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Stories from and

Photo of a Mexican Revolutionary Who Looks Like Pacquiao Goes Viral

A photo of a Mexican revolutionary who looks like Manny Pacquiao has gone viral few days before the Filipino boxing icon's fight today against Floyd Mayweather in Las Vegas for three champions belts (OMB, CMB y la AMB) in the welterweight division.

In Twitter there were many tweets related to the picture:

So Pacquiao's grandfather participated in the Mexican revolution… Mexico supports Pacquiao

On Facebook, Latin Post uploaded the photo which has more than 50,000 shares and 150,000 comments.

“Besides being a boxer, Manny Pacquiao also participated in the Mexican revolution,” was the most common phrase among the comments, which also refers to the men in the picture as “Pacman” grandfather, according to the web portal Infobae.

Video Animation Explains How Principle of “Free Prior and Informed Consent” Can Empower Indigenous Peoples

The Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact has uploaded a video animation explaining the principle of “Free prior and informed consent” or how communities should have the right to decide for the development of their lands.

Digital Library of Traditional Philippine Healing Practices

philippine_health_researchInitiated by several government agencies, the Philippine Traditional Knowledge Digital Library on Health (TKDL-Health) seeks to document and digitize indigenous health practices in the country.

The communities, characteristically living in the mountains or their fringes, have depended mostly on plants and other natural products from the forest to prevent or treat sickness. But environmental degradation and the onslaught of lowland mainstream cultures now threaten their healing traditions.

PHOTOS: Typhoon Glenda Left Trail of Destruction in the Philippines

Typhoon Glenda (International name: Rammasun) damaged many structures in Southern Luzon, located south of Manila in the Philippines. Photos shared by Citizens’ Disaster Response Center.

Impact of typhoon Glenda in the Philippines. Photo from Facebook page of Citizens' Disaster Response Center

Impact of typhoon Glenda in the Philippines. Photo from Facebook page of Citizens’ Disaster Response Center

This Philippine Wedding Video of a Dying Cancer Patient Will Move You to Tears

The groom died 10 hours after marrying his girlfriend. Diagnosed with stage IV liver cancer last month, his dying wish was to marry the mother of his two-year old daughter. The wedding took place in a public hospital in Manila, Philippines. The video instantly became popular in the Internet.

Why Filipinos Became Early Adopters of Western Music

Le Minh Khai refers to the book of D. R. M. Irving in explaining the long history of Filipino musicians playing Western music:

…there was a rich experience of musical contact and exchange between Spaniards and Filipinos that began not long after the Spaniards established their control over the Philippines in the sixteenth century.

Filipinos therefore learned Western musical forms long before many other peoples in Asia, and that to some extent can explain why they started to be sought after in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries when aspects of Western culture started to take hold in other Asian societies.

Philippine Petition Against Dog Meat Restaurants

An online petition is circulating to pressure the mayor of Baguio City to close down dog meat restaurants in the city. Baguio is a famous tourist destination located north of the Philippines:

I was recently made aware that there are at least ten dog meat restaurants operating in open violation of the law in Baguio.

I would like to draw your attention to the fact that the dog meat trade is not only illegal, but also extremely inhumane and implicated in the spread of rabies.

Please revoke the business permits of all restaurants that serve dog meat, thereby making your town safer for people as well as animals, not to mention a more palatable tourist destination.

Human Trafficking in Southeast Asia

The Asian Forum of Parliamentarians on Population and Development has published a policy briefer that tackled the extent of human trafficking in Southeast Asia.

Many Southeast Asian countries are at the bottom of a lot of the world's supply chains, including for food, garments, and technology. Yet few countries in the region have adequate laws for addressing corporate responsibility for human trafficking, including in their supply chains.

The primer also provides country-specific recommendations on how to best address the human trafficking issue in the region

Typhoon Haiyan: A Story of Resilience in a Short Doc

Typhoon Haiyan, a short film by Janssen Powers, documents the aftermath of the super storm that in early November killed more than 6,000 people in the Philippine province of Leyte.

“Naturally, I intended to capture a story of destruction,” Powers wrote in the description of his work. “What I found however, was a story of resilience.”

In the documentary, images of the disaster alternate with interviews to the survivors, who talk about the tragedy and their look towards the future.

For more stories on Super Typhoon Haiyan see here.

Everyone Suffers in Manila Traffic

Filipino journalist Iris Cecilia Gonzales writes about how people suffer from Manila's notorious street traffic:

When one is stuck in traffic in Manila's streets, there's no escape. Everyone suffers — whether you're driving a sleek Rolls Royce or a moving piece of junk; whether it's with a red plate or a diplomatic one; whether the car is registered or not at all. There is nowhere to go and nothing to do but to crawl and wait and wait longer.

