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IN-FOCUS: THE BENEFITS FOR SENIOR CITIZENS AND RETIREES IN THE PHILIPPINES

Issue 54, Vo lum e V I I I

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APRIL & MAY 2017

LEADERS GOVERNOR OF LA UNION, EMMANUEL “PACOY” ORTEGA III INDUSTRY RANG-AY BANK’S CEO, IVES NISCE BUSINESS 10 MODERN WAYS TO STAY FOCUSED AND PRODUCTIVE THE ECONOMY #NEWPHILIPPINES & THE MODERN LANDSCAPE

INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR

GREAT GETAWAYS 24 THINGS TO DO IN BATANGAS


The finder made simple. Created and designed by locals for locals and foreigners searching for only the best places to eat, drink, shop, watch, stay, and play in the Philippines.

Coming soon on

www.LOVEOFCOUNTRY.ph ISSUE 54 — 03


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CONTENTS

50

ON THE COVER

THE ECONOMY I INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS #NewPhilippines “It is both proud and curious to know that the Philippines houses three out of the ten largest shopping malls on earth. Despite being one of the poorest in Asia, the country, from an outside perspective, reflects a rich foliage of business spaces, a mirage of modern landscapes, and a pandemonium of modern day rush—among other things. The urban landscape now is a far cry from a handful of isolated, rather specialty stores that once pioneered the ‘Western’ influence some decades ago.” Pages 18-27 LEADERS I FROM THE EXECUTIVE’S DESK Man of the Hour: Q&A with Governor Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega III “Leadership by example. I come to the office early. I make sure that I’m able to accomplish everything before the end of a day. I’m serious about governance – in doing things the right way.” Pages 28-29 LEADERS I FROM THE EXECUTIVE’S DESK 61 Years of Progress: Rang-Ay Bank CEO, Ives Nisce “As an institution, we serve as a catalyst for development and prosperity within our local community. We want to show people that they can depend on a rural bank like us to become their primary financial access point. We are here to empower the rural communities, such as farmers, the fisher folks, even micro-entrepreneurs. They are our priority.” Pages 30-32

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Follow us on Instagram for more scenes of the Philippines. @BalikbayanMag Photographed by Brian Mirasol


BUSINESS I INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS What it takes to be a creative entrepreneur 18 Must Do’s for a greater you. Pages 36-38 BUSINESS I INSIGHTS & ANALYSIS 10 Modern Ways To Stay Focused And Productive Pages 40-44 TRAVEL I GREAT GETAWAYS 24 Things To Do In Batangas “When you’re planning a trip in Manila and have just a few days to spend, you don’t have to go far. South of the metropolis just a couple of hours or even less is a destination that’s heaped with diverse attractions.” Pages 46-47 THE ECONOMY I ACROSS THE ISLANDS Cebu And Its Rising Economy “Regional and economic growth in the south has never been this apparent, and indeed, Cebu is on the rise as the country’s alternate metropolis. More businessmen are locating themselves in Cebu and it seems that business process outsourcing (BPO) industries, tourism, information technology (IT), creative industries, and having a talented workforce are contributing to Cebu’s growing economy.” Pages 48-49 TRAVEL I DISCOVERY A Beauty To Fall For: La Union “They are people with a happy and kindred spirit. Greeting with a smile is a common gesture and they’re ready to go the extra mile to make you feel comfortable.The authenticity of the people here enchants visitors to always come back for more.” Pages 60-63 FASHION Summer Fashion Catalog With OTTO Shoes Pages 64-71 OUTLOOK I RETIREMENT Privileges For Senior Citizens In The Philippines Pages 72-78 CULTURE I PEOPLE Profiling 5 incredibly inspiring stories of Filipino priests based in the United States of America. Pages 80-93 ISSUE 54 — 09


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PUBLISHER & CEO PRESIDENT & CO-PUBLISHER EDITOR-IN-CHIEF VICE PRESIDENT FOR SALES VICE PRESIDENT FOR MARKETING AND SPECIAL EVENTS, PHILIPPINES ASSOCIATE EDITOR SENIOR ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT CHIEF PHOTOGRAPHER FEATURES WRITER

ROGER L. ORIEL CORA M. ORIEL RAPHAEL JOHN C. ORIEL SHARON ANN BATHAN-SAN PEDRO VINCE F. SAMSON CHRISTINA M. ORIEL KIMBERLY DELOS SANTOS GREG TRINIDAD NOEL TY CHARISSE TRINIDAD

ADVERTISING EXECUTIVES

ROCELLE ANABEZA KATRINA DELA CRUZ JAZMINE LABORIANTE DENNISE SALVADOR

MULTIMEDIA DEVELOPERS

GODWIN GASACAO EUGENE DE GUZMAN

CONTRIBUTING EDITOR CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER GRAPHIC DESIGNER

MARY MAY PORTEZ PROSY ABARQUEZ-DELACRUZ, J.D. DANA SIOSON JESSA TEK-ING BRIAN MIRASOL KRISTINE TAN

ACCOUNTANT

GEMMA C. FABRO

ADMIN AND FINANCE OFFICER

GERALOU SAGUN

CIRCULATION MANAGERS

ARTHUR SIBULANGCAO ROLANDO MANESE

ASIAN JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INCORPORATED PUBLISHER & CEO PRESIDENT CHIEF FINANCIAL OFFICER EXECUTIVE VICE PRESIDENT SENIOR VICE PRESIDENT VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING MANAGING EDITOR

ROGER L. ORIEL CORA M. ORIEL ELIZABETH HILARIO SISON BELLE M. SISON MONETTE ADEVA MAGLAYA IVY MANALANG CHRISTINA M. ORIEL

VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER LAS VEGAS

ROBERT MACABAGDAL

VICE PRESIDENT & GENERAL MANAGER NORTHERN CALIFORNIA

JOSEPH PERALTA

EXECUTIVE EDITOR USA NEW YORK & NEW JERSEY EDITOR-IN-CHIEF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ORANGE COUNTY & THE INLAND EMPIRE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF PHILIPPINES

MOMAR VISAYA MALOU LIWANAG-BLEDSOE

BILLY DE LA CRUZ

SUBSCRIBE TODAY. 6 ISSUES FOR ONLY $30 / YEAR. NO PART OF THIS PUBLICATION MAY BE REPRODUCED OR TRANSMITTED IN ANY FORM OR BY ANY MEANS, ELECTRONIC OR MECHANICAL, INCLUDING PHOTOCOPY, RECORDING OR ANY INFORMATION STORAGE OF RETRIEVAL SYSTEMS, WITHOUT PERMISSION IN WRITING FROM THE PUBLISHER. ASIAN JOURNAL PUBLICATIONS, INC. REGRETS THAT NO RESPONSIBILITY CAN BE ACCEPTED FOR UNSOLICITED MATERIAL, WHICH WILL BE RETURNED ONLY IF STAMPED, ADDRESSED ENVELOPE IS ENCLOSED. PRINTED IN THE PHILIPPINES. DISTRIBUTED IN THE PHILIPPINES FOR NEWLY ARRIVED BALIKBAYANS AT DUTY FREE PHILIPPINES, AS WELL AS AT SELECT HOTEL ROOMS, RESORTS, RESTAURANTS AND CAFES, MAJOR BOOKSTORES AND MAGAZINE DISTRIBUTORS. CIRCULATED AT SPECIAL EVENTS AND THROUGH SUBSCRIPTION THROUGHOUT THE WORLD.

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LANDSCAPES Photo of the Month I April 2017 I The Makati Skyline Overlooking the Manila Golf & Country Club

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PHOTOGRAPHER Dr. Roxanne C. Oriel ISSUE 54 — 013


LANDSCAPES Photo of the Month I May 2017 I Welcome to Summers in the Philippines

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PHOTOGRAPHER The Intelligents Group ISSUE 54 — 015


PUBLISHER’S NOTE Keeping a Journal

Did you know that on average, most people spend over eight hours a day staring at a screen—at something hoping to take control of our attention and penetrate our minds. Screens have literally taken over our lives. From your phone, television, computer, car, and possibly to even on your face. On average, people with smartphones check their screens 150 times a day—checking Facebook, emails, Twitter, Instagram, taking selfies, responding to messages, or reading the internet. I’ve recently noticed that even while I’m talking to friends, family, and colleagues, we’re talking while looking at our phones— multitasking. Its quite amazing what our brains are capable of, just the other day, my daughter, acutely focused, was studying while she was listening to a podcast, the TV was on, and beside her laptop was her smartphone—she’s in high school. I’ve heard a multitude of people (both young and old) say that they prefer to text than call. Sometimes when I’m travelling I don’t even bring a traditional camera with me anymore because my smartphone takes incredible photos—its just so much more convenient and I’ve recently learned image ‘filters’ to make the photo even more aesthetically appealing. Snap the image, tweak it a little bit with these filters then easily share it to my family and friends just inches, miles, or even oceans away. Oh–the times we live in—and whatever we need, there’s surely an app for that. But online doesn’t consume or dominate every facet of our lives as it may truly seem. And the notion that legacy media—news organizations that predate the internet such as our Asian Journal community newspapers are being pushed aside by the internet is

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erroneous and misguided. As written in Wired Magazine’s article “Old School Media Is Pulling Way More Viewers Than You Think, an article that appears in their special focus on ‘The News In Crisis’, “But in researching who was watching and reading what at the end of 2016, one thing became clear: Some of the oldest voices in the news are still the biggest. Just the print issue of The New York Times reaches more people every day than the Huffington Post does, and the nightly news shows on ABC, CBS, and NBC each have many millions more viewers than even the highest-trafficked news site.” I embrace learning new technologies and strategizing how we can implement them for a better experience for you, our readers. After so much time, analysis, and work, we are incredibly excited to launch our new digital platforms to better connect and inform you about your community and your world. If you don’t stay current, the World will pass you by. It’s important to constantly be stimulated by learning something new no matter our age. Despite all the complexities of the modern era and our hesitations for clicking a button with the fear of messing something up in our computer or on the internet, amazing technologies and intelligent designs are created to make our lives better, more convenient—to provide you with a certain level of contentment in simplicity.

Roger L. Oriel Publisher & CEO Asian Journal Media Group


A UNIQUE REAL ESTATE DEVELOPMENT

AT

MONTEMARIA ESTATES, BATANGAS CITY, PHILIPPINES

WINDING ITS WAY SOON

A PROJECT OF

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THE ECONOMY Insights & Analysis

#NEWPHILIPPINES

—Of the country’s diversifying culture, expanding urban landscape, growing traffic, and celebrated consumerism Preface Modernity is not limited to a country’s proficiency in speaking English—although it does pose an advantage for the Philippines against its neighboring Asian countries—nor its echelon of commercial spaces and high-rise buildings. At its core, true modernization reflects a working balance among every aspect of change: from social mobility, adaptive culture change, merit-base success among its work force, and knowledgeintensive productivity using today’s ever-changing technology. It is an inevitable force that pushes a country to vie for a dominant position in the global economic ladder. And with the Philippines being one of the rising fulcrums of business startups and BPOs (Business Process Outsourcing), it faces a challenge of equity and consistency; as urbanization, consumer spending, and cost of living soar, the rest need to keep up with the tide. WRITER Mary May Portez

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“There’s always a need for a new product,” shares Monique Recato, a Buyer of six years for a local supermarket chain. Sorting out dozens of ready-to-eat brands, she states that products need to keep up with the consumer’s changing lifestyle. After half a century of change, the on-the-go trend continues to pivot the market and food is not an exemption. Much like technology, there’s an increase in the demand for “portable” and “quick” food fix. From a home cooked packed lunch to an organic, high-fiber sub from a fancy deli, everything need to be fast, efficient, and trendy. But what do we make out of juxtaposing the then and the now? If anything, it shows that the word “change” is an understatement, as the latter stems from a cluster of things that make up a new whole, or sub-whole, or a completely different whole.

YOURS (YES! YOU, MILLENNIAL) AND YOUR PARENTS’ PHILIPPINES It is both proud and curious to know that the Philippines houses three out of the ten largest shopping malls on Earth. Despite being one of the poorest in Asia, the country, from an outside perspective, reflects a rich foliage of business spaces, a mirage of modern landscapes, and a pandemonium of modern day rush—among other things. The urban landscape now is a far cry from a handful of isolated, rather specialty stores that once pioneered the ‘Western’ influence some decades ago. The choices back then were either specific or limited, if not completely scant, which in many ways pose a certain degree of caliber and integrity—not that the case, currently, is otherwise, but one can argue that merchandise/services before the “global commercialization” were more, in a better sense, enduring. Prior to the emergence of shopping malls, ubiquitously peeking out of every street corner, everywhere, the so-called Filipino lifestyle was adequate. Adequate in a sense that people live within one’s means and acquire only what is necessary resulting to a few spending outlets—or at least, as history states. Competition among local and international brands were subtly concentrated. Before SM (Shoe Mart) and Puregold, the biggest names dominating the consumer world were COD1 and Cherry Foodarama2. It did not quite compete with the number of branches SM has now, but it did lead in local consumer spending. There weren’t as much foreign brands, which was a good indication of a high GDP (Gross Domestic Product) rate and that local brands were highly celebrated. In an economist’s point of view, the Philippines then was “manageable”: there were foreign investors, but there was local savings.

YOURS (YES! YOU, MILLENNIAL) VS YOUR PARENTS’ PHILIPPINES AND WHAT OF IT To give an overview, the Philippines’ GDP from construction increased to 212997.44 PHP Million in the fourth quarter of 2016 from 193’310.28 PHP Million in the third quarter of the same year. It averaged to 13’8371.21 PHP Million from 2008 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 213’768.39 PHP Million in the second quarter of 2016 and a record low of 85’502.67 PHP Million in the first quarter of 20083. For the past decades, the country witnessed the rise and further rise of construction to supply the demand for business and residential spaces, and how supermarkets seem to be in the center of it all. Case in point: early this year, senators probe into the Department of Transportation’s 2.8 PHP Billion Metro Rail Transit (MRT)-Light Rail Transit (LRT) common station project4 (currently under TRO5) and who will hold liability for the 200 PHP Million naming rights contract of SM Prime. Construction is expected to begin this December, while the target for commercial operations to begin in April 2019, but with its current “situation”, it may take longer than that. Consumer spending, on the other hand, has averaged to 921746.54 PHP Million from 1998 until 20166 as global brands continue to infiltrate the local scene. As seen in the graph on the next page (Philippine Consumer Spending), there was no evidence of fluctuation as the statistics continue to go up for the past eight years. Heads up to S&R, Landers, H&M, Pottery Barn, Uniqlo, and Zara. The country’s CPI (Consumer Price Index) also increased to 147.20 Index Points in February from 146.80 Index Points in January of 2017. CPI averaged 44.49 Index Points from 1957 until 2017, reaching an all time high of 147.20 Index Points in February of 2017 and a record low of 1.30 Index Points in February of 19577. But what does it all tell us? One, that the Philippines has successfully jockeyed itself in the global sphere of commercialism; Two, that despite the traffic and narrowing roads, the economic outlook of the Philippines, surprisingly, is being viewed optimistically by foreign investors; Three, even though the issue of minimum wage continues to be an impasse, the cost of living and consumer consumption incessantly go up whether we, especially minimum wage earners, like it or not; Four, that the Philippines has undedone a complete 360 and is still moving, hopefully, forward; And five, that for consumer spending, there’s nowhere to go but up. So in the argument of whether the Philippines then is better than the Philippines now, the better question is on rather “how can the country keep up with the change.” A lot has happened to the Philippines and everything...everyone need to leg up.

