San Miguel Corporation to speed up work on completing Skyway Extension

You must have heard about the opening of the northbound section (entry point at Susana Heights part of the South Luzon Expressway) of the Skyway Extension Project that happened just days ago with the presence of San Miguel Corporation (SMC) president Ramon S. Ang and Department of Highways and Public Works (DPWH) secretary Mark Villar who made final inspections that day. That’s really great news!

Here are more good news! SMC announced that it will do more with the construction of the Skyway Extension Project’s southbound section (exit also in the Susana Heights area of SLEX) and things will move at a faster pace with a 3rd quarter completion in mind.

To put things in perspective, below is the excerpt from the press release published through Philippine News Agency (PNA)…

“It’s only been a number of days since we opened the northbound section, free to the public until further notice, and already we have seen a huge improvement in traffic flow, particularly on SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) and the Alabang viaduct. That makes us even more determined to complete construction of the southbound section so this project can fully serve motorists and improve traffic and connectivity to and from the south,” SMC president Ramon S. Ang said in a statement Wednesday.

Ang said the soft-opening of the first two of the three lanes of the northbound Skyway Extension from Susana Heights to Sucat, Paranaque proved to be timely, as it coincided with the easing of quarantine restrictions.

Despite the higher volume of vehicles on the expressway, traffic has been smooth because many Class 1 vehicles now use the Skyway Extension. 

“We’re already seeing how convenient and much faster travel is now, and it will become even more evident when traffic volume picks up and starts to normalize. That is why we’d again like to ask for our motorists’ cooperation and understanding as we move towards completion of the southbound Skyway Extension,” Ang said.

As part of the next phase of construction, Ang said the Hillsborough off-ramp of the elevated southbound Skyway will be closed to traffic permanently starting April 19 at 6 a.m.

As such, vehicles coming from the elevated Skyway will now exit at the steel ramp in Alabang. Heavy traffic is expected in this area.

“Unfortunately, there is no way around it, we need to close this portion to secure the staging ground for equipment and workers and to accelerate construction and ensure the safety of our motorists. I appeal to our motorists again for their patience and understanding. We expect heavy traffic to persist for the duration of the construction, but rest assured we will do everything we can to help mitigate this, and complete the project within the timetable,” Ang said.

With this, SMC Infrastructure is advising motorists to take the following alternative routes:

Class 1 vehicles from Pasay, Makati, Manila, and Quezon City bound for SLEX and farther South

• From Skyway Elevated, keep left to Steel Ramp towards destination.

Class 1 vehicles from Pasay, Makati, Manila, and Quezon City bound for Alabang

• From Skyway – Elevated, keep right to Alabang-Zapote off-ramp.

The Skyway Extension southbound section has two lanes and runs from the Skyway Main Toll Plaza to Soldier’s Hills in Muntinlupa, with a total distance of four kilometers. 

Meanwhile, Ang reiterated that use of the northbound Skyway Extension will remain free for motorists until further notice. 

The Skyway Extension project is part of the 38-kilometer elevated Skyway System, which includes the newly-opened Skyway Stage 3, also fully-funded by SMC.

Did you enjoy the above news and details? I sure did. What San Miguel Corporation (in coordination with the national government) has been doing is already benefitting people of Metro Manila and those from both the north and south of the National Capital Region (NCR) who need to travel great distances efficiently and faster. The results will be even greater once the entire project has been completed and the benefits will be available not only to travelers and motorists today, but also for future generations of people. Check out the related Skyway video below.

That being said, SMC and the Skyway projects are great examples of capitalism making great improvements to the national infrastructure. It is clear that the private sector is essential as it has the technologies, the expertise and resources to improve the quality of life (apart from providing good paying jobs) here in the Philippines. Capitalism is essential and good, and socialism (and all its related Leftist garbage) sucks. For more insight about capitalism and socialism, watch these videos from John Stossel plus another video that debunks the Left’s propaganda that the poor got poorer.

In closing this piece, let me ask you what you do think about the latest developments about the Skyway project? If you actually traveled via the Skyway lately, how was your travel experience?

