Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Awan nataengan wenno ubing iti nagan iti panagserbi a boluntario


Dua a nataenganen a padamin a limmas-ud iti payapay ti pitopulo, ti nagkuna iti nagduma a kapanunotan:

Umuna:  Nataenganakon, awanak ditan, bagiyo metten.

Maikadua: Addaakto latta aginggana ti kabaelak ken ipalubos ti salun-at, bagi ken panunotko iti rummuar ken makidanggay iti agus ti biag.

Makidanggay. Makipagtunos. Makikaykaysa. Mangted ti panawen.  Kasta ti naawatanmi iti kinuna ti maikadua.

Nalpasakon. Panawenyo metten. Didak ibibiangen. Kasta met ti nagawatak iti kinuna ti umuna.

Ania kadagitoy ti pangipuestuantayo ti bagitayo, kalpasan a nakaawattayon ti nangato a pammigbig kas ‘kangrunaan a pammadayaw’.  Agsardengtayo kadin?

Adda sumagmamano nga am-ammomi ti nagkuna: “Adda man ken awan ti plake wenno sertipiko ti pammadayaw, saandak a mapasardeng nga agaramid iti mabalinko nga aramiden a patiek a pakairanudan ti sabali.”

Iti kaudian a OFCC board meeting itay Marso 30, 2014 iti FilComCenter, kadagupan iti aganay a 38 a lider ken kameng iti komunidad iti pamattapatami, mabalin nga adda 12 wenno apagkatlo kadagitoy iti agtawen iti 69 agpangato, mabalin nga ad-adu ti agtawen iti nagbaetan ti 36-68, mabalin  nga 4 wenno 6 ti agtawen iti 18-35.

Iti pammatimi, no agkaykaysa ken adda panagtutugmok ti pampanunot dagitoy a mangisakad ti masnop a proyekto, agpapada dagitoy a makatulong a mangpadur-as ti komunidad babaen iti panagtitinnulong ken panagkaykaysa iti maysa wenno ad-adu pay a masnop nga isyu a mangitag-ay ti gandat ken panggep ti OFCC: “to promote and perpetuate the Filipino cultural heritage; to help unite all Filipino organizations for the common  welfare of the Filipino community; to encourage all Filipinos to develop a strong sense of responsibility in a greater participation for the betterment of the Filipino community in the island….”

Sika a mismo nga akimbagi ti mangikeddeng  ti kayatmo nga aramiden iti gimongmo. Aramid a boluntario daytoy. No mangtedka ti tiempom, wenno aramidem ti pagrebbengam kas umili.

Adda nagkuna kadakami no apay nga ad-adu dagiti nataenganen nga agserserbi iti gunglo.

Apay kano nga awan ti gundaway dagiti agtutubo wenno ub-ubbing tapno matubayda nga agserbi.

Pudno man ken saan ti pammaliiw daytoy a kabsat, ti ammomi ket nawaya ti asino man a sumrek ken makitipon.

Iti OFCC, adda naituding a paset dagiti agtutubo a makipartisipar, maibatay iti bylaws, adda standing committee Task Force on Youth: “to encourage youth to become active and shall coordinate all youth programs….”

Maysa a madlaw no apay nga ad-adu ti ‘nataengan’, ipagarupmi: nawaywayada iti panawenda kalpasan ti panagretiro. Kayatna ti agnanayon a panagsursuro a mangipaneknek a saanda a maudi kadagiti agkabannuag wenno agtutubo—inaldaw nga ibilang dagitoy a nataengan a ti panagadal ket awan ti patinggana.

Adda pagsasao: no agsardengkan nga agsursuro, kasla met insardengmon ti umaddang. Iti biangmi, kas maysa a sakupen ti 69 agpangato, saan iti kapaut ti biag ti pakarukodan, ti pakarukodan ti maysa a tao ket ti kalidad ti serbisiona iti kagimonganna.

Itoy a gundaway, saluduanmi dagiti nataengan a padamin nga adda iti 69 agpangato.

Daytoy nadakamat a miting ti OFCC, adda da Jake Manegdeg a no tawen ti pagsasaritaan, natenneben, no aktibo ti pagsasaritaan, isu ti maysa kadagiti sumagmamano a lider a makaited pay laeng ti panawenna. Nagpresidente iti UFCH 1976-1977; 1978-1979, nagkomisionado iti dua a Centennial Commission. Ambassador  Juan C. Dionisio Lifetime Achievement Awardee-UFCH. Agdama a presidente iti Filipino American Citizens League.    

Adda met ni Mrs. Pacita Saludes, isu pay la daydi nasangpetanmi a  presidente a nangiturong ti Gumil Hawaii sipud idi 1971. Damo a gunglo a nagkamenganmi.  

Ni Dr. Ignacio Torres, immuna a presidente ti Filipino Coalition for Solidarity. Agdama a presidente ti Candonians of Hawaii.

Saluduanmi met dagiti agtutubo, agkabannuag nga adda latta a makapulapol iti community service.

