Tuesday, July 31, 2007

GK Transforms Poor Camarines Village

As our Lord admonished us in the parable of the talents, “To whom much has been given, much, will also be required.”

The following is an excerpt from a news article that appeared on the front page of the Philippine Star last Sunday, July 29, 2007. Until I read it, I didn't know that there are already several Gawad Kalinga Villages in Camarines Norte, many funded by Filipino expatriates working and living abroad. This particular GK Village is in Barangay Bibiran (anybody knows where it is?) and is funded by Filipino expats in Vietnam.

GK Transforms Poor Camarines Village
By Patricia Esteves

For nine years Susan Lara and her nine children have been living hand-to-mouth existence in Barangay Bibiran in Daet, Camarines Norte.

Bibiran is one of the poorest barangays in Daet, where residents earn an average of only P2,00-P3,000 per month for a family of 7-10 members as dumpsite scavengers or casual laborers in coconut, rice and vegetable farms.

But what compounds the residents’ difficult situation is that they have to contend with the filth and smell of garbage every day since Barangay Bibiran has been a dumpsite for 25 years.

When the local government announced plans to make Bibiran an extension of a nearby garbage dumpsite last year, Susan knew the situation would get worse and cause more health problems, especially for the children.

They appealed to newly elected Daet Mayor Tito Sarion to reconsider.

Little did they know that God would grant not one but two of their prayers for not only did Mayor Sarion reject plans to make Barangay Bibiran an extended dumpsite, but Gawad Kalinga chose the location for the GK Pinyasan Vietnam Village.

Susan and 260 other families are beneficiaries of the GK homes that were donated by a group of Vietnam expatriates.

Last July 21, the Vietnam delegation helped in the construction of an initial 30 homes in Brgy Bibiran.

Renan Danganan, President of Ho Chi Minh’s Samahan ng Pinoy (SAPI) spoke on behalf of the Filipino expatriates in Vietnam, saying that the contributions for the 30 homes came from Filipinos working in all levels and various professions, but united in one mission to contribute in uplifting the lives of the poorest of the poor in the country.

The local government pledged to provide electrification, an access road, a sewage system and deep well water. Mayor Sarion said that the old dumpsite will be closed and transformed into a seedling bank, while the new dumpsite will be opened outside the municipal boundaries and will feature a Waste Material Recycling Facility in August.

The beneficiaries in turn will send their children to GK’s SAGIP, SIBOL & SIGA educational programs; participate actively in the livelihood projects involving planting of the sweet Formosa pineapple variety, pili nut and cocoa trees; and most importantly, attend the value formation programs that are under the auspices of the local chapter of the Couples for Christ.

Of the five hectares, two will be used for housing and the rest set aside for livelihood activities.

GK Pinyasan represents the 11th GK Village in the province of Camarines Norte.

Read More...... Read more!

Sunday, July 29, 2007

ALLURING ALOT, Angog ni Toti, Restawran at Sinehan

Sabi ni Tess kan mahiling an pictures sa dinner with Ed, "NICE PICTURES. THE GIRLS ARE RICH ON THE SIDE".

O HILINGON MO DAW INI TESS HA, ANONG HEALTHY ANG SINASABI MO? GAYUN-GAYON NA BAGA NI Classmate Alot! Sabi ko ngani, aba anakin kaganda-ganda para bagang artista. Magdasig-dasig ka nga diyan Diana Zubiri at talbog ka dito sa aming classmate. Anong masasabi ninyo?

O baka meron pa kayong mga pictures na tatalbog diyan sa mga Katrina, Christine, Angel at mga FHM models na iyan, paki labas na!

Sabi pa ni Tess, "TAH-NU MAN SA GABOS NA VIEW ANGUG NA NI TOTI.GARU LUZON.HEHEHE? O Tess, haen man an angog digdi?:

Full-time ako kaini sa Quiapo.

Break sa shooting kan korea-nobela.

Hey Men, mga repapeps, ok ba kayo dyan?

Dibdiban na ang pag-videoke ko digdi.

kan Olympic swimmer ako kaini, nagpapahingalo lang.

Napuunan na man sana an mga MAALAALA MO KAYA, giromdom pa nindo ang mga ini?

Restaurants and Bakeries – Victory Restaurant sa J. Lukban St., sa may atubangan ini kan shop nira Ed kaidto, ang shop nira Ed kun dai ako nagkakamali, nagpapaarkila nin mga sound system – loud speaker, microphone, etc.; Quong’s Restaurant sa Vinzon’s Avenue kalinya kan Mercy Theater, atubangan nin Alatco; Times Bakery and Restaurant sa J. Lukban St. pa din, harani sa kanto kan Vinzon’s Ave.; Sanitary Bakery an pinakaharani sa harong me kaya digdi ako nabakal pan de sal para sa pamahawan. Ang mga pampatos kaito, bio-degradable pa. Sa pansit gisado, dahon nin batag, saka sanitary napkin (paper palan). Habo ko pag pansit may sabaw ang ipapaluto ta madara kang kapitera.

Cinema Houses – Venus Theater sa atubangan kan Daet Elementary School; Rosalind sa atubangan kan Mansy Theater, Nora Theater, pakababang tulay na kahoy. Later na an Mansy, Mersy, Vimar and Symar

Photo Studio – Star Studio and Tan Studio, free-lance – Milan (white feet)

O magdagdag na lang kamo kung ano pang aram nindo.

Read More...... Read more!

Friday, July 27, 2007

What's New Today - July 27, 2007

A very happy development is the activeness of our dear Ate Marynat. Didn't you notice that she seems to respond or comment to all the postings recently? Keep it up Ate. Please continue writing!

There are additional pictures of the dinner with Ed. These were taken while skyping (is there such a verb now?) with Danny. Marynat (Ate) was excited because it was her first time to see Danny's bright pate after 40 years.

In yesterday's issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Rex Bernardo of Daet Camarines Norte was featured. He's a polio victim at the age of 6 but has become successful inspite of his condition. He has graduated from the Asian Institute of Management. (There was a picture of him being conferred the degree by Roberto de Ocampo and Ernie Garilao - my former boss at the Department of Agrarian Reform). Without diminishing the honor accorded to Rex, dps-class 67 members know that before Rex, came our Ed Canela... and his achievements are far bigger. Both are from Daet though and we are mighty proud of them!

Other than this news, the rest of the new posts are recycled from the egroup. I hope I'll have the time over the weekend to gather original materials for the blog.

It's the last working day today for those who are on a five-day work week. Have a happy weekend!

Read More...... Read more!

Some Security Tips

This is not a segue to the dance sequence of the Cebu inmates (which continue to get wide viewership at You Tube). This was actually posted earlier by Ed after the news of the heinous crime in Daet. It remains unsolved, the suspect is at large. The house of the victim is three blocks away from my sister's place. That would be about the same distance from Men's family residence.

Some security tips….Ed Canela in Vientianne, Laos

Everyone should take 5 minutes to read this. It may save your life or love one's life.
Crucial Because of recent abductions in daylight hours. Refresh yourself of these things to do in an emergency situation... This is for you, and for you to share with your wife, your children, everyone you know.

After reading these 9 crucial tips, forward them to someone you care about. It never hurts to be careful in this crazy world we live in.

1. Tip from Tae Kwon Do:

The elbow is the strongest point on your body. If you are close enough to use it, do!

2. Learned this from a tourist guide in New Orleans:

If a robber asks for your wallet and/or purse, DO NOT HAND IT TO HIM
Toss it away from you.... chances are that he is more interested in your wallet and/or purse than you, and he will go for the wallet/purse.

3. If you are ever thrown into the trunk of a car, kick out the back tail lights and stick your arm out the hole and start waving like crazy. The driver won't see you, but everybody else will. This has saved lives.

4. Women have a tendency to get into their cars after shopping, eating, working, etc., and just sit (doing their checkbook, or making a list, etc. DON'T DO THIS!)
The predator will be watching you, and this is the perfect opportunity for him to get in on the passenger side, put a gun to your head, and tell you where to go.


a. If someone is in the car with a gun to your head DO NOT DRIVE OFF, repeat: DO NOT DRIVE OFF! Instead gun the engine and speed into anything, wrecking the car. Your Air Bag will save you. If the person is in the back seat they will get the worst of it. As soon as the car crashes bail out and run. It is better than having them find your body in a remote location.

5. A few notes about getting into your car in a parking lot, or parking garage:

a) Be aware: look around you; look into your car, at the passenger side floor, and in the back seat
b) If you are parked next to a big van, enter your car from the passenger door. Most serial killers attack their victims by pulling them into their vans while the women are attempting to get into their cars.
c) Look at the car parked on the driver's side of your vehicle, and the passenger side. If a male is sitting alone in the seat nearest your car, you may want to walk back into the mall, or work, and get a guard/policeman to walk you back out.

IT IS ALWAYS BETTER TO BE SAFE THAN SORRY. (And better paranoid than dead.)

6. ALWAYS take the elevator instead of the stairs. (Stairwells are horrible places to be alone and the perfect crime spot. This is especially true at NIGHT!)

7. If the predator has a gun and you are not under his control, ALWAYS RUN! The predator will only hit you (a running target) 4 in 100 times; and even then, it most likely
WILL NOT be a vital organ. RUN, preferably in a zigzag pattern!

