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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Father's Day began sadly as tribute to slain miners

A mining disaster in West Virginia in 1907 deprived many children of their fathers. The next year, their community held the first Father's Day.

But that's just one version of how the holiday began, now celebrated in many parts of the globe in happier circumstances.

The news site Daily Beast said the origins of Father’s Day "remain disputed" because while
Spokane, Washington "often lays claim to holding the first modern Father’s Day in 1910," the first recorded Father’s Day celebration was in Fairmont, West Virginia.

The report said the celebration in WestVirginia "was anything but celebratory. More than a thousand children were left fatherless after the Monongah Mine disaster in 1907 killed more than 350 men. In July 1908, Father’s Day was held to honor the fathers lost in the disaster and, indeed, all Fairmont fathers."

The Norway-based information site said a range of events may have inspired the idea of celebrating Father's Day. said a woman in the early 1900s -- Sonora Smart Dodd -- was "an influential figure in the establishment of Father's Day."

After their mother died during childbirth, Dodd and her five siblings were raised singlehandedly by their father -- William Jackson Smart -- a farmer and Civil War veteran.

She felt that her father deserved recognition for his devotion to his family.

Inspired by the work of Anna Jarvis, who had pushed for Mother's Day celebrations, Dodd also called for commemoration of Father's Day.

According to the information site Father’s Day Celebration, the holiday was frist celebrated on June 19, 1910, thanks to the efforts of Dodd and the Young Men’s Christian Association in Spokane, Washington, where she resided.

At first, Father’s Day was not as widely celebrated as Mother's Day but it slowly gained popularity and was supported by US presidents Woodrow Wilson, Calvin Coolidge, and  Lyndon Johnson.
It was then permanently made into a national observance day every third Sunday of June in 1972 by president Richard Nixon.
At the World's Fair in Spokane in 1974, four years before she passed away at the age of 96, Dodd was recognized for her contributions.

Many Father's Day traditions have evolved since the holiday was established.
United States
Date of Father's Day celebration: Third Sunday of June
Estimated number of Filipinos: 3,166,529*

In the US, Father’s Day is usually marked with reunions of family members who indulge their dad with presents such as chocolates, greeting cards, and neckties.
The Daily Beast said "these days...a new tie or a dinner out are more synonymous with Father’s Day than actually honoring dad."

Last year, the news site named the best US places for dads, based on per capita income, number of little leagues in the area, Father's Day treats for dads, among others. The report said the top 10 places for dads were:

(1) Irvine, California
(2) Scottsdale, Arizona
(3) Gilbert, Arizona
(4) Orlando, Florida
(5) Tampa, Florida
(6) Chandler, Arizona
(7) Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
(8) North Las Vegas, Nevada
(9) Glendale, Arizona
(10) Boston, Massachusetts

Friday, June 15, 2012

15 Things You Should Be Thanking Your Dad For

Hug your dad for teaching you how...

1. To fish like this...

To fish like this... that you don't think this will work that you don't think this will work

2. To ride a bike like this...

To ride a bike like this... that you don't get caught like this that you don't get caught like this

3. To use a hammer like this...

To use a hammer like this... that in turn, you can teach your cat that in turn, you can teach your cat

4. To drive like this...

To drive like this... that you don't do this that you don't do this

5. To defend ourselves like this...

To defend ourselves like this... that your face isn't like this that your face isn't like this

6. To change a tire like this

To change a tire like this

7. And oil like this

And oil like this

8. And lots of other car stuff...

And lots of other car stuff... that you don't end up driving this that you don't end up driving this

9. To golf like this...

To golf like this... that you don't play like this that you don't play like this

10. To grill like this...

To grill like this... you don't do it like this you don't do it like this

11. To tie your shoes like this...

To tie your shoes like this... that you don't have to wear these that you don't have to wear these

12. To play catch like this...

To play catch like this... you don't get hit in the face like this you don't get hit in the face like this

13. To shave like this...

To shave like this... that you don't turn out like this that you don't turn out like this

14. To tie a tie like this...

To tie a tie like this... that you don't have to wear this that you don't have to wear this

15. To chop wood like this...

To chop wood like this...
Via: that you DO end up like this that you DO end up like this
Happy Fathers day dads!

