Makati innovates financial aid distribution amid COVID-19 through GCash

With the help of GCash, the leading mobile wallet in the Philippines, the City of Makati will disburse the second tranche of financial assistance to over 8,000 drivers to help them cope with the national health crisis and aid them in providing for their families.

According to Makati City Mayor Abby Binay, each of the 8,376 jeepney, tricycle, and pedicab drivers in Makati will receive P2,000 via their GCash accounts. Broken down, the beneficiaries are: 5,952 registered tricycle drivers, 598 pedicab drivers, and 1,826 jeepney drivers who are part of the Makati Jeepney Operators and Drivers Association (JODA).

TP offers new upskilling opportunities for its people, launches TP Analytics Academy

TP Analytics Academy scholars have the full support of the TP senior leadership team led by Chief Operating Officer Mike Lytle.

Teleperformance in the Philippines, the global leader in digitally integrated business services, officially launched its latest people-development program called Teleperformance Analytics Academy last February 12, 2020 at the Makati Diamond Residences.

Resourceful Filipino volunteer uses Brother sewing machines to produce PPEs for frontliners

As the Philippines undergoes its enhanced community quarantine to help prevent the further spread of COVID-19, many Filipinos are stepping up and helping out in any way they can, serving as an inspiration to many others to also do their part for everyone in need.

One such inspiring story is that of volunteer Rod Jean Claire Dullano, who shared how they relied on Brother sewing machines to produce a number of personal protective equipment (PPEs) and facemasks for medical frontliners.

Shopee Announces ₱200 million Seller Support Package, aims to help up to 80,000 Filipino SMEs

The Seller Support Package serves to tide SMEs through the Enhanced Community Quarantine and Covid-19 period by helping them maintain business sustainability and growth

​Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform of Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launches the ₱200 million Seller Support Package to support up to 80,000 Filipino Small and Micro Enterprises (SMEs), whose businesses have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. The ₱200 million Seller Support Package aims to help Filipino SMEs and sellers navigate the current economic climate, during the time of the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) and beyond.

Take this easy virtual ikotMNL “tour” from your home

Thanks to the internet, it’s still possible to bring home the fun of the city

The quarantine may have us inside our homes for our own safety, but that doesn’t mean you have to miss out on the things you could do and places you could visit by taking the LRT-1!
Those who have been wanting to take a tour of Manila and the wonderful spots and experiences it has to offer don’t need to worry anymore, because it’s now more possible than ever to take in the best of the city through the wonders of technology. Yes, you can “visit” and enjoy it from home.

World Vision Acknowledges Corporate Partners and Individual Sponsors for over PHP60M Funding for COVID-19 Emergency Response

Amidst the current health crisis, World Vision in the Philippines has allotted the total amount of ₱60,254,512.70 from different funding sources and donations including corporate partners and individual child sponsors to fund its ongoing COVID-19 Emergency Response. 

“World Vision is so grateful for the support of all our generous donors in the battle against COVID-19. Like in our past initiatives, your donations are definitely a big help to the Filipino children and their families, and even to the frontliners that we are assisting during these difficult times,” said Rommel V. Fuerte, World Vision National Director.

One month on in its health emergency response, World Vision has served and assisted over 1.4 million people nationwide.

HBO Renews EMMY® Winning Drama Series Westworld For a Fouth Season

New Episodes Of Season 3 Premiere Same Time As The U.S. Every Monday At 9am Exclusively On HBO GO And HBO.

HBO has renewed the Emmy®-winning drama series Westworld for a fourth season, it was announced today by Casey Bloys, president, HBO Programming.

"From the western theme park to the technocratic metropolis of the near future, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed every twist and turn from the minds of master storytellers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy," noted Bloys. "We can’t wait to see where their inspired vision takes us next.”

Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi extends HomeSURF199 free data boost

Keeping families connected and #SafeAtHome with up to 30GB of data

As the country continues to battle with COVID-19 and braces for the extension of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ), the need for connectivity has become more apparent for most Filipino families and workers who are coping with a life of isolation and physical distancing. 

