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Janitor-turned lawyer now an election officer at Comelec

MANILA, Philippines - Shortly after the results of the 2016 Bar exams were released, the inspiring story of Atty. Ramil Comendador, a former janitor who worked his way to become a lawyer, has touched the hearts of many.

Janitor-turned lawyer now an election officer at Comelec
Comendador, who worked as a janitor for four years at the Commission on Elections (Comelec) to finance his studies, has climbed his way to the top and is now an Election officer of the said office.

On Monday, July 17, Comelec Chairman Andres Bautista approved the recommendation of the bureau’s Regional Selection Promotions Board.

Bautista said in a “We recognize his diligence and determination to reach his goals and we are pleased to see him accept the challenge. We look forward to working with him even more now as he takes on his new role as an Election Officer,” Bautista said in a statement.

“Ramil is certainly and inspiration to everyone, especially to his colleagues in the Commission and to the youth. His story shows that if you work hard enough, you will be rewarded in the end,” Bautista added.

According to Commendador, he was a high school graduate when he began working at the private sector. He then got married to an engineer, whom he had two children, now aged eight and four.

He aspired to continue his studies to at least be on the same level as his wife. In order to do this, he worked as a janitor at the Comelec from 2007 to 2010. Eventually, he passed an eligibility examination and became a legal researcher.

Using his earnings from Comelec, he enrolled himself in a law school and 2011. Meanwhile, his wife helped with the household expenses.

Luckily, the 35-year-old law graduate was among the 3,747 who successfully passed the 2016 Bar examinations, which is considered the toughest professional exam in the country.

“Baon-baon mo yung pangarap mo na makaalis na sa kahirapan. Baon-baon mo yun, siyempre. Malaking bahagi nun talaga yung tiwala mo sa Panginoon, at maitatawid mo yung mga pangarap mo,” Comendador said in one his interviews.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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“Kita Kita” Movie Review: A Fresh Spin On The Cliched Rom-Com

Kita Kita is all lighthearted and funny - until it hits you in the face with the reality of life and death, a MacGuffin that definitely sets it apart from the rest of its genre peers.

“Kita Kita” Movie Review:

We Filipinos love our romantic-comedies - especially ones that have cliched narratives further conflicted by a difference in social status and other nuisances where the lovers eventually defy all odds. Alessandra de Rossi and Empoy Marquez’s newest film perfectly falls into the category - focusing on the supposed disparity in looks. But what sets apart “Kita Kita” is its attempt to put a different spin on a rather beaten skeletal story. Chalk it up to director Sigrid Andrea Bernardo’s fresh perspective on the genre and the fun that both de Rossi and Marquez brought to the table that the film is every Pinoy rom-com fan’s dream come true.

We’ve seen it before, beautiful girl fall for the less attractive but full of personality guy - a lot of comedy films in the 1900s follow the same tropes and “Kita Kita” is not an exception. But despite the fact that it has been retreaded multiple times, there is just something so jovial and cathartic seeing two people loving who they love. After all, we as a nation is known naturally romantics.

Empoy Marquez as Tonyo and Alessandra de Rossi as Lea in ‘Kita Kita’
Empoy Marquez as Tonyo and Alessandra de Rossi as Lea in ‘Kita Kita’/Star Cinema
Boasting a roster of Philippine movie A-listers as its producers like Piolo Pascual and Bb. Joyce Bernal, “Kita Kita” tackles the story of a blind woman, Lea (de Rossi) who develops a relationship with a funny guy (Marquez). Set on the streets of Sapporo, Japan, the scenic background coupled with its great musical score intensify every frame of the film, - be it an emotional sequence or a downright hilarious one. A cause of warning, however, the film is a bit of a slow burn. The first act of the film is a bit too kooky and sometimes down right cheesy - to the point that you know that it is going for the cutesy Japanese media culture. But just when you thought where the story is going, its story spirals in a blink of an eye - elevating the film to greater heights.

Following Lea’s recent mishaps in her personal life, her neighbor Tonyo tries to help her by cheering her up and bringing Filipino food. The former tourist guide was repulsive at first, but due to Tonyo’s perseverance and cheerful disposition, he was able to get close to Lea and the two start to develop friendship and ultimately, adoration. Unfortunately, moments just after Lea regains her eyesight and sees Tonyo, the latter was suddenly ran-down by a car - causing his death. From then, Lea discovers things about Tonyo which helped her see the world on a different light.

