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Building the country’s future

By Mark Louis F. Ferrolino, Special Features Writer With the “Build, Build, Build” infrastructure program of the Duterte administration, the cement industry is now at the forefront of the country’s economic boom. The industry has been experiencing significant progress and is expected to grow even more due to the increased investment in infrastructure that fuels demand […] The post Building the country’s future appeared first on BusinessWorld......»»

Category: newsSource: bworldonline bworldonlineApr 30th, 2018

Building projects through ODA not in conflict with PPPs – ADB

MANILA, Philippines – The future of public-private partnership (PPP) projects in the country looks rosy despite the government's focus on official development assistance (ODA), according to the Asian Development Bank (ADB). "All in all [the Philippines] is seen as a good case for PPPs and I think ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsNov 23rd, 2017

DOC VOLLEYBALL: A Dilemma on Loop?

Flashback to March 2017, the whole volleyball community was abuzz about a newly formed national team set to compete in the Southeast Asian Games of that year as tryouts were held, but certain players, particularly from the Ateneo de Manila University, were allegedly not invited. An apology was then issued and special tryouts were held to accommodate the aforementioned athletes. Flashback to 2015, with a newly formed organization in Larong Volleyball sa Pilipinas, Inc. (LVPI) taking the reins from the Philippine Volleyball Federation (PVF) as the volleyball authority in the country, the future looked bright as for the first time in recent history, both the men’s and women’s teams were being sent to the Singapore SEA Games as representation of the sport’s resurgence. As with any newly formed roster, the composition was mired in controversy especially with the men’s team, which was composed of predominantly of young players. Flashback to 2014, with the power struggle between the aforementioned LVPI and PVF, the latter formed the infamous Amihan and Bagwis squads as the women’s and men’s national teams, respectively. Backed by then sponsor PLDT, the rosters boasted of the some of the country’s best talents from both divisions with the likes of Alyssa Valdez, Mark Espejo, Ara Galang, Tatan Pantone, Ran Ran Abdilla and Mark Alfafara to name a few. Both teams never saw the light of day outside the country as the PVF eventually lost its accreditation leading to the teams’ eventual disbandment. And the theme went on as the previous years are revisited. Fast forward to present time, 2018, and once again the volley community is abuzz with the formation of yet again a new national team with a familiar scenario in which local favorites did not make the cut. With the volleyball scene at an all time high in local following, it is quite inevitable for varying opinions on who should have been included in the line-up given the wide pool of talents especially in the women’s division. Coupled with a sudden change in coaching staff, the new roster is once again under scrutiny given the process the team as a whole was structured from the beginning. Another New Beginning Without taking anything from the players and coaches of the new women’s national team, the composition is relatively deserving of the spots for the roster. While expected shoe-ins who have performed tremendously well in the local leagues like Myla Pablo, Maika Ortiz, and Tatan Pantone were not afforded a slot in the team, the new line-up is still pretty much capable of representing the country. Middles – Aby Marano is the best fit amongst the middles who made the final cut. With exceptional timing and good lateral movement, Marano is expected to perform in the position well offensively and defensively despite the lack of height for a middle blocker internationally. Her agility and aggressiveness with her net play more than justifies her inclusion and assignment as the team captain. Her DLSU successor Majoy Baron would add much needed support as the second middle as she has proven to have the power and timing of Aby though much work can still be done for her agility in the net. Baron’s aggressive floaters will also be of much benefit on the service line. Lastly, Mika Reyes would provide the height should the need arise especially against foreign teams with bigger size. Left Wing – Alyssa Valdez’ inclusion as left wing hitter is of no question as she continues to prove that she is one of the best open hitters in the local scene. Perhaps working more on her bulk and power is something the coaching staff must consider to ensure that she can carry over her local performance to the international scene. Dindin Santiago-Manabat and Ces Molina likewise have proven themselves much capable of being offensive threats from the left and their decent size will be of much benefit in blocking against slides and opposite attacks from foreign counterparts. It would be beneficial as well if Santiago-Manabat develops mastery of passing and if Molina becomes a significant threat with the pipe in order for both athletes to really excel in the position. Although Cha Cruz is not much of a power hitter as compared to the aforementioned left hitters, she would serve a special position as the service and defense specialist for the team. If in scenarios in which she will serve in for a middle, her floor defense is of much benefit in Zone 5 and with her background as a former setter, she is still capable of setting up a decent play should the setter get the first contact. Right Wing – Though much of her collegiate season has been utilized hitting from the middle, Jaja Santiago is undeniably more fit for the opposite position. Despite her height and power, which could be considered an automatic criteria for the middle, Santiago has much work to be done with lateral motion which is also a crucial component for middle hitters. With her vertical reach and power, she is better off racking up points from the right wing and right back row as the main offensive option for the team. Likewise, Kim Dy is also a shoo-in for the opposite position as evidenced by her consistency in scoring and blocking from the right. With Kim Fajardo calling the plays, Kim Dy would be beneficial in running faster or creative plays should the need arise. Setters – The selection of Fajardo and Jia Morado is not to be questioned as both have proven and continue to prove that they are top-notch setters in the country. Both setters are a shoo-in for the national team as both are equal in consistency with Fajardo showing mastery in working the middles and Morado displaying her skill in making the wings work for her. Not much can be argued really about the selection of the two athletes. A reserve setter in Rhea Dimaculangan would be also beneficial as she has the consistency and creativity as the aforementioned setters as well as the height, which would be important in blocking. Libero – Currently hailed as one of Southeast Asia’s finest, Dawn Macandili is undeniably a good choice for the main libero position. With her agility and speed to pop up digs and impossible saves, her presence on the floor is highly beneficial for the team on transition defense. On the other hand, her counterpart Denise Lazaro has proven to be highly consistent from the receiving end of services making her inclusion as part of the regular roster and not just a reserve undeniably essential. With Lazaro setting up the passing formation and Macandili guarding on transition, their combined specialized efforts will ensure the first step in letting the setters run the play for the team. A Shift in View Given the fact that the talent pool in the women’s division is deep, player selection will always be put on debate as not all favored athletes will be included. Perhaps a good way of viewing the matter is that given the yet again short preparation time for the next international tournament, the coaching staff would best select players who they have already established a good working relationship for a more seamless adaptation of a new system. Rather than put into scrutiny the individual players, handpicked or not, the focus should be put on the system as a whole and how it can be further developed for the improvement of the sport. Yet again, the 2018 roster is proving to be another promising one as it has been almost every year when a new line-up is formed. More than bringing back pride to the country internationally in the tournaments immediately at hand, the bigger challenge for the national team is to prove itself not as yet another band aid solution in the attempt to have a continuous program. How the 2018 Team will prove itself different from its predecessors in past Asian/SEA Games would be the more important matter that should be put under the lens. With the sport currently a major source of livelihood for many athletes, the players are no longer the ones getting the short end of the stick but rather volleyball and its development as a whole should the loop continues. The country has much individual talent deserving of a spot in the team, but for as long as vested interests continue to rear their head in the Philippine Volleyball System, the level of the sport will continue to fall short in justifying its current local popularity.    .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News22 hr. 26 min. ago

