Probe into alleged BuCor corruption a ‘bottomless pit,’ says Lacson 

  MANILA, Philippines --- With the uncovering of alleged corrupt practices within the Bureau of Corrections (BuCor), Senator Panfilo Lacson believes Senate is investigating a "bottomless pit" of corruption.   "Inamin na rin naman ng mga ibang BuCor officials na ganoon ang kalakaran.So bottomless pit nga itong investigation kaya rin hindi matapos-tapos dahil nanganganak ng mga issue, nanganganak ng kontrobersya, nanganganak ng korapsyon," Lacson said in an interview with GMA's Unang Hirit on Friday.   The Senate justice committee is currently probing the alleged irregularities in the BuCor.   Starting the probe was the aborted release of rape and m...

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WATCH: Moira Dela Torre surprises busker with impromptu duet
Singer Moira Dela Torre made one lucky busker's night when she performed a duet with her on her makeshift stage. A certain @trinamorata or "TJ" got the surprise from Dela Torre and her husband when they all together ended up singing some of Dela Torre's hit songs such as "Tagpuan" and "Ikaw at Ako". The singer-songwriter narrated that she was out having dinner when with her husband, Jason Marvin Hernandez when they heard the busker singing. Dela Torre posted about the encounter on Instagram TV yesterday, Dec 8. Dela Torre stated that it was a different kind of feeling to hear her songs being performed by someone else. TJ was singing "Tagu-taguan" when Dela Torre approached h...Keep on reading: WATCH: Moira Dela Torre surprises busker with impromptu duet
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‘Go get that crown’: Pia Wurtzbach cheers on Gazini Ganados
Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach expressed her support for fellow beauty queen Gazini Ganados, as the latter represents the Philippines in this year's Miss Universe pageant. "Good luck kisses from me to you!" Wurtzbach said in her Instagram post yesterday, Dec. 7. "The whole Philippines is rooting for you @gazinii and I always got your back girl!" https://www.instagram.com/p/B5wo2XSjDGY/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link "You were born to do this," she added. "Go get that crown." Moments after, Wurtzbach reiterated her support for the 23-year-old Miss Universe hopeful. "Weather forecast: Cloudy with a chance of a back to back win at Miss Universe," she declared in a separate pos...Keep on reading: ‘Go get that crown’: Pia Wurtzbach cheers on Gazini Ganados
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SEA Games: PH Blu Boys end reign, lose softball gold to Singapore
NEW CLARK CITY --- The Philippines' reign in men's softball ended Sunday after dropping a 6-1 decision to Singapore in the final of the 30th Southeast Asian Games. It was the Blu Boys' first SEA Games defeat since losing to Indonesia in the 1997 edition. The Blu Boys beat Singapore in the first round, 8-0, but dropped to them in the semifinals, 4-3, in the meet held at The Villages. "We were out-hit," said coach Randy Dizer of the men's team which was already a revamped squad. The Blu Boys finished 17th in the World Championships last year in China, their worst finish there. In that tourney, the Philippines lost to Singapore for the first time ever, forcing Amateur Sof...Keep on reading: SEA Games: PH Blu Boys end reign, lose softball gold to Singapore
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SEA Games: Melcah Caballero wins another rowing gold for Philippines
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT---When Melcah Jen Caballero captured her first gold with Joanie Delgaco, the 23-year-old rowing ace hardly assumed she would stand atop the medal podium again. So it came as a big surprise for Caballero when she crossed the finish ahead of everybody else in the lightweight women's single sculls Sunday at the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Caballero, who finished fourth in the event her previous stint in these Games, completed the 2000-meter race in seven minutes and 50.89 to defeat Thailand's Rojjana Raclao (7:54.23) and Mutiara Putri of Indonesia (7:56.85). https://sports.inquirer.net/377747/2nd-most-productive-seag-day-for-ph-15-golds "I was already satisfie...Keep on reading: SEA Games: Melcah Caballero wins another rowing gold for Philippines
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Rufa Mae Quinto on rumors of her death: ‘Natakot ako’
Actress-comedienne Rufa Mae Quinto admitted to feeling scared when false reports about her passing away circulated online last month. Quinto addressed the rumors of her supposed death during her appearance on "Tonight with Boy Abunda", as seen on the show's YouTube channel last Friday, Dec. 6. "Sabi ng mga balita pumanaw ka na," Abunda told Quinto. "Bakit ka narito?" (The news said that you already died. Why are you here?) The actress then laughed and asked why the news was like that, adding that it was scary. When asked about her reaction upon hearing the rumors, Quinto said she initially just ignored them. However, despite not paying attention to the false reports, she n...Keep on reading: Rufa Mae Quinto on rumors of her death: ‘Natakot ako’
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Hospitals reminded against requiring deposits for emergency cases
Sen. Risa Hontiveros on Sunday reminded hospitals that there is a law against asking for cash deposits from patients seeking urgent treatment.
