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Saturday, September 3, 2016

PPA Tightens Security Noose in All Ports Nationwide in the Wake of the Davao Blast


Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has put all ports nationwide in heightened alert in light of the deadly Davao bombing Friday night.

PPA said there is a need to further boost safety and security in all ports, particularly Mindanao ports, to deter any further terroristic acts.

“All port managers and port police, particularly in the Mindanao region, are instructed to take all (delete) necessary measureS to make sure that there are no loOse ends when it comes to safety and security,” PPA Acting General Manager Jay Daniel R. Santiago said in a directive.

“You are likewise further directed to subject all cargoes, luggageS and passengers to strict inspection procedures to guarantee that CRIMINAL ELEMENTS WILL NOT BE ABLE TO use the ports as a springboard for THEIR UNLAWFUL ACTIVITIES," Santiago stressed.

“The terror threat is not only concentrated in Mindanao but nationwide so ports in the Visayas and Luzon REGIONS should not be complacent and ARE likewise advised to increase security visibility and heighten security measures,” Santiago added.

Even before the Davao bombing, the PPA has already put all ports on high alert status. And as a result, Iligan port operatives were able to intercept a passenger carrying a kilo of shabu, worth about P14 million, which was turned over to the PNP for further investigation.

Davao, meanwhile, is on a lockdown after an explosion rocked a night market around 10:20 p.m. on Davao City's Roxas Street Friday killing14 people and leaving dozens injured.

The terrorist group Abu Sayyaf eventually took responsibility of the bombing.

Meanwhile, PPA assured that commercial operations of its Sasa Wharf, the main gateway of the region’s import and export cargoes, will not be interrupted and likewise ordered its port personnel to make sure that delays would only be minimal particularly WITH RESPECT TO perishable goods.

Aside from Davao, PPA is not expecting any delays in the commercial operations despite the heightened alert status of PPA-controlled ports.

Duterte Declares State of Lawlessness After Davao Bombing


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"We call for sobriety and for the people to stay calm and refrain from any speculations so as not to exacerbate the situation" says AFP Public Affair Office Chief Arevalo.

The Abu Sayyaf Group has already claimed responsibility to the Friday, September 2, 2016, blast that killed 14 and wounded 70+ in Davao's Roxas Market. President Duterte has declared a State of Lawlessness in the city after his 4 a.m. Saturday, September 3, visit at the blast site.

AFP spokesman Brig. Gen. Padilla has also confirmed the deployment of 7,000 fresh troops in Sulu to fight the Abu Sayyaf.

Anyare sa "one of the safest cities" in the world?

All PNP units in Metro Manila are now in "full alert status."

The country's premier airport has also been placed in full alert status following Friday's bombing in Davao City. 
"This is not to alarm the public. We have raised our alert status as a proactive measure to ensure safety and security of airport users," said MIAA GM Ed Monreal.
"We have directed baggage screeners to remain vigilant and discerning and to conduct thorough inspection ONLY when the need calls for it. We do not want to cause inconvenience in the process by creating long lines at the baggae screening checkpoints," Monreal explained.


The airport chief also said that as a matter of procedure during full alert status, "we have full complement in our Airport Police Department. Cancelled day-off, no leave of absence.
 Monreal further advised airport users not to be alarmed with increased police visibility within the Terminal buildings and outer vicinities of NAIA. "Our K9 units will also be a common sight in the complex under this situation," the airport chief added. 


Security at checkpoints shall conduct random rigid inspectiins on motor vehicles and the public is advised to oblige for their own protection. 
Issuance of access for the purpose of meeting or sending off passengers has also been limited. "Depending on intelligence reports, we may completely suspend issuance of visitors passes for everyone's safety, "Monreal stressed.
"Together with the PNP-Aviaition Security Group, we appeal to everyone to bear with us during this time," Monreal said in closing.


The MRT and LRT stations are also on full alert.

Transportation Department Undersecretary for Rails Noel Kintanar confirms all rail networks in the country are on full alert. Heightened security measures are in place. "We ask for the commuter's cooperation in the implementation of security measures and their assistance in reporting any suspicious behavior in the stations, trains and across the rail network" said Kintanar.

The Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) has put all ports nationwide in heightened alert


Below is a statement coming from Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros:

Together with the Filipino people, I grieve with the families of the victims of the attack in Davao Friday night. I fully condemn this act of violence and support the full extent of the law to identify and punish the perpetrators of this atrocious crime.

I welcome the swift response of President Duterte on this matter. I also laud him for finally admitting that the country is in a crisis involving unresolved cases of extrajudicial killings.

However, I would like to express my deep concerns regarding the President's declaration of a state of lawlessness all over the country. President Duterte's declaration of a "state of lawlessness" should be merely an act declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, a declaration allowed under Section 4 Chapter 2, Book II of the Revised Administrative Code of 1987, which provides:

SEC. 4. Proclamations. Acts of the President fixing a date or declaring a status or condition of public moment or interest, upon the existence of which the operation of a specific law or regulation is made to depend, shall be promulgated in proclamations that shall have the force of an executive order.

The Supreme Court said that declarations of such nature should be "harmless, without legal significance, and deemed not written."

The "Calling Out Powers" of the President under Sec 18, Article VII should be limited in scope. The President shall only deploy the Armed Forces to suppress the identified acts of violence, which serve as factual basis for the Calling-Out Power.

It cannot give the military and the police extra powers. They still cannot conduct arrests, searches and seizures without judicial warrants. Contrary to the President's instructions, they cannot, in a anyway and in any legal and constitutional sense, run the country.

The President might have intended this declaration to underscore the seriousness of the Davao attack. But he should be aware that his actions may very well contribute to an environment of fear and violence that will serve the interests of lawless elements. I worry that the President might play to the script of the perpetrators of the violence.

I urge the Duterte government to continue to operate within the bounds of the law and respect the civil liberties of the people. We cannot fight lawless elements by depriving our people their right to the rule of law.

Lastly, I urge my fellow Filipinos, especially our Mindanaoan sisters and brothers, to remain vigilant and be united in these trying times. We will not cower in fear. #

Friday, September 2, 2016

First DOE Secretary to Conduct Technical Visit of BNPP


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Energy Secretary Alfonso G. Cusi, together with International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) Deputy Director General Mikhail Chudakov, conducted an ocular inspection of the mothballed 620-megawatt (MW) Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) yesterday on Thursday (01 September) in line with the Philippines’ hosting of the International Conference on the Prospects for Nuclear Power in the Asia Pacific Region.

The visit is a milestone as Secretary Cusi is the first Department of Energy (DOE) Secretary in a long line of DOE chiefs to inspect the integrity of the BNPP after it was set to preservation mode in 1986 or after 30 years. Records from the National Power Corporation (NPC) showed that Energy Minister Geronimo Velasco was the only head of the agency to set foot in the BNPP as it was constructed during his term.

Along with Secretary Cusi and Director Chudakov during the technical tour were NPC President Gladys Cruz-Sta. Rita, who hosted the event, NPC Vice-President for Administrative and Finance Lorna Dy, NPC Resource Management Services Manager Atty. Manuel Luis B. Plofino, Sr., Program Director from Argonne National Laboratory of Illinois, USA Dr. Daniel Fraser and Energy Undersecretary Donato D. Marcos. The technical tour was led by NPC Asset Preservation Manager Engr. Mauro Marcelo Jr. together with other NPC-BNPP staff. 

Senator Visits Thailand to Study Their Universal Healthcare System


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Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros went on a study visit to Thailand this week to learn more about its universal health care system and health promotion policy.

