Forza Horizon 5 is a super-charged, fun-filled game that must be played!

Ever since I started subscribing to Xbox Game Pass (XGP), I’ve been playing the universally acclaimed Forza Horizon 5 a lot on my Xbox Series X and as of this writing, it is my most played game. Why? Because each time I play it, Forza Horizon 5 keeps on offering me a lot of opportunities to have fun from joining races, touring the fictionalized Mexico setting to taking part in very interesting, tourism-inspired missions/quests.

My name on the plate license.
Out in the open!
I made it in the Hall of Fame!

What I can confirm to you all is that this Xbox-exclusive open-world racing game made by Playground Games consistently delivered a lot of enjoyable stuff for me to discover and experience while also respecting my freedom of choice as to where can I go, what races should I compete in, what places can be discovered and a whole lot more! Very clearly the developers made the game with entertainment in mind and given the exceptional game design concept of the Forza Horizon series as a whole, they delivered a very unique car-oriented video game that keeps on moving into uncharted territories that most other racing games have not achieved.

Forza Horizon 5 is not your typical racing game. It has a fictionalized Mexico as the massive in-game world that is waiting for players to discover complete with the distinct environmental features, architectures, and ancient structures that reflect the nation’s rich culture.

At the Horizon Mexico site.
Speeding along the bridge!
That is the volcano!

There are also a whole of races or competitions for you to choose from. If you love racing at high speed on roads, there’s a lot of them. You love off-road racing and are willing to test your ability to drive over mud, sand, dirt or over some vegetation? Lots of those races are available! If you are looking for unusual challengers to compete with, there are special races in which you get to test your skill and might against a speeding train or an airplane or jet skiers! Not only that, there are also these very enduring special races that are over 30 miles long and I personally love the endurance test while performing my best against all the competitors which make the crossing the finish line a very satisfying experience!

Like its predecessors, Forza Horizon 5 is also rich with customization of your cars and even your in-game avatar (who has a voice and lots of lines to speak with). The cars you have can be customized at a Horizon outpost or in your in-game home, and you will have options with regards to vehicular paint, designs and car parts. Not only that, you can also upgrade the car parts and make your car more powerful and move to a higher rating.

A nice place to enjoy the view!
This is a very intense race!
The in-game sky and clouds have that photo-realistic touch.

When it comes to customizing your avatar, you can choose from several pre-designed human models and then adjust the hair style, hair color, prosthetics (note: if you really want this), physical expressions and most notable of all, you will have lots of options on your avatar’s shoes and clothes (shirts, jackets, trousers, skirts and dresses plus hats and eyewear to name some).

Going back into the Forza Horizon 5’s digital Mexico, there will also be some nicely designed places that you can purchase as your avatar’s home and each one is strategically located in different areas that reflect the local look and culture. As of this writing, I already purchased 6 homes, including two each with a 7-figure price tag.

One of my six homes as of this writing.
My newest home that cost 2,000,000 in in-game currency.
If you really want to earn more in-game money, you’ve got win and level-up a lot!

As of my last Forza Horizon 5 session, my car collection is still less than a hundred and already I sent out about ten cars as gifts (note: the barns) for a variety of gamers who play the game. As I was focused on raising money to buy all the homes in the game, my purchasing of new cars has been slow and this only motivates me to keep on joining races, raise as much money from each race and also relying on random winnings from the spin-a-prize sequences. I checked the in-game car shop and I am very impressed with the wide selection of hundreds of cars offered by many vehicular manufacturers from around the world. I like the Porsche cars that made it into the game!

When it comes to gameplay variety, gamers will not only have lots of races to join in, there are also these varied, driving-oriented quests that each have their own story concept and characters who will interact with your avatar. These quests include helping out in stunt car sequences for a movie production, helping a scientist with finding date in key locations, etc. Not only that, there are also these barns to find that each have the remains of an old vehicle that could be restored to working condition. And then there are these timed, limited events/activities you can join in.

A great view of only a portion of the game’s fictionalized Mexico.
A short clip from one of the special activities I took part in.
This Porsche is fast and highly responsive in terms of control! It’s worth spending money on!

I’ve played Forza Horizon 5 for a little over 15 hours now and I can only speculate that there are still a lot more to discover within the game by default. Combine all of those with the seasonal or special events/activities, there is always something new to do and discover in the game!

