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Showing posts from September, 2009

Typhoon Ondoy's Heavy Rainfall Explained

A lot of theories and speculations in the unusual heavy rainfall brought about by typhoon Ondoy, that cause massive flooding in Metro Manila and nearby areas. Here is the analysis of the Tropical Rain Measuring Mission (TRMM), a joint NASA and JAXA mission to monitor and study tropical rainfall. Tropical Storm Ketsana Brings Record Flooding to Northern Philippines The latest tropical system to the hit the Philippines, Tropical Storm Ketsana (known locally as "Tropical Storm Ondoy"), has resulted in record flooding in the capital of Manila on the island of Luzon in the northern Philippines. So far 140 people have died in the resultant flooding and mudslides with at least 32 more still missing. Ketsana began as a tropical depression in the west-central Philippine Sea on the morning of the 25th of September 2009 about 500 miles (~800 km) east-southeast of the central Luzon coast. The system was upgraded to a minimal tropical storm on the evening of the 25th (morning of the 26…

Energy Dep’t Finalizing Deal to Develop Deep Ocean Power - BWO

THE DEPARTMENT of Energy (DoE) said it is close to finalizing a contract with a US-based firm to develop deep ocean power technology. Department data show there are 16 potential sites for such development. We are just finishing the documentation. We need to sit down and proceed with their contract already. It means they are ready, Mario C, Marasigan, DoE assistant secretary, told reporters. Deep Ocean Power Philippines, a unit of California-based Deep Ocean Power, applied to the DoE in February for 36 sites in the country covering 21,450 hectares to develop deep ocean power technology. Deep ocean power technology utilizes "ocean thermal energy conversion" by capitalizing on the temperature difference between the warm surface water of oceans, heated by solar radiation, and the deep water which is colder, to generate electricity through a heat engine. The same power principle is used in steam turbines and internal combustion engines. That is just one company, but [ther…

2 Fishermen Missing Off Catanduanes -

VIRAC, Catanduanes, Philippines—Two fishermen failed to return home Saturday from their fishing ground in the Pacific Ocean as tropical storm Ondoy passed to the north of this island province. The Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) said that Rogelio Bien, 38; and Rolando Bonggala, 60--both of the village of Pananaogan in Bato town, left the coastal village at 9 a.m. on Wednesday to catch fish east of the island. The two, who were on board a light-green outrigger boat, failed to return home as of this posting, according to relatives and village officials. The owner of the fishing boat was reportedly leading a search-and-rescue operation in the area where the two were believed to have gone and along the eastern coast of Catanduanes where their boat may have drifted. By Fernan Gianan
Inquirer Southern Luzon
First Posted 20:02:00 09/26/2009

Ondoy's Flood Worst in History PAGASA - MB

The Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, and Astronomical Services, Administration (PAGASA) said Saturday that the unexpected flood in Metro Manila was the worst one ever recorded in history. While Dr. Nathaniel Cruz, PAGASA director, said that yesterday's flood was the worst in history, he added that the amount of rainfall dumped yesterday is expected to surpass the 1967 record and this month's average. Citing PAGASA records, Cruz said that a total 341.3 mm amount of rainfall had been dumped in Quezon City from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. last Saturday, just six hours following the actual landfall of Tropical Storm "Ondoy" in Central and Southern Luzon provinces. The 24-hour amount of rainfall is expected to overtake the 344 mm level recorded on a 24-hour period on June 7, 1967. After expecting the tropical cyclone to bring stormy weather in most parts of Luzon until today, the top PAGASA official said the level of rainfall is also expected to even surpass 391.7 mm average …

Creature Comforts

Virac, the capital of Catanduanes does not offer much for travellers, but it has some creature comforts and is a convenient base for day trips to nearby beaches and other municipalities. There are internet cafes, three universal banks all with ATM machines, hotels, restaurants, public market, groceries and couriers.

