November 4, 2020

Get P300 OFF* at #TheSMStore Cagayan de Oro and CDO Downtown when you shop from November 2 to 8, 10AM to 2PM! *with a minimum P3,000 single-receipt purchase Per DTI Fair Trade Permit Nos. RXII - 019, Series of 2020

DECODE 2020 to gather IT professionals, tech experts in three-day virtual conference

October 28, 2020

Professionals from the Information Technology (IT) industry in the country and international tech experts will gather on November 10 to 12 for the premier cybersecurity conference in the Philippines. Dubbed DECODE, the annual conference is organized by Trend Micro Inc, a global leader in cybersecurity. The three-day conference, which will feature various industry experts from different parts of the globe to speak about the latest developments in the cyber world, presents an immense opportunity to IT professionals in the country to network, learn and share knowledge among their peers. DECODE will have more than 40 virtual breakout sessions during the event’s three-day run and a panel discussion of threat experts, where participants learn about various latest global trends on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Protection and Privacy, Cybercrime and Incident Response, among others. The conference, which will be conducted virtually this year due to the COVID-19 crisis, aims to share to local technology professionals up-to-date information about the threat landscape, industry trends, and new technologies in order to empower them to secure the digital infrastructures of their organizations, as well as to inspire them to embark on a continuous learning journey. This year’s theme, “ELEVATE! Transform Rapidly, Seamlessly, Securely,” calls for transformation in the cyber industry with the rise of new threats concerning organizations. IT professionals must always be equipped not only with the right tools, but with the right skills and knowledge. In the fight to keep the connected world safe and secure, these cyber defenders must elevate beyond the ordinary and transform rapidly, seamlessly, securely. Six international speakers will deliver keynote addresses during this year’s DECODE confab. Martin Rösler, Senior Director of the Trend Micro Forward-Looking Threat Research (FTR) team, will give a talk on “The Game Changer – How the Pandemic is Changing Your World”. In this session, Rösler will look at some of the new cyber risks, threats, and challenges the world is facing today. A presentation on “Innovation or Disruption” will also be delivered by Myla Pilao who leads the security research communications at Trend Micro. Pilao will examine how countries and organizations are being disrupted by a myriad of digital threats and risks, and why it’s crucial that they reexamine their existing security architecture to make it robust against present cyber threats. Robert McArdle, the Director for Cybercrime Research of the FTR team, will discuss “Cybercrime in 2020 and Beyond: Not Everything Changes in a Pandemic”. McArdle will delve into how cybercrime, as an industry, has been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Melissa Hathaway, president of Hathaway Global LLC and a leading expert in cyberspace policy and cybersecurity who served in two U.S. presidential administrations, will present a discussion dubbed as “Exposed: Attack Surfaces Widen as the World Increasingly Relies on Digital Infrastructures”. In this session, she will share about the increased reliance on digital tools and broader exposure to cyber risks to ramp scam individuals, ransom businesses, disrupt critical infrastructures, and attack governments at all levels. Philip Casanova, a Partner at SyCip Gorres Velayo & Co.’s Technology Consulting, will share timeless principles that he learned in his over two-decade journey as a cybersecurity professional in his talk dubbed as “Principles to Live by for Cybersecurity Leaders”. His presentation aims to strengthen the mindset, persona, and posture of current and aspiring cybersecurity leaders in this evolving cyber threat landscape. Craig Jones, Director of Cybercrime INTERPOL, will talk about INTERPOL’s Global Cybercrime Programme which aims to reduce the global impact of cybercrime and protect communities for a safer world. In the “Cybercrime Through the Lens of Law Enforcement and Private Partners” session, Jones will discuss why it is crucial that law enforcement agencies and private partners collaborate in investigations to thwart cybercriminal operations and reduce the risks it could pose to ordinary users and enterprises. The virtual conference is open to IT professionals from different industries for free. Aside from its regular sessions, participants will have the chance to interact with the speakers at the networking lounge during breaks. Trend Micro started this annual cybersecurity conference in 2017 — previously held in Manila — with one common goal which is to spread awareness about the trends in the cyber world. The company has been organizing the conference to augment the cybersecurity skills gap in the Philippines and maintain its expertise in the industry. To know more about DECODE 2020 and to secure your slot for free, visit  

