Police who went undercover shot dead in Batangas; 6 others hurt

wide lugar ng pinangyarihan

wide lugar ng pinangyarihan

Balayan, Batangas – A policeman who worked as undercover against an illegal drug syndicate was killed while six civilians were wounded in a shooting rampage here on Tuesday, police said.

PSI Allan De Castro, Balayan police chief, said SP01 Brian De Jesus, an intelligence operative was shot while watching a live band perform in a covered court in Barangay Sampaga at around 1:20 am, while six civilians were hit by stray bullets in the same area.

De Jesus, along with a civilian police asset, was in the crowd monitoring drug suspect Rodolfo Macalindong at that time when he was shot by the same suspect.

Police said the victims were rushed to Balayan Bayview Medical Center but doctors declared De Jesus dead upon arrival while six others are still recuperating from their gun shot wounds sustained in the incident.

De Castro said the witnesses positively identified Macalindong as the gunman along with certain Franciso Arroyo alias Barok and two unidentified suspects.

Police are now preparing to file charges against the suspects who remains at large.

 

 

[Editorial] Lipa: My city, my pride

(photo from the Facebook page of Lipa City Philippines)

 

The City of Lipa is Batangas province’s new wonder. Look at how Ayala Avenue had changed much over the years: The “oldies” are Chowking, McDonald’s, Red Ribbon, Starbucks. New ones, at least on the Big Ben side, are KFC, Tokyo Tokyo and a new building for the born-again church group Victory.

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Karibok ang Tuktok 2017: Young Batanguenos showcase academic skills

Karibok logo

 

(AN ADVERTISEMENT)–A 41-year-old group of Batangueno students from the University of the Philippines-Diliman recently organized a outreach program for students in the province.

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[Miss Universe] Missosology’s pre-arrival hot picks

Maxine Medina (photo from Miss Universe Organization)

 

 

Reprinted with permission from Missosology.org

 

Truly, Miss Universe is  a hot item so to speak. And with the Philippines as the host nation, things will simply turn out fabulous as evidenced by the wonderful outcomes of Miss Universe 1974 and Miss Universe 1994. Surely, the contestants will have all the fun in the world as they compete in a pageant crazy nation.

Maxine Medina (photo from Miss Universe Organization)

Maxine Medina (photo from Miss Universe Organization)

The host delegate Maxine Medina is trained to show her country’s best foot forward. When 2016 concluded, there is a collective feeling in the Philippines that they were wronged. So now, the “collective feeling” is that they need to prove that they are indeed a superpower nation in world of pageantry.

A back-to-back win will put the Philippines in the same footing as Venezuela and there is a huge effort being undertaken right now to make sure that it will happen. It is nothing sinister like having host friendly judges in the panel of jury (like putting their national director as a judge for example). Rather such efforts are poured into Maxine through relentless training and conditioning. Latest photos and videos show a confident Maxine Medina with vavavoom body ready to unleash the fierce beauty queen within to take on the toughest competitor.

Having the same perspective as the Philippines, Colombia, a country that has all the rights in the world to claim that they were wronged in 2015, have doubled, nay, tripled their efforts to secure the crown. Andrea Tovar – classy, elegant, confident – is completely the right delegate for the task. She is ready to put Colombia to where it belongs which is on the top.

Sure, there was bad blood between the Philippines and Colombia post 2015 pageant. But things right now echo the antebellum years where the Philippines has nothing but respect and admiration to Colombian beauty queens. Remember in 1974, Colombia was just 3 ranks away from winning and in 1994, they almost triumphed. Andrea will thrive in the Philippines and that could serve as a springboard towards victory.

Miss Brazil's Raissa Santana (photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization)

Miss Brazil’s Raissa Santana
(photo by Marcelo Soubhia, from Miss Universe Organization)

Brazil is a county to watch. When Raissa Santana was crowned as Miss Brasil, the whole pageantry community went gaga over this black Barbie. Miss Universe is a huge deal in Brazil where the quest for their third crown is a relentless annual pursuit. Keep an eye on Raissa. She could truly be Brazil’s third Miss Universe titleholder!

