Sunday, January 25, 2009


The Necessity of Sto. Niño
Financial Report Disclosure

The 797th Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival is now history. For the first time, security was well prepared. One week before the festival, Aklan Provincial Director Sr. Supt. Clarence Guinto announced the security plan with every detail like the number of personnel, tasks forces, budget and deployment. According to Guinto, some 850 policemen in Aklan, augmentation from Capiz, Antique and the Police Regional Office with Kalibo Municipal Auxiliary police constituted the security forces.

Guinto also revealed the traffic rerouting during the festivities specifically on January 14 during the Higante parade and contest, on January 17 during the judging of various tribes and on January 18 during the “sadsad” and religious procession.

The security and traffic plan was well crafted and well executed. Except for minor incidents of pick pocketing and intoxications, the celebration was peaceful. Police Sr. Supt. Clarence Guinto and the PNP highly deserve loud applauses and congratulations for the job well done.

Unlike the previous year, advertising this year’s festival was moderately done. There was no negative comment this writer heard but positive remarks on the matter of product popularization.

However, in the midst of the weeklong festivities, complaints against the assignments of the Regalado Street for the external vendors were made. A highly courageous lady aired her deep seated resentment over the radio station RGMA–DYRU strongly objecting against the assignment for vendors of portions of the street fronting her house.

And she prevailed. No vendor was able to occupy one side of the road. It was passable to vehicles even during the Ati-Atihan days.

But not the Regalado Street at the back of the St. John the Baptist Cathedral, between Martelino and C. Laserna Streets. It was totally occupied as Kalibo Municipal Hall totally leased it to the vendors. It was highly difficult to pass to get inside. Hopefully, next year, Kalibo Municipal Hall will believe on the principle that “streets are beyond the commerce of man” and must not be used to raise money. It must not be rented to anybody but use it as passageway.

In case fire breaks out inside the shopping center, firemen will suffer a hard job fighting the fire. Shops inside the shopping center enjoyed less sales, polluted air, and obnoxious smell of various components.

During the Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan season, residents in the vicinity of Magsaysay Park and Pastrana Park were the victims of pollution in terms of noise, air and garbage. They endured congestion. Being that, will the officials concern make the festival record open to them? Will Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo allow his subalterns to prepare financial report and disclose it to the Kalibonhons? They will be glad to learn how much gross income is there, how much is spent, and how much is the surplus.

If there is surplus, any proposal how the money will be spent is highly appreciated. Will it be spent to repair the streets of Kalibo? Several portions of the roads of Kalibo require urgent repair. Acevedo and L. Barrios streets are good examples of badly damaged streets in Poblacion, Kalibo.

The public will highly appreciate early disclosure of a highly accurate financial report of the 797th Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan celebration.

For next year celeb-ration, early planning is necessary. It is not only on security and traffic manage-ment preparation, but more on physical infrastructure. Sto. Niño Ati-atihan Festival is street dancing (sadsad) and religious rituals like the procession. Hence, the repair of streets in the Poblacion, Kalibo is a must. Streets are heavily damaged which are not conducive to the Sto. Niño Ati-atihan weeklong rituals. Roads like the L. Barrios and Acevedo Streets must be repaired which were muddy during the latest celebration. It is not of good taste to say that whether environment is good or bad, people will attend the festival because of their “panaad”. They will be induced to join the festivities if the environment is favorable. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Gawad Saka 2008 Achievers Award
(Ed’s note: We yield this space to the DA Gawad Saka 2008 Award in recognition of the outstanding farmers.)

The 2008 Outstan-ding Achievers in agriculture and fisheries received a total of P2.5-million cash prizes and project grants, including presidential trophies and citations. The awards were presented in a ceremonies known as GAWAD SAKA at a joint program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the 2008 General Assembly of the League of Municipalities of the Philippines in Manila Hotel held in November last year.

Ms. Gloria M. Arroyo, in her speech, thanked the distinguished individuals and organiza-tions in the agriculture and aquaculture sectors for their continuous efforts and unwavering support to the national programs of the govern-ment towards self-sufficiency. The government is investing heavily on farmers and continue to provide financial support to them, Arroyo said.
A 47 year old rice farmer Claudio C. Agcaoili of Vintar, Ilocos Norte led the 2008 awardees for his record harvest of 11.5 metric tons of hybrid rice. With increased earnings, he and wife Clarita were able to send their four children to school, and acquired farm machinery and equipment. With his success, he was chosen as the first ‘Farmer-Extensionist’ of Vintar, Ilocos Norte. As he became well-known and popular, he was elected as the number one Kagawad (councilman) of Barangay Alejo Malasig.

Agcaoili and eleven other individual awardees received P120,000 — the biggest cash prize in the history of GAWAD SAKA. The outstanding organizations each received P150,000-worth of project grant from the National Agricultural and Fishery Council. The Outstanding Provincial Agricultural and Fishery Council (PAFC) received P250,000-project grant.

The Gawad Saka Search is an annual activity of the Department of Agriculture since 1970. It recognizes outstanding farmers and fisherfolks and their respective organizations for their invaluable contribu-tions to agricultural and fishery production.

According to Agriculture Secretary Arthur C. Yap, the event served as the government’s continuing appreciation of the efforts of the food champions of the Philippines. He believes that the annual GAWAD SAKA contest has been inspiring and encouraging others to walk the same path they are treading, thus creating a critical mass of modern, innovative, and market-driven farmer-entrepreneurs. 2008 GAWAD SAKA 16 National winners are:
Corn - Edilberto Bitacura. Momentarily hooked into drugs, the 48-year old Bitacura of Dumingag, Zamboanga del Sur has recovered and redeemed himself, becoming a model farmer and an active community leader. Last year, he harvested 10.5 tons and 11.2 tons per hectare, respectively, during the 1st and 2nd cropping. With increased earnings, he sends his five children to school. Two have already finished and now working abroad. He was able to build his dream house within his five-hectare farm, and acquired several farm equipment.

Sugarcane - Preciosa Maturan (58 years old), Bgy. San Roque, Malbugas, Bayawan City, Negros Oriental. A chemical engineer by profession, she dedicated almost all of her farming life to developing the sugar industry in her province. Last 2006-2007 season, she produced 120 50-kg bags of sugar per hectare. She served as chairperson of the Tolong Multipurpose Cooperative, chosen Central Visayas Regional Winner as the best cooperative, and among the five national finalists under the Pitak Award Coop-LGU Partnership category sponsored by the Land Bank of the Philippines. She is planting mango and rubber trees. She operates a grains trading enterprise, and a convenience store.

Coconut Farmer - Benjamin Lao (50), of Bansalan, Davao del Sur. A full-time government employee at the Bureau of Immigration, ‘Mang Ben’ is efficiently managing his five-hectare integrated coconut farm, which gives him and his family a lucrative gross income of P500,000 per hectare.

High Value Com-mercial Crop (Mango) - Ricardo Tolentino (53), Gayamat, Piddig, Ilocos Norte. Instead of becoming a ‘seaman,’ being a BS Marine Transportation graduate, Carding opted to manage the mango farm of his surrogate father. His decision was largely influenced by a mango exporter he met in college. After 30 years of his mango-based enterprise, he became popularly known as ‘Mango King of Ilocos.’

Agri-Entrepreneur - JUBOKEN Enterprises, Gapo, Camalig, Albay. Family-owned JUBOKEN Enterprises is into processing of coconut by-products for domestic and export markets. These include decorticated fiber, soil erosion control products, horticultural products, and coconut fiber pads. Together with its partner CocoTech, it also designs and implements bioengineering erosion control, installation and river bank, and shoreline rehabilitation projects.

Fisherfolk (Fish Culture) - Renato Alfaro (50), Nungnungan I, Cauayan City, Isabela. With a 15-year experience in aquaculture, he is becoming Cagayan Valley’s ‘Hito or castfish King,’ producing fry and fingerlings in commercial scale.

Fisherfolk (Fish Capture) - Restituto del Rosario (51), Sabang, Morong, Bataan. A former tricycle driver, “Ka Resty’ found opportunities in selling fish, and into fishing. Today, he owns three motorized bancas which bring an average weekly catch of 50 kilos of various fishes and squids. He owns a 1.75-hectare rice farm and a piggery. He produces bagoong. An ardent marine conservation advocate, he supervises the fishery pilot research area in Sabang.

Small Animal Raiser - Annie Sitjar (52), Lantian, Labangan, Zamboanga del Sur. After several years working overseas as a nurse, Ms. Sitjar decided to settle down. She raises farm animals, which include swine, cattle, goat, ducks, poultry and turkey. Her four-hectare integrated livestock farm is also planted to rice (one hectare, where she harvested 162 cavans last season), corn, mongo, squash, pineapple, and mango trees. Her gross income was P900,000 last year.

