Xiaomi Redmi 9 is a beast entry-level smartphone at only P6,990

With versatile camera capabilities and exceptional performance, the Xiaomi Redmi 9 is the latest entry-level champion smartphone to grace the Philippines market.

Launched on July 3 for offline purchasing, the Redmi 9 is now available for online purchase via Xiaomi’s official online store and Lazada shop.

The brand-new entry-level smartphone touts major upgrades from its predecessor, including an all-purpose AI quad-camera set up, 6.53’’ FHD+ Dot Drop display, powerful chipset and edgy design.

As the first entry-level Redmi smartphone to feature an all-purpose quad-camera set up, Redmi 9 helps capture life’s special moments. Choose between a quick snap, wide- angle group shot, close-up with stunning details, or beautiful portrait photos, Redmi 9 has you covered. The device also integrates fun and creativity into your photography with premium camera features, including kaleidoscope and palm shutter.

Enjoy better viewing as well with Redmi 9’s bigger and better screen. Featuring a 6.53-inch FHD+ Dot Drop display, Redmi 9 offers an optimal visual experience with crystal-clear detail at your fingertips. It also comes with TÜV Rheinland low blue light certification and Corning Gorilla Glass for on-the-go protection.

The Redmi 9 also sports an optimized MediaTek Helio G80 SoC, delivering a 207 percent improved performance compared to its predecessor. Paired with a 5020mAh (typ) large capacity battery, the Redmi 9 packs the power you need for everyday work and play. It even supports 18W fast charging technology to keep your sideline time to a minimum so you can get back in the game.

It also doesn’t skimp out on style. With more features to love, the Redmi 9 leverages a chic gradient color design on the back and an anti-fingerprint ripple texture. The rear fingerprint sensor is specially designed to sit beside the camera set, and surrounded by a trendy circle design featured on Redmi’s current smartphone lineup. Altogether, this makes Redmi 9 even more comfortable to hold and unlock.

This new offering from Xiaomi also comes with a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an IR blaster, while supporting dual SIM usage and an additional microSD card slot. With Redmi 9, users don’t have to compromise – they can have it all.

Xiaomi Redmi 9 Quick Specs

  • Display: 6.53’’ FHD+ Dot Drop display
  • Rear camera: 13MP wide-angle camera, 8MP ultra wide-angle camera, 118° FOV 5MP macro camera, 2MP depth sensor
  • Front camera: 8MP selfie camera
  • Processor: MediaTek Helio G80 12nm process technology; Oct-core CPU, up to 2.0 GHz
  • Body: Splash-proof nano coating
  • Dimensions: 163.32 x 77.01 x 9.1mm
  • Weight: 198g
  • Network support: Dual 4G standby
  • Connectivity Bluetooth 5.0
  • Operating system: MIUI 11 based on Android 10
  • Variants: 3GB + 32GB, 4GB + 64GB2 (expandable storage up to 512GB)
  • Available colors: Carbon Grey, Ocean Green, Sunset Purple

Redmi 9 will be available in two variants, 3GB+32GB and 4GB+64GB, in Carbon Grey, Ocean Green and Sunset Purple. Priced at P6,990 and P7,490 respectively, they are now available for purchase at the Xiaomi Official Store on Lazada from July 7, 2020 with a special one-day price of PHP 6,490 (PHP 500 off) for the 3GB+32GB variant.

Stay charged with these Aukey accessories from Shopee

Traveling may be restricted these days due to the imposed quarantine, but for essential workers and those who need to attend to important businesses outside the home, keeping communication devices powered at all costs is very important.

At Shopee, you can find some of the most reliable and affordable charging accessories for your gadgets such as your smartphone, tablet, and other electronics.

Aukey, an international brand that’s being sold in over 50 countries, is now available in every Filipino’s favorite online shopping platform. With a product line dedicated to charging, you can find almost any charging accessory you need for your device.

One of my favorites is the Aukey CB-AM1 High Performance Nylon Micro USB Cable, which retails at only P349.

Perfect for long term, heavy duty use, this cable features premium copper wire core wrapped in a special woven nylon braid sleeve jacket for enhanced tensile strength and the ultimate protection.

This means you don’t need to worry about breaking the cords when you accidentally stretch, bend, or pull the charging cable during use.

Tangle-free and durable, you can enjoy high-speed charging that and data sync/transfer that is up to 20 percent faster than normal cables.

It’s also made with safety technology for additional level of protection through its dedicated heat-resistant connectors and rigorous stress testing processes for thousands of bends, this cable handles everything.