In a two day meeting co-organized with the Health Justice International, Hontiveros, who is the Chair of the Senate Committee on Health, spoke with civil society organizations as well as government health experts from Thai Health, a government corporation set up to encourage health-seeking behavior and funded through the proceeds of excise taxes on liquor and cigarettes.

"I'm here to learn from the best practices and hopefully apply them to our country. The Thai experience is a good model. Spending on health care will have long term benefits and will reduce spending for curative or tertiary health care in the future," Hontiveros said.

Hontiveros explained that her trip complements the Department of Health's (DoH) own study visit to Cuba to learn how its government is running its health service.

"We should learn from the best health models. I am eager to share what I've learned from my study visit to Thailand to the DoH, the same way that I'm looking forward to hear the report of our health officials who visited Cuba," Hontiveros said.


Harm reduction strategies in confronting the drug problem
Hontiveros also met with officials from agencies of the United Nations (UN) to discuss harm reduction strategies and to help in developing a public health framework in confronting the country's drug problem. The Senator visited a support center for drug users and heard testimonies from rehabilitated users themselves.

It was reported that Thailand's former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra declared a "police-centric" war on drugs in 2003. In June 2016, the war on drugs was declared a failure.

"Upang maging matagumpay ang ating kampanya laban sa ilegal na droga, importante na pag-aralan natin ang ibat ibang modelo na nagtagumpay, at yaong mga nabigo. The problem of illegal drugs is a multi-faceted issue. Thus, the need to address it through different lens, particularly through a public health framework," Hontiveros concluded.

Food Exploration on Earth and the Outer Space on TLC


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To boldly go where no chef...has ever been before.

The unique programme Heston’s Dinner in Space follows the adventures of Chef Heston Blumenthal and his team as they work closely with the UK Space Agency, ESA and NASA, attempting to revolutionize the previously limited world of space food.

Challenged by British Astronaut Tim Peake, Heston creates seven dishes that remind Tim of home, helping to combat the emotional impact of the astronaut’s journey. In one of the biggest challenges of his career, Heston goes one step further to create the first-ever 'dinner party in space'. Tim goes on a nostalgic journey of his childhood with every bite as Heston provides much-needed comfort food and creates the quintessential cup of tea – the first to be sipped in outer space.

Follow Heston's trials and tribulations behind creating meals that can be consumed outside of the Earth's atmosphere, culminating in an out-of-this-world dining experience where his creations are eaten live on the International Space Station. Heston’s Dinner in Space premieres September 5, Monday, at 8:05pm on TLC.

TravelFakie Your Way to Free Jetstar Flights


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A play on the traditional selfie, the #TravelFakie is taken to give your followers the impression that you are travelling abroad or even having the adventure of a lifetime, when in fact, you are still on home ground.

The trend, which originated in Indonesia, is picking up pace across Southeast Asia.

From posing in front of the “Singapore Flyer” to standing near the Mall of Asia eye in Philippines, to lounging by the “Mekong River” while actually posing beside the Klang River in Kuala Lumpur, the possibilities for deception are endless.

Consumers even go as far as donning “I Love SG” T-shirts or traditional Vietnamese conical hats to make their #TravelFakie more convincing.

Fake no more, because Jetstar is inviting travel buffs across Southeast Asia to submit their best #TravelFakies, and the most creative “fakeationers” will be rewarded with a trip to their dream Jetstar destination.

“Jetstar’s successful marketing campaign ‘Because You Can’ has made the selfie central to the Jetstar travel experience.”

“This latest selfie craze is fun, creative and imaginative. We are excited to turn some of the #TravelFakies into a real travel experience for our customers, said Ms. Chantal van Wijnbergen, Jetstar’s Regional Marketing Manager, SEA.

Contestants can use props, pose with friends or even utilize Photoshop to create the most comical and ridiculous #TravelFakie.

For those up to the challenge, post your best #TravelFakie and tag us on Instagram (@jetstarasia), Facebook (@JetstarAsiaAirways) or Twitter (@Jetstar_Asia), explain where and what you are faking, include #TravelFakie and #ActuallyInPhilippines.

The top two entries from Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore will each win a pair of Jetstar flights to the desired faked destination.

Fake it till you make it at www.jetstartravelfakie.com. For more information, visit Jetstar Asia on Twitter viawww.twitter.com/jetstarairways.

What Are the “Things” in The Internet of Things?


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User-based devices that communicate, consume content, and create and publish content for other people to consume have dominated our current version of the Internet. The developing Internet of Things is about to change that. While it will include the “old” Internet of user-based devices, it is very different for one simple reason: billions of new devices connected and tracked at the periphery of the network will not be operated by people. These devices may be semi- or even fully automated, and they will vastly outnumber the human-operated devices in a short period of time.

Like the old Internet, this Internet of Things (IoT) will continue to include data, voice, and video. But it will also contain new assets that will take the Internet from being a network of human-operated devices to a network containing many nonhuman-operated devices—the “things” of IoT.

The IoT contains a variety of technical systems and devices that go by different names, but all fall under the broader IoT umbrella because these systems all share common technology, and often common infrastructure. It’s helpful to review the terminology being used in order to better understand the relationship between these tools and the IoT.


Machine to Machine Communication (M2M)

Machine-to-machine (M2M) systems are part of the IoT, and M2M, like many of the terms to follow, can be seen as a catchall term. The current generation of M2M applications includes both fully automated and semi-automated systems. For example, some of today’s most commonly labeled M2M systems include point-of-sale (POS) and automated vehicle location (AVL) services. POS devices are semi-automated, in that people must initiate and authorize the transactions (ideally), while AVL is an automated system for reporting the geospatial coordinates of assets like trucks and delivery vehicles.

One notable characteristic of current M2M systems is that they are largely unidirectional in data flow or service requests. POS devices, for example, initiate a transaction with central transaction processing systems, but are usually not equipped or intended to support incoming commands. The advantage of the unidirectional nature of these early M2M systems is that exploitation opportunities are more limited: physical access to the remote endpoints is required, while network-based attacks are lower in probability.


Connected Devices

Connected devices is also a catchall term for things other than servers and PCs that are entering the network. Like M2M, they can be automated or semi-automated, but connected devices are more likely to communicate with each other bidrectionally, rather than transmitting but not receiving.

Connected devices tend to envision both a centralized management infrastructure and/or a situation where devices communicate on a peer-to-peer basis, without ever referencing back to any centralized system or server. This peer-to-peer communication offers big advantages in terms of speed of decision-making and reduced loads on networks, but limits potential for oversight and safety controls.
Smart-Everything

From smart appliances to smart houses to smart cities, so much of our world now is intelligent and interconnected, thanks to the IoT. Smart cities, for example, envision using IoT technology to improve the efficiency of services, from transportation systems to hospitals to energy and water supply. These systems will use unimagined combinations of peer-to-peer and client-server based decision-making, ubiquitous networking, and massive amounts of high-assurance bandwidth to move all this data back and forth.

Perhaps the distinguishing feature of the “smart” discussion versus M2M and connected devices is that it tends to be more conceptual and less technical in nature. “Smart” is part of the IoT and will evolve as a notion, with small smart systems joining other small smart systems to create larger smart systems.


Ubiquitous Computing


Ubiquitous Computing (UC) is the most abstract and conceptual term synonymous with the IoT. Devices and systems that use UC are completely connected, and constantly available. In order to realize this pervasive, ubiquitous computing paradigm, a wide range of technologies must be combined, such as industrial sensor networks, multi-medium networking, RFID, M2M, mobile computing, human-computer interaction, and wearable computers.

