Saturday, April 15, 2023

When was the bra and panty introduced in the Philippines

Wazzup Pilipinas!?

In a particular scene on Maria Clara at Ibarra, we see them wondering about the bra...and it also mentioned the underwear or panty, though they only showed the bra and not the latter which were supposedly worn by the actress portraying the role of Maria Clara from the present day who meets the Maria Clara character from Noli Me Tangere of Jose Rizal.

They had to remove the garments when they undressed and changed the clothing of present day Maria Clara when she fainted. The baffled characters from Noli Me Tangere were all making a fuzz about the undergarments at one room while the owner was also figuring out where they put them.

But were there no bra and panty during those times when Noli Me Tangere was written?

It is difficult to pinpoint the exact date when bras and panties were first introduced in the Philippines, as the history of underwear in the country is not well documented. However, it is likely that bras and panties were introduced to the Philippines during the American colonial period, which lasted from 1898 to 1946.

During this time, American cultural influence was strong in the Philippines, and it is likely that American fashion trends, including undergarments, were adopted by some Filipinos. It is also possible that Western-style undergarments were already being used by some members of the elite class in the Philippines prior to the American colonial period, as Western fashion had been influencing Philippine fashion since the Spanish colonial period.

Today, bras and panties are commonly worn by Filipinas, and there are many local and international brands that offer a wide variety of styles and designs.

The modern bra as we know it today was invented in the early 20th century. The first modern bra was patented by Mary Phelps Jacob in 1914. Her design consisted of two handkerchiefs and a pink ribbon, which she sewed together to create a more comfortable and supportive alternative to the corsets that were commonly worn at the time. Over the years, the bra has evolved and taken on many different forms, but it continues to be an important undergarment for women around the world.

The history of underwear dates back to ancient times, but the modern panty as we know it today was first introduced in the late 19th century. In the early 1800s, women's undergarments consisted of long, heavy petticoats and bloomers, which were considered scandalous if seen in public. It wasn't until the late 1800s and early 1900s that women's undergarments began to evolve to include more form-fitting and practical designs.

The first panties were loose-fitting and knee-length, and were called "drawers". However, in the 1920s and 1930s, the popularization of shorter skirts and dresses led to the development of more form-fitting and shorter styles of panties. Today, there are many different types of panties available, including thongs, boy shorts, and briefs, among others.

Jose Rizal's Noli Me Tangere

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"Noli Me Tangere" is a novel written by Filipino national hero Jose Rizal. It is considered one of the most important literary works in the Philippines, as it sparked a revolution against Spanish colonialism in the country during the late 19th century.

The story is set in the fictional town of San Diego, and follows the life of Juan Crisostomo Ibarra, a young Filipino who has recently returned to the Philippines after studying in Europe. Ibarra's father was falsely accused of being a rebel and died in prison, and his mission is to clear his father's name.

Throughout the novel, Rizal criticizes the injustices and corruption of the Spanish colonial government in the Philippines, as well as the hypocrisy and corruption within the Catholic Church. The novel also delves into issues of class, race, and the struggle for national identity.

The title of the book, "Noli Me Tangere," is a Latin phrase that means "Touch Me Not." This phrase is taken from the Gospel of John in the Bible, in which Jesus tells Mary Magdalene not to touch him after his resurrection. Rizal uses this phrase as a symbol of the distance between the ruling Spanish class and the oppressed Filipino people, and of the need for revolution in order to bring about change.

One of the key themes of the novel is the struggle for national identity. Rizal portrays the Philippines as a nation in crisis, torn between its colonial past and the desire for independence. He also highlights the importance of education in shaping national identity, as Ibarra's European education has given him a different perspective on Philippine society and its problems.

Another important theme is the role of religion in society. Rizal was critical of the Catholic Church in the Philippines, which he saw as being complicit in the oppression of the Filipino people. He also believed that the Church's teachings had been used to justify colonialism and to keep the people subservient to the ruling class.

Overall, "Noli Me Tangere" is a powerful and influential work of literature that played a crucial role in the struggle for Philippine independence. It remains a cornerstone of Filipino literature and a symbol of the fight against oppression and injustice.

In Tagalog, ang Noli Me Tangere ay isang nobelang isinulat ni Jose Rizal, isang bayaning Pilipino na kinilala sa kanyang mga kontribusyon sa pag-asa at kalayaan ng bansa. Ito ay naglalarawan sa mga kaganapan sa Pilipinas noong panahon ng pananakop ng mga Kastila at nagpapakita ng mga pang-aabuso at katiwalian ng mga opisyal ng kolonya. Ang kanyang mga pangunahing karakter ay sina Crisostomo Ibarra, Elias, at Maria Clara, na nagpapakita ng iba't ibang reaksyon sa mga pangyayari sa kanilang paligid.

Sa nobela, si Crisostomo Ibarra ay isang mayamang binata na nagbabalak na magtayo ng paaralan para sa mga Pilipino upang makapagbigay ng edukasyon sa kanila. Subalit, siya ay naakusahan ng isang kasalanan na hindi niya ginawa at naparusahan ng mga Kastila. Si Elias, sa kabilang banda, ay isang magsasaka na naghihikayat ng mga taga-bayan na magkaisa laban sa mga pang-aapi ng mga Kastila. Si Maria Clara naman ay isang dalagang Pilipina na anak ng isang mayamang mag-aalahas. Siya ay nagpakamatay dahil sa mga suliraning kinakaharap ng mga Pilipino sa panahon ng kolonyalismo.

Ang Noli Me Tangere ay hindi lamang isang nobela kundi isang talaan ng kasaysayan ng Pilipinas. Ito ay nagpapakita ng mga pangyayari sa panahon ng mga Kastila sa Pilipinas, kung saan sila ay nang-aabuso sa mga Pilipino. Ipinapakita din nito ang mga kahalagahan ng edukasyon at pagkakaisa sa paglaban sa pang-aapi. Ito rin ay nagpapakita ng mga suliranin na kinakaharap ng mga Pilipino tulad ng korupsyon, kahirapan, at iba pa.

Bukod sa kasaysayan ng Pilipinas, ang Noli Me Tangere ay nagpapakita din ng iba't ibang aspekto ng buhay tulad ng pag-ibig, pagkakaibigan, at pakikipagsapalaran. Ito ay nagbibigay ng inspirasyon sa mga Pilipino na lumaban at magtagumpay sa kabila ng mga hamon na kanilang kinakaharap.

Ang Noli Me Tangere ay isang halimbawa ng kagitingan at katalinuhan ng mga Pilipino. Sa pamamagitan ng nobelang ito, ipinakita ni Jose Rizal ang kanyang pagmamahal sa bansa at pag-asa sa pagkakamit ng kalayaan ng Pilipinas. Ito ay dapat na maging inspirasyon sa bawat isa upang ipagpatuloy ang laban para sa kasarinlan at kalayaan ng bansa.

Filipino Food Month celebration

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April is Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino.

April is declared as the Filipino Food Month or Buwan ng Kalutong Pilipino, by virtue of Presidential Proclamation No. 469 that was signed in 2018.

The national celebration aims to appreciate, preserve, promote, and ensure the transmission of the vast Filipino culinary traditions and treasures to the future generation. Let's dive into the mouthwatering and diverse dishes of this tropical paradise.

