Tag: taiwan

Single Ladies Senior (Taiwanese Drama Review & Summary)

Single Ladies Senior poster

Single Ladies Senior (Taiwanese Drama Review & Summary)

Genre: Romance

Released Date:  April 2018

Drama: 15 episodes


  • Summer Meng as Wang Mi Na
  • Mok Christina as Yin Ge Li
  • Zheng Alina as Weng Mei Yan
  • Wang Bonnie as Bai Ya Xuan
  • Lei Duncan as He Yi Fan
  • Li Sky as Shao Qi
  • Edison Wang as Yang Tian Yu
  • Lan Gabriel as Zhao Xin Yang (Labonita Cosmetics Chairman)
  • Tanaka Chie as Lin Qian (Labonita Cosmetics President)

Yey another Summer Meng’s drama.

Anyway this drama is about women who had reached the pinnacle of success, which is colloquially called the ‘Tower’.

The effect of reaching the tower is that it limits the ability of women to reach out to all sorts of men.  Being in the tower prevents those below the tower to reach them.

The first episode introduced the four friends, who met in college.  They were roommates.

It looks like there will be some strife that will develop between the friends especially between Mi na and Ge li as they seemed to like the same man, Yi Fan.

Ge Li met Yi Fan first and had confessed to him but Yi fan turned her down, saying that it would be unfair to make any girl his girlfriend as he will have no time to cherish her as he is busy with revising for the coming exams.

Ge li told Mi na that she had confessed to someone but had been turned down.

Mi na was shocked and surprised because Ge Li is the prettiest in their faculty.  She was always being confessed to by boys and even by some girls. 🙂  No matter how much Mi na asked Ge Li who the boy was, Ge Li won’t say.

Mi na is naturally gregarious and unknowingly attracted the attention of Yi fan, who found her refreshing.

Episode 2

Mi na got hit by a football by Yi Fan.  She ended up concussed and had to be taken to the hospital by her friends and Yi Fan.  She was convinced by her friends that she was in love with Yi Fan and Yi Fan must also be in love with her.

When Mi na got better she confessed to Yi Fan, who was about to turn her down when she said that he good be her tutor or bodyguard.  But Yi Fan just stared at her.  She was so mortified run away and she began to hide from him and even accepted a movie date with a nerd.

Yi Fan heard heard about the date while it was being settled.  He took Mi na away from the nerd and then they had a heart to heart.

He then said to her that he cannot be his tutor because they have different majors, he cannot be her bodyguard because his Kung Fu skill is limited so he can be her boyfriend instead.  Awwwww 🙂

Ge Li was really sad and rather put out when she heard the news.

Episode 3

Yi Fan and Mi Na continue to have a lovey dovey relationship.  They can’t be any cuter.

However it looks like this will not to remain permanent as Yi Fan is a graduating student and has been offered by his uncle the chance to study abroad, in Harvard.

Yi Fan turned  down his uncle’s offer.  But his father had a heart to heart with him.  He would like Yi Fan to go abroad for further studies.  He said that he shouldn’t feel too much indebted to his uncle as he did make sacrifices for the uncle (father’s brother) when they were young.  He worked hard to send his brother to study abroad.  His uncle is where he is now because of Yi Fan’s father’s sacrifices.

Episode 4

Yi Fan’s father collapsed. This made Yi Fan rethink his decision to forego going abroad.  Now to honour his father he will take up his uncle’s offer.

Mi nah went to the hospital to see Yi Fan.  She overheard Yi Fan’s mother that Mi Na is not good enough for Yi Fan, who had been pursued by gaggles of girls since he can walk.  Mi Na is nothing special.  Too ordinary and not even pretty.  The mother said that he need to look for someone better.

Mi na was upset but did not let on.  She decided to apply for the exchange student so she can go abroad with Yi Fan.

In the end it was Ge Li who got the exchange student (ES) position.  Mi Na begged Ge Li to drop out in her favour.

Ge Li asked her,” if I wanted you to drop Yi Fan in my favour, would you do it?”  Ge Li said that she studied for the the qualification for the ES program while Mi Na happily dating.  Yeah Mi Na was rather being selfish.  It also came out that Ge Li’s crush was Yi Fan.

Mi Na asked if Ge Li’s going to study abroad was because Yi Fan was going ?  Ge Li said that she was already studying for the ES before Yi Fan changed his mind of going.

