Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Myopic Urban Planning, Improper Building and Overbuilding (Greed) Aggravated Ondoy Disaster in Marikina and Neighboring Areas

30 September 2009

Internally-renowned architect and urban planner Felino Palafox reminds us of a 1977 Metro Manila Plan they submitted to Malacañang in 1977 that, if followed, could have averted or eased to a great extent the tragedy that befell the eastern section of Metro Manila and Rizal, specifically, Marikina, Pasig, Cainta and Pateros.

The plan called for "controlled development" of the eastern portion of Metro Manila, the building of a spillway in Parañaque, and one that recommended that houses be built with third floors (12 meters) instead of just two floors (9 meters) or worse, one.

This is the 24 Oras report by Sherrie Ann Torres.

It is obvious that the best urban planning is one that is attended by common sense and guided by ethical considerations. Less greed should always be the order of the day, anytime, anywhere. 

"Nag-usap kami ... na sana magkaroon muna ng moratorium sa pag-grant ng mga permit para maglagay ng subdivision," according to Rizal Representative Jack Duavit.  I guess he's talking to people like himself, the HLURB, the city councils and other regulatory agencies of government.

"Bawasan na o i-limit na ang mga pamilyang lumilipat sa Marikina dahil ito, unang-una hindi naman ganun kalaki ang Marikina na kung mapupuno ng kabahayan ito eh hindi na siguro magiging fit for habita(tion)," says Marikina Representative Del De Guzman.

People have always associated progress and development with the building of more grandiose subdivisions and glittering malls but in areas where this is not advisable, as in the cases of Marikina, Pasig and Cainta, this is now a tragic lesson that is being learned the hard way. Heavy  revenues will be earned, corporate bottom lines will show huge profits but down the road, as what happened with a howler named Ondoy, many lives will be lost, communities shattered and a nation's confidence rocked to its very core.

GMA News Missing Persons Database Using Google Spreadsheets Now Online

30 September 2009

GMA News has put online its Missing Persons Database (MPD) which allows users to put up inquiries about people that they know are missing or information about people that they know are safe and sound.

This is one excellent way of leveraging technology to reconnect people at this time when powerful tropical storm Ondoy destroyed communities and severely disrupted people's contacts with each other.

The interactive MPD leverages the power of Google Spreadsheets and the Internet  allowing people to access the update the database.  This is the link to GMA News' Missing Persons Database.


Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Two US Navy Personnel, 1 Philippine Marine Killed When Their Humvee Struck an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in Indanan, Sulu, September 29, 2009

29 September 2009

This piece of news is bound to cause a serious reappraisal of the controversial Visiting Forces Agreement or VFA.

In what appears to be the first instance of fatalities in the Philippines involving US servicemen since 2002, two US Navy personnel were killed along with one Philippine Marine personnel when their Humvee struck an improvised explosive device (IED) early today along the five-kilometer Kagay to Langpas Road in Barangay Kagay, Indanan, Sulu.


Classes Suspended in College Up to Friday, Oct 2 2009 in Metro Manila, Other Calamity Areas, NDCC Meeting 29 September 2009

29 September 2009  10:50am

I've been watching the NDCC meeting chaired by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo assisted by NDCC Chair and Defense Secretary Gilbert Teodoro for several minutes now.  The NDCC meeting is being aired live over DZMM Teleradyo. The program of Ariel Ureta and Winnie Cordero gave way to the airing of the NDCC meeeting. 

The DZMM reporter gave us the information that CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles has announced in said NDCC meeting that classes in college are being suspended in Metro Manila and in other calamity areas up to Friday, October 2, 2009.

With this information, we can safely give this advisory:

No classes in all levels in Metro Manila, other calamity areas (still to be specified) from today Tuesday, September 29, 2009 up to Friday, October 2, 2009 

We still have to determine which provinces declared as calamity areas are covered by this class suspension.  I'm sure Rizal is included because it is just as severely-stricken as Metro Manila. 

