Thursday, October 28, 2010


Antique’s Tibiao Fish Spa
Is Tourism Attraction
by Perla Lena
Aside from its famous heritage houses and churches, Iloilo City has an additional attraction in store both for foreign and domestic tourists with the opening of the Tibiao Fish Spa, the first mall-based fish spa at the SM, Iloilo City last week.

This fish spa is a brain-child of two young and budding entrepreneurs. Flord Nicson J. Calawag, is the general manager, and Rex Delsar B. Dianala is the operations manager. The Tibiao Fish Spa has metamorphosed from just being a hobby into a very promising business endeavor.

While other spas have to import fishes from Singapore or Turkey, the Tibiao Fish Spa makes use of local varieties, which the owners at the moment are in no position to disclose because they are still waiting for the release of their patent.

They explained that the spa "offers a one-of-a-kind experience by combining the relaxing and exfoliating effects of fish nibbling on a person’s layer of dead skin."

Dianala shared that they just can’t stand to disappoint the public as they are not really for money but they would want also "to continue making every little child and family happy."

"We are inspired to continue this service for the satisfaction of our customers. It makes our customers happy and we offer joy and happiness. You are really guaranteed to laugh," Dianala assured.

From Tibiao, Antique where the project really started, the duo with the support of the University of the Philippines Marketing Society and their respective families, brought some 5,000 local fishes to their new venue at the mall.

Four tanks have been installed; one for beginners which is a smaller tank that contains small fishes; extreme tank which has large fishes for removal of calluses and two tanks for those who wanted privacy.

Simultaneously, the four tanks filled with various fishes can accommodate around 30 clients.

Dianala stressed that hygiene is also a must for the spa such that the waters at it are changed at least twice daily or as needed.

They put in place a bio-filter, activated carbon filter and UV-sterilization gadget as one way to ensure that the water is always clean and sanitary.

The clients can, after having their feet, hands or even entire body immersed from the fishes-filled tanks, might want to relax by having a body massage or reflex.

According to Calawag, they have tapped the expert therapists from the Jaro Archdiocesan Social Action Center to join them at the spa.

He added that the Tibiao Fish Spa would like to emphasize to their clients the importance of relaxing through communing with nature and by having a good massage.

Aside from its tourism value, Calawag informed that they are also providing jobs to the unemployed.

Around 17 massage therapists are on a shift duty aside from their other regular staff who also include the around 5,000 fishes, he pointed out jokingly.

With its new location at the ground floor of the SM City, Dianala said their business "might become the fish spa that offers true comfort even if compared with those outside of Iloilo or even abroad."

"It is the ambiance and it is affordable. We really worked hard. This is a place where they could relax after a day of touring Iloilo city," Dianala said.

Calawag disclosed that with the success of their branch in Iloilo City (a dry-run for almost a month was made prior to the permanent location), they now looked forward to open branches in Cebu City and Manila.

They also explore the idea of branches in big cities but the main target is to go abroad, he added.

How about Aklan? What is the projected tourist attraction? /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Her Wishes
"Whatever things ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them and ye shall have them". My beloved wife, Rencee got what she asked.

Before our marriage, we talked about our dreams, our problems, our directions, and our aspirations. After our marriage, we talked about raising our family, our jobs, our family life.

With God’s blessings, we realized our dreams, our aspirations. Together, we sent our six children to excellent schools, and universities more on scholarship grants. They are now all professionals. We developed and built a home and acquired assets through diligent and frugal spending.

Last year, one year before she was diagnosed a cancer patient, she told me she prefers to die ahead of me. I was shocked. Why discussed death? She replied, "we are now living on a bonus life.

A few months later, Rencee requested me that after her death, her remains be cremated and finally placed in the family mausoleum in Badio. "Why deprive your friends and relatives from viewing and pay you their last respects?" I asked. "May I request them to view my pictures while I was alive but not my dead body", she requested me to tell them.

On September 19, our family was complete. Our six children, four grand children, and one daughter-in-law and two sons-in-law gathered in our house in Quezon City.

She was in high spirit. Rencee requested that we conducted photo session with all males in barong tagalong and females in long gown. It was done. After three days, her health condition deteriorated. She was taken to the hospital. After three days, she requested she just stay home.

From her photo album, she selected some six pictures for enlargement and framed. On October 11, Rencee told me, "Papa I’m through with all my works. "I’ll go ahead". She bidded me good bye, she was happy.

God granted her wishes. Rencee’s body lay in state at Loyola Memorial Homes for three nights. Her body was cremated at 4:00 o’clock Thursday afternoon, October 14 after the funeral rites. Her ashes was backed in Numancia on the early dawn, Friday, October 15.

Thank you very much to the officers and members of the Rotary Club of Kalibo, Kalantiao Toastmasters Club, Kalibo Badminton Club, and some members of the Aklan working journalists. With former Aklan congressman, Atty. Allen S. Quimpo and Mrs. Marianne Quimpo, they delayed their sleep, proceeded to the Kalibo International Airport, Pook, Kalibo at the middle of the night (12:30 dawn) and welcomed the remains (ash) of their departed friend. The group went to Badio, Numancia on a convoy. Rencee Fernandez Villorente and family are highly honored of the welcome rites we shall forever remember.

May I acknowledge and thank our friends who texted me their condolences.

Extending our deepest sympathy to PP Botoy. (Toto Locsin & the Iloilo Red Cross)
Our Deepest Sympathy and Condolence to PP Botoy and his Family for the passing of his beloved wife. (Lindon Seediet, RC Dipolog)

The loss of a loved one is never easy. In behalf of the Rotary Club of Dipolog, we offer our deepest condolences and sympathy. (Bryan Micah Lim, Club President – RC Dipolog)

The officers and members of Rotary Club of Metro Roxas Central grieved with you and family for the loss of your beloved wife. Our condolences and prayers. (Rotary Club of Metro Roxas Central)

Extending my deepest sympathy to PP Botoy Villorente (of RC Kalibo) and his family on the passing away of his beloved wife. May her soul rest in peace. (PP Chit Noche, RC Metro Roxas Central)

Our sympathy for the passing away of your beloved wife. May your strength be drawn from the wonderful memories of her, as a wife and as a mother and rejoice in the thought that she is now in the company of her Creator. (RC Boracay)

Our prayers goes with you and family that the Lord Jesus will give you spiritual comfort as you face another chapter of your life, going on with Ma’am Rencee’s memories, legacies. (Eden Bautista)

Our sincere condolences, prayers and deepest sympathy to the untimely death of your wife, our brother, Dr. Villorente. (Eliseo Villanueva, Tarlac City)

This is Father Josue. My regrets that I wasn’t able to come to condole with you in your bereavement. Rest assure that as you send back Nang Rencee to God, my prayers will be accompanying her. I’ll be offering masses for eternal repose of her soul. May she rest in peace in God’s presence with love. (Fr. Josue Escalona.) /MP

Precious One

April 15, 1935 - October 11, 2010

God looked around His garden and found an empty place;
He then looked upon His earth and saw your loving face.
He put His arms around you, and lifted you to rest.
His garden must be beautiful, He always takes the best.
He knew that you were suffering; He knew you were in pain;
And He knew that you will never get well on earth again.
He saw your path was difficult; He closed your tired eyes,
He whispered "Peace Be Yours", and gave you wings to fly.
When we saw you sleeping, so calm and free of pain,
We would not wish you look back to earth, to suffer once again.
You have left us precious memories; your love will be our guide.
You live on through your children; you’re always by their sides.
It broke our hearts to lose you, but you did not go alone.
For part of us went with you, on the day God called you home.
On the night the Angel came and took your hand,
We cried as you left for an unknown land.
But heaven rejoiced as you came into sight,
For your soul glistens like a diamond, shining so bright.

Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Awardee

Tony Tan Caktiong, Entrepreneur of the Year Philippines 2003 and World Entrepreneur of the Year 2004 awardee is the CEO of Jollibee Food Corp. A private and soft spoken person, was the Inspirational Speaker during the Ernst and Young Entrepreneur Awards Night on October 23, 2010 at the Manila Peninsula. Caktiong said, "accepting the awards in 2003 and 2004 bore a great responsibility, with humility, accountability, trust and social responsibility as his core values. ‘Who are we and what we resulted from the hard work of many people, from a simple utility employee to a kid who simply enjoys a Jollibee party. Over the century, a Jollibee store that is successful and the assets they acquired for many years now has been our country’s official indicator of eco-development while "Bee" in Jollibee is symbol of happiness for many.