Nayon ti paliiwmi, tallo a pasado a presidente ti OFCC ti adda ditoy a miting: Ilalo Parayno, 1976-77; Amado Yoro, 1982; Ben Cabreros, 1997-1999.

Saan a gapu ta nalpasdan ti takem, iti nagan ti panagserbi- isu ti panagserbi.

Maysa pay a pammaliiw: adda dagiti nagsubli manen kalpasan a napaut nga awanda. Maysa a rason a makita, kayatda ti umay agpaliiw, agsubli a makilangen, umayen ti eleksion, ti masaludsod: yanmo kadagiti panawen ti panagtrabaho wenno kunatayo a panaglangoy iti kaadalman a taaw iti nasabrak a bagyo ti biag.

Adda pagsayaatan ti lumned-tumpaw a kunada. Ngem patienmi a nasaysayaat nga amang ti makuna a ‘taginayon’ wenno masansan. Kas iti aginaldaw a panagsagrap ti taraon iti dulang. Ammom ti mapaspasamak iti uneg ti kosina. Umayka kadi manen gapu ta adda kayatmo. Wenno umay agdillaw. Botos kadi laeng, titulo, puesto.


Kombension manen ti OFCC ken UFCH iti Hunio ken Hulio. Nawayaka nga umay a makipagserbi, mangabak wenno maabak iti eleksion. Dayta ti kita ti boluntario a panagserbi iti komunidad a salsaluduanmi.  Adda man ken awan ti posision iti liderato, iti panagserbi ti nasken nga ipakita iti agkuyog a sao ken aramid.

Agri chief on rice self-sufficiency: We tried hard

Department of Agriculture Sec. Proceso J. Alcala lauded the Central Luzon farmers for helping achieve the highest rice harvest in the Philippine history during the Farmers` Lakbay Palay hosted by the Philippine Rice Research Institute in Science City of Muñoz, Nueva Ecija, April 1-4.
Despite strong typhoons that ravaged agricultural lands last year, Alcala told about 1,500 farmers that they had produced 18.44 million metric tons of rice, enlisting the Philippines as the fastest growing rice production country in Asia.

The production also made the country 97-percent rice self-sufficient in 2013. Although three-percent short of the 100 percent target, the country, however, registered a 16-percent increase within three years. The country was only 81-percent rice self-sufficient in 2010.

With the rice sector`s performance last year, the agriculture secretary discouraged the public from focusing on the deficit in the 100-percent rice self-sufficiency target.

“We have tried hard. Nawa`y [mapahalagan] natin, lalo na sa mga nasa Manila, ang pagpupunyagi nating mga magsasaka.  Hindi ho tayo titigil sa 97 percent. Magpupursige pa din tayo para ang isasaing ni Juan dela Cruz, dito ipupunla, dito itatanim, dito aanihin [May we, especially the city dwellers, value the efforts of the farmers. We’ll not stop at 97 percent. We’ll work harder so that the rice that we’ll serve on our table will be planted and harvested in the country],” Alcala said.

Alcala, who also unveiled the latest rice technologies, urged the farmers to be receptive of new farming practices as this may help them reduce production cost and make the price of rice more competitive in the market.

“We can`t solve problems such as rice smuggling in an instant. We still have a long way to go to stop rice smuggling. As long as our production cost is high, rice smuggling will always be around,” he said in Filipino.

He said that rice smuggling persists in the country because domestic rice prices are uncompetitive to Southeast Asian countries such as Vietnam.

“Production cost in the Philippines is [about P11 a kilo] while in Vietnam, it`s around P6,” he said.

Alcala said that if farmers can peg production cost even at P8, rice smuggling will be minimized.


At present, PhilRice is on its second season of implementing Palayabangan: 10-5 challenge, a nationwide farming competition that aims to produce 10 tons/ha yield at only P5 input cost per kilogram of palay. (PhilRice)

Bilang dagiti out-of-school youth idiay Pasuquin, bimmaba

Bimmaba ti bilang dagiti out-of-school youth idiay Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte.sipud nanayonan ti bilang dagiti Iskolar ni Manang Imee iti benneg ti elementaria ken sekondaria.

Iti panagturong ni Ilocos Norte Gobernador Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos idiay Pasuquin a nagibununganna iti stipend dagiti ubbing a maibilang nga “Iskolar ni Manang Imee”, kinunana a dandanin awan ti out-of-school youth iti elementaria ngem adu pay laeng dagiti saan a makaturpos iti sekondaria.

Gapu iti daytoy, impasingkedna a masapul nga ikarigatan a pagbalinen a 100 a porsiento a makalpas amin iti high school dagiti taga Pasuquin.

Naragsakan met ti gobernador kalpasan a naammuanna a libre wenno awan ti bayadan dagiti ubbing nga agluglugan iti Sirib bus nga inpaay ti probinsia gapu ta ibakbaklay daytoy ti gobierno munisipal.

Makita met ti gobernador ti rigat dagiti ubbing nga aggapu kadagiti nasilunek a barangay.


