Mayor Gatchalian urges youth: Don’t just rant, take action

Valenzuela City Mayor Rex Gatchalian expressed the belief that “community involvement” these days is important, particularly for the youth, in order to make a change.

Valenzuela Mayor Rex Gatchalian (FACEBOOK / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

For Gatchalian, instead of ranting on social media, people “must get involved” and “must engage” their community through various means — being a youth leader, joining non-government organizations or get active in school — as they are at a stage where they “can actually be heard.”

“The important thing is that you take that step. Wag kayong puro rant lang (Don’t just rant). You have to remember, walang nasosolve sa pagrarant mo (Nothing gets solved by your rants). This is a bold statement: being heard is one thing, but doing something about it is another thing,” the mayor said in an interview over Radio Pilipinas’ Youth for Truth program Wednesday night.

While Gatchalian recognized that holding or joining rallies is exercising freedom of expression, he said, there still “must be a call to action. And the call to action is get involve in your communities.

“Yung mag rally sa kalsada, yung mga ibang sector, okay (Holding rallies on the streets by different sectors is okay). That’s expression of yourself.  But what did that achieve in the end?” he asked.

Gatchalian is calling on the youth not to lose hope because they can make a change.

“Don’t get frustrated and wag kayong bibitaw. Wag yung bahala na or kasi pagod na ako (Don’t lose hope. Don’t say, ‘come what may’ or ‘I’m tired),” he said. In fact, Gatchalian, who grew up in a family of businessmen said their frustrations prompted them to run for government office.

“Bakit kami pumasok sa larangan na ito? Kasi pagod na kami mag complain. Noong negosyante kami, diba complain kami ng complain. Yung basura, hindi nakokolekta. Yung kalsada, hindi naaayos. Sabi namin, wag ka nang magcomplain. Kung gusto mo maging bahagi ng solusyon, lumahok ka sa proseso. Tumakbo ka, pag nanalo ka, baguhin mo (Why did we join politics? Because we’re tired of complaining. When we were still full-time businessmen, we kept on complaining. The garbage is not being collected.  Dilapidated roads are not being fixed. So we told ourselves to stop complaining. If we would want to be part of the change, then join the process. We should run for office, and if we win, change the system),” the local chief executive said.

Pump prices on slight rollback next week

            Just in time for the start of the Christmas traffic build-up, motorists can enjoy a slight relief in their pockets next week as pump prices will be on rollback of P0.10 to P0.20 per liter for gasoline; and P0.25 to P0.35 per liter for diesel.

MB file photo. (Mark Balmores)

            Kerosene prices will also be reduced by P0.15 to P0.25 per liter, based on the calculation of the oil companies as hinged on the Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS).

            Next week’s adjustments will break the cycle of mixed up-and-down movements in pump prices which featured prominently in the domestic oil market in recent weeks.

            In a monitoring report of the Department of Energy (DOE), it indicated that the year-to-date adjustments in oil prices hover at a net decrease of P4.67 per liter for gasoline; P10.01 per liter for diesel; and P13.44 per liter for kerosene.

            Pump prices in the Philippines are influenced by two major factors: the swing in oil prices in the world market; and the fluctuations in the peso-dollar exchange rate.

            According to the energy department, the demand recovery for oil in Asia will continue to track “bumpy roads” across products, with longer pace of rebound anticipated for the aviation sector.

            It added that refinery runs in the region may scale up by the fourth quarter of this year, but price lifts may take longer to be concretized – and the assumption is for it happening through 2021.

            Primarily for gasoline, it was noted that demand may still weaken because of the resurgence of Covid-19 infections, which may then lower winter driving activities especially in Europe.

The Taiwan Excellence Plastic & Rubber Machinery Online Press Conference 2020 to explore new “PLASibilities”

The Taiwan Excellence Plastic and Rubber Machinery Online Press Conference 2020 helped spur awareness about Taiwan’s plastics and rubber machinery industry and had become a worthwhile event among suppliers and media. The event attracted over 532 viewers online from countries including Egypt Germany, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Pakistan, the Philippines, Russia, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam among others.

From left: Michael Lee, Manager, ChumPower Machinery Corp.; Tony Wu,
Sales Support Engineer, ChumPower Machinery Corp.; Eric Wei, Vice
Chairman, Diing Kuen Plastic Machinery, Co., Ltd.; Guann-Jyh Lee, Deputy
Director General, BOFT ; Walter Yeh, President & CEO of TAITRA ;
Charles Wei, Fong Kee International Machinery Co., Ltd.; Neilson Su, Sales
Manager, Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd. (FCS) ; Benjamin
Lee, Vice General Manager, Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd.
(FCS)

As the world continues to witness a steady rise in the global production of plastic products because of increased demand for automobiles and consumer electronics, medical treatment, packaging, and construction, it is no surprise that will also help spur the demand for plastic and rubber machinery.

Plastics and rubber machinery that are made in Taiwan has more than 50 years in development with a complete industrial cluster and is known internationally because of superior technology and top-notch, customer-centric after-sales service.

According to the The Taiwan Association of Machinery Industry (TAMI), Taiwan is in top six spot in the plastic and rubber machinery exporting countries in the world. More than 400 plastic and rubber machinery manufacturers in Taiwan, in response to the trend of Industry 4.0, are known for harnessing Taiwan’s strong ICT philosophy, the adoption of “The Industrial Internet of Things” (IIoT), intelligent automation, intelligent sensors, and employing advanced manufacturing technologies to create “smart, high-end, custom-made” production solutions, making it an indispensable part of the plastic and rubber global supply chain.

Mr. Walter Yeh, President & CEO of TAITRA, delivered the opening remarks
during the Plastic and Rubber Machinery Online presscon.

