First Fil-Am elected to public post in Oakland believes in People Power


OAKLAND, California — The first Filipino American elected to a public post in this city invoked a concept most emblematic of her ancestral homeland at her installation.

When Nikki Fortunato Bas swore in Jan. 7 as representative of District 2 on the Oakland City Council, she heralded People Power thrice in her vow to govern by making decisions not for, but with, her constituents.

She knows about the bloodless revolution that ousted the 20-year Marcos dictatorship, and her recurring phrase embodies the spirit behind her intention to runfor public office.

“My reference to people-powered government stems more from my work over the past 12 years contesting for power in…

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They found love during Operation Brotherhood


Their faces were gaunt like old people. Their bellies protruded from their frail bodies. Food was scarce not only in this mountainous region. The kids were walking barefoot, in tattered clothes, while some were naked. Seeing him, the kids gathered around him, begging for food, asking to be saved. His heart sank. He could not do anything but cry.It was Laos in 1968.

The scene has stayed in Enrique Labao’s mind, reminding him of the grim realities of war.

“I didn’t bring anything for the kids, this was a military support mission. Days after, I heard the tribe had been moved to another area. Their place had been overrun by the insurgents,” he recalls.

Enrique Labao, w…

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New girl group out to develop the next Nadine, Yassi

In a country that is not lacking in talented young folks who would do anything to be part of show business, is there room for a new singing-and-dancing girl group in the Philippines?

Of course there is, according to Vic Entertainment Inc. big boss Vic del Rosario.

On Dec. 3, Del Rosario introduced Ppop Generation: Boom Ganda, the entertainment group’s latest attempt in creating a local performing group that could rival those from South Korea and Japan.

Ppop Generation: Boom Ganda is a sing-and-dance group of 45 girls, aged 13 to 18. The group is a venture between Del Rosario’s Viva Live! And RTM of Japan, led by talent manager Masatoshi Mano and creative producer Ryota Naito…

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Reveling in his first PBA championship, Chito Victolero shares credit for Magnolia feat

ANTIPOLO CITY—Chito Victolero wasn’t looked at as a successor to Tim Cone’s glorious run as head coach of the Purefoods franchise, but it’s what he turned out to be that cemented his legacy in the storied club.

Hired from Kia, Victolero was tapped to help the struggling Hotshots move on from their drastic drop to 11-22 less than two years removed from completing the Grand Slam.

Victolero’s only PBA achievement before arriving in Magnolia’s camp was lead Kia to its lone playoff appearance in the 2016 Governors’ Cup, but he is nowpart of an elite league of champion coaches in the PBA.

READ:Magnolia ends PBA title drought, closes out Alaska in Game 6

Against the toughest o…

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Active Vista Human Rights Festival: Marrying art and advocacy

We help them develop human rights lens in filmmaking,” said Leni Velasco, Active Vista executive director, of the kind of three-day film workshop the group had organized.

The workshop series (which ended on Dec. 9) is part of the sixth edition of the Active Vista Human Rights Festival, which will run until today.

“It is not the usual workshop where technical skills are taught—we already have other workshops to do that,” Velasco pointed out. “Of course, there’s the usual lesson on story development, but rather than impose on them what is supposed to be the message, what we teach them is how to look at a film through the human rights lens. This is marrying art and advocacy.

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7 new Bantayog heroes honored today


A farmers’ advocate, a seminarian-turned-underground rebel, a political activist, two student leaders, and two labor organizers are the latest heroes and martyrs to be honored today, Bonifacio Day, their names to be added to the Wall of Remembrance at the Bantayog ng mga Bayani in Quezon City.


The seven heroes are Edgar C. Ang Sinco (1952-1971), Alfredo C. Cesar Jr. (1948-1982), Ruth E. Dueas (1959-1983), Erasto L. Librado (1947-1992), James M. Orbe (1950-1974), Baltazar A. Pinguel (1949-2017) and Nestor L. Principe (1945-1973).


The ceremonies, which are open to the public, will begin at 4 p.m., with former Sen. Aquilino “Nene” Pimentel Jr. as gues…

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Finals woes

Ordered to stay away from Magnolia’s practices by team physicians pending the evaluation of his hamstring injury, Romeo Travis’ continued stint with the Hotshots will depend largely on what the hardworking import tells the coaching staff later in the week.

The team’s physical therapist has grounded Travis, instructing the import to keep his injured leg still, until the next tests so they could determine the extent of the injury. The coaching staff earlier admitted contacting a potential replacement for Travis in former La Salle player Ben Mbala had Magnolia’s Final Four series with Barangay Ginebra gone the distance.

Coach Chito Victolero said there’s no replacement waiting in the …

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Fuel marking seen to curb smuggling starting 2019

Oil smuggling is expected to decline after the government signed the contract with the joint venture of SGS Philippines Inc. and Switzerland-based SICPA SA for the rollout of the fuel marking program beginning 2019.


The Department of Budget and Management’s Procurement Service (DBM-PS) has issued the notice to proceed to the two firms, allowing them to start the establishment and operation of a fuel marking and field testing system for the Bureau of Customs (BOC) starting last Oct. 30.


Fuel marking will cost P0.06884 a liter, DBM-PS executive director Bingle B. Gutierrez said. It was the proposed contract price of SGS and SICPA, the lone bidder.


As …

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COA flags P710M given to execs, workers in gov’t firms

The Commission on Audit (COA) has questioned at least P710 million in employee benefits paid by government-owned and controlled corporations (GOCCs) in 2017 without legal basis.

In its 2017 Annual Financial Report for GOCCs, the COA flagged the unauthorized payment of P593 million to trustees, directors, officers, employees and contractual workers of 17 state-owned companies.

The COA said the companies should have secured the approval of the Office of the President or the Governance Commission for GOCCs and discontinued payments that lacked legal basis or authority.

The National Irrigation Administration, the Land Bank of the Philippines and the moribund Intercontinental Broadca…

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Rising star Kouame wants to motivate players interested in playing in UAAP


Angelo Kouame is undoubtedly the biggest impact player of Ateneo for the UAAP Season 81 men’s basketball tournament.

The 6-foot-10 center out of Ivory Coast was, literally, the Blue Eagles’ largest producer in their 82-62 victory over Far Eastern Univesity when Kouame put up a preposterous double-double of 33 points and 27 rebounds.

Kouame’s Herculean performance fueled the Blue Eagles’ rise to the top of the standings with a 7-2 record and tied Adamson University for the no.1 seed.

Even though he has been unstoppable in the basketball court, Kouame said he wants to be seen more than as an athlete.

“I want to motivate the new foreign players who are about to com…

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