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On feast of Immaculate Conception, Duterte urges public to work in solidarity
MANILA, Philippines --- President Rodrigo Duterte on Sunday, December 8, encouraged the public to work in solidarity and build a progressive nation on the occasion of the feast of Immaculate Conception of Mary. According to the Catholic Church, Immaculate Conception marks the conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary free from original sin by virtue of the merits of her son, Jesus Christ. "I join the entire Filipino Catholic Community in celebrating the Solemnity of the Immaculate Conception of Mary," Duterte said in a statement. "The Blessed Virgin Mary's exemplary life of piety and virtue honored today by our Catholic faithful nourishes the spirituality of our people as they in tu...Keep on reading: On feast of Immaculate Conception, Duterte urges public to work in solidarity
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‘How to be you po’: Solenn Heussaff takes inspiration from hot mom Ina Raymundo
It appears that soon-to-be mother Solenn Heussaff just found her new fitness inspiration in the person of actress and model Ina Raymundo. The mother of five owned the camera as she donned nothing but a loose neutral trench coat and knee-high net stockings, as seen on her Instagram last Friday, Dec. 6. The soon-to-be 43 year-old model promoted self-love on her shoot with world-renowned photographer Mark Nicdao. https://www.instagram.com/p/B5uQUNnHvPN/   It appears that Raymundo's effort was a "birthday treat" to herself. Raymundo is preparing to welcome another fruitful year, in anticipation of her birthday tomorrow, Dec. 9. Heussaff did not hide her admiration for Ray...Keep on reading: ‘How to be you po’: Solenn Heussaff takes inspiration from hot mom Ina Raymundo
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4 Indian nationals illegally staying in PH nabbed in GenSan
MANILA, Philippines --- Four Indian nationals illegally staying in the country were arrested in General Santos City, the Bureau of Immigration (BI) reported Sunday.   BI Commissioner Jaime Morente said the Indian nationals were arrested in Purok Malakas, Barangay San Isidro, General Santos City in South Cotabato last December 3 following complaints from the community that there are illegal aliens engaged in a "5-6" scheme in the area.   BI intelligence officer Melody Gonzales said that 10 Indian nationals were found during the operation---but six of them were able to present valid visa.   The remaining four, meanwhile, presented expired and invalid visas ...Keep on reading: 4 Indian nationals illegally staying in PH nabbed in GenSan
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Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes may be losing his magic, but his legacy is intact
MANILA, Philippines ---The curtain is closing on pool's most fascinating magician. For decades, Efren "Bata" Reyes weaved his magic on the pool table on his way to becoming the sport's greatest. On Friday, however, Reyes may have just made his final Southeast Asian Games appearance quite fittingly in front of a hometown crowd which he had captivated with his wizardry and unmatched charisma throughout his storied career. "I can't really tell, but it's been difficult because my skills are diminishing instead of improving," Reyes admitted in Filipino, flashing his signature smile. https://sports.inquirer.net/377077/as-end-nears-bata-reyes-hopes-to-write-golden-farewell-lette...Keep on reading: Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes may be losing his magic, but his legacy is intact
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North Korea says it carried out ‘very important test’
SEOUL, South Korea --- North Korea said Sunday it carried out a "very important test" at its long-range rocket launch site that U.S. and South Korean officials said the North had partially dismantled as part of denuclearization steps. The announcement comes amid dimming prospects for a resumption of nuclear negotiations between North Korea and the United States, with the North pressing to wrest major U.S. concessions by year's end. The Korean Central News Agency said the test was conducted at the Sohae Satellite Launching Ground on Saturday afternoon. It didn't say what the test included. But according to recent media reports, a new satellite image indicated North Korea may ...Keep on reading: North Korea says it carried out ‘very important test’
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‘Awit may lawit’: Jasmine Curtis-Smith calls out rapper for transphobic song
Jasmine Curtis-Smith slammed a local rapper for making a song allegedly discriminating transgender women, and which has also earned the ire of netizens. Erich Bongon, who goes by the name Young Vito, sang about how he met a transgender woman at a bar, who he mistook for a biological woman. He posted the video on Twitter last Wednesday, Dec. 4, but has since deleted it due to negative reactions. "Anong problema mo sa mga magagandang may lawit? Ikaw ata may mali," Curtis-Smith posted on Twitter last Friday, Dec. 6. "Mag 2020 na soon, tigilan na yang pagkakitid ng utak pls." (What is your problem with beautiful transgenders? It seems like it is you who has something wrong with ...Keep on reading: ‘Awit may lawit’: Jasmine Curtis-Smith calls out rapper for transphobic song
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Meryll Soriano Apologizes To John Lloyd Cruz Due To This
This is the reason why Meryll Soriano apologized to John Lloyd Cruz Actress Meryll Soriano apologized to A-list actor John Lloyd Cruz in a recent interview because of this particular reason. Meryll is the daughter of Wowowin host Willie Revillame and former partner Bec-Bec Soriano. Though it is a fact that her father is considered […] The post Meryll Soriano Apologizes To John Lloyd Cruz Due To This appeared first on Philippine News.
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Siargao's Famous Pizza Is Finally Available for Delivery in Manila
Pair it with bolognese or carbonara!
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DOTr: Free ‘water jeepney’ rides from Cavite-Manila on Dec. 9 to Jan. 9
MANILA, Philippines -- The Department of Transportation (DOTr) announced on Sunday that "water jeepney" rides will be free for one month starting on Dec. 9 (Monday). In a statement, DOTr said the water jeepney rides for the route for Cavite-Manila and vice versa is free from Dec. 9 this year to Jan. 9, 2020. https://twitter.com/DOTrPH/status/1203499428725714944 This was made possible due to the support from two shipping firms, namely: Seaborne Shipping Company Inc. and Shogun Shops Company. The free water jeepney rides was also an initiative of DOTr, Maritime Industry Authority, Philippine Coast Guard, Philippine Ports Authority and the Cavite government. DOTr said water j...Keep on reading: DOTr: Free ‘water jeepney’ rides from Cavite-Manila on Dec. 9 to Jan. 9
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SEA Games: PH Blu Girls sweep their way to softball gold
NEW CLARK CITY --- The Blu Girls delivered the gold medal in women's softball with a clean sweep of all their opponents for their 10th Southeast Asian Games title. The Nationals have won every single time softball was played in the biennial meet. On Sunday, they capped their yet another run with an 8-0 rout of Indonesia at The Villages in Mabalacat. "Of all the softball titles by the Blu Girls this is the easiest and the sweetest," said team manager Randy Dizer. "It's because we played in our home court, that's the biggest thing." Dizer also thanked Philippine Sports Commission and the Amateur Softball Association-Philippines which helped grant them foreign exposures. ...Keep on reading: SEA Games: PH Blu Girls sweep their way to softball gold
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2 suspected drug pushers fall, yield firearm in Quezon
LUCENA CITY -- A gun-wielding suspected drug pusher and his companion were arrested in a police operation in Sariaya town in Quezon province on Saturday night, police said Sunday. Anti-illegal drugs operatives nabbed Rodolfo Manalo Jr., 46, and Jaime Calison, 43, after the two sold "shabu" (crystal meth) to a police agent in Barangay (village) Sto. Cristo around 9:20 p.m. The third suspect, Rowin Abu, managed to escape and evade arrest. The arrested suspects yielded two plastic sachets of shabu worth P1,880 in the street. Authorities reportedly seized a caliber .45 pistol and one magazine with four bullets from Manalo. Police said drug syndicates were supplying firearms to so...Keep on reading: 2 suspected drug pushers fall, yield firearm in Quezon
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This New Yogurt Joint at The Podium Is a Hit in Sydney, and Here's Why
Good and good for you? We’re in.
