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No more pain, no more suffering: Student in viral post passes away

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Monday, March 25th, 2019

Maxine Blanco during happier times | Images taken from Maxine Blanco’s Facebook page

No more pain, no more suffering.

Netizens knew 19-year-old Maxine Blanco from a viral post on Facebook. Her boyfriend, Gab Sta. Ana, shared a post of his journey with her: how love blooms and how it continues to bloom despite trials.

Her smile and kind eyes shined in all her photos, proof that she did #LiveLifeToTheMax. Her smile never changed from when she was still in high school, even until she started battling osteosarcoma or bone cancer.

Maxine inspired netizens with her brave spirit. Now, netizens mourn her passing which occurred on Saturday.

Max fought hard and I'm thankful for everything. No more pain, no more suffering. She might left us, but her spirit will always be here. I love you Maxine

Posted by Gab Sta Ana on Saturday, 23 March 2019

3pm…the hour of the divine mercy.Maxine earned her angel wings and slowly going up in heaven. For sure all the other…

Posted by Live Life To The MAX on Saturday, 23 March 2019

Maxine is among the tens of thousands of Filipinos who succumbed to the disease. Cancer is among the top causes of mortality in the country according to the Department of Health (DOH).

“Cancer remains a national health priority in the country with significant implications for individuals, families, communities and the health system,” said the Philippine Cancer Control Program of the DOH.

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Republic Act 11215 or the National Integrated Cancer Control Act in February.

It aims to improve essential programs and increase investments for the prevention of cancer, better screening, prompt and accurate diagnosis, and optimal treatment.—Aileen Cerrudo

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Student brings standee of late mom to graduation

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, July 18th, 2019

This student brought a standee of his late mother to his graduation on Tuesday (July 16).

Somehow, it was enough to lessen his longing, especially during one of the biggest milestones in one’s life.

Paulo John Alinsog graduated Bachelor of Science in Business Administration major in Business Management at the Lyceum of the Philippines.

Reports say his mother passed away in August 2016 due to complications from pneumonia.

His post got over 47,000 likes and 4,600 retweets.

One of the netizens also made a standee of her late mom and shared it with Paulo.

Paulo is grateful for the response of netizens and told them to be good children to their parents.

“Hindi ko kayo kaya pasalamatan isa-isa kaya iisahin ko nalang. Salamat sa inyo and be a good child sa inyong mga magulang. Aanihin niyo iyan pagtanda and congrats sa lahat ng mga gumraduate this 2019, (I cannot thank you all personally but thank you to all of you. Be a good child to your parents, you will reap it when you get old. Congratulations to all 2019 graduates),” he said in his Twitter post.—AAC

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Two of us: Father and son capture the hearts of netizens

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 28th, 2019

Antonio Antoquia drives the bus everyday for a living. His usual route is Fairview-Alabang. Oftentimes he takes his 19-year-old son, Joshua, so his wife can sell coffee and eggs.

Marivic Ando Natividad was one his passengers. She was able to capture the special moment between a father and his son.

For Joshua, who is a child with special needs, it seemed like it was never about riches or fame. His great love and admiration for his father resonated until it was felt by thousands.

Everyone who saw the photo found a much needed oasis amid the chaos of everyday life.

“Mahal na mahal kita, (I love you very much)” Joshua said to his father during an interview with one of our reporters.

Antonio holds back his tears. Joshua is his little helper whenever he brings him to work.

“Hindi siya mahirap dalhin kasi uupo lang siya, (It is not difficult to care for him, he would just sit there)” Antonio said. “Pagdating namin sa Alabang ayusin niya iyan. Kunwari ito sinusuksok ng mga pasahero to ayusin niya iyan itali niya iyan. Kunin niya ang mga tiket, tapon niya dito marunong siya, (When we arrive in Alabang he sees to it that all the curtains are properly arranged and he will throw out all the tickets that were left behind).”

During days when Antonio is not accompanied by Joshua, he couldn’t help but worry. He will call home asking if Joshua had eaten or if he is doing okay. And just like how he misses Joshua, Joshua misses him as well.

“Kunyari bibiyahe ako ng Davao tatawag iyan, taltlong araw palang sasabihin niya Papa, uwi kana miss na miss na kita, (Whenever I travel to Davao, he will call. He will tell me how much he misses me even when I was just gone for three days)

Marivic saw how much Antonio and Joshua love each other. She was on her way to work. She recalled that Joshua was happily assisting Antonio. Antonio, in return, was happy to be assisted.

“He [the boy] was very happy, jolly and smiling at me all the time,” Marivic said. She added that the boy “knows all the bus stops and the roads,” and would shout the names every time a passenger gets off.

Marivic witnessed how the two laughed, talked, and had fun despite the heat, despite the traffic.

For Marivic, it inspired her to feel thankful for her father especially when Father’s Day is only two weeks away.

Antonio kept holding back his tears every time he talks about Joshua. He feels lucky to have a son like him. However, there is always fear in Antonio’s heart.

“Natakot ako kapag ako nawala, paano ito? Mahirap kasi ito mamaya magsawa mga kapatid nito. Kung saan ito kakalat-kalat kapag wala ako. Iyon ang kinakatakutan ko, (I fear that when am gone, what will happen to him? It will be difficult, what if his siblings will get tired caring for him. Sometimes, he wanders around when am gone. That’s my fear),” he said.

“Masasabi ko lang dito kay Joshua,” he adds. “Kahit ganito ito mahal na mahal ko talaga itong batang ito, sobrang pagmamahal ko dito. (All I can say to Joshua is that I love him very much. I have much love for him)(with reports from Joan Nano)

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Facebook to apply new live-streaming rules after Christchurch shooting

by Aileen Cerrudo   |   Posted on Thursday, May 16th, 2019

A screenshot of the footage from the Christchurch attack | Courtesy : Reuters

Facebook is set to apply new live-streaming rules after the New Zealand shooting.

According to the social media platform on Tuesday (May 14), they will implement a ‘one-strike policy’ for users who violate community standards.

“We will now apply a ‘one strike’ policy to Live in connection with a broader range of offenses,” their statement reads.

Violators will have to be restricted from using Facebook Live for set period of time.

“Someone who shares a link to a statement from a terrorist group with no context will now be immediately blocked from using Live for a set period of time,” the statement further reads.

Facebook aims to minimize the risk of abuse on Facebook Live while enabling people to use Live in a positive way every day.

Meanwhile, Facebook will also strengthen their systems to detect manipulated media across images, video and audio as well as to distinguish between unwitting posters and adversaries who intentionally manipulate videos and photographs.

“This work will be critical for our broader efforts against manipulated media, including deepfakes (videos intentionally manipulated to depict events that never occurred). We hope it will also help us to more effectively fight organized bad actors who try to outwit our systems as we saw happen after the Christchurch attack,” Facebook said.

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