Pope Francis’ Visit to the Philippines

The much-awaited arrival of Pop Francis for his visit to the Philippines is finally here. The pope is set to arrive to the Philippines on January 14, directly from his visit to Sri Lanka in the past week. His Philippine trip will last for five days and is expected to draw a large gathering of people.


The Filipinos are awaiting for Pope Francis’ coming from his successful Sri Lankan trip, where he canonized the country’s first ever saint and where he gave a homily on religious tolerance. The pope’s trip to these two Asian countries is said to help the fast growth of Catholicism in Asia.

The organizers and the government are already expecting a huge crowd of supporters that want to get a glimpse of the pope and attend the Holy Mass, to be presided by the pope himself. It is expected that the crowd will surpass the previous record of Pope John Paul II’s liturgical celebration held in the same venue in 1995.


The pope is not only expected to stay in the capital of the Philippines. The papal itinerary also includes his visit to Tacloban in order to be in touch with the families and communities affected by Haiyan, the super typhoon that rocked the country in 2013.The pope hopes that his visit to the affected communities will show them that the Lord shows mercy and compassion to His people.

Authorities have released a number of regulations and reminders over the concern of security regarding Pope Francis’ visit to the country, especially since attempts have been made in the past to assassinate visiting popes.


Healthy Living Master Plan Updates

The government of Singapore wants its people to live healthy, long and happy. There are a lot of initiatives and programmes being implemented by the government relating to healthy living. There is no doubt that you heard about Ministry of Health’s (MOH) Healthy Living Masterplan (HLMP). MOH’s HLMP aims that by 2020, 1 in 2 Singaporeans will have access to healthy living options in their homes, schools and offices.


This new aim was announced by Secretary for Health Muhammad Faishal Ibrahim on April 23, 2014. HLMP covers everyone regardless of the age and the status. MOH will make sure that the HLMP will be embraced by everyday as a part of their daily routine. You need to be updated. Here are some updates that you should consider:


  • Community: The community should be conducive enough so members will be encouraged to live healthy. Recent update is that more than six hundred people have joined the “Sundays at the Park”. Every Sunday, people will enjoy kickboxing, Zumba and other activities. To facilitate healthy living further, there are about 58,000 residents in 119 HDB blocks (along Sembawang) that enjoys healthy living visual reminders.
  • Workplace: HLMP covers the workplace. Recent update is that more than 350,000 employed Singaporeans are working in “Health Promoting Workplace”. That means their environment and their employers are encouraging healthy lifestyle. There are about 20% healthier meals that are served to employees. There are about 15 work environments that will be considered “Healthy Workplace” by the end of 2020.
  • Schools: Schoolchildren are also encouraged to consider healthy lifestyle. In fact, to date there are about 240 centres and 100 schools who are aligning to “Healthy Meals Programme”. There will be 547,000 students and schoolchildren that will have access to “Healthier Meals” by the end of 2020. As for the “Oral Care Programme”, 100% of children will be covered for the next three years.

The HLMP is a joint project of the Health Promotion Board Singapore and MOH. You should seriously consider HLMP if you want to live healthy, long and happy. You do not need to look further because the government will help you every step of the way. The only thing that you can do is to avail of it and not think of the inconvenience it will cost you.

Good luck on your way to healthy life! You can bring your friends and other family members along. The journey will be memorable and enjoyable if you know that you are not alone.


What You Need to Know about Expressways

Have you heard about the Marina Coastal Expressway? This will be the first and the widest undersea road here in Singapore. This will finally open on December 29. This is good news for motorists because it can allow faster travelling. It is said that this project is the costliest of all expressways here in Singapore extending about 5km with 5 lanes from each path.



This is a special expressway that has a section that can go under the sea bed. This new expressway will connect the Ayer Rajah Expressway (AYE) and Kallang-Paya Lebar Expressway. Singapore Expressways are network of roads that connects Singapore from one city to another. For example, the Singapore Expressway is linked with Malaysian Expressway (through AYE) and Skudai (through Bukit Timah Expressway).


All Singapore Expressways have no traffic lights. Apart from that, the surface of the roads are asphalt. It is not concrete unlike other surfaces. You will also see sign markings right from the start to the end of the expressway. There is also an advisory system present in all expressways. The advisory system monitors the condition of expressway and advises motorists of warnings and disruptions.



You should know that Expressways have no speed limits. There is a default limit set at 90 km/h. Be careful though because there are other areas that set lower speed limits. This is to ensure safe driving. You have to know that there are speed traps arranged by the police. Student drivers and bicycles are not allowed in expressways. Cat’s eyes, collision barriers and crash strips are present as well.