MANILA, Philippines — The idea was irresistible: Show off your dance moves, be part of a viral craze, and donate to Taal evacuees. So it came as no surprise when hundreds of men, women and children trooped to Rizal Park on Saturday to dance to the insanely popular “Tala” song by pop star Sarah Geronimo to raise funds for families displaced by the eruption of Taal Volcano. ADVERTISEMENTFor P100, participants and Geronimo fans who call themselves Popsters, could join the Tala for Taal flash mob at Rizal Park, with the money donated to the chosen charity, the Philippine Red Cross. “We wanted to make Tala more meaningful,” said Popsters president Barrie Juanico. But “Tala” became viral when a clip sometimes described as “Tala resistance” was posted on social media.
January 18, 2020 21:33 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — Responding to the business community’s request, Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte seeks to extend the deadline for tax payments from Jan. 20 to Feb. 2. Belmonte said she received a request from the business community for more time to fully comply with the tax requirements and fulfill their obligations to the city government. ADVERTISEMENT“In Quezon City, we are open to suggestions and appeal. The extension, however, is still subject to the approval of the City Council. As of Jan. 15, the Quezon City government had reported an increase in income from business permits and real property tax, from 16 to 29 percent, over the same period last year.
January 18, 2020 21:22 UTC
LEGAZPI CITY, Albay, Philippines — Suspended Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua said on Saturday that he would assume his post as elected governor of the province, asserting that he had already complied with the preventive suspension for an administrative offense slapped on him by the Office of the Ombudsman last year. ADVERTISEMENTBut Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Friday that the DILG would not recognize Cua’s assumption of office. The DILG still recognizes Vice Governor Shirley Abundo as acting governor. The Ombudsman suspended Cua for six months in January 2019 in connection to a complaint filed by a certain Rey Mendez in September 2018 against Cua and Bato town Mayor Eulogio Rodriguez for alleged abuse of authority, conduct prejudicial to the interest of public service, dishonesty, and grave misconduct.
January 18, 2020 21:22 UTC
Sinulog is a cultural and religious festival held every third Sunday of January in honor of the Santo Niño (Child Jesus). ADVERTISEMENTThe traditional motion — two steps forward and one step backward — resembles the “sulog,” or water current from which the Sinulog dance originated from. “The whole idea here is to teach them to dance Sinulog the traditional way. Imagine almost 200 kids dancing the authentic Sinulog,” Sandiego said. “I think we should put more essence on the devotion to the Santo Niño, especially in dancing the Sinulog,” he added.
January 18, 2020 21:00 UTC
“Real estate is a growing business in Portugal, which lacks the type of service that I am capable of offering. My passion for sales, impeccable service and trustworthy relationships drove me to work in the real estate industry.”FILIPINOS overseas are inordinately proud of their heritage and culture. After a year with the firm, Patricia took that proverbial leap of faith and set up Ortega Realty and Management, paving the way for more challenges to sharpen her sales and marketing skills. Special serviceBut why real estate? “Real estate is a growing business in Portugal, which lacks the type of service that I am capable of offering,” Patricia says.
January 18, 2020 16:30 UTC
MANILA, Philippines — President Duterte has vowed to help in the operation of a two-year-old girl with biliary atresia at the National Kidney and Transplant Institute (NKTI) in Quezon City. To allow more Filipinos to avail themselves of organ transplants, Duterte said he wants the surgery to be done at the NKTI instead of abroad. On Wednesday, Duterte met with the parents of biliary atresia patient Sophie Aguilo and urged them to allow the liver transplant to be done locally. Biliary atresia is a condition in infants in which the bile ducts outside and inside the liver are scarred and blocked. Pedriatric liver transplants will be done through the partnership of PCMC and TMC until the time when NKTI can solely perform pediatric and adult living donor liver transplants.
MANILA, Philippines — Former child actor Jiro Manio was arrested after he allegedly stabbed another man during a brawl in Marikina City on Friday night. Manio, 27, reportedly “assaulted” a man identified as Zeus Doctolero, 25, as the victim was walking to a friend’s house in Barangay San Roque. The assault led to a fistfight until Manio reportedly pulled out a kitchen knife and stabbed Doctolero three times. The former actor was seen begging at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport in 2015. Actress Ai-Ai delas Alas, who played Manio’s mother in a series of movies, took him to a rehabilitation facility.
MANILA, Philippines — The Quezon City goverment will shoulder the medical expenses of a three-year-old child diagnosed with polio, according to Mayor Joy Belmonte. “I visited the child who was diagnosed with polio in Quezon City. We shall shoulder all his medical costs and triple our efforts to ensure that 100 percent of our children aged five and below are vaccinated against polio,” Belmonte said. She shared a report quoting Health Secretary Francisco Duque III who said that the child did not receive a vaccine for Type-2 polio. Another report quoted Health Undersecretary Eric Domingo as saying that the child may have contracted polio because of poor health.
PASAY, Philippines — Two minors riding a motorcycle crashed into a power post in Pasay City at past midnight yesterday. Raizaldy Macias, 17, was driving the motorcycle along Leveriza street with his cousin John Joseph Foser, 16, as the back rider when he failed to notice a hump at around 12:30 a.m. Police said the two, who were reportedly speeding and not wearing helmets, ended up hitting the electric post. Macias was declared dead on arrival at the Pasay General Hospital while Foser is undergoing treatment at the same hospital.
MANILA, Philippines — Slow-going traffic has been a usual fixture along the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) during weekends, but yesterday’s traffic jam had netizens applauding. A netizen called the heavy traffic “very good.”“It’s so heartwarming to see SLEX stopovers filled with people and cars and relief goods. Meanwhile, Makati Mayor Abby Binay said yesterday the city’s veterinary services department (VSD) will rescue and provide aid to abandoned animals in Batangas. Each family also received water jugs and packs of sodium hypochlorite, a liquid that purifies water for drinking purposes. The medical and relief effort was in cooperation with the offices of Sen. Pia Cayetano, Speaker Alan Peter Cayetano and Taguig second district Rep. Lani Cayetano.
I was invited to speak before the Institute of World Politics about Philippines-US relations, and how this relationship plays into the realities and dynamics of ASEAN and the Indo-Pacific. President Duterte himself admits that our military alliance is very strong because many Filipino officers were trained in the US. The seemingly unbridled great power competition between the US and China threatens to derail drivers of regional and global economic growth. The ASEAN “Outlook on the Indo-Pacific” defines the Indo-Pacific as a region not of rivalry but of dialogue, cooperation, development, and prosperity. It highlights the importance of the maritime domain, while laying down possible general streams for cooperation: maritime, economic, sustainable development, and connectivity.
MANILA, Philippines — Around P1 billion worth of counterfeit cigarettes were seized in a raid on a warehouse in Nueva Ecija on Friday. At least 20 Chinese citizens and 100 Filipinos suspected to be behind the manufacture of counterfeit cigarettes were arrested. Personnel of a special unit of the Regional Intelligence Division, Criminal Investigation and Detection Group, Cabiao police and BOC conducted the raid. The BIR and BOC were directed to strengthen their campaign against illicit cigarette trading, which is seen to worsen with the increase in tobacco excise taxes. The BOC created a a task force to strengthen its monitoring on the entry of smuggled and counterfeit goods.
MANILA, Philippines — Miguel Tabuena kept his unblemished run and shot a 66 but Matt Kuchar kept flaunting his world-class skills with a fiery 62 and took control in the third round of the Singapore Open yesterday. The elite field pounded Sentosa’s Serapong course for the third straight day with a slew of under-par scores with Kuchar leading the assault with nine birdies, including four in the last five, to submit a solid 32-30 card, rally from joint fourth and into the lead at 17-under 196. The nine-time PGA Tour winner’s flawless round put him three strokes clear of Tabuena and Thai defending champion Jazz Janewattanond, who pooled identical 199s after a five-under and 67, respectively, while Richard Lee of Canada and Korean Kim Joo Hyung fell another stroke back at 200 after a 65 and 67, respectively. Former world No. 1 and Rio Olympics gold medalist Justin Rose of England, lay too far behind, reducing the battle for the $180,000 top purse to the top five players.
MANILA, Philippines — Reigning champion Mary Joy Tabal and newly-crowned SEA Games champion Christine Hallasgo headline the nearly 800 elite runners vying in today’s Milo Marathon National Finals at the Tarlac Plazuela. Tabal, a heavy favorite to retain the SEAG crown, couldn’t handle the heat, allowing Hallasgo to be crowned as the newest marathon queen in the region. Riding high on that historic win, Hallasgo determined to show that her latest win was no fluke, and at the same time snap Tabal’s six-year reign as Milo National Finals champion. In partnership with the Philippine Athletics Track and Field Association (PATAFA), the Milo Marathon National Finals will serve as qualifiers for the 2020 calendar of international marathon events. Meanwhile, this year’s National Finals will also mark the celebration of Kaisa Festival, a week-long commemoration of the history and culture of first-time finals host Tarlac City.
MANILA, Philippines — The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) is optimistic the country would be able to achieve an “A” credit rating within the next two years as the government continues to push for more structural reforms and the development of infrastructure. In a press briefing, BSP Governor Benjamin Diokno said getting an A credit rating upgrade within two years would be an achievable feat for the Philippines. “With additional structural reform measures, and as long as the national government is able to implement the Build Build Build program, I think the “Road to A” strategy can be accomplished in two years’ time. Last year, S&P Global Ratings upgraded the Philippines’ long-term sovereign credit rating from “BBB” to “BBB+”, two notches above investment grade rating. To achieve the government’s credit rating target, Diokno said the BSP would push for the immediate passage of four legislative reforms that aim to improve the monetary and financial sectors.