PHNO HEADLINE NEWS EARLY THIS PAST WEEK
(Mini Reads followed by Full Reports below)

SUPERTYPHOON THREATENS PH; BUT PAGASA EXPECTS TO WEAKEN ON LANDFALL


noah.dost.gov.ph/ 
Wednesday, April 1st, 2015  - A powerful typhoon that destroyed homes in Micronesia is moving straight to the Philippines and is expected to make landfall in Luzon on Easter Sunday, typhoon tracks plotted by several countries in the Asia-Pacific showed. The National Weather Service on the island of Chuuk, part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), said on Tuesday afternoon that Typhoon “Maysak’’ was expected to hit the Philippines on Sunday or Monday. “Its official track shows it’s headed straight toward Luzon,” meteorologist Derek Williams said. Malacañang assured the public that “all hands are on deck,” including President Benigno Aquino III, as the typhoon threatens to hit the country. “As far as the government is concerned, as far as the President is concerned, all hands are on deck, (as) with any expected or unforeseen situations, incidents that may arise during Holy Week,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a Palace briefing. READ MORE...

ALSO: At home for Lent; 8 ways to observe a quiet Holy Week with the family indoors


Even in this age of distraction and easy travels, many Filipino families still opt to observe the Lenten tradition at home. Shunning airports and road trips, these Holy Week city dwellers are left to their own devices – helped along by lighter traffic and peace and quiet. They complete the Visita Iglesia and go through the Way of the Cross in relative ease, and often replace their daily routine at home with prayer and sacrifice. As it, practicing our faith never goes out of style. Here are more ideas for homebound Catholics this Lent. READ MORE...

ALSO: Muslim group calls for universal peace


The Young Muslim Professionals Network issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident. File photo
- As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace. The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a mission to arrest high value terrorists. “There is more to peace than war, cooperation than conflict and tolerance than bigotry,” said Yasmira Moner, Women’s Committee Convener of the YMPN. YMPN is one of the groups pushing for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law. “Mamasapano and BBL have become closely associated and  interchangeable in the masa’s mind. Informing and educating the people of the facts and historical context of the Mindanao armed struggle are necessary in changing their opinion and worldviews,” Moner said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Despite typhoon, summer is here—Pagasa


Pagasa explained that the dry season began with the termination of the northeast monsoon or amihan.
“Considering changes in the wind pattern and pressure system related with the changing of the season, the current weather condition signifies the imminent termination of the northeast monsoon,” it said. The weather bureau also noted recent observations of significant increases in daily temperature recordings in most parts of the country. “With this development, associated weather conditions include increasing number of warm days and generally good weather in most areas of the Philippines partly due to the dominance of the ridge of high pressure area and the easterlies,” Pagasa said. However, some isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms may still be expected due to “heat island effect.” A heat island is an area, such as an urban center, where the temperature becomes constantly hotter than its surroundings. This may lead to faster formation of rain clouds which may develop into thunderstorms Pagasa said coastal waters may at times be moderate due to the expected prevalence of strong easterly wind blowing over eastern Luzon and the Visayas. Typhoon Maysak (which will be locally named Chedeng) is expected to enter the PAR on late Wednesday night or early Thursday. THIS IS THE FULL REPORT.

ALSO: State of calamity eyed for Zamboanga


An activist reprises the crucifixion of christ at the Plaza Miranda fronting the Quiapo church in Manila as a militant group uses the story of the passion and death of Jesus to depict the plight of the poor people. Photo by Melyn Acosta 
ZAMBOANGA CITY: The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has recommended to the City Council the declaration of a state of calamity in this city. The recommendation was reached during an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon in view of escalating damage to agriculture and fishery products brought about by the continuing dry spell. Salazar, CDRRMC chairperson, has requested the City Council to convene in a special session to tackle the recommendation, which she declared urgent. The City Council is set to convene in a special session today in the morning. The declaration of a state of calamity will enable the city government including agencies such as the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) to utilize calamity funds for measures to mitigate the effects of the dry spell such as cloud seeding operations. READ MORE...

