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Verbatim Hindi tayo pareho. Hindi kami nagnakaw at hindi kami magnanakaw.
President Aquino, addressing politicians accused of pocketing the pork barrel funds who, he said, were trying to deflect the issue by suggesting that all politicians have benefited from the pork barrel funds. He made a rare public address on prime time television last Oct. 30 to answer criticism of his administration’s handling of the pork barrel issue.
How many times can I am giving Noynoy you pray theFULL PAGE AD the benefit of the doubt because I think rosary? She he is a non-lying, non- prays 5,000 rosaries every cheating, and nonday. She reads stealing president. Former Senator Rene Saguisag, the Holy Bible defending President Aquino’s backward and plan to use government savings to help victims of the recent forward. She’s singing the Mass to earthquake in Central Visayas herself. This is breaking her down.
Lawyer Lorna Kapunan, describing the “psychological pressure” faced by her client, Janet Lim Napoles, the alleged brains behind the P1-billion pork barrel scam who is locked in a room in a police camp (Note: Kapunan has since quit as counsel for Napoles.)
Ni sa guniguni, hindi ko inisip na matatalo ako.
Manny Pacquiao, on his upcoming fight with American Brandon “Bam Bam” Rios in Macau on Nov. 24
We priests can preach to empty stomachs but only if our stomach is as empty as our parishioners.
LingayenDagupan Archbishop Socrates Villegas, calling on Catholic priests to always prepare and think carefully about the content of their homilies, saying delivering “boring” sermons is unjust to God and the churchgoers.
I cannot forget it, because he told me that I could not take the witness stand because I did not know how to lie.
Marina Sula, one of the whistleblowers in the P10-billion pork barrel scam who turned against her former employer, Janet Napoles-Lim, recalling how she first met lawyer Jose Flaminiano, who acted as defense counsel for Napoles and her relatives in an earlier graft case involving the supply of Kevlar helmets to the military. Flaminiano has been hired by Sen. Jinggoy Estrada to handle the plunder case against him in the pork barrel scam.
NOVEMBER 2013 APRIL 2012
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Is Manny Pacquiao Back? By natashya gutierrez
ENERAL Santos City -- At the Wild Card Gym in the hometown of world champion boxer Manny Pacquiao, photos of Pacquiao’s greatest moments line the four walls. But there is one fight noticeably missing, and understandably so: his last one against his Mexican arch rival Juan Manuel Marquez. It was the fight that forced him into a one-year hiatus, the fight that ended with Pacquiao on the canvas after a devastating knockout blow, the fight that analysts believed marked the start of the end for Pacquiao. The fight that Pacquiao said, is no longer on his mind. “I don’t think of that fight anymore. That fight is over. I’ve moved on,” Pacquiao told Rappler in an exclusive interview. In this city — where Pacquiao is completing his full training camp until his showdown against American fighter Brandon Rios on Nov. 24 in Macau — trainer Freddie Roach was pleased about his prodigy. He said Pacquiao looked “fresh,” and more importantly, hungry. “He’s in very good shape and we’re getting better and better as the weeks go on,” said Roach, who arrived in the Philippines last Oct. 9. He has been supervising Pacquiao’s training since. Pacquiao understands how important his upcoming fight is. Before Marquez, Pacquiao also lost by decision to undefeated American Timothy Bradley in a widely controversial fight, that most believed Pacquiao dominated. The Filipino, who has since slipped in pound-per-pound lists of the world’s best, said he
Manny Pacquiao says his only focus right now is winning his Nov. 24 showdown against Brandon Rios. (Photo by Adrian Portugal)
wants to prove he still has what it takes. “This fight is very important because we didn’t fight for a long time, almost one year this coming December, so the people missed Manny Pacquiao. Second, I need to prove that I can still fight,” he said. “We’re really in a must-win situation… to get back to where Manny must be, [atop] the pound-per-pound Top 10, I definitely think we have to be impressive and we need a knockout to win this in old fashion,” Roach told Rappler. Roach is right. Rios is Pacquiao’s first stumbling block in his climb back to the top. Losing is not an option. A defeat for Pacquiao would mark his third straight loss, and likely justify concerned calls for his retirement. The good news is, from Pacquiao’s training schedule, it’s evident he knows fully well just how crucial the upcoming fight is. The man who will face Pacquiao on Nov. 24 for the vacant
Team Pacquiao is happy with what they’ve seen so far, saying Pacquiao is more hungry than ever. (Photo by Adrian Portugal) WBO International Welterweight title is 27-year-old Rios, a tough, young fighter who has 31 wins and just one loss under his belt. Rios is known for his aggressive style — an attacker who won’t hesitate to throw the first punch — and for his famously strong iron chin. He’s a dirty talker who knows the fight with Pacquiao is a chance of a lifetime, the catapult he needs for his career — a sure thing if he manages a win. Rios isn’t a walk in the park, but Roach isn’t worried. “Standing in front of this guy is a little bit dangerous, he’s big and strong and he has a pretty good chin but Manny uses speed and boxing like he knows how. We’re working out, he’ll absolutely destroy him, I feel,” he said Pacquiao is up at the crack
of dawn every day for his morning run. Sometimes he runs on the track, a light jog; other days he runs six miles on the highway, an uphill trek that leaves his shirt soaking wet. But no matter the run, Pacquiao is at the gym past noon. He’s doing mitts, attacking the punching bag and speedballs. He jumps rope, he does footwork drills, he shadowboxes. He has started to do rounds of sparring with partners from Ghana and England. To Pacquiao, the victory he is working towards is not just for him, but mainly for the country. He said he is grateful for the support shown to him by Filipinos, even after his loss. “The Filipino people showed me their support as to not weaken my spirit,” he said. “The support they showed me when I won, was the same support they gave me when I lost.” He talked about the “need” and the “expectation” for him to make Filipinos happy, and to bring glory back to the country, mentioning not just his recent losses but those of other Filipino fighters in the past year. “They need me to bring honor and glory to the country,” he said. “I was very sorry to them [when I didn’t do that].” For now, Team Pacquiao is satisfied. The spark is back, they said. His on time appearances at the gym — another shift from past camps — gives his team faith they’re on the right track, as does his desire to keep pushing himself further in training, to the point that his advisors themselves are telling him to slow down. Perhaps the loss many feared would be the end of Pacquiao was actually the opposite. Rather than crush his psyche, it perhaps only strengthened his resolve to keep fighting. And to keep winning. Perhaps the loss was just the beginning. (Rappler.com) n
NOVEMBER 2013 APRIL 2012
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By Gilda Cordero-Fernando I LOVE Filipino English -- it is so wrong! There are Filipinisms that someone who did not grow up in the Philippines may have difficulty figuring out. Conjugated Unconjugatables
I-google mo. Paki-xerox nga. Baka ma-Ondoy uli tayo! Pinost mo ba sa Facebook? Let’s half the dessert. Hinahanting ka ni misis! (Your wife is hunting you.) Inglisera -- English-speaking Pinoy, also known as wurs wurs or Inglis-ispoken
Please “on” the electric fan. “Off” the TV when you go. “I’ll go ahead!” -- to mean “I’ll leave now.”
