Edito Villamor: Giving back to boxing through his grassroots program

CEBU CITY, Philippines — Edito Villamor, the former ALA Boxing Gym chief trainer has indeed come a long way in organizing a grassroots amateur boxing program in his gym in Mandaue City. On Saturday, Villamor will hold one of the biggest amateur boxing events in Mandaue this year which he billed the “Battle of the […] The post Edito Villamor: Giving back to boxing through his grassroots program appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource: inquirer inquirerMar 9th, 2023

More bouts lined up for Villamor grassroots boxing tournament

CEBU CITY, Philippines —Additional amateur bouts guarantee to spice up the Villamor Boxing Gym (VBG) amateur monthly grassroots program that will unfold tomorrow, March 20, at the VBG Gym in Barangay Pagsabungan, Mandaue City. The monthly amateur boxing tournament organized by Edito “ALA” Villamor, veteran boxing trainer, matchmaker, and former two-time world title challenger, recently […] The post More bouts lined up for Villamor grassroots boxing tournament appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsMar 19th, 2023

TOP GAN — JGFP’s dynamic chief steers jungolf to new heights

There’s a big room in Oliver Gan’s office building in Quezon City dedicated to the Junior Golf Foundation of the Philippines. It has two office staff, golf sets, boxes, trophies, shirts and two large white boards filled up with schedules and marginal notes. That particular afternoon, Gan was charting the interschool championships which is JGFP’s major event of the year. He was going through the logistics of the competitions as well as the events JGFP is staging leading up the interschool. Hectic day in the office for the 40-year-old Gan. Except that his real office was in the adjacent room where he runs the family business. “Running our family business and running the JGFP is easy for me. As long as there are no parents complaining,” Gan said jokingly. “But that is impossible. Between the two, it seems like running the family business is easier.” Yet despite that, Gan has been hands-on in JGFP. And for good reasons. One of them is the fact that Gan is himself a national jungolf champion. The other is because he has two daughters, Nicole and Stephanie, who happen to be two of the most promising jungolfers in the country. Gan said he’s playing golf at least once a week. But his downtime is not entirely for golf. “I used to play baseball and volleyball back in high school but concentrated on golf when my teammates outgrew me,” Gan said. Lately, his evenings are spent on the basketball court. “I used to play in the Xavier Alumni Basketball League,” said Gan, who acts as the team “owner,” being both the manager and playing coach of their batch. He is also chairman for sports in the alumni association of Xavier School. On the national level, Gan is former program officer of the Philippine Sports Institute for the National Capital Region and adviser for golf at the Games and Amusements Board. Clearly, his heart belongs to golf. And it shows in his work at JGFP. “We parents invest so much time and effort in our kids’ golf. We now know that our efforts are not wasted,” Gan said. “Before, golf was very exclusive. Not everyone can play it. Especially the children. Now our efforts to give golf a wider talent pool is gaining traction. Everyone is taking notice and is starting to cooperate.” That’s why JGFP is working on “giving it back to the kids, especially the under-privileged,” supporting several scholars. Through Gan’s initiatives, JGFP has been gaining the support of the private sector which is crucial in every grassroots program. JGFP, too, has reached Mindanao where there are a lot of untapped talents. And just recently, it announced that former Rep. Juan Miguel “Mikey” Arroyo as JGFP’s “godfather.” “I think we are doing well. People know junior golf is in good hands. Businessmen are supporting the foundation. We are staging tournaments left and right. Golf courses offer to hold our events. We are getting invitations and accreditations from all over the world,” Gan said. But what Gan is counting as his biggest moment was when JGFP managed to span to Visayas and Mindanao which will soon have their own inter-school meets. “All the regional winners, we will pit them against each other in a truly national inter-school championships,” Gan said. “And from there we get the players to represent the country in international meets.” Such ambitious plans for JGFP. But nothing far-fetched with Gan at the helm. The post TOP GAN — JGFP’s dynamic chief steers jungolf to new heights appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 17th, 2023

Go lauds Capiztahan Swimfest, sends out aid to indigents

Senator Christopher “Bong” Go, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Sports, congratulated the provincial government of Capiz, led by Governor Fredenil Castro, for successfully holding its Capiztahan Swimfest from 14 to 16 April at the Villareal Stadium in Roxas City.  “Nais ko po sanang batiin lahat ng mga manlalaro na nagmula sa iba't ibang panig ng rehiyon upang makilahok sa kompetisyon na ito. Ang inyong dedikasyon at pagsisikap ang nagdala sa inyo dito, at tiyak na ibibigay ninyo ang inyong buong puso sa inyong laban,” expressed Go through a message delivered by his representative present during the event.  Go was scheduled to personally join the event that day but due to technical issues with the aircraft, his visit was rescheduled to Monday in Capiz where he visited the Malasakit Center in Roxas City. He also joined the groundbreaking of two Super Health Centers and provided assistance to indigents in Panit-an and Panay towns. “As we all know, sports play an essential role in our lives. They not only keep us physically fit but also help us develop important values like discipline, perseverance, and teamwork. They also teach us to face challenges and overcome them with determination, which is a valuable lesson that we can apply in all aspects of our lives,” he continued.  The Swimfest is just one out of the 14 sporting events featured in Capiztahan 2023 as there will also be jujitsu, windsurfing, taekwondo, arnis, lawn tennis, invitational motocross, chess, boxing, mixed martial arts, table tennis, bodybuilding, skimboard, and criterium race.  The sports festival aims to promote physical fitness, healthy competition, and camaraderie among the residents of Capiz, particularly the youth. It also provides a platform for local athletes to showcase their skills and talents in various sports and to represent their respective towns and cities in friendly competitions.  “Sa lahat ng mga magulang at guardians na naririto ngayon, nais kong pasalamatan kayo sa inyong pagsuporta sa mga pangarap ng inyong mga anak na mahilig sa sports,” cited Go. “Ang inyong pagmamahal at suporta ang nagtulak sa kanila upang magpatuloy sa kanilang mga pangarap, at hindi nila makakamit ito ngayon kung hindi sa inyong walang-sawang suporta,” he added.  Go’s team also raffled off a pair of shoes and a bike for the participants of the swimfest. Board Member Thea Faith Reyes was present during the event and expressed gratitude to Go for his continuing support of the province.  Meanwhile, Go’s team led a relief operation for 1,000 indigents at the Civic Center. They gave away grocery packs, vitamins, snacks, masks, and shirts to the residents. They also provided bicycles, cellular phones, shoes, umbrellas, and balls for basketball and volleyball to select beneficiaries.  Representatives from the Department of Social Welfare and Development were also in attendance and extended financial assistance.  “I would also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the organizers of this event, including the local government, for their hard work in putting together this wonderful competition. It takes a lot of effort and dedication to organize such an event, and I commend you for your tireless efforts,” Go highlighted. “Let us all enjoy this day of healthy competition and camaraderie. To all the swimmers, I wish you the best of luck, and may the best person win. Patuloy nating itaguyod ang sports upang maitaguyod ang ating pagkakaisa at magandang kinabukasan para sa ating bansa,” he concluded.  On the same day, Go sent his outreach teams to Panay and Panitan towns to likewise assist struggling residents.  Go, as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, was instrumental in pushing an additional budget for the Philippine Sports Commission in order to support the preparation, training, and participation of Filipino athletes in upcoming sports competitions and to implement effective programs to hone the skills of more young and aspiring athletes. Particularly, the increase in the PSC's 2023 budget reflected in the General Appropriations Act is intended to support Filipino athletes in the 2023 Asian Games, 2023 Southeast Asian Games, and 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris. It can also be recalled that Go has successfully authored and co-sponsored a bill in the Senate which became Republic Act No. 11470 in 2020. The Act mandated the establishment of the National Academy of Sports System and Main Campus in New Clark City, Capas, Tarlac. The NAS is a government-run academy aimed at developing the country’s future athletes by offering quality secondary education with a special curriculum on sports for gifted young Filipinos who want to enhance their physical and mental capabilities in sports.  “Simula sa grassroots level, d’yan talaga nag-uumpisa ang mga atleta natin. Kaya rin po naisabatas na ang National Academy for Sports, isa pong eskwelahan kung saan po nakakapag-aral at the same time nakakapag-training ang mga kabataan. Pag-aaral at the same time training, training at the same time pag-aaral. Walang naisasakripisyo,” said Go. The lawmaker also introduced Senate Bill No. 423 or the proposed Philippine National Games Act of 2022. The proposed measure aims to institutionalize “a truly comprehensive national grassroots sports program, which will harness the vast potential of the citizenry in discovering and developing champion athletes who could excel in international sports competition, thus giving the country pride and international goodwill and addressing the long-standing problems of Philippine sports in general.” Furthermore, the bill seeks to ensure a more inclusive system of promoting promising Filipino athletes who possess potential in various fields of sports to be given an equal opportunity of becoming future contenders in international sporting competitions and cement the country’s status as a "Sports Powerhouse in Asia." The post Go lauds Capiztahan Swimfest, sends out aid to indigents appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 18th, 2023