ALSO: Man in crucifixion re-enactment moves ‘Calvary’ to Benguet


Children play at Clavary re-enactment site 
City of San Fernando, Pampanga – One of the men who for 36 years had been cast as Jesus in the annual re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ has decided to move his “stage” far from the crowds at Barangay San Pedro Cutud in this city to Itogon town in Benguet. The 76-year-old Bob Velez said he has decided to have his hands and feet nailed in a makeshift Calvary in Itogon, a first-class municipality in Benguet, to raise funds to build a new chapel.
“Noong Feb. 26 pa ako kinausap ni Ka Freddie na doon na lang ako magpapako ngayong taon. Tinanggap ko ito dahil pakiramdam ko ngayon mas magkakaroon ng kabuluhan ang aking pagpapako dahil makakatulong ako sa tao (Ka Freddie asked me last Feb. 26 if I can have the re-enactment of the nailing on the cross in their town. I agreed because I feel that it will have more meaning there),’’ Velez said. READ MORE...

ALSO: Aquino monitors Lenten rush


WEDNESDAY IN HOLY WEEK: AQUINO PHOTO IN ACTION... AS in previous years, President Aquino will spend the Holy Week quietly in Manila while monitoring the situation in the country as Filipinos travel to and from the provinces to celebrate the Lenten season, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said yesterday. Aquino is expected to visit the Batangas Port in the morning, and NAIA 1 and 3 and the JAM Liner-Kamuning terminal in the afternoon. A rush of people going to the provinces has been reported yesterday in various ports and airports, with more expected today. He earlier directed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Philippine Ports Authority and Philippine Coast Guard to ensure peace and order in the piers and ports as well as the conditions and seaworthiness of the different shipping vessels that will ferry the passengers. Aquino wants Public Assistance Center or Desk in each airport to respond to the needs of passengers or any emergencies. READ MORE...


READ FULL MEDIA REPORTS HERE:

Supertyphoon threatens PH; But Pagasa expects it to weaken on landfall


noah.dost.gov.ph/

MANILA, APRIL 6, 2015 (PHILSTAR) Dona Pazzibugan @inquirerdotnet 2:10 AM | Wednesday, April 1st, 2015  - A powerful typhoon that destroyed homes in Micronesia is moving straight to the Philippines and is expected to make landfall in Luzon on Easter Sunday, typhoon tracks plotted by several countries in the Asia-Pacific showed.

The National Weather Service on the island of Chuuk, part of the Federated States of Micronesia (FSM), said on Tuesday afternoon that Typhoon “Maysak’’ was expected to hit the Philippines on Sunday or Monday.

“Its official track shows it’s headed straight toward Luzon,” meteorologist Derek Williams said.

Malacañang assured the public that “all hands are on deck,” including President Benigno Aquino III, as the typhoon threatens to hit the country.

“As far as the government is concerned, as far as the President is concerned, all hands are on deck, (as) with any expected or unforeseen situations, incidents that may arise during Holy Week,” presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said in a Palace briefing.

READ MORE...
Lacierda said the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa) are both expected to provide “timely warnings” on the incoming typhoon.

“At the same time, the NDRRMC is, as you know, is composed of several Cabinet agencies, so all of them have already been informed of the incoming storm and insofar as the roles of each Cabinet agency, they know what to do,” Lacierda said.

Interior Secretary Mar Roxas urged local officials in the Visayas and southern Luzon to prepare for the expected entry of Maysak.

“Our mayors are the first responders. They should man the command centers in their respective localities,” said Roxas, vice chair of the NDRRMC.

“Even if the typhoon is still far off, our leaders should be ready for its possible onslaught,” he said.

Moving west northwest

The typhoon, which will be called “Chedeng” in the Philippines, is forecast to enter the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Wednesday.

