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SuperDads rule this Father’s Day at SM

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Hey there SuperFam! Treat the most special man in your life this Father’s day at SM Malls in Batangas.

From Jun 14 – 16, SM Malls in Batangas will help you express gratitude, love and appreciation to the main man of our life, our #SuperDads. These kings are not limited to our biological dads – our #SuperDads could be your grandfather, uncle, brother or someone who has given you guidance and inspired you to be a better version of yourself.

Spend the day with a feast They say that best way to a man’s heart is through his stomach so give your dad’s a sumptuous meal and turn this dining experience to a feast with exclusive deals and discounts at your dad-approved restos.  

Give dad a well-deserved shopping spree Daddy season will not be complete without the shopping spree. Make this day extra memorable by giving your Dad the trendiest gifts. From fashion to beauty to gadgets, they’ve got everything he’s been dreaming of!   

Pamper day for Dad Ensure the wellness of your dad by giving him a day of R&R! Treat him to a makeover session or to a relaxing massage.

Furdads are SuperDads too! Furry friends will always have a special place in our hearts. Furdads can spend some quality time with their furbabies and bond with other fur parents at the Paw Park.

Capture memories to fill your memory banks Head over to the larger than life installations and take IG worthy photos with your dads. Spending QT with your dad and the rest of the family? Strike a pose and create stories that will last a lifetime.    

This June, SM Malls in Batangas is giving your dad the king treatment that he deserves.

Celebrate Father’s Day at SM City Batangas, SM City Lipa, SM Center Lemery and SM City Sto. Tomas and give your SuperDad an AweSM DAD-venture!

RCI ‘nagtaka’ sa protesta ng Agri Beneficiaries; nilinaw ang posisyon sa utos ng DAR

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NAGLABAS ng pahayag ang Roxas and Company, Inc. (RCI) ukol sa naganap kamakailan na kilos protesta ng mga Agrarian Reform Beneficiaries (ARB) mula sa Nasugbu, Batangas.

Nanawagan ang RCI sa lahat ng mga panig na kalahok sa isyu na igalang ang
desisyon Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) ukol sa mga lupaing matagal nang
pinaglalabanan.

“Nakakabahala at nakakapagtaka ang kilos protesta ng mga ARB, dahil sumang-ayon
naman sila na ipabahala na sa DAR ang pinag-a-alitang mga lupain, kaya obligado sila na
sumunod sa desisyon ng departamento,” saad ng RCI sa kanilang statement.

Umamin din umano ang RCI na nadismaya ito sa desisyon ng DAR. “Sa katunayan, hindi ayon sa inaasahan ng RCI ang utos ng DAR, ngunit pinanindigan namin ang aming pangako at sinunod namin ang desisyon na ipagkaloob ang kalahati ng 2,600 ektaryang lupain sa RCI, at ang natitirang kalahati sa ARBs.”

Ang pantay na hatian sa pagitan ng RCI at ARBs ay iniatas ng DAR sa pamamagitan ng
consolidated order, na siya namang tumapos sa tatlong dekadang pagtatalo tungkol sa
tunay na may-ari ng libu-libong ektarya ng lupa sa Nasugbu, Batangas.

Ayon sa RCI, kinailangan munang sumang-ayon ng lahat ng kasangkot na ipaubaya na sa DAR ang pagsusuri ng kaso bago mapagpatuloy ang resolusyon. Ayon rin sa statement ng RCI, nakakabahala rin anila ang umano’y delayed reaction ng mga ARB sa desisyon ng DAR, dagdag pa nito, “anim na buwan pagkatapos sumang-ayon ang mga ARB na ipaubaya ang hatol sa DAR, ay bigla na lamang nagsagawa ng kilos protesta ang mga ito.”

Ikinalungkot din ng kumpanya ang diumano’y pagtatangka ng mga ARB na palabasin na
“RCI ang responsable para sa tunggaliang ito, kahit na maging ang kumpanya ay umayon
lang rin lamang sa hatol ng DAR.” Bukod dito, pinabulaanan ng RCI na mayroon itong
financial obligations sa mga ARB, na salungat sa utos ng DAR.