Soho named Reader’s Digest’s Most Trusted News Presenter

Jessica Soho was named Reader’s Digest’s Most Trusted News Presenter for the second year in a row, in a prestigious ceremony held recently at the Genting Club in Resorts World Manila Hotel in Pasay City.
Jessica is GMA Network’s VP for News Programs and is widely regarded as the most awarded broadcast journalist in the country. Her list of awards includes the highly prestigious George Foster Peabody Award, which is considered the Oscars of broadcast journalism.
Earning for her the esteemed recognition as Most Trusted News Presenter for the second year in a row is GMA News TV’s flagship program, State of the Nation With Jessica Soho. SONA provides viewers with more than just a rundown of the day’s top stories — it presents news, investigative reports, full-length exclusive interviews and ends with an insightful editorial.
“This serves as reminder of the great responsibility entrusted to us in media,” says Jessica.
Aside from SONA, Jessica is also the host of the top-rating Saturday primetime magazine program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho and the modern spin-off to the highly popular news magazine show in the ’90s — Brigada ni Jessica Soho on GMA News TV.
Now on its 14th year in the Asia Pacific region, the Reader’s Digest Trusted Brand serves as a barometer in identifying consumer preferences and brand appeal of products in various categories.

5 Philippine schools are in Asia’s top 300 Universities list

Five tertiary schools made it to Asia’s top 300 Universities list of education and career network group Quacquarelli Symonds.
State-run University of the Philippines (UP) in Diliman, Quezon City remains the country’s top school, ranking 68th in Asia.
UP is followed by private schools Ateneo de Manila University (86th), De La Salle University (142nd) and University of Santo Tomas (148th).
University of Southeastern Philippines in Davao City, a newcomer, made it to the 251-300 bracket.
All four Philippine schools slipped in the Asian University rankings this year.
In 2011, UP ranked 62nd in Asia, while Ateneo closely followed at the 65th spot.
UST and La Salle ranked 104th and 107th last year, respectively.
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology is the top Asian University for the second consecutive year, according to QS.
National University Singapore ranked second, while University of Hong Kong slipped to third place.
The rest of the Top 10 Asian universities are as follows: Seoul National University (South Korea), Chinese University of Hong Kong (Hong Kong), Peking University (China), Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (South Korea), University of Tokyo (Japan), Pohang University of Science and Technology (South Korea), and Kyoto University (Japan).
“Based very loosely on the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education in the US, but operated on a much simpler basis, these classifications take into account three key aspects of each university to assign their label: SIZE, FOCUS, RESEARCH INTENSITY, AGE,” QS said on its website.

Pulitzer winner Jose Antonio Vargas, other illegals, on Time's June 25 cover

Filipino Pulitzer prize winner Jose Antonio Vargas, who publicly declared last year that he was an illegal immigrant in the United States, graces the June 25 cover of Time Magazine, along with 35 other undocumented immigrants in the US.

According to a report of Time LightBox on June 14, Vargas also wrote the cover story for the upcoming issue of the magazine.

Vargas wrote how he has seen "little progress" in US' immigration policy since 2010 when four undocumented students trekked 1,500 miles from Miami to Washington to press passage of the "DREAM (Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors) Act."

The  bill proposes permanent residency for immigrants who came to the US as minors and achieved certain educational accomplishments.

Moved by what the four students did, Vargas revealed in an essay published on the New York Times in June last year that he too was an illegal immigrant.

Vargas is a journalist who was part of the Washington Post’s team that won the Pulitzer Prize for their coverage of the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007.

In his essay on the New York Times, Vargas revealed that as a 12-year-old boy in 1993, he was handed a jacket and told he was going somewhere cold. 
He did not know that he was being escorted to the United States without the proper documents by a "coyote" posing as his uncle.

He only discovered four years later that he was an illegal alien when his application for a driver's license was turned down because of his fake green card.
Vargas is just one of more than 10 million illegal immigrants in the US, with many studying in public institutions or performing vital services. 