With the intent of helping the international plastic and rubber manufacturers to get back on their feet and once again face the future growth in plastic production demand, the Bureau of Foreign Trade (BOFT) Taiwan, R.O.C, and the Taiwan External Trade Development Council (TAITRA) organized the “Taiwan Excellence Plastic & Rubber Machinery Online Press Conference 2020” .To help create awareness about Taiwan’s exceptional companies in the plastic and rubber machinery sector, four Taiwan’s leading plastic and rubber machinery companies presented the latest trends and technologies, from injection molding machines and blow molding machines to extrusion machinery to buyers and media worldwide. These companies include Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co., Ltd. (FCS), ChumPower Machinery Corp., Fong Kee International Machinery Co.,
Ltd., and Diing Kuen Plastic Machinery, Co., Ltd. TAITRA’s President and CEO, Walter Yeh, stressed the importance of paying attention to the issue of plastic recycling and regeneration in response to the rising global environmental awareness Fu Chun Shin Machinery Manufacture Co, LTD (FCS) as represented by its sales manager, Neilson Su, have shown to the conference attendees its “Rotary Table Two-Component Injection Molding Machine (FB-230R)” and “Large Horizontal Rotary Table Two-Component Injection Molding Machine (HB-1400R).”

Mr. Guann-Jyh Lee, Deputy Director General, BOFT delivered opening
remarks during the online presscon.

“FB-230R” is a precise and safe rotary table, with two sets of core equipment on the rotary table and a cooling system in the mold. This is the best option in the industry nowadays as the rotary table won’t touch the platen and thus the potential for damage is reduced. In addition, its precise rotary table positioning system and patented clips can stabilize the injection molding process and products. “HB-1400R” comes with a rotary table
that spins 180° along the horizontal line placing the mold evenly on the two sides of the rotary table. With this feature, it will not be affected by external forces such as gravity and inertia resulting from its vertical rotation. Having only two platens for its clamping unit not only saves space, but also satisfies the demand for products that use huge two-component molds. And when used to produce single component products, it doubles the capacity and increases production efficiency.

Mr. Tony Wu, Sales Support Engineer, ChumPower Machinery Corp. focused on its “High speed stretch blow molding machine: L-Series.” He demonstrated that the product is the fastest blow molding machine in the world, with its per cavity output of 2,250 bottles per hour being faster than its competitors’ 1,800-2,000 bottles per hour. Global brands including PEPSI, Kao, LOTTE, and more use Chumpower machines to produce PET bottles
As the the largest and finest machinery manufacturer in Taiwan’s Plastic Extrusion Industry, Fong Kee International Machinery Co., Ltd provides a wide range of plastic extrusion machinery like blow molding, blown film, cast film, sheet making, and extrusion lamination machines, among others. Charles Wei, CEO of the company, discussed the “Intelligent All-Electric three-layer Blow Molding Machine” is energy saving, reduces power consumption by 40-50%, and increase production output by 20-25%. It is also equipped with a SCADA system that collects data for further analysis to further improve its efficiency.

Eric Wei, Diing Kuen Plastic Machinery Co, LTD Vice Chairman,was also present to discuss the company’s specialization in extruders to manufacture a diverse range of plastic products. Its “Five layers co-extrusion for industrial stretch-hood” is a high efficiency extrusion for multilayer blown film that can be automatically calibrated online. It comes with a data acquisition and analysis system and automatic feeding system. It is an Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) gateway that provides secure access to remote services.

TAITRA is set to hold another event, “TaipeiPLAS Digital Week” which will happen within the month of September. For more information about this event, visit https://www.taipeiplas.com.tw/en/photolink/node-list/DC00206/index.html

Wright dedicates performance to baby boy, OFWs

Matthew Wright (PBA Images)

ANGELES CITY–Phoenix guard Matthew Wright dedicated his fiery performance against Magnolia on Friday to his son Sonny who just celebrated his first birthday. 

Wright waxed hot with 23 points, pouring eight of those in the Fuel Masters’ blistering 22-0 run in the fourth quarter that kindled their 91-84 comeback win over the Hotshots at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena. 

The Gilas Pilipinas stalwart also collected seven rebounds, four assists and two steals in almost 46 minutes of play without a single turnover as Phoenix arrested a two-game skid to improve to 3-2. 

“The first birthday is always very special and I hate to see that I cried just thinking about it. The only way I can make this better was to dedicate my performance to him,” said Wright, whose family resides in the United States. 

“I’m sure he’s watching but I don’t know if he understood what I was saying (in the TV interview). But when he gets older, hopefully he’ll look back and he’ll forgive me for not being in his pictures on his first birthday,” he added. 

The Fil-Canadian sniper said that missing special family occasions is part of the sacrifice that the 350-man delegation has to make in order to ensure the success of the Philippine Cup bubble.

“Everybody’s going through it so you just have to suck it up.” 

The 6-foot-3 cager said he was even reminded of the bigger undertaking that the overseas Filipino workers have to do for their families. 

“It’s an amazing sacrifice and it’s so hard to be away from your family. And we’re only doing it for a couple of months so we got to man up.” 

“I was just thinking about them today.” 

CJ Peralta eyes decision on Marcos vs. Robredo election protest before filing of certificates of candidacy in October 2021

Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Diosdado Peralta has expressed the hope that the high tribunal, sitting as the Presidential Election Tribunal (PET), will be able to rule on the election protest of former Sen. Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. before the filing of certificates of candidacy (COC) next year.

Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice Diosdado M. Peralta
(FACEBOOK / FILE PHOTO / MANILA BULLETIN)

“The Supreme Court would like that all election cases should be terminated before the end of the term. That is the policy of the court,” Peralta said during an online press briefing held on Friday, Oct. 23.

The chief justice said that he has already reminded the magistrates of this policy. 

“It would be still be better, sabi ko sa kanila (I told them), that cases should be decided before the filing of certificates of candidacy which (will be in)  October 2021,” Peralta said.

Peralta recounted that he previously chaired the House of Representatives Electoral Tribunal (HRET) prior to his appointment as chief justice by President Duterte.

“During the 17th Congress I headed that office. All the cases were resolved before I left in June 2019,” he said.

Marcos filed the election protest before the PET to contest his loss in the 2016 elections to Vice President Maria Leonora “Leni” Robredo due to alleged irregularities in the conduct of the polls.

Marcos’ protest has three causes of action – annulment of the proclamation of Robredo; recount and revision of ballots in 36,465 protested clustered precincts; and annulment of election results for vice president in the provinces of Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur, and Basilan on the ground of alleged terrorism, intimidation and harassment of voters as well as pre-shading of ballots in all of the 2,756 protested clustered precincts.

