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Chinese firm pledges P9-B investment at Subic Freeport

Published in Business
SUBIC BAY FREEPORT -- A Chinese steel manufacturer has pledged P9 billion for an export-oriented business project here.
The Panhua Group Co. Ltd. will engage in the pre-painting of steel coils and metal sheets for export and domestic trade and other allied industries.
The Chinese firm is also engaged in shipping, real estate, mining, steel manufacturing and logistics business in China.
Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) chairman Roberto V. Garcia said the SBMA board of directors has approved Panhua's proposal.
Garcia said the entry of Panhua in Subic attests to the growing attractiveness of the country to foreign investments.
"The Philippines is currently enjoying a BBB rating from Standard and Poor's, which means that the country has adequate capacity to meet financial commitments," he said.
The SBMA chief said that more foreign direct investments (FDIs) are pouring into the Philippines because it has earned the trust of investors after it received investment upgrades from different rating firms.
The Panhua Group is a large-scale conglomerate, manufacturer, exporter, and wholesale supplier of cold-rolled steel coil, cold-rolled steel sheet, galvanized steel coil, galvanized steel sheet, pre-painted galvanized steel coil, and pre-painted galvanized steel coil sheet.
With an annual steel production capacity of 1.5 metric tons, Panhua Group Co. Ltd. is listed among the 500 top private enterprises in China.
The firm's main manufacturing bases​, which have a registered capital of US$ 100 million,​ are located in Zhangjiagang City and Fuling District, as well as Chongqing City in mainland China.
Company officials said its proposed Subic Bay Freeport operations are expected to augment its production, as it has pegged its export target at 42,000 MT per month to begin in the first quarter of 2016.
Panhua's newly-approved project in Subic will be located at Subic Bay Gateway Park Phase 2 and will initially be manned by 100 employees. 

Kris Aquino had a movie date with Derek, 2 sons

Published in Entertainment
Just days after bidding her Instagram followers goodbye as she admitted that “he broke my heart,” and posting a photo of ex-husband James Yap with son James Jr. and a bouquet of roses announcing her return, Kris Aquino took time off to watch the movie "The Fault in our Stars."
And who was Kris' movie date? Actor Derek Ramsey no less who was earlier being linked to her.
Of course, Kris and Derek had their chaperons - her two sons, Josh and Bimby.
The Queen of All Media herself posted her photo with Derek and her two kids during their movie date at Greenbelt Cinema, Kris posted a photo of all four of them with the caption, “Thanks to the 3 boys who allowed me to cry my eyes out so that hopefully there are no more tears left. #thefaultinourstars”.
Previous to that, the presidential sister was said to be in a relationship with Quezon City Mayor Herbert Bautista. The two have since admitted parting ways.
Derek, on the other hand, was linked to sexy actress Cristine Reyes.
The actress-TV host actually attended the advanced fan screening last month of the movie but did not finish the film.
 “I missed the movie’s last 20 minutes because I had to go live for ‘A&A Tonight’ last May 12. So 33 days after, I will finally get to finish the movie tonight, accompanied by 3 reluctant boys who said they didn’t want to go to a ‘crying movie’ but because they loved me, they’ll accompany me…,” she posted..
The group movie date happened a day after Kris greeted ex-husband James Yap “Advanced Happy Father’s Day” in a photo of herself being made-up in her dressing room as son Bimby, who is being held by James, holds her hand.
Rumored to be dating earlier in the year, Derek quickly “friendzoned” Kris after insisting on interviews that they were just good friends, according to TV 5's The two were supposed to team up together in two proposed movie projects that were ultimately aborted.
According to earlier report, Kris needs Instagram — and moral support from her ex-husband — to help heal her broken heart.
The actress-TV host posted on her Instagram account earlier a picture (see above) of herself getting her make-up done while holding hands with her son Bimby. Bimby is seated beside and has his left leg being caressed by his father, basketball star James Yap.
“Cool lang kaming lahat. Advanced Happy Father’s Day James,” the caption said, with a smiley at the end.
Kris and James mended fences in March after waging a bitter legal battle for custody of Bimby last year. At that time, Kris had started dating Quezon City mayor Herbert Bautista, but the romance ended abruptly in April amid reports of his children’s disapproval, Edwin Sallan reported.
She has been reeling from the heartbreak since then even as her relations with James (and even his Italian girlfriend Michella Cazzola) continued to improve.
On Tuesday, Kris bid her Instagram followers goodbye but was back on the photo sharing site the next day with her account renamed @lovelovelovekrisaquino from its original handle @krisaquino214.
Indie actress Angeli Bayani won the prestigious Best Actress Award in the 37th Gawad Urian, beating superstar Nora Aunor and Star for All Seasons Vilma Santos.
Angeli Bayani won for her role in the indie movie "Norte: Hangganan ng Kasaysayan" which was declared Best Picture.
 Angeli dedicated her trophy to the other nominees for award, Nora who starred in the movie "Mabuti," and Vilma who was featured in the movie "Ekstra."
Angeli was the lead actress in the Singaporean film "Ilo-ilo," which earned for her the nomination for  Best Actress in the 56th Asia Pacific Film Festival last year.
The movie "Ilo-ilo" was nominated in the Best Foreign Language Film in the Oscar Award.
Angeli was cited for her acting by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee.
The 2014 Gawad Urian Awards ceremonies was held at the Dolphy Theater inside the ABS-CBN compound in Quezon City.
The ceremony, hosted by Piolo Pascual and Bianca Gonzalez, celebrated the works of film director Mike de Leon, who was given the Natatanging Gawad Urian award by the Manunuri ng Pelikulang Filipino.
Other winners were Angel Aquino, best supporting actress; Jun-Jun Quintana, best supporting actor; Best Short Film: "Missing" by Zig Dulay; Best Documentary: "Nanay Mameng" by Adjani Arumpac.
The Gawad Urian is considered the most prestigious film award-giving body in the country, which has shaped cinematic history over the years. This annual ceremony is held in light of a partnership formed between the oldest and most respected film awards institution in the country.
Other winners were:
·       Best Documentary – ‘Nanay Mameng’, directed by Adjani Arumpac
·       Best Sound – Corinne de San Jose, ‘OTJ’
·       Best Editing – Chuck Gutierrez, ‘Riddles of My Homecoming’
·       Best Music – Emerson Texon, ‘Sonata’
·       Best Production Design – Adolfo Alix Jr., ‘P*rno’
·       Best Cinematography – Lauro Rene Manda, ‘Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan’
·       Best Screenplay – Lav Diaz and Rody Vera, ‘Norte Hangganan ng Kasaysayan’
·       Best Director – Hannah Espia, ‘Transit’
·       Best Actor – Joel Torre, ‘OTJ

National Artist award to Nora Aunor dims?

Published in Entertainment
Has President Aquino balked at conferring the Order of National Artist on superstar Nora Aunor?
Conflicting signals are being received on the matter for months now. One indicates that that La Aunor will be among those to be proclaimed the country's National Artists, the first under the Aquino administration, and another point to a change of heart by the President.
It was indicated that Malacanang has been having a hard time making a decision on the National Artist award, resulting to the delay in the announcement and conferment of the order. Traditionally, the Order of National Artist is conferred as part of the Philippine Independence Day celebration.
It was gathered that while both the board of commissioners and directors of the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) have endorsed Nora for the award, the Malacanang Honors Committee brought to the attention of the President some issues on the superstar such as her conviction for a drug offense in California and some allegedly untoward family background.
President Aquino reportedly was studying the criminal aspect and allegedly moral issue affecting the actress. The superstar was arrested for drug possession in 2005 at the Los Angeles International Airport but evaded imprisonment by undergoing a six-month drug rehabilitation program.
An online news magazine, Coconuts Manila, earlier reported that “prospects may have dimmed for actress Nora Aunor becoming National Artist, with President Aquino reportedly set to proclaim any time soon the new set of National Artists after (a long) delay.”
“Malacañang has balked from elevating the actress to the honor because of ‘moral issues’ against her, particularly her alleged drug use and her arrest in the United States several years ago over drug possession,” according to its report.
Nora Aunor, too, has tax problems,  Coconuts Manila added.
Presidential veto of National Artists voted by the NCCA-CCP is allowed by the Supreme Court. The President is also authorized to include deserving artists in the list as has been practiced in the past.
Fans and supporters of Nora have since waged a campaign urging the President to confer the honor on the actress despite the drug case and alleged moral issue.
Aside from Nora, the NCCA and CCP have recommended the proclamation as National Artist Alice Reyes for dance, Francisco Feliciano for music, Francisco Coching for visual arts, Cirilo Bautista for literature and Jose Ma. Zaragoza for architecture.
A netizen group,, has been circulating in the net a petition urging the President to confer the award on Nora Aunor, pointing out that the NCCA and CCP represent the artistic community, and “have the legal mandate to administer the selection of nominees for National Artists.”
“If you (Aquino) are taking so long to review what the NCCA and CCP have done, does this mean that you do not trust these institutions in the recommendations they have made?” the petition said.
“Do you think their process is not credible enough to warrant your confidence? Is there anything that’s yet to be done in the vetting process to make the endorsements more acceptable and convincing? Is this something that you can inform the public about in the name of transparency?” it added.
The group said there was a need to be vigilant on the issue to there will be no repeat of what happened in 2009 when four of the awardees led by Carlos Caparas (visual arts and film), Jose "Pitoy" Moreno (fashion design), Francisco Manosa (architecture) and Cecilia Guidote Alvarez (theatre) were questioned up to the Supreme Court and Ramon Santos, nominee for music, was dropped from the list.
National artist Bievenido Lumbera led the petitioners, prompting the high court to void the award to Caparas, Moreno, Manosa and Alvarez.
Other recommendees for the award that year were Lazaro Francisco (posthumous for literature), Manuel Conde (posthumous for film and broadcast) and Federico Aguilar Alcuaz (visual arts, painting, sculpture and mixed media). It was not immediately known if the award of National Artist were finally conferred on them by President Aquino.
Another group, the Nora Aunor for National Artist Movement pressed for the conferment of the award to the superstar, pointing out that the new set of National Artists would mean restoration and trust for the state honor.
“We believe that you want your platform of governance, daang matuwid (straight path), to be manifest as well in the arts, and what better way to affirm this than to give the artistic community and the Filipino nation a new set of National Artists for our adulation and celebration,” the group said.
“We need this inspiration in these uninspiring times,” they added

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