 Screenshot of NDCC meeting at DZMM Teleradyo, 11:12am, September 29, 2009

The NDCC meeting is still ongoing as of 11:12am with Energy Secretary Angelo Reyes making his report on the power situation. I'll post the updates here as soon as they arrive.

29 September 2009 11:55am

It's now official, no classes in all levels in Metro Manila up to Friday, October 2, 2009; as usual kulelat na naman ang DepEd ni Secretary Jesli Lapus sa announcement.

Screenshot of DZMM Teleradyo announcement, 11:47am, September 29, 2009

29 September 2009 5:48pm

This is a GMA News flash report by Lala Roque.

29 September 2009 7:10pm

This update is based on the 24 Oras report tonight by Mel Tiangco.

No classes in all levels in Metro Manila, Rizal, Cavite, Laguna, Quezon, Marinduque, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, Palawan, Romblon, Pampanga, Bulacan and Zambales from Wednesday, September 30, 2009 up to Saturday, October 3, 2009

Acting Batangas Governor Mark Leviste has reportedly lifted class suspensions in Batangas. There will be classes in Batangas tomorrow. 

I have the video clip in my cellphone; I'll embed the video as soon as it's posted in GMANews.tv.

I've posted the video in youtube (10:44pm); here it is.

Classes Suspended in Preschool, Elementary and High School in Metro Manila, No Classes in All Levels in Marikina Up to Friday, Sept 30 2009 (Wed)

30 September 2009  10:25am

This is our class suspension advisory for Wednesday, September 30, 2009:

No classes in preschool, elementary and high school in Metro Manila on Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus made the announcement personally.  I heard him talking with Ted Failon at DZMM Teleradyo. However, kapos pa rin po dahil puwede na sanang sinuspend niya na rin ang klase sa Rizal province instead of leaving the matter to local officials.  How about the other provinces that were affected by storm Ondoy?  Nag-iisip pa ba itong mga taga DepEd at taga CHED?

No classes in Marikina in all levels up to Friday, October 2, 2009

No classes in UST, September 30, 2009

No classes in La Concordia College, September 30 to October 2, 2009  

29 September 2009 11:37am

This is my latest post on class suspension:


Classes Suspended in Preschool, Elementary and High School in Metro Manila and Rizal, No Classes in All Levels in Batangas, Tuesday, September 29 2009

29 September 2009  12:36am

This is the surest thing we have right now as far as class suspension for Tuesday, September 29, 2009 is concerned:

No classes in preschool, elementary and high school in Metro Manila and Rizal on Tuesday, September 29, 2009.

No classes in St. Scholastica's College, September 29, 2009

No classes in UST, September 29 and 30, 2009

No classes in La Concordia College, September 29 to October 2, 2009  

No classes in all levels in Batangas on Tuesday, September 29, 2009

DZMM Teleradyo is saying:

Klase sa NCR at Rizal, All Levels, Suspendido Pa Rin Ngayon

I hope this report is officially true but I don't think it is true at the college level.  It has really been irresponsible of CHED to leave things hanging. Puwede naman tayong sabihan nang malinaw pero pinanghuhula pa tayo.  If you have information that says otherwise, please let me know.  


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Storm Ondoy — Even MMDA Chief Bayani Fernando Could Not Rescue Only Child, Daughter Tala Maria, Held Up in Their Family-Owned Steel Factory in Cainta

27 September 2009

Storm Ondoy has become a leveler of Philippine society.  Since yesterday and probably for the next few days, those caught up in Ondoy's fury, young or old, rich or poor, have found themselves standing at par with each other — all victims of nature's uncontrollable wrath.

The Philippine Daily Inquirer, in its online article written by Allison Lopez, entitled Even MMDA Could Not Rescue Stranded Daughter, that rude realization has come the way of Bayani Fernando, the powerful chief of the Metro Manila Development Authority.  I quote the article below:

MMDA chairman Bayani Fernando said that at past 10 a.m. on Sunday, he had yet to speak with his 23-year-old daughter Tala Maria, who worked in the family-owned steel factory in Cainta.

