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Showing posts from March, 2010

A Transformed Society is Built of Renewed Individual Citizens

CBCP Calls for Individual Transformation This Lent MANILA, Philippines - Church leaders yesterday made a “crucial call to conversion” for the faithful to turn away from “worldly allurements” that would only lead to poverty, graft and corruption, including electoral fraud. In its Lenten message, the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) led by Tandag, Surigao del Sur Bishop Nereo Odchimar said the Holy Week is an opportunity for the faithful to sincerely review their life in the light of the teachings of the Gospel. He said Holy Week poses a challenge to an individual and collectively to the community to repent and renew their ties with the Lord. “A transformed society is built of renewed individual citizens,” Odchimar said. “If we are to examine the very core of our being, we realize that our hearts innately crave for power, are attached to material wealth, content to maintain the status quo, and inclined to worldly allurements and other forms of selfish desires,”…

Cretaceous Ammonite Find Here First in Southeast Asia - CT

Philippine and Japanese scientists have described the 100 million-year old ammonite fossils found deep in the forests of Dugui Wala San Vicente in Virac as the first of its kind found in Southeast Asia. Dr. Yasunari Shigeta of the National Museum for Nature and Science (NMNS) in Tokyo, Japan told the Tribune that among the nine Ammonite species they found at the Silungan ng Higante site, the Mortoniceras specie is the most important as it is the first found in Southeast Asia. Although the specie is widely distributed in North America, Japan and India, none had been found in the region before, the Japanese scientist said. Mortoniceras is an index ammonite, meaning its presence would indicate the age of the rock it is embedded in as about 100 million years old or in the Cretaceous period, Dr. Shigeta said, noting that their team would be the first to study it. He added that the ammonites found in Mansalay, Mindoro is about 160 million years old (Jurassic period) while those found i…

Baras: A Secluded Surf Haven

Baras, one of the poor municipalities of the island-province of Catanduanes, is hoping that its new-found fame as a surfing destination will help in uplifting its farming economy. It has Puraran Bay, which boasts of white-sand beach and high waves that attract professional and upstart surfers. Puraran is unlike the other surfing sites in the Philippines, which are commercialized and very crowded. I came here because the place is secluded and still unspoiled, said Dante Blutmann, 46, a London-based Argentine surfer, who was among at least 15 Canadian and British tourists who visited the beach on March 9. Surfers from around the world came to know about the bay through the Internet. Without us even knowing, our town has been on the world map of tourists, especially surfing enthusiasts, because the word has been spread in the Internet, said Rogelio Tendencia, municipal planning and development officer. Tendencia said the surge of visitors had prompted the fifth-class municipa…

Phase 2 of Circum Road Project on Hold Until After 2010 Elections - CT

Formal and official approval of the second phase of the Catanduanes Circumferential Road Improvement Project will have to wait for the new administration to take over in Malacañang by July 2010. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) said last week during the 1st quarterly meeting of the Provincial Small and Medium Enterprise Development Council headed by businessman Rene Abella that the project documents are now with the National Economic Development Authority (NEDA), which will forward it for the stamp of approval by the new president. Engr. Rey Bejo of the DPWH Catanduanes Engineering District also informed the Tribune that last February consultation meetings regarding road right-of-way acquisition were held with stakeholders in three municipalities where the project will be implemented. The consultations, conducted by ESSO-Central Office project manager Engr. Criste Zuniega-Navida, Engineer III Willy Galang of DPWH Central Office, Engineer III Rhines Brutas of DPWH…

Japanese, RP Scientists in Study of Ammonite Fossils - CT

A team of Japanese and Philippine scientists trekked to the Silungan ng Higante rock outcrop in Dugui Wala, Virac last Monday to check out fossils of marine creatures that lived at least 100 million years ago when the country was still underwater. The seven-man team, which is working under the auspices of the Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), paid a courtesy call on Virac Mayor Santos V. Zafe last Friday morning (March 12) before embarking on a reconnaissance ride to the Dugui Too area. Mayor Zafe is lending the team a dump truck and a driver to enable them to reach the jump-off point to the site earlier. The MGB team is composed of Supervising Science Research Specialist Dr. Yolanda Aguilar, Geologic Aide Wenceslao Mago and driver Emolyn Azurin while the Philippine National Museum is represented by Roberto de Ocampo, chief of the Geology Division and museum curator Priscila Ong. They were joined by Dr. Tomoki Kase, cu…

Drought Hits Catanduanes Hard - BM

VIRAC, Catanduanes—Even in the island-province of Catanduanes, known as a typhoon path and past scene of heavy rains, over 5,650 hectares of rice land in all of its 11 towns have dried up due to the El Niño phenomenon, according to the local agriculture office. In a report to Gov. Joseph Cua, provincial agriculturist Herbert Evangelista placed the partial losses in the province’s rice production at 1,976 metric tons worth over P8.5 million. The municipalities covered by the initial report were Bato, Gigmoto, Panganiban, San Andres, Caramoran and Pandan. The figures are expected to rise when assessment of the drought effects in five other towns covering 4,000 hectares of rice fields is completed, Evangelista said. The drought has affected 1,656 hectares of standing rice crops tilled by 1,443 farmers in these six towns. Majority of the crops were in the reproductive stage and of the total, 567 hectares have been assessed as having no chance of recovery, Evangelista said. The lack …

DTI Launches “OTOP Cariton” at Virac Airport - CT

Airline passengers bound for Manila can now buy native food products right at the Virac airport with the opening of the "One-Town, One-Product" (OTOP) Cariton project of the Department of Trade and Industry. The OTOP Cariton gives the primary beneficiary, the Virac Pili Processors Association Inc., and its 15 members, direct exposure to air commuters, with the project netting sales of more than P4,000 on its first day last Feb. 8. This marketing approach, said DTI provincial director Ireneo Panti, Jr., aims to better introduce the native food products of Catanduanes to visitors, tourists and the flying populace in general. Among those who attended the launching were Vice Gov. Alfred Aquino representing Gov. Joseph Cua, Councilor Eulogio Talaran representing Virac Mayor Santos Zafe of LGU Virac, ATO Manager Cynthia Tumanut, and Dr. Vey Abella representing Rene Abella of PMSMEDC. Also witnessing the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement between DTI and Virac Pili Processo…