Technology: Cable company brings TV channels to mobile devices

Posted on July 23, 2013

CABLE channel provider Cignal Digital TV launched yesterday what it calls an over-the-top (OTT) technology application that allows smartphone and tab users to watch real-time broadcast feeds using the Internet.

Cignal Digital TV’s TV-to-go service, which the company touted as the first linear streaming technology available in the Philippines, allows the delivery of broadcast content over the Internet to multi-screen mobile receivers such as smartphones and tabs.

The application is a value-added service to existing Cignal TV accounts.

“The experience is best if you have LTE or a high-speed broadband connection,” said Head of Marketing for Cignal Guido R. Zaballero. The application can also be accessed using 3G signal.

Mr. Zaballero said, “since this Cignal TV-to-go is currently on its beta phase, the service will initially be available on mobile devices that run on the Android Jelly Bean operating system.”

“We also tested it on iOS, it also works, but it’s a matter of coordinating it with Apple to get it up and running,” Mr. Zaballero added.

The beta phase of the service is a trial that will run for up to two months. Subscribers can use the application for free for the duration of the trial.

According to Cignal Managing Director and Chief Operating Officer Annie P. Naval, Cignal is eyeing to offer a catch-up feature in addition to the linear streaming that is offered by TV-to-go.

A catch-up application lets the viewer to watch recorded television show and can pause, play, or stop the show while watching it through the Internet.

OTT technology was pegged by several experts as a future worldwide trend in multimedia viewing in BroadcastAsia 2013, a conference joined by broadcast media practitioners, held in Singapore last June, according to a release.

The TV-to-go is currently being offered to Cignal Digital TV subscribers and Smart postpaid subscribers who have Android devices.

The Application is available for download at Google Play App store or at Cignal Digital TV’s Web site.

Cignal TV-to-go users can watch television channels via Internet that are part of their subscription to the cable provider.

Cignal Digital TV recorded 500,000 subscribers as of the end of June.

Cignal is owned and operated by MediaScape Inc., a subsidiary of MediaQuest Holdings, the media partner of the PLDT Group of Companies. — Ma. Soccoro D. Villamor

Corporate News: PLDT on track to hit profit target for the year, Nazareno says

Posted on August 02, 2013

PHILIPPINE Long Distance Telephone Co. (PLDT) is on track to hit its profit target for this year as it launches an improved broadband service in a bid to cement market dominance.

When asked about the company’s financial prospects, PLDT President Napoleon L. Nazareno told reporters: “Overall, we are back on a growth path for both top line and bottom line. On guidance figure, we are on track,”

Mr. Nazareno made the statement ahead of the company’s announcement on Aug. 7 of its financial performance for the second-quarter period.

PLDT’s net income for the first quarter dropped by 8% to P9.2 billion this year from P9.9 billion last year. The drop was mainly due to losses on foreign exchange, officials said.

Its core net income went up 2.7% to P38.3 billion during the first three months of 2013.

The company earlier said it is expecting its core profit to increase 2.7% to P38.3 billion this year, from last year’s record of P37.3 billion.


PLDT Home Business Head Ariel P. Fermin said they are eyeing to get up to 30,000 subscribers from the current record of over 10,000 subscribers before the end of this year as the company launches new features for its Fibr broadband Internet service to home subscribers.

“Fibr will further solidify PLDT’s market dominance as it works to reach its P38 billion core income target this year,” Mr. Fermin told reporters.

PLDT said the broadband service is currently available in over 600 subdivisions in key cities nationwide like Forbes Park, Dasmariñas Village, Ayala Alabang, Greenhills, Valle Verde, White Plains, and Green Meadows in Metro Manila; Cebu Royale Estate and Beverly Hills in Cebu; and Don Lorenzo in Davao.

The company aims to expand its coverage to 700 subdivisions by the end of 2013.

Mr. Fermin said Fibr broadband now offers Cignal digital TV that allows subscribers to enjoy high-definition TV channels at home using the broadband Internet service.