Recognizing this ever growing need to stay connected, informed and #SafeAtHome, Globe at Home Prepaid WiFi is extending the FREE additional GBs for HomeSURF199 until May 15, 2020. With this, customers can continue to enjoy reliable and strong internet connection with data allocation of up to 30GB (23GB base data + 1GB of YouTube/day) valid for 7 days.

PGH calls for blood donations from COVID-19 survivors

Since April 15, the number of people who have recovered from the coronavirus disease has surpassed the nationwide death toll. Today, there are a total of 693 recoveries and 446 deaths. Of those 446, 9 died just yesterday. So while the situation is improving, there is still much to do.

“Filipinos continue to suffer and some eventually die from Covid 19 everyday. There is no proven treatment yet for this although different medications and regimens are being investigated. And the vaccine against the novel coronavirus is not yet available. That is why we are calling for plasma donations from Covid 19 survivors. Their antibodies  may help save patients who are still battling the disease, especially the severe and critical cases,” said Dr. Jonas Del Rosario, spokesperson for the Philippine General Hospital.

Known as convalescent plasma therapy, the treatment is a century-old technique that has been tried and tested on numerous illnesses, most recently for diseases such as Ebola, Sars, Mers, and Swine Flu. It involves the transfusion of plasma, the liquid component of blood, from a recovered patient to a sick patient.

One Meralco Foundation provides aid to homeless, PPEs for frontliners amid COVID-19 crisis

OMF turned over 1,600 face masks and 100 face shields to the
 Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Sta. Mesa, Manila,
recently designated by the Metro Pacific Hospitals
as its main COVID-19 referral hospital.
One Meralco Foundation (OMF), the Manila Electric Company’s (MERALCO) social development arm, has mobilized to help thousands of homeless families and frontline medical personnel heavily impacted by the Corona Virus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak and the current enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) imposed on Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon.

Without a roof over their heads, families living on the streets are among the most vulnerable as they are exposed to the elements and lack access to the basic necessities.

Joining Forces Alliance On The Elimination Of Violence Against Children

Child rights organizations call for the prevention of physical and humiliating punishment against children during the COVID-19 pandemic

Physical and psychological violence, particularly at home, are among the most pervasive types of abuse experienced by Filipino children. Both can be worsened by the COVID-19 enhanced community quarantine.

In fact, 3 in 5 children have experienced some form of physical violence, the 2016 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children revealed. Sixty percent of these cases happened in their own homes, with 1 in 2 children experiencing corporal punishment. 

The Dawn's Jett Pangan revives 'Salamat' for special heartwarming video

Jett Pangan found himself singing a familiar song in unfamiliar territory when he had to revive “Salamat” in a tribute video reflecting meaningful connections in the time of COVID-19.

Produced by Smart Communications, The Dawn’s frontman traded the original rock arrangement of the song for a subdued yet moving version of the late ’80s classic.

Jett said singing “Salamat” during this difficult time was at the very least emotional and reminded him of life’s simple constants. “Recording ‘Salamat’ in this context was a lot more emotional. It reminded me of just how important it is to feel support from family and friends in a very trying time even if we’re apart.”

He added, “There was a sense of comfort knowing that even if I’m physically limited to do ‘normal’ things because of the quarantine, I’m still able to take part in sharing a song that can help inspire people to hang in there and look forward to the day that we can go on with our lives without fear.”

Be a Smart Shopper! 5 Shop from Home Tips For Every Filipino

Catch the 5.5 Shopee Mart Sale from April 22 to May 5 and enjoy deals as low as  ₱5 and Free Shipping with P0 minimum spend

In the middle of the COVID-19 outbreak, we must stay healthy and safe. Shopping at home is the most convenient way to get your daily essential needs, and there’s no better way to get your shopping done from home than with Shopee! Here are some tips to make your #ShopeeAtHome experience easier and help you decide better:

Plan ahead and ready your list

9 GCash-friendly Online Stores for your Quarantine Needs and Cravings

Do you feel like you’re running out of options for your essentials and cravings this enhanced community quarantine (ECQ)? You might be having problems looking for cashless stores to avoid getting the virus through money bills. Or maybe you’re just tired of the same, old online sellers you go to for your quarantine needs. 

