Thursday, October 21, 2021

DOTr signed the project’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment contract with its Project Management Consultant

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The much-awaited Mindanao Railway project finally moves closer to reality as DOTr Secretary Art Tugade signed the project’s Tagum-Davao-Digos segment contract with its Project Management Consultant today, 20 October 2021.The Mindanao Railway project is a 1,544-kilometer railway system connecting the cities of Davao, General Santos, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan, Cotabato, Zamboanga, Butuan, Surigao, and Malaybalay.

The MRP's first phase - the Tagum-Davao-Digos (MRP-TDD) segment - will have 100 kilometers of railway line to connect the cities of Tagum in Davao del Norte, Davao City, and Digos in Davao del Sur with eight (8) stations. The MRP's first segment is designed to accommodate 122,000 passengers and will reduce travel time between Tagum and Digos from the usual 3 hours to just 1 hour.

Emphasizing the decades-long delay of the railway’s construction, Secretary Tugade said the signing of the Project Management Consultant contract starts the government’s commitment to finally deliver the Mindanao Railway project.

"Since more than four years ago, when President Rodrigo Duterte assumed office, people were already expecting and people were already asking the question: 'Where is the Mindanao Railway [project]?' Today, we are saying that with the signing of the agreement, it is about to be born and it is about to be triggered into reality," Secretary Tugade said.

China Railway Design Corporation (CRDC), the Project Management Consultant for the MRP-TDD, will assist the MRP-Project Management Office in the preparation and management of the overall project implementation program, including its land acquisition activities, coordination with concerned government offices, a review of the project's detailed design, and supervision of construction activities, among others.

"I believe that the winning Chinese companies will do their best to fulfill their tasks, providing professional recommendations and consultancy to the project and offer its satisfactory management services. I also believe that with the close cooperation of all joining parties, we will work together to release more benefits to the peoples of our two countries," Mr. Zhu Min, Chinese Embassy Chief of Economic and Commercial Counsellor's Office expressed.

The massive Mindanao Railway Project, the first railway system outside Luzon, is one of the big-ticket infrastructure projects of the Duterte administration under the Build, Build, Build program. It is designed to help improve inter-island connectivity and boost economic development in Mindanao.

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

The new color of the opposition: From Yellow Dilawans to Pink Kakampinks, supporters conduct pink caravans

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"The color pink generally represents nurturing and love. It is usually associated with femininity, but also with the innocence and playfulness of childhood. It is non-threatening, calming, and reassuring; so often seen as a SIGN OF HOPE"

When it rains, it pinks? Bicol Caravan for Leni. Same thing happened in Cebu.

VP Leni Robredo’s supporters and volunteers conduct a “pink caravan” in various parts of the country as expression of support for her 2022 presidential run.

Let all the doors and all the roads of opportunities  open today, give us light in darkness and never live us aside. 

Please make the days enjoyable for everyone.

Let's hope nobody does anything to thwart the people's desire to elect whoever they want to. It's time the voice of the majority is heard again, not that of the few who are more concerned about their money, influence and power.

Who was it who spent millions and wasted years questioning the results of the previous election?

We maybe laughing at his desperate move especially on historical revisionism, but you know what, we must be scared because Pinoys are so gullible. The fake news peddlers are working double time  to brainwash the masses...and many are being manipulated.

It is frustrating that some Filipinos have very short memories. Ferdinand Marcos pillaged the country's coffers. His wife acted like a queen. His son played with expensive cars. His daughters were married to sons of oligarchs to solidify the fiefdom.

It is alarming that only 1% of voters are influenced by Twitter versus the above 70% that are based sa Facebook. Twitter is indeed an eco chamber of Leni’s supporters. Leni’s socmed teams need to step up on Facebook. 

To my #kakampinks do not feel disheartened or disappointed let us trust the process. VP Leni also admitted they are not perfect or her slates may not be perfect, but what's important now is they are one in certain issues to help uplift our countrymen. 

The blaming game would just divide us.

Marcos Jr. has been campaigning on social media for so many years. But that’s all just smoke and mirrors. Let’s see how he fares when his campaign collides with reality.

I don't think people should be discussing politics on social media. People here have already made up their minds. The votes that matter are off line and they cannot be won over with vitriol.

The partial battle is in social media to dispel fake news. But for purposes of getting votes. It is still in a face to face campaigning and educating people in the grassroots...

