Thursday, January 24, 2008

EDITORIAL - January 26, 2008 Issue

Pinay Wives Living Out Korean Telenovellas

by JEREMAIAH M. OPINIANO
(Editor’s note: The identities of women interviewed are protected in this story.)

FOR nearly a decade, more than six thousand Filipino women are living out what’re usually depicted in Korean romance telenovellas.
It is life imitating art, according to the latest study on cross-border marital arrangements in Korea or inter-racial marriages between Koreans and other nationalities.
A 443-respondent survey done in September 2007 that covered various nationalities, including some 73 Filipina spouses, bared that “love” was the primary reason for the women acceding to the marriage.
Nine women in a center being run by Catholic nuns reflected that survey’s notions.
The women were participants in a workshop to help them in their marriage to their Korean husbands.
On a brown Manila paper, they wrote that Koreans work hard, budget their money, save, and are conscious of their hygiene.
These they gathered from watching Korean soaps on local television stations.
A study by Hye Kyung-Lee of Pai Chai University said something different about their mates.
Hye’s study noted that “lower class” Korean men seek “more submissive, obedient, and traditional (foreign) wives to serve them and take care of their parents” –especially by Filipina and Vietnamese wives.
The Koreans’ motivations already contrast those of the Filipino women, Hye’s recent paper found.
When asked why marry foreign women, Korean spouses –including 91 Korean men who married Filipino women– ranked submissiveness and obedience to Korean parents as primary reasons.
Since 1990, the Korean National Statistics Office recorded some 6,216 Filipino wives of Koreans. In the 16-year period, that means every year, an average 388 Filipino women got married to Koreans.
Among nationalities, such as Japanese, Vietnamese, and natives of mainland China, Koreans with Filipina spouses had the highest percentage of responses saying they married their foreign wives due to parental obedience.
Hye’s Korean male respondents bared that the submissiveness, obedience, and traditionalist family practices of their Filipino and Vietnamese wives are the “most important reasons” why they married them.
Soaps
THE numbers, however, did not reflect the conflict running deep between the two cultures carried by the couple and the compromises they give to sustain their relationship.
Commission on Filipinos Overseas (CFO) director Minda Valencia, however, said love couldn’t conquer all even if women interviewed said “they rely on love to know there spouses better”.
Their entry into a society with a rich Confucian tradition –but which allows online matchmaking– is seen to be a burden for the Filipino woman.
The women’s limited knowledge of Korean language and culture may cause some marital problems, Valencia said. For some Korean men, such as those who are of lower social status and who come from the provinces, their marriage with Filipinos may “renegotiate their social status”.
But the husband as the primary breadwinner “is considerably lowered” as a consequence of their marriage, Valencia adds in a paper she wrote on Filipina marriages to Koreans.
CFO registration records show that the average age of the Filipino spouses is 28 and that of the Koreans’ is 35, as there are more Filipino women than Koreans who have completed college education. While Filipino women use tenacity and resolve to prove to Korean spouses they are no pushovers, Filipino women sometimes feel “they have to work doubly hard to have a successful marriage”.
This means not just additional responsibilities for the Filipino women; their Korean spouses and families-in-law find hope in these Filipino women.
These are women like Rita and Tricia. They were part of the nine women who said they only learned Koreans expect submissive wives during a pre-departure orientation seminar that the Religious of the Good Shepherd-run nonprofit Center for Overseas Workers organized.
Suds
BUT Rita, a 21-year-old factory worker from Nasugbu, Batangas, said she doesn’t mind if the submissiveness relates to performing household jobs.
“I won’t mind the duties at home,” said Rita, who married her Korean spouse ten days after the latter arrived September 4, as Philippine laws require prior to civil marriage.
Tricia, 22, expressed the same. She married a 45-year-old Korean from Jeolabuk after his 16-day stay in the Philippines.
Tricia said she also accepted the role of taking care of the husband’s farming family.
“I am not against helping his family,” Tricia narrated, “for as long as my husband will help my family”.
Tricia hopes her husband would fulfill that promise to her and her family in Pampanga, even if Koreans usually don’t give their whole salaries to their wives.
“You don’t have much of a choice” but to hope, she said.
Another potential marital problem, Valencia thinks, is that Korean husbands pressure the Filipina wives to prove “to be worth the money” the former spent in bringing their wives to Korea.
This is what Elenita is trying to prove to her widower-spouse, a 50-year-old police official who has been living with her in Manila for months already. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Roxas Graces Religious Festival,
Pushes Panay Dev’t Meets Local Officials

Senator Mar Roxas graced the biggest festival in the country on January 18 in honor of the Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.
“The vibrancy of Philippine culture is hallmarked in this celebration. It shows how our people, despite trying and desperate times, hold on to their faith and celebrate life,” he said.
“They give us a chance to engage with our kababayans: to celebrate their joys and their passions with them, and even to be with them in their lowest moments,” Roxas, the Liberal party President, said.
Roxas also took advantage of the opportunity to consult with the local leaders on the formulation of the Panay Development Agenda. The Senator arrived in Kalibo Saturday morning with former Senate President Franklin Drilon. With Governor Carlito S. Marquez, Congressman Joeben T. Miraflores and former Congressman Allen S. Quimpo, they met the Aklan Tri-Media members in a presscon where Roxas discussed his candidacy for President in the 2010 presidential election under the Liberal Party.
Among others, Roxas was asked about his positions on the Zero VAT on oil, the USFAA Downgrading of NAIA, Cheaper Medicines Bill, the JPEPA and the Liberal Party Dispute.
Roxas wanted to give the Filipinos a break by allowing them not to pay VAT. VAT collection must be suspended and allow the people to spend their own money instead of the government spending it for them in this trying times. VAT on oil was approved at the time when crude oil cost US$30 per barrel, now it is $100, Roxas pointed out.
Sen Roxas, on FAA advisory expressed deep concern saying “it had implications on travel, tourism and investments.” He revealed, he filed a Senate Resolution on the FAA advisory in order to institute corrective measures.
On the Japan–Philippines Economic Partnership Agreement (JPEPA), “the non ratification of it would mean the exclusion of the Philippines from the free trade between Japan and members of the Association of Asian Nations which will soon be formalized in a few months,” Roxas said.
In the Cheaper Medicines Bill, Roxas revealed, “the Senate and the House of Representatives are on track to passing it with most of the provisions of the bill agreed on between both chambers even prior to a bicameral conference committee hearing to the measure”.
On the Liberal Party dispute, Roxas reiterated that the Supreme Court of the Philippines had long resolved with finality that the election held by . . . had been against the party’s constitution and was declared invalid. “There is only one Liberal Party and that is the Liberal Party Senator Roxas is heading,” former Senate President Franklin Drilon pointed out.
After the luncheon presscon, Roxas and Drilon met with Governor Marquez, Congressman Miraflores, 17 municipal mayors of Aklan, some vice mayors, sangguniang panlalawigan and bayan members, and other political leaders of Aklan. The meeting over, Roxas and Drilon with Aklan leaders joined the Sadsad in Poblacion, Kalibo specifically around Pastrana Park. Roxas left Kalibo late in the afternoon while Drilon stayed until Sunday and attended the field mass held at Pastrana Park celebrated by Bishop Romeo O. Lazo of the Diocese of Kalibo.
Ati-atihan Future Plans
It was unfortunate that even on the Ati-Atihan week and few days before its culmination day, unpalatable words were exchanged in the airlanes. There was a threat from a concerned group to boycott the Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan.
Mr. Albert Meñez of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Tourism Council issued a stern warning to remove the commercials mounted all over Pastrana Park. The seemingly unfavorable taste of the Coca Cola commercials all over Poblacion, Kalibo irritated several Aklanons even when Aklan Catholic College was also decorated with several Pepsi streamers.
Will the Catholic church lead the way toward a diminished commercialism in the Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival? Better still if the church can lead the way in zero commercials in all religious festivals.
Financial Report
The 2008 Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival is over. Will Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo be able to submit a credible financial report as early as possible? By doing so, malicious imputation will be highly minimized if not stopped. He may reveal the total income and the total expenses of the festival. He will comply with the mandate of giving his constituents access to information, the people has the right to know.
He now can start the 2009 festival preparation by strengthening the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board to which he can entrust the planning with Mayor Rebaldo to approve and spearhead its implementation. /MP

Aklan Press Club Induction 2008

Aklan Press Club, Inc. Induction of officers and members.



APCI President Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente with Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo & guests.

The handsome and pretty faces of the Aklan Press Club.

Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo, MMDA Chairman Bayani Fernando, PAPI President Juan Dayang and Ms. Megs S. Lunn.

Sen. Mar Roxas Attends Ati-Atihan Holds Presscon In Kalibo



Roxas met the members of the Aklan tri media in a luncheon press conference.


Sen. Mar Roxas participated in the Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival 2008 in Kalibo on Saturday, January 19. He met with Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez, Cong. Joeben T. Miraflores of the Lone District of Aklan, former Congressman of Aklan Allen S. Quimpo, mayors of the 17 towns of Aklan, vice mayors, Aklan sangguniang panlalawigan members and sangguniang bayan members of Aklan. After lunch, Roxas conducted a dialogue with the municipal mayors, Gov. Marquez and Cong. Miraflores.




