October might be famous for Octoberfests and many beer festivals but the best festival this month is Bacolod’s the Masskara Festival.

    Masskara is a portmanteau for the words, “Mass,” which refers to the masses or the multitude of people, and, “Kara,” which is a Spanish word for the face. Simply put, the Masskara Festival is a festival that shows the, “face of the masses,” or more appropriately, “a multitude of smiling faces." Happiness is the main theme and all that is needed to enjoy the celebration is a smile.

    The recently concluded Masskara Festival has got to be the happiest festival in the Philippines. Not only because there were smiling masks all over the city but also because of the activities that brought the festival to life. Touted by many as a foodies haven, Bacolod provided its visitors with must-try restaurants and dessert cafés such as Chicken House, Aboy’s, Calea, Felicia’s & Tiffany’s. Different tourist spots are also scattered inside and outside the city – from The Ruins in Talisay to Lakawon Island off the coast of Cadiz.

    Through the years, the Masskara Festival has evolved and gone beyond the street dance competition, colorful masks, costumes and parades. Every year, more activities are attracting not only local tourists but foreign visitors as well.

    This year, Smart has presented two of the much-awaited events at the festival – the floats and the rave party.

    The Electrick Masskara Performing Floats Competition took place at the tourism strip last October 21. It featured vibrant, colorful and festive floats covered in neon lights and extravagant props created by the different barangays. The following day kept things exciting as the second leg of the competition featured the best performers. After the Electric Masskara Competition, the Masskarave Party commenced with DJ Ace Ramos, Nix Damn P! and MC Pao who performed and pumped up the crowd the whole night.

    To top it all off, Smart also brought special offers to the City of Smiles such as the Starmobile Play Click phone for only 1288, Gigasurf for heavy data users, My Smart for managing your account & redeeming of perks and iflix for your video streaming. All these were made available to Smart subscribers to keep connected & have an exhilarating Masskara festival experience.

  • 04 Nov 2016

    This year's Festival of Smiles in Bacolod still has us smiling

    Posted on Nov 04, 2016

    The Masskara Festival kept us smiling and so much more.

  • So you just got off your plane, got your luggage after scouting for it, you just hailed a cab and now are about to enjoy in your dream destination! Months and months of planning, preparation and anticipation have all lead to this, but now you are off the plane and about to embark on your new journey as a tourist, whether by yourself, with your friends or family. We're sure you've sorted the basics like where you are going to stay, currency exchange rates and transfers and the likes. But here are 5 recommendations to kick-start things the right way!

    1. Make an emergency plan.

    It seems like common sense but make sure you research and learn emergency telephone numbers in your new country. Know where to go in case of illness (and how you're going to pay for healthcare). Keep in mind to separately allocate extra cash in case of emergencies. You need to be more prepared than usual in foreign territory.

    2. Walk and explore.

    We have a strong feeling that you’re excited to become acquainted with the train network of the country you’re visiting (if they do have one) and may have discovered the closest bus stop. But the best way to explore a new city is on foot. Try setting aside one day for your wanderlust and explorations on foot. It's okay to get lost and have your own personal adventure.

    3. Don't forget to enjoy some 'ME time.'

    Take some time to enjoy activities which you've always loved to do but don’t really have the time to – such as reading a book, going for a run or even some arts and crafts projects.

    4. Be a tourist.

    This is the chance of living the life you’ve always thought about! Do the touristy things you've always wanted to and make the most of it! Go up the Empire State Building, admire the Sydney Opera House, ogle at the Mona Lisa in the Louvre, and sample a local cuisine while you're at it.

    5. Be sure to connect with your loved ones back at home.

    Nothing beats sharing your happy moments with the people that you love. Now that you are settled in, it’s time to check in on your loved ones! You can do that with Chat Abroad,a data roaming service which allows Smart Prepaid subscribers to access chat applications such as Facebook Messenger, Viber, WhatsApp, Line, WeChat and Telegram while roaming abroad in over 130 countries for only PHP 150/day. To start chatting with your friend and loved ones, register by dialing *133# when you’re abroad. Know more about the Chat Abroad service by going here.

