Friday, 29 October 2010

Juvic Pagunsan leads Mercedes-Benz Masters Indonesia

JAKARTA - Juvic Pagunsan put himself in the perfect position to claim the 80,000 dollar Mercedes-Benz Masters Indonesia after taking the third round lead on a day of high drama.

The Filipino enters the final round with a two shot lead over compatriot Antonio Lascuna, Malaysian Nicholas Fung and Namchok Tantipokhakul from Thailand.

Pagunsan fired a four-under-par 68 at the Emeralda Golf and Country Club for a tournament total of 13-under-par 203.

It was another impressive round by the talented 32-year-old but was somewhat overshadowed by a two shot penalty handed to playing partner Fung for tapping down a spike mark on the 17th.

The pair had both birdied the par-five 17th with similar putts from 10 feet and later finished tied for the lead.

However, Pagunsan pointed out to Fung that he had touched his line with his putter and after careful discussion with officials the Malaysian's four was changed to a six.

"It is a pity that happened but it is still wide open with everything to play for. I am playing really well and came here to win the Merit list," said Pagunsan.

"The Mercedes-Benz Tour is really growing and one day will be really big and I so it would be great to say that I finished as the top ranked player."

Pagunsan, who won the Mercedes-Benz Masters Thailand by seven shots in June, started the day two behind leader Lascuna and took the lead with a round made up of seven birdies and three bogeys.

He leads the tour Order of Merit list with earnings of 22,450 dollars with Fung in third place just 1,000 dollars behind.

Fung, who signed for 70 as opposed to a 68 after the penalty, said: "It is disappointing what happened. I honestly cannot remember touching the line and if I did it was not intentional. It certainly makes me determined to play well tomorrow."

The 20-year-old rookie claimed the Mercedes-Benz Masters Vietnam earlier this month for his maiden win as a professional.

Leading third round scores (Par 72):

203 -Juvic Pagunsan (PHI) 64 71 68
205 - Namchok Tantipokakul (THA) 68 69 68
Nicholas Fung (MAS) 69 66 70
Antonio Lascuna (PHI) 68 65 72
206 - Mohd Sukree Othman (MAS) 69 70 67
Atthaphon Prathummanee (THA) 69 70 67 207
Wisut Artjanawat (THA) 68 70 69
209 - Artemio Murakami (PHI) 68 73 68
210 - Ferdie Aunzo (PHI) 69 73 68
Mohd Rashid Ismail (MAS) 74 67 69
Passamet Pogamnerd (THA) 70 69 71
211 - Mars Pucay (PHI) 72 71 68
Pawin Ingkhapradit (Am) (THA) 69 73 69
213 - Gene Bondoc (PHI) 73 72 68
Panuphol Pittayarat (THA) 74 70 69
214 - Nakul Vichitryuthasastr (THA) 74 71 69
215 - Rey Pagunsan (PHI) 73 74 68
Anthony Fernando (PHI) 76 67 72
216 - Pravee Visalkit (THA) 72 73 71
Lam Zhiqun (Am) (SIN) 74 69 73

Austria's Ouschan wins Women's World 10-Ball title

Austria's Jasmin Ouschan holds her trophy after winning the 2010 Yalin Women's World 10-Ball crown.

MANILA, Philippines – Austria’s Jasmin Ouschan became the second woman to win the Women's World 10-Ball title by beating Ga Young Kim of Korea, 10-6, in the tournament finals at the Robinsons Galleria.

The billiard beauty from Europe battled her way out of a 3-rack deficit after gaining confidence against Kim midway the Race-to-10 finals.

“I can’t believe it, I’m so happy. I’m waiting for this for so long. I’ve been close [to winning] for so many times,” said an ecstatic Ouschan.

The Austrian thanked the spectators, mostly Filipinos, for supporting her campaign in the Yalin Women's World 10-Ball.

“To win here in the billiard capital of the world, in front of my favorite fans, it is the best way to win a championship,” she said.

Ouschan bucked a slow start against her Korean foe, who scored 3 straight racks for a quick 3-0 lead.

But Ouschan’s cue stick caught fire in the 4th rack, digging out the Austrian player from the deficit to tie the game at 4-all.