Gov. Carlito S. Marquez is shown expressing his words of welcome to Sen. Mar Roxas and former Senate President Franklin Drilon for their visit to Aklan during the Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. They are shown in the picture at left (l to r) Sen. Roxas, former Senate President Drilon, and former Aklan Congressman Allen S. Quimpo. Roxas made known his plan to run as president of the Philippines in 2010 under the Liberal Party.






Picture shows members of the Aklan tri media who attended the presscon.

Winners In Kalibo Ati-Atihan Contest 2008


By Ambrosio R. Villorente

The original Balik Ati Group


Morongga - 2nd Prize of P25,000 in the Small Group category in Best Original Tribal Ati-Atihan contest.

One of the highlights of the Kalibo Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival is the Ati-Atihan Contest 2008. Some P389,000 were awarded to the winners of the contest during the awards night on Sunday, January 20, 2007 held at Magsaysay Park, Kalibo, Aklan.
Those who won the contest according to categories and their corresponding prizes are as follows:
Individual awards of P2,000 each: Mysteria Bird – Most Original, Golden Shell – Most Modern, Millennium Gay – Most Fantastic, Tree Man – Most Symbolic and Absurunsong – Most Comical; Best Original Balik Ati Group: Consolation prizes of P2,000 each went to Kinantuing and Tribu Isalacan, Ilayanhon – 3rd, P4,000; Maninikop – 2nd, P6,000; and Lilo-anong Ati – 1st, P10,000.
Modern Tribal Group (Small): Voyagers – 3rd, P8,000; Enchanting – 2nd, P12,000; and D’Emagine – 1st, P15,000. (Big): Adlaw-Gabii – consolation prize, P5,000; Samurai Blue Japan – 3rd, P15,000; Magbaeata – 2nd, P20,000; Scorpio 11-19 – 1st, P25,000.00.
Best Original Tribal Ati-Atihan (Small Group): consolation prize of P7,000 each went to Responde; Tipon-Tipon, and Barangay Tribe; Tribu Bukid Tigayon – 3rd, P20,000; Morongga – 2nd, P25,000 and Eamang – 1st, P30,000. (Big Group): consolation prize of P10,000 each went to Maharlika, Tiis-Tiis and Manhanip; Lord Eagles – 3rd, P30,000; Black Beauty Boys – 2nd, P40,000; and Kabog – 1st, P50,000. /MP


Sr. Sto. Niño mounted on the cart in preparation for the procession to culminate the 2008 Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival.

MMDA Chairman Bayani “BF” Fernando participating the sadsad on Saturday with his 50 man band.

MMDA man band participating the SadSad


Some Roman Catholic Priests did not like the over decorated Poblacion, Kalibo with Coca-Cola advertisement. Picture above shows Aklan Catholic College building with PEPSI advertisement. Picture was taken on Saturday, January 19, 2008 by Madyaas Pen.



Tipon-Tipon - consolation prize of P7,000 in Best Original Tribal Ati-Atihan, Small Group category.


Picture shows (l to r),Frenzes P. Tapican, Christy Ann Navarra, Mark Anthony Leyson, and Dr. Florencia F. Villorente of Madyaas Pen.



Officers and members of the Rotary Club of Kalibo.


Kalantiao Toastmasters Club and Rotary Community Corps SEALS headed by Rtn. Pete Ruiz participating the sadsad

DENR To Present Boracay Environmental Master Plan

By Venus G. Villanueva

Boracay beach with coconut palm trees which are affected by Brontispa.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) is ready to present its recently-crafted Environmental Master Plan of Boracay Island.
According to Derlito Rico, Environment Management Specialist of the DENR, Kalibo, Aklan the master plan is set to be presented soon to Boracay Island’s stakeholders, local government officials and other concerned individuals jointly, they could harmonize and integrate their plans and vision for the sustainability and preservation of the island resort.
Rico said the crafting of the Environmental Master Plan for the island was an offshoot of DENR Secretary Lito Atienza’s moratorium order on the unabated and unregulated construction activities in the island.
The Boracay Environmental Master Plan is drafted by a Technical Working Group created by the regional office of the DENR, according to Rico. The master plan covers all areas of Boracay Island - its forest lands, protected areas, coastal zone, the beach front, and others.
With the crafting and the scheduled presentation to the public of the master plan, the DENR in Kalibo, Aklan is optimistic that zoning regulations in the construction of establishments will be observed by owners as implemented by local officials of Malay, Aklan.
“Political will in the implementation of ordinances and laws in the island is very urgent in order to preserve and save Boracay Island, the goose that lays the golden eggs for Aklan and for the country,” Rico stressed.

PCA: Boracay Not Free From Brontispa,

On the other hand, Brontispa is still menacing coconut trees in Boracay. This is a coconut leaf beetle that has been ravaging coconut and palm trees in Boracay Island and in other parts of Luzon. However, the Philippine Coconut Authority (PCA) in Kalibo, Aklan has denied the news as the coconut pest has been contained in the island.
By being contained, PCA Provincial Officer Plevy Raco confirmed the dreaded coconut pest’s infestation is still confined in the island. It has not reached mainland Aklan yet.
The Bronstispa is an invasive pest introduced to the country, presumably in early 2004 via importation of ornamental palms. It causes great damage to seedlings and mature coconut trees and ornamental palms thereby killing the young spears and eventually the whole tree.
Raco said, Boracay Island has more or less 22,000 coconut trees. Of these, some 10,100 had been treated while 12,000 remain unaffected. However, the PCA observed that although there are coconut trees that have recovered from the infestation, they also saw that the infestation keeps recurring, so they have decided to treat all the coconut trees in the island.
The PCA also revealed that some 6,000 ornamental palms in the island were also treated with recurrence observed. Because of this, the PCA has advised resort owners to spray their ornamental palms every 15 days to rid their plants of Brontispa.
“We have noticed that when ornamental palms are sprayed with Karate (a pesticide), the Brontispa could be controlled. Boracay Regency Hotel’s ornamental palms remain green and healthy because they spray their palms regularly unlike those from other resorts,” Raco said.
Morever, spraying the trees with pesticide, the PCA has also released some 6,000 earwigs to help control the Bronstispa population through biological means.
The earwig is a black insect that eats the eggs of the Brontispa. The earwigs, distributed at 10 per coconut tree in Boracay were sourced from the provinces of Negros Occidental and Capiz, besides Aklan.
Considering that the Brontispa infestation keeps recurring, the PCA expects that the pest eradication in the island will take some time. PCA’s and other concerned agencies’ war against Brontispa has been waged since August of last year.
The provincial government of Aklan has been coordinating also with concerned agencies to keep the coconut pest from reaching mainland Aklan, because once the coconut trees in the mainland get infested, many small coconut farmers as well as budding coconut-based industries in the province will be affected. /MP

Issues and Concerns. . .

Goding Ramos Airport Lacks
Navigational Safety Equipment

By Ernesto T. Solidum

During last Lenten season, some 35,000 local and foreign tourists flocked to Boracay to savor the world renowned beach resort, its amenities and warmth of its people. By land and sea, they came in droves bringing whole families, business partners and friends seemingly drawn to a theme park. In 2006, tourist arrivals posted 556,000 according to DOT.
Of course the nearest aerial route to the place from any part of the archipelago is the Goding Ramos Airport, Caticlan, Malay, Aklan. From a modest 15 flights per day in the 1980’s, now the small airport has more than doubled its flights making it the busiest airport in the whole island of Panay. On its hold are three airline companies namely: Cebu Pacific, Sea Air and Asian Spirit with connecting flights from Manila to Caticlan and Caticlan to Cebu by offering cheaper plane fares on its return trip to Manila or Cebu. This is providing alternative transport for some who desire safe, fast and comfortable travel.
Presently, only light aircrafts with minimum seating capacity of 36 passengers are served. This is due to the short runway of 950 meters. Generally, single engine planes have no trouble when landing or taking off but not with bigger planes. Potential risk of disaster is always present especially with gusty winds and inclement weather. Pilot must maneuver his plane to a screeching halt at the end of the runway and forthwith bring it to the tarmac area. In the process, planes’ tires are prune to burst like one that happened some years back. Fortunately, no one was hurt in that incident. Formidable problem remains however, on the air and noise pollution that the airport brings to the bustling community and its environment. Supersonic barrage of noise every 15 minutes and attendant air pollution can be stressful to everyone living within the vicinity of the airport. A stone’s throw from the airport terminal is the Aklan Baptist Hospital and Caticlan Elementary School.
Latest aircraft model ATR72-500 owned by Cebu Pacific and scheduled to operate by February this year has a seating capacity of 80 passengers and requires a runway of at least one (1) km. How can a plane safely land in a 0.95 km runway is everyone’s guess. Bigger capacity planes are the airlines’ industry answer to high fuel, maintenance cost, and stiff competition.
Definitely, Goding Ramos Airport considering its strategic location and resources is losing much of its airport revenue potential. A thorough overhaul of its whole facility by ATO is long overdue. Aside from outdated physical infrastructure, personnel staff must be professionally prepared to handle an ever increasing volume of passengers and aircraft. This is fueled in part by the latest construction boom of high rise hotels like Alta Vista, Grand Vista and Shangrila Hotel in Boracay Island.
FAA Downgrades NAIA
In a related development, the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) downgraded the Philippines’ Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) from Category 1 to 2 rating. This simply means that the Air Transportation Office (ATO) failed to meet international standard of safety in 6 of 7 FAA focus areas. (Manila Bulletin Jan. 16, ’08). These are specific aviation regulation, qualified technical personnel, technical guidance, certification and licensing, continuous oversight functions and resolution of safety issues.
The Goding Ramos airport should be given priority attention by the government since it is the major gateway of both foreign and local tourists to Boracay. In terms of passenger booking flights, Kalibo Airport pales in comparison to Goding Ramos Airport despite official wide publicity endorsement to patronize the former. The reason is simple enough: tourists dislike unnecessary delays and strenuous trips.Improvement of Goding Ramos airport necessarily must supersede any plan to construct an international airport at Carabao Island (Hambil) or San Jose, Romblon. Existing facilities must be upgraded in order to meet optimum international standard. This include among others: extension and expansion of runway, installation of runway lights, modern aircraft navigation and communication equipment and hiring of competent technical personnel. Aklan’s tourism industry is bound to suffer from this downgraded FAA ratings unless ATO, DOT, and LGU act with firm resolve. Navigational safety, whether by sea or air, is definitely everyone’s concern and should be accorded due respect regardless of obstacles and lapses in judgment by concerned officials. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ro Ayam, Ro Kuring Ag Si Amar

