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Philippines

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A BTS-inspired exhibit is now open at the oldest museum in the Philippines

  • The University of Santo Tomas (UST) Museum – the oldest museum in the Philippines – has launched an exhibit inspired by K-pop boy group BTS so that ARMY can go “Namjooning.”
  • “UST Goes Namjooning: Capturing Moments on Campus” highlights both the university campus and BTS with photos, merchandise and games.
  • “Namjooning” is a term that was coined by BTS leader RM – whose birth name is Nam-joon – after a fan asked him on Weverse about his summer vacation plans back in 2019.

ARMY can now go “Namjooning” at an exhibit inspired by K-pop boy group BTS at the University of Santo Tomas (UST) Museum, the oldest museum in the Philippines.   

According to its website, the museum was established in 1869 to comply with a Philippine law that required “first class colleges” to have natural history museums. 

Philippines to allow US access to military bases if China-Taiwan tensions escalate

  • Jose Manuel Romualdez, the Philippine ambassador to the United States, told Nikkei Asia that the Philippines will allow U.S. forces to access military bases in the country if China-Taiwan tensions escalate.
  • Under the 2014 EDCA (Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement), American forces are only allowed to have a rotational, temporary military presence at several bases in the Philippines. The number of visiting U.S. personnel is contingent on "the scale and the frequency of the activities to be approved" by the two countries.
  • “Looking ahead, we seek to enhance the posture of our alliance to address new and emerging challenges," a Pentagon spokesperson told Nikkei Asia. “We intend to continue to implement infrastructure projects at current EDCA locations and explore additional sites for further development."
  • Romualdez also mentioned that Washington and Manila are currently in talks to increase the number of military bases in the Philippines that U.S. personnel can use, which could possible include a naval base.

Philippine ambassador to the United States Jose Manuel Romualdez said the Philippines will allow U.S. forces to access its military bases in the country if China-Taiwan tensions escalate.

In an interview with Nikkei Asia, Romualdez said access to the country’s military bases would be given “if it is important for us, for our own security.”

77-year-old woman becomes first Filipino to visit every country in the world

fil traveler
  • Odette Aquitania Ricasa, a 77-year-old woman, became the first Filipino person to travel to all 195 countries in the world.
  • She landed in Kurdistan, Iraq, on Thursday, completing her journey.
  • Ricasa started flying across the globe in 1980. At the age of 40, she was able to start fulfilling her dream of traveling to different countries.
  • Ricasa is also the author of six books, a motivational speaker, an artist and a pianist.

A 77-year-old woman became the first Filipino person to travel to all 195 countries in the world.

Odette Aquitania Ricasa, who is based in Los Angeles landed in Kurdistan, Iraq, on Thursday, completing her journey to visit all of the countries in the world.

This little boy is not easily impressed

child yawns on ride
  • A video of a little boy yawning on an amusement park ride as others scream in terror has gone viral.
  • On what appears to be a pirate ship pendulum ride, the boy sits with little facial expression.
  • Some online users expressed concern over the boy’s safety, with many commenting that he is “too young” to be on the ride and pointing out that he is not wearing a seat belt.

A little boy riding a pirate ship amusement park ride in Atimonan, Quezon, Philippines, while nonchalantly yawning has gone viral.

In the video shared to Instagram by @cat_x_vibes, the little boy, who appears to be around 4 or 5 years old, sits by himself on the ride bearing little to no facial expression as the pendulum swings back and forth. At one point, he yawns as other passengers on the ride can be heard loudly screaming. 

Filipino sports icon Lydia De Vega, once known as ‘Asia’s fastest woman,’ dies of cancer

  • The Philippines’ track and field legend Lydia De Vega, who was once dubbed “Asia's fastest woman,” has died at age 57 after a four-year battle with breast cancer.
  • De Vega is among the Philippines' most decorated athletes in history, having received numerous medals from the Southeast Asian Games, Asian Games and Asian Athletics Championships.
  • In the ‘80s, she held the throne as Asia's fastest woman for winning the 100m dash events in the 1982 and 1986 Asian Games.
  • Her daughter Stephanie announced the news of her passing on Wednesday night via Facebook post.
  • De Vega has kept a low profile since her retirement in 1994 and made her last public appearance in 2019 as one of the flagbearers during the opening ceremony of the 30th Southeast Asian Games.

Filipino sports icon Lydia De Vega, who was once dubbed “Asia’s fastest woman,” has died after a four-year battle with breast cancer.

The track and field legend succumbed to her illness on Wednesday at age 57, according to an announcement by her daughter Stephanie.