With Halo Infinite launching in a few more days, I’ve got to play more of Forza Horizon 5 because if the sci-fi shooter is as great and as immersive as what the YouTubers (who had access to 10 hours of the single player campaign) then that would most likely be my regular game to play on Xbox Series X.

As I have yet to complete Forza Horizon 5 as of now, this piece I am writing is NOT a game review but rather my opinion piece based on what I experienced with the game so far. What I can declare is this: if you love cars, exploring, adventuring, good music and if you want the best enjoyment available on Xbox Series X right now, then Forza Horizon 5 is a must-have and must-play game! Forza Horizon 5 is truly a very great game loaded with lots of fun stuff to keep any gamer busy and happy!

I love playing Forza Horizon 5 on my Xbox Series X!

In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Las Piñas City praised by DOH for having clean and orderly vaccination sites

According to the Manila Bulletin’s recent report, the Department of Health (DOH) praised the City Government of Las Piñas as a result of the local vaccination sites being clean and orderly to them. The DOH conducted an on-site inspection recently.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Manila Bulletin news report. Some parts in boldface…

The Department of Health (DOH) team praised the Las Pinas City government for its clean and orderly vaccination sites during an inspection visit on Tuesday, on Nov. 30.

DOH Regional director Gloria Balboa and her team visited The Tent and SM Center where the Bayanihan Bakunahan was being conducted.

Balboa praised Mayor Imelda Aguilar for the orderly vaccination procedures in the city’s two vaccination sites.

She also thanked the vacinnees who participated in the Bayanihan, Bakunahan and told them about the importance of getting the jab against COVID-19.

Balboa urged residents to continue to be mindful of the prescribed health and safety protocols as the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been detected in many countries.

Paul San Miguel, Public Information Office chief, said the city recorded a total of 8,786 residents who participated in the Bayanihan, Bakunahan on Nov. 29 and 30.

San Miguel said Balboa was also accompanied by Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) City Director Mary Ann Planas, City Administrator Reynaldo Balagulan, and City Health (CHO) officer-in-charge Dr. Julie Gonzales during the site visit.

The above report ended stating that Mayor Aguilar and Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery continued to encourage locals to get vaccinated.

For all the unvaccinated people reading this, any Las Piñas resident who has yet to get registered for the free COVID-19 vaccines can learn the ways (4 methods) by clicking here. Anyone who is ready and willing to register online can click bit.ly/LasPiñasVaccination

Meanwhile, the City Government is already handling the online registration process for COVID-19 vaccination for local minors (aged 12 to 17) which can be done at http://laspinascityonline.laspinascity.gov.ph/eCVRS/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a resident of Las Piñas City, what is your reaction to this recent development? Do you think the DOH should have inspected more vaccination sites in your city? How many people in your local community got fully vaccinated?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Sputnik vaccines versus Omicron

Have you been injected with a Sputnik vaccine? Are all the rabid news reports about the Omicron variant making you feel uncomfortable? Here is something that you should focus on temporarily – an official statement was recently released claiming that Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines are effective against all variants of SRAC-Cov-2 and they will prove effective in neutralizing the Omicron variant. As if that was not enough, a new version of the Sputnik vaccine is already being developed with Omicron in mind.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the statement published by SputnikVaccine.com. Some parts in boldface…

The Russian Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines have proven to be highly effective against all variants of SARC-Cov-2 known to date. This has been demonstrated by an article published in Vaccines medical journal and international real-world data from numerous countries:

A recent study in Hungary demonstrated Sputnik V vaccine had the highest (98%) efficacy in preventing COVID-related mortality and 85.7% efficacy against coronavirus infection among five vaccines (Sputnik V, Moderna, Pfizer, AstraZeneca and Sinopharm) used in the country between January-June 2021. Based on this data, the share of deaths from COVID in the unvaccinated population was 130 times higher than among those vaccinated with Sputnik V in the same period.

According to data from San Marino, Sputnik V is 80% effective against coronavirus infection from 6th to 8th months after administering the second dose, which is much higher than published efficacy of mRNA vaccines of less than 30% after 6 months.

The Sputnik vaccine’s efficacy is based on the heterogeneous boosting approach using two different vectors for two shots, pioneered by the Gamaleya Institute, and a proven adenoviral vector platform, which triggers a broader immune response as compared to mRNA vaccines.

The Gamaleya Institute believes both Sputnik V and Sputnik Light will neutralize the latest Omicron variant and has started the necessary studies.