Filipino Food Month also supports various industries, farmers, and agri-communities.

Let's commemorate the rich culinary traditions of the Philippines, we recognize the significance of food in fostering community building and connection. 

Happy Filipino Food Month!

Filipino Food Month is an annual celebration that honors the rich and diverse culinary traditions of the Philippines. This month-long celebration, which takes place every April, aims to showcase the unique flavors, ingredients, and techniques that make Filipino cuisine stand out in the world.

The history of Filipino cuisine is a fascinating one. It is a reflection of the country's complex history and diverse cultural influences. The Philippines was a melting pot of different cultures long before the arrival of the Spanish colonizers in the 16th century. Chinese, Malay, Indonesian, and Indian traders had established trade links with the islands centuries before the Spanish arrived. The Spanish colonial period brought in a new set of culinary traditions, with dishes like adobo, cocido, and caldereta becoming popular. The American colonial period brought in new ingredients like canned goods, ketchup, and mayonnaise.

Filipino cuisine is known for its bold flavors, colorful presentation, and use of fresh ingredients. Some of the most popular dishes include adobo, sinigang, lechon, kare-kare, pancit, and lumpia. Adobo is a savory and tangy stew made with chicken, pork, or beef, marinated in vinegar, soy sauce, garlic, and bay leaves. Sinigang is a sour soup made with tamarind, tomato, onions, and a variety of meats or seafood. Lechon is a roasted pig that is often the centerpiece of festive celebrations. Kare-kare is a peanut-based stew made with oxtail, beef, or tripe, and a variety of vegetables. Pancit is a stir-fried noodle dish that comes in many varieties, including bihon, canton, and palabok. Lumpia is a Filipino version of a spring roll, usually filled with a mixture of vegetables and meat.

Filipino Food Month is an opportunity to explore the many flavors of Filipino cuisine. Many restaurants and food establishments offer special menus or promotions during this time, featuring traditional Filipino dishes and flavors. There are also food festivals and events held in different parts of the country, showcasing the diversity of Filipino cuisine.

The celebration of Filipino Food Month is not just about food, but also about the cultural significance of Filipino cuisine. Food plays a central role in Filipino culture, bringing people together and creating a sense of community. Many Filipino dishes are associated with specific occasions, such as lechon for fiestas, bibingka for Christmas, and pancit for birthdays. By celebrating Filipino food, we are also celebrating the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines.

In recent years, Filipino cuisine has gained recognition and popularity around the world. Filipino chefs and restaurateurs are making a name for themselves in the international culinary scene, showcasing the unique flavors and techniques of Filipino cuisine. Filipino Food Month is an opportunity to support and promote Filipino food and culture, and to raise awareness about the diversity and richness of Filipino cuisine.

In conclusion, Filipino Food Month is an annual celebration of the rich and diverse culinary traditions of the Philippines. It is an opportunity to explore the many flavors of Filipino cuisine, to celebrate the cultural significance of food in Filipino culture, and to support and promote Filipino food and culture. As we celebrate Filipino Food Month, let us take pride in the unique flavors, ingredients, and techniques that make Filipino cuisine stand out in the world.

Dolly De Leon and what the Triangle of Sadness term origin

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The Triangle of Sadness film, which won the Palme d'Or at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival, and even got Dolly De Leon nominated for a Golden Globe, is a satirical black comedy set against the world of fashion and the uber-rich in which we get a glimpse of social hierarchies, gender-based power dynamics, conflicting political ideologies, financial inequality, and race power structures.

Ruben Östlund’s wickedly funny Palme d’Or #WINNER, social hierarchy is turned upside down, revealing the tawdry relationship between power and beauty. What first appeared instagrammable ends catastrophically.

Filipina actor Dolly De Leon got one of her biggest ever parts in the widely acclaimed movie "Triangle of Sadness." She plays Abigail, a cleaning lady on a luxury cruise who takes orders from Paula, the head of crew. 

Unfortunately, she did not win the Golden Globe nomination for Best Supporting Actress.

But she made history as the first-ever Filipino to be nominated for a Golden Globe and BAFTA for her performance as Captain Abigail in ‘Triangle of Sadness’ and also won a FAMAS award for her performance in ‘Verdict’ in 2020.

Though, to recognize her invaluable contribution to the Philippine Film Industry, the FDCP is set to give the Annual Achievement Award to Dolly De Leon, along with others (Soliman Cruz and Martika Escobar) at the "Parangal ng Sining" which will be held on April 23 in Seda Hotel.

“Parangal ng Sining” (Honor of the Arts) is FDCP’s initiative to recognize Filipino filmmakers, artists, and institutions who continue to achieve and work for excellence, leading to acclaim in international film festivals across the globe.

Dolly De Leon has already wrapped filming her scenes in 2 of her Hollywood projects

• ‘Grand Death Lotto’ with Simu Liu, Awkwafina, and John Cena dir. Paul Feig

• ‘Between The Temples’ with Jason Schwartzman

She is raring to work with screen superstar Kathryn Bernardo in their recently announced Star Cinema film "A Very Good Girl."

“Kinikilig ako kasi galing na galing ako kay Kathryn. She’s really a very good actress. Napakahusay niya, at saka napakabuting tao. I’m so flattered and I’m really excited to work with her.”

"The Triangle of Sadness" is real-world term for the area between the eyebrows and the very top of the nose bridge. 

From high atop Mt. Privilege, the uber-rich prove just how absurd and clueless they are. And yes Gwyneth, if those Prada boots fit, wear ‘em! But when the super-yacht goes down, it’s the lowly “toilet lady” who schools the assholes in power. 

The "Triangle of Sadness" is a term used in the equestrian world to describe a specific area on a horse's head where excess skin and fatty tissue can accumulate. This area is located between the horse's eyes and just above the bridge of their nose, forming a triangle-shaped depression. Although it may seem like a minor anatomical feature, the Triangle of Sadness can actually have significant implications for a horse's health and well-being.

The Triangle of Sadness is not unique to any particular breed of horse and can occur in both males and females. It is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic factors, such as the shape of the horse's skull, as well as environmental factors, such as diet and exercise. Horses that are overweight or obese are more likely to develop excess fatty tissue in this area, as are horses that are not exercised regularly or that spend long periods of time standing in a stall or paddock.

While the Triangle of Sadness may not pose an immediate threat to a horse's health, it can be a sign of underlying issues that should be addressed. Excess fatty tissue in this area can put pressure on the horse's nasal passages and sinuses, leading to breathing difficulties and other respiratory issues. It can also be a sign of an imbalance in the horse's diet or an underlying metabolic disorder, such as insulin resistance or Cushings disease.

In addition to the physical implications, the Triangle of Sadness can also have emotional implications for horses. Horses are highly social animals that rely on facial expressions and body language to communicate with one another. A horse with a deep Triangle of Sadness may be seen as less attractive or less desirable by other horses, which can lead to social isolation and a decreased quality of life.

Fortunately, there are several steps that horse owners can take to prevent or address the Triangle of Sadness. The most important step is to ensure that the horse is receiving a balanced and appropriate diet, with the right balance of forage, grains, and supplements. Regular exercise, both under saddle and through turnout, can also help prevent excess fatty tissue from accumulating in this area. In some cases, veterinary intervention may be necessary to address underlying health issues or to surgically remove excess tissue.

