Monday, September 25, 2023

PLDT, Smart team up with LGUs to help communities impacted by Taal smog

PLDT and wireless unit Smart Communications are working with local government units to help communities mitigate hazards due to activity from the Taal Volcano.

“Our local sales and network teams are coordinating with LGUs to extend immediate aid to those who are affected by smog from the Taal. We are also looking at possible response efforts in case the volcanic activity worsens,” said Cathy Yang, First Vice President and Head of Group Corporate Communications at PLDT and Smart.

“Our network remains stable and resilient and we are ready to deploy emergency response teams and equipment as necessary,” she added.

According to the latest Phivolcs advisory, Taal Volcano remains at Alert Level 1 or low-level unrest, but possible hazards may include gas-driven or phreatic explosions, earthquakes, minor ashfall, and lethal expulsions of volcanic gas.

The Department of Health, meanwhile, said the public should take precautions following activity from the Mayon Volcano, which remained at Alert Level 3. The DOH advised the public to wear masks and ensure doors and windows are closed, while those who are ill should seek medical help.


The PLDT Group, under its #SafeandSmart advocacy, promotes preparedness and immediate response through technology and capacity-building activities to help mitigate disaster risks.


Apart from ensuring the availability and reliability of its network, especially during calamities, the group also provides assistance in the form of emergency communications, food, and other essentials for affected communities. This initiative is also aligned with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goal No. 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities.

Friday, September 22, 2023

Xbox's Resounding Return to Tokyo Game Show: A Celebration of Gaming Creativity in Asia

In an electrifying digital spectacle, Xbox made its triumphant return to the Tokyo Game Show, an event that serves as a vibrant nexus of gaming innovation and passion in Japan and across Asia. This year, the Xbox showcase was a testament to the company's unwavering dedication to both players and creators in the region, with a dynamic lineup that left enthusiasts buzzing with excitement.

The digital broadcast, filled to the brim with revelations and sneak peeks, featured a remarkable array of 19 games set to grace the Xbox platform. What's more, over half of these titles will be available through the beloved Xbox Game Pass, sweetening the deal for subscribers. Impressively, 15 of these games were developed right here in Asia, highlighting the thriving creativity and talent emerging from this dynamic gaming landscape.

One of the show's highlights was undoubtedly the comprehensive updates across various fan-favorite franchises. Racing aficionados can rev their engines in anticipation as the latest updates for "Forza Motorsport" were revealed, promising a high-octane experience that continues to set the standard for the genre. Meanwhile, "Hotel Barcelona" showcased its unique narrative-driven gameplay, offering players a tantalizing mystery to unravel.

Phoenix Wright fans, known for their love of quirky courtroom drama, had their gavels ready as "Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney" took center stage with intriguing new developments. "Infinity Strash: Dragon Quest" stirred excitement with its flashy combat and rich storytelling, while "Like a Dragon Gaiden: The Man Who Erased His Name" teased a thrilling spin-off adventure set in the beloved Yakuza universe.

But the excitement didn't end there. Gamers also had the opportunity to hear directly from Xbox Game Studios, Bethesda, and key developer partners such as Capcom, Sega Atlus, and Square Enix. This reaffirmed Xbox's commitment to fostering meaningful collaborations with both seasoned industry giants and emerging talents within the Asian gaming community.

For those who missed the live broadcast, the entire event can be relished on Tokyo Game Show's official YouTube channel. Additionally, to stay in the loop with all things Xbox, enthusiasts can follow the latest updates and news on Xbox Wire, keeping the excitement alive well beyond the Tokyo Game Show.

In conclusion, Xbox's presence at the Tokyo Game Show was a resounding success and a celebration of the boundless creativity and dedication found in the world of gaming, particularly in Asia. With a diverse array of games and updates on the horizon, players have much to look forward to, and Xbox continues to demonstrate its commitment to delivering exceptional experiences for gamers around the globe.

Globe's 1st Developers’ Conference: A Commitment to Innovation and Collaboration

Leading digital solutions platform Globe demonstrated its commitment to fostering innovation, collaboration, and knowledge exchange within the tech community as it hosted the 1st Globe Developers’ Conference recently.

Organized by Globe’s Information Services Group (ISG), Globe DevCon was a convergence of visionary developers, business moguls, and tech aficionados. It showcased cutting-edge technologies, shared pioneering solutions, and promoted best practices.

More than just a learning experience, the event provided an opportunity for attendees to immerse themselves in a world of innovation, all while having fun and being inspired to take their development pursuits to the next level.


Globe Chief Information Officer Raul Macatangay set the tone with a powerful message about collective creation.


"Each one of us can be a builder or creator. No matter how ordinary we feel," he passionately declared. Macatangay went on to acknowledge the invaluable contributions of the partners present, referring to them as Globe's "co-creators" and "co-builders."


Ricky Mohan, Globe ISG’s Senior Advisor for Cloud Enablement and Service Operations Division, echoed this sentiment during his keynote address.


"DevCon is a day for creators, by creators," he said.

Mohan championed the principles of transparency, collaboration, and empowerment, all aimed at reducing creator friction: "If we work together, and we share, we collaborate, we could be so much better at what we're doing. I'm not saying we're bad, but we could be really, really better."

Karthik Krishna, Globe Senior Advisor for Product and Digital Growth, shifted the focus to the customers, discussing the significance of "Design Thinking."

"It is about them and for them. The closer the end-users' needs are analyzed and answered, the more successful the adoption or purchase of a solution. You iterate until you get it right from a customer perspective,” he explained.


The event was a perfect blend of tech and product exhibitions, coupled with enlightening learning sessions. Topics ranged from Cloud and Operations to Application Development and Delivery, and Best Practices and Collaboration.


