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Kennon Road closed due to Tropical Storm Jolina


CLOSED. Kennon Road is closed starting 8 pm of Friday, August 25, 2017, as Tropical Storm Jolina is expected to hit land in northern Luzon. File photo by Mau Victa/Rappler

CAGAYAN, Philippines – The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) advised motorists it had closed Kennon Road in Benguet province due to threats of Tropical Storm Jolina (international name: Pakhar).

In an advisory on Friday, August 25, Alberto Gahid, officer-in-charge and the assistant regional director of DPWH-Cordillera, said Kennon Road is closed to motorists starting 8 pm on Friday.

Gahid advised the public to take Marcos Highway or Naguillian Road in going to and from Baguio City.

Jolina is expected to make landfall in Aurora, Friday evening, and is expected to pass over the Cordillera region.

The provinces of Benguet, Abra, Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province are under signal number 2, according to state weather bureau PAGASA's 8 pm advisory Friday.

Meanwhile, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Park Management, in coordination local disaster agencies, has suspended hiking, trekking, and caving in Mount Pulag, Mount Purgatory in Benguet, and Sagada in Mountain Province. – Rappler.com

Cagayan de Oro animators to release 'Division of Existence' anime


DIVISION OF EXISTENCE. Mindanao-based animation group Xygen CG Works produces Sonzai no Kyoukai or Division of Existence. Screengrab from Xygen CG Works Youtube channel

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – In 2030, a portal opens and paranormal entities from another dimension breach into the human world.

Restrained in prisons built by the military organization Global Security, monsters can find no way to threaten humanity – until one of them breaks the prison and escapes.

John Salazar, a warden in one of the containment facilities, faces his most daunting challenge yet as he is tasked to search for the monster before it unleashes insurmountable danger out in the open.

This is the premise of the upcoming animated film currently under production by Team XGN, the animation group of the Xygen CG Works, a rising company based in Cagayan de Oro.

A hybrid of 2D and 3D animation, the 10-minute film entitled Sonzai no Kyoukai (Division of Existence), has been anticipated by local fans of the genre since it was announced in March.

Inspired by Japanese animation style, it is one of the many creations born out of the talents of local and international artists, with Filipinos from Mindanao spearheading the project.

Passion project

Xygen CG Works head Dave Gadrinab said the project was made out of passion.

"Just like our previous projects, Division of Existence was originally planned only for Japan and the United States," said Gadrinab. He previously worked as an animator outsourced by companies in those countries and was mentored by Japanese creative team Anigo Animation.

He said they are planning to set some scenes of the film in Cagayan de Oro.

Inspired by modern Japanese pop culture, the film also traces its themes from Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy and horror films like Paul Anderson’s Event Horizon and James Cameron’s Aliens.

The main character, John Salazar, attempts to fight the paranormal with style – integrating the otherworldly prowess of Death Note’s Light Yagami, Marvel’s the Punisher, and DC’s Constantine.

LOCALLY-PRODUCED. John Salazar is the main protagonist of the animation Diviosn of Existence produced by Cagayan de Oro-based animation team Xygen CG Works. Screengrab from Youtube

In a preview clip uploaded on their Youtube channel, Salazar speaks with a gun pointed to the screen, his hair and eyes in the shade of red and a cigarette stick tucked between his lips. He appears to talking with another character.

Gadrinab said his team is planning to upload the film on Youtube so that it would reach a wider viewership, specifically targetting Filipinos as primary audience.


The creators of the film, currently in different parts of the world, work towards the completion of the anime online. They started producing Division of Existence in November 2016.

Joseph Manuel, Gadrinab's brother, is currently in San Fernando City in Pampanga. He is on top of special effects and music. Linil Komban and Sri Mule, who animates the characters, are both based in India; while American writer Caleb Mills takes charge of the script.

Prior to Division of Existence, they have been heavily immersed in the animation industry.

Brad Arces, who supervises animatics, shared that the team is trained on hand-drawn animation. To keep pace with recent trend, they have consolidated both hand-drawn and 3-dimensional aspects into the film by utilizing Blender – a free software for animation, game creation, and video editing.

Arces shared that Division of Existence is the company’s first animated film with an original concept by the team.

"As the team already has enough experience by being involved with projects from different animation studios, we decided to create something from scratch and call it our own," he said.


Yet refining each frame still faces hurdles. A project shaped by ideas still requires the right amount of resources.

Xygen CG Works receives support from the Cagayan de Oro Business, Incubation, Technology, Entrepreneurship, and Start-ups, a program of the University of Science and Technology of Southern Philippines and the Philippine Council for Industry, Energy and Emerging Technology, Research and Development. Its studio is based in the state university.

Patreon currently funds the project, a social networking website catered to artists of different genre. (READ: In support of Filipino talent)

While the team actively advertises the film through their website, sponsors can also support them by promoting their film through social media platforms and by purchasing their merchandise.

Arces is positive the film will likely succeed. "I see CDO to be one of the best providers when it comes to animation with the project that we are currently making....One of our goals is to get more investors to help us build our own animation studio," he said.

"It will also depend on the people – if they like the film – for it to succeed," Arces said.

Artist support in the country?

Arces said there is a lack of support for Filipino artists in the country.

"As a fellow artist, I really believe in the local talents that we have here," said Arces.

He said that the lack of support in the field has discouraged the artists, eventually "seeking for greener pastures instead of paving their own path to pursue art" in the country. (READ: In demand and hard to fill: Jobs to consider and prepare for)

Set to be released later this year, Division of Existence hopes to inspire fellow artists – particularly animators – across the country to add more colors into the vibrant art scene through their original works.

"If you want to succeed in the [animation] industry, you need to be willing to do a lot of sacrifices. You also need to make a plan, find the right people, and work with the right team," he said. – Rappler.com

Angelo Lorenzo is one of Rappler’s lead Movers in Cagayan de Oro City. Besides writing features, he works in the city's local government unit.

Tropical Storm Jolina affects 2,000 people


JOLINA AFTERMATH. Tropical Storm Jolina leaves uprooted trees in its wake. Photo by Digi Magloyuan

MANILA, Philippines – Initial reports from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) show that at least 549 families or 2,047 people have been affected by Tropical Storm Jolina (Pakhar) as of Saturday morning, August 26.

At least 30 evacuation centers were opened, accommodating 253 families or 928 people in affected areas that include Region 1, Region 2, and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR), the DSWD said.

In Casiguran town in Aurora, where the storm made landfall Friday night, the evacuees  returned to their homes Saturday morning. In Region 2, the evacuees also headed back to their homes.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported that at least 741 families in Region 3 and, 47 families in CAR left their homes to seek refuge in safer areas.

Police were deployed to areas where evacuation was enforced to prevent looting, according to the Philippine National Police (PNP).

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">Aftermath of <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/JolinaPH?src=hash">#JolinaPH</a> in Dilasag, Aurora: Uprooted trees and ankle-deep flood in certain roads. <br> <br>Photo by Digi Mae Noveno <a href="https://t.co/KZxCgKcBxH">pic.twitter.com/KZxCgKcBxH</a></p>&mdash; Raisa Serafica (@raisaserafica) <a href="https://twitter.com/raisaserafica/status/901269030996029440">August 26, 2017</a></blockquote>
<script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>{/source}

Threat of landslides, flash floods

Even as Jolina exits the Luzon landmass on Saturday morning, disaster managers warned the public about prevailing hazards.

