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PHILIPPINES Connecting Global News & Views For The Community

UK & Europe Edition

March 2013

Volume 4 - Number 5


HELLO March 18, 2013

FR Business & Finance • EE Celebrity, Showbiz & Entertainment • Philippine Embassy Around The World • Global News • Get Lucky With Marites Allen • HP News • Immigration • International News • OFNews • Sports

Philippines’ Aquino warns sultan in Malaysia standoff BUSINESS & FINANCE • Budget ban for AFP after embargo breached • Philippines asks Malaysia to extend deadline

CELEBRITY, SHOWBIZ & ENTERTAINMENT • Argo’ best film, Ang Lee best director for ‘Pi’ at Oscars • Global music sales rise for first time since 1999

PHILIPPINE EMBASSY AROUND THE WORLD • Philippine Embassy Holds Consular Outreach Mission for Filipinos in Al Khobar


• 19 tourists killed as hot air balloon explodes at Egypt’s ancient temple city of Luxor


• ‘Bank for the poor’ set to open in the country soon • 3 hurt in Philippines flower festival grenade blast


• Filipina accuses embassy official of trading in maids. -Kuwait • From Philippines to Pakistan: Maids can be brought in for only a few thousand rupees


• David Beckham to start for PSG in French Cup • Lance Armstrong refuses to cooperate with US AntiDoping Agency

MANILA — Philippine President Benigno Aquino warned a sultan on Tuesday he would face the “full force of the law” unless he withdrew his gunmen from Malaysia, but the elderly ruler remained defiant. Dozens of followers of the little-known Sultan of Sulu have been facing off with Malaysian security forces for two weeks, after they sailed from their remote southern Philippine island homes to stake a territorial claim. With the incident causing increasing embarrassment to the Philippine government, Aquino made a nationally televised address on Tuesday to try to pressure the sultan into bringing his gunmen back from Malaysia’s Sabah state. “If you choose not to cooperate, the full force of the laws of the state will be used to achieve justice for all who have been put in harm’s way,” Aquino said. “This is a situation that cannot persist. If you are truly the leader of your people, you should be one with us in ordering your followers to return home peacefully.” Aquino, flanked by his interior and justice secretaries, also warned the sultan that he may have broken laws, including one

banning citizens from inciting war that carries a maximum prison term of 12 years. But the 74-year-old sultan, Jamalul Kiram III, showed no signs of buckling, calling a press conference from his home in a poor Muslim enclave of Manila to insist the standoff would continue unless his demands were met. “As far as we are concerned we have not committed (a) crime,” Kiram said, adding his followers cornered in a fishing village in Sabah on Borneo island would not initiate any violence with the Malaysian security forces. “But we are prepared to defend our lives and aspirations.” Kiram says he is the head of the Islamic Sultanate of Sulu, which once controlled parts of Borneo including the site of the stand-off, as well as southern Philippine islands. The sultanate leased northern Borneo to Europeans in the 1870s. While the sultanate’s authority gradually faded as Western colonial powers exerted their influence over the region, it continued to receive lease payments for Sabah. The former British colony became part of the federation of Malaysia when it was formed

Jamalul Kiram, a sultan on the southern Philippine island chain of Sulu, on February 22, 2013 (AFP, Noel Celis)

in 1963. Kiram and his family, as heirs to the sultanate, still receive nominal annual compensation from Malaysia -- the equivalent of about $1,700 -- and they want more money. Kiram said on Tuesday the gunmen would only lay down their arms if the Philippines and Malaysia agreed to negotiate terms for joint development of Sabah. Pressed on details, Kiram’s adviser Abraham Idjirani told reporters the sultanate should receive as royalties 50 percent

of proceeds from Sabah’s economic growth -- potentially many millions of dollars. But Kiram also said his followers wanted to remain in Sabah even if a financial deal was struck. “(They want to) peacefully settle in Sabah, which is our homeland,” he said. Aquino said the sultan had 180 followers in Sabah, up to 30 of whom were armed. But Kiram said he had 235 members of the “Royal Armed Forces of Sultan of Sulu and North Borneo” there. Malaysian authorities have

sought to ensure tensions do not escalate at the site of the standoff, surrounding the gunmen but keeping their distance. However Aquino cautioned the sultan that he could not expect to test the Malaysian government’s patience indefinitely without repercussions. “The avenue of peaceful and open dialogue is still available to us... we have not yet reached the point of no return, but we are fast approaching that point,” Aquino said. ■ AFP



InternatIonal / Global news

March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

19 tourists killed as hot air balloon explodes at Egypt’s ancient temple city of Luxor

A hot air balloon caught fire and exploded over Egypt’s ancient temple city of Luxor during a sunrise flight on Tuesday, killing 19 tourists including Japanese and Koreans, sources said. The balloon which was carrying 21 people was flying at 300 metres caught fire when it caught fire, a security official said. An employee at the company operating the balloon said the pilot and one tourist survived by jumping out of the basket before it plunged to the ground. Both have been taken to hospital. The employee, who declined to give her name, told AFP the tourists

were from Korea, Japan and Britain, as well as one Egyptian. Earlier a security official reported 19 people dead but said they were from Hong Kong, Japan, France and Britain. “This is terrible, just terrible,” the employee told AFP by telephone. “We don’t yet know what happened exactly or what went wrong,” she said. The balloon had been floating over the west bank of Luxor, one of Egypt’s most renowned archaeological sites and home to the famous Valley of the Kings and the grand Temple of Hatshepsut.

The British foreign office could not immediately confirm if any Britons had died in the crash. “We are aware of reports (that Britons might be among the casualties). We are making inquiries,” a Foreign Office spokesman said. In 2009, 13 foreign tourists were injured when their hot air balloon hit a phone mast and crashed at Luxor. Sources at the time said the balloon was overcrowded. The crash comes amid widespread anger over safety standards in Egypt following several deadly transport and construction accidents. ■ AFP / February 26, 2013

Brussels airport heist nets $50mn diamond haul BRUSSELS — Heavily armed robbers disguised as police made off with $50 million worth of diamonds in a spectacular heist on the tarmac at Brussels airport, prosecutors and diamond dealers said Tuesday. The Monday night robbery at Zaventem airport just before 8:00 pm (1900 GMT) was “one of the biggest” ever, said a spokeswoman for the Antwerp World Diamond Centre (AWDC), the global dealers’ syndicate. The Brussels raid saw a gang of eight hooded thieves pull up on the runway in two black vehicles with blue police-like markings, Brussels prosecutors’ spokeswoman Anja Bijnens told a press conference. They forced their way through security barriers and sped towards a Swiss passenger aircraft about to take off, forcing open the cargo hold to reach gems -- rough and cut -- that had already been loaded, she said.

Bijnens said the thieves were wearing police uniforms and carrying machine guns, adding: “They wanted to pass themselves off as cops.” They seized at least 120 packages, which was only part of the shipment, she said. The pilot, co-pilot and staff from a Brink’s armoured car that transported the gems were held up but “no shots were fired and no-one was injured,” Bijnens said of a robbery that was over “within minutes.” She said the thieves made off at high speed through the same gap in the security cordon they had opened in front of unsuspecting ground staff and travellers, adding that the passengers on board the plane “saw nothing” and that the aircraft, bound for Zurich, did not leave Brussels. The Swiss air company said the flight was a regular route operated by its partner Helvetic Airways.

A man holds a rare diamond at the Hong Kong Jewellery and Gem Fair in Hong Kong on September 22, 2009 (AFP/File, Mike Clarke)

According to the AWDC, the global diamond business is worth more than $60 billion each year. Some $200 million worth of stones move in and out of Antwerp every day, the spokeswoman added. The diamond community was “shocked by the brutal heist,” said Caroline De Wolf of the AWDC in a subsequent statement. She said traders want “additional security measures” implemented at the airport.

In February 2005, some 75 million euros worth of diamonds and jewels being shipped to Antwerp were stolen in a KLM vehicle at Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport. But the record for a theft of diamonds was in Belgium, in February 2003, when 100 million euros worth of stones were nabbed from the vault of the Antwerp Diamond Centre. Asked to comment, Brussels airport spokesman Jan Van der Cruysse said: “There are very clear and very strict international security standards and we stick strictly to them.” Neither the prosecutor’s office nor the AWDC official would give any details as to whom the shipment belonged. The prosecutor’s office said the packages contained mainly diamonds. The AWDC said the haul was worth $50 million dollars.

One of the vehicles was found afterwards completely burnt out near the airport, the spokeswoman for the prosecutor’s office said. A specialist Belgian prosecutors unit dealing with organised crime is “pursuing all lines of enquiry,” Bijnens said, and is collaborating also with Swiss authorities. “This was not a random robbery,” she stressed. “It was well-prepared -these were professionals.” Belgian Justice Minister Annemie Turtelboom was on hand at the airport as the investigation gathered pace. There are more than 4,500 diamond dealers in Antwerp, the hub for a worldwide industry going back at least 500 years, and more than twice as many jobs dependent on the trade, the AWDC said. Eight in 10 of all rough and half of all polished diamonds are traded in Antwerp, they added. ■ AFP

Controversy erupts over where Richard III’s New crazy North Korea propaganda video shows Obama and U.S. troops in flames NORTH Korea has released a recently discovered bones will be buried new propaganda video showing

JUSTICE minister Thomas McNally said parliament should not intervene in the row over where the recently uncovered remains of Richard III will be buried. In a letter issued the day after descendants of the monarch called for the remains to be interred in York, McNally said the decision was to be made by the University of Leicester, which made the discovery. “They have indicated that they intend to reinter the remains in Leicester Cathedral, which is one of the possible locations referred to in the licence,” he wrote.

The Ministry of Justice licence to exhume the body was issued shortly after the remains, discovered under a Leicester car park, were identified as Richard’s. Nine of the king’s descendants on Sunday said in an open letter that their ancestor would want to be buried in York, the city which gave its name to his royal house. Richard ruled for two years until his death in 1485 in the Battle of Bosworth Field the decisive batle of the Wars of the Roses which ended the Plantagenet line of monarchs and ushered in the Tudors. ■ AFP / February 26, 2013

Michael Ibsen a descendent of England’s King Richard III poses for a picture with a plastic model made from the recently discovered skull of the king.

US soldiers and President Barack Obama burning in the flames of a nuclear blast. The footage was uploaded on YouTube on Monday, two weeks after a separate video that showed New York city in flames after an apparent missile attack. Both videos were uploaded by the North’s official website, Uriminzokkiri, which distributes news and propaganda from the state media. The latest effort came with a series of Korean-language captions, arguing that North Korea had been forced into conducting its latest nuclear test — on February 12 — by US hostility “The North’s high-level nuclear test aimed at US invaders, is the nuclear deterrent to safeguard our sovereignty,” one caption read. “The US practically guided the North towards conducting the nuclear test,” it added. The video showed images of Obama waving and preparing to deliver his State of the Union

address — all superimposed against a background of rising flames. It ended with an animated sequence of a nuclear bomb being detonated in an underground bunker and the message: “The whole world is now watching. The US must answer now”. The North’s latest test was its biggest yet in terms of explosive yield and, according to Pyongyang, marked a breakthrough in its

efforts to develop a “miniaturised” warhead that could fit on a ballistic missile. The earlier video posted by Uriminzokkiri had to be withdrawn, after it emerged that the footage of a burning New York was taken from the “Call of Duty” video game. The makers of the game, California-based Activision, filed a copyright complaint. ■ AFP / February 20, 2013

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InternatIonal / Global news

March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

US Congress team warns Iraq after attack on Iranian refugees PHILIPPINES

AFP - A team of US Congressmen met with the Iranian dissident group MEK in Paris on Sunday and threatened to declare Iraq’s prime minister a sponsor of terrorism after a deadly attack on an Iranian exile camp there. The bi-partisan team, led by Dana Rohrabacher -- the chair of the subcommittee on Europe -- expressed strong support for the People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK) which has accused Iran’s supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei of ordering a deadly attack on its camp in Iraq on February 9. “The government of Iraq has clearly broken its word to us,” Rohrabacher said, recalling that seven people died and several were injured in the assault on Camp Liberty, a former US military base near Baghdad housing about 3,100 members of the MEK. “The Iranian government and the Iraqi government are working together to murder opponents of the mullah regime,” he said, calling for their immediate transfer to Camp Ashraf, a former refugee camp in Iraq’s Diyala province. Rohrabacher said Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki would feel the heat if further assaults pursued. “If there is another attack on these helpless refugees obviously cleared by the government of Iraq, we will move in the US Congress ... and put forward

a resolution declaring Prime Minister Maliki and his government state sponsors of terrorism. “It’s a terrorist attack when you kill unarmed civilians,” he said, adding that if this were allowed to continue “the mullah dictatorship in Iran will see that as a sign of weakness and all of us will suffer.” A US statement at the end of the talks called for the immediate removal of the residents of Camp Liberty to Camp Ashraf to “move them out of harm’s way.” MEK leader Maryam Rajavi has denounced what she called the “crimes of the Iranian state” and stressed that Camp Liberty was inside a giant military zone and that the perpetrators could only have got inside with help

from “within the Iraqi government”. The four-member US delegation held talks with Rajavi and said the MEK was the “legitimate alternative to the ruling dictatorship” in Tehran in a strong show of support for a group that was struck off the US terror list only in September. The Paris-based body had invested much money and years of intense lobbying to be taken off the list. The left-wing group was founded in the 1960s to oppose the shah of Iran, and after the 1979 Islamic revolution that ousted him it took up arms against Iran’s clerical rulers. The MEK says it has now laid down its arms and is working to overthrow the Tehran regime through peaceful means. ■ 17 February 2013

Protesters in Washington hold banners and signs, demanding the continued US protection of 3,500 members of Iran’s oppostion People’s Mujahedeen of Iran (MEK) at Camp Ashraf in Iraq’s Diyala province, on December 5, 2008. A team of US Congressmen met with MEK in Paris on Sunday and threatened to declare Iraq’s PM a sponsor of terrorism after a deadly attack on an Iranian exile camp there.

LONDON — Hugh Grant, the British actor and campaigner for tighter press regulation, has announced on Twitter that he has become a father for a second time after a newspaper obtained his new son’s birth certificate. Grant said he was “thrilled” to become a father again, reportedly with Chinese actress Tinglan Hong, but urged the press to leave his family in peace. The 52-year-old star of “Notting Hill” was one of the most high-profile

victims of phone-hacking by the former British tabloid the News of the World, and has since become a campaigner for a more responsible press. “In answer to some journos. Am thrilled my daughter now has a brother. Adore them both to an uncool degree. They have a fab mum,” Grant said in a Twitter message on Saturday evening. He later added: “And to be crystal clear. I am the Daddy.” His announcement was in response to a story in Britain’s Mail on Sunday reporting that the child,

Hugh Grant announces new baby

Hugh Grant arrives at the European premiere of “Fire In Babylon” in Leicester Square, central London on May 9, 2011 (AFP/File, Leon Neal)

Felix Chang, was born in a west London hospital on December 29. The tabloid cited the birth certificate, issued on February 14. Grant tweeted: “Thanks for v kind messages. Now I’ve confirmed (press somehow got birth certificate & were calling), hoping my family will be left in peace.” The couple’s first daughter, Tabitha, was born in 2011. At the time, the actor’s publicist said the couple had a “fleeting affair” and although the pregnancy was not planned, Grant “could not be happier or more supportive”. ■ AFP / Feb 17, 2013




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

best-ever January showing, sales up 123% Budget ban for AFP after embargo breached Ford Philippines reportssafety, fuel efficiency, quality, vehicles, Ford continues to

THE Treasury has banned an international news agency from getting privileged access to budget documents under embargo until Finance Minister Pravin Gordhan gives his budget speech in the National Assembly next week. The Treasury said this week the ban was imposed on Agence France Presse (AFP) as it had breached the embargo during the release of the medium-term budget policy statement in October last year. The Treasury said in a notice to journalists this week: “Consequently, AFP has been barred from covering the budget this month,” reminding them of the rules governing their privileged access to budget documents. “Please consider this a warning that any breach of the embargo rules will not be overlooked and may lead to serious sanctions.” A senior financial journalist, who did not want to be identified, said: “People trade vast amounts of money on key headlines of the budget. If one agency has a piece of information out before everyone else their subscribers clearly have an advantage over the others.” The breach related to the early release of a headline related to the revision of South Africa’s growth rate. AFP’s Southern African bureau chief, Christophe Beaudufe, said the agency had broken the embargo by mistake and accepted the sanction

Picture: Trevor Samson

imposed. “It was not deliberate,” he emphasised. In terms of the Treasury’s rules, journalists are allowed access to budget documents from 6am on the day of the minister’s speech on condition that their stories are released to the public only when the minister says “Mr (or Madam) Speaker”, whatever time this takes place, usually at about 2pm. During the lock-up, journalists have to hand over cellphones, and police officers on duty ensure that landline phones are kept off the hook and office doors are kept open. They also accompany reporters to the rest room, and to and from the media centre for the briefing by the minister during the morning. • This article was amended on February 22 2013 to make it clear that the quote about people trading vast amounts of money on key headlines of the budget came from a financial journalist, not from the Treasury. ■ BDLive / 22 FEBRUARY 2013

CONTINUING the momentum of its record month and quarterending in December, Ford Philippines today reported the company’s best-ever January performance with retail sales jumping 123 percent year-overyear to 820 units. The exceptional month was driven by strong sales across the growing Ford lineup. The record month was given a significant boost by the robust performance of the all-new Ford Focus, with January sales of 95 units—the strongest single month for the Focus nameplate in almost three years. “The all-new Focus is the latest proof point of our commitment to offering segment-leading vehicles,” said Randy Krieger, president, Ford Group Philippines. “Packed with several first-in-class technologies, the all-new Focus significantly raises the bar in the compact car segment.” Leader in small car segment Sales of the popular Ford Fiesta—which retained its title as the best-selling 5-door hatchback in its class for two consecutive years— posted January sales that rose 17 percent year-over-year to 167 units. The Fiesta continues to be one of the clear leaders in the small car segment by delivering an unmatched combination of

smart technologies and value for money. The class-defining, all-new Ranger continued to demonstrate its strong appeal as the most versatile pickup truck in the market, with retail sales of 178 units in January. “Demand for the all-new Ranger continues to be very strong. It’s great to see how receptive customers are towards this extraordinary pickup, and we’re looking forward to further expanding the all-new Ranger lineup with the rangetopping Wildtrak at the Manila International Auto Show in April,” said Krieger. Sales of Ford’s popular SUVs also delivered strong monthly performances in January, with the popular Ford Everest family SUV recording retail sales of 239 units, and overall deliveries of the class-defining, all-new Ford Explorer reaching 861 units since its launch in the Philippines. The iconic Ford Mustang maintained its momentum with 18 units sold in January. Since its launch in September, Ford has delivered 170 Mustangs to customers in the Philippines. In addition to the introduction of segment-leading One Ford

build on its commitment to further improving its customer experience , which includes customer convenience from an even wider network of nationwide coverage. In January, Ford celebrated the continued expansion of its nationwide dealer network with the inauguration of Makati Ford in Metro Manila. Makati Ford is the sixth new full sales and service outlet Ford has opened since announcing its plan to open 12 new dealerships and expand its nationwide network to 35 by the middle of the year. Since the inauguration of Ford Cainta in October, Ford has opened dealerships in Butuan, Naga, Tarlac and Isabela. Over the next six months, Ford will be establishing dealerships in Bohol, General Santos, Laoag, Zamboanga, Manila Bay and Baguio. “With more segment-leading One Ford vehicles coming to the Philippines and a growing network of authorized Ford dealerships, we remain absolutely committed to our One Ford plan and confident that we will take this even further in 2013,” said Krieger. ■ Daily Inquirer / February 19th, 2013




