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Nokia Standard Chartered VISA makes it easy to buy Nokia phones

This is not the first time we’ve seen interesting partnerships between banks and technology companies. Back then, Blizzard released the World of Warcraft VISA card that allows rebates to additional gaming hours. Not a bad deal if you’re really into WoW. But perhaps, for the rest of us, the new offer from Nokia might seem more tempting.

Our mobile phone load purchases and post paid bills are as good as cash in my opinion. Instead of charging your credit card to additional air miles or gas, why not charge it to earn rebates for your prepaid load or post paid bills? So I was really excited (and curious) to see the Nokia VISA card booth at a Standard Chartered fabrication at the Alabang Town Center. If you want to check the full press release, head over here.

The card is not exclusive to Nokia users. Anyone can apply for the credit card, subject to the screening process set forth by Standard Chartered Bank. The co-branding arrangement between Nokia and Standard Chartered VISA will help promote the use of mobile phones by offering cash rebates on both pre-paid and post-paid transactions. Key features of the credit card include:

10% cash rebate on prepaid load transactions
5% cash rebate on postpaid mobile phone bills
0.5% cash rebate on all non-installment purchases charged to the credit card

Wow! That’s pretty significant – even for post paid subscribers. If you spend P30,000 a year on your post-paid plan and charge it to your Nokia card, that’s still a P1,500.00 rebate at the end of the year! Not sure how that would work on prepaid transactions though — does the “Passa Load” system support credit card transactions?

Nonetheless, if you think the rebates are cool enough, the Nokia Best Deals Program allows 0% transactions all year round using the Nokia credit card. This means that you can avail of any Nokia phone under 0% interest all year round! [warning] Although there really is some form of mark up when it comes to 0% interest, it still makes it easy for anyone to buy a Nokia phone if you’re fond of the “tingi” method. [/warning] Pretty cool, huh?

Here is a complete list of Nokia phones that can be bought in 6 months or 12 months with 0% interest.

Here’s a sample breakdown of the promos with the highly coveted Nokia E71 and the spankin’ new Nokia N96:

Code: NOKIA1004
Nokia E71
One-time Charge: P20,974
6−mo. Installment: P3,746/mo
12−mo. Installment: P1,873/mo

Code: NOKIA1001
Nokia N96
One-time Charge: P35,077
6−mo. Installment: P6,264/mo.
12−mo. Installment: P3,132/mo.

Here, I quote the FAQ:

Consumers can purchase a Nokia phone in 3 simple ways:

1. by charging the full amount of the phone to the Nokia Standard Chartered Card, whether as a straight charge or through the 0% interest rate installment plan

2. by using their cash rebates via the Full Redemption option

3. by using their cash rebates for a portion of the purchase price and charging the remaining balance to the credit card via the Fast Track option

Looking at this new product from Nokia makes me realize their strong brand equity. It takes a highly reputable company with a high enough .. pardon the term .. “fanbase” to allow such promos to happen. So next time you think about charging your credit card to earn miles, think about charging it to earn.. load or a phone! 🙂

TOSHIBA Year End Sale! December 4-5 2008

[Click photo to enlarge]

With the launch of their first concept store in SM Mega Mall earlier last month, Toshiba is also wrapping up 2008 with their YEAR END SALE, with up to 60% markdown on brand new units! Note that the sale is not going to be in the concept store, but in the TRICOM warehouse. The address is listed below, but if you’re familiar with the uber delicious Mickey’s Deli, it is right across!

December 4 & 5, 2008
TRICOM – 2F Metro House Bldg.
345 Sen. Gil Puyat Ave., Makati City, MM

Note that the sale is only from 8 AM to 6 PM – tricky for those with a 9 to 5 job!

Here are some photos from the concept store official opening and blessing, along with the iServ logo which you should look out for in case your Toshiba need servicing:

Toshiba’s new milestone – and this is worth mentioning, is that they now have full local support through their dealers and concept store. All you need to do is look for the Toshiba iServ logo in front of stores to know if the dealer is accredited to receive your Toshiba product.

One skin care product all men should consider using

[Off topic]

Happy weekend!