It works well with all Micro USB port devices and best accompanied with the Aukey PB-N42 10000mAh Dual Port Mini Power Bank Portable Charger, priced at P1,649 on Shopee.

With 10000mAh of backup USB charging power, you can charge two devices at the same time through its dual 3.1A USB output ports.

Easily recharge your smartphone and a secondary device at max speed without worrying about running out of power.

You can even use it during an emergency with its built-in flashlight.

Using this powerbank, I can get one full charge each on my smartphone and tablet, with still enough power to recharge my mini fan, which I carry around to keep me cool when I have to go outside.

You don’t need to worry about overcharging, overheating, or excessive current, too, as it has built-in safeguards powered by AiPower Adaptive Charging technology that can intelligently adjust power output to match your charging needs.

I also love that it’s pocket-sized and lightweight, which makes it easier to bring along wherever you go.

Also complementing these two accessories is the Aukey Dual Port Car Charger with AiPower, which sells at only P729.

DC 12V/24V supported, charging safety is guaranteed thanks to its sophisticated circuit design with over-heat, over-current, over-charging protection.

Power up your smartphone or any device and recharge your powerbank in the car with ease anytime through its dual USB port.

Get all these and more Aukey devices from the official Aukey Philippines store on Shopee.

Download the Shopee app for free from the App Store or Google Play and start shopping for good deals on your favorites.

Cop these Havaianas flip flops for less on Shopee

I guess it’s safe to say that every Filipino loves wearing flip flops. Given our tropical climate, these are simply the best and most comfortable footwear to sport whether you’re strolling out, running errands, traveling, headed to the beach or simply staying at home.

One of our favorite brands is Havaianas, which first launched in the Philippines nearly 20 years ago. The Brazilian footwear brand has been around since 1962 and is popular all over the world for its comfortable material and colorful designs that let you express your yourself.

This July, Havaianas flip flops and its wide variety of footwear styles are all the rage on digital marketplace Shopee as selected designs are currently on sale.

Here are some of our best picks:

The classic Havaianas Brasil Flip Flops I are now down to P569 from its original price of P949.

Fans of Star Wars, especially Chewbacca, can get this orange and black Havaianas Star Wars pair for only P839 (versus original price of P1,399). It comes in other Star Wars character designs, too!

Power up your little girl’s playtime with these adorable Havaianas Kids Joy Powerpuff Girls strappy sandals. Now only P899 from P1,199.

Make those first baby steps count! Get these Havaianas Kids Move in Ice Blue for your little tot. From P1,199 now only P839.

Go grocery shopping and run errands in style with these Havaianas Origine Flatform Fashion sandals, now only P1,139 from P1,899 original price.

Feel all sorts of stylish in Havaianas Origine Yacht Cal espadrilles now down to P1,139 from the original price of P1,899.

You can also explore a wide variety of other footwear styles from Havaianas like these comfy Brasil Slides, still at regular price but definitely worth it for its comfort and style.

Show you love for Havaianas in these classic Havaianas Top Logo Mania (P1,199).

Get that cool summer vibe in your pambahay OOTD with this beautiful Havaianas Slim Paisage Coral, now only P1,255 from P1,569.

Check out other available styles on Havaianas Philippines official store on Shopee Mall.

Download the Shopee app for free from the App Store or Google Play.

Get free accessories worth P10,000 when you pre-order Legion’s latest gaming devices

Attention: gamers! Lenovo’s newest gaming devices are coming this July and the brand has an exciting reward for customers who will pre-order the latest Legion devices from June 26 to July 11.

Get free Legion accessories worth P10,000 when you pre-order the Legion 5, IdeaPad Gaming 3i, and Legion Tower 5i. The accessories bundled with the Legion devices allow elevated gameplay and give gamers a competitive advantage. 

Legion’s latest devices are equipped with gamer-focused features such as the TrueStrike Keyboard that delivers 100% anti-ghosting and sub-millisecond response times; Coldfront 2.0 thermal cooling that promotes better airflow and lower temperatures while gaming; Dual Burn for better GPU and CPU optimization when boosting performance; and longer battery life made possible by NVIDIA Advanced Optimus, Hybrid Mode, and the Rapid Charge Pro battery-saving features.

They also come with the latest 10th generation Intel Core H-series processors and AMD Ryzen 4000 Series mobile processors, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti and RTX 2080 SUPER GPUs with Max-Q Design graphics cards, which allow for heightened realism and greater visual fidelity through real-time ray-tracing capabilities.