“The Office of Civil Defense CD is still monitoring the effects of the typhoon and the enhancement of the Southwest monsoon," National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) executive director Ricardo Jalad said after the council's response cluster meeting on Saturday morning.

PAGASA warned that monsoon rain in Zambales, Bataan, Cavite, Batangas, Oriental Mindoro, Occidental Mindoro, and Palawan could trigger flash floods and landslides. The rest of Luzon, including Metro Manila, would have light to heavy rain as well.

“We’re concerned by the heavy rainfall that makes affected communities vulnerable to flash floods and landslides,” said DSWD Disaster Response and Management Bureau (DReaMB) Director Felino Castro V.

“We urge the public to continue to be vigilant and prepared,” Castro added.

Jolina is expected leave the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR) on Saturday night. - Rappler.com







WATCH: Who is Kian?


PAYING LAST RESPECT. Friends and family continue to seek justice for Kian after he was shot dead on August 16. Photos by Alecs Ongcal/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Kian delos Santos' death was all people knew about.

He was labeled as a drug addict and courier– tags used by the police after the incident to justify killing the 17-year-old in cold blood. (WATCH: Nung 17 ako…)

He is an addition to the statistics, another casualty of the drug war. That’s all he is to many.

But to friends and family, Kian delos Santos was a brother, a son, an uncle, a student, a joker, a cheerful teenager – someone who had big dreams of becoming a policeman himself. (READ: Our son, Kian: A good, sweet boy)

People close to him shared their stories about Kian, to tell the world that he is more than just a face. More so, he is more than just a number. 

"Maharot talaga siya. Magulo tapos kalog lagi (He's very playful. Rowdy ang always very funny)," his close friend Mary Ann Abes told Rappler.

"Joker, ganoon po. Laging patawa. Parang hindi kumpleto 'yung araw na hindi siya nagpapatawa (He was a joker. Always making people laugh. It's like his day won't be complete if he doesn't  make people laugh)," she added. 

In shock 

Julie Anne Cajefe is another friend of Kian. She described him as very energetic and cheerful. In fact, she said that the boy was very happy on the day before he died. He would throw puns and tease them all the time.

That is why she did not believe the news that Kian was already dead until she saw one of their friends crying in school. Julie Anne was in total shock. 

Kian was found dead in a fetal position, as he held a gun in his left hand. According to his father, this is one way to prove his son’s innocence because Kian is not left-handed. (READ: Nakaluhod tapos nasubsob': How Kian was shot, according to PAO.)

Mary Ann Abes suddenly woke up at two in the morning on August 17, as if it was a sign that something bad happened. True enough, she found out about the news of Kian’s death when she checked her social media.

"'Yong 16 ng gabi, mga 2  naalimpungatan ako tapos nag-online ako. Doon ko na nalaman. Akala ko hindi totoo. Doon ko na nalaman na totoo nga no'ng chinat ko na 'yung mga kaibigan naming," she said.

(On the 16th, I woke up at 2 in the morning and then I went online. That’s how I found out. I didn’t believe it at first.)

They will never hear his stories again.

A good student 

"Grade 10 ko siya naging estudyante. Mabait si Kian kasi kapag pinapagalitan ko, ngingiti lang sa akin 'yan eh. Tahimik siya. Wala siyang kalokohan na ginagawa sa school," said Kian’s Grade 10 Technology and Livelihood Education teacher Augusto Mendoza.

(He was my Grade 10 student. He is a good kid. When I scold him, he would just smile at me. He’s also quiet. He did not violate any rules in school. He’s okay – submits school projects and assignments.)

He said he didn’t expect that his obedient student would end up in such death.

Mendoza described him as helpful and reliable when it comes to group assignments and projects. He was very upset of what happened to the boy.

Believing for justice

The Delos Santos family  filed murder and torture complaints against the Caloocan policemen who were involved in the killing of Kian. (READ: Murder, torture complaints filed vs cops in Kian delos Santos case)

His friends and family said they will fight for justice for Kian.

"If you are listening Kian, don't worry because we will fight. Don't worry because we don’t believe those who are saying that you are drug addict. We will fight for you until we achieve justice because we know that you are innocent," Julie Anne said in Filipino.

On Saturday, August 26, the Kian was buried at La Loma Cemetery in Caloocan City. (WATCH: Hundreds join funeral march for Kian delos Santos) – Rappler.com

Cavite LGU implements no-helmet policy amid killings


NO HELMET. Philippine National Police Dasmarinas and barangay officials in city established checkpoints to implement the no-helmet policy due to recent shooting incidents. Photo from the official Facebook page of Mayor Elpidio "Pidi" Barzaga

MANILA, Philippines – The Dasmariñas City government in Cavite province has implemented a no-helmet policy due to recent shooting incidents involving motorcyle riders.

Since Thursday night, August 24, motorcycle drivers have been prohibited from using helmets on all roads in the city except when driving along Aguinaldo Highway, Governor's Drive, and Paliparan-Salawag-Molino Road.

This is under Dasmariñas City Council Resolution No. 153-s-2017, which also set a speed limit of 20 to 40 kilometers per hour (kph) along city roads except the 3 highways.

Dasmariñas Mayor Elpidio Barzaga said 5 separate incidents involving motorcycle riders were reported in the villages of Salitran 2, Zone 4, San Dionisio, and Salawag since Monday, August 21.

As of this posting, two died while 8 were hurt in the shooting.

"(It was) indiscriminate killing without motive," Barzaga said.

The mayor said the city govenrment made the decision even if it runs counter to law that requires motorcycle riders to wear helmets.

"We are aware of the national law about the helmet policy that is why we apply only the no-helmet policy on the city and barangay roads where the maximum allowable speed is only 40 kph," Barzaga  told Rappler in a text message.

The city also reimposed an ordinance banning the use of bonnets or any clothing material that will conceal the identity of the motorcycle driver. Checkpoints have been set up in various areas around the city.

"We have to balance the interest of the general public. This is just a temporary measure. The no-helmet policy and shall be lifted when the police shall certify that the existing danger is no longer present," said Barzaga.

All 75 barangay captains of Dasmariñas City and as well as members of the city's Peace and Order Council recommended the no-helment policy, he said.

The city has offered a P500,000-reward to anyone who can provide information that will lead to the arrest of the assailants.

Similar ordinance for Cavite?

Shooting incidents in the cities of Bacoor and Imus in Cavite have also been reported.

Cavite Governor Jesus Crispin "Boying" Remulla said the provincial government is eyeing a similar ordinance for the entire province.

"We are imposing a 40 kph [maximum speed] in the highways and maybe 30 kph in provincial and city roads," Remulla told Rappler in a text message.

He said that the provincial government is considering requiring motorcycle riders to wear "open-face helmets."

"Open-face helmets only. This was already under consideration since 3 weeks ago. Hope the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (Provincial Council) can vote by Tuesday on this ordinance," he said.

Remulla declined to comment on the shooting incidents as they were still under investigation.

The Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009 mandates all motorcycle drivers and back riders are required to wear standard helmets to ensure their safety. (READ: What laws help keep road users safe in the Philippines?)

Local government officials, however, suspended the helmet law of the country in the past due to crime prevalence. (READ: With EJKs and crime, should motorcycle helmets be required?)– Rappler.com

#OFWRights: Duterte's migration policy


MANILA, Philippines – It has been said that in the Philippines, everyone knows at least one person who is working abroad. This supposedly speaks so much about the pervasive culture of migration in the Philippines.