"Na-stranded din siya kasi mababa din yung lugar doon. Down kasi lahat ng communications kahapon (Saturday) kaya the whole day, the whole night, hindi ko pa siya nakakausap (She was also stranded because she was in a low-lying area. All communication were down yesterday and that’s why, I have not been able to talk to her the whole day, the whole night)," he said in a phone interview.

The incident revealed a side of Bayani Fernando that we don't normally see:

Although he worried about his daughter, Fernando said he felt helpless because many others were also in dire need of help.

"Nahiya naman ako magpadala ng rubber boat kasi marami rin ang nangangailangan (I didn’t feel comfortable sending a rubber boat because others were in need of rescuing too)," he said.

I am not a big fan of the MMDA Chairman but I share his concern for his daughter as I share the concern of countless others who have relatives and loved ones still in harm's way. I hope the report is accurate that Chairman Fernando's wife has received word that their one and only child Tala Maria is fine.


Classes Suspended in All Levels in Metro Manila and Selected Areas of Calabarzon, September 28, 2009 UPDATED

27 September 2009 10:42am

I just watched and heard CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles announcing the suspension of classes for tomorrow, Monday, September 28, 2009, at the college level in a telephone interview with Mariz Umali of GMA News.  

Yesterday, at the height of the most powerful torrent of rain delivered by a Philippine tropical storm in history, Chairman Angeles fumbled majestically when he entrusted the responsibility of suspending classes to school administrators. I don't think I heard from DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus yesterday; he seemed to have forgotten about the high school students who hold their CAT classes on Saturdays.  Hindi ba't pinasu-sweldo naman ng taxpayers' money ang mga ito?!

Anyway, I believe that with Chairman Angeles' announcement, it is safe to make a general announcement:

Classes suspended/no classes at all levels (preschool, elementary, high school, college) on Monday, September 28, 2009 in Metro-Manila (NCR) and in selected areas of Calabarzon (Region IV-A).  

Region IV-A or Calabarzon is composed of Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal, Quezon and Lucena City.  

Map of Calabarzon (Region IV-A)

When asked by Mariz Umali to specify which areas of Calabarzon are included in the order of class suspension, Chairman Angeles could not provide an answer and said simply that it still needs to be coordinated with school administrators in the area.  It's a pathetic answer; he could simply have ordered the entire Calabarzon area to be covered by the suspension so that students and their parents are not left guessing.

I think the order of suspension is also inadequate because it does not address the area of Region III or Central Luzon which was right in the path of tropical storm Ondoy.  Central Luzon includes the provinces of Aurora, Bataan,, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac, Zambales (as well as Angeles City and Olongapo City). 

Map of Central Luzon (Region III)

Bakit ba ganito itong mga education officials ng Pilipinas?  Parang hindi marunong ng geography at mukhang ang tingin sa ating mga mag-aaral ay mga imortal.  Hello?!  Ang mga bata po ay sinisipon din, nilalagnat at kapag inabutan ng baha, pwedeng mameligrong malunod. Maawa naman kayo!  Kadalasan ay pagpapahintulot na lang sa pagtataas ng tuition fee ng mga private schools ang inaatupag ninyo!  At saka po yung tulong na hiningi ko sa tanggapan ni DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus na pagsu-suspend sa field trip nagkakahalaga ng P1,345 per student papuntang Villa Escudero sa Tiaong, Quezon, hanggang ngayon po ay walang aksyon ang kanyang tanggapan!  Sumulat po ako sa tanggapan niya noong September 1, 2009, tapos na yung field trip hanggang ngayon wala po akong alam na ginawa niya mismo upang ipagtanggol ang mismong order ng DepEd.

27 September 2009 2:24pm

This is the GMA News flash report by Mariz Umali that I saw several hours ago wherein CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles announced the suspension of classes at the college level.  

