Saturday, March 31, 2007

Actor Rudy Fernandez Has Cancer

ACTRESS Lorna Tolentino reveals that her family is effectively coping and reaching each other for support amid the serious ailment that has stricken her husband, action star Rudy Fernandez.

Rudy is currently battling ampullary cancer and is currently undergoing a series of chemotherapy sessions here and abroad.

“Sa likod ng aming pag-iisip, siyempre ganoon pero iniiwasan naming yon. Ginagawa naming normal ang lahat ng mga bagay. Parang hindi naming iniisip na may sakit si Rudy kundi siguro iniiwasan naming yon para lalong maging mabuti yung pagharap naming sa future,” Lorna tells GMA-7’s Startalk, a showbiz talk show she co-hosts.

“Bawa’t araw, bawa’t oras, bawa’t minuto lalo naming pinapakita sa isa’t isa yung pagmamahal namin,” she added.

Lorna said Rudy is currently under the knife to have a portacatheter inserted. “Para siyang may pacemaker para hindi masyadong masakit sa mga veins niya yung chemo na ginagawa sa kanya,” Lorna said.

The multi-award winning actress also said Rudy is taking the ailment positively and in high spirits.

“Rudy is so positive about everything. So kahit na medyo nanghihina siya pagka-after ng chemo niya for a while lang yon. Nilalabanan niya yon. Kasi masyadong depressing siguro kung talagang i-nenega (negative) mo pa yung emotions.”

Amid all the trials, she said she noticed a stark change in their kids and even Rudy’s son with actress-politician Alma Moreno, Mark Anthony Fernandez.

“Ngayon talagang mas siguro iniinform nila kami sa bawat nangyayari sa kanila. Si Mark parating tumatawag sa papa niya at kinakausap. Siguro yung pagpapahalaga sa oras sa bawat isa’t isa yun ang mas binibigyan namin ng attention ngayon,” Lorna said. (The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Two Philippine Ladies Shine in Bangkok

Regina de Guzman of the Philippines registered a sensational victory at the 17th Thailand Ladies Amateur Open yesterday after shooting a final round of one under71 at the President Country Club layout.

Overnight leader Dottie Ardina, also from the Philippines, who was strongly favoured to do well, fell away with a four over-par 76 and slipped to the eighth spot. (The Bangkok Post)

BPI Opens Web Portal for OFWs

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has opened a web portal dedicated to the Overseas Filipino Workers’ (OFWs) to help them gain access to the banking services of major commercial banks catering to their needs.

The portal is available at the BSP’s main webpage ( and can be directly accessed at (GMA 7)

Too Crowded?

Dubai: Residents in Dubai are complaining about a shortage of public transport buses especially during weekends.

Long queues of passengers at bus stops speak volumes as users sometimes wait for more than an hour to get on a bus, especially on Fridays.

"The situation has become worse even during weekdays but it is a nightmare to get a bus on Fridays," said Charandas Mohan, who regularly uses public buses.

"There are fewer buses and more passengers on Fridays. Areas such as Deira and Bur Dubai become crowded on Fridays because thousands of labourers from labour camps come to these areas to spend the weekend," he said.

Sometimes there are queues of up to 100 to 150 passengers in Deira.

A Gulf News reporter visited different bus stops on Friday and tried to get a bus from Baniyas Square in Deira but in vain. A lack of buses and more passengers also encourage illegal taxi drivers in the area. (

Note: Today there are 250,000 Filipinos in Dubai. The city's population is just a million. At least five hundred Filipinos arrive in Dubai Airport everyday.

Retired Colonel Has Breast Cancer

Men can get breast cancer, too.

Research shows that 99 percent of the time, women are affected with breast cancer and the remaining 1 percent are men.

“I am one of those in the 1 percent,” said 59-year-old Romeo Licyayo, a retired senior superintendent (colonel in the military) of the Philippine National Police.

Family members were shocked that Licyayo decided to go public. Fellow police officers here could only imagine how he must have suffered, having kept his cancer secret all this time. (The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

First Disinfestation Technology

Bananas imported into New Zealand from the Philippines will soon be treated, before shipping, with a system kinder on the environment thanks to technology developed by Crop & Food Research and BOC for Dole Asia.

The disinfestation technology developed in New Zealand will be introduced by Dole to its operations around the world.

Steve Barton, NZ Manager for Dole Asia, says by September, bananas on sale in New Zealand, and elsewhere in Asia, will have been treated with this new technology.