Gapu iti daytoy, kidkiddawenna ti tulong dagiti agtuturay idiay Pasuquin a pagtitinnulongda amin tapno makaturpos iti high school dagiti amin a third year ken fourth year students. (PGIN-CMO)

Carasi RHU chief resigns

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff Reporter

Carasi, Ilocos Norte—Citing “unfriendly and unhealthy working environment”, Dr. Jerwin Johnted Asuncion filed his irrevocable resignation as Carasi’s rural health unit chief.

The resignation letter was addressed to Carasi Mayor Rene Villa Gaspar and effective April 15, 2014.

Asuncion admitted that his decision to resign stemmed from an incident where a patient died due to a puncture wound. The victim was identified as George B. Ganojera, who suffered the wound from accidentally stepping on a nail.

Blamed
Asuncion was later blamed for the incident as he allegedly did not attend to the victim immediately. To exacerbate the situation, Asuncion was also alleged to have injected the wrong drug.

The incident transpired on January 20 wherein Ganojera went to the RHU seeking medical assistance for his wound. According to Asuncion, the victim was immediately attended to. The victim was also instructed to undergo a tetanus toxoid and amoxicillin treatment thrice daily for seven days.

Asuncion related that Ganojera was also advised to be vaccinated with anti-tetanus (ATS), which was not available at the Carasi RHU. The victim however reportedly replied: “Didiay latta adda ditoyen, doc, isu lattan [Just give me what is available here, doctor].”

Asuncion added that he did what the victim asked and he advised him further to return to the RHU if the wound is aggravated.

On January 28, Ganojera returned to the RHU for follow up treatment and Asuncion found his wound to be dirty and apparently inflamed. The doctor asked the victim to wash the wound. Ganojera also reportedly told Asuncion that he only took the prescribe medicines thrice. The victim also complained of difficulty opening his mouth with numbness in his lower jaw.

Upon hearing this, Asuncion said he told the victim to seek further medical evaluation and management as well as to see a specialist. He then recommended a certain Dr. Pacis.

The recommended doctor however was unavailable and the victim proceeded to Ranada General Hospital in Laoag City.

Asuncion was later informed that the hospital staff administered 500 IU of tetagam to the victim but was not admitted. The hospital reasoned that the case was “grave”, according to Asuncion. As a result the victim returned home.

On January 29, the victim went to the Mariano Marcos Memorial Hospital and Medical Center in Batac City. On February 1, Ganojera passed away.

Neglect of duty memo
On February 12, Asuncion received a memo from Gaspar ordering him to explain in 72 hours why he should not be administratively charged for “neglect of duty”.

In his response to the memo, Asuncion explained what transpired in detail—beginning from the check up at the RHU as he stressed that “I am not an insurer to the good result of the treatment.”

Asuncion said he believes he did his best in treating the victim and there was no neglect of duty on his part. He stressed that he advised the victim to have shots of ATS and his only shortcoming was that he did not insist this.

The doctor added that one factor that may have aggravated the case was the state of the wound which he observed to be exposed to dirt and moisture.

Asuncion also clarified that the tetanus toxoid which he injected to the victim was not only intended for pregnant women as the rumors that have come out says.

“Tetanus toxoid is a tetanus toxoid na [that is] anti tetanus na hindi lang para sa buntis, binibigay din namin sa mga taong nasusugatan [which is not only for pregnant women but also for wounded persons],” Asuncion explained.

Asuncion also admitted that he has apologized to the mayor but not because of any wrongdoing as far the incident was concerned but because of the demise of the victim.

He also strongly believes that the people of Carasi still respects him because the people are still going to him for medical assistance.

“Just to make it clear, nag-resign ako dahil hindi ako [I resigned not because I’m] guilty at wala ako dapat ika-guilty kasi [and I don’t have anything to be guilty about] my conscience is clear at ginawa ko lang iyong tama [I only did what was right],” Asuncion said.

Losing trust
Asuncion however also accepted that although some still trust him, there are also other who no longer do because of this issue. He disclosed that no one is consulting with him medically anymore during his weekend private clinic schedule.

He also emphasized that his medical license has not been revoked contrary to rumors.

Asuncion further divulged that he filed his resignation on March 21, 2014, citing that he was no longer comfortable working at the RHU, especially after he learned that the victim was Gaspar’s relative.

Records show that, Asuncion served Carasi for almost four years and for this he thanked the mayor and the people for welcoming him and for the experiences and skills he gained.

At present, Asuncion was hired by two big private hospitals while he awaits his schedules for his residency training.

Reacting to this, Gaspar admitted in a phone interview that he already approved the Asuncion’s resignation.

Gaspar also revealed that he has no longer has the trust for  Asuncion adding that there is no more reason for the said doctor to work in Carasi.

The mayor said that the posting for the hiring of new RHU chief in Carasi will be posted after the Holy Week.


He also stressed that it would be up to the Ganojera’s family if they would press charges against Asuncion.