Robredo to youth: Don’t lose hope, good will triumph over evil

MANILA, Philippines – Vice President Leni Robredo on Saturday, June 16, urged the youth to remain hopeful about the future of the country as she assured them that in the end, “good will triumph over evil.” Robredo made the statement at the Millennials PH (MPH) National Summit held at ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 17th, 2018

Globe, De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde prepare for the Future of Learning

As an advocate for technology use in Philippine education, Globe Telecom joined hands with the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde (DLS-CSB) in launching a Research Grant for Digital Learning to prepare the country for the future of learning. To seal the partnership, a Memorandum of Agreement was signed between the two parties led by Michelle Tapia, Head of Strategy, Innovation, and Transformation of Globe myBusiness, and Br. Dennis Magbanua FSC, DLS-CSB President. Under the MoA, research grants will be used to fund two academic researches to be conducted by full-time DLS-CSB faculty who are screened after a rigorous selection process to promote further research in the fie...Keep on reading: Globe, De La Salle–College of Saint Benilde prepare for the Future of Learning.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 16th, 2018

SMC sets record expansion of beer, food units

San Miguel Corp. is building five to six new breweries all over the country and at least 17 new food facilities including a plant that will locally produce the iconic Spam brand......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated NewsJun 15th, 2018

Rose practicing patience, perspective in the majors

By Doug Ferguson, Associated Press SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. (AP) — Justin Rose was coming up on 15 years as a pro and still didn't have a major. What he found was perspective. "Between 30 and 40, that's going to be my opportunity to go really out and get things done," Rose said. "That's 40 major championships. I'm going to create chances with those 40. I'm going to be on leaderboards." More than getting into weekend conditions, however, was realizing that it wasn't always going to work out. It was OK to fail. That was the secret to playing so well under pressure at Merion, where he broke through in the 2013 U.S. Open. "I think what happened to me at Merion, I also realized I'm going to win majors, and I'm also going to lose majors," he said. "You can't skip through your career without one or two slipping through the net. It's a byproduct of being on the leaderboard that those things happen. So I wasn't scared of losing, and that helped me win my first major championship. I wasn't shying away from the pressure of trying to win my first major." Rose had top 10s in the majors, but he didn't have a lot of chances in his 20s. The lone exception was 2007 at the Masters, where he started the final round one shot out of the lead, closed with a 73 and finished three shots back. Since his victory at Merion, he played in the final group at the 2015 Masters and couldn't make up any ground on Jordan Spieth's four-shot lead, and he lost a two-shot lead on the back nine in the 2017 Masters before losing in a playoff to Sergio Garcia. He also started three back on the final day at St. Andrews in 2015. "Ideally in your career, you grasp more than slip away, right?" he said. "But it's a byproduct of being a good player and being on the leaderboard that both things are going to happen." The message applies to Rickie Fowler, who finished one shot behind Patrick Reed at the Masters. Fowler also had a share of the lead on the back nine at Valhalla in the 2014 PGA Championship, and he played in the final group at two majors that same year. A year ago at the U.S. Open, Fowler started the final round two shots behind. "He's creating those opportunities," Rose said. "He played plenty well enough at the Masters that it could have been his year. He will let one or two go in the future. He's going to be on the leaderboard for a long, long time, and I'm sure things are going to line up for him more than once." ___ WEDDING BELLS Rickie Fowler was lugging around something and it was high time he got rid of it. So he asked girlfriend Allison Stokke to marry him while they were on a Long Island beach. "There was nothing planned out," Fowler said Wednesday, four days after he and Stokke, a former track and field athlete at Cal, got engaged. "I just really didn't want to carry the ring around any longer." That comment drew hearty laughter at a news conference for the U.S. Open. "So it worked out perfectly," he added. "We kept things very, very casual. And like I said, I didn't have anything planned out. ... I didn't want to have to keep toting that thing around for that long." Fowler got traditional, getting down