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Showing posts from 2010

Wow Travel Blogs Philippines

The Philippine Department of Tourism plans to tap the services of travel bloggers, social networks and media to promote travel and tourism around the country. There are quite a number of travel bloggers and this post is for those who want their blog to be unique, below are suggestions you can experiment: Geolocated photos (Flickr and Panoramio) and youtube videos are more effective than an album or a slideshow web presentation - live data link.Geo RSS feeds, real-time traffic and events calendar. - for live feeds.Digital maps e.g. Google maps and Earth is accessible on smart phones and other wireless gadgets.Create a 3D view of your community or a selected tourist spots in the Philippines. You can also create a walking tour in selected Philippine cities which can be accessed by a traveler on smart phones.Use of streetview technology for panoramas, makes browsing more fun and interesting.Create a live online gadget of domestic airline flights, buses and ferry/ship schedules in major po…

Vatican's Nativity Scene to Include Elements of Filipino Culture

For a few weeks now, the area around the obelisk in St. Peter's Square, has been concealed from onlookers to shield the construction of the Vatican's Nativity scene. Spanish nun, Sister Áurea, has worked on the setting up of the nativity scenes for 30 years now. She is also in charge of the dresses that go on the figures. She remembers when John Paul II started the tradition the nativity scene in St. Peter's Square – a Christmas tradition which continues today.

Giuseppe FacchiniBureau of Studies and Projects, Vatican “The construction of the structures which are then covered with polystyrene, are made by Vatican workers, laborers, electricians, and painters. After a year of working on other things, they become impromptu artists, and they do spectacular work.”

Every Christmas this artwork adds new details to surprise the public. The architect Facchini says this year's nativity scene will be visible from 360 degrees. And, the Philippines has a special place in this uni…

Tourists Ready for PH; PH not Ready for Tourists

MANILA, Philippines—It’s not about terrorists.

Tourists aren’t deterred by travel warnings to the Philippines, but by a host of other factors, major tourism industry players said Monday.

“There are not enough flights, not enough seat capacity, ill-prepared marketing and the quality of accommodations is not good enough,” said Alejandra Clemente, president of the Federation of Tourism Industries of the Philippines (FTIP).

Simply put, the Philippines is “not ready” to take in tourists in large numbers, Clemente said in a press conference at the Mandarin Oriental called by tourism stakeholders in support of embattled Tourism Secretary Alberto Lim.

Clemente said travel advisories cautioning foreigners about purported terrorist threats in the Philippines hardly made a dent in tourist arrivals.

She said 2.8 million arrivals had been so far recorded this year, including returning Filipinos, compared to about 3 million last year.

Even the Manila bus hostage-taking incident that left eight Chin…

Mapping Mangroves

Mangroves are among the most biologically important ecosystems on the planet, and a common feature of tropical and sub-tropical coastlines. But ground-based evidence suggests these vital coastal forests have been strained in many regions because of harvesting for food, fuel, and medicine. Now, scientists have used satellite images to compile the most comprehensive map of mangroves worldwide, which should help in future efforts in monitoring and conservation. Mangrove forests are typically made up of trees, shrubs, and palms that have adapted to the harsh conditions of high salinity, warm air and water temperatures, extreme tides, muddy, sediment-laden waters, and oxygen-depleted soils. They are fertile nurseries for many marine species, and also serve as a first line of defense against hurricanes and tsunamis by dissipating wave and wind energy. These maps show the location and relative density of mangroves, which cover roughly 137,760 square kilometers (53,190 square miles) of Eart…

Govt Suspends OFW Deployment to South Korea

As tension remains high in the Korean Peninsula, the deployment of Filipino workers to South Korea has been put on hold, government-run radio reported Saturday.

DzRB reported Foreign Affairs Undersecretary Esteban Conejos Jr. gave the order after discussing the situation with labor officials.

2009 Deployed Landbased Overseas Filipino Workers Statistics - Source: POEA
The report also quoted deputy presidential spokeswoman Abigail Valte as saying the decision stemmed from the positions of the Departments of Foreign Affairs and Labor and Employment, as well as the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA).