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Philippines clinches SEA Games overall championship
NEW CLARK CITY --- Team Philippines' top officials have already called it: Team Philippines is the 30th Southeast Asian Games overall champion once again. Philippine Olympic Committee chair Steve Hontiveros said that with 88 golds early Sunday, the country is runaway leader heading to the last three full days of competitions. "We got this. We are overall champions. Other countries don't have much left to get gold medals from," said Hontiveros. He was referring to Indonesia and Vietnam which are tied at second place with 47 gold medals each. The Philippines is expected to rake in more golds Sunday in athletics, boxing, softball, baseball and taekwondo, among others. "Th...Keep on reading: Philippines clinches SEA Games overall championship
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Makati gov’t sets indefinite moratorium on new business permits for POGOs
MANILA, Philippines -- The Makati government implemented Sunday an indefinite moratorium on the issuance of new business permits and licenses to Philippine Offshore Gaming Operators (Pogos) as some are involved in crimes and prostitution in the city. "We would no longer accept new applications for POGO service providers and crack down hard against illegal activities that are catering to POGOs and their employees within Makati," Makati Mayor Abby Binay said in a statement. Binay said the local government would cease to issue "Letters of No Objection" and stop accepting new applications for business permits from Pogos. The moratorium was issued after the city experienced "overheat...Keep on reading: Makati gov’t sets indefinite moratorium on new business permits for POGOs
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Joy Reyes Slams Jomari Yllana’s Statement about their Separation
Joy Reyes fired back to Jomari Yllana due to his statement about their separation Jomari Yllana has broken his silence on regaring his separation with former partner Joy Reyes and the latter fired back. Joy expressed several accusations against her former partner. According to her, Jomari left her and their two children for another woman. […] The post Joy Reyes Slams Jomari Yllana’s Statement about their Separation appeared first on Philippine News.
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Puerto Galera to strengthen enforcement of waste segregation, ban on single-use plastic
"Under the MOA, Puerto Galera shall strengthen strict enforcement of waste segregation at source and prohibition on the use of single use/disposable plastics such as plastic bags, cups, straws, and stirrers which often end up polluting lands and seas," DENR says.
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philstar.com
10 Comfy But Stylish Pairs to Wear to Your Next Big Party
Ditch the heels and dance all night in these cool kicks!