In conclusion, the Triangle of Sadness is a unique anatomical feature of horses that can have significant implications for their health and well-being. Horse owners should be aware of this area and take steps to prevent or address excess fatty tissue in this area. By doing so, they can help ensure that their horses remain healthy, happy, and thriving for years to come.

The Triangle of Sadness is a thoroughly entertaining, delightfully wicked fable about structures of power that are only one shipwreck away from going belly up. A perfect parable for an age of excess.

The movie is an impressive satirical drama that takes aim at the super rich and has strong language, sex, drinking, and smoking.

UPD-CS scientists feted for pioneering genomics research in the Philippines

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UP Scientists feted for pioneering genomics work
(From L-R) PGC Executive Director Dr. Cynthia Saloma, DOST Undersecretary Dr. Leah Buendia, DOST Secretary Dr. Renato Solidum, DOH Director of Epidemiology Bureau Dr. Alethea De Guzman, and DA Biotech Program Office Director Dr. Claro Mingala discuss the latest developments in Philippine genomics. (Photo credit: Shedy Masayon, UPD-CS SciComm)

From shedding light on mythological creatures to helping fight crime, the Philippine-led study of the basic building blocks of life has come a very
long way. Ever since the inception of the country’s genomics program in 2009, scientists from the University of the Philippines Diliman – College of Science (UPD-CS) have been advancing the country’s genomics research in many surprising ways.

UPD-CS scientists lead the way

Major outbreaks worldwide, such as dengue, SARS, and H1N1, brought the Philippines to realize the vital role of genomic research in predicting, diagnosing, and treating diseases before they spread to a greater degree.

In the same year that the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) set the country's genomics agenda, UP established the Philippine Genome Center (PGC), which aims to improve the quality of the lives of Filipinos through
genomics-focused multidisciplinary research. PGC was founded by four scientists, two of whom are from the UPD-CS: Dr. Gisela Concepcion of the Marine Science Institute (MSI) and Dr. Cynthia Saloma of the National Institute of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB), who also currently serves as the Center’s Executive Director.

UPD-CS scientists also helm the PGC’s Executive Committee: Institute of Biology’s (IB’s) Dr. Neil Andrew Bascos, Director of the Protein, Proteomics, and Metabolomics Facility, and Dr. Michael Velarde, Director of the Biobank Core Facility; and Natural Science Research Institute’s
(NSRI’s) Dr. Maria Corazon De Ungria, Director of Biodiversity, Ethnicity, and Forensics.

Genomics in justice, mythology, and beyond

In DOST’s recent press conference, "From Labs to Lives: Impact of DOST-led Genomics Program in PH,” held on April 14 at the PGC, UPD-CS scientists presented and discussed the significant milestones and progress that the Philippines’ genomics program has achieved over the last decade.

In particular, Dr. De Ungria showcased the NSRI DNA Analysis Laboratory’s locally-developed sexual assault investigation kit (SAIK) that doctors can use to facilitate justice for victims. The event also highlighted advances in understanding and testing for dystonia parkinsonism, a rare genetic disease thought to be the basis for the “aswang” creatures of Philippine mythology. The speakers also touched on new studies in improving the breed and stock of Philippine cows implemented by the Philippine Carabao Center.

The event was capped by the unveiling of the PGC’s new Protein, Proteomics, and Metabolomics Facility (PPMF) that will enable the Center to further its research into the effects and end-products of genes’ functions in the body.

Filipino researchers have vastly expanded genomics applications in health care in the Philippines in various ways. Through their pioneering research studies and contribution to the genomics program of the country, UPD-CS
scientists continue to use science for national progress, embodying UP’s commitment to serving the Filipino people.

For interview requests and other concerns, please contact

Friday, April 14, 2023

Have we stopped the spread of the Coronavirus?

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The coronavirus, also known as COVID-19, is an infectious disease caused by a newly discovered virus. The outbreak began in Wuhan, China, in December 2019 and quickly spread to become a global pandemic. The virus has caused significant disruptions to daily life, and has resulted in millions of deaths worldwide. In this article, we will explore the coronavirus in detail, including its symptoms, transmission, treatment, prevention, and impact on society.


The coronavirus primarily affects the respiratory system and can cause a wide range of symptoms. The most common symptoms include fever, cough, and fatigue. Other symptoms may include shortness of breath, sore throat, loss of taste or smell, body aches, and diarrhea. In severe cases, the virus can cause pneumonia, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and even death.


The coronavirus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets that are released when an infected person talks, coughs, or sneezes. These droplets can land on surfaces and objects, and other people can become infected by touching these surfaces and then touching their face. The virus can also be spread by people who are asymptomatic, meaning they show no symptoms but are still infected.


There is currently no specific treatment for the coronavirus. Treatment focuses on managing symptoms and providing supportive care, such as oxygen therapy, for those with severe cases. Some antiviral drugs have shown promise in treating the virus, but more research is needed to confirm their effectiveness.


The best way to prevent the spread of the coronavirus is to practice good hygiene. This includes washing your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, avoiding close contact with people who are sick, wearing a mask in public places, and staying home if you are feeling unwell. Vaccines have also been developed to protect against the virus, and many countries have launched vaccination campaigns to immunize their populations.

Impact on Society:

The coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on society, affecting nearly every aspect of daily life. Governments around the world have implemented measures such as lockdowns, travel restrictions, and social distancing guidelines to slow the spread of the virus. These measures have had a major economic impact, causing job losses and business closures. The pandemic has also highlighted existing inequalities in healthcare and access to resources, particularly in marginalized communities. Despite the challenges, the pandemic has also spurred innovation in healthcare, education, and remote work, as people and organizations adapt to the new reality.

The coronavirus pandemic has affected the world in profound ways, and its impact will be felt for years to come. While the situation remains challenging, there is hope on the horizon with the development of vaccines and ongoing research into treatments. By continuing to follow public health guidelines and taking measures to protect ourselves and others, we can work towards a brighter future.

There are several vaccines that have been developed and authorized for use against the coronavirus. Here are some of the most common ones:

Pfizer-BioNTech: This vaccine is an mRNA-based vaccine that requires two doses, given 21 days apart. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including the United States, European Union, and United Kingdom.

Moderna: This vaccine is also an mRNA-based vaccine that requires two doses, given 28 days apart. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including the United States and European Union.

Johnson & Johnson: This vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that requires a single dose. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including the United States and European Union.

AstraZeneca: This vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that requires two doses, given 4-12 weeks apart. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including the United Kingdom, European Union, and India.

Sinovac: This vaccine is an inactivated virus vaccine that requires two doses, given 2-4 weeks apart. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including China, Indonesia, and Brazil.

Sinopharm: This vaccine is an inactivated virus vaccine that requires two doses, given 3-4 weeks apart. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including China and the United Arab Emirates.

Sputnik V: This vaccine is a viral vector vaccine that requires two doses, given 3 weeks apart. It has been authorized for use in many countries, including Russia and India.

Each of these vaccines has been shown to be effective at preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death from the coronavirus. However, the level of effectiveness may vary, and the safety and efficacy of each vaccine continue to be monitored and evaluated by regulatory agencies.