1 A popular department store in Cubao that sold both local and branded merchandise. First opened in Avenida in 1948 and opened a new branch in Cubao nine years after. The COD mall was the pioneer of Christmas On Display whose rights were recently bought by another group and is being showcased every year in Greenhills, San Juan. 2 Owned by the Ong family, Cherry Foodarama is considered as one of the pioneers in the retail industry. To date, after about six decades in business, SM’s SY Group has acquired three of the remaining Cherry Foodarama. 3 Figures sourced from the Philippine National Statistical Coordination and comparison taken from tradingeconomics.com. 4 A project of the DOTr and private companies to provide 3 essential components: 1. Area A were the platform and concourse for LRT1 and MRT3 are located 2. Area B where two concourses connecting Areas A and C are located. 3. Area C where the platform for MRT7 is located. 5 TRO: Temporary Restraining Order 6 Figures sourced from the Philippine National Statistical Coordination. 7 Source: Philippine Statistics Authority

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PHILIPPINES CONSUMER SPENDING (IN PHP MILLIONS)

1,450,000

1,400,000

1,350,000

1,300,000

1,250,000

1,200,000 JAN 2014

JULY 2014

JAN 2015

JULY 2015

JAN 2016

JUL 2016

JAN 2017

SOURCE: WWW.TRADINGECONOMICS.COM I PHILIPPINE NATIONAL STATISTICAL COORDINATION BOARD ISSUE 54 — 021


HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX (HDI) VALUE 2015 0.925 2015 RANK 5 2014 RANK 4

0.865 2015 RANK 30 2014 RANK 30

0.789 2015 RANK 59 2014 RANK 59

0.740 2015 RANK 87 2014 RANK 88

0.738

2015 RANK 90 2014 RANK 91

SINGAPORE

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BRUNEI

MALAYSIA

THAILAND

CHINA

0.689 2015 RANK 113 2014 RANK 113

INDONESIA

0.683 2015 RANK 115 2014 RANK 115

VIETNAM

0.682 2015 RANK 116 2014 RANK 114

PHILIPPINES


HUMAN DEVELOPMENT INDEX The United Nations Development Program’s Human Development Report 2016, titled “Human Development for Everyone,” showed the Philippines ranked 116th out of 188 contries and territories in 2015, with a score that was below average in East and the Pacific. VERY HIGH HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

HIGH HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

MEDIUM HUMAN DEVELOPMENT

SOURCE: UNITED NATIONS DEVELOPMENT PROGRAM HUMAN DEVELOPMENT REPORT 2016

0.668

0.624 2015 RANK 131 2014 RANK 131

INDIA

0.605 2015 RANK 133 2014 RANK 133

TIMOR-LESTE

0.720 0.586 2015 RANK 138 2014 RANK 137

LAOS

0.563 2015 RANK 143 2014 RANK 143

CAMBODIA

0.717 0.556 2015 RANK: 145 2014 RANK: 146

DEVELOPING COUNTRIES

EAST ASIA AND THE PACIFIC

THE WORLD

MYANMAR

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$516,952

$342,654

$165,432 $155,426 $144,909

BRAZIL 024 — ISSUE 54

INDIA

TURKEY

RUSSIA

CHINA


THE TOP 10 COUNTRIES PERFORMING IN PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP (PPP) INVESTMENTS FROM 1990-2015 (IN $ MILLIONS)

Despite being portrayed as a seemingly arduous and drawn out task, the implementation of the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Program of the Philippines has produced major results in comparison to some of the biggest economies in the world. In the past 25 years, the Philippines ranks as the eighth largest recipient of private investment in infrastructure. Three recent PPP projects -implemented by the previous administration is ranked amongst the ten biggest in the world.

$142,088 $97,978 $72,588 $71,957 $69,403

MEXICO

ARGENTINA

PHILIPPINES

INDONESIA

CHILE ISSUE 54 — 025


COUNTRY HAPPINESS RANKINGS

14

19

27

39

40

48

57

THAILAND

CHINA

PHILIPPINES

SOUTH KOREA

INDONESIA

TAIWAN

SINGAPORE

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THE WORLD HAPPINESS REPORT HOW HAPPY ARE COUNTRIES IN ASIA?

The Cantril Ladder question asks respondents to envision where they stand on 10 numbered steps—from the worst possible quality of life to the highest representing the best possible situation. The World Happiness Report by the Sustainable Development Solutions Nework, a United Nations commissioned department is based on the answers of roughly 3,000 people in each of over 150 countries. The latest release of the report indicates that while the Philippines is in the lower half of the global rankings, Filipinos feel higher up the ladder than most of their regional neighbors.

66

78

83

96 102 107 120

CAMBODIA

HONG KONG

MALAYSIA

VIETNAM

LAOS

JAPAN

INDIA ISSUE 54 — 027


GAME CHANGERS Leaders I From the Executive’s Desk

01 WHAT MOTIVATED AND INSPIRED YOU TO DIVE INTO POLITICS? Since childhood, I have been introduced to public service. I have witnessed my father, former Governor Manuel Ortega, did what he does best. People love him and respect him. At a young age, my eyes were opened to the significance of what was the impact of his role as a Governor and that’s when the value of giving back to our people has been first instilled in my mind. My political career started during 1992 when I ran as a last minute candidate for provincial board member and won. Back then, I was only 25 but I was determined. As they say, the rest is history and here I am now still on my mission to serve and uplift La Union as the governor.

Q&A

MAN of the HOUR

—Governor Emmanuel “Pacoy” Ortega III

Preface A province full of potential, La Union’s prowess is yet to be untapped. It has so much promise that it’s not impossible to achieve its remarkable vision of being “The Heart of Agri-Tourism in Northern Luzon by 2025.” Blending leadership with heart and soul, Governor Francisco Emmanuel Ortega III, fondly known to many as Gov. Pacoy, is our man of the hour as he shares the story of his commitment to the province, his passion towards the fulfillment of a transformed La Union and more. WRITER Jessa Tek-Ing PHOTOGRAPHER Godwin Gasacao

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02 HOW WAS YOUR FIRST 100 DAYS? I took my oath two days after I won the election and the first question I was asked was: “What will you do as a governor?” Ironically, I have to ask myself two questions in order to come up with an answer. First, “What is my role as a governor?” As a governor, I’m here to initiate true change in government. I am here to inspire and lead by example. In the provincial government, our motto is “I love La Union.” It goes without saying that everything I do for the people and for the province is for the love of La Union. I aim to involve everyone hence the development of the grassroots immersion program: “I love La Union, I love My Barangay”. This will ensure that no one is left behind and every single individual is on board in this journey towards the realization of our 2025 vision. Secondly, “What is the role of the province and local government units?” That is to provide services to the people based on the available resources that we have. As a unit, we have leveraged on promoting two major industries: tourism and agriculture. Since a majority of the areas in the province are agriculture based, we want to maximize the full potential of our agrarian industries. Apart from surfing, we also want to showcase La Union’s abundant rural resources and its natural beauty. With this, we hope to drive local economic growth and progress that can give our citizens better quality of life. So far, so good. I’m happy with the rate we are going and I appreciate the commitment and effort shown by my constituents as well. 03 WHAT HAVE BEEN YOUR BIGGEST CHALLENGES SO FAR? When my father was still the governor, I’ve already been actively participating in his projects. I’m not new to the job. But it’s different kapag ikaw na mismo. Iba yung behind the scenes ka, iba din yung ikaw na mismo ang nagpapatakbo. In any change, there will always be resistance. In the early days, I nudged my cabinet members to be open-minded and to come along for a ride with me! I tell them that we can’t afford to remain the status quo. If we do, we will be left behind. I have to keep pushing because we have to be at par with the fast-paced technology and developments around us. 04 HOW DID YOU OVERCOME THESE CHALLENGES? I keep calm. My attitude is to remain cool. I think it helps to set your expectation. Expect that there will be resistance to change and being prepared to manage it is a proactive step. As a leader, I have to understand the reasons why people object to the change and that gives me the opportunity to plan my management strategy. I have to assure them that our effort and programs toward transformative governance are for the good of all. At the end of the day, when we go home to our families, we are but the constituents of the province. Therefore, we are doing this for everyone including ourselves. We have to have that mindset that this is for the welfare of all. Leadership by example. I come to the office early. I make sure that I’m able to accomplish everything before the end of a day. I’m serious about governance – in doing things the right way.


05 LET’S TALK ABOUT THE “I LOVE LA UNION” LOGO. Our vision is for La Union to become the Heart of Agri-Tourism in Northern Luzon. When we launched “I Love La Union, I Love My Barangay” which was part of our initiative towards that vision, I told the people that our growth and development as a province must start and end with them especially those in our countryside communities. Again, we are doing this for them – for La Union. We want them to be the first to benefit from the realization of this dream. The heart logo symbolizes the different towns uniting to bring their different agri-tourism products and destinations together. The blue and red colors of the heart symbolize responsible and reliable governance and the love and passion for serving. Guided by one vision, each symbol is connected to form the whole heart which signifies the important role of everyone in this journey towards true change and transformative governance. 06 THE PERSON YOU ADMIRE THE MOST? My father had set the bar so high. His political record was truly impeccable. He had successfully implemented and executed government projects through the years which left a mark on the people. Every day he would visit me in the office. His presence continues to give us inspiration. As a matter of fact, he is my most trusted senior consultant right now. I’m here to continue or even surpass the legacy my father had started. I get my strength from him as much as he gets his strength from me and the rest of the family. 07 WHAT IS THE BEST ADVICE YOU HAVE EVER RECEIVED? We were in his office which is my office now and I will not forget the day my father told me that in order to become a good leader, you must first become a good follower. Also, as a leader, you must understand that you can’t please everybody. My father showed me that a good leader has to have a clear vision and solid strategy to achieve it. He needs to understand what purposes and objectives are to be attained and needs to hold tight to those purposes without compromising the truth. If you think that what you’re doing is in the best interests of the majority, then stand for it. And stand firmly.

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BUSINESS Leaders I From the Executive’s Desk

61 YEARS of PROGRESS

—Rang-Ay Bank CEO, Ives Nisce

Preface Meet Ives Nisce, President and CEO of Rang-ay Bank. A businessman and father with an astonishing amount of entrepreneurship and resourcefulness, has led the bank to become the biggest bank network in its class in the Ilocos, Pangasinan, and the Cordillera provinces. WRITER Jessa Tek-Ing PHOTOGRAPHER Godwin Gasacao

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On my way to interview Rang-Ay Bank President and CEO Ives Nisce in his office in San Fernando, La Union, I couldn’t help but admire how he’s able to manage and sustain the business for not one but six fruitful decades. I arrived in his office past seven in the evening. Later on, I found out that we were in the same exact location of the original bank founded in 1956, which happened to be their home at the time. Nisce was born in Zamboanga but grew up in La Union. After high school, he relocated to Manila to study in Ateneo de Manila University where he completed his bachelor’s degree. Upon graduation, he was offered a position in Citibank and handled major financial accounts. He recalls the early days and shares his journey with Rang-Ay Bank – the beginning of it all. “My grandparents Numeriana Querol and Teofilo Nisce were the founders of the bank. However, given their limited knowledge in banking, they requested my parents to run and operate it for them. My father was the first manager of Rang-ay.” “In 1977, my father suffered a stroke so he had to fly and undergo a heart bypass operation in the US. Being the eldest son, I had to do my part and take over while my father was recovering. Initially, the plan was for me to manage it for one or two months.” Upon recovery, his father asked him to fully take over the bank as he decided to retire. That’s when Nisce embraced his role and committed himself to leading the organization towards the realization of its vision. Rang-ay Bank is celebrating its 61st anniversary this year, and has big plans, including opening several more branches in addition to the existing 25 in the region. Currently, it has 200 employees and will continue to hire more as it continues to grow and expand in the years to come. RANG-AY, THE COUNTRYSIDE BANK “Rang-ay” is the Ilocano word for progress. Since the institution’s foundation in 1956, it has remained true to its name. “As an institution, we serve as a catalyst for development and prosperity within our local community. We want to show people that they can depend on a rural bank like us to become their primary financial access point. We are here to empower the rural communities, such as farmers, the fisher folks, even micro-entrepreneurs. They are our priority.”

“As an institution, we serve as a catalyst for development and prosperity within our local community. We want to show people that they can depend on a rural bank like us to become their primary financial access point. We are here to empower the rural communities, such as farmers, the fisher folks, even micro-entrepreneurs. They are our priority.” 032 — ISSUE 54

“DAHIL ASENSO MO, TAGUMPAY NG RANG-AY!” Achieving success in life is not something one gets by chance or luck but is something one gets by combining skills, timing, passion and hard work. For a renowned business tycoon like Nisce, success does not come from reaching a certain standard – but from being unique and memorable. Nisce shared that their success is not about how much profit they gain. It is about the impact of their services on people’s lives. As a witness to the hard work and dedication of their fellow Ilocanos like farmers, fisher folks, carpenters and small business owners, they want to help and encourage them engage in productive endeavors that can change their lives. “We want to make a difference. Kapag pinautang mo ang isang magsasaka, alam mong mababago nito ang buhay niya. The agricultural loan you will lend a farmer, no matter how big or small, will have a direct impact on his life. Case in point: it will provide him the means needed for an abundant harvest so he could generate more income. From there, he will be able to finance his children’s education and give them a bright future.” Nisce also emphasized that dependability and relevance of service rendered are how they are able to stay afloat in this fast-changing and competitive environment. 61 YEARS AND COUNTING: NEXT STEPS FOR RANG-AY BANK How does Rang-Ay Bank plan to sustain its success and continuous progress? While the institution has established its status as an industry leader, Nisce highlighted that they are still guided with the legacy his father left - to be a reliable countryside bank for the Ilocano people. With determination in his voice, he said, “At the heart of Rang-Ay bank’s strategic mission is innovation and entrepreneurship. We will continue to innovate with competitive banking services that transform the lives of many.”


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BUSINESS Insights & Analysis

WHAT IT TAKES TO BE A CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR Preface In today’s economic world, entrepreneurship is considered the key factor toward economic development. Entrepreneurs strive to create more opportunities in industry, providing more employment options and ultimately having a positive impact on per capital income, revenue generation, lifestyle, etc. Here are some pointers on what it takes to involve yourself with one of the most important elements of entrepreneurship: creativity. WRITER Charisse Trinidad

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01 STEP AWAY FROM THE SCREEN Sometimes the best thing you can do to refresh your brain is to step away from your computer, tablet, or phone and just brainstorm on a whiteboard. 02 WORK BACKWARDS Set a long term goal first, then create a plan for how to achieve it. When it comes to solving problems, and keeping your creative spark bright, working backwards can provide a more unique and often smarter solution. 03 KEEP NOTES ON EVERYTHING Writing down everything, no matter how small or insignificant, might save you one day. Jones suggests using a white board or idea board to keep your ideas prominent, and constantly writing and rewriting words and phrases. Snap a picture before you erase your ideas, and keep them in a special folder that you can easily navigate later. 04 TAKE OCCASIONAL MENTAL BREAKS Working yourself ragged isn’t good for your health or creativity. Boost your entrepreneurial creativity by taking a few minutes every hour or so to relax and listen to a song or read an article. It might be just what you need to push yourself over that last mental hump. It’s important to know when to keep working and when to take an extra five minutes for making the next pot of coffee.


THE JOURNEY OF REDISCOVERY BEGINS HERE

www.BALIKBAYANPROGRAM.com NORTH AMERICA I EUROPE I MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA I ASIA I AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND I SOUTH AMERICA ISSUE 54 — 035


05 GO OUT FOR A DRINK Now and then, it’s best to trade the coffee mug for a cold, hard one. A single beer can relax your brain, making you less focused on the negatives, and less likely to squash your good ideas. Take a trip with a few of your most creative minds to the local bar, or sit down in the office with a bottle of wine, and let the ideas fly. Have everyone take notes, and come back to it in the morning when you sober up. 06 USE SOME MOOD LIGHTING Turning down the lights might just boost your entrepreneurial creativity, and ramp up your creative thinking, writes Chris Weller in Medical Daily. One German university study found that dimming the lights can boost creativity, lower inhibitions, and even raise your determination. Next time you’re suffering from a bit of creative block, try simply changing your lighting. 07 DAY DREAM Sometimes the best thing for our brains is to just let it wander. One study done by the University of California in 2012 found that letting your mind drift actually helps boost creative thinking. 08 GET UP AND DO IT Sometimes the best way to boost your creativity is to just go ahead and plunge into a creative endeavor — if only to see what happens. Don’t let fear become a paralysis. You can worry forever if you or your ideas are good enough. 09 REVEL IN THE MANY HATS YOU WEAR As a boss, you’re much more than just a manager; you’re often your own assistant, copywriter, PR agent and sales rep. Its important to use this to your advantage. Since you’re the boss, you don’t have to answer to anyone but yourself. Don’t limit yourself to one role. Explore each one. 10 TAKE CONSTRUCTIVE CRITICISM Ask someone who doesn’t work for you for tips and advice in order to get the most honest answers. And be sure to take them into consideration the next time you sit down for a brain storming session. Being able to take feedback from someone who isn’t trying to fluff up your ego is important. Use that feedback to better yourself and your business. It’s an important step to boosting your entrepreneurial creativity.

