Items filtered by date: Monday, 01 January 2018

A jewel in this year’s MMFF

I have to admit that I have never been a fan of the annual Metro Manila Film Festival (MMFF), which was launched more than four decades ago and which leaves moviegoers no choice but to watch locally made movies beginning every Christmas Day up to Jan. 7 the following year.
The festival supposedly gives awards for well made films, but the only important thing is the gate receipts of each entry.
Year in and year out, it seems that cinephiles are “treated” to the usual movies like the Enteng Kabisote, Panday (sans FPJ), and Shake, Rattle and Roll series. The few good films that do not find a large enough audience are dropped by the movie theaters like proverbial hot potatoes.
This was proven yet again this year when Ang Larawan (The Portrait) was axed after only one day. Good thing I got to watch this instant classic, based on a story by the late National Artist Nick Joaquin. As of this writing, 15 theaters of the SM malls have opted to replace the musical with more low end fare like the newest Panday film.
I can’t say enough of Ang Larawan. It is a masterpiece in every sense of the word. Based on Nick Joaquin’s Portrait of the Artist as a Filipino and translated into the national language by another late national artist, Rolando Tinio, it is as good as it gets.
The only other recent local film that matches up with it is Luna, the well-made movie about Gen. Antonio Luna that is so good that I had to buy a copy. I plan to do the same with Ang Larawan. If it’s ever shown in the US, please watch it. You will not be sorry, I promise.
It’s far from perfect, but the movie has so many strengths that those imperfections can be ignored. Maestro Ryan Cayabyab composed the music and his is in fine form.
As for the stars, a few are noted stage thespians, but the rest are artists of TV and film, with one lead star – Rachel Alejandro – better known as a singer, but who acts like a veteran pro.
Chairman of the MMFF Board of Judges this year is Rep. Karlo Nograles, fresh off his successful steering of the national budget in Congress.
Why this young lawmaker as a filmfest judge?
I’ve met him a few times and he comes across as a renaissance man with a variety of interests, not the least of which is art.
He told me that in his view, the Filipino film industry “has made great strides in polishing some of our graphics,” particularly fantasy films. I have to agree. Not only in fantasy films, but also in historical ones like the abovementioned Luna, and another one coming soon about the boy-general Gregorio del Pilar. A short feature in the making of the latter film shows that technically, our movemakers have what it takes to create visually stunning works that take us back to another time or place.
Last year, indie films made a splash in the MMFF. This year, Nograles said he saw the effort of the big producers to strike a balance between indie and commercial films.
Happily, the lawmaker agrees with me that “focus should be on making more quality films rather than pandering to what the market seems to want.”
The possible senatorial bet in the coming mid-term elections is aware of one of the weaknesses of the industry. Good stories normally do not get fundings from big outfits who focus on the marketability of the “artistas” rather than the story, he said.
For now, this filmfest reverts back to the same crowd-drawing formula that made huge money in the previous years, according to Nograles.
We’ll see this as the current template for future MMFFs, he added.
Let’s see if the big producers are willing to stick their necks out once in a while and go for quality rather than commercial success. Let’s face it. Our indie films have made waves abroad, but our star-studded movies only cater to the local market. Shame, huh?
There are other issues, of course. In my book, the greatest living Filipino director is the now retired Mike de Leon. He was supposedly planning on coming out of retirement to direct on entry for the MMFF, but backed out because he had issues with corruption. He probably means the unequal treatment of quality films as against commercial movies.
He may be right, considering what happened to Ang Larawan.


Wish for the New Year: ‘Peace on Earth, Goodwill to Men’ Comfort for the bereaved, prayers for the sick

