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Archive for August, 2012

Here’s the official statement:

On the new Chief Justice of the Philippines

In the midst of this period of deep mourning for the loss of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo, the President is cognizant of his constitutional duty to appoint the next Chief Justice of the Philippines. He has therefore decided to appoint Associate Justice Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal-Sereno as the 24th Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

The President is confident that Chief Justice Sereno will lead the judiciary in undertaking much-needed reforms. We believe the Judicial Branch of government has a historic opportunity to restore our people’s confidence in the judicial system.

Sereno, Maria Lourdes Punzalan Aranal
Years in the Practice of Law : 25 years

Professional Experience
 Associate Justice of the Supreme Court
August 16, 2010 to PRESENT
 Executive Director, Asian Institute of Management
February, 2009, August 15, 2010
 President, Accesslaw Inc.
April 2000 to August 15, 2010
 Law Professor University of the Philippines College of Law
November, 1986 to 2006
 Consultant for Judicial Reforms, United Nations, Development Program World Bank,
US Agency for International Development (USAID) – 1995 to 2002
 Legal Counsel, Various agencies of government, Office of the President, Office of the Solicito
General, Manila International Airport Authority, Department of Agriculture, Department of Trade
and Industry, WTO, Philippine Coconut Authority – 1991 to 2008
 Commissioner and Chairman of the Steering Committee, Preparatory Commission on
Constitutional Reform (Presidential) – August 1999 to December 1999
 Director, Institute of International Legal Studies, UP Law Complex – 1995 to 1996
 Head, Information and Publication Division, UP Law Complex – 1995 to 1996
 Counsellor, World Trade Orgaization and Appellate Body (Geneva) – July 1998 to October 1999
 Deputy Commissioner, Commission on Human Rights
 Junior Associate, SyCip Salazar Feliciano and Hernandez Law Office
January 1985 to October 1986
Teaching / Academic Experience
 Philippine Judicial Academy
• Lecturer
• 2004 to 2008
• Taught Law and Economic
 University of Western Australia
• Lecturer
• 2006 to 2007
• Taught International Business Law
 Foreign Service Institute, Department of Foreign Affairs
• Lecturer, 1996 to 2007
• Taught International Trade Law University of the Philippines College of Law
• Permanent Faculty (Associate Professor)
• 1986 to 2006
• Taught Obligations and contract, Persons and Family Relations, Negotiable Instruments,
Public Regulation of Business, Administrative Law and International Trade Law

 Hague Academy of International Law
• Lecturer
• 2004
• Taught International Trade Law
 Murdoch University
• Lecturer
• 2001 to 2002
• Taught International Trade Law
 Asian Institute of Management
• Lecturer
• 2000
• Taught Electronic Commerce Law
Seminars, Trainings, Scholarships and Fellowship Grants
 De Witte Fellow
• 1992 to 1993
• University of Michigan
 Ford Rockfeller Faculty Grand
• 1991 to 1993
• University of Michigan School of Economics
 Justice Alex Reyes Law School Scholarship
• 1980 to 1984
• UP College of Law
 National Integration Scholarship Grant
• 1976 to 1981
• Ateneo De Manila University

Educational Attainment
 University of Michigan
• Master of Laws
• 1992 to 1993
 School of Economics, University of the Philippines
• 1991 to 1992
• 18 Units in the Master of Arts in Economics Program
 University of the Philippines College of Law
• 1980 to 1984
• Valedictorian Cum Laude
 Ateneo De Manila University
• 1976 to 1980
• Bachelor of Arts in Economics
 Quezon City High School
• 1972 to 1976
• National awards in Oration, extemporaneous speech and academic honors
 Kamuning Elementary School
• 1966 to 1972
• Salutatorian
Civil Service Eligibility / Board / Bar Examination Taken
 Bar Examination Rating: 89
 Year Taken: 1984
 Year admitted to the Bar: 1985
Personal Circumstances
 Date of Birth: July 2, 1960
 Place of Birth: Manila
 Age: 52

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(Updated 10:33 a.m.) – With his voice cracking, Transportation Secretary Mar Roxas confirmed Tuesday morning that the body of Interior and Local Government Secretary Jesse Robredo was found at 8:15 a.m. Tuesday, 800 meters from the shore of Masbate.

Roxas, in a briefing, said Robredo’s body was found at a depth of 180 feet inside the fuselage of the small Piper Seneca plane that crashed off Masbate Saturday afternoon.

“‘Yung unang sumabak na mga tech divers ‘yung mga puti na nakita natin kahapon, si Matt at ang kanyang team na dalawang babae. At 8:15, kumpirmado na na ‘yung isa sa mga katawan ay ‘yung kay Sec. Jess Robredo,” Roxas said.

Roxas said Robredo’s body was the first to be accessed by divers, as the body was nearest the door.

“At roughly 8:30 or 8:40, ‘yung bangkay ni Sec. Jess ay naiabot na sa surface at ito ay nilagay sa body bag at kinarga na sa barko ng Coast Guard. Ongoing pa rin ang operation for the other bodies in the fuselage,” he said in a press briefing on Tuesday. Roxas said the retrieval was complicated because of the position of the fuselage.
“Fuselage, nakabaligtad kaya medyo kumplikado ang pag-retrieve dahil hindi nila masyadong ma-disturb ‘yung fuselage at baka mapunta sa mas malalim na lugar,” he said.

Robredo celebrated his 54th birthday last May 27.

“Jess has been underwater for more than two days now. Hindi basta bastang… the change in pressure and change in atmosphere is very complicated,” he said, adding that they are seeking help form the Army, the Navy, the Philippine National Police forensics people and the Department of Health in order to ensure the preservation of the body.

Roxas added that retrieval operations continue for the two pilots and the fuselage.
“‘Yung mga scuba tanks at iba pang pangangailangan ay pinapadala underwater para mapatuloy yung retrieval operation of the other bodies inside the cockpit,” Roxas said.
“Tuloy po ang recovery operations… Hindi ito para kay Sec. Jess lang. The divers and the others are being deployed now to recover the others,” he said.
“Sad as it is, we are now in search and recovery, retrieval,” Roxas added.

He said the two pilots (pilot Jessup Bahinting and co-pilot Kshitiz Chand) were in the deepest part of the cockpit.

“Si Sec. Jess ay nasa baroto na nauna, siya ‘yung unang naaccess ng diver kasi ‘yung dalawang piloto nakasubsob sa cockpit sa loob na loob. Si Sec. Jess nasa likuran, mas malapit siya sa pinto. So siya ‘yung unang nakuha ng diver at ‘yan ang dahilan kung bakit nauuna na siyang dahan-dahan inakyat,” Roxas said.

PNoy, family informed

“Nakausap ng Pangulo ang misis ni Sec. Jess and informed her about the development,” he said in the briefing, parts of which were aired on dzBB radio.

Roxas said Aquino was “very quiet” when he was first informed about the development.

He said Aquino sought “absolute confirmation” and gave instructions to call him back once the development was confirmed.

“Noong kumpirmadong kumpirmado na, he wanted to make sure na mayroong malapit kay Ma’am Leni na katabi niya. Unfortunately Ma’am Leni was in her house at malayo pa ‘yung mga kilala naming mga malapit sa kanya so pinagpasiyahan na sabihan na si Ma’am Leni direkta kaysa madinig pa niya sa espe-espekulasyon or what. So the President called Ma’am Leni and spoke to her this morning,” Roxas said.

“‘Yung kapatid ni Jess na si Kuya Butch ay nasabihan na rin, at dinadala siya kung saan ngayon ‘yung katawan,” Roxas said.

In Naga City, dzBB’s Carlo Mateo said Jun Lavadia, a close friend of the Robredo family, was emotional upon learning of the development.

The search for Robredo and the two pilots was on its fourth day Tuesday, after the Piper Seneca bearing Robredo and three others crashed off Masbate Saturday while en route from Cebu to Naga.
Only Robredo’s aide, Senior Inspector Jun Abrasado, was rescued from the plane shortly after it crashed. –With a report from Carmela G. Lapeña/KG, GMA News

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Benigno S. Aquino, Jr.
Senator of the Philippines
In office
December 30, 1967 – September 23, 1972[1]
Presidential Adviser on Defense Affairs
In office
1949–1954
Governor of Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1961 – December 30, 1967
Vice Governor of Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1959 – December 30, 1961
Mayor of Concepcion, Tarlac
In office
December 30, 1955 – December 30, 1959
Personal details
Born November 27, 1932
Concepcion, Tarlac, Philippines
Died August 21, 1983 (aged 50)
Manila International Airport, Pasay, Metro Manila, Philippines
Resting place Manila Memorial Park, Parañaque, Metro Manila, Philippines
Nationality Filipino
Political party Liberal (1959–1983)
LABAN (1978–1983)
Other political
affiliations
Nacionalista Party (1955–1959)
Spouse(s) Corazon C. Aquino
Children Ma. Elena Aquino-Cruz
Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada
Benigno S. Aquino III
Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee
Kristina Bernadette Aquino
Residence Times Street, Quezon City
Alma mater University of the Philippines
Ateneo de Manila University
San Beda College High School (Class of 1948)
St. Joseph’s College, Quezon City
Occupation Politician
Profession Journalist
Religion Roman Catholicism

 

Benigno Simeon “Ninoy” Aquino, Jr. (November 27, 1932 – August 21, 1983) was a Filipino Senator and a former Governor of Tarlac. Aquino, together with Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, formed the leadership of the opposition to the Marcos regime in the years leading to the imposition of martial law in the Philippines. In 1973 he was arrested and incarcerated for 7 years, but was allowed to depart for the United States to seek medical treatment after he suffered a heart attack in 1980. He was assassinated at the Manila International Airport upon returning home from exile in the United States in 1983. His death catapulted his widow, Corazon Aquino, into the limelight, and prompted her to run for President as a member of the UNIDO party in the 1986 elections. Manila International Airport has been renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport in his honor, and the anniversary of his death is a national holiday in the Philippines, Ninoy Aquino Day.

