed per hour by 400% and spatial capacity by 500%.

“The addition of new sortation systems in our Cabuyao hub is part of our continued efforts for operational excellence With this, we can ensure on-time deliveries and better customer service that are in line with the customer-first agenda that we are pushing at Ninja Van Philippines,” said Vin Perez, Ninja Van Philippines chief operating officer. “The cross belt sorter is ideal for a company like Ninja Van Philippines given our high throughput needs. This will increase the accuracy and efficiency of our sorting process so that we can fulfill more deliveries in the least amount of time.”

(L-R): Ninja Van Philippines country head Martin Cu and chief operating officer Vin Perez at the Cabuyao automated hub.

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With this operational innovation, shippers, and shoppers can look forward to a fast, reliable, and hassle-free delivery experience as well as excellent customer service for logistic needs and parcel concerns with Ninja Van Philippines. May 2022


Gaming

Words by Jose Alvarez DEVELOPER PLATFORM

May 2022

Gearbox Software

PUBLISHER

2K Games

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

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hink of all the things you loved in Borderlands, and bring it to a spin-off. Think of some of the funniest moments of the Borderlands series, and bring it to a spin-off. This is what Tiny Tina’s Wonderlands is all about—humor, shooting things, and a lighthearted take on one of the most popular tabletop RPGs of all time, Dungeons & Dragons.

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Tina’s Assault on Dragon Keep DLC from 2013’s Borderlands 2. This also has the fun of being a game within another game: you’re in a roleplaying campaign called Bunkers & Badasses, a clear parody of Dungeons & Dragons. Tiny Tina, who serves as the dungeon master, can change the world as she sees fit, and the plot revolves around stopping the Dragon Lord.

shooters) into one convenient package. There is no shortage of guns—after all, this is a Borderlands 2 spin-off we’re talking about. You can also wield melee weapons for the first time, and you can use new equipment such as rings and amulets. This allows for greater customization of your character, and mixing and matching can help you play in your own unique way.

While looting and shooting can be hours of mindless fun if you just want to take a load off, this game takes the absurdity to an 11. You’re playing as Tiny Tina from the Borderlands 2: Tiny

If you’ve played tabletop RPGs, you know how absurd the dungeon master (DM) can get during campaigns, and this game blends together two of my favorite things (comedy and first-person

Those familiar with the series can hop in and play without having to learn too many new things, but the real fun begins with all the references to tabletop RPGs—including a quest where you

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Gaming

have to remove someone’s “plot armor” or an Among Us-esque quest where you get way too suspicious about a generic NPC. Other hilarious things thrown in include turning enemies into sheep, and the voice acting provided by veteran actors such as Will Arnett, Wanda Sykes, and Andy Samberg kept me captivated for quite some time. The game seems to polish some issues, such as allowing you to make your own class from a list of character classes. You can make your character truly your own—but if you’re playing with friends, make sure you agree upon what skills you all will take before you dive into the game. One thing I wasn’t a fan of is the combat, which forced you to kill things to proceed, rather than just looting treasure and killing along May 2022

“Those familiar with the series can hop in and play without having to learn too many new things, but the real fun begins with all the references to tabletop RPGs—including a quest where you have to remove someone’s “plot armor” or an Among Us-esque quest where you get way too suspicious about a generic NPC.” the way. This is very uncharacteristic compared to many games in the same genre that I have played over the years. The enemies are pretty generic until you finish the storyline and enter The Chaos Chamber, which is basically a more difficult version of the game with roguelike mechanics but gaining rewards and experience really pay off when you reach this part of the game.

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As of this writing, at least one DLC has been released for the game, and more are on the way. Hopefully, these DLCs can add variety and spice to a game that is already fun but can become boring if played for far too long. So far, there have been rumors of a seventh class and more new endgame content, the Mirrors of Mystery, which increases the difficulty through each playthrough. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


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Gaming

Game Well-Played Globe launches massive games and esports efforts for 2022

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ike online shopping, remote work, and virtual learning, gaming has reached a whole different level in the past couple of years. 2020 statistics reveal that 43 million gamers drove the unprecedented rise in the Philippine gaming industry and across Southeast Asia, with 74% of the Philippine online gaming population playing on their mobile devices, 65% on PC games, and 45% playing on the classic console games. Despite this, gaming continues to be surrounded by a stigma that dampens the good that it brings. As such, Globe has launched the campaign, “Game WellPlayed”, banding gamers from all over the country to flex the good in gaming, ignite understanding, and draw support for the gaming industry across the Philippines. “While there are many stereotypes and stigma around gaming, we believe that there is value to acquire in spending hours of training for a competition or simply getting lost in a new world while meeting new friends. In seemingly dire battlegrounds, strategic thinking and creativity can flourish,” said Rina Siongco, head of Get Entertained Tribe at Globe. #KakalaroKoYanWithGlobe Movement The campaign kicked off with the #KakalaroKoYanWithGlobe movement where everyone is encouraged to share

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the different benefits gaming has brought in their everyday lives, to break the stereotype around it by answering the question: “Ano nga ba ang napapala ko sa paglalaro?” Renowned gamers like Cherizawa and Boss Maw shared how gaming helped them gain valuable skills like time management, financial independence, and multitasking in a series of social media posts using the campaign hashtag. They recount that gamers can develop these skills while playing the likes of Mobile Legends, wherein one needs to protect one’s tower while leveling up their skills in the game to make their hero stronger. At the same time, in a clash, you need to be able to look out for your teammates—even heal them—while making sure you defeat your enemies. Echoing this is a newly released digital film produced by Globe called “Good Son,” where the narrative shows how a player draws support from his gaming community to help with his family’s needs. Ralph Aligada, head of games and esports at Globe, said, “with #KakalaroKoYanwithGlobe, we encourage everyone to see the good gaming brings beyond the screen. More than the entertainment it brings, gaming can actually help an individual to develop skills and capabilities that can help him be more successful in life, enabling him to help others too.” May 2022


Gaming

Globe goes all out in support of the PH gaming scene Globe has announced massive efforts to fuel the passion for gaming, for the good of the Filipino gaming community. To make gaming more accessible, Globe improves its Go+ offers with GoPLAY, which promises more gaming apps and free in-game vouchers soon for a more leveled-up gaming experience. Aside from games such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang (MLBB), PUBG Mobile, Call of Duty Mobile (CODM), League of Legends Wild Rift, Valorant, and Legends of Runeterra, fans can also look forward to the addition of Genshin Impact and Pokemon Unite in the exciting roster of games of GoPLAY, soon. Genshin Impact is an open-world action role-playing game set in the fantasy world of Teyvat, home to seven distinct nations with different elements and ruled by May 2022

different gods. Players need to conquer different challenges by using different characters and their skills to unlock a new World Level. Meanwhile, Pokemon Unite is yet another exciting game that comes from everyone’s favorite Pokemon franchise. “As we make these games available exclusively on GoPLAY, we aim to give our customers more avenues to discover new worlds and experiences that will help them develop skills that can be used in real life,” said Globe Prepaid brand head Givielle Florida. With the power of Globe’s 5G connectivity, which is perfect for gaming with its real-time latency for quicker response time, users can also expect no less of an elevated gaming experience. Meanwhile, aside from innovating its services and portfolio, Globe is dedicated to changing things up and establishing its position as the leading partner in

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gaming in the country by throwing its full support to professional leagues like Philippine Pro Gaming League (PPGL), and organizations like AcadArena and Blacklist International. They’re also teaming up with play-to-earn enablers like Sky Mavis, publishers of Axie Infinity, to give players the opportunity to achieve financial independence while still having fun. Globe Broadband’s partnership with PPGL is a year-long partnership that supports Riot’s game titles in the Philippines as well as being the hosts of this year’s Valorant Challengers Tour and the WildRift Champions of SouthEast Asia. “Through this partnership with PPGL, we aim to uplift esports in the country by providing them with avenues to display their skills and rise up the ranks. We hope to nurture their passion starting at home so they can confidently reach the top of the boards and show the world that Filipino gamers are truly a cut above the gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


rest,” said Marinella Cruel, head of Home Prepaid Wifi, Globe At Home. Globe Gamer Grounds: The Gateway to Good Gaming Globe takes the notch higher by partnering with leading tech solutions companies that have been continuously supporting innovations in esports around the globe — Telekom Malaysia and Swarmio Media. With this partnership comes an all-in-one gaming platform that will surely ignite the passion in every gamer: Globe Gamer Grounds.

new skin or a new set of weapons; track records and rise up the ranks, or simply stream all the best games,” said Tesh Kapadia, executive vice-president for global sales of Swarmio Media. “We developed Globe Gamer Grounds with Telekom Malaysia and Swarmio Media to strengthen our mission to empower every Filipino to pursue a game well-played,” said Aligada. “More than access, we want to continue to evolve and offer innovative products

and platforms for gamers of all kinds. From the competitive players that play to take home championship titles and bring home earnings for their families, to those who achieve excellence by beating their previous records, and to the casual ones who simply want to enjoy the games they are playing–it’s always a game well-played with Globe,” he said. To know more about how Globe empowers Filipinos to own their future in gaming, visit http://glbe.co/ GlobeGamerGrounds.