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Curated travel programs in the Philippines designed by Balikbayans for Filipinos all over the world. Coming soon in 2017. For inquiries and partnerships, contact info@balikbayancard.com www.LoveOfCountryTours.com I #loveofcountry ISSUE 54 — 037


11 TAKE A BIRD’S EYE VIEW Take a few steps back and try to see things from a different viewpoint. Being able to separate yourself from the stress of troubling situations means being able to reach smarter and more creative solutions. Never stop coming up with new ideas, even when inspiration seems to elude you. Give yourself a good shake and see what comes loose. 12 BREAK DOWN YOUR PROBLEMS Take a problem or situation and break it down into smaller, more manageable pieces. 13 REMOVE SOMETHING ‘NECESSARY’ THEN EVOLVE Sometimes, the best thing to do to boost your entrepreneurial creativity is to take something most people see as ‘required’ and remove it completely. When you take away something you think you need, you’re forced to come up with another way to make that idea work. 14 KEEP A JOURNAL Having all your ideas in one place, like a journal or folder, is a great way to get everything into one ‘pot’ to start simmering, writes Kathleen Shannon of Braid Creative and Consulting. Keeping your ideas organized in a journal, something you always have with you or have access to, makes it easier to jot down quick thoughts or add to one from last month. 15 DOODLE Just scribbling in the margins of your notes during a brainstorming session can be inspiring. Don’t worry about skill, or making it perfect, just focus on getting the ideas down and letting them flow. 16 LOVE WHAT MAKES YOU STRANGE Don’t stress about what other people will think or if they might find what you do ‘strange.’ Instead, embrace the strange and make it your own. 17 DON’T FORGET TO ANALYZE Coming back to your ideas later and researching them to make them more complete is a great way to make your solutions more solid and boost your entrepreneurial creativity. This often provides more creative solutions. Not all of your ideas are going to be wonderful. It’s important to go through and weed out the bad ones to give the good ideas room to grow. LASTLY, MEET WITH GROUPS OF CREATIVE THINKERS.

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BUSINESS Insights & Analysis

10 MODERN WAYS TO STAY FOCUSED AND PRODUCTIVE Preface There are many ways to keep yourself in a focused and productive state within a daily basis. Living in the 21st century where the digital millennia has taken over can be quite difficult for a person to produce day to day creative juices. Studies say that an average person with enough intellectual knowledge can still be easily distracted from their tasks. Here are just some tips on how to keep your head in the work load and out of the clouds. WRITER Charisse Trinidad

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01 GET OFF THE INTERNET Breaks are important. But unscheduled Internet breaks can keep you from ever getting into the “flow” of work. Even quick surfing as a reward will snap you out of your most productive periods, which can be hard to restart. For those of us who don’t trust out own willpower in the face of that shiny, browser icon, you can get Internet-blocking software like Freedom that actually prevents your computer from logging onto the Internet for set periods of time. It might feel silly—but so does a grownup who can’t quit looking at pictures of kittens. 02 QUIT TAPPING ON THAT PHONE Your phone is like the feeder bar for your brain. Hit a button, get a jolt of dopamine. Yes, smartphones are great for when you have to wait in line for more than five seconds. But phone tapping during work periods often just means about a hundred unearned breaks. Of course, some jobs require constant access to your phone. But most of the time, you’d be better off accepting that nothing bad will happen if you disconnect for a few hours. Put your phone in a different room— out of reach, out of sight and out of mind. 03 MAKE A LIST AND GO THROUGH IT METHODICALLY The list is one of the simplest and most ignored relics of the pen and paper age. There is something viscerally satisfying about manually crossing a task off the list. Without a “guide” to the work that needs to get done, we’ll tend to forget what needs to be done. Make your brain a chores list, and don’t let it go play until the chores are done. No excuses.


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04 TURN ON SOME MUSIC—WITHOUT WORDS Music helps productivity. This has been documented many, many times. The mistake people sometimes make is to listen to music with lyrics. While it shouldn’t be considered a black and white scenario, music with lyrics can be distracting if you’re trying to work or read. And especially if you’re trying to write like I am now. 05 MAKE SOMEONE (OR SOMETHING) YOUR PERSONAL PRODUCTIVITY TRAINER If you thrive on pressure, put someone else on your butt. It can be your friend. It can be your colleague. It can even be a concrete goal you set for yourself. All that matters is that you have some kind of external force that needles you to push yourself harder. Promise someone, or something, you’ll get something done. Say it out loud. When you make consequences for not finishing your work, you can give yourself that much more motivation to stay on task. 06 SET A DEADLINE AND DO NOT BREAK IT If you don’t have a deadline to get something done, you can push it off till tomorrow. And as we know, there is an infinite supply of tomorrow. As Henry Rollins said, “Don’t think about it, don’t talk about it, do it.” 07 POMODORO ISN’T JUST ITALIAN FOR “TOMATO” The Pomodoro Technique, developed in the 1980s, is a time-management tool that combines several of the productivity tools mentioned already. It promotes intense focus followed by regularly scheduled breaks. Pomodoro encourages you to map out what needs to get done in manageable, 25-minute continuous blocks. After each “pomodoro,” you take a 3 to 4 minute break, and every fourth break you take a longer, 15 to 20 minute break. This allows you to both enter a stage of workflow, while taking time to let your brain recoup and incorporate information.

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WHAT’S YOUR NEXT BIG PROJECT? The Philippines’ premier design and lifestyle event returns this April with an added element in its brand DNA. Manila FAME introduces brands, designers, products and materials under the theme PROJECTS, catering to real estate, hospitality and contract markets for interiors, decoration, and design. Manila FAME is a brand show. Manila FAME features export brands, retail brands and designer brands all under one roof. Manila FAME is a crafts show. It is a go-to venue for small craft producers and makers that are unique, creative, functional, and current. Manila FAME is a designer show. Manila FAME collaborates with product designers for crafts, home, fashion, holiday, gifts, food, and other lifestyle products. Manila FAME is a materials show. Features the widest range of Philippine indigenous materials for home, fashion, holiday, architectural components, and interior design.

Architectural Components Interior Design Landscaping Global Brands Contract Market

Materials Sourcing Home Holiday Fashion Crafts

REGISTER NOW!

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08 BE LIKE SEINFELD AND “DON’T BREAK THE CHAIN” A technique popularized by workaholic Jerry Seinfeld, “don’t break the chain” is his motto for doing pretty much all of these steps, every day, and not allowing even one day to go by without accomplishing what you set out to accomplish. Here’s how it works: String together a whole year of dates on a wall. When you get everything set out for one day done, mark that day off with a big red X. After awhile, you’ll start to form a chain of X’ed out dates, which visually make a chain. Don’t break the chain! 09 HAVE AN OFFICE, OF ANY KIND Working from home can be difficult when where you work is also where you eat, where you sleep, where you play and where you relax. A growing number of people work from home, but they often mistake working from home with telecommuting. Telecommuting can be done from anywhere. And separating the space you use for work from the space you use for everything else can greatly increase productivity. If you don’t have the cash to rent an office or workspace, then libraries, coffee shops and parks can be great alternatives that will help you keep business and personal life apart and both more enjoyable. 10 THE JOURNEY IS LONG, SO SLOW DOWN The biggest impediment to productivity is unrealistic expectations. This is often a result of excessive guilt over not having been productive lately. Taking a couple days off ? Don’t try to cram in everything you “have to” do. Even if tasks seem tiny, remember to just work on one at a time.

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TRAVEL Great Getaways

24 THINGS TO

DO IN BATANGAS

—Summer Fun

Summer’s the best time to visit the Philippines. Its more than 7,000 islands promise sun, surf, and beach. But there’s more to the Philippines than just island life. And when we say it’s more fun in the Philippines, that’s because there’s so much to discover—heritage, culture, natural resources, and man-made landmarks. When you’re planning a trip in Manila and have just a few days to spend, you don’t have to go far. South of the metropolis just a couple of hours or even less is a destination that’s heaped with diverse attractions. Here’s a fun list of 24 things that you can see, do, eat, and experience in rich Batangas. 01 Devotion is so much alive in Batangas. Your first stop should be at the National Shrine of St. Padre Pio in San Pedro, Sto. Tomas. Offer flowers and prayers for your intentions. 02 Apolinario Mabini is marking his 153rd birthday on July 23rd. Know more about this genteel hero at the newly-revitalized, high-tech Museo ni Apolinario Mabini in Tanauan. One of the biggest museums under the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, this museum exhibits the life and heroic deeds of Mabini. It is open from 8 AM to 4 PM Tuesday to Sunday. 03 Watch a horse race at the Batangas Metro Turf. 04 Play a round of golf at the world-class Summit Point Golf Estate or Mt. Malarayat Golf & Country Club.

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05 Enjoy a huge bowl of Batangas lomi swimming in hot soup thickened with cassava flour. This local noodle dish first became popular in the ‘80s and is served in carindenrias that dot the roadsides. The best place to eat Batangas lomi? Head over to Lomi King in Lipa. 06 A pilgrim’s haven, Lipa City is dubbed the “Little Rome of the Philippines” for its numerous Catholic churches, convents, seminaries, and retreat houses. Take time to visit any one of these religious destinations for a glimpse of Catholic devotion. 07 Admire the beautiful Romanesque architecture of the Metropolitan Cathedral of Saint Sebastian (San Sebastian Cathedral), established by Pope Pius X as the seat of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Lipa in 1910. 08 Visit the image of Mary, Mediatrix of All Grace, now enshrined at a side chapel within the grounds of the Shrine of Our Lady of Carmel of Lipa, where the supposed 1948 apparitions and the shower of rose petals happened. 09 Attend a novena mass to Our Lady of Perpetual Help at the Divino Amor Chapel Redemptorist in Lipa. The Redemptorist in Lipa started attracting devotees when the image of Our Lady of Perpetual Help was said to have appeared in a tree trunk that was cut by a church worker in 2009. 10 Visit the Casa de Segunda heritage museum in Lipa, the ancestral home of Segunda Solis Katigbak who is the first love of Philippine hero Jose Rizal. 11 Take a spin on your bike through the winding, picturesque trails of Balete, known as the Biking Capital of Southern Luzon. 12 Explore the beautiful gardens of Marian Orchard, a pilgrimage site in Balete. During the summer months, get lost in the myriad of exploding colors of the bougainvilleas that blanket its gardens. 13 When at Marian Orchard, spend quiet moments of prayer and reflection at the Via Crucis, a linear garden with life-size statues depicting the Passion of Christ. 14 Enjoy freshly-made suman with a steaming cup of kapeng barako alongside locals near the talipapa of Balete for some local taste and color. 15 Did you know that Taal Volcano has 47 known craters and four maars? Find out things you did not know about Taal’s lake, volcano, and the islands at the Taal Lake Conservation Center (TLCC). 16 Get on a banana boat ride or try your hand at rowing a dragon boat in Taal Lake.

05 17 Navigate through Taal Lake and discover the numerous islands and rock formations that dot the lake on board the 30-seater Lady of the Lake catamaran. 18 Take a trek along the Lava Walk on the Volcano Island. 19 Bird-watch at the bird sanctuary of San Nicolas, one of the towns under the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape. Every year, migratory herons and egrets escape the cold winters and seek shelter in San Nicolas. You’ll also find kingfishers and ducks here. 20 At the break of dawn, head to the shores of Balete to watch fishermen haul in the day’s catch of tawilis. If you’re lucky, they can cook tawilis that you can enjoy for breakfast. 21 View the Volcano Island up close and personal. Bask in the breathtaking view of the lake and the islands from the shores of Balete. 22 Balete is home to numerous honey bee farms. Drop by to see how honey is harvested, then take home a bottle of real honey, or try the honey vinegar. 23 Bring home sumang magkayakap—a local delicacy made from glutinous rice (kaning malagkit) wrapped in banana leaves, then bundled together. Best served with a special coconut caramel sauce. Yum! 24 At the end of a full day, come home to Lima Park Hotel. Enjoy a dip at the Horizon Swimming Pool. Nurse a cold bottle of beer under the stars at the La Terrazza Bar. Cap your night with a cup of freshly-crafted artisan coffee while listening to live jazz sessions at the Brew Company. Then have a blissful slumber in one of its 136 tastefully-appointed guest rooms and suites. 01 Explore the European-inspired gardens of Marian Orchard 02 Enjoy a Taal Lake sunrise cruise 03 Try your hand at rowing at the Taal Lake 04 Marvel at the San Nicolas Bird Sanctuary, home to migratory egrets and herons 05 Fresh honey at Balete’s honeybee farms Lima Park Hotel is a 4-star hotel located inside the master-planned Lima Technology Center in Malvar, Batangas. It’s a 45 minute-drive from the Makati Business District via the South Luzon Expressway (SLEX) and the STAR Tollway. For room reservations and to book a tour, call +63 43 981.1555. Send an email reservations@limaparkhotel.com. Visit www.limparkhotel.com. Like us on Facebook/LimaParkHotel. ISSUE 54 — 047


THE ECONOMY Cebu I Across the Islands

CEBU CITY AND ITS RISING ECONOMY WRITER Dana Sioson PHOTOGRAPHER Noel Ty

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“Queen of the South” and “Tourism Gateway for Central and Southern Philippines” are only two of the nicknames given to Cebu City for constantly holding its place in the top lists of developing economies in the country. Regional and economic growth in the south has never been this apparent, and indeed, Cebu is on the rise as the country’s alternate metropolis. More businessmen are locating themselves in Cebu and it seems that business process outsourcing (BPO) industries, tourism, information technology (IT), creative industries, and having a talented workforce are contributing to Cebu’s growing economy. Having a history of being the center of trade and commerce even in the old days, Cebu has maintained its economic activity, even opening the opportunity for more developments in the south. For several years now, Cebu has been seeing a rapid and strong regional growth. It holds the record for being the biggest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) from Central Visayas and is expected to contribute more as it learns to tap

and utilize its strengths in its economic drivers. Analysts expect economic growth in Cebu to continue as it pursues and sustains the economic momentum that it is now experiencing. ECONOMIC DRIVERS IN CEBU Business in Cebu has been strengthening over the years, and it is now the second largest metropolis and one of the strongest local economies in the country. It had started from BPO industries, but the business activities of local and multinational companies operating various capacities has now expanded, from call centers to IT development, accounting, legal work, and many more. There are a lot of BPO industries that has already been set up in Cebu, but it is still expected to soar in the coming years. One contributing factor of growing businesses in Cebu is that most property companies that operate in Cebu have their origins in Manila. Many big properties previously located in Manila has now moved to Cebu with the hopes of business growth, and they are not likely to be disappointed.