This year’s awards night adopted the theme : ‘BELIEVE’. For being an entrepreneur, the awardees all agreed that you have to believe in your ideas, hopes and dreams. Despite the many setbacks and challenges along the way, a businessman has to remain true to his visions. All these businessmen advise the would—be entrepreneurs to not be afraid to fail, for it is not in the failure, but the determination to go on when the going gets tough.

Business Excellence Award for total quality management was awarded to Anthony Huang, Jr, Executive VP, Stores Specialist, Inc. and the 1st Capizeno who became a young billioner, Mr. Edgar Sia II, is the Small Medium Enterprise Entrepreneur of the Year. /MP

Statiscal Exhibit Reveals “Surprising, Shocking” Data

It is shocking and surprising but true, since the data come straight from the National Statistics Office (NSO) – Aklan.

This was what the audience found out after attending the opening of the Statistical Exhibit held at the Provincial Trade Hall, Capitol grounds, Kalibo on October 19. The exhibit is one of the major highlights of Aklan’s celebration of the 21st National Statistics Month.

Preceded by question marks, the "shockers" came in four sets of ‘did you know? displayed for all to see by the NSO in its booth which went thus: ‘Did you know that of the total 5,899 registered births from January to August 2010, 54 percent were born legitimate, while 46 percent were born illegitimate?’

"Did you know that out of 2,241 registered deaths from January to August 2010 in Aklan, only 74 percent were attended by physicians while the remaining 26 percent died without seeing a doctor?"

"Did you know that the functional literacy rate of Aklan is 79.81 percent for male and 86.59 percent for females, higher than the regional average which is 77% and 84% respectively"?

"Did you know that the average life expectancy of a Filipino male is 68 while that of a woman is 74?"

For "shocker" number one, records from the NSO showed that of the 5,899 live births, babies born legitimate numbered 3,205 while those born illegi-timate numbered 2,694.

Of Aklan’s 17 municipalities, Kalibo registered the highest number of illegitimate babies with 929 for the period, while its legitimate babies were counted at 1,295.

There are also municipalities which has a big number of illegitimate babies compared with legitimates, like Malay, where Boracay Island is situated has 306 illegitimate babies for the period with 207 legitimates; Altavas, 115 illegitimates, 88 legitimates; Buruanga, 93 illegitimates, 69 legitimates; and Nabas, 126 illegitimates, 119 legitimates.

On the other hand, municipalities with higher number of legitimate babies compared to illegitimates include Balete – with 150 legitimates and 103 illegitimates; Banga, 124 legitimates and 112 illegitimates; Batan, 94 legitimates, 63 illegitimates; Ibajay, 246 legitimates, 204 illegitimates; Lezo, 52 illegitimates, 38 illegitimates; Libacao, 133 legitimates, 77 illegitimates; Madalag, 95 legitimates and 77 illegitimates; Makato, 124 legitimates and 91 illegitimates; Malinao, 82 legitimates and 81 illegitimates; New Washington, 167 legitimates and 162 illegitimates; Numancia, 76 legitimates and 61 illegitimates and Tangalan, 84 legitimates and 71 illegitimates.

Adrian Paul Pelayo, a statistician of the Aklan Provincial Population Office, Kalibo, Aklan pointed to one factor which caused Kalibo to have the highest number of births both legitimate and illegitimates. Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital is located in the capital town where most birthing mothers are brought, thus the births are recorded in Kalibo.

"Other towns hosting hospitals, like Ibajay and Malay, have higher birth rates too", Pelayo said.

The Statistical Exhibit ran from October 19 to 22. It was capped with a Presentation of Statistical Papers and Awarding Ceremonies. (PIA) /MP

Antique’s P776.79 M Bridge Project 58 Percent Complete

Residents of the Province of Antique will soon have an alternate route once the P776.889 million road project under the Rural Road Network Development Project III of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is completed.

A monitoring report by the Regional Project Monitoring Committee (RPMC) in Iloilo City showed the project funded by the Japan Bank of International Cooperation (JBIC) is already 57.09 percent completed and is due to be finished in July 2011.

"It has long been proposed but it was only realized last year," Erlinda Chiu of the project monitoring and evaluation division of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) said.

The project covers the boundary of Iloilo-Anini-y to V.Jimenez road in Antique.

Chiu added that aside from the road network the package also includes five bridges and another nine bridges funded under the DPWH Urgent Bridge Project.

The road network has also an existing 15 bridges thus, the entire project once completed will have 29 bridges all in all, added Chiu. (PNA) /MP

Towards A Dynamic, Empowered & Progressive Kalibo *

(Third of a Series)
* First 100 Days Accomplishment Report delivered by Hon. William S. Lachica, Mayor of Kalibo, Aklan on October 11, 2010 at 3rd floor, Kalibo Municipal Building, Kalibo, Aklan.

Councils Formed Thru Executive Orders
Some 17 Executive Orders were issued from July 1, 2010 to present. As provided under the Local Government Code of 1991, we reorganized the Municipal Bids and Awards Committee (BAC), Municipal Disaster and Coordinating Council (MDCC), Municipal School Board, Municipal Development Council Municipal Health Board, Peace and Order Council.

Executive Orders issued also constituted the (1) Inter-Agency Council for Public Safety, Peace and Order, (2) Disposal Committee of all unserviceable, obsolete and/or excess government property, equipment, supplies and materials, (3) Executive – Legislative Agenda Team (ELA-Team), (4) an investigative body to prove the alleged excessive issuance of new franchise for tricycles for hire and for the Investigative Body to make recommendations for consideration of the Local Chief Executive and the Sangguniang Bayan, and (5) Board of Directors of the Municipal Economic and Development Office.

We reconstituted the Personnel Selection Board, Grievance Machinery, Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence (PRAISE) Committee, Performance Evaluation Review Committee (PERC) and Committee on Decorum and Investigation. Likewise, we have reconstituted the Committee to lead and oversee the installation and implementation of Performance Management System-Office Performance Evaluation System.

Administrative Governance

Human Resource Management and Development. With the passage of Citizen’s Charter, this administration will give emphasis to the fast quality service delivery to eradicate red tape in the bureaucracy, further paves the way to shorten the waiting time for business transactions and give immediate response to concerns brought to the attention of the Municipal Government. The operation of the Business-One-Stop-Shop is sustained as a business friendly approach to save time, money, energy and resources. Concerned offices and entities are confined in one roof to process documents of transacting public.

Every Monday, the Flag Raising Ceremony together with the Sangguniang Bayan members and the entire workforce of the Municipal Government will be done to show that we are one in serving the people. Words of encouragement are imparted to start the weeks work with inspiration to motivate human resources to perform their duties. Aside from being together, it is also the opportunity to convey first hand information on how far have we gone, what are the things to be done, and soliciting their suggestion for better public service delivery especially emphasizing courtesy and prompt service.

Innovative approaches implemented to best deliver the service to the people are: personalized service to clients; working beyond the regular office hours taking extra miles; transparency on government transactions; bridging the gap of political differences; austerity measure, government funds; open employment opportunities with utilization of manpower to serve the community; repainting, retrieval, build up of equipment/facilities of Kalibo; contracted services of Legal Adviser and Health Advisers for the benefit of the Municipal Government; participatory governance through a strong tie up with the private sector, the civil society organizations; transferred the processing of tricycle franchise to Sangguniang Bayan.

To serve as the blueprint of development to guide us in the next three years in administering this town, the Executive Legislative Agenda (ELA) was formulated. I thanked the local functionaries of the LGU, other national government agencies, the civil society organizations and the stakeholders in the community who crafted this ELA.

We intensified security service to our Municipal Buildings and other properties of the Municipal Government that prevented damage and losses as well as intensified intelligence network that minimized or deterred commission, conduct of anomalous/unscrupulous transactions.

Revenue Generation. To pursue viable and adequate measure to maximize revenue generation. The Office of the Municipal Treasurer collected P6,680,339.15 and shared of IRA and VAT of P19,322.910, a total of P26,003,249.15 for the first 100 days of my administration.

Also recorded is the collection of P917,665.23 for July-September, 2010 as regards Special Education Fund (SEF), the municipal share from the Real Property Tax Collection.

The Municipal Economic Enterprise and Development Office is composed of the market, cash, tourism, and cultural affairs, public affairs/information and communication, agricultural services, transport and traffic management and building/grounds maintenance divisions generated a total of P4,612.037.27 for July-September. It aims to generate more revenues for the local government without sacrificing the delivery of services to the people.

Introduced innovations on the programming of DYYM 98.5 Katribu Radio to bring the local government closer to the people.

