Wednesday, October 31, 2012

KISEC Wins Grand Slam As Best Brigada Eskwela Implementer

by Marie Cherrie Nagal Yabut

Kalibo Elementary Schooll II is now Kalibo Integrated Special Education Center (KISEC). Since 2009 when it joined Brigada Eskwela until 2012, Elementary School Principal II, Mrs. Remia H. Donguines dreamed of an ideal school. Today, it is a dream comes true year after year all because of Brigada Eskwela.

Brigada Eskwela continuously inspires, challenges and helps the faculty and staff and our school achieve numerous awards and titles. These titles are priceless achievements which can never be equated by any cash or citation of golden trophy. It is the prestige and integrity of the prizes that honor history and legacy that matter. These are recognition of pains, tiredness, shameless efforts that paid off, the efforts made by our energetic principal, Ms. Donguines. 

KISEC implements seven thrusts, the formula for the Hall of Fame Awardee in Brigada Eskwela implementation. First, effective leadership style and team building, considered to be the backbone of these thrusts. Without this, there will be no cooperation, solidarity, and determination to make KISEC what it is now. 

Second, third and fourth thrusts feature the strong commitments of all staff members and pupils’ welfare, the provision of classrooms, buildings and facilities procurement, secured learning environment and structured teaching. 

Fifth and sixth thrusts support and give importance to the commitment to protect Mother Nature and contribute to a call for a green earth. KISEC commits for a clean and green environment and provides the proper segregation and disposal of school and community waste. 

The seventh thrust is community involvement and volunteerism. There is our endless gratitude to all our provincial, municipal and barangay officials. Congressman Florencio “Joeben” T. Miraflores, through his effort, KISEC is privileged to be given a two storey building with two classrooms which cost P2,147,000; Governor Carlito S. Marquez, who never say no to any projects we undertook; Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo and all the Aklan Sangguniang Panlalawigan members, Kalibo Mayor William S. Lachica, vice mayor Madeline Regalado and the Kalibo Sangguniang Bayan members, Brgy. Capt. Mary Jane A. Rebaldo and the Brgy. Kagawad and our former mayor Hon. Raymar A. Rebaldo, now member of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan. 

All the teaching staff, Gen. PTA officials and members headed by PTA president Randy Anthony Acevedo Rebaldo, vice president Rico Magno had supported us. No material prize can match the happiness and thought these people trust us, more so of the openness of the school principal. 

KISEC competed for six consecutive years and won the grand slam as Best Implementer of Brigada Eskwela from 2006-2012. 

In 2011 and 2012 KISEC captured the Best Brigada Eskwela Implementer, Exceptional Level awards. It was first place, both in Regional and in National levels. Public Schools District Supervisor Mrs. Lucy D. Gomez and the School Principal Mrs. Remia H. Donguines received the Regional Award in Kapiz Mansion, Banica, Roxas City on October 24, 2012. Aklan Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Jesse M. Gomez and Brigada Eskwela Coordinator Mrs. Mary Ann S. Lopez, the School Brigada coordinator Johann C. Cawaling were absent during awards ceremonies. 

The proud 16 members of the teaching staff were present during the awarding and the author was one of them. She was proud to shout to the whole world, we have made KISEC a beautiful institution for our Special Children. A million thanks to everybody most especially to our beloved and industrious principal, you have made and became KISEC, a beautiful KISEC.

The National Award Program will be held in Pasig City, Metro Manila on November 15, 2012. /MP   


Worker Shortages Seen In Several Professions


Montreal, Quebec -- For many reasons, immigration policies in Canada are a hot topic these days. But the fact remains that some of Canada’s future success will have to be imported.
Studies in both the United States and Canada have shown that job creation increases and the economy improves as the number of immigrants swells. Immigrants are, as a group, better educated than Canadians and since 1967, when the government introduced its point system, the selection process favours those with marketable skills, according to writer Alison Ramsey, “Is there a market here for skilled labour?” asked Ramsey.  

“Actually, Canada is seeing signs of worker shortages in several professions – including engineers, doctors and nurses, to name a few. Added to this is the fact that the population in some provinces is shrinking, and employers are having difficulty filling their rosters with skilled help. Paul Darby, director of the Conference Board of Canada, estimates a shortfall of 3 million skilled workers by the year 2020.”

Ramsey added, “boosting immigration could be a very effective way of helping to ease the shortage, but there are other impediments”.

Immigrants often have difficulty working in their fields after they arrive, Ramsey explained. On the average, she said, “it takes 10 years for immigrants to get hired in jobs for which they have skills and, even then, they are not necessarily working at the skill level to which they have been trained”. In March, Jeffrey Reitz of the University of Toronto’s Centre for Industrial Relations, released a study showing that immigrants whose skills are underused cost the Canadian economy $2.4 billion yearly. He also estimated that they are underpaid to the tune of $12.6 billion every year. No type of job is exempt. “We used comparisons across the labour force,” said Reitz.

Ramsey wrote that “some organizations are answering the growing demand by helping immigrants become licensed to work in Canada after they arrive. The Ontario Ministry of Education, for example, is spending $12 million over three years to help get more foreign-trained medical professionals – nurses, doctors and pharmacists – into their professions. The money is given to local professionals associations to recruit and retain personnel. Another $3.5 million is being spent by the province to train foreign professionals to ensure they meet Canadian standards.”

Yet, at the same time, she added,” experts are worried that the flow of immigrants is about to dry up, thanks to legislation coming into effect in June that changes the rules for people hoping to enter the county”. Reitz said the proposed guidelines constitute a much more stringent selection criteria. He theorizes that the government hopes to eliminate a backlog of applicants, which numbers about 660,000 people. The Association of Immigration Counsel of Canada has run dozens of scenarios to determine how many of the 660,000 would be eligible under the new guidelines. “We anticipate that only five to eight percent will be allowed in,” he said The problem, adds Reitz, is when the backlog is gone but the need for skilled workers remains.

