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Fulfilling a Dream With Honors: 56-year-old Villegas Graduates Cum Laude in Bachelor of Secondary Education



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Nanay Juana “Annie” Villegas guards a mall in the morning, sells vegetables in the market in the evening, and cooks meal at early dawn. All these taxing works made her eldest son a chemist and her youngest son a lawyer.

Last March 29, the 56-year old grandmother of five, fulfilled her dream, graduating cum laude in Bachelor of Secondary Education at the Cebu Technological University (CTU)-Argao campus.

As she recalled the hardships she went through, Nanay Juana pointed out her life’s two biggest challenges: how to finance her family’s needs especially the education of her children and her goal of attaining a college degree with honors.

While she keeps her longing of having a college degree one day, providing education to her children came first, shelving her desire of earning a diploma for 30 years.

When her two kids were still studying, sleeping for Nanay Jauna was an option. She had to work from dawn to early dawn the next day.

Kayod taman sa ginhawa hapit di na matulog,” she said.


Before her sleepless market work, she used to act as houseparent of children in conflict with the law in a nice-paying job at the Regional Rehabilitation Center for the Youth (RRCY) in Argao.

Because she was always busy at work, her eldest son Joseph, who was then in first year high school, nagged on her lack of time with them.

Madugay ma, kami mahimo pud unya mi kausa dinhi, (kay) di man ka kaatiman nako magabii,” she said.

So she quit her job, though she found herself in another strenuous work later.

In 2000, she worked as a security guard at the Mactan Export Zone Authority in Mactan Island before she quit in 2003 when Joseph became a chemist with a good paying job. But she was forced to work again when Jonathan, the youngest, took up law in 2004.

A Lady Guard

This time, she was employed as a lady guard at Robinsons Fuente from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. After her shift, she would go to Carbon market to sell vegetables until 5 a.m.

“Maka nap lang ta gamay maglingkod duka-duka mentras walay customer,” she recalled her life in Carbon market where customers were rare at past 12 midnight.

She would leave the market at 5 a.m. and buy damaged vegetables on her way back to her boarding home in Junquera.

She prepared and cooked the good part of these vegetables for meals which she packed separately and later sold it to her co-workers while on duty at the Robinsons.

After her evening shift, she washed her clothes in the boarding house before going to the market.

Aside from helping Joseph paying Jonathan’s education, she also used her hard-earned money to spend for the medicine of her sick husband Viorje.

Her husband eventually died months before Jonathan passed the bar.

Going Back to School

Her dream of studying again gained a new lease on life when Jonathan, who became a lawyer in 2009, appealed to her to stop working as a security guard right after he took his oath before the Supreme Court.

Ma, time na pud, na kami magbalos ni kuya sa imo,” she remembered her son’s plea.

In her 2012 birthday, her lawyer son told her that he is bent on sending her to school again.

Kung gusto gyud nimo Ma moeskwela amo (with Joseph) kang tabangan og gasto.”

Despite her age, Nanay Juana faced another challenge in her life as she enrolled in CTU Argao on June 2013.

Early Challenges

First year is a big challenge for her. She did not make it to the dean’s list because of her grades. She is not computer literate and too old to blend with her classmates who are young enough to be her grandchildren.

Even her teacher told her that she needs to catch up specifically in using a computer.

It costs her free snacks, dinner treats, plus meager incentives to get a tutorial session from classmates in their off hours.

Then, her efforts paid off when she landed on the dean’s list from second year up.

Nanay Juana is a constant source of wisdom to her classmates. When giving advice to her younger peers, she always emphasized on never letting go of their dreams.

Kung magpahamugaway ka sa trabaho, unya naa gyud kay gusto kab-oton di gyud na nimo makab-ot basta di nimo tinguhaon,” she said.

Having weathered by the most challenging conditions in life to survive and for her children’s education, the challenges she encountered in CTU is manageable.

“Para nako kadtong time nga nanginabuhiko para sa akong mga anak maoy pinaka lisud kay nanginabuhi ko financially para isuporta sa akong mga anak,” she said.

