Thursday, March 26, 2015

NGCP Obtains 84% Overall Mark In 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey

NGCP Obtains 84% Overall Mark 
In 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey

Henry Sy, Jr., President and CEO of the power grid operator NGCP, sets his message to NGCP employees to strive to do their best in delivering service to customers.

“We must be driven by passion to do what we do best. We must work hard. Our job as grid operator and transmission service provider is not easy, but it is a privilege to serve others,” said Mr. Sy, congratulating the NGCP employees who attended the cascade of the 2014 Customer Satisfaction Survey (CSS).

The latest CSS results showed an 84 percent overall customer satisfaction rating which reflected almost 3 percent increase from the 2013 mark.

“I cannot thank you enough for your contributions. This is a team effort. I have always emphasized that NGCP’s success depends on the contribution of each and every one of its employees. It gives me pride to serve with you and be inspired by your dedication to this corporation,” Mr. Sy added.

The survey was administered by the University of the Philippines Statistical Research Foundation which measured how NGCP performed in delivering transmission service to its power customers. The overall customer satisfaction rating of 84.27 percent is significantly higher than last year by 2.99 points. Across grids, Luzon customers had the highest rating at 85.98 percent, followed by Visayas at 82.46 percent, and Mindanao at 82.33 percent. 

Respondents in that survey were segmented by customer groups per region and by districts. A survey category encompasses customer communication, communication on billing and reconciliation, customer relationship, provision of technical services, and other operational matters.

Nelson F. Cabangon, NGCP’s Head of Corporate Affairs, said the CSS result shows important factors which are critical in delivering services to our customers. “It is good to note that the overall ratings for all aspects of customer service for 2014 significantly increased from the 2013 levels. We are indeed persistent and consistent to ensure that we keep on improving,” Cabangon stressed.

Results of the 2014 CSS were cascaded to the regions and districts in North and South Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao last February. 

NGCP is a privately owned corporation in charge of operating, maintaining, and developing the country’s power grid. It transmits high-voltage electricity through “power superhighways” that include the interconnected system of transmission lines, towers, substations, and related assets. The consortium holds the 25-year concession contract to operate the country’s power transmission network and is comprised of Monte Oro Grid Resources Corp., led by Henry Sy, Jr., Calaca High Power Corporation, led by Robert Coyiuto, Jr., and the State Grid Corporation of China (SGCC) as technical partner. /MP

GMA Network Stays Ahead Of Rivals In February

GMA Network Stays Ahead 
Of Rivals In February

GMA Network held on to its unbeaten record in the important areas of Urban Luzon and Mega Manila, where it continued to lead across all dayparts, in the month of February.

According to data from the industry’s widely-trusted ratings service provider Nielsen TV Audience Measurement, GMA outperformed rival networks from February 1 to 28 (with the dates of February 22 to 28 based on overnight data) by substantial margins.

In Urban Luzon, GMA recorded a total day household audience share of 36.9 percent, 6.9 points higher than ABS-CBN’s 30 percent and 28 points higher than TV5’s 8.9 percent.

The Kapuso Network also retained its dominance in Mega Manila with 38.7 percent average, surpassing ABS-CBN’s 26.7 percent by 12 points and TV5’s 9.2 percent by 29.5 points.

Urban Luzon and Mega Manila account for 77 and 59 percent, respectively, of all urban TV households in the country.

Meanwhile, GMA came ahead of its counterparts in NUTAM (National Urban TV Audience Measurement) in the daytime blocks. GMA’s morning audience share reached 32.8 percent, up 2.1 points from ABS-CBN’s 30.7 percent and up 22.9 points from TV5’s 9.9 percent. 

In the afternoon block, GMA beat competition with its 35.8 percent average, ahead of ABS-CBN’s 30 percent by 5.8 points as well as TV5’s 10.3 percent by 25.5 points. 

Internationally-recognized news magazine program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho took the number one spot in Urban Luzon and Mega Manila, while leading the roster of Kapuso programs in NUTAM.

Compared to its closest competitor, more entries from GMA also made it to the list of top 30 regular programs across NUTAM, Urban Luzon and Mega Manila. Among those included in the list, besides KJMS, were Magpakailanman, 24 Oras, Ismol Family, Celebrity Bluff, The Half Sisters, Empress Ki, Pepito Manaloto, Eat Bulaga, More Than Words, and Once Upon A Kiss. /MP

Wonders Of The Universe

Wonders Of The Universe
by Chita C. Heap

This information was taken from the advertisement feature of The Times Newspaper in the United Kingdom during my recent visit. In this issue Professor Brian Cox reveals how the most fundamental scientific principles and laws explain not only the incredible story of the Universe, but the story of us all.

How Will Planet Earth End?

Inconceivable but true- One of the most bizarre truths to have emerged from science is that we know more about the eventual fate of our Earth, and indeed the entire Universe, countless trillions of years hence, than about what the weather will do next.

As far as our planet is concerned, for instance, we know that it is doomed. Happily, the end is not exactly nigh; astronomers and physicists have calculated that our star, the sun, will start to run out of its hydrogen fuel in four or five billion years. After that it will swell into a grotesque parody of its current form, engulfing the planets Mercury and Venus as they swell into a bloated giant more than 200 million miles across. The Earth will be a seething hell hole, oceans of water replaced by seas of liquid rock.

But life on Earth will be over long before that. In just a billion years or less, the Sun will have become significantly hotter, causing oceans to heat up and eventually boil away. The end of the story of life on Earth will start at the Equator and finish at the poles, the last hardy microbes perhaps surviving for hundreds of millions of years after the last plants and animals have died out.

But the Universe itself will carry on. Stars will continue to be born and die, perhaps for trillion years or more. In the meantime, dramatic events will overtake our galaxy, the Milky Way, at about the same time the Sun swells into a Red Giant.

Astronomers operating the Hubble Space Telescope calculated that the Milky Way will collide with its nearest galactic neighbor, the Andromeda Galaxy, in about four billion years. Currently, the two giant galaxies are racing towards each other at 250,000 mph, a velocity that will quadruple as the galaxies fall into a gravitational embrace. Despite the enormity of the collision, it is quite possible that not a single star in either galaxy will hit another. This is because space is almost unimaginably empty.

But it is the largest scales and in the most distant future, of hundreds of billions of years hence, that things to get seriously weird. Cosmologists have known since the 1920’s that the Universe as whole is getting bigger. Local collisions aside (such as the Milky Way-Andromeda impact), most galaxies in the Universe are rushing apart, and have been doing so since the Big bang 13.7 billion years ago.

We can measure this expansion very precisely and give it the phenomenon and who posthumously gave his name to the space telescope. For every million light years one travels, farther-away objects are travelling a further 25 km a second or so faster away from you.

Time is perhaps the most mysterious property of our Universe. We still have no real idea of what time is and why it flows in the direction it does. Is it possible to travel backwards in time? In theory yes, but whether this will ever be practical no one knows, nor do they know what would happen if you caused one of the famous time-travel paradoxes, such as going back and shooting your parents before you were conceived (how then would you exist to do the shooting).

The more we learn about the Universe the weirder it seems. Many cosmologists, including the Astronomer Royal, Martin Rees, now believe that the magnificent assemblage of galaxies that we see is but a tiny mote on a much larger and grander entity called the Multiverse. The more we learn about the cosmos, the more we are forced to agree with the observation of the great scientist J.B. Haldane, who said that the Universe is “not only queerer than we CAN suppose.”

Did You Know?

A) That   ancient fossils suggest that life arose on Earth just a few hundred million years after its formation, 4.6 billion years ago. The fact that life was able to get a hold so quickly on what would then have been a hostile world suggests, say astrobiologists, that life should be everywhere.

B) Another possible Earth twin is Gilese 667Cc, a planet about 42 light years away that orbits a long-lived Red Dwarf star. This is a “super earth” about 3.9 times the mass of our world but a little larger. It receives about 90% of the sunlight that we do, meaning surface temperature should be similar to ours. It orbits its tiny sun so closely that a year only lasts seven Earth Days.