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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: Additional checkpoints in Metro Manila for ECQ (until April 4, 2021)

Are you having trouble moving around Metro Manila during this period of ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) that’s supposed to end on April 4, 2021? Were you able to study and use the S-PaSS system?

Be aware that today, additional checkpoints (AKA quarantine control points) have been added in Metro Manila.

Below is an excerpt from yesterday’s article published through Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) website. For clarity, locations of the checkpoints are in bold.

National Capital Region Police (NCRPO) Chief, Maj. Gen. Vicente Danao, Jr., said the checkpoints are implemented at Susana Heights Tollgate; Alabang Tollgate; Filinvest Tollgate; Sucat Tollgate; Bicutan Tollgate; Skyway Entry; Nichols Tollgate; and Balon Bato, Balintawak, Quezon City.

Danao said apart from these control points, about 929 other checkpoints are manned by some 7,876 personnel in highly visible areas but these are “less restrictive”, which means it is mainly for anti-criminality, anti-terrorism, and dragnet operations.

He said under ECQ, police manning checkpoints restrict the movement of persons not allowed outside their homes and facilitate the movement of authorized persons outside of residence (APORs) and essential goods and services.

For those living in the South Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Parañaque, the tollgates of Susana Heights, Alabang, Filinvest, Sucat and Bicutan should be familiar because all of them are accessed through the Skyway and the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX). I find it weird that the PNA report did not even mention the said highways.

Knowing this, I encourage you all to check the ECQ requirements for travel (note: if you still have your quarantine pass or QP, bring it with you) and study using S-PaSS (note: City Government of Las Piñas encouraged motorists to use it).

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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 City Government urges residents to be cautious in workplaces, public transportation amid rising COVID-19 cases

Recording a 65% increase in active cases over the last month, the City Government of Muntinlupa is urging city residents to remain observing health protocols especially the working class who are the subject of recent COVID-19 transmission.

Muntinlupa City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao said recent COVID-19 active cases are residents who work outside the city and may have contracted the virus in their workplaces or during their commute. Tuliao noted that most of infected employees have transmitted the virus to their family members leading to the increase of cases in the city.

As of March 7, Muntinlupa CHO recorded 129 active cases from the city’s nine barangays. Muntinlupa only has 78 active cases last February 7.

The doubling time, or the number of days for COVID-19 cases to double in number, is 28.60 days and the attack rate is at 10.46/1000 as of March 7. The average daily new cases for the past 2 weeks in Muntinlupa is 12 cases per day while the recovery rate is at 94.69%.

While the city remains to have one of the lowest COVID-19 attack rates among local government units in Metro Manila, the Muntinlupa CHO reminds the public to observe “utmost caution” especially when taking a commute in public transportation and in their workplaces. The local government is set to coordinate with companies and tricycle and jeepney operators to reinforce the implementation of health measures in their establishments and vehicles.

Recently, Muntinlupa City StaySafe.PH Task Force intensifies its contact tracing efforts through the implementation of StaySafe.PH app. Members of the Business Permits and Licensing Office has conducted inspections in various malls and other establishments to ensure full compliance to the contact tracing initiatives.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi urged city residents not to let their guard down and strictly follow minimum health protocols amid rising cases in the city.

Public reminder from the City Government. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

“The arrival of COVID-19 vaccines in the country should not give us a false sense of security. COVID-19 is still here and we should continue observing health protocols such as wearing our face mask and face shield, physical distancing, and washing of hands,” the local exec said. He also appealed to the public to refrain taking non-essential trips.

While the IATF has issued guidelines for a unified travel protocols for all local government units easing cross-border trips, the City Government eyes to impose stricter travel protocols for inbound visitors especially individuals coming from the province. Muntinlupa also supports the decision of the Metro Manila Council for the deferment of reopening cinemas due to health concerns.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

Muntinlupa City’s road clearing efforts earn positive remarks from DILG-NCR

Members of the regional validation team from the Department of the Interior and Local Government conducted a road clearing assessment in Muntinlupa and recognized the city’s efforts in maintaining cleared major and inner roads.

DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Analyn Baltazar-Cortez led the validation team with representatives from MMDA, DPWH, and NCRPO as they inspect ten (10) local roads yesterday.

ARD Cortez presented some major and minor obstructions observed by the team during their inspection and discussed recommendations for the local government’s consideration. She also lauded the visible effort to clear local roads and rehabilitate sidewalks in Muntinlupa.

“While we acknowledge that the maintenance of cleared roads is a challenging task, the efforts for road clearing is very noticeable. There is a roving vehicle for public announcement, traffic enforcers are highly visible on major intersections, and roads are generally clean and well maintained,” Cortez said.

The final rating will be released by the DILG upon completion of inspection visits in all Metro Manila local government units. Muntinlupa is the 13th LGU to be visited by the regional validation team.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi welcomed the recommendations from the DILG and ordered barangay chairmen to immediately resolve observed obstructions within their areas of jurisdiction. Fresnedi commits to continually support the National Government’s thrust in the clearing of all obstructions and rehabilitation of public roads.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi (center) welcomes the DILG regional validation team led by DILG-NCR Assistant Regional Director Atty. Analyn Baltazar-Cortez (left of Fresnedi) during an exit conference yesterday. The validation team conducted an inspection to assess the local government’s road clearing efforts. ARD Cortez recognized the visible effort to clear local roads and rehabilitate sidewalks in Muntinlupa. The final rating will be released by the DILG upon completion of inspection visits in all Metro Manila local government units. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

In 2019, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered clearing of obstructions on public roads and sidewalks, including the removal of illegal structures, illegally-parked vehicles, and illegal vending.

DILG reiterated the continuation of Road Clearing Operations through the issuance of MC 2020-145 mandating LGUs to remove road and sidewalk obstructions, craft and implement displacement plans, rehabilitate and maintain cleared roads, and create a grievance mechanism.

Under the Memorandum Circular, LGUs were enjoined to conduct road clearing operations from November 16, 2020 to January 15, 2021. It was later extended to February 15, 2021. 

The degree of implementation varies depending on the community quarantine status raised in the respective locality. For Muntinlupa, partial implementation of the road clearing’s continuation is expected as the city is under the General Community Quarantine.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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 City intensifies StaySafe.PH app contact tracing as COVID-19 cases rise

Recording a 40% increase in daily COVID-19 active cases, the City Government of Muntinlupa intensified its contact tracing efforts through the implementation of StaySafe.PH app.

The Muntinlupa City StaySafe.PH Task Force, through the Business Permits and Licensing Office, has conducted inspections in various malls and other establishments to ensure full compliance to the contact tracing initiatives.

Muntinlupa passed City Ordinance No. 2020-181 mandating the installation and use of Staysafe.PH system as an automated contact tracing through the use of QR Codes in all commercial establishments, workplaces, churches, and government offices in the city.

As of February 26, BPLO Muntinlupa has issued warning notices to at least 69 non-compliant establishments.

City Health Officer Dra. Teresa Tuliao said the intensified cooperation of city residents and business establishments in using StaySafe.PH as the local contact tracing system will help the government’s COVID-19 response efforts.

Tuliao noted that as of March 1, there were 94 recorded active cases in the city, a 40% increase over one week with 67 active cases last February 22.

Muntinlupa CHO urged city residents to continually use the StaySafe.PH app and follow health protocols such as wearing of face masks, observing physical distancing, and washing of hands.

The Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) issued MC No.2020-129 enjoining local government units to use of StaySafe.PH v.2 application system as the official social distancing, health condition reporting, and contact tracing system that will assist in the government’s response to COVID-19.

Recently, Mayor Jaime Fresnedi led the inauguration of two-storey Cupang Health Center last March 1 in a bid to improve health services for residents living in District 2. The ceremony was organizaed in celebration of Muntinlupa’s 26th Cityhood Anniversary.

In his message, the local exec assured the public of the City Government’s recovery plan and readiness for the roll-out of COVID-19 vaccines upon the delivery of supply in the city.

