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Kim edges Carlos by one in record win

July 10, 2018

But the rising Korean star, who honed his talent and skills at Riviera before moving over to Southwoods, proved he’s ripe for the picking, foiling Jobim Carlos with clutch birdies to capture the P3 million ICTSI Pueblo De Oro Championship crown by one on a final round 69 at the Pueblo De Oro Golf and Country Club last July 7. Pressed by Carlos after 54 holes, Kim shook off the PGT Apo leg winner’s early charge and hiked his overnight one-stroke lead to three with a gutsy 35 at the turn. He then rode the backside pressure, including a double-bogey mishap on the par-3 11th, by coming through with three straight decisive birdies from No. 15 to frustrate Carlos and clinch the victory on a 72-hole total of 18-under 270 worth a whopping P550, 000. The Filipino ace actually closed out with three straight birdies, a kind of finish that could easily win championships. But he fell short of forcing a playoff as Kim took a two-stroke lead to the final hole and wrapped up the win with a routine par windup. Carlos also made a 69 for a 271 and took the P370, 000 runner-up prize in the fifth leg of the PGT sponsored by ICTSI. “I was surprised to hear that (youngest winner on the tour). I just wanted to win this one, so it’s a bonus,” said Kim, who bested Miguel Tabuena’s feat when the latter nailed his first pro win at 17 at Splendido in 2012. But what made Kim’s feat more impressive was that he did it in just his third tournament as a pro. After placing joint second with Aussie Tim Stewart in the PGT Q-School topped by compatriot Lee Song at Splendido last February, he decided to skip the first two PGT events to polish his game in Thailand for two months. He debuted with a joint sixth place effort at Apo then duplicated his finish at Del Monte which he actually co-led with Tony Lascuña in the final round marred by a mid-round miscue that cost him a two-stroke penalty and eventually his title bid. But the setback only made the young shotmaker hungrier and fiercer as he put in a pair of 69s and a second round 63 that shoved him past Carlos and into the lead he preserved up to the finish with another three-under card. “Jobim made me earn it. I knew from the start that this was a possible scenario. But through hard work and patience, I was able to pull it off,” said Kim. “It was quite a challenge especially from a guy who has more experience than I am.” While players his age would crack under pressure after that costly wet double bogey on No. 11 that enabled Carlos to again pull within one, the portly Kim showed he’s made of sterner stuff, matching his rival’s birdie on the next from five feet then went 2-up again with a tap-in birdie on No. 15 before trading birdies with Carlos in the next two holes. “I told myself that it was OK that I can rebound from that mistake” said Kim of his No. 11 misfortune where he dumped his tee shot on the large lake guarding the green. Carlos rued his flubbed birdie putt from 15 feet on No. 15 but praised Kim’s superb all around game all week. “I know he’s been working hard for this,” said Carlos, who had hoped to nail a third victory after scoring a breakthrough at PGT Asia Riviera leg last month. Lee Song, closed out with a 69 and took third place with 276 worth P215,000 while Kim Sung Wook underscored the Koreans’ solid showing in the P3 million event organized by Pilipinas Golf Tournaments, Inc. by finishing joint fourth with Tony Lascuña (69) and Jerson Balasabas (71) at 277. Each received P136, 666. Elmer Salvador hit five birdies but bogeyed the last for a 68 and ended up tied for seventh at 278 with Reymon Jaraula, who shot a 69, while Japanese Takahashi Keisuke fired a 68 and tied Johvanie Abaño, who carded a 71, at ninth at 279 at the close of the Mindanao swing of the circuit backed by BDO, KZG, Custom Clubmakers, Meralco, Sharp, Champion, Summit Mineral Water and PLDT. (PGT) Korean Kim Joo Hyung holds his trophy as he poses with Pueblo De Oro Golf and County Club president Chrysler Acebu. (PGT photo).

