Strong Group to draw strength from Filipino crowd in Dubai

Strong Group is banking on its sixth man — the overseas Filipino workers in Dubai — to provide the much-needed boost as it takes on an expected tough field in the 32nd Dubai International Championship beginning January 27......»»

Category: sportsSource: philstar philstarJan 24th, 2023

Strong Group hopes for crowd support in Dubai meet

Strong Group is banking on the overseas Filipino workers in Dubai to be the team’s “Sixth Man” in its campaign in the 32nd Dubai International Championship beginning Jan. 27......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsJan 25th, 2023

Focusing on the beauty of daily life

The paintings on display at the ongoing exhibit at ARTablado in Robinsons Galleria are by an artist with a strong faith in a higher power. In fact, when asked who her favorite artist is, Marie Claire Olondriz chose God. “He’s the ultimate artist who created everything… matter, space, time, the entire universe.” In the years that she has spent honing her painting style, she has come up with canvases awash in color and light. Some of them are of Marian images like Our Lady of Aranzazu and Our Lady Star of the Sea but there are also her floral paintings including a beautiful one of a magnolia flower in full bloom. Another theme is the Madonna and Child although the artist opts to leave their faces blank, inscrutable. When she was younger, she would grab a sketch pad and her pencils and draw whatever caught her eye — sketching and coloring based on how she felt. [caption id="attachment_185923" align="aligncenter" width="525"] 'Floracion.'[/caption] Marie Claire came up with her style of painting when she was confined in the hospital. She started out scribbling in her sketch pad which led to continuous circles that initially seemed directionless. “Later, I expanded this to my paintings, using contrasting colors against the backdrop to create a textured look. What I enjoy is the sense of playfulness these scribbles bring to my art,” she said. “Amidst the sea of realist styles in my art group, mine feels unique. That’s why I began calling it ‘olondrizism,’ after my own name. It reflects my heart and soul when doing art.” When the time came to pick a title for her ARTablado exhibit, she chose Obra ni Maria Clara. Coming up with new paintings for the exhibit, however, took a while as she struggled with tennis elbow as well as carpal tunnel syndrome, the latter afflicting both hands. “On top of that, fibromyalgia would give me pain every single day,” she recounted. [caption id="attachment_185922" align="aligncenter" width="525"] 'Amor Y Cuidado.'[/caption] She took a break for a while and entertained thoughts she might not be able to meet the deadline. “Instead of having an operation, I tried therapy and kept trusting in God, believing He’d bless this exhibit somehow. I couldn’t let the doctors operate on my hands [because] that would mean no painting for over a month, or maybe even no more painting at all.” The exhibit that runs until 15 September will highlight Marie Claire’s take on “the beauty of everyday life, of common things we seldom appreciate.” The artist is grateful to Roseann Villegas, corporate public relations director of Robinsons Land Corporation for approaching her after spotting a painting Marie Claire had made for a group show. Established in 2020, Robinsons Land ARTablado, a portmanteau of “art” and “entablado” is Robinsons Land’s very own stage in showcasing the Filipino ingenuity and creativity. The post Focusing on the beauty of daily life appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 18th, 2023

Gilas heartbreakers

The FIBA World Cup games have begun with an opening night of flag-waving, music-filled entertainment proudly showcasing our much-heralded love for singing and dancing. And for the next two weeks, basketball fanatics will be focused on the best of the best hoopsters in the world. Political leanings will be set aside and diplomatic disagreements among competing nations momentarily ignored by 32 countries bannered by a record number of 55 NBA players amicably but surely passionately battling for national pride on the hardcourts of Manila, Jakarta and Okinawa. Undoubtedly, the Philippines has prepared long and hard. Undoubtedly, our Gilas pool of an exciting combination of youthful and seasoned cagers possessed finally with enough height, girth, and basketball savvy to be internationally competitive have stepped up and put their individual professional careers on hold for the opportunity to don the colors of the country. Undoubtedly, MVP, the godfather and financial backer of SBP, has done his utmost best to deliver for the Filipino people the much-cherished dream of returning our basketball team to the Olympics by topping other Asian countries in the World Cup. Undoubtedly, the Filipino fans have continued to pour their hearts out for Gilas, desperately hoping for the much-fantasized victories over the top teams of the world starting with the higher-ranked countries in our group, namely, #10 Italy and #23 Dominican Republic versus our #40 rank. And certainly, a win against lower-ranked #41 Angola would not be an outsized expectation. So, what has happened so far? As of this writing, I must say that, surely, like millions of our countrymen, my heart is utterly heartbroken. Why? Two Gilas games have just been concluded and much to our lament, although we still have one more game to play against Italy, our aspirations for moving up to the second round of 16 have been shattered for all intents and purposes. We still have a long shot for a Hail Mary miracle if the Dominicans beat the Angolans, our tormentors in the second game of Gilas, and IF we beat Italy. This slimmest of slim scenarios will have Gilas tied with Italy and Angola at one win and two losses each, which will have to be settled on point differentials. We first lost to the Dominican Republic 87- 81 in a tightly contested match-up. Our team stood toe to toe against NBA star Karl Anthony Towns, an unstoppable behemoth every time he drove in on his strong side against the defenses of AJ Edu and our own man mountain June Mar Fajardo. Both defenders nevertheless stood out with their steady shooting and defensive efforts. The first game against the Dominicans, to the credit of our undersized team, was a nip-and-tuck affair all throughout that could have gone either way until our scoring machine, NBA star Jordan Clarkson, fouled out with about three minutes left. Without Clarkson to respond to Towns, the game of Gilas quickly unraveled and the outcome became inevitable. The game against Angola started and ended quite differently. With dimming hopes for moving up to the next round, Gilas ferociously came out strong, even leading by as many as 11 points in the second quarter. Clarkson’s shooting, however, was not as sharp, hitting only 32 percent compared to his 38 percent clip against the Dominicans and Gilas’ penchant for turnovers continued to hurt. By the start of the fourth quarter, Angola took control and never looked back. Some lessons to be learned. No matter how great a player Clarkson is, other players will have to step up more consistently. Basketball after all is and will always be about team play. Fajardo was marvelous in the Dominican game but couldn’t maintain his strong play in the match-up against Angola’s NBA Atlanta Hawks center, Bruno Fernando. On the other hand, Edu, Dwight, and Pogoy showed intermittent flashes of brilliance but lacked game-long consistency. The much heralded Kai Sotto, perhaps through no fault of his own since he was denied sufficient playing time to show his stuff, was flat and didn’t really wow the crowd. But perhaps the biggest question asked by basketball pundits is if coach Chot Reyes is up to par compared to the brilliant bench tactician Tab Baldwin who unexpectedly stepped down as Gilas coach. Until next week… OBF! *** For comments, email   The post Gilas heartbreakers appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsAug 29th, 2023

Phl set to be one of fastest growing economies in Asia-Pacific

Malaysia – The Philippines is on track to one of the fastest expanding economies in the Asia-Pacific this year despite external headwinds, Moody's Analytics said. The research division of Moody's Group stated in a recent webinar that the Philippines' economy would continue to develop at one of the quickest rates in the region. Still, it also warned that economic scarring has begun to show in the country. Christian de Guzman, senior vice president of Moody's Investors Service, said that almost all economic sectors have already surpassed their pre-pandemic levels except for one aspect. "The one sector still yet to recover is gross fixed capital formation or investment. I think this is one of the things that is also driving lower potential growth post-pandemic," De Guzman said. On the fiscal side, De Guzman said the government’s deficit consolidation is intact and is progressing along the lines of the administration’s expectation. “Debt affordability, the amount of interest payments relative to revenues continues to be quite intact and has been maintained at a relatively low level,” he said. “Revenue performance has offset those higher interest costs and the higher interest payments are only having a relatively limited impact on the Philippines given the average maturity of the government’s debt stock.” Moody's Analytics chief economist for Asia-Pacific, Steven Cochrane, for his part, said the Philippine economy would grow this year primarily due to robust domestic demand and significant infrastructure spending. He added that foreign direct investment (FDI) and stable overseas Filipino remittances would also help the country's growth. Cochrane suggested that the recent passage of the Maharlika Investment Fund, which highlights infrastructure as one of the Marcos administration's top goals, would inspire some hope for future private investment. Cochrane also counts on the administration's strength and stability to send a strong message and boost investment confidence. "The on-time and efficient completion of projects that the government is counting on can instill more confidence that they are doing what they promised and setting up the infrastructure for private investment to flourish," Cochrane said. The post Phl set to be one of fastest growing economies in Asia-Pacific appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJul 27th, 2023

