Tuesday, March 31, 2020

MANILA, Philippines – Thousands of Filipinos nationwide are currently working from home. While this is a luxury many of us can finally afford, working from home comes with its limitations. No matter where we look, we are constantly surrounded by people and things that can distract us. So, in order to ensure everyone currently working from home can finish as much as they can, while maintaining their work-life balance, here are eight simple things you can do to keep productivity flowing.
1.      Set Ground Rules with the People You Live With

Working from home doesn’t mean you’re easily available to the people you live with. Whether they are your roommates, siblings, parents, or even romantic partner, setting your personal boundaries is incredibly necessary. Before embarking on your work from home period, make sure to notify the people around you. Doing so ensures that you are free from any distractions or obligations during your working hours.

DO: Tell the people you live with you need time to work. You have a job to do and a life to provide for.
DON’T: Make yourself available all the time. Let everyone know your schedule so that you’re all aligned with each other’s schedules.

2.      Set a Dedicated Time to Start and End Your Day

Ideally, we can manage our work-life balance when we work from home. But nothing can be further from the truth. Without any structure, our personal lives can have a serious effect on the amount of work we complete on a daily basis. To really maximize your time, follow a strict schedule that resembles your office schedule. If you wake up at 6:00 AM, you are afforded a good three hours to workout, eat breakfast, and shower. The simple act of waking up early enforces structure from the onset that will allow you to begin work at 9:00 AM and finish it by 6:00 PM. There’s no need to commute, leaving you with more time to focus on yourself once you are finished for the day.

DO: Create a full-itinerary for your entire day. This will help you achieve most, if not all, your designated tasks for the day.
DON’T: Wake up and start working expecting to accomplish anything. Most often, you end up getting very little done.

3.      Find a Place to Work From 

It can be easy to lock yourself in your room and work from your bed. But if you do this, you’re bound to accomplish very little during the day. Instead, assess your home and find a quiet, clutter-free area you can work from. It can be the kitchen, your living room, and even your balcony. Finding the right spot, combined with a bottle of water and cup of coffee, ensures you are free from any distractions, leaving you with enough focus to complete one task after another.

DO: Since you’ll be there the whole day, you might as well find a nice and quiet place in your home to work from.
DON’T: Work from your bed. Your bed is for rest, not for work.

4.      Prepare an Agenda of Tasks to Complete During the Workday

When working from home, it can be very easy to aimlessly jump from one task to another. Before starting any work, give yourself a good half hour to assess which tasks are the most important ones for the day. Once you know what you have to do, you can start working in an orderly manner.

DO: Spend 30 minutes at the start of each day to determine what tasks are most important. This will help better ease you into the day ahead.
DON’T: Dive straight into work without knowing what you need to accomplish for the day. You will end up getting swallowed by your work instead of finishing tasks like a working professional.

5.      Estimate How Much Time You Really Need
It is easy to say we can complete a task in under two hours, but when you’re comfortable at home, even the easiest tasks will take a long time to complete. Don’t be afraid to be realistic with yourself and your surroundings. You are not in the office. You are at home - a place of rest. Before starting any work, give yourself a realistic deadline for each of your objectives for the day. And allow yourself to have room for error, because something will always come up to distract you from completing any work. So, if you find yourself presented with a task that would normally take you an hour to complete, give yourself an hour and a half instead.

DO: Set realistic deadlines with some margins for delay. You are creating practical expectations for yourself.
DON’T: Underestimate the amount of time you spend on a task. This can only lead to over-promising tasks and disappointing yourself or your co-workers.

6.      Start with the Easy Tasks

You know what feels good? Accomplishment! Start your day by focusing on simple, relatively quick tasks you can complete in an hour or under. Before you know it, you would have spent your entire morning finishing one task after another. This very momentum will allow you to concentrate on bigger, more challenging tasks in the afternoon. The feeling of accomplishment you get from finishing these tasks throughout the day will ensure that you can finally call it a night the moment that clock strikes.

DO: Start with the easy tasks and gradually build up to harder ones. You’ll move on to the difficult challenges feeling so much more accomplished.
DON’T: Aimlessly jump from one task after another. You won’t be able to finish a lot of work this way.

