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What is PLDT doing about its recent internet service issues?

Internal struggles lead to disgruntled customers

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It’s needless to say, but the internet service in the Philippines leaves a lot to be desired. Not only have hard numbers shown poor internet performance in the archipelago, social media has been seeing a never-ending eruption of complaints about every provider, as well.

While steps have been taken to bring the Philippines up to speed with other countries through the use of next-generation 5G mobile networks by next year, citizens aren’t convinced, and internet in the country is still facing a slippery slope.

One incident that has been affecting local provider PLDT (Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company), in particular, is causing a lot of turbulence to both its workers and customers.

Reports have circulated that PLDT had recently terminated over 7,000 contracts from its workforce, causing many homes and offices with internet problems to be put on an indefinite hold. PLDT denied the allegations, citing that the DOLE (Department of Labor and Employment) was the one that ordered these contractual workers to halt their service to the company.

DOLE fired back by stating that PLDT’s workers are “employed by unqualified service providers” and PLDT has been warned months in advance. At the same time, disgruntled PLDT employees took to the streets in a recent protest.

Whatever the case, these employees aren’t the only victims here, as customers are experiencing the harsh aftereffects, too.

My own team has been a victim of this ongoing debacle. After having absolutely no Fiber connection for nearly two months, it was only yesterday when our situation was dealt with and a service crew paid a visit to our home office to bring our internet back.

This came after we had to sit through hours and hours of being put on hold by PLDT’s customer service. We simply wanted to know what was wrong and when we’d get our connection back; all we were told was that they’ll look into it, but nothing came of it until someone finally arrived yesterday. They have yet to offer any rebate for the weeks of service loss.

A friend of mine has been on PLDT’s hotline for over a month now, trying to figure out why his DSL speeds are way, way below the advertised 5Mbps. “When I’m lucky, it becomes as fast as 1Mbps, but I usually deal with speeds of around 0.1Mbps,” Mr. Iglesias told me in a chat. “Whenever I’d call the hotline to complain, I’m either put on hold for an hour or get no response at all.”

A PLDT customer who requested to be kept anonymous mentioned that his service “truly sucks” after the first 12 months of his 24-month contract were completed. “With regards to our internet, there are times we have no connection even though the LEDs of our modem are lit up,” he said. “We were requested to wait for seven to 30 minutes maximum just so we can speak to a ‘live’ agent and not an answering machine. Worse, from last night until now, our landline has no dial tone so we cannot call their hotline to report.”

Another source who works for PLDT (and also wishes to remain anonymous) was given an instant promotion to manager when most of her team was laid off at the end of June. “I had no choice. Now I’m handling all the customer complaints on my own,” she said.

And these are just a handful of cases. Social media is littered with angry posts about PLDT’s unsatisfactory — and sometimes non-existent — service.

Wanting to dig deeper, I reached out to Ramon Isberto, Head of Public Affairs at PLDT, for answers.

Isberto explains that the DOLE’s order to regularize these 7,300 workers is “inconsistent with applicable law, jurisprudence, and the documentary and testimonial evidence.” And even though PLDT was issued a cease and desist order, call center and BPO companies have been exempted from similar regulations related to the coverage of labor contracting restrictions.

Referencing to allegations that PLDT terminated thousands of contracts, Isberto reassures that “it simply does not make any sense for PLDT to terminate these contracts in this way.”

Finally, he says that they’re taking care of everyone’s welfare and the “duty to deliver quality services to customers.” That last bit is what I’m least confident about.

PLDT’s Twitter handle is “PLDT_Cares” and while they do care a whole lot about becoming the country’s go-to source for everything internet, I wonder what’s being done to take care of the ever-increasing number of complaints being filed each day.

We currently have this to hold on to.

Not much, but it’s all we have.

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Huawei MatePad Pro: Stay connected, stay creative

Equipped with the right resources to let creativity thrive

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Creativity isn’t something you’re born with, it’s something you learn and hone throughout your life. We learn how to be ingenious because we’re all inherently talented to be able to connect things and ideas.

But what sets highly creative people apart isn’t their insane amount of creative juices stored. They work hard to pump out their ideas. You need to keep going and keep on doing something creative!

