Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Philippine Airlines, the nation’s flag carrier, has begun the process of retiring its fleet of five Boeing 747-400 planes, after serving for nearly 21 years.
The fleet has been used primarily on long-haul services to the United States along with regional destinations like Hong Kong, Tokyo and Bangkok. It will be replaced by a modern fleet of 777-300 aircraft.
One of the retired aircraft recently made its way from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) to Clark International Airport to join the airline’s retired Airbus A300 and A340 aircraft. A retirement ceremony was held at Villamor Airbase.
To mark this historic occasion, President NoyNoy Aquino signed an executive order granting the retired fleet a lifetime pension of 44,000 pesos (roughly $1,000) each a month, tax-free. A presidential spokesman told reporters that the pension funds will be drawn from the President’s Disbursement Acceleration Program or DAP, which was recently declared by the country’s Supreme Court as unconstitutional.
Who exactly will receive the pension funds is not clear, although The Adobo Chronicles learned from very reliable sources that a nongovernmental organization (NG0) has been set up to receive the retirement funds. Incorporation papers filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that the chair of the NGO’s Board of Directors is businesswomen Janet Lim-Napoles who is currently in jail for criminal charges relating to the pork barrel scam.
It may be the end of era for Philippine Airlines, but certainly not for Napoles.
Oakland, California (The Adobo Chronicles) – Something unprecedented happened to Filipino world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao during his visit this week to California.
Many people know that the Philippine congressman’s second love and passion next to boxing is basketball. Just recently, he was appointed as playing coach for the KIA Sorentos, the newest professional team to join the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA), the Filipino counterpart of the U.S. National Basketball Association (NBA).
Today, the Golden State Warriors announced that it has drafted Pacquiao to join its NBA team. The Warriors are based in Oakland, California. They are part of the Pacific Division of the NBA’s Western Conference.
The Warriors were very impressed with Pacquiao’s basketball skills during an impromptu practice game he had with the American team at the Oracle Arena in Oakland. The rest is history. Pacquiao left the arena with a signed three-year contract with the Warriors.
“It’s a dream come true,” Pacquiao told reporters in his native Tagalog. “I will show the Warriors that they did not make a mistake in picking me.”
As a result of his new contract, Pacquiao said he is stepping down as playing coach of the KIA Sorentos so that he can focus on the NBA. That is, in addition to his boxing career and his duties as an elected legislator.
Manila, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – It’s Labor Day, and most Americans are enjoying their three-day weekend, heading to the beach, visiting with family or firing up their backyard barbecue grills.
How is this holiday observed in the Philippines, a former colony of the U.S. ?
Well, first of all, it is not a non-working holiday in the Philippines. It’s not a holiday, period. Outside of the U.S., including the Philippines, Labor Day is observed on May 1st (May Day) and is known locally as Araw Ng Manggagawa (Day of Workers).
But holiday or not, September 1st is oberved big time in the Philippines. Filipinos joyously welcome the start of the “ber” months – September, October, November, December. Here’s how this day is observed:
Local radio stations start playing Christmas songs
Malls start putting up their Christmas decoration
Households start putting up their artificial Christmas trees
Newspapers start carrying ads for Christmas sales
Employees start maxing out their credit cards in anticipation of their Christmas bonus (more popularly known as ’13th month pay’)
Politicians hand out little red envelopes with a few pesos in them to greet their constituents, or really, buy their votes for the next election.
Government employees start selling home-made holiday treats to their co-workers (fruit cake, empanadas, espasol and other local delicacies)
Filipino expatriates in the U.S. and elsewhere start shipping Balikbayan boxes to their loved ones at home, packed with used clothing, cans of corned beef and SPAM bought from Costco, Dove soap, boxes of Marlboro cigarettes, designer cologne and perfume, among others.
The Philippines Department of Tourism’s meme, “It’s More Fun in the Philippines,” is alive and well!
Cupertino, California (The Adobo Chronicles) – Apple has been working with Visa, Mastercard and American Express for the latest iteration of its iPhone scheduled to be released September 9.
Contrary to speculation, Apple will not be announcing the iPhone 6. Rather, it will be releasing the iPhone Wallet, capable of making payments at retail stores that accept credit or debit cards.
The new iPhone will come in black or brown pure leather but will not have a screen. The keypad is imbedded in the wallet, as are the microphone and speaker. Calls and payments can be made using the keypad. The keypad is automatically connected to cash registers via bluetooth.
While the iPhone Wallet will not have the capability of taking pictures, sending emails or browsing the Internet, it has a special compartment that can hold the user’s old iPhone.
The good news is that the new iPhone will retail for only $99 , with no two-year contract required.
St. Louis, MO (The Adobo Chronicles) – American football player Michael Sam made history by being the first openly-gay player to be drafted by an NFL team. Now, he just made history by being the first openly-gay player to be cut by an NFL team.
Sam didn’t make the final cut with the St. Louis Rams so his millions of LGBT fans won’t see him in action in the upcoming NFL season.
Anti-gay and conservative groups are rejoicing over the Rams’ decision to dump Sams.
As expected, CNN Sports will have sufficient material in its broadcasts for the next three months, analyzing and overanalyzing why Sam lost his spot on the team. ESPN, Sports Illustrated, The Advocate and other media outlets will surely increase their viewership and readers just by running the headline, “Did Homophobia Ruin Michael Sam’s NFL Career?”
To put all speculation to rest, The Adobo Chronicles contacted Rams owner Stan Kroenke and asked him what the real reason was for Sam not making the final cut. He sent this one-line response in an email:
Washington, D.C. (The Adobo Chronicles) – Last week, The Adobo Chronicles reported that Republicans in Congress have voted to impeach President Barack Obama for bringing disgrace to the Office of the President. The move stemmed from Obama wearing a tan-colored suit at a White House press briefing. Republican legislators had said that no other president in U.S. history has ever worn a light-colored suit. They were one in saying that U.S. presidents should dignify the office by wearing only dark suits.
However, after photos of Presidents Reagan, George H. and George W. Bush, as well as Clinton wearing light-colored suits appeared on social media, the Republicans immediately withdrew their impeachment charge.
“We apologize for this fiasco,” Speaker John Boehner said, adding, ” our legislative staff didn’t do a good job at research. Some heads are gonna roll!”
Meanwhile, The White House responded by saying , “Wait till the Republicans discover photos of earlier U.S. presidents wearing white suits, even after Labor Day.”
Baguio City, Philippines (The Adobo Chronicles) – Chances are you’ve seen the viral video of Filipino prison inmates dancing en masse to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Now it’s time for cadets at the Philippine Military Academy (PMA) – counterpart of the West Point in the U.S. – to show off their twerking skills.
As part of its well-rounded training for future officers of the Armed Forces of the Philippines, PMA makes sure that its graduates know how to shake their booties. And it takes pride in publicly showcasing this unique talent.
Instead of the usual silent drill and parade-in-review, PMA treats dignitaries and visiting audiences to its sprawling campus in Baguio City with its cadets laying down their arms and dancing to the The Wonder Girls’ Nobody and other hit tunes. The dance spectacle happens in the parade grounds directly across from a building facade emblazoned with the words, “Courage, Integrity, Loyalty.”
PMA Superintendent Major General Oscar Lopez told The Adobo Chronicles, “We don’t train our cadets to fire guns or canons. We train them to defend our country benevolently — through dance.”
President NoyNoy Aquino, their commander-in-chief, is reportedly thrilled every single time he visits PMA and is treated to the cadets’ shaking, twirling and twerking.