Alessandra de Rossi as Lea and Empoy Marquez as Tonyo
Alessandra de Rossi as Lea and Empoy Marquez as Tonyo in ‘Kita Kita’/Star Cinema
Bernardo’s attempted to mish and mash a lot of already used tropes in various romance film - this could have been a disaster and could have easily made “Kita Kita” unfocused and underdeveloped. But intriguingly, the way the film was crafted together somehow worked. The risk resulted into a feel good movie that is also grounded.

Its utilization of the cliches paired well with the additional levity that Marquez brought to his performance - from his quippy lines to his facial expression, were all strung together very well. It’s even surprising that even with the sometimes cringe-worthy dialog, its emotional message was effectively conveyed - especially with the death scene, which was shown just enough to merit the audible gasp and the subsequent grief that Lea felt.

While “Kita Kita” is far from perfect - with some bits tend to run a little bit too long or too exaggerated and the gags were hit and miss, it is a certified good time in the cinema. It used localized humor that almost every Pinoy can relate to or at least catch the reference. Further and most importantly, it was able to come up with a great new way to utilize the usual tropes seen in the romantic comedy genre. It packs all the emotional punch and yet it is lighthearted and feel-good.

WATCH: “Kita Kita” movie trailer

-- ALD, The Summit Express

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VIRAL STORY: Grade 12 student sells corn to support his studies, family

MANILA - In the Philippines, most families don’t earn enough money to support the education of their children. Because of this, many students work while studying in order to earn money that will support their studies as well as their family.

Indeed, we’ve heard countless success stories of working students who made a lot of sacrifices just to achieve their dream.

Grade 12 student sells corn to support his studies, family
PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/Facia Lois Estive
Facebook user Facia Lois Estive has decided to share the inspiring story of a young working student who sells corns to support his studies as well as his family. The student caught her and her friends’ attention because he was wearing uniform while selling corn.

“Kumakain kami ng fries ng kaibigan ko sa Gastam. Tapos napansin niya si kuyang nasa tawid lang. Sabi niya "Tingnan mo si Kuya oh, naka-uniform". Akala ko kung anu-ano nanaman sinasabi. (Malakas kasi trip nito) Pero tumingin naman ako. Si Kuyang shs nagtitinda ng mais. Nung time na yon, maraming bumibili sa kanya. So pinicturan ko siya after umalis nung mga sinerve-an nya. Tapos lumapit ako,” Estive narrated.

The working student identified as Joel Mendiola is a Grade 12 student taking the Humanities and Social Sciences (HUMSS) track. According to Estive, Mendiola is planning to major in Psychology and intends to work as a social worker in the future.

But in order to achieve that dream, Mendiola has to peddle corn. He revealed that he would give all his earnings to his mother and would just ask for allowance from her.

Hoping to inspire others, Estive decided to share the story and photos of the working student on social media. She also urged the public to support Mendiola by buying corn from him.

“Nakaka-inspire. Nakakatuwa na kumakayod siya para na'rin sa sarili niya. Nahiya ako bigla, feeling ko puro ako hingi kay Mama ko. Hanggang house chores lang ako," Mendiola added.

Check out the inspiring story below.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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LIST: Schools that generated highest paid employees

MANILA, Philippines - Entrepreneur Philippines and recently released a list of schools that generated highest paid employees.

The infographic was based on the averages of self-reported salaries of users of Philippines, which is the country’s top online jobs portal. Ranking of the users’ school was limited to 15 schools with the most graduates among users.

Schools that generated highest paid employees

The list also includes rankings for six employment levels or positions including fresh graduates, non-executive, supervisors, managers and CEOs.

The University of the Philippines, Mapua Institute, University of Santo Tomas, Ateneo University, De La Salle University and Adamson University emerged as the top ranking schools across all employment levels.

“The rankings presented in the infographic are based exclusively on self-reported average salaries of users. Thus, they may not be representative of the actual salaries received by the schools’ graduates in the broader work force. For that, we will have to wait for somebody to conduct an actual survey of a representative sample of the various schools’ graduates or alumni and ask them how much they’re making,” the article reads.

