Hungry for all things Pinoy

Pinoy News and Articles

We will scour the web for great news about Pinoys or about our home, the Philippines, and share them with you here at our Pinoy News and Articles section. We will also regularly invite businesses to share their knowledge with us in varied topics like politics, immigration, health and beauty, recipes, culture, lifestyle and travel.

Saturday, 25 June 2011

Interview with John Sayles on American-Philippine War Film "Amigo"

Share Email this post
A video interview with legendary American independent filmmaker and author, John Sayles on Democracy Now!

He has a new film on the American-Philippine war called "Amigo," which chronicles the American occupation of the Philippines at a time when Spanish influence is wading. He talks about what got him interested in the subject, "How does a piece of history, where probably a million Filipinos died, get plowed under like that? And why? So that's some of what the story is."

As "Amigo" will be shown in the Philippines as well as the U.S., Sayles says, "this very important part of Philippine history has kind of been robbed from the people." He stressed the need to know about the Philippine resistance and the republic that existed in 1898 before the American occupation.

Part -1.

Part -2.

Democracy Now! is a daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 900 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.

Visit their website at

Managing MERALCO Bills Online

Share Email this post
Abroad and still paying MERALCO bills?

MERALCO's Customer Management System enables you to create a FREE MERALCO E-Bill online account. Once you're a user, you can manage your bills online very easily.

The most convenient of all the features of this service is the email notification of your monthly bills. Once you get the email, you have 7 days to pay using your Philippine bank's online banking service. If your bank is a member of Bancnet, you can also pay your MERALCO bills online using your card and PIN without any registration needed.

Aside from the email notification, you can also review your service information, check complaints status, enquire on bill history, and send comments and suggestions to MERALCO. Although you can view your bills online, MERALCO will still send you the paper copy of your bills addressed to where the service is provided.

The consumption graph within your account's billing history will allow you to see the previous 12 months electricity usage (in kwhr). This is useful to see usage trends and allow you to plan and make decisions on reducing your electric bills.

To create an account, you need at least one of your old MERALCO billing statement in the last 12 months. You will need the following details: Service ID Number (SIN), Bill Date and Amount Due. Just follow the online instructions and once the information is validated, you can start using the service straight away.

Useful Links:
To create an account with MERALCO E-Bill, go to the MERALCO website at You can find the link at the top right corner of the home page.

To pay your MERALCO bills using your Bancnet card and PIN, go to To use this service, your bank should be a member of Bancnet.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

The Philippines in the News

Share Email this post
One of the country's most heinous crime. Everyone has an opinion on the accused. This is the first time a trial is being shown live online on the Supreme Court website. The move was backed President Benigno Aquino, who said all Filipinos should be able to watch and learn from the trial.

Philippines Maguindanao 'massacre' trial to webcast live.

The news on Spratlys is causing international concern.Singapore urges China to clarify South China Seas claim

And another Filipino made it to the Guinness World Record Philippines man crowned world's shortest

We'll leave you with this - watch it, and he's guaranteed to make you smile.
Dancing policeman stops traffic in the Philippines

Back to School Woes

Share Email this post
For the parent or sponsor who sends a child to school in the Philippines, the tuition fee alone is enough to stress you out. Aside from that, there's the seemingly endless list of things to buy before the school opens.

Allow us add to your woes by pointing out that you should also be looking out for toxic school supplies. And yes, we mean chemical-leaching products your kid could be exposed to on a daily basis.

We attach below a helpful article from the Philippine Star by Ching M. Alano:

Consumerline: Beware of toxic school supplies!
(Philippine Star, 05/31/2011, Ching M. Alano)

With the opening of another school year a few days away (or ilang tulog na lang, kids!), a lot of savvy parents have probably done their yearly assignment that is, the requisite school shopping.

Through the years (or school year after school year), this shopping list of school essentials seems to grow longer and longer as prices soar higher and higher, and our purse strings get meager and meager.

Parents who want to beat the rush and the high prices draw up their checklist long before summer vacation is over. But parents never take a vacation from expenses, do they? For parents with grade school kids, here's a sample
checklist: textbooks, uniforms, school bag, school shoes/rubber shoes for PE, notebooks, plastic covers for notebooks and textbooks, three-ring binder, pencils/ballpens, pencil case, markers, crayons, watercolors, pad paper, art paper, crepe paper, Manila paper, scissors, molding clay, ruler, sharpener, erasers, folders, envelopes, flash cards, maps, popsicle sticks (for math), index cards, flash cards.