Fully operationalize the Ati-Atihan Country Inn formerly the Kalibo Youth Hostel as another income generating facility, and improved the Tourist Police, Information and Rest Area as a positive step towards revenue generation. The Tourism and Cultural Affairs Division conducted surveys of tourism statistics and produced and updated the town’s official brochure. The information and Com-munication Technology Desk regularly updates the official website of the local government and created data banks of targeted potential markets.

Pursued efforts to guard the historical and cultural heritage and resources artistic creations and undertake the restoration, upkeep and maintenance of historical sites and structures for tourism purposes. We are in tie up with the National Historical Commission of the Philippines in the administration of historical sites, structures and memorabilia in the capital town and in the restoration, preservation and conservation of objects of historical values.

Kalibo accepted the invitation of the City of Los Baños, Laguna. Four winning tribes with some delegates participated in the Bañamos Festival last Sept. 17-18, 2010 to entertain and add color to their festivity. This gave opportunity for Kalibo to promote our famous Kalibo Ati-Atihan.

Resource Allocation and Utilization

Finance Committee Meeting is regularly conducted to evaluate the collection of income and status of expenditures so as to guide local officials on the financial standing of the Municipality. This practice aided in properly determining priorities in the implementation of programs and projects which end result is having a dynamic and healthy fiscal administration.

The observance of austerity measures particularly in the use of water and electricity by instructing the Engineering Office to inspect and repair all comfort rooms reduced water bill by 30 percent. We minimized attendance to trainings and seminars not relevant to the thrust of local governance. The Municipal Engineer is instructed to fast track the implementation of projects with a continuing appropriations from previous budget that were not implemented by the previous administration in answer to the Commission on Audit’s findings in the 2009 Annual Audit Report.

I have given instructions to conduct immediate repair on unserviceable motor vehicles of the LGU Kalibo particularly the Kalibo PNP, Local School Board and motorcycles of concerned offices.

For the ensuing fiscal year 2011, I issued a Budget Call for the submission of Budget Proposals for the Fiscal Year 2010 and thereafter conducted Budget Hearing for four days in September. We will be operating at 129.7 million pesos for the General Fund and 43 Million Pesos Budgets for the MEEDO to finance socio economic, general public service and other developments.

To provide legislative support for our various concerns, the SB introduced 51 resolutions and 4 ordinances. Auxiliary Police and the condonation of stall rental delinquency at the Kalibo Shopping Center and the Kalibo Public Market, Fruit Stand are effected.

We adopted the Executive Legislative Agenda and the Capacity Development Plan, the organization of the Bantay Bayan Search and Rescue Unit, the proposed conversion of Tricycle Operators and Drivers Association into transport service cooperatives and the assessment of the soundness of the Water Reservoir of the Kalibo Water District at 19 Martyrs Street, Kalibo.

The legislative body has authorized the Local Chief Executive to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with KASAFI for the successful 2011 Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival, MOA with the National Food Authority for the purchase of rice on credit for relief operations during emergencies and the Memorandum of Understanding with the Aklan Medical Society relative to the UN Millennium Development Goals.

Customer Service-Civil Applications

The Office of the Municipal Registrar has provided civil registry services to clients earning P183,000. This administration is working for the transformation of the civil application system needs into a seamless transactional process to ensure the ease of obtaining civil registry. (to be continued next issue) /MP

Ati-Atihan Town of Kalibo Exists In Name Not Deed

by Ernesto T. Solidum
Brgy. Captain Mary Jane Rebaldo of Poblacion, Kalibo in a recent Kapehan forum vigorously denied that the statue on top of the rotunda of Arch. Gabriel Reyes St. is that of Datu Bangkaya. "It represents a lone Ati-Atihan devotee’s adoration and respect to the Sto. Niño. The looks and attire may give way to that of a Muslim warrior but he can even be a Chinese, Hispanic or whatever as long as the spirit is present," argued Hon. Jane Rebaldo.

Whatever the motive behind the statue and calling Kalibo after that of its legendary figure Datu Bangkaya suffers from distortion of historical facts.

One of 10 Bornean datus who fled the tyranny of Sultan Makatunaw of Sabah, Malaysia, Datu Bangkaya was appointed "Governor of Minuro it Akean" in early part of the 12th century. His two other companions Datu Puti became head of Irong-Irong (Iloilo) while Datu Paiborong as Governor of Hamtik (Antique). Record states that the earliest Spanish missionaries were the Franciscans who arrived in 1571 in Panay. Fortunately this was also the anniversary of the founding of Kalibo.

Skepticism abounds with the claim that Datu Bangkaya was a convert to Christianity. The span of more than 300 years between the Barter of Panay and the arrival of the Spanish missionaries is over-stretching the imagination.

Now comes the coined word, "Ati-Atihan". If my memory serves me right, this appeared first during the late nineteen sixties. It was on the incumbency of Mayor Federico Icamina that the once latent Sto. Niño religious celebration became a sensation reminiscent of the mardi grass style of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. It should be underscored that Kalibo for decades was known to celebrate its main patron Saint John the Baptist. The church cathedral bears his name prior to the above stated years, nothing was heard of about festive delicacies being served in homes of Kalibonhons.

At that time, original big fiesta events were ati-ati of Ibajay whose devotees rubbed black soot over their bodies and mimicked ati costume or way of life by bringing along roasted pig, chicken, fish as food offering. After the "sadsad" and "palapak" what a convenient way to eat with bare hands together with relatives and friends under the trees.

Another was Makato with similar style although subdued but sticks to January 15th as part of its tradition. In all these events, nobody thought that religious-cultural endeavor would be upgraded to attract more tourists and earn handsome dividends. Except for one enterprising Mayor of the town of Kalibo, he promoted Kalibo Ati-Atihan festival. Consequently, scant publicity and promotion hindered Ibajay and Makato Ati-Atihan celebration from being recognized at local and national levels.

As a kid, I love to witness the epic battle between Christian and moro warriors depicted in a street play on the eve of the Sto. Niño fiesta in Ibajay. Legend says the Sto. Niño image protected the native inhabitants from deprivation and kidnapping of the moro bandits. The target were young able bodied males to be conscripted into the army of the Sultanate of Sulu. It could be inconceivable then that an ati performing a vow would ever don a muslim attire and clutch an image of the Sto. Niño. To be fair, a muslim would not even touch it because it is idolatrous.

Location of the statue and monument marker happen to be on Arch. Gabriel Reyes St. Could it be possible that one of the pillars of the Catholic church in Aklan honored with a statue be eclipsed by a non-Christian? One educator said, "it would be more appropriate if the statue of Arch. Reyes is relocated and instead hold the Sto. Niño image."

The uniqueness and spirited celebration by which we pay homage to the Sto. Niño must not be tainted with historical distortion and misrepresentation. It is beyond understanding that controversies of this sort happen in our midst. Yet our elected officials must welcome this with an open mind and rectify whatever fault or deficiency.
Indeed ati-ati or ati-atihan has no illusion or connection to Datu Bangkaya or any muslim chieftain. Kalibo’s unilateral claim to the title, "Banwa ni Datu Bangkaya" is absurd since the scope of the chieftain’s realm is the whole province of Aklan. It’s apt name should rather be "Probinsya ni Datu Bangkaya".

As to the ati-atihan town of Kalibo, aetas as member of cultural communities represent an insignificant percentage of Aklanon population. Aetas themselves do not have any devotion to the Sto. Niño because by faith they are animalists. Yet we seem to bestow them with flattery like subscribing to the, "Ati-atihan Town of Kalibo." In reality, they appear hollow and inconsistent with our Christian values.

Sadly, these nomadic tribesmen are spurned and ostracized as dregs of society. It is high time we ponder about the plight of our once proud forbears since they are part of our cultural heritage. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Naga pati baea kamo sa Manananggae? Sin-o baea ra sanda? Suno sa mga katigueangan, rondaya hay mga eawas it tawo nga naputoe. Ro ibabaw hay naga eopad nga guina tawag nga wak-wak. Ro kaputoe nga eawas hay guina aywan nga naga tindog agod madali sanda mag uli.

Kada magbilog ro buean o kabilugan it buean, naga katoe ro andang eawas. Naga pahid dayon sanda ko andang eana agod madali maputoe ro andang eawas. Maga bueag man ro andang eawas paagi sa pag ugayong. Agod indi sanda makita, naga usoy anay sanda it tago nga lugar, magpasalipod ag idto maga ugayong kapareho it nanay nga naga unga. Matapos ro pag ugayong, amat-amat dayon nga maputoe ro andang eawas ag dayon eompad agod makakita it may mga masakit nga paga boe-an it dugo ag atay.

