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Where a Philippine passport means a visa-free visit

MANILA, Philippines — Philippine passport holders can travel to 63 countries without visa, according to the 2018 Henley Passport Index......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarJan 11th, 2018

LIST: 63 countries where Filipinos can travel visa-free

By Aika Rey/rappler.com – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018? Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free! This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to Henley and Partners’ latest Visa Restrictions Index for Read more ».....»»

Category: newsSource:  thepinoyRelated News5 hr. 25 min. ago

LIST: 63 countries where Filipinos can travel visa-free

MANILA, Philippines – Are you looking for the next country to visit in 2018? Good news: Philippine passport holders can now travel to 63 countries and territories visa-free! This makes the Philippines rank 72nd out of 199 passports according to  Henley and Partners' latest Visa Restrictions Index for 2018  – an improvement from last year's 75th rank. In a press briefing, Presidential ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsJan 13th, 2018

Visa-free entry to Korea for Filipinos, but …

  Filipinos can visit South Korea without visa until April next year if they enter through the airport near the venue of the Winter Olympics, state-run Yonhap news agency said.   The South Korean government has also provided Indonesia and Vietnam visa-free privileges to visitors if they enter the country through the YangYang airport near Pyeongchang, which is hosting the games.   There are no direct commercial flights from the Philippines to YangYang Airport: Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines only have trips to Busan and Incheon.   The South Korean government has also waived the $15 per person visa fee for Chinese tourists up until the end ...Keep on reading: Visa-free entry to Korea for Filipinos, but ….....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Duterte urged to continue peace talks with rebels

DAVAO CITY – Farmers fighting for genuine land reform have appealed on Sunday to President Rodrigo Duterte to continue the peace talks with communist rebels after he scrapped the negotiations following the spate of deadly attacks by insurgents in southern Philippines. Duterte’s decision to abandon the negotiations with communist leaders came on Saturday barely a day after he terminated the government’s unilateral ceasefire with New People’s Army rebels who also ended earlier its own truce. Since then, at least 4 soldiers had been killed by rebels in separate attacks and three more are being held prisoners in the troubled region. The rebels demanded the release of some 400 political prisoners &'' mostly NPA fighters and their leaders – languishing in jails across the country, but Duterte flatly rejected the demand, saying, a peace accord must be signed first before he could grant amnesty to political prisoners, although he had ordered the release from prison at least 21 senior rebel leaders to join the peace talks. Duterte said he cannot free all political prisoners and claimed that such action may trigger unrest in the police and military. Peace talks and land reform  But Joseph Canlas, chairman of the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, one of the biggest farmers’ organizations in the country, said the continuation of peace negotiations is in the best interest of farmers, who are pressing for genuine land reform, land distribution and real change under the Duterte administration. “Farmers want the peace negotiations to continue. We want the peace talks to help address the problem of land monopoly, landlessness of farmers, unemployment and to realize the equitable distribution of social wealth,” Canlas said. “The peace negotiation is a separate and distinct track of struggle to press for significant pro-people reforms. While the New People’s Army and President Duterte announced the termination of the unilateral interim ceasefires, it should not hinder the continuation of the talks that is gaining relevant developments with regard to discussions on the Comprehensive Agreement on Social and Economic Reforms, particularly agrarian reform and rural development,” he added. Canlas said based on the reported outcome of third round of the peace talks in Rome recently, the government, in principle, acquiesced to free land distribution to farmers and farm workers and that alone is a milestone with regard to pushing for socio-economic reforms and enough grounds to continue the talks. Pedro Arnado, leader of the farmers’ group in southern Mindanao, also urged Duterte not to abandon the peace talks, saying, the resumption of war with rebels may spark a series of illegal arrest and human rights violations, and even extrajudicial killings of civilians by government soldiers. “We call for the continuation of the peace talks and compliance to the Comprehensive Agreement on Respect for Human Rights and International Law to avoid rights violations of civilians,” said Arnado, who noted that at least 20 farmers and national minorities were killed during the ceasefire period. “For us farmers, a just peace means food for our families, education for our children and recognition of our right to the land we till.” Arnado said while the ultimate goal of the peace talks is to resolve the armed conflict and achieve cessation of hostilities, that wouldn’t be possible at this period when there are conflicting social classes and interests. “Big land estates, haciendas and landholdings remain intact and under the control of a few landlord families. That is in contrast with the situation of millions of tillers,” Arnado said, adding, Duterte should realize that people in the countryside are supporting and even joining the armed revolution because of the systemic and chronic crisis that is worsened by the government’s failure to address the most basic problems in rural areas. “Historically, it is the peasant masses that have made the ultimate sacrifices to achieve peace. Buhay na ang ibinuwis ng mga magsasaka para sa lupa at kapayapaan. The cost of peace is too expensive, farmers have paid it with their lives,” Arnado said. Cancel passport of communist negotiators Duterte also threatened to cancel the passports of the representatives National Democratic Front of the Philippines &'' the political wing of the Communist Party of the Philippines and the NPA &'' who make up the peace panel negotiating with the government, saying, “they are in the wanted list, so I will alert the International Police to arrest them where they are because they are in wanted list. I'll cancel their passports.” “They can return, all of them. For those released by the government, they should, on their own volition, return here and go back to prison. Or else I will be forced to, I am alerting all the intelligence community to keep track of where they are now,” Duterte said. “Iyon na-release temporarily to talk with us in Oslo, they should come back and submit themselves to the jurisdiction of the government because they are still in prison. Walang pardon, walang amnesty, wala lahat.” Blame Duterte, AFP The NPA blamed Duterte for the breakdown of the talks and accused the military of sabotaging the peace negotiations, saying, security forces encroached and attacked rebel territories in Mindanao, and murdered innocent civilians suspected of supporting the communist group. “To conceal their own ceasefire violation, the spin doctors of the Armed Forces of the Philippines concocted yet another storyline of an anti-criminality operation to assist the Philippine National Police in going after lawless elements such as their botched combat operations in Makilala and Matalam [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 5th, 2017