economic driviners, including but not limited to tourism, information and communications technology-business process management (ICT-BPM), entrepreneurship, and creative industries. PROFESSIONAL AND TALENTED WORKFORCE It cannot be denied as well that Cebu is fronting a talented workforce who are college educated, specialized in their skillset, and highly trainable. Cebu is now home to thousands of employees working in restaurants, hotels, housing developments, and the likes. They are behind all these active businesses, contributing to the creative industry of the city, and making Cebu one of the country’s source of world renowned artists and designers, especially in the furniture industry. There was once a time when Cebu was forced to buy expensive quality imports, but now, they have the capability to process home-made goods that they can even export to reach the rest of the country. An ideal location for businesses The livability of the area in Cebu can make other provinces and cities envious as it becomes an ideal location for the metropolitan necessities. It is now known not only all over the country but also in all of Asia that Cebu is one of the most livable cities. It can now be considered as an alternate metropolis, and more people—businessmen or ordinary citizens— are getting attracted to try out their luck in the city as more opportunities are being opened. It is an ideal place for ordinary citizens and businessmen as the area is not prone to natural disasters: it is not in the earthquake zone, not within typhoon belt, and free from volcanoes. It also holds the best records for peace and order in the whole country. The geographical location of Cebu also makes it accessible to both foreigners and natives: its air, land, and sea connections are easily accessible by foreigners and natives alike. It is encouraging migration— opening opportunities not only for people, but also for knowledge transfer and technology. Businessmen and investors are now locating themselves in Cebu, gaining total advantage of the economic zones in the city which are boasting world-class facilities, with business incentives that are attracting more investors, like tax holidays, exemption from export tax, simplification of custom procedures, and many more. This has helped with Cebu’s economic growth and why they have been boasting an excellent economic track record for several years now and still counting. Tourism is also one of Cebu’s most significant economic drivers. The upgrade of Mactan-Cebu International Airport and constructions of first-class hotels and resorts in Mactan are being anticipated as they will surely deliver world-class facilities and services that will demonstrate the warmth and hospitality of the Cebuano people. In the tourism sector, private sector is fueled by Filipino capital, and luxury hotels with foreign capitals have local partners. Activities like the annual Cebu Business Month (CBM), the flagship project of the Cebu Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCCI) and which is celebrated in the month of June every year, also helps promote, inspire, and attract more business by giving the opportunity for various stakeholders to gather and talk about events related to Cebu’s main ISSUE 54 — 049


ON THE COVER Travel I Incredible Escapes

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—Daanbantayan, Cebu City, The Philippines

Nestled on a white sandy beach amidst the northern tropical landscape in the island of Cebu is a hidden gem waiting to be discovered. Land, sea and sky meet and blend seamlessly to form the postcard-perfect backdrop of KANDAYA Resort, an idyllic, luxury destination located in the coastal heart of historic Daanbantayan. Named in homage to Datu Daya, an ancient brave tribal chieftain whom once stood as protector of old Bantayan, this piece of paradise located north of Cebu, offers an enviable mix of serenity, adventure, relaxation and tradition to reinvigorate the body, refresh the mind, and uplift the spirit. ISSUE 54 — 051


ON THE COVER Travel I Incredible Escapes

01

—Accommodations

A picturesque beachfront oasis dotted by swaying trees await guests after a scenic drive from the city. Sprawling gardens lead to Kandaya’s main building which houses 18 contemporary-styled rooms and suites that overlook the resort’s iconic infinity pool. One will be hard pressed to tell where the Visayas Sea ends and the horizon begins with the spectacular, panoramic views along the 7.5 hectare property. A leisurely walk further into the resort will reveal 22 secluded garden, beach and ocean villas, some with their own private pools.

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07 01 View of the interior design of the main lobby 02 Main building lobby entrance 03 Ocean view suite 04 Villa bathroom 05 Deluxe Room 06 Premier room 07 Patio view 08 Garden Villa exterior 09 Beachfront private swimming pool of an Ocean Pool Villa 08

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ON THE COVER Travel I Incredible Escapes

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—Dining

Located in another area is its signature Kusina restaurant and bar which serves wholesome, organic and nutritious meals. Putting emphasis on sustainability, Kandaya prides itself in offering only the freshest flavors and ingredients. At the heart of the Kusina’s philosophy is the concept of “farm to table,” using locally sourced and freshly picked in-house organic produce for homemade breads and pastries, and courses on the menu. 01 Resort bar by the beach 02 Evening setting and backdrop view from the bar 03 Romantic evening dinner on the beach with backdrop of the resort

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ON THE COVER Travel I Incredible Escapes

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01 Sunset view from the beach lounge chairs 02 Poolside oceanview of the sunset 03 Couples can enjoy jetskiing together as well 04 Business conference room 05 Kids friendly horse stables 06 Poolside oceanview 07 Horseback riding on the beach 08 Perfect place for weddings, honeymoons, and anniversaries

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—Amenities

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Be spoilt for choice at Kandaya where one may either opt to engage in a variety of health and wellness, outdoor and sports activities or simply luxuriate and soak in the tranquility. A full range of amenities await those who prefer to stay active from a fully equipped gym, yoga studio, and mixed martial arts center as well as a multi-use court to play basketball, tennis and beach volleyball in while private nooks on the resort’s grounds and lush gardens provide the perfect surroundings to revive the senses. Pamper yourself at the Daya Spa and let skillful, healing hands bring back a state of balance and well-being. Bask under the sun and enjoy the beauty of nature with Kandaya’s menu of family-friendly water sports and recreational activities. Kandaya houses the only horseback riding facility within a resort, the Kuwadra with a stable that holds a maximum of seven horses and a field of 60 x 120 square meters for guided and independent riding that also extends to paths along the shoreline. The Kuwadra also has a Pony Club to give kids hours of educational and arts & crafts fun. For added adventure, delight in the clear, turquoise blue waters of Northern Cebu on kayak, jet ski or Hobie Cat, or leisurely outrigger boat rides to nearby Malapascua Island and cruise along in one of the well-appointed outrigger boats outfitted with a hammock and bean bags. Diving tours and a day trip to Kandaya’s private beach cove on Malapascua island, renowned for its long stretch of white sand and underwater treasures may also be arranged. Cap off the day at the resort with sandy toes and a glass of champagne or signature cocktail while enjoying one of the most stunning sunset views in Cebu. 07

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Experience all the sun and fun

CROWN REGENCY HOTELS & RESORTS has to offer this summer.

From the white beaches of Boracay to the capital cities, there’s a Crown Regency property to meet your needs and your budget. So, where to go this summer? Well, there’s no need to look far because we have listed the best places to add to your summer bucket list this 2017. BORACAY Voted as the world’s best beach by the Sun Herald, Australia and Harper’s, Boracay is the perfect island getaway, with its warm blue waters, powder-fine white sand, and a palm fringed 4-kilometer beach. This beautiful island getaway is home to four Crown Regency hotel properties. Station 1 – This is considered to be the upscale section of Boracay and where you will find Crown Regency Prince Resort. Located in the coveted Boat Station 1, this hotel may not be beachfront, but it is a perfect escape that offers a tranquil hideaway, it boasts 36 elegantly designed rooms that offer a cozy and comfortable environment. Station 2 - This is the restaurant, shopping, and entertainment heart of Boracay. And speaking of entertainment, Station 2 is where the largest resort in the island sits. A 1.8 hectare property, Crown Regency Resort & Convention Center offers more fun in the sun with the island’s first and only Wave Pool and Wave Rider, flawlessly set amidst

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this tropical paradise; 609 elegant units; a 1,200-guest convention center; signature restaurants and all the amenities and services of a world-class facility for the very discerning leisure traveler. This 4-star resort is also home to the longest underwater observation tunnel in the Philippines, the Oceanarium. If you’re seeking an immediate escape, take shelter in Crown Regency Courtyard Resort. This hotel is an extension of the Crown Regency Resort and Convention Center. With 46 finely furnished rooms, experience a refreshingly simple, comfortable, and affordable accommodation. Station 3 - If you want a quiet refuge, Station 3 is probably where you should consider staying. Here you can find a piece of heaven in the form of Crown Regency Beach Resort. Inspired by the airy breeze and quiet surroundings of the island, this beachfront hotel gives you a blissful retreat amid the powdery white sand and crystal blue waters. Warm hues and sunshine patterns adorn its stylish rooms, meanwhile its bar and infinity pool lets you chill out as you watch the sun set on the horizon. With these tropical pleasures, Crown Regency Resort Boracay gives you that great island holiday.

impress foreign and local tourists alike. Situated in the heart of the city, Crown Regency Hotel and Towers offers an ideal location and impeccable service suitable for business travelers and tourists alike. Built with the vision of being a one-stop shop destination within a destination, this 4-star property is home to the world-famous Sky Experience Adventure. Meanwhile, not far from the 45-storey hotel tower specifically in Barangay Guadalupe stands Crown Regency Residences Cebu. This hotel is a leisure-friendly and business-friendly hotel that offers a splendid service together with a wide range of facilities provided that will make you complain for nothing during your stay. And just a few kilometers away from mainland Cebu is Mactan Island known for its pristine waters and beautiful white sand beaches. Here lies Crown Regency Suites & Residence, majestically rising on a sprawling 1.5 hectare landscape with its suites and villas, this hotel offers guests extraordinary service that extends world-class comfort from arrival to departure. MAKATI Ideally situated at a core location that allows you to join the hustle and bustle of the city, Crown Regency Hotel Makati provides an unmatched satisfaction and comfort at the heart of the region’s most vibrant city. On the rooftop of the hotel is Tops Chill Out Bar where guests can relax, dine on comfort food, and enjoy a drink. DAVAO The hotel’s charming Mediterranean architecture combined with its’ tranquil atmosphere makes Crown Regency Residences Davao an ideal choice to stay. Providing a quiet reprieve from the buzz of the thriving metropolis, the hotel’s villas and rooms are furnished to be the perfect home to meet your needs in the city this summer. This Mediterranean-inspired vintage 3-star hotel is every guest’s gateway to the diverse, colorful and rich cultural heritage of Davao City.

CEBU Hailed as the “Queen City of the South”, Cebu City boasts many attractions that will

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Iconic, stylish and sophisticated Radisson Blu Cebu stands out as a key landmark in the thriving city of Cebu. The 5-star hotel is the first Radisson Blu Hotel of the Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, Asia Pacific. Showcasing the best of the Queen City of the South with its personalized service and engaging hospitality matched with genuine Cebuano charm. Strategically located at the heart of business and leisure districts, Radisson Blu Cebu is minutes away from the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and in close proximity to SM City Cebu for shopping, restaurant and entertainment choices. The premier business hotel strikes the perfect balance for business and leisure with its contemporary, functional and elegantly-appointed guestrooms, state-of-the art amenities, modern meeting spaces paralleled with a seasoned team characterized for its signature “Yes I Can!” service philosophy. As barometer for its exceptional service standards, Radisson Blu Cebu consistently ranks No. 1 among Cebu City hotels and positions itself in the Top 12 among 25 Luxury Hotels in the Philippines category in the 2017 TripAdvisor Traveler’s Choice Awards. Visit the hotel’s website at www.radissonblu.com/en/hotel-cebu or email reservations.cebu@radisson.com.

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TRAVEL Discovery I Essence of Place

A BEAUTY TO FALL FOR

—La Union

Preface Almost every trip to a new place, I fall in love. I fall in love with nature, waterfalls, and landscapes. I get attached rather easily. Discovering and exploring have always led me to what seemed like an unending series of love affairs – affairs with breathtaking sunsets, beautiful mountain ranges, new friendships, different cuisines and unforgettable adventures. With warm sunlight, gentle waves beneath my feet and spectacular views of the ocean, La Union has an inexplicable charm that surely won my heart. WRITER Jessa Tek-Ing PHOTOGRAPHER Godwin Gasacao

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LA UNION INSIDE AND OUT Occupying the central-southern section of the Ilocos Region in Luzon, La Union which means “The Union” in Spanish has a distinctive, relaxed attitude imbibed through the Ilocano spirit. SURFER’S PARADISE La Union is known as the “Surfing Capital of the North.” San Juan, its most popular surfing destination, sits in the west of the province. The town is crowded with diverse-wave riding spots – for both starters and professional surfers alike. Apart from being home to a beautiful rugged coastline inundated with alluring waves, San Juan doesn’t disappoint when it comes to fun party scenes, delicious food and inviting accommodations. One of which is the Kahuna Beach Resort – a Balinese inspired premiere resort in the area. Located along a very popular stretch of beach – it is a great choice for friends on a bonding trip together, couples on romantic yet adventurous getaways as well as families traveling with children. The month of October until March sees the most sought-after “surfing season”. The beach becomes a tourist hot spot in December and January when surfers and tourists from all over the world seek to experience both the “chill and thrill” La Union has to offer. Warm and Friendly Locals La Union is at heart a welcoming province that boasts of naturally friendly and warm locals. What better way to truly know this place than to talk and have a good old conversation with them - the people who know it best. “Ilocanos” are known for being hardworking, appreciative and accommodating. Do not be surprised if a local instantly greets you with “Naimbag nga aldaw” meaning “Good day!” in Ilocano (the province’s official language) while you explore the streets or stroll along the shores. They are people with a happy and kindred spirit. Greeting with a smile is a common gesture and they’re ready to go the extra mile in making you feel comfortable. The authenticity of the people here enchants visitors to always come back for more.

01 Mountain cliff overlooking the sea 02 La Union Airport 03 Lighthouse 04 The road to Poro Point 05 Steps leading to the coral reefs

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AWE-INSPIRING BEAUTY AT PORO POINT You can’t help but close your eyes and feel the wind kiss your face as you savor that breathtaking moment at Poro Point. Imagine that you are standing on top of the world. The vast clear blue ocean stretched beyond the horizon. Surrounded by the West Philippine Sea, La Union is also home to this dramatic coastline and picturesque mountain range. If that’s not enough, you might fancy being transported to Santorini Island in Greece with Thunderbird Resort’s opulent blue-and-white architecture. The hotel gives you the blissful scenes of dancing ocean waves and an unmatched view of the setting sun. Staying here is the sweetest escape you and your loved ones deserve. A GLIMPSE OF THE PAST The 76-foot lighthouse situated within the vicinity of Poro Point is a historical sight to behold. With its perfect panoramic views of the West Philippine Sea and San Fernando Bay, the remarkable infrastructure continues to lure tourists’ interest and attention. Just a few meters away stand the original lighthouse built in 1885. During the Spanish era, Poro Point served as a military site but later on became Camp Wallace when the Americans took over the port.

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VARIETY OF EXPERIENCE FOR EVERYONE Tourism in La Union centers on surfing, great waves, and sandy beaches. However, there are many other reasons to visit this place, even for non-surfers. From going on a food trip around town to visiting historical churches to hiking and swimming at Tangadan Falls in San Gabriel – you can count on its numerous attractions even outside the surfing season. SWEET RETURN As the Northern breeze brush against my skin, while basking along Bauang beach’s untouched shore, I had a realization. Falling in love with a place feels a lot like the real thing. The adventure entraps you to this constant desire for more. All you know is that you’re never satisfied – you want to see more, dig deeper and explore further. The feelings do not go away. The more you know it, the deeper you fall. It’s the last day of our brief escapade in La Union. The fiery sunset that marries the sky and sea reminds me how distance makes the heart grow fonder, and La Union will be waiting for my sweet return. ISSUE 54 — 063


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IN-DEPTH Outlook I Retirement

PRIVILEGES FOR SENIOR CITIZENS & RETIREES —Philippines

Preface As provided in the Philippines’ Constitution, the state is duty-bound to recognize the rights of senior citizens by providing support though various social programs. Thus, senior citizens are granted benefits and privileges that range from 20% discount and VAT exemption to mandatory membership in the government’s healthcare system, Philhealth. Here’s a quick list detailing the many benefits provided by the Government. For more details, visit gov.ph.

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Senior citizens are granted several benefits and privileges under Republic Act No. 9994 and Republic Act No. 10645. In order to avail of these benefits, the senior citizen or his/her authorized representative shall present a valid and original Senior Citizens’ Identification Card. Senior Citizens’ Identification Card is issued by the Office of Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) in the city or municipality where the senior citizen resides. Documentary requirements vary per municipality, but the basic qualifications based on RA 9994 are as follows: 01 Must be a Filipino citizen who is a resident of the Philippines; 02 Must be 60 years old or above; 03 May apply to senior citizens with dual citizenship provided that they prove their Filipino citizenship and have at least six months residency in the Philippines.

