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Thursday, March 19, 2015

LBR Transport Inc. rolls out Pink Taxis


60 Pink Cabs of LBR Transport Inc. owned and operated by celebrity business man Luis Manzano and his friends Bong Medel and Ron Estrella were rolled out yesterday by the LTFRB (Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board) in accordance with its 'Pink4' campaign. 

These pink taxis would provide priority rides during rush hours to senior citizens, women, children and people with disabilities.

LTFRB chairman Winston Ginez said during the launch of the pink taxis in Quezon City yesterday that they are grateful for LBR Transport Inc. participation on this project, allowing senior citizens, women, children and people with disabilities to have direct access to public transport.

The 60 LBR taxis has a dark pink distinct stripes with double pink ribbons on the top lights. Cab drivers will wear pink polo shirts too. This move by Luis Manzano's Taxi Company is in line with their duty to give back to people, by providing safety and accessible rides during peak hours.

With that, Chairman Ginez is hoping to see more public transport services to participate in the Pink4 Program. 

LBR Taxis has already complied with the P10 flag down cut since Monday. 

For taxi pick ups, you can call LBR at 887-7527,  822-3539 or  (0917) 565-8942.

Photo before edited was from Philstar.com

Smart and Facebook partners to offer free mobile internet service



Talk 'N Text, a value brand of Smart Communications Inc. has partnered with Facebook to offer the Internet.org app, a platform offering a set of mobile internet services without data charges. Internet.org app allows subscribers to enjoy access to 24 websites including news, education, messaging, health and communication. 

Facebook led the initiative of internet.org which aims to make mobile data services available to millions of Smart Subscribers without internet subscription. Smart is the first telecommunication company in the Philippines to launch Internet.org app in in Southeast Asia. Last year, Internet.org has been rolled out to six countries, India, Colombia, Ghana, Kenya, Tanzania, and Zambia. 

The free data service is not just available for Talk N Text subscribers but also to Smart and Sun prepaid customers. To access the service, you just have to download the Internet.org app from Google Play Store or browsing directly at www.internet.org. They can also text INTERNET and send it to 9999.

This partnership of Smart’s with Facebook is a big boost to its ‘Internet for All’ campaign. An advocacy Smart has to make useful information online available to millions of Filipinos. 

Currently, according to The Internet and Mobile Marketing Association of the Philippines, only less than 40% percent of the country’s population had Internet access last year. 

The 24 websites other than FB and Messenger are Ask.com, Bing, Dictionary.com, wikiHow and Wikipedia for general information, news updates from Inquirer, Rappler, PhilStar, and Interaksyon. Sports News from ESPN and SPIN.PH, weather climate from Accuweather and RainCheckPH; and love stories via Wattpad. Browsing TESDA.gov.ph is also available for free including Jobstreet; OLX.ph; PesosandSense and YourMoney.com, BabyCenter & MAMA and Girl Effect; and UNICEF’s.

Smart continues to be the most advanced network in the Philippines today, with a total of 26,000+ cellular/broadband base stations, including 11,000+ active 4G/HSPA+/Long-Term Evolution (LTE) base stations supported by almost a 100,000 kilometers of fiber-optic cables around the country.  Using the Internet.org App or by browsing www.internet.org from your phone, You can enjoy accessing this useful websites for free. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

Smart extends 30MB Free Internet to its Prepaid Subscribers

There's nothing more exciting to any Smart Prepaid Subscriber than hearing the news of extending its campain of the 30MB worth of FREE data per day and still without the need to sign up or register. 

With this FREE 30MB, Smart Subscribers can now enjoy a wider range of online activities including watching video clips on YouTube and browsing their social media accounts. What's more useful to this 30MB free data is the capability to navigate Google Maps, Waze and MMDA’s app. You can also maximize the 30MB data by shopping online or listening songs via its award winning music platform Spinnr.

You can check more details about this new campaign by clicking the photo below! 


