Forza Horizon 5 is a super-charged, fun-filled game that must be played!

Ever since I started subscribing to Xbox Game Pass (XGP), I’ve been playing the universally acclaimed Forza Horizon 5 a lot on my Xbox Series X and as of this writing, it is my most played game. Why? Because each time I play it, Forza Horizon 5 keeps on offering me a lot of opportunities to have fun from joining races, touring the fictionalized Mexico setting to taking part in very interesting, tourism-inspired missions/quests.

My name on the plate license.
Out in the open!
I made it in the Hall of Fame!

What I can confirm to you all is that this Xbox-exclusive open-world racing game made by Playground Games consistently delivered a lot of enjoyable stuff for me to discover and experience while also respecting my freedom of choice as to where can I go, what races should I compete in, what places can be discovered and a whole lot more! Very clearly the developers made the game with entertainment in mind and given the exceptional game design concept of the Forza Horizon series as a whole, they delivered a very unique car-oriented video game that keeps on moving into uncharted territories that most other racing games have not achieved.

Forza Horizon 5 is not your typical racing game. It has a fictionalized Mexico as the massive in-game world that is waiting for players to discover complete with the distinct environmental features, architectures, and ancient structures that reflect the nation’s rich culture.

At the Horizon Mexico site.
Speeding along the bridge!
That is the volcano!

There are also a whole of races or competitions for you to choose from. If you love racing at high speed on roads, there’s a lot of them. You love off-road racing and are willing to test your ability to drive over mud, sand, dirt or over some vegetation? Lots of those races are available! If you are looking for unusual challengers to compete with, there are special races in which you get to test your skill and might against a speeding train or an airplane or jet skiers! Not only that, there are also these very enduring special races that are over 30 miles long and I personally love the endurance test while performing my best against all the competitors which make the crossing the finish line a very satisfying experience!

Like its predecessors, Forza Horizon 5 is also rich with customization of your cars and even your in-game avatar (who has a voice and lots of lines to speak with). The cars you have can be customized at a Horizon outpost or in your in-game home, and you will have options with regards to vehicular paint, designs and car parts. Not only that, you can also upgrade the car parts and make your car more powerful and move to a higher rating.

A nice place to enjoy the view!
This is a very intense race!
The in-game sky and clouds have that photo-realistic touch.

When it comes to customizing your avatar, you can choose from several pre-designed human models and then adjust the hair style, hair color, prosthetics (note: if you really want this), physical expressions and most notable of all, you will have lots of options on your avatar’s shoes and clothes (shirts, jackets, trousers, skirts and dresses plus hats and eyewear to name some).

Going back into the Forza Horizon 5’s digital Mexico, there will also be some nicely designed places that you can purchase as your avatar’s home and each one is strategically located in different areas that reflect the local look and culture. As of this writing, I already purchased 6 homes, including two each with a 7-figure price tag.

One of my six homes as of this writing.
My newest home that cost 2,000,000 in in-game currency.
If you really want to earn more in-game money, you’ve got win and level-up a lot!

As of my last Forza Horizon 5 session, my car collection is still less than a hundred and already I sent out about ten cars as gifts (note: the barns) for a variety of gamers who play the game. As I was focused on raising money to buy all the homes in the game, my purchasing of new cars has been slow and this only motivates me to keep on joining races, raise as much money from each race and also relying on random winnings from the spin-a-prize sequences. I checked the in-game car shop and I am very impressed with the wide selection of hundreds of cars offered by many vehicular manufacturers from around the world. I like the Porsche cars that made it into the game!

When it comes to gameplay variety, gamers will not only have lots of races to join in, there are also these varied, driving-oriented quests that each have their own story concept and characters who will interact with your avatar. These quests include helping out in stunt car sequences for a movie production, helping a scientist with finding date in key locations, etc. Not only that, there are also these barns to find that each have the remains of an old vehicle that could be restored to working condition. And then there are these timed, limited events/activities you can join in.

A great view of only a portion of the game’s fictionalized Mexico.
A short clip from one of the special activities I took part in.
This Porsche is fast and highly responsive in terms of control! It’s worth spending money on!