From doctors to seafarers to domestic workers, the Philippines has been a major source of labor migrants for many countries from across the globe. (READ: Getting to know the OFWs)

The country has a number of laws and policies protecting the rights of the millions of overseas Filipino workers abroad (OFWs). For example, RA 10022 or the amended Magna Carta of Migrant Workers of 2010 is aimed at broadening the definition of illegal recruitment and similar acts, and providing stiffer penalities for it.

However, the proper implementation of the law, coupled with the allocation of adequate human and financial resources to support it, has been among the persistent problems facing migrants and their families.

Duterte’s migration policy

More than a year since he sat in the highest public seat of the land, what has President Rodrigo Duterte done to stay true to the promises he made before OFWs? (READ: How Duterte government cared for OFWs in first 100 days

Rappler, together with the Center for Migrant Advocacy and the Ateneo de Manila University Department of Political Science working group on migrants issue, hopes to address this question.

To jumpstart the discussion, a roundtable discussion will be held on Friday, September 1, to assess Duterte’s migration policy. Topics include the streamlining of relevant government offices, expansion of OFW welfare and benefits, onsite protection of OFWs, and long-term solutions that drive labor migration. 



1:00 - 1:40


1:40 - 1:50

Welcome Remarks

Rupert Ambil II
Executive Director
Move PH

1:50 - 2:00

A situationer on #OFWRights and the country’s migration policy

Carmel Abao

Co-convenor of the Working Group on Migration, Department of Political Science, Ateneo De Manila University. 

2:00 - 3:30


Moderator: Ana Santos


Bernard Olalia

Undersecretary, POEA-OIC


Atty. Hans Cacdac

Administrator, OWWA


Ellene Sana

Executive Director, CMA


Maria Angela Villalba

Executive Director, Unlad Kabayan


Arman Hernando

Spokesman, Migrante International


Atty Raul Dado

Executive Director for Migrant Workers Affairs, DFA


3:30 - 3:45


Ana Santos

3:45 - 4:00


Photo taking


Do you have questions for our speakers? Share a video of yourself asking your question and post it on social media using #OFWRights! – Rappler.com 

Book Stop Project brings libraries to communities


MODERN LIBRARY. Young people drop by at the Book Stop to read and donate books. All photos by Vee Salazar/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Libraries are often perceived as institutions with an intimidating ambience. Moreover, not all people can access libraries, especially the less fortunate.

WTA Architecture and Design Studio wants to address this through The Book Stop Project, which is part of the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR) plan.

"The main goal is to promote reading – that's the number one goal. But I think it is also to build communities, because we want to build communities around the Book Stop wherever we are," said WTA principal architect William Ti.

The company takes Book Stop to various places. It has been to Ayala Triangle, Intramuros, Quiapo, San Sebastian Church, and Quezon Memorial Circle. Now, it is located at Bonifacio High Street in Bonifacio Global City (BGC), and at Plaza Roma in Intramuros, in front of the Manila Cathedral.

According to Ti, they started the project in April 2016, with 300 books. They now have a total of 2,000 books divided between the two Book Stops in BGC and Manila.

WTA also holds events every weekend, like open mic sessions for artists, lectures by book authors, and painting workshops.

Book exchange

The number of books grew due to donations and the book exchange program that they started. One can donate a book and get one for free.

"The idea here is that you give a book and you get a book. It's a pretty simple book exchange actually. The only difference being that, we've created a place around it," Ti said.

People can donate all kinds of books, from textbooks to fiction.

"You can leave your books which are no longer in need. You can have it exchanged from the shelf. And you can get any book that you would want to have. It's really helpful. Instead of buying a new book, you can have it for free," said book lover Richelle Miranda who stopped by to exchange her books for new ones in BGC.

Honesty system

According to Ti, the Book Stop does not only help in building communities. It also develops honesty among Filipinos.

"It's been a pretty good example of how we can have an honesty system here in Manila," he said as he talked about the famous honesty system in Batanes.

The Book Stop library does not have doors or gates. People can freely enter.

"It's been to public places. We've been in plazas, piazzas, and everyone has access to it. That's the key here. The key here is that – I think one of the frustrating things about libraries in general is that if you go to a library, of course you have the gate, you have to enter the door, there's security check, there's registration, then information," said Ti.

According to him, people like informal settlers are disadvantaged when it comes to formal libraries. That is why they want to bring the library itself to the people.

He said that due to good public reception, they are looking at producing more Book Stop networks in the country.

Building an active citizenry

"I think libraries are a good way of building an active citizenry. We always lament about the citizenry issues and all that. So I think it's a good way to build that," said Ti.

According to him, they are looking forward to partnering with government agencies to not only sustain the project but to help it reach more communities.

"And so we hope that in us providing this library, if we can get more support and if we can get more books, then we can continue this virtuous cycle and have much more healthy communities," he added.

In fact, WTA Architecture and Design Studio is doing a research project on which communities need libraries and what kind of libraries would work for these places.  

"We want to engage with the government agencies and see how can we help out. How can we redesign our libraries to make them relevant?" said Ti. – Rappler.com

Civil libertarians launch Movement vs Duterte’s ‘acts of tyranny’


GATHERING STORM. Leaders of militant groups, churches, academic institutions, media, and other sectors launch the anti-Duterte Movement Against Tyranny (MAD) on August 28 in Quezon City. Photo by Voltaire Tupaz/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The Left has drawn battle lines against the Duterte administration.

It launched a movement against the government’s alleged “acts of tyranny” on Monday, August 28, in the wake of the killing of 17-year-old Kian delos Santos.

“The basis for having an alliance with the Left has been eroded away,” Carol Araullo, chairperson of the militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan (Bayan), said on the sidelines of the launching of the Movement Against Tyranny (MAT) at the Maryhill School of Theology in Quezon City.

Araullo noted that the pivotal moment took place during the President’s second State of the Nation Address (SONA) on July 24, when he announced his decision to "stop talking" with communist rebels. After the SONA, Duterte faced thousands of protesters, ignoring militant leaders who welcomed him on his way up the stage.

The militant protesters were then calling for the resumption of the stalled peace talks between the government and the National Democratic Front (NDF). They also opposed the declaration of martial law in Mindanao, warning that it would pave the way for the violation of rights of Muslims and indigenous peoples.

“The Duterte administration is completely unmoved. We took the step of helping to spearhead this movement in order to tell Mr Duterte that the time has come. There has to be reckoning, “ Araullo said.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-conversation="none" data-lang="en"><p lang="und" dir="ltr">&#39;Movement Against Tyranny&#39; convenors include Rep A Tino, former Sen R Saguisag, former Reps E Tanada &amp; N Colmenares, Bp Broderick Pabillo <a href="https://t.co/Bu6cHh4QVN">pic.twitter.com/Bu6cHh4QVN</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href="https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/901998767821295616">August 28, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Broad alliance vs killings

In what could be a gathering storm, various sectors and prominent human rights advocates like former senator Rene Saguisag, former representative Erin Tañada, University of the Philippines Chancellor Michael Tan, Vergel Santos of the Center for Media Freedom and Responsibility, Bishop Broderick Pabillo, and Sister Mary John Mananzan have joined the movement. It's the broadest anti-Duterte alliance that has been formed to date.

Mananzan said that the state of human rights under the Duterte administration is worse than the martial law period under the Marcos regime, which she had also opposed as a young nun until the dictator was ousted.

“Under Marcos’ Martial Law, killings were not carried out on a daily basis. Now, it’s almost every day. The police act as judges and executioners,” she said.

More than 3,000 were killed during that dark period of the country, according to Amnesty International (AI).