7.      Take Breaks
Because you are working from home, it can be easy to put aside your regular breaks in the hopes of finishing early. This hardly ever works. You end up depleting all your energy focused on trying to complete your work. Allow yourself to take short breaks throughout the day. Take five minutes every two hours to step away from your computer and do something for yourself. Play with your pets, make a cup of coffee, scroll through your Instagram feed. But remember to be effective with your time. Once those five minutes are up, return to your work. Those small breaks will go a very long way to ensure you can accomplish more during your work from home.

DO: Set reminders for yourself to take breaks and time them. Small breaks go a long way in boosting productivity!
DON’T: Exhaust yourself trying to complete a task, especially if you have a lot to do. Before you know it, you’ll be binge-watching Netflix because you need the “noise to work”.

8.      Declutter Your Workspace
It’s hard to imagine that your workspace can get messy, especially if you spend most of the day in just one spot. But it happens. By taking your frequent trips to the kitchen or the bathroom into account, you end up with a mess that will affect your level of productivity. Don’t be afraid to periodically declutter your workspace every now again. Put your things where they rightfully belong and don’t be afraid to take the extra effort to dispose your garbage into a bin. A clean workspace ensures you’re left with more focus to finish more work before the end of the day.

DO: Use apps for decluttering - such as Keepr Storage PH, which may greatly help you store away unused items. Keepr Storage PH simplifies storage organization and solves the problem of lack of space due to unwanted clutter in your home. Make room for more productive activities!
DON’T: Let your mess pile up around you. This will affect your focus in completing your work and may cause your productivity to plateau – something we should all avoid!  

Monday, March 30, 2020

“What am I doing with my life?”, “Am I falling behind?” and “How can I make my life truly matter?”. These are some of the questions that often pop up in the minds of women around the world - and sometimes, not having the answer can be frustrating. Courageous women in leadership shared what it’s like to face these questions as part of “Existential Courage,” an International Women’s Day event held by The Purposeful Creative in partnership with global design platform Canva.

Held at Canva’s Philippines headquarters, the event brings people together to share real-life stories of what it’s like to bring purpose and passion to what you do, and all
the struggles that come with it. “We want this event to celebrate hope, courage, and persistence. We want to show young people examples and stories of how we can and should keep on creating  & doing things despite and because of the times we live in,” shared Arriane Serafico, founder of The Purposeful Creative and author of Existential Courage, a book released last December under Summit Books.

“I started at Canva in 2015 where I was the first recruiter based in the Philippines. Here, I helped to grow the local team to over 100 amazing individuals. Today, we’re a team of 250 working to empower everyone in the Philippines, and around the globe, to achieve their goals through powerful messaging designed with Canva. Our culture is testament to the amazing impact women continue to create in the workplace,” said Yani Hornilla-Donato, country manager of Canva Philippines.
“It’s important to us that women are represented on every level, in every team. We not only embrace but also celebrate gender diversity and inclusion,” added Donato.

On Finding Courage and Purpose
Over 150 attendees were treated to meaningful conversations with inspirational women leaders who, just like them, have gone through the journey of self-doubt and self-discovery.
Audrey Pe, founder and executive director of WiTech (Women in Tech), Ayen Dela Torre, co-founder of Where To Next, and Trina Tanlapco, corporate executive and founder of A Little Montessori, shared what it takes to be a true influencer in an increasingly digital world and how one can use her power to impact a community. Pe, Dela Torres, and Tanlapco all echoed what the attendees needed to hear: that in a world where your social media following seems to be the standard for influence, one can still be an ‘influencer’.

“It’s not about followers, it’s about putting yourself out there,” was the key takeaway from the panel discussion. Anna Oposa, Chief Mermaid of Save The Philippine Seas, and Carmel Valencia,
Head of Corporate Communication and Sustainability at LOreal, led another meaningful panel discussion with Donato to shine light on the importance of using one’s voice even if that voice might be drowned by a million others. They also shared tips for women to step up and change things for the better, especially for those in leadership positions.

