BI to pursue deportation case against Tony Labrusca

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Immigration (BI) Intelligence Division is seeking for the deportation of actor Tony Labrusca.
BI to pursue deportation case against Tony Labrusca

The BI issued a statement that are pursuing the deportation case against the Fil-Am actor. BI Deputy Commissioner Tobias Javier said, “The [BI] Intelligence Division recommended to the Legal Division the filing of a deportation case against Labrusca, I think for working without a permit.”

BI to pursue deportation case against Tony Labrusca
Tony Labrusca may soon face deportation case against him | Photo Courtesy: Instagram/Tony Labrusca

Early this year, Labrusca was embroiled in a fiasco at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. Several Immigration staff slammed the actor for allegedly cursing and shouting at their supervisor. The Philippine Immigration's decision to only grant him 30 days in the country didn't sit too well with Labrusca. He later on apologized for his actions.


After the incident, Labrusca has been working on his petition to be recognized as a Filipino citizen. Javier said, “I was informed that Tony Labrusca also filed a petition for recognition as a Filipino citizen, considering that both his parents are Filipinos.”

While Labrusca's parents are both Filipino, he was born and raised in the US and is holding an American passport.

The actor's petition will be heard by the BI's Board of Special Inquiry (BSI). If Labrusca's petition will be granted, the deportation case against him will be considered “moot and academic.”

“We would process it, may hearing pa ‘yan (there will be a hearing) with our BSI, then it (BSI) would recommend to the Department of Justice for confirmation if they find sufficient basis for the granting of recognition,” Javier explained.

To be recognized as a Filipino citizen, at least one of the parents of the petitioner should be Filipino. Javier said that while he is sure Labrusca's father is still a Filipino citizen, his mother, who had been living in the US for sometime, might be an American citizen already.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads, first-time jobseekers

MANILA, Philippines – Senator Joel Villanueva has authored a bill that allows fresh graduates to process and receive government documents for free.
Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads

Villanueva passes bill that waives gov’t fees for fresh grads
The First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017 will prohibit government agencies to collect fees from first-time jobseekers or fresh graduates | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Joel Villanueva

The Senate Bill No. 1629 or the First-Time Jobseekers Assistance Act of 2017, will grant fresh graduates or first-time jobseekers to free access to government documents.

Government agencies will not be allowed to charge fees when fresh grads apply for their pre-employment documents such as National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), police and barangay clearances, and proof of identification such as Postal ID, among others.

It does not, however, include fees for professional licensure examination, Philippine passport and driver’s license.

The SB 1629’s counterpart in the lower House, House Bill 172 has just passed the third and final reading.

Villanueva, who is the chairman of the Senate Committee on Labor, Employment and Human Resources Development, has lauded the approval of the Congress. He said, “As principal author and sponsor of the First-time Jobseekers Assistance Act in the Senate, we look forward to the immediate passage of this bill into law.”

Villanueva believes that once the bill is enacted, it will help as much as 600,000 fresh graduates annually as well as out-of-school youth.

Easing the first-time jobseekers of a few financial burden would be a great way to give them support, Villanueva added.

“It is a great service to the nation, that we provide ways and means for the younger generations’ ease of entrance into the country’s labor force as valuable human resources and productive citizens,” the senator explained.

A bicameral conference committee meeting is expected to convene to further discuss the bill.

— Sally, The Summit Express

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Couple among topnotchers in December 2018 Criminology board exam

A lot of people believe that having a boyfriend or girlfriend while you are in school is not really a very good thing as this could lead to many distractions. There are those who get pregnant out of wedlock and still too young to support their children, while there are others who fail their subjects due to frequent misunderstandings with their partners.
Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España topnotcher Criminology board exam

But one couple in Davao proved that not all students in relationships end up with a lot of problems that affect their future – because you can be each other’s inspirations to better live your dreams!

Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España topnotcher Criminology board exam
Photo credit: Facebook / Cherryfe España

Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España both graduated from the University of Mindanao, Davao City. Both would go to the same review center and go on to top the December 2018 Criminology Board Exams!