PNR Train Derailed; Bicol Run suspended - INQ

NAGA CITY, Philippines—The commercial run of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) train on Bicol to Quezon routes was put on hold Monday after the train got derailed in one of its trips Sunday, local authorities said. The PNR train was supposed to serve Tagkawayan and the routes of Quezon-Naga City, Camarines Sur-Ligao City, and Albay starting Monday. Beda Priela, chief of staff of the general manager, said the PNR management suspended operations after its Bicol commuter train got derailed on Sunday in Barangay (Village) Del Rosario, Lupi, Camarines Sur at about 8 a.m. on its way to Naga City from Tagkawayan, Quezon. Priela called it a "minor derailment" in which the engine stopped before the train went off the rail tracks because of loose wooden ties. He said the commuter train was running at an estimated speed of 50 km/hr and no one was hurt among the passengers who were on their way to celebrate the Peñafrancia Fiesta in Naga City. Priela said mechanics and worker…

Bidding for New Radar Station Set in Japan - CT

Bids are now being submitted in Japan for the construction of a new Doppler radar facility at the Buenavista station of the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (PAGASA) in Bato, Catanduanes. Engr. Fredolina Baldonado, Assistant Weather Services Chief at PAGASA Central Office, told the Tribune that the groundbreaking for the project, to be funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will be held this November, with construction of the 39-meter tall building tower to take at least a year. The Buenavista project is part of the upgrade of the weather bureau’s three aged radar systems in Aparri, Cagayan; Virac, Catanduanes; and, Guiuan, Eastern Samar. The existing radar systems, with capabilities limited to detection and monitoring of tropical cyclones forming in the Pacific Ocean, will have to be upgraded to enable Pagasa to provide advisories on rainfall volume and wind velocity. Pagasa chief Nilo Prisco said in a recent statem…

A Closer Look at Shalani Soledad - Philstar

Beauty-contest connoisseur Gerry Diaz (not Garcia as wrongly identified in a recent Funfare item) had a close-up look at Valenzuela City Councilor Shalani Soledad, Sen./Presidentiable Noynoy Aquino’s girlfriend, during the recent 2009 Miss Bicolandia contest in Naga City where they sat as judges. Here are Gerry’s impressions: She impressed me with her simplicity, natural beauty and youthful looks. I couldn’t believe that she’s 29. Asked by a candidate during the pre-judging if she thought Noynoy would win, Shalani replied, “It’s not for me to say; it’s the Filipino who will answer that come election time.” A native Bicolana (from Baras, Catanduanes), she speaks fluent Bicolano. She readily accepted interview requests even when she was in the middle of her breakfast. And I admired the way she declined to answer questions about her relationship with Noynoy Aquino aside from saying that he has a good sense of humor behind that serious image. She was very nice and well-bred. Whenever …

Top Officials of Catanduanes Attend Grand Reunion

STATEN ISLAND, NY—Two top officials of the province of Catanduanes flew to New York to attend the 16th Anniversary and 7th grand reunion of the Catanduanes International Association (CIA). Officers of Catanduanes International Association Inc. gather during the seventh grand reunion last night in the Hilton Garden Inn, Bloomfield. From left are Dr. Arsenio Manlangit Jr., Lydia Mendez, Carina Klugewicz, Cely Deauna, Evelyn Scott, Medy Solero Taeza and Dr. Solomon Alcantara. The reunion is part of a three-day event. The association’s main project is a medical mission, which takes place every three years on the island of Catanduanes in the Philippines. (Derek Alvez/Staten Island Advance) The two are three-term Representative Joseph A. Santiago and Governor Joseph Cua. The event which was attended by over 200 Catandunganons and guests from around the US and Canada was held last August 22 at Hilton Garden Inn in this borough of New York City. The two officials conveyed the greetings of …

Lakas-Kampi Picks Teodoro as 2010 Standard Bearer - GMANews

Defense Secretary Gilberto Teodoro Jr., 45, was selected on Wednesday to be the standard bearer in 2010 of the ruling Lakas-Kampi (Kabalikat ng Malayang Pilipino)-CMD party, setting the stage for an underdog's uphill climb against more popular and better known opponents.

Teodoro won by a landslide against Metropolitan Manila Development Authority chair Bayani Fernando, who walked out of the party’s national executive committee meeting after his motion to defer the voting was rejected.

Reportedly a favorite nephew of tycoon Eduardo "Danding" Cojuangco Jr., Teodoro will have money and the administration's muscle behind him, including the party's vaunted network of local government membership. But the UP and Harvard law graduate will have to overcome the effects of being associated with the most unpopular Philippine president in recent history.

Teodoro has fared dismally in recent surveys on most preferred presidential bets.

In Pulse Asia’s latest survey, Teodoro rank…

A Trek to Remember IV - K.I.D.S. Foundation Inc.

