The new normal for bread from the local bakeries?

Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? In my experience, I love the pandesal of Mang Pandesal located along Tropical Avenue, BF International in Las Piñas City.  When I first visited them in 2019, they sold pieces of pandesal at P2 each. That is no longer the case anymore. Two days ago, I visited Mang Pandesal ang bought 20 pieces of pandesal at P2.50 each. That’s a total of P50.

Do the math, P2.50 is a notable increase of 25% over the previous price of P2 per pandesal which lasted for years at Mang Pandesal. While I still will buy pandesal from Mang Pandesal (note: they’re still the best in the BF Homes community), I am more conscious about how many pieces to buy each time I visit them.

Even as our country continues to struggle to recover from the COVID-19 crisis socially and economically, we have no choice but to face the new normal of bread from the local bakeries…a new normal of higher prices and/or smaller sizes of bread. There are both internal and external economic forces that have been affecting the many local bakeries around the Philippines. High fuel prices are just the tip of the iceberg, literally.

To put things in perspective, posted below is an excerpt from a recent Manila Bulletin article. Some parts in boldface…

Expect local bread to get smaller but become more expensive at the same time.

Albay 2nd district Rep. Joey Salceda made this rather depressing prediction as wheat, eggs, and sugar–all vital ingredients to breadmaking–have all shot up in price.

Salceda even has a clever word for it: “shrinkflation”.

“Bread will probably be the hardest hit by shrinkflation. Wheat prices have increased by 165 percent. At that point, breadmakers will probably both increase prices and shrink sizes,” the economist-solon said in a statement Sunday night, July 17.

Last March, Salceda warned of higher bread prices amid the Russia-Ukraine conflict, which affected the trade of wheat.

Egg prices are also threatening to go out of control. Sugar supply is already problematic, noted the Bicolano.

“What we are likely to see us shrinkflation. Goods getting smaller instead of higher prices,” he noted.

Salceda said that while the government continues to try to control price hikes and resolve supply issues, manufacturers and millers can “fortify their products with vitamins and minerals”.

“Nutrition should be part of Science for Change, which is the DOST’s (Department of Science and Technology) flagship program. This should be one of the most relevant and immediate applications.

“Secretary [Fortunato] dela Pena also asked millers and breadmakers to consider other alternatives and additives to maintain nutritional value without increasing prices or reducing sizes significantly…So, in the meantime, while we solve the structural issues affecting price and supply, we can adapt,” the lawmaker said.

Pieces of pandesal.

Meanwhile, the Malaya Business Insight recently published an article about the struggle of community bakers. Posted below is an excerpt of their article with some parts in boldface…

Community bakers have lost 20 percent of their members due to the twin effects of the pandemic and rising raw material prices.

Princess Lunar, director of the Asosasyon ng Panaderong Pilipino, told the Balitaan sa Maynila yesterday, the fair price of pandesal should be P4 per piece to maintain its quality but bakers continue to sell at P2 to P2.50  but the size has considerably shrank to 18 grams.

Lunar said at P4, pandesal size can be restored to 30 g.

While pandesal is not a regulated commodity, community bakers cannot increase their prices because of competition among themselves as well as with commercial and industrial bakers which have economies of scale.

She said the group plans to come up with variants of pandesal at a much  bigger size  enhanced with more nutritious ingredients from agricultural crops like potato, cassava and other starches. The group plans to sell this at P8 to P10 per piece.

The value-added product can help elevate the stature of the pandesal which Lunar has termed as the “pambansang tinapay.”

She appealed to government to assist the group in conducting trainings to improve further the quality of their breads especially pandesal and ensure its sustainability.

Lunar said prior to the pandemic, about 40 percent of the flour requirements for bread go to community bakers. This has since shrank to 19 percent.

Lunar said from P785 per bag, the price of flour has gone up to P1,000. Since January when the Russia-Ukraine crisis started, the price of flour has gone up by P100 to P150 per bag.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you been paying more for pandesal at your local bakery? Does each pandesal piece look smaller in terms of size and content in relation to what you paid for? Are you willing to pay P4 per piece of pandesal? Are there any bakeries in your local community that shut down recently? Apart from pandesal, what other types of bread do you buy from your local community bakery?

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

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

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 X-Men Adventures Season II #4 (1994)

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

Note: Since this retro review mentions both Russia and Ukraine, I encourage you all to help the people of Ukraine (whose lives have been disrupted by Russian forces) by donating to the Ukraine Appeal project of Hillsong Church. Donate now at https://hillsong.com/appeal/

Welcome back, superhero enthusiasts, 1990s culture enthusiasts, X-Men fans and comic book collectors! Today we revisit the X-Men Adventures monthly series which was a literary adaptation of the famous X-Men animated series of the 1990s.

