Thursday, December 25, 2008


Are You At Peace?

Peace means freedom from public disturbance or disorder; public security; law and order. It is freedom from disagreement or quarrels. It is harmony, concord or an undisturbed state of mind and absence of mental conflict; serenity, quiet and tranquility.

With these definitions, do we have peace? Do we have freedom from public disturbance? Is there public security? Is there harmony among men and nation? Is there quiet, serenity, and tranquility? Your answer is as accurate as mine.

US President George W. Bush was thrown with a pair of shoes, one at a time, by a newsman while in Baghdad, Iraq holding press conference two weeks ago. Last month, some terrorists raided a 5 star hotel in Mumbai, India, killed some people, burned a building and hostaged some hotel guests.

In Bangkok, Thailand, a large group of Thais opposed to their Prime Minister, occupied the international airport. As a result, thousands of foreign tourists and travelers were stranded. There was disturbance.

In Iligan City, two unidentified persons embedded bombs inside a mall. The bomb exploded, killed some persons, scores were wounded. In Iloilo, NPA elements stopped a passenger van, asked the passengers to move out and cremated the vehicle. The burning, police claimed, was done because of the owner’s refusal to pay revolutionary tax.

In Badio, Numancia, Aklan, personnel of Akleco cut off electricity of a house due to some problem. When the owner arrived in his house, he found out he has no more electric supply. He got mad, went out of his house and challenged anybody to a fight. An innocent looking young man came near him. And that was his end. He was hacked to death. He was brought to the hospital where a physician pronounced him “dead on arrival.”

Meanwhile, the mad man was shot and hit twice on his legs. The mad man is now in jail. The young man was buried.

An inmate in Nalook Jail, Kalibo, Aklan got sick. He was brought to the hospital for treatment. With him in his ward were his beloved wife and children. There was no mention of jail guard.

At about 2:30 dawn of Saturday last week, some unidentified men went inside his room, shot and killed him instantly. The killers just walked away softly.

Also last week, one evening at C. Laserna Street, Poblacion, Kalibo, a police officer was stabbed and was seriously wounded by a minor. As a consequence, the police officer just fired his service pistol “to whom it may concern”. After the firing, a pregnant woman was hit dead with her child in the womb. Her brother was also hit dead.

With these accounts, is there peace? Is there security? Are we tranquil? Nobody can say, I’m secure, I’m safe.

In Badio, Numancia, Aklan on Sunday at one o’clock in the afternoon, two men operated their chain saws, cut trees, sew the lumber. People around the area who should be resting were disturbed. Chain saws were noisy. There is freedom to the chain saw operators, but people resting on a Sunday were disturbed. Is there tranquility?

If people can only empathize, put themselves into the situation of others, there could be peace. But almost all of us are self-centered. We don’t mind others to obtain things of their choice. We kept silent, agonize inside.
One suggestion to obtain peace is to have peace first at home. A peaceful home means peaceful community, means peaceful nations, means peaceful world. As Franklin D. Roosevelt once said, “Peace like charity, begins at home”. Peace must start at home, in the office, in the work place.

In the words of Cicero, “peace is liberty in tranquility”. How can noisy people have peace? “First keep peace within yourself, then you can also bring peace to others”. This is the advice of Thomas A. Kempis. My late auntie advised me to keep calm, never get angry because to be angry is to get tired easily. An angry person becomes unreasonable.

Man by nature wants to do good, however, man is proven to commit mistake because of anger, because of pride, because of emotion. An angry, emotional person tends to commit crimes, misdemeanor where afterwards he repents his imprudence.

Most of us blame the police for the absence of peace. But it is we the people who make peace. The police only manages peace for the people. It is the people who create and maintain sustainable peace. The police can stay peacefully in their headquarters if the people are peaceful. Remember, it is the people who creates either peace or chaos. The obligation of the police is to identify who made peace and who started the trouble.

Hence, live in peace for that is everybody’s desire, a universal esire. /MP

Merry Christmas & Genuine Love!

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

The Long Queue At Akelco

On Friday, December 19, I got several text messages which informed of their anguish of waiting. The messages came from some people in Akelco office, Andagao, Kalibo. Almost all the messages informed me of the delay in paying their respective electric bills. One text message told me, “I’m at Akelco paying office since 9:00 in the morning and until this 11:00 A.M., I’m still waiting for my number to be called to pay.

To verify the truth of those text messages, I took time to visit the Akelco paying office in Andagao, Kalibo. I found the truth.

At 11:30 A.M., people, fully occupied all the spaces at Akelco waiting lounge for their turn to pay. More than 100 people, some chatting, standing, yawning and waiting to pay their electric bills. I went to the pay windows and found only one teller was serving. There are four (4) paying windows, but the three were empty.

I looked for the big boss of Akelco Andagao. I was referred to Mr. Allan Iguban, the Branch Project Officer. He is a kind officer who readily admitted he lacks teller.

According to him, his office is serving Kalibo and New Washington consumer–members who are numbering 23,000. Moreover, some clients from other towns like Banga, Balete and Numancia sometimes pay their power bills in Kalibo. And is this allowed? He admitted, yes.

Calculating the more than 23,000 clients to serve monthly, the four tellers cannot readily provide satisfactory service.

According to Mr. Iguban, he has made repeated requests to the Akelco management to increase his tellers, but until that Dec. 19, management has not responded.

Mr. Iguban and Akelco Management must find ways and means to reduce the waiting time in paying power bills at Akleco Andagao. For the 23,000 people to wait for an average of two hours to pay their electric power bills is a tremendous loses of man man days.
“I Am Not Sorry”
I am not sorry, said Sen. Mar Roxas in his privilege speech delivered in the Senate session. He spoke about his speech delivered during the Anti Cha-Cha rally delivered on Friday, Dec. 16 in Makati City.

According to Sen. Roxas, several people were surprised of his emotional speech, some were angry, some said he was wrong. Malacañang attacked him using their propaganda machines.

“Like last Friday, I will speak straightly”, Roxas said. I am not sorry for speaking my mind and telling the truth as it is to be. I am not sorry for expressing my real feelings and my rage in behalf of my people whom I love. Those who gave their opinions, I respect them. I hope they will respect what is in my mind and the things I am fighting for. I’m not plastic”, Roxas stressed.

“Why should I be sorry? If I apologize, as if we, the victims of corruption apologize like the farmers who were robbed of their fertilizer. Which is more painful? The hurting words or bad work? The simple truth or real lies, dirty mouth or dirty hands and conscience?” he asked.

Sen. Mar Roxas quoted a famous Filipino poet, Amado Hernandez who wrote:

“Kung wala mang maglalamay sa gabi ng pagbabangon
Lumuha ka mang lumuha’t ang laya mo’y nakaburol
Kasama ng taum-bayan”.
Bolante’s New Years Resolution
Mr. Jocjoc Bolante has all the time to tell the truth on the matter concerning the P728 million fertilizer fund scam. Bolante, must think of the Filipino farmers who lost their money to the people who do not need those. It is hard to imagine why the Department of Agriculture which officers and employees steal the farmers money. They are the most depressed members of the Filipino society. Bolante may choose to tell the truth. He may tell the truth as one of his new years resolution.

I worked with the DA for 40 years. I retired when Fidel V. Ramos was the president of the Philippines. I was with DA since the presidency of the late President Carlos P. Garcia. At those times, DA was one of the departments with lesser budget, but there was no thieves in that office. Unlike today, in the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, corruption and thievery had developed well. They are stealing the money of the poor appropriated for food production. Let us pray that the people in the DA will be honest to spend the money, the budget for the purpose it is appropriated.

Let us pray that Mr. Jocelyn Jocjoc Bolante will include in his new year’s resolution to reveal the truth surrounding the P728 million fertilizer fund scam. /MP

Pretty Aklanon Belles


The 12 finalists in the “Binibining Aklan” contest are shown above in their immaculate white formal dress. From (l to r) are Junaizza Mae T. Rapiz, Yvonn Charisse S. Regalado, Ronelie A. Pador, Floricel R. Reyes, Michelle Martha R. Braun, Karla Jane T. Gallardes, Kristine A. Legaspi, Shann Mary V. Patricio, Irish Kenna T. Buena, Ma. Christina Kay G. Sayawan, and Marellgie T. Ostan. Jamela Shannen L. Tuscano is not shown in the picture.

Jamela Shannen L. Tuscano & Junaizza Mae T. Rapiz

The Hawaiian dancers

“If eyes are made for seeing, then beauty has no excuse”. Another quotation states, “A thing of beauty is a joy forever”. And these quotations are once again proven right on the occasion of the Grand Launching of the “Binibining Aklan” and press conference held in the Beachfront, Sampa-guita Gardens, New Washington, in the afternoon of Thursday, December 18.

Those who attended the occasion enjoyed looking with the 12 pretty Aklanon belles spread by the beachfront of the Sampaguita.

Ibajay Mayor Lulu Miraflores was the guest speaker. In her speech, she extolled the desirable virtues of Aklanon women particularly the candidates of the first ever “Binibining Aklan”. Mayor Miraflores described the characteristics of the Aklanon girls who are serving as role models for everybody to emulate. Moreover, Mayor Miraflores cited the relevance of Binibining Aklan in the development of tourism industry and the quest to allure more tourists to visit and enjoy the splendor of Aklan and the gentleness of its people. She also associated Binibining Aklan project with the mitigation program for global warming and climate change.