The K.I.D.S. Foundation Inc. is inviting everyone, medical practitioners (doctors, nurses, etc), KIDS members, volunteers, trekkers, to fly to the unspoiled beaches of Catanduanes...for the next, "A Trek to Remember IV", on October 23-25 2009. K.I.D.S will conduct a medical mission to two (2) clustered coastal barangays of Baras Catanduanes: Ginitligan, Benticayan, Agban, JMA, Abihao, Guinsaanan, Puraran and San Miguel. Serving more or less, 2,000 children ages from 0-17. Trek with K.I.D.S along the coastal barangays of Baras and gain newfound friendship, breathtaking scenery and the high that you feel when you share. Participants are requested to book and buy their own plane tickets via Zest Air (MWF & Sun), Cebu Pacific Air or PAL Express. They will take the Cebu Pacific Air. Regular round trip fare is Php 3,090.00. Registration fee is Php 1,000.00 (accommodation, meals and transfers), bring extra money for souvenirs. Deadline to register for this event is on Oct…

Catanduanes Funniest Videos

Catanduanes online videos has surprisingly increased ten-fold. Of varying categories either music, anniversaries, fiestas, graduations, tourism promotion, you name it. Along with these clips are a few seconds videos, some don't even lasts for a minute. So we thought of something to make those videos worthwhile. We came up with an idea of collecting some funny videos, akin to the concept of America's Funniest Videos and it's local counterpart Bitoy's Funniest Videos. Here is the first clip we made. Hope you enjoy it.

Skimboarding in Catanduanes

Skimboarding is fast becoming the most popular water and outdoor sports in the Philippines today. It started in Tanauan, Leyte, sometime in year 2000, the earliest known record of skimboarding goes back to 1920 in Laguna Beach, California. Here in the island, this water sport is rapidly gaining popularity among the youth. And among their favorite playground are the beaches of Mamangal and Balete in Virac. Skimboarding (or skimming) is a boardsport in which a skimboard (a smaller, sleeker version of a surfboard) is used to ride on an incoming wave. Unlike surfing, skimboarding begins on the beach, with the skimboarder running and dropping their board onto the thin wash of previous waves. They use their momentum to 'skim' out to breaking waves, which they then catch back into shore in a manner similar to surfing. Another aspect of skimboarding is 'flatland' which involves performing tricks derived from skateboarding such as ollies and shuv-its on the wash of waves w…

Promoting Good Governance - PDI

BICOLANOS believe that good governance can help fight poverty, says the 2006 poverty mapping results of the BCDI. With only seven months before electing new leaders, they are learning to ask for more and what is due them from local governments. In Catanduanes, the local government unit is gradually putting value in the participation and recommendation of civil society in formulating the province’s development plan. There are a lot of good things civil society participation can do to promote transparency, says Antonio Asuncion, in-charge of a good governance project of the Diocese of Virac Social Action Foundation Inc. (DVSAFI). Convenio project This project is part of the Convenio Project, under which the Bicol Agenda is a main feature. Convenio is a four-year project of BCDI and social action centers in the region and other social development organizations. It seeks to address and reduce poverty through good governance, access to quality health care and basic health services, …

Cha-Cha Key to Bro. Mike's Endorsement - abs-cbnNEWS

MANILA - The key to Bro. Mariano “Mike” Velarde’s endorsement in the May 2010 presidential race is Charter change (Cha-cha). In an interview with, the leader and founder of the El Shaddai charismatic movement said presidential aspirants should commit to push for charter change if they want his support in the presidential race. Velarde stressed he is opposed to any attempt to tinker with the Constitution before the May 2010 polls, but is “amenable” to charter amendment after the 2010 elections. The next president, he said, should commit to push for charter change through a Constitutional convention (Con-con). Whoever is elected should be ready to give way to a new charter, Velarde said. Velarde himself has tickled the public’s mind by saying it is his “dream” to become President someday. Miracles of Forever In his newly published book, With El Shaddai Miracles of Forever, Velarde said: My dream and ambition while I was growing up as among the poorest …

Clearings at Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve Viewable on Google Earth

Browsing Google Earth for latest updates, I found this satellite imagery quite interesting. These areas of interest is not visible from a higher altitude, but once you zoomed-in, it can be recognizable as a forest clearing scattered in many parts of the reserve. The satellite imagery was taken over the vicinity of Virac, San Andres and Caramoran. There might be more interesting imagery once the map for Catanduanes is completed. But possibly that would take sometime because of heavy cloud cover in the eastern seaboard. Excessive cloud cover remains one of the biggest barriers to the widespread use of satellite imagery in the tropics.