In English, some words are dropped since the abbreviated form is understood. Such as “chair” for chairperson, “House” for House of Representatives, or even “staff” when it refers to only one member. (“I sent my staff to fetch the book.”) Here are some Tagalog examples: May senior po ba kayo? (senior citizen card) “High blood ka ba?” “Hindi, heart!” “Ako kidney.” Type! (meaning “I like” -- the guy with you; to join you where you’re going; your gift to me) Chicken! (for “chicken feed!”) Picture! (Take out your cameras. Pose. Smile.) Usually a question from maid or waiter: “Okay na po ba?” (meaning “Are you finished eating?/ reading the newspaper? Can I clear the table? Can I leave you now?”) Okay, oks or k is a most overused word. So is ‘lang’. As in: Okay lang -- meaning pwede; hindi pwede; baka pwede, or pwede na. (Yes, it’s okay but not all right.) Wait lang -- Just a second. Also known as “For a while.” Wala lang -- It’s nothing; it doesn’t mean much; just something I fancied.
When one can’t remember right off the object one is referring to or even what to do with it, the sentence may end up like this: “Pakilagay naman ng kwan sa ano!” (And somehow the maid always understands it.)
Wang-wang Imeldific Tililing – (touched in the head) Tweetums (pa-cute) Chancing -- —take a chance (kiss/caress on the sly not one’s GF). Colorum -- unlicensed vehicle operating with a legitimate (taxi, bus) line. Invented word from the Latin secula seculorum, which sounds like secret words in the Mass. Once applied to the “colorum” sect. ONLI IN DA PILIPINS do we hear… Sobrang kulang (yata ang handa natin) Super sarap!
English words that mean differently
Arbor -- to ask for; obtain for free. Example: Di ko binili yan, na-arbor ko lang. Alaska -- to harass; to needle. Example: Panggulo lang yan, walang alam kundi mangalaska. Indian (-in) -- not to show up for an appointment Chapter -- (Ugly! The end!) Drama -- “Anong drama na naman niyang kaibigan mo?” (What attention-getting tactic is your friend up to?) Spelling (or ispeling) -- I can’t understand it. Example: “Di ko ma-ispeling ang mukha niya!” Carry -- “Carry mo ba yang kulay na yan/yari ng damit?” (Do you think that color/dress style fits you?) Dead ball or dedbol -- patay Gimmick (or gimik) -- small money-making job; a party, pakulo or happening Eternal; ageless; everlasting; institution; monument; pillar; deathless; legend -- gurang. – (Philippinne Daily Inquirer)
NOVEMBER 2013 APRIL 2012
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The Big One Is Only a Matter of Time E XPERTS warn that many parts of the Philippines -- including the nation’s densely-populated capital -- are long overdue for major earthquakes, and one can’t entirely be sure where and when the next big one will strike. But one thing is for certain: it’s only a matter of time. Mario Aurelio, Laboratory Head of the Structural Geology and Tectonics of the UP National Institute of Geological Sciences (NIGS) laments the lack of comprehensive knowledge about the country’s numerous geologic faults. The 7.2 magnitude earthquake that shook Central Visayas on Oct. 15 was a relatively rare event, Aurelio notes, but other parts of the country are also due for similar quakes. In Metro Manila, there is an active fault line that traverses several cities in the metropolis. Known as the West Valley Fault, it is long overdue for a large tremor, according to experts. “Ripe na gumalaw ang fault. Napakataas ng probability na gumalaw ito in the future, hindi lang natin masabi ang exact date and time,” Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) deputy director Bartolome Bautista said during a Senate inquiry on the country’s disaster preparedness last Oct. 17. The West Valley Fault, or the Marikina fault line, starts from the Sierra Madre and runs through Bulacan; Rodriguez, Rizal; Quezon City; the eastern side of Metro Manila including Pasig and Taguig; Muntinlupa; San Pedro and Sta. Rosa in Laguna; and ends in Carmona, Cavite. Experts say it moves every 200 to 400 years. The last time this fault moved was 200 years ago. Phivolcs warns it “is ripe for another major movement.” Phivolcs director Renato
West Valley Fault in blue line
Students in Metro Manila undergo an earthquake drill. Solidum said that preparations for the next large quake are of paramount importance. He explained that unlike storms and typhoons, earthquakes cannot be predicted with some level of accuracy and there are no scientific instruments that can predict when an earthquake will occur. He said a 7.2-magnitude earthquake, as was seen in Bohol, can shake the ground even a hundred kilometers away, meaning it can shake the whole of Metro Manila and its surrounding provinces. A quake from the West Valley Fault may reach magnitude 7.2 and may hit intensity 8, Solidum said, stressing that he was not out to scare people. In a lecture organized by the New Zealand Embassy in Manila last July, Solidum said up to 37,000 people could be killed and 50,000 hurt if the West Valley Fault moves. According to him, about 168,300 residential buildings may be heavily damaged and
339,800 partly damaged if a magnitude 7.2 tremor would hit Metro Manila. Solidum said that under this scenario, eight to ten percent of public buildings may sustain heavy damage while 20 to 25 percent may be partly damaged. “We don’t want this scenario to happen; we have to do something so it won’t happen,” Solidum said. He stressed the need to strictly impose the regulations on buildings and structures to minimize the impact of earthquakes, noting that weak structures are vulnerable to earthquake-related hazards such as ground shaking and liquefaction. “We need to have appropriate land use. We have to be serious towards construction of buildings. We have to implement the Building Code strictly,” he said. Solidum lamented that many buildings, particularly in the nation’s densely-populated capital, remain unassessed for physical integrity versus strong earthquakes.