Palace Welcomes Higher PH Ranking in World’s Most Powerful Passports

Malacañang on Saturday welcomed the country’s climb in the latest Henley and Partners Passport Index, which ranks all of the world’s passports according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The Philippines rose three notches higher to 72nd place in 2018 from 75th last year, according to Henley and Partners, a […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018

2017: A banner year for the Senate

2017 was a banner year for the 101 year-old Philippine Senate. The upper chamber saw the passage of landmark laws that would benefit generations of Filipinos, among them the Free Tuition Law, the Philippine Passport Law, and the Tax Reform Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Act. However, certain sectors, including the opposition, claim that TRAIN would [...] The post 2017: A banner year for the Senate appeared first on The Manila Times Online......»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimesRelated NewsDec 31st, 2017

Iwas Paputok also means a fire-free New Year celebration – BFP

MANILA, Philippines — To intensify fire safety awareness campaign of the Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP), the Manila Fire District launched "Oplan Iwas Paputok" in Tondo, Manila on Saturday, December 30. BFP, together with Philippine National Police, Department of Health and local government units joint effort to promote a fire-free holiday in ........»»

Category: newsSource:  rapplerRelated NewsDec 30th, 2017

144-hour visa-free stays expanded in China

Nationals from 53 countries with eligible travel identification and reserved tickets with a fixed date to a third country or regionwithin 144 hoursare eligible for the new visa-free entry period. They include the United States, Australia and the Republic of Korea.   "The new policy extends the visa-free stay for travelers who want to visit the three regions, allowing foreigners sufficient time for a short visit for travel, business meetings or visiting friends and family. It will boost the tourism industry," said Zhu Lei, deputy head of Beijing's port of entry office.   Beijing and Tianjin previously allowed a 72-hour visa-free stay. The 72-hour stay has been allowe...Keep on reading: 144-hour visa-free stays expanded in China.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsDec 29th, 2017

Poundit.com Announces 50 Days of Happiness Gadget Sale

Poundit.com, the Philippines’ leading online gadget and accessories retailer, has announced the 50 Days of Happiness sale for the holiday season. In this promo, buyers can get discounts as big as 50% on some of today’s hottest consumer electronic products.  From November 8th to December 25th, one gadget will be put on sale for 24 hours. Shoppers can expect significant markdowns on products from their favorite brands including LG, Lenovo, Bowers & Wilkins and many more.  Shoppers who’ve been waiting for great deals on smartphones, tablets, headsets, cameras and other items will be delighted to see Poundit’s products on sale. The LG X Screen, the Lenovo A7000 Plus, and the Apple MacBook Pro are just some of the products that Poundit will be putting on sale.  Poundit has close partnerships with top consumer electronics manufacturers and their authorized distributors in the Philippines. This means that shoppers are guaranteed item authenticity and full aftersales support.  The retailer is also holding its Give 100, Get 1,000 promo where shoppers can get PhP 1,000 off any purchase when they refer at least 10 people to shop at Poundit. Referred shoppers, on the other hand, will also get a PhP 100 discount for purchases of PhP 1,000 or more.  The 50 Days of Happiness promo is valid while supplies last. For more information on exciting deals, visit Poundit’s Deals section.  Poundit is an e-commerce site for electronics & accessories where customers can shop risk free, enjoy price savings, and experience unparalleled customer service. From smartphones, tablets, cameras, laptops, desktops, headphones, speakers, gaming, and even accessories – Poundit has it all. It’s aiming to build the most customer-centric electronics e-commerce site in the region. Starting in the Philippines, it’s the only online destination in the country that sells legitimate, authentic, and authorized electronic products from the top tech brands. 5,120 total views, 5,120 views today.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsNov 27th, 2017

