Batangas has long hung its hat on its delectable foods and popular tourist hubs. From diving spots in Lian and Laiya, to the well-known Taal Volcano, to beloved dishes like Batangas Goto, these and so much more produced an environment where businesses—big and small—flourished.
All that changed, though, when the COVID-19 pandemic came and ravaged homes, lives, and businesses all around the world. With quarantine protocols, physical distancing, and travel restrictions hindering movement across Luzon, small business owners like Oliver Marasigan, proprietor of the “Original Batangas Goto” almost felt the pinch.
“Bago pa mangyari ang pandemya at normal pa ang kilos nating lahat, jampacked ang customer ko sa gotohan ko. Napakalaking bagay na ang pwesto ko ay sa gilid ng kalsada kitang-kita ako ng customer. 80 kilos na goto tinda ko at umaga palang taob na ang kaldero,” shared Marasigan.
“Pero ngayon, taob na ang alkansya namin. Ubos na ang puhunan, wala na rin kita dahil ipinasara kami ng lokal na pamahalaan at bawal na bawal pa lumabas. Aba eh kailangan namin mabuhay, hindi naman pwedeng aasa kami sa ayuda. Sabi ko sa sarili, ala eh laban na to!”
And persevere Marasigan did as he quickly transitioned his business online. However, he soon found out that the online realm presented entirely new challenges. One, in particular, gave him fits: the slow 3G Internet connection. This kept him from uploading pictures of his delectable goto dishes and getting orders from avid customers.
“Ang mga customer ko, otomatik yan basta nag upload ako, mag-me-message na yan minsan sa comment section, minsan sa messenger. Iinit ang ulo mo eh, alam mo kung bakit? Yung message nila hindi ko agad nababasa dahil napakabagal ng internet, napakahina ng signal. Nawala na ang order lumipad na ang kita sa hangin,” Marasigan relayed.
Monette Gusi, the Acuatico Beach Resort general manager, also shared Marasigan’s frustrations concerning sluggish Internet speeds.
“Nahihirapan kami maka-confirm ng mga visitors. Derecho kasi sa aming website makikita mo yung ano ang pwedeng i-offer ng Acuatico Beach Resort, amenities etc. At ang mga staff namin, naghahanap ng client online. Ang problema, nandyan na ang lahat ng elemento para sumigla ang resort at magpatuloy ang hanapbuhay ng mga tao – eh sasakit ang ulo mo dahil napakabagal ng internet. Yung mga staff lumalabas pa at naglalakad hanggang sa dulo ng beach makakuha lang ng signal. Pero, talagang poor internet connection. Ang resulta, walang bisita,” she said.
A major reason for poor internet connection is the use of 3G SIM which relies on old mobile technology. 3G is already considered obsolete and is being replaced by newer and faster 4G LTE all over the world.
Fortunately, things took a turn for the better when Globe upgraded cell towers in Batangas and nearby regions. With 4G LTE in Batangas, internet speeds in the area have vastly improved, which has led to better connectivity. This helped businesses come to life in the new normal.
“4G! 4-GOTO! Ayos! Taob na naman ang kaldero ng gotohan ko! Hindi na ako problemado sa bayaran ng tuition, bayaran sa kuryente’t tubig at matutustusan na ang pangangailangan namin!” gleefully said Marasigan.
With a faster and more stable Internet connection, tourist arrivals in Batangas have also picked up.
“Dahil sa 4G at mabilis na interconnection, dagsa ang mga booking queries. Nakita ng mga staff ko ang pag-asa na hindi kami magsasara dahil ang bisita sunud-sunod. Napakalaki ng epekto sa negosyo ng internet connection. Necessity na,” shared Gusi.
To fully experience the benefits of 4G LTE, Globe subscribers only need to have their old 3G SIM cards replaced with the 5G-ready 4G LTE SIMs and upgrade their mobile devices to 4G LTE capable ones. If quarantine protocols in their respective areas allow, customers can go to the nearest Globe Store to change their SIM cards for free.
Globe customers in San Juan, Batangas can upgrade their old 3G SIM cards to 5G-ready 4G LTE for free at the following stores:
- Vergara’s Store, Brgy. Calublub
- 3M Sister, Brgy. Calublub 2
- Bernadette Store, Brgy. Subukin
- Crismar Store, Brgy. Laiya Ibabao
- Prince Store, Brgy. Palahanan II
- Arg Store, Brgy. Maraykit
- Lyn Store, Brgy. Quipot
They can upgrade their SIM cards now until June 15, 2021.
“We care for our customers that’s why we are doing everything we can to make their experience better. We are working double-time to bring connectivity to where it’s needed the most, to areas where a strong, reliable, and accessible internet will make the difference between survival or further hardships. We don’t want anyone to be left behind,” said Joel Agustin, Globe Senior Vice President for Program Delivery, Network Technical Group.
Globe strongly supports the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs) particularly UN SDG No. 9 that highlights the roles of infrastructure and innovation as crucial drivers of economic growth and development.