Photo from Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Facebook page.

PCOO TO UPGRADE 14 STATE-OWNED RADIO STATIONS
MANILA, Philippines— Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar announced that the agency will start rehabilitating 14 state-owned radio stations nationwide.

China donated over Php130 million worth of radio equipment, including live broadcast room equipment, medium wave transmitters, and FM broadcast transmitters.

Andanar thanked the Chinese government for their donation, saying that it will be a “huge boost” to the Philippines’ regional radio stations.

“We conceptualized the radio rehab program after going around the country and seeing that the status of our radio stations under the Philippine Broadcasting Service is not as inviting anymore,” Andanar said during the program launch in Butuan City.

The communications secretary also revealed that ten AM (amplitude modulation) and four FM (frequency modulation) stations operated by Radyo Pilipinas (RP) will be upgraded.

“I am happy to announce that we are launching the radio rehabilitation program here in Butuan City,” Andanar said.

Other radio stations that will be upgraded are the ones in Cagayan de Oro City, Davao, Cebu, Tawi- Tawi, and Batanes.

Photo from Department of Tourism – Boracay Field Office Facebook page

PHILIPPINES NAMED 8TH FAVORITE TOURIST DESTINATION
MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines was voted as 8th favorite tourist destination in the world by readers of the travel magazine Condé Nast.

The US-based magazine released the Top 20 Countries in the World: Readers’ Choice Awards 2019 which revealed the Philippines’ score at 90.63.

“Gaining yet another prestigious recognition as the 8th Favorite Country in the World speaks well of the concerted effort of the Philippine tourism industry stakeholders in nurturing the many natural wonders the country is blessed with,” Department of Tourism Secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat said.

The magazine praised the pristine waters of Boracay and the islands of Coron and El Nido in Palawan.

“The aptly named White Beach is Boracay’s main draw, with powdery white sand and shallow azure water ideal for swimming and snorkeling,” Condé Nast Traveler said in their review.

Cebu was also mentioned in the review, particularly Kawasan Falls and the city’s historical locations such as the Basilica Minore del Santo Nino.

“All these accolades that the country and our other island destinations continue to receive bode well for the country’s sustainable tourism development program as continuity is the very essence of sustainability,” Puyat added.

Photo from Light Rail Manila Corporation Facebook page

LRT-1 EXTENDS OPERATINGHOURS FOR HOLIDAY SEASON
MANILA, Philippines—To accommodate the increase in commuters during the holiday season, the Light Rail Manila Corporation (LRMC) has extended the operating hours of the Light Rail Transit Line 1 (LRT-1) during weekdays.\

The extended hours, which started on October 25, will last until December 31. On the last day, the final northbound train will depart from Baclaran Station at 10 p.m. The final southbound train will leave Roosevelt Station at 10:15 p.m.

According to LRMC Chief Operating Officer Enrico Benipayo, they are extending the operating hours “to accommodate the influx of passengers during the holiday rush.”

“We continue to listen and find ways on how to better serve the needs of our customers,” Benipayo added.

Furthermore, he said that the last rides during weekend operations remain at 9:30 p.m. from Baclaran Station and 9:45 p.m. from Roosevelt Station.

The first trips of both northbound and southbound trains will leave at 4:30 a.m. on both weekdays and weekends, including holidays.

On Christmas Eve (December 24), LRT-1 will only operate from 4:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. and on New Year’s Eve (December 31), operating hours will be 4:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. only.

“LRT-1 will also be open to service passengers on December 25, 2019 (Christmas Day) and January 1, 2020 (New Year’s Day),” the LRMC statement said.

Photos by Shimico Dianne C. Nakamura

LEAGUE MAGAZINE CONDUCTS BORACAY CLEAN-UP
BORACAY, Aklan—For their 2nd anniversary, League Magazine participated in a clean up of the famous Boracay shore in Aklan.

In 2018, President Rodrigo Duterte ordered a six-month closure of the island due to numerous environmental problems. Duterte even labelled the island as a “cesspool.”

During the closure, various government agencies and the local government of Aklan came together to rehabilitate the famous island. Efforts included the decontamination of Bulabog Beach, clearing of White Beach, wetlands reclamation, and road widening.

More than six months later, Boracay has slowly returned to its former glory.

League Magazine, as a magazine that envisions a better Philippines, did their share in maintaining the island’s beauty. The team marched along White Beach to clear it of garbage on October 12.

The locals of Boracay praised the improvement of the island. They urge the tourists to dispose of their trash properly so that the beach could stay clean.

“The rehabilitation of Boracay helped us a lot. The government did the right thing by imposing a limit on the number of people in Boracay,” Joan Sacapaño, Boracay LGU worker, said. “We hope that the island will continue to improve.”

Sacapaño mentioned that around 50 people, including volunteers, participate in a clean-up drive every Saturday. Apart from the main white beach, the team regularly maintains the cleanliness of the main road and the back beach.

Some businesses that are not yet compliant with the strict rules were not yet given clearance to operate after the closure. Among the requirements, Sacapaño mentioned that businesses should be at least 25 plus 5 feet away from the beach.

As a local, Sacapaño shared that the island was much more beautiful before it became famous. “There weren’t a lot of establishments and people. The beach was clear and the air was fresh,” she said. Nonetheless, she admits that the fame Boracay has attained has improved the lives of the people of the island.

“I hope that everyone follows the laws of the island. It’s for everyone’s sake,” she said.

PHOTOS BY IVAN LLANETA

ARTISTS OFFER ‘FLOWERS FOR THE DEAD’ AT THE MANILA NORTH CEMETERY
In the spirit of bayanihan, over 200 artists joined forces to beautify the Bonifacio Wall of the Manila North Cemetery in Sta. Cruz, Manila last October.

Flores Para Los Muertos (“Flowers for the Dead”) had artists painting the 500-meter wall in time for All Saints Day. It was organized by the Pinto Art Mu-seum, Davies Paints Philippines, the City of Manila represented by Mayor Francisco “Isko Moreno” Domagoso, and Congressman John Marvin “Yul Servo” Nieto.

“It’s our offering for the dead,” said Pinto Art Museum founder and neurologist, Dr. Joven Cuanang. “The project is a bayanihan-type activity with all the artists working as one. Purely on a voluntary basis.”

Acclaimed artists such as Ferris Montemayor, Demetrio “Demet” Dela Cruz, and John Paul “Japs” Antido led the team. Some of the volunteer artists travelled from Ilocos Sur, Tarlac, Bulacan, and Rizal. Dela Cruz and Antido designed the initial sketch.

“The idea is a bouquet,” shared Dela Cruz. “The Filipino flowers as a non-political offering to Manila and to the departed who rest in the cemetery.”

Servo was present at the event and expressed his gratitude to the artists. “Malaki ang pasasalamat ko sa kanila [I am very grateful to them],” he said.

Later that day, Mayor Isko Moreno visited and praised the mural that the artists finished in ten hours.

 

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