Of that number, some 280,000 are Filipinos, according to recent data from the Department of Homeland Security's Office of Immigration Statistics.
Under the proposed law, the immigrants who are eligible for US citizenship are those who:
  • have entered the US before the age of 16; 
  • have been in the US for at least five consecutive years; 
  • have graduated from a US high school, or have obtained a GED, or have been accepted into college; 
  • are between the age of 12 and 35 at the time of application; and 
  • have good moral character.
In 2010, the DREAM Act was passed by the US House of Representatives, but was thumbed down by the Senate.
According to a December 2010 report by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO), the passage of the bill "would affect federal revenues in a number of ways.
While the new measure could increase US revenues by as much as $2.3 billion over 10 years, the CBO report said it could also increase net direct spending by $912 million over the same period.
It further noted that while the legislation could reduce deficits by about $1.4 billion over the 2011-2020 period, " eventual conversion of some of the conditional nonimmigrants to legal permanent resident (LPR) status after 2020 would lead to significant increases in spending for the federal health insurance exchanges, Medicaid, and the Supplemental Nutrition 
Assistance Program (SNAP)." - with a report from JM Tuazon, AM/VVP, GMA News

Deployment ban in 18 countries lifted - POEA

MANILA, Philippines - The government has finally allowed the deployment of overseas Filipino workers to at least 18 countries previously declared “unsafe” destinations for OFWs.
Administrator Hans Cacdac of the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) said the governing board has already approved a resolution allowing deployment of OFWs to 31 more countries. 
“The POEA governing board passed a resolution allowing deployment of OFWs to 31 more countries that were declared compliant by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA),” he said.
Cacdac said that after a thorough review, the DFA has reversed previous “unsafe” assessment and declared as fully compliant the 18 countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Cambodia, Cayman Islands, Croatia, Dominica, India, Nauru, Pakistan, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Sudan, Tonga, Turks and Caicos, Tuvalu, US Virgin Islands, and Vanuatu.
Other compliant countries include Andorra, Bulgaria, Djibouti, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Georgia, Honduras, Moldova, Nicaragua, Samoa, Singapore, and Thailand.
With the inclusion of the 31, a total of 155 countries are now considered compliant and therefore allowed to continue hiring Filipino workers, Cacdac said.
However, a deployment ban remains in Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, Afghanistan and Nigeria, he added.
Under the amended Migrant Workers Act, the DFA must assess the ability of hiring countries to provide protection for Filipino workers.

Anne one of world's most-followed Twitter users

MANILA, Philippines (UPDATED) – Filipino-Australian actress Anne Curtis is one of Twitter’s most “followed” users with a little over 3 million people watching her every post.
Actress-host Anne Curtis. File photo
According to Listorious, which describes itself as having “the best Twitter people search on the web,” Curtis ranks 187th in its list of the most followed Twitter users in the world, surpassing Hollywood actors Ben Stiller (197th) and Leonardo DiCaprio (207th), music producer Simon Cowell (213th) and singer Adam Levine (248th).
The said list is topped by pop star Lady Gaga with over 25 million followers.
As of writing, trailing "Mother Monster" are recording artists Justin Bieber, Katy Perry, Rihanna and Britney Spears, United States President Barack Obama, Latin American singer Shakira, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift, socialite Kim Kardashian, and the Twitter account of video sharing site YouTube.
Curtis, who is currently shooting Hollywood film “Blood Ransom” in the United States, thanked her ever-growing fan base on Thursday.
"I don't know what to say except thank you for following, putting up [and] relating to all my crazy, random [and] yes, sometimes even singing tweets," she said on Twitter.
"Twitter has made a difference in my life because it has paved a way for me to keep in touch with you, all my followers. I get to update you, get instant feedback from all of you. You guys get to know me through my random tweets [and] most importantly I get to share my dreams with all of you.
"Cheers to 3 million! Sending 3 Million++ Hugs & Kisses to my crazy followers & fellow dreamers!"
Curtis’ Twitter account, the most followed in the Philippines, has chronicled many of the actress’ triumphs, adventures and misadventures in showbiz – from the infamous MRT rides and the backstage boo-boo with rival network talents, her outright denial of her Hollywood project, to her product endorsements.
There are also her occasional “tweets” of sweet nothings to her boyfriend, Erwan Heussaff. 
In the Philippines, trailing behind Curtis in terms of Twitter followers are actress Angel Locsin, comedian-host Vice Ganda, actor Sam Milby and Queen of All Media Kris Aquino.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