Early life and career

Benigno S. Aquino, Jr. was born in Concepcion, Tarlac, to a prosperous family of hacenderos (landlords), original owners of Hacienda Tinang, Hacienda Lawang and Hacienda Murcia.[6]

His grandfather, Servillano Aquino, was a general in the revolutionary army of Emilio Aguinaldo.[7]

His father, Benigno S. Aquino, Sr. (1894–1947) was the vice-president of the World War II Japanese collaborationist government of José P. Laurel. His father was one of two politicians representing Tarlac during his lifetime. The other was Jose Cojuangco, father of his future wife. His mother, Doña Aurora Aquino-Aquino, was also his father’s third cousin. His father died while Ninoy was in his teens prior to coming to trial on treason charges resulting from his collaboration with the Japanese during the occupation.[citation needed]

Aquino was educated in private schools—St. Joseph’s College, Ateneo de Manila, National University, and De La Salle College. He finished high school at San Beda College. Aquino took his tertiary education at the Ateneo de Manila to obtain a Bachelor of Arts degree, but he interrupted his studies.[8] According to one of his biographies, he considered himself to be an average student; his grade was not in the line of 90s nor did it fall into the 70s. At age 17, he was the youngest war correspondent to cover the Korean War for the newspaper The Manila Times of Joaquin “Chino” Roces. Because of his journalistic feats, he received the Philippine Legion of Honor award from President Elpidio Quirino at age 18. At 21, he became a close adviser to then defense secretary Ramon Magsaysay. Aquino took up law at the University of the Philippines, where he became a member of Upsilon Sigma Phi, the same fraternity as Ferdinand Marcos. He interrupted his studies again however to pursue a career in journalism. According to Maximo Soliven, Aquino “later ‘explained’ that he had decided to go to as many schools as possible, so that he could make as many new friends as possible.”[8] In early 1954, he was appointed by President Ramon Magsaysay, his wedding sponsor to his 1953 wedding at the Our Lady of Sorrows church in Pasay with Corazon Cojuangco, to act as personal emissary to Luis Taruc, leader of the Hukbalahap rebel group. After four months of negotiations, he was credited for Taruc’s unconditional surrender.[9]

He became mayor of Concepcion in 1955 at the age of 22.[10]

Political career

Aquino gained an early familiarity with Philippine politics, as he was born into one of the Philippines’ prominent oligarchic clans. His grandfather served under President Aguinaldo, while his father held office under Presidents Quezon and Jose P. Laurel. As a consequence, Aquino was able to be elected mayor when he was 22 years old. Five years later, he was elected the nation’s youngest vice-governor at 27, despite having no real executive experience. Two years later he became governor of Tarlac province in 1961 at age 29, then secretary-general of the Liberal Party in 1966. In 1967 he became the youngest elected senator in the country’s history at age 34.[citation needed]

In 1968, during his first year as senator, Aquino alleged that Marcos was on the road to establishing “a garrison state” by “ballooning the armed forces budget”, saddling the defense establishment with “overstaying generals” and “militarizing our civilian government offices”—all these caveats were uttered barely four years before martial law, as was typical of the accusatory style of political confrontation at the time. However, no evidence was ever produced for any of these statements.[citation needed]

Aquino became known as a constant critic of the Marcos regime, as his flamboyant rhetoric had made him a darling of the media. His most polemical speech, “A Pantheon for Imelda”, was delivered on February 10, 1969. He assailed the Cultural Center, the first project of First Lady Imelda Marcos as extravagant, and dubbed it “a monument to shame” and labelled its designer “a megalomaniac, with a penchant to captivate”. By the end of the day, the country’s broadsheets had blared that he labelled the President’s wife, his cousin Paz’s former ward, and a woman he had once courted, “the Philippines’ Eva Peron“. President Marcos is said to have been outraged and labelled Aquino “a congenital liar”. The First Lady’s friends angrily accused Aquino of being “ungallant”. These so-called “fiscalization” tactics of Aquino quickly became his trademark in the Senate.[citation needed]

Martial law, hunger strike

It was not until the Plaza Miranda bombing however—on August 21, 1971, 12 years to the day before Aquino’s own assassination—that the pattern of direct confrontation between Marcos and Aquino emerged. At 9:15 pm, at the kick-off rally of the Liberal Party, the candidates had formed a line on a makeshift platform and were raising their hands as the crowd applauded. The band played, a fireworks display drew all eyes, when suddenly there were two loud explosions that obviously were not part of the show. In an instant the stage became a scene of wild carnage. The police later discovered two fragmentation grenades that had been thrown at the stage by “unknown persons”. Eight people died, and 120 others were wounded, many critically. Aquino was absent at the incident.[citation needed]

Although suspicions pointed to the Nacionalistas (the political party of Marcos), Marcos allies sought to deflect this by insinuating that, perhaps, Aquino might have had a hand in the blast in a bid to eliminate his potential rivals within the party. Later, the Marcos government presented “evidence” of the bombings as well as an alleged threat of a communist insurgency, suggesting that the bombings were the handiwork of the growing New People’s Army. Marcos made this a pretext to suspend the right of habeas corpus, vowed that the killers would be apprehended within 48 hours, and arrested a score of known “Maoists” on general principle. Ironically, the police captured one of the bombers, who was identified as a sergeant of the firearms and explosive section of the Philippine Constabulary, a military arm of the government. According to Aquino, this man was later snatched from police custody by military personnel and never seen again.[citation needed]

President Marcos declared martial law on September 21, 1972 and he went on air to broadcast his declaration on midnight of September 23. Aquino was one of the first to be arrested and imprisoned on trumped-up charges of murder, illegal possession of firearms and subversion. He was tried before Military Commission No. 2 headed by Major-General Jose Syjuco. On April 4, 1975, Aquino announced that he was going on a hunger strike, a fast to the death to protest the injustices of his military trial. Ten days through his hunger strike, he instructed his lawyers to withdraw all motions he had submitted to the Supreme Court. As weeks went by, he subsisted solely on salt tablets, sodium bicarbonate, amino acids, and two glasses of water a day. Even as he grew weaker, suffering from chills and cramps, soldiers forcibly dragged him to the military tribunal’s session. His family and hundreds of friends and supporters heard Mass nightly at the Santuario de San Jose in Greenhills, San Juan, praying for his survival. Near the end, Aquino’s weight had dropped from 54 to 36 kilos. Aquino nonetheless was able to walk throughout his ordeal. On May 13, 1975, on the 40th day, his family and several priests and friends, begged him to end his fast, pointing out that even Christ fasted only for 40 days. He acquiesced, confident that he had made a symbolic gesture. But he remained in prison, and the trial continued, drawn out for several years. On November 25, 1977, the Commission found Aquino guilty of all charges and sentenced him to death by firing squad.[citation needed]

1978 elections, bypass surgery, exile

In 1978, from his prison cell, he was allowed to take part in the elections for Interim Batasang Pambansa (Parliament). Although his friends, former Senators Gerry Roxas and Jovito Salonga, preferred to boycott the elections, Aquino urged his supporters to organize and run 21 candidates in Metro Manila. Thus his political party, dubbed Lakas ng Bayan (“People’s Power”), was born. The party’s acronym was “LABAN” (in Tagalog). He was allowed one television interview on Face the Nation (hosted by Ronnie Nathanielsz) and proved to a startled and impressed populace that imprisonment had neither dulled his rapier-like tongue nor dampened his fighting spirit. Foreign correspondents and diplomats asked what would happen to the LABAN ticket. People agreed with him that his party would win overwhelmingly in an honest election. Not surprisingly, all his candidates lost due to widespread election fraud.[citation needed]

In mid-March 1980, Aquino suffered a heart attack, possibly the result of seven years in prison, mostly in a solitary cell. He was transported to the Philippine Heart Center, where he suffered a second heart attack. ECG and other tests showed that he had a blocked artery. Philippine surgeons were reluctant to do a coronary bypass, because it could involve them in a controversy. In additional, Aquino refused to submit himself to Philippine doctors, fearing possible Marcos “duplicity”; he preferred to go to the United States for the procedure or return to his cell at Fort Bonifacio and die. He also appeared in the 700 Club television ministry of Pat Robertson, where he narrated his spiritual life, accepted “Christ as his Lord and Savior” and became a born-again Christian, which sprang from a conversation with Charles Colson, founder of Prison Fellowship, who was involved in the Watergate Scandal during U.S. President Richard Nixon‘s administration.[citation needed]

On May 8, 1980, Imelda Marcos made an unannounced visit to Aquino at his hospital room. She asked him if he would like to leave that evening for the U.S., but not before agreeing on two conditions: 1) that if he left, he would return; 2) while in the U.S., he would not speak out against the Marcos regime. She then ordered General Fabian Ver and Mel Mathay to provide passports and plane tickets for the Aquino family. Aquino was placed in a closed van, rushed to his home on Times Street to pack, driven to the airport and put on a plane bound for the U.S. that same day, accompanied by his family.[citation needed]

Aquino was operated on at a hospital in Dallas, Texas. He made a quick recovery, was walking within two weeks and making plans to fly to Damascus, Syria to meet with Muslim leaders, which he did five weeks later. When he reiterated that he was returning to the Philippines, he received a surreptitious message from the Marcos government saying that he was now granted an extension of his “medical furlough”. Eventually, Aquino decided to renounce his two covenants with Malacañang “because of the dictates of higher national interest”. After all, Aquino added, “a pact with the devil is no pact at all”.[citation needed]

Aquino spent three years in self-exile, living with his family in Newton, a suburb of Boston, Massachusetts. On fellowship grants from Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, he worked on the manuscripts of two books and gave a series of lectures in school halls, classrooms and auditoriums. He traveled extensively in the U.S., delivering speeches critical of the Marcos government.[citation needed]

Planning return

A moving screen shot of Sen. Aquino as he was being escorted out of the plane by military personnel, minutes before being killed.