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It’s up for Digong if I will run – Bong Go

July 9, 2018

Cagayan De Oro to express their support for the Duterte administration. And to urge the top presidential aide to run for a seat in the Senate. “It’s up to the President. I will just do as he says, in case I will run for Senator. Right now, my focus is to help those victims of fire. My job is to help Filipinos,” says Sec. Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go, Special Assistant to the President (SAP) when asked about his plans for 2019. Kuya Bong attended the gathering, organized by the "Go na Tayo Northern Mindanao Alliance.” The members of the group are spread out in the provinces of Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Misamis Occidental, Lanao del Norte, and Bukidnon. Go, who has been going around the Philippines to promote the Duterte administration’s 3-point campaign against illegal drugs, criminality, and corruption, visited this city and was met by thousands of locals from all over Northern Mindanao. All of whom were urging him to “heed the call of the people” and run for senator. “Sana po pakinggan ni Kuya Bong ang hiling namin na tumakbo sya bilang senador para naman maipaglaban nya ang legislative agenda ni Presidente Duterte sa senado,” says Ernesto Ferrer, one of the supporters of Go. “Kailangan po sya (sa senado) para maipagpatuloy ang pagbabago na nasimulan ni Tatay Digong.” CDO was among the cities that greatly benefitted from President Rodrigo Duterte’s relentless fight against illegal drugs. Supporters gratefully noted that the streets are now safer for their family, especially for their children. "Galit na galit po talaga si Presidente sa droga. Pinangako niya na dudurugin niya ang droga bago matapos ang kanyang termino and if he can’t totally eradicate it, at least diminish it to the barest minimum. Ang tanging interes po ng gobyerno ay ang interes ng bayan. Gusto po naming maiangat ang pamumuhay ng bawat Pilipino,” SAP Bong Go stressed.

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ON THE BRING OF A TRADE WAR?

July 8, 2018

I asked this question already several times in my previous columns. What's good for the goose is good for the gander. Fact is, the European Union fears divisions as China woos Eastern European nations. As the world prepares to tackle trade tensions and tit-for-tat tariffs, the summit between leaders of China and Central and Eastern European nations offers a chance for Beijing to present itself as a free trade champion. Yes, China's Li Keqiang pushes trade with Eastern Europe amid EU concerns. The Chinese premier is meeting with leaders from Central and Eastern European countries at a summit in Sofia as he aims to boost Beijing's trade interests in the region. But let's face it:  Li cannot afford to offend the European Union. The Chinese Prime  seeks to expand business and trade ties with Central and Eastern European countries at a summit in the Bulgarian capital yesterday. But Li must reassure the European Union that Beijing is not trying to divide the 28-nation European bloc. Li's participation in the seventh "16+1" summit coincides with an escalating trade row with the United States. Last Friday, the US and China slapped tariffs on $34 billion (€29 billion) worth of the other's imports. China also threatened it could launch "the biggest trade war in history." Well, is the world really at the brink or are well all already in the middle of all mess? China, which seeks the EU's support in its trade battles with US President Donald Trump, has thus been careful in its dealing with Central and Eastern European nations. "The 16+1 cooperation is by no means a geopolitical platform. Some say such cooperation may separate the EU, but this is not true," Li told a joint press conference on last Friday with Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borissov. "We hope that through our cooperation, we will improve the development of all countries involved and help them better integrate into the European integration process," said Li, who will visit Germany after the summit. The 16+1 summit brings together China and 16 Central and Eastern European countries (CEEC), including 11 EU member states. Besides China, the 16 countries that participate in the summit include EU members Bulgaria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as non-EU states Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia. Ever since its launch in 2012, the format has been viewed by Western critics as an instrument for Beijing to divide and undermine the EU by dangling the CEE states closer trade and investment opportunities with China. But analysts say that in Sofia, the Chinese premier will try to avoid issues that might irk western capitals and the European Commission in Brussels. Let's hope and pray for it. "I think that Premier Li Keqiang will adopt a low profile on the issues that might infringe on community affairs of the EU this time around," Francois Godement, director of Asia and China program at the European Council of Foreign Relations, told Reuters news agency. Despite the substantial rise in Chinese investment in CEE nations in recent years, the region accounts for less than 10 percent of total Chinese money inflows into Europe. Most Chinese investment still goes to Western European countries like the United Kingdom, Germany, France and Italy. The EU and the United States, meanwhile, account for around 90 percent of investment flows to the CEE region, highlighting their far greater importance to the region. Interesting is to know more about the question if  China is  on course with 'Made in China 2025' amid trade row with US? China –really a free trade champion? With Trump adopting protectionist trade and economic policies, China is increasingly positioning itself as a proponent of free trade. Li said on Saturday that Beijing will stay on the path of economic reform, and would be more flexible about allowing foreign products to enter its domestic market. "For foreign products which meet Chinese consumer needs, we will open the door wider to them to come into the Chinese market," he told the 16+1 summit participants. "We will lower overall import tariffs to the Chinese market," adding that his country would uphold free trade agreements. Again: regarding this topic, my today's column can only end up with 'TO BE CONTINUED'! Email: doringklaus@gmail.com or follow me in Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn or visit www.germanexpatinthephilippines.blogspot.com or www.klausdoringsclassicalmusic.blogspot.com .