TWENTY PERCENT (20%) DISCOUNT AND VAT EXEMPTION 01 MEDICAL RELATED PRIVILEGES

02 DOMESTIC TRANSPORTATION PRIVILEGES

I. MEDICINE AND DRUG PURCHASES The 20% discount and VAT exemption shall apply to the purchase of the following: 01 Generic or branded medicines and drugs by or for senior citizens, including the purchase of influenza and pneumococcal vaccines. 02 Vitamins and mineral supplements that are medically prescribed by an attending physician for prevention and treatment of diseases, illness, or injury.

I. AIR AND SEA TRANSPORTATION PRIVILEGES Fare for domestic air, and sea travel, including advanced booking, shall be subject to the 20% discount and VAT exemption, if applicable.

II. ESSENTIAL MEDICAL SUPPLIES, ACCESSORIES, AND EQUIPMENT The 20% discount and VAT exemption privilege shall also apply to following: 01 The purchase of eyeglasses; 02 Hearing aids; 03 Dentures; 04 Prosthetics; 05 Artificial bone replacements like steel, walkers, crutches, wheelchairs (whether manual or electric-powered), canes/quad canes; 06 Geriatric diapers, and 07 Other essential medical supplies, accessories and equipment by or for senior citizens. III. MEDICAL AND DENTAL SERVICES IN PRIVATE FACILITIES Medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory tests such as but not limited to X-Rays, computerized tomography scans, and blood tests, that are requested by a physician as necessary for the diagnosis and/or treatment of an illness or injury are subject to the 20% discount and VAT exemption.

II. PUBLIC LAND TRANSPORTATION PRIVILEGES Fare in public railways, including LRT, MRT, and PNR, fares in buses (PUB), jeepneys (PUJ), taxi and shuttle services (AUV), are likewise subject to the 20% discount and VAT exemption, if applicable. III. HOTELS, RESTAURANTS, RECREATIONAL CENTERS, AND PLACES OF LEISURE. 01 HOTELS AND SIMILAR LODGING ESTABLISHMENTS The term “hotel” shall include beach and mountain resorts. The discount shall be for room accommodation and other amenities offered by the establishment such as but not limited to: Hotel-based parlors and barbershops, restaurants, massage parlor, spa, sauna bath, aromatherapy rooms, workout gyms, swimming pools, jacuzzis, ktv bars, internet facilities, food, drinks and other services offered. 02 RESTAURANTS The discount shall be for the purchase of: 01 Food; 02 Drinks; 03 Dessert, and 04 Other consumable items served by the establishments offered for the consumption of the general public.

IV. PROFESSIONAL FEES OF ATTENDING PHYSICIAN/S The fees of attending physician/s in all private hospitals,medical facilities, outpatient clinics and home health care facilities shall be subject to the 20% discount and VAT exemption.

Guidelines for dine-in, take out, and availing of the senior citizen discounts in restaurants and similar establishments and services: 01 For Dine-in services, the privilege must be personally availed of by the senior citizen and no proxies or authorization in favor of another person who is not a senior citizen will be honored.

V. PROFESSIONAL FEES OF LICENSED HEALTH WORKERS PROVIDING HOME HEALTH CARE SERVICES As endorsed by private hospitals or employed through home health care employment agencies are entitled to the 20% discount and VAT exemption. The burden of the discount shall be borne solely by the employment agency given the health worker’s very minimal share compared to the agency fee.

02 The 20% senior citizen discount shall not apply to “children’s meals” which are primarily prepared and intentionally marketed for children. Similarly, the 20% senior citizen discount shall not apply to “pre-contracted” party packages or bulk orders. Consistent with the intent of the Act, the phrase “exclusive use and enjoyment” of the senior citizen shall mean “for the senior citizen’s personal consumption” only.

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03 Food, drinks and other consumable items purchased by the senior citizen shall be processed separately as an independent transaction from his/her non-eligible companions to ensure that it is for his/her exclusive consumption and to enable computation of the 20% discount and the exemption from the Value Added Tax (VAT), which only the senior citizen is entitled to. 04 If the group of diners is composed entirely of senior citizens, all of whom present valid senior citizens IDs, each shall be entitled to a 20% discount and exemption from Value Added Tax. 05 The 20% discount shall apply to Take-Out/Take-Home/DriveThru orders as long as it is the senior citizen himself/herself who is present and personally ordering, and he/she can show a valid senior citizen ID card. 06 For Delivery Orders, the 20% discount shall likewise apply subject to certain conditions; i.e. senior citizen ID card number must be given while making the order over the telephone; the senior citizen ID card must also be presented upon delivery to verify the identity of the senior citizen entitled to the 20% discount. 07 The Most Expensive Meal Combination (MEMC) shall apply to food purchases by senior citizens. The MEMC is an amount corresponding to the combination of the most expensive and biggest single-serving meal with beverage served in a quick service restaurant, is deemed flexible and is adjusted accordingly by food establishments to estimate a single food purchase for an individual senior citizen.

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03 RECREATION CENTERS The discount shall be for the utilization of services in the form of: 01 Fees; 02 Charges and rental for sports facilities or equipment, including golfcart rentals and green fees; 03 Venues for ballroom dancing, yoga, badminton courts, bowling lanes, table or lawn tennis, workout gyms, martial arts facilities. NOTE: Non-profit, stock golf and country clubs which are not open to the general public, and are private and for exclusive membership only as duly proven by their official Securities and Exchange (SEC) registration papers, are not mandated to give the 20% senior citizens discount.However,should restaurants and food establishments inside these country clubs be independent concessionaires and food sold are not consumable items under club membership dues, they must grant the 20% senior citizen discount. 04 ADMISSION FEES PRIVILEGES The discount shall be applied to admission fees charged by: 01 Theaters; 02 Cinema houses and concert halls; 03 Circuses; 04 Carnivals, and other similar places of culture, leisure and amusement such as museums and parks.


OTHER PRIVILEGES 01 INCOME TAX EXEMPTION The senior citizen shall be entitled to exemption from the payment of the individual income tax, provided he/she is considered to be minimum wage earner in accordance with Republic Act No. 9504. 02 EXEMPTION FROM TRAINING FEES The senior citizen shall be exempted from training fees for socio-economic programs conducted by private and government agencies subject to the guidelines issued by the DTI, the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE), the DA, the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) and the Department of Science and Technology – Technology Resource Center (DOST – TRC). 03 FREE MEDICAL AND DENTAL SERVICES IN GOVERNMENT FACILITIES Medical and dental services, diagnostic and laboratory tests requested by the physician such as but not limited to X-rays, computerized tomography scans, and blood tests availed of by senior citizens, including professional fees of attending doctors in all government hospitals, medical facilities, outpatient clinics, and home health care services, shall be provided free of charge to senior citizens. These shall be in accordance with the rules and regulations to be issued by the DOH, in coordination with the PhilHealth. 04 EDUCATIONAL PRIVILEGES Educational assistance shall be granted to senior citizens to pursue post secondary, post tertiary, as well as vocational or technical education in both public and private schools through provision of scholarships, grants, financial aid, subsidies and other incentives to qualified senior citizens. This will also include support for books, learning materials, and uniform allowance, to the extent feasible: Provided, that senior citizens shall meet minimum admission requirements.

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I. BENEFITS AND PRIVILEGES FOR RETIREES

To the extent practicable and feasible, the senior citizen shall be granted the continuance of the same benefits and privileges given by the Government Service Insurance System (GSIS), Social Security System (SSS) and PAG-IBIG, as the case may be, as are enjoyed by those in active service. Retirement benefits of retirees from both the government and the private sector shall be regularly reviewed every year to ensure their continuing responsiveness and sustainability, and to the extent practicable and feasible, shall be upgraded to be at par with the current scale enjoyed by those in actual service based on National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA) poverty threshold per region as determined by the National Statistical Coordination Board (NSCB). II. PRIVILEGES ON GRANTING SPECIAL DISCOUNTS IN SPECIAL PROGRAMS To the extent possible, the government may grant special discounts in special programs for senior citizens on purchase of basic necessities and prime commodities, Provided, that such special programs and their guidelines shall be developed by the concerned department within the concerned department’s jurisdiction. III. EXPRESS LANES PRIVILEGES Accessible express lanes for senior citizens shall be provided in all private, banking, commercial, and government establishments; in the absence thereof, priority shall be given to them. IV. UTILITY DISCOUNTS 01 FIVE (5%) DISCOUNT The grant of a minimum of five percent (5%) discount relative to the monthly utilization of water and electricity by households with senior citizens; Provided, That the individual meters for the foregoing utilities are registered in the name of the senior citizen residing therein: provided, further, that the monthly consumption does not exceed one hundred kilowatt hours (100 kWh) of electricity and thirty cubic meters (30 m’) of water: Provided, furthermore, that the privilege is granted per household regardless of the number of senior citizens residing therein. To avail of the discount under this Section, the senior citizen shall: 01 Apply for the discount personally or thru a representative. There shall be annual renewal of application to the utility provider.

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02 Submit requirements: A. Proof of age and citizenship B. Proof of billing. Meter registration should be in the name of the senior citizen for a period of one year C. Proof of residence 02 FIFTY (50%) DISCOUNT The grant of a 50% discount on all electricity, water, telephone consumption for DSWD-accredited senior citizens centers and residential care institutions or group homes that are government-run or organized and operated by non-stock, non-profit domestic corporations, primarily for the purpose of promoting the well-being of abandoned, neglected, unattached or homeless senior citizens. Such senior citizen centers and residential care or group homes must have been in operation for at least six (6) months and must have a separate meter for said utilities/services. 01 CREDIT CARD PAYMENTS The 20% discount and VAT exemption shall also apply to purchases of goods and services by senior citizens paying through credit cards. 02 NO DOUBLE DISCOUNTS In the purchase of goods and services which are on promotional discount, the senior citizen can avail of the establishment’s offered discount or the 20% discount provided herein, whichever is higher and more favorable. In cases where the senior citizen is also a person with disability (PWD) entitled to a 20% discount under his/her valid PWD identification card (ID), the senior citizen shall use either his/her OSCA-issued ID card or PWD ID card to avail of the 20% discount. 03 TAX DEDUCTION The establishment may claim the discounts provided herein as tax deductions based on the cost of the goods sold or services rendered: Provided, that the cost of the discount shall be allowed as deduction from gross income for the same taxable year that the discount is granted; Provided, further, That the total amount of the claimed tax deduction net of VAT, if applicable, shall be included in their gross sales receipts for tax purposes and shall be subject to proper documentation and to the provisions of the National Internal Revenue Code (NIRC), as amended.


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CULTURE People I Around the World

“Fr. Balagtas took over this parish with a history of grievances from factions within. Dogma solidif ied their grievances. The community’s unhealthy condition mirrored the church structures — dying and falling apart.”

HIS VIBRANT PASTORAL LIFE

—Fr. Rodel Balagtas WRITER Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D. PHOTOGRAPHER Hydee Ursolino-Abrahan

“God chooses his servants well,” a parishioner said. Was she talking about looks? Smarts? Some have advanced degrees, while others speak multiple languages. Some are effective with diverse cultures who worship, not segregated, but together as one — in worship, listening, praying, and singing in three languages: English, Tagalog and Spanish. I was part of the Immaculate Heart of Mary church (IHMC), a multicultural and trilingual parish in 2008, welcomed by Fr. Rodel Balagtas. Standing as one, in various colors and shades of our attires, we exchanged peace signs, one in “heart” for God, where Fr. Rodel Balagtas was its pastor for 12 years. 100-YEAR-OLD CHURCH IHMC was once a towering Gothic church, supported by the Hollywood movie industry. It grew in the 20th century, and along with it, other poor churches that it helped. With donated land from Margaret Sullivan, and $800 in funds raised, IHMC held its first M ass on Dec. 22, 1911; officiated by Rev. Daniel Murphy, for 300 people. It expanded to 700 parishioners, a cornerstone laid in 1940, and a new rectory in 1948. In the 1950’s to 1960’s, the Church grew and even donated $538,000 to poor parishes in its heyday. Fast forward to 2008, located in the poor section of Hollywood (the east side), the Church had half-painted interior walls. Electrical wires dangled loosely from the side of the altar walls. Tattered pews had half-torn fabric kneelers. The once deep-blue carpet was heavily stained and turned gray. Yet, despite being in a poor neighborhood, the bones of a caring humanity could be felt. This community had a bakery, a small carinderia, a produce market and a restaurant. Fr. Balagtas took over this parish with a history of grievances from factions within. Dogma solidified their grievances. The community’s unhealthy condition mirrored the church structures — dying and falling apart.

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Then, a transformation happened. The parish was mobilized for a centennial celebration. Archives were dug up and new inspiration emerged from a realization that this church was built during the recession. After an economic slowdown in 2009-2011, the church will be renovated. The history inspired the community to reach their capital campaign goal, grossing over $1 million. On May 31, 2014, a wall permanently displayed the families who made donations of $1,000+, and with those: a repaired roof, painted interiors and exteriors, paved parking lots, an air-conditioning/heating system, a new electrical system for the church, new marble floors from the aisles to the altar, new baptismal font, new altar seats for the priests, (donated by Fr. Balagtas for the community), new trees in the school playground, a new auditorium floor, a new school roof and a new rectory kitchen floor from the leftover tiles. 3,000 came to celebrate its centennial. In 2013, Fr. Balagtas trained Josh Diener, a seminarian at St. John’s. He is now a new priest, with a Master’s Degree in two specialties. 75-YEAR-OLD ST. JOHN’S SEMINARY From IHMC, a one hundred year old church, Fr. Rodel’s journey took him to St. John’s Seminary in Camarillo, 100 miles one way commute, where he is the Director of Pastoral Formation and Field Formation and faculty to seminarians. In commemoration of its 75th anniversary, St. John’s Seminary commissioned five-time NY Times’ best-selling author Joe Garner, to create a fully illustrated hardcover compendium of its history, entitled, “I Will Give You Shepherds: The Story of St. John’s Seminary.” Then deacon Josh Diener gave us a tour, “Land came from Don Camarillo , while the poor folks donated penny by penny to get the chapel finished. The rich folks, like the Countess Carrie Estelle Doheny and Edward Laurence Doheny, built two libraries to house their collections of artifacts and books, and later, the libraries and its collections were donated to the seminary. The Doheny Collection included rare books, including Guttenberg Bible (a page on display from 1450-1455), was sold to seed the initial endowment seminary fund.” In this seminary, Fr. Balagtas obtained his Master’s of Arts in Religious Education, his thesis on “Evangelization of Cultures.” He has a doctorate in Ministry in Preaching at Aquinas Institute of Theology in St. Louis, Missouri with dissertation on “Communal Preaching for Transformation: Insights from a Filipino-American Community.” Our interview with him took us to the Feast of Santo Niño, joined by parishioners at churches he served at: St. Augustine, St. Martha, St. Joseph the Worker, St. John Nuemann and Immaculate Heart of Mary Church. 200 came to attend and to share their faith in the form of dancing and sumptuous food. Fr. Balagtas’ homily spoke of the significance of the Santo Niño and how it came to be celebrated as part of the International Eucharistic Congress in 2016. The original Santo Niño statue was given by Ferdinand Magellan in 1521 to Queen Juana (wife to chief Humabon) as a baptismal gift for her conversion to Christianity.


