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Still an uphill climb for gender equality W

By Cai U. Ordinario

orking Girls, a classic film by renowned filmmaker Ishmael Bernal in 1984, depicts how women are treated in the corporate world. In the movie, seven women bank employees, in pursuit of their dreams, took different paths in their chosen careers.

Together, they told the stories of the perils and pitfalls of being a working woman in the 1980s. One became a mistress, while an-

other had a child out of wedlock, among others.   The movie also showed the role abusive men played in the lives of working women. There are the playboys, philandering types, and even insecure husbands, to name a few. Men’s harassment in the form of whistles and snide remarks thrown at working women were also showed in the film.   The movie had some comedic aspects, but the treatment of women was no laughing matter.

The film showed just how high the glass ceiling is for many women, preventing them from maximizing their potential and   be   truly successful in the work force.   

Unspeakable difficulties

The movie is over three decades old, yet, women remain the subject of gender inequality in the workplace. Many women continue to be left out of the work force and those who join face unspeakable difficulties.   “It’s not just a Philippine prob-

lem, it’s a global problem,” Marjorie Pajaron of the University of the Philippines School of Economics (UPSE) said. “Culturally, it’s still a patriarchal system, how women are treated. The sexual harassment, etc., are all indicative of not just lack of support from the government, the Constitution, but is deeper [because it is cultural].”

Discouraged workers?

Data from the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed that

women’s labor force participation rate was only 50.1 percent, significantly lower than the men’s rate of 77.3 percent.   Based on 2015 data, there were 16.28 million females in the work force, while there were 25.06 million men. These numbers represented 44.7 percent of the female population and 72.2 percent of the male population, respectively.    This low labor force participation rate is one of the reasons the Continued on A2

DND chief says controversy surrounding P15.5-B frigate deal ‘nonexistent’

Smooth sailing from now on for Navy’s warship deal


By Rene Acosta

efense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana is expecting Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI) to deliver the two frigates ordered for the Philippine Navy by 2020, as the South Korean contractor has started the manufacture and assembly of the twin warships. PESO exchange rates n US 52.0170

The completion of the military ships, with a total contract price of P15.5 billion, commenced as the Navy had moved past the controversy surrounding the vessels’ acquisition, which Lorenzana now consider as “nonexistent” in the first place. “There is nothing to settle because there was no issue on the contract, except the one manufactured by [Rear Adm. Ronald Joseph] Mercado to favor his preferred CMS [combat management

system],” the defense chief said last week. “The critical design review [CDR] has been approved by the PMT [project management team] and Hyundai on March 24, six months delayed, thanks to the meddling of Mercado. It should have been done last September,” Lorenzana added.   Mercado, the former Navy chief who held the rank of vice admiral, was allowed to officially retire last month without any

charges while vainly and “manipulatively” fighting for Thales Tacticos’s CMS to the hilt, but failed. Lorenzana said the “frigate program will go on smoothly from here on. We expect them to be delivered [by] 2020 and 2021.”   The twin frigates project, dubbed as the first for the Navy, started after the military’s Technical Inspection and Acceptance Committee (TIAC) for the Frigate Acquisition Project (FAP) had accepted HHI’s CDR on March 23, 2018.

The CDR’s acceptance was an approval of the 71 “critical detailed design drawings” for the 2,600-ton and missile-firing frigates that were equipped with sensors and systems for modern naval warfare.   “The next significant milestone will now be the ceremonial steel cutting, which will likely be held on  April 30, 2018,  at HHI Complex, Ulsan, South Korea, to be attended by a delegation from the Continued on A2

n japan 0.4847 n UK 74.0202 n HK 6.6266 n CHINA 8.2669 n singapore 39.6380 n australia 40.3340 n EU 64.1318 n SAUDI arabia 13.8712

Source: BSP (April 13, 2018 )

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Still an uphill climb for gender equality Continued from A1

Philippines scored low in terms of economic participation and opportunity in the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Index (GGI).  

How PHL fares

Based on the 2017 GGI rankings, the Philippines ranked 25th out of 144 economies in economic participation and opportunity because the country was only 106th in terms of labor force participation.   “With respect to women, what we want to happen is an increase in the labor force participation of women. At the moment, it is low compared to our neighbors, the labor force participation of women is 46 [percent], sometimes it goes up to 47 [percent] and we want this substantially increased; one, because it’s needed for the Ambisyon and, two, we think with economic empowerment also comes empowerment in general for the women,” said Rosemarie G. Edillon, National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) undersecretary for policy and planning.   On top of the low labor force participation, women also have lower salaries and wages compared to men. This leads to them having less income than their male counterparts.    Based on the GGI, the Philippines ranked only 38th out of 144 economies in estimated earned income, which was   computed in purchasing power parity (PPP), and 21st in wage equality for sim-

ilar work.   The GGI showed the estimated earned income of women amounted to $6,290 in PPP terms, while men had a higher earned income of $9,302.    This may largely be due to the fact that PSA data showed fewer women are considered high-income earners. In terms of being officials of the government and selfinterest organizations, corporate executives, managers, managing proprietors and supervisors, there are 3.25 million men and only 2.92 million women.    More women are service, shops and market sales workers at 2.46 million; clerks, 1.49 million; and professionals, 1.28 million. This is nearly as much as the 5.05 million laborers and unskilled workers in the economy.     “There are a lot of women who are employed relative to other countries [where] women cannot work. If you look at BPO [businessprocess outsourcing], it seems it’s equal. In academe, it depends probably on the department or college. There are so many factors before going to job opportunities; there are other factors, such as vocational education, the income level of the’s hard to really pinpoint the job disparity. But, of course, when you look at wage, then that’s a different thing,” Pajaron said.   

Unpaid or lowly paid

Even worse is the trend that the proportion of unpaid family work-

ers who are women has increased between 2000 and 2015. Unpaid family workers include laborers and unskilled workers, service, shop and market sales workers.   PSA data showed the highest proportion of women who were unpaid family workers was 59.1 percent in 2015, while the lowest was at 51.6 in 2000. Among men, the highest was 48.9 percent in 2000, and the lowest was 40.9 percent in 2015.   Edillon also said women  can’t get a break in terms of promotion. Many of them, especially those doing menial jobs, keep the same positions until they retire.    “I’m really surprised that you’re seeing a number, among the low-paying jobs and they’re already very, very mature, like you have very, very old security guards, they grew old in the same position,” she said.    Further, in a 2017 Policy Note, Philippine Institute for Development Studies (PIDS) senior research fellow Connie BacuyanDacuycuy and De La Salle University’s Lawrence Dacuycuy said one of the reasons women cannot access economic and employment opportunities is housework.    They said housework remains a woman’s domain, preventing them from participating in the labor force. Since they are not part of the labor force, their economic contributions in the country have been limited and/or undervalued.    “Men provide and their place is in the labor market. As a result,

women’s contributions to society tend to become undervalued, if not invisible,” the authors said.   The authors added the time required to complete housework, which includes taking care of children and the elderly, reduces the chances of women to have regular paying jobs.    If they have regular jobs, the weight of performing housework remains fixed on their shoulders. This is often termed as “second shift,” overburden in sociology researches, and time poverty in studies on multidimensional poverty.    However, when women’s wages increase, their husbands’ time devoted to housework also increases, which, according to the authors, may be interpreted as a way to support their career.   “Given that taking care of children and the elderly typically falls on women’s sphere of responsibilities, women may find it hard to focus on their market work, in case they have one,” the authors said.    “Hence, women may be situated in a relatively disadvantageous position, if not face de facto discrimination, in the formal labor market,” they added.   Apart from this, the working conditions faced by women in the work force remain difficult. PSA data showed there was a sharp increase in sexual violence in the workplace, especially among single women.   

Sexual harassment

In 2013 around 10.7 percent of women aged 15 to 49 years old who were never married reported that they experienced some form of sexual harassment from their employer or someone in the workplace. This is higher than the 2.2 percent incidence among women in this age bracket who are married. This is also higher than the zero incidence among never-married women reported in 2008.    

Better future

In order to improve the plight of women, Bacuyan-Dacuycuy and

Dacuycuy urged the government to explore the imposition of a fourday workweek and tax incentives for salaried workers.   The four-day workweek will allow both women and men more time at home and share the burden of housework more equally.    Tax breaks, meanwhile, will give households more financial room to take on helpers and/or provide supplemental care for children and the elderly.   The study also urged the government to explore providing affordable daycare and tutorial services so that children may get good supplementary care while their parents are at work.   Workers in the informal sector, who are seldom covered by labor market policies and regulations, should also be prioritized and given more protection, the authors recommended.   In a separate policy note, University of the Philippines Prof. Clarissa David, PIDS senior research fellow Jose Ramon Albert, and research assistant Jana Flor Vizmanos said there is also a need to resolve or minimize domestic abuses and other forms of violence on women and children by focusing on women empowerment.    They also recommended that the government allocate funds for the provision of comprehensive health services to VAWC victims, which should include psychosocial, therapeutic, medical, and legal interventions and assistance.   “The long-term solution to VAW is women’s economic empowerment, as poverty remains at the root of much of domestic abuse and battering in the home, for both women and children—the same way that poverty is the root cause of human trafficking and slave labor,” the authors said.    “Poor and rural women are more likely to be victims of violence, more likely to be financially dependent on their husbands, and more likely to have more children than their urban counterparts,” they added. 

While stricter statutes like the anti-red tape law (Republic Act 8353), anti-VAWC law, and the Magna Carta for Women are already in effect, the authors proposed for the implementation of more preventive measures and programs to address not only VAWC issues, but also trafficking and harassment.     They also recommended that local government units and relevant national agencies—such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Department of Health, and the Philippine Commission on Women—establish an action plan on how to establish, operate, and continuously fund shelters for women and children who were victims of violence and exploitation.   “Once laws are passed, implementation itself is heavy on enforcement [i.e., capture, investigation, prosecution] and light on victim care. This is a critical imbalance that needs correction, and one that will require champions and advocates in the government who will represent and defend the interests and safety of all women and girls,” the authors concluded.  

Legal framework

For her part, Edillon said the government is mulling over the creation of a “legal framework” for part-time work, which will enable more women to be part of the labor force.   This aims to help women not only become more productive, but also improve on themselves by taking on additional training or get additional degrees. This will help boost their chances of climbing the corporate ladder.    Until these recommendations become a reality and the true value of women is recognized, allowing women to work in various companies may only be lip service. After all, giving women the opportunity to work and earn a decent living should not be a choice but a right that can be demanded by all.

