Wishcovery Season 2 winner to perform as KZ’s front act in Dubai concert

Aileen Cerrudo   •   March 18, 2019   •   3248

Wishcovery Season 2 grand champion, Rhea Basco

Three weeks has passed since Rhea Basco became the grand champion of Wishcovery Season 2: The singer and the song, the first and biggest online singing competition in the country.

But until now, the dentistry student from Taguig City still cannot believe the blessings she has been receiving.

“Nandito pa rin po iyong feeling ko na parang regular person pa rin. Mayroong ibang nakakakilala sa akin, or tumitingin so nakakagulat din po, (I still feel like a regular person, but I already get recognized by other people, it is surprising),” Rhea said.

On Friday, Wish 107.5 and Wishcovery innovator Kuya Daniel Razon gave Rhea the key to her brand new car as part of her grand prize for winning the competition. She has also won a house and lot, P1 million cash and a career in the music industry.

Wishcovery innovator Kuya Daniel Razon hands Rhea Basco the keys to a brand new car which is part of her grand prize

Rhea will also perform as a front act in the concert of KZ Tandingan in Dubai on March 22. She said she is already preparing for her very first performance abroad.

“50 percent (preparation) magpa-practice po ako para hindi naman sila madismaya kapag nag-perform na po ako, gagalingan ko. Excited po ko pero kinakabahan kasi KZ iyon, super galing niya, (50% preparation, I am practicing so that the audience will not be disappointed when I perform. I am excited and nervous because she is KZ, she is an excellent performer),” according to her.

“Super happy din po kasi pinagkatiwalaan ako ng Wish mag-front act sa concert ni KZ sa Dubai and sa Davao, so sobrang happy po, ( I’m super happy because Wish has trusted me to do the front act at KZ’s concert in Dubai and in Davao) she adds.

There is a lot in store for her after she concludes her performance in Dubai.

Kuya Daniel Razon told Wishers to stay tuned for the concert and album launch of Rhea along with her fellow grand finalists in Wishcovery Season 2.

“So ito ang immediate na kasunod nito, ang launch ng kanilang album and we’re looking forward na makapag-collaborate din sila sa kanilang mga mentors, ang kanilang mga composers, isang performance that they will be doing sa malaking venue, (The launch of their album will follow. We’re also looking forward to their collaboration with their mentors and composers, in a performance that they will be doing in a bigger venue],” he said.

Meanwhile, singing hopefuls should prepare for the upcoming Wishcovery Season 3.

“We will be announcing soon the mechanics for the season 3 ng Wishcovery, so abangan na lang po nila and hopefully makapag-bigay ng panibagong chance doon sa mga ibig na pumasok sa larangan ng musika. (We will be announcing soon the mechanics for the Wishcovery season 3, so watch out for that and hopefully it can provide another chance for those who want to be in the music industry). Watch out for the opening and we will be announcing the mechanics soon,” Daniel Razon added.

So Wishers, keep on wishing and you might be the next Wishcovery grand champion—Aileen Cerrudo (with reports from Mirasol Abogadil)

Afghanistan Crisis: OFWs escape to Dubai, Qatar with help from employers

Marje Pelayo   •   August 19, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Relatives of overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) in Afghanistan confirmed with UNTV that their family members have reached Dubai safely after narrowly escaping the unrest in the Taliban-controlled country.

From Dubai, they are expected to return home to the Philippines soon.

On Tuesday (August 18), 35 Filipinos arrived in the Philippines from Afghanistan.

Based on records of the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA), there are around 130 Filipinos in Afghanistan.

Meanwhile, Joseph Glenn Gumpal, who acts as president of the Samahang Pilipino in Afghanistan, said 11 more Filipinos have already made it to Qatar with the help of their employers.

UNTV was able to get in touch with other stranded Filipinos in Afghanistan whose fates remain uncertain after a series of flight cancellations.

Among them is Rio Adrias, who confirmed that they are in constant communication with the Philippine Embassy in Pakistan which has jurisdiction over Filipinos in the Afghan country.

The only problem, Rio said, was that the chartered flight that they were supposed to board on Tuesday was canceled and they were told that they would need to take a commercial flight.

“Hindi pa rin po namin malaman kung kailan makakalapag ang eroplano dito sa Kabul kasi puno pa rin po ng tao ang Kabul airport. Hindi pa rin po lumilikas nasa 10,000 Afghan po ang naghihintay [na] doon na po natutulog,” she said.

Rio is one of the 24 Filipinos currently staying in a shelter some distance away from Kabul airport.

As for their personal needs, Rio said they still have enough supply for several days.

They also worry, however, for the safety of other Filipinos stranded in areas with no access to food and proper lodging.

“Sa pamilya ko, huwag kayong mag-alala ako’y nakakangiti pa pero ako’y naiiyak. Pero doon po sa gobyerno po natin sana po talaga una, matulungan nyo kaming mailikas talaga dito kaming lahat na gustong umuwi kasi talagang ang hirap,” Rio said asking for government support.