8. As women, we are always trying to be sympathetic: STOP! It may get you raped, or killed. Ted Bundy, the serial killer, was a good-looking, well educated man, who ALWAYS played on the sympathies of unsuspecting women. He walked with a cane, or a limp, and often asked "for help" into his vehicle or with his vehicle, which is when he abducted his next victim.

9. Another Safety Point: Someone just told me that her friend heard a crying baby on her porch the night before last, and she called the police because it was late and she thought it was weird. The police told her "Whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." The lady then said that it sounded like the baby had crawled near a window, and she was worried that it would crawl to the street and get run over. The policeman said, "We already have a unit on the way, whatever you do, DO NOT open the door." He told her that they think a serial killer has a baby's cry recorded and uses it to coax women out of their homes thinking that someone dropped off a baby. He said they have not verified it, but have had several calls by women saying that they hear baby's cries outside their doors when they're home alone at night.

Please pass this on and DO NOT open the door for a crying baby ---- This e-mail should probably be taken seriously because the Crying Baby theory was mentioned on America's Most Wanted this past Saturday when they profiled the serial killer in Louisiana

I'd like you to forward this to all the women you know. It may save a life. A candle is not dimmed by lighting another candle. I was going to send this to the ladies only, but guys, if you love your mothers, wives, sisters, daughters, etc., you may want to pass it onto them, as well.

Send this to anyone you know that may need to be reminded that the world we live in has a lot of crazies in it and it's better to be safe than sorry. Everyone should take 5 minute to read this. It may save your life or love one's life.

Read More...... Read more!

Additional Pictures of the Dinner with Ed

Hi Toti,

Here are the fotos I took during our recent dinner...all compressed for the web...Alot was skyping with Danny and so was Bruce and MaryNat...Gee they were happy to see each other on the video...great guys!

for the complete set, visit

Ed Canela in Laos

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Thursday, July 26, 2007

Ever wonder what prisons are like in the Philippines?

Very interesting prison scene in the Philippines…extremely creative….. - shared by Ed Canela

Ed shared the dance video clip of more than 1,000 Filipino inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center. Byron Garcia, Prison head, posted the video himself at You Tube and this is now creating a stir with more than 1Million hits in only a week’s time.

I watched the interview with Byron Garcia and the choreographer in the morning show yesterday, (not sure if it was GMA 7’s Unang Hirit or ABS-CBN’s Umagang Kay Ganda). Byron said that it used to be difficult to get the prisoners to do their morning exercises, until they thought of a more creative way to prod them. The choreographer related the difficulties he initially underwent. At the start, the prisoners were antagonistic and he cried not a few times because of the insults. But after a while, the prisoners began to enjoy what they were doing.

"I want the prison system to learn from this," Garcia told Reuters. "The inmates are after all human beings and the inmates after all, once inside, know that they have committed mistakes, let them enjoy their stay."

It was my first time to see the entire presentation. Wonderful! Just being able to form straight lines, and much more, dancing in unison, with rhythm and timing shows discipline. Now that they found out that dance exercise works, perhaps they can think of other creative ways of reforming and rehabilitating the prisoners - like holding academic and technology classes.

By the way, GMA loves Cebu, isn't it? Wouldn't it be lovelier if she were the one leading those inmates doing the Thriller?

Just click the video clips at the upper right hand corner of this page or:


Read More...... Read more!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

State of the Nation Address (PGMA's Seventh)

For those of you who are interested to know what the President's SONA contained, I am reprinting her speech. (Picture was taken from Philippine Inquirer net, while copy of the speech was taken from the Office of the President's Website.)

How was it? I found it 'kulang'. It centered mainly on physical infrastrusture in her Super Regions. Kulang sa vision. And the delivery..... very cold; I can't see a trace of sincerity, parang pagod.

President of the Republic of the Philippines
Her Excellency
JULY 23, 2007

Thank you. Thank you very much Speaker De Venecia, Senate
President Villar, other newly elected leaders of both Houses,
congratulations to you, Senators and Congressmen and
Congresswomen. Vice President De Castro, former President Ramos,
Chief Justice Puno, our host Mayor, Mayor Sonny Belmonte, other
government officials, members of the Diplomatic Corps, ladies and

We meet here today to inaugurate a new Congress after a fresh
election. I congratulate every elected official, from municipal to
provincial to Congress on hard fought and successful campaigns.
Tapos na ang halalan at pamumulitika; panahon na para maglingkod
nang walang damot, mamuno nang walang pangamba maliban sa
kagalingan ng bayan, and to govern with wisdom, compassion, vision
and patriotism.

Hangarin kong mapabilang ang Pilipinas sa mayayamang bansa sa loob
ng dalawampung taon. By then poverty shall have been marginalized;
and the marginalized raised to a robust middle class.

We will have achieved the hallmarks of a modern society, where
institutions are strong.
By 2010, the Philippines should be well on its way to achieving that
With the tax reforms of the last Congress, and I thanked the last
Congress, we have turned around our macroeconomic condition
through fiscal discipline, toward a balanced budget. Binabayaran ang
utang, pababa ang interes, at paakyat ang pondo para sa progreso ng
sambayanang Pilipino!!! Maraming salamat ulit sa nakaraang

We have been investing hundreds of billions in human and physical
infrastructure. The next three years will see record levels of well
thought out and generous funding for the following priorities:
First, investments in physical, intellectual, legal and security
infrastructure to increase business confidence. Imprastraktura para sa
negosyo at trabaho. Isang milyong trabaho taon-taon.

Second, investments in a stronger and wider social safety net -
murang gamot, abot-kayang pabahay, eskwelang primera klase, mga
gurong mas magaling at mas malaki ang kita, mga librong de-kalidad,
more scholarships for gifted students, and language instruction to
maintain our lead in English proficiency. Dunong at kalusugan ang susi
sa kasaganaan.

Third, investments in bringing peace to Mindanao; in crushing
terrorism wherever it threatens regardless of ideology; and in putting
a stop to human rights abuses whatever the excuse.
We pay tribute to the fearless fourteen who were savagely massacred
at Tipo-Tipo trying to pursue a peaceful and progressive Philippines.
We will not disappoint their hopes. We will not waste their sacrifice. We
will not be swayed from the course we have set in this conflict for
peace with justice throughout our land.

We have created a Philippine model for reconciliation built on interfaith
dialogue, expanded public works and more responsive social
services. These investments show both sides in the Mindanao conflict
that they have more at stake in common; and a greater reason to be
together than hang apart, including being together isolating the

Imprastraktura ang haliging nagtitindig hindi lamang ng kapayapaan
kundi ng ating buong makabagong ekonomiya: mga kalsada, tulay,
paliparan, public parks and power plants.

Last year I unveiled the Super Regions - Mindanao, Central Philippines,
North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle, Luzon Urban Beltway and the
Cyber Corridor - to spread development away from an inequitable
concentration in Metro Manila. Hindi lamang Maynila ang Pilipinas.

The Super Regions was not a gimmick for the occasion but the
blueprint for building a future.

In Mindanao, our food basket, I said we would prioritize agribusiness
investments. And I am happy to see that the latest survey in June
shows the hunger rate has sharply gone down nationwide. We have
done that.

The Departments of Agriculture, Agrarian Reform, and Environment
and Natural Resources will devote 30 percent of their program budgets
to Mindanao. DAR will move to Davao.

Dapat maging daan sa tagumpay sa agribusiness ang reporma sa lupa.
Done right, reform will democratize success, as Ramon Magsaysay and
Diosdado Macapagal envisioned.

We must reform agrarian reform so it can transform beneficiaries into
agribusinessmen and other agribusiness women.

Sa gayon, dadami pa ang mga tampok na magsasaka gaya ng mga
nagwagi ng Gawad Saka, sina Ananias Cuado ng Comval at Demetrio
Tabelon ng Butuan; at Nelson Taladhay ng Sultan Kudarat,
pangunahing agrarian reform beneficiary ng 2007. We also have
outstanding farmers from the other superregions, like Joseph Fernando
and Heherson Pagulayan, Nestor Bautista, Joseph Lomibao, Arturo
Marcaida, Peter Uy, Arturo Pasacas and Glenn Saludar.

Sa anim na taon nagtayo tayo at nag-ayos ng patubig para sa isang
milyong ektarya sa buong bansa - pinakamalaki sa matagal na

Magtatayo tayo ng mariculture o palaisdaan sa dagat. Isa rito ay
ilalagay natin sa Sibutu. Hiling ito ni Nur Jaafar.

Para sa buong bansa naglaan tayo ng P3 billion para sa tatlong libong
kilometro ng farm to market roads. Sanlibong kilometro sa Mindanao.
Gawa na ang tatlong daan.

The road and RORO network has cut the cost of bringing agribusiness
products from Mindanao to Luzon. A 10-wheeler used to pay P32
thousand from Dapitan to Batangas. Now it pays P11 thousand. Fresh
fish that cost P20 thousand a ton to move, now travels at P14

Construction is criss-crossing Mindanao: Dapitan-Dakak to bring Cely
Carreon's paradise closer to civilization; Sibuco-Siraway-Siocon-
Baliguian; Dinagat Island Network, a baptismal gift for Glenda Ecleo's
new province; the 66-kilometer Manay-Mati section of Davao-Surigao;
and Maguindanao-Lebak, Sim Datumanong's brainchild when he
headed DPWH.