Perming managob it gabi-e kun mag uli sa andang baeay si Eryong. Sang bises, samtang naga pauli si Eryong halin sa anang sanggutan pag katapos it pagdawat it tuba, naka bati imaw it huni it wak-wak sa anang ibabaw it oeo agod dagiton imaw. Golpe nanang binag-eot ro aswang it sanggot. Nagisi ro anang pak-pak pagkaeo-eo ko anang sanggot nga indi eon imaw maka eopad.

Nagpatabang si Eryong, naduea ro anang kahilungon . Guin usoy nanda ro ka-utod it aswang. Pagkakita, anda dayon nga guin sugpon. Guin bantayan it mga tawo ko gabii ngaron agod makilaea kon sin-o guid ro aswang. Pagkaaga, pag subat it adlaw, hakilaea nanda ro magueang nga guina kuno-kunong aswang una sa andang lugar. May mga onga man ngani imaw nga mga naka tapos man it pag eskuela sa mga kolehiyo.

Natunaw ro anang eawas ka’t anda nga guin wisikan it asin. Halin kato, naduea eon ro magueang. Sa sobrang kahuya ko anang mga onga, nagpanaw sanda idto sa maeayo nga lugar kun siin nga owa it nakakilaea kanda. /MP

Calls For Crackdown On Syndicates Using Filipinos As Drug Mules

Sen. Manny Villar called for immediate government action against drug syndicates that lure Filipinos to work as drug mules.
"It is unfortunate that the Philippines is fast gaining a negative reputation with the spike of arrests of Filipino nationals who are being used as drug couriers.  A number of cases revealed that they didn’t know they were carrying illegal substances," Villar said.
Villar filed Senate Proposed Resolution No. 122 urging the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations and the Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, to look into the arrests of Filipino nationals, particularly Overseas Filipino Workers in Southeast Asia, being used as ‘drug mules’ by international drug syndicates.
In August 2009, two OFWs working as teachers in China moonlighting as "drug mules" were arrested upon arrival in Manila for carrying more than 800 grams of heroin.
Recent reports revealed that Nigerian syndicates would pay each "drug mule" $3,000 or equivalent to more than P145,000 to smuggle illegal substance from Malaysia and the Philippines to China.
Drug rings lure OFWs, particularly women, through free travel for a week with hefty allowance and incentives worth P100,000. They are made to believe that they are to carry sample textiles, precious stones, sensitive papers, ceramic figurines or other similar items.
Villar, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Public Order and Illegal Drugs, also cited the 2009 World Drug Report where the Philippines ranked fifth in the world in methampethamine seizures from 1998-2007.
In 2008 alone, 111 Filipinos were arrested for drug-related offenses in Chinese territories, representing a 594-percent increase from the 16 arrested in 2007. Of those arrested in 2007 and 2008, 22 are facing death sentence, 12 have gotten life, while 11 have been made to serve 15-16 years prison terms. /MP

Pesticide Misuse Triggers Iloilo, Capiz Pest Infestation

"Think caution when applying pesticides." This is the advice of an expert based at the Central Experiment Station of Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice), Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija amidst infestation of brown planthoppers (BPH) reported Thursday last week in Iloilo and Capiz.

"Brown planthoppers are not pests until farmers indiscriminately apply insecticides. What’s alarming is that insecticides make the hoppers stronger as shown by studies conducted in some rice-growing countries in the world," Gertrudo S. Arida of PhilRice-Crop Protection Division said.

In China, the reported area of BPH infestation increased from about 18 percent in 2001 to about 51 percent in 2007. Experts who investigated the resurgence of BPH as the "world’s worst rice pest" identified the increasing use of chemical insecticides as the cause.

According to Arida, BPH populations are regulated by beneficial organisms such as spiders, coccinilid beetles, mirid bugs, and crickets.

"Nature itself prevents the occurrence of this outbreak as the natural enemies of BPH keep critical population in check. With the chemical applications, however, the beneficial organisms are also killed," Arida explained.

Rice sufficiency officers (RSOs) assigned in Iloilo and Capiz said farmers in affected areas indiscrimi-nately apply insecticide at the sight of an insect. In an average, they said that farmers spray chemicals at least thrice in a season as early as three days after broadcasting.

In one of the affected areas, an RSO noted that farmers engaged in "spider fight," in which spiders are pitted against each other on a stick while farmers bet as high as P25,000.

According to Arida, the said hobby destructs healthy farm ecology as it reduces the number of spiders, especially the hunting spider, Lycosa pseudoannulata, which is the most common and effective enemy of BPH.

"When plants are dried up or hopper burned, no amount of pesticides or insecticide can help the plant recover from the damage. This outbreak may just serve as lesson to farmers who indiscriminately apply chemicals," Arida said.

Ricardo B. Saltin, Chief of the Regional Crop Protection Center of the Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office-VI, reported that 10 municipalities in Iloilo are affected with severity ranging from 2 to 20 percent while about 4000 hectares covering four towns in Capiz posted a severity of 2-10 percent. In Dumalag, Capiz, about 3,800 hectares of rice fields are hit.

Already in the vegetative and reproductive stages, affected varieties include NSIC Rc 150, 152, 154, 156, and 158. Iloilo Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo clarified that the "occurrence of planthoppers is not because of rice variety."

DA-PhilRice is a government-owned and–controlled corporation that aims at developing high-yielding and cost-reducing technologies so farmers can produce enough rice for all Filipinos. /MP

Visayas Jurisdiction Holds GK, FS Seminar

by Bienvenido P. Cortes
The Knights of Columbus in the Visayas Jurisdiction headed by State Deputy Dionisio R. Esteban, Jr.,conducted a seminar for Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries. This includes the training for Spiritual Formators held at the Colegio de la Purisima Conception, Arnaldo Blvd., Roxas City last week.

According to SK Elwin I. Corvera, Provincial Deputy for Capiz, the attendees came from the 33 councils under seven districts in the province of Capiz.

State DeputyEsteban discussed lengthily the duties and responsibilities of Grand Knights and Financial Secretaries, membership growth, service program covering the church, council, community, family and youth; the ten thrusts of the Order in  the Visayas area, financial management, awards, and ceremonial protocols.
SK Cresencio S. Tadlip, Visayas Auditor and Membership Director, discussed also financial management and updates of the financial status of the 33 councils in the province of Capiz.
On the other hand, in the formators training SK Pepito S. Goyus, Western Visayas Regional Deputy and SK Kenneth C. Rivera, District Deputy, V-02 (College) and member, Visayas Spiritual Formation, discussed the roles of spiritual formators in the spiritual formation of council officers and members.
The State Deputy and party came from Kalibo, Aklan, where they also conducted the same training activity.
The seven District Deputies in attendance are SK Bienvenido P. Cortes, SK Raymund Dipol, SK Manuel Gabucay Jr., SK Mussolini B. Baticados, SK Arthur Lava, SK Renato Golero and SK Elwin I Corvera, provincial deputy. /MP

Top 10 Prettiest Pinay Politician

Call it superficial or shallow, but admit it, pretty girls always have an edge—especially in these looks-crazy islands called The Philippines. Chucking ideology, achievements, work records, and such, lists the 10 Pinay politicians—both active and inactive—who have "face value." It’s time for brainless entertainment once more. Purposely excluded are artistas-turned-politicians for obvious reasons.

Though she’s been vilified for her political moves, we admit that Legarda makes 50 look damn good. The senator, who appears in TV ads when she was younger, radiates a classy cougar vibe that’s best appreciated when one stands close to her. She looks luminous on TV—especially when she’s wearing white—but she’s hot in person. It’s hard to picture her as the mother of two young men, her sons Lance and Lean.

The congresswoman of Lanao del Norte’s second district could be mistaken for a beauty queen statuesque and with a golden tan, she could easily have taken home a beauty title. The comely charmer belongs to the Dimaporo clan, tagged as the most powerful political family in Lanao del Norte.

She is a representative of the Democratic Independent Workers Association (DIWA) party-list. Petite and with an elegantly elfin face, the congresswoman has a sweet smile that could light up a room. It’s a pity she didn’t get more solo shots in DIWA’s campaign ad.

The congresswoman of Cebu’s first district has the face of an angel, good enough for beauty shots and close-ups. In fact, she’s had hosting stints in shows like One Morning (broadcast on government channels NBN-4, RPN-9, and IBC-13), as well as "She Said" on Destiny Cable. This cutie should always wear her hair down as photos with her hair up don’t do her justice.