While the COVID-19 vaccines have been effective in reducing the spread of the virus and preventing severe illness, hospitalization, and death, they have not completely stopped the coronavirus.

It is important to note that the vaccines were developed to provide protection against the virus and to help slow the spread of the disease. They were not developed with the goal of completely eradicating the virus. While the vaccines have been successful in reducing the number of cases and hospitalizations, the virus is still circulating in many parts of the world, and there is still a risk of infection, particularly in areas with low vaccination rates or where new variants of the virus are emerging.

Furthermore, the effectiveness of the vaccines can be impacted by new variants of the virus that may be more transmissible or resistant to the vaccines. This underscores the need for ongoing surveillance and monitoring of the virus, as well as the development of new vaccines and treatments as needed.

Overall, the vaccines have been a crucial tool in the fight against the coronavirus, and widespread vaccination remains one of the most effective ways to slow the spread of the disease and reduce the impact of the pandemic. However, it is important to continue to follow public health guidelines, such as wearing masks and practicing social distancing, particularly in areas with high transmission rates or low vaccination rates.

Cordyceps fungus causes zombie outbreak in The Last of Us

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The Last of Us is a popular video game that takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where the majority of humanity has been wiped out by a deadly virus.

“The Last of Us” on HBO envisions a pandemic with a twist: It's a fungus, not a virus that wipes out much of civilization with terrifying speed. The pathogen takes over the brains and bodies of infected people, turning them into violent monsters that sprout tendrils from their mouths.

The virus has transformed people into vicious, zombie-like creatures, who are referred to as the infected. The game follows the story of Joel, a smuggler, and Ellie, a young girl who is immune to the virus, as they try to survive and find a cure. But what caused the outbreak in the first place? In this article, we will explore the cause of the zombie outbreak in The Last of Us.

The cause of the outbreak in The Last of Us is a fictionalized version of the Cordyceps fungus. Cordyceps are a real fungus that infects insects, such as ants and beetles, and takes over their bodies. In The Last of Us, the Cordyceps fungus has mutated and can now infect humans, turning them into aggressive, zombie-like creatures.

The Cordyceps fungus in the game is highly contagious and is spread through spores that are released by infected individuals. Once a person inhales the spores, the fungus begins to grow and spread throughout their body, eventually taking over their brain and turning them into a "Clicker," one of the most dangerous types of infected in the game.

It is not entirely clear how the Cordyceps fungus mutated to infect humans in The Last of Us. However, it is suggested in the game that the fungus was originally developed as a biological weapon by the military to control populations. The weapon was supposed to target specific ethnic groups, but the fungus mutated and got out of control, infecting everyone in its path.

Another theory suggests that the fungus was spread accidentally by humans who were trying to study it. The fungus was being researched in a lab, and somehow, it escaped and infected the researchers. From there, it spread to the general population and caused the outbreak.

Regardless of how the outbreak started, the result was catastrophic. Within a short period, the world was plunged into chaos, and most of the population was wiped out. The few remaining survivors were forced to fend for themselves, living in fear of the infected and other dangers in the post-apocalyptic world.

In conclusion, the cause of the zombie outbreak in The Last of Us is a fictionalized version of the Cordyceps fungus. The fungus has mutated to infect humans, turning them into aggressive, zombie-like creatures that are highly contagious. While the exact cause of the outbreak is not entirely clear, it is suggested in the game that the fungus was developed as a biological weapon or spread accidentally through research. The outbreak resulted in the collapse of society and forced survivors to live in a world filled with danger and uncertainty.

When the Cordyceps fungus infects an insect, it takes over the host's body, manipulating its behavior to ensure the fungus's survival. For example, the fungus can cause the host to climb to a high location before dying, which increases the chances of spores spreading to other insects.

There are over 400 species of Cordyceps fungi, and they are found all over the world, particularly in tropical regions. The fungus has been used in traditional Chinese medicine for centuries and is believed to have various health benefits, such as boosting the immune system and improving energy levels.

While the Cordyceps fungus typically infects insects, there have been some documented cases of it infecting mammals, such as mice and rabbits. However, there has been no evidence to suggest that the fungus can infect humans.

In The Last of Us, the Cordyceps fungus has been fictionalized to infect humans, and the concept of a fungus taking over the human body is purely speculative. However, it is not entirely impossible for a fungus to infect humans, as there are many examples of fungi causing diseases in humans. For example, the fungus Candida can cause thrush and other infections, while Aspergillus can cause lung infections.

That being said, the idea of a fungus taking over the human body and turning them into a zombie-like creature is highly unlikely. The human immune system is incredibly complex and sophisticated, and it is designed to detect and destroy foreign invaders, such as fungi and viruses. While there have been cases of fungal infections in humans, the immune system is usually able to fight off the infection, particularly if it is caught early.

In conclusion, while the Cordyceps fungus is a real fungus that infects insects, there is no evidence to suggest that it can infect humans. The idea of a fungus taking over the human body and turning them into a zombie-like creature is purely speculative and highly unlikely. Nonetheless, the concept has provided an interesting and unique premise for The Last of Us video game.

SSS eyes hiring of PWDs in branches, offices in 2023

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The Social Security System (SSS) announced on Friday that it plans to hire additional Persons with Disability (PWDs) in its branches and offices.

SSS President and CEO Rolando Ledesma Macasaet said that even as the SSS is compliant with the Magna Carta for PWDs, it continues to look for other ways to encourage the active participation of PWDs in the society.

“As one of the country’s primary providers of meaningful social security protection to Filipino workers, we can attest to the importance of having gainful work during your younger years not only to make ends meet but also to secure your future,” Macasaet said. “Having this in mind, we want to do our part in helping PWDs obtain this right by providing them with more employment opportunities in our offices.”

The SSS will coordinate with the Department of Social Welfare and Development’s (DSWD’s) National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) and other agencies and organizations that share the same goals, to disseminate vacancy announcements, to facilitate the hiring of PWDs, and to ensure the provision of special facilities.

The SSS is a state-run social insurance institution that extends social security protection to Filipino workers in the private and informal sectors. Under the Social Security Act of 2018, it provides seven benefit programs namely Sickness, Maternity, Unemployment, Retirement, Disability, Death, and Funeral, as well as loan privileges.

As of December 2022, the SSS has 279 local and 28 foreign offices staffed by 6,525 regular employees.

DOH calls for polio, measles outbreak prevention to protect children

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Vaccines are effective in stopping the spread of measles, rubella and polio in communities.

The Department of Health - Metro Manila Center for Health Department (DOH-MMCHD) warned the public of an impending polio and measles outbreak this year if not addressed immediately.

During the online media partner's meeting on Thursday, April 13, the DOH-MMCHD 2022 data showed a notable 160 percent increase in cases of rubella and measles compared to 2021, which calls for Supplementary Immunization Activities (SIA) to prevent an outbreak of the diseases.

According to DOH-MMCHD, millions of children were not able to get vaccinated during the pandemic, and the number of unvaccinated children is increasing because of the delays in vaccination brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic.

It can be recalled that Polio attacks the spinal cord and nerves of muscles in the feet/legs, which causes paralysis. The infection may also ascend and affect the muscles of breathing including the diaphragm causing difficulty breathing. Polio is dangerous especially for children younger than 5 years old.