Coca-Cola’s Balik Pinas program helps OFWs to restart back home

October 19, 2020

“Even as I left Qatar, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there. But with (the) “Balik Pinas (Program)” of Coca-Cola, I would say that I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else and be away from my family again.” - CARLOS MANZANO “I was suddenly jobless, and during a global crisis. I worried about supporting my family,” says Carlos Manzano, 43-year-old breadwinner for a family of two. “I really didn’t have any plans for when I returned to the Philippines—especially since I was an OFW for almost a decade.”      Carlos had been working as a company messenger in Qatar for eight years—until the COVID-19 pandemic shook the trajectory of his career and, consequently, the well-being of his family. Carlos shares that he had just planned for a short visit to his loved ones back home in the Philippines when his company carried out company-wide layoffs. “I couldn’t have known,” Carlos shares, “that my short trip would be a permanent one.”      Carlos and his brother Jazz, who shared the same fate as his, returned to the Philippines. Their livelihoods were casualties of the pandemic: their future, and that of their families, was marked by uncertainty. Their outlook mirrored those of the 180,000 overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) repatriated due to the pandemic and the numerous crises it gave rise to.   A ROAD TO A NEW START With equal parts determination, resilience, and unflagging hope, Carlos, Jazz, and their father Lito—who himself had been an OFW for eighteen years—set up a beverage distribution business called Naga Jac Beverages Trading in their hometown of Naga. But, as with any new business venture, the family’s optimism was tempered with anxiety over how it would all turn out—especially during such tenuous times.      During the construction of their warehouse, however, a perfect opportunity to succeed presented itself in the form of the “Balik Pinas Program of Coca-Cola”, which was offered to the Manzano family by Carlos Rivera, the Territory Sales Manager of Coca-Cola Beverages Philippines, Inc. (CCBPI) in Naga City.       For the Manzanos, the gesture strengthened their hopes regarding their family’s future. The support and opportunities provided by the Balik Pinas Program—the trust that they held for Coca-Cola — allowed them to restart back home, taking comfort in the knowledge that they had help.      Lito can still remember his first order of coke products: 60 cases. He is all smiles as he shares that the business has grown to an average of 4,000 cases a month, just five months after they started and in the middle of pandemic, to say the least. They have also invested in routing units—a multicab and a tricycle.      For the Manzanos, “Balik Pinas” has allowed them to continuously support their family. “Even as I left Qatar, I always envisioned that I would head back to work there. But with (the) “Balik Pinas (Program)” of Coca-Cola, I would say that I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else and be away from my family again,” said Carlos.       “Saro ining blessing,” says Jazz Manzano in Bicolano. It was a blessing. A REFRESHING RESTART 45-year-old Billy Belleza, on the other hand, was excited to head home after 20 years of working in Brunei. He voluntarily left in March 2019 to start a water-refilling station business in Naga. “I was excited to head back home. I was able to rise up from being a simple janitor to a sales manager in Brunei,” says Billy. “I had the confidence and the experience; I told myself I didn’t need to worry too much.”      Billy was among the pioneer members of the program. His business, Andre Water Station, soon became an outfit that primarily sold Coca-Cola products— and has since become one of the prominent distributors in his area after he, too, discovered the Company’s Balik Pinas Program. Billy shares his first delivery from Coca-Cola— “It was during the Traslacion in Naga. It was a blessed-filled kickstart”.       Billy has since bought another routing unit, a mini truck, to expand his routes and deliveries. Andre Water Station also transferred their warehouse to a bigger and better location to support a growing business.      “Coca-Cola has never failed to present opportunities for me and my business to grow since I decided to take part in the Balik Pinas Program,” shares Billy. Besides direct guidance and support from CCBPI Territory Sales Manager Carlos Rivera, the Company helps grow Billy’s customer base and taps him to be the official supplier for booth set-ups in his area.      “The Balik Pinas program started as a small-scale effort here in Naga to help former OFWs like Billy, Carlos, and Jazz and their families to set up and successfully run a business,” shares CCBPI’s Rivera. “With their success and in light of current events, this program has been expanded to a national scale to help repatriated OFWs and their families recover gradually during these trying times.” THE COCA-COLA BALIK PINAS PROGRAM Coca-Cola in the Philippines has consistently sought to create programs to support MSMEs, more so now with the COVID-19 pandemic having disrupted lives and livelihoods. “Balik Pinas” is one of those programs; it aims to help returning OFWs like Carlos, Jazz, and Billy as they restart in the Philippines and support their families through new businesses.       With the program, the Company provides an opportunity to become a part of the Coca-Cola family as a distributor, wholesaler, stills distributor, or a community reseller.       This is a journey that the Company and these new entrepreneurs take together at every step—from setting up the business, to sustaining it, to ensuring growth. CCBPI assists former OFWs in choosing a suitable business model for their area, helps in managing their cash flow and inventory, and sees to it that they are given proper guidance and training until they are fully ready and equipped to operate on their own—all in all, a sustainable and profitable business founded on practical support from a global beverage brand.      With programs like Balik Pinas, Coca-Cola remains firm in their commitment to help local communities, contributing to the restart of the national economy—by way of reaching out to Filipinos.       “Coca-Cola’s commitment to Filipinos has only grown stronger, in weathering this crisis together,” says Gareth McGeown, CCBPI President and CEO. “We will help and support where we can. Through Balik Pinas, our goal is to help repatriated OFWs who have lost their livelihood abroad to start anew, via owning and operating their own business and be successful here, at home, with their families.”       With the help of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), CCBPI aims to reach more OFWs who are interested to start their own business through Balik Pinas. To know more about the program, you may reach Coca-Cola’s contact center at (02)-8813-COKE (2653). For SMART/PLDT users: toll-free number: 1800-1888-COKE (2653); and for GLOBE users: toll-free number: 1800-8888-COKE (2653). You may also contact 0919-160-COKE (2653) via SMS.