on his knees to ask for her hand in marriage. Waves broke against the shore just behind the couple as Fowler's friend and PGA Championship winner Justin Thomas snapped photos. ___ PEBBLES IN THE SAND The USGA has a local rule for Shinnecock Hills in this U.S. Open that allows players to remove stones and pebbles from bunkers without penalty. Phil Mickelson could have used that 14 years ago. Tied for the lead with two holes to play, Mickelson made double bogey from the bunker on the 17th hole and finished two behind Retief Goosen. Mickelson never talked about the bunker shot after his round, but Fred Funk revealed what happened in a 2014 interview. There was a small rock under his ball. "We didn't know the rock was there, but you could hear it," said Funk, who played with Mickelson in the final round. "Phil showed me his pitching wedge. But he never said anything about it (to the media)." Mickelson's shot ran out about 5 or 6 feet above the hole. The bigger problem was running the putt by 4 feet and missing the comebacker. Funk thought small rocks could be removed as long as the player could see it, though the USGA confirmed the local rule was not in effect in 2004. ___ ALL-AMERICAN This year's U.S. Open will be a chance to celebrate the state of golf in the country. Americans hold all four of golf's major trophies for the first time since 2004. Patrick Reed won the Masters this year, joining PGA champion Justin Thomas, British Open champion Jordan Spieth and last year's U.S. Open winner, Brooks Koepka. The last time that happened was 2004, when Phil Mickelson won his first major. At the time, Jim Furyk (U.S. Open), Ben Curtis (British) and Shaun Micheel were the reigning champions. But it's not just the majors. The United States also won the most recent Ryder Cup, Presidents Cup, Solheim Cup and Walker Cup. Rory McIlroy, who hopes to end the streak, attributed it to golf going in cycles. And he said some of the credit goes to Tiger Woods. "European golf was very healthy a few years ago for a long time," he said. "It seemed every major, someone from the island of Ireland turned up to, we were winning it. It doesn't seem that long ago. But the great young players from this country, they're playing well. They have probably a couple of guys, but one in particular that they try to emulate who's back out here playing, and he's become a friend of theirs. "I think that's been a huge part of all this," he said. "A lot of these guys have gotten to know Tiger. And being able to say, 'OK, this is what he does, and we might not be able to achieve everything that he has, but you can at least try to do that.' I think that's been a huge thing for Ryder Cups and Presidents Cups, and them as individuals." ___ AP Sports Writers Barry Wilner and Jimmy Golen contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2018

PH still far behind in world 3x3 basketball, says world no.1 player

MANILA, Philippines – Amid praises that the Philippines can be a future world power in 3x3 basketball, the world’s best player Dusan Bulut warns that it will be a long journey before the country can clinch a world championship. “[There is a] big difference right now between 3x3 and 5-on-5 players,” ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJun 13th, 2018

Pacquiao says no imports in MPBL for now until future

The 2018 Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League is underway. This, even after the league encountered much turbulence due to a rule that states that each of its 26 teams could only have one Filipino-foreigner. Amidst all the controversy and criticism, the fledgling league stayed steadfast in its course of action. “We’re just a growing league. The vision of the league is to give a chance to homegrown players,” commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said in the owners’ meeting during the heat of the issue last May. He then continued, “‘Di naman kasi ganun kalaki ang players sa probinsya kaya ganun. Step-by-step tayo kasi nga we’re striving to be a place for homegrown players.” And now, the league is rolling without having to change course. “Balanse yung liga natin kasi istrikto naman tayo (sa) players. Bawal yung Fil-foreigner above 6-4 tapos isa lang bawat team,” founder Sen. Manny Pacquiao told reporters in the opener on Tuesday at the Araneta Coliseum. He then continued, “Wala ring imports.” And for now until the foreseeable future, the MPBL will remain filled with Filipinos. Asked if they have plans to open the door for foreign reinforcements a la the PBA, Pacquiao answered, “Wala muna. Nasasapawan kasi ang mga Pilipino.” That is nothing but good news for the many, many hopefuls in this basketball-crazed country. As the boxing legend put it, “Maraming nakapaglaro (dahil sa MPBL). Actually, nagkaubusan na nga ng players dahil sa MPBL.” --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 12th, 2018

