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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Not Living Up to the Agreement

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In recent years, showbusiness has seen the rise in the hiring of stylists to assure that a celebrity will not have to worry about what to wear and how to look in his/her guestings, photoshoots, and appearances. When celebrities are praised for their taste and appearance, the stylist sometimes gets part credit. Thus, some stylists have become as famous as some of their clients, which translates to gaining a reputation and good business on their part. With a good name and the roster of celebrity clients, a high profile stylist can easily gain the trust of designers, clothing brands, accessory suppliers, among others.

Unfortunately, not all stylists have lived up to their reputation and to their end of the bargain. When fashion designer (FD) entrusted his gown to noted stylist (NS), FD did not realize that NS would take him and his reputation for granted. NS borrowed a gown from FD for the concert of most-talked about performer (MP). NS promised to pay FD for the gown, and the waiting began. The concert was over and so much has happened between then and now, and still, no word was heard from NS.

When MP contacted FD to borrow a gown for her big hosting event, FD turned her down. FD told MP that the gown she used for her shows, was neither paid nor returned. Embarrassed, MP had no recourse, as she did not know what transpired between FD and NS. Even if MP might have had her faux pas in the past, she has never been known to be in any incident that would question her word of honor, especially when dealing with her sponsors and high profile persons.

Then, from out of the blue, FD received a call from NS, but he did not bother with the call. It was not so much of the money that FD was after, as he would not have mind if NS only returned the gown after MP's event. It was the lack of respect that NS that disappointed FD. Another incident that showed how much NS disrespects designers was when she returned a gown a young actress used in a network’s big formal event. The gown was sent through a friend - bundled in a paper bag.

As NS dabbles in the high profile social circles, such behavior tarnishes her reputation. The question is if she could do that to FD, what more for the lesser-known designers and suppliers? What if her clients actually paid for the use of gowns, but payment never reached the designers? Then, that would be worse. 

The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. – William Pollard

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Debris, Bodies Found in Suspected AirAsia Crash Site

DEVASTATING NEWS. Family members of passengers onboard the missing Malaysian air carrier AirAsia flight QZ8501 react after watching news reports showing an unidentified body floating in the Java sea, inside the crisis-centre set up at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya on December 30, 2014. 
Photo by Manan Vatsyayana/AFP


The hunt for a missing AirAsia passenger plane appeared at an end on Tuesday, December 30, as wreckage and bodies were spotted at sea off Indonesia, prompting raw scenes of emotion from sobbing relatives of the 162 people aboard.

The Airbus A320-200 disappeared en route from Indonesia's second largest city Surabaya to Singapore during a storm early Sunday.

All indications now are that it crashed in the Java Sea southwest of the island of Borneo, with debris including an exit door, a blue suitcase and bodies retrieved from the area.

An air force plane saw a "shadow" on the seabed believed to be that of the missing Flight QZ8501, National Search and Rescue Agency chief Bambang Soelistyo told a news conference in Jakarta.

Relatives of the missing hugged each other and burst into tears in Surabaya as they watched footage of one body floating in the sea on a television feed of Soelistyo's press conference.

Later Tuesday the search chief said just three bodies had been recovered so far, after another official said 40 had been found.

Navy spokesman Manahan Simorangkir told Agence France-Presse earlier that according to naval radio a warship had recovered more than 40 bodies from the sea. But he later said that report was a miscommunication by his staff.

'I cannot bring him back to life'

AirAsia's flamboyant chief executive Tony Fernandes expressed his grief over the first fatal incident to hit the region's biggest budget airline.

"My heart is filled with sadness for all the families involved in QZ 8501," Fernandes said on Twitter, before rushing to Surabaya.

Initial news of the debris dimmed the faint hopes of relatives.

"If that news is true, what can I do? I cannot bring him back to life," said Dwijanto, 60, whose son was on the plane along with five colleagues.

"My heart will be totally crushed if it's true. I will lose a son," he said.

PLANE DEBRIS? This aerial view taken from an Indonesian search and rescue aircraft over the Java Sea shows floating debris spotted in the same area as other items being investigated by Indonesian authorities as possible objects from missing AirAsia flight QZ8501 on December 30, 2014. 
Photo by Bay Ismoyo/AFP

Search chief Soelistyo said all efforts were now being concentrated on the location where the "shadow" and debris had been found, around 160 kilometres (100 miles) southwest of the town of Pangkalan Bun in Central Kalimantan on Borneo island.

The town has the nearest airstrip and is not far from the plane's last known position.

President Joko Widodo praised the search teams and said three warships were heading to the location.

"Tomorrow there will be a massive search by the ships and helicopters," he said after flying over the area and visiting Pangkalan Bun.

"I would like to thank our close friends, the countries who have helped the search from Singapore, Malaysia and Australia," he said.

"And for the families of the passengers and crew, I also feel the loss from this tragedy and we all pray for the families to be given fortitude and strength to face this tragedy," he said at a brief appearance in Surabaya between meeting relatives.