Click here to read the full report.


DOT Wiki Project Enlists Public for New Campaign

Just days before his resignation, tourism undersecretary Vicente Romano III initiated a public-driven collaboration to replace the beleaguered "Pilipinas Kay Ganda" campaign. Surprisingly, the project has taken on a life of its own as Pinoy netizens heeded his call to devise new ways and collaborate online. Project DOT wiki Dubbed as "Project DOT wiki", the initiative was quietly launched by Romano himself via a post on his personal Facebook page on Oct. 19. People who went to were shown step-by-step instructions on how to join. [We] have gotten close to 60 responses... since it was announced [and] I am now doing a matrix of assignments so as to optimize contributions," said Evelyn Macayayong, DOT officer-in-charge of tourism information and the main contact person for the project. In his post, Romano said he started the initiative after people began expressing via Twitter their eagerness to help out with the new campaign. The onli…

The Codon Gateway and Open Sky Policy

Two years from now, the Southern Luzon International Airport in Barangay Alobo, Daraga Albay will be operational and the Regional Development Council (RDC) in Bicol is now seeking an open sky policy for the airport. President Aquino emphasized that adopting even a “pocket-sized” open skies policy will ensure more tourist traffic in our country. The question now, what will happen then to the Codon gateway after 2012?

The Codon Gateway to Bicol's 'Boracay'

If realized next year, no other development project will be more dramatic for all Catandungenos in recent years than the "tourist highway" being pursued with much enthusiasm by Congressman Cesar. The project will open a Codon, San Andres gateway leading to the so-called "hidden paradise" of Caramoan, Camarines Sur, a few miles away by the Maqueda Channel, and which is now gaining fast international notice due to the location shooting in the area of the global "Survivor" TV series. Caramoan town…

AYLC: Choosing Catanduanes

Catanduanes is an island province in the Bicol region. Because of its location, which makes it prone to typhoons and travel difficult, leadership development programs in the province are rare.

This caught the attention of Ayala Corporation’s Chairman Emeritus Jaime Zobel de Ayala, who posed a challenge during the 12th AYLC for Ayala to reach out to a greater number of youth leaders. In response, Ayala Foundation Inc.’s Youth Leadership Development Unit met with Catanduanes’ school and government officials.

LeadComm Catanduanes brought together 7 partner schools, namely: Catanduanes State Colleges (Main Campus and Panganiban campus), Catanduanes Computer Learning Center Inc., Hauswirtchaft Training Institute, TESDA-CSHCI-Cabugao, Bato, Catanduanes, Christian Polytechnic Institute of Catanduanes Inc., Catanduanes School of Advance Technology, Catanduanes Institute of Technology Foundation Inc.

In partnership with Ayala Foundation, Inc., the seven partner schools along with the Provincial…

Mount Bulusan Emits Ashes Anew

Province of Sorsogon (9 November) -- Mt. Bulusan spewed ashes anew twice this afternoon, first at around 3:30PM, with 1-km high and at around 3:43PM with around 800-km high moving Southwest affecting Juban and Irosin towns.

Phivolcs regional resident volcanologist Ed Laguerta said bulky brown to dark gray clouds were noted today compared to that of the 1st and second explosions.

Reports said that some areas in Irosin have already experienced ashfalls.

However, aside from earlier report of evacuees in Casiguran town, no other evacuees reported as of press time in Juban and Irosin.

Based from the assessment given to BFP Irosin for future flushing, search and rescue operations reference, possible areas in Irosin town to be likely affected in case the situation get worse are the barangays of Cogon, Gulang-gulang, Bolos, Tinampo, Bulawan, Mombon and also Gabao.

The explosion this afternoon is the the third time since the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs) raised …

Panoramio Photo Contest

Every time I checked my social networking feeds, I always took note of photo albums uploaded everyday, outdoor photos mostly not properly tagged and titled. So when someone tries to search for new photos, the chances of these pictures appearing on the search results is almost nil. Here's a solution, join in this geotagging contest, you have a chance of winning a Hybrid GPS Camera as well as promoting your place and reaching out a wider audience.