In a manifesto titled, “Stop the killings, stand against tyranny,” convenors of the Movement Against Tyranny accused Duterte of enabling police and death squads “in a brutal and murderous ‘war on drugs’ that has victimized thousands of mostly poor, small-time drug users and pushers.”

Various reports by media and rights groups have put the number of drug-related deaths at around 10,000 to date.

{source}<blockquote class="twitter-tweet" data-cards="hidden" data-lang="en"><p lang="tl" dir="ltr">CHR Chair Chito Gascon: Di tayo matatakot. Di tayo maninikluhod...Gagawin natin ang lahat upang ipaglaban ang demokrasya, karapatang pantao <a href="https://t.co/A9QQ27slv2">pic.twitter.com/A9QQ27slv2</a></p>&mdash; Voltaire Tupaz (@VoltaireTupaz) <a href="https://twitter.com/VoltaireTupaz/status/902003083315625984">August 28, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Speak out and take action

The newly-formed group of civil libertarians also hit Duterte for “pressuring into submission” the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman, and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR).

CHR chairperson Chito Gascon, who attended the gathering, delivered a strong-worded speech, urging the public to speak out and take action, and vowed to help in documenting cases of rights violations.

Santos, CMFR Board of Trustees chairperson, meanwhile read the part of the manifesto that decries the harassment of media.

“We resist efforts to silence the mass media and public opinion. We oppose moves to dismantle the system of check and balances that are intended to prevent the return of dictatorship,” Santos said.

The group ended the gathering by tearing down the presidential seal showing President Duterte’s signature clenched fist to reveal the movement’s logo.

They chanted, “Makibaka! Huwag matakot! (Take action. Don’t be afraid),” raising their clenched fists as they look to holding a massive protest action on September 21, the 45th anniversary of Marcos’ declaration of Martial Law. – Rappler.com

Long shifts, low pay are part of a PH nurse's reality


Part 1

MANILA, Philippines – A total of 12 hours per shift, 3 to 4 days a week, and P700 a day.

These figures sum up the reality for Albay native Faith Barcelon, a 24-year-old nurse for a government hospital in Quezon City. 

Barcelon, like most nurses, does not have the privilege of a fixed schedule. Their shifts are assigned each month and vary every week – often at random.

On one Monday, for example, she was assigned to take the morning shift from 6 am to 6 pm. Her next shift on Thursday, meanwhile, starts at night. On other days, she's on call, which means she has to be ready to report to work if the need arises.

Her income is never the same each month either. On busy months, she could earn as much as P16,000 – that's when she's called to report more often than usual. On regular months, she gets to take home only around P10,000.

"I have to pay my rent, groceries, provide for my transportation. Kulang na kulang [ang sweldo]. Minsan nagpapadala nanay ko just to sustain me (My salary is really not enough. Sometimes my mother sends money just to sustain me)," Barcelon said.

While the law sets the minimum pay for entry-level nurses at government hospitals at P19,000 a month (Salary Grade 11), Barcelon works on a contractual basis, like most of her colleagues. This also means she doesn't get benefits that regular employees enjoy.

For social services, "you have to pay on your own," she added. With her income, she can only pay for a PhilHealth membership.

A nurse's role

It also doesn't help that many patients misunderstand the role of nurses, Barcelon said. Some patients can be very demanding, expecting nurses to always attend to them on the dot – regardless if there are other patients with more urgent needs.

"May time na nagre-revive kami ng pasyente, and there was a patient na nagpapa-bed bath, kasi may darating siya na bisita. Wala kang magagawa kasi pasyente sila and they will always be right," Barcelon said.

(There was a time when we were reviving a patient and another was asking for a bed bath because she had visitors coming. You can't do anything because they're patients and they will always be right.)

DEGRADING. 'Normal na 'yung may nagrereklamo, 'yung made-degrade ka dahil tingin nila 'nurse ka lang,'' says Barcelon.

Some patients, she said, treat them in a degrading manner.

"Normal na 'yung may nagrereklamo, 'yung made-degrade ka dahil tingin nila 'nurse ka lang' – 'yung word na 'lang' – ilang taon ka nag-aral, nag-review ka ng dalawang buwan para makakuha ng lisensya, pero the way na i-treat ng ibang tao, 'nurse ka lang.' You're just a person tasked to take care of them, give them their medicines, change their diapers," Barcelon said.

(It's normal to get complaints, to feel degraded because they think you're "just a nurse" – the word "just" – you studied for so many years, reviewed for two months to get a license, but the way they treat you, you're "just a nurse." You're just a person tasked to take care of them, give them their medicines, change their diapers.)

One would think that it should at least be easier to get to where Barcelon is now. But it's not.

The hard journey to be a nurse

To be a nurse in the Philippines, one will need to take a 4-year course, which in many private schools, would cost at least P40,000 per semester. Since nursing is a highly technical course, students also need to invest in different tools and pay for expensive exposure tours.

After graduating, nursing students must work on getting their licenses. To pass the board examinations, many opt to join review classes which can be costly as well.

It doesn't end there, much to Barcelon's surprise.

"Sobrang masaya ka na sana kasi finally [registered nurse] ka na – may lisensyang ipagmamalaki. Pero 'yung proseso, ang daming babayaran," she said. (You would've been happy already to be a registered nurse – to have a license you can be proud of. But given the process, there's a lot you still need to pay for.)

After passing the exams, nurses have to pay for their membership in the Philippine Nurses Association. A lifetime membership costs P5,000, but some opt to pay P400 every year instead.

Barcelon also had to pay for more training courses in basic life support and intravenous therapy, which she said, are hiring requirements for many hospitals. 

But even with all these education and training certificates, it's still very hard for nurses to find a job here.

ADDITIONAL TRAINING. As nursing students, Barcelon and her classmates had to go through different affiliation programs.

Nursing became extremely popular in the Philippines over a decade ago, as many countries abroad started hiring Filipino nurses. Schools offering nursing programs also increased rapidly.

By 2011, the Philippines was producing more qualified nurses than the domestic and global economies could absorb, leading to massive unemployment in the sector.

This forced many nursing graduates to work in hospitals for free – with some even having to pay their way in.

Working for free

Barcelon had her own share of post-graduation horror.

After getting her license, she was excited to finally take on the world as a nurse. 

She first applied for a job at a university hospital in Albay, where she was able to pass the job interview. But to her surprise, the hospital told her that she needed to work there for free for a year before she could be considered for a permanent position.

"Bibigyan daw nila ako ng allowance lang na P130 per day," Barcelon said. "Kapag hindi pa natapos ang nasa contract, ikaw pa ang magbabayad sa hospital." (They were going to give me an allowance of P100 per day. If I don't finish the contract, I would have to pay the hospital.) 

She had been warned beforehand that this had become "the system." But Barcelon refused to be a part of it and declined.

"Nagalit ako. Laging sinasabi nila, ito 'yung reality of today's nurses. Kung hindi ka papasok sa ganitong sistema, hindi ka magkakaroon ng trabaho. Pero nagmatigas ako," she said.  

(I got angry. They always say that this is the reality of today's nurses. If you don't get into this system, you won't get a job. But I resisted it.)

Barcelon tried her luck with other hospitals, first with a government hospital in Albay and then another private hospital. The government hospital asked her to also work for free first while the latter only offered to give her meal allowances. 

"It was very heartbreaking, that the reality is like this. From one hospital to another, no one was willing to open their doors because you're a fresh graduate – but they're willing to exploit you. They expect you to work in exchange for a paper, certifying that you work with them," she said.

