PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK

CLASSES RESUME JAN 6 --DepEd   

DEC 17 --PHOTO: The Department of Education declared December 20 as the start of holiday vacation in public elementary and high schools. MKA Scenestealers/CC BY-ND MANILA, DECEMBER 22, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Janvic Mateo- - Christmas break for public elementary and high school students will start on Dec. 20, with classes scheduled to resume on Jan. 5, 2015, according to the Department of Education (DepEd). The schedule for the Christmas break of public school students is based on a department order issued by DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro earlier this year. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO: MMDA asks for patience for heaviest traffic on Dec. 19

The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday appealed to commuters and motorists to be extra patient during the holiday rush as it expects the traffic situation to be at its worst on Friday, December 19. MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said the agency expects traffic flow in Metro Manila, especially at the vicinity of shopping malls, to be extra thick tomorrow with people expected to do their last minute shopping - being the last Friday before Christmas Day. READ FULL REPORT....

ALSO: State honors set for country’s first-ever Muslim national artist 

DEC 19 ---National artist and sculptor Abdulmari Asia Imao. FACEBOOK PHOTO/Toym Leon Imao/Galerie Joaquin
MANILA, Philippines–The country’s first Muslim national artist, Dr. Abdulmari Asia Imao, will be accorded full state honors on his funeral as part of the government’s tribute for his contributions to art and culture. The sculptor, painter, photographer, ceramist, documentary filmmaker, cultural researcher, writer, and articulator of Philippine Muslim art and culture, passed away on Dec. 16, of a suspected heart attack. He was 78. READ FULL REPORT...

ALSO in Iloilo City: Christmas spirit alive–even in cemetery

DEC 20 --Christmas lights and decor brighten a public cemetery in Barangay Tanza-Timawa Zone II in Iloilo City, drawing visitors and the curious. NESTOR P. BURGOS JR. Despite the creepy, gray landscape of tombstones and graves, Christmas is very much alive at a public cemetery in Iloilo City. Colorful decor, blinking lights, bright lanterns and six Christmas trees have sprouted in the 1.8-hectare graveyard in Barangay Tanza-Timawa Zone II. “Many are curious and, at the same time, amused because this is the first time that there are Christmas trees and decorations inside the cemetery,” said Alex Fuertes, president of Tanza Cemetery Workers Association (TCWA). READ FULL REPORT FROM INQUIRER VISAYAS

ALSO: Dolphins bring excitement to Pangasinan town

PHOTO: Cabalitian Island, Sual, Pangasinan --The sight of dolphins frolicking near their shore was enough to excite residents of two coastal villages in the town of Sual in Pangasinan province, no matter how few or many the mammals were. It was the first time that dolphins visited the town’s coastal areas, which have three coves, according to Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue. He said a “butanding” (whale shark) visits the town yearly, but there was no regular sighting of dolphins. The first pod of at least eight dolphins was seen on Dec. 10, frolicking in Cabalitian Bay until Dec. 15. The bay is site of the town’s mariculture zone, which has at least 700 “bangus” (milkfish) cages. On Sunday, a bigger group of at least 20 dolphins arrived in Sual Bay. Florencia Guanzon, Sual town agriculturist, said the dolphins in both pods were bottlenose, which are easily identifiable by their large, dark dorsal fin and uniform color. Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center here, said the dolphins may have been attracted by the abundance of “alamang” (baby shrimps), their food, in the area. Arcinue ordered the town’s Bantay Dagat to make sure that the dolphins were not harmed. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon THIS IS THE FULL REPORT

ALSO: The Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) will have shorter operating hours on Christmas and New Year's Eve.

LRT/MRT Spokesperson Hernando Cabrera posted on his Twitter account the schedule of the last trips of LRT and MRT for December 24 and 31. The last trains of the LRT 1 will leave Baclaran and Roosevelt stations at 8:00 p.m. on December 24, while the last trip would be at 7:00 p.m. on December 31. For LRT2, the last train on December 24 leaves Santolan at 8:00 p.m. while the Recto train leaves at 8:30 p.m. On December 31, the last trip from Santolan station is 7:00 p.m. and the last train from Recto leaves at 7:30 p.m. The last trains for MRT will have the same schedule for December 24 and 31. The last train from North Ave. will leave at 8:30 p.m. while the one coming from Taft Ave. leaves at 9:14 p.m. CONTINUE TO READ TWEETED SCHEDULES....

(ALSO) PNP: Mark holidays without firing guns

PHOTO: Safety first: Filipino police show their pistols after being taped on the nozzle by officers at police headquarters in Camp Crame, suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines ---THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday warned gun holders not to fire their guns in celebrating Christmas and New Year.
Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP officer-in-charge, issued a memorandum to all police personnel against illegal discharge and indiscriminate firing of guns during the holiday season. READ FULL REPORT...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Classes resume Jan. 5 – DepEd


The Department of Education declared December 20 as the start of holiday vacation in public elementary and high schools. MKA Scenestealers/CC BY-ND

MANILA, DECEMBER 22, 2014 (PHILSTAR) By Janvic Mateo- - Christmas break for public elementary and high school students will start on Dec. 20, with classes scheduled to resume on Jan. 5, 2015, according to the Department of Education (DepEd).

