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Showing posts from January, 2008

Red Scare

In less than a month this year, 5 casualties have been recorded as insurgency related deaths. One barangay kagawad and four suspected NPAs. Meantime, at Camp Canuto in Pili Camarines Sur, the army is recruiting 1,200 more men as regulars and militiamen, some will be deployed in Catanduanes. I don't understand why the NPA's opted to stay in our province, strategically, they are doomed if a coordinated military operation is put into action. Undermanned and ill-equipped they have no other choice than to escape or surrender. Their nearest escape route could be in the western seaboard and surely the military would put a naval blockade in that area, so their only dwindling option is at the northeastern coastlines. They either head for Guam or Taiwan if they have logistical capabilities and would be welcome. I just hope and pray that even if our province is not that perfect as we wish it to be, at least everybody could sleep peacefully at night.

Where Are You From?

When I was a freshman at a university in Manila, it is usual for classmates to ask one another about where you came from and something about yourself. My answer was, from bicol in Catanduanes and often they would ask, where is that? So, I gave them the exact location and things associated with our province - typhoons. And they would nod and ask another question out of curiosity. Usually those question either form or break a potential bondship and more often than not a lost opportunity for job seekers if not answered in its true sense. Some friends of mine who graduated in the province felt bad and awkward being ask by those questions particularly in a panel interview. One time, I asked my friend about it, he told me that it is a stupid question. But I think, its more on inferiority complex. It is said to be rooted in the young child's original experience of weakness, helplessness and dependency. It can then be intensified by comparisons to older siblings and adults. And like ou…

15 Minutes Workload

Technology has always been part of our daily lives. In fact it makes our life easier, but for others its not always a welcome thought, because it removes redundant and automates routine jobs. In 1995, while working for a multinational company, my boss gave me an special assignment which I thought was really different. It was interesting at first because the task was only to come up with a simple yet concise reports aside from the system generated ones often in several pages. It was easy but it often burns my whole day. And the irony was, my boredom to doing routines. So what I did was to come out with a simple spreadsheet, put links to some already existing files and several macros and my whole day's work is done for only 15 minutes daily. Another 5 minutes, all my reports are in the inbox of our top level managers from local and overseas. \ The bad side was, I was left doing nothing the whole day except to converse on the phone, drink coffee and send emails to friends. Two yea…

An Island Without Salt

One of the pressing concern of our province is the issue of food security. Many thought that food in the urban centers is expensive, well obviously because they don't have farms and rely their food supply from far away corners of our country. In our case, the cost of food in our province is expensive not because we are an urban center but because we don't produce enough. Even our basic supply of table salt is brought in from outside, its ridiculous that we are surrounded by seawater yet no one had ventured in salt production. Rice more often than not is imported, instead of our money to circulate within, most of it goes out. To address this issue is to increase production. But we're not blessed with big landholdings and it is quite understandable that small scale farming is costly compared to a commercial one. One way to increase production is to form cooperative and farming be manage on a commercial scale, but that is unthinkable for most of our farmers because it will…

Typhoon and Briquetting

Typhoons have been the usual alibi of many for our stunted development, but its not limited to our place but the whole of bicol region. As a participant to a regular forum re: agribusiness and countryside development. One of our guest speaker was a Senator and a 2010 presidential hopeful, quoted that for bicol to move forward, we should focus more on our ocean resource rather than inland because of typhoons. I remember when we were kids, I am always fascinated by old folks making the usual weather prediction by looking at clouds, unusual bird formation, croaking of frogs and wind directions. Once the storm is over, we would gather young coconuts, bananas and feast on it. In my adult years, our weather still fascinates me, but in some way look at the opportunity behind it. Were used to typhoons and we grew accustomed to such weather that we have zero casualty every time one hits our land. We cannot change our weather pattern except work alongside with it and accept it as not somethi…

2008 Wishlist

2008 wish list to our provincial and local leaders and to our province as well: Stop illegal logging for it only benefits a few who don't care about our future generations and environment. Invite local, international NGOs and cause-oriented groups to monitor our forest cover before its too late.Organize and support NGOs, cooperatives and associations. They will achieve more than individual initiatives, likewise, choose talents as well among these groups.Focus on our beaches for income generating projects such as eco-tourism, fish processing and retirement home seekers. We should accept typhoons as gift and not as bane to development. There should be equal development both inland and offshore resource to prevent economic and ecological imbalance.Enact laws and incentives to help our local power utility maximize its income through efficient distribution of power load i.e. industries should operate during off-peak hours instead of competing during peak hours thereby causing power in…

November to January

Catanduanes belongs to the 2nd type of climate. It has no dry season with a very pronounce maximum rainfall from November to January. At the onset of these months, prawn farm owners harvests their stocks and sold it to the city. Likewise, rice farmers starts to prepare their land for rice planting. Often starts their day early, powered by his carabao and armed with plowshare, he cultivates his land until 9 AM and goes home to eat breakfast and rest. But now, most farmers now are equipped with locally made hand tractors, powered by surplus diesel engines. So many of them can extend their task until dusk. Likewise, government employees and teachers who received their bonuses prefers to spend holidays outside, mostly go to Manila or nearby cities to shop and to visit relatives. It is within these months that the two most joyous holidays are celebrated, Christmas and New Year. And were very fortunate that before the year is over, no typhoon has again visited our province.