Saturday, September 5, 2009

Palace announces holiday exemptions

By: TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—The business process outsourcing (BPO) and electronics industries are not covered by the Palace’s proclamation of Monday as a non-working holiday, Malacañang said Saturday.

The BPO and electronics industries requested the exemption through Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Press Secretary Cerge Remonde said over government-run dzRB.

”We all know that the operations of the BPO and the electronic industries are 24/7,'' he said.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on Friday night declared September 7 as a non-working holiday in light of the scheduled funeral of the late Iglesia ni Cristo Executive Minister Eraño “Ka Erdy'' Manalo.

Arroyo also declared September 21 as a non-working holiday to mark Eid'l Fitr, or the end of the holy month of Ramadan.


Thursday, August 6, 2009

Cory Aquino: From housewife to president

Agence France-Presse

MANILA, Philippines – Former Philippine president Corazon "Cory" Aquino, who died Saturday at the age of 76, was a reluctant leader despite guiding her nation through a revolution that restored it to democracy in 1986.

For three days in February of that year, the world watched as the woman in a bright yellow dress led millions in a peaceful uprising that toppled dictator Ferdinand Marcos, who had ruled with an iron fist for two decades.

During the next six years, Aquino – a devout Roman Catholic – changed the country's Constitution. She also overhauled the election process, released political dissidents and engaged insurgents in dialogue.

But her presidency was marred by at least six failed military coups, political squabbling, insurgent attacks and her failure to change a political system dominated by elite family clans.

Time magazine made Aquino its woman of the year in 1986, the year she was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize, and in 2006 named her one of Asia's heroes.

The magazine praised her "quiet courage," describing her as "the symbol of People Power and an inspiration to others around the world struggling against tyranny."

The 76-year-old Aquino, who suffered from colon cancer, reportedly refused further medical treatment after she was admitted to a Manila hospital in late June, with family members by her side and the country praying for her recovery.

US President Barack Obama led international reaction to Aquino's death, describing her as a historic figure.

Obama "was deeply saddened" by news of Aquino's death, White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in a statement.

"Her courage, determination, and moral leadership are an inspiration to us all and exemplify the best in the Filipino nation. On behalf of the American people, the President extends his deepest condolences to the Aquino family and the nation of the Philippines," the statement read.

Singapore's foreign ministry called her a "remarkable woman" who would be remembered for her devotion to her friends.

Born into the Cojuangco clan in the northern province of Tarlac on January 25, 1933, Aquino was a product of privilege, power and wealth.

Educated in the United States and Manila, she entertained no political ambitions – but all that changed when she met and married Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino, a bright young journalist from another prominent Tarlac clan, in 1954.

Ninoy was seen by many as a president in the making but for Marcos the then-senator was a threat. In September 1972, Marcos declared martial law and jailed hundreds of his opponents and critics, including Ninoy, who subsequently went into exile for medical reasons.

Corazon Aquino helped keep the opposition alive, speaking out on behalf of her husband and demanding change.

In 1983, against the advice of friends, Ninoy flew back to the Philippines from exile in Boston to seek an audience with the ailing Marcos. He was gunned down by assassins as he stepped off the plane.

His grief-stricken widow flew back to the Philippines, where she was quickly thrust into the role of uniting the opposition.

"I don't seek vengeance, only justice, not only for Ninoy but for the suffering Filipino people," Aquino declared as she reluctantly accepted the nomination of her peers.

After Marcos won the 1986 elections, which were marred by massive irregularities, the Aquino-led opposition, backed by the Catholic Church, soon rallied about one million people on the streets.

"People Power" was born, Marcos was ousted and forced to flee and Aquino took the presidential oath of office.

She quickly set up a commission to draft a new constitution, dismantled the network of Marcos cronies that controlled the economy and freed scores of political activists.

Aquino also began talks with communist and Muslim insurgents but her efforts would soon be undermined by problems within the coalition government she built. She later survived a series of bloody coup attempts.

In retirement, and until her illness, Aquino remained in the public eye, often speaking out against alleged abuses in government.

She became a vocal critic of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, whose family has been accused of massive corruption, and joined street protests against Arroyo until she was diagnosed with colon cancer in March of last year.

In the 1990s, Aquino said the presidency had taught her a valuable lesson in governance.

"I realized that I could have made things easier for myself if I had done the popular things, rather than the painful but better ones in the long run. After all, in the long run, I wouldn't be around to be blamed," she said.


