Archive for May 2009
Two well-known singers from the Philippines, Yeng Constantino and Billy Crawford, held a concert for the Filipino community at the Khalifa International Tennis & Squash Complex in Qatar. The singers performed with the Morning Glory Band, The Links Band and Beats & Bytes Dancers.The concert, which was titled “Yeng Constantino & Billy Crawford Live in Qatar,” was sponsored by The Peninsula, Qatar’s leading English daily, with the participation of Philippine Embassy officials
From a BusinessMirror.com news source: (Click Here)
PAG-IBIG Fund members working in 25 countries where iRemit Inc. operates will soon be able to pay their monthly membership contribution and housing loan amortization at any iRemit branches. The new and improved system will be implemented on June 1. About a tenth of the Philippine population of around 90 million work abroad, but only 373,396 of them are Pag-IBIG members.
Mabini Express is a remittance agency that caters to Filipinos in Canada, US and all over the world who wants to send money back home to their loved ones. Mabini Express, aptly named after one of our nation’s heroes, caters to the unsung heros of today, the overseas workers. Dedicated to quality service and personal touch, we have agents all over Canada to help you with your needs.
To celebrate the grand opening of its Sheppard Centre Mall branch at North York in Ontario, it is holding a luncheon and customer event from 11:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Saturday, May 30, 2009. The new branch’s address is 4841 Yonge St. Unit 133 Sheppard Centre Mall North York ON M2N 5X2. Everyone is invited to attend.
My good friend and schoolmate Ramon “Mon” Eugenio lost his mother and his two very young sons in this tragedy. I’d like to re-post the article written by Cathy S. Babao-Guballa for the Philippine Daily Inquirer, first posted on 05/26/2009 at Inquirer.net. Click here to go to the source article.
MANILA, Philippines – Franco Eugenio, 3, and Anton Eugenio Cruz, 2, slept soundly, cradled in the arms of their yaya (nanny) Tessie and yaya Bambi respectively, as the Commando 6 ploughed its way through choppy waters.
It seemed like a perfect day for everyone on board the vessel. Many of the passengers were families, like the Eugenios who were looking forward to spending time together as they ventured on their first outing as a clan.
Ramon, Franco’s father, sat beside his parents, Franklin and Daisy, while Ramon’s wife Monique sat beside him, and beside her were the children and their yayas. Near the front of the boat sat Ramon’s younger brother, Carl, his wife, and their two children.
From the beginning of the trip, Monique said she had felt antsy about the trip. “I was counting the passengers as they got on board, checked for the safety of the boat. I kept looking around and asked the barker if the waters were going to be calm that day.”
Monique counted 40 passengers that sat across her, in a boat that the Coast Guard would ascertain later in an Inquirer news report was only allowed to carry 42 passengers and five crew members.
“There was just something unsettling about the trip…” Monique adds, “and the ferry’s engine would shut off every time big waves would hit it.”
And then, after about 45 minutes, approximately 20 minutes away from their destination, the passengers heard a loud crack, and the boat keeled over and flipped.
“It was your worst nightmare,” Monique relates. “The bags and the children… everyone just started to slip and then the boat just filled up with water”. Franco’s yaya had tried to hold on to him for dear life as they both sank but the waters were rushing like mad. Still she managed to grab onto a portion of his shirt, until the sheer weight of the water and her need for oxygen forced her to let go of his shirt.
Monique, on the other hand, was able to pull out Anton from the sinking boat, but it seemed like it was too late for the one-and-half-year-old toddler. Meanwhile, someone else had managed to fish Franco’s older brother, Paolo, 9, out of the waters and placed him on top of the boat.
The unidentified man, also a passenger of the boat, kept Paolo company until his mother and father could get to him. On the other side of the boat, Ramon had been trying to save his mother, Daisy, but to no avail.
The rescue boats came after 40 agonizing minutes. Franco’s yaya told this writer that if the rescue boats had come a few minutes later, they would all have been goners.
“The boat had already begun to sink by the time they arrived,” Monique says. Worse, as Ramon narrated in an Inquirer story recently, two boats had passed them by, he had taken off his shirt and waved frantically at them, but the boats did not bother to stop.
What have we come to as a people? Have we become so callous that we don’t help fellow human beings in need? How could those two boats have gone on their journey, having seen the sinking boat and knowing that so many lives were at stake?
And the people on those two boats even had the temerity to take photos and videos of the sinking ferry. I wonder what those people on the boat must be feeling now, knowing they have the blood of three innocent children and nine adults on their hands?
Many questions beg to be answered. Why have we not learned from the countless tragedies in the past of overloaded vessels, of the total disregard for life and safety? Who regulates the maintenance of the ferries that leave the Batangas port? What safety measures have been implemented after these sea mishaps? How many more lives do we need to lose before we learn our lessons?