As of Tuesday, Maysak packed maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 210 kph while about 1,700 km east of Northern Mindanao. The typhoon is expected to move west northwest at 20 kph.

A cyclone is considered a supertyphoon when its sustained winds reach at least 220 kph, according to Pagasa.


MANILA BULLETIN

At home for Lent; 8 ways to observe a quiet Holy Week with the family indoors by Joyce Reyes-Aguila April 1, 2015

Even in this age of distraction and easy travels, many Filipino families still opt to observe the Lenten tradition at home.

Shunning airports and road trips, these Holy Week city dwellers are left to their own devices – helped along by lighter traffic and peace and quiet. They complete the Visita Iglesia and go through the Way of the Cross in relative ease, and often replace their daily routine at home with prayer and sacrifice.

As it, practicing our faith never goes out of style. Here are more ideas for homebound Catholics this Lent.

READ MORE...
1. Volunteer work. Prior to Holy Week, inquire from your parish if there are tasks that you can all sign up for – such as being ushers or guides in your church and readers of prayers or announcements. You can opt to man candle stalls, distribute prayer leaflets, and help keep the premises clean. If there are enough volunteers already, designate a day when your family can bring breakfast or snacks for them. Coffee sachets and sandwiches will surely be appreciated by people who are dedicating time to help others commemorate Lent.

2. Observe silence. Especially during the hour of Christ’s death on Good Friday, make your home as quiet as a library. Gather the whole family and pray together. Afterwards, enjoin everyone to spend the rest of the hour in reflection. Even before Good Friday, ask for an hour for the television and gadgets to be turned off. Find readings in the Bible or reflections shared by the Church to be read by all. Even short passages can be appreciated by younger children.

3. Tell stories. Share Biblical stories with your children like The Last Supper, Christ’s crucifixion, and Saint Veronica’s encounter with Jesus while He was carrying His cross. Not only will this allow them to understand why Holy Week is being observed, it will also give you a chance to process the messages of these stories with them.

4. Pray together at home. Hearing Mass as a family can also be supplemented by praying together at home. During Holy Week, ensure that the whole family completes the Stations of the Cross, and go to confession when they go to church. At home, recite the Holy Rosary together. Enjoin everyone to complete a novena prior to Easter Sunday.

5. Offering jar. Set an example of sacrifice. Share with your family what you are giving up for Lent. It could be your favorite drink, online games, or even afternoon naps during the break. Designate a jar or a board where everyone can list what they he or she is giving up. Sacrificing comforts at home is another way to commemorate Lent. Beside each sacrifice, list an alternative. Instead of afternoon naps, how about cleaning your closet and donating clothes you do not need anymore? The hour you could be playing a game can be spent fixing an area of the house, like the altar.

6. Go beyond fasting. Go the extra mile instead of just having fish every Friday during Lent. Before you go to the grocery for the break, look at what you have at home. See if you really need to buy, or if you have enough. You can sacrifice your current favorite breakfast sausages for the canned goods that have been there for months. Give up the juice or iced tea you serve during meals for water. Skip dessert and, instead, look forward to Easter Sunday sweets.

7. Introduce tradition. Your community may be one that observes the Pabasa ng Pasyon (Reading of the Passion). Explain the practice to your children and allow them to observe and understand the prayers. Other traditions the whole family can commemorate together are the recitation of The Seven Last Words, and the Easter Vigil. Processions can also be scheduled in your vicinity, note down the schedule so you can be present.

8. Lenten deeds. As everyone is at home, involve the family in house chores. Ask to think of chores usually done by your kasambahay (helper) or even yourself, and encourage them to do it. These can include cleaning their shoes, bikes, and sports bags; folding washed clothes and putting them in closets; giving the pets a bath; or washing dishes. Especially if your help will not be on leave for Holy Week, the lighter load will certainly be appreciated. As a family, you can also clean the car or the living room together.


