The City of Muntinlupa made waves in the field of science and technology recently as Muntinlupa-based wine maker Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and Southville 3 Homebased Producers Association Inc. (SHBPAI) snagged three major awards in the recently held 2019 National Science and Technology Week (2019 NSTW) by Department of Science and Technology (DOST).
As a result, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi formally congratulated Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and SHBPAI whose officials were presented before City Government officials at the grounds of City Hall during the July 22 flag raising ceremony.
To put things in perspective, the 2019 NSTW showcased the latest innovations in technologies, products, and research that contribute to national development. During that particular showcase, Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. won the Best Packaging and Labelling Innovation in the regional and national level. Further, it also represented NCR as the regional winner in the Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading Program national category.
For its part, SHBPAI emerged as the winner in the Community Empowerment thru Science and Technology or CEST Program in NCR and became the finalist in the national category.
Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. and Muntinlupa SHBPAI received S&T assistance such as package development, training, laboratory and consultancy services from DOST to improve their operations and boost their productivity and competitiveness.
Dielles Apiary and Meadery, Inc. owner Luke Deogracias Macabbabad, also a beneficiary of the City Government’s zero-interest loan assistance, expressed his thanks to the City Government for its assistance to local Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprises. Also present during the same ceremony SHBPAI president Nympha Palafox and DOST MuntiParLas Cluster Director Kim Atienza.
In line with the DOST’s thrust, Muntinlupa City supports budding entrepreneurs and MSMEs to scale up their businesses through various programs, having the Tulong Negosyo zero-interest loan assistance as the flagship project which provide financial assistance from 2,000 up to 150,000 pesos depending on business capital ceiling and payment record.
The DOST and the City Government continuously work towards providing innovative solutions for the communities. DOST MuntiParLas Cluster Office is located at Muntinlupa City Technical Institue in San Guillermo St., Barangay Putatan.
Back in the 1990s, there was a flood of superhero comic books that introduced brand new heroes, teams and even anti-heroes. A strong contributor to this was the market presence of Image Comics, Valiant Comics, Malibu Comics and other smaller publishers that tried their best to gain shares in what was back then the highly lucrative superhero comic book market which was long dominated by Marvel Comics and DC Comics.
With Malibu Comics, their Ultraverse franchise of superhero comics was a blast and I had a lot of fun reading comic books of The Strangers, Prime, Hardcase, UltraForce, Mantra, etc.
For this review, here is my look back at the Ultraverse team comic book The Solution #1 (September 1993).
Written by the late James Hudnall and drawn by Darick Robertson (inked by John Lowe), the story begins when Russian personnel get killed by a team of deadly people whose purpose is to raid the nuclear storage buildings.
As a result, several nuclear warheads were taken away without a trace. A KGB agent discusses the tragedy with an Aladdin agent and seeks help. In response, the Aladdin agent recommends to him The Solution.
“We’d like to (help) but our agency can’t give you any direct assistance. You know how it is. However these people might be what you need. Just remember…I never told you about them,” the Aladdin agent said.
In Hong Kong, a member of the triad instructs his hired assassins to distribute a shipment of illegal substances without getting any interference from The Solution. Predictably, the said team happens to be with them in their secret venue which starts a wave of martial arts, shooting and use of magic.
Enough with the plot. The Solution is a team of super-human mercenaries composed of Lela Cho/Tech (the leader), Eara/Shadowmage, Vurk/Outrage and Dropkick. Quite literally, whenever a major problem happens someone will call The Solution (the answer) to solve it for a fee.
In terms of character design, The Solution has a rather visceral look which was clearly emphasized on the cover art. Outrage, for example, looks very monstrous and one could easily mistake him for an evil figure.
Illustrator Darick Robertson’s art is nice to look at and when the action happens, he sure delivers the goods making the hard action moves look intense. Even showing characters firing their guns look intense. The violence in this comic book is quite bloody and the opening scenes really show that.
Even with the non-action, talking scenes, Robertson’s art makes the members of The Solution look believably human. Facial expressions are good and they quite match the dialogue written. The team shot on page 21, which shows Lela Cho in the foreground talking to her teammates in the background, really looks nice.