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PH nickel industry plants 4.2M trees

July 4, 2018

The Philippine Nickel Industry Association (PNIA), through its seven (7) member-companies, has upped its greening efforts in recent years as part of ongoing progressive rehabilitation and reforestation in their respective mining areas. “Our member-companies have planted more than we have mined. In fact, our ‘green’ footprint is larger than our mining footprint in terms of area. Our aggregate reforestation effort comes up to a total of about 2,000 hectares planted to date,” said Charmaine Olea-Capili, PNIA Executive Director, citing a forest density of about 2,100 trees per hectare – which is much higher than the country’s National Greening Program. A variety of indigenous and endemic tree and grass species have been successfully planted since the start of rehabilitation efforts. These include Agoho, Mahogany, giant bamboo, Tiger Kamagong, Tiga, Ipil, Narra, and Ironwood, as well as fruit-bearing trees like Calamansi, Rambutan, Cashew, Jackfruit, and Cacao, among others. Cash crops such as rubber, coffee, vegetables, and herbal plants are also grown in the mine sites’ respective nurseries.   Apart from providing employment to residents and to the indigenous community, the program also allows the companies to help their respective host communities as seedlings can be donated to the community in support of various greening initiatives.  This has given birth to an emerging downstream industry, agro-forestry, which also focuses on the community’s livelihood beyond mining.   The intensified reforestation program demonstrates PNIA members’ commitment and contributions to the government’s “National Greening Program” or the NGP, which aims to revegetate some 1.2 million hectares of “unproductive, denuded, and degraded” forest land nationwide from 2017-2022. “Much effort has been poured into rehabilitation because what has been planted will outlast the mine itself. This is for the community and for the generations to come, long after the mines have concluded their operations,” said Ms. Capili. Meanwhile, PNIA is also set to undertake a unified effort to implement a  Bamboo Plantation and Livelihood Project. The unique properties of bamboo complements on-going rehabilitation and reforestation efforts, provides livelihood opportunities and helps improve community disaster preparedness. In addition, the PNIA focuses on other environmental preservation initiatives such as wildlife conservation, marine protection, rubber plantations, tilapia production, and other activities that improve the environment. Organized in 2012 as non-stock non-profit organization, the PNIA is composed of Platinum Group Metals Corporation, CTP Construction and Mining Corporation, Citinickel Mines and Development Corporation, Carascal Nickel Corporation, DMCI Mining Corporation, Marcventures Mining and Development Corporation, and TVIRD’s Agata Mining Ventures Incorporated.  

