DFA cautions OFWs on unpaid loans, bouncing checks

THE Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) cautions overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in the United Arab Emirates on taking out loans and using credit cards.

The advisory is being issued in view of the alarming increase in the number of Filipinos detained due to unpaid loans.

Many people are tempted to apply for loans in the UAE due to various reasons. They are lured by low interest rates, without paying much attention to the other charges which appear in the fine print, and the prospect of taking as much as 18 months of one’s salary. Usually, banks require only a certificate of employment to approve a loan application. (MORE)

Bicol Canada Community Association Inc. officers

Bicol Canada associationThe officers and members of the board of directors of the Bicol Canada Community Association Inc. headed by President Rafael Nebres (seated 4th from left) will be serving from 2014 to 2015. Others in photo (seated from left to right) are Jess Cabrias, director; Virgie Manaog, director; Aida Dolores Lagarde, assistant treasurer; Jojo Taduran, vice president for government relations and membership; Naty Gutierrez, director; and Ching Ragos, treasurer.

Standing from left to right are Nestor (Von) Canton, director for special projects; Ronnie de la Gana, director for special projects; Ely Olayon, director; Noli Aquino, vice president for sports and youth development; Helen Lopez, director; Monsie Royong, assistant secretary; Arlene Martirez, secretary; Larry Bercasio, director; Fely Ortega, director; Estrella Dilla Carpenter, vice president for public relations; Bobby Achacon, director; Benhur Llacer Salcedo Jr., director.

Not in photo is Raul Tarin, director. (St. Jamestown News Service/PR)

Ontario Filipino Ministerial Fellowship

Ontario Filipino Ministerial FellowshipPhoto shows the men and women composing the Ontario Filipino Ministerial Fellowship who held their monthly meeting last week at the Friends of Jesus Christ Canada Church located at Nugget, Scarborough, Ontario, Canada with Bishop Ef Tendero of Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches as guest speaker.

Pastor Teck Uy is the incumbent president of the OFMF. (PR)

Devastation reaching far beyond the Philippines (A plea from MacArthur, Leyte)

By Ernesto Regis Jr.

Photo contributed by "Aid for Typhoon Haiyan Victims"

Photo contributed by “Aid for Typhoon Haiyan Victims”

MOST us have a routine. We get up, make coffee, have breakfast, get ready for work and off we go. We, all of us, take it for granted that there will be a tomorrow where we will have a roof over our heads, food to eat and a family to hug. Now see yourself in another country like the Philippines, say a small town called MacArthur, Leyte. MacArthur is but one of many towns where life changed forever last Friday, November 8, 2013, and that change came in the form of a monster typhoon. Instead of coffee, hugs and a normal day, the people of MacArthur were ravaged by winds of almost 200 mph and storm surges nearing 20 feet in some areas. For these people, life will never be the same. No food. No water. No roof. And for many, the losses were so much greater, with an estimated 10,000 presumed dead.

Leyte is one of the most beautiful islands in the world. Located in the central region of Visayas, it had pristine beaches, beautiful villages and perhaps, one of the friendliest groups of people you will ever meet. Leyte is also known for its part in the history in WWII. General Douglas MacArthur landed and waded into the town of Palo. He used Leyte as a strategic move to stop the invasion of the Japanese militia, thus coining the famous quote “I Shall Return.”

Little did anyone know when Typhoon Haiyan, also known as Yolanda, approached the Philippines that this storm would become a historical event. Meteorologists around the world may find this to be the strongest typhoon ever recorded. A typhoon is the same as a hurricane in North America. It was recorded as a type 5 super-typhoon. This category 5 typhoon made landfall in the province of Leyte and hit heaviest in Tacloban, Palo, MacArthur, and down to Abuyog at the sustained speed of 195 mph. In comparison, Hurricane Katrina was a category 3 when it made landfall at a sustained speed of 126 mph.

A friend of mine from MacArthur, who is now staying with relatives in another province, described the storm like being in a “washing machine” for 4 hours waiting for it to move away.

Homes have been destroyed, many of the survivors are injured and all are starving. Emergency aid arrives first in larger populated areas, like Tacloban City. However smaller towns like MacArthur and even smaller hamlets within the municipality becomes less important because of access and population.

