Items filtered by date: Monday, 10 April 2017

M6.0 quake rattles Davao City, other areas

MANILA (UPDATED) - A magnitude 6.0 earthquake in central Mindanao shook Davao City and other areas in the southern Philippines early Wednesday morning.
The inland tremor struck 6 kilometers west of Wao in Lanao del Sur at a depth of 1 kilometer at 5:21 a.m, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).
Phivolcs' initial measurement of the earthquake was magnitude 5.5 before raising it to magnitude 6.0.
It was felt at Intensity IV in Davao City, Cagayan De Oro City, Cotabato City, and Gingoog City
Phivolcs said the quake is expected to cause damage and trigger aftershocks.


The Bataan Death March: Experiencing the walk of death

This week, the city of Tarlac commemorates the Bataan Death March with the participation of locals and volunteers from different branches of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP).

The goal is to help people become aware of the sacrifices that Filipino and American soldiers made 75 years ago as they were forced by the Japanese Imperial Army to march to a concentration camp 160 kilometers away.

For thousands of Filipino and American soldiers, part of World War II's history was about surviving the long march and witnessing the death of their comrades. According to official documents, the official troop count in Bataan on April 13, 1942 was 74,800 Filipinos and 11,796 Americans. An estimated 60,600 Filipinos and 9,900 Americans were part of the Death March from April 9-15, 1942.

By the time they arrived in Capas, there were only 45,600-plus Filipinos and 9,300-plus Americans; the rest died along the way.

At the War Memorial shrine, members of the public have a chance to experience how the soldiers struggled and died at the hands of the Japanese army. The commemorative march started at the city’s people’s park, 10 kilometers away. Those who joined made their way through residential areas and main roads, the same routes World War II prisoners walked.

In Capas, the participants looked for their grandparents’ names on the war memorial that has the names of all the soldiers etched as part of Philippine history.

-Jonathan Cellona ABC CBN news

  • Published in Media

63-year-old grandma graduates from elementary with daughter, grandson

A 63-year-old grandmother just proved that age should not be a hurdle for anyone who wants to learn.
A report on Unang Balita on Tuesday said that Selina Sungguran graduated on April 7 from the Guigang Elementary School in Zaiyan, Zamboanga del Norte, along with her daughter and grandson.
Despite her age, "Nanay Selina" would walk 3 kilometers everyday just to go to school. She said she hopes to become a teacher one day.

— Marlly Rome Bondoc/GMA News


Rent a boat with buddies: Budget tips for beach trips

One perk of living in the Philippines is having countless beaches to visit. When you think about it, it shouldn't cost that much to hang out at a beach. All you need is your swimwear, some food and drinks, and a place to sleep.
Despite that, beach trips can end up quite expensive. Here are five ways to avoid overspending:
1. Travel with a group

Renting a boat costs less when there are more of you in a group. Photos: Carmela G. Lapeña
Unless your plan is to have some alone time, traveling with a group is a good idea. You can save a lot when it comes to fees for lodging or transportation.
For instance, the fee to rent a boat is the same whether you're alone or with others.
Having travel buddies means you won't need to talk to strangers who might want to split a boat with you. On second thought, that's not such a bad thing. If you're traveling alone, making new friends is one way you can save some money.
2. Rent a place
If you follow the first tip, renting a place is one of the most important things when it comes to saving money. Resorts almost always cost more, because you're paying for the convenience. But do you really need someone to make your bed for you?
A few years ago, we rented an entire house in Pangasinan for P3,000. There were 10 of us, so we really got to save. Renting a place is also a great idea for large groups, so you don't have to worry about bothering or being bothered by other groups. You could also camp on the beach—that will definitely help with saving money.
The other expensive thing about resorts is you usually won't be allowed to bring your own food or drinks, so you'll have to keep buying food from the restaurant. This, too, can be expensive. Which brings us to the third tip.
3. Cook your own food