Last night, at the wake, a pall of gloom and sadness filled the church as a grandmother and her two grandsons lay in state, one on each side of her. Daisy, a wonderful and caring wife, mother and grandmother, lay in eternal slumber. Franco and Anton, with their favorite toys—bright-colored cars—in their tiny, chubby fingers, looked like they were only sleeping, with smiles on their faces.
One must find consolation and strength in knowing that the boys were not able to feel any pain as they fell into the water, that the Father had safely picked them up and brought them to the shores of heaven, where they now live for all eternity.
Today, as the Eugenios bury, not one, but three family members, we who are left behind mourn their loss, and can only pray that in the wake of this tragedy, a greater meaning to their loss will be found, and that measures to prevent future tragedies from happening will finally be implemented.
WARREN: Festival to celebrate Philippine independence
The annual Philippine Independence Day Festival is scheduled for June 6 at Halmich Park, 3001 Thirteen Mile.
The theme for the event, — set to run from 10:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. — is Cultural Connections Across the Filipino Community.
There is to be a parade, followed by a picnic, dancing, pig roast, cultural shows, games, sports and more.
For more information, call Willie Dechavez at 586-268-4284, anytime.
Source: Detroit Free Press “Freep.com.”
The province of Camarines Sur achieved another first with the choice of Nato High School of Sagñay as the site of the first ever global millennium school of the country. The millennium school is a product of the Global Millennium School Design Competition initiated by the Be Better Build Better Program advocates whose main objective is to devise a school structural design that utilizes indigenous materials like bamboo that could withstand typhoons and rough monsoon weather.
The ground-breaking event last May 15 was attended by various stakeholders including the officials and members from United Architects of the Philippines (UAP), the Private Sector Disaster Management Network (PSDMN), Petron Foundation, and ABS CBN Bayan Foundation, Department of Education (DepEd), the provincial government and local government of Sagnay.
The AsianJournal.com posted a great article describing Sharon Cuneta‘s recent May 23 concert held in Paris Las Vegas. Daughter KC and husband Kiko Pangilinan also joined the Megastar on stage. The “MegaThirty” concert tour is also slated for New Jersey, Texas and Los Angeles.
In commemoration of the 111th Anniversary of Philippine Independence, the Philippine Consulate General in Chicago cordially invites the members of the Filipino- American community to participate in the flag-raising ceremony to be held at the Daley Plaza in downtown Chicago (W. Washington and N. Clark Streets) on Friday, 12 June 2009 at 9:00 a.m.
The Bureau of Immigration (under the Department of Justice) will soon be implementing machine-readable arrival-and-departure (called A/D) cards at all NAIA terminals. This means hand-written information will now be machine-readable and uploaded directly into the bureau’s network of computers. This new program intends to cut processing time in all the international airports in the Philippine archipelago.
724Care Inc. is a premier provider of business process outsourcing (BPO) services. The US company has reportedly opened a new call center in Cebu Philippines to accommodate increasing demand from a range of international clients. Nikolai Boutvine, CEO of 724Care, says his clients are very pleased with the Cebu talent as it relies on the recruitment and training of qualified call center personnel. Founded in 2006, 724Care is currently focusing on the sales inbound voice support and non-voice based segment of contact center services.
Brillante Mendoza has won the “Best Director” award in the recent 2009 Cannes International Film Festival, putting the Filipino in the honor roster of luminaries like Billy Wilder, David Lean and Roberto Rossellini, to name a few. “Kinatay” is the film that has brought fame to Mendoza, putting the Philippines in the map of the cinematic industry in the Southeast Asian region.
The Philippines’ first “Green” IT building will open its 9-story, 100,000 square-foot building next month in Cebu. It will be located at the North Reclamation area located in Mandaue City. Robinland, Inc., the owner of the new building, says BPO companies and other locators can save on utility costs as the building boasts to be efficient in the consumption of energy and water, besides the materials used to build the ediffice. Solar energy, efficient use of new aircondition equipment, cooling processes that block external heat and other technologies will be implemented in the said building.
Verio, one of the world’s dominant players in IP networks and hosting solutions, recently signed an agreement with ePLDT (a division of PLDT) for the latter to become a distributor of the former’s hosting solutions. The hosting products will be offered as stand-alone solutions and bundled with the ePLDT’s DSL Internet services. Verio says there are currently more than 500,000 small businesses in the Philippines, and “that number is expected to grow significantly over the next several years.” Verio is a business unit of NTT Communications, the world’s largest telecommunications company. NTT Communications was recently named “Best in Class” in a Telemark data services user survey.
A Bloomberg.com article says that ABS-CBN Broadcasting Corporation and Jollibee Foods Corporation are among those who will benefit from the upcoming 2010 Philippine elections because the elections will boost revenues derived from advertisements and food and drinks that draw voters. Even GMA Network Inc. is optimistic as it raised PhP 500 million in the 2007 legislative and local elections.