If you’re feeling stuck (or if you feel like you lost your creativity as you grew up), it’s time to rekindle that fire. Thankfully, we live in an era where ideas and inspiration can spark in a single touch. Huawei’s premium and elegant tablet — the MatePad Pro — can help you stay and be creative in four practical ways.

Connect with yourself

When you listen to what makes you happy and pursue what sets your soul on fire, you ignite your creativity and fuel your passion. But when you keep on moving, you eventually burn out. When this happens, listen to your body and relax. Being still is a way for you to connect with yourself.

Take your mind off  of stressful things and let your brain breathe a little. The MatePad Pro has a 10.8-inch QHD FullView display with quad-channel and quad-speakers tuned by Harman/Kardon — a real audio-visual treat to help you relax.

If you need some films and TV series for inspiration, Viu and iFlix are available for download in AppGallery, home to visually stunning yet complex stories.

Playing games rich in aesthetically-moving colorway can help entertain you, too. Asphalt 9, Naruto: Slugfest, and Burger Deluxe are wonderful games to feast your eyes on.

Moreover, some games can help you improve your creativity. Rise of Kingdom, Pool Ball Club, Word Jungle, and Empire: Rise of Battleship are games engaging your strategic thinking! Whatever helps you relax, there are a lot of apps you can download and enjoy.

The MatePad Pro has a whopping 7250mAh battery life, so you don’t have to worry about running out of juice. It’s also capable of 40W Super Charge using its USB-C cable, and up to 15W of wireless charging. When you recharge with the right connection (or cable for this matter), it’s easy to regain creative juice (and energy) quickly!

Connect with people

If you think sitting on a balcony overlooking a refreshing landscape is the way to be creative while you sip wine or coffee, that’s far from reality. Unlike how pop culture depicts isolation as a way to unleash your creativity and focus on your work, it just isn’t the case for everyone.

Humans are social beings. We can’t thrive fully when we’re alone for an extended period of time. At the very least, we need a fine balance between connecting with people and creating an undisturbed space so we can concentrate.

MeeTime, Huawei’s video-calling app

Allow yourself to collaborate with fellow creatives. When you’re surrounded by like-minded people, your ideas develop because they encourage you. If you don’t have a circle to inspire you, sometimes, talking to your friends and loved ones can give birth to new ideas. Or at least help you realize ways to improve your work.

For instance, you can use MEETime to connect with someone and brainstorm your ideas. This video-calling app allows you to have 1080p video calls despite having poor network quality.

Furthermore, you can share your screen to the person you’re calling — a feature that makes it easier to ask feedback and share ideas with someone over video calls.

There are plenty of social apps so you can use to call and chat with your peers, too. You can download Facebook, Snapchat, Viber, WeChat, Weibo, and even TikTok. Some can be downloaded using the Huawei browser and through an official APK file. Some of the popular apps are still finding their way to AppGallery, so in the meantime, you can be creative and find ways to download it.

When you find yourself wanting to set aside alone time, you can turn on the Do Not Disturb mode. The Huawei MatePad Pro has this feature since it runs EMUI 10.1 (based on Android 10).

Connect with the world

One of the best ways to stay creative is to interact with the world around you. Inspiration can be found anywhere — from your surroundings, to mundane moments of your life, and even on the internet.

Take a close look at the sights around you. Sit in the backyard and wonder. Creative people can always make something beautiful out of the ordinary. The MatePad Pro has an 8-megapixel front camera and a 13-megapixel rear camera — perfect for recording references and making art out of moments captured.

Furthermore, this premium tablet lets you engage with the world even if you’re sitting at your lovely home. You can browse the internet for inspiration! Sometimes reading an article, engaging with someone else’s opinions, and researching help you form a new perspective — necessary for birthing new ideas.

There are also art forms worth responding to. When you connect to the world, you allow your creativity to thrive. You need to nourish it like a plant; you help it grow.

Connect with your ideas

Some people may not need to relax and get inspiration to unlock their creativity. They just need to put some hard work. Internalize and look inside. Listen and connect with your ideas. You need to think and strategize on how you can bring them to life. Maybe, you just need to get the ball running.