Growing demand for skilled labour is not limited to Canada. In India and China, for instance, the high-tech industry is developing. Workers from those countries who might have had to emigrate to ply their job skills in the past, now have a better chance of finding work at home. Even after skilled workers arrive, it can be a challenge to keep them here: the United States is also eager to attract the best and the brightest.

According to a survey by Canada’s Federation of Independent Business, one out of 20 jobs remains unfilled because of an inability to find suitable skilled labor. This represents about 250,000 to 300,000 vacant jobs in small- and medium-sized businesses alone. The lack is not just in professions that require higher education. The worst off are employers looking for skilled construction workers, who reported 7.7 percent of jobs went unfilled. They are followed closely by the business services and agriculture sectors. Hospitals and the personal service sector ranked tenth at 3.8 percent.

The article said the need is greatest in Manitoba, Ontario and Alberta. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Yabe Ni San Pedro

Si San Pedro ro guin tugyanan it Diyos nga magbuyot it yabe sa eangit. Imaw man eamang ro may poder nga magbukas ag magsara it eangit. 

Madali eon lang ro piesta it mga minatay ag tanan ro mga kaeag hay naga hueat eon ko adlaw nga maka balik sanda it sang adlaw sa eogta agod magbisita sa andang mga pinalangga sa kabuhi. 

Ko agahon ngaron hay naduea tana ro yabe ni San Pedro. Agod masayuran kon sin-o ro nagbo-oe, guin patunog ni San Pedro ro lingganay. Sa dagu-ob ko lingganay, tanan ro mga kaeag hay nagpadueong sa may pwertahan it eangit. Nasayuran ko tanan nga naduea ro yabe. Kon indi makita ro yabe, indi man tanan makabalik sa eogta ro tanan nga kaeag. 

Sa idaeom it eogta, may isaeang ka bukaw nga naga winarang samtang ro ibang hayop hay naga pahuway huway eot-a. Sa anang pagbalik sa puno it kahoy nga anang guina hapunan, may hakita imaw nga bueawan nga yabe nga naga kabit sa sanga. Owa nana guin baliha ro yabe tongod owa man imaw kasayod kon sin-o ro tag-ana ko yabe. 

Samtang, may daywang ka kaeag ro guin sugo ni San Pedro. Idto sanda nag agi sa sekreto nga daean nga si San Pedro eamang ro nakasayod. Pag abot nanda sa eogta, hakita nanda nga masako ro tanan sa pag preparer para sa piesta it mga patay. Sige sanda nga linibot hasta pag abot it gabi-e. Sa sobrang kaga-oy, nagpahuway-huway anay sanda sa kahoy nga guina hapunan ko bukaw. Nagpakita sanda sa bukaw ag guin suguid ro andang katuyo-an. Hadumdoman ko bukaw ro yabe nga anang hakita. Guin turo nana sa daywang kaeag kon si-in makita ro bueawan nga yabe. Malipayon nga nagpasaeamat ro daywang ka kaeag. Sa kalipay ko mga kaeag, guin regalohan nanda it ka-aeam ro bukaw ag isaeang ka kulentas nga hasta it makaron, una pa ro marka sa andang dughan. 

Madasig nga nagbalik sa eangit ro mga kaeag. Umabot ro bisperas it gabi-e. Piesta it mga kaeag. Nakabukas eon ro eangit. Malipayon ro tanan nga kaeag tongod makabalik eon sanda sa eogta agod makabisita sa andang mga mahae sa kabuhi. /MP 

Service To Humanity, Best Work of Life *

* Acceptance speech of Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino, chairman, Philippine Red Cross, Aklan chapter delivered after his induction held on Saturday morning, Oct. 27, 2012 at Mix ‘n Match, Kalibo, Aklan.

I accept the mandate to lead the Philippine Red Cross–Aklan Chapter.

In accepting the mandate, I am ever guided by the principle that service to humanity is the best work of life. Moreover, the leader should and must be a servant leader. 

I always remember the words of St. Luke, 12:48 when he said, “For whom must is given, must is required. And for whom, much is required, much is demanded”. 

It is a continuing importance for all of us to focus our vision on the challenges ahead of us with particular emphasis in the field of disaster preparedness and relief, blood program, health and safety, inclusive of the promotion of humanitarian values.

The Aklan Red Cross chapter shall firmly be filled with commitment, undaunted courage and hope. Let us have hope that we are able to improve the lives of vulnerable people by mobilizing the power of humanity.

I am confident that our chapter – from its chapter officials to its thousands of volunteers throughout Aklan should adhere to the collective belief that too formidable challenge can be overcome and no task ever too hard that we cannot accomplish if we all put our efforts together.

We should have that thinking of things that never were and ask why not, rather than think of things that where and asked why.

And so, I would like to end with that stanza of Robert Frost’s: “Stopping by the woods on a snowy evening”, thus: 
“The woods are lovely, dark and deep,
But I have promises to keep.
And miles to go before I sleep,
And miles to go before I sleep.” /MP

Marquez Proposes P1.19B Budget of Aklan For 2013

Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez has proposed to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Aklan on October 16, 2012 the annual budget of the provincial government for 2013 at a total amount of P1,190,242,382.00 for review and approval.

The proposed 2013 annual budget bears the theme, “Investing quality time and resources with local partners be they program recipients or co-implementers in an effective way of achieving Good Governance”.

Regular (general) fund proposed budget totals P684,112,382 while the budget for the operation of the province’s Economic Enterprises is P506,130,000.00. Of the total appropriations in the proposed budget, P99.4 million or 15 percent is earmarked for social services; P130.4 million or 19 percent for economic services; P338.1 million or 49 percent is allocated for general public services; P34.2 million or 5 percent is reserved for disaster risk reduction and management; and P81.5 million or 11 percent for debt servicing.

Out of the total appropriations embodied in the regular(general) fund budget, some P597 million, or 87 percent will be sourced from the Internal Revenue Allotment Share of the province; P12 million or 2 percent  from Operating and Miscellaneous Revenues; and, P75 miilion, or 11 percent from local taxes.