In the end Yi Fan and Ge Li went.  Yi Fan and Mi Na promised to be together despite the distance.

Episode 5

MiNa whilst waiting faithfully for any communication from Yi Fan got to find out through social media that he was rather intimate with Ge Li.

MiNa contacted Yi Fan immediately and asked him about holding hands with Ge Li.

All he said was ‘Sorry’ and that is the end of their love story for now.

Episode 6

After so many years, MiNa is now gainfully employed in a large cosmetic company with her faithful friends, Ya Xuan and Mei Yan.  They are all climbing the ladder to the tower of success.

Mi Na had also met a young man, Shao Qi, who was going through some personal difficulties as we was conned by a girl-friend.  The girlfriend run off with his best friend after transferring all his money intended to start a business into their account.

MiNa felt sorry for Shao Qi and had become a friend to him.

Ge Li and Yi Fan are going to be back on the scene once again.

Episode 7

Yup Ge Li is back in Mi Na’s life in a big way.

Mi Na was more ore less promised the vice presidency in the company ‘Labonita Cosmeties’  Before she could celebrate, in walked Ge Li who was introduced as the new vice president.

It was explained to Mi Na later that Ge Li family was investing in Labonita to make it the biggest cosmetic company in Taiwan. Part of the deal was to make Ge Li the vice president.

Shao Qi was still down and out and had been asking MiNa for help.

He was there with Mina to drown her sorrow.  They kissed but did not end in a good way, in fact it was rather gross as she was sick while kissing him.

Episode 8

Despite GeLi and MiNa’s awkward relationship, they do try to protect each other.

There might be a budding romance between MiNa and Shao Qi and helped by MiNa’s adorable mother.  Shao Qi, though thinking MiNa was not his type, begins to feel protective towards her, he listens to her and he kept remembering their kiss, though disgusting it was.  LOL

But He Yi Fan is finally back in Taiwan… and guess what he might be working at Labonita Cosmeties as well.  What a small world, as Shao Qi has been offered a position at the same company too.

Happy days!

Episode 9

There was a rumour going round at Labonita Cosmetics (sometimes translated as Cosmeties) that MiNa is dating the son of their chairman.  This was only actually made up but it was blowing like wild fire.

It so happened that the Shao Qi is actually the chairman’s son but nobody in the company knows except for Lin Qian, the company president and his stepmother.

Anyway He Yi Fan is back and having met again with MiNa, the old feeling was still there and then again GeLi was also there, who is holding on tight!

Shao Qi, however, is becoming more attached to MiNa.

Episode 10

This is where MiNa and Yi Fan got trapped inside the elevator.  Their chemistry still shows, much to the discomfort of Ge Li, who is now of course the girlfriend of Yi Fan.

She went as far as beg MiNa not to steal YiFan from her.  Ge Li’s jealousy had a negative effect on her working relationship with MiNa, which has been noticed by the Labonita bosses.  They spoke to GeLi to sort herself out and keep her personal business outside of Labonita.

Shao Qi has developed feelings for MiNa and had become sweetly protective of her.

Another 5 more episodes to go.



Amber An (Taiwanese Actress)

Amber An

Amber An


  • DoB: 18 September 1985 (32)
  • Occupation: Model, Television host, Singer and Actress
  • Taiwanese Brand ambassador for Reebok

Amber An (Taiwanese Actress)

Dramas and Films:

  • Love Buffet
  • Apple in your Eye *****
  • To The Dearest Intruder *****
  • Prince of Wolf

Amber An With Show Lo singing Handsome Guy!

Love, Timeless – Taiwanese Drama Review

Love, Timeless poster

Love, Timeless – Taiwanese Drama Review

I love this drama. Love it, love it!

It is a time travel, going back to ten years ago when the characters of the story were in their sophomore college.

(By the way, as per time travel studies and research, it is impossible to go back in time but it may be possible to go into the future.) 🙂

The drama posed the question “What would you do if you can travel back in time?”

Would you change the course of your life?

Would you repeat it as it is?

Would you approach that goddess you had a huge crush on in the past?

Would you cherish that someone, who’s always been there for you?

Zhao Yu and Kai Jia lived together back when they were in college. Zhao Yu’s family looked after Kai Jia as her mother had passed away whilst her no-good of a father was in prison.