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“I always want to be a writer, a good one. Writing nourishes my soul. It is integrative. It is healing. It expresses my thoughts, my feelings, my views. With writing, I can relax. I want to write on spirituality, to change people, to help them in their spirituality.” He has just published his f irst book, “Walking with God: The Journey of a Priest’s Heart.” FR. BALAGTAS’ VIEWS ON HIS IDENTITY As to unfulfilled dreams, Fr. Balagtas lit up about his Saturday column in Asian Journal, where his readers look forward to his insights, “I always want to be a writer, a good one. Writing nourishes my soul. It is integrative. It is healing. It expresses my thoughts, my feelings, my views. With writing, I can relax. I want to write on spirituality, to change people, to help them in their spirituality.” He has just published his first book, “Walking with God: The Journey of a Priest’s Heart.” Close to 600 folks gathered at St. John the Baptist in Baldwin Park, California on July 9, 2016 to witness the 25thsacerdotal ordination or Silver Jubilee of Rev. Fr. Rodel G. Balagtas. The crowd was impressive: a multicultural assemblage of Latinos, Filipinos, Asians, Whites with few African-Americans; some have travelled from China, Vancouver, Philippines and the United States. They sang sacred hymns in English, Spanish and Tagalog. “God has worked in all of us,” Fr. Rodel reminded those who came, “How would I have survived the ministry, despite my weaknesses?” He describes the driving force of his priesthood, “the law of God is love written in our hearts.” “That although I am in the academe, I will always be a shepherd by heart. I also understand why the Lord put me in the seminary: to train priests to have a shepherd’s heart, to have pastoral zeal, skills and wisdom. We’re not training seminarians to be intellectual and spiritual priests, but also to have genuine human and pastoral qualities. They have to be compassionate, loving, sensitive, understanding and caring priests, much like what Pope Francis is showing to the whole world,“ he continued. Aglow in his new job of teaching seminarians, spanning in ages from late 20’s to 60’s, he feels like he is with his own siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. “They all bring me joy. They are my life,” he said. He is grateful to his brothers and sisters, who nursed him, and God for his miraculous recovery. “You are God’s walking miracle,” I told him once, as few survive aneurysm. HIS STEWARDSHIP OF CHILDREN While at IHMC, Fr. Balagtas accompanied the Children’s Choir to compete in the World Choir Games in Ohio. He became the strongest source of support for them and their parents. Under Pete Avendańo’s leadership and patient mentoring as musical director, these schoolchildren learned self-discipline, balancing musical practice with academic performance. Fr. Balagtas hired a new principal, Allyson Alberto and the children thrived. “With the implementation of blended learning, students’ comprehension and test scores reportedly have grown 82% in math and 65% in reading,” under Allyson Alberto’s leadership. On New Year 2016, they joined others to form a thousand singing voices to sing for Pope Francis. Six months later, the IHMC’ s choir sang at Carnegie Hall. Imagine you doing this, while in the midst of a capital campaign, renovation of the church, forming the National Association of Filipino Priests and while caring for a dying father? Fr. Balagtas integrated all these tasks by bringing love into all his actions. He shows us his profound love of God and the Blessed Mother, through his inclusive love for all God’s children, and patiently exhorts us to love others, even heroic love, if called for. By his actions, and his words, he shows us he is God’s chosen!

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CULTURE People I Around the World

LEADING PARISHES WITH JOYFUL LOVE

—Fr. Albert H. Avenido, Administrator ProTem WRITER Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D.

Fr. Albert Avenido’s voice cracked with enthusiasm and positive energies. He was on a roll, sharing stories about riding with a busload of priests. He went out with a vicariate to buy danggit (dried fish), a side trip of attending Sinulog’s Festival in Cebu. “Naluha ako sa kwentuhan, walang hierarchy, samahan ng barkadahan, walang superior, walang inferior (I cried with joy with the stories shared, no hierarchy, no one was superior, no one was inferior).” The trip could be summed up with the tour guide’s observation: Ganyan pala ang buhay ng pare, masaya (So that is how priests live – happy)!“ All morning, the priests were cracking jokes, “Iyong nakakatanda ang nagsimula ng jokes, gagatungan pa (The oldest priest started the jovial tone, he flames it some more).” That experience gave him a reflective pause. He noticed a younger priest in the Philippines has a “father” priest, who guides and mentors him. In turn, the younger one takes care of his “father” priest. “If you were to mentor a new priest, how would you do it?” He said, “I will treat him like my son. It is important to have a good relationship with an older priest as a spiritual mentor. “Why invent something that tradition has proven and tested?,” he asked. “But also, ‘ano ang bago mong natutunan, anak (What new concepts have you learned, son)?’” THE FILIPINO MINISTRY OF CATHEDRAL OF OUR LADY OF ANGELS Fr. Avenido leads the Filipino Ministry in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. For two years, he shared his vision on cultural festivals: “Santacruzan should be a cathetical formation program, it should not be based on who sold the greatest number of tickets.” It became a youth spiritual formation with essays submitted to describe one’s relationship with the Virgin Mary. Essays were judged, identified only by numbers. A personal mission is also included. “For the first three choices, I mostly agreed. But, I also called the church’s pastor to find out how relevant and viable is this young leader in organizing friends at church.”

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Encouraged, the parents wanted to include their younger ones and dressed them as angels. Later, they wanted cathechism classes for them. Fr. Avenido got an effective teacher and by the third year, the parents desired their own formation. Now, the Santacruzan has been transformed to an in-depth formation of faith in families, including the young, teens and their parents. Three halls are now needed, “Now, I no longer just share my dreams, nakukuha na ng mga lay leaders ang pananaw sa liturgical celebration. (The lay leaders now get the substance behind the liturgical celebration.)” As to Simbang Gabi, 9 day novena masses before Christmas, he shared that out of 287 parishes in the Archdiocese of Los Angeles, 127 now observe these masses. MULTIPLYING JOY FROM HIS CONCRETE EXPERIENCES Fr. Avenido’s joy is both theoretical and practical. His homily spoke of “joy cannot be capped, it is overflowing, and the glare of this Sunday Divine Mercy Mass also comes from the beatification of Pope John Paul II, a step towards his formal canonization as a Saint,’’ he said. Fr. Avenido was once part of the team, which welcomed the Pope, when he said mass to 7 million, the largest gathering of Christians, in Luneta Park, Philippines on January 15, 1995. Sister Marie-SimonPierre, 46 yo in 2008, declared she was completely cured of Parkinson’s disease, due to Pope John Paul II’s intercession. As an associate pastor of St. Michael’s and Parish Priest at Holy Family Church in Olongapo and Diocesan Social Action Director of Zambales, Philippines, Fr. Avenido advocated for environmental responsibility to clean up the toxic wastes left in the U.S. bases. He witnessed the untoward health effects, when he anointed a sick woman whose mottled hand had incurable sores.


MOTTLED MEANS NO BLOOD CIRCULATION He joined a lobbying visit to U.S. Congress, with the Filipino American Coalition for Environmental Solidarity (FACES) to bring this compelling need to the American legislators’ awareness. His love for the poor is anchored on a belief that within them exists a potential reservoir for creativity to be tapped. When the rivers overflowed, the empty land got filled with fish. He learned from his destitute friends how to catch fish using a makeshift handline, using recyclables: an empty container of Bic’s ballpoint, a piece of wire, and a needle. When he ministered to poor families who lived near the railroad tracks in the Philippines, Fr. Avenido arranged to have them learn shrimp chip production, and ultimately, they sold them at nearby school cafeteria. They also learned how to make flip flop rubber slippers. His infectious joy became evident when we attended a reunion of Ritarians. He inspired them to be generous, “The Good One up above seems to know how to provide.” He gave an example, of needing $500 for a college senior in the Philippines who would have graduated, but for his overseas parent died. Out of the blue, a friend of his wrote (whom he had not heard from) and also enclosed a gift, exactly for the tuition. Needless to say, Fr. Avenido’s generosity enabled this young man to graduate. CARING FOR CALIFORNIA PARISHIONERS At St. Stephen’s Church in Monterey Park, Fr. Avenido celebrated Divine Mercy Mass in 2011, with a diverse group of Caucasians, Asians, Latinos, Indonesians and Filipinos. Joy was evident in the faces of 33 children who were presented to the community, as they prepared to receive their first Eucharist. It was the parish’s tradition to acknowledge their catechetical formation. After Mass, he greeted the parishioners, asked about a sick spouse, a growing teen, and giving spontaneous prayers and blessings who requested them. Flor, a parishioner of 30 years, said: “I enjoy Fr. Albert’s personal friendliness [when he comes] to the school, he is easy to get along.“ Fr. Avenido has been assigned to these California parishes: St. Bernardine of Siena, Mary Star of the Sea, St. Pancratius, Port

of Oakland, Archdiocesan’s Filipino Ministry, St. Stephen’s, St. Anthony’s as Associate Pastor, and Our Lady of Perpetual Help as Administrator ProTem. He is currently the Administrator ProTem at St. Philomena in Carson. Each assignment has taught him to relate with various cultures, and inspired them to care for the vulnerable and the poor. In 2014, his first year at St. Philomena, he noticed parishioners without families to share their holidays with. Each night of Simbang Gabi, the community provides food to encourage camaraderie and solidarity. On Christmas Eve, the community is categorized into those with and those without families to go home to. “I wanted to invite those without families to join me for Christmas Eve. Donors stepped up to donate food. We planned for 30-60 people to come, but 200 came. We ate together, opened gifts, shared stories, just like what families do on Noche Buena. By the time we ended it was 230 a.m. The next day, we celebrated our Christmas Masses and we felt united as a parish,” Fr. Avenido said. With that success, the following year, a neighborhood restaurant volunteered to donate food for 200-300 people, but prepared for 500. Now, Christmas Eve has been transformed into a gathering of all parishioners who heard about the joy of solidarity and wanted be included. In St. Philomena’s church bulletin, an excerpt of the Divine Mercy prayer goes: “ You are the visible face of the invisible Father, of the God who manifests his power above all by forgiveness and mercy: let the Church be your visible face in the world, its Lord risen and glorified. You willed that your ministers would also be clothed in weakness in order that they may feel compassion for those in ignorance and error: let everyone who approaches them feel sought after, loved, and forgiven by God.” Perhaps we can all learn from Fr. Avenido’s leadership example that wherever he is, he makes the place much better than he found it? Or that he teaches us that we can be like God as persons with joy and love for others? Mary Jo Aragon, a Ritarian, and also the current Philippine Ambassador to Thailand, said: “Fr. Albert’s smile is enough to lift my spirit up. God bless priests like him.“ ISSUE 54 — 085


CULTURE People I Around the World

CHURCH-BUILDING FOR THE PRESENT AND FUTURE GENERATIONS TO COME

—Fr. Raymond Vicente Ma. Decipeda, MMHC WRITER Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D.

A PASTOR’S JOURNEY: CIRCUMSTANCES OF GOD’S CALL TO HIM “Nothing is a direct line,” he said, a metaphor perhaps of how he was waylaid by vices of smoking, drinking, marijuana in high school. “I was not the worst, but I was also not the best, and I am not proud of that.” He went to Don Bosco High School in Makati, Philippines, and was one of the top students in the class. Active in varsity, volleyball, boy scouts, he became a student council leader. In his third year, he attended the retreat, handled by the Youth Marian Crusade. The congregation was then Anointed of Mary. He stopped his vices and joined the youth group. In 1982, he joined the congregation of the Marian Missionaries for Holy Cross (MMHC), founded by Leticia Albert. MMHC went through approval stages, first as a pious association, second as a religious institute of consecrated life, third, a Canonical established by Bishop Camilo Gregorio as a Religious Institute of Diocesan Right. Ordained on December 11, 1991, he became an ordained priest at age 25. While his 25th anniversary is On Dec. 11, 2016, “I celebrated it in the US on June 22, 2016, and joined my batchmate, Fr. Rafael Bababo, MMHC on December 11, 2016 in the Philippines.” In 1997, he took a special course in Basic 1 Sign Language at RIDE and started a regular mass using sign language at the Immaculate Conception Parish in Marikina City. At Holy Family Church in Artesia (HFC), sign language interpreter is available for Saturday mass. He serves as council member of the MMHC Generalate, the leadership executive council of his religious organization. He completed all academic requirements for a Master’s in Psychology and Clinical Psychology and comprehensive exams in UST in 1999. “I did not get to complete my thesis. I was sent to Bacolod instead of finishing my thesis,” he said. In 2009, he went to the Spanish School Fundacion Proyecto Linguistico Francisco Marroquin in Guatemala. When he migrated to the U.S. he served for 5 years at St. Philomena in Carson, then 2 other parishes. The Archdiocese of Los Angeles, on his third year, asked him, as a condition of giving him a green card, to bring his congregation to the Archdiocese. Vicar of Clergy Msgr. Gabe Gonzalez wanted MMHC to administer a parish and work in the Archdiocese. HOLY FAMILY CHURCH (HFC) In Artesia, amongst a row of residential homes, near a park and a school, is the Holy Family Church. At sunset, a 13 feet Divine Mercy painting gets light’s rays and mostly, shadows, by the church’s entrance. It beck-

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ons you to come inside, and you hear the Gregorian chants, compelling you to take a moment with God. At night, the statue of the Holy Family is lit, welcoming all to come. A parishioner since 1980’s, Boots Feraren-Tecson shared: “Our beloved pastor oftentimes thinks he has attention deficit hyperactivity disorder ( ADHD). Well, I do believe he really has, LOL. Ever since he came to Holy Family, every nook and cranny of our whole parish has been transformed, added onto, converted, beautified, and mind you, mostly with his and his associates hands! I think even in his sleep, his mind does not stop thinking of ways to improve our whole parish (which includes our school). I also look forward to hearing his motivating/inspiring homilies. He has engaged the whole parish, from the very young to the oldest member, in so many ways that even if he added masses to alleviate the crowd, it still didn’t fix the problem, since more people come.” Curious, I went to 7pm mass one Sunday. One can count the pews filled. But, few minutes later, the choir started assembling. Enthusiastic singing began. I shared one snippet on Instagram and folks asked, “where is this church?” They must have as the choir sang with heartfelt expressions. Choir members lined up, faced the altar, and by their examples, showed how to behave at mass, disciplined. As the last song was sung, a message was made on the projector requesting parishioners to stay until the last verse is sung. PIETA AT THE VESTIBULE A Pietá replica is lit with overhead lights, encircled by four tiers of memory candles to commemorate deceased parishioners in the vestibule, creating a zone of silence, to mute the sounds of the city outside. The Pietá, pity in Italian, is a sculpture of Mary, holding Jesus Christ on her lap, depicting the event after Crucifixion, when Jesus’ dead body was removed from the cross, and before He was placed inside the tomb. It was commissioned by then French Cardinal Jean de Bilheres and sculpted out of Carrara marble by Michelangelo Buonarroti. “In her utter sadness and devastation, she seems resigned to what has happened, and becomes enveloped in graceful acceptance. Christ, too, is depicted almost as if he is in a peaceful slumber, and not one who has been bloodied and bruised after hours of torture and suffering. In supporting Christ, the Virgin’s right hand does not come into direct contact with his flesh, but instead it is covered with a cloth which then touches Christ’s side. This signifies the sacredness of Christ’s body,” Italian Renaissance.org noted. The replica was commissioned by Fr. Raymond Decipeda is in the vestibule, kept lighted 24/7, since mid-2014, ordered from Artisan Granite in Rhode Island. “The Pieta consolidates the theme of the area of the vestibule that we renovated, and we are honoring and praying for the eternal repose of our beloved dead,” Fr. Raymond told Los Cerritos News, on June 11, 2014. Next to the Pietá in HFC - Artesia is Mother Teresa’s statue (Mother Teresa was canonized a Saint on Sept.4, 2016), kneeling and holding a toddler. Across is the Mother of Perpetual Help, with baby Jesus on her left arm. Both statues have ceiling lights, encircled by several tiers of votive candles, supported by annual subscriptions of parishioners. Donations for the deceased aggregate yearly for the building’s maintenance fund, but not for daily operations. Fr. Raymond underscored they cannot be used to sustain the priests’ lifestyles, and not for extraordinary expenses of the administration. “We must live under budget and live below the means, provided by the community,” and by being frugal, the pastor can make jobs secure for the church’s staff and “why not,” he said, as “they do the work through teamwork, accountability, transparency and good governance.” What a people-centered philosophy, but also an open window into how he governs! BELIEF IN GOOD CHURCH GOVERNANCE PRINCIPLES I asked if he had any governance principles or what I called best practices. He instinctively responded five, and pulled their latest parish directory from the shelf. These principles are memorialized in the directory, and italicized here, as Fr. Raymond’s quotes. First: “The work of one pastor is built on the shoulders of pastors who came before me.”