PMI Bohol, Riverside Mandaue pugs log 2 wins in Villamor Boxing Gym’s grassroots program

CEBU CITY, Philippines — PMI Bohol Boxing Team and Riverside Mandaue’s pugs shone the brightest in the resumption of the Boxing Gym’s monthly grassroots program at the Villamor Boxing Gym (VBG) in Pagsabungan, Mandaue City on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023.  This was after both the visiting Boholano boxers of PMI Bohol Boxing Team and Riverside […] The post PMI Bohol, Riverside Mandaue pugs log 2 wins in Villamor Boxing Gym’s grassroots program appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 22nd, 2023

13 amateur bouts featured in VBG’s monthly grassroots program

CEBU CITY, Philippines— Thirteen exciting amateur bouts will be featured in the resumption of the Villamor Boxing Gym’s monthly grassroots program at the Villamor Boxing Gym (VBG) in Pagsabungan, Mandaue City. The monthly amateur slugfest is held in cooperation with the World Boxing Foundation (WBF) and the PMI Bohol Boxing Promotions. Boxers from Pagsabungan, Carcar […] The post 13 amateur bouts featured in VBG’s monthly grassroots program appeared first on Cebu Daily News......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJan 21st, 2023

Sandiganbayan convicts late Teves’ co-accused

The Sandiganbayan convicted three ex-officials of the now defunct Technology and Livelihood Resource Center and two others over P9.6 million worth of ghost projects funneled through the pork barrel of the late Negros Oriental lawmaker Herminio Teves in 2007. The anti-graft court’s Third Division found ex-TLRC deputy director general Dennis Cunanan, ex-chief accountant Marivic Jover, ex-legislative liaison office officer-in-charge Belina Concepcion, Teves’s then chief-of-staff Hiram Pulido and Molugan Foundation Inc. president Samuel Bombeo guilty of one count each of graft and malversation. They were sentenced to up to 28 years in prison and perpetually disqualified from holding public office. They were also ordered to pay back the P9.6 million, with interest of 6 percent per annum. TLRC’s erstwhile department manager, Francisco Figura, meanwhile, was acquitted of the same charges. The Sandigabayan also dismissed the case against the principal accused, Teves, owing to his passing. Filed by the Ombudsman in 2017, the graft and malversation charge arose from the disbursement of Teves’s P9.6-million Priority Development Assistance Fund or PDAF to Molugan Foundation Inc., a non-governmental organization controlled by Bombeo. The Ombudsman said Teves “unilaterally chose” MFI as the implementor of his livelihood program drawn from his P10-million pork barrel that was originally intended for the depressed barangays and constituents in his district. State prosecutors proved that the PDAF was used for ghost or non-existent projects. Of the total, P9.6 million went to MFI, while P400,000 went to TLRC as a service fee. MFI did not have the capacity to implement the project as it was incorporated only in 2007, the year it was tasked to implement the PDAF project, the Ombudsman told the court. The respondents were accused of causing undue injury to the government by giving unwarranted benefits and advantages to MFI. “There is no doubt that the acts of Concepcion, Cunanan, Jover, Pulido and Bombeo caused undue injury to the government in the amount of P9,600,000 which to date remains unaccounted for,” the Sandiganbayan said in its 68-page ruling. The court also ruled that the respondents’ act of extending unwarranted benefits to a private party “without the proper accreditation” and the “lack of legal basis,” considering it was not one of the implementing agencies identified in the 2007 General Appropriations Act, were in violation of CoA Circular No. 96-003. “The totality of the facts and circumstances demonstrates that the accused, through manifest partiality, gross inexcusable negligence and/or evident bad faith, committed the offense of violation of Section 3(e) of RA No. 3019, causing undue injury to the government and giving unwarranted benefits to Bombeo and MFI,” the court said. The post Sandiganbayan convicts late Teves’ co-accused appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

Magician Efren

Author’s Note. Back in my high school days, it was normal for us students to skip classes to play billiards at the “Pink House” along Katipunan Ave. across the Ateneo campus. Our dean of discipline, Mr. Vergara, whom we dubbed Garaver, would raid the Pink House regularly to round us back to the corral. So, I can rightfully say that I speak with authority on the subject of billiards. Efren can make billiards magic because he shoots with his mind, not his hands. In truth, billiards is more of a cerebral rather than a physical game, an intellectual game rather than plain geometry and angles. That is why Efren, the Magician is revered by everyone, especially global billiard pros and commentators. He would ponder silently while chalking his cue stick and his mind would be racing through complex possibilities with lightning speed before finally making his move without hesitation. Billiards is the merging of the physics of motion and momentum and the metaphysics of “feel” and psychic power. Especially in eight-ball, it requires analysis and strategy as to where to place the cue ball for the next shot, what Filipinos call “preparacion” — a Spanish word. This is the expertise of Efren the Magician, or Efren “Bata” (The Kid) Reyes, rightfully the greatest pool player in the world today, according to pool commentators and pros. He makes his “preparacion” with ease. This has made him the first non-American to win the US Open Pool Championship. TV anchors would normally predict how Efren would play his “preparacion,” but many times they would be wrong because Efren thinks out of the box. He would go for a complex three-rail bank shot with ease instead of the more obvious straight shot. Indeed, Filipino pool players, led by Efren, are noted worldwide for the unique way they play, and how they are changing the way pool is played on the global level. The great champions from Europe and America have started adopting the unorthodox way Filipinos play. There is today a radical Filipino pool culture respected in the global arena. Efren is especially noted for casually shifting from his right hand to his left to shoot, which is a unique Filipino playing style. He is an expert in masse, giving the cue ball enough of a spin to curve around or jump over an obstructing ball by hitting the cue ball at a steep angle using a shorter cue stick. Another expertise of Efren is the “safety shot,” hiding the cue ball from the target ball, if he has no open shot to make. Rather than risk a dangerous shot to pocket the ball, this defensive strategy often leaves the opponent with an impossible shot. Efren can maneuver and hide the cue ball from the target ball with ease. Efren’s charisma abroad is phenomenal. They all love the way he scratches his head when he makes a blunder. You would not know if he made a mistake or played his magic, because, either way, he has on this sheepish smile. He would giggle if he did a “tsamba,” a lucky accident of sinking a ball in an unintended pocket. He brims with humility even in his greatness. Filipinos are good at billiards partly perhaps because it is a poor man’s game, as Efren was as a kid. One can spend hours in the billiard hall. Time just melts away. It is called  making “istambay,” a corruption of the English word “stand by.” Just hanging around the pool hall all day and learning lessons from the experts, like Efren did as a kid. In contrast, sports like basketball and swimming are essentially more expensive to go into. Billiards is an “easy” and “cheap” sport because it is essentially entertainment, but at the same time cerebral. It can be expensive only if you gamble. Efren is known as the richest pool player of all time. He has earned about $2 million or P100 million as of February 2023. He is in the Guinness World Records. He and Francisco Bustamante hold the records for the greatest number of victories in pool in 2006 and 2009, respectively; followed by Li Hewen and Fu Jianbo of China in 2007 and 2010, respectively. (Source: At the age of 68, Efren still has not retired. Unlike in boxing or basketball where great athletes retire early, in pool, which requires little physical effort, there are a few rare great pros who are septuagenarians. Wikipedia lists Efren’s titles and achievements at a phenomenal 137, as of this writing. The post Magician Efren appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 25th, 2023

Why is the South China Sea a flashpoint for Asia?