“The issue though is some of the buildings are non-engineered and most likely walang permit so they have to focus on that also,” he said. The strength of structures in buildings and houses should be checked, Solidum said, adding that everyone should participate in earthquake drills. Major lifelines like water and power supply, and communication lines should be strengthened and made fire and earthquake-proof, he added. Solidum also identified six major strategies to reduce the impact of earthquakes in the Greater Metro Manila area: • Enhancing the legal framework and institutional capacity for effective disaster management system; • Building capacity for relief and recovery; • Strengthening community preparedness for disaster because communities should not be too dependent on the government; • Strengthening building and structures, including power and water facilities; • Enhancing national government resistance to earthquakes; and • Promoting research and technology development for earthquake impact reduction measures. “Earthquake preparedness should be everyone’s business,” Solidum stressed. n
NOVEMBER 2013 APRIL 2012
BAGYONG YOLANDA PHILIPPINES
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11/14/13 9:38 AM
A London cab and doubledecker bus splattered with the Philippines’ tourism slogan.
Tourism Push in UK Goes Into Higher Gear T HE Aquino administration’s tourism campaign kicks into higher gear, as over a hundred double-decker buses and black taxicabs plying the roads of London start sporting “It’s More Fun in the Philippines” visuals promoting several major destinations in the country.
Benito Bengzon Jr., Department of Tourism (DOT) spokesman and assistant secretary for market development, said that these buses and iconic black taxis will promote Davao, Cebu, Bohol, Albay, Masbate, Sorsogon, Palawan, and Banaue for several months. This dovetails with the recent launch of direct ManilaLondon flights by Philippine Airlines (PAL), which offers five daily flights a week, Bengzon said. He said the direct flights will boost visitor arrivals from the United Kingdom, where over 112,000 Filipinos work or reside. In the first nine months of this year, visitor arrivals from the UK numbered 80,121,
slightly off from the 81,436 arrivals a year ago.
Tourism delegation A DOT delegation led by Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr. was in London to attend the World Travel Market (WTM) from November 4 to 7 at the ExCel London, one of the largest and most important trade and travel exhibitions in the world. Bengzon said the Philippine pavilion increased twofold to 300 square meters, as Jimenez brought along representatives of local government units (LGUs) to promote their destinations during the trade event, adding to the more than 120 private-sector delegates. Jimenez expressed confi-
dence that the Philippines can still achieve its visitor arrivals targets despite lower funding for the government’s tourism campaign next year. House Assistant Majority Leader and Cebu Rep. Gerald Anthony Gullas Jr. earlier said the DOT’s brand campaign budget of P750 million in the proposed 2014 General Appropriations Act is 25-percent less than this year’s allocation of P1 billion.
10-M tourists eyed in 2016 Gullas said the tourism industry could help provide jobs to many idle college graduates now estimated at 654,000, adding that a higher budget allocation for the branding campaign could attract more foreign visitors to the country. The Philippines is aiming for 10 million foreign visitor arrivals by 2016. “Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore and Indonesia are all way ahead of us in terms of tourism market share. Still, they are spending even more to adver-
tise themselves, judging from their promotional campaigns in international cable TV channels alone,” Gullas said in a statement. The DOT has a proposed budget of P1.73 billion for 2014, or 30-percent lower than its P2.5 billion allocation this year. In a text message from London, Jimenez said, “The agency is grateful to the proposal of Rep. Gullas to increase funding for tourism programs. Nonetheless, DOT is confident that it will still be able to meet its targets for 2014 notwithstanding the requested budget.” “This will only serve to challenge the DOT to continue looking for fun and creative ways to keep the tourists coming,” he said. Undersecretary Daniel Corpuz for promotions said the P740 million proposed allocation for next year is enough, but any increase “will be welcome as we are expected to increase market coverage in Europe.”
More flights ahead He cited PAL’s plan to open flights to Paris, France as well as to Rome and Milan in Italy, which is “expected to be serviced in the coming months.” “Middle East flights likewise will be introduced by both PAL and Cebu Pacific very soon. Filling up the seats will be a challenge which has to be met by an awareness of what we offer as a country destination,” Corpuz said. Gullas, who represents Cebu with its world-class beach hotels and resorts, said the Philippines’ Asean neighbors “are fairly strong, so we have to invest aggressively in selling the country to foreign tourists.” Data from DOT show Cebu attracted 1.2 million visitors in the first half of the year after 750,000 foreign visitors for the entire 2012. Citing World Tourism Organization data, Gullas said the Philippines received 4.3 million foreign tourists who spent some $3.82 billion, or $893 per capita last year. (InterAksyon.com) n
NOVEMBER 2013 APRIL 2012
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Updates and Donations on Typhoon Yolanda
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TOGETHER WE CAN HELP For ad placements, call us on T: 0203 371 7882 or email email@example.com
Western Union improves employability of Filipinos
VER 150 out-ofchoice to direct the funds school youths to non-profit organizations and disadvanwith the purpose of empowering individuals for taged women acquired new job and life economic advancement. skills to increase their em“School Caravan aims at addressing out-of-school ployability and confidence youth and disadvantaged through the expansion of women problems in the the School Caravan project Philippines, starting in the – a community-based trade Province of Pampanga. school operated by AWECA Participants were offered a Foundation, Incorporated series of training sessions (AFI), and funded by The to acquire positive work Western Union Company and life values; sense of (NYSE: WU) last year. self-worth and career direcThe expanded project, rolled tion; communication and out in a span of one (1) year, decision making skills and offered hairdressing, beauty most importantly, sense of care and small engine repair social obligation,” said Roltrainings to Filipinos in Pampanga under the guidance of The School Caravan project aims at addressing youth and disadvantaged women problems in the country. lyn Palo, Executive Director, AFI. the Technical Education and “Through increasing their ecoSkills Development Authority opportunity to extend their ac- values and traits. (TESDA). Participants also unquired skills to others in need This was made possible by a nomic mobility, we hope they derwent life skills training to through community service USD20,000 grant from West- are soon able to obtain stable improve social and personal with their peers and neighbor- ern Union in 2012, as part of a employment locally and abroad skills as well as to instill work hood. Some parents also took USD100,000 grant over a five- and even create their own small attitude and ethics. Beneficiarresponsible parenting sessions year period for the Philippines enterprises to sustain their ies included abused women, learning to establish and sus- to commemorate Western Un- family’s basic-life needs, parchildren in conflict with the law tain a good relationship with ion’s 500,000th Agent location ticularly for the education of (CICL) and typhoon victims. their children, and were reopening. The Philippine Em- children or siblings.” All participants were given the minded of the Filipino family bassy in the U.S. was given the
N the Hollywood movie, Field of Dreams, a voice whispers to the main character, a corn farmer, “If you build it, he will come,” prodding him to build a baseball field in the middle of the cornfield and pursue his dream. Could a similar unseen force be pushing our government officials into improving the country’s ports in order to entice foreign cruise liners into our shores? Did they hear the murmur, “Build the ports and the cruise ships will come”? The dream is to make the Philippines a destination for international cruise ships, and if the magic formula to attain it is to improve our ports to accommodate the cruise ships and handle large volumes of tourists, government officials are determined to do just that. Tourism and port officials are optimistic that a growing number of international cruise liners is making port calls in various parts of the Philippines in the near future as gleaned from recent arrivals and projected cruise stops in the next few years. In view of the increasing interest of the international cruising industry on the Philippines, the Department of Tourism, Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) and the Department of Transportation and Communications have identified eight ports as the country’s top international hubs for cruise liners. According to PPA vice chairman and general manager Juan Sta. Ana, the hubs include Davao, Bohol, Boracay, Cebu, Manila, Puerto Princesa, Subic and Zamboanga. “These make up the country’s major nautical cruise arteries,” said Sta. Ana. “In addition, we have lined up various port development programs for the country’s cruise terminals. And these include Puerto Princesa, Currimao in Ilocos Norte,
The MS SuperStar Aquarius dropped anchor in Boracay last Nov. 4.