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippines Trounces Global Stocks in Aquino-Led Rally

THE world’s biggest equity bull market is propelling Philippine valuations to all-time highs as international investors pile into the country’s stocks in an endorsement of President Benigno Aquino’s economic policies. The Philippine Stock Exchange Index climbed 13 percent this year through yesterday, bringing gains since October 2008 to 285 percent, at least 124 percentage points more than every other bull market in emerging and developed nations, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The index turned into Asia’s most expensive from the second-cheapest four years ago as rallies in Ayala Land Inc. and Bank of the Philippine Islands lifted the gauge to 19 times estimated profits. Aquino’s efforts to boost spending on government projects and tackle corruption are convincing foreign investors to look past the nation’s speculative-grade credit rating and focus on the third-fastest growth in Asia after China and Thailand. While Invesco Ltd. says shares are too expensive, Samsung Asset Management and Religare Capital Markets see further gains of at least 20 percent and an investment-grade ranking this year. “Funds will remain net buyers,” Alan Richardson, who helps oversee about $110 billion as a money manager at Samsung Asset in Singapore, said in a Feb. 6 e-mail. “The focus is on opportunity and growth rather than contraction caused by deleveraging, bank recapitalization, fiscal austerity and increased regulatory oversight in many of the developed economies.” Bull Rally. The benchmark gauge for the nation’s $236 billion equity market rose 0.9 percent, the biggest gain in Asia today, to a record 6,620.72. The bull market, defined as an advance of at least 20 percent from the most recent low without a drop of the same magnitude on a closing basis, is the biggest

since Bloomberg began compiling Philippine index data in 1987. Mexico’s IPC Index has climbed about 161 percent since March 2009, making it the second-biggest bull market among 45 emerging and advanced countries, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index is up 125 percent from a low in the same month. In China, the biggest emerging market, the Shanghai Composite Index has increased 24 percent from its Dec. 3 low. Philippine shares will probably return about 38 percent by the end of 2014, according to Samsung’s Richardson. The benchmark index may rally 20 percent to 30 percent this year, said John Sturmey, head of equity capital markets at Religare Capital Markets, a unit of New Delhibased Religare Enterprises Ltd. Foreign Inflows. “We are very bullish on the Philippines for this year and the following years,” Sturmey said in a Feb. 5 interview in Manila. Foreign investors purchased a net $819 million of shares in Asia’s 12th-biggest stock market this year, 120 percent more than during the same period a year ago, according to Philippine Stock Exchange data compiled by Bloomberg. The nation of about 100 million people recorded $2.5 billion of inflows last year, the most since Bloomberg began tracking the data in 2000. Growing confidence in the economy is also boosting the nation’s currency and debt. The peso has appreciated 5 percent against the dollar during the past 12 months, the most in emerging markets, and reached the strongest level since 2008 last month at 40.55 to the dollar. Economic Growth. Yields on local-currency debt, rated BB+ by Standard & Poor’s, fell to a record 3.76 percent on Jan. 28, according to the JPMorgan GBI-EM Philippines Index. The cost to insure government bonds, rated one level

below investment grade, against non-payment for five years using credit-default swaps was 103 basis points yesterday, data compiled by Bloomberg show. That compares with 121 for Brazil, whose foreigncurrency debt is rated two levels above the Philippines. Philippine gross domestic product increased 6.8 percent from a year earlier in the fourth quarter, compared with 7.9 percent in China. The euro region contracted during the period, while the U.S. expanded 1.5 percent. Aquino plans to boost spending to a record and seek more than $17 billion of infrastructure investments to spur growth of at least 6 percent this year. Projects to build a tollroad south of Manila and more than 9,300 classrooms have already been announced since he took office in June 2010. The 53-year-old president has narrowed the budget deficit by cracking down on tax evasion and raising taxes on liquor and tobacco. The gap was probably 2.3 percent of GDP in 2012, Budget Secretary Butch Abad said in a Feb. 14 interview in Manila. That’s down from 3.5 percent in 2010, according to Philippine Department of Finance data. Fighting Corruption. Aquino, who had a 66 percent approval rating in a January survey conducted by Pulse Asia, has also focused on reducing corruption. Renato Corona, the country’s top judge, was ousted in May for illegally concealing his wealth. The Philippines was ranked 105 on Transparency International’s 2012 Corruption Perceptions Index, an improvement from 134 in 2010. A lower ranking signals less corruption. “The macro environment looks very positive and the Philippines probably has the cleanest government in its history,” Alistair Thompson, deputy head of Asia Pacific ex- Japan equities at First State Investments in Singapore, said in a Jan. 16 phone

interview. “Companies are very optimistic.” His firm oversees about $147 billion. Philippine stock valuations already reflect the good news, according to Paul Chan, the Hong Kong-based chief investment officer for Asia exJapan at Invesco, which oversees about $713 billion. More Expensive. The benchmark index’s valuation of 19 times projected 12- month earnings is the highest since Bloomberg began compiling the data in January 2006 and 46 percent more expensive than the MSCI All-Country World Index. The Philippine gauge has the world’s second-highest multiple after Greece’s ASE Index, which trades at 22 times estimated profits, the data show. Ayala Land, a Manila-based developer, is valued at 39 times 2013 profit forecasts, more than twice the median multiple for global peers, according to the average of 14 projections compiled by Bloomberg. Bank of the Philippine Islands, the country’s biggest lender by market capitalization, trades for 4 times net assets, versus the 1.6 industry average. Earnings-per-share in the Philippine index will probably increase 14 percent in the next 12 months, versus 25 percent for the MSCI All-Country gauge, according to analyst estimates compiled by Bloomberg. Earnings Outlook. “The Philippines is a very crowded market,” Chan said in a Feb. 7 phone interview. He cut Philippine positions to less than 1 percent of total holdings from “much higher” levels last year and prefers shares in China and South Korea, where price-earnings ratios are about half the level of the Southeast Asian nation’s. There is “probably room” for Philippine stock valuations to climb as long as growth in earnings and the economy can be sustained, Hans

Sicat, president of the country’s bourse, said in a Feb. 15 interview in Tokyo. First State’s Thompson said he purchased shares of Manila- based BDO Unibank Inc. after visiting the country in November. The nation’s second-biggest bank by market value trades for 2.2 times net assets, about half the multiple of Bank of the Philippine Islands. Rating Trend. “We remain positive,” Douglas Cairns, an investment specialist for Asia and emerging-market equities at Threadneedle Investments in London, which oversees about $122 billion, said in an e-mail on Feb. 7. Cairns said the firm has overweight holdings in Philippine shares, meaning positions exceed the country’s representation in benchmark indexes. An investment-grade credit rating may open Philippine capital markets to pension funds and endowments that have avoided the country, according to Samsung Asset’s Richardson. The rating will probably be upgraded in the first half, central bank Governor Amando Tetangco said in a Bloomberg Television interview on Jan. 25. S&P raised its outlook to positive from stable on Dec. 20, citing the stability of Aquino’s administration and economic growth. GDP will probably increase 6 percent to 7 percent this year and accelerate in 2014, Economic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan said at a forum in Manila on Feb. 13. Investors should add to their stock holdings on any declines, Christopher Wood, a Hong Kong-based strategist at CLSA Asia-Pacific Markets who recommends a bigger overweight position in the Philippines than any other equity market in Asia excluding Japan, said in a Feb. 7 report. “In such a structural bull market, those investors who focus too much on valuations sell way too early.” ■

Bloomberg / Feb 19, 2013

Philippines asks Malaysia to extend deadline MANILA: The Philippines’ foreign affairs department asked Malaysia’s foreign ministry to extend the deadline from February 22 to February 26 for the 300 followers of Sultanate of Sulu to end their occupation of a village in Sabah’s town. On Friday, Manila’s Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario said he called up his counterpart Kuala Lumpur’s Foreign Minister Datuk Seri Anifah Aman, to allow the 300 followers of Sultan Jamalul Kiram, including his brother, Agbimuddin Kiram, until Tuesday to leave Tanduao village in Sabah. “There are negotiations with the family [of Kiram] and hopefully that goes well and there is a peaceful withdrawal [of his followers from Tanduao Village],” del Rosario said.

Both Malaysian and Philippine government officials expressed hope to resolve peacefully the takeover crisis which began two weeks ago. In a press conference at the Blue Mosque in southern suburban Taguig, Kiram said he wanted peace talks to ensue between the Sultanate of Sulu and Malaysia, in a neutral country. In 1658, the Sultan of Brunei gave a portion of Sabah to the old Sultan of Sulu, for the latter’s role in quelling a rebellion there. The Sultanate of Sulu leased northern Borneo to European colonials in the 1870s. Sabah was given back by the United Kingdom and became a state of Malaysia, at the end of the country’s colonial rule. Despite that, heirs of the Sultan of Sulu continue to receive lease

Sultan of Sulu Jamalul Kiram says that his followers who crossed over to the Malaysian state of Sabah will not leave despite calls by both Malaysian and Philippines government.

payments for Sabah in the amount of 5,300 ringgit (Dh6,416). Noting what will happen two weeks after the occupation of Tanduao village, Kiram said his followers were instructed not to fire their arms, but to stay where they are. Earlier, Malaysia’s Home Minister Hishammuddin Hussain said that

Malaysian forces remained on top of the situation. Meanwhile, the Philippine Navy intensified border patrol between Malaysia’s Sabah and southern Philippines’ Tawi-Tawi to prevent more Filipino-Muslims from going to the occupied area. Six naval vessels, a Philippine Navy Islander aircraft, and vessels from the Philippine Coast Guard were sent to the area to stop followers of the Sultan of Sulu from further invading Sabah, Lieutenant Commander Gregory Fabic said. “This is meant to stop what is happening in Sabah from escalating,” said Lt. Fabric, adding the blockade began on February 12. But the naval blockade would not be effective since relatives of the heirs of Sultan of Sulu have been

residing in Sabah for a long time, sources told Gulf News. At the same time, President Benigno Aquino created a group composed of representatives of the departments of justice and foreign affairs, and the office of the president to review the dormant claim of the Philippine government on Sabah, said Justice Secretary Leila de Lima. Former President Diosdado Macapagal formally claimed Sabah in 1962. Succeeding Philippine presidents did not pursue it, following the creation of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations and the assistance extended by Malaysia in helping the Philippine government handle its problem with FilipinoMuslim secessionist rebels in Mindanao. ■ Gulf News / February 22, 2013




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

‘Bank for the poor’ set to open in the country soon A Middle East-based development organization has announced its plan to open a bank in the country that will offer financing to microentrepreneurs and marginalized sectors as part of its program to help fight poverty, promote education and empower women here. In a media interview held in Makati City on Monday night, Nasser Al-Kahtani, executive director of the Arab Gulf Program For Development (Agfund), said they are planning to invest $2 million to jump-start the opening of the bank designed to give access to marginalized sectors. “Right now, we are looking for a strategic partner who will infuse $3 million for the partnership. The reason we don’t want to put a bigger equity is Agfund is not interested to control totally the proposed bank. We will only have a 40-percent equity,” said Al-Kahtani. He said Agfund decided to come to the Philippines when the Philippine envoy to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia approached them and invited the organization to start operations in the country. Al-Kahtani said Agfund is optimistic that the Philippines will be a good site for its development work considering that poverty alleviation, education, health and women’s empowerment are major developmental issues. “I also want to stress that Agfund supports women empowerment in its development work around the world. In our microfinancing assistance programs, we provide loans to women not men because they are more responsible borrowers compared to the males,” he said. Under the Agfund system, AlKahtani said they will recruit fresh graduates for their development work in the Philippines. The recruits will come from marginalized families and will run the operations of the bank “because they’re in the best position to know the real situation on poverty.” Agfund is a non-profit Arab

region development organization based in Riyadh, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. It is holding a threeday event in Manila, Philippines that will include the awarding of its Agfund International Prize. Meanwhile, Agfund recently honored the Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) for its Open Academy for Philippine Agriculture (Opapa) project from 2010 to 2012. PhilRice won $100,000 for its project, an online learning portal that provides continuing education to farmers and agriculture professionals. The project, which offers information in several Filipino languages, also provides lessons and professional assistance through mobile-text messaging, allowing them to reach more farmers in the countryside. It would be the first time that the Philippines will host the Agfund. It will also be the first time that the winners of the annual prize on 2010 and 2011 would come together due in part to the event being postponed in its official host Egypt. Agfund focuses on programs that support poverty alleviation and sustainability of development projects. Each year the award has specific themes that project proponents from participating countries must adhere to. In the case of the Opapa, the theme was information and communications technology and


youth empowerment. Apart from the award, Agfund officials will also announce its plans to open up their first “bank for the poor” in the Philippines, with the goal of supporting the poorest segment of the Philippine society by establishing a national microfinance institution. Grameen Bank Founder and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus is attending the event to share his experiences and support as leader of the world’s microfinance industry that was initially set up in Bangladesh in the early 1970s. The Agfund is supported and owned by the Arab Gulf States, namely the United Arab Emirates, Kingdom of Bahrain, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, State of Qatar, Sultanate of Oman and State of Kuwait. Since its establishment up till 2011, AGFUND contributed to supporting and financing of 1,365 projects in 133 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Eastern Europe. The funds were provided through AGFUND’s cooperation with 27 United Nations and international organizations, 22 regional organizations and 240 Arab non-governmental organizations, in addition to a number of governmental bodies and other international and regional institutions. ■ Business Mirror

/ 26 February 2013



Participants were making preparations for the conduct of the float parade at Burnham Park

3 hurt in Philippines flower festival grenade blast

MANILA: At least three people were hurt following a grenade blast during celebrations marking the annual Penagbenga flower festival in northern Philippines Baguio City, reports reaching the capital said. Participants were making preparations for the conduct of the float parade at Burnham Park on the last day of the three-day event when a powerful blast rocked the Melvin Jones Grand Stand around 7am. A radio report by dzMM said a man was seen throwing an object inside the office of the Baguio Civilian Volunteer Against Crime near the grandstand seconds before the blast occurred. The explosion injured security guard Gilbert Salvador as well as Joseph Espana and Jenard Palomique. They were taken to the Baguio City General Hospital for shrapnel wounds.

Penagbenga is a much-awaited annual event held as a thanksgiving for a bountiful harvest. It is attended by hundreds of thousands of people from the highland Cordillera Region as well as local and foreign tourists who marvel at the beautiful floral designs of the participating floats. In past years, the event had been attended by politicians as it takes place just several weeks before local and national elections. In a radio interview, Cordillera regional police head Chief Supt. Benjamin Magalong, said the explosion near the grandstand is an isolated incident and people should not be alarmed. Authorities said they were investigating the blast and gathering more data on the suspect. Penagbenga festivities in the past had been held without incident. ■ GulfNews / February 24, 2013

“We adore you, O Christ and we bless you, because by your holy cross, you have redeemed the world”. 2013 Theme: “We walk by faith, not by sight.” (2 Cor.5.7) Date: PALM SUNDAY, 24 March 2013 Price: £20 (includes donation to Anglican shrine, catholic shrine and the priest) ACTIVITIES: 06:30 Assembly (Main entrance of Charing Cross Hospital) 07:00 Departure from London 10:00 Arrival and orientation around the Anglican Shrine 11:00 Station of the Cross at Anglican Shrine 12:30 Procession to Catholic Shrine via Royal Pilgrims Ways (45 minutes to 1 hour walk) 13:30 Lunch (Bring your own pack lunch) 15:30 Blessing of the Palms 16:00 Holy Sacrifice of the Mass (Catholic Shrine) Main Celebrant: Fr. Norlan Julia, SJ 17:00 Departure from Walsingham PAY ON RESERVATION: £15 required deposit for coach and itemise donation will be on your receipt. Any interested friends, please contact Betilda on: 07919 380513 or Carina on: 07876023683 LET’S START OUR HOLY WEEK WITH A MEANINGFUL DAY OF SACRIFICE AND OFFER OUR PERSONAL INTENTION TO OUR LADY OF WALSINGHAM.

Philippine papal bet wants people power for Church MANILA — Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle wants to bring the Catholic Church closer to people, a vision his fans say comes from a genuine passion for helping the poor and one that could make him Asia’s first pope. The 55-year-old cardinal from a working-class family close to the Philippine capital is being touted at home and abroad as a genuine chance to succeed Pope Benedict XVI during a historic Vatican vote next month. Tagle has a reputation across the devoutly Catholic Philippines as a humble man with a lifelong commitment to helping the poor, while senior Church figures regard him as a moderate progressive who balances conservative doctrines. Tagle, the archbishop of Manila who was appointed a cardinal in November, has refused to discuss his chances for the papacy since Benedict announced he would resign on February 28 due to poor health. But speaking at a public seminar in Manila last weekend, Tagle elaborated on his well-known views that Church leaders needed to do a better job at reaching out to the people within their communities, particularly the youth. “The young want to be connected,” Tagle said at the forum. “That is the basic of the faith -- (to be) connected to God, connected to others, to the Church. We need to go back to that fundamental.” Eloquent and with a soothing voice, Tagle has also made high-profile speeches in recent years calling for a humbler Church that is more open to the public’s concerns. Born in 1957 in the thenrural township of Imus, about

two hours’ drive south of Manila, Tagle’s devout Catholic upbringing exposed him to religious work at an early age. One of his mentors, Father Romeo Ner, 72, recalled that they first met when Tagle was a young boy and even then he showed remarkable empathy, as well as discipline and intellect. “He was always number one in school. He was very interested in helping the poor even at a young age, and he was very close to the Church,” Ner told AFP. “I was amazed because he knew how to recite the rosary and all of its mysteries when he was just three.” Ner said that as a young priest, Tagle was involved in raising money for parishes that served poor areas, where the future cardinal developed a taste for braised chicken feet -- a staple in the slums. “Giving the poor their true dignity is his passion. He loves them,” said Ner, who as then vicar general of Tagle’s hometown was instrumental in making him one of the country’s youngest bishops at the age of 44 in 2001. “When he was appointed as cardinal last year, I asked him whether he realised he was now the highest churchman in the country,” Ner said. “He just said ‘yes’, but appeared not to be very engrossed with the idea. He is very humble that way, and he never craved for any attention.” Respected Vatican analyst Sandro Magister wrote recently that Tagle could become the first developing world pope, in the absence of notable Church leaders in Africa and Latin America, where the majority of the world’s Catholics live. Magister wrote in Italy’s L’Espresso magazine that a

key point in Tagle’s favour was the Church’s increasing focus on Asia as the future bulwark of the faith. Tagle is well-positioned because the Philippines is Asia’s only majority-Catholic nation, a legacy of more than three centuries of Spanish rule. And while Tagle is identified with the progressive wing of the Vatican, Magister noted that even the conservative Benedict had appreciated the Filipino’s “balance of vision and doctrinal correctness”. At a time when many Church leaders are seen as aloof, Magister also emphasised Tagle’s reputation for connecting with the Philippines’ millions of poor people. “Especially striking is the style with which the bishop acts, living simply and mingling among the humblest people, with a great passion for mission and for charity,” Magister wrote. Bookmakers rank Tagle as among the favourites going into the cardinals’ secret conclave in Rome. One popular Irish site has him at 16-1 odds. Nevertheless, other analysts also point out the momentous nature of electing the first pope from Asia, Africa or Latin America, arguing that another European pope is a safer bet. In the Philippines, there has been nearly uniform support for Tagle since Benedict’s shock resignation announcement. “If he becomes a pope, it will be a loss to us, but a gain to the Vatican and the Catholic world,” said Ner, Tagle’s former mentor, reflecting sentiments expressed by politicians, Church leaders and media commentators. ■

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Archbishop of Manila, Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle, pictured in Manila, on February 16, 2013 (AFP/File, Jay Directo)




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Government hunts Sulu sultan’s financiers Pabasa: Reading of the Passion 2013 PHILIPPINES

THE government is hunting down alleged financiers suspected by Malacañang to have bankrolled the journey to Sabah of Sulu Sultan Jamalul Kiram III’s armed followers and supporters who are now locked in a standoff with Malaysian authorities in North Borneo. “Well, we’re looking into it,” Palace Spokesman Edwin Lacierda told reporters on Wednesday, referring to still-unnamed suspects believed to have spent for the trip of 180 persons holed out in remote Lahad Datu for over two weeks now. “As the President [Aquino] has mentioned, we are looking into that.” When asked at a Palace media briefing about the progress of government probers’ efforts in identifying the suspected financiers, as well as the evidence gathered to sustain charges against the suspects

when cases are filed in court, Lacierda declined to provide details. “I’m sorry, I cannot disclose that. That is not something I am authorized to speak on,” he told reporters. At the same time, Lacierda gave assurances that the administration continues to exert efforts to arrive at a peaceful resolution of the over twoweek-old Sabah standoff. But he said it is now up to Sultan Kiram “to decide what course of action he will take, and I hope that he will not take a course of action that will lead to violence.” “Again, the point is [for the sultan to order his men to return to the Philippines],” Lacierda added. He said the government has not been “unreasonable” in asking Kiram to first withdraw his followers from Lahad Datu before meeting with the President to discuss how the government could help the sultan in

negotiations over Sabah with Malaysia. Kuala Lumpur continues to pay annual rent for the North Borneo territory owned by the Sultanate of Sulu. “Have we been unreasonable? I will say, no. The government has not been unreasonable. We have sent emissaries to discuss with them. The entire purpose of this is to come up with a peaceful resolution of the incident,” Lacierda said. “We are also concerned not only with the 180 who are in Lahad Datu, we’re also concerned with the welfare of the 800,000 Filipinos in Sabah. We have a broader perspective than the 180 people and that’s the concern of the President. Our concern is, you come back here, let’s defuse the tension and then let’s discuss it. Is that unreasonable? I think that’s a fair and prudent act and I think that should be reciprocated by Sultan Jamalul Kiram III.” ■ Business Mirror / 27 February 2013

PHILIPPINE food producers were encouraged to consider exporting food items, such as vegetables and fruits, to Sweden. A report furnished by the Philippine embassy in Oslo, Norway, to the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) noted that a large part of Sweden’s imports consist of products that it cannot grow economically or goods that it cannot produce on its own due to geographical limits. The report said Sweden’s imports consist of wine, certain vegetables and fruits, sweet corn, rice, oils, raw coffee, tea and cocoa as well as a range of seafood.

