Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Aklanons Bid Farewell To Sin

He was 76. Jaime Cardinal Sin had been ill with kidney problems and diabetes. Because of it, he was unable to attend the Vatican conclave that chose a new pope. That was in April this year.
Jaime Cardinal Sin passed away at dawn on Tuesday, June 21. According to Father Jun Sescon, the Cardinal was taken to the Cardinal Santos Medical Center in San Juan, Metro Manila on Sunday evening, June 19. He was with fever and suffering of multiple organ failure. Cardinal Sin had breathing difficulty towards his end, said Sescon, but “he was ready for his final journey.”
Before his death, Sin retired as Manila Archbishop. The Philippines turned to him for guidance in times of political turmoil. He played a key role in the people power revolts that ousted two presidents of the Philippines.
Sin was succeeded by Archbishop Gaudencio Rosales. According him, “Cardinal Sin was not only a prince of the church or a plain bishop, he is a prophet of our time. His life was a great gift to the church.”
Cardinal Sin was vocal. He took controversial stance on matters like birth control to poverty, politics and even the US – led war in Iraq. He was known for his dedication and very high sense of humor.
Sin was highly critical of the late President Ferdinand Marcos’ military rule. “My duty is to put Christ in politics. Politics without Christ is the greatest scourge of our nation,” Sin pointed out.
Sin is the 14th child of the 16 children of a Chinese father and an Aklanon mother. He was born in new Washington, Aklan on August 31, 1928. In 1954, he was ordained as a priest. In 1974, Sin was officially inducted as the archbishop of Manila at age 47 which make him the youngest member of the Vatican’s College of Cardinals.
February 1986, Cardinal Sin became instrumental in the ousting of former President Ferdinand E. Marcos in a peaceful revolution. This was repeated in January 2001 when he supported another revolt that toppled President Joseph Estrada from Philippines presidency.
Because of his health problem Jaime Cardinal Sin retired in 2003. /MP

Bugged Cellphones and the Dobbie Beams Sex Scandal

By Alex P. Vidal

NOW that it has been confirmed there is a gadget that can bug even a personal cellular phone, individuals who do monkey business via cellular phones must be extra careful in giving out their numbers to strangers or acquaintances that are not familiar to them or those that cannot be trusted.
The Gary or Garci scandal is an eye opener. If the highest official of the country can be wire-tapped, what more of ordinary persons? For sure, a lot of lessons have been learned from the “Hello Garci” incident by both Pres. Arroyo and Election Commissioner Virgilio Garcillano (assuming that they are the phone pals in the tape) and other cellular phone and land line users in private and government offices.
In this age of technology, anything can be recorded or taped—video and audio—and can be used as instrument to blackmail any person. Why, even cellular phones nowadays are equipped with video recording and electronic mail gadgets!
Wire-tapping equipment is not anymore an enigma to Filipinos. The bugging of communication lines had been a common practice during the cold war between the United States and Soviet Union in the 1960’s and early 1970’s.
And who can forget the downfall of President Richard Nixon because of the Watergate scandal? It can be said that wire-tapping was born starting when Alexander Bell invented the telephone.
The extra-marital liaison between American film nymphet Dobbie Beams and Pres. Ferdinand Marcos was exposed to the public after somebody had surreptitiously (many suspected it was Mrs. Imelda Marcos) placed a tape recorder under the bed while the couple was having sex.
The taped voice clip of Beams groaning and moaning, if played repeatedly in rallies and street demonstrations like what is happening in the Garci tape today, could have been enough to yank out Apo Ferdie from Malacañang, if there was not a Martial Law at that time.
A pretty TV hostess from Bacolod City had to flee from the “City of Smile” after VCDs circulated showing her and a male partner doing oral sex in what was supposed to be a private activity, and so on and so forth.
By the time we finish reading this item, somebody else’s cellphone might be the next victim of wire-tapping. Be careful. /MP

Boracay Bizmen Act On Garbage Crisis


Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan – The Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI) has started its two-year plan to address the garbage problem of the island.
Karen Reina, BCCI president and project chairperson, said “the original program is now a 3-component program dubbed as “Boracay Lives!” designed to solve the ever-growing solid waste crisis.”
The P4-million Boracay Ecological Education Campaign and Material Recovery Facility (MRF) project is funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) and BCCI under Pearl 2 (Private Enterprise Accelerated Resources Linkages).
“Unknown to many, the BCCI has started its program with Pearl 2 on the eco-education campaign. So far, we have only received dire warnings on why our project will fail; many are waiting in the sidelines, joining only if it started to succeed. Wake up! The time to act is now! No community-based program will work if the community stands by and watches,” Reina said.
The project aims to reduce the volume of solid waste, to increase the volume of recycling and for visitors and guests to be aware and follow the environmental laws of the island.
“Let us stop saying why it cannot be done; let us start saying why it can be done! Let us show everyone else how, no matter how daunting it may seem, a mountain can be moved when the will is there,” Reina pointed out.
BCCI has identified several activities over a period of 24 months to implement and sustain the Pearl 2 project, among others, the conduct of eco-education and information campaigns for stakeholders; capability-building for BCCI to service the needs of BCCI’s area of responsibility; the setting-up of MRF that will recycle and re-use the solid waste of the island and the holding of annual event to promote environmental awareness among students in Boracay schools.
Agnes Acero, project assistant for the program, said “the ecological education campaign started with a cluster of 31 establishments and 10 households in Sitio Angol in Barangay Manoc-Manoc.”
She stressed that briefing on ecologically sustainable practices and the proper handling of garbage has been initiated by BCCI.
“We started to implement the ecological education campaign with our BCCI members in the island. This Pearl 2 project of BCCI will surely strengthen the capability of stakeholders to reduce, re-use and recycle the solid waste generated,” Acero added.
She said the project is in conformity with the DENR’s Environmental Management Plan (EMP) and with the Environmental Consent Agreement (ECONA). It is closely working with Oikos Society with Roland Nillas as project consultant.
BCCI stressed that the Philippine Tourism Authority has allowed the use of its Wastewater Treatment Facility Area for the solid waste disposal program and a recycling facility.
Last June 1, Aklan governor Carlito Marquez, Malay mayor Ceciron Cawaling and DENR special action officer Zoilo Andin also agreed to close the existing dumpsite in Barangay Balabag to put an end to the island’s garbage crisis. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

