Thursday, June 19, 2014

...the world's sexiest

Filipinas among world's 'sexiest' in dating poll


MANILA -- With the country's recent dominance in beauty pageants, it is no wonder that Filipinas have been voted as one of world's most "sexiest" dating partners.

The survey, conducted by travel dating website MissTravel, listed Filipinas among the top five preferred nationalities to travel with ahead of the Spaniards and the Australians.

Topping the list are the Brazilians, followed by women from Russia, Colombia and the United Kingdom, while the Bulgarians, South Africans and the Canadians took the last three spots.

Male Filipinos, however, did not make the list ranking the opposite sex. Men from Australia are considered the sexiest travel partners, while the Italians and the British came in second and third, respectively.

Here is the full rankings published on Huffington Post:

The sexiest nationalities (women):

1. Brazilian
2. Russian
3. Colombian
4. British
5. Filipina
6. Spanish
7. Australian
8. Bulgarian
9. South African
10. Canadian

The sexiest nationalities (men):
1. Australian
2. Italian
3. British
4. Scottish
5. Spanish
6. American
7. Irish
8. Brazilian
9. Canadian
10. Dutch


Sunday, June 15, 2014

...the inspiration

Inspired by fun in the Philippines


In my two years in this country, I have visited many places that affirm the claim that “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” Apparently, I am not alone. Many of my fellow Koreans have been visiting the Philippines in the past, and they continue to do so in ever increasing numbers. I am happy to say that Koreans comprise about 25% of the foreigners who visited the country last year, making them the number one tourists.

Koreans are everywhere — from beach resorts to mountain trails, from diving spots to golf courses. Others have taken residence here, either in the suburbs or in the metropolis.

And where there are Koreans, there would be Korean restaurants and grocery stores. They cater as well as to the Filipinos who have developed a taste for Korean cuisine. It is part of the Korean wave or hallyu, that the Philippines has been riding for quite some time, and includes Korean-novelas on TV and K-Pop.

More than anything else, I believe that Korean tourists are flocking to the Philippines for its beauty and the hospitality of its people.

I myself have visited some popular areas, like Boracay and its pristine beaches, Bohol with its Chocolate Hills and tarsier sanctuary, and the mountain peaks of Cebu. This June, I will visit Palawan and finally get to see one of the World’s New 7 Wonders of Nature, the Underground River in Puerto Princesa.

My experiences have been fantastic. While the infrastructure may not be perfect, I expect more foreigners to arrive after the European Union removed the Philippines from its aviation blacklist last year.

On the other hand, there were more than 400,000 Filipinos who visited Korea last year. This was a 20.9% growth from the previous year. This number is significant, and indicates that Korea is becoming one of the favorite vacation spots of Filipino tourists as well.
Seoul has a special appeal to many visitors, and so does Jeju Island, which, incidentally, is also one of New 7 Wonders of Nature. People enticed by our own slogan, “Korea, Be Inspired,” probably visit Korea to shop for clothes, cosmetics, and electronic gadgets, as well as to have a taste of authentic Korean food, and enjoy the historical attractions. I heard that some also go to Korea for its salons and cosmetic surgery clinics. Seoul, like Metro Manila, is a “hip” and “stylish” place, especially for women, young and old.

The number of visitors may vary, but it is really a two-way exchange. While many Filipinos are in Korea on vacation, on scholarship, or as skilled and reliable workers, Koreans come to the Philippines to see the sights, to study, or to set up a business.

The affinity between our peoples is understandable. Geographically, the Philippines is our nearest neighbor in Southeast Asia. The weather is perfect for us who come from the temperate zone. And aside from the famous Filipino hospitality, we have shared values, especially with regard to the family.

Koreans in the Philippines may sometimes give the impression of detachment. Filipinos who visit Korea, however, actually have more positive encounters. In general, Koreans are relatively shy and reserved, especially when meeting people for the first time. Once people get to know us, they realize that we cherish meaningful friendships just like everyone else, and that Koreans are also a fun-loving and friendly people. The growth of Philippine tourism may just be one of the means to improve the image of Koreans in this country. After all, it’s more fun to make friends in the Philippines.


...the OFWs contribution in GCC

Why GCC would not be the same without Filipinos

By Dr Jasim Ali,
Special to Gulf News
First Published:  May 24, 2014
Gulf News
"Much to their credit, OFWS have made the first impression with respect to working habits and ethics.

They are admired for possessing traits of productivity, discipline, customer service, attention to detail, and ease of communicating in English, and presentable.