Parabil mamatay ro anang ina, guin sugo si Amar nga bawi-on ro anting-anting nga guin pahueam ko anang ina sa anang maninay. Pagka-eobong ko patay nga eawas ko anang ina, nagpanaw eon si Amar. Pag-abot nana sa baeay ko anang maninay, mabuhay eon gali nga naga masakit man ro anang maninay. Suno sa manog bueong, maga mayad eamang imaw kon ikabalik sa tag-anan ro anting-anting. Busa guin uli. Pagkabaton ni Amar, nagmayad dayon rong anang maninay.
Nagbalik si Amar sa andang baeay. Nangayo imaw sa anting-anting nga rubi it mabahoe nga baeay, mga igdaeapat, pagkaon ag mga eambong. Sa doyong kaharian, may onga nga prinsesa ro andang hari. Bu-ot nga pakasaean ni Amar ro prinsesa. Ogaling indi magsugot ro hari kon indi imaw pagpatindugan it mabahoe pa gid nga palasyo. Paagi sa rubi, nagpatindug it mas mabahoe nga palasyo si Amar nga human sa bueawan ag pilak. Hakibot ro hari sa anang pagbugtaw ko agahon tongod may nagatindug eon nga mas mabahoe pa nga palasyo ko sa anang palasyo.
Nag asawa si Amar ag prinsesa. May andang daywang ka alila nga kuring ag ayam. Isaeang adlaw, nagpanaw si Prinsipe amar agud mangayam. Haaywan ro anang asawa sa andang baeay. May hakita imaw nga babayeng magueang nga nagatangis sa prente ko eobong ko anang onga. Pagkakita ni Amar, guin daea nana ro magueang sa andang baeay agod una paestahon. Nag-sunod ro magueang.
Raya gali nga magueang hay isaeang ka bruha ag bu-ot bue-on ro anting-anting ni amar. Sa pagpanaw it pangaywa ni Amar agod mangayam, nabilin ro bruha ag ro prinsesa. Guin pilit ko bruha nga boe-on ro rubi. Nagpamalibad ro asawa ogaling guin gamitan imaw it hokus-pokus ag habo-oe guid nana ro anting-anting. Guin pangayo ko bruha sa anting-anting nga duea-on ro palasyo ag asawa ni Amar. Patueogon man si Amar sa anang pag pangayam. Pagbugtaw ni Amar, owa eon ro rubi. Kon siin-siin sanda naka-abot sa pag inosoy hasta guin ga-oy si Amar. Nagpahuway anay imaw samtang padayon sa pag-usoy ko kuring ag ayam.
Naka abot ro kuring ag ayam sa isaeang ka uengga it mga eanggam nga siin guina hiwat ro kasae ko prinsesang eanggam. Guin kidnap nanda ro prinsesa ogaling ibalik imaw kon usoyon, hikita ag ikabalik ro anting-anting. Linibong eanggam ro nag inusoy hasta ro isaeang ka paki nga eanggam ro naka-abot sa guina estaran it bruha. Hakita nana nga guina um-um it bruha ro bato samtang naga katoeog. Binudburan ko eanggam ro anang ikog it pulbos ag pinitik nana sa ilong it bruha. Nag baha-on (hatsing) ro bruha. Bangud kara, nahamilak ro rubi. Madasig nga inangkit ko paki nga eanggam ro rubi, umuli imaw ag guin ta-o it uman sa kuring ag ayam. Guin balik kay Amar do rubi, ag guin padayon ro kasae ko prinsesang eanggam. Pagkabaton ni Amar ko rubi, guin pangayo nana ro anang asawa ag palasyo. Guin padakup dayon nana ro bruha. Guin papili imaw kon ano kana ro silot. Higot o kabayo. Guin pili nana ro kabayo. Guin gapos imaw ag itabid sa ikog it kabayo. Guin hampak dayon do kabayo. Seging dinaeagan ko kabayo nga guina guyod ro bruha hasta namatay. /MP

Communication

SMART Leads 2008
Ati-Atihan Celebration


Sen. Mar Roxas poses with Ati-Atihan revelers in front of the Smart Buddy booth during the Sadsad. Smart is one of the sponsors of the 2008 Ati-Atihan Festival.



PBB Sensation Jon Avila poses with the Smart Team led by Finnie Bonifacio, Manager for Mainstream Events.




Governor Carlito S. Marquez joins the Smart Sadsad Contingent. It is composed of employees, subdealers and retailers of Koks de Kalibo owned by Bors and Nemia Abella led by Ting T. Jimenez, Smart Head of Sales and Distribution (5th from l.), Arlene S. Sison, Smart Regional Sales Manager (7th from l.), Jovel T. dela Cruz, Smart Distributor Business Manager (8th from l.).


The Ati-Atihan 2008 was more festive and vibrant as leading wireless services provider, Smart Communications, Inc. (SMART) brought an array of fiesta specials and surprises to Kalibo revelers.
In celebration of the Ati-Atihan, SMART offered All Text 20, a text innovation that gives great value for text. For P20, subscribers enjoy as low as P0.20 per text for 1 day. The special offering comes with 100 text messages: 90 Smart-to-Smart messages, and 10 text messages to other networks. Stay connected with your friends while walking the streets of Kalibo and dancing to the beat of the Ati-Atihan.
For the duration of the festival, SMART Buddy subscribers in Kalibo may also enjoy the special P1-per-minute call rate, to any Smart subscriber anywhere in the Philippines. This special rate will apply after the third minute of every call. To experience this special rate, SMART Buddy subscribers simply have to dial *900.
SMART will also offer the BYAHE subscription, a special Value-Added Service that will capture the essence and revelry of the Ati-Atihan Festival and other festivities that pay homage to the Holy Child. This service allows subscribers to receive text messages or MMS downloads on some of the Philippines ’ most celebrated festivals, as well as major tourist destinations all over the country. To avail of the service, key-in BYAHE (for SMS) or MBYAHE (for MMS) and send to 286. The service is available on a three-times-a-week subscription for P5/MMS and via daily subscription for only P2.50/SMS. Make sure your cellphone’s MMS settings are activated to avail of the BYAHE MMS service. Simply text SET to 211 (example: SET N6630 for Nokia 6630). MMS settings should be saved upon download.
Last weekend, SMART heats up Kalibo street life with an exciting array of entertainment events including street dancing at the much-awaited Sadsad, premium giveaways, henna tattoo services, and Smart Bro Demo booths. A special Smart Bro Ati-Atihan package includes free usage for an additional month for every one-year Smart Bro subscription booked during the Ati-Atihan festival. Smart Bro is the revolutionary high-speed wireless broadband Internet service offered by SMART’s subsidiary, Smart Broadband, Inc.
A highlight of the Ati-Atihan weekend was the SMART Grand Pasaeamat Night sa Ati-Atihan 2008 over at Magsaysay Park. It featured popular bands like Imago and Sandwich . PBB sensations Saicy Aguila and Jon Avila graced the affair. Free concert tickets were given away to the first 200 subscribers to purchase SMART Buddy SIMs bundled with P30 worth of load.
As part of its thrust to support the Kalibo community, SMART provided a First Aid Station in partnership with the Philippine National Red Cross which was manned by First Aid-trained SMART employees. The provisioning for First Aid stations at major festivals has been an annual tradition for SMART to make the fiesta experience safer and more enjoyable for all participants. The Smart-Red Cross First Aid station made its debut in Kalibo this year, to complement the 10 Smart Booths provision to serve as police outposts along the Ati-Atihan parade route.
With all of these services, specials and surprises, SMART indeed enhanced the fiesta experience at the Ati-Atihan! Hala Bira!

About SMART

Smart Communications, Inc. is the Philippines’ leading wireless services provider with over 30 million subscribers on its GSM network as of December 2007. Of its total subscriber base, over 20 million subscribers are served under the brands Smart Buddy, Smart Gold and Smart Infinity. In addition, over 9 million subscribers are served through its subsidiary, Pilipino Telephone Corp., under the brand Talk ‘N Text.
SMART has built a reputation for innovation, having introduced world-first wireless data services, including mobile commerce services such as Smart Money, Smart Load and Smart Padala. SMART also offers a 3G service, Smart 3G.
SMART’s subsidiary, Smart Broadband, Inc. offers the revolutionary high-speed wireless broadband Internet service, Smart Bro. SMART is a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Philippines’ leading telecommunications carrier, the Philippine Long Distance Telephone Company. /MP

Depositors: Rural Bank of Tangalan, Inc.