As of March 1, Muntinlupa has 94 active cases, 5,638 confirmed cases with 5,370 recoveries, 174 reported deaths, 37 suspect cases, and 437 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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

NSHA members elect seven directors

This past weekend, the New South Homeowners Association (NSHA) inside BF Homes subdivision, Parañaque City, organized their annual election which resulted seven winners who will serve for two years as members of the association’s board of directors (BOD).

Those who got elected in the February 27, 2021 village polls were Karen Abanilla with 45 votes, Michael Paul Togle and Bon Obial with 42 votes each, Emmanuel Malicden with 40 votes, Danilo Lesaca with 39 votes, Fred Morales with 38 votes and Christopher Baliog with 36 votes.

Three of the seven newly elected village directors posed with the official results after the counting ended.
The NSHA election committee in a group shot with the results.

The newly elected people will join the other six incumbent directors (who are due for next year) in completing the 13-member NSHA BOD and soon, they will convene and elect among themselves and come up with the new lineup of NSHA officers.

What makes the NSHA election significant this year was that it was organized with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. As such, the association took measures that would lower the risk of new infections while still allowing legitimate members to vote efficiently and safely.

The NSHA election committee (ELECOM) headed by Gerard Castro used their indoor facility (part of the clubhouse which has the office) as the key venue. ELECOM officers were inside and worked behind specific windows which the legitimate HOA members (who are outside) visited one-by-one to vote manually. Social distancing was practiced and everyone wore a face mask. At the nearby basketball court (a Golezeum), there were some plastic chairs arranged with social distancing in mind for the comfort of the voting members.

A view from outside the venue.
Windows 1 and 2 were where the legitimate members registered.
The ELECOM from inside the venue handling registration.

The election process was pretty simple: Step 1 – From waiting area go to Window 1 or 2 to register and get ballot. Step 2 – Go to designated voting area to vote your selected candidates for directors. Step 3 – Go to Window 3 to put your thumb mark on ballot and put ballot (divided in half) in ballot box.

After voting, the legitimate members were directed to go to the designated waiting area for snacks and refreshments.

A view of Window 3 from the outside.
The counting of the votes was done with transparency.

In the afternoon, the counting of votes took place inside the venue. Each vote was counted carefully and the names of the candidates who received the votes were clearly spoken. The results were certified by the ELECOM and the seven winners were proclaimed. It was indeed a transparent process.

For more updates about NSHA, visit their FB page at https://www.facebook.com/nshavillage

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For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. If you want to have your local community featured on this website or if you have a press release that needs to be published to inform the readers, please approach me. 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

For Shakey’s Philippines, 2021 will be a bounce-back year

It has been almost fifty years since Shakey’s first opened here in the Philippines and went on to become one of the most defining restaurants that families visit for very delicious meals, especially when it comes to pizza. Shakey’s has over 200 stores (both franchised and owned by the company) nationwide according to details posted in the Shakey’s Philippines website. Its strong presence in the Philippines was confirmed in 2015 when Euromonitor published a report showing that Shakey’s is the market leader in the categories of chained pizza full-service restaurants and in chained full-service restaurants. The results for both categories were 26.7% and 57.7% market shares.

Along the way, Shakey’s Philippines has a sibling business called Peri-Peri Charcoal Chicken which has a growing number of outlets. Inside BF Homes subdivision in Parañaque City, the Shakey’s branch along Aguirre Avenue has a Peri-Peri outlet right beside it.

Of course, the COVID-19 pandemic negatively affected businesses and societies in 2020. It was so severe, the Philippine economy shrank by a record 9.5%. As of this writing, a whole lot of people around the nation remain unemployed and more people fell under poverty.

The year 2021, however, will be different as far as Shakey’s Philippines is concerned. The company just announced that they will open fifteen new Shakey’s branches as well as fifteen new Peri-Peri outlets this year. These are parts of their plan to restart a store network expansion strategy that was put on hold last year due to the pandemic. Below is an excerpt from Shakey’s press release published on Philippine News Agency (PNA).

“For Shakey’s, we are looking to further strengthen the brand’s visibility and awareness, especially in underpenetrated second and third-tier cities outside of Metro Manila. For Peri, there are still a number of unserved markets which don’t have access to the brand’s great-tasting products,” Shakey’s president and chief executive officer Vicente Gregorio said.

