Unicorp on Monday announced that first runner-up of Miss Ethnic Vietnam 2007 Truong Thi May will represent Vietnam at the Miss Universe 2013 beauty pageant in Moscow which starts on Sunday.
Unicorp explained in a statement that they chose May for the contest as the 25-year-old beauty has all the requirements as well as enthusiasm in social activities.
Previously, her nomination caused a controversy due to her education background. However, the Department of Performing Arts under the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism last week approved of May as she has made great contribution to community activities.
“May has a beautiful face with brown skin that is not Vietnam’s beauty standard but it’s popular in Western countries. Furthermore, she has had many years working in the local fashion industry so I believe May has some advantages at the Miss Universe contest,” said Diem Huong, the ambassador for Miss Universe Vietnam, in a statement.
City dwellers are very concerned about the safety of the foods available on the market. The authorities responsible for food quality management must therefore employ drastic measures to cope with the worsening situation.
Working for a Japanese company in Binh Duong Province, Lan, a Saigonese dweller, rides her motorbike every week on a 200-km roundtrip to her parents’ house in Tien Giang Province. Aside from visiting her father and mother, Lan has another reason which has recently emerged. On the trip back home, she always carries with her bundles of food, mostly vegetables grown at her former residence.
In case of An, Lan’s colleague, her birthplace is too far for a regular visit. Fortunately, on the side of her house in Binh Thanh District is a plot of open land. Late in the afternoon, An and her husband dig and hoe tirelessly on the small plot which has now become a vegetable garden capable of providing her family with enough green food for the whole week. An’s gardening seems to have set a good example as some of their neighbors have also tried their best to supply themselves with home-grown vegetables. They have used all space available at home and in the neighborhood whether it is at the front or the rear of the houses, or on the terrace.
No longer rare exceptions, home-produced foods have become more popular in Hanoi and HCMC. This may be evidenced by the fact that enterprises which supply city dwellers with seeds, soil, gardening tools, fertilizers and the like are doing lucrative business.
The elderly in Hanoi and Saigon remember the scenes back in the 1980s during the time of the planned economy. At the time fresh foods were scarce, and urbanites had to rely heavily on foods produced by their relatives from the countryside. In cities, dwellers used unoccupied surface to grow vegetables. Keeping rooftop pigsties on apartment buildings in big cities, even the capital, were just routine chores.
But that was a time when the economy was underdeveloped. Things are completely different now. So what went wrong?
A recent study by the National Nutrition Institute shows that the per capita meat consumption in Vietnam has grown by 2.5 times over 20 years ago. Likewise, the volume of eggs and milk needed in the same period has snowballed by nine and two times, respectively. Obviously, urban consumption is higher than that in the countryside. Supplies are currently ample and anything can be available in the market and grocery stores. What city dwellers need are clean foods.
Saigonese and residents in other big cities are much concerned about the safety of the foods they are using. The number of cases reported on contaminated foods is rising steadily. Some imported foods are also unsafe, particularly those from China, not to mention faked foods.
To cope with the worsening situation, some city dwellers have produced their own foods. But this action is merely a stopgap measure. They have to buy foods from the market anyway.
Citizens are pressing for the authorities in charge of food safety to take urgent measures. The Law on Safe Food which came into force on July 1, 2011 was expected to better protect consumers from unsafe foods. The reality, however, shows a different picture.
Hollywood comedy We’re the Millers (Gia dinh ba dao) by director Rawson Marshall Thurber is available today at nationwide cinemas and promises to be a scream.
The movie, rated R for audiences above 17 years old, tells the story of a humorous journey of four strangers who pretend to be family members to traffic a large quantity of cocaine from Mexico into the U.S.
The fake family consists of drug dealer David Clark (Jason Sudeikis), exotic dancer Rose (Jennifer Aniston), teenager daughter Casey (Emma Roberts) and virgin neighbor Kenny (Will Poulter). The quartet promises to bring audiences bellyache from the humorous situations during their trip.
‘We’re the Millers’ with a budget of US$37 million was introduced at Traverse and Locarno film festivals in the U.S. last month.