PHILSTAR

Muslim group calls for universal peace
By Jose Rodel Clapano (The Philippine Star) | Updated April 2, 2015 - 12:00am


The Young Muslim Professionals Network issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident. File photo

MANILA, Philippines - As predominantly Catholic Philippines and the rest of the Christian world observe the Holy Week, peace advocates like the Young Muslim Professionals Network (YMPN) are appealing to Filipinos of various creeds and persuasion to embrace the universal message of kindness, love and peace.

The group issued the call as peace negotiations between the government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front teeter due to the Mamasapano incident where members of the rebel group killed 44 police commandos on a mission to arrest high value terrorists.

“There is more to peace than war, cooperation than conflict and tolerance than bigotry,” said Yasmira Moner, Women’s Committee Convener of the YMPN.

YMPN is one of the groups pushing for the passage of the Bangsamoro Basic Law.

“Mamasapano and BBL have become closely associated and interchangeable in the masa’s mind. Informing and educating the people of the facts and historical context of the Mindanao armed struggle are necessary in changing their opinion and worldviews,” Moner said.

READ MORE...
Another civil society group, the Mindanao Solidarity Network (MSN), said it hopes that the people will rise above hate and bigotry and learn to work together for peace.

“May we resurrect from all our prejudices and biases and unite to work for peace. Let us open our heart that the available option is BBL. BBL is not only for the Moro people but for every Filipino,” said Liza Ugay of the MSN.

“As Christians, we should reflect upon Christ’s death on the cross and rejoice with his victory over death in his resurrection. He promised peace to all, even to the people who hurt him,” Ugay said.

In Bacolod City, Bishop Vicente Navarra and Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon Jr. called on Negrenses to “pray for peace” and “be close to God” as the Christian world observes the Holy Week.

“I enjoin all Negrenses to continually pray for lasting peace, not only in Negros island, but also in the entire country. This is also the best time to reach out to others, make amends and seek forgiveness from those we have offended,” Marañon said in a statement.– With Danny Dangcalan


INQUIRER

Despite typhoon, summer is here—Pagasa Frances Mangosing @FMangosingINQ INQUIRER.net 2:28 PM | Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Pagasa explained that the dry season began with the termination of the northeast monsoon or amihan.

“Considering changes in the wind pattern and pressure system related with the changing of the season, the current weather condition signifies the imminent termination of the northeast monsoon,” it said.

The weather bureau also noted recent observations of significant increases in daily temperature recordings in most parts of the country.

“With this development, associated weather conditions include increasing number of warm days and generally good weather in most areas of the Philippines partly due to the dominance of the ridge of high pressure area and the easterlies,” Pagasa said.

However, some isolated rainshowers and thunderstorms may still be expected due to “heat island effect.” A heat island is an area, such as an urban center, where the temperature becomes constantly hotter than its surroundings. This may lead to faster formation of rain clouds which may develop into thunderstorms

Pagasa said coastal waters may at times be moderate due to the expected prevalence of strong easterly wind blowing over eastern Luzon and the Visayas.

Typhoon Maysak (which will be locally named Chedeng) is expected to enter the PAR on late Wednesday night or early Thursday.


MANILATIMES

State of calamity eyed for Zamboanga March 31, 2015 9:15 pm


An activist reprises the crucifixion of christ at the Plaza Miranda fronting the Quiapo church in Manila as a militant group uses the story of the passion and death of Jesus to depict the plight of the poor people. Photo by Melyn Acosta

ZAMBOANGA CITY: The City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (CDRRMC) has recommended to the City Council the declaration of a state of calamity in this city.

The recommendation was reached during an emergency meeting on Monday afternoon in view of escalating damage to agriculture and fishery products brought about by the continuing dry spell.

Salazar, CDRRMC chairperson, has requested the City Council to convene in a special session to tackle the recommendation, which she declared urgent.