BIR Is Serious
The Regional Trial Court, Branch 5, Kalibo, Aklan dismissed the “Petition for Declaratory Relief With Application for Temporary Restraining Order” on July 29, 2003. The RTC, Branch 5 also denied a “Motion to reconsider the decision” on August 29, 2003.
The case is Special Civil Action No. 6785, filed by the Stallholders at the Kalibo Public Market versus the Sangguniang Bayan of Kalibo, The Municipal Mayor and Municipal Treasurer, Kalibo, Aklan. The Stallholders opposed Ordinance No. 2002 – 016, the Municipal Market and Slaughterhouse Code of Kalibo. They questioned the validity of the said ordinance on the ground that “it was unjust, excessive, oppressive and confiscatory,” that the same “ordinance was enacted without prior public hearing conducted for the purpose” and that the ordinance in effect imposes an increase in rental of 180 percent and 175 percent to those permanently occupying the front stalls and back or inside stalls, respectively at the Kalibo Public Market along Roxas Avenue Extension and Toting Reyes Street.
On the other hand, the Kalibo SB, Municipal Mayor and Municipal Treasurer insist that the ordinance is not a tax ordinance but enacted to govern the administration and operation of the public market and slaughterhouse. Moreover, the plaintiffs were allowed to voice their objections and concerns when the stallholders headed by their president attended the January 8, 2002 deliberation of the said ordinance.
During the pre – trial of the case, the stallholders formulated the issues to be resolved which are: 1. is the Ordinance No. 2002 – 016 enacted without public hearing? and 2. is the said ordinance unjust, excessive, oppressive, confiscatory? On the part of the defendants, is the ordinance in question a tax ordinance? If not, then public hearing is not required.
Without going into trial on the merits, the RTC, Kalibo, Branch 5 decided on the case in the nature of summary judgment based on the memorandum submitted by both parties. The RTC, Kalibo, Aklan dismissed the case for lack of merit.
The Stallholders went to the Court of Appeals. According to them, 1. The court erred when it dismissed the petition without benefit of a hearing; 2. When it did not consider the questioned Ordinance No. 2002 – 016 as unjust, excessive, oppressive, confiscatory or contrary to declared national policy; and 3. When it ruled that public hearing is not required in the enactment of the questioned ordinance.
The Court of Appeals deemed it best to tackle the issue as to whether the ordinance in question is a tax ordinance. If it is, public hearings are mandatory. The Court of Appeals reviewed the purpose of the said ordinance, the holding of public hearing for said ordinance and the rule on summary judgment.
Having done so, the Court of Appeals concluded that “laws enjoy the presumption of constitutionality. To overthrow this presumption, there must be a clear and unequivocal breach of the constitution, not merely a doubtful or argumentative contradiction as determined through a searching judicial inquiry if only to arrive at a judicious and circumspect verdict on the alleged arbitrariness and unreasonable impositions as contained in the ordinance.”
On the basis of the facts presented of both parties and the conclusions, the Court of Appeals, 19th Division “hereby set aside the decision of trial court dated July 29, 2003 and this case is hereby remanded to the Regional Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan, Branch 5 for trial on the merits.”

BIR Serious In Its Housekeeping Efforts

The Bureau of Internal Revenue is not only serious about running after tax cheats and grafters but also after grafters and undesirable employees in its ranks.
The Bureau of Internal Revenue Inspection Service reveals that the bureau has filed 363 cases against erring BIR personnel, both for graft and non – graft since 2001.
BIR Commissioner Guillermo Parayno said of the case filed, two hundred twenty two (222) cases have been decided, seventy six (76) employees dismissed, forty – six (46) suspended and others have either been reprimanded, fined or forced to resign. The rest involving dismissals are still awaiting confirmation and resolution by the Department of Finance.
In BIR Revenue Region 11, under Director Sonia Flores, from 2001 up to the present, it has filed a total of forty – two (42) cases against erring employees. Of this cases, twenty – one (21) have been suspended, eleven (11) have been dismissed and ten are still pending resolution.
It seems that the BIR campaign is bearing fruit as revealed by the results of a recent survey by the Social Weather Station which show that the BIR has improved its public acceptability rating. While surveys are mostly based on perception, Commissioner Parayno believes that still they serve as gauges of the success of the BIR’s anti – corruption efforts.
Parayno revealed that among the other plans which the BIR has to further improve its services is the further enhancement of its internal audit as well as the improvement of the investigation and prosecution of graft cases. Soon, BIR also intends to provide the public with a better means to lodge complaints against BIR officials and employees. /MP mailto:madyaas_pen@yahoo.com

