Wednesday, May 31, 2023

Bitskwela gathers key leaders, influencers for online Web3 debate

31 May 2023 - Guided by its mission to provide Filipinos with logical, factual, and insightful Web3 education, Filipino-led edutech firm Bitskwela is turning to Twitter Space to host the debate titled "The Limits of DYOR: A Debate on Web3 Influencers and Promotions.” The one-hour debate will begin at 7:00PM (PHT) on June 9, 2023.

YGG country manager Luis Buenaventura, Bitcoin firm CEO Ethan Rose, CNN "The Future w/ Jared, Kate, and Dan" co-host Jared Dillinger, Suzuverse PH and web3 games influencer Em “Kaisaya” Dangla, Web3 content creator MJ Aguilar, and Favx Capital and Cryptoverse Academy CEO Marvin Favis will present views on the dynamics between influencers and the "Do Your Own Research" or DYOR mantra in the Web3 realm.

“As Web3 revolutionizes sectors with its focus on decentralization, privacy, and user control, influencers are becoming pivotal voices that offer insights into its myriad applications. Meanwhile, the DYOR principle encourages independent research before making decisions in the digital space,” said JC Macalintal, Chief Marketing Officer of Bitskwela.

“The key to Web3 mass adoption is education, and Bitskwela has always been keen on working with key operator leaders and decision-makers in the space to forward education. Through Bull or Bear, we're able to provide level-headed education on pivotal Web3 topics.” Jiro Reyes, Chief Executive Officer of Bitskwela explained.

Co-presented by GCash and Blockceler8, the upcoming online debate serves as the inaugural side event to Bitskwela's "Bull or Bear: Philippine Web3 Debate 2023" Cebu leg, prior to the onsite debate about NFTs and fine arts at Imahica Art Gallery, Mandaluyong City on June 16 and a grand debate at Ayala Malls Central Bloc, Cebu IT Park, Cebu City on July 15.

The Bull or Bear Cebu edition is backed by the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT), Go Digital Pilipinas, Ayala Malls, and Philippine Airlines.

Other key partners of this event are Bitget, a top crypto exchange and copy trading platform helping users trade smarter by providing a secure, one-stop trading solution, Tekkon, a Web3 app that promotes social good by empowering users to help fix their local community's infrastructure and Hive, a firm that changing social media with blockchain tech.

Bitskwela has hosted discussions with Web3 leaders in recent months including GCash Head of Partnerships for Crypto Mark Nunez, new country manager Jen Bilango, Filipinas NFT’s Patty Tiu, and Stanible Co-Founder Harry Santos.

Underlining the importance of participation, Bitskwela is introducing an interactive debate format where audience members can cast votes online, with results announced after each round.

Attendance at the Twitter Spaces debate is free and open to all. Bitskwela champions that everyone, regardless of their prior knowledge or experience with Web3, has an equal opportunity to be part of this important conversation that is helping to shape the future of the digital world.

To reserve a seat for the onsite debates, the interested audience can secure their tickets here:

PLDT sustains enterprise growth, as Data Center business expansion attracts new business

PLDT continues to be the undisputed partner-of-choice for businesses across industries. The telco’s B2B arm, PLDT Enterprise, reported a 5% growth equivalent to P11.8 billion in the first quarter of the year.  Revenue growth is attributed to the increasing digital transformation initiatives of the industry sector and the expansion of ICT service requirements of global and local businesses.

Anticipating to further grow the segment, PLDT Enterprise highlights its data center services as a foundational ICT enabler that empowers Philippine enterprises across all industries. ICT revenues, delivered by ePLDT, increased by 14% mainly from data center and cloud services.


Enterprise remains to be a very interesting growth area for us especially by first quarter next year as the VITRO Santa Rosa data center will be completed. There are a lot of possible growth initiatives in the enterprise and we're pushing for cloud solutions and managed services where the growth we see will be coming from,” shared PLDT and Smart President and CEO Alfredo S. Panlilio during the PLDT 2023 First Quarter briefing.

The completion of the 11th VITRO data center in Sta. Rosa will further cement the PLDT Group’s foothold as the country’s DC Powerhouse. Network infrastructure investments on Jupiter, Asia Direct, and Apricot subsea cable systems will further support the country’s digital ecosystem by transporting massive global data into VITRO’s network of data centers, widening and strengthening the country’s global fiber footprint and thereby attracting hyperscaler investments into the Philippines. PLDT, through ePLDT, has set its sights on expanding its managed service offerings integrated with cybersecurity and multi-cloud solutions to help enterprises digitally transform.


“By empowering enterprises with our multi-cloud and data center solutions, we are also moving forward in helping to position the Philippines as the next digital destination of Asia Pacific in the next few years,” said ePLDT President and CEO, Victor S. Genuino.