To be more specific, we examine a tale of the major X-Men villain Omega Red within the monthly series adaptation of the 2nd season of the animated series. Take note that I previously reviewed X-Men #4 (1991), X-Men #5 (1992) and X-Men #6 (1992) which told the first tale of Omega Red who turned out to have a history of conflict with Wolverine decades prior.

With those details laid down, here is a look back at X-Men Adventures Season II #4, published by Marvel Comics in 1994 with a story by Ralph Macchio and drawn by John Herbert.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the Caucasus located between Ukraine and Georgia. Inside, a group of people work on a scientific operation resulting a power surge. The surge then causes a stasis chamber’s glass to crack. Moments later, Omega Red emerges and he has clear knowledge about who restrained him, who the government leaders and what happened to the Russian empire. He declares that the Russian empire shall live again. In Moscow, three high ranking military officers discuss their secret plan on restoring the Soviet Union. It turns out, the return of Omega Red is the first step for their ambitious plan.

In America, Jubilee encounters a group of activists who hate mutants inside a convenience store. Peter Rasputin/Colossus, the Russian mutant who encountered the X-Men sometime prior, comes into the store to help Jubilee. Afterwards, Jubilee and Colossus travel to Charles Xavier’s mansion – Xavier’s School for Gifted Children – and discuss important matters. He tells her that Omega Red has emerged in Russia and he need to speak to Professor X. It turns out, Xavier disappeared some weeks prior.

As the situation is so desperate for Colossus, he asks Jubilee if she would help him in his struggle to save his nation. Jubilee makes a hasty decision to do so and leaves a handwritten note telling her teammates that she is off to Russia…

Quality

Colossus and Jubilee in Russia.

While this comic book’s cover art easily reminds me of the Wolverine-Omega Red confrontation on the cover of X-Men #5 (1992), the story here is more varied than that mentioned comic book drawn by Jim Lee. As this is an adaptation of the X-Men animated series episode titled “Red Dawn”, it is not surprising to see the spotlight being divided by many characters.

Omega Red, who has been declared as one of the greatest X-Men villains ever, has a somewhat strong presence serving as the main figure of opposition against Charles Xavier’s team as well as the surviving elite remnant of the Soviet Union. Quite amusingly, Omega Red is totally loyal to the Russian empire similar to how James Bond is very loyal to England and the queen. In comparison to issues #4 to #6 of the X-Men monthly series, the history of conflict between Omega Red and Wolverine was very lightly portrayed.  

Wolverine and Omega Red in battle!

As mentioned earlier, the spotlight is shared a lot by many characters which results a lack of a true protagonist among the X-Men. This is not necessarily a problem as Omega Red’s presence had enough strength. The other Russian Colossus, who at the start of the story has not yet joined the X-Men, got a good share of the spotlight among the good guys and that results some quick and efficient exposition to get readers oriented with him, his family and how he became an outcast in his nation because of his mutation.

The plot itself is light on details which is not surprising due to the high amount of exposition which includes a geopolitical look at the remaining loyalists of the Soviet Union living in Russia which saw some of its regions transformed into republics. With regards to superhero spectacle, this one has a good amount of action and I can easily say the biggest attraction is the fight between Wolverine and Omega Red. Just don’t expect it to be as extensive nor as detailed as the ones Jim Lee drew in the adjective-less X-Men series.  

Conclusion

John Herbert’s take on Omega Red was carefully crafted.

X-Men Adventures Season II #4 (1994) is a fun superhero story to read and I find its portrayal of the Wolverine-Omega Red conflict to be interesting knowing it was not part of comic book canon of the time. Apart from the mentioned conflict, there is something for X-Men fans to enjoy here such as Colossus’ return and his new interactions with the X-Men, how Omega Red’s presence causes danger in Russia, and the current whereabouts of Charles Xavier. Lastly, I should state that John Herbert’s art style is engaging to look at and he made Omega Red look intimidating.

Overall, X-Men Adventures Season II #4 (1994) is recommended!

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Almost 11,000 patients received 2nd booster shots in Muntinlupa City

As new COVID-19 infections in Metro Manila keep rising, the City Government of Muntinlupa announced through its health office that almost 11,000 people have received their 2nd booster shots locally, according to a Manila Bulletin news report. Along the way, the number of Muntinlupa City patients described as fully vaccinated has reached over 500,000.

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

Nearly 11,000 people have been given their second booster shot in Muntinlupa, the City Health Office (CHO) reported.

