Month: July 2017

Canada warns against travel to Mindanao

Philippines Western governments are warning their citizens against travelling to nearly all of the southern third of the Philippines, citing the rising threats of terror attacks and kidnappings by Islamist militants, Yahoo Philippines reports. Fresh alerts from Britain, Canada and Australia were released this week after President Rodrigo Duterte extended military rule across the southern region of Mindanao until the end of the year to combat the militants. The Canadian advisory on Monday warned against visiting any part of Mindanao except for Davao, the biggest city in the south. “There is a serious risk of terrorist attacks and kidnappings in this region,” the Canadian government said. It also cautioned that people should only visit Davao, where the bombing of a crowded night market last year claimed 15 lives, if it was essential. Mindanao comprises roughly a third of the Philippine territory and is home to 20 million people. The region has endured decades of conflict, with Muslim separatists and communists waging deadly rebellions, and a small group of Islamic militants known as the Abu Sayyaf running a lucrative kidnap-for-ransom operation from there. Western governments have long advised against travelling to parts of Mindanao, but the fresh alerts are more extensive as they warn against visiting almost the whole region. The new advisories reflect growing concerns that the Islamic State group’s influence is rising in Mindanao. Gunmen who have pledged...

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Dennis Gupa wins $10,000 award

Victoria, B.C. Climate change work recognized By Ted Alcuitas Doctoral student Dennis Gupa has been awarded this year’s Ada Slaight Drama in Education Award by the Young People’s Theatre for his work on climate change. Gupa is studying Sea Rituals, Climate Change and Applied Theatre Research at the University of Victoria. (UVic). Gupa will use the $10,000 prize to craft a performance that will involve artists from the Philippines and Canada, as well as Indigenous elders and their seacoast communities, who together will build an ecological framework to understand the relationships between human beings, the ocean and the earth. In this study, Gupa aims to respond to this question specifically: To what extent can applied theatre as an art facilitate the articulation of indigenous ways of knowing about ecological sustainability and climate change?   Sea Rituals, Climate Change and Applied Theatre Research
 By Dennis Gupa I was a first year MFA Directing student at the University of British Columbia when super typhoon Yolanda struck the Philippines in 2013. As the typhoon’s rage decimated an entire city, leaving the whole Visayan region traumatized due to the magnitude of its destruction, I began to re-think my own work as a diasporic artist. I was homesick and removed from the suffering of my country. Then I met a Filipina scholar in Vancouver who worked directly from the grounds of the destruction. Her stories moved me....

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Flip Side Desserts

Vancouver, B.C. What’s in my mouth? Food Blog Sharing what I think is Mmm…Sarap! Home About JULY 21, 2017 WHATSINMYMOUTH  By Monica Urrutia With the hot weather we’re having, nothing tempts better than a dessert. Blooger Monica Urrutia found one. Feeling it at Flip Side Desserts I am now on a mission to try new restaurants that appeal to me as quickly as I can. Flip Side Desserts had only been open for about four weeks and was a few blocks from work, but I wasn’t able to visit until recently. Flip Side is a dessert stop with a lot of Filipino flavour offerings as well as other flavs for broader appeal. I like the clean lines set-up inside, with about twenty seats available, and light and easy decor. There were five in our party and we ordered three simple shakes and one monster shake: two halo-halo and one avocado simple shakes and one chocolate monster shake. (I was sharing the monster shake.) Each shake comes with a different flavoured wafer stick depending on your order. It appears that monster shakes are made up of one simple shake plus two additional pre-determined items, in my case a slice of chocolate cake and a scoop of vanilla ice cream with drizzled chocolate. I had the Chocolate Monster as J. wanted chocolate cake. Avid readers will know I am not a dessert...

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Balikbayan boxes to face stricter rules

Balikbayan Box Bago na ang patakaran sa Agosto 1 Senders of balibayan boxes will be facing stricter rules beginning August 1st as the Bureau of Customs (BOC) implements new rules, Customs Memorandum Order 04-2017 designed to curb smuggling. Among new regulations: ▪ senders of balikbayan boxes to list items, include receipts ▪ restrict recipients to sender’s relatives only According to media reports, forwarding companies are not happy saying it increases burdens, delays in delivery. Senders are to fill out an information sheet which itemizes the contents in their balikbayan box, as well as provide copies of receipts. They must also send forwarding companies copies of their passport as proof of their nationality. The new rule also restricts those eligible to receive the sender’s boxes to their family members or relatives, specifically: the spouse, child, parent, sibling, sibling of parent, first cousin, niece/nephew, grandparent, sibling of grandparent, grandniece/nephew, grandchild, great-grandchild, or great-grandparent. Forwarding companies have blasted the memo saying it will place a bigger burden on OFWs and their families. Meanwhile, BOC Chief Commissioner Nicanor Faeldon said there will no manual inspection of balikbayan boxes. GMA News quoted Faeldon as saying on July 21: “Hindi po binubulatlat ang balikbayan box. Pagdating po niyan dito, sa X-ray lang ‘yan dadaan. Pag walang nakitang kontrabando, drugs o kung anuman, walang bubuksan,” Faeldon said in an interview on radio DZBB. He added: “Iho-hold...

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Ellecer Carlos brings campaign to Vancouver

Vancouver, B.C. Human rights campaigner speaks on extrajudicial killings By Ted Alcuitas Fresh from a successful campaign before the U.S. Congress, Ellecer Carlos will be in Vancouver on Saturday, July 29 to report back on the pubic  hearing. The spokesman for the Philippine coalition In Defense of Human Rights and Dignity Movement Coalition of the Philippines  will speak about the extrajudicial killings, martial  law and the rise of authoritarianism. The forum organized by the Global Pinoy Diaspora, Canada will be at the Coquitlan Public Library, Rm. 127  from 1:30 to 3:30 PM. The library is located at 1169 Pinetree Way, Coquitlam and is a blok away from the  Lincoln Skytrain Staion. Carlos, who recently completed a speaking tour in various cities testified before the U. S. Congress on July 20 regarding the extra-judicial killings happening in the Philippines. Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch also testified before the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission. “We have 40 to 50 killings every day of the most impoverished, beaten down individuals in Philippine society,” Carlos told the committee. The U.S. Congress is launching an investigation into alleged human rights abuses committed by Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in pursuit of his anti-drug campaign, according to the statement issued by the U.S. Filipinos for Good Governance, Inc. The July 20th hearing was held at the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission of the U.S. House of...

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