The PET has already finished the revision of the ballots in three pilot provinces Marcos himself picked, namely, Camarines Sur, Iloilo, and Negros Oriental.

Robredo asked the PET to dismiss Marcos’ protest for his alleged failure to present any substantial recovery of ballots in the three pilot provinces, while, Marcos asked the tribunal to re-examine the results.

De Lima laments paltry budget for housing

Opposition Sen. Leila de Lima has lamented the paltry budget allocated for the new Department of Human Settlements and Urban Development.

Senator Leila de Lima (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

De Lima said that DHSUD was given only a budget of P4 billion for 2021 despite the current huge housing backlog compared to the P9.6-billion intelligence fund of the Duterte administration and a lump sum of P19.3 billion for the anti-communist task force. 

‘’There is something terribly wrong with this budget allocation and it is screaming at our face,’’ De Lima said.

“On this fifth budget year of the Duterte administration, the housing appropriation for the poor sector of society is getting smaller. But the administration’s intelligence funds are getting bigger,” she added.

 ‘’The poor suffer the heaviest beating from both man-made and natural disasters and now the economic downturn. Job and housing are the poor’s best social protection even before the pandemic and more especially now. And where is the protection here?’’ De Lima said.

The priority of a good father is that there is food on the table for his family. He puts up a house with a good foundation that can withstand crises and calamities, De Lima added.

Help 71-year-old Lolo Lito by buying his polvoron and pastillas from this online shop

As young students, we all have our favorite treats to eat after class. There’s fish ball and kikiam, ice scramble, adobong mani, and many other street food that will surely trigger some fun memories from our days at school. Along with those memories are the vendors with whom we became friends and suki.

For one school in Angeles City, there is one go-to man to get your sweet treat before and after classes, and that’s Lolo Lito.

Lolo Lito

“Lolo Lito is popular in Angeles city as he is a mainstay of Holy Angel University. He has been selling there for more than 10 years,” Louie Alcantara tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “He is selling to provide for his sick wife.”

According to Louie’s now viral post, the polvoron and pastillas vendor sells his products from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. to provide for his family. But due to the pandemic, students who used to buy from him are now all at home, leaving him wandering on the streets with sometimes no sales.

Lolo Lito’s polvoron

To help Lolo Lito, also known as Lolo Pops, Louie put his products up online through his food delivery service site in Pampanga.

“If you would like to help Lolo Pops, you can now buy from him via www.mangan.ph, all proceeds are given directly to him,” Louie says. “On our part, delivery is completely free and cost of delivery is shouldered by mangan.ph. Your small act of kindness can go a long way!”

“If you would like to personally buy from him, he stays and sells at Jollibee AUF from 10 a.m. and sometimes until 11:30 p.m. because of slow sales,” Louie says.

Images are from Louie Alcantara’s Facebook.

Magalong decries allegations of corruption in Baguio public market project

BAGUIO CITY – Mayor Benjamin Magalong vehemently denied allegations that corruption tainted the award of the P6-billion Baguio City Public Market development project, as he asked his detractors to stop the misinformation and deception.

Mayor Benjamin Magalong (JJ Landingin / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)
Mayor Benjamin Magalong
(JJ Landingin / MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO)

Magalong was taking exception allegation that SM Prime Holdings Inc., the original proponent status (OPS) holder of the project, was given undue preference in bagging the multi-billion peso project because of corruption.

“My track record would speak for itself.  Kung Mamasapano nga, hindi tayo nagpa-impluwensa, yang palengke pa.  Kung sa Ninja Cops, di tayo nagpatinag, yan pa. (With the Mamasapano case, we didn’t allow ourselves to be influenced, what more for this market? Even with the ‘ninja cops’ controversy, we did not budge, what more this…)

Here in Baguio, we exercise genuine, truthful and authentic good governance.   Bawal SOP at bawal under the table transactions dito,” said Magalong.

He insisted that the decision to grant SM Prime Holdings Inc. the project was done in compliance with the Public-Private Partnership for the People (P4) Ordinance which mandates that all proposals for P4 projects be evaluated objectively, and based on merit.

“SM’s offer was substantial, Robinsons’ was lacking.  A righteous government would never settle for an inferior offer,” Magalong maintained.

He also underscored that the grant of the OPS to SM Prime Holdings did not mean that it had already bagged the project.

“It is just the start and not the end of the process. It simply paves the way for direct negotiations between the city and SM to get the project elevated to the next stage,” he explained. 

The mayor added that there will still be negotiations, drafting of the terms of reference, and the undertaking of a process called Swiss challenge wherein Robinsons and any other interested parties, including the market vendors’ groups can still challenge SM Holding’s bid.

“I stand pat on the decision that the PPP policy guidelines of the P4 ordinance that green-lighted the market re-development project is the better option to take since it will be at no cost to the city. The public market will also remain a city property since it will be merely put on lease,” Magalong said.

Magalong said the market can now be fully re-developed without the city having to spend for its construction, something the government cannot do with its own finances given the pandemic.

Miss Universe Philippines 2020 candidates dazzle with their national costumes

“I look forward to a pageant in which fashion will be one of the things that will be given importance. Not only the creations but the creator themselves,” Design Council head of Miss Universe Philippines Albert Andrada tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. “The MUP will serve as a platform wherein Filipinos can showcase their creativity in the local and international scene.”

So far, the Miss Universe Philippines pageant is proving to be one of the most stylish live events of the year. Filipino designers are bringing their A game from the swimsuits (created by international designer Furne One) down to the evening dresses. And this year’s National Costume showcase puts local designers and artisans right at the center of the culture spotlight.

From modern ternos to conceptual couture pieces, here are some of the best looks of the pageant’s most avant-garde segment.

MANDAUE CITY: Lou Dominique Piczon

Taking home the Best National Costume Award is Danny Booc with his The Bibingka Vendor piece. Made out of rattan, rafia fiber, abaca ropes, and dried anahaw leaves, the costume presents intricate weaved designs made quirky with a basket of the famous native rice cake. 