The City Council is set to convene in a special session today in the morning.

The declaration of a state of calamity will enable the city government including agencies such as the Zamboanga City Water District (ZCWD) to utilize calamity funds for measures to mitigate the effects of the dry spell such as cloud seeding operations.

READ MORE...
As attested by barangay officials of areas affected by the drought, the damage to crops and fishery products continued to swell, as bush fires aggravated the situation.

City Agriculturist Diosdado Palacat reported during the CDRRMC emergency meeting that a total of 8,924 hectares planted with rice, corn, assorted vegetables, banana, rubber, cassava and coconut have been affected with an estimated value of P132.54 million as of Monday.

Of the total 25 irrigation dams in this city, Palacat said, nine have dried up, six are in critical condition while 10 are below the normal water level.

Arnulfo Alfonso, ZCWD technical services department head, reported the water level at the ZCWD’s diversion dam reached the critical level of 73.9 meters as of Monday.


MANILA BULLETIN

Man in crucifixion re-enactment moves ‘Calvary’ to Benguet by Franco G. Regala April 1, 2015


Children play at Clavary re-enactment site

City of San Fernando, Pampanga – One of the men who for 36 years had been cast as Jesus in the annual re-enactment of the crucifixion of Christ has decided to move his “stage” far from the crowds at Barangay San Pedro Cutud in this city to Itogon town in Benguet. The 76-year-old Bob Velez said he has decided to have his hands and feet nailed in a makeshift Calvary in Itogon, a first-class municipality in Benguet, to raise funds to build a new chapel.

“Noong Feb. 26 pa ako kinausap ni Ka Freddie na doon na lang ako magpapako ngayong taon. Tinanggap ko ito dahil pakiramdam ko ngayon mas magkakaroon ng kabuluhan ang aking pagpapako dahil makakatulong ako sa tao (Ka Freddie asked me last Feb. 26 if I can have the re-enactment of the nailing on the cross in their town. I agreed because I feel that it will have more meaning there),’’ Velez said.


‘PANATA’ – Bob Velez (right), who has been portraying Christ in the reenactment of the crucifixion for 36 years, and Ruben Enaje show the nails that will be used to nail their hands and feet to crosses on Good Friday in San Fernando, Pampanga for Enaje and in Itogon for Velez. (Franco Regala)

READ MORE...
“Yung makokolekta nilang pera sa fund-raising project ay magagamit sa pagpapatayo ng simbahan para sa mga taga doon (The money they collect from the fund-raising project will be used to build a church),’’ he added.

Velez said he accepts no payment or takes any commission from the funds raised by the re-enactment ceremony. “Panata ko ito mula pa noon. Kahit pinaunlakan ako, di ako nagpapabayad. At kahit bibigyan nga ako ng 25 percent, hindi pa rin ako nagpabayad. Itutuloy ko ang aking panata hangga’t malakas ako. Ang pinagkaiba lang, sa Cutud marami kami. Sa Itogon, ako lang at ang apat na kapampanga kong kasama na magpapadugo (I vowed to do this since long ago. I don’t take payment or a percentage from the funds raised. I will keep on doing the re-enactment as long as I am strong enough. What’s only going to be different in this event is that I will be alone in the ritual. In Cutud, there were many of us,” he said.

Years ago, Velez had stopped doing the ritual after he completed his pledge, but he came back and wanted to join the re-enactment again. He has performed the ritual with Ruben Enaje and Victor Caparas.

Meanwhile, San Fernando Mayor Edwin Santiago said 248 security personnel, including policemen, barangay tanods and traffic enforces will be mobilized at the sites of the crucifixion re-enactment in barangays San Pedro Cutud, Sta. Lucia and San Juan. Santiago assured devotees and tourists that roads leading to the three crucifixion sites will be less congested this year with rerouting measures. He said that the collection of parking fees is not allowed by the Maleldo (Mahal na Araw) committee.