“This new partnership with Cignal is proof of PLDT’s culture of innovation as we commit to provide Filipino families with only the best telecommunication and digital entertainment services,” Mr. Fermin said.

He said current PLDT Home Internet subscribers only need to upgrade to a “triple play package,” which includes broadband, landline, and Cignal digital TV. PLDT said the Fibr triple play package gives subscribers the convenience of having all three services under one account, allowing subscribers to connect up to three TV sets when they avail of the triple play package.

“Truly, Fibr is PLDT Home’s most powerful broadband as it only delivers powerful, dedicated connection to the home but also allows subscribers to watch movies on Clickplay and watch Cignal Digital TV simultaneously,” PLDT said in a statement.

Mr. Fermin said they are expecting to further expand their coverage and reach the mainstream market with the Fibr broadband service at around 2015- 2016.

Earlier this year, PLDT launched Clickplay movies-on-demand. It is an application that lets the subscribers download movies from the application’s database and a dual core PLDT Telpad that merges the functions of a landline phone and a tab in one device.

Cignal Digital TV recorded 500,000 subscribers as of the end of June.

Cignal is owned and operated by MediaScape Inc., a subsidiary of MediaQuest Holdings, the media partner of the PLDT Group of Companies.

Hastings Holdings, Inc., a unit of PLDT Beneficial Trust Fund subsidiary MediaQuest Holdings, Inc., has a minority stake in BusinessWorld. — Ma. Soccoro D. Villamor and Jeffrey O. Valisno

Corporate News: Emirates seeks to hike fuel surcharge rates

Posted on August 02, 2013

INTERNATIONAL carrier Emirates have asked the approval of regulators for a planned increase in its fuel surcharge rates.

The Dubai-based airline asked the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB) to allow them to impose up to 11.67% higher fuel surcharges on international passenger tickets, a bulletin published on a newspaper yesterday showed.

Emirates said it wanted to impose a $150 surcharge from the existing $140 per passenger for one-way economy class flights to Middle East, and to countries like Bahrain, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and United Arab Emirates.

The airline also wants to increase the surcharge to $295 from $270 for passengers for one-way business class flights to the same routes.

The airline also said it wanted to impose higher surcharges on its one-way flights to Europe and Africa. It wants to raise the fuel surcharge to $165 from $155 per person for economy class passengers, and $325 from $300 per person for business class passengers.

The airline also wants to impose higher surcharge on its one-way flights to North America and South America. It plans to raise the surcharge to $170 from $155 per person for the economy class and $335 from $300 per person for the business class.

Fuel surcharges are included in the ticket prices. It allows the carriers to cover the cost of rising jet fuel prices.

The hearing for Emirates’ petition has been set on Aug. 13 at the CAB office located on Old MIA Road, Pasay City.

Data from the International Air Transport Association’s Jet Fuel Price Monitor showed that global jet fuel prices have risen 2.1% to $122.3 per barrel as of July 26 from the same period last year.

Emirates is the largest airline in the Middle East, operating over 3,000 flights per week from its hub at Dubai International Airport, to more than 130 cities in 77 countries across six continents.

The airline ranks among the top 10 carriers worldwide in terms of revenue and passenger kilometers. — Ma. Soccoro D. Villamor

Economy: Dual airport scheme pushed

Posted on July 18, 2013

LEADERS of local and foreign business groups signed a declaration yesterday, reiterating their call to make Clark International Airport (CIA) an alternative facility to the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

“We welcome the Philippine government’s declaration of keen interest in pursuing the dual airport system to support air connectivity throughout the island of Luzon and the country,” the declaration read.

CIA stakeholders in the document also lauded the approval of the interim terminal, with a planned capacity of 2.5 million passengers, and the budget terminal, with a projected capacity of 10 million passengers, for the airport, in line with the Department of Tourism’s target of 10 million tourist arrivals by 2016.