The Philippine Academy of Rehabilitation Medicine (PARM), established in 1974, is composed of medical doctors called physiatrists, specialized and trained in the field of Physical and Rehabilitation Medicine. This year, PARM launches in Manila, the “M.O.V.E. – Making Ourselves Vigilant to Exercise” Advocacy, which combines a run for exercise awareness in the community, with a fundraising activity for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), known as the PARM F.U.N.D. (Fund for the Upliftment of the Needy Disabled). Through this, PARM is able to provide for the rehabilitation and wellness needs of our indigent Filipinos.
The Run, called “M.O.V.E. Manila Run 09”, is scheduled this July 19, 2009, Sunday, at 5:00 in the morning, at the U.P. Diliman grounds. This caps the nationwide celebration of the 31st National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week. This is the first time we are taking the Run to Manila, having had the first 3 benefit runs in the Visayas (Cebu & Bacolod). This year, we expect a good number of wheelchair athletes to participate in the event.
We invite everyone to support this worthwhile cause either by participating and/or sponsoring a wheelchair athlete(s) to participate in the Run.
A GMANews.tv post/article says that the Philippine government’s anti-corruption efforts received a boost from the United States in the form of equipment and reference materials. Through the article, Ombudsman Merceditas Gutierrez thanked the government’s foreign partners for their “invaluable assistance” in fighting the scourge, saying “the research and reference materials you have given us, and the equipment and state of the art technology you have introduced into our systems will equip us to better achieve our goal of a corruption-free society.”
Click here to go to the GMANews.tv post/article.
An 8,000 kilometer submarine undersea cable project that will be owned by telecommunication companies China Telecom, China Unicom, Chunghwa Telecom, KT, NTT Communications, PLDT, Telekom Malaysia and Vietnam’s VNPT will begin sevice in 2011 with an initial capacity of 4 terabits per second. Called the “Asia-Pacific Gateway,” it will link South Korea, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.
The Banko Sentral ng Pilipinas (or Central Bank of the Philippins) told various news media that the country does not have to resort to borrowing more money because of its “healthy position” regarding its balance of payments (BOP). This is strengthened by the robust influx of currency remittances to the country. Last year, the country hit a little less than $90 million in BOP surplus; the first four months of 2009 has also posted a moderate surplus.
“Deep Foundation” is a hip-hop group of five Filipinos from New York and New Jersey released their first album last year and have spent the first semester of 2009 touring the West Coast. A series of videos have also been released featuring music from their album. Founded in 2001, the album touches on the foundation of hip-hop that the group believes in plus a mix of their Filipino roots. The group includes the following members:
- Ryan Abugan, 23, known also as Hydroponikz;
- Mark Malacapay, 26, known as Ill Poetik;
- CJ Guiang, 27;
- Rosendo Pili, 24, known as Mugshot;
- Michael Capito, a 24, known as Suitkace.
Deep Foundation aims for a universal appeal. Much of their music hits on common themes of love, family and growing up in an urban setting. So far, it has struck a chord with fans. A growing number of Filipinos and non-Filipinos alike are attending live shows. “Children of the Sun (Remix),” the longest track on the album at close to eight minutes, samples the singing of Heber Bartolome from his 1978 song “Tayo’y Mga Pinoy.”
After the controversy sparked thousands of e-mails, Facebook messages, Twitter tweets and the like, the tax policy on imported book will soon be lifted by Malacañang. The Manila Times article says that Finance Secretary Gary Teves will soon be revoking Finance Department Order 17-09 which imposes duty on book importation.
Refer to the following news items:
After ending his 2-year stint with “Kakasa Ka Ba Sa Grade 5″, Philippine entertainment celebrity Janno Gibbs returns to the gameshow industry with a show that spouts “guesses” rather than anything else. Gibbs’ new gameshow, called “The Power of 10” runs under GMA Network but is a copy of a Sony Entertainment show of the same name many years ago. Many countries have run the show prior to the Philippine debut.
While searching travel tips and ideas for kids (or making it safe for kids to travel), I stumbled upon this site from a Universtiy of Kentucky News article. What’s amazing is that they have a Philippine affiliate site. Safe Kids Worldwide is the first and only international nonprofit organization dedicated solely to preventing unintentional childhood injury. Safe Kids Worldwide depends on the support of grass roots networks in its 17 member countries to implement safety programs and hands-on training throughout the world (where the Philippines is a member country).
Safe Kids Philippines (SKP) initially began in 1993 from the academic research on child unintentional injury by Dr. Ramon Arcadio. SKP was formally organized in 2004 but has existed in the Philippines since 2003 as a project of the Community Oriented Medical Education (COME) Unit of the University of the Philippines in Manila . This first venture into injury prevention was conducted by the Barangay Health Workers of Pasay City.
The Philippine Travel Mart (PTM) is the flagship program of the Philippine Tour Operators Association (PHILTOA), which is the single largest association of registered tour operators in the Philippines that exclusively promotes in-bound and domestic tourism. It will be holding its 20th Philippine Travel Mart event on September 4-6, 2009 at the SM Megamall Megatrade Hall. For inquiries, contact the PTM secretariat at+63 (2) 812-4513.