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Philippines Today

California is an undisputed national and global leader in protecting our environment and championing policy that will ensure the sustainability of our natural resources for generations to come. And especially after facing multiple dry years in a row, it’s clear this sort of foresight and proactive approach is desperately needed when it comes to water issues as well.


Unfortunately, however, some legislators want to take California in the opposite direction by blocking the development of a safe, reliable new water supply – and, in doing so, block jobs and economic growth, including for the Filipino community. Assembly Bill 1000, by Assemblymember Laura Friedman, is a “gut and amend” bill that circumvents the normal legislative process in an attempt to stop a carefully studied water project that has earned the approval of multiple state and local agencies and shown to be safe for the environment.


The Cadiz Water Project will access underutilized water from the Mojave Desert that is currently evaporating into the air to provide a reliable water supply that can serve up to 400,000 people every year. Filipino families, businesses and communities need affordable and reliable water; a safe water supply is critical for the long-term sustainability of our state and has a significant role to play in creating socio-economic opportunity and progress.


Unlike the false claims perpetrated by the supporters of AB 1000 – many of them coastal interests and Sacramento politicians whose communities rely on imported water and won’t feel the pain of the lost jobs and water caused by the bill – the Cadiz Water Project does not pose a threat to the environment. The project has withstood all of California’s robust environmental reviews, and mechanisms are built into the project to allow the County of San Bernardino to halt project operations if it unexpectedly poses harm or if groundwater levels fall below a certain point.


Equally importantthe project is expected to create thousands of skilled jobs – including for veterans and for unions – and generate nearly $1 billion in economic activity. A project that’s safe for the environment, creates good-paying jobs and put more money into local coffers? It’s a clear win-win-win – and the fact that some special interests want to derail the project reveals only ugly political games.


Beyond threatening the jobs and water that would come from the Cadiz Water Project, AB 1000 is also just bad policy. By adding additional layers of bureaucratic review on top of those already provided for by California’s environmental laws, the policy behind AB 1000 would make it even harder for the state to move forward on projects that serve the Filipino community, like school and hospital construction, affordable housing development or even bridge and roadway investments. We already have a robust – and often confusing and complicated – environmental review process; why make it even harder for these important projects by allowing politicians and political appointees to quash them at the very last minute?


We cannot allow politics to drive policy decisions that would negatively affect our state for generations to come. For these reasons, we urge the Legislature to reject AB 1000.

Pia Wurtzbach and Marlon break up?

Published in Entertainment




Are beauty queen Pia Wurtzbach and boyfriend, Filipino-Swiss car racer Marlon Stockinger headed to Splitsville?


 Or have they broken up?


The questions were raised after reports indicated that the two celebrities have removed all images of them together from their social media accounts.


The decision to delete their sweet memories together on Instagram came more than a month after Marlon unfollowed the former Miss Universe title holder on Instagram.


Among their images together which they removed from their Instagram accounts were a shot of them cuddling while on a vacation in Hawaii and a photo in which Marlon reassured their followers that "nothing's changed" between him and the Miss Universe 2015 winner. 


Earlier, Marlon reassured their followers that “nothing’s changed” between him and the Filipina-German beauty from Cagayan de Oro city.


The Filipino-Swiss car racer also explained that he and Pia are merely keeping their romance more private. 


There is no official word yet from Pia on her relationship with Marlon.


Pia is busy with her comeback movie for the Metro Manila Film Festival, modelling, endorsement and promotion activities, as Miss Universe ambassador and just recently she had some quality time in Cancun, Mexico with her fellow beauty queens from the Miss Universe and Miss USA pageants.


The Miss Universe 2015 titleholder attended an event in Cancun with her successor, reigning queen Iris Mittenaere of France who got the crown in Manila, and her former roommate Olivia Jordan, who is Miss USA 2015.


Also present were Miss USA 2017 Kara McCullough, and Miss USA 2014 Nia Sanchez.


Aside from being a Miss Universe ambassador, Pia is also busy with her HIV-AIDS awareness advocacy, as well as endorsement deals and showbiz projects. Her taking an HIV-AIDS tests recently raised eyebrows of fans and netizens, with some indicating she may have the disease which she and health officials immediately shrugged off.


