SparkFest2019: Inspiring Filipinos to Succeed in Business

by E. Lorete / /

Going into business – becoming entrepreneurs – is key to a successful life in the Philippines. That holds water for so many young entrepreneurs, and it is not enough mentoring people to take business! That is where SparkFest 2019 matters! The business incubator, which is already on its fourth year, has been helping young entreprenuers get into business. But more than getting into that career path, SparkFest has been helping people make good in their business prospects – and more importantly succeed. More than inspiring Filiipinos, SparkFest 20119 has been networking Filipinos business entrepreneur to work together. For its third round, a marking signifying SparkFest’s successful venture working with business minded individuals, the growing business incubator started entertaining business pitching with other successful entrepreneurs. It is meant to bring up mainstream business, those who are selling products and services on line or the digital lane, to go explore other venues working with tru blue business establishments, and then learn from that experience. Bringing business closer to start up brands, Sparj Fest 2019 launched what it calls Spark Tank, ‘where participants can pitch and then consult their ideas face-to-face with successful entrepreneurs who have endured rudiments of starting a business. But to make it more emphasizing for startups, Spark Fest 2019 invited an impressive line up of speakers who are known personalities (author and vlogger) in their respective business such as vlogger Bianca Gonzales-Intal; host and former child star RJ Ledesma (Mercato Centrale); Gina Romero (Connected Women); Trish Lim (Woven craft PH); Christian San Jose (CSJ and Co); Sherill Quintana (Oryspa Solutions); Anya Lim (ANTHILL Fabric Gallery), and instagram celebrity @pereastreet. Keeping the digital business theme alive, Spark Fest 2019 included more celebrities like The Bloomfields, Anna Oposa (Save Philippine Seas), Kirk Damasco (Worship Generation), Enzo Pinga (Earthbeat Farms), Diana Santos Ferrer (The School of Satchel), Guido Sarreal (Trail Adventurous /) Kawil Tours), Bianca Cruz (Acceler8 (by Union Space)), Alea Ladaga (Techtonic Summit), Kyla Misa (WVN House), Artie Lopez (BrainSparks), Tiago Arnaiz (, Dennis Subido (MUNI), and Antonette Mendoza (European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines). Spark Fest 2019, on its 3rd year in digital business, aims to help start business entities to survive trials of putting up a business in the digital age, offering ideas and strategies straight from the actual experience of former start ups who have managed to evolved into a bankable digital and traditional brand in the Philippines. 

Smart cited for ‘Best User Download Speeds’ by global benchmarking firm P3

PLDT wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) offers the country’s best download speeds, according to the latest report from Germany-based P3 communications GmbH, a leader in mobile network benchmarking.

The crowdsource-based study, which included 121 million samples from 104,000 users collected from October to December 2018, said Smart achieved the highest user download speed score among competitors with 98 points, compared to nearest competitor’s 68 points.

“This latest award is further proof that our continuous network upgrades across the country are paying off, and that our customers are feeling the benefits whenever they use mobile data to connect with their families, to access online services like banking and e-commerce, or to stream videos on their phones,” said Mario G. Tamayo, PLDT-Smart senior vice president for Network Planning and Engineering.

“This year, we are further investing in our networks to build on that competitive edge,” Tamayo added.
Award-winning network

The P3 award is the latest in a string of citations received by PLDT and Smart on network superiority. Earlier, third-party firms Ookla, Opensignal and Tutela also released their respective crowdsource-based studies on internet services in the country, and found Smart’s wireless network to be superior in terms of speeds and latency than that of competition.
Ookla’s Q1-Q2 and Q3-Q4 2018 reports found that PLDT and Smart are the country’s fastest fixed and mobile networks, while Smart has consistently led in terms of 4G speeds in studies by Opensignal since 2017.

More recently, Smart won four out of five categories in Opensignal’s Mobile Experience Awards – Video Experience, Download Speed, Upload Speed and Latency.