There are such rare occasions when I get invited – not directly, but as a date to beauty events. Such is life, and the last “beauty event” I attended was the new Shu Uemura store launch at The Powerplant Mall in Rockwell. I didn’t care much for the make up and was more busy gallyvanting with Daniel Tan in between his shoots. I’m not too comfortable with the crowd in lifestyle events – not because I dislike the general atmosphere, but because I don’t know too many people. Tech press conferences are very different in tone, pacing and atmosphere from the lifestyle ones.

I did have a take home though – a loot bag from Shu Uemura. I gave all of it to my mom except for this one sampler bottle of Skin Purifier, High Performance Cleansing Oil you see above. Wow. After the Swiper demonstrated to myself and the Beautynomist how it is a very effective make up removal, facial cleansing, and diluting oil, I was urged to try it out for a few days. OK what did I have to lose right? I’ve never really used a “beauty product” out of due diligence, and I wouldn’t usually care less. But yeah, sounding like a girl from off a beauty commercial, “my face feels so much softer and smoother.” 🙂

And it’s a powerhouse for make up removal. I was part of this viral campaign for Axe and having had a ton of make up on, I removed it the fastest with this one (note: I’ve been in theater and had to wear stage make up for performances and it was always so hard to remove!).

I did a lot more research on Shu Uemura’s cleansing olls and yeah, apparently they’re really top notch, if you can afford them . The bottles are expensive – at P1,7xx.00 for the small one and P4,xxx.00 for the huge economy sized one.

To the geeks – if you spend a lot of time in front of the computer, this is your saving grace.


Fast forward. Reading this post now after taking a break makes me wonder why I wrote it in the first place. I guess it’s one of those things you just have to share when you make small discoveries which are so off from your niche. Hehe. Please don’t judge me.

Let my flawless face be the judge. Bwahaha! Can’t resist. 😛

[/Off topic]

HTC Touch HD Easter Egg: Weather Animation

Just came from the launch of HTC’s new Touch line of smartphones. The most interesting part of the evening wasn’t part of the official program – we were shown some of the embedded Easter Eggs for the HTC Touch HD. With the 3.8 inch screen, you slightly tap the upper left and right sides of the top weather bar and you get a nifty animation, as seen in this post.

Pardon the low quality, but what happens is that the weather bar shows the sun shining and the weather slowly changes to a storm with droplets on the 3.8 inch screen. A wiper pops out and wipes the raindrops away, all in one really cool and seamless animation sequence.

[Digg It!] You saw it here first!

Contest: 10 TICKETS for Trance Alliance with DJ Fleming and Digital Blonde

The year was 1999 and barely out of high school, I heard of an events group called “Big Fish.” I admit I was a late bloomer in the clubbing scene and have steered away from big room events in favor of the usual dinner plus movie night outs. Add the Ozone Disco Inferno incident back then and you’ll see why I was traumatized (remember that, kids?). Fast forward to ten years later and today most of my exposure to these sorts of events was thanks to my job with the media where Embassy, Ascend, A Venue, Warehouse 135, and the World Trade Center are staples for work, not pleasure.

People will tell you that they’ve outgrown loud music and the air of frivolity. And you tend to agree. But you also get to a certain age where you need the relapse of losing yourself, away from your daily responsibilities. It’s not about being pretentious or an exercise in frivolity. You just want the night off.

So my early memories of clubbing were actually late ones and it was only then that I got to experience the good stuff – Tiesto, Chicane, and smaller pocket events usually organized by Motorola or Nokia.

So that’s the context of this contest I’m running – I’m giving away 10 tickets to TRANCE ALLIANCE:

Brace yourselves for the 2 group’s opening salvo! NOVEMBER 29, 2008, SATURDAY, DRIVEN MANILA and WORLDWIDE WOMB present TRANCE ALLIANCE featuring Superstar DJ JOHN “00” FLEMING & DIGITAL BLONDE in a never before done big room dance experience as they perform their LIVE SET at the A-Venue, Makati Ave. This is the launch of a new movement and you are all invited to be a part of it. See you all on the dance floor!