Smooth sailing from now on for Navy’s warship deal Continued from A1

Department of National Defense/ Philippine Navy to mark this important milestone,” the Navy said in a news statement. “Indeed, the completion of the CDR phase and the start of the steel cutting show that FAP is now moving forward without delays in accordance with the stipulations of the contract,” it added.   The frigate project encountered a “delay” after Mercado, then as the Navy chief, insisted the use of Tacticos’s CMS for the two warships that would be built, instead of the CMS of Hanwha, another South Korean firm that was chosen by HHI to deliver the system.   The CMS is considered as the “brain” of any military ship as it integrates its systems, including its weapons, sensors, communication and navigation, among others.   The issue of CMS, along with its compatibility with TDL 16 (tactical data link), has dragged the project as Mercado, who was relieved as Navy chief by Lorenzana for “loss of trust and confidence,” fought “tooth and nail” for the Dutch (Tacticos) systems against the contract.   The issue even reached the Senate and the House of Representatives, which separately conducted an investigation into the matter.   Thales Tacticos’s CMS is being used by 23 navies around the world, while the South Korean Navy only uses Hanwha’s program (Naval Shield), although the Malaysian Navy is about to use it for

training purposes. Tacticos’s system is also reportedly compatible with TDL 16, which is a C4ISTAR (command, control, communications, computers, information/intelligence, surveillance, targeting acquisition and reconnaissance) requirement of the military, while Hanwha’s own would be made available next year.   But Lorenzana said Hanwha’s NSICMS (Naval Shield Integrated Combat Management System) was also a proven program like that of Tacticos.   “The PQ [postqualification] team, when it postqualified Hyundai, went aboard ROKS Jeonbuk [FFG 813], one of the most modern frigates of the Republic of Korea Navy [ROKN] commissioned in May 2015, which was the basis for the design of the Philippine Navy frigates. The PQ team observed that most subsystems installed onboard the vessel are locally made [indigenous products] by South Korea, such as C-Star Missile by LIG Nex1, Main and Auxiliary Engines by STX-MTU and, more important, the NSICMS by Hanwha,” he said.   “This validates that the NSICMS is indeed a proven design. As a matter of fact, NSICMS has been installed in ROKS Daegu [FFG818], the newest ROKN ship commissioned into service last February 18, 2018,” he added.   Navy Flag Officer in Command Rear Adm. Robert Empedrad said both the CMS of Tacticos and Hanwha have passed the evaluation and inspection of the Navy, and

Hanwha’s Naval Shield could not even be considered as inferior to the Tacticos program.   Lorenzana reiterated that everything that involves the frigate project is governed by a contract, including HHI’s right to choose the CMS contractor for the warships that it will build.   The defense secretary said TDL 16 was also taken into account over the contract.     “[The] CMS shall be compatible with Link 16 [and] was part of the contract under the Tactical Data Link portion. During the one-week workshop held from September 26 to 30, 2016, the FAP TWG [technical working group], chaired by then-Commo. Robert A. Empedrad, AFP, requested HHI to include in the contract the phrase, ‘The CMS shall be compatible with Link 16’ because the Armed Forces of the Philippines plans to acquire TDL 16 sometime in the future,” Lorenzana said.   “During the SOBE [submission and opening of bid envelopes], this was not part of the technical requirements because what was initially required was just a space provided in the ship for the future installation of TDL1 6. Acceding to the Navy’s request, HHI agreed to insert in the contract the phrase, ‘The CMS shall be compatible with Link 16’ without additional cost. As agreed, HHI assures the [Philippine Department of National Defense] that the TDL 16 will be integrated with the NSICMS before the delivery of the two frigates,” he added.

The World BusinessMirror

India may be next engine growth in 3 to 5 years–Oaktree Capital


tr y’s insolvency rules. A highprofile default by Reliance Communications Ltd. is also proving a litmus test for how foreign creditors get treated. Oaktree, which has about $100 billion of assets under management, doesn’t have an onshore presence in India, and currently invests a “very, very small amount” in the nation, according to Wintrob.

Local partners

“We have yet to open our first Oaktree office in India. That’s something we have considered,” Wintrob said. “I think we are looking to form one or more local partnerships.” The distressed debt investor has seven offices in Asia, including ones in Hong Kong, Singapore, Shanghai and Beijing. Wintrob


Trade war is biggest risk for export-led Southeast Asia–WB

The city of Udaipur is seen from the Karni Mata temple complex in Udaipur, Rajasthan, India, on Saturday, February 24, 2018. Prashanth Vishwanathan/Bloomberg

aktree Capital Group Llc., one of the world’s largest distressed debt investors, is eyeing India as a key market as the nation overhauls its bankruptcy rules and banks battle with a historic bad debt clean-up. “I wouldn’t be surprised to see India as another engine of growth maybe in the next three to five years,” said Jay Wintrob, CEO at the Los Angeles-based firm, in an interview in Hong Kong. “We are spending a lot of time in India, getting up to speed.” India’s $210 billion pile of stressed assets and distressed borrowers have attracted global funds from Varde Partners to JC Flowers & Co. The nation’s so-called dirty dozen—12 large debtors that have been ordered to go through the bankruptcy courts—are testing the coun-

Sunday, April 15, 2018

said that “under the right circumstances,” his firm may open a physical office in India at some point. Oa ktree is fol low ing the limited number of insolvency proceedings in India and feels opt i m i st ic a b out how t hose proceedings are going, Wintrob said. Potential ways to expand in the nation could include setting up or investing in nonbanking financial companies and India’s bad loan buyers, or so-called asset reconstruction companies, he added. The firm is looking to lend directly to companies in India and also invest in bad loan portfolios, and is looking at sectors including energy and infrastructure, according to Wintrob. He declined to say whether Oaktree is looking at the dirty dozen. Bloomberg News


he World Bank warned that a trade war between the United States and China will hurt economies in Southeast Asia since they rely on exports for growth.

Many countries in the region will feel “ knock-on effects” of rising tariffs because they are tied to supply chains that feed into Chinese ex ports, Sudhir Shetty, the World Bank ’s chief economist for East A sia and Pacific region, told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday. “A lot of those, although they may finally be assembled and put together and exported as Chinese products, are the result of a value chain that stretches across this region, particularly in some of the larger” Southeast Asian economies, he said.

“ The success of this region is based on open trade, it’s based on the development of these value chains that over the last decade, or so, have increasingly centered on China,” he added. The world ’s two biggest economies have threatened to impose tariffs on each other’s exports, clouding the outlook for global trade and growth. Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday pledged to further open up some sectors in the economy, helping to ease some of the tension. Shetty said the impact of the tariffs would be felt greatest on

the US and China, and growth in advanced economies, including the US, could slow. Exports are already faltering in some economies with shipments falling in Malaysia and the Philippines in February from a year earlier. “Nobody actually will stand to gain in a trade war,” J. Jayasiri, secretary-general of Malaysia’s Ministry of International Trade and Industry, said in an interv iew on Wed nesd ay. “ Tod ay, trade is so interdependent and Malaysia, being a small market, we look to the global market.” “We are also part of the whole supply chain—we export parts and components to both China and the US,” he said in Kuala Lumpur. “W hen our parts and components are in the products that are subjected to high tariffs in each other’s markets, there will be less opportunity for our parts and components to be exported to those markets.” Bloomberg News


Sunday, April 15, 2018


Sports BusinessMirror

Editor: Jun Lomibao |

Sunday, April 15, 2018


SANDSTORM Australia’s Brooke Stratton competes in the women’s long jump finals at the Carrara Stadium in the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia. AP

David Lappartient suggests the drawn-out legal case has put race organizers, the International Cycling Union and Chris Froome in an untenable situation, with concerns about how the French public will react if Froome rides the Tour de France subjudice.


TENEO’S fate has taken what could be a complicated route as the Lady Eagles target a twiceto-beat advantage in the Final Four of Season 80 women’s volleyball action in the University Athletic Association of the Philippines. First, the Lady Eagles need to salvage pride in trying to beat the eliminations topnotchers, the De La Salle Lady Spikers, in another anticipated showdown to close the preliminaries at 4 p.m. today at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City. But it doesn’t end with a victory over their archrivals. Ateneo must hope and pray that Far Eastern University (FEU)—whose Lady Tamaraws sport the same 9-4 won-loss card as the Lady Eagles—lose their last eliminations assignment to Final Four No. 4 National University (NU) at 12 noon also today in the same venue. A victory or loss for both Ateneo and FEU would still require a playoff—set on Wednesday—for the No. 2 seed in the semifinals. That means more hard work for both teams as De La Salle prepares for its semifinal encounter armed with a twice-to-beat advantage—for emerging No. 1 in the eliminations with an 11-2 card—against NU. But for De La Salle Head Coach Ramil de Jesus, the battle for pride remains a top priority and stressed they wanted to bring their string of unbeaten record to the Final Four. “Whether it has bearing or none for us, we need to face them. We are eyeing a morale booster in this match so my players would be confident enough in the semifinals,” de Jesus said. “We also want to end the second round without losing,” the 10-time UAAP champion coach de Jesus added. The Lady Eagles, on the other hand, are licking the wounds from a 26-28, 23-25, 24-26 defeat to the University of the Philippines Lady Maroons last week—their first loss in the second round that halted their five-game winning streak. Ateneo captain Maddie Madayag said they need an impeccable chemistry to beat their archnemesis. “It’s going to be teamwork because I don’t think we showed much teamwork in our loss to UP. We lacked communication,” Madayag said. “La Salle serves heavy, so we have to work on our receive and we have to make our serves heavier, too.” Lance Agcaoili

Magnaye, Morada lead honor roll of ‘3-peat’ titlists


eter Gabriel Magnaye and Alvin Morada booked their third straight men’s doubles titles in the recent 11th Prima Pasta Badminton Championship to share the limelight with women’s “three-peat” winners Alyssa Ysabel Leonardo and Thea Marie Pomar at the PowerSmash in Makati City. Magnaye and Morada crushed Christian Bernardo and Paul John Pantig, 24-19, 19-21, 21-9, to rule the men’s doubles open of the annual competition sanctioned by the Philippine Badminton Association (PBA) and affiliated with the Philippine National Ranking System (PNRS). Leonardo and Pomar blasted fellow national players Airah Mae Nicole Albo and Sarah Joy Barredo, 24-22, 21-15, to win the women’s open crown of the tournament that lured hundreds of doubles participants in various levels.  Allem Palmares and Gregg Paz, meanwhile, beat Bernardo and Pantig, 21-18, 21-19, to win the men’s doubles A crown, while Andrei Babad and Michael Adrian Clemente beat Joffre Arollado and Emilio Mangubat, 21-9, 11-5 (retired), to take home the men’s doubles B title.  The doubles honor roll included Rafael Dionisio and Nepthali Pineda (C), Vetrimar Concepcion and Johan Art Rivas (D), Jon Barrizo and Jeff Monton (E), Jay Luna and Ryan Marfa (F), Teody Bautista and Richard Joshua (G). Patricia Barredo and Lea Hermosilla (B), Andrea Abalos and Dennise Silva (C), Stephanie Grace Mortera and Maridaine Pena (D), Anthea Marie Gonzalez and Rachel Claire Tañada (E), and Anna Inlayo and Liza Inlayo (F) dominated the women’s doubles competitions.

