42 The Gaming Lifestyle Economy 54 Narrating Freedom and Adventure 56 More Than The Game
60 Predator League Back to Offline 62 NBA 2K23 66 Unpacking 70 Top Video Games to Play With Your Non-Gamer Significant Other 3
28 Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i 32 Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro 34 vivo Y16 38 WIKO 10
VOLUME XXIII • Issue II
06 ASUS Vivobook S 14X OLED | S 14 OLED 10 Garmin Forerunner 255 12 Honor Magic4 Pro 14 Honor X Series 16 Huawei Matepad Pro 11 18 Lenovo ThinkPad P16S Gen 1 19 Lenovo ThinkStation P360 Ultra 20 Nokia 2660 Flip 21 Nokia 8210 4G 22 OnePlus 10T 5G 24 POCO M5 25 POCOM5s 26 Narzo 50i Prime
VOLUME XXIII • Issue II
ENTERPRISE The Role of Data Centers in the Metaverse
MOBILITY 72 Ford PH 25 Years and Going Further 74 Toyota Financing for MSMES
86 LinkedIn: Top Startups in the Philippines 88 Effective Employee Gamification 90 Key Business Imperatives for an Inclusive Hybrid World
76 Modern Isuzu PUV Arrives in Oriental Mindoro
77 New Technology to Inactivate Viruses 78 Ducati Lenovo Team
92 Protecting Industries from Cyber Threats 94 Cybercriminal Activity on the Darknet in APAC
82 Yamaha’s 2022 Racing Finale
EDUCATION 98 Google Career Certificates 100 Unlock Your Child’s Creativity
102 Climate Champions 104 Mangrove Restoration Project
106 A Cutting-Edge Platform for Doctors 108 Drivers of Innovation
ENTERTAINMENT 116 Discover Weabotaku PH on Bilibili
VOLUME XXIII • Issue II
114 BTS’ Yet to Come
110 My Dream in a Shoebox
A Home and Haven for Sports Enthusiasts
112 Food Insecurity Impacts Mental Health
NEWSBYTES The latest in the world of tech
The Console Wars
ASUS VIVOBOOK S 14X OLED | S 14 OLED Laptops
Starts at PHP65,995 S 14X OLED (S5402)
Starts at PHP59,995 S 14 OLED (K3402)
PERFECT FOR YOUNG, energetic, and multifaceted individuals looking for a stylish yet powerful laptop, the new Vivobook S 14X OLED (S5402) and Vivobook S 14 OLED (K3402) can give you the best of both worlds in terms of performance and style.
The overall vibe and design of these two new Vivobook laptops are youthful and fun. An orange-colored Escape key and stripe-accent Enter key button adds personal flair to the device. Regarding performance, both laptops are Intel Evo certified with a 12th Gen Intel Core H-Series processor, offering maximum all-around use for productivity and promising a more responsive, fast-wake, and longer battery life perfect for on-the-go professionals.
Both Vivobook laptops are equipped with fast PCIe 4.0 SSD storage and expandable memory for future-proofing and to allow users to run intensive applications. ASUS IceCool thermal technology lets users maximize CPU performance for longer while keeping temperature down.
For content consumption, the Vivobook S 14X OLED (S5402) boasts a 14.5-inch OLED display screen perfect for watching online videos or playing light to moderate games. It also features a 16:10 aspect ratio for an immersive and taller screen display with an improved 120Hz screen refresh rate that gives users a buttery smooth experience and a faster response rate.
Both the Vivobook S 14X OLED (S5402) and Vivobook S 14 OLED (K3402) are powered by industry-leading ASUS OLED technology with their 2.8K resolution OLED display. Users enjoy an incredible viewing experience through a high contrast ratio, deeper blacks, and fast response time when playing a video or browsing the internet. Blue light emission is reduced by 70% to protect users from eye strain.
Meanwhile, young professionals looking for a productivity laptop that doesn’t require a faster refresh rate can get the Vivobook S 14 OLED (K3402). It has a 14-inch screen size with a 2.8K OLED display and a 16”10 aspect ratio, enough to run your daily production needs. Designed to improve modern workflow, the Vivobook S14 OLED and S 14 OLED have a 180-degree flat-lay hinge for easier content sharing. Multiple ports for connectivity include two USB Type-A, Thunderbolt 4 support, HDMI, and a traditional audio jack, for the perfect on-the-go laptop. The Vivobook S 14 OLED (K3402) laptop has ASUS AntiBacterial Guard technology in the keyboard palm rest area to protect users from 99% of harmful bacteria.
Both laptops incorporate a fingerprint scanner on the power button and a physical webcam shield for added security features. The keyboard also comes with an exclusive ASUS ErgoSense technology for effortless and more comfortable typing.
GARMIN FORERUNNER 255 Smartwatch
PHP21,975 – Forerunner 255 / 255S
PHP25,115 – Forerunner 255 Music
THE NEW GARMIN Forerunner 255 series now provides full triathlon support, new training metrics, enhanced smartwatch features (when paired with a smartphone), and more. Two variants, the Forerunner 255S and Forerunner 255S Music, come in a more compact 41 mm-sized case. Here’s what’s new:
Morning report: Receive the day’s weather, daily workout suggestion, and information about last night’s sleep and HRV status. The report can be customized so athletes can view only their desired details. Race widget: View race prep information — including a race dayspecific performance prediction, race day weather, and a countdown clock — all in one widget. Once a race is scheduled, daily suggested workouts will adapt based on an athlete’s race plans.
Multi-band GPS: Garmin’s reliable GPS accuracy just got better. By enabling multi-band, multi-satellitesystem tracking on the watch, athletes can receive more accuracy in their run data, even in the most challenging environments. Native running power: When using a Running Dynamics Pod (sold separately), receive real-time metrics on how much power is being exerted on a run, built into the watch – no app required. Offering personalized training and recovery insights, the Forerunner 255 series includes performance monitoring tools to help athletes push the limits. Athletes can also switch up workouts with dozens of built-in sports apps, including triathlon, cycling, pool and open-water swimming, track run, and more.
The series also features a Wrist-based Pulse Ox and the Body Battery, which shows current energy levels to help athletes find the best times for activity and rest. It also aids women by featuring menstrual cycle tracking and pregnancy tracking, helping them adjust their training to plan for upcoming races. Whether working out alone or with friends, built-in safety and tracking features include incident detection, assistance, and LiveTrack to let loved ones follow along on a run or ride. Following a workout, the Forerunner 255 series will automatically upload activities to Garmin Connect, a nocost, subscription-free platform where athletes can view their health and fitness data, connect and compete with friends, sign up for challenges, and more.
Full triathlon support: Switch up a workout routine with triathlon and multisport activity profiles. During races and brick workouts, easily toggle between sports with a single button press.
Garmin Coach: Train for a 5K, 10K, or half-marathon with free training plans that adapt based on a runner’s goals and performance.
Packed with connected features, the Forerunner 255 series lets users get the most out of their smartwatch with smart social and SMS notifications, as well as built-in music that can store up to 500 songs from Spotify.
HRV status: Track heart rate variability while sleeping to get a better handle on recovery and an overall wellness picture.
Daily workout suggestions: Provides an entire week of day-to-day training guidance on what workout is most effective for overall wellness and will adapt based on race plans that are set up using the new race widget.
HONOR MAGIC4 PRO Smartphone
The HONOR MAGIC4 PRO features a powerful Quad-Camera system that introduces the world’s first Ultra Fusion Photography innovation that massively improves photography and video capture experiences. It presents one of the most powerful and versatile camera systems on an HONOR smartphone to date.
Adopting the largest image sensor ever on an HONOR smartphone, the 50MP Wide Camera with a massive 1/1.12-inch sensor and a large aperture of f/1.6 delivers superior light-sensing performance. HONOR Magic4 Ultimate can take scenic night shots or low-light portraits that are brighter, with more vivid colors, better-defined objects, and minimal visual artifacts. The customized 7P Lens comes with an 8% improvement in center sharpness and a 25% improvement in edge sharpness, producing photos and videos that look detailed even when zoomed in.
For faraway subjects, the 64MP Periscope Telescope Camera with built-in optical stabilization and fusion computational photography offers an impressive zoom range of 3.5x Optical Zoom and up to 100x Digital Zoom for users to capture steady images. At the heart of the system, an additional brand-new custom-made image processor supports faster and more efficient AI computations to take Ultra Fusion Photography to even greater heights, enabling one of the industry’s strongest 4K Night Mode video capture and real-time preview, making sure that shooting very bright, clear and vibrant videos in extreme darkness is possible. Powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen 1 5G Mobile Platform, the HONOR Magic4 Pro delivers fast performance
and incredible battery efficiency across all typical usage scenarios. HONOR maximized the capability of this chipset, bringing further system optimizations with improved fluency and power consumption while generating less heat and lowering latency for an even better user experience. The 6.81-inch next-generation LTPO Display delivers fluid, vibrant visuals with support for adaptive refresh rate to help users conserve battery. Consistent with the rest of the HONOR Magic4 Series, the display supports 1920Hz Pulse-Width Modulation (PWM) dimming to offer a comfortable viewing experience even in low light environments. Running the latest Magic UI 6.0 based on Android 12, the HONOR Magic4 Pro supports a range of HONOR signature smart life features. The device is also compatible to do multiscreen collaboration and seamless interconnectivity features with HONOR laptops, tablets, and even to select Huawei devices.
Its front camera features 12MP Ultra Wide Camera with a 100o Field of View to capture more vivid and realistically beautified selfies and groupies.
The 50MP Ultra-Wide Camera offers an impressive 100° field of view for capturing everything from parties to sprawling cities. With the anti-flare coating technology, the HONOR Magic4 Ultimate can get a clean and large field of view, whether taking photos or videos.
Available in Black and Cyan colors.
HONOR X SERIES Smartphones
PHP9,990 – X7
PHP12,990 – X8
PHP14,990 – X9
ALL HONOR X SERIES smartphones come with the vaunted SuperCharge feature. Both the HONOR X7 and X8 have a 5000mAh high-capacity battery with 22.5W supercharger for all-day connectivity and productivity. The HONOR X9 comes with a 4600mAh battery with 66W supercharger capable of charging to 50% in 15 minutes. All of the X Series phones have a big screen. In particular, the HONOR X9 has a 90hz refresh rate and 94% screen-to-body ratio. The X8 has a generous 93.6%, while the X7 has a 90.07% screen-to-body ratio. The large screens provide a better viewing experience for users. The 90Hz refresh rate enhances display quality, allowing users to enjoy fluid, realistic graphics on the screen without any stuttering while also ensuring a smooth scrolling experience.
The X Series offers promising camera features for mobile photography and videography. The HONOR X7 has a 48MP main camera while both the HONOR X8 and HONOR X9 have 64MP. All are packed with wide and macro lenses and bokeh effect. Aside from eXtra camera features, HONOR X series has eXtra storage. HONOR generously innovated all of the models to have 128GB ROM. As for the RAM, X7 boasts 4GB, X8 has 6GB, and X9 with 8GB. The X7 and X9 come in Midnight Black, Ocean Blue, and Titanium Silver, while the x9 comes in Midnight Black and Ocean Blue.
Packed with advanced eye protection features, including TÜV Rheinland Low Blue Light Certification, eBook Mode, and Dark Mode, the HONOR X series delivers a more comfortable reading and viewing experience, especially in low-light environments. The X Series phones have optimized performance powered by Qualcomm Snapdragon 680 and HONOR RAM Turbo, a 6nm advanced octa-core processor designed to deliver superior performance while conserving power.
Tablet PHP9,499 – 4GB + 64GB
PHP10,499 – 6GB + 128GB
HUAWEI MATEPAD PRO 11 A NEW HUAWEI MATEPAD PRO 11 has arrived with improved productivity features and a stunning new look, thanks to HUAWEI’s newest surface processing technique. It comes with an 11-inch OLED Real Color FullView Display with a 120 Hz high refresh rate for smoother content presentation. The 92% screento-body ratio ensures a more immersive viewing experience and the “Frosting Processing” used on the casing delivers a unique style. Weighing only 449g, and with a slimness of just 5.9mm — this ultra-light and ultra-thin device also comes equipped with HUAWEI SOUND® for the first time to deliver cinematic entertainment experiences. The new HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 comes with many newly upgraded features like the App Multiplier and Multi-Window for more efficient multitasking. When used together with the HUAWEI Detachable Smart Magnetic Keyboard and the upgraded HUAWEI M-Pencil (2nd generation), the new HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 completes the Tablet-PC and portable creative studio experience.
The HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 is the first tablet to receive German TÜV Rheinland Full Care Display 3.0 certification, and use a hardware solution to lower blue light to protect users’ eyes. As the first tablet to come equipped with HUAWEI SOUND, the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 uses a 6-speaker, high and low frequency division design to support its Stereo Vibe and UltraBass technology. The excellent screen and amazing sound quality allow the HUAWEI MatePad Pro to offer a stunning entertainment experience. The HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 comes equipped with the dome ring camera design first used on the HUAWEI Mate Series mobile phones. Its magnesium alloy frame makes the device lighter and more durable, making it the lightest 11-inch tablet available in the market.
The metallic sheen on the rear cover of the new MatePad Pro 11 results in a silken-smooth, wear and fingerprintresistant surface, thanks to a new Frosting Processing technique. HUAWEI has long tried to help user productivity with easy-to-use features. The HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 now allows users to access Huawei’s native apps, such as the Gallery, in landscape mode. The Multi-window has also been upgraded to support one-tap interaction.
It’s worth mentioning that the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 is the first device to support HUAWEI Notes. This notetaking app comes with powerful editing capabilities that integrate multiple editing and type-setting tools. It also comes with multiple digital paper types and brushes to choose from. On-the-go professionals can rely on WPS Office where you can view your files, create or edit pdfs on your tablet, and take advantage of the different templates readily available for use.
The HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 is also enabled by the HUAWEI Super Device — an intelligent software solution that utilizes the power of the company’s patented Cross-Device collaboration and Ecosystem Integration among its products. When working together, this revolutionary feature closes the gap between Windows and mobile ecosystems, and also allows the HUAWEI MatePad Pro 11 to interconnect with other HUAWEI devices easily for greater productivity and efficiency.
Starts at PHP95,999
LENOVO THINKPAD P16S GEN 1
BUILT TO OFFER a mix of power and performance, the ThinkPad P16s Gen 1 is one of Lenovo’s most mobile workstations for professional users on the go. Built with the latest Intel Core processors and NVIDIA T550 professional graphics, the workstation is ISV-certified and ideally suited to power applications such as AutoCAD, Revit, SolidWorks, and more. This mobile machine also ensures reliability and durability with the ThinkShield security suite and MIL-SPEC testing that highly mobile power users need. The model also offers improved usability features including a wider touchpad, all-day battery capacity, an upgraded FHD webcam, blue light reduction, and X-Rite factory color calibration for true-tolife color accuracy. A powerful and high-performance mobile workstation, ISV-certified, with the latest Intel Core processors, plus the choice of NVIDIA or Intel graphics, multiple display options, including WQXGA & X-Rite color calibration, nextgen memory and storage for seamless multitasking. Superb connectivity, including Intel WiFi 6E and Intel Thunderbolt 4. It includes a number pad, glass-like touchpad, and webcam privacy shutter. The ThinkPad P16s Gen 1 provides an ideal combination of performance, function, and form with a thin and light 16-inch chassis. Like all ThinkPad P series, it is designed with engineers, architects, and students in mind, and has a 16:10 aspect ratio display that delivers increased screen space for viewing and creating with extreme clarity. This Lenovo workstation also doubles as a gaming laptop so users can enjoy the latest PC games after a long day of work. Configurable, durable, and reliable this mobile workstation enables you to work in any environment with ease and security.
LENOVO THINKSTATION P360 ULTRA Starts at PHP114,799
The ThinkStation P360 Ultra is a powerhouse that boasts up to 12th
Gen Intel Core with vPro processors — providing both performance and remote manageability. High-end NVIDIA graphics options, including the super powerful RTX A5000 mobile GPU, ensure this powerhouse can handle both everyday tasks and complex CAD, design, Edge/IoT, as well as other high-performance workflows that make it ideal for engineers, designers, medical personnel and financiers. It is fully ISV-certified and tested at the highest level to pass MIL-SPEC standards so users can do more in less time. Needless to say, this workstation is perfect for those who want to maximize both their desk space and work productivity.
THE ULTRA-SMART, ultra-small setup of the ThinkStation P360 Ultra features a revolutionary form factor that proves small can be powerful too. Half the size of a traditional small form factor desktop workstation, the machine sits in a class of its own. Its chassis is less than 4L in total volume yet still boasts the latest Intel Core processors, NVIDIA professional graphics, super-fast memory, and cutting-edge storage. Within this new form factor, the ThinkStation P360 Ultra outperforms previous generation small form factor desktop workstations by more than 50%.
NOKIA 2660 FLIP THE FLIP FUNCTIONALITY of the Nokia 2660 Flip makes call handling simple by bringing the mic and earpiece closer to users. This phone comes with a generous 2.8” display and a zoomedin user interface means fans never have to waste time second-guessing what is on the screen. The convenient front display ensures incoming calls are easily recognized. The big, tactile buttons make navigating seamless and texting error-free. Loud and crystal-clear sound settings make it easy to hear if someone calls or texts. The Nokia 2660 Flip is there when users need it most. The slim and light flip-phone design contains a powerful 1450 mAh battery and power-efficient RTOS (Real Time Operating System) to deliver hours of talk time and weeks of standby, keeping users connected longer and ensuring the people they care about are always within reach. Its dedicated emergency button provides peace of mind by allowing quick contact with loved ones. The Nokia 2660 Flip boasts clear call quality with adjustable volume settings and is hearing aid compatible (HAC) – making calls a relaxing experience. Put through its paces by renowned Nokia phone durability tests, Nokia 2660 Flip has endured tens of thousands of flip cycles to ensure it stands the test of time. It is made of tough polycarbonate, so its stylish colors remain vibrant for longer.
NOKIA 8210 4G Feature Phone
THE NOKIA 8210 4G is a design pioneer just like its predecessor. Its big 2.8” display and zoom user interface make talking and texting easier. The updated display frame adds a fresh twist to the instantly-recognizable Nokia 8210 look courtesy of function keys adapted for today and an elegant island key mat with separated keys and an intuitive interface. It is rich in features, including the in-built MP3 player, wireless and wired FM radio, and a camera to capture life’s best bits — alongside a slice of retro courtesy of fan-favorite games like Snake.
keep calls connected and crystal clear so users can do more of what they love. Like every Nokia device, the Nokia 8210 4G has been rigorously tested to ensure it meets high durability standards — giving users peace of mind that they won’t have to replace this celebration of design excellence any time soon.
The Nokia 8210 4G is a fashion accessory that will stand the test of time. Its light and compact design seamlessly carries a massive battery which allows for longer conversations and weeks of standby so users can call, text, and go offline with confidence. Improved radio frequency, 4G connectivity, and VoLTE voice call capability
PHP35,990 - 8+128GB
It comes in two variants: 8GB + 128GB or 16GB + 256GB. Equipped with a state-of-the-art 3D Cooling System 2.0, the OnePlus 10T5G features the most ambitious and industry-leading cooling system ever developed by OnePlus.
ONEPLUS 10T 5G
AS THE MOBILE GAMING and entertainment landscape continuously evolves, smartphones are expected to keep up with the capacity needed for a smooth user experience. Fortunately, devices like the OnePlus 10T5G now feature the Snapdragon 8+ Gen1 mobile platform.
It offers a 4800mAh battery packed with a 150W SUPERVOOC Endurance Edition charging system, the fastest charging technology in the entire OnePlus ecosystem so far. This technology can power up your phone up from 1 percent to approximately 28 percent in 3 minutes, getting you up to 5 hours of YouTube usage. You can charge your battery from 1% - 100% in approximately 19 minutes. The the OnePlus 10T5G revolutionizes photography with its flagship triple camera consisting of a 50MP main camera, an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera, and a 2MP macro lens. It is also
equipped with a 16MP front camera for picture-perfect selfies. An ICE 2.0 algorithm enables users to shoot multiple pictures faster, Super HDR captures the best shots even in a backlit environment, and Nightscape 2.0 can take the best lowlight pictures.
leading glass hot-bending technology allowed OnePlus to curve a single piece of glass to give the phone the best hand-feel. The overall display is a brand new OLED FHD+ display with a 120Hz refresh rate, for a great viewing experience.
When it comes to its style, the OnePlus 10T5G boasts its futuristic design a burdenless and borderless display–this means you will never worry about the durability of your smartphone without sacrificing the signature OnePlus design.
Each unit is only 8.75mm thick and is crafted with Dual AG with LDI for the Moonstone Black color, and Multi-image tech for the Jade Green color.
Unibody glass makes this smartphone look premium and elegant. Industry-
PHP9,499 – 4GB + 64GB
POWERED BY THE advanced MediaTek Helio G99 chipset, the POCO M5 offers an incredibly smooth gaming experience. Built on a flagship-level 6nm manufacturing process, the powerful chipset includes an octa-core CPU, with two high-performance Cortex-A76 clocking up to 2.2GHz, along with an Arm Mali G57 GPU for advanced 3D graphics — an unprecedented full system for snappier gaming performance in a value phone. The Game Turbo 5.0 intelligently controls and optimizes the CPU, GPU, and memory to support steady gameplay even in heavy-loading games. The system can judiciously recognize if you are in the middle of a game, and act so that a sudden message will not disconnect you by popping up a sub-window. Coming with a 90Hz DynamicSwitch display, the POCO M5 can dynamically switch the display refresh rate.