This Kalinga party-list representative is the prettier Asian version of Reese Witherspoon. Her expressive eyes, dimples, and fabulous hair are her best assets. At 26, this cutie is the youngest member of the 15th Philippine Congress.

She is one of the councilors of San Juan City’s second district. She is the daughter of movie producer Jessie Ejercito, former President Joseph Estrada’s brother. At 33, she can still pass for a colegiala—what with her svelte figure and mestiza features.

As the current mayor of General Santos City, this petite cutie—who had also served as the congresswoman of South Cotabato’s first district—charms her public with her feisty ways and her glorious tan. She’s 36 but she always looks like a little girl. We wonder what kind of anti-aging cream she uses. She’s one politician who looks great even without makeup.

Though she lost when she ran for senator, she had already made her mark as one of the representatives of Akbayan party-list in Congress. Hontiveros is someone we’d like to see in the political arena. God knows, we could sure use someone like her. Her delicate good looks alone are worth the wait. She looks like a model even when she’s just in a T-shirt and fighting off the riot police.

Soledad, 30, is a councilor of Valenzuela City, but she’s gained national prominence as the girlfriend of President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III. This mestiza has the kind of beauty that grows on you. The more you look at her, the more you think she’s beautiful. Her mysterious stance only fuels the public’s curiosity.

The former congresswoman of Tarlac’s first district is now keeping a low profile following her husband Gilberto Teodoro’s failed presidential bid. But there is no doubt that her fans miss seeing her on TV. At 44, she has a face and figure that rival those of younger women. She epitomizes the acronym MILF./MP

Barangay, SK Elections Peaceful In Aklan

Despite minor glitches, the Commission on Elections (Comelec) reported a smooth and peaceful opening of polling precincts on Monday’s Barangay and Sangguniang Kabataan elections in the province of Aklan.

COMELEC-Aklan supervisor Atty. Ian Lee Ananoria said that even during the campaign period there were no major untoward incident during the eight day campaign of the candidates.

"Although the campaign process was smooth, intense rivalry can still be observed among the candidates both in the Barangay and the SK," Ananoria said.

The campaign period started on October 14 and ended on October 23 according to the regulations set by the Comelec.

As per Comelec records, at least 53 village chiefs in Aklan were unopposed along with 53 SK incumbent chairmen from different villages.

Because of these, the intense rivalries could be felt among those running kagawad slots both in the barangay level and the SK.

Despite the smooth campaign period, both the Armed Forces of the Philippines, the Philippine National Police are on their toes to ensure peace and order during the twin Barangay and SK elections.

No Failure of Election In Antique

In San Jose, Antique, Provincial Comelec officer, Atty. Gil Barcenal said there is no failure of election in Antique with all the polling precincts catering to voters Monday.

Barcenal said although there are some polling precincts that opened late Monday, yet all of the 509 barangays in the province held their election Monday.

The ballots arrived around 6 p.m. Sunday and so the distribution was affected especially in the far-flung areas of the province.

So far, there have been no major complaints that had reached his office since the opening of the 1,108 polling precincts in the province, except that in Bgy. Tigmamali in Valderrama town where concerned citizens complained that there were reelectionist barangay officials inside the polling precincts.

The casting of votes was until 5 p.m. Monday and if the voters are already within the premises and they have not yet cast their votes their names will be listed and catered.

In Antique, there are eight municipalities that are considered "areas of concern" but the deployment of the Philippine Army are in the towns of San Remigio, Sibalom, Laua-an, Tibiao and Culasi because of the previous incidents that had happened.

The Comelec officer hopes that the election process will end smoothly and peacefully Monday.

The volume of voters was more in the morning than in the afternoon who trooped to the precincts with the candidates just waiting for the canvassing to start in the afternoon.

There are, however, precincts in the far-flung areas of Antique which were delayed in the opening because of late arrival of ballots. In Sibalom, election officer III Homer Francisco received complaints on the lack of ballots in some barangays which were easily solved. (PNA) /MP

Monday, October 25, 2010


Obey Smoking Laws
The word RESPONSIBLE is defined as accountable, as for something within one’s power; involving duties or obligations; being the source or cause of something; having the capacity to make moral decisions; reliable or dependable.

Kool Earth, the environmental arm of Aklan Medical Society, is keenly watchful of our surroundings. It is a personal conviction when a member of a civic organization becomes aware of his surroundings and make himself worthy member of that organization.

But there is a risk for one who has nobody to be afraid of, one who has the safety of lives in her/his mind. Principled person has nothing to be afraid of. Unless he is politically-minded, and he is afraid to be ousted from the party when he is vigilant and has stepped on someone’s ego.

In the last two months, Kool Earth observes gas pump stations mushroom in Kalibo. Businessmen are putting up gas stations without minding the law. But they must be responsible businessmen, look after the welfare of the community in return. Putting up gas station near school, store that sells and allows smoking nearby is a BIG NO. How much more putting up a smoking area within the parameters of the gas pump station? There must be a "NO SMOKING SIGN WITHIN 50 METERS" in all gas stations for strict compliance.

Republic Act 9211, known as the Tobacco Regulation Act of 2003, Section 10 states tobacco products are prohibited within 100 meters from any point of the perimeter of a school, public playground or other facility frequented by minors.

RA 9211 is the first national law on tobacco control after three (3) decades of fighting for it. It is an act to regulate the use, sale, packaging, distribution and advertisement of tobacco products. It aims to protect the people from hazardous products and to promote the right to health and instill health consciousness among them.

Everybody is aware why CLEAN AIR is promoted. As members of society, we must show our love and care for all people. Be watchful of our surroundings to promote a healthful environment, to inform the public of the health risk associated with cigarette smoking and tobacco use, to assist and encourage businessmen and smokers to be responsible members of the community, and oversee the implementation of the laws, among others.

Smoking is absolutely prohibited in all public places especially in the GAS PUMP STATION!

Please avoid exposing non-smokers to secondhand smoke as second hand smoke causes cancer. The law prescribes and designates smoking areas physically separated from the non-smoking areas by solid walls/partition from floor to ceiling interrupted only by doors equipped with door closet to ensure that cigarette smoke will not permeate to the non-smoking areas, prevent smoke to escape to the non-smoking areas from the designated smoking area.

The NO SMOKING SIGN in the gas pump station must be visible to all people in any gas station. The signage posted shall include the warning about health effects of direct or secondhand exposure to tobacco smoke in all public places including gas pump stations.
Chapter 1, Sec. 4 of RA 8749 of the Philippines Clean Air Act states that the citizens have the RIGHT TO BREATHE CLEAN AIR. Any public or private office must observe rules governing smoking like banning it inside a pubic or private office, enclosed public places, public vehicles, airplanes, boats, private residence, and place of work.

Chapter 4, Sec. 39 of the same code states, Public Education and Information Campaign, consistent with Sec. 7 of the said Act, shall encourage the participation of other government agencies and the private sector like Aklan Medical Society, Allied Health Services, Rotary Clubs, Kiwanis Clubs, the academe, environmental group, and other private entities in the information campaign.

All of us must act now, give our share, help in his own small way. As long as we are together, we have a better chance to achieve clean air and save lives, too. Do not be afraid to say, "I MIND." /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Her Honor
"God’s finger touched her and she slept." At three o’clock, Monday afternoon, October 11, my loving wife, Rencee talked to me, "Papa, natapos ko eon tanan rang obra, mahuway eon ako. Ikaw, owa ka pa ka human, padayona lang." (Papa, I finished all my works. I will now rest. You have not yet complied with all your work, please continue serving.)

I whispered to her, "Mahae ko ikaw. Kon ano man rang mga kasae-anan, patawara gid ako. Ro akong pagkueang, imo eon lang dugangan". (I love you. Please forgive me for all the mistakes I committed against you. Kindly add to any shortcomings I have with you.)

That was the final conversation we had in our 49 years, nine months and 10 days married life. At 8:00 o’clock that evening, Rencee returned to our good Lord, God in a sweet death smiling in my presence holding her hands, our four children around her bed. We hardly noticed she stopped breathing.