Throughout his years of expatriation, Aquino was always aware that his life in the U.S. was temporary. He never stopped affirming his eventual return even as he enjoyed American hospitality and a peaceful life with his family on American soil. After spending 7 years and 7 months in prison, Aquino’s finances were in ruins. Making up for the lost time as the family’s breadwinner, he toured America; attending symposiums, lectures, and giving speeches in freedom rallies opposing the Marcos dictatorship. The most memorable was held at the Wilshire Ebell Theater in Los Angeles, California on February 15, 1981.[11]

In the first quarter of 1983, Aquino received news about the deteriorating political situation in his country and the rumored declining health of President Marcos (due to lupus). He believed that it was expedient for him to speak to Marcos and present to him his rationale for the country’s return to democracy, before extremists took over and made such a change impossible. Moreover, his years of absence made his allies worry that the Filipinos might have resigned themselves to Marcos’ strongman rule and that without his leadership the centrist opposition would die a natural death.[citation needed]

Aquino decided to go back to the Philippines, fully aware of the dangers that awaited him. Warned that he would either be imprisoned or killed, Aquino answered, “if it’s my fate to die by an assassin’s bullet, so be it. But I cannot be petrified by inaction, or fear of assassination, and therefore stay in the side…”[12] His family, however, learned from a Philippine Consular official that there were orders from Ministry of Foreign Affairs not to issue any passports for them. At that time, their visas had expired and their renewal had been denied. They therefore formulated a plan for Aquino to fly alone (to attract less attention), with the rest of the family to follow him after two weeks. Despite the government’s ban on issuing him a passport, Aquino acquired one with the help of Rashid Lucman, a former Mindanao legislator and founder of the Bangsamoro Liberation Front, a Moro separatist group against Marcos. It carried the alias Marcial Bonifacio (Marcial for martial law and Bonifacio for Fort Bonifacio, his erstwhile prison).[13] He eventually obtained a legitimate passport from a sympathizer working in a Philippine consulate through the help of Roque R. Ablan Jr, then a Congressman. The Marcos government warned all international airlines that they would be denied landing rights and forced to return if they tried to fly Aquino to the Philippines. Aquino insisted that it was his natural right as a citizen to come back to his homeland, and that no government could prevent him from doing so. He left Logan International Airport on August 13, 1983, took a circuitous route home from Boston, via Los Angeles to Singapore. In Singapore, then Tunku Ibrahim Ismail of Johor met Aquino upon his arrival in Singapore and later brought him to Johor to meet with other Malaysian leaders.[14] Once in Johor, Aquino met up with Tunku Ibrahim’s father, Sultan Iskandar, who was a close friend to Aquino.[15]

He then left for Hong Kong and on to Taipei. He had chosen Taipei as the final stopover when he learned the Philippines had severed diplomatic ties with the Republic of China (Taiwan). This made him feel more secure; the Taiwan government could pretend they were not aware of his presence. There would also be a couple of Taiwanese friends accompanying him. From Taipei he flew to Manila on then Taiwan’s flag carrier China Airlines Flight 811.[citation needed]

Marcos wanted Aquino to stay out of politics, however Aquino asserted his willingness to suffer the consequences declaring, “the Filipino is worth dying for.”[16] He wished to express an earnest plea for Marcos to step down, for a peaceful regime change and a return to democratic institutions. Anticipating the worst, at an interview in his suite at the Taipei Grand Hotel, he revealed that he would be wearing a bullet-proof vest, but he also said that “it’s only good for the body, but for the head there’s nothing else we can do.” Sensing his own doom, he told the journalists accompanying him on the flight, “You have to be ready with your hand camera because this action can become very fast. In a matter of 3 or 4 minutes it could be all over, and I may not be able to talk to you again after this.”[17] In his last formal statement that he wasn’t able to deliver, he said, “I have returned to join the ranks of those struggling to restore our rights and freedom through violence. I seek no confrontation.”

Assassination

The aftermath of Aquino’s assassination

Aquino was assassinated on August 21, 1983, when he was shot in the head after returning to the country. At the time, bodyguards were assigned to him by the Marcos government. A subsequent investigation produced controversy but no definitive results. After the Marcos government was overthrown, another investigation found sixteen defendants guilty. They were all sentenced to life in prison. Some were released over the years, the last ones in March 2009.[18]

Another man present at the airport tarmac, Rolando Galman, was shot dead shortly after Aquino was killed. The Marcos government claimed Galman was the trigger man in Aquino’s assassination.

Funeral

Sen. Ninoy Aquino’s grave (right) is next to his wife Corazon Aquino‘s (left) at the Manila Memorial Park in Parañaque, Philippines.

Aquino’s body lay in state in a glass coffin. No effort was made to disguise a bullet wound that had disfigured his face. In an interview with Aquino’s mother, Aurora, she told the funeral parlor not to apply makeup nor embalm her son, to see “what they did to my son”. Thousands of supporters flocked to see the bloodied body of Aquino, which took place at the Aquino household in Times St., Quezon City for nine days. Aquino’s wife, Corazon Aquino, and children Ballsy, Pinky, Viel, Noynoy and Kris arrived the day after the assassination. Aquino’s funeral procession on August 31 lasted from 9 a.m., when his funeral mass was held at Santo Domingo Church in Santa Mesa Heights, Quezon City, with the Cardinal Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Sin officiating, to 9 p.m., when his body was interred at the Manila Memorial Park. More than two million people lined the streets during the procession which was aired by the Church-sponsored Radio Veritas, the only station to do so. The procession reached Rizal Park, where the Philippine flag was brought to half-staff.[citation needed]

Jovito Salonga, then head of the Liberal Party, said about Aquino:

Ninoy was getting impatient in Boston, he felt isolated by the flow of events in the Philippines. In early 1983, Marcos was seriously ailing, the Philippine economy was just as rapidly declining, and insurgency was becoming a serious problem. Ninoy thought that by coming home he might be able to persuade Marcos to restore democracy and somehow revitalize the Liberal Party.[19]

and called him “the greatest president we never had”[19]

Legacy

In Senator Aquino’s honor, the Manila International Airport (MIA) where he was assassinated was renamed Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) and his image is printed on the 500-peso bill. August 21, the anniversary of his death, is Ninoy Aquino Day, an annual public holiday in the Philippines.[20] Several monuments were built in his honor. Most renowned is the bronze memorial in Makati City near the Philippine Stock Exchange, which has become a popular venue for anti-government rallies and large demonstrations. Another bronze statue is in front of the Municipal Building of Concepcion, Tarlac.[citation needed]

Although Aquino was recognized as the most prominent and most dynamic opposition leader of his generation, in the years prior to martial law he was regarded by many as being a representative of the entrenched familial elite which to this day dominates Philippine politics. While atypically telegenic and uncommonly articulate, he had his share of detractors and was not known to be immune to ambitions and excesses of the ruling political class.[citation needed] However, during his seven years and seven months imprisoned as a political prisoner of Marcos, Aquino read the book Born Again by convicted Watergate conspirator Charles Colson and it inspired him to a religious awakening.[21]

As a result, the remainder of his personal and political life had a distinct spiritual sheen. He emerged as a contemporary counterpart of Jose Rizal, who was among the world’s earliest proponents of the use of non-violence to combat a repressive regime. Some remained skeptical of Aquino’s redirected spiritual focus, but it ultimately had an effect on his wife’s political career. While some may question the prominence given Aquino in Philippine history, it was his assassination that was pivotal to the downfall of a despotic ruler and the eventual restoration of democracy in the Philippines.[citation needed]

Personal life

On October 11, 1954, he married Corazon “Cory” Sumulong Cojuangco, with whom he had five children (four daughters and a son):[citation needed]

  • Maria Elena Aquino-Cruz (Ballsy, born August 18, 1955), married to Eldon Cruz, sons Justin Benigno “Jiggy” Cruz and Eldon “Jonty” Cruz, Jr.
  • Aurora Corazon Aquino-Abellada (Pinky, born December 27, 1957), married to Manuel Abellada, son Miguel Abellada, daughter Nina Abellada
  • Benigno Simeon Aquino III (Noynoy, born February 8, 1960), the 15th and current President of the Philippines
  • Victoria Elisa Aquino-Dee (Viel, born October 27, 1961), married to Joseph Dee, son Francis “Kiko” Dee, daughter Jacinta Patricia “Jia” Dee
  • Kristina Bernadette Aquino (Kris, born February 14, 1971), married to James Yap (2005–2010), sons Joshua Philip “Josh” Aquino Salvador and James “Baby James/Bimby” Aquino Yap, Jr.