Panagbaniaga ti Biag

Ket sirmataek ti parbangon
A pammasungad agdanapidip a kiray
Ti kinamaladaga ti linnaaw iti agsapa
Dagiti maipasngay nga  ayat muyong
Nasudi a samiweng sonata ni ayat
Dagiti sirayak a raya ti init iti agsapa
Kas met iti panagukrad ti sabong
Itag-ay ti init ti alibungubong banglo-sam-it

Umaddang ti aldaw a kantaan ti kulibangbang
Uray dagiti napudaw a kalapati ken pagaw
Napintas ti aglawlaw iti rayray ti init
Sagut met ti ibabangon iti agsapa
Iti sabali a panangrugi a mangtunton
Ti dalan ti panagbaniaga…..

Agtindek manen ti init ti kinasin-aw
Lumabas ti oras tarakitik ti pagorasan
No aglikig ti init malaylayto ti sabong
Ket sumurot met a matnag ti bulong
Ngem saan a dita ti paggibusan
Ta iti ilalabas iti igid ti lansangan
Ti metropolis, uray ditoy ili ti daan a kaunasan
Dinto met mapunas ti ladawan ket tugot
Sakasaka a sakada a nangibuat ti ekonomia
Ta ti malem addanto met pannakaimbirna
Iti laem ti sardam ti panaginana
Mainawto ti arapaap: adda mainaw a parmata
Iti panagbukar ti sabali a parbangon
Simngay ti ibit ti maladaga a kasilpo
Ti panagbaniaga a mangbirok ti kaibatogan.

Amado I. Yoro

Jan 29, 2012

Touched by John Paul the Great

YEAR 2014 is fast becoming a very special year for me. There actually are many reasons for this, and all of them leave me profoundly thankful and nervous. But among the reasons is the most gratifying fact that two men, very close to my heart, will be raised to the altars in this Year of the Laity.

One is Bishop Alvaro del Portillo, successor of Opus Dei founder, St. Josemaria Escriva, who will be beatified in Madrid on September 27. He ordained me to the diaconate in Rome on January 28, 1991. It was his first time to ordain candidates to the priesthood, since he was just consecrated bishop a few weeks earlier that year.

The other is Blessed Pope John Paul II who will be canonized saint on April 27. By an extreme stroke of luck and, I believe, a pure bolt of grace, I was chosen as one of those to be ordained priest by him in Rome that year on May 26, Trinity Sunday.

The moment I was told I would be ordained by Pope John Paul II, I literally froze in disbelief. Spontaneous and strong flow of prayers came a little later. I stammered in thanking God for the great gift, then I started to trace what brought me to that life-changing event.

I don’t think I was a particularly religious person when I was a kid. All I had in mind was to play and be naughty, just like anybody else among my friends. But my mother saw to it that I prayed the Rosary with her and some of my siblings who happened to be caught by her at the moment.

She it was who instilled in me, among many other things, love and veneration for the Pope. My lola and the teachers in grade school, mostly nuns, did the same. And I just developed that love to the point that whenever I saw a picture of Pope John XXIII, the Pope at that time, I felt good and holy and somehow urged to behave.

The nuns in school encouraged me to enter the seminary, but when I brought the idea to my father, he said, no way. And so I forgot about priesthood and pursued what everybody else among my friends was pursuing. At that time, all I wanted was to become rich and all that thingamajig.

But I met Opus Dei while studying in college in Manila. And my life changed, made a sharp turn. Well, that’s now history.

My love and fascination for the Pope grew even more. When Pope Paul VI visited Manila, I happened to stay just a few houses from where the Nunciature, where he stayed, was.

I remember standing the whole day right in front of the Nunciature together with the crowd just to have a glimpse of him. And when I had those glimpses, it was as if I was floating on air with joy. Prayer when infused with joy became effortless.

Then entered Pope John Paul II in 1978. At that time, I was already a professional man, working in some office, but also into deep philosophical and theological studies. It was he who sort of challenged me to take more seriously my Christian formation.

I found him irresistibly stimulating and engaging. I was sure his presence, his words, even his mannerisms were all so soaked with a certain charism that I just found myself insatiably devouring his writings and any piece of news about him. I knew I was learning a lot and growing interiorly.

When he visited Manila in 1981, I volunteered to be part of a press team. That enabled me to see him at close range. It was in Baclaran church, his first stop after arriving at the Manila airport, when I had the first chance almost to touch him if not for the security who stopped me at the last split second.

Then I was asked to go to Rome for ecclesiastical studies. I actually did not seek the priesthood. I simply was called to it, and I just said, yes, after a little reflection.

I still vividly remember every moment of that day of my ordination. What struck me most was that he started it very tired. He just came in from a trip and he already had serious health conditions. But as the event went on, I noticed he became very alive. At the end, he talked to me as if he knew me all along.


I have no doubt he is truly a saint!

Monday, April 28, 2014

Laoag biz renewal reaches 100%

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff Reporter

Laoag City treasurer Ma. Elena Asuncion is all smiles as the city government reported that it has reached the 100 percent permit renewal of all businesses in the city.

Records show that Laoag currently has a total of 3,941 registered business establishments that have renewed their licenses and an additional 106 new business applications as of April 4, 2014.

The city processed 3,929 business establishments last year.