Thanks to a high school batchmate, I met up with Domini Primero and Hilary Favila-Bautista of W135 and we talked about the “younger days” of this very interesting “clubbing industry.” It was always about the music – and yes readers, if you want a shot at winning a ticket to TRANCE ALLIANCE check out the contest mechanics below.

Driven Manila and World Wide Womb, headed by Domini Primero and Stephen Ku respectively, have come together to form TRANCE ALLIANCE! A team-up of two of the most successful dance event promoters in the country. After a 2-year hiatus, Domini Primero, the original creator of the Big Fish Crew back in 1999, now Driven Manila and WAREHOUSE 135’s head honcho, is back at what he does best – doing big-room dance events. Teaming up with World Wide Womb founder & Embassy Promoter, Stephen Ku who produced Tiesto’s record breaking massive concerts in Manila, Driven Manila and World Wide Womb are both fueled by the positive energy that stems from the dream of giving that perfect musical experience to the dance community.

Contest Mechanics

1. This contest is open from today till 11:59 PM of November 28 2008

2. I am raffling off 10 tickets to DJ Fleming and Digital Blonde. To enter the raffle, simply leave a comment with a valid email address answering the question “What do you love most about Manila’s clubbing scene?” (i.e. I really miss Mars and the campy red lights!)

3. You can only win once, but you can enter the raffle as many times as you want by leaving different answers.

4. I will be using Luck of the Draw for the raffle.

Tgst! Tgst! Tgst! See you there!

Predictably Irrational: Perceived value with “bottomless” “unlimited” and “cheap”

Predictably Irrationa

I’m halfway through Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely and I must say that this is my new marketing bible for observing the seemingly irrational behavior of consumers when certain buzz word concepts like “free,” “value added,” “extra” and “unlimited” are brought into the marketing copy. It’s a beautiful book — and if you’re the type who enjoyed other books like Freakonomics, The Long Tail and Tipping Point, this is another must have to your collection.

One of the chapters in Ariely’s book talks about a concept known as “anchoring.” The premise is that consumers never make choices based on a product’s price alone, but rather based on the relative price of something else. When you buy a mobile phone for instance, you always compare the affordability based on a previous phone you owned, or with the relative price of similar units. More importantly though, the book talks about how consumers’ anchor price can change. We used to pay P5.00 for a sachet of Blend 45. Now we pay P100.00 for a cup of Starbucks. Ariely explains how “perceived value” raises the anchoring price of things we buy. Starbucks’ ambiance makes you feel like you’re drinking quality coffee and marketing changed “small,” “medium,” and large to “tall,” “venti” and “grande.” It’s like stepping into a different country where the relative price of everything is different.

Sadly, anchoring of prices can work negatively as well for consumers when marketers weave in the concept of “free” “bottomless” or “unlimited” which is a very powerful word in this industry. When we see “bottomless iced tea” in the menu, we go for it, and restaurateurs know we will – that’s why they price it high even if we only finish two or three glasses – still way beyond break even price. The “Unlimited” calls and texts of SUN for instance charge P25.00 per day, which is P750.00 per month. The average prepaid usage for calls is 214 minutes per month based on consumer research and at a buck per minute for “unlimited rates,” that’s really P214.00 per month for calls. On a daily average, calls should cost P7.14 per day, not P25.00 (more less 350% higher?). There’s something that’s also not factored in – dropped call rate, which according to the NTC – SUN has the most alarming drop call rate at almost 20%.

There’s a third example – when you walk into a department store and see three LCD TV’s – a Samsung, SHARP, and a SONY in the showcase all at different prices, you tend to take a look at the weakest link (Samsung usually keeps the lowest priced ones) in comparison to the other two “higher end” and “higher priced” units. The fact is, the salesman built this arrangement on purpose so you can compare the cheaper unit side by side the other much higher priced units. Instinct tells you you’re getting a great deal on the most affordable unit, and so you buy it! The truth? That’s what the salesman wanted to push in the first place to meet his quota. He could have very well lined up the most expensive TV from the set (the SONY) alongside other cheaper or more expensive promos.