As of June 17, 10,972 individuals have been given the second booster shot out of the 141,449 who got their first booster shot or 7.75 percent.

Of the 10,972 recipients, 2,168 came from Barangay Putatan, 1,254 from Ayala Alabang, 1,182 from Alabang, 1,103 from Tunasan, 1,046 from Cupang, 1,014 from Poblacion, 710 from Sucat, 463 from Bayanan, and 157 from Buli. A total of 1,875 recipients were unclassified.

The total number of first booster recipients is 31.96 percent of the target population of 441,517, or 80 percent of the total population of 553,146.

There are 501,452 individuals who are fully vaccinated in Muntinlupa, or 113.32 percent of the target population.

Among 12 to 17 years old, a total of 49,594 have been fully vaccinated, or 71.85 percent of the total population of 56,499.

The Department of Health (DOH) has approved giving booster shots to 12 to 17 years old but guidelines have yet to be released.

In addition, 16,080 minors aged five to 11 have been fully vaccinated in Muntinlupa, or 23.58 percent of the total population of 68,198.

Having read the above news report excerpt, I encourage you to get vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19 whenever you have the chance. Be aware that the anti-vaccine fanatics here in the Philippines are spreading their deceptive propaganda to fool people from getting vaccinated/boosted. Be aware that anti-vaccine fanatics themselves have NO REAL SOLUTIONS AGAINST COVID-19 itself.

To all Muntinlupa City residents reading this, if you need to get vaccinated or boosted for COVID-19, you should contact MunCoVac as soon as possible.

More on the aspect of immunizing people around the country, I can only hope that the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos will reach out to Russia to acquire new supplies of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines as they registered strong resistance against the more infectious Omicron variant.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: If you are a Muntinlupa City resident who already received your first booster shot (following the first two doses that made you a fully vaccinated patient), have you checked with the local authorities to find out if you are eligible for the 2nd booster shot? Did you encounter any anti-vaccine fanatic online or in person lately?

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

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

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: Joint study reveals that Sputnik V demonstrates 97% efficacy against Omicron-caused hospitalization following revaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V

Recently, a study (involving Russian scientists including representatives of the City Clinical Hospital No. 67 and the Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology) revealed that the Russian vaccine Sputnik V demonstrated 97% efficacy against hospitalization caused by the Omicron variant following revaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V, according to a press release published online.

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

The Gamaleya National Research Center of Epidemiology and Microbiology (Gamaleya Center) today announced that Vaccines, the leading peer-reviewed medical journal, has published the results of a joint study conducted by team of scientists including representatives of Moscow’s City Clinical Hospital No. 67 named after L.A. Vorokhobov and the Gamaleya Center showing the two-dose Sputnik V vaccine is 97% effective against hospitalisation caused by the Omicron variant of coronavirus (B.1.1.529) among those vaccinated with 3 or 4 components (re-vaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V after Sputnik V).

The corresponding article has been peer-reviewed and is available at:

https://www.mdpi.com/2076-393X/10/6/938/htm

The study was conducted from 11 January to 21 February 2022 involving over 1,000 patients in Moscow. Sputnik V showed high efficacy against hospitalisation at 85.9% among patients vaccinated with at least one component. Efficacy among those vaccinated with 3 or 4 components (re-vaccination with Sputnik Light or Sputnik V after Sputnik V) rose to:

o   97% against any cases of hospitalisation;

o   97.7% against moderate-severe and more severe cases;

o   98.6% against severe and critical cases;

o   99.4% against critical cases.

As authors note, “the study shows that vaccination with Sputnik V and Sputnik Light has a high effectiveness for protection against hospitalisation. The reduction in the severity of COVID-19 regarding the Omicron variant was also observed. The greatest effectiveness was evident in protection against a critical course of the disease requiring patients to be admitted to the intensive care unit.”

While it is very difficult to talk about Russia-related matters due to the ongoing Russia-Ukraine war (note: help the people of Ukraine by donating through Hillsong Church online), it is important to focus on what Sputnik vaccines are able to do as the whole world continues to struggle to bounce back from the COVID-19 crisis economically, socially and medically. With regards to my native Philippines, the daily count of new COVID-19 infections has gone up nationwide in recent times. The Metro Manila cities of Muntinlupa and Pasig each had their own shares of increased new COVID-19 infections.

I can only hope that the incoming administration of President-elect Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr., will consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light even though the national authorities are trying to balance supply of COVID-19 vaccines with the rather slugging public response in terms of getting vaccinated or boosted at their local vaccination sites. The formulation behind Sputnik V and Sputnik Light should be strongly considered when it comes to immunizing as many Filipinos as possible from COVID-19, including the more infectious Omicron variant and its sub-variants.  