Miss Bicolandia 2009

Winner of this year's Miss Bicolandia beauty pageant title held at Sports Palace in University of Nueva Caceres last September 6, 2009 is, Patricia Shirley Santos from Daraga, Albay. First runner-up: Dianne Necio of Iriga CitySecond runner-up: Melicia Chapman of Naga CityThird runner-up: Louise Camille Resoles of Naga CityFourth runner-up: Elaine Lopez of Camarines NorteMs Photogenic: Melicia Chapman of Naga CityMs Press Photography: Elaine LopezBest in Production Number: Thalin Lim of CabusaoMs Friendship: Zindy GragedaBest in Swimsuit: Dianne NecioBest in Long Gown: Louise Camille Resoles Hosted by: Paolo Bediones

Bicol Express Run Delayed - INQ

NAGA CITY--With funds coming in trickles, making the southbound train run from Metro Manila to Bicol has been a daunting challenge to Manuel “Ower” Andal, general manager of the Philippine National Railways (PNR). Andal said the PNR originally targeted to open the railway lines to the region by yearend, but it had to be reset for March next year. Consequently, a plan to reconnect the southbound line from Tagkawayan town in Quezon to Naga City in Camarines Sur must also be delayed, he said. The Bicol railway line stretches for 377 kilometers from Metro Manila to Naga, with travel time taking about seven hours. It was closed in 2006 when Super typhoon “Reming” ravaged the region. Commuter system The commuter operation will expand with the rehabilitation of the railway lines to other towns going to northern Quezon and south to Legazpi City in Albay. A rail bridge was washed out by Reming in Travesia, Guinobatan town in Albay. Andal said the railway line from Manila to Naga had yet t…

Noynoy Aquino Announces Bid for Presidency in 2010 - GMA News

After weeks of speculation, Sen. Benigno "Noynoy" Aquino III finally announced on Wednesday that he will run for president in 2010 to "continue the fight" for democratic reforms started by his politically influential parents.

"Tinatanggap ko ang hiling ng sambayanan. Tinatanggap ko rin po ang bilin at habilin, tagubilin ng aking mga magulang. Tinatanggap ko ang responsibilidad na ituloy ang laban para sa bayan. Tinatanggap ko ang hamong mamuno sa labang ito. Bayang Pilipinas, tatakbo ako sa pagka-pangulo sa darating na halalan," said Noynoy, who made the announcement on the 40th day after the death of his mother, former President Corazon C. Aquino.

(I accept the call of the people and the advice of my parents, and the responsibility to continue the fight for our nation. I accept the challenge to lead this fight. I will run for president in the coming elections.) Read full text...

P1.1B Set to Hook Up Public Schools to Net - INQ

MANILA, Philippines—A total of P1.1 billion has been allotted to provide Internet connectivity to a total of 9,048 public elementary and high schools countrywide, Catanduanes Representative Joseph Santiago, chairman of the House committee on information and communications technology, said Sunday. Santiago said the fresh funding, contained in the proposed P1.541-trillion national budget for next year, would also cover the acquisition of additional computer sets for 577 public high schools. "Technology and the Internet are definitely taking on bigger roles in basic education—in providing essential instructional support. Our public schools cannot afford to be left farther behind," Santiago said. "It has become absolutely imperative for us to provide students and teachers alike greater access to the wealth of knowledge and information on the Internet," he added. As of April this year, with the support of private and non-government partners, Santiago said the Depar…

Kris Aquino Apologizes to Noynoy - MB

For blabbering about his lovelife, Noynoy Aquino had to admonish his sister Kris, who subsequently aired a public apology on showbiz news program, “Showbiz News Ngayon (SNN),” last Sept. 3.

According to the actress-host, who in the past had landed in not a few troubles due to her tactless remarks, his 49-year-old lawmaker brother laments her continued ‘intrusion’ into his private life.

“He doesn’t like it that I continue talking about (his lovelife) and sharing it to the entire world. He reminded me that I am 11 years younger than him and as an older brother, I should give him respect so, Noy, I apologize,” Aquino said.

Kris added she already actually apologized to his older brother earlier via text but that she had to do it again on air.

“I have to promise him that I won’t talk about his lovelife again. So, Noy, I promise, from now on, I won’t talk about it anymore.”

