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Filipino Town Bans Gossip in Bid to Stop Rumors from Spreading

Authorities in Binalonan, a small Filipino town about 200 kilometres north of Manila, have made gossiping illegal under a new local law aimed at preventing rumors from spreading within the community.

Trash talking someone in Binalonan could see offenders literally picking up trash under a new local law designed to make people take responsibility for the things they say. First-time gossipers risk a fine of 200 pesos ($3.8) and three hours of collecting garbage in the streets, while repeat offenders would have to pay up to $20 and put in eight hours of community service. The law isn’t very clear on what qualifies as gossip, but mayor Ramon Guico cited peddling rumours of residents’ relationships or financial situations as examples of punishable offences.

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Catholic Man Has Been Nailed to a Cross Every Good Friday for 33 Years

A Filipino Catholic man playing the role of Jesus Christ in a yearly Good Friday reenactment of his crucifixion has been nailed to a wooden cross for the 33rd consecutive time last week.

58-year-old Ruben Enaje, from the barangay of San Pedro Cutud, in San Fernando City, has been volunteering to get nailed to a cross on Good Friday since the 80s, but recently announced that next year will be his last impersonating Jesus Christ. He is currently looking for a successor willing to have four-inch nails driven into his hands and feet and get lifted on a large wooden cross for about five minutes, every Good Friday. He also wants that person to be humble and not brag about their special role.

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Mother Hand-Feeds 13-Year-Old Son Addicted to Video Games Because He Refuses to Stop Playing

A viral video of a Filipino mother who goes to an internet cafe and hand-feeds her 13-year old son because he refuses to end his 48-hour gaming binge to eat has once again reignited the debate on youth video game addiction.

37-year-old Lilybeth Marvel first noticed there was something wrong with her son Carlito about two years ago, when he began staying up late at an internet cafe near the family home in Nueva Ecija, the Philippines. Things got progressively worse as time went by, to the point where the 13-year-old now spends days on end with his eyes glued to a monitor playing his favorite “battle royale” video game, Rules of Survival. Last week, Mrs. Marvel was filmed delivering her son’s breakfast to the internet cafe and hand feeding him while he continued to play, because he had been there for over 48 hours.

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Man Fakes His Own Death in Bizarrely Cruel Marriage Proposal. She Still Said ‘Yes’

I can think of a few good reasons to fake your own death, some of which I actually wrote about in the past, but for some reason, romantic marriage proposal just isn’t one of them. But it worked for one young man, who staged tragic motorcycle accident with him as the victim in order to ask his girlfriend to marry him.

The man, identified by the media as one Jeffrey Delrio, put a lot of thought into his bizarre marriage proposal, even getting local police officers involved to make his apparent demise even more believable. In a clip that went viral last week, Delrio can be seen lying face down on a street in South Cotobato, Philippines, with police redirecting traffic around the scene of the apparently fatal motorcycle accident, as his girlfriend arrives on a moped. She immediately starts screaming in pain after seeing her beloved laying lifeless on the pavement next to his motorcycle, and police rush to restrain her. Little does she know that this is about to become one of the happiest experiences of her life.

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Teacher Turns Classroom into Pink Hello Kitty Paradise at Her Own Expense

Samelyn Lafuente, a young primary school teacher from Masbate City, in the Philippines, spent the last three years turning a bland classroom into a little girl’s real-life fantasy, decked in pink and full of Hello Kitty-themed decorations.

Walking into Samelyn Lafuente’s classroom, you would be tempted to think that it’s an obsessed Hello Kitty fan’s shrine to the popular Japanese character. The floor is covered with a Hello Kitty-themed carpet, the walls are all pink, as are the school desks, and there are Hello Kitty decorations everywhere, hanging from the ceiling, plastered on the walls and even in the windows. It would be fair to assume that parents of little girls in Ms. Lafuente’s class must be struggling to pull them away from this real-life fantasy in pink every day, which is just what the teacher planned all along – to create a place where her students would be happy and enjoy their time at school.