Since that time, Defense Secretary Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro in his capacity as Chair  of NDCC has declared the suspension of classes in all levels tomorrow, Monday, September 28, 2009 in Metro Manila and Rizal.  GMA News quotes Secretary Teodoro:
NDCC chair Gilberto Teodoro Jr. suspended classes after tropical storm 'Ondoy' still left parts of Metro Manila and Rizal impassable to vehicles.

"Para hindi na malito ang mga tao, on my discretion minamabuti ko na na suspindihin ang klase on all levels sa Metro Manila isama na natin ang lalawigan ng Rizal (So as not to confuse the public, it was in my discretion to suspend classes on all levels in Metro Manila, including the province of Rizal)," Teodoro said.
Sana po ay mag-resign na sina DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus at CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles. 

28 September 2009 12:22am

I personally believe that classes should have been ordered suspended by the DepEd and the CHED in many more areas but this is how the class suspension order stands as of this hour:

No classes in all levels in Metro Manila, Rizal, Batangas and Laguna on Monday, September 28

So that we don't get confused, I suggest we take the suspensions one day at a time.  

But if you want to read on, this article by the Inquirer, No classes in Metro, Southern Tagalog areas, does make the assertion that there's no classes in all levels up to Tuesday, September 29.  However, I don't recall hearing CHED Chairman Emmanuel Angeles say that he's ordering the suspension of colleges classes up to Tuesday.  Anyway, I might have missed something.  If I did, please let me know.  

28 September 2009 1:28am

Based on the news items that they're flashing at DZMM Teleradyo at this moment, we add Cavite to the list of provinces where there will be no classes on Monday, September 28. This is how the class suspension order stands as of this time:

No classes in all levels in Metro Manila, Rizal, Batangas, Laguna and Cavite on Monday, September 28, 2009.

28 September 2009 8:40am

Based on the reports below by GMA News from Connie Sison and Mariz Umali, we add the province of Bulacan to the list of provinces where there are no classes on Monday, September 28. This is how the class suspension order stands as of this time:

No classes in all levels in Metro Manila, Rizal, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite and Bulacan on Monday, September 28, 2009.

For tomorrow, Tuesday, September 29, 2009, the class suspension advisory is:

No classes in preschool, elementary and high school in Metro Manila and Rizal on Tuesday, September 29, 2009.

No classes in St. Scholastica's College, September 29, 2009

No classes in La Concordia College, September 29 to October 2, 2009  

This is the flash report by Connie Sison:

And this is the report by Mariz Umali.


Storm Ondoy Establishes Record Rainfall Volume - Nearly 60 People Killed, Metro Manila, 24 Other Provinces Under State of Calamity, Sept 26 2009

27 September 2009

NDCC Chairman and Defense Secretary Gilbert "Gibo" Teodoro has announced that Manila and 24 other provinces have been placed under a state of calamity as a result of the widespread flooding brought by storm Ondoy.

The 25 provinces are Aurora, Quirino, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Viscaya, Tarlac, Pangasinan, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Quezon, Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Camarines Norte and Bataan.

Reuters reports that about 60 people lost their lives, as many as 47 by drowning while 11 others by collapsing walls and rising floodwaters.  

According to Pagasa, the  torrential rains poured by Ondoy measured at 341 millimeters  from 8am to 2pm Saturday broke the standing record of 334 mm recorded in June 1967. 

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Storm Ondoy - Jessica Soho Interview with Cristine Reyes From the Roof of Her House in Provident Village, Marikina, Evening of September 26 2009

26 September 2009

A distraught Cristine Reyes was interviewed by GMA News' Jessica Soho tonight while the actress was at the roof of her house in Provident Village in Marikina City.  Cristine said she is with her mother, sister and nephews and nieces.  They've been in the roof since 1 o'clock in the afternoon and are all wet and hungry.  NDCC rescue teams obviously have not reached them by the time of the interview.