In this column, may I publish their text messages sent to me which mitigated my grief due to the loss of a loved one.
October 11, 2010
Text Messages

Sorry to hear about Nang Rencee. Please accept our condolences. (Atty. And Mrs. Nolly Sodusta)

Condolence Uncle. May our good Lord bless her soul! (Pete Ruiz)

Our deepest condolence. May her soul rest in peace with the Lord. (Dr. Reinalda Magdaluyo)

Our deep condolence and sympathy on the loss of your beloved wife. (Atty. Kel Tolentino)

My prayer for you that you’ll be as strong and faithful to the Great Almighty and that Auntie Rencee will have the peace and joy with Him. My deep condolence to the whole family. (Dr. Marivel Villorente)

Sorry to hear about Tita Rencee. God took away her pain. She is happy now with our creator. Stay strong. God bless! (Megs Lunn)

Our condolences for the passing of Dra. Villorente. (From Arcely Pelayo & your Red Cross Family)

My family expresses our deepest sorrow on the loss of your beloved... Condolence and our prayer for the eternal repose of her soul. (Billy Arguelles)

Everybody hear on air RGMA-DYRU. Our seminary fathers sent their condolences and sympathy. (Megs Lunn)

Our deepest sympathy and heartfelt condolences for untimely death of Nang Rencee. Be consoled with the thought that she will start an everlasting life. (Atty. & Mrs. Niovady Marin)

Dear PP Botoy, we continue our prayers to dear Nang Rencee, we know she is in the arms of our Lord & Dear Mother Mary. She is happy and free of pain. Nang Rencee will now look after you and all she loves from heaven. (Morris)

Good am. Tita Rencee passed away last night of stomach cancer. Pls. pray for her soul to rest in peace. Florencia "Rencee" Fernandez Villorente. She is the beloved wife of Dr. Botoy Villorente. Thanks (Megs Lunn)

Please convey my condolence to PP Botoy (PDG Edgar N.)

Sad news is always a moment to reflect. Please extend my sincerest condolences to TM Botoy. (TM Philip and the whole Div. D)

Sincere condolences on the passing of your wife, Tita Rencee. May her soul rest in peace. Amen (James & Tess Makasiar)

Our condolences to the bereaved family. (from RMN-DYKR staff)

We are all saddened by the news. God in His mercy knows what is best for Nay Rencee. We are all praying for the peace of the family. (Atty. Allen S. Quimpo)

Good pm sir, Our condolences and prayers. We’ll gonna miss Maam Rencee. (Mary Ann-ATI)

Condolences! We need u! concerned gid c Aldred. Pa confirm nya contact # mo. (Ms. Angelda Baylon)

Doc Botoy, so sad to hear about Ma’am Rencee. Be strong in the Lord. Our prayers with you. (TM Emily Go Villanueva, Division D)

Barangay TMC is sending its deep sympathy with the passing of your wife. God be with you in this hour. (DTM)

Hello po. This is TM Cherrie. In behalf of NOCECO TMC, I would like to express our deepest sympathy. May God’s comfort be with you and the whole family.

God’s will is sometimes hard to take, but that’s His will. (DTM Greg)

Our deepest sympathy from our hearts, we bear with you and family the grief. My regrets di ko manlang na hug sya. (Eden ATI)

My condolences to you and your family. (Gov. Mhel Sillador, Toastmasters International)

Sir, our sympathy and condolences to you and your family. (From 4th year Masscom of NVC)

Our condolences sir, from all of us here at Jade Archt. Glass (E. Mollo)

Sir our sympathy and condolences. (Fatima, NVC)

LGU Aklan Holds Statistical Forum

"Towards a Philippine Statistical System Responsive to Emerging National And Global Challenges" is the theme of the 21st National Statistics Month this October celebration.
One of the activities is a Statistical Forum held on Friday, October 22 at the Provincial Trade Hall, Capitol Grounds, Estancia, Kalibo. The program is jointly sponsored by the Aklan Provincial Planning Office and the National Statistics Office of Aklan.

Engr. Roger M. Esto of APPO welcomed the participants who represented the academe, and LGUs and users of statistics.

Ms. Maricel Bechayda and Mr. Ben Prado presented the Local Government Performance, Monitoring of Kalibo, Balete, Malay, and Aklan which got constructive reactions from Dr. Gabriel M. Delfin, Mr. Odon S. Bandiola, and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente.

Ms. Edna Ayon, DepEd Aklan Planning Officer II presented the DepEd Best practices which also elicited constructive reaction from Ms. Arwina G. Tamayo, Dr. Ersyl Biray, and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente.

Engr. Edelzon T. Magalit, Asst. Provincial Engr. discussed the Marina project with Atty. Allen S. Quimpo, Engr. Diosdado Cadena and Ms. India C. Legaspi as reactors. /MP

Poverty and Illegitimacy Haunt Aklan’s Leadership

The weekly Kapehan at Smokehauz Resto & Bar on October 16, 2010 featured the topic on the celebration of 21st National Statistic month. Guests are Ms. Rodelyn R. Panadero, Statistician II, NSO, and Engr. Roger M. Esto, PPDO. On the theme "Towards a Philippine Statistical System Responsive to Emerging National and Global Challenges", Ms. Panadero cited relevance and needs of statistics for development planning and allocation of scarce resources to attain optimum socio-economic growth. The National Statistics Office (NSO) is tasked to conduct periodic enumeration interviews such as Census of Population and Housing which was held on May 11 – June 11, 2010. The result of the survey will be officially released in December this year.

NSO also processes, authenticates and compiles civil registries pertaining to birth, death, and marriage. For instance, from January to August, the total registered live births in Aklan reached 5,899. However, Panadero revealed that 50 percent of live births are illegitimate children.

Engr. Esto speaking on behalf of Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez as Chairman of National Statistics Month celebration disclosed several activities for the October 19-22, 2010 event. This includes thanksgiving mass, motorcade, cutting of ribbon, viewing, and judging of exhibits, and commemorative program.

Mr. Odon S. Bandiola, SP Secretary mentioned that latest report of the Regional Statistical Coordination Board showed that Aklan is among the poorest provinces of the Philippines. He said, there is 27 percent increase of poverty incidence over the last five years from 33.5 to 42.6 percent now, the highest record in Western Visayas.

On to inherent nature, statistics is cold and indifferent. But when properly interpreted, it cuts across a broad spectrum of human imagination. In the case of widespread illegitimate child birth in Aklan for the last eight months, it seems accountability of the parents is missing. Children must not suffer and willful neglect of their elders. It is deeply disturbing that several cases have erupted in time of economic downturn. It is actually a prelude to sexual permissiveness common to Scandinavian countries (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark) where four out of five children are born out of wedlock. Yet the province is moderately conservative toward morality standards.

Poverty incidence in Aklan has indeed worsen over the years. Social Weather Station has an uncanny way of collecting data from few respondents and present a concise, credible picture of a particular issue within a short time period as was confirmed before the May 2010 national polls. On the other hand, government statisticians work like turtles straining to release 10 year periodic data on population and housing.
It is imperative, poverty must be reduced by half in 2015 according to the UN Millennium goal. Poverty is closely associated with hunger and deprivation stalking one billion people worldwide. Aklan has included the towns of Libacao, Madalag, Buruanga, and Balete in the 4P’s program targeting indigent families.

Confronted by adverse public opinion, our provincial officials must take the economic downturn in stride. It must re-assess investment priority direction whether to engage in massive infra projects like jetty port, sports complex, nursing school building, provincial hospital, and provincial capitol renovation. This excludes planned reclamation project in Malay through floating bond of P160 million and jetty port in Pook, Kalibo. Or it must radically shift to develop employment opportunities in order to take advantage of the tourism industry in Boracay.

Agriculture program must be addressed to those commodities which are deficit like corn, sorghum, and soybean for livestock feed, vegetables, fruits, poultry and livestock and cutflowers. Ironically, upscale resorts, hotels and restaurants in Boracay get their bulk supply of agricultural products from Manila, Cebu and Iloilo. In comparison, Aklan supplies an insignificant percentage of the lucrative market inspite of a comparative marketing advantage over Aklan’s distant market suppliers.

Cottage industries are another sun riser industry. Hand woven abaca and piña fabrics designed and manufactured to international standards are in demand. So are food preserves of bananas, coconut, jackfruit and mango. Indeed value added products mean more jobs and increase peoples’ purchasing power.

It is unfortunate that NSO has no capability of proving information on employment in Aklan. Available NSO data is an aggregate figure of Western Visayas or the National data. Relevant question is when this can be possible if we aspire to formally respond to national and global challenges. Engr. Esto says "it can be done" through local initiative of collaboration between LGU, DepEd and NSO. We hope this can be a reality soon.

Meanwhile, Aklan SP must act on alarming case of illegitimate child births and parental irresponsibility. Illegitimacy has a social stigma that strongly affects a person’s character and personality. Otherwise, our tribe can be labeled as a bunch of bustards and swingers. /MP

Aklan Mayors To Discuss Role In Crisis Situation

A Technical Working Group (TWG) for hostage crises in Aklan is set to discuss the role of local chief executives during hostage or crisis situations on Oct. 22.