Nonetheless the Gamaleya Institute, based on existing protocols of immediately developing vaccine versions for variants of concern, has already begun developing the new version of Sputnik vaccine adapted to Omicron. In an unlikely case such modification is needed, the new Sputnik Omicron version can be ready for mass-scale production in 45 days. Several hundred million Sputnik Omicron boosters can be provided to international markets already by Feb 20, 2022 with over 3 billion doses available in 2022.

That was a pretty bold statement there. Sputnik vaccines’ efficacies (preventing COVID-19  mortality and going against coronavirus infections) was compared with four other established brands of COVID-19 vaccines.

With regards to Omicron, there was confidence expressed that the two existing Sputnik vaccines will neutralize the new variant. That sounds great but I would love to see first real test results to prove that. Regardless, Gamaleya proceeded already to develop a newer version of Sputnik vaccine with Omicron in mind and they seem confident they can mass produce it and start releasing it in early 2022. As seen in the above statement, the mass production and release of a Sputnik Omicron vaccine would commence in the unlikely case they need to modify the Sputnik vaccine.

If the current Sputnik vaccines prove to be capable of neutralizing the Omicron variant, then no such production-release scheme of a modified vaccine will be needed. Gamaleya will then have to keep mass producing and sending out doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light worldwide. Already millions of doses of Sputnik V have arrived here in the Philippines and the national government plans to procure more of the single-dose Sputnik Light vaccine.

For added insight, watch these related news videos below…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this official statement about Sputnik vaccines and the Omicron variant? If you were fully vaccinated with the Sputnik V vaccine, how long has it been since your 2nd dose? Is your local government already releasing booster shots? Are you eager to find out if your local government will use Sputnik vaccine as your booster shot? Do you believe that Gamaleya’s statement that the two current Sputnik vaccines will really neutralize the Omicron variant?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa vaccinates more than 8,000 individuals on Day 2 of “Bakunahan Bayanihan” campaign

On the second day of the “Bakunahan Bayanihan” National Vaccination Days campaign, the City Government of Muntinlupa has reached its daily target on vaccination coverage anew with more than 8,000 individuals inoculated.

The Muntinlupa City Health Office (CHO) recorded at least 8,265 individuals to have been vaccinated last November 30, above its target range of 5,000 – 8,000 vaccinees per day. Of the total, 5,855 individuals are from the adult population, 2,343 are from the pediatric “well-child” population (12-17 years old), while 67 are pediatric A3 (with co-morbidities).

Recently, Muntinlupa has also reached its daily target for the first day of the mass immunization campaign with 7,287 individuals vaccinated.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi visited local vaccination sites on Tuesday and urged unvaccinated Muntinlupeños to participate in the three-day national vaccination campaign.

Further, the City Government has sent a team to Cabuyao, Laguna to assist in their local vaccination rollout. Other Metro Manila LGUs have also deployed teams to other cities and municipalities outside the region.

NTF Against COVID-19 medical consultant Dr. Ma. Paz Corrales and Cabuyao City Health Officer Dr. Elena Diamante extended their thanks to Mayor Fresnedi and the city government for its assistance to the local vaccination operations.

The Muntinlupa vaccination team deployed in Cabuyao has inoculated more than 1,000 residents on the first day of the campaign rollout.

The National COVID-19 Vaccination Days campaign is launched by the Department of Health (DOH) to ramp up the COVID-19 vaccination coverage and mobilize stakeholders from every sector to support the national government’s goal of giving Filipinos a safe and healthy Christmas.

Muntinlupa has opened all major and satellite vaccinations sites from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM. The major sites are SM Center Muntinlupa, Ayala Malls South Park, Festival Mall, Cupang Health Center, and Sucat Covered Court, while the satellite vaccination sites are Buli Health Center, Bayanan Unit 1 Elementary School, Poblacion Health Center, Southville 3 Covered Court, and Victory Health Center. The city-run Ospital ng Muntinlupa is also open for vaccination.

As of November 26, the Muntinlupa CoVid-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) announced that 409,637 Muntinlupeños (106.2% of target) have been vaccinated with at least one dose while 340,699 (88.3% of the target) have been fully vaccinated.

Of the total number of individuals vaccinated, at least 17,521 (first dose) and 10,659 (second dose) were inoculated in Muntinlupa private companies. The city has also administered at least 2,285 booster shots for the qualified priority groups.