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this new development? Have you ever been vaccinated or boosted with a Sputnik vaccine? Did you receive at least two doses of Sputnik V already? Does your local vaccination site have Sputnik V or Sputnik Light in supply right now? Did anyone from the anti-vaccine fanatics community turn violent against you because you refused to believe in them?

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

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

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

Better than Streaming: Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray coming out on August 16, 2022

Welcome back, fellow geeks, Blu-ray collectors and movie buffs! If you are sick and tired of the modern-day wokeness-filled garbage of Communist Hollywood (Commiewood) and if you are nostalgic about 1980s Hollywood cinema, then you should be interested to learn that the Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray will be released on August 16, 2022 and already pre-orders are being accepted online.

Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray is set for an August 16, 2022 release.

According to the Blu-ray.com page of the movie, Red Dawn 4K Blu-ray disc will have native 4K visuals and a brand new 4K restoration of the film from its original negative has been reported. These details are very much welcome because I have Red Dawn on Blu-ray disc (1080p) and its visuals were not very good. Moving forward, posted below are the specs for Red Dawn 4K Blu-ray

Video

Codec: HEVC / H.265

Resolution: Native 4K (2160p)

HDR: Dolby Vision, HDR10

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Original aspect ratio: 1.85:1

Audio

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 (48kHz, 24-bit)

English: DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 (48kHz, 24-bit)

Subtitles – English SDH

Discs – 4K Ultra HD, Blu-ray Disc, Two-disc set (1 BD-100, 1 BD-50)

Packaging – Slipcover in original pressing, Inner print

Playback – 4K Blu-ray: Region free, 2K Blu-ray: Region A (B, C untested)

For the newcomers reading this, Red Dawn is a 1984 action movie directed by John Milius that explores what would happen in America – specifically at a Colorado town surrounded by wilderness – once World War III breaks out and the nation gets invaded by the Soviet Union (Russians) and their South American Commies. A small group of teenagers manage to escape the invasion of their town and moved into the wilderness with limited supplies to survive with. As the Leftists impose order in the town, the group slowly organizes itself into a force of opposition with one objective: freedom.

This movie starred the late Patrick Swayze, Charlie Sheen, C. Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson and Jennifer Grey when they were much younger. As the 1980s had lots of Hollywood movies about teenagers presented in comedies and drama films, Red Dawn easily stands out among them all as it deals a very serious concept related to the Cold War back then. Its story is a powerful reminder that Communists and the Satanic Left are essentially evil.

Given the fact that America today has several millions of young people brainwashed by socialists in schools, the fact that Leftist terrorists groups like Black Lives Matter (BLM) and Antifa are tearing down American society, the fact that Hollywood has lots of Commies and SJWs among its members, the fact that gun owners’ rights are being attacked a lot by the Left, the fact that Democrats prioritize illegal immigrants over American citizens, and the fact that lots of politicians abuse their governmental powers to emphasize socialism, Communism, Marxism and other wicked values on the people, Red Dawn of 1984 is still highly relevant. This is the movie that liberals and people poisoned with political correctness cannot tolerate. Watch out for Red Dawn Collector’s Edition 4K Blu-ray on August 16, 2022.

In closing this Better than Streaming piece, posted below are Red Dawn-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

If you wish to join a group of movie enthusiasts and talk about cinema, visit the Movie Fans Worldwide Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/322857711779576

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

Hillsong Church raises and distributes over $630,000 in assistance for Ukrainians

This past March, I posted about the launch of Hillsong Church’s special assistance – referred to as the Ukraine Appeal – for the people of Ukraine whose lives got disrupted by Russia’s invasion of their country. If you are eager to donate some of your loose cash online to help the Ukrainians through Hillsong Church, then click right here.

This past Saturday, Hillsong Church posted on its official Facebook page the latest update about their Ukraine Appeal. They have already raised hundreds of thousands of Dollars and their churches in Europe are also involved in the assistance for the people of Ukraine. To those who already donated to Hillsong’s Ukraine Appeal, I urge you to read the details closely.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the Hillsong Church FB post. Some parts in boldface…

Since Hillsong launched its Ukraine appeal 4 weeks ago across our churches globally, we have raised and distributed over $630,000 in supporting humanitarian aid within the region.

We have secured several large warehouses in Ukraine and Poland with a steady flow of Humanitarian Aid, which is in the process of being established to ensure they are filled and distributed to those in need.