RP hilot, adobo catch attention in New York tourism fest

MANILA, Philippines – Hilot, the traditional Filipino massage, and adobo, a traditional culinary favorite, made waves at a recent travel show in New York, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

The DFA website ( said Wednesday this was part of an aggressive tourism campaign to promote the Philippines as a major tourism destination.

"The Philippine booth ... featured the Philippine traditional massage, hilot, to make the public aware of the country’s health and wellness attractions. Two Filipino physical therapists gave free five-minute massage sessions to guests which proved to be one of the major attractions at the Travel Show," the DFA said.

On the other hand, Philippine cuisine was featured prominently at the Philippine booth.

"Award-winning Filipino chefs and cookbook authors, Amy Besa and Romy Dorotan of Cendrillon Restaurant in New York, gave a presentation on Philippine cuisine and held a 15-minute cooking demonstration on Filipino adobo," it said.

The Philippine Consulate General, working with the Office of the Philippine Tourism Representative in New York, participated in the 6th Annual New York Times Travel Show last Feb. 6 to 8.

"The Philippines set up a booth that projected the country as both eco-tourism and adventure site, and health and wellness destination. Brochures and information materials about Palawan, Boracay and Cebu were handed out to visitors," the DFA said.

Following the Filipinos' presentation, visitors were treated to complimentary Filipino food and drinks such as ensaymada, pan de sal with adobo filling, and cool fruit juices of various flavors (e.g. mango, calamansi, guyabano).

“Mangorind," a candied puree made of mango and tamarind made popular in Cebu, was also distributed to guests throughout the event.

Manning the Philippine booth during the entire event were DOT Tourism Director Emma Ruth Yulo-Kitiyakara and her staff.

The Consulate helped DOT-NY in sourcing fruit juices from Fil-Am stores. PCG NY officers also stayed in the Philippine booth on the second day of the event.

The 2009 New York Times Travel Show attracted about 500 exhibitors and 30,000 visitors, including travel writers and travel agents, from all over the United States.

Meanwhile, food connoisseur, travel writer, director and producer Anthony Bourdain featured the Philippines and its cuisine on his show “No Reservations" last Feb. 16 on the Travel Channel.

Reruns were played for the next two weeks.

During the program, Bourdain and his Filipino chef-cum-guides showed interesting cuisine places in the Philippines, such as Chinatown, Pampanga and Cebu.

Marketing, cooking and eating of local delicacies such as sinigang, pansit palabok, kinilaw, and kare-kare were meticulously presented.

Claude Tayag of Pampanga was among those who guided Bourdain to the tastes and flavors of Philippine food.

Another initiative of PCG NY to promote tourism in the Philippines was Philippine Center facing 5th Avenue in Manhattan.

Donated by Smart Communications, the television showed videos of Philippine destinations, including video clips of beaches, diving sites and other tourist attractions in the Philippines.

The Consulate also announced that it will conduct an Ambassadors/Consuls General and Tourism Directors Tour to the Philippines on July 9 to 14.

The Post has been campaigning intensively for the Tour through press releases, announcements in speaking engagements, and flyers.

