Bisaya Bloggers » 2007 » February

Feb 28 2007

YMPN-Mindanao Assembly

Young Moro Professionals Network (YMPN) based in Mindanao will have an Assembly this coming March 3, 2007 at 8-12 pm at Lauremar Beach Resort, Opol, Misamis Oriental. YMPN is a global network of like-minded individuals who believe in the power of volunteerism and information-sharing. We have conducted programs that have impacted on the national psyche and […]

Feb 28 2007

If you forget me

(click play button)

I want you to know

one thing

You know how this is:

if I look

at the crystal moon, at the red branch

of the slow autumn at my window,

if I touch

near the fire

the impalpable ash

or the wrinkled body of the log,

everything carries me to you,

as if everything that exists,

aromas, light, metals,

where little boats

that sail

toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,

if little by little you stop loving me

I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly

you forget me

do not look for me

for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,

the wind of banners

that passes through my life,

and you decide

to leave me at the shore

of the heart where I have roots,


that one day,

at that hour,

I shall lift my arms

and my roots will set off

to seek another land.


each day,

each hour,

you feel that you are destined for me

with implacable sweetness,

if each day a flower

climbs up to your lips to seek me

ah my love, ah my own,

in me all that fire is repeated,

in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,

my love feeds on your love, beloved,

and as long as you live it will be in your arms

without leaving mine.

— Pablo Neruda

= = = = =

nota bene: Temporary post for her Pablito.

credits: that guy

Feb 28 2007

Election Chicken or Egg

Here’s the beauty of waiting for a flight: free time to update a blog. In our current state of affairs where domestic flights are usually delayed, we have to find a venue to vent off frustration and anger. Perhaps blogging is a good outlet. Perhaps the thought of Cagayan de …

Feb 28 2007


Last Wednesday, I had my first ever drag performance as “Gayzha” — my final chosen drag/performer name. 

Of course, derivative of geisha — Japanese performer.  And being a gay performer then naturally —  the name Gayzha is born.   If you talk pinoy — you would also say “gay siya or siya ay gay”.  Plus the Ozzies would easily pronounce and remember the name.  If a last name is required,  I would just say “Vu”.  So it is Gayzha Vu (Deja Vu???).

Opium Den asked me to do the show together with other professional performers — Aida (who is in the field for more than 10 years) and also Sheren Sequins (twenty years?). 

Being my DEBUT performance,  I was a little bit frantic as you can see in my first act doing Kylie (see video below).  N said that my practice were a lot better — as I did more actions, etc.  I was a little bit overwhelmed on the stage, kasi!  My second performance on the second show was better.  I did really like Gwen Stefani’s song — Sweet Escape (which I will post next)

So Enjoy — while I am away to Sydney’s Mardi Gras! 

Feb 28 2007

On furniture shopping

Whenever I’m window shopping or simply strolling around a mall, my feet would always find their way to the furniture section – yep, it’s one of my favourite places inside a department store. I’m always fascinated with the different designs and styles, and particularly the function that comes with a wardrobe, a bedside table, a double-deck bed or even a shoe cabinet. Maybe, I’ve been influenced by my Dad who’s into carpentry as one of his hobbies and he’s even proud to tell us that he made some of the furniture in our home – the beds, cabinets, our dining table and even my closet and my study desk with shelves (Thanks Dad!).

Well, it sure is fun roaming through the showrooms but it also makes one easily tired with walking through all the stuff. And sometimes, the measurements are not given on the labels, along with other important information about the product. So, shopping online is a great option for those who want to shop without the hassle of leaving the comforts of their homes, just like shopping for stylish furniture at FurnitureMinute.com. I like the simple and straightforward design of their home page. It is quite easy to navigate around – it immediately displays links to the main areas of a house – bedroom, living room, dining room, and furnishings for the office, for kids, for entertainment – so site visitors are easily guided. 

Feb 28 2007

Andy Mckee — Africa

Another song from Toto. It’s so amazing because while listening you might think that two persons were playing but just him. I never seen such a great performer who can generate two different types of sound/rhythm using one instrument.

Feb 28 2007

Andy Mckee — Drifting

Watch his very popular music in youtube that was rated 5 and has been viewed for more than 2 million. Drifting is a music with passion and skills that I believed only Andy has it Support Andy visit: http://www.candyrat.com

Feb 28 2007

The YouTube Archdiocese

In order to meet the needs of modern times, bishops must preach frequently and constantly, make use of the media and bear public witness to the Gospel. All this requires that bishops have firm faith, steadfast loyalty to Christ, and… YouTube accounts. Cardinal Justin Rigali has one. YouTube allows registered users to upload, view and share […]