Pia emphasized the need to know one’s HIV status and what to do when he or she tests positive for AIDS as she continues her advocacy to eliminate HIV and AIDS.

Even before she won the Miss Universe crown, Pia has been vocal about her desire to be an advocate in the fight against HIV and AIDS.


“Dapat regular ang pagpapa-testing. Hindi isa lang. Depende sa lifestyle ng tao (Testing should be done on a regular basis, and not just once. It depends on a person’s lifestyle),” said Pia as she got herself tested for the virus for the second time. Her first was in New York.


“There’s nothing to be ashamed of,” she said about the tests.


“If I could invite my (relatives), my cousins, we would join hands going to the clinic to undergo testing,” she said, explaining that people should not be ashamed of going to clinics to undergo this test.


Pia said her cousin, her handler, and some of the people who work with her also had the HIV testing with her in Taguig City.


The test was done at the Kalayaan Room of SM Aura in Taguig City shortly before the launch of the Love Gala event and the Ripple Awards -- part of her continuing advocacy to check the spread of HIV/AIDS beyond her reign as Miss Universe.


"These projects are simply called Progressive Information Awareness Campaign or Project PIA," Wurtzbach said, noting that with these projects, she hopes to create awareness of HIV/AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STD), and sexual orientation and gender identity and expression (SOGIE).


She said she intends to use the social media power campaign #Live2Luv in targeting the key affected population and the general public.


Once it is rolled out, she said, the campaign will promote HIV testing in community centers and social hygiene clinics in the hope of making HIV tests regular medical exams.


Pia and Marlon actually have been rumored to have broken up for a while now. The rumor intensified when it was reported that Marlon has a child from a previous relationship with a comely model.


The model alleged that Marlon is the father of her twin kids who were born in 2009 when he was only 18. 


The model said that she has been raising the kids alone, but stressed that she came forward not to seek any financial support from Marlon and his family. 


Marlon initially denied her relationship with the model as well as fathering her two kids.


Pia and Marlon confirmed their relationship in January, with the beauty queen saying that she's lucky to have found "somebody who’s very secure with himself and who understands [her] job." 


Pia’s co-stars in the movie being made for the Metro Manila Film Festival  are Vice Ganda and Daniel Padilla who have proven box office prowers.

Their movie is the MMFF entry “The Revengers,” which is expected to be shown in December together with the other filmfest entries.

With her big movie comeback, Pia, who began her acting career as a child star, said she is ready to handle everything, including intrigues in the rumor-laden showbiz.


“I’ve been doing refresher acting workshops to prepare for my role. With intrigues, I’ve been dealing with them for years, especially during my reign as Miss Universe. I am prepared for anything that will come my way,” the Filipino-German beauty said.


Pia said she’s excited to play a superhero in “The Revengers,” a fantasy comedy adventure inspired by Marvel’s “The Avengers” to be directed by Joyce Bernal, Edwin P. Sallan reported on

The film is her first big screen project since “All About Love” in 2006 where she played a minor role and when she was still billed as Pia Romero.

Alden Richards says no child out of wedlock

Published in Entertainment

(Photo from Instagram | @galdenrichards02)


Actor Alden Richards has again answered questions on his having a child out of wedlock.


Richards denied the reports and a rumor that his younger sister Angel is his love child.


Alden, 25, who is Richard Reyes Faulkerson, Jr., in real life of Sta. Rosa City, Laguna, in an interview with GMA 7’s “24 Oras,” vehemently denied the rumors and boldly stated: “I’m clear of my conscience, wala po akong anak (…I don’t have a child).”


The actor’s father, Richard “Daddy Bae” Faulkerson, supported her son’s claim. In a Twitter post last August 1, he challenged accusers to have him and his daughter Angel undergo a DNA test, to prove his paternity over her.


Aside from the love child issue, Richards is also facing a controversy involving his “Eat Bulaga” co-host Patricia Tumulak. Some netizens accuse him of being in a relationship with the former beauty queen. His fans, however, remain supportive of him and his phenomenal team-up with on-screen partner Maine Mendoza.


“I have clear conscience; I don’t have a child out of wedlock,” Alden stressed on GMA news.


He said that rather than dwelling on negative issues and the bashing these bring online, he would rather reach out to other people just as he was doing that day.


