Wednesday, September 26, 2012

If Shoes Could Cry

A BBC report said that Imelda Marcos’ famed shoes –at least the ones that she left when she and her dictator husband hurriedly left the Philippines- are now ruined. Now a congresswoman, the former Philippine First Lady whose ostentatious extravagance resulted to the coinage of the word Imeldific, was not available to comment on the matter.

Termites, a series of typhoons, neglect and possibly hatred for the Marcoses resulted to damaged shoes, bags, and apparel. The late dictator’s formal native wear were also seen covered in mold for being stored in the Philippine capital’s National Museum without protection.
The former First Lady and her husband left staggering amounts of personal belongings says the BBC report and this includes a total of 1, 220 pairs of shoes.

It is interesting to note that Imelda Marcos donated a pair of shoes in a New York auction before and it fetched $10, 000 –something that Philippine officials should have kept in mind when they took Imelda’s shoes for “safekeeping”.

Over a hundred cartons of clothes, shoes, and accessories were transferred to the museum when they started showing signs of damage while in Malacañang during democracy icon Cory Aquino’s administration. They deteriorated further after being kept in an abandoned hall of the museum.

Photos via

Monday, September 24, 2012

History of the Philippine Islands in Inforaphics

Photo Credits:
rey imperial


Timeline: Philippine History

The Cultural Influences of India, China, Arabia, and Japan

Philippine History (Halili, 2004)

Philippines - The Malolos Constitution and the Treaty of Paris

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Twitter Life of Hashtag UAAP75

UP Pep Squad shaves to symbolize freedom

The UP Pep Squad were sporting shaved heads in yesterday's Cheerdance Competition wowing the crowd yet again for being different. Although their routine wasn't flawless thanks to that last second fall, the UP Pep Squad still outperformed its rivals. 

The performance (and their shaved heads) dedicated to the university is the squad's way of showing other universities that UP is fearless. 

UP students and alumni on social networking sites Facebook and Twitter kept posting "Freedom" on their status boxes during the UP Pep Squad's performance. 

Monday, September 17, 2012

SALN Rules Changed -Ombudsman

The Office of the Ombudsman announced to the media this morning that SALN rules have changed. The shift from “Everything is secret unless allowed” to “Everything is open unless restricted” means that the SALNs of public officials will now be treated as public documents.

The issue of the SALN only came about during the impeachment trial of former Chief Justice Renato Corona and has been a household term ever since.

Corona was impeached by the lower house on December 12, 2011 and found guilty by the Senate on May 29th the next year. 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Pacquiao v. Marquez on December 8

Philippine boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao's coach confirmed on Friday that Pacman will fight Mexico's Juan Manuel Marquez in December. 

The two will embark on a media tour in three cities before the fight itself. The fight scheduled for December is the fourth fight between Marquez and Pacquiao and it will take place at the MGM Grand Arena in Las Vegas.

Miguel Cotto was supposed to have another match with Pacquiao this year but the Puerto Rican announced that he will fight Austin Trout on December 1st.

Sources say that Pacquiao's party is also negotiating a rematch against Tim Bradley. 

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

List of Complaints Against China: A Backgrounder

The territorial disputes in Asia has been getting a lot of media attention this year but a few years back, such disagreements over these small pieces of land were never broadcasted by international media outlets. 

With Washington sending Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to talk to Asian nations involved in the territorial brawl, Beijing made it clear that its government is not happy with the US’s move.

In recent years, China’s rise as an economic power not only in the region but in the world has made its neighbors more concerned about the disputes than before. This “nervousness” is not unfounded however considering that the list of complaints against China is a bit lengthy.

In the year 1974, the Chinese People’s Liberation Army (PLA) drove Vietnam from Paracel Islands. In the year 1988, the same group took Johnson South Reef from the Vietnamese. By the 1990s, China took Mischief Reef from the Philippines without a fight. Over a decade later, the USNS Impeccable sitting in its exclusive economic zone was confronted by a Chinese fleet. In 2010, Japan reported that the Chinese limited rare earth metal exports to the former. A year later, the Vietnamese government reported that Chinese paramilitary vessels purposely severed survey cables behind its exploration vessels. This year, the Philippines said the Chinese used coercive economic diplomacy in the heat of the Scarborough Shoal mêlée.

While this list is a bit daunting and can scare regular folk, none of the claimants of these little pieces of land are considering a conflict-based approach. 

Photo: Reuters


Philippine growth rate ranks No.4 right behind China

A few days ago, the Philippines announced its gross domestic product (GDP) growth during the second quarter to be at 5.9 percent. The BBC covered this piece of news and so did the Financial Times, CNBC, and The Wall Street Journal.

How important is this piece of information that international news agencies are writing about it? The fact that the GDP growth of the country is right behind China’s 7.6 percent makes it newsworthy but before we all start celebrating, one must note that the country’s economy is ranked at no. 32 out of 35 based on its size.

In 2011, the Philippine economy’s size was equivalent to USD 225 billion but if one compares it to its neighbors Thailand and Indonesia with USD 345 billion and USD 846 billion respectively, there is a need for the Philippines to reach a growth rate of 6 percent and maintain that growth rate for it to improve its ranking in terms of economy size. 

Photo: Better Philippines

Mysterious insect discovered in the Philippines

A mysterious wingless insect has been discovered  in the Philippines recently. The spectacularly colored insect is said to live on the ground and vents a foul smell to drive away predators according to the scientists who found the insect.

Marco Gottardo, a PhD student in the University of Siena said that his colleague Oskar Conle, an entomologist showed him museum specimens of a mysterious-looking stick insect. The specimen is said to have been found on Mindoro’s Mount Halcon several years back. 

The stick insect has been given its own genus.  Gottardo said, little is known whether the insect is related to other stick and leaf insects. 

Photo: Oskar Conle

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s visit to Beijing increases territorial tensions

Hillary Clinton’s visit to the Chinese capital spiked tensions over territorial disputes between the Asian power and the countries around its coastline including Vietnam, Japan, and the Philippines.

Last Monday while the US Secretary of State was in Indonesia, she reiterated that the purpose of her visit is for the region to resolve disagreements in a peaceful manner.

Beijing however reacted angrily to US involvement accusing Clinton’s office of “unfounded accusations”. 

The Fight For Birth Control

Manila, Philippines – Although the Philippines is a relatively modern nation in terms of its views, the country in the past few weeks has been experiencing a long-drawn debate on a controversial issue that is the Reproductive Health Bill.

In the midst of the monsoon that lasted almost two weeks last August,  Filipinos against the passing of the bill started posting on social networking site Facebook that “God’s wrath has befallen the country” even if the monsoon did not affect other parts of the Philippines.

Father Melvin Castro, the Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Commission on Family and Life said, “Preventing fertilization is not a surgical but a chemical or medical abortion.” Castro also said that the government is dipping its toes in a territory beyond its authority and that it is “legislating an immoral law”.

Cecilia Lopez, a 52-year-old mother of 12 and a regular church-goer said in an interview with CNN that she does not agree with Castro. “When you use them, it’s not like you’ve sided with evil,” she added.

Philippine politics has suffered for decades because of the moral influence of the Catholic Church both on politicians and voters.

Solita Monsod stated, “Legislators are called on regularly by bishops, one by one, and some priests visit legislators in their districts, to convince them to drop support or strengthen their opposition to the bill.”

Photo: Women On The Road

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