Smart Padala Gives Back to Hardworking Pinoys with Padalang Padalow

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Starting on May 1, Labor Day, until July 31, consumers can enjoy lower remittance rates from Smart Padala whenever they send money to their loved ones, wherever they are, as the the country’s leading domestic remittance services provider launches its Padalang Padalow promo in honor of our hardworking Filipino workers.

With the enrolment season coming up soon, Filipinos can take advantage of Smart Padala’s low remittance fees to send much-needed money to their loved ones across the country. For padala above P3,000, customers will only pay a nominal fee of 2% of the remittance amount, instead of the usual 2.5%. For P3,001 to P3,500 padala, customers will only have to pay P70 instead of P87.50; and P5,000 padala for only P100 from P125.

The Padalang Padalow promo can be enjoyed until July 31 through 15,000 Smart Padala partner centers, the biggest network of non-bank money-in and money-out touch points.

“For over ten years now, Smart Padala has been a strong enabler of Filipinos for sharing the fruit of their hard work to their families and loved ones. This Labor Day, we are giving back and honoring our kababayans through our Smart Padalang Padalow promo with the same reliable and convenient remittance service that they can truly benefit from,” said Benjie Fernandez, co-CEO at PayMaya Philippines, the digital financial services unit of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart), which offers Smart Padala for the remittance market.

More convenient as it is more affordable.

Launched in 2004, Smart Padala is the global pioneer in mobile money remittance. The brand, which literally means “smart remittance” resonates with Filipinos as it reflects our culture of providing assistance to loved ones as a show of affinity. Its network of hyperlocal touchpoints can be found in close proximity to neighborhoods and communities, making domestic Based on data from the first National Baseline Survey on Financial Inclusion released by the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas mid-2015, it is estimated that on average, Filipinos take around 22 minutes to reach the nearest financial services touch point. It also costs an average of P43 for a roundtrip fare. This is on top of the remittance fees collected by service providers.

To further make mobile money more inclusive, Smart Padala introduced last October its Pick-Up Anywhere feature, enabling users to send money to anyone, regardless of mobile network, and 
redeemable at any of the Smart Padala centers nationwide. With Pick-Up Anywhere, there is no need to travel far just to send or receive remittance because Smart Padala centers can literally be your kapitbahay or your suking sari-sari store.

“We feel the need of our Filipino workers for a reliable, accessible, and convenient way of sending money. The least that we can do is offer them services that are easy, convenient, and affordable. This is why we have introduced enhancements such as Smart Padala Pick-Up Anywhere and offered promos like Smart Padalang Padalow,” said Lawrence Ferrer, Vice President and head of domestic business at PayMaya Philippines.

Smart Padala also offers international remittance, bills payment, airtime load selling and reloading of mobile wallet accounts including Smart Money and PayMaya to address the transactional needs of both banked and unbanked in the emerging market. (PR)


To know more about Smart Padala,
 visit www.smartpadala.ph and Facebook.com/SmartPadalaPH.

About PayMaya Philippines

PayMaya Philippines, part of the Voyager Group, is the digital financial services unit of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart).  PayMaya, its mobile app that comes with a prepaid card, is now the leading over-the- top digital payments app in the Philippine market. Among its innovations include Smart Money, the pioneering mobile money service linked to the Smart SIM and mobile phone and Smart Padala, the leading domestic remittance service brand in the market.

Ranchero Nuevo Spreads out New Menu

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In General Santos City, when one craves for baby back ribs, roads will take you to a  place with a rustic ranch-feel and where dishes are served  on top of a check-covered table by a wait staff clad in a cowboy's outfit.

Owned by the Sunglao's, Ranchero Grill and Seafood Restaurant soon earned the reputation of serving the best tasting baby back ribs and scrumptious -no-fuss meals in town.

Ranchero Grill moved out from their old familiar location in 2012  to join a strip of restaurants in SM General Santos Al Fresco bringing their sumptuous  cuisine to where the food trend is : The Malls.