We will never forget Cory, the mother of democracy...a strong and a great woman!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Entire nation brings Aquino to final rest

By Dona Pazzibugan, Kristine L. Alave
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines—One by one, friends, family members, employees of former President Corazon Aquino paid tribute to her through anecdotes, painting a picture of a woman who eschewed the trappings and temptations of her office and who was steadfast in her faith and service to the people.

During the three-hour necrological service at Manila Cathedral Tuesday, 19 people gave their heartfelt tributes, most of them ending up sobbing along with the audience.

Ms Aquino’s four daughters especially the youngest, Kris, openly cried upon hearing the tributes. Her only son Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III was able to hold back from sobbing.

The senator spoke last, summarizing previous speakers’ testimonials.

He recounted how his mother insisted on going to Fort Bonifacio during the Marines standoff in February 2006, at the height of the protests against President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo over allegations that she cheated during the 2004 elections.

The senator said he was opposed to the idea of his mother joining the chaos in Fort Bonifacio, where tanks and heavily armed soldiers were on standby.

But his mother won in the end. Noynoy recalled her saying: “It is my obligation to go there. It is my obligation to prevent bloodshed.”

When he and the former President arrived near the gates of the military camp, they found the people agitated.

“When she arrived, she took out her rosary and started praying. The people calmed down,” the senator said.

He told the crowd at the cathedral that he chose this story because it encapsulated everything about his mother.

“This was the loving Cory, who’s ready to do what is right despite the consequences and who has full faith in God. She believed in doing whatever we can and letting God do the rest,” Noynoy said in Filipino.

Swipe at political mess

The senator took a swipe at the political situation, saying there seemed to be no change in the country. The former President had been a vocal critic of Ms Arroyo.

“When I see the state this country is in—there are people who follow the law, who strive to study to be better, who are true to their fellowmen and are still asking ‘Why are we still in need?’ It hurts,” Noynoy said.

“There are those who fought before us. But we are still here, fighting,” he added.

There’s hope

On behalf of his family, Noynoy thanked the people who gathered in the streets to bid her mother farewell when her casket was transferred on Monday to the cathedral from the La Salle Green Hills stadium in Mandaluyong City.

He apologized to those who were waiting for hours to get a glimpse of the former President’s remains.

The senator said he was struck by how children, who did not see the 1986 EDSA People Power Revolution and her mother’s presidency, expressed gratitude to his late mother.

“These were elementary children. They said ‘Thank You, Tita Cory,’” he said. This is proof that there is still “hope” for the country, according to Aquino’s only son.

Fought good fight

At the end of his speech, the senator said of his mother: “I really truly believed without an iota of doubt that you fought the good fight, finished the course, and undoubtedly kept the faith.”

Former employees and friends of the late President said they were struck by her humility and simplicity, even while she was the leader of the country.

Read more

Cory Aquino will forever remain in the hearts and minds of every filipino for the restoring back democracy in the Philippines.

Friday, July 31, 2009

Cory Aquino Biography

Corazon C. Aquino
Born- January 25, 1933)
Seventh and First Woman President of the Republic of the Philippines
(Term: February 25, 1986- June 30, 1992)

Corazon Aquino was a political leader and president from (1986 to 1992) of the Philippines.

In 1983 she succeeded her husband and senator, Benigno "Ninoy" Aquino Jr. as leader of the opposition to then president Ferdinand Marcos. Aquino was assassinated in the same year at the then Manila International Airport following his arrival from the US where he stayed for seven years.

No one could have imagined that Mrs. Aquino would become president, the first woman to lead the country after Marcos was ousted in a military-backed popular revolt that she spearheaded in 1986.

When Marcos called for a presidential election in February 1986, Mrs. Aquino became the unified opposition's candidate. Although she was officially reported to have lost the election to Marcos, Aquino and her supporters challenged the results, charging widespread voting fraud.

High officials in the Philippine military soon publicly renounced Marcos’ continued rule and proclaimed Aquino the Philippines rightful president.

On Feb. 25, 1986, both Aquino and Marcos were inaugurated as president by their respective supporters but that same day Marcos fled the country.

In March 1986 then president Aquino appointed a commission that would rewrite the Constitution.

The revised Charter was ratified by a landslide vote in February 1987.