Ouschan continued to take advantage of Kim’s inconsistencies on the table as she extended her lead to 7-4.

The Korean bounced back in the 12th rack to trim the lead to 7-5 but Ouschan fought back to win the next frame, 8-5

RP's Rubilen Amit (right) with fellow semifinalist Kelly Fisher.

After Kim’s wins in rack number 14, the Austrian brought herself closer to the title, 9-6.

Ouschan won the battle of the nerves in the 16th rack to take away the title and the $20,000 prize.

Amit fails to reach finals

Erstwhile champion Rubilen "Bingkay" Amit of the Philippines fell short in efforts to retain her title after yielding to Kim in the semifinals, 9-5.

Kim jumped the gun on the Mandaue City native by zooming to a 6-1 commanding lead in their Race-to-9 affair.

Amit won 3 straight racks to cut the lead to 4-6 but Kim pushed her lead to 8-5 in the 13th frame.

Amit’s bad preparation in the following rack allowed Kim to run the table and win her ticket to the finals.

Ouschan, meanwhile, disposed of Ireland’s Kelly Fisher to forge a championship duel with Kim.

Both Amit and Fisher received $5,000 each for reaching the semifinal round.

Kim, meanwhile, took home $9,000 for finishing second place.

Video of Pinay nurse in ventilator blooper goes viral

MANILA, Philippines – The video showing a Filipina nurse who accidentally switched off the ventilator of her tetraplegic patient in the United Kingdom is going viral on YouTube.

The United Kingdom Nursing and Midwifery Council suspended nurse Violetta Aylward’s license.

Aylward’s patient, Jamie Merrett, suffered brain damage due to the incident. (Related story: Nurse in 'ventilator accident' a Pinay)

The Philippine Nurses Association (PNA) is concerned over the possible effects the incident and the circulating video may have on Filipino nurses working in the UK.

“This is negative for us. However, like in any other profession, or nationality, there are good practitioners and not so good practitioners,” said PNA President Dr. Teresita Barcelo.

Barcelo was also shocked to learn that Aylward had no training in handling patients with ventilators.

“An RN or registered nurse would know how to handle a patient with a respirator unless she’s been out of practice for awhile,” she said.

The doctor hopes that the incident will not affect the hiring of Filipino nurses to the UK.

“I hope people would think that one not so good example cannot be representative of everybody. Filipino nurses, in general, are competent nurses,” she said.

The Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) said it attempted to reach out to Aylward but she allegedly refused to talk to them or the media.

Jobless OFW in Saudi wants to come home

DAMMAN, Saudi Arabia – A Filipino migrant worker in Damman has been relying on his friends for food and shelter.

"Binibigyan nila ako para makakain man lang. Pero sa pamilya ko, hindi na ako nakapagpadala ng pera,” said Aladino Rebalde.

Rebalde had been a car electrician for more than 20 years. However, he was not lucky in the past four years.

Rebalde ran away from his employer because he was not being paid right. In 2008, the OFW was arrested and detained for 2 weeks in Riyadh.

The Philippine embassy helped him settle his case but he no longer has a job to return to because the shop had closed and his employer abandoned him.

Since then, he has been wandering and looking for extra income for himself and his family back in the Philippines.

Without a job and money to send back home, the education of his 3 children suffered. They were forced to stop going school.

“May anim na taon pa akong anak na hindi din makakapasok dahil syempre, alam mo naman ang kahirapan sa Pilipinas. Ako naman dito, walang naibibigay na sapat sa kanila dahil pahinto-hinto at palipat-lipat,” said Rebalde.

Rebalde wants nothing more than to go back home to his family. “Ilang taon ako ritong hindi nakikita ang mga anak ko, pamilya ko,” he said.

He appealed to the government to help him reunite with his family.

“Humihingi ako kay Vice President (Jejomar) Binay, Sir, tulungan ninyo naman po ako,” he appealed

Missing Pinay OFW found dead on roof of exhibit hall

KUWAIT – The decomposing body of a missing Filipina salon worker in Kuwait was retrieved from the roof of an exhibition hall in Mishref, Balitang Middle East reported.

