Mayor Isko gives away tablets and sim cards to Manila’s students

Published August 30, 2020, 9:09 AM

by Deedee Siytangco


One sees clearly only with the heart. Anything essential is invisible to the eye.

The Little Prince, Antoine de Saint Exupery
Isko turns over new gadgets, photo from Manila PIO

Welcome the “ber” months this Tuesday! Be sure to celebrate the birthday of Mama Mary on Sept. 8. We need all her motherly intercession.

Let us be grateful we are alive. Who knows until when we will have to avoid inviting people to our homes? Until when will we be wearing masks and face shields, ordering our groceries and other necessities via on-line sellers, and binging on Netflix (watch out because smartasses in government will soon tax online sales and Netflix)?

On the happier side (look at it through the heart’s eye), many have discovered their hidden passions and talents—in baking and cooking and the arts and gardening! “Plantitas” are obsessed now with indoor plants for their condos or homes.

Some of these newly revealed talented bakers, chefs, gardeners, and artists have even parlayed the fruits of their labor into home businesses and we really hope the government does not put a damper on the micro-micro enterprises and slap them with sales taxes. We would have money for dealing with pandemics such as Covid-19 if people in power did not steal!

One powerful politician with a spic and span record till now is Manila’s Mayor Franciso “Isko” Domagoso. He recently not only went back to Divisoria and environs for another clean up, renovated the Anda Circle and the Manila Zoo, he also gave away learning devices—tablets, SIM cards—to the city’s public school students and teachers. No promises, just deliveries. Now that’s the way to really work for the people.

photos from DepEd

The turnover was done to parents of students and teachers: One tablet per household where the students live and laptops for teachers, which they will share in their classrooms with other teachers and SIM packs evenly distributed, too. 

It was also that day that Yorme opened the newly redeveloped “Lagusnilad” or underpass in front of Manila’s city hall.Mayor Isko and Vice-Mayor Honey Lacuna-Pangan led the ribbon-cutting ceremony. The redevelopment of the underpass was designed by alumni from the University of Santo Tomas (UST), namely architect Juanito Malaga, John Fallorina, Sean Ortiz, and Leon Tuazon in collaboration with the city’s Department of Engineering and Public Works (DEPW).

Key irritants such as flooding, vagrant, and lack of security have been addressed with key agencies such as DPWH-NCR, Manila City Security Office, and Department of Tourism, Culture, and Arts of Manila (DTCAM). We were told that the underpass will have 24/7 security, thanks to designated security personnel and CCTV cameras connected to the Manila Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) command center.

The mural and the bas-relief artwork was created in collaboration with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the Gerilya artists, inspired from the works of famed artist Botong Francisco. The iconic book shop, long a favorite of students in the underpass, remains the only commercial stall in the area. I still remember the horrors of passing through the Lagusnilad by car or on foot before Yorme’s time. It was dark, dingy, smelly, and dangerous. One could get robbed or mugged. During rainy days, it was always flooded.

Thank you Yorme!


Here’s something to look forward to at Conrad Manila’s award-winning restaurant China Blue by Jereme Leung by the Manila Bay.

The iconic hotel will celebrate the coming Mid-Autumn Festival with handcrafted mooncakes elegantly presented in signature designer bags by the hotel and Malaysian style icon Christy Ng. The mooncakes are available for pre-order now with pick-up from Sept. 8 to October.

Specially prepared by executive Chinese chef Eng Yew Khor, the Mid-Autumn Festival mooncakes are available in boxes of four with the following flavors: baked traditional red bean single yolk, baked white lotus with lava custard, and baked fragrant pandan with lava coconut. Patrons may choose among three stylish mooncake bags namely: Pacific Pearl by Conrad Manila and Christy Ng’s Tropical Allure, available in royal purple and crimson red.

Pacific Pearl by Conrad Manila highlights East Asian-inspired gold markings amid a stylish purple weave and a pearl handle. Tropical Allure by Christy Ng features hibiscus prints, gilded zippers, and trimmings. It can be used as a statement piece or a cross-body bag with the addition of a handbag strap. The Tropical Allure bag is set to make its Philippine debut following Conrad Manila’s sister property Hilton Kulala Lumpur’s recent launch.

China Blue by Jereme Leung continues to charm diners with a modern interpretation of traditional Chinese cuisine artfully curated by celebrity master chef Jereme Leung and Chef Khor. The restaurant is disinfected, with sanitary procedures and physical spacing carefully observed.