UNTENABLE SITUATION I NTERNATIONAL Cycling Union (UCI) President David Lappartient has all but conceded that Chris Froome would be able to ride the Giro d’Italia, saying a verdict on his salbutamol case is more likely to be reached before the Tour de France in July. Lappartient suggested the drawn-out legal case has put race organizers, the UCI, and Froome in an untenable situation, with concerns about how the French public will react if Froome rides the Tour de France subjudice. In a long interview with French newspaper L’Equipe, Lappartient also talked about the recently introduced steps to deter mechanical doping, reforms to the structure of the WorldTour, further development of women’s cycling, including a women’s Paris-Roubaix and higher salaries. Lappartient also promised to act against the abuse of corticoids and the painkiller tramadol, saying: “If you take a painkiller to push your limits in a race, that’s like doping.” Lappartient, 44, splits his time between being major of Sarzeau in Brittany and UCI president at Aigle in Switzerland. He defeated Brian Cookson to become the new UCI President on September 21 at the world road race championships in Norway. He was informed of Froome’s salbutamol case an hour after becoming president, on the same day the Team Sky rider was also told of his case. Froome’s urine sample from an anti-doping control, taken after Stage 18 of the 2017 Vuelta a España, contained double the permitted limit of salbutamol. The 32-year-old has always denied any wrongdoing and says he is a long-term asthma sufferer. He insists that he knows the rules and has never taken more salbutamol than he is allowed. As salbutamol is classified as a specified substance, Froome is entitled to race until the case has been resolved. The Guardian and Le Monde newspapers broke the news on Froome’s case on December 13. He and Team Sky have resisted pressure from Lappartient to keep Froome from racing and the Briton is expected to ride the Tour of the Alps next week and then the Giro d’Italia that starts on May 4. He has set himself the goal of winning both the Giro d’Italia and Tour de France in 2018. Enough evidence has been gathered in Froome case, Lappartient told L’Equipe he has never spoken to Ulrich Haas, the expert reportedly selected to head the UCI’s Anti-Doping Tribunal for the Froome case, suggesting the complex case is now somewhere between the UCI Legal Anti-Doping Service (LADS) office and the UCI AntiDoping Tribunal. Despite claiming not to know the details of the case, Lappartient appears confident the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal has gathered sufficient evidence to take the case forward and deal with it as an alleged antidoping violation rather than accept Froome’s explanations for his high level of salbutamol. He also confirmed that contrary to reports, Froome has not questioned the validity of the salbutamol test, which was established by the World Anti-Doping Agency (Wada). “We won’t lose any more time there. Enough evidence has been gathered,” Lappartient told L’Equipe when asked if the UCI Anti-Doping Tribunal will deal with the case more expediently. “I don’t think we’ll have a decision before the Giro, but I hope before the Tour. It puts everyone, the organizers, the UCI and the rider himself, in an untenable situation. We don’t want to see a rider targeted by part of the public.” Lappartient suggested he is trying to somehow protect Froome from public criticism during the Tour de France, while also protecting the image of the sport.

“I don’t know how the public will react. He’s ridden two races [the Ruta del Sol in Spain and Tirreno-Adriatico in Italy] but not in France. Most people are well behaved but there are always some who get fired up and who are less respectful of the rules. Our goal is not to place him in such a situation. “I honestly thought it would all be settled sooner. I’d imagined that it would be done for the start of the Classics. But the whole procedure is complex. He has more resources than the others and has good lawyers, like we do. Because he argues that he has followed the rules, that has made the investigation a lot bigger.”


Lappartient led the presentation of UCI’s new measures against mechanical doping. He was often critical of the simple tablet device introduced by predecessor Brian Cookson but is more confident that the new mobile x-ray device used at the Classics. Other technology could include thermal-imaging cameras in races, new tablet devices, with RFID tagging and the use of miniature magnometer trackers also options for the future. There are currently no plans to create video analysis software to calculate rider power outputs. “I thought that we hadn’t taken enough measures, but now I am convinced that our controls are sufficiently dissuasive to make sure that it [mechanical doping] cannot happen,” Lappartient said, confirming that the fight against any form of fraud is a priority. “We can’t build anything

serious and sustainable without credibility. Rumours on social media were harmful to the image of our sport,” he said. “It is not so complicated to regulate. The fight against doping remains important to the UCI. We will try to anticipate problems so that races cannot be manipulated by sports betting. People who watch cycling must be able to believe in the sport. And the sponsors obviously don’t want scandals. “I think cycling has a good image now, but doping sticks to us like a plaster sticks. Many people do not understand everything that has been done, they don’t have a cycling culture. Without doubt, cycling is probably the best investment when it comes to quality/price.”

WorldTour reform

Lappartient has spent time talking to race organizers and teams as he prepares to push forward with a reform of the men’s WorldTour structure. He promised leadership during his election campaign. Now he promises to listen to other key stakeholders and to offer them something, including a share of television revenue, in an attempt to bring them together. “We need a UCI that listens, that brings people together, and then a UCI that decides,” he said. “We need to reform professional cycling as a whole. Economically, we remain a small sport. The stakeholders are not united. The difference between where we are and where we should be is very big. We need to create a credible reform that improves the overall economy of our sport. “Perhaps, some races should be ranked better than others, the calendar could be structured differently. It requires a more pyramidal system, grouping the sale of TV rights together, standardizing TV production, creating a common digital platform, involve teams in the revenue. “All these things create a sense of animosity between each stakeholder. I feel there’s a desire for a common vision but we will not go toward a closed system. In exchange for a piece of the economic pie and possible multiyear WorldTour licences, Lappartient wants to introduce sporting criteria for entry to major races, reducing wild-card entries to just one or two.


THE UCI announced Frenchman Xavier Bigard as the new medical director. His job will be to improve the longitudinal medical checks carried out during the season and also to help the UCI Anti-Doping Foundation fight the gray areas of medicine that have long been abused. “In the future, regular medical controls could mean that a rider is not allowed to start a race if they have low cortisol levels. They will be considered not able to race,” Lappartient said, hinting the UCI will follow the controls and protocols already put in place by the Mouvement Pour un Cyclisme Crédible (MPPC) voluntary association. To avoid a contrast with the Wada antidoping code, the cortisol testing will be part of the UCI medical rules. “If you use corticoids or Tramadol— which I’m sure are used today—then you are sick and shouldn’t race. If you take a painkiller to push your limits in a race, that’s a form of doping,” Lappartient said.


Sunday • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion

A6 Sunday, April 15, 2018

Pope seeks ‘saints next door,’ not doctrinaire perfectionists


ATICAN CITY—Pope Francis is calling for ordinary Catholics to live holy lives in whatever they do, stressing that the “saints next door” are more pleasing to God than religious elites who insist on perfect adherence to rules and doctrine.

In a new document released last Monday, Francis said defending the poor and migrants is “equally sacred” to defending the unborn—a not-so-veiled critique of the conservative right in the United States, for whom opposition to abortion trumps the Gospel mandate to love and welcome the stranger. And he warned that the vitriol that is sometimes spewed online—including by Catholic media—needs to stop, since it violates God’s commandment not to bear false witness, lie or “ruthlessly vilify others.” The document, “Rejoice and Be Glad,” is the third apostolic exhortation of Francis’s papacy, after the first two riled conservatives by condemning capitalism, and suggesting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics can receive Communion. It was signed by Francis on March 19, the fifth anniversary of his pontificate, and perhaps fittingly reaffirmed the centrality to his papacy of the “Beatitudes,” the eight biblical blessings extolling the meek, the poor and the merciful. In the text, Francis said he had no intention of defining holiness

or setting out the various ways to be made a saint. Rather, he said he wanted to repropose the church’s universal call to holiness that can be found next door, “the middle class of holiness” of a husband who loves his wife, a mother who patiently teaches her child, an employee who works with integrity. “A saintliness that is not for just a few heroes, for exceptional people, but that represents the ordinary way to life, an ordinary existence,” said Paola Bignardi, an Italian laywoman and member of the Catholic Action network who presented the document at a Vatican news conference. Stressing that perfection isn’t required, Francis listed as “enemies of holiness” those who claim a superior knowledge of laws and doctrine and force others to submit to their “myopic,” absolutist interpretations. He said they reduce Jesus’ teachings to a “cold and harsh logic” and a “self-centered and elitist complacency, bereft of true love.” He didn’t name names, but the admonition appeared aimed at conservatives in his own church— including some Vatican-based cardinals—who have balked at his

Pope Francis arrives in Saint Peter’s Square at the Vatican to celebrate a Mass on the Sunday of Divine Mercy on April 8. AP/Gregorio Borgia

mercy-over-morals style and loose interpretations of church teaching, particularly on marriage and liturgy. Francis said their “sinister ideology” finds expression in “an obsession with the law, an absorption with social and political advantages, a punctilious concern for the church’s liturgy, doctrine and prestige.” Much of the conservative criticism of Francis has focused on his last apostolic exhortation, the 2016 “The Joy of Love,” in which Francis opened the door to letting divorced and civilly remarried Catholics receive Communion. Conser vatives say the docu ment has spl it t he c hu rc h, caused confusion and undermined church teaching on the indissolubility of marriage. Just last week, two conservative cardinals headlined a symposium in Rome that issued a declaration rejecting Francis’s opening to divorcees and begging the pope

to “confirm us in the faith.” Francis hasn’t responded directly to four conservative cardinals who have demanded that he clarify his 2016 opening, but in the new document he noted that, within the church, “there legitimately coexist different ways of interpreting many aspects of doctrine and Christian life”—even if it leads to confusion. Francis also criticized those who prioritize certain ideologies over basic Gospel teaching, listing, for example, those who focus on abortion over all other issues. Defending the unborn, “needs to be clear, firm and passionate,” he said. “Equally sacred, however, are the lives of the poor, those already born, the destitute, the abandoned and the underprivileged, the vulnerable infirm and elderly exposed to covert euthanasia, the victims of human trafficking, new forms of slavery and every form of rejection.” In a jab that seemed aimed in particular at anti-immigrant faithful in the US, Europe and beyond, he said some Catholics relegate care for migrants to a lesser issue compared to bioethical concerns. “That a politician looking for votes might say such a thing is understandable, but not a Christian, for whom the only proper attitude is to stand in the shoes of those brothers and sisters of ours who risk their lives to offer a future to their children,” he wrote. After Francis made headlines recently by seemingly denying the existence of hell, the new document strongly affirms the real and present danger of the devil who “poisons us with the venom of hatred, desolation, envy and vice.” AP