“Consumption of fish and seafood, meat products, coffee, fresh fruit and vegetables, and cereal products has increased considerably in recent years,” the Philippine Exporters Confederation Inc. (Philexport) said, citing the report provided to the group. Other food products in-demand in Sweden are those from other countries especially the so-called ethnic foods. These include oils and vinegar, condiments, spicy sauces and dressings. “Swedish consumers have a taste for new food styles, which have

increased the demand for ethnic food products from around the world, as well as exotic fruits and vegetables, especially those that can be supplied all-year round,” the report noted. As more Swedish consumers become health conscious with a strong concern for the environment, this has translated into a growing demand for organic and healthy foodstuff, such as nuts and cereal. The report revealed that majority of food Sweden imported from developing countries are raw materials and food ingredients that are used for processing. “Swedish food consumption consists of 90-percent processed foods. This is internationally a very high figure,” it said, noting that the remaining 10 percent is composed of non-processed products, such as fresh fruit and vegetables, fresh fish, fresh meat and eggs. It added that the import of foodstuffs to the food processing industry is often handled by specialized companies. ■ Business

PHL exporters urged to tap Swedish retail food market

BATANGAS Association UK

Date & Time: 28th March 2013 (Thursday from 20:00h – 24:00h) 29th March 2013 (Friday from 09:00h – 12:00h and 16:00 – 24:00h) 30th March 2013 (Saturday from 07:00h onwards) Place: Holy Cross Chapel, Charing Cross Hospital, Fulham Palace Road, London

The ‘Pabasa’ (which mean ‘reading’) is a Filipino Lenten tradition of continuous chanting the account of salvation history in Filipino poetry form. The Pabasa lasts for around 16 hours, with one or two people/groups alternating in singing verses from the Pabasa. In the Philippines, the Pabasa started from way back the Spanish Times when the missionaries introduced Christianity in the islands. In order to facilitate their catechetical work,

they narrated the history salvation in poetry form which had greater appeal to the sensitivities of the Filipinos. All over the world, wherever there are Filipinos, they bring them this Lenten tradition along with many other cherished Catholic traditions. ANY VOICES ARE WELCOME. If you wish to donate Salabat Tea (Ginger tea) or Biscuits are most welcome. Thank you very much and God Bless. ■

Pepsi to enter powdered juice market in PHL soon

the powdered juice drinks category, we are confident that Mirinda Powder will be well-received, similar to our product innovations in the past,” Chakrabarti said. Its product will be available initially in groceries, convenience stores nationwide, and in select sarisari stores. PCPPI is the exclusive bottler of PepsiCo beverages in the Philippines. Lotte Chilsung, one of the biggest beverage companies in South Korea, is the lead shareholder of PCPPI and co-manages the Philippine company with PepsiCo. Its closest competitors include the manufacturers of best-selling brands such as Tang, Eight O-clock and Oishi.

Mirror / 24 February 2013

PEPSI-COLA Products Philippines Inc. (PCPPI) will enter the powdered juice drinks market in the country, which enjoys single-digit increments annually with only a handful of major players. The company, which sells beverages such as Pepsi-Cola, 7-Up, Mirinda, Gatorade, Tropicana, Lipton and Sting, said in a statement that it will sell orange-flavored Mirinda mix in the country. It will sell the product in 35-gram sachets and 280-gram pouches. Pepsi-Cola President Partho Chakrabarti said the powdered juice segment in the country enjoys annual growth in the single digit with only a few major players. “Though this is our first foray into

THE Department of Agriculture (DA) will honor the country’s top rice-producing provinces and towns, irrigators’ associations (IAs) and agricultural extension workers (AEWs) when it announces the winners of its Second Agri-Pinoy Rice Achievers’ Awards at a ceremony to be held at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on March 15. Prizes totaling almost P110 million will be given to the honorees during the ceremony. Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said the contest, sponsored by the DA through its National Rice Program (NRP), is the Aquino administration’s way of thanking the country’s rice farmers, provincial and town officials, and AEWs for their

efforts to increase palay (unhusked rice) production. “We initiated the Rice Achievers’ Awards as part of the DA’s interventions and incentive system to encourage local government units [LGUs], IAs and AEWs to contribute their share in increasing farmers’ harvest and incomes, and subsequently attain national rice sufficiency,” Alcala said. “For the second straight year, we will recognize their vital contribution as the Philippines gears up for rice sufficiency this year,” he added. The agriculture chief also said he has invited President Aquino to be the guest of honor and speaker at the event. The President will award the prizes, as well as incentives, during the ceremony.

The top 10 rice-producing provinces will each receive a P4-million project grant, while 48 municipalities and cities will receive P1 million each. Ten IAs will also receive P1 million each and three small water-impounding systems associations (SWISAs) will each get a project worth P500,000. Each of the 500 AEWs chosen will get incentives worth P20,000. Top rice-producing provinces, towns, cities, IAs and SWISAs are chosen based on the incremental rice harvest and average yield per hectare over 2011 levels; any increase over the 2012 target; the budget devoted to rice projects and initiatives; the number of farmers benefited; and the degree of riceseed utilization. ■ Business Mirror / 27

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March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Regional leaders sign peace deal for eastern DR Congo PHILIPPINES

ADDIS ABABA — Regional African leaders signed a deal to try to bring peace to the war-torn east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, with plans to reinforce a UN-led mission to combat rebels after years of unrest. But with the ink still wet, the UN Security Council expressed concern at the deepening unrest in the region, once again condemning the mainly Tutsi M23 rebels, who UN investigators say are backed by Rwanda and Uganda. Eleven countries in the Great Lakes region -- including those accused of backing rebel groups -signed the accord at a ceremony in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa in the presence of UN chief Ban Kimoon. “It is my hope that the framework will lead to an era of peace and stability for the people of the Democratic Republic of Congo and the region,” Ban said. But he added: “It is only the beginning of a comprehensive approach that will require sustained engagement.” The accord aims to encourage the reform of weak institutions in the DRC, central Africa’s largest nation,

and calls for countries in the region to stop interfering in each other’s affairs. After the signing, US ambassador to the UN Susan Rice warned it was “imperative that the DRC’s neighbours respect its sovereignty and territorial integrity by preventing external support to armed groups, which is a violation of international obligations”. The accord also provides for changes to the UN’s 17,000-strong MONUSCO peacekeeping mission. That may lead to creation of a special UN “intervention brigade” to fight rebel groups and support political reforms, and the appointment of a UN special envoy. South African President Jacob Zuma described the creation of the brigade, which will total 2,500 troops, as a realistic way to quickly restore security. DR Congo’s mineral-rich east has been ravaged by conflict involving numerous armed groups for the past two decades, with new rebel movements spawned on a regular basis. Neighbouring states have regularly been accused of meddling

in the eastern DR Congo, with the illegal extraction of its valuable minerals one of their motivations. The latest surge in violence erupted last year and culminated in the rebel March 23 movement (M23) -- made up of largely Tutsi former soldiers -- briefly seizing the key town of Goma in November. At the UN headquarters in New York on Sunday, the Security Council again expressed concern at the deteriorating situation in eastern DR Congo. Its members renewed their condemnation of the M23 group, one of the key targets of the UN accord. “They reiterate their demand that the M23 cease immediately attempts to establish an illegitimate parallel administration,” said a statement released by the council. Rwanda and Uganda, both signatories of the new accord, have been accused by UN experts of backing the M23, which launched an uprising against the DR Congo government last year. Both countries have denied the charge and at Sunday’s ceremony, Rwandan President Paul Kagame welcomed the accord.

Congolese flee the town of Sake following fighting in the eastern Democratic Republic of the Congo November 22, 2012 (AFP/File, Phil Moore)

“Today’s agreement is an important step and opportunity in reaffirming our commitment to regional peace,” he said. “Nothing would be of greater benefit to Rwanda than real progress towards regional peace and stability.” Kagame and the presidents of the DR Congo, South Africa, Mozambique, Congo and Tanzania were present for the signing of the agreement. Envoys represented Angola, Burundi, the Central African Republic, Uganda and Zambia. The African Union’s commissioner

for peace and security Ramtane Lamamra welcomed the deal. So too did the European Union, in a statement from foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton. A first attempt to get the peace agreement signed last month on the sidelines of the African Union summit was called off at the last minute. The DR Congo is the biggest and most populous country in central Africa and has enormous but largely untapped potential mineral wealth including copper, oil, diamonds, gold, silver, zinc and uranium. ■ AFP

NEWS5 leads multi-sector election coverage RESORTS WORLD MANILA, Pasay City, 13 February 2013 — TV5 takes the lead in one of the most comprehensive coverage of the coming elections with the participation of highly respected private and civil society organizations in the Philippines to help provide the quickest polling and result updates come May 13. Dubbed Pagbabago 2013, the alliance of media-civil society and private groups was launched today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the participating institutions led by NEWS5. TV5 chairman Manny V. Pangilinan, keynoted the event which gathered some of the biggest names in media, business and politics. Seasoned journalists and industry leaders came in full force to confirm their commitment towards the

conduct of free and honest elections. Present during the launch were: the Commission on Elections (COMELEC, led by chairman SixtoBrillantes), the National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections (NAMFREL, represented by national chairperson Corazon de la Paz - Bernardo), Legal Network for Truthful Elections (LENTE, represented by acting executive director and acting national coconvenor Atty. Luie Tito Guia), the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV, led by chairperson Ambassador Henrietta De Villa). Also in attendance were the University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance (led by Dean Professor Prospero De Vera), the Student Council Alliance of the Philippines (SCAP, represented by

Comelec Chairman SixtoBrillantes, Jr. and TV5 Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan (center) with (from left to right) PLDT President and CEO Napoleon Nazareno, NEWS5 Chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes, SMART Chief Wireless Advisor Orlando Vea and TV5 President and CEO Ray C. Espinosa

UP student council president Heart Diño), BusinessWorld (represented by executive editor Vergel Santos), i-Academy (represented by COO Vanessa Tanco-Cualoping), RMN (represented by President, Chairman and CEO Eric Canoy) and Chikka. “NEWS5 has brought together a formidable coalition of independent organizations to help ensure that this year’s elections are peaceful, honest and fair,” said Mr. Pangilinan. “More than providing voters with information, Pagbabago 2013 urges all Filipino voters to actively participate in the electoral process and to remain vigilant in safeguarding their votes. At the end of the day, what we hope to attain is a conscientious electorate that are able to put their candidates into account for their promises of good governance even long after Election Day,” he added. NEWS5 strongly advocates voter education and empowerment via truthful and complete information. As such, Filipino voters can count on TV5’s Pagbabago 2013 as they protect and exercise their right to vote. Pagbabago 2013 demonstrates NEWS5’s nation-wide reach in reporting the events surrounding the 2013 mid-term elections at the national, provincial, city and municipal levels. The Kapatid Network also assures the public that it will bring all election-related news and personalities to every Filipino voter living here and abroad across all available media platforms (print, television, radio, Internet and mobile).

TV5 Chairman Manuel V. Pangilinan (fifth from right) led “Pagbabago 2013,” NEWS5’s special election coverage as the news organization teams up with PLDT, SMART, Sun, e-PLDT, LENTE (Legal Network for Truthful Elections), I-Academy, Chikka, BusinessWorld, PPCRV (Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting), NAMFREL (National Citizens’ Movement for Free Elections), RMN (Radio Mindanao Network, SCAP (Student Council Alliance of the Philippines) and University of the Philippines – National College of Public Administration and Governance. Comelec Chairman SixtoBrillantes and Commissioner Grace Padaca (ninth and tenth from left) also expressed their support for the election launch

Through the technology prowess of telecommunication giants PLDT, SMART Communications, Sun Cellular and ePLDT, Filipinos around the world will be able to access Pagbabago 2013’s real-time reports. During the event, NEWS5 also announced the start of “AnongAksyon Mo?,” an advocacy campaign that allows Filipino voters to hold their local officials accountable even after the Elections are over. News magazine program Reaksyon will also help viewers know more about the personalities seeking seats in the Philippine Senate. Reaksyon presents Aplikante is a special series that features senatoriables being interviewed by a panel of veteran journalists led by NEWS5 chief Luchi Cruz-Valdes. Balwarte will also continue to document political families across the country, as it airs at these times: Aksyon TV International – KSA 11:30pm, UK 9:30pm, Guam 6:30am, NA PST 10:00am, NA EST 1:00pm; Kapatid

TV5 – KSA 10:45pm, UK 8:45pm, Guam 5:45am, NA PST 10:30pm, NA EST 1:30am. In the lead up to Election Day, viewers will also get news via Pagbabago updates as they are broadcast on Kapatid TV5 and Aksyon TV International. Pinoys on-the-go can also get news via on their computers and mobile devices. Pilipinas Global Network Limited (PGNL) is a joint venture between Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company (PLDT), the largest and leading telecommunications company in the Philippines, and ABC Development Corporation (“ABC5”), the operator of TV5, the fastest growing terrestrial channel in the Philippines. It acts as the sole and exclusive distributor and licensee of the programs, shows, films and channels of TV5. It distributes these media content via syndication and via its international linear channels, namely: Kapatid TV5 and Aksyon TV International. ■

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March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

TV5 programs receive recognition for changing people’s lives BREAKING the typecasting of television as the “idiot box” offering nothing but momentary gratification, TV5 can be credited with impacting the lives of the people through its primetime programs. Three of its shows, “Enchanted Garden”, “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition (EMHE) Philippines” and “Dancing Nation: A Talentadong Pinoy Special”, have been praised for bringing some of the country’s pressing concerns to primetime TV. Last year, “Enchanted Garden” was awarded the Gawad Muyong by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources as a result of the show’s efforts in raising public awareness about saving the environment. The Kapatid Network’s first eco-fantasya was also recognized for bringing environmental issues closer to viewers. More than just entertaining Filipinos, TV5 also features the

struggles and triumphs of ordinary Pinoys by showcasing them on the small screen. “EMHE Philippines” was recently named a finalist to the 2013 New York Festivals. Based on the original Endemol worldwide TV hit, the Philippine edition proved that lives can indeed be changed one home at a time. The cause-oriented show successfully reached out to families and communities that deserved a new lease on life, beginning with a home that they can call their own. Another example of entertainment-cum-civic action is when three hundred dancers from Laua-an, Antique emerged victorious during the first “Dancing Nation: A Talentadong Pinoy Special” last weekend. They won P1 million in cash to help their town’s “Operation: Timbang” program that combats malnutrition, especially among children.


The town of Laua-an beat dancers representing Alaminos (Pangasinan), Infanta (Quezon), Jose Panganiban (Camarines Norte), Tupi (South Cotabato), Rodriguez (Rizal) and Calauag (Quezon). The “Talentadong Pinoy” special is more than just a dance competition and allows the participating towns or communities to articulate their people’s concerns to a much greater audience. Celebrities like Alice Dixson, Arnell Ignacio and Audie Gemora even gave their personal contributions to the featured causes after seeing each town’s commitment through dance. With the success of “Enchanted Garden”, “EMHE Philippines” and “Dancing Nation”, TV5 proves that building a more united Philippines remains at the heart of its programs. Pilipinas Global Network Limited (PGNL) is a joint venture between Philippine Long Distance Telephone



TV5 head of creative and entertainment production Perci Intalan (right) accepts the Gawad Muyong from the DENR along with ‘Enchanted Garden’ director Joel Lamangan (left) and cast members.

Company (PLDT), the largest and leading telecommunications company in the Philippines, and ABC Development Corporation (“ABC5”), the operator of TV5, the fastest growing terrestrial channel in the Philippines. It acts as the sole ORGANISER The Mayor of the City of Chelmsford

28th, 29th, and 30th March

West End Mamas Mayors Charity Concert A Day of Pilgrimage to Our Lady of Walsingham Main Celebrant: Fr. Norla Julia, SJ Pabasa 2013

5th May

Flores de Mayo & Santa Cruzan

Holy Cross Chapel, Charing Cross Hospial, Fulham Palace RoadW6 8RF Plymouth RC Cathedral

5th April

Philippine Fashion Showcase London 2013 Bamboo 2013 UK Tour Live

The Langham, London 1C Portland Place, W1B 1JA London, Colchester & Manchester

Vanrock Productions

26 – 27th April

Parokya ni Edgar Live in UK Comeback Concert

London & Scotland

Platinum Star Productions

18th May

Miss London NABA 2013

London Filipino Basketball Community

24-26th May

History in Cornwall Chaplain: Fr Ari Dy, SJ

Camden Centre, Euston Road WC1H 9JE Cornwall

24th March 24th March (Palm Sunday)

5, 6 & 7th April

Civic Theatre Fairfield Road CM1 1JG Chelmsford, Essex Anglican Shrine, Our Lady of Walshingham

and exclusive distributor and licensee of the programs, shows, films and channels of TV5. It distributes these media content via syndication and via its international linear channels, namely: Kapatid TV5 and Aksyon TV International. ■ CONTACT / REMARKS Box Office Number: 01245 606505 Betilda: 07919 380 513 or Carina: 07876 023 683

KMF Events Ltd.