The schedule for the Christmas break of public school students is based on a department order issued by DepEd Secretary Armin Luistro earlier this year.

“The department order directs the heads of public and private elementary and secondary institutions nationwide to follow the school calendar,” it read. “Private schools, however, may choose to depart from DepEd’s official calendar.”

Meanwhile, the University of the Philippines will have a mandatory holiday break from Dec. 18 to Jan. 4.

In a memorandum, UP president Alfredo Pascual said the break “will ensure the promotion of work and life balance for UP faculty and staff, generate savings in utilities and maintenance, as well as encourage administrative efficiency in planning and scheduling work.” Pascual said in a memorandum.

“All offices will be closed during the mandatory holiday break period, except for units which need to operate with a small number of essential employees,” he said.

Among the offices that would operate during the break are the university health services, security and police services, sanitation and emergency campus maintenance and sanitation.

Included in the mandatory holiday break in all UP campuses nationwide are Dec. 18, 19, 22, 23 and 29.

“Kindly plan and schedule your work to ensure that all transactions and the relevant required reports are completed by Dec. 17,” Pascual told UP employees.

The remaining days in the period covered by the long break are either weekends or declared special non-working or regular holidays.


FROM PHILSTAR

MMDA asks for patience for heaviest traffic on Dec. 19 By Mike Frialde (philstar.com) | Updated December 17, 2014 - 4:38pm 11 466 googleplus0 0


MANILA TRAFFIC

MANILA, Philippines - The Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) on Wednesday appealed to commuters and motorists to be extra patient during the holiday rush as it expects the traffic situation to be at its worst on Friday, December 19.

MMDA Chair Francis Tolentino said the agency expects traffic flow in Metro Manila, especially at the vicinity of shopping malls, to be extra thick tomorrow with people expected to do their last minute shopping - being the last Friday before Christmas Day.

Tolentino said the traffic flow is not only heavy on EDSA but also on roads leading to shopping malls and other commercial establishments.

Earlier, operators of shopping malls have agreed to the MMDA’s proposal for the implementation of staggered operating hours to help ease road congestion, especially during rush hours during the holiday season.

Over the holiday period, shopping malls will open at 11 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. The new operating hours will be effective until Jan. 3, 2015.

Meanwhile, shopping malls on December 24 and December 31 will open at 12 noon and will close at 7 p.m.

On Christmas Day (December 25) and New Year's Day (January 1), the malls will be open from noon to 8 p.m., the MMDA said.

Meanwhile, Tolentino said the MMDA has already deployed an additional 443 traffic enforcers to help untangle traffic jams, especially around shopping malls.

According to the MMDA, traffic volume along EDSA and the other major roads near shopping centers increases by some 15 to 20 percent between November and December.

Tolentino also earlier asked Transport Secretary Joseph Emilio Abaya to consider extending the operating hours of the Metro Rail Transit during the Christmas period to 11:30 pm to accommodate the larger number of people going out to do their shopping.

The MRT line serves 13 stations along EDSA and passes through Quezon City, Mandaluyong, Makati and Pasay.

However, the DOTC denied the request saying it is not necessary.

“We just wanted to help the people who are going home late because of the Christmas rush, but unfortunately they rejected us,” Tolentino said.


FROM THE INQUIRER

State honors set for country’s first-ever Muslim national artist Nińa P. Calleja
@inquirerdotnet Philippine Daily Inquirer 5:00 AM | Friday, December 19th, 2014


National artist and sculptor Abdulmari Asia Imao. FACEBOOK PHOTO/Toym Leon Imao/Galerie Joaquin

MANILA, Philippines–The country’s first Muslim national artist, Dr. Abdulmari Asia Imao, will be accorded full state honors on his funeral as part of the government’s tribute for his contributions to art and culture.

The sculptor, painter, photographer, ceramist, documentary filmmaker, cultural researcher, writer, and articulator of Philippine Muslim art and culture, passed away on Dec. 16, of a suspected heart attack. He was 78.

In a statement, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) said on Thursday that the government had set a necrological tribute for the national artist on Dec. 21, 8 a.m. at Tanghalang Nicanor Abelardo (main theater), of the CCP.

“State funeral and honors [will] follow at Libingan ng mga Bayani,” the NCCA statement added.

Imao’s family welcomed the state arrangements offered to all national artists.

Last respects

In a statement, the family said it was Imao’s wish to accept a state funeral upon his demise, and to hold a wake to allow family members and friends to pay their last respects and goodbyes.