Barcelon was finally able to practice for a while as a volunteer nurse in Albay, when thousands of people were evacuated due to the threat of a Mayon Volcano eruption. But this stint lasted for only 3 months.

Just like many other nurses, Barcelon also tried getting a job abroad. With help from her cousin, she flew to Singapore to look for work.

After staying there for a whole month, the only offer she got was to be a caregiver in a retirement home. She was tempted to take it, but her family advised her to decline.

Heartbroken, Barcelon returned to the Philippines. At this point, she was already willing to swallow her pride and give in to "the system."

To get into the hospital where she is working now, Barcelon had to pay to join a mandatory familiarization training program for 4 months. "Kinain ko prinsipyo ko two years ago (I compromised my principles two years ago)," she lamented.

Whenever things get too tough and she's tempted to leave, Barcelon reminds herself that she still has it better than many other nursing graduates. Many of her batchmates, for example, were forced to tread different paths – working in call centers, in the police force, et cetera.

"I'm thankful that I have a supportive family. If not for them, I would have shifted careers already... Paano na lang 'yung ibang (How about the other) breadwinners – those who are expected to provide [for] and support their families? Paano ang may ganoong realidad (How about those with that reality)?" she said.

Worth it 

Difficult as it may be, Barcelon is still holding on to the profession she chose. 

"Ang ginagawa ko na lang, kapag feeling ko natatapakan na pride ko, I think of reasons why I'm doing this in the first place," she said. (What I do is, when I feel that my pride is being trampled on, I think of reasons why I'm doing this in the first place.)

While there are demanding patients, there are still many who are grateful and kind. 

"May mga patients naman na sobrang appreciative sa 'yo. May moments na nade-degrade buong pagkatao mo, pero may glorifying moments tulad na sinasabihan ka na 'Sana, ikaw pa rin nurse ko sa susunod,'" she said.

(There are patients who are very appreciative. There are moments when you feel degraded, but there are also glorifying moments like when they tell you, "I hope you'll still be my nurse next time.")

Are all the troubles worth it?

"Yes," Barcelon said. "Nagiging worth it kapag nakikita mong may napupuntahan ang efforts mo – kapag nakikita mong nag-i-improve ang patients, when you save lives. Worth it because you're always growing and learning."

(It becomes worth it when you see your efforts going somewhere – when you see your patients improving, when you save lives. Worth it because you're always growing and learning.) – Rappler.com

(To be concluded)

A child car seat system: An extra expense to protect a life


CHILD CAR SEAT. Road safety advocates seek passage of bills mandating the use of child car seats for children below 12 years old.    MANILA, Philippines--There are pending bills in both the House of Representatives and the Senate which want to require the use of a child car seat system for infants and children when they ride on vehicles.

 How much does a child car seat cost in the Philippines?

The World Health Organization (WHO) enumerates four different types and sizes of child car seats. Each type is for a specific age group and adjusts as a child grows and develops. 

CHILD CAR SEATS. These car seats aim to lessen the risk of injuries among children aging 11 years and below.

If passed into a law, children under age 1 will have to use at least 4 types of car seats until they turn 12 years old.

During a child car seats press conference last August 16, the issue of its affordability was raised. People were concerned about the value of buying child car seats to be used for only a few years.

Funded by the World Health Organization, researcher Dr. Adovich Rivera presented his study on the cost of child seats in the Philippines. 

A survey of companies and prices indicated online from local distributors, showed the following: 

  • Rear-facing only - P3, 798.93 to P15,999.75.
  • Booster seats - P1, 186.84 to P6,173.55
  • Combination - P4, 273. 85 to P84,365

There was no available price for the front-facing car seats from local distributors. 

Car seats can also be purchased in online stores. Here are the prices of brand-new products in online stores: 

  • Rear facing only - P1,299.75 to P32,999.75
  • Front facing only - P1,600 to P15,990
  • Booster seats - P2,999 to P8,999.75
  • Combination - P599 to P24,999,75

Second-hand car seats are also available online for a much cheaper price.

  • Front-facing only - P500 to P9,000
  • Combination - P1,000 to P7,500

While the mandatory use of child car seats will be an added expense and cost, road safety advocates said there is no price tag too high to protect a child's life. 

"I don't think any price would equate to a person's life. If you notice, almost everyone [in the country] owns a smart phone. It is almost the same price [with a car seat] but what is at stake here is the life of our children." Ateneo School of Government road safety manager Jason Salvador said. 

"I think any family that can afford to purchase a car should be able to purchase a car safety seat. If you think about it, we do pay a little extra for the safety of our vehicles," said Sophia San Luis, a road safety advocate from Imagine Law. 

San Luis said if we are able to invest by buying cars with safety technologies or purchasing insurance, we should give the same effort to ensure the safety of children. 

"We have to realize that unlike adults, children rely on their parents or guardians for protection. They are incapable of protecting themselves and so it is our duty to provide them with that safety," she said.

Advocates of these bills also believe that "prevention is better than cure."  The amount spent to buy a car seat will be far cheaper than the expenses you will incur in a car accident.  

In another study funded by the Department of Health, Rivera estimates a total of P72.6 million was lost every day due to the number of road traffic incidents last 2014.

He cited how the direct and indirect costs incurred from road crashes totaled to P26.5 billion last 2014. Examples of the costs were the hospital bills, medical tests, operations, medicines and etc. – Rappler.com

IN PHOTOS: 'An Inconvenient Sequel' premieres in PH


BE INCONVENIENT. Several environmental advocates attend the premiere screening of the "An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power" in the Philippines. Photo by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – The much-awaited follow-up to Nobel laureate Al Gore's award-winning 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, premiered in the Philippines on Monday night, August 28.

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power reminds the world what can happen when regular citizens take a stand. The film showcases Climate Reality Leadership Corps trainings, where people from all walks of life come to work with Gore and other experts, learning key climate science and gaining the skills to lead their communities in the fight for climate solutions.

The film also highlights what happened behind the scenes during the historic climate change conference in Paris in 2015. It shows how some countries are transitioning to renewable energy.

Among the personalities who graced the premiere screening were Senator Loren Legarda, Senator Risa Hontiveros, Sec Emmanuel de Guzman of the Climate Change Commission, and Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy in Philippines Laurent Le Godec.

Media practioners and advocates participated in a panel discussion moderated by MovePH editor Voltaire Tupaz after the documentary was shown. Members of the panel included broadcast journalist Atom Araullo, Greenpeace Philippines executive director Yeb Saño, Caritas Philippines executive secretary Fr Edu Gariguez, Climate Reality Project Philippines country manager Rodne Galicha, and Climate Reality Leader John Leonard Chan.

The Climate Reality Project also recognized Araullo (ABS-CBN), Tupaz (Rappler), Howie Severino (GMA 7), and Imelda Visaya Abano (Philippine Network of Environmental Journalists). 

Below are some of the images from the premiere night.

ountry Manager Rodne Galicha, MovePH Editor Voltaire Tupaz, and Climate Reality Leader John Leonard Chan during the program. 