Report: South Korea to grant Pinoys visa-free entry for Winter Games

MANILA, Philippines — A  Korean news agency last week announced that South Korea will temporarily allow tourists from the Philippines to visit without a visa Source link link: Report: South Korea to grant Pinoys visa-free entry for Winter Games.....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilainformerRelated NewsNov 9th, 2017

Marawi war victims unite, threaten to launch ‘holy war’

&'160; MARAWI CITY – A shadowy group calling itself the “Meranaw Victims Movement” has threatened to launch its own jihad or holy war if a set of demands, among them government compensation for the destruction of Marawi and the victims of war between security forces and local IS militants in the besieged city in southern Philippines. Speaking in Arabic, the group &'' comprising about 3 dozen masked gunmen &'' released a 14-minute video and statement on social media and stated the following demands: First, we would like to ask our kinsfolk from among the so-called ISIS/Maute Group to leave Marawi City at once and free their hostages, Muslims and Christians alike; Second, we would like to ask the Philippine Government, especially President Rodrigo Duterte, the following – to allow the civilians to return to their homes in areas in Marawi City that were already cleared by the military; stop the aerial bombings of Marawi City if only to salvage houses or buildings that may not have been destroyed yet; stop the abuses of some military and police personnel at checkpoints and accord respect to civilians, especially the women. And ease the access to and from Marawi City, especially the roads through the village of Maliwanag so that people in the 1st District of Lanao del Sur would have better and convenient road access; secure the remains of civilians so they may not be mixed with the garbage in the process of military clearing operations and so that they may be given proper burial even if only skeletons are left of them; to provide immediate appropriate material and financial support to all wounded civilian victims similar to the support being provided by the government to wounded military and police personnel; compensate for the damaged houses and buildings, wasted goods and merchandise of civilians and provide for their livelihood as well. And to rebuild or rehabilitate the mosques and madrasahs and other destroyed structures that represented the Meranao culture and heritage; importantly, the government should not make any hint that it would occupy the land of the Meranaws on the basis of military reservation, instead it should help legitimate owners to have their respective land titles; and for the military and police personnel to avoid occupying mosques and madrasahs. It also demanded from local politicians to account for all the relevant government funds such as the Calamity Fund and all other assistance and donations, and ensure transparent and equitable implementation or spending of the same. And has urged the rebel group Moro Islamic Liberation Front to support its demands by ensuring that these reach all those concerned. The Meranaw Victims Movement strongly denied that locals &'' whom the government and authorities blamed for allowing militants to build up forces and occupy the city &'' condone the violence and said it is willing to face off with IS fighters in an effort to drive out the gunmen. It also blamed local leaders as responsible for failing to prevent the IS attacks. “First, we did not conform with the using of Marawi City as sanctuary neither did we approve of what some of our kinsfolk who claimed to be ISIS/Maute Group did which ignited the war in Marawi City that has brought about grave sufferings to the Meranaw people. Second, we deem unacceptable the actions of the Government that caused the displacement of tens of thousands and deaths of several civilians due to the aerial bombings and use of heavy armaments in Marawi City which are among those prohibited under International Humanitarian Law.” “Third, we hold our local leaders, past and present alike, responsible for failing to prevent the ISIS/Maute Group from carrying out their plan since they were fully aware of the group’s presence in the city prior to the siege, and for literally forsaking the civilians like orphans in the midst of great danger during the onset of the siege on May 23, 2017. Fourth, we are dismayed with the MILF since, until now, nothing was heard of them, let alone have they made a categorical position on the current Marawi crisis,” it said. If all the demands are not met, the group said it will take actions not only against IS militants, but the Duterte government as well. “To our ISIS/Maute Group kinsfolk, if you would not heed our call, we would be compelled to face you because by then you no longer care for the welfare of the people and you did not only fail to realize but have violated the essence of Jihad in Islam. To the Government, this will be the last time that we will ask in relation to previous demands of various sectors of the Meranaw society, and that if the foregoing demands will fall to deaf ears, likewise, we will be compelled to fight for our rights that have been trampled upon and that Jihad becomes our legitimate recourse.” “To our leaders, should we find out that you defraud or corrupt the assistance and support intended for the evacuees, we will unrelentingly pursue until we take them for the people in whatever means possible. To the MILF, take note that the demand for the approval of the BBL becomes irrelevant if the key area where it should be implemented would no longer be in the hands of the Meranaw, and that by then the support of the people of Lanao becomes weak in time that [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsSep 20th, 2017

Economy: FPI sees corn sweetener imports as spur for domestic sugar sector

THE Federation of Philippine Industries (FPI) said that it is open to the tariff-free importation of sweetener high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) as a means of stimulating the competitiveness of the sugar industry, as long as users purchase equivalent amounts from cane sugar producers......»»