Fast-forward to April 2016, Ranchero gives their menu a face lift keeping the restaurant's best-selling items and adding a number of new offerings that will surely tickle the fancy out of your taste buds.

Just recently, the SoxBloggers were invited to savor these new dishes. Spread out on  a countrified table setting is a lineup of delectable dishes which immediately filled our eyes and made our barrels rumble!

Now here's a closer look!
Summer Vegetable Salad with Passion Fruit and Mango Dressing.

Deviled Giant Lechon Kawali
Grilled Chicken

Rellenong Sarangani Bangus
 
Crispy Binagoongang Pinapugon na Liempo

Meanwhile, Ranchero Grill or Ranchero Nuevo as it is more popularly known now, is also celebrating their 17th  Anniversary. Seventeen years of serving exquisitely prepared dishes and always leaving its patrons in awe with amazing offerings. And with a farm that supplies a variety of produce, I'm sure there is more to whet our palate in the days to come!



Ranchero Nuevo is located at the Ground Floor of SM General Santos Al Fresco.
Visit their Facebook page at : https://www.facebook.com/ranchero.gensandavao

DOLE, SM Ink Partnership for JobsFair

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SM General Santos  is  inviting job seekers from SoCCSkSargen for an opportunity to apply to over 70 companies with more than a thousand job vacancies both local and abroad at the Trade Halls 1 and 2 on April 29, 2016.

This event is part of a Memorandum of Agreement executed between SM Supermalls and the Department of Labor and Employment along with other partners for the conduct of the annual Labor Day Job Fair.

SM Mindanao Malls have been hosting the Labor Day Jobs Fair for the past years. SM malls nationwide have remained steadfast in its commitment to be catalysts for community development, as they also aim to salute the new graduates and assist as many qualified individuals in finding employment.

SM Davao City on the other hand will be mounting a Jobs Fair at the Mall's Event Center on Labor Day itself, May 1, 2016. Around 75 companies will be participating  this year, 25 of which will be for overseas deployment.

A Mini Jobs Fair will also be mounted at the Ground Floor of the Annex on April 26 to April 28.  Interested job seekers may pre-register at the said mini job fair in order to fast track their job searching on the main Job Fair. Computers provided by ACLC Davao will be available for the said job fair registration.





For more details and inquiries, call SM City Davao at (082) 297-6998, 
SM Lanang Premier at (082) 285-0943, SM City General Santos 
at (083) 878-0667 and SM City Cagayan de Oro at (088) 859-2884.

SM Beauty Celebrates the Works of Makeover Masters 2016

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The SM Beauty recently celebrated the work of six Makeover Masters, giving them recognition as artists in the Makeup Industry who have turned their craft and talent into a profession.

Held at the Makati Shangri-la Hotel, the event presented SM Beauty’s Makeover Masters 2016 with their best supportive muses:

Cristine Duque with Denise Laurel,


Denise Ochoa with Jodi Sta. Maria,

Jake Galvez with Vice Ganda,

Mickey See with Jolina Magdangal,

Robbie PiƱera with Anne Curtis,

and Jigs Mayuga with Chesca Kramer.


SM Beauty also paid tribute to the country’s original Makeover Masters --Fanny Serrano, James Cooper, and Jesi Mendez, who were awarded as pillars and pioneers of the beauty industry. 

Fanny Serrano considers it as his strength as he has seen “the transition of changes in make-up artistry” and at this point, he still “wants to continue learning.” Working in the beauty industry for over 45 years with some of the country’s most beautiful and stylish women, he says that through the years, he was “able to see the real meaning of beauty, and that is --confidence.”

James Cooper, on the other hand, has worked with several Hollywood celebrities and was the first Filipino to introduce air-brush makeup in the Philippines. What truly makes him happy is that he gets “to share my knowledge and earnings. I am happy that a lot of talented hairstylists and makeup artists are passionate in what they do, and that I also learn from them.” For James, “beauty is like the light that comes from your heart, adding that “women should wear makeup because it makes them feel good.”