We want better airports, new bridges and ample energy for Mindanao's
rising economy.

The Dipolog and Pagadian airports will be improved by year's end. Also
the Cotabato airport. No doubt eagerly awaited by Au Cerilles, Rolando
Yebes, Digs Dilangalen, Ros Labadlabad and Victor Yu, and Mayors
Evelyn Uy and Sammy Co.

Last July 10 we inaugurated the P1.7 billion, 900 meter bridge in
Butuan, built on the initiative of Mayor Boy Daku Plaza, near the P4
billion second-generation flood control project that we also built. The
first was built by my father after the great Butuan flood of the 1960's.
Kailangan ipagtanggol ang kapaligiran at mamamayan sa sakuna.
In Agusan del Norte, I hope Edel Amante will be happy with our plans
to pilot micro agribusiness in Jabonga.

On July 8, Ozamis Airport opened, bankrolled partly by Leo Ocampos,
Aldo Parojinog and Hermie Ramiro's congressional fund. Now, that's
the kind of pork that has good cholesterol.

At that occasion the MOU was signed for the Pangil Bay Bridge that will
connect Ozamis to Lanao del Norte and Iligan. As urged by Bobby
Dimaporo, I declared Mt. Inayawan Range a protected nature park. On
Mayor Lawrence Cruz's recommendation, I instruct DPWH to build the
Iligan Circumferential Road.

In 2001, we opened a solar plant in Cagayan de Oro. Still, Mindanao
faced a 100-megawatt gap by 2009 out now a 210-megawatt clean
coal plant in Phividec will fill that gap. We count on Oca Moreno and
Tinex Jaraula to continue providing a good investment climate.
We thank Miriam Defensor-Santiago and Migz Zubiri for sponsoring the
Biofuels Law in the last Congress. We now have 160 thousand hectares
of jatropha nurseries in Bukidnon and 30,000 in General Santos.
Jatropha is a 100% substitute for diesel, with only 5% of its emission.
Mindanao's energy challenge lies not in generating power but in power
lines. Terrorists target transmission towers. We must resolutely apply
the Human Security Act. This act was first filed by Johnny Enrile in
1996, 3 years after the first World Trade Center bombing, 4 years
before the Rizal Day bombing and 5 years before 9/11. He ably crafted
the final Senate version with Senate President Manny Villar and Nene

Let's now go to Central Philippines, our tourism super region:

* We protect its natural wonders and provide the means to travel to
those wonders.

* For Boracay, the leading overall destination, the Kalibo Airport is now
international with an instrument landing system as we said last year.
Next is an P80 million terminal on request of Joben Miraflores.

* The Aklan-Libertad-Pandan Road, waiting for Japan to approve the
contractors, will connect Boracay to the nature park we declared in
Northwest Panay Peninsula. We are improving other Panay roads and
building the road from the Iloilo Airport which we inaugurated in Santa
Barbara to Iloilo and the Metro Radial Road that Mayor Jerry TreƱas
asked for when we inaugurated the airport, Art Defensor conceived the
airport when he was governor, Governor Niel Tupaz midwifed its
delivery when we inaugurated the airport, I said …

* Iloilo connects to Guimaras via Jordan Wharf. We thank Congress for
the P900 million oil spill calamity fund to save the environment of
Guimaras. I thank once again the previous Congress. It is back on its
feet. The other side of the island will connect to Bacolod soon because
we started building the Sibunag RORO Port last May on
recommendation of Governor, now Congressman, Rahman Nava.

* Bacolod-Silay Airport, near the nature park we declared in Northern
Negros, is completed and just awaiting the access road requested by
Monico Puentevella.

* We awarded the contract for upgrading the Dumaguete airport as I
reported to George Arnaiz last week.

* Boracay investors are expanding in Palawan, whose Tubbataha Reefs
we declared a nature park. After the Puerto Princesa-Roxas Road last
year, we opened Taytay-El Nido in March. The P1 billion Taytay-Roxas
section is ongoing. San Vicente airstrip and Busuanga Airport are
under construction. And Mayor Hagedorn is reminding us to work on
the Puerto Princesa terminal.

* Under construction are airport aprons of the surfing edens: Governor
Ben Evardone's pet project in Guiuan and Lalo Matugas's home town in

* A 100-megawatt energy gap looms in the Visayas in 2009. The
Korea Electric plant in Cebu will plug in 200 megawatts only in 2010 so
there's a one year gap. Meantime three power barges will supply 100
megawatts and the Panay diesel power plant will increase its run from
70 megawatts to 100.

* In Central Cebu, we proclaimed a nature park. From Cebu, the top
destination for foreign tourists, they can easily radiate to other
destinations. Optimism is infectious, and opportunity irresistible.
Progress follows progress. Someone, even government, just has to get
it started.

* Going south, Cebu connects to Tubigon and on to Ubay, Jagna and
Panglao through the Bohol Circumferential Road that we inaugurated
last May 9. The local government has acquired 85 percent of the land
for the international airport on Panglao Island, now a tourism
destination of its own.

* Ubay links to Maasin RORO Port which was completed last October.
Now I hope there will be more divers for Mian Mercado.

* Jagna RORO Port opened last May 9. It will connect to Loloy
Romualdo's Mambajao in November, and on to Guinsiliban, the
gateway to Mindanao.

* Going north from Cebu City, we take the North Coastal Road to
Daanbantayan which was recommended to us by Gwen Garcia. Heavy
traffic will ease when the P1.2 billion Mandaue-Consolacion Bridge
opens. This will be good not only for Malapascua tourism but also for
Nitoy Durano's industrial city of Danao.

* Daanbantayan, Benhur Salimbangon's home port, connects to Naval,
Maripipi, or Esperanza, which started construction last May. We aim to
finish all three RORO Ports next year.

* Esperanza will link by road to Aroroy in 2009. I'll be there with Lina
Seachon and Tony Kho for the inauguration. Please invite me.

* Last May, I switched on the lights of Masbate in a Palace ceremony.
But the long-term solution will come next year when a new power
plant will serve half a million customers on the beautiful but isolated
island of Masbate.

* From Aroroy we can go to Claveria, whose RORO ramp is under
construction. On to Pasacao where RORO operations started in 2002.
That's Bong Bravo of Claveria. This brings us to Bicol, including Mt
Isarog Park.

* Mt. Isarog feeds the Bicol River. For the next three years we are
funding the Bicol River Basin and Watershed with the World Bank at
$15 million for irrigation, flood control and water conservation. For
Bicol, we have given P7 billion for the Bicol Calamity and Rehabilitation
Effort, that is the biggest one-time calamity fund release in our history.

At last, Bicol is getting its rightful share.
And, so is the North Luzon Agribusiness Quadrangle:

* We are building 1,000 kilometers of farm-to-market roads; 200 are
done. Ngayong tapos na ang election ban, pinapaspasan ang trabaho
para sa nalalabing target.

* Halsema Highway from Mount Data to Bontoc and the Tabuk-
Tinglayan Road are being built. If you look the chart, there is
something incomplete in between.

* So that the Cordillera LGUs can build more of their much-needed
roads, I ask Congress to require companies to pay directly to the LGUs
their share of the natural wealth. I hope, Governor Dalog hears that.

* Nagtatayo tayo ng mga paliparan para sa mga produkto ng

* Noong 2005 nagka-airport sa Baler. Sunod ang airport sa Casiguran.
At kalsada sa pagitan.

* There were no takers in the bidding for to upgrade the Batanes
runways so ATO will get it done before the end of the year with the
support of DPWH and Governor Telesforo Castillejos.

* Joe de Venecia and Mayor Nani Braganza are asking for an airport in
Alaminos. Will do.

* The Cagayan Economic Zone Authority and the private sector
expanded the San Vicente naval airstrip, so we don't have need to
build Lallo.

* Sa Lallo naman mayroon tayong inaprobahan na agribusiness
ecozone. Ang mga agribusiness ecozone ay payo ni Pangulong Ramos.
Chief Justice Puno, I am happy to see you here. It is the first time that
a Chief Justice attended.

* The Tarlac-La Union Toll Road will be advertised for private sector
BOT bidding this August.

* Poro Point's international terminal started construction early this
year. The Bagabag airport is being lengthened. We are spreading the
cheer across the political spectrum from Vic Ortega to Caloy Padilla.
Inuuna ang bansa, at itinatabi ang politika.

* Some towns in Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and Isabela are included in
the geo-hazard mapping we have done for 700 cities and towns all
over the country to protect the environment.

* The Bangui Bay Wind Power Project which was put up when
Bongbong Marcos was governor, is now expanding. Sa paggamit ng
hangin, nababawasan ang kailangang langis sa enerhiya.
And now the Luzon Urban Beltway, our top magnet for industry and

* This quarter we start the P5 billion Mt. Pinatubo Hazard Urgent
Mitigation Project that will protect San Fernando City, Sasmuan,
Guagua and my home town Lubao from flooding.

