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SS is back after a lull of two short days - Sunday and Monday. We motored back yesterday, arriving last night from Dapitan City to head  the delegation of soccer players of the Baliwasan-Red Scorpions Hermosuras that competed in the 4th Rosalina Jalosjos Football Festival.

And we bring good tidings. It’s another feat for the team.

Sweeping 6 games in one day, the Baliwasan-Red Scorpions again bagged the championship plum in the open category.

Packed with high schoolers all, the Hermsoruras, mostly of the under 16 ages, bested, the region’s sixteeners up, with one of about 27 years old.

They romped off not only the top prize. They also snatched three individual awards: Golden Ball (Most Valuable Player) - Jhoane Jalnaiz; Golden Boot (Most Number of Goals) - Genevear Baga and Jezz Bernardo – Golden Gloves (Best Goal-keeper).

Reynan Marzan lead the coaching staff, and Hermes “Junie” Manuel, adviser joined in with Reyman Marzan and Jonahan Modillaa, father of a male player acted as our advance party in preparation for the team’s stay.

And Randy Francisco, also a member of the coaching staff, failed to make the trip due to prior obligations, but in absence, his heart was surely with the team.

All are named former soccer players, with Manuel as a one-time Philippine Soccer Team member, coming from a long stint with the FEU varsity.

In tow was better half of Junie, Ma. Daniline O. Manuel.

Salih Alian was there separately using his own personal funds to head his 3-team Alian Football Club. One of it, where Anca Cabato, Baliwasan SK Chair is a part of, emerged second placer, with only a single defeat that had to come  in the hands of the Hermosuras.

Interestingly, though, the clean sweep of the Baliwasan-Red Scorpions ensured their 2nd place win, having dealt their closest contender to 2nd, its second loss. Otherwise, if there was a triple tie if the Hermosuras had one loss, too, going to the quotient scoring system, AFC would have been relegated to third. Defeating them in an earlier game was then duly compensated.

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Special Assistant to the President (SAP) Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go was yesterday the city’s guest of honor  and speaker during the opening salvo of the Zamboanga Hermosa Festival at the City Coliseum in Tetuan that followed the civic-military parade from Fort Pilar premises.

In the evening, Sap Go met with a group of locals that included the Eagle presidents.

SS missed the pow-wow as he was still on land travel that time.

The opening salvo was highlighted by the Inter-Barangay Bandoreal Competition and the different song and dance presentations that added color and fun to the festivity.

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The local Partido Demokratikong Pilipino (PDP), known here as ‘Team Colorao’ revealed set plans for the creation of a powerhouse ticket for upcoming 2019 midterm elections.

Although still somewhat supposedly fluid, as in the words of PDP City Chairman, Cong. Celso Lobregat, he told media, ‘Team Colorao’ has already come up with an initial line-up.

Fluid? SS does not see it that way.

Take as pick on a Lobregat post on his own fb timeline - “From West to East in all 3 events (The ones he was invited to), the chants, cheers and shouts were clear, resounding and loud “CELSO LOBREGAT FOR MAYOR!”

To SS there is no fluidity in it. That is a strong line worded in all caps. “CELSO LOBREGAT FOR MAYOR!”

Guessing game is over.

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Good news for the womenfolk. The bicameral conference committee tasked to reconcile versions of the Expanded Maternity Leave Bill agreed on Monday to increase the maternity leave period from 60 to 105 days for female workers in the government service and in the private sector.

Gabriela Rep. Emmi de Jesus, bicam panel members, and Bagong Henerasyon partylist Rep. Bernadette Herrera- Dy, chairperson of the House Committee on Women and Gender Equality, in a joint statement said, “This is a very positive start of our #PinkOctober campaign that seeks to highlight women’s health…”

Current laws allow a maternity leave of 60 days for government employees and 60 to 78 days for those in the private sector, depending on the mode of delivery.

Now the approved bicam version provides for 105 days paid maternity leave credits for public and private sector workers of which seven days are transferrable to fathers. There is also an option to extend for an additional 30 unpaid days.

An additional 15 days are likewise given to solo mothers, for a total of 120 days.

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Zamboanga City is truly blessed. Observe. Typhoon “Queenie” (international name “Kong-rey”), the 17th cyclone of 2018, has entered the Philippine area of responsibility (PAR) on Monday afternoon, with the intensity  of a maximum sustained winds of 160 kilometers per hour (kph) and gustiness of up to 195 kph later in the day.

With all these brewing, Zamboangueños do not even feel a pinch of it.

We have only God to thank for.

All glory and honor is Yours Almighty Father, for Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory now and forever. Amen.

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