Nicholas Cousins and Herminia Garcia (hidden) emerge from the courts, followed by their lawyers, after a hearing on Sept. 25.
Their fists clenched, protesters chant "Never Again" to martial law.
Life of former OFWs in Hong Kong underline need to plan future finances--Features.
Foreign domestic workers slam wage increase as `disappointing'
The Hong Kong government's announcement of a 2.4 percent or $100 increase in the monthly salary of foreign domestic workers has been slammed by groups campaigning for a more substantial wage rise for years.

Effective Oct. 1, the minimum wage of all FDWs will go up to $4,210 a month from the previous $41.110. However, migrant groups have been campaigning for a $4,500 minimum pay for years. Details...

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Editor's Note
A tragic tale
One of the saddest stories I have ever written about was the one involving the Cousins-- the couple known to friends as Nick and Grace, and their two teenage daughters.

As soon as the news broke in April that their older daughter, Blanca, had jumped to her death from their luxurious 19th floor flat in Repulse Bay, I received a text message from a friend who knew Grace, who is a Filipina. My friend was trying to confirm the shocking news, as she couldn't believe that Grace wasn't who she claimed to be. Details...

Anak Araw
Rehistrado ka na?
Nagsimula na ang huling buwan para ang mga hindi pa rehistrado bilang botante ay makapag-palista na. ayon sa Commission on Election, wala nang maasahan pang extension pagkatapos ng deadline na ito.

Alam mo ba kung saan ka puwedeng magpalista? Dapat ay sinimulan mo nang alamin noong nakalipas na taon pa. Pero hindi pa huli ang lahat. Details...

Migrant's Forum
In support of Filipino youths in Hong Kong
Hong Kong has rich historical ties with the Philippines. From the time the Philippine national hero Dr. Jose Rizal held clinic in Central in the 19th century to the more recent influx of overseas Filipino workers to the city, there has always been a productive interaction between the two territories.

What is not immediately apparent is the impact and contribution of several generations of Filipino residents who have come to call Hong Kong their home. Details...


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Grace Poe keeps lead in poll surveys
For three quarters in a row, Senator Grace Poe has kept her lead in the survey of pollsters Social Weather Stations (SWS) and Pulse Asia on voter preference as successor to President Benigno Aquino III in 2016.

The latest "Ulat sa Bayan" survey of Pulse Asia -- conducted on September 8 to 14 with 2,400 respondents with a +/- 2% error margin and 95 percent confidence level -- Poe got 26 percent of the respondents choosing her as their preferred candidate for president, with the second place shared by three probable presidential candidates: Manuel "Mar" Roxas II for the administration Liberal Party (20 percent), Vice President Jejomar Binay for the opposition United Nationalist Alliance (19 percent), and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (16 percent).
See this month's stories...

LUFOH, 15 taon na

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A young doctor moved out to a small community to replace a doctor who was retiring.

The older doctor suggested that the young one accompany him on his rounds, so the community could become used to a new doctor.

At the first house a woman complains, "I've been a little sick to my stomach."
See this month's stories...

Chinese Horoscope   
Ano ang hatid ng Oktubre sa iyo

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Your Daily News   
  Phil. Daily Inquirer
  Manila Times

  October 2015 HONG KONG NEWS   
HK raises minimum pay, food alllowance for domestic helpers
The Hong Kong Government announced on September 30 that the Minimum Allowable Wage (MAW) for foreign domestic helpers (FDHs) in Hong Kong will be increased by 2.4 per cent, from $4,110 to $4,210 per month.

It also increased the minimum food allowance.3 from not less than $964 to not less than $995 per month.

The new levels of the MAW and food allowance will apply to all FDH contracts signed on or after October 1.

4 Pinays with 2.5kg of cocaine nabbed
Four Filipinas appeared in Tuen Mun court on Sept. 28 to face charges of trafficking dangerous drugs after they were arrested in pairs on Sept 25 and 27 at Hong Kong airport for bringing in 2.5 kilograms of suspected cocaine from Manila.

The Customs and Excise Department estimated the street value of the seized drug at $3.1 million.

No plea was taken from defendants Sherlyn Juan, Maricel Tomas, Evelyn Roque and Ana Rowena Reyes.

Magistrate Winnie Lau refused to grant bail to Juan and Tomas, the first pair to be arrested when Customs agents found 2.49 kilos of the dangerous drug in their suitcases upon arrival from Manila. Details...

Jail `inevitable' for suicide girl'sparents: magistrate
You will surely go to jail.

This was what a Hong Kong magistrate told Nicholas Cousins and Herminia Garcia, after they both pleaded guilty on Sept. 25 to various offences uncovered after their 15-year-old daughter, Blanca, jumped to her death from their 19th floor apartment in April.

Magistrate So Wai-tak's statement followed a long and impassioned plea from the couple's lawyer, Giles Surman for leniency, saying the two were still suffering from the death of their daughter, and were remorseful. Details...

Govt agencies, NGOs bare services for overseas Filipinos
The various services and programs for overseas Filipinos, including migrant workers, were laid out by stakeholders during a forum on migration and development held at Polytechnic University in Kowloon on Sept. 26. Details...

OVR target just a breath away as deadline nears
The Consulate is about to hit its target of 20,000 new voters for next year's presidential election.

According to Vice Consul Alex Vallespin, the count was more than 19,500 as of Sept. 22, more than a month away from the registration deadline at the end of October. Details...

Comelec ships 1,300 more voter's IDs
The Commission on Elections has shipped 1,300 additional voter's IDs to the Consulate for voters who registered in Hong Kong in 2009 and 2012.

