Washington, D.C. – Hours after The World Bank predicted a 7% economic growth for the Philippines, the international monetary body withdrew its forecast, saying that interns committed an embarrassing data error. The earlier prediction would have made the Philippines a standout as the bank cut its projections for most of the rest of Asia. The bank attributed the Philippine growth forecast to increased infrastructure spending, consumer spending, remittances and business process outsourcing.
In withdrawing the forecast, World Bank officials said that interns working at the bank’s Washington, D.C. headquarters misinterpreted some of the data they were reviewing. “They thought they were looking at financial data when in fact, they were reviewing the Philippines’ population growth rate,” they said.
Economic experts familiar with the actual situation in the Philippines have been skeptical of the investment-grade rating received by the country from Moody’s Investment Service, Fitch Ratings, and Standard & Poor in recent months, as they have with The World Bank’s forecast. “The ratings and forecast are simply not consistent with the ever-increasing gap between the rich and poor in this country of almost 100 million, as well as the massive political corruption and financial scandals that have pervaded many levels of the Philippine government,” the experts said.
Bali, Indonesia – The United States was aiming for the “grand slam” at this year’s Miss World beauty pageant, focused on winning the crown to add to the Miss Universe title won earlier this year by Miss U.S.A. Olivia Culpo.
Olivia Jordan (yes, another Olivia), U.S.A.’s entry to this pretigious pageant held over the weekend in the Indonesian resort of Bali, made it to the top 10 contestants during Saturday’s finals, but not to the top 5.
Miss Philippines, Megan Young, an early favorite in the competition, went on to win the title, the first ever by a Filipina in Miss World’s 62-year history. Miss France was first runner-up and Miss Ghana came in third.
Less than 24 hours after the pageant finals, the U.S. filed a formal protest with the Miss World pageant organizers, saying that Young should be credited as a U.S. entry as well. Young was born in the United States to an American father and Filipina mother, but moved at age 10 to the Philippines where she is currentlly a model, actress and television host. “Technically, she is also Miss U.S.A,” the protest document indicated. “Even her surname is very American. Can’t she be at least declared as a ‘dual contestant’ by virtue of her dual citizenship?” it added.
Miss World owner Julia Morley has not returned calls from The Adobo Chronicles seeking comment on the U.S. protest.
San Francisco, California – Barangay, the socio-political organization of Filipino American LGBTs in the San Francisco Bay Area, has joined the worldwide boycott of Barilla pasta and other products.
Gay rights activists have launched a boycott of the world’s leading pasta maker after its chairman said he would only portray the “classic family” in his advertisements and, if people objected to that, they should feel free to eat a different kind of pasta.
Guido Barilla, who controls the fourth-generation Barilla Group family business with his two brothers, sparked outrage among activists, consumers and some politicians when he said he would not consider using a gay family to advertise Barilla pasta.
Barangay is taking the boycott a step farther. The group will stage a cookout and bake sale at the corner of Castro and 18th streets in San Francisco for the entire week preceding the Castro Street Fair. Organization members and supporters will not only be distributing fliers urging the consuming public to boycott all Barilla products, but will be selling home-cooked pancit (noodles) and home-baked pan de sal (salted breakfast rolls) . “This is a great opportunity for us to showcase our delicious noodle dishes which are a perfect substitute for Barilla pasta,” organizers said.
Different types of Filipino noodle dishes will be showcased at the planned cookout sale, ranging from Pancit Bihon to Pancit Canton, from Pancit Palabok to Pancit Sotanghon, and many other noodle-based dishes.