Though the UC concept involves a variety of technologies, the essence of UC involves the intelligence about, and knowledge of, our surroundings (also referred to as context awareness). By knowing their surroundings, including the dynamic geospatial relationships involving human users and their tools (cars, elevators, medical devices, and even each other), UC systems can offer useful customized services that drive increased personal and business efficiency.



Written By:

Tyson Macaulay, Chief Security Strategist and Vice President of Security Services at Fortinet

https://blog.fortinet.com/2016/07/28/riot-control-what-are-the-things-in-the-iot

More Riders Gathered at Suzuki Tambayan during MX Swerte sa Siete’s Anniversary


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 A close to 9,000 riders convened once again at the Tagaytay International Convention Center (TICC) in celebration Motorsiklo Xklusibo’s (MX) 7 th anniversary aptly called MX Swerte sa Siete. 

Living by its theme for the year, MX gave away lots of items with of course its statement grand draw of not only one, two or three but nine and a half (one is a pocket bike) motorcycle units for the lucky riders! 

Included in this draw is the well-coveted Suzuki Gixxer which excited the motorcycle community even more. And the lucky man is Mr. Archie de Guzman of Sta. Maria Bulacan who went home with his brand new Gixxer. 

The fun and excitement doubled as a bunch of riders spent their day at the Suzuki Tambayan where they saw the best of the best Raider R150 Custom Bike finalists. They are the monthly winners of the recently concluded Raider R150 Online Custom Bike Contest and were gathered then for one final judging. 

The participants were Tonchi Catindig of Tarlac, Jonathan Canoza of Antipolo, Dan Mark Briones of Cavite and Jay-Ar Tulod of Tagum went all their way to Tagaytay to showcase their much loved and intricately modified Raider R150. 

It was a close battle among the participants but Catindig’s entry in blue, silver and white stood out and claimed the Best Custom Bike title as unanimously agreed on by the judges – Mr. Al Camba of Inside Racing Magazine, The Turban Rider himself – Mr. Telly Buhay and Suzuki Philippines Service Head – Mr. Vic Nanasca, and the crowd. 

Aside from the contest, riders had a meet and greet and photo opportunity with the Suzuki ladies and the very popular bikes of Suzuki now the Gixxer and the Address. Free burgers were also given away to the first 500 Suzuki Riders who registered and voted for their R150 custom-bike bet. Suzuki freebies (drawstring bags, lanyards and stickers), surprises and lots of games were given away as well for all the riders. 

Simultaneously happening at the event was the Free Service Campaign at Suzuki’s Work on Wheels Mobile for the first 50 riders with just a purchase of a Suzuki Oil Filter. Suzuki Spare Parts and Apparel were also on sale for the Suzuki riders and fans. 

It was another record breaking event for MX as they surpassed last year’s number of attendees. The thousands of attendees this year are looking forward for the next MX’s Anniversary with the theme of Doing Great at Eight and surely the Suzuki Tambayan will be there again.

PH Scores High Among Starters Category of Global Connectivity Index


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Despite the absence of public investments in enhancing broadband access and speed, the Philippines scored high among Starters category of the Global Connectivity Index (GCI), published by Huawei Technologies, which measures how 50 nations are progressing with digital transformation using information and communications technology. Starters are countries in the early stage of ICT infrastructure build-out.

The Philippines garnered a score of 33, the highest score given among countries classified as Starters, which are economies with an average GDP of US$3,000 and have GCI range of 20-34. The country advanced two notches from its previous score in 2015 at 31. According to GCI, countries classified as Starters focus on increasing ICT supply to give more people access to the digital world.

According to the GCI report, economies classified as Starters show the following characteristics: ICT investment is less than 2 percent of GDP; E-commerce is low at US$5,000 per capita per year; and about 40% of the population uses the Internet. “Starters are not fully benefiting from the digital economy and its potential to raise incomes and overall quality of life. Policy makers need to ensure ICT maturity enters the second stage, Internet Innovation, so e-commerce can create economic growth. Faster broadband expansion is necessary to increase supply scores so that most businesses and citizens have affordable broadband access,” the report said.

To enter the next category called Adopters, Starters should adopt several strategies that include increase in ICT investment as a percentage of GDP to accelerate nationwide broadband coverage; reduce tariffs and provide subsidies for smartphones to get more smart devices into homes; start planning for high-speed broadband with 4G and fiber-to-the-home rollout.

Globe has been at the forefront of providing the digital lifestyle for Filipinos. The company persistently called on the government to help develop broadband access by investing in internet infrastructure in rural and far-flung areas. Globe President & CEO Ernest Cu has emphasized that broadband development is particularly relevant in communities where even basic infrastructure services such as roads and bridges are lacking, pointing out that broadband access creates significant impact on the development of marginal areas as this allows the community to conduct business with people all over the world, get information on education, health and government services. According to Cu, mobile operators like Globe are unable to deploy infrastructure in rural areas due to business viability issues. He said the government should build infrastructure, such as submarine cables, and then rent these facilities out to telco operators instead.

He stressed the entire country would not be able to optimize the benefits of broadband connectivity unless the government is willing to invest in developing internet infrastructure in “missionary routes”. Globe itself launched early this year a nationwide infrastructure program that would enhance the country's internet experience within homes and across businesses.

The company has already invested $2.2 billion since 2011 to build a modern network and IT infrastructure. For 2016, bulk of its $750 million capital expenditure will be devoted in expanding network capacities with the additional frequencies that it gained access to from the sellout of San Miguel’s telco assets. The company is also aggressively investing in the deployment of a nationwide fiber optic cable system.

In the GCI report, Adopters are rated higher. These are economies with average GDP of US$15,000 and with GCI score ranging between35-55. Countries in this group see the biggest GDP growth from GCI. Their focus is on increasing ICT demand to facilitate industry digitization and high-quality economic growth. Asian countries under the Adopters category include China and Malaysia both with a GCI score of 44 and Thailand with 37.

Meanwhile, Frontrunners are countries with average GDP of US$50,000 and GCI score ranging from 56-85. These nations are mainly developed economies and they continually boost user experience, and use big data analytics and IoT to develop a smarter, more efficient society. United States lead the Frontrunners with a GCI score of 74, followed by Singapore with a GCI score 72 and Sweden at 70.

To improve their GCI scores, all governments should lead by example in digital transformation for enterprises and citizens, and increase spending on ICT infrastructure to benefit the public. Also, countries need to introduce and train a skilled ICT workforce to unleash the full potential of a digital economy and should partner with more stakeholders to lay a solid digital foundation, encourage cross-domain cooperation, and collaborate with the private sector and financial institutions like the World Bank to create an ecosystem for digital transformation. “Starters need to worry about broadening access. Adopters need to raise the quality of that access, and Frontrunners need to increase the business value created by access,” the report said.

According to the GCI report, the global digital economy has emerged as an unstoppable giant that’s growing at 10% or more than triple the rate of overall global economic growth. The worldwide digital economy generated US$24 trillion in e-commerce in 2015 and accounted for 30 percent of all global transactions. Such transactions were on 2.5 billion smart devices spread among the world’s 7.4 billion people. (To view complete report, please see http://www.huawei.com/minisite/gci/en/index.html).

Akapela Special Repeat Concert Set on Sept. 23 and 24 in Baguio City


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After bagging the 2016 Overall Champion of the A Cappella Championships held last July in Singapore, The Philippine Contemporary A cappella Society proudly announces that AKAPELA, a one-of-its-kind, contemporary a capella concert will have a special repeat show featuring the award-winning PINOPELA together with BAIHANA on Sept. 23 - 6:30 pm and Sept. 24 - 1:30 and 6:30 pm at the Center for Culture and the Arts Theater, St. Louis University, Baguio City.