I’ve played Forza Horizon 5 for a little over 15 hours now and I can only speculate that there are still a lot more to discover within the game by default. Combine all of those with the seasonal or special events/activities, there is always something new to do and discover in the game!

With Halo Infinite launching in a few more days, I’ve got to play more of Forza Horizon 5 because if the sci-fi shooter is as great and as immersive as what the YouTubers (who had access to 10 hours of the single player campaign) then that would most likely be my regular game to play on Xbox Series X.

As I have yet to complete Forza Horizon 5 as of now, this piece I am writing is NOT a game review but rather my opinion piece based on what I experienced with the game so far. What I can declare is this: if you love cars, exploring, adventuring, good music and if you want the best enjoyment available on Xbox Series X right now, then Forza Horizon 5 is a must-have and must-play game! Forza Horizon 5 is truly a very great game loaded with lots of fun stuff to keep any gamer busy and happy!

I love playing Forza Horizon 5 on my Xbox Series X!

In closing this piece, posted below are Xbox-related videos for your viewing pleasure.

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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: No evidence on higher transmissibility of Omicron variant according to WHO

By the time you are reading this, you must have seen a ton of international, national and local news reports related to the Omicron variant (variant B.1.1.529) as it is feared to be more infectious and overwhelm the protection COVID-19 vaccines provide. To cut through all the noise and the paranoia, it is important to take a look at what the global health authority said about Omicron according to a Philippine News Agency (PNA) report.

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

There is no evidence so far concerning the transmissibility or severity of the new Omicron strain of the coronavirus, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Sunday.

It is not yet clear whether Omicron is more transmissible (e.g., more easily spread from person to person) compared to other variants, including Delta,” the organization said in a statement.

The WHO said the increasing number of people testing positive and the rate of hospitalization in South Africa, where the new variant was first reported and thought to have originated, do not necessarily mean higher transmissibility or severity rates of the strain, noting “this may be due to increasing overall numbers of people becoming infected rather than a result of specific infection with Omicron.

“There is currently no information to suggest that symptoms associated with Omicron are different from those from other variants,” the statement added.

Based on limited information, the WHO also warned that people who have previously had Covid-19 could become re-infected more easily with Omicron as compared to other variants of concern, pointing out the need for more studies on the strain to better understand it.

Omicron is really impacting nations as I write this. Here in the Philippines, the government targeted January 2022 as the time to formally start vaccinating minors aged 5 to 11-years-old. In Israel, where a 2nd Omicron case was detected, travelers from overseas will not be allowed to use public transportation serving the airport. In the Netherlands, 13 cases of Omicron were detected among passengers on two flights that came from South Africa.

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: What can you say about this new development? Do all the news about Omicron make you feel scared or worried? Has everyone in your household been fully vaccinated (injected with two doses of most vaccine brands) already?

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/

I Love Israel: Israel welcoming fully vaccinated travelers from the Philippines

Good news for Filipinos who wish to visit Israel and the Holy Land! According to the recent report by the Philippine News Agency (PNA), Filipino travelers who have been fully vaccinated (with the 2nd dose received within the previous six months or 180 days) can final visit Israel, take the swab test there, go through the mandatory quarantine and once the result shows a negative reading, visitors will be able to enter and start touring.

As we are all living in this ongoing pandemic, there are lots of requirements to be made before even booking a flight to Israel. Those who wish to travel there should also be aware as to what brands of COVID-19 vaccines are acceptable to them.

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

Israel is accepting Filipino and other foreign tourists as long as they are fully vaccinated and their second dose had been administered within the last six months, Israeli Ambassador to the Philippines Ilan Fluss said Wednesday.

“On the 1st of November this week, we opened for vaccinated tourists so anybody who is vaccinated can visit Israel. Filipinos are now welcome to visit Israel,” he told the Philippine News Agency in an interview.

Tourists may travel to Israel “individually or as a group” but are advised to check first the specific entry guidelines and requirements before booking their flight and tour packages.