* The Subic-Clark-Tarlac Express Road is in its final stages. This firstworld
road will cut travel time between Clark and Subic from two hours
to 30 minutes. Gagawa tayo ng interchange sa Porac, bayan ni Lito

* Last Thursday with Dick Gordon we inaugurated the container port
that will make Subic together with Clark one of the best international
service and logistics centers in the region.

* Clark airport got its approach control radar in April. It now has 50
international flights and 50 cargo flights a week, the second busiest
after NAIA. We want more airline service centers there. Now, speaking
of NAIA, I'm sure everyone wants to know about NAIA Terminal 3. The
ceiling that fell wasn't the only thing in danger of falling. There are
more serious dangers from construction and structural defects. We
cannot risk the grim consequences of a major earthquake. But NAIA is
accelerating the remediation, completion and opening of the terminal.
Public safety comes first.

* Since public safety comes first, I ask Congress to create the Civil
Aviation Authority of the Philippines.

* Last year, I said we would connect North and South Expressways
through C-5. Ginagawa na ang C-5 bandang Katipunan. Kausap na ang
UP para sa bagong daan patungong Commonwealth, na kasulukuyang
pinapalapad at North Avenue. Sa kabilang dulo ng Mindanao Avenue,
binibili na ang lupa para sa bagong daan mula Barangay Talipapa
hanggang Malinta at tuloy sa NLEX. Sana bumawas ang trapik pa-
North Manila.

* We just broke ground to continue the Skyway up to Alabang. In a
year the fast train from Caloocan to Alabang will be serving thousands
daily. From Alabang to Santo Tomas the South Luzon Expressway is
currently being widened. And by March, Ricky Reyes SLEX will reach
Batangas Port.

* The Coastal Road to Bong Revilla's province is finally under

* Our investment in vital infrastructure is already bearing fruit, such as
the $1-billion Hanjin shipbuilding facility, said to be the largest in the
world, and the $1-billion Texas Instruments microchip plant in Clark.
Maging ex-OFW at ex-tambay kapwang nakahanap ng trabaho sa mga
malalaking puhunan na ito.

* As we build industry, we must ensure people have clean air to
breathe. We have closed 88 firms for polluting the environment. Gaya
ng sabi ko, una ang kaligatasan ng publiko.

* We proclaimed a critical habitat within the coastal lagoon of Las
Pinas and Paranaque.

* Maynilad's new owners have invested P7 billion to bring clean and, at
last, running water to Paranaque, Parola and elsewhere. Manila Water
did a similar P2 billion project for Antipolo.

* Gumagawa tayo ng septage tank sa Antipolo sa halagang P600
million na maglilinis ng sewage bago ito dumaloy sa mga estero, gaya
ng tinayo ng Manila Water sa Taguig at sa San Mateo.

* Matapos ang maraming taong usapan, ang ating administrasyon ang
nakapagsimula ng Flood Control Project sa Kalookan, Malabon,
Navotas at Valenzuela (CAMANAVA).

* On energy, Luzon needs 150 megawatts more by 2010. This is
covered by the 350-megawatt, $350 million expansion of the Pagbilao
plant by Marubeni and Tokyo Electric, part of their $4 billion that
constitutes the biggest Japanese investment in Philippine history.

* We count on the Governor Raffy Nantes and the people of Quezon to
somehow to reduce the cost of electricity. I ask Congress to amend the
Electric Power Industry Reform Act for open access and more

The Cyber Corridor encompasses centers of technology and learning
running the length of all the super regions, from Baguio to Clark to
Metro Manila to Cebu to Davao and neighboring areas.
The Philippines ranks among top off-shoring hubs in the world because
of cost competitiveness and more importantly our highly trainable,
English proficient, IT-enabled management and manpower.
IT ability won for Warren Ambat of Baguio City High the most
innovative teacher and leadership award in Cambodia last February,
topping contestants from 70 countries, congratulations to our
contestants, women.

Information technology will help the BIR bring in more taxes in the
coming months. Its Revenue Watch Dashboard will monitor revenue
collections in real time from the national level down to the examiners.
The LGU Revenue Assurance shares information between the BIR and
the LGUs to uncover fraud and non-payment, before heads would roll
per Danny Suarez's Attrition Law.

While our strength in contact centers is well-established, we are now
focused on growing the higher value-added services, including
accounting, legal, human resources and administrative services.
And, so that no Taiwan tremor can cut off our cyber services from their
global clients, PLDT and Globe are investing P47 billion in new
international broadband links through other regional hubs for
redundancy in our cyber space.

The business services sector has become the fastest growing in the
economy providing 400,000 jobs compared to 8,000 in 2000. By 2010
the forecast is one million jobs earning $12 billion, the same amount
remitted by our overseas Filipinos today.

On Safety Net and Education

Last year I said that in today's global economy, knowledge is the
greatest creator of wealth. Mahusay na edukasyon ang
pinakamabuting pamana natin sa ating mga anak. Yun din ang tanging
pamana na ayon sa batas kailangang ibigay sa bawat mamamayan.
This year, we are investing more for education: P150 billion, P29
billion more than last year.

And, last year government and private sector built 15,000 classrooms
instead of the usual 6,000.

Noon, isang libro bawat limang mag-aaral. Ngayon, tig-isang aklat na
bawat grade schooler.

One third of our public high schools now have Internet access, with
private sector support.

We have a scarcity of public high schools but a surplus of private high
schools. So instead of building more high schools, we give more high
school scholarships - 600,000 scholars this year.

For college, we launched a P4 billion fund for college loans, to increase
beneficiaries from 40,000 to 200,000.

And for teachers, we have created more than 50,000 teaching
positions. But we have to improve their training.
Benefits, too. Salamat, dating Senador Tessie Oreta at dating
Congressman Dodong Gullas, na di na kailangan ng mga guro
maghabol sa Maynila ng sweldo at pension. Pinoproseso na sa rehiyon
sa regionalization ng payroll.

Teachers and all other national government employees get a raise
effective end of this month.

Sa TESDA, bukod sa mga sariling kurso nagbibigay ito ng mga
scholarship sa vocational schools: P600 million noong isang taon, P1
billion ngayon. May P1 bilyon pa ang DOLE.

We are investing P3 billion in science and engineering research and
development technology, including scholarships for masters and
doctoral degrees programs in engineering in seven universities.
Upgrade know-how and learning, and Filipino talent is unbeatable.
Proof is biochemist Baldomero Olivera of the University of Utah who
was named Scientist of the Year by the Harvard Foundation.
In the International Math and Science Olympiad 2006 in Jakarta,
Robert Buendia of Cavite Central School and Wilson Alba of San Beda
Alabang won the gold. Congratulations, guys.

Six Filipinos bagged the awards at the Intel Young Scientists
Competition in New Mexico last May: Ivy Ventura, Mara Villaverde,
Hester Mana Umayam and Janine Santiago of Philippine Science High;
Melvin Barroa of Capiz National High, congratulations, Melvin; and
Luigi John Suarez of Benedicto National High.

Congratulations naman. Last week Filipino students topbilled by Amiel
Sy of the Philippine Science High dominated the Mathematics World
Contest in Hong Kong. Congratulations, Amiel. Congratulations
Philippine Science High School. Earlier this month Diona Aquino of the
Presidential Management Staff won with her team from UP the Youth
Innovation Competition on Global Governance in Shanghai.

Ito ay malaking kunsuwelo sa atin. We have spent more on human
capital formation than ever in the past. Why? Because if government
of the people and by the people is not for them as well, it is a mockery
of democracy.

May malaking pag-angat ang kalagayan ng maralita, gaya ng trabaho,
pag-aaral at pagamot. Look at the chart on new poor fare.
Sa unang pagkakataon, gumastos ang Philhealth ng higit P3 bilyon sa
paospital ng maralita.

Noong 2001 sinabi kong hahatiin natin ang presyo ng gamot na
madalas bilhin ng madla. Ngayon sampung libong Botika ng Barangay
ang nagtitinda ng murang gamot. Ang paracetamol na tatlong piso sa
labas ay piso lamang sa Botika ng Barangay. Ang antibiotic na
binibenta ng mga pangunahing parmasya sa P20 ay P2 lamang.
Kaya sa isang survey, halos kalahati ang nagsabing abot-kaya ang
gamot, kumpara sa 11% noong 1999.

So we can spread this even more, I ask Congress to pass the Cheaper
Medicines Bill that was almost enacted in June. Almost is not good
enough. Let's help Mar Roxas, Ferge Biron and Teddy Boy Locsin give
our people meaningful, affordable choices, from abroad and here in the

I also ask Congress to pass legislation that brings improved long term
care for our senior citizens. Asahan natin si Ed Angara.

Si Noli de Castro na isa pang kampeon ng senior citizens ay
namumuno ng ating programa sa pabahay. Congratulations, Noli. The
low interest rates for housing are unprecedented. Naglaan ang Pag-
IBIG ng P25 billion na pautang, six times the amount when we started
it in 2001. P50 billion pa ang ilalaan hanggang 2010.

On Terrorism and Human Rights

We fight terrorism. It threatens our sovereign, democratic,
compassionate and decent way of life.
Therefore, in the fight against lawless violence, we must uphold these
values. It is never right and always wrong to fight terror with terror.
I ask Congress...I urge you to enact laws to transform state response
to political violence: First, laws to protect witnesses from lawbreakers
and law enforcers. Second, laws to guarantee swift justice from more
empowered special courts. Third, laws to impose harsher penalties for
political killings. Fourth, laws reserving the harshest penalties for the
rogue elements in the uniformed services who betray public trust and
bring shame to the greater number of their colleagues who are

We must wipe this stain from our democratic record.