‘Small miracles’ at the veneration of beloved saint’s relic


By Samuel P. Medenilla

onfined on her wheelchair, Modesta Agbay, 92, could be seen near the altar of the Manila Cathedral praying nothing short of a miracle on April 7. She was among the thousands of devotees who assembled at the Manila Cathedral before the first-ever public veneration of the relic of Saint John Paul II.   Her daughter, who accompanied her, Elena Agbay, 52, said they would be heading to a hospital afterward to finally get the result of her mother’s medical test for her bladder.  “She is suffering from urine retention. I am worried it might lead to kidney problem, especially since she takes a lot of medicines,” Elena Agbay told the B usiness M irror in an interview. Her ailment has led to persistent pain in Modesta’s abdomen, which has been preventing her from sleeping for several days. Despite her illness, the matriarch of eight children still felt lucky. She was among the group of elders and persons with disabilities, who were allowed to first approach and venerate the relic of Saint Pope John Paul II, when it was publicly presented in its metallic reliquary at the Manila Cathedral. “I am really thankful to God, since we are able attend the Mass here at the cathedral and see Father [John Paul II].... I asked to be healed from my illness,” Modesta said. Elena said they initially became drawn to Pope John Paul II, who canonized Saint Maria Faustyna Kowalska of the Blessed Sacrament, to whom they are also devoted. But, ultimately, it was John Paul’s charisma, when he was still alive, which convinced them to pray for the intercession of the pontiff last year.  “I didn’t think much of popes before. This changed when we got to know John Paul II. He was someone you could turn to when he was still alive...perhaps now that he is a saint he would continue to do so through intercession,” Elena said. 

Letter from the Vatican

Other devotees like Maria Aida Alonzo, 85,

came to the veneration rite due to long-term fondness of John Paul II, which started when he first visited the country in 1981. Known for being the most traveled Pope, John Paul II went to 129 countries in his lifetime. He went to the Philippines twice— in 1981, when he beatified the first Filipino saint, Lorenzo Ruiz, and in 1995, when the country hosted the World Youth Day. Alonzo sent a letter to the Vatican in 1981 enclosed with the news clippings about John Paul II. “He later wrote back, thanking me for the generous gesture,” Alonzo told reporters after she gave her respects to the saint’s relic. The former overseas Filipino worker admitted of becoming a fan of the pope after receiving the reply letter and collected every print material she could get about him, including a pamphlet of his canonization in 2014. Alonzo said her dream of being embraced by John Paul II helped in her recovery from an injury, which she suffered in 2015 after falling in the stairs of a movie house.   She said she hopes the saint would continue to intercede for her prayers for a “peaceful death” and a better life for her family.

Mass devotion

Around 2,000 to 2,500 devotees attended the veneration of the vial of the blood of John Paul II, which is currently the only relic in the country in liquid form. The relic—one of the seven vials containing the liquid blood of the saint—was placed inside a clear glass box on a stand for the public viewing at the Manila Cathedral. It was donated to the Manila archdiocese by the former secretary of John Paul II, Cardinal Stanislaw Dziwisz, upon the request of  Manila Archbishop Cardinal Luis Antonio Tagle. A Mass presided by Tagle was held before the participants were allowed to approach the relic.  Kurt Lesondra was among those who were eagerly waiting in the back line.  

Clad in his clerical collar, the young seminarian from Batangas didn’t mind waiting in line to finally thank John Paul II for finding his vocation. Lesondra was still a baby when John Paul II visited the country in 1995, but he grew up in a family that adored the pope for being so “down to earth” and close to children. When he was 5-years old, Lesondra aspired to become a solider but, having dreamt of the pope in 2000 convinced him to enter the priesthood.  He said his parents were thrilled with the prospect of their son following the footsteps of John Paul.  “I hope he [John Paul II] makes it possible that I finally become a priest like him,” Lesondra said.    

Living relics

During his homily, Tagle highlighted the role of each person in spreading the gospel. “Tell the people that the Lord is alive when you go to your neighborhoods, workplaces, schools and recreation. Through your words, make the testimony that Jesus is alive,” Tagle said.  He added among those who were able to fulfill this role was John Paul II, whom he described as the “great witness of the risen Lord.”    “He traveled all over the world telling people ‘don’t be afraid of Jesus’. ... With Saint John Paul II, let us be witnesses of Jesus to the ends of the world,” Tagle said.  Fr. Reginald Malicdem, the rector of the Manila Cathedral and main organizer of the veneration rite,  explained this is the very crux of the concept of relics, especially that of John Paul II, for spreading the faith. In the Catholic Church, there are three kinds of relics. First-class relics are items directly related to life of Christ or physical remains of a saint like bones or blood.  Second-class relics are items frequently used by saints, usually their clothes, while third-class relics are any objects that touched a first or second-class relics. An example of a third-class relic is a prayer card with the picture of Pope John

Paul II when he was celebrating the Mass during his first visit to the country, copies of which were distributed to the participants of the veneration before they leave. “Relics shows us the people, who lived their lives in holiness.... They [relics] remind us that everyone of us has the capacity to be holy and love God,” Malicdem said. “They did not start that way, but they were still able to do it anyway. They serve as our models,” he added. Malicdem said this was apparent from the people, who joined veneration rite, each with their unique story of how John Paul II inspired them. 

Small miracles

A self-confessed devotee of John Paul II himself, Malicdem said it was a great honor for him to organized the event, which he said was a miracle in itself. And for the most part, the event was comprised with many small miracles. Despite feeling unwell last Saturday, Tagle still managed to deliver his short homily, albeit in a hoarse voice.  The number of participants of the ceremony, which was initially expected to only number about a thousand, breached the 2,000 mark.    “I prayed for his intercession for many things, and most of them were granted, including this Mass, which was able to inspire so many people,” Malicdem said.  Even the presence of the blood relic of Saint John Paul II, Malicdem said, was a blessing in itself.  “Usually, what was given to those who request a relic of Saint John Paul II was a strand of his hair or, like the case of other saints, a piece of small bone. So it was unusual they gave us the vial with his blood,” Malicdem said.  Cardinal Dziwisz never stated his decision for sending the blood relic of the saint to the Philippines. And Malicdem could only speculate his reason for it.  “Perhaps, Cardinal Dziwisz considered how Filipinos were special for [Saint] Pope John Paul II,” Malicdem said. 

3rd Sunday of Easter: ‘Luke 24:35-48’

Recognizing the presence of the Risen Lord in our lives Msgr. Josefino S. Ramirez SUNDAY GOSPEL IN OUR LIFE


here are times in our lives when we feel like a tiny boat in a massive ocean, blown by the strong winds and tossed along rough waters, that it seems improbable that we would make it in one piece ashore. Was there a time during those events that you felt God's presence? Maybe you “heard” a gentle voice, experienced a brief moment of calm, or encountered a friend who suddenly called to ask how you are doing. While the disciples were feeling tired and down because they thought that Jesus had not risen, there He stood in their midst and greeted them, “Peace be with you,” and He said to them: “Why are you troubled? And why do questions arise in your hear ts?” Their terror and loss for words made them conclude they were seeing a ghost. So Jesus reassures them that “a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you can see I have.” He then does a simple act of eating baked fish to manifest that He has, indeed, risen from the dead. Most important, Jesus appeared to his followers once again to tell them that He has truly risen, and that He is there for them.

Who moves us and inspires us to go on with life when everything seems in shambles? Whether we admit it or not, sometimes we feel doubt like the disciples did. We feel abandoned, left out it the cold, alone with thoughts of despair. Go no further in these futile doubts and shift your belief that God is the only one who can move us when we earnestly pray to ask for help and strength as we forge ahead the multitude of trials in our life. It is inevitable to have painful and stressful experiences. We have all traversed our own stormy seas, and some of you may still be in the middle of it with no shore in sight. Do not despair, and take into heart what Jesus said, "Do not be afraid.” These are the times when we need Jesus the most. However, it is rare for us to literally hear those words, but He will come, and He will speak to us. Focus, pay attention and be alert. Most likely, God will come at a time and in a way we do not expect. Our unwavering faith will bring us “home to safe shores” because, in essence, it is God who helps us, strengthens us and stays by our side as we go through our trials and problems.

Saint Benedict Joseph Labre, beggar saint of Rome By Corazon Damo-Santiago


n April 16, 1783, a Holy Wednesday, Benedict Joseph Labre dragged himself to Saint Maria dei Monte, the cardinalatial titular church in Rome, where he heard Mass every morning. Worn out after six years of austerities, he collapsed on the steps of the church at 1 p.m. He was carried to the house of a local butcher who was kind to him. Realizing that he was dying, a priest to administer the last sacrament rites was called. But, he was too weak to receive the Viaticum. At the phrase “Holy Mary, Pray for Him,” he sighed and died. He was 35 years old (

His best was not enough

The eldest among 15 children, Saint Benedict Joseph Labre was born on March 26, 1748, to well-to-do parents in Amettes, near Boulogne, France. At an early age, he showed a keen interest in religious life. His parents sent him to live with a paternal uncle, Fr. Francois, a parish priest of Erin, where he studied Latin and history. When he was 18, his uncle died, and his parents reluctantly consented to his desire to enter a Trappist monastery. Abbe Vincent, a maternal uncle, suggested that he apply to the Carthusians. His application was turned down because he was not yet 20 years old. However, he was referred to the Carthusian Order of Neuville, where he was advised to learn first plain chant and logic. The next two years he applied in La Trappe (Trappist Monastery), which closed its doors on him. He returned to Neuville and became a postulant for six weeks, but his residency was not approved. In November 1769 he was finally admitted in the Cistercian Abbey (Trappist) in Sept-Fonis. He was endeared for his humility and obedience, said Joan Carroll Cruz in Secular Saints. After eight months, he realized that even in the Trappist monastery, he was not giving more of himself as he ought to. “Craving to be more starving, give away more and be the poorest of the poor,” he began to shrink to a mere skeleton, fell ill and was disabled for two months.