Last 2020, the company ended with 245 Shakey’s restaurants, three of which were located abroad, and 34 Peri outlets all located in the Philippines.

It also launched a number of new offerings in select outlets including the ability for guests to ‘Park & Dine’, ‘Park & Order’, eat outdoors, and order R&B milk tea -one of the leading milk tea brands in Singapore.

“With evolving consumer habits brought about by the pandemic, our network expansion strategy has likewise adapted to ensure we maximize both our in-store and out-of-store presence. Our new openings this year will cater not only to our guests’ dine-in preference, but also their increasing need for more convenient and flexible out-of-store options,” Gregorio said.

He said Shakey’s will be unveiling a number of so-called ghost kitchens or kitchen extensions “to further strengthen our presence in delivery” at a time when off-premise channels are gaining prominence.

In the last few months, the company has been piloting a ‘31 Minute Delivery, If It’s Late, It’s Free’ guarantee in select areas in Metro Manila.

Gregorio added the company’s planned expansion this year “will come hand in hand with other exciting new business innovations that will maximize our existing asset base.”

“2021 will definitely be an exciting ‘bounce-back’ year,” he said.

As you can see in the above details, Shakey’s Philippines continues to push forward with their business and strategies even during this COVID-19 crisis. This is indeed encouraging not only for the business-minded people but also to Shakey’s many loyal customers as well as other food enthusiasts who love pizza, pasta and other meals served by the company.

In my experience, Shakey’s always serve very delicious fried chicken, mojos and spaghetti.

As Shakey’s president and CEO Gregorio stated, their company is taking steps on keeping up with the changing consumer habits and, more notably, they are making their business accessible to the consumers. In short, Shakey’s Philippines won’t allow itself to be a victim of change but rather be a part of it and keep on feeding the customers. That being said, 2021 is for them a bounce-back year.

Now that you have read this, I’d like to ask when was the last time you eat inside a Shakey’s? Have you ordered food from them lately? What is the first type of food that comes to your mind when you hear their brand?

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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

My Observations: Sigekiya’s Haruichiban Ramen

It has been quite some time since I last visited my favorite place for noodles here in Alabang. This is because mainly of the pandemic that started in March 2020 followed by a series of lockdown periods and varied forms of community quarantine. Along the way, I kept focusing on my corporate work and as a result of the social effects the pandemic had on local society, eating outside or having drinks at a coffee shop became much less frequent for me.

Very recently, I revisited Commercenter and, finally, I returned at last to Sigekiya Ramen which is a great place for Japanese meals, especially noodles (note: Sigekiya makes their own fresh noodles which always have nice texture and are always filling). For the newcomers reading this, I previously wrote my opinions about Sigekiya’s other meals like the Gojira Ramen, the Chicken Teriyakidon, the Yokohama Tantanmen, and my personal favorite the Tsukemen.  

Other than missing their great tasting food, I returned to the restaurant mainly to try out their latest offering – the Haruichiban Ramen.

The Haruichiban Ramen with a nice presentation!

Shortly after taking my seat inside, I ordered one Haruichiban Ramen which was priced at P300 (introductory price) and it was served to me in less than ten minutes time. It came in a regular-sized bowl which was still large in terms of containing all the content. Right from the start, the Haruichiban Ramen was hot and it had a very nice smell.

As this was my first time to have Haruichiban Ramen, I slowly examined it and noticed it had a brown looking soup with Sigekiya-made noodles under it, an entire boiled egg slashed into two, vegetables and a nice serving of pork. Everything was well prepared!

A closer look…

Then I started consuming the soup. It was delicious! To be specific, it had a strong flavor and I felt the taste of garlic. This is no ordinary soup. It’s really something made with careful mixing of ingredients with the goal of giving customers a delicious and unique experience. According to the Sigekiya waitress I talked with, the soup for Haruichiban Ramen has the taste on tonkotsu combined with miso and shoyu. Minced garlic was a key ingredient.

From that point on, I went on to consume the rest.