The signatories to the dual airport declaration document were:

• Jeff Pradhan, Global Gateway Logistics City vice-president of sales and marketing;

• Marianne Hontiveros, AirAsia Philippines CEO;

• Capt. Benjamin Solis, Asia Foundation air transport advisor;

• Rene Banzon, Clark Investors and Locators Association president and SIA Engineering deputy general manager;

• Stephen Ly, DHL Global Forwarding (Phils.) Inc. managing director;

• Mitchi Kaye Otsuru, Hotels and Restaurants in Pampanga president;

• Francis Lopez , Intercommerce Network Services, Inc. president and CEO;

• David Nelson, Jamco Philippines president;

• Mario “Tito” Lazatin, Metro Angeles Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Inc. president;

• Raoul Perez, Philippine Academy for Aviation Training general manager;

• Crisanto Frianeza, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry secretary-general;

• Sergio Ortiz-Luis, Jr., Philippine Exporters Confederation president;

• Crisanto Venzon, Philippine Exporters Confederation — Region 3 president;

• Abdallah Okasha, Qatar Airways Philippines country manager/director;

• Reimond Silvestre, Subic Bay International Terminal Corp. general manager;

• Arnel Gamboa, Supply Chain Management Association of the Philippines president;

• Olive Collantes-Ramos, TigerAir Philippines CEO;

• Angelito Colona, United Portusers Confederation president; and,

• Alexander Feldman, US-ASEAN Business Council, Inc. president.

The ceremonial signing of the declaration is a follow-up initiative to the Clark Aviation Conference that was held in February.

According to a release, the call to make the CIA the second international gateway, complementing NAIA, and the fast-tracking of the airport’s infrastructure development to accommodate the rapidly increasing passenger, carrier and cargo growth were top priorities.

When asked about the possible construction of a budget terminal beside NAIA Terminal 3 and its possible effect on the approval of the development of CIA, AirAsia Philippines’ Hontiveros said, “I don’t think it’s an ‘either-or’; these have to go simultaneously. They also have to address the terminals issue in NAIA, so I don’t see that it’s just one or the other, Clark terminal or NAIA terminal. They both have to happen, and all these problems have to be solved.”

The stakeholders are hopeful that the addition of more international flights will reinforce their efforts to make the CIA an alternative to NAIA.

Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways are poised to fly daily flights to CIA.

Emirates flights will start on Oct. 1, and Qatar flights will start Oct. 28.

Clark International Airport Corp. recorded passenger growth of 63% for the first quarter of 2013 compared with the same period last year. — Ma. Soccoro Villamor

Architect Jose Carlo Mateo: A Life of Creating the Perfect Built-Environment

Publication: Pillar Magazine

Issue Date: Volume 7, February – May 2014

Section: The Professionals


For Jose Carlo Mateo, the love he has for his job started when he was in the University when he was juggling presentations, classes and partying with friends all at the same time. He became a registered professional architect two years after his graduation in 2004 from the University of Sto. Tomas. He landed his first job at Group3 Design Studio where he apprenticed under its founding partner, the late Mr. Julio Niosco working on projects for multinational clients like Convergys and Citibank for corporate interior architecture. After his stint at Group3, he landed a job as a Production Manager at the MANA Architecture + Interior Design.


Carlo feels most proud of this project he did years ago, which also happens to be his first venture. The project was an office building along E. Rodriguez Avenue. What made this project special to him is the sense of fulfilment he felt and the fact that people still notice this particular project in his portfolio until now.


A second generation architect, Carlo describes his father as his permanent mentor. “I still had a lot of direction from my mentor, but this was the first time he made me feel like an architect at the jobsite”, Carlo said. “Observing my father’s practice, I learned very early on about the fulfilment of having a permanent testament to the product of your imagination,” answered Carlo when asked for the reasons in choosing architecture as a career.


Carlo said that his clients are also some of the people who usually inspire him. Whenever he meets them for a project, he tries to “squeeze a vision out of the meeting of the minds.” However, if he really had to drop a name in the industry that influences him, it will be Lord Norman Foster of London.



