Palo Alto, California – It’s all in the genes. It has been long established that the genetic makeup in people determines not only the color of their skin, eyes and hair but also their susceptibility to certain diseases and conditions.
Now researchers at the Department of Genetics of Stanford University School of Medicine have uncovered the gene responsible for making Filipinos such good singers and musicians. It’s called PH-13, found only among Filipinos.
Researchers studied over 2,000 individuals, 500 of whom were of Filipino heritage with the rest equally divided among Whites, Blacks and Native Americans. All respondents were pre-screened and auditioned for their musical ability.
At the conclusion of the six-month study which involved blood tests, MRIs of the vocal chords and eardrums, as well as invasive procedures to obtain genetic samples, the researchers announced the discovery of the gene responsible for musical talent. While a few African Americans exhibited an almost undetectable level of the music gene, 100% of the Filipinos in the study tested positive for PH-13.
“We have finally found the answer to the nagging question on why Filipinos are always winning in music competitions,” the researchers said.
Could this also be the reason why almost all Filipino households have a karaoke machine?
DISCLOSURE: Please refer to the website of the U.S. Embassy in Manila for official statement on this issue:
There has been no change in US visa policy for Philippine citizens wishing to travel to the United States. The Philippines has not been added to the list of countries eligible for participation in the Visa Waiver Program (VWP). If there are any changes regarding VWP-participant countries, the information will be reflected on this website.
Washington, D.C. - The State Department today announced a life-changing new policy for Filipinos. Visas will no longer be required to travel to the United States. The policy to take the Philippines off the list of countries whose citizens are required to obtain visas for travel to the U.S. is effective immediately.
The new policy comes on the heels of a recent survey showing that an overwhelming majority of Filipinos have a favorable view of the United States. The Philippines ranked first in a global survey on the image of the United States worldwide, beating even the U.S. itself when it comes to a favorable view on the American people.
According to the 2013 Global Attitudes Project of the Pew Research Center in Washington DC, the Philippines got an 85 percent score, the highest, when people were asked “Do you have a favorable or unfavorable view of the US?”
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that the State Department made this monumental decision as a way to reward the Filipinos for making the U.S. really look good in the survey.
With this new policy, the U.S. is now added to the list of 25 countries which do not require travel visas for Filipinos. These countries include most of the Philippines’ Southeast Asian neighbors as well as some countries in Latin America including Brazil, Costa Rica, Peru and Bolivia.
The “no visa” policy comes just in time for the visit to the Philippines later this month by U.S. President Barack Obama.
UPDATE: Meanwhile, the U.S. Embassy in Manila asked that Filipinos refrain from calling the consular office to avoid its phone system from crashing. Instead, people are being asked to download and complete the biographical form and submit it to the embassy, along with four 2×2 colored ‘selfie’ photos at least one week before they depart for the U.S. The biographical form will be filed by the embassy for reference just in case Filipinos overstay in the U.S. The no-visa policy for Filipinos is good for 60 days stay in all states except Alaska.
Los Angeles, California - In her latest television show, Philippine presidential sister and television host Kris Aquino showed off her new hairstyle which she called the ‘Miley Cyrus look.’
Upon being shown a clip of Aquino’s show, Miley Cyrus was reportedly fuming and asked her legal counsel to explore filing a defamation suit against Aquino. Cyrus apparently wasn’t happy with the comparison. “Kris looks nothing like me ” Cyrus said.
Stay stuned for this developing story.
Manila, Philippines - Rice is the main staple food of the Filipinos. It is estimated that each household eats an average of almost 500 kilograms of rice per year. While Philippine farms produce rice quite extensively, the country often resorts to rice importation to supplement local demand.
It is therefore not surprising that Filipinos are alarmed at recent reports and studies showing the presence of arsenic (poison chemical) in rice and rice products. (See latest article from The New York Times).
To appease the growing anxiety among the population over arsenic-tainted rice, Philippine lawmakers have moved quickly to make pan de sal the new national staple in place of rice. The wheat-based delicacy is the Filipinos’ choice of breakfast bread or dinner roll.
While lawmakers realize that their action will cost the country millions of pesos in wheat importation, they said that the health and safety of the citizens are of greater concern. Wheat is not produced locally and the Philippines imports 100% of its wheat and flour requirements. The Philippines is one of the top destinations for U.S. wheat exports.
The lawmakers are confident that the Filipino people will adjust easily to the change in staple from rice to pan de sal because the latter goes well with many Filipino dishes like adobo, pancit, dinuguan, menudo and queso de bola.
Tokyo, Japan - Noting that Metro Manila’s traffic, infrastructure and housing problems can no longer be solved by the Philippines’ National Capital Region, Japan has offered to buy Metro Manila for $57 Billion.
The Japanese government, acting on a report by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), made the offer to Manila Mayor Joseph Estrada and Makati City Mayor Junjun Binay. By purchasing Metro Manila, Japan hopes to implement JICA’s “Dream Plan” to solve once and for all Metro Manila’s decades-old woes.
The dream plan seeks to achieve by 2030, the five “No’s” considered to be the ultimate key to the revival of the dying metropolis : no traffic congestion, no excessive transport cost burden for low-income groups, no households living in high hazard risk areas, no barriers for seamless mobility of people and no air pollution.
Under the purchase proposal, Metro Manila will become a Prefecture of Japan and both the local and national governments of the Philippines will totally give up ownership and control of Metro Manila which consists of 17 cities and towns.