LAST DAY FOR FILING OF CLAIMS IS JAN. 28, 2008

Depositors of the closed Rural Bank of Tangalan (Aklan), Inc. have only until January 28, 2008 to file their deposit insurance claims. The Philippine Deposit Insurance Corporation (PDIC) announced that January 28, 2008 is the prescriptive date or last day for depositors of the closed Rural Bank of Tangalan, Inc. to file claims for payment of deposit insurance.
Under Section 16(e) of RA 3591, as amended, the depositors are given two (2) years from PDIC takeover of the closed bank to file their claims for deposit insurance with PDIC. After this date, PDIC will no longer accept any claim for deposit insurance from depositors of the closed Rural Bank of Tangalan.
Rural Bank of Tangalan, Inc. was closed by the Monetary Board on January 26, 2006. It was taken over by PDIC on January 27, 2006. The bank’s adjusted insured deposits amounted to P40.21 million. As of December 31, 2007, PDIC had paid P38.18 million or 94.95 percent in insurance claims, representing 1,853 accounts.
Servicing of claims for depositors of Tangalan (Head Office) will be at the Municipal Hall of Tangalan, Aklan. Servicing of claims for depositors of Sigma branch will be at the Municipal Hall of Sigma, Capiz. PDIC representatives will service claims starting January 22, during office hours (8 a.m. to 5 p.m.). Depositors should present to PDIC representatives their original evidence of deposits like savings passbook, certificates of time deposit, bank statements and unused checks; and two (2) valid ID cards with the depositor’s signature when filing their claims. Additional documents may be required during claims processing. /MP

Aviation


PAL Flies To US Despite Category 2

Philippine Airlines will continue to fly to the United States (US), although under certain restrictions, despite the downgrading of the country to a Category 2 rating by the US Federal Aviation Authority (FAA).
PAL President Jaime Bautista said: “Being the only Philippine carrier to fly to the US, we have a responsibility to our passengers to maintain our US operations in spite of the Category 2 rating.”
All local airlines will be affected by the Category 2 rating which requires PAL to maintain a status quo of its current service to the US.
“We lament FAA’s decision. We will do everything we can so our loyal trans-Pacific passengers will not be inconvenienced by any effect of Category 2,” Bautista stressed.
Under Category 2, PAL is prohibited from increasing its 33 flights a week to the US and its territories and from changing the type or increasing the number of aircraft being used on these routes. Also to be affected is the delivery, beginning 2009, of six brand-new Boeing 777-300ER airplanes, to be deployed by PAL on the trans-Pacific flights.
The PAL President also expressed concern on the negative effect of Category 2 to PAL’s plan to open service to San Diego, Chicago, New York and Saipan.
Bautista added, “We hope the ATO will soon be able to rectify the assessed deficiencies in its air safety oversight functions so the country can revert to Category 1.”
While the FAA rating reflects its assessment of the ATO’s compliance to international safety standards and not on the local airline, Bautista said PAL had always adhered to those standards as proven by PAL being the only Philippine carrier to pass the strict IATA (International Air Transport Association) Operational Safety Audit (IOSA), an international evaluation system designed to assess operational management and control system of an airline.
According to the PAL president, PAL’s airplanes are currently maintained by Lufthansa Technik Philippines, an affiliate of the world’s largest maintenance service provider - Lufthansa Technik of Germany.
Aside from withholding PAL’s expansion plan to the US, the Category 2 rating is also expected to gravely affect inbound tourism traffic (including the balikbayan traffic that is PAL’s niche market), RP-US cargo traffic and investments inflow to the Philippines.
PAL currently flies to Los Angeles (11 flights a week), San Francisco (9), Las Vegas via Vancouver (5), Honolulu (3) and Guam (5).
PAL will only be permitted to add a flight or route if it wetleases an aircraft from an airline coming from a Category 1 country, as PAL did back in the mid-1990’s. Under a wetlease agreement, PAL is charged for the use of another carrier’s aircraft, its crew, maintenance and insurance cost. /MP

Health



Castillo Memorial Adopt-a-Ward Program


Ro pamilya Castillo kaibahan si Gov. Marquez sa printi ko mga donasyon nga nabaton para sa Pedia Ward it DRSTMH.

Gov. Marquez makita nga naga pirma it documento para sa donasyon kaibahan si Dr. Paul Macahilas ag Rafaelito Castillo.

Bag-ong eugban, mga gamit ag iba pa ro gin donar sa Pedia Ward Section it Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital (DRSTMH). Raya hay pinaagi sa Adopt-a-Ward Program it ospital nga gina-sponsoran it DR. JONES K. CASTILLO & AGNES I. CASTILLO MEMORIAL, INC. Ro Pulmonary Unit it Pedia Ward Section (Old Wing) ro beneficiary it rayang programa nga siguradong mabahoe ro maibulig sa mga inungang naka-confine sa nasambit nga ward. Ro ward hay nag baton it mga masunod:
Seven (7) units Pedia Crib, seven (7) units Bunk Bed with cushion, four (4) units Oxygen Gauge, one (1) unit Suction Machine, two (2) units Nebulizer, and two (2) units Ceiling Fan. Ro tanan nga donasyon hay naga abot sa valor nga P200,000.00.
Gin hiwat ro simpleng turn-over ceremony ko Enero 22, 2008, adlaw nga Martes, 8:00 it agahun. Ginasaligan nga ma-euwas sa pilang ka mga opisyal it probinsya it Aklan sa pagpanguna ni Gov. Carlito S. Marquez nag atendir man sa nasambit nga okasyon ro mga unga ag miembro it pamilya it mag-asawang Castillo. Si Dr. Jones K. Castillo hay dati anay nga Resident Physician it Provincial Hospital nga sa makaron hay ginakilaea bilang DRSTMH. (By PALMI L. ISTURIS) /MP

Sports

BIRTHDAY AND DEATH

Boxing Great Ali Outlives Chess Great Bobby Fischer

By ALEX P. VIDAL

This is the case of the boxing legend outliving the chess legend.
While heavyweight hero and Parkinson’s disease-stricken Muhammad Ali was celebrating his 66th birthday at his winter home in Arizona, reclusive chess genius Robert James “Bobby” Fischer succumbed to a mysterious ailment in a Reykjavik (Iceland) hospital on the same day (his death was reported only last January 18). He was 64.
The eccentric Fischer once nearly eclipsed in fame the 66-year-old three-time world heavyweight champion, who was stripped of his crown for refusing to be drafted in the Vietnam War, when the chess master from Chicago secured the United States’ sweetest victory over the Soviet Union by toppling the great Borris Spassky from the chess world in Reykjavik in 1972.
So smashing was the impact of Fischer’s come-from-behind win over Spassky that it grabbed tremendous media attention, bigger than the one given to Ali’s 15-round unanimous decision win over George Chuvalo in Vancouver, Canada for the North American Boxing Federation (NABF) heavyweight title (Ali’s fifth consecutive victories after losing an embarrassing 15-round decision to Joe Frazier for the WBA and WBC heavyweight baubles) on May 1, 1972.

FISCHER FALLS, ALI SHINES
It was in 1975 when the two mammoth sports icons grabbed headlines once more but with contrasting fates. Fischer lost his world chess crown by forfeiture when he refused to face Anatoli Karpov.
Many Americans did not like Fischer’s decision to intentionally forfeit his match with the Russian super grandmaster as they were anticipating another fantastic showdown pitting the American genius versus the Soviet Union’s most brilliant chess tactician in the era.
For his failure to defend his crown, Fischer’s popularity among his countrymen started to wane. In the same year, heavyweight’s greatest ever championship bout was recorded: the “Thrilla in Manila” where Ali avenged his defeat to Frazier with a masterful 14th round TKO win refereed by Filipino actor Carlos “Sonny” Padilla, Jr. in Manila on Oct. 1, 1973. /MP

Army Augments, PNP Ensures Crime-free Kalibo Ati-atihan Festival

By Venus G. Villanueva

Army men of 47th Infantry Battalion based at Camp Jizmundo, Libas, Banga, Aklan augmented the forces of the Philippine National Police in Kalibo, Aklan that ensured the peaceful and crime-free celebration of this year’s Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan Festival.
According to Captain Antonio Tumnog of the 47th IB, the military force assisted the PNP by manning three boundary checkpoints located in the towns of Banga, New Washington and Numancia which started on January 16, while a squad also stayed at the Kalibo PNP station.
Major highlights of the Kalibo Sto. Niño ati-atihan Festival was observed in the last three days of the festival on January 18-20 starting on January 11 as various activities were held that formally opened the festival.
Some of the major attractions of the festival this year were the Kalibo Ati-atihan Product Showcase at Pastrana Park, where Aklan entrepreneurs, artists and businessmen displayed and sold their products like the exquisite and export-quality loomwoven piña cloth, gifts and houseware, pottery, native delicacies and processed foods, bakery products and ornamental plants; Ati-atihan Nights at Magsaysay Park, the Higante Parade, and Sadsad around Pastrana Park.
The celebration was capped last Sunday, January 20, by a civic and religious procession together with the Ati groups, and the announcement of winners of Higante and Ati-Atihan contests at the Kalibo Magsaysay Park in the evening. /MP