Mario : 07818021874 or 07557348240 Merlyn McGuire 07962875223/ 01579383903 Vanessa Horca Ron: 07827965478 Jing: 07921356496 Rannie: 07775441369 Julz: 07813792502 Shella: 07877533956 Loi: 07900512405 Mario : 07818021874 or 07557348240

FREE LISTING of your events on the Hello Philippines newspaper and if you know of any Events please contact us and submit your event via email to the following at DISCLAIMER: The Events Diary Listing does not necessarily constitute or imply its endorsement, recommendation, or favouring by Hello Philippines newspaper. The views and opinions of authors expressed herein do not necessarily state or reflect those of Hello Philippines newspaper. This is merely an Events Diary Listing of what is happening within the Filipino Communities in Europe. This is for general information only. Filipino Community Masses in Greater London as of March 2013 2:00 p.m. Five Precious Wounds Parish 1st Sunday Brentfield Road, Stonebridge Park, NW10 8ER Ms. Mervic Monocillo 07894636140

2nd Saturday

2nd Sunday

3rd Sunday

5:00 p.m.

Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church Friary Road, Peckham SE15 1RH Mr Allen Abeleda 077 1362 5888

4:00 p.m.

St Peter the Apostle Catholic Church, 103 Woolwich New Road, SE18 6EF Mr Moises Espanola 078 9464 8639

2:00 p.m.

English Martyrs Church Chalkhill Road, Wembley Park, HA9 9EW Ms Becky Sarinas 079 4985 7699 or 074 2576 1519

2:00 p.m.

St Dominic Catholic Church 243 Violet Lane, Waddon, CR0 4HN Ms Merlie Mirto 077 2221 6462

4:00 p.m.

St. Anselm and St. Cecilia 70 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, WC2A 3JA Mr. Feliciano Ramirez 07733680748

3:00 p.m.

Sacred Heart of Jesus New Priory, Quex Road, Kilburn, London, NW6 4PS Mr. Sheidrick de Leon: 07738210202

3:00 p.m.

Blessed Sacrament Parish 157 Copenhagen Street, Islington N1 0SR

Last Saturday

6:00 p.m.

Ms. Christy Sangalang: 07709119969 Our Lady of Dolours, Servite Parish Church 264 Fulham Road, London, SW10 4EL Fr. Allan Satur: 02073526965 Mr. Roland Adap

Last Sunday

2:00 p.m.

St. Joseph’s Catholic Church 218 Roehampton Lane, London SW15 4LE Mr Rafael Santiago 077 9525 4451

Every Sunday

5:00 p.m.

Holy Redeemer Catholic Church 20 Brixton Road (Oval), SW9 6BU Mr Ben Ortiz 0772 331 8486

First Wednesdays

6:30 p.m.

Filipino Mass and Novena to Our Mother of Perpetual Help Farm Street Church of the Immaculate Conception (Jesuit House Chapel) -access on 114 Mount Street , W1K 3AY Josie Ramos 077 2302 4591




Filipina accuses embassy official of trading in maids.-Kuwait PHILIPPINES

KUWAIT: A Filipina businesswoman, who owns a salon in Salmiya, accused a Philippines embassy official of indulging in human trafficking and harassing her. Moneera (not her real name) accused former head of Assistance to Nationals Unit (ATNU) and currently Administrative Officer of the Philippine Embassy, Ibrahim Dalidig Tanandato, of selling her a runaway housemaid worth KD600 to work at her salon. The money was allegedly given by Moneera to Tanadato’s sisterin-law, who, she alleged, shelters runaway housemaids at her home to eventually hand them over to prospective employers, an allegation she denied when contacted by this reporter. Tanadato’s sister-in-law provides to families the maids who she brings from the Philippines. Tanandato also strongly denied Moneera’s accusation when approached by the Kuwait Times, and stressed that there was no truth in Moneera’s allegations since he

only dealt with the housemaids who were released by their employers. “It is not true at all,” Tanandato said when asked by Kuwait Times during an event at a Philippine school in Jleeb on Sunday night. Tanandato, instead quoted the house maid to claim that she ran away from Moneera’s house because her (Moneera’s) husband tried to touch her. “This information was provided to us by the housemaid,” Tanandato stressed. Moneera said she decided to share her story because she was harassed by some of Tanandato’s men at the embassy as she had given her testimony to a team of investigators from Manila’s Department of Foreign Affairs which was in Kuwait earlier this month. The two member team was investigating Tanandato’s activities in Kuwait. “I signed my affidavit before the team from the DFA when they came earlier this month, but right after my testimony, some people from the embassy called.

KARACHI: For the well-to-do in Pakistan, bringing a Filipina maid into the country is a matter of a few hundred thousand rupees. For only Rs350,000 to Rs400,000, a local agent can ensure that a trained, English-speaking Filipina maid is legally brought to Pakistan. This amount covers the cost of the work visa, plane ticket, paperwork and also the agency’s commission. An official of the Islamabad-based Embassy of the Philippines, Humayun Masood explained how this works. “If a family in Pakistan is looking for a Filipina maid, they approach an agent with their criteria,” he said. “The family can also go through the resumes of domestic workers that the agency has, and then make a decision.” The agency then sends an invitation letter and a No Objection Certificate to the worker that has been selected, so that she can apply for a visa. “The

agency handles the paperwork,” said Masood, adding that the embassy itself deals with only four “authorised” agencies. The Filipino workers are all registered with the embassy. Atiq Alvi of the agency, Alvi Associates Lahore, said that when a Filipina maid is brought to Pakistan, she signs an agreement with her employer, but her salary of $400 per month has been fixed by the embassy. The agency’s commission is not deducted from the worker’s monthly salary, he added. “Usually, there are no problems between the maid and the employer but if there are issues then we [the agency] help resolve them,” he said. “In most cases, things are sorted out. If not, the employer can dissolve the contract and get a new maid.” Not all cases are, however, so simple. Marium Shaikh said that the $3,500, which comes to around Rs350,000, that she paid to an agency in 2009

KUWAIT: Joseph Urbiztondo, a Filipino who has spent almost 17 years in jail after being sentenced to a life imprisonment in Kuwait for killing a Bangladeshi national in July 1996, is all set to walk free since the blood money required for his release has been collected and will be submitted to the authorities here. The blood money collection was completed when the Alliance of Filipino Organizations in Kuwait (ALFILOK) organized a concert to raise the remaining amount KD 2,400 for Urbiztondo’s freedom. Urbiztondo’s tanazul (letter of forgiveness) was already secured from the family of his victim in Bangladesh by the Philippines’ embassy here long back, but it came with a condition of paying KD6000 as ‘dia’ or blood money.

The money, as per the Kuwaiti court here, will be required to be paid to the victim’s family. “The amount has been collected and we hope that he will be out soon and be with his family,” said Dr Chie Umandap, the head of the group that invited performers from Manila Ai Ai delas Alas, Bugoy Drilon and Liezel Garcia. The trio held a successful concert here on Jan 25 and the proceeds from the concert were set aside for Urbiztondo. “He has a family back in the Philippines waiting and the greatest gift we can ever give is his freedom,” Umandap said. He explained that the biggest contributor (donation) was received from the Catholic Church. “Bishop Camillo Ballin has given us KD2000 (for Urbiztondo) and the rest came from the joint effort made

They have been telling me that my allegations were untrue and wanted me to come to the embassy. I did not go to the embassy because all they wanted to do was to harass me. They have been spreading bad word against me and therefore I decided to share my travails with the media,” Moneera admitted. Moneera said that Tanandato was selling housemaids instead of helping them. “He would sell these ladies to new employers and make money. I am one of those who bought the housemaid from him,” Moneera told the Kuwait Times. “That housemaid was brought to my house by none other than Tanandato in the company of her wife sometime in November last year,” she recounted. “I knew Tanandato because his wife is part of the Kuwait Filipino Mother’s Organization – a group I am a member of. When I mentioned to his wife that I need a worker in my salon, she immediately offered help. She said her husband can provide a

worker,” Moneera mentioned. The worker would cost, Moneera was told, KD600. “She told me they provide girls but release money is usually involved. According to her, the old employer had to be paid KD600, so that they could cancel the case of the lady worker,” Moneera said. After some talks, he brought her the lady the following day. He requested his sister-in-law to collect KD600 from Moneera. However, after three days, the house help brought for Moneera ran away. “I was shocked, because I had already paid the amount to Tanandato. I called him immediately and he said they could not do anything except to call the housemaid to return the money. But I told him, I have given the money to him, so he has to return the same to me. I went to his office and I stayed there in his office from 10am to 3:30pm just to collect back my money,” she said adding that they did not really want to repay. “They were angry at me, but

March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Ibrahim Dalidig Tanandato at the embassy

eventually they give me KD450 only after some intervention by a lady at the embassy who warned them that if they (Tanandato) did not pay the amount, the case will eventually attract the attention of Ambassador Primavera. So, they finally returned KD450 and the remaining KD150 was given only after two months,” she said. Moneera alleged that her case was conveyed to the Philippine Embassy Charge d’affaires Sheila Monedero, but she was told that she could not do anything about her case since she was not present when the amount was paid, but hinted she will be ready to assist when Moneera decides to file a case. ■ Kuwait Times / 25/02/2013

From Philippines to Pakistan: Maids can be brought in for only a few thousand rupees

A Filipina maid cleans a mirror during a government-mandated crash course in domestic duties in Manila on September 14, 2011. Photo: AFP/File

went to waste. “Dr [name removed] is a fraud,” Shaikh told The Express Tribune. “She gave me an untrained maid who could not speak English. Why should I have to train my maid if I’m paying so much money to keep her?” When Shaikh complained to the agency after two months, she was told to send the maid back for training. “I never heard from them again,” she recalled.

Grace’s experience. Twenty-sixyear-old Grace, a Filipina maid, came to Pakistan three years ago, “When things were not so strict it was easier for me to come here, but now the embassy in the Philippines has warned us that Pakistan is not safe,” she said. After receiving a letter of invitation, all aspiring maids have to submit IDs and an NOC. After that, they have to undergo a two-week training period and a medical test. “If a Filipino wants a work visa for Pakistan, they have to show that they can cook and clean and that they know how to speak English,” she explained. “Having contacts and friends’ in the embassy makes the process easier.” Grace works in Islamabad, but she was brought to Pakistan by an agent in Lahore. “My first employers were so bad. They did not pay on time and didn’t give me days off. So I just ran away!”

With the help of some Filipino friends in Islamabad, she approached the Embassy of the Philippines. Since her employers had withheld her passport, she filed a police report for a ‘lost’ passport and filed for a new one by showing a photocopy of her work visa. “I hear many stories about bad employers, so I tell all my Filipino friends that if they are unhappy with their employers and want to run away, they must have a photocopy of their work visa.” Grace has managed to obtain a Pakistan Origin Card, even though people usually have to marry a Pakistani citizen to get this card. “Pakistan is not such a strict country,” she said in a matter-of-fact tone. “If you have friends at the embassy like I do, you can convert your work visa to a POC for Rs70,000 without showing a marriage certificate.” ■ Express Tribune // February 24th, 2013.

Jailed Filipino to walk free soon – Release after 17 years in prison by various Filipino organizations. At first, we thought we could raise the amount but we could only gather KD 3,600. So, in order to complete the amount, we thought holding the concert will be a great help. It worked and as a matter of fact, we will be turning over the amount to the authorities soon. We managed to raise KD 2,400 for Urbiztondo.” Urbiztondo, the longest serving Filipino in the Kuwait Central Jail in Sulaibiya, started soliciting help from different nongovernmental organizations in the Philippines and even the Philippines Vice President Jejomar Binay, but his efforts were hampered for one or the other reason. “I would like to thank the entire Filipino community in Kuwait which assisted us in this endeavor.


We are thankful to the Bangladesh Embassy as well for its cooperation, and, most of all, we thank the supporters of ‘Musika at Tawanan’ (the name of the concert).” Last Friday, the ALFIL-OK had arranged a special gathering to recognize the effort they

contributed for the said project. The ALFIL-OK confederation included the Filipino Badminton Committee, Filipino Cultural Club, FILSOK, Oragons in Kuwait, KFMO, PSK, FilAseak, Fitpro and Al Rawan Salon (of Ms Farida). ■ Kuwait Times / 24/02/2013




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippines native to open Asian food mart SINCE coming to Tyler a decade ago, Ramil Cleofe not only misses his friends and family in his native Philippines. He misses the food. Cleofe, along with Ramon Navarro and Esusana Igaya, plans to open a new business here that could help change that. They hope to open Kabayan Asian Food Mart in March. The store will offer Asian-inspired noodles, spices, fresh vegetables and produce “that you will not see in the supermarkets here,” Cleofe said. They also will have fresh seafood delivered once a week, Navarro added. “We saw the need for one,” Cleofe said of why they decided to open an

Asian grocery in Tyler. Navarro agreed. “There’s a growing population of Asians here, not only in Tyler, but all of East Texas,” he said. Cleofe, 45, and Navarro, 60, met in Tyler while working together in a lab as medical technologists, running tests requested by doctors. Both men grew up in the Philippines. Navarro immigrated to New York in 1991 and moved to Beaumont for a brief time before coming to Tyler in 1994. He has worked as a medical technologist since then and he and his wife of 24 years, Nina, have two sons. “I had a better opportunity to work in my profession here,” he said

of why he moved to Tyler. Cleofe was a doctor in the Philippines before he moved to Tyler in 2003, and he has worked in the lab since moving here. He said he moved to Tyler because his wife of 16 years, Daisy, convinced him to move to the United States for their son and daughter. Ms. Igaya works for The University of Texas at Tyler and is a mutual friend. The three partners are all keeping their jobs and will take turns manning the store. They hope to grow the business enough to need to hire employees, Navarro said. “We’re very optimistic,” he said. “It will be successful.”

Mindanao power crisis looms anew

JUST two days before the start of summer, the business sector prodded Malacañang to invoke the “power crisis” provision of the Electric Power Industry Reform Act or Epira to prevent an expected worsening of the electricity shortage in Mindanao. Jose S. Alejandro, chairman of the energy committee of the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), said the hydropower-dependent region would surely experience anew less capacity during the summer months, worsening the already problematic power situation in Mindanao. “The business sector in Mindanao is already in a crisis situation. There is negative [power] reserve every day, except maybe on Saturdays and Sundays. What the government should do now is to take measures that are outside the box, above normal procedures,” Alejandro told the BusinessMirror. He said these extraordinary solutions could only be taken during a crisis situation, or when the government has officially invoked Section 71 of the Epira. Even the government think tank Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) has warned that with no additional capacities, “the Mindanao power crisis may stage a comeback in this year’s and next year’s summer season.” Alejandro said the reality is that there is no available capacity in Mindanao or anywhere in the country that can be tapped to supply demand in the southern parts of the Philippines. “On the interim, we can only manage the supply and demand of power in the area. In a crisis, the government can curtail supply to ‘unimportant’ demand. For example, there can be less supply to malls during the evenings,” Alejandro said. The government, he added, could also provide incentives or subsidies to households or enterprises that would run their generators to augment the power supply. Also, at a time when Section 71

of Epira is in force, the government could shorten the lengthy procedures in starting a new power project, beginning from the supply contracts to the bidding of power plants. He said in Mindanao, it is difficult to gather enough supply contracts in a short period because of the presence of numerous small electric cooperatives there. “If there is an emergency, all these processes and procedures can be shortened. We all know that power projects would not be able to get enough funding support if the supply contract is inadequate,” Alejandro said. By shortening the process, he said new power projects, which would normally take at least two years to become operational, could take off immediately. PIDS senior fellow Adoracion Navarro noted in her study that the demand for power in Mindanao has continuously spiked through the years with rapid urbanization and increased industrialization. According to Navarro’s study, consolidated forecasts for the electricity demand for 2010-2019 show an annual average demand growth of 4.28 percent in Mindanao, higher than the national rate of 3.63 percent for the same period. “The power crisis in Mindanao in the summer of 2012 and the current precariously low power reserves primarily resulted from insufficient base-load generating capacity in the region. The Mindanao grid has only 37.31 percent base-load generating capacity, whereas the Luzon grid and the Visayas grid have 63.94 percent and 71.88 percent, respectively,” the study read. Navarro said Mindanao’s generating capacity is also heavily dependent on hydropower, which has become unreliable in the face of deforestation of watersheds and siltation of river systems. Of the total 1,616 megawatts (MW) dependable generation capacity in Mindanao, 1,038 MW come from hydropower plants such as the Agus and

Pulangui plants. The region’s peak demand could reach 1,428 MW this year and 1,823 MW by 2019. To meet peak demand and maintain security and reliability of the power grid, the study said generation capacity must not only correspond to peak demand but also provide for other ancillary services. According to the Department of Energy (DOE), a reserve electricity of at least 21 percent of peak demand is required. The total generation capacity should be 1,728 MW in 2013 and 2,206 MW in 2019. But, the dependable capacity in Mindanao is now only 1,616 MW. This means that the power system could run a reserve shortfall of 112 MW for 2013, a “clear sign” that last year’s power crisis may happen again. The study also noted that the reserve shortfall can only be filled in 2015 when a new coal power plant in Sarangani province would have been built to supply an additional 105 MW. Navarro urged the energy department to implement shortterm solutions for likely peaks in the summers of 2013 and 2014, as well as medium- to long-term solutions for increasing generating capacity and managing demand. She recommended for the short term, the rehabilitation of the Agus and Palangui hydropower plants and the promotion of interruptible load program for large consumers in the region. “A more aggressive information, education and communication campaign on the power situation and power outlook in Mindanao should also be undertaken,” Navarro said. For the long term, Navarro also recommended the implementation of demand-side management programs, the interconnection of the Visayas and Mindanao grids, coming up with a definitive decision on the privatization of Agus and Palangui plants and the implementation of reforestation and watershed management programs, among others.

Ramil Cleoffe and Ramon Navarro outside Kabayan Asian Food Mart in Wood Creek. The store plans to open in March.

