NAIA staff help recover P700K in cash misplaced by OFW

About P920,000 worth of cash was returned to its rightful owners in two separate incidents at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, ABS-CBN News reported.

“The honesty of the taxi driver and wheelchair attendant plus the immediate assistance provided by our airport police proves that coordination is essential in the recovery and I praised them all,” airport General manager Ed Monreal said the incidents were reported last January 19 and 21 at NAIA Terminal 3.

The first incident was reported by airport police Jamie Estrella, who said a departing passenger identified as Benjamin Cantanero of Las Piñas accidentally left behind his bag inside a taxi.

Cantanero sought the help of Estrella, who used his cellphone to contact Cantanero’s phone that was inside his bag.

Antonio Infanta, 71, of Bram Taxi, answered the call and returned the bag containing P220,000 in cash and travel documents.
Estrella said Cantanero rewarded Infanta for his honesty before proceeding to his flight.

The second incident involved an overseas Filipino worker identified as Mary Jane Gane, who misplaced her bag with more than P700,000 in cash and valuables.

Airport police Colonel William Dolot said Gane came from a currency exchange booth. She intends to use the money to purchase a house for her family.

Wheelchair attendant Rizaldy Ocde found Gane’s bag and notified Dolot. The bag was returned to Gane after authorities verified with the currency exchange booth and the airport CCTV.

Is a Pacquiao-McGregor match possible? Manny says yes

Amid the rumors involving Floyd Mayweather Jr and mixed martial arts superstar (MMA) Conor McGregor, Filipino boxer and senator Manny Pacquiao said he is willing to fight McGregor.

“In boxing I would fight McGregor but not in MMA. Just boxing,” was Pacquiao’s reply when asked about McGregor.

Last year, McGregor was shown in a leaked footage having difficulties boxing against welterweight contender Chris Van Heerden of South Africa.

Pacquiao is not surprised. “I didn’t see the footage of Conor sparring. But if we are talking about Conor McGregor and boxing, it’s different. Boxing is different than MMA,” he said.

Meanwhile, Pacquiao thinks that the bout between Mayweather and McGregor is only meant to generate press attention for the fighters.
“I don’t know if they are taking it seriously. It’s on the news but I don’t know if it will happen,” Pacquiao said in a report.

Mayweather is receptive to the idea of unretiring to fight McGregor in a boxing match only if he is guaranteed a $100-million purse.
MMA promoter Dana White could only offer Mayweather $25 million, which Mayweather scoffed at.

Pia Wurtzbach meets her look-alike

Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach met her doppelgänger Glenn Krishnan and photo proof of how much they look alike is now up online for everyone’s perusal.

Their photo, which was uploaded by a fan account on Instagram, already has over 2,300 “likes” as of this posting.

Krishnan went viral in 2016 after people took notice of her uncanny resemblance to Queen P.

After months of having their photos side-by-side — thanks to half amused, half bewildered fans —the Filipina beauties finally met at the MAC Aids Fund event for the 65th Miss Universe pageant.

Many have pointed out how Wurtzbach’s and Krishnan’s eyebrows and lips seem identical.

Both Pia and Glenn are also models and have foreign blood—Pia’s father is German, while Glenn’s father is Indian-Singaporean.

More int’l cruise lines eye Philippines

Department of Tourism Secretary Wanda Teo announced that many other international cruises are expressing interest in setting dock in the country.

“I’ve been meeting with the executives of Carnival Corp. and Genting. Both agreed that the Philippines has great potential to become one of Asia’s cruise hubs,” Teo told Philippine Star.

Star Cruises, a subsidiary of Genting Hong Kong, earlier announced its fleet flagship, Superstar Virgo, was set to establish Manila as its new home port this summer. This is the first time a company has chosen the city as its vessel’s base.

Michael Goh, SVP of Genting’s Dream Cruise Line, said the ships would start docking in Manila waters in March until May.

He said Superstar Virgo would then offer a five-day cruise itinerary starting from Manila as its home port, going to Laoag, then Kaohsiung, Taiwan, and finally to Hong Kong, before going back to Manila.