If everyone was awed when Raissa was crowned Miss Brasil, Mariam Habach’s victory at Miss Venezuela meanwhile left everyone scratching their heads. Some claim it will be the end of Venezuela’s golden era and like its economy, the country’s beauty pageant infrastructure is believed to be in tatters.

But Osmel Sousa, Venezuela’s legendary queen maker, is not taking things as it is. Mariam Habach was transformed into a goddess and she will show off her wares in Manila. As what it was in 1994, Venezuela will once again command the respect and admiration of everyone during the Miss Universe competition.

Thailand’s Chalita Suansane has been the darling of the press recently. She is a strong candidate and hopes are high that Thailand will be victorious this time around. The country has the momentum and there is a solid machinery that can back her up starting from equally pageant crazy fans to a well-funded and highly popular national organization.

In many cases large and traditionally strong nations dominate the list of who’s who but coming from a small island does not deter Miss Barbados Shannon Harris from joining the big leagues. Her beauty has a universal appeal and we hope that her chances rests upon her inherent strength and not on the sash weight.

Another strong delegate is Caris Tiivel of Australia. This large nation last won in 2004 and Caris is like a jolt of million megawatts that gave life to the erstwhile sagging campaign of Australia. It is also a nation that seeks its third crown with a well-funded pageantry machinery. Caris is no doubt well prepped for the competition and her sash commands a great attention.

Miss USA Deshauna Barber is a candidate worthy of our attention. Don’t let her photos fool you. She is a drop dead gorgeous contestant up close and there is a feeling that it is the year of United States this time around. She’s very smart, very poised, with a very good rapport among fellow candidates and to the general public.

After the Top 5 finish of Flora last year, France is putting a laser-like focus at Miss Universe. The country has been playing switcheroo with its first runner-up and winners for a while and this time, there is a steady pattern that the real winner of Miss France has to compete at Miss Universe. Iris Mittenaere, is the winner of Miss France and she is specially reserved at Miss Universe. If this is not an indication that France is dead serious in winning, then we don’t know what is this.

Another country hunting for its third Miss Universe title is Mexico. The behemoth nation with passionate pageant followers is deploying a candidate who is familiar with the battle terrain. Kristal Silva is Mexico’s best hope to end the pageant year with a bang. She has been to the Philippines before competing in another major international pageant. She knows the people and the host nation well and she has left an indelible positive impression back in 2013.

But everyone knows that the 2016 pageant season has been a very unpredictable year. It’s a year full of surprises. Thus, let’s not fool ourselves by believing that we are clairvoyant. In fact, any of these five wonderful women can pull a surprise and win it all: Miss Netherlands Zoey Ivory, Miss Puerto Rico Brenda Jiménez, Miss Indonesia Kezia Warouw, Miss Canada Siera Bearchell and Miss Ukraine Alena Spodynyuk. This is anybody’s game folks and that’s what makes the 65th Miss Universe exciting!

[Miss Universe] PHL back-to-back wins ‘possible’

 

Reprinted with permission from Missosology.org. Views written herewith are by the article’s authors.

 

Philippine bet Maxine Medina (photo by Missosology.org)

Philippine bet Maxine Medina (photo by Missosology.org)

There is no question that the enthusiasm towards the campaign of Maxine Medina to clinch once again the Miss Universe crown for the Philippines has been dramatically dampened. It is as if the victory of Pia Wurtzbach last year would kill any chances of her Bb. Pilipinas successor at Miss Universe. With Maxine Medina however, a back-to-back win is very possible. Here’s why:

1.) Maxine Medina is an elegant beauty. She may not be the cup of tea of the majority of pageant fans but she

definitely exudes an aura of elegance. The way she carries herself can light up the room instantly. She can easily grab attention with her chinita (a Filipino word of Spanish origin that describes a woman with Chinese-like beauty) looks and curvaceous body. The way she walks onstage can be perfected further to complement her confidence and wow the judges of the Miss Universe 2016 pageant.