“Globe Gamer Grounds is an all-inone gaming platform that’s easy to use for any type of gamer–whether you’re a newbie, casual gamer, or a pro. True to Globe’s vision, we developed it with thoughtfulness to let users enjoy a massive portfolio of games that will fit every gamer’s fancy; connect with friends and battle it out on the grounds; buy upgrades for characters, may it be a

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Entertainment

‘TraDigital’ entertainment for the Pinoy audience

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new “traDigital” company backed by the 917Ventures Retirement Fund is set to revolutionize the Philippine entertainment industry with the launch of KROMA Entertainment Inc. KROMA brings together passionate content and experienced creators, the best talent, and innovative technology to produce fresh and engaging entertainment for the Filipino audience. KROMA offers entertainment for all across screens and formats, be it highquality films, series, TV shows, music, digital content, or events. May 2022

The company is a culmination of Globe’s years of groundwork to further enrich and future-proof the Globe Group ecosystem. “We are excited to share KROMA with you. It’s a treasure trove of creative and innovative content that’s relevant to our audiences, featuring the country’s best creators, and talents. We are determined to forge a new path for entertainment,” says Ian Monsod, CEO of Kroma Entertainment, Inc. “Our vision is to become the leading TraDigital entertainment player in the Philippines in line with our goal of entertainment for all.”

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The Globe Group is going full-scale into entertainment with KROMA, expanding its earlier venture into live events, production, publishing, and music with what was then called Globe Entertainment (GENT). KROMA’s brands offer a new entertainment experience, converging to create a more engaging, exciting, and different experience for its clients and audiences. While revamped, LIVE MNL, a rebrand of Globe Live, still works on events and activations on the ground, online, and in hybrid. They are keeping gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


the same standards that have made them a keepsake in the industry after successfully bringing to life events such as It’s A Girl Thing, ETO NA! Musikal nAPO! and the first-ever Korean virtual fan meet back in 2020. Likewise rebranded, Globe Studios has spun off its businesses: ANIMA continues to produce award-winning and critically-acclaimed films, series, and podcasts. SECRET MENU, a full-service production house, creates branded content and television commercials.

time, interactive entertainment channel. It provides memorable and rewarding experiences, prizes, and connections for and with Filipinos. Rounding up the KROMA roster are Wonder, a pop culture and style platform, and FreebieMNL, everyone’s destination for the latest news and deals on food and lifestyle. To know more about Kroma, visit https://www.kroma.ph/.

KROMA CEO Ian Monsod

KROMA likewise takes charge of the music label PARADISE RISING, in partnership with international label 88Rising, to champion Filipino talent on the global stage. KROMA’s videoon-demand platform UPSTREAM has been home to the latest films, series, and events for Filipinos everywhere. NYMA focuses on pushing talent growth across the company’s network of partners and clients. PIE, a partnership with ABS-CBN and BEAM digital television network and supported by 917Ventures, is a multi-platform, real-

Filmmaker Quark Henares, Head of ANIMA and Secret Menu, introduces the production houses that aim to bring award-winning films, series and podcasts, and highly engaging brand content and television commercials to the Filipino audience

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Education

RAMBUTAN Experimental film by Mapua student wins UP filmfest grand prize

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n experimental film from Mapúa University recently won the top prize at the 18th Piling Obrang Vidyo, an intercollegiate film competition managed by the University of the Philippines Cinema, a student film organization based at the UP College of Mass Communication in Diliman.

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The triumph of RAMBUTAN, directed by third-year Digital Film student Shayla Claire Perales from Mapúa’s School of Media Studies (SMS), was enough to push her school back to its winning ways in the film festival circuit after a long drought during the pandemic.

came from my little brother, Shawn. He went into my room before and asked me, ‘Ate, gusto mo Covid?’ and then handed me a rambutan. From there, the film was born!” Her brother likened the appearance of the edible fruit to the coronavirus.

This is Mapúa’s second Best Film victory at the UP filmfest following Celina Mae Medina’s Ophelia in 2019. Mapúan filmmakers Hiyas Bagabaldo (Sins, Senses and Saints), Tricia Sotaso (Ang Pagkalaglag ng Ginintuang Salamin ng Pagkakilanlan), and Lloyd Reyes (Ang Mambabarang at ang mga Taong Pinatay sa Limot) took home POV’s Best Experimental Film prize in 2016, 2017, and 2019, respectively. SMS Multimedia Arts alumna Beverly Ramos also won Best Documentary at POV for Dory in 2018.

In the film, a rambutan interacts with an orange and suddenly doubles its number. The oranges rot every time they interact with a rambutan. Bananas use their capabilities to clean the rambutans and help address the chaos, to no avail. Fruits start to protect themselves with plastic, but others still die.

Perales, who submitted RAMBUTAN to Dr. David Corpuz as a project for Experimental Film Production, received a Special Citation for Subject Matter for the same film from the VanGarde Experimental Film Festival last year. It is a collaboration between Perales and her fellow writer, cinematographer, and editor Shiela Mae Tanagon. Composer Ryan Mangaliag provided original music. Perales shared that she cannot express how grateful she is for the award and how unexpected it is. “RAMBUTAN is a very dear film to me because its concept

Meanwhile, De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde film majors CM Bautista, David Edric Collado, and Xyron Parapara hauled six major prizes this year. Bautista bagged the Jury Prize and Best Screenplay for

Pig’s Game while actor James Ramada was awarded Best Performance for the same film. Collado’s Salamin secured Best Editing and Best Sound Design while Parapara’s Taya got the Viewers’ Choice award. Kukay Zinampan of UP Diliman earned Best Direction for Nang Maglublob Ako sa Isang Mangkok ng Liwanag, a tale of two friends who ponder on mundane things during the pandemic. The film also merited Best Production Design and shared Best Performance award for Jzar Tabilin and Serena Magiliw. Sophie Casasola of Far Eastern University won Best Cinematography for Waltz of Qualm by Francis Tavas. Tara, Laro Tayo! by Ben Francis De Lima and Patrick Demition of the University of Santo Tomas was awarded Best Music/Original Score. Mga Salitang Inanod by Gabriel Carmelo of UP Los Baños received the Cinemasters’ Choice award or garnering the highest number of votes among UP Cinema members while An Eidolon Named Night by Hans Piozon of UP Diliman was given the Lansangan Award for best embracing this year’s POV theme.

Shayla Claire Perales

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The POV XVIII jury is composed of filmmakers Carla Pulido Ocampo and Ligaya Villablanca, actress Therese Malvar, and film critic Jason Tan Liwag. May 2022


Education

2022 CCNOW AWARDS LPU PROF SELECTED FINALIST IN CLIMATE JOURNALISM AWARDS

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special lecturer at the Lyceum of the Philippines University (LPU) Manila has been recently named one of the finalists in the second annual Covering Climate Now Climate Journalism Awards. Jhesset Thrina O. Enano, who handles journalism subjects at the LPU Manila College of Arts and Sciences, has been shortlisted under the Emerging Journalists category of the 2022 CCNow Awards. Apart from teaching journalism at LPU, Enano also works as a freelance journalist, writing on “interesting new angles such as the psychological toll of climate disasters.” CCNow noted that “through excellent storytelling, Enano captures the struggle and suffering of people confronting rising seas.”