• As a first step, three tons of food supplies will be shipped to the Ukraine Warehouses this week.

We have sent two thousand mattresses to Ukraine, helping people in bunkers and metropolitan stations.

• Our Hillsong Kyiv Staff and team have assisted those in our church, mostly women and children, who have fled to Warsaw in acquiring accommodation, food, supplies and military protection vests.

Together with Hillsong Kyiv we set up close communication to our other European locations to connect more people fleeing to find a place where they can ‘call home’ and be taken care of through our Church and Churches that we are in relationship with. Due to the overcrowding of cities like Warsaw, this has been crucial and now the Hillsong team in Warsaw can host Women, Children & Seniors nights for fellowship and connection.

• Another praise report was the opportunity to host twenty of the women now in Warsaw for the opening night of Hillsong Colour Conference and spend precious moments worshipping and hearing God’s word together.

• In Hillsong Berlin, after three weeks of hosting families with people from our Church Community, an opportunity emerged through a Church member to utilise a Guest House which is no longer in use. This facility will accommodate forty spaces for the coming months with eight families living there now.

• The Hillsong Berlin community has supported these families with the registration process, basic supplies, process of applying for schooling and funding.

Hillsong Sweden is assisting with a full project on the ground to house and serve refugees.

Thank you to our global Hillsong church for your generosity and giving in supporting these efforts through our Ukraine Appeal.

It is indeed delightful to read the above details. Hillsong Church did not just collect the donations but also coordinated with its churches in Europe to make the varied forms of assistance for the affected Ukrainians really progress and make positive impact.

If you intend to donate to Hillsong’s Ukraine Appeal and become part of the collective effort to help those in need, take a close look at the bible scriptures below…

When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.

Romans 12:13 (NLT)

Take a constant interest in the needs of God’s beloved people and respond by helping them. And eagerly welcome people as guests into your home.

Romans 12:13 (TPT)

Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:16 (NKJV)

Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,

    and God pays back those loans in full.

Proverbs 19:17 (MSG)

I encourage all of you reading this to donate to the Ukraine Appeal, click https://hillsong.com/appeal/

Pray to the Lord for Ukraine and its people so that the suffering will end. Pray also to Him for Russia’s leaders to be enlightened and make the decision to stop their military operations in Ukraine and leave the nation entirely. Always remember that only God can lift up the persecuted and restore them fully. Keep believing in that! Keep on reading the Holy Bible, then pray in tongues to the Lord in the privacy of your room with the door shut.

For more about Hillsong Church, visit https://hillsong.com/ and their official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/hillsong

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Note: Hillsong logo is a property of Hillsong Church.

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

High time for Philippines to use nuclear power to ensure clean, abundant and affordable energy for the people

Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and the other economic and geopolitical developments related to it caused oil prices to spike. Here in the Philippines, the latest round of fuel price hikes resulted in diesel averaging around P65 per liter while unleaded gasoline is now past the P70/liter mark. Inevitably, the spike in crude oil prices will lead to a series of increases on food, transportation, delivery services, electricity and more.

Inflation really affects everyone and as far as the Philippines is concerned, the timing is really bad because Metro Manila and other parts of the country under Alert Level 1 status is experiencing a revival of commerce and increased number of people moving around. Along the way, the national average of new COVID-19 cases has been averaging in the hundreds the past several days.

Times like these, major decisions on ensuring abundant, clean and affordable energy for the Philippines are needed. In relation to this, President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed a major executive order (EO) that includes nuclear power for the country’s energy mix, the Philippine News Agency (PNA) reported.

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

President Rodrigo Duterte has signed Executive Order (EO) 164 that now includes the potential of nuclear power in the country’s energy mix.

Released on Thursday, EO 164 was signed by the Chief Executive last February 28.

This policy is the start of the national nuclear power program,” said Department of Energy (DOE) Undersecretary Gerardo Erguiza Jr. in a press conference.

Under the new policy, it stated that the country “shall ensure the peaceful use of nuclear technology anchored on critical tenets of public safety, national security, energy self-sufficiency, and environmental sustainability”.

Duterte issued the policy following the recommendation of the Nuclear Energy Program Inter-Agency Committee (NEP-IAC), which conducted a pre-feasibility study and public consultation on the matter.

Through EO 164, the Chief Executive has recognized that nuclear power can be a reliable, cost-competitive, and environment-friendly source of energy based on the experience of highly developed countries.

For the country to achieve its sustained growth targets, it must ensure that it has a reliable, secure, sustainable, quality and affordable electricity supply, including sufficient reserve to guarantee that there will be no disruptions in the power supply,” the policy read.