The envoy said travelers will have to present a negative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) test result taken 72 hours prior to departure and take another swab upon arrival at the airport.

After the test, the tourist will undergo mandatory quarantine until the result is out.

Fluss noted that Israel is only allowing foreigners who had been vaccinated with a jab recognized by the World Health Organization, such as Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson, Sinovac, and Sinopharm.

Among others, the second dose must be administered within the past six months and supported by a vaccination certificate.

If (the last shot) is more than six months, you are considered unvaccinated. So either you take the booster and then you can visit or you can’t,” he said.

Filipinos are allowed visa-free entry to Israel but Fluss said they must secure a “special entry permit”, which had been required from all foreign nationals following the Covid-19 pandemic.

‘Tourism exchanges’

As Israel looks forward to welcoming Filipino tourists to the Holy Land, Fluss said Israeli travelers are likewise waiting to visit the Philippines, popular for its picturesque beaches and world-class dive spots.

“The Philippines, for Israelis, is a very interesting attraction. Israelis have been to Thailand but they like to always find new and exciting destinations and in the last few years they found the Philippines. So I want to see more of the Israeli exchanges,” he said.

In the meantime, he invited Filipinos to visit their religious sites and churches that had been closed to foreigners since March 2020.

The Philippines is a Christian country and I think people are very keen to travel to the Holy Land and we would be very happy to see more tourists to come and visit,” he said.

“Israel is an interesting country with the combination of the Holy Land, history, religion, culture; and Tel Aviv is a city of fun and is one of those cosmopolitan cities that goes 24 hours. It’s a combination of modern and traditional,” he added.

Fluss is also hoping the Philippine Airlines could finally mount its direct flights between Manila and Tel Aviv in April 2022 after the target launch last October 2021 was postponed “due to issues with the routes”.

Whew! That was a heavy load of information posted above. To make your dreams of visiting Israel come through, you will have to meet all the requirements related to vaccination (note: always have your records ready), COVID-19 testing, getting the special entry permit, booking and more. It’s challenging to meet the requirements but it’s not impossible and ultimately Israel is always a great place to visit filled with wonders of discovery. Visiting the Holy Land with deep faith in the Heavenly Father, Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit will be tremendous.

Let me remind you about the growing strength of ties between the Philippines and Israel. The State of Israel sent experts here in the Philippines to share their expertise on dealing with COVID-19. Scientists from the Philippines will be hosted by Israel for COVID-19 matters. Months ago, Filipino students and caregivers were vaccinated for free in Israel.

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

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

In ending this I Love Israel piece, posted below are Israel-related videos.

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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

Skyway Stage 3 Quirino southbound exit now open to motorists

Hey readers! Have you been driving along Skyway Stage 3 lately? In case you missed the news, the southbound Quirino exit of Skyway Stage 3 was officially opened this past Monday. To be specific, it allows motorists from Balintawak and Quezon Avenue to travel to Manila much faster and safer than before.

In a May 24, 2021 Facebook page post, San Miguel Corporation president Ramon S. Ang wrote: Together with the DPWH, we opened today the Quirino southbound exit of Skyway Stage 3. This will cut travel time from Balintawak and Quezon Ave. to Manila to less than 20 mins from the usual 1.5 hours. In the midst of the pandemic, we remain committed to delivering sustainable infrastructure that will ensure better lives for the present and future generations. This is the world we want.

The Quirino exit on the southbound lane of Skyway Stage 3 formally opened. (source – Ramon S. Ang Facebook page)

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

San Miguel Corporation (SMC), through SMC Infrastructure, opened Monday the southbound Quirino exit of the Skyway Stage 3 elevated expressway to Class-1 vehicles, allowing motorists coming from Balintawak and Quezon Avenue to directly reach Manila within less than 20 minutes from 1.5 hours without traffic.

The opening was led by Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) Secretary Mark Villar and SMC president Ramon S. Ang.

“The full completion of Skyway Stage 3 will divert at least 75,000 vehicles away from EDSA or C5. This is a realization of President Duterte’s promise to decongest EDSA. Skyway Stage 3 is proof that the private sector and the government can work together towards a unified solution,” Villar said.

Ang said the opening of the Quirino southbound exit will greatly improve accessibility from Quezon City and Manila.

“With more private vehicles diverted to Skyway Stage 3 on their way back from NLEX (North Luzon Expressway), or coming from Quezon Avenue, to Manila, traffic on our major public roads as well as on streets usually utilized as ‘shortcuts’ or ‘alternate routes’, will be a thing of the past. This will redound to relief from congestion and faster and easier commutes for many of our countrymen on our major thoroughfares. We thank President Duterte and the government team led by Secretary Villar for all their support,” he said.

And said SMC will continue to deliver on its commitment to bring motorists quality infrastructure that addresses congestion and lack of accessibility.

“We remain dedicated to providing convenient and seamless travel for motorists to help decongest Metro Manila and enable growth in all areas that we reach,” he added.

SMC, which fully-funded and built 100 percent of the Skyway Stage 3, said the expressway now has 15 operational ramps.

These include Northbound entry/on-ramps — Buendia (Zobel) and Quezon Avenue; Southbound entry/on ramps –Balintawak, Quezon Avenue and Plaza Dilao; Northbound exit/off ramps –Quirino Avenue, Nagtahan, Quezon Avenue, A. Bonifacio, and Balintawak; and Southbound exit/off ramps –Quezon Avenue, E. Rodriguez, Nagtahan, Quirino and Buendia (Zobel).

Now here is a related news video for your viewing pleasure and learning…

Let me end this piece by asking you readers: Have you traveled along Skyway Stage 3 and exited through Quirino already? If you did, what was the experience like? How fast did it take you to travel from Balintawak or Quezon Avenue to exit through Quirino? Is the southbound travel along Skyway Stage 3 even better now that the Quirino exit is open?

To all motorists based in Muntinlupa, Las Piñas and Parañaque, how often did you travel along Skyway Stage 3 this year?

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

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

For more South Metro Manila community news and developments, come back here soon. Also say NO to fake news, NO to irresponsible journalism, NO to misinformation, NO to plagiarists, NO to reckless publishers and NO to sinister propaganda when it comes to news and developments. For South Metro Manila community developments, member engagements, commerce and other relevant updates, join the growing South Metro Manila Facebook group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673

I Love Israel: Direct Philippines-Israel flights before the end of 2021 in the works

Have you been dreaming of visiting the Holy Land or doing business in Tel Aviv in Israel? There is something positive in development right now and breakthroughs could happen before the year ends. This is because recently, Israel’s Ambassador Rafael Harpaz announced that the establishment of direct flights between the Philippines and Israel is being worked on with 2021 in mind (specifically before the end of the year). There is no timeline yet as to when will Philippines-Israel travel will resume but make no mistake that Israel is opening its borders to foreign tourists (who got vaccinated for COVID-19) starting May 23, 2021 which itself is connected with their successful vaccination program.

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

Direct flights between the Philippines and Israel before the end of the year are in the pipeline, Israeli Ambassador to Manila Rafael Harpaz said Friday.

We would like very much for the Filipino tourists to be back to Israel. The Philippine Airlines already informed us that they are planning to start a direct flight to Israel towards the end of the year,” Harpaz told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview.

There’s no timeline yet when tourism exchanges between the Philippines and Israel would resume, but he said the deployment of Filipino caregivers continues despite the pandemic.

“Actually, every day we see new caregivers because there is a demand. So they are flying to Israel and when they get there, they also get the vaccine immediately,” Harpaz said. “We don’t have a quota (on deployment) but it depends on the demand. Because our population is getting older and older, the demand is getting high. We also have from other countries but the demand is high for Filipino caregivers.”

In 2019 alone, about 35,000 Filipino tourists visited Israel, while more than 30,000 overseas Filipinos are working there as caregivers.

‘Tourism restart’

At present, there is no agreement between the Philippines and Israel for a travel bubble setup, but Harpaz said he is hopeful that the two nations’ tourism exchanges would soon resume.

He added that several Filipino tour operators are interested to bring travel groups once Israel fully reopens.

