Philippines is 95th ‘best place’ to do business – WB report

via – Setting up business in the Philippines seems not improving, as it slid down from 86th to 95th place, the latest “Doing Business” report of the World Bank showed. In 2013, the Philippines leapfrogged 30 notches in the global survey to 108th. But due to data corrections Read more »

Deborah Toh (centre, facing camera) getting a goodbye group hug from her classmates. Her three days at the Philippine school left such a huge impression that she has already asked to go back. --  PHOTO BY TOH YONG CHUAN - STRAITSTIMES

What my 8-year-old learnt at a Philippine school

By Toh Yong Chuan/ – Like many parents, I sent my eight-year-old daughter Deborah for extra lessons during the June school holidays which end today. But she didn’t attend an enrichment centre in Singapore; she spent three days at an elementary school in Cauayan city, a nine-hour drive north of Read more »

Photo by Jodesz Gavilan/Rappler

Payatas, poverty, and the peanut butter project

By Jodesz Gavilan/ – Whenever the word “Payatas” comes up in a conversation, an image of garbage-filled landfills and shanties of indigent families mostly comes to mind. In some instances, people recall the unfortunate landslide back in 2000 in the area that affected at least 800 families and claimed the Read more »

Photo by George Tapan via

Palawan is world’s top island; Boracay 12th

By Cherry Salazar/ – Palawan has been judged No.1 and Boracay No.12 among the Top 30 Islands in the World, based on a survey by international travel magazine Condé Nast Traveler. In an article posted on the magazine’s website yesterday, Palawan obtained 88.750 points while Boracay garnered 82.683 points. Read more »

Photo via  Marlisa Ann Facebook page

15-year-old Pinay wins ‘X Factor Australia’

via – It’s Rose Fostanes all over again! Fifteen-year-old Marlisa Punzalan on Monday capped her stellar run on Australia’s edition of “The X Factor” as its grand winner, making her the youngest champion of the talent search across its six seasons since 2005. The victory of Punzalan, whose parents Read more »

Photo by Jonathan Asuncion via

Valerie Weigmann crowned Miss World Philippines 2014

By Chuck Smith/ – Valerie Weigmann was crowned Miss World Philippines 2014 at the SM MOA Arena in Pasay City on Sunday night. The 24-year-old Weigmann, who bested 25 other candidates, was the crowd favorite as she won majority of the special awards given out earlier in the program. She Read more »