Jethro Tull dela Cruz, who oversees the release of voter's IDs, told The SUN the new cards arrived a fortnight ago. Details...

Pinay nurses appeal for another board exam in HK
A group of Filipina nurses is calling on Philippine authorities to conduct another licensure examination for them in Hong Kong.

The call came during a meeting held by about 10 members of the Filipino Nurses Association aboard MV Star Pisces on Sept. 20. Details...

`Never again' Filipinos in HK remember martial law
Never again. This slogan, widely used to condemn the 14 years of martial rule in the Philippines, carried into Hong Kong recently when militant groups held two separate events to recall the horrors of that dark period in the country's history. Details...

Pinay admits drug trafficking, reveals luggage swap modus
A Filipina tourist who pleaded guilty on Sept 25 to a charge of trafficking in dangerous drugs revealed a new modus operandi by drug syndicates to befriend their targeted "mules" or carriers right at the Manila airport, before convincing them to swap suitcases.

Catherine Bustillo, a young mother who delivered her baby while in custody, admitted in Eastern Court the charge that she brought into Hong Kong 1.745 kilos of cocaine worth $1.774 million on Feb 2. Details...

Activated sentence leaves thief with longer jail term
A Filipino bartender was jailed for three weeks on Sept 23 for keeping a Rolex watch he found in a taxi, and on top of this, the magistrate activated a suspended two-month prison sentence he got for a previous similar conviction. Details...

Court rejects hotel's bid to derail trial of illegal jobs case
Hotel operator Pandora Group failed in its bid on Sept 24 to convince a magistrate in Shatin court to halt the trial of an illegal employment case against the company.

Magistrate Cheung Kit-yee said she did not accept the defense counsel's claim that there won't be a fair trial until a Filipina who had worked illegally at the Jordan road hotel was brought back to Hong Kong to testify in court. Details...

Starting over again with CARD MRI: Stories of 5 former HK OFWs
Can an OFW who has a financial goal and sticks to it while abroad, have an advantage over someone who does not? Apparently yes. The stories of 5 "nanays" whom we interviewed on 29 August during the Lakbay Aral tour sponsored by CARD MRI seem to bear this out.

LET examinees' common goal: go home and teach
Early finishers of this year's Licensure Examinations for Teachers held in Hong Kong on Sept 27 had a common wish: to return home and teach once they pass the test and obtain a license.

Lucky OFW still chases teaching license
One Hong Kong-based examinee aspiring for a license to teach is a domestic worker who was luckily transformed from being a maid to a special assistant to the consul general of the United Arab Emirates.

But teaching is really the vocation of Eva Butac who hails from Cauayan, Isabela. She graduated with a BS Education degree from Isabela Colleges in Cauayan in 1998 but has yet to pass the teachers' board.

Proud Abrenos gather for Atis' anniversary show
Members of the Abra-Tinguian Ilocano Society have always shown pride in their culture, and this was evident in the way they celebrated their 23rd anniversary on Sept. 27 at Chater Road, Central.

Not only were the speeches mostly in their native Ilocano dialect, many of the performances also touched on their traditions. Even the mass which kicked off their celebration was said by an Abreno who came all the way from their hometown, Fr. Iluminado Tungpalan.

For more features, click here
For list of features in 2002 and earlier, click here

More challenging times ahead for Manang Caring
There is (fulfilling) life after Hong Kong.

This is what Caridad Bachiller, the founding president of the Abra Tinguian Ilocano Society Hong Kong (ATIS- HK) has come to realize, barely a year since she went back home for good after working abroad for more than three decades.

Bachiller or "Manang Caring" to many Filipinos in Hong Kong, has not only resumed her work of promoting the rights and welfare of fellow migrants, she also now stands to bring her concerns to a bigger forum.

Lalay's challenge
For some, the art and skill of cooking is a passion, but for Edna Bruno-Villanueva, it is a challenge.

Lalay, as she is known, is one of the prominent leaders in the Filipino community. She is a member of various organizations that advocate migrant workers' and human rights, as well as gender equality. She is currently an active member of the Filipino Migrant Workers' Union, Filguys Association and Gabriela.

For more People stories, click here

DIY Travel   
Alamin ang kasaysayan ng Legco Building
Sa prominenteng lugar sa kalagitnaan ng Central makikita ang gusaling ginamit ng Legislative Council nang mahigit dalawang dekada, at ngayo'y gusali na ng Court of Final Appeal, ang pinakamataas ng korte ng Hong Kong.

Sa hitsura ay maihahambing ito sa isang lumang kubo na napag-iwanan sa pag-asenso ng kanyang mga kapitbahay. Ang dalawang palapag ng konkretong gusali sa pagitan ng Chater Garden at Statue Square ay napapalibutan ng nagtataasan at makabagong mga tore.
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Tribong Pinoy  
Mga nagpipiyesta sa Pier 9 at 10
Ultimo piyesta lagi sa mga lugar na ito tuwing araw ng Linggo o piyesta opisyal. Marami ang nagsasayawan, nagkakainan, naglalaro, nagpapatugtog, nagtatanghal ng palabas, o dili kaya ay nagkakasayahan habang nagkukuwentuhan. Ito ang tanawin lagi sa itinalagang pampublikong daungan sa Central Ferry Piers, ang Pier 9 at 10. Idagdag pa ang higanteng tsubibo o ferris wheel at mga pasulpot-sulpot na karnabal sa paligid, at wala nang ipinag-iba ang tanawin sa isang pistahan sa Pilipinas.
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