Navarro said Cleofe came up with the vision for the business last year because of the growing Asian population, and they have been looking for a good location. “It’s close to everyone,” Cleofe Meanwhile, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has approved a budget of P24.26 million for which the Philippine Electricity Market Corp. (Pemc) can use to set up the Interim Mindanao Energy Market (Imem). The amount is lower than the proposed P34.26 million, with P5.98 million going to pre-operating expenses, P8.28 million for capital expenditures (capex), and P20 million for consultancy services. “The ERC granted Pemc’s proposed budget, except the P20 million for consultancy services, which it reduced by half, pending submission of the supporting documents to justify this expenditure,” said the commission. Essentially, the ERC allowed Pemc to tap unused market fees collected by the latter from power generation firms that traded in the wholesale electricity spot market (Wesm). The ERC explained that the approved budget will be refunded to the Luzon and Visayas Wesm participants from whom the 2012 market fees were collected once the Imem starts commercial operations, based on a refund mechanism to be finalized later. Since the amount will be taken from the excess collections of the previously approved 2012 market

said of why they chose the 914-square-foot space in Woodcreek Village center. “It’s accessible, too.” Construction of the space is well under way, and the partners plan to open the store next month, although they don’t have a specific date. Navarro said they are not only targeting Asian customers, but welcome everyone. “Hopefully the people will come and try us,” Cleofe said. Kabayan means countryman or fellowman in Filipino, so the men chose the name to be patriotic, Cleofe said. Navarro said many of their friends have been impatiently asking when they will open. “They’ve been more excited than us,” he said. ■ Tylerpaper / February 24, 2013

fees, no additional imposition will be levied on the Luzon and Visayas Wesm participants, added the ERC. The Imem was established to address the power shortage in Mindanao. Pursuant to Department Circular 2013-0001 of the Department of Energy (DOE), the Imem is envisioned to provide an opportunity for generators and other entities with excess or unutilized generation capacities, to offer or make use of such generation capacities, subject to compensation based on the resulting market prices. Moving forward, the DOE and the Pemc would still have to sit down to discuss when the Imem would take off. Energy Undersecretary Josefina Asirit said it would normally take two to three months to conduct a test pilot of the Imem, which would mean that the power situation in Mindanao would not yet be resolved by summer. The DOE earlier said that as an interim measure, the agency might tap from the 160-MW interruptible load program (ILP). The ILP provides incentives for the commercial users, large power users with their own power generation capacity to sell their excess power to the grid. ■ Business Mirror / 27 February 2013

Recruiters declare moratorium on HSWs deployment to Hong Kong over placement fees

A group of recruiters on Wednesday said it had stopped the deployment of domestic workers bound for Hong Kong beginning on Wednesday in a move to pressure officials of the Chinese territory to require employers to pay for placement fees rather than outbound workers. A placement fee for a Hong Kongbound househelp could reach up to average of a month’s pay of $505 or about P20,200. Alfredo Palmiery, president of Society of Accredited Recruiters of the Philippines, said the group will freeze the recruitment and deployment of Hong Kong-bound

domestic workers from the country to protest exorbitant recruitment fees imposed by the Hong Kong government against foreign domestic workers, including Filipinos. He said Hong Kong residents rely heavily on foreign domestic workers, most of whom come from the Philippines. These foreign domestic workers, Palmiery added are critical to the economic growth of Hong Kong since their presence allows couples to be able to go to work and earn for the family. There are 146,000 Filipino HSWs in Hong Kong, latest figure show. ■

Business Mirror / 27 February 2013

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Minding Parkinson’s disease

‘Iam doing good,” Manny Pacquiao answered when asked whether he is suffering from Parkinson’s disease. “God is good.” He added: “I am the one who knows and feels what my body is telling me.” The question was asked because physician Rustico Jimenez, president of the Private Hospitals Association of the Philippines, told a television channel that the 34-year-old boxing champion was supposedly already exhibiting early signs of Parkinson’s disease. “’Yung movement, although mabilis ang reflexes, napapansin ko lang—another view or personal view lang naman ang sa akin— parang may early signs,” Jimenez said as quoted on abscbnnews. com. “May mga movements napapansin mo sa kamay. Sa kamay usually, sa ulo hindi natin makikita agad, nagtu-twitch ng konti. Although I haven’t seen very close, parang nakikita ko lang mayroong ganoon.” In a separate interview that was aired on Unang Hirit, Pacquiao reiterated the same, even as he went on to dismiss the notion outright. “Comment lang ’yun,”

the multimillionaire pugilist, actor, TV host, philanthropist and congressman said. “Lahat naman may karapatan mag-comment.” More often than not, boxers are susceptible to Parkinson’s disease. Both legendary boxer Muhammad Ali and Pacquaio’s own trainer and coach Freddie Roach (also a former boxer) have been battling the disease. Parkinson’s disease, also called “shaking palsy,” is a slowly progressing, degenerative disorder of the nervous system. It usually attacks people between the ages 50 and 69. However, it may occur in younger persons, especially following brain inflammation (encephalitis) or poisoning by carbon monoxide, metals, or some drugs. “I was pinning my hopes on the fact that the disease usually begins after age 50,” Canadian actor Michael J. Fox wrote in his autobiography, Lucky Man. “My symptoms showed up in my late 20s. How could I possibly have this old person’s disease?” There are a few reliable data of global prevalence of Parkinson’s disease. But according to the Geneva-based World Health

Organization (WHO), there are an estimated 4 million people suffering from the disease around the world. Parkinson’s disease has existed since Biblical times, but it was only in the 19th century that it was clinically recognized. Because the prevalence of Parkinson’s disease increases with age, the shorter life expectancy in previous centuries probably meant that it was not as noticeable as it is today. The condition was first established as a clinical entry in 1817 by a British doctor, James Parkinson, in his Essay on the Shaking Palsy. Later, in the 1860s, the French neurologist Pierre Marie Charcott called the condition “Parkinson’s disease,” in honor of the essay author. Almost 200 years after it was first published, Parkinson’s essay continues to be recognized throughout the world as the classic description of the disease. Symptoms of Parkinson’s disease include tremors that occur while at rest, “pill rolling” movements of the fingers, and a mask-like face. Other symptoms are a shuffling gait, a slightly

RUFO’S Famous Tapa continues to expand by opening in popular malls in the metropolis with a new branch in SM Makati Food Court and another opening this March in SM North Edsa Food Court. Its president, Paul Izon Reyes, added that they are considering more mall locations this year. “Rufo’s SM Makati is our first branch located in a mall, and we are thrilled by the market’s positive response. We would like to make our food, particularly our signature beef tapa [fried beef strips] with its mouthwatering secret sauce, available to more people in more locations. This is aligned with our mission of giving value to our customers by making Rufo’s delicious and affordable food available to them wherever they are,” explains Reyes. “We recognize that our stand-

alone stores, while open 24/7 and spread across the Metro, may not be able to serve all our customers, especially those who are already inside the malls. Therefore, we decided to bring our stores to them, starting with the first Rufo’s in SM Makati.” Rufo’s aggressive expansion will also continue in stand-alone, 24/7 locations. “Since we launched our franchise program, we have been overwhelmed by inquiries from interested parties wanting to be part of the Rufo’s family. In fact, aside from existing branches in Las Pinas, Macapagal Avenue, Vito Cruz, Makati, Shaw, Eastwood and Ortigas, expect to see Rufo’s in McKinley Hill, Malate, Retiro, Aurora Boulevard, Greenhills and Timog in 2013,” Reyes states. With the company’s continuous growth, Rufo’s is moving closer

to realizing its goal of being acknowledged as the No. 1 tapa restaurant in the Philippines. Rufo’s has been a favorite go-to place for delicious and affordable Pinoy dishes since its inception in 1984. When Reyes acquired the business in 2003, the company began to expand through Rufo’s Famous Franchise Corp. (Rufocorp). Under Reyes’s leadership, Rufo’s gained significant patronage, brand awareness and recognition. In fact, it was named as one of the more Promising Franchise Concepts in the 10th anniversary issue of Entrepreneur Magazine in 2010. From 16 employees in 2003, the company now employs 186 people. It currently has 12 branches and Reyes hopes to double that number this year. ■

Rufo’s famous tapa’s expansion hits popular malls

Business Mirror / 28 February 2013

March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition bent-over posture, rigid muscles and weakness. “People suffering from the disease may drool, have a heavy appetite, be unable to stand heat, have oily skin, be emotionally unstable, and have judgment problems,” the UN health agency. “The symptoms are made worse by tiredness, excitement and frustration. It rarely damages the ability to think and reason.” Loss of communication skills is particularly common. “Speech often becomes soft, mumbling and monotonous in tone,” the WHO notes. “There is often reduced facial expression, resulting in a typical ‘mask-like face’ and limited body language. Many people also have problems with their handwriting, which becomes small and cramped, making it very difficult to read.” These communication problems can seriously affect the social and emotional life of both the person with Parkinson’s disease and his or her family. Research has shown that the loss of non-verbal skills has a negative impact on people’s perception of an individual’s abilities. Because of reduced body language, people with Parkinson’s disease are often erroneously labeled unintelligent, uncooperative and difficult. Recent studies have discovered that the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appear when about 80 percent of dopamine is lost. Deep within the brain is an area known as the basal ganglia, of which the main neurotransmitter is dopamine. Although some people with Parkinson’s disease in the later stages may become mentally confused or demented, most retain their intellectual facilities while living in a body, which is becoming increasingly disabled. “This, in itself, can contribute to the boredom, social isolation and depression commonly experienced by sufferers,” the WHO says. Like many other brain disorders, Parkinson’s disease is—at the moment—incurable. However, many treatments have been used since James Parkinson published his essay in 1817. Some years ago, it was a common practice for surgeons to insert a small needle into the brain to freeze or incise nerve cells in the part of the brain, which governs the symptoms of the disease. More recently, drug therapies have been developed to restore the deficiency of dopamine. “Parkinson’s disease may be treated with a wide variety of drugs, including levodopa, bromocriptine, pergolide, selegiline, anticholinergics (benztropine or trihexyphenidyl), antihistamines, antidepressants, propranolol and amantadine,”

says The Merck Manual of Medical Information. “None of these drugs cures the disease or stops its progression, but they make movement easier and they can prolong functional life for many years.” Because of the complex nature of Parkinson’s disease, management requires a holistic approach that takes into account the affected person’s whole life. These include accurate diagnosis, individual approach, multidisciplinary support, and involving the patient and caregiver. Good management of the disease starts with an accurate diagnosis that can be made by a doctor with special knowledge on Parkinson’s disease, usually a neurosurgeon or a geriatrician. The diagnosis of Parkinson’s disease is often a shattering experience both for those diagnosed and their families. It needs to be given in a sensitive way, allowing people to come to terms with the diagnosis and encouraging them to seek further information and advice. Michael J. Fox was shooting a movie called Doc Hollywood in 1991 when he noticed a twitch in his left little finger. “How long this had been going I wasn’t sure,” he wrote in his autobiography. “But now that I noticed it, I was surprised to discover I couldn’t stop it.” Feeling uneasy, he went to see a doctor who suggested a series of tests. The diagnosis was terse and devastating. “Even the most paranoid fantasy I could think of would not have prepared me for the two words the neurologist bludgeoned me with: Parkinson’s disease,” the actor recalled. Except to a tight circle of family and friends, Fox kept his condition a secret before finally going public in an exclusive interview with People magazine in November 1998. “It was incomprehensible,” People quoted him as saying of the diagnosis. “The doctor said I would be able to function for years and years. But even taking in those terms was strange.” ■ Business Mirror / 28 February 2013

The cast of ‘Good Morning Club’.

‘Good Morning Club’ hosts to sponsor wedding of 10 couples TO cap off its monthlong anniversary, the “Good Morning Club” barkada will serve as witnesses to 10 lucky couples who will be part of the “GMC Kasalang Bayan” on Thursday, February 28. The couples were chosen from a callout on the show’s Facebook community (Good Morning Club Official). Aside from conducting the actual ceremony and arranging reception-related matters, “GMC” will also make sure that the couples look their best with free hair and make-up. The couples will also receive

a bounty of gifts to make the event even more special. For all of February, “GMC” put together exciting treats for viewers who continue to join the club for news and information — including a love booth for those who want to broadcast their romantic greetings to their loved ones. Last Valentine’s Day, “GMC” hosted a romantic date on board a yacht for its loyal viewers. The show also held a grand fans’ day last February 21 where 100 loyal GMC Facebook followers were treated to a day of fun and

prizes with their favorite GMC barkada, which included free breakfast, pampering treats, raffles and giveaways. One lucky follower also went home with a pangkabuhayan showcase raffled off during the fans’ day. Join the club every morning with Edu Manzano, the tres Kumares (Amy Perez, Chiqui Roa-Puno and Tintin BersolaBabao), Paolo Bediones, Cheryl Cosim, Grace Lee, Joseph Ubalde, Makata and Shalala every Monday to Friday, 5AM on TV5. ■ InterAksyon / February 26, 2013

Anne Curtis reveals secret of ‘provocative’ outfit as MTRCB orders ‘ASAP’ probe

NO, it was not a wardrobe again. ☺ So to settle all your in the industry! It’s been around since the 80’s☺” malfunction. minds I just had to post this. Her explanation came Moments after the Movie “Thank you to everyone that and Television Review and was concerned! To everyone two hours after the MTRCB Classification Board ordered that’s trying to make an issue announced on its Twitter an investigation of the high-slit out of it! Thank you! ABS-CBN account that it had summoned show’s producers black dress she wore on “ASAP News just told me it’s their the “a gender-sensitivity 18” on Sunday, Anne Curtis most clicked on video on their to investigation” over that same took to Twitter and Instagram site ever! late Tuesday afternoon to clear “Just relax everyone! outfit. ■ InterAksyon / February 26, the air about her controversial Wearing a tangga is no newbie 2013 attire during her song number on “ASAP 18” on Sunday. Her post reads: “TAAAADAAA! I present to you the controversial @ boomita (Twitter handle of designer Boom Sason) outfit I wore for my birthday number on ASAP. “As you can see, we have a bodysuit with a hidden tangga (sic) to make way for the sky high slit skirt. It is made out of 2 pieces. In fact the “tangga” is made out of swimsuit material which Boom Sason is also known for making. I was completely protected. “It may have seemed like a wardrobe malfunction to many but I can assure you, after making the mistake of not securing myself once I Anne Curtis posted this collage on Instagram to offer proof that she was wearing a wouldn’t let that happen to me bodysuit under the Boom Sason black gown she wore on ‘ASAP 18’ on Sunday.




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Comebacking actress Janelle Manahan ready to face the cameras again however, is not a stable career, even if you’re a really big star you have no assurance that you’d always be up there”. That does not necessarily mean that she has given up on acting which she admits is her first love. So when the opportunity presented itself with the independent project, “Bad Romance”, Janelle just could not say no. “Director Ian Del Carmen is my cousin but we didn’t know each other before. I met him on Twitter. He contacted me one time and asked me to be part of his movie and of course I said yes,” she said. In “Bad Romance”, she plays the fictitious soap opera actress Sarah Alonzo, who appears in numerous flashbacks and fantasy scenes with Francis Lopez, who plays the heartthrob Sam Lloyd Pascual. Janelle’s face shows no signs of the gunshot wounds she sustained from the still unknown assailant.

“Was the role written specifically for me? Hmm, I can’t say, I myself didn’t know I’d be playing this special role until the day of our shoot, it is so unexpected. I did not have to audition for it, though. Thanks to my cousin,” she quipped. “But I enjoyed playing the part. The film has a little of everything and that to me is what makes it a great movie.” So how close is the character she’s playing to the real Janelle? “I’d say about 50 percent? Because when I love someone, I give it my all and when I fall, I fall hard,” she admitted. Although a client call prevented Janelle from making it to the premiere screening of “Bad Romance” last February, she still hopes the film will do well when it opens in theaters this April. And while she would not confirm if there are any upcoming projects in the pipeline for her, she remains open to more acting projects from hereon.

Hunk or dork? Sam Milby has yet to ask out Shaina Magdayao

as a surprise guest at the show of his “Kahit Konting Pagtingin” co-star Angeline Quinto. And then he joined the birthday celebration of his buddy Pratty. Shaina wasn’t there. How does he expect the feelings he has for Shaina to prosper when he doesn’t want to tell her about it in person, even in a text message or phone call? “Wala pa kasi ako talaga time. Hindi pa ako nakakadalaw sa kanya. Aaminin ko, may pagka-torpe talaga ako. I’m too shy. Kung may madevelop, I still don’t know. There’s nothing to hide naman. I just know I was very honest when I asked permission from Pratty. That I want to get to know her better,” he says. Meanwhile, he says he’s just so thankful that he was warmly welcomed by the industry he left for a while last year when he tried his luck in America. “Sobra-sobra ang dumating na blessings sa akin,” he says, referring

to “Kahit Konting Pagtingin” and another soap, the upcoming “Against All Odds”, with Judy Ann Santos and John Estrada. As for movies, he has already finished the indie film “Death March” and he’s looking forward to his reunion movie with ex-girlfriend Anne Curtis. While he remains passionate about being a singer-songwriter and is thankful that he is able to indulge that side of himself every Sunday on “ASAP”, he realizes that being an actor is his bread and butter. It is also the reason that his Tagalog has vastly improved. “Marunong na ako mag-Tagalog. It’s the accent na lang na I really need to polish. Ang Tagalog ko ang problema at malaking difficulty for the longest time. But in time, natuto naman ako. Hindi naman ako tumitigil at kapag nakikipag-usap na ako, Tagalog na talaga ang salita ko,” he says. ■ InterAksyon / February 26, 2013

LOS ANGELES – U.S. First Lady Michelle Obama made a surprise and unprecedented appearance on Sunday’s Oscars telecast when she presented the award for Best Picture, the first time a president or first lady has ever presented an Academy Award. Appearing live on screen from the White House in Washington, almost 3,000 miles (4,800 km) from the Oscars ceremony in Hollywood, Obama praised the work of the movie industry before announcing the Iran hostage drama “Argo” the Best Picture winner. Wearing a silver evening dress, Obama said this year’s nominated films had “made us laugh, made us weep and grip our armrests just a little bit tighter.” Obama added: “They reminded us we can overcome any obstacles if we

dig deep enough and hard enough. They are especially important for young people. Everyday they engage in the arts, they learn to open their imaginations … and strive to reach those dreams.” ■ InterAksyon / February

THE surprising return to the big screen of controversial actress Janelle Manahan seems to be an indication that she has moved on after surviving the horrific shooting incident that killed her boyfriend Ramgen Revilla and seriously injured her. However, her pursuit of justice is far from over. As a matter of fact, Janelle will once again take the witness stand on the case’s next hearing scheduled on Tuesday, February 26. “As I’ve said before, fighting for justice would be the last thing I could ever do for Ramgen so I will not stop until I give him that. He deserves it,” Janelle told InterAksyon in an exclusive interview Sunday. The shooting took place around 11PM on October 28, 2011 when a man wearing a Halloween mask entered the house of Ramgen, proceeded directly to the actor’s room and shot both the actor and Janelle. Ramgen’s sister, Ramona

“DORK” is not a word that many people would use to describe Sam Milby. But the Filipino-American actor thinks he is one — at least in the sense best translated in Filipino as “torpe” or “tyope”. Sam has already opened up about his attraction towards Shaina Magdayao to her ex and his bosom buddy John Prats, but so far he has yet to ask her out. “Wala pang progress. There are times that we hang out. Hindi ko pa rin siya niyayaya on a date na kaming dalawa lang. I don’t know. I don’t feel comfortable yet. As of now, enjoy lang kami ng ganito. No pressure,” he says. How old is he — 14? The actor is twice that age, but he feels he has a good reason to be circumspect. “At 28, I can say na when it comes to women, ‘yung mga nangyari na sa akin in the past, maiiwasan

“Mara” Bautista was also reported to be in the same room at the time and later fled, supposedly to ask for help. She never came back. Even though Janelle survived the incident, she still needed several facial surgeries as a result of being shot in the left side of her face. After staying at the Asian Hospital for over a month, Janelle had since pursued justice for Ramgen and herself in the murder case that charged Ramgen’s siblings Mara and Ramon Joseph Bautista as suspects. During the interview, Janelle also confirmed that she has also decided to move on and is now working as an international sales and marketing officer for a real estate company. “I’ve been in the job since October and I’ve been promoted already. I’m very passionate about my current job. It is fun, challenging and a very humbling career,” she noted. “I have definitely moved on. There is no other way but forward. Showbiz,

ko na mangyari now or maulit uli. I am picky na. So, if we talk about pag-ibig, ang gusto ko na now na mangyari eh, mas makilala ko na ang babaeng possible, papakasalan ko na,” he reveals. Sam sees himself settling down between 33 and 35. That’s five to seven years away — plenty of time, he reckons, to know the girl he will take to the altar. He finds Shaina’s “charming, beautiful and, most of all, goodhearted”. On the one hand, he says he’s in no hurry to get into a relationship. On the other hand, he realizes he has put himself in a corner after declaring his intentions. “Sa akin, I just want the relationship to have a strong foundation. Hindi naman sa takot ako sa rejection pero gusto ko lang din na maramdaman na interested

Sam Milby

din sa akin ‘yung babae. Like what is happening now, ayoko naman ito na ma-blown out of proportion at maging issue. It’s a nice feeling to know kung interesado rin ang girl sa ‘yo,” he explains. Last Valentine’s Day didn’t provide him any opportunity for a romantic moment with Shaina, unortunately. He had work that night, appearing

Michael Jackson’s son gets TV showbiz job LOS ANGELES - The late King of Pop’s eldest child, “Prince” Michael Jackson, has started work as a television showbiz reporter, the show employing him announced Tuesday. The 16-year-old landed the job -- or the show’s producers landed him -- for Entertainment Tonight, starting by interviewing stars of an upcoming remake of “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” “I’m looking to become wellrounded as a producer, director, screenwriter and actor,” he said after being mentored through interviews with James Franco, Zach Braff and director Sam Raimi, of “Oz the Great and Powerful.” Jackson’s father, who died in 2009 aged 50, played The Scarecrow in the 1978 feature film “The Wiz: The Super Soul Musical

Wonderful Wizard of Oz,” directed by Sidney Lumet. ET correspondent Brooke Anderson, who gave the younger Jackson some on-screen tips on interview technique, said he seems so much wiser and older than 16. “That’s what most of my people say. That was all thanks to my dad. He raised me right,” said the teenager. He said he now wants to interview “The Lord of the Rings” and “The Hobbit” director Peter Jackson. “I just love the way he shoots (and how) he brings things and depicts it back to life. I used to study his movies with my dad, put the volume off and just watch it, just the shots to see how he put it together,” he said. AFP Michael Joseph “Prince” Jackson

Michael Jackson’s son Prince Michael. (Photo credit:

is the eldest of the pop icon’s three, along with Paris and “Blanket.” Paris launched her acting career last year on “Lundon’s Bridge and the Three Keys,” at the age of 13. ■

Janelle Manahan

“If there are other projects for me, of course I’d do it. Again, acting is my first love and I will always love this industry. But there’s also a point in your life though where you’d want to explore and make yourself grow as a person, get out of your comfort zone and try something else,” she rationalized. “I’ve survived for a reason. I don’t want to be stuck in the past. So whatever it is that I’m meant to do; only time will tell.” ■ InterAksyon / February 25, 2013

Michelle Obama surprises Oscars by presenting Best Picture award

25, 2013

“Wash down Pure Foods Corned Beef with Red Horse Beer.”