SM 10.10 SALE

October 10, 2020

Take 10% OFF* plus an EXTRA 10% discount on select brands this October 10 at #TheSMStore! To order, call #143SM (#14376) from 10AM to 7PM. *With a minimum P3,000 single-receipt purchase Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-105411 Series of 2020


October 6, 2020

Get extra 10% OFF* at #TheSMStore from October 5 to 11 (10AM to 2PM)! Participating branches: Cagayan de Oro, CDO Downtown Premier, Davao, Lanang Premier, General Santos. *With a minimum P3,000 single-receipt purchase Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. RXII 019, Series of 2020


October 3, 2020

Sharp Philippines Corporation (SPC), with its goal of bringing convenience, protection, and lifestyle evolution to every Filipino household, recently launched its campaign “Stay Home, Stay Sharp”. It features products that are designed for the new normal setting — and one of its key features is Sharp's exclusive technology, the Plasmacluster Ion (PCI) Technology. In this time of global health crisis, this is SHARP’s way of keeping our homes free from viruses and bacteria. The Plasmacluster Ion Technology Sharp’s revolutionary technology, the Plasmacluster Ion (PCI) Technology will help Filipino households achieve a safe sanctuary. It has been proven to be effective against suspended airborne viruses and microbes that contaminate our air, leaving it cleaner and healthier.  This exclusive technology is a unique air purifying solution to eliminate disease-causing bacteria and viruses from poor air quality and it has been proven safe to humans regardless of the amount of ion concentration released in the air. The Plasmacluster Ions, which are the same type of positive and negative ions that is present in nature, come in contact with the airborne threats in the air, undergoing chemical reactions on their surfaces to form OH radicals. These OH radicals decompose the proteins on the surface membrane of the airborne threats by taking the hydrogen. Without protein, the airborne threats are disabled and in effect, deactivated. The hydrogen then combines with OH radicals, and together they transform to water which is released into the air. Tested by Over 30 Institutions and Organizations  Since 2000, Sharp is developing and improving Plasmacluster Ion Technology and with collaboration with over thirty (30) independent third-party research institutions and organizations across the globe, Sharp has been continuously promoting academic marketing to demonstrate the effectiveness of its Plasmacluster Ion Technology. In fact, there are numerous independent research organizations that have proven its clinical efficacy in suppressing the activity of harmful substances including influenza viruses, drug-resistant bacteria, and mite allergens, as well as in reducing bronchial inflammation levels in children with asthma. Above all, product safety, which is one of the biggest concerns of consumers before buying a product, has also been confirmed through research and studies. Rest assured, Sharp will continue to contribute to society by conducting a wide range of studies demonstrating the effectiveness of Plasmacluster Ion Technology. On the effectiveness of Plasmacluster Ion Technology in Reducing Airborne Novel Coronavirus Disease (SARS-CoV-2) In recent joint research conducted with Professor Jiro Yasuda of the National Research Center for the Control and Prevention of Infectious Diseases/Institute of Tropical Medicine, Nagasaki University, Japan, Professor Asuka Nanbo, a Board member of the Japanese Society for Virology of the same institution, and Professor Hironori Yoshiyama of the Department of Microbiology, Shimane University Faculty of Medicine, and in cooperation with Nagasaki University, an internationally respected authority on infectious disease research, Sharp’s Plasmacluster Ion Technology was able to reduce floating novel coronavirus particles in the air, claiming it as a world first. Viruses present on the surface are much easier to eliminate with simple disinfectant,s unlike airborne viruses.    In the said study, Plasmacluster Ion Technology, which emits positive hydrogen ions and negative oxygen ions through a plasma discharge, demonstrated that the virus infectious titer was reduced by more than 90%.  A solution containing the novel coronavirus was released into a three-liter apparatus equipped with a Plasmacluster Ion device. The device discharged 10 million ions per cubic centimeter (cm3). Results claimed that the infectious titer in the retrieved solution was reduced by 91.3 percent in just 30 seconds compared with one that was not being exposed to Plasmacluster Ion. Sharp’s Corporation Masahiro Okitsu, Senior Executive Managing Officer, Smart Appliance, and Business Solution assured that the brand will continue to provide effective solutions in lowering the risk of infection. “Based on the result of this experiment, we will consider and provide effective uses of the Plasmacluster Ion Technology to mitigate the risk of coronavirus infection.” 90 Million Sales Mark Globally Currently, Sharp equips their appliances with Plasmacluster Ion (PCI) Technology to make them suitable for your home’s needs in this new normal. These are the appliances for cleaner and safer air: Refrigerators, Air Conditioner, Air Purifier (with mosquito catcher, with humidifier, with dehumidifier), Ion Generator, and Mite Catcher. In fact, the brand is now working to incorporate this technology to their Electric Fan products for the local market and it will be launched soon. As of April 2020, Sharp announced that it has reached the 90 million sales mark of products equipped with the Plasmacluster Ion Technology through its collaborations with different global businesses and industries such as hotels, hospitals, health clinics, restaurants, trains, vehicles, offices, banks, schools, training center, and supermarkets to name a few. Sharp will continue to expand the application of Plasmacluster Ion (PCI) Technology on its current industrial field of expertise and will seek new ways to apply it to other fields especially on medical devices.


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