Young Farmer - Rosita Naje (26), Bgy. Burabod, Castilla, Sorsogon. After working in Batangas, Ms. Naje returned to Sorsogon, and managed a 300-layer farm, using capital her aunt provided. In 2006, she expanded her farm, by availing of a P400,000-project financing. The DA, the National Agricultural and Fishery Council and the Congressional Oversight Committee on Agriculture and Fisheries Moder-nization jointly implement. With her earnings, she paid off her loan. She acquired several farm equipment like electric generator, two motorcycles, and rice thresher. She is now the president of the Burabod 4-H Club, Municipal 4-H Federation, and Provincial 4-H Federation.

Agricultural Scientist - Louella Rowena de Jesus. (47). A leading entomologists, Dr. de Jesus have spent more than a decade finding ways to control the dreaded pest, mango pulp weevil (MPW), which wrought havoc in Palawan and other Southern Luzon provinces. A doctorate on applied entomology, her team’s research outputs became the basis of the current protocol implemented versus MPW.

Farm Family – Ireneo Espartero and family, of Purok 2, Dujali, Davao de Norte. They operate a five-hectare integrated farm planted to hybrid rice, vegetables and fruit crops, livestock and tilapia. Ireneo is currently the Purok leader, chairman of the irrigators’ association, and active member of Gawad Kalinga.

His wife Wenita is the chairperson of the Matinao Multi-Purpose Cooperative, vice chairperson of Braulio Dujali Fish Farmers’ Association, member of Rural Improvement Club, and designated as ‘Magsasakang-Siyentista’ of Dujali. The Esparteros were declared the ‘Huwarang Pamilya ng Davao del Norte’ in 2007.

Young Farmer Organization - Mandaya Tribe Youth Organi-zation, Barangay Upper Ulip, Monkayo, Compos-tela Valley. Organized in June 2005, this group grossed P148,200 last year from agricultural and livelihood enterprises in poultry and goat raising, fishpond culture, and banana production. Membership grew eight-folds, from the original nine to the current 70.

Rural Improvement Club (RIC) – Barucboc, Quezon, Isabela. It has the distinction of being the first RIC organized in Quezon, Isabela, in 1970. It was revived 3 years ago, with a new name: ‘Go Forward Barucboc RIC,’ with 87 members. In 2006, its members increased to 187, and last year, doubled to 319. Integrating food production projects with the promotion of a green and friendly environment, the group maintains a show window in Baruboc that displays well-kept and productive communal vegetable garden, orchard and a fishpond. From an initial capital of P10,000 in 2005, its asset is worth P300,000 as of December 2007.

Small Farmers’ Organization - Tupi Integrated Agricultural Cooperative. Tupi, South Cotabato. This cooperative started 19 years ago with a P30,000 start-up capital and 15 farmer-incorporators. Today, they have a long-term pineapple and papaya contract-growing agreement with Dole. Its total asset is now P133 million. Its footprint has reached other towns in South Cotabato and Sarangani. It has diversified into grocery store and gasoline station. Last year, its net surplus was P1.6 million, distributed to its 1,850 members as dividends and patronage refund.

City Agricultural and Fishery Council (CAFC) – Vigan, Ilocos Sur. Since its organization in 1995, the Council has been closely and vigorously collaborated with the City Government to address the concerns of their farmer-members through the provision of post harvest equipment and facilities, certified rice seeds, hybrid yellow corn, fertilizers, livelihood assistance, establishment of techno-demo farms, and cattle dispersal project. All of these initiatives have made the CAFC a major partner in the sustained socio-economic development of Vigan in more than a decade . In 2005-06, it was adjudged as the Outstanding City AFC in Ilocos region.

Provincial Agricul-tural and Fishery Council (PAFC) - Camarines Norte. Organized more than 20 years ago, the Council remained steady and strong partner of the Provincial Government of Camarines Norte in the field of agricultural and fishery development and moderni-zation. It produces its own radio program called “Unlad Kabuhayan, Magandang Kinabukasan,” aired over Radyo ng Bayan. The anchor is PAFC chair, Mr. Benjamin Dimaano who also serves as a member of the Board of Directors and a ‘volunteer-professor’ at the Camarines Norte State College.

It implements livelihood projects funded through the NAFC-Livelihood Enhance-ment for Agricultural Development (LEAD), with 86 beneficiaries. /MP

The 797th Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival

The Mother of all Philippine Festivals

Devotees bring with them the Holy image of Sto. Niño during the procession.

The traditional "palapak"

The grand prize winner "KABOG", in the Ati-atihan contest.

Ati-atihan is for children . . .

Participants in costume as they join the "sad-sad"

The real Aetas or "Ati"

The modern day "Ati".

Artistic costumes and performances of Aklanons during Ati-atihan festival.

Kabog Flies Away The P50,000 Grand Prize

2009 Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival Contest Result

The P50,000 grand prize winner “KABOG” in the 2009 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-atihan Festival.

Some P364,000.00 were distributed as cash prizes for the winners of the 2009 Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. The awarding of prizes was held in the evening of Sunday, January 18, 2009 at Magsaysay Park during the “Pagpadungog Night”.

The winners in the five (5) categories as Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo announced are the following:

Individual Category which received P2000 each are: Balahibong Manok – Most Original; Indigenous Ati – Most Symbolic; Absurung-song – Most Comical; Mahi-wagang Dyosa – Most Fantastic; and Recycled Non-biodegradable – Most Modern.

Modern Group: Three consolation prizes at P3,000 each are Enchanting, B-Crusis, and Samurai Blue Japan; 3rd Prize, Aeang-Aeang – P10,000; 2nd Prize D’Emagine – P15,000; and 1st Prize, Scoprio-11-19 – P20,000.

Balik Ati Group: Three consolation prizes at P3,000 each are Puro Ati, Tribu Isalacan, and Tribu Ilayanhon; 3rd Prize – Lilo-anong Ati Ag Datu Sa Balangay – P10,000; 2nd Prize, Maninikop – P15,000; and 1st Prize, Kinantuing – P20,000.

Tribal Small Group: Three consolation prizes at P7,000 each are Tribu Responde, Tribu it Panay, and Tribu Tipon-Tipon; 3rd Prize, Morongga Tribe – P20,000; 2nd Prize, Tribu Bukid Tigayon – P25,000; and 1st Prize, Tribu Eamang – P30,000.

Tribal Big Group: Three consolation prizes at P10,000 each are Pangawasan Tribe, Maharlika Tribe, and Tiis-Tiis; 3rd Prize, Lord Eagles – P30,000; 2nd Prize, Black Beauty Boys – P40,000; and 1st Prize, Kabog – P50,000.

Mr. Edgar T. Isada, CPA, headed the contest, adjudication and tabulation team with Mr. Fredie C. Malacas, CPA and Mr. Joebert M. Martelino, CPA as tabulators. Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo, chairman, Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board approved the report.

Aklan Higante

The municipal officials and employees of the 17 municipalities of Aklan added color to the 797th Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. They paraded with their “Higantes”, 10 to 12 feet in height during the Higante parade and contest held on Wednesday, January 14 which kicked off the 797th Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival.

Aklan top provincial officials like Gov. Carlito S. Marquez, Cong. Florencio T. Miraflores, Vice Gov. Gabrielle V. Calizo and Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo graced the affair.

After about 90 minutes parade passing the very slightly damaged and still lightly muddy roads of Poblacion, Kalibo, the Higante parade ended and converged in Pastrana Park where the Higante winners were announced, and awarded. A simple program was held.

The municipality of Tangalan walked away with the P35,000 grand prize for the Higante Parade. Tangalan Mayor Gene Fuentes received the cash prize. Second prize of P30,000 went to New Washington which was handed to its Mayor, Edgar R. Peralta. The P25,000 third prize was won by the town of Malinao which Mayor Dominador Ilio, Jr. received in behalf of his town.

The towns of Numancia, Kalibo, Nabas, Buruanga, Ibajay and Madalag were awarded consolation prize each.

Moreover, Numancia got three special prize awards of P5,000 each or P15,000 for being the Most Disciplined group, Best in Festival Cultural Presentation, and being the Biggest group. Kalibo was the Most Jolly group, while Buruanga, the Best Costume group. /MP

‘8.7 Million Pinoys Are In 239 Countries’

FILIPINOS are found in almost every corner of the planet. Their passports and visas have become their ticket to economic bounty.

Overseas Filipinos are in 239 countries, 209 of which are members of the United Nations. The 30 others are mostly islands and territories.

A forthcoming com-pendium of statistics will reveal and prove the global dispersion of Filipinos. It will also show international migration is a visible socio-economic issue for Philippine provinces and for the countries of destination of Filipinos.