Lenovo also recently announced the extension of its 2-Year Premium Care warranty of select consumer devices to three years, which are all applicable to these new devices.

Legion 5

Experience gaming like never before with the Legion 5 (price starts at PHP 52,995), which runs on AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Mobile Processor (8 cores; 16 threads) and features 8GB memory, 512GB SSD storage, and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics. The device also allows eye-popping visuals through its 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) display with up to 120Hz refresh rates and 1ms response times, leaving no room for stuttering and allowing more fast-paced action. 

Pre-order the Legion 5 and get the following items for free: Legion Recon Gaming Backpack (worth PHP 2,995), Legion M300 Gaming Mouse (worth PHP 1,495), Legion K300 Gaming Keyboard (worth PHP 2,495), and Legion H300 Gaming Headset (worth PHP 2,995).

IdeaPad Gaming 3i 

Made for those who want to make the jump into gaming without breaking the bank, the IdeaPad Gaming 3i (price starts at PHP 46,995) has more than enough specs to run AAA games in high quality with its up to 10th generation Intel Core i7-10750H processor, 8GB memory, either 1TB HDD or 512GB SSD, and either an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 or 1650Ti graphics card. The device also provides a clearer sound delivered by Dolby Audio and has a 120Hz refresh rate to add to the visuals delivered by its 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) display with slim bezels.

Under the promo, buyers can get the IdeaPad Gaming 3i together with free IdeaPad Gaming Backpack (worth PHP 1,995), IdeaPad Gaming M100 Mouse (worth PHP 1,295), and Legion K300 Gaming Keyboard (worth PHP 2,495).

Legion Tower 5i 

Encased in a 28-L sleek Phantom Black chassis, the Legion Tower 5i immediately gets all the attention in a room with its ARGB-integrated transparent side panel and the Legion logo which lights up in cool blue LED lighting. Connectivity-wise, the Tower 5i has every port users need with its two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C and one Audio Combo Jack ports at the front, as well as one USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-C, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, two USB 2.0, one RJ45 Ethernet, and three Audio ports at the back.

The Legion Tower 5i (price starts at PHP 72,995) is made for those looking for a high-performance gaming battle station. From gaming to max settings to running intensive programs, the Tower 5i can do it all with a 10th generation Intel Core processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER graphics card, up to 64GB memory, and up to 2TB of PCIe NVMe SSD storage.

Get a free Legion K500 Gaming Keyboard (worth PHP 3,995) and a Legion M500 Gaming Mouse (worth PHP 2,995) when you pre-order the Legion Tower 5i. This device is exclusively available at the Legion Concept Store SM City North EDSA, and in all VillMan and Complink stores nationwide.

Pre-order now and see the complete mechanics of the Legion bundle promo at viplegion.com. For more information about Lenovo Legion’s newest gaming devices, ‘like’ the official Legion Philippines Facebook page at fb.com/lenovolegionPH or visit lenovo.com/ph/en/legion.

Per DTI Fair Trade Permit No. FTEB-100982 Series of 2020.

Mang Inasal welcomes back diners, puts strict safety protocols

Missed Mang Inasal? You can now dine in at your favorite restaurant following strict safety measures.

As parts of the country steadily ease restrictions on community quarantines, the well-loved Pinoy diner has joined other restaurants in resuming dine-in services, which have been placed on hold because of the extended lockdown. 

Knowing how much people have missed their favorite Mang Inasal meals and seeking to allay their fears, Mang Inasal has set in place strict protocols to ensure delicious food and safe dining experience for their customers.

Anyone who wants to enter the store must wear a face mask. The customer’s temperature will be checked and only those with a body temperature of 37.5-degree Centigrade and below will be allowed to enter.

A footbath disinfection mat is also placed at the entrance. Only a limited number of customers are allowed inside the store at any given time. Sanitizers are provided for customers at the door entrance, counter table and wash area for their use.

In keeping with the Department of Trade and Industry guidelines, Mang Inasal is requesting customers to fill out a Customer Health Form before being allowed to enter the store.  

For in-store safety, physical distancing is closely monitored as floor markers set one-meter distance for counter queues. Contact-less payment is enforced with the use of acrylic cash tray and acrylic barriers. Meanwhile, foot knobs are used as restroom doors, and regular disinfection of facilities and the sanitation of workers form part of Mang Inasal’s stringent safety protocols.

Dine-in customers are enjoined to be seated apart for physical distancing purposes. One-meter table-to-table distance segregates diners while in selected Mang Inasal stores a table barrier is placed for face-to-face dining.