The A Cappella Championships encompasses participation of A Cappella groups and choirs from Singapore and also internationally with the following categories:

1. Ensemble Categories: High School, College, Open, International
2. Choir Category
3. Beatbox Battle
4. Loop Station Competition


PINOPELA won four awards namely:

1) International Category Champion
2) Judges' Choice Awardee/Overall Champion,
3) Most Impressive Vocalist (Anthony Castillo)
4) Gold in Looping Category (Pinopela’s former beatboxer Zsaris Mendioro)


PINOPELA is an alumni group of the internationally acclaimed choral group, Saint Louis University Glee Club and was originally formed for the singular purpose of competing in the Akapela Open, but since placing second in 2013 and further after winning the championship in 2014, the group has evolved into a true professional. Pinopela began accepting invitations to perform at various functions after their warm reception at the Akapela Open 2013, and has since then wowed innumerable audiences previously unacquainted to contemporary a capella. The group opened the Myx Mo 2015 anniversary concert at the MOA concert grounds, that became one of the concert highlights, with an all a cappella opm number with some of the country’s biggest stars !

BAIHANA is an all-female vocal trio that creates, arranges and performs music that is uniquely refreshing to young and old alike. Let Krina Cayabyab, Anna Graham and Mel Torre take you back in time with their doo-wop take on standards and current radio hits. Whether you’re a devout jazz lover or someone searching for entertainment after a hard day’s work, Baihana has something for you and much, much more.

Before conquering Singapore, these two groups held a sell-out fund-raising concert at the Carlos P.Romulo auditorium at RCBC Plaza, Makati City last April 23.

The Philippine Contemporary A capella Society is a young and dynamic group spearheaded by Krina Cayabyab and JJ Valiente Pimpinio that aims to demonstrate leadership in the development, awareness, innovation, and education of the contemporary a cappella community so that every Filipino music creator, singer, educator and fan of this genre may further extend the love for vocal music.

Their mission is to promote and cultivate contemporary a cappella music in the Philippines through performance opportunities, recognition and education; to foster local artists that they be recognized around the world; and to enrich Original Pilipino Music through vocal music.

The artistic team of AKAPELA is composed of Anthony Falcon - Creative Consultant; Krina Cayabyab & JJ Pimpinio – Musical Directors; Stephen Vinas – Choreographer; Lei Lu - Lights Designer; Joee Mejias and Tonibelle Chan - Video Projections Designer; Monoxide Works - Video Clips Editor; Jasvir Basra - Technical Director.

For tickets, visit Normita Ria-Pablico Music Studio at Room 409 GP Bldg., Mabini Street, Baguio City. You can call the ff: numbers - 0915 3833978, 0926 8115853, and 0975 1598344.

Dutertards Versus Noytards: Which Army Do You Belong To?


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So a blogger asked me if I was under the payroll of the Yellow army since I keep criticizing the deeds of Duterte, his administration, and their supporters popularly called Dutertards.

Unlike some who would only post the positive and avoid political, intriguing or controversial opinions to keep in good standing with all, I chose to remain opinionated and sincere with my thoughts. I would not let myself be hold back by neutrality just to avoid conflict. Holding back would only further hurt and destroy us inside.

I find it healthier if we would not prevent ourselves from expressing our real intentions and beliefs. How can we understand each other if there is no clear communication among us? How can we find better solutions if we are prevented to discuss or debate on our ideas?

To disagree is a sign of critical thinking. Let us not fear to be judged if we support a less popular but appropriate choice. It is always admirable to choose the path less taken. Trying to get along with everyone should not stop us from being true to ourselves.

However, we should stop with the curses and slurs if we could no longer give a logical reasoning. Those who resort to personal attacks only shows how weak their stands are.

Am I under the payroll of the Yellow army? I am not even going to dignify that with a direct response. Just bear in mind that I would never utter something I don't fully believe in.

The failure of many is that they quickly conclude that if an individual is against the Dutertards, he is automatically among the Noytards. We should take note that life does not only revolve within the two factions only. I could be against Duterte, but it doesn't mean I support the Yellow army, and the other way around.

A September with a Twist on Discovery Channel


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Who says science is boring? Discovery Channel will strike ‘boring’ out of your vocabulary this month with high-standard factual entertainment and programs which will definitely give you some good laughs.

September on Discovery Channel kicks off with a show that is designed to tackle basically…everything. The first season of HOW TO BUILD EVERYTHING will take audiences through how to build a state-of-the-art laser-guided cow milking machine, to the designs behind a 20-story cruise ship, to the transition of a tandem vibratory roller aka steam roller aka a cartoon bunny-flattening machine, and a ton of other mind-blowing engineering marvels. All these, plus a couple of witty commentaries inserted here and there, are rolled into one show.

The new series features a cast of whip-smart and hilarious personalities including: comedian and former airplane mechanic Alonzo Bodden, science communicator and bug expert Alie Ward, real-life doctor and Jane the Virgin’s Keller Wortham, Nerdist science editor Kyle Hill, tech expert and futurist Veronica Belmont, mad inventor Eric Gradman, astronaut Leland Melvin, and so many more.

Augmented with CGI, the brilliant commentators will take the viewers through each build, while a retro-style test lab demonstrates scientific concepts.

Do not miss out on How To Build Everything as it premieres September 7, and airs every Sunday thereafter at 9pm.

When Is It Proper To Flaunt Our Blogger's Loot for the Day?


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Someone asked if bloggers need to post in social media an image of their loot for the day, and if a plain message is enough to express our gratitude to our host.

I believe it depends on the loot. If it's the actual product or cool merchandise with the brand names or logos, why not. It's a way of promoting the brands. But if it's GCs, cash, or anything that has nothing to do with the brands or companies, then that's a big NO.

Most readers are more gratified when we attach an image on our articles, thus a Thank You message would also look much better if we accompany it with a photo showing the object of our appreciation. Not too many will notice or even read posts with no visuals, especially when the message is lengthy. But if there's an attractive image, it will surely get noticed.

Just as how celebrities flaunt their outfits, jewelries, gadgets, etc., or the venue or facilities, or the services of a spa, gym, health clinic, etc.. All are intended to promote and showcase the brand. They should not be seen posting their fat cheques, or any kind of loot that serves as either their ex-deal talent fee, or compensation, or even perks and freebies that do not directly relate to the brand.

If you see the actual product(s), service(s), etc., especially when the brand/company logos are prominent, then that's acceptable.

Sam YG and Rhian Ramos Host 2nd Season of Full Throttle on Fox Sports


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Fox Sports launched the 2nd season of Full Throttle - a transport show featuring everything that drivers, riders and commuters would appreciate, accentuated by challenges revolving in sports, recreational activities, hobbies and even travel.

As seen on the preview shown during the launch held at the Rolls Royce showroom in Bonifacio Global City, the two hosts - Rhian Ramos and Sam YG - goes around to showcase stuff that would greatly interest everyone because they present it not on a very technical term but convenient enough for even the ordinary Juan to understand and appreciate.

We can see that they went to places like Cebu to also tackle what to expect when visiting the place, plus guested celebrities mostly in the field of sports like Coach Rio, the Tiu brothers, and many more.

The launch also featured a stacking competition where the hosts tried to beat the time of a professional stacker, but failed thus forfeiting the chance of the audience to win an entertainment showcase. I guess the professional stacker brought home the prize.

At an interview with the Creative Director, Niko Sebastian, and the Program Manager/Producer, Romel Dizon, they revealed that transferring to a new channel would definitely expect a better and much improved 2nd season for Full Throttle. So don't be left behind in seeing the premier episode on Thursday September 8, 2016 at 9:30 pm only at Fox Sports. Though there will be replays during the same week and also at another Fox channel. 