Kai Jia had secretly love Zhao Yu for more than 10 years.  She thought her love was  finally realised when a drunken Zhao Yu slept with her at the present time.  Zhao immediately put her in the right that he had only ever looked at her as a sister and their sleeping together was a mistake – a big mistake, a drunken one-night stand.  He does not feel anything for her.  Kai Jia was absolutely heartbroken.

Back when they were younger in college, they had a little group of friends comprising of Zhao Yu (Nick Chau), Kai Jia (Summer Meng), Ruo Bi (Huang Wei Ting), Li Jun Ren (Chang Chieh), Hai Meng (Johnny Yang) and Zhi Ni (Lan Ya Yun)  who always meet at the clock tower.

At this time, Ruo Bi and Jun Ren had gotten married but the marriage is an unhappy one with infidelity and misunderstanding involved.

Zhao Yu is having problems in his workplace and Kai Jia was pining from unrequited love.

Out of the blue, Zhao Yu and Kai Jia received a message from Chen Ruo Bi, the goddess, the girl everybody ( including Zhao Yu) was in love with in college.  The message was to meet up at the old clock tower, where they used to meet and share happy memories.

Anyway, they found Rou Bi Li by the edge of the top of the tower with her guitar and was poised to jump.

Out of a sudden, Kai Jia and Zhao Yu were transported to when they were in college.

From all the confusion of having history literally repeating itself, Kai Jia resolved to start over and get over her one-sided-love with Zhao Yu.

For some reason Jun Ren had taken quite a shine with Kai Jia.

(I thought Jun Ren and Kai Jia had such a good chemistry.  I actually like them to get together!!! 🙂 )

But Zhao Yu is suddenly behaving like a dog in a manger, though he wants a chance with Ruo Bi, his college crush, who incidentally returns Zhao Yu’s feelings as well, he doesn’t want Kai Jia taken away from him.  He was besides himself when Jun Ren and Kai Jia decided to have a weekend away for just the two of them.

Episode 9 also showed that Zhao Yu and Kai Jia are not the only time travellers.  Jun Ren was one as well.  He was trying to change the course of his life, ergo,  being more attentive to Kai Jia as he said he was not really in love with Ruo Bi.  Their marriage was a business transaction between their families.

That is the gist of the story.

I love it and it was quite hard to wait for the next instalment.  It is a 90 minutes each of 15 episodes.  Can’t wait for next week.


18 July 2017

Episode 13 has just been shown and it is a cracking good one.

The pairings are finally being realised properly.

Can’t wait for next week, the penultimate episode.

I am going to miss this drama.

27 July 2017

Episode 14,

It started from where it left off from the episode last week where Jun Ren kissed an unresponsive Kai Jia at the clock tower.  Jun Ren felt really aggrieved that Kai Jia does not return his feelings.  This spoilt boy was upset to find out that a note of “I Love You” written by Ruo Bi was not for him.  So he is taking his frustration out with Kai Jia.

Kai Jia and Zhao Yu finally got it together.  They had a rather torrid kissing scene under a blustering rain.  It was so cute.  They do have a good chemistry.

As the episodes moved forward, it finds Jun Ren and Ruo Bi being married. They seemed happy.

Ruo Bi treated her new husband to a lovely dinner on his birthday, which was sweet but it was anything but.  Jun Ren confessed to Ruo Bi that he, together with Kai Jia and Zhao Yu, is a time traveller and have witnessed Ruo Bi killed herself three times. And with that disclosure, he handed Ruo Bi a divorce certificate, telling her basically that she was now free to do whatever she wanted including killing herself.

What  a nasty boy!


Episode 15

The ending was definitely satisfying.  All the loose ends were tied.

Kia Jia and Zhao Yu are now together.  Zhao Yu said that they are going to be together forever. When they were talking about the first night of being together twenty years ago, though he was drunk, subconsciously he wanted to really sleep with her but he got frightened by the idea of love.  But not anymore as he can’t see his life being without Kia Jia ever.  ahhhh

This last episode is really about Ruo Bi and Jun Ren.  Jun Ren asked for a divorce because he was smarting from the idea that Ruo Bi will always be pining for Zhao Yu, who Ruo Bi really loves.

Anyway Jun Ren not soon after, got taken away by the police for embezzlement, having wiped out most of Ruo Bi’s parents fortune.