“They’re waiting. There’s so many tour operators in the Philippines who are eager to take groups to Israel because it’s a big tourist destination for Filipinos,” Harpaz said. “The Israelis are also eager. The businessmen are eager to return to the Philippines. They want to go to Banawe, Palawan, Siquijor, and all those wonderful places. Let’s hope that it will soon work out.”

Israel is opening up its borders to foreign tourists under a travel bubble setup, with the vaccinated population no longer required to undergo a long period of quarantine.

But for now, the vaccines that Israel recognizes for this arrangement are Pfizer and Moderna.

It has so far signed a travel bubble agreement with Cyprus and Greece.

“We are moving slowly with more countries because we want to have tourism back and business back,” he said.

As you already know, I strongly believe that the ties between my native Philippines and Israel are very essential. I really love it when Israelites and Filipinos are in harmony together, and the fact that Filipino caregivers and students were vaccinated for free in Israel is an example of that. Filipino caregivers have been known to be very helpful towards Israelites and there is a strong demand for more caregivers. Christians here in the Philippines, led by faith, love to visit the Holy Land and discover personally the places where Lord Jesus had been to.

Speaking of Philippines-Israel ties, Ambassador Harpaz also announced more good news for Filipinos struggling with the COVID-19 pandemic. Posted below is an excerpt from another Philippine News Agency article…

The Philippines can expect to be among the priority countries of Israel once the latter is able to transfer its excess vaccines for coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19), Israel Ambassador to Manila Rafael Harpaz said Friday.

Harpaz explained that Israel, for the time being, could not transport its extra vaccine doses to any third country due to some legal issues in its contract with Pfizer.

“It has nothing to do with the Philippines. Israel, for the time being, was not able to give vaccines to a third country because we have a contract and there are limitations on giving it to a third party,” he told the Philippine News Agency (PNA) in an interview on Friday.

Aside from Manila, more than 10 countries have also expressed interest in purchasing their excess vaccines, Harpaz said.

“It’s something we are looking generally in a favorable manner but it’s the legal issues that must be resolved first. But it’s one of the issues in the discussions and when the moment that there would be a green light to give (the vaccines) as assistance to third countries, the Philippines will certainly be among them,” he said.

The Philippines is definitely a high priority for us once we’re capable of giving away the vaccines.

Wow! Considering the current situation here in the Philippines, it’s nice to learn that our country is a high priority for Israel for potential donations of excess vaccines from their own stocks. The legal issues are blocking access. To be very clear, the Philippines secured many millions of COVID-19 vaccines but those stocks cannot come fast enough. Very recently, the cities of Muntinlupa and Parañaque became the first recipients of vaccines from Russia. How many exactly? THREE THOUSAND doses for each city.

In closing this, here are some Israel-related videos for your viewing pleasure and for your insight.

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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

I Love Israel: Israel opening up on May 23, 2021 to foreign tourists who got vaccinated for COVID-19

Israel (population 9.3 million), which recently celebrated its 73rd Independence Day, announced that it will welcome foreign visitors who have been vaccinated for COVID-19 (China virus) starting May 23, 2021. The opening of the borders for foreigners will be done gradually (by stage). Filipinos or Philippine passport holders may enjoy visa-free access into Israel for up to ninety (90) days.

To put things in perspective, posted below is the excerpt from the recent news article published through Philippine News Agency (PNA). Key parts in bold…

Israel is opening up its borders to foreign tourists who have been vaccinated against coronavirus disease 2019 (Covid-19) starting next month.

The Israel Ministry of Tourism said the initiative will begin on May 23, starting with a limited number of groups that will be increased based on the health situation and progress of the program.

Individual travelers will be allowed into Israel in its “second stage”, with health considerations determining the timeline.

All visitors will be required to undergo a PCR test before boarding the flight to Israel, and a serological test to prove their vaccination, upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport” it said.

In the meantime, discussions will continue with various countries to reach agreements for vaccine-certificate validation, so as to cancel the need for the serological test.

Israel’s vaccination program has been successful, outpacing much of the world in inoculating its population.