Competing claims to the South China Sea and its hundreds of reefs and islands have for decades been a source of tension in the region. The latest spat erupted on 5 August when Chinese coast guard vessels blocked and fired a water cannon at a Philippine resupply mission to a remote outpost in the disputed waters. Such incidents have fueled fears of a potential miscalculation or accident igniting a military conflict that could draw in the United States. AFP looks at the territorial disputes in the sea and what's been done to resolve them. Where is the South China Sea?  The South China Sea covers more than three million square kilometers (1.16 million square miles), ringed by southern China, Taiwan, the Philippines, Borneo island and mainland Southeast Asia. Most of its hundreds of small islands, islets and rocks were originally uninhabited. The Paracel and Spratly chains contain the biggest islands. Scarborough Shoal is a small outcrop in the east. Why does it matter? The sea is the main maritime link between the Pacific and Indian oceans, giving it enormous trade and military value. Its shipping lanes connect East Asia with Europe and the Middle East, with trillions of dollars in ship-borne trade passing through the sea annually. Huge unexploited oil and gas deposits are believed to lie under the seabed, though estimates vary greatly. The sea is also home to some of the world's biggest coral reefs and, with marine life being depleted close to coasts, it is important as a source of fish to feed growing populations. Who claims what? China and Taiwan both claim nearly all of the sea, while Vietnam, the Philippines, Malaysia and Brunei each have overlapping stakes to parts of it. Beijing's argument is based largely on Chinese maps dating back to the 1940s. It originally used an 11-dash line to demarcate its claims, but it was reduced to nine dashes under former leader Mao Zedong. The expansive claim approaches the coasts of other countries. The Paracel Islands are claimed by China, Taiwan and Vietnam, though Beijing has held all of them since a conflict with South Vietnam in 1974. China has also controlled Scarborough Shoal -- a rich fishing ground 230 kilometers (140 miles) off the Philippine island of Luzon -- since seizing it from the Philippines in 2012 following a tense standoff, and it holds at least seven of the Spratly Islands. Vietnam controls 21 rocks and reefs in the Spratlys, while the Philippines has outposts on nine reefs and islands in the archipelago. Taiwan holds the largest feature in the Spratlys, Itu Aba, while Malaysia controls five others. How do they assert their claims? For years, rival claimants have been building up the tiny reefs and islets to bolster their claims to ownership. China's land reclamation program has been particularly aggressive. In the past decade, it has ripped up thousands of hectares of reef in the archipelago to create militarized islands, with runways, ports and radar systems. China also deploys hundreds of coast guard and other vessels in key parts of the sea, often more than a thousand kilometers from the Chinese mainland, to guard particular features such as Scarborough and perform other security duties. Has there been military conflict? There have been two armed conflicts between China and Vietnam in the sea that killed more than 130 Vietnamese troops. Beijing gained control of the Paracel Islands in 1974 after clashes with the South Vietnamese Navy. The other major conflict occurred when Vietnam and China fought a naval battle on Johnson Reef in the Spratlys in 1988. Relations between China and the Philippines have been frayed by disputes over the waters, but incidents on the open sea have so far not resulted in military conflict. What are diplomats doing? The 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations and China adopted a non-binding "declaration of conduct" in 2002 to discourage hostile acts. All sides agreed not to use threats or force to assert claims. But negotiations since then to turn it into a legally binding "code of conduct" have failed. Manila will host another round of talks this week. In 2013, the Philippines filed an international arbitration case against China. The Permanent Court of Arbitration in The Hague ruled in Manila's favor, declaring China's "nine-dash-line" has no legal basis. Beijing refused to take part in the proceedings and has ignored the judgment. The post Why is the South China Sea a flashpoint for Asia? appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 23rd, 2023

How ‘Here Lies Love’ co-producer found his mark on Broadway

When Here Lies Love, the hit musical about former First Lady Imelda Marcos, made history by debuting on Broadway debut with an all-Filipino last July, one of its co-producers, Don Michael H. Mendoza, also reached a career milestone. His goal of putting his name on a Broadway show before turning 40 came true now that he’s 34. [caption id="attachment_172743" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Don Michael Mendoza with Daily Tribune’s (from left) Dinah Ventura, Jojo G. Silvestre, Gigie Arcilla, Vangie Reyes, Marc Reyes, Raffy Ayeng, Gibbs Cadiz and Nick Giongco.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_172742" align="aligncenter" width="525"] ‘Always ask for what you want because the worst that can come back is a no.’ | Photographs Courtesy of Daily Tribune.[/caption] [caption id="attachment_172741" align="aligncenter" width="525"] DON Mike Mendoza with Daily Tribune’s Jojo G. Silvestre and Dinah Ventura.[/caption]   It happened, and it’s not just any show. It’s the first Filipino musical on Broadway,” he tells Daily Tribune’s Dinah Ventura and Jojo Silvestre in an interview on their online show Pairfect. “It’s very important to me because a lot of my career is based on the idea of D,E & I — diversity, equity and inclusion — especially in a country like America that’s a melting pot. “It’s very important to make sure that unrepresented voices and communities are brought to the front. To be part of that, for me personally, is an incredible honor because it’s exactly aligned with how I live my professional life every day, every year.” “For the Fil-Am community,” he adds, “I think it’s important for people to see themselves in that arena, whether be as a producer, an actor, or a stagehand, or on the creative team as an assistant director. You know, it says a lot when someone tries to reach that can see themselves in a role that they want to achieve. “Because for a long time, my role models were very few. They’re mostly Americans, they’re white people. And I wanted to be an actor and my only acting influences in the media was Paolo Montalban. He was in Cinderella, American Adobo… He’s now a friend — which is amazing! But I didn’t really have many role models. So, to our community, both Filipino and Fil-Am, they can now look at this production and say, whatever they feel is their career path, ‘I can do it, too.’ So, it’s very powerful.”   Beginnings Don Michael Hodreal Mendoza, nicknamed Don Mike, was born in Washington D.C., the capital city of the United States, to immigrant parents. His father Donald Mendoza’s family hails from Cavite and is involved in local politics. His mother Maria Leonila Hodreal has families in Marinduque (maternal side) and Bicol (paternal side). His grandfather Querubin Hodreal created what is now known as the Easy Rock Manila radio station. “My mom, who’s part of that legacy, says even though we’re in the States I somehow ended up doing what our family does, in entertainment and media,” he says, beaming. From Washington D.C., Mendoza’s nuclear family moved to the city of Pittsburgh in the Pennsylvania state, where he grew up. “But I was also raised here in Manila, in Ayala Alabang, for a couple of years,” he points out. He was then between the ages of six and eight, also starting his education at Montessori Manila in BF Homes. “We’re lucky we’re able to come home a lot, so even though I grew up on majority in America, we’d come home every other year.” That explains why he also has exposure and gets inspiration from Filipino movies and entertainment. Mendoza started performing in school plays and high school musicals “for fun.” For college, though, he “needed to study that wasn’t the arts because immigrant families want you to do something that makes money in their eyes.” So he took up broadcast journalism and political science at the American University in D.C. But he didn’t like political science, so he dropped it and added musical theater to his studies without telling his parents until he got into the program. After graduation, he was torn between two goals: becoming a Broadway actor like Jose Llana, who currently plays the late President Ferdinand Marcos in Here Lies Love, and becoming the “Filipino Anderson Cooper.” He ended up staying in D.C with a job in marketing, which eventually became his master’s degree. Mendoza started auditioning and trying to get into shows. “But I wasn’t getting cast the way I wanted to,” he recalls, “because it’s very hard for a Filipino, an Asian male actor to get parts, unless you decided to be in Miss Saigon, which was one of the only very few shows that hire Asian people. So, I kinda fell into producing.” That was when he met a fellow Fil-Am, Regie Cabico, who’s 20 years older than him and became his mentor. He remembers Cabico telling him, “The way to be successful for someone like us in the arts is to start your own opportunities.” Thus, the birth, in 2012, of their company, La Ti Do, which is into production of cabarets and concerts. “I met so many people and worked with so many actors and performers without knowing it’s producing,” he says, smiling at the memory. “I just realized producing means organizing. It means you’re in charge, you’re putting things together and hire people. In those 10 years, I was able to produce small musicals and concerts and special events.” He then put up his own DMH Mendoza Productions, which has La Ti Do as its cabaret-concert arm, to allow him to “produce bigger and more incredible things.” For starters, he produced the off-Broadway play Hazing U that tackles violence in fraternities. Around that time, February 2023, he heard about Here Lies Love being restaged, this time on Broadway. The musical created by David Byrne and Fatboy Slim originally premiered off-Broadway in 2013 at The Public Theater in New York City. A year later, it moved to the Royal National Theater in London, England, and then was restaged at Seattle Repertory Theater in the US in 2017. Mendoza admits with regret that he missed seeing Here Lies Love’s off-Broadway premiere and thought he’d never see it ever again “just because Filipino things don’t usually last very long in America.” So when he heard it was coming to Broadway, he basically called everybody he knew who’s involved in the production to ask how he could help. “I wasn’t really looking for a producer stature,” he says. “I said to many people I’m willing to sell t-shirts in the lobby just to support this show.” It turned out his good friend Lora Nicolas Olaes, who he stayed with in New York, was in the first workshop of the show in 2011, and she personally knows one of the lead producers, Clint Ramos. Olaes then connected Mendoza and Ramos via email, which led to Mendoza joining the Here Lies Love production team. “I’m still having trouble today saying I’m a co-producer. I’m so used to just doing rather than labeling,” he says. “It’s been a wild ride from then till now. I don’t regret any of it. It’s been the best experience so far.” He then shares that having an all-Filipino cast and a predominantly Filipino production team is very important for the lead producers. Two of the five are Filipino: Clint Ramos, a Tony award-winning costume designer, and Jose Antonio Vargas, a Pulitzer prize-winning journalist. This extends to other producers, such as Hal Luftig, Diana DiMenna and Patrick Catullo, as well as to musical writers David Byrne and Fatboy Slim. “They wanted to reach beyond the cast and make sure that the show is escorted into Broadway by Filipinos because it’s a Filipino story,” Mendoza points out. Aside from Llana, the main cast is made up of Arielle Jacobs (as Imelda) and Conrad Ricamora as (Ninoy Aquino), with Lea Salonga (as Ninoy’s mother Aurora) in a limited run until 19 August. “It’s beyond the cast. So our creative team, our production team, our stagehands, everybody. Even our house staff, some of them are Filipinos. We really wanted to make a mark on Broadway. That’s how it came about. So that was an early decision. Because the off-Broadway production was mixed. It was not all-Filipino. It had Ruthie Ann Miles as Imelda. She’s not Filipino. It was hard to move from her and bring in Arielle Jacobs, who is just as amazing, but, you know, it was very important for the team to be culturally accurate. Because it’s our story.” “It’s our show,” he reiterates. “Let’s bring it to the world. Our people are playing themselves. I’ve said this in an interview: The general public is trained to love Filipino as other ethnicities. This is the first time we’re training them to love us, Filipinos, as ourselves.”   Musical textbook Mendoza’s fellow co-producers include Salonga and Fil-Am celebrities like comedian Jo Koy, musical artist H.E.R. and rapper “Our show is a musical textbook,” he explains. “It’s a musical built around facts, what happened historically during her lifetime. Our whole goal for the show is to present to you what happened with, of course, entertainment attached to it. There’s a misconception that it’s a documentary. It is not. It’s musical theater. It’s supposed to be fun. You see what happened. “We empower our audience to make their own decision. We don’t tell them, ‘This was a bad person. This was a good person.’ Here’s what this person did in their life and how she was affected by her surroundings, and go home and do the research. You figure it out. We liken it to giving someone a Zip file of Philippine history in the 21th century and you go home and unzip the Zip file to get into the details. “But we give you an overview. It’s really up to the audience when they leave the show. I know it’s the goal of our writers and directors to not impose an opinion. We’re just here to entertain and make you learn. When you leave, it’s up to you.” Mendoza happily reports that Here Lies Love is being received “very well.” He adds, “The critics have come and said really wonderful about the show, especially the ones we’re nervous about, like the New York Times, or The Washington Post, or the Wall Street Journal. It trickles down to everyone who’s seen the show. I think we’re so proud and excited that it’s well-received. Audience members love it, they keep coming back.” He also notes that audiences are “pretty diverse. You see Filipinos, you see Americans, you see visitors. It’s really a big hodge-podge of different people. We’re happy about that, too. It’s not biased to just one community.” Indeed, Mendoza is living his dream and he has this piece of audience for the younger generation who also hopes to break into theater or arts in general: “Always ask for what you want because the worst that can come back is a no.” He then shares what she’s picked up from Kris Jenner: “If somebody says no to you, you’re asking the wrong person. Keeping asking for what you want. Not just manifesting, but really it’s just speaking up. Nobody can read your mind. Nobody can see what’s happening in your mind and in your heart. So if you express it, you ask and you’ll get there. It may not happen in the timing that you want, but it will happen if you keep pushing.” The post How ‘Here Lies Love’ co-producer found his mark on Broadway appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 18th, 2023