Aklan is classified as a 2nd class province. However, it is expected to become first class by next income classification of local government units (LGUs) due this year. During the last three years, Aklan was elevated to a “nominal”  status as one of the “billionaire” provinces of the Philippines in terms of annual budgetary appropriation.

Under the fold of its Economic Enterprises are the operations of the Dr. Rafael S. Tumbokon Memorial Hospital, the two district hospitals in Altavas and Ibajay and one hospital each in the towns of Libacao, Madalag, Buruanga, Malay and Boracay. Also under the EEDD are the Provincial Tourism Operations, Caticlan and Cagban Jetty Ports and Terminals, Construction Development and Quarrying Services, Provincial Academic Center, and Agri-Aqua Production Services.

The SP will soon schedule budget hearings in November and December. It is expected that the said budget can be enacted before  the year ends. /MP

DAR Aklan Goes Hi-tech

Some 40 DAR Aklan employees finished the intensive Computer Skills Enhancement Training conducted in partnership with TESDA-Aklan last October 25, 2012 at DAR Provincial Office. The training was held every Saturday beginning July 21 until October 20 which enhanced competencies of DAR employees in Microsoft Word, Excel and Powerpoint.

DAR Aklan Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Eberardo N. Erispe congratulated the graduates. He emphasized the agency’s sustained effort to fulfill its core values in modernizing outlook as the office prepares for the challenges ahead. The training entailed hands-on application of the lessons learned. It was provided with free meals for all participants.

Ms. Perla C. Guanco, OIC of TESDA Aklan presented the Certificates of Completion and Participation to the graduates. She hailed the efforts DAR Aklan management extended to its employees. Guanco pledged TESDA’s support to further train members and agrarian reform beneficiaries.   

To date, DAR Aklan has provided desktop computers for all its ten Municipal Agrarian Reform Offices in Aklan and laptop computer for its respective Municipal Agrarian Reform Officers (MARO). /MP

Riza Hontiveros Visits Aklan

Ms. Riza Hontiveros-Baraquel of Bayan Muna and a senatorial candidate for the 2013 election is among the members of the Aklan tri-media in Kalibo, Aklan. She is flanked by Vice Mayor Madeline Regalado and Dr. Cynthia C. Dela Cruz. Others in the picture are (l to r) Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente, Chita Dela Cruz-Heap, Jojit Reyes, Arnel Relampago, Conrad Indelible, Michael Selorio, Ronel Irodestan, Romel Tirazona, Archie Hilario. 

The picture was taken at Festival Hostel immediately after the press conference. 

Ms. Baraquel was the guest speaker and inducting officer of the Kiwanis Club Induction Program held on Saturday afternoon, October 27, 2012. /MP

Friday, October 26, 2012


The Long Road To Peace

Forging a peace agreement is good for a government. The tricky part is in the implementation. The last time a preliminary deal was agreed upon by the government with the separatist Moro Islamic Liberation Front, in the controversial Memorandum of Agreement on Ancestral Domain in 2008, there was such a loud outcry against certain provisions particularly on territory to be controlled by the group. The MOA ended up in the trash bin.

This time, the government has hammered out what President Aquino described as a framework agreement to create a new political entity called Bangsamoro. Details of the preliminary agreement still have to be clarified, but already, concerns have been raised by several local executives in Mindanao on the scope and nature of the new political entity. The MILF has always wanted a federal or ministerial form of government and rejects the political structure in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM).

What will happen to the ARMM is unclear. The region was created in line with the original peace agreement signed by the government under former President Fidel Ramos with the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) led by Nur Misuari. That agreement has not been fully implemented, according to a protest still pending with the Organization of Islamic Conference. In plebiscites held in Mindanao, several provinces refused to join the autonomous Muslim region. Will these provinces be included in the Bangsamoro deal?

The implementation of certain provisions of the 2008 agreement on ancestral domain called for amending the Constitution. Will the new deal also call for Charter change? According to Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, it does not need Charter Amendment. 

Another key concern is whether significant disarmament will be required. What good is a peace deal if the region continues to bristle with guns, in contravention of tough Philippine gun laws? Already, a violent faction in the MILF has broken away, threatening to disrupt any peace that may be achieved under a new agreement. Will the new political entity be above Philippine laws? These are some questions among others which require clarifications. 

A framework peace agreement is a welcome development in a region that has suffered from armed violence for several centuries. Making the agreement work will be a greater challenge.  (Philstar News Service) 

GMA Allies

At least 50 congressmen and provincial governors who used to be with the Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino (Kampi) of former president Gloria Macapagal Arroyo had pledged allegiance to the Liberal Party (LP) of President Benigno S. Aquino III. 

They formed the National Unity Party (NUP) to join with the LP. They also made Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. their honorary chairman. Belmonte is the LP vice president.

Some 200 local officials from vice governor to the incumbent city and municipal vice mayors were present as the NUP formally installed Belmonte as NUP honorary chairman. It was reported almost 80 percent of the elective officials present used to belong to KAMPI, a political party Gloria Macapagal Arroyo formed. 

According to Belmonte, “the NUP has proven itself as a solid reliable ally of President Aquino, in the pursuit of the administration’s priority legislative initiatives in the House of Representatives”. 

With this rigodon of top public officials and the frequent switching of party affiliation, whom will be people thank for the improvements attained? Whom will they blame in case of failure? /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Urgent Need For Statistics

In the field of statistics, the month of October is celebrated as “National Statistics Month”. This year’s celebration theme is: “Monitoring Progress on Decent Work Through Statistics Pathway to Inclusive Growth”.

There are several activities now on going to highlight the uses and importance of statistics in the lives of the people. Statistics is really one of the most important tools in project planning, monitoring and evaluation as being emphasized in this year’s theme. 