A cloud of gloom has descended over two Filipino-American organizations as ‘devastating’ and ‘shocking’ news reached them about the untimely passing of their members’ loved ones. Coincidentally, they died a few hours apart, on the same day, two days before Christmas.
“It is with great sadness,” emailed Philippine Disaster Relief Organization president Archerie Calunod, “that I inform you that the son of our PeDRO Director Maricar Cabasag passed away this morning. Our thoughts and prayers are with them for comfort and support in their time of grief and sorrow.” Maricar’s son Louvic Cabrera died on December 23. No details have been received as of press time.
Newly-inducted Kalayaan Incorporated auditor Mario Barrameda suffered a cardiac arrest on Dec. 23, at approximately 2:55 p.m. at the Northridge Hospital Medical Center.
Mario was recently elected as the KI auditor for Fiscal Year 2017/2018. “It is very unfortunate,” stated KI secretary Violet Mislang, “that he did not get to serve much of his term and enjoy the pride of being an officer, but we certainly will cherish and remember his warm personality and friendliness while attending our many meetings and functions, which validated his dedication to Kalayaan, as well as his great love for our very own Ex-Officio Techie (Emperador).”
“I brought Mario at Northridge Hospital Medical Center last Monday,” Techie texted,” and he was confined for pneumonia and asthmatic bronchitis… he’s struggling to breathe normal.” According to past KI president Zeny Sabocor, who felt ‘devastated’ when she conveyed the ‘shocking’ news to KI members, Techie and Mario still shared lunch at his room. “They were told that his hemoglobin count was low,” Zeny added, “so he was supposed to be given transfusion. But before it could be done, he was hit with this fatal heart attack.”
Due to the holidays and sudden deaths of both Louvic and Mario, there are no specifics about services and funeral arrangement at press time.
An e-mail amplified sad news received – that newly-elected KI president Susan Dilkes has been hospitalized since Dec. 18, after undergoing substantial lung surgery. Her KI family wishes her, and all those suffering from illness, speedy recovery.

Mario was seen having fun during the Kalayaan Incorporated’s Christmas party on Dec. 3, in Anaheim, dancing away, feeling the music pulse from Frank, Willie, and Ralph, of the Midnight Motion Band. Mario was also excited as he waited, along with other officers, to be inducted by Deputy Consul General Ambrosio Brian F. Enciso III (“You can call me Ambo.”)
He graduated in 2001, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics from the Ateneo de Manila University. The following year, he worked as a staff officer with the Presidential Management Staff of the Office of the President of the Philippines.
DCG Ambo came to Los Angeles on Oct. 26, 2016. Prior to his L.A. assignment, he was the Director, Division for Southeast Asia 1, Office of Asian and Pacific Affairs. From 2008 to 2014, he was the Consul at the Philippine Consulate General in Xiamen, China, among other assignments. He completed Chinese Language Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing, People’s Republic of China.
Other KI board directors who’ll serve for two years are: Arnold Bejasa, Benel Se Liban, Rene Galano, and Carmelita Paule.
Kalayaan Incorporated, a 501 (c)(3) organization, is tasked to organize and implement the annual Philippine Independence Day celebration in Southern California while raising funds to finance such nationalistic celebrations and KI’s charitable projects. The Philippine Consulate General supports Kalayaan Incorporated. One of KI’s goals is to foster unity and camaraderie among Filipino American leaders and residents coming from various organizations in Southern California.
Save the date: 120th Anniversary of the Proclamation of Philippine Independence on June 9, 2018, at the Universal Hilton Hotel, 555 Universal Hollywood Dr., Universal City, CA 91608.


TFC spreads spirit of “Just Love” this Christmas by reaching out to community

DALY CITY --- This Christmas, the management and staff of TFC participated in a company-wide gift-giving initiative that benefited over 150 children from elementary schools near the company’s headquarters in Daly City: Woodrow Wilson Elementary School and Daniel Webster Elementary School.

Elisha Lawrence, AVP, Global Anti-Piracy, approached Jerry Bennett, ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director, with the idea to help provide holiday cheer to families in the community who struggle with their day-to-day needs and may not be able to enjoy the luxury of gifts or toys. This sparked a ripple of volunteerism and a contagious spirit of doing good among everyone across the ranks of TFC.

Gifts in kind and in cash poured in from all the employees of TFC. There were toys, clothes, art supplies, and sporting goods, and even groceries for families that found their way to the huge holding boxes in the ABS-CBN Foundation office. Employees used their lunch breaks to wrap gifts.

This activity ties in with the Christmas theme of TFC’s parent company, ABS-CBN, which is “Just Love” that highlights the significance of random acts of love and true stories of kindness.

Bennett acknowledges that “the schools are part of our community in Daly City so we wanted to reach out to spread the Christmas joy to the children. It’s a good idea. We’re having fun and at the same time feeling good about it.”

The Principal of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School, Sara Rich, was so overwhelmed when she saw the mountain of gifts to be distributed to the children at their school. She expressed that she feels that “our kids are going to have a beautiful Christmas. We have so many families that have so little and you have shared so much. I just want to say ‘Thank You.’ I can’t believe the amount of love and gifts and heart, and life that you have given to our school and community.”

