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T4 raised over Bicol region as Typhoon Rolly seen to pose ‘serious threat’

Posted on 01 November 2020 No comments

By The SUN

Pag-asa's weather bulletin shows Rolly on track to slam onto Catanduanes early Sunday

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pag-asa), has raised Signal No. 4 over the Bicol region and warned of “serious threat”, as Typhoon Rolly (international name: Goni) moved closer to Catanduanes where it is forecast to make landfall early today.

Typhoon Rolly picked up strength as it moved closer inland, packing winds of 215 kph near the centre, with gusts of up to 265 kph as it moved west southwest at 25 kph.

Pag-asa has said it is not ruling out the possibility that Rolly may intensify to a super typhoon before landfall, which could necessitate the hoisting of signal No 5, the highest typhoon signal in the country. A storm is classified as a super typhoon once its winds reach 220 kilometers per hour (kph).

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Among the areas on its path is Metro Manila, which is expected to bear the full onslaught of the typhoon by noon of Sunday.

This prompted the authorities to order the closure of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport to all flights from 10am of Nov 1 (Sunday) to 10am of Nov 2 (Monday)

According to the Manila International Airport Authority, all terminals at NAIA will be closed for the duration of the 24-hour closure, so all passengers are advised not to go to their airport to take their chances.

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In its latest weather bulletin issued at 11pm Saturday, Pag-asa said the typhoon will move towards the Camarines provinces later in the morning before heading towards Quezon province in the afternoon.

It is forecast to weaken considerably as it makes its way through the Calabarzon (Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) area, before emerging over the Philippine sea early on Monday.

But even at its current strength, Rolly is already forecast to pose a very serious threat to the Bicol region, with “violent winds and intense to torrential rainfall” likely to affect Catanduanes, the Camarines provinces, as well as the northern portion of Albay, including Rapu-Rapu Islands.

Storm surge of more than 3 meters (around 10 feet) could be expected in the next 24 hours over the coastal areas of Catanduanes and Camarines Norte, and the northern coastal areas of Quezon; up to 3 meters in the coastal areas of Metro Manila, Cavite, Bulacan, Pampanga, Bataan, southeastern Batangas (facing Tayabas Bay), and most of the southern coastal areas of Quezon.

Smaller swells of up to 2 meters are expected off Marinduque, Lubang Island and Burias Island, and the remaining coastal areas of Quezon, Camarines Sur and Batangas.


The current typhoon signals across the Philippines as Rolly approaches

The following are the other areas in Bicol put under Signal No 4

(source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)


the eastern portion of Camarines Sur (Buhi, Iriga City, Baao, Pili, Naga City, Bombon, Calabanga, Ocampo, Sagnay, Tigaon, Goa, Tinambac, Siruma, Lagonoy, Garchitorena, San Jose, Presentacion, Caramoan)

 the northern portion of Albay (Tiwi, Polangui, Malinao, Tabaco City, Malilipot, Bacacay, Rapu-Rapu).


Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

Those under Signal No 3 are:



Camarines Norte

the rest of Camarines Sur

the rest of Albay

Burias and Ticao Islands





the eastern portion of Batangas (Tanauan City, Santo Tomas, Malvar, Balete, Mataas Na Kahoy, Lipa City, Cuenca, Talisay, San Nicolas, Santa Teresita, Alitagtag, San Pascual, Batangas City, San Jose, Ibaan, Taysan, Lobo, Padre Garcia, Rosario, San Juan)


the northern portion of Oriental Mindoro (Puerto Galera, San Teodoro, Baco, Calapan City, Naujan, Victoria, Pola, Socorro, Pinamalayan)

the northern portion of Romblon (Concepcion, Banton, Corcuera)



Northern Samar


The areas under Signal No 2:



The rest of Masbate

the rest of Romblon

the rest of Oriental Mindoro

Occidental Mindoro including Lubang Island

the rest of Batangas, Cavite

Metro Manila





Nueva Ecija

the central and southern portion of Aurora (Dipaculao, Maria Aurora, Baler, San Luis, Dingalan), the southern portion of Quirino (Nagtipunan)

the southern portion of Nueva Vizcaya (Alfonso Castaneda, Dupax Del Norte, Dupax Del Sur)