Wear something pink when you stroll even if it’s not Wednesday. Please wear pink and then post on social media. #Kakampinks go forth and multiply!

We will vote for Leni in the 2022 presidential elections. 

But we will continue to be a critic. We will continue to be a critic of anyone who wins. It is not our job to defend people who are supposed to serve the Filipino people. Address the roots of conflict in the country!

We will support Leni all the way but when she's now president, we will keep on reminding her that she is a public servant first and foremost and her thrust is good governance. We do believe that powers corrupt but not Leni, we trust her 100%.

We Catholics vote by conscience so the Church never endorses a candidate. But as individual priests, they have the moral duty to pray for, discern, and lead their flock to good. 

We admire VP Leni Robredo for her grit. She has an unyielding courage in the face of adversity and has proven to be effective despite her limited resources. Above all, she has no traces of corruption. 

Hilton Hotels in South East Asia Rally around World Food Day 2021

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For more than 100 years, Hilton (NYSE: HLT) has remained steadfast in protecting local communities and the planet so that travel destinations can continue to stay vibrant and resilient for generations to come. Travel with Purpose is Hilton’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) strategy to drive responsible tourism globally, with a goal to double the investment in social impact and halve the environmental footprint by 2030. Recognizing that the global food system is a key success factor, Hilton’s hotels and resorts in South East Asia have rallied to make a positive difference through a myriad of F&B initiatives.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Food Waste Index Report 2021, more than one billion tons of food is wasted around the world each year, contributing up to ten per cent of all greenhouse gas emissions. Part of the focus for Hilton’s Travel with Purpose 2030 Goals, which were launched three years ago in May 2018, addresses food-related objectives which include a 50 per cent reduction of food waste sent to landfills, responsible sourcing of ingredients, green supply chain and continued support of food bank relationships.

“At Hilton, our commitment to sustainable tourism and passion for exceptional hospitality drive us to create experiences that leave a lasting, positive impact on local communities as well as the environment. Across our estate in South East Asia, team members embrace responsible practices and initiatives to make each destination a better place to live, work and travel. From volunteering with local partners to tangible waste reduction efforts, Hilton extends eco-conscious hospitality beyond our walls so that guests can enjoy meaningful travel memories for generations to come,” said Paul Hutton, vice president, Operations, South East Asia, Hilton.

In celebration of World Food Day 2021, Hilton’s hotels and resorts amplified their ongoing commitment with a range of activities to raise awareness of sustainable dining and advocate a sustainable food system through waste management, responsible local sourcing, a balanced diet and food contributions to local communities in need.

Hilton’s Contingent of Food Heroes Serving the Local Community

Spreading positivity and fulfilling the needs of those around them, more than 400 Hilton team members across South East Asia lent helping hands at soup kitchens and food distribution drives in aid of respective local communities from 1 to 16 October 2021.

Twenty team members from Conrad Centennial Singapore volunteered at a local soup kitchen, Willing Hearts, which prepares, cooks and distributes about 10,000 daily meals. In Sri Lanka, Hilton Colombo distributed 150 lunch packets to the under-privileged while Hilton hotels in Malaysia, Hilton Kuala Lumpur, Hilton Kuching and Hilton Garden Inn Puchong, collaborated with charitable organizations to donate a total of 400 packed meals for members of the community.

In partnership with Scholars of Sustenance in Indonesia and Thailand, Hilton’s team members went the extra mile to provide nutritious meals for the needy in their respective cities. On Indonesia’s Island of the Gods, Conrad Bali, supported Bali Strong, a non-profit initiative to combat effects of COVID-19 by providing nutrition to those in need, contributed a total of 61 kgs of meals. Over in Thailand, DoubleTree by Hilton Phuket Banthai Resort donated over 400 kg of meals for the local community.

In the Philippines, throughout October 2021, Hilton Manila and Conrad Manila are collaborating with the Pasay City Welfare department to donate 360 packets/ kgs of food to various communities, such as the Senior Citizens Offices, Children’s Social Development Centers and San Lorenzo Home for the Aged

Leading by Example in the Upcycling of Food Waste

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations, one-third of foods produced for human consumption is wasted globally due to waste from the food supply chain, leftover meals, expired and stale foods, blemished food and vegetables amongst others. Taking a firm stand against food waste, Hilton provides useful tips for smart and sustainable dining, such as ways to reduce wastage, donate leftover foods, repurpose ingredients and make mindful eating or purchase decisions.

To appeal to the growing popularity of home chefs, Hilton Petaling Jaya shared a delicious recipe of homemade croissant and bread with strawberry coulis using the leftovers. Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok and DoubleTree by Hilton Sukhumvit Bangkok created papaya jam as well as sweet and sour mocktails upcycled from daily organic waste.

Beyond the kitchen, food waste can be repurposed into useful domestic products. At Hilton Garden Inn Singapore Serangoon, fermented leftover apple peels to make cleaning solution that can be used as surface cleaner, stain remover, laundry detergent and more.

Guest Experiences that Create Meaningful Travel Memories

With the rising demand for sustainable experiences, travel decisions are often influenced by factors such as the ability to reduce personal environmental footprint, availability of eco-conscious dining choices and support towards local farmers and fisheries. To address this emerging trend, Hilton hotels and resorts serve an array of locally-sourced and plant-based menus.

At Conrad Koh Samui’s inspirational Iris Farm, the team members bring the farm-to-table concept to life. Guests are treated to creative dining experiences harvested from a fresh supply of organic herbs and vegetables, knowing that every bite is a contribution towards local sourcing, sustainable waste management and composting. The luxury resort also imparts responsible farming techniques and creates meaningful guest engagement activities for young and seasoned travelers.

Guests can literally eat their way to positive social impact at Hilton Colombo Residences in Sri Lanka. Through the hotel’s pledge, a minimum spend of approximately US$10 will result in the hotel’s contribution of one meal for the needy. Based on a spend of approximately US$50 for a family sharing meal, guests can make a personal contribution of five meals to the local community. To date, the hotel has donated 200 meals as a result of this initiative.

Good habits are cultivated from early childhood. In a commendable effort to educate young children about food waste, DoubleTree by Hilton Jakarta – Diponegoro encourage junior guests to finish their breakfasts in exchange for a cute DoubleTree Teddy Bear.

For an authentic taste of the best local ingredients across South East Asia, Hilton’s culinary teams present a collection of gourmet delights, such as Rambungan Soft Shell Crab at Hilton Kuching; Branzino al Cartoccio (Sea Bass in Parcel) at Doubletree by Hilton Johor Bahru; Ocean to Sky Seafood Platter at Hilton Garden Inn Kuala Lumpur; Beef/Chicken Barley Broth Soup at DoubleTree by Hilton Surabaya and a special local breakfast corner at Hilton Bandung.

To promote a healthier diet, guests have a wide range of plant-based menus, such as Tindle Chicken at Hilton Kuala Lumpur and Super Green Local Pizza at Doubletree by Hilton Melaka.

Hilton’s eco-conscious initiatives and guest experiences across South East Asia mirror the global effort to promote responsible tourism. Hilton was named the 2020 Global Industry Leader on the Dow Jones Sustainability Indices, the most prestigious ranking for corporate responsibility and sustainability performance, for the second consecutive year. With Hilton’s Travel with Purpose strategy, the company remains fully committed to reduce its environmental footprint by half and double social impact investment by 2030. Hilton continues to invest in social programs that provide economic opportunities for all, volunteer and support vulnerable groups within our communities while ensuring every guest that stays with Hilton is traveling with purpose.

To learn more about Hilton, please visit

Beat the buzzer and dominate the new Yahoo Fantasy Basketball season with your Fantasy NBA Team

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Get ready for an exhilarating season and play the official Fantasy game of the NBA for free


The tip off of the NBA’s historic 75th Anniversary Season is just around the corner, and it is time to continue the annual tradition of Yahoo Fantasy Basketball. NBA action and Fantasy Basketball are set to captivate millions of basketball fans in the Philippines. Whether you are a first-timer or a veteran player of the Fantasy game, draft your winning team and get yourselves ready for the intense and competitive games to come!


Yahoo Fantasy Basketball, the official Fantasy game of the NBA, allows basketball fans to become team general managers that can create and strategically manage their own fantasy team of players. Managers can draft NBA players rostered across all 30 teams for the 2021-22 season and select them based on their projected statistics or personal preferences. Fantasy points are earned and determined by their real-life on-court performance.