“I actually don’t get affected by controversy or bashing anymore. I have so much in my hands right now that I don’t have the time to even think about negative issues thrown at me. What’s important is that the people around me know what is true,” he ended as he went back to the group of street sweepers and traffic enforcers who always have his back.


 Meanwhile, Alden is set to portray Palanca awardee Bonifacio “Boni” Ilagan in an upcoming TV special to commemorate the 45th anniversary of the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines in September.


Produced by GMA News and Public Affairs, the yet short film, will follow the journey of Boni as he recalls his days as an idealistic youth and his eventual capture and torture under the hands of the Philippine Constabulary.


Written by Ilagan himself, the special will be directed by Adolf Alix, Jr.


To supplement the short film, a documentary will also be produced to show behind the scenes clips and interviews from personalities who experienced Martial Law atrocities first hand. It will also feature Richards, a self-professed millennial, in interviews sharing the lessons he learned from Boni’s past, and why Filipinos should never forget what happened in the darkest years of the nation.


With his continued success in showbiz since his AlDub tandem with Maine Mendoza was born in 2015, Alden is helping out the very individuals who placed him where he is today, as much as he can.


Just before the country celebrated National Heroes’ Day, Alden went out of his way to make two groups of hardworking Filipinos feel important, special and valued in very a unique way.

With the help of his loyal sponsor SnowCaps supplements, Alden identified two groups of people whose occupations are often difficult, hazardous and most of all unrewarded. Without looking far, the actor gathered street sweepers and lady traffic enforcers whom he considers everyday heroes to an unforgettable day spent with him.


For a whole afternoon, these special folks were treated to a long and hearty lunch, and much needed pampering at Blue Water Day Spa in Greenhills, San Juan. Just as they thought their welcome down time could not get any better, Alden surprised them at the spa to spend time with them to chat and take group photos and selfies.


 “I’m so happy because I found another opportunity to share my blessings with these hardworking street sweepers, and barangay tanods from my hometown in Bacoor, Cavite. You’ll agree that they need time like this to just relax and be pampered what with the very physical demands of their job. They’re the ones who always outside under the heat of sun and even strong rains,” Alden said.


“Giving back is very important for me. It’s my whole purpose as an actor because I’ve been given this ability to make people happy. So there shouldn’t be second thoughts in doing that. You must always give back to people because they’re the ones who put you where you are today,” he added. (Jojie Nebres)


MANILA — President Rodrigo Duterte has disclosed that the family of former president Ferdinand Marcos is willing to “open everything” and “return” to the Philippine government some wealth in question, including a few gold bars.


“The Marcoses -- I will not name the spokesman -- sabi nila na they’ll open everything and probably return ‘yung nakita lang,” the President said during his speech after the mass oath-taking of newly-appointed government officials in Malacañang.


Sabi nila na, ‘malaki ang deficit mo sa… maybe this year, ang projected deficit spending would be big,’ sabi niya. Baka makatulong. Pero hindi ito malaki,” Duterte said.


He said that the deal includes even some gold bars.


“But we are ready to open and bring back, sabi niya, ‘pati ‘yung a few gold bars.’ Hindi ganun kalaki, it’s not a Fort Knox, it’s just a few. But sabi nila, isauli nila para walang ano,” Duterte said.


The President likewise said that an explanation was given by the Marcoses for the wealth in question and that he was accepting it.


“And the only reason really was sabi nila, that the father was protecting the economy. Now, of course, the eventual kung maalis siya. But he was thought of regaining the Malacañan and that is why ganito ang lumabas. Parang naitago,” he said.


“I will accept the explanation, whether or not it is true, wala na eh. And they are ready to return. How much, they would give me an accounting,” Duterte said.


Duterte said he is now trying to look for a person not identified with any concerned party to handle the negotiations.


“So I am now scouting around. I have yet to select the guy para walang duda. Baka sabihin na naman ‘nag-hao-siao,’ there is a back channeling,” he said.


“I’m looking at a former Chief Justice. Sila na lang mag-usap. Then another certified public accountant (CPA), and maybe a representative of all that is accepted also by all. Para… So that tatlong tao ‘yan, mag-usap sa kanila,” Duterte said.

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