The two has also mentioned the future launch of the Full Throttle magazine which will also feature other stories aside from some of the contents of the TV show, As of the moment, they have an app that fans can download featuring the previous episodes of the 1st season that were shown on a different channel. They put out online three digital magazines per month that also shows animated GIFs and videos aside from the text and photos.

Jude Turcuato, Fox Sports SVP and General Manager, also thanked the media for their attendance and invites everyone to help share the great news.

Sam YG obviously brings in the humor, while Rhian Ramos should be oozing with sexiness even when she wears basketball jerseys, and other outfits during their adventure. Since Sam is also a DJ, I'm sure there will be lots of comical statements and interviews with their guest celebrities.


Interview with Niko Sebastian, Creative Director of Full Throttle

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Below is the official press release of Full Throttle:

Featuring the best and latest in the automotive world, Full Throttle will premiere on FOX Sports on September 8, 2016!

Gearheads and car enthusiasts of all levels can tune in to the network Thursdays at 9:30 PM for Fox Sports to catch the explosive launch of the channel’s newest automotive lifestyle show, presented by charismatic hosts Sam YG and Rhian Ramos. Episodes will likewise be available via linear streaming and subscription video on demand through the respective channels OTT platforms.

Combining in-depth features on the fascinating world of automotive and crazy reality segments, Full Throttle promises to both cater to die-hard motor fans and entertain the general public. Program highlights of the show include regular car reviews, spotlights on popular automotive suppliers and dealers, huge celebrity guests, and a generous dash of insane challenges and segments performed and filmed over land, sea and air to make a thrilling yet informative series.

Sam YG and Rhian Ramos are both popular celebrities and hosts, but they also have the advantage of being rabid motorheads and loving all things that have to do with cars. Sam YG enjoys a huge fanbase for his part in Boy’s Night Out, one of the most popular radio shows in the country, while Rhian Ramos has gained widespread fame by starring in highly successful television dramas and films. Their passion for and experience with cars make them the perfect combo to present the most exciting automotive content, while their fiercely competitive natures make for an electrifying dynamic that will keep viewers glued to the screen. Add this to the pair’s massive respective followings, and you get a show that speaks directly to the automotive purists while keeping things on edge and highly entertaining.

To stay updated in the automotive world and discover its fascinating features, all gearheads, car lovers and thrill seekers should catch Full Throttle starting this September on the FOX Sports!

Experience Top Notch Mobile Camera Technology with the New Huawei P9


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Smartphone photography takes on a whole new level as Huawei introduces one of the most impressive camera phones to date - Huawei P9. Featuring Leica dual-lens cameras and Huawei’s ultra-clear 5.2-inch screen, it gives ultra-sharp image capture and vivid display. Powered by Globe myLifestyle postpaid plans, customers can get it for free on Plan 1499.

On Globe myLifestyle Plan 1499, the connected experience is made even better as it comes with 5 GB of data, plus unlimited calls and texts to Globe/TM. Customers can also enjoy FREE 1GB Spotify Premium or HOOQ for 3 months, choice of Navigation Pack, Explore Pack, or Fitness Pack for 1 month, 1 month Gadget Care, 1GB Globe Cloud, and free shipping as well.

Boasting of detailed engineering, the Huawei P9’s Leica lens has clever optical engineering with dual-lens cameras that feature two sensors: one for RGB, and one for monochrome. Combining these two technologies, the Huawei P9 lets you capture vibrant colors with unparalleled detail, as well as appealing black and white images.

Its camera quality is as powerful as a DSLR yet portable and packed with dual 12MP rear cameras and an 8MP front camera that produces images in stunning high-resolution. It is also equipped with creative shooting modes that inspire one to produce great photos with the use of IMAGEsmart 5.0 technology, Hybrid Focus, and Picture Quality algorithm. This allows users to shoot crisp, clear, and optimized photos in any condition. Various shooting modes are also available such as film, professional, time lapse, and wide aperture among others.

Rounding up its powerful features is its premium and elegant design from diamond-cut edges, rounded curves, and beautiful aluminum body—all coated in a stunning gold shade. Huawei P9 specs the latest Kirin 955 ultra-fast octa core processor, a massive 3GB RAM, long-lasting 3,000mAh battery, and a reliable triple antenna—all working like clockwork for a fast and seamless performance.


To know more about how you can create your own myLifestyle plan visit www.globe.com.ph/postpaid/mylifestyleplan.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

#SuggestANewNameForLNMB: Should We Rename the Libingan ng mga Bayani?


Wazzup Pilipinas!
"The etymology of “hero” and “bayani” is a warrior who protects or defends his people."
Since President Rody Duterte gave the Marcos family the go signal for the interment of the late Pres. Ferdinand Emmanuel E. Marcos at the Libingan Ng Mga Bayani (LNMB), many have expressed opposition to the forthcoming move.

Some are saying preventing Marcos's burial at the LNMB continues to divide our country.

They were saying that LNMB is not really for heroes. It is simply a war memorial, a cemetery for our deceased military officers. However, the National Historical Commission clearly states why one should not be laid to rest there. On the other hand, the Supreme Court is already conducting oral arguments on the burial.

Martial Law victims and politicians, who themselves were either victims or activists during the country’s dark era urged the President to withdraw his decision that favors the Marcos family.

Vice President Leni Robredo said the name of the heroes' cemetery should denote who should be buried there. "Was he an exemplary Filipino who gave his life, who sacrificed so much for our country?"

We would be the laughing stock of the entire planet," said Senator Risa Hontiveros, who actively attends rallies and movements denouncing plans to bury Marcos' in LNMB.

Millenials pointed out that the deposed dictator is disqualified from being buried at the Heroes’ Cemetery because he falls under the category of those “dishonorably separated or discharged from the service.” A fake hero does not deserve a place among the past presidents.

Would you agree instead in renaming the cemetery to something else other a heroes final resting place, so that we can finally bury the dictator there?

Hhhmmm... will that even work? I think it would only benefit the Marcos loyalists and supporters, and not the majority of the Filipinos, especially the relatives and families of Martial Law victims.

Are we going to ask the people to pitch an alternative name for the LNMB so it will be fit to take in even a known despot, plundered and offender or human rights?

#SuggestANewNameForLNMB will be the new hashtag and would crowd-source the masses. There might be great ideas from social media, especially Twitter and Facebook. The netizens might even accompany their suggestions with appropriate images or photos - may they be humorous or satirical.

An associate justice of the Supreme Court earlier pointed out that not all those buried at the LNMB were heroes but were mostly soldiers and war veterans. He does not consider them as heroes? Should we stress out to him that even though Marcos was both, he remains a criminal in the eyes of majority of the Filipinos.

Duterte also said the law covering interment in LNMB does not include a ban on despots. "As a former soldier and former president of the Philippines, I see nothing wrong in having Marcos buried at the Libingan ng mga Bayani," Duterte said. "I will allow Marcos burial in Libingan ng Mga Bayani, not because he was a hero but because he was a Filipino soldier" he adds.

It was in the news that showed over 4,000 rallyists calling for unity and marching from Roxas Boulevard to the Supreme Court, rallying for the body of former Philippine President to be laid to rest at the LNMB.

Bongbong Marcos has said that plans are ongoing to ensure the transfer of his father’s remains by September (18) which is his birth month.
"Verily, the Libingan ng mga Bayani is the hallowed graveyard for heroes and patriots, not of despots and plunderers. Heroes eternally rest in the people's embrace and admiration, while villains forever agonize in disgrace." - Rep. Edcel Lagman

Where is the Justice in the Drug War?