PHP10,499 – 6GB + 128GB
When playing games, it adapts to a very fast refresh rate for high-frame gaming titles, while it can switch to slow down for video playback. This saves power as well as ensures sustained and longer gameplay with maximized battery life.
With a 6.58-inch Full HD+ DotDrop display, the POCO M5 delivers vibrant color accuracy and crisp graphics. Along with its 240Hz touch sampling rate, the POCO M5 speeds up the overall experience and helps significantly in fast-paced games with quicker touch response. The POCO M5 also comes with practical features like Sunlight display, which allows you to carry on outdoors and enjoy your game comfortably in the park or by the pool.
Beyond gameplay, POCO M5 is also perfect for those who want to live life to the fullest and capture its most memorable moments. It is fitted with a triple-back camera array comprised of a 50MP main camera, a 2MP depth sensor for real-time depth detection, and a 2MP macro camera for incredible close-ups.. To top it all up, its high-capacity 5,000mAh battery with 18W fast charging won’t leave you hanging. It is offered in three colors: black, green, and yellow.
POCO M5s Smartphone
PHP9,999 – 4GB + 64GB
PHP10,899 – 6GB +128GB
WHEN IT COMES to capturing photo and video content, the POCO M5s’ quad rear camera system can record stunning 4K videos at 30 frames per second, for catching unexpected street sports moments. It includes a 64MP primary camera, and an 8MP ultra-wide angle camera to capture beautiful city skyline shots, or mountain scenery if you enjoy nature. It also has two 2MP sensors for depth detection or taking detailed close-ups of watercolor to embrace your inner artist. A 13MP front camera tops it all up for great selfies and sharp video chat quality with friends and family.
POCO M5s comes with an impressive 6.43-inch Full HD+ AMOLED DotDisplay to watch sports, show videos to your friends or play music. Paired with dual speakers, it is engineered to provide a fully immersive audio-visual experience. It packs premium features to enhance user comfort, like DC Dimming and 360° ambient light sensors to adjust the screen brightness so you can enjoy an entire live stream without eye strain. Equipped with a MediaTek Helio G95 chipset, the POCO M5s has all the power you need to bring you the magic fun in the audio-visual world. The pairing of smooth graphics performance and efficiency enables immersive augmented reality, brilliant camera shooting, and seamless streaming experiences. It also sports a high-capacity 5,000mAh battery, providing up to 12 hours of uninterrupted immersive fun, or one and a half days of non-stop voice calls. It can even last a month in standby mode. The POCO M5s comes in grey, white, and blue.
NARZO 50i PRIME
THE NARZO 50i Prime (3GB+32GB) is powered by a Unisoc T612 Processor on a 12nm Octa-core node with two Cortex-A75 and six Cortex-A55 cores, which allows for a smooth operating experience. This also translates to good visuals with the help of its 6.5-inch HD+ Large Display, perfect for both work and play.
It is expandable up to 1TB via MicroSD card in its triple card slot, which lets users store a lot more, and at the same time use two nano SIM Cards. It also offers one of the cleanest and most intuitive operating systems, the realme UI R Edition, which runs on Android 11. It comes in two cool colors with vertical stripe design: dark blue and mint green.
REVIEWED BY GABRIEL PE
LENOVO IDEAPAD GAMING 3I GAMING LAPTOP
I had the opportunity to try out the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming L340 back in 2020. I was thoroughly impressed then, with the laptop offering outstanding performance without breaking the bank. Come 2022, and I get to relive that trial with the new Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i. Does it offer the same bang for the buck performance as its predecessor?
DESIGN While the IdeaPad Gaming L340 had a toned-down gaming aesthetic, this newer version ups the ante by adopting the Legion-line’s gaming aesthetic over its IdeaPad roots. Despite its more “gamer” look, the laptop doesn’t push it that far. You can actually bring it to a meeting without getting those weird looks. The only thing that screams gaming is the massive exhaust on the back and the sides of the device. The shape of the cover is patterned after the Legion line but is much more subtle than the exhaust. 100% sRGB so you can do some graphic work. Despite its mostly plastic body, build quality is good. In particular, I found the full-sized keyboard amazing.
Ports, however, are limited. On the left is a USB 3.2 Type-A and the headphone port. On the right is a lone USB 3.2 Type-A. At the back is the USB Type-C with ThunderBolt, the RJ45, the HDMI, and the power input.
You’ll be greeted with the 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display as you open the laptop. Our test unit is the 165Hz refresh rate version, but there is a 120Hz version as well as another version with 2560 x 1440 resolution and 165Hz refresh rate. The display itself looks good and is rated at
Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i
HARDWARE The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming continues with its tradition of high performance at a budget with this edition carrying up to an Intel Core i7-12700H processor and up to an RTX 3060 graphics.
Our review unit has an Intel Core i5-12500H paired to an NVIDIA 3050 graphics. It also has 8GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage which can go up to 16GB of RAM and up to 1TB of SSD storage. There is an extra NVMe slot in case you need to upgrade your storage later. Laptop performance is as expected. It scored 6279 on PCMark 10 with 7992 on Digital Content Creation. You can definitely do some graphic or video editing on the laptop. As for gaming, 3DMark Time Spy pegged it at 5006, with an estimated 65+ fps for Battlefield V and 50+ fps for GTA V. I tried Valorant and it averaged 120+ fps on high settings. As for AAA games, I ran Cyberpunk 2077’s Benchmark and it averaged 51 fps though that’s on medium with DLSS on Auto. Still, Cyberpunk looked extremely good.
USER EXPERIENCE If you’re looking for a laptop that’s big on performance, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i has it. During my time with the laptop, it was able to take on everything I threw at it, from gaming to a bit of video editing. The keyboard is one of the laptop’s strong points. I have always loved how Lenovo’s keyboards feel, and the IdeaPad Gaming 3i is no exception. I also love the webcam, which captured outstanding video quality for a 720p camera, helping to save my skin during online classes.
but there is a customization option to dial down the fan speed. You can also tinker with the CPU speed and GPU overclocking, in case you need more power.
Thermals are also satisfactory, although the keyboard area could get warm during extended gaming sessions. The fans are audible when you really push the laptop,
The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i is definitely made for gaming, so it now suffers the same pains of a gaming laptop. Battery life is not great. On use, I was
only able to get four hours of straight usage from the laptop before I needed to rush and find a plug. The proprietary charging port also doesn’t help since you need to bring around the charger wherever you go. The laptop itself is not the most portable as it weighs 2.3kg and comes at 21.8mm thick.
WHAT'S HOT 12th Gen Processor RTX 3050 Great Keyboard
Bulky Battery life
Starting at PHP 64,995, the Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3i still falls in the realm of a budget gaming laptop. But unlike its predecessor, it’s now a gaming laptop rather than an IdeaPad. If you want a powerful laptop, then go for it. If you’re looking for portability, I would recommend the regular IdeaPad series.
BOTTOMLINE A powerful laptop for those on a budget
Display: 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080), IPS, 300nit, 100% sRGB, 165Hz Processor: Up to 12th Gen Intel Core i7-12700H Graphics: NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3050 Laptop GPU 4GB GDDR6 (up to NVIDIA® GeForce RTX™ 3060) Memory: Up to 16GB DDR4-3200 Storage: Up to two drives, 2x M.2 SSD (M.2 2280 SSD up to 1TB, M.2 2242 SSD up to 1TB) OS: Windows 11 Home Ports: 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1; 1x HDMI 2.0; 1x Ethernet (RJ-45); 1x Headphone / microphone combo jack (3.5mm); 1x Power connector; 1x Thunderbolt 4 / USB4® 40Gbps Camera: HD 720p, with privacy shutter, fixed focus Audio: Stereo speakers, 2W x2, Nahimic Audio Connectivity: Up to Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 Battery: Up to Li-Polymer 65Wh battery, supports Rapid Charge Boost (get 2 hours of runtime with a 15-minute charge) Dimensions: 359.6x266.4x21.8mm Weight: Starting at 2.3kg
REVIEWED BY GABRIEL PE
RAZER DEATHADDER V3 PRO
Razer has been the go-to sidekick for most pro gamers, as they offer great gear with stellar performance. Let’s check out the new DeathAdder V3 Pro.
DESIGN The Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro carries on most of the design elements from its predecessors. Made for mid to large-sized hands, slight ergonomic changes include repositioned side buttons, improved shape to allow a more comfortable grip, and additional ledges for better finger support. One noticeable change from the V2 Pro is the lack of the two middle buttons and the removal of Razer Chroma lighting. Razer notes that these were removed for a more minimalist look, but it also removes a bit of additional weight. The current model is just 63g light, a whole 25g lighter than the previous model, and one of the lightest in the market.
VALUE Coming in at around PHP8,500, the Razer DeathAdder v3 Pro is one of the most expensive gaming mice on the market. I can see why Razer would price it that way; the lightness, hardware, and battery life all give this mouse an advantage over the rest of the competition.
HARDWARE Underneath the shell is where Razer pumped up the upgrades. The Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro is now fitted with Razer’s Focus Pro 30K Optical sensor. Razer claims that it offers 99.8% accuracy making it the most precise optical sensor on the market to date. As the name suggests, the Focus Pro 30K sensor also allows a max DPI of 30,000, currently the highest in the market. It can also handle max acceleration of 70G and provide a max speed of 750 IPS. This mouse is not only fast but also highly accurate, perfect for those clutch moments in games. Another consequence of the upgraded sensor is the much more efficient battery life. The DeathAdder V3 Pro is rated up to 90hrs of use. In practice, the mouse exceeds its promised times. During the month I was using the mouse, I only needed to charge it three times. Razer also upgraded the switches to their Optical Gen-3, now rated for 90M clicks. Then there’s also the shift from Micro USB to USB Type-C.
USER EXPERIENCE One of the first things I noticed when I took the Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro out of the box was its weight. I’ve seen my fair share of mice, and the only thing comparable in weight are the cheap plastic mice sold online. It is so light it seems its box is even a bit heavier. The light body is great for FPS games that demand fast and wide movements to compensate for lower DPI and in-game sensitivity. Despite an extremely light body, the mouse comes with a punch. The hardware inside does deliver, especially during intense “clutch” moments in Valorant. If you don’t believe me, ask Korean Pro Kim “Stax” Gu-taek, who pulled off one of the most impressive clutch plays in the recent Valorant Champions in Istanbul. Also, given that the mouse is built for mid-large sized hands, I needed a few days to grow accustomed to the size and feel of the mouse. For people with small hands or are left-handed, while the DeathAdder V3 Pro is satisfactory, perhaps the Razer Viper is a better option as it is smaller and has an ambidextrous design. The one thing I didn’t like about the mouse was the DPS integration into the power button. As someone who plays many different games, constantly switching DPS is a hassle. You need to turn the mouse around and press the cycle through your presets. Using Razer’s Synapse software offers a workaround, but that entails an extra step instead of just pressing a button on the mouse.
Sensor: Razer Focus Pro 30K Optical Sensitivity/DPI: 100 – 30,000 DPI Max Acceleration: 70G Max Speed: 750 IPS Polling Rate: 1000 Hz (upgradeable to 4000 Hz) Switch type: Razer Optical Gen-3 (rated up to 90M clicks) Number of buttons: 6 (5-programmable) Weight: 63g Connectivity: USB Type-C, 2.4 GHz
WHAT'S HOT Extremely light Amazing Battery life Fastest sensor currently on the market
WHAT'S NOT Shape and size are not for everyone Changing DPS can be tricky.
BOTTOMLINE The Razer DeathAdder V3 Pro is definitely the best gaming mouse if you have the cash. October 2022
As for the button layout, there are five customizable buttons: the left, scroll, and right clickers, and the two additional buttons on the left side of the mouse. The DPI button is now shared with the Power button beneath the mouse. While it’s great to minimize the buttons on top, if you’re a multi-genre gamer changing DPI can be a hassle when switching games.
REVIEWED BY GABRIEL PE
WIKO, a brand-new smartphone brand from France, has grabbed Filipinos’ attention with affordable smartphones mixed with a French aesthetic. Recently launched is the WIKO 10, a budget-friendly smartphone with a 50-megapixel shooter.
Our review unit came in the brand’s own Klein Blue, an homage to French artist Yves Klein, known for his use of the color blue. To be honest, I like the color, which is a darker shade of blue. The finish at the back adds a bit of subtle reflection. The WIKO 10 has a 6.74-inch HD+ (1600 x 720) display that is larger than most phones in its class. On the display is the front 8-megapixel camera. At the back is the phone’s main triple camera setup. On the right of the phone are the volume rockers and a power button that doubles as the fingerprint reader. On the left is the sim card and microSD card slot. The USB-C charging port, the speaker, and the 3.5mm headphone port are on the bottom.
Powering the WIKO 10 is a Helios MediaTek G37 processor. Our review unit had 6GB of RAM and 128GB of internal storage. It is one of the few phones that offer 6GB of RAM in its price range.
One of the things that surprised me with the WIKO 10 is the stock Android experience. This makes the phone feel a bit faster, plus there is no bloatware occupying additional space.
Performance-wise, the WIKO 10 isn’t a powerful device, but it gets the job done. For gaming, it can run esports titles like League of Legends: Wild Rift and Call of Duty: Mobile on low to medium settings. However, heavier games like Genshin Impact are not suited for this device.
The WIKO 10 isn’t meant to be the fastest phone out there. The Helios G37 is not made for gaming, but its 6GB RAM compensates for this as it can have more apps than phones with faster processors. Another plus for the WIKO 10 is media consumption. The bigger display allows you to see more. The speakers are also surprisingly good — loud enough to fill a small room while not sounding like a can. You can also use the headphone jack for even better audio quality.
Going to the cameras, the primary shooter at the back is a 50-megapixel; there’s also a 2-megapixel macro and a 2-megapixel depth camera to help in portrait mode. Images from the camera come out all right. When shooting outside, it produces sharp images. Low-light pictures are soft but still usable. Battery-wise, the WIKO 10 has a 5000mAh battery, which lasted me a day and a half of moderate use consisting of messages during the day and a couple of hours of Netflix at night. If you do run out, the included 22.5W fast charger can juice up the device in around 2 hours. Also, if you’re using the WIKO 10 as a secondary phone, it offers reverse charging so you can juice up your other devices.
VALUE Coming in at PHP8,990, the WIKO 10 is one of the cheaper smartphones in the market. With its great looks, 6GB RAM, and stock Android, it is a deal for someone looking for a sub-10K smartphone.
HDR Backlight Portrait
WHAT'S HOT Stock Android feel 6GB of RAM Great speaker The design looks good
Dual Bokeh Portrait
WHAT'S NOT Not the fastest processor
BOTTOMLINE The WIKO 10 is a decent smartphone for those on a tight budget.
Rear Beauty Camera Portrait
Display: 6.74” HD+ (1600 x 720) U Notch Display with 60Hz refresh rate Processor: MediaTek Helio G37 RAM: 4GB, 6GB Storage: 128GB Camera: Front: 8-Megapixel; Rear: 50 MP Main Camera (f/1.8 aperture), 2 MP Depth Camera (f/2.4 aperture), 2 MP Macro Camera (f/2.4 aperture Battery: 5000mAh, 22.5W Fast Charge Connectivity: Bluetooth 5.1, Dualband Wi-Fi, USB Type-C Others: Ultra Slim Side Fingerprint reader. Dimensions: 168.3x77.6x8.98mm Weight: 199g
REVIEWED BY FRANCESKA AGUILA
VIVO Y16 SMARTPHONE
vivo caters to all types of consumers, providing affordable phones to those on a budget without compromising much of its durability, performance, and system. Let’s check out how the new vivo Y16 performs. October 2022
DESIGN Unboxing the vivo Y16, I adored the metallic finish of the Drizzling Gold demo unit. Its design is sleek and simple, and despite being lightweight seems durably built. The screen has a preapplied screen protector, while the back is made of anti-scratch and fingerprintresistant glass. The box didn’t include a free silicon case and 3.55mm earphones but was packaged with the usual USB-C cable and adapter, information packets, warranty card, and pin ejector.
The power button and fingerprint scanner are on the right, alongside the volume keys. The sim card tray is located at the top of the phone, while the USB-C charging port, 3.55mm jack, and speakers are all located at the bottom. The rear and selfie cameras are in the expected locations. The vivo Y16 has a 6.51-inch LCD Halo full-view display that automatically adjusts screen brightness depending on the ambient light. It also filters out blue light that strains the eyes.
The vivo Y16 is powered by a MediaTek Helio P35 and runs on Android 12 and FunTouch 12 operating systems. It has a 60Hz refresh rate and pairs 4GB of RAM with 128GB of internal storage, expandable via a dedicated card slot. It has dual aspherical rear cameras — a 13MP wide and 2MP macro — that can also capture 1080p videos at 30FPS. Its front camera is a 5MP wide. It packs a powerful 5000mAh battery that can deliver up to 19 hours of video playback.
low light conditions, producing some quality images. Taking selfies is easy as it automatically enables “Selfie Fill Light” to add extra lighting in low light settings.
USER EXPERIENCE From high-end to mid-range to budget phones, I’ve always enjoyed testing vivo’s smartphones. I had read about the Y16’s promising performance, so I was eager to try it out. The main camera is above average: I didn’t expect much from it, but it takes some decent photos and videos. It does not disappoint in October 2022
Performance-wise, it lives up to expectations. Compared to other chipsets, the MediaTek Helio P35 gives the Y16 its boost, ensuring fast connections, minimal lagging, and of course, better media consumption. As usual, I played the same favorite games that I always download on test units – Call of Duty: Mobile, APEX Legends, and League of Legends: Wild Rift. The graphics on MOBA games were up to par, and I didn’t experience any lagging or crashing. However, the graphics were
subpar in battle royal (BR) games, and I encountered occasional lagging. Regarding the battery, you don’t need to worry about running empty before the day ends. The 5000mAh battery can last up to 19 hours and charges in just an hour.
VALUE If you’re looking for something in the sub-10k price range, the vivo Y16 is a great match, priced at just PHP8,499. Overall, minor issues in gaming don’t pose a problem, camera quality is good, and the Y16 is excellent for productivity. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph
SPECIFICATIONS CHIPSET: MediaTek Helio P35 OS: Android 12, Funtouch 12 STORAGE: 4GB RAM, 128GB internal storage DISPLAY: LCD DIMENSIONS: 164 x 75.6 x 8.2mm FRONT/BACK: Glass front/plastic back BATTERY: 5000mAh, USB-C CAMERA: Dual (Main) 13MP wide, 2MP macro / Front 5MP wide FINGERPRINT: Side-mounted COLORS: Drizzling Gold, Stellar Black PACKAGE INCLUDES: USB-C cable and charger, user manual and warranty, pre-applied screen protector, pin ejector
Selfie Fill Light on low-light settings Great media consumption Halo full-view display to avoid eye strain from blue light
AI Face Beauty
WHAT'S NOT Bloatware Laggy on battle royale (BR) games
BOTTOMLINE The vivo Y16 is a quality smartphone with outstanding performance, perfect for those on a budget.
Words by Pauline Mendoza I Photos courtesy of Tier One Entertainment
The Gaming Lifestyle Economy How Tier One Entertainment has built careers around an industry that started as a hobby here are 3 billion gamers worldwide. Market and consumer data firm Statista reports that this number will continue to rise in the coming years. Gone are the days when video games were treated as only a mere pastime or a hobby. It is not a small sector of the global economy anymore. Now we’re looking at a video game industry that will generate a revenue of $196.8 billion by the end of 2022, as stated in the Global Games Market Report by analytics company Newzoo.
Tier One Entertainment Co-Founder and CEO Tryke Gutierrez in an interview. Esports veteran Tryke Gutierrez, together with cosplay superstar Alodia Gosiengfiao and serial entrepreneur Brian Lim, co-founded Tier One Entertainment, a premier esports and gaming lifestyle startup based in Asia, reaching a global audience through its international talents and venture partners. Since its inception in 2017, Tier One Entertainment has been campaigning the message of how one’s passion can be turned into a viable career. The startup raised a couple of funding rounds from established venture capital firms such as BITKRAFT, Atlas Ventures, Gobi Partners, Warner Music Group, Play Ventures, and Mirana, while staying true to its vision by showing how to thrive in the gaming lifestyle economy, giving thousands of geeks and gamers the opportunity to pursue a career out of what they love and do best. Tryke Gutierrez adds, “We’ve moved from being solely a talent management agency to being a company that is at the intersection of media properties, esports, and gaming lifestyle.” With this development comes a culture that celebrates esports and gaming at the heart of the entertainment and lifestyle industry—a space where gaming is no longer a cultural vacuum.
With the company’s current momentum, being able to find the sweet spot of its market position, Tier One Entertainment is poised to build an esports and gaming behemoth of its kind.
“We believe that gaming entertainment can be developed the same way Korean entertainment companies developed music and dance,” says
What makes Tier One Entertainment thrive? Take a look at the pillars of its gaming lifestyle ecosystem:
Esports Teams and Championships he primary driver of growth for the global video games market is now mobile gaming. It comprises 53% of the market, and is expected to contribute $103.5 billion in revenue this 2022, as published in the Global Games Market Report. This gives Tier One Entertainment a powerful position as it prides itself on being a world-class mobile esports destination. Tier One Entertainment launched its esports division Blacklist International in 2020. A year later, it had garnered world championship titles in Mobile Legends: Bang Bang and Call of Duty: Mobile. Adding to the company’s list of trophies and medals are local and international championship titles such as Free Fire’s Malaysia-Cambodia-Philippine Majors (MCP Majors), Mobile Legends Professional League (MPL), Call of Duty Mobile Garena Masters, and the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) for MLBB.