Sunday, March 1, 2015

Spend less in Phuket Thailand

I thought my trip to Thailand was just ordinary until I realized that I was in a beautiful island where most nations meet. I've never seen a lot of Caucasians and Middle Eastern in one place. That alone really made me feel like I was unique and a stand out! Haha!

Part of this travel to Thailand was to cover the Asian Beach Games. It is a multi-sport beach event held every two years among Asian Athletes with games regulated by the Olympic Council of Asia. It started in Bali Indonesia in 2008. Now on its 4th year, they decided to have it in Thailand's biggest island, Phuket.

Phuket is known for its several white sandy beaches. Patong beach on the west coast is the most popular and the most crowded. It is the island's most developed tourist area. The tourism on this part of the island alone generates much income to the region. A lot of chain hotels, restaurants, bars, spas, salons, tailor & textile shops, money changers and tattoo centers are located here. 



There are other more wonderful beaches in Phuket. They have the Kata Beach and the Karon Beach at the south of Patong, the Kamala Beach and the Surin Beach at the north, and the famous Phi Phi Island at southeast and Similan Islands at northwest. If you have more budget and you decide to have a quiet time in a luxury resort, then you might wanna stay at the Kata or Karon area. 


Since I wanted to see more foreigners, I decided to stay at Patong and checked in at Tune Hotels. The hotel is new, cheap and just a 5-minute walk to the Patong Beach. Patong Beach is a 3500 metre white sand beach edged by the shimmering Andaman sea. Swimming here is free and you can leave your things on the sand without worrying that someone might steal them. Patong at night becomes colourful and loud with left and right partying especially at the Bangla Road, where a lot of disco houses, clubs and pubs are. Foreigners get to walk in the streets topless with a thai beer in their hand, a manifestation of being in a place where you can relax and be yourself without limits.

Other than the beaches, Phuket is also rich in Thai culture and history. You can visit the old yet radiant Phuket Town known to have Portuguese Architectures, the Big Buddha sitting on the mountaintop allowing you to see a great view of the island and the Wat Chalong, Phuket's largest Temple and prominent to be a place of meditation and healing.


There are a lot of food options in Phuket. Hotel restaurants offer variety of cuisines while those located along the street have a lot of seafood menus. There are also fast food chains like Burger King, KFC, Dunkin Donuts and Mc Donald's with prices more expensive than their branches in Bangkok.

Other activities that you can do in Phuket when you have extra time and funds are snorkeling, diving, island hopping, jungle safari, elephant trekking, cooking classes and MMA courses. 

For side trip, you can take the Phang Nga Bay tour where they will bring you to the island rich in limestones and was shown in the classic James Bond 1974 film, 'The Man With the Golden Gun' or the Maya Bay where the exquisite lagoon shown on Leanardo DiCaprio's film 'The Beach' is located. 



To end your trip in Phuket, you must visit Similan Islands National Park, one of the best dive sites in the world. For first timers, here's a detailed itinerary for you! 

From Phuket International Airport, take the van going to Patong Beach, rate is 200-300 Baht per person (recommended for 1-2 travelers). If you come in group like 4-5 pax, just take a taxi. Taxi rate varies from 1000-1500 Baht and divide it amongst yourselves.

After checking in at the hotel, walk going to the beach and start enjoying the water! At night, have an authentic thai massage or try the fish spa or have a drink at any bar in Bangla Road. 

On your day 2, You can visit, Phuket Town, Wat Chalong and the Big Buddha. Have yourself an authentic and delicious Thai food after. Then at night, you can walk along the street of Patong start buying something for yourself and for pasalubong.



On your 3rd day, You can either tour the other islands I mentioned above, or you can go back to Patong Beach and try parasailing or take the cruise. 

ATM's and Foreign Currency Exchange are available in almost ever corner of Patong. I strongly suggest to bring Dollars instead of other currencies. Or you can just withdraw using your own card with just a small one time transaction fee of $5 or P200. 