Jenny Dechosa was identified through her fingerprint. Her body was found on the roof of the Kuwait International Fair Grounds in Mishref on October 16.

According to Dechosa’s housemates, they last saw the 33-year-old Cebu native on October 10.

“Huling araw na nakita namin si Jenny on October 10 ng umaga. Nandito pa siya sa flat namin. So around 5 to 6 yun na yung time na lumabas siya dahil pupunta daw siya sa Mishref para mag-part time. Kinabukasan yung kanyang room mate na si Mercy nagsabi sa amin na hindi pa umuuwi si Jenny," said housemate, Gina Montalban.

Dechosa’s housemates decided to inform her Kuwaiti sponsor that she failed to come home.

Five days later, they saw in the news that authorities recovered a decomposing body of an Asian woman.

“Nagkaroon kami ng pagiipon sa isang kwarto. Iba-ibang opinyon, iba-iba ang sinasabi na baka nga iyun, o baka hindi," said Montalban.

Dechoso’s Kuwaiti sponsor informed them a week after she went missing that the body discovered in Mishref was that of the missing OFW.

"Hindi pa rin ako makapaniwala na talagang si Jenny yun,” said Gina Ponce.

Egyptian confesses to the crime

Meanwhile, an online report by the Arab Times stated that an Egyptian caretaker of the exhibition hall in Mishref was arrested for Dechoso’s murder.

Authorities found the suspect based on the victim’s mobile phone records.

The report also stated that the unidentified Egyptian admitted killing the OFW.

Pinoy roots help shape Fil-Canadian’s art

VANCOUVER, Canada – Filipino-Canadian artist Lanie Maestro recently presented her latest exhibit at the Centre A Gallery in Vancouver titled "Her Reign".

Maestro used poetic and visual language to address current social conditions like homelessness and drug addiction in the Hastings area where the gallery is located.

Maestro's work included an installation titled "No Pain Like This Body," which, she said, summarizes the emotions she feels whenever she walks through Vancouver.

Maestro believes her roots as a Filipino greatly contributed in the kind of social understanding expressed through her art.

“I always say I come from the country of making art. Everything I do comes from there. I don't even have to say I am Filipino, it is Filipino. I breathe all of that,” Maestro said.

Pacquiao to endorse Nevada senator

LOS ANGELES – Manny Pacquiao put his speed on display at the Wild Card gym on Wednesday afternoon. The pound-for-pound king said he’ll be ready for his November 13 fight against Mexican Antonio Margarito.

“So far so good, maganda naman yung training natin. Sparring at training maganda so Team Pacquiao is happy,” described the boxing champion.

Coach Freddie Roach said Pacquiao’s first few days of US training have been successful, and will be ready to knock out Margarito in the 8th round.

“The way he performed yesterday, the way he stuck to the game plan yesterday, he knows exactly where he is,” said Roach.

Coach Roach even provided some comic relief during the open workout. He put on metal gloves to mock Margarito’s one-year suspension for illegal hand wraps.

The Pacman told reporters that he hasn’t thought of his possible retirement yet. But politics are clearly on his mind as he trains.


Congressman Pacquiao will go to Nevada after Friday’s workout to endorse a fellow lawmaker, Senate Majority leader Harry Reid.

“After training puntahan ko, balikan lang, one hour, balik din dito, because I believe he’s a good leader,” he said.

Top Rank promoter Bob Arum said after this fight, they will continue to pursue a possible dream match with Floyd Mayweather Jr. depending on the results of Mayweather’s domestic violence case.

Arum reiterated,”People say what is Manny going to do after this fight? And I’ll say what I always say: our first priority would be, if Manny wins, [is] to do a Mayweather fight.”

Whichever way, plans for that anticipated fight may go. Arum is already predicting an even bigger win Pacquiao--as president of the Philippines

Pinay teen wins top prize in talent show

HARLEM, New York – Lianah Sta. Ana won the “Child Stars of Tomorrow” grand championship for kids at the Apollo in Harlem, New York Wednesday night.

Organizers said in its almost 76 years of existence, this is the very first time a Filipino has ever won the Super Top Dog prize at the Apollo’s Amateur Night.