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Solon asks ERC to penalize PECO for lapses in distribution system
MANILA, Philippines -- A lawmaker has appealed to the Energy Regulatory Commission to impose penalties on Panay Electric Company (PECO) for its operational lapses on distribution assets which "posed danger to Iloilo residents' lives." "The findings of the ERC are alarming if not appalling for endangering the lives of many Ilonggos," Iloilo City Rep. Julienne Baronda said in a statement on Saturday. Based on ERC's results from its investigation, PECO failed to replace or conduct good maintenance on its utility's aged distribution assets. ERC said PECO violated the Philippine Distribution Code 2017 Edition, Amended Distribution Services and Open Access Rules, Amended Elevated Mete...Keep on reading: Solon asks ERC to penalize PECO for lapses in distribution system
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Former overseas worker falls in Quezon drug sting
LUCENA CITY -- Police arrested a former overseas worker when she was caught allegedly selling "shabu" (crystal meth) in a buy-bust operation in Tayabas City on Saturday night, police said Sunday. Rhysan Malubay, 39, who used to work abroad, was nabbed by anti-illegal drugs operatives after she sold shabu to an undercover police officer in Barangay (village) Isabang around 8:10 p.m. The suspect yielded four plastic sachets of shabu weighing 15.2 grams worth P84,360 in the street market at the prevailing price of P5,550 per gram. The illegal activities of Malubay was tipped off to the authorities by reformed drug users through the police hotline. The suspect is facing charges f...Keep on reading: Former overseas worker falls in Quezon drug sting
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Some local flights canceled on Dec. 8, Sunday due to bad weather
MANILA, Philippines -- Some domestic flights were canceled on Sunday as some areas in Luzon will experience inclement weather caused by northeast monsoon or "amihan," the Manila International Airport Authority said. As of 9 a.m., the Miaa said in its advisory that the following flights are suspended: Cebu Pacific 5J 821 -- Manila - Virac 5J 822 -- Virac - Manila Recent forecast from the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration showed that areas in Luzon will experience cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers because of the amihan season this Sunday. READ: 'Amihan' continues to bring rains in Luzon on Sunday --- Pagasa Edited by JE...Keep on reading: Some local flights canceled on Dec. 8, Sunday due to bad weather
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‘Amihan’ continues to bring rains in Luzon on Sunday — Pagasa
MANILA, Philippines -- The northeast monsoon or "amihan" will continue to bring cloudy skies and light rains over Luzon areas on Sunday, state weather bureau reported. In a 4 a.m. live weather advisory, weather specialist Meno Mendoza said cloudy skies with light rainfall is expected over Cagayan Valley, Cordillera Administrative Region and Ilocos Region. For Northern Luzon, the state weather bureau recorded a maximum temperature of 26.7C and minimum temperature of 20.6C. Mendoza also noted that Metro Manila and the rest of Luzon will experience light rains due to the amihan season. The weather specialist also said Visayas, Palawan, and Occidental Mindoro will experience part...Keep on reading: ‘Amihan’ continues to bring rains in Luzon on Sunday — Pagasa
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‘Tisoy’ victims in Albay get free drinking water from Red Cross
DARAGA, Albay -- Hundreds of residents affected by Typhoon "Tisoy" (international name: Kammuri) here lined up with their containers in order to avail of the free drinking water offered by the Philippine Red Cross Saturday. Water scarcity is one of the major problems that Albay folks are facing in the aftermath of Tisoy which hit Bicol region last Monday and Tuesday. Daraga Mayor Victor Perete said the main water source at Budiao village was damaged in the onslaught of Tisoy. "No water plus no electricity. Life is very hard. Hope it will be restored very soon," Lydia Magdaong, 52, a resident of Baag village said. Jose Alejo, Red Cross Albay-Legazpi volunteer, said they have b...Keep on reading: ‘Tisoy’ victims in Albay get free drinking water from Red Cross
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Ryan Reynolds spoofs viral video for cheeky holiday ad
Washington, United States | AFP | Saturday 12/8/2019 - 02:30 UTC+8   Actor Ryan Reynolds is winning hearts and praise with a cheeky new holiday ad for his Aviation Gin brand.   The commercial opens on a woman staring straight ahead, her eyes blank. Two concerned friends sit on either side.   As her friends assure her that she's "safe here," the unnamed woman seems to break free of her stupor. The three toast to "new beginnings" before she begins chugging her drink, a martini made with Aviation Gin.   "You look great, by the way," one friend comments as the camera fades out.   While the ad may seem confusing, the central actress is in...Keep on reading: Ryan Reynolds spoofs viral video for cheeky holiday ad
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Reese Lansangan and Tarsius Add Two New Tracks to Eraserheads Tribute Album
More artists are covering Eheads songs!