When asked about their advice for young people who feel like they don’t have power, Oposa posed a thought-provoking insight: “It’s not about if it’s possible. It’s about ‘how do I make it possible?’ Donato, a leader of over 250 Canva employees, encourages her team to not be scared to speak up. She said, “If there is an absence of anything in the office, don’t take it as the absolute truth. Challenge it.” Valencia who has been with L’Oreal for 16 years knew what it was like to be a small voice in a big room back when she was still starting in the global company. She advised the audience to find like-minded allies. Just because you want to change the world doesn’t mean you have to do it on your own.”

Together with author of Paano Ba ‘To and Founder of She Talks, Asia Bianca Gonzales, and Rags2Riches Founder Reese Fernandez, Serafico discussed how women can keep persisting no matter the challenges and ways in which to find inspiration when there seems to be none. For them, purpose is not something that you have to find, it’s something that you bring.
Gonzales, Fernandez, and Serafico highlighted that sometimes, people stay where they are for the wrong reasons. Fernandez’s journey as a social entrepreneur, for example, has always been driven by her principle. “Every decision I make can affect someone in a positive way,” Fernandez said. Gonzales advised the audience to work hard, share opportunities with others, wait for the right season for things to happen in your life, and to maintain a growth mindset.

“We want to create more conversations about Existential Courage. We want to break out of our bubble, and to stop only preaching to the choir. Existential Courage was an afternoon of fun, mentorship, and meaningful conversations for passionate, creative, curious and purposeful individuals,” Serafico added. Want to honor the courageous women in your life? Canva has released an additional 50 design templates, encouraging its design community around the world to celebrate, praise and unite with women this International Women’s Day. Check out the full photography collection here.

For more information on Canva, visit https://www.canva.com/.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Shopee, the leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan, launches Shopee Bayanihan, an initiative focused on providing support for medical front liners and Filipinos in need.

In a true bayanihan spirit, Shopee partners with various humanitarian organizations like Red Cross, Kaya Natin and World Vision to raise funds to support different communities most affected by COVID-19 outbreak. Among those in need are hospitals faced with limited medical equipment and low-income households who face difficulties in securing daily necessities. Under Shopee Bayanihan, users can make a direct donation to these organizations via Shopee from 26 March onwards.

Additionally, Shopee donates 2,800 KFN4 respiratory masks to support the health workers in the Philippine Lung Center in their combat against the virus. Ruoshan Tao, Head of Marketing of Shopee Philippines, said, “In the spirit of bayanihan, we need to come together and draw strength from one another as we tide through this COVID-19 outbreak as one community. We launched Shopee Bayanihan to provide Filipinos a platform to step forward and help those in need. The funds raised will channel much-needed resources to vulnerable individuals and families to help them cope with the situation. We urge everyone to stand together with us and help one another stay strong during this period.” All Filipinos can make a donation to their partner organizations of choice in amounts of P50,
P100, P500, and P1,000 via Shopee Bayanihan. Here’s how:

On March 31, users can tune in to Shopee Live to watch a special program on “Shopee Bayanihan Day”. During the program, popular local celebrities will put up a special performance to help raise funds under Shopee Bayanihan. Users can also find more information on what the partner organizations are doing to support the community.

All proceeds made through Shopee Bayanihan will go straight to their partner organizations. For more information, please visit: https://shopee.ph/m/shopee-bayanihan
Download the Shopee app for free via the App Store or Google Play.

PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart Communications has teamed up with some of the country’s biggest musicians and artists for Smart Music Live Online Sessions, a series of live online shows on FB Live meant to raise donations for COVID-19 frontliners.

Smart Music Live Online Sessions kicked off with Soupstar Velvet Live! Sessions presented by Smart, an eight-week music jamming session headlined by OPM bands including Moonstar88, 6cyclemind, Pedicab, Gracenote, Banda ni Kleggy, Imago, and Ultra Combo composed of Pinoy rock icons Raymund Marasigan and Buddy Zabala. Velvet Live! will also feature new breed artists like Kurei, Better Days, The Vowels They Orbit, and WeGot.

Smart is also teaming up with top radio FM stations Magic 89.9, Wave 89.1, Jam 88.3 and 99.5 Play FM for #GoodTimesRadio, an online fundraising concert for the Philippine Red Cross featuring Kean Cipriano, Janine TeƱoso, Rice Lucido, This Band, and Brisom on March 25, Wednesday.