Rest Assured Amid The Pandemic

It has been a wild start of the year 2020 for all of us. There were a lot of threats such as wildfires, natural calamities, and now a huge pandemic that we have not experienced in a hundred years. Most of us have been quarantined for a weeks and have adapted to many changes in life, while there are also frontliners who continue to provide what we need to ensure we stay at home and hopefully stop the spread of the virus.

As we have to embrace this temporary lifestyle of being in our homes, we tend to discover new things that we can actually do despite being indoors all the time. There are some businesses that let their employees work from home and still remain productive and keep the economy afloat, however there are also some things that we could not do since many offices and services have been closed.

Sesame Street's Elmo's Playdate Special To Air On HBO, HBO GO, Cartoon Network, and Boomerang

A half-hour special Sesame Street: Elmo’s Playdate is set to entertain kids and families on HBO, HBO Family, Cartoon Network and Boomerang – as well as the regional streaming service HBO GO. Part of Sesame Workshop’s Caring for Each Other initiative, the special is aimed at helping kids and families around the world feel connected in this time of uncertainty and features everyone’s favourite “Sesame Street” friends. Celebrity guests include Lin-Manuel Miranda, Anne Hathaway and Tracee Ellis Ross.

Top 5 K-Content on Netflix that you can Watch at Home with your Family

Staying at home means more bonding time with your family. Now is the best time to catch up with your favorite TV series and movies. We listed down the top five Korean shows you can binge-watch on Netflix and enjoy with the whole family right now:

Crash Landing On You

Everyone’s talking about it. You’ve seen all the memes. If you haven’t checked out this hit show yet, now is the time to do just that. As the title implies, a rich South Korean CEO accidentally ends up across the border in North Korea, and she must rely on a North Korean soldier’s help to try and get back home. Of course, it isn’t that easy—and for sure, a relationship blossoms along the way.

This kilig-inducing show also gives us a fascinating view of Switzerland from start until end. Now that it’s all over, you can binge-watch the entire story on Netflix and see why everyone’s fallen in love with it.

Tanghalang Pilipino goes online with ‘PansamanTANGHALAN’

The NCOV-19 pandemic may have caused stage productions to prematurely close, but Tanghalang Pilipino (TP), the resident theater company of the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), has prepared a slew of programs on its temporary home – the digital platform.

Aptly-billed “PansamanTANGHALAN,” this program aims to defy the limitations brought about by this crisis and with the use of the online platform, to continuously educate and awaken the cultural consciousness of Filipinos, not just in the country, but all over the world.

Now You Can Watch First Seasons Of HBO Originals For Free Next Month

Here’s another reason to stay home and do your part… by watching TV on the sofa! Entire first seasons of select iconic HBO Originals and HBO Asia Originals are now available for free for one month starting 15 April on HBO GO – no registration or subscription is required.

Never got around to seeing (or desperate to re-watch) dramas like ‘The Sopranos’ and ‘The Wire’? Now you can. The iconic shows are also joined by the award-winning series that everyone’s talking about right now, ‘Succession’. And if you need a laugh? Try these hit comedies: ‘Ballers’, starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson; ‘Barry’, with Bill Hader; ‘Silicon Valley’, featuring Thomas Middleditch and Kumail Nanjiani; and satire ‘Veep’, starring serial Emmy-winner Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Closer to home, check out ‘Folklore’, a horror anthology series with each episode based on folklore from Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaysia, Singapore and Thailand; ‘Invisible Stories’, which tells untold stories from the heartlands in a fictional neighbourhood housing estate in multi-cultural Singapore; ‘Miss Sherlock’, a bold interpretation of the classic Sherlock Holmes, re-envisioned in Japanese and set in modern-day Tokyo; ‘The Teenage Psychic’, a coming-of-age story from Taiwan that revolves around a 16-year-old girl with the ability to see spirits but wants to lead a typical teenage high school life; and ‘The World Between Us’, another Taiwanese series that follows the aftermath of a mass-shooting.

