An exciting Dota 2 match, travel, and the importance of insurance for everyone

IT’S been a busy past week with brands and companies holding what I call “revenge events” and I can’t blame them. While online events are less expensive to mount, face-to-face events are more engaging.

I attended the launch of the partnership between attractions platform Klook and e-wallet GCash. The partnership allows Filipinos to access over 490,000 experiences across 1,000 destinations, and make purchases with just a few taps through the GLife icon on their GCash app.

I love Klook and I don’t just use the app when I travel but also to book staycations and even meals. One of my favorite staycations in recent history was at Seda Hotel and I made the booking through the Klook app. When I visited Singapore for work recently, my daughter tagged along at her own expense and made bookings through Klook for meals and adventures, such as the Marina Bay Segway Tour.

Michelle Ho, general manager of Klook Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam, said that for domestic travel, Klook Philippines has already outperformed its pre-pandemic bookings as seen in the leap in bookings for local destinations like Boracay, Tagaytay, Subic and Clark. For cross-border travel, a 5,962-percent growth in the first half of 2022 vs. 2021 has been recorded, the majority of which were bookings in Singapore, Thailand and South Korea.

“The past two years have been gruelling for the tourism industry as a whole, but with many destinations easing their restrictions, we are optimistic that the growth we are seeing now will continue in the next coming months. This demand for travel among Filipinos drives Klook to continue pushing boundaries in terms of expanding the variety of experiences we can offer for both domestic and international travel,” said Ho.

Starting October 3, 2022, travelers may book the best of what Klook has to offer such as hotels, experiences, activities, and transportation through GLife, a mini-program integrated within the GCash app, with constant vouchers and deals exclusively available from their growing merchants to GLife customers.

“We’re very excited for this partnership with Klook. We always look forward to expanding our partnerships with brands that provide amazing experiences and services to our customers. Currently, we see Filipinos eager to travel since restrictions have eased up and this is just another way for us to be able to make this even easier for them—in just a few taps, you can now book your travel experiences and conveniently pay for it all in one app, even giving you the option to pay lighter when our GLife customers avail of the GCredit or GGives functions,” said Macky Limgenco, GCash AVP for enterprise sales.

Travellers can avail P500 off, minimum spend of P1,000 for all Klook products from October 3 to November 2, 2022 by using the promo code KLOOKNOW500, exclusive to purchases done through GLife.

Meanwhile, I spent my Sunday afternoon at SM Mall of Asia for the Predator League 2022 Philippines Dota 2 Grand Finals where I saw Polaris Esports beat GrindSky Esports in the most convincing fashion, winning two games (out of three) straight in Dota 2 to take home the Predator League Shield and get the chance to represent the country in the Asia Pacific Predator League 2022 Grand Finals in November which will be held in Japan.

For the Philippine finals, Predator Gaming offered P1 million as a prize pot and Polaris Esports got P200,000 (and the coveted Predator Shield) of that while GrindSky Esports received P100,000. The two teams also get to compete in Japan.

Polaris Esports clearly dominated the match from the beginning, based on what little I know of Dota 2. I had to keep asking my seatmate John Bueno of Kumagcow.com what the score was until he showed me where it was on the screen. I’ve been at e-sports tournaments many times but this was the one where I paid attention.

Polaris, according to Justin “Vill” Villarasen, who hosted the main stage, flew from its camp in Cebu on Saturday to beat Atomic Esports in the semi-finals in 20 minutes. Meanwhile, GrindSky Esports defeated Execration, with a 2-1 scoreline.

So, yes, with the victory, Polaris Esports became the kings of Dota 2 in the Philippines and when asked what strategy they employed, the team members simply said they did what they had to do. Gamers are normally very quiet and reserved so this answer wasn’t very surprising to me.

Meanwhile, Valorant competitors Oasis Gaming, Team Secret, South Built Esports, and Rex Regum Qeon played their hearts before the excited crowd on September 17.

Rex Regum Qeon (RRQ) easily got rid of Oasis Gaming with a scoreline of 13-5 on both Haven and Breeze. Meanwhile, the veterans of South Built Esports and Team Secret fought it out for a full 3-map series, with Team Secret bowing out of the competition, leaving South Built Esports to advance toward the Grand Finals.

Rex Regum Qeon emerged as the champion to win the Predator League Shield, as well as P200,000, while South Built Esports was awarded P100,000 for their runner-up finish.

So, here’s my realization about e-sports: like tennis, you’d need to know how scoring works to understand the games fully.

Finally, I attended the online event of Stronghold Insurance Company Inc. announcing broadcaster  Anthony Taberna as its endorser, a move that they hope would raise awareness among the general public on the importance of insurance.

During the official contract signing, Taberna encouraged Filipinos to acquire non-life insurance from Stronghold.

In March 2022, the Insurance Commission (IC) reported that Stronghold was the third highest paid-up capital among 57 non-life insurance companies. With a total of 1.5 billion paid-up capital, as of 2021, the company recorded a yearly increase in the number of clients, corporate companies and individuals.

The commission explained that Stronghold’s impressive standing in corporate governance was emphasized when it was declared as the top 10 non-life insurance company in the country, contributing more than P2.3 billion net worth. Stronghold’s lines include Fire, Motor, Marine, Casualty, and Suretyship. More information is available at www.strongholdinsurance.com.ph.