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Lord God the father and creator of heaven and earth give your hand to Sec. Jesse Robredo and to the pilots of airplane for their safety and hopefully the rescue team they will found alive and safe. You are the most powerful in the world and nothing impossible to you. save the life of the pilots and the dilg sec. We pray in the name of Jesus your son. Amen.

Divers searching depths of up to 285 feet for DILG Sec. Jesse Robredo and to the Pilots of airplane. Divers searching for the plane of DILG Secretary Jesse Robredo are probing depths of up to 285 feet, and face a host of dangers from diving that deep. Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas, who has been posting updates on the fruitless search so far, says that divers are searching in waters from 131 to 285 feet, and are being advised not to stay underwater more than 10 minutes to avoid nitrogen narcosis.

“Search area has depths of 40 to 87 meters. Human Scuba can only do 10 minutes at 40 meters (131 feet) before nitro narcosis,” Roxas tweeted Sunday morning, referring to a condition in which divers experience an effect akin to tipsiness from alcohol. The diver’s judgment is imparied, endangering himself and any dive companions.

In fact, according to experienced divers contacted by GMA News Online, divers can stay in water that deep for as long as 30 minutes with the right equipment and training.

“You cannot dive that deep with just air, you need mixed gases,” says dive instructor Chen Mencias.

Technical diver Dave Dy, who is certified to explore shipwrecks, says ten minutes do not give a diver much time to search, and advises that the scuba divers involved in the search breathe mixed gases and bring multiple tanks to enable a longer time underwater and increase the chances of finding the plane fast. But deep-water diving takes specialized training.

“It is possible to get out of deep water fast and safely using a blend of gases (in the scuba tank),” says Dy. “But the deeper one dives, the greater the chance of narcosis.”

A diver who dives that deep risks not only narcosis but bends or decompression sickness, which can cause paralysis or death, according to Dy.

Compression divers, or local fisherfolk who use improvised equipment to stay underwater for long periods of time, were reported to be assisting in the search on Saturday. “That’s even  more dangerous,” says Dy.

Most Filipino divers use feet as a unit of measurement when referring to depth.

Aside from Robredo, the two others missing are veteran pilot and flight instructor Jessup Bahinting and his Nepali co-pilot Kshitiz Chand. Bahinting is also the chief executive officer of the Mactan-based aircraft rental company and flying school Aviatour Air, which owns the plane that crashed. According to Chand’s Facebook page, he graduated from Aviatour Flight School in 2011 and identified himself as a commercial pilot.

Growing search and rescue effort

Roxas earlier tweeted that sonar equipment from Cebu was deployed to help in the search.
According to an NDRRMC report, the Coast Guard is conducting search and rescue operations with five Special Operations Group personnel with diving equipment, a search and rescue vessel with Navy medical personnel, and a helicopter.Naval Forces Southern Luzon also deployed two patrol gunboats for the search and rescue effort. The Philippine Red Cross, local divers, medical teams from LGUs, Bantay Dagat volunteers, and Philippine Navy all responded to the incident.

The US Navy has also offered the services of a Fleet Survey Team, composed of hydrographers who can collect and analyze ocean data in the area to assist in the search.

A portion of the right wing of the Piper Seneca four-seater was found Saturday evening. The wings of the plane contain the fuel tanks, so earlier reports that a fuel tank was discovered by fishermen Saturday night could  be referring to the same debris. - Howie Severino/Carmela Guanzon Lapeña, GMA News

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Happy Eid’l Fitr

“Hari Raya” redirects here. For the sacrifice festival which is also known as “Hari Raya” in several countries, see Eid al-Adha.

Eid-ul-Fitr, “Eid-ul-fitr”, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr (Arabic: ‎عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiṭr), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day (a Muslim is not permitted to fast that day), but it is usually celebrated for 3 days. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fiṭr means “breaking the fast”. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal. This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two raka’ah (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (Jama’at) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allahu Akbar” [God is Great]), three of them in the beginning of the first raka’ah and three of them just before ruku’ in the second raka’ah in the Hanafi school. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard (obligatory), Mustahabb (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Qur’an, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before doing the Eid prayer.

Eid ul-Fitr goes by various names around the world, including:

Idul Fitri, Hari Lebaran (Indonesia); Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Lebaran, Aidilfitri (Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei); Wakas ng Ramadan, Hari Raya Puasa (Philippines); Nonbu Perunaal (Tamil) Riyoyo, Riyayan, Rozar Eid (Bengali), Ngaidul Fitri (Javanese); Boboran Siyam (Sundanese); Uroë Raya Puasa (Acehnese); Rojar Eid (Bangladesh); Ramazan Bayramı, Şeker Bayramı, Küçük Bayram (Turkish); Ураза байрам, Uraza bayram (Tatar); Orozo Mayram (Kyrgyz); Rozi Heyt (Uyghur); Eid Nimaz (Sindhi); Korite (Senegal); Id (Uganda); Sallah (Hausa); Kochnay hi supAkhtar (کوچنی اختر) (Pashto); Eid-e Sa’eed-e Fitr (The Mirthful Festival of Fitr, Persian); Choti Eid (Urdu); Meethi Eid (Urdu); Cheriya Perunnal (Malayalam); Ramazanski bajram (Bosnian); Bajram (Albanian); Cejna Remezanê (Kurdish); Ramazanski bajram (Croatian); Рамазански бајрам (Serbian); Рамазан Байрам (Bulgarian); Ciid Yare (Somali); Id al-Fater (Ethiopia); Oraza baýramy (Turkmen); Suikerfeest (Dutch).

Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, there is mention of Eid festivals as well as some others among the Arabs. The Israelites had festivals as well, but as is evident from the Old Testament and other scriptures, these festivals related more to commemorating certain days of their history.

Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims undergo a period of fasting.

According to certain traditions, these festivals were initiated in Madinah after the flight of Muhammad from Mecca. Anas reports:

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-fitr and Eid al-adha

For Muslims, both the festivals of Eid al-fitr and Eid al-adha are occasions of showing gratitude to God and remembering him, and are an occasion of entertainment. ‘A’ishah narrates that when on an Eid day her father Abu Bakrstopped young girls from singing, Muhammad said: Abu Bakr! [Let them sing]; every nation has an ‘id and [this day] is our Eid.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated for one, two or three days. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘īd (“Happy Eid”). In addition, many countries have their own greetings in the local language – in Turkey, for example, a typical saying might be Bayramınız kutlu olsun or “May your Bayram – Eid – be blessed.” Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences with others or animosities that may have occurred during the year.

Typically, Muslims wake up early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad clean their teeth with a toothbrush, take a shower before prayers, put on new clothes (or the best available), and apply perfume.[6]

It is forbidden to fast on the Day of Eid.[7] It is customary to acknowledge this with a small sweet breakfast, preferably of the date fruit, before attending a special Eid prayer (known as salaat).

As an obligatory act of charity, money is paid to the poor and the needy (Arabic: Sadaqat-ul-fitr) before performing the ‘Eid prayer:[8]

  • To show happiness
  • To give as much charity as is possible
  • To pray Fajr in the local Masjid
  • To go early for Eid salaat
  • To read the takbirat in an open field.
  • Go to the Eid prayer on foot
  • Muslims recite the following incantation in a low voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar. Lā ilāha illà l-Lāh wal-Lāhu akbar, Allahu akbar walil-Lāhi l-ḥamd. Recitation ceases when they get to the place of Eid or once the Imam commences activities.[9]
  • Muslims are recommended to use separate routes to and from the prayer grounds.[10]

The Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, etc. or at mosques. No call to prayer is given for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two units of prayer with an additional six incantations. The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon and then a supplication asking for God’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The sermon also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat.[11] Listening to the sermon at Eid is a requirement i.e. while the sermon is being delivered; it is prohibited to talk, walk about or offer prayer.[12] After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls.

Eid gifts, known as Eidi, are frequently given at eid to children and immediate relatives.

Islamic tradition

Many Muslims often bring prayer rugs to the Mosque on Eid ul-Fitr.

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community; e.g., empathy for the poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, patience etc. Fasting is also believed by some scholars to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm. It also teaches a Muslim to stay away from worldly desires and to focus entirely on the Lord and thank him for his blessings. It is a rejuvenation of the religion and it creates a stronger bond between the Muslim and his Lord. After the end of Ramadan, is a big celebration of Eid.[13]

Practices by country

Africa

Further information: Islam in Africa

In Africa, Eid is celebrated by Muslims in various areas, particularly in North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, where Islam is adhered to by many.

Tunisia

Tunisia sees three to four days of celebration, with only 2 days as a national holiday (1st Eid and second Eid), with preparations starting several days earlier. Special biscuits are made to give to friends and relatives on the day, including “Baklawa” (Baklava) and several kinds of “ka’ak“. Men will go to the mosque early in the morning, while the women will either go with them or stay in and prepare for the celebration by putting together new outfits and toys for their children, as well as a big family lunch generally held at one of the parents’ homes. During the daylight hours, there may be dancing and music, but the feasting lasts all day long, and many gifts are a large part of tradition. Also, food is the centre of this holiday, so this is one of the hightlights of the evening.

Different members of a family visit each others. Usually, children accompany their father and visit aunts, uncles, grand parents and friends to congratulate them on the Eid. They will be offered drinks and special cookies. Women will stay at home with some of the children in order to welcome members of the family that come to visit and congratulate for the eid.

