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Saturday, May 12, 2012

Derrick Rose undergoes knee surgery to repair torn ACL


Bulls guard Derrick Rose underwent knee surgery to repair his torn anterior cruciate ligament Saturday morning at Rush University Medical Center, the Chicago Sun-Times has learned.
Dr. Brian Cole, the Bulls’ team physician, performed the ACL surgery using an autograft from Rose’s patellar tendon, a commonly used procedure on young athletes. Rose also received a platelet-rich plasma, which helps stimulate and speed healing.
A source said there were no complications or surprises during the surgery, which lasted about an hour. “His knee looked great,” the source said. “It’s what you’d expect from a 23-year-old physical specimen.”
The ACL tear on the left knee was the fifth injury Rose suffered during a season that saw the MVP point guard miss 27 regular-season games because of toe, back, groin and ankle/foot injuries.
Rose averaged 21.8 points and 7.9 assists in the 39 games he did participate in this season.

How the Internet is Killing the Planet [infographic]


We all use the internet. Is that too obvious? Well guess what, you are ruining the world you live on every time you make a google search. Does the power of the internet as a communication tool out-weigh the amount of CO2 released by us constantly using the internet?
I would think so. They say knowledge is power and the internet is pure information. Facebook has easily helped thousands of people get together and help the environment. Google maps also helps with public transportation. There is now the option to show me what bus to take, the time to be at the bus stop and also where and when to get off. Wikipedia’s reliability may be joked about, but it has proved to be just as accurate as the Encyclopedia Britannica.
I believe that without the internet our society would not have taken the steps it has on global warming. We have 100% electric cars, almost every fortune 500 company has donated some money or has marketed their product to appeal to the environmentally friendly. I think we’re on the right track, we just can’t stop now. [Via]
earth-day-internet-infographic

Two-thirds of Pinoy kids own cellphones

Two-thirds of Filipino children now own a mobile phone, according to a study conducted by leading kids’ channel Cartoon Network.
 
The study, entitled “New Generations 2012,” revealed that mobile phone ownership among young Filipinos are now at 65 percent, higher than Australia’s 42 percent and Taiwan’s 22 percent.
 
Last year, BuddeComm, an independent telecommunications research site based in Australia, pegged mobile phone penetration in the country at “approaching 100 percent,” and said that Filipinos send an average of 1.8 billion messages a day.
 
The biennial New Generations study also showed the Filipino kids are also among the most tech-savvy in the Asia Pacific region.
 
More than half of kids in urban areas have Internet access at home, 54 percent have access to digital cameras, 20 percent have smartphones, and 16 percent have tablets. 
 
Ninety-nine percent claims to have watched TV—a third, or 38 percent, of them from flat panel screens.
 
New Generations 2012, the fifth study since 2003, highlighted a “fortified” relationship between kids and technology resulting from a “sharp increase” in access.
 
While TV remains the top medium of choice for young Filipinos, Internet is fast catching up. According to the survey, 76 percent of children access the Internet, and 82 percent of those with Internet access at home go online at least once a week.
 
Among Internet activities, online gaming claims the top spot, with 58 percent of Filipino children playing online games daily. 
 
Social media comes in at second, with 52 percent logging on to various social media every day.
 
Forty-one percent listen to music, 36 percent stream videos, and 23 percent upload and share photos.
 
But while only 28 percent use the Internet for homework, a surprising seven out of ten respondents claim that they are regular book readers.
 
Thirteen percent read newspapers and nine percent read magazines.
 
This, the study notes, shows that “technology doesn’t always win out.”
 
The New Generations 2012 results were obtained from face-to-face, in-home interviews with 1,000 randomly selected kids from Metro Manila, Cebu, and Davao conducted between February 25 and March 26, 2012. –Ralph Angelo Ty/KG, GMA News

Pinoy artists, designers join sneaker summit in Dubai


UNITED  ARAB EMIRATES – Filipino designers and artists once again proved their talents in the Sneaker Summit held in Dubai last month.
The event more popularly known as Sole DXB gathered not only sneakers and sports enthusiasts but also trendsetters and foremost designers in the region.
 