Store crew sanitize the door and door handles every 30 minutes even as they pursue intensified cleaning and sanitation of fixtures and facilities.

Similarly, heightened safety protocols for food preparation and handling—on top of existing procedures that are already thorough—are also being implemented. These include the crew wearing face mask, face shield, and gloves; handwashing and sanitation every hour and when necessary; and the appointment of a Hygiene Ambassador – a crew member wearing an identifying button pin and personal protective equipment and who go around reminding crew and diners of the safety measures.  The Hygiene Ambassador himself cleans and disinfects the tables after every use.

Even the serving of unli-rice has been modified for safety purposes. Those who place unli-rice orders will be automatically served two cups of rice. Should they ask for more rice, the crew in charge will provide extra wrapped rice. Meanwhile pre-portioned condiments are served together with the ordered meal.

All these show that Mang Inasal not only serves good food enjoyed by many, but it also has the safety and well-being of its stakeholders as a priority. 

“We know how much everyone has missed dining at Mang Inasal,” says Business Unit Head Jojo P. Subido. “As we work towards the gradual return of in-store dining, we make sure to put our stakeholders at ease by placing their welfare as our top priority. In instituting all these precautions, we kept in mind our customers’ needs and concerns so that they can enjoy the Mang Inasal experience once again—safely and comfortably. We look forward to welcoming you back to our stores.”

As of this writing, over 80 per cent of Mang Inasal stores around the country are open for dine-in.

Meanwhile, customers from Metro Manila can continue enjoying Mang Inasal meals by placing their orders through #7-3333 or via Grab, Food Panda, and Lalamove. They can also place their orders through Jose, the Mang Inasal Chatbot in Facebook Messenger. 

ShopeePay Day lets you save more and shop with convenience, too

On June 25, Shopee users can enjoy exclusive discounts, free shipping, and vouchers through ShopeePay Day.

The leading e-commerce platform in Southeast Asia and Taiwan offers greater convenience and cost savings as more Filipinos turn to cashless payments when they shop online. Through ShopeePay Day, shoppers can enjoy limited-time deals and promotions, including free shipping and coins cashback.  

Ruoshan Tao, Head of Marketing at Shopee Philippines, said, “Many Filipinos rely on e-commerce to meet their everyday needs as they live, work, and play from home. We are pleased to introduce ShopeePay Day to meet this trend, and offer our users greater convenience and savings as they shop with us.  As e-commerce takes on greater importance in people’s lives, Shopee will continue to innovate and introduce initiatives to enhance the online shopping experience for all.”    

Here are some of the benefits you can get when you shop using ShopeePay on June 25: 

  • One-day Exclusive Free Shipping: Users can enjoy free shipping with no minimum spending on ShopeePay Day.
  • Exclusive Limited-time Deals and Promotions: ShopeePay users can look forward to exclusive promotions, including ₱125 off with every ₱500 minimum spend and further discounts when they purchase physical and digital products or pay their bills via ShopeePay. 
  • Special Lucky Draw: From June 25 to 27, regular ShopeePay users stand a chance to win exciting prizes via a special lucky draw when they top up their ShopeePay wallets. This includes ShopeePay credits, Shopee coins, and vouchers. 

First-time ShopeePay users can easily activate their ShopeePay accounts in three simple steps:

  1. Users need to log in to the Shopee platform, click on the ShopeePay tab, and then click ‘Setup ShopeePay’. 
  2. Users should fill up the personal information form. They will receive a one-time password on their mobile phones after they complete the form. 
  3. Users need to create and re-confirm their ShopeePay pin. 

Visit https://shopee.ph/m/shopee-pay for more information about ShopeePay.

Download the Shopee application for free through the App Store or Google Play and activate ShopeePay. 

DIY furniture brand Yori now at SM Home and ShopSM.com

Throughout the ongoing quarantine period, many people have made use of their extra time at home to work on projects or hobbies that they’ve been put off for a long time because they’re always busy at work.

One of the things that people enjoyed doing are do-it-yourself or DIY projects — whether it’s art, crafts or creating something that would be useful at home like starting an herb garden or building a piece of furniture.

DIY furniture doesn’t have to be complicated especially for beginners. If anything, it should be rewarding experience that lets you pick up a new skill while seeing the fruit of your labor being put to good use.

Local furniture brand Yori is all about making the DIY furniture experience better. It focuses on building furniture that is smart, easy, yet rewarding to own.