Dagdag pa rito, tiniyak ng kumpanya na hindi pa nito gagalawin ang lupaing inilaan sa kanila ng departamento. Ayon sa kanilang statement, “anumang pahayag tungkol sa mga aksyon na ginagawa, o gagawin, na may kinalaman sa mga nakasaad na lupain, ay espekulasyon lamang sa puntong ito.”

Pinagtibay rin ng RCI ang kanilang intensyon na ipagpatuloy ang pagsunod sa inilabas na
resolusyon, at hinikayat ang lahat ng kalahok na “sundin ang angkop na proseso at
tanggapin ang utos ng DAR.”

“Kung makikiisa ang lahat ay mas mapapadali at mapapabilis ang solusyon sa matagal nang alitan sa mga lupaing ito,” pagwawakas ng RCI sa kanilang inilabas na company statement.|

PTFOMS condemns Manibela members’ violent attack vs Media

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MALACAÑANG – The Presidential Task Force on Media Security (PTFoMS) strongly denounced the physical attack perpetrated by members of the transport group, ‘MANIBELA” against a member of the press while covering a transport strike staged by the group early today in Quezon City.

Undersecretary Paul M. Gutierrez, PTFoMS executive director, said that the physical abuse committed against Val Gonzales, a veteran field reporter from radio station DZRH, cannot earn any public support from the transport group or to the issues they are trying to promote.

Based on Gutierrez’s personal talk with Gonzales and reports to the task force from other members of the press, Gonzales was punched in the waist at least twice by a member of MANIBELA, for no apparent reason, while fielding his report along East Avenue, Quezon City, which they closed to traffic. The resulting traffic jam can be felt all the way to Commonwealth Avenue.

“Mariin natin kinokondena ang karahasan na ito laban sa isang kagawad ng media, sa katauhan ni kasamang Val Gonzales, na gumaganap lamang sa kanyang tungkulin sa pag-uulat ng mga kaganapan sa ating bansa,” Gutierrez said.

He added that he already coordinated with Quezon City Police District director, P/BGen. Red Maranan, to summon MANIBELA chairman, Mario Valbuena, for the violent acts of his members.

Gutierrez further bared that during an earlier transport strike staged by MANIBELA, DZBB field reporter, Allan Gatus, was also verbally abused by the strikers.

“At ganito rin ang sumbong sa atin ng ating mga kasamahang reporter sa transport strike ngayong araw. Bukod sa pananakit kay Val Gonzales, hayagan ding inakusahan ng mga kasapi ng MANIBELA ang mga nag-cover na media nang pagiging ‘bayaran’ at umano’y pagiging ‘biased’ laban sa kanilang grupo.

“Kung inaakala ng grupo ni Mr. Valbuena na ang ganitong mga paratang at pandarahas sa hanay ng midya ay makatutulong sa kanilang ipinaglalaban, nagkakamali sila. Naniniwala tayong hindi susuportahan ng publiko ang mga hakbang na may kaasamang pandarahas at pananakot.”

Gutierrez said the task force is also ready to support Gonzales who manifested his desire to sue the transport group.

“We assure Val Gonzales that the PTFoMS is fully supportive of his decision to sue those involved in the attack against him,” Gutierrez said.|

Coral bleaching in Balayan Bay alarms local environmentalists 

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ALARMING. When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white.While researchers in recent study of coral bleaching discovered an unexpected “bright spot” of hope for communities who depend upon them for food security, still there is an urgent need for a thorough monitoring and recording os such coral bleaching activities.|Photo courtesy of Jessie delos Reyes

LOCAL divers express alarm on the recent reports of coral bleaching activities along the Balayan Bay, particularly in Calatagan municipal waters and are now calling for volunteers to help monitor the said incident.

Jessie delos Reyes, a long-time diving instructor and marine environment advocate based in Calatagan town has called on his fellow divers and marine volunteers to record the said  coral bleacing activities.

But what is coral bleaching, by the way? When corals are stressed by changes in conditions such as temperature, light, or nutrients, they expel the symbiotic algae living in their tissues, causing them to turn completely white.

Warmer water temperatures can result in coral bleaching. When water is too warm, corals will expel the algae (zooxanthellae) living in their tissues causing the coral to turn completely white. This is called coral bleaching. When a coral bleaches, it is not dead. Corals can survive a bleaching event, but they are under more stress and are subject to mortality.

