My Observations: Mang Pandesal with SPAM

Let me start by making clear to you all that I love eating the pandesal (a roll of bread common in the Philippines) sold by Mang Pandesal located at El Grande Avenue corner Tropical Avenue in BF International, Las Piñas City. Every day they sell freshly baked pandesal that is both affordable (at P2 each as of this writing) and very delicious. Mang Pandesal is so good, many times lines of customers are formed just outside of their store, as well as vehicles suddenly parking nearby with a driver or a passenger coming out to line up and buy pandesal. If you are not familiar with Mang Pandesal, check out my opinion piece.

This past weekend, I passed by Mang Pandesal to take home freshly baked bread. Look at the pic below…

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Freshly baked pandesal at Mang Pandesal! Highly recommended!

Normally, I ate Mang Pandesal’s bread standalone because each and every pandesal tastes great. There never was a time I had any bad bread from the BF International baker. This time around, I decided it was high time to experiment something that could be very enjoyable. As such, upon arriving home, I placed the Mang Pandesal bread on the table and pulled out a can of the worldwide favorite meat SPAM.

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The world-famous SPAM canned meat, just with less sodium.
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Some of the Mang Pandesal bread arranged on the small plate for SPAM.

So step by the step, I pulled out some pandesal and carefully cut out slices of SPAM and divided each slice of the meat into three. Each pandesal from Mang Pandesal were cut into half to resemble clamshells. Then carefully I placed each SPAM portion into each pandesal.

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Mang Pandesal’s bread with SPAM meat inserted.
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A shot from above.

With the best tasting pandesal and the best tasting canned meat combined, the result was, unsurprisingly, a very delicious experience and totally enjoyable eat! This is an experience that food enthusiasts should have whenever they have Mang Pandesal bread and SPAM available!

And then out of curiosity, I decided to try another experiment…I decided to try pandesal with SPAM with a thin layer of white cheese added.

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Thin layers of cheese added.

The result? A very creamy taste that’s also very nice for consumption!

Depending how you like your Mang Pandesal bread and SPAM together, you will definitely get a great taste of the two. If you want the cheesy or creamy taste, that is what you will get with pandesal and SPAM with white cheese added.

As such, having Mang Pandesal’s pandesal and SPAM’s meat together is highly recommended! That being said, whether you like meat with your pandesal or you simply want the best pandesal around, I recommend you to go to Mang Pandesal in BF International now and buy.

Let me end this piece with a scripture from the Holy Bible, the Passion Translation to be precise.

Whether you eat or drink, live your life in a way that glorifies and honors God.

1 Corinthians 10: 31 (TPT)


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

My Observations: Xbox Games Showcase

It has finally happened. Microsoft organized this past Thursday the much-awaited digital event Xbox Games Showcase. Let me cut to the chase that, for the most part, I actually enjoyed watching. It’s not a perfect showcase of games for Xbox fans and other gamers, but it sure is a major improvement over the disappointing 3rd party games showcase of last May.

For one thing, Xbox head Phil Spencer himself confirmed that less than ten of the fifteen Xbox game studios had prepared for the showcase. This is not surprising because it takes a lot of time and work to make video games nowadays and it is a fact that the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic had forced game developers (as well as countless other surviving businesses) to adapt the work-at-home model which tremendously slowed down production. Regardless, the showcase included unveilings of five new first-party games.

“What you’ll see today is how Xbox game studios are harnessing their passions to bring their dreams to life,” Phil Spencer said in his welcome message to viewers.

With those words declared, here is what I think about the games that I personally find the most interesting or the most notable (note: not all games discussed below are exclusive to Xbox Series X), and what it all means for the upcoming launch of the next-generation Xbox Series X console and the remaining life of the Xbox One.

The showcased games

Halo Infinite

Two long years since I first saw the original unveiling of Halo Infinite, the gameplay demonstration of the game (note: it actually ran on a PC, NOT the Xbox Series X itself) was actually worth the long wait even though there were some imperfections. What made it compelling to watch was the presentation of the ring world’s environment which recaptured the wonder and beauty of the original landscape first seen in 2001’s Halo: Combat Evolved (note: I’m talking about the landscape where Master Chief first crash-landed). Apart from the in-game environment, the gameplay rocked with the classic Halo formula of shooting (fast-paced and intense) which got shook up with the implementation of the grapple plus a few new animation sequences and moves seen on the Covenant. It’s classic Halo but also modernized in terms of look and gameplay.

What caught my attention was the freedom for gamers to explore an entire Halo ring confirmed by 343 Industries’ Studio Head of Halo Chris Lee. Even though the term open-world was not stated, this confirms that Halo Infinite will have a much bigger in-game environment and locations for gamers to discover. Hopefully, this also means that there will be a wide variety of activities to do on the locations very much like other open-world games. The game demonstration is only a taste of what is to come. Not only that, Lee also confirmed that the game will run at 60 frames-per-second (60FPS) which for me is the sweet spot for playing in the modern age.

When it comes to imperfections, I saw some pop-in during some sequences of the demo and there also seemed to be some slight dips in the frame rate during the most intense sequences. Right now, 343 Industries still has months left to optimize the game not only for Xbox Series X but also the aging Xbox One. Now I wonder how the developers will be able to get good enough performance from the basic Xbox One (which I own) and the slightly upgraded Xbox One S to play Halo Infinite. One last thing…I should express my disappointment over the revelation that the demo did NOT run on the Xbox Series X hardware itself.

To Microsoft and 343 Industries, please, please make the best you can with Halo Infinite using real Xbox Series X hardware! Also, please at least try to include ray tracing at launch, not after launch. Disappointments aside, I know you guys can do better and I still am looking forward to this game. The ball of time is on your side of the court, Microsoft and 343 Industries. You still have time!

Everwild

Everwild is a brand, new game developed by Rare (Sea of Thieves, Perfect Dark games) mainly for Xbox Series X and Windows 10 PCs. First unveiled months ago, the new video of the game at the Xbox Games Showcase showed a lot more of the game with what looks like a wide-open world to explore with lots of wildlife and creatures that are out of this world. The animation also looks great. My only problem here is that the new trailer had scenes done in a cinematic fashion and left no clear sign as to HOW THE GAME WILL PLAY. Will it be a single-player game or an online-multiplayer game? Will it have a good combat system? What is the story if any? Please, Microsoft and Rare, do explain if Everwild will be fun to play. Enough with the beauty and take time to really define the game. Thanks.