That’s why perceived value is always relative to something else. Comments?


Congratulations Moleskine winners!

Wow, what a run! We had 122 entries for the Moleskine contest we did last week and today we announce our two winners! For the first prize, we are giving away a Moleskine notebook courtesy of Jasper Ong of Avalon.PH. Many thanks to Jasper for sponsoring this contest.

Our winners had to answer the question, “when are you most inspired to write?” in the comments section to qualify.

And the winner of the ruled Moleskine notebook is ….

I’m excited and inspired, mostly, after waking up and having a great vivid dream.

And our second prize winner for the three cahiers (courtesy of me) is …

When I’m about to sleep, when I’m with rubber duckie, OR when someone pisses me off at work. 😀

Thanks for sending in valid emails! We’ll get your moleskine notebooks in your doorstep this week! I’ll be running a second contest very soon – to score tickets this time!

Didn’t win a Moleskine notebook? You can try to win one again from November 18 to November 21 at Viloria.net, where the next contest will be held.

5130 XpressMusic: Nokia’s most affordable music phone

A few days ago I reviewed the most advanced XpressMusic phone from Nokia, the 5800 XpressMusic phone. Today, we reveal the Finn’s cheapest XpressMusic phone, the 5130 which is due on shelves early next year.

With dedicated music keys, a digital music player, FM radio and a standard 3.5 mm connector for headphones, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is Nokia’s most affordable music phone to date. Equipped with an integrated 2 megapixel camera, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic also supports image sharing through Share on Ovi, as well as the Mail on Ovi email service. The Nokia 5130 XpressMusic is expected to begin shipping in the first quarter of 2009 with an estimated retail price of 90 EUR. [source]

Due out in early 2009, the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic phone comes with a new feature called Mail on Ovi. As S40 phones aren’t as powerful in terms of their software to access Share on Ovi tools, Nokia chopped some of the features and “widgetized” them to fit S40 phones (the more powerful Nseries phones use S60), thus explaining how S40 differentiates from S60 – simpler but less powerful.

G1 Android Review and Photos

Pardon me for the ugly photos. We were in low light and I didn’t have a decent camera to take photos. Then again, the blurry shots give some sort of “OMG you really held one!” aura. Heh.

So Art “no rice” Samaniego (inside joke, folks! 🙂 ) calls this the “Ugly Betty” of the mobile phone industry. It is by far the most interesting piece of technology since the iPhone because it is the first implementation of Google’s Android OS. So it is indeed curious, and thanks to Art I was able to take a few shots of the G1, which was manufactured by HTC.

More photos and extensive first impressions after the jump.



The LOLest copywriting since…

I found this in Rustan’s Gateway Mall while waiting for the Gary V 25th anniversary concert. This product is so funny on many levels, I can’t decide which part of the copy to laugh at first!!

It’s either they got a really brilliant copywriter or it’s the worst copywriting since YC Bikini Briefs (for the man that packs a wallop).

Nokia 5800 XpressMusic Review in the Philippines

UPDATE 3: I have a review up of the new Nokia N97 — following the successful touch screen experience of the 5800.

UPDATE 2: More hands on with me playing with the phone. I talk about the touch screen in particular.

UPDATE: From Nikka Abes of Nokia Philippines:

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is selling at a preorder price of P20,000.00. To place a preorder please sign up at the Nokia Philippines website. This goes to the first 58 sign ups.

The price of the 5800 XpressMusic is pegged at about P18,000 without tax so we can estimate this to be at the early P20,000 mark when it comes out officially (nota bene: this is only speculation, btu it gives you a rough estimate how much of your Christmas money to save).

If you wish to receive more updates when I post a gadget review, click on the link below to enter your email address:

Subscribe to A Bugged Life [ the pseudo personal blog about blogging, technology and stuff ] by Email


A bit of history: the XpressMusic line is Nokia’s flagship brand for anything and everything music. If the Nseries concentrates on multimedia (video mostly), the E series on corporate use, the XpressMusic line is distinct because it has two things – a separate high quality audio hardware (loud and crisp speakers) and a 3.5mm speaker jack. This is consistent throughout all the Nokia phones branded as XpressMusic.