VIDEO: International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists

The Public Liberties and Human Rights department at Aljazeera, in co-operation with several international organizations have produced a video about the campaign to end impunity for crimes against journalists:

The video supports the UN resolution on the “Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity”:

The United Nations General Assembly adopted Resolution A/RES/68/163 at its 68th session in 2013 which proclaimed 2 November as the ‘International Day to End Impunity for Crimes against Journalists’. The Resolution urged Member States to implement definite measures countering the present culture of impunity. The date was chosen in commemoration of the assassination of two French journalists in Mali on 2 November 2013.

Pope Francis will Visit the “Ground Zero’ of Typhoon Haiyan Disaster in the Philippines

Official logo for the papal visit to the Philippines in 2015

Official logo for the papal visit to the Philippines in 2015

The official logo and website related to the Philippine visit of Pope Francis in January 2015 have been unveiled already. Pope Francis will visit Manila and Tacloban. Tacloban is the “ground zero” of the Typhoon Haiyan disaster which claimed the lives of more than 6,000 people in the Eastern Visayas region. Aside from Timor Leste, the Philippine is the only Catholic-dominated nation in Asia.

Derailed Train Exposed Inefficient Philippine Mass Transport System

A train overshot it's stop at a terminal in Manila. Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela. Copyright @Demotix. (8/13/2014)

A train overshot it's stop at a terminal in Manila. Photo by Juan Carlo de Vela. Copyright @Demotix. (8/13/2014)

Scores were injured when a train overshot its stop at a busy intersection in south Manila. The crash ignited an intense discussion about the weak and inefficient mass transportation system in the Philippines. Authorities vowed to improve train service amid rising public anger over the incident.

Typhoon Glenda Batters Luzon Island in the Philippines

Typhoon Glenda (International name: Rammasun) wrought havoc in Luzon Island in the Philippines. Netizens are using the Twitter hashtag #glendaph to monitor the situation.

A fallen tree in front of the presidential palace in Manila. Photo from the government's Tumblr page.

A fallen tree in front of the presidential palace in Manila. Photo from the government's Tumblr page.

Philippine Police Adopts e-Subpoena System

To prevent delay in the resolution of court cases caused by non-attendance of police witnesses, the Philippine government has launched an online-based subpoena system. The process will involve the court and the Philippine National Police (PNP):

The Courts, through its court administrator, will send the various subpoenas to particular PNP units in the PNP identified website or via e-mail. The assigned court personnel shall enter the details regarding a subpoena to be issued to police offices in the Data Base of the PNP using the computer-generated form known as e-Subpoena Form, which was prepared for the purpose.

Philippines’ Makati City is Selfie Capital of the World

A map by TIME magazine showing Makati in the Philippines as 'selfie capital' of the world

A map by TIME magazine showing Makati in the Philippines as ‘selfie capital’ of the world

Makati City, the financial district of the Philippines, was tagged by TIME Magazine as the ‘selfie capital’ of the world. Curiously, it was listed alongside Pasig, an eastern suburb of Manila.

One Year in Asia

Antoine Lavenant, with his girlfriend spent a year in Asia – China, Laos, Cambodia, Thaïland, Malaysia, Philippines and Sri Lanka. The video is a brief record of their exciting journey.

Rebuilding Schools in the aftermath of Typhoon Haiyuan in Bantaya, Philippines

Young Pioneer Disaster Response (YPDR) is a small NGO whose goal is to rebuild schools and help residents of the small island of Bantayan in the area of Santa Fe recover in the aftermath of typhoon Haiyuan. A volunteer tells his experience with YPDR on his blog. There is more information here if one wants to know more/support their effort.

Review of University Websites in Southeast Asia

Le Minh Khai reviewed the websites of the leading universities in Singapore, Philippines, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and was disappointed with the design and content of these online platforms.

Hong Kong: 2010 Manila Hostage Incident and Banning Maid

Tom Grundy from Hong Wrong comments on the local community call for banning Filipino domestic workers’ working visa to pressure the Philippine President Aquino III to apologize to the 2010 Manila hostage Incident's victims and their families.

The incident in 2010 was obviously awful and tragic and the authorities were ill-trained and ill-equipped to cope with the situation – the Philippines is, after all, a developing country. Nevertheless, to be pressuring the country’s president, years later, to personally apologise is unusual and misguided. These were not the actions of a political or militant group. The perpetrator did not have an ideology or agenda beyond his own deranged personal interests. It was a lone-wolf incident.

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