DOT-New York was able to get a special price of $1,579 from Korean Airlines for the four-nights-five-day tour package. - GMANews.TV

Top US food critic says Filipino food is 'next big thing' in America

Filipinos love their food, and it seems as though the US is poised to fall in love with it as well — at least according to top American food critic and “Bizarre Foods” host Andrew Zimmern.
Sinigang na ulang. Carmela Lapeña
“I predict, two years from now, Filipino food will be what we will have been talking about for six months… I think that’s going to be the next big thing,” Zimmern said in an article on the Today Show food blog. 
“San Diego is now a big enough ethnic population of Filipinos that chefs are going there and seeing stuff. I think it’ll creep up into Los Angeles and from there go around the rest of the country,” Zimmern explained in the article.
“It’s just starting. I think it’s going to take another year and a half to get up to critical mass, but everybody loves Chinese food, Thai food, Japanese food, and it’s all been exploited. The Filipinos combined the best of all of that with Spanish technique,” Zimmern added.
He also said in the article that Spanish cooking techniques applied to Asian ingredients are “miraculous.”
In 2009, another culinary expert, chef and “No Reservations” host Anthony Bourdain, also sang praises to Filipino cuisine, ranking the Philippines number one in his “Hierarchy of Pork.”
In a blog on the Travel Channel website, Bourdain called sisig a “divine mosaic of pig parts,” and hailed it as “one of the world’s best beer-drinking dishes.” He also said that the Cebu lechon was thebest whole roasted pig dish he’s had in the world
“If nothing else, I hope that homesick Filipinos living abroad get a glimpse of some of the food and scenery they’ve no doubt been missing. And for viewers who weren’t previously familiar with the wide and tasty spectrum of flavors available over there, I hope the sight of me shoving a lot of very tasty stuff into my maw provides — if nothing else — inspiration to look further,” Bourdain wrote. –Amanda Lago/KG/HS, GMA News

Pinoy UN peacekeepers lauded in London

Filipino peacekeepers were recently lauded at a ceremony in the United Kingdom that commemorated the International Day of the United Nations Peacekeepers, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said.

In a news release on Thursday, the DFA said the event was held at the World War II Memorial along Whitehall Avenue, where the headquarters of the Ministry of Defense, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, and the Prime Minister's Office are located.
"The Philippines is an important contributor in UN peacekeeping operations and considers this as its responsibility as a Member State of the United Nations," said Philippine Ambassador to the UK Enrique Manalo.
Philippine embassy minister Francisco Noel Fernandez III laid a wreath at the base of the memorial to honor the Filipino soldiers and policemen who laid down their lives in the service of the UN as peacekeepers.
Those who attended the event included senior diplomats and defense attachés from other diplomatic missions in London, along with Philippine Embassy welfare officer Mamerto Mercado III.
Leading the event was Baroness Boothroyd, with the Royal Artillery Band providing the Last Post and Reveille in the solemn celebration. - VVP, GMA News

2 Pinoys among Top 25 Immigrants in Canada

CANADA – A former member of parliament and a community activist are the two Filipinos included in Canada's Top 25 Immigrants list this year.
Dr. Rey Pagtakhan of Winnipeg, Manitoba and Narima Dela Cruz of Surrey, British Columbia, felt honored and grateful during the awarding ceremonies held in Vancouver recently.
“The three or two is certainly a tribute that there are many more of us out there who are able to contribute and offer themselves for service to the community, for service to country because those are the attributes that I think Canadians, at large, would like to look forward from any citizen and certainly from any immigrant to this country,” said Pagtakhan.
“I hope really that this will contribute to giving more inspiration to our fellow Filipinos to give more and be involved and be recognized, not just be rewarded, but at least be able to prove that we are also giving back to our adopted country,” Dela Cruz said.
Pagtakhan is no stranger to the Filipino community in Canada. A doctor by profession, he shifted to politics and made history in 1988 by being the first Filipino to win a seat in parliament. Now retired, Pagtakhan was hesitant to join the Top 25 Immigrants contest, which is a people's choice award, as he thought many have forgotten about him.
“So long as I feel that I have the ability, physical, mental and everything in me that I can help contribute then I think I would continue to do that because it is giving me a rewarding sense of fulfillment,” he said.
Dela Cruz, meantime, is a realtor by profession, but she's also president of the Surrey Philippines Independence Day Society and an active volunteer with other organizations.
She believes in giving back not just to fellow Filipinos, but to Canadian society as a whole.
The two were chosen from a list of 400 nominations, shortlisted to 75 and voted by the public to make it to the top 25.
They hope that with the recognition, more kababayans get inspired and will be part of the top 25 list in the future. -- ABS-CBN Balitang Canada.