“Manggad It Kalibo” Festival Highlights St. John Celebration

By Ernesto T. Solidum
Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo of Kalibo led the opening of “Manggad it Kalibo” Agro – Industrial Fair, Kalibo Food Festival and Skills Competition 2005 at the Pastrana Park. The event was held in honor of St. John the Baptist. Some 200 students, instructors and school heads from participating vocational and technical schools came to witness and participate in different skills competition. Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores witnessed the memorable event with other guests.
Cong. Miraflores in his speech credited organizers for the special focus on hotel and restaurant management. Vocational skills like table skirting and table setting are the critical skills urgently needed to support upscale tourism industry not only in Boracay but in other potential tourist destinations like Kalibo and Tangalan.
Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, Chair of the Provincial Technical Education and Skills Development Authority Committee and concurrently consultant of TESDA viewed the events very meaningful. “Our manpower resource must be globally competitive in order to be at par with other Asian countries like Malaysia and Singapore, “Quimpo admonished Gov. Carlito S. Marquez was ably represented by ex- Mayor Diego Luces. He spoke on the skills training as indispensable part of the livelihood of the people. He commended the organizers for their zeal and creativity to bring to the public’s attention the unique cultural heritage of Aklanons.
Prov’l Director of TESDA Aklan, Ms. Lorena T. Yunque formally opened the skills competition among participating schools with a champagne toast. She said that her agency “shall continue to provide technical skills and proficiency to youth since they are indispensable to a vibrant and progressive economy of Aklan. Daily events held at 1 – 5 PM are:
June 21 – Table Skirting, Table Setting and Bartending
June 22 – Flower Arrangement, Napkin Folding, Fruit and Vegetable Carving
June 23 – Bed Making, Waiters’ Relay, Cookery, (Ice Carving exhibition shall be presented by Verde Grande Culinary School.)
Winners in the above contests will receive valuable prizes from the Kalibo Ati – Atihan Tourism Council in the afternoon of June 23.
One of the program highlights was the formal opening of Agro Industrial exhibits on June 21, 2003. Inside individual booths are selected agricultural/fishery products, processed food, handicraft items and ornamental plants commonly produced in 16 barangays of Kalibo.
According to Mayor Rebaldo, festivals are held every year but nothing significant happened in terms of socio – economic upliftment. His novel idea: Diversify present food festival into one that would aggressively promote Kalibo as one of tourists’ destinations of Aklan. Presently “Uswag” Foundation sponsors guided tours to its 80 Ha. Bakhawan Eco Tourism Park, Piña and Ati – Atihan Village.
This years’ organizers are Association of TVET schools in Aklan (ATSA), TESDA, Kalibo Ati-Atihan Tourism Council (KATC), Liga ng mga Barangay of Kalibo and LGU Kalibo.
Schools affiliated with ATSA are AMA – CLC, Aklan Polytechnic Institute, Aklan State University (New Washington), Lifeline International, Montfort Technical Institute, NVC, San Lorenzo College, STI, Panay Technological College, Verde Grande Culinary School, Joselito Alba Vocational and Technical School and Provincial Training Center, TESDA. /MP

EDITORIAL - June 20 -25, 2005

By: Megs S. Lunn
There is something shameful, even obscene, about the fact that, with the rigorous protection of individual rights like the right to life, prosecution of the suspects of killings (with interventions of influence and affluent people) are established and guaranteed.
Ultimately, it is only blood money from the rich which may ease the pain of the poor family who lost a member of its family because of personality judgment and that because he was poor, not good for the “rich girl”. Therefore, the family intervention of the rich family that led to the death of the “poor guy.” – “Love, to be real, must cost – it must hurt – it must empty us of self.” –Mother Teresa of Calcutta.
It is a shame that the freedom of the ordinary people because he lacks resources cannot access justice. Mr. Toribio De Justo, 48 years old of Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan died instantly of hemorrhage after Engr. Tranquilino Valencia of the same Barangay poked him with a gun at the back of the his head. Mr. Toribio De Justo was buried on June 21, 2005.
Another current catch – phrase is the complaint of the nations of the world about the “haves” and the “have – nots.” Observe that the “haves” nations enjoy more freedom, while the “have – nots” nations enjoy less or none at all.
It is an individual’s right to pursue a case and pay no ransom for the privilege of living, or be out of prison? Apparently, it ended to the death of a helpless poor. It is not only silly and false but immoral. What they appreciate in life is what they trade in, a unique currency system.
“From the fact that people are very different it follows that, if we treated them equally, the end must be inequality in their actual position. That the only way to place them in an equal position would be to treat them differently. Equality before the law and material equality therefore vary but are in conflict with each other. That we can achieve either one or the other, but not at the same time.” In the eye of a STATUE OF JUSTICE, there is no poor, no rich, no compatriots, no friends, but rather, equality for all.
No amount of wealth and other handout interventions can bring back the life of the poor guy. Yes, you may live with freedom, but you can not do away with your conscience. When it comes to justice, there should be no important economic differences among people. Neither one should be too rich, nor one should be too poor. We should “close the wealth gap.” I remember this MANTRA passed to me by my good friend and I quote part of it…
“Once upon a time, there was a boy with a very difficult character. His father gave him a bag full of nails and told him to drive one nail into the garden fence every time he loses his patience and/or has an argument with someone.
The first day, the boy drove 37 nails in the garden fence.
In the following weeks, the boy learned to control himself and the number of nails driven into the fence dwindled every day:
The boy discovered that it was easier to learn to control himself than to hammer nails in the fence.
At last, the day came when the boy did not drive any nail into the garden fence.
Then he went to his father and told him that today he did not need to hammer any nail.
His father then told the boy to take one nail out from the fence every day
He succeeded in controlling his temper and not losing his patience.
Many days passed and finally the boy told his father that he
Has taken all nails out of the fence.
The father talked to his son in front of the fence and told him:

“My son, you have behaved well, but look how many holes you have left in the fence”
It will never be the same.

When you have an argument with someone and abused him,
You left him with wounds like these ones in the fence.
You can stab a man and then take the knife out,
But you will always leave a wound.”