“After opening the economy, it is time to allow tourism in a careful and calculated manner. Opening the tourism is important for one of the fields most hurt during the COVID year. We will continue to look at easing regulations in accordance with the health situation,” said Yuli Edelstein, Israel’s Minister of Health.

This is really great news! Personally, it is my heartful desire to visit the Holy Land in Israel where I can discover places Lord Jesus had been to, realize what I’ve learned in the Holy Bible and deepen my faith in Him even more.

I also strongly value the friendship between Israel and my native Philippines. In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte and his delegation had a groundbreaking visit to Israel. The friendship of the two nations was clearly reflected during the Networking Night of the Israel Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ICCP) of 2019 which I personally attended. It should be noted that Filipino caregivers in Israel were vaccinated for COVID-19 for free. Truly the Israel-Philippines relationship should be treasured forever! For insight about the many Filipinos who got vaccinated in Israel, watch the video below…

For all Christians reading this…if you are looking for spiritual tours of the Holy Land with a credible tour organizer, I suggest Behold Israel. You can check out their Holy Land tour packages online. For those who have yet to know Behold Israel, it was founded in 2001 by Amir Tsarfati who grew up and lived in Israel all his life. After the end of his military service, he studied at Israel’s School of Tourism at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem and worked as a licensed tour guide for Sar El Tours and Conferences, and was eventually promoted to CEO (Chief Executive Officer). While guiding dozens of church groups from around the world, God convicted him of the great need – particularly within Evangelical Christianity – to explain Israel and its role in God’s plan. Since 2013, Behold Israel became a major provider of the worldwide, real-time access to reliable sources of news and information about Israel from within the powerful context of Bible history and prophecy. I encourage you to visit https://beholdisrael.org/ and for insight, I recommend watching the videos below (one of which was Amir Tsarfati’s online interaction with my fellow Filipinos).

There is also the organization Christians United for Israel (CUFI) which now has over 10,000,000 members worldwide who are dedicated to defend Israel and fight against anti-Semitism. CUFI is the largest pro-Israel organization in the United States and is the foremost Christian organization educating and empowering millions of Americans to speak and act with one voice in defense of Israel and the Jewish people. The organization is committed to confronting indifference and combating anti-Semitism in all its forms wherever it may be found. CUFI was founded in early 2006 and since grown tremendously. They are accepting donations online and if you believe in protecting and empowering Israel, head on to https://cufi.org/donation/donate/

Going back to Israel-Philippines relations, there is also the online presence of the Israeli Embassy in the Philippines (Facebook page: Israel in the Philippines). Check out their web page welcoming message below…

We will never forget how President Manuel Quezon opened the doors of the Philippines to Jews fleeing Nazi persecution in Europe during the Holocaust.

Israel has a great deal of admiration for the approximately 30,000 Filipino caregivers who are working in Israel and have an integral, cherished and respected part of Israeli society.

Israel is considered global high-tech power and a leader in cyber industry. I’m also very proud of the long agriculture cooperation between our two countries. We are excited to promote cooperation in these areas.

Ambassador Rafael Harpaz

On the Facebook page Israel in the Philippines are lots of useful updates related to Israel and its ties with the Philippines. They also publish videos about Israeli culture, cuisine, places of Israel and more. Important or special events are also announced. As such, I recommend you to visit and follow Israel in the Philippines.

In ending this, here are videos related to Israel from the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) and from Hagee Ministries for you to watch. Love the Jewish people and pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Always be the fearless and aggressive church of Lord Jesus!

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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

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

S-PaSS now essential for those who need to travel far and pass through police checkpoints

Moving around the Philippines, specifically in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the nearby provinces, has gotten tougher as President Rodrigo Duterte ordered the shift into ECQ (Enhanced Community Quarantine) for the said places. ECQ is a more restricted status that will last from March 29 to April 4, 2021. Again, this is the national government’s response to the recent spike in new COVID-19 cases which are very disturbing.

To put things in context, here is an excerpt about ECQ from Philippine News Agency’s (PNA) report…

An ECQ status mandates all households to observe strict home quarantine. Movements will be limited to Authorized Persons Outside Residence, those accessing essential goods and services, and workers in establishments allowed to operate.

