Hidilyn Diaz wins the first-ever Olympic gold medal for the Philippines!

By the time you are reading this, you should be aware that what was once impossible for the Philippines became a tremendous breakthrough – national weightlifter Hidilyn Diaz (her official Twitter and Instagram) defeated her Chinese competitor in the Tokyo Olympics women’s 55 Kg. weightlifting competition and won for the Philippines its first-ever Olympic gold medal the other night. The mainstream media of the Philippines went full blast with their coverage of the pioneering achievement.

The Manila Bulletin front page.
The hard copy of the Manila times.

That being said, we Filipinos should praise and thank our Heavenly Father for anointing Diaz to win the often-elusive Olympic gold medal for the Filipino people. Her victory is a clear reminder that with God, nothing is impossible. The Olympic gold victory is pioneering for Diaz and also marks the beginning of a new age in the history of the Philippines even as it remains struggling with the COVID-19 crisis. Before checking on the official news story, watch first these three relevant videos.

And now we can proceed with the official story of the Philippine News Agency (PNA), the excerpt of which is posted below. Some parts in boldface…

After 97 years, the elusive Olympic gold has finally been taken by the Philippines.

Hidilyn Diaz became the first Filipino athlete to win it all in an Olympic event after winning the women’s 55-kg. weightlifting competition at the Tokyo International Forum in Japan on Monday night.

Diaz, the 2016 Rio Olympics silver medalist, prevailed in a neck and neck showdown with China’s Liao Qiuyun in the clean-and-jerk lift as their battle for the gold went down the wire.

Finishing tied with Diaz in the snatch with a 97-kg. maximum lift, Liao lifted 126 kg. in her final lift, forcing Diaz to go for 127 to steal the top spot from Liao.

Diaz, however, smoothly cleared the 127-kg. lift to win it all, also setting an Olympic record in the process.

Her 224-kg. total is also an Olympic record.

I don’t know what to say. It’s a dream come true. I just want to say that we Filipinos are strong. We Filipinos can compete here at the Olympics. We can do it,” a high-spirited Diaz was quoted as saying by Xinhuanet.

The 30-year-old Diaz gave advice to younger Filipino athletes to “please dream high.”

“That’s how I started. I dreamed high and finally, I was able to do it,” she added.

Liao admitted that she was surprised by Diaz’s improvement.

“I feel good today. I can lift 123kg at most due to injuries, and never thought of a successful 126kg lift. I didn’t expect her strength like this,” Liao said.

China’s coach Zhang Guozheng echoed Liao’s thoughts.

“I didn’t expect such a situation,” he said. “Liao has gone all out, so it’s not a huge pity for her to lose the gold medal. It’s just because we did not expect our opponent (Diaz) to be so strong.”

Diaz has also assured herself of a total of PHP33 million from various people who pledged monetary rewards to the gold medal winners.

Zulfiya Chinshanlo of Kazakhstan claimed the bronze with a total of 213 kg. lifted.

Muattar Nabieva of Uzbekistan, despite setting the Olympic record for the snatch with a 98-kg. lift, missed out on the podium as she could only clear 114 in the C&J for a total of 212.

Malacañang joined the entire nation in celebrating the country’s first-ever Olympic gold medal since it joined the most prestigious quadrennial event in 1924.

As you can see in the above PNA story, the first-ever Olympic gold medal won for the Philippines is tremendous and the good news is that, as of this writing, there are still opportunities for other Filipino athletes competing at the Tokyo Olympics to win more medals (even gold) and help lift the nation in the medal rankings. Going back to Hidilyn Diaz (who was born in Zamboanga City in 1991), her pioneering achievement will earn her tremendous (and deserving) financial rewards from both the government and private sector. Check out the respective reports of the Manila Bulletin, GMA News and Nikkei Asia. To nobody’s surprise, a big welcome-back-home for her is being prepared.

Unsurprisingly, a lot of people around the Philippines, notably public officials who enjoy the automatic mainstream media magnification, expressed their admiration for Diaz and congratulated her. Among the many acknowledgements and congratulatory messages for Diaz expressed by lots of people and organizations (both domestic and foreign), Planetshakers Church in Australia and the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines posted their congratulatory messages for her via their official their respective Facebook pages yesterday. Look at the screenshots below.

Facebook post by Planetshakers.
Post of the Embassy of Israel in the Philippines via Facebook.

Hours after her victory, Diaz posted a picture of herself and the Olympic gold medal on her Instagram as a picture story post. She thanked the people for their prayers.

National fame and Olympic achievement aside, Hidilyn Diaz’s gold medal achievement shows that nothing is impossible with God. Learn from the holy scriptures below…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Not one promise from God is empty of power. Nothing is impossible with God!

Luke 1:37 (TPT)

I am convinced that my God will fully satisfy every need you have, for I have seen the abundant riches of glory revealed to me through Jesus Christ!

Philippians 4:19 (TPT)

I know what it means to lack, and I know what it means to experience overwhelming abundance. For I’m trained in the secret of overcoming all things, whether in fullness or in hunger. And I find that the strength of Christ’s explosive power infuses me to conquer every difficulty.

Philippians 4:12-13 (TPT)

To our Lord is all the glory and let us praise and thank Him so much for anointing Hidilyn Diaz who not only won the Philippines’ first-ever Olympic gold medal but also all the many medals and honors she achieved in other international events as the representative of the Philippines. She truly deserves the financial rewards and the inevitable long-lasting fame that comes with being the nation’s first-ever Olympic gold medalist. Still you must always remember that worship is only for the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Never let idolatry dominate you for it is not only unholy, not only foolish but also will separate you from the Lord.

Let me ask you readers: How much of an impact did Hidilyn Diaz’s Olympic gold medal victory have on you as a citizen of the Philippines? Did you ever doubt she would win the gold medal in the Olympics? Does her gold medal victory inspire you to improve yourself?

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

In closing this article, posted below is a performance of the great Hillsong worship song King of Kings by Melody Hwang.

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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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

I Love Israel: Israel’s medical experts on a mission here in the Philippines

I am very delighted to learn that the State of Israel continues to provide much-needed assistance to the Filipinos with regards to the COVID-19 crisis. To be specific, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported that another group of medical experts from Israel arrived here in the Philippines recently to take a look at the local response to the pandemic and to enlighten local officials and frontliners. To be clear, this is a follow-up to the previous Israeli health experts who arrived this past June for very similar matters.

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

Another group of Israeli medical experts arrived in Manila on Monday to observe the country’s pandemic response and share their best practices in treating coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) patients.

They were the second group of Israeli experts to arrive in the country following the initial team who visited Manila last June to offer advice on ways to implement a successful vaccine rollout.

The four-member team is composed of infectious diseases and Covid-19 specialist Dr. Guy Choshen; Shira Peleg, head nurse and nursing manager at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center’s Emergency Department; Eyad Jeries, trauma coordinator at Galilee Medical Center; and Chaim Markos Rafalowski, disaster management coordinator at Magen David Adom.

The Department of Health (DOH) said the four will visit hospitals and hold a dialogue with the country’s pandemic response cluster from July 27 to 31 to share their local clinical guidelines for Covid-19, infection control protocols, hospital management, and other practices.

“They are all part of the treatment of Covid-19 in Israel so I’d like to welcome them all and we do hope that they can share with us their best practices in Tel Aviv so we can actually beat this Covid-19 pandemic as fast as we can,” Health Undersecretary Leopoldo Vega said in a speech at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Director Maria Soledad Antonio of DOH-Bureau of International Health Cooperation said the country particularly looks forward to knowing how Israel was able to achieve a low coronavirus mortality rate.

“Baka mamaya may makuha pa tayo sa kanila na mas mai-improve ‘yong kaso lalo na ngayon. At present naman pinapalakas natin ang health system natin (We might get more information from them on ways to improve our situation now in terms of treating patients. But at present, we continue to boost our health system),” she told reporters.

“Sila ay mga batikan sa pag-handle ng pandemya, sila ang nauuna, one of the countries na nauuna (It’s a fact that they are one of the best in handling the crisis, they are one of the leading countries on this),” she added.

Chosen, meanwhile, was elated to visit Manila, seeing this exchange as a great example of strong cooperation between the two nations.

“I think it’s not a common practice in the last year of pandemia to see a coalition of friends, of colleagues, holding hands together, sharing information and trying to solve problems together in contrary to what you usually see, you see nations fight each other. And this is a great example of cooperation between Israel and the Philippines. Hopefully, there would be more in the future,” he said in his arrival speech.

From this point on, the local officials, frontliners and others should pay close attention to what Israel’s medical experts say, point out and emphasize. Organizing vaccination (and the storage for the vaccines), isolating infected patients and assigning the frontliners on each and every location is indeed very challenging due to the archipelago of the Philippines. If there are any major breakthroughs that will happen during the current mission of the Israeli medical experts, I’ll share them here.

For the newcomers reading this, here are some videos to help you know Israel better…

The latest exchange between Israel and the Philippines is a reflection of the stronger ties between the two nations. We should all be thankful to our Lord for making this happen.

Before I end this, here are two holy scriptures for you all…

Jesus looked at them and replied, “With people it is impossible, but not with God—God makes all things possible!”

Mark 10:27 (TPT)

Is anything too hard for the Lord? At the appointed time I will return to you, according to the time of life, and Sarah shall have a son.

Genesis 18:14 (NKJV)

If you truly believe in Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit and God the Heavenly Father wholeheartedly and you continue to be faithful (not religious), you should be aware that Christians are meant to stand united with Israel, love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem. You can do your part supporting Israel by donating to Christians United for Israel (CUFI). Do not forget to read the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus! Always stand in support of Israel!

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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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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

A Look Back at Uncanny X-Men #304 (1993)

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, X-Men fans, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts and comic book collectors! Today we go back to the 30th anniversary celebration of the X-Men which took place in 1993. Back then, Marvel Comics went full blast with the anniversary celebration of their mutants by releasing related merchandise, posters and comic books with gimmick covers (note: read my retro review of 1993’s X-Men #25) that came with high prices.

To put things in perspective regarding 1993, Marvel’s X-Men line of comics had monthly series of Uncanny X-Men, X-Men (Volume 2), X-Force, X-Factor, Excalibur, Wolverine and Cable. X-Factor #92 marked the start of the Fatal Attractions storyline which was the basis for the X-Men 30th anniversary celebration. X-Force #25 was released and it not only brought Cable back but also Magneto.  

Then came the 3rd chapter of the Fatal Attractions storyline which was published in Uncanny X-Men #304. Not only did that particular comic book bring together many mutants and moved the storyline forward to a crucial stage (note: tension leading to it was built up in Uncanny X-Men #300, Uncanny X-Men #303 and also in X-Men Unlimited #1), it also served as the very celebration of the 30th anniversary of the X-Men (although it was not the storyline’s conclusion as the plot continued in X-Men #25, Wolverine #75 and Excalibur #71).

So did this particular, anniversary celebrating issue of the Uncanny X-Men succeed with its objectives? Has it aged well through the decades? We can all find out in this look back at Uncanny X-Men #304, published in 1993 by Marvel Comics with a story written by Scott Lobdell and drawn by John Romita, Jr., Jae Lee, Chris Sprouse, Brandon Peterson and Paul Smith.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with division among the Acolytes who learned that their lord Magneto actually survived (note: refer to 1991’s X-Men #3). They ganged up against their leader Fabian Cortez for betraying Magneto. After pushing his now rebellious team members away, Cortez reminds them that for several months already, they have been continuing Magneto’s work on behalf of mutantkind. Suddenly Exodus appears to them and describes himself as the voice of Magneto and will guide mutants to rise and mentions paradise for the faithful mutants. After subduing Cortez and tempering the tension among the Acolytes, Exodus tells them to prepare themselves for ascension. This frustrates Cortez who realizes that he no longer holds leadership.

Over at the X-Men’s headquarters, Charlez Xavier is personally disturbed over the death of Illyana Rasputin, the sister of Colossus. He starts questioning himself as Illyana’s death under his watch makes his years-long mission (of convincing his fellow mutants to leave their old lives to take risks to fight for a world that fears and hates them) doubtful and tries to figure out how he could present himself in front of them. A holographic image of Lilandra appears to him.

In outer space, inside the space station called Avalon, Magneto stares at planet Earth. With nobody around him, he speaks apologizing to his followers for he cannot save them all. He also mentions that he was wrong in previously believing that he could rescue each and every one of them from humanity as he recently realized that Earth, for the moment, is doomed.

After walking an unspecified distance inside Avalon, Magneto picks up his old helmet and wears it…

Quality

This 2-page art by Brandon Peterson is easily the best looking part of the comic book.

I will start with the visual aspect of this comic book. The artistic quality ranges from fine to weird which should not be surprising since this one involved five artists. The 4 pages drawn by Brandon Peterson (who was once a regular artist on Uncanny X-Men) made the X-Men, Magneto and the Acolytes look not only good but also intense. The Peterson art here is artistically similar to the respective styles of Marc Silvestri and Jim Lee of that particular time. Jae Lee’s art on the flashback of Magneto’s life (during the time of the Nazi occupation in Europe) is undoubtedly very stylized. While his art brings out the intensity of Magneto’s painful past, certain images can be a little challenging to understand especially to readers who focus strongly only following the plot and details. John Romita, Jr.’s art, for me personally, often looks rough and there were times I hardly recognized the characters. The other artworks by Paul Smith and Chris Sprouse have cartoonish aesthetics.

This is Jae Lee’s artistic contribution to the comic book. I found it weird that Magneto’s hair was shown as white during his past with the Nazis.

As for the plot, I can clearly see that a hard effort was made to compose a story that would push the Fatal Attractions storyline forward, establish a turning point and still become worthy of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the X-Men franchise. I can say that the storytelling is somewhat bloated. Early in the story, it was made clear that the respective sections showing Exodus with the Acolytes, Charles Xavier and Magneto pointed to an eventual confrontation that happened during the funeral of Illyana Rasputin.