The Panoramio community enables you to share your photos and explore them on Google Earth, Google Maps and other places. If you’ve never geo-tagged a photo, watch this video to learn how easy it is to add photos to the Panoramio layer in Google Earth.

Now you can add some excitement to your photo project and enter your photos to the monthly Panoramio Geotagged Photo Contest! Starting this month, we’ll be giving away the new Casio Hybrid-GPS camera EX-H20G to the winner of each category (Scenery, Heritage, Travel and Unusual Location). The …

Catandungan Festival: A Celebration of Unity in Diversity

October 24, 1995 marks the first staging of Catandungan Festival, coinciding with the celebration of the 50th foundation anniversary of Catanduanes to mark the historical date of its independence from the province of Albay. Spearheaded by the Provincial Government of Catanduanes, the celebration was conceptualized as a season for Catandunganons to look into their past with appreciation and to make them aware of their history and culture as a people.
Through the years, the festival has evolved with the bigger goal of promoting the tourism potentials of the island – showcasing its natural, historic, cultural, educational, scenic and recreational resources. Catandungan Festival has set the ambience of fun and pageantry as a celebration of life and lights. It is a celebration that showcases the Catandungan’s rich history, arts and culture, religious, trade and industry and tourism through a variety of special events, beauty pageant, sports, exhibitions, tournaments, recreation and brin…

Catanduanes Stages Extreme Race

MANILA, Philippines - Catanduanes will stage the second island adventure race on Oct. 23 dubbed Isla Karera as part of the province’s 16th Catandungan Festival celebrations.

Patterned after the triathlon and The Amazing Race, the extreme sporting event is set over 107 kilometers from Virac’s provincial capitol and back.

The event, featuring bike race, canoe ride, running and rappelling, is expected to be completed within 10 hours.

According to Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua, Isla Karera aims to showcase the province as a sports and adventure tourism haven because of its natural wonders which are ideal for extreme outdoor events.

Situated on the Pacific side, Catanduanes is included in the world’s surfing circuit because of the Majestic Surfing Site, so-called because of its big waves.

A Surfvivor Clinic and Exhibition is also being held till tomorrow in Puraran beach, Baras with the country’s top surfers taking part.

For details, email or call 0930-6934…

21 Catanduanes Producers to Join Orgullo Kan Bikol Trade Fair

Twenty-one local producers in Catanduanes are joining this year’s Orgullo Kan Bikol (OKB) Trade Fair at the SM Megamall on October 7-10.

The OKB Trade Fair is an annual marketing activity being jointly undertaken by the DTI Region V and the OK Bikol Association Inc., a private organization composed of producers from the 6 Bicol provinces. The purpose of the trade fair is to provide better opportunities for Bicol products to be exposed to a wider range of market.

Catanduanes producers who will participate in this year’s OKB trade fair are (grouped according to products to be displayed): Catanduanes Bazaar, Gloissan Craft, Sudsea Product Co. Ltd., Buyo Caragumoy Product Producers Association and other CARP products, Pandan Women Weavers Association, Nizzach Crafts, Fiber Art Handicraft Enterprises, Lydia’s Native Products, Lucky F. Trading and Handicraft (wearables, fashion accessories and giftwares group); – Etbal Enterprises, Nilda Traquena Furniture and Handicraft (furniture group…

Catanduanes Gears Up for All-Green Energy

The long craggy road on the side of a mountain leading to Barangay Obi in this third class municipality speaks volumes of how naturally rich yet economically depressed this side of the island province could be.

But a multimillion-peso investment, a 1.5-megawatt hydropower plant, down the rough village road sparks hope not just for its nearby communities but also for the entire island province.

Catanduanes Gov. Joseph Cua said the hydropower facility of the Sunwest Water and Electric Company, Inc. which is now being commissioned and will soon be inaugurated, will finally help stabilize the power situation in the province and at the same time create opportunities for investments.