Egypt

Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day feast and an official holiday in Egypt with vacations for schools, universities and government offices. Some stores and restaurants are also closed during Eid.

The Eid day starts with a small snack followed by Eid prayers in congregation attended by men, women and children in which the sermon reminds Egyptians of the virtues and good deeds they should do unto others, even strangers, during Eid and throughout the year.

Afterwards, neighbours, friends and relatives start greeting one another. The most common greeting is “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid). Family visits are considered a must on the first day of the Eid, so they have the other two days to enjoy by going to parks, cinemas, theatres or the beaches. Some like to go on tours or a Nile cruise, but Sharm El Sheikh is also considered a favorite spot for spending holidays in Egypt.

Children are normally given new clothes to wear throughout the Eid. Also, women (particularly mothers, wives, sisters and daughters) are commonly given special gifts by their loved ones. It is customary for children to also receive a Eid-ey-yah from their adult relatives. This is a small sum of money that the children receive and is used to spend on all their activities throughout the Eid. Children will wear their new clothes and go out to amusement parks, gardens or public courtyards based on how much their Eidyah affords. The amusement parks can range from the huge ones on the outskirts of Cairo-Nile, Felucca Nile rides is one common feature of Eid celebration in Egyptian villages, towns and cities.

The families gatherings involve cooking and eating all kinds of Egyptian food like Fata, but the item most associated with Eid al-Fitr are Kahk (singular = Kahka), which are cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar. Egyptians either bake it at home or buy it in the bakery. Thus, a bakery crowded in the last few days of Ramadan with Kahk buyers is a common scene. TV in Egypt celebrates Eid too, with a continuous marathon of movies as well as programs featuring live interviews from all over Egypt of both public figures and everyday citizens, sharing their Eid celebrations.

For a lot of families from working neighborhoods, the Eid celebration also means small mobile neighborhood rides, much like a neighborhood carnival. In a lot of neighborhood courtyards, kids also gather around a storyteller, a puppeteer or a magician mesmerized by Egyptian folktales or by a grownup’s sleight of hand. It is also customary for kids to rent decorated bikes to ride around town.

Egyptians like to celebrate with others so the streets are always crowded during the days and nights of Eid.[14]

Somalia

In Somalia and other Islamic parts of the Horn region, Eid ul-Fitr is observed by the Muslim communities. Celebrations marking the event are typically accompanied by elaborate banquets, where special dishes such as xalwo (halwo or halva) are served.[15]

South Africa

In Cape Town, hundreds of Muslims will gather at Green Point in the evening of the last day of Ramadan each year for the sighting of the moon. The gathering brings together people from all walks of life, and everyone comes with something to share with others at the time of breaking the fast. The Maghrib (sunset) prayer is then performed in congregation and the formal moon-sighting results are announced thereafter.[16]

The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by first attending the mosque in the morning for Eid prayer. This is followed by visiting relatives and neighbours. Children receive presents and money from elder members of the family, relatives and neighbours. Most people wear new clothes with bright colours, while biscuits, cakes, samosas, pies and tarts are presented to visitors as treats. Lunch is usually served in family groups. It is also customary to exchange gifts.

Nigeria

A group of Muslim drummers celebrate during Eid ul-Fitr.

Nigeria is officially a secular country populated by large numbers of Muslims and Christians. Eid is popularly known as “Small Sallah” in Nigeria and people generally greet each other with the traditional greeting: “Barka Da Sallah,” which means “Greetings on Sallah” in the Hausa language. Muslims observe their Eid prayers at designated praying grounds before heading home to partake in festive meals, generally prepared by the women of the household. The Federal holiday typically lasts for two days in Nigeria.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great pomp in Saudi Arabia. Saudis will decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends. The whole country engages in untainted revelry during Eid. The innumerable Saudi Arabia festivals & events include the Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha festivals.

Eid festivities in Saudi Arabia may vary culturally depending on the region, but one common thread in all celebrations is that the generosity and hospitable traditions of the Saudi people become quite apparent during Eid. First, it is common Saudi tradition for families to gather at the patriarchal home after the Eid prayers. Before the special Eid meal is served, young children will line up in front of each adult family member who dispenses Riyals (Saudi currency) to the children. Family members will also typically have a time where they will pass out gift bags to the children. These bags are often beautifully decorated and contain candies and toys.

Even many shopkeepers will show their generosity at Eid providing free Eid gifts with each purchase. For example, during Eid, many of the chocolate shops will give each customer who buys a selection of candies a free crystal candy dish with their purchase.

In the spirit of Eid, many Saudis go out of their way to show their kindness and generosity. It is common for even complete strangers to greet one another at random, even by occupants of vehicles waiting at stop lights. Sometimes even toys and gifts will be given to children by complete strangers.

It is also traditional in some areas for Saudi men to go and buy large quantities of rice and other staples and then leave them anonymously at the doors of those who are less-fortunate. Also, in some areas in the middle of Saudi Arabia, such as Al Qassim, it’s a common tradition that during Eid’s morning and after the Eid prayer people will put large rugs on one of streets of their neighborhood and each household will prepare a large meal where these meals will be shared by all neighbours, it’s also a common practice that people will swap places to try more than one kind of meal.

Turkey

Terminology

In Turkey, nation-wide celebrated holidays are referred to as bayram, and Eid ul-Fitr is referred to as both Şeker Bayramı (“Bayram of Sweets”) and Ramazan Bayramı (“Ramadan Bayram”).

Celebration

Traditional Bayram wishes from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, stating “Let us love, Let us be loved”, in the form of mahya lights stretched across the minarets of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

It is a public holiday, where schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire three-day period of the celebrations. The celebrations of this bayram are infused with national traditions. It is customary for people to greet one another with Bayramınız kutlu olsun (“May your bayram be blessed”[17]) or Bayramınız mübarek olsun (“May your bayram be blessed”). Mutlu Bayramlar (“Happy Bayram“) is an alternative phrase for celebrating this bayram. It is a time for people to attend prayer services, put on their best clothes (referred to as bayramlık, often purchased just for the occasion), visit all their loved ones (such as relatives, neighbours, and friends), and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. The first day of the bayram is generally regarded as the most important, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighbourhood mosques for the special bayram prayer.

It is regarded as especially important to honour elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one’s forehead while wishing them bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighbourhood, door to door, and wish everyone a “Happy Bayram,” for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door, similar to the Halloween custom in the United States.

Municipalities all around the country organize fund-raising events for the poor, in addition to public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre and even performances by the Mehter – a Janissary Band founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Afghanistan

In the predominantly Sunni Muslim culture of Afghanistan, Eid ul-Fitr holds significant importance and is celebrated widely for three days. The most common greeting is Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid). This Eid among the Pashto-speaking community is called Kochnai Akhtar.

Afghans start preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival up to ten days prior by cleaning up their homes. The practice is called Khana Takani in Dari. Afghans visit their local bazaars to buy new clothes, sweets and snacks. Special treats served to guests during the festivities during Eid are: Jelabi (Jalebi), Shor-Nakhod (made with chickpeas), and Cake wa Kolcha (a simple cake, similar to pound cake).

On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, Afghans will first offer their Eid prayers and then gather in their homes with their families, greeting one another by saying “Eid Mubarak” and usually adding “Eidet Mobarak Roza wa Namazet Qabool Dakhel Hajiha wa Ghaziha,” which means “Happy Eid to you; may your fasting and prayers be accepted by God, and may you be counted among those who will go to the Hajj-pilgrimage.” Family elders will give money and gifts to children. It is also common practice to visit families and friends, which may be difficult to do at other times of the year. Children walk from home to home saying “Khala Eidet Mubarak” (“aunt happy Eid”), and they receive cookies or Pala.

South Asia

A panorama in 12 folds showing a fabulous Eid ul-Fitr procession by Muslims in the Mughal Empire.

In Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, the night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, “Night of the Moon.” Muslims in these countries will often visit bazaars and shopping malls with their families for Eid shopping. Women, especially younger girls, will often apply the traditional Mehndi, or henna, on their hands and feet and wear colourful bangles.

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace. Gifts are frequently given — new clothes are part of the tradition — and it is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidi) by their elders. It is common for children to offer salam to parents and adult relatives.

After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members. It is also common to visit neighbours, family members, specially senior relatives called Murubbis and to get together to share sweets, snacks and special meals including some special dishes that are prepared specifically on Eid. Special celebratory dishes in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh include sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted sweet vermicelli noodles with milk and dried fruit.[18] In Bangladesh, the dish is called shemai( Bengali: সেমাই ).

Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration, commonly applied during Eid ul-Fitr.

On Eid day before prayers, people distribute a charity locally known as fitra. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one’s annual savings, to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes.

In Bangladesh, Sholakia (Bengali: শোলাকিয়া) is a locality famous for its Eidgah where the largest congregation of Eid prayer of the country is held on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, the day of celebration after the fasting month of Ramadan.[19] Around 300,000 people from all over Bangladesh join the prayer on every Eid.[20]

In India, some popular places for Muslims to congregate to celebrate Eid at this time include the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow; in Kolkata there is a prayer held on Red Road. Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. It is common for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their good wishes. Eid is celebrated grandly in the city of Hyderabad which has rich Islamic Heritage. Hyderabadi haleem a type of meat stew is a popular dish during the month of Ramadan, it takes centre stage and becomes the main course at Iftar(the breaking of the fast).