Baon food that won't spoil easily, like adobo, and head to the local market to pick up quick and easy meals, like dried fish.
Preparing meals is one of the best parts of a beach trip. Everyone pitches in, and that somehow makes the food extra delicious.
For your first meal, it helps to have food that was cooked before the trip. People are usually hungry after a trip, and having to prepare a meal when you're already hungry can lead to a lot of grumpiness.
I know. You're thinking you should just eat out, but that will immediately put a dent in your budget. Make something that won't spoil easily—adobo is always a hit, and if you make more than enough, the leftovers can become your first breakfast. For vegetarians, bring lots of fruit and bread to snack on. This will keep you going until you go to the market, which is a must for keeping your expenses low.
Going to the market is how you'll save money and learn about the place you're at, as well. It's always interesting to see what kinds of fish and vegetables they have, and if you ask, you can learn some new recipes. When you go to the market, you can get enough food for the entire trip for the amount you might spend on one meal at a restaurant.
4. Bring your own things
If you're feeling lazy to pack things, just think of how much you'll end up spending for your last-minute toiletries. Sure, you can buy these items at the beach or at a stopover, but they're way more expensive than normal.
Apart from soap, shampoo, and toothpaste, other often-forgotten items to bring include charcoal, ice, drinking water, chips, dishwashing soap, cooking oil, spices, and even salt (although salt is not expensive at the market). If you plan on drinking, bringing a cooler is also a good idea.
5. Do your research

Beachfront accommodations can save you time and money.

The choices may be overwhelming, but it really helps to do a lot of research before you go on a trip. Winging it might be exciting, but not so exciting for your wallet. Find out what your options are—are there beachfront cottages? It might seem more expensive, but it could be worth it since you won't need to travel from your place to the beach.
What other activities are you planning? Hiking is usually very affordable, but Jet-skiing and parasailing are not. See if you can find group packages, but also do the math because some group packages aren't actually cheaper than normal rates. Making a table to compare can be helpful, and you can also refer to it for future trips.
The best way to make sure you save on a beach trip is to always ask yourself, is there a way I can spend less? Remember, beach trips are fun, and they're more fun when they're not expensive. — BM, GMA News


Task force to assist earthquake victims

MANILA, Philippines - Government disaster response agencies have formed a task force that will provide immediate assistance to quake-hit areas in Batangas and nearby provinces.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) said the task force was created after President Duterte ordered speedy and continuous relief operations for residents affected by the magnitudes 6 and 5.6 earthquakes that occurred on Saturday afternoon.

As this developed, a magnitude 3.3 quake shook some parts of the Ilocos and the Cordilleras yesterday afternoon.

The quake occurred at 1:27 p.m. with its epicenter located 11 kilometers northeast of Bagulin, La Union, according to the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs).

It was felt at Intensity 1 in Baguio City.

On the same day, a series of mild quakes hit the coastal town of Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental.

Two of the tremors – magnitudes 4.4 and 4.5 – occurred at 10:44 a.m. and 11:03 a.m., respectively.

The third quake of undetermined magnitude occurred at 3:39 p.m.

No casualty or damage to property was reported.

Aside from the DSWD, the task force is composed of the Department of Health (DOH), Philippine Red Cross (PRC) and the social welfare and health offices of Batangas.

The agencies will provide psychosocial interventions for displaced families in the municipalities of Mabini and Tingloy, which were hit by the quake.

“I have instructed our concerned units and offices to augment the needed resources and provide appropriate interventions to affected individuals, especially to children, pregnant women, persons with disabilities and senior citizens,” Social Welfare Secretary Judy Taguiwalo said in a statement yesterday.

Another team – composed of the Office of Civil Defense in Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon), Phivolcs, PRC and DSWD as well as the provincial social welfare office – will validate data on affected families and damaged houses and infrastructure.


Aftershocks continue to be felt in Batangas a week after a magnitude 5.5 quake jolted the province on April 4, state seismologists said.

Phivolcs recorded at least 26 tremors with magnitudes ranging from 1.8 to 3.5 as of yesterday afternoon.

Most of the aftershocks were slightly felt in the town of Mabini.