Wazzup Pilipinas!

These are your sentiments - posts were taken all over social media and combined to make a statement against the #WarOnDrugs

President Rodrigo Duterte's sincerity in his drug war is in question here. He admits he does not have the funds for drug rehab programs but increases the Office of the President annual budget from 2B to 20B.

He even has the budget to commission dolls and mascots that only intends to make him, and his PBP Chief Bato, all cuddly and cute. Instead, the Philippines became a laughing stock in the yes of the world.

“Where will this lead us? Where do I get the billions (of pesos)? My budget is only this much… that’s why in the meantime you have them killed,” Mr. Duterte said in a mix of English and Filipino.

“Son of a b*tch, I will really kill you. Let’s be frank here. We will really end up killing each other here,” he went on. “I cannot simply define justice that is fair to all. Life is never fair.”

Senator Allan Peter Cayetano, Duterte's running mate who lost the Vice Presidency to Robredo, earlier lambasted two known critics of the government’s anti-drug campaign for “discrediting” the Philippines before the international community by insinuating that extrajudicial killings were rampant in the country.

He either does not know the constitution and human rights or thinks that these are just like any other laws that can be argued aside. This shows a very low moral fiber. It is also foolish to take a hit for the president.

While Duterte is very arrogant in saying Obama should be listening to him instead of the other way around. I suppose Duterte has this super wisdom on human rights that Obama needs to listen to.

The mere fact that Duterte doesn't have a rehab plan makes him invalid to even utter a word.

To all the people who think only pushers die in the war on drugs, tell me who you think a five year old girl that they are PUTTING IN THE GROUND was dealing to.

Collateral damage? Maybe, but this war in drugs doesn't give anyone the excuse to end lives without the due process of law. We are better than barbarians, otherwise we have gone down to the level of animals who kill and prey on the weak.

Senator Laila De Lima has called upon the nation to open their eyes and speak out the truth to what they see. Duterte's attack on her personal (love) life creates an impression that the President is nowhere near decent. If he has strong evidence against De Lima, he should be filing a case against her and not ruining her reputation by public shaming.

The PDEA and NBI has denied participation in the preparation of Duterte's drug list, and probably even the so called matrix, which only shows how unreliable or prone to errors it is unless the list was created by somebody inside and personally involved within the illegal drug trade.  If the list were not vetted, then it should not have been made public. This is one of the highlight of the Drug war. Poor strategy with life and death consequences.

Now, Bishop Bacani has issued a statement saying this war on drugs is worst than martial law. Is this (drug menace) not a mirror reflection of their failed pastoral duties? The unprecedented moral corruption of the country can be traced to the fact that they failed, at the least, to moralize their pastoral members. Though morality is not exclusive to Christian faith yet it is the most visible characteristic of true disciples of Christ. The bishop again is meddling in the affairs of the state when the latter is simply sweeping the dirt their ministry has kept under the rug.

#PitchAShowToGMA: Crowd-Sourcing for TV Show Ideas and Concepts


Wazzup Pilipinas!

I guess someone's running out of concepts. Is it true that GMA 7 has already ran out of brilliant ideas? Did they ever had one in the first place?

Some would say ABS-CBN leads in the copycat and recycled themes, it is just that GMA 7 has very few popular talents as compared with their closest competition. However, TV5 is also said to be somehow guilty of coming out with Pinoy shows influenced by popular foreign shows as well.

What is confirmed is that we are indeed too much inclined to pattern our ideas with what's popular out there.

Do we really need to reinvent the wheel, or we just improve or modify what's tried, tested and proven working?

If you take out the humor (unless it's for a gag show), this #PitchAShowToGMA could be an effective crowd-sourcing activity to help our TV networks come up with ideas or concepts that were not too obviously copied from foreign counterparts (whether intentional or not).

Here's what netizens want to pitch to GMA:
























Lol!

Get Ready to #AGRInnovate as we Explore the Wonders of Agriculture


Wazzup Pilipinas!

The Philippine Society of Youth Science Clubs (PSYSC), the largest umbrella organization of science clubs in the Philippines, proudly presents the National Science Club Month (NSCM 2016) with the theme, “AGRInnovate: Revolutionizing Agricultural Outlook for Sustainable Growth”.

This 2016, NSCM aims to introduce students to Agriculture. For a predominantly agricultural country, the Philippines has yet to realize the importance of this sector that brings food on our tables. PSYSC aims to rekindle the Filipino youth’s interest in agriculture and to raise awareness on its current situation in the country.

Through the four major events, NSCM 2016 hopes to bear its fruits of camaraderie and education among the Filipino youth.

This September 3-4, The National Science Clubs Summit (Summit) and PSYSC Extreme Activity Challenge (PEAC), will be held at different regional sites in the country, Junior high school students are coming together to discover and explore the wonders of agriculture in a series of lectures, workshops and team-building activities.

The I Teach Science Seminar (ITSS) will be held simultaneously with the Summit and PEAC to promote the importance of agriculture to junior high school teachers.

On September 3, The national eliminations of the PSYSC Science Olympiad (PSO), a quiz competition for both elementary and secondary students, will be conducted also at the Summit, PEAC and PSO – Independent Sites. The Top 20 schools from each bracket shall then compete for the PSO Finals which will be held in Metro Manila.

Likewise, MathSciAKa (pronounced as math-sa-ya-ka), an engineering science competition for elementary and high school students will be held on September 17 in Metro Manila.

The following Summit, PEAC and PSO – Independent sites are listed below:

Summit Sites:

Region 1/CAR – Tayug National High School (Pangasinan)
Region 2/3 – Isabela National High School (Isabela)
Region 4A/NCR – University of Batangas (Batangas)
Region 5 – University of Saint Anthony (Camarines Sur)
Region 6 – Dumangas National High School (Iloilo)
Region 9 – Claret School of Zamboanga City (Zamboanga del Sur)
Region 10 – Mindanao State University – Iligan Institute of Technology Integrated Developmental School (Lanao del Norte)
Region 11 – Mati National Comprehensive High School (Davao Oriental)
Region 13 – Jacinto P. Elpa National High School (Surigao del Sur)



PEAC Sites

Region 4B – Divine Word College of Calapan (Oriental Mindoro)
Region 7/8 – University of San Carlos – North Campus (Cebu)



PSO – Independent Sites

CAR – Philippine Science High School – CAR Campus (Benguet)
Region 4B – Palawan Hope Christian School (Palawan)
NCR – Miriam College Middle School (Quezon City)
Region 8 – LIDE Learning Center Inc. (Leyte)
Region 12 – St. Alexius College Integrated School (South Cotabato)


Affiliate with PSYSC today as they offer a totally new science clubbing experience!

For more information, feel free to contact the Philippine Society of Youth Science Clubs at (02) 332-8151 or send a message through mail@psysc.org or psysc.nscm2016@gmail.com. You may also visit them at www.psysc.org or like their page at www.facebook.com/psysc.nscm.

Senate Conducts Historic First Hearing on SOGIE-Specific Anti-Discrimination Bill


Wazzup Pilipinas!
Akbayan Senator Risa Hontiveros on Wednesday conducts the first-ever hearing on a proposed landmark measure that seeks to protect the rights of persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity or expression (SOGIE).

Hontiveros, Chair of the Senate Committee on Women, Children, Family Relations and Gender Equality, filed Senate Bill No. 935 otherwise known as the Anti-Discrimination Bill (ADB) which seeks to expand the constitutional provision guaranteeing the fundamental equality before the law of women and men to include lesbians, gays, bisexuals, transgenders, queers and intersex.