A Rose at the ‘Tertulia’ in Intramuros

After the successful staging in 2022 of a fabulous ball and an awards night, the Philippine Heritage Society held a tertulia as it continues its support for local arts and culture, as well as the creative soul of Filipinos. Britannica defines tertulia as a “type of Spanish literary salon that was popular in Spain from at least the 17th century and that eventually replaced the more formal academies. Tertulias were held in private homes at first, but from the early 19th century they met in clubs and cafés.” The Philippine Heritage Society Casa Blanca in Intramuros was the setting for Tertulia Flores de Mayo: A Celebration of Fashion, Arts Music on 30 May. It was directed by Nathan de Leon, who founded the society together with Sherwin Sozon, a businessman and opera singer who leads LyrOpera; and Tess Castro, a former bank executive who is now a philanthropist and heritage advocate. “Lubos akong nagagalak na naka-unang anibersaryo pa lamang ang The Philippine Heritage Society pero tumitibay na ang ating pundasyon, at tayo ay nakagagawa na ng mga kongkretong hakbang upang itaguyod ang mga pamanang sining sa ating lahi. At ngayong gabi nga, ating ipinagdiriwang ang Flores de Mayo sa pamamagitan ng fashion, arts at music (I am delighted that The Philippine Heritage Society, just on its first anniversary, is growing stronger, and we have been able to take concrete steps to promote our cultural heritage. And tonight, we celebrate Flores de Mayo through fashion, arts and music),” Castro said in her welcome speech. [caption id="attachment_142323" align="aligncenter" width="525"] The Philippine Heritage Society with co-founder Nathan de Leon (extreme left) and members serving as models at the Tertulia.[/caption] She continued: “Marami mang pagbabago sa panahon ngayon at sa ating mga Filipino, dahil sa modernisasyon at bagong teknolohiya, nanatiling buhay at matibay ang tradisyon na ito, na patuloy na sumasalamin sa ating malalim na pananampalataya, mayamang kasaysayan at makulay na kultura (Despite the many changes in today’s time and in our Filipino society, due to modernization and new technology, this tradition remains alive and resilient, continuing to reflect our deep faith, rich history and vibrant culture).” An entertaining and elegant night Hosted by JM Salamat, the night was a showcase of the best of Filipino creativity. World-class entertainment was provided by Ana Feleo of the LyrOpera of the Philippines, who performed Agot Espino’s “Kundiman sa Langit” and “Bituing Marikit” by Nicanor Abelardo. The UP Filipiniana Dance Group swayed to “Binoyugan” and “Maria Clara Dance Pitik Mingaw.” There was the Marcy Band and Prinsipe Makata. Tenor Randy Gilongo sang “Kundi Man Mahalin” by National Artists Ernani Cuenco and Levi Celerio, and “Madaling Araw.” Co-founder Sozon sang “Kalesa” by Cuenco and “Ikaw ang Mahal Ko” by George Hernandez. The highlight of the night was when the glamorous members of the group offered flowers to the Virgin Mary during the Flores de Mayo Fashion Walk segment. Led by this year’s “hermana,” Mache Torres-Ackerman, the awesome women were Chanel Sun, Sophia Yara, Jennifer Tipton Angeles, Minerva Racuya, Isabel Tiqui Dunn, Maricris Callo, Charo Laude, Ruby Chua, Loubelle Gardiola, Isabel Dennise Garcia and Aileen Geralde. They were the muses of designers Frankie de Leon, Oskar Peralta, Ronaldo Arnaldo, Ole Morabe, Peri Diaz and jewelry god Gerry Sunga. The night also attracted such fashion luminaries as Oscar Atendido, Zardo Austria, George Yano, Raymond Villanueva and Pando Manipon. Designer and muse as cultural protectors A compelling designer-muse collaboration on that elegant night was between Lito Perez and entrepreneur and philanthropist Rose Tolentino Santiago. “Pink Rose became a valued client even before the pandemic. Her favorite color is pink, thus Pink Rose is her nickname,” Perez explained. “She wore a fully embroidered terno reminiscent of the carnival queens of the 1920s. It is a baro’t saya and matching panuelo and long-train tapiz. The gown is made of embroidered American tulle and lace.” [caption id="attachment_142326" align="aligncenter" width="525"] Radiant in pink, Rose in a Lloyd Arceo terno ensemble[/caption] Within the realm of fashion and design, Pink Rose admires the works of Perez, considering him one of the finest Filipino designers. “Lito’s designs reflect his deep love for Philippine heritage, showcasing the rich tapestry of Filipino culture through his creations. I appreciate Lito’s dedication to preserving and incorporating elements of Philippine traditions and aesthetics into his designs, as it serves as a testament to the beauty and uniqueness of Filipino artistry,” she enthused. Alongside her spiritual devotion, Santiago is committed to preserving Filipino culture and traditions, ensuring that the younger generation never forgets their roots. In her admiration for Perez, she finds inspiration in his designs that celebrate the rich heritage of the Philippines. As a proud Filipina, Santiago holds her cultural heritage dear to her heart. She cherishes the traditions and values instilled in her by her ancestors and believes it is essential for young Filipinos not to forget their roots. She emphasizes the importance of preserving Filipino culture, traditions, and historical sites. Through this safeguarding, she believes that future generations will be able to appreciate their heritage and maintain a strong connection to their identity as Filipinos. In honor of the Mother Pink Rose stands as a testament to the power of unwavering faith, deep cultural appreciation, and the enduring spirit of the Filipino people. She was excited to participate in the “Tertulia Flores de Mayo,” as the Blessed Virgin Mary plays a pivotal part in her life. When her mother left her at a young age, she was overwhelmed with sadness and longing for maternal care. She sought solace in her faith and became a devoted follower of the Blessed Mother. In her belief, she found the comforting presence of a mother figure who would listen to her and understand the deepest thoughts and emotions of her heart. In her expression of devotion, Santiago has embraced a selfless approach. She believes that her acts of charity and kindness are not contingent on counting donations or material offerings. Instead, she believes that her good deeds should come from the pure intentions of her heart. She sees Mary as the ultimate example of a loving and caring mother, who extends her protection and guidance to all, regardless of material wealth or status. “The reverence and devotion I hold for the Blessed Mother stems from my acknowledgment of her divine role as the Mother of God,” Santiago professed. “For me, Mary is more than just a figure in religious teachings; she is the epitome of love, compassion, and nurturing. Through my devotion to Mary, I find solace and strength, believing that the Blessed Mother can take care of me in ways that no one else can.” The post A Rose at the ‘Tertulia’ in Intramuros appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 8th, 2023


Last Mother’s Day, 14 May 2023, marked an auspicious occasion, as Elevate AIDA (artificial intelligence and data analytics), a collaborative effort between Connected Women and the Aboitiz Foundation that began as a small training program for 60 women from Toledo City in Cebu, is now a community of 300 connected women with a goal of reaching 300,000 women in three years. Embodying the strength, resilience, and enduring love of mothers and daughters worldwide, the project aims to uplift the lives of Filipino women by offering them a chance to embrace socially responsible online work. Aboitiz Foundation, as part of the Aboitiz Group’s quest to become the Philippines’ first “techglomerate,” has set its sights on enabling women’s empowerment through the use of technology. Their goal aligns with Connected Women’s vision to help women gain access to digital skills, opening doors for financial independence, the pursuit of meaningful careers, and the ability to build a better future. [caption id="attachment_140031" align="aligncenter" width="804"] the Aboitiz Group further empowers women in tech as it scales its partnership with Connected Women into a national program. This continues the Group’s strong corporate social responsibility legacy and innovation advocacy. Upper photo: Shie, one of the beneficiaries, uses her computer to access the Elevate AIDA program.[/caption] “It was evident that our shared vision and commitment to empowering women and leveraging technology for positive change aligned perfectly. We look forward to continuing this incredible partnership with Connected Women and further amplifying our impact, as together, we co-create a resilient, empowered, and sustainable community,” said Aboitiz Foundation president Maribeth Marasigan. In the age of rapid technological progress, the Elevate AIDA project is perfectly timed as it seeks to prepare women for a future dominated by artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain, and data science. The graduates of the program are expected to gain market-aligned skills that will provide them access to long-term, flexible work and livelihood opportunities. This initiative is not just about empowering individuals; it’s about creating a ripple effect that touches families, communities, and even future generations. The program doesn’t stop at skills training. It also fosters a vibrant community of support, facilitating networking and connection. Through this collective journey, participants are not only trained with new skills but also find their place within a nurturing community. The collaboration between Connected Women and the Aboitiz Group transcends a simple partnership and spans across several of the conglomerate’s business units, who all share a deep-rooted commitment to empowering women and leveraging technology for positive change. Together with the Aboitiz Foundation, Aboitiz Data Innovation, Visayan Electric Company, Therma Visayas Inc., Aboitiz Land, and the Union Bank of the Philippines are all playing a role in expanding Elevate AIDA’s reach with speed, synergy, and scale. “This is a techglomerate in action,” said Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, Aboitiz’s Chief Reputation and Sustainability Officer. “Our combined efforts are co-creating a resilient and sustainable community, one tech-empowered woman at a time.” Providing this opportunity to women, especially mothers, is vital in creating a more equitable future. Elevate AIDA seeks to harness the power of technology to enable women from all walks of life to thrive and grow, both personally and professionally. It’s about creating an inclusive future of work that allows women to build successful careers from their homes, earn decent wages and actively participate in the digital community. Kris Ann Marie Escopete, a 21-year-old mother from Carreta, Cebu, is the youngest among the mother-beneficiaries of Elevate AIDA. On the opportunity, she shared: “Dako kaayo akong pasalamat sa Elevate AIDA kay dako kaayo siyag tabang namong mga inahan, kay bisan pag naa rami sa among balay, makapanginabuhi gihapon mi bisan pag nagbantay mi sa among mga anak (I am very grateful to Elevate AIDA because it provides significant assistance to us mothers. Even when we are at home, we can still generate income while taking care of our children.)” Connected Women founder and head of Special Project Gina Romero neatly encapsulates the essence of the program, saying “We are celebrating not just your amazing journey as part of Elevate AIDA but also the important role you play as mothers. Working remotely and having flexibility is the future. Your courage in taking a step towards empowering and upskilling yourself more for technology will not go unrewarded.” To date, Elevate AIDA has empowered over 50,000 Filipino women with digital skills that have opened job opportunities. The program is an inspiring collaboration and a testament to the reality that nobody can achieve greatness alone. Elevate AIDA not only celebrates the incredible potential of women everywhere, but the immense power of people and partnerships that make true equality real and possible. The post YOU GO, GIRLS! appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsJun 2nd, 2023

Gilas Pilipinas’ sweet, vengeful SEA Games win

GILAS Pilipinas’ vengeful win against an import-laden Cambodian basketball team marked its return to the top spot of the Southeast Asian Games or SEAG men’s basketball championships. It was a sweet victory for the Philippines men’s basketball team, as it was glaring how the Cambodians, the 32nd SEAG’s host country, took advantage of the rules by fielding more naturalized players than other competing countries. Though this may be allowed, it does not bode well for the tournament and the sport. Why so? Other countries, including the Philippines, continue to identify and develop players from the grassroots levels. And if tournaments, such as the recent SEAG Men’s Basketball competition, allow host countries to field more naturalized players than others, how does this promote fair play among competing nations? Luckily, after losing to Cambodia in the early group stage, Gilas booked a rematch against the home team for the gold medal. And this time, the Philippine squad came prepared with a sound plan despite unfavorable court conditions and the lopsided lineup of mainly naturalized Cambodian players. Gilas’ offensive and defensive strategy helped them stave off comeback attempts and left the Cambodians to settle for a silver medal. The three-point shooting of naturalized forward Justin Brownlee, Marcio Lassiter, Chris Newsome, and CJ Perez helped Gilas spread the floor, allowing our big men to dominate and score in the shaded area. Gilas shot slightly better with its 47.8 percent field goal percentage versus Cambodia’s 41.9 percent. Gilas also outrebounded the Cambodians by four boards at 40 rebounds versus 36 rebounds. The intense shooting, ability to draw fouls, minimizing turnovers, the solid defensive performance resulting in six steals and three blocked shots helped propel Gilas Pilipinas to win its 19th Southeast Asian Games Gold Medal. ‘This is a reminder to our country and the Southeast Asian Region that upholding the values of fair play, sportsmanship, and the love for country triumphs all’ In his congratulatory message to Coach Chot Reyes, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Chairman Emeritus Manuel V. Pangilinan said he was happy to be proven wrong with the gold medal victory of Gilas. MVP earlier tweeted his concern over Gilas’ defeat to Cambodia in the group stage. SBP President Alfredo S. Panlilio also commended Gilas, saying, “Gilas showed that the pride of fighting for our country is stronger than any motivation. The team played through substandard conditions in the court under the sweltering heat and overcame bumps and bruises to make us all proud.” He added, “This is a reminder to our country and the Southeast Asian Region that upholding the values of fair play, sportsmanship, and the love for country triumphs all.” Gilas Head Coach Chot Reyes acknowledged that the earlier defeat to Cambodia brought the team together. “They’re united, and they stuck together. I’m just so proud of what we’ve done. We came here for the gold medal, and we’ve done it.” SBP also expressed gratitude to the Philippine Basketball Association and the University Athletic Association of the Philippines for allowing players from both leagues to represent the country in the 32nd SEAG. “On behalf of the SBP, I would like to thank UAAP, the PBA, its team owners, and the Board of Governors again for allowing its players to be part of the Gilas Team that won the Gold Medal in a hard-fought match against the host country,” Panlilio said in his letter to the two basketball associations. He added that SBP is aware of the PBA’s contribution to basketball’s growth, development, and success in the country. “The competitiveness in the league allowed Gilas to rise above the challenge it faced in Cambodia,” Panlillio added. The PBA players participating in the SEA Games were Justin Brownlee, CJ Perez, Christian Standhardinger, Chris Ross, Calvin Oftana, Brandon Ganuelas-Rosser, Marcio Lassiter, Arvin Tolentino, and Chris Newsome. Among the UAAP collegiate players were Adamson’s Jerome Lastimosa, Ateneo’s Mason Amos, and La Salle’s Michael Philips. As the country prepares to host the most prestigious World Cup FIBA basketball championship in August this year, Panlilio calls on all basketball stakeholders to unite in supporting Gilas Pilipinas as we compete in the international arena. Gilas Pilipinas’ strong performance, fueled by its heart and will to succeed, should inspire every Filipino to give their best in all the challenges they meet in life. The post Gilas Pilipinas’ sweet, vengeful SEA Games win appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsMay 19th, 2023