Players of the game can join or create public and private leagues with a scoring format that best fits their style, compete with peers worldwide to attain the best score and be crowned champion of the season. Each week offers managers the opportunity to find the winning combination by tweaking their team roster and identifying their best players to play.


With all the player trades and superstar-laden teams this offseason, basketball fans can expect multiple serious contenders vying for the NBA Championship in a season that promises incredible on-court storylines. The same can be said for Yahoo Fantasy Basketball: Who will be the number one priority draft pick with all the superstars in the league? Will it be the 2021 NBA Finals MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, three-time NBA Champion Stephen Curry, or 2021 NBA MVP Nikola Jokic? Get in on the NBA action and start drafting a Yahoo Fantasy Basketball team for a heart-pumping basketball experience!


Managers who keep up to date with the latest NBA news, player performances, scores and standings will have the advantage in taking their Yahoo Fantasy Basketball team’s performance to the next level.


Sign up today before the 2021-22 NBA league starts on October 19 2021, and own the season with Yahoo Fantasy Basketball! New to the game or need a refresher? Click here.

Treating Mild COVID-19 Cases at Home

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Care Tips to Learn for You and Your Loved Ones 

".Most NCR hospitals at a critical stage," "Mindanao hospitals run out of COVID-19 beds," "Patients treated in vehicles as hospitals are now full; other facilities also reach full capacity."

These are the looming scenarios we hear on the news every day. With the highest daily COVID-19 infection recorded by authorities, aggravated by lack of resources and fundings, hospitals are pushed to ask patients to seek healthcare services elsewhere.

On the lighter side, most of these recorded cases are asymptomatic, or patients with mild symptoms typically last about 7-10 days. It includes:


  • Flu-like symptoms 
  • Dry cough 
  • Mild fever 
  • May lose a sense of smell or taste 
  • Tiredness, muscle aches, or a headache 
  • Sore throat or runny nose in some cases 


While a COVID-probable person might not get medical service in healthcare facilities, the World Health Organization (WHO) released interim guidance including home-based care of patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. 


Here are some ways to care for someone at home or in a non-healthcare setting. 


Talk to a doctor thru teleconsultation or home-service consult. 

If one or more of the COVID-19 symptoms are present, it is advised to book a consultation with a physician immediately. The good thing is local government units have health offices that provide free teleconsultations and swab tests. Some private clinics are also offering home-service consultations so you can be attended at home. Talking to a healthcare person gives you the proper ways to manage your symptoms effectively. 


Take your medicines and vitamins as prescribed. 

After a consultation, your doctor will give you prescription medicines to treat your COVID-19 symptoms. Your doctor will also provide you with a list of supplements you can take to support your immune system. 


One medicine your doctor will probably prescribe you is the Erdosteine Ectrin. It is a mucolytic that is indicated for the treatment of both acute and chronic bronchitis. In the latest Multidisciplinary Respiratory Medicine 2020 Journal, Professor Pierachille Santus authored a study that resulted in an overall improvement in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) amongst hospitalized patients with Covid-19 related pneumonia and severe respiratory failure, with the addition of erdosteine to usual therapy.  


As the positive demand for this medication arises, Orient EuroPharma Philippines answered this call. They donated Erdosteine Ectrin medicines to treat 500 post-covid patients Veterans Memorial Medical Center and Quirino Memorial Medical Center--the government COVID centers in Metro Manila. It is in OEPP’s fulfillment of its mission in helping the country and supporting the Filipino patients who are suffering from this deadly disease. 


Have a separate room in your house. 

COVID patients undergo a 14-day quarantine. So, it is a must to give the patient an isolated room for treatment. The room must be well-ventilated and equipped with groceries and basic medical equipment such as a thermometer, oximeter, alcohol, and facemask. If possible, provide the patient a separate bathroom. If a second bathroom is not feasible, disinfect the bathroom for every use. 


Keep yourself hydrated and well-rested. 

On top of the medications, COVID patients must drink a lot of water and get enough rest to help their bodies recover quickly. Provide them a supply of clean drinking water in their isolation room for easy access. 


Practice hygiene and proper waste management at home. 

Regular cleaning of the house is a must. Disinfect every table, doorknobs, floor, and every surface of the house with disinfectants or 70% alcohol. Handwashing and wearing of face masks must be practiced regularly as well. Waste from the COVID patients must be disinfected and wrapped securely before disposal. 


