Category Archives: E-Governance

SM Advantage Rewards Card

sm advantage card

I’m a sucker for rewards cards. I only have a few but I use the SM Advantage Rewards Card most often. I live near an SM Hypermart branch so I do my weekly grocery there. There are a couple of Watson’s in our neighborhood so I thought getting an SM Advantage card would be useful. The cashiers can be annoying too, asking if you have one every time you are at the cashier, so to avoid such question, I got one last year.

I remember having one before but didn’t bother to renew the membership. I only got the permanent card when Noah and I went to SM Centerpoint last week. I received a Welcome letter and the Value Perks discount book which contains, according to SM, ‘endless shopping rewards and benefits‘. Most of the deals are valid until May 31, 2013 so good luck when and where to use them.

I was particularly interested in registering my card number over SMS as indicated in the letter. I like to test such procedure. Haha. Unfortunately, it was not successful. I was told to register the number with my birth month and birth year as my four-digit PIN. I tried to register the same evening so I thought maybe the system still needed to be updated or processed.

I tried the next day, same ‘Invalid PIN’ message. I tried registering online, still the same. I tried SMS registration six times– all failed. I gave up.

This morning, I bravely e-mailed the SM Advantage Customer Service to ask what’s the problem. I gave them my details so they could check the error. After 23 minutes, I got an e-mail response that they have ‘successfully reset my PIN’. Quick response. Wow!

That was impressive. Problem is, my e-mail information was incorrect. SM Advantage Card Rewards System

Instead of [reah.padla] , it was [reah.padilla]. Where did that come from?

I understand that others would have the tendency to commit that mistake when writing my surname but this was supposed to be system-generated, right? Is the database being updated manually? That whoever is e-mailing me simply entered my information right then because I asked. Am I the only one experiencing this?

I edited my e-mail information and finally got an activation link, unfortunately again, it still isn’t working. I sent another e-mail and reported the error . I wrote “seems that you manually entered a wrong e-mail address“.

Does this happen all the time?

And then I got this reply: “We have manually activated your registered account.”

So accounts are manually activated? What’s the point of having a database if SM still needs to ‘manually’ update and activate the accounts?

This isn’t really a big deal for me. It won’t add value to my life but for a group as big as SM, the company should have a nicely setup database. Or at least, have hired the best developers and web guys in the country. Up to this point, I am not sure if this happened to me only but I sure hope the SM Advantage team fixes this.

I realized that local companies still don’t put priority on their websites. I am all for e-governance and I am happy that some government agencies are taking this seriously. Meanwhile, a lot of private companies and firms do not– at least, not yet.

The future of e-commerce is very bright. No doubt about that. I hope local businesses reconsider their strategies.  The digital landscape is also rapidly growing and improving that people and businesses need to keep up with the trends.

I know this is old news but apparently, majority of the Philippines is still behind. Sure, there are thousands of online stores based in the country right now. Thanks to Multiply, Facebook, and now Instagram– admit it, these three social networks, have annoyed contributed  to our social shopping life. But I hate that most of them still do not offer online payment. What’s the point of opening an online store if the customer can’t pay online, that she still has to go outside the comforts of her home to go to a bank, a GCash outlet, or a Western Union branch?

I understand that most of these online stores are small retail businesses that some owners may not have credit cards or have knowledge about PayPal and such. But if they want to target more people, they should at least, consider other payment methods aside from bank transfer.

As for SM, I still love you even if I’ve been told by some people not to support Henry Sy. I am targeting the SM Prestige Loyalty Program but I don’t think I would be able to spend P300,000 all at SM Malls within two years of membership.

I love SM because they still ‘got it all for me’.  🙂


[WordCamp Philippines 2012] Government Initiatives Using WordPress

This entry is long overdue as it’s been more than two months since I attended the WordCamp Philippines 2012. I plan to write in parts because I don’t want to lose my train of thought. Here goes…


WordCamps are informal, community-organized events that are put together by WordPress users like you. Everyone from casual users to core developers participate, share ideas, and get to know each other.

That’s how describes such event. WordCamps are held in many cities and countries and in the Philippines, the Filipino WordPress community has been holding WordCamp conferences the past four years. I’ve heard of this and I have friends who’ve attended before. I wasn’t as interested but since I decided to go back to blogging, I thought maybe it would be nice for me to join and meet other WordPress bloggers.

More than 170 WordPress users and bloggers gathered at the Asian Institute of Management in Makati City last October 27, Saturday. I didn’t know anyone when I came in to the conference so I searched for a possible seatmate. I chose a nice, quiet lady that looks like in her early 20’s. Little did I know Klaris Chua and I would hit it off and would discover we have  things in common. (Right, Klaris?:D )

WordCamp Philippines 2012 Keynote by Manuel L. Quezon III

Keynoting the event was Undersecretary Manuel L. Quezon III of the Presidential Communications Development and Strategic Planning Office (PCDSPO). Honestly, because I haven’t been following our local news and government, I had no idea about this group commissioned by the Aquino government. I was ashamed of myself but I soon understood the mission of the PCDSPO as explained to us by MLQ3. It is the “chief message-crafting body of the Office of the President“. I realized that President Aquino is serious about communicating to his constituents and the PCDSPO is expected to help him in that area.

Created by the Executive Order No. 4 last July 30, 2010, the PCDSPO is called to do the following:

  • provide strategic communication leadership and support to the Executive Branch, all agencies and instrumentalities of government;
  • lead the strategic communication of government through the formulation and enforcement of a National Communications Policy;
  • open and extende channels of communication between the government and the people [Source]

Sir MLQ3’s presentation “Government Initiatives Using WordPress” provided me the understanding of the communication strategy of the government. I’m glad to hear that the Philippine government under the Pres. Aquino is making an effort to go digital and use social media to further its many projects. Continue reading [WordCamp Philippines 2012] Government Initiatives Using WordPress