Along this line, the provincial government of Aklan held a one day Statistical Forum. It was held in the Provincial Trade Hall, Capitol Ground, Kalibo, Aklan on Thursday, October 25, 2012

Some very relevant and urgent topics were presented and discussed like “Impact Assessment of 4Ps in the Province of Aklan”, by Ms. Cristina Tercena of the DSWD Aklan. In the open forum, Mr. Odon Bandiola was highly critical of its implementation. While he agreed in some aspects, Bandiola pointed out some weak points worthy of consideration.

Hon. Jerome Legaspi, SB member of Libacao revealed his experience of 4Ps implementation in Libacao. For one thing, Hon. Legaspi pointed out the defects in monitoring. “Instead of visiting the beneficiaries in their respective houses, the monitors just call them in a specified place to meet them. 

Ms. Guangco, OIC of TESDA Aklan presented “TESDA In Aklan”, the various TESDA programs and projects. The presentation was comprehensive. There is one suggestion however; TESDA must also cover the backyard food system in Aklan especially in Kalibo. There are several small eateries catering to the food needs of the people. But, these eateries are in urgent need of trainings to improve the quality of food being served and services rendered. There is the need to train them in sanitation, food handling and handling of utensils such as glasses, plates, spoons and forks. Sometimes, their food servers are in “sando”.

Farmers & Fisherfolks’ Efforts 

Ms. Dina G. Ruiz of DTI Aklan ably presented the topic: “Enabling Business, Empowering Consumers”. She has mastered her topic. It was excellently presented, comprehensive of what the DTI is doing in Aklan.

While consumers usually pay the price tag of industrial products, manufactured goods and process products without too much ado, they are so stingy in paying the already reasonable prices of farm products. They bargain too strong to the extent of paying farmers and fisherfolks goods at give away prices. 

Aklan is farm products and fish producers. DTI Aklan is also requested to include consumers education concerning agricultural and marine products. Consumers must also learn to pay the price of high quality fruits, vegetables and fishes among others. They must also be educated on the process of production in order to appreciate the efforts exerted by farmers and fisherfolks to produce our food.

The Statistical Forum was sponsored by LGU Aklan through Engr. Roger M. Esto and Engr. Lorna Cawaling of the Provincial Planning and Development Office.

I was informed ASU Banga and ASU New Washington were invited to the forum. However, I did not see any representative from ASU. Is there? How can our premier state university be responsive for the development of the Aklan’s marine and farm resources if they stay away from the provincial activities like the statistical forum? /MP          

RC Kalibo Holds Youth Congress

In the calendar of Rotary International, the month of October is called Vocational Service Month. To celebrate October as Vocational Service Month, the Rotary Club of Kalibo honored a member of the Kalibo Auxiliary Police, Mr. Leopoldo Dela Cruz as a man who is doing his job as traffic enforcer with all honesty, dedication and sincerity. 

Leopoldo Dela Cruz was awarded a Plaque of Recognition and a modest amount of cash. The award was given during the Rotary Club of Kalibo regular meeting held on Tuesday, October 9, 2012.

On Saturday, October 20, 2012, the Rotary Club of Kalibo also sponsored “Career Orientation Seminar” among high school graduating students from Infant Jesus Academy, New Washington Comprehensive High School, Aklan Catholic College, Dela Cruz Institute of Business and Industry (DIBI), Aklan National High School for Arts and Trades and Regional Science High School. The seminar was held in the Gov. Corazon Legaspi Cabagnot Tourism and Training Center, Old Buswang, Kalibo. The participants are members of the Rotary Interact Clubs.

The seminar was held to expose the participants to the various fields of endeavors and careers they will pursue after high school graduation. Topics discussed are possible careers the young generation may pursue on the basis of their capabilities, aptitude and opportunities to succeed. 

Among the possible careers discussed are entrepreneurship by Rtn. Danica So Chan, medicine by Rtn. Arnold Jayme, Judiciary by PP Niovady Marin, Banking & Finance by Rtn. Melrose Acaling, Marine Engineering by Rtn. Jonathan Salvador, Civil Engineering by Rtn. Jong Ureta, Agricultural Engineering by Rtn. Alexys Apolonio, Architecture by PP Joel Mercurio, and Education and Agriculture by PP Ambrosio R. Villorente. 

In a survey conducted earlier among the 80 respondents from six (6) high schools in Aklan, 26 or 32.5 percent wish to become teachers. This is followed by 23 or 31.25 percent to be physicians. Others want to become CPA – 18 or 22.5 percent; flight attendant and lawyer – 16 each or 20 percent; IT, engineer, and mass com – 10 each or 12.5 percent; HRM and Architecture – 9 each or 11.25 percent; Med. Tech. and Business Administration 8 each or 10 percent; military, nursing and marine science – 7 each or 8.75 percent; dentistry – 5 or 6.25 percent; pharmacy – 4 or 5 percent; model – 2.5 percent; and one (1) each or 1.25 percent wish to be interior designer, geologist, linguist, pilot, fine arts, and movie director.

The same respondents were also asked: “who influence them in the choice of their career?” Here are the responses: Family 71 or 88.75 percent; my choice – 38 or 47.5 percent; friends – 11 or 13.25 percent; teacher – 9 or 11.75 percent; others – 8 or 10 percent.

The students participants also organized themselves into the Aklan Provincial Federation of Rotary Interact Clubs and elected their officers who are: President – Annyka Dela Cruz – IJA; Vice President – Aeziel Joy Agnate – NWCHS; Secretary – Rosalinda Cipriano – RSHS; Asst. Sec. Louise Anne Francisco – IJA; Treasurer – Lysander R. Quintin – ACC; Asst. Treas., Emmylow Florenz Samar – ANHSAT; and Auditor – Dianne T. Cerezo – DIBI. The directors are: Kathryn Bjelle C. Matira, Administration – RSHS VI; Giesel M. Fulgencio, Finance – DIBI; Myra Michelle V. Sugabo, Service – ANHSAT; Marion M. Placer, Int’l Understanding – ACC; Aubrey G. Tumbokon, New Generations – IJA; and Christel Kaye Andrade, Vocational – NWNCHS. /MP

Balete Beauties

Guests during the civic program held at the town plaza, Poblacion, Balete in the morning of Wednesday, October 24 are Kasangga Party-List Cong. Teodorico Haresco, Jr. (2nd from left) with (from l to r) Aklan Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo, Balete Mayor Teodoro Calizo, Jr. and Balete Vice Mayor Roman R. Villaruel.

