Mynardo Macaraig

Thousands homeless after Manila slum fire

Thousands of people made homeless after a spectacular fire ripped through a slum in Manila queued for food on Monday.

Flood-ravaged Manila on alert for disease

Philippine health authorities warned on Monday of disease outbreaks following horror floods.

Philippine children freed after hostage ordeal

A Philippine pre-school head surrendered to police on Wednesday after holding a busload of his own students hostage with a hand grenade and other weapons in what he said was an appeal to help them. Amando "Jun" Ducat was taken away by police after the 10-hour stand-off on a school bus on the streets of Manila.

Philippine natives fight for paradise lost

While tourists frolic in the crystal-clear waters lapping the tropical island of Boracay, local natives forced from their land by developers are fighting for their piece of paradise lost. With its warm blue waters, powder-fine white sand and palm-fringed beach, Boracay, in the central Philippines, is widely regarded as having one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

City looks to turn volcano into tourism windfall

Ominous posters around Legaspi city, in the Philippines, show the nearby Mayon volcano erupting forcefully, shooting fiery sparks into the sky with blood-red lava dripping from its mouth. But the words on the poster are cheerful rather than frightening: "Visit Legaspi: Mayon Eruption 2006."

Major ash explosion feared at Philippine volcano

Mayon volcano in the Philippines could soon unleash a huge cloud of deadly gases and ash, experts warned on Sunday, as 40 000 people prepared for a second week in crowded evacuation centres. Four powerful ash explosions rocked the spectacular 2 460m peak on Saturday, covering nearby communities to the north-west with a light layer of dust.

Nearly 40 000 flee erupting volcano

Rescuers on Wednesday raced against time to get stragglers away from the rumbling Philippine volcano Mayon, with nearly 40 000 people so far fleeing the danger zone. A two-day effort by the military and local government has seen 39 278 people safely evacuated from villages surrounding the mountain.

Farmers refuse to leave slopes of rumbling volcano

With two water buffalo dragging wooden sleds laden with sacks of dried coconut meat, farmer Bienvenido Belga descended the slope of the Philippines' simmering Mayon volcano as an evacuation of tens of thousands moved into full swing. But then Belga hitched up his two bullocks and began another arduous ascent back up the mountain.

Turning coconut waste into an environment-saver

Imagine turning a worthless waste material into an innovative, biodegradable product that protects the environment, promotes plant growth and gives jobs to poor farmers. Former agriculture college dean Justino Arboleda (56) has turned the lowly husk of the coconut fruit, the most ubiquitous plant in his native Philippines, into an award-winning product.

Ex-TV presenter poised for Philippine presidency

Philippine Vice-President Noli de Castro, a popular ex-TV presenter whose greeting ''Good evening, nation'' is known throughout the country, may see his ambitions for the top job realised sooner than he expected. So far, the vice president has not given signs of offering himself as an alternative to Arroyo.

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