Lawrence was witness to the gifts that arrived daily and the employees who dropped by to offer their gift-wrapping skills, and she said, “I am very proud to work for ABS-CBN and see the love and generosity of my co-workers. Everyone contributed gifts and pitched in to wrap gifts. Never give up on the kindness of mankind.”Screen Shot 2018 01 02 at 8.55.01 AM

Photo 1:
TFC employees share the joy of Christmas through their “Just Love” gift-giving initiative. (L-R) Financial Analyst Aaron Acosta; AVP, Global Anti-Piracy & Content Security Elisha Lawrence; Regional IT Manager Emely Penas; Digital IT Officer Ria Vizcarra; Woodrow Wilson Elementary School Principal Sara Rich; ABS-CBN Foundation International’s Account Receivables & Administration Assistant Issa Gelasio; Financial Planning & Analysis Specialists Joshua Reyes & Mark Aglugub; Finance Analyst Russel Dulay; Strategic Planning Analyst Apollo Topacio; and seated behind is ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)
Photo 2:
(L-R) Finance Analyst Russel Dulay, Financial Planning & Analysis Specialist Mark Aglugub, and Finance Analyst Aaron Acosta wrap the gifts for distribution to the children around the community.  (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)
Photo 3:
ABS-CBN Foundation International’s Account Receivable and Administrative Assistant Issa Gelasio gets into the spirit of “Just Love” as she wraps presents for the children of Woodrow Wilson and Daniel Webster Elementary Schools. (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)
Screen Shot 2018 01 02 at 8.56.17 AM
Photo 4:
More than 150 gifts were generated from the “Just Love” gift-giving initiative of TFC. (Photo courtesy of Elisha Lawrence)
Photo 5:
ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett (right) turns over the gifts for the children of Woodrow Wilson Elementary School to Principal Sara Rich. Rich expressed that “what you’re doing is passing on Christmas joy. I hope that when you open your own presents, you know that you gave someone else a Christmas.” (Photo courtesy of Pia Lopezbanos-Carrion)
Photo 6:
Daniel Webster Elementary School Administrative Assistant Denise Kotoff (left) accepts the gifts, on behalf of Principal Jennifer Knopf, from ABS-CBN Foundation International Managing Director Jerry Bennett (right). (Photo courtesy of Jeremiah Ysip)

Christmas Is About Christ

“So when we preach that Christ was crucified, the Jews are offended and the Gentiles say it’s all nonsense”—1 Corinthians 1:23
USA Today reported that a Pennsylvania family was ordered to take down their Christmas decoration displaying the name of Jesus after a neighbor complained it was offensive. The homeowner’s association claimed the display was a sign—not a decoration—which is a violation of the rules.
The name of Jesus is persistently and progressively being rejected and removed from our schools and courts. The intent is to completely strip it from all society. There’s nothing new under the sun. 2000 years ago, Jesus was a stumbling block for the Jews because he didn’t meet their expectations of a Savior. The residents and leaders of Jerusalem failed to recognize who Jesus was. The prophecy about Jesus fell on deaf ears (Acts 13:27).
Like the believers in the early church, Christians will be intimidated and warned “not to speak or teach in the name of Jesus” (Acts 4:18). But we must persist in proclaiming Christ for two reasons: First, Paul said, “God has given no other name under heaven by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:12). Second, Jesus said, “If anyone is ashamed of me and my message in these adulterous and sinful days, the Son of Man will be ashamed of that person when he returns in the glory of his Father with the holy angels” (Mark 8:38).
In our world today, especially during Christmas, there are many who still stumble over Jesus. The mere mention of his name reminds people they are sinners. May this be the season you turn away from your sins and surrender your life to Christ. For Jesus said, “Blessed is anyone who takes no offense at me” (Matthew 11:6).


Queries from readers

Queries from readers

What is Holiday Heart Syndrome?

Prevalent during holidays, this symptom complex is mainly characterized by cardiac arrythmias (heart rhythm irregularity), mostly due to alcoholic binges. The excitement brought on by the festivities and ingestion of a lot of caffeine (coffee, chocolate, cola drinks) during the holidays could also play a role in this syndrome. The symptoms are transient, unless the person has other complicating health problems.

Last Christmas I was happy and also sad. Why?

