MANILA – To show that the Philippinesis a safe place to visit despite the outbreak of the coronavirus disease 2019(COVID-19) elsewhere, President Rodrigo Duterte will kick off his tour of thecountry’s top tourist spots in Boracay Island in Malay, Aklan on March 12. Boracay was closed to tourists fromApril to October 2018 for six months of massive rehabilitation that Dutertehimself ordered. Boracay is experiencing a dip intourist arrivals due to the COVID-19 scare. President Rodrigo Roa Duterte prepares to board a helicopter after gracing the inauguration of the Sangley Airport Development Project in Cavite City on February 15, 2020. PCOO Aside from stressing that Boracay hasbecome environmentally sound, the presidential visit would also drive home thepoint that the island remains safe and free from COVID-19, according to Puyat. Aside from South Korea, the Philippinegovernment also imposed travel bans to mainland China and its specialadministrative regions of Macau and Hong Kong. “March 12, inaanyayahan namin kayo. Pupunta si Presidente Duterte sa Boracay to show that it is safe,”said Puyat. Aside from Boracay, the Presidentwould also be visiting Bohol and Cebu, said Puyat. For several years now, the island’stop visitors are South Koreans. However, the government recently imposed apartial ban on tourists from the northern part of South Korea that has been hitby COVID-19. The Philippines stands to lose anestimated of P42.9 billion in tourism receipts this first quarter of 2020 dueto the COVID-19 scare. This will be the President’s firstvisit to Boracay since the island reopened to tourists in October 2018,according to Department of Tourism (DOT) secretary Bernadette Romulo-Puyat. Prior to Boracay’s rehabilitation,Duterte likened the island to a cesspool. To counter the tourism industryslowdown, Puyat said DOT has allotted P6 billion for international and domestictourism promotion and development. One has already started – the campaignon popular video-sharing app TikTok where snippets of the country’s touristspots are shown using the tag #gocreateph. Discounts from airlines and hotelswill also continue until April, said Puyat, and DOT will also push through withits travel trade shows to areas with fewer cases of COVID-19 such as WesternEurope, Middle East, Russia and Indonesia./PN
A newly introduced bill would allow students to take time off from school for mental health reasons.House Bill 315, introduced by Representative Susan Valdes, would give individual school districts across the state the flexibility to include mental health as a reason for an excused absence.Under the bill, students would be able to use one mental health day off per semester.The bill is reportedly part of efforts to combat suicide anxiety, and depression amongst teenagers.Lawmakers who oppose the bill have argued it would lead to students using mental health issues as an excuse to miss school.
Published on March 26, 2019 at 11:59 pm Contact Matt: firstname.lastname@example.org Rumors began in the spring. Running boards such as LetsRun.com linked then-Syracuse head coach Chris Fox’s name to the head coaching position at the new Reebok Boston Track Club.“We had heard a few things about it,” former SU All-American Colin Bennie said. “But we were all like ‘there’s no way he’s gonna do that.’”Going through the indoor and outdoor track seasons, those rumors persisted, but still no one believed Fox would leave, until the official notice came in mid-July. Reebok announced the revival of its running program with the addition of Fox as the head coach for the new Reebok Boston Track Club based out of Charlottesville, Virginia, along with former SU assistant Adam Smith. Justyn Knight, Syracuse’s only individual national champion, would become its headline runner.“Everything had to align,” Smith said. “I don’t think Coach Fox would’ve taken the Reebok job without Justyn.”Within weeks, Bennie and fellow All-American Philo Germano followed suit, along with a handful of other top collegiate runners from around the country. Seemingly overnight Reebok executed its blueprint, establishing itself as an up-and-coming power in the running world. Fox, who rebuilt Syracuse from one of the nation’s worst teams into its best, planned to rebuild Reebok with the same people who redefined SU.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“All-Americans and national championships are outstanding,” Bennie said. “But Olympians and professional championships are also pretty unbelievable.”Knight, who had virtually every major running club in the nation trying to sign him, he said, refused to talk to any team until his SU career ended. Reebok wasn’t initially one of the teams on his radar. When he saw Reebok announce former-NCAA Team National Champion Kemoy Campbell and former SU All-American Martin Hehir as its first two runners, Knight didn’t understand the move.“I remember when (Hehir) signed, I was like ‘Oh, that’s a pretty bold move,’” Knight said. “Because I didn’t know anyone else that ran for Reebok or even that they had a team.”Anna Henderson | Digital Design EditorReebok once was one of the oldest running companies in the United States, Smith said. But recently the company focused its attention on CrossFit and Ultimate Fighting Championship, taking a step back from the running scene.At the same time that Reebok signed Hehir and Campbell, the company communicated with Fox. But Fox made it clear he wasn’t going to make a decision until after the outdoor season, Smith said. Fox and Smith had just captured the program’s first cross country national title in school history. Fox had been with the school since 2005, turning it from one of the worst running programs in the nation into the best, but leaving meant a current group of runners had to uphold what Fox built.“These kids … these are the guys you’ve been with for the last five, six, seven years,” Smith said. “The countless van rides, the workouts, the hugs after races. These are people who you’re going to battle with … We did some really special things at Syracuse … That was the hardest part.”The runners were supportive, Smith said, understanding Fox and Smith’s opportunity. Plus, current head coach Brien Bell had been with Syracuse since Fox’s first year, a staple in the rebuild. Once Bell was officially named head coach in September, Smith said, leaving felt easier. The other piece that eased the transition was the Syracuse connection at Reebok. Once summer hit, Knight, Bennie and Germano had to figure out where they were going to continue their careers, all unaware of the plan that Fox and Smith had in place.‘“When he told me he was considering it, it was like ‘Woah,’” Knight said. “That’s when it all became very real to me.”Courtesy of SU AthleticsKnight and Fox signed on in mid-July, and Bennie and Germano joined by the end of the summer. With their additions, Reebok now boasted four-fifths of Syracuse’s national championship team point-getters.“We were definitely a little bit surprised that he was going to make the move,” Bennie said. “But it also actually makes a lot of sense. It’s the natural step forward. There’s progression on the coaching side of things too … There was no better time to do it than with Justyn graduating and me and Philo moving on too. It gave us all a perfect opportunity to keep doing what we love doing.”Unlike in college, where decisions are constantly made for you, Hehir said, these runners now are on their own and have to make their own life choices. As someone that has been a professional since graduating from SU in 2015, Hehir has helped out his younger teammates in guiding them for how to live as a professional. One of his biggest messages has been to keep a busy lifestyle full of meaningful activity to offset the stresses of being a professional athlete and not letting running consume them.There have also been changes in training. Although the team practices together every day, runners are preparing for entirely different races. In college, everyone was on essentially the same race schedule. Now Knight is currently preparing for the World Championships in September, while Bennie is currently training for the 2020 Olympic Marathon Trials.Plus, by their senior year, Reebok’s runners were some of the best in the country. Nearly everyone on the team was some form of a champion, Smith said.“It’s like high school where you go from being the best high school runner on your team to college where everybody’s good,” Smith said. “You go from being the best in college and everybody’s good again … You’re training with five of the best guys in the world.”Although a professional team, the move to Reebok is one which closely resembles Fox’s journey to Syracuse. He accepted a job for a relatively unknown program in its field with a blueprint to change its course. With a star and several overlooked runners, he built Syracuse into a champion, and he plans on doing the same in the pros.“To be able to keep living the dream together, with family,” Germano said. “That’s special.” Comments Facebook Twitter Google+