Juana will soon face her third challenge in life. Once she passed the teacher’s licensure examination, she will take up Law.

“Naningkamot lang ko tungod kay naa ko gi-aim, si attorney iya ko pa estadihon og law kung ma cum laude ko and that’s a challenge,” Nanay Juana said with a smile. (Oscar Pineda)

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Feature: Planning for Your Summer Get-Away? Palawan Is the Ultimate Place to Go




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Looking for your summer getaway this year? Maybe 2018 is the best time to take a dive in Palawan.

Vacationers who read the New York-based Travel+Leisure Magazine raved about Palawan’s natural gems midway through 2017.

Gathering a score of 93.15 at Travel+Leisure World Best Survey last year, writer Rebecca Ashcer -Walsh reported readers have been describing Palawan as ‘”rustic, romantic, affordable, and relaxing” and “It’s the single, most beautiful place on earth.”

Nobody says it better than third party commentaries.

“For the second year in a row, the Philippine paradise Palawan wins first place as the best island in the world, thanks to its hidden lagoons, teeming ocean life, and rustic-luxe resorts,” said Ascher-Walsh in her article on Travel+ Leisure mag.

The magazine’s World’s Best Islands survey, Ashcer-Walsh explained, is where readers were asked to “weigh in travel experience around the globe… readers rated islands according to their activities and sights, natural attractions and beaches, food, friendliness, and overall value.”

Palawan is known for its Puerto Princesa City Underground River, the blue waters of El Nido, Coron’s Kayangan Lake and World War II shipwrecks and the Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park of Cagayancillo.

Accessibility is also accelerating in Palawan: Puerto Princesa City International Airport has been expanded for a bigger volume of passengers and a cruise service between Palawan and Kudat, Malaysia is set to open in the coming months.

With the consistent pouring of positive reviews from travellers, the chief of Provincial Tourism Promotions and Development Office (TPDO), Maribel Buñi, expressed delight over good feedback, which she says are proof of the drawing power of Palawan’s natural beauty.

She urged fellow countrymen to help protect and maintain this paradise in southwestern side of the Philippines.

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Unleash Your Hugot This Valentine’s Day with OPPO’s #HaveYouEver Promo



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On the most romantic day of the year, OPPO Philippines challenges you to reminisce your heartaches responsibly and learn from the past with their #HaveYouEver Facebook promo. OPPO will be posting a different #HaveYouEver question at 2 PM daily via their Facebook page which participants must answer by sharing their story through a video submission. Feel free to release your hugot every day, starting from February 1 until February 14, for a chance to win Php25,000 worth of SM Gift Certificates.

“This love month, we want to create an opportunity for our fans to express and share their hugot stories. We want to continuously become a part of their love stories and journey, and there isn’t any better way to share it than getting rewarded as well”, said Eason De Guzman, OPPO Philippines’ PR Manager.

For more information about the promo, customers may follow OPPO on Facebook for the latest updates.

For the complete mechanics, please see below:

1. To join the promo, the participants must visit OPPO FB page  and register their full name, email address, registered address, contact number, and submit a video to the #HaveYouEver question for the day by telling his/her story (file size: maximum of 100MB (5 minutes); file format: mp4) to get (1) one raffle entry.

2. A #HaveYouEver question will be posted every day at 2PM from February 1, 2018 until February 14, 2018. A participant can submit a video answering the question of the day within 24 hours until another question is posted.

3. It is not required of the participants to submit an entry for every #HaveYouEver question. However, in order to get more raffle entries, participants are encouraged to answer each question and tell his/her #HaveYouEver story which is equivalent to (1) one raffle entry.

4. Each question can only be accomplished once per account. A participant can only obtain a maximum of 14 entries for the whole promo period.

5. Deadline of submission of entries is on February 14, 2018 at 11:59 PM.

6. There will be three (3) winners of Php 25,000 worth of SM gift certificates. The winners will be drawn using

7. The draw for the prizes will be held on February 15, 2018, 5PM at 6/F Viva Communications Inc. East Tower Philippine Stock Exchange Center, Exchange Road, Ortigas Center, Pasig City in the presence of a DTI representative and authorized representatives of Viva Communications Inc.