On the other hand, Rubella or "tigdas-hangin" is an infectious virus that can infect pregnant women. This may cause the mother to lose her child or give birth to a child with congenital malformations.

Meanwhile, Measles or "tigdas" may cause severe complications including blindness, encephalitis, ear infection, and pneumonia. It can also cause death.

DOH-MMCHD noted that many children will be in danger if the spread of these diseases is not prevented. An outbreak of polio, rubella, and measles may also happen.

"We would need additional budget, personnel, and resources to address the outbreak while the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing," DOH-MMCHD stated.

"Our health personnel will be overburdened with the possible surge of patients in facilities... facilities will not be enough, and adequate medical attention may not be provided due to the volume of patients," DOH-MMCHD added.

To avoid the possible effects of widespread dissemination and infection of the said diseases, the DOH-MMCHD will be conducting a vaccination campaign from May 1-31, 2023 in health centers and assigned temporary vaccination posts nationwide. Vaccination teams will also go house-to-house to encourage the vaccination of children from 0 o 59 months old.

All children will be given supplemental doses. Measles-Rubella Vaccine will be given to 9-59 months old, while Oral Polio vaccine will be given to 0-59 months old.
The activity shall be synchronized and completed within 4 weeks including rapid convenience monitoring (RCM), mop ups for missed children, follow-ups of deferred children and for refusals.

Parangal ng Sining 2023: Lifetime Achievement Awardees

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For dedicating their lives in pursuit of mastering their craft and for their significant contributions to the development of Philippine Cinema, the Film Development Council of the Philippines (FDCP) will confer the Lifetime Achievement Award to Ms. Vilma Santos, Mr. Nick Deocampo, Ms. Lily Yu Monteverde, and to Cinemalaya at the "Parangal ng Sining," an invitation-only event, which will be held on April 23 in Seda Hotel.

“Parangal ng Sining” (Honor of the Arts) is FDCP’s initiative to give homage to Filipino filmmakers, artists, and institutions who continue to achieve and strive for excellence, leading to acclaim in international film festivals across the globe Known as the Star For All Seasons, Vilma Santos is undeniably one of the most successful and most influential actresses of her generation. From multiple box office hits to high-rating television shows, she has grown into the icon that she is today. Her influence, not just in the entertainment industry, transcended into public service as she became a public servant.

For transcending stardom into becoming a symbol of resilience and professionalism, a shining example of what it means to be a beacon to the public, the FDCP will confer the Lifetime Achievement Award to Vilma Santos.

Lily Yu Monteverde, most commonly known as Mother Lily, is one of the first producers who pioneered the production of some Filipino blockbuster films in the country.

As the matriarch of Regal Entertainment, Inc., the oldest movie production company in the Philippines, Mother Lily led the production of the “Shake, Rattle, and Roll” franchise which has become one of the most popular and most iconic horror franchises in the country.

For tirelessly navigating the decades of changing trends in Philippine cinema and for giving life changing opportunities to young directors and writers to find their voices in mainstream movies, the FDCP will confer the Lifetime Achievement Award to Vilma Santos. 

A film professor, a film archivist, and a film historian, Nick Deocampo dedicated his life to the scholarship of Philippine Cinema. He significantly contributed to the discovery and restoration of many Filipino films, which many have thought have been already lost.

His extensive research on Philippine cinema also led to the discovery of many tales and fascinating stories about the country’s cinematic history, allowing the younger generation to reflect and further build on our very own cinematic past.

For his consistent output of tireless studies of Filipino films that help future generations of Filipinos to understand the roots and directions of the art, the FDCP will confer the Lifetime Achievement Award to Nick Deocampo.

Established to help develop and support the production of cinematic works of Filipino independent filmmakers and to inspire Asian filmmakers by showcasing the Philippines as the cinematic center of creativity and free artistic expression, the Cinemalaya Foundation has been steadily contributing to the growth of the local film industry.

For 18 years, the Cinemalaya Philippine Independent Film Festival, Cinemalaya Foundation’s core project, has provided a platform for both independent filmmakers and independent films which allowed them to reach a wider audience and showcase their unique perspectives through feature films and short films.

For providing the platform for cinema artists—whether in front or behind the camera—to be recognized for their priceless talent, the FDCP will confer the Lifetime Achievement Award to Cinemalaya.

Through “Parangal ng Sining,” the FDCP aims to encourage and motivate the creatives and stakeholders of the Philippine Film Industry, including the filmmakers, artists, workers, distributors, cinema owners, and audiences to come together and continue celebrating the role and importance of cinema in distilling the nation’s cultural identity, and our own identity as Filipinos.

UP Sandigan’s Leadership Summit: The Rise of Leadership in the Face of Adversity

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Leadership is not solely defined by the management skills one has, but also by the ability to handle, deal with, navigate through, and maneuver difficult situations that may arise. Through these challenging dilemmas, leadership can be seen, manifested, and could inspire, touch, and move numerous lives to embody the best version of themselves. In the context of the Philippines, 2022 is the start of a new era that is denoted by multiple challenges and issues through a change in administration.

In connection with this, this year’s UP Sandigan’s Leadership Summit: The Rise of Leadership in the Face of Adversity aims to highlight the varying leadership roles among different sectors and areas of interest in an attempt to help the youth understand and get a better grasp of the significance of these roles in dealing with timely and recent events and issues brought by a transition in the government and mitigating the risks that may arise from these complicated situations.

Join us in this online summit on April 29, 2023 (Saturday) via Zoom from 1:00 to 5:00 pm!

Registration is FREE! Register via!

Baybayin: pre-Spanish writing system of the Philippines

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Baybayin is a pre-colonial script used by the Tagalog people of the Philippines. It is an ancient writing system that is believed to have originated from the island of Luzon and was widely used throughout the archipelago before the arrival of the Spanish in the 16th century. The script is also known as Alibata, which is derived from the first four letters of the Arabic script.

History of Baybayin

The origins of Baybayin are shrouded in mystery, but it is believed to have been in use since the 10th century. The script was used to write various languages, including Tagalog, Bisaya, Kapampangan, Ilokano, and Bikol, among others. Baybayin was used for writing letters, documents, and poetry, as well as for inscriptions on stones, metal, and other materials.

During the Spanish colonial period, the use of Baybayin declined as the Spanish introduced the Latin alphabet and imposed it as the official script for writing in the Philippines. The use of Baybayin was discouraged, and it eventually fell out of use, leading to its near extinction by the 20th century.

However, in recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in Baybayin, as many Filipinos seek to reclaim their cultural heritage and identity. Baybayin has been recognized as a national cultural treasure by the Philippine government and is now taught in schools and universities as part of the country's rich cultural heritage.

Structure of Baybayin

Baybayin consists of 17 basic characters, each of which represents a specific sound or syllable. The characters are written in a continuous script, with no spaces between words. The script is written from left to right, and the lines are drawn from top to bottom.

The basic characters of Baybayin are:A - /a/
BA - /ba/
KA - /ka/
DA - /da/
GA - /ga/
HA - /ha/
JA - /dʒa/
LA - /la/
MA - /ma/
NA - /na/
NG - /ŋ/
PA - /pa/
RA - /ɾa/
SA - /sa/
TA - /ta/
WA - /wa/
YA - /ja/

In addition to these basic characters, Baybayin also has diacritical marks that modify the sounds of the characters. These marks are used to indicate vowel sounds, glottal stops, and nasal sounds.

