Smart launches GIGA Arena as first all-in-one esports platform for PH mobile gamers
March 7, 2022 3:44 p.m.
As a huge step in enabling Filipinos to pursue their passion in mobile gaming, Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) has launched GIGA Arena, the country’s first all-in-one esports platform that aims to simply bring the total esports experience at the fingertips of Filipino mobile gamers.
Open to all Smart and TNT customers, GIGA Arena lets users match up with fellow players to compete in daily, weekly, and monthly tournaments on gigaarena.smart for prestige and cash prizes. Registration starts on March 9.
For its launch, GIGA Arena features four most popular mobile games in the country, such as Mobile Legends: Bang Bang, League of Legends: Wild Rift, Call of Duty Mobile (CODM), and PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds Mobile (PUBGM).
Aside from enabling users to compete in live tournaments, the all-in-one platform also comes with innovative features that allow mobile gamers to set-up tournaments, stream live competitions, play arcade games, purchase e-load, and conveniently link their e-wallet to secure their tournament winnings via GigaPay with PayMaya, among others.
To power the platform, Smart has partnered with global esports company LEET Entertainment. Smart also marks its five years of partnership with mobile game developer Moonton as it includes Mobile Legends: Bang Bang among its featured mobile games.
Training ground to greatness
Envisioned as a training ground for greatness, GIGA Arena comes amid the rise in the number of Filipino mobile gamers who want to level up their skills and enhance their gameplay.
“Through GIGA Arena, we are giving mobile gamers a venue to showcase their skills and talents, which many of them devote time and effort to hone. This is aligned with our commitment to enable our subscribers to pursue their passions and live the Giga Life,” said Jane J. Basas, SVP and Head of Consumer Wireless Business at Smart.
“We have designed GIGA Arena to be as dynamic as the esports scene, so our subscribers can expect more innovative features aimed at delivering the best mobile gaming experience,” she added.
To access GIGA Arena, subscribers can go to gigaarena.smart and create an account using their Smart or TNT mobile number. To join ongoing tournaments, users need to use ‘tickets,’ which they can earn and accumulate every time they register to GIGA Games data packs.
Enhanced GIGA Games
In time for the launch of GIGA Arena, Smart has also announced the enhanced GIGA Games, which now includes data for PUBGM, on top of Mobile Legends and Facebook Gaming.
Smart and TNT subscribers can conveniently register to GIGA Games via the GigaLife App, which is available on the Apple App Store, Google Play Store, and Huawei Mobile Services. Customers may also avail of GIGA Games by dialing *123#.
Patron of esports in PH
Giga Arena is the latest in Smart’s efforts to provide the best mobile gaming experience to Filipinos through innovative services, strategic partnerships with leading game creators and tournament organizers, and network improvements and rollouts across the country.
Among leagues Smart has supported over the years are: The Nationals, the country’s first franchise-based esports league; all-female esports league Liga Adarna; and Mobile Legends: Bang Bang Pro League tournaments, along with many other esports programs and tournaments from the grassroots to the pro levels.
Smart has also been a big supporter of Sibol, the Philippine national esports team, its own PLDT-Smart Omega esports team, and many other esports players and mobile gaming content creators. Smart is also a founding and active member of the Philippine Esports Organization (PESO), the country’s National Sports Association for E-Sports.
Philippines’ fastest 5G mobile network
GIGA Arena is powered by Smart, the fastest 5G network in the Philippines as reported by Ookla®, the global leader in mobile and broadband intelligence.
Ookla recently declared Smart as the country’s fastest 5G mobile network and the winner of its Speedtest Awards for Q3-Q4 2021 with a Speed Score of 201.95, while its closest competitor posted a Speed Score of 116.08.
To bag this award, Smart posted a median download speed of 218.82 Mbps and a median upload speed of 22.46 Mbps, while its closest competitor posted a median download speed of 116.92 Mbps and a median upload speed of 10.81 Mbps.
To know more about GIGA Arena, visit gigaarena.smart and follow Smart’s official accounts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.
Atayde bats for moratorium on student loan payments during emergencies, calamities
March 17, 2023 9:00 p.m.
STUDENTS won’t have to worry paying their loans during times of calamities and emergencies, as Quezon City first district Congressman Juan Carlos “Arjo” Atayde has introduced a moratorium on the payment of student loans administered by higher educational institutions (HEIs).
The House Bill 7279, which Atayde filed last Feb. 21, headed into its first reading six days later in the Committee on Higher and Technical Education, chaired by Baguio City Rep. Mark O. Go.
He said the bill — once it turns to a law — will halt the payment of all the fees, charges, and costs relating to student loans and technical-vocational training institutions (TVIs) or by the Unified Student Financial Assistance System for Tertiary Education (UNIFAST) during emergencies.
It will cover all students residing in areas declared to be under a state of calamity or emergency — those who are enrolled in state universities and colleges (SUCs), local universities and colleges (LUCs), private HEIs, and public and private TVIs.