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Robin Nievera stages first solo concert, with a little help from his famous mom

WHEN Robin Nievera launched his debut album last year, he forged his own path in an industry where the legacies of his parents, OPM icons Martin Nievera and Pops Fernandez, loomed large. As a guitar-wielding singersongwriter, Robin made it clear from the get-go that he was not taking the same pop-star route taken by mom and dad. But, of course, they remain his inspiration and are very supportive of his efforts to make a name for himself. On Saturday, March 2, at 8PM at the Teatrino in Promenade Greenhills – two weeks after his parents reunited for their most successful concert in recent memory — the eldest son of Martin and Pops will

Nadine Samonte as Lara

stage “The Nightmares Concert”, his first solo show. The concert was Pops’ brainchild. “She told me after listening to the album, ‘Why don’t you do a concert?” Robin notes. “And it didn’t stop there. ‘I’ll produce it,’ she said.” The album that gave Pops the idea for the concert is Robin’s self-penned and self-produced second album entitled “Nightmares”. Musically, it is anything but. It’s a 10-track set of all-original songs that find the 26-year-old musician exploring his gentler side and veering away from the rock sound of his debut album, “Overwait”. The result is a more intimate album that puts the spotlight squarely on his soulful, bluesy

voice, songwriting skills, and guitarplaying. The album is available for free download in Robin’s website, “The show is actually a dream come true for me,” Robin says. “So the title is actually a bit ironic. And I promise not to make good on it. This will be a night of good music. I’m making sure, together with my team, that everyone in the concert will have a great time, and that includes myself and my guests.” “The Nightmares Concert” will feature Robin’s good friend Zia Quizon as special guest, as well as The John Sung Band and The Walkie Talkies. Robin, who names Dave Matthews Band and John Mayer, as among his biggest musical

influences, says that the show will feature mostly folksy music and have a laid-back vibe. “But we’ll throw in some surprises, like a Justin Beiber cover. And maybe a Taylor Swift song. But one thing we will not do is ‘Gangnam Style’,” he vows. The concert will serve as kickoff for an Asian tour that Robin will undertake from March to April. He will play a total of five shows in Singapore, Japan, and Hong Kong. After the tour, Robin, who recently signed with Viva Artists Agency, will start work on his own music show for the Viva cable channel, where he will put the spotlight on talented new and upcoming artists on the local music scene.

THINGS just got tougher for everyone’s favorite Pinoy superhero as Kidlat (Derek Ramsay) faces the slew of super villains Vincent (Baron Geisler) gathered. He first finds orphaned twins Francine and Francis played by Artista Academy graduates Shaira Mae and Mark Neumann. The seemingly ordinary teens possess the power to produce ice and fire, transforming into the deadly duo Frosta and Fuego. With their combined powers, they have the ability to unleash a tornado-like force that is bound to cause major destruction. Meanwhile, Paolo Ballesteros

takes on the role of Walter, a poor yet hardworking cook who is often bullied for being a weakling. His life changes when he finds a magical stone that turns him into Warla, a beautiful villain with feminine features who possesses superhuman strength and impressive combat skills. Commercial and fashion model Valerie Weigmann makes her acting debut as the mysterious Natasha Thorpe, a young fashion entrepreneur with a hidden agenda. Her telekinetic powers, knowledge of witchcraft and a thirst for vengeance makes her a potent villain for our hero. As

Robin Nievera

Tickets for “The Nightmares Concert” are available at Teatrino for P300, P500, P1,000, and P1,200. Reservations can also be made through mobile number +63922673-0845. ■ InterAksyon / February 26, 2013

Kidlat super villains, revealed

Enigma, she can seduce and alter her victim’s perception. Can Kidlat resist her or will he fall prey to her seductive wiles? Aside from these villains, Kidlat will still also have to fight Vincent’s lackey, Graba Man (Wendell Ramos). Fans of the show should also stay tune as Vincent develops a new weapon that promises to destroy Kidlat. How will our electrifying hero fare against these villains? Keep watching Kidlat at these times: 7:45pm KSA, 5:45pm UK, 2:45am Guam, 5:30pm NA PST, and 8:30pm NA EST only on Kapatid TV5. ■ Pilipinas Global Network Limited

Ritz Azul as Joey

Kidlat faces new villains, chooses between leading ladies PHILIPPINES – As ratings continue to surge for TV5’s hit primetime series Kidlat, new loves and new villains were officially introduced today at the Plaza Ibarra’s Party Venues in Timog, Quezon City. In the upcoming episodes, everyone’s favorite superhero will find himself choosing among three potential love interests. One of the ladies is the strongwilled Joey played by FHM cover girl Ritz Azul. Audiences already caught a glimpse of her during the Kidlat Movie Special but as the story progresses, Ritz promises that viewers will see more of who Joey is. Adding a bit of spice to Voltaire’s life is sassy and sophisticated Natasha, played by newcomer Valerie Weigmann. The FilipinaGerman model makes her acting debut in Kidlat as a fashion designer who will eventually become villainess Enigma. Though a little nervous to be part of a successful series, Valerie admits that she’s more excited to meet everyone—particularly her new leading man. “Excited at kahit paano kinabahan din ako. I’ve heard so many good things about [Derek] like how he’s a gentleman. I can’t wait to finally work with him.” Even though she’s a newbie, Valerie is well

aware of her co-star’s reputation for being a ladies man. When asked if she’s ready to be linked to Derek, Valerie replied coyly, “Let’s just see what happens.” After Nadine Samonte’s untimely exit from the show, fans immediately took to social media to express their sadness over the loss of one of the show’s favorite characters. But now, fans of the Lara-Voltaire love team will have reason to celebrate with this week’s biggest twist—Lara’s return. Stirring up trouble for our hero is a new crop of villains. Artista Academy graduates Shaira Mae and Mark Neumann play twins Frosta and Fuego who possess the power to produce ice and fire. Paolo Ballesteros joins the cast as Warla, a beautiful villain with feminine features who has superhuman strength and impressive combat skills. Finally, Kidlat faces Graba Man (Wendell Ramos) once again as Vincent (Baron Geisler) continues to plot more ways to take down the electrifying hero. Kidlat airs weeknights at these times 7:45pm KSA, 5:45pm UK, 2:45am Guam, 5:30pm NA PST, and 8:30pm NA EST only on Kapatid TV5. ■ Pilipinas Global Network Limited / February 19, 2013,

Shaira Mae as Francine aka Frosta

Paolo Ballesteros as Walter aka Warla

Wendell Ramos as Rodel aka Grabaman

Mark Neumann as Francis aka Fuego

Valerie Weigmann as Natasha aka Enigma

4th Floor, 8/9 Holborn, London EC1N 2LL (Nearest tube: Chancery Lane) Contact Details: Jolly Li | 4th Floor | 9 Holborn, London, EC1N 2LL, United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0) 20 3005 6135 | Mobile: 07538 344 631 | Email: Fax: +44 (0) 20 7823 2302 | Website:




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Philippine Embassy Holds Consular Outreach Mission for Filipinos in Al Khobar THE Philippine Embassy in Riyadh conducted a consular outreach mission, known as Embassy on Wheels (EOW), in Al Khobar on February 21 to 22. The EOW was held at the Al Jazeerah International Philippine School Dammam in Al Rakah, Al Khobar. The five-member consular team led by Vice Consul Paulo V. Saret was able to process 348 e-Passport applications, 138 documents for notarization, 10 reports of birth, four lost passport applications and 10 passports extension. The EOW was made possible through the valuable assistance of volunteers from the Filipino community in the Eastern Province.

Vice Consul Saret expressed his gratitude to the Filipino community members for their continued cooperation to the Embassy. The EOW on March 21 to 22 in Al Khobar has been cancelled due to the non-availability of the venue. All applicants for renewal of passport who secured an appointment for the said dates will be re-scheduled and served either on March 07 and 08 or on March 28 and 29. The applicants who will be affected by the re-scheduling of appointments will be informed via email and phone call (if their contact details are available). They are again advised to confirm their new schedules through the Embassy’s

website at www.philembassy-riyadh. org. All passport applicants are likewise reminded to book an appointment through the Embassy’s website to avoid refusal of their applications. Extension of the validity of passports is no longer allowed, in accordance with DFA regulations, except in the following instances: I. 1.Death in the family requiring the OFW and members of his/her dependent family to immediately travel to the Philippines; II. 2.Medical emergencies requiring the OFW and member of his/her dependent family to immediately travel to the Philippines or another country for medical treatment; and

26 February 2013 -- The Philippine-Czech Business Council was re-launched on February 21 at the Philippine Embassy Chancery in Prague. The event was organized by

Honorary Consul General Břetislav Skácel in cooperation with the Philippine Embassy. The event was attended by around 30 guests, consisting of Czech businessmen, representatives from

the Czech Ministries of Trade and Finance, Chamber of Commerce and Filipino business owners. In her welcome remarks, Ambassador Evelyn D. AustriaGarcia underlined the advantages

III. 3.Those going home on final exit visas. In these instances, proof of urgency such as copy of the death certificate, medical certificate, final exit or letter of the employer indicating that the Filipino employee will leave the Kingdom on final

exit, along with plane tickets with confirmed flight details shall be presented. The next Embassy on Wheels will be on March 07 to 08 at the Al Jazeerah International Philippine School at Al Rakah, Al Khobar. ■ DFA Philippines / 26 February 2013 1

Philippine-Czech Business Council Re-Launched in Prague of doing business in the Philippines, notably mentioning the different areas for business opportunities such as renewable energy, agriculture, infrastructure, and transportation. She underscored the favorable credit ratings and economic reports received by the Philippines worldwide. She expressed hope that the Council will facilitate business transactions between the two countries. The Director of International Relations of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Mr. Petr Kužel, assured the Czech businessmen of its support and assistance, while Mr. Petr Kulovaný of the Ministry of Trade and Industry shared good memories of his previous business experience in and with the Philippines. He reiterated that the relations between the Philippines and the Czech Republic date back from the friendship between Professor Ferdinand Blumentritt of Litomerice and Philippine national hero, Dr. Jose Rizal.

Czech Export-Import Bank representative, Mr. Petr Križan, highlighted that the re-launching of the Business Council perceives the Philippines as a “good risk” for Czech business ventures. Honorary Consul General Skácel initiated a lively exchange on the expectations of the Council and the areas of interest by its members. It is expected that the event will jump-start vibrant relations between and among the business entities of the two countries. The next meeting of the PhilippineCzech Business Council will be held in Brno, home of the newly established Philippine Honorary Consulate General, where the officers of the Council are expected to be chosen. Honorary Consul General Skácel has expressed pleasure at hosting the next meeting of the Council. To conclude the event, refreshments of favorite Philippine dishes were offered to the participants.

hospitality and personal attention extended to him and acknowledged the important work of the Embassy in reaching out to the Filipinos and the close partnership with the Filipino organizations for their welfare and interests. Monsignor Cipriano together with his sister nun, Sister Elizabeth

Cipriano, brother James Cipriano. Mrs. Irene Cipriano, Airon Cipriano, Mrs. Estralita Padilla, nuns from the Apostolic Nunciature, Sister Joan Espinosa and Sister Judith Javing, Ms. Chona Smart and Ms. Shirley Samonte enjoyed the Filipiniana setting and ambience of “Ang Bahay”, the warm hospitality, delightful fellowship and lively interaction

with one another and the especially prepared menu consisting of chicken wanton soup served in young coconut shell, vegetable salad with pear and walnut, Philippine mango sorbet, chicken royale, fresh vegetable springroll, bangus (milkfish) samosa, stewed pork knuckles, fresh fruits in dome and “Ang Bahay” carrot cake.

Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez with Monsignor Danilo C. Cipriano

(Photo from left) Vice Consul Glenn Joseph Obach, Ms. Shirley Samonte, Ms. Chona Smart, Sister Elizabeth Cipriano, Monsignor Danilo C. Cipriano, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez, Mrs. Estralita Padilla, Mr. James Cipriano, Mrs. Irene Cipriano, Mr. Airon Cipriano, Sister Judith Javing and Sister Joan Espinosa.

Phl Embassy in New Zealand Honors Filipino Priest AS part of the Philippine Embassy’s continuing mission to recognize the crucial importance of church leaders and faith-based groups in uplifting the spiritual wellbeing of Filipinos in New Zealand, Ambassador Virginia H. Benavidez hosted a thanksgiving dinner in honor of Monsignor Danilo C. Cipriano and his family and friends at the “Ang Bahay” (Ambassador’s Residence) last January 28. Monsignor Cipriano came all the way from the Diocese of Cabanatuan to concelebrate a Mass with Father Ambeth De la Cruz and Fr. Norman Baltos during the Sinulog Festival held in Wellington on January 20. Monsignor Cipriano highlighted the ardent faith in God of Filipinos, seven million of whom attend the Sinulog Festival in Cebu and about 700,000 during Christmas dawn masses and inspired the Filipinos by sharing the miracle that he experienced with one of his parishioners in the Philippines who kept her strong faith and was grateful

for her answered prayers. During the thanksgiving dinner Ambassador Benavidez highlighted the important role of the Catholic Church in ministering to the Filipino communities back home and overseas, assisting the Philippine foreign service posts all over the world in strengthening their spiritual lives, contributing to the enrichment of values in the community, projecting the richness of Filipino spiritual heritage and serving as the anchor and refuge where Filipinos can find comfort and strength especially during trying times. “It is an honour and privilege to be visited by Monsignor Cipriano who is an esteemed member of the Diocese of Cabanatuan in charge of the Family Life Apostolate. His presence here and readiness to take part in the Sinulog Festival and reach out to Filipinos are indeed a great blessing from God”, Ambassador Benavidez stated. Monsignor Cipriano reiterated his heartfelt appreciation for the warm

■ DFA / 26 February 2013 16:45

■ DFA / 26 February 2013


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Argo’ best film, Ang Lee best director for ‘Pi’ at Oscars PHILIPPINES

WITH his second Oscar win, Lee brings focus back to India, whose culture and ethos are an important part of the narrative and unlike previous Academy-winner “Slumdog Millionaire” which earned some brickbats for promoting slum porn, Lee has presented Pondicherry and Munnar beautifully through his 3D lenses. Lee, 58, beat Spielberg (“Lincoln”), Haneke (“Amour”), David O Russell (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and indie filmmaker Benh Zeitlin (“Beasts of the Southern Wild”) to win his second Academy in the directing category. “I really need to share this with everybody who worked in ‘Life of Pi’. I need to thank Yann Martel for writing this marvelous book...,” Lee said in his speech before ending it with a ‘Namaste’. The auteur, a five-time Oscar nominee, previously won the trophy for his 2005 gay cowboys drama “Brokeback Mountain”. Like “Life of Pi”, his “Crouching Tiger, Hiden Dragon” was nominated for best picture and directing honours. In the film, an adaptation of Martel’s Booker-prize winning novel, Lee took on the challenge of filming the movie, mostly set in the ocean, with an almost entirely Indian casts of newcomer Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Adil Hussain. He spent four years translating the book to the screen that included building an enormous wave tank to shoot ocean scenes besides creating a terrifyingly believable tiger through the help of CGI. The movie narrates the story of Pi, a zookeeper’s son in Pondicherry, who finds the world he knows swept away when his family is killed in a storm while on their way to Canada. Pi escapes, set adrift in a lifeboat that is also the refuge of an enormous Bengal tiger. Lee made several trips, including one to promote the film, to India to research and cast the movie. He

chose the then 17-year-old newcomer Suraj to play the lead from 3000 hopefuls. In an interview to PTI during his trip to Mumbai, Lee had said that he felt a sense of belonging to Pi’s journey, which somehow mirrored his own struggles to direct the technically superb spectacle. The filmmaker, who is behind genre-defying movies like “Sense and Sensibility”, “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon”, “Hulk” and “Brokeback Mountain”, also credited destiny for bringing the movie to him after it changed hands with many directors. “When I started doing the movie I felt like I had a sense of belonging. I started longing to be a part of it and the movie became mine,” Lee had said.LD OSCAR 2 Lee, 58, spent four years translating Martel’s book to the screen and made several trips to India to shoot the film, which starts in Pondicherry and Munnar. The director, a five-time Oscar nominee, previously won the best director trophy for his 2005 gay cowboy drama ‘Brokeback Mountain’. He shot the film, which earned USD 600 million worldwide, with an Indian cast that included newcomer Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu and Adil Hussain. Affleck, 40, who was famously snubbed from being nominated for directing despite winning every other award this season, made it up by scoring the top honour of the night over eight other films. “I want to thank Canada. I want to thank our friends in Iran, who live under terrible circumstances,” said Affleck, the co-producer with George Clooney and Grant Heslov. Day-Lewis, who took almost six years to accept the role of Lincoln after refusing Spielberg three times, thanked the “spirit of Lincoln” for his win. “I do know that I’ve received

so much more than my fortune... my role was Steven’s first choice for Lincoln... I’m so proud... I’d like to thank Kathleen Kenndey, our producer. I owe this to three men Tony Kushner, Steven Spielberg and the spirit of Abraham lincoln,” he said while accepting the best actor trophy. Lawrence had an embarrassing tumble before accepting her Best Actress trophy but the 22-year-old recovered her composure quickly to deliver an emotional speech. “This is embarrassing... It’s nuts... thank you to the Academy, to the women this year. Thank you to the best production team, our crew and my family... Thank you so much,” she said. Anne Hathaway’s dream of winning an Oscar came true after she walked away with the Best Supporting trophy for her role of a fallen woman, Fantine’, in ‘Les Miserables’. “’It came true... I hope sometime in near future. The misfortunes of Fantine will only be found in stories and not in real life,’ Hathaway said. Christoph Waltz won the best supporing Oscar, his second in the same category, for ‘Django Unchained’. Waltz, who previously won an Oscar for ‘Inglourious Basterds’, thanked his best original screenplay winning director Quentin Tarantino for his spaghetti western. “My... my unlimited gratitude goes to Dr King Schultz (his character). That is, of course, to the creator and the creator of his awe-inspiring world – Quentin Tarentino,” the actor said. Tarantino, in an unusually long speech, said he was happy to win because it was one of the best years in writing. “...this time did I do it... I would like to say it’s such an honor to get it this year because in both the original and the adapted categories, the writing is just fantastic. This will be the writers’ year, man. Thank you very much. I

love the competition. You guys all wonderful,” said the writer-director, who previously won in the same category for ‘Pulp Fiction’. The best adapted screenplay was won by Chris Terrio of ‘Argo’ who bested Tony Kushner for Lincoln, David Magee for ‘Life of Pi’ and David O Russell for Silver Linings Playbook among others. Terrio adapted the film from an article from Wired magazine and CIA man Tony Mendez’s book ‘The Master of Disguise’. Music director Mychael Danna won an Oscar in the Best Original Score category for his work for ‘Pi’ but India’s hopes were dashed after sole nominee Bombay Jayshri lost the Best Original Song trophy to British singer Adele, who won the statuette for her soulful rendition of James Bond theme ‘Skyfall’. ‘Amour’, nominated in five categories including the best director and actress, won its lone award in the best foreign film category over Norway’s Kon-Tiki, Chile’s ‘No’, Denmark’s ‘A Royal Affair’ and ‘War Witch’ from Canada’. Claudia Miranda won the best cinematography trophy for his exceptional camera work in technically brilliant ‘Life of Pi’. The film also brought Oscars for its visual effects team of Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron, Erik-Jan De Boer and Donald R Elliott.LD OSCAR 4 LAST ‘Argo’ won the best film editing trophy for William Goldenberg while makeup and hairstyling award went to musical ‘Les Miserables’. ‘Anna Karenina’ was awarded with best costume design Oscar while ‘Licoln’ won its second Oscar for best production design. The award went to Rick Carter and Jim Erickson. James Bond film ‘Skyfall’ won its first Oscar in three decades by tying up for best sound editing trophy with Osama bin Laden manhunt drama ‘Zero Dark Thirty’ while ‘Les