8. The announcement of winners will be done via Facebook post on February 16, 2018. Registered mail will also be sent to the winners.

9. Twenty percent (20%) tax for the prize exceeding PHP10,000 shall be shouldered by the Philippine OPPO Mobile Technology Inc.

10. Winners can claim their prizes from the OPPO Concept Store nearest to them. They must present at least one (1) valid ID and the registered notice for verification upon claiming. The winners must present a valid ID which contains the same information as his/her registered details. If the participant cannot claim his/her prize, the one who will claim the prize on his/her behalf must present an authorization letter, a photocopy of his/her ID and a photocopy of the winner’s ID. The winners can claim their prizes until 60 days after they receive their registered mail.

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Pag-IBIG to Sponsor Free Mass Wedding of 150 Couples on Valentine’s Day




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The Pag-IBIG Fund will sponsor the mass wedding for around 150 couples tying the knot during Valentine’s Day in their 8th annual free mass wedding dubbed “I Do, I Do, Araw ng Pag–IBIG.

The event will be hosted by Pag-IBIG Fund Mactan Branch in cooperation with the Municipal Government of Cordova.

The activity aims to help Pag–IBIG Fund members who do not have any budget to spend for their wedding and at the same time legalize their union.

The free civil wedding is open to all Pag–IBIG Fund members who are single or even couples who have been cohabiting for five years or more, provided that they are already 24 years old and above.

The couples will be given free ceremonial wedding rings, flower bouquet for the bride, free photo-op, and souvenir.

They will also be taking part in a lottery of a “Kabuhayan” showcase that will be raffled off during the reception.

Other than the “Kabuhayan” showcase, appliances and cash gifts will also be raffled off.

This year’s free mass will be held on Feb. 14, 2018 at 3:00 pm at the 10,000 Roses, Barangay Day-as, Cordova, Cebu with Mayor Mary Therese P. Sitoy-Cho as the solemnizing officer.

Those interested may contact Anette Taneda, Marketing Head or Teofredo Garcia, Branch Head of Pag-IBIG Mactan Branch, thru mobile number 0922-8263329 or email them at (jsme/PIA7-Cebu/Pag-IBIG)

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PH Witnesses Rare, ‘Super Blue Blood’ Moon




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A phenomenon described as a “once in a lifetime opportunity,” not seen since 1866 — a super blue blood moon sighting — is occurring on Wednesday evening.

In an advisory, the Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) said the sighting started at 6:49 p.m., Jan. 31 and ended 12:09 a.m. of Feb. 1.

The super blue blood moon could also be seen by the naked eye throughout the country.

Astronomer and Rizal Technological University professor Frank Kevin Martinez said the super blue blood moon could be seen in the country “because at this point, it is day time in other parts of the world, and they could only see a partial lunar eclipse.”

Martinez said the super blue blood moon occurs because of three lunar events happening at the same time: a super moon, a blue moon and a total lunar eclipse.

He said people see this moon as reddish because of the total lunar eclipse, adding that the earth covers the light that comes from the sun.

Martinez said this moon is also 14 times bigger than the ordinary, and is the second full moon in the month.

“The moon will pass by the earth’s shadow at a time when it is evening here, that’s why people could see the super blue blood moon vividly here in the Philippines,” Martinez emphasized.

A super moon occurs when the moon is at its nearest point to Earth in elliptical orbit during the full phase.

Based on the definition of astrologer Richard Noelle, a super moon comes around 361,000 kilometers of Earth, measured from the center of the moon and Earth.

A blue moon, meanwhile, does not refer to hue, but refers to the second full moon of the calendar month. The first full moon occurred last January 2.

PAGASA, however, said a blue moon might appear in certain atmospheric conditions, such as areas where there are volcanic eruptions or when large fires leave particles in the atmosphere.

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