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10 April 2014

WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Philippine Embassy is bringing Filipinos in the United States closer to home with the launching this week of its virtual radio station that allows it to deliver news, music and other information to mobile phones.

With its Radyo Tambuli, the Embassy said it hopes to reach out to the more than 3.4 million members of the Filipino-American Community throughout the US using an innovative call-to-listen platform developed by AudioNow, a Washington-based company.

“We hope that with Radyo Tambuli, we would be able to bridge the distance between the Philippines and ourkababayans here in the United States who are hungry for news about home,” Minister and Consul General Ariel Peñaranda said at the launching of Radyo Tambuli during the Talakayan sa Pasuguan on Tuesday.

Consul General Peñaranda said Radyo Tambuli was conceived and developed by the Embassy in cooperation with AudioNow, which owns and operates the world’s largest call-to-listen platform. He said Radyo Tambuli is also in line with the desire of Ambassador Jose L. Cuisia, Jr. to further reach out to Filipino-Americans and reconnect them with the Philippines.

Consul General Peñaranda said Radyo Tambuli, which can be accessed by calling 415-638-5777 from any mobile phone or landline, would allow callers to hear the latest news about the Philippines, original Pilipino music and discussions on pressing issues and even participate in opinion surveys.

“Radyo Tambuli is part of AudioNow's social mission to help connect the diaspora to news, information and entertainment from sources they trust,” says AudioNow Chief Executive Officer Elan Blutinger.

“We congratulate the Philippine Embassy for taking the lead as the very first embassy to use call-to-listen radio,” Blutinger said. “As such, Radyo Tambuli introduces a brand new way to conduct public diplomacy in an age where more and more people heavily rely on their mobile phones to stay connected.”

"The Embassy of the Philippines has been a great catalyst in organizing the local community, connecting Filipinos and providing resources,” he added. “We are proud to help the Embassy extend its reach and its impact in the United States.”

Blutinger said no smartphone or data plan is needed to call Radyo Tambuli and there is no incremental charge for the call, beyond any charge for using voice minutes. He said listeners may call from any phone, including a basic feature phone and a landline.

Although most mobile phone subscribers in the US have unlimited airtime, Blutinger advised listeners to check their voice plans to understand if and when they have unlimited minutes and when charges may apply.

Blutinger said with Radyo Tambuli, the Philippine Embassy joins AudioNow’s more than 1,600 broadcast partners around the world that include the United Nations, BBC, RFI, Voice of America, Entravision, C-SPAN and IMG College.

Established in 2008, AudioNow extends the reach of radio by connecting mobile listeners to their favorite radio stations through a simple telephone call. The AudioNow platform uses proprietary “HD” voice design and patent-pending technology that serves all mobile platforms.

Last year alone, Blutinger said AudioNow delivered 2 billion listening minutes to its broadcast partners, in 76 different languages and connected users 84 million times to its platform. ###