After Filipino dance troupe El Gamma Penumbra’s victory in Asia’s Got Talent comes another international recognition for the Philippines – this time in the field of public service. The United Nations bestowed the prestigious Public Service Award on the Mandaluyong City government for its Project Therapy, Education, Assimilation of Children with Handicap (TEACH).

Read more

Although it constantly bears the stigma of being a place for prisoners and the mentally ill, Mandaluyong City can now claim as the best place for children after recently bagging the Presidential Award for the most child-friendly city in the country. Mandaluyong bested other cities that had won in the regional competitions under the highly urbanized city category such as Baguio, Olongapo, Bacolod and Cebu. In a statement, Mayor Benhur Abalos attributed its programs and services for maternal and child-care to the growing business investments in the city, which have so far reached to P82.25 billion this year.

“We have successfully survived the stigma that Mandaluyong is a place only for mental and correctional institutions surrounded by thick bushes and grasslands,” Abalos said referring to the usual banter “Sa Loob o sa Labas (Do you live in or out)?” to Mandaluyong residents.

Read more

MANDALUYONG CITY, Philippines — A mayor does not normally make his name by digging up bones of the dead. But Benjamin “Benhur” Abalos Jr., saw no other way.

For years, the garbage-strewn public cemetery in his city, part of Metro Manila, had become overstuffed with bodies. Families of the dead stacked new concrete apartment niches five-high atop the old ones. But it wasn’t enough to handle 1,000 new arrivals each year. Gravediggers would make room by pulling out bones and tossing them to the ground or shoving them into unmarked plastic sacks. Babies were buried under the pathways, marked only by small marble stones inscribed with the child’s name.

Read more

To spread a little Christmas cheer, Mandaluyong Mayor Benjamin Abalos Jr. distributed yesterday at least 60,000 buckets of groceries to poor residents. “For two decades now, we have been doing this traditional ‘Pamaskong Handog’ to reach out to our people. I believe that everybody deserves to have something on their table,” Abalos said.

Read more: