Island - updates

Rappler's latest stories on Island


FALSE: Boracay photos in 'disente' vs 'bastos' times

Jul 08, 2020 - 3:32 PM

(UPDATED) The 'disente' photo was taken in March 2018, while the 'bastos' photo was a stock photo that has been used in some articles shortly before Boracay's closure in April 2018

Dozens dead, missing in Japan as heavy rain causes floods, mudslides

Jul 05, 2020 - 2:36 PM

(UPDATED) The floods in Kyushu island have destroyed houses, swept away vehicles and caused bridges to collapse, leaving many towns submerged and communities cut off

FLOODS. Residents are evacuated from flood-affected area by rubber boats in Kuma village, Kumamoto prefecture, on July 5, 2020. Photo by Jiji Press/AFP

14 feared dead at flooded nursing home in Japan – governor

Jul 04, 2020 - 6:19 PM

Governor Ikuo Kabashima says the victims were found 'in cardio-respiratory arrest' at the facility for elderly people that was inundated after a nearby river broke its banks

A car passes through a flooded road caused by heavy rain in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto prefecture on July 4, 2020. - Some 75,000 people were ordered to evacuate in western Japan on July 4 as record heavy rain triggered floods and landslides, local media and officials said. The nation's weather agency issued the highest level of heavy rain warnings to Kumamoto and Kagoshima on Kyushu island. (Photo by STR / JIJI PRESS / AFP) / Japan OUT

2 feared dead, 13 missing as heavy rain lashes western Japan

Jul 04, 2020 - 11:45 AM

(UPDATED) The nation's weather agency issues the highest emergency level of heavy rain warnings to Kumamoto and Kagoshima on Kyushu island

JAPAN RAINS. A car passes through a flooded road caused by heavy rain in Yatsushiro, Kumamoto prefecture on July 4, 2020. Photo by Jiji Press/AFP

Pentagon: China military exercises will 'further destabilize' South China Sea

Jul 03, 2020 - 9:12 AM

Washington rejects Beijing's territorial claim to much of the South China Sea, including the Paracels

PARACEL ISLANDS. An aerial view of Qilianyu islands in the Paracel chain, which China considers part of Hainan province on August 10, 2018. File photo by AFP

BPI suspends employee over possible Wirecard scandal involvement

Jun 22, 2020 - 7:20 PM

'The employee who may have played a part in the preparation of [falsified documents] has been suspended and is under investigation,' says BPI

Phivolcs records 136 earthquakes at Kanlaon Volcano in 24 hours

Jun 22, 2020 - 11:20 AM

State volcanologists remind the public that Kanlaon Volcano has been under Alert Level 1 since March 11, which means it is in a period of unrest

This photo taken on January 13, 2016 shows houses and rice fields near the foot of Kanlaon volcano in La Carlota town, Negros Occidental province, central Philippines. Kanlaon volcano shot a one-kilometre (half a mile) ash column into the air for five minutes on December 26, 2015, affecting thousands of residents nearby and were advised to wear face masks due to ash, a disaster official said. AFP PHOTO / Archie Rey Alipalo (Photo by Archie Rey Alipalo / AFP)

Phivolcs: Kanlaon Volcano under close watch as earthquakes hit

Jun 22, 2020 - 8:20 AM

The Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology records at least 81 earthquakes at Kanlaon Volcano in a 10-hour period

ACTIVE. Kanlaon Volcano in Negros Island. File photo from Wikimedia Commons

Boracay task force revokes accreditation of resort visited by virus case

Jun 17, 2020 - 3:52 PM

The Malay municipal government is studying whether a case should be filed against a Bureau of Fire Protection employee and the resort for breach of quarantine protocols

OPEN. Boracay reopens to Western Visayas tourists on June 16, 2020. File photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

10 killed in Negros Island shootings in 6 days

Jun 17, 2020 - 3:21 PM

The killings occur from June 12 to 17

Kaka Bag-ao: Careers in fighting COVID-19 not limited to health workers

Jun 13, 2020 - 7:55 PM

Dinagat Islands Governor Kaka Bag-ao says an effective strategy against COVID-19 employs people who come from different backgrounds

PROBLEMS. Governor-elect Kaka Bag-ao says poverty in the Dinagat Islands should be immediately addressed. Screenshot from Rappler video

WATCH: Upgrades on Pag-asa Island continue as Chinese militias prowl its waters

Jun 11, 2020 - 11:24 PM

The government inaugurates a new beaching ramp at the Philippines' main outpost in the West Philippine Sea, which is still hounded by the presence of Chinese paramilitary ships

PAG-ASA ISLAND. An aerial view of Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of Eugenio Bito-onon Jr

