Features

First podcast network in PH shares tips, insights

PumaPodcast wants us to listen more

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“We don’t listen enough.”

That’s what PumaPodcast — the first podcast network in the Philippines — hopes to change. The network officially launched in August 2019 but a lot of their shows have already been available to stream since the start of the year.

As of right now, they have a variety of shows including a newscast called Headlines, a show that tackles legal issues, and another that discusses culture, politics, religion, and everything else that makes Filipinos well, Filipino. There are plenty more and you can check them all out on their Spotify page.

PumaPodcast believes listening gives us a new perspective on things we think we already know about. Which is why they set out to be on platforms that people are already on.

To get a better idea of what the network is trying to do and also get some podcasting tips on the side, we spoke with one of their hosts — Ceej Tantengco.

Ceej is a sports reporter, gender equality advocate, and three- time Palanca Award-winning writer. She’s the host of Go Hard Girls which hopes to shine a spotlight on underrated Filipina athletes. It also imagines what the industry would be like if it was better for women.

Read the full interview below:

Ceej Tantengco is the host of Go Hard Girls and also co-hosts another show called What’sAP?

1) Podcasting appears to be enjoying some sort of renaissance, why do you think that is?

More than a renaissance, I think it’s that podcasts are finally hitting their stride in the Philippines. There have been individual podcasts by Filipino creators that have become popular locally, but just a few years ago I’d often hear people say they listen to Mo Twister but not really any other podcasts.

In America, podcasting is a culture that started, kept going, and it’s now at what the New York Times calls “peak podcast.” They joke that everyone and their mom has a podcast in America, but you also have incredible shows like Serial, NPR’s Invisibilia, This American Life and 99% Invisible that push the boundaries of audio storytelling way beyond the usual talk format. The variety is just incredible. One of my favorite podcasts is LeVar Burton Reads, where he picks a short story (usually sci-fi or speculative fiction) and turns it into something that’s both audiobook and immersive experience.

And as more Filipinos consume those kinds of podcasts from abroad, the market for local podcasts grows as well. We’re looking for local perspectives and voices that feel familiar. Here in the Philippines, I think the big wave has only just begun.

2) How did you decide what kind of podcast to do? What to talk about?

First off, It has to be something you’re passionate about. In my case, I’ve been a sports reporter for the past 5 years and I’ve seen the gender gap and how female athletes get less media exposure, or have to deal with gendered comments, or struggle to find sponsors compared to their male counterparts. There’s still a lot of sexism in how our society sees sports—basketball is for boys, volleyball is for girls, blah blah—and I always feel sad when people tell me that “that’s just how it is.”

So Go Hard Girls is me taking matters into my own hands and telling the stories of incredible yet underrated athletes. I’m extremely passionate about what I’m doing in the podcast, and I think that’s something you need to have if you’re getting into podcasting. Putting up a podcast won’t always be easy, but if you’re passionate, you have a reason to power through!

The second thing you need is perspective. A lot of my co-hosts on the PumaPodcast network have unique positions in their industries like Give A Hoot, which talks about communication from the perspective of professionals in advertising and communication strategy; or Te Talks, where former Supreme Court spokesperson Ted Te explains legal issues that affect the Philippines. Why are you in a special position to talk about the topic and what do you add to the public discussion?

Ceej with members of 5-time UAAP chapms NU Lady Bulldogs who went on an insane 80-0 winning streak

3) I don’t exactly have the best voice but I really want to do a podcast. Should I still go for it?

Podcasting isn’t like TV news where there’s a specific type of voice that people look for. Some podcasts are loud and funny, some are soft-spoken and reserved, some are formal and some are casual. But podcasts are audio products and voice quality still matters.

How comfortable are you in front of the mic? Do you stutter or have a lot of dead air? Try doing a test recording and listen to yourself so you know what to practice and how to improve. Editing can also help in cutting out any parts of the recording you aren’t happy with.

4) What equipment should I be looking at to get started?

If you’re just starting out, you could consider using equipment you already have. If you have a phone with a mic and you have a laptop, you can absolutely get started.

If you’re using basic equipment, though, then you should consider taking the time to learn some post-production software. There are free audio editing programs out there, like Audacity, that can improve your sound quality.

If you’re looking for something more ambitious, you can look into microphones. There are condenser mics, dynamic mics, handheld mics, lapel mics, etc. Some of these can plug straight into your laptop or your phone, and some have their own recording capability on their own. Some of them need an audio interface or a mixer if you have multiple mics.

5) Are there places where I can rent out equipment?

Yes! There are many studios where you can rent studio time—that includes use of their equipment, a sound-proofed booth, and a sound engineer who oversees the technical aspects of recording so you can focus on content—as well as post-prod services. If you are just starting out and experimenting, though, it can be an expense that you have to think hard about.

Roar Audio Productions in Makati, though, has a special hourly rate for podcasters that’s lower than the commercial rate for ad agencies and musicians. PumaPodcast’s production arm PumaPublic Productions also offers services for people who specifically are interested in narrative-format podcasts.

If you can’t spare the expense at the moment, you can still make do with what you have and then upgrade as your podcast grows!

PumaPodcast hosts addressing the crowd at the network’s launch

6) What should I consider in selecting where to host my podcast?

Price is one thing. There are hosting platforms that are convenient because they’re free, and there are others that can be more costly, but provide more services.

Considerations would be storage (how often are you publishing and what file sizes are you expecting?), the platforms they publish you to, website hosting, or the number of unique feeds (if you’re planning to have multiple shows). What kind of data analytics do you want to get from your pod host? This matters if you have plans to monetize. The more intricate data/metrics, the more expensive the hosting.

7) Is there profit in podcasting?

Theoretically, yes. If you have enough of a following on a particular platform, you can make a profit through ad placements or branded content. Influencers and Youtube creators have done so, and podcasters share some of the same platforms as them.

But just like with social media and with Youtube, it’s not easy. Not everybody can just put up an account and make money off of it. It takes time, effort, and an understanding of your platform and the content you should be creating for it.


Ceej’s podcast Go Hard Girls is currently running a crowdfunding campaign to produce more shows. Click here if you would like to help out. A similar campaign is also ongoing for another show called Give A Hoot which is a series of conversations about stuff that excite or baffle communicators and social change agents.

Hands-On

realme 9i Hands-On

Solid as usual
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The realme 9i is the “little brother” in the realme 9 series. And while it doesn’t pack the same punch as its pro siblings – the realme 9 Pro and realme 9 pro+ – there’s enough here for anyone who just needs a reliable daily smartphone.

Here’s a quick look at the specs before we dive in deeper: 

Performance

  • 6.6-inch IPS LCD display with 90Hz refresh rate 
  • Qualcomm SM6225 Snapdragon 680 4G processor
  • 6GB RAM with Dynamic RAM expansion feature up to 5GB 
  • 128GB Internal Storage 
  • 5,000mAh battery
  • 33W Dart Charge tech

Cameras

  • 50MP main camera
  • 2MP macro lens
  • 2MP depth lens
  • 16MP selfie shooter

Here are some samples for your appreciation.

Neat, simple, and elegant

The realme 9i is pretty understated in the looks department. The variant we got comes in blue and depending on how the light hits, you’ll see some lines to accentuate its back.

As for button and port placements, at the bottom you’ll find the usuas: speaker grille, USB-C  port, and 3.5mm jack. 

On the right side is the power button/fingerprint scanner. 

And on the left hand side are the two, tiny volume buttons. 

Overall, the realme 9i  looks neat. Simple yet elegant. The camera stands out, obviously. But you can say that for most phones these days. It’s light for its size and appearance. It’s already easy to hold as is, but it’s even easier if you’re the phone-case-and-pop-up socket type of person.

General usage

Switching from one app to the other, or going back to the home screen for that matter is seamless and fast. There’s no trouble opening or loading apps so far. 

The apps load from where I last left it, provided I haven’t closed all apps, cleared RAM, or optimized phone usage.

