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What Goes Around Comes Around and 2 stories to lift your spirits

It’s April 10, 2021, another feel-good Saturday, time for more stories that warm the heart and lift the spirits......»»

Category: newsSource: philstar philstarApr 9th, 2021

Give kids a mood-boost from Robinsons!

To bring back the joy of summer, try adding a pop of color to your days! Here are some wardrobe and playtime picks in bright and happy hues to help lift their spirits!.....»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated NewsMay 4th, 2021

Hopeful as always

To say that 2020 was a most challenging year is to be kind to ourselves. It is an attempt to lift one's spirits after going through some of the most horrific experiences in living memory. Somehow, it is also a way to forget those horrors in a determined effort to move on with all the heartaches and baggage of the past 300 days. It is a year that will forever be etched in our collective memory as simply catastrophic......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsDec 31st, 2020

Inspiring stories to uplift the spirits

Facing various crises such as typhoons, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions is not a new thing for Filipinos but their resilience is currently being put to test by the pandemic. .....»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsNov 10th, 2020

Ghosts from the past: Throwback horror stories (I)

Scary tales from the teens of the ‘90s During the 90’s, stories about creatures like aswang, mananangal, tikbalang, kapre, tiktik, tyanak scared us, especially for those of us who lived in the province. But since we’re doubtful these creatures really exist, because we haven’t seen one, we just outgrew the scare from the tales about them. What really frightened us during those times were stories from family and friends about their experiences with multo (ghosts)—restless spirits that cry for help, either because they couldn’t accept their fate or they are paying a visit to their loved ones.  There is nothing scarier than seeing dead people. So it’s time for some throwback horror. Here are some ‘90s tales that you might have already heard before but still give you a fright even today. Ozone bystanders October 1997, a few minutes before the bell rang to signal the start of sembreak, our audio visual professor, who also produced documentary films for one of the country’s television networks, narrated a story that made us rowdy students silent and attentive. “Don’t forget to watch our feature story on the Ozone Disco Club tragedy on Oct. 31!” he said with a voice modulated to echo in every corner of the room.  This was seven months after the tragic fire incident killed 162 people before midnight of March 18, 1996.  “Since there were rumors that ghosts show up and crying voices can be heard at the burned establishment, we decided to make a feature story on Halloween. So I sent our camera crew to Ozone, with hopes to get actual footage of the restless souls and record their cries. But, well, they failed, but our camera crew told us a hair raising story,” he started. “Our cameramen went to Ozone before noon. While on their way inside, some bystanders were able to follow them. They called their attention and asked them gently to go outside because they are the only ones permitted to be there. Good thing, the bystanders willingly obliged. “Apart from the eerie shades of black and gray, our crew captured the burned DJ booth where the fire started, the ceiling that went down and sandwiched disco goers, the small exit door that wasn’t used and could have saved more lives, and the door at the entrance, which is the main reason why many guests were trapped inside,” he narrated. The door he was referring to has a one-way opening, push if you’re outside and pull if you’re inside. Since most of the guests ran to this door, the ones who were in front were not able to open the door because they got pressed before they got to pull it.   “But our cameramen were persistent,” he continued. “Hoping to get something for our Halloween special feature, they decided to go back after dinner. When they were shooting inside, they noticed that they were bystanders again standing a few feet behind them. Our main cameraman asked his assistant to tell them that they are not allowed to watch. And so he did. “‘Mga Sir, mga Ma’am hindi po tayo pwede dito, labas po muna tayo!’ yelled the assistant. “But everyone didn’t move a muscle and was still staring at them. So the assistant decided to go near the group to escort them out. ‘Ma’am, Sir, pasensya na po, bawal po tayo dito, labas po muna tayo,’ he commanded with an earnest voice. “But then, someone talked, with a gentle voice, ‘Hindi po kami, makalabas. ‘Hindi po namin mabuksan ang pinto. Tulong…Tulong…Tulong…’ Then this sound slowly faded. “The assistant attempted to shout but there was no sound coming out from his mouth. Trembling, he went back to his buddy, told him to turn around the camera. But when they about-faced, no one was there. All the time they were shooting, they were the only humans present inside the Ozone,” our professor ended the story. BRRRING! The campus bell rang right after our professor stopped talking. We were all shocked and went nuts, some fell on their seats, some jumped on it, some threw their staffs, others wailed, “Naaaay ko po!”.....»»