Build It and They Will Come and Catagbacan in Bohol. In view of this strong demand for cruise terminals, the port authority commits its support to cruise shipping services in this country.” The heightened optimism was the result of the recent visit to Boracay of two international cruise liners belonging to Star Cruises, the world’s third largest cruise operator. MS SuperStar Gemini, carrying 1,200 passengers mostly from China, Singapore and Hong Kong, docked on the island last Oct. 17. On Nov. 4, the MS SuperStar Aquarius, with 2,000 passengers, followed suit. Passengers and crews of the two ships were welcomed by the Ati-atihan tribesmen in their vibrant costumes and local government officials led by Aklan Governor Florencio Miraflores and Vice Governor Gabrielle Calizo Quimpo, according to a report by Boracay Informer. The tourists enjoyed a quick tour of Boracay’s famous white sand beach, restaurants and tried some of the island’s adventure activities. Despite their short stay at the island, Miraflores emphasized the value of
the visit for Boracay tourism. “The value of this is to create more promotion abroad. In their few hours of stay, the tourists especially the first timers will have very good memories of the white sand beach and the warm welcome of the people of Aklan. And with this, I am sure they will be coming back longer with their family,” Miraflores said. Helen Catalbas, Department of Tourism Region 6 director, focused on the tourist receipts. “If one passenger spends at least P5,000, since most of them are heavy buyers, we can generate a huge income not only for Boracay, but for other areas in the region,” she said noting that products sold in the island come from all over Western Visayas. Catalbas said more cruise ships are scheduled to make port calls in Boracay next year. Eight international cruise lines - with at least 1,500 passengers each -- have already confirmed to visit Boracay in 2014. Bigger ships with a capacity of 4,000 to 6,000 passengers have indicated plans to visit the island in 2015 and 2016, she added.
“Boracay is now shortlisted as among the top four destinations in the Philippines, alongside with Manila, Subic and Palawan as cruising destination,” she said. MS Superstar Gemini and MS Superstar Aquarius were the fourth and fifth foreign cruise ships to visit Boracay. The first was the MS Columbus that visited last year, and the MS Legend of the Seas and MS Europa earlier this year. In the past years, there have been a number of cruise vessels that called at certain ports in the country. In March 2010, a German cruise ship carrying some 300 European tourist-passengers docked at the Iloilo Port to visit some of historical sites in the province and city. In March 2012, MV Princess Danae, a Portuguese luxury cruise ship, in its successful maiden voyage to the Philippine country, docked in Davao Port. In March 2013, the Royal Caribbean’s Legend of the Seas docked at the Port of Puerto Princesa for the first time as part of the cruise ship’s seven night “Borneo Explorer Cruise”. n
Save First Before Spending By ibarra c. mateon
CONSORTIUM of international organizations, led by the United Nations and the European Union, together with the Philippine government, has launched a three-year “joint migration and development initiative” focused on teaching financial literacy and entrepreneurship skills among overseas Filipino workers (OFW) and their families.
The Philippines is among the eight countries chosen by the European Union, the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation, as part of the global “Joint Migration and Development Initiative Phase II Project” (JMDI 2) worth 430 million pesos. The Philippine JMDI 2 begins in the last quarter of 2013. Secretary Imelda Nicolas of the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) said the Philippine JMDI 2 seeks to highlight the contribution of migration for development at various local levels, with the Philippine government strengthening
Most families of OFWs spend first and then save what is left after spending -- if there is anything left. “conduits of remittances for development” and “remittances as investments” at the regional, provincial, and local government levels. CFO is the main coordinator, overseer, and monitor of JMDI 2 in the country. It partners with government offices, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, private sector organizations and local government units. Nicolas said the Philippine JMDI 2 is expected to be piloted in Regions I, IV-A, and XII, which are among the top senders of OFWs.
Financial literacy “The project will use existing regional and local institutions to enhance capacity-building, notably the teaching of financial literacy, entrepreneurial skills, how to channel remittances for development, and how to identify investments opportunities where remittances can be put
into,” Nicolas said at the sidelines of the Philippine launch of the JMDI 2 last month. “Rural banks, micro-financing institutions, local cooperatives, and other existing institutions in particular areas can be used to channel remittances as investments,” she added. “An OFW can be a lender to rural banks or to micro-finance institutions, where they can get higher interest rates compared to saving in a regular bank. If a micro-finance institution can give an OFW investor six percent in interest rate on his investments, that is good enough,” she said.
Viable investments “What we want are viable and sustainable investments for OFWs and their families. We do not want scams such pyramiding in this project.” Nicolas said most of contractual OFWs return to the country without any substan-
tial savings or retirement funds to live on, forcing them to repeatedly and serially look for jobs abroad. “Financial education and literacy are very important for the OFWs themselves and to the families they leave behind here. Most of the time, family members here in the Philippines demand excessively and unreasonably from the OFWs,” she said. “The OFWs themselves and to the families they leave behind here need to know how to budget, how to do financial planning, and how come up with the dream map. A dream map means in five years, they want to achieve this. In 10 years, that. They need to know how much savings or money must be set aside every month to attain this dream map,” Nicolas said.
