Monday, April 29, 2013

Miss Numancia 2013


Miss Numancia 2013, Her Majesty Mae Antonette M. Sim 

Miss Numancia 2013, Her Majesty Mae Antonette M. Sim (center) with Justin Micca N. Justiniani – 1st runner up and Lea Jean B. Lacorte, 2nd runner up. (Kasimanwang Numanciahanon photo)

“Basta Numanciahanon, gwapahon!” this was a very empowering remark from Mr. Rufino V. Fajardo, chairman for Cultural Affairs in his speech as he welcomed the guest and the audience in a full-packed Numancia covered court on the occasion of the pageant night of Search for Miss Numancia 2013, Sunday evening, April 28 at Numancia town plaza, Poblacion, Numancia, Aklan.
Miss Numancia 2013 pageant, a special feature which highlighted the celebration of Numancia town fiesta in honor of Patron Saint, St. Joseph The Worker. This is a yearly event which started in 1982 organized by then Sangguniang Bayan member Hon. Rufino V. Fajardo. Miss Numancia produces beauties that stand out in various provincial competitions such as Mutya It Kalibo Ati-atihan, Ms. Tourism, and Ms. APRISAA among others.
There are seven (7) young lovely finalists who represented some barangays of Numancia. They are: Jonette O. Garcia, 18 – Albasan, Jade Sheena M. Toriaga, 18 – Aliputos, Quennie Yra May I. Madamba, 17 – Camanci Norte, Lea Jean B. Lacorte, 16 – Navitas, Justin Micca N. Justiniani, 16 – Bulwang, April Grace R. Alba, 17 – Poblacion, and Mae Antonette M. Sim, 18 – Badio who competed in the beauty contest for Miss Numancia 2013 crown.
Her majesty, Mae Antonette M. Sim of barangay Badio was conferred the title Miss Numancia 2013. Justin Micca N. Justiniani, Bulwang – 1st runner up and Lea Jean B. Lacorte, Navitas – 2nd runner up.
  The Search for the most beautiful Numanciahanon is composed of outstanding and well applauded team, headed by the over-all Chairman Hon Mayor Adolfo Iligan, Chairman for Cultural Affairs, Mr. Rufino Fajardo and Hon. Jim Maribojo, Pageant Director. /MP

Thursday, April 25, 2013


Load Capacity of Boracay


I was in Boracay with our three granddaughters last April 11. We were in high spirits. We anticipated the simple pleasure of beating the summer heat and basking in the sugary white sand. We elbowed ourselves through tourist lounge of Caticlan Jetty Port. We arrived Station 1 at 8:00 o’clock A.M. Immediately, we scouted for a comfortable spot to tuck away our food provision and handy bags.

A number of foreigners and local tourists including children were already bathing in the area. We joined them savoring the moment of bonding and togetherness. Gentle waves and breeze were therapeutic, relieving physical and emotional stress. Turquoise eatery expanse held a number of moored Roll On Roll Off (RORO) vessels, speeding boats and sailboats.

However up North, a different scenario took place. The whole beach area was practically deserted. Reason is that Balabag beachfront is littered with filamentous green algae or “lumot”. Local folks attribute algae bloom to cyclical onset of summer but this year seems the worse. Only sites that are spared of this anomaly are those in Yapak and Manoc-manoc where water current and wind velocity is pretty strong. 

It appears that Balabag shoreline has dense algae cover due to high concentration of dissolved nitrogen in seawater. This is abetted by intense sunlight and the absence of fin fishes that utilize them as food. Concentration of filamentous green algae extends at least 30 meters from the shoreline making the beach unsightly and hazardous for bathers. 

Ironically, the Local Government Unit of Malay under Mayor John Yap has been amassed to minimize the environmental pollution. A periodic clean up drive say once a week could be undertaken by dragging a beach seiner to collect the lumot (algae). This could be decompost and turned into fertilizer. Otherwise, this will jeopardize the island’s reputation as the most beautiful island tourist destination in the world. 

The Ecosystem Research and Development Bureau (ERDB) according to Ms. Merelene B. Aborka, OIC, CENRO officer Kalibo has started a study on carrying load capacity of Boracay in 2011. Parameters include water supply component against population and geological characteristics that include underlying soil and rock formation gauged against man-made physical structures and population. The only problem is that this may take several more years before the findings and report of the study are concluded.

Environmental degradation of Boracay is getting serious every year as population surges. The same holds true for business establishments and high end tourists resorts. Ms. Rudelyn R. Panadero, Statistician II, National Statistics Office revealed Aklan has 1.73 percent annual population growth between 2000-2010 while Malay registered 6.45 percent during the same period. In 1980 Malay has a population of only 9,126. Today it has 27,201 registered voters, the highest among the municipalities in Aklan. 

It is not only interesting but hurting to note that majority of population are living below the poverty line and recipients of 4 P’s.

Boracay Island Corporation (subsidiary of Ayala) which manages the water and sewerage treatment plant in the island since the last decade can be simply overwhelmed by runaway population increases and commercial growth. Rational demand for water quality, low cost housing, proper waste disposal and credible land use plan all point to decongesting the island back to the 1980 level. 

This means massive relocation of transients and business establishments not in any way linked to tourism. LGU Malay should be in the forefront in the implementation of a low cost housing project equipped with service facilities and livelihood opportunities in the mainland Aklan. 