Western Visayas tourists can visit Boracay starting June 16

Jun 11, 2020 - 6:53 PM

All modified general community quarantine rules will apply, such as mask-wearing and physical distancing

MUCH AWAITED REOPENING. Boracay will be open to Western Visayas tourists starting June 16. Photo by Boy Ryan B. Zabal

Locsin hits PLDT after China, Vietnam roaming texts on Pag-asa Island

Jun 10, 2020 - 11:15 PM

'Just drop that roaming partnership shit with China and Vietnam,' Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr tells PLDT

THREATS MADE. Foreign Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr at a Senate hearing on February 4, 2020. Photo by Angie de Silva/Rappler

‘Let’s not hurt China’s feelings’: Why Duterte hasn’t visited Pag-asa Island

Jun 10, 2020 - 5:56 PM

Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana explains the President’s reason for calling off planned visits to the country’s main outpost in the West Philippine Sea

COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF. President Rodrigo Duterte and Defense Secretary Delfin Lorenzana (L) during a send-off ceremony for two Navy ships at the Port of Manila in January 2020. Malacañang Photo

Welcome to China, Vietnam: Roaming texts greet officials arriving on Pag-asa Island

Jun 09, 2020 - 8:12 PM

Pag-asa Island lies in an area of the West Philippine Sea where signals from other claimant countries overlap, and the strongest ones win out

WELCOME. These screen caps from defense officials and reporters show roaming text alerts welcoming them to China or Vietnam while visiting Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea on June 9, 2020. Sourced photos

More plans to upgrade Pag-asa Island as Lorenzana unveils beaching ramp

Jun 09, 2020 - 4:16 PM

The ramp allows for the delivery of large equipment and supplies in the West Philippine Sea. A new sheltered harbor will also be inaugurated on Friday, June 12.

MILESTONE. The new beaching ramp at Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the Department of National Defense

LOOK: New harbor on Pag-asa Island

May 30, 2020 - 9:25 PM

The harbor, along with other new structures on the island, will make both civilian and military visits easier – a small but significant step forward in establishing Filipino presence in the West Philippine Sea

SAFE HARBOR. An aerial view of the construction of a sheltered port at Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo courtesy of the Municipal Engineering Office of the Kalayaan Island Group

New record: 2nd otter species in PH spotted in Tawi-Tawi

May 30, 2020 - 8:00 AM

Otter specialists say the otters recently seen in Turtle Islands are of a species never before recorded in the Philippines

River Otters in Turtle Islands. Photo from Turtle Islands Municipal Police Station

Lockdown 'accident': Online shop helps Dumagat farmers sell produce in Metro Manila

May 22, 2020 - 1:30 PM

One man's rash decision to buy 5 jeeps of produce blossoms into a social enterprise that helps farmers, and those who've found themselves jobless during the coronavirus lockdown

First time: PH Navy ship docks at Pag-asa Island

May 20, 2020 - 1:00 PM

A new port and beaching ramp near completion on the country's largest outpost in the West Philippine Sea

FIRST TIME. The Philippine Navy ship BRP Ivatan (far right) docks at Pag-asa Island for the first time on May 13, 2020. Photo from Naval Forces West

Boracay lockdown costs Aklan more than P11-B in lost revenues

May 14, 2020 - 7:45 PM

The estimate is based on tourist arrivals in Boracay Island during the same period in 2019

2 Chinese vessels chase Japanese fishing boat near disputed islets

May 10, 2020 - 1:28 PM

Japan lodges an official protest with China

DISPUTE. In this file photo, national flags of Japan and China (R) are displayed at Tokyo's Haneda Airport. Photo by Kazuhiro Nogi/AFP

No swimming! Boracay navigates life after strict lockdown

May 06, 2020 - 9:01 PM

As residents of Aklan try to get back on their feet, the provincial government says it's going to prioritize assistance to local farmers and producers of agricultural crops

BPI reviews spending plan, braces for loan defaults due to coronavirus

Apr 24, 2020 - 6:10 PM

BPI increases its buffer for loan default losses as a result of the pandemic. Executives also say the bank is 'well-positioned' for the expected rise in digital transactions.