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A Tale of Two Cities in the War in the Pacific

July 4, 2018

Thanks to an invite from Summit Hotels and Resorts to cover the grand launch of Summit Hotel Tacloban last June 21st, I was finally able to visit the Eastern Visayas Region, more specifically the regional capital of Tacloban. Included in our itinerary was a city tour on June 20, where we visited three iconic landmarks of Tacloban: the 2.6 kilometer San Juanico Bridge connecting Samar and Leyte, reputedly the longest bridge in the Philippines, the MV Eva Jocelyn Yolanda Marker, a tribute to the fatalities, survivors and heroes who helped rebuilt the city after Super Typhoon Yolanda in Bgy. Ambong, and what interested me the most, the MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park some 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) south of Tacloban. This monument intrigued me the most because it is forever linked in history between Tacloban and my home city of Cagayan de Oro. First, the back story. On March 11, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur, his family and general staff left Corregidor upon orders of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proceed to Australia where the war against Imperial Japan would be continued. After two harrowing days aboard four Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats, of which only 3 made it through, they landed at Cagayan’s Macabalan Pier 7AM on March 13, after which they motored to the Del Monte Airstrip in Manolo Fortich, and took off on March 17 in two B-17 bombers for Australia. While on at a train stop at Terowie on March 20, MacArthur uttered the most famous words to come out of World War II. On being asked if his would reach the United States he replied: "The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed to Corregidor to Australia for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing an American offensive against Japan, the primary purpose of which is the relief of the Philippines. I came through and I shall return." Although he repeated the phrase in a number of other places, this was the town where he first spoke the immortal phrase. And therein lies the historical link between Cagayan de Oro (as Cagayan is now known) and Tacloban, more specifically in Barangay Candahug, in the Municipality of Palo, where one can find the iconic MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park (also called the Leyte Landing Memorial Park, and MacArthur Park by the locals).   75th Anniversary Reenactment of Gen. MacArthur meeting Gen. Sharp at Macabalan Pier on March 13, 1942 (photo by Aicy Soriano)   On 20 October 1944, the U.S. Sixth Army landed on Leyte while MacArthur watched from the light cruiser USS Nashville. That afternoon he arrived off the beach. The advance had not progressed far; snipers were still active and the area was under sporadic mortar fire. When his craft grounded in knee-deep water, MacArthur requested a landing craft, but the beach master was too busy to grant his request and MacArthur was compelled to wade ashore. Always a controversial figure whenever he went, the Leyte Landing remains shrouded in controversy to this day, with many insisting MacArthur’s Landing was staged, even though CBs Radio Correspondent William J. Dunn, who came ashore with MacArthur (the only person in the sculpture without a hat) denied these allegations, saying the rumor "is one of the most ludicrous misconceptions to come out of that war." After landing on the beach, MacArthur read his prepared speech: “People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people.” A bronze plaque of this proclamation can be found in the memorial. The park's focal point are the seven 10-foot tall bronze statues on a shallow manmade pool depicting MacArthur and his entourage during the historic A-Day Landing as captured in the iconic photo by MacArthur’s personal photographer Gaetano Faillace. They were President-in-exile Sergio Osmeña, MacArthur’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland , Brigadier General Carlos P. Romulo, Major General Coutney Whitney, Sergeant Francisco Salveron and Dunn. Designed by sculptor Anastacio Caedo and inaugurated during the 37th anniversary of A-Day in 1981, the statues mark the spot where MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return at Red Beach, so called after the U.S. military’s color-coding scheme during World War II. Thus, White Beach was in Tacloban, Blue Beach in Dulag, and so on. Two plaques in Filipino (left) and English (right) explain the significance of the scene being depicted are found in front of the statues standing on a man-made pool. A museum stands adjacent to the site which contains historic photographs and other memorabilia of General MacArthur including a copy of his speech upon landing and a bronze cast of his footprints. The Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary commemorates the euphoria of October 20, 1944 which people now in their 80s and 90s regard MacArthur as the “Savior of the Philippines.” The country’s liberation would have come later had not MacArthur insisted on invading the Philippines first, since the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Gen. Marshall originally planned to take Formosa (Taiwan) ahead as the launching pad for the final invasion of Japan. This decision is credited in history as responsible for saving thousands of Filipino and American lives from Japanese atrocities had the Allies decided to invade Formosa first. The annual memorial rites and reenactment of the historic Leyte landing have been attended by local and foreign dignitaries from the member nation of the Allied Forces, World War II veterans and their families, national and provincial government officials, students, and representatives from various sectors of the community. Next year promises to be an especially big year as the country marks the 75th Diamond Jubilee of the Leyte Landing.   MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park at Pslo, Leyte.   There are daily flights to Tacloban City from Manila and Cebu. From Tacloban City, you can take a “St. Paul/Campetic.” jeepney (Php 8). Get off at Campetic Crossing then take a pedicab (Php 10) to the park. Travel time from Tacloban and the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport to the park via the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) is around 20 minutes. Located at the center of Tacloban City's uptown area with average travel times of 12 minutes and 22 minutes from air and seaports, respectively, there's always something to see and do when staying at Summit Hotel Tacloban. For booking and reservations, visit www.summithotels.ph. For more information and exciting news about the Summit Hotels and Resorts properties, follow Summit Hotel and Resorts' Facebook and Instagram accounts (www.facebook.com/SummitHotelsAndResortsPH, www.instagram.com/summit_hotels). SOWESPAC GHQ Proclamation.