A month ago, during their mother’s funeral mass, Kris reminded his brother about her son Josh’s request for him not to get…

The Road Going North

Travelling from Virac to northern towns of Viga, Panganiban and Bagamanoc is much better off now compared to 4 years ago. Although there are some visible damages along the stretch of the new circumferential road caused by flooding and landslide, but the view is still, simply awesome. The road passes through the Catanduanes Watershed Forest Reserve, where the town of San Miguel is located. A few kilometers away, is the small village of Pagsangahan, where an old ruin of a concrete bridge literally washed away by floods during one of the worst typhoon in this island history. There are many interesting sights along the way, so better not to doze-off while on a trip.

Gaya-Gaya, Puto Maya - CT

There is cut-throat competition going on amongst us. Even in Virac, schools are mushrooming at a rate greater than its population rate. Can you imagine seeing a technical school in every street corner of Virac soon? Yup, that’s the problem with our culture as Pinoys. Gaya-gaya, puto maya. Filipinos love to copy. Don’t you think the best copycats in the world are we Pinoys? I remember President Ramos, in speaking before a group of Filipinos in the USA sometime ago, lamented the fact that Filipinos are not as united as other nationalities are, even in the USA. While other immigrant groups have only one organization for their own nationality and pride, we, Pinoys in the USA, have organizations mushrooming all over town. You count the number of islands in the Philippines, that’s the number of organizations Pinoys have in the USA. Pag nagtayo ang isa, susundan ng kumpare niya, tapos tatlo na agad ang organisasyon nila—and yet dalawa lang naman sila. The next thing you see nag-aaway na …

Concepcion’s Loss Should Not Discourage Local Boxers - CT

The failure of Catanduanes’ pride to wrest the featherweight crown away from the rangy and wily Steven Luevano should not discourage many aspiring boxers from this island. Instead, it should serve as a reminder that like in the real world, the boxing ring will offer many surprises for gloved combatants. They should better be ready to change their styles to fit their strategy for defeating their opponents. Concepcion’s career is not yet over and this loss should be considered as a temporary setback, much like Manny Pacquiao’s first loss and his subsequent defeat to a Thailander when he was a world champion. He is young and has enough time to hone his skills further for another try at a world boxing championship belt. Catanduanes is not lacking in promising boxers, with Abe’s 19-year old brother Bobby, still undefeated, trying to crack the limelight and carry the Catanduanes flag. Now that a Viga businessman has taken it upon himself to train a dozen of these future pros for free i…

Pushing Dive Tourism - DOT

Based on the survey conducted by the TNS in the first semester of 2009, the volume of dive tourists in Cebu, Bohol, Palawan, Mindoro Oriental and Batangas grew by 62.8%. German dive enthusiasts posted 131.9% increase while the Koreans dive tourists went up by 104%, American (37%), Japanese (34%), and Chinese (31%). Overall gross receipts from dive tourism in said destinations posted an increase of 52.8% to P 31 Million vis-à-vis P 20.2 Million in the first half of 2008. Substantial growth of 82% was recorded during the first quarter of 2009. Revenues generated by dive operators in Bohol surged by 195% while those in Cebu rose by 69%. At the 17th Marine Diving Fair in Tokyo, the DOT Pavilion attracted more than 20,000 visitors and garnered awards for Best Diving Area, Most Desirable Destination, Best Dive Resort and Favorite Dive Operators for the country and participating dive operators. The DOT also continued to draw dive tourists in its annual participation in the Golden Dolp…

Bicol Poised to Draft Charter, Sees Autonomy as Way Out of Poverty - BM

IN the hopes of licking poverty and increasing investments, the Bicol region is in the process of drafting a charter that will turn all of Region 5 into another autonomous region similar to the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and the Cordillera Administrative Region (CAR). Dante Jimenez, lead convenor of the Bicol Autonomy Movement, told the BusinessMirror that the move to turn Bicol into another autonomous region will allow them to take advantage of the natural resources of the region and benefit from it in full. Jimenez said in an e-mail that some of the possible reasons provinces in Bicol like Masbate is poor is that despite it “virtually sitting on a mountain of gold,” the current system and the fact that the province benefits too little from its resources prevents it from moving out of poverty. Why is Masbate so poor? Again, I say, it could be the present system. With high hopes, if Bicol Autonomy becomes a reality, Masbate and even the entire region, though may …