Enchanting Balete beauty projecting Eco Tourism.

Every October 24 of the year, the Municipality of Balete celebrates Balete Municipal and Religious Fiesta in honor of their patron saint, St. Raphael Archangel. 

This Wednesday, Oct. 24 municipal and religious fiesta in Balete highlighted their natural resources especially in agriculture. It also highlighted the beauties (left) of their young women through beauty contest. Poblacion,  Balete is also very clean.

During the  morning civic parade, the municipality of Balete displayed all what they had. The civic parade lasted for one hour in Poblacion, Balete where all school children from all schools, barangay and municipal officials, businessmen, and employees participated. /MP  

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Piesta It Mga Patay

Kon may piesta ro mga buhi, hay may piesta man ro mga patay. Kon mag abot kada dag-on ro Todos Los Santos, guina paabot man it tanan nga mga kaeag nga maka bisita kanda ro andang mahae sa kabuhi iya sa eogta. Kada bisperas it adlaw it mga patay, guina buksan ni San Pedro ro eangit. Busa sa pagpanoktoro-ok ko anang manok, tanan nga kaeag nga naga hueat sa poetahan it eangit hay haum eon. 

Pagbukas ko eangit, naga paeana-og man ro tanan nga mga kaeag. Naga agi anay sanda sa sementeryo nga guin eobngan kanda. Matsa piesta ro tanan nga sementeryo. Abo nga mga tawo nga may daeang bueak, kandila ag mga pagkaon ro naga bisita sa andang mga (nitso) pantyon. Ogaling isaeang ka kaeag ro naga pungko sa anang pantyon ag naga panampu-ay. 

“Ham-an it masubo ka amigong kaeag? Dapat magkalipay ka ay mabalik eon man kita hinduna pagbagting it alas dose”, hambae ko isaeang ka bata-on nga kaeag.

“Tan-awa baea ro akong pantyon, guina eomot eon. Maskin sambilog nga bueak ag kandila hay owa guid it nakadumdom nga mag haead kakun. Mataas pa ro hilamunon ag owa pa it pintura. Bukon it pareho sa imo nga malimpyo, abo nga haead nga bueak ag kandila”, sabat ko bata-on man nga kaeag.

“Ham-an it indi ka anay mag-uli sa inyo nga baeay agod imong masayuran ro tanan?” Agda ko kakilaeang kaeag.

Dali-dali nga nag uli sa andang baeay ro masubo nga kaeag. Maeayo pa imaw, habati-an nana ro pagpakitlo-oy ko anang ina. Guina sinakit imaw ko anang pangaywang asawa. Sa kaakig ko kaeag, nag pangasa imaw. Tongod karon, nagkaea-apok ro mga igdaeapat sa sueod it pamaeay. Natumba ro aparador, natumbahan ro eaeaki, busa insigida namatay. Nahueog man ro kwadro nga may retrato ko bata-on pa nga kaeag sa anang pagtapos sa kolehiyo. Idto tumugpa sa atubang ko anang ina. Hadumduman ko anang ina nga piesta gali it mga patay ko adlaw ngaron. 

Dali-dali imaw, ro anang ina it adto sa sementeryo, daea ro bueak ag kandila. Pag abot nana idto, nangayo imaw it patawad sa anang onga. Anang guin rosaryohan. Pag-uli, nangayo imaw it bulig sa mga kaeapit baeay agod ipatindog ro mga natumba. Guin pa eobong nana ro anang asawa nga namatay.

Halin kato, kada mag abot ro piesta it mga patay, anang guina palimpyuhan ro eobong ko anang onga. Malipayon man nga naka balik sa eangit ro kaeag agod maghueat eon man sa masunod nga dag-on kon mag abot ro piesta it mga patay. /MP   

Award-winning Author Munro Misses International Festival of Authors


TORONTO, Ontario -- Like many writers and guests currently attending the 33rd International Festival of Authors (IFOA) at the Harbourfront Center, I was disheartened that Alice Munro failed to appear at this year’s festival. 

Munro’s long-time friend and editor, Douglas Gibson, explained that: “Alice is 81 years old now, and her health is frail, making it impossible for her to attend this IFOA event, although she would very much like to be able to do so.”

Festival organizers were disappointed knowing how successful, enriching and entertaining her appearances at the IFOA have been in the past. Organizers worked to the eleventh hour to try and make the event possible. However, it was determined that this course of action was best. 

Winner of the 2009 Man Booker International Prize for her lifetime body of work, Alice Munro Haagensen was born at Waquoit Bay on Cape Cod, where her family had a summer place, according to The Palisades Newsletter. Her father, a medieval historian, taught at the University of Pennsylvania, then at the University of Wisconsin in Madison (she remembered the lakes, the winter sports, walls of snow), and finally at Princeton as the head of the history department, always summering on the Cape.


The second youngest of five children in an “articulate family” (her words), Alice,  a three-time winner of Canada’s Governor General’s Award for fiction, and a perennial contender for the Nobel Prize,  attended Wellesley College. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1921. She knew that she wanted to be a writer. After a year at the Sorbonne, she worked in New York as a reporter on the Globe (making $5 a day) and then for awhile at Scribner’s Press. 