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A Tale of Two Cities in the War in the Pacific

July 4, 2018

Thanks to an invite from Summit Hotels and Resorts to cover the grand launch of Summit Hotel Tacloban last June 21st, I was finally able to visit the Eastern Visayas Region, more specifically the regional capital of Tacloban. Included in our itinerary was a city tour on June 20, where we visited three iconic landmarks of Tacloban: the 2.6 kilometer San Juanico Bridge connecting Samar and Leyte, reputedly the longest bridge in the Philippines, the MV Eva Jocelyn Yolanda Marker, a tribute to the fatalities, survivors and heroes who helped rebuilt the city after Super Typhoon Yolanda in Bgy. Ambong, and what interested me the most, the MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park some 5 kilometers (3.1 mi) south of Tacloban. This monument intrigued me the most because it is forever linked in history between Tacloban and my home city of Cagayan de Oro. First, the back story. On March 11, 1942, General Douglas MacArthur, his family and general staff left Corregidor upon orders of US President Franklin D. Roosevelt to proceed to Australia where the war against Imperial Japan would be continued. After two harrowing days aboard four Patrol Torpedo (PT) Boats, of which only 3 made it through, they landed at Cagayan’s Macabalan Pier 7AM on March 13, after which they motored to the Del Monte Airstrip in Manolo Fortich, and took off on March 17 in two B-17 bombers for Australia. While on at a train stop at Terowie on March 20, MacArthur uttered the most famous words to come out of World War II. On being asked if his would reach the United States he replied: "The President of the United States ordered me to break through the Japanese lines and proceed to Corregidor to Australia for the purpose, as I understand it, of organizing an American offensive against Japan, the primary purpose of which is the relief of the Philippines. I came through and I shall return." Although he repeated the phrase in a number of other places, this was the town where he first spoke the immortal phrase. And therein lies the historical link between Cagayan de Oro (as Cagayan is now known) and Tacloban, more specifically in Barangay Candahug, in the Municipality of Palo, where one can find the iconic MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park (also called the Leyte Landing Memorial Park, and MacArthur Park by the locals).   75th Anniversary Reenactment of Gen. MacArthur meeting Gen. Sharp at Macabalan Pier on March 13, 1942 (photo by Aicy Soriano)   On 20 October 1944, the U.S. Sixth Army landed on Leyte while MacArthur watched from the light cruiser USS Nashville. That afternoon he arrived off the beach. The advance had not progressed far; snipers were still active and the area was under sporadic mortar fire. When his craft grounded in knee-deep water, MacArthur requested a landing craft, but the beach master was too busy to grant his request and MacArthur was compelled to wade ashore. Always a controversial figure whenever he went, the Leyte Landing remains shrouded in controversy to this day, with many insisting MacArthur’s Landing was staged, even though CBs Radio Correspondent William J. Dunn, who came ashore with MacArthur (the only person in the sculpture without a hat) denied these allegations, saying the rumor "is one of the most ludicrous misconceptions to come out of that war." After landing on the beach, MacArthur read his prepared speech: “People of the Philippines: I have returned. By the grace of Almighty God our forces