As Dusk Falls

This new game by Int./Night and Microsoft is easily the most intriguing of the Xbox Games Showcase. It’s described as an interactive drama that will follow and explore the lives of two families across thirty years starting with a robbery in Arizona. Players will determine the fate of the characters by making choices (kinda like the Choose Your Own Adventure pocket books in concept). At least in this game’s trailer, there is a clever mix of 3D polygons with 2D art. If I were you gamers, don’t just ignore this game. If you are already an Xbox Game Pass subscriber, As Dusk Falls will launch on Day One on the said service.

Avowed

The rumors turned out to be true and I’m very happy to say that the RPG specialists Obsidian Entertainment is working on a brand new, fantasy role-playing game (RPG) titled Avowed. Set in the fantasy world of Eora, Avowed is a first-person view RPG. Having played Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion and Elders Scrolls V: Skyrim on Xbox 360 long ago plus last year’s The Outer Worlds (by Obsidian) on Xbox One, I really am looking forward to this new game and I have full trust in Obsidian’s, dedication, legacy and specialty on making RPGs that are fun and compelling.

To say the least, Avowed will mark the beginning of a new fantasy RPG property (soon to be a franchise…) for the Xbox ecosystem as a whole adding variety for Xbox fans who love fantasy RPGs alongside the already established Fable.

Speaking of Fable…

Fable

The long-time rumor is also true! Fable is being revived and the new game is being produced by Playground Games, the very same studio behind the best-selling and highly acclaimed Forza Horizon series! While the above trailer is purely cinematic and carried nothing to suggest gameplay, at the very least the Fable franchise is on its way back after years of being dormant. What I hope to see next time is real-time gameplay complete with how the Playground employees can present the fantasy world in this new generation of console gaming. I personally enjoyed playing the original Fable and still managed to get some fun from the disappointing Fable III. For the future of Fable, things are looking promising.

Forza Motorsport

While this one is too short and lacked gameplay sequences, the Forza Motorsport official video composed of real-time graphics (note the Footage Captured In-Engine posted on the lower-left corner of the video) is very impressive and the future of next-generation simulation racing looks very bright. I know the experts of Turn 10 are working hard with the new Xbox Series X technology as I write this and in terms of presentation of the Xbox Games Showcase, this extremely short look of things to come from the Forza Motorsport franchise is ironically one of the best (and most transparent) presentations from Microsoft. Too bad Halo Infinite was used with a PC and lacked transparency on its presentation which Microsoft knew. More on the game, I wonder if Forza Motorsport will be the definitive title of the next-generation sim race from Turn 10 following 2017’s Forza Motorsport 7. Gamers expected Forza Motorsport 8 as the title. The video presentation’s shortness is a missed opportunity for Microsoft and the developers to show a lot more of what simulation would look and feel like on Xbox Series X. An additional sixty seconds of in-game footage with some gameplay sequences (like driver’s seat view with steering wheel) would have made the Forza Motorsport video even greater and more engaging. Now that the Xbox Games Showcase is over, we can only wait as to what MS and Turn 10 can update us with. Right now, I am passionate with simulation racing thanks to the Forza Motorsport franchise and I am confident that the next entry coming out on Xbox Series X will be worth the wait.

Tell Me Why

Here’s another new Microsoft-published game that surprised me. Tell Me Why is developed by DONTNOD, the same team behind Capcom’s Remember Me and Square Enix’s Life is Strange. Given the French game developer’s dedication on making original, narrative-driven games, Tell Me Why follows twins Alyson and Tyler and players will get to use their unique bond to unravel mysteries in their lives. Visually, it does not have the next-generation look as the game itself was made specifically for Xbox One and Windows 10. How it will look on Xbox Series X remains to be seen. This should attract the attention of gamers who enjoyed Life is Strange games.

Psychonauts 2

This multi-platform game made by Double Fine will be released sometime next year and I should say that what was shown during the Xbox Games Showcase made me confident about it. For the newcomers reading this, Psychonauts 2 is the sequel to the award-winning 2005 game Psychonauts (then published by Majesco Entertainment) and as a platforming game this one could stand out in the modern age for its artistry, creativity and promised fun gameplay. Microsoft promised that the game will be optimized for Xbox Series X.

Honorable mentions

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon

I love Obsidian Entertainment’s work in The Outer World which is easily one of the best RPGs I’ve ever played in this current console generation. As such, the revelation of the previously announced story downloadable content (DLC) is something I find very delighting and it sure gives me another reason to replay The Outer Worlds on my Xbox One. The Peril on Gorgon DLC’s description is as follows: A severed arm and a mysterious message lead the crew of the Unreliable to the Gorgon Asteroid, formerly the site of one of Halcyon’s most ambitious and disastrous scientific undertakings – now a lawless den of monsters and marauders. Wealthy recluse Minnie Ambrose tasks the crew with finding answers about Dr. Olivia Ambrose, her mother and the doomed project’s disgraced director, but they are soon ensnared in an intrigue that will change the colony forever.

The Outer Worlds: Peril on Gorgon will be released on September 9, 2020.

Destiny 2: Beyond Light

It’s kinda weird to see Destiny 2: Beyond Light part of Xbox Games Showcase, the same event highlighted by Halo Infinite. This is because Bungie created Halo on its own before they got involved with Microsoft and played a major role in the respective success of the original Xbox and Xbox 360 consoles with several acclaimed Halo games that sold a lot. Now that it is no longer involved with Activision, Bungie is now a standalone developer and publisher, and the Destiny games franchise is what they are carrying now. The above video presentation looks good and energetic.

Conclusion

Overall, the Xbox Games Showcase was good, not great. The efforts to showcase the 1st party games and the potential of next-generation gaming Xbox Series X were made but felt uneven here and there. Halo Infinite had a good presentation but there were shortcomings that prevented it from being great which is too bad because the game was supposed to highlight Xbox Series X and prove that there is a promising future of fun and engagement with the Halo franchise. Ironically, the very solid but short video presentations of Forza Motorsport and Avowed proved to be better efforts on selling Xbox Series X than Halo Infinite. When it comes to disappointments, I should point to the complete lack of new stuff regarding Senua’s Saga: Hellblade II.

While imperfect, the Xbox Games Showcase still had nice surprises that kept me interested enough to finish it. At the very least, Xbox Games Showcase was a big improvement over the disappointing showcase of 3rd party games last May.

Now that the Xbox Games Showcase is over, Microsoft and its Xbox teams still have time left to improve their efforts to sell their games and prove that Xbox Series X will be worth buying for the next several years of home entertainment. They also still have time to emphasize how the optimization of games on Xbox Series X and how the Smart Delivery can be beneficial to gamers.