Cebu, Davao City, other areas in VisMin on lockdown until May 15

Apr 24, 2020 - 9:16 AM

The lockdowns – the first to be declared outside of Luzon by the national government – will last until May 15

Sitio Zapatera in Barangay Barrio Luz with at least 9,000 residents is on lockdown after several residents were found out to be infected by Covid19. Photo by Gelo Litonjua/Rappler

Beijing names islands in disputed South China Sea

Apr 21, 2020 - 8:04 PM

The notice lists the Chinese names and coordinates of 80 islands, reefs, seamounts, shoals and ridges, 55 of them submerged in water

PARACEL ISLANDS. An aerial view of Qilianyu islands in the Paracel chain, which China considers part of Hainan province on August 10, 2018. File photo by AFP

Workers stranded in Boracay appeal to Aklan gov't, home LGUs to let them return

Apr 17, 2020 - 11:10 PM

The workers come from Cebu, Iloilo, Samar, Negros Oriental, Romblon, Antique, Nueva Ecija, Zamboanga del Norte, and Pampanga

CLOSED AGAIN. The island is closed once again while the province is under enhanced community quarantine due to the novel coronavirus. Photo by Adrian Portugal/Rappler

Pacific clean-up after homes 'blown to smithereens' by superstorm

Apr 14, 2020 - 4:00 PM

The cyclone careens through the South Pacific, peaking as a Category Five superstorm that gouged a trail of destruction across the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Tonga

TROPICAL CYCLONE HAROLD. This handout photo taken and released by the Tonga Police on April 9, 2020 shows damage to a tourist resort caused by Tropical Cyclone Harold in the Hihifo coastal area. Handout photo by Tonga Police/AFP

PH raises 'trust' issues with China after it sank Vietnam ship in South China Sea

Apr 08, 2020 - 5:20 PM

The Philippines expresses solidarity with Vietnam, nearly a year after Vietnamese fishermen rescued Filipinos sunk and abandoned by a Chinese ship in Recto Bank

TENSION AT SEA. The China Coastguard Ship 4301 involved in the sinking of a Vietnamese fishing boat. Photo from Weibo

Monster Pacific cyclone Harold batters Fiji

Apr 08, 2020 - 9:02 AM

(UPDATED) Harold remains 'extremely dangerous' and residents in the island's south are advised to shelter in churches, schools, or other substantial buildings

TURBULENT. This handout photo taken on April 7, 2020 shows high seas along the coast in Lamen Bay, after Tropical Cyclone Harold swept through the northern islands of the Pacific island country of Vanuatu. Photo by Tasso Joshua/AFP

Antique records first coronavirus case

Apr 07, 2020 - 10:33 PM

The patient is a 74-year-old man from Parañaque City who arrived in Semirara Island on March 9

Falkland Islands confirm first coronavirus case

Apr 04, 2020 - 3:30 PM

With the southern Atlantic Ocean British overseas territory out of the list, those officially still untouched by COVID-19 are Samoa, Turkmenistan, North Korea and bases on the frozen continent of Antarctica

Boracay waste down to about 50% amid coronavirus lockdown

Apr 01, 2020 - 2:56 PM

Aklan province reports its 4th case of coronavirus. All of them have history of travel to Metro Manila, the epicenter of coronavirus outbreak in the country

BEFORE COVID. File photo of tourists in Boracay. Boy Ryan Zabal/Rappler

In Dinagat Islands, containment is key to coronavirus response

Mar 31, 2020 - 1:56 PM

Dinagat Islands focuses more on prevention, as it tries to nip the spread of the new virus in the bud before it overburdens the provincial health care system

Photos from Dinagat Islands Provincial Information Office, Loreto Fire Station, San Jose Bureau of Fire Protection

Magnitude 7.5 quake hits off Russia's Kuril Islands – USGS

Mar 25, 2020 - 1:46 PM

The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center says 'only very small tsunami waves were generated by this earthquake and there is no further threat'

Foreign tourists stranded in Boracay due to lockdown, restrictions

Mar 24, 2020 - 4:32 PM

Despite mercy flights to get them out of the resort island, some 500 holidaymakers are still trapped there

Photo by Boy Ryan Zabal/Rappler

China opens new research outposts in the West Philippine Sea

Mar 23, 2020 - 5:45 PM

The new research centers are on Zamora and Kagitingan reefs, which China has turned into military bases

KAGITINGAN REEF. This satellite image dated January 1, 2018, shows Kagitingan Reef (Fiery Cross Reef) in the West Philippine Sea (South China Sea). Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI/DigitalGlobe

Duterte backs out of Boracay visit over coronavirus threat

Mar 11, 2020 - 11:12 PM

Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo says President Rodrigo Duterte will not proceed to Boracay after 'careful review' of the coronavirus situation in the Philippines

CHANGE IN PLANS. President Rodrigo Duterte holds a meeting with the Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management of Emerging Infectious Diseases at Malacañang on March 9, 2020. Malacañang photo

Phivolcs raises Alert Level 1 for Kanlaon Volcano

Mar 11, 2020 - 12:35 PM

Kanlaon Volcano is now 'at an abnormal condition and has entered a period of unrest,' says Phivolcs on Wednesday, March 11