Maintain emotional support from loved ones. 

Reading a ‘positive’ note on your result is stressful. Isolating is worse. Therefore, it is advised to maintain emotional support from friends and family to lessen the patient's emotional stress. While you can’t physically comfort them, social media and video calls can be a helpful way to communicate your comfort and care. Entertainment media can also cope with their boredom. 


Monitor the condition regularly. 

Lastly is to monitor the patient’s condition regularly. Have their doctor’s contact number on hand and seek emergency care if experiencing a worsening condition such as trouble breathing, pressure in the chest, new confusion, inability to stay awake, and blue-colored skin, lips, or nails. 


For COVID-related prescription medicines, nutricare, and other health breakthroughs, visit Orient EuroPharma Philippines at  

The Most Luxurious Ship Ever Built Returns to Sailing

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Seven Seas Explorer Commences Inaugural Season from Trieste, Italy

Seven Seas Explorer has welcomed luxury travellers back on board for the first time since the voluntary industry-wide pause in operations. Excited guests embarked the ship known as the most luxurious ever built on 15 October, 2021, in Trieste, Italy, for an unforgettable journey through Italy, Croatia and Greece, whilst experiencing the highest benchmarks of service in lavishly designed suites, restaurants, bars and lounges.

Sailing with the cruise line’s enhanced SailSAFE™ Health and Safety Program - which includes 100% vaccination of both guests and crew – Seven Seas Explorer is the second of the Regent Seven Seas Cruises® fleet to return, joining their newest ship Seven Seas Splendor® which has been enjoying a hugely successful inaugural season since 11 September, 2021.

“It’s truly amazing to be back on board Seven Seas Explorer, and it is fantastic to see our guests being treated to the unrivalled Regent experience once again,” said Jason Montague, president and CEO, Regent Seven Seas Cruises, speaking from onboard Seven Seas Explorer. “Our crew has done an outstanding job in preparing for the ship’s return, with the service so seamless it is as if we were never away.”

Helmed by Captain Rosario Vasta, Seven Seas Explorer is cruising the Adriatic and Mediterranean Sea on an 8-night itinerary, visiting Ravenna, Italy; Zadar, Croatia; Dubrovnik, Croatia; Bari, Italy; Corfu, Greece; Taormina, Italy; and Sorrento/Capri, Italy. The ship arrives in Rome, Italy on 23 October, after which she will continue to cruise Southern Europe before crossing the Atlantic to Miami, Florida for a season in the Caribbean from mid-November until March 2022.

The next ships in The World’s Most Luxurious Fleet™ to resume sailing will be Seven Seas Mariner® on 18 December, 2021, and Seven Seas Navigator® on 6 January, 2022, both from Miami, Florida. Seven Seas Voyager®, Regent’s final ship to return will sail on 15 February, 2022 from Barcelona, Spain.

Multi-Layered SailSAFE Health & Safety Program

During its voluntary suspension of sailings, Regent Seven Seas Cruises built upon its existing comprehensive health and safety protocols by establishing the SailSAFE health and safety program, a robust and science-backed strategy that creates multiple layers of protection against COVID-19. The Program was developed with guidance from a team of public health and scientific experts including the SailSAFE Global Health and Wellness Council.

By visiting, guests and travel partners can see an overview of current requirements to sail - such as all guests and crew being fully vaccinated at least two weeks prior to departure - which the cruise line believes will provide a uniquely safe and healthy cruise experience. These and other requirements will be in place until a time when the protocols can be confidently adjusted, and Regent will constantly monitor the global health environment to protect the safety and security of guests, crew and communities visited.

For more information, please visit, call Singapore 800-616-7097 / Hong Kong and Rest of Asia +852 2165 6020 or contact a professional travel advisor.

Small-Scale Tuna Fishers Earn MSC Certification in Historical First

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Small-scale fishers bring home a big win on the road towards sustainable fisheries.

A group of small-scale tuna fishers and tuna processor-exporters were certified under the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) on October 19th, in a historical first for the Philippines.

The Philippine Tuna Handline Partnership (PTHP), a group of small-scale fishers and exporters, operates in the tuna fisheries of Mindoro Strait and Lagonoy Gulf. The PTHP was formally organized in 2019, and began the full MSC assessment process in March of 2020.