Wealth is good when evenly distributed among the people. This is because money is a tool, nothing more. One neither eats money nor drinks money nor wears money. And wealth – an accumulation of money – is a lot of tools to do good or evil or both.
Wealth is good. Everybody knows about his own wealth. If one got rich, it would be a great thing. He improves his life and that of his family. He gets education, travels, learns more about the world. He invests in wise and worthwhile things. He gives money to noble causes. He helps friends and neighbors. His life maybe better if he got rich. The lives of the people around him would be better if he got rich. His wealth is good but not to buy justice.
One enters the world with nothing, and dies with nothing. If he wanted to die well, he must have to live well.
As former poor people who have overcame the obstacles before to us, my family and I are always grateful for the smallest occurrence in our lives. When we used to live in a bamboo – made house, without light, today we have television and other amenities of life. We were pre – judged by “oh so religious and holier than thou neighborhood.” It is because we flourished by believing in ourselves? And having the conviction to take action in order to change our status quo? Be it furthering our education, working while others sleep, looking for opportunities and visualizing our goal.
Wound a man, let it heal but leave the scar. This is enough to have sleepless nights. Live clean, leave a legacy and pass the world clean. /MP mailto:april_73uk@yahoo.co.uk

Kalantiao Inducts Officers

Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, a former Director of Agricultural Training Institute, DA was installed as charter president of Kalantiao Toastmasters Club during a very solemn but enjoyable Charter Presentation and 1st Installation of Officers and Induction Ceremonies.
The affair was held in the La Esperanza Hotel, Kalibo, Aklan on May 27, 2005 at 7:00 o’clock in the evening.
Kalantiao Toastmasters Club (KTC) was chartered on March 10, 2005 by Toastmasters International. At present, KTC has 22 chartered members. The club expects membership will increase in one year time.
KTC is so named Kalantiao Toastmasters Club in honor of Datu Bendahara Kalantiaw, a man who promulgated a set of codified laws which was used to govern ancient Filipinos in Panay. Kalantiaw was the third chief of Aklan who history reveals was just and wise.
Dr. Gregorio Zaoide’s researches pointed that the real name of Kalantiaw as Lakan Tiaw. In native term, Lakan means “chief of rulers” while Tiaw means “chief of brief speech”. In the Visayan traditions, Kalantiaw was born about 1410 A.D., the only son of Rajah Bendahara Gulah, ruler of Aklan, one of the three kingdoms of ancient Panay.
In his very brief inaugural speech, Villorente strongly emphasized the three pronged objectives of Toastmasters Club which are “Better, Listening, Better Thinking and Better Speaking”. He added another which is “Better Doing”. He concluded by saying that Toastmasters aim to eliminate glossophobia, the fear in public speaking.
District Governor Michael Angelo A. Chua presented the Charter to President Ambrosio R. Villorente. The charter members were presented by CTM Leo G. Cuachon, Area 31 Governor. DTM Alan S. Olmilla inducted the charter members. DTM Elisa G. Tay did the “charging” of charter officers. The officer being charged is asked to step in front. His duties and responsibilities are recited after which the officer being charged is asked, “will you do them?” The answer must be, “Yes, I will”. After the charging, ATM Felisa S. Justiniani installed the officers.
Dr. Benny A. Palma, president of Aklan State University delivered his first ever shortest speech of seven minutes. Though short, it was comprehensive and meaningful. District Governor Chua in his message discussed the rationale of Toastmasters Club formation and the rest that will happen to the members. Dr. Palma was introduced by TM Mario Balandra while District Governor Chua was presented by TM Nynn Arwena Tamayo.
TM Edna Gonzales gave the welcome remarks, TM Ramona S. Magayanes did the Herald’s Call and MS. Toni Ann T. Santamaria, the Doxology. TM Cynthia C. Dela Cruz introduced the visiting guests. The program ended with the exchange of gifts. /MP http://kalantiaotmc.blogspot.com

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

EDITORIAL - June 13-18

Is Akelco Lover of An Angel?
The Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan has urged the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) to conduct its public or formal hearing in Kalibo, Aklan instead of in Metro Manila on June 29, 2005 on the petition of AKELCO regarding the approval of the Electric Power Purchase Agreement (EPPA). The public hearing will also take up the corresponding amendments AKELCO entered into with Mirant Global Corporation (MGC) governing the operations of the MGC power plants in Nabas and New Washington, Aklan.
To recall, AKELCO as buyer and MGC as seller entered into an EPPAs to govern the operations of MGC’s 7.5 MW power plant in Nabas and 5 MW power plant in New Washington, Aklan on October 1, 2003. On August 3, 2004 both AKELCO and MGC signed an amended EPPAs for both power plants in Nabas and New Washington. The ERC conducted a public hearing in Boracay Island, Malay, Aklan on May 27, 2005 on the EPPAs. However, only very few was able to attend the said public hearing as there was no adequate and wide dissemination of information on the salient points of the said EPPAs.
The Resolution No. 05 – 195 was sponsored by Hon. Gerick M. Templonuevo and unanimously approved during the SP regular session on June 1, 2005. It was also approved by Governor Carlito S. Marquez.
Why hold the public hearing in a place so remote for the people concerned to participate? so expensive to visit? and so tedious to travel to attend such public hearing? This is an example of a PGMA project for which it will be implemented for the benefit of the people but in its planning and decision making, the people are prevented from participation.
Is AKELCO really for the people? of the people? and by the people? Is AKELCO in Metro Manila? Is ERC for businessmen so that the wealthy will become wealthiest? And the poor will remain poor? By holding the public hearing in Metro Manila, ERC will be depriving the Aklanons to participate on matters that concern them, to know matters that concern them and to decide things for them.
For sure, ERC officials who were in Boracay on May 27 public hearing enjoyed their stay and collected fabulous travel expenses. For sure, if the request of the SP Aklan is granted, ERC officials attending the hearing will be collecting traveling expenses and even hazard pay in a peaceful Kalibo, Aklan. And these are at people’s expense. For an ordinary AKELCO member consumer who wishes to attend the hearing in Metro Manila, who will reimburse his expenses?
The trio, Atty. Romeo Inocencio, Mr. Rodson Mayor and Hon. Ramon Gelito at their own initiative went to Boracay on May 27, 2005 and registered their strong opposition to the EPPAs. If not for their opposition, the ERC could have favorably considered the “urgent ex – parte motion, for issuance of provisional authority” filed by AKELCO.
It is strange to know why AKELCO, the buyer of power from Mirant, the seller have filed the petition with ERC so that they will be permitted to pay at much higher cost the electricity AKELCO buys from Mirant Philippines.
It is strange to learn from AKELCO that there will be power interruptions, outages and inadequacy of power supply. Did Transco President Alan T Ortiz said that “Once these projects (Cebu – Negros – Panay upgrading project) are completed by early 2006, the Visayas Region can expect more than adequate supply of power.” Is this deception?
Are the AKELCO Board of Directors and management officials part of Mirant Philippines projects in New Washington and Nabas, Aklan? Maybe not, but if yes, they can be lovers of two: an angel and a devil. /MPmailto:madyaas_pen@yahoo.com