Each Yori furniture is made with the first-time homeowner in mind. It is also perfect for young upstart professionals who value efficiency, practicality, and ultimately good design, as well as professionals doing work from home for a comfortable, home corner office setup.

Everything is made simple by putting all you need for a fulfilling DIY project in one flatpack box.

Here are some of the products currently in Yori’s roster:

Noji desk + shelf 

An all-in-one desk and shelf. Built for all kinds of places, great for small spaces. Perfect for the workhorse wanting all work in just one place.

Price: P2,795

Sagyo mini desk

A simple, minimal, movable desk. Built for all kinds of places, great for tiny spaces. A distraction-free zone for work or study or private conversations with your pet.

Price: P1,795

Okura shelf

A simple, minimal, all-around lightweight shelf. Built for all kinds of places, great for tiny spaces. Perfect for displaying your books and trophies and anything else you are proud of.

Price: P2,495

Jobu table

A small and minimal desk that fits anywhere. Built for anything you might need a workable table for. Perfect for everyday working and studying.

Price: P2,295

Sukui kitchen rack (Medium)

A small and lightweight utility rack. Fits workspaces and living spaces alike. Perfect for storing objects for quick use.

Price: P2,495

Tenji bookcase (Mega)

A lightweight low-rise showcase shelf. Built for small to medium-sized rooms. Perfect for organizing books and showcasing mementos.

Price: P4,295

Yori products are now available at the following SM Home branches:

Metro Manila:

  • SM Cubao
  • SM City North EDSA
  • SM City Marikina
  • SM City Novaliches
  • SM City Makati
  • SM Mall of Asia
  • SM Southmall
  • SM City Fairview
  • SM Aura Premier
  • SM City Bicutan
  • SM City Sta. Mesa
  • SM Megamall
  • SM City BF Paranaque
  • SM City Manila

Outside Metro Manila:

  • SM City Bacoor
  • SM City Pampanga
  • SM City Lipa

You may also order for delivery by calling 0917-516-7539 or 0919-068-2645 from Mondays to Sundays, 8:00AM to 5:00PM. Or get it online through www.ShopSM.com.

Colgate Kids makes toothbrushing safer for your little ones

With many people working from home these days, we often see jokes or funny remarks on social media about how some folks are “going to work” without taking a bath or brushing their teeth.

We usually get a good laugh out of it because we can totally relate with the idea of “keeping it real” when we’re at home. But when it comes to our kids, we moms cannot easily let them fall off their daily routine as this is crucial in developing their knack for maintaining personal hygiene when they grow older.

Of course, teaching the little ones the importance of great oral care is one thing we can’t let go of and that includes choosing the right tools to help keep those little biters clean and healthy all the time.

Colgate is one of the top brands when it comes to oral care and is known for its range of products made for each member of the family.

For infants and toddlers, the Colgate Kids Free From 0-2 Toothpaste is a new flouride-free toothpaste that is much safer for babies to use. It comes in a clear gel formulation with no artificial flavor, sweeteners, and color. It’s safe to say that this toothpaste has no preservatives that could potentially harm your baby.

As you may know, chemicals and other harsh ingredients can cause irritations on your baby’s delicate mouth. It can even trigger stomach pains and allergies if your baby accidentally swallows the harsh toothpaste, which is inevitable since they are still learning to control their body.

The Colgate Kids Free From 0-2 Toothpaste is safe if swallowed thanks to its 0% artificial formulation. It also won’t leave a bad taste in your baby’s mouth as it comes in a natural fruity flavor.

This product is best used together with the Colgate Baby Toothbrush, which comes in an adorable butterfly shape that’s easy to handle for babies who are still practicing their grip.

It’s made BPA-free, 100% food-grade soft silicone, so you know that your baby is safe even if she flings the toothbrush around like a toy. The bristles are also made of the same material, which is gentle on your baby’s teeth and gums, and can act as a teether, too.

Meanwhile, for kindergarteners, the Colgate Kids Free From 3-5 Toothpaste also comes in an exciting strawberry flavor. It has the same clear gel formulation that has zero artificial ingredients to keep your kids safe from harmful chemicals and allergens.

The slight hint of sweetness from this toothpaste will definitely have your preschoolers enjoy their brushing time. It’s also best used with Colgate’s variety of soft toothbrushes designed for kids.

You can try out these products for yourself by ordering from Colgate-Palmolive Philippines Shopee store.

Giveaway alert!

As a treat to moms and babies, Mommy’s Day Out is giving away one set of Colgate Kids products via our Instagram account!