In 2012, provincial tourists reached 1.2 million with earnings of P20 B according to the Department of Tourism. The target of doubling this figure in 2016 appears uncertain as carrying load capacity of Boracay has been reached or about to be. It is now in the “law of diminishing return”. This also means that other tourism sites in mainland Aklan be developed as alternative location. The big question remains: must Aklanon follow the path of greed or principle of conservation? How can Malay LGU and Aklan LGU cajole non Aklanon investors to comply with the laws, ordinances, rules, and regulations in Aklan? Cryptic handwriting on the wall is that Boracay is weighed in the scales and found wanting.  /MP  

Entrepreneurial Farmer

by Ambrosio R. Villorente

Aquino Among Top 100 
Influential Persons

Pres. Benigno Aquino has insisted civilians had the right to carry guns for self defense. His insistence came about after a series of deadly shootings which well meaning people “prompted call for a total firearm ban”. 

However, President Aquino rejected strongly the call which emanated from political leaders, media groups and Catholic Church leaders for a stricter gun laws or outright ban on civilians owning guns.

Police data shows, there were 1.2 million registered guns in civilian hands in 2012. There are another 600,000 unlicensed firearms in circulation. 

Pres. Aquino believes the solution to end the gun violence is to get rid of the unlicensed firearms in circulation. 

He also believes the solution to end the gun violence is to get rid of the unlicensed weapons and allow law abiding people to carry weapon in self defense. He insisted his administration is doing much to address gun violence like the taking away of weapons from the so-called private armies that are run by local politicians around the Philippines.

Do you believe Pres. Aquino on these giving privileges to civilians to own and carry guns? Until today, crimes are increasing with the use of guns.

The vice mayor of Mambusao, Capiz was shoot to death just recently. Dexter Condez, Ati leader in Boracay Island resort in Malay, Aklan was murdered by the assassin using his gun. 

Bombo Boy Hinolan of Bombo Radyo, Kalibo was murdered with the use of a gun in Poblacion, Kalibo in a November evening, 2004. The Roland Ureta case of RMN DYKR, Kalibo, Aklan was also a case of murder using gun in Bagto, Lezo, Aklan. 

A person in possession of guns improves his fighting mode. He becomes more violent, aggressive. What will prevent an angry person or a violent person from using his gun? a deadly weapon? It is much better to have a gunless society.      


Time Magazine has included Philippine President Benigno Aquino III among the top 100 most influential persons of the world this year. Malacañang reacted on this inclusion as a recognition of the Philippines improved standing in the eyes of the world.

The so called “Time 100” is now on its tenth year and this is the first time Aquino’s name is listed. Aquino is among the 23 top influencers category as leaders in the list published on line last week. The other four groups are titans, pioneers, icons and artists. Aquino is among the other leaders who cover various fields and territories like Pope Francis, US Pres. Barack Obama, South Korea leader Park Geun-hye, and North Korea Chief Kim Jong-un.

Aquino was recognized for the stellar performance of the Philippine economy, his strong stand on crucial local and global issues.

Time magazine also lauded Aquino for his support to the Reproductive Health Bill signed into law. Aquino was also cited for his “brave stance, the long term consequences still unknown “in the face of the regional confrontation with Beijing over its claim to virtually all of South China Sea”. /MP   

Aklan Now, The Richest In WV


The renovated Provincial Capitol Building, a symbol of provincial progress.

If the gauge is the least number of families living below the poverty threshold level, then Aklan can be considered the richest province in Western Visayas.

This is the implication of the latest report of the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB) on the state of poverty in the country which shows that only 21 percent of the total number of families in the Province of Aklan lives below the poverty level during the first semester of 2012.

This is a drastic reduction in the poverty incidence in Aklan which in 2009 hit a high 38.4 percent among families and 32.3 percent in 2006.

The 2012 figure of poverty incidence in Aklan is much lower than the national average of 22.3 percent among families in the entire country living below the poverty line.

The 2012 NSCB figure on the state of poverty certainly gladdened the unified political leadership in Aklan lead by Governor Carlito S. Marquez and Vice Governor Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo whose centerpiece program of governance is poverty alleviation through tourism and agriculture development.

In the past, when the NSCB released the 2009 figure of the state of poverty, Marquez was irked by the high figure of 38.4 percent poverty incidence in Aklan.

Marquez popularized his battle cry in governance “Owa it ginagaid sa kapobrehan” (No one is tied to poverty).

Antique has the highest poverty incidence in Western Visayas pegged at 32.1 percent, followed by Guimaras and Negros Occidental with 26.2 percent each, Capiz with 25.4 percent and Iloilo with 21.9 percent, all during the first semester of 2012.

Aklan’s 21 percent figure on poverty incidence is much lower than the regional average of 24.7 percent and the national average of 22.3 percent.

The reduction of poverty incidence in Aklan during the last three years would only mean that development programs of national and local governments had certainly caused trickle-down effects.

Aklan, through Boracay, registered tourist arrivals of more than a million last year translated into more than P20 billion in tourism receipts.

The Department of Social Welfare and Development has covered all the towns of Aklan with its Pantawid Pampamilyang Pilipino Program infusing several millions of pesos annually into the provincial economy.

Infrastructure development in the province had been massive while several hundreds of millions of investments had been pouring into the province because of tourism.