First lesson Nicolas emphasized that OFWs and their families “must learn the first lesson: save first before spending.” Most families of OFWs “spend first and then save what is left after spending, if there is anything left,” she said. “No. That is not the case for financial literacy and education,” Nicolas said, adding the OFWs and their families must decide how much they must save every month to attain their dream house or save for their retirement fund within a given time frame. A World Bank study revealed that financial education and literacy become “most effective” when given to OFWs and their families, Nicolas said. “It should be given both ways, to the OFWs themselves and the families they leave behind.” n
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NOVEMBER APRIL 2012 2013
Vigilance is key in sending money
HE NATIONAL Bureau of Investigation-National Capital Region arrested on October 7 two persons suspected of being involved in planning a scam designed to bilk beneficiaries of thousands of pesos in remittances from abroad, even as the alleged mastermind remains at large at press time. Arlene Galvan and Joshua Aron Estrellado, who were nabbed in two separate sting operations in Quezon City and Caloocan City, told the NBI they were receiving instructions from Jackilyn de Vera to assume fictitious names, present fake identification, and pose as beneficiaries of money remitted from various countries thru Filipino remittance companies operating worldwide and released by local pay-out firms. De Vera, they said, started the scheme only last month while still under the employ of a remittance firm and having access to remittance transactions being coursed thru the
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firm and released by a pay-out agent. Galvan added that Estrellado was De Vera’s boyfriend and point man. De Vera’s manager at the firm,
who requested anonymity, said there was no computer hacking that took place in carrying out the scam, as earlier reported by another Philippine newspaper. “There was no need to hack our system because, as a remittance delivery staff, De Vera had full and authorized access to beneficiaries’ names, addresses, and pay-out amounts.” The company official said De Vera simply sent out email notices to the pay-out agent on the change of beneficiary and instructed her accomplices to claim the money under fictitious names. “The pay-out firm became suspicious because they noticed that De Vera was using a personal or private email address, and not the one that we issue
our employees,” he added. The remittance official described De Vera’s modus operandi: “She would email the pay-out firm on the change of beneficiary and then instruct Estrellado to find people, like Arlene Galvan, who would supposedly go to the pay-out branch and claim the money after presenting fake identification. The plan was for the money to be taken afterwards to Estrellado, who then would pay the impostor a certain percentage.” He added that Galvan had tried to use such bogus names as Annaliza Bautista, Rogielyn Cabinian, and Caroline Quizon. “In all, De Vera and Estrellado attempted to run off with 80,000 pesos in various remittances from kababayan in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Taiwan, and Northridge (California, USA),” he said, adding that scams in the remittance business, as with all other sectors of the financial community all over the world, do happen once in a while as isolated instances. “Vigilance is key and we here never let our guard down,” he said. According to the “joint affidavit of arrest”, De Vera emailed yet again the pay-out firm and arranged for the change of a remittance beneficiary, who in this case was Arlene Galvan. Galvan would subsequently make the withdrawal of the remittance money from the San Francisco del Monte (Frisco) branch of the pay-out agent on Oct. 7. with full news by Daniel Llanto from The FilAm
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Verbatim This controversy has been engineered by the administration for only one purpose – to demolish the opposition, especially those who enjoy the popular support of our people.
Senator Ramon “Bong” Revilla Jr.’s initial reaction to revelations by whistleblowers linking him and other lawmakers to the pork barrel scam allegedly engineered by Janet LimNapoles.
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Senator Jinggoy Estrada, one of the five senators whose pork barrel allocation was allegedly funneled to bogus nongovernmental organizations (NGO), explaining how his pork barrel ended up in the NGOs set up by Janet Lim-Napoles
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Senators Bong Revilla and Jinggoy Estrada with Janet Lim-Napoles at a party.
I am happy that there are a lot of people who think for my future. That means I’m on their minds and I just thank them for thinking of me.
Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas, brushing aside questions about his presidential ambitions in 2016
Alam mo, ayoko na siyang pag-usapan. Hindi naman siya importanteng tao, at hindi rin siya sikat.
Claudine Barretto, when asked about her estranged husband, actor Raymart Santiago, against who she filed abuse charges
When I’m watching, I tell my household to buy me a vial of poison, prepare a necktie for me or piece of rope, or just [turn off ] the TV. I want to die.
Senator Miriam Defensor-Santiago, castigating lawmakers linked to the pork barrel scandal, adding that her colleagues tagged in the multibillion-peso scam should “eat, ______ (blank) and die”
Excuse me, I’m not scared. Maybe they’re scared, that’s why they’re trying to scare me.
Ombudsman Conchita CarpioMorales, confirming receiving death threats, which, she said, could be related to the ongoing investigation on anomalies regarding pork barrel funds.
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N his 40s, Richard Yap was just like everyone else -- a regular employee.
‘Fortunately, the roles that have been given to me suit my age.’
He had been working for 20 years as division manager for a furniture company in Metro Manila, but with his fit and healthy physique -- not to mention an über charming chinito appeal -- someone from showbiz was bound to take notice of the humble hunk. But Richard, born May 18, 1967, never thought that entertainment giant ABS-CBN would be behind his life’s 180-degree turn. In an interview with The Sunday Times Magazine, the 46year-old Richard -- known today among the masses of Filipinos as the delicious “Papa Chen” or heart-melting “Ser Chief” -- talks about how age should not mat-
The Late Bloomer Makes His Mark ter in shifting careers, apparently even in the often critical world of show business. Richard was first discovered in 2011 for the role of Papa Chen for the primetime teleserye My Binondo Girl starring young superstars Kim Chiu and Xian Lim. He had already been doing TV commercials for four years before his big break, and ABSCBN supposedly spotted him as the authentic-looking Chinese chef in fast food brand Chowking’s series of advertisements. After his very successful debut into showbiz as Papa Chen in My Binondo Girl, the clamor to see more of the charming Chinoy prompted ABS-CBN to give him the lead role of “Ser Chief” in the ongoing hit morning soap, Be Careful with My Heart.