The Nokia 5800 XpressMusic phone is Nokia’s first Nseries touch screen device as well. Nokia has had two other semi popular touch screen phones in the past – the Nokia 6708 and the Nokia 7710, released back in 2006. Here is a walk through of the various features. My first impressions were very positive as the touch screen integrates well into the device. Unlike the iPhone which is an SMS composing nightmare, the 5800 slightly vibrates each time you press a button. There are three text input modes available – full QWERTY keyboard, mini QWERTY keyboard and the traditional numerical keypad.

Photos and full feature after the jump.


From seaweed vendor to global usability expert

“I was determined to break the cycle of poverty.”
– Ms. Myrna Padilla, Founder MYND Consulting

As this is an odd hour to blog for me, I leave you with bits of a very beautiful experience when I conducted the first of many workshops for Microsoft Tulay, a technology empowering series of seminars run by the Blas Ople Foundation and OWWA for OFW’s and their families. Last week, I conducted a “training the trainers” series for 17 instructors from different regions of the Philippines.

Although I’d rather write about my experience at another time, I leave you with an inspirational message from Ms. Myrna Padilla who was brought up pounding rice and diving for seaweed. Today she owns a global outsourcing software company called Mynd Consulting based in Davao that specializes in web development, usability, Web 2.0 solutions and many more. Her latest product is a Facebook application called OFW Watch, a news aggregator fine tuned for OFW’s.

Her inspirational opening remarks after the break.


Apple Online Store launches in the Philippines: What happens to local distributors?

It’s no secret that the Apple Online Store has been officially launched in the Philippines. I’m excited. Now I no longer have to leave the comfort of my home to buy Apple products. A move like this points to a great future for online purchasing and delivery in the Philippines. With orders above P3,000, delivery is free.

The online store has a set of coveted features, including the highly coveted iPod engraving for ultimate personalization.

The Apple Online Store brings something else on the table – competition. Now we have a benchmark as to how much an Apple product can cost vis a vis the other official and unoffical distributors (hehe).

I have a question though – and if you work for an exclusive Apple retailer or distributor (PowerMac, The A Store, Digital Hub, Mobile1, etc), you might want to chime in. How does this affect Apple’s relationship with their established gold distributors? Will they be bringing competition to the table, or do they have some sort of partnership in this online endeavor? And here’s an example — the benefits of ordering an iPod online (free engraving!!!) outweigh retailers’ benefits, that is if you can afford to pay 100% cash. It also works if you want to heavily customize* your Macs before you buy them.

At the end of the day, retailers will be forced to come up with better promos (and freebies!) which is all good for the consumers!

* Footnote: I’m a little disappointed that DELL didn’t see the potential of the online store in the Philippines and went 100% retail. The build before you buy feature for the DELL online store in the USA made it such a winner product. We don’t have that here. Oh well. You snooze, you lose.


Contest: Moleskine Giveaway from Avalon.PH

Jasper Ong from Avalon was generous enough to sponsor this contest. It’s part of a blog marketing campaign being done by Avalon.PH. If you’re a fan of rare collectible books (signed by authors!) as well as used tomes and other gift items, Avalon’s online store is where it’s at.

Avalon is giving away a Moleskine Ruled Notebook for this raffle as the grand prize. I’m going to up the ante and give away a second prize – which is a spare set of three Moleskine Cahiers! Isn’t that cool?!

Contest Rules

1. This contest is open to Philippine based residents only.
2. To enter the contest, you need to leave a comment on this post with a valid email address
3. In the comment section you need to answer the question, “when are you most inspired to write?”
4. You can enter the raffle contest as many times as you want but you need to leave a different answer each time you join.
5. I will be drawing the winners when the contest closes using Luck of the Draw. The contest closes at 11:59 PM GMT+8 on November 18 2008.

Left 4 Dead

The Zombie Apocalypse is best experienced with friends. November 18, 2008. I can’t wait!

Anyone else planning on getting this for the PC? We’re set to play Left 4 Dead online on Steam.

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