“We welcome and are grateful for the tribute being planned for Dr. Imao by the NCCA and the CCP,” the family said.

“We will be coordinating with the said agencies for the Muslim burial rituals that [will] be officiated alongside the military honors and burial ceremonies at Libingan ng mga Bayani,” the family’s statement added.

According to Muslim tradition, a deceased’s body should be buried as soon as possible from the time of death.

Imao, whom his family described as “a beloved brother, father, grandfather and a creative soul of the Bangsamoro,” lies in state at the main chapel of Loyola Memorial Park in Marikina City, until Dec. 20. Those who wish to pay their last respects are welcome from 3 p.m. to 12 midnight, the family said.

Fondly called “Mari” by his friends and colleagues, Imao led a full and colorful life as an artist.

‘Sarimanok’

He adopted the mythical “sarimanok” of Maranao legends in his paintings and sculptures as a visual metaphor for the depth and richness of his native Mindanao, particularly the Sulu archipelago where he was born.

After getting his degree from the College of Fine Arts at the University of the Philippines, where he was mentored by Guillermo Tolentino and Napoleon Abueva, who would later become national artists themselves, Imao received a Schmidt and Fulbright Scholarship for graduate studies at Kansas University in the United States.

He also received two yearlong fellowships at the Rhode Island School of Design and Columbia University in New York, and became the first Asian recipient of a Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) fellowship grant to study in

Europe.

Upon his return to the Philippines, Imao taught Fine Arts at the University of the East.

He also set out on several photojournalistic and scholarly research work about the peoples of Mindanao. He studied and promoted indigenous brass casting techniques as well, and crafted several public art and historical installations around the country.

Awards

Imao’s contribution to Philippine art and culture was duly recognized with several awards, starting with his being named among the Ten Outstanding Young Men of the Philippines in 1968, and given the Gawad Patnubay ng Sining by the City of Manila in 1985. He was also awarded the Gawad CCP para sa Sining in 1990 and the Presidential Medal of Merit in 2005.

In 2006, Imao was declared a national artist for visual arts.

Imao’s works and motifs are deeply rooted in his Muslim upbringing, but he also embraced a healthy relationship and respectful dialogue with other faiths. His wife, the late Grace Bondoc de Leon, was a devout Catholic. Their strong interfaith relationship is reflected in his paintings and sculptures, and in the attitude of his children toward art and society.

Scholar, freethinker

“Dr. Imao is a true academic, scholar, a freethinker. He is a Muslim artist, but is also a Filipino creative [spirit] whose style and expression cut across cultural and religious limits,” the family said.

“His faith is reflected in the exuberance of the patterns and colors of his artworks that celebrate life without borders,” his family added.


FROM THE INQUIRER

In Iloilo City Christmas spirit alive–even in cemetery Nestor P. Burgos Jr. @inquirerdotnet Inquirer Visayas


Christmas lights and decor brighten a public cemetery in Barangay Tanza-Timawa Zone II in Iloilo City, drawing visitors and the curious. NESTOR P. BURGOS JR.


Despite the creepy, gray landscape of tombstones and graves, Christmas is very much alive at a public cemetery in Iloilo City.

Colorful decor, blinking lights, bright lanterns and six Christmas trees have sprouted in the 1.8-hectare graveyard in Barangay Tanza-Timawa Zone II.

“Many are curious and, at the same time, amused because this is the first time that there are Christmas trees and decorations inside the cemetery,” said Alex Fuertes, president of Tanza Cemetery Workers Association (TCWA).

“People are usually afraid of cemeteries but those who are buried here should be part of our Christmas celebration. We also want to share this season with the dead because working here has been our source of livelihood,” he told the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

Fuertes, 58, has been working as a tomb-maker in the cemetery since he was 17 years old. He was able to send his 10 children to school from his earnings.

At first, TCWA planned only a Christmas party, but a staff member of the city environment and natural resources office suggested holding the Christmas tree light and decoration contest instead to make their celebration livelier.

First time

Fuertes said this was the first time that Christmas decorations adorned the place.

The decades-old cemetery spans an entire block from Tanza-Timawa to Delgado Street across the Iloilo City campus of the University of the Philippines Visayas. It primarily caters to indigents, but relatives of prominent Iloilo families and Japanese soldiers and officers who died during World War II are also buried there.

People stay longer

Family members of those buried have welcomed the holiday decorations.

“People who visit their loved ones here do not usually stay late at night because it was dark. But now, many stay and hang out even near midnight,” said Joel Fernandez. His grandparents, parents and uncles are buried in the cemetery.

For the Christmas contest, the cemetery workers divided themselves into six groups. Each group was assigned to decorate a tree.

They will share the electric cost of lighting up the trees from 6 p.m. until near midnight.