On the other hand, Canadian crowd-sourced mobile data company Tutela said Smart users were twice as likely to experience ‘excellent’ data connections, which are needed for heavy data uses like video viewing.

Network expansion
Underpinning this network performance is PLDT’s expansive fiber network, which now spans over 244,000 kilometers and also supports Smart’s mobile network by providing high-capacity links to cellular base stations. As of end-2018, Smart has increased the number of LTE base stations on its network by over 86% year-on-year to about 16,200, while the number of 3G base stations also increased by 17% to about 11,500. This massive deployment has enabled Smart to provide mobile broadband in at least 90% of the country’s cities and municipalities. 

To push further the already significant network advantage of PLDT and Smart, and to support an active campaign for more revenues, PLDT and Smart are undertaking yet another massive capital expenditures program for 2019 by allocating up to P78.4 billion budget this year, P20 billion higher than the previous year. This includes a substantial allocation for “Customer Capex”, which is intended for the purchase of last-mile and customer-premises equipment like modems and also the acquisition of vehicles, equipment and office space for the new corps of technicians being assembled to fast-track the installation and repair of fixed broadband connections.

Benchmark leader
P3 is an international consulting, engineering and testing services company with a rapidly growing team of more than 3,500 consultants and engineers working to develop and implement innovative solutions to today’s complex technology challenges. Offering a broad portfolio of services and proprietary tools to the automotive, aerospace, telecommunications and energy industries, P3 adds tangible value that helps clients succeed at every stage, from innovation to implementation.

In the telecommunications sector, P3 communications is a leader in mobile network benchmarking and provides performance indicators for communication networks worldwide, and measures network quality on consumer smartphones during normal, everyday use. P3 provides independent technical and management consulting services including network planning and optimization, international benchmarking, engineering, security services, device testing and acceptance services to network operators, equipment vendors, device manufacturers, public safety organizations and regulatory authorities all over the world.

Vivo V15 Pro: Premium Smartphone Features Detailed for User Experience 

Innovative mobile phone developer Vivo has finally unveiled the V15 Pro through an event that truly leveled up to expectations by showcasing the cutting-edge features of its flagship smartphone.

Vivo vice president Cyrus Wu and vice president for channel sales Hazel Bascon welcomed the guests, including Vivo’s trade partners, to the grand launch which encouraged everyone to “Level Up with V15 Pro”.

“We must continue to elevate our product and we exhausted all possibilities in smartphone technology to bring the best user experience to consumers,” said Bascon in her welcome remarks

Some of the country’s most sought-after young celebrities, as well as mobile phone and photography enthusiasts, gathered to witness the unveiling at the Grand Ballroom of Shangri-La at The Fort in Bonifacio Global City. 

Singer Julie Ann San Jose opened the event with Ciara’s “Level Up” which brought up the energy at the venue while the audience awaited the V15 Pro’s big reveal. Filipino-Canadian singer Darren Espanto, Elisse Joson and Klea Pineda added more star power to the evening.

The highlight of the event was the unveiling of the Vivo V15 Pro whose main feature, the 32MP elevating front camera, was dramatically showcased when a podium elevated from underneath the stage to reveal the flagship smartphone.

After a brief product talk which shared the unique and leveled up features of the V15 Pro, Vivo officials and the young celebrities gathered on stage for a groufie picture using the elevating front camera.

Just before the event started, Vivo already teased some of the guests about the V15 Pro’s exciting features by welcoming them to the elevating front camera photo booth and the ultra-wide angle booth. However, everyone was still surprised with what Vivo revealed next.

As if taking a cue from the thrilling performance of Darren Espanto who closed the event with his version of “Lift Off”, the stage backdrop suddenly split and opened up to reveal a grand demo area of more than 40 Vivo V15 Pro handsets, inviting everyone to discover and experience for themselves the levelled up features of the flagship mid-range smartphone.