Hon. Rodson Mayor, member of the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan spoke briefly. He congratulated the organizers of the Binibining Aklan led by Mr. Vincent Navarosa of Libacao.

In the launching program, five beautiful girls and four young men entertained the visitors with their Hawaiian dances gracefully executed. They are as pretty as the 12 finalists.

A limited members of the Aklan media made it to the affair. But series of questions during the press conference were asked. Almost all media persons appeared with eagle eyes asking questions to the finalists except for Ms. Chita Dela Cruz Heap.

Recto Vidal, Jun Ariolo Aguirre, George Cawaling and this writer seemed to portray to the pretty girls their ambition to offer the pretty girls TLC, (tender loving care).

The 12 candidates vying for Binibining Aklan are: Jamela Shannen L. Tuscano, daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Lowell Tuscano, Jamela is 17 years old and a 4th year secondary student of Aklan Catholic College. A native of Jumarap, Banga, Jamela loves dancing and playing volleyball.

Junaizza Mae T. Rapiz is from Badio, Numancia. She is 18 years old and a freshman student in BS Information Technology at Aklan State University. She is a good dancer as she has already won in several dancesport contests. Junaizza idolizes Angel Locsin as she is influenced of her beauty.
Yvonne Charisse S. Regalado of Poblacion, Batan is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Evan C. Regalado. She is 19 years young and a graduating student in West Visayas State University with the degree BS Elem. Education. Yvonn was the “Lakambini ni Kalantiaw 2008 in Batan. She can sing, dance and act.

Ronelie A. Pador, 17 is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ronel S. Pador of Altavas, Aklan. She studies in Central Philippine University, Iloilo City. At her age, she already does modeling even if she aspires to fly, as a flight stewardess.

Floricel R. Reyes of Poblacion, New Washington is pursuing her studies at ASU – College of Fisheries and Marine Sciences. At 19 years old, she plays the guitar and does cooking. Floricel is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ferdinand B. Reyes.
Michelle Martha R. Braun, 18 and by her name she is a foreigner. But believe me, she looks truly a 100 percent Filipina. In 2005, she was “Mutya It New Washington”, and 1st runner up in a national inter-school beauty search. Be careful because Michelle knows taekwondo. She is the loving daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Willy V. Braun.

From Poblacion, Balete is an 18 years old daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Noe Gallardes, named Karla Jane T. Gallardes. Karla plays badminton and a reggae music fanatic. She wishes to visit Malacañang to promote Aklan’s economic development and raise funds especially for livelihood and piña industry.

Kristine A. Legaspi, 20, is the lovely daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Leonardo Legaspi, Jr. of New Washington.

After the contest, she plans to meet Sen. Loren Legarda, her inspiration because of her beauty and brain. Kristine aims to put up educational foundation to promote values education.

Shann Mary V. Patricio hails from Batan, the lovely daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Dioscoro B. Patricio. At 17, she is SK chair of Barangay Magpag-ong, Batan. She plays table tennis and loves to read Harry Potter books.

From the world renown island resort in Balabag, Boracay, Malay comes the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ronel Buena. Her name is Irish Kenna T. Buena who is slightly matured among the candidates at 21 years young. Irish studied in the University of the Cordilleras, Baguio City.

At her age, Irish is now engaging in business being the owner operator of a beauty spa in Boracay, besides modeling.

From Unidos, Nabas is Ma. Christina Kay G. Sayawan, 18 years old and daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Nonito Sayawan. Ma. Cristina was Miss Unidos 2006, Miss Pag-iririmaw 2007, Miss Bariw Festival 2008, and Miss Development Communication 2007. She is now a sophomore in West Visayas State University, Iloilo City. She loves the book “A Purpose Driven Life” by Rick Warren.

Another pretty lass from Boracay, Malay is Marellgie T. Ostan, the lovely daughter of Mr. Argie M. Ostan. A nursing student at St. Gabriel College, Kalibo, she loves to sing and dance. She is 17 who wishes to meet Governor Vilma Santos for her being a successful dramatic movie star and a great political leader. /MP


160 Fall For Passport Fraud


LAS VEGAS, Nevada — The Department of Homeland Security in San Ysidro, California reported on December 16 that during its first year, a joint enforcement initiative to stem passport fraud at California border ports of entry launched by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service (DSS), and the U.S. Attorney’s office in San Diego has resulted in the arrest and prosecution of 160 individuals for felonies related to the use of false passports or other documents.

DSS said the operation began in November 2007 at three of the nation’s busiest land border ports with Mexico: San Ysidro, neighboring Otay Mesa, and Calexico in Imperial County.

In addition to the 160 cases, federal officials issued three warrants for individuals currently in state custody. In 41 of the cases, the defendants had been deported from the United States on at least one prior occasion. Another 40 cases involved smugglers, convicted sex offenders, or other violent criminals. And 20 of those prosecuted were U.S. citizens.

DSS added that during its first months, the enforcement effort at the three ports of entry initially resulted in the detection and seizure of about 20 illicit U.S. passports each week. However, the seizures quickly increased to more than 60 per week as federal officers became increasingly adroit at spotting fraud and developed enhanced information to allow them to better focus their efforts.

It said the upcoming Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI) reportedly mandates that, by next June, all U.S. citizens entering the United States at its ports of entry must produce a secure travel document such as a passport, passport card, trusted traveler document, or an enhanced driver’s license from a participating state.

It added that this initiative may increase the illicit market for U.S. travel documents lost, stolen, or sold by U.S. citizens, which later are used by smugglers or criminals. These concerns prompted the joint enforcement project, which embedded a seasoned DSS special agent with the port’s criminal enforcement units to develop a multifaceted approach to protect the integrity of U.S. travel documents and to ferret out fraudulent use.

“CBP, DSS, and the U.S. Attorney’s office realized WHTI’s potential impact and took preemptive steps to ensure the safety of the public and its travel documents prior to the law’s full implementation,” said Gurdit Dhillon, CBP director of field operations in San Diego. “Since CBP has stopped accepting oral claims of U.S. citizenship when travelers enter our nation, we have observed increased use of illicit U.S. passports and visas by smugglers. We intend to vigorously prosecute those we apprehend with fraudulent documents.”

Early analysis indicates that a significant number of the U.S. passports seized at the San Ysidro port had not been reported stolen to the U.S. Department of State, which issues the documents.

“In some instances, stolen documents can be used within hours or days to commit crimes,” said Alex Moore, the resident agent-in-charge of the DSS’s San Diego Resident Office. “We urge U.S. citizens who have lost or had their travel documents stolen to immediately contact the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate or the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, in addition to local law enforcement agencies, so that authorities can place lookouts in a timely manner.” U.S. citizens or legitimate document holders will be prosecuted in cases where it has been found they sold or made their documents available for others to use, officials said.
United States Attorney Karen P. Hewitt said, “Given the high volume of traffic at the international ports of entry in California, the use of false or stolen documents to enter the United States is a national security issue. Passport fraud is a serious felony and the U.S. Attorney’s Office is committed to ensuring that those who present false or stolen passports are prosecuted.”

Those convicted of passport and visa fraud face a maximum of 10 years in federal prison. Offenders also may be charged with aggravated identity theft, which carries a minimum mandatory sentence of two years to be served consecutively with the underlying offense. /MP

DA-8 Assures EV is Ebola Free, Urges Vigilance

Tacloban City - To allay qualms brought by the recent reports of the detection of Ebola Reston strain virus affecting two commercial farms and two backyard farms in Bulacan, Pangasinan and Nueva Ecija, the Department Agriculture-8’s Regional Executive Director (RED) Leo P. Cañeda said, “There is no need to panic. This is solely an animal health issue and the causative agent is a low pathogenic virus.”

“This is the first instance that we have a report of this kind in the Philippines . There is no such case in Region-8,” he added.

As a precautionary and proactive stance however, RED Cañeda explained that the DA-8 through its Regional Animal Disease Diagnostic Laboratory and Animal Quarantine Services is strictly monitoring all ports in the region for the entry of animals particularly pigs. “We are closely coordinating with the different provincial and city veterinary offices for any observation or report of signs and manifestations of the disease,” RED Cañeda assured.
He assured the public that it is safe to eat pork but advised them to remain vigilant and report at once any unusual disease occurrence among animals, especially pigs, to the nearest veterinary or agriculture offices. Food handlers are advised to observe proper handling and thorough cooking of meat while consumers are encouraged to buy pork only in markets regularly inspected by the meat inspectors from the National Meat Inspection Services.

RED Cañeda meantime disclosed that the DA central office and the Bureau of Animal Industry and the Local Government Units concerned in Luzon have already issued an advisory and agreed to continually conduct laboratory examinations as well as implement tight quarantine and regulatory measures. Pigs found infected by the said ebola virus were properly disposed to prevent the spread of the disease. (Rodel G. Macapañas, Info. Officer, DA 8)/MP

Katapusang Pa-Adios

(Mi Ultimo Adios)
ni Dr. Jose Rizal translated to Aklanon
ni Benigno Macavinta y de Miguel

Editor’s Note: To commemorate the 112th death anniversary of the Philippines National Hero, Dr. Jose P. Rizal, Madyaas Pen is publishing his “Mi Ultimo Adios”. This Aklanon version was translated by the late Benigno Macavinta y de Miguel who was better known as “Lolo Bingo”. He was born in Marianos, Numancia, Aklan on February 13, 1881 and died in Albasan, Numancia, Aklan on August 1, 1966. This Aklanon translation is voluntarily furnished the Madyaas Pen by Atty. Emmanuel C. Fernandez, a retired ambassador. According to him, the text came from Ms. Elizabeth Atanacio Macavinta, the grand daughter of the late Lolo Bingo. Elizabeth now lives in Manila.
Adios hinigugma banwang tinubuan
Eogta nga bugana sa sipeak it adlaw
Kahimayaan kang sa akon nagtaliwan
Ag mutya sa eawod sa bandang Sidlangan.