The northern portion of Samar (Catbalogan City, Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, Hinabangan, San Sebastian, Tarangnan, Pagsanghan, San Jorge, San Jose de Buan, Matuguinao, Gandara, Santa Margarita, Calbayog City, Santo Nino, Almagro, Tagapul-An)

the northern portion of Eastern Samar (San Julian, Sulat, Taft, Can-Avid, Dolores, Maslog, Oras, San Policarpo, Arteche, Jipapad), the extreme northern portion of Antique (Pandan, Libertad, Caluya)

the northwestern portion of Aklan (Buruanga, Malay, Nabas, Ibajay)


Those under Signal No. 1:



the southern portion of Cagayan (Peñablanca, Iguig, Rizal, Piat, Tuao, Solana, Tuguegarao City, Enrile)


the rest of Quirino

the rest of Nueva Vizcaya

the southern portion of Apayao (Conner)



Mountain Province



the southern portion of Ilocos Norte (Nueva Era, Dingras, Sarrat, San Nicolas, Laoag City, Paoay, Currimao, Badoc, Pinili, Batac City, Banna, Marcos)

Ilocos Sur

La Union

the rest of Aurora

Calamian Islands



the rest of the northern portion of Antique (Sebaste, Culasi) 

the rest of Aklan

the northern portion of Capiz (Jamindan, Mambusao, Sapi-An, Ivisan, Roxas City, Panay, Pilar, Sigma, Dao, Panitan, Pontevedra, President Roxas)

the northern portion of Iloilo (Carles, Balasan, Estancia, Batad)


the northern portion of Leyte (Leyte, Tabango, San Isidro, Calubian, Capoocan, Carigara, Tunga, Barugo, San Miguel, Babatngon, Tacloban City)

the rest of Samar

the rest of Eastern Samar



Vinegar can save anyone during cramp attacks

Posted on 31 October 2020 No comments


Hiking is fun and healthful, but it can be ruined by an unexpected cramp attack.

By Vir B. Lumicao

Going outdoors during the coming holiday break? Take heed. It may be good for you to bring along a small amount of vinegar, especially if you are prone to cramps or sensitive to insect bites or plant stings.
Vinegar is the most effective first-aid remedy to cramps, I can say from my own experience. I discovered it only a few years back when lingering pain from a leg cramp attack while hiking prompted me to search the Internet for the best remedy.
Vinegar also stops itching caused by allergens, insect bites and larval or leaf stings.
Cramps, a sudden tightening of the muscles when they are overworked or exposed to the cold, can lead to serious and even fatal accidents if the attack occurs while a person is biking, swimming, hiking or performing a hazardous outdoor activity.
Sporting experts say cramp is common among athletes who do not warm up before they start a strenuous activity. They say cramp is generally temporary and non-damaging, but it can cause significant pain and paralysis-like immobility of the affected muscle.
Cramp is common among athletes who don't warm up going into action.

My most painful cramp attack happened about three years ago while I was doing a loop hike up Mt Butler and Mt Parker then down to Tai Tam Reservoir and back to the starting point at North Point MTR station.
I began the hike at midday and aimed to finish the roughly 10 km loop by 5pm at a brisk pace. That would leave me time to buy some foodstuff at the North Point market. That didn’t happen.
My mistake was I overexerted myself. From the start at MTR station, I did a nonstop lung-busting climb about a kilometer long on steep concrete stairways and inclined sidewalks until I reached the beginning of the trail on Braemar Hill.
In less than three hours, I was on the Tai Tam Upper Dam. I had my quick lunch on a picnic site along the trail then made my way back up towards the Mt Parker Pavilion.
I was just about 80 meters away from the pavilion when my legs cramped. The pain was severe and I felt my strength drained by the attack, so I supported myself on a roadside rail and shook my ankles up and down, left and right, until the pain eased.
From there, I limped my way down Mt Parker Road and took the tram to North Point.
The post-cramp pain in my calves didn’t go away for two days, leading me to do some internet research on how to prevent cramps. Medical sites offered various forms of advice and advertisers recommended an array of food supplements or endorsed the services of some clinics that specialized on sporting pains.
Tai Tam Reservoir and the South China Sea as seen from Mt Butler.