Gov’t pushes digitalized, mechanized farm sector

The Department of Finance (DOF) said the government is rapidly digitalizing the country’s agricultural systems and mechanizing farm production to ensure food security over the long run. During the virtual 2020 Annual Meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank Group, Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III said the government wants to turn the coronavirus-induced health emergency into an opportunity. Finance Secretary Carlos G. Dominguez III (MANILA BULLETIN FILE PHOTO) To do so, Dominguez said efforts to implement the twin measures are being done to expand Filipinos’ market access for food producers while keeping food supply available and prices affordable. “We are confident that the innovative measures we are putting in place today will transform Philippine agriculture into a dynamic, high-growth sector that will fuel our country’s strong recovery,” Dominguez said during the high-level Food Security Roundtable at the meeting. Dominguez said the government is also promoting digital marketing to support ongoing efforts to boost consumer spending in the new normal and sustaining public investments in rural infrastructure. He added that the government is accelerating the move towards agricultural technology-based farming and value chain development to ensure long-term food security.  To channel more funds into the agriculture sector, the government is also encouraging more private-sector financing in the sector by proposing reforms in the Congress that will provide more access to credit for the entire agricultural value chain, Dominguez said.   “We all aspire for greater food and nutrition security for our people. Only an efficient and modern agriculture sector can fully deliver that,” Dominguez, who was Agriculture secretary during the administration of the late President Corazon Aquino, said. Amid pandemic, Dominguez III said the Philippines has been handling the COVID-19 crisis “with strength on the food security front” duets reforms, particularly with the passage of the Rice Tariffication Law (RTL). According to Dominguez, the agriculture sector was “one of the brightest spots” of the Philippines’s response to the pandemic owing in large part to the RTL. He pointed out that agriculture sector even continued to grow when the rest of the economy contracted because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  Dominguez said rice tariffication was among the main reasons why the government has succeeded in keeping food prices and supply stable, and inflation low during the COVID-19 emergency.  Keeping rice prices stable has been helpful for low-income households that spend a fifth of their budgets on rice alone, he added.   “The Philippines faced the COVID-19 pandemic with strength on the food security front,” Dominguez said.  He pointed out that despite logistical restrictions resulting from the lockdowns imposed to protect people and communities from the lethal coronavirus, the government was able to sustain the flow of produce from local farms to Filipino consumers.   “A food crisis did not happen. This is credited to the effective management of the food supply by our Agriculture Department,” Dominguez said......»»

Category: newsSource: NewsNov 8th, 2020

Built by Bo, bonded for Bo, believe in Bo

This is not the first time that Bo Perasol has had a recruiting haul this huge. Now heading into his fifth season in the University of the Philippines, he has brought in blue-chip recruits such as Gerry Abadiano and Carl Tamayo and talented transferees like Joel Cagulangan, CJ Cansino, and Malick Diouf to a team that already has Bright Akhuetie, Kobe Paras, and Ricci Rivero. And don't forget that Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan are only sitting out the next season - and what lies beyond for them is yet to be determined. This is not that different from his time in Ateneo de Manila University when he scored UAAP Jrs. Season MVP Jerie Pingoy, UAAP Jrs. Finals MVP Hubert Cani, NCAA Mythical selection CJ Perez, and NCAA Jrs. standout Arvin Tolentino in his first few years. Those promising prospects then joined forces with Blue Eagle stalwarts Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal Unfortunately, all of Pingoy, Cani, Perez, and Tolentino - along with the rest of the so-called "Magnificent 7" - found themselves with academic deficiencies and, therefore, ineligible by the blue and white's standards. Not long after, they transferred to different schools and squads and then had varying degrees of success. Will Coach Bo's tale get a different ending this time with the Fighting Maroons? Perasol is making sure of that. "From my experience in Ateneo, natuto ako. Ngayon, meron kaming grupo sa programa na nagha-handle lang ng academics ng players," he shared. He then continued, "Sinasamahan sila sa mga klase, pinapakilala sa mga propesor, ine-explain na player natin yan, pag merong problema, coordinate lang po tayo." Apparently, this academic assistance team is made up of former student-managers who have graduated. Now, their first job is all about seeing to it that State U would not have to go through the same sort of headache Ateneo had with its "Magnificent 7." With that, you could be sure that UP's pillars of honor and excellence still stand strong even as all these new faces join Men's Basketball Team. "Walang special consideration. Pumapasok sila, bumabagsak sila. Binibigyan sila ng extra work, humihingi sila ng extra work," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Ang ine-explain ko lagi sa players at sa professors, ang mahalaga, basta masipag pumasok at nagpapakita ng intensyong matuto." STARRING AND STRIKING At present, just about everybody is still getting used to blue-chip recruits and talented transferees going for UP. That is why there are more questions than answers each and every time they announce a new player. And along with the question of whether or not all these new faces would be up to par in terms of the honor and excellence the Philippines' prime public university prides itself in, there is a question of just how the Fighting Maroons got here in the first place. How could State U, not that far removed from its self-proclaimed "dark days," get all of these players? And not just players, at that, but many big name players. The categorical answer? The program could now afford it. "Meron nang pondo salamat sa sponsors," head coach Bo Perasol explained. "For example, kung makikita mo lang yung patches sa harap ng jersey, malaking pera yun. Nag-aagawan ang marami para dun." At present, the shot-caller said that UP has eight corporate sponsors all getting together for the funds for the program. And unlike Ateneo which has Manny V. Pangilinan or National University which has Hans Sy as primary backers, the Fighting Maroons' system is quite different. "Ang source ng funds ng UP, halos lahat galing sa alumni. Tapos lahat yun, mina-manage ng nowheretogobutUP," coach Bo said. According to its website, nowheretogobutUP (NTGBUP) is "a volunteer group of UP alumni that aims to help, assist, and support the development, improvement, and advancement of the varsity program of UP." All of the finances it manages, however, are not necessarily donations. As Perasol put it, "Yung model ng UP is unique kasi yung support nila, kailangan may balik din from us." For example, the tactician said that many of their players have made appearances, online in this continuing COVID-19 crisis and in person prior to the pandemic, to cheer up employees of Palawan Pera Padala, one of the team's sponsors. More importantly, Coach Bo reminded yet again that the only reason they have all these new faces is because they have to. He pointed out how Abadiano and Filipino-American Sam Dowd would make up for the losses of Jun Manzo and Juan GDL as well as how Diouf and Cansino are already waiting in the wings once Bright Akhuetie and Ricci Rivero graduate. "We're also recruiting for the impending need," Perasol said. "Hindi naman ito biglaan. Since nagsimula kami rito, we all did this nang dahan-dahan lang. Kaya rin yung support from alumni for funding, hindi na rin naging mahirap." DREAMING Still, the mere fact that UP is now a big-time player on and off the court in collegiate basketball seemed so farfetched just five years ago. Before Bo Perasol, the Fighting Maroons were stuck in a vicious cycle. Now, though, they have back-to-back playoff appearances and have traded blows with traditional powerhouses for recruits and transferees. All of this made possible because the very moment he came in, Coach Bo already knew the secret to success. "You cannot build a program without funds," he said. Perasol furthered that his biggest takeaway from his time in Ateneo was that competing with the traditional powerhouses on the court entailed competing with them as well off of it. "Alam ko yung kakayanan ng Ateneo and siyempre, kakumpetensya ko rin nun yung La Salle so alam ko rin yung kanila. Ganun na rin ang kakayanan ng NU and yung iba pa, kakayanin din nila kung gustuhin nila," he said. He then continued, "Kaya kung ang objective ng programa is to be in the top four, your program should be levelled din sa capacity ng top four." The General Santos native then went on to point out how training in the country or abroad, recruitment local and overseas, housing, and food and nutrition all have costs. "To sum it up, everything you're going to do would entail financing. Hindi ito kakayanin ng UP as a public school dahil wala namang pondo ang gobyerno para dyan," he said. He then continued, "Ang pinakasagot nalang ng school is yung scholarship. And siyempre, yung nag-aaral ka sa UP." That doesn't mean, however, that their hands were tied. In fact, the answer to the questions had always been there. "The good thing about UP is there's millions of alumni all over the world and a lot are successful people and businessmen who are willing to help," Perasol said. BELIEVING Indeed, having educated Filipinos for over 112 years now, UP has, without a doubt, more than a few successful alumni. It was all a matter of uniting - and then unleashing - them. Even before Bo Perasol came home to Diliman, NTGBUP was already organized. They were not necessarily thrilled with the Fighting Maroons, though. "Nung una, dahan-dahan lang, ambag-ambag lang para merong kakainin, pambayad sa dorm. Merong nag-donate ng shoes," Coach Bo said. He then continued, "Pero siyempre, they want first and foremost a program with improvements and direction." NTGBUP and the UP community got just that from Perasol as a 3-11, seventh-place finish in 2015 became a 5-9, sixth-place finish in 2016 in Coach Bo's first year. In his second year, the squad improved to a  6-8, fifth-place finish. From there, the Fighting Maroons have been in the Final Four for back-to-back years now - and even made the Finals in 2018. "Nagsimula maging excited ang alumni nung nagsimula ring manalo," he shared. "When we started winning, nagkaroon hindi lang ng physical support, but financial support as well. We were ascending eh." In his third year at the helm, State U, finally, officially had corporate sponsors. And you know how that year went? That was when they ended a 21-year Final Four drought and then a 32-year Finals absence. Safe to say, the sleeping giant was awoken. "Yes, sleeping giant talaga tayo and when we say nagising, ang pinaka-catalyst was the winning," its fearless leader said. Now, UP MBT has a mean machine of financial support on its back, paving the path for its big-time recruiting haul in 2020. Even better, they now have a loud and proud fanbase that is making up for all the lost time they stayed away during the "dark days." "Actually, sa pitches ko sa recruitment, kasama sa presentation ko yung machi-cheer sila nang ganung klaseng crowd," Coach Bo said. SURVIVING At the same time, though, that loud and proud fanbase expects much, much more from this brand new power. For each and every one of them, Bo Perasol has but one reminder. "What we have done in the past years is to level up lang. We have a new gym, we have all these players, we can train abroad," he said. He then continued, "Pero yung mga Ateneo, La Salle, 20 to 30 years na nilang ginagawa yan. What we did was just to level up alongside them." Again and again, Coach Bo has said that what he has been doing is, put simply, putting UP in the best position to win. Still, with a roster as overflowing with talent as this, he could only acknowledge that just about everybody sees them as having gone championship or bust. Credit to him, however, Perasol was blunt with his assessment that he would also be disappointed if they would not be able to taste their first championship since 1986 sooner than later. "Yes, it will be a failed plan kung hindi tayo makakakuha ng championship in the next three to five years," he said. He then continued, "Yan naman talaga ang plano and ang ginagawa natin ngayon is all going towards that objective." And again and again, he is putting all those great expectations on his shoulders - and on his shoulders alone. "Ako naman, hindi ko rin pwedeng hindi gawin itong ganitong recruitment kasi hindi rin naman ako magkakaroon ng chance kung ganun. I have to be in the best position to succeed so that we are in the best position to succeed," he said. Only time would tell if all the seeds he has sown would bear fruit. But Coach Bo is already guaranteeing that whatever happens then, he would have no regrets. "In the end, alam ko namang babalik ang lahat sa akin. Alam na alam ko namang ako ang leader ng team," he said. He then continued, "Ang mahalaga is we gave ourselves a chance. Anuman ang outcome, basta nabigyan natin ang sarili natin ng pagkakataon." After years and years and years as the laughingstock of men's basketball, it looks like it's now UP's turn to smile and wave. Whether or not that ultimately turns into jumps for joy for their first title in three decades remains to be seen. But maybe, just maybe, Coach Bo is right - this is all worth it just to have a chance to compete. Just remember that in the "dark days," that chance to compete wasn't there at all. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 30th, 2020

