Election in the Philippines: Busting Out Fake News

The general election is nearing in the Philippines. Aspiring candidates vying for a government position are already on the move, and some are ready to go the extra mile to be in power. What could this mean for the Filipinos, especially the netizens? More fake news flooding your timeline! And why not? Fake news is such an effective vessel in shaping the opinion of the public towards a candidate.

At this point in time, it gets harder to weed out fake news from legit government news in the Philippines. In the 2016 election, the rise of fake news was made apparent in social media, and a repeat is to be expected again come next election—a hard truth to swallow. Troll accounts working for a candidate will be hell-bent on spreading fake news again to gain the favor of the masses. To counter this, you have to be vigilant and not fall prey to this propaganda.

Here are some ways to bust out fake news:

1. Investigate the Source. As a rule of thumb, always check the About Us page of the website where the news was published. The About Us page should give you information about the owners of the website and their contact details. If this information is not available, take it as a red flag and don’t believe every news posted on the said website.

2. Inspect the URL. Some fake news website deceive user using the guise of legit and well-known media outlets. These sites try to mimic them by near-copying the URL of said news source, even fabricatng its logo as shown below:

The example above is a fake news site using the URL gma-tv.com—an imitation of GMA News. GMA News’ only URLs are gmanetwork.com, gmanetwork.com/news, and gmanews.tv.

3. Read Beyond the Headline. Headlines from fake news follow a common pattern: exaggerated, sensationalized, and clickbait-y. It is often meant to evoke emotions from readers, usually anger that sways them to click the link. Before sharing news, read the story first and see if the body supports the headline.

4. Check the Author. Legit news has a byline, info on the person who wrote the story. Legit news authors have credible reputation and are well-versed in the art of researching. Fake news, on the other hand, may not have a byline, or the author could be hiding behind a pseudonym. If it is the latter, think twice before believing that story.

5. Look for Similar Stories. If you’re unsure of the veracity of the government news you just read, check other major news sources in the Philippines. If they carry the same story, then it may be safe to believe the said news.

6. Check the Date. The news you stumbled upon your timeline may be from a legit source, but is it recent news? Yes, even a factual news can deceive the public. Some old news are getting reshared on social media to put people in bad light, say, misusing a previous statement to create distortions of current events. Always check the date before reacting on certain news.

7. Distinguish Satire from Truth. News satire is a type of parody that often present a truth then take a twisted turn to give humor and criticism out of the story. It often uses literary devices such as hyperbole or exaggeration, highlighting the ridiculous aspect of the story. While satirical news is a literary form and doesn’t have the intention to harm, it has the potential to deceive people so be aware of it.

8. Check Your Biases. People falling for fake news often have their biases influencing their perception of truth. They’d readily believe information being spread if it is in favor of their biases. Meanwhile, they’d regard factual news as fake if they disagree with it. When deciphering fake from legit news, don’t let your biases get the better of you.

9. Ask the Experts. As the issue of mis- and disinformation threatens the country, some organizations have established a countermeasure to address the issue. Fact-checkers like Rappler’s and Vera Files’ are availabe, which in fact social media giant Facebook has partner with to battle fake news. Facebook is also open to more fact checkers in the Philippines.


With the general election nearing, more fake news are bound to haunt your social media feeds in the coming months. But with the ways above, you’re now equipped with the knowledge to distinguish fake news from legit government news in the Philippines.



Tips on Safeguarding Your Balikbayan Box Shipment from Dubai to the Philippines

According to data from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Dubai has recorded the highest number of complaints about balikbayan box shipments a few years ago. Cases of late deliveries, damage to shipments, pilferage, and lost packages have plagued OFWs working in the country. Dubai is one of the many countries where OFWs suffer from this issue.

As an OFW working several miles away from your family, we understand how difficult it is to endure the loneliness of working abroad. Cases of late, damaged, and missing packages can only make the experience worse. With that said, here are some tips to protect your balikbayan box from these shipment mishaps.

  • Book only with accredited forwarders. Click the following links for a list of DTI-accredited sea freight and Civil Aeronautics Board-accredited air freight
  • Declare a detailed list of contents complete with their corresponding prices and attach it to the box. This makes it easier for checking both for the Bureau of Customs and for the package’s recipients.
  • Print the complete name, full address, and contact details of the recipient on white paper and place it on the box in case the courier can’t find the location.
  • Keep and secure important documents such as the shipment’s invoice, official receipt, and Bill of Lading.
  • Secure your balikbayan box Sending your package from Dubai to the Philippines is a long journey and the contents inside may be damaged in the process. Make sure you use bubble wraps or clothing cushions for fragile items, tap the cap for shampoo and lotion bottles to avoid spilling, as well as seal the opening and sides of the box properly.
  • Be wary of very low shipping rates. These might be too good to be safe.
  • Follow DTI’s social media accounts (Facebook and Twitter) or visit their website at http://www.dti.gov.ph for regular advisories and alerts.
  • Track your shipment from its origin to its destination. Ask your forwarding company about how you can monitor your cargo.
  • Inquire about important shipment details like the name of the shipping line & the vessel, the container number, and the voyage number. Also get the name and contact details of the agent in the Philippines. Make sure such details are specified in the transport document or official receipt.
  • Ask your consignee to check your package with the Philippine forwarder’s counterpart even before the shipment arrives.
  • Avoid sending prohibited items such as pirated products and jewelries as they can cause delays and issues for the entire cargo. For the full list of prohibited items, click here.
  • If you encounter pilferage, lost item, or non-delivery, file an immediate complaint with the shipping company’s customer service. You may also coordinate with the DTI thru the following number: 751-3330 or 0917-834-3330.

Shipping a balikbayan box from Dubai soon? Don’t stress out and take note of these tips to safeguard your package the next time you pack and send your parcel. Save balikbayan box from late deliveries, damage items, pilferage, and getting lost in transit; make it reach your family safely and soundly.

Road Accidents in The Philippines

Convincing someone to get to talk about life insurance in the Philippines setting could be really hard. And let’s be honest, this isn’t something that we can just casually discuss as it throws in the topic of death, separation, responsibilities, and money to the conversation.

If you really think about it, getting life insurance can be strategic.  Of course, no one can really tell when a person will really die. But that what life insurance is for. Its ultimate purpose is that in case untimely death of the holder, the dependents that will be left behind will not have to carry the burden of worrying for the expense of the death care service.

image taken from: http://bit.ly/2olLt2R

Now, there are many cause of an untimely death. According to the World Health Organization, road injuries ranks number 10 as the main cause of untimely death. Road injuries kill more than HIV/AIDS which only ranks at the 13th spot.  This data seems to reflect well in the Philippine setting as the Road Crash Statistics Report of the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority’s Metro Manila Accident Recording and Analysis System reported that in the National Capital Region alone in 2015, there are a total of 95,615 road accidents. In this data, 517 were considered as fatal accidents.

image source: http://bit.ly/2omatqx

In Tanay Rizal, 15 people, mostly consisting of students of Bestlink College of the Philippines, met an untimely death when the tour bus they were on lost its brake and rammed an electric post while they were on their way into a camping trip.

Ten of the victims died on the spot while the five others died in the hospital. Included in the casualties are the driver of the said bus and a teacher.

image source: http://bit.ly/2pfsQSi

Just after the Lenten break, April 18, 2017, an over-loaded mini bus fell into a 100 feet deep ravine along a winding road near the boundary of Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya on their way back to Manila and Ilocos. The said accident has claimed 29 dead passengers, including a six-month infant and 7 other children.  Many are still critically wounded and 38 were injured.

According to a survivor, the accident occurred when the said bus tried to overtake another bus but then its engine stopped. The driver lost control of the vehicle when he was trying to restart the engine on a sloping part of the road.

Many factors may have contributed to these accidents like human error and the condition of the roadways in the Philippines but we cannot deny that these two cases show how unpredictable death can really be. One moment they were just taking a vacation, camping, having a laugh with their friends and family, enjoying their Lenten break—the next moment, they are gone. Families are left grieving. Dreams are shattered. A million conversations will be left unsaid.

With all this accidents occurring in the roads of the Philippines, it leads us back to our previous discussion about life insurance. Will we be ready when death takes us?

4 Reasons Why You Should Buy a House and Lot For Sale in Lapu-Lapu City

Are you one of those who like experiencing the best of both worlds? At Lapu-Lapu, you enjoy the comfort of island-living at the heart of a bustling city. The highly urbanized area is a first city income region in the “Queen City of the South.” The city occupies most of Mactan Island, a well-known tourist destination, plus a few other panoramic islands in Cebu.

Here are several advantages of living in Lapu-Lapu if you’re planning on buying a house and lot any time soon:

Rich Historical and Cultural Background

Rich Historical and Cultural Background Lapu-lapu City House in Cebu

The history of Lapu-Lapu City influences the cultural involvementof its residents. Most of the celebrations showcase different cultural interests, Spanish reflections, ancestral legacy and modern trends.

People from around the country also flock to Lapu-Lapu City to take a peek at the marvelous  Lapu-Lapu Shrine. It serves as a symbol of courage and success by defeating the Spaniards.

Lapu-Lapu is best known as the hero of the Battle of Mactan which happened on April 27, 1521. This historic duel stopped the invasion of Magellan in Cebu and delayed the Spanish occupation by over forty years.