Aside from winning multiple championships, Blacklist International as a brand has become a cultural phenomenon. True to its tagline, “Break The Code,” the organization has broken stereotypes in the typically maledominated esports scene. Blacklist International’s Mobile Legends team captain Jonmar “OHMYV33NUS” Villaluna was subjected to homophobic remarks after the team lost a game. Instead of fighting fire with fire, Blacklist International as a brand encouraged the huge community of gamers and esports enthusiasts behind them to become agents of change online and offline. Various news and media outlets in Southeast Asia picked up on the story, and it further raised awareness on LGBTQ+ issues in esports. Upon winning a championship, one of Blacklist International’s viral posts has OHMYV33NUS in his signature ‘crown pose’ with a caption that states, “Who says esports are only for kings? The new king is a queen.”
“We’re building this for people like us, gamers and geeks, who are in a way ‘weird.’ In this company, we embrace ‘weirdness,’ we embrace diversity.”
In its years of managing talents, hundreds of brands from different sectors have trusted Tier One Entertainment to bring them to more audiences. It has worked with brands like Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, IKEA, Samsung, Netflix, and Toyota, to name a few–creating a footprint that gaming can be mainstream. How do you thrive in the creator community? Alodia Gosiengfiao, who started cosplaying and streaming before those were mainstream, shares, “Be authentic to your craft. You can’t fake authenticity.” Through the years, Tier One Entertainment has signed talents of different backgrounds, game genres, genders, and ethnicities. The company’s recent signings are internationally sought-after cosplayers Knite, Shunsuke, and Hakken. Its roster of talents and affiliates is at the core of geek culture, flourishing with unique passions and interests.
Tryke Gutierrez says in another interview, “When we were about to start this company, she [Alodia] didn’t sign with any other talent agency because she knows she has a different ‘mold.’ We’re building this for people like us, gamers and geeks, who are in a way ‘weird.’ In this company, we embrace ‘weirdness,’ we embrace diversity.”
ier One Entertainment Co-Founder and Chief Creative Officer Alodia Gosiengfiao is the first personality in Asia to be chosen for Facebook Gaming’s Creator Program. Over the years, Tier One Entertainment has helped thousands of streamers and content creators become partners with Facebook Gaming through its incubator program AMPLFY. This allows gamers to make a living out of their passion for streaming games. As of August 2022, Tier One Entertainment’s pool of content creators has a combined following of 260 million, amassing almost a billion reach across different social media platforms that cater to various demographics, further affirming the company’s branding that gaming is for everyone. The company also recently partnered with Bent Pixels Asia of Hepmil Creators’ Network to open up YouTube advertising opportunities for creators.
Apparel and Merchandise ier One Entertainment branded items started when the organization decided to sell merchandise at a huge gaming convention. Now the company’s retail arm is officially named BLCKBOX.
Tier One Entertainment wants every piece from BLCKBOX to have a story. For instance, a specific jersey reminds fans of an epic championship run or a shirt can be a throwback to the early days of Tier One’s community.
“The purpose of BLCKBOX is to create tangible items that will remind our fans of the milestones and the highlights of our talents and players in the years to come,” shares Tryke Gutierrez in a social media post.
The company shares that BLCKBOX has already become a stable source of revenue, with Blacklist International jerseys as their top-selling items in the past year. The brand has recently collaborated with world-renowned artists Quiccs Maiquez and Egg Fiasco
for Blacklist International’s Mobile Legends Professional League S10 Collection. Tryke Gutierrez says, “Our retail arm will open up new opportunities for us to work with established intellectual properties in the retail market. As our esports teams, talents, and brands gain more popularity, the possibilities are endless for collaborations.” “The combination of physical items packaged with NFT and access to events is the future of this Tier One’s subsidiary,” Tryke Gutierrez reveals.
Media Properties entertainment and media conglomerates in the Philippines, ABS-CBN.
he rise in gaming culture needed more platforms where successful gamers could further inspire and bring opportunities to more people. Enter The Gaming House, Tier One Entertainment’s reality show for video game streamers and content creators. The show was made to give audiences a glimpse of gaming influencer life and how the next generation of gaming superstars are trained, and ultimately search for the next Tier One Talent.
Tier One Entertainment is not limited to a single show, they are continuously diving into a lot more media property projects like a Spotify Podcast titled Payaman Insider involving their talents from Team Payaman, a vlogging group with a multi-million following. Meanwhile, some of their other digital media projects are also produced by their creative productions arm, servicing multiple brands that want to connect to more communities. The company also hosts tournaments for content creators and fans through its esports entertainment subsidiary ASCEND.
The Gaming House was sponsored by some of the top brands in their respective industries like Grab, Samsung, and IKEA, to mention a few. It was presented by one of the most extensive
What’s next for Tier One Entertainment? or a startup that has secured series funding while reaching millions of people through their communities, one may think that it might have reached its peak. But Tier One Entertainment shows no signs of stopping. It has recently revealed their venture into the Web3 space.
“Dreaming about the future is limitless. In this industry, you only stop when you stop learning.”
“The first thing we worked on before going into Web3 was to go through the due diligence of understanding what the space is all about and what gap we can fill in its ecosystem,” says Adam Vinluan, Vice President for Web3 at Tier One Entertainment, in an interview. “Tier One’s strength is the traffic and the reach that we have. The thought process was, with all the intellectual properties that we have and the marketing machinery that we’ve created, we’re positioned to utilize the tools that are developing now in Web3 to provide more value to our community and our brand,” shares Adam Vinluan. Reporting almost a billion reach on social media last August, Tier One Entertainment is banking on its massive social media reach and brand credibility. The startup has announced their newest incubator program called ALLIANCE. It aims to be a global collective of thought leaders to drive traffic and mainstream adoption of Web3, shaping the future of the blockchain and crypto industry. Tryke Gutierrez shares that this is just the startup’s first step towards Web3, hinting that there is more on the horizon. After all, Tier One Entertainment has always positioned itself to be a trailblazer in whatever space they enter. As one of the company’s famous taglines says, “In Tier One, we never settle.” “We want to identify a sustainable utility that we can provide to our community so that we can onboard those who want to be in the Web3 space and help them make that jump,” Tryke Gutierrez shares. Alodia Gosiengfiao echoed the sentiment when she said, “Dreaming about the future is limitless. In this industry, you only stop when you stop learning.”
NARRATING FREEDOM AND ADVENTURE EXPLORING OPEN-WORLD GAMES Words by Jewel Sta. Ana
iving in a reality where stop and pause buttons do not exist can be tiring. To run from responsibilities at work or stressful days at school, we take refuge in open-world games. A nine-to-five corporate employee, like you, can be a Spartan mercenary, a professional hacker, a guerilla fighter, or whoever you want to be after clicking the play button. Instead of life goals, there are objectives to tick off on the list. Although you are in complete control, at least you can redo your actions and control the results in the environment you choose to exist in.
Open-world games in a nutshell As the name suggests, open-world games allow players to roam freely in a specific setting. Most open-world games fall under the role-playing genre, where players get to be a particular character with unique skills. This offers a more interactive virtual world for the players despite specific limitations such as restricted areas and inaccessible tunnels and walls made by game developers. These games have outstanding graphics and animations to make them more appealing across all ages. It is the opposite of games with a linear story structure that usually provides players with one solution to accomplish in-game missions.
Storytelling in open-world games Through the years, open-world games have seen a lot of improvements. The art of open-world games is far from the pixelated RPGs we had back in the 90s. It is now meticulously developed, as seen in the precise graphic references of people and places to accurate animation of objects and human movements. Thanks to photogrammetry and motion capture, accurate representations of a past civilization or a futuristic society are now within reach. In a way, open-world games take us to the past, present, and even future and aid in telling stories that may involve relevant social issues. A good example is Hideo Kojima’s Death Stranding which tackles death, loneliness, and human connection. According to a report from Time Magazine, Kojima’s personal struggle becomes his motivation to create a single-player game in the hopes of sharing the feeling of profound isolation. Sony Interactive Entertainment’s franchise of Horizon, on the other hand, talks about the greater good, sacrifice, and redemption. These themes are also deeply rooted in the current events that are happening in our society. As an art form, openworld games tell the story of the past, present, and future society and its culture. Game developers create an interactive and virtual world that is a reflection of our reality.
Limitations open-world games But just like any other games available in the market, open-world games have their fair share of limitations. Game developers and publishers record high production costs. The bigger the game’s environment, the higher its manpower requirements. Apart from more project managers, artists, animators, designers, and voice actors, it requires more powerful equipment and a longer processing time for game development. Players are compelled to upgrade their devices to meet the software requirements on top of the increased suggested retail price of the game. Lastly, smaller game developers and publishers only release their games on limited platforms due to budget restraints.
To make it more immersive, the gameplay experience is optimized for players by giving them full autonomy. You are free to discover the objectives, gather resources, and customize your own in-game avatars and weapons. In this way, players can be more creative and resourceful. You can also hone logical thinking, objectivity, decisiveness, and strategic planning, which are essential soft skills.
Open-world games may offer stop and pause buttons and provide players with a temporary escape from reality. However, the characters’ struggles in the artificial world created by the game developers are not far from what you are all dealing with. This is because open-world games are loosely based on humanity and unravel society. Unlike characters in open-world games with superpowers and extrasensory skills, you cannot anticipate what will happen. In reality, you can control your actions and how you write your story. As the main character, you can be anyone and anything you want. As a human who embraces flaws, you can choose to live rather than just exist.
Game developer giants share a common trend in their commercially successful open-world games. They all formulate a cohesive yet unique plot, design environments in high-definition, and release the games across available platforms. Mihoyo’s Genshin Impact is an excellent example of this trend with its compatibility with iPhones, Android smartphones, and PCs. The voice actors often inspire the facial features and mannerisms of the characters. These factors make the narration impeccable and the gameplay experience remarkable to game critics, casual gamers, and newbies.
MORE THAN THE GAME MEET THE PEOPLE BEHIND MPL Words by Gabriel Pe I Photos courtesy of MPL PH
here is a massive misconception that esports is all about the players and coaches and the team that’s out to win it all. For many, esports is about kids playing video games and winning a ton of money. It also doesn’t help that mainstream coverage of esports initially focused on the prize pool and the players. But it’s more than that. Esports is a community of gamers, a community of individuals striving to make their passion a living, thriving industry. Beyond the stream and the glamor, there is a world of stories that need to be heard.
Becoming the voices behind the play
Unlike other MPL-PH personalities, Manjean “Manjan” Faldas recalls that his mom supported his passion for casting from the start.
The Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Pro League – Philippines (MPL-PH) is the country’s fastest-growing esports league. Now in its 10th Season (5th Year), the league has grown to staggering heights. Growing with it are its shouted casters who shared their own stories in a recent press conference.
“I come from a separated family, and my mom was the one who carried me up until now,” Faldas narrates. “When I graduated, I became the one, the breadwinner of the entire family.” “I discovered shoutcasting in 2016. I auditioned for an organization that was looking for someone to cast in Tagalog. Then when 2018 came, our manager told us, ‘Hey, you should try Mobile Legends’ because mobile games are becoming a thing in the Philippines,” he remembers.
One of the most well-known and passionate casters in the local Mobile Legends scene is Mark Adrian “Butters” Jison. Esports wasn’t a recognized career path when he was just starting in the early 2010s. “My parents were one hundred percent against my career. They were telling me, ‘You have a degree; why don’t you use it? Why are you sticking with that?’ There was even one time I was almost kicked out of the house. They didn’t like the idea,” he recalls. “On my graduation day, I had to cast. I asked my mom to please understand I need to shoutcast because this is what I want to do.”
Despite coming from a not-so-well-off background, he recalls how supportive his mother was even if they needed to live paycheck to paycheck. “My mom told me, it’s up to you, son, just get money,” he shares. But of course, pursuing every dream isn’t as easy as it sounds. Even if he’s already doing what he wants, not everything is rainbows and sunshine for Faldas. “I think it’s a struggle for me because this career requires a lot of patience, and it took me many years to master and adjust to the situation.”
An IT major, Jizon was passionate about esports. He also didn’t like the idea of a regular 9 to 5 job. “I wanted to get into esports so bad. So that is why I always say gaming saved my life because I didn’t want a (regular) full-time job,” he adds.
This has also taught him to value what he currently has and be determined to work harder.
Despite their earlier resistance, his parents have become more supportive. “Now, when there are events like M3 or SEA Games, they would message me, ‘Demonkite is good.’ How do you know Demonkite? Are you watching? They would say yes,” he shares. “Right now, it’s a feeling… I’m happy, I’m in this position.”
“You need to work hard for the spot you want, and for me, the spot doesn’t really exist because, at the end of the day, you will just have your family with you. And right now, I am still thankful even though sometimes I am stressed and depressed, I still get opportunities,” he explains.
The behind-the-scenes care Behind the camera, team managers make sure the team has everything they need to function. From consulting with players and coaches to managing the gaming house and transportation to venues, a team manager’s job is stressful yet rewarding.
Omega Esports vs Bren Esports
As the league is still relatively young and many pro players still considered minors, team managers need to exercise care in their approach. Opening the scene for new stories
“Sa minors iba talaga yung approach sa kanila, kasi nga may ibang needs sila. Iba iba sila kung paano makipag-communicate, madalas talaga iba-iba yung connection mo and approach,” notes Adi Padilla, team manager for Bren Esports.
Whether in front of the camera or behind the scenes, esports offers many new opportunities and roles.
A team manager can be like an older sibling, or even a second parent, disciplining a player when needed or offering comfort during rough times.
Miko Cuartero, business development manager at Omega Esports (PLDT’s esports organization), shares his insights, explaining: “As you can see here in the MPL, there’s production. You need to produce the tournaments. Tournaments Organizers are a big thing, but that’s for the competition side. As for the other parts, you also have openings for social media, for editors of all types, videos, somebody to take photos, so there’s a multitude of other jobs in it,” he said.
“For me nung nagstart ako I really wanted may discipline yung players ko. Because most of them are minors and most of the time, you’re not going to control them. That’s my number one rule. I want them to be disciplined. As time passes, nadadagdag yung mga rules namin, and now I can say it is effective and hindi napapariwara yung mga players in his career and personal life,” says Mitch Liwanag, country manager for Echo Philippines.
Watching the MPL live, you’ll be greeted by the myriad of cameras, lights, and even wires — it is like stepping into a movie production. Even just at the entrance, there are about a dozen staff helping to usher in the audience and maintaining health protocols.
Being a team manager is an almost 24/7 job looking after the players and doing everything possible so they wouldn’t have to worry about anything. While it can be stressful for the managers, they say their love for esports and the players makes it worth the effort.
Cuartero also believes that a career within esports is a good training ground for other career paths in the future. He notes how esports can train you for traditional jobs.
“For example, a social media manager. You can take everything you learn here to a traditional advertising job. Everybody needs a social media manager now. It’s a good place to develop,” he explains.
their studies, he notes that this is largely a myth, pointing out that three players from Omega recently graduated. “At the end, there will be studying involved as you need to study your opponents; you need to study the game. So if you’re approaching it from the perspective of ‘I just want to have fun,’ that’s not esports; that’s just gaming.”
When asked whether you need an esports-related degree, he observes, “What we need are other professionals who want to learn esports. In esports, you have to learn everything on the fly because there’s nothing else quite like it. The energy, the youthfulness, and even the humor and how to connect with the fans is a totally different thing,” he adds.
He adds that esports is highly competitive, so studying and preparing for your opponents is a must. You’ll have to hit the books in one form or the other. “When it comes to esports, it is a competitive scene, and for every advantage, you’re gonna grind, you’re gonna research, you’re gonna use your head.”
Additionally, when asked about his thoughts on children pursuing a career in esports and neglecting
Blacklist International after winning the game against ECHO
PREDATOR LEAGUE BACK TO OFFLINE Rex Regum Qeon and Polaris Esports win coveted Predator Shield
fter two years of purely online competition, Predator League was back offline last September 17 to 18 at the SM Mall of Asia Central Atrium where teams tested each other’s mettle in front of a live audience. DAY ONE – VALORANT BATTLES Day One saw top Valorant teams in the Philippines doing face-to-face battle at the Predator League 2022 Philippine Finals. Oasis Gaming, Team Secret, South Built Esports, and Rex Regum Qeon played their hearts out to an excited crowd at the SM Mall of Asia Central Atrium. The electrifying duo of Justin “Vill” Villarasen and Allyza “Tayrawr” Taylor brought to life the excitement of finally
Valorant Champion - Rex Regum Qeon
returning to LAN competition. They were ably supported by the experts and analysts of the caster and panel desk: Jemimah “Donut” Dadula, Chris “Dadfemina” de Ocampo, Charles “Sneakyfrog” Carillo, Michaella “Mochii” Gonzale, and Brian “GuiangGaming” Guiang. The competition was intense from the start, with Rex Regum Qeon (RRQ) easily dispatching Oasis Gaming (2-0) with a scoreline of 13-5 on both Haven and Breeze. The veterans of South Built Esports and highly renowned Team Secret, a matchup with a very storied past, duked it out for a full 3-map series, with Team Secret bowing out of the competition, leaving South Built Esports to advance towards the Grand Finals (2-1).
The Grand Finals presented to the audience a very captivating storyline: Would the wisdom of FPS veterans South Built Esports prove that experience truly is king, or would the youthful roster of Rex Regum Qeon finally pave the way for the end of the old guard? The first game showed the mastery of RRQ over the map of Breeze with a very convincing 13-7 scoreline. The second map, Fracture, went all the way to overtime but eventually RRQ proved that their fiery energy would deliver them victory and the championship. Rex Regum Qeon walked away from SM Mall of Asia Central Atrium with the Predator League Shield, as well as PHP 00,000 for their flawless run. South Built Esports was awarded PHP100,000 for their valiant effort.
Besides the non-stop Valorant action on the main stage, the audience was also joined by some of their internet favorites and heroes. Een Mercado, Team Payaman, and burg also joined in on the excitement at Mall of Asia, hosting giveaways and meet-andgreets for their fans and followers. Reg Rubio also rocked the crowd with the electrifying song right before the start of the Grand Finals.
DAY TWO – DOTA 2 Day Two saw one of the country’s beloved esports, Dota 2, marking its return to LAN action. GrindSky Esports, Execration, Polaris Esports, and Atomic Esports finally got to show their prowess in front of a highlycharged audience. Returning for the second day to host this prestigious event, Justin “Vill” Villarasen and Allyza “Tayrawr” Taylor were joined by a lineup of talented casters and panelists: Erika Mei “Aki” Ilar, John “Johnxfire” Nathan Fernandez, Aries “Kalbz” Alejandro, Nathaniel “NaTan” Wicks, and Rain “Rain” Zerlyn Manaig. With four of the most skilled teams in the Philippines, the competition was charged from the get-go. GrindSky Esports, a relatively new organization in the Philippine scene, slightly edged out the veterans from Execration, with a 2-1 scoreline that guaranteed them a slot to the Grand Finals. Flying straight from their boot camp in Cebu, Polaris Esports was matched with the tenacious underdogs of Atomic Esports. But Polaris Esports proved that their pedigree was well-earned, with the Cebuanos sweeping the series 2-0, with their second game being finished in a lightning-fast 20-minute victory. The Grand Finals was a test of whether or not Polaris Esports was the new kings of Philippine Dota, or if the new upstarts of GrindSky Esports were more than capable of proving that they were a force to be reckoned with. But at the end of the day, Polaris Esports proved that their recent performances were no mere flukes.
They demolished GrindSky Esports in convincing fashion, winning 2 games straight to take home the Predator League Shield. Polaris Esports walks away with PHP 200,000, while GrindSky Esports are rewarded with PHP 100,000 for their valiant efforts. Besides the intense action that Dota 2 brought to the SM Mall of Asia Central Atrium, fans were once again treated to the presence of some of their favorite Dota personalities. KuyaNic, Kang Dupet, Ashley Gosiengfiao,
and even the whole squad of TNC Predator were in the area to show their support and give selfies and signatures to their fans. Mayonnaise also graced the stage and performed some of their fan-favorite hits. APAC GRAND FINALS As the curtains of this chapter of Predator League closes, a new one begins: Both Polaris Esports and GrindSky Esports will be traveling to Japan for the Asia Pacific Predator League 2022 Grand Finals where they will be representing the Philippines. There, they will face off against the champions of the other Predator Leagues in the APAC region. All eyes will be on Japan, from November 11 to 13, where the world will know who the best Dota 2 team from the region is.
(L-R) Manuel Wong, Managing Director, Acer Philippines and Sue Ong-Lim General Manager Acer Philippines
For more information regarding Predator League, follow Predator’s social media accounts on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
Words by Jose Alvarez
Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox Series X/S, Xbox One, iOS, Android
asketball is the sport of choice in the Philippines. You can see it played in every barangay, from makeshift hoops to full-sized basketball courts. You’re never too far away from picking up a basketball and getting in some practice with your friends. Basketball was introduced to the Philippines in 1910, and the first men’s national team won the Far Eastern Championship Games in 1913, with the country joining the FIBA in 1936. The rest, they say, is history, as local leagues such as the PBA and international leagues such as the NBA have large followings in the Philippines. NBA 2K23 has Phoenix Suns star Devin Booker on the cover, and that sets the tone for the game. While retaining all the aspects of the previous installments, 2K23 brings back the Jordan Challenges. This places you in the seat of the GOAT himself, Michael Jordan. You can relive the 1982 NCAA title game that pits Jordan, a first-year North Carolina Tar Heel, against the Georgetown Hoyas, with less than 20 seconds to play. Do you hit the shot and put the entire basketball world on notice? You can even carve out your own career in MyCareer mode, a staple of the franchise. Do you become the new GOAT, or do you succumb to media pressure? Your destiny is in your own hands.
You can also relive other memorable moments in Jordan’s career, namely the 1984 Team USA Basketball Scrimmage which pitted Michael Jordan, yet to play in his first NBA game, against established stars such as Magic Johnson, Larry Bird, Kevin McHale, and Isiah Thomas. You can relive his 1986 63-point playoff performance against the heavily-favored Boston Celtics, his 1988 triumph in the All-Star Game, 1989’s “The Shot” against the Cleveland Cavaliers that cemented Jordan’s legacy as a clutch player, face-offs against legends such as Dominique Wilkins and the “Bad Boys” Detroit Pistons in the early 1990s, his legendary performances in the 1991 and 1992 NBA Finals, and even his comeback from baseball against the New York Knicks where he scored 55 points in just his sixth game back. Other performances, such as the “Flu Game” of the 1997 NBA Finals and his “Last Dance” game, are also available. Due to my love of basketball and history, this was my favorite feature of NBA 2K23 (and possibly my favorite feature of any sports game I have played, ever).
You can even start your career in different eras, such as the rivalry between Magic and Bird, the Jordan era, the Kobe era, and even the modern era. What would you do differently? You can even carve out an alternate NBA history if you want to. What if Shaq never left the Lakers after the 2003-2004 season? What if Detroit took Carmelo Anthony in 2003? You can explore a world of possibilities in this edition of NBA 2K. While in my younger years I enjoyed the arcade-y, fast-paced style of NBA Live, I grew to enjoy the 2K series more and more in my adulthood. Aside from all the nostalgia, the gameplay has included tweaks to player stamina, and it’s easier to block shots and contest them. However, like anything else, there are still flaws in this installment of the storied franchise. The AI makes questionable decisions that may have you questioning whether or not the developers have actually stepped onto a basketball court, especially when the shot clock is down to the final 3-4 seconds, instead of making a play or key pass that might lead to chances for a better shot.
Overall, I enjoyed NBA 2K23 because of the nostalgia, customization, and a chance to make alternate NBA histories. The Jordan Challenges were a welcome (if not necessary) re-addition to the game as it placed the world’s best basketball player front and center for a new generation of gamers to enjoy. If you’re looking at settling your favorite basketball debates or just want to relive certain parts of NBA history, pick up NBA 2K23 today.
PC, macOS, Linux, Nintendo Switch, PlayStation 5, PlayStation 4, Xbox One Words by Franceska Aguila
ideo games have constantly evolved through the years, from graphics to mechanics to storylines. Donkey Kong, released by Nintendo in 1981, was considered the first game to have a story, albeit a simple one. The storyline matured and progressed to Mario Bros. in 1983, eventually burgeoning into the Super Mario series. It’s interesting to note that it all started with a man attempting to save a princess. Now, we have video games that make us cry like The Last of Us, learn about Greek mythology like Hades, and make our hearts melt like Unpacking.
There are three different types of storytelling in video games: Games with a linear narrative have fixed stories, and side quests may or may not be available. Player interaction will not influence the outcome of the game or the story. In games using the string of pearls model, the story is still told in a linear fashion, but players have the freedom to explore options, which can affect certain parts of the game. Still, it all eventually leads to a pre-determined ending. In games with a full branching story, player choices and actions influence gameplay as the characters develop in the game world. Player interactions affect the plot and ending.
One particular game that I’ve been a fan of since its 2021 release is Unpacking, a cozy lo-fi puzzle game suitable for all players. Its creator, Wren Brier from Witch Beam, was inspired to make this game when her boyfriend decided to move in with her. He forgot to label his boxes, resulting in a fun and surprising unpacking experience. Wren jokingly pitched this as an idea for a video game. When it finally happened, Unpacking was a big hit and won multiple awards, including best narrative for BAFTA Games Awards 2022 and best indie game of the year for NME Awards 2022, among others. Let’s unpack its heartfelt story, which shows her life through 8 stages (1997, 2004, 2007, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2015, 2018), from her childhood to marriage. I learned a lot about the main character, her interests, hobbies, and travels. I also gained many insights from this game, with its diverse emotions and situations about friendship, family, love, and relationships.
THE YEAR 2004: SHE GOES TO COLLEGE
THE YEAR 1997: HER OWN BEDROOM
Our character is in college, unpacking her things in her dorm room with a bathroom and kitchen. She still has her diary, stuffed toys, the red double-decker bus display, and a new piece for her travel collection – an Eiffel Tower. Bigger art materials show that she’s still into art. Being in college and away from home for the first time gives her a sense of freedom while still staying attached to her roots through her favorite stuffed toys and diary.
The main character was given her own room for the first time. Taking out her things from unlabeled boxes, it was refreshing to see toys from the 90s like the very popular Tamagotchi. Opening more boxes showed she was into art, sports, and physical activities. A little red double-decker bus from London suggested that she and her family went on a trip to the UK. There were a number of stuffed toys that we will see in the next few chapters of her life. There’s the diary that she’ll also bring along in her next moves but should be kept hidden throughout the entire game.
THE YEAR 2010: MOVING IN WITH HER BOYFRIEND I was excited for our main character when she moved in with her boyfriend in an apartment with a city view. Taking her items out of the box, I noticed that she had started playing the ukulele and still has the barista job. A couple of Dungeons and Dragons influences showed they shared the same interests in music and games. Looking through the rooms in the boyfriend’s apartment, I noticed that he never gave her enough space for her things, especially her diploma, which was kept hidden under the bed. That revealed a lot about the nature of their relationship.
THE YEAR 2007: MOVING IN WITH HER NEW ROOMMATES The main character finished college, earned her degree, and moved in with two new roommates with whom she shares an interest in games and cosplay. In this chapter comes a new challenge, organizing her belongings in rooms that have already been filled in with immovable items. Unpacking her stuff reveals upgraded art materials with a drawing tablet. A Leaning Tower of Pisa display showed that she went on another Euro trip. She now owns a work apron with a matching cap and most likely works at a cafe as a barista.
THE YEAR 2012: BACK HOME
THE YEAR 2015: MOVING IN TOGETHER
Now, she’s back in her own room, with sad background music. They had broken up after two years of being together. She’s back in her old room that her mom had turned into a sewing room. Still, she managed to fit in her belongings, bringing back all the stuff she took to her ex-boyfriend’s apartment. Interestingly, when you try to pin their couple’s photo on the corkboard, the thumbtack pins it on the exboyfriend’s face, so you need to keep the photo hidden.
In this chapter, for the first time, it’s not our main character that’s moving but someone special – her girlfriend, which I found out through a pair of rainbow socks. Unlike the earlier sad experience with her ex-boyfriend, she manages to provide space for her girlfriend, giving her an extra cabinet in their room. In this chapter, all the items in the house are moveable, allowing users to move things around for the girlfriend. Our main character has also succeeded in her art career, displaying her work in the home office.
THE YEAR 2013: STARTING FRESH THE YEAR 2018: THE LAST MOVE
A year later, the main character decides to live alone and start over. She has more space in an apartment with its own kitchen, bath, dining area, living room, bedroom, and office. She still has her slightly worn-out pig plushie and her diary. Added to her travel collection is a souvenir of a windmill from the Netherlands.
I was most excited about this chapter. Our main character and her girlfriend bought a two-story house together, and they’re expecting a baby. The house has a nursery, two baths, an office, a living room, a bedroom, a kitchen and dining, and a walk-in closet. Taking out all of their belongings, it was nice to see their pig and tiger plushies, our main character’s diary, and all the sentimental things she brought along through all her moves.
Unpacking is a cozy game with a linear narrative that delivers a heartfelt storyline. Through the character’s belongings, the game shares stories about love, pain, hope, and life as we follow the chapters of her life.
TOP VIDEO GAMES TO PLAY WITH YOUR NON-GAMER SIGNIFICANT OTHER Words by Chris Noel Hidalgo
grew up as a gamer. My ex-girlfriendslash-wife? Not even in the slightest. While I appreciate her efforts to be a backseat gamer most of the time, a player two some of the time, and the main player once in a blue moon, our affinity towards video games is clearly not the same. Seeing as most games require the hand-eye coordination and split-second decisionmaking you can only really get from spending thousands upon thousands of hours in front of a screen with a controller in hand, it doesn’t take long for her to give up and switch the TV to Netflix instead.
Overcooked and Moving Out Overcooked and Moving Out are two againstthe-clock games that will either make your relationship stronger or instigate fights. The former is a cooking game where you and your partner have to coordinate chopping, cooking, and serving food across challenging environments. The latter is a physics-based game where players must coordinate to lift, move, and place furniture in a moving truck. The mechanics and controls for these games are simple, yes. However, accomplishing objectives and moving on to the next level is anything but. It is super satisfying when you and your partner get in a groove, churning out perfect meals and stacking furniture in record time.
Fortunately, there are several games out there that don’t require any special skills or abilities from your loved one (or yourself) to enjoy!
The Lego Video Games The Lego video games are a great way to bond with your non-gamer significant other. There’s little to no risk of losing, so you can play these games without worrying about having to carry your partner throughout levels. It’s also hilarious to watch them do the platforming sections, as they tend to fall off the map over and over again. The best part, however, is defeating bosses and sharing the triumph with your partner while knowing that you did all the work while they spent the better part of the level in respawn mode.
Mario Kart Who doesn’t know the beloved Italian plumber? Mario Kart first came out in 1992, and though various features have been added and gameplay tweaked throughout the years, it’s still easy to pick up and play for anyone who enjoys racing. Its roster of characters ensures that there’s an avatar for everyone, whether they care about kart characteristics or just want to have a cute racer. Its track options range from straightforward ones to ones with annoyingly funny gimmicks. The quintessential item boxes contain speed boosts, track hurdles, and game-(or relationship-breaking) missiles. After all, nothing says “I love you” like sending a blue shell flying to your partner in first place and depriving them of a win.
Nintendo Switch Sports Into something more active—such as tennis, bowling, or soccer—but don’t want to go out and rent a venue every time you and your partner want to play? Good thing there’s Sports on the Nintendo Switch. This motion-based sports title is intuitive to play and perfect for competitive couples. Each game takes only a few minutes, making rematches a no-brainer until someone says uncle. Be careful and make sure the controllers are firmly attached to your person, though — you don’t want to throw your Joy-Con at your TV and ruin your date.
Tekken Wait, Tekken? A fighting game being recommended for non-gamers? Why not? While Tekken is usually associated with pixel-perfect, airjuggling combos, button mashers can fare quite well against even seasoned players. Trust me, I know. Certain characters, such as Eddie and Lily, lend themselves quite well to button mashing. So much so that once my wife discovered that all she had to do was mash the kick buttons like there’s no tomorrow, she went on a gloating-filled win streak. That game session then gradually saw me going from “playing to have fun” to being a rage-filled try-hard desperately trying to gain my gamer honor back.
Guitar Hero and Rock Band Musically-inclined couples have Guitar Hero and Rock Band to bond over. These rhythm games feature classic anthems and more modern tracks across various genres, ensuring your song tastes and familiarity are covered. Better yet, players can play on different difficulties together. Your significant other can jam out at a leisurely pace while you shred on Free Bird. Don’t like being on the guitar? You can also play the drums or belt out on the mic.
Just Dance Lastly, and a favorite of my wife and I, is Just Dance. This rhythmexercise title allows you and your partner to show off your best (or worst) moves while dancing to chart-toppers through the years. While some dances are headto-head with couples trying to outscore each other, some songs are couple’s dances to make your hangout sweeter. Dancing around and looking like a fool with your loved one is an intimate experience that you’ll look back on fondly when you’re gray and old.
25 YEARS AND GOING FURTHER Ford Philippines officially marks its 25th year in the country, a testament to its commitment to help boost the local automotive industry with its wide portfolio of Ford vehicles and services. It was in 1997 when Ford Motor Company Philippines, Inc. (FMCPI), Ford Motor Company’s Philippine-based subsidiary, was established. At the end of that year, FMCPI sold a total of 97 units of Ford Expedition, the first Ford vehicle that was sold in the country. Since then, Ford Philippines has remained a key player in the industry, transforming into a national sales and distribution
subsidiary in 2012 that handles all sales, service, and marketing activities of Ford vehicles in the country. Over the last 25 years, close to 400,000 customers have become and are existing owners of Ford vehicles in the Philippines, which include the Ford Club Wagon, EcoSport, Escape, Everest, Expedition, Explorer, Explorer Sport Trac, F150, Lynx, Mustang, Ranger, Territory, Town Car
(Lincoln) and Transit. The automotive company has likewise grown its dealer network to 49 dealerships around the country, serving the sales and service needs of its still-growing customer base. Through the years, Ford has received several citations for its vehicles from various award-giving bodies. The Ford Everest, Explorer, Expedition, Mustang, Ranger, Ranger Raptor, and Territory are
among the most awarded vehicles not only in its vehicle portfolio but also in their respective segments. Ford has also been cited for its corporate social responsibility programs, such as Driving Skills for Life (DSFL), Operation Better World, COVID-19 Relief Program, and Automotive Technician Scholarship Program. Most recently, Ford received awards for its communications programs and initiatives that supported the launch of the Ford Territory, the Ford RangeHER program, and the Henry Ford Awards. All three programs were launched and rolled out at the height of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021. Driving The Future With its anniversary theme Driving Our Future Together, Ford Philippines looks ahead into the future by bringing more world-class Ford vehicles, introducing innovations to elevate the ownership experience for its customers, and making a difference in the lives of its partner communities and beneficiaries. “It has been a thrilling ride for Ford in the Philippines. We thank all our stakeholders who have been part of our journey for the last 25 years — our customers, dealers, employees, business partners, and communities. We appreciate the support, partnership and collaboration you have extended through the years,” shares Mike Breen, managing director, Ford Philippines. “As we move forward to the years ahead, we will continue to go further and take the Ford ownership experience to greater heights.” Anniversary Profile Photo Frame To kick off its anniversary celebration, Ford Philippines is inviting all its customers, followers, enthusiasts, and dealer partners to join the festivities by updating their profile photos on Facebook using the official Ford Philippines 25th anniversary frame.
• Go to https://bit.ly/3evpuVR to access the anniversary frame. • Select ‘Choose a Photo.’ Select the photo from your files that you want to use. Adjust your chosen photo to fit the frame. Click ‘Next’ and then click “Download.’ Your framed photo will be saved in your Downloads folder. • Upload the framed photo as your new profile picture. Click your profile photo on Facebook and click ‘Update Your Profile Picture.’ • Click ‘Upload Photo’ and locate your framed photo in your Downloads folder. • In the description box, add the hashtags #FordPH25 and #DrivingOurFutureTogether and then click ‘Save’. #MyFordStory Ford customers, employees, and dealer teams are also invited to participate in the #MyFordStory program, where they can post their stories with photos and videos about their Ford vehicles, experiences, and memorable moments on their social media pages using the hashtag. These stories will be collected and featured on various platforms in the coming months.
TOYOTA FINANCING FOR MSMES
ased on Q4 2020 statistics from the United Nations Development Programme, micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs) made up 99.5% of the Philippines’ business establishments, employed 63% of the country’s workforce, and contributed 40% of the country’s GDP in the previous years. In 2020, this number declined due to community lockdowns. Today, as the economy is steadily opening up, MSMEs are now getting back on track. One important factor they need is access to finance. Financing is essential to the growth of MSMEs, as it can help them to resume operations and re-enter the market. With the vision of bringing mobility for all and the goal of enabling local businesses to contribute to economic recovery, Toyota Motor Philippines (TMP) is committed to being the partner
of every MSME. The country’s leading mobility company is empowering livelihoods by extending financial assistance through its financing partner, Toyota Financial Services Philippines (TFSPH). It is also including its Light Commercial Vehicle line, the all-new Lite Ace in TFSPH’s Kabuhayan on Wheels Financing program. Growing businesses now have the chance to own the all-new Lite Ace to help with their day-to-day operations. They can choose from these easy and convenient options: (1) Vehicle Loan and (2) Finance Lease – both of which are customizable to ensure hassle-free payment terms. In addition to these, Toyota has introduced its newest option, (3) Lite Sa Bulsa, which allows customers to pay on a weekly basis for as low as PHP2,903.50 a week. With the Kabuhayan on Wheels Financing Program, MSMEs are a step closer to achieving their asenso goals!
For those who want to avail of this new offer, just visit the nearest Toyota dealer in your area to inquire. A gas card worth PHP5,000 comes with every successful booking. Toyota marketing professionals will be more than willing to assist you in every step of the application process. If you are an MSME, start moving forward in your business with the allnew Toyota Lite Ace! Available in pickup, panel van, FX utility van, and cargo aluminum van variants. Kabuhayan on Wheels and Lite Sa Bulsa are just a few of the programs that Toyota Motor Philippines and Toyota Financial Services Philippines offer, as part of their commitment to providing mobility for all. Toyota Financial Services Philippines Corporation is supervised by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas. To know more, visit www.toyotafinancial.ph. October 2022
MODERN ISUZU PUV ARRIVES IN ORIENTAL MINDORO suzu Philippines Corporation (IPC), together with Isuzu Calapan, conducted a turnover ceremony for the first modern Isuzu PUV in Oriental Mindoro to Victoria Operators Drivers and Commuters Transport Cooperative (VODACTCO) last September 18, 2022. The momentous turnover ceremony held at the showroom of Isuzu Calapan was attended by the Isuzu Philippines team led by its president Noboru Murakami and department head for CV Sales Mario Ojales. Also in attendance were VODACTCO officers and members headed by their general manager Gaudencio Callo and vice chairperson James Valdez. The twenty-eight units of Isuzu NLR PUV will be used as the primary mode of transportation of Mindoreños from Calapan City to Victoria, Oriental Mindoro. “We are happy and proud to be part of your progress and development in terms of transportation. Being the number 1 truck
From left: Isuzu Calapan Truck Elite – Rico Delica; IPC Department Head for CV Sales - Mario Ojales; VODACTCO General Manager - Gaudencio Callo; VODACTCO Vice Chairperson - James Valdez; IPC President – Noboru Murakami; Isuzu Calapan; Almazora Motors Corp. Sales & Marketing Manager - Larry Vicente; Isuzu Calapan Operations Manager – Marlon Bautista; Isuzu Calapan Sales & Marketing Manager – Kathleen Marquinez; Isuzu Calapan Aftersales Manager - Genaro Rhon Cleofe Jr.; Almazora Motors Corp. Manufacturing Manager - Joseph Angeles
brand in the Philippines for 22 consecutive years, Isuzu’s goal has always been about providing transport solutions to people,” said Isuzu president Noboru Murakami, implying that the turnover of the first modern Isuzu PUV to VODACTCO is yet another testament that Isuzu continuously contributes to the uplifting of quality of life of people by providing mobility solutions. As mentioned by VODACTCO general manager Gaudencio Callo, “To comply to the PUV modernization program of LTFRB, we made sure that the replacement of our old traditional jeepneys are durable and fuel-efficient vehicles because this is a big investment for our cooperative members.”
Isuzu’s outstanding fuel efficiency, complemented by comprehensive aftersales support, made VODACTCO choose Isuzu NLR PUV as the perfect partner for their livelihood. In addition to the undisputable quality of Isuzu products and aftersales, Callo is also very thankful and satisfied with the excellent customer service that Isuzu Calapan had shown the cooperative throughout the process. Isuzu Calapan is a relatively new dealership established in 2019. Despite being new, Isuzu Calapan already won 3rd place in the 2021 Dealer of the Year award organized by IPC, and placed Grand Champion in the 2022 Isuzu Service Skills Olympics.
NEW TECHNOLOGY TO INACTIVATE VIRUSES LEVERAGING NISSAN’S EXPERTISE IN AUTOMOTIVE DEVELOPMENT issan Motor Co., Ltd. and the Tohoku University Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences have jointly developed a technology that inactivates viruses using catalyst active species for aerobic oxidation. The technology has potential applications for inactivating viruses by oxidizing, denaturing, and degrading proteins and other substances on the virus surface. With oxygen in the air acting as an oxidant, the catalyst species produces this effect even under dark conditions at room temperature without requiring light irradiation, as is usually the case with oxidation. In addition to inactivating viruses — including the novel coronavirus — this technology can also inactivate pathogens such as fungi and bacteria. It has the potential for wide-ranging applications in the future, including use as antibacterial and antiviral base materials in filters
for air conditioning equipment and air purifiers, as well as in masks and medical textile products.
notable inhibition of infection-related morphological changes in the cells was observed.
This technology utilizes organic nitroxyl radical oxidation catalysts (radical catalysts). They oxidize organic compounds in the presence of appropriate co-catalysts using molecular oxygen in ambient air, acting as a terminal oxidant.