Akong ginahaead malipay sa buot
Rayang kabuhi ko eanta man ag kubos
Bisan magdungganon pa man, ginahaead ko it bug-os
Kon bangud sa kimo hay makakatubos.

Ro idto sa patag it pag-awayan
Dueot man kimo ro kabuhing tanan
Owa gibatyaga ag owa sa panumduman
Kon mabuhi pa o mamatay man.

Siin man mabugto owa’t kinahangean
Sipres, laurel, lirio hay punihan
Mga pakig-away mga bilitayan
Matam-is sa buot kon sa banwang kinahangean.
Ako mamamatay eon makaron
Sa kolor ko eangit nakikita nakon
Ag rong ginahandom ta adlaw nga pasabton
Makikita sa eoyo ko nakatakup nga gae-om.

Kon sa ibang adlaw ikaw may kitaon
Manubo nga bueak sa kubos kung eobong
Sa tunga ko mga gamong magabong
Hagkan ag rong haro mo ipahanungod kakon.

Sa humot ko imong pakitang matam-is
Matanoy nga panghakoe ko may higugmang kasing-kasing
Pabay-ing sipeakan dahi ko it kainit
Nga ginatabunan ko eogtang maeamig.

Pabay-i sa buean nga anang tueokon
Ko kahayag nanang manaya-naya ag ma-ambon
Pabay-i rong kabugwason nga anang ihatud
Ko banaag nanang madaling matunod.

Pabay-ing manhay-hay ro huyop it hangin
Pabay-i sa huni nga anang hunihon
Ko gadapong pispis sa krus it eobong
Ag gina kanta nana nagtaliwang panag-oo.

Pabay-i rong adlaw nga masyadong init
Hawa-a ro gae-om ag maging silahis
Ag maging panganod masaka sa eangit.
Ag rong panghayhay ko ay ipakisanib.

Pabay-i rong akong madaling pagtaliwan
Itangis ko isaeang bug-os ro pagmahae
Ag kon may makadumdum nga ako hay pangadian
Ako konta hay ipangamuyo man.
Ipangamuyo man rong mga kueabos
Mga nagkaeamatay ag nagpangalisud

Sa abung pasakit ag rong naga-antos
Namong mga inang gaginhawa’t maangtud.
Rong nagkaeabaeo ag nagkaeailo ipangamuyo man
Ag rong idto sa kuta tugub it kalisdanan
Ipangamuyo guid nga makatibawas
Sa pagpaulipon mabuhay rong pagbatas.

Kon nalilibut eon rong mga eobongan
Kung saput nga itum it gabiing mamingaw
Ag owa eon it nagapueaw kundi mga patay
Ayaw pagtubeaga rong kahamuokan.

Pakatahoron mo rayang kahangaw-an
Ag sa tunog ko tiempo hay nababatyagan
Tokar it gitara ag mga ambahan
Duyon ako ngani ag ikaw ginapanawagan.

Hinigugmang Filipinas eogtang pinasahi sa tanan
Kasakit kong kasakit ko imong pamati-an
Katapusang pa-adios kimo hay mabibinlan
Ro tanan ag tanan ko nga nahahamut-an.

Adios mga magueang ag mga igmanghod
Kapihak kong dughan ko, mga kaduyonduyon
Ipagpasaeamat eamang ro pagtaliwan ko’t dayon
Sa kahimtangan ngarang owa’t kalinong.

Adios pinalangga akong kalibangan
Taga-ibang banwang nakipag unongan
Adios sa inyo ginamahae
Mamatay hay sangkap nga kapahuwayan.

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

(Malibunog Ro Kalibutan)
Tongod sa pag binaktas, upod eon ro sapatos ni Perfidia agod mag-apply it trabaho ogaling tanan “No Vacancy” ro anang guin applayan. Sin-o man abi kana ro magbaton? Owa it eabot nga maitom eon imaw hay kulot pa ro anang buhok ag madamoe ro anang kilay. Ogaling mataas man imaw ag matangos ro anang ilong nga hamana sa anang amang Negro.

Naga trabaho si Bradley sa Clark Field sa Pampanga, isaeang ka soldado it U.S. Navy ka’t magkilaea sanda ni Isabel. Manog bo-oe ag manog hatod it labada si Isabel sa baeay it isaeang ka mataas nga opisyal it mga kano. Nag-iba sanda, busa nag nabdos si Isabel. Nag uli imaw sa probinsya nana agod idto mag-onga. Parabil mag-balik it Amerika ro mga kano, guin osoy pa ni Bradley ro mag-ina, ogaling golpehan ro paghalin it mga kano. Ro solong haaywan kay Isabel hay pulseras ag kulentas nga may sueod nga litrato ni Bradley sa locket.

Sa kagutom ag kaakig ni Perfedia, bu-ot nanang i-prenda ro pulseras, ogaling indi nana malipatan ro bilin ni Nanay na nga maskin mag-inalin, indi guid igbaligya o duea-on ro pulseras ag kulentas tongod rekara naka tumoy ro anang kabuhi. Guin baktas nana ro karsadahon hasta nakaabot imaw sa isaeang ka kanto. My hakita imaw nga karatula, “Wanted Yaya”. Nag-prisentar imaw.

“Its you that I am looking for. Please come with me to the States. Your father had been looking for you”, hambae it negro kay Perfedia. Guindaea ni Perfedia ro negro sa anda agod ibalita kay Nanay na ro katuyu-an ko Negro. Matsa indi makapati si Isabel. Naga duda pa imaw basi kon peke rayang Negro ag lokohon eamang sanda. Para magpati, nagbalik sanda sa baeay ko amo ni Perfedia. Nagpamatuod ro amo nga amigo nana si Bradley. May masakit imaw nga kanser ag parabil mamatay, bu-ot nana nga makita ro anang mag-ina. Kadali guid lang ro paglakad ko andang papeles pareho it passport ag US visa. sa bulig ko anang amo. Sa mapig-ud nga hambae, nag adto sanda sa Estados Unidos.

Pag-abot sa State, nagkita ro mag-ama. Una man ro ibang mga onga nga negra ogaling patay eon ro andang ina. Baeo gali si Bradley. Guin basa ro testamento ko abogado ag owa man it reklamo ro anang mga igmanghod. Negtener sandang mag-ina sa America agod ipamasyar si Perfedia sa andang ibang igbata.

Pag-oli sa Pilipinas, eain nga Perfedia eon ro makita. Malibunog guid matuod ro kalibutan./MP

PAGASA Weather Updates Accessible Via SMS

With the emergence of a milestone public service information system that utilizes the potential of SMS, the Filipino’s passion for texting could very well save his life.

Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) and the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services (PAGASA) recently launched the PAGASA Infoboard service.

This partnership between the country’s foremost authority in weather and the SMART has given birth to an effective, timely and wide-reaching weather information dissemination system that makes use of both SMS and the Web in making vital information for disaster preparedness available to mobile phone users any time, anywhere.

Information that can keep one from harm’s way such as typhoon updates, flood situation, or climate condition can now be received or accessed in the form of a text message.

“If all SMART subscribers take advantage of the service, they can prevent the loss of lives and property,” said Perry V. Bayani, head of SMART’s wireless consumer sales and business development group.

The need to widen the scope of SMS for use in information dissemination was first brought up during a Philippine Inter-Island Shipping Association meeting that PAGASA Director Prisco D. Nilo attended after the sinking of the MV Princess of the Stars last June. Immediately after, he contacted SMART.

“We hope to avoid any other similar accidents at sea that cause misery to many of our countrymen,” said PAGASA Dir. Prisco D. Nilo. “With the Infoboard, people can access practically all of our latest bulletins and advisories. They can then decide on their own whether to postpone or continue with their trip. This kind of service is critical.”

Before the PAGASA Infoboard, both PAGASA and the National Disaster Coordinating Council (NDCC) already had existing SMS dissemination. However, the scope is limited to selected end-users like government agencies and offices only. The public had no direct access. As it is costly, it is also impossible to manually send text messages to everyone.
SMART came up with a solution via the Infoboard, a web-based group broadcast service that offers various SMS facilities with different functions and capabilities catering to the needs of a certain organization or community.

For PAGASA, the requirement was to send out messages and at the same time allow the public to initiate messaging by being able to download information themselves.

The public is thereby given an option – to be included in the PAGASA Infoboard mailing list so as to receive regular text advisories and updates; or to initiate the downloading of specific information depending on what they need. /MP

Roxas: Corruption Is “Salt In The Wound” of Poor Filipinos

“President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo must take drastic measures in changing the adminis-tration’s corrupt image if the Philippines is to receive much needed foreign aid during the present financial crisis”, said Sen. Mar Roxas.