Ngunit pangunahin pakikibaka pa rin para sa karapatan ang
pagpapalaya ng masa sa gutom at kahirapan.
Together with economic prosperity is the need to strengthen our
institutions of government. Let's start with election reform. We have
long provided funds for computerization. We look forward to the
modernization of voting, counting and canvassing.
We can disagree on political goals but never on the conduct of
democratic elections. I ask Congress to fund poll watchdogs. And to
enact a stronger law against election-related violence.
We must weed out corruption and build a strong system of justice that
the people can trust. We have provided unprecedented billions for antigraft
efforts. Thus the Ombudsman's conviction rate hit 77% this year,
from 6% in 2002. We implemented lifestyle checks, dormant for half a
century. Taun-taon dose-dosenang opisyal ang nasususpinde,
napapatalsik o kinakasuhan dahil labis-labis sa suweldo ang gastos at
ari-arian nila.

Firms who were asked for bribes in taxes, permits and licenses
dropped from one-third to one-half. Contract bribes are also down.
Graft won't be eliminated overnight but we are making progress.

In Conclusion:

What I have outlined today is just a sampler of our P1.7 trillion
Medium Term Public Investment Program. How will we fund all these?
P1 trillion from state revenues, with tax reforms and firm orders to BIR
and Customs to hit their targets. P300 billion from state corporations.
The balance from government financial institutions, private sector
investments, local government equity and our bilateral and multilateral

Our new confidence and momentum for progress have imbued our
foreign relations, with the ASEAN Summit last year and the coming
ASEAN Regional Forum, with increased assistance from our allies and
with continued support for our peace and security efforts in Mindanao.
We were able to strengthen our economy because of the fiscal reforms
that we adopted at such great cost to me in public disapproval. But I
would rather be right than popular.

Our fundamentals are paying off in huge leaps in investment. Anim na
milyong trabaho ang nalikha sa anim na taon, most in sustainable
enterprises. Sa lakas ng piso, bumagal ang pagtaas ng bilihin.
It is my ardent wish that most of the vision I have outlined will be fully
achieved when I step down. It is my unshakeable resolve that the
fundamentals of this vision will by then be permanently rooted, its
progress well advanced and its direction firmly fixed with our reforms
already bearing fruit. All that will remain for my successor is to gather
the harvest. He or she will have an easier time of it than I did.
They say the campaign for the next election started on May 15, the
day after the last. Fine.

I stand in the way of no one's ambition. I only ask that no one stand in
the way of the people's well being and the nation's progress.
The time for facing off is over. The time is here for facing forward to a
better future our people so desperately want and richly deserve.
Uulitin ko: Hindi ako sagabal sa ambisyon ninuman.

But make no mistake. I will not stand idly when anyone gets in the
way of the national interest and tries to block the national vision. From
where I sit, I can tell you, a President is always as strong as she wants
to be.

Pagpalain tayo ng Diyos at ang dakilang gawaing hinaharap natin. The
state of the nation is strong. Inyong lingkod, Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,
Pangulo ng Republika ng Pilipinas.

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You're English is Gud!?

pictures i grabbed from pusong camarines-n Do you have similar pictures that we can add to these? make your own stories !
i wasn't fast enough to take pictures of what I passed by in my recent trips. I saw a Maligaya Funeraria in Biliran and a Torrid Zone videoke bar beside a Catholic Chapel in Iloilo.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

Kapayapaan Noong Wala Pang Kaunlaran

Here's another on the subject of nostalgia, which seems to have been the leading topic these past few days. This has already been posted in our e-group but this is the first time, it's being posted in our blogsite.

Heto ang KAPAYAPAAN na alam natin, noong wala pang KAUNLARAN...

as posted by Ed Canela
Si Nanay ay nasa bahay pag-uwi namin galing sa paaralan;
Walang mga bakod at gate ang magkakapit-bahay, kung meron, gumamela lang;
Sampung sentimos o diyes lang ang baon: singko sa umaga, singko sa hapon;
Merong free ang mga patpat ng ice drop: buko man o munggo.
Mataas ang paggalang sa mga guro at ang tawag sa kanila ay Maestro/a:

Di binibili ang tubig, pwedeng maki-inom sa di mo kakilala.
Malaking bagay na ang pumunta sa ilog para mag-picnic, o kaya sa
Grabe na ang kaso pag napatawag ka sa principal's office o kaya
malaking kahihiyan kapag bagsak ka sa exams;
Simple lang ang pangarap:
makatapos, makapag-asawa, mapagtapos ang mga anak...

Pwedeng iwan ang sasakyan at ibilin sa hindi mo kakilala;
wala namang lock ang mga jeep na Willy's noon.
Mayroon kaming mga laruan na gawa namin at hindi binili: trak-trakan
(gawa sa rosebowl ang katawan at darigold na maliit ang mga gulong,
"sketeng" (scooter) na bearing na maingay ang mga gulong at de-sinkong
pako para sa preno;
patining na pinitpit na tansan lang na may 2 butas sa gitna para suotan ng sinulid (pwede pang makipag-lagutan);
sumpak, pilatok, boca-boca, borador, atbp.

Di nakikialam ang mga matanda sa mga laro ng mga bata: kasi laro nga iyon.
Maraming usong laro at maraming kasali: laste, gagamba, turumpo,
tatsing ng lata, pera namin ay kaha ng Philip Morris, Malboro, Champion (kahon-kahon yon!)
May dagta ang dulo ng tinting na hawak mo para makahuli ng tutubi,
nandadakma ka ng palakang petot, pero ingat ka sa palakang saging dahil
sa kulugo; Butas na ang sakong ng Spartan mong tsinelas -suot mo pa rin; Namumugalgal ang pundiya ng kansolsilyo mo kasi nakasalampak ka sa lupa.

Sa modernong buhay at sa lahat ng kasaganaan sa high technology... di ba minsan nangarap ka na rin... mas masaya noong araw!Sana pwedeng maibalik...

Takot tayo ngayon sa buhay. Kasi maraming napapatay, nakikidnap, maraming addict at masasamang loob...Noon takot lang tayo sa ating mga magulang at mga lolo at lola. Pero ngayon, alam na natin na mahal pala nila tayo kayat ayaw tayong mapahamak o mapariwara... Na una silang nasasaktan pag pinapalo nila tayo...

Balik tayo sa nakaraan kahit saglit...Bago magkaroon ng internet, computer, at cellphone. Noong wala pang mga drugs at malls.Bago pa nauso ang counter strike at mga game boys. Tayo noon... Doon ... Tinutukoy ko ang harang taga o tumbang preso kapag maliwanag ang buwan; Ang pagtatakip mo ng mata pero nakasilip sa pagitan ng mga daliri pag nanonood ka ng nakakatakot sa "Mga Aninong Gumagalaw"

Unahan tayong sumagot sa Multiplication Table na kabisado natin, kasi wala namang calculator. Pag-akyat natin sa mga puno; pagkakabit ng kulambo, lundagan sa kama; Pagtikwas o pagtitimba sa poso; pingga ang pang-igib ng lalake at may dikin naman ang ulo ng babae;

Inaasbaran ng mga suberbiyo; Nginig na tayo pag lumabas na ang yantok-mindoro o buntot-page. Nai-sako ka rin ba? O kaya naglagay ka ba ng karton sa pwet para hindi masakit ang tsinelas o sinturon?

Pamimili ng bato sa bigas; tinda-tindahan na puro dahon naman; bahay-bahayan na puro kahon; naglako ka ba ng ice-candy o pandesal noong araw? Karera sa takbuhan hanggang maubos ang hininga; pagtawa hanggang sumakit ang tiyan;

Meron pa bang himbabao, kulitis at pongapong? O kaya ang lukaok, susuwi at espada?Susmaryosep ang nadidinig mo pag nagpapaligo ng bata... Estigo santo kapag nagmamano. Mapagod sa kakalaro, minsan mapalo; matakot sa "berdugo" at sa "kapre";

Tuwang-tuwa kami pag tinalo ang tinale ni itay kasi may tinola! Yung crush mo?Pag recess: mamimili ka sa garapon ng tinapay-alembong, taeng-kabayo o biscocho?Pwede ring ang sukli ay kending Vicks (meron pang libreng singsing) o kaya nougat o karamel; Kung gusto mo naman - pakumbo o kaya kariba, mas masaya kung inuyat;

Puriko ang mantika, at mauling na ang mukha at ubos na ang hininga mo sa ihip kasi mahirap magpa-rikit ng apoy. Madami pa... Masarap ang kamatis na piniga sa kamay at lumabas sa pagitan ng daliri para sa sawsawan; ang palutong pag isawsaw sa sukang may siling labuyo; ang duhat kapag inalog sa asin; ang isa-sang isubo ang daliri kasi puno na ng kanin... Halo-halo: yelo, asukal at gatas lang ang sahog;

Sakang ang lakad mo at nakasaya ka kasi bagong tuli ka; o naghahanap ka ng chalk kasi tinagusan ang palda mo sa eskwelahan. Lipstick mo ay papel de hapon; Labaha ang gamit para sa white-side-wall na gupit; Naglululon ka ng banig pagkagising; matigas na almirol ang mga punda at kumot; madumi ang manggas ng damit mo kasi doon ka nagpapahid ng sipon, di ba? Pwede rin sa laylayan...