He was sent to prison for a number of years but Ruo Bi remained steadfast to him.  She did not sign the divorce papers and she wrote to Jun Ren regularly.

This doesn’t mean there were no wobblies in Ruo Bi.  She almost committed suicide because of her vocal chord giving up and also some psychological issues about her real ability to be able to sing.  Her MySpace site were full of nasty and bullying comments about her singing.

Eventually she realised to just give up her dream of becoming a pop star and just go to a different direction.  She inherited a small wine making company from her parents.

Finally Jun Ren got out of prison.  They are finally together, which was really sweet.  Jun Ren does love Ruo Bi and Ruo Bi loves him.

Kia Jia and Zhao Yu were talking whether they did effect a change in their timeline!


I love this drama.  Totally recommend to anyone!

Must-See Taiwanese Dramas (TwDramas)

Love, Timeless poster

The Masked Lover

Must-See Taiwanese Dramas (TwDramas)

Taiwanese dramas are very dear to my heart 🙂

They make soap operas that are believable.  They are funny one moment then melodramatic the next.  They have also lovely stars.

My list is of course a work in progress and not in any order whatsoever 🙂 : –

  • Aim High
  • Attention, Love!
  • Apple In Your Eye
  • Big Red Riding Hood
  • Boysitter
  • Be With You
  • Behind your Smile
  • Bromance
  • Devil Beside You
  • Dear Mom
  • Easy Fortune Happy Life
  • Fated To Love You
  • I Do, I Do (I Do 2)
  • Inborn Pair
  • In Time With You
  • It Started With A Kiss & They Kissed Again
  • In Between
  • Love, Timeless
  • Love 020
  • Love Me or Leave Me
  • Love By Design
  • Murphy’s Law of Love
  • Office Girls
  • Refresh Man
  • Swimming Battle
  • The Ex-Man (2018)
  • The Masked Lover
  • To The Dearest Intruder ( 🙁 cry, cry, cry)

Destined to Love You – Chinese Drama

Destined to Love You

Destined to Love You – Chinese Drama

This drama is very underrated.   Destined to Love You has the potential to be popular internationally, if not globally, if only all the episodes are given an English subtitles, allowing wider audience to enjoy it fully.

It has the charm comparable to those massively loved British Carry On films, sophisticated intelligence of the Monty Python and satirical comedy of Mel Brooks, The Producers.

The drama is a corroboration of China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

I fell in love with Destined to Love You the moment I saw the first episode.  It was so engaging. I wanted to see more.

There were great chemistry between the love triangle played beautifully by Chen Qiao En (aka Joe chen), Jia Nia Liang and Bosco Wong.   The chemistry was such that you would be happy that any one of the two leading men will get the girl (Joe Chen).

Apparently Jia Nia Liang really wanted to make the drama that he willingly had his pay cut.  He was so good in the drama.  You just fall in love with his antics which are sometimes excruciatingly funny. I have never laughed so much watching a tv program.

Below is a synopsis I cut and pasted.  I just could not put into words what the story is all about from my own point of me; there just too many ‘choice’ scenes that I would like to include and therefore would probably curtail your enjoyment if I give too much away.

Qian Bao Bao is on the run from creditors with her sick mother. She meets Xiao Han on the train, who offers her hope for curing her mother. But when an assassination attempt results in Xiao Han falling off the train, Bao Bao feels she has no choice but to take her place. Thus she assumes the role of a psychology instructor at a prestigious military school, and becomes entangled in a in a love triangle and some dangerous politics while trying to hide her true identity.

Please Chinese translator, kindly complete the rest of the subtitles for the dramas, please, please, please!

Dramacool needs translation from episode 22 – 41.  Please



Traditional Taiwanese Hand Made Noodles

An interesting article and video from Cindy Sui
BBC News, Taipei

Noodles have been around for thousands of years, but one of the oldest ways of making them is sadly dying out.

Traditional Taiwanese Hand Made Noodles

Hand-pulled string noodles, called mian xian in Mandarin, have been made for around 2,000 years.


Drying hanging hand-made and-pulled noodles requires good weather.

Until the 1960s they were still made in the traditional way in Taiwan, being pulled by hand and then hung to dry like laundry in the sun, but now machines have largely taken over.