PLDT-Smart Foundation donates over 50,000 face masks and various PPE for frontline health workers

Health workers at the front lines of the fight against COVID-19 in Metro Manila have received fresh support in the form of face masks and other personal protective equipment (PPEs).

The PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) has turned over 50,000 face masks and other PPEs to various hospitals in the Metro.  

The Philippine General Hospital, which is one of the COVID referral hospitals in the country, received 20,000 surgical masks for their frontline health workers from PLDT and PSF.   

Several hospitals and government response teams also received 50 hazmat suits each from PSF with the assistance of the Makati Medical Center Foundation. This includes the Rizal Medical Center, Philippine Heart Center, Lung Center of the Philippines, National Kidney and Transplant Institute, East Avenue Medical Center, Jose N. Rodriguez Memorial Hospital and the Armed Forces of the Philippines.

Globe assures continuous AMAX services, call cards supply for prepaid Globe, TM customers during extended ECQ

Globe assures continuous AMAX services, call cards supply for prepaid Globe, TM customers during extended ECQ

Among the many things people normally take for granted is the ability of almost anyone to “load” their mobile phones with data. A short trip to the nearest sari-sari store or Autoload Max (AMAX) retailer will easily solve this need. You can also ask a friend or a family member for “share a load” in case a sari-sari store or loading station is not available.

This is the dilemma now being experienced by Mabel Aquino who is based in Sta. Cruz, Laguna. Since the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) was extended all over Luzon, the once accessible and abundant loading venues have all but disappeared.

DOST & SMART expands RapidPass project to cover entire Metro Manila

Smart provides 540 cell phones for police manning 180 checkpoints

Going through quarantine checkpoints in the entire Metro Manila area is about to become easier for frontline personnel and other people authorized to travel under the COVID-19 stay-at-home restrictions.

To achieve this, the Department of Science and Technology, the Department of Information and Communications Technology and the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management Emerging Infectious Disease (IATF-MEID) are expanding the RapidPass Project, an online registration service for frontliners, to cover the whole of Metro Manila.

Athletes share three important sports values to apply to life during lockdown

Almost all sports leagues all over the world have been put on hold because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and it could be a while before we get to enjoy watching our athletes on the court again.

We spoke to some athletes about what they think are the sports values we can apply in this time of crisis.


For Smart-sponsored Gilas Pilipinas and former Ateneo Blue Eagles athletes Matt and Mike Nieto, teamwork is very important in dealing with the COVID-19 crisis. 

CNCO’s “Honey Boo” is summer’s latest hit

Award-winning and best-selling Latin American group, CNCO has officially dropped their highly anticipated new single called “Honey Boo,” featuring Natti Natasha.

The reggaeton-infused banger is the first song off the teen group’s upcoming third album, and was written by all members, alongside Patrick Ingunza and co-producers Daniel Rondon and Rafael Rodru. “We originally recorded it that long ago too,” CNCO’s Joel Pimentel shares in a statement. “However, the time was never right to release it. Then this January we had the idea to re-record the song and put it out as our next official single. The idea to add Natti Natasha came from a Q&A she did on Twitter where fans asked if she would like to collaborate with us, and she said yes!” 

Globe extends bill payment due dates up to May 15

Globe Telecom is extending the bill payment due dates for its mobile and broadband postpaid customers, including all business and enterprise clients nationwide, up to May 15.

This in effect, gives Globe customers up to 60 days of bills payment extension equivalent to two months of unpaid bills. Globe initially provided a 30-day bill payments extension which expired on April 15. 

Mediatech startup Kumu raises US$5m Series A funding round from Openspace Ventures & PH Conglomerates

Investors include Kickstart Ventures, ABS-CBN, Gobi-Core Philippine Fund, Summit Media, and Foxmont Capital Partners.

Kumu Holdings Pte. Ltd., the firm that owns the technology behind Philippine live streaming app Kumu, has announced that it has raised approximately US$5m in a Series A funding round to roll out new features and scale up its operations. 