By knowing the right tools and understanding how to make your idea work, you’ll be able to create something extraordinaire.

The Huawei MatePad Pro sports a powerful Kirin 990 chip, so it can handle anything you throw at it. It comes with Bluetooth-enabled Smart Magnetic Keyboard, so you can easily write and type your ideas.

This tablet is also bundled with the Huawei M-Pencil so you can sketch your ideas and scribble your notes. It’s wireless and has plenty of juice so you can keep creating. Apps like Concepts, Poster, Penup, and Adobe Spark Post are easy to use so you can bring forth your idea.

Along with these accessories, the MatePad Pro has a lot of features to help you be productive. You can utilize AppMultiplier which support apps such as Investagram and SSS Mobile for checking your finances; GMA News, ClickTheCity, and Wattpad for reading news and stories; and other apps like HUAWEI Health, Lazada, and Philippine Airlines.

Moreover, you can take advantage of Huawei’s ecosystem to split and/or share the screen. For most creatives using multiple references to enhance their ideas, this is truly a helpful feature.

Truly made for every type of creative

Whatever kind of creative you are, the Huawei MatePad Pro helps you stay connected so you can stay creative, ultimately coming up with a marvelous creation to show off to the world. It has the tools and resources needed to let your creativity thrive. You just need to take advantage of it.

The Huawei MatePad Pro is priced at PhP 32,990. As part of Huawei’s Mother’s Day Promo, #StayConnectedWithMom, the MatePad Pro comes with free flip cover, 50GB of Cloud storage, and 3 months worth of Huawei Video’s TVB bonus. Promo lasts until May 31, 2020.

You can get this tablet at Lazada, Shopee, MemoXpress, Abenson, Bluelite, Intogadgets, Silicon Valley, FLW.PH, and Aerophone.


This feature was produced in collaboration between Her GadgetMatch and Huawei Philippines.

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Features

Nintendo and Sony are in a heated battle during lockdown

Study also reveals which consoles were the most searched as lockdowns continue in SEA

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Photos by Alvaro Reyes and Mélanie THESE on Unsplash

It’s been roughly two and a half months since Southeast Asian countries have gone on lockdown due to COVID-19. As people were kept off the streets, video game companies found a way to reach these audiences through their consoles and game libraries. We watched as people spent most of their days learning new skills, staying healthy, and playing video games.

Little did we know, video game companies maximized this opportunity to sell more consoles, as well. A study by the iPrice Group revealed interesting data about the mini-console war that’s currently happening in Southeast Asia (SEA). In most countries, the Nintendo Switch and the PlayStation 4 are leading the charge towards greater heights.

It made perfect sense that Nintendo’s handheld console is seeing its staggering sales increase during this period. Searches on online shopping platforms related to the Nintendo Switch skyrocketed by 245% within SEA alone, thanks in part to the release of Animal Crossing: New Horizons back in March.

Image source: Livedoor

Apart from that, the Nintendo Switch dominates 5 out of 7 markets in SEA in terms of search volume. This, of course takes into account searches and purchases from people between mid-March to mid-April.

For most markets, the big 3 of gaming consoles (Nintendo Switch, PlayStation4, and Xbox One) dominated the charts. Apart from the Switch, the PlayStation 4 saw significant increase in interest between mid-March and mid-April by 135%.

The releases of the remastered versions of Resident Evil 3 and Final Fantasy VII contributed heavily to that increase. Surprisingly, in three countries (Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines), the PlayStation 3 makes an appearances as a widely-searched console.

Looks like people really love their video games! If you want to know more about this trend, you can find the full report here.

SEE ALSO:
#PlayApartTogether: Embracing lockdowns and social distancing
Tinder users are going on Animal Crossing for their first dates
Just Dance 2020 helps with your workout-from-home

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Peloton vs excuses: Mind tricks that can help you squeeze in a workout

For those struggling to keep a routine

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If anyone tells you that having a personal gym at home will remove all barriers to working out, they’re lying.

The Peloton bike packs an insane amount of tech that should help me stay on track, so I should have no excuses not to exercise, right? With it I can do live and on-demand spin classes, strength training, yoga, even meditation and sleep courses. Having it at home also means not needing to make time to travel to the gym. And yet, despite all of this, I still find reasons to shun fitness on the daily.