The Filipinos who are in 239 countries include temporary migrants (other-wise known as “overseas Filipino workers” (OFW), permanent mig-rants (in-cluding per-manent residents and Filipino spouses of foreigners), and undocu-mented or irregular migrants, government data that are contained in the first Philippine Migration and Develop-ment Statistical Almanac show.

In these 239 countries, there is at least a thousand dollars remitted to the Philippines from the years 2000 to 2007.

The Almanac, which compiled administrative and survey data produced by government agencies involved in overseas migration, also shows the following trends:

= Temporary migrants can either have males or females as the leading group by gender based on annual releases of administrative and survey data. But females dominate permanent migration (that includes migrants who have married foreign partners), even while Filipino seafarers are a visible group in terms of number;

= Regions located in Luzon island —the National Capital Region, Southern Tagalog, Central Luzon, and the Ilocos Region— have consis-tently emerged as the top origin areas of temporary and permanent overseas migrants, as well as the hubs of many house-holds receiving assistance from abroad;

= Overseas workers have the Middle East and Asia as the leading regions of destination for temporary migrants, while North America is the leading region of destination for permanent migrants;

= The Philippines-Saudi Arabia corridor is the biggest migration corridor for temporary migrants, while the Philippines-United States migration corridor is the biggest for permanent migrants;

= The Philippines, from 1975 to 2007, has received over US$120 billion in cash remittances —all passing through the formal banking system. In addition, triennial estimates on remittances to Philippine regions and provinces show that families receiving assis-tance from migrants abroad got PhP208.848 billion in 2000 (covering 1.107 million migrant households); PhP245.856 billion in 2003 (1.31 million households); and PhP348.524 billion in 2006 (1.601 million households); and

= Males have more total and average remittances than females yearly.
Data on overseas Filipinos in all 79 Philippine provinces and in all the 239 countries of destination can be found in the first Philippine Migration and Develop-ment Statistical Almanac that government and academic partners, and the nonprofit Institute for Migration and Development Issues (IMDI) launched on January 12, 2009.

Stakeholders based in the provinces will be prioritized to receive this Almanac, the Institute said, since they do not have access to such data.

The Commission on
Filipinos Overseas, the

Philippine Overseas Em-ployment Adminis-tration, the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas, UST’s Social Research Center, and IMDI collaborated to produce this statistical compendium, of which its 1,000 book copies and files contained in its website version (http://almanac.ofwphilan are for free.

The Peace and Equity Foundation (PEF), the Philippine Migrants’ Rights Watch (PMRW), US-based migrant donor groups, Feed the Hungry-Philippines, Save-a-Tahanan Inc., and the Economic Resource Center for Overseas Filipinos (Ercof) also partnered in producing this first Migration and Develop-ment Statistical Almanac.

The book and website versions of the Statistical Almanac will be both launched at UST’s Thomas Aquinas and Research Complex. (573 words) (by Jeremaiah Opiniano). /MP

Aklan PPO Gets Patrol Jeeps

Camp Pastor Martelino, Kalibo, Aklan – The Aklan Provincial Police Office (PPO) recently acquired four (4) additional HI-LUX patrol jeeps. These vehicles will further increase the police mobility and visibility operations against criminality and insurgence in the Aklan province.

The said vehicles are acquired on January 13, 2009 from the Directorate for Logistics at PNP National Headquarters, Camp Crame, Quezon City.

Aklan Provincial Director Senior Superin-tendent Clarence Guinto said, the acquisition was very timely since Kalibo celebrated the world famous Ati-Atihan festival and Aklan PPO is in need of the additional vehicles for a quicker response to call for police assistance and immediate deploy-ment of troops.
These patrol jeeps will be issued to municipal police stations of Lezo, Banga, Ibajay and Makato. Aklan PPO is expected to receive another three (3) additional patrol jeeps intended for three (3) police stations in Madalag, Balete and Libacao this year.

The said vehicles will definitely mark a significant improvement to the capability of police units for more aggressive patrol operations and immediate response to any police assistance in the entire Province of Aklan. (By POI Nida L. Gregas) /MP

Dealing With Death Threats

Survival Tips For Journalist
(Part 1 of 6 parts)


This corner just attended a one-day seminar on “Reporting On Extra-Judicial Killings” sponsored by the National Union of Journalists of the Philippines under the Inquirer Correspondent Nestor Burgos, the NUJP national chairman.

Due to the need, relevance and timeliness of said topic for the members of the Aklan Tri–Media, this writer saw it fit and proper to share and re-echo some lessons learned from the said workshop held in Iloilo City, last month. These tips could somehow help our media colleagues in dealing with any dangerous time. These are:

1. Write down the exact wording of the threat. Include details about how the threat is received. Doing
this enables one to provide
police a thorough report;

2. Threat should be taken carefully. Immediately inform superiors, colleagues, and family members regarding the incident;

3. Create a lot of noise about the threat. Seek support from press organizations and other media groups. Request news organizations to publicize it;

4. Save threat sent via text in your phone memory to have a support document when reporting to proper authorities;

5. If threats became imminent, consider temporarily moving to another place; and

6. Request for police protection only when absolutely necessary, recommend police officer in your area of your trust.

Inquirer correspondent Nestor Burgos confirmed with this writer that the NUJP will conduct a 2-day safety training workshop for Aklan and Capiz journalists in due time. Burgos is the new NUJP national chairman. According to him, the venue of the workshop is Aklan.

It is expected this kind of training will re-tool Aklan journalists. They will be better equipped with much improved skills in dealing with various kinds of harassments that have become prevalent and pervasive in the provinces.

(Next Issue: How to deal with surveillance. Watch out for it!) /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Ni Tita Linda Belayro

Sa Kuko it Agila

Mapintas nga Amo, tatay, ag tawo si Don Agaton Aguila. Tag-ana imaw it Hacienda Aguila. Ana ro pinaka maeapad nga eogta sa andang banwa. Bu-ot nana nga bakeon tanan ro mga kadueon ko anang eogta. Guin pilit pa ngani nana nga papermahon sanda. Ogaling indi igbaligya ni Mang Andoy ro andang eogta, sambato sa rayang mga kadueon ni Don Agaton Aguila. Rayang eogta hay irensya abi nana sa anang guinikanan. Tanto pa, rikara imaw naga bo-oe it patubas nga guina gasto sa pagpatu-on kay Nestor nga bu-ot mangin abogado.

Agud mabo-oe ni Don Agaton ro anang gusto, guin taw-an nana ro mag-ama it abong kwarta. Nagpamalibad guihapon ro mag-amang Andoy ag Nestor. Sa kaugot ni Don Agaton, guin bayaran nana ro mga pulis agod pabangdan nga naga baligya it droga si Nestor. Owa it eabot pa kara, guin pabangdan pa imaw nga nagpanakaw sa baeay ni Don Agaton.

Tanan hay butang-butang eamang. Ogaling, guin sueod sa karsel si Nestor. Sa sueod it karsel, idto si Nestor naga binasa ko anang libro. Tag naga pahilangupon ro eksamin, naghinyo imaw nga mabu-oe it eksamin. Guin sugtan man. Guin pa guardyahan pa imaw it daywang ka pulis sa poeta it kwarto. Pagkatapos it eksamin, nagbalik eon man imaw sa karsel.
Makataliwan ro pilang buean, nagguwa eon ro resulta it eksamin. Isaea si Nestor sa mapaead nakapasar. Guin tun-an nana ro anang kaso ag imaw mismo ro nagdepensa sa anang kaugalingon kada vista sa korte. Pagkatapos it vista ko kaso, napamatud-an nga owa si Nestor it saea. Guin basura ro kaso. Ro masubo eang hay guin pinaperma ni Don Agaton ro mga tag ana it eogta ag guin bayaran nga bukon it kueang sa kaeapad it eogta.

Umpisa kato, si Nestor eon ro guina daeaganan it mga tawo sa andang problema. Guin sukot nanda si Don Agaton ko kabilugan nga kantidad ko andang eogta. Guin negosyo nanda ro kwarta ag naghalin sanda bilang mga trabahador ni Don Agaton. Ro mga tawo hay nagpasaeamat guid it abu kay Nestor tongod naka libre eon sanda sa kuko it Aguila. /MP

Breast Milk Is The Best Reason Why Barangay Guinatuan Has No Malnourished Kids

Yes, breast milk is still the best. This is one of the primary reasons why Guinatuan, a far-flung barangay in Madalag, Aklan was adjudged as the Best Barangay Nutrition Committee in Aklan. (Is it due to its container? No!)

Breast milk is the most complete food for babies, economical, nutritious and the safest. Indeed, breast milk is guaranteed melamine-free.

Exclusive breast-feeding by mothers of Barangay Guinatuan of their babies is the most possible reason why school kids in the barangay all attained normal weights.