C) Based on observations from Earth based telescopes and space observatories, it is thought that around one in 50 of all the stars in our galaxy, the Milky Way, have earthlike planets orbiting them in the Habitable Zone. This would mean there are about two billion Earth twins in our galaxy alone and several tens of millions in the observable Universe. /MP


A Living Sacrifice
by Megs S. Lunn

Megs S. Lunn
It takes a courageous man to defend the real essence of ‘love’ and make it his way of life to defend others in love, too. Rev. Fr. Aleksander Gaut, SVD from the University of San Carlos, Cebu City was our speaker during the Open Lenten Recollection at the Pink Sister in Polo, New Washington, Aklan last March 8, 2015. He loaded us with lots of real stories from his journey with the poor.  

His presence inspired us all who were present in the Lenten Recollection. It’s true, if a person wishes to see Jesus and his miracles in life, that person must be like Jesus and see Jesus in every person that he meets and serves.  Since everyone deserves to love and be loved, the kind of love must be standard to our Jesus. Everyone is embraced by God and through His embrace, He moves people to do the same. According to Fr. Alex, “The power and possession are use in life to serve the unloved and the poor. Jesus embraces all inclusively and His love is endless, with mercy and compassion.”

We need to be an instrument of liberation and not slavery. Though no one is holy, we still must do our best to be holy - one like Jesus. We should be a community that everyone longs for, a community of love woven as one. Our society is wounded. Our people are wounded. We are all fragmented in this modern world. We are all in pain. 

The recent massacre happened not because of politics and religion. But it happened because many does not have a heart and compassion for others. We have a social segregation.

Remember that we are not saved by God in Pain but because of love. That love should make us a transformer of that pain to love, doubt to faith and selfishness to generosity. We are all called – the transformer with mercy and compassion. We sacrifice for each other by caring and loving one another. We need to pray for others and that prayer must be coupled with action, “for prayer but without action is dead.”
I always remind my students to make ‘pakialam’. Have that social conscience to observe, to learn and to take the initiative to help. We love to see everyone with need. We need to respond to that need. We can’t consider each other just like a ‘commodity.’ 

Fr. Alex reiterated, “Discipleship is a constant struggle to be like Jesus.” During his talk, he told stories that inspire him and others, too. He said that in order for others to see Jesus, “We must tell them our stories of struggle, how we overcame it and how it changed our heart and others hearts, too. We must tell true stories and real experience where we benefited the miracle of Jesus. Stories that would touch the heart of others and change them to become like Jesus, too.”

We recollect to go back to our memories and think of who we are now, what we are now and if we have matured our faith in God. We listen to the speaker with the hope to get something that would motivate and change our heart, to live the best practices we experienced and do the same for others, too. The speaker is the instrument of Jesus to tell others that there is Jesus within us, within you and me. 

The challenge of Lenten Season is a process of identification to those in need of help. It is likewise a process that when we are able to identify them, it would change our heart, too, the way we consider people, not merely as a ‘commodity’ but as brothers and sisters, for we are a living sacrifice.

The beauty of sacrifices is what gives us value in life. At the end of the day, “we will not be remembered with a beautiful face, but we will be remembered as the person with a beautiful heart and soul.” /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Alila nga Isda
Ni Tita Linda Belayro
Pagkatapos it baha may nadakpan nga isda si Roper. Maitom ra hitsura, mahaba ro anang ikog. Guin butang nana sa garapon ogaling madasig magbahoe ro isda. Napilitan si Roper nga magbakae it akwaryom. Owa nagakaon it ibis kundi tinuktok nga kamalunggay ag eamhay nga baeatong.

Isaeang gabii, nagdamgo si Roper  nga mangin mabahoe ro anang isda ag maga itlog it perlas. May bilin rong isda nga tagu-on ag bantayan imaw ay basi takawon. Pagbugtaw ni Roper, may nakita imaw nga perlas sa sueod it akwaryom. Guintago nana rong perlas. Adlaw adlaw, nagatiniyo it perlas rong isda. Kat abo eon rong perlas, naghambae rong isda nga buhian imaw sa eawod agod mauli imaw sa anang pamilya. Nagatangis si Roper samtang guina buhian nana rong isda.

Ro mga perlas hay ana nga guin baligya. Nagpatindog imaw it mabahoe nga baeay nga may karinderya sa idaeom. Nakatapos tanan ro anang mga unga. Makaron hay may mga pamilya eon. Padayon pa guihapon sa anang karinderia si Roper. Guin ta-o abi kana ro mga grasya ko isda. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

by Ambrosio R. Villorente


This column sincerely congratulates Atty. Allen S. Quimpo on his conferment of an honorary degree: Doctor of Humanity, during the 14th Annual Commencement Exercises of the Aklan State University, Main Campus. The ceremony will be held at ASU Amphitheatre, Banga, Aklan on Tuesday afternoon, March 31, 2015 where Atty. Quimpo will also be the commencement speaker.

Doctor of Humanity degree as per Commission of Higher Education Memorandum Order, is one of the extra-ordinary degrees awarded to an individual by a higher education institution as a way of honoring a famous or distinguished visitor and to a person who has contributed an exceptional way to the upholding of the institution.

To recall, Atty. Quimpo is the author of the bill in the House of Representatives which was approved into law converting Aklan State College of Agriculture to Aklan State University in 2001.
A higher education institution authorized to award an honorary doctorate degree must have: 1. Attained a university status; 2. Must have existed as a higher education institution for a period of at least 25 years; and 3. Must have at least one (1) recognized doctoral program. 

Wind Farm

Guimaras will inaugurate its 54 mega watts wind farm on Friday, March 27, 2015 in San Lorenzo, Guimaras.
According to Daniel Del Rosario, Chief of Corporate Affairs of Trans Asia Renewable Energy Corporation, the event will showcase the strong partnership between Trans Asia and its stakeholders to “bulk up the country’s generating assets towards sustainable electricity supply.”

Trans Asia Renewable Energy Corp. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Trans Asia Oil and Energy Development Corporation which Operates the wind farm.

The San Lorenzo Wind Farm has 27 wind turbines, each of which is capable to generate two (2) MW. It started delivering power to the grid since October 7, 2014 after three (3) wind turbines.

According to Del Rosario, the wind farm is constantly delivering 100 percent of its capacity to the grid after its completion.

Obstructing Natural View

What happen to the proposed Provincial Ordinance concerning the placement of commercial advertisement in public places in consonance with values, culture and tradition of the Aklanons? Even government signages appear with commercial advertisement. Is this public private partnership? Or an indication of shortage of public funds to finance public affair.

I refer to the proposed provincial ordinance “An Ordinance Regulating The Installation, Posting, Hanging and Display of Streamers, Posters, Banners, and Other Similar Forms of Signages of Commercial Products/Goods, Including Billboards in the Province of Aklan and Providing Penalties Thereof.”

The above stated ordinance was sponsored by Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo-Quimpo sometime in July 2013. Is this ordinance approved? If approved, it appears nobody is implementing it. If not approved, it maybe logical to refile it, approve and implement it. There is urgent and actual need to regulate outdoor advertisement.

Some billboards are serving as traffic obstructions, some blocks street names. There are streamers which messages are no longer necessary as the event for which they were put had already been past. There are billboards, streamers and tarpaulin which are faded and therefore so ugly. They convey to the public the state of economic situation of our people and community.

The National Building Code, Section 2001 provides that “no sign or signboard shall be constructed as to unduly obstruct the natural view of the landscape, distruct or obstruct the view of the public as to constitute a traffic hazard, or otherwise defile, debase or offend aesthetic and cultural values and traditions”. This provision is repeatedly violated as no agency enforces it. /MP


The Valiant Never Taste Death But Once
by Ernesto T. Solidum

“Remembering Aklan Heroes and Martyrs” is the topic of the recent weekly Kapihan at NVC Carmen Hotel. The guests are Atty. Ronquillo C. Tolentino – Historian; Hon. Soviet Russia De la Cruz - SP member; and Atty. Allen S. Quimpo – NVC president.