The province of Aklan has P1.2 billion budget in 2013. It has already qualified as a first class LGU even before the official reclassification by the Bureau of Local Government Finance. /MP 

DAR Aklan Conducts Lakbay – Palay 2013 Attends 1st Hybrid Rice Congress in Muñoz, Nueva Ecija

by Alexys Apolonio, BS Agricl. Engr.

Farmer Joemer Reynaldo (above photo) of SANDONA Dev’t Coop expresses joy in seeing the F1 Mestizo 29 variety in one of the demo farms in PhilRice, Nueva Ecija. Joemer is currently involved in a seed production project of such variety. He is now excited to plant and reap  good palay production.

Led by the Provincial Agrarian Reform Officer II Eberardo N. Erispe, Aklan DAR Provincial Office personnel joined the 1st National Hybrid Rice Congress (NHRC) held in Philippine Rice Research Institute (PhilRice) in Science City, Muñoz, Nueva Ecija. The NHRC was conceptualized to support the country’s Food Staples Sufficiency Program with the theme “Sapat na Bigas, Kaya ng Pinas”. 

This is the Department of Agriculture’s centerpiece program focused on three major interventions: production-support, enhancing incentives and enabling mechanisms, and managing food consumption. The team, attended the hybrid congress, is the cooperating members of the Hybrid Rice Seed Production Project the DAR implements through the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project (ARISP) with the participation of LGU New Washington and the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist. Farmer-cooperators and members of SANDONA Development Cooperative in Barangay Guinbaliwan, New Washington, through their Chairperson Emelda Q. Fuentes also joined the activity. 

This year’s hybrid rice congress, held last April 3-5, 2013, supports the National Year of Rice 2013. It is a campaign aimed to promote productive farming, less rice wastage, and responsible rice consumption for better health. For production, the country aims to plant hybrid rice in one million hectares of favorable areas until 2016 to help the country become rice self-sufficient and increase the income of the farmers. 

The Lakbay Palay 2013 was a very important activity for the project team as they are currently implementing a hybrid rice project. The hybrid congress allowed them to observe demonstration farms of different hybrid rice varieties and other crops; witnessed different energy-efficient, knowledge-intensive and labor-reducing technologies on rice production, increased awareness of new technologies and ideas on growing rice and hybrid rice, and provided answers to some issues and concerns of the farmer-cooperators on their existing hybrid rice production project. /MP

Pheidippides and Boston Marathon


“If you want to run, run a mile. If you want to experience a different life, run a marathon.”  EMIL ZATOPEK

Many of us saw the actual video on the internet when the two blasts occurred near the finish line of the 2013 Boston Marathon (117th edition) on Monday (Tuesady morning in the Philippines), and it was evident the real targets of the bombers weren’t really the 23,181 participants in the world’s most prestigious full marathon (42.195 kilometers). 

The bombs exploded and killed three people in a crowded area where cheering fans and passersby converged just minutes after Ethiopia’s Lelisa Desisa breasted the tape in the men’s race in three-way sprint down Boylston Street to finish in 2 hours, 10 minutes, 22 seconds.

Marathon, the most dramatic event in the Olympics (because it is traditionally held in the penultimate day of Olympic Games), became a sports event in honor of Greek soldier Pheidippides who ran from Marathon to Athens to announce Greece’s victory in a battle against Persia.

The defeat at Marathon marked the end of the first Persian invasion of Greece, and the Persian force retreated to Asia. The Battle of Marathon was a watershed in the Greco-Persian wars, showing the Greeks that the Persians could be beaten; the eventual Greek triumph in these wars can be seen to begin at Marathon


From the poem of Robert Browning detailing Pheidippides’ heroism, Baron Pierre de Coubertin and other founders of the modern Olympic Games invented a running race of 42 kilometers called the Marathon. Below is Browning’s poem entitled “Pheidippides” written in 1879:

So, when Persia was dust, all cried, “To Acropolis!

Run, Pheidippides, one race more! the meed is thy due!
Athens is saved, thank Pan, go shout!” He flung down his shield. 

Ran like fire once more: and the space ‘twixt the fennel-field
And Athens was stubble again, a field which a fire runs through,

Till in he broke: “Rejoice, we conquer!” Like wine through clay,

Joy in his blood bursting his heart, - the bliss!

The definitive distance for the marathon race was determined in 1921 by the International Amateur Athletic Federation (IAAF). The distance chosen was the one ran in London in 1908 : 26 miles 385 yards or 42.195 km, according to Ahotu Marathons.

It is commonly said that the distance was set to 26 miles 385 yards because of the Royal family, added the Ahotu Marathons. During the preparation of the summer Olympiads, it had been agreed that the organizers would include a marathon of about 40 kilometers or 25 miles. The British officials, desirous to accommodate the King of England, started the race at Windsor Castle and finished at the Royal box in the Olympic Stadium—a distance of precisely 26 miles 385 yards.

But that only explains why the London marathon’s distance was 42. 195 kilometers It doesn’t tell us why this distance was chosen as the definitive marathon distance.


The Boston Marathon is the United States’ oldest marathon, and the most important and iconic race that started in 1897 with 18 runners.

In order to join the race, you have to qualify, according to New Yorker’s Nicholas Thompson.  

“A New York Marathon shirt means someone got lucky in a race lottery. A Boston Marathon shirt means they’ve run fast. The finish line today was one of the saddest, most terrible athletic scenes ever. But in an ordinary year, it’s extraordinary. Well-trained amateurs from all over the world: sweating, straining, slowing, sprinting,” Thompson said.