In 2005, the U.S. lost half of its coral reefs in the Caribbean in one year due to a massive bleaching event. The warm waters centered around the northern Antilles near the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico expanded southward. Comparison of satellite data from the previous 20 years confirmed that thermal stress from the 2005 event was greater than the previous 20 years combined.

Not all bleaching events are due to warm water. In January 2010, cold water temperatures in the Florida Keys caused a coral bleaching event that resulted in some coral death. Water temperatures dropped -6.7 degrees Celsius lower than the typical temperatures observed at this time of year. Researchers will evaluate if this cold-stress event will make corals more susceptible to disease in the same way that warmer waters impact corals.

Few years back, massive coral bleaching was also recorded in most of Batangas cloral reefs.  

An important action that man can take now is intensive monitoring leading yup to, during and after bleaching events, so that it can be ascertained as to what are the causes and consequencial effects of these bleaching activities. 

Corall bleaching is both destructive and beneficial, some studies revealed.

The death of coral also represents a huge loss—as much as $375 billion annually— for the local economies along the globe they support. Reefs support local tourism and the commercial fishing industry. They also protect coastlines from flooding during extreme storms.

But some researchers studying coral reefs damaged by rising sea temperatures have also discovered an unexpected “bright spot” of hope for communities who depend upon them for food security.

Coral reef ecosystems support diverse small-scale fisheries—and the fish they catch are rich in micronutrients vital to the health of millions of people in the tropics, a Lancaster University-led study two years ago reveals.

And, counter-intuitively, following bleaching events that kill off coral and can transform the composition of reef ecosystems, reef fisheries can remain rich sources of micronutrients, even increasing in nutritional value for some minerals.

The findings, published in the journal One Earth, show that the availability of micronutrients from coral reef small-scale fisheries may be more resilient to climate change than previously thought. This increased understanding is critical as continued global warming means coral bleaching events are becoming more frequent and more severe, placing greater stress on these vulnerable ecosystems.

Dr. James Robinson, who led the study, said: “Our findings underline the continuing importance of these fisheries for vulnerable coastal communities, and the need to protect against over-fishing to ensure long-term sustainability of reef fisheries.”

The researchers also caution that while these fisheries have proved more resilient to climate change disturbance than expected, continued understanding of the long-term impacts of climate change to coral reef fisheries, and more data from other regions, are urgent priorities.

More than 6 million people work in small-scale fisheries that rely on tropical coral reefs. Their catches help to feed hundreds of millions of coastal people in regions with high prevalence of malnourishment, causing stunting, wasting, and anemia. However, until now, the nutritional composition of coral reef fish catches, and how climate change might affect the nutrients available from reef fisheries, was not known.

This study, led by scientists from Lancaster University and involving an international team of researchers from the Seychelles, Australia, Canada, and Mozambique, benefited from more than 20 years of long-term monitoring data from the Seychelles, where tropical reefs were damaged by a large coral bleaching event in 1998, killing an estimated 90 percent of the corals.

Following the mass-bleaching event, around 60 percent of the coral reefs recovered to a coral-dominated system, but around 40 percent were transformed to reefs dominated by seaweeds. These differences provided a natural experiment for the scientists to compare the micronutrients available from fisheries on reefs with different climate-driven ecosystem compositions.

The scientists, who used a combination of experimental fishing, nutrient analysis, and visual surveys of fish communities in the Seychelles, calculated that reef fish are important sources of selenium and zinc, and contain levels of calcium, iron, and omega-3 fatty acids comparable to other animal-based foods, such as chicken and pork.

They also found that iron and zinc are more concentrated in fish caught on reefs that have been transformed after coral bleaching and are now dominated by macroalgae such as Sargassum seaweeds. These seaweeds have high levels of minerals, which, researchers believe, is a key reason why the algal-feeding herbivorous fishes found in greater numbers on transformed reefs contain higher levels of iron and zinc.