She met her husband, Cushman Haagensen (whose family had come to North Dakota from Norway in the 1850s) on a transatlantic ship - he was the ship’s doctor, newly qualified, and she was returning from Europe. Alice told how Cushman saw her coming aboard and had her seated at his table. By the end of the voyage, they were engaged. Throughout their sixty-year marriage, she was his constant helpmate. She ran the house, entertained colleagues, students and visiting dignitaries, helped with the editing of his book, Diseases of the Breast (he was a foremost expert on breast cancer), taught herself Greek when he opened a clinic in Athens and needed an interpreter.


Historic Houses of Palisades, published by the Historical Committee in 2001, is largely based on Alice’s encyclopedic knowledge of the village and its inhabitants. 

In the 1980s, she helped with applications that resulted in two Palisades districts and several individual houses being placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

She was consulted on Sneden family history by the Virginia Historical Society and received the Rockland County Historical Society’s Zehner award for her work. She continued to collect material on the early twentieth century and her own period in Palisades, planning for a continuation of her book.

“We hope our audience joins us in wishing the best for Ms. Munro,” organizers announced five days before the start of the festival.

This year’s International Festival of Authors includes more than 200 participants and over 70 events. Each October, the IFOA presents a wide range of readings, round table discussions, onstage interviews, book signings and a number of special events featuring the most exciting authors in contemporary literature. Administered by Authors at Harbourfront Centre, this year’s 33rd annual IFOA took  place from October 18 to 28, 2012. /MP



Free Dental/Medical Services 
To Special Children

Do you remember last year (2011), through Koolearth, Inc. when we initiated the giving of free Dental & Medical services to the handicapped children of Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center (STAC) in Aklan with 130 beneficiaries? It proved to be very successful because of the partnership with the Philippine Police Academy Alumni Association (PNPAAA), Inc. with then Police Director Cornello T. Defensor and Gen. Clarence V. Guinto of HR Affairs Office. They brought assistance of the Dental Team from Camp Crame, Quezon City.

This year, we are blessed to partner with The GENERIKA DRUGSTORE which initiated the giving of free medicines for the 2nd Dental & Medical Mission for STAC Aklan. It was done on October 19, 2012 from 8:00 AM to 2:00 PM, at APPO, Camp Pastor Martelino, New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan.

The Aklan Press Club, Inc. collaborated with the Aklan Provincial Police Office under the cudgel of PSSUPT Pedrito M. Escarilla, the Aklan Medical Society (Pres - Arthur Salido), Philippine Dental Association – Aklan Chapter (Pres – Dr. Lucy Salido), and the Local Government Unit of Kalibo through Mayor William S. Lachica. 

Ang Kasangga Party-list –Rep. Teodorico “Ted” Haresco, Jr., ALG Pawnshop, Hon. Soviet Dela Cruz (SB Kalibo), Rotary Club of Roxas - District 3850 Rotary International, Infant Jesus Academy Interact Club of RC Kalibo, Kiwanis International – Kalibo Jewels and Kalibo Chapters, Unilab, Tayco Medical Clinic & Drugstore, Bread & Butter, Youth Progress Service Organization (YSOP), Tamagos Delicacies, Mr. Robert Rose Macavinta, Jean’s Cakes and Pastries, Village Marketing & Trading (VMT), PNP Community Service Team, San Lorenzo Caregivers and some individual philanthropists sponsored the project. Some 200 special kid beneficiaries of STAC from Kalibo, Banga, Malinao, Makato, Tangalan, Buruanga and Malay were served. 

The Aklan PNP Sub-station of Kalibo, Banga, Malinao, Makato, Tangalan, Malay and Burunga took charge of the logistics to help the young patients and their folks with transportation to Kalibo. 

Mrs. Joanna Tay-Meren, Manager of STAC – Kalibo was very grateful to the initiators of the project.  

The STAC – Kalibo and its satellite centers all over Aklan offers free rehabilitation services like Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy with Special Education (SPED) sessions, Parents’ Training Program (PTP), Barangay Health Workers (BHW) Training and other related services like Assistive Devices. They also offer Referral Services (medical/surgical), Family Support Programs like Services for Children with Disabilities (CWDs), Services for the Vulnerable Families of CWDs, and Special Support Services.

With the very limited municipal resources, the LGU Kalibo is sourcing out funds for the needs of the children with disabilities….for every disabled child matters! /MP

Transformation of lives through agrarian reform:

Buruanga’s Successful Vegetable Farmers

“It is my dream to own a land. A legacy I can give to my children.”

The Agrarian Reform Beneficiary (ARB) couple Arnold and Mildred Patricio’s pride is emblazoned on their hard earned concrete bungalow house in Brgy. Tag-osip, Buruanga. Their solid foundation and the continued improvement of their family is an unyielding proof of how they work to survive rural development. They are one of the few locals in Buruanga, Aklan who are recipients of the Certificate of Land Ownership Award (CLOA) from DAR. The couple, both at only 36 years old, have six (6) children ages 17, 16, 11, 8, and 7. The youngest is 5 years old. 

Mildred is a teacher in Brgy. Tag-osip. She is the only teacher who teaches kindergarten and elementary in their barangay while her husband devotes most of his time tilling the land they own. She also assists develop properties of their families. They too are very grateful to DAR for giving them the opportunity to own a land. 

Farming runs in the blood of the Patricios in Tag-osip. Most of them rely on the vast coconut plantation and depend upon copra, banana and upland crops. The two parcels of land they own through DAR, situated in Sitios Luho and Catimban, Tag-osip are quite far from their residence. It is mostly planted to coconut. Arnold harvests around five (5) sacks of copra every four months. They also earn an average of Php 400 from selling bananas every two weeks. 

Lucky for Arnold for he also earns off-farm income from working at his family’s rice lands in Brgy. Nazareth and Tumansapa, Buruanga. He takes home 15 bags of palay every cropping cycle. With Arnold’s income from the land he tills and the meager salary Mildred earns from teaching, they sustain their family needs. But as the family members increase, and with two of their children going to tertiary schools, the couple finds it hard to meet both ends. 