Enano previously won Best Special Feature in the 2020 Catholic Mass Media Awards for her three-part series on wildlife trafficking and illegal trade in the Philippines published by the Inquirer in August 2019. She was also a recipient of a story grant in 2019 from Internews’ Earth Journalism Network, where she reported on the impact of climate change on the mental health of Filipinos. She also covered the 35th Association of Southeast Asian Nations summit in Nonthaburi, Thailand.

The LPU journalism lecturer shared that she is “deeply humbled by this recognition of my work that amplifies our voices and our fight for climate justice here in the Philippines.”

Her works have been published in local and international media. She has spoken on BBC Newshour and CGTN’s Asia Today on domestic events with global and regional significance. Beyond her daily journalistic work, she

“I’m thankful to my former editors at the Philippine Daily Inquirer, and more importantly, to my sources whose trust I carry with me always. I’ll continue telling stories of our planet and our people,” she added. At Inquirer, Enano wrote compelling stories and produced multimedia reports on the climate crisis, biodiversity, natural hazards, and the interaction of communities with the natural environment. Her previous assignments focused on human rights, local governance, criminal justice, and education. As an environment reporter, she was able “to shed light on the climate crisis, the environmental defenders, our country’s rich biodiversity, and the challenges that beset our planet and the people.” May 2022

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also gives seminars and workshops on news, feature, environment and science writing to students, scientists, and researchers. CCNow is a project co-founded by Columbia Journalism Review and The Nation committed to bringing more and better coverage on the climate crisis. The global journalism initiative now includes more than 460 partners worldwide, with a combined audience of more than one billion people. The Emerging Journalist award goes to an early-career journalist (five or fewer years of professional experience) whose body of work shows exceptional promise. Other categories include short and long-form print coverage, short and long-form video and audio coverage, investigative reporting, newsletters, multimedia project, commentary, social media engagement, photography, student journalists, and industry innovation. This year’s finalists for the different categories were chosen from 900 entries from 65 countries by an international jury of 90 distinguished journalists around the world. Winners will be notified individually and will be publicly announced this September.

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Education

UP STUDENT MAKES FILM CAMPUS CUT IN ITALY A creative writing student from the University of the Philippines (UP) Diliman has been officially selected as one of ten successful candidates for the Far East Film Festival (FEFF) Campus at Udine, Italy. Eunice Joyce Helera, a BA Malikhaing Pagsulat sa Filipino (Creative Writing in Filipino) major from the UP Departamento ng Filipino at Panitikan ng Pilipinas, is the only Filipino

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to qualify this year for the FEFF’s prestigious education program for aspiring cultural reporters and film critics from Europe and Asia.

For the first time in two years, the FEFF is conducting the school of journalism as an onsite event for the students to meet and learn from directors, critics, curators, producers, and other film professionals.

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“I wanted to improve my writing and how I view films,” Helera revealed her reason to join the FEFF Campus. “I have always been insecure about my writing, my interpretations, and how I construct my reviews. Instead of hiding away and giving up, I’ve always tried to find opportunities where I can learn,” she added. Mathew Scott, one of the FEFF campus coordinators and her mentor for a short course on Asian Cinema Education under the Five Flavours Film Festival (Warsaw, Poland), encouraged her to join the program. Helera, who is still in Italy as of press time, feels exhausted but she relishes the unique experience of attending the FEFF Campus. “I have Cine Sundays to thank for. Being a moderator in the community, especially when I have to fill in at the last minute, has trained me to converse and create questions,” the young film buff said, referring to the online film community established by director Dan Villegas. “The sessions we’ve had throughout are a good briefer to know all fields of the industry and that’s how it has helped me so far now that I am immersed and seeing these people up close. In the same way, the diversity of films that we analyze through Zoom, somehow adds to our knowledge of the different genres, which gives me that familiarity of structure, for the films being shown in this year’s film selection,” one of the Cine Sundays core team members shared about the experience she gained from the program. Helera, whose “love for film is rooted in her love of discovering the world,” is also part of the UP Cinema Arts Society or UP CAST. She is currently a film criticism fellow for UP Cinema’s Pelikolektibo. Last year, she became a festival curatorial fellow for Movies

Eunice Helera

that Matter’s Cinema Without Borders (Netherlands). The other selected aspiring journalists are Elizabeth Alpaidze (Georgia), Amarsanaa Battulga (Mongolia), Greta Elettra Broms (Sweden), Veronica Calienno (Italy), Eunha Lim (South Korea), Harry Robinson (United Kingdom), Jolie Fan Yuxuan (Singapore), Mariona Borrull Zapata (Spain), and Zhu Zijiao (China). FEFF festival director Sabrina Baracetti said that they are “thrilled to have FEFF back fully live in Udine to once again welcome guests from around the world — and that includes our Campus family.”

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“We were impressed with the high standard of diverse applicants and the obvious passion they showed for Asian cinema and are proud that we are able to forge these connections between film lovers everywhere, thanks to the many Campus supporters,” Baracetti added. Selected attendees will have direct access to the FEFF Talks series of seminars and guest appearances. Since the “business of film” is high on the agenda for this year, they are also expected to gain insight into the inner workings of the industry through FEFF’s Focus Asia and the 13th Ties That Bind Workshop. May 2022


Cyber Security

May 2022

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10 Tips for Safe Online Shopping Sale Alert? Beware!

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othing grabs anyone’s attention more than the four-letter word, “SALE.”

It used to be that Filipinos had to wait for yearly mega sale events to get the best price for that shirt or kitchen tool they’ve long been wanting to buy. With frequent seasonal sale events that take place these days through digital platforms, customers would always find a reason to shop for everything from gadgets to groceries to plants. But when there’s an online activity, cybercriminals will not be far behind. Phishing remains an effective way to lure online shoppers into handing over their personal data and financial information to cybercriminals. Well-known brands in the retail and banking sectors are most often used as bait.

One common tactic that hackers use is sending out mass amounts of fake promotional materials disguised as legitimate messages from retailers through email or social network sites. Once you click on the link to view a seemingly too-good-to-be-true offer, you will be redirected to a malicious site instead of the retailer. This will put your device and financial information at risk while the malicious link will spread itself to all your friends to victimize them, too. In 2021, Kaspersky products detected more than 40 million phishing attacks globally targeting e-commerce, e-shopping platforms and banking institutions. The introduction of more e-payment systems and its popularity among customers for unmatched convenience also attracted cybercriminals that financial phishing attempts targeting e-payment systems more than doubled last year — an increase of 208%.

Distribution of organizations most often mimicked by phishers, by category, 2021

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Cyber Security In Southeast Asia, the Philippines recorded the highest number of users exposed to phishing attempts in 2021 at 9.90% followed by Malaysia (8.49%) and Thailand (7.93%). Singapore was monitored to have the lowest number for this type of threat (3.30%).

SEA countries

Phishing attacks in 2021

Phishing attacks in 2020

Philippines

9.90%

16.05%

Indonesia

7.70%

11.60%

Malaysia

8.49%

13.10%

Singapore

3.30%

5.79%

Thailand

7.93%

12.26%

Vietnam

7.45%

11.70%

However, data from Kaspersky showed last year that the Philippines experienced a 38.31% decrease in the number of users exposed to phishing attempts compared in 2020 at 16.05%.

To avoid getting scammed, you need to know what to watch out for. As you wait for the next online sale event, here are 10 ways you can do to stay safe and secure while shopping online:

“The lesser number of phishing attacks does not necessarily mean our data and online finances are safer. Decrease in number of attacks are observed last year across different threats such as mobile malware and phishing. This is because “spray and pray” is not the preferred method for cybercriminals anymore. Our data shows that they are now opting for a more targeted approach, aligning their attack with the current local trends and holidays, and even making personalized phishing email or fake websites, and delivering them to their targets,” says Yeo Siang Tiong, General Manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky. “Since the pandemic, online shopping and e-payments have been embraced by Filipinos. So, we urge Filipinos to be on guard especially towards sales announcements delivered through emails, text messages, social media posts, or even calls. Threats can come from anywhere, but we can protect ourselves with vigilance and a robust security solution installed in our devices,” he adds.