Uses of Baybayin

Baybayin was used for various purposes, including:Writing letters and documents
Writing poetry and other literary works
Inscriptions on stone, metal, and other materials
Recording historical events and genealogies
Writing prayers and religious texts

Today, Baybayin is used mainly for artistic and cultural purposes, such as in calligraphy, graphic design, and jewelry-making. It is also used in tattoo art, as many Filipinos choose to have Baybayin script tattooed on their bodies as a way of reconnecting with their cultural heritage.

Baybayin is a fascinating and ancient writing system that reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Philippines. Although it fell out of use during the Spanish colonial period, there has been a recent resurgence of interest in Baybayin as Filipinos seek to reclaim their cultural identity. Baybayin is an important part of Philippine history and culture, and its revival is a testament to the resilience and strength of the Filipino people.

Baybayin is our pre-Spanish writing system, not "alibata" that are the first three letters in Arabic: alif (A), baa (B), and taa (T). This illustration from a 1950's baybayin book teaches the Tagalog names for parts of the body in baybayin. Modesty dictated that one part is left without translation.

The 'Big Bang Theory' is back!?

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Bazinga! Chuck Lorre is developing a new comedy series derived from 'The Big Bang Theory' for Max, formerly known as HBO Max.

Warner Bros. Television announced that a new spin-off comedy series is in the works, with executive producer and co-creator Chuck Lorre at the helm once again.

A new spin-off of ‘The Big Bang Theory’ is in the works at HBO Max. ‘The Big Bang Theory’ universe is expanding. Max and ‘Big Bang’ co-creator/EP Chuck Lorre are developing a new comedy series in #TheBigBangTheory universe.

Wasn’t that the point of Young Sheldon?

They're doing all these spinoffs... How about something new? Harry Potter is getting a remake, which like WTF, now the Big Bang Theory... IDK, I would like to see something new for once.

Have they not realized that spin-offs are unsuccessful 85% of the time? when was the last time hollywood produced a well received reboot/spin-off? Though I will still be watching out of curiosity.

Young Sheldon is really good so I’ll keep my hopes up! I’m curious about who it will be. 

Since we already have one for Sheldon I would find it fun if we could have like an anthology series with each character in their childhood. like each 3 episodes.

Please for the love of God, I am begging Hollywood execs to green light the thousands of pitches out there for new and creative content.

We don’t need more reboots, remakes, and spin offs. We need imagination.

It seems new IPs ain’t selling anymore so they selling people nostalgia because it’s guaranteed money.... but the catch is, these shows fizzle out after 3 seasons. That’s because the OG show brought them in and then when the show proved to be ass, then noone tuned in.

The Big Bang Theory is a popular American sitcom that aired on CBS from 2007 to 2019. The show revolves around a group of nerdy friends who are all scientists, and their daily lives as they navigate their work, relationships, and friendships. The show is known for its humor and references to popular culture, science, and technology. In this blog, we will take a closer look at The Big Bang Theory and explore why it became so popular among audiences.


The show's main characters are Leonard Hofstadter (Johnny Galecki), Sheldon Cooper (Jim Parsons), Howard Wolowitz (Simon Helberg), Raj Koothrappali (Kunal Nayyar), Penny (Kaley Cuoco), Bernadette Rostenkowski (Melissa Rauch), and Amy Farrah Fowler (Mayim Bialik). Each character has their unique quirks, interests, and personalities that make them endearing to the audience. For example, Sheldon is a brilliant but socially awkward physicist who struggles with basic human interactions, while Leonard is a more outgoing physicist who often serves as the mediator in the group.


One of the show's main themes is the intersection of science and pop culture. The characters frequently reference science fiction, comic books, and video games in their conversations, which has made the show popular among geeks and nerds worldwide. However, the show also explores themes like love, friendship, and the challenges of growing up. The characters all have their unique struggles with relationships, family, and work, which makes them relatable to a broader audience.

The show's humor is another essential aspect of its success. The jokes range from quick one-liners to extended references to science and pop culture. The show also has recurring gags and catchphrases, like Sheldon's "Bazinga!" and Howard's creepy pick-up lines, which have become part of popular culture.


The Big Bang Theory has had a significant impact on popular culture since its debut in 2007. The show has won multiple Emmy Awards and has been praised for its writing, acting, and use of science and pop culture references. The show's popularity has also led to an increase in interest in STEM fields among young people, as it showcases the excitement and challenges of being a scientist.

The show has also launched the careers of its stars, particularly Jim Parsons, who played Sheldon Cooper. Parsons won four Emmy Awards for his portrayal of Sheldon and has since gone on to star in several films and television shows. The show's success has also led to spin-offs, including Young Sheldon, which focuses on Sheldon's childhood.


The Big Bang Theory is a beloved sitcom that has captured the hearts of audiences worldwide. Its blend of science, pop culture, and humor has made it a cultural phenomenon that will be remembered for years to come. The show's impact on popular culture and the entertainment industry cannot be overstated, and it has left an indelible mark on the television landscape.

Rainbows Lead to Gold, a One MaFIAmily

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“When everyone is included, everyone wins!” - Jesse Jackson 🏳️‍🌈

That's it for now! Rainbows Lead to Gold, a One MaFIAmily event, has concluded. 💖

To recap, we invited a number of deserving speakers to our event day in order to raise awareness of the struggles our LGBTQ+ Community faces in our society. We also had performances that made our day! 🧑🏻👩🏽

We are incredibly grateful to everyone who attended our event and donated to our affiliated organization, The Home of The Golden Gays.✨🌈

Lastly, stay tuned for One MaFIAmily’s next upcoming event 📅 ! Be sure to check out our pages for updates.

For more updates, follow us on:








Poster by:

Caption by: Natasha Natividad

Per CSO-PNP Approved:


The emergence of a new type of celebrity - the social media influencer

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In recent years, the role of bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers has grown significantly in the marketing industry. With the rise of social media, these individuals have gained the ability to create and share content with their followers and promote products and services to their audience. This investigative report will examine the role of bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers in today's society, the benefits and challenges they face, and the ethical considerations that must be addressed.

Role of Bloggers, Vloggers, and Social Media Influencers:

Bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers are individuals who create content on various online platforms such as blogs, YouTube, and social media sites. These individuals can have a significant impact on their audience's purchasing decisions, making them valuable marketing assets for businesses. They can promote products and services to their followers through sponsored posts, collaborations, and reviews, providing a new form of advertising for brands.

The Benefits and Challenges:

The rise of bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers has created many benefits for both marketers and consumers. For marketers, these individuals provide a cost-effective way to promote their products and services to a targeted audience. Additionally, their content can be shared on social media, generating more exposure for the brand.

For consumers, bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers provide an honest and relatable source of information about products and services. They often provide reviews and recommendations based on personal experience, which can be more valuable than traditional advertising. However, there are also challenges associated with this form of marketing. One challenge is the potential for influencers to promote products that they do not genuinely believe in or have not tried. This can lead to distrust among their followers and damage their credibility.

