Here are the top reasons to get the new iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus from Smart

DSC00583Hey, guys! If you’re looking to upgrade to the new iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus, what with its stunning glass and aluminum design, more advanced dual 12-megapixel camera, and more powerful a A11 Bionic chip, you should consider getting it from Smart.

Here are some of the reasons why it must be from Smart:

  1. Charge to bill. It’s easier to apply with Smart postpaid because you can charge to your monthly bill the total plan inclusive of the device cost. Payment of the Smart iPhone 8 and 8 Plus devices for plans 1499, 1999, 2499 and 2999 can be paid in easy 24 monthly payments versus a big one-time cash-out through the monthly postpaid bill. No need for a credit card. On the other hand, the competitor does not offer charge-to-bill and requires a big one-time device cash-out so you need to be ready with a Php 20,999 cash or through a credit card payment.
  1. Maximized iPhone features with more data. Smart gives you more data to optimize your new iPhone (1GB more than the competitor on hero offers). More open access data means better plan value and more reasons to enjoy your new iPhone and its features. On top of that, you enjoy free VAS/app that’s interchangeable monthly and that won’t eat up your monthly data volume allocation. Some favorite apps commonly used daily are unli data in volume. These apps are FB, FB Messenger, Waze, Whatsapp, Line, Viber


  1. Lower handset cost. Smart offers the latest iPhones for so much less. You would just pay for the monthly service fee after the device is paid up after 24 months (eg. You’ll pay only P1,999/month after 24 months.)


  1. Powered by fastest LTE. The new iPhone is best experienced with Open Signal’s fastest LTE Network. Smart continues to cover the country with LTE connectivity plus built-in all-net calls across all plans.


  1. Gadget shield.Smart gives a one month gadget shield for free against accidental damage or theft. Smart’s front liners will register you upon availment of the iPhone 8 plans.

You can now pre-order the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus at the Smart Online Store ( and Smart Stores nationwide, and both will be available in stores on Friday, November 17.

Get to know more how Smart’s iPhone 8 offers, visit




The Change We Need

The type of change that we’ve seen in #DaangMatuwid:
accelerated economic growth where there are more jobs, more investors, more value for money; where economic and political freedoms are high; people in the margins are empowered. That’s the kind of trajectory or progression we all envisioned for #DaangMarangal.
Change is here, and we want to continue the momentum.

What Grace Poe has laid down during the campaign is just an incremental change. A movement in the curve predicated in the successes of Daang Matuwid. For lack of better word, it is a cosmetic kind of change. 

Duterte however promised the people that #ChangeIsComing. But as we all have witnessed, the change he wanted to bring is REGRESSION – in terms of political rights and freedoms, in terms of basic courtesy and decency, in terms of the quality of discourse he had put on the table during the campaign, in terms of our victories as a young democratic republic.

Not surprisingly, the market response is jittery- we might be going south again – back to the turbulent 80s or the lost decade with Erap and GMA. From the Bright Spot in Asia today down to being Sick Man of Asia again! 

The never-ending story of permanent anti-development that is the Philippines.

If you truly want change, which direction do you want to go? 


“We urge the youth — Christians and Muslims and Indigenous — to work together in building stronger solidarity and a shared vision of nationhood.We urge them to voice their opinions on the peace process in which they have the biggest stake. It is for the youth that we offer a continuing quest for peace because peace is a legacy that we, adult Filipinos hope to bequeath to the succeeding generations.”

In solidarity with Professors For Peace.

Professors for Peace

We, the undersigned academics, teachers, public intellectuals, policy analysts and researchers are issuing this joint statement to call for sobriety and more evidence-based discussion and debate to inform the country’s next steps on the peace process in Mindanao.

We join many others in demanding justice for our fellow Filipinos who died on 25 January in Mamasapano — not just the 44 men of the PNP-Special Action Force (including 2 Muslim officers), but also the 18 men from the MILF, and the 5 civilians living in the area.

We commend the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police for their professionalism and sacrifice in defending the Constitution, protecting all Filipinos, and preserving the peace agreement.

We are alarmed by the hatred and bigotry surfacing in both traditional and social media; and we call on all media to pursue more stringent fact-based reporting at this critical point in the…

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The Mad Mad World of the Binays

The Society of Honor: the Philippines

binay inquirer [Photo Source: Inquirer] From time to time in a blog, I elaborate. Embellish. Is elaboration fact? No, it is elaboration, similar to the way an editorial cartoonist draws caricatures to make a point. So in today’s article, I align some words to embellish . . . and make a point or two.

No harm intended. No foul.

Trust me.

Every once in a while, we have rolling through our lives people who are larger than the rest of us, commanding a presence on a world stage that is front page, top line, full house. Some of these people are artists like Michelangelo and Bach, some are sports figures like Michael Jordan and Manny Pacquiao, some are scientists like Galileo and Einstein, some are performers like Elvis Presly and Celine Dion, some are warriors like Sargent York and the Magsaysay brothers of Zambales, and some are leaders like Winston Churchill and Adolph Hitler…

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Thanks to friends and hopefully avid readers and followers Sev and Ernie for nominating Letters To Mindanao to this year’s Philippine Blog Awards.

I just received yesterday my nomination badge from the PBA 2010 organizers and it sure was a welcome twist to what could only be another hectic and hellish day.

After my blogging hiatus for the past 30 or so days, this nomination is but a dose  of adrenaline that I badly need to keep on writing.

Thank you very much and expect for some changes in this blog come 2011.