Here are some photos from the event: 

SPECIAL MESSAGE. According to Al Gore, hundred percent of the proceeds from the screening of the documentary will fund future Climate Project Reality trainings. All photos by Leanne Jazul/Rappler

ADVOCATE. On the occasion of the National Heroes' Day, Senator Loren Legarda encourages the audience to 'let the hero in us be heard'

MESSAGE OF SUPPORT. Laurent Le Godec, Deputy Head of Mission of the French Embassy in Philippines, shares his message of unity and support for the Philippines, a country vulnerable to the impacts of climate change

PREMIERE SCREENING. Climate Reality Project Country Manager Rodne Galicha welcomes the audiencde to the premiere screening of the documentary in the Philippines

OPTIMISTIC. Senator Risa Hontiveros calls on  Filipino citizens to continue the fight against climate change

HOPEFUL. Panelists share their messages of hope in the nation's fight against climate change.

MEDIA CLIMATE CHAMPION. The Climate Reality Project acknowledges MovePH editor Voltaire Tupaz as one of its media champions in raising awareness about climate issues

MEDIA'S ROLE. In a panel discussion, broadcast journalist Atom Araullo says that in the fight against climate change, journalists have the responsibility not only to learn how to connect the dots but also to convey the bigger picture

YOLANDA SURVIVOR. John Leonard Chan, a Climate Reality Leader from Tacloban, recounts his experience meeting Al Gore, sharing his story of survival with the former US Vice President

CHURCH'S ROLE. Fr Edu Gariguez, the executive secretary of Caritas Philippines, says the church is one with the nation in the fight against climate change

RENEWABLE ENERGY. Greenpeace PH Executive Director Yeb Saño says he is optimistic the Philippines can run its economy on a hundred-percent renewable energy

NOW SHOWING. 'An Inconvenient Sequel' will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Trinoma and Glorietta 4) starting August 30, 2017

The movie, which is distributed by Columbia Pictures, will be shown exclusively at Ayala Malls Cinemas (Trinoma and Glorietta 4) starting August 30, 2017.

For blocked screening requests in other areas, please contact Climate Reality Project Philippines through e-mail: philippines@climatereality.com– Rappler.com


Motorcycle group rides for peace in Marawi


RIDERS FOR PEACE. Team Riders Philippines in front of the People Power monument. Photos from Team Riders Philippines Facebook Group.

MANILA, Philippines – How did you spend National Heroes' Day?

While many were enjoying the long weekend, motorcycle group Team Riders Philippines Inc organized a day-long ride to honor the country's troops and peace workers on Monday, August 28.

"Ride for Peace 2017 is our modest effort to honor the sacrifices of our troops and peace workers in our country, particularly those who are currently in the frontlines and in Marawi," the group, also known as "Team Riders", wrote on their Facebook event page.

Team Riders Officer-in-Charge Director for Operations Jonjon Guarin said that the activity is for the men and women of the Armed Forces of the Philippines and the Philippine National Police who "work to protect the country's freedom."

At 5:30 am, the group met up at the People Power Monument in Quezon City and rode off to Camp Capinpin in Tanay town in Rizal province.

Attended by 126 motorcycle riders, Guarin said that the group organized the ride to call for peace.

"Dahil sa dinami-rami ng nangyayari sa bansa natin, we call out for peace para po sa katahimikan." (Because a lot has been happening in the country, we are calling for peace.) he said.

"Support our troops dahil may mga kamag-anak, kapatid, at kaibigan na sundalo o pulis," ([We want to] support our troops because we have relatives, siblings, and friends who are soldiers or policemen,) Guarin added.

RIDE FOR PEACE. Team Riders Philippines organized a "Ride for Peace" activity to pay tribute to men and women in service during the National Heroes' Day. Photo by Jonjon Guarin

Last May, clashes erupted in Marawi City as the military moved to hunt down "high-value targets" belonging to the local terrorists Maute Group and the Abu Sayyaf Group. (READ: TIMELINE: Marawi clashes prompt martial law in all of Mindanao)

About 2,700 families were displaced from Marawi City. (WATCH: Marawi humanitarian crisis grows even as battleground narrows)

A "peace corridor" will be established with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front to ensure safe passage of residents in the area.

"(We want) to show our strong support to all the meaningful peace programs in our communities," he said.– Rappler.com

Youth and human rights groups, netizens condemn Carl Arnaiz slay


CALL FOR JUSTICE. Youth organizations, human rights groups, and netizens, cry for justice for the death of former UP student Carl Arnaiz

MANILA, Philippines – Different youth organizations, human rights groups, and netizens clamored for justice for the death of 19-year-old Carl Arnaiz.

Arnaiz was killed by police on August 18. Netizens, especially young people, demanded for justice for the teenager and noticed the similarities of his death with 17-year-old Kian delos Santos who was also killed by Caloocan police on August 16. (READ: Kian and Carl: Parallelism in the deaths of two boys


<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/timelines/904954329970253824">Reactions on Arnaiz slay - Curated tweets by MovePH</a> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>


However, in a press briefing, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Ronald dela Rosa said that the case of the former University of the Philippines Diliman student is not the same with the case of delos Santos. (READ: Carl Arnaiz another Kian delos Santos? Nope, says Dela Rosa)

He emphasized that the police did not target Arnaiz for drugs but for involvement in hijacking and robbery of a taxi. The driver of the cab, however, had two different testimonies according to his affidavits.

“Definitely, we condemn this killing and we are angry that this happened again,” said Karla Yu of Millennials Against Dictators (MAD) in a phone interview.

The group believes that the administration of President Rodrigo Duterte has created a policy of violence and a culture where extrajudicial killings and police brutality are part of the outcome.

“We are calling the President to end this. They are not catching the big fish. How many innocent lives need to be sacrificed?” added Yu.

According to the Public Attorney’s Office (PAO) autopsy, Arnaiz was beaten up, handcuffed, and dragged before he was shot, and eventually sustained 5 gunshot wounds – 3 to the middle of his chest, one to the left side of his chest, and one to the back of his arm. (READ: Carl Arnaiz handcuffed, beaten up, killed- PAO autopsy)

Yu expressed their group's distrust of the Department of Justice and demanded that the Ombudsman conduct its own investigation on the death of Arnaiz just like what it is currently doing for Delos Santos. (READ: Ombudsman starts own probe into Kian delos Santos’ death)

“I hope a lot more people change their minds and open up their eyes. This is a massacre of innocent people. This is a massacre of the Filipino people.” 

She said that she knew a lot of people who started to question their undying support to this administration and to the war on drugs because of what happened to Kian delos Santos. Yu hoped that this change of public perception continues.

The League of Filipino Students (LFS) also condemned the death of Arnaiz and expressed its distrust in the country’s police force.

“Another life has been claimed by the police. Like Kian delos Santos, another student has been subjected to violence, and has been executed by the same people who have promised to serve the people,” said LFS national spokesperson JP Rosos. 

Rise Up for Life and for Rights is a human rights organization that helps victims of the drug war and their families. 

“Nakakabagabag dahil hindi natitigil ang pamamaslang kahit sa mga kabataan na kinabukasan ng ating bayan. Habang pinaglalamayan ang biktimang si Kian, may mga pinaslang din sa mismong lungsod kung saan siya nakaburol,” the group said in a statement.

(This is disturbing because the killings of young people who are the future of this nation, has not stopped. During the wake of Kian, there were others who were killed in the same city [Caloocan City].)

Recently, Caloocan City replaced Chief Inspector Ilustre Mendoza with Senior Superintendent Jemar Mondequillo amid the issues of Kian delos Santos and Carl Arnaiz’a death. (READ: Caloocan gets new police chief amid controversial cases)

At the end of the day, citizens call for transparent investigation and justice for the death of the two teenagers.  