This technology was created by leveraging Nissan’s technologies and expertise in automotive development, and the Tohoku University faculty’s technologies related to drug development, drug evaluation and other pharmaceutical sciences, as well as catalyst preparation and catalyst performance evaluation.
Studies of this technology’s effects have found that the oxoammonium salts produced from radical catalysts through aerobic oxidation oxidize and inactivate viruses’ surface proteins, thereby reducing their ability to bind to target cells. Furthermore, processing the receptor binding domain of the spike protein of SARS-CoV2 (omicron strain) significantly reduces the binding of the spike protein to the receptor (see figure below). Using feline coronavirus — an alternative SARS-CoV2 virus —its infectious activity on feline renal cells was assessed, and a
Radical catalysts are used as additives in the polymer base materials of automotive paints and in the fiber and organic polymer materials used in vehicle interiors and exteriors. They inhibit photodegradation reactions — e.g., cracking, embrittlement, fading — over long periods of time. Nissan has been researching and developing the use of radical catalysts to inactivate viruses in an effort to make the most of their catalytic activity and further contribute to society. October 2022
DUCATI LENOVO TEAM
CUSTOMIZATION IS THE KEY TO WINNING enovo technology has enabled the customization of Ducati bikes to ensure they meet the needs of the track and the riders. From preparing MotoGP riders for races to simulating on-track scenarios, technology is reshaping a fast-moving sport. Francesco Bagnaia and Jack Miller know a thing or two about speed. The Ducati Lenovo MotoGP racers take the track almost like ballet dancers. Bagnaia’s movements are smooth and flowing, his lines straight and clean. On the racetrack, he appears one with his bike as he takes each corner with grace, style, and — most importantly — speed. Miller’s manner, on the other hand, is distinguished by a higher sensitivity on the grip level, said Christhian Pupulin, Ducati chief engineer for Miller. His distinctive style makes him well-suited
to a variety of different track conditions and competitors. MotoGP racing requires robust technical expertise and ability from the rider, but it also requires impressive technology to tailor the bike to the rider’s exact needs and specifications. Customization is key for superior performance. “[Bagnaia] can keep a good corner speed, and he is able to brake very hard and deep into the corner,” Cristian Gabarrini, Bagnaia’s chief engineer, recently told Lenovo. “To maximize these strengths, he needs quite a stable bike.” Miller, however, “is able to enter corners with higher speeds,” Pupulin said. Therefore, he requires a “specific setting with more static weight on the front wheel,” as well as a more agile, responsive bike.
Though the two styles differ, the end goal is the same: win races and set records. All Ducati Lenovo MotoGP riders race on the legendary Desmosedici GP, a bike known for its style as much as its speed. Yet each individual Desmosedici must be specifically adjusted and calculated to suit its rider. Human and machine must meld into a single, sinuous unit. Lenovo devices and technology solutions play a significant role in helping develop the bike each rider requires. Using ThinkSystem SD530, SR630, and SR650 servers, Ducati models incredibly complex scenarios to predict what might happen when the rubber hits the road. Rainy day? Dust on the track? Especially sharp corners? Lenovo computers can model that — and fast. “Lenovo helps us significantly in data analysis and in bike dynamic simulation, thanks to very high data processing power,” Gabarrini said. The potent computing power of Lenovo servers help Ducati engineers translate information collected from each bike’s dozens of sensors, enabling the team to develop a rider’s bike configuration quickly and more easily. “This means saving time for engineers and selecting parts to test that we are quite sure can give the rider a real performance improvement,” Gabarrini explained. Every aspect of the bike’s physics — from its torque to its tire configuration — can be modeled on a computer, which devices the ideal configuration for the bike before testing it on the track, saving time and gas. The algorithms run on Lenovo ThinkPad laptops, have increased the team’s efficiency by 25 percent and slashed decision-making time by over a third. “Lenovo technology is also strategic in the design and verification phases
that include wind tunnel work for aerodynamics and verification loop for electronics,” said Gabriele Conti, electronic systems director, Ducati. “All of these processes are central to the development of next year’s motorcycle.” Lenovo technology helps to tailor Miller’s bike to suit his temperament and riding style, just as teammate Bagnaia’s bike is customized to his “smooth and flowing” ride. When the riders go out on the track, the bike’s sensors are picking up nearly every aspect of their ride. Then, when they come back to the garage, this data is almost simultaneously transmitted to Lenovo computers and analyzed by the engineers to find the exact bike configuration required for each track. “One problem we had in the past was the delay in downloading data from the bike during a practice session,” Pupulin said, speaking of the time before Ducati teamed with Lenovo. “With the power of Lenovo laptops and PCs, now, as soon as Jack comes back in the box, I’m able to immediately check the bike’s problems — and think about possible solutions.” Race preparation looks different today from even five years ago. By running thousands of simulations on high-powered Lenovo servers, Ducati engineers can prepare for just as many scenarios, delivering a stronger, more balanced performance from the rider. “We use technology in all of the phases,” said Conti. Simulations represent the flow field around the bike, or the distribution of the density and velocity of the bike through space and time. Each simulation starts with a concept, or with an idea of how the Ducati team wants the bike to perform under certain conditions. The goal is, ultimately, to “simulate what we have in our minds,” said Conti. Lenovo computers can do that — and fast.
YAMAHA’S 2022 RACING FINALE THE GAME PLAN, COLLECTIVE AMBITIONS, AND TEAM BEGINNINGS very Hero origin story contains an inspiration to achieve greatness and to stand above others. In the Philippines, Yamaha has made a commitment to promoting motorsports as a motorcycle manufacturer. It all began in 2010 when YMPH set out to create the first Filipino racing icon to ever compete in the MotoGP. To help riders race closer to their goals, the Yamaha Grand Prix was established along with the Hero Creation Program. Within ten years of the YGP, Yamaha October 2022
refined the riders to their highest level. The Filipino athletes are now competing in their final round of international contests for the current campaign, lifting the Philippine flag to victory. The Hero Creation initiative was created in 2010 because of YMPH’s desire to compete in MotoGP; Filipino racers can move closer to that goal in 2022. Media partners and vloggers have shown their unwavering support for
the teams as Yamaha Motor Philippines moves toward the season finale of the Asia Road Racing Championship (ARRC) and FIM Junior Grand Prix (FIM JrGP). The Filipino racing legends Mckinley Kyle Paz (Yamaha Philippines Stylo Bike Racing Team), April King Mascardo, Gian Carlo Mauricio (UMA Racing MMR Yamaha Philippines Team), and J.E. Inguito (4S1M Yamaha Racing Team) created a fun and chill moment with everyone in a meet-up, away from the tension and heat of competitions. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph
Next on the path: The conclusion and fresh starts Although there are only a few weeks remaining to compete for the titles, YMPH’s long-term goal remains. Kyle Paz, also known as “The Wonderboy,” will keep inspiring people and paving the road for all Filipino racers who wish to participate in the FIM JrGP. The ARRC adventure of Gian, Carlo, and JE was a successful beginning to the team’s goal of continuing to win the tournament in future seasons. The conclusion of this season marks the start of a new chapter, and Yamaha assures everyone that the Hero Creation Program will continue, not only to excite every racer but also to improve the perception of motorsports in the Philippines.
THE ROLE OF DATA CENTERS IN THE METAVERSE Schneider Electric has created micro data centers to offer a cost-effective means of building and deploying IT solutions
here will come a time when the web becomes decentralized as the internet is slowly shifting towards Web 3.0. When this happens, it will be difficult for data to be misused as internet users will have more control of the data that they share online. Web 3.0 creates new opportunities for users through the emergence of digital platforms where they may interact with one another in a shared and decentralized space. The Metaverse is a manifestation of these virtual community platforms on the internet. It provides a shared environment and economy where people can interact virtually and share knowledge. However, specific issues have been posed surrounding the adoption of the Metaverse. The Metaverse will require tremendous support from data centers before a truly immersive October 2022
experience can be created on the web. For users to enjoy a shared digital reality, a combination of existing and emerging technologies will need to be integrated onto the platform. Existing data centers are unable to deliver the quality of experience that the Metaverse appears to promise its users on Web 3.0. Data centers require extensive computing power to sustain the Metaverse. Moreover, engineers, designers, and administrators play a crucial role in ensuring that the platform runs efficiently. Significant manpower and electricity usage will be required to sustain the Metaverse as more users continue to incorporate the platform into their daily lives. Currently, the world’s data centers already represent 1% of the world’s electricity usage. In the Philippines, the interest and investment in data centers are rapidly increasing,
with the country expected to be one of the biggest data centers in Asia. According to an Arizton Advisory & Intelligence report, the Philippine data center market was valued at USD298 million in 2021 and is anticipated to reach USD635 million by 2027. While the demand for cutting-edge data centers increases, business leaders need to explore energy-efficient technologies to support the infrastructures that hold the Metaverse together. Schneider Electric underscores how companies are challenged with ensuring sustainability in their business operations while meeting future demand for data centers. To address these challenges, the global specialist in energy management and automation highlights several key offers that can help balance current market demands. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph
provide drivers with real-time data that will make it possible for them to reduce travel time and conserve energy. Safety concerns and regulatory issues surrounding smart vehicles may be addressed with edge computing and data from the Internet of Vehicles (IoV). Schneider Electric also offers modular data centers, which allows companies to scale capacity quickly by using non-traditional builds and drastically lessening the deployment of centers compared to existing data centers. Enhanced modular data centers help businesses achieve architectural efficiency due to the flexibility in design for these centers. Apart from data centers, Schneider Electric offers EcoStruxure IT as a cloud-based solution for end-to-end management and monitoring of network edge sites. The software contains algorithms and IT infrastructure expertise, providing users and partners with the right visibility and on-site as needed. This software includes up to a 25% of lifetime extension, which would ultimately reduce any business’s carbon footprint.
“Schneider Electric offers a range of products that supplement the growing interest in the Metaverse. As a leader in sustainable innovations, Schneider Electric has developed micro data centers that offer a more cost-effective way of building and deploying IT solutions at the network edge,” said Abraham Lim, secure power director at Schneider Electric Philippines. “Edge computing will power the Metaverse and keep the platform running for users in these virtual spaces by increasing efficiencies across the network.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) released a report stating that the investment in hyperscale data centers would bring the Philippines closer to securing its digital infrastructure. Moreover, renewable energy generation projects should attract foreign investors to participate in building the country’s digital infrastructure.
In a report by IRENA Coalition for Action, the Philippines has yet to reach its target of eliminating greenhouse gas emissions by 75% in 2040, while the neighboring ASEAN countries have targeted zero-net emissions for the following decade. Almost eliminating greenhouse gas emissions completely requires a forward-looking approach to powering data infrastructure in the country as it will consume a lot of electricity. Increasing the share of renewable energy into the grid mix, supported by the appropriate systems, could help the Philippines move towards digital transformation and push them to keep up with the pace of its neighboring countries towards achieving zero-net emissions. These initiatives could pave the way for investment in other clean energy sources and the development of the country’s technological capacities in preparation for the age of the Metaverse. “With Web 3.0 approaching, metaverse players and business investors need to figure out how to operate sustainability in the Philippines. Evidently, people tend to underestimate the effects of Web 3.0 in the long-term,” said Lim. “The technologies and data centers needed to power these virtual spaces pose environmental issues that need to be addressed as early as now. Schneider Electric’s innovations may help these businesses grow and adapt as the country’s landscape changes with the evolution of these web technologies.”
Generating mountains of data would allow manufacturers to adjust their processes and make operational decisions at all stages of the manufacturing process. Aside from giving manufacturers visibility from production to decommissioning, industrial edge computing would also
LINKEDIN: TOP STARTUPS IN THE PHILIPPINES THE RISE OF DIGITAL ENTREPRENEURSHIP, ENTERTAINMENT, AND EDUCATION
inkedIn, the world’s largest professional network, revealed its inaugural Top Startups in the Philippines list, which highlights the local startups that have shown resilience in an uncertain market environment and are continuing to innovate in 2022.
Satoshi Ebitani, senior managing editor, LinkedIn News, said: “In an uncertain financial climate, what has proven resilient time and time again is the enterprising spirit that startups embody, especially those on this year’s LinkedIn Top Startups list. In the Philippines, we see a diverse mix in sectors such as e-commerce, education, and entertainment, which continue to lead the way in the future of skills by embracing innovation and attracting top talent with their robust cultures. Through this list, we hope to spark meaningful conversations surrounding the future of work and inspire professionals to equip themselves with the necessary skills to thrive, no matter the headwinds.”
LinkedIn analyzed data across four pillars to compile the list: employee growth, jobseeker interest, the attraction of top talent, and engagement with the company’s LinkedIn page and its employees. This is the first time LinkedIn has introduced the Top Startups list in the Philippines.
New era of entrepreneurship
Entertainment, E-sports, and Education companies are thriving
The Philippines has always had a strong MSME (micro, small, and medium enterprises) sector. The pandemic further propelled its growth as Filipinos embarked on micro or solo entrepreneurship to augment their income and overcome financial challenges. This new class of entrepreneurs behind startups such as SariSuki (#2), Shoppertainment Live (#3), Edamama (#5), Growsari (#6), Peddlr (#9), and Prosperna (#10) met opportunities to respond to the demands of the times.
The success of the live-streaming platform Kumu (#4), led by local creatives and talent, highlights the country’s growing demand for innovative and interactive digital entertainment that champions Filipino voices and perspectives. Meanwhile, gaming and e-sports company Tier One Entertainment (#1) shows the unique potential of this lucrative industry by investing in talent and technology. “Investing in automation, the right people, and experienced leadership who are open to feedback and the ever-changing status quo of our industry was key for surviving and growing during the pandemic. Pivoting quickly through setbacks is vital to survival in these times,” Tryke Gutierrez, Co-Founder and CEO of Tier One Entertainment, said. “LinkedIn has helped us tell our story to the world. We’re able to share more longform content that isn’t as readily digestible on other social media platforms to an audience that is more open to serious or nuanced discussion,” he added.
Growth areas in digital finance As digital finance becomes more mainstream in the Philippines, the rise of PDAX (Philippine Digital Asset Exchange) (#7), a homegrown cryptocurrency exchange, indicates the Filipinos’ growing interest in exploring new frontiers in personal finance and investments to diversify and optimize their portfolios, navigate the current economic climate, and benefit from future growth potential.
Education technology (Edtech) platform Edukasyon. ph (#8) saw an opportunity to be of service in response to the disruption in the education sector and emerging concerns about the future readiness of today’s youth.
The top 10 startups in the Philippines are: More details on the LinkedIn Top Startups list in the Philippines are found here.
1. Tier One Entertainment 7. PDAX (Philippine 2. SariSuki Digital Asset 3. Shoppertainment Live Exchange) 4. Kumu 8. Edukasyon.ph 5. Edamama 9. Peddlr 6. GrowSari 10. Prosperna
EFFECTIVE EMPLOYEE GAMIFICATION THE SUN LIFE ASCP EXPERIENCE
here is no denying that work-from-home (WFH) or hybrid models have resulted in marked benefits for employees and companies. However, remote work can pose a challenge for managers and supervisors in ensuring efficient performance and communication with their teams.
Gamification is a process in which game-like elements such as scoring, rewards, and competitions create a more engaging workplace experience. For Sun Life ASCP, the approach to gamifying began pre-pandemic to drive digitalization and improve client satisfaction in their workforce. It also helped the organization rise to the challenges posed by the pandemic.
Gamification is one way these issues could be addressed, especially in this age of rapid digitalization. While it’s certainly not a new concept, a well-designed gamification program can help improve employee performance. Sun Life Asia Service Centre-Philippines (ASCP), a company providing contact center, business processing, IT, and Investment Research services to Sun Life’s global businesses with locations in India and the Philippines, has launched an extensive initiative for performance management and learning gamification for its over 800-hundred strong operations team in Manila.
“Covid-19 posed multiple challenges for many companies, and we were no exception,” shared Kshitij Kohli, Sun Life ASCP head of operations. The business was volatile, and with people suddenly working from home, lines of communication were broken. As a result, employees felt isolated and anxious. Learning activities were also curtailed, and had to shift online, which took some getting used to. Adding to that were the many distractions managers faced while working from home that made coaching more difficult.”
ASCP Ops Gamification, launched during the pandemic, equipped frontline employees with a personalized performance dashboard where they could see their targets and track their progress in real time. The platform created opportunities for more frequent and meaningful supervisor-employee interactions through real-time feedback. Sustainable gamification mechanics also gave everyone a chance to be a winner, with elements such as performance leaderboards and avatars, along with AI-driven and personalized learning modules to fit individual strengths and weaknesses that would take the monotony out of the coaching.
Aside from improved performance, the gamification program has also helped reduce the learning curve for new employees, allowing them to hit their performance and learning objectives faster than before. In an early analysis done at ASCP, 86% of users showed a strong correlation between higher performance ratings and gamification engagement, with over 80% accessing the platform daily. 76% of survey respondents expressed that they appreciated using gamification as a tool for learning, coaching, and performance monitoring. As time passed and employees got more accustomed to using gamification as a way of working, the performance levels improved further.
So how did Sun Life ASCP do it? Here’s a quick rundown of the three top insights from Sun Life ASCP when it came to developing and executing a gamification program for companies:
Understand your performance management system Companies need a well-developed performance management system to make the most of a gamification program. Organizations should have a clear picture of their business goals and the KPIs they need to measure that will relate to these objectives, along with an idea of what a highperforming employee would look like. “The platform doesn’t change your performance management strategy but gamifies it to enhance the experience for the user. Employees benefit from gamification as it makes it easy to understand how they can improve in their jobs; the experience is more fun, and they get rewarded for their efforts,” explained Kshitij. Make it simple and accessible The design of the platform should be easy to access and navigate. Like any digital platform, user experience is more important than the number of features available. The best example is a smartwatch tracking fitness activity, where the user understands his KPIs intuitively. Sun Life ASCP suggests limiting the KPIs to three or four main ones,
so the experience is not overwhelming for the user while, at the same time, providing performance updates as close to real time as possible. Functions for bite-sized assessments and coaching sessions were included in Sun Life ASCP’s platform to help employees improve as they go. ASP leadership said, “It was important for us to help employees understand this is not just another screen or application they have to open, but a new way of working on everything they do. The program is a tool in their hand to help enhance their employee experience and how they will work day-to-day,” Get continuous feedback and keep experimenting Sun Life ASCP created a core team of users that provided weekly and monthly feedback on which features worked for them, which didn’t and what updates they would like to see to continue improving performance management and employee engagement. Among the functions Sun Life ASCP added to the platform were peer-to-peer kudos to increase motivation; microlearning modules were also added for performance improvement. User guides were created to help teach employees about these new features, with points awarded for completing courses. The
design team also experimented with limited-time features and seasonal campaigns, collecting data and user feedback. According to Sun Life ASCP, what made ASCP Ops Gamification effective was that it not only allowed employees to compete with other teams and their peers but, more importantly, with themselves. “I believe what users appreciate is the opportunity to better themselves. Being able to set those personalized goals, hitting them, and getting rewards or badges really helped motivate employees. At the end of the day, the best motivation needs to come from within!” said Kohli. “And of course, the organization benefits as employees achieve their performance goals and, consequently, the company’s desired business outcomes. Through our “ASCP Ops Gamification” program, we were able to bring performance management, learning, employee surveys & peer to peer kudos on a unified platform,” he added. For more insights on technology and people management from Sun Life ASCP, visit https://www.sunlife.com/ asc/en/. October 2022
KEY BUSINESS IMPERATIVES FOR AN INCLUSIVE HYBRID WORK WORLD
ith hybrid work as the new normal, the challenge for businesses is to think ahead and adopt practices that will enable their hybrid workforce and transform their workplace for the long term. Cisco reveals that this starts with a multi-prong strategy focused on adopting the right technological solutions, building employee engagement strategies, and creating an inclusive work environment. Just recently, Cisco’s Global Hybrid Work study showcased findings that supported a senate resolution led by Senator Grace Poe, who urged the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 1116With hybrid work as the new normal, the challenge for businesses is to think ahead and adopt practices
that will enable their hybrid workforce and transform their workplace for the long term. Cisco reveals that this starts with a multiprong strategy focused on adopting the right technological solutions, building employee engagement strategies, and creating an inclusive work environment. Just recently, Cisco’s Global Hybrid Work study showcased findings that supported a senate resolution led by Senator Grace Poe, who urged the Senate to conduct an inquiry into the implementation of Republic Act (RA) 11165 or the “Telecommuting Act,” with the end goal of promoting remote and hybrid work arrangements. The proposed bill grants telecommuting employees the fair treatment given to on-site workers and
entitles them to receive a fair rate of pay, right to rest periods and regular holidays, appropriate training to technical equipment, and equal access to training and career development opportunities. According to Cisco’s Hybrid Work study, employees in the Philippines are getting more done with hybrid work. Eight in 10 (79%) believe that their work quality has increased. This has helped them take more time for themselves, with 89% of employees saying hybrid work has improved their overall wellbeing, driven by more flexible work schedules, and reduced commuting time. As a result, 92% of employees say that hybrid work has made them happier. However, only 1 in 4 (29%) employees believe that their company is “very prepared” to transition into hybrid work. “The last two years have shown us that work is no longer where we go but what we do. Employees and employers in the Philippines are experiencing tangible benefits from hybrid work, from improved employee wellbeing to better productivity and work performance. More needs to be done to fundamentally rethink how the work experience is designed so it places employees — their experience, engagement, and wellbeing — at the center, supported by an inclusive culture, empathetic leadership, and with technology as an enabler.” said Zaza Nicart, managing director of Cisco Philippines.