Atty. Tolentino said that it has been 118 years since the 19 Martyrs of Aklan gave up their lives for love of country and freedom. Holding back his emotions, the former Vice Governor read his historical narrative beginning from the Iban brothers who were fortunate to win lottery in Australia. Despite being poor, they chose to invest their eventful of civil uprising against Spanish colonial and oppressive rule.

Local revolutionary forces were organized by Gen. Fransisco Castillo after being inducted to the Katipunan by Supremo Andres Bonifacio in Manila in 1897. This was followed by Blood Compact or Pacto de Sangre at Sitio Kumtang in Ochando, New Washington. Like wildfire, military forces were organized in Lezo, Banga, Malinao, Balete and Jimeno, now Altavas, as news spread about the Katipunan.

On that fateful day, March 17, 1897 Gen. Castillo led thousands of armed troops to the Spanish garrison at Poblacion, Kalibo. Unfortunately he was shot and killed while challenging Capt. Juan Azarraga of the Spanish military.

Colonel Ricardo Monet, Spanish Naval Commander in Visayas declared amnesty to all members of Katipunan provided they surrendered and laid down their arms. As expected, thousands lined up for amnesty. Yet 20 were detained by civil authorities as being leaders. Only one freed on the intercession by Fructuosa Meren, wife of one of the captives.

On March 23, 1897 just before dawn all 19 members of the Katipunan, the only one organized outside of Luzon, volley of shots hit the stillness of the night. Thus ended the colorful but blood struggle of Aklanons for freedom and independence.

Hon. de la Cruz is no stranger to the lives of heroes and martyrs being a great great grandson of one of the 19 Martyrs: Roman Aguirre. His previous work as former SB member of Kalibo was to enact legislation to immortalize our Aklan heroes and martyrs. He has produced a coloring book for grade schoolers, institutionalized the display of National flag along major streets and business establishments in Kalibo the whole months of March and June. Lately, Hon. de la Cruz released a 13 minute video presentation of the 19 Martyrs in an effort to enhance appreciation of their glorious struggle despite inherent weakness of weapons and tactics.

Atty. Quimpo acknowledged the travails of armed conflicts and tragic loss of our beloved countrymen. However, we should rather dwell on their individual lives rather than be obsessed on the morbid episode of death. In Vietnam, they do not remember defeat but victories. The Socialist country battled the French for eight (8) years and American for 18 years. They won overwhelmingly. China’s bullying of its (Vietnam) fishermen in the contested South China sea is responded by the burning of the Chinese commercial establishments in Saigon  and deportation of hundreds of Chinese nationals to Bejing. Lately, it has deployed two (2) units kilo class submarine for deterrent and reconnaissance purposes, said former Congressman Quimpo.

It is very unfortunate that Aklan lost its pre-eminence in National History as to produce the first Filipino legislator – Datu Hulantido. The Historical Society  headed by Ambeth Ocampo does not recognize his existence, neither the code of Kalantiaw because of the absence of relics, artifacts and written history. They contend the Muslims’ frail vintas could not have braved the rough Sulu, Visayas and Celebes seas eventually landing the 10 datus from Sabah, Malaysia to Panay Island. Well, our national historians do not realize that pre-Spanish Filipinos navigated the Archipelago using the balangay. 

Following is an exerpt cited by Justice Antonio Carpio in an article, “Scarborough is Ours” which appeared in the Philippine Star August 6, 2014 to wit:

“Austronesians 4,000 to 3,000 BC migrated from Southern China to Taiwan and thence to islands in the Pacific. They used balangays, 15 meters long and  3.4 meters in width. It carried 69 to 90 people.” In Butuan archeological site shows that the balangay relic was 25 meters long. Means of propulsion is the wind, sleek design features outriggers and semi-hardwood hull studded with wooden nails or “tarogo”.

“Ma Tuyan Sen in 982 AD reported that early Filipinos went to Canton as traders. This is more than 400 years before the Chinese Imperial Admiral Zeng He launched his famous voyage from 1405-1433 AD.” Our seafaring feat is common since early human settlements grew along rivers and the sea coast where fish is abundant and allowed trading of goods.

It is true that we Filipinos tend to be passionate and overly carried away by tragedies that could have been avoided in the first place. Notable ones are botched August 23, 2010 Luneta hostage crisis where 8 Hongkong tourists died. In Oplan Exodus, 44 SAF troopers were killed in clash with BIFF-MILF on January 25, 2015, Yolanda super typhoon deaths – 6,000 in the Visayas region on November 8, 2013, typhoon Uring death toll of 8,000 and Sendong – 1,453 in 2011.

Here, we must profit from our mistakes, rectify our commission and omissions and not dwell on failures. We must move on, never to repeat the same mistakes. A sterling example is completion of One World Trade Center in New York City, a 104 storey building now open to business 13 years after the terrorist attack.

Here are two world renowned figures who uphold freedom. Martine Luther King said that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those in times of crisis choose to do nothing.

The Roman Emperor Julius Caesar believed that cowards die many times before their death. The valiant never taste death but once. /MP



Sen. Sonny Angara(at left photo), chair of the Senate committee on Ways and Means, conducting a hearing jointly with the Committees on Local Government, Finance and Economic affairs on the proposed amendments on Tax Incentives Management and Transparency Act. Angara is pushing for the implementation of a more progressive and equitable tax system that would amend the “outdated” and “inequitable” tax system in the country. (Romeo Bugante photo). /MP

Drilon To Represent RP At Lee Kuan Yew’s State Funeral

Drilon To Represent RP At 
Lee Kuan Yew’s State Funeral

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon will represent President Benigno Aquino III, the government and the Filipino people at the state funeral of Singapore’s first prime minister, Lee Kuan Yew, who died  at the age of 91.

“The President has asked me to represent him and the Filipino people as we join the nation of Singapore in this time of grieving for the loss of a great Asian leader, former Singapore Prime Minister Lee Kuan Yew,” said Drilon.

He said that the state funeral will be held on March 29, 2015, at the Singapore University Cultural Center.
Drilon will be joined by Foreign Affairs Secretary Albert Del Rosario and Finance Secretary Cesar V. Purisima.

The Senate leader said that the Filipino people are deeply affected by Lee’s death, who, he added, inspired many leaders of various nations, including himself.

“Lee Kuan Yew showed us that resolute political will can positively transform nations and societies and uplift them from the shackles of poverty,” said Drilon.

Lee has been recognized by the world for transforming Singapore into an economically stable nation. He served as Singapore’s prime minister for 31 years, the longest serving prime minister, from 1959 to 1990. /MP  


HONASAN’S ADVISE TO ESPINA: Sen. Gringo Honasan advises Philippine National Police officer-in-charge Leonardo Espina (not in photo) to go after members of the Moro National Liberation Front (MILF) who are involved in the massacre of the 44 police commandos in Mamasapano, Maguindanao. “Anybody who stands in the way of serving the warrants of arrest to those who mutilated our soldiers should face the combined forces of the military and the police,” Honasan told Espina during a Senate inquiry Thursday, February 12, 2015. (Alex Nueva España photo).

Sen. Chiz Escudero
Senator Chiz Escudero scored the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) for saying that the Senate report on the bloody Mamasapano incident is subjective and for implying that its findings are prejudicial only to the government troops.

In a statement issued over the weekend, CHR Chairman Etta Rosales assailed the Senate report she described as “mostly based on emotions rather than an objective interpretation of facts.”

Calling it a “massacre,” according to the CHR chief, is excessive.

“Does the CHR deem our government troops to have no human rights? What happened was a clear massacre. The dictionary defines massacre as ‘the act or an instance of killing a number of usually helpless or unresisting human beings under circumstances of atrocity or cruelty,’” Escudero said. “Exactly how it happened to our SAF men in Mamasapano unless our CHR defines it in another term.”

Escudero, one of the first lawmakers to describe the tragic Mamasapano incident as a massacre days after seeing a video circulating on the internet about the brutal killing of the 44 SAF troopers, said the Senate has thoroughly went over the pieces of evidence presented to the panel.

“Based on our findings, 34 out of the 44 SAF troopers were shot in the head at close range and were already injured or ran out of bullets when killed. It was a massacre,” he said.