“The course was chosen to humble you. You start way off in Hopkinton, a town so far out on the Massachusetts Turnpike that it seems like it must be farmland. Then you run east. There are cheers at the beginning, and then it falls quiet for a spell. Families sit in lawn chairs clapping for the runners and listening to the Red Sox on the radio. At Wellesley College, at mile fourteen, the students come out en masse and cheer.” /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Bulkan It Vesuvius

Ro bulkan nga Vesuvius hay makit-an sa siyudad it Sicily sa Italy. Dati nga maisot ag manaba nga bukid eamang ra. May isaeang ka bakero nga naga pa hang-eab o naga alila ko anang mga karnero sa rondayang bukid. Kada agahon, may magueang nga naga paeapit kana agod magpangayo it pagkaon sa bakero. Ko olihi, guina abo nana ro anang baeon agod sakpon ro magueang. Pagkakaon it magueang, naga kaduea imaw sa isaeang ka maeapit nga eongib. 

Sa mabuhay eon nana nga pagtina-o it pagkaon sa magueang, nangoryoso imaw nga kutan-on kon siin imaw naga estar. Nagsabat ro magueang nga idto imaw naga estar sa idaeum it bukid. Guin daea imaw it magueang sa anang baeay. Pag abot nanda idto, hakita nana ro mga sari-saring hayop ag abo nga mga tanum nga puno it bunga. Ogaling owa guid imaw it hakita nga tawo. Solo ro magueang eamang. Hasayran nana nga ro mga hayop una sa sueod it kweba hay dating mga tawo ag guin sumpa sanda ko magueang tongod puro nag abuso sa mga tawo. Guin amolitan nanda ro palibot it kagueangan, mga sueok sa manggad, manog loko ag eabaw sa tanan, owa it pagtahod sa magueang. Guin daea sanda sa idaeum it bukid agod idto magserbisyo ag maga hueat kon hin-uno sanda kaeoy-an it magueang. Magabalik eamang sanda sa dating dagway kon magpakita it pagbag-o sa andang pamatasan. 

Samtang idto ro bakero sa idaeum it bukid, abo imaw nga nasayran nga trabaho kaibahan ko mga hayop. Naila kana ro magueang busa, sa anang pag uli, guin pabaeonan imaw it puti nga bato bilang panaming kontra sa mga maeain nga espirito. Sa anang pag guwa, nagpaeapit kana ro tanan nga hayop ag nagpakit lo-oy nga buligan sanda. Naeo-oy kanda ro bakero, busa naghinyo imaw sa magueang nga buhi-an eon ro mga hayop agod makabalik sa andang pamilya. Nagpasugot ro magueang ag sa anda nga pag uli, nagbalik sanda sa andang dating dagway nga tawo. 

Bisan nalipay ro andang pamilya, indi malipatan ko mga tawo ro tinagong manggad it magueang. Nagplano sanda nga balikan ro bukid. Ko gabi-e ngaron, nagkutkot sanda sa likod ag guin amat-amat nga ipaguwa ro mga alahas ag ibang manggad ko magueang. 

Ogaling owa rondaya malipod tanan sa magueang. Golping nagpamaeandong ag naglinog. Nag init ro dapog ko magueang ag nagbukae ro tubi sa sueodlan. Nag awas ag nag ilig sa saeog. Nagbuga it kaeayo ro dapog hasta nag alsa sa ibabaw it eongib. Eompok ro bilog nga yungib ag kutob sa sueod nga mga tawo hay nagkaeamatay. 

Padayon ro pagbinuga it kaeayo tongod owa pa naghupa ro kaakig it magueang. Sa owa magbuhay, nagkalma ro palibot. Aso eon lang ro makit-an. Nagtahaw ro kainit ag amat-amat man ro pagtinaas ko bukid. Makaron, isaeang ka bulkan ro bukid it Vesuvius. Indi masayran kon hin-uno eon man maeopok. Ag kon mag eopok guid man, sayod eon kita kon ano ro kabangdanan.  /MP  

Investing In Local Economic Development (LED): Competitive Cities On The Rise *

(Last of four parts)

* A paper presented by San Fernando City Mayor Oscar S. Rodriguez, to the Plenary Session, 38th Philippine Business Conference, Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry on October 9, 2012 held in Manila Hotel, Manila.

Our Next Steps

We in San Fernando City view the future with optimism and with firm resolve to work even harder, guided by our own people’s changing needs. We are constantly on the lookout for emerging patterns elsewhere that might be of value to us.

As more and more converge on cities, for instance, we realized the wisdom of interconnecting with other cities, particularly those contiguous to us in terms of geography, resource profile, or even culture. No man is an island, and the same is true for a city. 

Just recently, the City of San Fernando entered into a sister city agreement with our neighbor to the north, the ever vibrant Angeles City. This partnership, aside from being a necessary element for resiliency and signaling an end to parochialism, gives us opportunities for cooperative efforts to advance our mutual interests.

We have also supported the bid of another neighbor in the province, Mabalacat, to become a new city. The graduation to cityhood is justified by its recent revenue and overall economic gains. I have reached out to the officials and the people of Mabalacat in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation.

These new steps we are taking are on account of new studies on the viability of cluster-based strategies in city developments. Development planners tell us that as economies become more globalized, cities will need to adopt policies that embrace the tendency for industry clustering. 