“Power here is unstable mainly because the old engines (of the government-owned power generation facilities) are always in trouble and the transmission lines are defective,” Cua said.

These technical problems result in power shortage, which requires frequent load shedding and rotating brownouts, mostly affectin…

VP Binay to Grace 2010 Catandungan Festival

Vice President Jejomar Binay has been invited as the main guest of this year’s Catandungan Festival on Oct. 18-24 to be held in celebration of the province’s 65th foundation anniversary.

Vice Governor Jose J. Teves, Jr., who was named by Gov. Joseph C. Cua as chairman of the steering committee, said the tentative schedule of the festival activities has been set in consultation with the committee members and stakeholders in a meeting held the other Monday.

Here is the proposed festival schedule:
October 18-20 - Majestic Surfvivor Clinic and Exhibition at Puraran, Baras: Day 1 - Opening program to start with a Mass at 3 P.M. followed by a Beer Plaza.Day 2 - Consists of a surfing clinic, beach volleyball and Frisbee competition, Bikini Open and Ginebra Bluefest.Day 3 - The awarding ceremonies and party is on.October 21 - Biodiversity Meeting (BIOME 2010): Experts and stakeholders discuss Climate Change, Sustainable Development, Innovations, Political Ecology and Social Representations…

Fishermen in Bato Barangay Catch 5 Sea Turtles in 9 days

Three fishermen in Binanwahan, Bato have caught five sea turtles in their nets in nine days starting two weeks ago, indicating that the sea grass beds of Cabugao Bay have become a feeding ground for the marine turtles.

The extraordinary event began Sept. 14, when Allan Balmadrid, 54, accidentally captured a green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas) in his fishing nets while the turtle was feeding at the sea bottom around 100 meters from the shoreline. The find was immediately reported by municipal; agriculturist Lito Barba to Edith Milan, section chief of the CENRO’s Protected Areas and Wildlife Bureau.

Milan said the turtle weighed 20 kilograms, with a carapace 50 centimeters long and 45 centimeters wide. It was released back to sea at 4:25 P.M. with tag number PH0555c.

Three days later, on Sept. 17, Balmadrid again accidentally found another "pawikan" of the same species in his net, this time a 25-kilo turtle with a carapace 56 centimeter long and 51 centimeters wide. It was tagg…

DepEd: All Systems Go for World Teachers' Day‎

"The Department of Education and our partners are ready for the grand celebration of World Teachers' Day on October 5. Because our dear teachers work hard in their profession, we've also prepared hard to give them the utmost recognition they deserve on this special day," said Education Secretary Armin Luistro. Through the collaboration of various divisions, centers, and units of DepEd Central Office, in partnership with other government agencies, preparations for the World Teachers' Day have been finalized. With the theme, "My Teacher, My Hero," different partners and institutions have contributed to make this event possible as they publicly express their support to the growth and development of teaching profession in the country. We are hoping that through this celebration, with all efforts put into it, we will achieve our very purpose of putting our teachers in the pedestal because that is where they should be. They are noble souls who teach simply…

Blessing in Disguise

My travel experience on September 4 from Camarines Sur back to this island province was presumably worth telling a story. I was trying to catch the 1 o clock schedule of ferry boat at Tabaco Pier en route to San Andres but waiting time at Naga Terminal convinced me that I was never going to make it. Realizing that I will have to spend overnight at the terminal, I told myself to make the most out of it instead, and therefore take it as a blessing in disguise.

The girl seated beside me at the van was, I learned, a freshman at Ateneo de Naga University, and is a native of Albay. It was pleasant talking to her learning about her ambition to pursue Medicine later on, her firsts in the City of Naga, her family, with me sharing alternately about my younger years, family, and some facts of life.