Feb 28 2007

Baby Polo’s Mafia

Head start en route to Immaculate Concepcion Church at 3PM.     Godfathers/Mothers. A 30minute sermon slash seminar was given by this middle aged woman who stared at us long enough to convince herself that these are the godparents.    Babae na Ninangs  Lalake na Ninongs   BABY POLO: Its his world now.   Born two months ago with a racing wheel in […]

Feb 28 2007

Andy Mckee — For My Father

I never heard about this guy, but after watching his video and listening to his wonderful and extraordinary performance. Wow man! This guy is amazing! His music «for my father» is very inspiring. Andy Mckee is the best! Watch how he performed. Support this guy visit http://www.candyrat.com

Feb 28 2007

GO Sortie a Big Flop in Iloilo

The much-anticipated Genuine Opposition (GO) rally in Iloilo City turned out to be a big flop (read here) with less than 100 persons attending! Seeing the poor turn-out, rally organizers Senator Drilon, Governor Tupas and Mayor JV Ejercito decided to just cancel the rally. Iloilo Provincial Administrator Boy Mejorada had the uneviable task to go on stage to announce to the 100 or so individuals that the rally has been cancelled because of an «unspecified threat.» Threat or no threat, the sortie organizers did a great disservice to GO candidates who flew to Iloilo (namely Noynoy Aquino, Sonia Roco, Nikki Coseteng, Sonny Osmeña, Koko Pimentel, Chiz Escudero and Loren Legarda) expecting to win brownie points with Ilonggo voters. The trip was a total waste of the candidates’ valuable time.

If I were the GO sortie organizer, I would have arranged for the candidates to just go campus-hopping and/or a handshaking tour in the numerous palengkes in Iloilo City then have them motor to Roxas City for the grand rally (with «handshaking whistlestops» along the way, especially in 5th district towns which is Governor Tupas’ bailiwick). Knowing that Iloilo City is Gonzalez-Treñas Country, I would not risk «nga mapahiya» and would have picked Roxas City as the venue for the grand rally — opposition stalwart Mar Roxas I think would have done a better job producing a large crowd than Senator Drilon or Governor Tupas.

The GO campaign people will have to work double time to salvage their reputation considering that Iloilo was their first out-of-town sortie. Already, some opposition political operatives I know are grumbling and saying that the GO campaign is beginning to look like the 2004 FPJ campaign all over again. ************

Gengos is it!

Aside from the «GO Invasion» the other big news here is Benjie Gengos (pronounced «Heng-gos») being «anointed» by Senator Drilon to run against incumbent Congressman Raul Gonzalez, Jr. Earlier, Drilon met with the four congressional aspirants (Joshua Alim, Rex Rico, Dan Cartagena and Benjie Gengos) to get them to agree to put up a united front against the much-vaunted Gonzalez-Treñas machinery. And it seems that Benjie Gengos, who is known to be deeply loyal to Drilon, is it! I just hope that the other three gentlemen will not break their word and run also for Congressman. If that happens, the local opposition in Iloilo City can say goodbye to their chances of defeating the solid Gonzalez-Treñas team.

Feb 28 2007

GO Sortie a Big Flop in Iloilo

The much-anticipated Genuine Opposition (GO) rally in Iloilo City turned out to be a big flop (read here) with less than 100 persons attending! Seeing the poor turn-out, rally organizers Senator Drilon, Governor Tupas and Mayor JV Ejercito decided to just cancel the rally (Iloilo Provincial Administrator Boy Mejorada had the uneviable task of going on stage to announce that the rally has been cancelled because of an «unspecified threat»). Threat or no threat, specified or unspecified, the sortie organizers did a great disservice to GO candidates who flew to Iloilo (namely Noynoy Aquino, Sonia Roco, Nikki Coseteng, Sonny Osmeña, Koko Pimentel, Chiz Escudero and Loren Legarda) expecting to win brownie points with Ilonggo voters. The trip was a total waste of the candidates’ valuable time.

If I was the GO sortie organizer, I would have arranged for the candidates to just go campus-hopping and/or a handshaking tour in the numerous palengkes in Iloilo City then have them motor to Roxas City for the grand rally (with «handshaking whistlestops» along the way, especially in 5th district towns which is Governor Tupas’ bailiwick). Knowing that Iloilo City is Gonzalez-Treñas Country, I would not risk «nga mapahiya» and would have picked Roxas City as the venue for the grand rally — opposition stalwart Mar Roxas I think would have done a better job producing a large crowd than Senator Drilon or Governor Tupas.

The GO campaign people will have to work double time to salvage their reputation considering that Iloilo was their first out-of-town sortie. Already, some opposition political operatives I know are grumbling and saying that the GO campaign is beginning to look like the 2004 FPJ campaign all over again. ************

Gengos is it!