27 September 2009 1:25am

Steve Dailisan reports with Mariz Umali on efforts of the Coast Guard to rescue Marikina residents trapped in the roofs of their homes including the family of Cristine Reyes. 

This video was posted at GMANews.tv at 12:51am today.  There is no indication that Cristine Reyes and her fellow Provident village residents have been reached as of time of this update.

Let's continue praying for our fellow Filipinos who are still in harm's way — both rescuees and rescuers — as a result of the widespread flooding caused by storm Ondoy.

28 September 2009 9:17am
According to saw Cristine Reyes, it was her two brothers who first reached their house in Provident Village, Marikina and tried to rescue her family.  

It was in the speedboat borrowed from a friend by actor Richard Gutierrez, however, that Cristine rode on the way out of her house.  But along the way, even the speedboat could not handle the flood waters and both Cristine and Richard were stranded and needed to be rescued. It was nevertheless a gallant effort on the part of actor Richard Gutierrez.

More on the rescue of Cristine Reyes and her family in this 24 Oras report by Nelson Canlas and in a Showbiz Central report by John Lapus.


Storm Ondoy Lashes at Metro Manila, Rest of Luzon, Classes Suspended in FEU and PUP, Major Disaster Looms, September 26 2009

26 September 2009

Very strong rains spawned by tropical storm Ondoy has placed many areas of Metro-Manila and Rizal province under flood waters.

DZMM says that FEU and PUP have suspended their classes.  

But DZMM is flashing the news that CHED is leaving it to school authorities to decide on whether to suspend classes or not ("CHED: school admin, bahala na sa suspensyon ng klase"). Meron pa bang malasakit itong mga taga CHED?  Common sense tells us that in this kind of stormy weather, the easiest thing for the CHED to do is to order the suspension of classes instead of exposing students to unnecessary risks.  If I were you, I'll stay at home no matter what the CHED says.  It's really dangerous out there right now.

DZMM (and I'm sure other radio stations as well) is swamped with messages from people many of them literally in the roofs of their houses asking to be rescued from the widespread flooding.  I don't think I've seen this kind of an emerging disaster in my lifetime.  

Quirino, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya are under signal no. 2. Metro Manila and Cavite are under signal no. 1. Mayor Mon Ilagan of Cainta speaking with David Oro of DZMM Teleradyo has reported that 90 percent of his town is under water.  

These are some of the news items being flashed by DZMM Teleradyo:
ER ng UST hospital, pinasok na ng baha
Water level sa Angat Dam, umabot na sa 'spilling level'
East Avenue hanggang Kamias Road sa QC, di na madaanan
6 munisipalidad sa Batangas, walang kuryente
3 bata, nalunod sa Muntinlupa
2, patay sa pagguho ng pader sa MIA Road

These are the related reports courtesy of GMA News:

26 September 2009  (1:50pm)

ABS-CBN's Wowowee is flashing the following storm signals and flooded areas (2:00pm):

Signal no. 2  Aurora, Quirino Nueva Vizcaya, Nueva Ecija, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Zambales, Pampanga, Bulacan, Rizal, Northern Quezon, Polillo Island 

Signal No. 1: Isabela, Mountain Province, Ifugao, Benguet, La Union, Ilocos Sur, Laguna, Cavite, Batangas, Rest of Quezon Province, Mindoro Provinces, Lubang Island, Marinduque, Camarines Norte, Bataan, Metro Manila 

Flooded areas: Marikina access loop to Marcos Bridge  from Marcos Highway to C5, C5 Eagle St. in front of Tiendesitas, Nichols East and West Service Road, Quezon Ave. along Biak-na-Bato east and west-bound, Quezon Avenue to D. Tuazon, Commonwealth Fairview Market, NLEX Cloverleaf Area, Ortigas Eastbound, España from Antipolo to Blumentritt, Malugay St. in Makati, SLEX to Ayala Avenue, Metropolitan South Avenue, Pasong Tamo to J. P. Rizal to Davila St.

