Sunday, March 25, 2007

In Hawaii: Broken Promises

(Sunday, March 25) - Manuel Pablo crouched in foxholes to defend the Philippines against invading Japanese soldiers in World War II. He says he watched a Japanese guard stab one of his comrades to death with a bayonet during the Bataan Death March when the starving prisoner of war asked for another bowl of rice. Even though Pablo risked his life for the United States, which controlled the Philippines as a commonwealth at the time, his children can't win approval to live with him in America during his retirement. ( ...full story here

In Toledo, Cebu: Oil Spill Scares Thousands

(Sunday, March 25) - An oil spill at a shipyard in Balamban town in Cebu has triggered a fishkill that could threaten the livelihood of hundreds of fishermen in Toledo City. An ABS-CBN News report Sunday said the oil spill from the Tsuneishi Shipyard has already killed fish in Toledo's waters. Those that survived, meanwhile, are contaminated with chemicals. (ABS-CBN)

In Bicol: P10 Billion for Rehabilitation

(Sunday, March 25) - Malacanang has announced that it is now facilitating the disbursement of the P10 billion for the relief and rehabilitation of Bicol and other areas devastated by typhoons last year with the signing into law of the national budget. The amount was included in the budget in response to the urgent need by Bicol’s six provinces to repair and restore more than P100 billion worth of public works, housing, farm and employment losses brought about by typhoons "Milenyo," "Paeng," "Reming" and "Seniang." (ABS-CBN)

In Batangas: Vilma and Christopher Revival?

(Sunday, March 25) - Batangas Vice-Gov. Ricky Recto said Sunday that he foresees a revival of the Vilma Santos-Christopher de Leon tandem not in the movies but in Batangas politics, ABS-CBN News reported. He said that this early, the Santos-de Leon team has shown signs of being a sure winner in the gubernatorial and vice-gubernatorial derbies despite the film stars' alliance with opposing parties. (ABS-CBN)

In Jordan: 200 OFWs Stranded

(Sunday, March 25) - A women's group has called for the immediate repatriation of 200 female overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) stranded in a Philippine-run shelter in Jordan, TV Patrol Sabado has reported. Gabriela party-list group said the Filipino workers were domestic helpers who escaped from their employers due to maltreatment. The group said the female OFWs sought refuge in a shelter run by the Overseas Workers' Welfare Administration (OWWA) in Jordan. (ABS-CBN)

In Leyte: NPA Mass Grave Sites Found

(Sunday, March 25) - Government forces have uncovered nine alleged grave sites where dozens of victims of New People’s Army’s purges in the late 1980s were supposedly buried, a military spokesman said Sunday. The military said one alleged mass grave is located at the outskirts of Utanan village in Hilongos town in Leyte. (GMA 7)

In Pampanga: P30-M Libel Junked

(Sunday, March 25) - The Department of Justice junked the P30 million libel case filed by Pampanga Rep. Francisco "Blue Boy" Nepomuceno against Dante Fabian, senior reporter of Sun Star-Pampanga, dzBB has reported. The libel charges stemmed from the three stories written by Fabian on the allegedly missing P19 million worth of water pipes and hand pumps supposedly purchased by Nepomuceno through the Congressional Priority Development Assistance Fund - or "the pork barrel fund." (GMA 7)

In Central Luzon: Water Crisis

(Sunday, March 25) - Environmental experts here are calling for public support in averting an impending water crisis that could hit Central Luzon anytime. Citing the indiscriminate use of water resources of the region over the last several decades, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here stressed the urgency of the need for conservation efforts. (The Philippine News Agency)

In Cebu: Ice Cream Cone Factory Burned

(Sunday, March 25) - A fire gutted an ice cream cone factory in the central Philippines Sunday, killing seven people, including one who desperately yelled for help from behind a steel window before thick smoke overwhelmed her, an official said. (International Herald Tribune) ...complete details here

In Rapu-rapu Island, Albay: Toxic?

(Sunday, March 25) - 'A few kilometres from the current Lafayette mine is an old mine tunnel, which was abandoned in the mid-1900s. Until now the water surrounding this mine site is still toxic,' he told Deutsche Presse- Agentur dpa... complete story here

In Los Angeles: The Most Beloved Fighter in the World Today

(Sunday, March 25) - Against a backdrop of chaos found in boxing and on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, Manny Pacquiao met the press in Los Angeles last week. He is a 130-pounder, a super-featherweight who Bob Arum says is "the most beloved fighter in the world today..." (Los Angeles Times) ...complete story here

In Albany: International Children's Choir

(Sunday, March 25, p.m.) - The Children of the World International Children’s Choir will perform at 7 p.m. April 4 in the Santiam Christian School gymnasium. The choir is composed of 15 orphaned or disadvantaged children from India, Uganda, Brazil and the Philippines. They are on a 10-month tour of the United States and have performed at places including Disney World, Lego Land and the Crystal Cathedral... more details here

In Southern Illinois: New American Citizens

(Sunday, March 25, p.m.) - The United States of America welcomed 49 new citizens Friday morning. A naturalization ceremony hosted at Southern Illinois University Carbondale and presided over by U. S. District Judge Phil Gilbert saw new Americans from the Philippines, Greece, Columbia, India, Israel, Jordan, China, Mexico, England, Denmark, Ukraine, Korea, Russia, Taiwan, Vietnam, Romania, Niger, Lebanon, Peru, Thailand and Japan. (