It added the use of nuclear energy will address the increasing demand for clean energy, rising by 4.4 percent annually, or an additional capacity of 68 gigawatts by 2040.

The EO still included the Bataan Nuclear Power Plant (BNPP) in the national nuclear program, but other nuclear power installations will be pursued.

The BNPP was the only nuclear power plant in the region during the 1980s, as the Philippines was one of the first Southeast Asian countries to embark on a nuclear energy program.

However, the project was mothballed because of corruption allegations and safety concerns on the use of nuclear energy.

A study conducted by Russia State Atomic Energy Corporation (ROSATOM) in 2017 said the rehabilitation of BNPP will require around USD3 billion to USD4 billion.

The public is also becoming more open to the potential of nuclear energy.

“(A) Public Perception Survey on Nuclear Energy in 2019 indicated that almost 79 percent of Filipinos expressed approval or acceptability of the possible use or rehabilitation of an existing nuclear power plant,” the EO said.

The above report ended stating that 65% (of those who took the survey) approved the construction of new nuclear power plants and 78% are open to learning more about nuclear energy.

Of course, there is still this long-lasting fear and paranoia about nuclear power being too dangerous for the Philippines to have. Nuclear-related disasters like the one in Fukushima (2011) and Chernobyl (1986) are still remembered and there are also lots of anti-nuclear activists who continue to make noise.

No matter what those climate change extremists, social justice warriors (SJWs), modern day socialists and anti-nuclear power activists say, nothing changes the fact that nuclear power is the answer to meet nations’ constant demand for energy that is also clear, abundant and cost efficient. Watch and learn from the videos below…

Going back to the executive order Duterte signed, Albay Representative Joey Salceda (who is the chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee) and presidential candidate Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos, Jr. support nuclear power gave their respective reactions (click here and here).

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about nuclear power as an added option for the Philippines energy mix? Are you still worried about nuclear power being too dangerous because the people who oppose it scared you? Are you able to tell if the anti-nuclear activists have been spreading lies and misinformation just to manipulate you to oppose nuclear power?

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

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

Help the Ukrainians by donating to the Ukraine Appeal of Hillsong Church now!

War is tragedy. No matter what caused the war and no matter what political ideologies clashed, there will always be victims left and right. Over there in Europe, there is a war between Ukraine and Russia (the invader) going on and already many Ukrainians saw their lives disrupted and filled with uncertainties. The war is already affecting the global economy which is very unfortunate because much of the world is still struggling to recover from the COVID-19 crisis.

Over in Australia, Hillsong Church officially launched the Ukraine Appeal online. The Ukraine Appeal is an act of emergency to help the Ukrainians. It is also notable that Hillsong Church has its own church there in Ukraine – Hillsong Kiev.

To put things in perspective, posted below is Hillsong Church’s message emphasizing the Ukraine Appeal…

After weeks of escalating tensions, on February 24, Russia orchestrated a military invasion of Ukraine. Hundreds of thousands of people have fled their homes to neighbouring countries, the capital of Kyiv is under siege and thousands are sheltering in any place of safety they can find.

Globally, our hearts and prayers go out to our Hillsong church family in Kyiv. As such, Hillsong Global has launch an emergency appeal so our church family world-wide can support @hillsongkiev as they continue to assess the needs of their community in very rapidly changing and difficult circumstances. Giving is non-tax deductible for non-USA residents.

Please continue to pray for the people of Ukraine and Russia and @hillsongkiev as they endeavour to respond to the needs; for these hostilities to cease, and for a lasting peace to ensue.

Thank you for your generosity to the people of Ukraine.

If you have decided to help the Ukrainians through Hillsong Church’s Ukraine Appeal, then head on to https://hillsong.com/appeal/

Do not forget to also pray for the people of Ukraine who are struggling a lot in this new crisis. In case you missed the news videos and details recently published by CBN News covering the situation over there, there are lots Ukrainian Christians who are strongly worshipping and trusting in God. They are not giving up in their faith in Him even though there is danger around them. These details alone should convince you to pray for Ukraine and help them by donating through Hillsong Church’s Ukraine Appeal. Also pray for the Russians and for Russia’s leaders to look up to God, realize their destructive method is very wrong and stop the invasion.

Let me end this post with the bible scriptures below. Certain lines in boldface…

This is what the Lord says: Be fair-minded and just. Do what is right! Help those who have been robbed; rescue them from their oppressors. Quit your evil deeds! Do not mistreat foreigners, orphans, and widows. Stop murdering the innocent!