Category: newsSource:  inquirerRelated NewsOct 31st, 2020

Literary Fiesta

Filipino dining in Philippine literature Pahiyas festival, illustration by Manuel Baldemor It’s not Pinoy dining if it’s not a feast. And our Philippine literature has told many stories that illustrate our healthy appetite, traditional palayok (clay pot) cooking, siesta, fiesta, flavors, and fusions.  Doña Victorina fans herself amid the smoke of a roasting pig. Her guests are coming, their noses up in the air sniffing the flavors. On the table, adorned with gilded copa de vino (wine glass) and plato, are sinigang na dalag with alibambang leaves, callos, adobo, tinola, and pochero. Everybody was in high spirits. Never mind if the doña is broke (to begin with). At least her guests are full. Jose Rizal drew a perfect picture of the Pinoy fiesta and salu-salo (gathering) culture. Our national hero himself loves to eat. He prefers a hefty serving of champorado and tuyo for breakfast. For dessert, he likes minatamis na santol (sweetened santol) made from boiled santol slices soaked for three days in hugas bigas (water used to wash rice). Before starving in Europe, where he published El Filibusterismo, Rizal would feast in carneng asada (beefsteak with sauce), made from lean meat marinated in olive oil, lime juice, and parsley and served with fried potatoes. Gabriela Silang loved pinakbet. Emilio Aguinaldo listed sardines with tomatoes among his favorites. Marcelo H. del Pilar would die (pun intended) for his apparent favorite, pochero, the local version of the Spanish cocido. Andres Bonifacio got his strength and protein source in nilitsong manok sa zaha (grilled chicken wrapped in sampaloc and banana leaves). The Filipino salu-salo Never mind if some of our celebrated dishes are not “purely” Pinoy. “What is Filipino food and how does food become Filipino?” asks the late food critic Doreen Fernandez. She argued that food only became Pinoy by process of indigenization, like patis (fish sauce) put in a foreign dish. And this is how Pinoy fusion came to life. What we have on our modern plates are many fusions, crazy or ingenious, like paella with lechon, sinigang na steak, adobong tapa, pancit with kangkong. Yes, you get the picture.  Could their favorite Filipino flavors be the reason behind the intelligence and nationalism of our heroes Rizal and Bonifacio? Too bad, many young Pinoys nowadays barely know what minatamis na santol is, or any Pinoy traditional merienda for that matter. What replaced maruya, nilagang kamote, turon, kutsinta, and ginataang mais are French fries, burger, pizza, and pasta. You know what they say: You are what you eat.   In another table setting, Padre Damaso looks across the dining table. Everybody’s enjoying tinola, a stew of chicken and green papaya, but not him. Who wants chicken neck for lunch? He didn’t finish his plate. And this, people, was how the concepts of degustation and small plates were born. They’re not, after all, a French discovery or New York’s. We can blame our mañaña habit. We’re too slow to grab the credit. And oh, we are pioneers of the culture of not finishing plates, too. Blame these all to Padre Damaso (or Jose Rizal?). The tinola brouhaha scene in Noli Me Tangere started it all.  Lechon haus mural by boonsai While it’s rude in other cultures not to devour all the food served on the plate, in the Philippines, it’s not. Pinoy eating tradition tells you it’s okay to have leftovers. Telenovela , movies, and literature are great examples. When a family fights over the dining table, the father (or any member) walks away with an unfinished plate. In Ibong Adarna, over a scrumptious dinner, the brothers were all too busy planning how to catch the elusive bird that they forgot to finish their plate.       Besides books, paintings also tell our delicious food experience. Fernando Amorsolo captured Pinoy eating habits in his painting Afternoon Meal of the Rice Workers. It shows Pinoy families cooking meals in a palayok and eating under the shade of a tree, seemingly ready to sleep after an afternoon feast. With all the food trends coming and going on our plates and literature pages flying off to oblivion, what remains steadfast in our eating habit is this: Siesta. –NICKKY FAUSTINE P. DE GUZMAN.....»»