DAR-ARISP Intervention

Mildred is always enthusiastic vegetable grower. In their backyard farm, she plants and produces vegetables to augment their daily need for food. But never had she imagined of planting vegetables bigger than her backyard. 

When DAR-ARISP III introduced the agricultural development component through an agri-enterprise project on high value crops production, Mildred was fortunate to attend training in a prominent seed breeding industry to study new technology on growing vegetables. Meanwhile, Arnold was one of the project beneficiaries in the ARC receiving inputs, training and technical support. Together, they started to develop a 500 sq.m demonstration farm planted to tomatoes and cucumber. Throughout the 1st cycle of production, they earn Php10,000. This encourages them to expand their farm. They converted the land into a vegetable hub. They are now cultivating a 5,000 square meters vegetable area devoted to bitter gourd, cucumber, string beans and eggplant. They earn not less than Php3,000.00 per month from their vegetable crops.

Now, Mildred’s second child will enroll in college. She foresees another source of investment. She is thankful to DAR not only for giving her family a chance to own their land, but for giving them a place they could really call a home. The basket of opportunities that came to their barrio now is a fruit of their long-awaited development. Though the road project is yet to be constructed, Mildred and her family thank all the conscious efforts in fostering development in their barangay.  The vegetable project in Tag-osip not only proves that their land is suitable for high value crops, the projects also show they can do it. 

With their cooperation, determination and resourcefulness they can transform their barangay into a vegetable source for Buruanga and for the province of Aklan. They hope CARP projects of DAR continue to uplift the lives of the farmers like them. Instill the essence of commitment and perseverance in the quest to strengthen their economic level and thus encourage countryside development. /MP

Ardiente Wins As Best Speaker

Arnold John Louis L. Ardiente prevailed over the five other contestants from Sto. Niño Seminary, Dela Cruz Institute of Business and Industry, Infant Jesus Academy, Aklan Catholic College, and Aklan National High School for Arts and Trades in an Impromptu Speaking competition dubbed Voice of Our Youth.

Voice of Our Youth is a National Impromptu Speaking Competition held annually. It is now on its 12th year. It is open to Filipino high school students, 14 to 18 years old. It seeks to develop the students’ ability to form their point of view on a particular topic within a limited preparation time, and to effectively convey their message to an audience in English. It also aims to inspire the Filipino youth to attain world class proficiency in English communication in furtherance of universal understanding and cooperation. 

On the question, “If you are appointed tourism czar of Aklan, how will you promote a successful tourism program?”

With limited time to prepare the answer to the question, the six contestants spoke from four to six minutes each to express their point of view on the above mentioned topic.

The three members of the board of judges were unanimous in their choice of Ardente who methodically expressed how he will implement a successful tourism program in Aklan. Ardiente talked about security, develop tourists friendly people; improve tourists spots in Aklan, improve facilities and make prices of goods and services competitive. He explained how he will make use of the tri media to promote tourism.

The members of the board of judges were Dr. Mona Magayanes and Atty. Niovady Marin-members and Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente – chairman. 

Arnold Jan Louis T. Ardiente is a graduating student in the Regional Science High School for Region VI Kalibo, Aklan. His coach is Mrs. Merly M. Bustamante. 

Ardiente will compete in the RI Distict 3850 to be held in Bacolod City in November 2012. He will be sponsored by the Rotary Club of Kalibo.

If he is lucky in Bacolod City, he will win P15,000 and trophy. He will also represent RI District 3850 in the Voice of the Youth 12th National Impromptu Speaking competition to be held in Metro Manila where the National champion will go home with P50,000 and trophy, and the runner up – P40,000 plus trophy.  /MP

Kalibo Allots P704T For 2013 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan

Some P704,000 cash prizes are allotted for the winning groups in the 2013 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan festival contest.

Mr. Albert A. Meñez who chairs the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan Foundation, Inc. (Kasafi) announced the tribal big category 1st place winner will be awarded P150,000 cash, P80,000 for second place, P50,000 for third and three consolation prizes of P10,000 each.

The small tribal category 1st place will be awarded P60,000, while P40,000 for second, P30,000 for third and three consolation prizes of P8,000 for each contingent.

KASAFI also allocated P50,000 for the grand champion in modern group category, P25,000 for second place, and P15,000 for third place. Two consolation prizes of P5,000 each will be awarded to the modern group winners. Balik-Ati category first prize winner will receive P50,000; the runner-up will get P25,000 and third place P15,000. Winners in the Individual Balik-Ati category will take home P3,000 each.

As of October 22, there were 10 tribes which officially registered in the Ati-atihan tribe contest slated on January 19, 2013.

Tribu Tipon-Tipon of Ibao, Lezo; Morongga Tribe of New Buswang, Kalibo; the current champion Tribu Parola from Daja Norte, Banga; and runner-up Tribu Niñolitos of Tigayon, Kalibo are registered in Tribal small group category.

Pangawasan Tribe of Makato, Tribu Bukid Tigayon of Tigayon, Kalibo and Tribu Tiis-Tiis of New Buswang, Kalibo are also listed in the Tribal Big category.

Balik-Ati participant Anono-o Group of Briones, Kalibo and Lilo-anong Ati nga Mananggeti of Lilo-an, Malinao, Aklan; this year’s Balik Ati category grand winners are also registered along with 2011 first runner-up Samahan ng Kababaihan Bayan ng Kalibo, Inc. of New Buswang, Kalibo, Aklan in the modern group category.

Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan is a traditional annual celebration to honor the Señor Sto. Niño de Kalibo, usually held starting in the second week of January and ends on third Sunday.
The third Sunday of January or January 20 this year is the Kapistahan of Señor Sto. Niño highlighted by a pilgrims’ mass and religious procession.

KASAFI Gives More Subsidies 
To Ati-Atihan Tribes

Moreover, Kasafi increases its financial assistance to competing tribes from 2012 Sto. Niño Ati-atihan festival.

Mr. Albert A. Meñez, chair of KASAFI announced the 10 percent increase in subsidy for tribes who will participate in the 2013 Ati-atihan contest.