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“This “do it yourself ” work ethic of the pastor and his team conserves the church funds, but also demonstrates that the leadership team of pastors and associates are equal in stature to the parishioners, who are all working hard, as an overall parish team, for the common good of all.” It is a humbling principle, he said, “to pay homage to what the past pastors have done and acknowledge their contributions,” thereby making space for the present to be enjoyed. Fr. Raymond took the continuity of connection to a higher level, and challenged his parishioners, on Feb. 7, 2016: “Those who came before us did their work of building for us. We enjoy and use what others built before us. Now that you are here, what is your contribution?” Collective responsibility is about providing not just for the present, but also for the next generations to come, a strategic giving of parishioners, coupled with working with their current pastor and his team of associates: Fr. Joachim Eugene Ma. Ablanida and Fr. Thomas Asia. Both had photos, sitting on the scaffolding, painting the church’s statues, to bring back their former elegance. This “do it yourself ” work ethic of the pastor and his team conserves the church funds, but also demonstrates that the leadership team of pastors and associates are equal in stature to the parishioners, who are all working hard, as an overall parish team, for the common good of all. One parishioner said, “He is the tyrant we do not want to see leave.” Recently, a new pastor associate joined the team at HFC, Fr. Joshua Jose Emilio Ma. Santos. Second: “We will be good stewards of the resources of the parish. We don’t fundraise to support our lifestyle. What was collected on Sundays, we live within those means.” He described how he became a “tyrant” in insisting that utilities go down by turning off lights as one leaves the room, in order to gain control over expenditures. He took me to the altar to show the altar frontal cover that he had sewn, with fabrics bought at downtown Los Angeles, with gilded laced edgings he selected, “We have four of these,” he said. On Fr. Raymond’s desk, one notices a blueprint for an open patio and children’s pavilion, “We started planning for the building of the open patio on January 2014. After personally being on top of the roof of the old lunch table area, I decided that it was time to build a new and better facility on its place. But how do we raise the money? Where do I start? I felt if it was God’s will, then God will show the way. We didn’t even have the money at that time, and after a year and a half, we raised almost 1 million [dollars] in order to build the open patio named Nazareth Hall. Why Nazareth? Because that was the place where Jesus grew up - and this will be the place where our young people will grow up,“ he posted recently on facebook. The construction for the patio and children’s pavilion begun. As of March 5, fifteen construction crew were busy pouring and etching concrete flooring, while children were embedding miraculous medals of the Virgin Mary on the flooring of the Nazareth Hall, “May the Lord watch over our children who will be using Nazareth Hall, “ Fr. Raymond wrote. After a few months, the pavilion was completed and now in use. Third: “The strength of the parish is in how it takes care of its weakest.” With their established food pantry, needy families are helped. They also make monthly visits to the sick, anointing them to hear confessions and to administer the Eucharist. On weekends, they concelebrate a mass for the prisoners. “We celebrate Mass on Sundays at the Terminal Island Federal Bureau of Prisons. This is on top of our 11 weekend Masses,” Fr. Raymond said. Once a year, they provide legal assistance through volunteer lawyers and medical professionals. In partnership with UCLA, an Annual health fair is organized to give mammograms, check-ups, flu shots, dental services, including optometrists, for glasses. Two boxes sit in his office with used eyeglass frames for his ministry to give glasses to those who need them in the Philippines. Fourth: “The Eucharist is the unifying factor.” Every Saturday afternoon and all of Sunday, twelve masses are offered in five languages: English, Portugese, Chinese, Spanish, and Sign language for deaf parishioners, but not Tagalog, although some songs are sung in Tagalog. I find it exemplary that a dozen masses are offered, as there is not a comparable church in Los Angeles, Lompoc, Philippines, Japan, Mex-

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ico, not even the Cathedral of Angels downtown, which I have visited, offer these many masses. In the church that I worship at, four masses are offered on Sundays; while another in East Hollywood offer seven masses. The church is aesthetically decorated, with altar of repose quite elaborate to depict the love of the Virgin Mary for her son, but also replete with details of love and suffering. “The intention is always to make the mass a wonderful experience, a celebration for the people,” he said, “in terms of homilies, songs and sacraments.” Fifth: “The Blessed Virgin Mary is our model and guide.” Much like the Virgin Mother, HFC’s priests pay special attention in the formation of the youth’s spirituality. Programs for confirmation have been changed. Fr. Raymond holds parental seminars five times a year and gives talks to students four times a year. Recently, he led confessions of 120 Confirmation students. Each of his associate priests take responsibility and lead their own subsets of classes for the young children, preparing them for confirmation. ANIMATED BY THE HOLY SPIRIT, LIGHT IS EVERYWHERE Love is vibrantly expressed in HFC from the altar, to restored statues, to the garden tended to by the pastor and his associates. Where does this energy come from? Fr. Raymond simply smiled and took me to the back of the church, where several dozens of orchid plants are being recycled, by watering, waiting for the next blooms, perhaps by Easter. This way, “we can also cut down on flower expenses,” without foregoing flowers, he said. “The children of the world are more enterprising as children of light, “ Fr. Raymond responded, “the personality of the church comes from the pastor. If the pastor is energetic, so is the parish.” But more than that, is it his training and team’s support? Or is he atoning for his past, as we all? Fr. Raymond shares more of MMHC, “After 200 years of Catholicism, MMHC is the first organization, founded by Filipinos, Leticia Albert and Bishop Camilo Gregorio, to be approved by the Vatican.” MMHC asserts their spirit, “Impelled by the love of Jesus on the cross, we the Marian Missionaries of the Holy Cross, draw strength from the compassionate and all embracing love of the Father, the humble service and solicitude of the Son, especially for the youth and the prisoners, and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit that animates and fires us for our missionary work. We courageously stand at the foot of the cross with Mary, our Mother and model of discipleship, the woman of joyful obedience and faith.” When I asked how much all these improvements cost, Fr. Raymond acknowledged the parishioners’ generosity, to the tune of $2.5 million. But HFC’s generosity is not self-centered, it has outreached to San Antonio de Padua of Basey, Samar, through Fr. Rex Ibanez. HFC has helped rebuild a church flattened to rubble and ruins from Typhoon Yolanda, save for some statues. The newly rebuilt church cost Php 6 million, to which HFC contributed Php 4.5 million or $90,000. As the church’s weekly collection doubled and at times, tripled, as perhaps a measure of a well-led church, will Fr. Raymond’s brand of spiritual vitality and good governance principles be sustained for years to come? Will its spiritual vibrance last? “Everything comes in a package, when you have a Type A personality, you lead, you are able to accomplish, you are a go-getter, but you are also a pain in the rear. I totally get that. I am not kind and gentle, I am straight. Lord, I am simply grateful that you used me as I am and I am able to serve,” he said. MMHC’s Fr. Raymond has left the HFC-Artesia better than he found it: once a declining church, with deficit, declining attendance, with dilapidated structures, to now a church which rises to greet anyone, “a Church with Life,” as one parishioner said, “a Church filled with light, the Holy Spirit, and good sounds of spiritual energies.” Fr. Raymond is now the new pastor at St. John of God in Norwalk. The last I heard his presence is much anticipated by the parishioners. We all need spiritual vibrance in our lives, as it seems!


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CULTURE People I Around the World

ACQUIRING COMPETENCIES TO SERVE GOD

—Fr. Roberto F. Jaranilla, Jr. WRITER Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D. “Be open to learn from the people. Pray and learn from the Holy Spirit. Learn from your peers. Stay rooted in prayer. Be humble, flexible, open and have friendships. You need a good balance, as the seminary cannot prepare you for the surprises in the parish. It is you with good judgment, spirituality and balance that will help you respond to the challenges of doing the right thing. It is after all, spiritual integrity.” – Fr Roberto Jaranilla’s mentoring message to a new priest, 2016. “Jaranilla” is the name of a little flower that grew in Spain, where starting in Pamplona, Fr. Roberto Jaranilla completed his spiritual journey to bike the Camino de Santiago, ending with a mass at the Cathedral in Compostela. True to his name, he completed “The Way” in the Camino. The National Geographic describes the Camino as “Spilling over the Pyrenees from France into Spain, the network of trails that make up the Route of St. James converges at the cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. For more than 1,000 years, pilgrims have trekked over the high plains of Castilla and the hills of Galicia, some to honor the Apostle James; others in the midst of their own spiritual journey.” BIKING THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO The Camino is a pilgrimage journey of 6,808 miles. Fr. Jaranilla biked 500 miles, a path where pilgrims can “trace the footsteps of Ernest Hemingway, even a bull, through the streets of Pamplona, and venture into the cathedral of Burgos and the monasteries of San Milan de la Cogolla, both UNESCO World Heritage Sites,” as written in National Geographic. He did this in 2010, during his Sabbatical. He travelled ‘The Way,’ biking 35 miles each day. He celebrated masses at chapels and churches along the route. At times, he rode against the tradewinds, at other times he biked with the winds on his back. On unpaved dirt roads, he struggled as any biker; but managed going uphill by changing gears and coasted downhill, with winds caressing his face.

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For 14 days, he sustained this schedule, subsisting on baguette, salami and cheese, until he got sick with fever and flu. Should he then drop out or continue, he asked himself ? He shouldered on. With the path’s earth angels (the man who opened his shop to fix his bike), and with God to lean on, he got to the towering Romanesque structure, the Cathedral of Compostela, with Gothic and Baroque additions, the end of the Camino. Each day brought new insights. He recalls being guided, “Roberto, my dear pilgrim, you have answered my call to take on the journey. Always remember that you did not travel the path alone.” He composed a poem to remember how God guided him. “I was reminded of being a pilgrim, of a journey with steep rough trails, downhill paths, strong winds, struggles to stay on course, balance, moving forward, of overcoming physical limits. When I got lost, I had to go back. I saw many fountains, which became my lifelines. It is like Jacob wrestling with God and God wrestling with Jacob, that Jacob walks with a limp. In a way, I received a wonderful blessing, not a limp, but with my back less than normal.” GOD’S CALLING As this writer approached St. Joseph in Pomona, bell sounds beckoned worshippers to come for prayer and meditation. The skies had a glowing orange sunset. The beauty outside matched the beauty of the church inside and the calm demeanor of the pastor, Fr. Jaranilla, who has been the pastor here for 12 years. Inside his office hangs a plaque, “Soaring High and Beyond Years for Excellence in Community Service for 50 years,” highlighting St. John’s Institute, the high school where he learned three languages: Mandarin, Tagalog and English, his first three competencies. At De La Salle College, he acquired a fourth competency, a BS degree in computer science on a Knights of Columbus scholarship. He excelled in sports: basketball, tennis and volleyball, his fifth competencies. After graduating from De La Salle, he worked for a year at a bank. While walking along Ayala Avenue, he glanced at the skies and wondered: “Is this all to my life?“ He imagined greener pastures. Through the sponsorship of an uncle, he came to the U.S. to pursue his Master’s in Computer Engineering at West Coast University in Los Angeles. It was during this time that he mysteriously got weak and could not do much. He went to several doctors to obtain a diagnosis. Believing he had a terminal illness, as nothing worked to restore him to wellness, he complained to God: “Why me?” He heard the answers, reflected back in his thoughts: “I did not abandon you, you were the one who turned your back on me, you were not serious about your faith in college. Sometimes, you went to mass, and your prayer life was not as important as you did in high school.”


It hit him hard — he got more desperate, kept crying and wrote his last will. He leaned on his faith: he went to confession, daily mass, and purchased his first Bible. “By going to mass, God accompanied me during that time, He led the way, I paid attention. When I was not sick, I paid attention to God and I listened to him. I remember Psalm 1:16, where it says ‘the Lord rejoices over the death of his faithful,’ I figured, even if my life is over, I still can give joy to God if I remain faithful from now on. I went to daily mass. I remember the Gospel passage that the heavenly court rejoices over one repentant sinner than the 99 who are already righteous. God is telling me it is okay, you can start over, as long as you repent and start a new life. I was really forced to question life, is there life after death, it made me look at my faith and develop a closer relationship to God. When I finally accepted God in my heart, I experienced a sense of peace, I became involved in the work of the Legion of Mary and I prayed the rosary with them. After prayers, it would bring me consolation and peace. Just as the illness mysteriously appeared, it also mysteriously disappeared.“ During his conversion experience, he went to several retreats with the Passionist Community in Sierra Madre, while he kept praying with the Legion of Mary. While praying at St. John of God in Norwalk, the pastor asked, “Would you like to be a sacristan and help set up what we need for mass and open the church?“ He agreed to serve, and was asked if he thought of becoming a priest. He was surprised that the priest knew about his aspirations, as he has not shared them. The priest asked if he already found the right girl. When he answered ‘not yet’ the priest responded, “See, God is calling you. If you decide, I will help you.“

GOD UNFOLDS HIS PROCESS He went to Camarillo to visit St. John’s Seminary. With each visit, his desire got stronger and applied at age 25. He went through a discernment program with the Archdiocese and attended monthly get-togethers with the vocation directors. He sought the permission of his prayerful mother, Belinda and his father, Roberto, Sr. who said, “Think well before you decide,” while his mom was just ecstatic. At 26, he acquired his sixth competency: a Master’s in Divinity. He was ordained a priest on June 1, 1996. He served at Christ the King and was involved in “One Heart, One Mind.” He served as an administrator at St. Raymond’s and with the youth ministry, he developed talent shows with them. Add a seventh, as a pilgrim and a traveler who has been to Turkey, China, Canada, Thailand, Singapore, Mexico, Malaysia, Peru, Italy, France, Spain, Portugal, Philippines, Germany, Poland, Russia, Denmark, Sweden and Helsinki. And an eight competency, he acted as Padre Diego and a mentor to St. Pedro Calungsod at the Filipino Priests in the USA’s musical entitled “Fides Ecclesiae,” and he said, “I enjoy theater and that was one of the highlights of my priesthood.” He was describing the assembly of Filipino priests Nov. 8-11, 2011, “we celebrated our fraternity, and shared our gifts with one another and our blessings from God and the local churches in Los Angeles.” At All Souls, he served as an administrator, until he became a pastor at St. Joseph in 2005. He continues to serve in this church, where there are 2000 registered families and 166 school children that are in K-8th. ISSUE 54 — 091


CULTURE People I Around the World

AWED BY GOD’S TRANSFORMING GRACE

—Fr. Camilo “Miloy” Pacanza WRITER Prosy Abarquez-Delacruz, J.D.

It was cold. Blistering winds which swayed trees, yet bright, blue skies greeted my husband, Enrique and I, when we got to St. Lucy’s Church in Long Beach. With open doors to the street, it was packed with Latinos, Vietnamese, Cambodians, Filipinos and Caucasians, on January 16, 2016. The gospel was about a wedding in Cana, wherein Jesus and Mary were guests, and wine had run out. Though it was not yet time for Jesus to perform miracles, He obeyed Mary and asked for six clay water jugs to be filled with water, and water became wine. A ROCK-SOLID IDENTITY AS GOD’S CHOSEN Much like that Cana’s miracle, Fr. Camilo “Miloy” Pacanza’s life is discovering God’s transforming grace. He said, “Prescinding from the belief that the Holy Spirit moves the church, many times a great part of what the church turns out to be is really man’s creation, for God cannot be contained in an institution. I believe in God and I stand for Him, my unshakeable foundation, who I am now and my hope for the future is anchored in my faith in God. I have been through a lot of shaking and continues to be shaken by God.” He shared his first encounter with one of the bishops, “who almost destroyed my faith as he was uncharitable when I applied for his diocese.” Fr. Pacanza got to the diocese at 2 p.m, “I was fed old pandesal and tepid coffee. I had to take it. He gave me a bodega to sleep in with tattered beddings. I had to clear and clean the room myself. It took lots of humility. I slept on it. It made me think, is this what the church is all about? I realized he is not the church. He is not God, so why generalize? I cast my dice on this new diocese and have been there 35 years now. He became my bishop, the one who ordained me.”