Aklan Police Provincial Office (APPO) director Sr. Supt. Epifanio Bragais said Aklan’s 17 local chief executives are expected to attend the meeting facilitated by the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the provincial government of Aklan.

The TWG is composed of different agencies in the province, namely the Philippine Coast Guard, the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines, Provincial Engineers Office among others.

The TWG was created after the Aug. 23 hostage-taking in Manila which caused the deaths of eight Hong kong tourists and the hostage-taker himself.

Bragais said Aklan does not want that similar incident would happen in the Boracay resort island.

Earlier, Chief Supt. Samuel Pagdilao, director of the Police Regional Office 6 (PRO 6), said that after the Luneta hostage taking crisis, the PNP has placed Boracay Island a priority for peace and order measures.

The said scheduled meeting of the mayor is considered as the first in the country.

The PNP hopes all the local chief executives will be attending the meeting so that they could be informed of their roles during crisis situations. (PNA) /MP

NNC Alarms On Drop Filipinos’ Food Consumption

There has been a drop in the food consumption of Filipinos, according to the National Nutrition Council (NNC).

"Although the amount of food an individual Filipino eats a day increased from 1993 level, still on the average the Filipino is eating less," NNC executive director Maria-Bernardita T. Flores said even as she sounded alarm over such attitude since food is the main source of nutrients that the body needs.

She pointed out that even more alarming is that foods usually taken in by Filipinos now have more salt, more sugar and fat.

Taking in more food with more salt, more sugar and more fat can cause a plethora of non-communicable diseases such as hypertension, cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and all other diseases that are diet-related, said Flores.

Meanwhile, the average chronic energy deficiency in the Philippines is at 11.6 percent and 15.4 in Western Visayas.

"Apparently Western Visayas has also the highest prevalence of adult under nutrition among the regions in the country.

For overweight people, the average in the Philippines is 21.4 and Western Visayas is 16.2," Flores added.

NNC Points W. Visayas High Undernourished Children Incidence

Western Visayas has the most number of malnourished kids in the country, data from the National Nutrition Council (NNC) stated.

NNC executive director Maria-Bernardita Flores during last Thursday’s Nutrition Month culminating activity said that Western Visayas has 31.9 percent underweight rate, far higher when compared with the national rate of only 26.2 percent for children who belong to the 3-5 years age bracket.

Flores computed that based on the percentage, some 292,950 out of the 945,000 children in the region are underweight and 13.5 percent of the number are in the pre-school.

The province of Antique has posted the top underweight children with 41.1 percent; Negros Occidental, 32.1; Iloilo, 31.4; Aklan, 29.6; Capiz, 29.3 and Guimaras has the lowest number of under-weight at 20.7 percent.

Flores stressed that the figures pose a big challenge for the stakeholders in Western Visayas as she underscored the need to have those children attain a normal weight.
Meantime, simultaneous with the culminating activity was also the launching of the "One Nutrition, One Nation Movement" aimed at encouraging "individuals and communities to join the fight against malnutrition and hunger."

The movement was first launched in Metro Manila in November last year, she explained, and they are looking forward for all regions in the country to likewise adopt the initiative.

Flores said that individual members are encouraged to have a change in their behavior, observe improved nutrition practices such as maintaining a normal weight, eating a healthy diet, having a vegetable garden at home and helping the people in the community improve their nutrition situation, among others. Thousands of barangay nutrition scholars coming from the various provinces of Western Visayas witnessed the launching. (PNA) /MP

Friday, October 15, 2010

Safely Home

April 15, 1935 - October 11, 2010

I am home in Heaven, dear ones;
Oh, so happy and so bright!
There is perfect joy and beauty
In this everlasting light.

All the pain and suffering is over
Every restless tossing passed;
I am now at peace forever,
Safely home in Heaven at last.

Did you wonder I so calmly
Trod the valley of the shade?
Oh! but Jesus’ love illumined
Every dark and fearful glade.

And he came Himself to meet me
In that way so hard to tread
And with Jesus’ arm to lean on
Could I have one doubt or dread?

Then you must not grieve so sorely,
For I love you dearly still:
Try to look beyond earth’s shadows,
Pray to trust our Father’s will.

There is still work waiting for you,
So you must not idly stand;
Do it now, while life remaineth-
You shall rest in Jesus’ land.

When that work is completed,
He will gently call you home;
Oh, the rapture of that meeting,
Oh, the joy to see you come!

For the memories of your kindness, humility, and generosity, we will surely miss you – TITA RENCEE.
Our deepest sympathy to the Fernandez - Villorente family. from the Madyaas Pen staff.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Fond Memories

Hon. Mayor William S. Lachica of the Municipality of Kalibo, delivered his 1st 100 DAYS accomplishment report in office last October 11, 2010 at the 3rd Floor of the Kalibo Municipal Function Hall, the first report to the people by the Mayor in the history of Kalibo. Notwithstanding the challenges he faced as soon as he assumed office after the election. The good Mayor has to face the fact of an empty office, empty savings and empty files to name a few. However, as his personality shows, it is innate to Mayor Lachica to stay and look cool, amidst tensions and criticisms.

Bridging the gap of political differences to which he is duty bound to perform before his constituents, he leads by example. Coming to office as early as 7:00 o’clock in the morning and bringing home office works for signatures; his exemplary performance for 100 Days is just the beginning of his journey towards a better Kalibo.

He warned the cheaters, the corrupt, the employee/s who comes late and do not do his/her work according to the call of duty and other observations; all of these are in scrutiny before the many eyes of his critics.

Mayor Lachica recognized the very vital elements in an organization - the Feedback-Rich-Culture. He believes in stepping forward to growth, inspite of the many backlogs the former administration has left him. He thanked the members of the Tri-Media in the province of Aklan, for bringing him news to make rooms for improvement. He acknowledged likewise the many Civic Organizations who partners with him in his leadership towards the common good. He also gave importance to the needs of schools and Teachers, the men and women in uniform of the Aklan Police Provincial Office, the Senior Citizens, the Livelihood, Health and Sanitation is of utmost attention, too. To avoid corruption, he favored the giving of grants directly to the beneficiaries so as to avoid contractors over charging on program of works. Impressive, huh!

May his Department Heads will emulate Mayor Lachica’s work ethics. May they continue to serve with humility and with a smile. As front liners of the Mayor’s Office, they are bound to face their clientele with a positive attitude and humbleness of heart. They will be behind Mayor Lachica’s vision towards a successful leadership that strives to pursue a holistic development strategy for the general welfare of Kalibonhons. Good governance starts from within – with a heart that is willing to serve and is committed towards the LAW OF THE BIG PICTURE - that the goal is more important than the role.

We wish Hon. William S. Lachica all the best in his term, towards a dynamic, empowered and progressive Kalibo.


There are countless times and memories of Tita Rencee that we will surely miss. Her humility and meekness of heart, her thoughtfulness and generosity for those in need, her smile amidst the pain and so much more, has thought us to remember life with fondness.

Tita Rencee is now in God’s embrace. She is no longer in pain. We thanked God for HIS deliverance upon her.

Tita, rejoice now in the peacefulness of heaven. Thank you for the priceless memories we spent together as family, friends and neighbors.

To those who prayed for her and until the end of her last breathe, thank you very much, on behalf of her family.

Tita, we will always remember you. Rest well now. /MP

Towards A Dynamic, Empowered & Progressive Kalibo *

(First of 2 Parts)
* First 100 Days Accomplishment Report delivered by Hon. William S. Lachica, Municipal Mayor of Kalibo, Aklan on October 11, 2010 at 3rd floor Function Hall, Kalibo Municipal Building, Kalibo, Aklan.

As a first class municipality, the Ati-Atihan Capital Town of Kalibo is now being looked up to as a promising town for development. In my previous years as Public Servant, Barangay Kagawad, Barangay Captain, SB Member and Municipal Vice Mayor and a private citizen for the last nine years, I believe, I have provided Kalibo a legacy of performance and it is my dream that Kalibo shall continue to prosper.

Though the town was anchored well by the previous leadership, it is incumbent upon the present administration to maintain, improve, perpetuate and develop what remains to be done as mandated by law. Though not that young, I will never give up embarking on greater heights to serve the people of Kalibo.

A leader is one who knows the way, goes the way and shows the way. We will mobilize our human resource to work hand in hand for Kalibo. With you working for the interest of our people, we shall succeed in establishing the needed infrastructure facilities and support services for socio-economic, agricultural and tourism development initiatives.