There were actually several topnotchers from Mindanao but all eyes were on the power couple, Philip and Cherryfe! Netizens are saying these two are truly #RelationshipGoals!

Being each other’s inspiration and study buddy, the couple was able to not just achieve their dream of passing the Criminology Board Exams but were also able to surpass their expectations by both topping the licensure exams.

Garnering a score of 90.65%, Philip would take the third spot while Cherryfe took the seventh spot after garnering a score of 89.85%.

Philip Dominic Pendang and Cherryfe España topnotcher Criminology board exam
Photo credit: Facebook / Cherryfe España

SEE ALSO: TOP 10 PASSERS: December 2018 Criminologist board exam CLE result

After their impressive achievement as individuals and as a couple, Philip and Cherryfe would happily share their photos on Facebook. But both did not make the traditional ‘speech’ that many have come to see in posts from topnotchers.

Cherryfe admitted that both of them are still in ‘Cloud 9’ and feeling dreamy, but she thanked everyone who extended their congratulations to them both. It was truly amazing that they managed to achieve this feat together.

Netizens are hoping that these two would continue to love each other and achieve more of their dreams as a couple in the future.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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Razorback drummer dies in apparent suicide while on Facebook Live

MANILA, Philippines – The drummer of hard rock band Razorback died today, January 16, in an apparent suicide.
Razorback drummer dies in apparent suicide while on Facebook Live

Brian Velasco, drummer of the iconic rock band, took his own life today as confirmed by music producer Dudee Alfonso and the rest of his bandmates.

Alfonso confirmed that Velasco went on Facebook messenger to say his final goodbye to his friends. Moments later, the drummer went on Facebook Live while on a balcony of a condominium in Malate, Manila. With the comments section turned off, Velasco can be seen drinking from a cup and saying a short message. His last words were, “Pakialagaan niyo na lang si Pochito. Here we go.”

Razorback drummer Brian Velasco
Brian Velasco passed away at age 41 | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/ Brian Velasco via Chico Zapotilla

On Facebook, Razorback has also confirmed the tragic incident to their “brother.” They wrote, "Today we lost our brother and our hearts are broken. We love you and we will always miss you Bri."

Initial investigation by the Manila Police District (MPD) said that the 41-year-old musician died after jumping from the 34th floor of along Vito Cruz Street in Malate, Manila at around 9:45 a.m. One of his condominium neighbor witnessed the incident. Velasco’s body landed on a canopy but no other persons were hurt.

The video of Velasco’s apparent suicide quickly became viral but has since been taken down. The musician’s family and friends are requesting for privacy.

On his social media accounts, Velasco shares snippets of his life as an artist and even as a proud dog lover. Last year, Razorback celebrated their 29th band anniversary and Velasco shared their new single, “Stargazer” featuring Wolfgang's Basti Atardi.

Last November 2018, a few days after Velasco celebrated his birthday, he also shared his deepness over the passing of his beloved Boston Terrier, Alfie. He lovingly wrote, “The loss is undeniably massive yet I find comfort in the thought that he did not endure too long a suffering and that he led a good life loved by all. So today I celebrate the memory of a little dog with a massive heart who up until his last days, did not complain. I will sorely miss you, young man. Thank you for being a part of my life. Daddy loves you.”

Razorback drummer Brian Velasco
Brian poses with his beloved Alfie | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Brian Velasco

The band Razorback rose to fame back in the 90’s for their iconic songs “Diwata,” Paghihintay”, “Giyang” and many more. Velasco joined the band in 1996 as replacement for Miguel Ortigas. He was a former drum instructor.

Razorback drummer Brian Velasco
Razorback is one of the iconic rock bands in the country | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/Brian Velasco

Know the early signs of suicide and depression. If you feel you have suicidal thoughts or suspect that some is thinking about it, get help immediately. You can reach the HOPELINE Project, a crisis support hotline for depression and suicide prevention. You can call their hotlines 24/7 for help at (02) 804-HOPE (4673), 0917 558 HOPE (4673) and 2919 (toll-free number for all Globe and TM subscribers).