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Editorial- Ati-Atihan Issue - January 20, 2008


‘Low And Slow’ Count of OFWs With HIV
by JOYCE ANNE B. ROBIÑO

THE rising number of overseas Filipino workers with the human immunodeficiency virus hasn’t rattled government and UN executives who assert the country will still meet one of the targets of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The HIV incidence among returning OFWs, and among the general Filipino populace, is “low and slow,” Dr. Roderick Poblete of the United Nations Population Fund said.
The government, Poblete said, has only eight years before the 2015 deadline to make true their target to eradicate the debilitating condition of the poor. One of these is HIV, which causes the acquired immunodeficiency syndrome.
The observation from Poblete came after the latest figures in October from the health department’s HIV/Aids Registry show that nearly half or 1,042 of the 2,997 Filipinos recorded to have HIV worked abroad previously.
The figures didn’t say in which countries these Filipinos worked temporarily. Neither did it say if the Filipinos acquired the fatal virus from their work overseas.
The year 2007 saw the OFW figure in the HIV/Aids Registry reaching the 1,000-mark: the cumulative number reached 991 in April 2007. It hit above a thousand a month later.
But even as 2007 has some 87 recorded cases thus far 2007’s HIV and migration count will not likely surpass the record number of 130 cases in the year 2006.
Poblete downplayed the number of cases. He said the figure is small if compared to the eight million Filipinos working temporarily or permanently abroad.
With US$13 billion in remittances, the numbers are “relatively small” as the country can still afford to care for those who are infected and affected by HIV, Poblete pointed out.
The only catch is that Filipinos’ global presence makes the country deal “with a global epidemic,” added Poblete who manages the Joint UN Programme on HIV and Migration for the Philippines.
Health experts have noted that OFW infections come from different parts of the world, which now has some 33.2 million people living with HIV.
The MDGs, inspired by the United Nations at the turn of this millennium that sets out development goals by individual countries, has “Combat HIV and Aids, Malaria, and other diseases” as among the goals.
Targets
HALFWAY into the 15-year span of the MDGs, a country report claims the Philippines continuously kept within the goal of keeping the HIV/Aids incidence to below one percent of the total population.
Still, the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), which released the report last October, expressed worries over the “increasing number of newly-reported HIV cases”.
The agency is referring to the year 2006 where the country’s HIV Registry recorded the highest number of HIV cases in a year with 309, and also among OFWs with 130.
“Six Filipinos were detected with HIV every week. One in three cases was an OFW, mostly seafarers and domestic workers who reportedly had unprotected sexual contact,” the NEDA MDG report wrote.
The year 2006 cases, NEDA’s report suggests, that the infection “has spread, not reversed”.
Yet the NEDA report said the probability to attain this MDG target for HIV is “high,” even if there seems to be an “underreporting” of the HIV count in the Philippines.
If the latest HIV/Aids registry count will be considered, some HIV analysts think the Philippine figure should be multiplied by five times to reach over-11,000 cases. Still, the multiplied figure will remain below one percent of the Philippine population, estimated to be currently at 88 million, NEDA’s MDG report said.
Even if one percent of the over-8 million Filipinos abroad (or some 80,000 OFWs) contracts the disease before the 2015 MDG timeline, the Philippine figure will still be less than one percent of the total Filipino population, Poblete explained.
Tasks
LIKE Poblete, Maria Lourdes Marin of the nonprofit Action for Health Initiatives (Achieve) agrees the HIV count in the Philippines to include OFWs “might not even get to the point where it will develop into an epidemic.”
“It seems that we don’t have a problem reaching that goal for 2015,” adds Marin, Achieve executive director.
Marin, whose group is the only nonprofit focused on HIV and migration, notes that some policies make it easy to detect HIV/Aids cases among OFWs as a group.
She explains this is due to the current requirement that Filipinos undergo mandatory testing during their stay overseas for work. A Filipino discovered carrying the precursor to Aids is sent back to the sending country.
Despite the easy detection, Marin classified OFWs as a “vulnerable,” —not “high-risk”— group compared to commercial sex workers or males having sex with males.
“It is their work conditions, not their sexual behavior, that makes OFWs vulnerable,” Marin explained.
Poblete and Marin agreed the country should remain vigilant despite the “low and slow” HIV count among overseas workers.
Now is the best time to provide interventions –while the country is still on the lead with the MDG target and “is capable of managing the situation,” Poblete said.
According to him, OFW remittance could be tapped to augment “adequate HIV information, which includes migration, human rights, gender sensitivity and sexuality”.
While non-government organizations and foundations are slowly targeting overseas workers in their education programs. The Philippines is now receiving some grants from international and multilateral organizations to implement multifarious interventions related to HIV and migration
Still, Poblete said these programs should be constantly evaluated on effectiveness in addressing HIV prevalence among OFWs.
It may be “too early to tell,” Poblete said of what will happen to the country’s target for Goal 6 as regards HIV prevalence.
“[But] even if the numbers are low and slow, we seem not to be in line in halting and reversing the spread modality,” Poblete stressed.
Another area that Poblete said should be looked into is the resource implication of a rising HIV incidence among OFWs.
“There will be effect in the cost of care and support interventions, since more will be [hypothetically] infected, causing an increase in resource requirements for care, which could have been spent in increasing the coverage for prevention programs.” /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

AKELCO Is Deceiving

“Power Rate Sa Buean It Enero, Nagnaba It Sobra Sa Piso” reads the headline of the AKELCO press release dated January 9, 2008 jointly signed by Ms. Maria Luvigrena G. Juliano and Mr. Wilfredo A. Ortiz – OIC General Manager. This press release is a great deception to its members–consumers. The writer of this press release in Aklanon intermixed with English could have simply written to say “Iga Uli It Akelco Ro Sobra Sa Guin Bayad Ko Mga Consumers-Members”
Reading the head of the Akelco press release will impress one that Akelco has indeed reduced its power rate.
However, reading the text of the press release, one will understand that the cost of power was not actually reduced. The reduction refers to the cost of power in January 2008 compared to December 2007 power cost because Akelco is compelled to refund to the consumers the amount Akelco collected for the June–August 2007 period in violation of the Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) the Regional Trial Court issued restraining the implementation of Energy Power Purchase Agreement. Moreover, Akelco also will refund what it has collected when the Global Business Power Corporation did not operate in July–September. For your further understanding, the said Akelco press release is published on page 4 in this issue.
What a deception! Akelco claimed electric cost reduction when it is actually refunding the consumers – members what it collected. It collected money when Akelco was restrained to collect. Branch 2, Regional Trial Court, Kalibo issued TRO that restrained Akelco from implementing the amended EPPA. However, it did not stop collecting.
Moreover, the GBPC power plant did not operate in July–September, 2007. Still Akelco collected for electricity it did not supply. It collected charges consumers–members did not receive.
INSULT
What is insulting is the press release credited the members of the Board of Directors for their effort to compel GBPC to issue credit memo to AKELCO. They are being praised for doing it. This should be reversed. Instead BOD Akelco must apologize to the consumers–members for collecting charges Akelco is restrained from collecting. This shows the lack of sympathy of the members of the AKELCO BOD toward the consumers–members.
To show that power rate is not really reduced the press released stated “gina implementar it AKELCO ro one-time refund.”
Akelco deceived the consumer members when it stated: “ro power rate sa buean it Enero kun ikumpara sa power rate it Disyembre, 2007 hay nagnaba it sobra sa piso sa tanan nga clasi it kunsumidor”.
Mr. Wilfredo A. Ortiz and Ms. Maria Luvigrena G. Juliano, we request you to tell us the truth after this deception.
ULTIMATUM
Mr. Albert Meñez of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Tourism Council issued ultimatum to concerned persons to tear down their unnecessary commercial ads at Pastrana Park, Kalibo at 8:00 o’clock in the morning, Wednesday, January 16, 2008. “If those ads are still hanging at 9:00 A.M., I will tear it down,” Meñez warned.
The action of Mr. Meñez just showed the implementation of Sr. Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan festival in Kalibo lacks good planning and coordination. Ever since in my life in Aklan, this is my first experience where a festival management is badly criticized publicly even before the final day of the activities.
Atty. Daniel Martelino differed even in the naming of the festival. He differed in the number of years in the celebration of the Sr. Sto. Niño festival. It is good if the variances of opinions are discussed in the board rooms, but it is publicly discussed in the airlanes where and when all people may hear the discussions as far as the range of the signal of a radio station can reach.
Can the festival management, the church, and all those concerned gather themselves to discuss the plan of the festival and allow the implementors implement the program according to the program plan? For the next year celebration, start talking about the plan, agree on it. Start announcing the plan in November to have ample time to adjust the program.
Financial Report
One reason why Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo of Kalibo is badly criticized is the absence of credible financial report. Mayor Rebaldo can reverse the negative comments by giving his credible financial report as early as February. With this volume of commercials, festival management officials cannot avoid malicious imputations. /MP

Kalibo Ati-Atihan Product Showcase 2008 Opens

Picture above shows Vice Mayor Tambong receiving the documents from Cong. Miraflores and Gov. Marquez while Hon. Mark Vega Quimpo and Engr. Cabigas, District Engineer, DPWH look .

