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Pinay Worker Honored for Returning Bag with Cash Worth Php2.7M, Php7M in Cheques

An overseas Filipino worker (OFW) at Starbucks Mall in Dubai earned praise after returning a bag filled with a lot of money, with cash in Dirhams worth Php2.7 million and in cheques worth over Php7 million! The bag also contained a check book and some important documents, yet this honest Pinay worker did not feel tempted to pocket any of the items she found inside the bag.

Mae Anne Olmidillo, 27, is the branch manager at the Starbucks outlet in Dubai Mall. She and the Kenyan barista Rosslyn Nini found the bag left by a customer inside the store.

There were two of us who saw the bag, Rosslyn Nini, our Kenyan barista, and me. It is our protocol to check what’s inside the bag first in order to know whom to return it to, but we can only do it with a witness and on camera. I immediately alerted my district manager and our loss prevention officer on what to do next,” explained Olmidillo who has been working in Dubai for over 6 years.

When we opened the bag, we were shocked to see Dh195,000 (Php2.7 million) in cash, dated cheques [for Dh500,000 (Php7 million) and Dh6,250 (Php88k)] and documents. We waited for the customer to come back to the cafe to collect it, but no one came. So I immediately called the police to report the matter and we turned it over to police officials at the Bur Dubai Police station so they could locate the owner.

The cops called the owner who didn’t even know his bag was lost!

Photo credit: Gulf News

Aside from the cash and the dated cheques, the bag also contained title deeds as the owner turned out to be a Russian broker. She stayed at the police station until the owner arrived. He thanked praised her honesty and thanked her for returning the bag, saying he was too tired and sleepy that day to even notice it was gone.

The deputy director of Bur Dubai police station, Colonel Rashid Mohammad Al Shehi, surprised Olmidillo at her workplace with a certificate and reward to honor her honesty.

This recognition is a great honor for my colleague and for me as a Filipino. It is my personal conviction to return any lost item regardless of its monetary value. I believe in the Golden Rule ‘Do unto others what you want others to do unto you’. So when I saw the contents of the bag, I did not think twice of returning the bag to the owner,” Olmidillo explained.

What is a Broker?

A broker is person or firm who arranges transactions between a buyer and a seller, for a fee or commission.

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Syrian Vlogger Goes Viral for Buying Sacks of Rice Directly from a Farmer, to Donate in Mindanao

A famous Syrian vlogger living in the Philippines recently went viral again after he traveled all the way to Pampanga to buy sacks of rice directly from a farmer, for the purpose of donating these items to Mindanao.

The Hungry Syrian Wanderer named Basel has been living in the Philippines after falling in love with the place. He owns some businesses in the country but has earned admiration for his big heart to the people, sometimes randomly giving money to some locals who are in dire need of help.

Photo credit: News5 Features – PhilRice / The Hungry Syrian Wanderer

As people, charity groups, and local government units (LGUs) scramble to donate to the people of Mindanao affected by the earthquake, The Hungry Syrian Wanderer also wanted to do his share. But instead of simply sending money to the affected areas or buying relief goods from the nearest mall, he chose to travel to Pampanga to directly buy from the farmers.

Photo credit: News5 Features – PhilRice / The Hungry Syrian Wanderer

With farmers having trouble selling their goods because the prices are too low, no thanks to the rice tariffication law, many have chosen to sell sacks of rice by the roadside instead of giving their products to a middleman, the rice traders.

With the decision to buy rice directly from the farmers, The Hungry Syrian Wanderer is not just helping the people in Mindanao who would be the recipient of his donation, he is also helping these farmers earn a fair price for their products. Thanks to his efforts, Basel of The Hungry Syrian Wanderer has gained praise from many netizens.

Photo credit: News5 Features – PhilRice / The Hungry Syrian Wanderer

But there are still those who have something negative to say with what he did.

I laud your efforts sir but the shipping costs will eat a lot also, could have bought more if you have bought in Davao City,” a netizen wrote.

While the netizen was correct, of course, many pointed out that Basel is not just helping the people of Mindanao but also the farmers. Considering he made an effort to travel all the way to Pampanga just to buy the rice, money is not the main concern here – he simply wants to help more people! Kudos!

Photo credit: News5 Features – PhilRice / The Hungry Syrian Wanderer

Rice Prices in the Philippines

While it is true that rice prices vary, depending on the type and quality, the sad reality is that the farmers are earning too low these days. There is an abundance of rice supply because the rice tariffication law lifted the quantitative restrictions on rice importation. Well-milled rice prices range from Php30 to Php50 (some brands are cheaper and some are more expensive than this range).

