Dec 052017
Miss Universe 2017
Photo via The Straits Times

Newly-crowned Miss Universe Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters has arrived in Manila.

The new Miss Universe is accompanied by last year’s winner, Iris Mittenaere, and other Miss Universe 2017 participants from Spain, Italy, Russia, Malaysia, India, Canada, China, and Singapore.

Brought in by the Department of Tourism, Nel-Peters, Mittenaere, and the pageant participants will be visiting Batanes, Vigan, Bohol, and Camiguin, reports

They will also showcase the work of talented designers from Mindanao in a charity fashion show.

The Official Miss Universe IG account teased the arrival earlier this month: “It’s happening… The reigning #MissUniverse Demi-Leigh Nel-Peters, #MissUniverse 2016 Iris Mittenaere and some of this year’s contestants are heading to the Philippines! They’re looking forward to the incredible hospitality of Department of Tourism – Philippines, seeing some of the 7,107 Islands, being a part of DOT’s Women Of Significance Gala Night, and the #MissUniverse Fashion Show.”
Miss Universe 2017
Photo via Miss Universe Facebook Page
Manila Bulletin also earlier reported that aside from the fashion show, there will be a meet and greet, and a gala event.
This will be the 2nd time in the Philippines for 2016 Miss Universe, Iris Mittenaere and the first for reigning queen, Demi-Leigh.  Stay tuned.
Nov 152017

Long Term Evolution (LTE) wireless internet speeds and 4G availability in the country has improved, according to a global research by OpenSignal. Download speeds in the Philippines increased to 8.23 mbps as of October 2017, up from 7.27 mbps in 2016. LTE coverage also went up to 58.83 %, up from 44.80 % in the same period, according to the State of LTE Report 2017 by the global internet mapping company. The Philippine internet improvements were mapped by OpenSignal, although it also ranked the country as still lagging far behind its South East Asian neighbors in terms of overall internet speed and access. In general, speeds in the Philippines remain slow, well below both the global 4G average of 16.2 Mbps and the global 3G average of 4.4 Mbps, as measured in the OpenSignal State of LTE report. Singapore led the global survey for download speeds at 46.64 mbps, followed by South Korea at 45.85 mbps. South Korea also ranked 1st for LTE availability with 96.69 % of the country covered, followed by Japan at 94.11 %. In an earlier Mobile Networks Update about the Philippines released in September 2017, OpenSignal tracked the changes seen in 3G and 4G measurements for Smart and Globe over the last six months. Globe led in 4G availability. OpenSignal users were able to latch onto Globe’s LTE signals more than 62.6% of the time. Both operators, however, saw sizable improvements in their availability scores since the spring. Smart’s availability jumped 12 percentage points in Read More …

Nov 052017
Baguio first PH city To Be UNESCO ‘creative city’

Via Baguio City Facebook The city of pines has long been known as a refuge for people weary of the summer sun in the metro, but starting Nov. 1, it’s also the Philippines’ first-ever United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) Creative City. The Creative Cities Network was created in 2004 “to promote cooperation with and among cities that have identified creativity as a strategic factor for sustainable urban development,” and uses the framework of the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The network covers seven creative fields: Crafts and Folk Arts, Media Arts, Film, Design, Gastronomy, Literature and Music. Baguio City was included under the Crafts and Folk Arts category, first being short-listed in September of 2017. Its inclusion in the Crafts and Folk Arts category isn’t a surprise, as Baguio City has cultivated a number of world-class artists, which include Benedicto Reyes Cabrera or BenCab as he’s more popularly known, Eric de Guia also known as Kidlat Tahimik, and Narda Capuyan who has promoted Cordilleran woven art. Baguio’s markets are littered with art and tapestry made by Igorots, natives of the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). The post Baguio first PH city To Be UNESCO ‘creative city’ appeared first on Good News Pilipinas.

Apr 252017
Pinoy Jins win 4 golds in ASEAN Taekwondo Tilt

Filipino taekwondo jins won 16 medals in the 6-country 13th ASEAN Taekwondo Championship held in Malaysia. The Pinoy jins finished second overall carrying the colors of the Smart/MVP Sports Foundation. The Filipino gold winners in the Senior division were: Jenar Torillos Christian Al Dela Cruz Kristopher Robert Uy Leila Delo In the Junior Division, Romelle Pablo Jr. won the gold. Silver medalists in the senior division: Karen Cells Rheza Aragon Rhezie Aragon Noelyn Campos Ma. Kaye Shannelle Romuar Joaquin Mendoza Jr. Reign Charisse Ragutana received the silver in the Junior division. Bronze medalists (Seniors): Eldridge Justin Langit Abram Lance Cuvinar Bronze Medalists (Juniors): Sturdy Jay Gilbuena Catryn Janiella Gilbuena With reports from Katherine Anne M. Baltar   The post Pinoy Jins win 4 golds in ASEAN Taekwondo Tilt appeared first on Good News Pilipinas. Related posts: PH team wins 5 World Taekwondo Golds Pinoy fencers win 3 golds, 10 medals in SEA tilt PH hosts Rio Olympics Taekwondo qualifiers Pinoys bag 3 golds at Dragon Boat Worlds in Russia