In terms of writing, I found this comic book to be a bit bloated in terms of details and plot. Most notably, the pace of the story moves very fast and while it does its job establishing The Solution (and part of its purpose as a team-for-hire), the circumstances and the team’s place within the Ultraverse, the story felt really crammed even though there were 28 pages of story and art. I noticed that while the comic book is about The Solution, it ended up showing a total of three different teams (including the hired assassins).
In terms of character development, there was clear focus on Lela Cho which is not a surprise since she is the team leader. It turns out Lela has lots of vested interests in the corporate world and instead of being in a fancy office, she goes out in the field to get things done. She has a very direct, personal access to information online by means of wetware embedded in her skull. She also has a touch of business in her approach with leading The Solution.
“Our potential client has a problem with some Ultras. They want us to take care of it,” Lela Cho said on page 23.
While it may not look as prominent as The Strangers or UltraForce as far as Ultraverse superhero teams go, The Solution stands out nicely for it is unique and its team-for-hire concept is very interesting. When I first read this comic book long ago, I was convinced to pursue the succeeding issues. Even by today’s standards, this old comic book remains fun and engaging.
Remember when Israeli actress Gal Gadot revealed that she auditioned for a role at Warner Bros. not knowing that she would eventually get hired to play Wonder Woman?
Such a development like that happened here in the Philippines as ABS-CBN formally announced on July 17 that they hired 20-year-old actress Jane de Leon as the new cinematic Darna (finally replacing Lisa Soberano) and this puts the much delayed Darna live-action movie back on track.
In an interview with Preview.ph, de Leon revealed that she went through a process that involved a public audition, a special audition for artists, the final call, the panel meeting and the big meeting with the bosses at ABS-CBN. Along the way, she remembered auditioning for a villain role and the audition involved the participation of around three hundred candidates (according to ABS-CBN’s official announcement).
In the network’s official announcement, there was the final deliberation in which the network management asked the actress how committed she is in getting the role. De Leon replied that she would “everything and anything” for it and added that she believes “in what Darna stands for.”
Olivia Lamasan, who is the ABS-CBN Films managing director, asked De Leon (translated from Tagalog): “Are you ready? Are you ready to hold the stone? Are you ready to be Darna? This is because we are giving you (the role of) Darna.”
Unsurprisingly, De Leon got shocked with getting the role. Darna, after all, is a Philippine superhero icon that started way back in the 1950s and multiple comic books, movies and TV episodes were made featuring the character. The late Mars Ravelo created Darna.
Lamasan stated to ABS-CBN News that the Darna movie is a “genesis story” (origin) with a coming-of-age theme. She added that having someone “young and with an air of innocence” as well as “strength of character.”
Personally, I am not surprised that an origin story is the concept of the still unmade movie. This is, after all, the newest version of Darna under ABS-CBN and the new actress has to not only play the icon but also make her relevant with today’s moviegoers, including the many Filipinos born just before or just after the year 2000.
Behind the scenes, experienced filmmakers were involved in the selection process and they carefully made their choices. Darna movie director Jerrold Tarog said that De Leon was their unanimous choice.
Beyond the casting for the icon, it remains to be seen what kind of quality moviegoers will get once the Darna film project finally gets made. We moviegoers have to ask: how much spectacle will the film have? Will the script have childish humor? Will the Darna costume for Jane de Leon still be the traditional 2-piece swimsuit with boots, helmet and that front loincloth? Will the movie serve as a platform for the possible launch of single, shared cinematic universe of Mars Ravelo’s superheroes?
From this point on, the producers and filmmakers should be able to move forward at last with making the Darna movie while Jane de Leon prepares herself.
Details of De Leon
A native of Laguna province, Jane de Leon stands 5’3 and is talented with acting, singing, dancing and playing drums and guitar. She also took part in modeling. With regards to movies and television, her credits include The Debutantes (2017 movie), Ipaglaban Mo (TV series), Maalaala mo kaya (TV series), and Halik (TV series).
As announced by the Barangay BF Homes Sangguniang Kabataan (BFSK) during its July 14 general meeting, the much-awaited Linggo ng Kabataan 2019 (Youth Week 2019)will commence on August 17 mainly at the Phase 1 gym along Pilar Banzon street, BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City.