“We’ve always strived to be the go-to partner of choice among industry leaders both for PLDT Enterprise and in ePLDT. As leading providers of ICT infrastructure with our reliable network coverage and data center expertise, we are aligned in our commitment to furthering together more enterprises in their digital transformation journey,” said PLDT and Smart FVP and Head of Enterprise and International Business Groups Mitch Locsin.


Also notable for PLDT Enterprise’s first quarter performance was the 44% growth from PLDT Global, PLDT Group’s international sales and marketing arm, driven largely by networking and connectivity solutions from US and APAC and global voice trading business.


Its Fixed business segment also exhibited steady growth driven by increased multi-industry demand for high-capacity data and next-generation services where corporate data grew 8% due to internet, managed networking solutions and connectivity services.


For its wireless segment, PLDT further expanded its enterprise solutions under its “Internet of Possibilities” platform, the sole IoT connectivity management platform in the Philippines. This has enabled the company to support a wider range of use cases including asset management, vehicle tracking, telemetry, POS management, and other applications.


PLDT continues to power the nation’s economic backbone serving the connectivity and ICT needs of large, medium, and small enterprises and supporting the government's overall digitalization thrust, through its unparalleled domestic and international fiber optic network infrastructure now spanning over 1.1 million kilometers.

Breaking into Tech? Career Journeys to Inspire New Graduates

Pursuing a career in IT can be daunting for college students, which is why team members in Manila from TELUS International Digital Solutions, a division of TELUS International, shared their stories and valuable insights into how to seize opportunities, explore different fields, and expand skill sets - all of which are crucial for success in the ever-evolving tech landscape.

“Be adaptive, stay curious”

Klyde Monoy first joined TELUS International as an Intermediate Application Support Analyst and never imagined herself working in the IT industry. She's now a Salesforce Administrator for the Delivery team at TELUS International Digital Solutions.

"Today I support multiple squads with their projects by taking care of any access or technical issues they encounter to ensure they are able to focus on their development and sprint goals," Monoy explained.

Monoy attributes much of her success to TELUS International Digital Solutions’ culture of ongoing education. “Management supported my career growth, funding the different training sessions and certification courses that I really wanted to take, and even adjusting my schedule so I could attend my classes," she recalled. "They believed in me when I was just starting out."

For those considering a career in IT, Monoy advised, "Be adaptive and always stay curious. The IT world is constantly evolving, so it's very important that you roll with these changes by soaking in and applying new knowledge."

Monoy is also excited that she has already had the opportunity to pay it forward by mentoring others. "Seeing my mentee learn and grow makes my heart happy and proud," she said. “I’ve always shared that the future is in IT and that there are endless possibilities at our company in terms of career growth. The IT industry is so broad, so don't be afraid that you won't find your niche. You just have to find the right fit for you."

Monoy presents her own career journey as proof that with determination and support, students and young professionals just starting out can thrive in the IT industry.

“Take risks, speak out”

TELUS International Digital Solutions breaks the stereotype that tech careers are only for those who study computer science and related courses. Consider Louise Donery Usman, a process improvement specialist and tester at TELUS International Digital Solutions, who initially enrolled in a broadcasting course in college. Usman later shifted to IT at Asia Pacific College and became a working student at TELUS International Digital Solutions. As she progressed in her career, she acknowledged how important the guidance of supervisors was to her along the way.

"They have a knack for knowing when and what you need help with," she shared. And now, it’s her turn – “Helping the team grow will always be at the core of my role, but it's heartwarming just the same to hear that I have inspired someone else just by doing my job.”

In her role, Usman continuously looks for enhancements and processes that can help both the business and the team. She analyzes opportunities and comes up with the best approach to implement them in a way that's fair and good for everyone. On the testing side, Usman and her team explore systems assigned for evaluation, and test its functionalities, features, and bugs, which they then report to the developers for fixing.

When asked what the ‘coolest’ thing is about her job, Usman replied, “Seeing that what you do matters. You can see how a process, if implemented properly, can make the team's everyday tasks easier. On the testing side, it's always fun to uncover bugs that aren't supposed to be there. Plus, having the ability to work remotely is a big bonus!”

Usman similarly credits the company's investment in team members' growth and development. “TELUS International Digital Solutions provides us with a variety of different opportunities to help with our career growth, such as apprenticeships, job shadowing, online courses, free access to Udemy (online professional development courses), and even reimbursed IT certifications. Our hybrid working setup allows team members to make wise use of their time, creating work-life balance, while still feeling connected to the team. We are also offered a wide range of positions that team members can explore if they’re looking to try something new,” she said.

Usman added, “There's a reason why passion for growth is one of the company’s values. You need to have the internal drive and motivation to get things done. IT is one of the fastest-moving industries today, so you need to be resourceful. You won't always have the answer, but knowing where to look for it will go a long way."

For new graduates who are overwhelmed with the various fields they can explore in tech, Usman advised them to choose their first employer wisely. She said, “Even if you come into an organization as a young IT professional without knowing what you want to do, a company like TELUS International has a lot of initiatives that will help you find your way. The best thing is that you can be learning while working, so you keep advancing your career," she said.