Joining Forces Alliance On The Elimination Of Violence Against Children

A global alliance of child-focused international non-government organizations calls on the national and local governments to intensify efforts against online sexual exploitation against children (OSEC).

Taking advantage of the quarantine situation, perpetrators could easily groom children online and coerce them to send and receive sexually explicit messages, images, and videos.  

“With the indefinite suspension of classes due to COVID-19, children are spending more time on the internet, exposed to the dangers of OSEC,” said Euan Crawshaw, Philippine Country Manager of Terre des Hommes - Netherlands. 

Ben&Ben to launch international single “Doors” via YouTube Live event

Award-winning, nine-piece collective Ben&Ben is set to release their stunning new single “Doors” on Thursday, April 16 through Sony Music. 

To celebrate the release, the dynamic young act will host a special YouTube Live event on Saturday, April 18 on the band’s YouTube channel to raise funds for the COVID-19 response in the Philippines. 

Fans across the world can tune in from 7:00pm GMT + 8 (9:00pm AEST/7:00am EST/12:00pm BST) to see the acclaimed nine-piece perform “Doors” alongside other tracks from their certified Platinum and best-selling 2019 debut album, LIMASAWA STREET, including recently released “Fall” (watch the video HERE). Each member of the band will connect from their respective homes to stream the performance in their unique signature 3 x 3 format.  After the event, the live stream will continue to be available on YouTube as a video on demand. 

Gloc-9 tops YouTube trending chart with “Halik” and 24 bars rap challenge

After deciding to go the independent route with Asintada, a management and production team headed by his wife Thea Gomez Pollisco, Gloc-9 sets the table for music projects that strike a balance between uncompromised vision and crossover appeal. 

The acclaimed hip-hop figure has released new singles that create uplifting artistic statements through socially relevant songs. “Sampaguita,” his latest collaboration with accomplished young singer-songwriter Juan Karlos Labajo, proved to be as successful as his previous classic hits, smashing out of the gate with more than a million views in less than a month.  

“When Gloc-9 decided to become independent, he made it clear to work on projects that matter to him on a personal level, and at the same time, promote awareness on the plight of the underprivileged Filipinos through his musical platform,” Thea reveals in a statement. 

Pay bills in less than a minute: GCash encourages Filipinos to digitally settle bills to help flatten the curve

The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) has forced Filipinos to stay at home to flatten the curve, but with the enhanced community quarantine in most parts of the country, paying bills has become a burdensome task for some.

Typically, Filipinos pay for their bills via payment centers, but due to the limitations in manpower and the strict implementation of social distancing protocols, lines at these facilities have become longer than usual. 

Epic Adventure "Dune" Reveals First-Look Images of Stellar Cast

The big reveal of Denis Villenueve’s “Dune” adaptation has arrived.  Take your first look below at the brand new images of the cast led by Timothee Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin and Oscar Isaac.

In debuting the images, director Denis Villenueve says, “`Dune’ was made by people from all over the world. Many of these people are like family to me – and they’re very much in my thoughts. I’m so proud to showcase their hard work. I look forward to a time when we can all get together again as `Dune’ was made to be seen on the big screen.  Be safe.”

HBO Films' BAD EDUCATION starring Hugh Jackman and Allison Janney Debuts April 26

Inspired by the true story that rocked the town of Roslyn, NY in 2004 that garnered attention nationwide, Bad Education, debuting same time as the U.S. on Sunday, 26 April at 8am exclusively on HBO GO, centres on the stunning impact and aftermath of a multi-million-dollar embezzlement scheme. The darkly comical film highlights the deficiencies of the public education system in the U.S. while examining the broader forces that foster greed, corruption, and lack of accountability in our institutions. The film will also air on the same day at 10pm on HBO.

Laugh out loud together in a distance via TFC’s “Stand Up for Laughs on Kumu”

Catch the stand-up comedy sets of Orca, Yuki, Ramon Cabochan, and Alex Calleja on the live streaming app Kumu

Any outbreak such as the COVID-19 pandemic causes stress to both children and adults, as stated by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). One way to cope with stress, which both CDC and World Health Organization (WHO) recommend—is to take a break from watching, listening or reading news stories about the pandemic.