These are the hotline nos. of NDCC: 9115061,  9125668,  9120984

Ingat po kayong lahat.  God bless po!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Pacman the Dog Keeps Up with Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao During Baguio Training for the Miguel Cotto Fight

25 September 2009

While training in Baguio City, there is a constant companion to Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao aside from his human training partners in Team Pacquiao and that is Pacman the Dog. Pacman the Dog (I'll call him PacDog for short) keeps pace with his master Pacman the Boxer as they go through Baguio's sloping terrain.  Manny says PacDog doesn't tire.  

PacDog is a gift brought home by Manny from the United States after the Oscar Dela Hoya fight.

More on Pacman and PacDog in this 24 Oras report by Jette Arcellana.

Pacman the Dog gets featured in this youtube video of a Mario Lopez interview with the Pacman in 2008.




Thursday, September 24, 2009

Two Men Die as Their Honda Civic Slams Into MRT Post Near Trinoma in Quezon City

24 September 2009

Two men died early this morning as their Honda Civic flew into the air slamming an MRT post near Trinoma.  The driver who died on the spot is a certain Jeffrey Mariano San Juan while the passenger who died at the Veterans Memorial Medical Center was identified as Gerald Cariño.

More on this senseless accident in these GMA News reports.


Dr. Gene Nisperos of HEAD Disputes Claims of Losses by Private Hospitals, Calls for Increased Capabilities of Public Hospitals

24 September 2009

Dr. Gene Nisperos, Secretary General of Health Alliance for Democracy (HEAD) is challenging private hospitals to prove that they are losing money because of the implementation of the cheaper medicines law. 

"Eh una po tingnan natin. Sinasabi nila dahil daw po dun sa drug price regulation.  Limang gamot lang po 'yan sa totoo. Tapos kung isama natin yung voluntarily-reduced prices, 21. Napakakonti at karamihan po niyan, outpatient drugs pa.  So hindi talaga siya ginagamit sa ospital. Kaya ang tanong po namin, patunayan sana ng mga ospital na 'yan kung pa'no sila nalulugi at anong gamot ang dahilan kung pa'no sila nalulugi," explained Nisperos.

Malacañang has called upon Congress to investigate reports that private hospitals are planning to increase their service fees.  The aim is to come up with legislation that will allow government to better regulate the power of private hospitals to hike their fees.

More on this story in this video clip from Unang Hirit.


Legendary Paeng Nepomuceno Guns for a Fifth Bowling World Cup Title When He Competes in Melaka, Malaysia, November 13 to 20, 2009

24 September 2009

Paeng Nepomuceno is back in competitive form as he prepares for an unbelievable fifth Bowling World Cup title.  The 2009 Bowling World Cup will be held at the Melaka International Bowling Center in Melaka, Malaysia from November 13 to 20. 

One of sports' true legends, Paeng is soft-spoken and unassuming but packs an awesome left hand that has earned for him four (4) Bowling World Cup Championships having won the event in 1976, 1980, 1992 and 1996. 

Paeng will represent the Philippines at Melaka together with women's champion Liza Del Rosario.  Paeng beat Paulo Valdez and Bensir Layoso in the men's stepladder finals while Del Rosario edged Krizziah Tabora.

More on this story in this Balitanghali report by JP Soriano.


Senator Loren Legarda, Jinkee Pacquiao, Camille Villar, Pia Arcangel Among 18 Filipinas in People Asia Magazine's Women of Style and Substance 2009

24 September 2009

One of the prettiest faces in television, GMA 7's Pia Arcangel, who co-anchors QTV's Balitanghali, is one of 18 Filipinas named to this year's Women of Style and Substance by People Asia Magazine.

Other beautiful Pinays in the list include Senator Loren Legarda, the woman behind Pacman Jinkee Pacquiao, Camille Villar, Manny Villar's daughter and Rosebud Benitez, host/chef of QTV's Quickfire.