Aside from the «GO Invasion» the other big news here is Benjie Gengos (pronounced «Heng-gos») being «anointed» by Senator Drilon to run against incumbent Congressman Raul Gonzalez, Jr. Earlier, Drilon met with the other congressional aspirants of the opposition namely, Joshua Alim, Rex Rico, Dan Cartagena and Benjie Gengos, to get them to agree to put up a united front against the much-vaunted Gonzalez-Treñas machinery. And it seems that Benjie Gengos, who is known to be deeply loyal to Drilon, is it! I just hope that the other three gentlemen will not break their word and run also for Congressman. If that happens, the local opposition in Iloilo City can say goodbye to their chances of defeating the solid Gonzalez-Treñas team.

Feb 28 2007

Cuisine Treasure Trove

Watching this episode instantly made me miss the Philippines, especially the banana-que part.  Yum!  I have never visited ever since we came here in 1991 and some of you are probably wondering why. Well, most of my family are here and as much as I miss my friends …

Feb 28 2007


Thanks to Diane for this beautiful gift!!

Feb 28 2007

The Golden Rule

Matthew 7: 7-12 Est C:12.14-16.23-25 / Ps 138 Ask, and it will be given you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. For everyone who asks receives, and everyone who searches finds, and for everyone who knocks, the door will be opened. (Matthew 7:7-8) Whatever we seek in prayer, We must be […]

Feb 28 2007

Arroyo Elated Over RP’s Economic Gains, Power Rates Down

MANILA — Philippine leader Gloria Arroyo said she considers the latest reduction in power rates as a classic example of the country’s economic gains flowing down to the people.In a roundtable discussion Wednesday in Malacanang, the President said the people are finally harvesting the seeds of fiscal discipline and good governance that the government has planted.»The cut in power rates is part of the great story of economic gains flowing down to the people.This is a timely harvest on the seeds of fiscal discipline and good governance that we have planted in the field of optimism and hope,» she said in a statement.The President pointed out that this is a clear and compelling reason for all Filipinos to stay the course and not be distracted «by the pullback of destructive politics.»Housewife Cora Gloria, a mother of three, who was among those in the roundtable discussion, told the President that her power rate bill was lower this month (February) compared to last month.»Itong huling perfect power adjustments, pag mababa ang langis at dolyar bumaba rin iyong tsini-charge, doon nagre-reflect na bumababa ang electric bill, so nararanasan talaga. Lalo na ngayon na itong Napocor ay binabawasan iyong tsini-charge sa Meralco,» the President explained.The President told Gloria that through her village, she could seek micro-finance assistance for her to open up a small business.Gloria, for her part, thanked the President for launching the «Pamilihang Bayan» and «Botika ng Bayan» where she could buy cheaper products and medicines.Energy Regulatory Commission chairman Rodolfo Albano, Jr. said that the National Power Corporation (Napocor) power rate reduction by eight centavos per kilowatt-hour (kwh) will apply to the Feb. 26 to March 25, 2007 billing period. The reduction, he said, could go up by 18 centavos in the next 10 months.Energy Secretary Raphael Lotilla said all payments made by Napocor for the importation of oil had been reduced due to the stronger peso.Lotilla informed the President that the official contract price of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) in Singapore will be reduced by one percent by next month. Kerosene prices, he added, had also been reduced by 30 centavos two days ago.Consumer and Oil Price Watch chairman Raul Concepcion said the power rate reduction would have significant effect on consumers but extended his appeal to the banks to consider lowering their rates, too.The President said she is considering the establishment of a credit bureau because the micro-finance system requires no collateral and is becoming very attractive because of its lower interest rates.She said that while her detractors continue to scrape the bottom of the barrel for old, worn out issues, her administration is concerned with the issue of a modern Philippines fighting for the people and lifting them from poverty.

«I call on all Filipinos to bury past complaints and join the bandwagon of the economy,» she said. «This is our only time to break free from the drag of past complaints and move forward. Let us not waste time but use it to grab every opportunity to advance, prevail over our conflicts and doubts and win the future.»

Feb 28 2007

Panoramic view of my teeth

Can u see d impacted molar?