1. Type the URL directly into the address bar. It may take a little more effort, but this simple action can help to prevent you from visiting a fake or malicious website. Shortened URLs, often used because they are phone-friendly, can also trick you into visiting risky sites. With the new memorandum from the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, clicking on malicious links would hopefully be avoided. 2. Use a credit card. Your purchases will usually be insured and disputes are easier to settle when using a credit card than a debit card. Use a separate card dedicated to online shopping with a low limit. Or opt for a prepaid credit card that is not connected to your savings account. Some banks also offer virtual credit cards which generate a random account number for each purchase, preventing hackers from using the number again. 3. If possible, dedicate a device and email address to online banking and shopping. By avoiding the use of the same computer for other internet activities such as browsing, social

According to Kaspersky, no matter who the victim is or how sophisticated the phishing scam may be, there is always a way to sniff out fraud before it’s too late. In Kaspersky’s recent study, eight out of 10 Filipinos surveyed said they are now aware of digital payment scams. This is good news because vigilance against cyberattacks starts with becoming aware about risks. May 2022

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No matter who the victim is or how sophisticated the phishing scam may be, there is always a way to sniff out fraud before it’s too late. networking, emailing, and downloading, you create a “clean” computer. A dedicated email address will limit the number of spam messages you receive and reduce the risk of opening potentially malicious emails disguised as sales promos and other notifications.

(VPN) first so that your data will be encrypted and hackers can’t intercept it. 7. Stick to familiar brands you know or have heard of. Where possible, try to buy from retailers you know, especially those with a good reputation. If you’re buying from a new vendor, research it carefully. A good test is to see if you can contact the seller — look for an email, phone number or address plus a returns policy. A vendor’s feedback history/online reviews is another indicator of reliability and integrity.

4. Be wary of coupon or freebies sites. Scammers use the lure of great deals to con bargain hunters. Watch out for sites that ask you to create a lengthy profile with really personal information. 5. Manage and protect your online passwords. You can use a password manager to help. Some security solutions like Kaspersky Total Security include password management and password security features which would come in handy if you’re struggling with remembering passwords for all your online accounts.

8. Always log off after shopping online. Do this especially if you share a computer with someone else.

6. Avoid using public WiFi. Using free WiFi provided by coffee shops, hotels, restaurants and other public areas to sign into your private account is a security risk. Savvy hackers could hijack the WiFi signal or set up their own to trick you into using it then they can see everything you do on your device. If you need to access the Internet when shopping, it’s safer to do so via your mobile phone network. If using a public network is the only option, make sure to install a virtual private network

9. Use a reliable security solution. Choose one that has behavior-based anti-phishing technologies such as Kaspersky Total Security which will notify you if you’re visiting a phishing website. Having one is also a safety net as it can catch your accidental slips especially when you’re shopping last-minute and internet safety is no longer the first thing on your mind. 10. Read your credit card statements. Go through them and check for unauthorized charges. Report it immediately to your bank if there is anything unusual.

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May 2022


FinTech

Meet Maya It’s everything and a bank

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op-rated finance app PayMaya has evolved from an e-wallet to a powerhouse allin-one money app called Maya, that will make your money work harder for you than any other e-wallet or bank in the market. Maya combines the popular PayMaya e-wallet with new features like crypto, and an innovative digital banking experience powered by Maya Bank, to allow you to spend, save, grow, invest, and master your money — using your smartphone.

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The new Maya comes with an array of features that make money handling easier and more seamless. Maya Savings is a high-yield savings account with a 6% introductory interest rate, the highest offered by a local bank today. This initial offer is available until August 31, 2022. It is powered by the BSP-licensed digital bank Maya Bank, allowing you a seamless experience inapp when saving your money. Eligible PayMaya customers will be able to move money from their e-wallet to Maya Savings with just a couple of clicks in the app and earn interest on their balance! All you need is an upgraded Maya account to access this feature — and it requires no maintaining balance.

Maya Credit is a virtual credit line that lets you borrow up to PHP15,000 within the app. You can use this to pay your bills, buy groceries, purchase load, or upgrade your smartphone! This credit line can be accessed in as fast as 60 seconds for eligible users — giving you cash in a flash whenever you need it.

country — only now, it comes with a revamped customer experience. You can still enjoy free cash-in through over 90,000 touchpoints nationwide so that you spend your money on the things that matter. Maya integrates all these features into one seamless in-app experience. This money app is easy to navigate - with Wallet, Savings, Credit, and Crypto, just a simple swipe or tap in one app. To make your experience even more personalized, you can even own a username that will serve as your new Maya identity for a quicker and more convenient way to send and receive money. “Maya is all about challenging conventions – and this translates into the experience we’re giving our users with this new all-in-one money app. With this transformation, we want to enable Filipinos to make bolder choices with their money and seize opportunities - big and small,” said Shailesh Baidwan, president of PayMaya, and co-founder and board member of Maya Bank. “We are combining the power of an innovative wallet and a secure, progressive digital banking experience powered by BSP-licensed Maya Bank to transform how Filipinos experience money. This unparalleled digital app experience is supported by Maya Business, the country’s leading payment processor for enterprises, and the widest on-ground network of Maya Center agents,” he added.

Maya Crypto is the easiest way to start your crypto journey. You can buy, hold, and sell popular coins, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Solana, Tether, and more, for as low as P1 all within the Maya app! Maya Wallet continues to have all the e-wallet features that made PayMaya the top-rated local finance app in the

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May 2022


FinTech

#IponChallenge L

ista, a financial management tool for small business owners, freelancers, and individuals, has launched the Ipon Challenge, which encourages every Filipino to set savings goals through its newest features — the Savings and Sales Target. The Ipon Challenge aims to empower Filipinos to meet their savings goals or set financial targets for the things they want to buy using their two new main features. The Savings feature allows the user to track their savings for their next dream item whether it is a phone, car, or vacation, while the Sales Target feature will allow business owners to set a target profit for their business. Users will be able to customize their target timeline and amount using the feature. Due to uncertainties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey conducted by Hong Kong-based AIA Group Limited found that more Filipinos saved more money without careful preparation. But despite the fact that Filipinos appear to have a more disciplined attitude toward saving, a quarter of respondents simply save what money they have after expenses without making a proactive saving strategy, and 22% set aside a specific overall amount. Only 29% of people make a list of their savings goals and set aside money to achieve them.

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Lista intends to make financial planning and literacy more accessible to millions of Filipinos, assisting entrepreneurs in managing their digital cash flow, normalizing debt collection or “paniningil ng utang” and now, helping them manage their personal budget and expand their enterprises through savings and goal setting.

will help more Filipinos start building the habit of proactive saving. The campaign hopes to encourage new and existing users to explore the feature and participate in the savings challenge, which is intended to help users learn how to set and stick to financial goals, both short and long term.

Through the new features, each user can begin small, with a goal of as low as 500 pesos, or go big, with a car down payment. The Lista app includes features such as hosting “ipon challenges” and tracking users’ progress so they can stay on track with their goals. The Ipon Challenge The Ipon Challenge was created to officially launch the two new features that the founders hope

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FinTech

Anyone with Lista mobile app can join the Ipon Challenge for the chance to win grand prizes from Lista as well as weekly minor prizes. Interested participants can download the Lista app, register using their mobile number then create a savings challenge with the help of the “savings’’ icon. Participants are required to input savings at least twice a week, following their daily or weekly savings amount. The deadline to reach their goal is before May 30, 2022. Once participants reach their savings goal, they will receive a savings badge. To be eligible for the raffle, participants should share a screenshot of their savings badge on Facebook with the hashtag #IponChallenge and tag the Lista. Each savings challenge is equal to one raffle entry. Prizes include a brand new motorcycle, Macbook, mobile phone, Ikea gift certificate worth PHP 10,000, and a summer getaway May 2022

package for two! The winners will be announced on the Facebook page of Lista PH.

empowering them to make better purchase decisions,” shared Khriz Lim, co-founder of Lista.