Chef Valery Anthony’s secrets: Time and Intention

Valery Jane Anthony grew up watching shows on the Food Network, which was ultimately noticed by her nurturing and caring mom, an amazing cook herself. “As she noted that I grew fond of watching the ongoings in the kitchen, she bought me cookbooks which I would continuously read day in and day out,” she shared. “And I presume that’s where my love for food and cooking started. Besides, I would feel myself the most when I’m in the kitchen,” she admitted. [caption id="attachment_168047" align="aligncenter" width="960"] Valery Anthony (rightmost, standing) at her college graduation[/caption] Chef Valery, 24, was raised within an encouraging family. “I believe that’s one big factor as to why I kept persevering through my career. They’ve always been so supportive on whatever I did. And whenever I did make mistakes, they also pointed it out and helped me fix it so I could be better.” Prior to graduation from the Culinary Arts program of the De La Salle-College of Saint Benilde, she was the sole Philippine delegate to the Young Chefs Olympiad in India, one of the largest culinary gatherings worldwide, where she clinched fifth place. She likewise garnered silver at the lauded Philippine Culinary Cup. [gallery size="full" columns="2" ids="168049,168057"] During her internship at the Italian Culinary Institute for Foreigners in d’Asti and in the Michelin-star restaurant Il Picolo Principe in Luca, Tuscany, both in Italy, her main takeaways were organization, ingredients, techniques and, most importantly, resilience. “My highlight would definitely be the traveling and the food most especially. There’s really a certain charm when you get to experience another country’s food and culture. I would say it’s a core memory and a lifelong memory of mine,” she imparted. With a culinary degree in hand, her first foray into the professional world was at the award-winning Italian pizzeria a mano Restaurant, where she worked her way up to become a chef de partie. Today, she has joined the ranks of sterling chef Margarita Fores’ Sostanza Corporation as a chef de partie and menu planner. When asked on her favorite ingredient, she approached the question with the intangible — time and intention. “Excellent food may still be done quickly even on a rush. But as with a lot of great dishes, it requires time and patience. Cooking and creating food has to be intentional. It makes it more personal and honestly affects the overall product,” she revealed. [gallery size="full" ids="168081,168080,168079"] Meanwhile, her sharp and trusty knife is her favorite kitchen tool. “Sometimes that’s all a chef needs in a busy kitchen.” When pressured, she tends to remain calm and laugh it out after service. “However, I recalled I started as a really terrible crybaby,” chef Valery divulged. “During my first job, I would cry over the smallest matters. But I eventually learned to manage my thoughts and emotions better under pressure by taking it positively and not to dwell over it.” During her free time, she loves to read and write, being a bookworm back in high school. “Now I enjoy reading articles about food, fashion and art. In addition, I relish going on self-dates! I’m quite comfortable in my own company and I love going to malls, cafes and restaurants by myself. It’s a way for me to unwind and destress.” Looking into the future, she wishes to continue with research and development in the food industry and hopes to be included in more collaborations — fingers crossed, she said. One day someday, she prays for a project she can call her own. [gallery size="full" ids="168078,168077,168076"] We had a chat with chef Valery as she shared her thoughts on values, words of inspiration and working with chef Margarita Fores:   On modesty “One lesson that I always carry, even until now, is to keep my feet on the ground and my head held high. College and competitions have humbled me in a lot of ways through mistakes and failures. I emerged as a stronger and wiser person. Keep on pushing! I don’t believe in giving up. I advocate perhaps to take a break, step back. But never give up.”   Hardest to master recipe “This is actually quite funny! A little backstory, I am in love with chocolate chip cookies. And I’ve been trying to make my own version since God knows when — I’ve always been left unsatisfied. Only until recently, I made a batch that I was genuinely happy with! I’m not the best with baking, but I do have the patience with testing recipes here and there, every now and then.”   Working with Chef Margarita Fores “It still feels so surreal! I’ve been a huge fan since I was in high school. Even before she won Asia’s Best Female Chef, I’ve already had a big admiration for her. She’s extremely kind and fun to be with. She has also opened up a lot of doors for me and I must say that she is one of the catalysts in my career.”   Latest projects “I’m currently handling menu planning and research and development in chef Margarita’s catering company. I recently also did a collaboration in Singapore with chef Margarita, chef Miko Calo and chef Johanne Sy. I used to only dream of these. I’m extremely grateful I get to have my passion as my job!”   Culinary motto “Never stop learning. I’ve always believed that it is an everyday experience. We always have the chance to gain new knowledge and improve ourselves, through small or big ways. And wherever we go, there will always be those who will have our weaknesses as their strengths and vice versa. So keep on learning.”   Advice to aspiring chefs “Take notes of everything, even if you think you won’t need it. One day you will. Always initiate to help. Because that’s one step to learning.”   The post Chef Valery Anthony’s secrets: Time and Intention appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 7th, 2023