Meanwhile, the city also recorded a dip in active cases with only 32 cases as of November 30. Two barangays, Putatan and Cupang, have logged zero cases. By barangay, Tunasan has 1 active case, Poblacion has 13 cases, Bayanan has 1 case, Alabang has 7 cases, Ayala Alabang has 4 cases, Buli has 1 case, and Sucat has 5 cases.

To date, Muntinlupa has 27,564 confirmed cases, 26,954 recoveries, 578 reported deaths, 17 suspect cases, and 382 probable cases.

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The above information was sourced from an official press release. Some parts were changed for this website.

Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  HavenorFantasy@twitter.com as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Panic and the closing of borders related to the Omicron variant

As a growing number of nations closed their borders to foreign travelers due to the fear over the Omicron variant (coronavirus variant B.1.1.529) magnified by secular and liberal news media organizations, CBN News published a related news report highlighting the statement of the head of the South African Medical Association that Western nations are panicking unnecessarily over the said new variant.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from CBN News’ report. Some parts in boldface…

The World Health Organization calls Omicron “a variant of concern,” but admits more needs to be learned about it. 

Initial reports describe it as having very mild symptoms.

But the virus may also be highly transmissible. Two new cases have just been confirmed in Canada, the first known to have reached North America. 

Dr. Ashish Jha, dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health, said preliminary evidence shows that it is more transmissible. “We don’t know for sure. We really have no data on severity, whether it’s more severe, milder, or more significant,” Jha said.

The United States has decided to ban travelers from South Africa and seven other countries in the region.

Israel has closed its borders to noncitizens for two weeks and has authorized cell phone surveillance of anyone confirmed to be carrying the variant. 

Japan also suspended entry to foreign visitors.

But the head of the South African Medical Association, Dr. Angelique Coetzee, said Western nations are panicking unnecessarily

There’s body aches and pain with a bit of a headache, not really sore throat, more of a scratchy type of description and no cough and no loss of smell or taste. And that’s what I call ‘mild symptoms.‘”

South Africa’s Health Minister, Joe Phaala, slammed what he called the ‘draconian’ travel bans.

“The reaction of some of the countries in terms of imposing travel bans and such measures are completely against the norms and standards as guided by the World Health Organization.” 

Here in the Philippines, the Omicron variant news reports sparked calls for ramping up COVID-19 vaccination just as the 3-day nationwide vaccination drive resulted 2.5 million shots administered on the first day. Omicron also brought local stocks down by a little over 1% on November 29 and the Inter-Agency Task Force (IATF) recommended to President Rodrigo Duterte the required wearing of face shields (which are unpopular and are really inconvenient to use as they distort vision and make verbal communication more problematic). These local developments show how much of a negative impact Omicron has made through the news and also shows how concerned or panicky people could get.

Anyone who follows Jesus as Lord and Savior should know that no matter what the situation and no matter how much fear and negativity the global new media spreads, they should NOT panic at all and should maintain unwavering faith in Him for protection and lifting.

To all the faithful as well as all others who have not yet accepted Jesus as Lord and Savior reading this…the Lord will not abandon us nor forsake us. Trust in the Lord wholeheartedly and eternally. Submit to the Lord and be led by the Holy Spirit. Learn from the following scriptures below…

Do not yield to fear, for I am always near.
    Never turn your gaze from me, for I am your faithful God.
    I will infuse you with my strength
    and help you in every situation.
    I will hold you firmly with my victorious right hand.’
“All who rage against you will be ashamed and disgraced.
    All who contend with you will perish and disappear.
 You will look for your enemies in vain;
    those who war against you will vanish without a trace!

Isaiah 41:10-12 (TPT)

Fear and intimidation is a trap that holds you back.
    But when you place your confidence in the Lord,
    you will be seated in the high place.

Proverbs 29:25 (TPT)

Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.”

Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.”

So Moses wrote this law and delivered it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who bore the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel.

Deuteronomy 31:6-9 (NKJV)

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: No evidence on higher transmissibility of Omicron variant according to WHO

By the time you are reading this, you must have seen a ton of international, national and local news reports related to the Omicron variant (variant B.1.1.529) as it is feared to be more infectious and overwhelm the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide. To cut through all the noise and the paranoia, it is important to take a look at what the global health authority said about Omicron according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

There is no evidence so far concerning the transmissibility or severity of the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday.