Jeremiah 22:3 (NLT)

Love empowers us to fulfill the law of the Anointed One as we carry each other’s troubles.

Galatians 6:2 (TPT)

My times are in Your hand;

Deliver me from the hand of my enemies,

And from those who persecute me.

Psalm 31:15 (NKJV)

But do not forget to do good and to share, for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Hebrews 13:16 (TPT)

For more about Hillsong Church, visit https://hillsong.com/ and their official YouTube channel at https://www.youtube.com/c/hillsong

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Note: Hillsong logo is a property of Hillsong Church.

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

I Love Israel: Over a hundred children saved as a result of combined efforts of the Israeli embassy, Chabad and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews

It is indeed terrible that the nation of Ukraine continues to get ravaged by Russia which continues to be magnified a lot by the mainstream news media. To really set aside all of the media noise and politics related to the tragedy in Ukraine, focus on the Lord and praying to Him is a must. Pray to Him for the protection of Ukraine and for the stoppage of the rampage being done by Russia. Only God can lift up the persecuted and restore them fully and His Son Jesus will always be the light that people trapped by darkness can always come to. Let me also add the vengeance is the Lord’s (read Romans 12:19 in the Holy Bible).

Thanks to the Lord, there is really good news that recently happened as over a hundred children’s lives were saved as a result of the joint efforts of the Israeli embassy, Chabad and the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, according to The Jerusalem Post’s news article. The said children are being taken cared of right now and at the same time the State of Israel is actively welcoming the affected Ukrainian Jews who have decided to migrate.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from report of The Jerusalem Post. Some parts in boldface…

More than 100 children made it out of Ukraine on Wednesday, thanks to a military-style operation that beat all the odds.

Many of the children live in Chabad’s orphanage in Odessa and the rest were sent by their parents, who stayed behind – in some cases to help younger children or elderly parents, and in some cases to fight.

The children – the youngest of whom is only 37 days old – left Odessa at 7 a.m. on four buses and arrived in Chisinau by 5 p.m. – a trip that normally takes three hours. But the roads are packed with cars full of refugees fleeing Ukraine and 40 of the kids, including the newborn, were not carrying documents.

For now, they will go to Berlin, where Chabad Rabbi Yehuda Tiechtel will look after them, hoping the war in Ukraine will end soon and that the children can return.

Daniel Svechnikov, 16, from Odessa, left behind his mother, who is taking care of his five-year-old brother, who has special needs.

“She is worried about me but she told me it was right to leave,” Svechnikov said. “I was scared, because I heard bombs. The Russians destroyed military targets near my home. At the border, I saw so many cars and people walking. Police helped us through traffic, and thank God we’re here.

Svechnikov said he wants to live in Israel, do his matriculation examinations and serve in the IDF. He said he hopes his family will follow him there.

Shoshana Khusid, 18, said her parents stayed behind to take care of her grandmother. She took her little brother and sister with her.

“It is very hard,” she said. “I was afraid because there were a lot of noisy sirens. From the first day of the war, I knew in my head that I had to go.”

The mission was helped by the Israeli embassy and Chabad and was funded by the International Fellowship of Christians and Jews, which has allocated more than $4 million, donated by friends of Israel in the United States and Canada.

The grant is being transferred to Jewish organizations in the field and is assisting the Jewish community with food, medicine, emergency hotlines, evacuation, fuel and generators. The money will be used, among other things, for the activities of the Jewish Agency, Chabad, the Joint Distribution Committee, Tikva and other organizations that are active in Ukraine.

Meanwhile, Operation “Israeli Guarantee” to rescue Ukrainian Jews will launch with Three special flights with about 300 immigrants will land at Ben-Gurion Airport on Sunday, March 6, in a joint operation by the Aliyah and Absorption Ministry, the Jewish Agency and the Fellowship, with the assistance of donations from the Jewish Federations in North America and Keren Hayesod.

Aliyah and Absorption Minister Pnina Tamano Sheta, Jewish Agency acting chairman Yaakov Hagoel and Fellowship president Yael Eckstein will welcome the immigrants at Ben-Gurion Airport.

Ukrainian Jews will arrive on three different flights. Two immigrant flights will depart from Warsaw, Poland and from Chisinau, Moldova. Another flight of about 100 orphans arranged by Chabad will depart from Iasi in Romania.

The new immigrants are refugees who escaped the fighting in Ukraine and were absorbed into the immigration centers opened by the Jewish Agency and IFCJ in the countries bordering Ukraine.

Immediately after landing at Ben-Gurion Airport, the immigrants will be absorbed by the Ministry of Immigration and Absorption.