The V15 Pro features the much-applauded 32MP Elevating Front Camera intended to take great-looking selfies. Vivo’s NEX was the first model to carry this industry pioneering feature that was first showcased at the 2018 Mobile World Congress. 
From selfie to mobile photography, the V15 Pro now comes with an impressive 48MP AI Triple Camera. The buzz of artificial intelligence has been ongoing and Vivo decided to bring this emerging technology to its flagship products. The AI Triple Camera allows users to take professional-grade photographs that are clear, crisp, and natural-looking.

Landscape or group photography is no longer an issue with the 8MP AI Super Wide-Angle Camera and 5MP Depth Camera. AI will determine if people on the side are perfectly captured or not. If not, it will send a prompt to switch to a wide angle so everyone in the group shares that special moment. The Super Wide-Angle Camera can expand to 120 degrees.
V15 Pro also upgraded Game Mode 5.0 that now comes with the new Competition Mode that allocates system resources for better gaming performance and experience.

A smartphone with all these new features needs a powerful processor. Good thing the V15Pro is powered by the Snapdragon 675AIE Octa-core processor with 8GB RAM + 128GB ROM. 

The Vivo V15 carries a suggested retail price of P17,999 while the V15 Pro is at P23,999. 

What is Vivo?

Vivo is a leading global technology company committed to creating trendsetting smart mobile innovations and services. Vivo is devoted to forming a vibrant mobile internet ecosystem, and currently owns and operates an extensive network of research operations, with R&D centers focusing on the development of cutting-edge consumer technologies including 5G, AI, mobile photography and next-generation smartphone design.

In recent years, Vivo has taken frequent efforts in the sports field and is committed to promoting the mutual penetration of the brand’s diverse fields and diversifying its brand image. Vivo Philippines announced its partnership with the NBA by the end of 2017.

Meeting Asia’s Got Talent 2019 Filipino Finalists

by E. Lorete / / http://www.inslashout.blogcom
Power Duo / Shadow Ace / Eleana / HK Sisters / 