The summit also showcased Puma jackets designed by renowned Dubai-based Filipino haute couture designers like Michael Cinco and Furne One.
 
Cinco designed the prismatic panther while Furne One did a baroque victorian sports jacket.
 
Filipino artists were meanwhile handpicked to create illustrations about different sneaker brands.
 
One of those whose illustration was on exhibit at the summit was New Era top design awardee Lina Ureta Alamoudi.
 
“My design is based on the brand Onitsuka Tiger and its very Japanese influenced. I really enjoyed and learned  alot about the craftsmanship of making shoes, the history behind how sneakers were made,” said Alamoudi.
 
Aside from Alamoudi, the illustrations of fellow New Era designers and finalists Kristy Ligones and Ella Orencillo were also featured in the summit.
 
“To create something that is inspired by each model of sneakers. Mine is half cab, a signature shoe by Steve Caballera who is a pro skater,” said Ligones.
 
Meanwhile, Ligones and Orencillo also joined the on-the-spot vinyl toy customization.
 
“Gumagawa ako ng punk rock inspired skater kid doon sa toy kasi ang brand na ibinigay sa akin DC. Kadalasan ng mga skater is more into punk rock music and punk rock fashion,” said Orencillo.
 
Both girls’ hand-painted skateboards were also put on display during the  summit.
 
“They chose around 20 local artists and they gave used and worn out skateboards and we turned those skateboards into something that's artistically-inclined,” said Orencillo. Report from Majah Moralde, ABS-CBN Middle East News Bureau

Princess Munji wants to take acting lessons with ABS-CBN


LONDON - Even as a young girl, Princess Munji Atirah has been closely following the teleseryes and other programs of ABS-CBN through The Filipino Channel or TFC.
Munji is the niece of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, King and Prime Minister of Brunei, who is listed in the Forbes magazine as one of the richest in the world.
A graduate of philosophy, Princess Munji is pursuing a Masteral Degree in media communication at a London university.
Despite the royal bloodline, Munji remains down to earth and her simple dream is to visit Manila soon and take up acting lessons with ABS-CBN.
Princess Munji grew up under the guidance of her Filipino nanny, Muriel Mallorca, a native of Iloilo.
Nana Muriel has been with the Royal Family for more than 20 years. She is the close-in companion to the princess, on call 24 hours a day.
Nana Muriel admitted she never trained nor encourage her ward to speak Tagalog.
Last April, Princess Munji had a chance to meet personally ABS-CBN's Chief Executive Officer Gabby Lopez in Central London.
Chairman Lopez invited the princess to visit Manila.
Among the local artists, Munji's favorites are Sam Milby, Jericho Rosales, Anne Curtis and KC Conception.
During the exclusive interview, Princess Munji also shared her passion for singing Filipino songs.
Princess Munji is also a fan of Filipino food like adobo and chicken sopas.

Friday, May 11, 2012

INTERESTING FACTS ABOUT YOUR TECHIE MOM -MOTHERS DAY SPECIAL [INFOGRAPHIC]

Source: techbullets.blogspot.com

It turns out that more and more moms are getting social media savvy today. They are packing not just kids' lunches but also technology! Cool moms love to interact with their children both at home and online. They tend to socially interact with their kids online as part of providing guidance and see to it that kids have responsible online presence. Cool moms did even love gadgets especially smartphones! In fact, it is the fourth preferred gift they want to receive on especial occasions like mother's day.

If your mom is a techie, then you should check this infographic below that shows how cool is your mom! With that, you can have an idea what would be the perfect gift you can give to her this coming mother's day. But most importantly, showing your mom your love and respect is always the highest gift you can give that no other material gift is adequate.