Southeast Asia

Eid is known in Indonesia as Idul Fitri (or more popular as Lebaran) and is a national holiday. Additionally, in Indonesia Idul Fitri has a legally mandated salary bonus for all employees, known as Tunjangan Hari Raya (THR) as enforced by Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration (“Kementerian Tenaga Kerja dan Transmigrasi”). The mandated amount of this salary bonus differs by region. For example, within the Jakarta region the THR bonus must be at least Rp not less than one month’s full salary paid in advance of Idul Fitri, in addition to the employee’s regular salary. Thus, Idul Fitri is also a paid holiday. Breaching or withholding THR is a very serious labour law infraction and punished severely, regardless of employer status or position.

In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Jawi: هاري راي عيدالفطري), Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya means ‘Celebration Day’. Idul Fitri is the biggest holiday in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; and one of the biggest in Singapore. Shopping malls and bazaars are usually filled with people to get things for Lebaran such as ; new clothes, shoes, sandals even food to serve days ahead of Idul Fitri, which creates a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country, along with traffic mayhem. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for the duration of the Lebaran festivities.

In Indonesia, it is common during this period for people to engage in “mudik” activity. It is an annual tradition that people in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, or elsewhere, travel to their hometowns or other cities to visit relatives, to request forgiveness, or just to celebrate Eid with the whole family. The government of Indonesia has prepared the transportation infrastructures to accommodate a huge amount of travellers by repairing damaged roads and bridges. However, the impact is still tremendous as millions of cars and motorcycles jam the roads and highways, causing kilometres of traffic jams each year.[21] Additionally, the wealthier classes often “escape” to local hotels, or went overseas to avoid not having domestic servants, drivers or sometimes, security personnel. Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian hotels have been particularly successful marketing lucrative Lebaran or Idul Fitri “escape package”.

One of the largest temporary human migrations globally, is the prevailing custom of the Lebaran where workers, particularly unskilled migrants labourers such as maids and construction labourers return to one’s home town or city to celebrate with their families and also to ask forgiveness from ones’ parents, in-laws and elders. This is known as mudik, pulang kampung or in Malaysian balik kampung (homecoming).

The night before Idul Fitri is filled with the sounds of many muezzin chanting the takbir in the mosques or musallahs. In many parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, especially in the rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (as known by Malay-Singaporeans) (oil lamps, similar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around homes. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol, opor, cookies, rendang, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Indo-Malay (and in the case of Malaysia, also Nyonya) delicacies are served during this day. The lively or alternatively very emotional devotional music blended with Qur’anic verses associated with Ramadan and Eid – known as Kaisidah or more correctly, Qasida – can be heard throughout the country. These are commonly performed by famous musicians, some of whom may be international stars, and televised nationwide.

It is common to greet people with “Selamat Idul Fitri” ( in Indonesia) or “Salam Aidilfitri” or “Selamat Hari Raya”(in Malaysia) which means “Happy Eid”. Muslims also greet one another with “mohon maaf lahir dan batin” in Indonesia and “maaf zahir dan batin” in Malaysia, which means “Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)”, because Idul Fitri is not only for celebrations but also a time for atonement: to ask for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Ketupat is a popular traditional celebrative dish for Eid ul-Fitr meal in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Southern Thailand.

It is customary for Muslim-Indonesians and Muslim-Malaysians to wear a traditional cultural clothing on Eid ul-Fitr. The Indonesian male outfit is known as baju koko: a collarless long or short-sleeve shirt with traditional embroidered designs with a “kilt” sarung of songket, ikat or similar woven, plaid-cloth. Alternatively, men may wear either Western-style business suits or more traditional loose-fitting trousers with colour-matched shirts, and either a peci hat or regional cultural headwear and songkok. The Malay variant (worn in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and parts of Indonesia (in parts of Sumatera and Kalimantan) is known as the Baju Melayu, shirt worn with a sarong known as kain samping or songket and a headwear known as songkok.

Traditional female dress is known as kebaya kurung. It consists of, normally, a loose-fitting blouse (which may be enhanced with brocade and embroidery), a long skirt both of which may be batik, or the sarung skirt made of batik, ikat or songket and either the jilbab (hijab) or its variant the stiffened krudung. Malaysian clothing is referred to as Baju Kurung and baju kebaya. It is a common practice however for the Muslim-Malaysians in Singapore to refer to the baju kurung in reference to the type of outfit, worn by men.

For non-Austronesian Muslims, or even non-Muslims they may don costumes of their respective culture and tradition, or wear Islamic clothes to show respect to their relatives’ or friends’ differing religious beliefs for the occasion. This is particularly common in Indonesia, where many families have close friends or relatives of differing faiths, namely Catholic, some Protestant, some Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim.

Rows of Pelita (oil lamps) which is used to illuminate homes and the streets during the season. Seen here in Muar, Johore

Once the prayer is completed, it is common for many Muslims in both Indonesia and Malaysia to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, they will clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter (sura) from the Qur’an and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done as a means to ask God to forgive both the dead and the living for their sins. The Javanese majority of Indonesia are known for their pre-Islamic Kejawen traditions of washing the headstone using scented water from the traditional terracotta water-jug, the kendi, and sprinkling hyacinth and jasmine over the graves.

In Indonesia there is a special ritual called halal bi-halal. During this, Muslim-Indonesians visit their elders, in the family, the neighbourhood, or their work, and show respect to them. They will also seek reconciliation (if needed), and preserve or restore harmonious relations.[22] The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. Idul Fitri is a very joyous day for children as the adults give them money, in colourful envelopes.

In Malaysia, specially in the major cities, people will take turns to set aside a time for open house when they stay at home to receive and entertain neighbours, family and other visitors. It is common to see non Muslims made welcome during Eid at these open houses. They also celebrate by lighting traditional bamboo cannon firecrackers known as meriam bambu Ramadhan; or in Malaysia as meriam buluh, using kerosene in large hollow bamboo tubes or Chinese imported crackers. The traditional bamboo cannon, meriam bambu, and fireworks are notoriously loud and can be very dangerous to operator, bystander and even nearby buildings. These are usually bamboo tubes 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 4–7 m (13–23 ft) long, filled with either: water and several hundred grams of calcium carbide, or heated kerosene, then ignited by match.

Celebrating with firecrackers in the early morning during Ramadan is now banned in many areas – though many rascals evade the law and disturb the neighbourhood.[citation needed]

In Malaysia, children will be given token sums of money, also known as “duit raya”, from their parents or elders.[23][24]

In the Philippines, Eid ul-Fitr, known to the Christian majority and other non-Muslims as “Wakás ng Ramadán” (“End of Ramadan”) or incorrectly as “Ramadan“, has been recognised by the Filipino Government as a regular holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177 and it is also according to Presidential Decree No. 1083, signed into law on November 13, 2002 – the only Christian country worldwide to have done so. This law was enacted in deference to the Filipino Muslim community and to promote peace and harmony among major religions in the Philippines. The first national commemoration of Eid ul-Fitr was on December 6, 2002, marked by prayers and celebrations by the Muslim community.

Other

Australia

In Australia, a predominantly non-Muslim, secular country, Muslims are able to practice their religion with great freedom. Most large companies allow for special religious holidays allowing Muslims to take a day off for Eid ul-Fitr. Areas where there are large (but not necessarily majority) Muslim populations have overflowing attendances at the mosque for the Eid ul-Fitr prayer and police frequently block off roads and divert traffic to cater for the prayer and subsequent festivities. Eid prayers are also held in open areas (playground, stadium) in some places.

In 1987, The Australian MEFF Consortium commenced the Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair[25] to celebrate Eid in Sydney, held shortly after Eid ul-Fitr. The festival has grown to now cater for tens of thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims and has included as guests Yusuf Islam, famous Australian footballer, Hazem El Masri, the then Governor-General of Australia, Michael Jeffery and the previous Premier of New South Wales, Kristina Keneally. This festival has now been replicated in cities all around Australia. The biggest Eid fair in Melbourne is held in Broadmeadows usually on the weekend following the Eid day. In Canberra, the capital of Australia, Eid Festival sponsored by Australian Federal Police (AFP) is held on the following Sunday after the Eid day. The festival includes stalls from different nations, cultutral program, and numerous entertaining rides for kids and adults.

Burma/Myanmar

Eid ul-Fitar lasts for only one day among Burmese Muslims, who call the day Eid Nei’ (Nei’=day) or Eid Ka Lay (Ka Lay=small) or Shai Mai Eid (Shai Mai=a meal of sweet vermicelli served with fried cashews, coconut shreds, raisins, and milk that is traditionally eaten by Burmese Muslims during Eid). Burmese Muslims predominantly follow the Hanafi school of jurisprudence in Sunni Islam.

During Ramadan, in the small towns and big villages with significant Muslim populations, Burmese Muslim youth organize singing teams called Jago (in Urdu and Hindi), which means “wake up.” Jago teams usually do not use musical instruments apart from the occasional use of harmonica mouth organs.[26] These youth will walk throughout the neighborhoods before sunrise to wake up the fellow Muslims for Suhoor (pre-dawn meal), which precludes the day of fasting.

The roving groups of singers will take the tunes of popular Hindi movie songs, replaced with Burmese lyrics and invocations about fasting, the do’s and don’ts of Islam and about the benefits of Salaat.[27] These songs could also be called Qawwali, which are popular in India and Pakistan. Sometimes these Jago groups will also visit Muslim homes on the Eid day, where they are welcomed with food and monetary donations for the team with Eidi or Duit Raya.