The recorded delinquent payers have also complied with their yearly obligations before the first quarter ended with the help of barangay officials. The barangay officials served as the city government’s “eyes and ears” in discovering which business establishments in their respective areas had no permits to operate.

The treasury office’s task force and enforcement team also continuously roamed around in different barangays assigned to them to monitor the same.

The new business establishments in the city included newly operational boarding houses and apartments, both of which are in demand in the city’s university belt.

Meanwhile, Asuncion revealed that one of the secrets in reaching the 100 percent renewal is their continuous information dissemination and the strict implementation of the “no business permit, no business to operate” policy.

She added that the barangay officials’ help was also huge. They served as their partners in monitoring their respective areas for “colorum” business establishments.

Asuncion’s staff also attended barangay assemblies to reiterate the duties and obligations of business owners.

In a related development, Asuncion also said that the city’s Investment Incentive Code continues to be implemented. She said this has been availed by big corporations which have national prominence and scope.

In the said code, establishments which invest multi-million pesos are given a three-year tax holiday. They would only be required to pay the regulatory fee.

As for the real property tax, beneficiaries are also given a grant of 70 percent as their tax discount from the basic tax, the remaining 30 percent would have to be paid as these are for the barangay share and the special education fund.


Asuncion emphasized that this is one of the big reasons investors continue to put up business in the city.

Deliberate murders land Syria on 2014 Impunity Index



Iraq again tops list of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and killers go free

New York—Targeted murders of journalists in Syria landed the war-torn country for the first time on the Committee to Protect Journalists' annual Impunity Index released April 16. Syria joins Iraq, Somalia, the Philippines, and others on the list of countries where journalists are murdered regularly and their killers go free.

But there was some good news. Four countries on the Index—the Philippines, Pakistan, Russia, and Brazil-achieved at least one conviction in a journalist murder case, while the United Nations recognized the need to combat impunity in a resolution in November.

“In too many countries, the climate of impunity engenders further violence and deprives citizens- global as well as local-of their basic right to information," said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. "Growing awareness about the threat posed by failure to solve journalist murders must be translated into concrete action. Governments and the international community need to work together to end this vicious cycle.”

A series of deliberate murders has added a new threat to the mix in Syria, the most dangerous place in the world for journalists to do their jobs, with dozens of abductions, crossfire fatalities, and deaths carrying out dangerous assignments.

Iraq remains the worst offender on the Index. A hundred journalists have been murdered there in the past decade, all with impunity. After a respite in 2012, nine murders took place last year.

Encouraging developments took place in Pakistan, which convicted six suspects for the 2011 murder of Wali Khan Babar, and Russia, where a businessman was sentenced for the 2000 murder of Igor Domnikov. As is usually the case, according to CPJ research, the masterminds of both crimes remain at large. In Mexico, legislation was approved in April 2013 giving federal authorities jurisdiction to prosecute crimes against journalists. All three countries remain on this year's Index.

The deadly pattern of impunity has at long last prompted an international response. In November of 2013, the U.N. adopted a resolution calling on states to end the cycle of injustice, recognizing November 2 as the International Day to End Impunity and calling on the U.N. secretary general to report at the 2014 General Assembly on the progress made in regard to the 2012 UN Plan of Action on the Safety of Journalists and the Issue of Impunity. (Committee to Protect Journalists)

(CPJ is an independent, nonprofit organization that works to safeguard press freedom worldwide.)


San Nicolas nixes brgy cockfights

By Dominic B. dela Cruz
Staff Reporter

San Nicolas, Ilocos Norte—The municipal council here has returned all barangay resolutions requesting the holding of “tupada”, or cockfights, during their respective fiesta celebrations.

Sangguniang Bayan member Atty. Reynaldo Corpuz, chairperson of the council’s committee on law, said three barangay resolutions were referred to his committee. The said resolutions, coming from Brgys. 6, 7, and 14, requested the holding of “tupadas” during their respective fiestas.

These resolutions however were returned to the said barangays.

Corpuz explained that the resolutions have no legal basis. He added that the requests were later referred to San Nicolas Mayor Melanie Grace Valdez as she has the discretion to give these barangays special permits to hold cockfights.

But as far as the Sangguniang Bayan is concerned, Corpuz said they cannot grant them their request as this would go against the existing policy of law.

The lawyer-lawmaker has also attached a case in his committee report. The attachment is about a case in Bohol where the mayor was convicted by the Sandiganbayan for issuing eight special permits for “tupada”. The conviction was for eight counts.

Corpus stressed that is not the Sangguniang Bayan neither the Office of the Mayor that allows or disallows cockfights but the law.

He added that cockfighting is only legal provided that the “tupada” is conducted in a licensed cockpit and must not be more than three days, and must not be within the legal holidays provided by the cockfighting law.

It should not also be conducted for fundraising and other charitable activities. Its purposes should also be sanctioned or permitted by the national government.


Reacting to this, Ms. Valdez said she has not issued any special permit for barangays to hold cockfights.