Smart Music Live Online Sessions is also set to unveil more performances to pay tribute especially to our dedicated public healthcare workers and emergency response teams.

Donate your MVP Rewards Stars

PLDT, Smart, TNT, and Sun subscribers are encouraged to donate their MVP Rewards Stars via the MVP Rewards App.

These MVP Rewards Stars – which are earned and accumulated by customers every time they register to a prepaid promo, or pay their postpaid bill on time – can all add up and go a long way to support the people leading the fight against the pandemic. Donations gathered via MVP Rewards will go to various Public Hospitals through the PLDT-Smart Foundation.

Tune into Smart Music Live Online Sessions

Don’t miss the Smart Music Live Online Sessions and get inspired by the performances of top OPM artists by tuning into Smart’s’ official Facebook account at www.fb.com/SmartCommunications.

Share your stories and messages of support with GIGA Stories, which now comes with Free Stories For All – an extra 1GB data every day for Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.

Smart Music Live Online Sessions is powered by Smart LTE, the country’s undisputed fasted network as certified by independent network analytics firm, including Ookla and Opensignal.

Thursday, March 26, 2020

Along with the pandemic, fake news also spreads abound bringing to attention
the likewise important need to combat the scourge of misinformation.

Right now, people around the globe, are stuck at home in a bid to fight the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic—glued to their mobile phones, consuming the rapid spread of news and information that has multiplied even more in the already fast-paced online platform.

With the need for credible real-time updates, the call for social media responsibility has also risen exponentially with fake news keeping pace with the spread of the virus.

With that, here are 5 easy steps to be a responsible mobile phone user by keeping the “fake news virus” at bay:

1. Don’t share posts and news stories immediately
Most headlines are crafted to give an enticing summary or lead-in to a story, but they aren’t always what they are, so it’s better to go through the entire story first. Oh, and make sure to check the date as well because some people tend to share news updates from even a few years back.

2. Read through for inconsistencies
Are you fond of reading stories actively or passively? By actively reading through articles, one could already deduce the credibility of the story. Fake news tends to include outrageous claims, biases, questionable facts and figures, and grammatical errors—one that a credible writer would seldom commit.

3. Be on the lookout for the source
We sometimes open shared articles or read news posts without checking who shared or posted these. To be sure, check the source of the story or post—it is usually located at the top or bottom of posts and images. For external links, scan through the website address located on top of the headline and verify it first before clicking—shady web addresses can lead to virus-infested websites.

4. Visit the supposed source
Does a source seem credible because of its name? Not entirely. News update templates can easily be retouched using readily available photo editing apps. To be sure, visit the official news sites or social media pages of the supposed source and verify if they did release the story. It would also be wise to check if other credible news sites released a similar story.

5. Reflect on actually posting or sharing
By the time you’ve finished verifying, and given that it is indeed a credible story from a bona fide source, you’ve probably had enough time to reflect on whether it is actually worth sharing in the first place. It would also be good to review your intentions in sharing the material.

Additional step: Download credible news apps
To get authentic news updates and stories on-the-dot, you could always download apps developed by top news sites in the country. These are readily available through the seamless Vivo app store, available in all Vivo smartphones.

And there you go! There is power in staying in and keeping abreast with updates, and a seemingly little thing such as preventing the spread of fake news can go a long way.

Do more than just watching videos with double data from PLDT Home Wifi

Studying or working from home, or mostly known as “telecommuting,” can be beneficial for families as it enables flexibility of work schedule, eliminates daily commute, increases productivity and promotes work-life balance. Technology and the internet now make it easier than ever to work and study from home, as there’s an app or website that can help.

For parents working at home, there are also many ways to support your kids and enable them to have fun in their home-schooling. Here’s what you’ll need to successfully work from or study at home:

  1. Free apps for virtual meetings

You don’t need to be together in one place to have meetings! If you’re working from home, you would need a reliable online tool for your scheduled virtual meetings. Software like Google Hangouts, Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and even Facebook Messenger allow you to hold meetings over the internet, with options to enable video, virtual presentation, and convenient file-sharing as well.

  1. Free apps to help your productivity

There are also specific apps that are convenient and safe for file-sharing. You’ve got sites like Google Drive, Microsoft OneDrive, WeTransfer, and Dropbox to easily share large and confidential documents.