The next blessing was a chance to witness the fluvial procession along the port area of Tabaco City at late afternoon. It turned out to be a fiesta celebration in honor of Our Lady of Penafrancia. Mang…

Capturing the Beauty of Catanduanes

For those who missed reading the Manila Bulletin's Picture Perfect section - 18 September 2010, Enigmatic Catanduanes: The Island of the Howling Winds by Edwin Martinez. A group of five individuals from different walks of life recently gathered together with one purpose: To capture the beauty of Catanduanes. An island that is often hit by storms and typhoons, Catanduanes is located in Region 5 and is accessible by air or land. The island itself has been carved by storms and has a coastline as rugged as Batanes, crashing waves from the east and still waters in the west. Our safari was jam-packed with five days of waking up at 4:00 a.m. shooting all day with a strict itinerary, practically shooting half of the island. It was both a fun and fulfilling activity. An hour and half from the airport, Puraran in Baras is known for its 10-foot swells. This is a pro-surfer’s paradise, facing the great Pacific and one of the few places in the Philippines which welcome the first light o…

Pinoys From Home, Abroad Show Devotion to Peñafrancia Patroness

Filipinos from home and abroad gave a moving show of faith for the patroness of Peñafrancia as they marked the 300th anniversary of their devotion to her in Bicol over the weekend.

Sorsogon Bishop Arturo Bastes said he was overwhelmed to see the fluvial procession along Bicol River Saturday and hear devotees' shouts of joy and victory.

“[The devotion to Our Lady of Peñafrancia] is something different and very unique," Bastes said in an article posted on the Catholic Bishops' Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) news site Sunday.

Devotees came not only from various parts of the Philippines, but also from Australia, Singapore, Netherlands, Canada, France, Switzerland, Spain, Vatican City, United Kingdom, Sweden, Italy, Thailand, Kuwait, Papua New Guinea and parts of the United States, the CBCP said.

Read full story: Pinoys From Home, Abroad Show Devotion to Peñafrancia Patroness

4 Viracnons Among Award-Winning Choir

Four Viracnons are members of a chorale group which won silvers in two categories in the 6th World Choir Games in Shaoxing, China recently.

Ma. Joan V. Tabuzo, Kristoffer Paul Apil, Aldrin Jay Rebancos and Nilo Castillo thanked supporters and their families for their prayers that helped the Aquinas University of Legaspi Chorale win the silver diploma in the categories of Mixed Youth Choirs and Popular Choral Music at the competition held July 21-27, 2010. They were coached by Prof. Cris Caryl Yu.

The Aquinas Chorale was the highest-ranked Philippine choir in the two categories while another RP entry that won silver diplomas was the Miriam College High School Glee Club. Two other choirs from the Philippines joined the competition: Kammerchor Manila and St. Benedict Children’s Choir of Cebu City. It is estimated that the Chorale spent about P1.1 million pesos in joining the contest.

The World Choir Games is considered the biggest choral competition worldwide, with the Open Competition al…

Jan.-July Abaca Output Up 5% to 29,562 MT – Report

Abaca fiber production from January to July this year went up almost 5 percent to 29,562.6 metric tons (MT) from a year earlier, according to Fiber Industry Development Authority (FIDA). The government attributed this growth in production to increased demand of premier fiber by major markets such as the UK and Japan. Abaca fiber is used to make rope, furniture, garments, shawls, cosmetics, and paper. On a per region basis, Bicol was the top producer during the period, producing 10,139.13 MT of abaca fiber. Easter Visayas followed suit, contributing 7,823.8 MT to total production. Other top producers of abaca fiber were Davao region (3,733 MT), Caraga region (2,454.25 MT), and Autonomous Region of Muslim Mindanao (1,770 MT). Exports of abaca fiber from January to June increased by almost 200 percent to 4,809.67 MT. The top destination of abaca fiber during the period was United Kingdom, which bought 2,123.75 MT of abaca fiber from the Philippines. FIDA earlier said the recove…

DoT Remains Upbeat on Hitting 2010 Target of 3.3M Visitors

The Department of Tourism (DoT) remains confident of hitting the government’s target of 3.3-million foreign visitor arrivals this year despite certain challenges.

Declaring the 10th Philippine Travel Exchange (Phitex 2010) open on Thursday at the historic landmark Manila Hotel, Tourism Secretary Alberto A. Lim said:

“I am truly grateful that, despite the challenges we faced the past week and a half, we were still able to attract 96 foreign delegates from around the world and 191 Filipino sellers representing 112 companies. I believe this is a clear testament of your confidence in Philippine tourism.”

