Police rescue Filipina, 15 others from human trafficking

KOTA KINABALU: A Filipina was among 16 human trafficking victims, who were rescued in a raid on a reflexology outlet at Kampung Air in Malaysia.

Other 15 were Chinese nationals, reported New Straits Times Online.

All victims were aged between 22 and 42.

Acting on a tip-off, Sabah Criminal Investigation Department Chief Datuk Salehhudin Abdul Rahman reportedly said a team of investigators raided the premises at 1:40 am. “The victims were found in a room next to the counter. We rescued them and sent them to a temporary safehouse nearby.”

Police also arrested the premises’ caretaker to facilitate investigation under the Anti-Trafficking in Persons and Anti-Smuggling of Migrants Act (ATIPSOM) 2007, said the news portal.

“He will be remanded for four days. Anyone found guilty under Section 13 of ATIPSOM is liable to imprisonment of not more than 20 years and a fine,” police was quoted as saying.

PH mission launches filmmaking workshop for Filipino students

DUBAI: The Philippine Consulate-General in Dubai has launched its first photography and filmmaking workshop, which is part of the consulate’s Rizal Forum series named after the country’s national hero Dr Jose Rizal, for Filipino students.

Twenty-four high school students from United International Private School-Dubai, The Philippine School-Dubai, and Far Eastern Private School-Sharjah are participating in the six-week free workshop organised by Yasmin Cortes, wife of the consul-general and head of the Filipino Ladies of Dubai, reported Khaleej Times.

“After an initial two weeks of training, the students will exhibit their works at the consulate’s main exhibit gallery. Then the list of 24 will be trimmed to top 10, who will join the 48-hour film project, a platform for independent film makers and budding film makers,” Cortes reportedly said.

Renowned Filipino photographer Eros Goze and Raul Gabat, managing director of Canon Middle East, are supervising the workshop, the report said.

Meanwhile, Cortes reportedly briefed the students on the history of Philippine movies from the 1940s up to its “regrettable decline in the late 1990s”.

“Thankfully, the rise of Filipino film makers like Brillante Mendoza and Lav Diaz … bolstered the roster of great talents in our film industry such as Lino Brocka, Ishmael Bernal, and Mike de Leon,” the Filipino envoy was quoted as saying by the Dubai-based news portal.

Cortes reportedly emphasized that Filipinos have a strong penchant for self-expression in the arts, particularly in music, film, and literature – and they are globally recognized for their talents.

PH govt to issue five-year validity driving license

MANILA: The Philippine Department of Transportation has approved the issuance of driver’s license with a validity of five years starting Oct. 8.

The order “Rules and Regulations Providing for a Five-Year Validity of Driver’s Licenses and Conductor’s Licenses” was approved by Transportation Secretary Arthur P. Tugade, reported Journal.com.

However, the DoTr is experiencing backlog in license cards due to procurement problems.

Orlando Marquez, national president of Liga ng Transportasyon at Opereytor sa Pilipinas (LTOP), welcomed the good news.

“Magandang balita po ito lalo sa jeepney drivers, alam naman ng lahat na isang araw ay importante sa drivers dahil five years na ang validity, tipid sa pera at panahon,”Marquez was quoted as saying.

Marquez is optimistic that Sec. Tugade and Assistant Sec and Land Transportation Office chief Edgar Galvante will soon solve the problems in the issuance of license cards, said the news portal.

“Kasi may resibo nga wala namang cards, ano ‘yun? lalo na para sa mga overseas Filipino workers (OFW) na umuuwi lang para mag renew ng kanilang driver’s license,” Marquez reportedly said.

The LTO was quoted as saying that applicants for new license shall pay P100 for application fee, P67.63 for computer fee, P585 for license fee, and another P67.63 for the computer fee.

For renewal of licenses, the applicant shall pay P585 for license fee and P67.63 for computer fee.

In case new driver’s license cards are unavailable, the old/expired driver’s and conductor’s license cards shall remain in the possession of the licensee, which shall be valid until the issuance of the new card. The validity period shall be indicated in the official receipt, reported Journal.com.

University of the Philippines among world’s top varsities

MANILA: The University of the Philippines (UP) has made it to the World University rankings for the year 2016-2017 along with 979 other universities.

The country’s flagship university landed on rank 801+ with over 175 other universities, according to the Times Higher Education, reported Manila Bulletin.

Taking the top of the pedestal is the University of Oxford, while California Institute of Technology (CalTech) dropped down to the second spot, after five years on the lead, the report said.

Stanford University, University of Cambridge and Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), respectively followed.

This isn’t the only time UP made it to a list of the world’s top universities. Just this September, UP reported it took on the 374th rank in Quacquarelli Symond‘s Top 400 universities.