So, to help you take a break and laugh-off your worries even for some time, stand-up comedians Orca, Yuki, Ramon Cabochan, and Alex Calleja come together for TFC’s “Stand Up for Laughs on Kumu”.

“Stand Up for Laughs on Kumu” is a live stream stand-up comedy show featuring four stand-up comedians who will share their stories and experiences abroad that are relatable to the overseas Filipinos.

Contractors join hands with Philippine government to build emergency quarantine facilities to fight COVID-19

Racing against time, the Philippine government and some of the biggest construction companies that are also members of the Philippine Constructors Association (PCA) pulled out all the stops to convert big sports coliseums and convention centers into emergency quarantine facilities (EQF) for the treatment and monitoring of COVID-19 cases.

The initial facilities that have been converted into EQFs and targeted to be all fully operational by the week of April 12 are the Rizal Memorial Coliseum, the Philippine International Convention Center and the World Trade Center. 

Keep your business safe from cyberattacks amid the COVID-19 outbreak and enhanced community quarantine

While companies are closely monitoring the pandemic and implementing their business continuity plans, hackers with malicious intent are also taking advantage of the situation. 

According to Eastern Communications, industries that are the busiest during the lockdown are the most vulnerable ones to cyberattacks, which include healthcare, banking and finance, government, and media.

BRIA Homes shares safety tips during ‘enhanced community quarantine’

To help contain the Covid-19 pandemic, the national government has placed the entire Luzon under ‘enhanced community quarantine,’ which requires enforcing stringent safety protocols in towns and cities all over the region. To date, malls and other commercial establishments have been temporarily closed; all means of public transport have been suspended; and provision of food and essential services is being regulated. Although groceries, banks, and pharmacies remain open, social distancing is strictly observed in their premises. 

Cooking shows, digital fitness via Facebook live: A glimpse on the new digital lifestyle

Just like everyone else, social media stars, vloggers, musicians, artists, and performers find ways to cope during these trying times. Most of them raise funds to help frontline heroes in the battle against the pandemic. For some, the digital wave becomes a platform to help boost productivity from home.

Boosting the immune system

YouTuber and fitness enthusiast Wil Dasovich recently held a digital fitness campaign to help people boost their immune system.

Project Ugnayan beneficiaries reach over 7.6 million people in Greater Metro Manila poor communities

Project Ugnayan, the fund-raising initiative led by top business groups in cooperation with  the Philippine Disaster Resilience Foundation (PDRF), reached over 7.6 million people in the vulnerable communities of Greater Metro Manila.

“As we close, we wish to reiterate our wholehearted thanks to all our generous Donors for making this project possible. By coming together in a Bayanihan spirit so quickly, we were able to create a program of this scale and importance. This unprecedented assembly of so many of the country’s  corporations and business families coming to the assistance of the most vulnerable in our society illustrates and speaks of the heart and generosity of the business community.

Our special thanks go to the 10 Bishops of the Dioceses in Metro Manila, Rizal, Bulacan, Cavite, and Laguna, as well as to Caritas Manila under the leadership of Father Anton Pascual, and the network of Parish Priests, Volunteers, and Barangay Captains who distributed the gift certificates door-todoor in the lowest-income communities of Greater Metro Manila. We appreciate the swiftness and efficiency of their work under very difficult conditions and over very long hours each day,” said Project Ugnayan Lead, Fernando Zobel de Ayala.

Sony Pictures Launches Interactive Activity YouTube Channel

Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) announced today the launch of their new YouTube Channel, Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone, providing parents and kids with a one stop central destination for interactive fun, physical movement, learning, and hands-on activities. Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone is curated with a wide range of activities that will support families coping with school closures, new work-from-home routines and social distancing.