Today only about 50 noodle makers are thought to remain in Taiwan.

Handmade noodles taste better; they’re smoother and more chewy,” says Lin Zheng-yi, a man in his early 50s with a thin frame but whose arms have been toughened by pulling the stretchable strands every day.

The money we earn is earned in a hard way.”

Lin Zheng-yi says  “I’ve never thought about making noodles by machine. I wouldn’t know how and besides, machines cost money. But I don’t want my son to do this. It’s too much hard work and you can’t make much money.”

Noodles are not only an important staple food in Taiwan, but are also eaten on special occasions such as birthdays and weddings, because they symbolise something that is long-lasting.

Yet because the work is labour-intensive and hard, few young people want to go into this trade.

Having good weather is crucial if the noodles are to dry properly.  In Mr Lin’s village in Changhua county, central Taiwan, there used to be 10 families who made noodles the traditional way when he was growing up – now his family are one of only two left.

Long working hours
He grew up watching his grandparents and parents make noodles by hand and quit his job in the city more than a decade ago to come back to his home town to carry on this work.

His long working day begins at dawn and finishes in the early evening .

He begins  by mixing flour, salt and water – one of only two steps that involve machinery.

The hardest part is shaking the noodles before hanging them up to dry – it takes a toll on the back”

Lin Zheng-yi kneels to flatten the dough after it is taken out of the mixer, and patiently lets it rise.

Then he takes a knife and cuts big chunks, flings them one by one over his shoulder and slaps them hard on the floor, as if he is trying to kill a snake.

But the dough is still the width of a hand so he uses both hands to pull it from one end to the other to make it longer.

Then it is put through the slots of a machine, but it only gets the dough so thin – the crux of the work will need to be done by hand.

Mr Lin grabs the ends of six twirled-up ropes of dough thinned out by the machine and skilfully winds them in a figure-of-eight shape around two bamboo poles stuck horizontally into notches in the wall.

He then puts the noodles on a rack and leaves them to lengthen for about an hour; then they are ready to be pulled.

Lin Zheng-yi says he cannot imagine a world without handmade noodles

Putting one stick through handles attached to the wall, he grabs the other pole and pulls the noodles away from the wall, walking backwards.

He releases to keep them from breaking and pulls some more. This is repeated until the noodles are about 4m long.

After putting them back on the rack to lengthen for an hour, the noodles are taken outside, shaken in an up-and-down motion like bedsheets to make them thinner, and put up on frames to hang in the sun.

By now, they’re just a millimetre thick.

Having good weather is crucial.

It is best if there is some humidity to allow slower drying, but it can’t be too humid, because the noodles will take too long to dry.

Noodle masters also need to know exactly how much water and salt to add to the flour, based on the weather conditions each day.

The money we earn is earned in a hard way. We have to watch the weather,” says Mr Lin.


If it looks like it’s going to rain, we have to quickly take the noodles inside – otherwise all our efforts are wasted.”

Every part of the process is hard. The hardest part is shaking the noodles before hanging them up to dry – it takes a toll on the back.

By midday, the courtyard is full of drying noodles. Mr Lin, his wife and mother are covered with flour on their face, hands and clothes. So is their home, including the furniture, radio and pictures.

When one set of noodles is nearly dry, they move it to a shadier part of the courtyard and bring out another set.

Although his family begin working around 05:00 each day and don’t finish till 19:00, they make only $100 (£61) a day. The noodles are sold for only $2 to $3 per bag.

Questionable future
Mr Lin says he cannot imagine a world without handmade noodles. He believes this ancient tradition will live on, somehow.

If my children want to do this, I won’t object,” Mr Lin says. But they express no interest.

After all their hard work, Mr Lin’s family sit down for a meal of oyster and noodles. The noodles are not mushy, like the machine-made ones, but flexible, chewy, and delicious.

But there is no telling whether this product of hard work and patience will survive the changing times.