Photo credit: News5 Features – PhilRice / The Hungry Syrian Wanderer

While this helped consumers in that there is now more rice at lower prices, the farmers are the ones greatly affected because they spend many months planting the rice, only for them to earn as low as Php12 per kilogram of palay (unmilled rice).

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Off-Duty Coast Guard Hailed a Hero for Saving Fellow Passengers in Sinking Ship

An off-duty coast guard is now being hailed a hero for saving the lives of his fellow passengers after their boat capsized due to strong waves just off the coast of Sibonga town in Cebu.

Seaman First PO3 Ralph Barajan took the boat from Loon, Bohol bound for Cebu City on Thursday, November 7, 2019. Little did he know that he would become a hero after the boat capsized due to strong waves. His bravery ensured that not one of the passengers perished in the maritime accident.

Photo credit: The Freeman / Facebook

MV Siargao Princess left Loon at 9AM but encountered big, strong waves as it set sail near Cebu island. The exact count of the passengers and crew vary in the reports, but there were over 60 passengers and crew riding on that boat when it capsized at around 11AM.

The passengers panicked when the boat began to sink at about 10:30AM, but Barajan shouted for them to keep calm. He led the passengers and crew with level-headed instructions that would save all of their lives.

Photo credit: The Freeman / Facebook

First, Barajan made sure that all the passengers and crew wore life vests. Then, he instructed everyone to tie themselves together to ensure they will stay in big groups. This would make it easier for rescuers to find them and would ensure that no one will drift away.

I wanted everyone to be saved that’s why I tried to bring us all closer. We tied ourselves together so we will not drift apart,” Barajan later explained.

Photo credit: The Freeman / Facebook

He was also the last one to jump off the sinking ship as he made sure that no one was left behind. What a hero.

Still, the off-duty coast guard admitted that he was scared the entire time but banked on his training to keep himself together to save his life and that of the boat’s passengers and crew. Thanks to Barajan, everyone was alive!

While they drifted together for 2 hours before finally getting rescued, everyone was safe. There were three passengers who got separated from the group because they jumped the moment the boat began to sink, but the three managed to swim the 9-kilometer distance to the coast of Carcar City.

Photo credit: Cebu Daily News

Proper Technique in Maritime Accidents

According to Barajan, the proper technique during maritime accidents is for everyone to stay as close together as possible. The life jackets made sure they will float while sticking together meant they have a higher chance of getting seen by the rescuers.

While swimming to shore might seem like a good idea, don’t try to do it unless you know you are a strong swimmer and have training for that sort of long-distance swim in rough waters.

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Netizens Express Admiration Over Kid Who Balances Boxes of Yakult and ‘Kakanin’ on Bike

A kid vendor has gone viral after a video of him riding a bike with boxes of yakult and ‘kakanin’ balanced on his head was uploaded by someone who greatly admired his balancing skills.

On his Facebook account, netizen Bruce Dolores shared a video and some pictures of the kid who he had seen passing by on his bike, balancing three boxes on his head!

Share ko lang to mga paps, Sobrang nabilib ako dito kaya kinunan ko ng video – kaya niya nga i balance yong kakanin at yakult niya, Relasyon niyo pa kaya? swabe! Hahaha. Galing!” Bruce wrote. “Pashare nalang po ng share, Para matulungan yong Bata salamat godbless!

Photo credit: Bruce Dolores / Facebook

While Bruce did not detail who the kid might be or where he could be found, someone commented on his post and identified the kid as “Mark”. According to the netizen, Mark lives at Kassel Residences Moonwalk located in the City of Parañaque.

Just like Bruce, many netizens were greatly impressed by the kid’s skills in balancing the three boxes on his head even as he speeded with his bike along the busy highway! This certainly involves a lot of skills and risks, considering that one wrong move could bring him and the rest of his goods tumbling to the ground.

Photo credit: Bruce Dolores / Facebook

Bruce was unable to ask the kid for details or buy from him as he sped past, but it was clear from the boxes he was carrying on his head that the boy is selling yakult inside that ice box and various kakanin inside the two clear boxes. The mountain bike could have carried the boxes safer and better if it were modified to have holders for the boxes, but the kid appears to have mastered the art of balancing the three boxes even as he moved through traffic.

Netizens still hope someone could help him have a safer option to carry his goods…

Posted by Bruce Dolores on Monday, November 4, 2019

What is Yakult?

Yakult is a popular probiotic milk beverage being manufactured and sold by Yakult Honsha, based in Tokyo, Japan. The drink is fermented using Lactobacillus paracasei Shirota, the bacteria strain first isolated from the human intestine by Japanese scientist Minoru Shirota back in 1935.

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