Despite popular support, Aquino was accused of economic injustice, a problem exacerbated by continuing warfare between the communist insurgency and a military whose loyalties to Aquino were uncertain. In general, her economic policies were criticized for faltering in the face of mass poverty.

Aquino was born to a wealthy family in Tarlac on Jan. 25, 1933. Her parents were Don Jose Cojuangco and Doña Demetria Sumulong. She was the sixth among the eight children of the Sumulong. Corazon Aquino's children are Maria Elena Aquino, Aurora Corazon, Victoria Eliza, Senator benigno Aquino III, and Kris, a TV and movie personality.

In 1946, Aquino’s family left for the US and she enrolled at Ravenhill Academy in Philadelphia. She finished her junior and senior years at Notre Dame College in New York. She entered Mount Saint Vincent College in New York City in 1949 where she finished a Bachelor of Arts, major in French. In 1953, she returned to the Philippines to take up law at the Far Eastern University, but then abandoned further studies in 1955 to marry Benigno Aquino Jr., who was then a promising young politician.

Before her entry into politics, Mrs. Aquino was a housewife, content with supporting her husband and raising five children.


Cory Aquino is a strong woman, great person and a great president. Let us all pray for her and her family.

Cory Aquino dies

By Maila Ager

MANILA, Philippines – Former President Corazon Cojuangco Aquino has passed away.

She was 76.

Her son Sen. Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino III confirmed that she died of cardio-respiratory arrest at exactly 3:18 a.m. Saturday at the Makati Medical Center.

Mrs. Aquino has been diagnosed with colon cancer early in 2008 and has been confined at the Makati Medical Center for more than a month.

Mrs. Aquino, widow of Senator Benigno Aquino Jr., will be remembered as an icon of democracy, having led a military-backed popular revolt in 1986 that ousted a dictator who ruled the country for 20 years.

At about 5 a.m. outside the hospital, Noynoy read a statement announcing the death of his mother.

The statement read:

"Our mother peacefully passed away at 3:18 a.m., August 1, 2009, of cardio-respiratory arrest.

“She would have wanted to thank each and every one of you for all the prayers and your continued love and support. It was her wish for all of us to pray for one another and for our country.

“Hinihiling po ng aming pamilya ang kaunting panahon para makasama namin ang aming mahal na ina.

“Later today, we will be announcing further details of her wake para sa lahat ng ating mga minamahal na kababayan na nais magbigay ng respeto sa aming ina. Maraming salamat po.”

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo expressed her condolences to the family of the former President, Arroyo's press secretary said.

The President is set to declare a week of national mourning, said Press Secretary Cerge Remonde in a live phone patch from the US where he is accompanying Arroyo who is on official visit there.

Remonde said the President could cut short her trip but that they were going to discuss the matter when they get to New York, their next stop after Washington D.C. where she met President Barack Obama at the White House.

Arroyo is expected to be back in Manila on August 5.

Remonde also said that under the law, all presidents were entitled to a state funeral but added that this would be subject to the family's approval.

Popular TV host Boy Abunda, a close friend of the Aquino family, told reporters on Saturday that the Aquinos were praying the Sorrowful Mystery of the Rosary when Cory gave her "last deep breath.”

Abunda said all five children of Mrs. Aquino, and her close friends and relatives were at her bedside when the former leader passed away.

After that last breath, Abunda said, Mrs. Aquino's children quietly cried.

"Malungkot. Tahimik na nag-iiyakan. Tahimik, except for Kris who was very quiet," he said, referring to the youngest daughter of Mrs. Aquino.

"Kris was very quiet. She was displaying such courage pero noong dindadala palabas mga labi ni Tita Cory... because you have to remember that Kris was in the hospital, Kris was by the side of her mother since July 20 hanggang sa mga oras na yun. Hanggang ngayon si Kris ay nasa tabi ng kanyang ina," Abunda said.

He said a Mass, officiated by Fr. Catalino Arevalo, was held after Mrs. Aquino's death.

Abunda said Arevalo is a very close friend of the former leader and had been officiating a Mass for her at the hospital.

A family driver of the Aquinos was seen loading stuff into a white Toyota Hi-Ace van parked at the back entrance of the hospital. He said the boxes and luggage belonged to Kris who left the hospital early Saturday morning.


Condolence to the Aquino family. Cory Aquino will be forever remembered in history for she was a great woman and a great president.