“It’s the first time we’ll do it and we want to test out the market. And we have confidence about it,” Goh said in an interview.
From January to October 2016, a total of 19 cruise ships carrying 24,712 passengers made calls to the Philippines. This was still short of the 72,350 passenger target set by the DOT under its National Cruise Tourism Strategy.

This year’s target, meanwhile, is to attract 85 port calls, bringing in 75,000 travelers into the country.
Superstar Virgo has a passenger capacity of 1,870.

Samsung reveals what causes battery overheating in S7

Samsung Electronics Co. said on Monday that the Note 7 explosions are caused by problems with the design and manufacturing of its batteries.

During a press conference Sunday, Samsung said two separate battery defects caused both the original batch of Galaxy Note 7 phones and the replacement units to overheat.

The first battery, it said, suffered from a design flaw. The battery’s external casing was too small for the components inside, causing it to short-circuit and ignite.

The second battery, which came from another supplier, didn’t have the same flaw, Justin Denison, head of product strategy and marketing for Samsung’s US arm, said in an interview ahead of the press conference. In the rush to pump out enough batteries for the replacement units, though, the supplier introduced a manufacturing defect that led to the same result, he said.

Seven-hundred researchers and engineers tested more than 200,000 devices and more than 30,000 batteries and replicated what happened with the Note 7 phones, the world’s biggest smartphone maker said in a statement.

Samsung said it was “taking responsibility for our failure to ultimately identify and verify the issues arising out of the battery design and manufacturing process.”

The company recalled 2.5 million Note 7 phones in September after reports they were overheating and catching fire.
New Note 7s with different batteries also caught fire. So Samsung permanently dropped the premium phone in October. It estimates the problems will cost it at least $5.3 billion through early 2017.

Ferrari World to spend Dh700M on new rides, theme park

In a bid to get a wider global tourism market, Ferrari World is set to spend Dh700 million on new rides and experiences at the world-famous theme park, Miral Asset Management confirmed.

Miral revealed that the 102 km/h, 62m high Turbo Track thrill ride will be ready in March while the mega coaster will break through the glass funnel and shoot above the iconic red roof of the theme park.

By 2022, Miral expects 48 million visitors to Yas Island. Around 40 per cent of visitors to Ferrari World are tourists, with increasing numbers coming from India and China. Tourism has a key role to play in Abu Dhabi’s plans to create a sustainable, diversified economy. The Emirate’s strategic 2030 Vision is to create new world-class destinations.

Ferrari World currently has 35 rides and attractions and, following on from the opening of Flying Aces roller coaster in April 2016, another 4 attractions (2 rides and 2 experiences including a Ferrari car simulator and the Turbo Track coaster) will be added in 2017 and a further 4 attractions in 2018, including some suitable for younger visitors.

Last month, Miral announced plans to open a SeaWorld theme park on Yas Island by 2022. This will be SeaWorld’s first international expansion. The marine life park will not include orcas and will be funded by Miral under license.

Smart signals to reduce waiting time for pedestrians

A smart pedestrian traffic light expected to reduce pedestrians’ waiting time has completed testing in Dubai, the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) announced on Sunday.

The RTA has installed and operated the smart traffic light on Al Saada street and the signal ensures safe crossing of pedestrians, said Maitha Mohammad Bin Adai, CEO of RTA’s Traffic and Roads Agency.

Signals at key routes can spot the movement of pedestrians on the pavement before crossing the street, or on the crossing path and will automatically modify the timing of the signal’s light accordingly.

Explaining the mechanism of the system, Bin Adai said the sensor-based pedestrian traffic light is equipped with an optical ground system that works in perfect harmony with traffic.

“It spots the movement of pedestrians on the pavement (before crossing the street) or on the crossing path (during crossing) and automatically modifies the timing of the signal accordingly. Thus, it allows the safe passage of the largest possible number of pedestrians and accordingly provides an excellent and smart service to all road users,” said Bin Adai.

She added that the system has gone through all technical tests and trials to ensure its smooth functionality.

“RTA is currently considering broadening the scope of this trial by installing more signals on similar locations of Dubai’s road network,” she said.