FIBA: Mighty Jimmy and the shot that introduced Gilas to the World

This story was originally published on Feb. 24, 2019 It’s Saturday night at Mall of Asia and the arena is absolutely rocking. Eternal basketball rivals in the Philippines and South Korea are delivering another classic. Gilas Pilipinas is down to the final minute of regulation against its longtime tormentor in the second of two semifinal games. The national team is up by two, 81-79. The Philippines is hosting the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships where three tickets to the 2014 World Cup are at stake and the winner of this particular game gets one of those tickets. Given the rich history of both teams and what it would mean to the winner, this pivotal game has gone down the wire as everyone pretty much expected. Also knowing the history of both teams in international play, Gilas’ precarious two-point lead was not safe at all. A ghost was lurking in the background and a dreaded curse felt almost inevitable. Down to the final minute of the crucial grudge match between the Philippines and South Korea, guard Jimmy Alapag has the ball and a two-point lead. What he will do will help define not only his career but the legacy of the Gilas name as a national team.   WAKE-UP CALL Even before the Philippines-Korea game, Gilas Pilipinas already had to go through one emotional game early in its homestand for the Asian Championships. In a preliminary round showdown against Chinese Taipei, the Filipinos collapsed in the fourth quarter, allowing the Taiwanese to steal a morale-boosting 84-79 win. In 2013, the relationship between the two countries hit a rough patch over the death of one Taiwanese fisherman. In an updated May 17 report by CNN’s Jethro Mullen, “Taiwan has reacted angrily after one of its fishermen was killed by a Philippine coast guard vessel.” Taiwan had frozen applications from OFWs seeking jobs in its territory and the government of then President Ma Ying-jeou demanded an apology, among other things, from the Philippines. While the national basketball teams of both countries never really had any prior animosity with each other, tension was naturally present as both teams squared off in Group A action. Gilas Pilipinas and Chinese-Taipei both entered the showdown with identical 2-0 records and the winner would take control of solo Group A lead heading into round 2. Taking a good lead into the fourth quarter, the Philippines was outscored by 18 in the last 10 minutes and the national team took its worst home loss in quite some time. “At the time, it was a huge game for us. We understood what was happening in Taipei during that particular time. We really wanted to win for what our kababayans were going through at that time,” guard Jimmy Alapag said on that first home loss in the 2013 Asian Championships. “We didn’t get the job done, and it was tough especially to lose a game like that, it was a very emotional and it was a game that we knew we needed,” he added. The crushing loss meant that the Philippines had little room for error in round 2. While Gilas didn’t have any world beaters lined up in the second round, anything less than a perfect run would have meant an early clash with Asia’s established powerhouse teams in the knockout stages. On the other side of the bracket, defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea were battling for position and were expected to finish in the top-3. That means if Gilas Pilipinas failed to finish no. 1 in its group, the national team would have faced one of those teams in the quarterfinals. Gilas picked up a crucial win over Qatar in the 6th of August and the day after, the Philippines got some help from those same Qataris as they beat Taipei in a close decision. At the end of round 2, all teams finished with identical win-loss records but Gilas Pilipinas would take over first place after all tiebreaks were considered, barely edging out Taipei. The Philippines ended up avoiding defending champion China, Iran, and South Korea and instead got Kazakhstan in the quarterfinals. No. 2 Taipei drew China and the third-running Qataris were matched up with the South Koreans. “I think that was the moment we grew up and grew closer. I think that was the lowest of the lows, just because of the atmosphere and what was going on between both countries. It kind of felt that we let our end of the bargain down, you know what I mean? We’re on our home soil and we didn’t take care of business. I think that was one of those moments where we had to really check ourselves and find a way to make it right,” forward Gabe Norwood said of the Taipei loss. “But it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. In tournaments like FIBA-Asia it’s important that you have short-term memory whether it was a win or a loss. We needed to let go of that game and continue to stay the course, keep our focus in the tournament,” Alapag added. On August 7, four days after Gilas lost to Taipei, the rift between the Philippines and Taiwan would reach a resolution and the latter country lifted its freeze hiring and other sanctions on the former. The Philippines also did issue on official apology over the death of the Taiwanese fisherman a couple of months prior and the National Bureau of Investigation in Manila recommended the pressing of homicide charges to erring members of the Philippine Coast Guard.   DARK HISTORY If the word “rival” is to be defined as a, “person or group that tries to defeat or be more successful than another person or group” then sure, the Philippines and South Korea are rivals. Both countries are rivals in the Asian basketball scene and they have been going at it for a very long time. But if the word rival can also mean “equal” or “peer,” is the Philippines really a worthy basketball rival to South Korea? The Philippines’ history with South Korea in terms of basketball is dark. Very dark. Consider the most high-profile matches between the two countries and you’ll see that the Philippine national team is just not at the level of South Korea. Or at the very least, Koreans always seem to reach 120 percent of their potential when they play Filipinos and we barely bring out 80 percent of our abilities when matched up against our East Asian neighbors. The 1998 PBA Centennial team, arguably the greatest Philippine team ever assembled, was demolished by South Korea in the Asian Games. A national team set up for gold only settled for bronze. Speaking of a bronze medal game, the original Gilas Pilipinas team lost a podium finish to South Korea in the 2011 FIBA-Asia Championships. That team squandered a double-digit lead and collapsed late. Of course, who can forget the semifinals of the 2002 Asian Games in Busan when Olsen Racela had the chance to put the Philippines up four but missed two free throws. South Korea would win with a booming triple at the buzzer off a broken play and would later take down China to capture the gold medal. South Korea is the Philippines’ basketball nemesis for all intents and purposes. A worthy adversary that always seem to emerge victorious at our expense. Still, all that previous disappointment didn’t seem to bother Gilas Pilipinas six years ago. The team was not scared and instead, they were excited even. One factor to greatly consider was that fact that the game was in Manila. It makes all the difference to play at home. “We understood the bad history that we had with Korea. We haven’t been very successful with them in quite some time but we knew from Day 1 that if ever we got an opportunity to play them at home, then we have a great chance,” Alapag said. “Man, pre-game, it was just the focus. Everybody was up for the challenge, I don’t think anybody was really nervous, I think it was just the anxiety... we wanted to get out there and do it already,” Norwood added. Playing at home had its perks for sure, but it also had its drawbacks. For all the painful losses the Philippines suffered at the hands of South Korea, it would have been devastating if Gilas actually took a beating in Manila. Stakes were extra high in this particular chapter of this long, ongoing saga. “There was always pressure, it was something that we acknowledged early. Playing at home, it’s great having that support but at the same time, there is some added pressure because you wanna make sure that you make our home crowd proud of the team that they watch and ultimately, win games,” Alapag said, making sure to note that the national team knew of the disadvantages of playing at home even before the Korea game. “It was there but it was something that we acknowledged and we wanted to make sure that we took advantage of the opportunity playing at home,” he added.   ALL FILIPINO, ALL HEART Once it was go time, the Philippines-South Korea game went about pretty normal, as you would expect any game from these two national teams. But even before halftime, an injury to Gilas center Marcus Douthit changed the complexion of the semifinals showdown. All of a sudden, the Philippines was without its anchor, without its best player. Sure, there were players on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace Douthit’s size but there was simply no one on the Gilas bench that can come in and replace his talent, production, and just overall presence. June Mar Fajardo was in that Gilas bench but it 2013, the would-be five-time PBA Most Valuable Player was just not at that level yet. It would have been easy for Gilas Pilipinas to fold like cheap furniture and succumb to the overwhelming pressure of trying to overcome South Korea to reach a stage very few Filipinos have reached before. Gilas didn’t fold and instead, the Douthit injury rallied the team even further. “Alam mo sa totoo lang, puso na lang yun eh. Nung nawala si Marcus talaga, sabi ni coach kailangan doble kayod tayo. Dahil sobrang dehado tayo kumbaga, wala na tayong import, wala tayong malaki,” forward Marc Pingris said. With Douthit gone, Ping ate up all of his minutes and worked by committee with guys like Ranidel De Ocampo and Japeth Aguilar to fill in the gaps. “As a player naman, kami nagusap-usap kami na kahit anong mangyari, lalaban kami. Yung time na yun, talagang patay kung patay,” Ping added. Despite losing its best player to an untimely injury, Gilas Pilipinas’ confidence in winning never wavered. With their collective backs against the wall, the Philippine national team played even better. Unlike the later iterations of Gilas Pilipinas, the 2013 team, aptly called Gilas 2.0, had the luxury of having actual preparation before the FIBA-Asia Championships. The amount of work that came before the tournament and the Korea game, the bond built over countless hours of training, all of that helped the national team avoid a monumental meltdown in front of a rabid Manila crowd. “We were such a close-knit team in terms of our chemistry, in terms of the talent that we had, so we felt confident even when Marcus went down early in the game. If you looked at our huddle, you had 11 more very confident guys, not just in themselves but more importantly, in each other,” Alapag said. “That just boiled down to the chemistry that we had. I don’t think any of us panicked, we were all confident in each other. We’ve all been into that situation with our PBA teams, having the ball in our hands and making a play. Knowing that we had five weapons on the floor that could make the winning play, I think it made us very confident and we were able to sustain our composure,” the former Gilas captain added.   THE GHOST AND ITS CURSE Shin Dong Pa, Hur Jae, Lee Sang-min, Oh Se-Keun, TJ Moon, and Cho Sung-min are just some players from the South Korean national team that inflicted incredible damage to the Philippines over the course of decades. The dreaded Ghost of South Korea takes form in these players and its curse is to give Filipinos the most heart-crushing loss possible. In 2013, the Ghost was Kim Min-goo and his curse was to beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Despite losing Marcus Douthit and trailing by three points at the break, the Philippines started to turn the tables in the second half. Gilas Pilipinas unleashed Jayson Castro and the Blur led a blazing offense in the third quarter, finding a way to take a 10-point lead over South Korea, the Philippines’ largest of the night. But as the dust settled and Gilas holding a 65-56 lead entering the final period, an ominous figure would make his presence felt. The Korean Ghost has arrived and his name was Kim Min-goo. His curse? Beat Gilas Pilipinas in Manila. Kim was 22 and a senior in college when he made the South Korean national basketball team as a backup shooter in 2013. In nine games in Manila, Kim would play well enough to make the tournament’s All-Star team, averaging 12.7 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 2.7 assists. He led Asian Championships with 25 three-point field goals, 10 came in the last two games and five came against Gilas Pilipinas. Kim drilled back-to-back triples to open the fourth quarter against the Philippines. Later, his fifth triple — a four-point play at that — pushed the Koreans to within a point, 72-73. South Korea would take over soon after as Lee Seung-jun dunked the basketball on a fastbreak. The Ghost has arrived and his curse is in effect. “Ako pumasok sa isip ko yun nung lumamang Korea, na putek ito na naman,” Pingris said. “Pero ang sabi ko, sayang yung opportunity, kaya naman eh. So sabi ni Jimmy samin, no matter what happens wag kami gi-give up. Pinaghirapan natin to at may goal tayo, this year aalis tayo,” he added, noting the team’s goal to get into Spain and compete with the world’s best national teams. Faced with the possibility of dealing with a devastating defeat, Gilas had enough mental fortitude to keep things going. Trust your system, trust your preparation, trust your crowd, trust your teammates, and more importantly, trust yourselves. “You’re never out of the game if you’re playing at home,” Norwood said as they stared a deficit late against their destined rivals. “I think that was our mindset, keep it close and just find a way,” he added. Jimmy Alapag found a way.   BORN READY Down 73-75, Jimmy Alapag was under heavy duress when he let go of a three-pointer from the left wing just in front of his bench. It was good to go. The Philippines was back on top by one as Alapag somehow managed to get his team to snap out of an initial shock following Korea’s strong fourth-quarter rally. The stage is now set for a wild finish and Jimmy will star in the final act of what has been an incredible show by Gilas and South Korea. “In situations like that, as an athlete and as a pro, that’s the situations that you dream about,” Alapag said.  “Those are shots that you practice when you were a kid. When the shot clock is winding down, to have an opportunity to knock down a shot. It’s a shot that I practiced thousands of times,” he added. After the Philippines and South Korea traded baskets for the lead, Alapag made perhaps the most underrated play in this crazy and emotional encounter between two basketball rivals. Tasked with inbounding the ball just near underneath his own basket, Alapag found his Talk ‘N Text teammate Ranidel De Ocampo for an open look at three. Swish. Gilas leads, 81-77, with 91 seconds to go. “Ranidel was my favorite target for a very, very long time in my career,” Alapag said on the play that most people probably don’t even remember. “Once I saw that he got open, I wanted to make sure that I gave him as great a pass as possible and Ranidel has been known for a long time to take care of the rest,” he added.   THE EXORCIST “Yeah, I was right under the basket,” Gabe Norwood says with a laugh when asked if he remembers the shot that changed the course of Gilas Pilipinas as a national team. Late in the fourth quarter of what was essentially a heavyweight bout, the Philippines just landed two strong haymakers but South Korea would refuse to go down without a fight, beating the count of 10 each time. Down to the final minute of a crucial grudge match with a World Cup berth on the line, Jimmy Alapag had his hands on the basketball as Gilas would go to its halfcourt set. Jimmy will never let go of said basketball. Up two, Jimmy did what Olsen wished he could 11 years prior. Up two against South Korea in a pivotal semifinal game, Alapag received a screen from Marc Pingris, which was enough to momentarily shake off Kim Tae-sul. With some room, Alapag drifted to his left and let a three-point shot fly. Boom. Gilas leads, 84-79, with 54 seconds to go. The shot would later be remembered as the one that ended the Korean Curse, the one that finally exorcised the Ghost. “The first thought that came to my mind was don’t miss,” Jimmy said of the clutch jumper. “That last one, Ping sets a good screen and I got a clean look. It’s a shot that myself, and Jayson [Castro], and Larry [Fonacier], and Gary [David], and Jeff [Chan], all of us, we practice that shot time and time again after practice. So you know, it was a shot that I was confident in but in that moment, all you’re thinking about was don’t miss,” he added. It’s one thing to be confident in yourself and to be confidednt in your preparation. It’s a different thing to actually perform under such pressure. As soon as Alapag managed to shoot his shot, Gabe Norwood did what any other good teammate would do and got in position to get the offensive rebound. You know, just in case. Gabe got the ball alright, but he got it after it swished through the rim. “When he put the shot up, I tried to crash for the rebound but I basically knew that it was going in,” he said. “I had probably the best view, I was right under the basket. I think caught it after it went through too,” Norwood added. Alapag checked out moments later as the Philippines went to its defensive lineup in order to stop another Korean comeback. South Korea turned to its most effective shooter in Kim and as he rose up to try and answer Alapag’s triple, Norwood met him at the apex for the game’s most dramatic stop. Gabe blocked Kim and Gilas would finish things off with a final Marc Pingris basket on the other end. A historic 86-79 win was complete. “I still get chills thinking about it, to look up and see grown men just breaking down. My wife was trying to hold my kids and she was holding back tears. It was just an awesome moment, the bond that we had on that team, the stuff that we did to get prepare, I think we poured it all out in that game,” Norwood said on the monumental victory. “I think it probably didn’t hit me until the final buzzer sounded. Not just for me but for the entire team, when that final buzzer sounded, it was such a special group of guys and the fact that we could share that moment with not just with each other but the entire country, it’s something I’ll remember for the rest of my life,” Alapag added, savoring the moment of a Philippine win over Korea 28 years in the making.   THE INTRODUCTION Gilas Pilipinas would lose to Iran the next day in the Finals of the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships. The Philippines put up a fight but Hamed Haddadi would prove to be too powerful to stop. It would take another two years for Gilas to beat Iran but that didn’t really matter in the moment. The Philippines is headed to the World Championships for the first time in three decades. The Philippines has beaten South Korea and one singular shot has allowed the Gilas name to be known around the world. Jimmy wouldn’t say that though. At least not directly in that way. “For me, that shot was the biggest for my career. But really, it was our entire team. We’ve gone through so much and that was just one particular play that really culminated the entire game and all the contributions from other guys from Gabe’s defense, to Ping’s rebounding, to Japeth’s rim protecting, to Jayson and LA doing a lot of the legwork,” Alapag said. “Everybody had their part in contribution to the game. After the shot, after the buzzer sounded, it was just a very special moment for us as a team and for Philippine basketball to show that all of the sacrifices, all of the hard work, now it’s given an opportunity to re-introduce ourselves to the world,” he added. Jimmy wouldn’t say it, but his teammates would. That shot of his that beat South Korea in the 2013 FIBA-Asia Championships introduced the Gilas name to the world. It announced that the Philippines has finally arrived. Gilas’ breakthrough overtime win a year later in Spain against Senegal — a game Jimmy pretty much decided late as well — made it known that Filipinos are here to stay on the World stage. “I would say so, it got us to where we wanted to be in the World Cup. I think we shocked some people there as well. But just the work that went in, I think it showed the country that we can get back to where we want to be as long as you work together,” Norwood said. “Yung puso ni Jimmy, grabe naman. Makikita mo maliit pero gusto lang niya talaga manalo. Ang liit pero parang lion pag nagalit eh, nandoon yung tiwala namin sa kanya. Ano pa ba masasabi mo, Jimmy is Jimmy Alapag,” Pingris would add.   [NOTES: At the time of original publishing, Gilas Pilipinas was fighting to make a return trip to the FIBA World Cup, this time in China in 2019. To secure its slot, the the Philippine national team needed to beat Kazakhstan in Astana plus a loss from Japan, Jordan, and/or Lebanon. One of the teams that can help Gilas is South Korea... ironically. Jimmy Alapag retired from national team play in 2014 and retired playing for good in 2016. He has since made himself a champion basketball coach in the ABL. Marc Pingris suffered an ACL injury in 2018 and is in the process of returning for his PBA team in the current 2019 season. Gabe Norwood is still in Gilas. He’s still an effective two-way weapon. He can still dunk and will stop your best player too.]   [Updated Notes: The Philippines beat Kazakhstan to make the 2019 FIBA World Cup in China. Gilas got help from... South Korea. The Koreans beat Lebanon on the road, allowing Gilas to advance to the World Championships outright with a victory over Kazakhstan.]   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8.....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsAug 10th, 2020