“From pregnancy, midwives and our physician took care of mothers in our barangay. They conducted regular pre-natal check-ups, and advocated for exclusive breastfeeding of babies after deliveries. They rendered other much needed services for babies and children like regular vaccination, and deworming. They gave vitamins A and iron. Other government agencies helped like the Department of Education which advocated cleanliness of surroundings and backyard vegetable gardening,” related Guinatuan Barangay Captain Dexter V. Recustodio in his response after receiving the award.

Governor Carlito S. Marquez handed the award to him. He was assisted by DepEd Division Superintendent Victorina S. Laroza during the Provincial Awarding Ceremony of Aklan’s Outstanding Barangay Nutrition Scholars, Barangay Nutrition Committees and Municipal Nutrition Committees held recently.

Crescini Roxas, Nutrition Dietician II of the Provincial Health Office led in the conduct of the provincewide evaluation. Her group was amazed with the performance of Brgy. Guinatuan concerning the government’s nutri-tion program.

“Since conducting MELLPI-PPAN in the ‘80s, it is only now that we have come across a Barangay with no malnourished kids. They had no below normal low weighing children, or those we used to call as moderately malnourished. There was no severely malnourished kid. This is a good record, and we hope that in the future, we will have more barangays in Aklan with the same astounding performance,” Roxas said.

For his part, Governor Marquez said, “the province is firm in its commitment to help Aklanons eradicate malnutrition, because it affects society. Presently, the province is having a contest among farmers on vegetable gardening.

We hope to make vegetable farming a lucrative livelihood in Aklan. We envision that someday, we will have a storage facility for our farm produce here – so we can supply the needs of Boracay Island instead of the stakeholders there sourcing their needs from other provinces. We urge our people to plant vegetables, as this will help solve poverty incidence in Aklan, and enable as to reach our dream for Aklan’s progress.”

Hearing the words of Guinatuan Brgy. Captain Dexter Recustodio on breastfeeding, Governor Marquez agreed. According to him, babies should not be fed with formulas derived from animals’ milk, because animals’ milk is for animals, and breast milk is for babies (human). (by Venus G. Villanueva) /MP

Roxas Seeks Full Transparency In Gov’t Foreign Trips Files SB 2982 To Bar Repeat of ‘Euro Generals’ Scandal

Senator Mar Roxas has sought more transparency and accountability in the use of public funds for foreign travels of government officials and employees, including those in the uniformed service.

The senator has filed Senate Bill No. 2982, or the proposed Government Employees Official Travel Accountability Act of 2009, to discourage a recurrence of the “Euro Generals Scandal”, which he lamented brought international infamy to the country.

“Let us make sure the Moscow scandal does not happen again. The world had glimpsed how corrupt our government is. Let us correct how our leaders waste the people’s money, especially for the foreign travels of officials and employees,” he said.

The Ilonggo senator was referring to the arrest of retired police comptroller Eliseo dela Paz and his wife in Russia in October last year for their non-disclosure of 105,000 Euros (P6.9 million) that they brought to Moscow when they attended an Interpol meeting.

Dela Paz, during the Senate hearings into the scandal, has claimed the money was drawn from the Philippine National Police’s (PNP) confidential and intelligence funds, supposedly for the purchase of intelligence equipment.

The incident drew flak from senators, who condemned the PNP leadership’s lenience in the release of its intelligence funds and raised questions on the procedure by which such funds are disbursed.

“We have witnessed how government officials wasted the people’s money. We have discovered how they used official foreign travels as a scheme to steal from the government coffers,” Roxas said.

In proposing SB 2982, Roxas seeks to lay down specific guidelines for the authorized foreign trips of all public officials, such as prohibiting government officials or employees from joining travels abroad one year before his/her retirement. It defines the allowable travel expenses for such travels.

The bill also mandates the disclosure of the full amount of foreign currency brought into or out of the country in the course of the official trip. It also calls for the submission of a completion report of the official business attended, as well as an accounting and liquidation of the funds used for the official journey.

It proposes penalties for the non-disclosure of the amount of foreign currency carried out and into the country and for non-compliance with the reportorial and accounting and liquidation requirements. “I hope my colleagues in the Senate do not disregard the trust the public has given us,” Roxas said. /MP

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Congratulations ATVI!

Aklan Talent Ventures, Inc. (ATVI) deserves sincere congra-tulations from all Aklanons. For the first ever, in the history of Aklan, it is ATVI which thought of and implemented "Binibining Aklan". After the proclamation of the first Binibining Aklan 2009 in the ABL Sports Complex, Capitol, Kalibo, Aklan at dawn of January 15, everybody concluded, "the show is great". It must be continued annually to coincide with the Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan festival in January of every year.

ATVI has gathered 12 pretty girls in their teens as finalists for Binibining Aklan 2009. These young girls came from almost all towns of Aklan and are studying. They are Jamela Shanen L. Tuscano–17 of Jumarap, Banga; Junaizza Mae T. Rapiz–18 of Badio, Numancia; Yvonn Charisse S. Regalado–19 of Poblacion, Batan; Ronelie S. Pador–17 of Poblacion, Altavas; Floricel R. Reyes–19 of Poblacion, New Washington; Michelle Martha R. Braun–18 of Estancia, Kalibo; Karla Jane T. Gallardes–18 of Poblacion, Balete; Kristine A. Legaspi–20 of Poblacion, New Washing-ton; Shann Mary V. Patricio–17 of Batan; Irish Kenna T. Buena–21 of Balabag, Malay; Ma. Cristina Kay G. Sayawan–18 of Unidos, Nabas; and Marellgie T. Ostan–17 of Boracay, Malay.

All these candidates were presented to the public during the grand launching and press conference held at Beach-front, Sampaguita Gardens, New Washington in the afternoon of Thursday, December 18, 2008.

Dressed in immaculate white, they appeared like white ladies with brilliance in style and poise. Their abilities to follow protocol of any probable situation and skills to answer questions from a limited member of the Aklan tri-media were tested.

The candidates exposed their God given bodies in their respective swimwear and their talents discovered in a swimwear and talent competitions held in Grand Vista Resort and Spa in Boracay on January 2. The search ended in a 4-hour long coronation pageant where candidates No. 6, Michelle Martha R. Braun was proclaimed Binibining Aklan 2009. Proclaimed with her are the 1st runner up–Jamela Shannen Tuscano, and 2nd runner up–Ronelie A. Pador.

Binibining Aklan 2009, Michelle, is one of the crowd favorites who won the Miss Talent title. She is also the "Darling of the Press".

ATVI which organized the Binibining Aklan Search is a stock corporation which aims to improve the well-roundedness of the Aklanons by developing special talents and skills through pageantry, to expose skills for various worthy endeavors, and to promote and advocate for conducive environment, tourism, cultural enhance-ment, beauty, and help the local government in the upliftment of the living condition of the people, particularly the Aklanons.

ATVI is chaired by Mr. Vincent Icamina Navarosa of Libacao, Aklan. The pageant director is Mr. Edwin Autencio.

By holding pageantries, ATVI will be able to raise funds to finance environ-ment and tourism projects. Pageantry is also envisioned to show beautiful spots of Aklan and to portray the charm, beauty and unique features of the Aklanons. It will showcase Aklan’s good sight, sound and sceneries.
ATVI is one of the prime movers of Earth Day Network activities in the province of Aklan and this first ever Binibining Aklan search forms part of the 2009 highlights celebration of Earth Day. Earth Day, Navarosa said, is simultaneously celebrated around the world by people of all backgrounds, faith, and race.

Indeed, ATVI, SK Aklan Federation and their benefactors really deserve Aklan’s sincere commen-dation for succesfully holding the first ever search for Binibining Aklan. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
NFA Palay Buying/Rice
Distribution In 2008
National Food Authority (NFA) admi-nistrator Jessup P. Navarro said, "the NFA performed well last year both in domestic palay procure-ment and rice distribution that benefited its major stakeholders particularly palay farmers and consu-mers notably the poor."

At the average price of P850 per cavan of palay plus fertilizer incentive of P1,800 per 50 kg for an effective price of P886 per bag, the NFA has paid the farmers nationwide the amount of about P12 billion which the government has ploughed back to the agricultural sector to help spur the economy.

According to Navarro, as of the end 2008, the volume of rice distributed by the food agency reached 39.8 million bags or 87 percent of the 45 million bags targeted in 2008.

On domestic palay procurement, Navarro reported that the NFA was able to buy some 13 million bags of palay in 2008, the second highest recorded in the last 29 years. "The timely infusion of NFA rice in the market particularly in the first half of the year gave consumers more access to the basic staple. It stabilized the price of rice averting an otherwise uncontrolled rice price spiral", stressed Navarro.

"The quantity of NFA rice distributed last year manifested the consumers’ growing preference for the good quality but low-priced government rice. The volume of sales of NFA rice remains high even when commercial rice prices have already stabilized and new harvests started coming in particularly during the last part of 2008," Navarro added.