Lista also partnered with SariSuki, a community selling platform that delivers fresh groceries straight to your doorstep, who will be giving away PHP10,000 worth of Kabuhayan Package. Financial services company Sun Life Philippines, tying up with e-commerce platform Lazada, will also be giving away weekly vouchers that will entitle the winners to a free one-year Life Armor Insurance coverage.

Lista is a free bookkeeping app for Filipino MSMEs to help them digitize their cash and credit transactions and get cash flow visibility, which can help them grow their profits. Lista not only keeps track of business transactions, it also provides a simple invoice generator, which is especially beneficial for freelancers, an easy way to collect debts with free SMS reminders, and a savings challenge to help people save for their goals.

“Lista wants to encourage every Filipino to set savings goals for the things they dream of — whether they start with a small amount or go big with a car down payment. Through the help of our partners, we look forward to seeing everyone complete their ipon challenge and help them move towards the goal of understanding their finances and

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Since its launch early last year, Lista has received 600,000 downloads and has recorded approximately USD 12.6-million in debt. To know more about Lista, you may visit their website at www.lista.com. ph or follow their Facebook page at facebook.com/ListaPhilippines. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


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FinTech

MarCoPay

Financial health among Filipino seafarers

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arCoPay (MCP), the eMoney salary platform designed with seafarers for seafarers, follows the success of its 2021 app launch with added features that expand its roster of services as a one-stop-shop e-wallet provider. Strengthening its commitment to advancing financial health within the seafaring community, MCP buffs up its features with the introduction of e-market solutions that empower millions of Filipino seafarers with home and auto loan applications, auto insurance, home and family insurance, and health insurance.

while at sea through the app. BPI MS, a joint venture of BPI and Mitsui Sumitomo Insurance Company, one of the biggest non-life insurance companies in Japan, was also announced as MarCoPay’s insurance partner, alongside PhilCare as its HMO provider for healthcare insurance. Through these new developments, seafarers operating their vessels at sea can now access essential financial services for themselves and their loved ones with just their phones.

This update comes with the announcement of a slew of new partners across the industry to provide the most secure, efficient, and convenient financial experience for the Global Maritime Community.

“We are thrilled to work with our partners in making groundbreaking services readily available for our brothers and sisters at sea. As we continue to support the Filipino community, we look forward to working with more companies that share our commitment to boosting financial health among seafarers through a singular app that services all their financial needs,” comments Izumi Yamashita, MCP Innovations, Inc. general manager.

BPI, one of the largest banks in the Philippines, was among the first revealed to make loan applications more accessible for seafarers even

MCP also recently welcomed its newest investor, Japan’s largest bank MUFG Bank, Ltd. in March 2022, adding to the list of its shareholders with strong and

Delivering financial services with trusted partners

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formidable experience in shipping, trading, ship manning, finance, and allied industries. With the investment of MUFG Bank, Ltd., MCP aims to build and expand new services such as investment products in addition to the existing services already being offered such as eMoney salary payments in dual currencies, remittances, foreign exchange, and various types of loans and insurances accessible through the MarCoPay app. Serving seafarers since 2019 Backed by the Transnational Diversified Group of Companies (TDG), Japanese shipping giant NYK, major Japanese integrated trading and investment business conglomerate, Marubeni, and now MUFG as its global shareholders, MarCoPay was created to address the many barriers sea-based Filipino workers face in providing for their families back home. After its establishment in 2019 and securing a BSP license in 2020, the app was finally launched for public use in August of 2021. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


Since then, its e-wallet solutions have empowered thousands of Filipino families with the Peer-to-Peer transfer service with zero transaction fees, in-app foreign exchange, and the salary disbursement feature it has developed with partner agencies and shipping lines. As of this writing, MCP has onboarded an estimate of 33,000 seafarers through 11 companies, garnered 7,000 app downloads, and secured 7 third-party providers as long-term allies in expanding the app’s capabilities to meet seafarers’ urgent financial needs. Chief Mate Ces Calenn F. Cabading shares, “The MarCoPay app has brought me closer to my family even when I’m in the middle of the sea. I can easily send money for new school supplies, give extra allowance when needed, and even buy gifts to surprise my family with. It has really changed the way I can show my love for my family while I’m away.” Furthermore, MCP conducts financial literacy seminars aimed at shrinking the information gap on digital finance and plans to expand its programs to include the general OFW community.

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Toshiaki Fujioka, MarCoPay, Inc. president and CEO

“We intend to be the trusted partner of Filipino workers in preparing for retirement and creating a comfortable life with their families despite being away from them, and in order to achieve this goal, we believe, we must do our part in educating them on their options and the tools they can use,” adds Toshiaki Fujioka, MarCoPay, Inc. president and CEO. As the app continues to expand its offerings, Filipino workers away from home can look forward to a long-term partnership with MarCoPay’s e-market solutions, specifically designed to boost their financial stability, wherever they are in the world. Download the MarCoPay app on Google Play Store and App Store, and get notified on the latest updates from MarCoPay at https://www.marcopayinc. com/

May 2022


FinTech

SHAREit

Filipinos among highest number of crypto wallet owners globally, study finds

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HAREit, the popular filesharing, video streaming, and content discovery app is connecting more and more users to various cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. According to the Digital 2022: Global Overview Report, around 20% of internet users aged 16-64 years old in the Philippines own some form of cryptocurrency, the highest percentage across the globe. In a recent keynote speech at the Crypto Dubai Expo, SHAREit global partnerships director Lisa Dominguez noted that the Philippines, South Africa, Indonesia, Malaysia, UAE, May 2022

Egypt, and Saudi Arabia are among the top countries with SHAREit users who are also active users of cryptocurrency wallets and exchanges. Behind this platform is the SHAREit group, whose diversified suite of applications has been installed by nearly 2.4 billion users worldwide, including its core app SHAREit. SHAREit has been lauded as a Top 10 most downloaded app of all time on Google Play and houses the world’s largest peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing ecosystem. Currently, SHAREit’s reach spans 150+ countries and is available in 45 languages. SHAREit is also the 10th largest app in the Philippines in terms of monthly active userbase (MAU).

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Increasing demand for P2E games and NFTs in the Philippines As the pandemic prompted the shift to virtual economies, many Filipinos have been forced to grapple with the uncertainty of keeping their jobs. Emerging technologies such as blockchain offered an alternative way of earning income amidst the lockdowns, particularly through gaming. With the play-to-earn (P2E) economy came the creation of non-fungible tokens (NFTs), which grant users personal ownership of their digital assets and can then be traded for cryptocurrency or cash with other players. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


One such example is Axie Infinity which has grown to become a sensation in the Philippines with 2.5 million daily active users. The game is built on the Ethereum blockchain where anyone can earn token rewards through skilled gameplay and contributions to the Pokemon-inspired ecosystem. In her keynote, Dominguez also shared the different ways crypto companies can use SHAREit as a growth channel to drive user acquisition and build community. This can be done across user acquisition, awareness, and remarketing solutions. Through its unique audience targeting and app recommendation solutions, SHAREit is able to drive existing users of crypto apps to become new players of P2E games. For a P2E game such as Drakons.IO or Axie Infinity, users need to already be connected to wallets like Trust, Enjin, or MetaMask in order for them to become new players of these Ethereum-powered strategy games. Crypto apps then turn to SHAREit for their ability to connect them to a very targeted audience subset of mobile

users worldwide who are also crypto enthusiasts. In the Philippines, SHAREit has also recently started working with the Philippine Digital Asset Exchange (PDAX), a leading virtual asset provider licensed by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. The partnership aims to drive more users to the platform and give more Filipinos access to crypto trading. Catapulting SHAREit’s mobile app growth through crypto marketing With over 700 brand partners across the globe, 30 of which are crypto platforms, SHAREit has managed to earn the trust of some of the biggest names including Bybit, Nexo, & Crypto.com. Within Southeast Asia, SHAREit is also partnered with Tokocrypto, Pluang, Pintu, and Ajaib. As Google’s first app channel partner, SHAREit drives growth and engagement through connectivity and is also the 3rd largest mobile publisher globally in the