The feeling is called Christmas Blues or Holiday or Birthday Blues. This is not uncommon. The sadness could be due to sorrowful memories of past events recalled during this season, or feeling sorry for yourself, some family members, friends, or even strangers for certain negatives occurrences or misfortunes in your or their lives, personal problems, financial worries, some guilt for things you did or failed to do, or some things you want to do but couldn’t. Any of these can explain the sadness one feels during a festive occasion like the Christmas season. This is usually seasonal and temporary, unless the problem causing it lingers on

Is MSG safe?

Eating food with “Betsin” (MSG: Monosodium Glutamate, flavor enhancer) could cause a condition known as “Chinese Food Syndrome,” which could sometimes mimic a heart attack. It causes chest pains, facial pressure, and burning sensations throughout the body, sometimes with dizziness or fainting, which are mostly temporary. This phenomenon is a pharmacologic reaction to Monosodium Glutamate, a popular white powder food seasoning used in cooking. The symptoms are due to individual sensitivity or reaction and are dose-related. Most people are not bothered by MSG, but some react to it more severely. Although death is very rare, some people could actually be allergic to it and die from it. Those who develop any of the symptoms enumerated above after eating food cooked with MSG should clearly request chefs or cooks in restaurants, at home, or anywhere else, not to use MSG in preparing their food. Because of this syndrome, many Chinese (and other) restaurants today no longer use MSG. If in doubt, ask the manager or waiters, and instruct them accordingly.

At 72, can Viagra still improve my performance?

Your feat, albeit not as perfect as you want it to be, is amazing. Majority of men, even 20 years younger, are unable to do it as often as you do. Weakly perhaps, but not weekly. Viagra (Sildenafil Citrate) is a marvelous pill, truly a giant step for man, would help, but you must consult with your physician to make sure you are not on any form of nitrates (heart medications), which is dangerous when taken in combination with Viagra, and that you do not have any health risk that will contraindicate the use of this very effective pill for erectile dysfunction.

I have bleeding after sex, what is wrong?

Trauma is the most common cause, especially among virgin females. Infection can cause cervical inflammation, abrasions or excoriations that bleed on contact. Hormonal problem or cancer can also lead to vaginal bleeding. If you have bleeding, even staining, every time you have sex, then it is most prudent for you to seek consultation with a gynecologist. Recurrent vaginal bleeding, with or without sex, is abnormal and should be investigated to make certain no serious medical condition exists.

Can fright kill?

Yes, sudden or extreme fright can, among other possible effects, lead to an instant and steep rise in adrenalin (and other neuro-chemical) level in the blood circulation, leading to dangerous or fatal arrhythmia (heart irregularity) called ventricular fibrillation followed by cardiac arrest. This is especially true among those with heart disease to begin with. Death by fright is not very common but it does happen.

Do pets help sick people in their recovery?

Yes, pets, like dogs for instance, greatly help patients recover from their illness. Medical literature is replete with reports where even terminally ill people gained greater strength and more will to live when their pet is near them. The security, unconditional loyalty and love of “man’s best friend” have infinite medicinal value to the suffering patient, much like the love and compassion of human loved ones. And more often than not pets, especially dogs, are more loving, forgiving, and loyal than even some of our friends and relatives.

Why do my feet swell in the evening?

Edema (swelling) of the legs and feet, when present all the time, could be due to excess salt intake, heart failure, kidney disease, Beri-Beri (vitamin B-1 deficiency), some tropical parasitic infestations, and other even rarer diseases. Since yours happens only in the evening, and since you stated in your email that you were otherwise in perfect health, then I sus pect the edema to be due to some leg vein insufficiency, where the valves in your leg veins are somewhat incompetent allowing back flow of blood and pooling of blood in your lower extremities by gravity. Elevation of your feet at least 4 inches higher than your knees whenever you can, especially when you get home at night, will help the venous circulation of your legs and minimize, if not eliminate, edema. Low salt diet, and wearing support stockings (when you are on your feet) will also help. The best is for you to have a medical check-up by your physician if the swelling persists.

Are eyeshades beneficial?

Yes, dark glasses to protect our eyes from the glaring brightness of any source, like the sun and its UV rays. These rays (UVA and UVB), and laser lights cause eye damage (cataracts,, etc.) premature skin aging, and skin cancers. Using eyeshades daily and staying under a shade or umbrella to reduce sun exposure are healthy behaviors. Polarized dark glasses with UV ray protection are best, with our without prescription. Consult with your optician or ophthalmologist to find out what is best for you.