Feb 28 2007

Plantation Union Shouts Harassment

DAVAO DEL NORTE (Mindanao Examiner / 28 Feb) – Picketing banana workers complained Wednesday that security guards of the Marsman Estate Plantation allegedly harassed them in the town of Santo Tomas in Davao del Norte province.The workers were demanding immediate release of their union benefits under the so-called Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA) and the remittance of their Social Security System and and Pag-ibig payments.Domingo Deguma, president of Marsman Labor Association for National Democracy-National Federation of Labor Unions-Kilusang Mayo Uno, said the security guards, about 10 of them, allegedly threatened them should they continue their picket in front of the Marsman office.“We were about to assemble in front of the management building when chief security Jun Dumile came up to us and told us that there will be trouble if we will proceed with the protest,” he said.Deguma said Marsman up to now have not released the workers’ Spouse and Children’s Christmas Bonuses supposed to be due December last year. Some of the workers were not able to avail of salary loans because the company allegedly failed to remit the workers’ SSS and Pag-ibig payments. “The guards were already posted in front of the management office before we started the picket. As we were preparing the picket line, they approached us and ordered us to disperse.”“We were merely exercising our right to redress of grievance…Instead of addressing our concerns, they sent out armed guards to intimidate and force us to endure their capitalist exploitation,” said Deguma, who is also a coordinator for the party list Anakpawis.Editha Duterte, Anakpawis-Southern Mindanao spokesperson, explained: “Their fear of us mounting the picket stems out from the fact that for the past months, the workers have been successful in pressing for their economic rights though collective action.”“The workers’ experience taught them that picketing and other concerted actions are their only resort to counter capitalist exploitation. That is the reason why these workers never tire and they become more resolute—of pushing for their legitimate demands,” she said in a statement to the Mindanao Examiner.

There were no immediate statements from either officials or head of security of the Marsman.

Feb 28 2007

Meeting this Saturday

The Davao Bloggers Party #1 organizers will meet this Saturday (3 Mar.) at Casa Leticia, 5:30 PM. We’ll be at the coffee shop at the ground floor, Sagay, where wifi is available free. The party’s only about two weeks away, so we’re doing our best to make sure that the event is a success. Anyone who’d […]

Feb 28 2007

Kabataan To Government: Assert And Uphold Court Decisions On Nursing Issue

DAVAO CITY – THE KABATAAN PARTY LIST urged Manila Wednesday to assert the Supreme Court’s decisions on the nursing controversy, and to take highest consideration of the poor majority among nursing graduates in planned moves.The Philippine government is set appeal to the Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools’ (CGFNS) refusal to accept Filipino nurses who passed the June 2006 nursing examination.“We believe that most of the 2006 nursing exam passers come from poor families who tried hard just to finish nursing and pass the exam in high hopes that such would guarantee them of better lives and retaking the exam is already an added burden to them,” Vice President for Mindanao of the Kabataan Party List, Karla Hyasmind Apat, said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.Apat said the nursing graduates would only be forced to retake the exam in the context of not prolonging their agony over the controversy. She added they would rather spend, borrow perhaps, thousands of pesos just to work in countries were their profession is in demand, rather than wait in vain.The group believes that the government should start asserting the Supreme Court’s decision to the United States who benefits most from the nursing graduates of the country.“We stand with the majority of the Filipino nurses who are left with no choice but to succumb to the Philippine educational system’s flaws in order to have a better job and better life that this government could not provide to its own graduates,” Apat said.Kabataan Party List said there is a dire need to push for the legislative agenda that will change the orientation of the Philippine Education system which currently serves the foreign needs.“Our educational system right now is very colonial and does not serve the need of the country.

Our teachers and doctors are turning into nurses for the reason that this government can not compensate their needs and benefits and the government through the Department of Labor and Employment even tolerates this trend,” Apat said.

Feb 28 2007

pay day

100 pesos. that’s the amount we received for our months-old hard work for the 12th asean summit. it’s so below the daily minimum wage and it’s not even half of my daily transportation allowance.100 pesos. one hundred pesos, believe it or not. we spent much talent, time and treasure (add some tears, too) for the summit and all we get is 100 pesos.apparently, we wasted waaay more money than what we were promised in exchange for our «services». and where did the rest of our pay go?haaay. so many promises in the beginning. they should’ve not even mentioned allowances and pay, you know. we were after the experience, originally, until things turned out a bit sad for us.


Feb 28 2007

Gabriela Urges Full Implementation Of Anti-Trafficking Law

GABRIELA WOMEN’S PARTY LIST on Wednesday urged the Arroyo government to implement fully the “Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act of 2003” or Republic Act No. 9208.

GABRIELA worries over the increasing rate of human trafficking in the country as reports show that there are already 500,000 women and 100,000 minors who have been victimized.

The group also expressed its appreciation for the recently launched Task Force Anti-Trafficking of the Ninoy Aquino International Airport although it believes this is not enough to ensure prevention of trafficking and rescue of the victims.

The women group commends the legislation of RA 9208, co-authored by Rep. Liza Maza of 12th Congress, for being the first law of the Republic of the Philippines that protects women and children from trafficking and which has clear provisions on services for the victims, “But unclear implementation has rendered it futile for almost four years now.”

“There is a big gap between this beautifully crafted law and its implementation,” according to Jeanette Laurel, Advocacy Staff of the Talikala Inc., a GWP network of non-government organizations that protect women and children from sex-trafficking.

Laurel said there are no appropriate facilities for the services for victims, such as livelihood and skills training, emergency shelter or appropriate housing, counseling and rehabilitation, which are stated in the law.