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MWSS to water firms: Defer New Year rate hikes
MANILA, Philippines --- The Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System (MWSS) on Saturday said it had called on Manila Water Co. Inc. and Maynilad Water Services Inc. to defer rate hikes they had planned to implement on Jan. 1. The MWSS Regulatory Office (RO) said it was initiating talks with the concessionaires for a postponement "in light of recent developments," in evident reference to President Duterte's tirades this week against the two companies and the water concession agreements. Citing onerous provisions of the deals, Malacaang threatened to challenge the decisions of the Permanent Court of Arbitration in Singapore, which directed the government to pay about P11 billion i...Keep on reading: MWSS to water firms: Defer New Year rate hikes
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Industry survey: Pay hikes seen but fewer firms hiring more
MANILA, Philippines --- If you're working in the consumer goods, energy, or high-tech industries, there's good news you can look forward to in the coming year. Employees in those three industries will see the highest salary increases in 2020, according to the 2019 Philippines Total Remuneration Survey (TRS). The annual survey by international consulting firm Mercer identifies key remuneration trends and makes hiring and pay increase predictions. This year, 433 companies across various industries in the Philippines participated in the survey. The survey also anticipated a "salary increase in the Philippines across industries... at 6 percent in 2020." This forecast is higher th...Keep on reading: Industry survey: Pay hikes seen but fewer firms hiring more
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2nd most productive SEA Games day for PH: 15 golds
Philippine athletics bets delivered, its warriors on the mat dominated and Margielyn Didal was unstoppable on the skateboarding course --- and afterwards during her victory presscon --- as they highlighted the country's second most productive day that practically put away the overall title with still five days of play left in the 30th Southeast Asian Games. Kristina Knott reset the 200-meter dash record twice on Saturday at New Clark City stadium with Olympic medal hopeful EJ Obiena refusing to be outdone as he also established a new pole vault mark for two of the Philippines' 15 golds on Day 8 that put the Filipinos out of reach by anyone even with still 200 or so events left to ...Keep on reading: 2nd most productive SEA Games day for PH: 15 golds
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Steps, skips, sacrifices behind PH dancesports prowess
MANILA, Philippines --- After winning three gold medals in the dancesports competition of the ongoing 30th Southeast Asian Games, it took Ana Leonila Nualla three days to finally feel the elation that comes with victory. "It suddenly dawned on me --- the sacrifices, exhaustion, dancing despite a fever, practicing even if hungry --- and I felt like crying," she said in Filipino in a phone interview. Nualla, dazzling in a white translucent gown with a flared skirt and sleeves, and her real-life partner Sean Mischa Aranar wowed the crowd at the Royce Hotel in Pampanga in the opening hours of the 2019 SEA Games on Dec. 1. (The Philippines won 10 out of the 14 gold medals, along with...Keep on reading: Steps, skips, sacrifices behind PH dancesports prowess
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PH arnis team makes ‘founding father’ proud
ANGELES CITY, Pampanga, Philippines --- To the untrained eye, arnis, the stick-wielding martial art of the Philippines, is brutal and frenzied, but behind the chaos lies a tradition dating back hundreds of years. With some contests lasting just a few minutes, the fast and furious combat sport made a triumphant return to the 30th Southeast Asian (SEA) Games this week, boosting the home nation's haul of golds by 15. Spirit of revolution Filipino "arnisadors" are fiercely proud of their country, and the sport that symbolizes their spirit of battle and revolution. It holds a treasured place in Filipino hearts as it evokes 16th-century tribal ruler Lapu-Lapu, whose army killed Ferdina...Keep on reading: PH arnis team makes ‘founding father’ proud
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Abigail Binay: Jejomar’s daughter also rises
MANILA, Philippines --- Mayor Abigail Binay proud that Makati has been named one of world's most innovative cities. Abigail Binay is, at once, her father's daughter and her own person. As the mayor of the Philippines' richest city and financial capital, she knows that she has to ensure that Makati retains its position at the top of the local government unit food chain, and remain competitive against other cities wanting a bigger piece of the action from the business community. But as the leader of a city known for its generous social services'the legacy of her father's populist style of governance spawned everything from free healthcare to movie tickets for its residents'"Mayora...Keep on reading: Abigail Binay: Jejomar’s daughter also rises