Global music sales rise for first time since 1999 LONDON – The music industry announced Tuesday the first lift in global sales since 1999, suggesting that the long-awaited fightback against the digital revolution has begun. Sales rose 0.3 percent to $16.5 billion in 2012, according to the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry (IFPI), which represents some 1,400 record companies worldwide. The growth may be modest, but for an industry that appeared to be in terminal decline as it also battled against rampant Internet piracy, it was almost cause to break into song. “It is hard to remember a year for the recording industry that has begun with such a palpable buzz in the air,” said Frances Moore, chief

executive of the London-based IFPI. “These are hard-won successes for an industry that has innovated, battled and transformed itself over a decade. “They show how the music industry has adapted to the Internet world, learned how to meet the needs of consumers and monetised the digital marketplace.” The IFPI said paid-for digital music downloads from sites such as Apple’s iTunes, along with other new sources of revenue, had finally grown enough to compensate for the decline of CD sales. Digital revenues grew by nine percent in 2012, the organization said, bringing their share of total industry revenues to 34 percent. Across the world, 4.3 billion

Carly Rae Jepsen’s ‘Call Me Maybe’ topped the global singles chart in 2012.

songs and albums were downloaded in 2012. The IFPI also said subscriptionbased Internet music services such as Spotify and Rhapsody had leapt 44 percent last year, giving them 20 million users worldwide. Some subscription services allow

users to listen to songs for free with adverts played every few minutes, while others provide advertising-free music for a monthly fee. But the IFPI admitted that the industry still faces “major hurdles” in adjusting to the Internet age. “Our markets remain rigged by

March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Taiwanese-American Ang Lee beat master directors like Steven Spielberg and Michael Haneke to take home the best director Oscar for “Life of Pi”, his visually stunning 3D tale of an Indian boy adrift in the ocean for months with a Bengal tiger.

Miserables’ won in the sound mixing category. Andy Nelson, Mark Paterson and Simon Hayes won the sound mixing award for ‘Les Miserables’. In other important categories, ‘Searching for Sugar Man’ took home the Oscar for best documentary feature documentary short trophy went to ‘Inocente’. Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman of ‘Brave’ won in the best animated feature film category while John Kahrs’ ‘Paperman won the best animated short film Oscar. Shawn Christensen won the best live action short film Oscar for ‘Curfew’. The 85th Academy awards were given in 24 categories. The awards were hosted by Seth McFarlane, who managed laughs at the expense of Oscar nominees, Rihanna-Chris Brown and Academy among many other celebrity victims at Hollywood’s biggest awards extravaganza that took place in Dolby Theatre here. This year’s ceremony was high on glamour and music as Shirley Bassey paid a tribute to James Bond’s 50 years while big names like Barbra Streisand, Adele, Nora Jones, Jennifer Hudson took to stage to perform. ■ Deccanherald / Feb 25, 2013 illegal free music,” said Moore. “This is a problem where governments have a critical role to play, in particular by requiring more cooperation from advertisers, search engines, ISPs (Internet Service Providers) and other intermediaries.” The IFPI figures revealed that Canadian singer Carly Rae Jepsen topped the global singles chart for 2012 with her single “Call Me Maybe”, followed by Gotye’s “Somebody I Used To Know”. South Korean sensation Psy came third with “Gangnam Style”, which made history in December when it became the first YouTube video to be viewed a billion times. British soul diva Adele’s album “21”, meanwhile, became the first record to top the global album sales chart for a second year running. ■ AFP / February 27, 2013

Golden Screen TV Awards to honor four icons of TV industry

THE Golden Screen TV Awards will honor four icons of the television industry on its award ceremony on Friday, March 1, at Teatrino in Greenhills. Ageless actress Gloria Romero will receive the Helen Vela Lifetime Achievement Award for Drama, veteran comedienne Nova Villa will be conferred the Helen Vela Lifetime Achievement Award for Comedy, while GMA news anchor Mel Tiangco will get the Helen Vela Lifetime Achievement Award for News Broadcast. The Entertainment Press Society, Inc., organizer of the event, will also give out a new special honor this year — the Dolphy Lifetime Achievement Award Ulirang Alagad ng Sining — named after the comedy king and TV legend who passed away last year. The recipient will be legendary actor and director Eddie Garcia. Gloria Romero started her career at the age of 19 in Sampaguita Pictures. Some of her memorable movies were “Dalagang Ilocana” and “Tanging Yaman” for whichshe won best actress awards at FAMAS. Her career spans 60 years. On TV, she is best

Gloria Romero

Mel Tiangco

remembered for her role in the sitcom “Palibhasa Lalake” as the drunkard Tita Minerva, as well as her work in “Richard Loves Lucy” and “Ok Fine! Whatever.” After having been with ABS-CBN for quite a number of years, she transferred to GMA where she did the teleserye “Munting Heredera”. She is currently playing the lead role in “Forever” with Heart Evangelista and Geoff Eigenmann. Nova Villa started in showbiz at the age of 16 when she became a lone star at FPJ Productions. She is best remembered for the legendary sitcoms “Chicks to Chicks”, where she played wife to former basketball player Freddie Webb, and “Home Along Da Riles”, where she starred opposite Dolphy. Among her most recent programs on TV were “My Beloved” and “Tweets for My Sweet” (for which she is nominated for Outstanding Performance by A Supporting Actress in a Comedy or Gag Show). Mel Tiangco started her career as a broadcaster in RPN 9 where she did the newscast for “NewsWatch”. She joined ABS-CBN in 1986 where she became the newscaster of

Nova Villa

“Balita Ngayon”. A year later, she became one of the anchors of “TV Patrol”, which became the network’s flagship news program. She also became one of the hosts of “Mel and Jay” for ABS-CBN as well. She transferred to GMA in 1995 and became one of the news anchors of “Saksi” and hosted the talk show “Partners: Mel and Jay.” She also became the news anchor of “Frontpage” and was given the chance to host the weekly drama anthology “Magpakailanman”. She also hosted the show “Mel & Joey” with Joey de Leon. She is currently co-anchor of GMA Network’s evening newscast “24 Oras” with Mike Enriquez. She is also involved in philanthropic work as the executive vice president of the GMA Kapuso Foundation, the network’s socio-civic arm. Eddie Garcia started his career as a movie star in 1946 when he appeared in the costume drama “Siete Infantes de Lara”. His career as an actor spans 67 years and is marked by numerous awards. He is the only person in the Philippines to be a Hall of Fame inductee of the FAMAS in three categories: Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Best Director. As a TV star, he is best remembered for the role of Leandro Montemayor, the fictional Philippine President in the GMA drama series “Kung Mawawala Ka”. That series gave him his first Best Actor in A Drama Series award. Julia Clarete, Kim Atienza and Arnell Ignacio will serve as segment hosts of the event. ■ InterAksyon / February 27, 2013

OSCARS 2013 - Best Actor Daniel Day-Lewis makes history

HOLLYWOOD, Feb 25 (AFP): Ben Affleck’s Iran hostage drama “Argo” won the coveted best film Oscar late Sunday, while Daniel Day-Lewis took a record third best actor prize at the 85th Academy Awards, Hollywood’s biggest night. Taiwan-born Ang Lee won best director for his spectacular 3D fantasy “Life of Pi,” while Jennifer Lawrence was crowned best actress for “Silver Linings Playbook.” But veteran filmmaker Steven Spielberg, whose presidential drama had the most nominations with 12 nods, went home from Hollywood’s biggest awards show with only two awards, best actor and a technical prize for production design. Overall, “Life of Pi” won the most Oscars with four,

against three for “Argo” and “Les Miserables,” two each for “Django Unchained” and “Lincoln,” and one for “Zero Dark Thirty.” In a heavily musical show, Adele sang Oscar-winning 007 theme “Skyfall” and Shirley Bassey belted out “Goldfinger” to mark 50 years of Bond films, while Barbra Streisand sang “The Way We Were,” her first Oscars turn for 36 years. In an unexpected move, the best picture winner was announced by First Lady Michelle Obama, addressing the Oscars show -- and final presenter, legend Jack Nicholson -- by videolink from the White House. Affleck, whose movie had taken virtually all of the top prizes during Hollywood’s awards season over the last

two months, paid tribute to Spielberg in his acceptance speech. “Steven Spielberg, I want to acknowledge, I feel is a genius and a towering talent among us,” said Affleck, who was not nominated for best director or best actor at the Oscars, in a perceived snub. He notably thanked former CIA agent Tony Mendez, whom he played in the movie, spearheading a bold mission to rescue six US diplomats, who took refuge in the Canadian embassy in Tehran amid the 1979 hostage crisis. ■ AFP / Feb 25 2013




March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

CEU, Poveda win 2013 WNCAA Cheerleading titles PERENNIAL winners Centro Escolar University (CEU) and Saint Pedro Poveda College took home the WNCAA Cheerleading crown in the Seniors and Juniors Division respectively at the Ninoy Aquino Stadium in Manila last Saturday. The CEU Scorpions displayed superb pyramids and floor execution as well as injecting some fun into their routine by dancing to the pop hit Gangnam Style.

The Kulasas of St Scholastica gave a spunky performance that aptly jibed with their short hairdos and placed second. Next year’s host school University of the Asia & the Pacific (UA&P) showed some flair in their dance routines en route to a third place finish. In the Juniors division, Poveda showed perfect unison in their dance routine and a series of tumbles that was perfectly

executed to take the top spot. Second place was taken by Miriam College and Assumption College took third. In the Midgets division, St. Paul College Pasig was first place followed by De La Salle Zobel and Saint Pedro Poveda College. AKTV on IBC 13 is the official broadcast partner of the justconcluded 43rd WNCAA games. ■ InterAKTV / February 25, 2013

Chris Ross takes over leadership mantle of Meralco Bolts WITH the departure of Sol Mercado, Chris Ross did not merely take over the starting point guard spot for Meralco. The lightning-quick guard also took on the leadership mantle for the Bolts. “We’ve talked about that prior to the start of the tournament,” Ross told InterAKTV. “For me to lead, they’ve made me team captain.” Ross acknowledged that the

shoes of his good buddy Mercado, who led the Philippine Cup in scoring and assists, is too big for just one person to fill. “He’s a great player and in my opinion, he could have won the Best Player of the Conference in the Philippine Cup,” added Ross. But he has stepped up for the Bolts this conference, stuffing the stat sheet. Even though he only scores 5.6 points, he has made

an impact in almost every facet of the game, posting 8.6 assists, 6.6 rebounds, and 1.8 steals per contest. Ross has been the rare player who has impacted the game without scoring. In the Bolts’ thrilling victory over GlobalPort last Sunday, he dished out 17 assists while playing tough defense on Mercado, who was limited to just six points. ■ InterAKTV / Monday, February 25, 2013

Global destroys Army, 6-0, for fourth consecutive UFL win Thai, Bahraini football chiefs seek top AFC post

DEFENDING champion Global FC demolished Philippine Army, 6-0, to nail its fourth straight victory in the United Football League Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill in Taguig. Jeffrey Christiaens led Global with two goals, while four players scored one goal each en route to their squad’s complete dominance over Army in the match. Ben Starosta opened the floodgates for Global, scoring from the top of the box at the 27th minute off a Jerry Barbaso dish from the right flank. Barbaso then drew a similar play moments after, this time finding Misagh Bahadoran for a goal which gave Global a 2-nil lead at halftime. Christiaens then found the back of the net twice for Global, sinking a goal at the 50th minute and a

Global FC. AKTV file photo/Isko Jose

breakaway shot at the 75th minute to put his squad to a 4-nil advantage. Global continued its rampage late in the match, with Matthew Uy scoring at the 87th minute and Marvin Angeles burying a goal at the 91st minute to seal the lopsided victory.

The result helped Global keep its clean record of four wins in as many matches and grab the top spot in the League table with 12 points. Army, meanwhile, lost its third straight match of the season. ■ InterAKTV / February 26, 2013

NU netters cap perfect season by bagging UAAP tennis crown

NATIONAL University capped its perfect UAAP men’s tennis season with a 3-1 drubbing of University of Santo Tomas yesterday at the Rizal Memorial Tennis Center. The Bulldogs won their first-ever title via 11-0 sweep. The triumph eased the pain of NU’s finals setback to La Salle last season, which marked the Bustillosbased netters debut. “It was tough. We are still inexperienced, but yung heart at yung kagustuhan na manalo ang nagdala sa amin,” said Bulldogs coach Karl Santamaria. “Ayaw nilang maramdaman yung nangyari sa amin last year. We can only get better from here. I’m expecting them this skill level and more championship experience in the coming years. Sophomore team lang ito, this maybe the start of something for us,” he added.

The Growling Tigers, who are seeking to force a decider, started the tie on the right track, as RK Barte routed Al Khady Jainul, 6-0, 6-1, in the opening singles. But things went downhill for UST, as NU took the next three matches to win the Season 75 championship. The defending champion Tigresses, meanwhile, forged a bestof-three title showdown with La Salle as UST eliminated University of the Philippines for the second straight year, 3-2. Zaza Paulino bailed out the Tigresses, bucking a second set loss to defeat JV Custodio, 6-1, 3-6, 6-1, in the deciding singles. UST also drew wins from doubles pairs of Dianne Bautista and Jhie Helar, as well as reigning MVP Macy Gonzales and April Santos. The finals opener between the top seeded Lady Archers and the

Tigresses is set tomorrow at 9 a.m. Season MVP Leander Lazaro blanked Bernanlou Bering, 6-0, 6-0, in the second singles, while Dheo Talatayod and Al Michael Madrio went thru the wringer before hacking out a 5-7, 6-3, 7-5 victory over Randy Delavin and Bernardine Baring in the first doubles. Jigo Peña and Tim Polero wrapped things up for the Bulldogs with a 6-3, 4-6, 6-2 second doubles win over Ryan Montalbo and Francis Patiño. “Ito talaga ang pinaghandaan namin. After two years, nag-paid off. Lahat ng pinaghirapan namin during the off season,” said the 19-year old Lazaro. “Hardwork pa rin for next season, hindi kami puwedeng magrelax. As a consolation for the Tigers, Joel Cabusas was named the Rookie of the Year. ■ InterAKTV / February 25, 2013

KUALA LUMPUR – The heads of the Thai and Bahraini football associations have emerged as contenders to lead the Asian governing body as the region seeks to replace scandal-hit ex-chief Mohamed bin Hammam. The ASEAN Football Federation released a statement late Monday throwing its support behind Thai football boss Worawi Makudi to take over the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). ASEAN stands for the Association of Southeast Asian Nations. Bahrain’s Sheikh Salman bin Ibrahim al-Khalifa has also confirmed his intention to stand, World Football Insider reported on its website. The 46-member AFC will elect a new leader in May, hoping to move past nearly two years of turmoil over allegations of wrongdoing including bribery by bin Hammam. The Qatari denies the allegations. It is currently headed by caretaker leader Zhang Jilong of China, who is considered the front-runner to win the post. Worawi did not answer calls from AFP seeking comment. An AFC spokesman said the organisation could not publicly confirm candidates until after the March 3 nomination deadline.

The AFC, the largest of six federations that make up football’s world governing body FIFA, will hold a congress to select the new leadership at its headquarters in Kuala Lumpur on May 2. World Football Insider had previously reported that Yousuf alSerkal, the head of the United Arab Emirates FA, had thrown his hat into the ring. Bin Hammam, 63, was accused of trying to buy votes in FIFA’s 2011 presidential vote as he challenged the powerful Sepp Blatter to lead the global body, and was banned from football. The businessman formally resigned as AFC leader in December, shortly after FIFA’s ethics committee launched a new probe into corruption claims against him. Bin Hammam, who first took over in 2002, remains suspended from football despite having the FIFA life ban overturned last year. The AFC also said last year it was probing alleged corruption by bin Hammam when he was its chief. Bin Hammam has denied wrongdoing in the FIFA presidential challenge and claims to be the victim of a politically motivated campaign to ruin him. He was once close to Blatter but the two later became estranged. ■ AFP / February 26, 2013


March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition



Stallion survives late Kaya UFL: Kaya plays Stallion in first match since UFL: threat to grab share of lead coach’s resignation; Global, Army clash

KAYA FC starts a new chapter in its campaign without former coach Maor Rozen as it battles Cup champion Stallion Sta.Lucia in the United Football League Tuesday at the Emperador Stadium in Mckinley Hill in Taguig. Kaya clashes with Stallion at 7:30 p.m. after the match between Philippine Army and Global FC at 5:15 p.m. After just three matches with the club, Rozen resigned last Saturday due to his failure to “extract the best from his players” during his short stint, which only lasted for three matches. Assistant coach Melo Sabacan, with the help of the club’s managers, will temporarily take over the coaching duties for Kaya, which currently has a 1-1-1 win-loss-draw record. Meanwhile, Stallion aims to keep

AKTV file/Toto Gamboa

its clean record and nail its fourth straight victory of the season. Like Stallion, defending champion Global also targets to book its fourth consecutive victory to tighten its grip of the top spot in

the League table. Army, meanwhile, is looking to notch its first triumph after suffering two straight losses in its campaign. AKTV will start the live coverage at 5 p.m. ■ InterAKTV / February 26, 2013

Xavier Batch 88 to host charity golf tournament

XAVIER School Batch 88 is hosting an annual charity golf tournament on March 8 at the Orchard Golf and Country Club. This year’s jubilarian batch aims to bring together members of the school’s community for an event whose proceeds will benefit the Xavier School Educational Trust Fund, which is used to help lessprivileged students study at the school. “It’s a good venue for meeting your old friends, playing and meeting a lot

Xavierians from the lower batches to the elder batches,” said committee head Benedict Chan. Players who convert a hole-in-one can win a Toyota Innova and a Toyota Vios as well as P100,000, among other big-ticket prizes. Registrants also have a chance to win a De Longhi Coffee Maker, a Samsung television, and overnight stays at Solaire Casino Hotel Chan said organizers are working hard to try to make sure all participants will have a prize to bring home from the event.