Photo from Danny Booc Facebook page

CEBU CITY: Tracy Maureen Perez

It is all about beautiful transformations for Axel Que, which is why his Mariposa is an homage to the great Cebuano lepidopterist and artist Julian Jumalon.

Photo by Jon Unson

QUEZON CITY: Michele Gumabao

Being the epicenter of the Philippine entertainment industry, it is just right for Jaggy Glarino’s creation to be as stellar as the city it represents. It has elements of vaudeville and local television heritage, creating a silhouette inspired by Filipino heroine Darna.

Photo by Charvin Greig Tome

PASAY: Zandra Nicole Sta. Maria

Designer Mara Chua pays homage to the modern heroes this time of pandemic with her frontliner-inspired costume. The Mangagamot takes an interesting aesthetic as it merges Hispanic style with BDSM and slasher elements to depict strength, power, and liberation.

Photo by Mj Suayan

MARINDUQUE: Maria Lianina Macalino

Omar Sali’s design features the Filipino feast favorite lechon. Dubbed as Lechon ni Ineng, the costume symbolizes women’s burning passion in realizing their desires, and also showcases Marinduque’s native black pig roasting custom.

Photo by Ahleks Fusilero

DAVAO CITY: Alaiza Malinao

Alaiza honors her hometown’s indigenous group by wearing Dabawenya, designed Bagobo Tagabawa artisan Bae Arlyne Salazar.

Photo from NiñOFRANCO/Instagram

RIZAL: Erika Evangelista

Erika’s costume is inspired by Regina Reica, the biggest image of the Virgin Mary in Southeast Asia, with handpainted murals by artists Padilla Vincent, Orville TiamsonLyra Lacanaria, and Julia Baluyut. Completing the look is a crown and rosary made out of copper wires and pearls.

Photo by Paul Gino

ANTIQUE: Joecel Marie Robenta

Ruffy Itaas dresses Joecel as an Antiqueña warrior queen in this costume inspired by Antique’s Binirayan Festival. 

Photo from Ruffy Itaas Facebook page

BULACAN: Daniella Louise Loya

Designed by Louis Pangilinan, La Bulakeña presents a Spanish style terno made with the help of the craftsmen of Hangonoy, Bulacan.

Photo from Tito Norman Facebook page

LA UNION: Trizha Bartolome Ocampo

Designer Raj Calogne is inspired by La Union’s prime surfing spots and created a terno mimicing a sunset above a mosaic of sea waves.

BOHOL: Pauline Amelinckx

Mikee Andrei and Noel Bompat Estopito’s Puwa (which means red) terno represents Bohol’s Sandugo Festival with a skirt that resembles the famous Chocolate Hills.

Photo by Rap Yu

Dodgers down Rays to edge ahead in World Series

Justin Turner of the Los Angeles Dodgers hits a double against the Tampa Bay Rays during the third inning in Game 3 of the 2020 MLB World Series at Globe Life Field on October 23, 2020 in Arlington, Texas. Ronald Martinez/Getty Images/AFP

The Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Tampa Bay Rays, 6-2, to take a two games to one lead in the World Series on Friday.

Justin Turner and Austin Barnes hit home runs d pitcher Walker Buehler gave up just one run, striking out 10 in six stellar innings for the Dodgers — who are bidding to end a 32-year Major League Baseball title drought.

The Rays, seeking the first World Series title in franchise history, will try to bounce back in Game 4 on Saturday in Arlington, Texas, where the best-of-seven World Series is being played on neutral ground after a regular season shortened by the coronavirus pandemic.

Perks of Using a Well-rounded Mobile Banking App

Restrictions in the new normal disrupt time-tested systems and processes. One of which is how people usually manage and grow their money through a bank visit, use of an ATM, and access to cash-heavy transactions. For Philippine Savings Bank (PSBank), the thrift banking arm of Metrobank Group, doing money-related transactions while stuck at home is an opportunity for account holders to appreciate and maximize the benefits of a comprehensive mobile banking app.

“As we continuously face the implications of the pandemic, easy, convenient, and safe access to banking services has become a necessity for Filipinos,” says Noel Tuazon, PSBank SVP and Marketing Head. “The use of an all-around mobile banking app not only addresses this concern, but also helps users take control of their finances without having to worry about their safety.”

Through its “Good to Know!” campaign, PSBank reminds customers of mobile banking app benefits that they can rely on during the quarantine:

It provides security. An all-around app offers a suite of security features that makes customers feel safe when accessing their accounts. They may log in using their fingerprint or face ID (that is unique in every person), or enter the app using the Save Username feature (so they don’t need to type their username and password especially when they are out in public). If their card is lost or stolen, they can easily lock it using the app to prevent illegal access and funds withdrawal.

It allows real-time account management. The app moves in real-time so users can stay updated on their account within seconds. With just a few taps, they can view their balances, transfer funds, deposit checks by uploading a photo, pay bills, and process payments to any bank account.

It enables users to grow their money anytime, anywhere. Apart from the basic features of paying bills, transferring funds, and monitoring accounts 24/7, an all-around banking app also allows customers to build their finances and enroll in investment products in just a few clicks even at the comfort of their own homes.

All of these convenient and rewarding experiences are now embedded in the PSBank Mobile App. Now, enhanced with the new PSBank Mobile Time Deposit Placement (TDP) feature, customers can easily open a time deposit account without having to go to a branch. This earns them higher than regular savings accounts and yields guaranteed fixed-rate returns. Moreover, customers can choose to enjoy their payout in 30, 60, or 90 days.

TDP is open to all existing PSBank account holders with a Savings or Checking account enrolled in the mobile app. To access, customers simply log in to the app, tap on Place Time Deposit from the Create a Transaction menu in View My Accounts, and enter the amount, term, and maturity instruction. They can choose to deposit as low as P10,000.

“We always strive to give our clients an all-around banking experience that is easy, fast, and reliable. Now that we are in the new normal, we want to continue giving them that service through the mobile app, so we can serve our customers agad-agad,” ends Tuazon.