According to Escudero, protection of human rights also covers the military and the police, and not just the civilians.  

“Kapag sibilyan ang nasaktan, may human rights violations agad. Kapag military o pulis, ang tahimik nila. Human rights should always be respected under any circumstances that is why I am extremely disappointed that the CHR seems to have a tunnel vision about who abuses and who should be protected,” Escudero pointed out.

He also called on the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPPAP) to speak and move in behalf of the government and stop engaging the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) in the peace process.

“It is imperative for our negotiators to pursue efforts to finally find peace in Mindanao. But they should also give equal importance to the lost lives of our soldiers, to justice and due process of law,” Escudero said. /MP


By: John Patrick Visca

The STI College, Kalibo Travel Management Department and Association of Travel and Tourism Students, in partnership with the Aklan Provincial Tourism Office under the Aklan Provincial Office, in cooperation with the Aklan Tourism Officers Association (AKTOA), Aklan Kamera Organization (AKO) and Cebu Pacific held recently a mini-convention TARA NA SA AKLAN: “A showcase of Aklan’s Best for Sustainable Tourism”, on March 5, 2015 at the ABL Sports complex, Kalibo, Aklan. 

That was an annual project of the students taking up Bachelor of Science in Travel Management, major Tourism under Prof. Megs S. Lunn, STI College, Kalibo, Aklan. The project aims to intensify the students’ awareness on the Tourism Updates in Aklan and the best it can offer their future; to gain understanding of tourism best practices, the role of the students in sustainable development and in recognizing their importance and significance to their future. 

Ms. Roselle Q. Ruiz – Aklan Provincial Tourism Officer discussed “The Best of Aklan Updates; Hon. Soviet Russia Dela Cruz of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan presented the Cultural Tourism; One Visayas, Our Future by Mr. Mark Vernon C. Dioquino of the Department of Tourism- Region VI; and Mr. Edric C. Calma, WOW Knowledge Channel Host and Program Director for Transmedia of Knowledge Channel Foundation, Inc., Manila presented the Role of Media for Sustainable Tourism.

“Tourism is still the major driving force in the province of Aklan. Boracay as the center and economic driver of Aklan Tourism industry, which generates a whooping income of Php 40,705,013,547 in 2014 according to the Department of Tourism. To date, Boracay is Asia’s Cruise Haven with 9 Cruise ships in 2014 and more coming up this 2015, Traveler’s Best Choice in Asia and the venue for the upcoming APEC Ministerial meetings, to name a few. Aklan is beyond sand, sound and fiber, according to Ms. Ruiz.

Hon. Dela Cruz showed the features of Kalibo’s sights, sounds and fibers. Most importantly, he inculcated to the delegates the importance of our Aklan’s history and culture. He also introduced the important historical landmarks of Kalibo and Aklan as a whole. Moreover, he cited Aklanon great men like martyrs and patriots, the great Filipino Jurist – Victorino Mapa, the 2nd Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of the Philippines and one of the most brilliant Jurists of the Philippines. Victorino Mapa served the Philippine Revolutionary Government. The early Church Pillar Archbishop Gabriel M. Reyes, the first Filipino Archbishop of the Philippines, built the major seminary in San Carlos, Cebu and built in 1948 the St. John The Baptist Cathedral at Php250,000 only from his own pocket. The Prince of the Catholic Church, the late Cardinal Jaime L. Sin who became a Cardinal at age 48; Pastor Martelino served as the Superintendent of the Philippine Military Academy, selected by the late Pres. Manuel Quezon and Gen. Douglas Mc Arthur; the Ferocious Japanese Fighter Jesus M. Jizmundo, a gallant soldier who displayed great courage. He fought 22 battles against the Japanese forces in Aklan, Capiz and Iloilo provinces during World War II; the Bearding Lion Gil M. Mijares, who died a painful but glorious death in upholding the Code of Conduct, fought with vigor and honor against the cry of his mother; educator and writer Beato A. Dela Cruz, first Kalibonhon to become Division Superintendent of Schools of Aklan Ministry of Education, an author and local historian and the Father of Aklan- Godofredo P. Ramos, who authored Rep. Act 1414 which effected the separation of Aklan as an independent province from Capiz on April 25, 1956.

The Department of Tourism, Region VI has its vision of One Visayas: Our Future where they wish that all local tourists will learn to appreciate and love their own. That our people will no longer seek for more pleasure and sights outside of our own. Rather, look around them at their own locality, discover and find the best of our locality, embrace to develop it and eventually market it to others by loving the idea that would start from them. 

One Visayas is promoting all not just one popular sights and beyond what we can offer. Mr. Mark Vernon encouraged all the participants to learn how to observe the best practices of other places and eventually apply and even improve it better for the tourist to keep coming back. He also shared how to appreciate our own traditions and customs, our own local food/delicacies, handmade products and our hospitality which make us unique.

 Communication is the life blood in tourism. It requires a positive feature and words of mouth too. The attitude of how we say it, the content of the issues and the structure of presentation mean a lot. Mass media proves its potency to create awareness, affects feelings and attitudes, influences future behavior and causes or triggers the audience to react positively to your medium and products presented.  To attempt to promote sustainability, tourism must  challenge the senses of the target market, it must be honest, authentic, use proper channel and must have a life of its own. The Role of Media for Sustainable Tourism was discussed by Calma. “Endorsement can make a place,” he pointed out.

The event also highlighted the Festival of Costumes Parade of the 17 Municipalities of the province of Aklan rendered by selected first year BSTRM students. The exhibits/showcase of Aklan’s Best products of local tourism was featured by AkToa while AKO the tourism sights in photographs.

The STI College – Bachelor of Science in Travel Management Third Year of the Travel Management Department and its member team from 1st year to 2nd year BSTRM led by ATTS current president -  Esrah Jem Gutierrez organized the Mini Convention “Tara Na Sa Aklan”. /MP

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Fiesta at Numancia

Fiesta at Numancia

“Numancia, Padayon Sa Pag Umwad.” This will be the theme of the celebration of the Numancia Municipal and Religious Fiesta in honor of its Patron Saint, Saint Joseph the Worker,

The Numancia Festival Advisory Council in its meeting held on March 10, 2015, agreed that this year’s celebration will consist of the following activities: 1. The Mayor’s Cup (basketball tournament) which will be on April 5-25, 2. DepEd Night on April 25; 3. Search for Miss Numanciahanon 2015 on April 27; 4. Agro– Industrial Trade Fair on April 28-30. This will feature parade of Adorned Farm Animal and Lechon on April 28; 5. Liga Night on April 28; and 6. Grand Binayle and Balikbayan Night on April 30

The announcement of winners and awarding of prizes to the Adorned Lechon and Farm Animal and Booth Contests will be on May 1 after Laro ng Lahi

Religious activities and other details will be announced as soon as possible. /MP 



Aklan State University (ASU),  Banga will confer an honorary degree: Doctor of Science to Atty. Allen S. Quimpo during its graduation program on Friday afternoon, March 27, 2015. The conferment of the honorary degree will be done during the graduation ceremonies to be held in the Amphi-Theater, Bacan, Banga, Aklan.

Atty. Quimpo is the author of the bill in the House of Representatives which was approved into law converting the Aklan State College of Agriculture to Aklan State University in 2001. The law also consolidated the College of Fisheries, New Washington; RMCAT, Kalibo; Teachers College, Makato; and Western Aklan Polytechnic College, Ibajay into one University: ASU.

A honorary degree is an extra-ordinary degree awarded to honor a famous and distinguished visitor. It is also conferred upon a person who has attained meritorious achievements and did outstanding services to the University, as prescribed by the Commission on Higher Education Memorandum Order No. 45, Series of 2009. /MP

IBP Aklan Elects Ibadlit

IBP Aklan Elects Ibadlit

The Integrated Bar of the Philippines, Aklan Chapter elected its Officers for the term 2015-2017, based on the report of Mr. Raphel C. Esmeralda.

The Aklan Inbar election was held at the Regional Trial Court of Aklan at the trial court sala of Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Marietta J. Homena-Valencia in the morning of February 28, 2015.