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Marawi rehab delay worsens poverty
The delay in the rebuilding of war-torn Marawi City has partly caused a slight increase in poverty in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM), the lone region where poverty incidence rose although the nationwide rate dropped from 17.9 percent in 2015 to 12.1 percent in 2018, the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) admitted on Friday.   Marawi residents have become so frustrated with the situation that they filed a class suit against government officials who prevented them from returning to the city to rebuild their homes and resume their lives that were disrupted by the five-month siege by local terrorists in 2017.   Lawyer Salic Dumarpa, chai...Keep on reading: Marawi rehab delay worsens poverty
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Opec makes deeper cuts in oil production
VIENNA --- The powerful Opec group of oil producers and its allies reached a deal Friday to cut production by 500,000 barrels per day (bpd) in a bid to stem prices which have been under pressure from abundant reserves and weak global economic growth.   Friday's so-called Opec+ meeting included Russia, the world's second-largest oil producer and not a member of the cartel.   It ended with a deal for a cut effective as of Jan. 1 which sets an output target 1.7 million barrels per day lower than October 2018 levels, with Saudi Arabia and Russia making almost half the additional reductions between them.   In a surprise move, the bloc also announced that sever...Keep on reading: Opec makes deeper cuts in oil production
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Casa Amara: A love story
Back in the days when my husband Klaus was still courting me, he drove me at the height of summer from Venice, Italy, to a glacier in Hintertux, Austria, so I could experience summer and winter all in one day. The long drive on the scenic coastline along Lago de Garda is one of my favorite Europe moments, second only to the time Klaus proposed marriage for the third time---it was the charm---in a gondola as it docked near Venice's famous Rialto Bridge. Two years after we got married, we built Casa Amara, our private rest house/bed-and-breakfast in San Juan, Batangas, on top of a hill overlooking green virgin forest and a jagged coastline of white sand and pristine electric blue sea...Keep on reading: Casa Amara: A love story
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Why ‘Manila’—why not, chocnut?
The use of the hit song "Manila," originally recorded in 1976 by the band Hotdog, as soundtrack to the parade of the Philippine contingent at the Southeast Asian Games opening ceremonies on Nov. 30 was an unintentional masterstroke. The backstory was that an elder brother of the song's composers had offered "Manila" to be used anywhere during the opening program, but with the suggestion that it be included in the "Pinoy medley" segment. Problem was, the music producer of the opening rites thought, "Hindi bagay (not a good match)" because that segment would be highlighted by a Pinoy rap medley (including "Man From Manila"). The producer decided instead to use "Manila" to accompan...Keep on reading: Why ‘Manila’—why not, chocnut?
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It was also a triumph of costume design
Take the Floy Quintos-directed opening ceremony of the Southeast Asian Games last Nov. 30, a spectacle that, for a good hour or so, made us forget all the organizational mess and embarrassment leading to the event. Not only was it an impressive showcase of the talents of our singers and dancers, our music and dances, it was also a triumph of costume design. Eric Pineda, head costume designer, said the brief was to incorporate indigenous Filipino materials in the various suites ---from the welcome suite and the parade of athletes down to the rap and hip-hop segments ---to put texture, patterns and color on the vast stage of the 55,000-seat Philippine Arena. Pineda himself des...Keep on reading: It was also a triumph of costume design
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On the rise
It won't be long before the rest of Southeast Asia really trims the basketball gap wedged between them and the Philippines. And even after a pair of easy routs by Gilas Pilipinas in the Southeast Asian Games, it is clear that the country's regional neighbors have started to step up their hoop game. Greg Slaughter, who has played internationally as an amateur and as a pro, can see beyond the blowouts and notice the improvement. "Oh man, compared to 2011, these teams [have] really come a long way," Slaughter said. "They got way more players, they got a different coach. It's just night and day how far they've come from 2011 when we [last] played them." It may sound patronizing,...Keep on reading: On the rise
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Holiday guide: Tagaytay, beyond the city, on to new destinations and eats