“We have to find a way to help our students and their families, when natural or even these man-made calamities hit them hard. We just have to make everything easy for them including a moratorium on the payment of student loans,” Atayde said. “It is a burden on a student and their family especially in difficult times like aftermath of typhoon, fire and earthquakes, among other disasters.”
“In the order of spending, student loans will be their least priority since spending will go mostly to basic necessities for survival,” Atayde added.
The moratorium shall be effective for the duration of the state of calamity or emergency and for 30 days after its lifting. No penalties shall be collected on the deferred payments.
“To provide adequate relief and protection to our students in times of calamities and emergencies, this measure shall allow the deferral of student loan collections for a reasonable period during and after the onset of disasters.”
The Quezon City lawmaker cited also the availability of the moratorium, which shall not adversely affect the status of the students concerned with regard to their eligibility for re-enrollment on the succeeding semesters or terms, or their eligibility for graduation.
“The proposed legislation doesn’t prevent public and private HEIs from implementing more favorable forms of payment relief or assistance to students affected by disasters, prohibiting students from voluntarily waiving the moratorium on student loan payments, or availing subsidies and assistance from the government,” Atayde concluded.
ShopeePay now available as a payment method for App Store, other Apple services in PH
March 16, 2023 1:59 p.m.
Beginning today, ShopeePay, Shopee’s integrated mobile wallet, is now available as a payment method for Apple services in the Philippines. Customers can use their ShopeePay account to pay for App Store, Apple Music, Apple TV app, and iTunes Store purchases, iCloud storage and more.
The addition of ShopeePay as an Apple ID payment method offers a new way to pay for Apple services without needing a credit card and still allows for easy, secure one-tap purchasing from Apple products including iPhone, iPad and Mac.
Customers can manage their Apple ID payment information in Settings on iPhone and iPad, or on their Mac or PC.
Agatha Soh, Director at ShopeePay commented, “ShopeePay is committed to meeting the needs of users who are increasingly expecting seamless payments across all platforms. We are excited to offer ShopeePay as a convenient payment option for our customers, and expand access to digital payments, benefitting more users.”
For more information on how to add ShopeePay as a payment method, please visit https://support.apple.com/en-us/HT201266 or https://shopee.ph/m/ShopeePay-Apple-ID-PH.
Be bolder, braver, more confident at SM Supermalls’ Women’s Month celebration!
March 8, 2023, 8:30 p.m.
Ladies, take center stage as SM celebrates Women Power throughout the month of March. Lots of activities both online and on-ground are in store to empower women and girls all over the country.
Join the Future of Women Global Summit
SM Supermalls will be joining UN Women in kicking off the IWD 2023 celebration through a women’s summit on March 8, at the SM Aura Premier Samsung Hall. Focusing on the future of women in ICT, the two-part event will gather young women, country leaders, policy makers, and advocates together to share perspectives and affirm their commitment to supporting digital equality for women and girls.
Photo courtesy of SM City Lucena
Photo courtesy of SM City San Jose del Monte
Support your local Womenpreneurs
Great finds for ladies are on sale at the SM Womenpreneur Market! This pop-up of small and medium businesses owned by women for women will give you everything you need from food and beauty to wellness and fashion!
Wednesdays are for women!
Shopping on Wednesdays has become even more tempting because the Women’s Wednesday Sale is back! Achieve the glow-up you deserve with special discounts, deals, and promos on fashion, beauty, and fitness exclusively for women every Wednesday of March. So don’t hold back on your shopping; you deserve all these and more!
A beautiful treat of wellness all for you
Forda glow-up and pampering sesh tayo this month because lots of self-care deals are available at the Women’s Wellness Sale. Avail of great deals from wellness salons on facials, hair and body treatments, nail care, and massage from March 1 to March 31.
And more deals online!
Special deals are up for women via the SM Malls Online app. Get the best brand offerings every Wednesday from shoes and beauty and wellness to home and hobbies. Use the code WOMEN and get an extra 10% off, capped at 250. What’s great is that there’s no minimum purchase required!
Also, a collection of brand vouchers will be sent to all women SM Malls Online shoppers valid all month. Wait for your Beauty Pass and give yourself the retail therapy you deserve with tons of discounts, GWP deals, samplers, in-store pick up bonuses, and mystery boxes!
Plus, the SM Malls Online app will be hosting self-care sessions online. Follow SM Supermalls on social media to get a dose of starter packages, Get-Ready-With-Me routines, and beauty products that your favorite beauty experts swear by.
Photo courtesy of SM City East Ortigas
Photo courtesy of SM City Manila
Celebrate Women Power on IG!
Capture the beauty and power of women at the beautiful spots and installations all over SM. Be free to express your own uniqueness and creativity in the specially-designed selfie spaces in partnership with Selfie Studio. Don’t forget to tag us on IG!
We don’t know about you but exciting days await every SM woman. So be bolder, braver, and more confident! With these activities, you can confidently step forward in fashion, beauty, wellness, and express yourselves to make a positive impact.
Stay updated on all things women this IWD 2023 by visiting www.smsupermalls.com and following @smsupermalls on social media.