Fresh Grad/ less than 1 Year Experienced Employee

1. UP P19,699
2. Mapua P18,867
3. UST P18,437
4. Ateneo P17,773
5. DLSU P17,675
6. Adamson P17,190
7. TIP P16,787
8. FEU P16,634
9. UE P16,611
10. PUP P16,567
11. AMA P16,482
12. PLM P16,459
13. TUP P16,054
14. Lyceum P15,541
15. STI P15,122

1-4 Years Experienced Employee

1. Mapua P31,288
2. UP P29,132
3. UST P26,779
4. DLSU P25,892
5. Ateneo P25,463
6. Adamson P24,933
7. TIP P24,169
8. FEU P23,824
9. UE P23,566
10. PLM P23,482
11. AMA P23,459
12. TUP P22,888
13. PUP P22,605
14. Lyceum P21,983
15. STI P21,057


1. UP P34,609
2. Mapua P28,776
3. Ateneo P25,796
4. UST P25,419
5. Adamson P25,373
6. DLSU P24,181
7. TIP P23,033
8. TUP P20,734
9. UE P20,671
10. FEU P20,579
11. Lyceum P20,175
12. PUP P20,058
13. AMA P19,545
14. PLM P19,122
15. STI P16,694

Supervisor/5 Years and Up Experienced Employee

1. Mapua P47,266
2. UP P43,914
3. UST P41,731
4. DLSU P40,763
5. Ateneo P38,493
6. AMA P38,460
7. PLM P38,296
8. Adamson P37,945
9. TIP P36,311
10. UE P35,281
11. FEU P34,293
12. PUP P34,033
13. TUP P33,553
14. STI P33,032
15. Lyceum P32,255

Assistant Manager/ Manager

1. Mapua P73,728
2. UP P69,786
3. Ateneo P67,813
4. DLSU P67,388
5. UST P65,070
6. PLM P62,735
7. AMA P60,726
8. Adamson P58,874
9. UE P55,650
10. TUP P54,384
11. TIP P53,480
12. FEU P52,766
13. PUP P51,193
14. Lyceum P46,040
15. STI P38,136


1. DLSU P171,268
2. Ateneo P168,628
3. Adamson P164,333
4. UP P154,026
5. UST P149,217
6. Mapua P146,445
7. Lyceum P145,267
8. PUP P143,341
9. PLM P141,997
10. UE P141,191
11. AMA P140,254
12. TIP P127,941
13. FEU P126,569
14. STI P104,853
15. TUP P82,571

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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LIST: Regular, Special Holidays in the Philippines 2018

MANILA, Philippines - Already itching to book those flights and plan your vacations for 2018? Fret no more as the Malaca├▒ang Palace has released its official list of red letter days for 2018 on Wednesday, July 19.

LIST: Regular, Special Holidays in the Philippines 2018

President Rodrigo Duterte recently signed Proclamation No. 269, which declares 18 regular and non-working holidays in 2018.

“Now, therefore, I Rodrigo Roa Duterte by virtue of the powers vested in me by the Constitution as the President of the Philippines, do hereby declare the following regular holidays and special days for the year 2018 shall be observed in the country,” Duterte wrote in the proclamation.

Here's the full list of holidays and observances in the Philippines next year:

Regular holidays

  • January 1, 2018 (Monday) – New Year's Day
  • March 29, 2018 – Maundy Thursday
  • March 30, 2018 – Good Friday
  • April 9, 2018 (Monday) – Araw ng Kagitingan
  • May 1, 2018 (Tuesday) – Labor Day
  • June 12, 2018 (Tuesday) – Independence Day
  • August 27, 2018, (Monday) – National Heroes' Day
  • November 30, 2018 (Friday) – Bonifacio Day
  • December 25, 2018 (Tuesday) – Christmas Day
  • December 30, 2018 (Sunday) – Rizal Day

Special (non-working) days:

  • February 16, 2018 (Friday) – Chinese New Year
  • February 25, 2018 (Sunday) – EDSA Revolution Anniversary
  • March 31, 2018 – Black Saturday
  • August 21, 2018 (Tuesday) – Ninoy Aquino Day
  • November 1, 2018 (Thursday) – All Saints' Day
  • December 31, 2018 (Monday) – last day of the year

Additional special (non-working) holidays:

  • November 2, 2018 (Friday) - observance of All Saint’s Day
  • December 24, 2018 (Monday) - Christmas

NOTE: List of long weekends in 2018 will be posted here later.

A total of two additional non-working days were added in the list to give more time to observe All Saint’s Day as well as Christmas Day. These holidays also aim to promote domestic tourism.

Meanwhile, the proclamation for the observance of Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha will be done after the dates of the Islamic holidays are issued in accordance with the Islamic calendar.