Jesi Mendez says that, “beauty is when you look at things beautifully. When you have confidence and a positive outlook, you will always look beautiful.” After three decades in the salon industry, Jesi would like to share with young artists “not to work for money but to work because they love what they do.”

Joining in the festivities were other top makeup experts who have worked in film, fashion, commercial, bridal, and who have made beauty their business. Each one received a PRO-Card, which entitles the bearer to discounts and perks from the store. The SM Beauty Section is the first and only retailer to offer such a privilege to these professional artists.

After holding the Beauty Ball for the professionals, SM Beauty will hold the biggest Makeover Event in the country at the Mega Fashion Hall on May 7 and May 8, 2016. Participants can get a free makeover and beauty discounts and witness the beauty show featuring the craft of the Makeover Masters 2016. (PR)



Check Facebook (www.facebook.com/smbeautyph) and Instagram page (@smbeautyph) for more details.

South Cotabato Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce sponsors Community Security Awareness and Anti-Kidnapping Seminar in General Santos City

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"All that is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing."

Those are the words of Pssupt Orlando O. Yebra , Jr., Chief , Information, Education and Family Liaison Division (IEFLD), PNP-Anti -Kidnapping Group, during the  recently concluded "Seminar on Community Security Awareness and Action on Anti-Kidnapping" in General Santos City.

The activity , which aims to equip the participants with a firm grasp and better understanding   of the Kidnap-for-Ransom Situation in the region, was well attended by local businessmen, private individuals and representatives from different Barangays of the Tuna City.   

Psupt Arthur L. Valdez, OIC, Mindanao Field Unit, PNP-AKG, provided comprehensive situational update on Kidnap for Ransom and walked the participants through different KFR Modus Operandi.

Pssupt Yebra, Guest Speaker for the day, shared to everyone a secret on how to strengthen a community's campaign against criminal activities  : "COMMUNITY AWARENESS IS VITAL" saying the citizens' participation in preventing  criminal activities is important. He also lectured on preventive tips, detection of kidnappers/suspicious persons, detecting safe houses and explained the advantages and disadvantages of reporting related incidents to Police Authorities.

Yebra also added that for any crime to happen, there are three elements that must be present at the same time and place: 1. Motive 2. Instrumentality and 3. Opportunity. 
DON'T FALL VICTIM TO KIDNAPPERS!Remember CLARO! 



Participants were  given the opportunity to ask questions from our Guest Speakers and a Rogues' Gallery was viewed urging the people in the room to report any familiar face from the gallery.

While our Guest Chief announced that participants may ask for his and his team's mobile numbers and PNP Hotlines, we sure hope that there won't be a need to communicate with the kind team for KFR purposes!

This event is made possible through the concerted effort of the South Cotabato Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce inc. (SCFCCCI) , the  Local Government of General Santos City and the PNP-Anti-Kidnapping Group.



The PNP-AKG with the officers and BOD of South Cotabato Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce Inc.


Full House of participants. 



Know more about The PNP-AKG 
Mission:The AKG shall conduct police operations and investigation on kidnapping and hostage situations with the active support of the community. 



Smart starts deployment of LTE-Advanced mobile service

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PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications (Smart) has begun to roll out the country’s first LTE-Advanced (LTE-A) service which can provide significantly higher data speeds than existing LTE services using a capability called “carrier aggregation.” Initially deployed in Boracay, Aklan, one of the country’s leading tourist destinations, Smart’s LTE-A service there has posted speeds of up to 250 Mbps.

“With the introduction of our LTE-Advanced service, the next stage of development of 4th generation of mobile technology, Smart is again at the technology forefront, setting the bar higher for mobile service experience,” said Joachim Horn, PLDT and Smart chief technology and information advisor.