‘Everyone gives so much love’: Fil-Am NBA player Jalen Green reconnects with Filipino roots in Manila

  • Jalen Green, the 20-year-old Filipino American NBA player, arrived in Manila on Wednesday for his “JG4 Manila Tour” with sports brand Adidas Philippines.
  • The JG4 Manila Tour is reportedly Green’s first event as an Adidas Global Ambassador and a full-fledged NBA player.
  • The tour centers on reconnecting him with his Filipino heritage and fans with “the authentic Manila experience through Philippine basketball and street culture.”
  • In a “Fast Talk” segment at a press conference on Thursday, the 20-year-old basketball player said his greatest motivation is his mother Bree Purganan, a native of Ilocos Sur.

Filipino American NBA player Jalen Green reconnected with his Filipino roots for his “JG4 Manila Tour” with sports brand Adidas Philippines.

The Houston Rockets guard arrived in Manila on Wednesday for a series of events by Adidas that center around reconnecting him with his Filipino heritage and fans.

Single people in the Philippines to receive scholarships, subsidies and other perks in proposed bill

  • Filipino lawmaker Margarita Ignacia Nograles recently proposed the “Single Persons' Welfare Act,” which would grant unmarried Filipinos scholarships, monthly subsidies, extra days off and flexible working schedules.
  • Filed on July 6 as House Bill 1364, the proposal will tap government and non-government agencies to develop a comprehensive program of services that will aid single persons and their dependents.
  • "In almost all cases nationwide, many of such single individuals function like a solo parent and bears the most burden in the family," the lawmaker was quoted as saying.
  • Under the proposed bill, single Filipinos with dependents will receive scholarships, a monthly cash subsidy of 1,500 Philippine pesos (approximately $27) for those earning minimum wages and flexible work schedules with opportunities to work from home.
  • Any change in the status of the beneficiary, such as getting married, will nullify that person’s eligibility for said benefits and privileges.

A lawmaker in the Philippines has filed a bill seeking additional benefits and privileges for single Filipinos.

Representative Margarita Ignacia Nograles of the PBA party-list proposed the Single Persons’ Welfare Act, which would grant scholarships, monthly subsidies, extra days off and flexible working schedules to Filipinos without a partner.

7.0-magnitude earthquake leaves at least 5 dead and 130 injured in northern Philippines

  • A 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit northern Luzon, the Philippines’ most populous island, on Wednesday morning, killing at least five and injuring 130 people.
  • The impact caused about $687 million of infrastructure damage and affected more than 21,000 people.
  • There had been 58 reported landslides, damaging hundreds of homes and several schools and hospitals.
  • Centuries-old historical sites, including Vigan Cathedral and Bantay Bell Tower, also collapsed among terrified residents and visitors.

A 7.0-magnitude earthquake struck the Philippines, prompting more than 50 landslides and killing at least five people. 

The earthquake hit northern Luzon, the Philippines’ most populous island, on Wednesday morning at a depth of six miles, killing at least five and injuring 130 people, according to the authorities.

Philippines lawmaker submits bill to make ‘ghosting’ a punishable criminal offense

Filipino lawmaker Arnolfo Teves Jr. proposed that the act of “ghosting” be declared a punishable emotional offense. 

Teves, the Negros Oriental 3rd District representative and a member of the Nationalist People’s Coalition, argued that “ghosting is a form of spite that develops feelings of rejection and neglect,” making it an act of emotional cruelty.

British man who paid $21 for Filipino children to be sexually abused sentenced to 3 years in prison

  • A British security controller who commissioned live-stream footage of Filipino children being sexually abused was sentenced to three years in prison.
  • The 68-year-old paid £18 (approximately $21) for each live stream.
  • Logs showed that the man solicited the sexual abuse of children aged 13 to 16.
  • He was charged with five counts of arranging and facilitating the commission of a child sex offence and three counts of arranging or facilitating the sexual exploitation of a child.

A security controller from North London was sentenced to three years in prison on Tuesday by the Southwark Crown Court for commissioning the sexual abuse of Filipino children.

Using Skype and an online service called “Chaturbate,” Graeme Wilson, 68, paid £18 to £23 (approximately $21 to $28) per livestream to watch Filipino children between the ages of 13 to 16 be sexually abused. 

Filipino American sommelier wins James Beard award for essay on ‘white supremacy’ in the wine industry

  • Filipino American sommelier Miguel de Leon won the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for his long-form personal essay, “It’s Time to Decolonize Wine,” published in online magazine Punch in June 2020.
  • De Leon, who currently serves as the wine director of the Michelin-rated Pinch Chinese restaurant in Manhattan, wrote about his experiences as a wine professional of color in the white-dominated industry.
  • He contextualized the appreciation of wine beyond its Eurocentric heritage with his own Filipino heritage and upbringing.
  • De Leon’s works in the media cover the topics of racism, social justice and equity. Last year, he was named the New York Sommelier of the Year.

Filipino American sommelier Miguel de Leon won the James Beard Foundation Journalism Award for his long-form personal essay on ​​dismantling white supremacy in the wine industry.

De Leon, a Philippine-born writer and New York City-based sommelier, received the award on June 11 for his essay, “It’s Time to Decolonize Wine,” which was first published in the online magazine Punch in June 2020.