The noodles made by Sigekiya are always nice and filling to eat with the rest of the meal!

Ultimately, I really enjoyed Haruichiban Ramen. In fact, I love it and I would not hesitate to come back for it again in one of my future visits at Sigekiya. Haruichiban Ramen is very delicious and since it has Sigekiya’s own ramen combined with a nice serving of vegetables and the pork serving, it was easily filling. For the P300 I paid, I got great taste and satisfaction in return.

That being said, Sigekiya’s Haruichiban Ramen is highly recommended!

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Thank you for reading. If you find this article engaging, please click the like button below and also please consider sharing this article to others. If you are looking for a copywriter to create content for your special project or business, check out my services and my portfolio. Feel free to contact me 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 Wonder Woman #16 (1988)

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

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, literature enthusiasts, comic book collectors and fans of Wonder Woman! Reflecting on my previous retro comic book review, I can only imagine how disturbing it could be to me personally if there was a big event meant for a charitable purpose which gets overshadowed with the presentation making me the greater highlight.

That’s precisely what happened in Wonder Woman #15 (1988). As soon as Princess Diana/Wonder Woman arrived at the fair (which involves Myndi Mayer’s big-time publicity work and promotions) named after her (note: the Wonder Woman Fair was conceptualized for the benefit of needy children), she was astounded at first to see so many people anticipating her arrival. When she notices the gigantic poster with her image on it, she got disturbed by it.

“Look at the poster,” Wonder Woman thought to herself. “It’s almost as if they worship me! Yet I still find all this exploitation somewhat embarrassing!”

For the newcomers reading this, the post-Crisis Wonder Woman is a native of Themyscira which has a population of women called Amazons, led by her mother Queen Hippolyte. While her status among her fellow Amazons is notably very high, there are publicity gimmicks and no merchandising of her in Themyscira. Truly the world of man is vastly different to her.

To find out what happens next, let’s take a look back at Wonder Woman #16, published in 1988 by DC Comics with a story written by George Perez and the late Len Wein. Perez did the layouts while Bob Smith did the finishes.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins with people disrupted by the Silver Swan’s presence at the Wonder Woman Fair, a gala event organized on behalf of the needy children of Boston. Due to the Silver Swan’s sonic attack, the Ferris wheel begins to fall apart causing Wonder Woman to intervene and help those riding it.

As Steve Trevor successfully saved a passenger from falling to pavement, armed people (including two police officers) fired their guns at the Silver Swan who is protected by the protective shield made by her low-level humming. At another location in the fair, Maxine Sterenbuch sits by a tree tearfully agonizing over how her dear friend Valerie Beaudry became the Silver Swan all because of Henry C. Armbruster.

While in the air, Valerie realizes that it is her fault that people’s lives are in danger. Her objective was to hit Wonder Woman who proved too fast for her. Behind the scenes at a secret facility, Henry C. Armbruster tells Valerie to calm down and prepare for a level 3 force blast.

Then she screams so powerfully…

Quality

The conflict between Wonder Woman and Silver Swan is very engaging to read.

Let’s start with the writing. The story is a nice mix of superhero spectacle, intrigue and has some elements of science fiction. As a story set after Diana’s return to man’s world, it is a worthy conclusion to the events that started in issue #15. The conflict between Wonder Woman and the Silver Swan is laced with espionage and intrigue, and the arrogant Armbruster is the main force of evil behind the scenes. The spotlight on Maxine Sterenbuch was understandably reduced this time around as the conflict between Silver Swan and Wonder Woman took center stage.

As a story set after the Challenge of the Gods storyline, this comic book continues the further development of Diana as she endures the challenges of not just dealing with the people, places and events around her in man’s world but also the feelings she starts developing for one of the major superheroes of the DC universe. More on her development, Diana experiences for the first time the consequence that comes with being a celebrated figure in man’s world and she realizes that doing charity is much harder to fulfill.

When it comes to Valerie/Silver Swan, she is indeed an interesting rival opposite Wonder Woman although her lack of freedom and will prevents her from reaching her true potential as an anti-hero figure. To find out why, I urge you to read this comic book.

