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Showing posts from November, 2009

Catandungan Festival 2009 Winners

Winners of this year's Catandungan Festival held at Virac Catanduanes last October 22-24. And included are videos available for now on sharing sites. Post will be updated once related multimedia is available.

Festival of Festivals Showdown: Streetdancing CompetitionChampion – Paray Festival (Viga) - P 100, 000.001st Runner Up – Maparoy Festival (Gigmoto) - P 75, 000.002nd Runner Up- Badas Festival (Baras) - P 50, 000.00Special Awards
Best in Moving Choreography - Maparoy Festival (Gigmoto) - P 15,000.00Best in Costume – Paray Festival (Viga) - P 15,000.00People’s Choice Award- Maparoy Festival (Gigmoto) - P 10,000.00 PBM Shirley A. Abundo - Event Chair
Carmel Bonifacio-Garcia - Co-Chair

Agri-Industrial and Technology Fair
Pinaka for Abaca ( biggest and tallest) - Winner - Avelino T. Tapel – P 1,000.00Best in Abaca Stripping
1st Prize – Dante Dominguez - P 1,500.00Second Prize- Alberto Tayamora - P 1,000.00Conventional Stripping
1st Prize – Socito Ragos - P 1,500.00Second Prize- Albert…

Viga-Pandan Circumferential Road Project Awaits NEDA Okay - CT

Though still years away from implementation, the second phase of the improvement of the Catanduanes Cirfumferential Road project has nonetheless moved forward and is now undergoing appraisal by the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA) Investment Coordination Committee (ICC).

Approval by NEDA-ICC could come by February 2010, said DPWH Catanduanes section chief Engr. Rey Bejo in his report to the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council (PSMEDC) during its meeting last Thursday (Nov. 12). The project would be undertaken under the Road Enhancement and Asset Preservation Maintenance Program (REAPMP) funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA).

Under the schedule, procurement of consultants would be done from January to September 2010, with the procurement of civil works contractors set April to December 2011. Actual construction would be done from 2012 to 2014. Preparatory surveys have already been completed by JICA consultants this October.

To …

"Chicken a la Carte" - Bicol Film on Hunger Draws 12M Hits

This film is about the hunger and poverty brought about by Globalization. There are 10,000 people dying everyday due to hunger and malnutrition. This short film shows a forgotten portion of the society. The people who lives on the refuse of men to survive. What is inspiring is the hope and spirituality that never left this people.

NAGA CITY—Drawing more than 12 million viewers as of Saturday, a short film about hunger shot here by a Bicolano filmmaker has pricked the conscience of people around the world, who said it made them cry.

“Chicken a la Carte” by Ferdinand Dimadura, shot in 2005, beat some 3,600 entries when it won the 56th Berlin Film Festival award for short films in 2006. Its biting commentary has drawn viewers to the website and YouTube.

The film is “about hunger and poverty brought about by globalization,” the synopsis says.


Sunwest Awaits Approval of Hydro projects - INQ

Sunwest Water and Electric Co. Inc. (Suweco) is seeking the approval of its renewable energy service contract applications for 20 hydropower projects in Luzon and Visayas, according to data from the Department of Energy.

DOE documents showed that of the 20 proposed hydropower projects, 15 would have a combined capacity of about 55 MW. The capacities of the remaining five projects have yet to be disclosed.

Although Suweco did not indicate its possible investments in these projects, it may have to spend as much as $110 million.

This is based on the general rule that a company needs to invest at least $2 million to produce a megawatt of hydropower.

Suweco’s proposals are currently being evaluated by the DOE.

Under a renewable energy service contract, companies are given two years to conduct pre-development work.

Suweco is on track to spend P1.1 billion for three run-of-river mini hydropower projects, with combined capacity of 6.4 MW, in Catanduanes.

The Solong mini hydro plant would cost…

Pushcart Educator Named CNN Hero of the Year

(CNN) -- Efren Peñaflorida, who started a "pushcart classroom" in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership, has been named the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.

CNN's Anderson Cooper revealed Peñaflorida's selection at the conclusion of the third-annual "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday night.

The gala event, taped before an audience of 3,000 at the Kodak Theatre, premieres on Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the global networks of CNN.

The broadcast, which honors the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009, features performances by Grammy Award-winning artist Carrie Underwood, R&B crooner Maxwell and British pop sensation Leona Lewis.

Peñaflorida, who will receive $100,000 to continue his work with the Dynamic Teen Company, was selected after seven weeks of online voting at More than 2.75 million votes were cast.

"Our planet is filled with heroes, young …

Noynoy Aquino, Philippine Politics and Autism

Reading this news item “Attacks Get Nasty as Noynoy Maintains High Survey Ratings” is not new in Philippine politics, but one that interests me most, is the column of former Senator Ernesto Maceda, campaign manager and senior political adviser of Estrada, who floated a rumor that "a major national candidate" was autistic.