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta,” the organization said in a statement.

The WHO said the increasing number of people testing positive and the rate of hospitalization in South Africa, where the new variant was first reported and thought to have originated, do not necessarily mean higher transmissibility or severity rates of the strain, noting “this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” the statement added.

Based on limited information, the WHO also warned that people who have previously had Covid-19 could become re-infected more easily with Omicron as compared to other variants of concern, pointing out the need for more studies on the strain to better understand it.

Omicron is really impacting nations as I write this. Here in the Philippines, the government targeted January 2022 as the time to formally start vaccinating minors aged 5 to 11-years-old. In Israel, where a 2nd Omicron case was detected, travelers from overseas will not be allowed to use public transportation serving the airport. In the Netherlands, 13 cases of Omicron were detected among passengers on two flights that came from South Africa.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do all the news about Omicron make you feel scared or worried? Has everyone in your household been fully vaccinated (injected with two doses of most vaccine brands) already?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

A Look Back at X-Men #28 (1994)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men monthly series of the said decade, specifically on the 28th issue which takes place after the events highlighted by the 30th anniversary the X-Men (read my retro reviews Uncanny X-Men #304 and X-Men #25), and before the wedding of Scott/Cyclops and Jean Grey (X-Men #30).

With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men #28, published by MarvelComics in 1994 with a story written by the Fabian Nicieza and drawn by Andy Kubert.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with Jubilee running through the woods desperately. She suddenly finds Wolverine on the ground. As she turns, she sees Sabretooth moving directly at her for the kill.

Jubilee suddenly wakes up from her nightmare. Jean arrives to comfort her and gets told that within the nightmare, all the X-Men were killed. Jean telepathically reaches out to Scott, Ororo/Storm and Hank/Beast and calls for an immediate private meeting outside Charles Xavier’s mansion.

Shortly after, Jean, Cyclops, Storm and Beast meet at a local pub to discuss a very questionable move recently made by their leader Charles Xavier…accepting Sabretooth into the mansion as a patient…

Quality

I really liked this scene between Professor X and two of his original X-Men members.

Let me start by confirming that this is one of the best X-Men scripts I have read from Fabian Nicieza as X-Men #28 strongly tackled the issues it raised regarding the disturbing presence of Sabretooth on the established team of mutants. For one thing, it is dramatic to read how Jean Grey, Cyclops, Beast and Storm expressed their opinions about their boss Charles Xavier who decided to take an established animalistic killer like Sabretooth into their shared place of residence. Even though they have high-tech measures to ensure security and containment, Sabretooth is still a constant emotional problem to the X-Men.

The presence of Sabretooth brings to light Xavier’s legacy of bringing Wolverine and Rogue into the X-Men many years prior, as well as sensible questions about the X-Men founder himself. How much impact did Ilyana’s death and Colossus’ departure have on Xavier? Is Xavier losing his sanity since he erased Magneto’s mind? Is Professor X really in control with leading the team while working on several other things at the same time?

More on Sabretooth, apart from being a major disturbance, he was shown to have known Gambit from some time in the past and if you read his dialogue (while in the presence of Rogue and Gambit) closely, the French city of Paris is mentioned and it has something to do with Gambit and Sabretooth’s previous encounter.

Conclusion

Psylocke was no match for Sabretooth.

X-Men #28 (1994) is not your typical good-versus-evil type of X-Men story but rather a dramatized look at the team feeling very uneasy mainly because of the presence of an animalistic killer within their household. In retrospect, the concept of having Sabretooth in the Xavier mansion is a daring and also refreshing as it also opened up opportunities for the creative team to explore new dimensions on many of the affected X-Men members. In relation to that, this comic book was published just months after Marvel published a Sabretooth comic book mini-series.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of X-Men #28 (1994) be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $30 while the near-mint copies of the signed-and-numbered edition and the newsstand edition cost $200 and $90 respectively.

Overall, X-Men #28 (1994) is highly recommended.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

COVID-19 Crisis: Metro Manila number coding returns specifically covering evening rush hours

For those who drive daily in or through Metro Manila, better brace yourselves for changes regarding evening rush hours as it was announced that the number coding will return very soon according to a GMA News report.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the GMA News report. Some parts in boldface…

Majority of National Capital Region (NCR) mayors have agreed to reinstate the number coding scheme during afternoon rush hour, according to Allan Gatus’ report on Super Radyo dzBB on Monday.

