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Wednesday, May 12, 2021


Satellite Internet service –Starlink and iGSat

YOU have to be totally out of touch if you have not heard of Elon Musk, of Tesla and SpaceX fame that some people say must be an alien from another planet to come up with so many advanced ideas. He is now talking about a global satellite Internet service called Starlink which plans to make use of 40,000 low Earth orbit (LEO) satellites about 300 miles above our surface. Currently, there…
Column box-Al Mendoza-That’s All
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Limping LA Lakers looking to survive

WHEN LeBron James came back, Los Angeles was back. Suddenly, the Lakers’ crown looked secure. Beleaguered as they were being pushed close to elimination, the Lakers were resurrected with the return of James. James breathed new life to a Los Angeles squad on the verge of death.  James has been the Lakers’ oxygen for life, the one savior when chaos creep in from nowhere. Then it…
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Giving feedback to your manager

“What do you think?” my manager asks me after we have finished the presentation. On the one hand, I was honored that she asked me what I thought of our presentation. At the same time, I also felt out of place because I am not used to having my manager ask me for feedback. But then I realized, she was asking because she really wanted to improve herself and because whatever she did…
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Health-care investments, decongestion key to recovery

WE saw a decline in new Covid-19 cases in the last couple of weeks, as the reproduction rate fell below 1.0 again. This is good news for the country and the economy, thanks to the preventive efforts of the government. We need to sustain this gain by strengthening our health-related measures, while safely reopening the economy so that workers can return to their jobs. Balancing health and…
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Flying pig

Last month I wrote, “For me though, the most astounding event of the 21st century is happening right now in Egypt. The Ever Given—launched in 2018—is one of the largest container ships ever built carrying some 20,000 Twenty-foot Equivalent Units. It is currently blocking the Suez Canal.” The canal was unblocked and everything is back to normal. But the “astounding events” are not yet…
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JBC’s nominees to the Supreme Court

The appointment of the members of the Supreme Court  is one of the most important and sensitive functions of the President. No body of men, though unelected by the people, wields greater power and influence than the 15-man tribunal on the life, property and liberty of an individual in our society. The SC is the highest court of the land and is regarded as the…
Lyca Balita - Onwards
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Hospital bills and pandemics

MY friend’s grandfather recently had a stroke. His family spent several hours in an ambulance searching for a hospital that had space to admit him. After hours, they found one, but it didn’t have the needed medical equipment. Only one expensive hospital had the necessary equipment and available space, which happened to be a private room. After a week, he recovered enough to be discharged.…

Transfer pricing audit looms

Transfer pricing audit is inevitable. Tax authorities now have the preliminary information that they need to choose what companies to audit. BIR Form 1709, which has been submitted together with the annual income tax return, is a powerful tool for the BIR to determine what are suspicious related to party transactions. The question now is, how will the BIR perform the audit, and what should…

Shanden Vergara

IF you look up the word resilient in the dictionary, the photo of Shanden Vergara should be right beside it. The young man has worked his tail off to get to where he is, from San Carlos all the way to Harrogate, Tennessee, where the Rail Splitters of Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) ply their trade. According to Football for Humanity Founder Chris Thomas, Shanden is…
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Filipino artists share their crypto art journey

One nearly gave up on an art career before trying his hand at crypto art. Another had to grapple with self-marketing in a space devoid of middlemen. Despite the varying experiences, however, everyone shared the same view that the new space is here to stay. Three early Filipino crypto art adopters shared their experiences in crypto art in a recent online forum as part of the ongoing Art…
Column box-Integrity Initiative
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European authorities scrutinize data flows leaving the EU

Allow me to highlight latest movements in Europe regarding cross border data flows and data privacy protection. I am using an update provided by the Wall Street Journal—WSJ PRO—in its CYBERSECURITY Section. Regulators and courts are asking for proof of how companies protect data that leaves the EU, going to the US but also to other parts of the world, including the Asia Pacific Economic…
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Why do people get scammed?

