[19 August 2015] Communication is important to Filipino families. This is underscored by technologies and innovations that become increasingly accessible to households like those in Barangay San Miguel, Agdao in Davao City who mainly use Facebook to keep in touch with their loved ones.
In a recent barangay event held by Talk ‘N Text, residents were taught how to utilize free Internet access. Pelagio “Nonoy” Basilonia, 60, a government worker, shared that he uses Facebook to constantly communicate with his relatives who live abroad.
“They live in Australia and the US,” he said when asked about where the other members of his family—like his four children who already have families—are located. “No matter how far we are from each other, we still have to keep in touch.”
Basilonia also likes how he's able to find job opportunities in the TESDA website, and to read news in Interaksyon, Rappler and Inquirer using his phone.
All these websites and more can be accessed for free! Thanks to a global partnership by Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) through its value-brand Talk ‘N Text (TNT), with Facebook-led initiative Internet.org.
Internet.org envisions a connected world by bringing basic Internet access and services to communities who have yet to experience the potential of online tools that can improve daily life.
Through Internet.org, millions of TNT subscribers in the country can gain access information on current events, sports, entertainment, finance, health, education, weather, and job opportunities.
Residents of Barangay San Miguel, Agdao in Davao City enjoyed participating in the games during
TNT Panalo ang May Alam party.
Eva Lucena, 48, another resident of Barangay San Miguel, also shared that browsing Facebook feeds after her daily housework has become her daily routine. She likes the convenience of being able to see updates from her siblings and friends from Cotabato, General Santos, Manila, and Koronadal, which is her hometown. When she moved to Davao in 1989, Lucena said that she always keeps in touch with her friends even when they're away. “My phone makes it easy for me to feel that I'm still close to them,” she said.
When she was introduced to Internet.org that day, she expressed her glee because she will be able use Facebook and Facebook Messenger for free! But more importantly, she’s happy because her four children can use Internet.org for their education.
“The Internet is very useful for them especially when they have homework and researches to do,” she said. To her, Internet access in smartphones is made simpler and user-friendly. “I don't have to go to the Internet cafe to browse the web.”
Lucena, who is a manicurist, said that she also enjoys showbiz and entertainment news, which she can read via PEP.ph and news websites that can be accessed for free via Internet.org. Health and home tips and remedies like Baby Center & MAMA and UNICEF Facts for Life are also available via Internet.org.
Emely Georpe, 34, is another mother who values communication as much as information access using her mobile phone.
Since she moved to Davao from Butuan in 2004, Georpe said that she always sends Facebook messages to her relatives in Manila and in Dubai. “I am always happy to hear from them when I send them messages,” she said.
WikiHow and Wikipedia are also very useful for her three children when it comes to helping them study for school. The potential of basic Internet access to empower communities is highlighted by the growing number of websites that are currently housed under Internet.org.
TNT subscribers in Davao learn how to browse 30 websites for free via Internet.org
With TNT and Internet.org, more and more people are now able to make informed decisions to “win in life”. Currently, over 4.5 million Filipinos use Internet.org.
TNT’s Panalo Ang May Alam parties, which takes form in road shows that will tour the country, will be bringing the good news of free Internet access to cities, one barangay after the next.
Additional information how to use Internet.org can be found at www.talkntext.com.ph/internetorg or by texting INTERNET to 9999. Smart and Sun Cellular subscribers all over the country can also access the Internet.org app and mobile site for free.