The quake was followed by more than 1,000 aftershocks and two tremors of magnitudes 6 and 5.6 on Saturday.

Phivolcs director Renato Solidum said the aftershocks might last for days or weeks.

Solidum ruled out the possibility of the occurrence of stronger quakes, noting the fault that caused the April 4 quake is only capable of generating moderate tremors.

The series of earthquakes in Batangas will not trigger movement of other faults, including the 100-kilometer West Valley Fault, he said.

Residents of Metro Manila have been advised to remain vigilant, as the West Valley Fault – which runs from Marikina to Laguna – is capable of generating a magnitude 7.2 quake.

The fault is “ripe” for movement, Phivolcs said.

Last Saturday’s quakes displaced 2,139 families, who were provided with food packs and other relief goods amounting to more than P1.5 million.

Taguiwalo ordered the DSWD central and field offices in Southern Tagalog to conduct continuous rapid damage assessment and needs analysis in quake-affected areas and ensure that the basic needs of affected residents are met.

“We appeal to the Filipinos to ensure earthquake preparedness at home and in communities,” she said.

“Preparedness is our best defense against calamities. When we are prepared, rehabilitation after disasters becomes faster and easier.”


Meanwhile, Budget Secretary Benjamin Diokno yesterday visited Tingloy along with some national and local officials to assess the situation and determine the needs of residents and the municipality.

Diokno had to see personally the magnitude of damage so he could immediately release budget for the relief operation, according to Gov. Hermilando Mandanas.

The municipality has 20,000 residents, 8,000 of them currently in evacuation centers.

Tingloy Mayor Mark Alvarez said they needed to repair their water supply system, which was damaged by the quake.

Alvarez said they need tents, bottled water and food for the evacuees, as well as cement.

Among those badly damaged in Tingloy were houses, schools, churches, roads and the wharf.

The island-municipality was temporarily off-limits to tourists to pave the way for repair and rehabilitation.

The Sangguniang Panlalawigan on Monday declared a state of calamity in Tingloy, Mabini and Batangas City.

Check oil, gas installations

To ensure public safety, the Department of Energy has been urged to check the safety of all oil and gas installations in Southern Tagalog.

“Oil and gas installations in Batangas may be more sensitive to tremors compared to power plants,” Makati Rep. Luis Jose Angel Campos Jr. said. –By Janvic Mateo (The Philippine Star) with Edith Regalado, Helen Flores, Artemio Dumlao, Vic Alhambra, Arnell Ozaeta, Delon Porcalla


Duterte arrives in Saudi Arabia for state visit

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia - Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte arrived in Riyadh late Monday evening, April 10 (Riyadh time), for a two-day state visit that aims to boost ties between the two countries.

Duterte arrived in Saudi Arabia at 9:43 pm, Riyadh time, or 2:43 am of Tuesday, April 11, in Manila.

Philippine Consul General to Riyadh Iric Arribas said the Philippines and Saudi Arabia aim to forge at least 3 agreements during Duterte's visit.

These deals include the following:

an agreement to protect overseas Filipino workers in Saudi Arabia
an agreement between the two countries' foreign ministries to regularly discuss areas of cooperation between Saudi Arabia and the Philippines
an agreement between the two countries' diplomatic academies to explore areas of cooperation

Arribas also said the Philippines wants to enlist Saudi Arabia's help against the illegal drug trade. This is one of the topics that the embassy proposed to take up during Duterte's state visit.

Saudi Arabia is known for its hardline stance against illegal drugs. (READ: OFW supporter: Duterte will kill for peace? Same in Saudi Arabia)

Arribas said the two countries, for one, can help each other in the "sharing of intelligence information" and in "capacity building of anti-drug enforcement agencies."

"When you talk about drugs, it's not just a domestic issue. It's a transnational issue," Arribas explained.

Duterte's schedule in Saudi Arabia includes a meeting with King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh on Tuesday.

On Wednesday, April 12, Duterte is set to meet the Filipino community in Riyadh before flying to Bahrain then Qatar. –

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