He has a Diploma on Applied Project Management from the Ateneo Graduate School, which has a joint program with the project Management Institute, one of the world’s leading professional association for project managers.


Carlo’s leadership is recognized for spearheading the transition of principal architects’ practice from the Orlando M. Mateo (OMM) + Associates to become MANA Architecture + Interior Design that it is today. He did his apprenticeship with Orlando M. Mateo (OMM) + Associates as a Technical Staff/ Jr. Architect and is currently a member of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) Quezon City chapter. Carlo is an experienced architect with local and foreign projects in his portfolio including ventures in Singapore, China, India, and Indonesia.


The Mateos is a family of six, four of which architects: the patriarch Orlando Mateo, the eldest son Marco Antonio, the younger daughter Bianca Isabel, and the youngest son Jose Carlo.  Carlo said that the smart one, the only one who did not follow the footsteps of their father, is his other older sister, Lara Teresa who chose to be a teacher.


It is also with his family that he had the most adventure in a project. He designed a very modest weekend house for his then girlfriend, now wife Amy. The adventure went as he wrestled with himself as the designer who wanted a quality forward thinking design, and as the 23-year-old owner who barely had resources to spend; the adventure continued as he proposed to Amy to marry him right at the day of the blessing of their weekend house. The adventure goes on as they continue to enjoy the modest but contemporary architecture that is their weekend escape. Carlo and Amy are now married for five years. Both of them studied architecture in UST. Carlo fondly recounts how Amy and he had been together since day one of college, in sickness and in health, with design plates for school or with none. To this day, they work together in their firm. “I remember at the end of the day, Amy and I would talk a lot about how each of our days went. Good times!”


It is also Carlo’s fervour to support a charitable institution especially the Hospicio de San Jose where the nuns raised

his own mother. “When we feel very strongly about the social relevance of a project, the impact we can make to the

community give us enough fulfilment more than money can buy.”


Together with MANA, Carlo had done a number of projects for the Catholic Church and had been donating a chunk of

their services for health-care projects.


What can you say about the architectural trends in the


In the Philippines, cost is the biggest challenge. There are so many great designers, but when cost becomes a hurdle, it gets the better of them, which results in downgrading of the design. So the key is coming up with a design that adds value, a design that validates its costs, expensive as it may be.


What about the trends worldwide?

Trends, I believe, should be responsive to the local context, geographical, environmental and social context. Those

[architects] who are successful in responding to these contexts while satisfying the client’s needs and desires are those who prosper in the international architectural community.



Carlo is currently the Managing Partner at MANA Architecture + Interior Design. MANA’s vision as a company is to become one of the Top 10 Design Firms in the country by 2020 in terms of delivering positive impact to built environment and enriching the lives of those who live in it.

As of Carlo’s plans for the future, he is in the process of creating “a strategic professional alliance”. He plans to work with engineers and interior designers from Iloilo and other areas in the Visayas region and in Mindanao. Carlo believes that there are many talents outside Metro Manila, and together they can expand the horizon of their work.

As of the man’s idea of dream projects, Carlo wants to build a school designed to foster alternative, more fun and

more effective ways of learning and teaching. He added that a housing project is also on his list, one that focuses not

only in creating pigeon holes for people to retire to at the end of each day, but one that studies the complexities of

communal living. He wants to create a built environment that encourages everyone to be considerate of others.

Mr. Carlo’s words when he talks about architecture sounds like they were lifted directly from the metaphorical bible of

architecture and design. He talks with such love and passion for the art he had chosen that even the most uncreative

person would want to dive in and join the design movement. To him, there is more to architecture that surpasses the mere design and construction of a place: to him it is to build a life.


To quote Arch. Jose Carlo Mateo, “Architecture affects human life immensely. The environment we live in is manmade.

