Japan, South Korea, China vow to address diplomatic issues at trilateral summit

Robie de Guzman   •   August 21, 2019   •   307

(L-R) Korean foreign minister Kang Kyung-wha, Chinese foreign minister Wang Yi and Japanese foreign minister Taro Kono speaking at trilateral summit, commenting on diplomatic issues between three countries| Courtesy: Reuters

China, Japan and South Korea foreign ministers on Wednesday (August 21) vowed to address diplomatic issues at a trilateral summit.

Ties between Japan and South Korea were arguably at their lowest ebb since their relationship was normalized in 1965, hit by a heated feud over the issue of South Korean forced labour during World War Two, which spilled over into a bitter tit-for-tat trade row.

During a joint statement given by all three foreign ministers, South Korea’s Kang Kyung-wha said that the three countries should “remember to face history” and remove “retaliatory trade measures,” a clear jab at recent measures taken by Japan to remove it from its “white list” of trade partners.

Japanese Foreign Minister Taro Kono shied away from commenting directly on the strain with South Korea, instead saying that all three countries should “work closely” in light of diplomatic “difficulties”.

China’s Wang Yi, following Kono’s words, said that China “hopes” Japan and South Korea will take the opportunity to manage their differences constructively during the summit.

This is the ninth such trilateral foreign ministers meeting, the last being three years ago.

From 2008, the three countries had agreed to hold a summit every year to foster regional cooperation. But bilateral tension, including that between China and Japan, has often intervened. (Reuters)

(Production: Wang Shubing, Joseph Campbell, Hyunyoung Yi, Kwiyeon Ha)

PhilHealth to collide with UNTV Cup champion AFP on Sunday

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2019

PhilHealth and Agriculture will be on the same court on Sunday’s (September 22, 2019) UNTV Cup at Pasig City Sports Center but will face different teams.

 Witness three-time runner up Malacañang-PSC Kamao go against two-time champion Judiciary Magis on Sunday (September 22).

PhilHealth Plus will banner its five new players in the 8th season of the league of public servants, UNTV Cup.

According to Coach Delio Aseron, their team had played in various leagues during the off season as part of preparation.

Ang paghahanda na ginawa natin we participated doon sa Government Corporations Athletic Association o GCAA kung saan nag champion po sa open ang PhilHealth for five years na and nanalo po kami sa seniors first time,” Coach Delio Aseron said.

(Part of our preparation was our participation at the GCAA or Government Corporation Athletic Association where PhilHealth was the champion for five years already in the open category and first-time champion in senior’s category.)

PhilHealth’s first game of the season will be against the defending champion, AFP Cavaliers in the second game of the triple-header on Sunday, 3PM at Pasig City Sports Center.

“Expect niyo po PhilHealth lalaban kahit maliit kami… hopefully we utilize our speed para exciting games,” Coach Aseron added.

(Expect PhilHealth to fight despite of our small line up… hopefully we’ll be able to utilize our speed to make the games exciting.)

Meanwhile, three-time runner up Malacañang-PSC Kamao will field two new players in their game against Judiciary Magis for the main game on Sunday, 5PM.

Kamao’s new players are Jeffrey Punzalan, 5’7 and Joseph Antolin Roque, 6’1.

 According to MAL-PSC Coach Raffy Gonzales, they will not be complacent this season because they know that all the teams have upgraded their respective rosters.  They promise to give all their best to repeat a finals appearance.

Coach Raffy Gonzales said, “Maganda naman pagkapasok nila dahil unang-una si Punzalan nag lalaro ng 1 and 2 [positions], yung Roque ganoon din 1,2,3 [positions] nilalaro.”

(Their addition is just fitting to our team, firstly, Jeffrey Punzalan plays position 1 and 2 and Joseph Roque plays 1,2 and 3.)

In the other court, expect a faster Judiciary Magis at UNTV Cup Season 8 according to head coach Joey Yabut following their acquisition of two new players.

“Expect niyo na takbuhan kami ngayon saka siguro gaganda na yung denepsa namin dahil may dalawa kaming player na bago.  Mukhang defensive din hindi lang scorer eh,” Coach Yabut said.

(Expect us to be running this season and also expect us to be more defensive because of our new players.)

Joey Yabut also added that they will fight toe-to-toe despite facing other teams’ big men.

“Naging problema namin yung depensa, yung isa kasi namin bigman makatutulong sya ngayon sa ilalim…pwede rin siyang mabigyan sa ilalim dahil marunon siyang gumalaw. Yung isa naman defensive player. Yun naman yung mukhang kapalit ni John Hall,” Coach Joey Yabut said.

