Free text for Eastern Visayas and Northern Cebu mobile users
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To help communities severely affected by Super Typhoon Yolanda, the country’s three mobile phone operators—SMART Communications, Globe Telecom, and Sun Cellular—have agreed to provide 25 free SMS per day for five days that may be used for local and international text messages.
The joint offer will be available to subscribers in Tacloban City and the provinces of Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Leyte, northern Cebu and the Samar.

“This is a time for Filipinos to come together and help our countrymen in their hour of great need. This joint effort will help Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk ‘N Text subscribers in the typhoon-struck areas to communicate with their loved ones at home and abroad,” said Charles A. Lim, executive vice president of SMART and chief operating officer of Digital Mobile Philippines.

“This free service is open to all Globe Postpaid, Globe Prepaid, and TM subs in these Eastern Visayas provinces. This is the company’s way of giving assistance to our customers who are suffering from the typhoon’s onslaught and who need to reach out to their family and friends in the country and abroad,” said Peter Bithos, Chief Operating Advisor for Globe Consumer Business Group.

The free 25 daily SMS bundles are available from November 13 to 17, 2013 and can be used to send text messages across all networks. There is also an allocation for international SMS. It will be pushed automatically to subscribers at the start of each day. Subscribers will receive SMS notifications once the bundles are sent. No registration is required.
The three operators came to this unprecedented agreement in response to the extreme devastation caused by the super typhoon. They are also working to restore their respective services and assist emergency relief activities of the government and humanitarian agencies.

Smart logo

To augment the existing Libreng Tawag services in several typhoon-hit areas in the Visayas, Smart Communications, Inc. is providing free all-network and International SMS bundle to Smart, Sun and Talk ‘N Text subscribers.
The free SMS bundle, comprised of 25 all-net text and three international text messages will automatically be available daily for five days beginning midnight of November 13, 2013 for both postpaid and prepaid subscribers. The service does not require any registration.
The offer is initially available in hard-hit areas Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Leyte, Northern Cebu, Palawan and Samar, where an estimated five million subscriber base stands to benefit.
Restoration of network facilities in these areas commenced immediately in the aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda in order to provide vital communication services to the various institutional partners and local government units involved in coordinating post-disaster response efforts. As of November 12, 82% of the network has been restored.

Libreng Tawag stations continue to operate in the following areas:
• PNP Headquarters, Tacloban City, Leyte
• PLDT Office, Jones St., Tacloban City, Leyte
• DSWD booth, Tacloban City Hall
• Smart cellsite near VNG Subdivision, Tacloban City, Leyte
• Municipal Hall, Palo, Leyte
• Smart Store, Ormoc City, Leyte (with free mobile phone charging)
• Ormoc City Plaza, Ormoc City, Leyte
• Ormoc Airport, Ormoc City, Leyte
• Municipal Hall, San Francisco, Camotes Island, Cebu
• Cebu Cultural Center, Bantayan Island
• Smart cellsite in Sta.Fe, Bantayan Island (with free mobile phone charging)
• Madridejos Municipal Hall, Bantayan Island (with free mobile phone charging)

Charging of mobile handset batteries is also offered free at the Smart cell site facility in Roxas City, Capiz and in Old Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan.

Donations accepted! How to help through private citizens
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I’m compiling a list of smaller groups collecting donations.
Email me if you would like to contribute to this list:

Donate in Eastwood for Leyte
Marisse Joson is accepting donations in kind at 17L, Michaelangelo Wing, Eastwood Palazzo, Eastwood City.
They are hoping to receive bottled water, easy to open canned food, and clothing (particularly clothing for children and babies).
Donations will be accepted until 10 AM Wednesday (November 13)—at which time a truck will arrive to pick-up to deliver goods to Ka Eskwela’s head office at 581 Wack Wack Road, Shaw Boulevard, Mandaluyong.
Ka Eskwela is helping their partner organization, Backpackers, which will target Barangays Balugo 1, 2 and Lawis, Leyte. These areas have not yet been reached by relief operations. Backpackers will travel there this weekend (Manila-Cebu via plane and Cebu-Ormoc, Leyte via boat).
Please direct inquiries to Marisse at (0927)608-4048. Should you have donations for pickup along Katipunan please text (0917)515-8858 for arrangements.

