"Ambo" Brings First Typhoon Rains of 2016
Kicking off the typhoon season is "Ambo," which starts with the letter "A" as per PAG-ASA's naming conventions. It made landfall over the province of Aurora last Monday, and thankfully did not escalate to destructive levels. Still, heavy rainfall is to be expected in the coming days, so keep your umbrellas and raincoats handy!
First Filipino Crime Novel to Be Adapted to the Big Screen
If you haven't read "Smaller and Smaller Circles" yet, now would be a good time. Penned by Filipino journalist F. H. Batacan, the novel revolves around a pair of priests who seek to bring a Manila-based serial killer to justice. Awarded the prestigious Carlos Palanca Memorial among others, "Smaller and Smaller Circles" is currently undergoing production as a live-action film.
Film on Philippine Domestic Helpers Bags Awards at U.S. Film Festival
Another must-see film is "Remittance," which documents the lives of Filipino domestic helpers abroad. With an ensemble cast of real-life DHs, and only three professional actors headlining the film, "Remittance" was considered remarkable enough to bag the Certificates of Outstanding Achievement for screenplay and female actor at the Brooklyn Film Festival.
"It's More Fun in the Philippines" Slogan Wins Asia-Pacific Tambuli Award
Speaking of awards, the Department of Tourism's "It's More Fun" campaign finally bore fruit since its launch in 2012. Bagging the bronze at the 2016 Asia-Pacific Tambuli Awards, the campaign was recognized for its creative, effective and outstanding execution within the past decade (2005-2015). You can watch clips of their work on TV during commercial breaks, or look them up on YouTube!
Lone Asian Woman to be Awarded U.S. Silver Star Dies at 95
On a more sobering note, one of the country's bravest passed away last June 16. Retired Cpl. Magdalena Estoista Leones, who made history as the only Asian woman to be awarded the U.S. Silver Star medal, was recognized for her efforts to transport vital information and supplies through enemy territory despite the risks to her life. We salute you, Cpl. Leones, and may you rest in peace.
Meralco Clamps Down on June Electricity Rates
If you look at this month's electricity bill, you'll notice that it has gone down by Php0.13 per kilowatt hour (kWh), the lowest since October 2014. That's because, according to the Manila Electric Company (Meralco), the lowered generation charges more than made up for the increased transmission charges. Also, the cost of supply from the Independent Power Producers and Wholesale Electricity Spot Market went down too, so there's that.
New Orchid Species Discovered in the Philippines
Being located in insurgent-infested mountains can be a good thing. For example, if you're one of five new orchid species found in Mindanao's remote areas, you'll be protected from poaching. Nonetheless, scientists can't stress enough how important it is to protect the orchids' habitat, since the Philippines is in the top 35 biodiversity hotspots of the U.S.-based Conservation International.
Philippine Central Bank Tightens Regulations for Online Transactions
Last February, the Philippines made headlines when one of its local banks, the Rizal Commercial Banking Corporation (RCBC), became the recipient of $81 million from the Bangladesh Bank. To avoid a repeat of this fiasco, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) will now be scrutinizing not only banks that engage in online transactions, but also foreign exchange dealers, remittance companies and bitcoin users. Some changes are expected to roll out within the next two or three months, so if you're dealing with any of the aforementioned companies, expect them to tighten security.
PLDT-Smart to Maximize 700MHz Frequency for Faster Internet
In a series of tweets dated June 6, PLDT chairman Manuel "Manny" V. Pangilinan proudly announced that Smart Communications now has three base stations with the 700MHz spectrum: Tanay, Pasig and Davao. Aiming to set up at least 200 of these by the end of 2016, Pangilinan hopes to boost Internet speeds to as much as 222 mbps. Considering current speeds, that would be a very welcome change indeed!
Senate Approves Bill Prohibiting Mobile Phone Use on the Road
As it says on the tin, drivers can no longer call, text or do anything that'll distract them from the road effective early this June. Otherwise, they'll be fined Php5,000 for the first offense, Php10,000 for the second one, and Php15,000 for the third one plus a 3-month driver's license suspension.
Whew, are these all interesting news or what? When you live in a country where the media relentlessly focuses on the bad, you'd want to seek out the good for a change. We hope these news items satisfied your positivity quota for today, and may you have a great week ahead!