Comfortable Island-Living

Comfortable Island-Living Lapu-lapu City House Cebu

If you want a change of view, investing on a house and lot in Lapu-Lapu might be a smart thing to do . The hustle and bustle of the city can sometimes be quite overwhelming. This is why moving to one of the most beautiful islands in the whole world is a nice way to settle down.

People save a lot of money just to be closer to the pristine waters of Cebu but being a resident will save you a whole lot more. Imagine taking the time to sit down while watching the sun set each evening.  The gorgeous island of Lapu-Lapu will offer you relaxation and enjoyment like no other.


Mouthwatering Delicacies

Mouthwatering Delicacies in Lapu-lapu City house Cebu

Who wouldn’t want a bite of Cebu’s lechon, chicharon, danggit, otap, chorizo de Cebu and dried mangoes? These can be found in almost every part of Cebu and Lapu-Lapu is no exception. You will definitely embark on a gastronomic journey that will make you want more.

The most famous delicacy in Cebu is lechon. It’s not your ordinary roasted pig. This delicacy is prepared with ingredients that make it stand out on its own. The flavors are just bursting with every bite.  It has even gained worldwide recognition when top chef Anthony Bourdain declared Cebu lechon as the “best pig ever” on his hit travel-food show “No Reservations.”


Colorful Cultural Events

Colorful Cultural Events in House Lapu-Lapu City

Way before the arrival of the Spaniards, Sinulog was danced by the natives in honor of their wooden idols or anitos. With the Spaniards’ arrival came the advent of Christianity. This festival is an annual cultural and religious celebration where residents from Cebu participate in street dancing. It is one of the major events not only in the island but also highly anticipated by the whole country.


Transportation and Travel

Transportation and Travel LApu-lapu City House

The Mactan-Cebu International Airport is the second busiest airport in the Philippines and is located in Lapu-Lapu. We live in a time where the “economy of speed” is prioritized and l  iving near an airport isn’t just for the purpose of accessibility, it’s also essential for individuals and businessmen to stay competitive in the 21st century.

Aside from these, Cebuanos are also known for their hospitality. It wouldn’t be a shock if people from all over the country would buy a house and lot for sale in Lapu-Lapu City. Enjoying the atmosphere away from the urban jungle would be a nice change, wouldn’t it?

7 Fun Family Summer Activities to Do in Your House and Lot in Bacolod

It can be a bit overwhelming when you’re living in a city filled with wondrous summer getaways. With a wide array of tourist destinations, looking for an escapade with the family can be a tough decision. Don’t worry, if you haven’t decided on your summer escapade yet, here are 7 fun activities that will make you and your family beam in the “City of Smiles.”

Make ice cream sandwiches

Make ice cream sandwiches in your Bacolod house

What better way to beat the heat than this delicious treat? Ice cream is one of the most important food of the summer. It helps you cool down, it’s a yummy treat both for kids and adults, and it steams down hot heads. Ice cream sandwiches are not that hard to do. Bake some cookies (or brownies) then pair them off with the ice cream flavor of your choice. To make this even more delightful, top them off with sprinkles or M&M’s!


Have a backyard luau


Yes, you can turn your backyard into a tropical paradise. Create a lively, tropical atmosphere replete with festive colors. There’s nothing quite like a luau to enjoy everything that this sultry season brings: warm temperature, shakes and smoothies and an array of tropical food items that will help you celebrate the fleeting days of summer.


…or a backyard campfire

or a backyard campfire at your Bacolod House

A campfire is a great addition to your backyard. It’s an entertaining and cozy way to sit together, chat and enjoy roasted hotdogs or tasty s’mores under the stars.



Gardening Bacolod House

Here’s a way to adorn your home in Bacolod without having to spend a huge amount of money. All you need are recycled cans, paint and miniature plants. First, you have to get your kids creative with the used cans. Second, fill your cans with rocks (for drainage) and a small scoop of soil. The last step is to carefully add in the small plant and you can now have your very own mini garden.


Make homemade pizza

Make homemade pizza at your Bacolod House

One of the best feelings in the world is sharing a whole pan of warm pizza with your loved ones. Getting in the kitchen together, where everyone gets to pitch in their own pizza ideas is a simple but enjoyable way to get your kids busy this summer.


Create your own glamping site

Create your own glamping site at Bacolod

You don’t have to go too far to go glamping. You can now experience the great outdoors without having to spend thousands. Setting up those tents may be a tedious work but you can gather the kids to help you pitch them up. Just make sure to bring a bug zapper along.


Game Night

Game Night Bacolod House

There are a ton of board games that you and your family can engage in. Your fun night does not have to be that complicated. Just take out a board game like Monopoly and enjoy it while munching on your homemade pizza.

It’s good to break away from technology every once in a while. Engaging in these kinds of recreational activities with your kids is a cool and different way to have an unforgettable summer in your house and lot in Bacolod.