Show data to support BBL’s ‘awesome’ fiscal powers—Recto

Saying that the “law is in the details,” Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto yesterday pressed the government to submit “the economic fine print” that will underpin the proposed Bangsamoro government’s fiscal autonomy.In a request coursed through Sen. Juan Miguel Zubiri, Recto sought “facts and figures that will bolster the financial feasibility” of the Bangsamoro self-ruled homeland.Recto said the submission of these will clarify ambiguities in the provisions in Bangsamoro Basic Law bill, and “hasten its passage in the Senate.””Like any bill, if you scratch the surface of a provision of the BBL, you will find the price tag underneath,” Recto said.Among the data Recto has requested are “national revenue collections in ARMM since its creation to the present, as well as budget utilization of ARMM, including relevant financial statements, from the time it was created.”Included in the request are “budget allocations and subsidies lodged in different national government agencies, earmarked and off-budget revenue sources.”“The purpose is to find out if past allocations to ARMM were at levels sufficient to meet the imperatives of growth, because if these are historically lacking, then we are properly informed not to commit the same mistakes with the future Bangasamoro government,” Recto said. In his letter to Zubiri, Recto also sought additional data on the formula used in computing and allocating the proposed Annual Block Grants, “funds which are to be automatically appropriated and released by the national government.” For 2019, the Block Grant is pegged at P72 billion. “What then is the revenue basis used in setting this amount?” Recto said.Recto likewise requested “elaboration” on the nature of the Special Development Fund, or SDF, which has been pegged at P100 billion for 20 years, P10 billion of which shall be given by the national government the year following the ratification of the BBL.“What is the basis for the SDF? What are examples of projects to be funded by this?” Recto said.He also asked for the “negative list of projects or programs” which cannot be funded by the block grant or by the SDF.Recto also requested for social and economic indicators at all levels of the present ARMM, and “programs that will result in better socio-economic numbers.”He said that BBL proponents in the executive branch should also submit a comparative matrix between Republic Act 6734 (ARMM Organic Act), Republic Act 9054 (Amended ARMM Organic Act), and the BBL.“A side-by-side tale of tapes, comparing past, current models, and the future one would help us create the best BBL which will encapsulate all our dreams and visions for a peaceful, progressive South,” Recto said.The senator reiterated his support “for a constitutionally-compliant, fiscally-responsible, grassroots-accepted organic law for the autonomous region.”Speaker: PDP to campaign vs poll bets against federalismSpeaker Pantaleon Alvarez yesterday said the ruling Partido Demokratiko Pilipino (PDP) will actively campaign against candidates for senator and other elective positions in the 2019 elections who are opposed to a federal system of government.Speaking before over 3,000 new members of the PDP at the Datu Lipus Makapandong Cultural Center, Alvarez urged the people in the province to support the advocacy of President Duterte and the PDP for a shift to a federal system of government, which he said would open up the development potential of the provinces and the regions.“I have one request, please don’t vote for candidates, particularly for senator, who are opposing federalism,” Alvarez told the new PDP members composed practically of the entire local officials of the province led by Agusan Del Sur Gov. Edward Adolph Plaza, 2nd District rep. Evelyn Mellana and 1st District Rep. Maria Valentina Plaza.With the mass oath-taking, the province of Agusan del Sur became the newest addition to the PDP country.In interview with the local media after the event, Alvarez explained his call against anti-federalism candidates.Alvarez said the ruling party was pushing for federalism to ensure inclusive development, particularly of the poor and neglected areas of the country.Alvarez said it was also time to elevate the political maturity of the nation by focusing the campaign on issues instead of the old practice of politics based solely on popularity or personality.He dared the senatorial hopefuls for the 2019 elections to make a clear stand on the issue of federalism.Alvarez said that if a candidate was opposed to federalism then he was clearly against the interest of provinces and regions.Accompanying Alvarez in the event were Davao City 1st District Rep. Karlo Nograles and Oriental Mindoro 2nd District Rep. Reynaldo Umali, whom the Speaker said would be included in the senatorial slate of the administration party for the 2019 senatorial contest.Earlier, Alvarez said that among the benefits of federalism was that the regions or states would retain the lion’s share of the taxes, instead of having to make do with the meager share the central government was currently sending back to the provinces.He said it was crucial to achieve a shift to a federal system of government within the term of President Duterte, who was the only presidential candidate in the 2016 elections who pushed for a federal system of government.Kimberly Otaza, 26, municipal councilor of Loreto, Agusan Del Sur, who was among the new PDP members, said she fully embraces the idea of federalism.Another new PDP member, 45-year old Duric Gavino, a barangay kagawad of Brgy. Poblacion, Prosperidad town of the province, also expressed support for a shift to a new form of government.Gavino added that he was thankful that President Duterte and the PDP are pushing for a shift to a federal form of government.“So, we thank the President. We support federalism.” he stressed.  .....»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

Israel in uproar over Argentina pre-World Cup friendly snub

By Aron Heller, Associated Press JERUSALEM (AP) — The sports-crazed nation of Israel was in uproar Wednesday over Argentina's abrupt cancellation of a World Cup warmup match following pro-Palestinian protests, with some of the country's leaders accusing Lionel Messi and his teammates of caving to terrorism. Israel was eagerly awaiting the sold-out international friendly scheduled for Saturday night at Jerusalem's Teddy Kollek Stadium and the arrival of some of the world's best players. Argentina is one of the most popular national teams among Israelis and fans had been scrambling to get a chance to see Messi in person. But after a fierce Palestinian campaign, which included images of Argentina's white and sky-blue striped jersey stained with red paint resembling blood and threats to burn Messi posters, Argentina's football federation announced it was skipping the event. Claudio Tapia, president of the Argentine Football Association, apologized for cancelling the match but said the safety of the players was at stake. "What has happened in the last 72 hours, the actions, the threats that have occurred have led us to take the decision not to travel," he said during a news conference in Barcelona, where the Argentine team is training prior to the start of the World Cup next week. "(We) apologize to the Israeli community. It's nothing against the Israeli community, the Jewish community and I would like everyone to take this decision as a contribution to world peace," he said. "In the end, they've done the right thing, and this is behind us," Argentina striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN. "Health and common sense come first. We felt that it wasn't right to go." Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called Argentine President Mauricio Macri and urged him to intervene, to no avail. Later Wednesday, Israel's Sports Ministry said a "negotiation" about the match was underway, perhaps in hopes of salvaging it, but gave no further details. "It's unfortunate the soccer knights of Argentina did not withstand the pressure of the Israeli-hating inciters, whose only goal is to harm our basic right to self-defense and bring about the destruction of Israel," said Defense Minister Avigdor Lieberman. "We will not yield before a pack of anti-Semitic terrorist supporters." The head of the Palestinian football association, Jibril Rajoub, had called on Arab soccer fans to burn Messi posters and T-shirts if he participated. He has long tried to get soccer's world governing body, FIFA, and the International Olympic Committee to impose sanctions against Israel. Rajoub believes Israel should be punished for restricting movement of Palestinian players, and for forming teams in West Bank settlements. Rajoub had also objected to holding the match in Jerusalem, whose eastern sector the Palestinians claim as their capital. Although the Kollek stadium is in west Jerusalem, it is located in a neighborhood built where a Palestinian village once stood before it was destroyed in the war surrounding Israel's independence in 1948. Following the move, he held a press conference in Ramallah featuring a picture of him with Messi and a sign reading: "From Palestine, thank you Messi." Rajoub had accused Israel of playing politics with the game, by moving it from its original location in Haifa to Jerusalem, and by trying to link it to celebrations surrounding Israel's 70th anniversary. He called it a victory for "ethics and values" of sports. "They tried to use sport as a tool for political ends, and for this I think, they failed," Rajoub said. Israeli President Reuven Rivlin said it was a sad morning for Israeli sports fans, including his own grandchildren. "But there are values that are greater than even Messi. The politicization of the Argentinean move worries me greatly," he said. Opposition figures, however, accused Israel's headline-seeking sports minister Miri Regev of bringing on the politicization of the sporting event by insisting on moving the game from Haifa to contested Jerusalem and by trying to orchestrate a politicized photo-op with Messi. Israel captured east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war and annexed the area in a move that is not internationally recognized. Israel considers the entire city to be its capital, while the Palestinians seek east Jerusalem as the capital of a future state. Regev rejected the backlash at a press conference Wednesday evening saying "there is no bigger lie" than claims her decision to hold the match in Jerusalem aided in its cancellation. She said the Argentinians had not objected and that Messi himself had wanted to visit sacred Christian and Jewish sites in the holy city. Regev said the match was canceled following "threats by terror elements sent to Messi and his family and to other players." Opposition leader Isaac Herzog called the snub a "spectacular own goal" by Regev that delivered victory to boycotters of the Jewish State. Labor Party leader Avi Gabbay called for a police investigation into Regev's "corrupt conduct." "We just absorbed a shot in the face. This is not just sports," he tweeted. "This, unfortunately, could start an international tsunami." Regev claimed that "terrorist" groups had made threats against Argentina's players and their families, sending them images of dead children, though she gave no further evidence. She accused members of the Israeli parliament, or Knesset, of backing the boycott advocates. "Unfortunately, we have Trojan Horses in the Knesset who give headwind to terrorism," she said. The Palestinian militant Islamic group Hamas praised Argentina for canceling the game. Spokesman Husam Badran said Hamas "applauds" the move and reiterated its position that rejects "all forms of normalization" with the Jewish state. A senior official at the Argentine Football Federation said the national team decided to call off the match with Israel after receiving threats from Hamas. The official, who spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity due to safety concerns, did not provide evidence or details of the alleged threats. A Hamas official mocked reports that the group had threatened the players, calling them unrealistic, and saying they don't deserve a comment. The Hamas official was not authorized to comment in the issue and also spoke on condition of anonymity. Hamas is sworn to Israel's destruction and has ruled Gaza with an iron fist since it took over the territory in 2007. Israel and the United States consider it a terror organization for its bombings, shooting and rocket attacks targeting civilians. Israel has largely fended off the boycott campaign with only a small number of artists and organizations shunning the country. Argentina's snubbing would appear to be the boycott movement's greatest achievement thus far. The grassroots movement advocates boycotts, divestment and sanctions against Israel in what supporters say is a way to promote Palestinian rights through nonviolent means. Israel says the campaign goes beyond Israeli occupation of lands claimed by the Palestinians and masks a deeper aim of delegitimizing or even destroying the country. It has formed a government ministry whose primary mission is to combat the boycott movement. The Argentinean move, which featured on the front pages of all the major Israeli dailies, raised fears that it could serve as a template for future boycotts of Jerusalem, most notably next year's scheduled hosting of the popular Eurovision song contest. The Palestinians celebrated the cancellation as a major triumph. Israeli organizers said an offer had been floated to have the game played in Barcelona instead, but it was highly unlikely. "I think sports should never be involved with politics," said Shahaf Ashraga, a fan in Jerusalem. "It just makes me sad to think that the game has to be canceled because of the Palestinian pressure." Argentina opens its Group D campaign in Russia against Iceland on June 16. It then plays Croatia on June 21 and Nigeria on June 26. It is unclear whether Argentina will play another warmup, or if it will arrive in Moscow ahead of schedule. ___ Associated Press writers Debora Rey and Victor Caivano in Buenos Aires, Argentina, contributed......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 7th, 2018