Tune Hotels can arrange a shuttle pick up for you to the airport. Here is the breakdown of all the expenses:

Fare -                 P4000 (90 US$) ( Promo Fare from either Cebu Pac or AirAsia)
Hotel -               P1800 (40 US$) per night at Tune Hotels Patong
Terminal Fee    P550 (depends on your country)
Travel Tax -      P1620 (depends on your country)
Pasalubong    - P1000 (25 US$) (gifts for your family and friends)
Food -               P3000 at P1000 (25 US$ ) per day
Fare & others - (50 US$) P2200


There was still so much to see and experience Phuket. There were a lot of islands that I wanted to explore. If only I had more time, I would have tried scuba diving. I'm in love with Phuket and been wanting to go back since December! It was incredibly hard to say goodbye! 

Here are some reminders for first time travelers:

1. Travel lite - Don't bring too many clothes.  Don't forget slippers, sunblock and extra undies for swimming!
2. Wear comfortable shoes! Loafers would do! You'll find yourself walking a lot in Patong!
3. Have en extra Baht or US Dollars, much better Credit Card or Debit Card for emergencies. You'll never know what will happen there! 
4. Try Phuket's fresh fruits! There are a lot of vendors in every corner. 
4. Bring a pen and wetwipes. You already what are they for! Haha! 
5. For Filipinos and Smart subcribers, I recommend that you register to Smart's all day roaming. They partnered with True Telecom so you can maximize your connection there without unnecessary mobile charges. It's only P500 and all you have to do is:

Text ROAM ON and send to 333 at least 30 minutes before leaving the country. Then Check your network settings & make sure you are connected to SMART’s Conexus Roaming Partner. To access the USSD Menu, Dial *133# and Press ANSWER then enter 5 to choose DATA ROAMING. Then choose Thailand and True Telecom from the list of countries and roaming partner. Select the All-DAY SURF ABROAD 500. If successful, you'll receive a confirmation. For more details, check out  #SmartAllDaySurfAbroad 



Tuesday, February 24, 2015

HALE Reunites and Releases New Single 'SEE YOU'


There's nothing more exciting to any #HALER out there than hearing the band HALE performing live again and doing gigs all over the metro. 

The band originally started in 2004 and became a triple platinum selling act right before they disbanded in 2010. Champ Lui Pio pursued a solo career and started managing new artists like Someday Dream and Luigi D'Avola. Roll Martinez put up his own music studio. Sheldon Gellada became a family guy and Paolo Santiago was still doing gig as a drummer. 


5 years after, they decided to reunite and make music again as a band. They started editing and rearranging the songs they wrote during the hiatus years. They came up with so many good songs that they had a hard time what song to release first. I got the chance to hear the song 'SEE YOU' 2 months before its released. They chose that song as the carrier single of their new album (under their own management) because that's when they felt the most nostalgic when they recorded it. Champ finds the song so genuine, emotional and glorious. It is about a love that was hidden and cannot be forgotten and became a tragedy. 

I went to one of their sold out gigs at 12 monkeys in Makati last Valentines. The bar was just so full and crowded. Everyone was so hyper, happy and screaming seeing the boys performing together again. There I saw  lot of friends and families of each band members as well as the #HALERS who were so ecstatic taking videos of the band's performance. 

HALE brought the hits 'The Day You Said Goodnight', 'Kung Wala Ka', 'Broken Sonnet', 'Bahay Kubo', 'Kahit Pa', 'BlueSky', 'Pitong Araw' and 'Sandali Nalang'. The had 4 albums, Hale in 2005, Twilight in 2006, Above, Over and Beyond in 2008 and Kundiman in 2009. Hale was once awarded as OPM Band of the Year by RX 93.1, Best Group by Smart People's Choice, Best Pop Rock Band by PasiklaBand. They also got the Best New Artist and Best Pop Video by MTV Pilipinas Music Awards.

Catch HALE live at 19 East in Paranaque this February 28, 2015! Follow them on twitter and instagram @hale_music or like their Facebook Page. You can start downloading the single here on iTunes right after watching this lyric video of 'SEE YOU'.  Their album will be out soon and will be distributed by Warner Music.