(Watch the channel’s sizzle video at

“A significant portion of Sony Pictures’ workforce is made up of working parents. The idea of Sony Pictures’ Kids Zone was born from parents on our own team adjusting to working from home and managing home schooling,” says Lexine Wong, Senior Executive Vice President, Worldwide Marketing. “We are proud to offer this resource to help families navigate these new and challenging circumstances, while hopefully having a little fun in the process.”

PH Consul General In SF Sends Off Filipino Crew Onboard Grand Princess Ship

Philippine Consul General in San Francisco Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. sent off Filipino crew members onboard the Grand Princess cruise ship from San Francisco Port on Wednesday around 6 PM (Pacific Time) as the ship sailed off to Princess Cruises’ headquarters in Los Angeles.

Consul General Bensurto called one of the crew members on the phone to check on their situation. The crew member updated the Consul General of their situation, saying that all Filipino crew members are well and in good spirits, but are hoping they will be repatriated soon to the Philippines.

Joining Forces Alliance on the Elimination of Violence Against Children - Philippines

Child rights organizations call for the protection of all Filipino children during the COVID-19 pandemic

We are facing an unprecedented global public health crisis. While children’s health appears to be less directly affected by COVID-19, it must be recognized that the outbreak will deeply affect the environment where children grow and develop.

“Sadly, what is often overlooked is the impact this situation will have on children, especially those who are most deprived and marginalized,” said Rowena Cordero, Joining Forces Alliance Convener. 

#NothingBeatsGirls is the morale booster future queens need to see today

Gatorade’s new animated video by DDB MNL honors young women’s struggles, grit to find greatness 

It’s been an eventful month of March. Aside from the worldwide pandemic and lockdowns, it’s also observed as International Women’s Month – which Gatorade and its creative agency DDB MNL capped off with an inspiring animated video that cheered on young women to keep going.

Bayanihan Musikahan raises additional 1.5M in 1 hour

Broadway superstar Lea Salonga captivates viewers of the online fundraising series

April 3, 2020—Small donations amounting to PhP 1.5 million poured into the Bayanihan Musikahan fund-raiser in 1 hour during the live concert-from-house of music superstar Lea Salonga last night. 

She began and ended her hour with composition by the principal organizer of the project, Ryan Cayabyab, National Artist for Music. Emphasizing citizen action in the face of a pandemic, Salonga encapsulated an emerging dynamic of citizens helping citizens through small contributions and exercise of talent. 

The unusual spike adds this amount to the total of PhP 22,373,178.00 already raised by April 2, 2020. Ms. Salonga announced this figure during her concert, while triggering a outpouring of support from Filipinos on lock-down, watching from their homes in the Philippines and overseas. 

Identifying 'heroes' who make virtual hugs and kisses possible

In these uncertain times, there are heroes who serve by saving lives, and there are heroes who serve by keeping most citizens safe and connected at home.

The line of duty is drawn using a broader stroke these days. This term is reserved to describe duties of individuals associated with a certain level of responsibility. But those who still get the job done in the face of today's situation have given a new meaning to the phrase. From health workers, frontliners, police officers and the media, those in the line of duty now include delivery guys, bank tellers, grocery employees, service repair crews, and e-load resellers.

Powfu scores #1 viral hit in the Philippines with “death bed (coffee for your head)”

Bursting out of the lo-fi hip-hop scene, Powfu sets the Philippine music charts ablaze with the success of his latest single, “death bed (coffee for your head),” featuring UK singer beabadobee. 

The Canadian breakout artist recently held the top spot of the Spotify Philippines Viral 50 for five consecutive weeks before it dropped to its current position of No. 4. 

The explosive new track also continues to rack up impressive numbers on Spotify Philippines Top 200 with a No. 5 peak, while also achieving incredible momentum on iTunes Philippines Top 100 Charts, reaching as high as No. 8. 

With its relatable and timely lyrics, easygoing vibe, and low-key appeal, “death bed” currently enjoys enormous attention on video-sharing platform TikTok with over 3 million videos to date—thanks to countless of challenges, memes, covers, and renditions from various Filipino artists including a “Chinarot” version that gained more than 8 million YouTube views, and a “Tagalog” version by upcoming Filipino rapper Cesar $emento.