Category: newsSource:  mb.com.phRelated NewsOct 18th, 2020

Star-studded online entertainment

Challenging and trying as the times may be, it is probably in our nature to try and find something that might give us that much-needed lift in spirits. Whether it’s busying ourselves with new-found hobbies, reconnecting with friends, or simply binge-watching movies, it’s all about finding that pleasant diversion that reassures us that better days will come soon......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  thestandardRelated NewsSep 22nd, 2020

An amazing story about the Rosary

Let’s take a brief pause from showbiz goings-on and look at other stories that lift the spirit and enrich our soul......»»

Category: entertainmentSource:  philstarRelated NewsJul 24th, 2020

All that pressure turned CJ Perez, Robert Bolick into diamonds

CJ Perez and Robert Bolick are now the lead guards of upstart teams Terrafirma and NorthPort, respectively. Having wrapped up their first years in the PBA as members of the All-Rookie Team, the future surely shines bright for the former rivals. This, even though Perez continues to juggle five-on-five and 3x3 national teams and Bolick continues to recover from an ACL injury. After all, both of them know rocky roads all too well. Perez was already a shining star in San Sebastian College-Recoletos, but then took his talents to Ateneo de Manila University. However, he fell short of the academic requirements in Katipunan and did not play a single game as a Blue Eagle in the UAAP. Still, he is nothing but glad to share that he became a better player and a better person by the end of his time there. "Kahit sa Team B lang ako nakalaro, parang mas natuto pa nga ako doon kasi ang daming laro, ang daming liga. Feeling ko, mas nakundisyon pa ako," he shared in The Prospects Pod last Friday. He then continued, "Tapos sa aral naman, nung pinaghahabol ako dahil sa bagsak, doon ako natuto talagang mag-aral nang mabuti. Nabilib pa nga ako sa sarili ko kasi kaya ko palang mag-aral nang ganun." Fortunately, the 6-foot-2 guard landed on his feet in Lyceum of the Philippines University and proceeded to win MVP and make school history. He was well on his way to being the top overall pick by the Dyip in the 2019 PBA Draft, but even that didn't come easy as complications arose regarding his application. Apparently, Perez failed to notify the NCAA about his draft application and was suspended for Game 1 of the Season 94 Finals. In the end, he and the Pirates lost anew to San Beda University. Nonetheless, he chooses to see silver linings from that. "Yung mga ganung bagay is a lesson. Para sa akin, natuto ako kung paano yung mga moves bago magdesisyon, kung paano paghahandaan muna lahat para yung desisyon mo, mas mapaganda," he said. While he won three championships in a row as a Red Lion, it was not all roses as well for Bolick. A self-proclaimed "bench player" for two years in De La Salle University, he shared that he felt like he didn't belong in Manila. "Parang feeling ko nun, hindi ko pa kaya yung college kasi never pa ako nakapaglaro nang ganung karaming tao. Dati nga, naisip ko, pagpasok ko ng court, ang laki naman nito, ano ba naman 'to," he said. He then continued, "Dati, kaunting takbo lang, pero ngayon, parang ang tagal bago ka makarating sa kabila." Thankfully, teammate Oda Tampus was always there to lift up the spirits of the 6-foot-1 playmaker. As he put it, "Ang nagbukas talaga ng mata sa akin, si Oda, kaming dalawa lang yung Bisaya sa team ko siya yung kuya ko kumbaga. Siya yung nagturo sa akin ng ropes, ng diskarte sa college." Not long after, he only grabbed the golden opportunity over in Mendiola where he came to be known as "The Bus Stop" and then "Big Shot Bolick" and then "50-point man." And not long after, he was drafted third overall by the Batang Pier. Looking back, the Ormoc native has no doubt that he is where he is today all because of the rocky road he had taken. "Minsan, ngayon, kapag naiisip ko yun, grabe napagdaanan ko yun? Papasok, fa-foul tapos babalik sa bench," he said. He then continued, "Pero dahil dun, tumibay talaga ako." --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 14th, 2020