We had a field day meeting the best entertainment talents, particularly the pinoy finalists of AXN Asia’s Got Talent 2019. Sharing their passion, in between upsetting competition moments, we spoke to these marvelous talents how they made to the top. Shadow Ace, who entertains uniquely using light, expressive hands and props to entertain, could not have been more outspoken about his experience. “I have always wated to be a dancer, but dancing did not seem to want me for that career. I turned to light art combined with hand gestures for that unique art display that awed Asia’s Got Talent Judges,” said Shadow Ace. Bent on making a career in his unique art craft, Shadow Ace said that making it to finals is somewhat a redemption from all the challenges he endured. “I started with this (light entertainment) when I was in high school. It was not always perfect, and I have made mistakes, ridiculed but I persisted knowing this could be my ticket to fame.” Age 22, Shadow was right about this career choice. “I was a victim of bullying because of my weight, my color and personality.” Growng up in a Batangas town, where sun baking is common to folks like Shadow, being dark was a source of ridicule. “It is different now. I have redemmed myself, and I am no longer dark…maputi na ako,” said Shadow. While most people would get back at their detractors, Shadow instead thanked his bullies. “If not for them (bullies), then I would not find my strength that got me where I am competing in Asia’s Got Talent 2019,” said Shadow. Husband and Wife dance team Power Duo relates to these calling skill challenges. Jervin and Ajha are real life partners. “We meet during dance practice, and then we found there was something between us. The rest lead us to Asia’s Got Talent,” said Jervin. His partner, Ajha, could not been supportive. “We have done so much training for so many other competitions in the past. It was a long process we endured to this day competing for the biggest competition of our life,” said Ajha. Trained acrobatic dancers, the Power Duo concept was born from trust and chemistry. “It is very important that we understand each other. And that is how we able to freely coordinate in our performance,” said Jervin. While it is generally death defying, dance acrobat seem flawless with this husband and wife team. “It entails so much training time. It is something you developed with discipline, and we happen to love what we do for our audience,” said Ajha. Classic singer Eleana Gabunad, and she is only ten eyars old, was an easy pick for David Foster. “I am learning so much from David Foster. And I am more indulged to perform better each time I take on stage singing classics,” said Eleana. The 10-year old prodigy sings classical music or theater pieces flawlessly. “I started singing when I was two years old. I was a personal interest, and I have come to love singing more growing with it, and now competing,” said Eleana. Perceived to be another Lea Salonga, Eleana would take compliments lightly. “I love music. I love classical songs. It is a challenge more being part of finalists,” The HK sister, who also sing classic and theater musicale pieces, was an easy catch for Anggun and David Foster. “He (David Foster) was plain strict. He can size you up the moment you enter stage, before even starting to sing,” said the sister duo HK sisters. Born into a family who loves music, the HK Sisters formulated a duo that hit on a positive note in the on-going Asia’s Got Talent 2019 competition in Singapore. “While singing came naturally,even as a sister duo, the more challenging part was being able to adjust to different assigned music pieces to sing. It could be anything, and it can change while in competition too,” said HK Sisters. Without planning, and they were even late for audition, the HK Sisters’s sweet theatric vocalization was an instant crowd drawer. “It is great seeing more Filipinos joining talent contest. The HK Sisters has a genuine dream that if tew win competition, their father, who is constantly away for work, can stay home more. Dance group, which is synonymous with Philippine talents, is still a reigning favorite in Asia’s Got Talent 2019. Junior Good Vibes, also from the Philippines, made it to finals. “We worked hard joining competition, what more designing our dance choreography was a pure challenge. It is paying off now, hopefully we can do more with finals coming,” said group’s lead spokesperson Brent. Like many struggling group dancers, Junior Good Vibes engages with their visually stunning timing with stage choreography. “We had to find ways to suport a big group like us. We were soliciting money to suport our group, our travel to Singapore.” Junior Good Vibes, to raise funding for their dance training and transport, scoured the length of Sampaloc Manila. “It was very difficult convincing people to support this cause. We made enough money that eventually allowed Junior Good Vibes to pursue its dream of competing in Asia’s Got Talent,” recalls Brent. There were a thousand audition hopeful, but only about fifty were called to fly Singapore. “We made it this far, and now our efforts have started off,” said Brent. While these talented Filipinos need more training, one thing certain their international appearance though AXN Asia’s Got Talent is leading more Filipinos to greener pastures. “We pray for the best. But we also remind ourselves to stay grounded because that is what gives us strength to become better in what we do today,” said Jervin and Aha. Asia’s Got Talent, which is fast becoming the career platforms of many deserving and skilled entertainers from all over Asia, screens live episodes every Thursday nights on exclusively on the AXN Cable Channel. 

LG Launches Laundry Love: On National Women’s Month, LG empowers alpha-males to do the family laundry with LG washers

Even with more women joining the workforce, studies have shown that a bulk of the housework is still relegated to the women. This is known as “the second shift”, where the family structures are still holding on to traditional roles in gender equality with regard to the chores that the women are still expected to do. One of them is the laundry. This takes up so much time and energy that women often feel that they no longer have time to take care of themselves. Aside from the stereotypes that many Filipinos grew up with, where it was the norm to leave all the homecare duties to the women, another reason that men give as to why they don’t help out is that they don’t know how to do the household tasks properly.

The innovative technologies designed for LG Home Appliances make chores, such as doing the laundry, easier to accomplish – and surprisingly pleasant – especially for men who are trying to do it right for the first time. LG’s line of smart appliances with features that offer powerful solutions for tasks often perceived as complicated, such as efficiently doing the laundry for clothes that are clean and even allergy-free.  

This Women’s Month, LG reinforces its commitment to women empowerment by ensuring that its smart home technologies are attuned to the constantly changing and dynamic needs of both women and men who use them. LG’s Laundry Love is an advocacy that wants to give them the opportunity to show that they can and should get the job done, with washing machines that are powerful and packed with innovative features. 