Category: financeSource:  bworldonlineRelated NewsMay 24th, 2017

Group seeks e-passport probe

MANILA, Philippines - Arguing that the country’s e-passports are too expensive, the Philippine Association of Free Labor Unions (PAFLU) has asked Congress to.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMar 26th, 2017

Canadian woman en route to Vermont spa denied entry to U.S., told she needs immigrant visa – CBC News

A Canadian woman travelling on a Canadian passport says she was turned away at the U.S. border and told she needed a valid immigrant visa to enter the country. Manpreet Kooner, 30, is a Canadian citizen who was born to Indian parents in Canada and raised here. She now lives in Montreal's LaSalle borough with her fiancé and works in a science lab at a local college. She told CBC she was on her way from Montreal to a spa in Vermont for a day trip with two friends, who are both white, Sunday afternoon. They never made it. Kooner said she was held at the border for six hours before being turned away. At one point, she said, a border agent told her: &'8220;'I know you may feel like you've been Trumped,'&'8221; an apparent reference to U.S. President Donald Trump. Trump's January executive order barring citizens from seven majority-Muslim countries from entering the country was later blocked in U.S. courts, but has touched off legal battles and confusion around the world. Kooner was told to apply for the visa at the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa. She went to the embassy Monday morning but was told they couldn't help her, and that she would need to talk to U.S. Customs and Border Protection. &'8220;I'm speechless,&'8221; she said. &'8220;There are no answers.&'8221; In a statement, U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) said it does not discuss individual cases, but that those who present themselves at ports of entry must prove they fulfill admission requirements, and that admission to the U.S. is at the discretion of the border officers. The statement also says CBP adopted a policy in 2014 that &'8220;prohibits the consideration of race or ethnicity in law enforcement, investigation, and screening activities, in all but the most exceptional circumstances.&'8221; Kooner's story is the latest in a string of recent tales involving Canadian travellers scrutinized or turned away by U.S. border agents. Last month, for instance, a woman from the Montreal suburb of Brossard said she was denied entry after being fingerprinted, photographed and questioned in detail about her religion and her views on Trump. Kooner was reluctant to attribute her situation to racism, but said friends who have reached out to her say that could be the case. &'8220;People have said we need to take that into account here, because unfortunately, yeah, my skin colour is brown,&'8221; she said. Kooner said this summer, her mother was turned away at the border as well, but wasn't told why. Kooner said she was told her mother's issues wouldn't impact her. She first had trouble getting into the U.S. last December, before Trump took office. She was with friends and her fiancé when her car was pulled over for what she was told was a random check, she said. She was made to fill out a number of forms, but was eventually told there was a problem with the computer system and they should return the next morning. When they went back, she was let through without any problems. She said that when she tried to cross Sunday, at Highgate Springs, Vt., an agent checked her passport and said they needed to ask her additional questions. The agent mentioned that she had been stopped in December and asked why she was trying to go through again, Kooner said. She said she told them she's a Canadian citizen, has no criminal record and, before December, never had any issues crossing the border. She also said she was fingerprinted and photographed, and signed a form to withdraw her application for entry to the United States. Though she was told there are no flags on her file, a border agent advised her not to fly to the U.S. without a visa, Kooner said. The reference to Trump came as the agent was explaining the reasons why she was refused entry, she said. The border agent couldn't say what kind of visa she would need, only that she would have to visit the U.S. Embassy in Ottawa to get one. Kooner said that's when she started to cry. CBC News spoke to Kooner's friend Alexandra Adam, who was one of the two women on the trip with her. Adam caught the end of the conversation between Kooner and the border agent and confirmed Kooner was told she likely wouldn't be allowed into the U.S. without a visa. Adam said she was not present when the agent allegedly made the Trump comment. A U.S. Embassy official said most travellers from Canada and Bermuda generally do not need visas for tourism and visits. Canadians who are intending to immigrate or those planning to marry a U.S. citizen are among those who do need visas. Kooner does not fall under either category. U.S. immigration lawyer Leslie Holman said it doesn't appear that there's a reason Kooner would need a visa to get into the country. &'8220;Even if someone has a visa, the ultimate decision as to whether they can enter the United States rests when you seek admissibility, at the time of entry,&'8221; she said. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of State's Bureau of Consular Affairs told CBC News the common category of visa that is used for short term, non-immigrant travel to the United States – including tourism and business – is the B1/B2 visa. According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, an average of 1.2 million people a day try to enter the U.S. at all crossings. Of those, an average of between 300 and 500 are denied entry for various reasons. Kooner has spent more than $1,000 on tickets to attend a musical festival in Miami at the end of the month, and planned to return to that city in May for [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsMar 7th, 2017