GWP also pointed out the need to educate the people about the said law but this must be done first in the government ranks because it has not yet been popularized even in the local government units.

“Government agencies have not concretized the services mandated by the law. In the city, these services are hard to access and even monitoring systems among barangays are definitely non-existent,” Laurel said.

“Definition of trafficking is still vague for the judiciary. It does not consider an act as trafficking when a victim is rescued in the airport for it has not been consummated yet,” Laurel said.

Most of the cases were downgraded to illegal recruitment disregarding the gravity of human trafficking, she added. “In February last year, we had rescued eight victims from trafficking; five of these cases were treated as illegal recruitment and three were dismissed,” she added.

Talikala Inc. reported that in Davao City, there were 40 victims of sex-trafficking for February to December 2006, youngest of them was 14 year-old, not including cases of other forms of trafficking documented in the city.

“These cases (40) were all unresolved leaving the victims vulnerable for re-trafficking because they remain unemployed and unable to access education,” Laurel said.

Feb 28 2007

Mamanua, Mamanwa, Kongking, Kongkista ONLINE

Here are some of the links to write-ups about the only existing indigenous tribe of Mainit, Surigao del Norte — the Mamanua or Mamanwa also known locally as Kongking, Conking, Kongkista, or Conguista.

The Culture of the Mamanua (Northeast Mindanao) as Compared with that of the Other Negritos of Southeast Asia. by Marcelino N. Maceda

Review author[s]: Frederick L. Wernstedt
The Journal of Asian Studies, Vol. 25, No. 3 (May, 1966), p. 549

Bio-Socio-Cultural Factors Affecting the Nutritional Status among Preschoolers of the Mamanua Conquista Tribe in Barangay Cantugas, Mainit, Surigao del Norte

Feb 28 2007

This flickring life

I’ve migrated most of my recent photos to my Flickr space, so this is a new upgrade to my waking time’s little occupations. I’m still trying to learn how to manage it, what with five things going on…

This is just the tip of the iceberg. For the full icy refreshness, visit Normanbolditalic. Design and Culture. Fresh Whenever. 🙂

Feb 28 2007

Suara Fears Escalation Of Violence In Sulu

THE SUARA PARTY LIST expressed fear Wednesday over a possible escalation of more violence in the province of Sulu as skirmishes between the Abu Sayyaf Group and government troops are rapidly slipping out of hand.

This, as the involvement of members of the Moro National Liberation Front in the fighting is also dreaded as inevitable because government troopers are now hunting down members of the Abu Sayyaf in the areas considered as territory of the MNLF.

Zaynab Ampatuan, national deputy secretary general of Suara, said the operations against the Abu Sayyaf in an MNLF area is an open invitation for a confrontation.

“We think that government troops are teasing the MNLF to shoot at them. The situation in Sulu is very critical now knowing that the government and MNLF officials are still ironing the kinks of the final peace agreement they signed in 1996,” Ampatuan said in a statement sent to the Mindanao Examiner.

“We hope that the MNLF will not be ensnared and drag themselves into a situation that will absolutely endanger the peace negotiations,” Ampatuan said.

The military, through Brig. Gen. Ruperto Pabustan, commander of the joint special operations forces hunting down the Abu Sayyaf, said that they were able to receive information that the MNLF is coddling members of the Abu Sayyaf.

Marine Maj. Gen. Benjamin Dolorfino, however, said that he has advised Pabustan not to believe in the report as “somebody is trying to get the AFP to the MNLF and start a confrontation again.” At least 13 scout rangers were reportedly hurt while six soldiers were killed in the gun battle that already involved members of the MNLF.

This came after the scout rangers conducted a hot pursuit operations against Abu Sayyaf bandits who fled and allegedly sought refuge in MNLF camp in Jolo’s Sitio Marang, Barangay Buanza.

Ampatuan said they were able to receive reports that a number of civilian Moro families have left their homes again for fear of being caught in the crossfire.

“Evacuation seems to be a never ending affair of the Moro people as the government continues to advance its misplaced policies like the antiterrorism law which, in the end, only hurt the civilians more than their supposed targets,” Ampatuan said.

“We fear that civilians will again be the casualties of this recent clash as it did before. The fighting has to stop for the sake of the civilians—the children, the elderly and women,” Ampatuan added.

Feb 28 2007

Party List Group Assails Gov’t For Failing To Help Pinoy Nurses

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 28 Feb) — The party list Kilusang Mayo Uno assailed Wednesday the government’s failure to address the growing problems facing the Filipino nurses.The U.S. Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS) banned Filipino nurses who took the June 2006 licensure examination tainted with cheating and scandals that nearly damaged the integrity of nursing schools and review centers in the Philippines.Government officials said they will appeal the decision of the CGFNS and a group of Filipino lawmakers are also going to the United States to meet with officials of the agency. Some nursing review centers were involved in the cheating, authorities said.»The handling of the government on the nursing leakage mess remains to be absolving the criminals who orchestrated the leakage while putting extra burden on our already stressed-out nurses. We are yet to see people made accountable for their role in the test leakage,” said Elmer Labog, national chairman of the KMU’s Labor Center here.The KMU fears that other countries may also ban Filipino nurses because of the CGFNS decision.

Labog said: “Unless justice is served and the culprits made to pay for their actions, the possibility of other countries banning our nurses is very possible. Other countries will always notice a shadow of doubt hovering over the nurses who took the June 2006 licensure examination and this will place unjust burden on them.” (Mindanao Examiner)

Feb 28 2007

MAAS starts countdown for aerial spray ban

DAVAO CITY — The Mamamayan Ayaw sa Aerial Spraying (Mass) has started its own countdown for the full implementation of the ordinance banning aerial spraying.

The ordinance will take effect on March 22, the day when the whole world is celebrating World Water Day. The same day will be the start of the three-month phase-out period given to banana plantation companies to shift from aerial spraying to manual spraying. By June 22, no spray planes should fly over banana plantation in the city.

“The timing is just perfect with the celebration. We all know that one of the reasons why we pushed for the banning of aerial spraying in banana plantations is because we wanted the open bodies of water protected from the deadly drift of the chemicals,” said Dagohoy Magaway, spokesperson of Maas.

The group — composed of various non-governmental organizations, people’s organizations, academe, church and some individuals—also pushed for the banning because of the danger and destruction that the chemical drift causes to the health of the people and crops.

Magaway said their group, a wide coalition, is anticipating and watching the implementation of the ban as the day close by. “Yes we are excited but we are watchful. We are not letting our guards off until we will see no airplanes hovering over us, sprinkling all that are underneath with deadly chemicals,” Magaway said.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte signed into law the ordinance Feb. 9, a move that signaled the end of the 30-year practice in banana plantation. The signing also came two years after the ordinance was lodged in the city council.

“We know that the banana plantation companies have been affected by the ban and we are expecting that they will still try to block the implementation. But we are here, with the same strength and passion, to stop whatever they desire,” Magaway said.

“Before the ordinance was signed into law, banana companies unleashed their most trusted lobby person—Agriculture Arthur Yap but it did not work. Whoever will be sent out to block the implementation, we are ready for that,” Magaway said. (Jeff Tupaz)

Feb 28 2007


i have been waking up under unfamiliar skies lately. for someone who is so used to the stars of the night sky, the patterns in the early february morning, just before the sun rises, are strange; strange enough that i felt i did not belong. it leaves behind that strange feeling of being forsaken by friends who were silent witnesses of those times when i wander the city streets alone…yes, belong.i have always been told that it is a choice. a lengthy talk with a good friend beside a busy street last night placed things in its painful perspective. the choice that i make, he says, is something that i must impose on myself. the choice of where, what and who to belong to is something that must be decided upon, something that must come from within.on the other hand, some not-quite-new faces are due to live with us, leading me to give up that little sanctuary i call my room, for another less palatable one. living up close with new people will again test my rather wanting social skills, not to mention the trail of new friends they would be acquainting me to…i wish i could have told my friend, above the din of the traffic, how decisions and choice do not always spring forth fully formed from our brows every time. that in many instances thoughts stay formless, choice tarries, and decisions emerge stillborn. that in many times our best intentioned choices are left in tatters by the contingencies that pull it apart in all directions, leaving behind useless pieces. everything stands still waiting for it to piece itself together. yet time flies by so fast in the outside world, threatening to bludgeon everything with its speed.i wish i can tell my new house mates how certain things like precious sanctuaries are hard won, and the price that was paid was quite high. that certain things are better shared but some burdens have to be carried alone. that many of us are not gifted with the same ability to flex and deal with new faces right away. that certain towers of confidence and trust must be made so as to see beyond the usual horizon; some use huge boulders, others use pebbles and stones.

that us following different sets of stars to belong to is not simply born out of choice, but also out of hand of fate that wakes us up and dictate what time of the night, or day, we are suppose to open our eyes.

Feb 28 2007



Kids’ school uniforms, flapping on clotheslines, don’t raise eyebrows. Except when they’re strung in ghettos of indigenous tribal people, like Atis in Sitio Bolabog on glitzy Boracay. “That’s something I didn’t see before,” emailed former World Health Organization’s Rabin Sarda.

“Those uniforms are indicators of hope,” says Dr Sarda, who shuttles between Miami and Boracay, yet wedges time to help the once-nomadic Atis. Those clotheslines say: “More Atis are now in school — and getting a chance to break out of penury.”