Ethical Considerations:

As the influence of bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers continues to grow, there are ethical considerations that must be addressed. One of the most significant concerns is the disclosure of sponsored content. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires that influencers disclose when they have received compensation for promoting a product. However, not all influencers comply with these regulations, leading to concerns about transparency and honesty in the industry.

Another ethical consideration is the authenticity of the content. Influencers must ensure that the content they create aligns with their values and beliefs and is not solely for promotional purposes. Additionally, they must disclose any conflicts of interest, such as being paid to promote a product that they have a financial stake in.


In conclusion, bloggers, vloggers, and social media influencers have become an integral part of the marketing industry. They provide a new way for brands to connect with their audience and promote their products and services. However, there are challenges associated with this form of marketing, including issues related to transparency and authenticity. As the industry continues to grow, it is essential that influencers and brands work together to address these ethical considerations and maintain the trust of their followers.

Investigatory Report: Bloggers, Vloggers, and Social Media Influencers

Chapter 1: Introduction

In recent years, the rise of social media has led to the emergence of a new type of celebrity - the social media influencer. These influencers can be bloggers, vloggers, or social media personalities with a significant following and the ability to influence their audience's opinions and purchasing decisions. This investigatory report will examine the world of influencers, including their impact on consumer behavior, their methods of monetization, and their potential risks.

Chapter 2: The Impact of Influencers on Consumer Behavior

Influencers have become a powerful force in the world of marketing, as their endorsements and recommendations can influence their followers' purchasing decisions. Studies have shown that consumers are more likely to trust recommendations from influencers than traditional advertising methods. This chapter will examine the psychological factors that make influencers so influential, such as social proof, authority, and likeability.

Chapter 3: Methods of Monetization

Many influencers make a living by monetizing their content, whether through sponsored posts, affiliate marketing, or brand partnerships. This chapter will explore the various ways that influencers make money, the potential benefits and drawbacks of each method, and the ethical considerations that arise when influencers promote products or services for financial gain.

Chapter 4: The Risks of Influencer Marketing

While influencer marketing can be lucrative for both brands and influencers, it also poses risks. This chapter will examine some of the potential risks associated with influencer marketing, such as false advertising claims, lack of disclosure, and the potential for influencers to mislead their followers. The chapter will also discuss recent cases where influencers have faced legal consequences for their actions.

Chapter 5: Ethics and Regulation

As the world of influencer marketing continues to grow, there has been a call for greater regulation and transparency. This chapter will explore the ethical considerations that arise in influencer marketing, including issues of transparency, authenticity, and responsibility. The chapter will also examine the current state of influencer marketing regulations and how they may evolve in the future.

Chapter 6: Conclusion

The world of influencers is complex and multifaceted, with many potential benefits and risks. This report has explored the impact of influencers on consumer behavior, the methods of monetization available to influencers, the risks associated with influencer marketing, and the ethical considerations and regulations surrounding this industry. As the world of social media continues to evolve, it is likely that influencers will remain a significant force in the marketing landscape, and it is essential to continue monitoring and understanding this industry's impact on society.

Thursday, April 13, 2023

World Book Day 2023: Celebrating the Power of Words at Intramuros

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As an anticipation of the World Book Day, on Saturday April 22, 2023, from 10 am to 6 pm, Instituto Cervantes de Manila, the Embassy of Spain and Intramuros Administration invite visitors to the Intramuros Branch of Instituto Cervantes de Manila to enjoy a variety of activities that promote the joy of reading.

From fiction to non-fiction, poetry to prose, thousands of books will be gathered around Instituto Cervantes’ premises in Intramuros. Día del Libro will feature Manila top bookstores and publishing houses that will be selling a wide array of books at a 20% discount. Following the tradition in Spain, every book purchase would entitle one to a free rose.

Apart from the book market, visitors to Día del Libro will be treated to poetry recitals, free Spanish classes, book presentations, street art, games, exhibits, storytelling sessions, Spanish food, as well as fun activities for the children.

First introduced in Manila by Instituto Cervantes in 2006, the tradition of Día del Libro began in Barcelona, Spain. To the present, the tradition is commemorated on St. George’s Day (23 April), during which Spanish people exchange roses and books. This date also honors two of history’s greatest writers – Miguel de Cervantes and William Shakespeare – who coincidentally died on the very same day, April 23, 1616. These significant incidents prompted the UNESCO to declare April 23 as “World Book and Copyright Day” to instill the love of reading among the youth and to promote respect for the rights of authors over their works. April is also the birth month of the classic Filipino poet Francisco Balagtas, and to honor him the National Commission for Culture and the Arts declared April as National Literature Month.

In the spirit of this year's celebration, UNESCO has chosen the theme "Read for the Future" to emphasize the role of books in shaping our collective future. In a world that is constantly changing, books provide us with the knowledge and imagination to navigate the challenges and opportunities of tomorrow.

In this edition, to commemorate the Day of Miguel de Cervantes, Instituto Cervantes is challenging visitors to join a Quixotic attempt: to handwrite Don Quixote de La Mancha. The final hand-written book will be deposited in the Library of Instituto Cervantes. People interested in taking part in the writing of Don Quijote can join on the same day with no prior registration. Participants in the handwriting chain will receive a rose.

Through the 2nd Recital of Filhispanic Poetry, Instituto Cervantes is inviting poetry lovers to recite verses written in Spanish by Filipino poets. All the recorded recitations will be compiled in a video that will be posted in Instituto Cervantes Youtube channel at the end of April 2023. Interested poetry aficionados can register here:

Thanks to the collaboration of publishing houses, visitors will have the opportunity to meet authors who will be signing their works. Among the writers who will be signing copies are Jessica Zafra, Charlson Ong, Vicente García Groyon, Wilfredo Liangco, Katrina Martin, Kannika Claudine D. Peña, or Lorelei de Viana. Book lovers will also have the chance to attend book presentations organized by some publishers. Please check program schedule at

As one of the perks of Día del Libro, Instituto Cervantes will offer a 10% discount and special gifts for those enrolling on 22 April. And to cap it off, Instituto Cervantes will close Día del Libro 2023 with a live concert by leading Filipino rock band Talahib People’s Music, from 5:30pm.

Whether you're a lifelong reader or just discovering the joy of books, World Book Day 2023 at the Instituto Cervantes de Manila is a day to celebrate the power of words to connect us to each other and to the world around us. Join Día del Libro at Intramuros and experience a jam-packed evening of excitement. And for this year’s celebration, Instituto Cervantes will be giving out hundreds of books – for FREE!

Día del Libro is organized by Instituto Cervantes de Manila, in collaboration with the Embassy of Spain in the Philippines and Intramuros Administration, and with the support of the Spanish Chamber of Commerce in the Philippines, Consejería de Educación of Spain, and the embassies of Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Panama and Venezuela. Participating bookstores and publishing houses include: Ateneo University Press, Milflores Publishing, National Historical Commission of the Philippines, Vibal Publishing, Far Eastern University Publications, La Solidaridad Bookstore, Kahel Press, and

Admission to all Día del libro activities is FREE on a FIRST-COME, FIRST-SERVED basis. For more information about World Book Day 2023 and events at the Intramuros Branch of Instituto Cervantes de Manila, visit the website

DepEd, EDCOM II set priority areas to accelerate reforms in basic education

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To fast-track efforts and set the targeted reforms for the education sector, the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Second Congressional Commission on Education (EDCOM II) discussed priority areas and issues to be resolved to address the education crisis in the country on Thursday.