NFA rice is available in strategic outlets nationwide including the 13,383 Tindahan Natin, 3,812 institutionalized Bigasan sa Palengke, 196 Tindahan ni Gloria rolling stores and at community based outlets such as the 1,554 local government operated Bigasan sa Barangay, the 1,292 Bigasan sa Parokya, 243 Bagsakan sa Barangay and the 1,212 accredited and licensed rice retailers. NFA rice is being sold at P25, P30 and P35 per kg.

Navarro informed that families in the National Capital Region that were issued with Family Access Card by the Department of Social Welfare and Development can still buy the highly subsidized P18.25 per kg at the TN and Bigasan sa Parokya outlets. In the provinces, the affordable NFA rice is being sold to consumers included in the Rice Allocation Ledger at the TN outlets.

With its active procurement and a higher support price of P17 per kilogram for palay, the NFA was able to provide farmers with better income and improved its grains inventory at the start of the New Year. NFA’s rice inventory to date is placed at 18.5 million bags.
P70 B Tax Subsidy

Administrator Navarro claimed NFA has paid P12 billion to Filipino farmers for their palay. However, he did not report how much tax subsidy for its rice import was paid by Filipinos to Vietnamese and Thai farmers for rice imported in 2008. P12 billion is ‘peanut’ compared to the P70 billion import tax subsidy granted to NFA.

Farmers from Numan-cia who brought truckload of palay to NFA Banga went home and failed to sell their palay to NFA for reason of "no cash". They were obliged to sell their palay to private rice trader. In November 2008, NFA committed to collect and buy palay at an agreed place and time in Numancia. The farmers were frustrated. The NFA representative did not show up.

The present national government is not only so stingy in the provision of assistance to farmers, it even stole the money budgeted for production assistance like the Joc Joc Bolante P728million fertilizer fund scam.

If the government will only provide 100 percent water to the paddy fields of the farmers, rice importation will be the thing of the past.

Construct More Irrigation System

Of the Philippines area devoted for rice production, about 45 percent are irrigated. In Aklan for instance, only about 35 percent of the area planted to palay is irrigated. If the government will provide irrigation system to all riceland, the present palay production will be doubled per unit area. Palay is a hydrophonic plant which consumes more water in order to produce more grains. Statistics show, 5,000 kg. of water is needed to produce 1 kg. of palay. /MP

Binibining Aklan

Binibining Aklan Winners
Picture above shows (l to r) Ronelie A. Pador - 2nd runner up, Michelle Martha R. Braun - Bb. Aklan 2009 and Jamela Shannen L. Tuscano - 1st runner up.

Aklan Gov. Carlito S. Marquez and Ms. Ida Henares of GMA crowned the first ever Bb. Aklan Ms. Michelle Martha Braun.

Michelle Martha R. Braun was voted "Darling of the Press" during the Binibining Aklan 2009 Search with Dr. Ambrosio R. Villorente of the Aklan Press Club, Inc.

The Bb. Aklan candidate with pageant host & anchors

Michelle Martha R. Braun is the first ever Binibining Aklan. She was conferred the title after a 4-hour marathon coronation pageant that took place at the ABL Sports Complex, Capitol Site, Kalibo, Aklan in the evening of Wednesday, January 14. The 1st runner up is Jamela Shannen L. Tuscano of Jumarap, Banga, Aklan while 2nd runner up is Ronelie A. Pador of Poblacion, Altavas, Aklan.

Michelle, 18 years old is the daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Willy V. Braun. She was awarded 1st runner up in a national inter-school beauty search Ms. STEP 2006. She loves dance-sports and knows a bit of taekwondo. The 1st runner up, Jamela, 17 years old is a 4th year high school student of Aklan Catholic College. She likes dancing and playing volleyball. She favors color pink. "I joined Bb. Aklan to give honor and pride to my family and to win as well", she revealed.
Ronelie A. Pador, 17 years old is a Freshman college student in Central Philippine University. She hails from Pob., Altavas, Aklan. Ronelie, the 2nd runner up aims to become a successful flight stewardess and to be a professional fashion model. The daughter of Mr. & Mrs. Ronel S. Pador, Ronelie does modeling. She wishes to meet her favorite movie stars Anne Curtis and Sarah Geronimo.

The Bb. Aklan is the first ever project organized by the Aklan Talent Ventures, Inc. (ATVI) managed by its chair, Mr. Vincent Navarosa in cooperation with the Sangguniang Kabataan Federation of Aklan lead by Federation Pres. Jun Rey I. Tordecillas.

ATVI is organized to improve well-roundedness of the Aklanons through development of special talents and skills and to assist in the promotion of environment, tourism, cultural enhancement, and uplift the living condition of the Aklanons. /MP

Higante Parade

Contingents from the Municipality of Numancia

The Local Government Unit of Malay

Participants from Municipality of New Washignton.

Atis from Buruanga

The jolly of group of Numancia

Higante entry of Municipality of Numancia
Higante entry of Municipality of Nabas
Higante entry of Municipality of Malinao

The winning Higante of the Municipality of Tangalan

One of the highlights of the Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival 2009 is the Higante Parade which was held in the afternoon of Wednesday, January 14. It was a contest among Local Government Units of Aklan. While only the municipalities of Nu-mancia, Nabas, Malinao, Ibajay, Tangalan, Balete, Kalibo, Buruanga, and New Washington parti-cipated in the contest, all the 17 towns participated in the parade. /MP

Morongga Tribe

The Morongga Tribe came into being as one of the participating tribes in the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival celeb-ration in the year 1972. The inception of Morongga Tribe marked the history of being the 1st tribe from Barangay New Buswang to participate in the world famous Ati-Atihan Festival. Thus, it serves as the pride of our Barangay to be one of the participants to this grandest celebration of honoring the Blessed Child – Sr. Sto. Niño!

The birth of Morongga Tribe was initiated by Mr. Toto Sarabia. For the record, there is no relevant meaning that could be associated with the name Morongga as one of the members suggested the name "Morongga". It was unanimously approved. The membership of Morongga Tribe comes from almost all walks of life. Most of its members are young professionals. After two years of its successful participation, Mr. Sarabia got sick. He turned over the leadership to another Sarabia, Mr. Pacifico Sarabia who in turn held office until the year 1981.

For the nine (9) year period, Morongga Tribe garnered several awards and recognition. This is the product of the strong sense of commitment and support of all the members and for being a part of the PANAAD which is also reflective of the rich cultural heritage of the Municipality of Kalibo and the Province of Aklan. Year after year, the invitation to perform from one place to another continuously came. The most memorable of it was the invitation to perform in Nayong Pilipino, Metro Manila.

The year 1981 is considered as the saturation point for the tribe. It is sad to note that the enthusiasm and support of the members were no longer that powerful. Further, the financial requirement was so big that the tribe could no longer afford to sustain its participation. The absence of sponsors to provide the needed assistance for the purchase of raw materials for the production of uniform as well as the necessity for the replacement of musical instruments had been a part and parcel on the diminishing of the tribe.

However, this did not hinder the participation of the members to the festival. Even without the costume/uniform and non-participation in the contest proper, the spirituality and the PANAAD to the Blessed Child are continuing.

The year 1977 marked the "rebirth" of Morongga Tribe. Through the effort of Mr. Tomasito Mirto who was then connected with Nestle Philippines, Inc., financial assistance was extended. At first, the reorganization was really hard. Though the support of the "original" members was present, there was a need to recruit eager and aggressive members who are capable of handling the tedious work. This was due to the members themselves who created their own uniform – from painting to sewing and all others. Nonetheless, this reacti-vation had created a positive impact. For six (6) years since its revival, it became a new beginning. Awards and recognition come every year.

Morongga is never out in the limelight. Through the effort of the Municipal Government of Kalibo and the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Management Board, Morongga Tribe has been one of the contingents representing the incom-parable Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival to the events and places like Expo Filipino, Aliwan Fiesta and recently, the WOW Philippines – Best of Region VI, Intramuros, Manila.

From the year 1997 , Morongga Tribe is headed by Mr. Lucas Y. Cristobal. To date, the tribe is actively participating to this world renown Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival. Hala Bira! Viva!! Kay Sr. Sto. Niño Viva!!! /MP

Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan 2009

The Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival 2009 officially started with Combo ni Papa and Barajada held in Magsaysay Park on January 10.

There will be 29 Ati-Atihan tribes which will participate in Kalibo Sto. Niño Ati-Atihan Festival 2009. This year’s festival is the 797th celebration, Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo announced during a press conference held in the Kalibo Municipal Hall on Monday morning, January 12. This participating tribes are of 4 categories.
They are: The Balik Ati of 6 tribes namely: 1. Lilo-anong Ati ag Datu Sa Balangay; 2. Maninikop; 3. Tribu Ilayanhon; 4. Puro Ati; 5. Tribu Isalacan; and 6. Kinantu-ing.