Happy Mother's Day to all moms out there! :)


Stress on the Body [infographic]


Source: dailyinfographic.com
I recently graduated college, so I haven’t really thought about stress in a while. I just haven’t been in very stressful situations. The end of senior year, however, can be quite stressful. It’s difficult to get everything together to make sure you graduate. While I consider myself generally anxious, I do things to keep my stress and anxiety levels low. I believe meditation is a great tool to clear the mind and promote healthy thinking. Many people do not realize that you can do non-religious meditation, and are closed-minded towards it.
Sleep is an obvious means to keep stress in check. I try to get 8 hours every night, which is way above average amongst my friends. I know lots of people who think ‘all-nighters’ are a good idea, but honestly there has to be a point where the lack of sleep overtakes the additional study time. [Via]

Pinay athlete swims into Britain’s Got Talent finals


LONDON - British Filipino swimmer Jazmine Stansbury has made it into the finals of Britain’s Got Talent (BGT) with underwater act Aquabatique.
The synchronised swimming group secured a place in the finals after a James Bond-inspired number complete with shimmering gold swimwear and soundtrack from the film series.
“The whole James Bond vibe was amazing. You look great. And it’s so relevant with the Olympics. You guys are inspirational,” enthused popstar Alesha Dixon, a judge on the show.
The group made a splash in the competition with their elegant water tank performances that wowed audiences and the judges.
British Filipino swimmer Jazmine Stansbury. Photo Grab from Youtube video
“What I liked about the act is I kind of got patriotic. It made me feel proud and you look amazing," said entertainment mogul Simon Cowell in an episode.
Comedian David Walliams, who previously hired the act for his wedding, also said: “You need real grace and beauty to do that and you girls got both. I was completely blown away.”
Founded in 2011, Aquabatique is made up of ex-Olympic team swimmers Jazmine Stansbury, Zoe Cooper, Emily Kuhl and Beth Smith, who collectively perform and compete internationally.
Stansbury, 23, a British Filipino athlete from Wokingham, told the Reading Post: “To make the live BGT finals is amazing, if only to raise the profile of what we feel is still a vastly under-appreciated sport.”
Coming from a sporting family - her twin brother is a soccer player, and her father a keen sportsman - she was part of the British Olympic squad until last year, with whom she trained approximately 60 hours a week.
“We brought her up and trained her from the age of 10. She tried swimming, football, and long jump. And with what she’s doing now, they’re doing well. I’m proud and very pleased,” her father, Derek Stansbury, told ABS-CBN Europe.
Olympic medalist Tom Daley, a friend of the group, has also been showing his support through his Twitter account by encouraging fans to vote for Aquabatique. He tweeted: “Aquabatique were awesome. Everyone vote for them!!!”
Britain’s Got Talent is a national search for variety acts in the UK offering the opportunity to perform at the Royal Variety Show in front of British royals.
The BGT grand finals will air on ITV1 at 7:30pm BST on May 12.

Hero's welcome awaits Jessica in hometown


MANILA, Philippines – Chula Vista City, the U.S. hometown of Filipina-Mexican “American Idol” finalist Jessica Sanchez, is preparing for a grand celebration in welcoming home the 16-year-old bet in the popular reality singing contest.
Sanchez, who has earned a spot in the show’s top 3, will visit her hometown on Saturday (Sunday in Manila) as part of the long-running tradition of the last three standing “Idol” contenders.
In anticipation of Sanchez's homecoming, the city government of Chula Vista  prepared day-long festivities that will feature a procession, a rally and a mini-concert led by the pint-sized city champ herself.
"Our community is thrilled to welcome home Jessica - she is already Chula Vista's Idol," Chula Vista Mayor Cheryl Cox said. "Her amazing talent and accomplishments are deserving of this grand celebration. We are so proud of her."
Celebrating Sanchez’s “Idol” feat will come no short of levelling with her achievements on the show.
A football stadium has been set as the venue for the festivities, wherein Sanchez will take the microphone to perform publicly outside the “Idol” studio for the first time since joining the competition.
Leading up to the mini-concert will be a motorcade where Sanchez will ride along Eastlake Parkway from Otay Lakes Road to Clubhouse Drive onto the Eastlake High School football stadium.
The celebration will come after the announcement of the top three contestants in “American Idol,” which also include Joshua Ledet and Phillip Phillips.
Sanchez will continue her “Idol” journey on Wednesday (Thursday morning in Manila) during the top 3 performance night, where footage of the Chula Vista homecoming will also be shown.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Bulls must win and go home