— Sally, The Summit Express

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NCDA clarifies 'poor eyesight, low vision’ qualifications for PWD ID benefits

MANILA, Philippines – The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) clarified the guidelines to determine if your visual impairment qualifies you for the Persons with Disability (PWD) ID.
 'poor eyesight, low vision’ qualifications for PWD ID benefits

Recently, reports of people with “poor eyesight” being given PWD ID have circulated online. On Twitter, user @tokehang shared her PWD ID with a tweet saying, “Filipinos with 300+ eye grade are entitled to PWD privileges. Know your rights.” This sparked a barrage of queries to ophthalmologists on the issue.

 'poor eyesight, low vision’ qualifications for PWD ID benefits
The tweet has been deleted | Photo Courtesy: Facebook/F.P. Balane Optical Clinic

There are seven (7) categories that qualify for a PWD ID:

  • Physical/Orthopedic Disability
  • Visual Impairment
  • Hearing Impairment
  • Speech Impairment
  • Intellectual Disability
  • Psychosocial Disability

PWD ID holders are entitled to several benefits and privileges:

  • 20% discounts & 12% VAT exemption on certain transactions including medical services and even tollway fees
  • 5% discount on basic necessities
  • Education assistance
  • Government benefits including P15,000 worth of benefits from PhilHealth
  • Free movies, VIP parking
  • Opportunities for employment
  • Express or priority lanes in both commercial and government establishments
  • Protection against verbal and non-verbal ridicule and vilification

NCDA clarifies

The National Council on Disability Affairs (NCDA) has issued a statement to clarify the qualifications under “visual impairment.”

According to Department of Health Administrative Order 2009-0011 and NCDA Board Resolution No. 1 Series of 2006:

“Visual Disability is defined as one who has impairment of visual functioning even after treatment and/or standard refractive correction, and has a visual acuity of the better eye of less than 20/70 for Low Vision and or worse than 20/200 for Blind, or a visual of less than 10 degrees from the point of Fixation.

A certain level of visual Impairment is defined as Legal Blindness. One is Legally Blind when your best corrected central visual acuity in your better eye is 20/200 or worse or your side vision is 20 dress or less in the better eye”.

This means people who has the 20/70 and 20/200 visual acuity with the best corrected vision and even with eyeglasses or contact lenses on are considered with Low Vision and Legally Blind respectively. Thus, they are considered as Persons with Visual Disability and qualify for a Persons with Disability ID Card.

Carmen Reyes Zubiaga, the OIC executive director of NCDA has cautioned the public to be more mindful when applying for the PWD ID. “Siguraduhin niyo po kayo ay may disability at hindi basta sakit lang," she said.

Specialists explain

St. Luke’s Eye Institute Global City has posted their clarification stating, “In order to be qualified for a PWD (person with disability) ID card and its benefits, individuals with VISUAL DISABILITY must have 20/70 best corrected visual acuity on the better eye to be labeled LOW VISION, and 20/200 visual acuity on the better eye to be labeled LEGALLY BLIND.”

The Philippine Blind Union also urged the public to be cautious in asking for a PWD ID for visual impairment. They said, “Hindi po baseham ang grado para mabigyan ng PWD ID. Ang basehan po ay ang visual acuity/visual field. Pakitandaan na ang visual impairment/disability ay hindi napapalinaw ng salamin at contact lenses.”

Dra. Grace Adriano of Allied Care Experts Medical Center gave a more detailed explanation:
“Only persons with poor vision that cannot be corrected with spectacles, contact lenses, medication or surgery are eligible for a PWD Card.”

 'poor eyesight, low vision’ qualifications for PWD ID benefits

— Sally, The Summit Express

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Barber's "Pacquiao vs. Broner" poster hair art impresses netizens

A talented barber recently went viral for his impressive hair art featuring the poster from the upcoming Pacquiao vs. Broner fight. What makes his talent truly amazing is that a simple mistake could greatly change the outcome of the art since he could not just force his customer’s hair to grow right away.
Barber's "Pacquiao vs. Broner" poster hair art impresses netizens

The barber was identified as Neshell Dacalos who hails from Cebu City.