Then I came across a conversation thread about cramps and its folk remedies. They offered a number of quick fixes such as fruit juice and pickle juice. Then I read an advice from a US Navy Seal. He said keep a bottle of vinegar always ready.
He explained that divers like the Seals are prone to cramps due to the hours they spend in cold waters. A gulp of vinegar would stop the cramp in two to five minutes, he said.
There’s nothing to lose taking his advice so, since then, I’ve made it a point to bring a small bottle of vinegar each time I go hiking. On four occasions that I suffered a cramp on the trails, I drank about a mouthful of the liquid and it kept me going again.
The last time I had cramps was three weekends ago, just as I and my hiking buddy Golda Pay-ong began descending the summit of Lantau Peak, at 950 meters the second-highest in Hong Kong.
First, I felt my thighs tighten and shake. I made a few belabored steps down the steep and narrow trail then stopped on a ridge wide enough for me to take out the vinegar from my backpack. I told Golda to carry on, but she waited.
My thighs were so taut I could not even bend them. I took two swigs and waited for about three minutes, then we resumed our descent.
About 100 meters down the slope, we came upon three Indonesian women sitting on one side of the trail. One of them was in pain as her friends massaged her legs. Cramps, they replied when I asked them what happened. I offered the afflicted woman my remedy.
“Here, take a mouthful. It’s vinegar. I also had cramps about 5 minutes ago,” I told her.
She did and soon she and her friends continued their trek, not far behind me and my buddy.
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Pinay who fought with employer freed on police bail

Posted on 30 October 2020 No comments

By Daisy CL Mandap 

S.L. was released on bail after an interview at North Point Police Station (Foursquare photo)

The Filipina who was arrested on Wednesday night after a fierce fight with her employer in North Point was freed on police bail late yesterday, Oct 29.

The Consulate who had been helping S.L. throughout provided her bail money and later took her to the Philippine Overseas Labor Office’s shelter.

But a pro bono private solicitor assisted S.L. during her interview at the North Point police station, during which she chose to remain silent after being advised of her rights.

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No charges have been filed against her.

S. L. was taken to the North Point Police station after being discharged from the Pamela Youde Nethersole (Eastern Hospital) where she was taken after complaining of dizziness.

Her employer was also taken to the hospital for an unknown complaint but was discharged earlier.

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Police told The SUN earlier that S.L. was booked on charges of possessing an offensive weapon and assault occasioning bodily harm.

They were reportedly called to the scene at Island Place Three in North Point at 6:30pm on Wednesday by an unnamed resident.

“The police received information that the accused had pointed a knife and had bitten her employer,” said a police spokeswoman.

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“Both the domestic helper and her employer were admitted to the PYNEH and right now the domestic helper is still in the hospital.”

The spokeswoman said no complaints were recorded against the employer, and she was not arrested.

S.L. being interviewed by police at the lobby of her employer's residential building

A video of the encounter between the two where the Filipina could be heard shouting "ate, ate" - apparently asking for help from a friend who lives in the same block - went viral even before the police took S.L. away.

Social media posts by her friends and relatives said S.L. was ordered to leave by her employer that same night, but should first sign a blank document, so she resisted. Her employer reportedly got angry when S.L. started recording their conversation using her telephone. 

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

S.L.’s sister who managed to see the accused in hospital Thursday morning said she was told that it was the employer who had taken out the knife along with a pair of scissors during their argument. The employer reportedly told her sister to choose which of the two she wanted to be assaulted with. 

Before this, the employer reportedly told the helper that she should leave their house on the spot and not wait until her one-month notice of termination had lapsed early next month.

S.L., who had worked for the employer for only three months, reportedly complained of being made to sleep in the living room and not being given any space to store her personal stuff. 

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Police warn vs. scams amid surge in cases

Posted on No comments

By Vir B. Lumicao 

Police data show deception cases more than doubled in the first half of the year

While Hong Kong grappled with pro-democracy protests and the coronavirus epidemic in the first half of this year, scammers had been busy plying their trade, prompting police to renew their warning to the public to be wary.

Crime statistics collated by the Hong Kong Police Department showed that from January to June this year, deception cases shot up to 8,129, almost equal to the full-year total of 8,216 cases last year.

The first-half figure this year was 113% more than the 3,855 deception cases reported in the same period last year.

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Filipina migrant workers were not spared by the con men, who in at least two recent cases, became unsuspecting conduits for money laundering by men who wooed them online.

In the first of these cases, some of the money transferred to the Filipina was squeezed from other unsuspecting female victims.

The police’s Anti-Deception Coordination Centre said scammers trawl the internet for possible victims.   