Where we live, eat, play, study, work, commute, and even where we find quality time with our friends, family and

loved ones, are all built environment – once conceived and conceptualized. The question is, how much careful thinking was involved in coming up with our built environment. So I ache for the time to come when people demand for the right architect to design their built environment.”


The Inheritance of Arts and Construction

MANA Architecture + Interior Design


MANA Architecture+Interior Design managing partner Jose Carlo Mateo explains the story behind the firm’s name. The

label originally came from the Filipino word mana, meaning inheritance. “We are a family of architects. My father and our principal is our leader. My elder brother and elder sister are also architects, so are our spouses.  MANA may also mean blessing or power (when spelled manna). We all feel so blessed to practice architecture and do what we love,” he said.


The Architecture firm sprung from the beginnings of Orlando M. Mateo (OMM) + Associates, that was established by MANA’s current principal architect, Orlando M. Mateo. In 2007, Orlando M. Mateo (OMM) + Associates became MANA

Architecture+Interior Design.


The firm is looking to be fifteen men strong by the end of February this year. With the expansion they are planning locally before the year ends, they are expecting to reel in ten more talents for the company.


What services are the specialties of MANA

Architecture+Interior Design?

We have three main categories of services:

First, our Architectural and Engineering (A&E) design services that we cater to our local projects. We have a suite of specialty design services that include hospitality design, health-care planning & design, and master planning that complements our A&E design as the project may require.

The second category of our services is Detailed Design Development. We partner with other international design firms and collaborate with them by developing their conceptual ideas and turning them into tender ready detailed designs.

The third category is Project Management (PM). We assist our clients in planning the activities of the project from as early as pre-design stages. We assist in bid administration and in project implementation. One thing that clients appreciate from our PM services is that we keep them, the client, ready to perform their obligations to the project.


Who is your most celebrated associate?

The most celebrated key person in our team has to be our principal, Architect Orlando “Orly” Mateo. He has almost

five decades of experience and his designs have shaped the most significant structures in the country.


What are the awards your company received since

its establishment?

Our first winning design is for the architecture of the Bacolod Government Center.


Another award is for second place for the Ninoy Aquino Museum Design Competition where we overtook Palafox and we were second only to Guerrero-Nazareno . All three of us who made the finals, gave a good show.


Who are your biggest clients to date?

Our biggest client would have to be Foodsphere, Inc. (CDO), an industry leader in the food business. We did their corporate headquarters building as well as their corporate interiors.

We are also designing for the land developments of Aldevinco. Both CDO and Aldevinco have been repeat clients for a long while now. We are also currently doing the design for a beachfront boutique hotel in Boracay and a master planned park and commercial building in Iloilo – both for a client we can’t disclose due to the competition in

their industry.


What are the roles of various personalities and entities in

your company?

We are multi-disciplinary. We have architectural and engineering designers, project managers, estimators, renderers. Exceptional projects do not just happen. It is the result of exceptional forethought, insight and vision. And we arrive at it through the collective wisdom derived from our team of talented experienced and youthful individuals.


Would MANA collaborate with other companies?

For complex projects, we do collaborate with other experts. Recently, we worked with Singapore’s Architrave for a Banyan Tree in Huangshan, China. We are currently working with TID of Singapore for a Shangri-la hotel interiors in Sri Lanka. We are the Architect of Record (AOR) for the Paragon entertainment hub set in Ortigas’ Capitol Commons. For this project, we are collaborating with an American firm, RTKL.


What are the short and long term goals of your company?

For the short term, our goal within the year is to set up our Iloilo office by the end of 2014 to cater to the Visayas region. After that, we have measurable targets to develop managers from within our organization which is all in our three year plan. For the long term, we are focused in having designed as much built environment that are socially relevant and that impact the lives of the Filipino in a positive way.


What was the most bizarre project you did as a collective?