The hearing is considered “historic” as this is the first anti-discrimination measure focusing on SOGIE that will be heard in the Senate. It was reported that former Akbayan Congresswoman Etta Rosales filed the bill at the House of Representatives seventeen years ago.

"Today is a historic day for the struggle for equality of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer. Today, the Philippine Senate will hear for the first time a bill that explicitly protects LGBT rights and imposes penalties on discriminatory practices against LGBTs," Hontiveros said in her opening statement.

Hontiveros explained that her bill seeks to penalize discriminatory practices such as harassment by members of institutions involved in the enforcement of law and declare unlawful the act.of denying a person access to public or private medical and other health services open to the general public on the basis of such person's sexual orientation or gender identity or expression.

Following the UN Human Rights Committee Decision in Toonen v Australia, Hontiveros said her bill will put under the scope of the Equal Protection Clause the rights of persons with different sexual orientation and gender identity or expression.

Hontiveros said that there are numerous cases of discrimination against LGBTs such as transwomen who were being denied the right to express their gender identity in schools and in the workplace; gay men who could not donate blood because of a government memorandum prohibiting homosexuals from doing so, and law enforcers threatening LGBTs of prosecution for Grave Scandal under Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code as a scheme to harass and to extort from them, among others.

“Ang laban na ito ay para sa lahat ng batang bakla, lesbyana, transgender na nalilito, nagtatanong at pinagkaitan ng patas na pagkakataon. Ang laban na ito ay para sa lahat ng naghahanap ng pagmamahal, pag-uunawa, pagtanggap, anuman ang kasarian. Ang laban na ito ay para sa pagkakapantay-pantay," Hontiveros said. #




Opening Remarks of Senator Risa Hontiveros during the Committee Hearing on the Anti-Discrimination Bill

Today is a historical day for the struggle for equality of our lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, intersex and queer. Today, the Philippine Senate will hear for the first time a bill that explicitly protects LGBT rights and imposes penalties on discriminatory practices against LGBTs. It was seventeen years ago when the Anti-Discrimination Bill was first filed in Congress by former Akbayan congresswoman and human rights champion Etta Rosales. Ngayon lang nadinig sa mataas na kamara.

The passage of anti-discrimination for SOGIE (or sexual orientation, gender identity, and gender expression) is long overdue. Cases of discrimination and inequality have remained invisible to our national policies and reduced to insignificance by homophobia and stigma. The reports document experiences of transwomen who were being denied the right to express their gender identity in schools and in the workplace; of gay men who could not donate blood because of a government memorandum prohibiting homosexuals from doing so; of gay couples who could be beside each other in the hospital. There were transwomen who were forced by authorities to appear masculine before their passports could be renewed. There were also law enforcers threatening LGBTIQs of prosecution for Grave Scandal under Article 200 of the Revised Penal Code as a scheme to harass and to extort from them. There were cases of gender non-conforming students who were being bullied in schools affecting their performance and ultimately their access to education. There were people living with HIV AIDS who were made more vulnerable by the prevailing stigma against men who have sex with men and transgenders, putting in peril their fundamental right to quality and effective healthcare.

Ang laban na ito ay para sa kanila. Ang laban na ito ay para kay Jimmy Vosotros; para kay Barbie Anne Reiley, para kay Jennifer Laude. Ang laban na ito ay para sa lahat ng batang bakla, lesbyana, transgender na nalilito, nagtatanong, binubully sa playground. Ang laban na ito ay para sa lahat ng naghahanap ng pagmamahal, pag-uunawa, pagtanggap, anuman ang kasarian. Ang laban na ito ay para sa pagkakapantay-pantay.

I firmly believe that the 17th Congress will be the Congress that will pass the Anti-Discrimination Law. The Centennial Senate will be the Senate that will finally say no to hate. Sa ating diskurso ngayong hapon, hinihingi ko ang inyong “bukas-isip” at “bukas-puso”.

It is my honor to shepherd this bill to its eventual passage, as a friend and ally of our beautiful and vibrant LGBTIQ community.

Nine Mistakes That Online Shoppers Are Guilty Of


Wazzup Pilipinas!

Buy what you want with just a click. Online shopping has become a great convenience. You can search and shop for almost anything from anywhere around the world from the confines of your room. As convenient as shopping online is, it does not mean you should click “buy” before adequately educating yourself. Here are some mistakes to avoid to ensure a safe and satisfying online shopping experience:


1. Not Shopping Around


Once you see an item that you like, would you buy it straight away? Why not search further for a better price and save. In the current competitive market, online retailers tend to offer products at more attractive prices. By spending a fair amount of time looking through various online stores, you can, not only compare prices, but also gather more information like delivery time and shipping costs to help you make a more informed purchase decision.


2. Forgetting to Search for and Shop with a Coupon


Coupon codes are a great way to save money. Why pay full price when you can save a percent off your product? The majority of online stores offer these money-saving codes, which can be found with just a quick search. Some websites like iPrice, readily provide their coupons by highlighting it on their homepage so that consumers can easily find and use them.


3. Skipping Reviews

There is no greater fury than a customer scorned, either by a bad product or bad service experience. Many tend to make their displeasure known online. However, it is also the forum for those satisfied with their purchase to give praise to their favourite product. Bloggers and vloggers are readily available to provide useful information like how-to-use the product and their opinions after using the product. Always read reviews on the item that you intend to purchase. This can give you better insights on the product quality, what the product is used for and user experience.

As there are many opinions out there, one way to avoid being overwhelmed by it all, is to look out for the three-star reviews. These tend to offer more pros and cons, whereas five-star reviews could be inflated and those with one-star could just be from customers who are never happy.


4. Purchasing from Unknown or Insecure Sites

An important part of online shopping is being able to trust the website. You can get clues about the security by checking the company’s website address. A good indication is if it begins with https rather than http, the added s shows it is a secure site. Another clue is to look for a padlock icon in the website’s address, which indicates that the site uses encryption to ensure security.

A good rule of thumb is not to purchase anything from suspicious looking or unknown websites – let alone linger on one. Such websites pose high potential in not only messing up your order but worse of all, compromising your credit card or debit card information.


5. Not Using Your Credit Card

Shopping online with a debit card will help limit your spending as you can only shop with the amount you have in your bank account. However, using a debit card runs a higher risk of identity theft and hackers being able to access your personal bank account and money. Should hackers gain access to your bank account, getting your money back will be difficult and in some cases, you may be forced to close your account.

Using credit cards to shop online is generally more secure than debit cards. With the rise in identity theft and fraud, credit cards offer better consumer protection against unauthorised transactions. Some avid online shoppers even use a separate credit card for all their online shopping. With this, any would-be hacker would have access to that one credit card and a call to the credit card provider would help remedy the situation.

A good habit to practice is to review your credit card statements regularly and keep a track of all your transactions. Should you spot anything that should not be on your bill, do contact the credit card provider immediately.


6. Making Online Purchases on Public Wi-Fi Connections
While shopping over public wi-fi at a café or other public areas may be a good way to pass the time, it is not recommended due to security reasons. Such public wi-fi access areas are often not properly secured and can be easily compromised by hackers. Your personal information and credit card details are at risk. So, it is best to do your online shopping when at home or on a secure private network.


7. Not Reading the Return Policy

Found the item that you were looking for, bought it with just one click and discovered that it was not the correct size. Only then to find out that it is stated in the terms and conditions that the item cannot be returned nor exchangeable once sold. A common mistake but a frustrating one.

