Signal No. 1 up in 19 areas as "Onyok" maintains strength
Right on the heels of Typhoon Nona (international name: Melor) comes Typhoon Onyok, which currently threatens the Caraga Region — comprised of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur. According to the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), the typhoon will make landfall over Surigao del Sur. Fortunately, Typhoon Onyok will weaken by then.
Pia Wurtzbach on what makes her stand out in 2015 Miss Universe
In lieu of the upcoming Miss Universe pageant — to be held on December 20, 2015 at The AXIS, Las Vegas, Nevada, USA — Pia Wurtzbach candidly and confidently answers questions on why she deserves to win the crown. She will compete against 80 entrants from all over the world. As of this writing, these 80 beauties are rehearsing for the live event.
SWS: Aquino's satisfaction rating drops
It seems President Aquino has a lot to catch up on before he exits his position come 2016. According to the latest Social Weather Stations (SWS) survey, his net satisfaction rating dropped to +32 from +41 last September. Luckily, it's still within the range of "good." However, only time will tell whether he can maintain that respectable rating until the end of his term.
Malala condemns Donald Trump call for Muslim ban in US
As you know, US presidential candidate Donald Trump recently suggested that all Muslims should be barred entry into the US — at least, until the war against terrorism fizzles out. But 18-year-old Malala Yousafzai — the youngest Nobel Prize laureate — vehemently disagrees, saying that "Well, that's really tragic that you hear these comments which are full of hatred, full of this ideology of being discriminative towards others."
Fitch upgrades outlook of Philippine banking industry to "positive"
On a brighter note, Fitch rated the Philippine banking system "positive." In spite of China's economic slowdown, and the rise in borrowing costs in the US, the Philippines was able to achieve strong economic fundamentals, a stable operating environment and an overall healthy profile of local lenders. According to the "2016 Outlook: Asia Pacific Banks" report, the Philippines is the only APAC banking market with a positive rating.
Fan favorite Jordan Smith wins "The Voice"
Speaking of "brighter notes," vocal powerhouse Jordan Smith took home the crown on one of America's highest rated reality TV series. He bested bluegrass artist Emily Ann Roberts, country crooner J. Barrett Baber and pop artist Jeffery Austin — who walked away with second, third and fourth places respectively. This marks the third time Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine won the show as a coach.
Movie Reviews: What critics are saying about "Star Wars: The Force Awakens"
Debuting in the Philippines on December 17, "The Force Awakens" has garnered mostly positive reviews from critics all over the world. Film aggregator website Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 95 percent rating, citing how it "successfully recalls the series' former glory while injecting it with renewed energy." Whether you agree or disagree with that consensus, let us know what you think in the comments if you've seen the film!
This Suffix Is Merriam-Webster's 2015 Word of the Year
Spoiler: It's "-ism." Feminism, racism, terrorism… you name it, and chances are it's made use of that underappreciated-but-overused suffix. Incidentally, the search for "fascism" spiked after Donald Trump suggested that all Muslims be banned from entering the US. Wonder what new "isms" Mr. Trump will inspire once 2016 rolls around?
El Niño: No relief in sight
Despite the arrival of two typhoons in the Philippines this week, it seems El Niño won't go away anytime soon. According to the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the above-average SSTs (sea surface temperatures) on the Pacific Ocean suggest that the heat wave will continue well into Winter 2016. If it keeps up, it will be one of the three strongest episodes since 1950.
Makati girls romp past N. Ecija foes
Because this is an "Enjoy Makati" post, we'll wrap it up with a local piece of news. Last December 13, the Makati softbelles bested the squad from Cabiao, Nueva Ecija, 7-0, to advance to the crossover semifinals of the 2015 National Inter-Secondary Girls Softball Championships. They will join Miriam College, Rizal and San Mateo in the early Bracket A lead.
And that's our news round-up for this week! Since it's only seven days before Christmas, we will unfortunately not be able to crank out any posts for the next week. But we promise to come back with a vengeance when December 28 comes, so keep your eyes peeled!