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This will be a difficult yearend holiday for ordinary consumers. Prices of essential goods have gone up or will soon go up.
Unexpected but entirely fitting: It was during a visit in 1997 to the Philippines—a country known for its people’s sense of fatalism and obsessed with radio dramas and telenovelas, with their larger-than-life version of romance—that the liberator of South Africa showed the world he was once again in love. Nelson Mandela, the first black [...]
It makes for an interesting story that Hollywood actor Paul Walker—young, good-looking and immensely popular—took up as one of his causes assistance to the survivors of Supertyphoon “Yolanda” and worked to help those literally and figuratively a world away from his own life. The buff and blue-eyed Walker was known for his star turn in the blockbuster “Fast and Furious” series, but beyond the limelight he promoted the issues and efforts that mattered to him. He was a celebrity who understood that he could make a difference.
Sweat the small stuff seems to be the mantra of certain senators in the wake of the prime-time spitting match between their colleagues Juan Ponce Enrile and Miriam Defensor-Santiago. Short of burying their heads in the sand, these senators could only purse their lips primly and appear unperturbed for the cameras as the two threw parliamentary behavior out the window and engaged each other in language that would make even the proverbial sailor blush.
So Panfilo Lacson—former senator, former presidential candidate, former national police chief—will be President Aquino’s point person for the massive post-“Yolanda” rehabilitation program.
Customs Commissioner Rozzano Rufino Biazon is resigning his high-profile office by day’s end tomorrow. It is a good decision; if he had not tendered his “irrevocable resignation” in a meeting with President Aquino on Monday, he would have been forced out of the Bureau of Customs by both internal political pressure and public opinion. Indeed, [...]
Four hundred thirty-one HIV cases—the highest number of cases reported in a month this year. The Department of Health announced that number and that claim only in June. But a month later, that figure would be breached with 449 new cases, a record high that didn’t last long. In October, the number climbed to 491, a new benchmark that’s about 66 percent higher than the 295 cases reported in the same month last year.
The government released last week the economic growth data for the third quarter of 2013 and, as widely expected, the expansion of the Philippines’ gross domestic product (GDP) was sustained at a respectable 7 percent. Domestic economic growth during the quarter was supported by the robust performance of the services sector, higher household consumption, and increased government infrastructure spending. This brought GDP expansion for the first three quarters of the year to 7.4 percent compared with 6.7 percent last year, or well within the government’s 6-to-7-percent target for the whole of 2013. This will make the Philippines one of the best performers in Asia for 2013.
China angered its neighbors when it unilaterally declared an Air Defense Identification Zone (Adiz) on Nov. 23. The United States disappointed its regional allies when, after ordering a pair of unarmed B-52 strategic bombers to fly into China’s Adiz three days after the surprise declaration, it called on American airlines last Friday to comply with China’s instructions when flying through the zone. Between Beijing’s increasingly rash decisions and Washington’s inconsistent policies, regional capitals find themselves at a loss.
Good news has been in short supply in the sad aftermath of Supertyphoon “Yolanda,” but here’s a report that blazes a small trail for helping students in need. As a means of offering relief to its students from devastated Eastern Visayas, the University of the Philippines is waiving collection of tuition from at least 30 students who have cross-enrolled in UP Los Baños, in order to allow their families breathing room to take stock of their situation and begin the daunting process of rebuilding. Additionally, three students from UP Tacloban will be given free accommodation in UPLB dormitories. And UPLB Chancellor Rex Cruz has also called for pledges to cover the students’ meals for a semester.
Produced by Cameron Mackintosh with composer Claude-Michel Schonberg and lyricist Alain Boublil, “Miss Saigon” has become a Filipino treasure. Our best performing talents have made it come alive since its inaugural turn in 1989 on London’s West End, which introduced Lea Salonga in the lead role of Kim.