Citing Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) chairman Benhur Abalos, the report said the number coding scheme will be implemented Monday to Friday from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and will cover only private vehicles.

Public utility vehicles (PUVs) are exempted from the scheme as they are still operating under limited passenger capacity under Alert Level 2.

The above report ended stating that the actual implementation of the return of the number coding scheme will happen officially two days after the resolution gets published on the Official Gazette.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do you drive regularly around Metro Manila during the evening rush hours? Do you think that the return of number coding in Metro Manila is good?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Philippines monitoring coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 (Omicron variant)

News about the new and more infectious coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 – also referred to as the Omicron variant – that reportedly originated in South Africa dominated the news cycles this past weekend and already the authorities here in the Philippines are monitoring it, according to a recent Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

Before proceeding with the PNA’s news report, let’s take a close look as to what exactly is coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 or Omicron variant according to the World Health Organization (WHO) which published an article (published November 26, 2021) about it. The excerpt is pasted below and some parts in boldface…

The B.1.1.529 variant was first reported to WHO from South Africa on 24 November 2021. The epidemiological situation in South Africa has been characterized by three distinct peaks in reported cases, the latest of which was predominantly the Delta variant. In recent weeks, infections have increased steeply, coinciding with the detection of B.1.1.529 variant. The first known confirmed B.1.1.529 infection was from a specimen collected on 9 November 2021.

This variant has a large number of mutations, some of which are concerning. Preliminary evidence suggests an increased risk of reinfection with this variant, as compared to other VOCs. The number of cases of this variant appears to be increasing in almost all provinces in South Africa. Current SARS-CoV-2 PCR diagnostics continue to detect this variant. Several labs have indicated that for one widely used PCR test, one of the three target genes is not detected (called S gene dropout or S gene target failure) and this test can therefore be used as marker for this variant, pending sequencing confirmation. Using this approach, this variant has been detected at faster rates than previous surges in infection, suggesting that this variant may have a growth advantage.

There are a number of studies underway and the TAG-VE will continue to evaluate this variant. WHO will communicate new findings with Member States and to the public as needed.

Based on the evidence presented indicative of a detrimental change in COVID-19 epidemiology, the TAG-VE has advised WHO that this variant should be designated as a VOC, and the WHO has designated B.1.1.529 as a VOC, named Omicron.

As such, countries are asked to do the following:

  • enhance surveillance and sequencing efforts to better understand circulating SARS-CoV-2 variants.
  • submit complete genome sequences and associated metadata to a publicly available database, such as GISAID.
  • report initial cases/clusters associated with VOC infection to WHO through the IHR mechanism.
  • where capacity exists and in coordination with the international community, perform field investigations and laboratory assessments to improve understanding of the potential impacts of the VOC on COVID-19 epidemiology, severity, effectiveness of public health and social measures, diagnostic methods, immune responses, antibody neutralization, or other relevant characteristics.

Individuals are reminded to take measures to reduce their risk of COVID-19, including proven public health and social measures such as wearing well-fitting masks, hand hygiene, physical distancing, improving ventilation of indoor spaces, avoiding crowded spaces, and getting vaccinated.

As mentioned earlier, the Philippines is paying close attention to the Omicron variant. To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA article. Some parts in boldface…

The Philippine government is monitoring the new coronavirus variant B.1.1.529 that already has cases in South Africa, acting Presidential spokesperson and Cabinet Secretary Karlo Nograles said Friday.

During the Palace briefing, Nograles said members of the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) and the Department of Health (DOH) are widely aware of the variant described by experts as “heavily mutated”.

“We are monitoring — intently monitoring — itong situation na ito. Patuloy pa rin po ang ginagwa nating (We are monitoring — intently monitoring — this situation. We continue to conduct our) genomic surveillance on the ground,” Nograles said in an interview.

He added the government is constantly exchanging information with the World Health Organization about the possible threat of the newly detected variant.

We are waiting their advisories kung ito bang variant na ito (if this variant) is considered a variant of interest or a variant of concern,” Nograles said.

Dana Krizia Sandoval, spokesperson of the Bureau of Immigration, said in another interview that various systems are in place once the IATF sees the need to adjust the travel restrictions caused by emerging Covid-19 variants.