Apr 172014
Last call for nominations to ’14 Presidential Awards

SAN FRANCISCO, California — Nominations for the 2014 Gawad ng Pangulo (Presidential Awards) are still being accepted. The Awards seek to recognize and honor overseas Filipinos and organizations that best exemplify the time-honored Filipino values of pakikipagkapwa (empathy), pagtutulungan (cooperation) and pagkakaisa (unity). To date, more than 300 overseas Filipino individuals, organizations and foreign partners have been recognized through the Gawad ng Pangulo Awards. There are four categories for which an individual or organization may be nominated, namely: ▪     Lingkod sa Kapwa Pilipino (LINKAPIL) Award is conferred on Filipino associations or individuals for their exceptional or significant contributions to reconstruction, progress and development in the Philippines; ▪     Kaanib ng Bayan Award is conferred on foreign individuals or organizations for their exceptional or significant contributions to Philippine reconstruction, progress and development, or have significantly benefited a sector or community in the Philippines, or advanced the cause of overseas Filipino communities; ▪     Banaag Award is conferred on Filipino individuals or associations for their significant contributions to advancing the cause or promoting the interests of overseas Filipino communities; and ▪     Pamana ng Pilipino Award is conferred on Overseas Filipino individuals who, in exemplifying the talent and industry of the Filipino, have brought the country honor and recognition through excellence and distinction in the pursuit of their work or profession. The CFO Awards were institutionalized in 1991 under E.O. 498, issued by former President Corazon Aquino, to help identify and recognize those who have selflessly supported relief, rehabilitation and/or development programs in the Philippines. Read More …

Apr 162014
Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog

This photo released by Hezbollah-owned Al-Manar TV Facebook page, shows a combo picture of three Al-Manar TV journalists, cameraman Mohammed Mantash, left, reporter Hamza al-Haj Hassan, center, and technician Halim Allaw, right, who were killed while covering the battle between the Syrian government forces and rebels, in the Syrian town of Maaloula, Syria, Monday, April 14, 2014. AP/Al-Manar TV NEW YORK— Syria is the world’s most dangerous country for journalists a US-based watchdog said Wednesday as it published its annual impunity index tracking unsolved killings of reporters. The New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists reported a “rising number of targeted killings” of reporters in Syria as a recent threat to journalists operating in the war-torn country. “With unprecedented numbers of abductions and high rates of fatalities in combat and crossfire, Syria was already the world’s most dangerous country for journalists,” CPJ said. Iraq remained on top of the rankings with the worst record for solving murders of journalists. Somalia came in second with the Philippines third, the watchdog announced. Iraq, with 100 percent impunity in 100 cases, has topped the rankings ever since the survey began in 2008. Since then, 2012 was the first year that no journalists were killed in relation to their work in Iraq, but 2013 saw a spike to 10 journalist killings, nine of them murders, CPJ said. There were four new murders in Somalia in 2013. “Elusive armed insurgent groups have terrorized the media beyond the reach of Somalia’s fragile law and order institutions, but Read More …

Apr 152014
Japan backs PH in case before UN

Japan Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida. AFP file photo MANILA, Philippines—Japan, which is facing similar security issues with China, has reaffirmed its support for the Philippine recourse to international arbitration over its dispute with Beijing involving territories in an area of the South China Sea, called the West Philippine Sea by the Philippines, citing its basis in international law. Japanese Foreign Minister Fumio Kishida has conveyed his government’s support for the Philippines’ filing of a case before a UN tribunal to settle its dispute with China as he reiterated Tokyo’s advocacy of the rule of law, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said in a statement. “Referring to the Philippines’ submission of its memorial in furtherance of the arbitration proceedings it has initiated relative to South China Sea/West Philippine Sea issues, Minister Kishida reiterated Japan’s support for the Philippines’ effort to seek a resolution grounded on international law, which is consistent with Japan’s own rule of law advocacy,” the DFA said. Kishida met with Foreign Secretary Albert del Rosario for talks at the former’s residence in Hiroshima on April 11. Hiroshima, which bounced back from the devastation wrought by an atomic bomb in 1945, hosted the 8th ministerial meeting of the Non-Proliferation and Disarmament Initiative (NPDI). The 12-nation regional grouping of ministers was formed in 2010 with the goal of a “world free from nuclear weapons” through advancing nuclear nonproliferation and disarmament processes, the DFA said. The Philippines joined the initiative in September last year. Bilateral cooperation During the meeting, Kishida Read More …