“Commercial-scale trials of the new technology, to rid the bananas of tropical pests, have been successful,” he says. “As soon as the company making the equipment, to deliver the treatment to the bananas, can supply us we can introduce the technology.”

Dole plans to introduce the technology first in the Philippines, where bananas for New Zealand are sourced, then roll it out around the world... full story here

Thai Oil Giant Expands Operations in RP

PTT Philippines Corp. (PTTPC) will expand its retail network in the Philippines by another 10 to 20 gas stations, a top company official said.

In a media briefing here, PTT executive vice president for commercial and international marketing Artasith Pothiapinyanvisuth said the company would spend about P8 million to construct one retail gas station, depending on the size of the facility.

But he said they are not yet at liberty to identify the proposed locations for the stations but hinted that they would be situated in major cities in Luzon and the Visayas.

The company will also be putting up a mega-station along the Clark expressway, he added.

PTT is considering the Philippines as one of its focus areas in terms of investments in Southeast Asia.

Earlier, PTT Philippines president and CEO Siripong Phoungpaka assured the Philippine government that the Thai oil giant would continue the expansion of its retail network in 2007 as part of its optimism on the prospects of the country’s oil industry. (ABS-CBN News)

A Changed Perspective

Anne Arnold visited the Philippines as part of a cultural exchange program, but returned home to Fort Wright with a different outlook on life... full story here

$600 Million More For The Philippines

The World Bank has said it expects to increase its lending to the Philippines to around $600 million per year over the next few years, amid improvement in the country's fiscal position.

"If we go back two to three years ago, the bank's assistance had fallen to between $100 million and $200 million a year," World Bank Regional Vice President James Adams told reporters at the signing of a new loan agreement between the bank and the government.

"This year we expect to be able to provide in total over $600 million in support to the government," he said.

The Philippines government's improved fiscal health has allowed it greater ability to provide the required matching funds for World Bank loans.

The government is currently seeking to lower its reliance on commercial foreign borrowing and shifting toward more domestic bond issuance and cheaper loans from multinational lenders like the World Bank.

Adams also said that for the first time in eight years, the bank is extending a development loan of $250 million to the Philippines.

The international lender's Philippines country director, Joachim von Amsberg, said the $600 million commitment will cover the fiscal year starting in July. He said the loans will finance 10 priority infrastructure projects. (

23 Million Filipinos Threatened By Elephantiasis

Experts observe that the newly introduced larvae then lodge into the lymph vessels and lymph glands of the victim, and develop into adult male and female worms. There, they reproduce into millions of mirofilariae, which then circulate in the bloodstream, ready to wreak havoc on the victim’s body and ready to find another mosquito host to perpetuate the infectious cycle.

Based on a study by the University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health, there are an estimated 645,232 cases of elephantiasis in the Philippines, causing about $4.4 million in annual losses due to lost work days and decreased productivity.

Information about Elephantiasis can be read here

Consequence of Unfair Treatment

A U.S. study says racial or ethnic group discrimination can lead to an increase in drug or alcohol abuse.

Data from 2,217 Filipino-Americans interviewed in 1998-1999 show that those who reported unfair treatment were more likely to use prescription and illicit drugs, and to be alcohol dependent.

The report in the American Journal of Public Health said prior studies have linked discrimination with illnesses and stressors that can lead to drug or alcohol misuse.

The findings "suggest that we need an aggressive and comprehensive policy that reduces racial and other types of discrimination in order to promote health and well being," the study's authors said. (

CNN International's Newest Presenter: Half-Filipina

She presents the Screening Room, she's a classically-trained musician and she's got a passion for stargazing. Just who is Myleene Klass?

1. Myleene is CNN International's newest presenter, hosting a monthly film show called "The Screening Room."

2. Myleene was born in Norfolk, England to a Filipino/Chinese mother, Magdalena and an Austrian/English father, Oscar...( ...more about Myleene here

In Canada: A Filipino Eatery Gets Attention

DJ Melot had been working as a Royal Bank accountant for a quarter century when she decided to strike out on her own.But transforming an old Joey's Only location into a seafood-Filipino restaurant raised some eyebrows.

"My mom said 'what are you doing? You can't even cook,' " said the Philippines native. So she hired someone else who could -- Ronald Aguilar -- and got down to work, opening the doors of her tidy, little eatery in Calgary last November.

It's retained some of the familiar Joey's feel -- nautical nick-nacks, a luminous aquarium and fish and chips dishes. But Mizue and I were more intrigued by the Philippines fare --the adobos and stir fries and oxtails... (The Calgary Sun) ...full story here

In Singapore: 140 Singaporean Dollars a Month?