Taking a dinghy and picking water caltrops is an interesting pastime for travelers - Photos: Tuong Vi
A local farmer catchs fi sh, crabs and snails with a don, a special fishing net in the southern region
When the annual flooding season comes to the provinces in the Mekong Delta from the eighth to the 11th lunar months, it brings quite a few gifts from Mother Nature such as linh freshwater fish,dien dien flowers, water lilies and other forms of aquatic wildlife. Due to huge flooding this year, tourists will have even more picturesque views of the Mekong Delta that can only be seen once a year. The following photos are captured in Vam Nao, located 30km from Chau Doc Town, An Giang Province, where visitors can join a tour to become a farmer for a few hours. This short fact-finding trip will help guests understand clearly the life of local farmers during the flooding season, spend time with the locals and of course enjoy the yummy local food.
Petro Vietnam Oil Stockpile Company Ltd (PVOS), a joint venture between Korean firm SEK and PV Oil (a member of Vietnam Oil and Gas Group), is a provider of underground oil caverns built specifically to accommodate the needs of the oil and gas industry for commercial and production reserve, national stockpiling and international oil trading purposes.
Over two years beginning in 2010, PVOS carried out the pre-feasibility study of the port and storage project at Hoa Tam IZ. It began looking at the geology and construction sites for the deep water seaport and storage project within Hoa Tam Industrial Zone (IZ) to assess whether the site was suitable for a large- scale underground storage cavern and would be feasible in conjunction with the planning of the industrial zone itself. Hoa Tam has been designed to house industrial operations with great demand for petroleum storage, so this suitability was critical to the potential success of Hoa Tam. Our preliminary study shows that the project is feasible and aligned with PVOS’s development strategy in Vietnam. PVOS has committed to be a strategic partner with Hiep Hoa Phat JSC, the developer of Hoa Tam IZ to be a secondary investor in developing the underground storage cavern and port project in Hoa Tam IZ.
On June 17, 2011, PVOS submitted the document No. 243/PVOS –E&P applied for an investment certificate for a crude oil and petroleum products storage project in the Hoa Tam Industrial Zone to the Phu Yen Economic Zone Management Board. This project consists of an underground storage cavern system with 3.1 million cubic meters of storage capacity, an export terminal for vessels up to 80,000 DWT and a single point mooring system to accommodate vessels up to 300,000 DWT for the purpose of development and operation of industrial terminals and tank farms ensuring the importing and exporting of crude oil and petroleum products.
During the implementation of the 1/2000 master plan of the Hoa Tam industrial zone and Bai Goc deep seaport project, the contributions of PVOS and its Korean strategic partners have been invaluable in enhancing the project plan to bring it to world-class standards.
PVOS has worked with Vung Ro Petroleum Company Limited (VRP), the principle investor in the Vung Ro Refinery project, in the past. Vung Ro is considering relocating the Refinery to Hoa Tam Industrial Zone and has recently garnered the approval of the Prime Minister. On July 26, 2011, VRP signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with PVOS for the purpose of studying investment and construction of the crude oil and petroleum products storage project at the Hoa Tam IZ, of which VRP has expressed its desire to become a strategic partner. They are looking for a 34% equity stake.
Thus, we have committed to strategically cooperate with Hiep Hoa Phat to develop the underground oil storage cavern, single point moorings and liquid jetties as key components of the Hoa Tam industrial zone and Bai Goc deep seaport. VRP has received approval for the project’s relocation to Hoa Tam by the Prime Minister and, in addition, has become a secondary investor in Hoa Tam. These are good signals for the initial development of Hoa Tam as well as PVOS’s crude oil and petroleum products storage project. VRP is dedicated to ensuring its refinery development to be in legal compliance and contribute to the success of sustainable industrial development in Phu Yen province.
The Mekong Delta provinces shipped 237,000 tonnes of tra fish in the first five months of this year, earning a revenue of 616 million USD, down 6 percent over the same period last year.
The largest importers of Vietnamese tra fish were the EU, ASEAN, the US, Japan, Mexico, Brazil, China and Hong Kong.
In the five-month period, tra exports saw reductions in price and volume in many traditional markets.
The regional provinces zoned off 5,700 hectares of water surface for tra fish breeding and supplied 390,000 tonnes of material tra fish for processing factories.
According to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, local breeders still face difficulties as production costs are higher than selling prices and they find it hard to access bank loans.