A house with a slide! This one is yet to be constructed as it’s still in the design stage. Some designers may think of

convincing the client that a slide may be a whim that can easily be grown out of. The next designer may give the client literally what they want and design a slide inside the house like that of what is used in children’s playgrounds. We take this to the next level by satisfying the client’s eccentric desire for a slide, but by doing so with a structure that lets you slide, but won’t look like a childish whim. It’s going to look like it’s an integral and deliberate part of the structure. The idea is to make it look timeless, challenging, but we are up for it!


As a company, what’s your mission?

Architects on a mission. To plan, design and develop socially relevant architectural projects with high impact to the

community, enriching lives of those it touch. To deliver fully integrated and customized building design solutions that

exceeds the expectations of our clients. To provide exciting opportunities that enables the design team to realize their

potentials and bring the clients in the forefront of their respective practice, governance, trade or industry.


And vision?

MANA shall become one of the Top Ten Design Firms in the country by 2020 in terms of delivering positive impact to built environment and enriching the lives of those who live in it.


At least how much should a client prepare

if they want to work with MANA Architecture+Interior Design?

“Design Adds Value”. Our clients prepare as much as the value they expect from our designs.


What kind of detail is unique to a design from MANA

Architecture+Interior Design?

We refrain from imposing a set of stylistic mannerism to our clients. We prefer to see our designs as client-centric. That is our signature design. Instead of seeing the same old unique detail that is used from one project to the next, our brand of architecture is guaranteed to be uniquely responsive to the clients’ needs and wishes, responsive to the project’s business plans if any, as well as responsive to the project geographic and climatic conditions.


How is MANA Architecture+Interior Design different from

other architecture and interior design firms?

We offer a collective wisdom in architecture that springs from the expertise and decades of experience from our principal, combined with the youthful approach by our managing partner and the rest of our young designers. This is what makes us unique.


I Am Kiki: And Her Faraway Bestfriend


Kakatapos ko lang makipag iyakan sa bestfriend kong nasa Abu Dhabi. I think ito na yung pinaka malungkot na moment namin since lumipat sya sa ibang bansa. Hirap na hirap kasi sya dahil sobrang monster ng boss nya. Okay lang yung evil na boss, okay lang yung masungit na tita, pero yung distansya… iba yun.


Feeling ko yun talaga yung iniiyak namin dito. Kasi kahit noon naman kahit anong problema, kahit gaano kabigat kaya naman namin eh. Kaya namin basta nandito kami para sa isa’t isa.


Kapag ginago nanaman sya ng current boyfriend nya, ang gagawin lang namin; manunuod ng sine, pupunta ng Pampangga, magpapakalunod sa live music at beer, tapos okay na.  Nung one time nga na may boy problem din ako, ang ginawa lang namin nag punta sa SM Marilao tapos nagpakalunod sa kape eh. Basta ang point, safe kami from ourselves basta nandyan yung isa to chase them away.


Ngayon kasi hanggang tweets, DMs, PMs, at skype chat na lang kami. Paano na yung mga nonsense naming tinginan tsaka tawa. Wala naman sa chat nun eh. Pano na yung pagka tanga namin kapag nag rroad trip kami, na-sesend ba yun sa Instagram? E dun pa naman kami gumagaling, kapag sobrang tanga nung isa, natatabunan na yung katangahan nung isa.


River flows in me na ko kanina kakaiyak kasi wala ako magawa para mapasaya yung baby girl ko. Dati kasi magsabi lang yan na umiiyak sya, mag aabsent na ko sa work ko tapos dederetso na kong Balagtas. E paano ngayon? Di ko naman kaya pumuntang Abu Dhabi like now na eh. 

I Am Kiki: Fresh Eyes by Andy Grammer


Ewan ko lang.

Ganon lang ba talaga yun? 

Mas na-gglorify yung ilang bagay dahil di mo sila nakuha?

Parang yung lalaki na minahal mo kaso hindi naging kayo.

May lyrics sa kanta na, “so suddenly I am in love with a stranger”.


Ganon yung kanta tapos bigla mong maaalala yung surge ng feelings n’ong first time mong na-realize na shit “Im in love”.