PH diplomats launch Spark*Connect*Empower movement in SF

  SAN FRANCISCO -- Philippine Ambassador Jose Manuel Romualdez and Consul General Henry S. Bensurto, Jr. led the recent formal grand launching of the consulate's Spark*Connect*Empower (SCE) movement, at the Kalayaan Hall of the Philippine Center Building.   More than 100 guests attended from various Filipino community organizations, who also took the opportunity to meet the Ambassador who has traveled to San Francisco for the first time in his official capacity.   The SCE movement aims to bring together various Filipino American organizations and individuals among the second, third, and fourth generation Filipino Americans to promote "love of country," c...Keep on reading: PH diplomats launch Spark*Connect*Empower movement in SF.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJun 4th, 2018

Resorts World Manila (RWM), through its foundation the Resorts World Philippines…

Resorts World Manila (RWM), through its foundation the Resorts World Philippines Cultural Heritage Foundation (RWPCHFI), formally turned over on Friday the newly-constructed 42-classroom Mandaluyong Addition Hills Elementary School to the City of Mandaluyong. The 4-storey building is the first green building compliant public school in the country. This corporate social responsibility (CSR) initiative, aligned with… link: Resorts World Manila (RWM), through its foundation the Resorts World Philippines….....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

Cusi: Total Electrification Key to a Bright Future

Energy Secretary Alfonso Cusi reiterated on Sunday the government’s plan to provide electricity services to the whole of Northern Negros, as well as all communities across the country so that present and future generations can be empowered. On the occasion of the 46th annual membership assembly of the Northern Negros Electric Cooperative, Inc. (NONECO), Cusi […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2018

UN to host forum on gastronomy, tourism and tech in Bangkok

World leaders in tourism and gastronomy will be gathering in Bangkok, Thailand this week for a United Nations-organized event to discuss how to use technology to promote sustainable growth in their industry. At the fourth edition of the UNWTO World Forum on Gastronomy Tourism, technology will take center stage as a tool for greening a burgeoning industry in which globetrotters are choosing destinations based on their culinary offerings. The three-day event is co-organized with the Basque Culinary Center. Bangkok holds bragging rights to being the first Asian country to host the event. In recent years, culinary momentum has been building in the city, attracting the attention ...Keep on reading: UN to host forum on gastronomy, tourism and tech in Bangkok.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMay 29th, 2018

Rehman eyes leadership role as Pakistan return

HONG KONG — Former Premier League defender Zesh Rehman has set his sights on becoming a future Pakistan national team coach as he prepares to lead the country on their return to international football later this year. Rehman, who made his debut in the English top flight for Fulham in 2004 before playing for Queen’s Park […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  interaksyonRelated NewsMay 28th, 2018