PLLENRO urges LGUs to participate in environmental convention

The Philippine League of Local Environment and Natural Resources Officers, Inc. (PLLENRO) will hold its 2014 National Convention with the theme “Building Climate-Resilient Local Government Units.” It will be held on May 7-10, 2014 in Bacolod City.

Local and international resource persons are invited to talk on topic on building resiliency in local government units, their capacity to respond to and recover from any disaster.

During the event, there will also be discussions on efforts to address environmental challenges and sustainability. Sharing of experiences among LGUs on building resilient communities will also be presented. A session on GHG Inventory and Management focusing on entity level inventory to provide PLLENRO members’ capacity in conducting the inventory in their respective LGUs will be discussed.

According to PLLENRO President Danilo Villas, “All provincial, cities and municipal LGUs are encouraged to send their environment officers to participate in this important event. It is through continuous dialog and discussion that we can map out opportunities and eventually think of solutions to environmental challenges.”


For more information, contact the Ms. Prexy Macana via email through pllenro@yahoo.com. You may also text her at 09997703143 and 09063806247. (AIJC)

Eating malunggay leaves lowers blood sugar level and more

By Jund Rian A. Doringo
FNRI-DOST S&T Media Service

Moringa, or more commonly known among Filipinos as malunggay, is a plant acknowledged for its nutritional and medicinal value. Almost all parts of the moringa plant are edible, from the immature seed pods called drumsticks, to the leaves, mature seeds, and roots.

The leaves are said to be the most nutritious part of the plant. According to the Food Composition Tables (FCT) developed by the Food and Nutrition and Research Institute of the Department of Science and Technology (FNRI-DOST), malunggay leaves are significant sources of B vitamins, vitamin C, beta-carotene, zinc, potassium, and iron, among other significant nutrients.

Malunggay is a very common ingredient in Asian cuisines in countries such as Sri Lanka, India, Cambodia, Bangladesh, Thailand, and Pakistan.

In the Philippines, malunggay leaves are added to broth, like in the famous tinola, a traditional chicken soup dish with ginger and green papaya or chayote, to make a nutritious soup. The leaves are also processed with olive oil and salt to become pesto-like pasta sauce or crushed and mixed with lemons or citrus fruits to make juices or ice candies.

Among its many miraculous benefits, moringa can balance blood sugar levels. The FNRI-DOST conducted a study to determine the changes in glucose of people with moderately-raised glucose levels using malunggay leaves powder to verify this claim.

It was found out that food products such as buns, fish sausages, and veggie soups with added malunggay leave powder decreased fasting blood sugar, thus, possessing strong potential in fighting diabetes. However, the cholesterol-lowering effect of malunggay leaves is yet to be established in humans by way of a thorough correlation research study involving repeated observations over long periods of time.

Malunggay, touted as the miracle tree, is very abundant in the Philippines. It is therefore very practical and gainful to undertake studies on how to maximize its health benefits for every Filipino’s well-being.


For more information on food and nutrition, please contact: Dr. Mario V. Capanzana, Director, Food and Nutrition Research Institute, Department of Science and Technology, Bicutan, Taguig City; trunkline: 837 2071 local 2296 or 2287; telephone/fax no.: 837 3164, email: mvc@fnri.dost.gov.ph or mar_v_c@yahoo.com; website: http://www.fnri.dost.gov.ph

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Staton of the cross at Laoag City hall

In the observance of Holy Week, Laoag Mayor Chevylle V. Fariñas joined the station of the cross inside the Laoag City Hall on April 16, Holy Wednesday. (Doms dela Cruz)

Easter’s newness

Are we captives of “pre-conceived ideas of Easter”? theologian Eamonn Bredin asks. Do we assume that Easter is “little more than the simple resuscitation of a larger-than-life Jesus”?

“Then, we have no hope,” he writes in “Rediscovering Jesus”. That’d only be a reprieve, before we slip back into death. “If for this life only we have hoped in Christ," St.  Paul wrote, “We are, of all men, most to be pitied.”

The Philippines leads the world in the number of people who believe in God, a University of Chicago research group reports, based on surveys taken in 30 countries since 1991. Here, 94% percent believe in God, followed by Chileans, 88%, and Americans 81%. Belief was lowest among East Germans, 13% and Czechs, 20 %.

A head count, however, can paper over the deeper fissures. Why is the Philippines, reputed to be the only Christian nation, also among the most corrupt? asked former Asian Development Bank lead economist and UP professor Ernesto Pernia. This disconnect “may have to do with the weak link—or lack thereof—between faith and practice”.

The late Jesuit scientist Fr. Jaime Bulatao, SJ, called this as “split-level Christianity”. A politician attends mass on Sunday, then plunders Monday to Saturday. Think Malampaya and pork barrel racketeering. Hear that Jinggoy, Juan Ponce, Bong and Co.?

What is the empty Garden tomb, with its folded burial shroud, to us? Few of think of our deaths—and Easter is time to grapple with “the two great mysteries that confront us: God and death.”

There are many Easter stories, scholars tell us. But they all express the same message: “God did not allow Him to be held in death”. And Jesus appeared to Simon / me / us / them.