Although, both lists are equally prestigious, Times Higher Education’s (THE) and Quacquarelli Symond (QS) differ in their analyses, reported Manila Bulletin.

On one hand, QS uses six performance indicators, namely: academic reputation, employer reputation, student-to-faculty ratio, citations per faculty, international faculty ratio and international student ratio.

On the other hand, THE uses 13 performance indicators which are grouped into five areas: Teaching, Research, Citations, International Outlook and Industry Income, the report said.

Reconstructed version of Filipina’s murder case released

Dubai: Police have released a reconstructed version of the circumstances surrounding the death of a Filipina housemaid, whose headless body was dumped in the desert with both hands cut off, in a video.

The video explains how painstaking police work allowed investigators to identify the victim, Maria Normita, and events leading to the the prime suspect’s arrest following a three-month probe, reported Gulf News.

Dubai Police reportedly said they were able to identify the body after getting Maria Normita’s belongings from her employers and matching her DNA with the body.

Police arrested G.S., the victim’s nephew, who they said admitted to killing Maria Normita following a dispute over money.

Police in the UAE occassionaly publish videos reconstructing certain crimes and how they homed in on the culprits, GN reported.

Little Manila turns one

DUBAI: Filipino specialty restaurant, Little Manila, has turned one-year-old on September 14. As part of its one-month anniversary celebration, the restaurant in Muraqqabat street, was decorated with the “Fiestas of the Philippines” theme.

To mark the occasion and to help promote Philippine tourism all together, Al Ahli Group, the franchisee that housed six Philippine food and beverage brands under one roof, coined the restaurant’s anniversary slogan, “It’s More Fun in Little Manila”.

“We wanted to show to all Filipinos here and to other nationalities that Little Manila is unique and different from other Filipino restaurants. The theme is in line with the Philippine Department of Tourism’s (DOT) theme of ‘It’s More Fun in the “Philippines’, wherein each outlet has a specific fiesta theme like ati-atihan, sinulog, panahbenga etc. We want to show that it is more fun in Little Manila,” explained Ken Peralta, Little Manila’s brand manager.

Also part of its anniversary celebration, the restaurant launched additional dishes in its menu, like the Kwatro Kantos, the biggest pizza in the UAE, with a diameter of 27 inches and has four flavors to choose from; Tasty Buffalo Chicken Wings; Creamy Carbonara and Meaty Bolognese; and the double decker choco-fudge cake for dessert. All new dishes could be ordered from Bread Shop.

The restaurant owners have also brought in also brought back the Little Manila Jeepney, currently displayed in front of the restaurant to give patrons more “at home” feeling. Peralta also announced that the restaurant has given away gifts to lucky customers daily from September 1 to 14.

“We are giving back to our customers and have started giving gifts every day since the 1st of September. We have given three gifts per night and six were given on the night of the anniversary date, September 14,” said Peralta.

A must-try New Cabalen boodle fight

DUBAI: The joy of a boodle fight is in eating with bare hands. It gives new meaning to the phrase, “dig in.” What makes it all the more enjoyable is that you share the meal – spread on banana leaves – with peers, all trying to mark their “territory” on the table.

There are a number of restaurants DUBAI: in the UAE offering boodle fights, the New Cabalen, among them. But what makes the restaurant’s version different is for you to discover by yourself. Nontheless, Ed Nicdao, part owner, lets you in on a little secret.

“Our boodle fight has a big difference compared with other restaurants, because we serve it hot,” he said. “It is not like no other because as I’ve observed, other boodle fights have the food brought in a certain container and a lot of people have already touched it to arrange it properly and make it look nice. But this is not advisable because food is already cold by the time it has been prepared on the table, especially the rice,” he added.

New Cabalen’s boodle fight comes in different packages such as Cabalen’s seafoods, Cabalen’s fiesta pack, marine’s choice, Navy’s pick, and Battalion Fiesta. Price starts at Dh120 varying on the number of persons and the preferred set.

Fried Shanghai and eggplant, grilled squids, shrimps, bangus, chicken, salted egg and unlimited rice are the common foods present in New Calane’s boodle fight packages.

Desserts available are the famous Pinoy leche flan and halohalo; for drinks, customers may choose from a selection of buko juice, ice tea and water. And no worries for the budget conscious. “In case you are on a budget, we have our daily buffet and if you still are not happy with the buffet, we have short orders menu,” Nicdao said.

To experience Capampanganinspired, mouth-watering dishes, visit New Cabalen located at Kings Park Hotel in Muraqqabat Road Deira City, Dubai. The restaurant is open Monday to Friday from 10am to 1am and 10am-2am during weekends.

For more information, check out their Facebook fan page or give them a call at 042230860.