However, still coral bleaching activities must be monitored and properly recorded. The data that would be gathered in this monitoring will help government agencies in developing programs that would be beneficial to the fisherfolks and to the local tourism industry players who are both relying on the coral reefs as their source of fishes for their tables and as dive sites for their tourist-clients.| BNN, with report from LabManager

Libong indibidwal, nagprotesta ukol sa iringan sa lupa sa Nasugbu

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HUMIGIT-KUMULANG sa 1,000 indibidwal na kinabibilangan ng mga magsasaka mula sa bayan ng Nasugbu, Batangas, na pinangunahan ni Vice Mayor Mildred Sanchez, ang nagprotesta sa Freedom Park ng Lungsod Makati nitong nakaraang Huwebes, Hunyo 6, upang labanan ang umano’y nakaambang pagpapalikas sa may 50,000 residente ng Hacienda Palico, Hacienda Banilad at Hacienda Kaylaway sa naturang bayan upang bigyang daan ang planong malawakang proyekto ng Roxas and Company, Inc. (RCI)

Kasama ng grupo ni Sanchez ang mga miyembro ng kaniyang Sanggunaing Bayan, at ang mga opisyal ng barangay ng siyam (9) na barangay na sumasaklaw sa may 2,941 ektaryang lupain sa Nasugbu.

Sa kanilang pagpoprotesta, tinungo ng mga nagprotesta ang mga unong tanggapan ng Bank of the Philippine Islands (BPI), Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP), at ng mismong RCI, saka dumeretso sa tanggapan ng Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR), Land Bank of the Philippines (LBP), at sa Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP), kung saan ay namahagi sila ng mga sipi ng Sangguniang Bayan Resolution No. 118.

Panawagan ng mga taga-Nasugbu, sa pamamagitan ng natuirang resolusyon, na huwag suportahan ng BSP, LBP, DBP, at BPI, ang pamumuhunan ng RCI  hanggat hindi umano nito natutupad ang obligasyon nito sa mga magsasakang apektado sa Nasugbu.

Nagpahayag naman ang BPI ng suporta sa mga taga-Nasugbu sa pamamagitan ng ganitong pahayag: “BPI will seriously consider the contents of the SB Resolution 118, especially the concern of your Sangguniang Bayan for the farmers of your good town in the conduct of its business in the area.”

Sa kabilang dako, kinumpirma naman ng Land Bank, DBP, at ng mismong BSP na makikipag-ugnayan sila sa pamahalaang lokal ng Nasugbu upang talakayin ang nilalaman ng naturang resolusyon.

“We are encouraged by the willingness of government agencies and financial institutions to support Nasugbu. We are calling for more equitable compensation for our residents and a commitment that there will be no forced eviction in the Roxas Haciendas,” pahayag ni Vice Mayor Sanchez.

Dagdag pa niya,  “The collection of real property taxes from RCI can also be used by our municipality for healthcare, education, and other social services, to improve the standard of living in our town.”|-BALIKAS News

P200M state-of-the-art automated waste sorting facility unveiled in Batangas

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Batangas City – A cutting-edge 200-million-peso automated Material Recovery Facility (MRF) is unveiled today aimed at dramatically enhancing the recyclable waste processing capacity of the entire Batangas and other provinces. 

This facility is introduced by Filipino company Macaraig Group of Companies (MGC) through its subsidiaries, BlueEnviron Material Recovery, Inc and Wastecon, Inc., established waste management services providers. The company said that this facility, part of a multi-year, multi-billion initiative, is paving the way for the widespread use of automated MRFs in the country to improve efficiency and accuracy in the waste management processes. 

“This MRF is the first in our five-year, 13.2 billion-peso waste management pipeline project that we are introducing nationwide. We believe that with the launch of this automated MRF, we can finally put an end to open dumpsites, help prolong the lifespan of sanitary landfills and open new ways in recovering waste that will lead to zero waste in the future,” said Allen A. Macaraig, chairman of MGC. 

Macaraig disclosed that this project is made possible through its partnership with the local government of Batangas City and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR). The project also includes a plan to establish more MRFs, in partnership with the different local government units (LGUs) not only in Batangas, but also in neighboring regions in the country. 

The facility will house an exceptionally efficient and innovative waste segregation machine capable of receiving, sorting, processing, and storing compostable and recyclable material from the waste management programs of the province in an efficient and environmentally-sound manner.  

Examples of compostable materials include food scraps (vegetable and fruit peels) and yard waste (leaves and twigs) while recyclable materials include plastics, paper products, glass bottles and metal containers.