“Kapag may directive po ang IATF na kailangan pong baguhin, immediately po kaya po nating i-implement and we have the sufficient manpower naman po para tugunan po itong mga pangangailangan na ito (Once the IATF gives its directive to change it, we will immediately implement it and we have sufficient manpower to augment these needs),” she added.

Sandoval said they are strictly enforcing health protocols and social distancing measures in all entry and exit points to make sure that travelers are safe when passing through the immigration area.

The above report ended stating that there have been confirmed cases of Omicron variant in South Africa, Botswana, and Hong Kong.

While the Omicron news published are scary and unsettling to learn about, it should be noted that there are still ways for the Philippines to prevent the new variant from entering the country even though the national authorities are constantly working as people of different nationalities enter, exit or pass through our nation via air travel.

As the Omicron variant was found to be much more infectious than the previous variants of coronavirus, now is a much more crucial time for every unvaccinated person here in the Philippines to go out and get vaccinated. That being said, the patients who are due for a 2nd dose of their vaccine should contact the local authorities to ask when will they be scheduled for the 2nd shot. As for the fully vaccinated, watch out for updates about the release of booster shots for more patients apart from the already receiving senior citizens, the health workers and immunocompromised. For anyone vaccinated already enjoying the added freedom of movement and the ongoing revival of businesses under Metro Manila’s Alert Level 2 status (extended to November 30, 2021), always maintain caution by following health protocols.

As the many secular and liberal media outlets around the world enjoy publishing scary news about Omicron, we who believe in Lord Jesus should not panic nor allow ourselves to be crushed by fear. For His protection, I urge you all to pray to Him with Psalm 91 in the Holy Bible. Maintain unwavering faith in the Lord no matter what.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

COVID-19 Crisis: Roughly 540,000 vaccine doses donated by South Korea arriving tomorrow

Tomorrow, November 30, 2021, almost 540,000 doses of COVID-19 vaccine donated by the government of South Korea will arrive here in the Philippines according to a recent report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA). This early, we Filipinos should express our thanks to our friends in South Korea for not just for the mentioned incoming vaccines but also for other forms of help they provided for our nation’s fight against COVID-19.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the PNA report. Some parts in boldface…

The South Korean government is augmenting its pandemic assistance to the Philippines with the upcoming donation of 539,430 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine this month.

The Korean Embassy in Manila said the donations are expected to arrive on November 30.

The Embassy of the Republic of Korea is happy to support the Philippine government as it seeks to inoculate 15 million Filipinos during the National Covid-19 Vaccination Days from November 29 to December 1, 2021,” it said in a statement on Tuesday.

The donation is part of the joint efforts made by Korea and the Philippines to protect public health and support the local response to Covid-19 in the Philippines by vaccinating Filipino people.

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) last year, the embassy has worked closely with partners from the Philippines, both to help protect the front-liners and reduce the crisis’ impact on the livelihood of affected Filipino families.

The upcoming donation brings to USD210.7 million or approximately PHP10.67 billion Korea’s Covid-19 assistance to the Philippines.

About USD200 million of the amount is in the form of concessional loans to help the Philippines procure enough vaccines in 2021 and support government efforts in scaling up its Covid-19 response.

Korea’s grant element in its concessional loan is at least 88.4 percent, based on the 2018 data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

It implies that the Philippines need(s) to repay only 12.6 percent and 88.4 percent will not be repaid by the Philippines. Thus, Korea’s concessional loan provides very, very good terms to the Philippines,” the embassy said.

Apart from the loans, Korea has donated 530,000 swab test kits, seven walk-through booths, two extraction equipment, six isolation beds, 970,000 masks, 167,000 hygiene kits, and 1,200 units of personal protective equipment.

It also distributed rice pouches to help about 365,000 Filipinos who are among the country’s most vulnerable cope during the pandemic.

The Korean Embassy said at least 34 refrigerated trucks for transporting Covid-19 vaccines and four trucks for transporting vaccine-related goods are likewise scheduled for delivery in January 2022.

This year marks 30 years of the Philippines’ and Korea’s development partnership, with the latter’s contribution to the country reaching USD2.1 billion in total.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Are you thankful to South Korea for the donations and assistance they provided to our country? Do you value the ties between the Philippines and South Korea?

You may answer in the comments below. If you prefer to answer privately, you may do so by sending me a direct message online.

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me with a private message. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me on Twitter at  @HavenorFantasy as well as on Tumblr at https://carlocarrasco.tumblr.com/