As the build-up continued with the flashback of Magneto’s life, the fan service short scene of Kitty Pryde and the unfeeling Colossus (note: their romance was highlighted in Uncanny X-Men many years prior), and the talk scene between Bishop and Banshee, the pace of the story slowed down dramatically. By the time the attempt to move the narrative back to the core plot was made with the funeral scene (composed of the X-Men, X-Force and X-Factor), the pace was still really way down. By the time the conflict with Magneto, Exodus and the Acolytes stated, the pace recovery was incomplete and as such, seeing the scene unfold was very jarring (and not even the pages of Colossus’ frustration towards Professor X could solve the narrative pacing problem).

Unsurprisingly, the conflict was written to be overly dramatic complete with lengthy pieces of dialogue here and there. That being said, references to past comic books were established as Magneto once again emphasizes his beliefs about the human-mutant conflict using violence (while also side-stepping Jean Grey’s psionic powers to allow the Acolytes to come in undetected).

Human-mutant conflict aside, themes about faith, religion, idolatry salvation are clearly used. Magneto, who has a tremendous record of villainy and his previous leadership of the X-Men proved useless, was portrayed to be a walking wicked idol whose followers cannot do anything except idolize him and cause violence out of dedication to him. They really could not realize that idolatry is foolish and unholy which further adds to chaos on the world. As Magneto deceived himself to be the savior and lord of mutants, he further causes more pain and destruction to others around him. In short, Magneto will always be stuck with his wicked nature and clearly does not deserve heavenly authority no matter how hard he believes himself to be a savior.

The classic rivalry between Xavier and Magneto here was portrayed dramatically and yet I cannot help but think that their conflict was nothing more than a repeat of past encounters with the state and future of mutants at stake. To be fair, what happened here served as a logical build-up for the shocking encounter between Professor X and Magneto in X-Men #25.

Conclusion

Nobody among the X-Men, X-Force, Excalibur and X-Factor cared to dress properly for the funeral.

To be clear, even though I am an avid X-Men fan, I find Uncanny X-Men #304 (1993) hard to be engaged with and hard to enjoy. Efforts to make it a worthy celebration of the X-Men are very clear but it’s just not entertaining nor compelling to read. As for the X-Men traitor scene, the revelation was not that shocking as the foreshadowing made it too obvious. At best, this comic book served as a warm-up for X-Men #25 which itself paid-off nicely. Being more than sixty pages long (including the advertisement and bulletins), this comic book has too much creative baggage which ultimately hampered its storytelling. It’s not terrible. It’s really not that great to read. What I experienced way back in 1993 with this comic book is just the same as I re-read it. It has not aged well.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Uncanny X-Men #304 (1993), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $20, while the near-mint copies of the signed-and-numbered edition and the newsstand edition cost $120 and $60 respectively.

Overall, Uncanny X-Men #304 (1993) is satisfactory.

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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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Pfizer vaccination resumption and Delta variant update in Muntinlupa City

Recently the Manila Bulletin posted two related stories about the COVID-19 Crisis situation in the City of Muntinlupa. For one, the vaccination process of using Pfizer resumed in the city (note: it should have resumed officially yesterday) while City Health Office stated that the feared Delta variant has not been detected so far within the city.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Pfizer Muntinlupa story. Some parts in bold…

The Muntinlupa City government will resume the vaccination of people whose second dose jabs using the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine scheduled at Festival Mall in Alabang were suspended due to storage temperature glitch.

In an announcement, the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) team announced Sunday that the affected recipients will receive their second dose Pfizer-BioNTech jabs from July 26 to 28 at the Ayala Malls South Park vaccination site.

“The sending of text messages containing the new time and date of your vaccination is ongoing,” said MunCoVac.

Last July 15, MunCoVac suspended the second dose vaccination of people using Pfizer-BioNTech after it was found out that there was a change in temperature during its storage that may have affected its quality.

According to the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) issued by the country’s Food and Drug Administration, the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines should be stored at temperatures ranging from minus 80 to minus 60 degree Celsius before dilution. One vial of the vaccine contains six doses of 0.3 mL each.

As of July 23, the Muntinlupa City government has administered 273,783 doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

Of the total, 170,754 individuals have received their first dose, or 44.3 percent of the target population of 385,725.

In addition, 103,029 individuals in Muntinlupa are now fully vaccinated, or 26.7 percent of the target population.

As for the Delta variant update of Muntinlupa, posted below is the excerpt from the Manila Bulletin’s report. Some parts in boldface…

There is no case of the highly contagious Delta variant in Muntinlupa, according to the City Health Office (CHO).