The odds are against it, but the Bulls have a chance to win Game 6 Thursday against the 76ers in Philadelphia.
This, obviously, is the Bulls’ biggest game of the season. Lose, and it’s over. All of us can cradle our heads and say, What the hell happened this season?
Win, and there will be a Game 7 at the United Center. And that will be one rowdy event, the madhouse advantage to prove the Bulls’ best regular-season record in the NBA had a purpose.
Is it possible the Bulls suddenly have adapted to playing without injured stars Derrick Rose and Joakim Noah, both of whom went out within the last 10 days?
This is possible.
Knowing a teammate is gone can be easier than wondering when he’ll be back.
If Noah is ready for this game, swell. If not, backup center Omer Asik just showed he can play 28 minutes of playoff ball. How else would we know?
The Bulls’ 77-69 victory in Game 5 was a fierce, therefore ugly, battle. But it showed the way the depleted team can win — willful, fearless defense and opportunistic offense.
And then pray, as forward Taj Gibson said after the game, that once again, “the basketball gods [are] with us.’’
In truth, ferocity is the only god the Bulls can count on. And Gibson, whose sprained right ankle is just one more worry for the Bulls, knows it.
Told of the stunning fact that the victorious Bulls shot only 36 percent from the free-throw line, Gibson said, “The game came down to defense and will. You can’t always count on shots going in.’’
Who knows how heavy Philly’s home-court advantage will be for Game 6?
Coach Doug Collins is crafty and wise, and the Philly fans are, shall we say, less than courteous. And how will the refs be affected?
Game 5 refs Ken Mauer, Leon Wood and Bill Kennedy were the kind of fellows who would let a knife fight go on as long as blood didn’t spatter too much. Philadelphia center Spencer Hawes finished the game with a dandy claw mark on his temple and cheek, and guard “Little Lou’’ Williams could’ve won a global hand-slap contest, he was so animated on defense.
“Playoff basketball,’’ shrugged Bulls guard John Lucas III, who has gone from being a cute ­addition to a vital cog in the Bulls’ patched-together wheel.
JL3 is the guy who was right there near the Elton Brand-Gibson double-technical pileup. And he’s the one always seeming to be able to fight through bigger guys and launch big shots.
Who knows about this one?
It was no more than 48 hours ago that Chicago sports radio was flooded with callers saying the Bulls must dump power forward Carlos Boozer and his medieval jumper and banish Luol Deng and his battered body to the halls of an old men’s infirmary.
They said Boozer was a liability and Deng a dong, especially with the 76ers’ Andre Iguodala draped on him.
All Boozer and Deng did was score 43 points between them, with 21 rebounds, seven assists and three blocked shots.
All you Iguodala lovers? How does 4-for-19 from the field sound, with four rebounds?
What the Bulls have to do is ratchet everything up to the max level without detonating.
Yes, they have lost last season’s MVP and their best big man, but they were the No. 1 team coming into the playoffs, and Philly was the No. 8 seed.
There has to be some wiggle room left. There must be some basic margin by which the Bulls are still better than the 76ers. Or at least a fair competitor.
As stated, this is the game.
Get to a Game 7, and the Bulls would have to be seen as favorites.
Lose Game 6, and the pain of watching the Heat likely sail to the NBA Finals, because the Bulls caved in, might be worse than thinking about all the changes the team must make this long summer off.

Land Bank signs remittance deal with Italian bank


SONDRIO, Italy - The Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP) signed a memorandum of agreement with Banca Popolare di Sondrio (BpS) last May 7, to ensure fast and secure transfer of money between the Philippines and Italy. 
The agreement was signed by Gilda Pico, President and CEO of Land Bank and Mario Erba, Deputy General Manager and Head of the International Division of BpS. 
 
This was the 33rd such agreement on remittances signed by the BpS with foreign banks. 
 
Erba said BpS specializes on a very efficient mode of payments to foreign banks outside Italy. For many years, the bank had an original system that facilitated the transfer of money of foreign workers in Italy to their home countries. 
 