To demonstrate that alpha-males, and even working dads can do it, motoring expert James Deakin, actor/model Eric ‘Eruption’ Tai, and PBA’s ‘Ironman’ LA Tenorio went onstage at the LG Laundry Love campaign launch to wash their family’s clothes. James, who is used to running at high speeds, used the LG Front Load washer with Turbo Wash technology, with a unique jet spray for excellent washing performance in less than an hour. Eric, who just had a baby with wife Rona, used the LG Top Load washer with its Baby Steam Care function that offers deep clean for baby clothes, along with Allergy Care that removes 99% of allergens to care for his newborn’s sensitive skin. For LA, who values his time off from his games, the LG Twin Wash was a perfect match because it let him wash his just-used basketball jersey at the same time his children’s clothes. With all these convenient cleaning features and more that are available on the LG smart technology washing machines, it is easier to get the men of the family involved in doing the laundry. 

During the Love Laundry campaign launch, LG Philippines’ managing director Inkwon Heo shared, “At LG, we believe in using technology to simplify life and to save time. Our washing machines are top-of-the-line products that are designed to make doing the laundry less complicated and more energy efficient. It is with our hope that the men of the household will see doing the family laundry less as a chore, but more as a way of showing support for their loved ones.” LG’s Laundry Love campaign also wants men to be able to feel that they can contribute to running the household. Through this, the traditional gender roles in the household will become a thing of the past, and with the children, the next generation growing up to see that their fathers are able to take on more responsibilities at home, it will be the norm, rather than the exception.   

LG also opened its doors on the same day to the residents of Barangay Maybunga in Pasig to do their laundry at the LG office using the powerful washers. It is the company’s way of giving back to communities, with the aim of making clean laundry accessible, LG will be rolling out the mobile laundry van soon in the different barangays of Metro Manila. 
For more information about the #LGLoveLaundry campaign and to see the lineup of LG’s washing machines, log on to, like @LGPhilippines on Facebook and follow @LGPhilippines on Instagram.

LG Ambassadors do the laundry using the innovative features of latest LG washers to show their love and appreciation to the women of their lives as they take a more active part in running their households at the #LGLaundryLove launch celebrating Women’s month.  

Motoring expert James Deakin who is used to running at high speeds, used the LG Front Load washer with Turbo Wash technology at the #LGLaundryLove launch. 

PBA ‘Ironman’ LA Tenorio turned into ‘Laundrym

Philippines’ Junior Good Vibes Receives Second Judges’ Pick

Voting now open until Sunday, 11:59 p.m.

Filipino dance crew Junior Good Vibes gave a thrilling and emotional performance in last night’s episode of Asia’s Got Talent where they received the Judges’ Pick, joining Siti Saniyah (Indonesia), MANIAC FAMILY (Taiwan) and Shadow Ace (Philippines) to perform in the Grand Final Show on April 4, 2019 at Marina Bay Sands, Singapore where they will be one of the nine to stand a chance to win USD100,000. 
Filipino golden buzzer talent Eleana Gabunada is among the seven remaining acts of the night who are up for voting, and the two acts with the most votes after the voting period closes will head to the Grand Finals. The voting period for this second batch of semi-finalists is now open until Sunday at 11:59pm.
In the third and last semi-finals episode on March 28, Filipino acts HK Sisters and Power Duo will be performing to vie for the third Judges’ Pick to go straight to the Grand Final Show. If they don’t make it as Judges’ Pick that night, they still have a chance to be among the nine Asia’s Got Talent Season 3 grand finalists when public voting opens again after the March 28 episode. 

Google Search Voting

Fans can vote for their favorite act by searching for “Asia’s Got Talent Vote” on Google. Simply click on the photo of the act you would like to vote for, use the slider to determine how many votes you want to allocate to the acts and click ‘Submit Votes’. You can allocate up to 10 votes per day on Google Search Vote. 