As the day drew to a close, attendees were invited to be part of the Globe Cloud Community. This initiative aims to promote continuous development and foster even greater collaboration among cloud enthusiasts within the company.


Globe DevCon was made possible through the participation of industry giants such as Dell Technologies, AWS, Amdocs, Cisco, Huawei, Hewlett Packard, QualityKiosk Technologies, MDI Novare, Netrust, MongoDB, Netpoleon, Palo Alto Networks, Yondu, Vertiv, RedHat, ServiceNow, Cloudflare, Google Cloud Platform, and Sourced.


The event took place at The Forum (B1 floor) of The Globe Tower, marking another milestone in Globe's journey in technological leadership and innovation.


For more information about Globe and its future events, please visit

Thursday, September 21, 2023

Block Awards 2023 recognizes Jay Ricky B. Villarante for contributions to local blockchain industry

Pasay, Philippines – September 21, 2023 – Jay Ricky Villarante, Chairman and CEO of several local blockchain companies, has been honored as a recipient of the prestigious Block Awards 2023, the award-giving body of the 2023 Philippine Blockchain Week, dubbed as the largest blockchain event in the Philippines supported by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT). This esteemed award celebrates the outstanding contributions and pioneering efforts of individuals shaping the blockchain landscape.

Villarante, a serial entrepreneur, investor, and influential figure in the blockchain industry, has demonstrated remarkable vision and dedication to the advancement of blockchain technology in the Philippines. He is the Chairman and President of 8ventures Pte. Ltd and 8Ventures Philippines Corporation, Chairman and President of Paylance Pte. Ltd., Chairman and CEO of BSP-Licensed VASP company, Moneybees Forex Corporation, Chairman and Director of OrbitPH, Inc. and Chairman and President of Secuna Softwares Technologies, Inc.

With a strong belief in the potential of blockchain to bring about positive changes, Villarante authored the book "Blockchain: A Catalyst for Good Governance in the Philippines." In this book, he shares insights into how blockchain technology can address pressing issues and contribute to good governance within the Philippines.

Villarante expressed his gratitude, stating, "I am deeply honored to receive this award and be recognized among the exceptional innovators and visionaries in the blockchain industry. It is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our teams at 8ventures, Paylance, Moneybees, OrbitPH, and Secuna. This award motivates us to continue pushing the boundaries of blockchain technology, fostering growth, and making a positive impact in the industry and society at large."

Aside from his contributions through literature, Villarante is an active serial investor, supporting and empowering numerous startups in the FinTech and blockchain sectors. This underscores his dedication to supporting and fostering innovation within the blockchain and FinTech space. He also educates the public about blockchain and innovation as a resource person in various industry and community events.

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Villarante and his ventures showcased their commitment to corporate social responsibility. Moneybees, under Jay's leadership, facilitated easy and secure transactions, allowing Filipinos to convert cryptocurrency earned from "Play-to-Earn" video games into pesos, providing crucial support during challenging times.

Through 8Ventures, he demonstrated unwavering support for essential initiatives, donating to medical institutions and providing advanced technology to educational institutions to aid in the fight against the pandemic.

In response to the devastation caused by typhoon Odette, Villarante's efforts extended globally through partnerships with Yield Guild Games (YGG), demonstrating his commitment to local and global social responsibility.

Furthermore, Jay Villarante's involvement with Secuna underscores his dedication to cybersecurity. He invested in cybersecurity initiatives and actively contributed to developing pandemic management solutions to safeguard critical organizations and aid communities affected by the pandemic.


Block Awards 2023 is a celebration of visionaries and innovators in the blockchain industry, recognizing their exceptional contributions and influence. This year's event promises an inspiring experience with guest speaker Mark Joyner, a pioneer in digital marketing, providing insights into the future of blockchain and its transformative impact.

PLDT, Smart team up with youth-led agri orgs, promoting online learning

Residents of San Isidro in Talakag and Macasandig in Cagayan de Oro are the latest recipients of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc.’s (Smart) #PlantSmart kits.

“By creating Kalye Mabunga and putting it online, and distributing PlantSmart kits so that communities can augment their food source, we at PLDT and Smart continue to find technology-based solutions to help achieve a food-secure Philippines,” said Judee Chaves, head of Stakeholder Management - Mindanao Relations at PLDT and Smart.

In collaboration with youth-led agricultural groups – AgriTaBay and Kagay-anon Youth Network Alliance (KAYA NA), the PLDT Group will assist select beneficiaries to jumpstart their vegetable gardening endeavors through the twin initiatives 'Kalye Mabunga', a ten-episode web series on planting fundamentals and techniques, and PlantSmart planting kits. 90 planting kits, each containing loam soil, vegetable seeds, and fertilizers, were provided, to enable recipients to immediately apply what they could learn from the online series and start growing their own food.

AgriTaBay founder Lorence Pacuño shared, “It is good to see telcos like PLDT and Smart championing food security. This is a huge help for AgriTaBay’s mission to encourage communities to do backyard gardening.”

Christian Val Daquipil, Youth Development Officer at the United States Agency for International Development's Opportunity 2.0 Program, collaborates with KAYA NA to champion youth agricultural development. He said, “With this project, we are building the next generation of food producers and sharing with fellow youth and their families the value of growing their own food. Through the help of partners like Kids Who Farm, PLDT, and Smart, we have taught 30 families the basics of hydroponics and provided start-up kits for their home gardens.”

PLDT and Smart seek to uplift and improve the overall physical and mental wellness of Filipinos through programs that ensure food security, improve nutrition, and create awareness online. These projects also emphasize their commitment to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), particularly SDG No. 2: Zero Hunger, and SDG No.3: Good Health and Well-Being.