SEA Games gold winners Wong, Lim raise over 300K for fight vs COVID-19

Agatha Wong and Jamie Lim's team-up has been a triumph in the continuing COVID-19 crisis. The gold medalists in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games have raised over PHP 300K for frontliners in PGH as well as Quezon City General Hospital. Through those funds, basic necessities have been purchased for medical staff as well as recreational materials - such as TVs, activity books, and self-help guides - for recovering patients. "As athletes, Jamie and I knew that the physical aspect as well as the mentality of an individual matters for overall health," Wong, twin-gold winner in wushu, said. "We believe that when the mind is healthy, the heart and body will follow." Wong teamed up with Lim, who ruled 61 kg women's karate in the regional meet, in weekly online question-and-answer sessions where the pair discussed health, wellness, and sports as a way to lift the spirits as well as liven up the minds of viewers. And though that has been a triumph, they vowed to only continue keeping up the good fight vs COVID-19. "Based on pledges, there will be more to come. We will be posting updates soon," Wong said. At the same time, the gold medalists reiterated the importance of a healthy mind - with or without the virus in the body. "Anxiety is inevitable, but also letting yourself interrupt your troubling thoughts with positivity is possible," Wong, a proud product of College of St. Benilde where she took consular and diplomatic affairs, said. She then continued, speaking on behalf of Lim, who graduated summa cum laude in mathematics in the University of the Philippines, "We just want everyone to know that there will be an end soon. Never lose hope and take care of yourself!" --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsJun 10th, 2020

SEA Games gold winners Wong, Lim take up fight vs COVID-19

Agatha Wong and Jamie Lim did battle with the best of the best in Southeast Asia and came out on top. Now, the gold medalists in the 2019 Southeast Asian Games hope to inspire all of us to keep up the good fight in the continuing COVID-19 crisis. Wong, twin-gold winner in wushu, and Lim, who ruled 61kg women's karate, have joined forces to raise funds to help out frontliners. The two will host a half-four question-and-answer session on Instagram Live every Wednesday and Saturday starting April 22. There, they would discuss health, wellness, and sports as a way to lift the spirits as well as liven up the minds of viewers in the ongoing community quarantine. Wong is a proud product of College of St. Benilde where she took consular and diplomatic affairs while Lim graduated summa cum laude in mathematics in the University of the Philippines. For now, the gold medalists are looking at a five episode run of the initiative they have named "Puso: The Battle Against COVID-19." Those interested to help out can do so here: BPI Account name: Jamie Christine B. Lim Account number: 2900008743 BDO Account name: Jamie Christine B. Lim Account number: 7018006040 Gcash Account name: Jamie Christine B. Lim Number: 09178820947 --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsApr 21st, 2020

Hunger for & lsquo;good news& rsquo; grows as pandemic woes deepen

Battered by grim headlines, horrifying statistics and deep uncertainty over the coronavirus pandemic, many people worldwide are trying to lift their spirits by seeking out "good news.".....»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated NewsApr 14th, 2020

PBA: Arana celebrates birthday by cooking for COVID-19 frontliners

Veteran PBA forward Ryan Arana turned 37 yesterday and to celebrate, he cooked up a ton of food. However, said food went the way of the brave frontliners battling COVID-19. The enhanced community quarantine in Luzon due to the COVID-19 outbreak is on its second week, and the battle is taking its toll on the frontliners. Doing his own way to help, Arana chose to celebrate his birthday with our true modern-day heroes, preparing meals to those that keep us safe. "Thank you to our frontliners, security guards, policemen etc. It was a simple act yet seeing their big smiles made it fulfilling," Arana wrote on Instagram.         View this post on Instagram                   This is how I celebrated my birthday. Instead of having a party, I planned on making it more meaningful by celebrating with our heroes in the streets. Thank you to our frontliners, security guards, policemen etc. It was a simple act yet seeing their big smiles made it fulfilling. I hope we can spread kindness and positivity especially at a time like this. Special thanks to all the people here at home who helped me with all the preparations. Cheers everyone ???? A post shared by Ryan Araña (@ryanarana) on Mar 23, 2020 at 6:39am PDT "I hope we can spread kindness and positivity especially at a time like this," he added. Happy birthday Ryan, and may your act of kindness lift the spirits of our brave frontliners. Stay safe and healthy, Kapamilya!   — Follow this writer on Twitter, @paullintag8 .....»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsMar 24th, 2020