The above article ended stating that absorption consultants who are tasked to take care of each immigrant and provide them with a broad initial absorption envelope for optimal adaptation and also a special rights exercise procedure. Also prepared for the immigrants are temporary housing solutions in hotels. These are parts of the emergency plan for the absorption of Ukrainian Jews.

Considering all the very depressing news reports about Russia’s invasion of Ukraine being published every day, this recent news about the saved Ukrainian children and the continued acceptance of Ukrainian Jews into Israel is truly delightful. This also proves that the Lord is working to help the sufferers and those who have decided to be faithful to Him! God will never abandon the unfortunate and those who are lost and unsaved only need to come to Jesus and look up to Him as their Lord and Savior.

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

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

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and enlightenment.

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

COVID-19 Crisis: Sputnik M vaccine for adolescents (aged 12 to 17) authorized for use in Kazakhstan

Here in the Philippines, the vaccination of minors specifically aged 12 to 17-years-old has been going on for some time now while the vaccination of younger minors aged 5 to 11-years-old is gradually increasing. My concern is that Pfizer’s flawed COVID-19 vaccine has been used mainly on minors aged 5 to 17 (for references, click here and here) as it has been proven that the said vaccine – which uses mRNA technology – provides patients very weak protection from the infectious Omicron variant. The other vaccine used for minors aged 12-17 is Moderna which happens to also be an mRNA vaccine. The more Pfizer vaccines is used in the country, the more concerning it becomes.

Over there in Kazakhstan, it has been announced officially that Sputnik M – a COVID-19 vaccine for patients aged 12 to 17-years-old – has been authorized by the nation’s Health Ministry for use on their adolescents.

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

The Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF, Russia’s sovereign wealth fund) today announced that the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Kazakhstan has authorized the use of Sputnik M Russian vaccine for adolescents aged 12-17.

Thus Kazakhstan has become the first country outside Russia to authorize the use of Sputnik M.

In contrast with some international producers offering their vaccines in the same dosage for both adults and adolescents, the Gamaleya Center has developed Sputnik M specifically for adolescents.

Sputnik M is a two-shot vaccine based on the same human adenoviral vectors platform, which is safe and has been widely studied for over 30 years. The only difference between Sputnik M and Sputnik V is a lower concentration of viral particles per dose: Sputnik M for adolescents has 5 times less concentration in comparison with the original Sputnik V in both shots.

Russian Ministry of Health registered Sputnik M on November 24, 2021 based on data from clinical trials confirming the high safety and immunogenicity profile of Sputnik M among adolescents. During the trials there were no serious adverse events registered following vaccination with Sputnik M. Current results are corresponding with those obtained during clinical trials and real-world data on Sputnik V after vaccinating adults.

Sputnik V has been authorized in 71 country with total population of over 4 billion people. It induces stronger and longer lasting immune response against COVID (including the Omicron variant) than many other vaccines, which is further strengthened by Sputnik Light booster. A unique comparative study[1] conducted at Lazzaro Spallanzani National Institute for Infectious Diseases in Italy by a team of 12 Italian and 9 Russian scientists has shown that Sputnik V vaccine demonstrates more than 2 times higher titers of virus neutralizing antibodies to Omicron (B.1.1.529) variant than 2 doses of Pfizer vaccine (2.1 times higher in total and 2.6 times higher 3 months after vaccination).

The study was conducted in the equal laboratory conditions on comparable sera samples from individuals vaccinated with Sputnik V and Pfizer with a similar level of IgG antibodies and virus neutralizing activity (VNA) against Wuhan variant. Sputnik V showed significantly smaller (2.6 times) reduction of virus neutralizing activity against Omicron as compared to reference Wuhan variant than Pfizer vaccine (8.1-fold reduction for Sputnik V in contrast to 21.4-fold reduction for Pfizer vaccine).

It should be remembered that a study in Italy confirmed that Sputnik V provides strong resistance against the Omicron variant and that is reassuring because Sputnik M is derived from Sputnik V. If only the government here in the Philippines would make the right decision to acquire more Sputnik vaccines and immunizing as many Filipinos with them. Right now, the Omicron variant does seem to be bothering Filipinos and in recent times the daily count of new COVID-19 infections nationwide has fallen down significantly.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What do you think about this newest development? Are you convinced that the national government as well as local government units (LGUs) should seriously consider acquiring more doses of Sputnik V and Sputnik Light vaccines to really immunize as many Filipinos as possible as part of the effort to lift the country up from this pandemic? Don’t you feel concerned about the Pfizer vaccine’s weak protection from the Omicron variant?

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

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