Did we forget something? Oh, yes, the lunchbox and, more importantly, what to put inside it, which is a daily struggle for a lot of moms who must stretch their imagination while stretching their budget to come up with nutritious meals for their precious kids. And on top of that, some school allowance (for incidental expenses in school or maybe to buy food in the canteen if your kid has no baon). A hand sanitizer would also come in handy, or some wet wipes.

For parents who have yet to do their school shopping, read this before you go out and buy: Check your list twice, thrice or more; you'd better watch out for toxic materials in those school supplies (or those that can leach harmful substances), so warns a pollution watchdog.

In a bid to promote chemical safety awareness and action, The EcoWaste Coalition admonished back-to-school shoppers to abstain from buying goods made of poly-vinyl chloride (PVC), or what is also known as vinyl or plastic number "3."

Thony Dizon, coordinator of the EcoWaste Coalition's Project PROTECT (People Responding and Organizing against Toxic Chemical Threats), tells us why we should shun PVC: "PVC products are loaded with many additives that can transfer into the environment, posing chemical risks to humans, especially to young children, and, as a precautionary measure, must be avoided."

Dizon notes that one of the additives of concern is a family of industrial chemicals called phthalates, which are added to PVC plastics to make them softer, more flexible, and durable.

In several studies done in animals and humans, phthalates have been linked to serious ailments such as endocrine disorders, reproductive abnormalities, asthma, kidney damage, and liver cancer. As a result, in 2005, the European Union took action by prohibiting six types of phthalates in children's toys and products. The United States followed suit in 2008.

Dizon thus sends this urgent message to parents, "To minimize children's exposure to chemical poisons in school supplies, we urge parents to assert their lawful rights as consumers to demand for complete product information and for safe products without hazardous contents such as phthalates."

In May last year, EcoWaste Coalition did its homework and bought five common school supplies, and sent them to Taiwan for laboratory analysis.
Look, what
they found! These school supplies were found to contain high levels of di-2-ethylhexyl phthalate or DEHP, a suspected human carcinogen. Found to contain elevated levels of DEHP were a green long plastic envelope
percent DEHP), a PVC plastic book cover (18.997 percent DEHP), a PVC notebook cover (18.543 percent DEHP), a PVC plastic lunch bag and a PVC backpack (both with 17.120 percent DEHP).

According to the US Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act of 2008, the limit for DEHP and five other phthalates is 0.1% of any children's product for ages 12 and under.

These toxic findings prompted then Education Secretary Mona Valisno to promise a probe on the toxic contents of school supplies. But says Dizon, "We are not sure if the Department of Education was able to conduct its own investigation as promised by then Secretary Valisno. If they did, we request them to publicize their findings."

To protect our children against phthalate exposure, the EcoWaste Coalition has adopted the following tips for avoiding PVC school supplies from the US-based Center for Health, Environment and Justice:

• Clothing and accessories: Look for PVC-free materials in rainwear (that is, rain boots and raincoats), prints on clothing, and accessories such as handbags, jewelry, and belts.

• Backpacks: Avoid backpacks with shiny plastic designs as these often contain PVC and may contain lead.

• Notebooks: Avoid notebooks containing metal spirals encased in colored plastic. The colored plastic coating on the metal spirals usually contains PVC.
Select notebooks with uncovered metal spirals to avoid PVC.

• Art supplies: Avoid modeling polymer clays made of PVC.

• Packaging of school supplies: Avoid single-use disposable packaging, or those marked PVC or plastic number 3, whenever possible. Avoid products packaged in unlabeled plastics, such as clamshells and blister packs, which may contain PVC.
Choose products with packaging made from more easily recycled materials like paper or cardboard.

• Paperclips: Stick to the plain metal paperclips. Colored paper clips are coated with PVC.

• Three-ring binders: Use cardboard, fabric-covered, or polypropylene binders.
Most three-ring binders are made of PVC.

• Organizers and address books: Choose organizers/address books made with sustainably harvested wood, metal, or paper covers. Avoid those made of plastic — these sometimes contain PVC.

• Food wrap: Use PVC-free butcher paper, waxed paper, parchment paper, low-density polyethylene (LDPE) or cellulose bags.

• Lunchboxes: Avoid plastic lunch boxes that are made of or lined with PVC. Use cloth lunch bags or metal lunchboxes.

• Utensils and dishware: Use stainless steel utensils.