As the strict widower-bossturned-devoted-boyfriend of the ever sunny Maya dela Rosa (Jodi Sta. Maria), Ser Chief became an even more popular household name in the Sound of Music-inspired modern-day love story. The May-to-December pairing was also successful in achieving the all-important “kilig factor” in Pinoy teleseryes, and even earned added points in presenting family values in lighthearted script. In fact, the series, which began in July 2012, has already been extended twice with its conclusion seemingly nowhere in sight. Despite Be Careful with My Heart’s success and Ser Chief’s phenomenal rise to fame, Richard remains as humble as ever. He genuinely says, “When the
show became so big, I think nasama lang kami doon.” Even if he is already a veritable heartthrob by industry standards, he chooses to be unaffected by his stature, saying, “The success of Be Careful is a combination of everything -- the story, the cast. It’s a collaboration of everybody. Without the show, wala kami, and without us siguro, iba din yung show.” If indeed an actor’s fame can be measured by the number of endorsements he has as some showbiz experts say, then Richard was right to leave his day job. He is certainly one of the day’s most famous celebrities with countless endorsements to his name. From the cool Chinese chef, he can now be seen as the face behind a brand of pasta, cough medicine, ointment, food supplement, insurance, apparel and sardines in TV and print ads, as well as gigantic billboards. Of course, his very first
endorsement -- fast food chain Chowking -- has kept close ties with the now famous TV talent by releasing a new commercial for him this year. As of this writing, homegrown biscuit company Rebisco has joined the Ser Chief craze. As Richard continues to wrap his head around his stardom, the question begs to be asked: How has his family -- wife Melody, daughter Ashley, 17, and son Dylan, 10 -- managed to cope with the new career of their late bloomer of a showbiz dad? Happily and gratefully. Richard says they are doing very well, precisely because the decision for his career change was approved and supported by the whole family. Before he went full throttle, he asked his children most especially if they would be alright if “everyone would know their dad.” It was only when they said yes that he accepted his first project for ABS-CBN, and since then, the adjustment became easier for all of them. Asked what he believes matters the most in making it in show business -- looks, talent or determination – he replies, “First of all I would like to say that everything is based on hard work. If you have the talent but you don’t want to work for success, wala rin. You have to have a little of everything, and you should be willing to work for something.” Was it harder for him to make a name since he started much later than other showbiz celebrities? “I had the advantage of being more experienced in living life; but I also had the disadvantage of having less experience in acting. Fortunately, the roles that have been given to me suit my age.” And besides the fame, how has he dealt with the fortune that came with it? “I put my first pay check in the bank!” he exclaims, laughing. He invested some of his earnings in a Chinese restaurant in Quezon City that opened recently. n
NOVEMBER 2013 APRIL 2012
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Showbuzz From Piolo to Paulo?
ACTOR Paulo Avelino took viewers of the TV show Buzz ng Bayan by surprise when he revealed that he is currently dating KC Concepcion. Although he was initially hesitant to open up about his private life, Paulo nonetheless confirmed on national television that he and KC are friends and that he likes the actress. “Yes [we are friends]. Yes [I like her], we are dating. I just want to keep things private,” he said in an interview on Nov. 3. “Matagal na kaming magkakilala,” added Paulo. “First work ko here sa ABS, ‘MMK’(Mala-ala Mo Kaya) with her. That was two years ago.” KC confirmed Paulo’s disclosure but clarified that they were not “exclusively dating” and that there’s nothing serious right now. Paulo, who currently appears in the TV series Honesto, said that he did not get jealous when KC when out on a group date last month with visiting NBA cager Chandler Parsons. “Me as a person, hindi rin talaga ako seloso. I try to think about things first before I really say anything or just bring it out,” he said. Paulo has a son with former girlfriend, actress LJ Reyes. Re-
gapin ako bilang producer, hindi lang bilang artista kasi nagpo-produce na rin ako ng pelikula. Gusto ko din pumasok sa TV,” he said. Noting that he’s not getting any younger, Robin said he wants to work on projects that will have an impact on society. “Gusto ko mag-produce ng proyekto na may kinalaman
din sa kasaysayan. Advocacy ko na ibalik ang mga kabataan ngayon sa kasaysayan, ‘yung matatawag nating inspiring na kasaysayan. Masaya naman. Maging masaya naman tayo kahit mahirap,” he explained. At the moment, Robin said he is just waiting for the right offer before making his decision.
Robin: From actor to producer
Alyssa and Charice: Open to marriage
cently he confirmed that he and LJ have already ended up their relationship although they continue to remain friends for their son.
Robin shopping for new home
ROBIN Padilla has made it known that he is thinking of moving to another network now that his contract with ABSCBN has expired. The action star said he wants to look for a network that would give him the opportunity to become a producer apart from acting. “Kailangan progresibo kasi ang pagkatao natin. Kapag nastuck na tayo na artista ka na lang, gusto ko rin naman maging producer. Humahanap ako ng station na tatang-
Charice mulls marrying Alyssa
CHARICE and Alyssa Quiano are still on Cloud 9 months after coming out in the open about their same-sex relationship. The 21-year-old international singing sensation admits that the thought of marrying Alyssa has crossed her mind, especially in light of the legalization of same-sex marriage in a number of states in the US as well as in some countries. But Charice was quick to stress that they are not yet engaged and that marriage is not in their immediate plans. “Siyempre, hindi naman po ngayon… eventually,” she said. “Wala pa naman po kami sa stage na to let go, let’s get married. I mean, lahat naman tayo, dumadaan doon sa, ‘Ano kaya kung someday?’” She said Alyssa is also open to the idea. “She’s very open and, siyempre, yun ang part na hindi alam ng mga tao. Pero, hindi ko naman maiisip yung ganoong bagay kung hindi siya ganun ka-open.” Charice added that she and her girlfriend are now living together. Charice held a one-night benefit concert last Nov. 5 at the Newport Performing Arts Theater in Resorts World Manila to raise funds for the victims in Bohol of the October 15 earthquake.
Showbuzz a recipient since 2008 of the agency’s Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, or the government’s poverty alleviation program.