Mass gatherings (more than 10 persons outside and non-household members indoors) and face-to-face classes are also prohibited in ECQ zones. Mass transportation is allowed at limited capacity.

With regards to local travel during this time of ECQ, the S-PaSS  (Safe, Swift & Smart Passage) online travel management system is more essential and it has an app that can be downloaded for free. This is the same S-PaSS that the City Government of Las Piñas promoted recently.

For those who have not been familiar nor started using it, the S-PaSS was designed to facilitate a safe, swift and smart coordination of travels to destination LGUs (local government units). The traveler may check if the destination LGU has a restricted or unrestricted travel policy. If the LGU is restricted, the traveler must use the S-PaSS to apply for a TCP or Travel Coordination Permit. Travelers are free to visit any unrestricted destination LGU, however it is recommended to generate a TPP or Travel Pass-Through Permit if they will be passing through LGUs with restricted statuses.

The S-PaSS is now the subject of a new article published yesterday at Philippine News Agency (PNA) and below is an excerpt…

The new paperless app S-PaSS (Safe, Swift and Smart Passage) recently launched by the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) offers a convenient and safe way to process travel authority online for local travelers, Philippine National Police (PNP) chief Gen. Debold Sinas on Saturday said.

Sinas said S-PaSS will boost the PNP’s imposition of the enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) in the quarantine control points (QCPs) that have been set up in different local government units (LGUs).

“It will continue to help and benefit LGUs in recording and monitoring in real time, traveler’s information, such as those who are going in and out of their respective localities,” Sinas said in a statement.

He said the implementation of S-PaSS by Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-MEID) promises to be a one-stop-shop app for the local stranded individuals (LSIs), returning overseas Filipinos (ROFs), emergency travelers (ETs) and other essential travelers during the pandemic.

“The PNP welcomes the development of this local mobility feature as a tool which integrates the processing system for the issuance of Travel Pass-Through Permit or TPP and Travel Coordination Permit or PCP, Travel Authorities and QR codes which quickly generates real-time reports needed,” he added.

Despite the use of the mobile S-PaSS app, Sinas said police deployment will continue to ensure strict public adherence to the implementation of minimum public health and safety protocols.

Last Friday, the DOST and partner government agencies officially launched the S-PaSS, a one-stop online communication and coordination platform for LGUs.

As you can see in the above information, the S-PaSS is crucial for those who need to travel far distances and reach their respective destinations (notably local government units). Apart from helping motorists, other travelers such as returning overseas Filipinos, the stranded people and the essential movers can avail of the system to move around. The Philippine National Police (PNP) recognizes S-PaSS officially.

To learn more about S-PaSS, https://www.facebook.com/spassph or visit their official website at https://s-pass.ph/

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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

SMC President Ramon S. Ang clarifies Skyway Stage 3 remains open to motorists

Are you a motorist who needs to go way north, or way south or somewhere in between in the heart of Metro Manila? Here are some good news for you all: Skyway Stage 3 remains open to motorists as confirmed by San Miguel Corporation President Ramon S. Ang.

Very recently, there was confusion when it was announced that Stage 3 of the elevated expressway would close down on March 16, 2021 starting 5PM. Below is the excerpt from the GMA News report…

“In accordance with the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) directive, the Skyway Stage 3 will be closed indefinitely starting 16 March 2021 at 5PM,” the Skyway Stage 3 management said in a post on Twitter on Monday night.

The elevated expressway will be reopened once all ramps are completed, as ordered by TRB, it said.

“Apologies for the inconvenience. SMC Infrastructure has no choice but to comply,” management said.

However, the Department of Transportation (DOTr) issued an advisory on Tuesday saying the TRB has not issued a decision or directive ordering the closure indefinitely of Skyway Stage 3.

“This is to inform the public that the Toll Regulatory Board (TRB) DID NOT ISSUE a decision or directive ordering the indefinite closure of the Skyway Stage 3 starting 5 p.m. of 16 March 2021,” the DOTr said.