Popoy and Basha singing Ben& Ben? ‘One More Chance’ to become a PETA musical

Before the emergence of hugot and modern love in Filipino films, an entire generation of Filipinos bawled their eyes out as Bea Alonzo and John Lloyd Cruz threw heartbreaking lines against each other and tried mending their broken relationship in the Cathy Garcia-Molina film One More Chance. Now the classic film will become a musical courtesy of the stalwart theater group Philippine Educational Theater Association, which announced on 22 October, during the closing night of its latest musical Walang Aray, that it was developing the material into One More Chance, The Musical. What’s more, the upcoming show opening in April 2024 at the PETA Theater Center will use the music of Ben&Ben, one of the country’s most popular contemporary bands, adding another layer of pop relevance to the production. Gio Gahol and Marynor Mademasila, who acted as star-crossed lovers in Walang Aray, a modern adaptation of Severino Reyes’ classic sarsuwela Walang Sugat, teased the announcement of the new production by recreating an iconic scene from the Star Cinema movie. Then out came Ben&Ben who performed their hit songs “Kathang Isip” and “Araw-Araw,” throwing the closing-night crowd into a frenzy. Following Walang Sugat’s successful run, PETA made its upcoming production social media-official. “Natapos man ang love story ni Tenyong at Julia, simula naman ng kwento nina Popoy at Basha. Kamay sa dibdib, mga mangingibigs! WALANG AARAY dahil muli tayong IIBIG sa susunod na handog ng PETA…” said its post, along with a photo of Ben&Ben surrounded by the Walang Sugat stellar cast. PETA has produced over 500 plays in the last 55 years, among them the acclaimed musicals Care Divas, Three Stars and a Sun and Rak of Aegis. One More Chance is in good hands with PETA as it transitions into a brand-new musical that can bring devotees of the beloved movie as well as a new generation of fans into the theater. The post Popoy and Basha singing Ben&Ben? ‘One More Chance’ to become a PETA musical appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 23rd, 2023

POUND-FOR-POUND — Good guy Gibbons gives Filipino boxers the chance to shine

If you’re a talented fighter nursing dreams of becoming a world champion, there is one guy you need to get in touch with. If you’re a promoter who has got a bevy of promising fighters but with no strong connections to the guys who matter in the world of big-time boxing, you have to meet the fellow who makes things happen. That dude is no other than Sean Gibbons, who heads MP Promotions and a sprinkling of other influential outfits in the United States that gives boxers from all over the opportunity they deserve. Having trouble with your boxer’s stagnant world rating? Call Sean Gibbons. Can’t seem to get the big breaks? Call Sean Gibbons. Being given the run-around by a scammer, give Sean Gibbons a call. You see, Gibbons is a do-it-all boxing man who is a big daddy to just about any major Filipino fighter. He has got a deep knowledge of the fight game since he used to fight during his heyday. But before you start conjuring up images of Gibbons battling it out with boxing’s marquee names, pinch yourself first. Gibbons never achieved greatness as a boxer. He was more of a pretender than a contender, having racked up a 14-7-3 win-loss-draw record with seven knockouts before finally calling it a day in 1996. He never even fought in Las Vegas and instead showcased his wares in obscurity, hopping into one small town and city after another. After spending his first five pro bouts in Oklahoma City, Gibbons brought his act elsewhere and in places he never knew existed: Hugo, Purcell, Waubeek. A year before he retired in 1995, Gibbons, now 56, even traveled to Germany and fought and lost by knockout to local boy Ruediger May. Two more bouts on American soil — the first in Des Moines, Iowa, and the second in Miles City, Montana — paved the way for one final stop in Denmark against Peter Madsen. Gibbons would lose that by stoppage again and decided that enough was enough. Pretty soon, Gibbons got himself doing odd jobs in boxing through a relative — uncle Pat O’ Grady — father to former world lightweight champion Sean O’Grady. “I got the boxing bug from him. I would set up the ring, help sell tickets and train fighters… I started from the bottom,” Gibbons, born in Long Beach, California, said, noting that the first fighter he trained was heavyweight Wimpy Halstead. Oftentimes, Gibbons “would jump in as one of the fighters in the card and I was able to travel the world.” He also got aligned with Top Rank and credits Hall of Fame Bruce Trampler and fight coordinator Pete Susens as his mentors and takes great pride in his close association with eight-division legend Manny Pacquiao. Gibbons actually came to the Pacquiao show rather late. But his seven-year stint working for Pacquiao was the most memorable, saying it doesn’t compare with the 35 other years of involvement with boxing. “Seven years I spent with him were better than the other 35 years,” Gibbons, who graduated from Simi Valley High, said. Gibbons revealed that after Australian banger Jeff Horn elbowed and butted and wrestled his way in carving out a controversial points win in Brisbane in July 2018, “Pacquiao had pretty much been left for dead by some people.” It was right at this time when Gibbons entered the scene as Pacquiao’s go-to-guy for meaningful fights while also providing other Filipino boxers the break they need to become successful. Gibbons didn’t disappoint and was instrumental in striking a deal for fights involving Adrien Broner and Keith Thurman that resulted in a “tremendous run.” The victory over Thurman would go down as an epic as it made Pacquiao the oldest to win a world welterweight crown in July 2019 in Las Vegas. Now that Pacquiao has sailed into the sunset, Gibbons is dedicating his time and effort to the betterment of the other talents under MP Promotions, the Pacquiao-owned company that has majority of the country’s top ring talent under contract. And this is where Gibbons wields his expertise and proof of his savvy can be seen on Jerwin Ancajas, Pedro Taduran, Rene Cuarto, Mark Magsayo and current two-belt world super-bantamweight titleholder Marlon Tapales. Also under Gibbons’ care are Jonas Sultan, Vincent Astrolabio, Jade Bornea and Tokyo Olympics bronze medalist and Asian Games silver medalist Eumir Marcial. Though not every one of them managed to win a world title, Gibbons draws utmost satisfaction from the helping hand that he had extended to them. “The most satisfying thing is to change lives of the fighters and take fighters who wouldn’t normally get these opportunities.” Also, Gibbons points to Pacquiao as a reason why he was able to pull it off. “I had the name Manny Pacquiao promotions and Manny Pacquiao was behind me but the biggest, biggest key was Al Haymon and he took my word for guys like Jerwin Ancajas, Mark Magsayo, Jonas Sultan and many, many others.” And there is no stopping Gibbons from doing the same thing especially when his clients’ welfare is on the line. A few months ago, Gibbons earned the ire of a state commission and got slapped with a ban. Still, Gibbons swears it is his way of showing that he always got his clients’ back. So how does he want people to remember him? “I would like to be remembered as someone who gave his all, no regrets. Just you know, when I work with someone, I put all my heart and soul into it. I got suspended for five for screaming at referees but I would like to be remembered for a guy who always had his client, fighters and boxers’ back and that when we went at it, we gave it our all.” If you end up going to war, you’d certainly want somebody like Sean Gibbons right by your side. The post POUND-FOR-POUND — Good guy Gibbons gives Filipino boxers the chance to shine appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 22nd, 2023