The annual Kalibo Ati-Atihan Product Showcase 2008 was declared open to the public in the afternoon, Monday, January 14. The showcase is situated in the Kalibo Pastrana Park and will remain there until January 21.
On the same occasion, Congressman Joeben T. Miraflores officialy turned over the improvements made in the Pastrana Park specifically the fencing, Canteen and Trade Hall constructions, landscaping, and other improvements made. Kalibo Vice Mayor Nilda B. Tambong received the turn over documents in behalf of Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo and the people of Kalibo. /MP

HIGANTE PARADE

VIVA! KAY SR. STO. NIÑO...VIVA!!!
(Photo by Ambrosio R. Villorente)
Higante from New Washington - Jaime Cardinal L. Sin


Higante from Balete Atty. Jose Cortez Altavas, former Board Member of Capiz, Capiz, two times Senator of Capiz and Iloilo and two times Gov. of Capiz


Higante from Malinao - Gen. Candido Iban, one of the XIX Martyrs who donated printing press to the Katipunan

Datu Bangkaya - from Numancia, head of Madjaas confederacy and Madjanos (Numancia) the first capital of Aklan and seat of government of the island of Panay

Numancia Vermicast Producers Multi Purpose Cooperative with University of the Philippines, National Economic and Development Authority and PCAMRD officers and staff members.

Thanksgiving

By Judith T. Tindog

Thank you Lord
for the gift of life
breathe on me
this new day.

For me to see
the breaking of dawn
to feel your warmth
in the sun’s glowing rays.

To open my lips
with words of praise
and to pray for
wisdom and deliverance all the way.

To seek Your strength
for the toil in
living to share
Your blessings
to neighbors in need.

To be grateful
in great or
small things
and be of service
to others for God’s honor.

To welcome the twilight of life
calmly like the sunset
to trust by heart
God cares eternally.

WVPRISAA Schedules Tournament In Aklan

“Converging As One Region, Building Up One Nation” will be the theme of the one week 5th Western Visayas Regional Athletic Association (WVPRISAA) meet. The meet will be held in Aklan Province on February 4 – 10, 2008 with Garcia College of Technology (GCT) as Host school and Aklan PRISAA as Host province.
In a luncheon press conference held on January 11 at GCT, it was revealed that some 995 athletes from the provinces of Iloilo, Aklan, Antique, Capiz and Negros Occidental will gather in Aklan to compete for honors in several athletic events. These athletes will come from all private colleges and universities in Western Visayas. Guimaras will have no athletic delegation as it has no tertiary level school in that province.
To be played in Aklan are basketball, volleyball (men and women) sepak takraw, table tennis (men and women), badminton (men and women), lawn tennis (men and women) and chess (men and women).
In view of the available facilities in Iloilo Sports Complex, Iloilo City, athletics, football, and swimming will be played in that venue.
History of WVPRISAA
Supt. Marcelo Casellian was the first WVPRISAA President in 1954. He was at the same time director of the Bureau of Private Schools (Region VI).
Iloilo hosted the first regional meet due to the Normal grounds. Bacolod City came in with the Paglaum. Both cities hosted until Roxas City was available. Kalibo came and much later San Jose, Antique (Binirayan Complex) with Olympian Genaro Cabrera doing the spadework.
The regional body strengthened the provincial organization and the teams that supported them. Iloilo schools starters were University of Iloilo, University of San Agustin, Central Philippine University, Iloilo Maritime Academy and Lincoln College. The San Juan Academy of Sara and St. James Catholic High School in Maasin became NAPRISAA champions in athletics and girl’s volleyball, respectively. Negros Occidental had West Negros College, Negros Institute of Technology, La Consolacion College, Silay Institute. Capiz had Colegio de la Furisima Concepcion with Fr. Sinforiano Fuerte and Filamer Christian Institute. Aklan has Kalibo Institute and Northwestern Visayan Colleges.
The National PRISAA moved from region to region holding successful meets, well supported by the public. There was no problem in financing.
West Visayas PRISAA hosted four (4) NAPRISAA (National Private Schools Athletic Association) meets. Iloilo City hosted the 1962 and 1968 NAPRISAA with USA Rectors Fr. Bienvenido Junquera and Fr. Nicanor Lana as Presidents respectively. Bacolod City hosted the 1972 NAPRISAA meet with Fr. Jose Maria Junago, OAR under UNO-R as host school.
It also hosted PRISAA National Games ’92 held on February 5 – 11, 1992 at the Iloilo Sports Complex, Iloilo City with 15 regions participating 20 sports/events, namely: athletics, badminton, baseball, basketball, boxing, cycling, football, golf, judo, karate, lawn tennis, sepak takraw, softball, swimming, table tennis, taekwondo, volleyball, weight lifting, and wrestling.
The quality of competitions led the athletes to move into higher levels and even in the international. Alberto Guillergan and Romeo Vista tracksters to Jakarta. Rodolfo Fernandez in Pesta Sukan, Singapore in 800 and 1500 for silvers. Western Institute of Technology’s boxer Leopoldo Serrantes to Seoul Olympics, USA volleyball stars Rodolfo Gonzales and Mila Bacabac to the Asian Games and Central Philippine University’s soccer stars in Asian countries Edgar Gensaya, Ramsey Padernilla, Westley Hortelano and Orlando Plagata.
In the National PRISAA, the region championed in the following sports areas Men’s basketball 3x, Women’s Volleyball 4x, Men’s Volleyball 4x.
Since 1977-78, the holding of NAPRISAA stopped. With the revival of the Palarong Pambansa from 1988 up to 1995, no athlete from the tertiary level was allowed to compete in the National School Games. In 1996, the government decided to hold a tertiary level meet, and the first National CHED Palaro was held in Gen. Santos City and in Quezon City on May 23-29, 2002. It was participated in by 16 loosely knit collegiate leagues nationwide under Federation of Higher Education Sports Association.
Since the separation of the Commission on Higher Education with the Department of Education in 1994, a conference was held at the Biscocho Haus, Iloilo City on January 15, 2003. It was attended by the presidents and key officials from private higher education institutions in the region. Mrs. Christy B. Laurente. CHED Education Supervisor II initiated the revival of the Western Visayas PRISAA. That day, the election of officers was held. Elected were Engr. Walden S. Rio (CPU) – President; Dr. Expedito Señeres (FCC) – VP-Capiz; Fr. Emilio P. Jaruda, Jr., OAR (UNO-R) – VP–Negros Occidental, Mr. Rodillo Policarpio (APT)-VP-Aklan, Mrs. Cecilia Ortiz (UI)-Secretary, Fr. Manuel M. Vergara, OSA (USA)-Treasurer, Eng. Antonio Salas (WIT) – Auditor, and Mrs. Christy B. Laurente (CHED)-Adviser and Consultant.
The elected officers of WVPRISAA (2003-2005) worked hand in hand, took their time and resources and efforts pulled together, the WVPRISAA held the Regional Sports and Cultural Competition in Roxas City on February 18-21, 2004. Dr. Expedito Señeres and staff of the Filamer Christian College, Roxas City and provincial officials of Capiz, with the support of CHED and WVPRISAA contributed their share to make the WVPRISAA events a success.
WVPRISAA garnered the over-all championship in the National PRISAA meet held in Zamboanga City in April, 2005.
In February 2005, Iloilo PRISAA hosted the regional event. The University of San Agustin under Fr. Manuel M. Vergara, OSA spearheaded the WVPRISAA Games on February 2-5, 2005 with the participation of five provinces namely: Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Iloilo and Negros Occidental.
Having hosted the 23rd Southeast Asian Games, Bacolod took pride in hosting the WVPRISAA Meet on December 19-22, 2005. The Negros Occidental Private Schools Sports Cultural Educational Association (NOPSSCEA) led by Fr. Emilio P. Jaruda, Jr. OAR served as the chair of the over-all organizing committee.
CAPRISA hosted the 2007 WVPRISAA meet under its dynamic President, Msgr. Vicente Hilata of Colegio de la Purisima Concepcion last February 8-11, 2007 at the Villareal Stadium, Roxas City.