You can also take advantage of free apps for notetaking, calendar, timers, and to-do lists that you can conveniently sync on your laptops and mobile phones. These will help you be organized, improve your time management skills, and get more things done.

Using these apps will help you stay focused at work and lead a productive and balanced lifestyle for your family at home.

  1. Free access to important government and news sites

In light of the COVID-19 global pandemic, we need to stay updated and informed more than ever while working or studying at home. These sites are important for daily viewing to get the latest news and credible information:

Government websites
  • COVID-19 Tracker (ncovtracker.doh.gov.ph)
  • National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (www.ndrrmc.gov.ph)
  • Philippine Information Agency (pia.gov.ph)
  • Department of Health (www.doh.gov.ph)
News outlets

What’s even better is that PLDT Home is providing its WiFi Prepaid and volume-based plans subscribers free access to these important government and news websites! That means you can access them whenever, regardless of the data status of your connection.

  1. Free educational tools at home
Of course, the opportunity to learn, grow and discover new skills does not stop when working at home. Whether studying different languages, trying on new recipes, or learning how to make videos or graphics online, there are a lot of online resources that you can explore.

YouTube is the best place to start, with billions of videos available on just about every topic, including tutorials for anything you want to know. You can also listen to your favorite podcasts online for free.

For families with kids who are home-schooling now, this is the best time to enjoy free audiobooks and ebooks online. Amazon-owned Audible is now offering free-to-listen catalogue of children’s stories including literary classics, fairy tales, and a lot more for pre-schoolers, elementary, tweens, and teens. All these are available in six different languages. 

You can also be creative with fun and educational activities for your kids. Now you can explore hundreds of museums around the world from the comfort of your home. Google Street View’s Arts and Culture section now offers free virtual tours and exhibits of different museums and galleries worldwide including Tour Eiffel in Paris, British Museum in London, Taj Mahal in India, and Lizares Mansion in Iloilo. The National Museum of the Philippines also offers a 360 degree virtual tour on their website. 

The best thing is that you can enjoy more than just videos and a wealth of educational tools online because PLDT Home is also extending its Double Data promo for Wifi Prepaid until April 30! That means PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid subscribers can still get twice the data allocations from their FamLoad packages.

Enjoy productivity at home with the strongest connections of PLDT Home Wifi Prepaid powered by Smart LTE, the mobile network with the fastest speed and widest 4G availability in the Philippines, as affirmed by global internet testing firms Ookla, OpenSignal, and umlaut.

For more updates and information, follow PLDT Home on Facebook at facebook.com/PLDTHome, or visit the website at pldthome.com.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Global design platform, Canva, has announced it is providing all public health organizations around the world free lifetime licenses for Canva Pro in an effort to combat the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

To help spread accurate information across the globe, Canva has updated its Not For Profit (NFP) program which will now empower all public health organizations with premium design and publishing features such as access to more free diverse stock photos, illustrations, the ability to upload own font libraries and brand kits, as well as it’s productivity booster, the ‘Magic Resize’ button, which can automatically turn any design format into a collection optimized for sharing across more channels such as Facebook, Instagram, Linkedin, posters, presentations, and more.

In its effort to educate the public on the necessary steps to keep themselves safe and supported, Canva also released #StopTheSpread graphics and templates which anyone can post and share online. These designs are available in Filipino which anyone can access by simply changing their language to Tagalog through the account settings. Find the step by step guide here.

Canva’s in-house design team has also committed to volunteering its services to local organizations in need of further assistance with delivering effective visual communications. Through its Enterprise team, Canva will aid in the design and graphic requirements of local government units, not for profit organizations, and hospitals who need to raise awareness about COVID-19. Interested individuals and
groups can access this form to apply.

The move comes in response to the surge of misinformation surrounding the virus, as public health organizations struggle to fight back against myths and rumors gaining traction online.

Canva Philippines Country Manager Yani Hornilla-Donato said sharing accurate information about the pandemic is crucial in helping the country #StopTheSpread. “Canva’s mission is to always be a force for good. We’d like to champion our concept of bayanihan by tapping into our resources to help spread accurate information about COVID-19 and how people can protect themselves from it,” said Donato.