About today’s younger generation, Usman notes, "They are more change-ready, more inclined to take risks, and more outspoken. Using these skills favorably tips the scales in terms of collaboration, innovation, and growth."

Fittingly, TELUS International’s workplace culture is one of continuous learning. Nalakumar "Nala" RS, Vice President of TELUS International Digital Solutions, shared that the company invests in its employees by providing them with access to more than 3,000 tech courses and training programs to help them chart personalized career paths to realize their professional goals. He said, "We foster career growth by providing job-shadowing opportunities that allow individuals to learn from experienced professionals and gain valuable insights into different roles. Additionally, we recognize the importance of ongoing learning and development, which is why we offer some free time for individuals to prepare for new roles or upskill themselves in their current position. This is beyond a business strategy; it’s how we bring our values and culture to life meaningfully."

For new graduates who are looking for an organization that fosters growth and offers various opportunities, Monoy and Usman’s workplace may just be the place to start. To see current career opportunities at TELUS International Digital Solutions, visit, or check out their LinkedIn and Facebook pages, and on job portals like Jobstreet, Indeed, and Monster.


Tuesday, May 30, 2023

New breed of business leaders must be 'digitally savvy warriors, risk-takers' –MVP

Passionate, digitally savvy, risk-taking warriors – this is what next-generation leaders must be, according to businessman Manuel V. Pangilinan.

“More than the ability to manage the business, they must also be entrepreneurial. This country needs more entrepreneurs, more risk-takers,” Pangilinan said. “They should also be immersed in IT, be digitally savvy, and believe that tech deployed in the business will improve the business, eventually raise profitability and improve the lives of the customers that we serve,” he added.


A longtime sports patron, Pangilinan also highlighted the importance of having a winning mindset. “They must also be like warriors - determined to win, determined to achieve their goals,” he said.

The PLDT chairman also highlighted financial and intellectual integrity as among the important values for any leader.

“What you communicate must not only be true, but complete,” he emphasized. “Commitment, dedication, and passion for the work--these are also important. Otherwise, it's just a job. You can't have that. You really have to have the passion,” Pangilinan said.


Pangilinan also underscored the importance of being tough when the situation calls for it. “It's tough being the bad guy. I don't relish being critical, but somebody's got to do it,” he said.

Catch the exclusive interview with Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan on Thought Leaders with Cathy Yang, on Tuesday, May 30, at 9:30 PM on One News on Cignal TV. Catch it too on Spotify, YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and Google Podcasts.

PLDT, Smart vow closer collaboration with DepEd for a 'MATATAG na Bayan'

Leading integrated telco network PLDT Inc. (PLDT) and its wireless unit Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) reiterate their commitment to helping the Department of Education (DepEd) build a ‘Matatag na Bayan’ by improving the country’s learning system.

“As long-standing partners of the DepEd, PLDT, and Smart have been supporting the agency’s thrust to provide young Filipinos with quality inclusive education through technology-enabled solutions that ensure no learner is left behind,” said Stephanie Orlino, AVP and Head of Stakeholder Management at PLDT and Smart.

The DepEd recently gathered partners and stakeholders to present areas of collaboration that aim to overcome the country’s basic education woes. Under the ‘MATATAG’ agenda, the DepEd aims to improve the curriculum to produce competent and job-ready citizens, build more resilient schools and classrooms, champion inclusive education programs, and support teachers and their professional development.

PLDT and Smart have been complementing the DepEd’s teaching strategy with their own education initiatives.


Developed by Ramon Magsaysay awardees Dr. Christopher Bernido and the late Dr. Maria Victoria Bernido, the crisis-resilient Central Visayan Institute Foundation Dynamic Learning Program (CVIF DLP) has trained around 30 volunteer teachers from the Ateneo De Davao University in the first quarter of the year. They will be deployed to madaris across the Bangsamoro region as part of the institution’s Madaris Volunteer Program. Madaris generally refer to Muslim private schools with a core emphasis on Islamic studies.


PLDT and Smart also deployed four School-in-a-Bag packages in the same region during the first three months of the year. The portable digital classroom contains a laptop, a Smart Bro LTE Pocket WiFi, and tablets pre-loaded with #LearnSmart applications and content.


Now in its third season, Innovation Generation empowers tech-savvy youth to create technology-based solutions that create a positive impact on their communities. This year, nearly a hundred teams qualified for the program which included learning sessions and mentorships from Filipino startup mavericks. The groups who will be able to present their prototypes on Demo Day will receive technology and financial grants from PLDT and Smart.


The PLDT Group’s technology-enabled education programs empower and build bridges of collaboration across sectors and communities toward a sustainable future. The Group creates and supports various educational initiatives in line with its commitment to helping the nation achieve the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals No. 4: Quality Education.