“We are one in calling for justice for Carl Angelo Arnaiz and for all the victims of the US-Duterte dictatorship’s crazed drug war and his other fascist attacks against the Filipino people,” said Anakbayan National Chairperson Vencer Crisostomo. – Rappler.com





LOOK: Defective highway in Camarines Sur unsafe for motorists


HEADS UP, MOTORISTS. This is the hazardous portion of Andaya Highway in Camarines Sur. Photo from The Philippine News Facebook page

MANILA, Philippines – A viral Facebook post showing a defective portion of Andaya Highway in Camarines Sur sparked concern online.

The post states that around 10 motorists get involved in crashes or end up with busted tires on that road every night. It adds that in a span of a month, 3 people allegedly died in vehicle crashes there and 50 tires were supposedly damaged in total.

ANDAYA HIGHWAY. The deep and bumpy road surface results in busted vehicle tires. Photo from The Philippine News Facebook page

DEFECTIVE. Another portion of the road where motorists tend to get into crashes. Photo from The Philippine News Facebook page

Several people who commented on the post also shared their own experiences, saying that passing by this road – especially at night – can be dangerous. Some reported getting flat tires.

According to Helen Bermundo from the repair and maintenance section of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Camarines Sur, they are working on fixing Andaya Highway.

"Nakausap ko na 'yung contractor, nangako sila na aalisin na nila 'yung damage na ito this Thursday, September 7. For reblocking po ito, papalitan 'yung concrete at aalisin 'yung sira," Bermundo said.

(I was able to talk to the contractor and they promised to repair the damaged road this Thursday, September 7. This is for reblocking and replacement of the concrete that was used.)

According to Bermundo, the road repair will only take one week. She gave an assurance that it would be fixed just in time for the Peñafrancia Festival.

In the meantime, the local DPWH office resorted to temporary fixes on Tuesday, September 5, adding asphalt to even out the bumps. Warning signs were also set up in the area so approaching motorists can be alerted.

Bermundo also denied the claim in the Facebook post that 3 people have died from crashes there.

"Wala naman po namatay. Nalulubak [siguro at] nabibigla sila, pero wala pong namamatay," she said. (No one died. Maybe the potholes took them by surprise, but no one has died.)

Aside from Andaya Highway, Bermundo said there are other roads in the province that badly need to be rehabilitated. Among the factors that contribute to these roads' deterioration, she said, are heavily loaded cargo trucks weighing 25 to 35 metric tons.

"Medyo defective na po talaga 'yung [mga] highway... may mga declared sections na beyond economic, maintenance repair. Pinapa-include namin na [sana mabigyan ng budget] for 2018," she said.

(There really are defective highways... There are sections declared to be beyond economic and maintenance repair. We are hoping there would be funds for these roads in 2018.) – Rappler.com

Honesty prevails as parking boy returns cash to owner


HONEST BOY. Andrey Macabuhay is now famous as the "honest parking boy" from Sta. Maria, Bulacan. Photo courtesy of Dindo Lorenzo

MANILA, Philippines – Ever wonder what was going on in the mind of 13-year-old parking boy Andrey Macabuhay when he saw P7,000 fall from a man’s pocket?

No, he did not think of bringing it home to give to his sick parents. The boy would not steal money to feed his family no matter how hard life is for them.  Instead, Andrey, without hesitation, immediately returned the cash to the owner.

“Ibinalik ko po kasi hindi naman akin 'yong pera,” the timid boy told Rappler in a phone interview. (I returned the money because it did not belong to me.)

Did he think twice about giving the money back, Rappler asked Andrey. "No," he replied quickly. 

Today, he is now known as the “honest parking boy” from Sta. Maria, Bulacan.

Fighting poverty at a young age 

Andrey is the youngest of 6 siblings. His mother Angelita sells vegetables while his father stopped working due to an impaired vision. Andres Macabuhay has cataracts.

The Macabuhay family has to fight poverty every day but never seems to succeed in winning the battle. Because of the futility, Andrey too has to work for a living at a tender age of 13. “Nagtatrabaho po para makatulong sa magulang ko po,” he said.  (I work to help my parents.)

He has found a "job" in parking lots and one day on August 20, he saw a bundle of money fall from the pocket of Dindo Lorenzo.

According to the Facebook post of Lorenzo which went viral, Andrey chased him inside a fast food chain and immediately returned the money.

Lorenzo handed him a cash reward which Andrey heartily received. The young boy told him he would give the money to his mother.

Unexpected blessings

Aside from the small amount of cash from Lorenzo, Andrey received another unexpected reward. 

Immaculate Conception Institutions awarded Andrey a full scholarship worth P400,000. This includes his allowance, uniform, books, and lunch.

Andrey’s education until college is now paid for.

According to the school, they admired Andrey’s honesty and values. They said that he was a role model not only to his generation but also to older people.

Mag aaral po ako nang mabuti,” Andrey said after receiving the guarantee of his free education. (I will study hard.) 

Though he has lived in grinding poverty all his life and is just barely in his teens, Andrey Macabuhay can clearly distinguish the difference between right and wrong. 

In these trying times, when it is easier to be cynical, Andrey’s story is worth retelling a thousand times. –Rappler.com



#2030Now Innovate with Purpose: Leave No One Behind

MMDA trains 100 dogs in UP to help save lives during disasters


SEARCH AND RESCUE. The University of the Philippines adopts the MMDA K9 Corps search and rescue training at the UP vanguard. Photos by Rupert Ambil/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD) adopted the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) K9 Corps search and rescue training.

About 100 dogs undergo a life-saving training every weekend for 8 weeks at the UP Vanguard grounds.

The MMDA K9 Corps started to conduct the training on August 26 at the Napindan Hydraulic Control Center near Pasig River, where dog enthusiasts met up every weekend to train their pets for search and rescue operations in case the "Big One" or a magnitude 7.2 earthquake strikes. (READ: MMDA trains pet dogs to be lifesavers)

“Primarily, it is to mobilize the dog owners to participate in disaster preparedness,” according to Ramon Santiago, technical head of the MMDA K9 search and rescue unit.

Santiago is a long-time veteran of the MMDA who served as head of its Flood Control and Information Center, and advises the Metro Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council. He was also instrumental in crafting the Metro Yakal response plan.

According to Santiago, the goal of the training is to "train their dogs so in the event of disasters, they can help within their community to search for people trapped."

The dogs will be trained on how to sniff for signs of human life trapped underneath debris and collapsed structures.

“If we look at the resources for saving lives, it is not enough. So the help of the dogs and their owners is very helpful if they join the training," Santiago said. 

Any dog breed can be enrolled in the training, which also aims to promote animal welfare. 

Santiago said that they are hoping that more cities will adopt the life-saving program.

The effects of a magnitude 7.2 earthquake on a highly populated area like Metro Manila will include strong ground shaking, damaged infrastructure and utilities, and a potentially huge casualty count that could reach 33,500. (READ: What dangers await when the West Valley Fault move? – Rappler.com 







A happy ending to a mother's 7-year search for her missing son


REUNITED. After 7 years, Rowhanisa Abdul Jabbar can finally sleep at night with her son by her side. Photo from Cassandra Evanez Facebook account

MANILA, Philippines – Rowhanisa Abdul Jabbar, the grieving mother whose tale of her 7-year search for her missing son gripped social media, has a new story going viral again but this time it has a happy ending.

Jabbar's Facebook page has lit up with photos of her reunited and joyfully embracing her son, Ram-ram Abdul Jabbar Cabugatan. 