May mga program kapag Lunes sa paaralan; May pakiling kang dala kung Biyernes kasi magi-isis ka ng desk. Di ba masaya? Naalala mo pa ba? Wala nang sasaya at gaganda pa sa panahon na yon... Masaya noon at masaya pa rin tayo ngayon habang ina-alaala iyon... Di ba noon... Ang mga desisyon ay ginagawa sa awit na "sino ba sa dalawang ito? Ito ba o ito?" Pag ayaw ang resulta di ulitin: "sino ba sa dalawang ito? "Ito ba o ito?" Pag ayaw ang resulta di ulitin: "sino ba sa dalawang ito? Ito ba o ito?"... Awit muna: Penpen de Serapen, de kutsilyo, de almasen. How how the carabao batuten...

Presidente ng klase ay ang pinakamagaling, hindi ang pinaka-mayaman; Masaya na tayo basta sama-sama kahit hati-hati sa kokonti; Nauubos ang oras natin sa pagku-kwentuhan, may oras tayo sa isat-isa; Naaasar ka kapag marami kang sunog sa sungka; kapag buro ka sa pitik-bulag o matagal ka ng taya sa holen.Yung matatandang kapatid ang pinaka-ayaw natin pero sila ang tinatawag natin pag napapa-trouble tayo.

Di natutulog si Inay, nagbabantay pag may trangkaso tayo; meron tayong skyflakes at Royal sa tabi at pahihigupin ng mainit na Royco.

Kung naaalaala mo ito... nabuhay ka na sa KAPAYAPAAN! Pustahan tayo nakangiti ka pa rin!Kung naka-relate ka sa lahat ng nabanggit sa itaas, ibig sabihin lang niyan ay............ MATANDA ka na! he he he... pero kung hindi ka maka-relate, padala mo na lang sa akala mo ay kapanahunan nya ito para maalala din niya at mangiti rin siya.

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Paracale, Camarines Norte's Gold Mine

As I have mentioned in my previous postings, the next Camarines Norte municipality we will be featuring in this blogsite is Paracale. I started surfing the web for articles and photos of the town. Unlike Vinzons, however, there was not much about its culture that I gathered. I got beautiful pictures of Pulang Daga from the blogsite of marisol cribe-angala (A La Consolacion College graduate). Pulang Daga Beach Resort has clean white sand and swimming-safe cove; it commands a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean. Other than these, the rest of the articles I gathered centered on Paracale’s gold.

For more pictures go to
Paracale is a 3rd class municipality in the province of Camarines Norte, Philippines. It has a population of 42,453 people in 8,431 households (2000 Census). Paracale is a coastal municipality located on the Northeastern part of the province, with a total area of 194.80 sq. kms. The municipality is composed of 27 barangays.

Macolabo Island
Pinagbirayan Malaki
Pinagbirayan Munti
Poblacion Norte
Poblacion Sur


Juan de Salcedo was dispatched by Legaspi to explore the island in 1571. After subduing Taytay and Cainta, he marched further across Laguna and Tayabas. He visited the gold-laden towns of Mambulao and Paracale, obsessed by what he heard from natives of the existing gold mines in these towns.There were already native settlements in the area that became Camarines Norte when the Spaniards arrived. The flourishing towns of Mambulao and Paracale were two of them. Indan and Daet were the other settlements, besides Capalonga and others. But Paracale remained the most sought after and the most prosperous, because of its gold mines.

A government website ( states that while gold deposits are found throughout the country, they are concentrated in the five (5) recognized gold mining districts: 1) Baguio gold district; 2) Paracale gold district; 3) Masbate gold district; 4) Surigao gold district; and 5) Masara (Davao) gold district.

Paracale Gold Field is the oldest in the Philippines with historic productions before 1939 in excess of three million ounces of gold. This gold mining district has been known throughout Philippine history and is considered as one of the richest in this country and in the world.

Gold mining in Paracale reached its peak during the pre-war years and contributed greatly to the economy of the municipality. This, however, virtually slowed down except for small-scale mining operations. People somehow managed to survive on their jewelry making industry.

Some studies have shown that these small-scale mining operations are causing pollution and commonly make use of child labor. Some of the chidren only worked during week-ends, whereas others worked seven days a week and for that reason did not attend school. Many of the children working with gold extraction use mercury, exposing them to danger.

I watched Jessica Soho’s weekly show in GMA-7 last night. It featured the children doing hazardous jobs in the gold panning and small-scale mining operations in Paracale. It showed children working ten hours a day. A little girl who worked while soaked in mud the whole day said that she was paid a measly P20 a day! (I found a picture in the internet, which I am posting here).

A study conducted by the Philippine Institute of Development Studies (PIDS) in 1999 in Barangay Tugos in Paracale showed that mining is the major source of livelihood of the residents of this small barangay with an area of only 9 square kilometers. Based on barangay files, there were about 100 small-scale gold mining tunnels in the area although only 35 were operating at the time of the study. Each tunnel operation was estimated to employ about 11 to 20 miners. Thus, there were 385 to 700 miners in Tugos. Part of the small-scale mining operations in Tugos falls within the mining claim of a large-scale mining firm, the United Paragon Mining Corporation.

A brief survey conducted between April and June 1999 in Tugos confirmed the general occurrence of mercury pollution in the small-scale mining areas. This condition has caused health-related problems among miners and other people as well as significant siltation and sedimentation of water bodies and loss of fishery resources. (Just an aside, and on a different situation, my eldest brother died of malaria in the mid-80s when he joined a group doing gold-panning in Paracale.)

Large scale mining operations will soon resume in the municipality. The Paracale Mining Site was acquired by Pearl Asian Mining Industries (PAMI) in conjunction with Philippines Gold Mining Corporation on Feb 4, 2004. This acquisition marks a new era of cooperation between private industry and the Philippine government in the development and refining of the island's national resources.Paracale Mining Site mills 650 tons of rock daily, yielding 382 ounces of gold and 1,018 ounces of silver per day. Current prices for gold and silver project the mine's annual yield at over $40,000,000 gross or $12,000,000 net.PAMI will immediately upgrade current processes to increase the yield of the operation, which should realize an additional 20% to 25% output with minimal increase in cost of operation or capital outlay.Short range plans to construct a new electro-wining and refining plant will maximize the gold and silver recovery, while also adding platinum, iridium and palladium to the site's products. The new facility will also increase the capacity of rock throughput resulting in further increases in total production and bottom line profits

Will this also mark the improvement in the lives of the people?
The images of the children working in the mud under hazardous conditions are very disturbing. In my recent visit to Bacolod, I met with a Negros-based NGO. One of its programs is non-formal education for child laborers. Since the NGO can not prevent the children from working in the farms, what it is trying to do is to improve the chances of these children to get better opportunities later.

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Jericho in Palestine, the oldest, lowest, and hottest city in the World

Ed sent us pictures of his travel to Jericho recently. Through his travels, we gain new knowledge - of geography (remember Montenegro) and history. I surfed the net and researched some information about Jericho, which I am posting in this blogsite. If you take some time to read the article below, you'll realize the historical and religious value of Jericho - it is the first city conquered by the Israelites after their 40-day journey out of Egypt. It is also the site of the baptism of St. John the Baptist, and it is believed that it was in the mountain outside Jericho that Jesus fasted for forty days and forty nights and was tempted by Satan.

For more pictures of Jericho visit

Please continue reading the article about Jericho. I wish we also have the opportunity like Ed to visit the place, but like the Dead Sea, I'll surely be dead before I see it.

Jericho is believed to be one of, if not the oldest cities in the world. It was the first city captured by the Israelites after their 40 years of wandering in the desert after the exodus from Egypt. Ironically, Jericho (along with the Gaza Strip) was the first territory given to the Palestinians by Israel as part of their peace agreement in 1994. Today, the Palestinian Authority is developing the town in hopes of making it a major tourist attraction. It is also where Yasir Arafat maintained a home.


Jericho sits between Mt. Nebo in the east, the Central Mountains to the west and the Dead Sea to the south. In addition to these natural fortifications, Jericho also benefited from natural irrigation afforded by the Jordan River approximately four miles to the west, and from underground tributaries from the Central Mountains which fed her famous oasis. This irrigation resulted in teeming plant life and helped to transform Jericho into a flowing sea of green in an otherwise barren desert. Besides being old, Jericho is also one of the lowest cities in the world, about 800 feet (244 m) below sea level.

Jericho's natural resources, beauty, and natural defenses caused her to become the ideal locale for trade. These attributes also made her the source of envy and a coveted possession for invaders of ancient Palestine. Given that Jericho is located in roughly central Palestine, access to her neighboring city-states was a major key to Jericho's importance to invaders and to traders alike. Jericho's location was ideal for the establishing of trade routes and for communication exchange.