Yolanda Disaster Fund (International)

  • AUSTRALIA – US$9.3 million package, including Medical personnel
  • Asian Development Bank: $500m emergency loans and $23m in grants
  • BELGIUM – medical and search and rescue personnel
  • CANADA – C$5 million
  • CHINA – $1.6m + $100K thru Chinese Red Cross
  • DENMARK – KR 10 million
  • GERMANY – 23 tons of relief goods
  • HUNGARY – search and rescue personnel and rapid response team
  • INDONESIA – in-kind donations:Aircraft, personnel, drinking water, food, generators, medicine
  • ISRAEL- team of medical, trauma and relief professionals
  • JAPAN – $10M  including emergency relief of 25 medical team
  • MALAYSIA – medical and search and rescue teams
  • THE NETHERLANDS – undisclosed financial aid
  • NEW ZEALAND – NZ $2.15 million
  • NORWAY – KR 20 million (142,024,080.00 Philippine Peso)
  • RUSSIA – rapid response team
  • SAUDI ARABIA through Prince Talal bin Abdulaziz Al Saud – US$100,000
  • SINGAPORE – $50,000
  • SPAIN – in-kind donations
  • South Korea: $5m plus a 40-strong medical team
  • SWEDEN- emergency communications equipment
  • TAIWAN – $200,000
  • TURKEY – medics, rapid response team, search and rescue personnel
  • UNITED ARAB EMIRATES – $10Million in aid
  • UNITED KINGDOM – £6 million inclusive of emergency support package – Now increased to £10M and also sending HMS Daring, a Type 45 Destroyer at full speed from Singapore as well as RAF C-17 Transporter.  Increase to £15M, again increased to £30M, Again increase to £50,000,000 plus HMS Illustrious is also being sent to the Philippines for extra support.
  • UNITED NATIONS Children’s Fund – $1.3 million worth of supplies
  • UNITED NATIONS World Food Programme – Initial of $2M
  • UNITED NATIONS Humanitarian Wing- released $25,000,000
  • UNITED STATES – $20M; initial $100,000 for water and sanitation; Troops, emergency respondents, transportation and equipment
  • The Vatican – $150,000 (Please Holy Father if you have to give the monies through the Church, please give strict instruction that the monies are meant for the victims of Typhoon YOLANDA!)
  • Vietnam – $100,000

Plus +++++


  • Korean Giant Electronic firm, Samsung – $1M
  • Swedish IKEA – $2.7m
  • Coca Cola – $2.5M
  • Toyota $500,000
  • Eton Corporation – $140,000

Non-government organizations are also helping out:

  • Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders) said it was sending 200 tons of aid including medicine, tents and hygiene kits to arrive mid-week, with the first cargo plane leaving from Dubai on Monday and another from Belgium on Tuesday.
  • Oxfam, the British-based relief organization, said it has sent an assessment team ahead of aid operations.
  • German nongovernment organizations such as World Vision and the International Search and Rescue Team (ISAR) sent emergency response teams and “23 tons of humanitarian aid” consisting of water, food, hygiene and medical kits. Rescue teams of German relief organizations CARE, Malteser International and HelpAge, which are all part of the umbrella organization for German humanitarian aid (Buendnis Aktion Deutschland Hilfe) “are already working on the ground in Samar and Leyte.” German aid organization ADRA and Johanniter Unfallhilfe“will be deploying more rescue and relief teams” to the Visayas region.ISAR Germany is also sending a medical team composed of 24 doctors and nurses to the hardest-hit regions of the Visayas. The team arrived in the Philippines on Sunday and will bring with them two tons of medical supplies provided by Action Medeor, a German relief organization.They will also be setting up tents, which can accommodate up to 1,000 persons a day.
  • The National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) have joined together to make a $250,000 contribution to World Vision to support relief efforts in the Philippines following Typhoon Haiyan.




Food Safety

Tapioca Pearls, Photo by PH Morton

This alleged news is rather disconcerting. It does not only affect the Philippines but the wider world who import food from Taiwan. How safe are their products?

This kind of merchandise is the last straw after the horsemeat debacle from Europe.

I supposed this current situation is good for UK growers and livestock providers but we want cheaper and variety of products.

I hope the food agency of UK is working overtime in checking that the food we buy and put in our table are safe to eat.

Food Safety…………………………..

No politics in ban of Taiwan tapioca pearls

By Willard Cheng, ABS-CBN News
Posted at 06/10/2013 1:42 PM | Updated as of 06/10/2013 1:42 PM

MANILA – Malacañang said there is no politics involved in the move of the Food and Drug Administration to ban a number of food products from Taiwan found to be contaminated with maleic acid, including brands of the popular tapioca pearls.