Aside from the fast, convenient and safe sending of remittances, Erba said the bank will only charge a very minimal fee once and guarantees the recipient can withdraw the money without other fees in the Philippines.
 
Money sent to the Philippines will be processed within 24 to 48 hours from the time the transaction was made, Erba explained.
 
Erba hoped that the signing will expand the business and trade ties between Italy and Philippines. He encouraged the Philippine delegation present during the event to work and cooperate to attain the objective.
 
For her part, Pico said that the flow of remittances to the Philippines is steady. She said remittance centers are not a threat to the remittance business of Land Bank and BpS.
 
With the accord between the two banks, Pico said Filipino workers can send money back home in any Banca Popolare di Sondrio branches throughout Italy.
 
The tie-up is expected to benefit many OFWs who live far from the city center, where remittance centers are located.  
 
LBP is one of the top five commercial banks in the Philippines in terms of deposits, assets, loans and capital. It is a 100% national government-owned bank with 329 branches all-over the Philippines.

Flower festival in Holland attracts tourists, Pinoys


HOLLAND - Thousands of tourists, including Filipinos, continued to arrive at the Floriade 2012, the World Horticultural Expo in the Netherlands.
Flowers and plants in varying hues of color and varieties greet visitors upon entry at the expo held this year in Venlo.
The Philippines is among the 39 countries that participated in this once-in-a-decade horticultural expo in Holland.
“Nandito ako kasi it happens once in a lifetime. Accordingly, every 10 years nangyayari dito sa Netherlands, which is far away from The Hague, where we came from. So opportunity ito to come here and see the different flowers from all over the world including our own the Philippines. So for us, lalo na kaming mga expat, bihirang makaranas ng ganitong bagay,” Mel Lasaten said.
About two million bulbs and 5,000 rose bushes were planted on 44 hectares of Dutch land.
Many of the participating countries proudly showcased their own local flowers and plants.
Thailand was a hit with its floral arrangement in the form of an elephant.
Many were in awe of the zen design and unique floral arrangements of Japan, particularly the green and black roses.
“I’m passionate about flowers. The one from Japan, they carefully thought about putting different kinds of placements, different kinds of techniques to grow their plants. I really like the different colors also,” Louron Adrian Paras from Belgium said.
Aside from flowers and plants, several countries seemed to aim to outdo each other with their construction of magnificent pavilions which were also adorned with flowers, ferns, vines and wood, stone and other decorations made from their local materials.
Some Pinoys came to look for inspiration and new designs for landscaping, flower arrangement and horticultural technology.
“Mga design kung paano, flower arrangements, kung paano design ng mga vases, yung mga woodworks, na magamit sa Philippines,” Pinoy tourist Cheno
Tabo said.
Israel proudly showed a high-tech stall highlighting its advances on horticultural farming.
More than two million visitors are expected to visit Floriade which opened last April 5 and will close on October 7.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

No more terminal fee collection in airports by August


MANILA, Philippines - By August 1, domestic passengers will no longer have to queue in airports to pay for the terminal fee. The terminal fee will be incorporated in the plane ticket and collected by airlines instead.
The Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA) and local airlines have agreed to integrate the collection of terminal fee in the payment of plane tickets, for domestic destinations. This is aimed at minimizing the hassle for departing passengers, who have to go through several checkpoints before boarding their flights.
According to MIAA General Manager Jose Honrado, the Philippines is just one of two countries that continue to collect terminal fees in airports.
MIAA will later implement the same policy for international flights.
The terminal fee remains the same: P550 for international flights and P200 for domestic flights.
Airlines will simply remit the money to MIAA who uses the funds for airport maintenance and daily operational costs.
MIAA will eventually remove the terminal fee booths to create extra space at the airports.
Refund booths will be set up after the immigration area for passengers with exemptions or discounts. Around 20-25% of total passengers, mostly overseas Filipino workers and athletes, are exempted from paying the terminal fee.