Even a modern technology soars, this administration still engaged in traditional style of governance but in making a difference, we are inspired to institute a creative planning process and creative financing packages to come up with a strategic, time bound and rational infrastructure projects and simple housekeeping activity. With the compounding challenges of time first, we need to work very hard to ensure Kalibo’s position as the "Mother of Philippine Festivals" and as home of the Queen of Philippine Fabrics-Piña Cloth. And to create more jobs for Kalibonhons to become reliant citizens.

Cityhood is a dream shared by every Kalibonhon. When we attain this, more services will be enjoyed by our people.

A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position. It is my wish that you shall work with me in the light of our vision for Kalibo, to become a dynamic, empowered and progressive community. Thus, we shall pursue a holistic development strategy that strives for the general welfare of all Kalibonhons.

Today, mine is both an honor and privilege to report to you the great strides made by our local officials and employees for the first one hundred days which proved to be meaningful as each and every governance stake-holder appreciates the power of working together.

Executive Accomplishments

On top of these achievements, we were true with our promises made during my campaign sorties.

Public Market. A convenient Kalibo Public Market is an achievement of this administration. Where before people complain of the unsightly things in this province’s central market, we have implemented changes such as the relocation of vendors to the access road and the deployment of a functional 24-hour security personnel. A clean public market allows more people to enjoy shopping.

Portion of Toting Reyes St. from XIX Martyrs to Roxas Ave. was requested from the Provincial Government to be utilized as vending area every Sunday as a Market Day to accommodate our ambulant vendors and marginal farmers.

This request was favorably granted by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan last September 6, 2010. Also ongoing is the construction of stall at the Kalibo Public Market to house native products and RTWs. A food and souvenir bazaar is already on the pipeline along Veterans Avenue and will soon be rehabilitated into structures of acceptable standards, sort of night market to further stimulate business activity.

Rehabilitation of the Drainage System. In so short span of time, we pushed for the de-clogging of drainage in six major thoroughfares in the capital town specifically in Toting Reyes Street, corner F. Quimpo and Rizal Street, along Roxas Avenue (fruit stand stall), Oyo Torong Street (ubos), Arch. Reyes Street (along Jollibee Plaza) and corner M. Laserna and L. Barrios Street going to F. Quimpo Street.

Also completed were the improvement of drainage system facilities along Concepcion Street and J. Magno Street with P26,474.00 and P73,670.00 budgets respectively. With an ongoing concreting of road shoulder along D. Maagma Street, along Mabini Street and Veterans Avenue with P110,430.00 budget allocation.

Plaza Beautification. The Office of the General Services, and the Municipal Economic enterprise Development Office have launched a vigorous campaign to make Pastrana Park and Magsaysay Park clean and orderly, making sure that lights in the premises are functional. We deployed Park Police at the plaza, rehabilitated the Comfort Rooms. Soon after assumption the clearing/relocation of food handlers parading the vicinity of Pastrana Park was undertaker.

Last October, 2010 the Aklan Christian Youth Movement and the LGU Kalibo undertook a ceremonial tree planting activity to beautify our Pastana Park.

Slaughterhouse. We have pursued the improvement and rehabilitation of Kalibo Slaughterhouse (Phase I and II) in Barangay Tinigaw in the amount of P391,855.00. Improvements include the ongoing repair of perimeter fence, replacement of steel gate and acquisition of new weighing scales to accurate carcass measurement. (to be continued next issue) /MP

Students Heckle Aquino

University students on Monday, last week stole the show from President Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III as they demanded for a higher education budget.

Aquino was in the middle of a townhall-syle meeting for his First 100 days report when students interrupted the program and held a lightning rally inside La Consolacion College, Mendiola Manila.

"Isang daang araw pa lang malinaw ang kanyang tunguhin. Kakaltasan niya ang budget sa kolehiyo at unibersidad hindi maka-kapag-aral ang mga mahihirap na estudyante," one student said, even pointing fingers at the President.

Three other students held coupon bond-sized placards demanding for education budget increase.

Aquino merely smiled and listened to the protester as program emcee Mari Oquinena tried to downplay the protest by lauding the act and even describing it as "freedom of expression."

Aquino responded to the students and said the government has increased the budget allocation for education in next year’s General Appropriations Act. He also referred the students to Department of Education Secretary Armin Luistro.

The student heckler, later identified as Cesarie Ann Santos, Chairperson of the University of the Philippines-Manila Student Council, and three others were later escorted out by members of the Presidential Security Group.

Communications group Secretary Ricky Carandang said the hecklers were invited along with the UP Manila Chancellor.

Presidential Security Group Chief, Ramon Dizon explained there was actually no breach of security because the hecklers were listed as invited guests.

"They were invited, they had tickets. It’s a free country," Dizon told Yahoo! Southeast Asia in a phone interview.

Dizon said although there was concern how they were able to stage a protest, the students posted no threat to the President.

"They’re not a threat to the President. Nobody was hurt, that’s more important," said Dizon.

Dizon said although they can file charges, Malacanang opted not to sue the students.
In a related development, Communications Group Secretary Herminio "Sonny" Coloma said the UP Manila Chancellor apologized for the students.

"They were expressing their apology and was even offering to relay their apologies to the President," said Coloma in a phone interview.

"But the President took it very well and we did not view negativity," Coloma added.
Aklan DPWH Follows P-Noy’s Policy
BORACAY ISLAND, - The Aklan Engineering District of the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) is actively following the general policy of President Benigno Simeon "Noynoy" Aquino III. It sees to it they eliminates the culture of corruption in their district.

DPWH Aklan District Engineer Roberto Cabigas said that "Aklan province currently has around P185-million worth of government projects of which the implementation is ongoing now.

"Of the said budget, only P1 million was taken due to the budget recall by the national office but the rest are now being allocated in accordance to its purpose," said Cabigas.

The DPWH Central Office has recently ordered a budget recall in the country to finance the deficit of the present administration.

Of the remaining available funds, P100 million is being used for dredging projects in Kalibo brought about by typhoon Frank, P80 million is allocated for the on-going construction of the Boracay Circumferential Road while the remaining P4 million is being used for the construction of roads in the different towns of Aklan.

"The P1 million amount affected by the budget recall is supposedly to be used to fund the construction of Buruanga-Malay road. We hope that the said project although canceled will be resumed by next year," said Cabigas.

All the major infrastructure projects are being used to boost the tourism and agricultural capability of this province. (PNA)/MP

Be Vigilant, DTI Advises Aklanons Consumers

Aklanon consumers should exercise their vigilance in buying products to keep some ill-meaning business establishments from getting away with fraud and other deceitful means in selling their merchandise.

This is the message of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) to Aklanon consumers as the country celebrates the month of October as Consumer Welfare Month.

Deana Ruiz of DTI-Aklan, advices the Aklanon consumers that before buying any product from an establishment, he should inspect it well to see if there are damages or defects.

"If you find that something is wrong with the product you bought, go back to the establishment first and present your problem. There are establishments that change the product outright, but there are also some who ask many questions and air doubts to your claim of damaged products," Ruiz said over IBC-DYRG, Kalibo, Aklan.

"Please help the DTI monitor defective products," Ruiz also appealed. Ruiz also reminded consumers to make sure that their complaints are valid.

"Consumers have eight (8) basic rights. However, they also have responsibilities, but they cannot enjoy those rights without responsibilities," Ruiz said.

These rights, according to Ruiz, include the right to basic needs, safety of products, right to information, right to choose, right to representation, right to replacement of products, consumer education and right to a healthy environment.

In Aklan, Ruiz disclosed that one product which is mostly the subject of complaints at the DTI is the cellphone.

"People come to us because the cellphones they bought from some stores in Kalibo are defective. Our advice to them is to opt to buy brand new cellphones not reconditioned one because the former have warranties while the latter have none, being repaired or second hand," Ruiz said.

On the other hand, Rene Retiro, also of DTI-Aklan, called on Aklanons to be sure that they are buying safe electrical products especially during this coming Christmas season. "Be sure the Christmas lights have ICC marks," Retiro warned.

He emphasized, however, that Christmas lights from 2008 up to the present with ICC marks are the only ones allowed to be sold to the public now. He also revealed that the DTI will also be monitoring prices of "Noche Buena" products soon.

DTI’s consumer rights campaign over radio stations is part of DTI activities in observing Consumer Protection Week, with this year’s theme "Consumers:Green Multipliers. (Venus G. Villanueva) /MP