Jon Sarmiento, a farmer in the Cavite province in southern Manila, plants a variety of fruits and vegetables, but his main crop, rice, is under threat. He claims that approval by the Philippine government of the genetically modified ‘golden rice’ that is fortified with beta-carotene, which the body converts into vitamin A, could ruin his livelihood.
People covered their bodies with mud to protest against government ineptitude and abandonment; others lighted paper lanterns and candles and released white doves and balloons to remember the dead, offer thanks and pray for more strength to move on; while many trooped to a vast grave site with white crosses to lay flowers for those who died, and to cry one more time.
International AIDS Conference concluded today as the first in its history that remembered not just the 39 million people worldwide who have died of AIDS but also those who lost their lives in the crashed MH17 flight carrying six of its delegates, one of whom was the past president of the International AIDS Society (IAS).
Anthony, a 22-year-old call centre agent, goes to work at 6 p.m. and finishes at around 2 a.m. But instead of going home, he heads to a bar to meet another male agent over beer, and if the late night looks promising, they spend more time together until daytime.
Rice and condoms do not usually land on the same list of household basics in the predominantly Catholic Philippines, but extremely poor couples here with huge families would choose rice if given the two options.
Women and poverty still share an uncomfortable spot on the development matrix of countries across Asia-Pacific that are struggling to end deprivation, according to the newly launched third joint report of the United Nations and the Asian Development Bank (ADB) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
As president of an independent think tank advocating minimal government, Bienvenido Oplas, Jr. believes that a society will be more peaceful and dynamic if people will assume more individual and voluntary responsibilities over their lives, their families and their communities.