Oil prices jump as Hamas attack on Israel fuels supply fears

Oil prices rallied while the dollar and yen advanced Monday after Hamas launched a shock attack on Israel at the weekend, sparking fresh concerns about tensions in the Middle East. The crisis fanned concerns about supplies of crude from the region at a time when supply worries are already high owing to Saudi Arabia and Russia's output cuts. It has also renewed fears about the impact on inflation, with energy costs a key driver of spiking prices, giving a fresh headache to central banks as they try to ease up on interest rate hikes to avoid recessions. The surprise attack and Israel's declaration of war in response to it have left more than 1,000 dead and raised concerns that a potential broadening of the conflict could draw in the United States and Iran. "Key for markets is whether the conflict remains contained or spreads to involve other regions, particularly Saudi Arabia," said ANZ Group's Brian Martin and Daniel Hynes. "Initially at least, it seems markets will assume the situation will remain limited in scope, duration, and oil-price consequences. But higher volatility can be expected." Both main contracts surged more than five percent in early Asian business before easing back as the day wore on. However, SPI Asset Management's Stephen Innes warned: "Historical analysis suggests that oil prices tend to experience sustained gains after the Middle East crises. "Meanwhile, stocks tend to eventually recover and trend higher after an initial period of volatility. Safe-haven assets like gold and Treasurys, which initially see gains during such crises, tend to fade from their initial price spikes as the situation stabilizes. "But with Middle East analysts considering this to be a pivotal moment for Israel, the view looks incendiary in any current scenario." A decidedly risk-off mood also saw investors push into the safety of the dollar, which was up against the pound and euro, as well as the Australian and New Zealand dollars. The yen, considered one of the safest currencies, strengthened against the greenback, though it still remains locked around 11-month lows. Gold, another key haven, gained more than one percent. Equity markets were mixed, with Shanghai dropping on its first day back after a week-long holiday as investors continue to fret over the stuttering Chinese economy. There were also losses in Mumbai, Singapore, Manila, Bangkok and Wellington, though Hong Kong rose as it opened in the afternoon, having been closed in the morning owing to a typhoon. Sydney and Jakarta eked out gains. Tokyo was closed for a holiday. London edged up at the open while Paris and Frankfurt were lower. The tepid performance came despite a rally on Wall Street, where traders welcomed data showing a forecast-busting jump in new jobs but wage growth slowing. The "Goldilocks" figures -- neither too strong nor too weak -- lifted optimism the world's top economy can avoid a recession even as the Federal Reserve keeps rates elevated. Still, there are worries the bank will hike one more time before the end of the year, with officials determined to bring inflation to heel and keep it at their two percent target. Key figures around 0715 GMT West Texas Intermediate: UP 3.5 percent at $85.69 per barrel Brent North Sea crude: UP 3.1 percent at $87.23 per barrel Hong Kong - Hang Seng Index: UP 0.4 percent at 17,552.01 Shanghai - Composite: DOWN 0.4 percent at 3,096.92 (close) London - FTSE 100: UP 0.3 percent at 7,518.16 Tokyo - Nikkei 225: Closed for a holiday Euro/dollar: DOWN at $1.0540 from $1.0588 on Friday Pound/dollar: DOWN at $1.2195 from $1.2234 Dollar/yen: DOWN at 149.15 yen from 149.30 yen Euro/pound: DOWN at 86.49 pence from 86.52 pence New York - Dow: UP 0.9 percent at 33,407.58 (close) (Bloomberg News contributed to this story) The post Oil prices jump as Hamas attack on Israel fuels supply fears appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 9th, 2023

The joy of eating

There is almost always a restaurant opening in the metropolis — either to excite the taste buds or simply elevate the Filipino dining experience. Yes, from Filipino dishes to American-Italian fare and specialty steakhouse, there will always be something for everyone to discover, relish and enjoy. LOCAVORE AT ESTANCIA MALL A cozy, contemporary space ensconced inside the Estancia Mall in Pasig City, Locavore is given true Filipino touches with its warm woods, rattan chairs, rustic pendant lights and an expansive glass window that provides an exceptional view of the surrounding environs. [caption id="attachment_192645" align="aligncenter" width="771"] OLIVE Garden’s Herb Roasted Chicken.[/caption] Opened last May, Locavore at Estancia Mall is the seventh branch of the restaurant, which catapulted to prominence in the culinary arena in 2014 after it opened its first branch at Brixton Barrio Kapitolyo, also in Pasig City. It then opened at Forbestown in Taguig City, Valero Street in Makati City, S’Maison in Pasay City, Eastwood Mall in Quezon City and SM City Bacoor. With the talented chef Mikel Zaguirre and his team at the helm, Locavore takes the homey heartwarming flavors of Filipino cooking gives a more sophisticated interpretation. And with the newly opened branch comes an expanded menu and new dishes exclusively in the Estancia outlet. For starters, have the crisp BBM or Bagnet, Buro and Mustasa — a platter filled with thinly sliced, crispy pork bagnet chips that you wrap in mustasa leaves (Samgyup style) seasoned with burong (pickled) hipon and burong mangga with gochugaru (Korean chili flakes). Follow it up with Bistek Pintxos, toasted bread decked with bistek-style beef tenderloin, grilled quesong puti, truffle aioli and red onions. [caption id="attachment_192646" align="aligncenter" width="525"] OLIVE Garden’s Purple White Cocktail.[/caption] “The new dishes are presented on slate plates because they are mostly bar chows,” says Alejandro Pahan Jr., operations manager. “That’s our new concept. We were thinking of madaling kainin (easy to eat) and something fun. Because samgyup is trending, we came up with pintxos.” The resto also has Bulalo Pintxos, roasted bone marrow with pickled labanos and pares jam; Yakitori Platter, grilled skewered chicken wings, chicken thigh meat, gizzard and liver served with annatto aioli, tocino butter, miso butter and spiced suka; Bagnet Chips, housemade bagnet chips served with spiced vinegar; and Inasalitos, inasal chicken with salsa, labuyo aioli served in lumpia taco shell. All these dishes are paired with seven new signature cocktail drinks, crafted by its in-house mixologist. Pahan says the new refreshing drinks heavily relies on the food being served at the restaurant. They complement the taste of the meals. Locavore serves alcohol and spirits. The drinks include Hardin, a hybrid between gin tonic and Tom Collins, with tonic water and botanicals and floral notes like blue pea and elderflower (which has a similar taste notes of lychee), garnished with rosemary and black pepper; Kinilig, a combo of Disaronno amaretto, honey, lemon juice and rum, with rice paper art design on top; Diwata, a blend of Bombay Sapphire gin with Giffard Lychee liqueur, sugar syrup and lemon juice, dressed with basil sprig and forget me not flower; and Antibayotiko, a whiskey-based mix of bourbon, ginger liqueur, honey and lemon juice. Locavore at Estancia Mall has a seating capacity of 120 people and targets bar goers in the area. It’s open until 1 a.m. from Wednesday to Saturday. The rest of the week, it follows the mall hours. OLIVE GARDEN AT THE VERVE A visit to the newly opened third branch of Olive Garden at The Verve in BGC, Taguig City, is a journey of discovery into a world of delicious and affordable pasta, bread, salad, chicken and pizza sensibilities. The menu is broad and touches base with all the departments of classic Italian-American fare. Upon arrival, diners are swiftly delivered a basket of freshly baked breadsticks, which are widely popular in all 900 Olive Garden stores all over the world, including the Philippines. They are buttery, a bit garlicky, moist and chewy. The unlimited breadsticks, including the never-ending soups and salads, come free with every order of an entrée. What a treat! [caption id="attachment_192647" align="aligncenter" width="525"] LOCAVORE’S BBM (Bagnet, Buro, Mustasa).[/caption] The refreshing salad is a merry mix of healthy greens, tomatoes and olives with a light house dressing, while the soup selection includes Pasta E Fagioli, Zuppa Toscana, Minestrone and Chicken & Gnocchi. Olive Garden first opened at the Mall of Asia on 12 September 2022 and at Glorietta 3 in Makati City on 9 January 2023. “It is, more or less, the same menu that we have for our first branch in MOA and also the same menu all over the United States,” Rechele Tiongson, chief operating officer of The Bistro Group, the company responsible for bringing in Olive Garden which was founded in 1982 in Orlando, Florida. “We never changed anything aside from modifying some of the portions that would fit the Filipino market, but the taste and flavor are the same. We use the finest ingredients like imported cheeses.” She adds: “Just to be clear, we did not reduce the portions but we introduce the smaller ones like solo version for those will smaller appetites. The big portions remain the same.” Browsing the menu uncovers more inviting dishes, such as the signature item, Tour of Italy (a huge platter of everything good — Chicken Parmigiana, Lasagna Classico and Fettucino Alfredo pasta), Amazing Alfredos (made from scratch using imported cheeses, not just heavy cream) and an Italian classic, Shrimp Scampi. Just recently, four new dishes were introduced — Mediterranean Chicken, Chicken Tuscany, Roasted Herb Chicken and Italian Braised Short Ribs, all served with a choice of mashed potato or steamed rice. “We are happy with the response of the public to Olive Garden,” shares Tiongson. “It was extremely unexpected when we first opened in MOA. We were busy for the next six months of the restaurant. The queue was really long. People had to wait for 30 to 45 minutes, which we felt bad for our customers, but that was how they responded to the first opening of Olive Garden in the Philippines.” Olive Garden’s vibe is casual, light and bright yet it is warm and comforting with olive green accents. The design of the interiors is an allusion to the Italian countryside through earth tones and natural textures. It can accommodate 150 people. Olive Garden at The Verve in BGC is open from Monday to Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Friday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. [caption id="attachment_192648" align="aligncenter" width="525"] LOCAVORE’S Sizzling Sinigang.[/caption] ASTON’S SPECIALITIES AT ARCOVIA Tron Ng, Astons business development executive based in Singapore, flew to Manila last, 22 September, in time for the opening of the third branch of Astons Specialities, a Singapore-based restaurant chain renowned for serving affordable steaks and Western cuisine, at Arcovia City in Pasig City. Astons is a casual steakhouse which first opened in the Philippines last year on the 4/F of Mega Atrium in SM Megamall. The second branch was at Trinoma Mall in Quezon City early this year. Silver Lush Food Corporation brought in the Singapore brand to satisfy the cravings of steak lovers and those who enjoy more seafood, chicken, sausages, burgers and pasta dishes. “This is our third outlet in the Philippines in a span of 16 months,” says Ng. “We have been around since 2005 when it was founded by Aston Soon. We started as a very small coffeeshop in Singapore. Eventually, we managed to draw a lot of attention because we offer quality food at affordable prices.” He adds: “Within a year, we opened our own restaurant and we continue to grow and expand. We have introduced many different brands under Astons and we have over 40 restaurants only in Singapore alone.” [caption id="attachment_192649" align="aligncenter" width="525"] OLIVE Garden Pasta Twirl. (From left) Zachary Reams of Darden Int’l Learning and Development partner; Marc Buencamino, Fort Bonifacio Development Corporation operations director; RC Tiongson, The Bistro Group chief operating officer; Lourdes Reyes, FBDC chief financial officer; and Lisa Ronquillo-Along, The Bistro Group chief marketing officer.[/caption] Aside from the Philippines, Aston Specialities can also be found in Myanmar and Malaysia. It was also recognized by the AsiaOne’s People Choice Awards and Asian Enterprise Brand Awards for its service and offerings. “I believe Astons will do well in the Philippines because the locals lean more on western food,” Ng says. Of course, the piece de resistance of Astons revolves around its steaks and meat, as it should be. The different cuts of meat from prime sirloin and New York strip to prime ribeye steak do not disappoint. Each has wonderful marbling with the juiciness of the meat, coating your tongue with every bite. The perfect grill marks immediately excite one’s appetite and invite you to dig in with your own side dishes — potatoes (baked, mashed, wedges or fries), Mexican nachos (chicken or beef) or Mac & Cheese. Other items on the menu are also a treat, such as Surf & Turf and Chargrilled Salmon Fillet, Grilled Porkchops and Honey Bourbon Ribs. Cocktail drinks are also aplenty — Piña Colada, Tequila Sunrise, Daiquiri, Orange Margarita and Sangria, to name some. With its industrial chandelier, brick accents and dark wood touches, the place takes on the air of an upscale roadhouse, but softened by the muted walls and expansive glass windows. Astons Specialities at Arcovia City is open daily, from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. All told, a trip to any of these newly opened restaurants guarantees a truly gratifying dining experience. The post The joy of eating appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsOct 4th, 2023