Progress inches forward despite relentless pressure, by tax-declaration waving claimants, to shove out Atis from what they say is home. The Catholic Church’s commission on indigenous peoples backs the Atis’ December 2001 claim for a certificate of ancestral domain title. And Senator Jamby Madrigal blasted those shoving Atis out with threats and P2,000 handouts and feet-dragging by government agencies.

“The beautiful white beaches can not disguise the disgusting reality of a concentration camp being built among Boracay’s tourist attractions,” she wrote. Daughters of Charity nuns, who live among the Atis, were “judiciously using a medicine fund provided by private citizens», Dr Sarda noted.

They first use donated drugs, before drawing from the fund “More individuals and organizations contribute time and in kind,” including help to repair typhoon damaged homes. “Contributions to a feeding program, to tamp down malnutrition, have stabilized. An informal education program for youth is ongoing. In school year 2007/2008, two Atis will enter college with scholarships from self-effacing benefactors.”

A February bonus was a mass wedding for 18 couples. An upscale hotel even provided the banquet.”If we keep sprigs of hope in our hearts,” the Chinese say, “the singing bird will come.”

From Emory University Hospital in Atlanta Georgia, Patrick H. O’Brien reacts to an earlier Inquirer column (“Reading beyond Labels”) that reported: A US Food and Drug Administration study, on the military’s $1-billion medical stockpile, found drugs remained effective even 15 years beyond expiry dates.

(I’m) a US pharmacist who worked with eight medical / surgical missions to the Philippines,” O’Brien emailed. “Two were to Tagbilaran City in 1992 and 1994. And I applaud the common sense and non-political approach to the issue of expiration dating on medications in this unbiased column.

«As with most things, expiration dates are simply guidelines to be used. Medications are more affected by storage conditions than by a simple date. How many of us have gotten relief from a headache from a Tylenol that passed its expiration date? How many of us actually look?”

«The well intentioned Bureau of Food and Drugs (BFAD) advises that medicines, imported by foreign medical missions, must have at least a one year expiration date. That may be appropriate for international pharmaceutical companies’ imports. But it puts an enormous burden on medical mission donations. They receive most of their donated drugs with a short expiration date of two to six months. How can I request donations, and then demand a one year expiration date?

«Our mission group will leave for a surgical mission to Roxas City. We accumulated medicines that are not expired but lack BFAD’s one year required dating. Worse, efforts to contact BFAD to arrange an inspection, by e-mail, regular mail and phone, all went unanswered. Maybe they’re busy dreaming up other rules?

From Las Vegas, Nevada, Bunny Arville emailed: A recent lead story, on TV Patrol newscast on Filipino Channel, was a beauty pageant that shocked: a beauty pageant of grandmothers or Lolas in a province.

A few did not apparently have bathing suits. So, they wore skimpy materials that seemed, from my vantage point, like underwear. Many in the audience were seen ridiculing this spectacle. “It was despicable beyond belief. It certainly didn’t speak well for those responsible for this project. But then, isn’t ratings (translation: money) always the deciding factor in lousy decisions?”

”In Pilipino culture, calling someone ‘Lola’ is a sign of respect — unlike the Western world that holds getting old is a negative thing. Age comes with honor in our culture. Our grandmothers are those who toiled and loved us. They deserve better.

“In TV, the line between news and entertainment has long vanished. News isentertainment and the death of Anna Nicole Smith (or Kris Aquino’s heartbreak?) Is more entertaining maybe a higher IQ is better than a bigger bosom. To idolize people who use cleavage, as a tool to get ahead in life, is really sick.”

From Elizabeth, New Jersey, Dr Jose Chua writes: “I read the Inquirer column “Mixed Bag”. Here is my experience: I left the Philippines in 1974 as a 27-year old youngster. Now, I’m almost 60. And it is not yet possible for me to return or retire. I’m still doing everything to ensure my family’s welfare. “I am a doctor. I enjoy financial stability. However, my nephews are already college graduates. Yet, they can not support their families, even if they have jobs. So, they still get a subsidy from me.

Probably I am an enabler. But they’re still hard-up. “That was the same plight I found myself in then. At that time, I was already a physician. In addition, I taught in the medical school of a major Manila university. Yet, my income then could hardly support my family. Is there any chance the Philippines will improve?

Feb 28 2007


I decided to go away for a while, at least from this side of the sun.

Will be back.

Feb 28 2007

AND THE GOOD NEWS: Asia America Initiative Donates P25-M Worth Of Medicines For Sulu Hospital

THE NON-GOVERNMENTAL ORGANIZATION, Asia America Initiative, based in Washington, D.C. and the Philippines, will bring 25 million pesos [$500,000] of vital medicines to the Integrated Provincial Hospital in Jolo as part of the ongoing Development for Peace Program on the southern Sulu Archipelago, the Asian Journal said.