In ending this, watch Colteastwood’s interview with Xbox’s Major Nelson.


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

My Observations: The SUM International Virtual Campus Days session of May 30, 2020

My Observations: The SUM International Virtual Campus Days session of May 30, 2020

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Hey everyone! I’d like to share to you that I attended something special on the morning of May 30, 2020. It was an online event held via the now popular Zoom app and it was called the SUM International Virtual Campus Days session for that particular Saturday which I got invited to by nice friends of mine involved with SUM. SUM is in reference to SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary.

Before I begin, let me explain what SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is. SUM is a bible-based academic institution with a purpose to raise up Pentecostal ministry leaders through the Jesus Model of Leadership. It equips indigenous leaders from America and the nations of the world by offering an affordable theological education, combining academic instruction with practical hands-on ministry and personal mentorship. SUM’s mission is to empower these leaders to be instruments of change in their communities. The institution was founded upon simple biblical truths in reference to John 3:16, John 4:35, Ephesians 4:11-12, Luke 9:1-2 and Mark 9:35.

When it comes to accreditation, SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is highly credible as it has been nationally accredited by the Association of Biblical Higher Education (ABHE), the oldest Bible college accreditation agency, specializing in biblical ministry formation and professional leadership education. SUM is officially recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and the U.S. Department of Education. It is also one of the eight regional associations that make up the International Council for Evangelical Theological Education (ICETE), representing North America. SUM is also accredited by the WASC Senior College and University Commission (WSCUC). To learn much more about SUM, visit www.SUM.edu

Now that things have been explained, here’s a look at what I attended on May 30, 2020.

The SUM International Virtual Campus Days session summarized

Early in the session there was this very welcoming musical performance by SUM-uniformed men and women, and among them were my friends. After that, SUM founder George Neau delivered his welcome remarks and made a reference to chapter 6 of the Book of Isaiah in the Holy Bible.

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SUM’s uniformed musicians delivered a fine and welcoming performance. (contributed photo)

As the presentation went on, SUM emphasized the Jesus Leadership Model, practical ministry and mentoring.

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SUM Visionary Leader Pastor Paul C. Mata on-screen. (contributed photo)

During his part of the presentation, Pastor Paul Mata (Visionary Leader) explained the online Christian schooling model of SUM and, more notably, he talked about empowering leaders for fivefold ministry.. The fivefold ministry is being done in line with SUM’s goal of bringing in a billion young people to Lord Jesus in His kingdom and this requires having thousands of pastors. That goal is undeniably global in scale.

Before the presentation ended, viewers from different parts of the world were invited to apply. SUM was transparent with regards on how to apply, how to pay, what courses are available and what the requirements are.

My thoughts

Considering the advancements of technology, communication and Internet access, SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary makes Christian, bible-based education more accessible than ever. It’s not just futuristic, it is the modern-day standard in more ways than one. Think about it…you attend a course of SUM online at the comfort of your home. No more having to spend so much time and energy traveling to and from the place of learning (note: I still remember the very stressful times I went through with traveling between home and school during my college days a few decades ago).

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At SUM’s website are the ways on how to apply. (contributed photo)

SUM’s model is very impressive and the bible-based education it offers means greater opportunities for learners to deeply learn God’s Word, find ways to apply the lessons in life and get to really know the Lord and be faithful with Him. SUM will also educate learners about the true meaning of being part of church.

Regarding future events, the next Campus Day of SUM is fast approaching. In fact, it will take place this coming Saturday (June 20, 2020) at precisely 9AM.

Before that happens, anyone who is interested to join must register now.

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At SUM, graduation is always special and memorable. (contributed photo)

Going back to the institution’s goal, the following powerful words are written in SUM’s Statement of Faith: the Church is the body of Christ, the habitation of God through the Spirit, with divine appointment for the fulfillment of her great commission.

If you are serious about in-depth learning of Christianity, Lord Jesus, God and the Holy Spirit, then SUM Bible College and Theological Seminary is the academic institution you should consider. Visit them now at www.SUM.edu

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SUM is always welcoming to participants and newbies. (contributed photo)

In ending this piece, here is a holy scripture from the Passion Translation of the Bible.

Every Scripture has been written by the Holy Spirit, the breath of God. It will empower you by its instruction and correction, giving you the strength to take the right direction and lead you deeper into the path of godliness. Then you will be God’s servant, fully mature and perfectly prepared to fulfill any assignment God gives you.

2 Timothy 3: 16-17 (TPT)


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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

 

My Observations: Even during quarantine, the Chinese connection still caused problems in Parañaque City

Months ago, I wrote that the City of Parañaque became a hot spot for crime incidents involving Chinese nationals and that the said city had more of such incidents than its neighboring cities here in South Metro Manila.

And then the coronavirus disease COVID-19 struck the world and this resulted community quarantine here in the Philippines which was recently extended into mid-May. Under Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ), most businesses were halted, mass gatherings were prohibited and people were told to stay at home so that the risk of infection would be reduced. The authorities have been struggling with testing people for COVID-19 while local government units (LGUs), including barangays, have been working to manage their respective communities and perform services like distributing relief goods to families, implementing curfew, etc.

Even though the ECQ has been implemented for over a month now, there were still problems in Parañaque City caused by Chinese nationals. I’m talking about the illegal online gaming operation involving 44 Chinese nationals (with 23 Filipinos) and illegal clinics and a stockroom filled with medicine from China.

Let’s start first with the illegal online gaming operation that was found in Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo with details from the Manila Bulletin report.

Excerpt: Forty-four (44) foreign nationals and twenty-three (23) Filipinos (fourteen female and nine male) engaged in an illegal online gaming operation were arrested by the combined team of the Regional Special Operation Unit, Southern Police District, and the Parañaque City police Friday night.

Police said that the suspects were arrested at about 7:30p.m. along Mayuga Compound, Barangay Tambo, Parañaque City.

The police said that prior to the arrest of the suspects, members of the RSOU received a telephone call from a concerned citizen who reported that a group of armed foreign nationals were seen outside their residence violating the curfew hours imposed by the city government while the country is under the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ).

Upon receiving the information, members of the RSOU immediately coordinated with the SPD and the Parañaque City police for the arrest of the suspects.

The police said that verification was made and they found the group of foreign nationals with firearms visibly tucked in their waists loitering around the said place.

The suspects, upon seeing the approaching policemen, immediately ran inside their house. A chase ensued that led to the discovery of the illegal online gaming operation of the suspects.