On Sunday, the Department of Health (DOH), University of the Philippines’ Philippine Genome Center (UP-PGC) and University of the Philippines National Institutes of Health reported 55 new cases of the Delta variant in the country bringing the total to 119.

The Delta variant is a strain of SARS-CoV-2, the virus which causes the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).

According to Dr. Juancho Bunyi, Muntinlupa City health officer, based on DOH and UP-PGC’s report as of July 25, “no reported Delta variant in Muntinlupa City.”

There are seven cases of Alpha variant, first identified in the United Kingdom, and 26 cases of Beta variant, first identified in South Africa, in Muntinlupa but all the patients have recovered. There are two new reported cases of the Beta variant in the city but they have completed the 14-day isolation and are tagged as recovered.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi said while there is no case of the Delta variant in Muntinlupa, the city government continues to strengthen its COVID-19 response.

He is encouraging people to get vaccinated and complete their doses to get protection against COVID-19.

Compared to other variants, he said, the Delta variant is more contagious but with the vaccine, people can get complete protection against getting a severe case of COVID-19.

It is always best to be cautious when moving out in public. Apart from wearing face masks and face shields, there is also the need to prioritize which places you need to visit and be mindful how crowded those places are.

Residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared (with personal information available) and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Do you believe that the City Government and its strategic partners will be able to vaccinate the 385,000+ they targeted? Are there lots of unregistered and unvaccinated people in your local community right now? Are people in your local community aware of the Delta 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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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

PRC to open a new Service Center in Muntinlupa City

The Professional Regulation Commission (PRC) is set to open a new service center in Ayala Malls South Park, Alabang, Muntinlupa catering to professionals in Metro South.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi signed a Memorandum of Agreement with PRC-NCR regional director Dir. Lord Louis Valera, Ayala Land Holdings Logistics Corp. (AHLC) President Rowena M. Tomeldan, and AHLC Commercial Leading Head Jessica O. Santos for the turn-over of the service center last July 22.

PRC services will soon be more accessible for professionals living in Metro South as a new Service Center is set to open in Muntinlupa City. Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (left) met PRC-NCR regional director Dir. Lord Louis Valera (right) during the turn-over ceremony of the new PRC Service Center at Ayala Malls South Park, Alabang last July 22. PRC Service Center in Muntinlupa is set to be fully operational in the coming weeks. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

PRC-NCR director Valera thanked Mayor Fresnedi and the City Government for assisting the commission in bringing its services closer to professionals living in Metro South and nearby areas.

PRC eyes to provide the same services offered by the Head Office in the new service center in Muntinlupa such as Application for Examination, Initial Registration, Renewal of Professional Identification Card, and Certifications of Board Rating and Passing, among others.

PRC Service Center in Muntinlupa is set to be fully operational in the coming weeks.

Other officials who attended the turn-over ceremony include PRC Finance and Administrative Service chief Ronald Watsons, PRC Licensure and Registration Division chief Alfonso Viloria, and PRC ICT Section head Ronald Allan Denoso, Ayala Malls Southpark general manager Jan Estrella, and Mayor’s Office Chief-of-Staff Atty. Rosalina T. Tesorio.

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The above information was sourced from the official press release of the Muntinlupa PIO. 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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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: GCQ in NCR and 4 provinces stricter until July 31

You must have heard the news this past weekend. In case you missed the news, the general community quarantine (GCQ) status in the National Capital Region (NCR) plus four provinces has gotten stricter since July 23 and this new adjustment will last until the end of this month. At the same time, children are to keep staying indoors. The national authorities confirmed it.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from the Philippine News Agency (PNA) article. Some parts in boldface…

The quarantine status in Metro Manila and four other provinces has been upgraded to stricter general community quarantine (GCQ) “with heightened restrictions,” Malacañang announced on Friday.

This, after President Rodrigo Duterte approved the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases’ (IATF-EID) recommendation to place Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte under a more restrictive GCQ from July 23 to 31.

Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque, also acting as IATF-EID spokesperson, said Metro Manila must follow the health and quarantine protocols for areas under GCQ “with heightened restrictions.

“The same IATF rules would be observed when NCR was previously under GCQ with heightened restrictions,” Roque said in a press statement.

Metro Manila, which was placed under GCQ “with some restrictions” from July 1 to 15, was initially put under regular GCQ from July 16 to 31.

On the other hand, Davao de Oro and Davao del Norte were originally under a more restrictive modified enhanced community quarantine (MECQ), while Ilocos Norte and Ilocos Sur were supposed to be under modified GCQ (MGCQ) until the end of July.

Duterte, meantime, agreed to downgrade the quarantine classification in Davao del Sur to GCQ from MECQ, Roque said.