Ex-Bayan Muna congressman asks for court protection

ILOILO CITY—A former congressman of the Bayan Muna party-list has asked a local court here for protection after being accused by the military of being a high-ranking officer of the Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) and its armed wing New People’s Army (NPA).

Former Bayan Muna congressman Siegfred Deduro. (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)
Former Bayan Muna congressman Siegfred Deduro. (Facebook / MANILA BULLETIN)

Siegfred Deduro, who served as congressman of the party-list in the 12th Congress, filed a petition of writ of amparo before a regional trial court (RTC) late this week as he continued to feel threatened by state forces.

This was in response to the June accusation of Maj. Gen. Eric Vinoya, commanding general of the Philippine Army’s Third Infantry Division (3ID), that Deduro was a leading officer of the CPP-NPA in Panay Island.

Deduro has vehemently denied this, and denounced the accusations made by Vinoya and the 3ID hierarchy as lies.

“The accusations of the military against Deduro are false and malicious. These false accusations amount to red-tagging, or the vilification or labeling of persons or organizations as communist, making them targets of government military or para-military units,” said the Bayan Muna-Panay Chapter in a statement.

Deduro also wrote a letter to Iloilo Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr., asking for a report wherein Vinoya made the statement during a meeting of the Iloilo Provincial Peace and Order Council.

Deduro is a founding member and vice president for the Visayas of Bayan Muna.

No rules yet on Christmas celebration virtual get-togethers pushed

Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said the government is yet to discuss if there should be rules on how to celebrate Christmas amid the ongoing threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

(JANSEN ROMERO / MANILA BULLETIN)

In an interview with State-run PTV-4, Nograles said that the Inter-agency Task Force (IATF) for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases has not yet discussed the matter.

“Hindi pa po namin napag-uusapan yun. Wala pa tayong rules na ginagawa sa IATF about that. So wala pa po (We haven’t talked about Christmas yet. The IATF does not have rules about that yet. So there’s none for now),” he said.

So far, the government has prohibited the observance of the Undas season after it ordered the closure of all cemeteries, memorial parks, and columbariums in the country from October 29 to November 4 to prevent people from flocking to the said places during the pandemic.

The City of Manila also announced that the traditional annual procession of the Black Nazarene will likewise not take place due in January 2021 due to the threat of COVID-19.

However, the IATF has eased the restrictions on religious gatherings, allowing churches to fill up to 30 percent of their seating capacity to accommodate those who want to attend the Simbang Gabi.

Virtual get-togethers

Meanwhile, Nograles suggested that families and groups of friends take advantage of the available technology to hold get-togethers instead of risking their health to meet one another during the holidays.

“Dapat alalahanin po natin na mayroon pa rin tayong (Remember that we have) health and safety protocols when it comes to mass gatherings no. ‘Di pwede basta-basta mag-mass gathering (We cannot just simply hold gatherings),” he said. 

“Pwede naman mag-Christmas party via online o Zoom or gagamitin natin yung technology o iba’t ibang online platforms para sa ating Christmas get-togethers (We can hold our Christmas parties virtually or use different technology platforms for our Christmas get-togethers),” he added.

For other gatherings, Nograles said that the public should remember the different do’s and don’ts and other guidelines. However, he said it would really be better if such events will be held online.

“Alalahanin natin itong mga maximum capacities pagdating sa mass gatherings at kung maaari, kung pwede naman, kung pwedeng mag-online, online na lamang para safe po ang lahat (Let us remember the maximum capacities when it comes to mass gatherings and if possible, just hold it online so that everybody will be safe),” he said.

The Palace official added that the government wants the public to celebrate Christmas without anybody getting sick.

“Gusto natin maging masaya rin kahit papano yung Pasko kahit mayroon tayong kinakaharap na pandemya (We want to make Christmas as merry as possible even though we are facing a pandemic),” Nograles said.

“Pero siyempre, mas magiging masaya ang Pasko kung walang mahahawa ng COVID (But, of course, Christmas will be merrier if no one will catch COVID-19),” he added. 

A Decade Later, Instagram Continues to Innovate

This October marked Instagram’s 10th birthday. And from #nofilter photos to #foodporn and #travelgoals, these are just the tip of the iceberg. Over the past decade, people have shared more than just posts and Stories on Instagram—they’ve shared countless milestones—memories that remain etched in people’s feeds. 

Through their personal Instagram accounts, people have celebrated defining personal moments and achievements, and supported causes and movements they are passionate about. Since the advent of Stories, people gave glimpses of their daily lives to stay connected in a fun and creative way.

As it celebrates its first decade, Instagram also released some cool new updates set to help inspire everyone’s inner creator while providing ways to connect with friends, family and the bigger community. 

  • Stories Map: A private map and calendar of the stories you’ve shared in the last three years, so you can look back and remember all your favorite moments. You’ll be able to share, download, and save these stories to your highlights. 
  • Well-Being Updates: As people spend more time online, it’s more important than ever for people to have safe, positive interactions on Instagram. These new features include:
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  • More Ways to Hide Potentially Offensive Comments: Building on Instagram’s existing option to automatically hide offensive comments, you now have more options to hide potentially bullying comments that look similar to others posted. You can tap “View Hidden Comments” to see the comments. Comments that violate Instagram’s Community Guidelines will continue to be removed.
  • Expanding Nudge Warnings: Instagram is expanding their nudge warnings to include an additional warning when people repeatedly attempt to post comments that might be offensive. These new warnings let people take a moment to step back and reflect on their words and lay out the potential consequences should they proceed. 

“We know that updating an app used by over a billion people is a big responsibility, but it’s important to adapt. I’m excited about how these changes will help our community create new waves of culture, and I can’t wait to see how you’ll inspire us next,” said Adam Mosseri, Head of Instagram.

Ingrained in the Pinoy’s Daily Routine 

Whether it’s posting an in situation selfie, sumptuous food shots, beautiful vistas, or documenting glimpses of their days through Stories, Filipinos use Instagram to unleash their inner creator. In particular, Pinoys have been using Stories and its creative GIPHY stickers to greet friends, share quick life updates, and everything in between. 