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finance investments category as per the recent AppsFlyer Performance index — a testament to not only the scale but also the quality of users that SHAREit can drive. “SHAREit’s solutions connect crypto apps to millions of new users each month, many of whom convert to high LTV users for these apps. We also see that a significant number of our users sit in the top markets for crypto adoption worldwide,” shares Dominguez. SHAREit drives new user acquisition through different executions made possible through the app, including app recommendations & banner ad placements. “There’s a lot of opportunity for upand-coming crypto ventures — from mobile & decentralized apps to Tokens, NFTs, and P2E games — to tap into the potential of SHAREit’s 2 billion global users. In emerging industries like cryptocurrency, new product discovery begins with peer-to-peer recommendations, and P2P marketing has always been one of SHAREit’s strongest points,” adds Dominguez. May 2022


Travel

TOP TRAVEL DESTINATIONS FOR FILIPINOS

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ooking data from travel platform Agoda reveals that visiting domestic destinations remains a priority for Filipinos. But as borders continue to open globally, Philippine-based travelers are keen now more than ever to explore international destinations. In 2019 before travel was heavily restricted, countries that followed the Philippines as a top travel destination among Filipino travelers were Japan (#2), Hong Kong (#3), and Taiwan (#4). This year, these three were replaced by Singapore, the United States, and Thailand, respectively. This change also signifies major ranking leaps for Singapore, which was in sixth place in 2019, as well as for the United States which placed ninth. Compared to 2019 where Asian countries dominated the Philippines’ top destination list, Filipinos in 2022 have set their sights on European countries like France, Spain, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Top 10 Destinations for Filipinos 2022: (#1) Philippines (#2) Singapore (#3) United States (#4) Thailand (#5) France (#6) Japan, Spain (#7) Netherlands, Indonesia (#8) Italy, United Arab Emirates, Canada,

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Switzerland, United Kingdom (#9) South Korea, Malaysia, Germany, Vietnam, Maldives (#10) Australia 2019: (#1) Philippines (#2) Japan (#3) Hong Kong (#4) Taiwan (#5) Thailand (#6) Singapore (#7) South Korea (#8) Indonesia (#9) United States (#10) Malaysia Filipino travelers’ top countries in 2019 – Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan were replaced by Singapore, the United States, and Thailand in 2022 due to border restrictions. Filipinos also have their sights set on European countries this year compared to 2019 where Asian countries dominated the list. This includes countries like France, Spain, Germany, Italy, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland. Singapore moved from the sixth spot in 2019 to second in 2022, while the United States jumps to the third choice in 2022 after placing ninth in 2019.

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Travel

GO WHERE YOUR MIND’S BEEN WANDERING

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he Department of Tourism (DOT) and Tourism Promotions Board (TPB) have launched a beautiful outdoor, press, and online campaign, with the help of BBDO Guerrero, to promote domestic tourism in the Philippines as the country recovers from the pandemic and travel restrictions are eased. The campaign ‘Go where your mind’s been wandering,’ highlights the re-opening of 10 popular tourist destinations, from white sand beaches to strawberry farms, in captivating photos that illustrate the unique characteristics of each place and, if you look closely, reveal a silhouette of a hidden face. From surfing in La Union, diving in Cebu, and hiking in Davao, you’re

sure to find something you love, no matter where your mind’s been wandering. The campaign was produced together with STILLS MNL Photographer Jason Quibilan and UGL Post Production with minimal retouching, inviting domestic tourists to rediscover the beauty of the Philippines - safely and responsibly. Stop dreaming, start planning, now ‘go where your mind’s been wandering’. The full list of destinations covered in this campaign: 1. Batangas – Known for its fine resorts (beaches and manmade)

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2. Benguet – Known for its cold climate and strawberry farms. 3. Bohol – Known as one of the best diving spot 4. Boracay – Known for its white sand beaches 5. Cebu – Also known for its dive spots. 6. Davao– Known for its nature laidback tracking 7. Intramuros– Also known as the walled city in Manila. Strongly linked to arts. 8. La Union – Known as one of the best surfing spots in the North. 9. Pampanga – Known as the culinary capital of the PH. 10. Vigan– A UNESCO world heritage site also known for its pottery experience. May 2022


Wellness

BILATERAL CLEFT LIP AND PALATE SIMULATOR Patent-pending device from Simulare Medical accelerates the learning curve in cleft reconstructive surgical training and further care for cleft-affected children

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imulare Medical, a division of Smile Train, Inc., has launched the newest innovation in its growing line of high-fidelity cleft surgical simulators, the first and only Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Simulator (patentpending). To celebrate the launch, training workshops were held at the 79th Annual Meeting of the American Cleft PalateCraniofacial Association (ACPA) in Fort Worth, Texas, and in Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao in the Philippines in partnership with the Philippines Association of Plastic Reconstructive and Aesthetic Surgeons (PAPRAS). Developed by leading plastic surgeons to help accelerate the learning curve in cleft lip and palate reconstructive May 2022

surgical training, the Simulare Medical Bilateral Cleft Lip and Palate Simulator is an anatomically accurate, lifelike, and invaluable training tool that will reduce patient risk, decrease training costs, and elevate the skills and confidence of surgeons globally. Smile Train is the world’s largest cleftfocused organization. For more than 20 years, Smile Train has supported safe and quality cleft care for 1.5 million+ children globally. “This latest innovation advances our vision of providing care for every cleftaffected person and demonstrates our commitment to leveraging technology to further education and change lives,” said

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Susannah Schaefer, president and chief executive officer at Smile Train. “We’re deeply invested in continuing to evolve training that creates more sustainable health systems. We look forward to seeing this Simulator have a positive impact on cleft surgeons at the beginning of their career and longtime professionals looking to refine their skills as well as on our beneficiaries — regardless of the type of cleft they have.” Though children around the world suffer from both unilateral and bilateral clefts, traditional cleft lip/palate simulators have only addressed unilateral clefts. This Simulator goes beyond that, introducing a tool that can address bilateral clefts (i.e., involving both sides of the mouth). This additional functionality opens the doors for surgeons and trainees to be able to treat more children with refined techniques. Built with 3D technology, the Simulator uses printed materials to resemble the anatomy and different kinds of tissue, such as skin, muscle, and fat, found inside the mouth to create one of the most realistic models available today. In addition to the advanced technology, the

musculature and soft-tissue layers were developed from literature descriptions and consultations with expert cleft surgeons. When local surgeons have access to the most advanced tools, it builds their capacity to provide the best care possible and empowers them to perform surgery safely no matter where they are in the world. “Surgeons in low- and middle-income countries often face significant barriers to ongoing training. This simulator is more than just a revolution in training technology,” said Dr. Roberto L. Flores, the Joseph G. McCarthy associate professor of reconstructive plastic surgery at NYU Grossman School of Medicine, director of Cleft Lip and Palate at NYU Langone Health, and member of Smile Train’s global medical advisory board. “It’s a way to advance equity, ensuring that a talented surgeon in Malawi has the same training opportunities as a surgeon in Dallas, and that babies born with a unilateral or bilateral cleft lip/palate have access to the same standard of care no matter where they live.” “The Philippine Association of Plastic, Reconstructive, and Aesthetic Surgeons

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(PAPRAS) is honored to be a part of this global launch,” said Dr. Benjamin G. Herbosa, PAPRAS President. “This technology does not only allow us to provide more opportunities for learning but also helps to encourage and inspire new surgeons to learn more about cleft surgery. We recognize Smile Train’s investments in innovation to further empower cleft professionals around the world. We are grateful to be a partner in this endeavor,” adds Herbosa. With Simulare Medical hand-making its Simulators at its facilities in Canada, the division can ensure that each product is high-quality and will have an even greater impact on the patients who benefit from it. In international studies and training workshops, Simulare Medical surgical simulators are consistently recognized as a high-impact, hands-on, and low-cost way to develop and enhance surgical skills with no risk to patients. Read more about access to safe, highquality surgical training at smiletrain.org/ simulare. May 2022


Food

(L-R) EasyBrand head of marketing Rose Ann Garin, president & CEO Mark Wang, Chef Boy Logro, sales director Andrei Lim, and brand assistant Andrea Galope.