ING Bank: Philippines seen to draw investors with open wallets


The Philippine growth story has attracted the attention of the global community and soon fresh investments in key sectors like power, infrastructure, tourism and business process outsourcing may go the country’s way, according to Dutch financial giant ING Bank.
Officials of the finance firm told the Inquirer that while large funds were flowing to emerging markets in general, investors had begun to take notice of the Philippines, paying close attention to its rosier macroeconomic fundamentals as well as progress in weeding out corruption and the improvement in the investment climate.
ING Bank delegates are in town for the Asian Development Bank annual meetings.
“Money needs to find its way to safer havens, but I think, fundamentally, the country is doing everything right and I can see why the market is really booming,” said Bart Schmeetz, ING managing director and global head of emerging markets business. “What investors want is predictability. They don’t like volatility. And of course they have to buy into the growth story.”
According to Manuel Salak III, ING managing director for clients and corporate finance in Asia, “good governance is not the single most successful formula” in attracting investors, but it is essential.
Salak, a Filipino now based in Singapore, said foreign investors would like to put their capital in countries with clear policies, where they know they need not offer bribes to get their papers approved, and where they could withdraw their funds any time.
“For the longest time, we haven’t seen an economic team so dedicated to making the bureaucracy less pronounced, and processing much more efficient,” Salak said. “That will go a long way.”
ING, a major player in wholesale banking in the Philippines, said this surge in confidence on the country had translated into new investments from foreign and local groups.
The finance firm helped arrange big merger and acquisition deals, among which was the $2.4-billion acquisition by Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co. of Digital Telecommunications Inc.
Game changer
It also engineered Integrated Micro-Economic’s acquisition of selected assets in Europe, the setting up of a joint venture between Trans-Asia Oil and Energy Development Corp. and Ayala Corp. for the operation of a 150-megawatt thermal power plant, and Sky Cable Corp.’s sale of a 40-percent interest in STT Communications of Singapore.
The Dutch bank likewise helped arrange the fund-raising efforts of top-tier Philippine corporations like Rizal Commercial Banking Corp., Development Bank of the Philippines, Philippine Savings Bank, SM Prime Holdings, Petron Corp., Energy Development Corp., Philippine National Bank and Ayala Corp.
Transactions also include “financial institutions’ deals [to] assist top Philippine banks in raising much-needed capital and liquidity, further reinforcing the country’s banking system,” Salak said.
As for the PLDT-Digitel deal, Salak described it to be a “true game changer” for the telecommunications industry, while IMI’s acquisition of various assets in Europe and Mexico was a “major cross border deal for the Ayala-IMI group.”
ING is also hopeful that more public-private partnerships (PPP) projects will be auctioned off this year. After the Daang Hari toll road project, investors are awaiting the bid for the Light Railway Transit 1 extension from Baclaran to Cavite.
“We’ve sat down with economic managers and feel confident that this time it’s going to happen. This has a … multiplier effect,” said Consuelo Garcia, country manager of ING Philippines. “A lot of our clients are preparing for it. That will be a major catalyst for growth.”
Garcia said foreign investors’ interest on the Philippines as far as foreign direct investment (FDI) was concerned had greatly increased. But she noted that local conglomerates awash in cash were giving interested foreign investors a run for their money.
In terms of sector, she said BPO was among the first to attract investors. “If you look at the amount invested, it’s not as big but they invested a lot of technology and created a lot of jobs,” Garcia said.
The purchase by Dutch dairy giant RFC of a controlling stake in Alaska Milk, Garcia said, was a big vote of confidence on the country.
“Also, the MNCs [multinational corporations] that have been for a long time, like Nestle and Shell, are expanding. The ones who are here know where the opportunities are. They are betting with their wallets,” she said.
Fertile ground for M&A
Salak said power, utilities and infrastructure were going to be “very fertile ground” for mergers and acquisitions (M&As) involving local and foreign companies.
The likes of Ayala and SM groups are now looking beyond their traditional businesses and are getting more into infrastructure—giving the San Miguel and First Pacific groups a tough time.
Also, existing players will undertake more expansion projects, such as those in the power sector, Salak said. Interest in renewable energy is likewise building up, particularly on geothermal and wind power generation.
Oil and gas exploration, Garcia said, is one area that will require foreign technology.
A lot of major global oil/gas countries are now focusing on upstream activities (exploration and production) where margins are higher, while selling their downstream businesses, like in the case of ExxonMobil, Salak added.
San Miguel Corp., through oil refining unit Petron Corp., recently bought the downstream oil businesses of ExxonMobil in Malaysia and has indicated interest in buying the operations in Thailand as well if these were to be put up for sale.
On mining, Salak said the Philippines would have to get its act together to be as big as Indonesia in the commodities space.
“The Philippine potential is all too clear for investors to see. They know that and they’re ready to come in,” he said.
Salak believes that more Philippine companies must consider overseas opportunities.
“The Philippines has always been an exciting market, but we need to get to the next level, be more internationally looking out,” he said.
In 2011, ING divested its asset management business.
“This divestment is consistent with ING’s group strategy to concentrate on banking and divesting its insurance-asset management business. The sale attracted major bids from the country’s top banks, which Bank of the Philippine Islands ultimately won,” Salak said.
(Story courtesy of Doris C. Dumlao of Philippine Daily Inquirer)