Items resembling an emergency slide, plane door and other objects were spotted during an aerial search on December 30 for the missing AirAsia plane, according to information from the flight on which AFP was aboard. 
Photo by Bay Ismoyo/AFP

Indonesian officials had already been preparing relatives for the worst, with Soelistyo saying Monday it was likely the plane was at "the bottom of the sea", based on its estimated position.

The aircraft lost contact early on Sunday about 40 minutes after takeoff, after the crew requested a change of flight plan due to stormy weather, in the third crisis for a Malaysian carrier this year.

In his last communication, the pilot said he wanted to avoid a menacing storm system. Then all contact was lost.

Before take-off the pilot had asked for permission to fly at a higher level to avoid the storm but his request was not approved due to heavy traffic on the popular route, according to AirNav, Indonesia's flight navigation service.

In his final communication, the pilot asked to alter his course and repeated his original request to ascend to avoid the bad weather.

"The pilot requested to air traffic controllers to deviate to the left side due to bad weather, which was immediately approved," AirNav safety director Wisnu Darjono told Agence France-Presse.

"After a few seconds the pilot requested to ascend from 32,000 to 38,000 feet but could not be immediately approved as some planes were flying above it at that time," he said.

That was the last communication.

"Two to three minutes later when the controller was going to give a clearance to a level of 34,000, the plane did not give any response," Darjono said.

Photo by Bay Ismoyo/AFP

International response

China, which had 152 citizens on board Malaysia Airlines MH370 which vanished in March, offered to send a frigate and military aircraft to help with the search.

The missing plane was operated by AirAsia Indonesia, a unit of Malaysian-based AirAsia which dominates Southeast Asia's booming low-cost airline market. Of the 162 passengers and crew, 155 were Indonesian.

The crash comes at the end of a disastrous year for Malaysian aviation.

Flight MH370 disappeared while flying from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing with 239 passengers and crew, and in July another Malaysia Airlines flight -- MH17 -- was shot down over unrest-hit Ukraine, killing all 298 on board. 

Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Making A Futile Scene

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Many showbiz personalities took advantage of the holiday break to take a breather from their work and other commitments. Some celebrities opted to go to beaches up north and down south, or to Baguio. A handful went abroad to visit their families or just to have a change of scenery. Mostly, they just rested from the craziness of the industry and recharge for 2015.

While everything seemed quiet and no scandal hogged the headlines, an incident happened a couple of weeks ago when Married Host Actress (HA) was about to leave for her vacation abroad. HA was traveling with the child of her Popular Partner (PP) when they were stopped from leaving. Naturally, even if the child was not hers biologically, HA, as the stepmother, made a scene at the airport to protest the incident. However, her effort was futile. Allegedly, the child was not allowed to leave for undisclosed reasons, but HA was allowed to leave at that point.

One has to admire the devotion that HA is giving to her marriage with PP. Although at the onset of their relationship, the couple was met with cynicism and doubt from the public and even their family, they proved their critics wrong. PP was true to his word and married HA. Eventually, HA earned the respect of his kids and kin. At one point, HA was even instrumental at arranging a significant meeting with PP and someone very dear to his heart.

Although they spent the holidays apart, HA and PP are going strong and missing each other based on their postings in the social network. As to why PP was not with HA, his present has to atone for his past misdemeanors, unfortunately.

Certainly, if you look at human behavior around the world, you have to admit that we can be very aggressive. – Jane Goodall

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ABS-CBN Pulls Out ‘No Race No Religion’ Papal Shirts from Online Shop

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Television network ABS-CBN has pulled out one of the papal merchandise that they are selling in anticipation of the visit of Pope Francis in January next year.

The move came after Archbishop Socrates Villegas, president of the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines, on Monday warned the public against buying shirts and merchandise bearing messages supposed to have been made by the pope.

“It is definitely misleading and erroneous,” Villegas said in a statement posted in CBCP News.

In a report from ABS-CBN, Bong Osorio, spokesman of the company, said the shirts bearing “No Race, No Religion” words were not meant to deceive the public regarding Pope Francis’ message of openness.

“ABS-CBN assures the public that there was no intent to deceive or mislead the public through the commemorative shirt that carry statements inspired by Pope Francis’ message of love, openness, and humility,” Osorio said.

“We apologize if a particular statement shirt offended anyone. We are pulling out the item from our online shop and all retail partner stores,” Osorio added.

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Monday, December 29, 2014

Not a Good Career Leverage

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Although Overnight Talent (OT) has been in showbiz since she was a child, the movie (TM) that paired her with Comeback Performer (CP) propelled her into instant fame. The management of OT and CP took a big risk in producing TM, which was based on a popular publication (PP), and the gamble paid off. Thus, OT and CP are believed to be the next popular loveteam and producers hoped that their partnership would consistently reap box office hits.

As TM was based on PP, OT and CP are sometimes required to attend promotional tours, such as book signings and other related events. Naturally, they are introduced to the authors of the works from which their movies are based. Thus, it is expected that OT and CP should acknowledge these authors to give a little respect. However, that is not how OT saw it.

During a concert of an all-female Asian group, the author (TA) of the book, which the pair made into a movie, called OT as they were supposed to know each other. Instead of acknowledging TA, OT turned her head away and snubbed TA. The reaction of OT shocked TA, who could not believe that OT was not even friendly.