Technology is a bridge in the hybrid work world A key enabler for greater employee engagement is the use of technology to enhance the employee experience and cultivate a work environment that is not limited by differences in location, background, or life circumstances but, instead, one that is invigorated by diverse experiences and voices. For Cisco, collaboration is not just a business but a bridge that empowers employees to work seamlessly and securely. Cisco’s Webex provides a smart, seamless, secure way for people across different work environments, languages, and technological proficiency to connect, with features such as noise cancellation, real-time translations, and artificial intelligence (AI) speech enhancement leveling the playing field for all meeting participants. 73% of Filipino employees say connectivity issues on a regular basis is career limiting for remote workers. According to Nicart, having a strong networking infrastructure and cybersecurity posture can solve such connectivity issues and deliver a seamless and secure work experience for employees. One critical security model essential to a long-term hybrid work arrangement is Secure Access Service Edge (SASE), which integrates networking and security functions into a unified, cloud-native solution or
An inclusive work culture is vital to support hybrid work Many employees believe that fully remote workers will have challenges engaging with their colleagues (71%) and company (67%) compared to those who work on-site. 71% also say that micromanaging behaviors had increased with hybrid work, a tell-tale sign that trust remains a core tenet in the new way of work. Inclusivity is more than a physical location. It supports your work style, whether you are an introvert or extrovert, digital native or occasional user, frontline worker, or remote knowledge worker. Leaders play a crucial role in enabling a successful hybrid work model, starting with embedding empathy, listening, flexibility, continuous learning, and creating an inclusive environment, one we call our “Conscious Culture” at Cisco. “Hybrid work is more than just supporting a safe office re-entry,” Nicart emphasized. “It is about trusting and listening to your employees and cultivating an inclusive
service. In contrast to traditional security solutions, it pushes security policies and enforcement closer to end users and applications that are now increasingly distributed. This connects and protects users and applications wherever they are located or hosted, ultimately providing a more consistent and secure user experience while reducing IT cost and complexity. Nicart noted that such user experience is “critical” in a hybrid work model, adding that “Secure connectivity enables companies to provide unified experiences to employees. As IT environments grow increasingly complex, cloud-managed experiences like Cisco ThousandEyes that provide powerful visibility across the internet is key. Proactively forecasting and optimizing WAN performance in the back end allows companies to provide a seamless digital experience to employees and customers.” In line with Cisco’s commitment to helping all customers — including SMEs — to connect, secure, and automate to accelerate their digital agility in a cloud-first world, the company set up pay-as-yougrow, a flexible consumption model that allows SMEs and enterprises to acquire the technology including software, hardware, and services for their business, reducing their upfront costs, and maximizing resource utilization.
culture for all. Leaders need to walk the talk and show employees that they are committed to giving them the trust and flexibility they need to do their best work.” For example, Cisco conducts Quarterly Engagement Pulses to evaluate and spark conversations about how employees feel about their team, the work environment, and themselves. All employees take part in weekly check-ins with their managers that allow employees to have a focused conversation about their work sentiments, priorities, and strengths. This includes what they loved and loathed doing and the support they need from their managers each week. Within the organization, learning is prioritized. A quarterly event, Cisco Illuminate, spotlights learning, leadership, teams, and career for all to help support employee wellbeing and focus on their growth. Speakers like Oprah Winfrey and Mel Robbins are invited to share their thoughts on topics including finding purpose in their work, progressing into career roles they are passionate about and building connections in a hybrid work world, and more.
Protecting Industries from Cyber Threats
he construction, engineering, and infrastructure sectors in Southeast Asia continue to be impacted by cybercrime as businesses keep growing and embracing new technologies and digital ways of working.
Cyberattacks on organizations in critical infrastructure sectors have risen dramatically, from less than 10 in 2013 to almost 400 in 2020, according to Gartner. These industries face cyber security risks from data breaches, phishing attempts, or ransomware attacks that can cost them billions of dollars. On top of that, there is the widespread use of unlicensed software for design purposes in the industries which is extremely vulnerable to cybercrime and a massive risk. To help business leaders build a strong defense against cyber threats, BSA | The Software Alliance recently launched a survival guide that outlines arising cyber risks and offers advice on how business leaders in Southeast Asia can enhance cyber security for their businesses. Titled “A Cyber Security Survival Guide for Construction, Engineering, and Infrastructure Businesses In Southeast Asia,” this survival guide, published in e-book format, is designed to help leaders in the infrastructure industry in the region recognize the threats and minimize the risks that businesses, clients, employees, and, ultimately, the public face. “No country or organization in the ASEAN region is spared the threat of fast-evolving cybercrime. Given their position among the fastest-growing digital economies in the world, ASEAN member countries have become a prime target for cyberattacks. Because we know business leaders face multiple challenges and may not have the time to commit to studying the issue, we endeavored to create this survival guide. Our hope is that the industries building our infrastructure find it useful — and that it helps to keep us all safer,” said Tarun Sawney, senior director, BSA | The Software Alliance. Cyber security: the criminals, the risks, and the protection
The survival guide describes 4 different types of cyber criminals, including: • Unethical competitors that seek an edge by gaining access to confidential data through cyber intrusion • Online criminals who seek financial gain through phishing attacks or ransoms • Hacktivists who use cyber intrusion to expose or discredit business activities to delay or stop a major project • Malicious insiders or disgruntled employees who use their access to business data or networks to conduct malicious activity. These criminals are targeting construction, engineering, and infrastructure firms because these businesses have typically high-value transactions and large amounts of data which entice cyber criminals. Construction businesses extensively use services from sub-contractors and suppliers that involve large numbers of high-value payments which makes them an attractive target for spear phishing, an attempt to trick the business into paying money into the criminal’s account. Valuable information in the infrastructure industry such as designs, bid data, material pricing, payroll, profit and loss statements, and bank information may also appeal to cyber criminals who can use them for identity theft or phishing attacks.
defense and security, following sound advice and guidance for IT staff, keeping all IT equipment up to date with the latest version, being precautious when connecting to public Wi-Fi hotspots, avoiding the use of predictable passwords, using 2FA for important accounts, and employing cyber security when collaborating with suppliers and partners. As part of the effort, BSA has also recently launched a new helpline for software license compliance to help business leaders cope with challenges related to software copyright compliance in the wake of reports about ghost piracy cases in Southeast Asia. The helpline, along with this survival guide, will help ensure businesses are using the appropriate approach to software compliance to keep their businesses safe. “A cyber security survival guide for construction, engineering and infrastructure businesses in Southeast Asia” is available in English, Bahasa, and Thai languages. It includes messages from relevant authority figures in Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, and Thailand, stating the danger of cybercrime, the importance of cyber security, and the recommended practices businesses should take. Download the e-book for free here: LINK.
According to authorities, cyberattacks against private infrastructure industry are happening on a weekly basis in Southeast Asia. With such rise in threats, the survival guide offers recommended practices for leaders to protect their businesses from cybercrime. Business leaders should consider engaging and training staff on how to keep safe from cyberattacks, ensuring all software is licensed and secure as it is a first approach to cyber
Cybercriminal Activity on th Darknet in APAC A
ccording to Kaspersky’s Digital Footprint Intelligence (DFI) report for APAC, database leaks in the region account for 95% of the total amount of advertisements. Singapore’s and Australia’s data leaks market are by far the largest when looking at the weighted GDP amounts of orders. The report highlights results collected last year for organizations and even countries to keep an eye on possible external threats and stay informed about potential cybercriminal activities, including ones being discussed on the Darknet. Monitoring of external data sources in Kaspersky’s Digital Footprint
Intelligence service, including Darknet resources, provides insights into cybercriminal activity through different stages of attack lifecycle. In the second part of the report, the company presents Darknet analysis results. There are two major types of data found when analyzing an organization’s digital footprint: fraudulent activities and cyberattack footprints. While Kaspersky discovered numerous fraud signs, the focus in the report remains on attack detection. Darknet activity related to attack impact (advertisements on selling data leaks and compromised data) dominates the statistics as these are spread over time,
where criminals sell, resell, and repack a lot of data leaks from the past. Stage 1: Interest to buy access Cybercriminals who are looking for initial access offers know that there is a large market of such advertisements. Organizations from Australia, India, mainland China, and Pakistan are the major adversaries’ interest to start an attack. These countries were present in 84% of ads from the attack preparation category. Pakistan and Australia attract huge interest as seen by the number of orders weighted with their GDP.
Looking at the size of infrastructure, businesses, and industrialization – mainland China poses relatively low interest for adversaries. This may indicate the presence of a language barrier cybercriminal scene in the APAC region or the complications with network-level access to organizations in the country. Access buy order is a request to buy access to a single or a list of specific organizations or industries in a specific region. Insider activity buy orders, however, are requests to buy insider services which can lead to credentials or data leaks, source of information gathering service (e.g., PII data exfiltration by request). Those orders are the most inconclusive type of findings for remediation planning. Stage 2: Orders for access – ready to execute The most promising findings are from the attack execution stage: artifacts are stating that adversaries have capabilities or already have access to organizations’ networks or services, but there is no business impact yet. In terms of advertisements on the Darknet, indicating an attack executed, Australia, India, mainland China and the Philippines cover 75% of those detected by Kaspersky.
It is divided into three types: • Initial access brokers - Sell orders for specific organizations, or bulk orders with organizations grouped by industry and/or region. • Insider activity sell orders - Request to sell insider services that can lead to credentials leak, source of information gathering service (e.g. PII data exfiltration by request), or data leak. The source is usually an insider’s broker. • Malware logs - Credential stealing malware (stealers) collect credentials into resalable or otherwise accessible data with account usernames and passwords.
Organizations from Australia, mainland China, India, and Singapore take 84% of all data leaks sell orders placed on the Darknet. Singapore’s and Australia’s data leaks market are by far the largest when looking at the weighted with GDP amounts of orders. It should be noted that the Philippines, Pakistan, and Thailand organizations were among the adversaries interest to begin an attack or appeared as already compromised, but the amount of data leaks is on par with other countries from the middle of the group.
“Cybercriminal operations beneath the surface web are clearly busy. From attack preparation and execution, to the impact of a data leak and then selling and reselling of stolen information, this functioning malicious system is a serious threat for businesses and organizations here in APAC,” says Chris Connell, managing director for Asia Pacific at Kaspersky. “Selling data and access to the companies often go hand in hand. This means a successful attack to your organization can be two-pronged. Your confidential information can be stolen and be sold, and these cybercriminals
The Philippines, Pakistan, Singapore, Australia, and Thailand organizations are most attacked when weighted with GDP. The Philippines, India, and mainland China are dominating the insider services market with 82% of orders turnover. Stage 3: Data leaks and data for sale Once a data leak occurs, the sale or free access to the stolen information will follow. An indicator of compromise can be data leaks as well as insider activity orders – sale or free access to internal data, including but is not limited to databases, confidential documents, PII, credit cards, VIP information, financial data and many more. October 2022
can open and offer your infected system to more malicious groups. A double whammy that requires a proactive defense that includes strong incident response and Darknet monitoring capabilities through real-time and indepth threat intelligence reports,” he adds. How to protect your company from these kind of threats Demand for corporate and personal data on the black market is high, and it doesn’t always involve targeted attacks. Attackers may gain access to the infrastructure of a random company to sell it to blackmailers or other advanced cybercriminals later. An attack like this can affect a company of any size, big or small, because corporate system access is often priced moderately on underground forums, especially compared to the potential damage to a business. Sellers on the dark web most often offer remote access via RDP. To protect corporate infrastructure from attacks through remote access and control services, make sure the connection via this protocol is secure by: • providing access to services (for example, RDP) only through a VPN, • using strong passwords and Network Level Authentication (NLA), • using two-factor authentication for all services, • monitoring for leaks of access data. Dark web monitoring is available on Kaspersky Threat Intelligence Portal.
“An attack like this can affect a company of any size, big or small, because corporate system access is often priced moderately on underground forums, especially compared to the potential damage to a business.”
GOOGLE CAREER CERTIFICATE SCHOLARSHIPS OFFERED FOR 39,000 FILIPINO YOUTH
oogle announced that it will provide 39,000 Google Career Certificate scholarships to equip Filipino students and job seekers from underserved communities with job-ready skills. This is to help them land career opportunities in high-demand industries such as IT.
A Grow with Google initiative, Google Career Certificates provide a suite of flexible online training programs available on Coursera.org. These certificates, built and taught by Google, are designed to provide learners from all backgrounds with digital skills within an estimated time of 3 to 6 months. The four certificate options that Google provides are IT Support, UX Design, Data Analytics, and Project Management.
“Google is committed to supporting the Philippines’ economic growth through the opportunities created by the country’s growing digital economy,” said Bernadette Nacario, country director, Google Philippines. “With the unemployment rate at 5.2% and rapidly growing job postings in tech, Google hopes to address the digital skills gap and improve the lives of thousands of Filipinos for themselves and their families by providing free Google Career Certificates.”
Google will work closely with local partners such as the Globe Group and government stakeholders including the Department of Trade and Industry and the Department of Information and Communications Technology to distribute the scholarships. These distribution partners will nominate qualified recipients and track the progress of the scholars. “Empowering today’s workforce with digital and jobready skills is important to lead the country towards economic development. The Globe Group is honored to play a vital role in the Google Career Certificates program in the Philippines that will help 39,000 young Filipinos with advanced IT courses,” said Yoly Crisanto, Globe Group chief sustainability and corporate communications officer. “As we continue to move towards inclusive growth and employment generation, programs like the Google Career Certificate scholarships are invaluable to our mission of creating globally competitive industries. We laud Google for launching this initiative that will bridge 39,000 students and jobseekers to in-demand career opportunities in tech and IT,” said Department of Trade and Industry Secretary Alfredo Pascual. “The Google Career Certificates program will be key in driving capacity-building and career advancement opportunities in the Information and Communications Technology sector. We thank Google for launching this high-impact program in the country that will not just create career pathways for thousands of Filipinos but will help the Department champion the economic benefits of a digital Philippines,” said Atty. Ivan John Enrile Uy, Secretary, Department of Information and Communications Technology. Google Career Certificates are available for everyone aged 18 and above and require no previous degree or experience. By providing scholarships to the certificates, Google will create learning and economic opportunities for people in underserved communities, including lowincome and vocational students and college drop-outs among others. “The Google Career Certificates program will serve as the ticket that will help me arrive at the destination of my dreams for me and my family. The tech industry is becoming increasingly competitive and it is important to gain relevant skills that will give us a competitive advantage,” shared Shiela Marie Manzano, a civil engineering student and Google Career Certificate scholar. Learn more about the Google Career Certificates here.
UNLOCK YOUR CHILD’S CREATIVITY I
t is a common misconception that creativity is an inborn skill that children either have or do not have. In reality, all children are born with the capacity to be creative but this ability does not develop on its own. It requires nurturing, encouragement, and support.
Here are three simple methods to unleash your child’s creativity:
1. Let your child ask questions. Children are naturally curious. They want to touch, explore, and understand almost anything and everything! It is thus our responsibility as parents to steer their curiosity towards the right path. One of the most effective ways is to ask open-ended questions like: “What do you think would happen if we put these two LEGO bricks together?” “How can we build this helicopter differently?” “How did you come up with the idea for this pirouetting ballerina?” Doing so gets your child’s creative juices flowing. Enable them to come up with their own creations using the 500-piece LEGO Classic Bricks and Functions. Kids can build whatever they imagine and combine it with other playsets for even more outof- the-box creativity.
2. Invest in open-ended toys. Parents these days are led to believe their kids want the latest action figures or newest gadgets, but children are happiest and their imaginations are most active when they are playing with the simplest toys like the LEGO Classic brick sets. These colorful bricks keep kids occupied for hours as they work on getting their creations just right. What’s more is that LEGO bricks do not come with a single function. They are open-ended which is perfect for your child’s creative possibilities.
Who says you can only build sea creatures and land-dwelling animals? Take your kid’s creativity up a notch and have him/ her build silly monsters with the LEGO Classic Creative Monsters playset. With a rainbow of colorful LEGO pieces, five toy monster build ideas, and a bag of extra bricks — it has everything your little builder needs to build a fun lineup of mini imaginative monsters. Playing with LEGO bricks, tiles and other elements encourages creative play and inspires the inner artist in us. Just like using paints, paper clay or any other medium, the only building instruction needed is your kid’s own imagination.
Transport your kid’s imagination to an underwater adventure with the LEGO Classic Creative Ocean Fun toy playset. It includes step-by-step, pictorial instructions for kids to create a Viking ship, yellow submarine, underwater drone, seahorse, whale and a turtle. With six inspiring ocean-themed builds, you can take your kids on a voyage of innovation.
3. Emphasize process, not product. Many of the best learning experiences happen when people are actively engaged in making things, but that doesn’t mean we should put all our attention on the things that are made. Even more important is the process through which things are made.
You can also take your child’s creativity to all corners of the globe with the LEGO Classic Around the World playset. It comes with 15 build ideas based on the world’s most iconic animals and objects like the American bald eagle or the London double decker red bus. Whether they prefer animals that swim, crawl, or fly, there is something in the playset to satisfy their creativity. Kids also get a colorful wall map to show the home continent of each animal and plant.
As children work on projects, highlight the process, not just the final product. For instance, you can ask your children about their source of inspiration behind building the Sphinx secret surprise using the LEGO Classic 90 Years of Play. Parents can even ask their kids what they’d like to call their creation – say it’s a yellow castle or a galaxy explorer. This will encourage your child to exercise their creativity instead of just saying, “Good job?”. You’ll never know, their answers might surprise you! More importantly, encourage experimentation by honoring failed experiments as much as successful ones. Studies show that people who have practiced creativity from a young age are more emotionally intelligent, better problem solvers, more flexible thinkers, better able to express themselves, more mentally resilient and happier. Start them young and start them now with LEGO bricks.
CLIMATE CHAMPIONS NEW MOBILE GAME ENCOURAGES SUSTAINABLE PRACTICES
n line with its commitments to climate action, Globe launched Climate Champions, a new mobile game that aims to encourage the company’s millions of customers to make sustainable choices in their consumption of goods and services. Climate Champions is a mobile running game that equips Filipinos with practical tips on how they can reduce their carbon emissions in their everyday activities. It challenges players to run to the finish
line in the shortest possible time, with the chance to receive speed boosts by picking up trash along the way. Players can further shorten their run time if they select eco-friendly choices at the lifestyle quiz at the end of each round. They will also learn trivia on how to better care for the environment. More rounds played will unlock assorted prizes that encourage people to live a more eco-friendly lifestyle by shifting to digital transactions.
Meanwhile, as esports continues to grow in the Philippines, Globe ensures that gaming becomes purposeful by matching games and gamers with relevant causes to support. “We have always believed that gaming in the Philippines goes beyond gameplay. Globe Climate Champions empowers Filipinos to live sustainably by breaking down the long-term aspiration into shortterm actions, all through a gamified experience that encourages conscious daily life changes,” said Ralph Aligada, head of Globe gamers and esports.
The Globe Group is also an early participant in the Race to Zero campaign, which drives its Net Zero ambitions.
ENCOURAGING THE COMMUNITY TO COMMIT TO SUSTAINABILITY Coinciding with the introduction of Globe Climate Champions is the launch of the nationwide search for Globe Kali’ Kada, which aims to look for citizens championing sustainable practice
The new Globe Climate Champions mobile game can be accessed through the New GlobeOne, GCash, and the KonsultaMD apps. Team Globe of Good brand ambassadors June Mar Fajardo and Kuya Kim Atienza are some of the first advocates to invite the public to play the mobile game.
“As we launch our nationwide search for Kali’ Kada, we are sending the message that anyone with a true heart for the environment can be a champion for change. We are excited to help uncover a new breed of changemakers who will inspire others to commit to a more sustainable lifestyle,” said RG Orense, Globe digital and social channel strategy head.
The launch of Climate Champions is part of Globe’s commitment to the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs), specifically SDG 13 on Climate Action, the United Nations Global Compact (UNGC) Principles, the Science Based Targets Initiative (SBTi) Business Ambition for 1.5°C, and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Race to Zero campaign.
Globe has deployed more than 8,500 Green Network Solutions nationwide to reduce operational emissions. It has shifted 14 key facilities to renewable energy through Retail Electricity Supply Agreements (RESA) with renewable energy suppliers. It also invests in climate tech solutions to enable employees and customers with innovations that can help them contribute to climate action.