The Tribal Category (small group) are of 7 tribes which are: 1. Lezo Tribe; 2. Tribu it Panay; 3. Morongga Tribe; 4. Tribu Bukid Tigayon; 5. Niñolitos; 6. D’Kamang-gahan Tribe; and 7. Tribu Tipon-Tipon.

The Tribal Category (big group) are of 8 tribes which are: 1. Lord Eagle; 2. Brgy. Tribe; 3. Manhanip Tribe; 4. Pangawasan Tribe; 5. Kabog; 6. Maharlika Tribe; 7. Tiis-tiis; and 8. Black Beauty Boys.

The Modern Category is composed of 6 groups which are 1. Sakanebu; 2. Samurai Blue Japan; 3. B-Crusis; 4. Aeang-aeang; 5. D’Emagine;and 6. Adlaw-Gabii.
There are 2 entries for Individual Category which are: 1. Balahibong Manok; and Indigenous Ati.

Pay Taxes Promptly: Marquez Reminds Taxpayers

by Rey C. Villaruel
Aklan Governor Carlito S. Marquez instructed OIC Provincial Treasurer Suzette F. Pioquid to remind taxpayers to pay their CY 2009 taxes due to the province on the given specific dates to avoid surcharges and interest.

Taxes payable without surcharges if paid before the deadline include professional tax, which is payable on or before January 31. New professionals shall pay their taxes before they can practice their professions.

Tax on printing and publication is due and payable in quarterly installments within the first 20 days following each quarter. For new business, tax is paid first before the business starts to operate.

Franchise tax and delivery trucks or vans tax are paid within the first 20 days of January.

Amusement tax on admission is due and payable within the first 20 days of the month next following that for which they are due.

Tax on sand, gravel, and other quarry resources is due and payable in advance before materials are extracted; while tax on transfer of real property ownership shall be the duty of the seller, donor, transferor, executor or administrator to pay the taxes imposed within 60 days from the date of signing of the deed or from the date of the property owner’s death.

For failure to pay on time, the taxpayer is charged 25 percent surcharge of the original amount of the tax due for the profe-ssional. For the other taxes, taxpayers shall pay an interest of two percent per month on the unpaid amount until the delinquent tax shall have been fully paid but not to exceed 36 months and a surcharge of 25 percent of the original amount of the tax due.

Pioquid also remin-ded the taxpayers the payment of the one percent basic real property tax and additional one percent special educa-tional fund (SEF) tax due for 2007. This tax maybe paid in four installments at the option of taxpayer within the period allowed. For the prompt payments of real property tax, a 10 percent discount is granted. Schedule of payments are, first installment is on or before March 31, second installment is on or before June 30, third installment is on or before September 30, and fourth installment is on or before December 31. If payment is made in advance prior to its annual or quarterly due dates, a 20 percent discount is given. The one percent basic real property tax and one percent additional SEF tax are collected simultaneously.

Failure to pay basic and SEF real property taxes on or before the dates specified will subject the taxpayer to pay an interest of two percent on the amount of delinquent tax for each month of delinquency until the tax is fully paid but not to exceed 36 months. Taxpayers may pay their taxes at the Municipal Treasurer’s office where the property is located or in any office of the provincial/municipal treasurers where the taxpayers reside. /MP

Pacquiao PAL Files ‘Unlimited’ Civil Case Vs Freddie Roach

LOS ANGELES, California — Gregorio "Greg" Asuncion, a Fil-Am long-time friend of world boxing champion Manny Pacquiao, has filed "unlimited" civil case against the boxer’s trainer Freddie Roach, the Wild Card gym boxing club, and "Does 1 to 100" in relation to an alleged mauling incident inside the gym on October 20, 2008.

The case, a complaint for damages on assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, negligence, premises liability, and loss of consortium, was filed by Asuncion’s lawyer, Robert H. McNeill, Jr. of the famed Ivie, McNeill & Wyatt law corporation based on Flower St., here on November 20, 2008.

The incident allegedly happened after Asuncion, known within Team Pacquiao as "The Sheriff" because he works at the LA County Sheriff’s Office, escorted Pacquiao from The Palazzo apartment to the Wild Card gym on Vine St., Hollywood.

When he sat inside the gym, Asuncion said he was asked by security chief Rob Peters to leave because Roach did not want so many people inside.

As he was preparing to leave, Asuncion said, "Suddenly Freddy hit me from the back of my neck… so powerful that I fell on my knees. He told me to get hell out of the gym and I said okay."

"On my way to the door I fell again because I felt dizzy. Slowly I got up again and proceeded outside and I can hear his personnel yelling at me that I’m acting," he continued.

Asuncion said he called 911 for help and the paramedics and police arrived at the gym. He was put on a stretcher, and given a neck brace before being taken to the hospital.

In the "first cause of action for assault", McNeill stressed "Roach and Does 1 to 100, intentionally, willfully, wantonly and maliciously threatened plaintiff so as to cause plaintiff to reasonably believe. He was in danger of being harmed."

"Because of defen-dant’s skill as a boxer and his occupation as a boxing trainer, a reasonable person in plaintiff’s situation would have been offended by the threat of violence on the part of the defendent, Freddie Roach."

Meanwhile, Asuncion said he was hurt when some of the witnesses "suddenly turned deaf and blind."

"Even some of those who were earlier egging me to file a case are now singing a different tune," sobbed Asuncion. "But I am confident the truth will come out."

Asuncion’s wife, Allyson, is co-plaintiff in the case filed before the Superior Court of the State of California County of Los Angeles, Stanley Mosk Courthouse. The complaint said, prior to the injuries sustained by the 51-year-old Asuncion, he "was able to and did perform his duties as a spouse."

"Subsequent to the injuries and as a proximate result thereof, plaintiff Gregorio Asuncion has been unable to perform the necessary duties as a spouse, and that he no longer can perform the work and services usually performed by him in the care, maintenance, and management of the family home," it explained.

"Allyson Asuncion has been deprived and will be deprived of the consortium of her spouse, including the performance of her spouse’s necessary duties, all to plaintiff Allyson Asuncion’s damage"

"What hurt me most was that after my husband fell, instead of helping him, they added insult to his injury when they cursed him and accused him of faking that he was hurt. In this country (United States), even dogs are treated well like humans because they, too, have the rights," mourned Allyson. /MP

Sugilanon Ni Tita Linda

Tita Linda Belayro
Dancing Shoes
Ro tatay ni Karen hay bag-o gid lang abot halin pa sa India. Nag oli imaw pagkatapos ko anang kontrata. Nag hingabot gid imaw nga nakauli parabil mag paskwa. Antes imaw mag-uli, nag bakae anay imaw it pueang sapatos sa isaeang ka magueang. Raya ro anang paskwang guin haead kay Karen.

Malipayon gid si Karen sa pagbaton ko rayang sapatos. Anang guin suk-sok ag tamang tama guid sa anang siki ro sapatos. Nag guwa si Karen ag nagsinaut. Sige ro anang sinaut, sa plaza, sa kaeati-an, hasta idto nakaabot sa sementeryo. Ko olihi, hinapo imaw. Ogaling ro sapatos hay sige pa guihapon nga sinaut. May nag-agi nga pastor samtang sige ro kindeng-kindeng ni Karen. Hakita nana si Karen nga lupay-pay eon sa kaga-oy. Guin buligan imaw it pastor agod nga makatindog. Guin hukas ro anang sapatos agod maka pahuway ro anang siki. Nakabatyag it pahuway si Karen. Nag-uli imaw nga bit-bit ro anang sapatos.

Madali eon lang ro paskwa. Peho guid nga maga simba sanda ko anang pamilya. Hamadla eon imaw ko natabo ko nagtaliwang adlaw. Bisperas it paskwa, nagsimba sanda ag buot ni Tatay na nga isuk-sok ro anang bag-ong sapatos. Agod indi imaw pag akigan ni Tatay na, anang guin suksok. Pag-abot sa simbahan, nagsampit eon man ro sapatos nga magsaut. Tumindog imaw ag nagsaut. Hakibot ro anang ama ag ina. Pati ro mga tawo hay nag tinan-aw kana. Gumuwa imaw sa liwan ag padayon ro anang pag sinaut. Indi eon nana mapunggan. Naka abot imaw sa kagueangan. Sa uwa magbuhay, nakasub-eang imaw it mangangahoy. Naghinyo imaw nga putueon ro anang siki. Ko una, indi mag potoe ro tawo bangod kahoy eat-a ro anang guina potoe, ogaling nagpakitlo-oy gid si Karen.