Pauleen: What Vic and I have is true love Freddie and girlfriend: It’s love, not seduction
Freddie vows to fight seduction case
SIAYING the Qualified Seduction complaint filed against him for his relationship with a 16-year-old girl is baseless, Freddie Aguilar vowed to fight the case up to the end. “Wala po akong pinipilit na babae, wala po akong siniseduce na babae,” he said, reacting to the case filed by a lawyer, Ferdinand Perito. “At kung madumi po ang isip ng attorneyng ‘yan, at nakakita siya ng picture ng dalawang nagmamahalan na tao, hindi ko po problema ‘yan. At nagmamahalan po kami nung tao.” The complainant said he was “outraged, offended and scandalized” by the May-December affair. At 60, Freddie is 44 years older than his girlfriend. Amidst the criticism the affair has generated, the singer said he and his girlfriend are determined to fight for their love “hanggang sa dulo ng walang hanggan.” Meanwhile, the Department of Social Welfare and Development said the family of Freddie’s girlfriend belongs to the “poorest of the poor” in Oriental Mindoro, having been
PAULEEN Luna says there are a lot of things going for her and boyfriend Vic Sotto, aside from the 34 years that separate them. “I learned a lot from him: from the facts of life to handling business and dealing with reallife situations. He also helps me a lot when it comes to my career,” she said. “Sometimes he tells me that I’m too nice to people. He gives me small pieces of advice. Of course I listen, because he’s a veteran in the industry and he’s very important to me.”
Pauleen and Vic: What we have is true love And what did Bossing pick up from her? “Aside from youth? (Laughs) Maybe I taught him how to have a good time. I’m very relaxed.” Asked about their wedding plans, she replied, “It should not come from me. It’s not something that a girl should volunteer. . . But right now in our relationship, we are very happy. Like what I’ve said before: We are not fooling around. What we have is something really serious. We’ve been together for quite a while now.
To those who judged us at the start, I can only say one thing: Only time will tell if what we have is real or superficial. We don’t have to exert extra effort to convince them that what we have is true love. Pauleen, who turns 25 on Nov. 10, admits that she and Vic have talked about settling down. “Sometimes we do. But it’s not something that’s decided by a girl alone. I sometimes pity him. It’s as if people are pressuring him to get married.” n
Richard evasive about child with Sarah RICHARD Gutierrez remains evasive about his rumored child with girlfriend Sarah Lahbati. There have been persistent reports that Sarah, the Fil-Swiss former talent of GMA-7, gave birth last April to her lovechild with Richard. Pressed to comment on the rumor, Richard replied: “I’d rather not comment…
We’re not denying nor confirming… Right now, marami ngang nangyayari sa buhay namin ni Sarah. I think there will be a perfect time sa kung ano man yung inaabangan ninyong sasagutin namin. There’s a right time.” Meanwhile, the Gutierrez family is about to launch itself as the local version of Hollywood’s Kardashian family. The Gutierrez family announced in a press conference last Nov. 7 that they are launching next year their own family reality show titled It Takes Guts To Be A Gutierrez. The show is patterned after the American reality TV series Keeping Up With the Kardashians, focusing on the sisters Kourtney, Kim, and Khloé Kardashian and other members of the family. “Typical Filipino family kami—nandiyan ang mom ko, nandiyan ang dad ko, nandiyan ang mga kapatid ko,” said Richard. “So, maganda rin na makita ng mga Pilipino yung dynamics ng family namin, how we are sa loob ng bahay.”
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NOVEMBER APRIL 2012 2013
Nations offer aid for Yolanda victims
ORE AID is reaching the desperate victims of Typhoon Haiyan, as the international relief effort continues to build momentum. But as vital help arrives for more survivors, some in the worst-hit areas say they still have not seen any aid since the typhoon struck on 8th November. The Philippine Government said it had received more than £56m in foreign aid so far and praised the “generous and swift response”. Britain’s Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC) appeal reached £13m within 24 hours of its launch. DEC chief executive Saleh Saeed said: “People have given so generously in such a short space of time.” The United Nation’s World Food Programme said nearly 50,000 people around the stricken city of Tacloban received rice in family food packages on Wednesday. The packs include three kilogrammes of canned food and rice - enough to feed a family for a few days, the WFP said. More packages will be handed out in the coming days as relief operations continue to reach more of the 11 million people affected by the disaster. The Salvation Army UK and Ireland has launched its own appeal and a team in the Philippines is making arrangements with the Air Force to transport food parcels, water and medical supplies to Tacloban in in Leyte province. Britain’s first flight delivering humanitarian aid arrived earlier on 13 November, the Government has said. A chartered Boeing 777 carrying 8,836 shelter kits from UK Government stores in Dubai landed in Cebu City and will be delivered to those in worstaffected areas. A team of US Marines already on the ground has given out relief supplies for the effort, called Operation Damayan, or Help in Time of Need. UN humanitarian chief Valerie Amos applauded the international community’s reaction, but said much more needed to
List of countries offering aid:
be done in a disaster of such magnitude. Hundreds of thousands of people have had their homes damaged or destroyed and are in desperate need of food, water and shelter after the typhoon smashed into the island nation, leaving thousands dead. Logistical bottlenecks have been holding up relief goods from reaching parts of the disaster zone. Tabontabon community leader Miguel Gamez said: “What we really need is food, safe drinking water and materials for us to build our houses.” In nearby Tacloban, the situation is also dire, with essential supplies low and increasingly desperate survivors jostling for aid. President Benigno Aquino has declared a “state of national calamity”, allowing the government to impose price controls and quickly release emergency funds. The US and the UK have sent warships to the Philippines, which will reach the region in the next few days. Meanwhile, Filipinos in the UK are holding events for typhoon victims. Joysel Livelo and her husband
Miguel are putting on a fundraising event at Bar Rumba in London for more than 200 people on 8 December and have booked former Sugababes singer Mutya Buena, whose father is Filipino, to help raise the profile of the event. “Being Filipino, I knew that our community, which is very tightknit, would help, but I didn’t realise what an incredible response we’d get from British people overall. It’s been overwhelming.” Michelle Gumayagay, a teaching assistant at Franciscan Primary School in Tooting Broadway, London, is planning to organise a cake sale and non-uniform day to raise proceeds to help survivors. The Philippine Centre in Hounslow, west London, which had organised a fund-raiser to help those affected by last month’s earthquake in Visayas, described news of the typhoon as “devastating”. It has now extended its event on 24 November in London to raise funds for the victims of the typhoon as well. There are more than 120,000 Filipinos living in England and Wales, an estimated 25,000 of whom are working as nurses.