Although Eid ul-Fitr is not a public holidays in Burma, most employers have an understanding of the festival and are usually willing to accommodate days off for Muslim staff. Some may even take time off during office hours to visit with Muslim staff at their homes, usually accompanied by other non-Muslim coworkers. As there is no single Islamic authority in Burma to make official decisions on moon-sighting, it is sometimes difficult to reach consensus on the start and end of Ramadan. This often results in Eid being celebrated on different days in small towns and villages.

The Eid al-Adha “Festival of Sacrifice” or “Greater Eid” is a public holiday in Burma as this event falls annually on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (ذو الحجة) in the lunar Islamic calendar. Unlike Muslim countries that observe a three-day festival, Eid al-Adha is only observed on one day in Burma. During both Eids, the traditional greeting is merely the common Islamic greeting of Assalamualaikum, and Eid Mubarak is only seldom heard. The greeting is followed by placing the right hand on the forehead (as if giving a salute); there is no shaking of hands and rarely only includes a formal embrace.

Gifts and food are frequently given to the elder relatives and even to non-Muslim employers and government authorities. New clothes are traditionally given to family members and coworkers, but Burmese Muslims elders will give Eidi gifts to children. Children will receive at least token amounts of money, even from strangers, especially if they went around the neighborhoods in groups just to collect Eidi. It is common for children and young people to go around giving greetings of “salaam” to parents, elder relatives and other elders in the community. During Eid, Burmese Muslims ask forgiveness from parents and elders and themselves try to forgive and forget any misunderstandings that may have occurred amongst one other.

Sometimes Burmese Muslims pray or perform Eid salah (called Eid Namaz) at an Eidgah at in open spaces outdoors. Burmese Muslim women typically do not attend the mosque or join with the men at an Eidgah.

As Burmese Muslims are discouraged by the religious authorities from decorating their homes with lights, lamps or colorful bulbs, sending Eid cards, and more recently, sending e-cards through the internet, is fairly common. Children and adults are also urged not to celebrate the religious festival with fireworks firecrackers.

United States of America

Most Muslims in the United States offer the Eid prayer in big-city Islamic centers, convention halls or open parks. Muslims from different cultures with multi-national customs get together for prayers and celebrations. In some cities, prayers are done at multiple times to accommodate the large number of attendees. Generally, Muslims visit each other’s homes on Eid or hold large feasts in mosques or community halls.

During the weekend of the Eid week, many Muslims join big parties sponsored either by a community mosque or Islamic center or by a wealthy Muslim in the community. Children receive gifts, and all participants enjoy sweet, spicy and other flavorful delicacies. Many Muslims also donate money to those less fortunate. Sometimes, Muslims reserve amusement parks, skating rinks or other activity centers for an entire day of fun.

In New York City alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations are suspended. In Houston, Texas, the annual prayers are offered at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston, organized by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH).

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has issued several Eid postage stamps, across several years – starting in 2001 – honoring “two of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.” Eid stamps were released in 2001–2002, 2006–2009, and a Forever® stamp in 2011.[28][29][30][31]

Canada

For Eid ul-Fitr, just as in the United States, most Canadian Muslims will take a day off from work and go to prayers held in big-city mosques or Islamic centres, convention halls or sports arenas. Muslims from different cultures with multi-national customs get together for prayers and celebrations. In the larger cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, congregational prayers may be done at multiple times to accommodate the large number of attendees. Many Muslims will visit each other’s homes on the Eid day or the days following to attend designated “open houses” in which everyone is welcome to visit. Children receive gifts or money, and sweets and tasty dishes are served throughout the day. Smaller Muslim communities, particularly in the rural areas, hold other communal gatherings in mosques or rented community halls. Muslims also donate money or contribute to their local food banks on this day for those who are less fortunate.

In many Canadian communities, Muslim organizations and mosques also hold large Eid parties that are open to the entire Muslim community. Some groups may reserve amusement parks or other activity centers for an entire day of fun and celebration, while others may hold public Eid parties in mosques as a means of outreach to the larger non-Muslim society.

Students from Canadian schools usually take 2–3 days off, due to the fact that Eid is a major holiday in the Islamic culture.

United Kingdom

Although Eid ul-Fitr is not a recognised public holiday in the United Kingdom, many Muslims do attend the morning prayer. In large ethnically Muslim areas, schools and local businesses often grant exemptions to the Muslim community in consideration of this holiday, allowing them to take days off.

During the morning, men of South Asian descent usually wear a thawb, jubba and sherwani, and women usually wear a salwar kameez. They will proceed to a local mosque for the Eid prayers, after which people greet each other. Some men may go to a local cemetery after Eid prayers to remember the deceased and pray for them. When they return home they will congratulate family, friends, and other Muslims and visit relatives across the city. They may also cook traditional food and sweets for their relatives. Bengali dishes and Pakistani dishes such as samosas, Siweya, Rice and Handesh, Noonor Bora, and Fulab are particularly popular within those communities.

China

See also: Islam in China

An ethnic Hui family celebrating Eid ul-Fitr in Ningxia

In the People’s Republic of China, out of 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by at least 10 ethnic groups that are predominantly Muslim. These groups are said to total 18 million according to official statistics, but some observers say the actual number may be much higher. It is also a public holiday in China in certain regions, including two Province Prefecture Level regions, Ningxia and Xinjiang. All residents in these areas, regardless of religion, are entitled to either a one-day or three-day official holiday. Outside the Muslim-majority regions, only Muslims are entitled to a one-day holiday. In Xinjiang province, Eid ul-Fitr is even celebrated by Han Chinese population during which holiday supplies of mutton, lamb and beef are distributed to households as part of welfare program funded by government agencies, public and private institutions, and businesses.

In Yunnan province, Muslim populations are spread throughout the region. On Eid ul-Fitr, however, some devotees may travel to Sayyid ‘Ajjal‘s grave after their communal prayers. There, they will conduct readings from the Qur’an and clean the tomb, reminiscent of the historic annual Chinese Qingming festival, in which people go their ancestors’ graves, sweep and clean the area and make food offerings.

Finally the accomplishments of the Sayyid ‘Ajall will be related in story form, concluded by a special prayer service to honor the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed during the Qing Dynasty, and the hundreds killed during the Cultural Revolution.[32]

Fiji

Muslims comprise around 7% (63,000 people) of the total population of Fiji, a small tropical island-nation north east of Australia. The Islamic community mostly consists of people of Indian origin, who were brought to the islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries there are also a few hundred indigenous Fijian Muslims (Melanesians).

The day of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated in Fiji with Muslim men attending the mosque for Eid prayer. (Women do not go to the mosques for prayers in most parts of Fiji). This is followed by visiting relatives and neighbors. Children receive presents and money from elder members of the family, relatives and neighbors. Most Muslims will wear new clothes on this day, and serve samai, a dish of fine, sweet vermicelli noodles mixed in warm milk. This is usually accompanied by samosas, curried chicken and beef as well as sweets and Indian snacks for guests visiting throughout the day.

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace.

Mauritius

Mauritius is a diverse island nation where several religions live together in relative harmony. Muslims make up about 16.6% of the total population and Eid is one of the island’s national holidays. Eid itself is celebrated across the island, with the preparation of a feast, which typically includes the “briyani”. Men accomplish their Eid prayer at the local mosques or at the Eid Gah. Cultural shows are usually performed in the days that follow Eid.

In the Gregorian calendar

Although the date of Eid ul-Fitr is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if the Eid falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second Eid in the last week of the same Gregorian calendar year. The Gregorian date may vary between countries depending on the local sightability of the new moon. Some expatriate Muslim communities follow the dates as determined for their home country, while others follow the local dates of their country of residence. In the Islamic calendar, a new day, and therefore also Eid ul-Fitr, begins at sunset.

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Let’s say it’s 6.15pm and you’re going home (alone of course),
after an unusually hard day on the job. You’re really tired, upset and frustrated. Suddenly you start experiencing severe pain in your chest that starts to drag out into your arm and up into your jaw. You are only about five miles from the hospital nearest your home. Unfortunately you don’t know if you’ll be able to make it that far. You have been trained in CPR, but the guy that taught the course did not tell you how to perform it on yourself..!!

NOW HOW TO SURVIVE A HEART ATTACK WHEN ALONE..

Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack, without help, the person whose heart is beating improperly and who begins to feel faint, has only about 10 seconds left before losing consciousness.
However, these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously.
A deep breath should be taken before each cough, and the cough must be deep and prolonged, as when producing sputum from deep inside the chest.
A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again.
Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating.
The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

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          Schools always occupy a permanent & unchallenged place in Filipino Culture. A democratic country like our required a literate, socially responsible & useful citizenry. Thus, our government through the Department of education has provided a comprehensive school program that is both constitutionally sound and educationally desirable.

              The Cuyo Central School Stoop up to this day as a symbol of that education. One might wonder when formal education started in this remote but lovely Island of ours which they refer in the past as a paradise.

                        Before the Spaniards came to Cuyo religious instruction was given . The Cuyunos learned the christian Doctrine, Sacred songs or music, Prayers required for confession & communion

                           When the American came to Philippines in 1898, they re-opened schools. They established the First Primary in 1901 and intermediate in 1904. Here in Cuyo the First Public School was established four years later in 1905 in the Poblacion, in a vacant lot located in Barangay Tenga-tenga (Centro) near the Roman Catholic Church. This lot is owned by the municipal government with Lot No. 2754 & with an area of 7,994 sq. meters.  According to the municipal government this lot was really reserved for school site & so school building were constructed in this place since the coming of the Americans. Since there were no qualified Filipino teacher during that time Americans were the first members but they are few in number.