It is not unfair to claim that Filipinos have emerged as a factor in local economic activities in all GCC countries. And it can be asserted that quality of life in the GCC cannot be the same without the OFWs on the back of their significant presence in diverse sectors."   - Dr. Jasim Ali, Member of Parliament, Bahrain
The Gulf countries are home to the largest number of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) and it’s an arrangement which benefits both sides. For instance, for the Philippines, the workers send home billions of dollars.
GCC airlines benefit from the traffic to the Philippines, with Emirates dominating the Manila route.
Fact is, a sizable number of Filipinos live and work abroad for economic reasons, with their number estimated at around 10.5 million and comprising around 11 per cent of the country’s total population. The stats include some 5 million permanently living abroad and about 1.5 million irregulars.
However, this piece focuses on OFWs, officially estimated at more than 2.2 million by end 2012, including some 0.45 million working on the high seas. Yet, thousands of Filipinos were exposed for overstaying their work permits following the implementation of the Nitaqat scheme in Saudi Arabia in July. The controversial project is meant to make Saudi nationals, rather than immigrant workers, employees of choice in the private sector.
Notably, five of the six Gulf countries are on the list of top 10 destinations for OFWs, an evidence of openness of the economies of the grouping.
Saudi Arabia continues to maintain its position as the top destination for OFWs, which has been the case since 2004, followed by the UAE. In 2012, Saudi Arabia and the UAE accounted for 20 and 16 per cent of OFWs, respectively. Qatar emerges in fourth popular place after Singapore in third position. Qatar alone boasts some 200,000 Filipinos.
Service workers
The increasing significance of Gulf countries for Filipinos partly reflects the changing composition of OFWs, with more emphasis placed on household services workers. Unlike the GCC, Western countries are known for applying relatively strict conditions on employment of live-in housemaids.
To a degree, the changing make up of OFWs is in response to difficulties surrounding employment in the Philippines. The challenges include an unemployment rate of 7 per cent, and under-employment of nearly 20 per cent. More than 40 per cent of the employed work in the informal sector.
The Philippines enticed some $24 billion (Dh88 billion) in remittances in 2012, the third highest worldwide after India and China, according to the World Bank. The amount represents around 10 per cent of the country’s gross domestic product (GDP). This sum is inclusive of money sent via financial institutions, cash carried by returning and visiting Filipinos and others in-kind.
The figure could be higher for the lifestyle of Filipinos, who are known to spend in the local economies. The habit of spending a considerable amount of their salaries in local markets adds to the attraction of having Filipinos in the GCC workforce.
Much to their credit, OFWS have made the first impression with respect to working habits and ethics.

They are admired for possessing traits of productivity, discipline, customer service, attention to detail, and ease of communicating in English, and presentable.
It is not unfair to claim that Filipinos have emerged as a factor in local economic activities in all GCC countries. And it can be asserted that quality of life in the GCC cannot be the same without the OFWs on the back of their significant presence in diverse sectors.
The writer is a Member of Parliament in Bahrain.

...the foreigners' new home

Why foreigners love calling Philippines home


MANILA - It only took one random act of goodwill, a smile, and the positivity that Filipinos have to convince some foreigners that they have found a new home in the Philippines.

In a video uploaded online on Monday, a popular local fastfood chain sought to find out the answer to the question: "Bakit ang sarap maging Pilipino?"

Marcus Davis, an American singer, lauded Filipinos' spirit of volunteerism and reaching out "even if no one asked for it."

"When I arrived in the airport, I was a bit lost. Someone saw me and walked up to me and offered me to use their cellphone. While I was calling, he actually went and got me a drink," Davis said.

"I think that was one of my fondest memories because I've never showed up in a country and someone just walked up and offered to help you like that," he added.

Anna Rabstun-Baylosis, a Russian singer who now lives in the Philippines, said she finds her Filipino husband Erick very sweet, loving and caring.

"It's so personal here in the Philippines. There's no handshake, there's kissing and hugging. You really feel taken care of," she shared.

Bryan Gallinger, who volunteers for a local child welfare organization, said that he only had one thing in mind when he first arrived in the country -- business.

However, after "falling in love" with the positivity of the Filipinos, he decided to stay. "I can honestly say that I'm a better person by living here in the Philippines," he said.

As of writing, the video has already reached over 40,000 views on YouTube.

Most netizens who commented were touched by the glowing words the foreigners had for the Filipinos, but also took a chance to take a swipe at the current state of the country's government.


...the capital of fun

Manila depicted as ‘capital of fun’


Manila, the second largest city and capital of the Philippines, is the subject of the newest “It’s more Fun in the Philippines” campaign.
The thirty-three second video clip released by the Department of Tourism (DOT) defined Manila as the capital of fun. The video showcased several remarkable places in Manila such as the historical Luneta Park, Intramuros as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Makati which is the financial capital of the Philippines.

In its website, DOT said Makati is the perfect place to indulge in world-class cuisine while Intramuros is the best place for a cultural escapade.

The DOT said the new advertisement “shows Manila as the city that has everything under the sun.”

The country's tourism slogan “It’s more fun in the Philippines” was launched in 2012 to attract visitors to the country. The campaign hopes to enjoin the whole country in creating positive buzz around this tagline. The campaign has earlier featured Davao City and Boracay. (Mary Rose A. Hogaza)

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

...the teen inventor

This 15-Year-Old Invented A Way To Charge Your Phone With Your Shoes


By Taylor Trudon

There's nothing quite as annoying -- or panic-inducing -- as having a dying phone battery with no charger in sight. But thanks to one 15-year-old whiz kid, that problem might soon be solved.

Filipino teen Angelo Casimiro has invented a special kind of footwear that can generate electricity simply by walking. By doing so, it can charge small battery-operated devices like smartphones.

"The average human takes 7,000 steps a day. So I asked myself, 'Maybe it's possible to harvest electricity through our footsteps. Maybe I can charge my phone or my flashlight with it,'" says Casimiro in his Google Science Fair 2014 entry.

Watch Casimiro describe his project above.

According to, one of Casimiro's experiments gave his phone 10 minutes of battery power by playing basketball for two hours straight.

"I'm a Filipino. I live in the Philippines. And just by looking around my surroundings, I can see that a lot of people are suffering from poverty," explains Casimiro. "A simple source of light is a big deal for people who don't have electricity."