Lim also told the participants on Thursday that for the first five months of the year, foreign visitor arrivals had already reached almost 1.5 million or an 11.2 percent increase over the same period last year.

“If we are able to sustain this growth rate through your unwavering commitment to support our promotions efforts, we have no doubt we will hit our target of 3.3 million arrivals b…

PLDT-SME Nation Targets Enterprises in Bicol

Bicol, composed of the provinces of Camarines Norte, Camarines Sur, Albay, Sorsogon, Catanduanes and Masbate, is one of the Philippines’ fastest growing regions. In 2009, the region’s economic growth was registered at 8.2 percent.

In the small and medium and enterprises sector, Bicol is famous for its handcrafted products and ethnic food delicacies. Bicol’s signature products include native furniture, abaca decor and accessories, gold jewelry, pottery and chili- and pili-based food items.

For example, Calabanga, a first class municipality by the coast of San Miguel Bay wants to expand its production of export quality dried fish and enter the international market with the product processed through modern technology provided by government experts. At present, the fish is dried using an environment friendly mechanical dryer.

Earlier, Albay Gov. Joey Salceda said the local government would welcome a rise in bank lending to micro and small businesses in the area.

The local government hel…

Bb Pilipinas Titlist Gersbach, 2 Others Die in Road Mishap

LEGAZPI CITY, Philippines—(UPDATE 2) Binibining Pilipinas International 2009 Melody Gersbach, 24, died on the spot late Saturday morning when the car she was riding in collided head-on with a passenger bus, an Army official said.

The two other persons confirmed dead were identified as Dodong Ramos, the driver, and Alden Orense, couturier of the beauty titlist.

Two other persons—the driver and couturier of the beauty titlist—also died in the accident, which occurred at 11:45 a.m., said Major Harold Cabunoc, public information officer of the 9th Infantry Division based in Pili, Camarines Sur, who was quoting from initial police reports.

"The accident occurred in Barangay Pawili in Bula, Camarines Sur," said Cabunoc in a text message.

Gersbach and her companions were on board a Toyota Innova en route to Naga City when it collided with a Guevarra Bus Line driven by Wilson Pontillas.

The bus driver voluntarily surrendered to police, said Cabunoc.

Radio anchor Pio Fernandez of DZ…

Youth Day

The twelfth of August could have been a triple celebration worth commemorating by the people of Catanduanes: International Humanitarian Law Day, International Youth Day, and the start of International Year of Youth, which spans from August of this year to August of 2011.

At least with the first, Red Cross Catanduanes Chapter has consistently sustained the event through a parade tagged with "Walk for Humanity" battlecry. It was participated in by densely populated DepEd schools in the capital town of Virac and TESDA-affiliated tech-voc schools.

The second and third celebrations must have been largely concentrated in Manila, being the host of the 11th International Youth Day Convention on August 10-12, 2010. Said gathering was held at the Philippine International Convention Center (PICC), expecting a delegation of 600 student and youth leaders ages 15 to 24 (which represent one sixth of the global populace) from the Philippines and the world.

Since its birth in 1991, Internat…

SUWECO Hydropower To End Daily Brownouts

Hounded by daily power outages for years, residents and businessmen in Catanduanes are pinning their hopes on two new hydropower plants of the Sunwest Water and Electric Co., Inc. to provide reliable power beginning this month.

The two multi-million-peso power facilities owned by SUWECO, an an affiliate of the Sunwest Group of Companies which is chaired by Bicolano businessman Elizaldy S. Co, will be switched on this month in the towns of San Miguel and Caramoran to supply half of the island’s energy demand of 6.5 megawatts.

The company’s P314-million hydropower plant in Solong, San Miguel, has a rated capacity of 2.1 megawatts and its P213-million plant in Hitoma, Caramoran has a rated capacity of 1.5 megawatts.

Jose Sylvestre Natividad, SUWECO president, said these facilities will help alleviate the decade-long power problem in Catanduanes.

He said the energy demand in the island province is 6.5 megawatts and grows 10 percent annually. SUWECO’s Solong and Hitoma projects will supply …

Sorsogon 3D Tour

Below is a 3D tour of selected attractions in our neighboring province, Sorsogon.

This province is famous for "Butanding" or the giant whale sharks. View the tour as it dives underwater or see the crater lake atop Mount Bulusan.

You can stop the tour to view the surroundings or see additional information. Please comment if you found out-of-location balloons so adjustments can be made. Enjoy!

Hitoma Flood Control Project: Showcase of Filipino-Taiwanese Cultural Engagement

Caramoran, Catanduanes - In what is now emerging as showcase of Filipino-Taiwanese lasting community development collaboration , the 19-member fourth batch of volunteers of the Eden Social Welfare Foundation ended their 10-day fruitful and memorable community flood control project in the Hitoma area in the third-class municipality of Caramoran, Catanduanes on July 9, 2010. This time, the batch was headed by two dynamic young volunteers, namely: Ms. Yang Yang Wang and Mr. Yu-Hsin Tung.

Accordingly, in recognition of said noble activities conducted by the Taiwan-based non-government organization founded on December 1, 1982 by Ms. Liu Hsia, the barangay officials headed by Barangay chairman Noel M. Brizo tendered a farewell party at the Hitoma Plaza on July 8. Once again, this send-off party provided them the opportunity to show case their respective cultural heritage and Asian mutual fellowship.

The batch (16 females and 3 males) started their community work on June 29 by gathering stone…

Safety at Sea for Marginal Fishermen

Admitting that many of sea-going motorized bancas in his town are unregistered, BagamanocMayor Odilon Pascua has said he will pursue the registration of the bancas along with the provision that the owners make sure that there are lifejackets in the frail vessels.

Years ago, the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA) issued the directive requiring owners and/or operators of such vessels to carry lifejackets whenever they sail. The order, however, has been largely ignored by marginal fishermen, who probably preferred to buy bait instead of the life-saving equipment.

Mayor Pascua deserves to be emulated by local chief executives of the other 10 towns, who should not tarry longer as the country goes into the typhoon season. Our fishermen, who may not earn enough to be able to buy cheap lifejackets, need the assistance of the government in this regard.

Last Sunday, a civic-spirited individual donated lifejackets to fishermen in Bon-ot, San Andres in the hope that like-minded people would foll…

2010 International Year of the Nurse

The 2010 International Year of the Nurse (IYNurse) is the centennial year of the death of the founder of modern nursing - Florence Nightingale (1820-1910). To celebrate, the 2010 IYNurse was established to actively involve the world's nurses - estimated to be more than 15 million - in a celebration of commitment to bring health to their communities, locally and worldwide.

Nurses are the heart of healthcare and they touch our lives everyday. 2010 is the International Year of the Nurse - a collaborative initiative that is recognizing nurses for their contribution to making a healthier world for us all.

The following video was created by HeartMath in celebration of nurses everywhere that are making a world of difference with their care. Join us in honoring nurses by giving more of your care to others whether it be a family member, a co-worker of a neighbor. Share your care and pass this video on. Remember, your care can make a difference.

Bicolana Wins ING Business Award

THE NETHERLANDS – Marianne Olano’s biggest dream is to become a well-known journalist. Before venturing into business, she worked as a writer for ABS-CBN Naga City and various publications in the country. But after chasing her dream for several years, she realized she needed to find a more financially-rewarding career. Unlike others, however, who sought better jobs in big cities, Olano went back to her hometown in Naga City and explored the possibility of starting her own business. Her father strongly disagreed with her plans, citing her lack of knowledge and capital. But she was determined to succeed. She started with handcrafted items like wind chimes and Christmas decors but was barely making money out of it--until she attended a trade fair where she noticed the number of people gathering in one booth. “They were selling stuff that I couldn’t see because there were so many people milling around it. When I saw what they were selling, I discovered those were costume jewelry from…