He decried the country’s ineligibility for aid from the United States’ Millennium Challenge Corp. as a result of rampant corruption in the government, saying this “rubbed salt in the wound” of Filipinos trying to cope with the dire economic situation.

“Despite the propaganda of President Arroyo’s people about the economy, every Filipino knows the real situation, and their anger grows as corruption in government worsens,” Roxas said.

“What’s worse is that even if our economy is in shambles, President Arroyo and her aides think of nothing but how to stay in power or come up with scams such as of Joc-Joc Bolante. We are sinking deeper into poverty,” he said.

The Philippines slipped in the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) “control of corruption” scorecard, from 76 percent in the fiscal year 2007 to 57 percent in FY2008 and now 47 percent in FY2009. In 2006, the US government corporation extended $21 million in assistance to the Philippines to help it combat corruption, but to no avail.

“As the people’s view of our leaders goes down, we are also dropping in corruption ratings. It’s clear that it’s the fault of President Arroyo, after eight years of power, for Millennium Challenge Corporation’s assessment,” the Ilonggo senator said.
Chiz Calls Parties Forward For JBC Selection
On the other hand, to intensify the transparency campaign for the Judicial Bar Council (JBC) proceedings, Senator Chiz Escudero is calling all non-governmental organizations and interested parties to come forward and make known their positions with respect to the applicants and nominees in the council.

Escudero, senate representative to the JBC said groups and individuals can send and place their comments and inputs on the nominees they want and those they do not want to sit in any judicial post.

As the council now espouses an open-voting system, Escudero posed back the challenge among court watch groups to publicly get involved in judicial appointments by making known their preferences to help council members choose only the most deserving nominees in one of the country’s sensitive and significant positions.

“The demand for transparency is a two-way street. It does not only emanate from us who sit in the council. It is but proper that third parties also make known their views, put their names on a particular applicant or nominee,” Escudero pointed out.

“The public should also be accountable in filtering the names of the nominees that will be finally submitted to the President,” Escudero added.
“Accountability and transparency are demanded of our public officials. However, shouldn’t the public be held accountable too in terms of putting the person fitted to judiciary posts and weeding out the unworthy ones from the nominees list?” He asked.

The JBC, he said should remain a bastion of independence from political and outside influence, thus vigilance and active participation from the public should compliment council members’ accountability in appointing members of the judiciary.

Escudero’s office welcomes any input from the public. All comments and suggestions will be brought to the council for consideration in the selection process. /MP

Tax Consciousness Week Celebration In Aklan

The Provincial Government of Aklan, Department of Education, and Aklan LGU’s celebrated tax consciousness week last December 8 – 14, 2008. The theme “Sa buhis nga gina-bayaran mo, mayad ayad nga serbisyo ro ginabalik it gobyerno”.
One highlights of the celebration was the “On the Spot Poster & Slogan Making Contest” held at ABL Sports Complex on December 9. The participants of the contest were Elementary and Secondary levels students. Seventy four (74) contestants from different schools in Aklan joined it. The first place was awarded five thousand pesos (P5,000.00); second place – Three Thousand (P3,000.00); and third place – two thousand pesos (P2,000.00). The non-winning participants received consolation prize of two hundred pesos, while the coaches received one hundred pesos each.

Marvin L. Manuel of Altavas National High School got first prize; Lianne Stella R. Candelario of Regional Science High School, second, and Mel Richie Flores Aklan-National School of Arts and Trade, third in the secondary level.

Rocky I. Inawasan of Malinao Elementary School got first prize; Tricia I. Icabandi of Malinao Elementary School, second, and Ariel I. Ijalo of Malinao Elementary School, third.

Governor Carlito S. Marquez and Victorina S. Laroza, School Division Superintendent, DepEd and Suzette F. Pioquid, Asst. Provincial Treasurer, ICO awarded the winners of on the spot poster and slogan contests. (by JETHRO LASERNA)


The Ease of Global Human Mobility
If one is a migrant worker, or a foreign tourist wishing to go to Malaysia, he will feel the comfort of passing through Malaysia’s gateway: the Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA). With many rows of immigration officials in tow, travelers can freely choose where to go.

No immigration cards are needed, unlike in other countries. “It is because all travelers’ details are computerized already,” a male immigration officer said.

KLIA appears classy than some of the Philippines’ shopping malls. Marbled floors and food stalls just provide brightness to people inside the spacious international airport.

Of course, there are rules: Some 45 degree-angled escalators are allowed to accommodate baggage pushcarts, even if some airlines allow 20 kg. baggage limit.

When foreigners get into the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur, they are given some simple rules. Southeast Asians are welcome, says a Philippine embassy official, but the Malaysian government advises them “to leave the country on or before the expiry date of one’s visa”.
, must abide: kissing the hands or cheeks of others, except spouses, should be avoided. The right hand should always be used when eating, when giving and receiving objects.

What about the left hand? “In Malaysian tradition, the left hand is considered unclean,” says a handbook for Filipino workers.

Rules govern whatever is being traveled—things, money, trade, and now people. Whatever one’s motives are as a traveler, as bearer or exporter of goods to countries, rules are the name of the game. There are also different rules for different milieus: educational qualifications for foreign workers in Canada and Switzerland differ, so do regulations governing irregular or undocumented migrants in Italy, Australia, and the United States.

But for some 200 million people whom the world calls as “migrants,” while they try to follow or skirt different rules governing their being in lands other than their own, they show that today’s global human mobility is not only rapid, but can be raucous for governments and redeeming for individuals.

What rapidly moves are not just people, but cash and in-kind remittances, ideas, cultures and norms, national and transnational identities, peoples’ rights, and poor peoples’ dreams of better lives. It ain’t easy for many governments to talk about international migration, more so its relationship with development.

Some rich countries like Japan, France, the United Kingdom, Germany, Australia, and Canada feel the pinch: to sustain their economies, they gulped in saying that they need foreign labor.

Many people’s current interest with this six percent segment of the global population called migrants, refugees, and asylum seekers was not seen before: even the United Nations General Assembly had thumbed down previous proposals for a world conference on migration and development.
But the bubble is about to burst: over-US$300 billion of remittances to developing and least-developed countries are a stark fact that development groups cannot just shy away at the concerns of these undocumented and documented people. Developing countries like the Philippines have even made their dues to developed countries: their nurses have saved developed countries’ health systems.

If the International Labour Office thinks there remains an immense demand worldwide for low-skilled labor, imagine if developed country nationals who are bank executives, diplomats, and government officials will be the ones to clean their own laundry and dishes after toiling from their daily work.

Even American business people are raking in money from a migrant: Yao Ming, and Chinese nationals in the US are making US businesses’ cash registers active.

International migration has its own blessings and curses, depending from the vantage point of origin and of receiving societies. Regardless of how one looks at international migration and development, governments have no choice but to review their immigration rules, their relationships with other countries, and the interdependency of the economies of the so-called First World and Third World.

“There has never been a time than now it’s easier for workers to move around despite of, in spite of, and even against greater state control over migration,” wrote MOVE, a magazine of OFW.

These call for reflection because of migrants —ordinary apple pickers, construction workers, nannies and caregivers, scientists, and many more who send money home; who provide income and some measures of economic stability to their host countries. They are now “development actors.”

Last October, the Philippines hosted the Second Global Forum on Migration and Development in Manila. The GFMD is not under the United Nations System; it is a conclave that brought together governments, migrants, and private/civil society actors from over-150 states to talk about practical solutions on international migration and development to provide equal benefits to everyone. The Ayala Foundation handled the civil society days, while the Department of Foreign Affairs convened the inter-governmental forum.

No less than UN Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon oversaw the Second GFMD. This annual event began in Brussels , Belgium in 2007 was inspired by the prodding of former UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan for the world to look at the conditions of migrants. The Philippines showcased its ways of managing the outflow of people for work and permanent settlement abroad, and of handling problems associated with international migration.
International migration is the world’s newest “great equalizer” for people and for countries affected by this demographic phenomenon. People find in their overseas migration that opportunities will stand to benefit even foreigners and host country nationals.

In the words of Kofi Annan, the welfare of migrants should not be set aside. Migrants may be among the reasons why global human mobility is easy for some and uneasy for others. But their simple hard work and dreams for their families back home, and in their adopted countries, are now providing today’s world with a future built on multiculturalism, respect, and global equity. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Are Oil Firms Scrooges?

To our readers, and readers particularly of the Entrepreneurial Farmer, our warm and sincere wishes for a very happy and Merry Christmas. We pray for your continued capability to read and love for reading. We pray for your good health and happiness.


Sen. Mar Roxas has branded oil companies as “scrooges” after they refused to cut their prevailing pump prices and their refusal to reveal their computations to the public how these oil companies arrived at their pump price.

Roxas calculated the price of Mean of Platts Singapore (MOPS) oil prices and added costs like foreign exchange rate, transport cost, the three (3) percent tariff and 12 percent VAT, he found that prices have gone down 51.1 percent for diesel and 59.1 percent for unleaded gasoline since July when oil price was at its peak. “The present price of P35.94 per liter diesel and P35.96 per liter unleaded gasoline are much too high.