(Defense was our problem before but one of our big men can be a reliable force inside the paint. The other player is a defensive player who can possibly replace the vacuum left by our former player John Hall.)

Prior to these match ups is the opening game at 2pm between the Agriculture Food Masters and Ombudsman Graft Busters. — Bernard Dadis

ASOP Year 8 Grand Finale nears

UNTV News   •   September 21, 2019

The finale is coming!

Last August 25 (Sunday), A Song of Praise Music Festival named its newest grand finalist for Year 8.

With her worship anthem titled “Sagwan” (Paddle), 31-year old school registrar Aiza Narag secured a spot at the eighth edition of one-of-a-kind music revelry celebrating praise music.

Sung by rising belter Louie Anne Culala of The Wishfuls, the praise song paints a picture of a long journey at the heart of the sea while huge waves and fierce winds roar, encouraging us to trust God to be able to make it to the shores of hope.

This year’s grand finals’ entries comprise of the following:

  • NOVEMBER: “O Ama” by Jhoter Jone Villan
  • DECEMBER: “Alay Ko” by Maddonna Rosas and Pau Ortiz
  • JANUARY: “Ikaw ay Ikaw” by Vanduane Badua
  • FEBRUARY: “Don’t Give Up” by Cherry Labating
  • MARCH: “Dios ng Katotohanan” by Darrel Joseph Villanueva
  • APRIL: “Pupurihin Kita” by Chris Givenchi Edejer
  • MAY: “Libo-libong Tala” by Carlo David
  • JUNE: “You are Wonderful” by Franz Loren Bigcas
  • JULY: “God Has His Purpose” by Lambert Reyes Jr. and Roman Cundangan
  • AUGUST: “Sagwan: by Aiza Narag

Two more tracks are set to complete the list of this year’s best praise songs.

Last year, visually-impaired songwriter John Paul Salazar bagged the Song of the Year title with P500,000 cash prize tax-free. 

Performed by OPM trio Bradz, his masterpiece titled “Tugtog”, is an upbeat gospel track about music as the sound of a praiseful heart for God. 

“‘Tugtog’ for me denotes a human heartbeat. One artist I heard said, ‘Music is a part of our lives, and our hearts always plays music.’ I made the song out of that idea and turned it into a song of praise to the Lord. Every time I sing for the Lord, my heart is in sync with the music!” said Salazar.

A first from last year, ASOP launched its Bro. Eli Soriano’s Choice with “Hiling” as the winning song written by Jeffrey Lim, also by a visually-impaired aspiring songwriter.

Conceptualized by Breakthrough and Milestones Productions International (BMPI) Chairman and CEO Kuya Daniel Razon and Filipino televangelist Bro. Eli Soriano, ASOP is set to upgrade its prizes for each year.

As another year-long singing of praises to the Almighty comes to a close, the grand winner will take home P800,000 while the 1st, 2nd, 3rd, will get P500,000, P200,000, and P100,000 cash prizes, respectively. 

Over the years, amateur and professional songwriters have ventured into the heart of crafting songs for the Almighty.

True to its advocacy of bringing back praise music in people’s lives, the first and only praise songwriting tilt in Philippine television continues to inspire talents and celebrate gospel music dedicated all for the glory of God.

Apart from celebrating inspiring talents, ASOP is also set to stage top-notch OPM acts.

Watch out for the grand finals of ASOP Year 8 on November.

For more information about ASOP Music Festival, visit its official website at https://www.asoptv.com. You can follow ASOP on Facebook via facebook.com/asoptv, Twitter at twitter.com/asoptv and Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/asoptv/.

Fire in Liberia school kills at least 27 children

Robie de Guzman   •   September 19, 2019

A fire at an Islamic school in Liberia has killed at least 27 children, police said on Wednesday (September 18).

The police spokesman Moses Carter said the blaze was caused by an electrical issue and the kids were learning the Koran when the fire broke out. He added that further investigations were ongoing.

Carter had originally said 30 children were killed before revising the death toll down to 27. Two survivors were taken to the hospital, he said.

The fire started late on Tuesday (September 17) in the suburbs of the capital Monrovia, President George Weah said in a tweet.

“My prayers go out to the families of the children that died last night in Paynesville City,” Weah said. “This is a tough time for the families of the victims and all of Liberia.”

It is common for buildings to collapse in blazes linked to faulty electrics in Liberia’s big cities, however, these are rarely deadly. (Reuters)

(Production: Soraya Ali)

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