When shopping for clothes and shoes, always be aware that different retailers, brand and model has the potential to be different. Checking size charts can give you a better idea of how different garments fit. Keep a reminder of your current measurements and typical sizes by your favourite retailer near your computer for quick reference while shopping online.

As good practice, do go through the return policy of each online retailer before you make your purchase.


8. Getting Caught in the Free Trial Trap

As retailers are always eager to keep you updated and informed of the latest promotion or trends, any online shopper regularly receives promotions and free trial offers. This makes signing up for membership or newsletters easy. If you do so, just ensure that the membership perks or the offers are genuine and they are benefits that you will actually use.

Be especially wary of free trials that require your credit card details. Some retailers may sign you up for a long-term subscription without your consent.


9. Falling for “Attractive” Deals and “Exciting” E-mail Links


A majority of consumers at some point of their shopping experience can admit to have fallen for the “attractive and exciting discounts” which one can enjoy by just signing up the retailers’ online form. However, this is followed by a daily influx of emails proclaiming a never-ending slew of offers and discounts. Such emails can tempt you to spend more, turning one purchase into several more.

If you really want to have updates on the latest sales and promotions, one suggestion is to use a separate email account so that you can check your inbox periodically and not have them be a distraction many times in a day.

Online shopping can mean a world of discounts, infinite number of products (and brands) and an easy purchase experience. But if it compromises your personal information, identity and budget, keep in mind these pitfalls mentioned to avoid long term repercussions. By all means, do search, compare prices and save with great deals in order to enjoy a good and safe shopping experience.


Contributor:

Azhann Rosmin

With a deep love of story-telling and literature, Azhann enjoys writing as much as a kid enjoys ice-cream. With a full and fluent grasp of the English language, he writes almost as good as he spins stories of gasps and awe.

Wednesday, August 31, 2016

The Alyan Robin Hood Fan Art That Borrowed From Arrow


Wazzup Pilipinas!

With regards to Alyas Robin Hood being a copycat or not, maybe in the future we could all try to steer away from the familiar or overused concepts, or in this case, characters... so our projects will not be perceived as recycled or copied.

This thinking is evident to how the fan art was created. The artist may have quickly connected or associated it to Arrow thus that is where he patterned his artwork, which also gave the readers the false impression that Alyas Robin Hood is merely a copied version of Arrow.

Even the video teasers were perceived to have similarities to how Arrow is presented on the Hollywood TV series thus being seen as clearly influenced by the same.

Claiming the Pinoy TV show is in reference to the original Robin Hood may not be totally believable since Robin Hood does not usually roam the land during night time (as depicted in most movies where he and his merry men robs from the rich during daytime). Please correct me if I'm wrong.

In any case, let us say I'm trying to research on a possible idea for a fan art for Alyas Robin Hood, would a Google search for Robin Hood bring out Arrow as a result? It would not. At least on the first page results. Closes to Hollywood works would be the movies starred by Kevin Costner, Russel Crowe, etc. 

Top of mind, especially for millennials, would be what is currently, or was lately, shown. Thus, we can easily deduct that the artist really patterned his work after an Arrow poster since that's probably what was first on his mind when he saw the video teasers, and Googled for the Arrow TV series instead.

GMA 7 should realize that the popularity of "Arrow" would obviously connect to Alyas Robin Hood since it's the most recent image of the original, may it be Robin Hood or any other hooded hero with a bow and arrow. It is not surprising that people will think first of Arrow, and accuse Alyas Robin Hood as a copycat even if the story is totally different.

LionhearTV should not have used GMA 7's logo in their own poster because it somehow implies that they are in partnership with the TV station in the creation of the poster, or even the TV series itself. They maybe doing this kind of thing for years, but that could also mean fans have probably thought that their fan arts were actual part of the promotional campaign materials of the TV series or movies.

The lay out of the logos ( LionhearTV at the left and GMA7 at the right) is somehow deceiving to those not familiar of their usual works. Similar layouts would mean that both share ownership of the event, project, campaign, etc. just as in media partnerships where all the logos of sponsors and partners are shown on the posters, banners, streamers, etc. 

Maybe they should either mention it is a fan-art or put their logo somewhere else to clearly indicate it is their own fan art. Many of their readers probably believed the previous fan arts were part of the campaign or promotional efforts of the TV or movie production. Nowadays, not too many could differentiate the real from the fictional or satire.

Duterte's #WarOnDrugs Remains to be a Failure Unless He Adds a Rehab Component


Wazzup Pilipinas!
"Imagine our country without a presumption of innocence, to imagine our country that once you're named, you are guilty. That's exactly the situation now."
#WarOnDrugs should really be a war on drugs and not a war on humanity. Instead, the drug war has dehumanized people.

Malacañang claims that the government is winning the war against illegal drugs. The war on drugs was said to have widespread support, with President Rody Duterte enjoying a 91% approval rating at the end of July, largely due to his hard-line position.

Is it really? Go ahead, keep telling that to yourselves!

The war on drugs has become a polarizing affair that is dividing a nation weary of criminal rampancy. At one end are the police trying to effect much-needed change while at the opposite side are legislators affirming the rule of law.

However, no matter how loudly I say that the war on drugs is a failure, my comments will not signal any substantial change since the government is never listening. The PNP Chief, Ronald "Bato" Dela Rosa, himself has issued an order to the police that they should kill anybody resisting arrest and worry about human rights violations later. There have been many reports that people get killed even if they surrendered peacefully. The statements of the police are also mostly seen unbelievable and illogical.

What is wrong with Duterte's War on Drugs? It does not have a Rehab component.

We should also bring in methods against this madness by learning from the experience of other countries. Brute force is never the answer.

It only aims to purge the suspected drug users and pushers, and never to rehabilitate them. The crackdown is absolutely flawed and done to make up the numbers so that people will think the Duterte administration is indeed successful. It has created suffering on an unimaginable scale, with no discernible benefit.
"My order is shoot to kill you. I don't care about human rights" - Duterte
The death toll has reached nightmare proportions. People are being killed without going through the due process of law. This is not really a battle between drug cartels and government forces, rather a purging of the defenseless poor who, unlike their affluent counterparts, have no financial sources to be blackmailed by the government.

Death squads, prisons full to bursting – and a leader who wants citizens to kill drug dealers to “make his day.”

This is how the new President of the Philippines has been waging the “war on drugs.”
“Do your duty, and if in the process you kill 1,000 persons because you were doing your duty, I will protect you.” - Duterte
It's time to admit that the war on drugs was merely invented to excuse systemic discrimination, incarceration and police intervention. The Philippines' war on drugs has gone out of hand! The president himself is motivating the police to kill even if they violate human rights and due process of law.

Do we easily give up on humanity by thinking it is pointless to even try to turn them back into responsible and decent members of the society?

How could we think that low?

I believe man is inherently good, and those who are misguided are merely victims of circumstances. Everyone could still change for the better if given the proper means to improve themselves. We should never lose hope on our fellow men.

"Let's investigate the entire drug problem. Let it be more systematic, not personality oriented." After all, it should be a war on drugs and not a war on its users.

Why are the police are under “shoot-to-kill” orders for drug suspects? Have we totally approved on scrapping the due process of law? Is the justice system really that bad that the President refuses to subject the suspects through it in fear of just having the suspects released?

"Drug-related killings are slowly becoming the terrifying norm. As we sleep, amid the elation and anger, cheers and protests, the blood spill continues."

The Duterte administration's war on drugs has earned critical views from the international media. It has done more harm than good. Hundreds of people continue to be arrested, and killed, for drug offenses, alarming everyone that this government is never going to give any suspect the due process of law.

Are we expecting more people killed in the next days? This will be a nightmarish 6 years under the Duterte administration.
 
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