second woman held over death of Kim Jong-nam – The Guardian

Malaysian police have detained a second woman in connection with the apparent assassination of Kim Jong-nam, the half brother of the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The Malaysian inspector general said in a statement that the suspect had been identified as Siti Aishah, an Indonesian national. Her birthday was given as 11 February 1992, and place of birth as Serang, Indonesia. It is not clear if her passport was genuine. The statement said she had been positively identified from CCTV footage at Kuala Lumpur international airport and was alone when she was apprehended in the early hours of Thursday. Channel News Asia quoted a police source as saying that a Malaysian man had also been arrested on Thursday in connection with Kim’s death. The confirmed arrest of a second suspect follows the detention on Wednesday of 28-year-old woman, whose Vietnamese passport bore the name Doan Thi Huong. She too had been positively identified from CCTV footage and was alone at the time of her arrest, the inspector general said. Still photos from the video, confirmed as authentic by police, showed a woman in a skirt and long-sleeved white T-shirt with “LOL” emblazoned across the front. Malaysian police have reportedly been granted permission to remand both women in custody for seven days. Police are also seeking “a few” other suspects in connection with the killing of Kim Jong-nam, apparently carried out with a fast-acting poison, as he prepared to board a flight from Kuala Lumpur to his home in Macau on Monday morning. “We are looking for more suspects,” Selangor state police chief Abdul Samah Mat said, but declined to say how many were being sought, or their nationalities. Intelligence officials in South Korea have said they suspect Kim’s killing was carried out by people working on behalf of the North Korean regime. There is mounting speculation that his death was ordered by Kim Jong-un, possibly as retribution for criticisms his elder brother made against his leadership in interviews with the Japanese journalist, Yoji Gomi, in 2012. As Malaysian authorities searched for other suspects in a case that has focused attention on the apparent lengths to which North Korea will go to ensure the regime’s stability. Malaysian media cited unnamed sources as saying that North Korean officials had spent hours trying to persuade Malaysia not to conduct an autopsy and for Kim’s body be handed over to Pyongyang. Malaysia refused the request, since North Korea did not submit a formal protest, according to Abdul Samah Mat, a senior Malaysian police official. No decision has yet been taken on whether the body will eventually be handed over to the North. While Pyongyang has made no official comment on Kim’s death, it has not attempted to conceal its interest in his fate. On Wednesday, it sent a black Jaguar car with diplomatic number plates and flags to the mortuary at Kuala Lumpur hospital, where an autopsy was conducted on Wednesday evening. It was not immediately clear if or when the autopsy results would be made public. Kim, who was 45, fell ill after apparently being attacked from behind with a chemical spray, and died in an ambulance on the way to hospital. At the time of his death he was carrying a North Korean passport that gave his name as Kim Chol, born in Pyongyang on 10 June 1970. His death has parked speculation about the possible involvement of Kim Jong-un, whose five-year rule of North Korea has been marked by purges and executions of people perceived as a threat to his leadership. The highest-profile victim of Kim’s “reign of terror” was his uncle, Jang Song-thaek, who was executed on treason charges in late 2013. Jang, once considered his nephew’s most trusted adviser, was also believed to have been close to Kim Jong-nam, whom he had helped raise. Kim Jong-nam attempted to lead an unremarkable life with his family in Macau, according to exchanges with Gomi. “Because I was educated in the west, I was able to enjoy freedom from early age and I still love being free,” he told Gomi, whose book on Kim was published in 2012. “The reason I visit Macau so often is because it’s the most free and liberal place near China, where my family lives.” Kim Byung-kee, a South Korean MP, said intelligence services had told him Kim Jong-un professed to “hate” his half brother, whom he feared could one day play a role in the overthrow of his regime. The spy agency’s has also made unverified claims that North Korea had spent five years attempting to kill Kim Jong-nam. They cited a “genuine” attempt in 2012 after he had described his brother as ”just a nominal figure”, and lambasted the county’s hereditary transfer of power as a “joke to the outside world”. “The Kim Jong-un regime will not last long,” he told Gomi. “Without reforms, North Korea will collapse, and when such changes take place, the regime will collapse.” A terrified Kim is reported to have written to Kim Kong-un after the 2012 assassination attempt in which he pleaded with his brother to assure his safety and that of his family. The letter said: “I hope you cancel the order for the punishment of me and my family. We have nowhere to go, nowhere to hide, and we know that the only way to escape is committing suicide.” Kim Jong-nam may have succeeded his father, Kim [&'].....»»