Police recovered cash amounting to more than P1.3-million, 255 Chinese Yuan; 73 Chinese passports; two .45 caliber pistols; two .9mm pistols; nine internet modems, 40 cellular phones; 17 pairs of keyboard and mouse; 36 different brands of laptop computers and assorted computer cables.

Wow. That’s such an operation. How exactly was it set up so discreetly? Was the apartment owner aware that the rented place was turned by the foreigners into an illegal business operation? Also when exactly did the Business Permit and Licensing Office (BPLO) of Parañaque City discover the first details about the illegal online gaming operation? Was Barangay Tambo even aware of the illegal operation?

As a result of the arrest done by the law enforcers, the ball is now up to the Bureau of Immigration to decide whether to deport the 44 Chinese nationals or not. Whatever their decision and no matter how long the investigation will take, it is clear that this incident made the City of Parañaque look bad.

To put things in perspective, Parañaque is the hot spot of confirmed COVID-19 cases in South Metro Manila with 414 cases as of April 26 and the City Government and the barangays have been struggling to prevent the spread of infection while managing the communities. As seen many times on social media, pictures of many people crowding the public wet markets (palengke) in the city showed clear violations of social distancing. As such, the fear of a possible COVID-19 outbreak in Parañaque is entering more people’s minds.

Next, let’s take a look at the illegal clinics and the stockroom filled with Chinese medicine with details from CNN Philippines’ report.

Excerpt 1: Authorities raided two illegal clinics and a medicine stockroom in Parañaque City on Sunday night.

Among those seized in the stockroom in Barangay Baclaran in Parañaque was a large shipment of medicine for respiratory illnesses allegedly being used as a possible treatment for the coronavirus disease. There is no confirmed cure yet for COVID-19.

They found many more boxes of medicine and medical supplies from China in the stockroom, such as boxes of dextrose and medicine ranging from antibiotics, anti-viral drugs, and medicine used for treating sexually transmitted diseases.

“They have all kinds of medicines. Na-amaze ako kasi puro injectables silang lahat,” says Paranaque City Health Officer Dr. Olga Virtusio. She adds, “Kakaunti ‘yung oral meds, madami ding through IV (intravenous) fluid.”

[Translation: I was amazed because most of the medicines I saw were injectables. There were a few oral meds, but there were a lot of IV fluids.]

Meanwhile, some types of medicine sold by the two illegal clinics are a herbal supplement is used as a traditional Chinese treatment for colds, fever, cough, and sore throat and a non-prescription drug for flu and respiratory illnesses.

“The team is thinking na most probably they are really catering to the POGOs around, especially noong nagkaroon tayo ng massive routing of the different clubs at madaming nakitang prostitution. Mostly chinese ang nahuhuli,” the doctor added.

Authorities said they acted on a tip from a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics. The owner of one of the clinics allegedly took her quarantine pass. As a result, the helper informed officials of what she called a “hospital” catering to mostly Chinese patients.

Excerpt 2: After the city government closed down the place, authorities found another similar clinic just a few blocks away.

Police found a Chinese man claiming to be a doctor in the second clinic. He did not speak on camera but presented what he claimed to be his doctor’s license in China.

The local government said they are finding out who owns this clinics and the stockroom.

Charges will be filed against the owners for violating quarantine laws, medical regulations, and for operating without necessary permits. The confiscated boxes of medicine will be turned over to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for testing.

Two illegal clinics that most likely served Chinese nationals located just a few blocks away from each other…could those two be connected with each other? As for the medicine imported from China, I wonder if they were cleared by the officials of customs. When exactly did the City Health Office led by Dr. Virtusio become aware of the illegal clinics? Did anyone from Barangay Baclaran notice the anomalies within their territory?

With these cases combined – the illegal gaming operation and the illegal clinics – I wonder if there was any bribery involved in establishing the illegal operations, how much the local authorities knew about their existence, and how exactly are Parañaque officials dealing with Chinese nationals who really had no intention to follow local laws.

It is fortunate for law enforcers that a disgruntled worker from one of the illegal clinics tipped them while a concerned citizen did the right thing by calling them about the presence of foreigners who were armed with guns. What exactly were those guns for, personal protection or as a means to threaten the local community’s members?

Whatever is happening behind the scenes with these two recent developments, what is clear is that Parañaque is still a hot spot for illegal activities involving Chinese nationals and the connection with mainland China. How the local authorities will deal with them is a big question mark.

You the reader might want to ask yourself: Are Chinese nationals already setting up Parañaque to be a key location for a future military invasion by mainland China?


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 and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

Thanks for reading!

My Observations: COVID-19’s impact on crowded fun-oriented events should be taken seriously

For the past few weeks, the coronavirus disease COVID-19 halted much of the world’s societies and economies compelling families to stay at home as the authorities struggle to prevent infections from spreading.

Community quarantine and regional lockdown have been implemented which strongly limited people from traveling around and also negatively affected truck deliveries which really hurt manufacturing and other key economic sectors like food production (and the businesses that sell food), retailing and more.

Unsurprisingly, special events that attract a lot of people as attendees have been postponed or cancelled. In the city of Parañaque here in the Philippines, the planned 2020 cityhood anniversary celebration had to be scaled down dramatically because of COVID-19-related fear. The said celebration’s most popular events such as the Bb. Parañaque beauty pageant and the Sunduan Festival could not be organized and as of this writing, no new dates for organizing such events have been announced. Under the current quarantine procedures, mass gatherings have been prohibited.

That being said, it would be best to forget about crowded fun events for the short term and just focus on being safe at home, managing your precious funds and maintaining faith in the Lord (note: study the Holy Bible and pray in tongues to Him).

Speaking of fun events, Comic Book Resources (CBR.com) published a new article that caught my attention titled Coronavirus Could Be the Beginning of the End for Super Conventions. It caught my attention because I myself had attended several pop culture events, including the gigantic Comic-Con International in San Diego, California (AKA San Diego Comic-Con).

Let’s focus on this excerpt from Comic Book Resources:

Comic conventions long have been an integral part of fan communities. Before comic-book movies and TV shows were a multibillion-dollar enterprise, fans looked forward to these annual gatherings as a chance to be surrounded by people who shared their interests. They (were) a sacred place where fans could collectively celebrate something they were really passionate about.

And they were fun. Really fun. Fans from across the country would make the pilgrimage to get up close and personal with the writers and artists they idolized. It was a dream come true for members of what was then a tight-knit community.

Over the years, that’s all changed. The conventions that were so beloved by a small group of people have ballooned into massive undertakings, drawing thousands of people from all over the world. They’re not so much fan-driven conventions anymore as much as they are trade shows for the entertainment industry.