Now, when the snubbing incident reached the fellow authors of TA, they resorted to a united action whenever OT would show up for promo events. Thus, when the latest movie of OT was being promoted, the authors staged a walkout in support of TA. Someone even commented that OT, who has yet to go beyond her one-hit wonder, has the gall to act like a prima donna.

Did OT really not recognize TA during the concert, which prompted her to not return the smile? Or is OT really snotty and uncaring of anything but her career? While rumors are already circulating about the negative personality of OT, she should be oriented as to how to behave properly. Perhaps, someone might remind her that TA and the other authors have a huge fanbase, and that their novels can be made into movies even without OT playing the lead female role. 

Attitude is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than what people do or say. It is more important than appearance, giftedness, or skill. – Charles R. Swindoll

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AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Loses Contact with Air Traffic Control

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An AirAsia plane with 162 people on board lost contact with ground control on Sunday while flying over the Java Sea after taking off from a provincial city in Indonesia for Singapore. The two countries immediately launched a search and rescue operation but there was no word on the plane's whereabouts more than six hours after it went missing.

AirAsia, a regional low-cost carrier with presence in several Southeast Asian countries, said in a statement that the missing Airbus A320-200 was on the submitted flight plan route. However, it had requested deviation due to weather before communication with the aircraft was lost while it was still under the control of the Indonesian Air Traffic Control.

"We don't dare to presume what has happened except that it has lost contact." Djoko Murjatmodjo, Indonesia's acting director general of transportation, told reporters. He said the last contact between pilot and the air traffic control was at 6.13 a.m. "when he asked to hinder cloud by turning left and go higher to 34,000 feet."

He said there was no distress signal from Flight QZ8501.

The contact was lost about 42 minutes after the single-aisle jetliner took off from Indonesia's Surabaya airport, Hadi Mustofa, an official of the transportation ministry told Indonesia's MetroTV. It was about an hour before it was scheduled to land in Singapore.

Air tracking service Flight Radar 24 tweeted this image showing AirAsia Flight QZ8501's last known location. 
Image courtesy of Twitter: @Flightradar24

The plane had two pilots, five cabin crew and 155 passengers, including 16 children and one infant, AirAsia Indonesia said in a statement. Indonesian officials had earlier said there were 161 people on board, presumably because the infant was not counted.

The AirAsia statement said there were six foreigners — three South Koreans and one each from Singapore, Malaysia and France. The rest were Indonesians.

It said the captain in command had a total of 6,100 flying hours, a substantial number, and the first officer a total of 2,275 flying hours.

Pilot requested change in altitude

At Surabaya airport, dozens of relatives sat in a room, many of them talking on mobile phones and crying. Some looked dazed.

Murjatmodjo, the Indonesian official, said the plane is believed to have gone missing somewhere over the Java Sea between Tanjung Pandan on Belitung island and Pontianak, on Indonesia's part of Kalimantan island.

He said the pilot contacted Jakarta air traffic control 6:12 a.m. reporting clouds and asking to go higher from 9,700 metres (32,000 feet) to 10,303 metres (34,000 feet), the usual cruising altitude for jetliners.

The Singapore statement said search and rescue operations have been activated by the Indonesian authorities. It said the Singapore air force and the navy also were searching with two C-130 planes.

Relatives of the passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 comfort each other at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, Indonesia, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014. 
Image courtesy of Trisnadi/Associated Press

'We have to reserve judgment'

Flightradar24, a flight tracking website, said the plane was delivered in September 2008, which would make it six years old.

The Malaysia-based AirAsia, which has dominated cheap travel in the region for years, has never lost a plane before. AirAsia Malaysia owns 49 per cent of the Indonesian subsidiary.

A Changi Airport staff holds up a sign to direct possible next-of-kins of passengers of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 from Indonesian city of Surabaya to Singapore, at Changi Airport in Singapore December 28, 2014. 
Image courtesy of Edgar Su/Reuters

This is the third major air incident for Southeast Asia this year. On March 8, Malaysia Airlines flight 370, a wide-bodied Boeing 777, went missing soon after taking off from Kuala Lumpur for Beijing. It remains missing until this day with 239 people in one of the biggest aviation mysteries. Another Malaysia Airlines flight, also a Boeing 777, was shot down over rebel-controlled eastern Ukraine while on a flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur on July 17. A total of 298 people on board were killed.

The crew's request for an unusual route is curious since the weather "didn't seem to be anything unusual," said William Waldock, an expert on air crash search and rescue with Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

Severe weather is the reason pilots usually request a different route, but in this case the "winds were light, there were a few thin clouds, but that's about it," he said in an interview.

Waldock cautioned against drawing comparisons to the disappearance of Malaysia flight 370.

"I think we have to let this play out," he said. "Hopefully, the airplane will get found, and if that happens it will probably be in the next few hours. Until then, we have to reserve judgment."

The circumstances bode well for finding the plane since the intended flight time was less than two hours and there is a known position at which the plane disappeared, he said.


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