“It was hard, but it was also fun… it was hard because there’s so many talents that it’s hard to compete with,” said Sta. Ana.

Sta. Ana’s mother, Nyla added, “To win all four levels of competition and to win the finals, she’s the first Filipino to do that – straight from the Apollo historian.”

The Apollo Theater is known as the place “Where stars are born and legends are made.”

The legendary venue has launched the careers of icons, many of them started out as amateur night winners like Sta. Ana. Stevie Wonder, James Brown, Lauryn Hill and then 9-year-old Michael Jackson and The Jackson 5 in the late 60’s to name a few.

Another Filipino-American who made history and made it to the “Top Dog Grand Finals” in the adult category is Hawaii native, Matthew Suyat.

Suyat said he is more than happy he made it this far. “It’s rough! The Apollo is rough but it is what it is, the more people that you bring, the better it is for you,” said Suyat.

Sta. Ana said she will be donating part of her $2,000 prize money to her favorite charity in the Philippines.

She is also set to grace and ride the Apollo’s first ever “Top Hat” float at the Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade on November 25. Balitang America

Thursday, 7 October 2010

'Pacquiao-Margarito will be a long fight'

MANILA, Philippines – The trainer of Antonio Margarito is confident that his Mexican ward will go the distance against Manny Pacquiao when they face off for the vacant World Boxing Council (WBC) super welterweight title in November.

“Manny has proven he’s best in the world pound-for-pound,” Garcia told Yahoo! Sportsreporter Kevin Iole.

“I know that. You have to give him credit for what he’s accomplished, because he’s done so much. But he’s going against a fighter who is so much bigger and who is going to be on him every single second for all 12 rounds,” he stated.

Pacquiao and Margarito will fight in the $1.2-billion Cowboys Stadium in Arlington, Texas on November 13 (November 14 in Manila).

“A guy who is that much bigger is going to be on him the entire night. Manny has fast, powerful combinations, but once Margarito takes those and keeps coming, it’s going to be a long night for Manny,” said Garcia.

The Filipino boxer-turned-congressman is currently training in Baguio City while the Mexican fighter is holding his training camp in Oxnard, California.

According to Garcia, Margarito’s preparation for the Pacquiao clash has been good.

“Camp is going great; Margarito is looking really good, really strong," Garcia told Ricardo Conde of

"His conditioning is great, very impressive. It’s a real pleasure working with Margarito, we’re very happy to have him here with us and I’m confident we’ll win November 13th,” he added.

Pacquiao, on the other hand, skipped training on Wednesday after suffering from sinusitis

San Sebastian, JRU battle for last finals slot

MANILA, Philippines – Defending champion San Sebastian battles Jose Rizal University (JRU) on Friday’s knockout game for the remaining finals slot in the 86th NCAA men’s basketball at The Arena in San Juan City.

The Stags hope to get past the Heavy Bombers and arrange a championship rematch with their tormentors, league leader San Beda Red Lions.

San Sebastian is coming off a 90-82 beating in the hands of San Beda, whose victory last week completed an unprecedented 16-game sweep in the NCAA.

However, playing against JRU won’t be a walk in the park for San Sebastian.

The Heavy Bombers are coming off a stepladder 60-54 win over the Mapua Cardinals.

JRU is expected to ride on this momentum going into Friday’s game against San Sebastian.

The winner between the Stags and the heavy Bombers will face San Beda, who enjoys a thrice-to-beat in the finals.

The unbeaten Red Lions need to win only twice in the Finals to reclaim the NCAA title while their opponent will have to beat them thrice.

Abuse of maids in Kuwait rising: HRWs

KUWAIT CITY - Abuse of domestic workers in Kuwait is rising, and maids in the Gulf emirate face prosecution when they try to escape, Human Rights Watch said on Wednesday.

The New York-based body said migrant domestic workers have minimal protection from employers who withhold salaries, force them to work long hours with no days off, deprive them of adequate food or abuse them physically or sexually.

"The number of abuses has been rising," Priyanka Motaparty, HRW research fellow in Middle East and North Africa, told a press conference announcing the a report, which details specific cases.