EASYBRAND Global-Quality Products for the Food Service Industry

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he food service industry has long been dominated by international brands and the products are often offered at prices that are not accessible to small and medium-sized food businesses. The good news is that there is now a Filipino food service brand that is helping small businesses scale up with products that are convenient to use and affordable. EasyBrand Philippines has a range of ready-to-use sauces, flavored syrups, powdered bases, concentrates, and dips that make cooking more convenient for food and beverage entrepreneurs. Among their best sellers are the Cheesecake powder, Red Velvet Frappe powder, Cream Base Frappe, Milk Essence Powder, Dark Chocolate Powder, Wintermelon Flavored syrup, Brown Sugar Syrup, Hokkaido Syrup, Okinawa Syrup, Rock May 2022

Salt and Cheese Foam Powder, and 5 Minute- Tapioca Pearls; while cooked food entrepreneurs patronize their ready-to-use sauces and ready mix powders, such as Teriyaki Sauce, Soy Garlic Sauce, Barbecue Sauce, and Garlic Parmesan Cheese Powder, Salted Egg Powder, and Cheese Sauce Powder Mix. The idea for the concept came from EasyBrand president and CEO Mark Wang’s foray into the food industry via a Mexican restaurant that he put up in Quezon City back in 2012. Realizing the challenges of gathering his ingredients, he decided to offer baking supplies via his food service venture Top Chefs Food Supplies in 2014. When the milk tea craze hit the country in 2017, he offered a formulation that combines the creamer and flavoring for a more stable

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and consistent beverage product that can compete with international brands. “While most of the other suppliers imported their products from Taiwan or China, we are a proudly Filipino brand that sources local ingredients,” he says. Known for its strict adherence to food safety and quality with product standards certifications from the Philippine Food and Drug Administration, the company is now preparing for global distribution to countries such as the US, Dubai, Canada, Singapore, Italy, and Japan. “We want to promote our country by offering high-quality products. What’s more, we are supporting Philippine agriculture by sourcing whatever we can locally. We are also planning to bring Filipino flavors to other countries, such as our melon and durian,” says sales director Andrei Lim. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


EasyBrand partners with Chef Boy Logro to establish a stronger foothold in bringing quality food products to food and beverage businesses within and outside the Philippines

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Food

Chef Boy Logro shows off one of his favorite sauces from the EasyPro line of ready-to-use commercial sauces.

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“We offer the highest product yield with consistent quality. Aside from the quality of the food that they offer, we want to ensure that they have profits. That is why we make sure that these ingredients are cost-effective for businesses and that our products are FDA-approved.

SUPPORTING LOCAL BUSINESSES In the Philippines, many home-based food businesses were established during the height of the pandemic as a way for Filipinos to augment their livelihood and support their families. EasyBrand has an advocacy to help these small and medium businesses grow by offering them products that eliminate the need to source ingredients from the market and lessen their preparation time. With EasyBrand, quality meets affordability, says Wang. “We offer the highest product yield with consistent quality. Aside from the quality of the food that they offer, we want to ensure that they have profits. That is why we make sure that these ingredients are cost-effective for businesses and that our products are FDA-approved. We want to ensure that we can all bounce back from the pandemic and one way to do that is to ensure that our small businesses grow. Our entrepreneurs are part of our economic recovery and with Easy Brand, our MSMEs can have easy-to-use ingredients that are of high quality.”

their customers can have the same quality of food orders in all their locations,” explains Lim.

cooks to experience the versatility of the Easy brand products through cooking demonstrations on his Youtube channel.

EasyBrand has partnered with Celebrity Chef Boy Logro to help food entrepreneurs discover the recipe possibilities of their Easy Pro sauces, powders, and mixes. Chef Logro, who has worked in international kitchens says it is about time that a Filipino brand brings the same level of quality that can help Filipino “kusineros” level up. “It is time to embrace the new technology in our way of cooking. Even big international hotels use pre-prepared soups, consommés and sauces. I am proud that we now have a Filipino brand that can compete with them, at a more affordable price, and your food quality is consistent every time” He encourages more Filipino

The EasyBrand website, social media accounts, and app have recipes that demonstrate how easy it is to incorporate their products into your recipes. They are also launching a live caravan that will not only feature cooking demos but also give entrepreneurs tips on how to manage and grow their food business. EasyBrand products may be ordered through their official website and inquiries may be directed through their Facebook page. The brand is also available through online shopping platforms. For more information and to view the brand catalog and recipes, visit www. easybrandph.com.

Another advantage with EasyBrand is that the products are easier to store and require less equipment for food prep. “With our products, they don’t need more storage space or freezer space for ingredients. Our coffee syrup, which is made from real coffee, they don’t need to buy machines to grind, roast, and brew their beans,” Wang adds. “We can also help them branch out to other locations without sacrificing the same consistency and standard of their food items. With Easy Brand’s products,

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May 2022


Green

The BEST Case Scenario for Waste

Mondelēz International partners with Basic Environmental Systems and Technologies (BEST) to collect waste in Metro Manila

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he journey of waste from your home can sometimes be a treacherous one. Ideally, waste from your home is brought to a Materials Recovery Facilities (MRF) where they are segregated according to type and diverted accordingly. However, according to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, in the Philippines, only 35% of barangays have established and operational MRFs. This scenario can lead to waste being dumped illegally or even ending up in the oceans. Thankfully there is something we can all do to provide the best-case scenario for waste. Starting April 2022, Mondelēz International and Basic Environmental May 2022

Systems and Technologies (BEST) are partnering to provide you with more ways to properly manage your waste. Here’s how you can join: 1. Just go to any of the 11 BEST waste drop-off sites in Metro Manila from April to June 2022. 2. Bring the dry waste from your homes like plastic, paper, metal, and others Make sure they are dry, clean, and free from food or other materials. 3. For any type of waste brought in, you can earn environmental points. These points can be used to redeem select Mondelēz International snack products as well as other items and prizes from BEST.

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This program will run for three months so you have plenty of time to collect waste at home and bring them to the sites. And you can do it regularly too as BEST runs their waste collection activities all year long! For a list of all accepted materials at BEST sites, visit https://bxtraoutlet.delivery/mondelez/. You can also redeem different prizes for your points. Mondelēz International is the maker of beloved snack products like Tang, Eden Cheese, Cheez Whiz, Oreo, Toblerone, and Cadbury. The company aims to empower people to snack right, with the right snack, for the right moment, and with snacks made the right way. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


“We believe in sustainable snacking, where we are able to produce our delicious products while lessening our environmental footprint, including the impact of waste,” shares Atty. Joseph Fabul, country manager for corporate and government affairs of Mondelēz International in the Philippines. “We know that any waste, when not properly collected and diverted can end up in nature, particularly the oceans. That’s

why we’re working with organizations like BEST to help support and strengthen waste collection efforts in the country.” At the end of 2021, Mondelēz International and BEST partnered for a similar initiative where people received boxes of Cadbury Shots chocolate for the wastes they brought to collection sites. This resulted in the collection of 12,893

kilos of plastic waste alone, and the distribution of 10,800 boxes of Cadbury Shots chocolates. BEST is engaged in contracting and consulting for waste managementrelated businesses. Its primary mission is to provide avenues for comprehensive waste disposal systems, public cleansing, general hygiene, and materials recovery that promote sustainable development through proper solid waste disposal and resource conservation. “We thank Mondelēz International for their continued support to our waste collection initiatives,” ends Jan Vincent Mercado, senior vice president for business development of BEST. “The challenge of collecting waste is a big one, and we encourage everyone to do their part in ensuring we do not harm the environment. At home, we encourage everyone to segregate their dry and wet waste. For your dry waste, bring them to our drop-off sites and we can help you to properly divert them so they do not end up in landfills or the oceans. You not only help the environment, but you also receive rewards for the enormous good you are doing the earth.”