Vice President of the Republic of the Philippines and Secretary of Education Sara Z. Duterte welcomed suggestions from EDCOM II Commissioners and the Advisory Council in pushing for a transformative, concrete, and targeted reforms to further improve the country’s education system.

“In order to ensure quality, accessible, relevant, and liberating basic education for our learners, we need to strengthen and sustain our collective efforts as a nation. We still have a long way to go. We need to be resilient. We need to do more,” VP-Sec. Duterte said.

Meanwhile, EDCOM II Co-Chairperson Senator Sherwin Gatchalian highlighted the priority areas of EDCOM II, which include Early Childhood Care and Development (ECCD), basic education, teacher education and development, and governance and finance.


In line with this, DepEd provided plans and directions aligned with the MATATAG Agenda to address said issues presented by the EDCOM II, including the launch of National Education Portal, a recalibrated National Learning Recovery Plan (NLRP), and the incoming conduct of the National Learning Camp (NLC).

The Department also presented updates on the expansion of the GASTPE coverage, the creation of the Government Assistance and Subsidies Office (GASO), the conduct of a tracer study of Alternative Learning System (ALS) learners, and ongoing consultations for the National Mental Health Program.

“Through EDCOM II, we look forward to working with DepEd in transforming the Philippine basic education system. DepEd and EDCOM II can leverage their respective strengths and expertise to improve our country’s quality of education. Together, we can fulfill our vision of providing quality education to every Filipino learner,” Sen. Gatchalian said.

Before adjournment, DepEd and EDCOM II also sealed their Data Sharing Agreement through a Memorandum of Agreement.

Established by virtue of Republic Act No. 11899, EDCOM II is co-chaired by Sen. Gatchalian, Sen. Francis Escudero, Pasig City Rep. Roman Romulo, and Baguio Rep. Mark Go. The commission is mandated to undertake a comprehensive national assessment and evaluation of the performance of the Philippine education sector from 2023 to 2025.

EDCOM II commissioners are Sen. Pia Cayetano, Sen. Sonny Angara, Senate Majority Leader Joel Villanueva, Negros Occidental 3rd District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez, Lanao del Norte 1st District Rep. Khalid Dimaporo, and Cebu 3rd District Rep. Pablo John Garcia.

A Detailed Itinerary for Your First Visit to Miami

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Miami is a city that needs no introduction. It's known for its stunning beaches, lively nightlife, and diverse culture. However, with so many things to see and do, planning an itinerary for your first visit to Miami can be overwhelming. Here is a comprehensive guide with some of the ultimate Miami itinerary ideas for first-time visitors to ensure you have the best experience during your stay in this vibrant city.

Little Havana and Wynwood

Little Havana and Wynwood are two neighborhoods that you should not miss during your visit to Miami. Start your day by having a cup of Cuban coffee at a local café in Little Havana. Explore the area and immerse yourself in Cuban culture by visiting Calle Ocho and experiencing the historic Ball & Chain bar, famous for its live music and dancing. Then, head to Wynwood, known for its colorful street art and graffiti murals. You can admire the artwork and take lots of pictures at the Wynwood Walls.

Everglades National Park

A visit to Miami would not be complete without a day trip to the Everglades National Park, located just a short drive from Miami. This park is home to a diverse range of wildlife, including alligators, turtles, and many other species. You can take an airboat tour and explore the park's unique ecosystem, which is unlike anywhere else in the world. For the adventurous, you can even try alligator wrestling shows. In the evening, catch a Miami Heat basketball game at the American Airlines Arena and experience the city's sports culture.

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

The Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is a must-visit attraction for those interested in history and architecture. It is a National Historic Landmark that features an Italian Renaissance-style villa and stunning gardens that make it an ideal spot for some picturesque photos. After visiting Vizcaya, head to the nearby Coconut Grove neighborhood for lunch at a waterfront restaurant and explore the local shops.

Miami Design District

Miami is a hub for fashion and art, and the Miami Design District is where you can see the city's creative side. The neighborhood is filled with high-end fashion boutiques, art galleries, and furniture stores. You can admire the modern architecture and contemporary art installations while indulging in some shopping. Stop by the Institute of Contemporary Art and the de la Cruz Collection for some world-class art.

The Miami Seaquarium

The Miami Seaquarium is a popular attraction that features a variety of marine animals, including dolphins, sea lions, and manatees. You can watch the daily shows and learn about marine conservation efforts. In the evening, head to the nearby Key Biscayne area for dinner at one of the waterfront restaurants and enjoy the beautiful views of the ocean.

The beaches

South Beach is one of Miami's most iconic neighborhoods. You can take a stroll along the famous Ocean Drive and admire the art deco architecture that characterizes the buildings. The beach is also a great spot to relax, soak up the sun and take in the stunning ocean views. In the evening, head to Lincoln Road Mall, a pedestrian-only street filled with shops, restaurants, and bars. You can indulge in some retail therapy or sample some of Miami's delicious cuisine. Crandon Park Beach on Key Biscayne is another popular spot known for its clear blue water and white sand. You can even travel to other nearby places like Cuba or the Bahamas, and if that’s something you’d like to try, look into ideas for a cool day trip to the Bahamas from Miami, and you’ll end up having the time of your life.

Florida Keys

A day trip to the Florida Keys is a great way to explore the area's natural beauty. The Florida Keys are a string of islands located south of Miami, and you can drive along the scenic Overseas Highway while stopping at various keys to explore the local attractions. Key Largo is known for its coral reefs and is an ideal spot for snorkeling or scuba diving. Islamorada is known for its sport fishing, and you can try your hand at catching some fish or enjoy a meal at one of the local seafood restaurants.

The Art Deco Historic District

The Art Deco Historic District is another must-visit neighborhood in Miami. This area is known for its unique architecture and features over 800 buildings constructed in the Art Deco, Streamline Moderne, and Mediterranean Revival styles. You can take a walking tour and learn about the history of the buildings and the people who shaped the neighborhood. The district is also home to many restaurants and bars, making it a great spot to end the day.


End your trip by experiencing Miami's famous nightlife. Miami has a reputation for being a party city, and there are plenty of options to choose from. You can head to the famous Club Space, known for its electronic music and late-night parties, or the LIV nightclub at the Fontainebleau Miami Beach, which features world-class DJs and a luxurious atmosphere. Alternatively, you can head to the Clevelander, a popular bar on Ocean Drive that features live music and a lively atmosphere.

Food scene

Another idea for a day in Miami is to explore the city's thriving food scene. Miami is known for its diverse cuisine, with influences from Latin America, the Caribbean, and other parts of the world. Start your day by having breakfast at a local Cuban bakery, such as Versailles in Little Havana. Try their famous pastries, such as guava pastelitos and Cuban coffee. Next, head to the Miami River neighborhood and visit Garcia's Seafood Grille & Fish Market, a local institution known for its fresh seafood. You can choose from a variety of dishes, including ceviche, fish tacos, and grilled octopus.

Miami is a city that has something for everyone. From its stunning beaches to its vibrant nightlife and diverse culture, there are plenty of things to see and do. Whether you're interested in history, art, or the beaches, Miami has something to offer for every type of traveler.

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