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Recycled Landfill Meat Gives ‘Junk Food’ a Whole New Meaning

Life in the slums of Manila can be incredibly difficult, and putting food on the table every day is a big challenge. That’s what makes “pagpag” so popular. This Tarong term usually refers to the dust one shakes out of clothing or carpets, but in the slums it means meat picked out of the landfill, cleaned and recooked into cheap meals.

Pagpag has long been a staple of Filipino slum cuisine, but in recent years it has also become a lucrative business both for landfill scavengers and small restaurant owners who buy the discarded meat at cheap prices and recycle it into various dishes. Scavengers who were previously only interested in recyclable metal and plastic now focus on leftover and expired food coming in from fast-food chains and supermarkets, scouring for it alongside feral cats and rats, packaging it in plastic bags and selling it for a small profit.

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Gas Station Toilet Makes You Feel Like a King While You’re Using It

Let’s be honest, finding clean and decent-smelling gas station toilets is hard enough, but one that makes you feel like royalty? Normally, I would say such a place doesn’t exist, but I recently saw these photos of a unique toilet in Quezon, the Philippines.

To be honest, I kind of already knew that gas station toilets in the Philippines can be quite different than what most of us are used, after writing about this Shell Gas Station toilet in Tagbilaran City, Bohol, which featured wood furniture, a bookshelf and even a phone next to the toilet bowl. But I didn’t know the island nation actually had a public toilet fit for a king until seeing some photos of a Petron gas station toilet in Quezon.

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Amateur Artist Turns Old Flip-Flops into Amazing Action Figures

Elmer Padilla, a young construction worker from Manila, Philippines, recently shot to internet fame after photos of his hand-made action figures went viral on multiple social networks.

While being able to make your own action figures is an impressive talent in itself, what really caught people’s attention was the medium used by the Filipino amateur artist – old flip-flops. Photos posted on a Facebook group dedicated to Filipino art show Elmer Padilla cutting colorful flip-flops on a sidewalk using knives and scissors, and assembling them into intricate toys like Transformers, Predator and Marvel superheroes. As you can see in the photos below, his creations are nothing short of awe-inspiring.

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Intricately “Tattooed” Fish Caught in the Philippines Sparks Wacky Online Debate

Photos of a large fish caught in the southern Philippines that appears to have its skin covered with artistic tattoo-like markings has sparked quite a debate on social media, with people offering the most outrageous explanations for the intricate design.

The fish was caught by fishermen in the province of Lopez Jaena, Misamis Occidental, who immediately noticed that much of its skin was marked by artistic designs, including what looks like a crest made up of a crown sitting on top of a shield, some letters and intertwining plant leaves. The strange design also attracted the attention of passers-by as well, some of whom were quick to snap some photos of the fish and upload them to social media. They were soon picked up by large news networks and eventually went viral.

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Amazing Mother Carries Her 30-Year-Old Disabled Daughter on Her Back Whenever They Go Out

69-year-old Julieta Lorenzo, a frail old lady in the Philippines, has recently melted the hearts of thousands around the archipelago after photos of her carrying her 30-year-old disabled daughter to the bank to collect her pension went viral online.

The heartwarming photos were snapped by Facebook user Gilbred Cargason Alsagon Jr, who was at a branch of the Development Bank in the city of Roxas when Julieta and her daughter walked in. The sight of a small 69-year-old woman hunched over with a full grown woman on her back made a big impression on everyone present, Alsagon reported, but even though many offered to help them, the woman politely declined, saying that her daughter, Mary Jane, didn’t trust anyone else to carry her.

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Aspiring Model Gets $10 Nose and Chin Job, Ends Up Regretting It

A Filipino teen who once paid just 500 pesos ($10.74) for cosmetic procedures on his nose and chin has been regretting his decision ever since, as the intervention left him disfigured.