“Until today, waste sorting is still largely done manually in existing MRFs in the country. Unfortunately, this outdated process in MRFs results in inefficiency, inaccuracy and inconsistency in segregation of waste, poses a high safety and health risk to MRF workers and there is a low recovery tons per day (TPD) rate of materials that usually end up in landfills,” added Macaraig.

The establishment of the MRF facility in a 20,000-sqm. property of MGC in Barangay San Jose Sico, Batangas City is in compliance with Sec. 32 of RA 9003 or otherwise known as the Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000.

Considered as one of the largest MRFs in the Philippines today, MGC’s automatic municipal waste sorting line has a capacity of up to 25 tons per hour or 400 tons per day of only 16 hours of work. 

“Building this state-of-the-art MRF is MGC’s way of forging an active partnership with  the Batangas City LGU and the DENR to ensure the protection of public health and the environment through a systematic, comprehensive, and ecological waste management as mandated by RA 9003,” said Andrew Yap, president of BlueEnviron.

Macaraig is the lead architect in bringing BlueEnviron to Batangas City in support of the LGU’s environmental efforts of coming up with a solid waste management program and enticing the business sector to invest and promote the city. With this strong partnership among various stakeholders, the capital of the province will be at the forefront of providing an eco-friendly, sustainable, and innovative waste management in the country.| BALIKAS News

𝗦𝗠 𝗦𝘂𝗽𝗲𝗿𝗺𝗮𝗹𝗹𝘀 𝗰𝗲𝗹𝗲𝗯𝗿𝗮𝘁𝗲𝘀 𝗯𝗶𝗴 𝘄𝗶𝗻𝘀 𝗮𝘁 𝘁𝗵𝗲 𝟮𝟬𝟮𝟰 𝗔𝘀𝗶𝗮 𝗣𝗮𝗰𝗶𝗳𝗶𝗰 𝗧𝗮𝗺𝗯𝘂𝗹𝗶 𝗔𝘄𝗮𝗿𝗱𝘀

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Hans T. Sy, SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Chairman of the Executive Committee, pictured with the prestigious Tambuli Lifetime Achievement Award.

SM Supermalls brought home two remarkable achievements at the prestigious 2024 Asia Pacific Tambuli Awards held on June 4 at the Grand Hyatt Manila.

SM Supermalls’ groundbreaking Rainwater Project by SM Cares earned a Bronze Award in the Care for the Environment category. This remarkable feat furthers the organization’s innovative efforts in water conservation and environmental stewardship by collecting and turning rainwater into potable water that is safe for drinking. This is especially beneficial to the residents of Baguio City, where water shortages are prevalent.

SM Supermalls, through SM Cares, received a Bronze Award for its innovative Rainwater Project under the Care for the Environment category.

In a momentous highlight of the evening, Mr. Hans T. Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings, was honored with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award. Mr. Sy’s unwavering dedication to philanthropy, environmental advocacy, and corporate leadership has left an indelible mark on society, inspiring positive change and empowerment across the Philippines and beyond.

SM City Baguio’s Rainwater Treatment Facility, which processes rainwater into potable water safe for drinking.

As SM Supermalls looks ahead, it remains steadfast in its mission to champion sustainability, disaster risk reduction, innovation, and social responsibility. The organization reaffirms its dedication to creating a more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable future for all.

From Left to Right, Top to Bottom: SM City Santa. Rosa’s Solar Panels, SM City Baguio’s Rainwater Treatment Facility, SM Cares’ Trash to Cash Program, and SM Supermalls’ EV Charging Stations.

The Asia Pacific Tambuli Awards celebrates excellence in marketing communications, recognizing successful marketing campaigns and sustainability and corporate purpose initiatives that positively impact the world.

Established in 2005, the Tambuli Awards honor organizations and individuals who demonstrate exceptional dedication to driving meaningful social change through innovative marketing strategies.|

US, PH step closer to launching first Open RAN Laboratory in Manila

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USAID Assistant Administrator Michael Schiffer (second from left) and USAID Philippines Acting Mission Director Rebekah Eubanks (left) meet with DICT Assistant Secretary Philip Varilla and UP-EEEI Deputy Director Jaybie de Guzman to strengthen the adoption and deployment of Open RAN, a critical network infrastructure that increases cybersecurity.