Elected are Atty. Marienne M. Ibadlit, president; Atty. Joan T. Ibutnande, vice president; Atty. Ma. Genalyn B. Ibardolaza, secretary; Atty. Ronaldo B. Ingente, assistant secretary-treasurer; Atty. Antonio T. Tabang, auditor.

The Board of Directors are Atty. Romeo I. Lachica; Atty. Shermaine A. Delgado; Atty. Dangal Z. Nadua; Atty. Pedrito B. Flores; Atty. Saykeme M. Martelino.

Atty. Marriene M. Ibadlit is the daughter of the late former Aklan Vice Governor Popoy Ibadlit and Mrs. Marriene M. Ibadlit of Banga.

Atty. Ibadlit finished Bachelor of Law in UP, Diliman. /MP 

Senators Laud Chess Pinoy Grandmaster

Senators Laud Chess Pinoy Grandmaster

The Senate this week adopted a resolution congratulating and commending Chess Grandmaster Wesley So for placing 8th in the World Chess Ranking, making him the highest-rated Filipino Grandmaster in history.

Resolution 1220, introduced by Senator Antonio “Sonny” Trillanes IV, said So is the only Filipino to have reached a 2700 rating in the World Chess Federation “and as such is worthy of recognition.”

The Senate adopted a resolution last October 14, 2013 congratulating and commending So for bringing honor and distinction to the Philippines by winning the gold medal in the men’s chess competitions of the 27th Summer Universiade (World University Games) in Russia, the first time that any individual or team from the Philippines had won a gold medal in any sport in 54 years of competitions at the Universiade. 

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said that the resolution is meant to acknowledge outstanding athletes like So for their high achievements, and to encourage other world-class Filipinos to excel in their respective fields of sport. 

So is the Philippines’ youngest ever International Master, the youngest ever Grandmaster (GM), the youngest ever national champion, and the eight youngest player in the world to attain the Grandmaster in history, at age 14. 

“Since his transfer to the United Sates Chess Federation, So has soared to No. 2 in the U.S. World Chess Federation (FIDE) rating list and has staked his claim among the world’s top 10 as he is now officially ranked the No. 8 highest rated chess player in the world as of March 2015,” the resolution said.

According to the resolution, So has also reached No. 6 in the world in live ratings at Tata Steel chess super tournaments in Netherlands in January 2015.

“But despite his transfer to the U.S. Chess Federation in order to get more serious training and to be able to compete in high level events, So maintained his Filipino citizenship, and has time and again declared his pride for his Filipino heritage amidst his impressive world rankings,” the resolution said.

“So deserves to be commended for being a source of great pride and inspiration to the Filipino people,” the resolution added. /MP

Humble Beginning, Simple Living

Humble Beginning, Simple Living
by Raqueline C. Mandreza & Gwynnie G. Gonzaga

For 25 years of service, Simeon Manajero, 57 is still doing his job credibly. He is the longest utility member of the Department of Agriculture (DA), Iloilo City. He helps the DA community makes its working habitat comfortable and clean. 

Simeon is a native of Lambunao, Iloilo. During his childhood, he spent his time helping his parents tend their rice fields instead of going to school regularly because they are poor. Having 9 other siblings – three from his father’s first wife, and six from his own mother,  education is almost non-existent to them. Feeding 10 children ate most of his parents daily earnings. Thus, Simeon’s educational attainment was only grade V. With his young mind, he decided to help his parents feed their family of 12.

At a very young age, he decided to leave home to search for his luck elsewhere. He ended up helping a small baker in Janiuay, Iloilo where he learned how to bake bread. His boss gave him a break by letting him handle deliveries and ordering from the grocery stores what bakery needed. It was during those long-time-ago that he first felt in love with the sales clerk in the grocery store where his boss ordered the ingredients for the bakeshop. It was a short and bitter sweet love story about two young lovers who thought it was forever, but it wasn’t. Of course, since, Manong Simeon had to leave and look for a better job. For him, he needed a more suitable job to feed himself and his family. Seven years of being in the baker is enough for him.

Semeon’s first love now lives in Manila with her own family. We will never know if that may be the reason why Manong Simeon never married. He insisted he can’t sustain a family with his current salary of 9,000 pesos per month. But that could be just his excuse. He may still be holding a fire for that mystery salesgirl he promised forever with and exchange “I Love You”.

Despite being single until now, Manong Simeon is happy just talking about his family – siblings, nieces, nephews, and his 105 years old uncle. He may get pity from other people for how life treated him, snatching away the opportunity to study Commerce. Manong Simeon believed it could have taken up the said course if he had enough resource for his education. But he’s not someone who sour grape over his unattained dream of becoming a commerce graduate. He’s the type who rises up to the occasion. One proof of his lack of bitterness towards life is that he helped one of his nephews finished college. He’s still supporting his older sister who remains single. With his experiences and wisdom about living, he’s gladly sharing it to his nephews and nieces. He wants them to have what he wasn’t able to get just because circumstances never allowed him.

He now stays at the DA compound; visits home once in a while to reunite with his loved ones. He’s a family oriented person who cares so much for the people he loves. After his retirement, he wishes to go back to his native town to help her old sister in their small farm. He wants to be close to his family members.

Simeon wakes up at 3 o’clock in the morning; listens to the radio until 4 a.m. as he prepares for the day. At the strike of 5 a.m., he starts his daily routine of cleaning rooms and preparing everything for the coming employees of the DA before 8 in the morning. He finishes at around 5 p.m. and at this time he cooks his dinner and sedates himself with the tranquility of the night that is about to envelop him. He sleeps early, he said because there is nothing else to do.

This is his continuous routine that some may find mundane, but it balances him. It is the stability of his schedule from Monday to Friday that grounds him since it is what most old people like – a constant timetable, an unchangeable operation and something which they can grasp without worrying what is the next step. His schedule is his breathing space, the ground that holds him to continue and not be lead astray by other unimportant matters. This is how he does his job effectively; not be distracted by other things unlike teenagers who are constantly texting on their phones than doing the task assigned them.

One must be patient when making sure everything is in its proper order and is organised perfectly to suit the working area. Manong Simeon shows patience in the task assigned to him. This is a good quality as a person and as employee. This is the reason why Manong Simeon, after 25 years of service, is still with the DA. It is his meticulous, positive and compassionate attitude towards work and life that brought him to where he is right now, a life already a haven of sanctuary.

Manong Simeon is a role model not only to his fellow staff and co-workers but also to us students. “Dapat mag-tuon ag mag-skwela guid kamo it mayad,” he said. “Masyadong malisod mag-usoy it ubra kun owa ka it tinapus sa colehiyo.” This is his statement that he obviously directs to us students. A person doesn’t need to rethink this line. Take it from the man who had experienced life. This man sets an example of a person who strives best in life, a person who is contented with what he has. Nothing more and nothing less. /MP

Political Children Want To Move Away From Parents’ Shadow

Political Children Want To Move
 Away From Parents’ Shadow
By Alex P. Vidal

Daughters and sons of prominent political figures who will be running for public office are under pressure to prove they deserve to be elected into public office on their own merits, competence and qualifications, not because they are offsprings of political figures with name recall advantages. (They must consider this before filing their Certificates of Candidacy this forthcoming October 2015 for the May 2016 election)

These children of political behemoths want to paddle their own canoes and establish their own standards and styles of governance. They want to prove that on their own, that they can institute social and political reforms and accelerate the standards of public service to the higher level sans the spoon-feeding support from their more experienced parents.

Many of them will vie for local and national positions. They are determined to follow the footsteps of their parents and continue the family legacy in politics. Some of them are in politics either because they have been inspired and motivated by the quality of leadership instituted by their parents or because of the volition of their parents who don’t want certain positions be transfered to other political dynasties in their cities, provinces and municipalities.


Some of these political parents are aware that if they vacate the positions and allow other families or political rivals to occupy or “borrow” them for the next three or six years, their chances of regaining back the positions are nil. In our society, once certain political families have tasted power, it’s hard to live without it; and some dominant political families will move heaven and earth to retain the power by hook or by crook.