Holy tramp

When he was well enough he was told he must go because Trappist life was too much for him. With “Gods will be done” on his lips and some letters of recommendation, he left the monastery, for Europe. Labre did not look like a traveler set for a seven-year journey. Wearing an old coat, with a rosary on his neck and another on his fingers, he had only a small bag, which contained a breviary, the New Testament,

some prayer books and an imitation of Christ. His arms were folded over a crucifix on his breast. In Chieri, Italy, he sent a letter to his parents expressing his gratitude and informing them of his plans to enter a monastery. He did not beg, but he accepted alms and food, which he shared with others sleeping in parks or sidewalks. He climbed mountains, tread open fields and forests, country villages and sophisticated cities to visit holy places in Spain, Italy, France, Switzerland and other European shrines. A mystic, he “swoons when contemplating on the crown of thorns of the Lord. He levitated, bilocated, cured the homeless and the sick he met on his travels and multiplied bread to share with others,” according to the Wikepedia.

Beggar of Perpetual Adoration

Eventually, Labre settled in Rome, still distressed in rags and never bathed. His appearance evoked contempt or pity. But “there were some people, including his confessor, Fr. Monico, who discerned a saint in their midst,” said Robert Ellsberg in All Saints. Sometimes, priests in the confessional would inquire about his theological background, impressed by his theological knowledge to which he would reply: “I Father, I am only a poor, ignorant beggar.” Often, his spiritual recluse was in the ruins of the Coliseum, where early Christians were martyred and where he was known as “Beggar of the Coliseum.” But he was better known as the “Beggar of Perpetual Adoration.” Every day, he prayed in churches with 40 hours of adoration. A man of absolute silence, he talked only when charity demanded. At night, with outstretched arms in the Stations of the Cross, he would implore for God’s mercy. And he would say humbly: “When I contemplate the crown of thorns, I find myself elevated to the Triune God.” Immediately after his demise, children filled the streets chanting, “The saint is dead.” There were 136 certified miracles that happened in less than two months after his death. His reputation spread throughout Europe. This was how his parents learned the information about their missing son for more than a decade. Saint Benedict Joseph Labre was canonized on December 8, 1881, by Pope Leo XIII. Damo-Santiago is a former regional director of the Department of Education National Capital Region. She is currently a faculty member of Mater Redemptoris Collegium in Calauan, Laguna, and of Mater Redemptoris College in San Jose City, Nueva Ecija.

Tourism&Entertainment BusinessMirror

Editor: Carla Mortel-Baricaua

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Ubud’s enchanting temples and Balinese art Story by Gel Dumaraos


Photos by Monique Tiongco

he green highland of Ubud is interesting mixture of arts, crafts, and ancient times. It tickles the curious mind and touches the creative heart.

Marco Polo Hotels introduce new packages The Pura Taman Saraswati temple, considered as the house of Saraswat—the goddess of knowledge and the arts.

Balai Banjar Ubud Kelod inside the Monkey Forest.

When one makes a stop in Bali, Indonesia, the itinerary should comprise at least of a visit in the green upland for a day or two. Stepping into the pathways of Ubud is the same as entering a center of fine arts. In fact, Ubud is Bali’s pride when it comes to showcasing world-class Balinese art. For over centuries, Ubud is witness to the greatness of Balinese art, thanks to its local artists and artisans, who showcase their crafts via their galleries, markets and museums all over the quaint village. But aside from these art hubs, one can look into how Ubud’s temples can also be an inspiration if one is looking of more of Balinese art, coupled with spiritual inspiration.

Visiting Ubud’s temples

A holiday in Ubud wouldn’t be complete without seeing one of its top attractions—the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, or also known as The Monkey Forest Ubud—a spacious area for crab-eating macaques. Aside from its numerous monkeys welcoming shutterbugs and tourists, the place is frequented for it also houses the Pura Dalem Agung Padangtegal temple. Located in the south part of the forest, this temple was built in honor of the god Hyang Widhi, as represented by Shiva, the great Recycler or Transformer. Da lem Ag ung, or the Great

Lotuses hug the Pura Taman Saraswati temple entrance.

Temple of Death, is where tourists are caught in awe of its magnificent architecture and ancient shrines carved in rocks. Its ancient history can be dated back to the time when it was built around the 14th century. It is unknown if these temples were built during the time of Pejeng Dynasty or Majapahit empire. Up to this day, the local community of Ubud sees this temple as an important anchor to their spiritual life. There are other two temples within the forest. One is Pura Beji, a temple for worshipping goddess Ganges, and Pura Prajapati for worshiping god Prajapati. All in all, the forest monkey is considered as a sacred place, as locals believe that forested areas welcome animal and human spirits into its midst. Despite the fact that some of the temples’ structures are being replaced due to the tropical climate that weakens the soft volcanic rock, the message for every visitor is clear: Hinduism is a major part of Bali’s rich history. Walking around, it is like walking back in time. It was said that religious heads for Hinduism and Buddhism arrive in Bali during 500 AD. After this, the place was conquered by Javanese Hindu kingdoms from its neighboring Java Island. While the structure and style of the temples are stunning in itself,

Located at Monkey Forest, Temple Pura Prajapati is dedicated to god Prajapati

what makes them more interesting is its eye-catching art etched in its every corner. The temples’ corners are filled with fine, intricate details and patterns that say a lot about its origins. The rustic, sometimes mystified, vibe brought by its surrounding trees adds more curiosity to the mind. Probably one of the most impressive temples in Ubud town is the known Pura Taman Saraswati temple. Regarded as a holy place to honor and pay tribute to the Hindu goddess of knowledge and the arts, Saraswati, this temple is considered as one of the scenic places in town. Pura Taman Saraswati, located in Kabupaten Gianyar, specifically at Jalan Raya, Ubud, is a postcard-worthy place one can check out for its accessibility. Surrounded by a pond of pink lotuses in full bloom, one needs more than a couple of minutes to appreciate the Hindu vibe and take photographs around it. Every angle, every

After strolling around the temples, one can rest by the postcard-worthy and relaxing cottages.

subject within the façade of the temple tells and gives a different, impressive and memorable shot. Despite the free entrance, one must abide by the customs and enter the temple with sarongs for rent by the entrance, just like any other temple within Bali as a sign of respect for the place’s culture and beliefs. Come meal time, one can fill the hungry tummy with some food from the nearby Café Lotus. Though regarded as quite expensive, dining in this eating hub gives a majestic view of the temple, especially its lotus pools. Another art treat is in store once again, as diners can witness regular traditional dance performances. Though a visit to these temples may just be a short side trip from strolling around the Ubud town on a day tour, a quick retreat in its pathways will give that muchneeded relief from the busy shopping and tour escapade. Yes, sight-

seeing and walking through the plain green fields and spotting nice finds in the numerous art markets of Ubud may top the list, but the temples promise a different view of Ubud, and Bali, as a whole. Ubud is like a box filled with wonderful surprises waiting to be uncovered by anyone who wishes to see it with their own eyes. Its grandness lies in the simplicity of the local’s life, showcasing its rich culture, beliefs, and tradition which they continue to uphold up to this day. Once you’re there, you see the sights, not just the mere tourist attractions and backdrops for photo opportunities. Rather, it is a sacred place that builds a connection to something that is higher in the form of the mesmerizing sights and creative arts. Ubud is a place to know more. You have to choose to be in the moment. From there, you will know. And then you will feel.


harf Hotels has launched a series of new offers designed for travelers enjoying different occasions across its three Marco Polo hotels in the Philippines. Targeting connoisseurs of culture, entrepreneurial leaders and those looking for a romantic escape, the new packages have been crafted to meet the needs of today’s global travelers. Marco Polo hotels Corporate Connectors, Luxe Life and A Love Story are available for reservations until December 31 at Marco Polo hotels in the popular destinations of Manila, Cebu and Davao. At Marco Polo’s premium hotels based in established locations, business travelers reserving Corporate Connectors will experience business at ease while staying at any Marco Polo hotel in the Philippines. The package comes with complimentary early check-in and late check-out, breakfast for two, private dining credits, and laundry and pressing services. As a brand which embodies the spirit of travel renowned for creating localized guest experiences, guests booking Luxe Life may enjoy the welcoming and warm service of the hotel’s Continental Clubs and exclusive benefits, including in-room early check-in and late check-out and Continental Club access, welcome amenity, laundry and pressing services and a complimentary cocktail. For those wanting to create their own fairy tale whilst discovering new destinations, A Love Story will be available across all Marco Polo Hotels for guests to experience, including complimentary in-room check-in and late check-out, breakfast in bed or in restaurant for two, a bottle of champagne and a signature cake by Marco Polo. All experiential packages are now available for booking on until December 31, 2018.

Malolos City: Of women’s libber, freedom fighters and olden days heritage


Story & photos by Marky Ramone Go

rowing up in a time when a P10 bill was enough to buy me a bowl of arroz caldo and a bottle of soda, I always found myself being reminded of the historic significance of Malolos’s Barasoain Church, whose image was printed on one side of the currency. Coined from the term baras ng suwail, meaning “dungeon of the defiant,” the walls and four corners of this church was then the rendezvous point of the anti-colonial Illustrados. Conversely, as history is told in a myriad of ways, it is also forgotten in innumerable ways. Eventually, the story of Malolos took a backseat, among other places of historic importance in the country. In dire need of a history knowledge fix, it is as if the gods conspired and led me to Malolos, Bulacan, as part of the recently concluded seventh edition of Lakbay Norte—an annual media familiarization tour of Northern Luzon organized by the North Philippines Visitors Bureau (NPVB). A morning stride through the streets of Malolos’s historic district had us following the footprints of the earliest women’s liberation movement in Asia, and the rest of the Filipino patriots who took sanctuary in the city. It was here, in Malolos, where brave young Filipino men and women spearheaded the establishment of the First Philippine Republic on January 23, 1899.

Interim Capital of the Philippines

Following General Emilio Aguinaldo’s declaration of Philippine Independence from Spain in Kawit, Cavite, on June 12, 1898, Aguinaldo moved the capital to Malolos City, the seat of power from September 1898 until the con-

Inside the church’s convent is a museum that features a light-and-sound show.

clusion of the First Philippine Republic, when Aguinaldo was captured by the Americans on March 23, 1901, in Palanan, Isabela. Tracing the historic trail of the first Philippine Republic, we went to the Malolos Cathedral, which served as The Palacio Presidencia. or the Office of the President from September 1898 until March 1899. The adjacent Barasoain Church then functioned as the legislative building, and is where the Malolos Constitution was ratified on January 21, 1899. If U2 sang about the streets that have no names, here, the streets bore the footpaths of heroes. At one time while trudging around the historic district of Malolos, our guide pointed to us, “That is the Maria Reyes House. It was Apolinario Mabini’s office when he served as Aguinaldo’s chief adviser.” A few steps later, he showed us the Arcadia Ejercito House. “It used to be the office of the Department of War, and there’s the Erastro Cervantes’s House, which served as the office of the Department of Interior,” he shared. While engrossed in the stories as told by our guide and in awe of the sights of old houses, I felt goose bumps knowing that this was

This 1904 Hermogenes Reyes house is just one of tmore than 25 houses considered as extant built heritage in the Malolos Historic District.

where our nation’s freedom fighters fought and ran the First Philippine Republic.