Based on labor laws, employees who work on holidays will be paid more than overtime rate on regular days. On top of their regular hourly rate, they will receive an additional 25% of their regular hourly rate.

On the other hand, employees who work on regular holidays will receive at least 200% of the sum of their daily rate and cost of living allowance.

Those who work on special non-working days will receive at least 130% of the sum their daily rate and cost of living allowance.

Duterte has ordered the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) to publicize the implementing guidelines for the proclamation.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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LOOK: Netizen reveals alleged truth behind Noven Belleza rape case

MANILA, Philippines - Alleged details in the rape complaint against “Tawag ng Tanghalan” (TNT) first grand champion Noven Belleza were revealed by a certain Rosa Rethy on Facebook.

Netizens reveals alleged truth behind Noven Belleza rape case

Belleza, who was earlier arrested for the alleged rape of a 19-year-old singer from Cebu, was released on Tuesday, July 18 after posting a bail of P120,000. His case has been downgraded from rape to sexual assault, which is a bailable offense.

In Rethy’s viral Facebook post titled “This is truth behind the case of Noven Belleza”, she claimed that the victim alias “Ana” was Belleza’s fellow contestant in the popular noontime show’s singing competition. According to Rethy, Ana’s boyfriend, who happens to be her uncle and was also a contender in the said contest, was the one narrated the story to her.

‘Tawag ng Tanghalan’ champ Noven Belleza arrested in Cebu for rape allegations

Prior to Vice Ganda’s concert in Cebu, where the singing champ was a guest performer, Belleza reportedly contacted Ana to accompany him around Cebu since he wasn’t familiar with the place. Ana agreed to accompany Belleza since the singer had become her friend.

Belleza, Ana and her two other friends went to D’ Voice resto-bar in Banawa, Cebu on the night of the incident. It was not confirmed whether Belleza drank alcohol in the said resto-bar.

After going to the resto-bar, the four proceeded to eat at 7/11 before going to the condominium where Belleza was temporarily staying. Since Ana feared for Belleza’s safety, the former allegedly volunteered to accompany the singer on his way to his condo unit, which was just located near 7-11.

However, things took an unfortunate turn after Ana decided to use the CR in Belleza’s condo unit.

“Nang dumating na sila sa baba ng bldg nakicr muna si ate Ana sa unit niya. Nandon naman kase yung ibang kasamahan ni Noven pati yung manager niya. After umihi si ate Ana, nagtaka siya kung bakit tahimik at wala nang tao. Aalis na sana siya ngunit hinarang siya ni Noven at sinimulang molestiyahin. Sinabi ni Noven na hindi siya makakauwi kung di ito papayag sa kanyang gustong mangyari. Hindi pumayag si ate sa kanyang gagawin kaya naman nanlaban siya. Ngunit sadyang malakas si Noven kaya naman may mga kagat si ate Ana at madaming pasa. Walang nagawa si Ate Ana kundi ang tumadyak at sumipa lamang. Oo narape siya. Pero gamit lamang yung mga daliri. Nagsorry si Noven sa kanya pero huli na ang lahat. Sinaktan at binaboy niya na si Ate Ana,” Rethy wrote.

Rethy also disclosed that Belleza even threatened Ana after learning that she has filed a case against him.

"Sige sampahan mo ko nang kaso basta ako may pera ako, kayang kaya kita,” Belleza reportedly texted Ana.

Rethy also shared Ana’s alleged version of the story in her exclusive interview with

Check out Rethy’s full post as shared by another netizen.

In her interview with, Rethy dismissed allegations that Ana and her family just wanted to milk money from the rising star.

“Hindi po para sa pera o pineperahan namin. Kaya po nasasaktan po talaga kami pag sinasabing pineperahan lang po namin si Noven, at pasikat lang po si Ate Ana,” she told

“Yung ibang tao po kasi, kahit wala po silang alam, ang dami po nilang nasasabing masasama.Hindi po nila pinapansin kung gaano pong nasasaktan ang biktima po nila,” she added.

As of this writing, Belleza has not issued a statement about his case. Belleza’s lawyer Leilani Villarino said they will answer the accusations against the singer during court trial.

--Mini, The Summit Express

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Netizens, celebrities outraged by LTFRB’s crackdown on Uber and Grab

MANILA, Philippines - Shortly after the Land Transportation Franchising and Regulatory Board (LTFRB) ordered transport network companies (TNCs) to phase out their unaccredited drivers, netizens as well as celebrities took to social media to rally behind Uber and Grab and vent their ire.