More on this story in this report for Balitanghali by Connie Sison:


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Two Female High School Students in Tondo, Manila Accidentally Shot and Injured by 9mm Pen Gun Smuggled by a 16-Year-Old Male Student

22 September 2009

Students, parents, teachers and school administrators, please take note!  Please tell our children to beware and stay away from these things!

A pen gun supposedly found outside the school by a 16-year old male student fired accidentally injuring two female students of Tondo High School in Manila.

The actual gun is shown above. The Inquirer named the two victims as 13-year-old Marie Hanopol and 14-year-old Sharmaine Aguilar.  Police said that the single bullet went through Aguilar's body before hitting Hanopol in the back.  Here is the link to the Inquirer article.

More on this story in this report by Cesar Apolinario for 24 Oras:


After National Artist Bienvenido Lumbera, It's Now the Turn of Dr. Jun Cruz Reyes to Protest Military Surveillance

22 September 2009

Last Thursday, an intelligence officer of the Philippine Marines was arrested while taking pictures of the residence of National Artist for Literature Bienvenido Lumbera inside Mapayapa Village in Quezon City.  The officer was identified as a certain Hannibal Guerrero. Two companions of Guerrerro were able to escape.

Dr. Jun Cruz Reyes

Today, another prominent artist, UP Professor Dr. Jun Cruz Reyes complained of possible military surveillance consisting of an unidentified man who took his pictures using a cellphone, the casing of his house in Sta. Elena, Hagonoy, Bulacan, and a report from a friend saying that he is in the "order of battle" of the Philippine Army.

The military has denied any intentional surveillance or inclusion in the order of battle of Lumbera and Reyes.

More on this story in these reports courtesy of GMA News:



Serbis, Other Indie Films Dominate the Gawad Urian 2009

22 September 2009

Serbis, a film by Cannes Film Festival winner Brillante Mendoza won the Best Picture prize at the recent 32nd Gawad Urian 2009.  Serbis also won for Brillante Mendoza the Best Director plum as well as Best Cinematography (Odyssey Flores) and Best Production Design (Benjamin Padero and Carlo Tabije).  

Veteran actor Ronnie Lazaro was voted Best Actor for his role in Yanggaw while Mylene Dizon's performance in 100 won for her the Best Actress trophy. Rising star Coco Martin was Best Supporting Actor (Jay) and Aleera Montalla, Best Supporting Actress (Yanggaw). 

Star City Rollercoaster Rider "Rina" Denies Her Handbag Caused the Zyklon Loop to Get Stuck, 21 September 2009

22 September 2009

A rider whom GMA News simply named as "Rina" claims that her handbag is not the reason why the Zyklon Loop at Star City got stuck yesterday.

GMA News interview "Rina" and she showed on cam her handbag and umbrella insisting that her belongings inside the handbag would have been crushed had it been run over by the rollercoaster.

The lesson learned here is that getting in on these rides has its risks and both rider and operator have their own share of responsibilities in making sure that the ride would be safe and exciting instead of being traumatic and dangerous.  Of course, it is the operator, Star City, who has the primary duty of ensuring that its rides are not only exciting but safe as well.  

As usual, after the incident, the Pasay City engineer's office has inspected the Zyklon Loop and made the necessary safety recommendations. 

More on this story in these reports courtesy of GMANews.tv:

Shalani Soledad Present at Fund-Raising Concert for the Noynoy-Mar Tandem Held at the UP Theatre in Diliman, 21 September 2009

22 September 2009

A fund-raising concert for the Noynoy Aquino - Mar Roxas tandem was held last night at the UP Theater in UP Diliman, Quezon City.  The concert was topbilled by the Apo Hiking Society. Noynoy and Mar even joined the concert performers in singing the tune that now bears their names.

Instead of buying tickets, supporters of the Noynoy-Mar ticket gave donations which were received by volunteers.