Media consumption and gaming

We enjoyed more than our fair share of watching sports highlights  on the realme 9i. It pays to have a great-performing phone to not miss any action. We didn’t have any problems watching on YouTube at the highest resolution settings and at 60 fps. 

Same is true for other types of content. The viewing experience was likewise seamless.

The speaker is really loud and complements the video. You don’t have to put it on max volume although it’s still of the best quality when put to max. It doesn’t break.

Playing Mobile Legends with friends and relatives on this phone is perfect even if it’s “only” a mid-level phone. The game’s graphics settings were set on default when opening from the phone. I tinkered it to HD mode with a high refresh rate and “Ultra” graphics, and it didn’t have problems throughout the game like lagging when I played.

Battery life

On full standby in power saving mode without having to connect it to Wi-Fi or turn on mobile data, the phone consumes just about 5 to 10 percent of its battery power in one whole day.

When charging, it takes less than an hour to charge from 30 percent to full with its 33W fast charging.

Solid as usual

realme 9i

 

The “i” variants in realme’s numbered series phones have consistently been steady performers and the realme 9i is no different. It’s not gonna wow you with raw specs, but the overall package and performance makes it worthwhile.

The realme 9i retails for PhP 11,990. Buy it here.

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Reviews

vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review

vivo’s best smartphone just got even better!

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The vivo X70 Pro+ was launched just several months ago. However, we’re already having a follow-up!

Unlike the X50, X60, and X70 series, the X80 series only consists of two models this time around.

Namely the X80 and X80 Pro — with the latter being vivo’s latest flagship smartphone.

But what makes it different from its predecessor? And what makes the successor a lot more exciting?

Watch our vivo X80 Pro Unboxing and Review now to find out more!

 

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Unboxing

Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro Unboxing and First Impressions

Premium, smart timepiece

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Watch GT 3 Pro

Huawei has been giving us the best choices for stylish timepieces to help us reach our health and fitness goals. And they’re taking the stage again with their new flagship smartwatch — the Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro. 

Now let’s take a closer look at this device and check what Huawei has in store for us this time. 

Unboxing

The GT 3 Pro comes in this sleek black box with the name of the device in gold. Through the box, we also get to know that it is powered by HarmonyOS. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Lifting the cover, you’re immediately greeted by the GT 3 Pro Titanium Edition looking classy beside a gold Huawei logo. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Pulling the tab on the right, you’ll see a smaller enclosure. Opening it up, you’ll see some paperwork, a USB-C cable and a wireless charging cradle. 

 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Now here’s the GT 3 Pro taken out of the box. Looks premium, doesn’t it? 

Watch GT 3 Pro

By examining the watch strap, you can easily tell that it’s made of genuine high-quality leather. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

The Huawei branding is not seen on the strap. It’s instead engraved on the buckle. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

Also unlike the previous GT 2 Pro that has the usual double crown design, the GT 3 Pro has a watch crown and a button. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

The rotating crown serves as its power button and scroll and zoom wheel. Rotating it feels smooth without much resistance. But it does have haptic feedback, mimicking a mechanical feel. 

Powering it up, you’re notified to get the Huawei Health app and pair it with your phone. 

 

Once paired, you can tinker with the settings and apply customizations based on your preference and liking. 

First impressions 

What I immediately liked with the GT 3 Pro is how classy it looks. And despite it being a big smartwatch compared to what I usually use, it feels light on my wrist. 

I also can’t help but admire how clean and clear it looks with its 1.43-inch AMOLED display and sapphire glass lens. 

Watch GT 3 Pro

 

Its body, on the other hand, is made of titanium and it has a ceramic back case to complete the premium package. 

Using it for a few days, it looks like this timepiece will definitely level up my expectations for smartwatches. But I have yet to fully explore and experience everything about the GT 3 Pro that I’ll share on my hands-on review so don’t forget to also check that out. 

Pricing and availability 

The Huawei Watch GT 3 Pro retails for PhP 16,999 and is available in Titanium and Ceramic Edition. 

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