10 musts when taking an entrance exam

Today and tomorrow is UPCAT day, entrance examination for those who want to study at UP campuses. I remember way back 1978 when i also took the exam. I think all i have those moments were prayers. Prayers are powerful. Here are 10 musts when taking an entrance exam not only for UPCAT takers but for everybody taking entrance exam or any other examinations: By Bianca Consunji
Philippine Daily Inquirer

1. Always bring extra pencils and erasers. Examination proctors recommend two or three—and don’t forget your sharpener, unless you want to keep bothering your seatmate to borrow his/hers. Be sure to use Mongol or similar brands, not mechanical pencils. Also, use a separate eraser. Built-in erasers tend to be abrasive and may tear the page if you rub too hard.

2. Don’t bring noisy or overly aromatic food. By this, we mean chicharon, crispy potato chips, adobo. The noise and the scent of the food can be really distracting to everyone in the room! Limit yourself to sandwiches and other small snacks so they’ll be easier for you to eat as well. Coffee in a thermos might be a good idea if you need energizing at regular intervals.

3. Get a lot of sleep the night before the exam. Don’t spend it trying to cram in some last-minute studying—it won’t work. Instead, relax and get at least eight hours of sleep, which will be more beneficial than panic-studying until dawn.

4. Get to the venue an hour before the start of the exam. You don’t know what obstacles could be waiting for you: horrendous traffic, last-minute venue changes, flood. Also, it’s best to check out the venue before the day of the exam so you can orient yourself and not spend the minutes before the test wondering if you’re in the right place. After all the fuss, you wouldn’t want to miss your exam.

5. Bring something that can help you relax. Whether it’s a rosary, a good-luck charm bracelet, aromatherapy essential oils or your mother’s special cookies, bring something familiar and comforting to your exam. Think of that object as something to hold on throughout the test, like Linus’ blanket.

6. Put together all your documents in a small envelope. Don’t stash your test permit in your pocket. If it gets lost, then all is lost as well. Make sure everything is neatly stored together. Make copies if you have to, just in case something happens.

7. If you don’t know the answer, move on. Don’t waste 10 minutes of precious exam time trying to figure out the best answer. Be honest with yourself and take a risk—do you have time to make an educated guess, or are you going to shade a random letter? Just know that your own fate is in your hands (and try not to guess too often).

8. Go over the test paper and read all the questions twice. To make sure you don’t skip any questions, cross-check the number on the questionnaire with the number on your answer sheet. Possible school careers have been ruined with carelessness.

9. Use your scratch paper. Don’t try to figure it all out in your head; writing things down can help you think clearly. Ask for extra paper if you need it. Also, seeing the solutions in your own handwriting makes it more real, and may help you recall similar problems you might have attacked before.

10. Relax. We know it’s your future on the line. But panicking won’t do you any good. Once in a while, close your eyes and meditate. Pray if you want. Then pick up your pencil again and go through the test with renewed energy.


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

4 Reasons Why Baby Music Help Your Baby Sleep

Most parents will agree that one of the major challenges of parenting is putting the baby to sleep at night. There are a variety of solutions offered and using bedtime music is a popular choice.Many parents use bedtime music since it's natural and safe.
It also has the benefit of putting the parents themselves in a calmer, better mood as they prepare their baby for bedtime.

Bedtime lullabies have been used across the world for centuries to put baby to sleep. Almost all cultures have lullabies that passed from one generation to the next. In earlier times, it's probably the first music that babies hear - mom's melodic humming of lullaby. So it seems to stand the test of time as a way to put baby to sleep.

Most will agree music is beneficial to baby sleep but here's Why:

1) Babies have well developed hearing at birth

As more researches reveal how babies perceive sound and music, we now have more understanding than ever in the subject. It all began when the baby is still in the womb. Findings from a Belfast research with 400 fetuses demonstrate that reactive listening begins at 16 weeks, g.a.; even before the ear is structurally complete at 24 weeks. And at birth, baby's hearing is already well developed.

2) Newborns are sensitive to pitch and melody. They react more to high pitched sounds, like Mom's voice.

3) Researchers found that even as early as just a day old, babies already have a strong sense of rhythm.

4) Infants are more used to an environment of sound than a very quiet one. This is due to the fact that the womb was not an environment of absolute quiet So now we understand more about why music is effective in helping baby sleep, we can think about how to use music as part of a bedtime routine.


Music played however should be soft music and not so loud so as not to distract the baby.