Amid shoal tension, PHL, China firms discuss West Philippine Sea gas project

The Philippines' Philex Petroleum Corp. said it has discussed a possible partnership with Chinese offshore oil producer CNOOC to develop a natural gas prospect in the disputed West Philippine Sea (South China Sea), a deal that may help ease tension between the two sides.
 
China meanwhile warned the Philippines that a confrontation over an island in the West Philippine Sea could worsen and Beijing has made "every preparation" to counter what it called the potential expansion of the conflict by Manila.
 
Philex would need a major foreign partner to develop its Sampaguita project, or "service contract 72", estimated to cost billions of dollars, chairman Manuel Pangilinan told reporters.
 
"I received an official invitation from CNOOC. I was in Beijing last week and we discussed SC 72," he said, referring to the exploration permit issued by the Philippines' Department of Energy covering the Sampaguita gas discovery in the Reed Bank in the disputed waters.
 
"Whether it's the Chinese that we will eventually partner with or the non-Chinese, I think it is necessary for us to partner with an international oil major who have the expertise and the money," he said.
 
"(Sampaguita) will take six to 10 years to develop, that's why it's important for us to start now."
 
It was in the Reed Bank where Chinese navy vessels tried to ram one of the survey ships of Forum Energy, a unit of Philex, almost halting its research work last year.
 
Pangilinan declined to give more details on the talks with CNOOC, or China National Offshore Oil Corp, saying he was not at liberty to do so.
 
"Any discussions with them at this stage is privileged," he said, adding the Philippine government was aware of the talks.
 
A partnership between Philex and CNOOC on the Sampaguita project, which is estimated in a 2006 study to hold up to 20 trillion cubic feet of natural gas or more than five times initial estimates, may help defuse tension.
 
China has territorial disputes with the Philippines, Vietnam, Brunei, Malaysia and Taiwan across the West Philippine Sea.
 
A Philippine coast guard ship and two Chinese maritime surveillance vessels faced off near the Panatag Shoal (Scarborough Shoal) in waters believed to be rich in oil and gas in early April after what China said was harassment of Chinese fishing boats.
 
Chinese Vice Foreign Minister Fu Ying summoned the charge d'affaires at the Philippine Embassy, Alex Chua, on Monday to complain for the third time in less than a month over a continuing standoff.
 
"The Philippines clearly has not recognized that it is making a serious mistake," Fu said, adding it was "difficult to be optimistic" about the dispute.
 
"We hope the Philippines will not misjudge the situation and not escalate tensions without considering the consequences," she said in a statement posted to the ministry's website.
 
"China has also made every preparation to respond to the Philippines' intensification of the situation," Fu said.
 
Philippine Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert del Rosario reiterated the rules-based approach in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), which Manila signed in 1984, was the way forward in addressing the disputes.
 
"UNCLOS has never been more important for the Philippines than today, when overlapping maritime claims threaten as never before the peace and prosperity in our part of the world," he said in a statement.
 
The disputes are pushing the Philippines to seek closer cooperation with its chief ally the United States, drawing Chinese condemnation. — Reuters