Apr 122014
PH case vs China a model for int’l sea disputes

This undated handout photo taken by the Philippine Navy and released April 11, 2012, by the Department of Foreign Affairs shows Chinese surveillance ships off Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal. Armed Forces Chief of Staff Gen. Emmanuel Bautista on Monday, Feb. 24, 2014, accused China’s Coast Guard of firing water cannon at Filipino fishermen last month to drive them away from Panatag Shoal in the West Philippine Sea. AFP FILE PHOTO The Philippines’ case against China in the United Nations arbitral tribunal would be the country’s contribution to international maritime jurisprudence, setting an example of legal remedies that smaller nations could seek instead of submitting to lopsided negotiations with bigger countries, according to the Philippine ambassador to the United States. Speaking at a gathering of businessmen in Makati City on Friday, Ambassador Jose Cuisia Jr. asserted the Philippines’ right to seek international arbitration in the face of Chinese incursions into the West Philippine Sea, the part of the South China Sea within the country’s exclusive economic zone. “This arbitration case would be a model or an example for other smaller states in a similar situation to consider the dispute settlement mechanism under the Unclos (United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea) as a way of resolving disputes in a peaceful manner,” Cuisia said.   First of its kind “The arbitration case itself is the Philippines’ contribution to further strengthening Unclos… As the Philippine arbitration case against China is the first of its kind, the proceedings and its subsequent outcome would Read More …

Apr 122014
Defense accord with US a ‘security cover’ for PH

US President Barack Obama (right) and President Aquino MALACAÑANG FILE PHOTO The new defense agreement the Philippines and the United States could sign on or before the visit of US President Barack Obama later this month is designed as a “security cover” for the Philippines amid the changing security landscape in the region. This is how a ranking government official privy to the talks described to the Inquirer the “Agreement on Enhanced Defense Cooperation” that gives, among other things, a boost to the minimum defense capability posture of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. “It’s more for deterrence, a security cover for the Philippines,” said the official, who requesting anonymity for lack of authority to speak to reporters. “We are taking our neighbors into account as well,” the official added, without referring to  China with which the Philippines is locked in a bitter territorial dispute in the West Philippine Sea, the part of the South China within the Philippines’ 370-kilometer exclusive economic zone. The United States has openly challenged China’s claim to 90 percent of the 3.5-square-kilometer South China Sea and sided with the Philippines as well as Japan in the territorial disputes. Japan and China are both claiming ownership of the Senkaku Islands (called Diaoyu Islands by China) in the East China Sea. According to the official, the draft agreement does not yet spell out how exactly the US military could boost the AFP’s capability, but “we are headed toward that.” The official noted that the press statement released Read More …

Apr 082014
China wants PH to drop arbitration case to heal diplomatic wounds

By Matikas 3:56 pm | Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 A China Coast Guard vessel attempts to block a Philippine government vessel as the latter tries to enter the China Second Thomas Disputed Shoals, locally known as Ayungin Shoal, to orate Philippine troops and resupply provisions Saturday, March 29, 2014. AP FILE PHOTO MANILA, Philippines – The new Chinese Ambassador to the Manila urged the Philippines to set aside its United Nations (UN) arbitration case over the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea) dispute in order to bring back the good relations of both countries. “The current difficulties in the bilateral relations, caused by some problems including the arbitration case on the South China Sea issue, are not what the Chinese side wishes to see, and are not in the common interests of both China and the Philippines,” Chinese Ambassador Zhao Jianhua said in a statement after he presented his credentials to President Benigno Aquino III Tuesday. “It is China’s hope that the Philippine side could, in the spirit of seeking common grounds while shelving differences, work with the Chinese side to properly handle relevant disputes, and to overcome obstacles and bring the bilateral ties back to the normal track of development,” he said. The Philippines on March 30 submitted its memorial to the UN arbitration court seeking to invalidate China’s nine-dash line claim that covers nearly the entire South China Sea including portions of the Philippine 200 nautical mile exclusive economic zone. China has expelled Filipino fishermen from Bajo de Read More …