“The oil firms are over charging the public by about P10 per liter”, stressed Roxas. “If diesel and unleaded gasoline dropped as much as the MOPS prices since July, they should have cost P27.38 per liter and P24.73 per liter respectively for December 2008,” Roxas pointed out. However, the prices of diesel and unleaded gasoline showed decreases of 35.8 percent and 40.5 percent only respectively.

“Scrooge”, Sen. Roxas branded the oil companies as such is a character in Dickens’ book which means “hard miserly misanthrope”. Again, misanthrope refers to person who hates or distrusts people that is why you don’t open your books?


At about 7:00 o’clock on Sunday, Dec. 14, fire broke out in Pastrana Street, Poblacion, Kalibo. Kalibo Fire Station in Poblacion, Kalibo was immediately informed of the incident. However, it was not able to respond to prevent the fire from spreading.

But, according to information, Kalibo fire fighters reached the scene of the fire after about 40 minutes. The fire at Pastrana Street is just about three blocks away from the Kalibo Fire Station located in the Kalibo Municipal Bldg., Veterans Avenue. They could easily reach the fire scene if not for the fire truck which clutch was defective. It could not be shifted to first gear but reverse. What a double tragedies!

Fire accident does not happen everyday which is the main and only reason of firemen for being. What do they do? No matter how old the equipments are, but properly maintained in good operating condition, it will always serve the purpose. Firemen must have periodic fire prevention and control drills. There is no reason not to detect the problem of their equipments if test run is done everyday.

Thanks to the firemen from Numancia, New Washington, Ibajay and Balete for coming over to Kalibo to help control the fire.

In Baghdad, Iraq, President George W. Bush of the United States of America was thrown two pieces of shoes while conducting a press conference last week. He was not hit as he got out of the direction of the shoes thrown. Pres. Bush just looked at the culprit and didn’t say anything as viewed in the TV. But the newsman who threw shoes was arrested. What a humiliation not only to Pres. Bush but to the American people!

In the Philippines, Thai Ambassador demanded apologies from Sen. Richard Gordon and Malacañang spokesman Anthony Golez. According to the Thai Ambassador, it was a great insult when Golez said “what is happening in Thailand couldn’t happen in the Philippines because Filipinos are different from the Thais”. Golez said, he does not and will not apologize, as there is no offense committed.

According to Sen. Gordon, he does not need to apologize of what he said about the take over of the International Airport in Bangkok, Thailand by the ralliest who demanded the resignation of their prime minister. /MP

13th Nat’l. Press Congress Ends; 2 Aklanon Shine

“Media, Culture and the Global Crisis” served as the theme of the 13th National Press Congress held at the Teachers Camp, Baguio City on December 11 – 13, 2008.

Organized by the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) in cooperation with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), it observed December as the “National Press Congress Month and the Month of the Community Press in the Service of the Nation” in pursuant to Proclamation 1187 issued by the President of the Philippines. Proclamation 1187 also mandates PAPI as the lead organization to observe National Press Congress Month.

During the National Press Congress month, various media organizations nationwide which included regional, provincial, and city newspapers, and magazine publications, press clubs and radio/TV casters conducted round table discussions, conferences, symposia, and Kapehan fora. These activities are designed to underscore the importance of information and press freedom for the welfare of the country and her people.

The 13th National Press Congress in Baguio City featured a parallel Student’s National Press Congress where some 200 students attended coming from various universities and colleges from Mindanao, Luzon and Visayas. They blended with PAPI members. With their respective advisers, they were lead officers of their college publications.

The Students National Press Congress ended with the organization of Students National Press Congress Fellows where an Aklanon student at West Visayas State University is elected Director to represent Region VI. He is Master Lorenz Paul M. Maquinto, the loving son of the renown station manager of RGMA-DYRU, Kalibo, Aklan, Kaibahang Butz Maquinto.
Likewise, another Aklanon, a student of Aklan Catholic College, Kalibo, Aklan is selected to conduct observation studies in the Republic of South Korea. Mr. Darren Naelgas is one among the five (5) students selected from a group of 15 candidates. Naelgas is the lone Visayan representative to the trip. The other four (4) are Miss Majal Talento of Mindanao University, Mr. Ralf Jake Wassingga of Davao Colleges, Miss Yannie Pascual and Mr. Gian Carlo Tafalla, both of the University of the East, Manila.

Baguio City Mayor Reynaldo Bautista welcomed the delegates of the congress to Baguio City. He boldly emphasized the best of Baguio City as a convergence center for activities like conferences, congress, conventions, and seminars. “We are near God”, he pointed out because of Baguio’s high altitude.

Hon. Cecile Guidote Alvarez – Executive Director of NCCA, spoke of Filipino culture and arts. She stressed the global competence of Filipino artists in music, sculpture, paintings and literature among others. “Convince others by means of arts, not by force”, Alvarez suggested.

Rev. Fr. Benny C. Tuazon of the Manila Archdiocesan Ecology Ministry explained the origin, causes, effects and prevention of “global warming and climate change”. The Publishers/Editor, Mr. Isagani Yambot of Philippine Daily Inquirer explained the “Collective Media Response to the Global Crisis”. He dealt on the best practices of the media to be relevant with the time. According to him, media must always be accurate.

The three-day congress closed with the awarding of “Press Freedom Award” to Sr. Associate Justice of the Supreme Court Leonardo A. Quisumbing and “Man of the Year Award” to Ambassador Antonio L. Cabangon Chua. Mr. Juan “Johnny” P. Dayang, president of PAPI with the members of the Board of Directors conferred the awards to Justice Quisumbing and Amb. Cabangon. /MP

KKK Lights Up the Holidays

Kalibonhons attending the “Simbang Gabi” or “Misa de Gallo” at the St. John the Baptist Cathedral, Kalibo, capital town of Aklan are met by a welcome display of lights that made the whole of Pastrana Park fronting the church. It started on December 15, 2008 and stay until the Ati-Atihan Festival on the 3rd week of January, 2009.

Under the “Kahayag ag Kabuhi it Kalibonhon” (KKK) annual event, the display of lights is a much-awaited tradition for the Kalibonhons where families, strollers, joggers and church-goers enjoy the various sights in the park.

The KKK 2008 was launched on December 15 at Pastrana Park in a simple opening ceremony led by Mayor Raymar Rebaldo, Municipal Officials and Officers where talents of Municipal Employees in singing, dancing and chorale singing were showcased before the ceremonial lighting.

Rebaldo pointed out that despite the tragedy brought by Typhoon Frank last June, the Kalibonhons remain resilient guided by their strong faith in the Sto. Niño as shown by the Ati-Atihan tribes who danced around the park right after the lighting of Kahayag ag Kabuhi it Kalibonhon. (By Terence T. Toriano) /MP

TCFI Recommends Indigenous Materials Use

by Angelda T. Baylon

Use indigenous materials: this is the campaign of Mr. Emelio T. Terencio, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Tumbokon Clan Foundation, Inc. (TCFI). Terencio appreciates the users of buri bags, rattan/bamboo/coco midribs baskets. He prefers foods wrapped in banana leaves, cooked in bamboo internode (binakoe) when going out to picnics at the beaches or other public places.

Included in his multi-cropped farms are some buri palm, ambueong, nipa, rattan, bamboo and anahaw to have abundant raw materials necessary for a sound/healthy environment. He discourages the use of non-biodegradable materials which damage, shallow creeks/streams, killing flora and fauna from upstreams down through the flood plains of rice farms, fishponds, mangroves to coastal areas by the sea.

Terencio reminded the young generation of the works of the late Jose Terencio Baylon of Brgy. Dumga, Makato who donated wooden office tables, chairs, benches (gov’t. and private offices since 1950’s until he died in 1990. Some of his works of arts in carpentry done manually still exist at the family library of the late Prof. A. Tumbokon. Like Terencio, Tumbokon also advocated the daily use of indigenous materials like ‘baylokan, hungot, dipper, laddle, sag-ob, kawit, saeod’, toys, hanger, flower base made of wood, bamboo, coconut husks/shells/midribs which he exported to Manila in the 1970’s.

With the theme “Love Indigenous Materials”, it will promote good moral values and positive attitude to keep clean members and aware of their role in taking care of the environment; to save the dwindling biodiversity and prevent destruction of natural ecosystem.

Terencio expects much from TCFI president Joeben T. Miraflores who is also our congressman to do his best to regain our “Lost Paradise” due to unabated use of gasoline base farm inputs”. He must encourage the use of organic fertilizer out of biodegradable materials so we can return to the “promised land overflowing with milk and honey”. /MP


by Johnny C. Nunez

Carnage On The Road

The abnormally high and increasing incidence of carnage on our highways in various parts of the country in recent weeks that have killed many people must be addressed promptly by government authorities. Mindless motorists and speed maniacs must not be allowed to cause more mayhem and create more orphans and widows.

Humanitarian consideration invoked by bus drivers to allow them to continue their merry ways must yield to disciplinary measures. Their irresponsible peers must at least be sanctioned. Bus companies must be made accountable for the irresponsibility of their drivers and drivers’ associations must discipline and police their own ranks to deserve respect.
The Land Transportation Office must review its drivers licensing procedure to make sure those unfit to drive are not issued the license to kill innocent people. The rackets at LTO offices regarding FIXED motor emission tests and RIGGED drivers’ examinations must immediately be straightened up.
The LTFRB must perform its mandated functions seriously.