Shalani Soledad, girlfriend of Senator Noynoy Aquino, was present and sat beside the senator during the concert.  

Earlier in the day at the Club Filipino in Greenhills, I was there when media people asked Noynoy why Shalani wasn't there and he responded by saying that he did not want to bother Shalani who has her own preparations to make for her own political run in Valenzuela City in 2010. GMANews.tv has an article on why Shalani and Korina were not present at the Liberal Party's big day

More on this story in this News on Q report by Pia Arcangel.

And in this Unang Hirit report by Susan Enriquez.


Monday, September 21, 2009

Nation Observes the 37th Anniversary of Martial Law, One of the Darkest Chapters in Philippine History, 21 September 2009

21 September 2009

The Filipino nation marked the anniversary of martial law, imposed 37 years ago today by the late strongman Ferdinand Marcos, with a series of protest actions many of them centered at the Mendiola Bridge where thousands fought the darkness that engulfed Philippine society more than a third of a century ago.

It is an event and a period that will never be forgotten, marring the Filipino psyche and soul with a wound that will never heal, with a legacy of terror that will haunt our nation for as long as it exists.

More on this story in these reports courtesy of GMA News:



Noynoy Aquino - Mar Roxas Tandem to be Formally Announced at 10:00 am Today at the Club Filipino, September 21, 2009

21 September 2009

The Noynoy Aquino - Mar Roxas tandem for the 2010 elections will be formally announced today at the historic Club Filipino in Greenhills, San Juan.  These articles from the Inquirer and the Philippine Star tell us more about it.

My source said that the announcement will be made at around 10:00 am.

22 September 2009 8:15am

The Liberal Party officially announced the Noynoy Aquino - Mar Roxas tandem for 2010 yesterday at the Club Filipino; it was past 11:00am when the ceremonies started.  

Saturday, September 19, 2009

VP Noli De Castro Loses Cool — "Mga Tamad Sila ... Paaalisin Kayo ni Vice 'Pag Di Kayo Nagbayad Kahit Sino Pa Kayo!"

19 September 2009

"Baka mga tamad sila! Sabihin mo sa kanila, tamad sila!  Hindi sila puwedeng hindi sila magbabayad. Sisingilin ko sila paaalisin ko pag di nagbayad.  Paaalisin kayo ni Vice 'pag di kayo nagbayad kahit sino pa kayo!"

In an outburst that might just lose him whatever electoral contest he enters in 2010, Vice President Noli De Castro lost his composure in Los Baños, Laguna.

More on Noli de Castro's temper tantrum in this report by Marvin Tumandao:

Excuse me, ayaw po ng Pinoy sa suplada o sa suplado!

Friday, September 18, 2009

Mar Roxas - Korina Sanchez Sto. Domingo Church Wedding Moved From Oct 23 to Oct 27, 2009, Reception Follows at Araneta Coliseum

18 September 2009

In tonight's edition of TV Patrol, we learn through Mario Dumaual's interview with the ace ABS-CBN broadcaster that the much-awaited wedding of Senator Mar Roxas and Korina Sanchez is being moved from October 23 to October 27, 2009.  It will still be held at the Sto. Domingo Church while reception will follow at the Araneta Coliseum.  

Thursday, September 17, 2009

MRT Fare Should Be P60 Says DBP But DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza Says There Won't Be Any MRT Fare Hike ...

17 September 2009

This kind of news is quite disturbing for those who take the MRT on a regular basis.   

The DBP is saying that MRT fare should be in the vicinity of P60.  Wow!  That is four (4) times the maximum fare of P15 under the present MRT fare matrix shown below:

But DOTC Secretary Leandro Mendoza is saying that there won't be any fare increase because the government will continue to subsidize MRT fares to the tune of P5 Billion in 2010.  I believe we should take what he says to mean that "there won't be any fare increase ... for now ... maybe after the 2010 election."   

More on this story in this Balitanghali report by Rawnna Crisostomo:

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