POWER went out in several areas in Cebu early this morning and have just started coming back as of this posting.

A graduate of the Southwestern University (SWU) topped this year’s Physician Licensure Examinations. Meanwhile, a fire, which was raised to 3rd alarm, destroyed 50 homes yesterday in Barangay Poblacion Pardo, Cebu City.

Japanese experts, on the other hand, pointed out that the number of PUVs in 10 street sections in Metro Cebu may exceed BRT capacity plying that section.

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Here are the top stories for today, Feb. 19, 2015:

BLACKOUT. Huge parts of Cebu lost power early this morning. (Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Alesa Dam)

BLACKOUT. Huge parts of Cebu lost power early this morning. (Creative Commons photo on Flickr by Alesa Dam)

Widespread blackout hits Metro Cebu

Power went out early this morning in services areas of the Visayan Electric Company (VECO) and the Mactan Electric Company (MECO) when the power distributors lost connection to the Leyte grid.

Theresa Sederiosa, VECO corporate communications manager, told Sun.Star Cebu they lost supply from about 198 MW of power supply from the Leyte grid at 1:48 a.m. She said they managed to restore 74 MW by 3:50 a.m. and restored electricity to areas where hospitals operate.

Cebu graduate tops medical board; 2 others in top 10

Dr. Venil Lovely Bolambao who is from Barangay Bulacao, Talisay City ranked first among those who took the Physician Licensure Examinations in February this year, scoring 88.33 percent.

Bolambao dedicated her achievement to her grandmother who passed away five years ago. She is the daughter of a retired bank manager and a businesswoman and the youngest of two children. She finished medicine, magna cum laude, in SWU last year.

She admitted she did not expect to be part of the top 10 because she had difficulty with some subject like anatomy and surgery during the exams.

“First, never give up on your dreams. If somebody says you can’t do it, tell them otherwise. Second, give your best shot in everything that you do and never settle for mediocrity. And lastly, never forget to look back on the people who helped you along the way and do not forget God.” — Dr. Venil Lovely Bolambao

Aside from Bolambao, Mark Malalay Ando and Rodrigo Go Monleon Jr., both graduates of Cebu Doctors’ University, also made it to the top 10, ranking third and eighth, respectively.

Medical Board Topnotcher Venil Lovely Estella Bolambao

TOPNOTCHER. Dr. Venil Lovely Bolambao, who graduated from the Southwestern University- Matias H. Aznar Memorial College of Medicine, topped the recent medical board. (Photo published on Facebook by radio station dyLA)

P300T worth of damaged properties

An afternoon fire in Barangay Poblacion Pardo, Cebu City yesterday destroyed 50 houses and damaged 10 others.

According to Cebu City Fire Marshal Rogelio Bongabong Jr., no one was reported injured but the fire caused at least P300,000 worth of damage in properties.

The fire that reportedly started at the house of Jufril Malacora at 4:22 p.m. quickly spread to the neighboring houses mostly made of light materials. It was declared under control at 5:03 p.m.

BRT not enough for the current number of passengers

According to a study presented by a study team of the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica), the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) in Metro Cebu may not be able to accommodate the current number of passengers in 10 street sections.

In N. Bacalso Ave., which is one of the 10 road sections, has been identified as one of the high frequency road section for public utility vehicles (PUVs) with more than 5,000 passengers/hour/direction.

“Even in the opening year, the Cebu BRT may not serve all the passengers to be shifted from PUVs on N. Bacalso Avenue.” — Jica Study Team

The BRT has a designed capacity of 4,500-5,400 passengers/hour/direction. In other cities, BRT’s capacity is more or less 3,000 passengers/hour/direction. So the number of PUVs in 10 street sections in Metro Cebu may exceed BRT capacity plying that section.

Jica introduced urban rail as a main public transport option.

Sun.Star Cebu: BRT not enough to accommodate passengers: study

Other top Cebu News stories:

The Freeman: Rama “feels slighted” by Cebu City’s inclusion in League of the Cities of the Philippines manifesto supporting President Aquino

The Freeman: CIDG-7 investigates person in Cebu as alleged SAF video uploader

The Freeman: MCIA operator signs funding deal with ADB, other banks

Cebu Business headlines:

The Freeman: Tikoy selling like hotcakes: Lunar New Year boosts sales of Chinese traders

The Freeman: Highland tours taking off as new tourism attraction

The Freeman: PhilAm Life offers pocket-friendly health insurance product

Sun.Star Cebu: Smart’s mobile app course ‘gets positive response’

Sun.Star Cebu: Insurance industry in Philippines ‘still has big room for growth’

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