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Showing posts from September, 2010

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 of dus…

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…