ValuePlus Auto Service kicks off 10th anniversary celebration

ValuePlus Auto Service, a premier provider of automotive services, is thrilled to announce the kickoff of its 10th-anniversary celebration this coming November. For a decade, ValuePlus has steadfastly served as a reliable and resilient alternative to traditional car dealerships, consistently delivering high-quality service and creating unyielding trust among its loyal customers. "Reflecting on our journey, we take immense pride in the resilience that has been our guiding force," said Normann Chiu, president of ValuePlus Auto Service. "Our unwavering commitment to serve as the trustworthy casa alternative has shaped our story, driving our success over these 10 fruitful years." In celebrating this significant milestone, ValuePlus Auto Service has planned a host of exciting initiatives. As a token of gratitude, the company will be giving away one-year complimentary Preventive Maintenance Services (PMS) to its select loyal customers who have been availing services since 2013. Additionally, both current and past customers stand a chance to win in a raffle draw featuring service packages as prizes. In the spirit of giving back and fostering growth within the broader auto service community, ValuePlus' franchising arm, VPX, will spearhead an exclusive mentorship program for independent auto repair shop owners and aspiring technicians. "Over the years, we have successfully navigated the intricacies of this industry, gaining invaluable knowledge and experience," said Mark Saberola, general manager of ValuePlus. "To celebrate our 10th anniversary, we are extending this knowledge beyond our own operations. Through VPX, we will offer 10 mentorship slots to independent auto shop owners, providing them with the insights we've gleaned and the experiences we've encountered, in a concerted effort to uplift the entire industry." ValuePlus Auto Service's journey over the past decade has been marked by continuous adaptation, overcoming industry challenges, and changes to further solidify its position as a resilient casa alternative. As it celebrates its 10th anniversary, the company reaffirms its commitment to its core principles and to serving its customers' automotive needs. "We are excited about the future and are committed to continuing to serve as a trusted, resilient casa alternative," said Chiu. "Our 10th anniversary is not only a celebration of our past achievements but also a stepping stone towards a future filled with further growth and service to our customers." The post ValuePlus Auto Service kicks off 10th anniversary celebration appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 4th, 2023

900 people back home in Patikul

JOLO, Sulu Province — The 11th  Infantry “Alakdan” Division and the Municipal Task Force Ending Local Armed Conflict facilitated the Balik-Sitio Program of 176 families Barangay Buhanginan in Patikul, Sulu  after the military has attested  to  the improved security landscape of Sulu. Joint Task Force-Sulu commander Maj. Gen. Ignatius N. Patrimonio on Thursday said that about 900 individuals were allowed by the 11th ID and the Patikul MTF-ELAC to return to Sitio Lumbaan, Barangay Buhanginan on Saturday. “Sitio Lumbaan was known to be one of the strongholds of Abu Sayyaf Group Leader Radulan Sahiron,” said Patrimonio. “The families residing in Sitio Lumbaan, Barangay Buhanginan in Patikul were displaced for over 20 years due to ASG terrorism and now they finally return to their home and live without fear of harassment from the ASG,” he added. For his part, Patikul Mayor and chair of the local MTF-ELAC Kabir E. Hayudini expressed gratitude to the military for their support. “We sincerely thank you, the security forces in Sulu for your tireless support and assistance to make this town again a peaceful and better place to live in,” Hayudini said. Among the highlights of the program were the inauguration and ribbon-cutting of 3 kilometers concreted road of Sitio Lumbaan; construction of water system level II; and comfort rooms; distribution of goods and gift-giving by the Ministry of Social Services and Development and free medical checkups and giving of medicines conducted by the Sulu Integrated Provincial Hospital Office. Meanwhile, Governor Abdusakur Tan expressed his gratitude and commended the efforts of every agency which contributed to the success of the Balik-Sitio Program. Tan, who also chairs the Sulu PTF-ELAC, said that the Balik-Sitio is part of the Balik-Barangay Program of the Sulu PTF-ELAC which was started in 2019. Tan also emphasized that a total of 14 barangays in Sulu province with a total of 7,600 families or about  45,600 individuals  were able to return to their communities after a long period of displacement. The post 900 people back home in Patikul appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 3rd, 2023

Sustainable national sports program sought

Marikina City Mayor Marcelino Teodoro called for a sustainable national sports program to help young Filipino athletes achieve their full potential as he kicked off the opening ceremony of the 2023 Palarong Pambansa. “We want a sustainable national sports program for the Filipino youth,” Teodoro said. “We want to provide them with the resources and opportunities they need to succeed in sports and in life.” The mayor said that heavy rains in the past few days did not dampen the spirits of the delegates to the Palaro. They even braved the downpour during the grand parade. “Despite the heavy rains in the past few days, like the tests in our country, we are still here full of hope, have strengths, for a prosperous and stable country,” Teodoro said. The Palarong Pambansa is the country’s largest youth sporting event. This year’s games are being held in Marikina City from 1 to 5 August. Along with Teodoro, President Ferdinand Marcos Jr., Vice President and Education Secretary Sara Duterte also graced the opening at the Marikina Sports Center. The Palarong Pambansa 2023 is anchored by the theme: “Batang Malakas, Bansang Matatag.” The opening ceremony commenced with a parade of student-athletes, starting from the Marikina River Park to the Marikina Sports Center. During the parade, the delegates were accompanied by marching bands and Marikina students who performed the regional dances of each delegation. Giving additional spectacle to the festive event was the dragon boat exhibition at the Marikina River organized by the Philippine Canoe Kayak Dragon boat Federation. After all delegates converged at the MSC, the program proper kicked off with the Oath of Sportsmanship led by volleyball star Alyssa Valdez followed by the Oath of Officiating Officials led by Jonathan Oscar Jimenez, boxing tournament director. Volleyball player Bea de Leon, and basketball player Mark Barroca led the lighting of the Palaro Friendship Cauldron, together with the team captains representing the 17 participating regions in this year’s national games. Some Metro Manila mayors, provincial mayors, governors, members of House Representatives, and other national government officials graced the opening to show their full support to the student-athletes and to the City of Marikina.   The post Sustainable national sports program sought appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 2nd, 2023

Biden’s son pleads not guilty on tax charges as deal derails

US President Joe Biden's son Hunter pleaded not guilty to minor tax offenses Wednesday as a deal with federal prosecutors derailed in a Delaware court. The surprise move came after Judge Maryellen Noreika raised questions over the original deal -- under which Biden had agreed to enter a guilty plea and admit to illegal gun possession -- and effectively placed it on hold. Biden, 53, whose legal troubles have cast a shadow over his father's reelection campaign, had reached an agreement with prosecutors that he would be sentenced to probation on two tax avoidance counts. The deal also specified that the firearms charge would eventually be erased if he adhered to a counseling-and-rehabilitation program. But the deal fell apart after Noreika queried why the gun charge was included in a tax case, and whether the plea agreement protected Biden from charges that might arise from a wider ongoing investigation of his business dealings, according to US media. When prosecutors could not resolve her questions, Noreika said she could not accept the deal, and Biden then entered a not guilty plea to close the session. That was expected to send the deal back to negotiations, which could become more complex. Prosecutor David Weiss confirmed to the court that his office is still examining other possible crimes by Biden. Weiss did not detail those possible crimes, but one issue mentioned in the court was possible violation of the Foreign Agents Registration Act, relating to his business deals in China, Ukraine and other countries dating back to the early 2010s, when his father was vice president. Political attacks Republicans have accused Weiss of giving Biden a "sweetheart deal" with the plea agreement announced on 20 June. White House Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre said Wednesday that Hunter Biden was "a private citizen. This was a personal matter." The case was "handled independently by the Justice Department under the leadership of a prosecutor appointed by President Trump," she added. The plea deal was to end a five-year investigation that Republicans have sought to use to politically harm his father Joe. According to the charges, Hunter, a Yale-trained lawyer and lobbyist, failed to file his tax returns on time on earnings of more than $1.5 million for 2017 and 2018. He was facing up to 12 months in prison for each tax charge and a possible maximum 10 years on a charge that, as a known drug user, he had illegally possessed a handgun in 2018. But prosecutors recommended probation on the tax charges after Biden paid the taxes and penalties, according to his attorney. In addition, the gun charge was to be suspended and then eliminated if Biden completed "pretrial diversion," which often involves counseling or rehabilitation. That would require Biden to remain sober as the charges arise from a long period when he says he struggled with addiction to alcohol, crack cocaine and other drugs. "The president, the first lady, they love their son and they support him as he continues to rebuild his life," Jean-Pierre said. The post Biden’s son pleads not guilty on tax charges as deal derails appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 26th, 2023

