EVEN without the lively crowds and street gatherings, Dabawenyos still pulled off a meaningful Kadayawan Festival celebration by harnessing the power of digital technology and bringing the festivities online.
To help make this possible, the local government teamed up with PLDT and its wireless subsidiary Smart Communications, Inc. for the first Kadayawan Digital Week, which featured a series of online activities that put the spotlight on the region’s rich harvest and indigenous cultures.
This way, Dabawenyos were able to join the celebrations from the safety of their home via streaming Davao City’s official social media channels.
Concert of Hope
The Kadayawan Digital Week featured online viewing parties for some of the most memorable festival moments in recent years, including the Best of Sayaw Kadayawan, Best of Hiyas Kadayawan, and Best of Indak-Indak Kadayawan, among other throwback features.
Also among the highlights of the celebrations was the Smart-backed "Pahalipay sa Kadayawan Online: Paglaum Concert (Concert of Hope)," which featured inspiring performances by local artists including TJ Monterde, streamed on Zoom and Facebook Live.
At the concert, the local government of Davao City nominated Smart GIGA scholars to be awarded with free GIGA Study, a prepaid data pack aimed at giving students simpler access to a selection of learning apps and productivity tools.
Its primary offer, GIGA Study 99, comes with 1 GB of data for specific study apps every day for 7 days, plus 2 GB of open-access. With GIGA Study, teachers and students can access the Google Suite, which includes Google Classroom, Docs, Sheets, Slides, Gmail, Meet, and Drive; YouTube and YouTube Kids for more educational videos; and Microsoft 365, which includes Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, OneNote, Teams, and OneDrive.
Smart also hosted a series of Giga Quiz Nights for subscribers throughout the week, which revolved around interesting facts about the festival and Davao's history.
Exclusive GIGA Promos
As another way to celebrate with Dabawenyos, Smart teamed up with local partners and retailers in offering exclusive discounts on LTE devices as well as discounted GIGA load packages, which made it easier for subscribers to join the online activities and share their experiences on social media.
Smart also partnered with 8telcom to offer exclusive freebies and discounts on smartphones, tablets, and laptops, which were bundled with Smart Bro Prepaid LTE Pocket WiFi and free load to cater to teachers and students who are gearing up for online learning.
Network upgrades in Davao Region
PLDT and Smart enabled Dabawenyos to celebrate the Kadayawan Digital Week seamlessly as the providers continue to increase the capacity and reach of their fixed and wireless networks in Davao Region.
As of June, Smart has ramped-up the installation of LTE base stations across its existing sites in Davao del Norte, Davao del Sur, Compostela Valley, Davao Oriental and Davao Occidental. Smart’s mobile network is supported by PLDT’s extensive fiber infrastructure, which provides high-capacity links to LTE base stations and is now nearly 360,000 kilometers nationwide.
Among the provinces with Smart LTE sites include Mindanao provinces like Misamis Occidental, Agusan del Norte and Agusan del Sur, Northern and Central Luzon provinces like Quirino and Aurora, Southern Luzon provinces like Camarines Sur, Camarines Norte, Albay and Sorsogon, and Visayas provinces like Capiz, Guimaras and Siquijor, and to name a few.
This year, Smart has also deployed 4G/LTE in remote areas of Sulu, Ifugao, Mindoro, and Northern Samar, and is ramping up its rollout in Cagayan and Isabela.
Fastest in the Philippines
PLDT and Smart have recently been cited as the country's fastest fixed and mobile internet networks, outpacing the competition yet again during the first half of 2020, according to Ookla, the global leader in internet testing and analysis.
Ookla reported that PLDT achieved a Speed Score of 24.79, with top download speeds of 70.54 Mbps and top upload speeds of 85.38 Mbps. The fixed network award is based on 48,404,707 customer-initiated Speedtest nationwide for Q1-Q2 2020.
Meanwhile, Smart posted a Speed Score of 18.33, with average download speeds of 15.94 Mbps and average upload speeds of 7.57 Mbps, based on 2,810,963 user-initiated tests taken with Speedtest® in the Philippines for the period Q1-Q2 2020. Speed Score is a measure that takes into account both upload and download speeds.
Drilling down, initial data included in Ookla’s country reports also showed PLDT posting big leads in key areas like Davao City, Cebu City and Quezon City, for example, while Smart is ahead in key areas like Quezon City, Cebu City and Makati City.
Earlier this year, independent mobile analytics firm Opensignal, in its April 2020 Mobile Network Experience Report for the Philippines*, also said that Smart provides the Best Video Experience, Best 4G/LTE Availability and the Best Upload and Download Speed Experience for mobile users in Davao del Sur.
*Opensignal Awards – Philippines: Mobile Network Experience Report April 2020, based on independent analysis of mobile measurements recorded during the period November 1, 2019 – January 29, 2020 © 2020 Opensignal Limited.