The only remaining obstacle to the proposed purchase is to determine how the $57 Billion will be divided among Philippine President Noynoy Aquino, Estrada, Binay and the rest of the mayors of the cities and towns of the metropolis.
Detroit, Michigan - On April 11, the news satire site The News Nerd published a faux story about Patti LaBelle punching Aretha Franklin at “an R&B/Soul concert” on March 20. Franklin wasn’t happy with the sacrilegious Internet humor and posted a denial of the scuffle on her Facebook page.
Apparently, that wasn’t enough, as the Detroit News announced yesterday that Franklin is filing a $10 million lawsuit against The News Nerd.
The story becomes interesting every day. Today, lawyers for Aretha Franklin said the diva is suing Detroit News for telling the truth about her displeasure with The News Nerd faux story. “The Detroit newspaper, by reporting on the law suit, basically put a stop to the fake news from further going viral, and this has hurt the singer’s publicity potential ” the lawyers said.
Neither Detroit News nor The News Nerd returned The Adobo Chronicles’ calls requesting for comment.
Washington, D.C. - Every year around Thanksgiving, the President of the United States pardons a turkey, sparing it from being killed, roasted and served on the holiday dinner table. The White House tradition was instituted by then President George H.W. Bush in 1989, although many believe Harry Truman was technically the first president to pardon a turkey.
Now, President Barack Obama has started a new White House tradition which he is calling the Presidential Easter Pardon, in celebration of the Easter holiday. Obama said this involves granting presidential pardon to a worthy individual who has committed non-violent misdemeanors or small infractions of U.S. law.
On Easter Sunday, Obama will grant the first-ever Presidential Easter Pardon to Canadian citizen and teen idol Justin Bieber. Bieber has repeatedly been charged with misdemeanors and violations including driving under the influence (DUI), resisting arrest and drag racing. The presidential pardon all but erases all obstacles to Bieber in applying for U.S. citizenship.
Many Americans have expressed outrage over Obama’s choice for the pardon. It comes on the heels of a recent petition on Whitehouse.gov asking Obama to deport Bieber for his arrogance and disrespect for the law. The petition drew more than 250,000 signatures, way above the threshold that the White House has set in order to merit a response. The White House did respond to the petition with “no comment.”
Bieber will receive the pardon medal from President Obama at ceremonies in the White House South Lawn on Easter Sunday.
London, Great Britain - Oxford University has just announced the newest additions to the world’s largest dictionary in English.
Technology and the Interet are as popular as ever in providing new words, from lock screen and headcam to cyberespionage. Cyberespionage came about as a result of recently-revealed practices by the U.S. National Security Administration (NSA) to spy on phone conversations and Internet communications among governments and private citizens.
Astrology’s newest word contribution is protoplanet, defined as a small celestial object that is the size of a moon or a bit bigger. Astronomers believe that these objects form during the creation of a solar system.
Food coma, another addition to the Oxford Dictionaries, is the feeling of listlessness, bordering on sleep, that one feels after eating a large meal, often caused by a rush of blood to the stomach and intestines during food digestion.
But the most popular yet controversial word addition is ‘selfitis,’ the obsessive-compulsive urge to take photos of one’s self and post them on social media. Earlier this month, The Adobo Chronicles broke the story regarding the American Psychiatric Association officially classifying selfie-taking as a mental disorder.
Last year, Oxford Dictionaries named ‘selfie’ as their 2013 word of the year. Will ‘selfitis’ be the word for 2014?
New York, New York - ABC Television Network has announced the hosts of the 18th season of the daytime television talk show ‘The View,’ and only Elisabeth Hasselbeck is staying on.
The announcement came as the show’s producer Barbara Walters prepares to retire on May 16. Part of the farewell week is the appearance on May 15 of all the 11 current and past co-hosts of the show.
“No one can really fill the shoes of Ms. Walters but we believe that we have assembled a powercast of some of the most intelligent, eloquent and knowledgeable women in this country,” said Paul Lee, ABC Network Entertainment Group president.
Hasselbeck will provide some continuity to the popular talk show, the ABC announcement said.
The new co-hosts are former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, Representative Michele Bachmann, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer and former California gubernatorial candidate Meg Whitman.
Ellen DeGeneres was being tapped to be the 6th co-host but she ‘respectfully declined.’
Washington, D.C. – Time and again, at meetings of the National Governors’ Association (NGA), there is one recurring issue that’s always on its agenda: the continuing gridlock in Washington, D.C. and the ineffectiveness of the U.S. federal government to meet the needs of the 50 states of the union.
“Americans — Democrats and Republicans alike — are fed up, and are now ready to turn their backs on the Washington government,” according to Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin (R), chair of the NGA. In a hastily-called press conference today, the NGA revealed that all 50 states will have a ballot initiative during the mid-term elections this November that would authorize the governors to officially secede from the United States. If voters pass each and every one of the ballot initiatives, the federal government will, in effect, be abolished, along with all federal laws including those on immigration, taxation and defense. While the states will still be collectively identified as the United States, the state governments will have full control and authority over all affairs.
According to a poll conducted by Gallup, and released during the NGA press conference, there are at least 10 states in which the secession initiative has a majority of voter support. These include Texas, Tennessee, Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Indiana, Missouri, Michigan and Kentucky. Only two states seem to be against the initiative — Utah and California. The initiative is a toss-up in all the remaining states.
Meanwhile, Hawaii Governor Neil Abercrombie (D) said that the Aloha state has a second ballot initiative that would make Hawaii a totally independent Pacific Island nation.