Without ‘soul, progress is meaningless

Reduced budgets against big, supportive words paint a grainy picture of how the Marcos Jr. administration is prioritizing the arts and culture sector of the Philippines. In 2022, “proposed budget cuts for four key agencies tasked with preserving history and culture,” as said in a report, got critics’ hackles up, implying that the Marcoses had no love lost for history as it was allegedly bent on revisionism. However, a source from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts acknowledges that this has been a “period of recovery,” and that “the administration has continuously supported and assisted in the recovery of the sector, which is one of most adversely affected by the pandemic. Through the government’s cultural agencies, support to the culture still continues” to this day, one year into the term of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. For its part, the Duterte government, at the height of the pandemic, took steps to alleviate the needs of all those affected in the arts and culture sector.     Assistance Data from the Cultural Center of the Philippines reveals that during that time, about 800 events were canceled, losing about 800,000 audiences or participants, and at least P90 million in revenues. About 3,000 artists, cultural workers and other kinds of workers were affected. This was the same all over the country and the world. The NCCA’s Assistance Program for Cultural Workers Under the State of Calamity aimed to provide quick cash assistance in the amount of P5,000 to around 800 beneficiaries. Artists and cultural workers who were not under an employer-employee relationship, without regular income or were working freelance, with no benefits, and/or had no employers to run to, and those whose source of income were gone due to the pandemic, were prioritized. The executive council members of the NCCA’s 19 national committees, which represent the different fields of culture and the arts, were tasked to list 35 priority beneficiaries. The NCCA “is the overall policy-making body, coordinating and grants-giving agency for the preservation, development and promotion of Philippine arts and culture; an executing agency for the policies it formulates; and tasked to administer the National Endowment Fund for Culture and the Arts — a fund exclusively for the implementation of culture and arts programs and projects.” Executive Order 80’s. 1999, under then President Joseph Ejercito Estrada, put the NCCA on top of other cultural agencies: the Cultural Center of the Philippines, National Historical Institute (now the National Historical Commission of the Philippines), National Museum, The National Library (now, The National Library of the Philippines) and the Records, Management and Archives Office (now, the National Archives of the Philippines). In 2001, Section 8 of Republic Act 9155 added the Komisyon sa Wikang Filipino/Commission on the Filipino Language under the NCCA umbrella tied up with education goals. It states: “The Komisyon ng Wikang Pilipino, National Historical Institute, Record Management and Archives Office and the National Library shall now be administratively attached to the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and no longer with the Department of Education. The program for school arts and culture shall remain part of the school curriculum.” Putting these cultural agencies together was meant to synergize efforts to strengthen the Filipinos’ sense of heritage and nationhood.   Budget allocations In 2023, a year after President Marcos first stepped into office, what “resources” are we talking about? When budgets were being deliberated on in 2022, reports came out on calls for an increase in the proposed budget for arts and culture. At the hearing of the Senate Committee on Finance, NCCA chairman Rene Escalante said, “…we are proposing additional funding of a total of P33 million” to cover expenses for “more manpower and space as some regulatory functions of the National Museum of the Philippines were transferred to it.” Department of Budget Management Secretary Amenah Pangandaman in her newspaper column wrote last 31 May: “For 2023, DBM has released funding for our cultural agencies to sustain their projects. It has allocated P212 million for the National Historical Commission of the Philippines; P33 million for NCCA; P164 million for the National Archives; P70 million for the Commission on the Filipino Language; P356 million for CCP and P444 million for the National Museum.”   ‘Full support’ Prior to his State of the Nation Address this year after one year in office, expressed his “commitment to promoting Philippine culture, as well as the preservation and protection of the country’s cultural heritage, In a speech at the NCCA Ani ng Dangal (Harvest of Honors) awarding ceremony in Malacañang, he said: “Makaaasa kayo na kaisa ninyo ang pamahalaan at administrasyong ito sa pagsusulong at pagpapayaman ng ating sining at kultura (You may rest assured the government and this administration is one with you in the promotion and development of our arts and culture),” pointing out its importance in and interconnection to efforts to boost our economy while uplifting the image of Filipinos across the globe. [caption id="attachment_161350" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] TRADITIONAL style of mat weaving. | PHOTOGRAPHS COURTESY OF LIKHA[/caption] [caption id="attachment_161351" align="aligncenter" width="1200"] Banig weavers.[/caption]   ‘Who we are’ What a rich and thriving culture means to a nation cannot be emphasized enough. In October 2018, when Malacañang hosted the awarding of the Gawad sa Manlilikha ng Bayan, Philippine Heritage Award and the Order of National Artist, then President Rodrigo Duterte noted the role that cultural heritage plays in the formation of the Filipino identity. “We must recognize and fulfill our duty to stay true to who we are, remember where we came from and honor the timelessness of our culture and traditions,” he said. His commitment was evident as the pandemic went on, with the NCCA offering assistance to the affected workers in the arts and culture sector. The unspoken benefit from that experience was that the arts community bounced back immediately, as artists and cultural workers continued to create, to entertain, to impart insights, to provoke and stimulate, to inspire. Creativity might have taken a pause during the pandemic but not for long as artists began to turn to cyberspace to share their works and interact with their audiences mainly in their social media accounts. Taking this cue, cultural institutions and companies, arts organizations and culture-related groups took the online route, creating virtual events such as online galleries, webinars and talks, film showings, workshops and tutorials, live-streamed musical shows and even presentations of recorded theatrical and dance performances. The digital arts have blossomed and traditional artforms have found themselves increasingly and suddenly in the digital world. Post-pandemic, establishments reopened, but cultural spaces such as museums, galleries and theaters were among the last ones to reopen.   Local artistry In the first year of Marcos’ presidency, First Lady Liza Araneta-Marcos took on the role of promoting Filipino culture by spearheading projects like the Malacañang museums and Likha exhibits, which shone the limelight on local artistry and craftsmanship. One of the legacies of the pandemic that will continue in the coming years is incorporation of streaming or recording for posting and sharing in social media and other mediums. This is true for certain events such as launchings and talks. We have discovered the far-reaching reach of online platforms as well as the convenience of it, saving us time and money. With online platforms, we can reach thousands and disseminate information further beyond borders. Our audiences are not limited to certain geography, certain spheres. However, for theatrical productions, dance, films and music, we have to devise ways to monetize them so that the creatives involved can make a living out of their crafts. That is one of the challenges that the sector will be facing, which is part of the recovery process from the pandemic. One other important factor to be considered is the creative industries or creative economy. The Philippine Development Plan 2017-2022 was launched in 2017, and for the first time, arts and culture and the creative industries are included in the national agenda. An inter-agency board has been created focusing on the creative industries, with the NCCA as one of the key agencies. This entails creating a collective vision and aspiration of Filipinos for themselves and for the country, and is an acknowledgment of the power of arts and culture to shape and elevate consciousness and ways of life and inspire communities. In that chapter, the government promises to “boost the development of Filipino creativity as tool for social cohesion and impetus for culture-based industry and creative economy.” Let’s not forget that a thoughtful and caring governance and industry would indeed include arts and culture in order to prosper in all aspects, recognize the important roles of their artists and cultural workers, and would preserve their cultural legacy, which contribute to realizing a deeper sense of self and national identity. True prosperity does not dwell on the material level but must include the nourishment and nurturing of the soul. The post Without ‘soul, progress is meaningless appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJul 23rd, 2023