My Family…My Priority, My Happiness

By: Megs S. Lunn
“I am so blessed to have 20 years of a comforting, fun, well-oiled relationship. The men and women I know who have been divorced and remarried have lost something in having to start over. Do you have any words of wisdom to help people understand how marriage can become better and better, rather than a holding pattern for people too tired to switch or too afraid of losing the security of a known thing?”
This is an e-mail letter from my Inbox and it has been in my inbox for quite a while. I don’t know what to say or write, nevertheless, I decided to reply. I want to share with you what I thought about and learned from my experience with almost having 10 years of relationship and mixed-marriage (married to a foreigner) with the man (an Englishman) I said “I do.” Perhaps to those of you who are planning to get married, (mixed or not) who have a young marriage or to young couples, this would help you to have a good start, although, as I read the short letter, it seems to me that the sender is in mid-life crisis. However, this is my answer to her.
“You're right--you are blessed to have such a great marriage. Oh, that the rest of us wish we could have the same good fortune! I'm not saying it's just the luck of the draw--a thriving marriage takes a lot of commitment, hard work, and maturity.
To make our marriages the fulfilling relationships we all want, we can first start out with a "this relationship is so important to me that I will do everything I can to make it work" attitude. Then, with that in place, follow these suggestions:
Talk and listen. Dedicate time, regularly, for a marital checkup. Take an inventory of where your relationship has been and where you want it to go, and express your wants and needs.
Nurture each other. With our busy, stressful midlives, we need our partner's support, caring, and validation more than ever. Take "small moments" at the start of the day to ask, "What are you doing today?" or "How are you feeling?" Give your spouse a kiss, a hug, a mile-wide smile to give him or her that "I'm special" feeling. Saying countless “I love you” helps.
Have fun. To avoid routine and boredom, brainstorm ways to put adventure, excitement, and surprise into the marital mix. For example, try creating a kooky recipe together or exploring a new area of town.
Be flexible and accept. Midlife is a time for change. Let go of the need to mold your spouse to your ideal and of the idea that differences are intolerable. Successful couples don't fuss over the small stuff.Improve sex and intimacy. Have a Sexual Review. Talk about how you have both changed and what you want now--and don't forget to experiment.Reach out beyond your coupledom. Bring positive, fun-loving, nurturing people into your lives. Try this: On paper, make a list of friends and relatives who give you positive, fun, and supportive feelings. Next, create a wish list of relationships that you would like but don't have. Now, discuss how to make them happen. Finally, plan how you will include at least two of these "positive" individuals in your lives each week.
Prioritize. Always remember that no matter what, your marriage and family is always on the first list of your priorities. No matter how it hurts you to leave your job, your career, your favorites or your self-goal, you have your spouse to share with. My family is my priority, my happiness come what may.
Friends come and go, but your family will always be there for you, fight and die for you and be with you for the rest of your life.” /MPmailto:megs73ph@yahoo.com

Murder of A Colleague

“Any man’s death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell toll; it tolls for thee”--JOHN DONNEBy ALEX P. VIDAL We, media practitioners, are being killed one by one. In five months this year, five of our colleagues in the print and broadcast have been murdered in cold blood. Who’s next? The enemies of press are becoming bolder and bolder and it seems they are unfazed by the massive protests initiated recently by several cause-oriented groups and media organizations all over the country denouncing the culture of impunity.It’s sad that so many public officials, the police and military included, still don’t understand our role in a democratic society. They get pissed off and take the issues related to their jobs personally in a slightest criticism. In retaliation, some of them become homicidal maniacs and use extreme force to silence their media critics. Hence, we have become endangered species. We get killed and maimed because of the nature of our job which is adversarial by nature. In line of duty, many of us are eliminated like animals; the killers have no respect whatsoever to our rights as human beings.To compound the matter, we get little support, or, sometimes none at all, from government which has been showing some leniency amid the murderous binge of forces oppose to freedom of the press. They have no mercy on us. We are like sitting ducks, ready to be shot by an assassin's bullet anytime, even in broad daylight. Below is the media release of the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP) which mourns the murder of our fifth colleague this year:“The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) is concerned over the escalating pattern of violence against journalists in the Philippines following the murder of the fifth journalist there this year. “According to the IFJ affiliate, the National Union of Journalists in the Philippines (NUJP), Philip Agustin, publisher and editor of the Starline Times Recorder was shot shortly before midnight on Tuesday,10 May 2005 inside his home in Dingalan, in Aurora province."Agustin's death follows an all too familiar and sickening pattern - an outspoken journalist silenced after speaking out against corruption in high places," said IFJ President Christopher Warren.“Just over a week ago, on 4 May, radio journalist, Klein Cantoneros, was killed after a drive-by shooting in Dipolog City, Mindanao. Agustin was shot in the head in his kitchen while his daughter was preparing the family meal after returning home from Cabanatuan City with 500 copies of his newspaper.“According to Agustin's family, he had received death threats since the week before connected to an article in an issue of his newspaper on reports of corruption allegations in Dingalan featuring Dingalan Mayor, Jaime Ylarde. “In an interview on GMA-7 television, Ylarde denied all allegations of his connection to Agustin's killing and has pledged he would expedite the murder investigation, if only to clear his name. The IFJ is calling on the Philippines police to launch a full and thorough investigation into the Agustin killing and bring those responsible to justice. “Agustin is the fifth journalist to be killed in the Philippines during 2005, following the deaths of 13 journalists in 2004 and the 68th since 1986."The practically state sanctioned violence in the Philippines isgiving the country one of the worst records for journalists' safety inthe world," said Warren.