Our recent moves seem to be in step with this thinking. We shall continue to look for more partners with which we can “cluster” in our search for sustainable development and growth that will benefit our people. 

Certainly, San Fernando will also keep its ears to the ground for emerging trends on such concerns as climate change adaptation and mitigation, and urban environmental infrastructure development. 

On climate change adaptation, San Fernando recently became the first LGU to adopt a Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Code that defines all policies and management directions that prepared the city for natural calamities. 

On urban environmental infrastructure, we are developing our own approach to the phenomenon of rural-to-urban migration by preparing an “arrival city” within San Fernando that can absorb such migration without radically disturbing the level and quality of basic services.

To meet all of these goals, the City of San Fernando will continue to welcome private businesses as important partners in development. Our guiding principle in dealing with private enterprises who want to take part in improving the lot of the people of San Fernando is simple: On the very first day of my first term, I made it clear to my staff and to the City Hall employees that I would not tolerate corruption, bribery, extortion, and all practices that in the past had stifled progress in my city.

PADC Experience 

In the beginning, some of our employees and business people doing business with us found that difficult, but I actually initiated administrative action against a few who were caught engaging in these practices.

In my own office, people who have set up businesses in the city and gained from those business, still hint at offers of gifts as a way of giving thanks. I always cut them short. And I quickly add that if they really want to show gratitude, perhaps they can look for projects that will directly benefit the Fernandinos. (I always decline gifts)

Indeed, some of them have, on their own initiative, proposed to undertake small or medium sized infrastructure projects in certain barangays. These projects now help prevent floods or ease traffic flow in some parts of the city. 

It is not just the City and its residents that have benefited from this project. Let me share with you a comment from the proponent of this highly successful PPP project. The managing director of Philippine Abattoir Development Corp., Mr. Darwin Sayoc, recently went on record and told an interviewer the following:

“In the course of our negotiations, I was immensely impressed and struck by the Mayor’s no-nonsense style of leadership. He made sure that we do everything right by talking to us in very clear terms that he will not tolerate dishonestly or any illegal act. As an investor, we are so lucky to have struck gold in San Fernando City!”

The City of San Fernando is now in a position to tell private individuals or enterprises like you who intend to undertake projects in our city, that perhaps you too can “strike gold” in our city. All you have to do is follow the rules and take the “tuwid na daan” and look for viable projects in our city.   /MP

Mayor Fuentes Gets Opponent

Mr. Noel D. Teston visited the Madyaas Pen editorial office, Kalibo, Aklan this week. He strongly denied Tangalan Mayor Gene Fuentes has no opponent for Mayor of Tangalan on the May 13, 2013 election. 

Teston assured his followers in Tangalan, “I am strongly opposing the bid of Fuentes for reelection as Mayor of Tangalan”.

Noel D. Teston is a native of Dumatad, Tangalan, Aklan. He is married to Marcel Dumaran Daroy of Jawili, Tangalan where they are now residing. 

Noel is the son of spouses Alberto Tiberio Teston and Josefina Rotulo Delos Santos.

He completed Bachelor of Arts degree in 1973 in Inter American University, San Juan, Puerto Rico. He earned Certificate In Personnel Management in 1976 in New York University, New York City. He came home to the Philippines, studied Master of Business Administration in the University of San Agustin, Iloilo City which he completed in 2012.

Noel joined the U.S. navy and fought in Vietnam in 1964-1973. After the US military moved out of Vietnam, Noel worked in Silicon Valley, California as Compensation and Benefits Manager. He served as multitask manager in a pest control firm, New York, USA in 1996-1999. He was Airport Security Agent at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York City in 2003-2006 after which he went home to the Philippines for good.

Now he is working to become Municipal Mayor of Tangalan. /MP 

Chiz To US: Pay Penalty In Cash, Not In Kind

The United States government should pay up in cash on the P58 million penalty imposed on the US Navy vessel that ran aground and caused damage in the World Heritage site Tubbataha Reef. Escudero, at the same time, called on the government to reject US suggestions to settle its obligations in kind.

“I insist that the US government pays up in cash. The suggestion to settle their obligations through donations or aid loans is not acceptable. They should follow what the Philippine law requires for the incident,” he said.
“Even if the return from the offer to pay in kind would be bigger than the actual fine, it remains unacceptable since what is provided in the law should be followed,” Escudero said.

To agree with the US government suggestion it provides aid instead of paying a fine is equivalent to accepting the USS Guardian should not be held accountable for the destruction it caused on Tubbataha Reef, according to Escudero.

“The law imposes an inequitably small fine compared to the damage caused on the reef. It would not help in protecting the resource if the government waives the fine in favor of other considerations being offered by the US government,” Escudero added.

Last January 17, the US Navy minesweeper ran aground at the Tubbataha Reef supposedly on its way to Indonesia after a port call at Subic Bay. The US Navy took two months to dismantle and extricate the military vessel from the reef.

Escudero said it is not about the amount that the country will get from the United States but it is all about following the law. It is all about the principle of respect between two allies, he said. /MP

Friday, April 19, 2013


Boston Marathon Bombing

by Tim McLaughlin and Mark Hosenball

BOSTON/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Investigators have spotted a Boston Marathon bombing suspect from security video taken before two blasts ripped through central Boston on Monday, April 15, a U.S. law enforcement source said on Wednesday, April 17 in what is potentially the biggest break in the case yet.