Category: newsSource:  mindanaoexaminerRelated NewsFeb 16th, 2017

Jags ‘threw a tantrum’ when Marrone started making changes

By Mark Long, Associated Press JACKSONVILLE, Fla. (AP) — Jacksonville’s locker room was abuzz late last season. Four guys played table tennis while others crowded around a small table for dominoes. Two 80-inch televisions were tuned to a sports highlight show, and music blared from one corner of the room. Doug Marrone, the team’s offensive line coach at the time, walked through and shook his head. “Can you believe this?” Marrone whispered. The Jaguars were in the middle of a nine-game losing streak that would ultimately cost coach Gus Bradley his job. Marrone had watched from afar for two years, witnessing an atmosphere he felt was too loose, too laid-back and too lenient amid losing. So when Marrone was hired to replace Bradley last January, high on his to-do list was to change the culture in Jacksonville. His success is one reason the Jaguars (12-6) are in the AFC championship game against New England (14-3). The ping pong table was the first to go. Dominoes followed. The locker room stalls were overhauled, too, with Marrone mixing and matching position groups and putting certain players next to veteran leaders and/or NFL role models. “We definitely threw a tantrum,” Pro Bowl defensive tackle Malik Jackson said. “Went in there and talked to him about it. Definitely wasn’t happy. I learned just to be quiet, you know, and go with the flow. He’s been at it longer than I have, and I’m just the football player. He says do this and I go do it. Just learn to follow him, and I’m glad I did.” Marrone saved the most significant changes for the practice fields. Marrone, top executive Tom Coughlin and general manager Dave Caldwell wanted a much tougher and more physical team. They drafted bruising running back Leonard Fournette and fiery left tackle Cam Robinson to complement a defense that was significantly beefed up in free agency with the addition of All-Pro pass-rusher Calais Campbell, Pro Bowl cornerback A.J. Bouye and veteran safety Barry Church. They also designed an offseason program that was more grueling than most players had experienced. Marrone’s message was clear: Go hard or go home. “You remember guys in camp talking about this took a few years off their lives,” Jackson said. “It’s pretty funny just to see us now. I guess he does know what he’s doing.” The Jaguars were in full pads nearly every day during training camp, a tortuous stretch in draining heat and humidity that left rookies and veterans questioning the process and wondering if it would pay off. It was the NFL’s version of boot camp. Break them down, then build them up. It ultimately brought players closer, making them accountable to each other and causing them to care more for each other. Winning was the final piece, and thumping Houston 29-7 in the season opener was all the proof players needed. “It was the toughest training camp I’ve ever been a part of,” said linebacker Paul Posluszny, in his 11th season. “Coach Marrone would talk to us and say, ‘Listen, I have a plan and you have to trust me.’ With that, guys were able to say, ‘OK, we haven’t gotten what we wanted in years past doing things a certain way, so we have to buy in, trust the head man and know that that’ll bring us success when it’s time.’ “It was difficult just because of so many changes from what we were used to. I think the most important thing is we always said, ‘Well, if it helps us win, then it’s all good.’” Jacksonville had lost 63 of 80 games over the previous five seasons — the worst record in the NFL during that span — and had been through two coaching changes. Coughlin’s return was a key part of the team’s revival, and although the two-time Super Bowl-winning coach with the New York Giants gets much of the outside credit for the team’s turnaround, the reality is Marrone was the one pushing all the right buttons. Marrone has been other places where players resisted, prompting personnel moves that would slow progress. That wasn’t the case in Jacksonville, and he credited his players for being open to change. “They gave our staff the opportunity to say, ‘This is what we want to do. This is what we believe in as coaches or as an organization. This is how we want to handle ourselves,’” Marrone said. “We are still working toward that. It is not perfect by any means.” It’s clearly working, though. The Jaguars are in the title game for the third time in franchise history, one victory away from their first Super Bowl appearance. “They say (stuff) rolls downhill,” Jackson said. “Well, the good stuff rolls downhill, too. ... It’s all worth it when you win.”.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated News8 hr. 38 min. ago

Army Chief visits the Stormtroopers

The Commanding General of the Philippine Army, Lt. Gen. Rolando Joselito D. Bautista AFP rendered his traditional Pre-Christmas Visit to the home of the Stormtroopers on December 11, 2017......»»