Uncertainties in uncertain times

How do we lift our spirits during these uncertain times? Is it true that stress can have an impact on our immune system? Panicking is a well-known trend when we have fear of the unknown. Experiencing lack of control and helplessness can be unnerving, as well. Being exposed to regular news cycles of misinformation on […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  manilatimes_netRelated NewsMar 22nd, 2020

2019: To sweep or not to sweep in collegiate basketball

The 2019 collegiate basketball season will always be remembered as the time when all of NCAA defending champion San Beda, UAAP Men’s defending champion Ateneo, and UAAP Women’s defending champion National U were trying for season sweeps. Two of them did it, one of them didn’t. All in all, though, that storyline that had something to do with history defined NCAA 95 and UAAP 82. A tale of two leagues – when it comes to foreign student-athletes NCAA 95 was the last season wherein the Grand Old League’s 10 member-schools were still able to trot out foreign student-athletes. This, after more than a decade of the likes of Sam Ekwe, Sudan Daniel, Allwell Oraeme, Prince Eze, and Mike Nzeusseu setting the bar higher for big men. Over in UAAP 82, Beninese ball of energy Soulemane Chabi Yo and Ivorian tower Ange Kouame jostled throughout the tournament for the recognition as top individual player. In the end, Chabi Yo followed in the footsteps of Cameroon’s Ben Mbala and Nigeria’s Bright Akhuetie as Season MVPs. The NCAA will go local from here on out while the UAAP will still parade promising prospects from overseas – what’s certain is that both leagues will go all-out to ascertain that the action will never stop. Rising stars become shining stars Robert Bolick left San Beda with a big, big hole at point guard – only for Evan Nelle to waste no time proving the Red Lions remain in good hands. UST’s fast and furious attack needed a fast and furious playmaker – and the Growling Tigers got just that in the form of Mark Nonoy. In his first year as FEU’s lead guard, L-Jay Gonzales showed time and time again why he was always seen as the next one in the Tamaraws’ long, long line of great guards. The story of the season in terms of guards, however, has got to be Fran Yu who came out of nowhere to energize Letran to a pleasant surprise of a championship. UP might 2019 was the first time in a long, long while – or maybe even ever – that UP was considered a shoo-in for the Final Four. The Fighting Maroons had just ended a 32-year Finals absence and a 21-year playoff drought last year and came into this season still with Bright Akhuetie, Jun Manzo, and Gomez de Liano brothers Javi and Juan, but also now with Kobe Paras and Ricci Rivero. In all, State U lived up to the hype and made it back-to-back Final Four appearances, but at the same time, fell short of fulfilling the promise of its fully loaded line-up. Still, continued contention is nothing but a welcome development for Diliman which had been experiencing dark, dark days for far too long. Gilas Pilipinas calling With Tab Baldwin overseeing the program, Gilas Pilipinas will try once more to take a long-term, big-picture view – especially with the 2023 FIBA World Cup looming large. With that, the American-Kiwi mentor tapped on five collegiate standouts to form the foundation of the national team – Ateneo’s Isaac Go and Nieto twins Mike and Matt, UE’s Rey Suerte, and San Sebastian’s