Interesting enough, but some of the world’s most celebrated individuals were autistic—including Isaac Newton, Beethoven, Mozart, George Orwell, Hans Christian Andersen, Albert Einstein, Thomas Jefferson, Immanuel Kant and (oops!) Adolf Hitler.

Searching for more information about autism, I found this article from, you be the judge.

Albert Einstein 'found genius through autism'
By Nic Fleming, Science Correspondent
Published: 4:01PM GMT 21 Feb 2008

Many leading figures in the fields of science, politics and the arts have achieved success because they had autism, a leading psychiatrist has claimed.

Michael Fitzger…

Sugbo Festival Dares to Do a Catandungan Landmark

If there were festival of the wind, Catanduanes would probably pose a tough lead billing with Batanes. By coincidence, these two small provinces share a homonym and a "windy reputation." If you happen to catch a geographical trivia about "land of the howling winds," that's Catanduanes, for sure. We're neither too small, nor too big a landmass. But we promise as much mystery as the serene beauty of the pacific and the lush forests wrapping up this island afloat in the eastern seas. So, what could we offer much this time folks? Much of the Manileños today who might happen to bear a poor grasp of geography would mistake Catanduanes as part of any of the islets somewhere in the Frisian or Caroline Islands. Oh gosh, where in Heaven's name is that? I got the same numb answer many years back in some of my sorties in the jungle city. How can I forget? I say this because we dare to put this relatively little known abode in a map of festival craze nationw…

Noynoy’s Girlfriend Quits Lakas, Joins LP - MST

Call it osmosis or adhesion, Senator Benigno Aquino III’s girlfriend, Valenzuela councilor Shalani Soledad, resigned on Tuesday her Lakas membership, looking forward to being sworn in to the Liberal Party.

Her political adviser Ramon Soledad made the disclosure to Standard Today on Friday night at his printing shop in MacArthur near Fatima School.

Last February, aside from Shalani, Vice Mayor Eric Martinez, councilor Gerry Esplana, SK chairman Mark Espiritu, village councilors Martell Soledad, Catherine Martinez joined Nationalist People’s Coalition, the party of Mayor Sherwin Gatchalian.

Mon, as he is known to close friends, said Shalani had not pledged herself to NPC as being circulated.

“Lakas lang talaga ang naging partido ni Konsehala [Shalani]. For sure, maiintindihan naman ni Mayor Sherwin ang naging desisyon ni Lans [Lakas was her only party. Mayor Sherwin will surely understand her decision].”

Shalani is expected to announce today what position she’d pursue, although only non…

Local Firms Earn P2.75M from OK Bikol Trade Fair

Producers from Catanduanes amassed a total of P2.75M in sales at the recent Orgullo Kan Bikol (OKB) Regional Trade Fair held at the SM Megamall in Mandaluyong City.

Ten companies coming from the Food (4), Wearables (4) and Home Furnishing (2) sectors participated in the annual regional activity of the Department of Trade and Industry on October 22 to 25, 2009. The companies were: Belen’s Pinahamis na Pili, Elpedes Pancit Factory, Sarilikha Food Products, JERDLMS (Food); ETBal Enterprises and FiberArt Handicraft (Home Furnishing); Nicole’s Embroideries, Nizacch Crafts & Gift Items/Ale’s Handicraft and Catanduanes CARP (Wearables).

Among the six provinces of the Bicol Region, Catanduanes took 3rd place in aggregate sales, with the bulk of the sales coming from the Home Furnishing sector as expected. A total of 142 regional exhibitors joined the OKB ’09.

Congressman Joseph A. Santiago and Gov. Joseph C. Cua extended financial assistance to the exhibitors through the Catanduanes Produ…

Abaca Ban Now in Effect in Catanduanes - BM

VIRAC, Catanduanes—Selling and transporting abaca planting materials outside the island-province of Catanduanes, the “abaca capital of the Philippines,” is now a crime punishable with imprisonment and heavy fines. An ordinance recently passed by the provincial legislative board provides that the sale and transport of abaca planting materials such as suckers, corms and eyebuds outside the province are now prohibited up to five years as a measure to safeguard the local abaca industry. Suckers are shoots that grow from the underground root or stem of a plant that produce their own roots and grow into a new plant. Corms are seed pieces, and eyebuds are sliced from corms and are also capable of plant reproduction. The ordinance is also a preventive measure against the spread of abaca plant diseases in the light of findings that the dreaded abaca bunchy-top, abaca mosaic and bract mosaic diseases have been infecting 15 percent of the province’s vast abaca plantations, its principal aut…

Gigmoto Catanduanes After Super Typhoon Dindo in 2004

Perhaps, many in Catanduanes could still vividly remember Category 5 super Typhoon Dindo (Typhoon Nida) when it slammed last May 17, 2004 at 165 mph (266 km/h), taking everyone by surprise. And here is another surprise, a video taken in Gigmoto right after the storm.