“Davao del Sur, which is previously MECQ, is placed under GCQ starting July 23, 2021 until July 31, 2021,” he said.

No outdoor activities for kids

Now that Metro Manila, Ilocos Norte, Ilocos Sur, Davao de Oro, and Davao del Norte are under GCQ “with heightened restrictions,” children aged five and above can no longer stay outdoors, Roque said.

“As these areas will be placed under GCQ with heightened restrictions, children five years old and above will not be allowed to go to outdoor areas, as provided for under IATF Resolution No. 125,” he said.

Under IATF-EID Resolution 125 issued on July 8, children as young as five years old can go outdoors despite the coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) pandemic, so long as they are residing in areas placed under GCQ and MGCQ.

Children can only go to outdoor spaces like parks, playgrounds, beaches, biking, and hiking trails, outdoor tourist sites, and attractions as may be defined by the Department of Tourism, including on outdoor non-contact sports courts and venues, and al-fresco dining establishments, according to the resolution.

Apart from the stricter GCQ, there is also an adjustment on the Metro Manila curfew hours which has taken effect already. The new curfew hours are now 10PM to 4AM.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this news? Do you believe that the spreading Delta variant here in the Philippines is a factor behind the move to a stricter GCQ?

If you are a parent, what do you think about the national authorities’ decision to keep children indoors?

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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

Psychonauts 2 coming to Xbox and other platforms on August 25, 2021

Before I start this, I should state that I completely missed out on the original Psychonauts video game as I did not own an original Xbox console nor a PlayStation 2 console back in 2005. I learned about that old game through online articles and video game magazines of the time. By the time I bought my Xbox 360 in 2006, I have forgotten about Psychonauts.

A few years ago, the brand of Psychonauts returned with online buzz as Microsoft acquired Double Fine and established it as an Xbox game studio. During Team Xbox’s E3 2019 conference, Double Fine founder Tim Schafer made an appearance and delivered his remarks. Schafer went on to clarify that their studio’s culture and independence won’t be affected under Xbox Game Studios. The sequel Psychonauts 2, which was first announced in 2015, was first revealed visually with a trailer in late 2018.

This past June, Psychonauts 2 was shown worldwide during the successful Xbox-Bethesda games showcase. I personally was pretty impressed with the video prepared for the showcase.

In recent times, Psychonauts 2 gained a lot of buzz not simply because its August 25, 2021 release (for Microsoft Windows, MacOS, Linux, PlayStation 4 with compatibility with PlayStation 5, Xbox One and Xbox Series X/S plus the Xbox Game Pass subscription service) date is nearing but rather some members of the gaming media got to play it. For you enjoyment, check out these most recent videos of Psychonauts 2.

So what exactly is Psychonauts 2 about other than being a sequel? Based on what has been shown so far, it is a 3rd person-view platform game with elements of action, adventuring, exploration puzzle solving and cinematic storytelling.

Players will get to play as Razputin “Raz” Aquato who could leap through the air, run around, do acrobatic moves and, most notably, use psychic abilities (which includes levitation, telekinesis and pyrokinesis). As the game progresses, players will explore cleverly designed levels and meet with several NPCs (non-playable characters), and learn new details related to the plot.

The one on the foreground is Raz.

At its official page at Xbox.com, this upcoming game has been described as follows: Psychonauts 2 serves up danger, excitement and laughs in equal measure as players guide Raz on a journey through the minds of friends and foes on a quest to defeat a murderous psychic villain.

Other than being a game meant for fun, Psychonauts 2 touches on themes of mental health, respect and empathy. On the mental health issue, check out the excerpt from the Washington Post’s Psychonauts 2 article quoting Tim Schafer below…

For the second game, Schafer said he made sure each level has a unique setting, reflective of a character’s mental state, a specific art style and an additional gameplay challenge such as having to move through relative gravity or bubbles. Double Fine enlisted mental health experts to review the game, and to suggest ways to improve the game.

“They’re just small changes, sometimes to language [to make it less] stigmatizing, or depictions of characters, often just very simple changes can make the game less harmful to more people. More inclusive and more people able to enjoy the game because you’re more sensitive to what people are going through,” Schafer said.

Best on Xbox Series consoles?

Recently, data regarding resolution and frame rates plus HDR support and VRR support of the game per platform was published. GamesRadar.com noticed that Psychonauts 2 performs better on Xbox Series S than on PS5 as Sony’s new console runs the game via backward compatibility with the PS4 version.

Xbox Series X console owners looking forward to the new game can expect the following technical details of Psychonauts 2 – 3840 x 2160 resolution at 60FPS and the 1440p/120Hz mode is also available. Those who own last-generation Xbox consoles can expect the game to run at 1920 x 1080 resolution at 30FPS on the basic Xbox One, and 3840 x 1080 at 30FPS on Xbox One X.