“Aid for Typhoon Haiyan Victims” (MacArthur, Leyte), is an initiative campaign to recognize the needs for of the smaller towns and villages who may wait endlessly for help to reach them. Our mission is to raise funds that will go directly into these places and help the people. A Facebook page campaign has been launched to reach out to people all over the world. We are hoping that you go and visit our page, Like and Share it so that it will be seen by other Facebook users.

To donate money and help our cause, please visit “Aid for Typhoon Haiyan Victims” Facebook page and click on the “gofundme” link or in the information tab.

After you hug your family and stop at Tim Horton’s on the way to work, please think about your sharing your good fortune with those whose lives have been devastated in places like MacArthur, Leyte. What would you do if your entire life was thrown into a washing machine?

So this holiday season, please remember also the ones that are struggling to get back on their feet. We need your help and the only way we can bring our aid is by donating to “Aid for Typhoon Haiyan Victims.” All proceeds go towards the delivery and handling of the donations. Thank you for your support, and Happy Holidays.

Pacquiao, Rios camps come to blows in Macau

MACAU (Updated) – Manny Pacquiao trainer Freddie Roach was involved in a physical altercation with the entourage of opponent Brandon Rios on Wednesday, four days out from their fight. Roach approached Rios trainer Robert Garcia in the gym both camps are sharing at The Venetian casino on Macau’s Cotai Strip, saying they had gone past their […]

MassKara Festival 2013 opens

THE 20-day celebration of one of the country’s highly anticipated fiestas kicked off Tuesday at the Bacolod City public plaza as City Mayor Monico Puentevella declared the 2013 MassKara Festival open.

This year’s festivities started with the “Fun MassKa-Run, Walk, Bike, PWD” and were attended by different schools, the Philippine National Police, the Bureau of Fire Protection, Persons with Disabilities (PWD) and employees of the Bacolod Government Center.

Starting points commenced at the Old Bacolod City Airport, Provincial Lagoon and at the Ayala North Point, respectively. [Read more]

Countdown to grander 2013 Giant Lantern Festival starts

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO — It’s a hundred days to go before the grander, more colorful and extra-exciting Giant Lantern Festival or GLF 2013.

On Thursday, the 2013 GLF Executive Committee chaired by Engr. Marni Castro, co-chair Multi-Sectoral Governance Council Committee on Tourism and Culture head Ma. Teresa Laus, Mayor Edwin Santiago and other partners in the world-renowned festival inked separate agreements for the staging of the “Ligligan Parul” at Robinsons Starmills on December 14.

Erstwhile sponsor Robinsons Land Corporation upped the sponsorship package from P1.9 million in 2012 to P2.2 million this year to provide greater assistance to the lantern makers and estimated 11 participating barangays, aside from boosting the lantern making industry in this city, said Robinsons Land regional manager Jodie Arroyo. [Read more]

Bayan Basketball Club hosts 26th NABA tournament

By Romy Zetazate and Manny Papa

THE 26th Annual Inter-City NABA’s basketball tournament is slated at the Ray Twinney Recreational Complex in Newmarket, Ontario, and in some other Catholic and High School Gyms around the York Region, specifically in Newmarket, Aurora, King City, and Richmond Hill.

The three-day event will be held commencing Friday, August 30, when it holds its opening ceremonies. Actual basketball game competitions will be held starting Saturday, August 31, through Sunday, September 1.

The tournament is one of the biggest basketball tournaments for Filipinos of Filipino descent in North America. There will be about 22 cities participating from the United States, Canada, United Kingdom and Europe.

About 155 basketball teams have confirmed their participation.

The basketball divisions include Tykes, Peewee, Bantam, Damsel, Girls, Ladies, Junior, Juvenile, Open, Senior and Masters.

The host club, Bayan Basketball Club, is inviting all basketball aficionados in Canada to watch and enjoy the games, and at the same time welcome visiting teams of all ages and nationalities in the different locations in Newmarket, Ontario.

Bayan Basketball Club is also looking for volunteers and coaches who will assist the different teams during the scheduled basketball games.

In addition to basketball games, volleyball games will be conducted in the sports tournament.

The sports tournament organizers are also calling on all volleyball teams not only in Canada but also in other parts of the world to participate in this big event.

For more information, please get in touch with Alex A. Dooc, at telephone numbers: (647) 203 – 1260 (landline) or (647) 203 – 1260 (mobile), or by email at bayan1260@live.ca. (St. Jamestown News Service)