It’s too bad Senator Miriam Defensor Santiago lost her bid for a seat in the UN International Court of Justice (ICJ). However the concerned organ of the UN conducts its politics which derailed the Philippine bid. Sour-graping will not do any good. Let’s accept our defeat with candor and pride. The Philippines had had its share of honor in occupying an ICJ seat in the past.

If US President-elect Barack Obama has anybody to thank for his historic rise to the US presidency, the man who richly deserves his thanks is no less than outgoing President George W. Bush. It was he who engineered the very serious problems that plagued the world and created the most favorable conditions for Americans of various racial origins to close ranks and chose Obama their President.

Things will certainly be difficult for Obama when he assumes his presidency. He is well aware that his every decision and action now are being closely watched not just by Americans but also by the entire world. This is clear when he addressed the world during his first post-election press conference. He said: “Our stories are singular but our destiny is shared and a new dawn of American leadership is at hand. . . . And to those who have wondered if America’s beacon still burns as bright, we have proved once more that the true strength of our nation comes not from the might of our arms or the scale of our wealth but from the enduring power of our ideals – democracy, liberty, opportunity and unyielding hope.”


While many Filipinos don’t care about political developments in the US, some regularly keep themselves updated because they know that under the existing globalized market economy, anything that happens in the US is likely to affect them. The latter are right but they should not delude themselves into believing the Philippines commands any importance to the US and its order of priorities. They should not expect their lot to miraculously improve because Obama won.
Filipinos have good reasons to welcome the incoming Obama presidency because the US Democratic Party has traditionally been biased in favor of Philippine interests. Recorded history shows we secured favorable deals with the US in the past under a Democrat President. Obama previously supported the proposed Philippine Veterans Equity Bill in the US Senate. Let’s hope he pushes the same under his presidency.


Due to our focus on the US elections, one domestic event that deserves public attention hardly got any public notice. I refer to the inauguration recently of Petron’s Fuel Additive Blending Plant in Subic . The facility will blend 12,000 metric tones of additives annually with various fuel oils including gasoline and diesel. The enriched fuel oil products will be for local consumption and export to other countries, particularly in Asia. The investment spells more gainful jobs for Filipinos and more foreign exchange for the national economy. Additives improve fuel efficiency, boost engine performance and help maintain a more healthful environment because their emissions are less harmful.


Hopefully, Obama will also address the world’s Global Warming concerns signing soon the world environmental treaty known as the Kyoto Protocol which the US has insistently refused to sign, arguing the treaty is too expensive and unfairly excludes developing countries.

The Kyoto Protocol calls for a reduction of 5.2 percent of world’s total carbon emissions below 1990 levels from this year, 2008 until 2012. US participation and direct involvement in this crucial effort is vital because it accounts for 36 percent of the world’s carbon emissions; Russia contributes 17 percent. These two countries must play a key role in addressing the global warming problem.

Global warming, which creates high temperatures on the surface of oceans has produced super typhoons that regularly devastate the Philippines and super hurricanes that have pummeled various areas of the US in the last few years. It is due to global warming that that number of typhoons visiting the Philippines keeps increasing every year. PAGASA, for instance predicted we will have 14-16 typhoons this year. By the latest reckoning, the count has already reached 19 while I write this piece and we still have 14 days to go before 2008 ends. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Tita Linda BELAYRO

Ro Mapintas Nga Datu

Sa lugar it katimugan it Pilipinas, may isaeang ka Datu nga imbis magsunod kana ro mga tawo bangod sa kabuot, napilitan sanda nga magsunod tongod sa kahadluk. Ro kutob abi maakigan it Datu hay gina pa pugutan it oeo. Masyadong mata-as ro buhis nga guina pa bayran ko Datu sa mga tawo. Bangod sa kata-ason, indi haeos masarangan it pagbayad ko mga tawo. Ro Datu hay may onga nga prinsesa ag mabuot, imaw hay naeo-oy sa mga tawo, ogaling owa imaw it mahimo.

Isaea sa owa makabayad it buhis hay ro tatay ko nobyo it prinsesa. Guin hinyo ko nobyo nga imaw eon lang ro presuhon imbis nga ro anang amang magueang eon ag maeoya pa. Guin taw-an pa guihapon it plasos ro binata nga makabayad, ogaling pigado guid ro pamilya, busa guin taeana ko datu ro adlaw ko pagpugot it oeo. Ko gabi-e ngaron, naghinyo ro prinsesa sa guardiya nga makabisita sa binata. Guin idiyahan it prinsesa nga makatakas ro binata sa likod it presuhan. Parabil magpanaw ro binata, guin taw-an nana it ibang eambong ro binata ag ro anang eambong hay anang inaywan sa prinsesa. Nag-ilis ro prinsesa sa kasilyas ag guin kalbo ro anang oeo. Nagsueod dayon imaw sa kwarto ko binata ag nagpabukot it haboe.

Pagkaaga, guin takeoban imaw it sako ko prinsesa sa pagpati nga imaw ratong binata. Guin daea imaw sa plaza, sa abo nga mga tawo. Isaea eon ro guinikanan ko binata. Pagkatapos it pagpugot, hakilaea nga ro prinsesa gali ratong guin pugutan bangod sa anang singsing ag kulentas nga suksok ag ro mahaba nga buhok nga anang guin sueod sa bue-sa. Duro ro pag no-oe ko Datu. Sa sobra nga kasubo, namatay man ro reyna.

Halin kato, ro Datu hay nagbag-o eon. Owa mabuhayi, nakaasawa imaw it bata nga Reyna. Naka onga sanda it isaeang ka babaye nga haeos kahitsura ko namatay nga prinsesa. Mabuot rayang prinsesa ag palangga guid ko mga tawo. Pagkamatay ko Datu, imaw ro nagdumaea it kaharian. Guin patihan nga mayad magbuyot it maskin anong armas rayang reyna. Nahadluk ro ibang ka tribu nga eopigon rayang daeaga. Guin patihan man nga imaw ra hay halin sa linahe ni Prinsesa Urduja ro reyna it Pangasinan nga namatay nga owa nakaasawa bangod may anang pana-ad nga maga asawa eamang imaw kon may makapierde kana maskin anong klaseng pakikipag-away. /MP


Rice Shortage: Practical Solution


In 1998 while campaigning for the Vice Presidency, then Sen. Gloria Macapagal Arroyo woed voters with bountiful rice on the family table. She clinched that title together with erstwhile Pres. Joseph Estrada. Again in 2004 she proved her mettle by putting out another poster as a young lady clutching a bundle of rice harvest.

During those times food security was paramount in people’s minds because importations of rice and corn cost several million dollars and its availability in the world market is erratic. It was also the time that world forum delved on hot issues like climate change, environmental degradation, greenhouse effect, runaway population, end of cheap fossil fuels and impending food crisis.

Now, after six years in Malacañang GMA seems to be groping around for reasons why rice and corn are fast disappearing on our tables. The price of rice has increased to P35.00/kgm. Prospect of a P40.00/kgm rice is loathsome and ripe for civil unrest and overthrow of democratic institution. (A UP Los Baños professor predicted market price of rice will reach P60.00 per kilogram.)

At 122 kgm per capita consumption per year and projected at population of 90.4 m. (2008), demand for rice is 8.3 m. mt’s (20 percent of population eats corn). Projected rice production for the period (deduct allocation for seeds and feed) is 8.8 m mt’s. This leaves a narrow margin of .5 m mt’s surplus. This however is dependent on variables like climate and outbreak of pest and diseases.

It is for the above reason that DA, NFA and other government agencies are frantically seeking to clinch 1.5 m mt’s of rice from Thailand (The country along with Vietnam, Myanmar, etc.) is suffering from production shortfalls. Apparently, desperate times call for desperate measures. Failure and omission do not exist in a vacuum. It should be underscored that GMA paid only lip service to Gintong Masaganang Ani (GMA) rice and corn self-sufficiency program. (Remember Usec Jocjoc Bolantes’ fertilizer scam). It succeeded also in undercutting on stream modernization program started by then DA Secretary Edgardo Angara. Under the present leadership of Secretary Arthur Yap, it appears that solution to centuries’ old rice shortage is more imports. Dramatic decline in cereal production started with devolution of DA to LGU’s whose leadership skill on technical matters remain dubious, at best perfunctory. There are notable exceptions particularly on commercial hybrid rice but their numbers could be counted on the fingers. Moreover, budget allocation for agriculture and fisheries were relegated and favored high profile projects.

Being a former production technologist of DA, it is no joke to be planting hybrid rice or latest registered different from our forebears 40 years ago. One has to establish a pure and healthy seedling stand, calculate fertilizer and chemical inputs, manage pest and diseases, irrigation and drainage, gain factual knowledge on post harvest technology and determine when to market the product. Rice farming entails a lot of water – as much as 15 – 20 drums per square meter for the 105 – 110 day growing period. It is also a gas guzzler. A significant percentage is spent on fuel for ubiquitous machines like rototiller, thresher, irrigation pump, mechanical dryer, blower and transport.

Ironically for all the money, time and energy spent on rice farming, a large majority remains poor. Apparently this has to do with shrinking cultivated area – less than 1.0 ha. which is economically marginal. It is for this reason why developed countries like US, Japan and Taiwan have moved toward consolidation of farms to gain economies of scale. Only 47 percent of Philippine farm is irrigated hence subject to vagaries in weather. NFA price support for palay remains at P11.00 per kgm for the last 6 years. Because of credit crunch, farmers fall prey to usurers and price manipulators.