Conclusion

Early in the comic book…

Wonder Woman #16 (1988) is another solid post-Crisis Wonder Woman story as it further highlights a modernized Silver Swan and portrays her as an interesting form of opposition against the title character. The battle and interactions between the two are really engaging to read. As mentioned earlier, it is nice conclusion to the events that started in issue #15 and succeeds in further developing Diana as she spends more time in man’s world.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #16 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the regular edition costs $33 while the near-mint copy of the newsstand edition costs $70.

Overall, Wonder Woman #16 (1988) is highly recommended!

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StaySafe.ph app formally launched by Muntinlupa City and DOH

In an effort to strengthen its COVID-19 response and contact tracing efforts, the City Government of Muntinlupa in partnership with the Department of Health recently launched the Staysafe.PH app as the official digital contact tracing system in the city and will implement a “No QR Code, No Entry Policy” in all local establishments.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi, Department of Health exec Dr. Anatoly de los Santos, and other local officials led the launching event at Festival Mall Alabang this past Friday.

Mayor Jaime Fresnedi personally scanned the QR code using the StaySafe.ph app at Festival Mall, Filinvest City, Alabang. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)
Mayor Fresnedi delivering his remarks during the launch event inside Festival Mall. (source – Muntinlupa PIO)

Fresnedi said the adoption of StaySafe.PH in Muntinlupa was executed in compliance with the national government’s recommendation for a uniformed contact tracing system to prevent further COVID-19 transmission, especially with the detection of the B.1.1.7. SARS-CoV-2 variant (UK variant) in the country.

Also joining the ceremony were Congressman Ruffy Biazon, City Health Officer Dra. Maria Teresa Tuliao, Filinvest Land senior vice president Joselito Santos, Committee on Health and Sanitation chairman Coun. Allan Rey Camilon, City Administrator Engr. Allan Cachuela, MultiSys Technologies Corporation CEO David Almirol, and other local executives.

Following the launch event, members of the Muntinlupa City StaySafe.Ph Task Force will conduct an city-wide inspection to ensure compliance of local public and private establishments.

Muntinlupa City Council passed City Ordinance No. 2020-181 mandating the installation and use of Staysafe.PH system as an automated contact tracing through the use of QR Codes in all commercial establishments, workplaces, churches, and government offices in the city.

All residents and visitors who will enter, work, or do business in all indoor or enclosed public and private establishments in Muntinlupa shall be required to download and register at the StaySafe.PH application and secure a unique QR Code which they can store on their phone or print for physical copy. QR Codes for non-smartphone user registrants shall be generated by their respective barangays and shall be distributed to where the registrant resides.

Under the local ordinance, all establishments in the city are mandated to designate personnel to ensure each individual who will enter their premises possesses a StaySafe.PH unique personal QR Code. All customers, visitors, and employees of the public and private establishments shall not be allowed entry unless they present their own QR Code.

Allowing other person to use an individual’s unique QR Code to gain entry into the premises of the covered establishment and intentionally registering more than once for the purpose of possessing more than one unique personal QR Code shall be prohibited. Covered establishments shall be required to transmit a copy of their digital log book to the City Health Office on a daily basis for data integration.

For non-compliant establishments, violators will be charged with P2,000 penalty and suspension of franchise or business permit until violation has been rectified for first offense, P3,000 for second offense, and suspension or revocation of franchise or business permit including a P5,000 penalty for the third offense. In case the offender is a government official or employee, the maximum penalty shall be imposed including the filing of administrative, civil, or criminal action.

Recently, the Department of the Interior and Local Government issued MC No.2020-129 enjoining local government units to use of StaySafe.PH v.2 application system as the official social distancing, health condition reporting, and contact tracing system that will assist in the government’s response to COVID-19.

As of January 28, 2021, Muntinlupa City has 64 active cases, 5,326 confirmed cases with 5,094 recoveries, 168 reported deaths, 71 suspect cases, and 389 probable cases.

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The above information was provided by the City Government of Muntinlupa for the purpose of public information and transparency. Some parts were edited for this website.

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