Heritage-painted Kamestisuhan District

Calle Pariancillio, a stone’s throw distance from the Neoclassical Malolos City Hall Building, was where we started our morning stride. After a few steps, I immediately noticed the postwar Art Deco Eden Cinema, which, despite of its derelict appearance, still evokes a charming look. Situated a few meters from Eden Cinema, stands the Adriano House. Currently functioning as a Meralco office, it’s well-preserved exterior and interior still retains the pleasant vibe it had during the olden days when it served as the Gobierno Militar de la Plaza during the Philippine revolution years. For art connoisseurs, the Art Deco Dr. Luis Santos Mansion should provide visual orgasm, thanks to the works of two Philippine National Artists housed inside the property: the garden fountain sculpture by Guillermo Tolentino and a ceiling mural painted by Fernando Amorsolo. In the 19th century the community of rich

The Dr. Luis Santos Art-Deco House

Chinese mestizos resided in Calle Pariancillo and the snaking streets around it, better known as the Kamestisuhan District. Perfectly conveying the opulent taste of the rich Chinese at that time were a handful of old houses exhibiting mostly French Nouveau and Neoclassical architecture. One such mansion is where one of the patriarchs of the Cojuangco clan, Jose Chichioco Cojuangco, was born. The National Historical Institute has listed down more than 20 establishments comprising at least 15 ancestral houses, plus a few other centuries-old landmarks like the aforementioned Barasoain Church and the Malolos Cathedral—as among the heritage edifices forming the heart of the Kamestisuhan District. Heavily concentrated around Pariancillo Street, the district was declared a National Historical Landmark and a Heritage Town by the National Historical Institute in 2001. The number of heritage structures in this district rivals those in Vigan and Taal Town in Batangas. Turning into a corner, we were led by our tour guide inside the Alberta UitangcoySantos House, which sits adjacent to the

original site of Instituto de Mujeres.

‘To the Young Women of Malolos’

In the years preceding the Philippine revolution, whispers about a burgeoning women’s rights movement from Malolos started snowballing and eventually reached the far corners of the world—earning the respect of a group of young Filipinos in Europe. Among those who admired the exploits of these ladies was Marcelo H. del Pilar. Upon his urging, the great Dr. Jose Rizal, who was then in Europe, penned a letter in Tagalog entitled ”To the Young Women of Malolos.” In his message, Rizal voiced his support for women by stipulating a number of relevant ideas, such as for Filipino women to have the same rights as men in protecting their honor and dignity, Filipino mothers to get the same respect as Spanish mothers, to achieve an honored and noble name as their male counterparts, among others that buoyed the spirits of the Malolos women to intensify up their fight for equality during the Spanish rule. Ignited by the message of Rizal, the 21

Filipinas went against the will of the Spanish friars and courageously handed a petition letter to Governor General Valeriano Weyler. Cornering him during a lavish party, the Filipinas demanded for an educational institution for women. This event set in motion one of the earliest acts of the women’s rights movement that paved the way for the establishment of the Instituto de Mujeres. The Alberta Uitangcoy-Santos House now serves as a museum dedicated to these women of Malolos. An awe-inspiring painting depicting that historic encounter with Weyler is proudly displayed inside the said house, along with some photographs of these courageous women.

Unsealing the past

As we walked back, we passed by the Old Carcel or the Casa Tribunal de Malolos building. First constructed in the 17th century as the original home of the Adriano family, it was turned into a prison in 1898. Looking up, I noticed the half-moon balconies that were sealed from the inside by a thick wall. This image came with a new perspective on the significance of the Kamestisuhan District. As it is easy to pour cement to seal a window, a door or any other opening, unsealing the past can be effortlessly accomplished, as well. A day of wandering around the Malolos Historic District taught me more than I ever learned from my history classes. Merely associating Malolos City to the Barasoain Church printed on the P10 bill of my youth will never suffice anymore. Because right here was where a women’s libber movement was founded and whose streets bore the footprints of freedom fighters who risked their lives for our independence, and these will never be more real to me than that.



A8 Sunday, April 15, 2018

Sunday • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion

Is there data privacy, protection to poor customers?


ASHINGTON, D.C.— Research increasingly demonstrates that poor customers, just like other customers, value their privacy and care deeply about the protection of their personal data. But what do providers think about obtaining, using, storing and sharing personally identifiable information? Last year, the global partnership Consultative Group to Assist the Poor (CGAP) interviewed 26 innovative and data-centric f i n a nc i a l ser v ices prov iders in South Asia, Southeast Asia, Latin America and Sub-Saharan Africa, including banks, mobilemoney providers and companies that provide credit scoring and merchant services. They were asked what role customer data plays in their businesses, and what they are doing to ensure the privacy and security of the data they collect. Here’s the result of the interviews.

Data are a guarded asset

Providers often regard their data as a valuable competitive asset, and they take steps to protect it. Data regulations, where they exist, often drive these protective measures. But all providers have

reason to invest in security due to the possibility of a data breach and the desire to preserve their competitive advantages. T hese d r ivers of bu si ness practices provide an opportunity for regulators to act because it means that incentives are aligned between providers and their customers. For example, providers might be willing to accept more robust and potentially expensive data governance standards imposed by regulators if the benefits to them—safer digital assets—are emphasized.

Data sharing is not as widespread as often assumed

Despite the hype around big data’s potential to transform finance, it was found that getting access to transactional, phone use or demographic information held by third parties (especially mobile-network operators) remains a frustration for many young businesses.

When mobile-network operators do sell access, the prices may not be commercially feasible for start-ups. Some of the providers we spoke with have changed their business models due to pricing issues, decreasing their reliance on third-party data. Many firms also recognize that relying on a third-party source for data creates a risk for their business. The rise of smartphones represents an opportunity to bypass reliance on the large datasets of established providers and obtain data directly from consumers.

Communicating about privacy is not a priority

Providers said communicating to customers about privacy does not rank highly on their list of priorities. Given customers’ limited attention span and the relative importance of communicating product value, instructions and pricing,

privacy does not always rise to the top. Moreover, low literacy levels and mobile delivery already make it difficult to explain how a user’s data will be used. These findings support the idea of moving beyond a notice and consent model, which is based on the assumption that users understand how the provider intends to use their data.

Limited data retention is not being considered

Most of the providers interviewed were not thinking about limiting data retention. In part, this may ref lect the fact that many of them are young companies. But it may also be because regulations are not always in place to force providers to develop official policies. Where data regulations do exist, some mandate that data be retained for only as long as necessary for the associated service.

Training on forest products held in remote communities


t was a long 13-hour ride from Los Baños, Laguna, to t he mou nt a i nou s K a l i nga province in the north of Luzon. Ord ina r y people wou ld have easily been discouraged by the rugged and steep terrain going to Barangay Balbalasang in Balbalan town, but for the Department of Science and TechnologyForest Products Research and Development Institute (DOSTFPRDI) team, it was part of their commitment to make the institute’s technologies accessible to far-f lung communities. The four-day training on bamboo craft processing and basic finishing in February was joined in by farmers, students, housewives, local government workers and entrepreneurs. It was designed to improve the participants’ skills in making crafts out of bamboo—a raw material they have yet to use.

DOST-FPRDI experts Engr. Victor G. Revilleza, Eduardo M. Atienza and Fernando M. Pesigan explained the proper selection and preparation of raw materials and demonstrated actual production of the handicrafts. On the last day, the participants were taught how to apply colors

and stains on finished items. “As extension workers, it is our duty to bring our technologies to the intended users no matter how remote their areas may be,” noted Julian O. Roxas of the DOST-FPRDI’s Training a nd Ma npower Development Services Section. The institute

had 64 training in 2017. Roxas has been doing field work and training for 33 years now. “Our work sometimes entails being away from our families for days or even weeks. There were times when we would get caught in the middle of a storm while on training, or would hike for hours, cross rivers or ride a boat just to give technical assistance. It is no simple task, but the warm welcome and gratefulness of the people we serve are more than enough motivation for us,” he added. Turning 65 in October, Roxas said he will forever value the lessons from his more than three decades of extension work. “I am confident that, with the younger batch of community and extension workers, the DOSTFPRDI will be able to assist and reach more forest-based groups and small enterprises.” Apple Jean Martin-de Leon/S&T News Service

Searca to help SUCS build up struggling agri industries


Southeast A sian regiona l center based in the Philippines is looking to assist state universities and colleges (SUCs) in building up struggling industries in the agriculture sector. The first of its partnerships in this endeavor is with Cavite State University (CvSU), a national leader on coffee research and development for almost 15 years, and with which Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (Searca) is set to renew formal ties with. While all four coffee varieties—Arabica, Excelsa, Liberica and Robusta—are grown in the country, the Department of Trade and Industry said in its policy brief that the country’s dismal coffee production today is akin to that of small-scale producers, like Guinea, Togo and Madagascar. Through its National Coffee Research, Development and Extension Center, CvSU has been

Dr. Hernando Robles (from left), Cavite State University (CvSU) president; Dr. Gil C. Saguiguit Jr., Searca director; and Dr. Ruel Mojica, CvSU OIC-vice president for Research, Extension, Continuing Education and Training Services, at the Searca headquarters in Los Baños, Laguna.

at the forefront of efforts to put the Philippines back on the “coffee belt” comprising the world’s coffee-producing giants. L a s t y e a r C v S U o p e ne d t he cou nt r y ’s f i r s t C of fe e Mu s e u m i n t he m idd le of it s sprawli n g nu r s e r ie s on c a mpu s a nd l e d t he f i r s t Nat ion a l C of fe e E du c at ion C on g re s s . CvSU President Her n a ndo Robles and Searca scholarship alumnus Dr. Ruel Mojica, CvSU OIC-vice president for Research,

Extension, Continuing Education and Training Services, visited Searca early this month. They discussed with Searca Director Gil C. Saguiguit Jr. the activities under the new memorandum of understanding between their institutions. The joint initiatives include capacity-building assistance to CvSU through regular scholarship slots for faculty development, and focused short-term trainings and executive courses

to address manpower and expertise needs in consonance with the university’s Strategic Plan. Searca has also proposed a benchmarking study on the coffee industry in other countries and policy research to jumpstart and give impetus to coffee enterprises in the Philippines. Sea rc a a l so gave it s commitment to suppor t the first A sean Coffee Education Congress that CvSU w il l convene in October 2018. Saguiguit said the collaboration with CvSU is the first step in Searca’s envisaged cooperation program with SUCs to bolster agri-based industries. He added that Searca plans to meet with the Commission on Higher Education to formalize its proposal for a capacity-building program to benefit both SUCs and the agriculture sector. He said there is a similar Searca initiative to help the struggling calamansi industry in Mindoro Oriental.

