archive for the “Philippines” category
e-mail from STEP-Notifications@state.gov:
The U.S. Department of State warns of the risks of travel to the Philippines, in particular to the Sulu Archipelago and the island of Mindanao.
This Travel Warning … reflects continuing threats in those areas due to terrorist and insurgent activities.
U.S. citizens should continue to defer non-essential travel to the Sulu Archipelago, due to the high threat of kidnapping of international travelers and violence linked to insurgency and terrorism there.
U.S. citizens should continue to exercise extreme caution if traveling to the island of Mindanao in the Southern Philippines.
Throughout Mindanao, criminal groups have clashed sporadically with the Philippine Armed Forces, particularly in rural areas, and terrorist groups have kidnapped international travelers and carried out bombings that have resulted in injuries and deaths. »→
old cellphone photo of “Pensky Chevy CART Racing Champion” jeepney in Tuding, Itogon
The State Department warns U.S. citizens of the risks of terrorist activity in the Philippines, particularly in the southern Philippine islands of Mindanao and the Sulu Archipelago. Terrorist attacks could be indiscriminate and could occur not only in the southern islands but also in other areas, to include Manila. Targeted sites may be public gathering places that are frequented by expatriates and foreign travelers, including American citizens. Such sites could include, but are not limited to, airports, shopping malls, conference centers and other public venues. This Travel Warning replaces the Travel Warning dated April 2, 2010, to reflect continuing threats due to terrorist and insurgent activities. »→
Benigno Aquino III has been sworn-in as the President of the Republic of the Philippines.
Here is Uncle Sam’s latest take on the Philippines for Americans intending to visit it:
“November 6, 2009
The [Republic of the] Philippines is an emerging economy [it's an economy?] with a democratic system of government. Located in Southeast Asia, the archipelago consists of more than 7,000 [7,107] islands, of which over 800 are inhabited. The major island groupings are Luzon in the north, the Visayas in the center and Mindanao in the south. Tourist facilities [What are they?] are available within population centers and the main tourist areas. English is widely spoken [how does one speak widely?] in the Philippines, and most signs are in English. »→
A 78-year-old Irish priest was abducted by gunmen from his home in Pagadian City, Zamboanga del Sur Province in Mindanao, Philippines.
Police say that six armed men forcibly took Father Michael Sinnott, a priest of the Missionaries of Saint Columban then fled in a minivan and a boat. Police found the van abandoned and burned at the coast.
No one has claimed responsibility for the kidnapping. The Philippine Army has been fighting the Abu Sayyaf Muslims in the region, and Police Chief Angelo Sunglao told reporters: “We can’t speculate yet on who is behind the kidnapping, but the Abu Sayyaf is known to be operating near the area.”
Abu Sayyaf is a small but deadly groups of militant Muslims in the Philippines. It has kidnapped dozens of foreign aid workers, missionaries and tourists since the early 1990s.
Please pray for the safe, soon return of Father Michael!
UPDATE: Father Michael was released November 12!
Parma, which was a Tropical Depression, then a Tropical Storm, later a Typhoon, then downgraded to a Tropical Storm, and is now a Tropical Depression, has passed over Luzon three times since it October 3! North and Central Luzon are very waterlogged. 17 Filipinos (or more) have died. I’m glad that I’m not in Baguio City!
The Philippines government reports that 240 persons are known to have died in severe flooding caused by Tropical Storm Ketsana.
The country has appealed for foreign aid to deal with the disaster which has displaced more than 450,000 persons, including 375,000 who are in makeshift shelters. »→