City Councilor Harvey Quiwa, tourism committee chairman and 2015 Maleldo head, encouraged tourists and devotees to experience Maleldo “by getting into the spirit of re-enactment and reflect on Christ’s suffering and love for humanity.

‘FOREIGNERS BANNED’

On the other hand, Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, former Maleldo chairman, said that foreigners are banned from the annual ritual to maintain the spirit of Maleldo.

The re-enactment of Christ’s crucifixion started in this city in 1955 with the staging of “Via Crucis” (Way of the Cross). It was in 1962 when the first crucifixion ritual was staged as part of a play. Through the years, the annual production draws tens of thousands of devotees and curious tourists.


MALAYA

Aquino monitors Lenten rush By JOCELYN MONTEMAYOR on April 01, 2015

AS in previous years, President Aquino will spend the Holy Week quietly in Manila while monitoring the situation in the country as Filipinos travel to and from the provinces to celebrate the Lenten season, presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said yesterday.

Aquino is expected to visit the Batangas Port in the morning, and NAIA 1 and 3 and the JAM Liner-Kamuning terminal in the afternoon.

A rush of people going to the provinces has been reported yesterday in various ports and airports, with more expected today.

He earlier directed the Department of Transportation and Communications (DOTC), Philippine Ports Authority and Philippine Coast Guard to ensure peace and order in the piers and ports as well as the conditions and seaworthiness of the different shipping vessels that will ferry the passengers.

Aquino wants Public Assistance Center or Desk in each airport to respond to the needs of passengers or any emergencies.

READ MORE...
Similar directives had also been issued to the DOTC and the Land Transportation and Franchising Regulatory Board to ensure that special permits are issued to the additional buses that would be deployed and that no colorum buses would operate during the Lenten week and there would be no overloading.

Lacierda said this year, Aquino and his Cabinet members are monitoring the situation particularly in the path of typhoon of Chedeng.

PNP spokesman Chief Supt. Generoso Cerbo Jr. said motorists should follow the Seat Belts Use Act of 1999, the Motorcycle Helmet Act of 2009, and the Anti-Drunk and Drugged Driving Act of 2013 so that land travel during the holidays will be safer.

Cerbo reminded them about the acronym ‘BLOWBAGETS” to ensure their vehicles will be on tip-top shape once they travel to the countryside and elsewhere.

B stands for batteries, L for lights, O for oil, W for water in the radiator, another B for brakes, A for air on the tires, G for gas, E for engine, T for the appropriate tools, and S for self.

Cerbo said the PNP is all set for the Holy Week with the necessary security preparations are in place especially in churches, transport terminals, and other places of convergence.

He said all police units in Luzon and Visayas are under heightened alert condition. The PNP will continue to intensify the campaign against loose firearms, illegal discharge of firearms, and campaign against criminal gangs and personalities supported by the aggressive implementation of OPLAN LAMBAT SIBAT led by Interior Secretary Manuel Roxas II.

Makati City announced the lifting of the number coding scheme from April 1-3. On April 9, Araw ng Kagitingan, number coding will also be suspended.

For the Holy Week, traditional religious practices and activities will be held in several areas in Barangay Poblacion, Makati City. Some 20 “kubols” or “kalbaryos” have been put up along different streets for the traditional “Pabasa”, the singing of the Passion of Christ Jesus. The faithful spend time in the “kubol” to reflect and meditate.

The Makati Public Safety Department has announced that from April 1 at 10 p.m. to April 5 at 5 p.m., the stretch of J.P. Rizal Street from Reposo St. to Makati Avenue will be open to two-way traffic.

During the same period, the two lanes in the following streets will be closed to traffic: Cardona (from Osmeña to J.P. Rizal), Angono (from Osmeña to J.P. Rizal), F. Zobel (from Osmeña to J.P. Rizal) and Hormiga (from Angono to Antipolo).


Chief News Editor: Sol Jose Vanzi

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