No arrests had been made, and the suspect in the video had not been identified by name, two U.S. government officials said. Police may make an appeal to the public for more information at a news conference scheduled on Wednesday, April 17, a U.S. government source said.

The explosions at the Boston Marathon finish line killed three people and injured 176 others in the worst attack on U.S. soil since September 11, 2001.

The bombings as well as subsequent reports that someone tried to mail the deadly poison ricin to U.S. President Barack Obama - the second report of such a letter in two days - have created a climate of uncertainty in the country. Nerves were jolted further by an inaccurate report on cable news network CNN that a bombing suspect had been arrested.

Shortly after CNN retracted its report of an arrest in the case, security officials at Boston’s federal courthouse ordered staff, media and attorneys to evacuate due to a security scare and move at least 100 yards (91.4 meters) away, according to a Reuters reporter on the scene.

Bomb-sniffing dogs, fire engines and heavily armed and helmeted police arrived at the courthouse, which was reopened to employees an hour later.

In Washington, authorities were investigating a letter addressed to the president after the contents preliminarily tested positive for the ricin. Authorities had intercepted a letter sent to Republican Senator Roger Wicker of Mississippi on Tuesday, April 16 that also preliminarily tested positive for ricin.
The FBI said there was no indication of a connection to the Boston bomb attacks, but they reminded Americans of anthrax mail attacks the country in the wake of the September 11 attacks 12 years ago.


The bombs in Boston killed an 8-year old boy, Martin Richard; a 29-year-old woman, Krystle Campbell, and a Boston University graduate student and Chinese citizen, Lu Lingzi.

The crowded scene along the race course in central Boston on Monday, April 15 was recorded by surveillance cameras and media outlets, providing investigators with significant video of the area before and after the two blasts.

Investigators were also searching through thousands of pieces of evidence from cellphone pictures to shrapnel pulled from victims’ legs.

Based on the shards of metal, fabric, wires and a battery recovered at the scene, the focus turned to whoever may have placed homemade bombs in pressure cooker pots and taken them in heavy black nylon bags to the finish line of the world-famous race watched by thousands of spectators.

Streets around the bombing site remained closed to traffic and pedestrians on Wednesday, April 17 with police continuing their work.

No one had claimed responsibility for the attack.
“Whether it’s homegrown or foreign, we just don’t know yet. And so I’m not going to contribute to any speculation on that,” said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who until January was Massachusetts’ senior senator. “It’s just hard to believe that a Patriots’ Day holiday, which is normally such time of festivities, turned into bloody mayhem.”

Security officials who spoke on condition of anonymity said instructions for building pressure-cooker bombs similar to the ones used in Boston can be found on the internet and are relatively primitive.

Pressure cookers had also been discovered in numerous foiled attack plots in both the United States and overseas in recent years, including the failed bombing attempt in New York’s Times Square on May 1, 2010, the officials said. /MP 

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente

Never Vote Neglectful Congressman

Cong. Edgardo “Sonny” Angara, a senatorial candidate of Team Pinoy proposed what he called “No Work, No Pay” policy as a better solution to the chronic absenteeism of members of Congress.

Angara, a three-term member of the House of Representatives urged the voters to junk candidates with the record of repeated absences in the May 13, 2013 elections and in future elections. According to Angara, a repeated absence in legislative sessions is “neglecting their sworn duties and responsibilities to our people”. 

Calls for a “No work, no pay” policy mounted after the House of Representatives released the list of absences of Congressmen during the 15th Congress. 

Angara reminded voters to be more vigilant and look into the record of the candidates who are mostly incumbent or former members of Congress. For those who have yet to be members of congress, Angara said voters could look at their achievements and credentials.

“If they were achievers in their past professional lives, most likely they will be achievers” in congress or in other elective position. 

On the other hand, Angara called for a more transparent use of the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF). This fund is popularly known as “pork barrel” to make sure that these are spent wisely and judiciously. “Make sure that the DPAF money goes to the programs and projects that would benefit the constituents and not for their personal gain.

“Politicians who abuse their position for corruption do not deserve the people’s votes”, Angara stressed. 

Support Biofuels Program

While Congressman Angara talked about the absenteeism in Congress and take judicious use of PAAF fund, Migz Zubiri of the UNA senatorial candidate called the people’s attention to the Philippines biofuels sector to give serious attention by increasing the current coco bio-diesel blend of two percent to five percent in all diesel fuel requirements.

After more than five years since Republic Act 9367 was passed, yet the Department of Energy has not progress in terms of further increasing the blend for bio diesel, said Zubiri.
According to Zubiri, ”our current leaders seem to be not moving forward in helping our people both our energy and agricultural sectors”. 

He noted the abundant supply of coconut in the Philippines to meet the higher blend of 5 percent.

Based on the present data, of the 12 million hectares agricultural land, 3.1 million hectares are devoted to coconut crops. The Philippines Coconut Authority has developed 15 hybrids and one open pollinated variety which yield 4 to 6 tons per hectare per year. This is enough to meet more than 5 percent blend requirement.

The price of copra in the world market has dropped from P61 a kilogram in April 2011 to just P25 a kilo in December 2012. /MP 

DAR Celebrates Hybrid Rice Seed Festival, Farmers’ Field Day

The Department of Agrarian Reform in Aklan culminated the implementation of the Hybrid Rice Seed Production Project. It was jointly implemented with the Philippine Rice Research Institute, Agricultural Training Institute, Provincial Government of Aklan and the LGU New Washington through the ARISP III (Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Project). The project in agriculture and agribusiness development is component in Pacto De Sangre ARC, New Washington, Aklan ended on April 11, 2013. It was designed to improve farm productivity and sustain agriculture production by increasing household income of farmers and to improve the quality of their lives in Aklan.