"In 2009, domestic workers from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, the Philippines and Ethiopia filed over 10,000 complaints of abuse with their embassies," she said.

The HRW data does not include Indian maids who represent almost half of the 660,000 domestic workers in the oil-rich emirate. Domestic workers, almost entirely Asian, form one-third of the 1.81 million foreign employees in Kuwait.

The 97-page report "Walls at Every Turn: Exploitation of Migrant Domestic Workers Through Kuwait's Sponsorship System," describes how workers become trapped in exploitative or abusive employment.

"Employers hold all the cards in Kuwait," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at HRW.

Domestic workers in Kuwait are not covered by any law to limit working hours or a rest day or even basic rights, the report said.

"They are forced to work for unlimited hours, 10, 12 or 18 hours with no breaks, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year," Motaparthy said.

Main abuses include physical and sexual abuse, non-payment or delay in payment of salary, long working hours, no weekly rest day and others, the report said.

The report placed the blame squarely on the so-called sponsorship system, which bonds labourers to their employers and put them under their mercy.

The Kuwaiti government said it plans to abolish the system in February.

Taiwan city hiring 'monkey chasers'

TAIPEI - Chasing monkeys has been added to the jobs on offer in Taiwan under a government-sponsored programme to boost employment, an official said Wednesday.

Kaohsiung city in southern Taiwan is offering 17,600 Taiwan dollars (560 US) a month for staff charged with keeping the primates from developing too disturbing behavioural patterns, said the official at the city's labour bureau.

"The 'monkey chasers' will tell people not to feed wild monkeys, as that will lead them to develop abnormal behaviours such as grabbing people's food or invading homes," he said.

Many people have inquired about the positions, he said, adding only those aged 45 years or older will be eligible under the scheme.

Taiwan's jobless rate was 5.17 percent in August, down 0.03 percentage points from last month amid an economic recovery, according to government data.

Caregiver caught on cam abusing Filipino lola

JERSEY CITY, NJ – A shocking video of a caregiver caught on camera physically assaulting a 91-year-old Filipino woman in her home in Jersey City, New Jersey made headlines when it was posted online.

Catalina Obaldo was slapped, smacked in the head, pushed and thrown around like a ragdoll. Food was forced into her mouth and her hair pulled by her caregiver, Carmen Pereira.

Pereira, of Loving Care Agency, had looked after Obaldo for 11 years.

The defenseless woman is suffering from various health ailments, including Alzheimer’s disease.

Local news reports say that Obaldo’s family set up a webcam to check on their Lola at any given time, but when suspicious bruises appeared on her, they started recording it.

The family could not believe what the webcam captured.

In a YouTube video, Obaldo’s daughter Bernardina Samin said, “I’m furious! It’s heartbreaking to see your own mother abused by a person whom you trusted for so many years.”

The family wanted the video released by the police to serve as a warning for others

Once the video was posted on online, some upset YouTubers immediately uploaded their video reactions.

Archie Masibay of Brentwood, California said, “You’re not supposed to do that to someone, imagine you when you get old, being tossed around like that and being banged in the head or being slapped, it’s just not right, I mean you’re working as a caregiver so you have to take care of your patients not abuse them.”

In San Francisco, Yoko Kurotani said, “It was really heartbreaking because I was thinking of my grandma…”

Pereira, the 52-year-old home health aide, was arrested by New Jersey Police around the same time she was fired from her job in September.

The Loving Care Agency’s spokesman Abe Kasbo issued a statement to Balitang America via email.

The statement read: “Loving Care Agency recognizes the gravity of this situation and wishes to convey its unequivocal position that this action committed by its former employee is reprehensible, unacceptable, and has resulted in the immediate termination of the employee.”

New Jersey Police said Pereira was charged with aggravated assault with extreme indifference, endangering the welfare of an incompetent person and neglect of an elderly. Police also said Pereira is now out on bail and is not clear yet when she will be arraigned.

The family has told authorities that they have the situation under control now with their Lola.

Balitang America is still trying to get in touch with the family with the help of Philippine Forum of Jersey City.

Likewise, Balitang America also tried to speak to Loving Care Agency but they did not provide any additional information and refused to talk about the case in person.