Category: newsSource:  samarnewsRelated News20 hr. 38 min. ago

Alert Level 3 Raised as 141 Rockfalls Recorded in Mayon

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised Mayon Volcano’s alert status to Alert Level 3 Sunday evening, as 141 rockfalls have been recorded in the past 24 hours. Phivolcs resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said this means that magma is at the crater and that hazardous eruption is possible within weeks or days. “The […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Fighting misinformation and spreading peach through tech

By: Isabella Marie A. Zerrudo MISINFORMATION can fuel hate crimes and, in turn, destroy peace. This is why Tech Camp Philippines spearheaded by the Philippine Delegation to Tech Camp Thailand will hold a free one-day workshop in Iloilo on Mar 3, 2018 at Central Philippine University (CPU). “Tech Camp is really a workshop wherein we […] The post Fighting misinformation and spreading peach through tech appeared first on The Daily Guardian......»»

Category: newsSource:  thedailyguardianRelated NewsJan 16th, 2018

Warriors keep evolving in rivalry with Cavs

By Steve Aschburner, NBA.com CLEVELAND -- You might expect, given the familiarity from what’s gone on for four years now, that the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers have worked up some serious mutual contempt. They both covet what the other wants -- in fact, the Warriors or the Cavs could make a persuasive case that, if not for the other guys, one already would have notched a three-peat and be chasing Bill Russell’s Celtics in pursuit of a fourth consecutive championship. They both have poured buckets of blood, sweat, tears, money, Gatorade and offseason counter moves into their nouveau NBA rivalry. And they both, well, as Golden State coach Steve Kerr phrased it to the San Jose Mercury News Sunday (Monday, PHL time), “We just want to kick each other’s ass.” And yet the Warriors and the Cavaliers -- who play again Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) at Quicken Loans Arena in the NBA’s prime-time MLK showdown -- have more in common with each other than they do with any of the league’s other 28 teams. Playing 100 games or so every year. Locking in mentally and surviving physically longer than anyone else. Showing up each night targeted as a measuring stick, even a season maker, by the opponents. While trying like heck to keep things fresh. Renew. Find and tap into a new source of energy, because old ones wane over time. “It’s the biggest challenge of this whole season,” Kerr told NBA.com late last week, with the Warriors starting a back-to-back in Milwaukee and Toronto on their way back to The Land. Even if it were possible -- and it realistically is not, given free agency, injuries, trades, the salary cap, luxury taxes, hirings and firings each NBA offseason -- playing a pat hand from one championship-level season to the next isn’t desirable. Voices, locker rooms, relationships get stale. Rivals adjust and escalate in the arms race. Some players ebb in the pecking order, others flow. It’s important to inject new faces, add skills and even find fresh themes to fend off monotony, even boredom, through the 82-game slogs. The Warriors, in winning 20 of 23 games over the past seven weeks, largely have managed to do that. The Cavaliers, at 26-15 after 2-7 stretch that started at Golden State on Christmas (Dec. 26, PHL time)? Not so much. Golden State shifts gears after each season It’s easy to think of Golden State’s success since Kerr’s hiring before the 2014-15 season as one uninterrupted run of excellence. Three-pointers, “death lineups,” and the rest. But the differences from one year to the next have been fairly pronounced. “In Year 1, we were trying to prove ourselves to the world,” Kerr said. “Then we win the championship -- it was all so fresh. There were no letdowns at all that year. It was the most exciting, it was the most energized, it was the most refreshing. It was brand new to all of us. It felt like we were riding this wave all year -- we were all giddy, like, ‘Oh my God, we’re really good!’ We didn’t know we could be like that. And for me, it was my first year coaching.” Steph Curry won his first MVP award. He and Klay Thompson generated considerable conversation about the best shooting backcourts in league history. Draymond Green forever changed the old NBA notion of “’tweeners.” The Warriors finished 67-15, ranked second in the league in offense (111.6) and first in defense (101.4) and beat Cleveland in the Finals in six games. “It was maybe like the first stages when you fall in love,” Kerr said. “You’re just on Cloud 9 and she can’t do anything wrong. There’s infatuation and then you truly fall in love, and it’s amazing. “The second year, we sort of rode that wave of euphoria of being the best team in the league and having won the title. The next thing you know, we’re 24-0 and we’ve got a chance to set an all-time record. That 73-win mark carried us all year. We were going to prove that, not only were we the champs but we were one of the best teams ever.” The Warriors were -- by regular season standards. Curry won his second MVP award. Kerr missed the first 43 games due to health issues but assistant coach Luke Walton steered them to a 39-4 mark. They bought into the chase for 73 victories fairly late, but instead of a 16-5 playoff run like the previous spring’s, the Warriors went 15-9 -- coming up one victory short when the Cavaliers became the first team to claw back from a 3-1 deficit. That led directly to Golden State’s next new wrinkle, a reconfiguration that came close to buckling