Presidential spokesperson Edwin Lacierda said the FDA’s decision is not the Philippine government’s way of getting back at Taiwan for imposing sanctions against the Philippines following the killing of a Taiwanese fisherman by the Philippine Coast Guard.

Lacierda said the ban is supported by scientific evidence and is about the health of Filipino consumers.

“It’s not subject to politics. It’s subject to a scientific evaluation, whether that banned substance exists in those products. And if it is, under our laws, it is banned. It is as simple as that. It has nothing to do with politics. It has nothing to with the present situation we’re in with Taiwan,” he said.

Meantime, the Palace hopes that the National Bureau of Investigation probe into the incident will pave the way to a resolution to tensions between the Philippines and Taiwan.

Lacierda continues to appeal to the people of Taiwan not to vent their ire at Filipinos there.

The FDA banned 15 food products from Taiwan, after they were found to have maleic acid, a substance used in making polyesters such as plastic products, moldings and paint.

In an advisory issued on Saturday, FDA acting director Kenneth Hartigan-Go also said the products are “not registered” with the FDA.

These products are Hong Tapioca Starch, Redman Black Tapioca Pearl, Sun Right Indica Rice Powder, Top 1 Tapioca Pearls, Tea World Tapioca Starch Ball, Unbranded Starch Ball, Ding Long Tapioca Pearls, Sun Chi Noodles, T & M Resources Corp Tapioca Pearls, Pure Tea Tapioca Pearls (White), Pure Tea Tapioca Pearls (Black), Full Free Green Tea Tapioca Ball, Full Free Yam Tapioca Ball, Long Kow Vegetarian Instant Rice Noodle, and Long Kow Rice Noodle with Thick Soup.

Big China & Little China Vs. The Philippines

This article is an uncomfortable reading for most Filipinos whether you are at home in the Philippines or abroad.

We are an independent country and yet it feels like we are not. We are being besieged by the combined mights of big China and little China (Taiwan) How could this have happened? Why do we need to answer to anyone and why is America not helping us? I thought they would have acted as mediator in the earliest possible time before tension escalated at this level afterall we rendered them aid everytime it was needed in the past.

Will the USofA only help us when they see that they get something out of it? Is it always quid pro quo with them?

Anyway please read through this very enlightening article by my good friend, Perry Diaz of GlobalBalita.

David vs. Two Goliaths

May 22, 2013

By Perry Diaz

Anti-Filipino rally in Taiwan

Anti-Filipino rally in Taiwan

It’s tough fighting the world’s second biggest economic power and most populous country. But when another economic heavyweight joins the fight against you, they could trounce you very badly. And to make the situation worse, the two adversaries are the giant People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the Lilliputian but economically rich Republic of China (ROC), which is more commonly known as Taiwan. With the Philippines up against the two Chinas, her options are limited.

Over the past several years, China increased her defense budget to double-digit increments. In the case of Taiwan, the United States provided her with firepower to defend herself from China whose ultimate goal is to take over Taiwan and complete the unification of the two Chinas under one government.

But the U.S. has nothing to do with that. Although the U.S. recognizes the PRC under a “One China Policy,” she made it known that Taiwan would be defended should China decide to invade Taiwan.

The Philippines followed suit and adopted a “One China Policy” too; thus, severing her diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. However, the influential community of Chinese expatriates and refugees in the Philippines identify themselves with Chiang Kai-shek and his Kuomintang Party who fled to Taiwan in 1949 after they were defeated by Mao Zedong and his Communist Party in a bloody Civil War.

To continue their “friendship,” the Philippines and Taiwan established two offices to serve as conduit between the two governments. The Philippine government opened the Manila Economic and Cultural Office (MECO) in Taipei; and Taiwan opened the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Manila. Indeed, the relationship between the Philippines and Taiwan couldn’t have been better… until last May 9 when an incident in disputed waters ended in the death of a Taiwanese fisherman.