That’s not to say these super conventions aren’t fun in their own right; they absolutely are. They offer fans a chance to witness major announcements, take part in Q&A’s with their favorite stars and celebrate pop culture on an unprecedented level. They’ve become an annual staple for the promotion of the latest film and television franchise projects, and big names continuously turn up.

Now, however, with the justifiable closure of these conventions due to the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s unclear how much we really need these super conventions.

To put things in perspective, any convention that is focused on fun would not be possible without the strong interest of multiple fans or enthusiasts who are not only willing to make time to attend such an event but also bring a good amount of money with them and spend on their respective interests.

The San Diego Comic-Con in California, the New York Comic Con in New York, and the AsiaPop Comicon here in the Philippines all require paying a fee (for the ticket or badge) in order to enter the venue which has most entertainment events and booths that fans can go to.

When it comes to special activities, private screenings of trailers of upcoming blockbuster movies occasionally get organized as well as Q&A panel sessions with entertainers or industry professionals, press conferences and more.

However, we are now living in the age of social media, wide access to the Internet and smartphones which enable users to take pictures or videos in high-definition and upload them for people to see online. Think about it carefully.

What good is a closed-door press conference with celebrities when a fan in attendance can capture everything on video and beat the bloggers and members of the press by releasing content on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram?

What good is a private screening (which restricts attendees from taking footage) of a trailer or a short scene from a highly anticipated blockbuster movie when such content will only be released by the movie studio on YouTube, Facebook and other sites where Internet users can watch for free at the comfort of their homes?

What good is a fan convention if attendees post pictures/videos of embarrassing moments (example: someone throws a pie on the face of a movie star in front of the fans) online within minutes and become viral?

What good is buying classic comic books at the comic convention when the comic publishers themselves failed to wipe out the widespread online piracy (note: entire issues of comic books in digital form) of their comics which people can find and read for free?

One key point here is that fan conventions and other fun-oriented events that attract a lot of people are slowly losing their relevance. Convention organizers will have to come up with ways not only to stay relevant, not only to ensure exclusive stuff in their event is truly exclusive, but also innovate and raise the convention’s overall quality.

Going back to COVID-19, it is clear that the said virus is highly infectious and this alone defeats the purpose of organizing a huge event for as long as the risk of infection remains. As of this writing, local authorities are struggling to clean and disinfect places. Killing the virus is a costly and time-consuming affair.

Recently, the 2020 edition of the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) had to be canceled due to COVID-19 which was a huge blow to many video game and technology companies that had signed up for the event. Microsoft, which was supposed to showcase their upcoming Xbox Series X console at E3, promptly announced it will organize a digital event instead.

Think about those words: digital events. Digital events can be done by companies to make a special presentation of their products or services in the form of a lengthy and detailed pre-recorded video or by organizing privately their showcase event (held in a venue that the company has all to itself) live via livestreaming. With the access of the Internet and the massive reach that social media provides, digital events can make fan conventions even more unnecessary. Digital events are also very useful for companies because they not only have complete privacy but also a lot more control in terms of creativity as well as amount of information to be released. This also spares companies from the hassles of crowd control as well as rampant questioning from members of the news media.

Together, COVID-19, wide Internet access and social media are factors that make organizing crowded fun-oriented showcase events more challenging than ever before. Why bother attending a local beauty pageant live in Parañaque City when viral infection, live-streaming and even crime incidents could happen?

Even after the end of this COVID-19 crisis, the community quarantine and regional lockdown, I foresee that it will take a lot more time before life really goes back to normal.

By then, I don’t think enthusiasm for crowded fun-oriented events would be restored to high levels immediately. Sports events, in my opinion, have a better chance of resuming given the nature of sports competition which remains very important with Filipinos. Other events like food fairs and shopping bazaars are more important to people in the local communities than beauty pageants or fan conventions. What people clearly want once this current crisis is over is worshiping the Lord together at church on Sundays.

Attending church is more essential than a crowded beauty pageant or a fan convention. There is no doubt about that!


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

My Observations: The Official Specs of Xbox Series X

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The components of Xbox Series X. (photo source – Xbox.com)

Very recently Microsoft and some members of the gaming press revealed the official specs of the next-generation console Xbox Series X. As a long-time gamer, this newest development is nice and exciting even though I am still enjoying my basic Xbox One console a lot for my video gaming and movie viewing (note: I’m a Blu-ray movie collector). The current generation console I bought way back in 2015 still works well and so far showed no signs of breaking down or slowing down (when compared to my previous console the Xbox 360). Even so, I intend to acquire the Xbox Series X to replace my Xbox One although not necessarily during the new system’s launch. Here is hoping that Microsoft will announce a launch price of not more than $499.

So let’s get on with the specs of the next-generation Xbox starting with the CPU (central processing unit) and the GPU (graphics processing unit).

CPU: 8x Cores @ 3.8 Ghz (3.6 GHZ w/ SMT) Custom Zen 2 CPU

GPU: 12 teraflops, 52 CUs (compute units) @ 1.825 GHz Custom RDNA 2 GPU

Die Size: 360.45 mm2

Process: 7nm Enhanced

Memory: 16 Gigabytes GDDR6 w/ 320b bus

Memory Bandwidth: 10GB @ 560 GB/s, 6GB @ 336 GB/s

Internal Storage: 1 terabyte NVME SSD (solid state drive)

I/O Throughput: 2.4 GB/s (raw), 4.8 GB/s (compressed with custom hardware decompression block)

Expandable Storage: 1 terabyte Expansion Card (matches internal storage exactly)

External Storage: USB 3.2 External HDD Support

Optical Drive: 4K Ultra High Definition Blu-ray Drive

Performance Target: 4K @ 60 frames-per-second, up to 120 FPS.

On face value, those specs are very impressive and worthy of being referred to as next-generation at least in terms of potential. The Xbox Series X, with those specs, unsurprisingly surpassed my Xbox One and even the Xbox One X (released in 2017) which is currently the most powerful game console in the world. With a performance target of 4K resolution (3,840 x 2,160) with a frame rate of 60 frames-per-second and even up to 120 FPS, now is a great time to upgrade your HDTV by means of replacing it with an UHDTV (or 4K TV).

Apart from improved speed and efficiency, the Xbox Series X will come with Xbox Velocity Architecture (XVA) which features the tight integration between hardware and software. It’s a new architecture optimized for streaming of in-game assets and should be useful for game developers who in turn will have instant access to an estimated 100 gigabytes of the said assets.