Road Trip Through Muslim Mindanao

This may not be the best time for a road trip across Maguindanao and Lanao provinces but what the heck, this might be my one and final chance.

Few weeks ago, I found myself traversing the island of Mindanao starting from General Santos City in Southern Mindanao up northwest to Pagadian City in Zamboanga del Sur…by land! 

From Gensan, I took an airconditioned Husky bus to Cotabato City for P260.00.  I was early at the Gensan Bus Terminal because I was told that there are only few airconditioned buses  and that it was best for me to take the earliest bus that usually departs at around 8AM.  So I was there a few minutes before 8, excited and ready but the bus that was scheduled to take off was undergoing repair.  Still, like the rest of hapless folks out there, I waited.

The bus arrived at the terminal at past 11AM.  It was the turn around bus from Cotabato City.  It was Friday and there were plenty of passengers.  A few minutes after warming my seat, we were off to our first stop:  Koronadal City.  And because it was Friday and it was the first (and only) airconditioned bus to leave that day, the passengers easily filled the bus.  Some were already standing when we stopped by Koronadal.

Most of the passengers were government employees from regional offices that were once located in Cotabato City.  A few years back, Koronadal became host to these regional offices.  Many of the employees found themselves dislocated by the transfer.  So they take the early day off on Fridays to be home safe in Cotabato City before sunset.  I assume that they also leave noon time on Mondays from Cotabato City and arrive in Koronadal before 5PM.  That means they are at work on their desks from Tuesday to Thursday only.  This makes a good case study on efficient government service but I won’t dwell on that.

From Koronadal we passed through the Sultan Kudarat and Maguindanao provinces.  In Sultan Kudarat, there was the vibrant town of Isulan and the surprisingly busy Tacurong City.  Four-lane highway all through-out, wide and concrete without the bumps.  Stalls, restaurants and other forms of enterprise abound along the road.  Signs of progess, I must say.

This draws a sharp contrast to the towns in Maguindanao.  There, it was quiet, eerily quiet.  The houses are closed, most stores are closed, even the transport terminals are on a stand still.  There were lots of government infrastructure in the area, very new but empty– public markets, transport terminals, health centers and the palatial provincial hall and town halls.  Then there are those roofed cubicles (these are housing projects not larger than 2X2 meters that are made of flyboard and a GI sheet for a roof) that lined up the highway. 

At past 2Pm, we arrived in Cotabato City where I stayed for a night before leaving again the next day for Pagadian. 

The trip the next day was more comfortable, thanks to the rented Mitsubishi Strada and to nice guy George, my reliable driver for this second leg of the journey.  We left Cotabato City at 7:30 am after a quick breakfast of the city’s famous balbakwa. 

It was my first time in more than 10 years to take the road to Parang, Maguindanao.  I never thought that the place would remind me of things from my childhood- the bridge in Simuay that once serve as our signpost that says we are near Pahm Resort, our favorite R&R place way back then.  It also reminded me of my many times in Polloc, Cotabato’s wharf where my father who once worked for Sulpicio Lines would never miss a Tuesday night working in the port to oversee cargo and passenger loading to M/V Cotabato Princess.  We passed by a barangay named Making and it suddenly occured to me that I have been to this place before.  It had been otherwise buried in my memory but seeing the place again brought me back to my 6th grade where I attended the regional Boy Scouts Jamboree in Making, Parang, Maguindanao as a senior scout fresh from completing the 12th Asia-Pacific Jamboree in Mt. Makiling, Laguna in 1991.  That was the connection.

Past those towns are roads that lead to Buldon, the former stronghold of Moro Islamic Liberation Front where Camp Abubakar is located.  Remember Erap’s all-out war?  This was the place.

Going further north is the Province of Lanao del Sur.  I say this place is mystical and deserves a lot more of my time to examine and experience its quiet charm.  But all I had was a quick glimpse.  Too bad I didn’t even see the lake.

Lanao del Sur borders Lanao del Norte to the north, Bukidnon to the east, and Maguindanao and Cotabato to the south. To the southwest lies Illana Bay, an arm of the Moro Gulf. Found in the interior of Lanao del Sur is Lanao Lake, the largest lake in Mindanao, where the Maria Cristina Falls, the largest waterfall in the country is located.  Marawi City, the Islamic City of the Philippines is its capital.  Then there are the quaint little towns of Malabang and Balabagan, where former Supreme Court Justice Jose Abad Santos was killed by the Japanese Imperial Army in 1942.  The national highway linking the two Lanao provinces is named after him.

Going further north is Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte, the last town I guess before finally reaching Tukuran of Zamboanga del Sur.  At past 11 in the morning, we found ourselves taking our lunch at Mang Inasal Chicken house in the newly-opened Gaisano Mall in Pagadian City.

That was a long and tiresome travel.  Bt it was neveretheless priceless.  Most people who have lived in Mindanao all their lives have never ever tried to take this road less travel, literally.  I was glad that this trip went well and ended without incident.  Although I felt exhilarated by the scenic Illana Bay and the coastal towns surrounding the Moro gulf, by the wonderful tunnel that cuts across a hill, by the Muslim children playing and walking in their traditional garb, by the surprisingly new and wide roads that looked like it was only built yesterday, the feeling of fear and the thought of mishap never left me. 

Roads are supposed to connect people and ideas, promote exchange of culture and trade, and become avenues for communication.  I hope that the road that leads to Pagadian City, from this southern city in South Cotabato (and all other road networks in Mindanao) will serve as our people’s expressway for peace, prosperity and development.