Currently, most of Dubai’s traffic lights are pre-timed, which either allocates a fixed duration to pedestrians as well as vehicular traffic, though in many cases it does allocate bigger green or red time, depending on traffic flow.

UAE emerges as 2nd largest cash remittance source for PH

With fund transfers witnessing a 6.8 percent increase in 2016, UAE continues to be the second largest source of cash remittances to the Philippines after Saudi Arabia.
Filipino expatriates in the UAE sent home a total of $1.9 billion (Dh6.9 billion) between January and November 2016, making the Gulf country the second top source country for money transfers from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region, reported Gulf News.
The UAE is a major destination for migrant workers from the Philipines, estimated to be more than 500,000 as of 2014, the report said.
The Philippines’ central bank reportedly said the UAE was also one of the biggest contributors of money transfers worldwide, along with the United States, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Kingdom, Japan, Qatar, Hong Kong and Germany.
“Combined remittances from these countries accounted for more than 80 percent of the total cash remittances in the first 11 months of 2016,” the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas was quoted as saying.
The central bank also reported that the despite weak economic growth and low oil prices, money flows from GCC countries, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, are still growing. Cash transfers from Saudi Arabia declined by 6.5 percent to $2.4 billion, said the news portal.
The Philippines witnessed a surge in remittances in November alone, when cash transfers from around the world reached $2.4 billion, up 18.4 percent from a year earlier. This brought the cumulative remittances for the first nine months of 2016 to $26.9 billion, representing a 5.1 percent year-on-year growth, the report pointed out.
The World Bank had earlier predicted that remittances to a number of countries, especially those in South Asia, were forecast to drop by 2.3 percent in 2016. Cash transfers to India were expected to fall by 5 percent, while Bangladesh can expect to see a 3.5 percent decline, reported Gulf News.

Viral: Boy takes care of brother in classroom

An inspiring post from a Facebook user showing a little boy who brought his baby brother to school so he can take care of him while he is studying has broken the hearts of many netizens.

The heartwarming photo was taken by Shyla Blasico, a teacher from J. Blanco Elementary School in South Cotabato.

In the caption, Blasico said that the boy is one of their pupils. His mother died due to ectopic pregnancy last year.

“Dahil walang mag-aalaga sa kapatid niya dinadala niya na lang ito sa klase para di maka absent,” Blasico said.
The boy in the photo is nine-year old Mateo Baño, a grade 3 pupil.

The teacher said that since posting the photos online, she has been receiving words of encouragement from netizens as well as help from good-hearted people.

“Mayroong tumawag, magpapadala ng pera. Mga 8.30 a.m., may nagpunta dito nagbigay ng pera, P500. Yung iba nagtetext,” she said.

But more than the money, the teacher is appealing for food for the family.

“Wala daw silang bigas. Gusto namin food, damit at basic school needs,” she said.

She appealed to those who are still willing to help to give her a call first. She added that she and the principal are still discussing the best possible way to help out the children.

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‘Yaya Dub’ returns to dubsmash

Philippines’ dubsmash queen Maine Mendoza, also known as ‘Yaya Dub,’ has made a dubsmash return with a video she posted on Twitter.

In the video, lipsynced the song “Nung ako’y bata pa,” which gathered 10,000 retweets and more than 30,000 likes in just three hours, with a bunch of people editing her video together with the original.

Last Thursday, Maine excitedly announced that she has received a personalized gift from international band Coldplay’s vocalist Chris Martin.

According to the “Eat Bulaga” host, her good friend “Mel,” a flight attendant at Etihad Airways managed to get her the gifts when the latter was on the same flight with Martin.

Maine gushed about the gift in a lengthy Instagram post, saying the singer willingly granted the request, and also voluntarily gave the signature love button he wears all the time.

She captioned, “Grabe hindi ko keri, I have never felt this special. Lol! Chris Martin might not know me at all but daaamn this is definitely #fangirlinggoals. Oh and I also got a video greet from him! Pero ito nalang ang ishshare ko. Tee hee! Anyway, I am so so so so soooo happy! Thank you very much Ms. Mel for this wondeeeerful surprise! This is priceless!”