Eduard Folayang and his familiar path to glory

Eduard Folayang has been here before. Back in 2014, after racking up back-to-back wins in in a span of half a year, the Team Lakay star was slowly building a name for himself as a top-tier contender in ONE Championship’s lightweight division. A third straight win would have possibly put him in the title picture. And then, he ran into Russian Timofey Nastyukhin. A sequence that will forever be burned in the minds of Filipino MMA fans, Nasytukhin dropped Folayang with a well-timed flying knee to the jaw, and then finished it off with a crushing soccer kick, back when soccer kicks were allowed. While it wasn’t Folayang’s first stoppage loss, it was arguably his most violent to date. The Filipino MMA star lay motionless in front of a Filipino crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena. It took Folayang over a year before he made his return, a decision win over Tetsuya Yamada. That win would set Folayang on his path to the ONE Lightweight Word Championship, one of the most celebrated stories in MMA in the past couple of years. Roughly three years removed since his knockout loss to Nastyukhin at the Mall of Asia Arena, it would seem like a cruel repetition of history, as Folayang would once again find himself staring up at the MoA Arena lights in late 2017. Folayang, a single day away from celebrating his one-year anniversary of being a ONE world champion, saw his spot at the top of the lightweight division taken away with one, well-timed overhand right, courtesy of Martin Nguyen. Nguyen made history that night at the expense of Folayang, becoming ONE Championship’s first ever two-division world champion. For the Pinoy MMA hero, it was another setback, not unlike the many he’s faced through the course of his career.   The Road to Redemption No matter what other people said, those who knew him knew he’d be back, and one of those whose believe never wavered was that of ONE Championship Chairman and CEO Chatri Sityodtong, saying that this is just the start of Folayang's journey.  So finally, when it was announced that Folayang would indeed be coming back to the cage, it was a big deal. Immediately, it was clear that redemption was on the former champion’s mind. “Yun naman ang nagpapa-sarap sa isang life story, yung paano ka mag-rise after you fall, and it adds a lot of spices sa life if ganun ulit yung mangyayari, although syempre may different versions yung story ng bawat isa sa atin, and I’m still looking forward on my redemption in this upcoming fight.” Folayang said. Folayang’s return was set for May, in one of the most-stacked ONE cards of the year, and even with three world title bouts featuring the biggest ONE Championship stars also on the card, Filipino fight fans’ eyes were on Folayang’s highly-anticipated return.   Parallel Experiences With 25 professional bouts under his belt, Eduard Folayang isn’t new to the game, by any means. From fighting in front of small crowds to main eventing a packed Singapore Indoor Stadium for the world title, Folayang has seen it all and done it all, that’s why pre-fight jitters isn’t expected to be an issue for a fighter the caliber and experience of ‘The Landslide.’ And while it wasn’t so much as jitters, Folayang admits that he had a lot going through his head in the days leading up to his comeback fight. “Yung siguro sa akin lang, andaming pumapasok sa isipan ko, hindi mo maiiwasan yung mga ‘what ifs’ mga paano kung natalo ulit ako dito, ganun,” Folayang told ABS-CBN Sports. Having already been in this situation before, Folayang added that it was indeed a big help being able to look back at a parallel experience. “Oo naman, nakatulong, kasi looking back noong 2014, nung na-knockout din ako kay Timofey, tapos yung same feeling nung kakalabanin ko ulit nung 2016 si Tetsuya Yamada, andaming tumatakbo sa utak, mas lalo na since naging champion ako, syempre hindi mawawala yung expectations ng tao and andyan na yung mga bashers e, naka-ready na sila. So the best thing to do is dapat maging mentally strong and accurate sa pagpapatupad ng gameplan para manalo.” And implement a gameplan successfully, he did.   The Comeback Against an undefeated grappler in Russian Kharun Atlangeriev, Folayang was visibily patient and picked his shots while shrugging off takedown attempts to earn the unanimous decision win. “Yun yung isa sa mga nakita ko na parang naging cautious ako, siguro yung thinking na talagang parang masyadong worth yung game, as much as possible talaga, hindi mo na iniisip na maging fancy  yung fight, mas nananaig yung goal mo na manalo.” Folayang said of his performance against Atlangeriev. “Siguro yun yung isa sa mga pinaka-reason kung bakit medyo naging conservative yung approach ko sa fight, at saka napansin ko din, although gusto ko mag-all out, very passive yung kalaban eh, hindi mo alam kung ano yung iniisip niya, yun din yung isa sa mga naging reason.” Folayang went on record and gave himself a three out of five rating in his comeback fight. While ultimately he was happy with the result, the Baguio City native believes that he could have done way more, and that’s what he intends to do in the future. “Masaya, although sa akin I believe I can do much better, syempre ngayon comeback fight kasi kaya andyan palagi yung pressure, the more we learn a lot of lessons, the more na magiging maganda yung adjustment natin for the upcoming bouts na dadating.” Step one of the comeback was complete.   Second Shot at Glory And again, Eduard Folayang finds himself on the comeback trail. The 34-year old Team Lakay star has successfully bounced back from a loss, but arguably more important now is what lies ahead. With the win, Folayang is on his way, if not already back in the title picture, and if you ask him, he’ll be the first to tell you that he’s ready to get back what was once his. “Parang more na na-boost yung desire ulit para makabalik dun sa nawala sa atin, and hopefully this year, magkaroon ulit ng opportunity para maka-laban for the title.” Fueling the fire even more for Folayang is the fact that after seeing Nguyen’s last two bouts - a unanimous decision loss to ONE Bantamweight World champion Bibiano Fernandes and a split decision win over Christian Lee - he feels he can perform better if given a second go-around. “Especially after panoorin yung last two fights nung tumalo sa akin, parang nasasayangan ba. Feeling ko talaga, mas deserving na ako yung nakahawak, parang ganun yung pakiramdam ko.” Folayang shared. “Parang I could have done better kung hindi lang ako naging careless on one point, and kung na-oversee ko lang talaga na yung strength ko, dun ako papasukin.” While only time will tell whether or not Folayang does get a shot at the title again, whether a rematch or be it against someone else, the former champ is certain that he’s still in this, and he’s hungrier than ever for another taste of glory. “Malakas pa rin eh [yung hunger], it’s just a matter of paano natin alagaan yung career natin, yung health natin, iba kasi, yun din yung kagandahan ng mixed martial arts eh, the more na pumupunta yung age mo, the more na mas nagiging cautious ka, hindi na lang puro lakas yung ilalaban mo kundi parang nagiging wiser ka na din sa approach mo.” “I think yung hunger ko andun parin, I’m still hungry.” Folayang adds. When it’s all said and done, Folayang won’t be happy with just being at the top once and then crashing down after. For the Team Lakay star, there are still chapters to be written as he begins what is hopefully another run towards the pinnacle of the sport. “Yun naman yung gusto natin, hindi yung natapos na yung end ng chapter ng story natin, kundi may mga magaganda and exciting stories pa na maisusulat in that book.” After all, “multi-time world champion” Eduard Folayang has better ring to it, no? “Yun yung gusto natin, mas magandang pakinggan.” Eduard Folayang’s been here before, and if you’ve been paying attention, you know that this is just the start of great things to come......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 28th, 2018