Meñez said, early registrants received their 50 percent subsidy from the foundation since the first week of October.

The subsidy is released after the signing of Memorandum of Agreement between the tribe managers and KASAFI. The list of tribe members and a photo of their tribe uniform are also submitted. A dozen individual Balik-Ati participants also registered with KASAFI.

Tribal Big category will receive P38,500 while tribes in the Small Group category will get P22,000 subsidy.

A P16,500 subsidy will be given for Balik Ati tribes while the modern groups also get P11,000.

The 10 percent additional package and the 50 percent of the subsidy will be distributed as early as the first week of November, Meñez announced.

“The early release of the full subsidy in November will augment the anticipated expenses of the registered tribes”, Meñez said.
Kalibo Mayor William S. Lachica graced the tribes’ meeting on October 13, held at KASAFI office.

According to KASAFI’s figures, the financial subsidy in the 2012 festival stood at P744,000 for more than 30 tribes. /MP 

Sunday, October 21, 2012


Coral Reef Restoration, 
The Tangalan Model


Overfishing and coral reef degradation are twin plagues that limit the capacity of our country to feed its 96 million population. Department of Science and Technology (DOST) in collaboration with the University of San Carlos (USC) came up with. “Filipinnovation” on coral reef restoration. It targets nine (9) sites in the entire country including Boracay, Malay and Tangalan, Aklan. However, the pressing problems of Malay LGU, caused the suspension of the coral reef project.

In a briefing to members of the tri-media, Tangalan Fisherfolks Cooperative, and Barangay officials held on October 13, 2012 at Blue Starfish Resort, Jawili, Tangalan, Dr. Filipina Sotto, Program Leader and Head Marine Biology Section, USC explained that the coral reef restoration project is geared to promote science-based management practices through public-private partnership. As a pilot project it intends to establish 40 nursery units with 20,000 coral nubbins. After 2 months, these contraptions are moved out to open sea of not more than 10 meters water depth. Project No. 5 development started five (5) months ago with closed coordination of LGU Tangalan, ASU, DOST, DENR, and DA-BFAR.

Mr. Joey Gatus, Instructor, Biology Department, USC discussed the technical aspect of coral species, growth, reproduction and cultural requirements. According to him, corals are classified into two types which are: 1. reef building (hard species) and 2. non-reef building (soft/branching species). Hard species comprise 32.3 percent of the total population growing 2 cms. per year. The soft species 6-10 cms. reproduction could either be done by asexual (fragments) and sexual (fertilization). The requirements for optimum growth are: a) salinity – 32/1000 parts per million or salt water, b) temperature – 18-34 degree centigrade c) no sedimentation, and d) presence of hard substrate to cling into.    

The project employs the hanger type coral nursery unit made of PVC material (.5” dia) measuring three (3) cubic meters. It will have 18 series of nylon ropes (6 mm) running the whole length with 6 cm gap in between ropes. This is fixed with plastic cable ties to maintain position.

Gov. Carlito S. Marquez has pledged P700,000 from the 2013 Aklan provincial budget for additional funding of coral reef restoration as part of his campaign for poverty alleviation. In the same manner, Cong. Ted Haresco of Kasangga Partylist promised P300,000 from his PDAP allocation. 

The Bureau of Agriculture Statistics (BAS) data show, coral reefs in the Philippines cover 21,000 sq km in a coastline (length) of 17,460 kms. Being the world’s second largest archipelago, the Philippines is located inside the coral triangle that includes Malaysia, Indonesia, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and Solomon Islands. Some 2,000 endemic species of fishes thrive in this marine ecosystem providing food and livelihood to 540 million people according to Amina Mohamad, UN Executive Director. 

Boracay’s Coral Reef Restoration differs from DOST-USC strategy. It uses hollow pyramid shaped reefs buds made of organic and inorganic materials. Divers position them 1 km away from the shoreline. It measures 1.2 x 1.2 m, weigh 450-500 kgms and cost P9,000 each. The target is to deploy 5,000 structures along a strategic 2 km coastline. Jose Rodriguez, Vice Chair of Sangkalikasan Cooperative averred that environment-friendly structures enhance growth of algae. Hollow block disk design serves as convenient spawning area of demersal fish species.

Dr. Theresa Mercedita Lim of DENR Protected Area and Wildlife Bureau (PAWB) said that the country’s fish catch has been declining since the early 1960’s. This is partly due to deteriorated status of coral reef system. Only 4 percent of the country’s coral reef is healthy, 27 percent poor, 27 percent good, and 42 percent fair.

Based on studies, it will cost $2,000 to restore a 13,000 hectares coral reef at an estimated cost of P40,000 to manage marine protected area according to Juker Tamlada, UNEP Head for Coral Reef Unit. This situation calls for the hiring of more Bantay Dagat and PNP personnel. 

There is a lot of confusion among line agencies involved in management planning of coastline and inland fishery resources. These are DA-BFAR, DENR-PAWB and DOST-USC, ASU. Overlapping of functions is responsible for the failure of some government projects. Funds are spread out too thinly with hardly noticeable results. 

LGU Tangalan initiative where 375 hectares of marine sanctuary was established in Jawili 5 years ago is encouraging development. Assisted by BFAR and US Peace Corps Volunteers the project is now tourist attraction as more indigenous fish species have returned to breed and spawn in the protected area. On October 19, 2012, Mayor Gene Fuentes is scheduled to receive plum award as model municipality for coastal resource management from BFAR Director in Quezon City. 

Coral reefs in the Philippines are seriously threatened by chronic siltation, pollution, bleaching due to El Niño, destructive fishing practices (cyanide, blast fishing, trawls fishing, muro-ami) and illegal harvesting of fish corals. Laws against violators have no teeth and seldom implemented. Dr. Sotto aptly said that you cannot protect something which you can’t understand hence the need for advocacy via information education to protect corals and to promote marine diversity. /MP