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Filipinos’ 10 Most Used GIPHY Stickers in Stories*

  • Happy Birthday Party Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/iFVFSyf3iueeq2gqp7 
  • Happy I Love You Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/h8g7WFfOYIiIhrgAic
  • Cumple Happy Birthday Sticker By Vania Bachur – https://giphy.com/stickers/iDUemy0BTT2N08FF80
  • Cartoon Look Sticker By Javi Brations – https://giphy.com/stickers/BMPSCLh0SQxvGQ81uP 
  • Happy Good Morning Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/Q59LXMoSrAqtOdtHmb 
  • Heart Love Sticker By Milkmochabear – https://giphy.com/stickers/kfRKF0iqA8jyDqq1nH 
  • Arrow Seta Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/MAjLQXzMobdJv4WRmN 
  • Look Arrow Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/kDT7jCQEdzcHQjnNKZ 
  • Stars Swipe Up Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/J66k9oJpZyTk5lqeRC 
  • Food Sticker – https://giphy.com/stickers/fxevJ9hlw0WCLimRhj 

*data taken from the last 90 days. 

Instagram also continues to fuel the imagination of Pinoys and encourage them to explore ways to express themselves, share their mood, and find their own aesthetic through filters. Filipinos have been loving these augmented reality (AR) filters a lot.

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Filipinos’ 10 Most Used AR Filters

  • we bare bears
  • now 2.0
  • subtitle
  • CHERRY
  • glow up
  • • G L O W •
  • 𝓾𝓷𝓲𝓬𝓸𝓻𝓷
  • Mono
  • 𝓂𝒾𝓃𝒾𝓂𝒶𝓁𝒾𝓈
  • 𝟡𝟘𝕤𝕥𝕖𝕥𝕙𝕚𝕔

Whether it be for some #MondayMotivation, #feedgoals, and #fitspo, or just to proudly raise their fangirl and fanboy flags, Filipinos continue to look to the ‘Gram to unwind and catch up on their favorite celebrities, love teams, and get their pop culture fix. Just check out the ten most searched hashtags below.

Filipinos’ 10 Most Searched Hashtags

  • jadine
  • kathniel
  • nadinelustre
  • jaysonza
  • puppylove
  • brightwin
  • inktober
  • enolaholmes
  • animefilters
  • janinedesiderio

Plus! Instagram came out with a nice little birthday surprise in the app for some throwback vibes. (Hint: Pull down your screen while in Instagram’s Settings until you see the emojis on top. 😉) Let us know if you can find it! 

Retiree in Mindanao turns her home into a flourishing indoor garden

A retiree in General Santos named Rosana Sacay, 64, a mother of three, has converted about 20sqm of her 187 sqm home into an indoor garden. The front veranda and back area of the home, as per Sacay,  “were converted into a sort of display area for all potted plants.”

Her love for plants sparked during her elementary days, when her school’s garden was recognized as “the greenest and healthiest.” At that time, she wanted to tend plants at home, too, but due to the limited space and lack of resources, she only gets to nurture plants that her friends gave her. “At that early age, I already dreamed of having a beautiful garden someday when I can already afford it.”

She worked as an administration supervisor of a private company and retired in December 2017. Her job included landscaping design and garden maintenance of their company’s offices and guesthouses, which rekindled her interest in plants. As per Sacay, this also enhanced her landscaping and gardening skills. 

When she was in her second to the last job in Leyte, her family was provided with a house where she had enough space and resources to develop a garden that eventually became a business. “I rented a space in the municipality where I displayed my plants for sale and at the same time, my colleagues were buying plants from my house.” At that time, her first plants were philodendron temptation, Xanadu (Philodendron Xanadu), wandering Jew (Tradescantia zebrina), fortune plant (Dracaena Fragrans), yellow or areca palm (Dypsis lutescens), Japanese and Chinese bamboo, calathea varieties, ti plants (Cordyline fruticosa), and anthurium or flamingo flower.

Years later, their family transferred from Leyte to General Santos, where they now reside, due to another job opportunity. When they occupied their own home in the same province, that’s when Sacay grabbed the chance to continue tending plants at home. “I preferred ornamental plants over flowering plants and succulents.” In her garden, there are a lot of varieties of philodendrons, monstera, aglaonema, calathea, pothos, sansevierias, spider plants, fortune plants, alocasia, caladiums, episcia plants, ZZ plants, and more. But among all these, philodendrons are her favorites because for her, these are easy and fast to grow.  “Furthermore, they have the most beautiful leaf shapes, designs, and colors.  Although there are rare varieties with high prices, there are also not-so-rare, but beautiful and affordable,” said Sacay.

Her home’s front and back areas are filled with her plant collection. Among all these plants, philodendrons are her favorites.

With the restricted space and the absence of soil in Sacay’s garden, she decided not to plant food crops in it. “I want to utilize the space for ornamental plants, which I love so much.  I can always buy food crops or vegetables when I want them, but the joy of having the plants that I love in my garden is worth something more for me,” Sacay explained.

Garden upkeep

For this urban gardener, hard work, patience, and most importantly, love for plants are the things that she needs to be able to manage her day-to-day garden tasks. As per her daily garden routine, “Activities are watering of the plants, cutting of dried leaves or stems, and sweeping or mopping of the floor.” Transplanting, top cutting, and planting of newly acquired plants are also performed when needed. For the fertilizer, she only applies osmocote every six months. “I chose this kind of fertilizer because it is easy and non-damaging to plants even if applied in a bigger quantity. I never use pesticides in any of my plants ever since I started gardening,” she added. Aphids are the only issue that she faces in her garden and she resolves this by discarding the infected plant and its soil. This way, “it will not contaminate other plants. And so far, this solution was effective,” she said.

Due to the space that her garden currently has, she opts to hang some of their containers into the wall.

From hobby to a business opportunity

At first, her purpose in collecting plants was purely or the beatification of her home. As it became a productive and enjoyable hobby after her retirement, she decided to develop it into a business. During the community quarantine, people’s interests in plants were at peak and selling plants was something that she saw as a lucrative business. Sacay said, “In my case, selling is the best way forward for me to continue planting and propagating plants in my garden. If I do not sell, my space will eventually be saturated and I will have no more opportunity to acquire new plants.”