Smart joins the short list of operators around the world that have tested and rolled out the technology, which is also referred to as 4.5G. This list includes Optus in Australia, Sprint in the US, and Turkcell in Turkey, among others.

“Combined with our other network improvement initiatives for both our mobile and fixed line networks, the introduction of LTE-A will help boost internet services in the country and enable more Filipinos to enjoy and benefit from the fast-growing range of digital services that PLDT and Smart offer,” he said. “We are also planning ahead, in anticipation of future advances in technology. Our current investments in network facilities are already being done in a way that will enable us to be ready for 5G when it arrives sometime in 2020. For this purpose, we are working closely with NTT DoCoMo, which is one of the global pace-setters in the development of 5G,” Horn added.

A much wider highway

Carrier aggregation refers to the ability of LTE-A to combine two or more radio frequency bands in order to deliver bigger bandwidth and faster data speeds to mobile users.

“This is like being able to put together two or more separate highways in order to create a wider highway through which vehicular traffic can flow more freely and at a much faster rate,” Horn said.

“Wireless technologies being a shared resource, the actual customer experience is typically less than the peak speeds being registered during tests.  But, carrier aggregation on LTE-A, by combining the capacities of two or more frequency bands, will enable Smart to deliver to subscribers with LTE-A devices consistently higher speeds than is possible using LTE.  In Boracay, we have combined three frequencies, which is a first in the country,” he explained.

For Smart subscribers using LTE-A capable devices, this translates into superior experiences when using various data services, particularly bandwidth-heavy services like video- and audio-streaming, and gaming.Currently, the LTE-A capable devices include the Samsung Galaxy S7 and the Samsung Galaxy S7 edge.  Other handset manufacturers are expected to introduce their own LTE-A devices soon.

Smart ran several tests of LTE-A in 2013 – in Boracay during the Geeks on a Beach startup conference; in Davao City during the Kadayawan festival; and in Makati City.  The introduction of LTE-A capable devices since then has opened the door for its roll-out.

A broader effort

Horn explained that LTE-A is the “cutting edge” of a broader effort to improve the cellular and mobile internet services of Smart and Sun subscribers.In a network integration program started last year, for example, Smart and Sun have been synergizing their networks to improve the coverage and quality of service for the subscribers of both brands using 2G, 3G and LTE capable devices.

“For example, where it makes technical and marketing sense, we equip a single cell site – either of Smart or Sun – so that this can serve the subscribers of both brands,” Horn said.

As a result of this program, depending on the area, the effective coverage for Smart and Sun subscribers increases by anywhere from 50% to 100%. The program is expected to be completed by end-2016 or early 2017.

This was part of PLDT’s P43-billion capital expenditure program (capex) in 2015 and will be funded by the 2016 capex budget which has been set at the same level.In this program, specific attention is being given to enhancing 3G/HSPA/HSPA+ coverage and capacity because about 90% of Smart and Sun subscribers who go online use 3G handsets.

“Improving our 3G data service thus delivers immediate benefits to the largest number of people in our subscriber base. At the same time, we have been expanding the coverage of our LTE network because the number of subscribers using LTE phones is steadily rising,” Horn said.

“And now, we have also begun to deploy LTE-A. The pace of this deployment will be driven by several factors, including the rate at which subscribers start using LTE-A capable devices,” he added.

The first in the Philippines, Smart’s introduction of LTE-A promises to help improve Internet services in the country. (PR)

Win A Trip for Two To the Rio Olympics 2016 with your PayMaya Card!

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Rio Olympics 2016is fast-approaching and participating brands like Visa are doing the best preparations to ensure the success of this highly anticipated event. In line with this, Visa launched a promo to give fans a chance to win a trip for two to Brazil to witness the the biggest sporting event on the planet! Users of PayMaya, a reloadable Visa card, can also join!

By using your PayMaya card at participating Robinson’s stores from April 15 to June 15, 2016 , you get a chance to win tickets to the 2016 RIO OLYMPICS in August!