the league’s knees. “We got KD,” Kerr said. “Now we’re changing our team, right? Last year was about incorporating KD, welcoming this incredible player into our organization and our roster. Figuring how to do it, how we were going to adjust. I felt like there were times last year that were tiring, where our guys were done a little bit. But it was ‘new’ again.” Even the challenges were fresh, like counting Curry’s or Klay Thompson’s touches relative to Durant’s or closing ranks around Golden State’s thin man as his reputation took blows for the first time in his NBA career. Not interested in shooting for 74 victories, the Warriors simply took care of business and stayed coiled for the postseason. Then it was a 16-1 dash to title No. 2, Durant snagging the Finals MVP trophy after the five-game dispatching of the Cavs. All of which just set the Warriors’ bar higher, requiring them to search for something new, somebody borrowed, presumably nothing blue. “This year it’s just survive and advance,” Kerr said. “It’s ‘let’s get to April, May, June in one piece.’ There’s a reason we’ve lost six home games already. We don’t have the driving force that we had the last few years. We’re dealing with what any team in NBA history that’s tried to do this has dealt with. The Lakers (1982-85), the Celtics (1984-87, 1957-66)... It’s just really hard and you need that driving force.” Said Warriors vet Andre Iguodala: “Your body is mindful of it, because it hurts.” A couple of young guys -- Patrick McCaw, Kevon Looney -- have taken on bigger roles. Nick Young brings some sort of buzz into any locker room that will have him. Still, as veteran guard Shaun Livingston said: “We’re not chasing any records. We’re not adding another All Star. We’re just trying to make it through the marathon.” Cavs' challenges mount during 2017-18 The Cavaliers are just trying to make it through the marathon, too. But if they could, they might do it like Rosie Ruiz, the 1980 women’s “winner” of the Boston Marathon who perpetrated a hoax by hopping the subway and running only the final mile of Beantown’s famous race. The 2017-18 has been anything but fun for Cleveland so far. It began with the departure of All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, a not-so-funhouse mirror image of Durant’s arrival a year earlier in the Bay Area. Irving, for reasons still not quite explained, made it known in the offseason that he wanted out. He wanted to be the man on his own team. Or he didn’t want to be left in the lurch if (when?) LeBron James took his talents elsewhere again. Or both. Or neither. Regardless, once the Cavaliers made his request come true by dealing him to Boston for All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas and Brooklyn’s coveted first-round pick this June, their task got tougher and their season longer. Losing one of the league’s best ball handlers and shot makers doesn’t qualify as “renewal” any more than what went on in Oklahoma City when Durant packed up. There’s been more. Shooting guard J.R. Smith seemingly got old overnight. Jae Crowder, who came from the Celtics in the Irving deal, hasn’t meshed with the Cavs’ style. Kevin Love has been moved to center but hasn’t done anything to satisfy the Cavs’ need for rim protection. Thomas only returned to action from a hip injury as the calendar turned to 2018 and has played only four games in these two weeks. Even with so many new faces -- seven of the top 12 in coach Tyronn Lue’s rotation weren’t here 12 months ago -- it’s a group heavy on veterans, players a little too established or mature to naturally instill raw energy. James said recently that none of this is new, it’s another case of the Cavs biding their time for the “second” season that means everything. But Lue also introduced the topic of “agendas,” suggesting that some of his guys were looking out for their own responsibilities and performances -- particularly on defense -- rather than the group’s. At best, this is another dose of the midseason blahs, the Cavs in their doldrums in need of an All-Star break. At worst, though, they might be honing some bad habits that won’t be so easy to break in May or June. Especially if East rivals such as Toronto, Boston or Washington are emboldened after witnessing or administering some of the Cavs’ more embarrassing beat downs this season. Will any of this matter come spring? It will if the switch each team is minding stubbornly decides not to flip. “That’s the key. You’ve got to find that balance,” Kerr said. “Are you flipping the switch or are you navigating? The idea is, don’t let bad habits slip in. Right now, this moment, we’re into some bad habits. Our defensive efforts  the last five, six games [before the weekend] were awful. We got away with it because Steph was going nuts.” The Cavaliers repeatedly have not gotten away with bad defensive habits, even on nights when James has been dominant. “It’s tough,” Livingston said. “They’re a team that’s built for the playoffs. But our core guys still are in there prime. Their core guys are still good. But we’re talking about ‘prime.’” Most still would pick both Golden State and Cleveland to advance all the way to a “Finals Four” (after last year’s “Rubber Match” series). But one of these years, most will be wrong -- about one or both. That alone might be motivation enough. Steve Aschburner has written about the NBA since 1980. You can e-mail him here, find his archive here and follow him on Twitter. The views on this page do not necessarily reflect the views of the NBA, its clubs or Turner Broadcasting......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJan 15th, 2018