Linggo ng Kabataan 2019 is a whole day event filled with multiple activities organized by the BFSK (led by its chairperson Mariel Angela Tumang) which has already invited youths of local communities aged 15 to 30-years-old.
1) Palarong Pinoy (games) – A variety of games will be held. Participants are encouraged to wear comfortable shirts, leggings, pants, jogging pants and sport shoes. Prohibited is the wearing of shorts and slippers. Going beyond the games, there will be a program and other related activities that will happen until the evening. Participants are reminded that sportsmanship is a key value of taking part here.
2) Malayang Taludturan/Tula-Salitaan (Spoken Word Poetry) – As part of the BFSK’s celebration of the Buwan ng Wika, there will be literary contests happening and the use of Filipino or Tagalog as language is essential. Poems written in Tagalog should be originally composed by the participants.
3) Trashionista – a competition that encourages creativity with a strong sense of taking care of the environment by means of using recycles materials. This is a challenge to make gowns composed of fully recycled materials and participants must ensure that the gowns can actually be worn. There is a requirement for presenters of the gown to be a member of the LGBTQA+. Each presentation will be judged by authenticity, creativity, originality, effort and audience impact.
All youths residing in Barangay BF Homes are highly encouraged to participate.
“We are hoping that youths can gain something and enjoy in all the activities that we will be giving them on the event. We would love to see them smiling and enjoying while participating in the Linggo ng Kabataan,” Barangay BF Homes SK chairperson Mariel Tumang said. “They could enhance their skills especially in the Contests that we’ve prepared. They can showcase their talents, build up their confidence and especially develop sportmanship and learn how to socialize with their fellow youths.“
The Linggo ng Kabataan 2019 in Barangay BF Homes is being prepared by the BFSK led by Tumang with the full support of their SK council members (SK kagawads) Alma Galindo, Roselyn Regis, Jerry Dalmero, Kelly Haboc, Irene Juanico, Anne Gabrielle Corre and Stephanie Sebullen plus BFSK Secretary Darrenz Fabros and BFSK Treasurer Jefferson Ching. Barangay BF Homes chairman Paolo Marquez, who previously served as an official and leader of the BFSK, naturally supports the Linggo ng Kabataan 2019.
For inquiries, visit the BFSK’s official FB page here or visit Barangay BF Homes hall along Elsie Gatches street.
To read my exclusive interview with BFSK chairperson Mariel Tumang, click here.
A donation drive program called DOnate GOODs was formally launched on July 20 at the Robinsons Townville in Barangay BF Homes, Parañaque City and anyone from the public who is generous or has a genuine intention to help are welcome to give.
DOnate GOODs is a year-long donation drive organized by Barangay BF Homes’ Nutrition Council (led by Kagawad Cielo Lazatin) in cooperation with Robinsons Townville for the benefit of malnourished children of the local community.
The donation drive is in support of the “UKAY-UKAY/ROLLING STORE” program. It is an income-generating initiative that would provide financial assistance to the parents/guardians of the beneficiaries in attending to their daily needs.
Donors’ used goods like clothes, shoes, bags, toys, etc. that are still in good condition are accepted.
To donate, visit the administration office of Robinsons Townville BF Homes which is physically connected with Pergola Mall. The whole place is along Aguirre Avenue connected to Elsie Gatched street (where the Barangay hall is located at).
Goods are accepted Monday to Saturday, 10AM to 2PM.
According to Kagawad Cielo Lazatin, the July 20 launch held at Robinsons Townville BF Homes also had extra activities emphasizing health such as free blood pressure check and vital signa check. A Zumba marathon was held which attracted a lot of participants and sponsor Byba Philippines gave out free sample products.
Below are images contributed by the barangay. Click any image to enlarge.
If there is anything I like most about Marvel Comics’ True Believers line of comic books, it’s that I get to read reprints of past stories without having to pay a whole lot of money to buy the original comic books or those pricey paperbacks.
A few years ago, out of curiosity, I bought a copy of True Believers which reprinted the first appearance of Deadpool in New Mutants #98.
This time around I got to check on the first-ever encounter between Spider-Man and the vicious supervillain Carnage with True Believers: Absolute Carnage – Carnage #1 which is currently available for for only $1.