MANILA — On June 4, United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Assistant Administrator for Asia Michael Schiffer met with the Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) and the University of the Philippines-Electrical and Electronics Engineering Institute (UP-EEEI) to finalize discussions on establishing the country’s first Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) Lab at UP Diliman.

In his meeting with DICT Assistant Secretary Philip Varilla and UP-EEEI Deputy Director Jaybie de Guzman, Assistant Administrator Schiffer discussed how the Lab, which will be housed at UP-EEEI, will provide hands-on training to current and aspiring local engineers and 5G professionals on how to design, build, test, and operate open networks.

“Open RAN networks in the United States have proven to be agile, rapidly deployable, and cost-efficient,” said Assistant Administrator Schiffer.  “We want the Philippines to benefit from the same robust and secure network.  The Open RAN Lab at UP Diliman will help develop talent to work on the Philippines’ own open network.”

Open RAN is a new approach to network architecture that opens up the telecommunications network, allowing mobile network operators to choose the best products and solutions from a variety of vendors.  This approach can help mobile network operators to advance security, foster greater innovation and competition, lower costs, and facilitate 5G deployment.

“DICT welcomes innovations like Open RAN to help in bridging the divide.  On our end, we commit to create a supportive policy and regulatory environment that will pave the way for efficient deployment of Open RAN technology,” said Assistant Secretary Varilla.  “Advanced technologies like this will empower communities, foster economic growth, and position the Philippines at the forefront of digital innovation.”

“We are proud to host the Open RAN Lab at UP.  This Lab will serve as a hub for cutting-edge research and development, training the next generation of experts who will lead the digital transformation of our country.  It will not only enhance our academic and research capabilities but also demonstrate our dedication to contributing to the national effort of closing the digital gap and ensuring that all Filipinos have access to high-speed internet,” said Deputy Director De Guzman.

In May 2023, U.S. President Joe Biden announced USAID support for establishing an Open RAN Lab in Manila to advance the Philippines’ 5G rollout, strengthen its innovation economy, and provide digital opportunities to Philippine workers.  The Open RAN Lab is being developed through USAID’s five-year Better Access and Connectivity (BEACON) project, aimed at promoting economic growth through better internet in the Philippines.

Assistant Administrator Schiffer also traveled to Laoag June 3, becoming the first U.S. official from Washington to visit the Ilocos Region in at least a decade.  He met with Ilocos Norte Governor Matthew Manotoc and Laoag City Mayor Michael Keon to discuss ongoing development projects in the province and explore new opportunities.  In Manila, Assistant Administrator Schiffer also delivered remarks at The Asia Clean Energy Forum, highlighting the importance of expanding renewable energy.|

Feel the fear and danger of the unknown in Ishana Night Shyamalan’s horror-thriller, “The Watchers”

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DIRECTOR Ishana Night Shyamalan weaves fantasy and horror together in her feature debut, The Watchers, and takes us on a mystery deep within the forests of Ireland. “The movie is very much a journey of uncovering this mystery—figuring out who these creatures are and what they want. Why are they being watched?”

Watch the “Try not to Die” featurette here: https://youtu.be/NZRGnOolB6g

To set the stage where the mysterious Watchers can observe the trapped individuals, Shyamalan started to formulate the look of the coop.

“The coop is such an intriguing place, and it gave us so much to play with and think about when designing the build. In essence, it’s an observatory, but it works two ways—you are looking out, but you’re also being watched,” she says. “We were really drawn to the idea of almost a play with very theatrical elements and lighting—where any moment you are being observed and on display. That can be a very uncomfortable feeling. So, we leaned into brutalist architecture, and the colors and textures associated with it.”

Dakota Fanning, who plays the main character Mina, talks about the unsettling nature of the coop and being one of the characters trapped inside. “The coop’s purpose is to keep these four characters safe from the Watchers, and to also provide a way for the Watchers to watch them. There’s a big window that turns into a mirror at night,” Fanning explains.

“At first, we filmed mostly with the mirror in, so you were kind of forced to look at yourself, which was a little bit strange at first, but it was also helpful, because it added to the uneasiness that the characters might also feel.”

Step inside the coop and uncover the truth as “The Watchers” is now showing in Philippine cinemas. Tickets are available at www.thewatchers.com.ph

About “The Watchers”

From producer M. Night Shyamalan comes “The Watchers,” written and directed by Ishana Night Shyamalan and based on the novel by A.M. Shine. The film follows Mina, a 28-year-old artist, who gets stranded in an expansive, untouched forest in western Ireland. When Mina finds shelter, she unknowingly becomes trapped alongside three strangers who are watched and stalked by mysterious creatures each night.