    Making the decision to travel is an enormous step. It's the perfect opportunity to explore the world, get to know another city, and foster your own independence. Travelling abroad will definitely be a challenge, but with the right planning it is completely possible and totally worth it. Follow these tips and you'll have a totally new life in an awesome country in no time.

  • 28 Oct 2016

    5 things to do on your dream destination

    Posted on Oct 28, 2016

    Travelling? We got you covered.

  • Instagram and Snapchat, the two photo-sharing apps, have been battling it out, head to head, for quite some time now. Instagram’s newest feature, Stories, has made people which of the two apps are better. Here’s our take on it.

    Creating stories

    When you open Snapchat, you are directed to the camera. So, content creation is as simple as a tap on the camera button. In Instagram, you are directed to your feed instantly. You can easily create the Stories by tapping on the top-left corner of the app.

    Viewing stories

    Instagram’s stories can be viewed atop your main feed. These stories are arranged based on which friends are closest to you. Snapchat‘s Stories are now ranked chronologically with the most recent story at the top.

    The difference here is how you navigate a story. In Instagram, while viewing a story, one can swipe left to watch the previous story or swipe right to view the next image. On Snapchat, tapping on the screen advances you to the next photo or video and the next story will automatically play after you view the last snap.

    Who can view these?

    The two apps pretty much have the same settings when it comes to privacy. On Snapchat, your choices are everyone or just your friends. On Instagram, Stories maintain the same privacy settings as your feed.

    Doodles and emoji

    Instagram's drawing tools are more state-of-the-art than Snapchat's. While Snapchat uses a slider tool to choose colors, Instagram lays out all the colors side by side at the bottom of your screen. There's also a nifty tool for changing the pen sizes. Instagram also offers three pen tools – the pen, the marker and the neon.

    For emojis, Snapchat wins this. Instagram only allows you to add emoji via the text bar while Snapchat lets you add emoji anywhere on your image and for some videos. You can also create your own, customized emoji via Bitmoji and add it to your snaps.

    Sending old photos

    Snapchat and Instagram allows you to share old photos but in different ways. Instagram only allows you to share photos from the camera roll that were captured from 24 hours ago while Snapchat lets you share any photo that is saved on Memories.

    Chatting

    The two apps let you start a conversation from a friend's story. On Snapchat, tap "chat" or swipe up on a story to start a conversation, while on Instagram you tap "send a message" or ... swipe up. Same, same.

    The Verdict

    When you put the two apps side by side, it becomes clearer that Instagram Stories is pretty similar to Snapchat Stories. Instagram shines because of its pens and its navigation options while Snapchat shines because of its multiple filters and emoji options. The final verdict? It all depends on you, Smart subscriber. Cast your vote by using your preferred app using Giga Surf or All-out Surf if you're prepaid.

  • 30 Sep 2016

    Share your stories with Snapchat and Instagram

    Posted on Sep 30, 2016

    Here's our take on the two, biggest photo-sharing apps stories feature.

  • Ice cream and friends never disappoint. This is the best 21 loyalty points that you will ever spend. #PerkOfTheDay

  • 06 Sep 2016

    #PerkOfTheDay

    Posted on Sep 06, 2016

    Enjoy freebies and treats every day with Smart.

  •  

    Coffee is so much better with a Krispy Kreme doughnut.

    Thanks to Smart for this #PerkOfTheDay.

  • 10 Aug 2016

    #PerkOfTheDay

    Posted on Aug 10, 2016

    Enjoy freebies and treats everyday with Smart.

  • Pokémon Go is now officially available in the Philippines and Smart is giving all its subscribers free data for Pokémon Go until August 12!

    So don't just sit there, go capture all the Pokémon you can! Find all the Pokéstops! Strengthen your Pokémon! Tell all your friend's because you've all got ‘til Friday to enjoy Pokémon for free!


    #SmartPokémonGO

    Download the app now at the App Store or Google Play Store.
  • 08 Aug 2016

    #SmartPokemonGO is here and its Free!

    Posted on Aug 08, 2016

    Pokémon Go is now officially available in the Philippines and Smart is giving all its subscribers free data for Pokémon Go until August 12!