According to Jewish tradition, after the Israelites' 40-year sojourn in the desert, Joshua decides the first city in Canaan he will conquer is Jericho. God tells him that he will be victorious and instructs Joshua to have his troops march around the walls of the city once a day for six days. The force is to be led by seven priests walking beside the Ark of the Covenant containing the Ten Commandments and blowing rams' horns (shofarot). On the seventh day, the troops are supposed to circle the city seven more times, then the priests are ordered to blow their horns and the soldiers to shout, and the walls of the city, God tells Joshua, will tumble down. This is precisely what happens according to the Bible (Joshua 6).

Jericho later fell to the Babylonians, but was rebuilt when the Jews were allowed to return from their exile. The city continued to be a resort during the rule of the succeeding empires. For Christians, Jericho took on importance because of its association with John the Baptist, who was said to have been baptized by the banks of the Jordan on the eastern boundary of the city (Matthew 3:13-15), and the story of the temptation of Christ (Matthew 4:1-4).

The Romans destroyed the old city in the first century, but it was rebuilt in its present location by the Byzantines. The city briefly returned to glory when Caliph Hisham Ibn Abd el-Malik built his winter palace in Jericho in 743, but an earthquake destroyed virtually the entire city just four years later. The city later fell to the Crusaders and then was recaptured by Saladin. Jericho was largely ignored and deserted for centuries afterward.

The UN partition decision allocated the area to the Arab state, but, after the 1948 war, it was controlled by Jordan. Many Arabs who left other parts of Palestine moved to the area and a number of UN refugee camps were set up. A Palestinian nationalist named Musa Alami founded an agricultural school to train refugees in 1951, which is still in operation. The territory was subsequently captured by Israel in the Six-Day War.

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Fine Dining with Ed Canela

Our Jet-setter friend Ed Canela, treated the group to dinner at the Florabel's Restaurant at the Podium in Ortigas Center. The group included Bert and his nephew Bruce, Alot, Marynat, and me. It was Ed and Marynat's first meeting after 40 years! Rori wasn't able to make it because of a Couples for Christ earlier commitment. We didn't get a reply from TESS and from Fely Jacobs (who's probably busy writing his next ten pages message to the group). How about Baby/ Nemia? If it's outside Makati, and on a week day, it would be next to impossible to expect her to come.
Bagong hairdo ni ___ Sister Alot ano, para sa get-together yan, that's why she came in late. Si Ate Marynat looks fully recovered from her surgery, at pwedeng pwedeng model ng kanyang favorite lipstick. Bert and Ed look as if they've not grown old since high school (sabi ni Ate Marynat), pero ako tumanda raw! OO nga, when we were in high school, para akong elementary pupil at mga kuya at ate ko kayo, now parang Lolo ako ng mga ito! Anyway, we enjoyed the evening with our jet-setter classmate who again left this afternoon for Laos. Thanks Ed for the fine food, drinks and company.
The next get together is August 5 - according to Ed and Alot, it's Capt. Rudy (at long last) who's scheduling it. Bert will not be here, he and Marie will be leaving with Bruce for the US. Ed says he'll be here. We hope that the rest will already be available. Please take note - TESS, Felino, Rori, Baby and Lina.
Visit the photo gallery for the rest of the pictures:
pahabol: i forgot to mention that we enjoyed chatting with Danny through Ed's computer. Nagkita iyong magkinakapatid (Kuya Danny and Ate Marynat), at iyong galing sa relihiyosong bayan.

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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

What's New Today - July 18, 2007

Thank you Doc Danny for discussing what we can expect as we grow older, or maybe it's not just 'expecting' but giving us the explanation why we feel or look this way now that we're in our golden years. This morning, as I looked in the mirrow while drying my hair after taking a shower, I noticed, malapit na rin pala akong gumaya sa iyo doc danny. Manipis na rin ang buhok sa toktok. Buti na lang okey ang angle ng ulo ko sa mga pics that's why it's not very noticeable yet.

Ed's pictures of Metro Manila in the 70s bring nostalgia and again reminds us how old we have become. I clearly remember the Makati in those pictures. That was how Makati looked like when I worked with Bank of America from 1973 to 1979, first at the Dona Narcisa Bldg, then at the BA-Lepanto Bldg. There were still many vacant lots then. Gelarmi Apartment along Ayala Avenue didn't look like a dwarf yet as it is now that it stands among high-rise buildings.

But while reminiscing about the past and being reminded of how much we've aged, the same does not seem to apply to our classmate Glen. She doesn't seem to have aged much as shown in her pictures. She still looks beautiful just like our high school days.

I'm glad that we now have a regular contributor to our blogsite. Thanks Danny boy.

I have the time to work on our blogsite while waiting for my flight back to Manila, which is still at 8:30 pm. Ang tagal pa. Weather is fine now but it wasn't so good yesterday. But I'm already used to riding pump boats and ferries. I don't see life vests in the pump boats . What resembles a life vest is the one in the photos on the left. Mukhang ito na nga iyon, at may styrofoam naman kaya pwedeng lumutang sa tubig.

See you on Friday Manila group, at least most of us can make it.

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Looked in the mirror lately only to find a few more wrinkles and gray hairs? Those are just a few of the changes you're likely to notice as you get older. But what exactly is going on with your body? Here's what you can expect as you age.
Natural changes with age
Regardless of how long you live, time takes a toll on the organs and systems in your body. How and when this occurs is unique to you. Some typical changes to expect as you age include:

Cardiovascular system
Over time, your heart muscle becomes a less efficient pump, working harder to pump the same amount of blood through your body. Also, your blood vessels become less elastic. Hardened fatty deposits may form on the walls of your arteries (atherosclerosis), narrowing the passageway through the vessels. The natural loss of elasticity, in combination with atherosclerosis, makes your arteries stiffer, causing your heart to work even harder to pump blood through them. This can lead to high blood pressure (hypertension).

Bones, muscles and joints
Your bones reach their maximum mass between ages 25 and 35. As you age, your bones shrink in size and density. One consequence is that you might become shorter. Gradual loss of density weakens your bones and makes them more susceptible to fracture. Muscles, tendons and joints generally lose some strength and flexibility as you age.
Digestive system
Swallowing and the motions that automatically move digested food through your intestines slow down as you get older. The amount of surface area within your intestines diminishes slightly. The flow of secretions from your stomach, liver, pancreas and small intestine may decrease. These changes generally don't disrupt your digestive process, so you may never notice them. But you might notice more constipation.
Kidneys, bladder and urinary tract
With age, your kidneys become less efficient in removing waste from your bloodstream. Chronic conditions, such as diabetes or high blood pressure, and some medications can damage your kidneys further. About 30 percent of people age 65 and older experience a loss of bladder control (urinary incontinence). Incontinence can be caused by a number of health problems, such as obesity, frequent constipation and chronic cough.
Women are more likely than men to have incontinence. Women who've been through menopause might experience stress incontinence as the muscles around the opening of the bladder (the sphincter muscles) lose strength and bladder reflexes change. As estrogen levels decline, the tissue lining the tube through which urine passes (urethra) becomes thinner. Pelvic muscles become weaker, reducing bladder support.
In older men, incontinence is sometimes caused by an enlarged prostate, which can block the urethra. This makes it difficult to empty your bladder and can cause small amounts of urine to leak.
Brain and nervous system
The number of cells (neurons) in your brain decreases with age, and your memory becomes less efficient. However, in some areas of your brain, the number of connections between the cells increases, perhaps helping to compensate for the aging neurons and maintain brain function. Your reflexes tend to become slower. You also tend to become less coordinated.
With age, your eyes are less able to produce tears, your retinas thin, and your lenses gradually turn yellow and become less clear. In your 40s, focusing on objects that are close up may become more difficult. Later, the colored portions of your eyes (irises) stiffen, making your pupils less responsive. This can make it more difficult to adapt to different levels of light. Other changes to your lenses can make you sensitive to glare, which presents a problem when driving at night. Cataracts, glaucoma and macular degeneration are the most common problems of aging eyes.
Hearing loss is one of the most common conditions affecting adults who are middle-aged and older. One in three people older than 60 and half of all people older than 85 have significant hearing loss. Over the years, sounds and noise can damage the hair cells of your inner ears.
Also, the walls of your auditory canals thin, and your eardrums thicken. You may have difficulty hearing high frequencies. Some people find it difficult to follow a conversation in a crowded room. Changes in the inner ear or in the nerves attached to it, earwax buildup and various diseases can all affect your hearing.
How your teeth and gums respond to age depends on how well you've cared for them over the years. But even if you're meticulous about brushing and flossing, you may notice that your mouth feels drier and your gums have pulled back (receded). Your teeth may darken slightly and become more brittle and easier to break.
Most adults can keep their natural teeth all of their lives. But with less saliva to wash away bacteria, your teeth and gums become slightly more vulnerable to decay and infection. If you've lost most or all of your natural teeth, you might use dentures or dental implants as a replacement.
Some older adults experience dry mouth (xerostomia), which can lead to tooth decay and infection. Dry mouth can also make speaking, swallowing and tasting difficult. Oral cancer is more common among older adults. Your dentist checks for oral cancer when you go for regular cleanings and checkups.
Skin, nails and hair
With age, your skin thins and becomes less elastic and more fragile. You'll likely notice that you bruise more easily. Decreased production of natural oils may make your skin drier and more wrinkled. Age spots can occur, and skin tags are more common. Your nails grow at about half the pace they once did. Your hair may gray and thin. In addition, you likely perspire less — making it harder to stay cool in high temperatures and putting you at increased risk of heat exhaustion and heat stroke.
How fast your skin ages depends on many factors. The most significant factor is sun exposure over the years. The more sun your skin has been exposed to, the more damage you may attain. Smoking adds to skin damage, such as wrinkles. Skin cancer also is a concern as you age. You have a 40 percent to 50 percent chance of getting skin cancer at least once by the time you reach 65.
Sleep needs change little throughout adulthood. If you need six hours of sleep nightly, chances are you'll always need six hours — give or take 30 minutes. However, as you age, you'll likely find that you sleep less soundly, meaning you'll need to spend more time in bed to get the same amount of sleep. By age 75, some people find that they're waking up several times each night.
As you age, maintaining a healthy weight — or losing weight if you're overweight — may be more difficult. Your metabolism generally slows, meaning that your body burns fewer calories. Calories that were once used to meet your daily energy needs instead are stored as fat. Your level of activity may decrease, resulting in unwanted weight gain.
With age, sexual needs, patterns and performance may change. Women's vaginas tend to shrink and narrow, and the walls become less elastic. Vaginal dryness is a problem. All of this can make sex painful.
Impotence becomes more common in men as they age. By the time they're 65, up to one in four men have difficulty getting or keeping an erection about one in every four times they have sex. In others, it may take longer to get an erection, and it may not be as firm as it used to be.
How long can you live?
The longest documented human life span is 122 years. Though a life span that long is rare, improvements in medicine, science and technology during the last century have helped more people live longer, healthier lives. If you were born in the early 1900s in the United States, your life expectancy was only about 50 years. Today it's around 77.
And if you're sure you've already done too much damage to yourself to hope for a long life, think again. Researchers say it's never too late to adopt a healthy lifestyle. For example, if you quit smoking now, your risk of heart disease begins to fall almost immediately. Living a healthy lifestyle can improve how you age. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables and getting out for a daily walk are ways you can begin preparing now for your later years.