Neshell Dacalos "Pacquiao vs. Broner" poster hair
Photo credit: Neshell Dacalos / Facebook

In his post on Facebook, this talented barber shared photos of his customer’s head which shows the final artwork. People could not help but be impressed by the hair art, especially considering that Dacalos was even able to capture the fighters’ expressions using just the right amount of hair and shaved scalp.

Some netizens commented that they wouldn’t have believed this was on hair if only the close-up photos were shared. After all, the artwork actually looks so real and so much a copy of the poster that it first looked like it was just a black-and-white printout of the poster!

Many were happy to have seen this kind of artwork because it is quite rare for a barber to be able to do this. This guy is truly a very talented artist.

Neshell Dacalos "Pacquiao vs. Broner" poster hair
Photo credit: Neshell Dacalos / Facebook

Dacalos shared the post with the hashtag #GiftedHands – and netizens agreed that he does have gifted hands.

The boxing match between Manny Pacquiao and Adrien Broner will be held at the Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas this coming Saturday, January 19 (Sunday, January 20 Manila time). And while everyone is rooting for Pacquiao to win in the match, many also hope Dacalos and this customer will get to meet the boxing champ.

"Pacquiao vs. Broner" poster
Photo credit: Neshell Dacalos / Facebook

Others wish to meet Dacalos and perhaps also get a similar hair art! Well, Dacalos announced that he will be at the “Pundok Barbero sa Sugbo” in front of Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center (VSMMC) on January 20, during the Sinulog Festival in Cebu City.

— Joy Adalia, The Summit Express

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IN PHOTOS: Moira dela Torre and Jason Hernandez’s dreamy beautiful wedding

MANILA, Philippines – Singer Moira Dela Torre and her beau Jason Marvin Hernandez finally tied the knot in a beautiful wedding on Monday, January 14.
Moira dela Torre and Jason Hernandez’s dreamy beautiful wedding

Moira said her I’Do with Jason in a dreamy garden wedding in Tagaytay City. Inspired by Moira’s song Tagpuan, the couple used the hashtag #AngTagpuan2019 to celebrate the event. Folk pop band “Ben & Ben” was there to serenade the bride as she walked down the aisle with their own rendition of “Tagpuan.”

A post shared by Roxy Liquigan (@roxy.liquigan) on

Moira was in an elegant beautiful wedding ball gown designed by Patricia Santos. The groom was dashing in a fine suit made by The Fine Gentleman. The venue was adorned in flowers designed by Gideon Hermosa.

The groom, Jason revealed that he once prayed for a bride who could sing and he was indeed grateful for Moira who he described as "the most soulful and smoothest voice I've ever heard."

First Kiss

Drawing cheers and applause from the crowd, the newlyweds capped the first day of their marriage with their first kiss. The groom even went in for a second kiss as everyone was laughing in delight. Jason once revealed the couple waited for their wedding to kiss because he made that promise to Moira’s dad.


Celebrity friends of the couple were also present to celebrate Moira and Jason’s union. Among those in attendance were Regine and Ogie along with Leila Alcasid. The Valencianos were also there, Kiana, Paolo and Gab. Marjorie and Dani Barretto, Erik Santos and Sam Milby also joined the celebration.


The wedding reception also proved to be a beautiful one as sparkly lights and flowers gave the The Narra Hill a more intimate feel. The event was hosted by Robi Domingo, while a special segment gave everyone laughs with Empoy and Bayani Agbayani.

Since both Moira and Jason are singers, their reception was also filled with songs. For the newlyweds’ first dance, Richard Poon serenaded them. Moira’s sisters, J’Mee Dela Torre and Marcelle Cruzado, also gave their sister a song number. Regine and Ogie also performed for the couple and their guests.