A Glimpse of APRISAA

Aklan Private Schools Athletic Association (APRISAA) was organized in the 1990’s to create a strong bond of friendship among the private schools in Aklan through sports and cultural competitions.
Initially, APRISAA is composed of six private tertiary colleges, namely: Aklan Catholic College, Aklan Polytechnic College, Garcia College of Technology, Panay Technological College, St. Gabriel College and the Northwestern Visayan Colleges.
Rev. Msgr. Adolfo P. Depra of Aklan Catholic College headed the APRISAA. The presidency was passed on to the different school heads. Mrs. Erlinda Q. Fernandez of Northwestern Visayan Colleges held the longest term as president. It was during her term in the mid-1990’s that APRISAA hosted the regional meet in Aklan.
In the late 1990’s private schools competition in the regional level was abolished. In 2000, APRISAA changed its name to Aklan Private Higher Education Institution Athletic Association (APHEIAA) which added new members. Sto. Niño Seminary and STI College became members while JAVTES joined as honorary member. Provincial sports and cultural activities among member schools continued sans higher level competition.
In 2003, WVPRISAA was revived with Engr. Walden Rio as its President. He came to Aklan to revive the Aklan PRISAA. Mr. Rodillo L. Policarpio of Aklan Polytechnic College was elected President for SY. 2003–2004. After him, the following were elected Presidents: Atty. Allen S. Quimpo of Northwestern Visayan Colleges in SY 2004–2005. Rev. Fr. Francis Bolivar of Aklan Catholic College in SY 2005-2006, Mayor Ramon B. Legaspi, Jr. of St. Gabriel College in SY 2006–2007 and Mr. Edwin R. Garcia of Garcia College of Technology in SY 2007–2008 who will host the 5th WVPRISAA Regional Meet will be hosted by the on February 4–9, 2008. /MP

APC Elects Officers

The “strong posts” of the Aklan Press Club, Inc. (APC) who are Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino and Mr. Juan “Johnny” P. Dayang, in their aspiration to make the APC vibrant and functional, spent extra efforts to revitalize it. Mr. Dayang who heads the Publishers Association of the Philippines, Inc. (PAPI) hosted two consecutive meetings.
The meetings were held in his house in Kalibo in the evening of January 9. It was attended by some 40 members of the Aklan tri-media. The discussions were cordial, animated with more food to eat and drink to quench the thirst. Discussion was endless.
Another meeting was held in the following evening in Johnny’s place in Kalibo with more food and drink. The meeting finally ended with the agreement to hold election of officers of the Aklan Press Club. The meeting was held on Saturday afternoon, January 12, 2008, SP Session Hall, Capitol, Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan.
It was agreed that the election will be for the positions which remained vacant which were President, Executive Vice President, and Auditor. Those officers who were elected in January 2007 will continue holding their respective positions.
In a peaceful, clean and orderly election the following were elected: Ms. Jessie L. Reyes of Panay News – Auditor; Mr. Conrad S. Indelible of RGMA–DYRU – Executive Vice President, and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente of Madyaas Pen – President.
On the whole, for the year 2008–2009, the following officers are: President – Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, Madyaas Pen; Executive Vice Pres. – Conrad S. Indelible, RGMA–DYRU; VP for Print – Jun N. Aguirre, Hala Birada; VP for Radio – Allen V. Alcedo, CBIS; VP for Cable TV – Arnel I. Relampago, KCTV; Executive Secretary – Cecille R. de Lemos, Madyaas Pen/Hala Birada; Treasurer - Ret. Maj. Paquito Saratiosa, PDCC; Auditor – Jessie L. Reyes, Panay News; Board of Directors: Odon S. Bandiola – Sangguniang Panlalawigan; Jun Prado – Phil. Graphic Magazine; Gary Vargas – KCTV; George Q. Cawaling - iTravel Magazine; Ronnel Irodestan – CBIS; Rolly O. Herrera, IBC–DYRG; and Jethro L. Laserna, WV Journal.
Members: 1. Joselito Edwin R. Ramos – PIA; 2. Ms. Melrose S. Lunn, Madyaas Pen; 3. Goding R. Armenio – Aklan Reporter; 4. Alfonso P. Villegas – Visayas Inquiry; and 5. Boy Ryan Zabal – Panay News and Ambrosio F. Villorente, Jr. - Madyaas Pen.

Induction

The new officers will be inducted in a simple ceremony on Friday afternoon, January 18, 2008 at Sampaguita Gardens, New Washington, Aklan. The inducting officer will be Hon. Bayani Fernando–Chairman, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA).
Award
Following the induction ceremony, the Publishers Association of the Philippines (PAPI) will honor the Hon. Raymar A. Rebaldo, Mayor of Kalibo for his support to press freedom and the establishment of a community broadcast system. Hon. Bayani Fernando – Chairman (MMDA) will also be honored by PAPI through its president, Johnny P. Dayang. /MP

Jose Cortes Altavas, Baleten-on Par Excellence

By Al F. Dela Cruz

In 1998, the Sangguniang Bayan of the Municipality of Balete, Aklan approved Resolution No. 98-37 requesting the National Historical Institute (NHI) to set up a historical marker in memory of the late Senator Jose Cortes Altavas. Ten years after, the NHI has yet to act on such request.
The LGU Balete though would not be dithered by the intricacies of the bureaucracy. Somehow, it found the occasion to provide it the opportunity to communicate to its constituency the richness of its history and its contribution to national and local politics. That is why, when it was invited to participate in the Higante Contest and Aklan Festivals Parade 2008 on January 16, 2008 in Kalibo, Aklan, it readily commissioned the fabrication of a higante figure of its imminent son, the late Jose Cortes Altavas.
But many among us would ask, “Who the heck is Senator Altavas?” “Why would the municipal officials of Balete bother to have him remembered by the Baleten-on constituents?”
Mr. Bingo Altavas, the Director of Jose Cortes Altavas Memorial Foundation, Inc., provided the information for us to reconstruct the biography to the Balenten-on Senator. Supplementary information can be culled from the senator’s Mi Diaro,” his 236–volume journal written in perfect Spanish since January of 1905 until the day of his death on August 21, 1952.
Jose Cortes Altavas is best known as a Capizeño. But he was deeply Baleten-on, intensely Akeanon. He was born in Sitio Mapait, Barrio Aranas, Balete, Capiz on September 11, 1877. His father was true blue Hispanic from Val de Algorfa, Turuel City in the region of Aragon, Spain. His mother, Andrea Cortes y Rafoll, was a native of Balete and whose parentage is of Akeanon and Cebuano origin.
All through his life’s journey, Sen. Altavas carried within him vivid memories of his childhood – a plunge into the cool pristine depth of the Jal-o River; a day’s quest for spiders in the wilderness of Mapait; the aroma of sweet smelling Saliyaw atop Star Apple trees, the struggle of his classmates in mastering the cartillas at the Escuela del Rey beside the San Rafael Church…
At the age of 10, the young Jose, having mastered his primary education, left Balete to farther his education at the Colegio de San Jose de Calazans in the capital town of Capiz. In 1894, his road was already well-paved for Manila. He just finished his Bachelor of Arts with honor (sobresaliente) at Colegio del Ateneo Municipal de Manila under the Jesuits. A year after, the Dominicans of the Royal and Pontifical University of Sto. Tomas, Manila honed him further for his law studies.
Jose at 19 was however, forming in his heart a desire for change, not only for himself but more so for the native land and his people. He left his studies and went to the hill. Together with Pedro Advincula and Jose Andrada, Jose took charge of the organization of the resistance in the western part of Capiz (Aklan). With the signing of the Treaty of Paris and the capture of Aguinaldo by the American forces, he gave up the armed struggle and concentrated himself into completing his studies.
Eventually, by 1901 Jose Cortes Altavas was admitted to the Philippine Bar and thereafter put up a law office in Capiz, Capiz. At 26, he married Socorro Barrios Laserna of Calivo (Kalibo). With the conduct of the first municipal elections in 1903, he was elected Municipal Councilor of the town of Capiz. From then on, he devoted his life to Capiz politics and rose to become Provincial Board member, governor, congressman, senator and constitutional delegate.
It is well established that the politics of Jose Cortes Altavas created many advantages for Capiz – Aklan included. Developments rushed into the land he so deeply loved which seen dramatic and greater impact on his people. Jose Cortes Altavas was “the man who made Roxas” for he primarily launched the candidacy for gubernatorial seat of a promising young lawyer, Manuel Acuña Roxas in 1919. He was then the Senator for the 7th District comprising the provinces of Capiz and Iloilo. History will tell us the rest of that story.
As a two-term Governor of Capiz from 1910 and 1916, Jose Cortes Altavas facilitated the construction of the Capiz to Iloilo and Capiz to Kalibo provincial highways thereby improving the transportation, the commerce and the economic situation of both the Capizeños and the Akeanons alike. He was likewise instrumental in the construction of the Panay Railroad System in 1910; labored as a Senator to re-establish Romblon as a province and the separation of Jemino from New Washington as the 32nd municipality of Capiz eventually renaming it as Altavas per executive order by then Governor General Francis Burton Harrison.
As a delegate to the 1934 Constitutional Convention, Jose Cortes Altavas was the chairman of the Committee on Suffrage which sponsored Article V of the 1935 Constitution, and which provision formally recognized the right of Filipino women to vote.
The time of Jose Cortes Altavas was far different from ours. It was a time when there was no dichotomy between Capizeños and Akeanons; it was a time when Aklan was Capiz and Capiz was Aklan. And Jose Cortes Altavas personified this wholeness. He was the androgynous of the Akeanon’s spirit and the Capizeño’s soul. His consciousness was undivided; his memory encompassed his routine of sailing from Panay River into the Sibuyan Sea to Batan Bay and of horseback riding from Batan to Balete or to Kalibo.
Yet it cannot be denied that the western part of Capiz (today’s Second District of Capiz including five municipalities of the present day Aklan, i.e., Altavas, Balete, Banga, Batan and New Washington) had been his political bailiwick. He served as its Congressman when Capiz was divided into three Congressional Districts in time for the First Philippine Assembly of 1907. Although most in his adult life, Jose Altavas resided in the capital town of Capiz, deep in his heart, he is an Akeanon and that the memories of his childhood always bring him home to his little town of Balete.
The gist of the 1998 Sangguniang Bayan Resolution of the Municipality of Balete expressed deeply its collective understanding that it is “proper and necessary to construct a monument of the late Sen. Jose Cortes Altavas at the very place of his birth to remind the people of Balete of the greatness of the human spirit to soar beyond the ordinary to become an epitome of valor and magnanimity.” /MP