October is A’TIN month as SB19 celebrates 5 amazing years

P-pop mega-group SB19 has claimed October as theirs ahead of their fifth anniversary, with multiple activities that will keep their fans, known as A’TIN, bristling with joy and excitement. “Kalahating dekada na tayo A’TIN! Maraming salamat sa patuloy na pagsuporta at pagtangkilik sa aming musika at mga kwento (We’re half a decade, A’TIN! Thank you for continuing to support our music and our journey.) And with that, we’ve prepared a month-long celebration para sa inyo. Mark your calendars for all these activities you won’t want to miss!,” said the group’s announcement online. For starters, SB19 revealed that they will be launching a podcast called Atin Atin lang on 9 October, with new episodes to be released every Monday. Apart from the podcast, which promises “heart-to-heart and intimate talks” with the group’s members Josh, Stell, Pablo, Justin and Ken, a new episode of their ardently followed web series Show Break 5 will drop 19 October. Biggest milestone But the biggest milestone the P-pop powerhouse unveiled was the launch of their own company, IZ Entertainment, which they presented to the public in a livestream on 1 October. “Siguro five years ago when SB19 was just starting, together we had a dream: That dream was to have Filipino music, Filipino talent, the whole Filipino culture pinned on the world map,” Pablo, the group’s leader and now CEO of IZ Entertainment, said. In June, SB19 transitioned to being a self-managed group. “It all started as a crazy idea during trainee days. Nagbibiruan kami na ‘Balang araw, gagawa tayo ng sarili nating company, our own management (We were just telling each other in jest that we would create our own company.) We’ll [choose] the people na pagkakatiwalaan namin,” Josh said. And now look where they are — the group that started from nothing, busking on the side of malls to sparse crowds and slaving away at endless training days for four years, the owners of their own newly minted entertainment company and the undisputed P-pop Kings increasingly acknowledged and acclaimed around the world. The group, in fact, is set to resume their world tour with new performances announced for Asia after successful, sold-out concerts in the Philippines, Canada and the United States. The boy band will be performing at Singapore’s Capitol Theatre on 15 November, Thailand’s KBank Siam Pic-Ganesha Theatre on 19 November and Dubai’s Sheikh Rashid Auditorium on 24 November, with more tour dates to be announced in the future. Josh also announced that they will represent the country at the ASEAN-Korea Music Festival Round on 21 October in Indonesia, performing alongside popular K-pop idols and artists from ASEAN countries. Fan meet The month-long celebration will not be complete, of course, without a special gift for their hometown fans. This time, the quintet said that instead of a concert for Filipino A’TIN, they will host an intimate fan meet, called Half a Decade Celebration, on 28 October at the SMART Araneta Coliseum in Quezon City. “Magkakaroon po kami ng fan meet na puno ng malulupit at masasaya na performances, fun games at interactions kasama kayong A’Tin,” Ken said. Fans joining them at the fan meet will go home with special-edition merchandise and cherished “experiences” with the group, added Justin, promising a more up-close and personal encounter than is usually experienced in their concerts. With the global-level career milestones the group has achieved in five years, SB19’s members have nothing but gratitude for everyone supporting them. “Gusto ko magpasalamat sa A’TIN for supporting us ever since. Kung hindi dahil sa inyo, hindi mangyayari ang ginagawa natin ngayon (If not for all of you, we won’t be able to do what we’re doing now),” Justin said. “We believe that we’re just starting. This is just the starting line for all of us, so we’re proud and I hope na proud rin kayo sa amin (We’re proud [of what we’ve accomplished], and I hope you’re also proud of us),” Ken added. A’TIN can only nod and say: We are, Ken. We sure are. The post October is A’TIN month as SB19 celebrates 5 amazing years appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2023

Celebrating 77 Years of Danish-Philippine Diplomatic Relations through creativity

On 28 September, Denmark and the Philippines marked 77 years of strong diplomatic ties by emphasizing their shared passion for design and creativity. To honor this milestone, the Royal Danish Embassy Manila staged two projects that capture the fusion of Filipino creativity and uniqueness of Danish design, reflecting the richness of the countries’ longstanding relationship. Bridging our countries through LEGO One of the most symbolic representations of this mutual appreciation for creativity is the iconic LEGO – a Danish brand that has found its way to the hearts of many Filipino families, collectors, builder communities, and creative enthusiasts. You can also meet talented Filipinos working in LEGO headquarters in Denmark, driving design processes for various LEGO sets that land on toy store shelves worldwide. Venturing into the heart of the Philippines' historical richness, Danish Ambassador FranzMichael “Dan-Dan” Mellbin and Philippine Ambassador Leo Herrera-Lim explored the Philippines in bricks at the iMake History Fortress LEGO Education Center. The Education Center, nestled in historic Fort Santiago, is a joint project by the Royal Danish Embassy Manila, the Intramuros Administration, and Felta Multimedia, Inc and serves as an exhibition of historical and cultural landmarks in the Philippines – all built using LEGO. The center also conducts workshops to train the youth in architecture, design, engineering, and creativity using LEGO Education modules. Guided by the shared vision of fostering strong connections, the Ambassadors, along with Intramuros Administrator Joan Padilla, Felta Brand Activation Officer Jed Abiva-Sazon, Mme. Eva Fischer-Mellbin, and Mme. Fides Herrera-Lim, took the lead in building a symbolic bridge using LEGO as a representation of the strong connection of the two countries spanning over seven decades. Filipino art LEGO-fied From architectural wonders, LEGO bricks were creatively used as building blocks for classic masterpieces of Filipino maestro and National Artist, Fernando Amorsolo. Project AMORsolo, a mosaic LEGO exhibition by Pinoy LEGO Users Group (PinoyLUG) pays homage to the enduring legacy of the first Filipino National Artist. The exhibit replicates Amorsolo’s iconic paintings “Bayanihan”, “Dalagang Bukid”, and “Early Traders” using LEGO. To support PinoyLUG and masterpieces of Fernando Amorsolo, the Embassy hosted a Project AMORsolo installation in October 2023. During the event, PinoyLUG also unveiled a LEGO brick mosaic based on the iconic Danish artwork “Anna Ancher and Marie Krøyer on the beach at Skagen” by Michael Ancher, specially designed for the celebration. Gracing the event were members of the Amorsolo family including the artist’s daughter Slyvia Amorsolo Lazo and grandson Fernando “Nandy” Amorsolo Lazo, who now leads the Fernando C. Amorsolo Art Foundation dedicated to the promotion of the maestro’s unique style and artistic vision. Named after a playful combination of the Filipino artist’s name and the Spanish term for “love” (amor), Project AMORsolo was born out of interest of PinoyLUG’s members during the pandemic to build projects that go beyond LEGO’s usual notion of “play”, but also represents the Philippines’ rich art and creative culture. Project AMORsolo has been showcased in the Cultural Center of the Philippines, Manila City Hall, and shopping malls around Luzon, and now at the Danish Residence. Wielding the power of design together Both events contribute to the Embassy’s “Design Matters” campaign. This aims to celebrate and increase awareness on Denmark’s design values and drive for innovation while appreciating the Philippines’ artistic heritage and ingenuity. Danish design, characterized by simplicity, functionality, and minimalism, is a way of life. The campaign aims to inspire Filipinos about the beauty and practicality of Danish design, connecting it to the Filipino tradition of craftsmanship and vibrancy. Since September, the Embassy has featured testimonials, parallel design concepts, and collaborative efforts to integrate design thinking into policies. The Embassy looks forward to continue supporting the Philippines in cultivating a deeper appreciation for design and translate creative ideas to meaningful efforts set to improve Filipinos’ lives. The post Celebrating 77 Years of Danish-Philippine Diplomatic Relations through creativity appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 3rd, 2023