“It’s about revolutionizing how games can create vastly bigger and more compelling worlds,” Technical Fellow on Xbox Series X Andrew Goossen described XVA.

When it comes to video games with those large in-game environments, nothing can be more annoying than load times, delayed textures and noticeable drop of frame rates. In my experience playing Mass Effect on my Xbox 360 way back in 2007, the game’s long load time (with the overly long elevator ride designed to conceal the loading) was so bad it took me out of the game. And then there were newly loaded segments in which the polygons lacked the proper textures for the first seconds. Open-world games I played before such as Saints Row: The Third, Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim, Grand Theft Auto V and Red Dead Redemption 2 each had their own bouts of annoying load times or delayed loading of key visual elements. If the XVA delivers the promised benefits for both the game developers and the gamers, then such technical hiccups should be a thing of the past and the immersion should be much better for players. More on load times, they should not be a problem anymore in the next-generation now that the Xbox Series X will have SSDs.

Check out these official Xbox Series X videos about quick loading and quick resume.

As far as my Xbox history is concerned, I am a multi-generational Xbox LIVE user and my account has lots of Xbox 360 and Xbox One titles recorded with regards to playing history and achievements made. I also enjoy the backward compatibility feature Microsoft launched in 2015 which makes playing my old Xbox 360 games on the Xbox One possible without having to pay anything extra. I also love the fact that Xbox LIVE allows me to select and buy Xbox 360 games (via digital download) that I never played before and there are hundreds of titles of the 360 offered all the time!

That being said, the backward compatibility experience will continue with Xbox Series X guaranteeing that all the Xbox 360 and Xbox One games I have will never go to waste! For the next-generation, backward compatibility on Xbox Series X will see benefits like improved booting time, shortened loading times, improved resolution, more stable frame rates and enhanced visuals. I can imagine playing the Xbox One versions of Red Dead Redemption 2, Grand Theft Auto V, Resident Evil 2 remake (and very soon the remake of Resident Evil 3) and Gears 5 on the Xbox Series X in the near future with the technical improvements in place.

Going back to the announcement of the specs, it has been declared at long last that the memory of Xbox Series X is set at 16 gigabytes using GDDR6 which is a more advanced RAM (random access memory). By comparison, my Xbox One has 8 gigabytes of DDR3 RAM and the Xbox One X has 12 gigabytes of GDDR5. Honestly, I was anticipating that Xbox Series X would come with 24 GB GDDR6. I’m not saying that I’m disappointed with the declared 16 GB GDDR6 and I will look forward as to how that memory of the new console will be beneficial for both gamers and game makers.

The internal storage declared was 1 terabyte NVME SSD. I’m surprised that just one terabyte will be used to launch the Xbox Series X. That’s because games as well as their respective patches, expansions and other digital stuff nowadays consume a lot of storage space. My current Xbox has only 500 GB storage and the Xbox One games alone in our household could not be fitted. This means uninstalling games and other digital pieces. I was hoping that at least 2 terabytes would be offered at launch. In fairness, Microsoft announced that the storage can be expanded with an Expansion Card (1 terabyte).

The way things are right now, I intend to buy the Xbox Series X not because the specs are impressive but also because of the very bright future of games coming. Microsoft in recent years acquired a whole lot of game studios to produce content for the Xbox and Windows platforms. Already a whole lot of new games are in the pipe line being produced gradually. Clear to say, Microsoft’s 1st party games lineup in the next generation will no longer be limited to the Halo, Forza Motorsport, Forza Horizon and Gears of War game franchises. At the same time, I am also excited for new games from 3rd party developers for this coming new console generation and soon we will find out how great their games will be on Xbox Series X.

Due to the coronavirus scare happening worldwide, we won’t see a new E3 this year and it is now up to the game publishers and Microsoft to come up with new ways to announce, emphasize and promote their next-generation games. I’d watch out for the upcoming Xbox digital event from Microsoft if I were you.

If you want to immerse yourselves with the very, very technical examinations of the Xbox Series X, I highly recommend you watch these embedded videos below.


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

 

My Observations: Ben’s Halo-Halo in BF Homes

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Laguna’s creamiest halo-halo is now in BF Homes!

For the newcomers reading this, Aguirre Avenue, the major road inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, is well known for being a major commercial stretch where people can find lots of restaurants, stores, coffee shops and the like.

Recently along the same road, the BF Homes branch of Ben’s Halo-Halo Ice Cream opened within the area of Phase 3 in the subdivision. It is located between Shakey’s and Starbucks Coffee at the same side. Just steps away from it, also from the same side, is Mini-Stop convenience store.

Already, Ben’s Halo-Halo has been attracting a lot of customers and their best-selling product is, unsurprisingly, their signature halo-halo. In recent times, actor Mark Anthony Fernandez (Miracle in Cell No. 7), had been visiting the BF Homes branch to take home halo-halo not once but many times already. Out of curiosity, I decided to pay a visit and find out how good or tasty their top dessert is.

For P90, I was served with their signature Ben’s Halo-Halo in a tall glass. It came with a mix of corn, ube (purple yam), macapuno, saba, white beans, milk and leche flan.

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This is the Ben’s Halo-Halo.
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At the top of Ben’s Halo-Halo.

After carefully mixing the ingredients, I took my first serving of it. The result? It tasted really good! Then I mixed it more and took another serving to find out if the resulting taste would be better or not. It still tasted good.

The halo-halo was so good and creamy, for me, there was no need to add sweetener or milk. A dessert served like this with such a good taste is a winner already for me. Of course, anyone else who wants to have their halo-halo be added with more sugar or milk will have to ask the people behind the counter. I don’t know yet if they would charge extra.

After enjoying my dessert, I decided to look further on their menu. Apart from the Ben’s Halo-Halo, they also serve Spicy Winter Halo-Halo and Salty Summer Halo-Halo. Other classic desserts include Mais Con Yelo and Macapuno Con Yelo.

They also serve rice meals (which I will try some day) like adobo, tocino, longganisa, braised beef and chicken barbeque to name some. They also have pasta and sandwiches.

As I learned during my time there, Ben’s Halo-Halo Ice Cream originally started in the city of San Pablo in the province of Laguna. It was founded by Ben Pasco who worked as an Overseas Filipino Worker (OFW) in Italy for over a decade. During his years there, he got to work as a cook in a restaurant. After making some careful observations, becoming an entrepreneur entered his mind and he decided to go home to start a new business of his own.

More on their BF Homes branch, more people have been dining there. To say the least, it is a blessing for the BF Homes community that Ben’s Halo-Halo opened within the Phase 3 area.