Akon gina sugid kay Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo ro pag pangimon kana ko iba tongod sa ana nga pag ta–u it hugada sa EMCOR nga andang gina butang sa haeos tonga eon it karsada ro baligyang motorsiklo. Tongod kara hay ona lang ga agi ro mga tawo sa tonga it karsada.
May mga tsuper nga naga hambae nga “kami mana hay gin pahalin sa amon mismong dogalingong parking lot ogaling mana ro paboritong negosyante bisan naga kalhit ko andang baligya sa tonga it karsada hay gina sakdag, gina pabay–an eang ni Mayor Rebaldo”.
Ro mga VOLANTE man nga gina pahalin sa Toting Reyes Street hay naga gutgut man ay gina pahalin sanda ogaling ro EMCOR sa printe mismo it Pastrana Park hay libre sa pag hat hat sa kalye ko andang baligyang mga motorsiklo.
Minato–od baea ra Mayor Rebaldo? Kon may kamato–oran, ro imong opisina eon lang ro ma aeam mag pahalin sa mga gina buead nga motorsiklo it EMCOR nga naga pugong sa salida it traffic.
Hay ro police? Siguro piyong ro mata indi makita ro obstruksyon sa karsada. Basi makita eonlang nanda para malimpyohan ro karsada. /MP mailto:madyaas_pen@yahoo.com

Boracay Solves Garbage Problem

The waste management problems of Boracay island may soon be resolved thru a concerted and multi – sectoral effort.
Governor Carlito S. Marquez; Malay Mayor Ceciron S. Cawaling; Atty. Zoilo Andin, Chief of Staff of DENR Sec. Mike Defensor; the Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer (PENRO); the Community Environment Natural Resources Officer (CENRO); the Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry; and other Boracay stakeholders discussed a DENR proposal for the proper disposal of the island resort’s wastes. The meeting was held at Gov. Roberto Q. Garcia, Sr. Memorial Bldg., Kalibo, Aklan.
Atty. Andin presented the plan which proposes the composting of biodegradable waste at the PTA site in the island and the transport of residual and non – biodegradable garbage to a dumpsite in the mainland Aklan which lease or purchase the municipal government of Malay has earlier negotiated with the landowners.
The Boracay Chamber of Commerce and Industry will be in charge of the collection and composting of biodegradable waste while the three barangays shall be tasked with its proper segregation and designation of pick – up points from where the municipal government will do the collection.
The municipality, under this proposal, is also tasked to impose sanctions against violators of environmental ordinance and laws.
A MOA which shall be entered into by the said sectors was prepared by Atty. Andin but still subject to changes as discussed during the presentation.
Gov. Marquez reiterated his pledge of P1 million and equipment support for the program. It will be recalled that Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores also promised to allocate P1 million from his development funds.
The Department of Tourism’s allocation of P5 million is expected to mainly underwrite the project. /MPmailto:madyaas_pen@yahoo.com