Donate in Greenhills for Ormoc
Paula Bondoc is collecting relief goods to fill up a C130 plane leaving on Saturday (November 16).
The relief goods will go to Ormoc and neighboring towns.
Drop off at 2 Nevada Street, Northeast Greenhills

Donate in Pasay City for Coron, Palawan
They mostly need food.
Drop off at the domestic airport c/o CM Aero services or Milgom
Delta Gate, Domestic Road, Pasay City
Contact Joy at (0917)847-1156 or Fel at (02) 852-1049.
If donating items other than food, please contact Gail Miller ‪at (0917) 831-3674‬

Eat and donate through Underground Supper Club
Special pop-up dinner at Cova this November 19. Php 3,500 per head.
100% of profits will go to the Philippine Red Cross.
To reserve, text (0927) 574-2727 or email:
Follow @ugsupperclub on Instagram


Commercial muna! Get rewards with BDO Rewards Program
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Consumers always appreciate something in return for their loyalty. I know I do.
That’s why rewards programs were created. But sure, it can get frustrating when companies make it difficult for consumers to get their points.
With this in mind, BDO has come up with the BDO Rewards Program, which rewards clients for purchases, bank transactions and for simply maintaining a minimum balance.
You’ll get points for purchases and bank transactions like deposits, online bills payments, and other things you’d normally use a bank for anyway.
Because BDO belongs to the SM Group, rewards may be earned and used, though not exclusively as there are other partner outlets, at all SM establishments.
This is probably the only bank rewards card with the broadest coverage.

BDO flier

You are qualified for the program if you have any of the following:
• a personal peso, dollar savings, or checking account with an average daily balance of P50,000 or $1,000
• a BDO credit card
• an auto or home loan linked to a BDO savings or checking account

The BDO Rewards Program is multi-level, which means that the more your earn, the higher the level you will be in. The more transactions you do, the more perks and privileges you get.
It’s 5,000 points and below for the Emerald Card, 5,000 to 9,999 points for Sapphire and 10,000 points and above or more for Diamond.

How easy is it to get points?
Earn four points every time you gas up worth Php 1,000 at any Shell Station using your BDO card.
Pay your bill through BDO online banking, phone banking or ATM and earn five points for every Php 1,000 or $25 paid.
Maintain at least Php 50,000 in your personal checking or savings account every month and earn at least 10 points.
Because the SM Group has so many brands and partner-establishments, there are so many ways to earn points.

Now, here’s the best part. What do you get with your points?
The BDO Rewards card works like a cash card which stores your points. One point is equal to one peso. Members may redeem points to pay for purchases at any SM Department Store, SM Supermarket, SM Hypermarts, SM Appliances, SM Cinema, IMAX Theaters and other SM retail establishments.

To know more about BDO Rewards Program, click HERE.

UNICEF steps up emergency response for children
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UNICEF is rushing emergency supplies to areas of the Philippines ravaged by Super Typhoon Yolanda on November 8, as the latest estimates indicate that up to 4 million children could now be affected by the disaster.
Therapeutic food for children, health kits, water and hygiene kits to support up to 3,000 families in the affected areas have already been mobilized from supplies available in the country, with distribution prioritized for the Tacloban area as soon as access is possible.


“We are rushing to get critical supplies to children who are bearing the brunt of this crisis,” said UNICEF Philippines Representative Tomoo Hozumi. “Reaching the worst affected areas is very difficult, with limited access due to the damage caused by the typhoon to infrastructure and communications. But we are working around the clock to find ways to get these supplies to children as quickly as conditions allow.”

UNICEF’s warehouse in Copenhagen is airlifting US$1.3 million worth of additional supplies for another 10,000 families, including those affected by the recent earthquake in Bohol. The shipments contain water purification tablets, soap, medical kits, tarpaulins, and micronutrient supplements.
Children who have escaped the terrible damage of Haiyan still need urgent assistance to survive the aftermath of the storm. Particular concerns include health, due to the impact of the typhoon on water supply and sanitation systems. Children also need safe and protected spaces to be able to play and resume studying while adults work to recover their homes and livelihoods.