600-Megawatt Masinloc Power Plant for Sale

(Sunday, March 25, p.m., Reuters) - At least five groups have submitted letters of interest in the Philippine's government's second attempt to sell the 600-megawatt Masinloc coal-fired power plant, a senior government official said on Sunday. Two were U.S. companies, one was a regional investor group while the rest were local investors, Froilan Tampinco, vice president for asset management and electricity trading group of the state-run Power Sector Assets and Liabilities Management Corp. (PSALM) told reporters... complete report here

In Kuwait: Illegal International Call Center

(Sunday, March 25, p.m.) - An Egyptian, an Indian, and a Filipina were caught running an illegal international call center in Salmiya, Kuwait. The Follow up and Control Committee, jointly formed by the Interior Ministry and Ministry of Communications, raided the trio’s room and seized all the equipment being used for the trade. Allegedly, they worked as a team: the Egyptian and the Indian’s roles were to find customers while the Filipina conducted the business. (

In All Islands: GILAS Project by Ayala Foundation

(Sunday, March 25, p.m.) - Education woes in our country become almost rhetoric every year, come June, when classes start. Fortunately, there are always more ways than one to help change our educational landscape, and any effort to help mitigate the situation is very much welcome. One such effort is the GILAS project. For its part, the GILAS project aims to close the technological divide that exists between developed and developing countries.

GILAS, which stands for Gearing Up Internet Literacy and Access for Students, is a multi-sector initiative led by Ayala Foundation that aims to wire up all the country's public high schools to the Internet by 2010... read more here

In Bohol: Human Organ Syndicate

(Sunday, March 25, 3 p.m.) - Police investigators are looking into the angle of a syndicate selling human organs for transplant as behind the series of kids' disappearance here.

The suspicion surface as another child was about to be abducted but was foiled when a witness shouted for help. The 11-year old boy from Poblacion, Albur, Bohol was grabbed by a suspect on board a black van last Monday, but was able to escape when a fish vendor came to his help... full details here

In UK: The War The World Forgot

(Sunday, March 25, 8 a.m.) - They are barely old enough to remember the cold war. Deep in the jungles and mountains of the Philippines, thousands of young communists fight a battle begun by their grandfathers. By Andrew Marshall ... read his column here

In U.S.A.: Tell Wal-Mart

(Sunday, March 25, 9 a.m.) - Tell Wal-Mart, Chong Won management, and the Philippines Economic Zone Authority (PEZA) that this continued violence against workers and flagrant trampling of workers rights will NOT be tolerated!... full details here

In All Islands: Patronize Pirated DVDs

"Please patronize pirated DVDs so that the Filipino movie industry will die and we will no longer have actors, actresses nor their spouses running for public office. Please pass." ... I found this line from a Filipino blogsite... details here

Flashback: The African American Soldiers in the Philippines

(Sunday, March 25, 8 a.m.) - On June 12, 1898, the Philippines declared independence from Spain, taking advantage of the Spanish American War. However, instead of being allies, the U.S. “purchased” the Philippines from Spain and decided to make it an American colony. Not long after U.S. occupation, a Filipino native was shot when entering U.S. borders, probably because he did not speak English, and the war began.

Among the U.S. troops sent to pacify the Philippines were 6,000 African American soldiers. The granddaughter of one of these soldiers, Filipina American activist Vangie Canonizado Buell, has been documenting her family history... full text of the document here

In China: 33,000 Tons of Feeds

(Sunday, March 25, 6 a.m.) - Philippine feed millers bought 33,000 tonnes of Chinese feed wheat from Bunge Ltd., the world's largest oilseeds processor, a trader who participated in the tender said. The Import Group, which comprises the nation's smaller millers, bought the grain for $222.50 a tonne, including freight costs, for delivery in June, a trader told Bloomberg. The trader declined to be named because the tender was confidential. (

In NY: From America to the Philippines

(Sunday, March 25, 5 a.m.) - Right here, I would like to let the good people of the Philippines know how well I respect you people and your country. I myself have had many experiences with not only Filipinos but other Asian people right here, as you know, N.Y.C. is a cultural melting pot, and I try to meet as many from all over the world as possible. Over here, we are all basically immigrants, no matter how long our families have been here, except for - of course our native American Indians, who by the way are wonderful people. In my interaction with some Filipinos here in America, I have found most to be pleasant, well educated people, sincere, hardworking and eager to share their culture to others... details here

In Japan: Caretakers Accepted

(Sunday, March 25, 1 a.m.) - The welfare ministry has decided to introduce a new eased license for nursing caretakers as part of measures to facilitate Japan's acceptance of Filipino caretakers under a bilateral free trade agreement signed last year, ministry officials said Saturday.

The ministry plans to certify those who have not passed a national exam as a ''practical'' nursing caretaker if they have completed related courses at colleges, universities or vocational schools, the officials said. The Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry has found it necessary to set up the new license to pave the way for those who fail in the state exam to work at nursing-care facilities so as to facilitate the acceptance of Filipino caretakers, the officials said. (Kyodo News On The Web) ...details here

In All Islands: ETelecare Really Cares

(Saturday, March 24) - Although more than 60 years have passed since the Philippines became independent, the country's decades under American rule have created a uniquely intimate relationship. More than 85,000 Filipino immigrants arrive in the U.S. every year. And at the other end, the Philippines' main language, Tagalog, has picked up some 1,500 English loan words, including such handy business terms as "kompyuter," "manadyer," and "kostumer."

ETelecare Global Solutions is deploying this into a profitable business in call centers for American companies. While call centers -- technically in the field of business process outsourcing (BPO) -- are currently dominated by India, eTelecare's management feels that Filipinos are better at speaking in Yankee.

"We chose (the Philippines) as our offshore location to benefit from the population's excellent American-accented English skills and cultural affinity for, and understanding of, the United States," says the prospectus. ...details here