The medicines, donated by US-based MedPharm, Inc. are to be distributed starting March. The shipment includes a broad spectrum of vital antibiotics, burn ointments, oral re-hydration salts, and anti-parasitic medicines for 50,000 elementary and preschool children.

The medical support is an ongoing component of the DPIS, which was founded in 2002 by Albert Santoli in partnership with the governments of the Philippines and local social, religious and educational leaders.

The program is credited with reducing violence and furthering the peace process in Jolo and surrounding communities by integrating health, education and livelihood efforts as a means of building Hope.

During the past four years, AAI has delivered more than 150 million pesos [$3.5 million] worth of medical supplies to Sulu and for emergency relief to populations affected by war in Maguindanao province on the main island of Mindanao. “Development for Peace has been a true partnership between the local community in Sulu and Asia America Initiative,” said AAI Director Albert Santoli.

“Our Philippine staffs, Muslims and Christians, have proven the power of people of different cultures, religions and languages working together in common humanity to build bonds of trust and friendship,” he said.

Feb 28 2007

Finally, Special Courts On Extra-Judicial Killings…

DAVAO CITY (Mindanao Examiner / 28 Feb) — The Supreme Court has started selecting the Regional Trial Court (RTC) in the Philippines that will hear and decide pending murder cases involving extra-judicial and political killings in the country.SC administrator Christopher Lock issued Order 14-0755 compelling courtrooms in the country to inform the High Court on the pending charges involving extra-judicial and political killings.Lock said they will select which courtroom will handle cases involving extra-judicial and political killings based on the data to be provided by these RTC branches.The administrator gave the judges in the country until Thursday to send the information needed by the High Tribunal.

Militant groups said more than 800 mostly political activists were killed since 2001 and they accused government soldiers as behind most of these murders. The Armed Forces of the Philippines denied the accusations. (Romy Bwaga)

Feb 28 2007

Akusadong Marine Colonel, Naospital Dahil sa Malaria

MANILA (Mindanao Examiner / 28 Feb) — PINAYAGAN na ng liderato ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) na malipat ng pagamutan si Marine Colonel Ariel Querubin na nakararanas ng malaria.Kinumpirma kanina ni AFP Public Information Office (PIO) Chief Lieutenant Colonel Bartolome Bacarro na sa Fort Bonifacio General Hospital pansamantalang mananatili si Querubin.Kinakailangan aniyang sumailalim ng follow-up treatment si Querubin at hindi muna dadalhin sa bagong detensyon nito sa Camp Capinpin, Tanay, Rizal kasama ang mga opisyal ng Army Scout Rangers na dawit sa bigong planong kudeta hanggat hindi tuluyang gumagaling sa karamdaman.»The chief of staff has approved the transfer of Colonel Querubin to the Fort Bonifacio GeneralHospital. He will undergo some follow-up treatment,» ayon kay Bacarro.»He [Querubin] will stay there until his treatment is finished,» dagdag nito.Buhat sa Makati City hospital ay dinala na si Querubin sa naturang ospital ng Philippine Army sa Fort Bonifacio.Ayaw namang ipaliwanag ni Bacarro kung bakit hindi dinala sa Navy hospital sa loob rin ng Fort Bonifacio si Querubin sa halip na sa Army headquarters.Itinanggi rin ni Bacarro na mas malala pa sa mga piitan sa Maynila ang kalagayan ng detensyon sa Camp Capinpin, Tanay Rizal.»That is not true… We can assure you that we are treating them like our own,» depensa ng opisyal.Samantala, pinabulaanan rin ng AFP ang pagpapakilos sa mga tauhan ng militar upang mangampanya kontra o pabor sa sinumang kandidato.Binigyang-diin ni Bacarro na maliwanag ang mandato ng militar na hindi makikialam sa pulitika.Umano’y naglunsad ng kampanya ang AFP upang iboykot o huwag iboto ang mga kandidatong partylist group na iniuugnay sa Communist Party of the Philippines-New People’s Army (CPP-NPA).May mga ulat rin na nagsasagawa ng pangangampanya ang militar para iboto ang ilang kandidato ng administrasyon tulad sa Camarines Sur na kung saan ay napabalitang tatakbo si Diosdado Arroyo, anak ng Pangulo, sa Kongreso.Sa kabila ito ng umiiral na memorandum of agreement sa pagitan ng Department of National Defense (DND) at Commission on Elections (Comelec) na naglilimita sa papel ng militar sa mga halalan sa bansa.Sinabi ni Bacarro na pinaninindigan ng AFP ang prinsipyo ng non-partisan politics upang hindi makaladkad ang mga sundalo sa pansarili at pulitikal na interes ng anumang grupo o indibidwal.

Ayaw na rin umano ng AFP na maulit pa ang kontrobersya ng «Hello Garci» na naglagay sa alanganin sa kredibilidad ng mga miyembro ng institusyon. (Juley Reyes)

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