At the expiration of the retention period, firms must delete or anonymize the data. With the expansion of increasingly cheap data storage, firms may be less concerned about holding data longer than necessary unless regulations force them to destroy or anonymize. However, retention of d ata presents pr ivac y and secur it y r isk s. Many f ir ms are star tups and may be angling for acquisition by larger companies. In t his case, customer records cou ld be transfer red to a separate business entit y w it hout t he con se nt or e ve n aw a re ness of customers. Providers may need to think more carefully about data retention and the handling of data throughout the lifecycle of their businesses.

Cross-sector data governance principles could provide value

Although existing principles, such as the Groupe Spéciale Mobile Association (GSMA) Code of Conduct for Mobile Money Providers, the Smart Campaign and the Better Than Cash Alliance’s Responsible Digital Payments Guidelines cover elements of privacy, providers said they could benefit from a more focused set of voluntary standards related to privacy and data protection. GSM A , or t he Globa l System for Mobi le Com mu n ic at ion s, is an originally European t rade body t hat represents t he i nte re st s of mobi le - ne t work

o p e r ator s worldw ide. Due to the growing trend of bundling financial services with other products, it may be more effective to develop standards that could apply to and be adopted by all types of data-centric service providers. These standards could also include principles related to data sharing and data standardization, which would enable new business models based on third-party data to operate responsibly. Some firms also emphasized the need for guidance on best practices in information security and privacy, including data retention. In sum, we see some disconnects between how strongly customers feel about their data and the way providers weigh privacy and protection concerns against other commercial objectives. At the same time, there are opportunities to improve data, security by leveraging the motivation of providers to guard their competitive assets. As regulators develop stronger data-protection frameworks, listening to providers’ perspectives can help them to identify potential “win-wins” and areas where stricter rules and principles are necessary to protect consumers. CGAP is a global partnership of over 30 leading organizations that develops innovative solutions through practical research and active engagement with financial service providers, policy-makers and funders. IPS

2 Aciar-Pcaarrd projects support PHL banana and mango industry


wo projects on banana a nd m a ngo f u nded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (Aciar) and the Philippine Council for Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Development of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST-Pcaarrd) are expected to support the fruit industry in the country. Identified as priority commodities in the Harmonized National R&D Agenda for 2017-2022 and DOST-Pcaarrd’s Industry Strategic S&T Program (ISP), banana and mango are among the fruit crops being studied under the “Aciar-Pcaarrd Horticulture Program on Fruits and Vegetables.”  Titled “Integrated management of Fusarium wilt (FW) of bananas in the Philippines and Australia,” the project aimed to reduce the impacts of FW and improve the productivity and viability of banana plantations managed by smallholders.  The accomplishments in the project include the identification of mesh-wire boot as the most effective scrub in removing soil to limit the spread of disease inoculum; report on the economic feasibility of growing Giant Cavendish tissue-culture variant 218 in infested area; and the conduct of the Mindanao-wide banana symposium participated in by 140 banana growers and agricultural extension workers.  The second project, titled “Research and development of integrated crop management for mango production in the southern Philippines and Australia,” intended to reduce product losses due to pests and diseases, decrease inputs costs and improve quality and yield of mango to increase growers’ profit.  T he proje c t ’s accompl i sh ments include the identification of parasitoids as potential natural enemies of cecid f ly; demonstration and training on canopy management in Davao Occidental and Davao del Sur; and the conduct of a national survey on best practices in nine


major mango growing areas in the country. In a message, Dr. Jocelyn E. Eusebio, director of t he Crops Research Div ision of DOST-Pcaarrd, expressed the council ’s commitment to support Aciar in its future R&D activities on banana and mango.  Accomplishments for the twoyear duration of the projects were presented during the end-of-project review held in Cebu City by implementing agencies, including the University of Southern Mindanao, University of Southeastern Philippines, Southern Philippines Agribusiness and Marine and Aquatic School of Technology and Provincial Agriculturists Offices in Davao del Norte and Davao del Sur.  Dr. Bob Williams from the Department of Employment, Economic Development and Innovation, Queensland, and Dr. Avelino D. Raymundo, professor emeritus from the University of the Philippines Los Baños, served as the external reviewers.  Dr. Richard Markham, Aciar Horticulture Research Program manager, said research has to be done in the spirit of enquiry and exploration. He added that it could also sometimes mean taking risks and making mistakes.  Banana expert Dr. Agustin Molina Jr. also attended the review and recommended to provide science-based information and policies to policy-makers in order to help advance the banana industry. S&T Media Service


»life on the go


Editor: Tet Andolong

Sunday, April 15, 2018


Surface Interval in Davao

Vinta Sailing at the Pearl Farm

Story & photos by Bernard L. Supetran


AVAO City is widely known for its icons—the Philippine Eagle and the durian, and, lately, the Philippine President who hails in this premiere urban hub in Mindanao.

But for the regular tourist, little is known about the lush underwater world at the Davao Gulf and the charming island of Samal just across the channel. While a separate political entity, the Island Garden City of Samal has been largely mistaken as Davao’s beach area and dive site because of its proximity to the upscale Lanang district. But for visitors who are out to enjoy the best a place can offer, political boundaries are but imaginary lines. The island has more than 20 dive sites, the most popular of which are those around Talikud Island, just across Samal mainland. Beginners are often brought here, as it offers the easiest diving at Coral Gardens and Angel’s Cove, which even snorkelers and free divers can easily navigate. Those who love coral walls will be amazed at Dizon Wall, Mansuod, Dapia, Balet, Maxima, Big Liguid, Aundanao and Mushroom Rock where night diving is superb for its enormous basket sea stars on the reef. The sea mounts of Marissa 1 & 2, San Juan Reef, Marikit and The Pinnacle features consecutive narrow cone-shaped mounts with a rich profusion of aquatic life. After the diving comes the equally, exciting “surface interval,” which has taken on a rather amusing meaning for seasoned divers who have made Poseidon’s playground their second home. Nowadays, any time spent on dry land has become the proverbial surface interval, which could be anything from having an ice-cold drink on the boat to partying in between the dives.

While Davao doesn’t have the dive sites, it has a plethora of recreational activities to keep divers busy while on terra firma and imbibe the consummate “highlands to islands” experience the city is peddling. About an hour away from the beach is Malagos Garden Resort, one of the city’s old-time favorite attractions because of its orchid flowers, which would bloom into a flower business of the famed Puentespina Orchid Garden. This cutflower farm, which started as a family resthouse, has grown into a full-blown 12-hectare posh theme resort, which offers something interesting for guests aged 5 to 85. Malagos tropical boasts of greeneries, manicured landscapes, a bird-feeding Dome, Butterfly sanctuary and Museum, a mini zoo, a science park with a treeline bird-watching tower, avant-garde playgrounds and pocket parks, which punctuate every nook and cranny. There are regular bird shows, which dazzle the young and the young-at-heart, with the colorful and amusing avians as the stars of the show. But its piece de resistance is the Chocolate Museum, the first of its kind in the country, opened in 2017, which gives a “tree-tobar” briefer on the evolution of the Philippine cacao industry. It is the last stop of a cacao farm tour where guests are taken to the plantation to observe the processes involved in producing fine chocolates Malagos is now known for. An optional conclusion is the

Pearl Farm Taklobo and Coral Tours

Malagos Garden Treeline bird-watching

Malagos Garden Chocolate Museum

Punta del Sol Beach Resort

make-your-own-chocolate activity at the kitchen adjacent to the museum, where visitors can concoct their own chocolate ingredients and take them home later on. Since surface interval is often equated to eating, the cuisine at Malagos measures up to the expectations of divers who have a whale of an appetite. Its restaurant takes pride in its all-time Filipino and international favorites, rendered with a local twist by putting chocolate as ingredient in its bestsellers. And if the lure of the greeneries is irresistible, yield to temptation and stay a little bit longer and spend the night in their luxurious and scenic riverside villas. But before hitting the sack, soothe your mind, body and soul

with its signature Chocolate Retreat Spa, which use cacao butter, citronella, tropical fruits and local oils. Massages almost always are a vital wellness activity after a dive. Another ideal hang-out place is Waterfront Insular Hotel, which is literally a swimming distance away from Samal Island across the Davao Gulf. An old guard in the local hotel industry, it exudes the old world charm and the comforts of modern amenities, making it a choice lodging for divers and non-divers like. A waterfront property in the real sense of the word, it boasts of a garden ambiance with its landscaped lawns ideal for a lazy promenade while gazing at the

island across the channel. It has its own jetty where boats from accredited resorts in Samal can dock directly. For aquasports addicts, the hotel can arrange recreational activities, which include island-hopping and scuba diving. Café Uno, the waterfront’s main resto is sought-after because of its reasonably priced buffets and Filipino dishes prepared by noted Chef Rolando Laudico who occasionally visits Davao to personally oversee the kitchen. The other dining outlets Pizzaoilo, Vinta Bar and La Parilla will soothe your cravings at different parts of the day, before you plunge once more into the deep. Back at Samal, you can engage in paddle boarding, kayaking, jetski, banana boat and the good old

island-hopping at Punta del Sol, a quaint native-themed resort, which is among the pioneers of scuba diving in the area. If you’ve got moolah to spare, the posh Pearl Farm Beach Resort is your best bet for an ultimate experience under the sea and the surface with its triple-A accommodation, classy dining and spa services, to name a few. Its also got unique water recreation which includes sailing the trademark Mindanao vinta sailboat, tours to its Taklobo farm, the heart-pumping hydro jet, and top-of-the line Hobie brand kayak, which comes with foot pedals and a sail. Whether under the sea or on dry ground, Davao definitely never fails to dazzle.


»life on the go

A10 Sunday, April 15, 2018

Editor: Tet Andolong

Discover quaint Quirino on two wheels

Governor's Rapids in Maddela

Landingan View in Nagtipunan


LL roads led to the quaint province of Quirino for the fourth edition of the Quirino Motorismo, one of the country’s biggest motor tourism rallies from March 16 to 18.

