Life and Style wRap: Sherpas, plastics, the Pope
MANILA, Philippines - Resting from what was a super busy and hectic week? Here are some Life and Style stories you may have missed from the week of June 17 to 22.
Miss Algeria contest back after 10 years
After an absence of 10 years, the Miss Algeria beauty pageant was held last June 21 in Oran, Algeria.
According to an organizer and juror of the event, 20 women aged between 18 and 26 were carefully selected from Algeria's major cities to compete.
Like other beauty contests, the requirements were tough. Contestants must be at least 1.7 meters tall with the measurements 90-60-90 centimeters for bust, waist and hips, respectively. They were also expected to know French.
The contest was suspended in 2003 after the death of Cheradi Hamdad, who launched the pageant in 1996 during Algeria's civil war. His son, Faycal Hamdad, is the new pageant organizer.
Young porters endanger Nepal's trekking industry
Portering is a traditional role in Nepal, with skills handed down from generation to generation. But inexperienced Nepalese boys lured by comparatively high wages are flocking to become porters in Nepal's Himalayas.
Boys as young as 14 want to benefit from the wage hike for porters. Though the hike is good news for unions and advocacy groups, it could spell danger for the inexperienced porters and clmbers.
Porters traditionally carry food, safety equipment and camping gear, often trekking ahead of the group, setting up camp before the trekkers arrive, or staying behind to pack up.
Jo Chaffer, a veteran guide and trekking consultant in Nepal, expressed worry:
"They have no knowledge of altitude, they have no mountain clothing, they have no mountain footwear.
"It's not good for them, it's not good for the clients, it's not good for the trekking industry at all."
Makati bans plastic bags
After a widespread publicity campaign, Makati City environment protection officers began handing out P5,000 fines to shops and supermarkets caught distributing plastic bags last June 20.
An effort to rid the city of garbage blamed for flooding, the ban is opposed by citizens, particularly the poor.
"Most of my orders are take out. Now I have to use paper bags, but what if the food has a lot of sauce? No one is going to bring plates here," complained stall owner Rowena Rosario who used plastic bags for her hot meals.
While the city still allows food to be wrapped in plastic, it has banned the bags that shops and restaurants traditionally issued for free. Styrofoam food containers and plastic cups are also banned.
Consumers are given the option of paper alternatives or not using any bags at all. Supermarkets encourage shoppers to bring their own.
Makati is home to many of the country's foreign embassies, biggest corporations and banks, swankiest shopping malls and about 2,900 restaurants.
Christian Lacroix returns to the runway
Designer Christian Lacroix, once the toast of '90s fashion design, returns to Paris runways with a tribute to late Italian designer Elsa Schiaparelli, famed for her collaborations with Salvador Dali and Jean Cocteau.
The relaunch of his couture house will feature the unveilng of 15 reinterpretations of Schiaparelli designs.
Schiaparelli was a contemporary of Coco Chanel and collaborated with surreallist artist Salvador Dali for her 1973 Lobster Dress, a white silk evening dress on which Dali painted a lobster. A second collaboration produced the pale blue Tears Dress that used a Dali-designed print to create the illusion of torn flesh.
In the '90s, Lacroix was known for his exuberant, over-the-top fashion creations. But he lost his fashion house in December 2009 when a Paris bankruptcy court approved a plan to end production of his haute couture and read-to-wear lines.
Other highlights of the fashion shows in the first week of July include Karl Lagerfeld's Chanel couture show, Yves Saint Laurent designer Hedi Slimane's creations and the return of Dutch designers Viktor&Rolf after more than 10 years of absence from the fashion scene.
Pope Francis warns ambassadors: Easy living leads to ridicule
Pope Francis warned ambassadors to the Vatican on June 21 to maintain simple lifestyles and reject ambition, lest they be ridiculed.
"There is always a risk...of giving in to that sort of 'bourgeoisie of the spirit and life' which drives one to recline, to seek out a comfortable and tranquil life," he told ambassadors from all over the world gathered at the Vatican.
"Giving in to such a worldly spirit exposes us pastors in particular to ridicule. We would perhaps be applauded by some, but those who seem to approve of us would criticize us behind our backs," he added.
Francis said he was keen to meet the ambassadors as a group so he could speak to them about the key role they play in advising the Vatican on local candidates they believe would make good bishops.
"Be careful that the candidates are pastors who are close to the people...are mild-mannered, patient and merciful; that they love poverty...(and lead) simple and austere lives," he said.
He told them to beware of those who have a "princely psychology," are ambitious and seek the episcopate.
The meeting between Francis and the ambassadors was unusual. It had been organized by the pope's predecessor Benedict XVI, who had been accused of having an excessively formal relationship with the ambassadors, with whom he rarely met. - With reports from AFP/Rappler.com