In the absence of qualified children, some politicians tap their wives or husband or even brothers and sisters. The objective is to keep certain positions for other members of the household to occupy and turn them over to the next members of the families after another term of office has expired. And so on and so forth. The primary goal actually is to build a political empire to be ruled by members of the dynasty for generation.


The political dominance of certain families is actually against the constitution. In the 1987 Constitution, Section 26, Article II, provides that the State shall guarantee equal access to opportunities for public service and prohibit political dynasties as may be defined law.

The reality shows that politics in the Philippines have been under the control of a few notable families and several attempts by serious lawmakers to file the anti-dynasty law have proven to be unsuccessful due to lack of interest and support from the lawmakers themselves who are also interested to perpetuate their families in power. (Do we have political dynasties in Aklan?) /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Bato Bantiling
Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Guina tawag nga Bato Bantiling si Mang Ador sa andang lugar, sa Brgy. Mulawin. Imaw ro tawo nga indi matibag-tibag sa kahadluk o sa kangawa. Owa man imaw nagabat-yag it kaeo-oy eabi guid sa mga kubos ag guina ihig. Owa man naila mag adto sa mga lugar nga abo it mga pobre ag masakiton.

Nag-asawa ro iba nanang unga sa tawo nga owa nana naila-i. Bosa indi nana mapatawad. Imaw rong masunod sa andang baeay ag tanan hay nagaeohod kana parabil mapa hinuhod.

Isaeang adlaw, namatay ro anang ina. Sa adlaw sa paghatod sa ulihing paeahuwayan, owa guid imaw nakipag eobong. May guina huptan abi imaw nga kaakig sa anang ina ag ama halin pa sa pagka unga kana. Naghinguha imaw hasta nakapanaw sa Davao. Idto imaw nakaasawa it manggaranon nga unga it tag-iya it panaderia. 

Nangin trabahador imaw. Bangod pobre, hay guina mata-mata imaw ko anang manggaranon nga panugangan. Owa imaw nagustuhi ko anang panugangan ogaling nailaan mat-a imaw ko anang asawa. 

Nagea-as sanda ag idto nag-estar sa isaeang ka lugar it mga skwater. Nagtinguha sanda hasta nakatipon it kwarta. Tag may anda eong hatipon, nagumpisa it pagpatindog it panaderia. Halin kato, naduea ro anang pagsalig sa anang isigkatawo. Nangin Bato Bantiling ro anang tagipusuon. Bo-ot nana nga mangin manggaranun agod makabaeos sa anang panugangan.

Makaron, una eon sanda sa anda nga lugar sa Brgy. Mulawin daea rong dumot. Nagmasakit ro anang unga nga babaye. Kinahangean rong dugo bangod may masakit nga leukemia. Bukon it pareho ro andang dugo ko anang unga. Nag inusoy sanda it tawo nga may parehong dugo ko anang unga. 

May isaeang ka pobre nga eaeaki ro nag donar ko anang dugo tungod mabuot mat-a kuno ro anang unga. 
Nagmayad ro anang unga. Guina bayaran ni Mang Ador ro eaeaki. Owa imaw pagbatoni it bayad. Naantig rong anang tagipusuon. Indi gali tanan hay sueok it kwarta. May mga tawo pa gali nga may mabueawanon it tagipusuon. 

Amat-amat nga nag-humok rong Bato Bantiling nga tagipusuon ni Mang Ador. Pagdaeaga ko anang unga, nag asawa sanda ko ratong eaeaking nagdonar it dugo. Owa eon nakabalibad si Mang Ador. Ro anang umagad rong naga dumaea ko anang panaderia tungod magueang eon imaw. /MP


More Demands For Women 
For Unorthodox Jobs
by Ernesto T. Solidum

The recently Kapihan held at NVC Carmen Hotel tackled the topic, “Women Month Celebration.”  Guests are: Vice Gov. Billie Calizo-Quimpo; Dr. Julius Sol Jamero-TESDA Prov’l Director Jesebel M. Vidal-PPDO, GAD Focal Person; Vivian R. Solano of PESO; Hapi Lynn Abao-Pov’l Social Welfare Officer I; Dr. Glenmar Martinez-Medical Officer, DRSTMH; and Atty. Allen S. Quimpo-President, Northwestern Visayan Colleges.

Vice Gov. Quimpo expounded on this yearts theme that women should take an active role outside of the traditional confines of the home into the political and social limelight being embued with talents and expertise. We must strive to narrow the gender gap since it is observed that countries where women equitably represented, they tend to be more prosperous, peaceful and stable. 

Aklan province is fortunate to have equal ratio of men and women executives in both national and provincial offices, 14:3 ratio of municipal mayors and 244:87 ratio for Brgy. Captains, disclosed Ms. Vidal. This is one of the reasons why Aklan got that  coveted award for best performance in Women Empowerment.

ATTY. Quimpo said that in his travel recently to India with his wife Marianne, women there are badly discriminated or viewed as second class citizens because of culture and feudalistic nature of society. In contrast, women in the Philippines are equal partners in nation building. Kudos to our women who are the best in the world.

Educating and integrating poor families into mainstream society take innovative approach and ingenuity. The program though simple is delicately fitted in a sari-sari store business concept that gradually transforms into a vibrant entrepreneurship, said Dr. Jamero. He announced that four municipalities initially involved are: Kalibo, Balete, Madalag, and Malay which will undergo the rigorous training under the Coca-Cola-TESDA partnership. Each town will have 250 slots of sari-sari and carenderia store owners to be trained by TESDA using an educational module. The role of Coca-Cola is to provide micro financing, price monitoring and merchandising. The guideline on recruitment will be posted in all participating towns. This has been pilot tested in Palawan four years ago, the Provincial Director revealed.

Observance of women’s month is based on PD 224 and PD 227 that specify first week of March to conduct education/information drive. This year’s theme is “Juana, Desisyon mo ay Mahalaga, Ang Desisyon sa Kinabukasan ng bawat isa, Ikaw na.”

Home Decision Is Not Shared

It is pathetic that based on the theme, decision-making in the home is no longer shared by both parents. The reality is that 51 percent of Filipino homes have no mothers having gone abroad to work as domestic helpers, caregivers and entertainers. Of the 12 million OFW’s 97 percent are domestic helpers. The majority of them are in Hongkong, Japan, Singapore, Israel, Italy and other countries.

A related study by Vicente K. Fabellar, President of Jose Rizal University shows that there is high incidence of OFW seafarers’ family separation. One in four seafarers separated, two in five OFW children drop out of college because of lack of parental guidance. It is noted that one (1) in every four seafarers worldwide are Pinoys. They remitted four (4) billion U.S. dollar in 2013.

Long years or months of separation is counter-productive to healthy family relationship. Arch. Emeritus Oscar Cruz confided that 100 Filipino couples want to nullify their marriages each year. However, the process is long and tedious. The case must be approved by the Church Tribunal of First Instance and Tribunal of Appeals. Apparently, only the rich and famous get the most favored status.

The Philippines is top performer in Asia Pacific region in terms of gender equity even as the country fell 4 notches to rank 9th out of 142 economies assessed by the Global Gender gap 2014 report. Presently, women are in big demand in unorthodox jobs like welders, plumbers, masons, carpenters, architects and engineers. Underlying reason is that women’s touch is different and pays attention to details.

However, women generally are lagging behind men in leadership, business and politics despite being educated according to Mastercard Worldwide Index of Women Advocates. It ranked New Zealand, Australia, the Philippines and Singapore as best countries for women. Countries should understand that integrating talented women into leadership structures is imperative for sustainable economic growth and innovative in both developed and developing economies, said its Spoke-person Georgette Tan.

The total remittance of OFW’s to the Philippine economy is $25 billion in 2014. Hongkong has 300,000 domestic helpers majority of them Pinays while Japan has 114,000 entertainers (musician, dancers, singers). There is a slave auction market in Singapore where Filipino and Indonesian maids are advertised as “Budget Maids”. Once an English dictionary defined domestic helper as Filipino maid. Convicted drug mules in China include Pinays who are summarily executed. One refreshing news is Rosa (Osang) Fontanes, a caregiver in Israel won “X Factor” challenge in January 20, 2014.