Luke and John come close to a physical description of Jesus after his death by crucifixion. Time and space no longer bind Him. He comes and vanishes, even if doors are shut. Nor do they recognize Him immediately, in the Upper Room or on Lake Galilee’s shores.

They encounter the crucified Jesus in a new way. “He had become another,” Fr. Catalino Arevalo, SJ of Loyola House of Studies notes. “I think of that quaint expression people sometimes use in Taglish: “You are very another na.”

“They recognized Him in the breaking of bread”—description of the Eucharist and mass, since Pilate’s time, the evangelists add. Thus, the Eucharist is Jesus revealed to us as “Emmanuel,” Arevalo adds.  He is “the God who is with us always:  fellow wayfarer, companion on life’s journey, friend of all our nights and days…That is why there is such a bond between Easter and the Eucharist.”

But only 36% of Filipino teenagers believe in the Eucharistic Presence, a survey found. Over 49% thought the Host was just a symbol, or a reminder. The rest were uncertain. Without this bond, will these youngsters, like the women on Easter morning, futilely “seek the living among the dead?”

In the Holy Week readings, we read how the Master’s followers scampered in fright, “Before the cock crows, you will deny Me three times”, He told a self-confident Peter earlier. So, what transformed them after Easter?  

They met Jesus after Calvary and arrived at an absolute certitude: this Jesus who died on the cross had entered into a radically transformed life. They now speak not about some kind of “His cause goes on,” Bredin notes. Rather, they assert: Jesus has been brought, through death, into God’s future.

That experience “brought Peter the Rock out of Simon the betrayer, or a crucified Paul out of a crucifying Saul, or the church of martyrs out of the scattered disciples.” 

The disciples’ experience has been refracted to us over the centuries. In September 1637, a catechist from Tondo, Lorenzo Ruiz refused to renounce his faith. He was executed along with other Christians in the persecutions of the Tokogawa shogunate.  And in April 1672, Pedro Calungsod from the Visayas was speared to death while protecting the Jesuit missionary: Diego Luis de San Vitores. He was named saint in 2012.

“After the resurrection, the disciples saw the living Christ, who they knew to have died, with the eyes of faith,” St. Thomas Aquinas was to write. Thus, the language used by Paul and others in speaking of the Easter appearance is different. They do not say; “We have seen Jesus again”, but “We have seen the Lord and worshiped Him.”

Even those who proclaim the implications of Easter in their lives—Blessed Mother Teresa or John Paul II, who will be canonized as saint April  27—stammered to articulate its meaning. Easter “is the ultimate threshold between history and mystery.”

“Doesn’t the same thing happen to us when something completely new occurs in our everyday life?” Pope Francis asked in an earlier Easter Sunday homily.  We don’t understand. We don’t know what to do.

“Newness often makes us fearful, including the newness which God brings us, the newness which God asks of us. Instead, we cower like the apostles (on Easter morning). We would prefer to hold on to our own security, to stand in front of a tomb, to be are afraid of God’s surprises;

What was a simple act (by Mary Magdalene and the women) of trying to anoint the Crucified’s body—turned into a life-changing event. “Nothing remains as it was before, not only in the lives of those women, but also in our own lives and in the history of mankind.


“How often does Love have to tell us: ‘Why do you look for the living among the dead?’ Our daily problems and worries can wrap us up in ourselves, in sadness and bitterness… And that is where death is. That is not the place to look for the One who is alive!”

Adams (Ilocos Norte) execs teach IPs environmental protection

Silsilungan Falls in Adams
By Leilanie G. Adriano
Staff Reporter

Adams, Ilocos Norte—At a time when traditional hunting and gathering has been embedded as a cultural practice transferred from generation to generations, up to what extent indigenous peoples here should be able to let go of tradition and turn to the need of the time—the protection of the environment.

“As a member of the indigenous peoples (IPs), we are trying to encourage our people to refrain from hunting and gathering because it is now prohibited by law,” said the Brgy. Chairperson and Adams Liga ng mga Barangay President Maelyn Daquioag-Guinayen. Adams is composed of just one barangay.

Nestled deep in the mountains and surrounded by forests, crystal clear rivers and waterfalls in the northern part of Ilocos Norte, Adams is gaining popularity among nature lovers and has attracted foreign, domestic and local tourists to visit and experience extreme adventure.

Opening its windows to eco-tourism development with the ongoing construction of access roads supported by the Department of Tourism, Department of Public Works and Highways and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, has likewise put this hidden paradise vulnerable to environment abuse if not properly managed.

“This is why we continue to educate our constituents and help each other to protect our environment,” said Guinayen in response to a recent controversy sparked by netizens outrage over a local hunter of Adams, when he proudly showed a carcass of a juvenile hornbill killed with his air gun. Tourists with camera took a snapshot of him and later on posted it in Facebook, generating more than 93,000 views and with negative comments from wildlife conservationists.

Guinayen said that the hunting of wild birds and animals has already been a part of the culture of the IPs as they are largely dependent on harvest from the forest.

“Our forefathers had been used to it and this has been a source of our livelihood. Though it’s hard, we are doing our best to educate our constituents for our own good,” she stressed.

Wild birds like the endangered hornbill play a crucial role in ecological balance.

Even the local police here admitted that they are having a hard time implementing environment laws as official complaints have yet to be filed against violators.

To prevent further degradation to the environment, assigned sectoral councilors here have been going on a house-to-house drive to conduct information and education drive for sustainable development.

“We hope our fellow IPs will have an open mind to accept reality,” Guinayen said citing the traditional practice of slash-and-burn farming is still being practiced here.

To date, the Philippine Coconut Authority continue to engage the IP community here to support their livelihood program such as the establishment of fruit plantations such as coconut, rambutan, lansones, coffee and cacao among others.


The local government unit here in cooperation with other government agencies also provide alternative livelihood for the IPs such as training them as tour guides and engaging them in various skills training and food processing.

2nd ‘Himala’: Paoay sand dunes to sizzle with arts, music on May 10

The first Himala sa Buhangin
By Grazielle Mae A. Sales
PGIN-CMO

Fun activities, soul-stirring music and art installations to be turned into giant campfires are set to enliven the famous Paoay sand dunes as the Province of Ilocos Norte’s ‘Himala’ (Miracle) festival comes back this May 10 in time for the summer vacation.

Dubbed ‘Himala sa Buhangin’, this biggest offbeat outdoor arts and music festival in the north is expected to gather the biggest party-ready crowd up north as with its debut which had a turnout of at least 5,000 people. 

Awaiting revelers are sand sports like 4×4 racing competitions, sand castle making, sand boarding, Zorb riding, sand castle and other entertainment like belly and fire dancing. Various unique art installations and Arabian-inspired parties are also back in the lineup.

Slated May 10, the whole-day event will make a comeback that brings together the hottest rock bands and artists in the country, headlined by the “Prince of Rock” Bamboo, the former Rivermaya front man and one of the resident judges of the hit reality singing competition, “The Voice of the Philippines”.

He is best known for the phenomenal rock songs “Noypi”, “Much Has Been Said” and “Tatsulok”. Also sharing the festival bill are up-and-coming local bands.

Remarkable debut
The venue for the first ‘Himala’ festival, Paoay sand dunes, is an 88-kilometer sand formation at the borders of Paoay town. With various local films and Hollywood films shot in the said site, it was chosen by the provincial government as the venue for the event to further strengthen its potentials as an all-around venue for the arts.

Thousands of attendees to the fest’s debut were entertained through various sand and sports activities in the morning. Murals by Gerilya Artists Collective were also displayed. They feature the famous Ilocano epic hero Lam-Ang and superstar Nora Aunor’s trademark pose in the renowned Filipino classic movie where she uttered "Walang Himala!" (There are no miracles!), which in turn became the inspiration for the festival’s name.

In the evening, visitors were warmly received into Moroccan-inspired tents and to a banquet of various Asian dishes as they were kept amused through a free concert which featured famous Filipino bands like Up Dharma Down and Wolfgang as well as other Manila-based acts: Powerpuff Corn, Hidden Nikki, and Sleepwalk Circus.

Massive art installations headlined by “Chrysalis”, a massive art installation by the international Filipino visual artist, Leeroy New, was the highlight of the event.

Chrysalis, an alternative term for a hard-shelled pupa of a butterfly, was the name aptly given to the indigenous sculpture to symbolize Ilocos Norte’s budding tourism industry. In history however, it is an artistic representation of the toppled galleon that brought the 400-year-old image of the province’s patroness, La Virgen Milagrosa, to the shores of the town of Badoc.

All art installations in the venue, except for the Chrysalis were burned during the event to symbolize the Provincial Government’s call to gather everybody to celebrate Ilocos Norte’s successes.            

Festival talk   
According to Elaine Lubguban, the media incentives desk officer and one of the organizers of the event, New is returning for another installation.

She also revealed that Gerry Leonardo, a Philippine High School for the Arts art teacher and famous Filipino visual artist, will also be crafting a fiber glass sculpture of Elsa, the iconic protagonist from the most celebrated classic Filipino film, “Himala”. It will be publicly unveiled during the event.

The 88-kilometer sand formation at the borders of Paoay town was chosen as the venue for the event as an opportunity to further strengthen its potential in tourism.

“Before, the folks in Paoay would cry over these sand dunes because they couldn’t farm there, but movie directors here and abroad love it. Tourists are fascinated as well that 4X4 rides and sand boarding start to provide income to the people. Indeed, this is the true ‘himala’,” Ilocos Norte Governor Ma. Imelda “Imee” R. Marcos said in an interview.

The Himala sa Buhangin Festival is one of the major events under La Milagrosa Provincial Fiesta which was launched in 2012 to honor the patroness of the province, La Virgen Milagrosa de Badoc.


For more info and updates: Check out www.tourismilocosnorte.com and the following media sites: facebook.com/IlocosNorteOfficial, facebook.com/LaMilagrosaFestival andtwitter.com/Ilocos_Norte. Use the hashtag #Himala2014 in all your posts and tweets.