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The scorching heat of April 2024

6 min readApril 2024 will be remembered for its sweltering heat, but the events that transpired this month not only made the hottest headlines but also included stories too icy to bear.
Profile picture of Mharla Francesca Santiano

Published 2 months ago on May 01, 2024

by Mharla Francesca Santiano

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Artwork by Mikaela Gabrielle de Castro/TomasinoWeb

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Without the need for a grand entrance, April 2024 seemed to arrive in flames.

The fourth month of the year will be remembered for its sweltering heat, but the events that transpired this month not only made the hottest headlines but also included stories too icy to bear.

1. Taragis’ April Fools’ Prank

(Photo from Taragis/Facebook)

(Photo from Taragis/Facebook)

For April Fools’ Day, Taragis, a Pampanga-based takoyaki restaurant, posted on its Facebook page that whoever tattoos their logo on their forehead will receive a reward of P100,000. However, social media user Ramil Albano took the post seriously and got the logo tattooed in hopes of getting rewarded.

In a now-deleted post, Taragis acknowledged that someone has fallen for their prank and that it should “serve as a reminder to us all how important reading comprehension is.” Taragis also emphasized that they are not responsible for the events that occurred from their post. Netizens slammed the takoyaki chain for its lack of accountability, adding that not everyone is familiar with April Fools’ Day. Since then, several local brands have offered Albano cash rewards, accumulating more than the takoyaki chain offered. On April 2, Taragis owner Carl Quion talked to Albano and gave him the promised reward, as seen in a video on Taragis’ Facebook page.

Not even a week later, Taragis admitted in a Facebook video that the whole situation was just a marketing stunt. Quion apologized for lying as he detailed how he planned the stunt, including screenshots of his conversation with Albano, who was willing to do the challenge in the first place. Netizens expressed how Taragis fooled the public and that they should be penalized. However, some praised the t takoyaki restaurant's success in going viral, commending it for its excellent PR reach. The video has now been deleted from their Facebook page.

2. ‘Dangerous’ heat indices scald PH

(Photo by Lisa Marie David/Reuters)

(Photo by Lisa Marie David/Reuters)

Throughout the month, the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) issued warnings for several areas in the country with heat indices under the “dangerous” classification.

According to PAGASA Visayas radar Weather Services Chief Alfredo Quiblat in an interview with Cebu Daily News, heat index is the temperature that people feel combined with relative humidity. When a heat index hits 42 to 51 degrees Celcius, PAGASA classifies it under the “dangerous” category which also causes heat exhaustion and heat stroke.

On April 25, PAGASA warned that 38 areas were expected to face a “dangerous” heat index level with temperatures ranging from 42 to 47 degrees Celsius. This also prompted several local and provincial government units to suspend in-person classes and shift to asynchronous learning, as well as the Department of Education (DepEd) to suspend in-person classes on April 29 and 30 in all public schools nationwide.

As of writing, the highest heat index recorded by Pagasa in 2024 so far was in Iba, Zambales, facing a scorching 52 degrees Celsius.

3. First Lady Liza versus VP Sara verbal tussle

(Photo from INQUIRER.net)

(Photo from INQUIRER.net)

This month also saw a rift between First Lady Liza Araneta Marcos and Vice President Sara Duterte which began when former president Rodrigo Duterte accused President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. of drug use in an anti-charter change prayer rally in Davao City on Jan. 28. According to Liza in an interview on “Tune In Kay Ka Tunying” on April 19, she saw Sara laugh at her father’s remarks.

“Nasaktan ako because my husband will do everything to protect you, ‘di ba? Sama-sama tayong babangon muli. Pupunta ka sa rally, tatawagan iyong presidente mong bangag, you’re going to laugh. Tama ba ‘yon? Even Leni Robredo never did that,” Liza said.

Sara indirectly responded on her official Facebook page on April 22 that, as humans, it is valid for Liza to feel that way and that the latter’s personal feelings do not affect her mandate as a government official. The vice president also said that she would settle the situation privately with the president, adding that they should focus instead on the country’s pressing issues, such as the rising prices of goods, illegal drugs, insufficient water and electricity supply, criminality, and terrorism.

4. The BINI fever continues

(Photo from BINI_ph/Instagram)

(Photo from BINI_ph/Instagram)

Tickets for BINI's first solo concert, “BINIverse,” sold out in less than two hours when they opened initial ticket sales on April 2.

Much to the BINI fans’ (also known as the Blooms) delight, Star Music PH, BINI’s record label, announced on April 4 that there will be a second run of the concert. On April 8, the Pantropiko hitmakers also announced that they are adding a third day to “BINIverse.” Tickets for the additional two shows were also sold out within two hours on April 9. The three-day concert will happen on June 28, 29, and 30 at the New Frontier Theater in Quezon City.

BINI recently became Spotify’s most streamed group and female act in the Philippines, with Pantropiko beating even American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift’s Fortnight, claiming the top spot in Spotify Philippines’ Daily Top Songs on April 18.

5. Power outage disrupts UST

(Photo by Paolo Antonio Cootauco/TomasinoWeb)

(Photo by Paolo Antonio Cootauco/TomasinoWeb)

The University went dark on the evening of April 4 due to a power outage preceded by several loud booms heard near the St. Raymund de Peñafort building.