Reason and Concern

By Ronquillo C. Tolentino

A Philippine Political Epiphany

Far from its literal meaning of being a Christian festival commemorating the showing of Jesus Christ to the Magi, I would, in the light of the Philippines political development, use the word epiphany from a secular point of view of its being a sudden realization or comprehension of meaning of something. James Joyce, in his novel, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (1916) referred to those times in his life when something became manifest, a deep realization.
As the United States braces for a presidential primary elections and caucuses from January 3, 2008 to February 5, 2008 presidential contenders for the November 4, 2008 elections have been identified, as follows: Republicans: Rudolf Giuliani, Mike Huckabee. Duncan Hunter, John McCain, Ron Paul, Mill Romney and Fred Thompson. Democrats: Hillary Rodham Clinton, John Edwards, Barack Obama, Mike Gravel, Dennis Kucinich and Bill Richardson. Other political parties are Constitution Party, Green Party, Libertarian Party, Prohibition Party, Socialist Party USA, Socialist Equaltity Party, Socialist Workers Party. Also, there are independent and write-in candidates.
The first week of January 2008 opened with an earlier call by the ruling Lakas-NUCD with a decision for a coalition with probable presidential contenders like Sen. Mar Roxas, Sen. Manny Villar, Sen. Ping Lacson, Sen. Loren Legarda, Vice Presaident Noli de Castro and Sen. Richard Gordon. From its present ranks, the ruling party are still lacking with stronger presidential timbers with the exception of Vice President Noli de Castro who appears to be undecided what party to be identified but was ubiquitous at the Quiapo Black Nazarene celebration.
Not to be outdone, notwithstanding the constitutional prohibition provided by Section 4, Art. VII of the l987 Philippine Constitution that the President shall not be eligible for re-election while the Vice-President shall not serve for more than two successive terms, are the pronouncements of former presidents Fidel V. Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada of their interest for the presidency.
Whether done jocosely, sincerely, half-hazardly or as publicity stunts, we cannot probably fathom their intentions. And even as I write this, Malacanang, through Executive Secretary Ermita had washed its hands declaring innocence on the political events even as DILG undersecretary and Lakas-NUCD excutive director had been reported to have courted Senator Loren Legarda to return to the folds of Lakas.
There is evident awareness of all political parties to prepare for the 20l0 presidential elections – their early political epiphanies exhibiting in bold reliefs. /MP Viva kay Señor Sto. Niño!

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Onga It Karpintero
Katong tyempo, may isaeang ka pobreng binatilyo. Alin ro anang pangaean ag kaibahan nana nga naga kabuhi ro anang mahugod nga ina. Ilo eon imaw sa ama.
Isaeang adlaw, nagka kwarta ro anang ina halin sa kabakeanan ko guin baligya nana nga tigib ag eagari ko anang tumaliwang asawang karpintero.
“Toto, mabahoe ka eon, mag adto ka sa banwa agod usoyon mo ro imong swerte. Hayra ro kwarta agod imong umpisahan sa pag negosyo.”
Nagpanaw si Alin. Pag–abot sa isaeang ka bazaar, hakita nana ro isaeang ka eaeaki nga may kuring. Guin enkaminar nga bak-eon nana ro kuring. Nag sugot ro eaeaki, guin bayaran ag guin uli sa anda. Naakig ro anang ina pagkasayod ko deal ni Alin. Ogaling tongod palangga nana ro anang onga, guin taw-an eon man nana it kwarta nga kabakeanan ko sapatos ko anang ama.
Nag-adto eon man si Alin sa banwa. Pag-abot, hakita nana ro isaeang ka tawo nga may ayam. Binakae eon man nana it ayam tanan ro anang kwarta ag guin uli ro ayam sa andang baeay. Owa eon man it nahimo ro anang ina. Busa, sa katapusan nga kuartang kabakeanan ko andang eaging alpombra, guin tao eon man kay Alin. Nag panaw si Alin, pag-abot sa tindahan, may hakita imaw nga sawa nga may koronang naga barlak. Guin bakae nana ro sawa sa tag ana ag guin uli sa anda.
“Nano ka nga onga ka? Owa ka guid naga gamit ko imong oeo. Ham-an it mga sawa ro imong guin uyangan it kwarta? Mayad pa ngani ro kuring, naga kaon it eanggam ag ro ayam pwedeng maka bantay it baeay. Ro sawa, basi sabon kon tuk-on ka. Patyon mo eagi ron!” hambae nga akig eon ro anang ina.
Ka’t guina pusdak eon konta ni Alin ro bato sa oeo it sawa, nagpakitlo-oy ro sawa nga indi pag patyon. Imaw kuno hay onga it Haring Sawa. Nag sugot si Alin. Guin daea nana ro sawa sa andang palasyo. Samtang sa daeanon sanda, guin bilinan imaw ko sawa nga pangayu-on sa anang ama nga regalo hay ro batong ruby nga guina um-um ko Haring sawa. Kon ano ro anang bu-ot pangayu-on sa ruby hay iga-tao kana.
Pag-abot sa palasyo, nalipay ro Haring Sawa bangud naka balik ro anang onga. Guin pangutana si Alin kon anong regalo ro anang gusto. Guin pangayo nana ro ruby.
Ko una, indi kunta ita-o ko hari ro bato ogaling naghinyo ro onga nga sawa sa anang ama, ngani, guin ta-o lang kana. Nag-uli eon si Alin. Pag-abot sa baeay, nangayo imaw it pagkaon tongod mabuhay eon nga owa sanda nakasamit it manamit nga pagkaon. Nangayo imaw it mga eambong ag mabahoe nga baeay nga kumpleto sa kagamitan. Natuman tanan ro pangayo ni Alin.
Sa royong kaharian may onga nga prinsesa ro andang hari. Naila si Alin sa prinsesa. Bu–ot nanang pakaslan ogaling indi magsugot ro hari kon indi imaw pagtaw-an it mas mabahoe ng palasyo. Umuli si Alin sa andang baeay. Guin pangayo nana sa ruby ro palasyo. Pagkaaga, hakibot ro hari nga sa tupad ko anang palasyo, may naga tindog nga mas mabahoe pang palasyo, nga nahuman sa bueawan ag pilak. Nagpakasae ro prinsesa ag si Alin. Nagkabuhi sanda kaibahan ko anang ina ag daywang ka alilang ayam ag kuring. /MP

Power Rate Sa Buean It Enero, Nagnaba It Sobra Sa Piso

Ginapahisayod it Aklan Electric Cooperative, Inc. (AKELCO) nga ro power rate sa buean it Enero kun ikumparar sa power rate it Disyembre, 2007 hay nagnaba it sobra sa piso sa tanan nga klase it konsumidor.
Sa residential ag Commercial Consumers, ro pagnaba hay nag eab-ot it P1.33, samtang sa Public Building ag Industrial Consumers, ro pagnaba hay nag-eab-ot man sa P1.34, ag P1.35 para sa Street Lights.

DISYEMBRE ENERO GIN-NABA

RESIDENTIAL : P7.67 / per kwh P6.34 / per kwh P1.33
COMMERCIAL : P6.44 / per kwh P5.11 / per kwh P1.33
INDUSTRIAL : P6.31 / per kwh P4.97 / per kwh P1.34
PUBLIC BUILDING : P6.77 / per kwh P5.43 / per kwh P1.34
STREET LIGHTS : P11.35 / per kwh P10.00 / per kwh P1.35

Kun madumduman, nagpaguwa it Temporary Restraining Order ro Regional Trial Court Branch 2 kun siin ginpapondo ro pag-implementar it ERC approved EPPA ku Hunyo–Agosto 2007. Dugang pa, ku tyempo it Hulyo–Setyembre 2007, owa naka–generate ro Global Business Power Corporation (GBPC) Power Plant sa New Washington bangud sa andang Technical problem ugaling raya tanan hay natapoe sa sinueoktan it GBPC nga obligasyon it AKELCO sa idaeom it EPPA nga nahaeakot man sa power bill it atong mga miembro–konsumidor sa mga natungdan nga mga binuean.
Sa pagpatikasog it atong mga Board of Directors ag pagdumaeahan it AKELCO, napa-tigayon nga mag-issue it credit memo ro GBPC sa AKELCO angot sa nasambit nga cir-cumstancia. Bangud kara, gina–implementar it AKELCO ro one-time refund makarong buean.
Para sa dugang nga impormasyon ag klaripikasyon, makipag-angot eamang sa taeatapan it AKELCO nga maeapit kinyo o tumawag sa AKELCO Hotline 144. Abu guid nga saeamat.

(Sgd.) MARIA LUVIGRENA G. JULIANO
Public Information Officer

(Sgd.) WILFREDO A. ORTIZ
OIC – General Manager

COMMENTS ON THE BLOG

Comment on your post “Akeanon Campus Journalism Writeshop”:
Hello,
This activity is very laudable. I commend the proponents.
Reading through the news, I clearly noticed the lack of separate topic about blogs, how to do it, writing style, earning from it.
It may be good to know that one blog writer has earned more than 1 Million USD, yes US Dollars, in one year just writing blogs.
In the Philippines, I know of some people who earn a living writing blogs and getting paid in US Dollars.
If the organizers see it fit, I am willing to lend a hand to incorporate blogging in the course.

Regards,Elmar M. Gomez

(Editor: Can you please provide us the materials for the blog?)