The comic book is a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #361 which was released in 1992 just months before Marvel’s official celebration of the 30th anniversary of Spider-Man happened.
The story begins when Carnage causes trouble at the Agro-Lab Empire State University. He messes with a man named Chip (who claims to have done nothing wrong), cause property damage using his symbiote and eventually kills. This opening scene clearly shows that Carnage is a more troubling than Venom (who in turn was being turned into an anti-hero figure by Marvel’s creators).
Peter Parker/Spider-Man meanwhile spends quality time at home with his Aunt May. Unsurprisingly, a telephone call interrupts his private life causing him to go to the university to determine, secretly in costume, what happened. Peter personally knows Chip and the guy’s death only adds to his concern about the rise of brutal murders.
“Chip’s dead. And I’m worried that these serial killings may partly be my fault,” Peter told Mary Jane.
Using his access as a freelance photographer, Peter conducts computer research at the office of the Daily Bugle and discovers Cletus Kasady’s prison profile. Knowing that Kasady (Carnage) was a cellmate of Eddie Brock/Venom, he digs deeper and goes around the city to investigate. This sets up his first encounter with Carnage. What exactly happened between them? You just have to read to find out.
Even by today’s standards, the story remains gripping, intriguing and entertaining at the same time. David Michelinie really knows how to balance spectacle, exposition and suspense with the Spidey-Carnage conflict as the highlight. Michelinie also showed Kasady’s insanity clearly and, even by his look, the villain is clearly a creative rip-off of DC Comics’ insane villain The Joker. Artist Mark Bagley’s art is still good to look at and he managed to pull off the daunting task of visualizing the present along with drawing images from Spidey’s past with original symbiote and Venom. The action scenes still have good visual impact.
Overall, if you are even a bit interested in Spider-Man, Carnage and 1990s comic book culture, then True Believers: Absolute Carnage – Carnage #1 is recommended. For only $1, this is one engaging and entertaining comic book to read.
Take note that there is a chance that Carnage will become the next popular supervillain in the movies once the character appears fully in the sequel to 2018’s Venom movie. Remember the mid-credits scene in Venom? Carnage could literally rise in pop culture.
Muntinlupa City Government Praised for Business Friendliness
During a consultation meeting and presentation of local medium and long-term development plans held at Vivere Hotel, Filinvest City, Alabang in Muntinlupa City, the members of the business community lauded the local initiatives of City Government of Muntinlupa.
IT and Business Process Association of the Philippines Executive Director for External Affairs and Investor Relations Nicki Agcaoili praised Muntinlupa LGU for facilitating a “business-friendly environment” in the city.
“Among other LGUs in the region, Muntinlupa City is the easiest to transact with,” Agcaoili said during the July 12 event.
Agcaoili also noted how they have achieved and exceeded targets after locating in the city.
Mayor Jaime R. Fresnedi expressed his thanks to business executives who attended the consultation meeting and vowed to strengthen partnership with them. This was affirmed by City Councilor Raul Corro who expressed the City Council’s commitment to address the business sector’s needs through local legislation.
For their part, City Government officials presented the projects to be implemented over next three years. Private sector execs expressed their feedback in a focus group discussion.
The consultation meeting was facilitated by the Business Permits and Licensing Office and the Local Economic and Investments Promotions Office.
In 2017 and 2018, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry hailed Muntinlupa City as the Most Business-Friendly LGU in the country. This established the city as the standout city for business in South Metro Manila.
A pioneer in the EODB Act, the City of Muntinlupa is the first local government unit (LGU) to introduce the Single Window Transaction – Modified Business One-Stop Shop, a single-interface business-registration process in which a business permit registration application can be finished in up to 15 minutes only.
MSME development is also a priority in the city through the Tulong Negosyo program (formerly Dagdag Puhunan program) which offers zero-percent interest loan assistance from 2,000 to 150,000 pesos.
On top of financial assistance, the local government provides coaching and mentoring sessions to budding entrepreneurs which include business legal management, accounting for non-accountants, and financial management, among others.
The City Government organizes business forums to determine the business sector’s inputs and feedback on development agendas. This in turn helps the City Government address their needs.