With bad predicament like this who wants to be a farmer? Undoubtedly, it would be far better to patronize NFA rice since it is much cheaper than traders’ commercial rice. With 33 million Filipinos living below the poverty line who cares about decent lifestyle as long as it feeds a hungry stomach.
Thanks to the rice crisis, the government is finally putting their acts together. First, a thorough overhaul of the system including the leadership post is in order. It is hard to communicate and deal with someone who hardly knows his trade. Secretary Arthur Yap is practically an outsider to agriculture being a lawyer and a businessman. This is the reason why he got his post earlier as NFA Administrator.

Second, effective management supervision of projects that are technical and dynamic like the DA must be centralized and personnel given enough incentives like salary standardization to boost morale. Past experience of 16 years show crippling effects of devolution and loss of steam in the campaign for food production.

Third, allow free market economy to operate in as far as grain prices is concerned. Open competition favor farmers since price offered by buyers are reflective of current inflation and actual production cost. NFA as a grains procurer/stockfiler must openly compete with private traders offering realistic prices. For big volumes, procurement may be addressed to by grain importation only as a last resort.

Last but not the least, liberal credit based on actual need must be extended to farmers. A novel idea on improving credit standing of farmers is to reward prompt payment say a 10 percent discount on seeds and fertilizer. Those found violating rules and regulation on supervised credit must be criminally charged in court.

Antidote to rice shortage is just practical solution that can bear weight and stay put into the future. /MP

Trip To Pinangud, Bacyang, Madalag


“We don’t do things because they are easy. We do things because they are hard and needed.” A quotation stated from a former American president. It has been said many times over that when one does things, it must be something different, something exceptional. To touch a life of a hopeful kid who wishes to have a leg, a family who dreams good life for Arnel, friends and neighbors who care for Arnel…what an inspiring thought. Not to mention, the car
ing Rotarians who are ready to lend a hand, to move every mountain and to Make Dreams Real!

It is for this reason that my brother Felinor took a leave of absence from his office to accompany and gave me a lift. Clad with Rotary shirt, scarf with Rotary cap and hiking shoes, I went to the town of Madalag. I passed by Malinao town, Barangay Alaminos, and then Bacyang, Madalag, Aklan.
We were welcomed by the couple, Rudy and Catherine Magcope, who are both school principals of Alaminos National High School and Alaminos Elem. School, respectively. The local hospital Administrative Officer II– Mrs. Mel Dionela was also at Alaminos Elem. School. Hot coffee and biscuits, were served. Then off to Brgy. Bacyang, Sitio Patnungon to meet Arnel and his family.

On the way to Poblacion, Madalag, we passed eight (8) bridges and crossed a river several times on a hot day via rough and hilly road to Arnel’s place.

A fearless heart believes that miracles happen. The joint project on prosthesis leg with sister club RC Forbes Park, Makati pushed my fearless heart to move mountains. We did go up, it was a wonderful feeling, to hurdle those rugged roads and brief water rafting exciting. I told you, it was not my first time though, but every time I got to experience this simple happiness, it’s always different.

When we arrived at Arnel’s place, I felt relieved to see him. He was the reason why we were there. Seeing him and his house are something that moved my heart, thinking that on June 21, 2008, his house was below muddy water.

The family prepared a humble lunch for us. We begged off not to eat at first, but then, they lovingly offered it. So we ate lunch with them. Perhaps, it was the last chicken left after typhoon, we jokingly chatted. P. Ed told me to tell the family that Arnel will have the chance to go to Manila for the fitting of prosthesis leg and rehabilitation, very soon. Arnel’s face brightened with joy and thankfulness that at last, his dream will soon come true.

Arnel is still in Grade V. He is supposed to be in high school at 12 years old. It is his disability to walk and write normally that hinder him to make his dreams real, of finishing school soon. Everyday of his life, he has to walk (with his knees) at least 4 kilometers and cross the river to go to study in school.

It was thru Sister Ester of the Daughters of Charity (St. Vincent de Paul) and after that devastating typhoon Frank though that we came to met Arnel and his family. Call it a blessing to both RC Kalibo and RC Forbes Park, Makati. It is thru this project that strengthens the bond of the newly signed sisterhood agreement.

Along the way of our trip, we met warm people, passed thru a 10–bed hospital where we saw a junk ambulance of the town. Some angel led me to a house just nearby where I found Leonard Saspa, 21 years old who is paralyzed because of accident almost a year ago in town. He wished to have a wheelchair. While we got out of the house, we met a good looking teenager named Joseph Lorenz Dionela, 18 years old. He needs hearing aid for his right ear. According to his parent, he has a shant since birth.

For one day, we spent to commune with Arnel and the family, also with the warm accommodating neighborhood and the father of the town, Mayor Rex Gubatina. His friends during the courtesy call were all delighted with our presence.

Before we finally left the town, we passed the 8th bridge that seemed to collapse soon because of the recent typhoon Frank. This bridge connects the many barangays with Madalag.

Rotary is not only an option, it is a mission to fulfill. As we were going down the rough road, I remembered the Sound of Music movie. They heard me sang the song.

Before I became a Rotarian, I wanted to make a difference in many lives, but little did I know that God had a plan to use me in a greater way than I imagined. God opened the door to Rotary. Rotary indeed made my life live with a purpose. Thank you to all the warm people in Madalag we met! /MP

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


“Mighty” Aklan River’s Rise and Fall

A video documentary of typhoon Frank widely circulated on DVD catches the human life drama, survival, and hope. Etched on the faces of Aklanons are tragedies of unprecedented proportions. Yet, loss of earthly treasures is nothing compared to life itself. Yes, from the events that unfurled, indomitable spirit of people prevailed over seemingly hopeless odds. Either working alone or in cooperation with others, rehabilitation and relief were smooth. With victory achieved, Aklanons could laugh at the storm, flood or any other disaster. Bayani Fernando was an overnight hero to some, but real heroes are the Aklanons.

A striking contrast on behavioral pattern of “mighty” Aklan river was also uncovered. During a storm, it was like Yangtze river (in China) on a warpath. Aside from destroying lives and properties, it deposited hundreds of tons of mud and debris on business, residential and public places. However, during normal periods it is gentle enough though massive in its strength. It just swirls and bends over the curve, tumble over rocks, burps on ledges and murmurs beyond stream. Brown ribbon of water divides and merges where pockets of cultivated crops and grasslands occur.

Aklan river originates at central highlands of Panay Island where four provinces of Iloilo, Antique, Capiz and Aklan converge. Acclaimed as the biggest river ecosystem in Panay, it is also the longest at 60 kilometers. It is complemented by another big tributary, the Timbaban river coming from the hinterlands of Madalag.

Historians said that our pre Hispanic forebears began their first settlement along big rivers, their nipa huts strewn in linear fashion. Cogent reason: Water is a primary source of life. Bathing, washing of clothes, drawing of potable water and fishing are done right there in the backdoors. Cold crystal clear water provides steady source of freshwater fish like dalag, eel, shrimps, crabs, catfish and others. Lush grassland and forest cover abound with monitor lizard, wild ducks, deer, water snake, wild chicken and warthogs. Early Filipinos are confirmed animists or spirit worshippers. They had a high respect for Mother Nature, hence conscious efforts were done to protect the environment.

The waterway also provided efficient transport of people and agricultural products from the highlands to the lowlands and vice versa. Roads and public transport were non-existent during those times. With the presence of thick vegetation and virgin forest, undoubtedly Aklan river was fairly deep and considered navigable for small watercraft from its mouth in Kalibo to as far as Libacao. Barter trade among native population was brisk leading to the establishment of trade outpost. Later, it became permanent population centers and this is exactly why Libacao, Banga, Madalag and Kalibo had their Poblacions located near the Aklan river.

The modern age has ushered in comfort and luxury in life but at great sacrifice to our ecological environment. Cars and factories spew millions of tons of toxic wastes annually. Illegal loggers’ and kaingeros’ destruction of forest remains unabated. The result is global warming which spawn El Niño (drought), La Niña flood, silting of riverbeds and lakes and blanching of coral reefs. Forest trees absorb carbon dioxide from the air and release oxygen. They are invaluable components of the water cycle and cornerstone of watersheds.

Efforts to mitigate the effects of big floods to population centers as Libacao, Banga and Kalibo appear futile. Building flood control dikes and gabions costing millions of pesos can be considered wasteful spending of public funds. At best, its lifespan is good only for a few years. Desilting of rivers, a pet project of DPWH in nearby Romblon province is considered palliative in nature.

Remarkably, Kalibo is highly vulnerable to coastal subsidence, a condition where low lying areas are reclaimed by the sea. According to Intergovernment Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), global warming induces accelerated melting of polar ice caps and causes sea water to rise y 2–3 feet for the next 50 years (2050). Elevation of provincial capital (Kalibo) is barely 2 meters above sea level. By the end of the century if the use of fossil fuels and destruction of forests remain unabated, half of Kalibo’s population will be underwater. It can even be worse for our tourism industry in Boracay.Long range planning is obviously needed to mitigate impending nightmare due to the recurring floods and coastal subsidence. Practical solution is to conduct an all out reforestation program in all lands more than 18 percent slope. There are enough laws and ordinances governing forest conservation which the responsible officials do not implement. By all means, these laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations must be implemented. A variety of fast growing forest trees must be planted not on highways (they are potential danger to motorists and electrical installations) but on barren mountains and hillsides. The rise and fall of Aklan river actually depend on all Aklanons to lend their support and cooperation. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
The Joy In Fish Farming

Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating, producing and utilizing crops, trees, flowers, ornamental plants, fish and other marine products. Art because beauty is enhanced. Pruning trees, planting in straight rows are done to please the eyes. Agriculture is a science as it deals with flowers, ornamental trees and even grasses used for landscaping for beauty, for recreation and enrich the soul. Agriculture is being done to produce food, happiness, and for profit.

I believe, a farmer must be in a very good health and highly knowledgeable. He must be healthy to perform a heavy job and withstand all weather condition. A grain farmer must know chemistry as he uses fertilizer and pesticide; a livestock farmer must be good doctor of veterinary medicine; a fisherman must be a good astronomer to predict the weather, the high and low tide. He must be well versed in finance, in human relation.

Business on the other hand means a commercial enterprise or establishment, it is a trade, a profession or calling. With these definitions, I can safely say that “Agribusiness” is an enterprise on agriculture and fishery. There are various types of agribusiness like poultry, hog, cutflower, vegetables, grains and others.

This column will be on fishpond operation which aims to produce milkfish (bangus) and prawn (sugpo), an agribusiness enterprise Aklan is engaging. My family were in Metro Manila since 1961. I worked with the Department of Agriculture. While Dr. Florencia “Rencee” F. Villorente taught Mathematics and Methods of Research in three universities.

After the Edsa Revolution, Rencee planned of managing their family fish farm as none of her brothers and sisters was ready to manage it. Having been exposed to some feasibility studies on fish production and being convinced of its great potential, I agreed that Rencee stops teaching. We took over the management of the fishpond of modest area. I accepted a provincial assignment, in my hometown of Banga, Aklan.

At first, there were lots of adjustments made. Rencee could no longer wear her long stockings and high-heeled shoes. There are lots, tons of mud. She learned to use hat, wear T-shirt and long pants in her fish farm supervision. Her complexion became dark.

We upgraded the status of the fish farm by repairing the leaking, dikes and increased its height. Constructed some water gates, improved the pond level to hasten entry and exit of water. Excavated the soil to increase water area. The soil was analyzed to determine nutrient content and its fertilizer requirement. Exterminated the predators and competitors. Predators are those that eat the seeded fries while competitors are those that compete in eating the feed like “Tibo-tibo shells.

We learned some fishpond terms like “Tamanyo” Sawayang, Tarol”, and others. Aside from the basic tools like bolo, shovel, rake, we procured vehicles for easy mobility and transport production inputs like fries, lime, and fertilizer. There are three types of employee: monthly, daily, and contractual for special jobs.

The personnel may take liquor on Sundays and holidays but never on working days. If they really wanted to drink, they are given vacation. Several undesirable things happened in the fish farm when the technicians were drunk. Fish farm technicians must be alert as they are dealing with lives. For one thing, selling fish farm products or the part of the workers without the owner’s knowledge and repeated drunkenness are disallowed.
The fish farm is divided into nursery, transition and grow-out ponds. The sizes of these ponds are proportional to each other. The nursery is a pond where fries are seeded for two to four weeks until they reach the size of a matchstick. They are transferred to the transition pond until they become fingerlings where they are finally taken to the grow-out pond until ready for harvest.

The best marketable size for milkfish is three to four pieces per kilo. This is also the most profitable size for the producer.
Milkfish fry supply still comes from the coastal areas specifically in Antique and Romblon as far as Aklan is concerned. Even if the Philippines has succeeded in hatching eggs of bangus, with the increasing demand and diminishing supply of bangus fry, price of it is becoming very expensive. With the latest technology, milkfish fry is now produced in the hatcheries. Prawn fry is of two kinds, the wild and the hatchery with controlled condition. The wild fry is caught in the sea coast. While the hatchery is produced in the hatchery. Wild prawn fry is highly and fast growing but expensive than hatchery. Wild fry is easy to grow while hatchery demands tender loving care to grow at high survival rate. The fishes of high quality are fed with natural grown “lab-lab” or “lumot”. No artificial feeding. Vermicast is excellent material to hasten algae growth.

For 22 years of small fishpond operation, we learned much but still more are to be studied. We learned managing people, the scientific culture of milkfish and shrimp. We learned to take care and love nature. Massage the soil, plant trees, slept late at night to watch our crop grow and harvest. It is happiness that we are part of supplying a small part of the food needs of the community.

The scientific way of production and the standard being followed of harvesting assure good quality product. The products have desirable smell and taste good. Moreover, it has longer keeping quality because of some harvesting techniques.

An advice: never produce goods for the sake of profit alone. Produce it to supply a felt need. Design ponds for local consumption. Harvest during “Aya-ay” when supply is scarce or limited. This is for service and beneficial to many. High quality promotes goodwill. Never use any poison in the pond for the good health of the people and our ecology.

For those who plan to engage in fish farming or in any branch of agriculture, it is easy. He must be physically and mentally fit, knows little of many things. He mingles with people. Love the soil, love water, love nature. Must visit the farm and stay awake either late in the evening or early dawn. He provides the factors that make fish production profitable such as salinity, acidity, temperature, turbidity, dissolved oxygen, feed, water management among others.

Agribusiness demands hard work, sincerity, honesty and dedication. Food production like fish will always remain as the sunshine industry and as profitable as you want it. As long as there is people, food will always be in demand. The Philippines has a rapid population growth which food production must catch up.

Space for production is likewise decreasing. Therefore, more demand for food, less supply. Hence, high price, profit. Above all, it is a joy, service to the people, service to God. /MP

Oscar Dela Hoya Surrenders to Manny Pacquiao


At the start of the 9th round, Oscar Dela Hoya stood, walked to the corner of Manny Pacquiao to give up the fight dubbed the “Dream Match”. That was how the 12 rounds boxing match ended between the Philippines Manny “Pacman” Pacquiao and the American Mexican Oscar Dela Hoya.

The fight was held in the MGM Grand, Las Vegas, Nevada on Dec. 6, Sunday morning, Dec. 7, 2008 in the Philippines.

It was a technical knockout win for Pacquiao Dela Hoya appeared so inept that it spelled the end for boxing’s richest most marketable boxing legend. Dela Hoya. The fight was very lopsided since the first round. Of the three ringside judges, two gave all the eight rounds for Pacquiao, while one gave Dela Hoya only the first round.

At the end of the eight round, Dela Hoya’s left eye closed and his reflexes were almost gone. Pacquiao landed punch after punch with Dela Hoya chasing, trying to catch Pacquiao with his big punch. But there was no way for Dela Hoya as Pacquiao was fast moving landing punches from the head to the body of Dela Hoya. In the seventh round alone, Pacquiao landed 45 punches as against the four for Dela Hoya.

In the eight round, Dela Hoya received more heavy punches Pacquiao offered him. He did not return the offers for he was in the verge of knockdown. He used the rope to remain standing but his knees wiggled after the eight round. Dela Hoya’s corner decided for Dela Hoya to quit. His left eye closed and there was no way Dela Hoya could win the fight. It was better to surrender to prevent more punishment and a possible knockdown and probably knockout.

As the bell sounded for round 9th Dela Hoya went to Pacquiao’s corner and congratulated him. In the post fight interview, Dela Hoya confirmed Pacquiao is a “great champion”. He fought like a great champion. He is a better fighter”, he added.

Boxing statistician credited Pacquiao 585 punches, out which 224 found its target to Dela Hoya’s 402 punches, of which only 83 landed. After the fight, Dela Hoya was brought immediately to the hospital to be sure he has no injury.

Several days before the fight in Las Vegas, Pacquiao’s trainer, Freddie Roach predicted a knockout on the 9th round for “Dela Hoya cannot pull the trigger” anymore. This was confirmed for Dela Hoya told Roach, “Freddie you’re right. I just don’t have it anymore”, he added. As the fight ended, Freddie Roach exclaimed, “he (Dela Hoya) has no legs, he was hesitant and he was shot. We knew we had him after the first round”.

When asked if he will continue boxing with that devastating defeat in the hands of the Filipino, Dela Hoya answered: “My heart still wants to fight, that’s for sure. But when your body does not respond, what can you do? I have to be smart and make sure I think about my future.”

Oscar Dela Hoya t 35 has now a boxing record of 39-6-31 KOs to Pacquiao’s 48-3-2, 36 KOs. Pacquiao will celebrate his 30th birthday this December.

Before the fight, Dela Hoya appeared to prevail over Pacquiao because of his size, height and reach. But Pacquiao has the youth, speed, love of and trust to God. He is dedicated and has a positive work ethics.
In Aklan, the people were glued to the radio broadcast and delayed TV showing. But there were live telecast in Kalibo, New Washington, Ibajay and Numancia through the courtesy of Governor Carlito S. Marquez and Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores. The ABL sports complex was filled up with people who rooted for Pacquiao. They stood up, clapped their hands shouting victory when Dela Hoya stood to surrender.

The people inside shouted “mabuhay si Gov. Carlito S. Marquez. In Banga, Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo paid the cost of live cable TV showing inside Teodosio’s Park. /MP