Fishing boat incident

Relatives of fisherman killed by the Philippine Coast Guard

Relatives of fisherman killed by the Philippine Coast Guard

According to Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) account, two Taiwanese fishing boats were sighted in the Balintang channel just north of Luzon, which is Philippine territory and not claimed by Taiwan or any other country. In what appeared to be illegal fishing, the PCG vessel approached the fishing boats but one of them tried to ram the PCG vessel. The PCG fired at the charging fishing boat to disable it. The fishing boat was disabled; however, unbeknown to the PCG crew, a 65-year old Taiwanese fisherman was hit. Then, a “big white ship” came to view and the PCG vessel took off. (Source: The Daily Tribune)

The incident created a crescendo of events leading to violence against Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs) in Taiwan. MECO Chairman Amadeo Perez reported that an OFW was attacked with a baseball bat by an angry mob in Kaohsiung City, Taiwan. Other attacks on OFWs were reported. “The situation in Taiwan now is very tense,” said Perez.

In an attempt to placate Taiwan, President Benigno Aquino III apologized for the death of the Taiwanese fisherman but the Taiwanese government uncharacteristically rejected it as “insincere.”

And to make matters worse, the Taiwanese government banned the entry of OFWs. The Philippine government is preparing evacuation plans should the need to bring the OFWs home arises. The Taiwanese government also issued an advisory to her citizens not to visit the Philippines.

Enter the bully

"Emperor" Xi Jinping (Credit: The Economist)

“Emperor” Xi Jinping (Credit: The Economist)

Meanwhile, a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said, “We strongly condemn the barbaric shooting and killing of the Taiwanese fisherman, demanding that the Philippines should investigate the case and furnish the details as soon as possible. We are deeply grieved about the death of the Taiwanese compatriot and have sent condolences to his family.” With China openly siding with Taiwan, it makes one wonder if China was taking advantage of the incident to drive a wedge between the two allies of the United States. Indeed, China has been trying very hard to neutralize the United States’ military presence in the Western Pacific, particularly in the South and East China Seas.

In August 2012, China tricked the Philippines into ending the standoff at the Scarborough Shoal (Panatag Shoal) by agreeing to a withdrawal of the two countries’ naval vessels from the area. As soon as the Philippines withdrew her Coast Guard vessels, China cordoned off the only opening to the shoal while several Chinese ships stayed. Since then, China has de facto possession of the shoal, which is about 124 miles from Luzon and within the Philippines’ 200-mile Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

Ryukyu archipelago

Ryukyu Islands

Ryukyu Islands

Recently, two events happened that put Chinese expansionism into the geopolitical equation. First, it questioned Japan’s ownership of the Ryukyu archipelago, which includes Okinawa where the U.S. maintains 18 army, navy, air force, and marine bases.

China claims that the Ryukyus were once a Chinese vassal state during the Ming and Qing dynasties; therefore, the island chain should be returned to China.

With this new “territorial dispute,” Japan’s ongoing dispute with China over ownership of the Senkaku Islands takes different dimension. Some experts are saying that China is using the Ryukyu issue as a bargaining chip to her claim over the Senkakus, a group of five uninhabited islands and islets wedged between Okinawa and Taiwan.

When Japan and Taiwan recently signed a joint fishing agreement around the Senkakus, China became furious. And right after that, the ownership of the Ryukyus came into play.

Ayungin Shoal

Ayungin Shoal

Ayungin Shoal

China also opened another potential area of dispute – right inside Philippine territory. A few days ago, several Chinese ships were sighted near the Ayungin Shoal in the Kalayaan town in the province of Palawan.

Last May 10, a Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) spokesperson said that Ayungin Shoal is within the Philippines’ EEZ. He said that the entry of foreign fishing vessels in an EEZ is a violation of the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS). China and the Philippines are signatories to UNCLOS. DFA filed a protest letter with the Chinese Embassy in Manila on the provocative presence of two Chinese maritime surveillance shipsand one warship around Ayungin Shoal. (Source: The Philippine Star)

Taiping Island

Taiping Island

Taiwan also has a piece of the action among six nations involved in territorial disputes in the Spratly archipelago. Recently, Taiwan announced plans to expand a pier in Taiping Island, the largest island in the Spratlys. By expanding the pier in the fortified island, it would allow port calls by Taiwan’s 2,000-ton frigates. The island has already a 3,800-foot runway, which Taiwan built in 2006. (Source: New Straits Times)

During the 115th anniversary celebration of the Philippine Navy last May 21, Aquino declared, “Our message to the world is clear: what is ours is ours, and we will repel any and all attempts to claim what is ours, and defend ourselves against any form of aggression, especially within our backyard.”

It seems that it’s going to be a battle between David vs. two Goliaths.


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