Conclusion

The in-game environments look enticing for exploration!

The way I see it, it would be best to buy and play Psychonauts 2 on Xbox Series X to enjoy the game at its best technical performance and most lively presentation made possible with the best gaming console hardware available. Of course, the gamers and Psychonauts franchise fans who don’t have an Xbox can avail of the new game on other platforms. What is clear is that Psychonauts 2 looks very promising and we will soon find out how much of an impact it will make on gamers and game critics. Remember, this is a labor of love of Tim Schafer and his team, and at the same time it is exceptional that a sequel was made at all! Watch out for Psychonauts 2 on August 25, 2021.

In ending this piece, here are some Psychonauts 2 and Xbox-related videos for your enjoyment!

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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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.com

COVID-19 Crisis: Muntinlupa City to miss out on new Pfizer vaccine shipment due to recent storage problem

To all residents of Muntinlupa City reading this. Be aware that, as reported by GMA Network, Muntinlupa will miss out on the newest shipment of COVID-19 vaccines from Pfizer which is the result of the storage problems (and change in temperature) that happened recently. Due to that, the Pfizer vaccination at Festival Mall got suspended.

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

Muntinlupa will miss out on the latest shipment of Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine after its local government unit experienced problems at its cold storage facility.

According to Darlene Cay’s report over “Saksi,” vaccine czar Carlito Galvez Jr. also reminded local government units to take the necessary precautions when storing the vaccines to prevent spoilage.

Some COVID-19 jabs including Pfizer require lower temperatures to prevent spoilage.

“The global demand is so high and we know that Pfizer is one of the most sought brand,” Galvez said.

“And we know that there is some constriction on the deployment of the vaccine but we are very thankful that they have given us this substantial amount that we can give considering that we have now the raging Delta cases in our country,” he added.

The delivery on Wednesday night is the first batch of 40 million Pfizer doses that the Philippines bought. The target is to have similar deliveries every week.

The Muntinlupa LGU earlier stopped vaccination at one of its inoculation sites after it experienced issues at the storage facility.

The Department of Health (DOH) said it sent the affected vaccines to international experts for evaluation.

Galvez witnessed the arrival of 562,770 Pfizer doses in Manila at Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3.

And below is a related news video by News5…

It should be noted that on July 15, in reaction to the Pfizer vaccination suspension related to the storage problem at their mall, the Festival Mall management issued a press release expressing its continued support for Muntinlupa’s vaccination operations. Posted below is an excerpt from the said press release.

Festival Mall takes pride in being a partner of Muntinlupa City in its efforts to combat Covid-19. We recently extended the complimentary use of Festival Mall’s covered parking area to the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) team as a prime vaccination site in the city. The venue is properly ventilated, well-lit and offers ample space to allow for smooth service to the public. It also comes with the free use of electricity and meals for the operations staff. With this, Festival Mall has been providing a safe and comfortable site that can accommodate up to 1,200 persons a day.

Below is the official July 15, 2021 PR of Festival Mall.

Residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this news? What do you think caused the storage problems related to the Pfizer vaccines in Muntinlupa City? If you are an unregistered and unvaccinated resident of Muntinlupa, does this news compel or discourage you at all?

If you are a Muntinlupa resident who got Pfizer as your first dose of vaccination, has the local vaccination organizer updated you yet?

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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 receives Johnson & Johnson’s single-dose vaccine for exclusive use on certain patients

Have you heard about the Janssen COVID-19 vaccine? The latest news is that the said vaccine produced by giant Johnson & Johnson is here in the Philippines and the City Government of Muntinlupa just received a supply from the national government. Also noteworthy is that Janssen is a single-dose vaccine and one particular group of patients will receive it here in Muntinlupa.

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

The Muntinlupa City government has received Johnson & Johnson’s single dose Janssen COVID-19 vaccines from the national government and it will be used exclusively for senior citizens or those belonging to the A2 priority group.


The Philippines received 3.2 million doses of Janssen vaccine last week, which were donated by the US government through the COVAX Facility, an alliance aiming to ensure access of developing countries to COVID-19 vaccines. The Philippines is one of the 92 low- and middle-income countries and economies approved to access the vaccines through COVAX.

 Senior citizens who have registered with MunCoVac but have not yet been vaccinated are priority in the sending of schedules. Based on the NVOC [National Vaccine Operations Center] Advisory, those eligible for the Janssen vaccine are A2 and A3 [persons with comorbidities]. We have decided to give priority to our senior citizens since the supply is limited and they are the sector most prone to COVID-19,” said the Muntinlupa City COVID-19 Vaccination Program (MunCoVac) team.


The country’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) issued an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) for Janssen on April 19, which indicated that the vaccine is intended for 18 years old and above.

