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philippines

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Rally at United Nations decries Filipino president’s arrival and demands human rights be upheld

Ferdinand Bongbong Marcos Jr

Filipino activists will rally both outside the United Nations headquarters and nationwide on Sept. 20 while the Philippines’ current president, Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., delivers a speech. The rally is meant to demand accountability from Marcos and the Philippines’ former President Rodrigo Duterte, whose drug war policy allegedly led to some 30,000 extrajudicial killings and whose daughter, Sara Duterte, is now the Philippines’ vice president. Led by national Filipino human rights organizations such as Malaya Movement, and Anakbayan, among others, the upcoming rally is also meant to demand that the West uphold and honor human rights worldwide.

Many Filipinos will mark the day after the president’s speech as the 50th anniversary of the declaration of martial law under Ferdinand Marcos Sr., whom many would call a dictator while others consider him a president. Believing that there was a communist insurgency threat, Marcos enacted martial law on Sept. 21, 1972, until his ousting in 1986 due to the People Power Revolution.

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.”

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.

Danny Trejo to play Ferdinand Magellan in love story set in Philippines’ pre-colonial period

  • “Machete” star Danny Trejo has been cast to play the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in an upcoming historical action film set in the Philippines’ pre-colonial period.
  • The film, “1521,” is set to depict the events leading up to the famous navigator’s death in the momentous “Battle of Mactan.”
  • Magellan, who planned and led the first expedition to circumnavigate the world, failed to complete his voyage after he was killed by the natives of the island Mactan.
  • Michael Copon, who is known for his roles as Lucas Kendall in “Power Rangers: Time Force” and Felix Taggaro in “One Tree Hill,” is set to direct and star in the film as the legendary island ruler Datu Lapu-Lapu.
  • The film’s plot, according to IMDB, goes: “Philippines, pre-Spanish era, a young native princess with goddess-like beauty falls in love with a dashingly handsome Spanish soldier. Pulled apart by their loyalties to their own people and against all odds they fight for their clandestine romance.”
  • Filipino actor Bea Alonzo (“Eerie,” “Unbreakable”) has been cast to play the native princess Diwata, while Hector David Jr. (“Power Rangers,” “East Los High”) will take on the role of Enrique, a soldier and translator for Magellan.

An upcoming film set in the Philippines’ pre-colonial period has cast Danny Trejo as the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan.

The film, “1521,” is set to depict the events leading up to the momentous “Battle of Mactan,” where the famous navigator was killed by the natives of the island Mactan. Magellan, who planned and led the first expedition to circumnavigate the world, failed to complete his voyage after he died in battle. 

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.

Philippines is most stressed, Cambodia is saddest in Southeast Asia, says new Gallup survey

  • The global analytics and advice firm Gallup found the Philippines to be the most stressed, Laos to be the angriest and Cambodia to be the saddest countries in Southeast Asia.
  • In a survey conducted from 2021 to early 2022, the global analytic firm recorded “yes,” “no” and “don’t know or refused to answer” responses from respondents aged 15 and older.
  • Respondents were asked about the emotions they felt, including stress level, anger and sadness, the day before the survey was conducted.
  • Gallup compiled the results of each country to create a Positive Experience Index (PEI) and a Negative Experience Index (NEI).
  • The PEI scores relate to respondents’ “perceptions about living standards, personal freedoms and presence of social networks,” while the NEI results are connected to people’s experiences of health problems and their ability to afford food, according to Gallup.

New surveys reveal the Philippines to be the most stressed country in Southeast Asia.

Global analytics and advice firm Gallup measured the emotional states of people in more than 100 countries through extensive surveys. In one survey conducted from 2021 to early 2022, the global analytic firm recorded “yes,” “no” and “don’t know or refused to answer” responses from respondents aged 15 and older.

Ferdinand ‘Bongbong’ Marcos Jr. inaugurated as 17th president of the Philippines

  • Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late former President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was sworn in as the Philippines’ 17th president on Thursday.
  • Marcos, also known as BBM, won the May 9 election with 31,629,783 votes, or 58.77% of the electorate.
  • Marcos steered his 2022 campaign with a promise of unity and progress.
  • Around 5,000 supporters gathered to watch the new chief executive’s inauguration at the National Museum of the Philippines in Manila.

Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., son of the late former Philippine President Ferdinand Marcos Sr., was sworn in as Manila’s 17th chief executive on Thursday.

Marcos Jr., who goes by the moniker BBM, won the country’s presidential election on May 9 with 31,629,783 votes, which constituted 58.77% of the electorate.

Philippines orders news site Rappler to shut down, says founder Maria Ressa

  • Maria Ressa, the Filipino American journalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said the Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) had revoked news site Rappler’s operating license in a statement on Tuesday.
  • The PSEC will uphold its January 2018 ruling of revoking Rappler’s registration for allegedly violating foreign ownership rules, which Rappler has previously denied.
  • Ressa will reportedly appeal the decision because “the proceedings were highly irregular.”
  • The PSEC’s order came a day before Duterte leaves office and Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the son of the ousted dictator, is scheduled to be inaugurated as president on June 30.
  • Ressa told Axios that the timing of the order is “not a good sign.”

The Philippine Securities and Exchange Commission (PSEC) has ordered the shutdown of news site Rappler, according to CEO and founder Maria Ressa.

Ressa, the Filipino American journalist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said the PSEC had revoked Rappler’s operating license in a statement during the East-West Center’s International Media Conference in Honolulu on Tuesday.