MANGROVE RESTORATION PROJECT EPSON PARTNERS WITH WWF TO BUILD ECOSYSTEM AND COMMUNITY RESILIENCE
pson Philippines’ partnership with the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) Philippines for marine ecosystem restoration was officially kickstarted with a ceremonial launch in Balabac, Palawan. Supported by project stakeholders such as the European Union delegation to the Philippines and local government officials, the project launch highlights the importance of rehabilitating mangrove sites, recognizing their critical role in marine biodiversity, and protecting coasts from erosion and storm surges. Epson, which has previously supported the development of WWF-Philippines’ virtual museum Museo Kalikasan, is now supporting the Mangrove Restoration Project in the municipalities of Balabac and Bataraza, Southern Palawan. As part of the wider European Union-funded Ocean Governance Project —an initiative focused on strengthening habitat resilience through restoration in the Sulu Sulawesi Seascape that covers the Philippines, Indonesia, and Malaysia — the joint mission in Palawan aims to boost local capacity in taking care of the mangroves, as well as address other critical issues such as plastic waste management. With Epson as a key partner, the Mangrove Restoration Project was able to expand beyond Balabac and into the neighboring municipality of Bataraza. In addition, the growing relationship between Epson Philippines and WWF-Philippines only further drives Epson Philippines’ commitment to supporting sustainable innovations and initiatives to solve the world’s most significant challenges. “Corporations have a shared responsibility in sustainable development,” said Eduardo Bonoan, Epson Philippines general manager for marketing division, who shared his remarks virtually during the project launch. “As Epson continues its commitment to sustainable innovation and environmental responsibility, we believe in forming critical partnerships with organizations that are aligned with our values — such as WWF-Philippines.” To further the goals of the Mangrove Restoration Project, WWF-Philippines will continue to work with local government and key stakeholders such as Epson Philippines to establish a ‘Community Learning and Innovation Hub’ that aims to bridge knowledge gaps and strengthen coastal communities’ experience in resource management, thereby helping to build local capacity. “It is important that we continue to protect and manage Balabac’s valued mangrove forests to boost our efforts in keeping a healthy environment and supporting local livelihoods,” said Balabac Mayor Shuiab J. Astami, who officially launched the project on Balabac Island.
“We are excited to be part of this multi-stakeholder effort that will restore critical mangroves in Balabac, Palawan, and improve the way their coastal resources are managed for the long haul. We strongly hope that this project will succeed and serve as an example for many other communities,” said executive director of WWFPhilippines Katherine Custodio. Moving forward, Epson aims to continue setting a more sustainable example for corporations across the region. “Working alongside governments, local champions, and conservation organizations, we are proud to be part of this public-private partnership that is aligned with our renewed Epson 25 Corporate Vision, which aims to enrich communities and help realize a sustainable society,” concludes Bonoan. ”We hope this opens up a path for more sustainable partnerships in the future.”
A CUTTING-EDGE PLATFORM FOR DOCTORS
WellMD is an electronic medical record (EMR) and clinic management system designed by doctors, for doctors. It complements mWell, the Philippines’ first fully integrated health app with a robust telemedicine service, developed by Metro Pacific Investments Corporation (MPIC). The cutting-edge platform — mWellMD — provides doctors with features and services necessary to manage their practice for patients online and in their clinics. This includes tools for managing patient records, consults, billings, and professional fees. mWellMD helps doctors by making their practice and patient data accessible anytime, anywhere. With just a click of a button, they can conveniently check their clinic schedules, review patient notes, plan for in-patient visits, and monitor their professional fees. They can even communicate with their staff and refer patients to other doctors. They may easily access reports and analytics to get better insights into their practices, even when mobile.
“The doctor experience is a key aspect of mWell’s operations - we make sure to listen to them and respond to their needs to deliver a seamless endto-end journey,” says MPIC Chief Finance, Risk and Sustainability Officer Chaye Cabal-Revilla. “mWellMD empowers partner-doctors every step of the way and is built with the doctor experience in mind.” To assure them of a seamless experience from the time they sign-up to consultation, doctors were engaged to test the system to ensure that the whole application is intuitive and user-friendly. MPIC president, chairman, and CEO Manny V. Pangilinan says, “We salute all the doctors who are part of our mission to bring healthcare closer to more Filipinos. We gladly welcome partner doctors to our future-proof platform, mWellMD. With their support and expertise, mWell’s fully integrated digital healthcare ecosystem shall continue to provide our countrymen better access to quality healthcare.”
mWell’s leadership team joins hundreds of partner-doctors in welcoming mWellMD — an intuitive, secure and innovative platform designed by doctors for doctors.
CUTTING EDGE: BY DOCTORS, FOR DOCTORS mWellMD is equipped with features best suited to the fast-paced lifestyle of partner-doctors. The platform provides advanced analytics and dashboards to monitor patient medical records and history, convenient online consultation via the mWell app, efficient appointment booking systems for online and office clinics, customized forms and templates plus quick text documentation, and collaborations with other doctors to send and receive patient referrals. “The best healthcare platform tries to involve not only the growing needs of doctors but also of the industry, and that’s what mWell is doing right now,” says mWell chief technology officer Dr. Mike Muin. “We are going beyond telemedicine — we are building solutions for doctors to make their practices and their lives better.” As a medical doctor with over twenty years of healthcare IT experience, he says doctors like him will always look for
better solutions to respond to constant challenges in healthcare.
professional fee without any commission from mWell.
With its holistic cybersecurity strategy and end-to-end cybersecurity operational framework to Predict, Prevent, Detect, and Respond to all cyber threats, backed by sophisticated technologies and highly skilled cybersecurity professionals, mWellMD is following global security standards to ensure the security and protection of all Personal Information that are stored, processed, and transmitted in its system belonging to both the doctors and patients. Angel Redoble, PLDT Group and Smart Communications FVP and Group CISO, said, “mWellMD went through rigorous vulnerability tests and security audits. It completed and passed all requirements to bring down all cyber-related risks to the lowest level.”
To ensure smooth virtual practice, mWell is offering partner doctors an exclusive high-speed internet plan from PLDT Home Fibr: 100mbps for only PHP1499.
BE AN MWELL PARTNER DOCTOR Becoming an mWell partner-doctor instantly provides free access to mWellMD’s basic features. Doctors may sign up in as fast as 30 minutes via mwell. com.ph. No joining fees. Only PRC ID is required. They may charge their
Tech experts are always on-call to assist doctors and respond to their questions at the soonest possible time. Doctors can also depend on a reliable operations team for regular training sessions and updates to ensure they will always have a smooth experience on the mWellMD platform. Partner doctors may avail of the ExpertMD subscription plan to access a broader range of features. For only PHP1599 a month, doctors may use customized forms and templates, advanced analytics, and dashboards. They will also be able to perform quick text documentation, collaborate and chat with other doctors, and use patient engagement tools. Download the mWell PH app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. Follow mWell on Facebook and mwellph on Instagram for more updates.
DRIVERS OF INNOVATION J&J CONTINUES TO CREATE A HEALTHY FUTURE FOR FILIPINOS
ohnson & Johnson has always been at the forefront of healthcare innovation in the way they operate, with over a century of advancing health and improving lives. In its 135 years of operation, the company’s MedTech department has driven breakthrough scientific innovation to address unmet needs and reimagine health. Their focus areas include surgery, orthopedics, interventional solutions, and vision, where they are committed to continuing to help save lives and create a future where healthcare solutions are smarter, less invasive, and more personalized.
Locally, J&J Philippines have always put patients at the core of its duty by harnessing the power of technology and breakthrough innovation to elevate new standards of care, especially in an increasingly digital world. “Our goal at J&J Philippines is to advance health for every Filipino family by offering our patients cuttingedge healthcare and life-enhancing innovation. The MedTech division keeps improving its knowledge of healthcare and strengthening our expertise in medical technologies to reimagine the healthcare experience of our people,” says Dino Alejandro, commercial lead, Ethicon Philippines for J&J MedTech Philippines.
STORIES FROM THE FRONTLINE: HOW J&J’S MEDICAL SALES TEAM HELPS SAVE FILIPINOS’ LIVES To fulfill its duty of making care available to all, one of J&J Philippines’ key pillars is its partnership with those on the frontline whom they consider ‘Drivers of Innovation.’ The healthcare giant ensures that these medical representatives possess a specific standard of knowledge to continuously find bold solutions and help create a healthier future for everyone everywhere. “We are grateful that we work for an organization that values its employees by giving us the best training for the devices we manage, providing the team with specialized tools and methods, and sharing the most recent clinical papers. The business offers ongoing training and updates so that we can deliver the best quality of work,” J&J Philippines’ business manager for Ethicon Luzon, Carlo Enriquez, said. “J&J also invests in professional education programs with our doctors and nurses who use the items to share about their experiences, areas of expertise, and product utilization. These are practical skills we can share with our customers and makes for effective client engagement. Moreover, the company invests in the soft skills that each employee needs as they advance in their careers in the workforce.”
“Our products and devices require a certain level of skill set, and our role as product specialists is to make the best use of our products’ features and benefits to achieve the best possible outcome for our patients and customers,” says J&J Philippines’ Orthopedic product specialist for Mitek, Marc Daquis. “J&J has helped me grow in my career in many ways. The company allowed me to evolve from being a medical representative focused only on product promotions to a senior product specialist so I can excel and be the best in managing the territory. It honed me to be more confident in dealing with different customers with different needs that led to uncovering new opportunities, winning accounts versus competition, and being on top of the business,” J&J Philippines’ senior product specialist for Ethicon, RJ Quiambao, said. As ‘Drivers of Innovation,’ their duty involves a wider and deeper purpose other than delivering recommended products and devices. They should fortify their fuel to expand their impact on the field to provide quality service to the Filipino community in need. “The role of a product specialist in medical devices goes beyond promotions and selling. We are responsible for providing key stakeholders up-to-date
technologies which promote better patient outcomes,” says Quiambao. “Our role is important and critical because it also includes having a customer-centric mindset. As we interact with our customers, we should always hold the same viewpoint as our distributor partners and vice versa, as they represent J&J’s culture, way of thinking, and products in their regions. This mindset fosters trust between the customer and our team,” Enriquez said. “It is also our responsibility to keep our technical skills and product knowledge at par with the surgical team. Adding value to every procedure and achieving the best possible results for our patients and customers,” says Daquis. Indeed, J&J Philippines’ MedTech team has been an incremental force in making care available to all by removing limitations to a full and better life — from restoring mobility and vision, to providing life-saving surgical technologies and solutions, to enabling those with debilitating conditions to get the right treatment. For more information about Johnson & Johnson MedTech, visit here.
My Dream in a Shoebox Supporting the education needs of Filipino children
s this school year returns to face-to-face classes, it is imperative to ensure Filipino children have the capacity to attend their classes no matter the learning set-up. TeamAsia — an integrated marketing experience agency — launched the 14th year of its annual education campaign, My Dream In A Shoebox (MDIAS), to support Filipino children with their educational needs, especially as they go back to onsite schooling. “As face-to-face classes return, we want to encourage Filipino children across the country that they can still continue their education, may it be in the physical or virtual setting,” said TeamAsia’s managing director and MDIAS chief dream builder Bea Lim. “MDIAS stays true to its commitment of making students’ #BiggerDreams come true
by adapting to the changing times and providing support that is relevant to the learning set-up today.” MDIAS has been partnering with Yellow Boat of Hope (YBH) Foundation — a non-government organization that ensures every child in the Philippines experiences quality education — for seven years. This partnership grew, bringing in more opportunities to help, particularly with the building of e-hubs that started last year. In 2021, MDIAS raised nearly PHP1-million that funded three e-hubs, sponsored 100 scholars, and provided 1,000 Dream Kits. We are excited to continue this fruitful partnership with My Dream in A Shoebox. Our organization is committed to reimagine education and see where we can contribute to allow Filipino children
to stay in school. We strive to encourage children to continue learning so they discover their abilities and talents that will enable them to reach their dreams, and we are happy to be doing this with TeamAsia’s education campaign as both organization are single-minded in dreaming big and keeping hope alive for the communities we served,” said Dr. Anton Mari H. Lim, Co-Founder of Yellow Boat of Hope.
teachers and become a beacon of hope for an undisrupted education where children can still learn and be empowered wherever their classroom is. Since 2009, MDIAS has been equipping less fortunate Filipino children with educational assistance. It started with a modest collection of 200 shoeboxes from TeamAsia’s industry partners and
friends, containing school supplies to inspire children to go to school. Through the years, it has expanded to sponsoring students from various partner communities across the country and impacted as much as 500,000 lives. If you’re interested to take part in this year’s MDIAS campaign, you may follow these steps to donate.
This year, with its mission to make Filipino children’s #BiggerDreams come true, MDIAS is looking to raise PHP450,000 to build an e-hub and sponsor 100 more scholars in its partner communities. The e-hub will support students and teachers by providing access to six laptops, internet connection, and allowance for logistical expenses. The scholars, on the other hand, will be given financial aid for school supplies, transportation, learning modules, hygiene kits, and face masks. While the return of face-to-face classes marks the country’s recovery and progress beyond the pandemic, it also poses new challenges for children in the Philippines, especially after over two years in blended learning. This includes not having enough classrooms that can accommodate this school year’s enrollees and the safety measures being taken by education institutions to ensure the health of students amid the ongoing pandemic. MDIAS together with YBH are eager to be of aid to students, parents, and
Food Insecurity Impacts Mental Health Help address this through the Hapag Movement
he effects of food insecurity go beyond physical. Involuntary hunger has been a long-standing problem in the Philippines. During the pandemic, when millions lost their means of livelihood, this became more apparent with the surge of mental health concerns. A study by University of Arkansas professors Di Fang, Michael Thomsen and Rodolfo Nayga Jr., published by BMC Public Health in March 2021, found that food insecurity caused by the pandemic was also associated with an increased risk of mental illness. It determined that “food insecurity is associated with a 257% higher risk of anxiety and a 253% higher risk of depression.” The study then October 2022
recommended that public health measures focus on getting direct subsidies for food purchases to lowincome families, especially families with children. As the country continues to grapple with the detrimental effects of the pandemic, there is a need for urgent intervention. This is an imperative as the country comes out of the worst of the pandemic, with 3.1 million Filipino families saying they experienced involuntary hunger at least once, based on the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey in the first quarter of the year. Globe’s Hapag Movement provides a platform for anyone to help put food on the table of families experiencing
involuntary hunger. It has mobilized multi-sectoral partners and came up with ways for customers to help through a few clicks on their mobile phones. “The complex hunger problem leads to so many other social ills and requires collective action. Using new digital technologies, we can lend a hand easier as donating becomes very convenient. We are creating a multi-sectoral platform that provides sustainable solutions to help communities recover,” said Yoly Crisanto, chief sustainability and corporate communications officer at Globe. The Hapag Movement’s integrated approach includes not just supplemental feeding activities but also skills development and capacity-building gadgetsmagazine.com.ph
sessions. It also offers a micro-lending program to help jumpstart livelihood activities for Filipino families. Globe customers can now help provide food for families in need every time they purchase Globe prepaid load or pay for their monthly Globe subscriptions. Each transaction lets customers earn Globe Rewards points which can be donated to The Hapag Movement for the alleviation of extreme hunger in the country. To support, simply download the New GlobeOne app and donate your Rewards points for as low as PHP1.
YET TO COME BTS hit remade as Hyundai version for Goal of the Century World Cup campaign
which emphasizes the climax to deliver the cheering message for ‘Goal of the Century’ and anticipation toward the World Cup.
Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.) is a British rock remix version of BTS’ Yet To Come (The Most Beautiful Moment),
“As one of the most influential global artists in the world, BTS and their music greatly influence our society to develop in a positive direction. Through the World Cup campaign with BTS, we hope to create an opportunity for people all over the world to unite towards one goal of sustainability and cheer each other up,” said Jaehoon Chang, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor Company The campaign song utilized the original
yundai Motor Company released Yet To Come (Hyundai Ver.) with BTS as the ‘Goal of the Century (GOTC)’ World Cup campaign song last September 23, 2022, through streaming platforms such as Spotify and Apple Music, along with a full music video on Hyundai’s official YouTube Channel.
lyrics and added lines such as “Now the vision is clear, the Goal of the Century is here”. Plus, the song is also filled with lyrics such as “I know, together, we’ll make it better” and “We’re gonna run till a new tomorrow” in hopes to create a better future together. A one-minute video preview shows BTS’ GOTC campaign song delivered all around the world by people singing it together in the stadiums. The film visualizes the world that Hyundai wishes to create through the 2022 FIFA World Cup, expanding the solidarity of those united together in football to achieve the ‘Goal of the Century.’ Meanwhile, the official music video depicts Hyundai’s future aspiration to transform into a Smart Mobility Solution Provider by featuring Spot from
Boston Dynamics, AAM (Advanced Air Mobility) flying into the skies of the city, and IONIQ 5 and IONIQ 6 traveling throughout the city. In an effort to spread the message further, Hyundai Motor launched a TikTok challenge #TeamCentry12 on October 1 for the global fans to enjoy via Hyundai’s official TikTok account (@Hyundai_worldwide). The #TeamCentury12 challenge illustrates the Goal of the Century’s solidarity message through a simple dance move that shows a shoulder-to-shoulder action. The company launched its global sustainability campaign ‘Goal of the Century’ last April 22 in line with Earth Day for the upcoming 2022 FIFA World Cup. The campaign is part of the company’s continuing mission to achieve carbon neutrality by 2045 at all stages of its production and operation.
Gerrard is leading ‘Team Century,’ joined by BTS, Denmark national team member and surgeon Nadia Nadim, American fashion designer Jeremy Scott, contemporary Italian artist Lorenzo Quinn, documentary photographer and visual storyteller Nicky Woo, and Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot.
Hyundai also announced that Ella Mills, a renowned British food writer and founder of Deliciously Ella, and Alex Morgan, an American professional football player and FIFA Women’s World Cup champion, have joined as the 10th and 11th members of Team Century and plan to promote the campaign in their respective markets. Furthermore, Nicky Woo plans to hold a photo exhibition about sustainability at Hyundai Motorstudio during the World Cup as a part of a team member’s campaign activity. A total of 11 Team Century members are actively taking part in the World Cup campaign in their respective fields. To learn more about ‘Goal of the Century,’ ‘Team Century,’ or Hyundai’s sustainability agenda, please visit www. hyundai.com/worldcup.
To drive the campaign, Hyundai Motor introduced ‘Team Century,’ a group of ambassadors that will promote various environmental and social sustainability projects throughout 2022. Former England national team player Steven
DISCOVER WEABOTAKU PH ON BILIBILI How this otaku uses his passion to create content that people love
ere in the Philippines, it’s not hard to find people who’d say they grew up watching different anime shows. That’s because television networks used to broadcast several of these shows with Tagalog dubbing, especially during the 1990s. For many Filipinos, their penchant for anime has developed into a real passion over the years.
watching anime like Dragonball Z on TV. Whenever my siblings watched, I would also join them even if I didn’t really understand the shows yet at that time,” Mark Andrei Quemado shares. “Over the years, I became addicted to anime, tuning in to updates and new releases. Now I love watching anime regularly.” Quemado is one of the many Filipinos using his love for anime as a content creator. Stories about big content creators are plenty, but it’s rare to hear from up-and-coming creators like Quemado. Here’s his journey.
Today, we see a vibrant community of anime lovers huddling in comic cons, cosplay conventions, and countless interest group meetups. There is also a thriving group of content creators making significant contributions to cultivating the anime culture in the Philippines.
TRIAL AND ERROR
It’s not surprising why content creators are flourishing in the Philippines these days. In July this year, the number of
“Since I was a kid, around 5 to 6 years old, I have always been exposed to
active social media users in the country has grown to 82%, with 55.7% of internet users watching vlogs at least every week. Hence, the opportunities and possibilities for budding content creators couldn’t be more obvious. However, it seems that being a content creator requires not only passion but also persistence and the willingness to experiment and take risks. Before finding his niche, Quemado tried different types of content. “At first, I tried creating my own channel where I tried uploading gaming videos. There weren’t a lot of viewers, but at least there were a few subscribers. After two years, I tried vlogs and reaction videos, but they didn’t work out. My only viewers were locals who know me,” he says. In 2020, Quemado decided to use his passion for anime and created a channel to post videos of Tagalog anime reviews and analyses. In two years, he was able to attract over 200,000 subscribers. Later, he decided to bring his content to Bilibili, the largest video platform in Southeast Asia for all things ACG (Anime, Comics, and Games), where he now has nearly 10,000 followers. Quemado’s username is WeabOtaku PH, a combination of two words — weeaboo and otaku. Weeaboo means a nonJapanese who has an intense interest in Japanese pop culture, while otaku usually refers to a hardcore anime fan or geek. GETTING REAL WORK DONE
Experiencing tangible success as a creator doesn’t happen overnight. Even if it’s considered by many as a fun side hustle or a creative expression beyond a day job, there’s real work and creative process involved in consistently producing valuable or entertaining content, not to mention the endeavors to boost audience engagement. Quemado gives a glimpse of what goes into his own process: “When someone asks in the comments, ‘Lods, why is Naruto’s clan gone?’ Since it’s not explained in the anime itself, I must do my own research, gather
different opinions, and consider various theories from people on Reddit or other forums. Then, I write the script, record the voice-over, and proceed with editing,” Quemado shares. “When the video is ready, I think of a title that would easily attract my audience, then pick a thumbnail that could help the video get a lot of clicks.”
“There is a workshop that gives you an opportunity to grow your channel. Aside from that, there are a lot of activities and events where you can win prizes like cellphones or cash. Bilibili has a lot of activities for creators. It is definitely rewarding because even if the creators have not really grown their channels yet, they’re eligible for rewards,” he says.
Quemado also said that when he was starting, it took him several days to produce one video. “Back then, I only posted content once a week. Today, I’m able to create at least eight videos per month,” he says.
He also said that the platform allows him to meet like-minded people or fellow otakus thanks to Bilibili’s laser focus on ACG content.
Learning continuously is also part of the process of becoming a successful creator. Currently, Quemado’s goal is to grow his channel, get more creative, and master analytics. “I want to grow my channel and reach 1 million subscribers no matter what. I want to learn how to create better thumbnails and understand analytics more to better grasp how I should create videos that people will want to watch,” he says. FINDING A SUPPORTIVE COMMUNITY
Content creators today are fortunate to be a part of an industry where different stakeholders — such as agencies, platforms, and communities — work together to empower creators. For Quemado, being officially part of Bilibili’s creator community gives him both perks, rewards, and opportunities to grow.