With a vast collection of new health-related templates including flyers, posters and social media posts designed with pre-populated content based on the information supplied by the World Health Organization (WHO) - Canva hopes its platform can be used as a force for good.

For further information or to apply for a free lifetime Canva Pro account, all public health organizations can contact health-assistance@canva.com.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

The country's leading music artists are staging a continuing online concert to raise funds for the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

MANILA, Philippines, March 23, 2020 – Launched last weekend, the Bayanihan Musikahan concert can be enjoyed on Facebook until April 15, 2020, creating the opportunity for every Filipino to be at the forefront of efforts to help combat the lethal impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

With National Artist for Music Ryan Cayabyab at the helm, Bayanihan Musikahan calls on nearly the entire spectrum of the country's musical talents to spur a massive community effort to raise funds for food, protection kits, and barangay quarantine spaces for the most vulnerable Filipinos.

The artists engage online with their fans and new audiences as they rally the fighting spirit of the Filipino: to come together as a nation of song, imagination, grit, and a strong sense of camaraderie. In rousing and uplifting this spirit, the artists ultimately shed light and hope.

The funds raised through the Bayanihan Musikahan will be supporting urban poor communities in various cities of Metro Manila that are reached by the organizations Samahan ng Nagkakaisang Pamilyang Pangtawid, Likhaan, and Caritas Manila.

PLDT donates P1-M to Bayanihan Musikahan

Responding to the call of some of the country’s musicians and artists, PLDT donated P1-million to the Bayanihan Musikahan initiative of the Philippine Business for Social Progress (PBSP). Through its Balik-Baterya funds, PLDT is among the pioneer sponsors of this initiative. It is one of the first three companies to respond to this effort. Moreover, PayMaya serves as the official donation platform of the Bayanihan Musikahan initiative.

“In these trying times, it is important that we come together to help fight COVID-19. We must extend our support to those whose livelihoods have been severely affected by the pandemic," PLDT Chairman and CEO Manuel V. Pangilinan said.

Launched in 2006, the Motolite-PBSP Balik-Baterya Program involves the collection of used lead-acid batteries (ULABs) for proper recycling and production of new automotive and industrial batteries as well as corporate social responsibility projects.

To donate, click on https://donate.paymaya.com/products/philippine-business-for-social-progress. To watch some of your favorite artists live from your home, watch the Bayanihan Musikahan at https://www.facebook.com/bayanihanmusikahan/.

PLDT mobile subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. has started roll​ing out bonus data for all Smart postpaid subscribers as part of its efforts to provide customers with means to stay connected and productive amid the COVID-19 situation.

Depending on their plan, active Smart postpaid customers will be automatically credited with a one-time bonus data ranging from 2.5GB to as much as 60GB, valid for 30 days.

Smart’s one-time bonus data for postpaid customers builds on many other efforts by the PLDT Group to provide connectivity and convenience to customers during these difficult times. Earlier, PLDT and Smart announced a 30-day payment extension period for all postpaid customers.

On the other hand, to serve prepaid customers, Smart also announced a special 30-day eLoad discount via the Smart Online Store at www.store.smart.com.ph/eload. Discounts ranging from 5% for P200 and P300 eLoads to 10% discount for P1000 eLoad are available from March 17 until April 14.

Smart continues to deliver fast and reliable connectivity powered by the country’s fastest mobile network as certified by third-party network analytics firms such as Ookla and Opensignal.

For Smart Postpaid offers, visit www.store.smart.com.ph/plans/postpaid/. Also follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for updates on promos and services.

One-Time Bonus Data
for Existing Smart Postpaid customers

Bonus Data
Smart Signature SIM-Only Plan
2.5 GB
10 GB
20 GB
30 GB
60 GB
Smart Signature Device Plan
5 GB
10 GB
15 GB
30 GB
Other Smart Postpaid Plans
Below Plan 999
2.5 GB
Plan 999 to 1999
5 GB
Plan 2000 and up
10 GB

One-Time Welcome Bonus Data
for New Smart Signature customers

Bonus Data
Smart Signature SIM-Only Plan
5 GB
10 GB
15 GB
30 GB
Smart Signature Device Plan
2.5 GB
5 GB
15 GB


Klikd2. Theme by STS.