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May 2022


Newsbytes

DOT PARTNERS WITH NISSAN FOR WORLD TRAVEL AND TOURISM COUNCIL GLOBAL SUMMIT 2022 The Department of Tourism (DOT) partnered with Nissan Philippines for the World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Global Summit 2022, considered the largest event in the travel and tourism industry. Industry executives and government officials around the world attended the summit held in Manila on April 2022, 2022. This year’s summit theme is Rediscovering Travel, where both local and foreign tourism industry leaders meet to share practices and efforts on how to create a safer and more sustainable world for travel. As one of the summit’s official mobility partners, Nissan Philippines provided a mix of its vehicle lineup including the New Nissan Terra, New Nissan Patrol, All-New Almera, and the Nissan LEAF May 2022

to shuttle international delegates during their stay. “We are glad to be working again with the Department of Tourism to promote local tourism as we have been doing in the Safe Trips campaign. This is another opportunity to encourage not just our fellow Filipinos, but also tourists from different countries, to rediscover the beauty of the Philippines and to explore our country,” says Dax Avenido, Nissan Philippines general manager for communications. In 2021, Nissan Philippines and the DOT renewed their contract for Safe Trips. Launched in 2020, the Safe Trips campaign aims to promote the local tourism industry through safe and responsible travel during the pandemic.

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Since its launch, Nissan Philippines and the DOT have visited local tourist destinations to advocate for safe travels. Nissan is also promoting sustainable tourism with its recent trip to Boracay with the LEAF, Nissan’s 100% electric vehicle. Under the Safe Trips campaign, Nissan has also worked with OPM singers Barbie Almalbis and Noel Cabangon for “Ingat Kayo,” an anthem that promotes safety during the pandemic and highlights the Filipino culture of care. The song was written by Nissan Philippines general manager for sales, Rollie Navarro. You may watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/ watch?v=u4kYfRlRxzA gadgetsmagazine.com.ph


FORMER GOOGLE AND META (FACEBOOK) EXECUTIVE JOINS PH NEOBANK TONIK AS CHIEF PEOPLE OFFICER The Philippines’ first neobank Tonik, announced that Manoj Varghese, former Google HR director for Japan and Asia-Pacific (JAPAC) and Meta (Facebook) director of user operations, has officially joined its leadership roster. Joining the transformative digital bank as Chief People Officer, Varghese will spearhead the continuous growth and cultural integration of one of Southeast Asia’s fastest-growing and sought-after fintech companies. “As a veteran in leading cross-cultural teams in the JAPAC region and coupled with his extensive experience in the tech industry, Manoj brings invaluable expertise in further growing our workforce and footprint across our multiple hubs. His mission includes working with our diverse teams as we ramp up and solidify our efforts in accelerating financial inclusion in the Philippines,” says Greg Krasnov, founder and CEO of Tonik. During his run at Google, Varghese led the setup and expansion of the tech giant’s JAPAC headquarters in Singapore primarily hiring and onboarding the regional leadership team. This enabled Google to further grow its Engineering, Sales, and Operations teams not just in Singapore locally, but also across the Asia Pacific. Similarly, Varghese also led and executed notable wins for Meta (Facebook) during his three-year stint at the tech giant — building and managing the community operations team and working closely with global product, engineering, and policy team members to support over 1 billion Facebook users.

Varghese recently completed the Sloan Fellow Programme at the London Business School. Having built credible strategic teams, expanded business presence across different countries, and worked in and led multi-cultural environments, Varghese is excited to join the passionate team at Tonik and help strengthen their mission of revolutionizing the banking scene in Southeast Asia. “People are the heartbeat of any business, as all workforces play a critical role in moving the needle towards growth. As digital banking becomes a necessity now more than

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ever, it’s crucial for us to build a robust roster of leaders ready to serve the Filipino community. With this commitment, I’m excited to support Tonik’s world-class management team in driving financial inclusion in the Philippines and several more emerging markets into greater heights,” explains Varghese. Tonik is supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) and deposits are insured by the Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC). Its unique cloud-based solution is powered by global financial technology leaders such as Mastercard, Amazon Web Services, and Finastra. May 2022


Relic

Company Town Words by Jose Alvarez

W

ith companies becoming larger and larger through mergers and acquisitions, you can see that there are some companies that have little (if any) competition. Think about Amazon and Google, two of the largest companies in the world. At some point, companies were so powerful that they not only provided products and/or services, but also controlled every aspect of their employees’ lives, such as housing and even local government services. These were known as company towns, and while they were present in the past and had a very interesting history, there are some signs that they may be making a comeback. The idea of the company town came about through the concept of paternalism, which sought to force middle-class ideals onto working-class employees. Those who

May 2022

advocated for paternalism felt like they had a moral responsibility or even a religious obligation to advance society and their own business interests. Many company towns centered around industries such as mining and lumber. One of the first company towns, Grand-Hornu, was established in 1810 in Belgium, and lasted until 1954. This company town was centered around mining.

who were not laid off, while not reducing the rent. The Panic of 1893 induced a depression and workers organized the Pullman Strike in 1894, forcing intervention from the United States government and military. Founder George Pullman died in 1897 and the Illinois Supreme Court ruled that the company needed to sell the town, which became a neighborhood of Chicago’s South Side.

In the United States, many company towns were made up of recent immigrants or minorities. One of the biggest company towns was Pullman, Illinois, which was established in the 1880s. The Pullman Palace Car Company owned and operated the town, imposing sets of rules to live in the town while providing all of their needs, even exceeding the standards of housing for the time. However, the company laid off hundreds of workers and cut pay for those

The company town was not just an American thing—there were company towns set up throughout Europe, Canada, Latin America, and Japan. In the United Kingdom, these company towns were established in the countryside in order to get away from the heavy industry of the city centers. Bournville was one of the most prominent company towns in the United Kingdom, established outside of Birmingham, the second-largest city in

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the United Kingdom. A Cadbury factory was the central focus of the town. You may know Cadbury for their chocolate products. Unlike Pullman, there was a happier ending. Cadbury is still one of the main employers in Bournville today, and Bournville is even considered one of the best places to live in the United Kingdom. Company towns were also combined with colonialism when Henry Ford established Fordlandia in 1928 in the middle of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. This town was used to cultivate rubber for the Ford Motor Company, who sought to evade the British monopoly on rubber. Ford had negotiated a deal with the Brazilian government to set up Fordlandia. Although Fordlandia was abandoned in 1934, the water tower still stands to this very day. While these company towns became famous for one reason or another, the

companies that owned these towns lost control of them, either through court order (Pullman), business reasons (Fordlandia) or divestiture (Bournville). However, there have been signs of a revival of company towns. While companies no longer directly control towns (with very few exceptions, such as the Walt Disney Company owning Bay Lake, Florida and Buena Vista, Florida), companies such as Amazon and Wal-Mart are often the leading employers for some towns in the United States despite not directly controlling the towns they are in themselves. Governments and entrepreneurs alike have sought to bring back the company town. In 2021, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak had announced a plan to launch “Innovation Zones” to attract companies to Nevada in order to diversify its economy from gambling and tourism. These zones would allow companies to form county-equivalent

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governments, even to the point of imposing taxes, forming school districts and courts, and even provide government services. This plan was very controversial and some had opined that a Pullman-type situation could occur in the future. The same year, Elon Musk had also proposed to incorporate areas of southeastern Texas and call it Starbase, essentially a company town for SpaceX. Given Amazon’s influence, they may also lay the grounds for a modern-day company town, especially in rural areas. The company town’s intentions may have been considered noble once upon a time, but the idea of corporations controlling every aspect of life from housing to government services is obviously controversial today given the changing labor dynamic. We must remember that corporations exist to provide goods and services to better society as a whole, not to control every single aspect of society.

May 2022


Volume XXII Issue VIII

May 2022

MEET THE TEAM EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief MARIBELLE ALBA Editors-at-Large PRESY ALBA REN ALCANTARA Mobility Consultant ARNEL DORIA Junior Editor GABRIEL PE Writers/Contributors FRANCESKA AGUILA JOSE ALVAREZ CHRIS NOEL HIDALGO ISAAC JAMES ZAYCO

You want more? We recommend you check out our other issues

CREATIVES Creative Consultant RAYMUND RAVANERA Creative Lead JERICO LUTRANIA Creative Staff CHINI YU SORIANO ADVERTISING Sales and Advertising Manager MARISA CONSUELO Account Executive CAROL AGABIN ADMINSTRATION President & CEO MARIBELLE ALBA Accounting Manager MARITESS MAULION HR & Administration Manager AMY CHRISTINE GIRAY Circulation Officer LORIE BERNARDO Administration Staff RAMIL ALMOJANO Legal Counsel ALBA LAW OFFICE

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