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“Once they have gained the latter’s trust, they will ask to borrow the victims’ accounts for allegedly lawful purposes using various pretexts,” the ADCC said.

In fact, they use the accounts to collect illicit money and lure the victims to withdraw the cash for them.

“The act of lending one’s account to others for unlawful purposes might have constituted the offense of ‘Dealing with property known or believed to represent proceeds of indictable offence’ [money laundering], which carries a maximum sentence of 14 years’ imprisonment and a fine of $5 million,” the ADCC said.

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An unfortunate example was E. Gumabay, a 44-year-old helper who was jailed for 12 months in late June after her bank account was found to have been used to launder nearly $1.6 million.

Gumatay denied any involvement, saying she just lent her two ATM cards to an online friend she knew only as Williams.

The crime was uncovered after police traced to her bank accounts cash deposited separately by two female love scam victims for their online boyfriend, Dennis Leung.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

Another Filipina helper fell into a similar trap in April. An African man she met online convinced her to lend him her ATM card, then proceeded to use it for laundering $1.62 million in just two months.

The Filipina's bank statement shows $1.62 million passed through her account in 2 months

Warned about the consequences, the woman helper reported the case to the police and the bank.

The police appealed to the public not to open bank accounts for friends or lend their own accounts to them lest they would breach the law on money laundering.

“Don’t lend your bank accounts to others. Don’t disclose details of your bank accounts to others. Remind your relatives and friends the risk of scams,” the ADCC said.

Another trick the police warn against is scammers befriending their victims via social networking platforms, dating apps or instant messaging and then sweet-talking them into undressing or performing indecent acts in front of a webcam.

“They’d also entice the latter to download malicious apps or disclose verification codes of instant messaging software with the intention of stealing their contact details,” the ADCC said.

The victims are then told they had been filmed naked and ordered to transfer money to a designated overseas bank account, settle the sum in bitcoins or buy virtual point cards, or else the footage would be circulated to their friends and families, the ADCC said.

The council advised the public not to trust newly met strangers on the internet.

“Be vigilant. Don’t engage in naked chat, especially in the online virtual world. Reject scammers’ unreasonable requests such as remittance, purchase of virtual money or point cards,” the ADCC said, advising people to call the anti-scam helpline 18222 if in doubt.

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No super typhoon, but T4 may be raised when ‘Rolly’ moves across PHL

Posted on No comments

By The SUN 

PAGASA's 5pm weather bulletin today, Oct 30

Typhoon Rolly (International name, Goni) continues to intensify as it moves toward the Philippines ahead of its expected landfall in Aurora province on Sunday evening or early Monday morning.

At 5pm today, Oct 30, Rolly was forecast to move west-southwest until tomorrow morning, with winds of 165 kilometers per hour near the center and gusts of up to 205 kph.

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It will then turn west-northwest as it moves over the sea off the coast of the Bicol Region, towards the eastern coast of Aurora-Quezon area.

PAGASA says the typhoon will continue to intensify prior to landfall, when its winds are expected to peak at between 175-195 kph. This could lead to the hoisting of  Signal No 3 or 4 (second highest) as the typhoon passes through the country.

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But the state weather bureau discounted a forecast from the US Navy’s Joint Typhoon Warning Center forecast earlier today that Rolly will pick up strength on Saturday, with winds of 240.76 kph, thereby reaching super typhoon category.

The USN said this will occur briefly over open water as Rolly moves nearer to the eastern part of Luzon. It will then weaken into a typhoon with winds of 212 kph before touching land.

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In the Philippines, Signal No 4 is hoisted when a typhoon packs winds of between 171-220 kph while the highest, Signal No 5, is raised when the winds are greater than 220kph.

PAGASA said the trough of the typhoon will bring light to moderate, sometimes heavy rains over Bicol region, Visayas, Caraga, northern Mindanao, and Zamboanga peninsula.

Tunghayan ang isa na namang Kwentong Dream Love

The rains could intensify beginning Saturday or Sunday over northern and central Luzon and Bicol region, especially those along its track.

Storm surge of up to 2 meters may also be experienced over the coastal areas of Aurora, Quezon, Marinduque, Bicol Region, and Northern Samar.

PAGASA is also monitoring another tropical storm that appears headed toward the country, but is not expected to bring severe weather within its territory in the next three days.

Tropical Storm “Atsani” is expected to enter Philippine jurisdiction on Sunday or Monday, during which it will be given the local name “Siony.”

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