Bong Go throws support to grassroots sports development programs

Championing grassroots sports development initiatives in various local communities, Senator Christopher “Bong” Go personally witnessed the opening of the inter-barangay basketball league in Cortes, Bohol on Monday, July 17. The basketball league is in partnership with the Philippine Sports Commission and the local government led by Mayor Lynn Iven Lim. Addressing the crowd gathered at the ampitheater, the chair of the Senate Committee on Sports underscored the significance of sports in promoting physical fitness and diverting the youth's attention away from illegal vices, including drug abuse. As an ardent supporter of grassroots sports development, Go recognized the pivotal role that athletics play in nurturing a healthier and more productive citizenry. “Sporting events, such as the basketball league in Cortes, not only provide an avenue for physical exercise but also encourage teamwork, discipline, and camaraderie among participants,” he said. Go emphasized the importance of promoting sports activities as a means to promote a drug-free community. He highlighted the prevalence of illegal drugs in various communities and expressed his commitment to combat this menace by promoting productive activities that inspire individuals, especially the youth, to stay away from harmful substances and become productive members of society. "Kaya ganun na lang po ang galit ni (dating) pangulong Duterte sa iligal na droga. Kapag pumasok po ang droga, papasok po ang kriminalidad, papasok po ang korapsyon. Mabibili po 'yan. 'Yan po ang kinatatakutan natin dito, kapag bumalik po ang iligal na droga, hindi na po magiging safe maglakad ang mga anak natin," said Go. “Kaya isa rin po sa pamamaraan na ine-engganyo ko po ang kabataan to get into sports, stay away from drugs. Ilayo po natin ang mga kabataan sa droga through sports. Get into sports, stay away from drugs,” he added. The event was also attended by Congressman Edgardo Chatto, Vice Governor Dionisio Victor Balite, Tagbiliran City Mayor Jane Yap, Dauis Vice Mayor Miriam Sumaylo, and Cortes Councilor Ira Lim, among others. "Senator, maraming salamat sa iyong panahon, alam ko kung gaano ka ka-busy.... On behalf ng mga mamamayan dito sa Cortes, maraming salamat mula sa aming puso sa lahat ng iyong tulong sa amin dito.... Ang game changer natin na makapagbigay ng maayos na pag-unlad, especially sa ating mga kababayan, andito ang biggest regional hospital at… ang tumulong sa pagpasa ng batas para maisakatuparan ito ay si Senator Bong Go," Mayor Lim said. Mayor Lim likewise thanked Go for the projects he supported in Cortes as Vice Chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, including the acquisition of a multipurpose vehicle, the construction of a multipurpose building, and the improvement of the municipal public park and hall grounds. Go also underscored the importance of creating opportunities for young athletes, including scholarships, training programs, incentives and continuing investments in local sports facilities. It can be recalled that in 2021, Go visited Bataan and participated in the presentation and signing of the Deed of Donation for the land where the Philippine Sports Training Center (PSTC) was proposed to be constructed in Bagac. The creation of the PSTC aims to promote sports in the country and achieve excellence in international sports competitions. Meanwhile, Go authored and co-sponsored the measure that became Republic Act No. 11470, establishing the National Academy of Sports (NAS) in 2020. NAS is a government-run educational institution that offers quality secondary education with a special curriculum on sports for gifted young Filipinos who want to enhance their physical and mental capabilities in sports. Go also filed Senate Bill No. 423 or the proposed Philippine National Games (PNG) Act of 2022. The measure aims to institutionalize “a truly comprehensive national grassroots sports program, which will harness the vast potential of the citizenry in discovering and developing champion athletes who could excel in international sports competition, thus giving the country pride and international goodwill and addressing the long-standing problems of Philippine sports in general.” “As chair of the Senate Committee on Sports, I am one with President (Ferdinand) Marcos Jr. in highlighting the importance of sports in nation-building. I reiterate my firm commitment to always look after the welfare of our athletes and to push for long-term and grassroots sports development,” Go previously said. It can also be recalled that Go played a crucial role in pushing for additional funding for sports development in the country. He effectively advocated for a boost in the 2023 budget of the PSC, specifically designating an extra one billion pesos to aid athletes, both at the international level and in grassroots initiatives. On the same day, Go visited several infrastructure projects he supported the funding of as vice chair of the Senate Committee on Finance, including the ongoing construction of Governor Celestino Gallares Multi-specialty Medical Complex in Cortes, and the Cortes Municipal Park and Disaster Risk Reduction and Management building, both in Cortes town. He also led a distribution activity for athletes, coaches, and barangay workers in Cortes town. After Cortes, Go went to Tagbilaran City to inspect the city’s Super Health Center and the Malasakit Center at Gov. Celestino Gallares Memorial Hospital. Lastly, the senator attended the 73rd Commencement Exercise of Bohol Institute of Technology International College System. The post Bong Go throws support to grassroots sports development programs appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 18th, 2023

Chona Mejia Lopez: tireless club woman

I recently interviewed Angelina “Chona” Lopez, a dear friend whose daughter, Bettina Osmeña, is as much a dear friend of mine, and the grandmother of, yes, another chum, Eduardo Lopez, a champion polo player. I have had the opportunity to see Chona on many social occasions, a number having to do with her involvement in the Zonta International. A long time ago, I worked for a club woman who was hosting the awarding ceremonies of the Best Asian Leaders. At one point of the program, I realized that the person assigned to give the flowers to the honoree had not arrived, so I was in a quandary as to who I should ask to do the honors. Then, I saw Chona, who sat quietly in one corner, happy being part of the audience, and asked her if she would go up the stage later to hand over the bouquet. She smiled and said that she couldn’t do it because “I may be performing a role that is intended for someone else.” I had no time to think of her answer but, later, I realized this was one lady who knew her manners and protocol. In what I would learn as her typically gracious way, she told me she could not do it, while reminding me that someone should be up there on the stage, and not she. Talk about propriety and grace and Chona Mejia Lopez comes to my mind to this day. Of course, here is one lady who does not care about any opportunity to shine. Almost self-effacing but simply relaxed and unmindful of attention, Chona remains in my book to be one of the sweetest ladies of Manila’s 400. I wish there were more women like her!   Networking Recently, I had a brief tete-a-tete with the ageless Chona. As our conversation geared toward her involvement in civic work, I asked her why she joined Zonta, originally a club for professional women. Or, for that matter, why did she join clubs at all? Her response: “I join clubs for various reasons. As a minority Asian woman working in the United States as a financial advisor at Prudential Bache, I joined the Filipino-American Chamber of Commerce of San Francisco as a way of networking.  Prudential Bache was then the third largest investment house in the world. After a few years as a member of the chamber, I was elected as the first woman president in the 20-year history of the chamber. Its membership was made up of top executives of US companies with presence in the Philippines, such as Bechtel, Bank of American, Citibank, Dole Foods, etc., and Filipinos working in top level positions in San Francisco. “But business networking is just one aspect of joining clubs. I also join as a way of giving back to society or serving the less fortunate. While living in San Francisco, California, I joined The Little Jim Club, a non-profit fund-raising auxiliary for Child Development Services of the California Pacific Medical Center. The main objective of the club is to support orthopedic and other medical services for children of indigent families who do not have medical insurance coverage. Eventually, I became a director of the club, whose members are women movers and shakers of San Francisco society.”   'I do club work to have a meaningful life, a purpose for my existence. We are here not just to indulge ourselves but to help others.'   “When I returned to the Philippines after 11 years living in California, I joined the Zonta Club of Makati and Environs Foundation. It is part of Zonta International, a leading global organization of professionals whose main objective is to advocate for women’s rights and to empower women worldwide through service and advocacy. After two years of joining the club, I was elected as a director, and the following biennium, I became president of the club. I was later on elected as Area 5 director, with 19 clubs under my supervision. I have been a member for 19 years now.”   Scholarship She next talked about the Zonta projects that she is so passionate about. She said, “The three projects of Zonta Club of Makati and Environs that are closest to my heart are the DUYAN project in Marillac Hills, which provides psychological care and assistance to minors who are victims of sexual abuse. Another project is our 30 unit Zonta-GK Village in Taguig, It provided funds for building homes for 30 indigent families. This was a project during my term as president of our club. The pride of having a decent home has had great impact on the lives of these 30 families. We also have an educational project that funds the scholarship of young women taking up male-dominated courses like engineering. This has greatly improved the lives of the scholars and their families when after graduation, they got employed in large corporations. Some are now gainfully employed in Europe.” While club work occupies much of her time, Chona knows her priorities. In their order, she said: “These are family, business and club work.” That she has kept to the last instead of enjoying life as a lady of leisure, she explained, “I do club work to have a meaningful life, a purpose for my existence. We are here not just to indulge ourselves but to help others. By joining a club, your job or position has clear-cut responsibilities, time set aside for meetings and project work, etc. It is a structured way of giving back to society which relieves me of the effort of thinking and planning how to do so.” “Because I am now in my rather late senior years, I am no longer as active and as busy as I have been the past 30 years. For the past five biennia, I was always appointed as chair of a district committee. I now devote my time more for the club, not in the district level anymore. Even in the club level, we have so many younger, active, dynamic and very efficient members so the older ones can relax a bit and guide the highly motivated younger ones to take over the reins of the club. The club is truly in good hands to continue Zonta’s work and mission in the next 10 years and beyond.” The post Chona Mejia Lopez: tireless club woman appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsJul 2nd, 2023