Monday, June 20, 2005

EDITORIAL - June 12-18, 2005

Clean The House Before Doing Any Action
By Ernesto T. Solidum
The 1st Social Work Week celebration (June 13 – 19) in Aklan opened with a motorcade jammed by municipal delegations of Social Workers. They serenely rolled the streets of Kalibo up to the Capitol grounds, Estancia, Kalibo. Streamers emblazoned the theme: “From Act of Charity to Ra 4373: The Nobility of the Social Work Profession”. RA 4373 is the Social Work Law. It came of age and ready to face challenges ahead.
The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) is the lead agency tasked to implement social welfare programs, formulate development policies, provide support services and technical assistance to poor/disadvantaged groups. Basically, the DSWD has re – invented itself from seemingly innocuous acts of charity to tasks that change people’s lives and their future. It has successfully galvanized meager government resources meanwhile tapping private funds to act on natural (typhoons, floods, fires, earthquakes) and man-made (internal refugees) calamities.
Altruistic motives define the nobility of social work. The agency is deep into mobilizing and empowering depressed communities to identify their needs and find solutions. Thus, the pooling of resources and closed supervision, rural folks are able to build projects with dispatch and at least cost. This partnership is essential to skills acquisition and values formation.
In his speech, Governor Carlito S. Marquez said that “Social Workers are truly the peoples’ servant and closest to them because they respond to distress calls from the disadvantaged and the indigents.”
Its 2003 annual report listed the some important accomplishments:
Kapit Bisig Laban sa Kahirapan – Comprehensive and Integrated Delivery of Social Services: Kapangyarihan at Kaunlaran sa Barangay (Kalahi – CIDSS: KKB). This is a major poverty alleviation project where people actively participate in the analysis of their situation and identify projects that will improve their lives. The community – based program has resulted in completion of farm to market roads, water systems, health centers, schools and electrification. After a year, this has reached out to 1, 505 barangays with 377,755 households.
In Aklan, CIDSS funding from national government in 2004 was P.5 M. Counterpart of the province was P1.5 M benefiting 700 beneficiaries in 17 municipalities.
Another success program is Self Employment Assistance – Kaunlaran (SEA – K). This is a capability building program for peoples’ organizations to self administer a socialized credit scheme. Components include social preparation, capital assistance, savings mobilization and access to other social services. In Aklan, funding for 23 SEA – K organizations reached P3.15 M. for year 2005. Level I is intended to provide seed money (P5,000/beneficiary, interest – free) for income generating projects while Level II is to achieve higher capability entrepreneurial skills.
Early Childhood Development Project (ECD) is designed to enhance the quality and coverage of essential health, nutrition, psychological development and early education services for disadvantaged children aged 0 – 6 years old. It enhances and supplements the LGU’s resources to meet the needs of these children. ECD project covers 1,522 barangays in 132 municipalities and cities. Benefited were 3,226,957 children nationwide.
Following the devolution of DSWD to LGU in 1994, LGU’s are mandated to assume and deliver social welfare services to their clienteles who find themselves in crisis situations. Intervention programs include Disaster Response Augmentation, Crisis Intervention Units, Community – Based Protective and Rehabilitation Services and Center – Based Services.
In the area of legislation, pet bills enacted into law are the Anti Trafficking of Human Persons Act (RA 9208) and Anti Child Labor Law (RA 9231). Credo of DSWD is to promote the rights of every individual, work for a society of equals and build and maximize peoples’ potentials.
Above aspiration is best gauged against present realities that according to recent Social Weather Survey (SWS), 82 percent of our people feel that they live below the poverty line. Unemployment in April 2005 reached unprecedented level of 12.9 percent from 11.3 percent in January. Overall joblessness is 3 million (ANC June 16, 2005) excluding the underemployed.
This shows that bad news do not necessarily come from the opposition as believed.
While industrialized nations are alarmed with just 5 percent unemployment, Filipinos like scared ostriches tend to bury their heads in the sand. Beneath the cold, tranquil environment however is a restive population that demands from the government concrete action rather than empty rhetoric. DSWD is headed by an able administrator Corazon Juliano Soliman but needs more prayer than luck. Pres. Gloria M. Arroyo who once steered the agency during the Estrada Administration must resolve the real crisis of poverty and unemployment on her agenda. Nonetheless, corruption by which we rank second in Asia must be dealt with an iron fist. This economic and political turmoil is most unfortunate at a time when the President has the full support and confidence of the military, clergy, business and academe. At best, there must be thorough cleaning of the house before going into serious action. But for how long? mailto:madyaas_pen@yahoo.com

Dr. Ibabao Accuses AKELCO For Recovery of Money

AKELCO, “amidst these errors of the defendant (AKELCO), it failed to correct its mistakes and to offer an apology…as a consequence of these wrongful acts of the defendant which it refused to correct despite all the extrajudicial opportunities given it, the herein plaintiffs suffered damages”, said Dr. Florentino Ibabao of ORINDA HOLDINGS CORPORATION.
“For recovery of sum of money and damages”, Dr. Florentino Ibabao filed Civil Case No. 7499 with the Regional Trial Court, Kalibo, Aklan. Dr. Ibabao petitioned the court that after trial, “judgment be rendered ordering defendants (AKELCO) to pay plaintiffs (ORINDA and Dr. Ibabao) the following: 1. For moral damages – P200,000; 2. Exemplary damages – P20,000; and 3. Actual damages – P400,000. In addition, Dr. Ibabao is asking for P50,000 attorney’s fee plus P5,000 appearances fees per appearance and P35,000 litigation expenses.
ORINDA, a holding company, is represented by Dr. Ibabao in his capacity as president and chairman of the Board of Directors. Ibabao is also the majority stockholder of ORINDA.
According to the complaint, ORINDA, a franchise of Jollibee Foods Corporation, is a buyer of electricity from AKELCO with Account No. 01 – 0196 – 0014. However, on June 12, 2003, for no valid or lawful reason AKELCO disconnected, cut and discontinued the power supply “to Jollibee” without legal justification and demanded from (Dr. Ibabao) the payment of …P608,002.16 as a condition for the reinstallation of the electric power supply;…the sudden and unceremonious disruption of the business…, discomfort, inconvenience, AKELCO caused its staff and the customers…(Dr. Ibabao) was coerced into complying with…demands of (AKELCO)… “ to continue its business operations.
To recall, the disconnection of electricity at Jollibee, Poblacion, Kalibo happened in the afternoon of June 12, 2003. In his complaint, Dr. Ibabao alleged that some of employees led by Ms. Neny Toriano who announced in the presence of many people, including the members of media, that AKELCO “will cut off the electric supply and disable the meter.” The complaint added, “she falsely accused the (Dr. Ibabao) of having tampered the electric meter in order to steal electric energy from (AKELCO).”
Dr. Ibabao denied the accusation and requested that he be allowed to explain but his “pleadings fell into deep ears. “In plain public view and amidst the rejoicing of the employees of the (AKELCO) as well as media people and the audience of the (AKELCO) gathered to witness the removal of the electric meter, (AKELCO) agents and employees removed the meter and disconnected the power supply to the establishment of (Dr. Ibabao).”
The power supply was restored after talking to some AKELCO top officials who imposed the condition as follows: 1. Pay P10,000 cash; 2. A check pay to AKELCO for P353,002.16; and 3. Dr. Ibabao left his Honda Civic car with AKELCO which can be taken back after the check is honored by the bank.
According to the complaint, “AKELCO has its pre – arranged scheme…to media hype in its propaganda to humiliate…; AKELCO caused the false and malicious publicity through broadcast and print media running for almost one month purveying the derogatory information that (Dr. Ibabao) stole electricity.”
After power was restored to Jollibee, the meter box was locked and secured. The volume of electric consumptions after the power restoration were compared with the previous consumptions before the disconnections leading to the conclusion that there was no tampering of whatsoever happened.
To correct the information that happened on June 12, 2002, Dr. Ibabao requested on July 7, 2003 for calibration to find out if tampering of meter really occurred caused by Dr. Ibabao. On July 16, 2003, Mr. Erico Bucoy, of AKELCO replied that ‘consumption is registered accurately and the error is with AKELCO.”
Amidst these errors, AKELCO failed to correct its mistake…even offer an apology, Ibabao pointed out in his complaint.
Madyaas Pen contacted the top management of AKELCO and its lawyer but offered no comment as they have not received a copy of the said complaint yet.
ORINDA and Dr. Ibabao are represented by their legal counsel, Atty. Nelson A. Loyola of San Pedro, Laguna. /MPmailto:madyaas_pen@yahoo.com

Tuesday, June 14, 2005


By: Melrose “Megs” S. Lunn

It was love at first sight. His first 5 seconds glance when he met Connie was forever to Philip’s life.
“Love at first sight may not be just for old romantics,” a scientist said.
People decide the kind of relationship they want, within minutes of meeting, a study in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationship pointed out.
It was January 24, 2005, when the plane landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport at 12:45 p.m. Dave and his son, Philip did not have any idea what to happen in their two-week holiday visit to the Philippines. It was their first visit. They merely expected to see his brother Lew Lunn and his family whom they have not seen for the last 16 years.
Lew, my husband and I welcomed them at the Customs/Immigration Section of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport. The long time of waiting for Lew to see his long lost brother finally came. Philip asked for Clouds, our daughter. I told him, “she is with my friend ice-skating at the mall, but will be on the way back to the hotel anytime to meet them. We brought them to the hotel for check-in.”
Unknowingly to Philip and unintentionally that they would meet, I invited with us our good friend Connie to Manila days before their arrival. Connie’s brother passed to the great beyond last December and I wanted her to relax and unwind in Manila. She was also invited to attend my cousin’s wedding on January 22, 2005 in Manila. #1
Connie and Clouds arrived at the hotel. I introduced Philip to Clouds, then to Connie. I saw Philip’s eyes when he first saw and met Connie. For the first time, he was mesmerized meeting her and I thought it was just a plain admiration. My good friend, Connie sparkled with a radiant smile, a simple and charming lady. Our nephew, Philip, is a sensible, youthful, good looking and confident gentleman.
They greeted “hello” with each other, exchanged smiles in passing, their eyes met in an unspoken connection, too powerful to ignore. For the first time in his life, Philip felt something different. He confessed to Connie during the getting to know each other stage, Connie told me.
To cut the story short, they finally fell to each other’s arms in the world-wonder Island of Boracay.
Our family and Philip invited Connie to join us for a holiday in Boracay as soon as we arrived in Kalibo. There, their admiration with each other developed, blossomed, perfected and glued. It is a whirlwind love affair.
On second day in Boracay, one fine sunny morning in Summer Place, came a big surprise when Philip and Connie, with a shy smile and trembling hands announced to Dave and to me while his uncle Lew was sleeping that they will give their whirlwind romance a reality, and later get married.
It was such a shocking announcement. We could not believe what Dave and I were hearing, until Philip decided to tell his Uncle Lew of his decision that he has finally made up his mind with Connie. Lew, dropping his jaw on the floor, same as Dave and I got the big surprise of our lives. We did not stop talking about it for the next few days in Boracay . Plan was formulated what to do as soon as possible.

The “whirlwind romance” as our friends call it, is a mutual decision of Philip and Connie of their future together. Although they came from different cultures, they have much in common. Both are “shopaholic” (loves to shop), love to eat anything and everything, love the beach and the sun, both understand hardship and knew their past.

As we arrived from Boracay, the two did not waste any time. Connie’s family was invited to a dinner at Sampaguita Gardens, New Washington. It was a sort of a betrothal “pamanhikan” on our side for Philip to ask Connie’s hands from her parents. Shocked and bewildered, Connie’s parents could not say anything but to ask the couple if they are sure of each other after meeting and knowing each other for only 5 days. The answer was a big in chorus “YES”. Then came the “NO OBJECTION” from Connie’s father. This made Philip and everybody happy, a toast and applause followed, wished them both happiness forever.
“Love has nothing to do with what one expects to get, its what a person is expected to give – which is EVERYTHING.”
Philip vowed to give everything to Connie. Connie is assured will do the same. Many are amazed with their decision, but they pledge to work it out, in the name of LOVE.
Philip went back to London, United Kingdom after the two-week holiday in the Philippines. But before his departure, he bought engagement rings for them. He spent his last day with Connie on February 2, 2005 in another beautiful resort, PALMAS DEL MAR, Bacolod City. http://kalantiaotmc.blogspot.com
Philip did not leave any stone unturned. He decided to go back to the Philippines on March 9, 2005 for the civil wedding scheduled on March 16, 2005 at Kalibo, Aklan. Instead, they got married last March 10, 2005 U(ask Joyce, Philip’s dear Mum about it and how it happened that quick, perhaps a second part of this story he he he), at Quezon City Hall, Manila, the day after Philip, his two kids Philip Jr. and Stephanie Lucy and his Mum Joyce landed at Ninoy Aquino International Airport, Philippines. They will have the grand church wedding on January 08, 2006. (My husband Lew and I are expecting some, if not all members of the family from U.K to come to the Philippines on this time.)
To Connie, welcome to the family and we wish you and Philip all the best of everything. /MP
Philip Lunn owns and operates an Information Technology consultancy agency. He is the Director of GREENREADY LIMITED in England. A self-made man, he travels all over Europe as consultant of various banks and other businesses.
On the other hand, Connie Recasa is a self made lady. She started from the bottom and earned her way to the top. She was a supervisor and fashion consultant of LINEA ITALIA FASHION in Makati City, She now owns and operates the Le Salon de Coiffure, (latest hairstyle salon in town) Kalibo, Aklan, Philippines./MP mailto:april_73uk@yahoo.co.uk

Thursday, June 09, 2005

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