The Harvest Festival showcased the six project sites with a total area planted to approximately 3.00 hectares with Mestizo 29, variety Philrice developed to produce high yielding hybrid rice. This activity demonstrated the crop standing of this variety and the harvesting activity for both male and female lines. A Farmers’ Forum was also conducted with some selected farmers from across Aklan, Municipal Agriculturists and Agricultural Technicians to showcase the Hybrid Rice Project and provide new ideas and knowledge on rice production. The product of this project, the hybrid seeds will be sold to farmers in Aklan to address the inadequacy of good seeds for planting rice and ultimately to find solution to increase rice productivity.

Likewise, the PhilRice initiated project on Multi-Location Adaptability Trial was also culminated with a Participatory Varietal Selection activity in Brgy. Guinbaliwan. It was designed to help farmers identify which seed and plant characteristic they prefer for growing rice. PhilRice will utilize results of the varietal selection to develop new varieties based upon what the farmers want.  The project planted 10 promising inbred lines and four check varieties. /MP

HAMPCO Gets DTI’s Shared Service Facilities Project

The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has identified Handicraft of Aklan Multi-Purpose Cooperative (HAMPCO), a cooperative based in Kalibo, Aklan as its qualified cooperator/partner of the Shared Service Facilities (SSF) Project under the DTI’s “Big Push” for SME Development Program in the province of Aklan  The SSF is a public private partnership initiative which will be implemented through private sector partner. The partner must provide sustainable facilities to house the machinery and equipment.  

HAMPCO is established on 27 December 1989. Today, it has a total of 385 members with 141 workers (weavers, knotters, warpers, sewers, embroiderers, and painters).  Some of its major product lines are: abaca silk, abaca piña, abaca basket weave, pina cloth, abaca cloth, piña seda shawl and  piña seda barong.  Its domestic markets are Boracay, Manila, Cebu, Pampanga, and Palawan. Its export markets are Japan, France and Italy.  

As the project’s cooperator, HAMPCO identified the recipients of the 50 handloom units to be housed in five (5) loom weaving centers in Aklan located in the municipalities with the number of corresponding beneficiaries as follows:

Brgys. New and Old Buswang, Kalibo – 13; Brgys. Poblacion and Ibao, Lezo – 17; and Brgy. Tina, Makato – 20.

The SSF project aims: a. To enhance the competitiveness of the priority industry clusters through the use of quality and productivity enhancing machinery and equipment; and b. To develop priority and market-driven industries in support to National Industry Cluster Capacity Enhancement Program (NICCEP).

The project is envisioned to benefit the most number of existing microenterprises and SMEs in the priority clusters within the poorest 609 municipalities in the country. It will be launched on 30 April 2013, simultaneously conducted with the Aklan Investment Conference (I-Con) 2013.  DTI Secretary Gregorio L. Domingo, and other national & local government officials will grace the event. 

Aklan Piña and Fiber Festival 

The Aklan Piña and Fiber Festival will be one of the highlights of the Aklan Day Celebration. It is on its 14th year of showcasing Aklan’s premium indigenous products.  This trade show will run for one week from 22 – 30 April 2013 at 9 am to 8 pm daily. The venue is the Trade Hall, Provincial Capitol Grounds, Kalibo, Aklan.  

Some 33 exhibitors from various sectors:  indigenous fibers and crafts, gifts, housewares & furnishings, food processing, and health & wellness are confirmed to participate.   New concepts and designs will be launched in this year’s exhibit, giving a new twist to existing products.  Focus will be given to local products, which shall fall under the priority sectors – indigenous fibers, gifts, housewares, furniture and furnishing, and agri & aqua-based processed foods. 

Alongside of this trade are: a. Accessories Fashion Show - 24 April at 7:00 o’clock in the evening; b. Investment Conference cum Market Encounter  - 30 April,  8:30am - 5pm ; c. Abaca Crafts & Weaving Skills Demonstration- 22-30 April; and d. Special Product Exhibitions (Abaca & Bamboo Products) - 22-30 April. 

DTI-Aklan spearheads this activity in cooperation with Hugod Aklanon Producers Association, Inc. Aklan Piña & Other Indigenous Fibers Manufacturers & Traders Assn., Inc., Provincial Government of Aklan, Congressional District Office, Fiber Industry Development Authority, and Philippine Exporters Confederation, Inc., according to DTI Aklan Provincial Director Diosdado P. Cadena, Jr.  /MP

Ariella Arida of Laguna Wins Bb. Pilipinas-Universe 2013

The stunning lady who hails from Laguna bested 49 other contestants during the coronation night held at the Smart Araneta Coliseum on Sunday night, April 14. The 24-year-old winner is a Chemistry graduate from UP Los Baños, Laguna.

Arielle impressed the judges during the Question & Answer portion with her answer on what women can teach men.

“One lesson in life that women can teach men is being sensitive. Men are more logical when it comes to decisions. They’re rational and straightforward. Unlike women, we use our hearts and we tend to get emotional when we make our decisions. Sensitivity is something that we women can teach to men,” she said.