#GlobeAdvisory: Keeping The Network Healthy

We wish to dispel rumors circulating in chat groups claiming telecommunications services in the country will crash due to the tremendous amount of internet traffic attributed to more people working from home as a result of the extended Luzon-wide enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

These reports are untrue and should be treated as fake news.

Globe addresses loading concerns of prepaid customers through loan credits without service fees

With the majority of Filipinos now at home due to enhanced community quarantine, Globe is providing its customers with a way to borrow load or subscribe to promos so they can remain connected with their loved ones and social circles during this time of crisis.

Globe’s load and promo loans provide a safer alternative that Globe and TM customers may avail of since they cannot go out to the store or any loading center to buy prepaid load.  Service fees are temporarily waived to ease the burden customers are faced with at this time.

Helping the Frontliners in the fight against COVID-19

The Tulong Kapatid, the corporate social responsibility consortium of companies, foundations and affiliates under the leadership of Manuel V. Pangilinan, conducted a series of relief efforts and activities to help frontline health workers, government response teams as well as some underprivileged and homeless families in Metro Manila.

“We are fully committed to supporting our frontline health workers who are working tirelessly to save lives and to combat this pandemic. We will continue to pour in resources to address the needs and demands of our frontline workers, including PPEs and relief packages,” said PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan.

To date, here are some of the efforts of the Tulong Kapatid:

Frontline health workers and government hospitals also recently received 14,000 Liters of 70% Ethyl alcohol donation from the Tulong Kapatid. The ethyl alcohol donation was from the Roxol Bioenergy Corporation, a company under the Roxas Holdings, Inc. These were transported and distributed to Metro Manila through the assistance of the Metropac Movers, Inc., PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) and the Makati Medical Center Foundation. 

Five little ways to help others during the quarantine

The little acts of kindness go a long way to show how we are #OneAgainstCOVID19 

As the entire country deals with the current public health situation, it can be tough to find spots of hope and happiness in the confines of our home. While we may be healthy physically, it is also important to keep our mental health in check. In a time of difficulty, it isn’t too hard for all of us to be someone else’s source of light with small acts of kindness even when we cannot be physically there.

You might be thinking how to do anything when you’re practicing social distancing and staying at home. With the help of apps like PayMaya, it’s easier than ever to send some love and share your blessings with others. Here are little ways to spread love in the time of COVID-19.

Learning @ Home with Girls4Tech™ Connect: Mastercard Provides Free Online STEM Lessons to Children, Teachers and Parents

Mastercard extended access to its signature STEM curriculum, Girls4Tech™, through a suite of new online, creative educational resources. The program has been designed to help parents and teachers engage and inspire kids, ages 8-12.

Through the newly launched website Girls4Tech Connect, as well as through activities made in collaboration with our education partner Scholastic, teachers and parents can download lessons to help students learn about STEM topics, from the comfort of their homes or anywhere around the world.

These activities are built on global science and math standards – and incorporate Mastercard’s deep expertise in payments technology and innovation – to enable children to discover a range of STEM careers, such as Fraud Detective, Data Scientist and Software Engineer.

Now in its sixth year, Girls4Tech has engaged more than 800,000 students across the globe through inquiry-based activities and real-world challenges, all with the goal of inspiring more girls to pursue STEM careers and reduce the gender gap in these fields.

“We know that these are challenging times for parents and teachers on many fronts and hope that these learning resources are a fun way to engage and inspire kids about STEM while at home,” says Susan Warner, vice president of Community Engagement at Mastercard, and founder of Girls4Tech. “The easy access to the website enhances what we’ve done in so many workshops. We look forward to building on both efforts when it’s once again safe to gather in person.”

Beginning this week, new activities will be posted on a weekly basis at the Girls4Tech website, Facebook page and Twitter handle. Lessons are currently available in English, with additional Spanish and Chinese language content to follow in the coming weeks.

While all lessons are designed for students to work independently, materials are also available for teachers to guide online sessions.