To help the farmers, the provinces have sent technical staffs to guide them how to produce tra fish meeting standards for export. They have also encouraged the breeders to apply new farming measures in order to raise the fish quality.-VNA
Though actress-businesswoman Ly Nha Ky, the most promising candidate for Vietnam’s 2013-2014 tourism ambassador, who the Japanese consul general stands by, withdrew from the race for personal reasons, the country’s top tourism officials have had trouble picking from the remaining contenders.
Despite mixed public opinion on her performance as last year’s ambassador, 30-year-old Ky stood an excellent chance of being reelected as she won 87% of the journalists’ votes in a meeting between top tourism officials and local media earlier this month.
According to Tran Nhat Hoang from the Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism, Ky’s dominant strengths include attractive looks, great popularity, excellent foreign language skills and good relations in art and business circles and the capability of calling for financial support for Vietnamese tourism, as well as making tourism promotion products on her own.
The high-profile beauty is also highly committed to the job, as she spent a considerable amount of time and her own money in promoting Ha Long Bay and helping Vietnam become the host of the Asian Games (ASIAD) in 2019, Hoang noted.
Ky also received a letter from the Japanese Consul General in Ho Chi Minh City, Harumitsu Hida, in which he thanked her for her tireless efforts in promoting Vietnamese tourism, and her remarkable support for the consulate’s activities during her term.
Two weeks ago, without warning, Ky dropped out of the race, explaining that she has had enough of the slander, offense and chatter during her ambassadorship regarding her education background and her scandalous lifestyle, which took a damaging toll on herself and her family.
However, many think that Ky is faking it and using a ‘retreat to advance’ ploy.
Meanwhile, lesser-known Huynh Thi Ngoc Han, who won the Miss Tourism title at the 2011 Miss Ethnic Vietnam and holds two Master’s degrees in International Trade and Public Relations from Australia, is also a good choice.
The 26-year-old beauty is currently working as a PR executive at Brisbane City Hall, as well as providing international trade counseling in Australia.
With last year’s outstanding performance as an ambassador for international students in Australia, Hoang from the ministry said Ngoc Han’s range of activity and influence is mainly in that country, though she also takes part in student volunteer activities in HCMC.
The other candidate, Do Thi Hong Thuan, a 28-year-old English teacher at a Hanoi school, has no strong points. Her popularity in the mass media is zero and her ability to mobilize support for the promotion of Vietnam’s tourism has not been proven.
Thuan herself admitted that she does not have fame, money or beauty.
Some netizens even expressed disapproval and frustration at Thuan’s candidacy.
The race continues and intensifies
Not long after Ky’s withdrawal, several beauties nominated or considered nominating themselves for the post.
30-year-old actress Lan Phuong, Vietnam’s former peace ambassador to Fukuoka, Japan and a representative of the country on the 36th Ship for Southeast Asian Youth Program (SSEAYP) 2009 recently nominated herself for the position.
One of the most versatile actresses in Vietnam, Phuong has created a successful acting career. Phuong is also good at dancing, and speaking foreign languages, such as English, French and Japanese.
Phuong, who was Ky’s 6th-grade and dance classmate, said she’s undaunted by Ky’s great financial power.
According to Dan Tri, though top tourism officials consider Phuong a strong contender, netizens pointed out her weaknesses, including limited height.
The International Cooperation Office under the ministry also received an application from 25-year-old Chau Mong Nhu, the first runner-up of the 2012 Miss National Asia Pageant.
Dan Tri reported that Nhu is also considered a promising contender by tourism officials with such strengths as a good command of English and experience working with a cultural heritage organization.
According to VnExpress, the beauty is quite confident about her candidacy, since as the director of her own media company for the past four years, she has garnered considerable experience in organizing tourism-related events and enjoys favorable relations among local and foreign media and tourism partners.
Meanwhile, Dieu Han, Miss ASEAN 2012, told the Vietnam News Agency that she’s completing her application for the post.
Han, 23, said her crown and her upcoming trips with the pageant’ organizers to promote culture and tourism in ASEAN countries give her a competitive edge in the tourism ambassador race.
Hoang, from the ministry, also told Dan Tri that two more young women, one currently living in France and the other the director of a local tourism company, have expressed their wishes to join the race.