Facebook Messenger Voting

Fans can vote via Facebook Messenger by clicking ‘Send Message’ button on the Asia’s Got Talent Facebook page, or look up “Asia’s Got Talent” on Facebook Messenger. Click “Get Started” and you will see a photo carousel of the acts eligible for voting. Scroll through the carousel until you see your favorite act, then click to vote. 

You may repeat the process up to a maximum of 10 votes per day of the voting period.

For more details on voting, visit 
New episode of Asia’s Got Talent airs every Thursday at 8:30 p.m. on AXN. To follow the journey of this season’s acts, check out #AXNAsia and #AsiasGotTalent. 
To watch extended highlights of Asia’s Got Talent and exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, fans can subscribe to the official AXN Asia YouTube Channel at
AXN has also teamed up with Google to add a Google Assistant Action of the show experience, where fans can playfully interact with the hosts and learn more about the show, the judges and the acts on their mobile devices. Fans can activate the Google Assistant and simply say “Talk to Asia’s Got Talent” to get the conversation started.
Asia’s Got Talent is supported by regional sponsors Princess Cruises, the official cruise line of Asia’s Got Talent; Great Eastern, the market leader and a well-established trusted brand in Malaysia and Singapore, and GoDaddy, the world’s largest cloud platform dedicated to small, independent ventures. 
VietJet, Asia’s Got Talent’s official airline.
Marina Bay Sands, Asia’s leading business, leisure and entertainment destination, is the official destination partner of Asia’s Got Talent.
Asia’s Got Talent is the 67th adaptation of the Guinness-World-Record-breaking hit “Got Talent” format, which was created by Simon Cowell’s Syco Entertainment and is co-produced by FremantleMedia. The “Got Talent” format is officially the most successful reality TV format in history and currently airs in 186 countries.
AXN is a leader of regionally produced original content in Asia, with notable ratings successes including two record-breaking seasons of Asia’s Got Talent, five seasons of the award-winning The Amazing Race Asia; The Elements: Cosentino; Adventure Your Way; Cash Cab Asia and Cash Cab Philippines; The Apprentice Asia; Cyril: Rio Magic; Cyril’s Family Vacation: Hawaii Edition; and Cyril: Simply Magic.
Launched first in Asia in 1997, AXN is a global channel brand with a presence in Latin America, Africa and Europe. In Asia, the channel is enjoyed in 133 million households across 21 territories and is available in both SD and HD. AXN Asia is wholly owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment and managed by Sony Pictures Television Networks, Asia.

Disney’s Dumbo film feature hit SM Cinemas next

Hold on to your feathers and get ready to soar as SM Cinema presents Dumbo, a live-action remake of the beloved Disney classic.

In this heart-wrenching fantasy, struggling circus owner Max Medici (Danny DeVito) hires former circus star Holt Farrier (Colin Farrell) and his children to take care of Dumbo, a baby elephant who is mocked for having gigantic ears. However, the sudden discovery that he can fly turns Dumbo from laughingstock to the star of the show, regaining the circus’ former glory and captivating ambitious businessman, V.A. Vandevere (Michael Keaton). Dumbo’s fame skyrockets as he is pulled into the Vandevere’s newest attraction, Dreamland, until Holt uncovers the dark secrets lurking within its extravagant exterior. 

Directed by Tim Burton, Dumbo stars Danny Devito as Max Medici, Colin Farrell as Holt Farrier, Eva Green as Colette Marchant, Michael Keaton as V.A. Vandevere, Nico Parker as Milly Farrier, and Finley Hobbins as Joe Farrier.

Fly high as Dumbo will have its advance screening in different parts of the country, March 23 at SM City Clark and SM Seaside City Cebu, March 24 at SM Lanang Premier and March 25 at SM Aura Premier.

Catch Dumbo starting March 27 at SM Cinema branches nationwide. Book your tickets through the website, or download the SM Cinema mobile app. You may also follow /SMCinema on Facebook and @SM_Cinema on Instagram for updates!