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Latest News Headlines from in and around the Philippines

News Headlines in and around the Philippines

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  • Patti Grandidge champions local products

    Patti Grandidge (Photo by Marjorie Duran)

    The stature and influence of celebrities make them shoo-ins to promote products or services that match their public image.

    Former “Etcetera” host Patti Grandidge thinks stars can do better.

    “Celebs have big following and they should use their voice to help the country’s economic growth as well by supporting local products,” she says in an interview.

    Patti walks the talk through her own hand-crafted Sweet Patti Cakes – cupcakes created using organically grown cacao from Davao.

    It means jobs for Pinoys, promotion of Pinoy products, and if these sell well, then a boost to Philippine economy. It makes sense.

    “It’s important for us to love and patronize our own,” she points out. “I’m doing my best. It’s a little movement but hopefully somehow it will translate into helping the country.”

    Even a little mention about local products via social media could help the cause, she adds.

    “When a follower sees the product being promoted (by someone famous), the information can be passed on to other people…”

    Food lover

    Patti has been to different parts of Asia. She moved to the Philippines in 2010.

    “People are the heart of this country and I love the food here, it’s delicious,” she says.

    Before settling here, Patti was already familiar with Filipino food and culture thanks to her Pinay mother. She said that for one, as a little girl, she ate rice for breakfast; something her foreigner friends found “weird.” Other Pinoy delicacies that Patti loves are pili nuts and adobo.

    Like any Pinoy would tell you, she’s learned that local food is best enjoyed “with my family and friends.”

    Patti recently joined the launch of 1780 by SariSari, an online shop that highlights the best that the Philippines has in terms of gastronomy and craftsmanship. The shop sells products such as fruit sauces, fruit jams, and fruit wines from around Visayas and Mindanao and hand-crafted cloths and bags made of native materials.

    “It’s good thing that there’s a platform like SariSari. By buying products, we can help the farmers, the weavers. It’s our duty to help our countrymen.”

  • WHO eyes mass Ebola vaccines by mid-2015
    GENEVA--- Hundreds of thousands of Ebola vaccine doses could be rolled out to West Africa by mid-2015, the World Health Organization said Friday, after new cases of the virus were reported in New York and a two-year-old girl died in the first case in Mali. Two American nurses were declared cured of Ebola and one -- Dallas-based Nina Pham -- hugged President Barack Obama at the White House to prove it. But the states of New York and New Jersey ordered mandatory quarantine for medics who had treated victims of the disease in West Africa. Steps include mandatory quarantine 21 days of any individual who has had direct contact with an Ebola patient while in Guinea, Liberia or Sie...

    Keep on reading: WHO eyes mass Ebola vaccines by mid-2015
  • Antoinette Taus stages theater comeback via ‘Grease’

    Antoinette Taus as Betty Rizzo in ‘Grease’ (Publicity photo from 9 Works Theatrical)

    She’s known for doing mostly teenybopper roles in the ’90s shows “Ang TV,” “Oki Doki Doc,” “Anna Karenina” and “T.G.I.S.” to name a few. After living abroad for years in hiatus, 34-year-old Antoinette Taus is back in the limelight as character Betty Rizzo in 9 Works Theatrical’s restaging of the award-winning musical, “Grease.”

    Although not new to the stage having appeared in the adaptations of “Les Misérables” and “The Wiz,” Antoinette admits being both nervous and excited taking on her new role.

    “I know it’s a role that has to be portrayed properly and I feel like it’s a kind of role that if you pull it off, ‘Yehey!’ But if you don’t, oh my god, it’s gonna be very bad,” said she.

    Though far from being a “bad girl,” Antoinette said she can relate to Rizzo in that they’re both “hopeless romantics.”

    “Rizzo still actually believes in love pero sobrang jaded siya dahil sobrang dami niya nang pinagdaanan at an early age,” Antoinette explained. “Ako naman, I may not have gone through those kind of things but ang dami ko na ring experiences.”

    Based on Warren Casey and Jim Jacobs’ 1971 musical film of the same title, “Grease” is about the lives of some students from fictional Rydel High, among them Rizzo as with young sweethearts Sandy Dumbrowski and Danny Zuko, who will have the chance to revive their interrupted summer romance having enrolled in the same school.

    Asked what part of her life she would want to have a “rerun,” she said, “Love deserves a rerun. Never give up on love. If something makes you happy, don’t give up on it.”