MSC certification is the latest development in a decades-long Fisheries Improvement Project (FIP) being run with handline tuna fishers in Mindoro Strait and Lagonoy Gulf. The goal of the FIP is to improve the environmental sustainability of fisheries.

Three principles need to be met for a fishery to be considered sustainable according to the MSC standard. First, fishing activities should be conducted in a way that allows fish populations to remain productive and healthy; second, harm to habitats and endangered species should be limited to ensure the health of the ecosystem; and third, the fishery must be managed well, with laws and plans that enable the sustainability of the fishery.

The MSC is a useful global standard for measuring the environmental performance of wild-caught fisheries like those of Mindoro Strait and Lagonoy Gulf. The PTHP is the first group in the Philippines to receive MSC certification.

“This process has created unity among everyone - among exporters, fishers, local governments, everyone. We’ve realized that it’s not about us, but about what we do here in the fisheries, our livelihood, what we do with others and what we can achieve together,” shared Philippine Association of Tuna Processors, Inc. (PATPI) Chairman Sam C. Garcia.

PATPI represents the countries’ tuna processors. The PTHP consists of both small scale tuna fishers and tuna processors.

While the PTHP has been certified by the MSC, the group still has a number of conditions to close for them to keep their certification. Conditions are requirements outlined by the MSC, and serve as a good guide in helping fisheries work towards sustainability.

For the PTHP, closing these conditions and meeting the MSC standard is a step in the right direction for the future of their fisheries.

In particular, the tuna fisheries under the PTHP need stronger habitat management strategies, policies to identify and protect endangered species, and effective monitoring and enforcement of fishery laws. Also, while tuna management plans have been drafted, local government units need to recognize them and adopt them on a municipal level for them to be effective.

Measures also need to be adopted to protect tuna fisheries throughout the region. The Philippines belongs to the Western Central Pacific region, which the MSC has flagged for not having sufficient measures in place to protect local fisheries.

The MSC has warned that, should region-wide harvest control rules and strategies not be put in place by December 2022, tuna fisheries in the Western Central Pacific could lose their MSC certification.

“For around a decade of fisheries work we fishers have grown together in order to face whatever obstacle that has come our way. With the help of government agencies and the partners who have stood alongside us, practices that once harmed the environment and our local communities have left our fisheries little by little over the many years,” said IFARMC of Mindoro Strait Chairman Bernard A. Mayo, Sr., a fisher leader who has been with the program since its inception in 2011.

“This decade-long journey we have been on together with our partner fishers has shown to us what is possible in fisheries work. We still have a long way to go before we achieve environmental sustainability for our tuna fisheries, but MSC certification stands as a testament to how far we’ve come,” shared WWF-Philippines Program Manager Joann P. Binondo.

Cover photo: A fisherman hauls a yellowfin tuna to shore upon his shoulder. In a historical first, the Philippine Tuna Handline Partnership has become the first group of small-scale fishers in the Philippines to earn MSC certification. Photograph © Alo Lantin / WWF-Philippines

Representatives of the PTHP pose for a photo during the groups’ founding in March, 2020. The PTHP consists of both small scale fishers and tuna exporters. Photograph © Alo Lantin / WWF-Philippines

A fisher sits behind stacks of handline fishing reels. A handline can only hook a single fish at a time. Because of this, the use of handlines is less damaging to the environment than other, larger, more destructive fishing gear. Photograph © Alo Lantin / WWF-Philippines

The MSC certification of the PTHP is the latest milestone to a decade-long effort to safeguard the tuna fisheries of Mindoro and Lagonoy Gulf. The PTHP is committed to continuously improving their fisheries, to protect their stock of fish well into the future. Photograph © Alo Lantin / WWF-Philippines

The House Collective presents 'Encounters Across Cultures'

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A voyage across four cities through dance and architecture, The House Collective stages a series of cross-culture collaborative artistic performances at the brand’s properties in Shanghai, Beijing, Hong Kong, and Chengdu

The House Collective by Swire Hotels, a group of refined, highly individual hotels in Asia, has launched the 2021 edition of its biennial art programme, ‘Encounters Across Cultures,’ which celebrates the immeasurable creativity that comes through multicultural collaboration. The House Collective–comprising The Opposite House in Beijing, The Upper House in Hong Kong, The Temple House in Chengdu, and The Middle House in Shanghai–has invited artists from around the world to come together to create and explore the concept of space and movement. Following over a year of restrictions and lockdowns, the desire to collaborate and create across cultures in a meaningful way was an inspiring force behind this programme. The 2021 edition, which has been almost two years in the making, celebrates that sense of togetherness across borders that we have all been so deeply craving.