“The Toll Regulatory Board DID NOT ISSUE a decision or directive ordering the indefinite closure of the Skyway Stage 3,” it added.

“TRB’s position is to keep Skyway Stage 3 OPEN for the benefit of motorists,” the DOTr added.

“The TRB is composed of the Department of Transportation, Department of Public Works and Highways, Department of Finance, National Economic Development Authority, and a representative from the private sector,” it said.

“Yes, I have just talk[ed] to [Transportation] Sec. [Arthur] Tugade. He will take care of TRB (Toll Regulatory Board),” Ang told GMA News Online.

As you can see above, things got really confusing and it was a major relief that Ramon Ang clarified that Skyway Stage 3 would not be closed. To put things in perspective, the 18-kilometer long Skyway Stage 3 was fully opened toll-free to motorists this past January and the TRB has yet to approve the proposed toll rates for it.

Now that the issue has been resolved, keep using Skyway Stage 3 for as long as you need it to move around. Please share this article to fellow motorists and other Skyway travelers you personally know. Thanks.

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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

Skyway 3 project completed

It is all out in the news here in the Philippines and it is the best piece of infrastructure and travel-related news for travelers, business stakeholders and other concern parties specifically here in Metro Manila and the communities outside its boundaries – San Miguel Corporation (SMC)’s president and chief operation officer (COO) Ramon S. Ang announced the completion of the Skyway 3 project (AKA Skyway Stage 3) which is almost eighteen kilometers long. Right now, they are working on completing the finishing touches before formally opening it to the public.

Personally, I am happy for their achievement!

A great view of a portion of Skyway Stage 3. (source – Mark Villar Facebook page)

For the newcomers reading this, the Skyway 3 project is composed of a 17.93 kilometer stretch that links the norther and southern parts of Luzon by means of a modern highway. More specifically, once the newly completed project finally opens, travel from the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) to the North Luzon Expressway (NLEX) will take only twenty minutes which will be a major improvement from the average of 2-3 hours (without Skyway 3). It should be noted that the project was completed way before the October 31, 2020 target of completion.

“I’m happy to announce that the whole structure of Skyway 3 is now complete. With this, Skyway 2 in Buendia is now officially extended all the way to the North Luzon Expressway. After many challenges, this project faced in previous years, the dream of connecting north and south and providing an alternative to Edsa is now a reality,” Ang said in a press statement released on October 13.

As mentioned earlier, I am happy for the completion of Skyway 3 and soon it will finally be opened to public motorists (who can afford to pay the eventual toll fees). Each year for the past several years, I travel from Alabang to Clark and Subic Bay to attend important events. During those times, it was a struggle to move from south to north and back WITHOUT Skyway 3. The traffic along EDSA (which passes through different Metro Manila cities and on the maze of roads within the City of Manila were often bad, time-consuming and unpredictable.

Another stretch of Skyway Stage 3 over water. (source – Mark Villar Facebook page)

With Skyway Stage 3, travel between SLEX and NLEX will be much faster. It is stated in the press statement that travel from Magallanes to Balintawak will only take about 15 minutes, Balintawak to Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) also only 15 minutes, and Valenzuela to Makati in just 10 minutes. As for people from the cities of Muntinlupa, Las Piñas, Parañaque and even further south from Laguna province who need to travel to Subic Bay faster in the near future, imagine going north using the SLEX, then the Skyway (in the south) moving through the metropolis in quick fashion to reach the NLEX thanks to Skyway 3’s stretch and then take the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX) to get to Subic Bay faster than ever before. Travelers from Cavite province will also benefit from the improved access and travel too since their province has highways that connect to the SLEX. Really, a lot of people, especially families business people who need to travel within Metro Manila and those who want to go further north or south will really benefit from the eventual operation of Skyway 3 not for just a year but in the years to come.

From this point on, watch out for SMC’s announcement of the formal opening of Skyway 3. Congratulations to SMC and their strategic partners for their accomplishment! Thank the Lord in Heaven also for making big dreams a reality!

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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 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 FB group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/342183059992673