While the power outage affected the entire campus, power to several buildings, including the UST Hospital, were restored faster than others. Restaurants at the UST Carpark also experienced blackouts that evening.

To make way for electrical repairs, the University suspended all office work and in-person classes on April 5.

Read: UST goes dark after power outage, post explosions stun Thomasians • TomasinoWeb

6. 3 OFWs die in UAE flood

(Photo by Guiseppe Cacace/AFP)

(Photo by Guiseppe Cacace/AFP)

Three Filipino workers died in heavy flooding in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Department of Migrant Workers (DMW) Officer-in-Charge Hans Cacdac announced on X (formerly Twitter) on April 18.

According to Cacdac, two died from suffocation inside their vehicles that got stuck in the flood, while another died from injuries due to a vehicular accident at the height of the flooding.

The floods were triggered by heavy rains from April 14 to 16, which was also the UAE’s heaviest recorded rainfall in 75 years, according to a report by CNN. The report also stated that on April 16, four inches of rain plunged the UAE within 12 hours, equivalent to the rainfall Dubai usually records annually.

7. Some e-vehicles banned on Metro Manila roads

(Photo by Marianne Bermudez/INQUIRER.net)

(Photo by Marianne Bermudez/INQUIRER.net)

Starting on April 15, the use of some electric vehicles (e-vehicles), such as e-trikes and e-bikes, on national, circumferential, and radial roads in Metro Manila will be prohibited, according to Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Regulation 24-044 series of 2024.

MMDA Chairman Romando Artes said on Feb. 28 that there is a need to regulate e-vehicles and other similar vehicles on major roads because “it has been a common cause of traffic and road crash incidents.”

However, Ariel Inton of the Lawyers for Commuters Safety and Protection said in an interview with GMA News Online on April 5 that some motorists preferred e-trikes due to the lack of public transportation and to save on the high costs of fuel, urging that the safe use of e-trikes should be allowed.

8. Taylor Swift’s double-album surprise with ‘The Tortured Poets Department’

(Photo by Beth Garrabrant)

(Photo by Beth Garrabrant)

American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift released her 11th studio album, The Tortured Poets Department, on April 19. The 34-year-old said on Instagram that the album reflects “events, opinions, and sentiments from a fleeting and fatalistic moment in time — one that was both sensational and sorrowful in equal measure.”

Two hours after the album’s release, the pop star announced the second installment of the album The Tortured Poets Department: The Anthology, consisting of an additional 15 songs on top of the first 16 songs from her initial release.

Swift also shared the music video for the album’s first single, Fortnight, featuring American rapper and singer Post Malone, as well as actors Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles, who starred in the 1989 film Dead Poets Society.

9. Min Hee Jin versus HYBE

(Photo from Soompi)

(Photo from Soompi)

ADOR chief executive officer Min Hee Jin slammed HYBE on April 22 for allowing the formation of NewJeans copycat group ILLIT for BELIFT LAB, according to a report by Korean outlet Soompi. HYBE is the parent company of both ADOR and BELIFT LAB.

On April 25, HYBE filed a police report against Min for allegedly seeking full independence from HYBE, consulting with a shaman for management decisions, and breach of trust.

According to a report by Agence France-Press (AFP), Min denied the accusations in a tearful press conference, stating that she has no interest in breaking away from HYBE and taking over ADOR’s management rights. She also added that she thought HYBE was going to “kill” NewJeans, emphasizing that it would be more infuriating if the “imitation” came from inside the company rather than outside.

10. Transport strikes persist amid looming consolidation deadline

(Photo by Miguel Angelo Sumalinog/TomasinoWeb)

(Photo by Miguel Angelo Sumalinog/TomasinoWeb)

In a town hall meeting on April 10, President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr. said he would no longer extend the deadline for public utility vehicle (PUV) operators to form cooperatives to procure modern jeepney units. Operators who fail to meet the deadline risk losing their franchises, prohibiting them from plying their routes. On April 15, transport groups Pagkakaisa ng mga Samahan ng Tsuper at Operator Nationwide (PISTON) and Manibela conducted a two-day strike in protest of the April 30 deadline for consolidation.

“As May 1st approaches, a time when the government should commemorate and recognize the contributions of workers to societal progress, thousands of drivers and operators are at risk of losing their livelihoods due to the worsening transportation system in the country,” PISTON Deputy Secretary General Ruben Baylon said in a statement on April 27.

PISTON held another transport strike on April 29, which will conclude on May 1, Labor Day, to once again protest against the franchise consolidation deadline.

April was a test under the sun as it brought about its fair share of fiery trials. It is only right to hope that this month’s heat dissipates into a more comforting breeze for the months that will follow.

APRIL 2024 ROUNDUP

HEATWAVE

TRANSPORT STRIKE

VP SARA

TAYLOR SWIFT

Profile picture of Mharla Francesca Santiano

Mharla Francesca Santiano

Blogs Writer

Mharla Santiano is a Blogs Writer at TomasinoWeb. She loves writing about real life, and finds it both a fun and healing experience whenever she takes pieces of the world she’s moving in and puts them into pages like a novel. She has no favorite genre of movies, and simply watches anything she “vibes with,” but knows that The Parent Trap (1998) and Ponyo (2008) are her immovable favorites. She also finds herself writing movie reviews, making it a creative outlet whenever she fixates on one. And probably because she relates to it as well. She loves pink, pop music, and iced coffee.

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