• Umbrellas: Avoid shiny and colorful plastic umbrellas as these are typically made out of PVC. Look for those made out of other materials such as nylon.

Good morning, class!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Advisory: Philippine Embassy is closed on 20 June 2011

Share Email this post


Pursuant to Proclamation No. 154 commemorating the 150th Birth Anniversary of Philippine National Hero Dr. Jose P. Rizal and declaring 20 June 2011 a Special Non-working Holiday, the Philippine Embassy in London will be closed on Monday, 20 June 2011.

Regular office hours will resume on Tuesday, 21 June 2011.

In case of death or detention of a Filipino citizen in the United Kingdom, please contact the Embassy’s emergency mobile phone at 07802790695.

This is printed in full from the Philippine Embassy's advisory letter.

Sunday, 12 June 2011

Independence Day Flag Raising Ceremony at the Philippine Embassy in London

Share Email this post
12 June 2011 - London, UK
The Philippine Embassy in London today celebrates the 113th Philippine Independence Day with the Filipino community and guests at the courtyard of Hobhouse Court just behind the Embassy in Suffolk Street. The event features the raising of the Philippine flag, singing of the National Anthem, a recitation of the 'Panatang Makabayan', multi-faith prayers, reading of Independence Day messages and a sumptuous Filipino breakfast with the Filipino community.

Chargé d'affaires Reynaldo Catapang leads the celebration with guest Sen. Loren Legarda. The ceremony later moved indoors to the Embassy's Building No.10 when the rain started and where Sen. Legarda addressed her speech to the attendees.

Chargé d'affaires Reynaldo Catapang reads the Independence Day message from President NoyNoy Aquino

Panunumpa ng Katapatan sa Watawat ng Pilipinas

Share Email this post

Ako ay Pilipino
Buong katapatang nanunumpa
Sa watawat ng Pilipinas
At sa bansang kayang sinasagisag
Na may dangal, katarungan at kalayaan
Na pinakikilos ng sambayanang
Makakalikasan at

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

An Ilocos Itinerary

Share Email this post
How to get there: Cebu Pacific flies daily from Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 3 to Laoag, Ilocos Norte (1 hour).
Partas buses operate from their terminals at Aurora Boulevard corner P. Bernardo St., Cubao going to Laoag (roughly 7 hours by road).

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

On Video - Pasundayag Festival in Coventry, England

Share Email this post
Pasundayag Festival in Coventry, England - 28/29 May 2011

"Pasundayag" means 'to show one's best' and this first filipino festival event was held over two days in Longford Park in Coventry. It involved many Filipino businesses and other ethnic stalls. On stage were a number of local dance acts and singing talent headlined by Ooberfuse.

This video was taken by Kuya Lloyd.

Kuya Lloyd is a British-born Filipino aspiring to showcase on video all aspects of Filipinos in the UK. You can visit his videography at Kuya Lloyd Films

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Remember Our Heroes - Their Photos On Your Facebook Profile

Share Email this post
To celebrate our 113th Philippine Independence on 12 June 2011, let us remember the people who made sacrifices to the freedom that we now enjoy. Let's post their photos as your Facebook profile picture to remember them and create awareness to the new generation.

Andres Bonifacio

Apolinario Mabini

*Image from Neps

Emilio Aguinaldo

Gabriela Silang

Gregorio del Pilar

Jose Rizal

Juan Luna

Marcelo del Pilar

Melchora Aquino

All images courtesy of Wikipedia except where stated.
Contact us if you feel that we miss one of our heroes at

Thursday, 2 June 2011

A Message to All Filipinos Employed by Southern Cross

Share Email this post
If you are employed by Southern Cross and are not a member of a Trade Union it's important you join now because of the present situation. Protect your pay and conditions of service, any redundancy package, any immigration issue, join now, don't go and seek advice from so called Immigration Specialists - these people will just take your money.

It is up to you, membership is an individual choice, if things go wrong "You Stand Alone".

Trouble at care home provider Southern Cross is deepening and the company's future hung in balance. The care home has 31,000 residents. Latest news is that the company has slashed rental payments to avoid going into administration.

This article is based in part from a message from Allen Reilly of UNISON. Trade Union, UNISON, has skilled immigration attorneys. UNISON also has a Migrant Workers Unit to give migrants support and advise. UNISON has a stall at the Filipino Community event this weekend in Morden.

Please refer to for more information on joining trade unions.

TUC lists Britain's unions here.