Ever since he was 16 years old, Ellowe Alviso had been using his good looks as a source of income, by landing various modelling jobs. About three years ago, he decided to increase his chances of being selected for modelling gigs by enhancing his facial features. However, he also wanted to save some money, so instead of going to a certified plastic surgery clinic, he got in touch with Kasheca Magallanes, a transgender nurse who was allegedly well-versed in cosmetic procedures. She agreed to work on his face for just 500 Philippine Pesos, which was apparently too good an offer to pass up. Unfortunately, Ellowe would live to regret his decision. Read More »

Five-Year-Old Girl Guides Blind Father to Work Every Day

A heartwarming 3-minute video showing a young girl guiding her blind father to work on a coconut plantation in the Philippines recently went viral on Facebook and changed the lives of its protagonists.

The video shows five-year-old Jenny, walking barefoot as she guides her blind father, Pepe “Dodong” Nelson, around a coconut farm, using a small wooden stick. She can be seen helping him avoid other people as they make their way through the coconut trees and guiding him to his lunch of crackers and water. With her help, Nelson manages to climb around 60 trees every day, for a pay of around 300 pesos ($6), barely enough to put food on their table.

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Filipino Man Turns His Home into a Public Library to Help Kids Learn to Read

Retired Filipino accountant Hernando Guanlao has found a wonderful way to spend all his free time – he’s set up a public library right outside his home and he regularly hands out books to poor children for free.

Hernando’s little library is very relevant to the society he lives in, where many children drop out of school to support their families. He says that he set up the library to honor his parents and the only inheritance they left him – an insatiable love for learning. “As a Filipino who didn’t have the opportunity to go to other places, I wanted to do something before I turned 70 that would help other Filipinos,” he added.  “And books are my means to do that, so I can bring people joy, and help them not feel left behind. It seems to me that the books are speaking to me. That’s why it multiplies like that. The books are telling me they want to be read… they want to be passed around.”

Readers are allowed to take as many books as they like, and return them whenever they please. According to Hernando, “The only rule is that there are no rules.”

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Filipino Entrepreneur Creates Revolutionary Lamp That Runs on Saltwater

Meet Aisa Mijeno, a Filipino architect and scientist who invented a revolutionary lamp that runs on a glass of saltwater instead of batteries. Her vision in creating the SALt (Sustainable Alternative Lighting) lamp was to “light up the rest of the Philippines sustainably,” by finding an environment-friendly alternative light source suitable for people in coastal areas. She came up with the idea after spending time with the locals of the Butbut tribe in the Kalinga Province of Philippines, who had no access to electricity.  

The lamp can apparently run for eight hours on just two tablespoons of salt and a glass of water. “It is made of tediously experimented and improved chemical compounds, catalysts, and metal alloys that when submerged in electrolytes will generate electricity,” Mijeno explained. The idea behind it is the chemical conversion of energy, but while it works on the scientific principle of the galvanic cell, it makes use of a harmless, non-toxic saline solution instead of hazardous electrolytes. 

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Controversial Mayor Called ‘The Punisher’ Turns Philippines’ Most Violent City into the Most Peaceful

Rodrigo Duterte, the Mayor of Davao City, Philippines, is being hailed as ‘The Punisher’ for his controversial crime fighting strategies. Despite being a government official, Duterte allegedly uses vigilante methods that have elicited severe criticism across the world. But in Davao, he’s considered a hero. During his long mandate, he’s transformed the city once known as the murder capital of the Philippines into what many call “the most peaceful city in Southeast Asia”.

The Punisher is a comic book and movie character who will stop at nothing to keep criminals in check. He resorts to violence, torture and even murder in his war against wrongdoers. Some say Duterte isn’t very different. Although he has never openly admitted being involved in the kidnappings and executions of various crime lords in Davao, his controversial comments on crime and encouragement of vigilante activity have convinced a lot of people that he is indeed a real-life Punisher.

“If you are doing an illegal activity in my city, if you are a criminal or part of a syndicate that preys on the innocent people of the city, for as long as I am the mayor, you are a legitimate target of assassination,” Mr Duterte said in 2009. Three years later, during a press conference, he reportedly offered a $120,000 reward to whomever brought him the head of an alleged gang leader, and a $24,000 bonus if it was brought in a bag of ice, “so it won’t smell so bad”.

Rodrigo-Duerte

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