LET’S get to the point: people desire to be rich and gain money as soon as possible. Shortcuts, get rich real-quick scheme, double or triple your money, risk free, guaranteed returns… Sounds familiar? What’s next? Shame. Regrets. Depression. Death? Remember, there is hope and you don’t have to take away your life and embrace your foolishness. It happened because you allowed it. The…

The star of your own biopic

One good thing I like about this pandemic is that it has dimmed the spotlight on the “self.” The obsession with “I, me, myself” is being put into the background, albeit for the moment at least. Although I wish that it would be part of the new better future after this whole thing is over. Only recently, we had an American president who lost the elections because he was the star of a movie…
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Chinese streaming platform presents new Korean drama

CHINESE streaming platform iQIYI is one of the biggest online video sites in the world. Founded in 2010 by Baidu, one of China’s largest online search engine, iQIYI has the streaming rights to many Asian titles and claims to have more than 500 million active users. iQIYI started producing original content in 2011. Oh! Master is the latest iQIYI Original and Korean drama that can be viewed…
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Investing in people-first start-ups

IN 1996, Renato and Babie Sio established Sanitary Care Products Asia Inc. (SCPA) with the noble goal of creating 10 jobs for 10 people. Fast-forward 25 years later, the Sio couple together with son Ven and daughter Lea now run an enterprise that has grown to over a thousand employees with 23 sales offices and seven plants nationwide. “Great love for what we do and the people we do it for”…
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NO, “MV plus MX equals ME” is not a mathematical nor a physics formula. But yes, it is nonetheless a formula for an effective association membership engagement strategy. Let me explain. As a background, I wrote about Marketing General Inc.’s association membership lifecycle in my column of April 9, 2021, “The ‘Science’ of Membership Marketing.” The lifecycle consists of two main…
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The lost summer

It’s summertime and the allure of the islands and the marvelous beaches beckons us. It’s time to unwind and escape from the stress of work, school and house chores. As the song says, it’s the moment to breathe the summer wind blown from across the sea and stroll the pristine sand beneath our feet in Boracay or Bagasbas Beach. Or relish the cool mountain breeze of Baguio or…
Rene E. Ofreneo - Laborem Exercens
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Two puzzles ADB has to address

The Asian Development Bank held its 54th Annual Meeting of Governors online. President Masatsugu Asakawa (called by his colleagues as “Masa Asa”) came up with a bold theme for the Meeting: “Re-imagining Asia and the Pacific in a Post-Pandemic World.” The Meeting was accompanied by a three-day conference/webinar (May 3-5) which dwelt on the topics of Covid-19 pandemic, climate change…


Experience a summerscape moment at Tagaytay Highlands

SUMMER has arrived in the Philippines, heralded by the harsh, often enervating tropical heat and frequent spells of lethargy. It doesn’t help that the dense cityscapes of Metro Manila amplify the discomfort and stress, making people head for the balminess of the hills. For discerning Filipinos, nothing says “chill” better than a cool, tranquil getaway such…

The UK’s future may be in the hands of Scotland’s rebel youth


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Celebrating the creation of ‘robot’

In an era defined by fast-moving digital transformations and technological innovations, the word ‘robot’ has become a staple in the everyday vocabulary. But what do we know about its etymology? The term was first used in a 100-year-old play by Czech playwright Karel Čapek, titled Rossumovi…
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Viral thoughts: Why Covid-19 conspiracy theories persist

PROVIDENCE, R.I.—Daniel Roberts hadn’t had a vaccination since he was 6. No boosters, no tetanus shots. His parents taught him inoculations were dangerous, and when the coronavirus arrived, they called it a hoax. The vaccine, they said, was the real threat. So when the 29-year-old Tennessee…
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Dear Normal: Were you really that great in the first place?

Dear Normal, everyone wants you back.It seems every day of this late-stage pandemic era (In the US, that is. In these parts, in the words of former health secretary Dr. Esperanza Cabral, we are “10 steps back from square one”—Ed) is marked with someone wistfully talking about Normal: going…



Envoys & Expats



PHOTO GALLERY: India’s Deadly Virus Surge Follows Crowded Events

Colombian town uses discipline, speakers to stay virus-free

UK reflects on death toll a year after lockdown

Look out, Labs: French bulldogs now 2nd most popular US dog

After pandemic year, weary world looks back — and forward

Myanmar’s searing smartphone images flood a watching world

The Broader Look

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PHL climate change policy? It’s in the air

Greenpeace and other environmental organizations based in the Philippines join advocates across the globe in challenging governments to honor commitments under the Paris Agreement. The agreement, signed on December 12, 2015, seeks to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5…