“Hindi safe. Hindi kami okay. Hindi namin ma-explain yung pakiramdam namin dito,” she added.

Rio said if she makes it back to the Philippines, she would never go back to Afghanistan.

All she asks for is a livelihood support from the Philippine government in recognition for their contribution to the country’s economy. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

PAL cancels flights between Dubai and Manila until June 30

Marje Pelayo   •   June 17, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — Following the extension of the Philippines’ travel ban on arrivals from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) until June 30, the country’s flag carrier Philippine Airlines cancelled a number of flights bound for Dubai.

The cancelled flights include those scheduled on June 16, 23 and 30 with flight numbers PR658 and PR659 Manila-Dubai-Manila.

Meanwhile, PAL flights to and from Qatar (Doha) and Saudi Arabia (Riyadh and Dammam) are continuing, and the firm intends to operate all of these flights to cater to the travel needs of Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs).

“We remind our passengers that PAL is occasionally compelled to cancel certain flights from time to time to comply with capacity limitations at Manila airport,” the airline explained in an advisory.

“When a temporary shortage develops in the allocation of hotel rooms for OFWs in Metro Manila and environs, we may be forced to cancel at the last moment,” it further said.

PAL explained an incident that happened on June 6 when the airline had to fly an empty aircraft from Riyadh to Manila because it was not allowed by the government to board the passengers who had been waiting to take the flight home.

For the period June 1 to June 15, the airline has recorded a total of 12 force majeure affecting its routes to Dammam, Doha and Riyadh.

These cancellations were due to the shortage of quarantine accommodations and other limitations, as advised by the Philippine government, the airline said.

Overall during the said period, the cancellations affected an estimated 10,000 passengers.

“We sincerely regret the inconvenience to our passengers, and seek their kind understanding that this is a situation beyond our control,” the airline stressed.

As an alternative, the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) and PAL have been coordinating to arrange special repatriation flights to ferry stranded passengers from the Middle East, including a repatriation flight last June 14 from Dubai and more that we hope to set up next week.

All affected passengers may opt to avail of the following options:

1. Convert your ticket to a Travel Voucher;

2. Avail of unlimited rebooking (no rebooking fee) until December 31, 2021. If you will be completing your travel in the same booking class by June 30, 2021 (or ticket validity, whichever comes first), there will be no fare difference charge;

3. Refund your ticket without penalties.

Any request may be coursed through the MyPAL Request Hub.

13 contacts of Filipino with UK variant, positive for COVID-19

Marje Pelayo   •   January 20, 2021

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health (DOH) confirmed on Wednesday (January 20) that eight of the co-passengers of the male case of UK variant of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) who arrived from Dubai also tested positive for COVID-19.

All eight, who are Filipino nationals, were immediately quarantined upon arrival and were transported to the isolation facilities right after the result of the RT-PCR tests were released.

Though the first RT-PCR tests were COVID-19 positive, their viral load was low and couldn’t be taken for genome sequencing.

The group has undergone swab testing to determine if they, also, are positive for the UK variant.

Aside from the eight individuals, five other close contacts of the UK variant positive patient have been tested positive for COVID-19.

These include two other passengers who were with them on the flight from Dubai, the patient’s mother and his partner, as well as the healthcare worker who assisted him.

Authorities, however, have not revealed any detail yet as to how the mother of the male patient contracted the disease.

Quezon City Mayor Joy Belmonte stressed that there was not a time the male patient went home in his residence in Quezon City since they arrived.

“Ang very close contacts niya ay mga household members nila kasama yung nanay at yung girlfriend niya,” explained Health Spokesperson Maria Rosario Vergeire.

“Iyong girlfriend niya initially tested negative pero nung nagre-swab tayo, she turned positive. And the mother, nung na-swab siya, ang resulta niya rin ay positive. So pinadala na rin for sequencing yung kanilang mga specimen,” she added.

All samples from the said five COVID-19 positive patients have been sent to the Philippine Genome Center for sequencing to also determine if they are positive for the UK variant.

Results are expected to be out on Thursday.

Meanwhile, six more persons from the 159 close contacts of the patient are still being located.

The DOH has asked the help of Contact Tracing Czar Mayor Benjamin Magalong to immediately locate them.

“153 of them ay na-contact na natin. Nagkaroon na tayo ng pakikipag-ugnayan with them. They are all now isolated. So we are now left with 6 but this morning may report sa akin meron na ring nahanap uli na additional two,” Vergeire.

“So apat nalang po ang natitira na hindi natin nahahanap,” she added.

The DOH is closely monitoring the results of the tests on the patient’s close contacts to prevent the spread of the UK variant in the Philippines.

The agency reminds the public to always be responsible and follow strict minimum health standards whatever variant of COVID-19 is prevailing in the country. MNP (with reports from Aiko Miguel)

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