Like many, I thought that Typhoon Dindo was a mere tropical depression in the middle of summer. There was no manifestation that it was a powerful typhoon since there was no rain except winds. However, on the evening of May 16, everything became clear, the wind is so strong that when it hit the concrete walls, the whole house vibrates.

At around 11:00 AM, there was a lull and everyone went out thinking that it was over. Some locals then started repairing their damaged roofs and walls. But after an hour or two of calmness, the south monsoon hit back with much powerful winds. It was the first time I saw an empty gin bottle hovered few inches in the air for a few seconds.

The powerful typhoon triggered landslides, destroyed …

ITU Council 2009: Interview with Mr. Rodolfo Salalima

An interview with Mr. Rodolfo Salalima, Senior Vice President for Corporate and Regulatory Affairs of Globe Telecom at the 2009 Session of ITU Council, talks about the construction of a typhoon early warning system pilot project in Catanduanes.

Geneva, 20-30 October 2009. Interview on ICT and Climate Change with Mr. Rodolfo Salalima, Philippines . The ITU Council is responsible for ensuring the smooth day-to-day running of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), coordinating work programmes, approving budgets and controlling finances and expenditure. ITU is the leading United Nations agency for information and communication technology issues, and the global focal point for governments and the private sector in developing networks and services.

Source: International Telecommunication Union

ADB Announces Asia-Pacific Climate Change Video Contest

MANILA, PHILIPPINES – The Asian Development Bank (ADB) has announced a new video competition – My View: The Asia-Pacific Climate Change Video Contest – to promote awareness of climate change, stimulate debate, and encourage climate change solutions in the lead-up to the 2009 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen.

No area of the world is more vulnerable to climate change than Asia and the Pacific, with the region's families, food supplies, and financial prosperity at risk. The poor face the greatest threat from climate change because of their high dependence on natural resources and limited livelihood and mobility options.

While the situation is critical, there are already low-cost measures that nations can undertake to better protect the region's people, economy and environment.

"Every person can play an important role in our collective fight against climate change," said Ann Quon, Principal Director of ADB's External Relations Department. "W…

Abaca: Producers

The world's leading abaca producer is the Philippines, where the plant is cultivated on 130 000 ha by some 90 000 small farmers. While the crop is also cultivated in other Southeast Asian countries, the Philippines' closest rival is Ecuador, where abaca is grown on large estates and production is increasingly mechanized. Production and trade In 2007, the Philippines produced about 60 000 tonnes of abaca fibre, while Ecuador produced 10 000 tonnes. World production is valued at around $30 million a year. Almost all abaca produced is exported, mainly to Europe, Japan and the USA. Exports from the Philippines are increasingly in the form of pulp rather than raw fibre. Source:

Abaca: Natural Fiber

Once a favoured source of rope for ship's rigging, abaca shows promise as an energy-saving replacement for glass fibres in automobiles. The Plant Also called manila hemp, abaca is extracted from the leaf sheath around the trunk of the abaca plant (Musa textilis), a close relative of the banana, native to the Philippines and widely distributed in the humid tropics. Harvesting abaca is labourious. Each stalk must be cut into strips which are scraped to remove the pulp. The fibres are then washed and dried. The Fiber Abaca is a leaf fibre, composed of long slim cells that form part of the leaf's supporting structure. Lignin content is a high 15%. Abaca is prized for its great mechanical strength, buoyancy, resistance to saltwater damage, and long fibre length – up to 3 m. The best grades of abaca are fine, lustrous, light beige in colour and very strong. Uses of Abaca During the 19th century abaca was widely used for ships' rigging, and pulped to make sturdy manila envelopes…

International Year of Natural Fibres, 2009

A friend mentioned to me this morning to feature the UN General Assembly resolution declaring 2009 as the Year of Natural Fibers, for purposes of increasing public awareness. Although it's barely two months away before the end of year 2009. I am compelled to post it, considering that our province, Catanduanes is Philippines' top-producer of this natural fiber called, abaca or Manila hemp.

The General Assembly Noting resolution 3/2005 of the Conference of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, adopted on 25 November 2005,
Noting also that the diverse range of natural fibres produced in many countries provides an important source of income for farmers, and thus can play an important role in contributing to food security and in eradicating poverty and hence in contributing to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, Decides to declare 2009 the International Year of Natural Fibres;
Invites the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations…