Balikbayan box ‘rules’ review sought

By Macon Ramos-Araneta/ – Senate President Pro Tempore Ralph Recto on Monday called for the immediate “activation and convening” of a joint Senate-House oversight committee to review the implementation of the law governing balikbayan boxes. Recto made the call following mounting complaints on the “unreasonable documentary requirements” in sending balikbayan Read more »

Nationwide smoking ban takes effect July 23

By AC Nicholls/CNN Philippines – Tricycle driver Ricky Francisco has been hooked on cigarettes for years. He said he typically smokes while waiting for passengers, or sometimes even during his rounds. But now, Francisco told CNN Philippines he has no choice but to cut down rather than risk paying fines. Read more »

Top China diplomat Wang Yi to visit Philippines

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi will make a rare trip to the Philippines next week, the Philippine Department of Foreign Affairs announced Friday, July 21. In a media advisory, the DFA said Wang will join a bilateral meeting, a signing ceremony, and a news conference at the Shangri-La at The Read more »

Philippines bill proposes jail time for unenthusiastic anthem singers

By Janie Octia and Joshua Berlinger/CNN – Philippines citizens may need to start exercising their vocal chords. The country’s House of Representatives has approved a bill requiring members of the public to sing the country’s national anthem, Lupang Hinirang, “with fervor” whenever it is played publicly. Those who are convicted Read more »

75-year-old Pinoy lola sets powerlifting record

By Jared Bray/BS-CBN North America Bureau – Bulacan native and Utah resident Susie Rose hoisted 209.4 pounds while competing in the 65-plus age division, breaking both the state and national marks. “I like challenges. When people say I can’t do it, in my head I say, ‘Watch me!’” she said. Read more »

Summer solstice marks ‘longest days’ in Philippines

By Jaymee T. GamilIt/ – will be a long day on Wednesday (June 21), literally, as Summer Solstice falls around noontime on that day. In its astronomical diary for June, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) has said Philippine nights will be at their shortest—and day times Read more »