Pinotoe ko manga-ngahoy ro anang siki, ogaling ro sapatos hay sige pa guihapon sa pag sinaut. Nakaabot ra sa may kumunoy o quick sand (hunod). Idto nahueog ro sapatos ag tinoeon da paidaeum. Nag-oli si Karen nga puro dugo ro anang siki. Guin suguid nana ro natabo sa anang pamilya. Naeooy guid it duro ro anang ina ag ama. Para maka pahuway imaw ag malipatan ro tanan, guin daea imaw sa convento ag idto guin tatap imaw it mga madre. Hasta it makaron, una pa si Karen naga saklay. Ogaling malipayon imaw nga naga serbisyo sa Diyos. /MP


The Officers and members of the AVAA.

"Arts is the window of the soul of man", declared Ms. Cecile L. Motus, past president of Arch. Gabriel M. Reyes Memorial Foundation during the opening of SPECTRUM, 12th Group Exhibit of the Aklan Visual Artists Association (AVAA). The program was held on Wednesday morning, January 14 at Museo It Akean, Poblacion, Kalibo.

The exhibits is sponsored by the Aklan Visual Artists Association (AVAA) organized 18 years ago today. AVAA started with a couple of Aklanon artists who met and decided to form a group to represent Aklan’s visual arts. They called themselves "Pinta Grasya".

According to Mrs. Sumra Dela Cruz – Rojo, the incumbent secretary, the name was later changed to Aklan Visual Artists Association. AVAA aims to promote Aklan, reflects the culture, values and history of Aklan is their works of Arts, to advocate for the upliftment and appreciation of visual arts and to promote the works of Aklanon artists in the province, region, nation and the world.

Today, the participating Aklanon artists are: Carmen Lao–Ang, Pedro Bustamante, Wilfredo Custodio, Jose Dureza, John Heap, Liza Ann Acevedo-Ilagan, Cipriano Lachica, Patrick Lachica, Anna India dela Cruz–Legaspi, Eilleen D. Losaria, Sumra dela Cruz–Rojo, Marie Grace L. Villanueva, Marcela Reyes–Tinagan, John Recel L. Villanueva, and Junette Villanueva.

Kalibo Poblacion Barangay chair Jean Acevedo Rebaldo rep-resented Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo to the opening program. In his speech, Rebaldo extolled the valuable contribution to the development and appreciation of Kalibo through their talents in the field of visual arts. Ms. Motus congratulated the AVAA members and officers of their great achievements. She urged them to continue the good job started.

Ms. Anna India C. Legaspi, AVAA president, in her welcome message defined what visual art is and its functions in society. "The works of artists are the "impression and expression of arts" through their works.

Before the program ended, Ms. Cecile L. Motus, Ms. Jean Acevedo Rebaldo, Ms. Editha Mijares and Ms. Manolita Q. Acevedo led in the cutting of ribbon to open the exhibits to the public. Ms. Chita C. Heap led the singing of the Philippines National Anthem while Ms. Hervey Casidsid was the lady dean of ceremony. /MP

Kalibo Ati Festival Traffic/Security Deployment Set

by PO1 Nida L. Gregas
Everything is set for the 797th Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival this January 12–18. Thousands of devotees and tourists will crowd the streets for merrymaking and spiritual dancing in honor of Sto. Niño de Kalibo.

Senior Supt. Clarence Guinto, Aklan police director said there are 859 security personnel from the Philippine Army, Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to secure Aklan.

"There will be rerouting of traffic for vehicles and motorists bound to Caticlan and Iloilo. Some nine community police assis-tance centers with medical teams to provide assis-tance to devotees are established.

Three bomb-sniffing K-9 dogs from Caticlan, Malay, Aklan are deployed to ensure the safety of tourists and visitors in the hotels.

Guinto also organized task groups on intelligence, billeting, crowd control, crisis, traffic, and airport and seaport security to guarantee safe and peaceful celebration of the Kalibo Ati-Atihan Festival.

Three checkpoints at entry points of Kalibo are set up by joint elements of the Philippine Army and PNP.

Last Saturday, Guinto led the simulation exercise to check their readiness in the implementation of the traffic and security plans for the festival.

SPO2 Benny Jones Mendoza, traffic section chief, also advised cargo trucks and roll-on roll-off vehicles to take alternate routes like N. Roldan, Calachuchi Road, Roxas Avenue Extension and Toting Reyes Street to avoid heavy traffic during the annual religious procession by participating tribal and modern groups.

"The motorists, drivers, and other heavy vehicles are advised to pass the designated optional routes. They must cooperate with the authorities for their convenience and safety," he added.

The Ati-atihan contest will unfold on January 17 at the streets of Desposorio Maagma, Mabini and Roxas Avenue.

Some highlights of the world-renowned festival are the Higante Parade and Aklan Festivals showdown, Sadsad Panaad, Barter of Panay re-enactment, Ati-Atihan products showcase, fireworks display, Kaean-an sa Plaza, and the Mutya it Kalibo Ati-Atihan Coronation Pageant.

The Parish of Saint John the Baptist Cathedral conducts religious activities such as the nine-day novena (January 9-17), "pahilot" or "paeapak" (January 14 to 18), dawn penitential procession and blessing of children (January 17), transfer of Sto. Niño de Kalibo to Kalibo Pastrana Park, a pilgrim mass, and the religious procession on January 18.

Streets near the Kalibo Pastrana Park and Saint John the Baptist Cathedral will be closed to vehicular traffic in anticipation for thousands of merrymakers and devotees during the concelebrated pilgrims’ mass on January 18. /MP

Security On The Road

Mr. Valtimore Cunanan, Provincial Director, LTO Aklan explaining essential practices to prevent vehicular accidents. At right is Ms. Megs Lunn.

Walk facing the traffic while walking on the road. Cross the road using the pedestrian lane. Cross the intersection when the traffic signal is green and stop when the traffic light is red. These are some of the advices of Mr. Valtimore Cunanan, Provincial Director, Land Transportation Office (LTO) to avoid accident.

Cunanan was the guest speaker during the weekly meeting of the Rotary Club of Kalibo held in its clubhouse, Andagao, Kalibo, Aklan on January 13. In his power point presentation, Cunanan discussed the three functions of the LTO which are vehicle registration, licensing and traffic law enforcement. He also discussed the traffic laws, rules, and regulations. Moreover, he gave advices especially to children the proper conduct while walking on the road such as proper use of pedestrian lanes, walking facing the traffic flow, and following traffic signals and signages.

During the question and answer, Cunanan assured that business transactions with the LTO are smooth and fast. In the renewal of driver’s license, it will only take few hours to obtain the license, as well as the renewal of motor vehicle registration. Cunanan admitted there are ‘fixers’ in his office, however, he assured the public "there will be no more fixers as soon as his office is moved to a new location in Brgy. Estancia, Kalibo, Aklan soon. /MP

DA-PQS Inaugurates P3M Bldg.

The Plant Quarantine Service and the Bureau of Plant Industry of the Department of Agriculture moved to its permanent place from the provincial capital area to a relocation area provided by the provincial government of Negros Occidental. The location is in Barangay 39, Bacolod City . A total of l,044 square meters is allotted to Plant Quarantine Service which is built at P 3 million, a 2 storey building with a floor area of l60 sq. meters. This serves as the office/ quarters of the Plant Quarantine staff.

The Plant Quarantine service is responsible for the inspection of the incoming as well as outgoing agricultural and horticultural products. These include cut flowers, foliage and orchids in the province of Neg. Occ. PQS is responsible for the issuance of permits to shippers after a thorough inspection of a product. The new Plant Quarantine Service building was inaugurated on January 7, 2009 with no less than the Secretary of Agriculture Atty.. Arthur C. Yap as the guest of honor. He graced the occasion together with the DA Regional Executive Director of the RFU Vl Larry P. Nacionales and some local officials of Negros Occidental. (By Eleanor B. Rivera) /MP

Sunday, January 11, 2009


To Sons and Daughters of Soldiers
"Nay, bakit wala si Tatay noong pasko?"

(Ed’s note: This is an open letter from Lt. Gen. Victor S. Ibrado. May the mothers of children whose fathers are with the military will read this open letter for the good understanding of their children why their fathers were not able to be with them at Christmas. Isang bukas na liham para sa anak ng sundalo upang maipaliwanag ang mga bagay-bagay kung bakit ang mga amang sundalo ay kadalasang wala sa pamilya sa mahahalagang okasyon)

Para sa mga mahal kong anak ng sundalo,

Marahil ay nagtataka ka kung bakit ako sumulat sa iyo. Marami akong gustong sabihin at ito ang tamang pagkakataon upang maiparating iyon sa iyo. Bilang pinuno ng isang malaking organisasyon, malaki ang responsibilidad na nakaatang sa aking balikat para sa ikatutupad ng misyon ng Philippine Army, kung saan ay ipagmamalaki kong sasabihin sa iyo, na kabilang ang tatay mo.