Allyn Bulanadi. And with that, the Philippines is yet again leaning on the best of the best of collegiate basketball to wear the flag and do the country proud. It’s a new day, it’s a new generation The NCAA hit home runs in each and every one of its coaching changes. Bonnie Tan raised banner no. 18 for Letran in his first year. Randy Alcantara has Mapua prepped and primed to take flight. Louie Gonzalez has given JRU an attitude. Oliver Bunyi and Cholo Martin have EAC and Arellano, respectively, headed in the right direction. The same cannot be said for the UAAP as both of its new head coaches found themselves on the outside looking into the playoff picture. Jermaine Byrd had La Salle fighting, but ultimately failed to find a finishing kick. UE also kept coming with the leadership of Lawrence Chongson, but eventually ended eliminated. Teeth out, claws out, all-out UST has a proud program in basketball, but only had nine wins to show in 42 games from 2016 to 2018 That all came to an end in 2019 as Aldin Ayo had the Growling Tigers, well, growling from the get-go. Bombing away at their opponents and forcing them to keep up, Espana made its mark as a legitimate contender that made it all the way to the Finals. There, they were sent away by Ateneo’s championship-winning machine, but the future remains bright for the black and gold with all of Season MVP Chabi Yo, Rookie of the Year Nonoy, captain CJ Cansino, Brent Paraiso, and Sherwin Concepcion, among others, coming back for more. Fitting farewell for Ateneo’s championship core Thirdy Ravena. Isaac Go. Mike Nieto. Matt Nieto. Adrian Wong. Those five left Ateneo on top of the world – having claimed a three-peat as well as completed a historic season sweep. And without a doubt, those five were also the catalysts in this new golden age for the Blue Eagles – a golden age which has seen them set and then raise the standard for team glory time and time again. Katipunan will have a tough time moving forward from those five, but at the same time, having the likes of Ange Kouame, Will Navarro, Gian Mamuyac, and SJ Belangel just waiting in the wings makes it easier. Who run the world? National U has not lost a game in 2,270 days. National U has not lost a game in 74 months. National U has not lost a game in six years. The last time head coach Pat Aquino had to lift up the spirits of his Lady Bulldogs was back in October 5, 2013 when they bowed to La Salle in the winner-take-all Finals Game 3. Since then, the blue and gold has been the gold standard of women’s basketball all while giving its opponents the blues. That didn’t change this year as behind Jack Animam and Rhena Itesi as well as welcome additions Kelli Hayes and Camille Clarin, National U continued to have all the answers – even for back-to-back Season MVP Grace Irebu and UST. Shock the system Letran was, in no way, given a chance to deny archrival San Beda’s bid for a perfect season – or much more, win the championship altogether. But the Knights didn’t listen and took that chance themselves, catching just everybody by surprise by taking Game 1 and dealing the Red Lions their first defeat in the season. San Beda bounced back in Game 2, but in the decider, Jerrick Balanza, Bonbon Batiller, Larry Muyang, and Yu just willed Letran to the title. Now, the Knights are kings for the 18th time – and indeed, they had no import, but had no problem. --- Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsDec 23rd, 2019