Netizens, celebrities outraged by LTFRB’s crackdown on Uber and Grab

On Tuesday, July 18, the regulatory board demanded that the two application-based transport service providers to comply or do business elsewhere.

LTFRB chairman Martin Delgra III said: “If there would be a right-minded, law-abiding TNC who will be supportive of this, [we will support them], but for those TNCs who are not supportive or compliant, get your business elsewhere.”

Meanwhile, LTFRB board member Aileen Lizada said that the two transport giants already amassed “millions” from letting more than 30,000 drivers out of 56,000 to continue operating for the past year without registering at the LTFRB.

Memes criticizing LTFRB’s controversial decision as well as the hashtag #WeWantUberGrab trended on Twitter. Several commuters even shared their taxi horror stories on social media.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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Poor pupil found eating junk food with rice receives help from good samaritans

MANILA, Philippines - A young public school pupil caught by his teacher eating junk food with rice has received help from netizens after his story was shared on social media.

Poor pupil found eating junk food with rice receives help
PHOTO CREDIT: Facebook/Choniil Mascari├▒as
Choniil Mascari├▒as, a public school teacher from Butuan City, has decided to reveal the plight of one of his pupils through a Facebook post that immediately went viral.

During lunch break, she discovered that one of her pupils named Joshua was eating junk food as viand since his family didn’t have enough money to buy him a meal for lunch.

“It was the first time that I had my lunch in my new classroom, so I ate together with my pupils. I noticed one of my pupils having lunch with junk foods (SIGA and SUPER CRUNCH) as his dishes,” Choniil wrote.

Choniil also asked Joshua as to why his parents allowed him to have it for lunch. Apparently, the junk food was the only food he could afford with his P3 allowance.

The public school teacher later on discovered that the only source of income of the family was from making and selling charcoal. Unfortunately, this type of livelihood rarely supports a typical Filipino family.

It didn’t take long before the heartbreaking post caught the attention of generous netizens who volunteered to send help to Joshua’s family. In no time, the young pupil’s family received food and other grocery items which Choniil brought to their small nipa hut.

“Beginning today, treat everyone you meet as if they were going to be dead by midnight. Extend to them all the care, kindness and understanding you can muster, and do it with no thought of any reward. Your life will never be the same again,” Choniil wrote.

Although Choniil received negative backlash for revealing Joshua’s pitiful situation, several netizens who were in a similar situation in the past shared their experiences through the comments section of the viral post. Check out their stories below:

Yung "halo-halo at safari" yung pinang-ulam ko. Minsan pa nga,wala talaga akong kanin,kaya tinapay kinakain ko o minsan wala talaga,kaya natutulog nalang ako sa school tuwing tanghali.Pero nakita ako ng titser ko, kaya sa halip na kumain siya, binigay niya yung kanin at ulam niya sakin. Hindi na siya kumain. Naiyak ako nun ee. Napakabait kasi niya. Tapos kinahapunan nun,uwian, sinama niya ako sa bahay nila at doon pinatulog at kinabukasan pinabaunan niya pa ako ng maraming kanin at ulam. Sobrang thankful po ako sa kanya,kasi napaka maawain niyang guro. Shout out kay Mam Apucay teacher ko nung grade 2. Dungga elem. School. I love you po Maam. Never po kitang nakalimutan kahit gaanu na katagal na hindi tayo nagkita. I will be forever thankful po talaga sa inyo-Ka Mars Haboc Daulong

Yzrael Urbino wrote: “Sus ako nga minsan kanin lang talaga kahit nung high school na ako minsan pa tlga nangyari walang wala as in tubig lang naulila kasi kmi ng maaga dahil sa tulong ng isang teacher namin at sa awa narin siguro niyayaya nya ako mag lunch paminsan minsan sa bahay nila tas pagka graduate ko ng hs dinalaako sa manila para may kasama ung pamangkin nya nag aaral dun na ako nkapag college din sa tulong ni teacher at ngayon nasa abroad na ako thank you pala ma'am Editha Peralta.”

“My heart breaks for this... my mom is a public school teacher, this is very common... she does what she can as much as she can to help... haaayyyy palit kog 1 month worth sud-an anang bataa beh!!!” Lord Maturan shared.

-- Mini, The Summit Express

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