The contestants were given a leeway on their concept and design. They used recycled materials from the cemetery, including rattan and bamboo flower baskets and holders as well as plastic water bottles.

They also adorned the trees with colored wax paper, lanterns and colored electric bulbs.

Cash prizes

Some of the materials, like the bulbs, were borrowed from relatives and other villagers, Fuertes said, but others opted to buy the items even at a cost almost equivalent to the grand prize.

All six groups will receive prizes donated by relatives of the workers, barangay residents and some family members of those buried in the cemetery.

The group with the best Christmas tree will receive a cash prize of P1,500. The other winners will receive P1,000 (second), P800 (third), P500 (fourth) and P300 each for two consolation prizes.

“It’s for fun rather than the prize,” Fuertes said.

The cemetery workers will hold a Mass on Dec. 26 along with bereaved families at the cemetery’s covered court. The next day, the winners will be announced and awarded during their Christmas party.

Fuertes said the party would be open to all villagers and guests—even for the cemetery dwellers.


FROM THE INQUIRER

Dolphins bring excitement to Pangasinan town Philippine Daily Inquirer 12:22 AM | Saturday, December 20th, 2014


Cabalitian Island, Sual, Pangasinan

DAGUPAN CITY—The sight of dolphins frolicking near their shore was enough to excite residents of two coastal villages in the town of Sual in Pangasinan province, no matter how few or many the mammals were.

It was the first time that dolphins visited the town’s coastal areas, which have three coves, according to Sual Mayor Roberto Arcinue.

He said a “butanding” (whale shark) visits the town yearly, but there was no regular sighting of dolphins.

The first pod of at least eight dolphins was seen on Dec. 10, frolicking in Cabalitian Bay until Dec. 15. The bay is site of the town’s mariculture zone, which has at least 700 “bangus” (milkfish) cages.

On Sunday, a bigger group of at least 20 dolphins arrived in Sual Bay.

Florencia Guanzon, Sual town agriculturist, said the dolphins in both pods were bottlenose, which are easily identifiable by their large, dark dorsal fin and uniform color.

Westly Rosario, chief of the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center here, said the dolphins may have been attracted by the abundance of “alamang” (baby shrimps), their food, in the area.

Arcinue ordered the town’s Bantay Dagat to make sure that the dolphins were not harmed. Gabriel Cardinoza, Inquirer Northern Luzon


 FROM PHILSTAR

The Light Rail Transit (LRT) and Metro Rail Transit (MRT) will have shorter operating hours on Christmas and New Year's Eve.


The LRT and MRT will have shorter operating hours on December 24 and 31. Brownpau/CC

MANILA, Philippines - LRT/MRT Spokesperson Hernando Cabrera posted on his Twitter account the schedule of the last trips of LRT and MRT for December 24 and 31.

The last trains of the LRT 1 will leave Baclaran and Roosevelt stations at 8:00 p.m. on December 24, while the last trip would be at 7:00 p.m. on December 31.

For LRT2, the last train on December 24 leaves Santolan at 8:00 p.m. while the Recto train leaves at 8:30 p.m.

On December 31, the last trip from Santolan station is 7:00 p.m. and the last train from Recto leaves at 7:30 p.m.

The last trains for MRT will have the same schedule for December 24 and 31.

The last train from North Ave. will leave at 8:30 p.m. while the one coming from Taft Ave. leaves at 9:14 p.m.


FROM THE MANILA TIMES

PNP: Mark holidays without firing guns December 19, 2014 9:48 pm by ANTHONY VARGAS


Safety first: Filipino police show their pistols after being taped on the nozzle by officers at police headquarters in Camp Crame, suburban Quezon city, north of Manila, Philippines

THE Philippine National Police (PNP) on Friday warned gun holders not to fire their guns in celebrating Christmas and New Year.

Deputy Director General Leonardo Espina, PNP officer-in-charge, issued a memorandum to all police personnel against illegal discharge and indiscriminate firing of guns during the holiday season.

To give more teeth to the memorandum, simultaneous gun-muzzle tapings, from the PNP’s main headquarters in Camp Crame in Quezon City down to all police regional offices, provincial offices and city and municipal police stations nationwide, will be conducted on December 22.

Espina said in a statement that the activity is meant to assure the public that PNP personnel will not discharge their firearms this Yuletide.

“[These] traditional gun-muzzle (tapings are) a strong message to all gun owners, especially our policemen and soldiers who are the primary enforcers of the law, to refrain from firing their guns and help prevent casualties and injuries during the revelry of Yuletide,” he explained.

Espina said intelligence efforts in coordination with the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) and other law enforcement agencies and local government units will be stepped up to identify probable violators.

Joint PNP and AFP teams, he added, will also be organized to conduct preventive patrols to arrest or apprehend uniformed personnel, members of law enforcement agencies and civilians who will indiscriminately fire their guns.


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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