After four years of collecting and propagating plants, she owns enough varieties and supplies to put it up on sale. She started selling her plants to friends and neighbors only. Recently, she also ventured into online selling, making her market a lot wider now. “A lot of people whom I do not know were coming to my house to buy plants from my garden.” Although she owns several varieties of plants, she still buys plants from online sellers to keep up with the demand. Her plants range from P50 to P3,500.

Sacay also likes to collect rare and expensive varieties that have good value in the market.

Her marketing strategy entails keeping track of trends in the plant business. For instance, she finds the most popular and expensive plants in the market and looks out for suppliers of these plants to buy their seeds or seedlings, which she will propagate and sell later on. She expounds, “I want to invest now in seeds or seedlings and reap the return on my investment in a later period rather than buying the matured ones now, which are very expensive.” When buying in bulk, Sacay is also very particular in choosing them, especially if she sees that the plants will provide her a good profit in the future.

With all her efforts and investments that she pours in today, she says, “I expect my garden in the near future to be able to provide varied and beautiful plants at affordable prices. It will become more popular and one of the most-sought gardens in GenSan.”

Some of her pink plants include different varieties of aglaonema.

Gardening tips acquired from experience

In gardening, there are five things that other gardeners must consider according to Sacay:

Sunlight. The sunlight you have in your garden area must be the basis for your choice of plants. In her case, all the plants in a covered area like her terrace are the plants that do not need direct exposure to sunlight, while those plants who are sun-tolerant and can withstand direct sunlight are placed outdoors and in an open space back garden.

Soil moisture. For the soil mixture, she uses garden soil with a mixture of either coco peat, rice hull, or sawdust, and vermicast or cow’s manure. The purpose of this is to prevent the soil from hardening, allowing the roots to grow faster.

Watering. Watering the plants depends on the needs. “Plants directly exposed to sunlight may be watered daily if the soil is dry. Plants in shaded areas may be watered once or twice depending on the soil condition,” Sacay noted.

After retirement, watering her plants has been part of her daily routine.

Replacing the soil. Replenishing soil is important as its nutrients are consumed and diminishes as time goes by. “Sometimes, the roots occupy almost all the space inside the pot. To keep the plant healthy, it is recommended either to replenish the soil or replace it with new soil,” said the gardener.

Many retirees turn to gardening after working in their fields for years. Gardening is an excellent escape from stress and is a good hobby to practice, especially when you have the luxury of time to do so.  

Photos courtesy of Rosana Sacay.

Read more about farming and gardening at agriculture.com.ph.

LOOK: Assunta de Rossi gives birth to baby girl

The long wait is over! Actress Assunta de Rossi is now officially a mom.

The actress recently welcomed her first child with husband Jules Ledesma.

This was confirmed by her sister, Alessandra, who shared the first photo of mother and daughter on social media.

Assunta de Rossi and her newborn Fiore (Instagram)

She noted it is “the most beautiful photo for life.”

“Little Fiore and tears of joy in my sister’s eyes,” she added. “Almost 20 years in the making.”

“Miracles happen every day, and this one is the best! Congratulations @assuntaledesma @julesledesma (heart emoji) and of course to the new granny na mas oa pa sa nanganak, @ermatsko. THANK YOU LORD,” she ended her post. 

Colleagues in show business including the like of Danica Pingris, Patrick Garcia, Princess Punzalan, and Isabel Oli-Prats congratulated the new parents.

Only a few weeks ago, Assunta shared on social media how her pregnancy journey has been “tough” for her.

https://mb.com.ph/2020/09/24/assunta-de-rossi-shares-update-on-miracle-pregnancy/

Assunta detailed that her baby girl’s nickname “Fiore” is Italian for flower.

It was last July when the 37-year-old shared she’s going to be a mommy.

She described the blessing as a “miracle,” noting that having myoma and endometriosis made it “extremely difficult” for her to conceive.

Assunta’s pregnancy came after 16 years of marriage with Jules Ledesma.

The two tied the knot in civil rites in his hometown of San Carlos City in December 2002.

READ MORE: https://mb.com.ph/2020/08/04/assunta-de-rossi-reveals-gender-of-first-baby/

Go urges authorities: Stop rice smuggling

Sen. Christopher “Bong” Go has called on authorities to stop rice smuggling and exploitative practices of some rice traders who take advantage of the vulnerabilities of many Filipino rice farmers.

Senator Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go
(OFFICE OF SEN. BONG GO / MANILA BULLETIN)

He called for the adoption better mechanisms to protect small and poor farmers.

Go, chairman of the Senate health and demography committee, said abuses and deception by some big traders and rice importers are added problems to Filipino farmers.

He was referring to a cooperative in Tarlac allegedly involved in rice smuggling.

Go earlier asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to look into these reports and hold those involved accountable.

“Mas paigtingin pa natin ang pangangasiwa ng mga kooperatiba upang hindi na magkaroon ng ganitong klase ng katiwalian. Huwag po nating hayaang tuluyang maghirap ang ating magsasaka. Tuluy-tuloy po ang kampanya natin laban sa korapsyon at kasama dyan ang smuggling,’’ he added. 

(We will improve the management of the cooperatives in order to stop this kind of corruption. Let us not allow our farmers to suffer further. We will continue with our campaign against corruption which includes smuggling)

Go recounted a Senate hearing in 2013 when President Duterte, then Davao City mayor, was invited by the Senate as a resource person to talk about the issue of rice smuggling.

“Naalala n’yo po noong 2013, ipinatawag ng Senado si Mayor Duterte as one of the resource persons sa pagdinig sa Senado hinggil sa rice smuggling,’’ Go said.

(Do you still remember that in 2013, Mayor Duterte was invited by the Senate as one of the resource person on rice smuggling)

“Sinamahan ko po siya doon, ako ‘yung nasa likod niya at doon natin nakita, sabi ni Pangulo ay talagang tutuluyan n’ya itong mga rice smugglers,’’ he pointed out.

 (I was with him, and I heard the President when he said that he will run after rice smugglers)

Go also asked government to prioritize the welfare of small farmers, adding that his office is always open to listen to them.