Aboitiz Group bags triple Golden Arrow Awards

With a distinguished legacy spanning five generations, the Aboitiz Group remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering positive change in shaping the future as it adheres to the standards and requirements outlined in the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard. This year, following the 2022 compliance period of the ACGS, Aboitiz Equity Ventures Inc. received a 4-arrow recognition after scoring 111.68 points, AEV’s highest ACGS score since the Institute of Corporate Directors inaugurated the Golden Arrow Awards in 2018. Aboitiz Power Corporation and Union Bank of the Philippines both received a 3-arrow recognition for scoring between 100 and 109 points.   Consistent top performers It’s also important to note that AEV and AboitizPower have consistently been recognized as top performers in corporate governance, both here in the country and in the ASEAN region since 2013-2017 at the PSE Bell Awards. “This distinction is the result of the Aboitiz Group’s work to transform a legacy business into a hyper-innovative, diversified conglomerate that puts corporate governance and citizenship at the core of its operations. We have always believed that transparency and accountability are essential in building trust amongst our stakeholders and forging strong partnerships in order to drive change,” said Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, Aboitiz Group’s chief reputation and sustainability officer. AEV, the portfolio management company of the Aboitiz Group, leads investments in diverse sectors including power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, land, and cutting-edge fields such as data science and artificial intelligence. The Group is presently undergoing a profound transformation to establish itself as the Philippines' first "techglomerate." This innovative growth strategy, fueled by technology and a renewed entrepreneurial mindset, empowers Aboitiz to drive transformative change, shaping the future of its businesses, host communities, and the nation. The Golden Arrow Recognition serves as a testament to Aboitiz Group's unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance. Aboitiz has excelled in several key areas such as compliance, sustainability, and innovation — positioning it as a frontrunner in the realm of corporate governance. This honor reflects the Group's ongoing commitment to creating value for its shareholders, stakeholders, and the broader Filipino community.   Robust policies Aboitiz Group’s robust policies and procedures across every level of the organization form the bedrock of its commitment to excellence in corporate governance. Furthermore, the company's board of directors is characterized by its independence and diversity, playing a pivotal role in providing oversight and making strategic decisions aligned with the best interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Aboitiz places great emphasis on transparency, providing clear and comprehensive information regarding its financial performance, operations, and decision-making processes to ensure that shareholders and the public remain well-informed. In terms of regulatory compliance, Aboitiz is dedicated to adhering to all relevant laws, regulations, and standards related to corporate governance. The company continuously updates its policies to ensure alignment with evolving requirements. When it comes to ethical business practices, the Group's commitment to ethical conduct and integrity remains unwavering. “This award reaffirms the team’s adherence to the shared responsibility of sustainably managing the organization. This further motivates us to champion the highest corporate governance and ethical standards as we continue to grow the business,” said AboitizPower president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Rubio. “Likewise, we also exert as much effort and diligence in upholding environmental preservation and the societal good within the areas we have the privilege to serve,” he said.   Corporate governance For his part, UnionBank lead independent director Roberto Manabat said, “We humbly accept this recognition as a reinforcement of the principles that guide the Bank. Our corporate governance practices reinforce the requirements of a constantly evolving business landscape. We ensure that they comply with new regulations and are ready to adopt best practices.” Aboitiz is deeply committed to sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives.   The post Aboitiz Group bags triple Golden Arrow Awards appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 30th, 2023

Aboitiz Group bags triple Golden Arrow Awards

With a distinguished legacy spanning five generations, the Aboitiz Group remains steadfast in its commitment to fostering positive change in shaping the future as it adheres to the standards and requirements outlined in the ASEAN Corporate Governance Scorecard. This year, following the 2022 compliance period of the ACGS, Aboitiz Equity Ventures, Inc. received a 4-arrow recognition after scoring 111.68 points, AEV’s highest ACGS score since the Institute of Corporate Directors inaugurated the Golden Arrow Awards in 2018. Aboitiz Power Corporation and Union Bank of the Philippines both received a 3-arrow recognition for scoring between 100 and 109 points. AEV and AboitizPower have consistently been recognized as top performers in corporate governance, both here in the country and in the ASEAN region since 2013-2017 at the PSE Bell Awards. “This distinction is the result of the Aboitiz Group’s work to transform a legacy business into a hyper-innovative, diversified conglomerate that puts corporate governance and citizenship at the core of its operations. We have always believed that transparency and accountability are essential in building trust amongst our stakeholders and forging strong partnerships in order to drive change,” said Ginggay Hontiveros-Malvar, Aboitiz Group’s chief reputation and sustainability officer. AEV, the portfolio management company of the Aboitiz Group, leads investments in diverse sectors including power, banking and financial services, food, infrastructure, land and cutting-edge fields such as data science and artificial intelligence. The Group is presently undergoing a profound transformation to establish itself as the Philippines' first "techglomerate." This innovative growth strategy, fueled by technology and a renewed entrepreneurial mindset, empowers Aboitiz to drive transformative change, shaping the future of its businesses, host communities and the nation. The Golden Arrow Recognition serves as a testament to Aboitiz Group's unwavering commitment to upholding the highest standards of corporate governance. Aboitiz has excelled in several key areas such as compliance, sustainability, and innovation – positioning it as a frontrunner in the realm of corporate governance. This honor reflects the Group's ongoing commitment to creating value for its shareholders, stakeholders, and the broader Filipino community. Aboitiz Group’s robust policies and procedures across every level of the organization form the bedrock of its commitment to excellence in corporate governance. Furthermore, the company's board of directors is characterized by its independence and diversity, playing a pivotal role in providing oversight and making strategic decisions aligned with the best interests of shareholders and stakeholders. Aboitiz places great emphasis on transparency, providing clear and comprehensive information regarding its financial performance, operations, and decision-making processes to ensure that shareholders and the public remain well-informed. In terms of regulatory compliance, Aboitiz is dedicated to adhering to all relevant laws, regulations, and standards related to corporate governance. The company continuously updates its policies to ensure alignment with evolving requirements. When it comes to ethical business practices, the Group's commitment to ethical conduct and integrity remains unwavering. The company adheres to a stringent code of conduct that guides the behavior of its employees, fostering an environment of trust and integrity. “This award reaffirms the team’s adherence to the shared responsibility of sustainably managing the organization. This further motivates us to champion the highest corporate governance and ethical standards as we continue to grow the business,” said AboitizPower president and chief executive officer Emmanuel Rubio. “Likewise, we also exert as much effort and diligence in upholding environmental preservation and the societal good within the areas we have the privilege to serve.” “We humbly accept this recognition as a reinforcement of the principles that guide the Bank. Our corporate governance practices reinforce the requirements of a constantly evolving business landscape. We ensure that they comply with new regulations and are ready to adopt best practices,” said UnionBank lead independent director Roberto Manabat. Aboitiz is deeply committed to sustainability and corporate social responsibility initiatives. The company actively pursues environmental and social responsibility, demonstrating its dedication to creating a positive impact on society and the environment.   The post Aboitiz Group bags triple Golden Arrow Awards appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsSep 29th, 2023

PBBM tells DFA, DMW to help Filipinos affected by Maui Wildfire

President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. has instructed the Department of Foreign Affairs and the Department of Migrant Workers to collaborate with the state of Hawaii to assist grieving families and help Filipino communities rebuild after the devastating Maui wildfire. In a statement posted on X (formerly Twitter), Marcos expressed his heartfelt condolences to the victims of the tragedy, which has claimed at least 97 lives, including a significant number of Filipinos and Filipino-Americans. "Our hearts are with the victims of the Maui wildfire and their families," Marcos said. "With losses among the Filipino and Filipino-American communities, we deeply feel the weight of this tragedy." "In the spirit of unity and compassion, I have instructed the DFA and DMW to collaborate with the state of Hawaii to assist grieving families and help Filipino communities rebuild," he added. "We stand in solidarity with those affected, offering our condolences and continued support." The Maui wildfire started on 8 August 2023, and quickly spread through the town of Lahaina, destroying hundreds of homes and businesses and killing at least 97 people. The fire is believed to have been caused by downed power lines and was fueled by strong winds and dry conditions. Based on the 2020 census data of Hawaii, Filipinos constitute approximately 25 percent of the state's population, positioning them as the second-largest racial group. Their presence is even more significant in Lahaina, the town most heavily impacted by the fires, where they make up 40 percent of the population. Furthermore, they represent a considerable portion of the workforce in the tourism sector. Despite their significant numbers, many of their narratives remain concealed, causing concern among this community. Notably, data from the Migration Policy Institute showed that Filipinos comprise the largest undocumented population in the state, accounting for 46 percent of this demographic. The post PBBM tells DFA, DMW to help Filipinos affected by Maui Wildfire appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsSep 28th, 2023

No torpedoing submarine plan

Mere days had passed after the Department of National Defense signaled a reboot of the Armed Forces of the Philippines’ Modernization Program when France and South Korea came knocking on the door to offer to develop our submarine force. For an archipelagic country like the Philippines, the versatility and stealthiness of submarines make them ideal for a variety of missions, including intelligence gathering, deterrence, and actual combat. They can, likewise, protect valuable maritime assets and patrol sea lanes without being seen. If the Philippines’ plan to acquire submarines comes to fruition, it will send a strong message to the international community that it is committed to defending its sovereignty and maritime rights, which are currently being violated with impunity by China in the West Philippine Sea. Last 14 September, French Ambassador-designate Marie Fontanel-Lassalle paid Defense Secretary Gilberto C. Teodoro Jr. an introductory call to reiterate her country’s support for a credible defensive posture by the Philippines in the Indo-Pacific region. According to reports on the meeting between the envoy and Teodoro, an offer by French defense manufacturer Naval Group to fill the Philippines’ shopping list for two to three submarines had been refreshed, including building a base for the modest fleet in Subic Bay. The Philippine Navy had previously announced that Subic Bay would be its preferred location for the submarines that the Philippines has been planning to acquire since the Ramos presidency, a push that was put on hold by the Asian financial crisis in 1997. As early as 2019, before the Covid-19 pandemic put everything on hold, Filipino naval and defense officials had reviewed and found worthy of consideration the Scorpene diesel-electric submarine manufactured by France’s Naval Group. France, however, would have to fight it out with other bidders like Spain and South Korea, with the latter stepping up its push to supply the vessels that operate primarily under water. Last week, executives from South Korean shipbuilder Hanwha Ocean were in Manila to make a formal pitch for their newest Jang Bogo-III submarine. The Korean offer, like France’s, was a mere update, at the center of which is a 77-meter, 2,800-ton diesel-electric submarine with a beam of 9.7 meters. It boasts the latest propulsion system and lithium-ion battery technology that would allow it to operate longer. Of course, acquiring submarines is not a cheap proposition. However, it is a necessary investment for the Philippines’ national security. Experts have maintained that, in the long run, it will be cheaper to build a submarine force than to maintain a large surface fleet. As Teodoro moves for the “re-horizoning” of the AFP Modernization Program, the Marcos administration may want to start from scratch any negotiations for military equipment that had been made during the two previous administrations. That is as it should be as the Philippines must choose the best updated and re-priced proposals from several countries. As the submarine acquisition will demand a huge capital outlay, it is a must that the country shops wisely, not necessarily for the cheapest, but for what would fill its strategic and defensive needs. The acquisition process should be fully transparent and fair as it would involve taxpayer money, if not more foreign loans. The acquisition of submarines — just like the purchase of planes, ships and tanks — by the Philippines would also necessitate investments in training and infrastructure to support the new force. With increasing challenges from China in the West Philippine Sea, the Philippines is being compelled by exigencies to put into motion Horizon 3 of the AFP Modernization Program to bolster its external defense capabilities. There would be those who would oppose more military expenditures, but the Philippines, located as it is in one of the most problematic areas of the world, must be wise to prepare for its security. With the jets and surface ships that the country had procured under Horizons 1 and 2, having a few submarines is the logical next stop for a country of over 7,000 islands surrounded by water. Any decision on which submarines to acquire should be based on a thorough assessment of each proposal’s technical capabilities, cost effectiveness, and the long-term benefits they offer to the Philippine Navy. Transparency in the acquisition process is paramount to ensure that the chosen submarines meet the country’s defense needs while adhering to its budgetary constraints. The post No torpedoing submarine plan appeared first on Daily Tribune......»»

Category: newsSource:  tribuneRelated NewsSep 25th, 2023