Alyssa Valdez invites future champions to join Milo sports camps this summer

    Alyssa Valdez's volleyball journey all started with a risk, a leap of faith. As a scrawny kid from San Juan, Batangas, Valdez was initially prohibited by her father to try out sports, as an act of protecting his only daughter. But her mother, a teacher by profession, knew the kind of life lessons Alyssa can learn through sports.  It took some convincing, but Alyssa was eventually given the green light to pursue what she loved.  Now, she's one of the most iconic and beloved volleyball players in the country as a star from Ateneo de Manila and the Creamline Cool Smashers. With the help of her relentless drive, Alyssa Valdez became a testament to sports' power to transform lives. HUMBLE BEGINNINGS When she was younger, Alyssa says she was already active in different kinds of sports. But the young Phenom was held back by her shy nature.  "Isa sa mga nadevelop ko talaga, through playing volleyball is self-confidence," she bared. "I can imagine myself when I was a kid na, wala hindi talaga ako makakausap ng tao. I'm too shy to always interact with other people. So the challenge of pursuing her love for sports awakened something in Alyssa. "There was this turning point na, wala eh, it challenges me. If I don't push myself, paano pa 'yung ibang challenges?" Valdez reflected. Taking up volleyball gave her a sense of self-confidence and self-fulfillment that stemmed from the series of small victories she had garnered throughout her early playing days. By small victories, she meant gradually getting better, and slowly learning the value of hard work. But Alyssa wasn't always the superstar she is today. In her younger years, she says wasn't even part of her team's starting six.  "Noong bata ako, hindi ko talaga natutunan lahat in just a snap. You have to work hard, you have to sacrifice a lot of things," she said. "Per sa lahat ng sinasakripisyo natin, may babalik at babalik din diyan." True enough, with her dedication to help her team, and to continuously improve her play, she eventually got her break. ROUGH START It's hard to imagine Alyssa Valdez as anything short of a phenomenal volleyball player. But like anything great, it took some time for Alyssa to become an athlete of her stature.  As a bench player, she adapted a team-first identity, accepting a role that may not always call for her presence on the court, but was still important to the team's success. Alyssa had to learn to accept the small responsibilities she was entrusted with, like setting up the nets for practice, handing out water bottles for her teammates, as well as cheering from the bench to hype up her squad. Slowly, though, Alyssa was rewarded, not just with wins, but with different life lessons as well.   A LIFETIME'S WORTH OF LESSONS  Looking back now, Alyssa fondly remembers those memories as instrumental in helping her adjust to any situation, on and off the court. She gained confidence from accomplishing all those small tasks, and began trusting herself more.  Beyond accolades and fame, what keeps Alyssa's hunger in sports is its ability to teach lifelong wisdom. As she shares, "It's not about how you perform and be at your best, but, yung after na lessons na nabibigay sakin ng sport. The little things really matter." Alyssa has been carrying all those lessons, even after her success, like the friendships she has garnered through out her career. "In my experience, dahil sa sports, nakilala ko yung mga taong mag-s-stay kahit anong mangyari," Valdez shared. "Alam mo 'yung mga moments na patalo na kayo, 'yung mga moments na hindi mo na alam 'yung gagawin mo... Pero at the end of the day, iiyak at iiyak sila, tatawa at tatawa sila kasama mo."   INSPIRING THE CHAMPIONS OF TOMORROW Now a successful athlete, Alyssa hopes to inspire a new generation of youth to take up sports. Like the kid from San Juan, Batangas, Alyssa believes every child needs to take that risk, that leap of faith, for an opportunity to realize their potential to be someone great, as part of a nation of champions. That's why the Phenom has teamed up with Milo to invite kids of all ages to try any of the 18 different sports clinics the energy drink brand will offer summer, from April 2 to June 3, to get set for a lifetime's worth of lessons and values, on and off the court. "Parehas kami na really wanna pay it forward. Through camps, a lot of camps all over the Philippines," she said. "Ako, yun lang din yung gusto ko as an athlete, gusto ko ma-share 'yung knowledge ko." With Alyssa and her wealth of experience on board, indeed, this summer sounds like the perfect time for children to pursue sports......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMay 24th, 2018

Unionbank, Tech Leaders See Bright Future for Blockchain Tech in PH

One of the country's top banks and several technology organizations see a bright future in the Philippines for the emerging blockchain technology. In fact, Union Bank of the Philippines (Union.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilanewsRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

Sotto favors diplomatic approach in dealing with China on SCS issue

Senate President Vicente Sotto III admitted that he is uncomfortable with China’s building of artificial islands in the West Philippines Sea, but maintained that the government should pursue diplomatic approach in dealing with the powerful country in its militarization of the disputed waters. Sotto favors diplomatic approach in dealing with China on SCS issue Senate… link: Sotto favors diplomatic approach in dealing with China on SCS issue.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsMay 23rd, 2018

Marawi and Beyond

As we approach the first anniversary of the Marawi Siege that started on May 23, 2017, several questions have begun to loom large. What is the future of Marawi? How do we help the thousands of internally displaced persons return to their homes or new surroundings? What will happen to the second draft of the Bangsamoro Basic Law now pending in Congress? How do we address the specter of violent extremism that may be spreading to other parts of Mindanao? What is the role of religious leaders? What is the contribution of schools as well as of ordinary communities of Christians, Muslims and indigenous people in building a Culture of Peace?.....»»

Category: newsSource:  kagay_anRelated NewsMay 21st, 2018