The main objective of this column is to educate and inspire people live a healthier lifestyle to prevent illnesses and disabilities, and achieve a happier and more productive life. Any diagnosis, recommendation or treatment in our article are general medical information and not intended to be applicable or appropriate for anyone. This column is not a substitute for your physician, who knows your condition well and who is your best ally when it comes to your health.

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Pricier goods under TRAIN Law mean better basic services, says Andanar

TAX TALKS. Communications Secretary Martin Andanar defends the TRAIN Law. File photo by Ace Morandante/Presidential Photo

MANILA, Philippines – Communications Secretary Martin Andanar defended the new set of tax hikes that will come as the Tax Reform for Acceleration and Inclusion (TRAIN) Law takes effect this year.

In an interview on Monday, January 1, Andanar acknowledged that while the TRAIN Law will increase taxpayers take-home pay for most employees, it would also lead to pricier cars, fuel, tobacco, and sugar-sweetened beverages. (READ: How lawmakers gifted themselves with tax cuts on luxury cars)

But Andanar told dzRH that the price increase will return to the public in the form of improved basic services and more infrastructure projects under President Rodrigo Duterte’s Build, Build, Build program.

“Eh mas lumalaki po iyong pakinabang, mas malaki po. It outweighs – the positive – the pros outweigh vis-à-vis the TRAIN Law pagka’t ‘pag mayroon pong malilikom na mas malaking buwis ang ating gobyerno, ito po ay mapupunta rin sa iba’t ibang investments ng ating gobyerno at iba’t ibang mga proyekto,” said Andanar.

(There will be a lot of benefits. The positive effects outweigh the cons of the TRAIN Law because the when government collects more taxes, it will go to different investments and different government projects.)

He added more government programs mean more jobs for Filipinos, too.

“Of course, iyong trabaho na malilikha po nito, iyon po iyong mahalaga kasi marami pong nagrereklamo na walang trabaho, etcetera… So ngayon ho, ay makakaasa ho kayo na madadagdagan talaga ang trabaho ng ating mga kababayan,” he said.

(Of course, the jobs this will create is important because so many people complain they do not have work etcetera… So now, the public can expect that there will be more jobs available for them.)

Andanar previously told motorists to fill up their tanks before the tax hike on fuel is fully implemented. –


No compromise deal with Marcoses yet, Malacañang says

NO DEAL YET. Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo says the draft compromise deal with the Marcoses circulating in social media is a mere submission from lawyer Oliver Lozano.

MANILA, Philippines – Malacañang on Monday, January 1, clarified there is no compromise deal yet with the Marcoses and the draft agreement circulating online is a mere submission to the Palace by lawyer Oliver Lozano.

“He wrote our office and attached that draft. He has been submitting a lot of proposals and suggestions. Our office just acknowledges receipt of the same and thanks him for his suggestions,” Presidential Legal Counsel Salvador Panelo said in his response to reporters on Monday.

Civic leader Gang Badoy Capati posted on her Facebook page copies of a supposed compromise agreement between President Rodrigo Duterte and the Marcos family, where some of their ill-gotten will be returned to government.

The post shows that Panelo responded to Lozano in July 2017 saying “we shall further study your suggestions.”

PAnelo said it was a matter of courtesy.

"The document was sent to the office by Atty Oliver Lozano. Our office as a matter of courtesy and policy acknowledges receipt of any letter coming from any citizen. No action has been taken on Atty. Lozano's proposal,” he said.

Lozano, Marcoses and Duterte

The document was sent to Panelo’s office by lawyer Oliver Lozano, known in the legal and media circles for filing multitude of cases against high-profile personalities. In 2017 alone, he filed impeachment cases against Vice President Leni Robredo and former elections chairman Andres Bautista, as well as an administrative complaint against Magdalo Representative Gary Alejano for seeking the impeachment of Duterte.

Lozano is also a known Marcos loyalist.

It was Duterte who first brought up the possibility of striking a deal with the Marcoses, saying he has met with an emissary of the family.

The President said he would need the approval of the Congress to begin the talks.

The government has civil suits against the Marcoses amounting to around P32 billion, excluding other efforts to go after assets like the coco levy funds.

The current leadership of the Presidential Commission on Good Government is open to withdrawing the suits, depending on the agreement between the family and Duterte.