The event will be hosted will begin at 6:30 a.m., followed by games at 7:30 a.m. followed by a luncheon at the clubhouse. Each ticket will thus entitle each player to a game, a raffle entry, lunch, an eco-bag, and a special customized golf marker with a Xavier seal. Supporting the tournament are Asia United Bank, Solaire Casino, Rebisco, Toyota Motor Philippines, Oakwood, and HTC.

■ InterAKTV / February 24, 2013

STALLION Sta.Lucia escaped a late surge from Kaya FC before pulling away with a 2-1 victory in United Football League action Tuesday night at the Emperador Stadium in Taguig. After a scoreless tie at halftime, Stallion looked poised to control the match until the final whistle after striker Ruben Doctora scored off a corner kick at the 47th minute for the game’s first goal. Defender Bervic Italia then fired a high-looping goal which went beyond the reach of Kaya goalkeeper Saba Garmaroudi to give Stallion a comfortable 2-nil lead at the 70th minute. But Stallion hit a snag at the 84th minute after Korean import Park Bo Bae was sent off. That led the squad to be down to 10 men on the field, which Kaya immediately took advantage. At the 88th minute, forward OJ Porteria threw a nifty pass to the streaking Janrick Soriano, who buried a goal that sparked Kaya’s attack late in the match. After a Stallion miscue, Kaya had a great chance for the


AKTVfile photo/Jojo Lirio Jr.

equalizer at the 90th minute, only to see its attempt barely missing the post despite the failure of Stallion goalkeeper Wilson Muñoz to contain the shot. With the result, Stallion continued its winning ways and nailed its fourth straight victory of the season. Meanwhile, Kaya, which played for the first time since former coach Maor Rozen resigned, dropped its second loss in its first four matches of its League campaign. ■ InterAKTV / Tuesday, February 26, 2013

PBA Results, Standings – February 24, 2013 In the main game, Denzel Bowles showed his monster form, leading San Mig Coffee to a 90-82 win over Talk ‘N Text for the defending champions’ first victory of the tournament. ■ InterAKTV / February 24,

SUNDAY Salvacion opened Sunday’s PBA Commissioner’s Cup doubleheader with his patented Sunday Special, banking home a three-pointer at the buzzer to lift Meralco to a thrilling 90-89 victory over GlobalPort.


Alaska beats down Talk ‘N Text to remain perfect in Commissioner’s Cup

COMING into its matchup against Alaska, Talk ‘N Text was the No. 1 defensive team in the Commissioner’s Cup. On Friday, the Aces gave the Tropang Texters a dose of their own medicine on the way to a 92-69 beatdown at the SMARTAraneta Coliseum. Alaska held Talk ‘N Text to miserable 2-of-21 shooting (9.5 percent) in the third quarter to break the game wide open for the surprisingly easy victory. Cyrus Baguio finished with 17 points on 8-of-13 shooting from the field to provide the scoring spunk for the Aces’ locals, but it was the team defensive effort that did the magic for Alaska. They held the Tropang Texters to just five points in the third period while unloading 28 points. Baguio’s five straight points, capped by a three-point play off a hangtime move over Talk ‘N Text import Keith Benson, touched off a 14-1 run that gave Alaska a 5940 lead in the third period. But for coach Luigi Trillo, stopping Talk N Text’s guards

Jimmy Alapag and Jayson Castro as well as containing Benson was the key. “We took Benson out of his flow. Alapag and Castro, those two give the team life, but we played a little bit of good defense, then they’re missing open shots as well. We did a good job playing on both ends of the floor,” said Alaska coach Luigi Trillo, whose team raced to its best start in a tournament since 1998.

The scores: ALASKA 92 – Dozier 23, Baguio 17, Abueva 10, Casio 10, Hontiveros 10, Ramos 9, Dela Cruz 5, Jazul 2, Eman 2, Espinas 2, Thoss 2, Reyes 0, B TALK N’ TEXT 69 – Benson 27, Castro 11, Al-Hussaini 6, Reyes 6, Williams 5, Alapag 5, De Ocampo 4, Carey 4, Fonacier 1, Raymundo 0, Gamalinda 0, Dillinger 0, Aban 0. Quarters: 22-13, 45-39, 73-44, 92-69. ■ InterAKTV / March 1, 2013

PBA/Nuki Sabio Team





Alaska Aces





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Barako Bull Energy Colas






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Rain or Shine Elasto Painters






Talk ‘N Text Tropang Texters






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San Mig Coffee Mixers






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March 2013 – No. 5 • UK & Europe Edition

Guamanian footballers see Philippines as stepping stone towards developing football at home

THERE is no doubt that football is still gaining ground in the Philippines. It only started to become popular just three years ago, thanks to the Azkals’ memorable Cinderella run to the semifinals of the region’s premiere football competition, the ASEAN Football Federation Suzuki Cup. But while the Philippines is still far from becoming a football nation, some players from Guam, a small territory of the United States almost 2,500 miles away, think that playing here would be the best way to develop the sport back in their hometown. “It’s an opportunity to play in a little bit of a higher level,” said Guamanian footballer Jason Cunliffe, who plays for Pachanga Diliman FC in the United Football League. “It would make our national team stronger.” Like in the Philippines, football in Guam has long been an afterthought for many fans there. The sport only started to gain popularity when its national team, the Matao, won the preliminary round and advanced to the the East Asian Football

Championship for the first time four years ago. “We won our first tournament in 2009. That was the first time we advanced in anything so that kinda was of our momentum builder,” Cunliffe said. Guam eventually finished seventh out of the 10 countries in the tournament. But that performance, which was already considered as an achievement for Matao, paved the way for the change of the football landscape in the territory. But Cunliffe, who serves as Matao’s team captain, admitted that the level of competition in Guam is still low, and for football to make great strides, its national team players should get more international exposure. That’s why last year, he decided to pursue his professional career in the Philippines’ United Football League. Cunliffe was not the first player from his country to play in the UFL. His Matao teammate, Jonahan Romero, joined Kaya FC almost three

Marco Antonio Barrera to attend Nietes-Fuentes fight...

Continuation from page 40

Barrera, are planing in to attend the fight. Pacquiao was a virtual unknown in late 2003 when he stopped Barrera in 11 rounds at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas. Barrera was the heavy favorite but Pacquiao mopped the floor using Barrera’s rear end. Barrera got another chance to

kick Pacquiao’s butt in October 2007 but he got his ass whupped anew although the fight ended on a lopsided points win for Pacquiao. Meanwhile, the press conference formally announcing the the NietesFuentes match is green and go will take place this Thursday. The official weigh-in will follow the next day. ■ InterAKTV / Tuesday, February 26, 2013

DAVID BECKHAM TO STARTContinuation FOR PSG... from page 40

have criticised Zlatan Ibrahimovic for his recent performances. The Swede scored his 22nd Ligue 1 goal in 23 appearances in the weekend win over Marseille, but his all-round display was not in keeping with the high standards he has set since arriving in French football. “He has scored 22 goals and provided four assists in the league,” said Leonardo. “Since the winter break he has scored four times. He is involved

in every decisive and important move, but it is not possible to be in your best physical condition for ten months. “You can’t judge his season just on his recent performances. “When I hear people talk, commentators, pundits, I get the impression we annoy them. “In fact, we are getting to exactly where we wanted to be. We arouse jealousy and it is better that than pity.” ■ AFP / February 27, 2013

Five boxers secure national pool slots after ABAP... Continuation from page 40 Five from Friday’s winners, including Saludar, belong to the elite division in the 18- to 22-year category that will be given priority in the recommendation to be submitted to the ABAP board headed by president Ricky Vargas and chair Manuel V. Pangilinan. Also in the elite list are Jay Ar Inson of Davao del Norte, RSC winner over Richard Bacala of Maasin in the 64kg. level; Jolan Bunghanoy of Davao del Norte, points winner over Genisis Libranza (52-kg); Quirino Mellejor Jr. of Davao, victor over Reoxyl Tabogon of Cebu; and Risty Apas of Davao who won over Daryl Ramos (60-kg) of Maasin. In the distaff 17-18 age bracket,

the gold medalists were Jossa Sanestiban of Bago City, Alexcel Dargantes of General Santos City, Maasin’s Ruby Nicanor, Beverly Casero and Cristy Jane Rivals. Ten other winners in the 15-16 bracket were Jeffrey Estella, John Patrick Dinolan, Kenneth Paul Gentalla, Hipolito Banal Jr., Michael John Bahena, Presco Carcosia, Angelou Plania, Mario Bautista, Levawil Savines and Marquil Salvana. Others who qualified for recommendation to the pool are in the youth (17-18) class — Gabriel Rabicycle, Aaldrfen Moreno, Argie Alabado, Jeson Umbal and James Palicte. ■ Philippine News Agency /February 24, 2013

years ago and even persuaded him to come over here. Having played in the United States before, Cunliffe said that after playing against the Azkals in several friendly matches last year, he knew that the Philippines is a good place where he can continue his career. “Philippines is close enough. I travel back to Guam to visit my family, kids and girlfriend,” said Cunliffe, now 29. “It’s convenient for me (so) it’s good. At the same time, I get to test myself. I’m on the downhill of a soccer player’s career.” Cunliffe said he enjoyed playing here that he invited fellow Matao member Ian Mariano, who is also his teammate in Pachanga. “There (are) guys who are on the cusp and just needs to get on that level. He is one of them,” Cunliffe said. “He’s a good player technically. He just needs to speed his play that’s why I want him to come here.” Mariano, who also played in Guam’s local football league, also thought that playing in the Philippines would be the best career move for him. “We have an amateur league and the competition and the players here are a lot better,” Mariano said. “The level is higher in certain aspects of pressure. It’s a lot faster here. People are more aware.”

Guam national men’s football team

Aside from getting international exposure for the Matao players, Cunliffe said that Guam has already taken other steps to make football competitive. He said that there are many good football facilities there and a national youth program has already been established in the territory. “Our (football association) does a great job of using the FIFA goal project money,” Cunliffe said. “The foundation is there. Now, the national team is growing.” But Cunliffe and Mariano admitted that they are still behind the Azkals and Philippine football in general. They hope that by playing here, they could learn many lessons which they would bring to their hometown.

“I think just like the Azkals a few years ago, we’re just starting and we’re kind of maybe two, three years behind you,” Cunliffe said. “We’re trying to see how we can grow like you guys do.” Philippine football still has a long way to go in terms of development. But for players like Cunliffe and Mariano, playing here is an opportunity to improve the sport further in Guam. “The way to get better is taking step by step. Baby steps, we’re getting there,” Cunliffe said. “We know we’re not gonna be world leaders right away, (but) as long as we keep putting in the hard work and understand what it takes, we will always get better.” ■ InterAKTV / Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Lance Armstrong refuses to cooperate with US Anti-Doping... statement released through attorney Tim Herman. Armstrong was stripped of his seven Tour de France titles after a USADA probe uncovered overwhelming evidence he was at the heart of a major doping conspiracy, including testimony from 26 witnesses, was released last October. After admitting in a television interview last month that the titles he won from 1999-2005 were helped by performance-enhancing substances, Armstrong said he would cooperate with anti-doping officials. He repeated that offer on Wednesday even as he made it clear he would not go through USADA to do so. “Lance is willing to cooperate fully and has been very clear: He will be the first man through the door, and once inside will answer every question, at an international tribunal formed to comprehensively address pro cycling, an almost exclusively European sport,” the statement said. “We remain hopeful that an international effort will be mounted, and we will do everything we can to facilitate that result.” USADA chief executive Travis T. Tygart had given Armstrong a February 6 deadline to testify under oath on what he knew about such subjects as cycling team manager Johan Bruyneel’s role in the conspiracy, details of how the scheme unfolded or if International

Cycling Union (UCI) officials knew about it. Armstrong said he would not be able to meet that deadline so Tygart extended the deadline to Wednesday, only to learn Armstriong would not be coming when the disgraced cyclist released his statement to the media. “Today we learned from the media that Mr. Armstrong is choosing not to come in and be truthful and that he will not take the opportunity to work toward righting his wrongs in sport,” Tygart said in a statement. “At this time we are moving forward with our investigation without him and we will continue to work closely with WADA and other appropriate and responsible international authorities to fulfill our promise to clean athletes to protect their right to compete on a drug free playing field.” Failing to cooperate with USADA all-but dooms Armstrong’s chance of reducing his life ban to an eight-year ban, only a possibility for providing substantial assistance to anti-doping authorities under WADA’s code. “We have provided Mr. Armstrong several opportunities to assist in our ongoing efforts to clean up the sport of cycling,” Tygart said. “Following his recent television interview, we again invited him to come in and provide honest information and he was informed in writing by WADA that this was the appropriate avenue for him if he wanted to be part of the solution.

Continuation from page 40

“Over the last few weeks he has led us to believe that he wanted to come in and assist USADA, but was worried of potential criminal and civil liability if he did so.” Armstrong, 41, faces two major lawsuits that could be impacted by any testimony he gives under oath. A Texas insurance firm sued Armstrong on February 7 seeking $12 million for bonus money paid to Armstrong for the Tour de France triumphs that are now null and void. Former Armstrong teammate Floyd Landis, himself an admitted dope cheat who lost the 2006 Tour de France crown because of doping, is suing Armstrong on grounds that Armstrong deceived sponsors US Postal Service by claiming to be winning his titles without using performance-enhancing drugs. In his television confessional to Oprah Winfrey last month, Armstrong contradicted several parts of USADA’s investigation, saying he had stopped doping after 2005 and was not a ringleader in the doping programme. Tygart, in a later television interview, said Armstrong had lied to Winfrey because USADA evidence showed he was doping when he rode in the Tour de France two final times in 2009 and 2010. According to Tygart, expert reports based on the variation of Armstrong’s blood values make it a “one to a million chance that it was due to something other than doping.” ■ AFP / February 21, 2013





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Marco Antonio Barrera to attend Nietes-Fuentes fight in Cebu THE fire-breathing Marco Antonio Barrera, best remembered by Filipino fight fans as the Mexican who made Manny Pacquiao famous in the US, will be watching this Saturday’s world light-flyweight title

clash between Donnie Nietes of the Philippines and Mexican challenger Moises Fuentes in Cebu. According to Michael Aldeguer, who calls the shots for ALA Boxing Promotions based in the Queen City of the South,

Barrera will go direct to Cebu from Tokyo. “He’ll be spending a couple of days in Japan before coming to Cebu,” said Aldeguer, who is obviously excited that luminaries such as

Continuation on page 38


Five boxers secure national pool slots after ABAP championships

WASHINGTON – Lance Armstrong said Wednesday that he will not cooperate with a US Anti-Doping Agency (USADA) investigation into dope cheats in cycling but would be willing to help other anti-doping inquiries. The move greatly diminishes Armstrong’s chances of having his life ban from World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)-sanctioned sport reduced even as it forces USADA to move ahead without his help in looking into others involved in doping. “For several reasons, Lance will not participate in USADA’s efforts to selectively conduct American prosecutions that only demonize selected individuals while failing to address the 95 percent of the sport over which USADA has no jurisdiction,” Armstrong said in a

MAASIN CITY — Comebacking Victorio Saludar used a short oneminute workout against untested local boy Michael Kaibigan to recapture his seat in the national training pool Friday at the closing of the PLDT-ABAP National Open Boxing Championships at the Maasin City Gym here. Saludar, coming out of an almost two-year hibernation following a bronze medal finish in the 2010 Asian Games, proved too unfriendly to his host as he mercilessly pounded Kaibigan from the opening bell on, forcing two mandatory eight-count en route to a referee stopped victory The win earned him a recommendation from the national coaching staff for inclusion in the Philippine team, together with four other boxers, that will carry the country’s colors in coming international commitments starting with the Southeast Asian Games in December. The 21-year-old Saludar, the youngest of three boxing brothers, was relentlessly pummeling Kaibigan with combinations when the referee stopped the onslaught after only one minute and 10 seconds of their scheduled three-round gold medal fight for the 49-kilogram crown. “Yes, we sure will recommend him for re-inclusion in the national training pool,” hindi pa masyadong impressive kasi unang laban pa lang niya mula sa injury, pero yun lang naman ang kondiyong ibinigay sa kanya ni (ABAP executive director) Ed (Picson) para makabalik siya,” national coach Ronald Chavez said after Saludar’s win. Saludar abandoned the ABAP camp months after his medal-winning performance in the Guangzhou Asiad in China particularly because of injury in his hand. Saludar, led 19 other gold medal winners in Friday’s grand finals of the five-day meet hosted for the first time by this bustling city headed by Mayor Maloney Samaco. The victors would have also earned slots in the training pool, but Chavez said their performances will still be closely monitored depending on how many seats will be given funding by the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC).

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Continuation on page 38

PARIS – Paris Saint-Germain’s new star recruit, English veteran David Beckham, will start in the French Cup round of 16 encounter against rivals Marseille, coach Carlo Ancelotti said on Tuesday. “Yes, Beckham will start in the position of (suspended midfielder) Marco Verratti,” Ancelotti told reporters before Wednesday’s game. “It’s an important position,” added Ancelotti. “Beckham must help make the play and defensively have a good tactical position on the pitch — he will have the same things to do as Verratti,” said Ancelotti, who believes the 37-year-old still has plenty to offer. “Can he still take corners and freekicks? He has the quality to do so,”

Lance Armstrong refuses to cooperate with US AntiDoping Agency

said the Italian. “Beckham can play a whole match, he has the quality to play in the middle of the park.” The former Manchester United and Real Madrid star, on a fivemonth contract, made a cameo debut appearance from the bench at the weekend, setting up the second goal in a 2-0 league win over Marseille which put the capital club three points clear at the top of Ligue 1. Marseille coach Elie Baup, having been on the receiving end of Beckham’s talents last Sunday, said Tuesday his men were forewarned as they look to end their rivals’ cup hopes. Noting PSG’s speed in launching attacks, he suggested the former

England star was a good fit for his new club. “Beckham absolutely has his place in the role of supplier — he sent in a few balls during the quarter hour he played. If PSG retain the same strategy as Sunday he will rapidly fit the mould in terms of passing and dead ball situations. “But we will be out to get the best result possible. Paris are putting in place a future of the highest quality but in a one-off match we can knock them out of their stride and get a result,” Baup insisted. Meanwhile, PSG sporting director Leonardo told AFP on Tuesday that Beckham has a lot to offer the capital club on the pitch and hit out at those who are sceptical as to the reasons

why the Englishman was signed. “I am happy but it’s not a surprise, I know him well,” said the Brazilian of Beckham’s debut appearance. “Beckham is not sitting a test, he is here to help us. I have always said that he is here for the sporting side. “The number of interviews that you give or the number of shirts that you sell will not change or help a club evolve. “What matters is the titles that you win. “A player like him cannot be questioned. If you do so it shows that you don’t know football, and there are a lot here (who don’t know football).” Leonardo also attacked those who

Continuation on page 38

Guamanian footballers see Philippines as stepping stone towards developing football at home

Story on page 38

March 2013 A issue  

Filipino news, sports, entertainment