    Unless misconstrued, she added, “I just mean that ang love, kahit ano pang pinagdaaan mo, love (itself) always deserves another chance.”

    But not today for Antoinette. Romance is not in her priorities as she opts to focus on re-establishing a foothold in show business.

    “Kung darating man ’yung love, kailangan talagang worth it (para) isantabi ko ’yung work.”

    Back for good

    Apparently, Antoinette meant to just have a short vacation in the Philippines when she returned some months back. With career opportunities knocking left and right, she’s changed her mind and is here to stay.

    ““It was really unexpected (the offers) but I’m happy I followed my heart and God’s sign. I feel I’m in the right place right now.”

    Dabbling in theatre anew challenges Antoinette.

    “Napakahirap ng ginagawa namin pero napakasaya din. Every time I go home, I feel proud and fulfilled. It’s an amazing experience. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, parang everyday na lumilipas nalulungkot na ako na matatapos na ’yung ‘Grease,’ eh hindi pa nga kami nag i-start,” she said.

    Director Robbie Guevara promises something different with the restaging, including the choreography, the set design and the cars they will use.

    “This will be very, very different from the ‘Grease’ of last year,” he said.

    Joining Antoinette in “Grease” are Tippy Dos Santos (Sandy), Guji Lorenzana (Danny Zuko), Steven Silva (Johny Casino), Rafa Seguion-Reyna (Kenickie), among many others. The show will run from Nov. 15 to Dec. 7 at the RCBC Plaza in Makati City.

  • Behn is still very much ‘around’
    For a number of days last month, I wondered why I kept thinking of my departed friend, Behn Cervantes. Events involving him kept flashing in my mind's eye, until I got really perplexed and intrigued, and called up our mutual friend, Lollie Mara. Was our friend "up there" trying to tell me something? "Well," Lollie mused significantly, "it could be because the first anniversary of his death is coming up soon!" That really floored me. I thought Behn had left us just months ago, and now Lollie was telling me that a full year had elapsed! Time does fly---but the loving and idiosyncratically colorful memories linger on! In any case, I told Lollie, if it is indeed Behn's anniversa...

    Keep on reading: Behn is still very much ‘around’
  • Hong Kong protesters to vote on gov’t offers
    HONG KONG---Hong Kong democracy activists will hold a two-day referendum starting Sunday to gauge protesters' response to government proposals to end the monthlong street occupation. Protest organizers said late Friday they would register public opinion at the main downtown protest site, where thousands remain camped out, and two other satellite protest zones. Hong Kong's government has offered to submit a report to the central government noting the protesters' unhappiness with a Beijing-dictated plan to have a 1,200-person committee screen candidates for the city's top leader in the inaugural 2017 election. Protesters say the committee is weighted toward the central governm...

    Keep on reading: Hong Kong protesters to vote on gov’t offers
  • Showing cell phone callers the road might improve driver safety
    Providing a caller with views of the driver and the road ahead might reduce cell phone distraction for the driver, suggests a new study.
  • NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others
    NEW YORK --- Alarmed by the case of an Ebola-infected New York doctor, the governors of New Jersey and New York on Friday ordered a mandatory, 21-day quarantine of all medical workers and other arriving airline passengers who have had contact with victims of the deadly disease in West Africa. The first person to fall under the order was a health care worker returning Friday from treating Ebola patients in West Africa. By Friday evening, she had developed a fever and was being evaluated, New Jersey officials said. The move came after a physician who returned to New York City a week ago from treating Ebola patients in Guinea fell ill with the virus. Many New Yorkers were dismayed to ...

    Keep on reading: NY, NJ order Ebola quarantine for doctors, others
  • Negros conjoined twins die less than a week after being born
    Mere days after they were born in a town in Negros Occidental province, two conjoined twin girls died on Friday.
  • Corruption raps not true, VP swears to God
    MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Jejomar Binay invoked Divine Providence and said the corruption allegations against him are not true.
  • US open to talks on review of VFA
    MANILA, Philippines - The United States is open to talks on reviewing the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA), especially for the purpose of joint clarification and based on mutually agreed premises, Ambassador Philip Goldberg said yesterday.
  • Two US states order tough Ebola quarantine rules
    NEW YORK - New York and New Jersey on Friday ordered a mandatory quarantine for medics who treated victims of the disease in West Africa, after the deadly virus spread to America's largest city.