If you’re like me who typically gets a good week of workouts and then hits a slump when life happens, I’ve compiled some tips that you might find useful. Here are some ways I tricked myself into working out more regularly whenever I struggle to do classes on my Peloton.

Find the time that makes sense for you

After doing your workouts for a while, take note of when you enjoy it the most. For me, sweating it out in the morning works best. If I tell myself that I’ll workout later in the day, it just never happens. I’m just not someone who enjoys exercising in the afternoon or evening as much.

Make it habit

While some people make plans, I just tell myself that I’ll work out everyday and figure it out later.

Peloton has workouts that are as short as 10 or 15 minutes. Even when pressed for time, 15 minutes is just that — 15 minutes. 

Those days I end up not exercising I would just consider recovery days. Our muscles need time to rest after all.

Take a scenic ride

Another trick I do is telling myself to do 10 minutes of a scenic ride. This is an option on the bike if you don’t feel like doing a class. You can ride at your own pace while the monitor shows beautiful landscapes and cities.

What usually happens when I do this is I end up doing an additional 10 minutes of arm workout. Often, I’ll feel warmed up and ready for a regular class afterwards.

Warming up at my own pace without any pressure to perform gets me in the right mindset to actually do a full workout. There are lots of other warm up rides available, too, but they’re usually pretty tough. Picking something that has no pressure eases me in.

Low impact doesn’t mean low effort

When I discovered the low impact ride, I wondered why I hadn’t been doing them all along.

I’m an old lady, or at least my body feels that way. I’ve gotten injured a few times riding the bike: the tendonitis in my thumb flared up, and the muscles that aren’t used to being used so much protested.

You still get a great workout when you choose low impact, but you’ll never achieve a personal best — and that’s perfectly okay.

Put the leaderboad away

Now we’re going to dip into the tech side of things. The leaderboard pushes you to get your personal best, which is great. But when I don’t want to work out, I’ll tell myself that a 45min class will be more doable if I take the leaderboard away. As a competitive person, I always get horrified at my performance when I check it because I don’t push myself nearly as hard apparently.

Pick a class with a gimmick

Peloton offers so many kinds of classes with different genres of music. I’ve done Guns N’ Roses as well as Madonna rides. Jess King has a show tunes series, and there are rides with a DJ.

Whenever I don’t feel motivated to exercise, I think of it as entertainment first and that’s how I trick myself into doing a full workout.

Save classes that made you feel good

When you save classes that made you feel good, you’ll be reminded of that feeling when you see it again on the monitor.When struggling to pick a class, I choose from a bunch of saved classes that I don’t mind doing again.

If I can’t bring myself to face a new challenge, doing one that I’ve already smashed is the best way to go!

Lower the instructors voice

If you have classes where you loved the soundtrack, save them and then choose to have more music and less instructor. It’s amazing how much having motivational music blasting helps.

Forgot how to change the audio mix? Hit the volume button on the right hand side of the display and then change the mix. You have to do it each time as it always resets back to an even mix of music and voice.

Find more tips and tricks on how to maximize your bike here.

Do a class with weights

Doing weights is challenging, but it gives your legs some rest. A 45-minute class is sometimes better than 30 minutes because I know I’ll get breaks to do weights.

Pick your feel-good instructor

Sometimes, picking an instructor that fits your your mood is all you need. When I just want to do a feel good class, I pick Cody because he’s like my gay best friend and his classes are always entertaining. Seeing instructors have a bit of a hard time with the workout is also the energy that motivates me to give the workout everything that I got.

Should you be taking workout advice from someone who struggles with working out? Probably not. Was this entire article about how to work out a little less hard? Maybe.

It would be unfair to say that fitness isn’t a big part of my life. I actually spend a lot of time thinking about working out more than working out itself. It’s one of my favorite past times.

Keeping a consistent workout routine is what I’m struggling with right now. These mind tricks have at least helped me get my ass on the bike and squeeze a workout in even when I don’t feel like it. And for someone who isn’t a disciplined fitness freak, that’s all that matters.

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