“The platform is great and not toxic; even the people in the group chats are interactive and nice. The staff are also accommodating and truly want the community to grow. They are also trying a lot of new things, consistently seeking suggestions on what can be done to improve the platform. Overall, the future of Bilibili is bright, really bright.” With support all around, it’s not impossible to see the ACG culture in the Philippines flourish more, with passionate content creators at the center of such evolution. “The ACG community in the Philippines is more alive than ever,” Quemado says. “Just do what you love and learn from your mistakes and others. Don’t be content with your current skills and ideas. Always be learning to stay relevant, and remember to treat yourself as your audience to come up with content ideas that your audience will truly enjoy. That’s the most important lesson I’ve learned so far.”
A Home and Haven for Sports Enthusiasts October 2022
aunched in 2018 as a South Luzon-based multi-sports facility that would help hone and prepare national and aspiring athletes to reach their individual and collective goals, Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub (AVSH) is already recognized as the go-to training facility south of the metro. Its multi-feature Sports Hub boasts of a FINA-standard Aquatic Center with an Olympic-sized pool, an IAAF-certified Athletics Center with a world-class track oval, a football pitch with natural tiff grass, and a gym operated by Santé Fitness Lab. After the successful staging of the Green Run — a multi-level run for elite athletes, training athletes, fun runners, and fitness enthusiasts last July 2022 — Ayala Land’s 750-hectare Vermosa Estate is stepping up development to make it a complete venue for an active and healthy lifestyle down south.
In the 2019 Southeast Asian Games, AVSH was the playing venue for underwater hockey. Today, national athletes continue to train at the Sports Hub due to partnerships forged with the Philippine Athletic and Track and Field Association, the Triathlon Association of the Philippines, World Archery Philippines, and the Philippine Rugby Union.
venue. We want our athletes to already start preparing for the 2024 Olympics,” Aragones said.
Vermosa Sports Hub facilities are constantly growing and evolving. The Aquatic Center now has a 25-meter warm-up pool and 240-seater bleachers around the Olympic-size pool. The installation of a lighting system has made the track oval ready for evening events. Also available is the Athlete’s Lounge, which can also be a venue for seminars and small gatherings like product launches. Soon to rise is an athletes’ dormitory called The Athletes’ House. The initial phase will have 30 rooms, with three beds per regular room and two beds for PWD rooms, with a total of 87 beds.
The world-class facilities and thoughtful features for competitive athletes and believers in a healthy lifestyle all show Ayala’s commitment to developing the Filipino athlete. To ensure nurturance while keeping fit, there are food establishments around Vermosa Sports Hub, such as the Vermosa Food and Lifestyle Market, Mc Donald’s, Jollibee, Starbucks, and Chicken Peri-Peri.
“The Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub was built with athletes in mind,” said Moses “MJ” Aragones, Vermosa project development manager. “We want athletes to come here and consider it their training place and call it home. “The Athletes’ House aims to support the needs of elite national athletes who will train in the Sports Hub. It lets them do lock-in training to avoid the hassle of transporting to and from the training October 2022
A multi-purpose field where sports like archery, frisbee, and rugby can take place is also in the planning stage. Eventually, a multi-purpose gym will also be built where indoor sports can be played with spectators.
“These continued improvements have made AVSH grow into a viable venue for hosting key local and international sporting events,” said Vermosa estate head Jay Teodoro. “Hopefully, we can continue to make this place a home and training ground to more athletes and enthusiasts. This is for all athletes to realize their dreams and for individuals to move forward in their pursuit of a healthy and active lifestyle.” Teodoro added. For more information about Ayala Vermosa Sports Hub, go to vermosa.ph.
“The world-class facilities and thoughtful features for competitive athletes and believers in a healthy lifestyle all show Ayala’s commitment to developing the Filipino athlete.”
SEIKO BOUTIQUE OPENS AT THE POWER PLANT MALL Japanese watchmaker Seiko continues to make waves in the Philippine market as it launches its newest boutique at the Power Plant Mall in Makati City. The boutique, located at the R1 Level Expansion of the mall, showcases both its Seiko and luxury Grand Seiko collections. Housed at the Power Plant Mall boutique are two new additions to the Grand Seiko Sport Collection. The travel-ready quartz GMT watch boasts a stainless-steel case and a dual-curve sapphire crystal surrounded by a fixed stainless-steel bezel with a 24-hour scale. SBGN027 features a black sunray dial with otherwise monochromatic highlights, while the SBGN029 has a blue sunray
dial with red-color accents on the dial text and GMT hand. Paying homage to the 55th year anniversary of the signature 44GS, another new watch to anticipate for pre-order is the SLGH013 under the Grand Seiko Heritage Collection. Inspired by the melting snows of Mt. Iwate, the SLGH013 features a new light blue dial and a case and bracelet made of Ever-Brilliant Steel. There is also the Limited Edition SLGH009, Grand Seiko’s first Ever-Brilliant Steel watch. Powered by the revolutionary Caliber 9SA5 that enhances energy efficiency, the high-beat watch offers a power reserve of 80 hours and boasts tempered screws to mark the 55th anniversary of 44GS.
Also available at the boutique is the collection that represents the future of Grand Seiko – the Evolution 9 collection. A perfect mixture of traditional and modern, the collection draws inspiration from the traditions and culture of Japan while remaining modernized with its confident lines, powerful presence, and quiet radiance that speaks to the next generation. With its own dedicated corner at the boutique, Seiko’s patrons will have a variety of options that fits their lifestyle. Inspired by the ever-present neon lights in Tokyo at night, limitededition Astron 5X Caliber proves to be the optimal traveling companion with its scratch-resistant titanium case and bracelet, GPS Solar Caliber 5X53
that automatically adjusts the time depending on the wearer’s time zone, and Lumibrite that emits an ethereal glow and delivers high night-time legibility. Seiko continues to uphold its reputation as a pioneer in sports timing for over six decades. One of its top sport watch collections is hand assembled Prospex Speedtimer Oregon powered by Caliber 8R46, which much like the Caliber 6139 used in the original 1969 Speedtimer, incorporates vertical clutch and column wheel mechanisms to ensure the highest possible levels of precision and durability.
Edric Dy, Timeplus Corporation VP for Marketing and Karl Dy, Timeplus Corporation President and CEO
Another timepiece that athletes and sports aficionados alike would surely appreciate is the Prospex LX that represents the true spirit of Seiko. Lastly, the limited edition Prospex SLA063, with its subtle blue scheme, is known as the 1970 Mechanical Diver’s Modern Watch Re-interpretation. Visit Grand Seiko and Seiko’s boutique at Power Plant Mall and invest in a timepiece that will suit any lifestyle and last for generations.
PHILIPPINE WEB3 FESTIVAL SET TO BRING GLOBAL ATTENTION TO HOME-GROWN TALENT As world leaders in social media, mobile gaming, fintech, cryptocurrencies, and now, Web3, Filipinos have always been at the forefront of technology adoption. Since the play-to-earn phenomenon caught the world’s attention in 2021, the country has been firmly positioned at the epicenter of the Web3 movement as Filipinos demonstrate how the real world can benefit from crypto, NFTs, and the open Metaverse. This coming November 14 to 18, in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), in Metro Manila, the Philippine Web3 Festival will convene founders, developers, and gamers with an international community of NFT games, venture capital (VC) funds and leaders in the space looking to learn how the Philippines was catapulted onto the world stage and what the future holds for Web3. The Festival has been instigated by local web3 success stories, Yield Guild Games (YGG) led by Gabby Dizon, Beryl Li and Owl of Moistness, and BlockchainSpace (BSPC) led by Peter Ing. “We were the first Filipino-led crypto project to break onto the world stage, and since then, the Philippines blockchain ecosystem has exploded,” said Dizon, co-founder of YGG. “The Philippine Web3 Festival is the first truly international showcase of Filipino talent, and we are bringing the world’s best in Web3 to the Philippines to see it for themselves.”
Throughout the week, Sequoia Capital investor associate Augustus Ilag, Dragonfly Capital partner Mia Deng, Mechanism Capital principal Eva Wu, Delphi Digital game economist Ryan Foo, Infinity Ventures Crypto (IVC) founding partner Brian Lu, and other global VC funds, will present on why they look to the Philippines to uncover emerging Web3 trends. Global cryptocurrency exchange and official exchange of the Festival, Binance, stressed the significance of the country in paving the way for Web3 innovation. “Since the Philippines has potential as one of the big players in the Web3 space, we believe it is important to support the initiatives and movements to develop the industry further,” said Kenneth Stern, general manager of Binance Philippines.
Telecom, the official connectivity and telco partner, and MetaverseGo, the preferred platform to access Web3 Games, Guilds, and NFTs. The event will also feature sessions from leading blockchain protocols, including Polygon; TZ APAC, the Asia-based blockchain adoption entity supporting the Tezos ecosystem; and Xpla, a Tendermint-based and developerfriendly chain that hosts an ecosystem of decentralized applications and developer tools. In addition to the speaker lineup, attendees will enjoy a major esports tournament, a hackathon, NFT exhibits, and networking at community-led side events.
Mobile wallet GCash also joins the Philippine Web3 Festival as a copresenter. “GCash remains true to its commitment to provide ‘finance for all’ — making products accessible to Filipinos, as it aims to do the same in Web3 while the space continues to grow in the country,” said Neil Trinidad, head of New Businesses Crypto Insurance and Data Tech of GCash.
“Those of us in the Philippines cryptocurrency space have been coming together to share ideas and collaborate since 2019 when we first hosted Jiho from Axie Infinity and introduced him to the community in Manila,” said Ing, founder of BlockchainSpace. “Since then, Filipinos have been instrumental in the growth of blockchain gaming, we are shaping the future of this industry and now the world wants to come to the Philippines to see what is next.”
Also joining as co-presenters of the Philippine Web3 Festival are Globe
Head over to http://phweb3festival.com to learn more about the event!
In addition to Dizon, the speaker lineup features Web3 industry leaders such as the co-founder of Axie Infinity Jeffrey ‘Jiho’ Zirlin; chairman and co-founder of Animoca Brands Yat Siu; and co-founder of The Sandbox Sebastian Borget, whose decentralized gaming platform recently collaborated with Snoop Dogg, Paris Hilton, and others.
CIMB BANK YEAR-END MEGA PROMO It’s time to make your presence even more felt and connected with your loved ones using your new mobile phones this Christmas with CIMB Bank’s Year-End Gadget Promo. Starting this October, CIMB Bank Philippines will reward five raffle winners every month with new mobile phones. The Bank is giving away the following devices: two iPhone 13 Pro, eight iPhone 12 Mini, two Samsung S22+ and eight Samsung S22. Lucky customers simply have to log in, transact, or get a loan approved using the all-new CIMB Bank PH app. Fast, secured, and safe, the CIMB app lets every Filipino easily manage their finances to achieve their goals. Through the app, users can open an
account in just 10 minutes, apply for a loan, and transfer funds for FREE through InstaPay and PESONet. Here’s how users can join the promo: 1. To earn a raffle entry for the month, users would need to perform any of the eligible transactions. Each transaction performed corresponds to multiple raffle entries. 2. There will be one raffle draw per month where the five monthly winners will be chosen. 3. Users can accumulate multiple entries for the month, but the number of entries reset after every raffle draw. “Christmas is a special time for Filipinos to be grateful for the
blessings they have received for the year. We, at CIMB, would like to celebrate Christmas early with our valued customers. This promo is our own little gesture of thanking them for their support,” says CIMB Bank Philippines chief executive officer Vijay Manoharan. “We hope that by encouraging our customers to discover the many possibilities they can do using our new mobile app; we can help them achieve their life goals.” Make the most out of your banking transactions with CIMB Bank App PH and be rewarded with special gifts this Christmas. To know more about CIMB’s year-end promo, click here. October 2022
SWITCHING TO SMART IS NOW EASIER WITH THE SIMPLER MNP PROCESS Experiencing the power of Smart has become easier with Smart’s simpler Mobile Number Portability (MNP) process, which enables customers to switch without changing their mobile number. Joining the Smart network now takes only three easy steps: Step 1: Get your 9-digit Unique Subscriber Code (USC) from your current network provider. Valid for 15 days, the USC serves as clearance that your account is free from unpaid fees and balances. Step 2: Get a Smart 5G-ready MNP SIM and apply online. If you’re switching to a Smart Prepaid or TNT account, you can get your 5G-ready MNP SIM by heading to any Smart Store nationwide or having it delivered to your doorstep by ordering it online. On the other hand, if you’re porting into a Smart Postpaid account, you can secure your 5G-ready MNP SIM October 2022
by booking an appointment at your preferred Smart Store. Step 3. Activate your Smart 5G-ready SIM. Upon getting your Smart 5G-ready MNP SIM and completing your MNP application, you can activate it by dialing *123# and following the steps on the screen. You will receive a text notification upon successful activation. Through MNP, more Filipinos can unleash the power of Smart, the first and only local mobile operator to be recognized as the Philippines’ Best Mobile Network by Ookla, the global leader in mobile and broadband network intelligence. To earn this prestigious citation, Smart led in two crucial Ookla Speedtest Awards categories, namely Fastest Mobile Network and Best Mobile Coverage in Q1– Q2 2022. With Smart’s fastest speeds, subscribers can do and accomplish
more – from connecting with loved ones in crystal-clear video calls, sending important work and school files in a flash, sharing content on social media in real-time, to watching high-definition videos seamlessly and playing high-bandwidth mobile games without lag. On the other hand, Smart’s widest coverage means customers can stay connected more – whether at home or office, during the commute to school or work, or outside the city. Switching to Smart also comes with a host of awesome perks and rewarding experiences, from exclusive access to premium ondemand entertainment, easy access to the latest promos and lifestyle treats via the GigaLife App, and up to 9 GB data freebie for prepaid subscribers, among others. To know more, visit https://smart.com. ph/Pages/mobilenumberportability. gadgetsmagazine.com.ph
UNIONBANK EMPOWERS THE FUTURE OF BANKING WITH GROUNDBREAKING SOLUTIONS Union Bank of the Philippines, a pioneer in digital transformation, has always been among the first to embrace technological innovations to empower its customers. It has been recognized as one of Asia’s leading digital trailblazers and continues to serve the growing needs of Filipinos everywhere. Recently, the bank held its 2022 UB Innovation Festival at the newly inaugurated UnionBank Innovation Campus (UBIC) in San Pedro, Laguna. With the theme The Future of Banking is with U, the three-day event celebrated innovative technologies, digital solutions and applications in the financial sector. Among these were groundbreaking solutions developed by UnionBank such as eDAO (ePaycard Digital Account Opening), Remote Check Deposit (RCD), and Embedded Banking. eDAO offers an efficient, paperless, and fully digital payroll solution to corporate clients that eliminates the need to visit the bank just to open an account. It also simplified the account opening template and submission; eliminated the minimum required number of ePay accounts to be opened; and improved the card issuance process. More importantly, this allows businesses to scale up by embedding this service to their onboarding process. eDAO can be accessed through The Portal, UnionBank’s online business banking platform. Remote Check Deposit (RCD) is another feature on The Portal. It allows users to submit scanned check images in bulk for deposit to UnionBank. The user simply needs to upload the images along with the check details to The Portal, and then wait for UnionBank to validate the submitted images and details; and finally deposit the approved checks. RCD accepts up to PHP20,000,000 current dated and post-dated checks. Clients can upload hundreds of checks
without having to go to a branch, and just monitor their warehoused, deposited, cleared and returned checks online. In addition, it has cleared and bounced checks status display feature. RCD is the latest industry innovation for check payments that complements the Bank’s mobile check deposit service. UnionBank remains at the forefront of digitization through its Embedded Banking, integrating financial products or services into businesses, providing immense value for enterprises and their respective customers. It allows entrepreneurs to manage their finances and at the same time handle their business on the platform. Embedded Banking makes payments more seamless and effortless as it leverages emerging technologies through APIs and blockchain. These enable e-commerce shops to provide better customer experience with their clients. Apart from eDAO, RCD, and Embedded Banking, UnionBank also launched UPAY, a platform that consolidates several payment methods and provides a single integration point for customers’ collections needs. It accepts the most common modes of payments like Visa
and Mastercard credit and debit cards, bank transfers, popular e-wallets and also collects payments from other local banks. Complementing all these is UnionBank’s Supply Chain Finance (SCF), an online platform which provides secure access to buyers (dealers) and sellers (suppliers) network for efficient document presentment, receivable collections and payable settlement whether via cash or financing terms. This promotes transparency through distributed ledgers and smart contracts which then eliminates fraudulent transactions, such as double financing. With all of these digital developments, UnionBank ensures not just convenience but the safety of users by employing multi-layered security controls — from its people, perimeter, network, application, host and to its most important data. As more and more Filipinos shift to digital platforms, UnionBank continues to shape the future of banking through innovative solutions for all. Find out more about UnionBank by visiting its website.
THE CONSOLE WARS Words by Jose Alvarez
hile the idea of a console war exists to this very day, it was more prominent in the early 1990s. Schoolyard debates raged over whether the Sega Genesis or the Super Nintendo was better. Sega had my attention because of its willingness to make those technological leaps into the unknown. I have previously written about Sega products for Gadgets Magazine, namely the Sega Dreamcast in 2017 and Sega Channel in 2019. But what about the effects of the console wars in general? How did they affect gaming? Healthy competition often breeds innovation and motivation to do better, but the console wars between Sega and Nintendo led to gaming becoming more than just a hobby. In some cases, the
console wars of the 1990s contributed to gaming as a lifestyle we see today. While there have been subsequent console wars, such as between Sony and Nintendo, and Sony and Microsoft, the console wars generally refer to the early 1990s battle between Sega and Nintendo. The saying that war is good for business definitely applies in the video game world. The Sega Genesis was released in 1989, six years after the video game industry crash of 1983. This immediately challenged Nintendo’s firm grip on the industry as Sega embarked on an aggressive marketing campaign to promote the console in North America. My first memory of this console war was the “Genesis Does” advertisement, which
had the iconic slogan “Genesis Does What Nintendon’t” back in 1990. It was one of the most memorable video game ads of all time and scored a marketing win for Sega, whose market share exploded as a result. While Nintendo leaned on a handful of its franchises to carry them into the new decade, Sega used the pull of celebrities such as Michael Jackson, Pat Riley, and Buster Douglas to market games, which was another marketing masterstroke for Sega. This forced Nintendo to release the Super Nintendo in 1991 in response to the Sega Genesis’ technological superiority and aggressive marketing campaigns. This console war even went beyond gaming, reaching the halls of the United States Congress, and eventually forced the industry to self-regulate through the
formation of the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) to regulate violent content in video games. Although the claims of video game violence causing reallife violence have largely been debunked, the console wars played a role. Then-Sega of America vice president Bill White and his Nintendo counterpart Howard Lincoln faced off at the 1993 United States Senate hearings on video games, bringing the console wars into the political arena. Lincoln won the battle in the halls of Congress, and Nintendo’s fortunes improved in the court of public opinion. Nintendo ultimately won the political war for being more willing to work with Congress. This led to the formation of the ESRB in 1994. But this raises many questions. First, was this because Nintendo was better than Sega, or because the politicization of video games doomed Sega’s approach to keeping video games free of content regulation? Keep in mind that this was during a time when parents were incorrectly blaming violent video games on actual violence. The answers may not be as clear to younger viewers, but as someone with dual interests in history and gaming, many factors caused this edition of the console wars to end. Sega had taken on too many projects in the early 1990s, including the disastrous console add-ons of the Sega CD (1992) and Sega 32X (1994), along with the aforementioned Sega Channel (1994). Nintendo, instead, chose to focus on the Super Nintendo and the handheld Game Boy without too many technological innovations other than the ill-fated Virtual Boy (1995).
Focusing on a main product instead of trying to leap too far forward for consumers led to Nintendo still continuing to make consoles and video games to this very day, while Sega had to unceremoniously exit the console business in March 2001. The Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast, while technologically advanced, did not capture the hearts and minds of gamers, and were ultimately a consequence of being too far ahead of their time. Sega remains as a software developer and publisher to this day, even (ironically) developing and publishing games for Nintendo consoles. If you ask me who really won, I would say Sega, as their innovations strongly influenced the creation of online gaming as we know it today. Focusing on a main product instead of trying to leap too far forward for consumers led to Nintendo still continuing to make consoles and video games to this very day, while Sega had to unceremoniously exit the console business in March 2001. Sega remains as a software developer and publisher to this day, even (ironically) developing and publishing games for Nintendo consoles. The Sega Saturn and Sega Dreamcast, while technologically advanced, did not capture the hearts and minds of gamers, and were ultimately a consequence of being too far ahead of their time. If you were to ask me who really won, I would say Sega, as their innovations strongly influenced the creation of online gaming as we know it today.
Volume XXIII Issue II
MEET THE TEAM EDITORIAL Editor-in-Chief MARIBELLE ALBA Editors-at-Large PRESY ALBA REN ALCANTARA Mobility Consultant ARNEL DORIA Editor GABRIEL PE Writers/Contributors FRANCESKA AGUILA JOSE ALVAREZ CHRIS NOEL HIDALGO JEWEL STA. ANA
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 CONSUELOZ 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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