Bea Santiago was crowned Bb. Pilipinas-International, Joanna Cindy Miranda was declared  Bb. Pilipinas-Tourism, while  Mutya Johanna Datul was named Bb. Pilipinas-Supranational. Pia Wurtzbach meanwhile, emerged as first runner-up.

The 2012 Bb. Pilipinas winners Janine Tugonon, Nicole Schmitz and Katrina Jayne Dimaranan passed their crowns  to their respective successors.

In celebration of the pageant’s 50th year, former Bb.Pilipinas winners, including Miss Universe 1969 Gloria Diaz, Miss Universe 1973 Margie Moran,  Miss Universe 2010 4th runner-up Venus Raj and Miss Universe 2011 3rd runner-up graced the event.

The special awardees are: Miss Friendship - Lourenz Grace Remetillo; Miss Talent - Ana Carmela Aquino; Miss Photogenic - Mutya Johanna Datul; Best in National Costume- Alaine Baccay; Best in Swimsuit – Ariella Arida; Best in Evening Gown - Mutya Johanna Datul; Manila Bulletin Readers’ Choice Awards - Ellore Noelle Punzalan; Bb. Petron - Joanna Cindy Miranda; Creamsilk Beyond Beautiful Woman - Joanna Cindy Miranda; Bb. San Mig Zero Fit & Sexy Body - Pia Wurtzbach; Bb. Avon - Bea Santiago; Bb. Philippine Airlines - Nicole Donesa; Bb. Pilipinas -PAGCOR - Imelda Sweighart; Bb. Pilipinas Charities Inc. Chair Stella Marquez-Araneta was also given a tribute.

The coronation night, hosted by Martin Nievera and Dawn Zulueta, was aired in ABS-CBN. /MP

Church To Celebrate National Day of Service

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will celebrate the National Day of Service on April 27, 2013. On this day, thousands of Mormon Helping Hands volunteers from 1,121 congregations all over the Philippines, together with their neighbors, will troop to the streets to clean surroundings, plant trees and mangroves, do coastal clean-ups, paint fences and do other service projects that will benefit the community. 

The 2012 National Day of Service logged more than 350,000 man-hours of service from Mormon Helping Hands volunteers in partnership with Earth Day Network Philippines. 

For 2013, the National Day of Service will be celebrated in partnership with Luntiang Pilipinas (Green Philippines). Trees will be planted in as many areas as possible. A training on how to prepare a 72 hour kit will be conducted in different barangays. During disasters, a 72 hour kit could help a person survive for three days before outside help arrives.

Service projects like these are taking place throughout the world often. Latter-day Saints join with their neighbors of other faith to clean and beautify their communities. The Church’s Helping Hands program started more than 10 years ago as a way for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter day Saints to reach out to others in a spirit of friendship and service. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro


Si Andoy hay isaeang ka mangingisda. Parabil imaw maghalin ko agahon ngaron, duro guid ro bilin kana ko anang kapritsioso nga asawa.

Pag abot ni Andoy sa tonga it dagat, guin haboy nana ro anang eambat. Pilang beses nana nga guin haboy ro anang eambat ogaling owa guid it maskin sambilog nga ibis ro hadakpan. 

Sa katapusan nga haboy, may hadakpan imaw nga maisot nga botelya. Guin himos nana ro anang eambat ag guin butang ro botelya sa anang aeat.

Pag abot sa baeay, nag hueat ro anang asawa sa pagpati nga abo ro dakop ni Andoy. Duro guid ro anang kaakig ay owa it dakop, owa man it soea. Ro anang hakitang botelya, guin haboy na sa kaakig. Tumama  ro botelya sa bato ag napusa. May nag guwa nga aso sa botelya ag nagporma nga tawo nga mabahoe, genie gali. Nag eohod ro genie sa atobadngan ko babaye ag naghambae kon ano ro isugo kana. Nangayo imaw it mabahoe ag kumpleto nga baeay. May nagtindog nga baeay nga kumpleto sa kagamitan. Dayon, nangayo it saeakyan, mga alahas ag pagkaon ro asawa ni Andoy. Tanan ro guin pangayo guin tao sa babaye. 

Sa kabuhayon nga pagpinangayo it babaye, amat-amat nga nag eoya ro genie. May limite man gali ro kinaadman it genie. Sa kaeo-oy ni Andoy, guin pangutana ro genie kon ano ro ikabulig ni Andoy. Naghinyo ro genie nga ibutang sa anang kilid ro botelya. Guin pabo-oe it sambilog nga buhok sa anang oeo agod sug-an. Ro aso ko buhok nagsimpon sa genie ag nangin aso man dayon ro genie nga nagsueod sa botelya. Guin takpan ni Andoy ro botelya ag guin haboy sa dagat.

Samtang naubos ro tanan nga manggad nanday Andoy tongod sa owa it habas nga pag inabuso ko anang asawa. Guin usoy nana ro botelya agod mangayo eon man it uman sa genie ogaling owa eon ro botelya. Owa man ro genie. Nagbalik sanday Andoy sa dating pagka pobre. 

Ogaling may guin aywan ro genie kana ag sa tama nga tiyempo paga gamiton eamang nana kon kinahangean guid. Halin kato, nag eain do batasan ko babaye. Nagabulig imaw kay Andoy ag guin tatap man nana ro andang mga unga. Owa it maka tupong sa kalipay ni Andoy. /MP