Here are more photos of Moira and Jason’s wedding:

A post shared by Pat + IG patdytravelsandeats (@patdy11) on

— Sally, The Summit Express

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‘Green Book’ Movie Review: A Road Trip to Friendship

It was a great relief seeing the movie "Green Book", a taste of 1960’s vibe, plain and laid-back, contrasted by comedy scenes while punching you with its white-and-black discrimination issues. The film tackles real-life story of African-American pianist Don Shirley (Mahershala Ali) and an Italian-American bouncer Tony Lip (Viggo Mortensen).

Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen Tony Lip in 'Green Book'
Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen Tony Lip in 'Green Book' / Universal Pictures

Smooth scenes and slow paced at first, yet it drives your appetite on what will happen to the whole concert tour of the famed pianist backed up with his driver-slash-assistant. It is a story about friendship and how they touched each other’s life.

We have seen typical movies in the past, with actors-in-tandem, one black, one white, but this one is a hit tandem as they complement each other with their characters, Don Shirley being a man with sophisticated demeanor, and Tony Lip as the straight-forward funny guy. The story started on Don Shirley’s concert tour, with their long drive from New York City down south to Alabama. Don Shirley gave Tony Lip a Green Book – a guide for black travelers to find safe accommodations.

Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen Tony Lip in 'Green Book'
Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen Tony Lip in 'Green Book' / Universal Pictures

Tony Lip’s first encounter with Doc, a name that Tony calls Don Shirley, in an interview was a mess, turning down the offer on becoming the latter’s assistant, driver, and butler all in one. But later on, he accepted the offer, with half of his pay given at first day and the rest will be given after the tour has been completed, to make sure he’ll finish the whole trip planning to return home on Christmas Eve. Here marks the start of their journey, sharing each other’s differences along the way, with Doc as the serious one contrasted by Tony Lip, hilarious scenes make their way. Even eating a Kentucky Fried Chicken has been made hilarious; Tony Lip generalizing that black people always want to eat fried chicken, but Doc acts the opposite.

On the first concert stop, Tony Lip first heard Don Shirley play the piano and was impressed with the latter’s piano prowess. From this moment, he started showing his support to the pianist, and in each concert and road trip makes their bond stronger. Saving Doc in a bunch of places, like in a pub from white people, harassment by police officers, and even discrimination in a tailor suit shop, show how deep their friendship is. On the other hand, Doc helped Tony create letters to his wife, as Doc is so expressive and poetic compared to Tony’s bland choice of words, to the point that Tony’s wife and her friends are so moved whenever she reads his letters.

Mahershala Ali as Don Shirley and Viggo Mortensen Tony Lip in 'Green Book'
Tony Lip (left) and Don Shirley (right), composing a letter to Tony’s wife / Universal Pictures

There was a scene where Tony had his temper burst out against the police because of insinuating Don Shirley to get out of the car in the middle of the rain that made them held in a prison cell, only to be freed out by Doc’s legal actions. “You never win with violence. You only win when you maintain your dignity”, a line by Doc, really is a thing. Also one of the highlights in the film is the confrontation on the restaurant in his last leg of the concert in Alabama – a restaurant that don’t accept black people as customers, yet the venue in which he will do the concert. This showed how much discrimination happened during that era, and as a response from Doc, he didn’t continue to finish the concert, showing his firmness with his rights as a person, that color must not be an issue.

As there are confrontational scenes, the film also showed light to wrap up the movie. They managed to get home on a Christmas Eve, a scene where Tony invites Doc to his home but has been refused. A worry-some Tony was welcomed to his home by his family to celebrate. To his surprise, a person knocked through his door. Doc bringing a wine, and celebrated Christmas with the family. And a funny thing that Tony’s wife whispered to Doc is that she knew whom the letters came from.

Overall, the movie is great that it deserved various nominations and awards at the 76th Golden Globe Awards, including Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy, Best Screenplay and Best Supporting Actor (Ali), a convincing portrayal of roles by Mahershala Ali and Viggo Mortensen. This showed how friendship can start from anything, from a driver or assistant, with no race as a factor in friendship.

'Green Book' is set for release in the Philippines on January 30.

— Rein, The Summit Express

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