Phase-out Indignities

Must we bear above indignities and disrespect? Common sense dictates that we must adopt a gradual phase-out, say 20 percent per year, of domestic helpers, caregivers and entertainers. Let us give justice to our children and family. It is incredible that we endanger our mothers and daughters to work abroad getting pauper’s pay and then sexually abused or killed.

Here is a food for thought from the late Indira Gandhi. “My grandfather told me that there are two kinds of people: those who do work and those who take the credit. He told me to be in the first group – there is much less competition.” How true!

Women empowerment needs thorough evaluation as we advance our cause in governance, professions, literature and arts. Conservative opinion is that for every one empowered woman, there is one un-empowered woman. Nevertheless, a decisive step is to recall our domestic helpers, caregivers and entertainers to become full pledged mothers to their children and families. Basically, women empowerment is exercising our God-given rights as decision maker and role model in the home. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Is It Fun To Celebrate Defeat?
by Ambrosio R. Villorente

On March 23, Aklan province will celebrate 19 Martyrs. Ever since I first attended this annual celebration until last year, what I saw were the dramatization of what the Spanish soldiers did to our fellow Aklanons. What were portrayed were the humiliating, inhuman treatments to our people.

While the celebration demonstrated the hardship, the sacrifices of our people in order to obtain freedom, it is so pitiful, so revolting and very discouraging. It is not fun to celebrate defeat, very ugly, very sad.

Can we change? Can we introduce innovation in our celebration that will promote among our young generation the feeling of equality with any race? The present celebration portrays the feeling of inferiority among the Pilipinos, how the Spanish soldiers abused the Pilipinos.

Can we change the title of the celebration of “19 Martyrs” to “19 Heroes”? On this manner of celebration, we will extol those who fought to liberate the Philippines from Spanish domination They will be truly honored and become models of nationalism among our people.

Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia which were called French Indo China were under the French for 500 years. After the French, Vietnam was under the United States for 20 years. But Vietnam does not celebrate her defeats. She celebrates her victories. Vietnam’s war museum does not exhibit its defeats. What are exhibited are destroyed US war planes and battleships Vietnamese conquered. It indicates Vietnamese determination to win the struggle against colonialism.

The Japanese in World War II surrendered to the Allied powers after Atomic bombs were dropped in Nagasaki and Heroshima. However, the exhibits in Heroshima City are the negative effects of the Atomic Bombs to convey to the people that the Americans are bad and the Japanese people are kind. What the Japanese soldiers did in Banga, Aklan when they declared “Juez de Kotsilyo” on October 23, 1943 was most unkind a people can do over another people. Since that date until 1945, the Japanese soldiers in Banga were very cruel. However, Banga for the last three years has been celebrating “Pag abi abi” on October 23 instead of Juez de Kotsilyo. This is positive. It conveys Aklanon’s culture of being hospitable.

The lobby of a hotel in Madrid, Spain where the award ceremony of the painting “Spolarium” done by Juan Luna is now a storage room. The Spaniards did not accept that their artists can be defeated by an artists from its Colony.

In Barcelona, Spain where Jose Rizal studied, the apartment where he stayed has no marker. The Tibidabo where Rizal was jailed for 24 hours after his arrest has no marker. It was demolished in 1994 where Olympic stadium was built.

Paeapak to Pahilot

Change is overdue. Let us change from negative to positive. That pana-ad “Paeapak” is very humiliating. And can be changed to “Pahilot”. This will develop self respect, self esteem, and self confidence among Aklanons. 

Tourism Boom

“There is no more powerful engine driving an organization toward excellence and long range success than an attractive, worthwhile, achievable vision for the future widely shared.” I like the quotation for it means public officials and the people for public office meant to serve and serve it honestly, justly, and fairly.

Gov. Joeben T. Miraflores believes that this quotation holds true for all successful organizations and governments. He is most certain that it is also true in his governance, a participatory, united and shared leadership has done wonders for Aklan. He revealed this in his State of the Province Address delivered on February 4, 2015.

According to Miraflores, “Aklan truly has levelled up” with the highest contribution of locally sourced income among the 81 provinces of the Philippines in the amount of Php 491.75 million to the regular income of Php 1.09 billion.”

With this huge amount of money Aklan province is earning, I hope this will filter down to all Aklanons. However, a great bulk of these earnings comes from the tourism program. And those who enjoy the tourists’ money are the transport, restaurant, and hotel industries owners and operators.

While Aklan boost of its twin Agriculture and Tourism program, farmers have minute participation in the Aklan provincial tourism industry.

The 1.4 million visitors who visited Aklan in 2013, ate seven (7) percent fruits produced in Aklan, the 93 percent were imported. They ate four (4) percent vegetables produced in Aklan, 96 percent were imported. While 11 towns of the 17 municipalities are located in the coastal areas, the tourists ate 37 percent only of the fish produced in Aklan, the 63 percent were imported.

May more assistance be given to the agriculture industry in the coming years to allow greater participation of farmers to the tourists industry. /MP

Senate Directs Gov’t Peace Panel To Secure MILF Mamasapano Report

Senate Directs Gov’t Peace Panel To 
Secure MILF Mamasapano Report

The Senate this week adopted a resolution directing the Philippine peace negotiating panel headed by Chairperson Miriam Coronel-Ferrer to request and secure a copy from the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) a copy of its investigation report on the Mamasaspano incident that resulted in the death of 44 elite police commandos.

Senator Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr., who introduced Senate Resolution 1240, said the resolution also directed the government peace panel to formally request from the international monitoring team, a copy of the MILF investigation report.

“We have already read the other reports. We also need to see the MILF investigation report so we will know what really happened,” Marcos told his colleagues during plenary.

The MILF had initia-ted its own investigation on the Mamasapano incident after it has been accused of violating the peace agreement that it entered into with the government.

“There are reports that the MILF Report will be submitted to the Malaysian-led International Monitoring Team (IMT) composed of representatives from Japan, Indonesia and Brunei and supported by the United States and the European Union,” the resolution said.

“For full transparency and accountability, there is a crucial need for the Philippine Government to be properly informed of the full investigation report of the MILF in order to strengthen the ceasefire mechanisms that may be included in the proposed Bangsamoro Basic Law pending in Congress,” the resolution added.

Marcos, who chairs the Senate Committee on Local Governments, said his committee will resume BBL deliberations on April 13.

“I have scheduled the  hearing  April 13 to specifically  look at the ceasefire mechanisms in case of  encounters like what happened in Mamasapano,”  the  committee chairman, Marcos  Jr., earlier said in a press conference. /MP

AKLAN TRULY HAS LEVELLED UP* (Last of five parts)

Indeed, what you displayed is public service at its best!

Our formula of governance proved to be a very good one. All the right factors of the equation are in place. We did not opt to take shortcuts to get to our solutions and results but instead, we followed a straight road. The bumps and roadblocks along the way, we managed to overpass.

Again, all these, because of our participatory, united and shared leadership.

Because of this, investors don’t shy away from our province. The Php 4 billion Petrowind Energy, Inc. Nabas phase-1 wind power project is now closer to operating commercially;

An investment of this magnitude, the single biggest in Aklan province to date, is proof that while we are blessed naturally, we have also made a conducive political as well as peace and order climate for them.

Uman kung ginbisita ron dayang facilidad sa Pawa, Nabas, ag nakita ko nga eowas sa mabahoe ra anang ikabulig sa kinahangeanon sa elektrisidad, mabahoe man ro anang ikaamot sa turismo. Makita nimo rong isla it Boracay ag Carabao Island, pati ro nagapalibot nga kabukiran.

Abu gid nga saeamat, Petrowind Energy, Inc. Thank you for investing in Aklan, for being extra mindful of the surrounding community and for handling our environment with due care.

Still, in the face of our successes, there are many persistent challenges that continue to pose hurdles to our development goals. However, I do not want to focus this address on bitter notes, stressing problems rather than solutions, and itemizing development obstacles rather than opportunities. Instead, let us draw inspiration from the fact that most progressive nations around the world are those whose cultures promote a mind-set of optimism and the outlook of “can” and not “can’t”.

