Saturday, January 28, 2012

Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) officially New7Wonders of Nature

The Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) is now officially included in the famous list of the New7Wonders of Nature, the founder of  the New7Wonders worldwide campaign declared Saturday.

The 8.2-km long Palawan river, together with the Amazon rainforest, Vietnam’s Halong Bay and Argentina’s Iguazu Falls, is now one of the world’s new seven wonders of nature.

“When your very own President Aquino came out in support of the PPUR campaign, I knew that this country was taking the New7Wonders of Nature seriously,” said Weber. “Fans of PPUR all over the world responded to his call for action by voting in record numbers and today’s confirmation is the well-earned reward for this extraordinary display of enthusiasm.”

The New7Wonders, founded in 2001 by filmmaker Bernard Weber in Zuric, is based on the same principle on which the seven ancient wonders of the world were determined. That list of seven wonders was attributed to Byzantium's Phylon in ancient Greece.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Congressman Iggy Arroyo 'clinically dead'

Congresman Ignacio "Iggy" Arroyo Jr., representative of the 5th district of Negros Occidental, is clinically dead, his older brother, former First Gentleman Jose Miguel "Mike" Arroyo said.

The former First Gentlemen said his source at his brother's bedside initially told him that Iggy had passed away after suffering cardiac arrest last night, He later clarified that his brother is brain dead but has not been pronounced dead by doctors.

He said Iggy is still on life support, which could be taken out anytime, and that he will issue a statement at the proper time.

Arroyo earlier revealed Iggy had a cardiac arrest last night. "At that point, an ambulance was called for him in London. He was revived at the hospital but he went into a coma. This morning, his heart stopped beating."

With reports from ABSCBN News

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

DA, PNOC-EDC tie up to support Leyte vegetable farming project

The province of Leyte is set to contest Cordillera's position as the country's premier salad bowl. An area as vast as 20,000 ha in the Tongonan mountain range will be allotted to the farm-and-harvest activity of high-value semi-temperate vegetables.

According to Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala , the Department of Agriculture (DA) has signed a memorandum of agreement (MOA) last December 12, 2011 with the PNOC-Energy Development Corp. (PNOC-EDC), among other institutions and groups of Leyte farmers to press Cordillera in its crown as top salad greens producer.

Under the MOA, the DA and the PNOC-EDC will invest P92 million in the next five years to develop fit farming grounds enclosing the Leyte Geothermal Production Field (LGPF). The investment is said to benefit 5,600 farmers composing 23 farmers’ groups in Kananga town and Ormoc City.

The production area is 500 to 800 meters above sea level. It extends from Ormoc City to Kananga town. It will be managed by a five-year initiative referred to as the Agri-Pinoy integrated and diversified program for the development of the ‘OK’ (Ormoc City and Kananga) upland range.

With supporting reports from Manila Bulletin

Local airlines banned from increasing flight operations in South Korea

According to the Civil Aeronautics Board (CAB), Philippine carriers have been banned from expanding its flight to South Korea.

Seoul reportedly followed suit from the US Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) decision to stop any expansion of flights in the US due to PH's unimproved safety regulations.

Last month, the South Korean government junked AirPhil Express's application to launch flights to Incheon, gateway to the capital Seoul, citing the Philippines’ “Category 2 status with the FAA” as the basis for the decision.

Under South Korean aviation rules, airlines rated category 2 by the FAA are banned from expanding flights to and from the country. The ban also includes countries blacklisted by the European Union (EU) and those  labelled possessing “serious safety concerns” by the International Civil Aviation Organizations (ICAO).

Incidentally, the Philippines is also blacklisted by the EU and the ICAO. Existing flights however will not be affected, even after the FAA ban. A meeting between CAB and its counterparts in South Korea has been scheduled in the first week of February for another set of negotiation.

With supporting reports from Inquirer.net

Jollibee buys new food businesses, establishes presence in Asia

Fast-food king Jollibee Foods Corp. (JFC) has completed a buy-in deal with a regional food group that manages a chain of Highlands Coffee, Hard Rock Cafe stores and Pho24 restaurants, thus raising its expansion rate in Asia..

Through subsidiary Jollibee Worldwide Pte. Ltd., JFC declared the consummation of its acquisition of 50 percent of the businesses of SuperFoods Group, which comprise of a 49-percent stake in Vietnam-based SF Vung Tau Joint Stock Co. and a 60-percent share in Hong Kong-based Blue Sky Holding Ltd.

The deal will cost JFC $25 million for the 50 percent stake in SuperFoods alone. But, inclusive in the deal is an extension of a $35-million loan to its partner Viet Thai International Joint Stock Co. (VTI) through their joint venture in SuperFoods. Furthermore, JFC has also released in advance $5 million to the SuperFoods group.

Earning $30 million in annual sales, the SuperFoods Group operates 56 Highlands Coffee stores in Vietnam, and Pho24 stores in Vietnam (48), Indonesia (11), Hong Kong (4), Japan (3), the Philippines (2), and Cambodia (1). It also handles a number of Hard Rock Cafe-franchised stores in Macau, Hong Kong and Vietnam.

The key leading player in the Philippine quick-service restaurant industry, JFC which is increasingly heightening its operations abroad, now has a total of 2,003 restaurants in the Philippines and 2,471 restaurants worldwide.

With supporting reports from Inquirer.net

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Boracay, the world's 2nd best beach

Boracay island (in Aklan) makes it again, as Asia's No. 1 beach for the second time around. And not only that, the famous beach-plotted tourist spot is now the second best beach destination in the world, a travel website TripAdvisor announces.

"At only 4.5 miles long, Boracay is small enough to navigate by rented bicycle or motorbike. But don't let its small size fool you -- you'll have several excellent beaches to choose from," TripAdvisor reveals.

The list, which is based on travelers' reviews and ratings, proclaims that the small island of Providenciales in Turks and Caicos is still indisputably the world's best beach destination.

Completing the list of the best beach destinations in the world are the following: Palm/Eagle beach in Aruba island, Negril in Jamaica, Tulum in Mexico, Myrtle Beach in South Carolina, Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman island, Punta Cana in Dominican Republic, Cape May in New Jersey, and last but not the least, Santa Teresa in Costa Rica.

With supporting reports from ABSCBN News Portal.

Gunmen kill 20 fishermen in Basilan

Around 20 fishermen were killed when gunmen opened fire on three boats off Sibago island in Basilan, a fort of Muslim rebels, on Monday the possible reason of which pointing to an ongoing fishing turf rivalry.

Three other men were wounded in the incident. Several suspects have already been identified, but no one has been arrested yet. About 10 attackers are suspected of involvement in the incident.

The fishermen, who were residents of Pagadian City, were aboard three wooden vessels off Sibago island in Basilan when gunmen in speedboats opened fire.

A survivor reportedly told police that they had been warned to stay out of the area where the attack occurred.

It should be known that Basilan serves as a base for Islamist militants and rebel groups in the country. It is also an area engulfed by high incidences of kidnap-for-ransom activities, with foreigners usually being the target. 

However, the possibility of Islamist militants being involved in the incident had so far been dismissed.

With supporting sreports from Inquirer.net