Sacrificing life for the ones we love

At the age of 18, Pearly Joy Jacinto Obcena left the Philippines and decided to work in Dubai. She is the eldest child and had to sacrifice her studies and teenage life to provide for the family.

“Natutunan kong tumayo sa sarili ko na walang pamilya at masasandalan na ang tanging pinanghahawakan ko lang ay yung pangarap ko at dedikasyon ko sa pamilya ko,” said Obcena. “Para sa akin, isang mabuting halimbawa ng isang taong may pangarap at ng isang lider ay yung pagiging madiskarte at nagsusumikap,” she added.

Obcena landed a job as counter sales staff at Mister Baker, then move from one employment to another. Today, she owns a restaurant business the popular Seafood Unlimited.

“Nakaipon ako ng Dh80,000 sa ilang taon ko na pagtatrabaho. Yun ang ginamit ko na puhunan para makapasimula ako ng negosyo sa edad na 28. Nakiusap ako sa management ng Kings Park Hotel na babayaran ko ang upa ng monthly dahil ang capital ko ay maliit lang at sa kanilang tiwala, pinagbigyan nila yung pakiusap ko, napaikot ko ang pera at nakapagtayo ulit ako ng isa pang Restaurant (Seafood Station),” the 30-year old businesswoman said.

“Kapag nangarap kayo wala yan sa dapat nakapag – aral o mayaman, at hindi hadlang ang edad dahil kapag ibinigay mo ang dedikasyon mo sa ginagawa mo at naniniwala ka sarili mo, walang pangarap na hindi matutupad at syempre yung pananalig sa ating Diyos yun lang sapat nang puhunan para ikaw ay magtagumpay,” Obcena said.

Obcena, despite her busy schedule, actively participates at different charity events. She will be opening Azure Lounge and Restaurant in October and is planning to open The Strategist group, which will be into the events management and interiors business.

She’d have drawings on her notepad while others have words

DUBAI: Susan De Guzman, this year’s TFT Artist of the Year is one of the few who has been blessed with a talent that transforms ordinary things to breathtaking masterpieces.

De Guzman shared that she started being passionate with arts and crafts at a very young age. “I was seven years old, I started loving to draw. My notes were all drawings. I would remember my lectures because of my drawings. No one understood it,” she told The Filipino Times.

De Guzman said she believes that what sets artists apart from others is their ability to see through objects, information, colors and scribbles thus prompting them to create new things. “My imagination would always run wild when I read books, when I learn about historical information, when I see new ideas, my imagination would translate them into colors, lines, texture and sometimes brush strokes,” she explained. Currently, De Guzman is busy working on different exhibition plans for the Philippines, in the UAE, and abroad. She shared that she is preparing for the Ugnayang Sining Exhibition that will be staged in New York in Aug. 2017.

De Guzman also has another project at hand, a family exhibition with her son, Patrick and daughter, Patricia. “The three of us use different medium to express our message and stories for people to learn.

I tell stories through art with its vivid colors, texture, brushstrokes and gold leaf. Patrick tells his using moving objects while Patricia tells a story using wearable art and jewellery,” she said. De Guzman said being named TFT Artist of the Year is a testament that she is doing good with her craft; it has also encouraged her to do more as an artist, she said.

“I will continue to share our history, culture and heritage through art, and to tell the world who we are as Filipinos. As I travel the world for my exhibitions/art shows I am aware that I will be stepping and embarking on a new dimension of art. Winning the title, Artist of the Year means that I have seen my worth as an artist.”

Leadership by collaboration makes a difference

Eros Goze says he would not have been a successful photographer if not for the people who believed in him and helped him hone them. “I consider them my role models.

It is just right that I be able to pay forward the generosity and willingness to mentor by being able to inspire and develop the next generation of photographers,” Goze says. Goze says he believes in leadership by collaboration, where people are given guidance and, at the same time, freedom to share and impart their creativity.

“During workshops, it is vital to create the best learning opportunities and sharing experiences. Thus, I make sure that participants are provided with proper recognition; communication is always open and informal but appropriate,” he says. Goze said the turning point in his life came when he moved from fashion design to photography. “I am very effective in fashion photography as I was into fashion design before.

The know-how in fashion design made it easy for me to see and create eye catching images that accentuate the designer’s vision for the collection. “Being able to shoot for known designers like Michael Cinco and Furne One plus international exposure with known brands have been among my achievement as a fashion photographer,” he says.

Goze says the significance of his achievements are reflected in the images he produces, being able to be a photographer of choice by high end brands and media prints shows Filipinos’ excellence and exceptional talent.Summing it up, Goze says, courage, integrity and love, is the formula for success.

“Being true brings untainted blessings and opportunities not only to achieve as much as I dream but also to bring service and inspiration to others.”