KaladKaren’s historic feat: First transwoman anchor in local TV news

ABS-CBN takes pride in being the manager of transwoman star KaladKaren, who has been making waves in the TV industry. She is now the first transwoman news anchor in the Philippines, as co-host of TV 5’s Frontline Pilipinas evening newscast. She joined Gretchen Ho, Jes delos Santos, Justin Quirino and Mikee Reyes as news presenters on 12 June. There are gays and transwomen who are hosts of talk shows and variety shows on TV, such as Boy Abunda, Vice Ganda and Allan K, but KaladKaren is really the first to read out showbiz, lifestyle and cultural reports on a straight news program. In April, she emerged as the first transwoman to win best supporting actress at the Metro Manila Film Festival, specifically at the first-ever summer edition of the festival. She won for her hilarious turn in the film Here Comes the Groom. As an anchorwoman, she is billed as KaladKaren, a made-up name close to the Tagalog word “kaladkarin,” which refers to someone who is easy to drag along for any decent or indecent occasion. She started using “KaladKaren” as a performer in UP Mass Communication productions on campus. Her real name is Jervi Li. [caption id="attachment_151722" align="aligncenter" width="446"] PHOTOGRAPH COURTESY OF IG/KALaDKAREN | JERVI Li aka KaladKaren.[/caption] At her contract-signing recently at ABS-CBN, the celebrity impersonator was asked by a tabloid editor how exactly her name should be spelled and pronounced. The graduate of the University of the Philippines-Diliman stressed that her professional showbiz name should be spelled as one word, with the second “K” capitalized and the last syllable spelled with an “e”, not “i”, to emphasize “Karen,” the first name of  the woman she famously impersonates: ABS-CBN broadcast journo Karen Davila. Corporate and news executives of TV 5 obviously find the pedestrian name “KaladKaren” good enough for a news presenter. On camera, her colleagues address her simply  as “Karen.” KaladKaren is directly managed by Star Magic, the division for talent recruitment and development headed by Laurenti Dyogi, who is also ABS-CBN head of Television. Dyogi was present at the contract signing along with other Star Magic executives. KaladKaren said she will also be part of an upcoming series, a reality show and a movie. The country is actually late in giving transwomen a shot at news anchoring. The US and other countries have been doing so as far back as 2015. In February 2015, reporter and former TV news helicopter pilot Zoey Tur joined US television program Inside Edition as a special correspondent, becoming America’s first transgender TV reporter. Tur, formerly known as “Chopper Bob,” rose to fame for the live helicopter coverage of the 1994 police chase on Los Angeles freeways of fugitive American football star O.J. Simpson, who was charged with the murder of his ex-wife and her friend. In March 2018, Marvia Malik became Pakistan’s first transgender news presenter at Kohenoor TV. In an interview with Deutsche Welle, Malik said she had to work hard to break taboos and finally be accepted by a society that discriminates against transgender people. In February this year, Malik survived a gun attack outside her residence in Lahore. According to NDTV, Malik was returning from a pharmacy when two gunmen opened fire on her. Bangladeshi activist Tashnuva Anan likewise broke barriers by becoming the first transgender news anchor in her home country in 2021. Anan moved to New York from Bangladesh about a year and a half ago to pursue her acting career. She made her off-Broadway debut in Public Obscenities at SoHo Rep in May 2023. India Willoughby is the first transgender TV news reporter in the United Kingdom. In 2017, she joined 5News on Channel 5, where she read the lunchtime and evening updates. She was a familiar face to millions of viewers in her former life as Jonathon, a contestant in Celebrity Big Brother. Nora Reichardt, who has worked at Local News 5 in Des Moines since July 2021, said she gradually came into her identity as a transgender woman over the course of several years and began a medical transition process. And Diana Zurco, 40, recalled her youthful rebellion ahead of her debut as the country’s first transgender newscaster in Argentina’s public TV station, a milestone for an excluded community that is often the target of violence and has a life expectancy roughly half that of the rest of the population. The post KaladKaren’s historic feat: First transwoman anchor in local TV news appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 30th, 2023

Marcos urges PCA to uplift lives, improve conditions of coconut farmers

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Thursday urged the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) to keep improving the lives of Filipino coconut farmers and giving them the tools they need to better their circumstances. During the 50th Anniversary of the PCA held at the CCP Complex in Pasay City, Marcos wanted coconut farmers to dream larger for themselves and their families and break free from the bonds of poverty. To achieve the goal, Marcos said the coconut farmers must get all the support they need, directing the PCA to improve their conditions. "Through their hard work, they can plant, take care of, and nourish resilient coconut trees necessary for the emergence of a stronger coconut industry so that we may all reap the benefits of this essential product," Marcos said. "I thus encourage the PCA to continue to uplift [the] lives of our coconut farmers and empower them to improve their conditions, break free from the chains of poverty, and dream bigger for themselves and their loved ones," he added. In light of the numerous challenges faced by the industry, Marcos Jr. urged the PCA to strengthen their efforts in implementing the development plan aimed at modernizing the industry. Marcos also emphasized the importance of investing in new technologies to ensure the coconut sector's ability to adapt and withstand challenges. He pointed out that there is no reason why the country should not be the biggest producer of coconut products for export. "(T)his administration started to formulate the plans on how to redevelop our coconut industry, how to help our coconut farmers. There is no reason why the Philippines should not be the biggest producer of export in terms of coconut products," he said. The President stressed that the country's potential in terms of exporting coconut products is "quite good." He said the government is now "going to sit down to finalize" the plan to bolster the country's coconut production. "We cannot allow this very, very grand opportunity for our farmers to slip by," Marcos said. "I am very optimistic that we will be able to bring back to the coconut industry… When the government fell in 1986, all of those very important programs for the coconut industry stopped," Marcos added. Presidential Decree (PD) No. 232 established the PCA on June 30, 1973, with the objective of facilitating the rapid development of the coconut and palm oil sectors. PD No. 582, enacted in 1974, introduced amendments to PD No. 232. These amendments expanded the responsibilities of the PCA to encompass the creation and execution of a nationwide coconut replanting program, as well as the distribution of free hybrid coconut seed nuts to coconut farmers. The post Marcos urges PCA to uplift lives, improve conditions of coconut farmers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 29th, 2023

Jeepney phaseout haphazard planning

In January 2018, during the Duterte period, the Department of Transportation tried to fast-track the jeepney phaseout plan, the so-called Transport Modernization Program or TMP, imposing deadlines to complete the phaseout by 2020. By November 2019, DOTr realized it was dreaming, and it finally dropped the plan. You cannot implement such a massive plan in so short a time. Not only was the time frame short, the plan was haphazardly done, with a lot of gaps. Either there was pressure from Malacañang or the DoTr was simply too gung-ho about it. At the time, there were about 300,000 jeepneys nationwide, on which a staggering 1.5 million, at an average of five persons per family, were dependent for their sustenance. Dislocating and rehabilitating such a huge number of drivers for new jobs would have been next to impossible, considering our high unemployment rate. This would have led to a social crisis inviting anarchy and unrest. We are not even talking about thousands of jeepney operators and dozens of affected downstream industries, such as jeepney manufacturers. The first to scream against the obsolescence of the jeepney and the pasaway (undisciplined) jeepney drivers were those who would benefit from the phaseout, namely, the oligarchs and powerful politicians who, in partnership, would take over the mass transport industry. Right now, they are drooling over the perceived windfall. They are planning secretly and organizing lobbies to influence PBBM and the government to implement mass transport modernization with their vested interests in mind. The pressure on PBBM will be so great and they will offer him a piece of the pie. The more he resists, the bigger the slice. The government will be forced to bear the brunt of mass transport modernization, allotting billions, so that the oligarchs and bureaucrats will spend less. Duterte’s TMP planned to replace current polluting jeepney engines with environment-friendly Euro-4 engines used in Europe. Back in 2019, one Euro-4 engine cost a staggering P1.6 million, beyond the reach of most operators. They would have drowned in debt or abandoned their businesses. Only the oligarchs-bureaucrats could afford this and so they would take over. Converting 300,000 jeepneys to Euro-4 would cost a dizzying P447 billion at 2019 prices. (Source: UPLB scientists interviewed). The Euro-4 is good for rich countries, not for poor countries with little capital. Its evolution was so rapid that Euro-1 to Euro-3 became ridiculously obsolete in so short a time. The Euro-4 is probably already obsolete today. The massive undertaking to convert 300,000 jeepneys may take 10 years, but only if the government borrows millions for the thousands of conversions nationwide. Also, imports may be available only in trickles, not considering that the Euro-4 is discontinued or rendered obsolete by newer versions. Let us assume the Euro series is replaced by better, cheaper technologies from China or even locally appropriate technologies. Present operators may need to get big loans. Only the oligarchs-bureaucrats will be ready to take over the mass transport system quickly. The fares of the modernized jeepneys and new hybrid mini-buses may easily reach four to six times the present rates. Commuters ultimately will bear the brunt of modernization. This does not even consider higher gas prices. Marginal commuters will be the ultimate victims. PBBM is in a dilemma. We are not ready for the massive changes and massive dislocations facing our mass transport system. We should have planned these expansions 10 to 20 years ago. PBBM will have to respond to the violent transport strikes brewing not with truncheons but with workable solutions that will address actual needs. He has very little time. PR and propaganda alone cannot contain the storm. The situation is not that hopeless, however. First, we must avoid quick-fix solutions in panic and come up with long-term solutions. Second, solutions should include funds to support our local inventors and manufacturers to avoid dependence on foreign technologies. Third, we must undertake intense research on alternatives to import-oriented modernizations. Removing the omnipresent jeepney completely is impossible for now. We can perhaps partly remove and partly improve the jeepney gradually. We can start by giving loans to operators to gradually replace their aging jeepneys. The key is to go slow. The age of cheap electric jeepneys may just be around the corner. We can perhaps ask Elon Musk or China to fund cheap e-jeepney engine factories here. Import the factories rather than the finished goods. We can retain local jeepney hybrid designs. That would be the perfect solution. The post Jeepney phaseout haphazard planning appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: lifestyleSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 23rd, 2023