I highly recommend the Ben’s Halo-Halo for those who crave for something cool and sweet (don’t forget to watch your blood sugar level).

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Visit their BF Homes branch now along 287 Aguirre Avenue and don’t forget to visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/bensbfhomes/


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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 and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments.

My Observations: Crime Incidents in Parañaque Involving Chinese Nationals to Continue Even More?

A few weeks ago, I called Parañaque City a hot spot for criminal incidents involving foreigners from China. As far as South Metro Manila is concerned, Parañaque registered 140 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals versus 54 in Las Piñas City and 19 in Muntinlupa City as per the findings of Southern Police District (SPD).

Think about it. There were 213 crime incidents involving Chinese nationals in South Metro Manila and Parañaque (the city of BF Homes subdivision, Manila Memorial Park and those lavish casinos and hotels by the bay) got almost two-thirds of that.

The trend of such crime continues to happen in the said city as confirmed by the January 20, 2020 news report by the Philippine Daily Inquirer. The report was about a police raid on a sex den inside a budget hotel that resulted the apprehension of a Chinese national who allegedly managed the place and the rescue of several Chinese women who allegedly were forced into prostitution.

Below are notable excerpts from the report.

Excerpt 1: The alleged manager of the sex den, Cai Ye Gui, also from China, was arrested. He now faces charges for violation of the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012.

Excerpt 2: A tip from one of the victims’ clients led to the rescue of 11 Chinese women allegedly forced into prostitution inside one of the branches of a budget hotel chain in Parañaque City on Sunday.

Excerpt 3: The victims claimed they were promised jobs in the country, but ended up being forced into prostitution.

Excerpt 4: Similar to other sex dens raided by authorities, the business catered exclusively to Chinese nationals, especially to men working in Philippine offshore gaming operator (Pogo) companies and their service providers. Bookings could be made through the WeChat app or in person.

So the prostitution joint was handled by a male Chinese national to cater to foreigners from China and their workers were ladies also from China who were promised jobs in the Philippines only to end up working as prostitutes against their will.

As for the app called WeChat, that is the most popular messaging app in China (according to CNBC) owned by Tencent (full corporate name Tencent Holdings Limited) which is a Chinese multinational conglomerate.

Based on the details of the Inquirer report, it seems that WeChat is used for communication and business for the raided sex den. This brings me to an excerpt from CNBC’s article…

Excerpt 1: One of the primary uses of WeChat is messaging. Just like WhatsApp, you have a list of conversations that you’re engaged in.

You can add people in a variety of ways.

When people exchange contact details in China, you often see one person scanning the other person’s phone. Each WeChat user has a unique barcode known as a QR code. One person can scan the other user’s QR code to add them to WeChat. You can also use a phone number or ID to add a person and search for people nearby.

WeChat is one of the main ways people communicate in China. Even when doing business, people prefer WeChat to email. It’s even more prevalent because services like Facebook are blocked here.

And here is a look at the commercial side of WeChat.

Excerpt 2: If you’re buying something online in China, there will be an option to purchase with WeChat Pay. You will need to put in a passcode or use a biometric authentication tool to authorize the transaction.

Instant money transfers to your WeChat contacts can also be made via the messaging function, which makes it easy to split bills or just move money around China. It is possible to be nearly cashless in China and actually go out for the day without a wallet.

If WeChat was actually used for payments (in addition to booking) for services at the sex den by Chinese users who are physically present here in the Philippine, how were they able to make it work locally? WeChat’s financial transaction feature was supposed to work only in China.

To say the least, the app made bookings convenient for Chinese nationals before visiting the illegal joint in Parañaque City. The name of the budget hotel (which had the sex den inside) was not revealed in the Inquirer report but it was described to be located near the corner of Quirino Avenue and NAIA Road.

As for the legal aspect of the latest Parañaque sex den raid involving Chinese nationals, the law enforcers and lawyers will have to figure out how to effectively apply the Expanded Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2012 on the suspects and other violators.

If found guilty, the suspects will be penalized for twenty years imprisonment and a fine of P1 million to 2P million for the act of trafficking, 15 years imprisonment and a fine of P500,000 to P1 million for attempted trafficking, and life imprisonment and a fine of P2 million to P5 million for qualified trafficking.

This latest crime makes Parañaque look bad and it is a fact that there are lots of Chinese nationals living and working in the said city.

Also let me add here the December 23, 2019 the city sisterhood agreement between Parañaque and the Chinese city of Anshan. On face value, the agreement looks like a pretty and promising way of the two cities becoming closer together. According to a Manila Standard report, the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Parañaque and Anshan should “create opportunities for mutual growth, since both cities share similar environmental protection and tourism endeavors.”

There were other objectives that include “providing for better cooperation in conducting reciprocally planned and sanctioned programs geared towards the improvement of government administration, tourism, cultural preservation, environmental protection, education, technology, arts, and the holding of various endeavors mutually beneficial to both parties.”

What needs examining here is how many tourists from Anshan (a city of more than 3 million people) will come to Parañaque for tourism, how many of those same tourists will be setting up businesses locally, how many of them will take residence in the city, and are they all willing to follow the local and nationals laws at all.

What guarantee is there that Anshan tourists will not commit any crimes in Parañaque or anywhere else in the Philippines?

If there is anything that will prevent a city or a nation from prospering and becoming more competitive with others, it is crime. Other factors that will do the same include corruption, sinister propaganda, misuse of taxpayers’ money, sub-par public service and lack of financial discipline.

It is a sad truth that Parañaque is not too competitive with other Philippine cities and was not heralded for local governance. Now the city has a crime wave involving foreigners from China.

For those of you reading this who have genuine love for the country, start praying to the Lord that the crime wave will not harm Filipino families living inside the villages. Start reading the Holy Bible and apply its lessons on your life by heart.

My Observations: Ash Monday

Here in the Philippines, Taal Volcano erupted on January 12 pushing a massive amount of volcanic ash high up into the air. A short time later, the ash spread around and reached parts of Metro Manila.

The next morning, I went out for my usual hike here in Muntinlupa City going to Filinvest City. Along the way while inside our village, the volcanic ash were around me – on the side of the roads, the sidewalks, on top the leaves of some trees and over the surfaces of vehicles parked nearby. There was also collected ash that got wet as it rained the previous night.

Then I visited the local village park and saw the following…

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At the park.
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Volcanic ash still somewhat wet on this slide.
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Look at all that wet ash.

I hiked on to Filinvest City. As light from the sun was bright enough, the ash on the road and the sidewalk became clearer. There were also prints of shoes, slippers and tire tracks spotted. I took the opportunity to photograph them.

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Lots of ash on the surface of the road in Filinvest City, Alabang.
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The view outside Commercenter.
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This guy was the first Filinvest City cleaner (he wore a Filinvest City uniform) I saw along Commerce Avenue.

I went further to Festival Mall. Unsurprisingly their roads and parking lots had lots of ash around. As I walked on, I wondered how many people with equipment they will deploy to clean up their parking spaces.

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At one of the parking lots of Festival Mall.

So I saw a lot about the volcanic ash in Alabang that morning. Certain things I saw during my morning hike reminded me a bit of what I saw back in 1991 regarding the volcanic ash Mount Pinatubo released. Metro Manila was not spared back then.

 Still nothing prepared me for the volcanic ash that I saw as I drove from Alabang to our office in Laguna via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). As many vehicles moved both ways along the highway, there as a lot of Taal Volcano’s ash the view became less visible on certain stretches.

Then I took a short stopover at one of the gas stations along the SLEX. Here is what I saw.

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So much volcanic ash on the open space.
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A maintenance worker struggles to collect the volcanic ash.

The gas station was dirty with the volcanic ash. Many cars that were there were also dirty and people, including the maintenance workers, were seen wearing face masks. I witnessed one maintenance worker near me doing clean-up work by moving the volcanic ash into a pile and then collecting them and storing them into a black garbage bag.

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More of the ash collected at the place.

Seeing him work like that made me pray that he and all other personnel assigned to do cleaning will get compensated well by their respective employers. There is so much Taal Volcano ash around, it will take quite some time and effort before achieving cleanliness.

I also pray that the victims – those who live in close proximity to Taal Volcano – will receive sufficient assistance from the local authorities as well as private donors or groups doing charity work. This is because those victims’ lives got disrupted and many of them had to leave their homes temporarily.

One credible organization to donate to is Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines which announced already its campaign to help Taal Volcano victims. Visit their website right here. Another worthy organization accepting donations is New Life Community Care.

The victims of the natural disaster need our help and prayers. Remember that.

So that’s it. January 13, 2020 will be remembered as one of the most unusual Mondays I had in many years. Given the tremendous amount of volcanic ash spotted EVERYWHERE I went that day, it is fitting for me to call the day as Ash Monday.


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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

 

 

My Observations: Not a Single Parañaque Resident Among The Many Philippine Athletes Who Won Medals in the 2019 SEA Games?

It’s been almost a month since the 2019 edition of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) hosted by the Philippines ended with resounding success. The Philippines won a total of three hundred and eighty-seven medals to finish #1 among all Southeast Asian nations. The 387 medals won are composed of 149 gold medals, 117 silver medals and 121 bronze medals.

Here in South Metro Manila (composed mainly of the cities of Parañaque, Muntinlupa and Las Piñas) there were indeed Philippine team athletes who won medals at the SEA Games who reside locally.

Shortly after the end of the premier sports event of the Southeast Asian region, the City of Las Piñas honored the SEA Games medalists among its residents by showcasing them in a special ceremony at City Hall in the presence of Mayor Imelda “Mel” Aguilar, Vice Mayor April Aguilar-Nery, City Councilors and more.

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The Las Piñas-based Philippine athletes who won at the SEA Games appeared in their respective sports uniforms and showed their medals and certificates of appreciation with the City Government officials led by Mayor Imelda Aguilar. (source – City of Las Piñas Facebook page)

The local resident athletes honored were Joseph Arcilla (Gold Medalist – Soft Tennis), Anna Alicia Katrina Castillo (Gold Medalist Women’s Basketball), Mikoff Manduriao (Gold Medalist – Soft Tennis), Russ Ashley Monville (Gold Medalist – Arnis), Erdilyn Peralta (Bronze Medalist – Soft Tennis), and Aljon Salonga (Silver Medalist – Water Polo). Not only did they attend the special ceremony at City Hall with their sports uniforms, they also brought the SEA Games medals they won. They received certificates from the City Government.

Over at the City of Muntinlupa, the City Government led by Mayor Jaime Fresnedi did its part doing the same and their SEA Games medalists attended a special ceremony – which was mainly about the City’s 102nd anniversary celebration – held at the Sports Complex in Barangay Tunasan.

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Muntinlupa City Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (3rd from right) awarded plaques of recognition to Muntinlupa athletes who snagged medals in the 2019 SEA Games last December 19 at Muntinlupa Sports Complex, Tunasan. Shown in the photo: (L-R) Congressman Ruffy Biazon, Kodo Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Keisei Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Shugen Nakano (Gold Medalist, Judo), Daryl Mercado (Bronze, Judo), Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez (Silver, Arnis), Rick Jayson Constantino Senales (Bronze, Kurash and Judo), Vice-mayor Temy Simundac, and City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela. (photo released by City Government of Muntinlupa – PIO)

The Muntinlupa-based SEA Games medalists who received honors and shared the stage with the Mayor, Vice Mayor Temy Simundac, Congressman Ruffy Biazon and City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela were Kodo Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Keisei Nakano (Bronze, Judo), Shugen Nakano (Gold Medalist, Judo), Daryl Mercado (Bronze, Judo), Ryssa Jezzel Sanchez (Silver, Arnis), and Rick Jayson Constantino Senales (Bronze, Kurash and Judo). Incentives for the said achievers were promised by the City Government.

Meanwhile in Parañaque City, there have been no signs so far that there were any Parañaque residents among the many Philippine athletes who won 2019 SEA Games medals.

Twice, I inquired about this to City Administrator Fernando “Ding” Soriano plus my other contact at the City Government. It was only yesterday that I finally received a reply from City Admin Soriano. Below is his response.

Soriano: The moment there (are) residents from (Parañaque), we will certainly give recognition and awards. 

Analyzing the words of the City Administrator, it seems that the City Government still has not yet found a single local resident among the 2019 SEA Games medalists who represented the Philippines. Previously the City Government promised rewards for any 2019 SEA Games medalist verified as a resident.

The hot questions here are:

  1. Has the City Government of Parañaque approached the 2019 SEA Games organizers for a list of Philippine Team athletes (who won medals specifically) with city addresses?
  2. If there are indeed any 2019 SEA Games medalist living in Parañaque City who  just learned about the promised rewards and recognition from the City Government, which specific office should he or she go to? Who should he or she look for?
  3. Does mayor Edwin Olivarez have time to meet Parañaque-based SEA Games medalists?

If any new updates come up, I’ll post them right here.


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. Also my fantasy book The World of Havenor is still available in paperback and e-book format. 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