Christmas Comes Early with M Bakery’s Special Treats

Christmas is the most awaited season in the Philippines, a time of gathering and celebrating with family and friends. Inspired by the tradition of giving gifts and sharing delectable treats during the holidays, M Bakery releases its Christmas offers that will surely lift your holiday spirits. Choose from the Christmas-inspired versions of the hit bakeshop’s […].....»»

Category: newsSource:  metrocebuRelated NewsNov 25th, 2019

Iran women attend FIFA soccer game for first time in decades

By Amir Vahda and Mehdi Fattahi, Associated Press TEHRAN, Iran (AP) — They had to sit well apart from the men, and the stadium was practically empty, but thousands of Iranian women in merry jester hats and face paint blew horns and cheered Thursday at the first FIFA soccer match they were allowed to freely attend in decades. In what many considered a victory in a decades-long fight by women in Iran to attend sporting events, they wrapped themselves in the country's vibrant red, green and white colors and watched with excitement as Iran thrashed Cambodia 14-0 in a 2022 World Cup qualifier at Tehran's Azadi, or Freedom, Stadium. "We are so happy that finally we got the chance to go to the stadium. It's an extraordinary feeling," said Zahra Pashaei, a 29-year-old nurse who has only known soccer games from television. "At least for me, 22 or 23 years of longing and regret lies behind this." As one woman shouted from a passing minibus before the match: "We are here finally!" So far, Iran's hard-line Islamic theocracy is not willing to go as far some women would like. Authorities announced they will allow women to attend only international soccer matches. Women have been banned from many sporting events in Iran since 1981, during the early years of the country's Islamic Revolution. Iran is the world's last nation to bar women from soccer matches. Saudi Arabia recently began letting women see games. Under pressure from FIFA, Iran let a carefully controlled number of women into the stadium, allocating them 4,000 tickets in a venue that seats about 80,000 people, and arranged for 150 female security personnel in black chadors to watch them. They sat at least 200 meters (yards) from the few thousand men at the match. Iranian state television, which long has been controlled by hard-liners, aired footage of women cheering, and commentators even acknowledged their presence. "There can be no stopping or turning back now," FIFA President Gianni Infantino said in a statement. "History teaches us that progress comes in stages, and this is just the beginning of a journey." Iran faced a potential ban from FIFA international matches if it didn't allow women into the game. The pressure from FIFA and Iran's soccer-loving public has grown since September, when an Iranian woman detained for dressing as a man to sneak into a match set herself on fire and died upon learning she could get six months in prison. The self-immolation of 29-year-old Sahar Khodayari, who became known as the "Blue Girl" for her love of the Iranian team Esteghlal, whose uniforms are blue, shocked Iranian officials and the public. At the match Thursday, a reporter with Iran's state-run IRNA news agency posted a video online of chador-wearing officers trying to grab a woman she said had a sign in Khodayari's honor. The crowd could be heard chanting, "Let her go!" The reporter wrote on Twitter that the woman slipped away from officers and ran off. Hard-liners and traditional Shiite clerics, citing their interpretation of Islamic law, believe in segregating men and women at public events, as well as keeping women out of men's sporting events. The effort to allow women back into stadiums has gone through fits and starts. In 2006, then-President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said he wanted women to attend matches to "improve soccer-watching manners and promote a healthy atmosphere." However, Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, who has final say on all matters of state, opposed the decision. Then, last year, Iranian authorities allowed a select group of women into Azadi Stadium by invitation only to watch the Asian Champion League final. Infantino said that "FIFA now looks more than ever toward a future when ALL girls and women wishing to attend football matches in Iran will be free to do so, and in a safe environment." Activist groups outside of Iran remain suspicious of Tehran. Amnesty International called the latest decision "a cynical publicity stunt by the authorities intended to whitewash their image." "Instead of taking half-hearted steps to address their discriminatory treatment of women who want to watch football, the Iranian authorities should lift all restrictions on women attending football matches, including domestic league games, across the country," said Philip Luther, Amnesty's Middle East and North Africa research and advocacy director. Still, many in Iran embraced the move, like shopkeeper Amir Ali Bagheri, who sold Pashaei a Team Melli jersey ahead of the match. Women "are so excited they are going to the stadium," he said. "God willing, there will be freedom sooner so that they can attend all matches, not just the national team matches. That will be much better." After the match, Pashaei said she hoped authorities would open up more matches to women so she could attend them with her family. "The 'Blue Girl' and her stories did help. Of course, efforts by women activists and feminists were very effective," she said. "We are happy anyway and hope this will continue, not just in national team matches." ___ Associated Press writer Jon Gambrell in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, contributed to this report......»»

Category: sportsSource:  abscbnRelated NewsOct 11th, 2019

Allowing more pork imports to leave local hog raisers bankrupt – agri groups

A bill seeking to nullify President Rodrigo Duterte's order to lift the cap on pork imports has earned the nod of various agricultural groups. The post Allowing more pork imports to leave local hog raisers bankrupt – agri groups appeared first on Bulatlat......»»

Category: newsSource:  bulatlatRelated News9 hr. 51 min. ago

Indigenous tribes hope Taiwan court will protect hunting traditions

Before heading into Taiwan's mountains with his homemade rifle, Indigenous hunter Tama Talum often chants prayers and makes offerings of rice wine and betel nut to the spirits......»»

Category: newsSource:  thestandardRelated News12 hr. 11 min. ago

Australia envoy lauds lifting of mining ban

The Australian government has lauded the Philippines’ move to lift the nine-year ban on new mining projects, noting this would help in the latter’s recovery......»»

Category: financeSource:  philstarRelated News15 hr. 51 min. ago

‘Quarantine to be lifted once things clear up’

President Duterte has vowed to immediately lift quarantine restrictions “once things start to clear” even as he assured the public that efforts are being done to address hunger caused by prolonged lockdowns......»»

Category: newsSource:  philstarRelated News16 hr. 41 min. ago