Maka Forest Villas Tucked in bucolic Alfonso, Cavite, is an upcoming nature resort, Maka, which means "where good spirits reside" in ancient Tagalog. Owner and environment planner Ronnie Yumang is recognized in the Asean for regenerative architecture. While green buildings may reduce energy and carbon footprint but don't necessarily conserve natural resources, regenerative architecture employs nature as the means and impetus for architecture. Green building construction uses quarried materials that tend to destroy the earth. With the construction boom, Yumang foresees a shortage of gravel and sand. Regenerative architecture, in contrast, replenishes resources by stabilizing the...Keep on reading: Holiday guide: Tagaytay, beyond the city, on to new destinations and eats
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Alice Reyes: Dancing out of the box
Alice Reyes sits among costumes, piled high or hung, holding court discussing details of Ballet Philippines' upcoming Christmas production, advising an injured dancer, ordering food. Her once long, dark, whiplash hair is now cropped and silver, and despite the cane and the slight limp, the swagger is still present. We talk about how the digital age has affected theater-going habits, how the present generation of dancers interpret the original moves, and how she appreciates the layers the generations have contributed to her original works. The curiosity to innovate has not disappeared. Because for her, moving forward has always been an option. It was in the late 1960s that Alice Rey...Keep on reading: Alice Reyes: Dancing out of the box
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SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’
Maybe it was meant to be a "perya," as a poor lone soul sour-graped---a jubilant, glorious carnival featuring the best parts of being Filipino. As the ceremony's creative director Floy Quintos posted on his Facebook page on Nov. 29, "There will be no special effects. no fabulous, hitherto unseen technological stage wizardry. Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy. The very things we return to. The very things that enable us to survive." And what joy it was on Nov. 30, in the mammoth Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan. The show started at 7 p.m. and lasted an hour and 35 minutes. To the music of Ryan Cayabyab's "Kyrie" from "Misa," the show began with a dance production...Keep on reading: SEA Games opening: ‘Just good old Pinoy energy, talent and joy’
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BenCab and his nudes: ‘His eyes wander and revel, inch by inch . . .’
A male artist drawing a female nude. In the age of #MeToo, reflexive political correctness, and the feminist critique of the male gaze, that can be problematic. But National Artist BenCab cuts straight to the heart of the matter. "My nudes are erotic," he says. In fact, there was talk of possibly putting a "parental advisory" warning on "Desnudas: Life Drawings by BenCab," an ongoing exhibit of his nude drawings at Secret Fresh gallery. Rather than play coy, or retreat into the artist's safe zone of abstracting the female body into planes and curves, shadows and light, the artist taps into the inherent sexual energy between men and women to give life to his drawings. "W...Keep on reading: BenCab and his nudes: ‘His eyes wander and revel, inch by inch . . .’
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Plet and Emong at play—‘You’ll never be this age again’
"We don't stop playing because we grow old; we grow old because we stop playing." Nobody understands the truth in George Bernard Shaw's aphorism better than artists, who instinctively grasp that the creativity that fuels their work comes from the same source that's unlocked by a child's open-ended play. On a recent visit to the charming pied-a-terre of Elmer Borlongan and Plet Bolipata---the power couple of contemporary Filipino art---we found both hard at work, or rather, hard at play, preparing for their current simultaneous exhibit at Secret Fresh. Arrayed on a table, in perfect formation, were 45 8-inch dolls, each an uncanny miniaturization of Bolipata herself, down to her ...Keep on reading: Plet and Emong at play—‘You’ll never be this age again’
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Personalities we wish to see in 2020
Master designers to 'terno' advocates 1. For 2020's Red Charity Gala, the talented Ivarluski Aseron will finally get his much-deserved moment on the big stage as next year's featured designer. This is long overdue---his contemporaries Dennis Lustico and Joey Samson have taken their respective turns at the annual fundraiser---and we can't wait to see one of the finest fashion designers of his generation wows us. 2. Inno Sotto is slated to teach a master class at the Jojie Lloren-led Fashion + Arts + Business school later next year. This, on top of mentoring young designers at the Bench-sponsored Ternocon. We hope to see more of our master creatives sharing their knowle...Keep on reading: Personalities we wish to see in 2020
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