ACTIVE MOUNTAIN. Mount Kanlaon in an undated photograph. Photo from Wikimedia Commons

Cagbalete Island in Quezon on temporary lockdown due to coronavirus outbreak

Mar 11, 2020 - 8:59 AM

The municipal government says 'the two-week lockdown will help health personnel and other concerned agencies to monitor and assess local situation'

Lorenzana denies Chinese vessels hampered Pag-asa Island construction

Mar 10, 2020 - 9:24 PM

'Although there are always Chinese ships in the vicinity of Pag-asa, they have never in any way interfered with the rehabilitation of the island,' says the defense chief

PAG-ASA ISLAND. This satellite image from June 2019 shows construction work on Pag-asa Island, the Philippines' main outpost in the West Philippine Sea. Photo from AMTI-CSIS

'Ligo tayo': Amid coronavirus, Duterte jokes he'll swim in Boracay with Puyat

Mar 10, 2020 - 9:58 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte also brushes aside a 'no-touch' policy between him and the public

ANOTHER JOKE? President Rodrigo Duterte chats with Tourism Secretary Bernadette Puyat prior to the start of the 46th Cabinet Meeting at the Malacañang Palace on March 2, 2020. Malacañang photo

Boracay combats coronavirus impact with discounts

Mar 09, 2020 - 4:45 PM

Hotels and restaurants in Boracay lower prices by as much as 50%, but this may still not be enough to convince wary tourists to come back

Cook Islands bans travelers from PH, 13 other countries over coronavirus scare

Mar 09, 2020 - 2:11 PM

The island country will refuse entry of passengers who visited these 14 countries, including the Philippines, within the last 14 days

TRAVEL BAN DUE TO CORONAVIRUS. Tapuaetai or One Foot Island is part of Cook Islands, an island country in the South Pacific Ocean. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia

LOOK: Despite swarm of Chinese boats, PH building up Pag-asa Island

Mar 07, 2020 - 3:31 PM

Satellite photos from a US-based think tank show progress in runway repairs and beaching ramp construction even as Chinese militia vessels surround the Philippines’ main outpost in the West Philippine Sea

PROGRESS. THIS photo from the Asia Maritime Transparency Initiative of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (AMTI-CSIS) shows the progress of repairs and construction on Pag-asa Island in the West Philippine Sea. Photo from AMTI-CSIS

Indonesia detains 'illegal' Vietnamese fishing boats

Mar 05, 2020 - 5:12 PM

Maritime officials say they intercepted 5 fishing boats and apprehended its 68 crew near Indonesia's Natuna islands, which border the South China Sea, most of which is claimed by Beijing

DETAINED. This picture taken in Batam, Kepulauan Riau on March 4, 2020 shows Indonesian officials standing next to Vietnamese fishermen detained by Indonesian authority for illegal fishing in Natuna water. Photo by Teguh Prihatna/AFP

Chinese vessels likely to stay near Pag-asa Island, says Esperon

Mar 03, 2020 - 5:15 PM

Since China has already turned Zamora Reef into a military base, it will likely keep deploying boats – believed to be militias – just 'to deny us some space,' says the Philippines' national security adviser

ZAMORA REEF. This satellite image shows Zamora (Subi) Reef, which China has reclaimed and built into a military base. Photo courtesy of CSIS/AMTI and DigitalGlobe

Bali prays as virus hits tourism on Island of the Gods

Mar 02, 2020 - 8:20 PM

In Bali, some China-focused businesses are forced to shut down and others say they're on the brink of bankruptcy

This picture taken on February 19, 2020 shows Balinese people praying during the Galungan holiday at Jagatnata temple in Denpasar, Indonesia's resort island of Bali. - Bali's Galungan festival celebrates the triumph of good over evil, but a new enemy is threatening that cosmic balance -- coronavirus. At a temple in Bali's capital Denpasar, many faithful at the annual event hoped incense-and-flower offerings would help the Hindu island get back on its feet after a drastic slump in Chinese visitors hammered the key tourism sector. (Photo by SONNY TUMBELAKA / AFP) / TO GO WITH AFP STORY CHINA-HEALTH-VIRUS-TOURISM-INDONESIA-BALI,FOCUS BY PETER BRIEGER AND AGNES ANYA

Over 100 Chinese vessels seen near Pag-asa Island in West PH Sea – AFP

Mar 02, 2020 - 1:23 PM

Although appearing to be fishing boats, these vessels could be part of a paramilitary force of the Chinese government

PAG-ASA ISLAND. Internationally known as Thitu Island, Pag-asa is the Philippines' largest and only civilian-inhabited island in the Kalayaan Island Group in the West Philippine Sea. File photo from the Armed Forces of the Philippines