“Unahin po natin ang kapakanan nila, bigyan po natin sila ng mga dapat na kailangan nila para makabangon po muli ang ating magsasaka. Para naman sa mga magsasaka natin, bukas po ang opisina ko kung may mga hinaing kayo o mga gusto isumbong,’’ he said. 

(Let us prioritize the welfare of the farmers, let us provide them with what they need to recover. To our farmers, my office is open if you have something to report)

To further safeguard and promote the agriculture sector, Go urged for the creation of effective mechanisms to protect the welfare of small farmers and other agricultural workers, especially in light of the ongoing coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic.

“Sa panahon po ng krisis at pandemya, ang ating mga masisipag na magsasaka ang nagsisilbing kasangga ng bawat pamilyang Pilipino bilang mga food providers ng ating bayan. Nararapat lamang na maglaan tayo ng epektibong mekanismo na mangangalaga sa kapakanan nila,’’ he said.

 (In times of crisis and pandemic, As food providers of the country, our energetic farmers serve as partners of every Filipino family. It is proper for us to provide effective mechanism that will safeguard their welfare)

“Kung magpapasa man tayo ng mga batas o magbibigay ng mga assistance ay unahin po natin ang ating mga maliliit na magsasaka. Napakalaking kontribusyon po nila sa ating mga kabuhayan at ekonomiya,’’ he added.

 (If we pass legislations or in the provision of assistance, we should  prioritize our small farmers. They have contributed a lot to our livelihood and economy)

Creation of Cebu Geriatric Medical Center pushed

Cebu City 2nd District Rep. Rodrigo Abellanosa has sought the establishment of a 50-bed capacity Geriatric Medical Center in Cebu City that will be dedicated to the care of some 500,000 elderly in Central Visayas.

MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO

He filed House Bill No. 7761, citing the “pressing need” to establish an integrated facility to provide the senior citizen population in Region VII with “expert medical attention.”

“As they grow even older, we must also realize that their vulnerability to illness increases exponentially and requires more frequent and specialized care,” Abellanosa said in his bill’s explanatory note.

He said it is the duty of the State to ensure the accessibility of medical services and the availability of specialized healthcare to elderly Filipinos.

“This bill calls for the establishment of the Cebu Geriatric Medical Center, a specialty hospital that will cater to providing geriatric medicine, offer(ing) a holistic approach to elderly care and wellness and foster(ing) a comfortable and productive existence to our aging population,” Abellanosa said.

HB 7761 provides that the Cebu Geriatric Medical Center shall be under the supervision of the Department of Health (DOH). It shall have a bed capacity of at least 50 beds.

It provides P500 million funding for the establishment, initial operation, and maintenance of the proposed Medical Center. Thereafter, such amounts as may be necessary for its continued operation and maintenance shall be included in the annual General Appropriations Act.

The measure provides that the DOH, in coordination with the Civil Service Commission (CSC) and the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) shall formulate and promulgate the implementing rules and regulations of the proposed Act.

Recto urges gov’t to appoint vaccine czar

Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto today urged Malacañang to appoint a vaccine czar who could solve the “importation to injection” challenges of getting the coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) vaccine to 110 million Filipinos in a world where rich countries bankrolling their development would get them first.

Senate Ralph Recto
(Senate of the Philippines / MANILA BULLETIN)

Recto said naming the vaccine czar this early would also jumpstart the setting up of a “supply-to-syringe cold chain” as the vaccines have to be moved and stored in freezing temperatures in a tropical country that lacks infrastructure for it.

Although 170 candidate vaccines are in various stages of development, the World Health Organization (WHO) said only about two billion doses could be rolled out by the end of 2021.

“Ilan ang matitira para sa mga Pilipino? Countries who have sunk billions into their development have firm orders so they are first in line. Pang-ilan tayo sa mahabang linya?” Recto asked. 

(How many would be made available for Filipinos? Where is the Philippines in the long line up?)

Another hurdle, Recto pointed out, is that countries that have developed the vaccines might bow to “country first” pressure from their own people and practice “vaccine nationalism.”

Against this obstacle, we need a Filipino with “global stature, excellent connections, and diplomatic skills” to successfully place the orders and outsmart the competition, he said.

 “Bawal ang OJT dito.” (On the job training is banned here)

The other problems, he said, are “insular in nature,” after the first batches of vaccines have arrived.

 “First is the selection. Kasi ang unang wave may element talaga ng rationing. Sino pipiliin? What will be the selection guideline? It is already settled that medical personnel will be first on the line. Sino susunod?” Recto said. 

(Who will be given priority in the rationing? After the medical personnel, who will be next?)  

  “If the vaccines will be licensed to be produced here, do we have the infrastructure for that? And how fast can we scale up production?” Recto added.

But regardless of the source, the next big challenge is how to bring the vaccines to 110 million people in an archipelago lacking cold transport and storage facilities, Recto said.

“Like any frozen delight, the vaccine needs to be refrigerated. Filling the cold chain gap ranks high in the vaccine czar’s many duties,” he said.

Recto cited the recent warning by logistics giant DHL that “temperature requirements are likely to be the main challenge” to a COVID-19 vaccine rollout.

Pharmaceutical giant Moderna said its vaccines must be stored at minus 20 degrees Celsius.

Pfizer, on the other hand, has notified the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that its vaccine must be stored at minus 70 degrees Celsius.

‘Legally Blonde 3’ release moved to 2022

“Legally Blonde” fans are going to have to wait a wee bit longer for its third installment.

(IMDB)

MGM Studios recently announced on Twitter that the third “Legally Blonde” movie is scheduled to hit the theaters on May 20, 2022. 

The chick flick was originally scheduled to be released this February, but like several others, the film’s production was derailed by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reese Witherspoon, who played “Elle Woods” in 2001’s “Legally Blonde” and its 2003 sequel, is once again returning for the film.

The screenplay for the threequel was written by Mindy Kaling and Dan Goor, who was also behind “Parks and Recreation” and “Brooklyn Nine Nine.”

No director has been announced yet.

“Legally Blonde 3” will be produced by Witherspoon’s company, Hello Sunshine.