You can’t see them, but they see everything.

“The Watchers” stars Dakota Fanning (“Once Upon a Time in Hollywood,” “Ocean’s Eight”), Georgina Campbell (“Barbarian,” “Suspicion”), Oliver Finnegan (“Creeped Out,” “Outlander”) and Olwen Fouere (“The Northman,” “The Tourist”). The film is produced by M. Night Shyamalan, Ashwin Rajan and Nimitt Mankad. The executive producers are Jo Homewood and Stephen Dembitzer. 

Joining writer/director Shyamalan behind-the-camera are director of photography Eli Arenson (“Lamb,” “Hospitality”), production designer Ferdia Murphy (“Lola,” “Finding You”), editor Job ter Burg (“Benedetta,” “Elle”) and costume design by Frank Gallacher (“Sebastian,” “Aftersun”). The music is by Abel Korzeniowski (“Till,” “The Nun”).

In cinemas June 5, 2024, “The Watchers” is distributed in the Philippines by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Discovery company.

Join the conversation online and use the hashtag #TheWatchers #AreYouWatching

UP biologists set up first DNA segments to monitor in-demand seafoods

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ONE of the Sustainable Development Goals created by the United Nations is to “end hunger, achieve food security and improved nutrition, and promote sustainable agriculture.” Aquaculture, the practice of farming aquatic animals and plants such as fish and seaweed, plays a critical role in achieving food security. The Philippines and the entire Indo-Pacific region are home to various fish species with significant aquaculture potential and increased seafood consumption, therefore requiring genetic monitoring to ensure their populations’ long-term stability.

Shenna Kate Torres, Verinna Charisse Mangonon, and Maria Theresa Tengco of the UPD-CS Institute of Biology (IB), and project leader Dr. Brian Santos of both IB and the Natural Sciences Research Institute (NSRI), developed microsatellite markers for Caranx ignobilis, locally known as maliputo or talakitok in some parts of the country. 

The biologists chose maliputo for their study due to its high value as seafood. According to researchers from the Department of Agriculture-National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (DA-NFRDI), the species’ relatively large body size and excellent meat quality have high market value, contributing significantly to the Philippines’ economic growth. Being a high-value species, maliputo has been cultured in captivity through the initiatives of the DA-NFRDI, through the Freshwater Fisheries Research and Development Center. “As it became a target fish, studying its biology is important to prevent overexploitation and to ensure sustainable aquaculture practices,” Torres added.

A microsatellite is a short segment of DNA that repeats multiple times in a row at a specific genomic location, as defined by the National Human Genome Research Institute. “Molecular markers, like microsatellites, act as tools to identify which populations are adapting well to their environment and to determine how different groups are related to each other,” explained Torres. 

The research results can enhance the aquaculture production of maliputo in the Philippines. “If we want to expand aquaculture practices for this species, genetic diversity studies can pinpoint seed stock populations or breeders with high genetic variation, or what we can call fit breeders,” Torres explained. “By selecting these diverse and fit breeders, we can enhance the resilience and growth rates of the farmed fish populations.” Maintaining a healthy fish population can also reduce environmental impact and lead to cost savings.

Apart from enhancing the aquaculture production of maliputo, the microsatellite markers can be used to analyze the population structure of the fish species, which can help infer whether distinct populations of maliputo exist in the Philippines. Knowing the population structure provides a basis for management strategies to conserve and sustainably manage the fish population.

The team of biologists aims to utilize microsatellites and other genetic markers to analyze wild and hatchery-grown populations of maliputo across the Philippines.  Torres is also examining the genetic differences between marine and freshwater populations of maliputo. By understanding the genetics of maliputo populations and their environmental adaptations, Filipinos can develop better strategies for sustainable production and genetic marker-assisted breeding.

Their paper, “Development and Characterization of 12 Microsatellite Markers for an Economically Important Fish, Caranx ignobilis, in the Philippines,” was published in GENAQUA, a journal featuring research in the genetics and molecular biology on aquatic organisms.| BALIKAS News