Alam ko na mahal na mahal mo ang tatay mo, idol mo siya, di ba? Balang araw, gusto mo ring maging katulad niya. Ang pagka-karoon ng isang ama na sundalo ay kakaiba. Hindi siya katulad ng ibang tatay na nakakauwi sa bahay araw-araw. Maraming mga pagkakataong wala siya sa iyong tabi. Bukod doon, may pagkakataong naka-assign o nakadestino pa siya sa malayo, na kailangang bumilang ng mga araw at buwan upang magkita kayong muli. Sa mga pagkakataong ito, mara-ming mga importanteng okasyon sa iyong buhay na hindi mo siya kapiling katulad ng iyong "birthday", "graduation" at pasko. Alam ko na sa mura mong isip, hindi iyon madaling maintindihan dahil naiiba nga ang trabaho ng isang sundalo.
Kaya sumulat ako sa iyo, kasi ngayong Pasko, baka hindi mo na naman siya makapiling. May mga sinumpaang tungkulin ang tatay mo na dapat niyang gampanan. Napakahalaga ng mga tungkulin niya sa pagpapanatili ng kaayusan at kapayapaan ng ating bansa at walang ibang taong makagagawa nito kundi ang mga sundalong tulad ng iyong ama. At alam mo ba kung hindi siya magsasakripisyo na gawin ito, may posibilidad na hindi magiging mapayapa, maayos at masaya ang Pasko mo at nang iba pang mga batang katulad mo. May mga tao kasing mas gustong manggulo sa ating bayan kaysa tumulong na mapaunlad ito. Iyon ang isa sa mga tungkulin ng tatay mo, ang bantayan ang seguridad ng ating kapaligiran at maging laging handa sa oras ng pangangailangan. Yan ang tatay mo, isang sundalo.

Sana’y maunawaan mo nang lubos ang aking ibig sabihin. Matalino ka at maayos na pinalaki ng iyong mga magulang…ng iyong tatay. Kahit pa sa pamamagitan lang ng tawag at text ay naipaabot niya ang kanyang pag-mamahal at pagkalinga sa iyo, sa Nanay mo at mga kapatid mo. Kaya nga mahal na mahal ka niya, kayo ng mga kapatid mo. Sa lahat ng kanyang sakripisyo para sa ating bayan, ang nasa isip niya, higit pa man, ginagawa niya ang mga ito, para sa iyo at mga kapatid mo. At ang pinaka mahalaga ay tungkulin niya ito.

May hihilingin sana ako sa iyo. Sana sa iyong araw-araw na panalangin, lagi mong hilingin na patnubayan ng Maykapal ang tatay mo at mga kasama niya, saan mang larangn sila mapunta. At doon naman sa mga kasama niyang hindi pinalad na muling makauwi mula sa kanilang pagtupad ng tungkulin, isama mo narin sa iyong dasal na sana ay maluwag na tanggapin na bayaning namatay ang mga kawal na ito ng mga naiwan nilang mahal sa buhay.

At sana sa pama-magitan ng liham ko, mas lubos mong maintindihan kung gaano ka kapalad na magkaroon ng tatay na sundalo – matapang sa gitna ng labanan ngunit lagging bukas ang puso para sa kapayapaan.

S’ya nga pala, ako si Tenyente Heneral Victor S. Ibrado. CG ang kadalasang tawag sa akin, lalo na ng tatay mo. Ito ang pinaikling salita para sa katagang Commanding General na ang ibig sabihin ay namu-munong pinunong heneral. Ako ang pinuno ng Philippine Army at ako ang tumatayong tatay ng lahat ng mga sundalo na nabibilang sa Philippine Army.

Maligayang Pasko at Mabuhay ang sundalong Pilipino! Mabuhay ang Tatay mo!

Tenyente Heneral Victor S. Ibrado, Sandatahang Lakas ng Pilipinas. /MP

Entrepreneurial Farmer

Ambrosio R. Villorente
Is Father Allan For Moral and Spiritual Upliftment?
It is too good for Governor Carlito S. Marquez to have complied with the mandate of Presidential Decree No. 198 by appointing two competent men to the members of the Board of Directors of the Metro Kalibo Water District (MKWD). PD No. 198 provides for the creation of Local Water Utilities Administration. It also mandates for the creation, operation and management of all water districts in the Philippines.

MKWD, one of the water districts organized under PD No. 198, is now servicing the water need of the four municipalities of Aklan which are Kalibo, New Washington, Banga, and Balete. At the start, it was organized as Kalibo Water District (KWD) which provided for the water need limited to the Municipality of Kalibo only. At that time, the authority to appoint the members of the Board of Directors was vested upon the Mayor of Kalibo. This practice was followed until 2007.

However, KWD was later expanded to another three towns of New Washington, Banga, and Balete. KWD was remained MKWD. The volume of business has largely increased with the increasing number of water concessionaires. On the basis of the records as to the number of concessionaires among the towns being served by MKWD, Kalibo used to have 100 percent of the concessionaires. However, the number of Kalibo concessionaires decreased to only 73.4 percent in 2008. The other 26.6 percent came from New Washington, Banga, and Balete.

Under PD No. 198, the authority to appoint the members of the Board of Directors of MKWD is vested upon the provincial governor of the province when the concessionaires of Kalibo is less than 75 percent of the total. Hence, Governor Marquez exercised his function as mandated by PD No. 198.

But Rev. Father Allan Sta. Maria has protested against the appointees of Gov. Marquez. According to Santamaria, he is the right and most fitted person to be appointed to the said position and to represent the business sector.

I found it hard to understand Father Sta. Maria. As a Roman Catholic priest, Father Sta. Maria works for the moral and spiritual upliftment of his people. Moreover, he represented religion, business, and education sectors to the Board of MKWD for several years until his last term expired on Dec. 31, 2008.

It was during Father Sta. Maria’s incumbency as chairman of the MKWD – BOD when the P25 million controversial deal came out. At that time, MKWD requisitioned for several materials like PVC pipes. The materials were purchased and delivered. However, what were received were materials of inferior qualities than what were requisitioned and paid for.

At first, both the BOD and MKWD management denied the information but later confirmed the malodorous deal is true after about three months of discussing it in the tri-media in Aklan. The media and the public were assured MKWD will be refunded of the price difference between what were actually delivered and what were paid. Until this date, the media in Aklan is still waiting for any information of the actual refund.

I found it strange too that until this writing, Kalibo Mayor Raymar A. Rebaldo who last exercised the power to appoint the members of the Board of MKWD has not complained. The power to appoint was exercised by Gov. Marquez when he appointed two members of the BOD last year. This is a confirmation that really the provincial governor now is vested with that power. Perhaps, it is the Mayor of the Ati-Atihan Town of Kalibo who should have complained why he was divested of the power he used to exercise in the MKWD.

I was informed there is a shortage of priests in the Philippines. It will be for his own good, to the best interest of the church, and that of the people if Fr. Sta. Maria will freely concentrate his services to the moral and spiritual well being of the people, particularly the Aklanon.

However, should he finds it fitting to continue his services with MKWD and other businesses, why not? Similar to former priest, now Provincial Governor of Pampanga, Gov. Ed Panlilio.

Congratulations BLASAI

The Boracay Landowners and Stakeholders Association, Inc. (BLASAI), deserves everybody’s sincere congratulations. After a long and tedious battle in the court of justice, BLASAI members now "Thumbs Up for House Bill No. 1109 of Aklan Congressman Florencio T. Miraflores after the Supreme Court of the Philippines decided to declare "Boracay Island as a public domain".

Dr. Orlando Sacay, Atty. Stephen Arsenio, Mila Yap Sumdad, Socorro Ruchanie Gadon, Arch. Lara Arac Salaver, Rufina Villarama and Lorenzo Tanada IV who before the Supreme Court ruling were strongly opposed to House Bill No. 1109 are now highly endorsing approval of the said House Bill into law. The bill was approved in the House of Representatives and it is now in the Senate.

"We understand your feelings but I can’t see a way out of the public domain concept. All lands belongs to the state until classified. We can’t do away with the law," Miraflores stressed.

As drafted, HB No. 1109 is intended to facilitate titling of lands to the present occupants who have invested big amount of money and resources to develop their respective properties. The bill when it becomes a law will facilitate the implementation of regulatory mechanisms on land and reserve uses. The government will also enable to improve its tax collection efforts in Boracay.

Commonwealth Act 141 as amended or the Public Land Law provides that land of the public domain may be classified as alienable and disposable by the President or by Act of Congress. This provision is highlighted by the Supreme Court in its en banc decision "that congress may enact a law to entitle private claimants to acquire titles to their occupied lots".

The said bill is now under Senate consideration which when approved into law will protect the booming tourism industry of Aklan, especially in Boracay. /MP