           As history tell us, the first teachers of English were the Army men & then the U.S. Government sent a group professionally trained American Teachers called “Thomasites” because they came aboard the US Army transport Thomas.

            Here in Cuyo, they first taught the cuyunos the 3R’s in the afternoon & evening. This trained cuyunos. then imparted to the pupils the following morning what they’ve learned from the Americans. After few years was no grade assignment given to the pupils. After few years children who can reach their right ear were assigned to Grade 1. The following year said Grade I pupils were promoted to Grade II  & so on until they have completed Grade VI. The first school head during that time was Mr. Dawnson, (Administrators)

                 To the present day, Cuyo Central School still exist as the seat of education not only of the young boys & girls of Cuyo but to the strangers like the visayans, cebuanos, pampangos, antiquenos , and etc. who prefer to stay in our lovely island for good. We hope this school which is the Alma Mater of our high government officials & successful Cuyunos will stand the test of time to continue its missions of preventing illiteracy & preserving cuyuno Culture.

1905 – Mr. Dawnson

1912 – Mr. Islbert

             Mr. Rufino Ponce de Leon

             Mr. Javier Ponce de Leon

            Mr. Francisco Gabayan

1926 – 1927 – Mrs. Salvacion de Veyra

1927 – 1928 – Mr. Perpetero Nafarrete

1928 – 1932 – Mr. ILdefonso Romantico

1932 – 1935 – Mr. Rufino Recardo

1936 – Mr. Rufo Coronado

1945 – 1952 – Mr. Carlos Fernandez

1952 – 1961 – Mr. Vicente T. Belen Sr.

1961 – 1964 – Mrs. Soledad A Baaco

1964 – 1970 – Mr. Jose T. Fernandez  Jr. – Principal

1970 – 1972 – Mr. Manuel D. Contreras – Principal

1972 – 1973 – Mr. Jose T. Fernandez Jr. – Principal

1973 – 1976 – Ms. Alicia D. Buenvenida – TIC

1976 – 1984 – Mrs. Guadalupe P. Fernandez _TIC

1984 – 1987 – Mrs. Nelda P. Dacuan – TIC

1987 – 1989 – Mrs. Visitacion M. Arcinas – Principal

1989 – 1998 – Mr. Necerato V. Sabando Sr. – Principal

1998 – 2000 – Mr. Rodolfo V. Tabang – Principal

2000 – 2003 – Mr. Redentor B. Sabando – Head teacher

2003 – 2011 – Mr. Redentor B. Sabando – Coor. Principal

2011 – to date . Mrs. Estelita D. Palay

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The Philippines began a massive cleanup on Thursday after floods swept the capital and nearby provinces, forcing residents to wade through shoulder-deep waters in some places after nearly two weeks of monsoon rains killed over 70 people.

Power, water and communications services were restored as floodwaters started to recede, allowing many to return home to fix their houses. Nearly 300,000 people remained in temporary shelters, disaster officials said.

As per data from the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC), the death toll from Typhoon Gener stood at 53 while the toll from the southwest monsoon was placed at 19.

“It’s getting better in the capital region,” Susana Cruz, regional head of the civil defence office, told reporters. “We’re still distributing food and potable water to the affected communities, but we’re also helping local government units in their cleanup efforts.”
Schools remained shut for the third day to house displaced families. Public and private offices reopened.
The monsoon rains, which dumped about 300 mm (12 inches), or three times the daily average, from late Monday to Tuesday, were the heaviest in three years, the weather bureau said, as a typhoon lashed east China where hundreds of thousands of people had been evacuated in advance.
The bureau has lifted rainfall alerts, forecasting light to intermittent showers for the next 12-24 hours. By mid-day, the sun was up for the first time in weeks.
President Benigno Aquino III toured temporary shelter areas and helped distribute rations. He said shanty towns along river banks and coastal areas would be dismantled and relocated to safer ground.
Outside Manila, home to 12 million people, many of them living in slum conditions, wide areas of the rice-producing plains of the northern Luzon island remained under waist-to-neck-deep water, forcing residents to move around in canoes and on makeshift rafts.
Enterprising villagers were building small boats to make a living. “We’ll have nothing to eat if I don’t work,” Eduardo Ortega said, as he transported people across flooded areas.
“We have run out of money, we have run out of food. We haven’t received any relief goods.”
Six provinces near Manila were placed under a state of calamity, including the key rice-growing provinces of Bataan, Bulacan and Pampanga.
The Agriculture Deparment estimated the damage so far to crops, mainly rice, at 167.9 million pesos ($4.02 million). — Reuters with GMA News

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The Chinese embassy on Wednesday was “saddened” by the torrential rains that devastated Metro Manila and several provinces in Luzon.
“I am saddened by the big losses that the torrential rains have brought about. The Chinese people are also fighting against the heavy rains and inundation which devastate many parts of China, so my hearts and thoughts are with the homeless and victims,” embassy spokesperson Zhang Hua said in an e-mail sent to the media.
The expression of sympathy extended by Zhang is a respite from the months-long exchange of scathing messages between the Philippines and China over disputes in the resource-rich West Philippine Sea.
Manila and Beijing have been at odds over the Scarborough Shoal in the West Philippine Sea, which the two states are both claiming.
This latest Chinese statement was prompted by the Tuesday flooding in Metro Manila and Luzon provinces. The calamity paralyzed the capital and killed at least 11 people.
The massive downpour continued its onslaught Wednesday and caused flashfloods and landslides.
Thousands of families are taking shelter in scores of evacuation centers.
The flooding was the worst to hit the National Capital Region since Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana) in 2009 which left more than 400 people dead and rendered thousands homeless.
ASEAN
Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Secretary General Surin Pitsuwan also expressed his sympathies over the massive flooding, saying ASEAN stands ready to provide assistance if needed.
“As we celebrate the ASEAN Day today, August 8, we commemorate what brings us together as a regional community. And as a regional community, we also turn our concern towards the Philippines whose people are currently enduring the aftermath of a disastrous monsoon,” Surin said in a statement.
He added that the Humanitarian Assistance Centre or AHA Center is closely monitoring the situation and is preparing some response options should there be a need of one or if the situation is gets worse.
Surin also praised the efforts of the Philippine government and other humanitarian groups efforts to save thousands of lives.
In the mean time, Surin warned that “health risks could surface if no precautions are taken by affected communities.”
He, however, was pleased with recent news that water levels appear to be receding.
US embassy chips in $100,000 
The United States has announced that it is providing P4.3 million or $100,000 worth of cash assistance to support disaster relief efforts in Metro Manila following Tuesday’s flooding.
“On behalf of the US government and the American people, I extend my heartfelt sympathies to those who are displaced and who have lost homes and livelihoods due to the floods,” said U.S. ambassador to the Philippines Harry Thomas Jr. in a statement.
Thomas also said that the US Agency for International Development (USAID) will conduct an initial damage assessment in Metro Manila to determine the extent of damage caused by flooding and determine immediate needs within the affected communities.
 “As a good friend and longstanding development partner, the United States will work with the Philippine government to determine where our assistance is most needed. We remain committed to helping the Philippine people overcome this difficult time,” said the ambassador. — DVM/ELR, GMA News

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Heavy rains continue to fall on Metro Manila, prompting some local government units and schools to cancel Thursday, August 9 classes.
Based on announcements from local officials and school authorities as of Wednesday, 8:10 p.m., classes were suspended in the following areas and schools:
NCR:
Malabon – all levels
Makati – pre-school to college
Mandaluyong – all levels
Manila – all levels
Marikina – all levels until Friday, August 10
Navotas – kindergarten to high school
Pasay City – kindergarten to high school
Pasig City – all levels
Pateros – kindergarten to high school
Quezon City – all levels until Friday, August 10
San Juan – all levels, public and private
Taguig – all levels
Valenzuela City – pre-school to high school

Region 4A:
Laguna province – kindergarten to high school
Antipolo, Rizal – all levels
Binangonan, Rizal- kinder to high school
San Mateo, Rizal – kinder to high school
Taytay, Rizal – kinder to high school

Region 3:
Angeles City, Zambales – all levels
Bocaue, Bulacan – all levels
Calumpit, Bulacan – all levels
Hagonoy, Bulacan – all levels
Malolos, Bulacan – all levels; until Friday, August 10
Olongapo City, Zambales – kindergarten to high school
Pandi, Bulacan – kindergarten to high school
Paombong, Bulacan – all levels; office work as well
San Jose del Monte, Bulacan – all levels

Schools:
Adamson University – all levels, work suspended as well

Arellano University – all levels, all campuses; no office work as well
Ateneo – Grade School, High School and Loyola Schools
Claret School – all levels; suspended until Friday, August 10
De La Salle University – DLSU will resume class and office work on Aug 13
Far Eastern University – Manila, Makati, East Asia College & Diliman; FEU Cavite will have classes
Jose Rizal University – all levels
La Consolacion University – Malolos campus, all levels
Manuel L. Quezon University – classes resume Monday, August 13
Miriam College –  all levels
Philippine Women’s University – Quezon City and Manila campuses
Polytechnic University of the Philippines – Metro Manila campuses
San Beda College – Manila and Rizal campuses, pre-bar review; office work
UERMMMC
University of Asia and the Pacific -
University of Santo Tomas – all levels
University of the Philippines – Diliman campus
Xavier School (San Juan) – all levels; until Friday, August 10
— DVM, GMA News

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