2.) If pageant analysts thought that Miss Universe back-to-back victory is improbable, then the events of Miss Universe 2009 put that notion to rest. Can another back-to-back be possible? Of course it is! In fact, last year’s snafu almost saw the second back-to-back win at Miss Universe but of course, Ariadna was stopped on her stilettos by Pia. Obviously, whether one agrees or not, Pia was the better woman but the fact that Ariadna came so close in winning means that back-to-back is not that improbable as it once was. Come to think about it, Manpreet Brar almost did it too in 1995!

3.) The political winds are extremely favorable to the Philippines. The current decade that started in 2010 is akin to India’s beauty pageant campaign back in the 1990s. It would take a terrible mistake to take out a Miss Philippines out of the Top 10 at Miss Universe. The organization also now knows how passionate the Filipinos are with their pageant as evidenced by the fiesta-like homecoming party for Pia. The trend now shows that it seems the only way a pageant can regain its footing is through crowning a Filipina! Further to this, there is that so-called law of momentum in the pageantry world. It could be largely psychological but the fact that the Philippines has won all the Big5 crowns within a three-year window could instill fear to its adversaries and boost the confidence of anyone who is wearing the sash that says Philippines.

4.) The machinery – beauty pageant machinery if you will – is now in place at Bb. Pilipinas to hone and train a

Maxine Medina during the send-off to her by Bb. Pilipinas Charities last Jan. 10 (photo by Missosology.org)

Maxine Medina during the send-off to her by Bb. Pilipinas Charities last Jan. 10 (photo by Missosology.org)

beauty queen that will pose a strong threat to anyone vying for the Miss Universe crown. Languishing for decades at the backwater, the Bb. Pilipinas organization had actually became a laughing stock in the pageant world ever since Nina Ricci Alagao, a super-hyped candidate, failed to even land in the semis of Miss Universe 2000. The overreliance to foreign designers and trainers has been replaced with strong local training camps and by enthusiastic local designers like Andrada, Libiran and Almodal. Now, the Bb. Pilipinas organization commands the respect and admiration not only in the Philippines but by other organizations as well from all over the world.

5.) And finally, this might not be true, but Miss Universe organization owes the Philippines a lot. The scandalous error of Steve Harvey last year stole the moment of the Philippines to properly react and celebrate a victory that was last seen in 1973. For a passionate nation like the Philippines, it was a travesty. Again, this might not be a valid demand, but don’t you think that Miss Universe owes the Philippines another victory and this time around with a proper crowning moment complete with boisterous crowd and thousands of YouTube at the moment videos?

Tarlac’s belens put pizzazz to Pinoys’ Yuletide culture

The belen made by Camp Servillano Aquino of the Armed Forced of the Philippines that won a grand prize in this year's Belenismo sa Tarlac (photo by the Facebook page of Belenismo sa Tarlac)

 

 

TARLAC PROVINCE–Be greeted by dancing lights and by unique, imaginatively-designed belens from residents here in this Central Luzon province.

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Jesus Christ’ image appears on wall in Tanauan

An alleged Jesus Christ image was discovered on the wall in Tanauan City (DERRICK GARCIA)

 

TANAUAN CITY – An alleged Jesus Christ image has appeared on the wall outside a residence in Barangay Bagbag on January 7, drawing hundreds of pilgrims from as far as Laguna.

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[2015 Yearender] Maturity and Filipinas’ patience that conquered the ‘Universe’

2015 Miss Universe Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach (photo from the Miss Universe Organization)

 

MANILA (Edited)—A month before the Miss Universe pageant in Las Vegas, 26-year-old Pia Alonzo Wurtzbach brought resolve before TV host Boy Abunda. Ferocious but jolly pulchritude beamed on national television.

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[Headlines of The Connection] Lipa’s Marian apparitions: Devotion an ‘aftershock’ of diocesan declaration

 

LIPA CITY—The shocking news —sized 5 x 10 centimeters, shaped like a small cigarette box— is found on the left side of a woman’s body.

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[Rewind #AwaNgDiyosPH] Faith tucked in elders’ four encounters with popes

Rafael Cortes, 78 (photo by MIA ROSIENNA MALLARI / The Filipino Connection)

 

For Easter, The Filipino Connection releases articles from its special edition on the apostolic visit of Pope Francis last January 15-19, 2015.

 

MANILA—Rafael Cortes, 78, has lived through four papal visits in the country.

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