Check us out at @mommysdayoutph for details about our giveaway happening on June 30, 2020.

Share the Joy with frontliners through Jollibee’s “Send A Meal” service

In spite of all the difficulties brought by the COVID-19 pandemic, numerous opportunities to spark a chain of good deeds have also been abundant.

From big organizations doing what they can to help ease the lives of Filipinos to ordinary citizens helping out neighbors and random strangers, people have been exhibiting compassion by giving out food and other essentials to front liners and other affected communities. 

To help individuals and groups in their food distribution efforts, Jollibee has introduced the “Send A Meal: Bulk Order Service.” This initiative offers a systematic and easy way for benefactors to order select Jollibee meals in bulk, conveniently pay for them, and have them picked up or delivered straight to their intended recipients.

Customers may choose from the following products included in Share A Meal:

  • 1-pc. Chickenjoy
  • 1-pc. Burgersteak
  • Jolly Spaghetti 
  • Yumburger 

Payments can be made through online transfer or bank deposits. Delivery fees will also be waived for orders worth PHP 3,000 and above per recipient.

Tto avail of this special service can email their bulk orders and inquiries to sendameal@jollibee.com.ph for Jollibee meals.

PLDT-Smart Foundation leads aid for stranded OFWs and locals

The COVID-19 pandemic has definitely turned our lives around — some for the better, while some (unfortunately) for the worse. Among those heavily affected are the OFWs and local workers whose workplaces are located outside the cities or provinces they live in. Due to quarantine restrictions, many of them have been stranded in places far from home.

Haira Aba, 29 years old, is the breadwinner of her family in Datu Paglas in Maguindanao. She applied for a job as a domestic helper in Qatar and travelled to Manila. But the COVID-19 pandemic came, overseas travel came to a halt, and as a result, she has been stuck in Manila for the past four months.

According to Aba, her situation is difficult since she is far away from her family. She said that what brought comfort during this difficult time was the help they have received from various organizations and individuals.

Kailangan kong magtiis. Nakikipagkuwentuhan na lang ako sa mga kasama ko dito para hindi ma-bored. Malaking tulong din ang cellphone at internet dahil na rin may YouTube, (I need to endure this. I just talk to some of the people that are also stranded here so that I won’t get bored. Having my cellphone with me and having Internet also helps a lot because there’s Youtube.)” Aba said.

54-year old Dennis Sebastian is a mechanical operator and harvester in Tuguegarao – a job he has been doing for six years now. He usually travels back to his hometown in Compra, Liloy in Zamboanga Del Norte three times a year. This year, he was scheduled to return home last April 6. But due to the pandemic, his flight was rescheduled to June 5 – and then was again cancelled.

Unable to fly home, Sebastian stayed for several weeks at a footbridge near the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3. Last June 11, he was transferred to the Villamor Elementary School. In order to buy food, Sebastian said he had sold some of his personal belongings. This included his cellphone, which he sold for P300, a luggage for P500 and his shoes for P200.

According to Sebastian he lived like a nomad for weeks. “Palipat-lipat ako ng puwesto kapag sobrang init at umuulan. Sana hindi na maulit ito kasi apat na buwan na akong hindi nakakauwi. Wala na akong communication [sa aking pamilya]. Pero bago ko ibinenta ang cellphone ko, natawagan ko na sila at sinabi kong h’wag mag-alala, (I keep changing positions and places where to stay, especially when it is extremely hot or when it rains. I hope this never happens again because it’s been four months that I haven’t been home. I don’t have any communication with my family. But before I sold my cellphone, I was able to call them and tell them not to worry.)” Sebastian said.

Aba and Sebastian are two of the 350 returning Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and locally stranded individuals (LSI’s) at the Villamor Elementary School in Villamor Airbase, Pasay City. They received meals and other assistance from the PLDT-Smart Foundation (PSF) through employee-led fundraising initiatives such as the Fairness, Integrity, Transparency and Accountability (F.I.T.A.) Video Challenge and Kapit Kapatid Program.

The PSF also partnered with the Department of Interior and Local Government and Department of Social Welfare and Development in the National Capital Region.

“Our hearts are with our brothers and sisters who are struggling to be reunited with their families. We understand how important being with family is in order to cope better during this difficult time. We hope that our simple gesture brought them some joy, especially during these trying times,” said PLDT-Smart Foundation President Esther Santos.

On June 25, Sebastian is scheduled to finally come home.

To know more about the efforts of the PLDT Group in beating the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit http://beta.pldt.com/covid19/.