“Art and culture are actually a core part of who we are and what our Houses represent. We created Encounters Across Cultures because we think that an important element of creativity is access to points of view different from your own.” Clarissa Tam, art programme lead at The House Collective.

An encounter between dance and architecture - 2021 edition

The theme of this year’s programme will be realized through interactive video installations that– coupled with varying styles of dance movements–will complement the work of the esteemed architects behind each House. The installations will encourage viewers to appreciate the spaces

they spend time in and even find new ways to experience them. Following last year’s unexpected lockdowns–and the heightened impact that space and architectural design has had on our emotions–these installations will bring to life a timely sentiment that breaks the barriers of languages and borders.

“Through dance, this art programme explores how movements can be a captivating medium for perceiving, experiencing, and articulating architecture. It hopes to remind us to slow down and observe the details, to dive into our surroundings. To be present within the space. To look up."

– Patsy Lo, curator and producer of the art programme

Spread across the four Houses, the series of installations will tell the story of art across cultures in two chapters – the first between Shanghai and Beijing and the second between Hong Kongand Chengdu.

Hong Kong Serenity Meets Chengdu Contrasts – 23 September through 31 December

The second chapter will take place at The Upper House in Hong Kong and then move to The Temple House in Chengdu. This chapter will seek to highlight the distinctly different architectural styles of The Upper House (which epitomises AndrĂ© Fu’s sense of understated luxury) and The Temple House (which blends Qing dynasty structures with contemporary design) through the contrasting styles of ballet and hip hop. As a way to showcase the different energies and personalities between the two cities, Ballerina, Hennes Yuen from the Hong Kong Ballet and Hip-Hop dancer, Wan Siming from Chengdu will weave together their unique disciplines of dance.

Directed by Leo Liu with choreographed movements by Yuh Egami (of the Hong Kong Ballet) and Andrea Carrucciu (who played MacBeth in the show Sleep No More), Ballerina Yuen leads the audience through the serene sanctuary above the city that is The Upper House – while hip￾hop dancer Wan Siming channels the young creative energy of the city’s hip-hop culture through the contemporary design aesthetic of The Temple House. Through the video installation, the audience will experience the dancers embracing their differences and creating harmony with each other.

“Each of The House Collective’s four properties are highly individualized in location and culture, and this year’s Art Programme celebrates these distinctive and authentic cities while also showcasing the universal connection they share to cities around the world through art,” Said Dean Winters, Managing Director for Swire Hotels.

Installation Dates (2021)

○ The Middle House: 9 July through 29 August

○ The Opposite House: 10 September through 30 October

○ The Upper House: 23 September through 14 November

○ The Temple House: 6 November through 31 December

Dancer Li Xinmeng at The Middle House, Shanghai Dancer Yu Jingying at The Opposite House, Beijing

Reopening of Cinemas in NCR

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While the COVID-19 pandemic forced many establishments to reduce its accessibility, the cinemas were forced to close temporarily. Now, after over a year of being closed, we are happy to announce that - CINEMAS ARE BACK.

The Film Development Council of the Philippines supports this development as we have also been lobbying for the cinemas to reopen. Last August 4, 2021, FDCP officially presented to the IATF its proposal to reopen the cinemas, presenting industry data on the losses of the industry and best practices of how the rest of the world slowly resumed operations of their cinemas through health and safety protocols. The Agency proposed that the reopening could be anchored through the Pista ng Pelikulang Pilipino to premiere Filipino films. More recently, FDCP also had a meeting with Trade and Industry Secretary Ramon Lopez last October 8, 2021 where the Agency highlighted how much impact the closure of cinemas have had not just on cinema workers but film workers as well because producers need the cinemas to be able to screen their films. With that, we are thankful that they listened to the requests of the cinemas and allowed them to operate again. With the guidelines of the pilot implementation of the government’s new COVID-19 alert level system, cinemas and movie houses in areas under Alert Level 3 starting October 16 are allowed to operate at a maximum of 30% indoor capacity for fully vaccinated individuals.