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Ageless Glen

I am officially signing-in.

I am so happy to hear from all of you.

Wishing everyone a safe and joyful summer.


For the rest of the pictures of Glen's brief reunion with Fechie and Marybeth, visit:

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Maalaala Mo Kaya?

Manila in the 70s... down memory lane through the pictures shared by Ed Canela.

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Monday, July 16, 2007


Part 2

Ever since Erik Erikson coined the term "midlife crisis" more than 30 years ago, male melancholy around halftime has been poked and prodded six ways to whaddya say. Theories abound. At the bio-extreme is the idea that the midway heebie-jeebies are hardwired, a hormonal analogue to female menopause. The skeptics believe that the 40s funk is just a self-fulfilling prophecy for self-indulgent guys.

The idea of a midlife crisis offends a man's up-and-at-'em American aesthetic. And given all the therapeutic silliness that gets sold as midlife fixes, it's tempting to dis the male willies as psycho-bunk. Bad idea. Male midlife crisis is a time-honored trough, described by Dante and Shakespeare and endured by citizens no less manly than Ulysses S. Grant, who only saved the republic before his swoon, and the astronaut Buzz Aldrin, who got a mite moody after his meander on the moon.

"There are multiple paths through midlife crisis," says Jacquelyn James, Ph.D., associate director of the Murray Research Center at Radcliffe College. Each man's journey is unique, shaped by his history and his hopes, his relationships, his blood pressure, and the angle of his dangle. To be sure, the intensity of the midlife passage varies greatly.

For some men, it's a dark ordeal that includes depression and is best navigated with a doctor's help. For most, it's a less perilous, but still demanding, midcourse correction. But whether the midlife transit is traumatic or just tricky, self-medication with bourbon is a bad plan, and nobody is served by pretending we're too tough to have troubles.

Our goal is to come through middle life as better men. Sure, we'll be a tick less quick off the dribble, and yes, we'll need to rely on guile once in a while. But we'll also be wiser, calmer, stronger of spirit, and even more attractive to women of all ages. There are no perfect routes to your best older self. But we asked experts and some men we admire for guiding thoughts to ease the transit.

What The Hell Is A Midlife Crisis?

Justice Stewart's wisdom about pornography applies to midlife, too: tough to define, but you know it when you're in it. Men in the muddle often use words such as "aimless," "confused," "lost." Previously surefooted guys come to question things in which they once believed -- marriage, work, friendships. Some men report losing their vitality, their joy in things they used to savor. In the book Flyfishing through the Midlife Crisis, the New York Times executive editor Howell Raines describes this feeling as "disappointment and restlessness that tiptoe in on little cat feet."

Here's a symptom sampler: insomnia, fatigue, despair, morbidity, inability to concentrate, ruefulness about roads not taken, dread that life holds no more surprises, regrets, sharp longing for something (a gunmetal Porsche, a cigarette boat) or someone (the FedEx woman, Gina, whose smile is a promise of overnight delivery). Men in crisis often obsess about big questions, as in, "Does my life matter?"

"Many men start to think in terms of how little time they have left," says James. In severe cases, men fantasize about just lighting out, shucking off their old lives and starting over in the South Pacific or the Sawtooth Range. At 36, the world's our oyster, but by 44, we're trapped inside the oyster, gasping for air.

The midlife stew often starts with some garden-variety boredom. If you've been hoeing the same row for 20 years, only an idiot wouldn't wonder if there aren't some more interesting rows somewhere else. On top of tedium, we often get our first bolt of serious bad news: the death of a parent, trouble in a marriage, a career setback, the transformation of the 8-year-old who thought you were God into the adolescent who thinks you're the devil. Crushing chest pain and the word "biopsy" can set a fellow to thinking about what he's done with this life.

Often, come our 40s, some undeniable facts start eroding the dubious pillars on which we've built our notion of a man.

Beloved male Myth #1: Real men are strong and studly.
New Midlife Fact: We're sorta strong and sorta studly.

Make no mistake, guys in their 40s can still take the ball to the hole. (Note: Midlife passage may even be easier if you're fit.) But still, the machine is showing some mileage. Your time for the 100 meters is now closer to 20 seconds than to 10. Old Faithful is a tad less rigid and less quick to reenlist. Some gray hair and wrinkles are whispers of mortality, signs that we've started down the mountain's far side.

Beloved Male Myth #2: Real men are successful.
New Midlife Fact: Some men are more successful than others.

"At midlife, many men come face-to-face with the aspiration-achievement gap," says Orville G. Brim, Ph.D., director of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Successful Midlife Development, in Vero Beach, Florida. It slowly dawns on us that we'll never solemnly swear to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution, write that rock-opera sequel to Tommy, or maybe be a father. Our big boyhood dreams have been precious, and it's easy to feel like a failure once it's clear they're dead. But even if you've realized your ambitions, another myth is often tattered at midlife.

Beloved Male Myth #3: Professional success will make you happy.
New Midlife Fact: Don't bet on it.

Even lots of alpha guys who've won the work game start to see it as one very stupid game. They've reached the Promised Land, but the milk tastes funny and there ain't no honey. "Suddenly, it's as though the rules you've played by have been declared invalid," says Kathleen Pajer, M.D., of the University of Pittsburgh department of psychiatry. "It sets a crisis in motion because your long-held beliefs are clashing with the reality of your feelings."

This isn't easy. "Any man who attempts a radical critique of his life at 40 will be up against parts of himself that have a strong investment in the present structure," says Daniel J. Levinson, author of The Seasons of a Man's Life. If you're this close to finally making partner and shaking the money tree, it takes courage to admit that you hate the law, that it's draining the life from you. Still, it's got to be done. We have to refuel somehow, to reimagine our lives for the second half.

The secret is to become a self-seeker. Though the psycho-brains differ on details, there's general agreement that we have to move toward authenticity, toward an expression of our uniqueness. "We must attempt to sculpt our identity," says Dr. Pajer, "and find our unique place in the world." Carl Jung, the Swiss sultan of psyche, called the process individuation, or the coming to self.

Here's the quickie version of Jung's model. In youth, we assemble a persona, a public face that helps us get along, cope with junior high, trick women into bed and the boss into giving raises. Behind this mask, we suppress all our neuroses, dreads, and the stuff that's too dark, artistic, or just plain odd for polite company.

As long as things go well, this works. But once the persona starts screwing up (e.g., lets us get fired or divorced), all those stifled secrets, once willing to shut up, start shouting up from the basement. To move from young man to Mr. Maturity, we've got to (1) hear those till-now smothered voices, and (2) do at least some of what they tell us to. The trick, by Jung, is to divest the self of the false wrappings of the persona. Time to set the self free.

Warning! Do not start celebrating your eccentricities. Footwear in public remains a requirement. And although yipping like a dachshund may help you vent, it often leads to exit interviews. Setting free the self just means starting to flex some of the muscles that are uniquely ours, kicking at least a few of the conformities that funnel us toward sameness and so subdue our spirits.

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Sor Victorina de la Providencia, Mother Superior of Daet Parochial School

HS Solo Graduation Pictures

DPS Class67 HS Graduates, 40 Years After

This Day in History

Today's Birthday