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“Another church, part of a smaller community, is in an unlighted boulevard, a “boulidark” or “bullydark,” he calls it, “yet, here is where I was invited to mediate on conflicts, where folks were civil, stuck to the issues, no displayed raw emotions, and conflicts were settled peacefully,” he continued. “There was a phase in my diocese’s tumultuous history when my brother priests were ready to turn over their appointment letters. I thought, too bad, when God called me, my bishop was not there. So, I made a commitment, much like a marriage, and integrated everything that came after. My core identity is a servant of God. When I took my vows of ordination, I had no doubts about that, though I had fears about the future. I was 31 years old. We are here as servants of God, not the master of His people,“ he emphasized. “Yes, I was chosen by God. My priesthood is God’s gift to me and no church-given title or honor can supersede that gift. I also know God loves me. There is nothing I can do that would make God completely unlove me. I may sometimes unlove God, but God is always there to take me back. That is who I am, ” he asserted. From that rock-solid identity, he defines his role, “It is to be a servant of God, to evangelize and to minister. It is not to be the master of the parishioners. It is to understand what they are about. It is relating to them as they are, not above them.” MULTICULTURAL MINISTRIES Enough time has now elapsed from serving two churches, one in East Hollywood and one in Long Beach, that I asked Fr. Pacanza if there was a difference in ministering to them. “One church, immersed in the heart of the inner city churches/ parishes makes for a competitive, ferocious environment, where it is about self-preservation. Conflicts can be dealt with in harsh language and while people shout, it is limited to a small loud sector, it does not define the entire community. Yet, that can attach to the reputation of that church.” “Another church, part of a smaller community, is in an unlighted boulevard, a “boulidark” or “bullydark,” he calls it, “yet, here is where I was invited to mediate on conflicts, where folks were civil, stuck to the issues, no displayed raw emotions, and conflicts were settled peacefully,” he continued. In both churches, “you minister with multicultural openness and understand the preferential option for the lost, the last and the least,” he said. WHO IS FR. PACANZA His love for reading got nurtured at 6yo. He retrieved Reader’s Digest from the uptown’s household trash that planted the seed for a boyhood dream to see the Oberammergauer Passion Play. He excelled in grade school, especially the religion classes. His mastery of the religion led to creating plays, designing theater in all its aspects: script, costumes, directing and acting. At 14, he told creation stories and did audio-visual English editions, encouraged by his teachers. “When I was in third year high school and resettled in Catbalogan, Samar, my brothers and sisters, who promised to send me back to Manila, conveniently forgot about me; they got married, one after another, “ he said. Left to fend for himself, he took jobs of cleaning, marketing, cooking, washing, for free board and lodging.


He stayed at Colegio Filipino in Rome and worked as a telephone operator to pay his board. He slept at bus and train stations. He visited churches and cathedrals across Western Europe, and subsisted on $10 a day: two baguettes, cheese, a pound of apples, and ref illed two soft drink bottles with water. He went to Jerusalem, and the U.S., to be reunited with his sisters. He traced the Junipero Serra’s route, documenting the California mission churches, and got to San Antonio, Texas.

He met two Peace Corps folks, Jim McMullen and Ed White, who got him involved in the paper, “Samarenian.” His Peace Corps friends lived in a guest room at the governor’s mansion, where he got to read a lot in their library. He was sent to the national editors’ guild conference twice, and a path opened up for him. Christ the King College sent him to an oratorical contest. He recited the “Nine Leaves of Summer,” a young man lost, because of family, but now picking up the pieces where the summer leaves were falling.” John Schumacher, who conducted the national exams, personally requested him to take it, which enabled him to land the #7 spot for a scholarship to San Jose Major Seminary/Ateneo de Manila University. During his first year, he took Latin, Philosophy and English. He finished Pre-Divinity Studies, minor in education and mass communication, while also teaching at Maryknoll high school. But, he doubted that his passions could be tamed inside the seminary. So, he lived among the poor, where he worked from 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., carrying bales of fish at the Navotas fishport. He took turns sleeping with other workers in a closet-sized room. He formed a community theater, teaching them church songs. He produced passion plays, including designing the stage props and costumes. After a few months, he chose to go back to the seminary. He went to the monastery, but the abbot deemed him “too gifted for the monastery.” HE WAS ORDAINED ON JUNE 12, 1981 A turning point came when Pope John Paul II organized an international retreat for 5,000 priests in 1989. Fr. Pacanza was “chosen” as one of the 500 priests from the Philippines, the only priest to go to Rome, from his diocese. His bishop declined permission for him to leave. But, he acted as if he was going to. He got his travel papers and while at the embassy, he met the priest organizing the retreat, who encouraged him to go. Fr. Pacanza persuaded his bishop and he was granted permission. He raised $1,000 by helping friends to design furniture and mausoleums. In 1989, his dream came true. With just a backpack, he travelled to Germany, Austria, Spain, Italy, Amsterdam, Israel and even witnessed the turning down of the Berlin Wall. Mind you, his dream to see the 7-hour Oberammaergau Passion Play was nurtured for three decades. But, he could not get the tickets to this play. As divine providence would have it, he went to a store. It was closed, but the owner noticed him. He was one of the performing actors in the passion play. Unbeknowst to Fr. Pacanza, the owner

called the ticket issuer and instructed him to go back to the ticket stand. He got his ticket, saw the play and was overfilled with joy. According to its website, the Oberammergauers swore an oath that they would perform the “Play of the Suffering, Death and Resurrection of Our Lord Jesus Christ” every ten years, after months of suffering and death from the plague. They fulfilled this pledge for the first time during Pentecost 1634, and have preserved it for centuries. He stayed at Colegio Filipino in Rome and worked as a telephone operator to pay his board. He slept at bus and train stations. He visited churches and cathedrals across Western Europe, and subsisted on $10 a day: two baguettes, cheese, a pound of apples, and refilled two soft drink bottles with water. He went to Jerusalem, and the U.S., to be reunited with his sisters. He traced the Junipero Serra’s route, documenting the California mission churches, and got to San Antonio, Texas. To the Immaculate Heart of Mary Church’s (IHMC) choir members, Fr. Pacanza is a priest of many talents, including a man of the arts. His homily at IHMC spoke of his vows and his optimism: ”Out of obedience, I came [to Hollywood]. I am now on a rebirth, growing old is [really] growing young in reverse. Mahilig tayong maglagay ng patapos: Ayoko na. Hanggang dito lang ako. (This is it. I don’t want to move. This is the endpoint.) Yet, there are only beginnings with God. Fr. Rodel [Balagtas] opened up a new awareness for me, though I suffered, wishing I could have been a journalist, an architect, even an actor, I was really destined to be a priest. What will it offer me, I asked? It is not about gifts, not about what I want, but about what God wants me to do. America is now my new home, where friendships blossom and Sacredness settles in.“ Last June 2016, he celebrated his 35th year as a priest where over 150 folks gathered at St. Lucy’s Hall to speak about his goodness in his ministries to them. He is currently on a sabbatical, on discernment: “It is not an easy life to be in ministry, you encounter betrayals and challenges. You stay afloat by absorbing it, by praying, by thinking, being quiet, by containing the trials in your heart. My personal life cannot jeopardize my ministry. How can you be God’s grace when God’s grace is ex-operato? But, also how can I be a conduit of God’s grace, when I myself is not in a state of grace? So [I] forgive and [I need to] be forgiving, until there is nothing left but humor in recalling what happened. Whoever you are, God will use you. Sacraments are effective, regardless of the status of the priests. Offering of God’s grace is not hampered by the status of priests. I have done my best, and allowed Him to do the rest. My priesthood is God’s gift to me. There is not a greater title than that,” and in March 2017, he leads a group to visit the Marian sites in France and Spain. ISSUE 54 — 093


HIDDEN DESTINATIONS I CORON PHOTOGRAPHER Brian Mirasol 094 — ISSUE 54


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GREECE

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WASHINGTON, DC

ROME

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS

MILAN

HONOLULU, HAWAII

PORTUGAL

SPAIN

LIBY JORDAN AMMAN

LIBYA

MEXICO

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SOUTH AFRICA ARGENTINA BUENOS AIRES

60 COUNTRIES. OVER 100 CITIES WORLDWIDE.

THAT’S INTERNATIONAL. In partnership with the Department of Foreign Affairs of the Philippines, Balikbayan Magazine is now distributed at 101 local and foreign Philippine embassies, consulates, offices, and outposts to compliment our existing distribution channels such as bookstores, hotel and resort rooms, hospitals, banks, clinics, restaurants, shops, travel agencies, events, and subscriptions. 096 — ISSUE 54 14 BALIKBAYANMAGAZINE.COM


RUSSIA

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OLAND WARSAW

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EUROPE, MIDDLE EAST & AFRICA

STRIA

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BRUNEI

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CAMBODIA PHILIPPINES DHAKA

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OUTH AFRICA

PHILIPPINES

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TEHRAN DHAKA MUSCAT NEW DELHI RIYADH MANAMA BAHRAIN PAKISTAN ABUKENYA DHABI DOHA QATAR EGYPT NAIROBI MYANMAR LAOS VIENTIANE ISLAMABAD UAE CAIRO DUBAI INDIA YANGON SAUDI NEW DELHI ABU DHABI

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NEW ZEALAND WELLINGTON

SOUTH AFRICA NEW ZEALAND WELLINGTON

NEW ZEALAND WELLINGTON

ISSUE 54 — 097

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VOLUME 4 NUMBER 3

In Focus

MEDICAL TOURISM IN THE PHILIPPINES What you need to know

Analysis

The Cost of Healthcare HOW DOES THE PHILIPPINES COMPARE TO OTHER COUNTRIES?

Exploring the Treasures of

pangasinan Reviving Urduja

THE TRANSFORMATION OF THE CAPITAL

the economy

IS PANGASINAN READY FOR TAKEOFF?

bangus

NOT JUST ANOTHER FISH IN THE SEA

agriculture tourism A COMING OF AGE

OUR LADY’S CALL VISITING MANAOG

RIZAL’S ROOTS

LINGAYEN, PANGASINAN

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GINA DE VENECIA

THE QUINTESSENTIAL FILIPINA

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The Artist

AN UNEXPECTED EDEN

CARLYN NUYDA CALLOWAY ——————

america in our hearts

A LANDMARK BOOK ON IMPORTANT FILIPINOS IN THE UNITED STATES

The Designer

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APPLEONE PROPERTIES

Escapes

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098 — ISSUE 54

5 HOT SPOTS FOR A HEALTHY RECOVERY


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I N S I D E : S P E C I A L R E P O RT O N T H E 2 0 1 5 AS E A N E C O N O M I C I N T E G R AT I O N

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EARTH-BAG HOUSE Andres P. Tamayo Sr. Foundation, Inc. joins hand with DataLand, Inc. and DDT Konstract, Inc. in rebuilding Lajala, Coron

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THE SILK RESIDENCES The Finer Things In Life THE OLIVE PLACE Balanced Living Defined

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Galleries. Restaurants. MANILA CATHEDRAL

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MUTYA NG PILIPINAS BEYOND THE BEAUTY…

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THE ASIAN JOURNAL TRAVEL & LIFESTYLE MAGAZINE

Her True Calling.

TACLOBAN A Year After

PALAWAN

THE ANCIENT ART OF BATOK

The Luxe Life at Princesa Garden Island Resort & Spa

An ongoing series about the indigenous tribes in the Philippines

FORTITUDE ON A FRIDAY Meeting with the Families at the SM MOA Arena I N S I D E : T H E S TAT E O F T H E E C O N O M Y

THE PERFECT STORM Pope Francis visits Tacloban, Leyte BELIEVE IN THE GOODNESS Encounter with the Youth at the University of Santo Tomas, Manila

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POPE APPETIT Chef Jessie Sincioco talks about her experience cooking for Pope Francis

A pioneering township and the country’s first cyberpark

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DISCOVER BOHOL’S “LITTLE DARLING” AND BE CAPTIVATED BY PANGLAO’S BREATHTAKING CHARM

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PUERTO GALERA’S ANNUAL FEAST OF MUSIC, ART, AND NATURE

THE TRIBES CALLED MANGYAN

MANAOAG

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THE COUNTRY’S NEWEST MINOR BASILICA

OUTLOOK: ALL THINGS CONSIDERED, THE INTRICACIES OF POLITICS

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APRIL & MAY 2016

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

THE FORECAST: LET THE GOOD TIMES ROLL, BUT FOR EVERYONE

SPECIAL IN-DEPTH FEATURE: PHINMA PROPERTY HOLDINGS CORPORATION

Where luxury meets serenity Issue 49, Volume VII

I s s u e 4 7 , Vo l u m e V I I

JUNE & JULY 2016

FEBRUARY / MARCH 2016

KEEPING A JOURNAL LABOR POLICY AS FOREIGN POLICY INFRASTRUCTURE GETTING THERE

GREAT GETAWAYS TRAVERSING THE PHILIPPINE COUNTRYSIDE

THE ECONOMY 01 UNINTERRUPTED, ROBUST TOURISM GROWTH 02 MORE JOBS, MORE FUN IN THE PHILIPPINES

OUTLOOK

PIA WURTZBACH

FROM THE EXECUTIVE’S DESK ALEJANDRA “DADING” CLEMENTE

TECHNOLOGY

PROFILES AMBASSADOR JOSE L. CUISA, JR.

MARKETING TO THE MODERN FILIPINO

TABLE FOR TWO

HEALTH

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DISCOVERY

GREAT ESCAPES 01 CATCHING THE PALAD SANDBAR 02 TIPS FOR A BUDGET TRAVELER

NEWSMAKERS ONE-ON-ONE WITH MISS UNIVERSE,

INFRASTRUCTURE

ESSENCE OF PLACE

TECHNOLOGY ARE WE MOVING FORWARD OR STANDING STILL?

ANOTHER UPGRADE FOR THE PHILIPPINE ECONOMY

COVER

AMAZING GETAWAYS 01 SHANGRI-LA, THE FORT 02 SHANGRI-LA, MACTAN

HISTORY PAL’S 75TH YEAR BRINGS LOS ANGELES TO CEBU FLIGHTS

ADVENTURE CALLAO CAVE

WHAT TO PACK

THE GREAT OUTDOORS

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CULTURE MALASIMBO: OF NATURE, MUSIC, & ARTS

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ISABELA, STA. MARIA: THE STAR OF THE NORTH

RESTAURANTS & BARS 01 OUTBACK STEAKHOUSE 02 ABV: ALCOHOL BY VOLUME

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Issue 52, Volume VII

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DECEMBER 2016 & JANUARY 2017

OCTOBER & NOVEMBER 2016

AMAZING ESCAPES LIMA PARK HOTEL: REVEL IN EVERYTHING LUXURIOUS

INSIDE: MORE THRILLING REASONS TO COMEBACK HOME

AT LEISURE NURTURE WELLNESS VILLAGE: EVERY BALIKBAYAN’S SANCTUARY

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CULTURE FILIPINO SUPERSTITIONS ON NEW YEAR’S EVE

Q&A JOJI GREGORIO: OFFICER-IN-CHARGE OF THE TOURISM PROMOTIONS BOARD

TECHNOLOGY STARMOBILE KNIGHT SPECTRA: A WORLD-CLASS FILIPINO FLAGSHIP SMARTPHONE

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Is s u e 54, Vol u me V III

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LEADERS GOVERNOR OF LA UNION, EMMANUEL “PACOY” ORTEGA III INDUSTRY RANG-AY BANK’S CEO, IVES NISCE BUSINESS 10 MODERN WAYS TO STAY FOCUSED AND PRODUCTIVE THE ECONOMY #NEWPHILIPPINES & THE MODERN LANDSCAPE

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THE BI-MONTHLY BRIEFING ON THE GROWTH, DEVELOPMENT, AND PROGRESSION OF A NEW PHILIPPINES.


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April & May 2017 Balikbayan Magazine  
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