"This will be premature but again if it will be used in the fast recovery of ill-gotten wealth at magagamit 'yan ng ordinaryong mamamayan ng Pilipino...because the recovery of the PCGG will go to 2 recipients, either for agrarian reform program or human rights victims, imagine niyo kung may magagamit na pera para sa repormang agraryo at para sa mga biktima ng human rights violations, ay maganda yan para sa bansa," PCGG Acting Chair Reynold Munsayac said in August.

(This will be premature but again if it will be used in the fast recovery of ill-gotten wealth and it will be used by the ordinary Filipinos...because the recovery of the PCGG will go to 2 recipients, either for agrarian reform program or human rights victims, imagine if you have the money which you can use for agrarian reform and human rights victims, that's good for the country.) –


Sea travel from Cebu banned as ‘Agaton’ lashes province

This forecast track of tropical depression ‘Agaton’ shows the storm passing over the province of Cebu. PAGASA IMAGE

CEBU CITY — Sea vessels in Cebu have been barred from leaving after the province was placed under Tropical Cyclone Warning Signal No. 1 due to tropical depression “Agaton.”

Agaton was crossing the Bohol Sea and was about 95 kilometers east of Tagbilaran City, Bohol, at about 4 a.m., according to the 5 a.m. bulletin of the weather bureau.

It had maximum sustained winds of 55 kilometer per hour (kph) with gustiness of 90 kph.


In Cebu City, wind velocity was estimated at 25 to 30 kph with gustiness of 45 to 60 kph, said Councilor Dave Tumulak.

It has been raining in Cebu since Sunday night.

A minor landslide was reported near Mt. View in Barangay Busay. Soil covered a portion of the barangay road but it remained passable.

A fallen tree was also reported in Sitio Hoyohoy in Busay, said Councilor Kevin Sanchez.

In Mandaue City, water at the Butuanon River and Mahiga Creek had reached the critical level, said Felix Suico, head of the city’s disaster office.

Suico said water at the Mahiga Creek in Barangay Subangdaku started to overflow at 5:12 a.m.

“We are now evacuating the residents along the riverbanks,” he said.

In Alcoy town, two fallen trees obstructed the flow of traffic along the national highway near the boundary of Dalaguete town. The obstruction was cleared after an hour. /cbb



Car torching, lynching mar New Year’s Eve in France

New Year revelers gather on the Champs-Elysees avenue in Paris on Dec. 31, 2017. AFP

PARIS, France — France saw a jump in arrests on New Year’s Eve as well as an increase in the number of cars torched by vandals, a ritual among revelers in the country’s high-rise suburbs.

The number of vehicles set alight on the night of December 31 climbed from 935 a year ago to 1,031, while arrests rose from 456 to 510, the interior ministry said on Monday.

Violence also marred celebrations in the Paris suburb of Champigny-sur-Marne, where two police officers were attacked by a large group of people at a party.

French President Emmanuel Macron took to Twitter to denounce the “cowardly and criminal lynching of police officers doing their duty” and warned that the culprits would be “found and arrested”.

“I regret that incidents like yesterday can happen but overall people were able to enjoy New Year’s Eve in a peaceful manner,” Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said Monday.

Some 140,000 security and emergency forces were deployed across France on New Year’s Eve.

The country has been on alert following a wave of jihadist attacks that have killed 241 since 2015. /cbb


  • Published in World

2,000 stranded in Visayas, Mindanao ports due to storm


Storm clouds brought by tropical depression ‘Agaton’ can be seen over the Visayas in this satellite photo released by the Pagasa on Tuesday morning, Jan. 2, 2017. PAGASA PHOTO

More than 2,000 people were barred from traveling by sea as Tropical Depression “Agaton” prevailed over much of the country.

As of 4 a.m. of Tuesday, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) reported that 2,308 passengers were stranded in ports in the Visayas and Mindanao due to bad weather.

The ports located in Northern Mindanao and southeastern Mindanao had 1,910 affected passengers while ports in Central and Eastern Visayas had 398, the PCG reported.

The Nasipit port in Butuan in Northen Mindanao had the highest number with 781 affected sea travelers. Mae Wess port in Davao and the Macabalan port in Cagayan de Oro followed with 370 and 310 affected passengers, respectively.

Meanwhile, 34 sea vessels and 66 rolling cargoes were also stranded because of rough seas.

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration, earlier warned sea travelers of risky travel over the eastern and western seaboards of the Visayas.

The weather bureau has raised cyclone warning signal number 1 in 14 provinces due to Agaton.


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