Jabbar confirmed to Rappler through her Facebook account (Cassandra Evanez), that she was finally together with her son after the boy was taken from their home in Tondo, Manila, on July 4, 2010.

Ram-ram was only 3 years old when he went missing.

A viral video posted by Hajjah Sonayyah Bin't Muhammad on Facebook, captured the emotional first time mother and child saw each other in 7 years.  

After being featured in the GMA 7 show Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho, the family who found Ram-ram returned him to his mother. 


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Before finding her son, Jabbar feared that her 10-year-old son had become a child soldier for the Islamic state-inspired Maute group fighting the government in Marawi City. In Jabbar's eyes, the child-soldier resembled her child. (READ: Mother of Maute child soldier urges him to return home)

She even recorded her voice and gave a copy to the military. In that audio recording, Jabbar pleaded for the boy to come home if ever he really was Ram-ram. 

Fortunately, Ram-ram and the young Maute soldier are two different boys.

Netizens celebrated with Jabbar as she posted photos of herself and her son both all smiles while hugging. The post went viral on social media.

She also thanked the people who prayed for her son.

“Sa lahat ng nag pray kay Ram-ram, salamat nang marami,” she said in her Facebook post. (Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for Ram-ram.)

Jabbar never gave up in looking for her child and even offered reward money to anyone who could locate Ram-ram.

“Sa lahat ng nakasubaybay sa kwento ni Ram-ram, nagging parte na rin kayo ng buhay namin,” she added. (To everyone who saw the story of Ram-ram progress, you all became a part of our lives.)

Jabbar can’t thank God enough and according to her post, her happiness is finally full.– Rappler.com 

Netizens react to 14-year-old boy found dead with 30 stab wounds


MANILA, Philippines – What if the authorities, whose sworn duty is to protect the people, are actually the ones who endanger them in the first place? Are our kids still safe on the streets?

These were the questions raised by social media users on Facebook and Twitter after Reynaldo de Guzman, the last seen companion of Carl Arnaiz before he was killed, was found dead in Nueva Ecija after sustaining 30 stab wounds to his body. 

Also known as 'Kulot', the 14-year-old boy was found dead in a creek in Barangay San Roque in Gapan City at around 11:30 am on Tuesday, September 6. (READ: Missing teen last seen with Carl Arnaiz found dead with 30 stab wounds)

In a Facebook comment, Nat Ermino doubted the capability of the victim to fight back. "The boy was stabbed 30 times. Note, 30 times. He had tape wrapped around his head too. How much threat could a 14-year-old boy possibly pose for him to be killed like this," he said.  

Luz Ana Gonzales Cariño also commented on the Rappler Facebook page, saying, "No one is safe. Di mo na alam kung sino kakatakutan at iiwasan mo, yung mga criminals ba or law enforcers" (You don't know who to be afraid of, criminals or law enforcers.)

The incident also stirred online discussions on Twitter, with tweets condemning the brutal act of taping the boy's face and stabbing him repeatedly. 


<a class="twitter-timeline" data-partner="tweetdeck" href="https://twitter.com/MovePH/timelines/905378471265710080">Reynaldo de Guzman - Curated tweets by MovePH</a> <script async src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script>



Carl Arnaiz was killed in a shootout with Caloocan police after allegedly robbing a cab driver along C-3 on August 18, but Public Attorney's Office reports refute the claim. (READ: Carl Arnaiz handcuffed, beaten up, killed – PAO autopsy)

PAO Forensics Head Dr. Erwin Erfe said in a press conference that Arnaiz was intentionally killed after suffering 5 gunshot wounds while handcuffed and kneeling.

The Grade 5 student is the 3rd victim after Carl Arnaiz and Kian delos Santos who were killed in just a few weeks, sparking outrage from various groups calling President Rodrigo Duterte to end his bloody war on drugs. (READ: Kian and Carl: What the deaths of two boys have in common) - Rappler.com

Biking to work? Here's what you should know


BIKING. Cyclists believe that biking is one effective way to cut transportation costs and improve one's health. Photo by Franz Lopez/Rappler

MANILA, Philippines – Biking has become an alternative mode of transportation for some people because of the various benefits it brings.

Besides the health benefits that exercise via biking affords them, it also helps save money by cutting down on transportation expenses and tranports people to work in the fastest way possible by allowing them to skirt traffic.  

But braving Metro Manila traffic requires mental and physical preparation as roads can be truly perilous. With no adequate bike lanes, a cyclist must weave in and out of traffic sharing the road with other vehicles. Just last year, a cyclist was killed when she was run over by a dump truck in Marikina.

According to 2016 data from the Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA), motorcycle riders are the most common victims of crashes on the road. There have been 218 fatalities, 11,456 injuries and 11,431 reported cases of damage to property.

If motorcycles, mechanically propelled vehicles, are that vulnerable on the road, what more for cyclists? Long-time bikers share practical and survival tips for the rest like them who wish to bike in the city. (WATCH: Getting around the city on two wheels )


Jesse Guerrero, a biker for 23 years now, said that while there are no specific prerequisites for using a bike, it is important for bikers to know the basic traffic rules and regulations. He suggests learning how to drive a car first to have a better grasp and understanding of how traffic works.

"You can start by riding your bike around your area before cycling on the road. This will help build muscle memory," Zieg Tercias, biker of 12 years, told Rappler.

Tercias also suggests conducting thorough research on the safest route going to your destination. 

Choosing your bicycle

According to Guerrero, choosing a bicycle depends on your budget and purpose. If the purpose is just to bike to work or school, a folding bike would be convenient. For long rides, you can opt to choose a mountain or road bike.  

Depending on the type, a bike usually costs from P7,000 to P20,000.

Things to bring

Aside from being mentally prepared, tools and safety precautions are crucial to ensuring a smooth ride. Cyclists must make sure they wear a proper helmet. Safety gloves, face masks, and reflectors are also recommended by experienced bikers. 

"When I use a backpack alone, I easily get tired. When I started to use a carrier, it became much easier to bike because the one carrying the weight is not my body anymore but the bike," Tercias said in a mix of English and Filipino.

Other things to prepare include a raincoat, sports shades, or sports eyewear to be used during the rainy season. 

Tercias also said it is best to bring a first aid kit and an air pump for tires in case of emergencies. 

On the road

Cycling on the busy streets of Metro Manila could take beginners by surprise.

"It's about being predictable and being able to predict where the cars or motors will go. You have to be predictable. When people see you they should know where you wanna go," Guerrero said.

Guerrero and Tercias emphasized the importance of being aware of the hand signals for bikers. Here are some of the most commonly used:

HAND SIGNALS. These are some of the basic and most common ways cyclists communicate on the road.

To avoid panic, they suggested slowing down or stopping to let heavier and rushing vehicles pass first. 

"Here in Manila, you will be shocked with cars who will counterflow and won't even care about the safety of the bikers. Bikers usually occupy the inner right lane and you have to be aware of public utility vehicles (PUVs) who will use that same lane to drop or get more passengers," Tercias said.

When biking on crowded roads, Armando Lee, a biker since 2010, suggested: "One just needs to mind the bike or people in front of you and make sure you have at least 3 feet away per 5 km/hr increment of speed." 


Lee added that in the event of a crash, "make sure no body part is aching before you get up. Make sure you are out of the way of any moving vehicular traffic. If there is, make yourself visible by waving and calling for help. Do this to avoid being hit again by incoming traffic and also to attract attention for help." 

Despite the risks and challenges they face every day, bikers ride on, hoping that one day, government will hear their call for safer and bike-friendly roads. – Rappler.com