A 27-year-old Overseas Filipino Worker from Singapore asked the help of the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group and reported the alleged abuses she suffered during her ten-month stay in the said country where she claimed earning only 140 Singaporean dollars.

Rapunzel Sanoria Omandam, 27, married, a resident of barangay Samlog Lungsod in the town of Lupon Davao Oriental was accompanied by her older sister when she went to the police and reported that she was duped by an illegal recruiter back in Davao last year.

Omandam told the police that she was recruited by a barangay midwife of barangay Cocanon in their hometown identified as Marilyn Gogo who bragged about her sister who is working in Singapore as a domestic helper who can help her find an employer because she is directly connected to an agency based in Singapore.

She was promised to collect 320 Singaporean dollars per month minus the payment of the travel and document expenses the agency that would only take six months to pay as salary deductions. (The Philippine Star)

Philippine-made Fertilizer Exported To Brazil

Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. will export P962 million worth of phosphate fertilizer to Brazil in the next two months, a company official said.

The shipment to Brazil will be about 20 percent of the company’s total exports this year, said Dennis Mate, executive vice president of Philphos. “Penetrating the Latin market is a big step because this is the first time that we’ll be exporting outside Asia, and we’re the only company in the Philippines to do so,” Mate told the Inquirer. (The Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Parents Love The Hostage Artist

Parents have pledged support for a gunman who took a busload of pre-school children hostage in the Philippine capital, Manila.

Armando Ducat said he took the action to draw attention to the impoverished conditions in which the children lived.

Prosecutors have filed charges of abduction and illegal possession of firearms against Ducat, and an accomplice Cesar Carbonell. But without the support of parents a case could be difficult to build... (BBC International News) ...full story here

In Negros Oriental: Imported Goons?

The police in Negros Oriental are verifying reports that some politicians or political candidates are “importing hired goons” from other parts of the country.

This, even as congressional candidate Olive Paras vehemently denied accusations that she and her camp had enlisted the help of “goons” who accompanied her in her sorties in the first district. (The Manila Times)

In Malta: Filipinos Fined For Smuggling Cigarettes

Three Philippine nationals were given a suspended sentence and fined after they admitted to importing cigarettes without paying relative duty and excise on them.

Vicente Redito Caracuel, 49, Redentor Cawas Dones, 29 and Adrian Cabal Caminos, 27, all from the Philippines, pleaded guilty to possessing and illegally importing different amounts of cigarettes on Tuesday, upon exiting from the gates at the Malta Freeport Terminal.

They were also charged with hiding the cigarettes in their cabins on board MV Caecilia Schulte, with the intent to defraud the government...(The Malta Independent Online) ...full story here

$1 Billion Nickel Plant in the Philippines

Sumitomo Metal Mining Co, Japan`s largest nickel producer, agreed with Manila-based Taganito Mining Corp. to conduct a joint study on building a $1 billion nickel smelting plant in the Philippines.

Sumitomo Metal Mining would set up a joint venture in 2008 to build a plant with annual production capacity of 30,000 t of nickel, if the study results are favourable, the company said in a statement to the Tokyo Stock Exchange ...( ...full story here

Rescued In Cook Strait

A rescue helicopter crew plucked an injured Filipino sailor from a ship passing through Cook Strait this afternoon. A piece of flying metal injured the crewman when a grinding machine broke down on board the bulk carrier, which is traveling between Australia and Brazil.

Westpac Rescue Helicopter staff say the 28-year-old suffered a cut to the abdomen. They winched him off the ship 8km from Wellington's South Coast and flew him to the city's hospital in a stable condition. (

In Brunei: Two Filipinos Were Arrested

Six foreign nationals were apprehended in an operation conducted by the Law Enforcement Section, Depaituient of Immigration and National Registration. During the raid, five special passes were issued. The six people that were held comprised one male and one female Indonesian, two Filipinos and two male Bangladeshis.

Meanwhile, there is also a case at the deportation unit where a Filipino national is under investigation as her immigration pass has reportedly expired. (

In Bahrain: "I Am Surviving"

"I AM surviving." Three words which say so much from Filipina Pamela Belardo, who survived, but lost her husband in the Al Dana dhow disaster. The young widow is still coming to terms with the reality that she will spend the rest of her life without her husband, Norman.

Soon after the incident, 27-year-old Ms Belardo suffered a new tragedy, miscarrying what was to be their first and only child... (Gulf Daily News) ...full story here