Janssen COVID-19 Vaccine is supplied as a suspension in multi-dose (5 doses) vials. The dosing regimen is a single dose of 0.5 mL administered as intramuscular injection,” according to the EUA.

As of July 20, the Muntinlupa City government has administered 257,633 vaccine doses. Of the total, 167,168 individuals have received their first vaccine dose, representing 43.33 percent of the target population of 385,725.


In addition, 90,465 individuals in Muntinlupa are now fully vaccinated after getting their second dose, or 23.5 percent of the target population.


Of the first dose recipients, 20,239 are senior citizens (A2) equivalent to 54.7 percent of the estimated target elderly population of 37,016 in Muntinlupa.


Other recipients of the first dose are 11,177 A1 (health workers), 66,849 A3 (persons with comorbidities), 58,382 A4 (essential workers), and 10,521 A5 (poor population).


By vaccine brand, of the 167,168 first dose recipients104,216 individuals received Sinovac Life Sciences’ CoronaVac32,406 got AstraZeneca3,879 were given Sputnik V4,196 had Pfizer-BioNTech and 260 were administered with Moderna.


Of the 90,465 individuals in Muntinlupa who are now fully vaccinated, 7,280 are A1, 14,683 are A2, 46,299 are A3, and 18,145 are A4. By vaccine brand, 63,495 got CoronaVac, 2,454 received AstraZeneca, 2,934 were given Sputnik V, and 21,582 received Pfizer-BioNTech.

In relation to the presence of the Delta variant here in the Philippines, which reportedly is more transmissible, getting vaccinated is more crucial than ever. According to the national authorities, getting fully vaccinated (2 doses) is essential for resistance against the Delta variant. As such, residents of Muntinlupa City who remain unregistered and unvaccinated should make a move to get registered by learning the ways to do it. Those who are prepared and willing to go through online registration for the free vaccines in Muntinlupa are encouraged to click https://vaccine.muntinlupacity.gov.ph/muncovac/

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Does this latest news about Johnson & Johnson-produced vaccines sound good to you? Do you wish that more single-dose vaccines will become more available locally? Does the presence of the Delta variant in Metro Manila compel you to get registered and join the line for the free vaccine? How many people in your local community remain unregistered and unvaccinated as of now?

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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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

2021 Alabang Hills Village car sticker application process for non-residents ongoing

It’s that time once again. Through its official website, the Alabang Hills Village Association (AHVA) announced that the application processing for the 2021 edition of their vehicular stickers specifically for non-residents has officially started since July 19, 2021. Take note that non-AHVA members (which refers to non-residents) need to have the endorsements of another Alabang Hills Village resident, the village association, the school or organization in order to validate the application for non-resident stickers.

The steps are simple and easy to follow. Firstly, applicants seeking non-resident car stickers must click https://alabanghillsvillage.com/vehicle-sticker-application/

Secondly, applicants should follow Step 1 which is to download, print and fill out the 2-page sticker application form. That being said, make sure your printer has enough ink and paper to print the said form. (reminder: non-resident applicants need to have their respective application endorsed first otherwise the AHVA won’t accept their application. That being said, look closely at page 1 of the application form.)

Thirdly, applicants should follow Step 2 which states the payment option and prices. To point things straight, the 1-year car sticker for non-residents is at P1,500 per vehicle while the 2-year car sticker for non-residents is at P2,700 per vehicle. The motorcycle/bike sticker is priced at P350 each.

Still under the non-residents category, commercial vehicles sticker rates are P2,000 per vehicle (four wheels), P2,500 per vehicle (six wheels and up) and P500 each (motorcycle).

Non-residents who need to replacement stickers need to pay P200.

Fourthly, applicants should follow Step 3 which is for them to fill the blanks with their respective details (name, email address, landline or mobile phone number) and upload the signed application form as well as the OR/CR of the vehicle(s). There is also the requirement to click the small box confirming your agreement to AHVA’s private police and use of their website, click another box that you are not a robot, and then click the submit button. All of these are within https://alabanghillsvillage.com/vehicle-sticker-application/ so make sure your Internet connection is on and reliable for uploading.

Once the applicant has been successful with submitting all the requirements online, he/she should allow up to 48 hours’ time for the AHVA to reply.

If you have further questions for the AHVA, send them email at alabanghills@yahoo.com or call them at 8850-8254 local 105, 106 and 107. AHVA offices operate 8AM to 5PM Monday to Friday, and 8AM to 12PM on Saturday.

If you wish to learn more, visit AHVA’s official website at https://alabanghillsvillage.com/

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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 as well. Also please feel free to visit my Facebook page Author Carlo Carrasco and follow me at HavenorFantasy@twitter.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