stand again on Philippine soil—soil consecrated in the blood of our two peoples. We have come dedicated and committed to the task of destroying every vestige of enemy control over your daily lives, and of restoring upon a foundation of indestructible strength, the liberties of your people.” A bronze plaque of this proclamation can be found in the memorial. The park's focal point are the seven 10-foot tall bronze statues on a shallow manmade pool depicting MacArthur and his entourage during the historic A-Day Landing as captured in the iconic photo by MacArthur’s personal photographer Gaetano Faillace. They were President-in-exile Sergio Osmeña, MacArthur’s Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Richard K. Sutherland , Brigadier General Carlos P. Romulo, Major General Coutney Whitney, Sergeant Francisco Salveron and Dunn. Designed by sculptor Anastacio Caedo and inaugurated during the 37th anniversary of A-Day in 1981, the statues mark the spot where MacArthur fulfilled his promise to return at Red Beach, so called after the U.S. military’s color-coding scheme during World War II. Thus, White Beach was in Tacloban, Blue Beach in Dulag, and so on. Two plaques in Filipino (left) and English (right) explain the significance of the scene being depicted are found in front of the statues standing on a man-made pool. A museum stands adjacent to the site which contains historic photographs and other memorabilia of General MacArthur including a copy of his speech upon landing and a bronze cast of his footprints. The Leyte Gulf Landings Anniversary commemorates the euphoria of October 20, 1944 which people now in their 80s and 90s regard MacArthur as the “Savior of the Philippines.” The country’s liberation would have come later had not MacArthur insisted on invading the Philippines first, since the Joint Chiefs of Staff under Gen. Marshall originally planned to take Formosa (Taiwan) ahead as the launching pad for the final invasion of Japan. This decision is credited in history as responsible for saving thousands of Filipino and American lives from Japanese atrocities had the Allies decided to invade Formosa first. The annual memorial rites and reenactment of the historic Leyte landing have been attended by local and foreign dignitaries from the member nation of the Allied Forces, World War II veterans and their families, national and provincial government officials, students, and representatives from various sectors of the community. Next year promises to be an especially big year as the country marks the 75th Diamond Jubilee of the Leyte Landing.   MacArthur Leyte Landing Memorial National Park at Pslo, Leyte.   There are daily flights to Tacloban City from Manila and Cebu. From Tacloban City, you can take a “St. Paul/Campetic.” jeepney (Php 8). Get off at Campetic Crossing then take a pedicab (Php 10) to the park. Travel time from Tacloban and the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport to the park via the Pan-Philippine Highway (AH26) is around 20 minutes. Located at the center of Tacloban City's uptown area with average travel times of 12 minutes and 22 minutes from air and seaports, respectively, there's always something to see and do when staying at Summit Hotel Tacloban. For booking and reservations, visit www.summithotels.ph. For more information and exciting news about the Summit Hotels and Resorts properties, follow Summit Hotel and Resorts' Facebook and Instagram accounts (www.facebook.com/SummitHotelsAndResortsPH, www.instagram.com/summit_hotels).

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