PRIZE OVERLOAD!
The GRAND PRIZE WINNER will receive One (1) round trip for Two (2) to Rio 2016 Olympic Games tax free PLUS:
  • Deluxe hotel accommodation in Rio–4 nights
  • Daily breakfast
  • Visa Prepaid card product (1 per package @ $100 USD per day)
  • All scheduled ground transportation
  • Visa event team support staff
  • Portuguese, English, and Spanish language support
  • Opening Ceremony event tickets
  • Pre-selected Olympic event tickets to 3 events
  • Visa Olympic-themed merchandise
  • Tour of iconic Rio de Janeiro landmark
  • Return economy flights (Manila – Singapore – Rio De Janeiro – Singapore – Manila + stopover accommodation (for 2 persons)
  • Includes Marina Bay Sands hotel accommodation with breakfast, airport transfers
  • Full day pass at Universal Studios
Whoa! They are also giving away 100 CONSOLATION PRIZES of One (1) Rio 2016 Olympic Games merchandise prize pack (bag, visa cap, visa card holder, mascot doll).

JOINING IS EASY AS 1-2-3!
1. Spend a minimum of P1,000 at any of the following participating stores.  Every P1,000 earns you 1 raffle ticket.
  • Robinsons Department Store
  • Robinsons Supermarket
  • Robinsons Selections
  • Robinsons Easymart
  • Robinsons Appliances
  • Handyman
  • True Value
  • True Home by True Value
  • Toys “R” Us
  • Daiso Japan
  • A.M. Builders Depot/ Robinsons Builders
  • Topshop
  • Topman
  •  Dorothy Perkins
  •  Burton Menswear
  •  Miss Selfridge
  •  Warehouse
  •  River Island
  •  Shana
  •  G2000
  • South Star Drug
2. Log on to the website www.robinsonsretail-visario.ph and fill in the details of your transaction. You’ll need to remember the store name, location, purchase amount, date of purchase, and the approval code/unique code printed on the charge slip.
3. The raffle draw will be held at Robinsons Inc. Head Office 110 E. Rodriguez, Jr. Avenue, Libis, Quezon City on June 20, 2016.

No PayMaya card yet? Get one now from the PayMaya Store.



The safe and easy way to pay online.
PayMaya Philippines Inc. is the digital financial unit of PLDT and Smart Communications, Inc. It is backed by two global leaders in the converging Internet platforms, digital financial services, mobile money, and e-Commerce spaces - PayMaya and Rocket Internet.
PayMaya Philippines Inc. (formerly Smart eMoney, Inc.) is the pioneer in mobile money and payments, having established brands such as PayMaya, the first prepaid online payment app that enables the unbanked and the uncarded to pay online without a credit card; PayMaya Business, the company’s system solutions that allows businesses to receive payments from all cards anytime, anywhere; Smart Money, the world’s first e-wallet linked to a mobile phone; and Smart Padala, the largest domestic remittance brand in the Philippines with tens of thousands of touch points at Smart Padala Centers across the country.

Get Smart Prepaid Big Bytes 50 with 2x Data, in time for YouTube Gaming App launch

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In Smart’s biggest mobile data offer yet, subscribers can now sign up to the new Big Bytes 50, which now comes with 700MB – up from the previous 350MB for more streaming and surfing – plus another 600MB for use on apps like YouTube and iflix, and the YouTube Gaming app, which just went live in the Philippines today – all valid for three days, still at P50. To avail of the new offer, subscribers simply need to text BIG50 to 9999.

With Big Bytes 50, Smart subscribers can make the most of the newly launched YouTube Gaming app, which features engaging game plays, reviews, speedruns and trailers covering hit games such as Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto, League of Legends, Call of Duty, DotA2 and NBA2K16, among tons of other titles.The groundbreaking YouTube Gaming also offers ready access to livestreams and videos of tens of thousands of games, as well as an exciting venue to connect and interact with other gaming enthusiasts – giving users a much more awesome mobile gaming experience.