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AUSTRALIA - US$10 million package BELGIUM - medical and search and rescue personnel CANADA - C$5 million DENMARK - KR 10 million EUROPEAN UNION - EUR 3 million GERMANY - 23 tons of relief goods HUNGARY - search and rescue personnel and rapid response team INDONESIA - in-kind donations ISRAEL- team of medical, trauma and relief professionals JAPAN - emergency relief medical team MALAYSIA - medical and search and rescue teams THE NETHERLANDS - undisclosed financial aid NEW ZEALAND - NZ $2.15 million NORWAY - KR 20 million RUSSIA - rapid response team SAUDI ARABIA through Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud - US$100,000 SINGAPORE - $50,000 SPAIN - in-kind donations SWEDEN - emergency communications equipment TAIWAN - $200,000 TURKEY - medics, rapid response team, search and rescue personnel UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - Dhs 36 million UNITED KINGDOM - £10 million and $9.6 million worth of emergency support package UNITED NATIONS Children’s Fund $1.3 million worth of supplies UNITED STATES - initial $100,000 for water and sanitation; Troops, emergency respondents, transportation and equipment * Note that the figures stated above were correct as of press time.
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30 November 2013
Annual Dance Competition - Philippine Folkdance, Pride of Culture Time: 4 pm Venue: St. Augustine’s CE High Shool, Oxford Road, London, NW6 5SN Contact: 07947344422 07908581062 07980557467 E: camsur_uk@yahoo. co.uk
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PAL lands again in Heathrow after 15 years
OR THE first time in fifteen years, Philippine Airlines landed at Terminal 4, London Heathrow Airport, fulfilling the airlines’ promise to re-introduce direct flights to Europe. The flight took off from Ninoy Aquino International Airport on Monday 4 November and landed at Heathrow Airport at 15:10 to a water canon reception. This will be the first European destination introduced
by the airline after flights to Europe were discontinued in 1998. The new route will be the fastest way for passengers to travel to Manila with five flights each week. Philippine Airlines President, Mr Ang said, “We’re very happy that London is PAL’s first European destination since flights were discontinued in 1998. With the new direct link, our country is looking at a potential windfall in tourism, trade and investment in Europe and
we aim to provide UK travellers and the more than 664,000 Filipinos in Europe with the most convenient travel to return home with the airline that knows them best.” The Manila-London service will use the twin-engine, 370-seater Boeing 777-300ER which is equipped with modern in-flight amenities. The UK is an important market to the UK for the Philippines, with one third of the 349,000 European visitors travelling to
the country during 2012 coming from the UK. During the first half of 2013, arrivals from the UK have already reached 60,234 and Philippine Airlines is looking to further expand into other European markets with routes to Amsterdam, Rome and Paris to be introduced.
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NOVEMBER APRIL 2012 2013
Embassy Lauds Outpouring of Support for Typhoon Victims
HILIPPINE Ambassador Enrique Manalo thanked the UK and the international communities for their generosity and kindness to the Philippines in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyan. In a statement released by the Philippine Embassy in London, Ambassador Manalo said the immediate and generous response of both the Government and the public were “expressions of solidarity with the Filipino people”. Ambassador Manalo also said the Government’s provision of assistance, personnel and assets to the affected Areas and people “speaks eloquently of the longstanding friendship between our two countries.” The Embassy also cited the public’s warm response to the appeal launched by the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which raised £13 million in just 24 hours. Bucking-
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ham Palace announced that Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II personally donated to the appeal. The Government pledged to match pound for pound the first £5 million donated by the British public to British charities.
Ambassador Manalo also said the Embassy also received inspiring messages and moving gestures from everywhere in the UK. A condolence book was opened for signature at the Belfast City Hall, while the Philippine ap-
peal was launched at Glasgow City Chambers. An old man travelled two hours to the Embassy to offer his condolences and to remit his small community’s donation. The Embassy said the most spontaneous outpouring of support came from the Filipino communities all over the UK, as organizations large and small mobilised for various fundraising events and prayer sessions. The UK Government acted quickly to provide assistance as soon as the devastation caused by the Category 5 typhoon became apparent, earmarking £10 million for relief operations. Prime Minister David Cameron today tasked Helicopter carrier HMS Illustrious to bolster Britain’s aid effort together with HMS Daring, which is now about a day’s sailing from Tacloban. The ships join two RAF Globemaster transporters flying out from the UK packed with humanitarian aid.
Flash Remembering the Dead
A boy climbs a stack of tombs to clean and paint for a fee at a cemetery in Valenzuela City. All roads lead to the cemetery as the nation observes All Saints’ Day and All Souls’ Day on November 1 and 2, respectively.
t Chain of Life
Volunteers from Tagbilaran City and Cebu City form a chain on the shore of Loon town in Bohol as they unload relief goods from chartered boats for delivery to the victims of the 7.2-magnitude earthquake that ravaged the island province on Oct. 15
Church in Ruins
The facade and belfry of the Our Lady of the Immaculate Conception Church in Baclayon, Bohol, lay in ruins after the devastating earthquake struck Central Visayas. Built in 1717, it is one of the oldest churches in the Philippines. Nine other heritage churches in Bohol and Cebu were damaged in the earthquake.
Our Very Own
The Philippines’ bet to the 2013 Miss Universe beauty pageant, Ariella Arida, a 24-year-old chemistry graduate from UP Los Baños, wound up 3rd runner-up during the finale last Nov. 9 in Moscow. Three other Filipinas were in the top five in recent years: Janine Tugonon was 1st runner-up in 2012, Shamcy Supsup was 3rd runner-up in 2011, and Venus Raj was 4th runner-up in 2010.
Students cover their heads during an earthquake drill conducted at the Baclaran Elementary School in Parañaque City. The activity was part of the disaster awareness program in Metro Manila which sits on the West Valley Fault that experts say is “ripe” for a major tremor.
s Scarred Landscape An aerial shot of the Chocolate Hills in Sagbayan, Bohol, shows the famous tourist spot scarred by the October 15 tremor Officials are concerned that the damage to the popular destination might affect the province’s tourism receipts.
Getting Ready for the Holidays
Multi-coloured parol line up the street in Davao City as the countdown to Christmas intensifies. With the All Souls” Day and All Saints’ Day observance over, Filipinos get ready for the most-awaited event of the year.
Sea of Humanity
A massive crowd gathers along EDSA in Quezon City for free medical checkup and charity during the Grand Evangelical Mission of Iglesia ni Cristo on Oct. 14. The event, held in various parts of the metropolis, caused heavy traffic on major roads, prompting officials to suspend classes in many areas in Metro Manila.
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