As the cinemas patiently waited for this decision, they have also been preparing to further ensure the safety of the movie-goers through having their personnels fully vaccinated and readying their facilities, and complying with the minimum health standards set by the government. In aid, the FDCP also offered Basic Occupational Safety and Health training to the cinemas through the Safe Filming's Safety and Health Officer Training Seminar (SHOTS) in partnership with the Department of Labor and Employment - Occupational Safety and Health Center (DOLE-OSHC).

To continuously support the cinemas and promote the safety and health of the movie-goers, we are continuing our Nood Tayo ng Sine campaign aiming to encourage the movie-goers to support our local cinemas and at the same time advocate for safe movie watching inside the movie houses.

Furthermore, the FDCP is currently working and coordinating with the Department of Health (DOH), DTI, and IATF for the set of safety and health protocols for the cinemas. Kindly expect these protocols to be posted on our Nood Tayo ng Sine page.

The FDCP is truly grateful for the consideration of reopening the cinemas, as though at a limited capacity, this will immensely help not just the livelihood of cinema workers but also the Philippine Film Industry.

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

How to Win EuroMillions

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EuroMillions is a lottery that is open to residents of Austria, Belgium, France, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal, and Spain. The EuroMillions game has two draws each week - one on Tuesday and one on Friday. Jackpots start at €12 million (US$14 million) and grow until someone wins it. EuroMillions draws are made using two machines - the "Tuesday draw machine" and the "Friday draw machine", each of which is used to produce two separate sets of balls with five main numbers plus one EuroMillions number for each set

EuroMillions, which began on February 7, 2004, was initially only available in France, Spain, and the United Kingdom. By October 8, 2004, players in Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Luxembourg, Portugal and Switzerland were able to enter the draw; this increased the total number of participating countries to 9. The Euromillions has become Europe's most popular lottery, owing to its massive prizes and the fact that the EuroMillions' chances of winning are comparable to those of the Spanish, Swedish, and German lotteries, which have odds of 1 in 139,838,160. EuroMillions' odds are also considerably better than those of the Italian SuperEnalotto (1 in 622,614,630).

The EuroMillions' Odds of Winning

The National Lottery EuroMillions game is a five-number draw. As a result, the directive is to select five numbers from 1 to 50. The Combination formula was used to compute the total combinations. The odds of winning the EuroJackpot are 1 in 139.8 million if you guess all five numbers correctly. There are roughly 2 million possible ways to put together five digits in the EuroMillions game. However, to win the jackpot, you must match the two additional lucky stars, bringing your overall chances down to 1 in 139.8 million.

How many digits are required in order to win the EuroMillions?

The jackpot for the EuroMillions lottery is the highest in Europe, with a cash value of €129 million. You must choose five "main numbers" and two "Lucky Stars" to win the EuroMillions jackpot. The five digits (1 to 50) are chosen from among 1 to 50, while the Lucky Stars are drawn from 1 to 12 (2/12).

How to win it:

Unfortunately, there is no secret formula or magic incantation for winning any lottery; if such a thing existed, we'd all be millionaires! There are certain strategies that may improve your chances of winning a prize, though. If you are playing online lottery then you should play in trusted lottery sites only.

Every lottery number has an equal probability of winning, but certain numbers appear more frequently than others, hence they are known as "hot" numbers. The current EuroMillions hot numbers are: 20, 23, 27, 5, 15 + 2 & 3. Numbers that have gone unclaimed for a long time are known as "cold" numbers. The present EuroMillions 'cold' choices are: 4, 28, 43, 18 and 15 + 1 & 3. Some lotto players prefer to pick a mixed bag of both hot and cold numbers.

When it comes to which numbers you should pick for the EuroMillions, the best advice is to choose a combination of odd and even numbers as well as a combination of high and low numbers. Odd or even digits are drawn less than 3% of the time, whereas a mix of three high and two low, or two low and three high numbers occurs 68% of the time. 1 to 25 are considered low numbers, while 26 to 50 are seen as high ones.

Stay positive:

Staying positive is a huge bonus. Although there is no way to guarantee victory in the lottery, we have shown that there are several things you may do to improve your chances. It's pointless to laugh at someone who has just won the lottery if you haven't gone out of your way to compete yourself. Even if the person who won did not believe they would win, they were still responsible for purchasing the ticket. On the other hand, it is not a good idea to live life waiting for the lottery or convincing oneself that you will win and making life choices on that assumption.

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