Downloadable on Google Play Store for Android and the App Store for iOS devices, YouTube Gaming is already available in the United States and many other countries around the world.

 Indispensable tool for gamers

 “All Smart subscribers will now be able to enjoy ‘double data’ with Big Bytes 50, which is perfect for use for all their surfing, messaging, and gaming needs,” said Kat Luna-Abelarde, Head of operations at Smart Communications.

“The launch of YouTube Gaming in the Philippines comes at a great time, as subscribers can take full advantage of the Big Bytes 50 package to watch, chat, and livestream their favorite games on the new app – features that are indispensable for avid gamers,” she added.

Top eSports advocate in PH

As the leading telco that advocates eSports in the Philippines, Smart has paved the way for Filipinos to enjoy games anytime, anywhere by introducing a convenient way to purchase ePins using their prepaid load or via their postpaid bill.

Smart has also teamed up with the Philippine eSports Organization (PeSO) in hosting the some of the biggest eSports tournaments in the country featuring hit games such as Defense of the Ancients (DotA) 2, League of Legends, CounterStrike, Crossfire, Clash of Clans, among many others.

To get updates on Smart’s biggest data offer yet, visit http://smart.com.ph/Prepaid/offers/bigbytes and follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook (www.smart.com.ph/SmartCommunications), Twitter and Instagram (@LiveSmart).

Mesa : Filipino Moderne Dining Experience

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Mesa : Filipino Moderne recently opened their branch at  SM General Santos City's Al fresco, joining several restaurants in the strip. At a glance, this new place will immediately catch your attention because of its interiors : seemingly giant crab-catching bamboo baskets nest in the middle of the restaurant with contrasting orange upholstery. Interesting!

The SoxBloggers were  invited to try their dishes and we were very much awed by the plethora of food prepared for just the six of us! Man, this is what you call a FEAST! 

They made us try three of their bestselling appetizers. I first dunked a beautifully "spooned" Fried Tawilis with Ripe Mango in my hungry chink and delighted to its crunchiness! The ripeness of the mango gave it an even more delightful taste. 


Then I went for  the Tinapa Roll Wrapped in Lettuce. I like how its smoky taste and the salted egg whet the taste bud...kinda different from the usual lumpiang shanghai though you might want to be a bit careful on each bite. Look out for some "tinik".



The third appetizer, Pomelo Salad with Latik , did not appeal to me very much. I just cannot seem to put together the taste that it should deliver. 


The Prawns on Butter and Salted egg was an instant favorite! But then again, who doesn't love Prawns? It's my forever love!








 I was still on cloud nine with my prawn when they wheeled in two varieties of SINIGANG: Pork and Bangus which both had sampalok (tamarind) and pinya (pineapple) as pampaasim. Both were soured just enough to tickle your taste buds.
 Sinigang na Bangus 

 Pork Sinigang

Mesa's pinakbet lacks the "Bagoong" feel but it's still delish. I like that they served the veggies crunchy.

 PATOTim is a must-try. Its meat was tender and very flavorful, and the sauce was thick and rich. I think my companions and I devoured it in a zap!



 Ahh...Meet Kaka (Kaka in Muslim is Kuya or Ate, an older sibling) and his Pork Binagoogan. This crispy pork and grilled eggplant in sweet and tangy shrimp paste is a winner.



Ginataang Sigarilyas. I love anything ginataan but am not a fan of  Winged Beans so I just let my gang judged it.



The Chef told us that Mesa  will soon be coming out with a dish especially for Gensan using a popular local ingredient : TUNA! We'll definitely watch out for that! All in all, my Mesa Dining Experience has been gastronomically pleasing. My lot and I went out with full and happy tummies.




Some photos here were lifted from KyrieMoon's Blog. Thankies  cotton candy!

Mesa Filipino Moderne, 
Fountain Court, Ground Floor, SM City General Santos, 
San Miguel St, General Santos City, 9500
Phone: 0917 327 637