In Aklan, we do not doubt our ability to surpass obstacles and achieve our goals; we just get right down to business and walk our talk.

On our obstacles brought about by the effects of Yolanda, the December 2014 report of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for Rehabilitation and Recovery would show that we are well on our way to fully overcoming it.

For infrastructure, about 1,000 projects composed of DILG-RAY’s rehabilitation of civic centers, public markets, municipal halls, DOH-HFEP’s rehabilitation of health facilities, and the DPWH’s rehabilitation of flood control facilities worth Php 686.3 million was funded;

For social services, Php 68 million;
For livelihood, Php 349 million;
And for resettlement, Php 352.9 million.

On top of the total Php 1.4 billion for 2014, in the process for funding is an additional Php 7.8 billion for Aklan recovery plans, programs and activities this 2015 and 2016.

Our status as a province now and the direction we intend to take prove that we are doing it right.

Hard work indeed has its rewards. And it usually includes more work. As they say “the reward for work well-done is the opportunity to do more.”
I then pose these challenges to our personnel:
That we will be able to jumpstart the implementation of the Aklan consignment system as per Ordinance No. 009, Series of 2014. This was envisioned to significally improve the delivery of service in our hospitals thru continuous supply of quality medicines as recommended by the therapeutic committee. Eowas sa magakita rong atong parmasya sa mga ospital it probinsya nga uwa it ginapaguwa nga kapital, indi eon malisdan ro atong pasyente dahil una mismo eagi rong mga bueong;

That we can prepare for more backbreaking loads of work. I recognized the already enormous tasks of our Provincial Planning and Development Office and our Provincial Engineer’s Office. On top of your regular functions, please stretch our absorptive capacity to do more;

That we never tire in improving the status of our innovations especially the Economic Enterprise Development Department Units. I issued Executive Order 020 creating the technical working group to undertake the conduct of business planning for EEDD. Much has been done, but if we intend to move on or move up, there should be no turning back for more needs to be done.

This address started with a salutation of the Sanguniang Panlalawigan’s provision of legislative support. Allow me to end it on that note. The honorable body never dodged from its duty to the Aklanon people.
Abu gid nga saeamat sa aktibo nga pagsuporta sa mga hinyo it akong opisina para mapatigayon rong mga proyekto ag aktibidades naton para sa kamaeayran it pumueoyong Akeanon.

You are indeed our indespensible partners in Aklan’s further progress.

Abu nga saeamat sa rayang kahigayunan. Guinatan-aw ko nga may daeang pagpati ag pagsalig nga magiging mahayag rong paeaabuton it atong pinalanggang Akean.

God bless the province and people of Aklan. /MP

Alcala Distributes 44 Units Of Artificial Insemination Tanks

Alcala Distributes 44 Units Of 
Artificial Insemination Tanks
by James Earl E. Ogatis

To intensify upgrading and genetic improvement of swine, cattle, goats and sheep in Western Visayas, Secretary Proceso J. Alcala distributed a total of 44 units of artificial insemination (A.I.) tanks worth P698,620.50 to local government units recently at WESVIARC, Hamungaya, Jaro, Iloilo City.

Dir. Larry P. Nacionales said that these A.I. tanks were distributed to provincial veterinary offices and municipalities that have existing active A.I. technicians.

“These tanks were allocated to the following: seven baby tanks and one mother tank for the Antique provincial veterinarian, two baby tanks and one mother tank for Guimaras provincial veterinarian, three baby tanks and one mother tank for Capiz provincial veterinarian and one baby and mother tank for Aklan provincial veterinarian,’ said Dir. Nacionales.

The following municipalities received one baby tanks each: Dueñas, New Lucena, Oton, Miag-ao and Cabatuan for Iloilo; Libacao, Banga, Malay and Batan for Aklan; Caluya, Tibiao, Laua-an and Dao for Antique; Bago, Calatrava, Sipalay and Hinobaan for Negros Occidental; Dao and Dumalag for Capiz, and Jordan, Guimaras.

Meanwhile, Mr. Manuel P. Porque said that the recipient LGU A.I. technicians have undergone intensive training at Ubay Stock farm in Bohol and are equipped with skills and technology on animal genetic improvement.

Porque is optimistic that with the provision of 34 A.I. baby tanks and 10 mother tanks, upgrading of swine, cattle, goat and sheep will be hasten for the upcoming years. 

He added that the establishment of liquid nitrogen plant in Antique and Negros Occidental this year will provide sufficient supply of liquid nitrogen which is vital in the preservation of animal semen. 

Alcala also turned over 25 units four-wheel tractors with implements, six units Mini 4-wheel drive tractor, four units combine harvester, eight units each for reaper and thresher, five units corn sheller, four units hammer mill, three units each for cassava granulator and cassava grater, seven units hand tractor with tiller cultivator, two units shredder machine and 50 uints of pump and engine to identified farmers organization. /MP

Senate Honors Outstanding Women

Senate Honors Outstanding Women

EMPOWERED WOMEN: Senators Pia Cayetano (sixth from left) and Cynthia Villar (fifth from left) lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony of an exhibit entitled ‘Empowered Women: Raising the Bar,’ at the Philippine Senate, Monday afternoon. The exhibit featured outstanding women known in the fields of sports, arts, entertainment, among others. Also in photo are (from left to right) Ann and Camille Meloto, Rachelle Gerodias, Olivia Bong Coo, Daphne Osena Paez, Liza Macuja Elizalde, Noelle Wenceslao, and Senate Secretary Oscar Yabes. (Albert Calvelo photo)
The Senate this week adopted a resolution recognizing women for their valuable contributions to society in celebration of Women’s month this March. It also cited 14 women achievers and an all-woman mountaineering team.

Senator Pia S. Cayetano introduced Resolution 1237 which seeks to honor the economic, political and social achievements of Filipina women while calling for greater gender equality in the society. 

“Women’s Month is an opportune time to recognize outstanding women who continue to raise the bar and break the glass ceiling, not only in the country, but also across the world,” Cayetano said.

 “It is important to continually acknowledge the role that women play towards nation building. The Senate is one with the country in celebrating Women’s Month by honouring outstanding and brilliant women from different walks of life who have been continuous achievers in different fields,” the resolution stated.

The resolution said 14 women and a mountaineering team were recognized for their accomplishments in leadership, power and decision making. They are Lang Dulay, a famous T’boli dream weaver who is considered a national living treasure by the National Commission for Culture and Arts; Liza Macuja-Elizalde, acknowledged as the first Filipina prima ballerina; Rachelle Gerodias, the Philippines’ premier soprano; Monique Lhuiller, a world renowned fashion designer; Lolita Valderrama-Savage, a Pinay global artist; Fe del Mundo, a pediatrician and the first woman admitted to Harvard Medical School; Jur-genne Primavera, a marine scientist and a conservationist who is one of Time Magazine’s Heroes of the environment.

Also lauded by the resolution are Roselle Ambubuyog, the first visually-impared Filipina to graduate Summa Cum Laude from Ateneo de Manila; Cristeta “Cris” Comerford, the first Asian and first female White House executive chef; Sheila Lirio Marcelo, the founder and CEO of and named as a young global leader by the World Economic Forum; Anna and Camille Meloto, a social entrepreneur and founder of Human Nature, Inc. (Gandang Kalikasan); Daphne Oseña-Paez, the Unicef special advocate for children, TV host and blogger; Olivia Bong Coo, a four-time World Champion Bowler; Ani de Leon-Brown, the first Filipina to qualify in the Ironman Tria-thlon World Champ-ionships; and the first Filipina women to be part of the Mt. Everest team  - Janet Belarmino, Carina Dayondon and Noelle Wenceslao.

Senate President Franklin M. Drilon said that the resolution was an expression of the upper chamber’s recognition of women as equal partners in nation-building and driving reforms to Philippine society.

“We acknowledge the indispensable roles of Filipino women in advancing the nation. Their victories and achievements in their respective fields, sectors and responsibilities are that of the nation’s itself,” Drilon said.  /MP