The three-day event kicked off with the Unity Camp and Ride at the Siitan River Park in Nagtipunan town, which gathered more than 1,500 enthusiasts for the Acoustic and Riders Night. Supported by Touratech, Ducati Philippines, Kawasaki and Valvoline, the event was open to motorcycles 130cc and above. Led by the Quirino Riders Federation, the Region 2 Riders Federation and other motorcycle cubs across the country, participants drove to the Provincial Capitol Sports Complex in Cabarroguis for the bike show,

habal-habal challenge, Motokana obstacle course and motocross challenge. The main event, the 1,000-kilometer (km) Endurance Challenge roared in the evening with more than 500 motorcyclists going around the roads of Quirino, Isabela, Cagayan, Aurora, Nueva Vizcaya and Nueva Ecija. Now on its third year, the extreme motoring rally were completed within 24 hours in time for the Victory Concert culminating activity on the last day at the Provincial Capitol Gymnasium with pop bands Cueshe and

Quirino Motorismo

Silent Sanctuary. “Quirino Motorismo is our unique way of attracting domestic and foreign tourists to make the province their choice destination for summer and beyond,” Provincial Governor Junie Cua said, who introduced the event in 2015. He added that the sporting

Siitan River in Nagtipunan Edwin Antonio

event is an adventurous way of highlighting the spotlight on the tourist spots and the diverse aspects of Quirino’s way of life. The province’s top tourist drawers are the Aglipay Caves and Campsites in Aglipay, Siitian Nature Park in Nagtipunan and the iconic Governor’s Rapids  in Maddela, which is known for its

massive limestone walls along the Cagayan River. It also has a world-class watersports complex with a wake park, winch lagoon, multipurpose pavilion and hostel at the Capitol Complex.   Since the 1990s motocross events at the Capitol Oval Track have been a part of the annual Panagdadapun Festival, which

marks the province’s founding day in September. In 2015 it held the Quirino to Quirino, a 350-km ride from Quirino Grandstand in Luneta to the Capitol Complex to commemorate the 125th birthday of former President Elpidio Quirino and the Province’s 44th founding anniversary.

Volvo all aboard for historic Ocean Race stopover in HK

Volvo delegates aboard Team Brunel


OLVO Philippines sailed to Hong Kong for the first-ever Volvo Ocean Race (VOR) stop in Asia’s world city. Winners of Volvo’s All Aboard Holiday Offer as well as the Volvo Alumni Golf Cup 2017 champions were all onboard to partake of the festivities. Top executives from the country’s exclusive importer and distributor, as well as sales partner from across the country, were also on hand to host the Volvo clients and their guests, as well as accompany them around the Volvo Ocean Race Village.

Historic Stopover

One of the toughest and most prestigious sailing events in the world, the VOR marked its first

Volvo Ocean Race

time to dock on Hong Kong’s shores, thanks to its cooperation with the Hong Kong Sailing Federation. It is also an official part of Hong Kong’s 20th Anniversary celebration, garnering an “M” mark bestowed by the Major Sports Events Committee. The government’s support for this global sailing activity strengthens the desire to spread the message about Hong Kong as a premier sailing, water sports and recreation destination in Asia. Moored on Kai Tak Runway Park’s berths, VOR’s fleet of seven 65-ft yachts brought with them an electric vibe that thrilled locals and foreigners alike. The state-of-the-art cruise terminal, with its impressive 360-degree

view of the Victoria harbor and expansive grounds served as the home of the VOR. It is also the first time in the 44-year history of the VOR that a Hong Kong team has joined the Race with the participation of the Sun Hung Kai/Scallywag Team. In a fortunate turn of fate (and a lot of hard work), Team Scallywag also posted a historic win on Leg 4 of the race, leading the fleet into their homeport. “We’re a privately owned team and our owner, Mr. Seng Huang Lee, has poured his passion and enthusiasm and vision into this project and this win will be very special for him….Winning this leg will be a massive platform for Scallywag going forward,” shares

David Witt, Scallywag’s skipper.

Special Edition Volvos

Special Volvo models also rolled in, which includes the Volvo V90 Plug-In Hybrid, the Volvo V90 Cross Country Ocean Race Edition, the Volvo S90 T8 Excellence and Inscription variants, and the recently unveiled Volvo XC40. These pristine white Volvos calmly sat in poise and elegance against the charming backdrop of the decidedly Scandinavian Volvo Pavilion. Guests were able to see the finely crafted details of these automotive works of art with knowledgeable Volvo spokesmen at the ready to assist and answer questions. In addition to the exhilarating

in-port race, RIB boat experience, boatyard exposure, concerts, delectable food kiosks, insightful talks and conferences, and other on-ground activities, Volvo has also set up an incredible Volvo Car Test Track. This elliptical, rollercoaster looking contraption stood steadily on the sidelines, awaiting brave souls to board the Volvos that takes four car occupants on a simulated four-course ride. The courses, which included road conditions like a “crater road” or a bumpy track, highlighted the different strengths of Volvo cars. It showed the amazing road-holding capacity, torsional rigidity and superb design and engineering, among others.

Turn the Tide on Plastic

VOR strengthens its dedication to driving social and environmental issues to the forefront. By putting sustainability at its heart, it focuses on taking action against the rapidly growing and critical problem of plastic pollution in the ocean through its “Turn the Tide on Plastic” program. Hand in hand with the United Nation’s Clean Seas campaign, Volvo aims to raise awareness of ocean health and other key issues by way committing to three pillars in its sustainability strategy: n To minimize the race’s own footprint with a particular focus on reducing, and where possible, eliminating the single-use plas-

tic in the Race Villages—a challenging task but one that will help to change behavior by making it a focus. n To maximize the race’s impact using its global communications platform to spread awareness and action on Ocean Health and plastic pollution, an educational programme to change views and the creation of Ocean Summits which bring together science, the government, sport and business. n To leave a positive legacy wherever it goes, through many actions including a science program, using the Volvo Ocean 65 racing yachts to capture data while at sea and contribute to our understanding of the oceans in the most remote areas of the planet. Aside from being a test of human strength, endurance and teamwork, the VOR also aims to leave a legacy that will impact, influence and change world views and attitudes towards ocean health. “We try to live up to our brand image, for example, protecting what’s important. I think we have a very big problem with plastic pollution in the seas. This is not just about racing. The ships are also equipped with sensors and we have special activities with our people here to build awareness about this problem,” Volvo Car Corp. President and CEO Håkan Samuelsson said.


»life on the go


Editor: Tet Andolong

Sunday, April 15, 2018 A11

An unmatched living experience in Tagaytay Petron-backed SafeRun promotes riding safety and fuel efficiency Unwind and satisfy your distinct leisurely pursuits at the Pavana, Vireya’s central amenity, which houses the pavilion and swimming pool.

The Midlands Golf Club can be found amid lush surroundings, including the fine fairways of the Midlands golf course. This is where recreational and dining amenities can also be found.

HEN weekend daydreaming of the perfect getaway that’s just close to the Metro and where cool weather and a ton of activities await, the first thing that comes to mind is Tagaytay Highlands.

Sophisticated Zen living at Katsura 


Long known as a favored weekend destination of the Metro’s elite and their families, Tagaytay Highlands is indeed the perfect dose of escape from the bustles of city life. This mountain resort complex has a region known for its themed residences and world-class services wrapped in splendid nature views and a refreshing weather called The Midlands. The Midlands’ geographical location makes it the perfect place worthy of these reveries. Here lies the fine fairways of the 27hole championship Midlands golf course—the playground of the country’s golf enthusiasts who desire a weekend breather in the

outdoors while connected with family and friends at the Midlands Golf Club. Perched beautifully on top of a hill is the Madre de Dios Chapel—known for being a well-loved wedding venue. What more can you ask for than finding everything you need just within your reach—relaxation, adventure and the best views of nature you can find right outside your window—the Taal Lake and Volcano, Highlands mountains and the lush surrounding. And last but most definitely not the least—a home. The Midlands holds a fine selection of world-class themed residences— two of its best-kept secrets being Katsura and Vireya. 

Katsura is the only Japanesethemed residential enclave in Tagaytay Highlands. These 14 hectares of gently rolling terrain offer elegance tucked in nature’s tranquility—majestic views of the Taal Lake and Volcano. Koens, or Japanese pocket gardens, surround Katsura—the perfect venue to spend recreational activities while enjoying the profound beauty of nature. Individuals and families who desire for a chic Zen-inspired lifestyle may build their comfortable abode in these lots ranging from 250 to 538 square meters (sq m). These homes feature a delightful fusion of traditional and contemporary Japanese architecture fused with minimalist yet elegant designs exuding harmony and balance.

A tropical haven of holistic indulgence at Vireya

Vireya is the first and only tropical resort community in Tagaytay Highlands, perfectly bonding the cool mist of the mountains and the vibrant warmth of the tropics. On the highest point of the Midlands, Vireya presents views of the Taal Lake and the Highlands mountains—highlight-

Tagaytay Highlands has become a favorite weekend destination due to its themed residences and world-class services wrapped in the cool weather and splendid views of nature.

ing lush, refreshing sceneries of Mount Makiling. Future residents at Vireya can build Bali-inspired homes on 250to 562-sq m lots by incorporating elements of wood and wide glass windows. High-pitched roofs and entryways with lanais and patios are also suggested to maximize natural lighting and views. Fulfilling Vireya’s vision of holistic living amid the mountainside tropics are points of interest found within the community. Satisfy your distinct leisurely pursuits at the Pavana or Ammanya Massage Point or spend serene afternoons at the Treehouse or pocket parks. Several jogging paths also line these various residential zones for an active and fit lifestyle.

Leisurely ideals at the Club

Leisure, pleasure and relaxation do not end within the confines of the Midlands region. Tagaytay Highlands boasts of a wide array of facilities for rest and recreation found in its four exclusive clubs where residents and members are given the total enjoyment and fulfillment of their own interests. Residents are given access to an extensive selection of worldclass amenities and recreational activities through membership rights at The Country Club bundled with each property purchase. Classic sports facilities include swimming, tennis, bowling and badminton, or try the latest outdoor activities, such as the Aerial Walk, Trail Buggy and Sporting Arrow. Tagaytay Highlands also takes pride of its wide variety for dining in specialty restaurants and outlets such as the Highlander Steakhouse, Highlands China Palace and the Gourmet Avenue. Comfort and relaxation does not only describe Tagaytay Highlands but also seeks to provide an overall fine living experience tucked in the beauty of nature. Indeed, there is so much more in store at this premier mountain resort address you can call your home.


OME 280 participants in the recently concluded SafeRun IV motorcycle competition proved that the keys to optimum motorcycle performance are a well-conditioned motorcycle, good riding skills, and safe riding habits. Billed as “the ultimate safety and fuel efficiency reality challenge,” SafeRun IV is presented by industry leader Petron Corp. as part of its road-safety advocacy. Different from the usual motorcycle events promoting endurance competition, SafeRun promotes safe riding including the observance of traffic rules and regulations, as well as speed limits, which lead to fuel efficiency. Categorized according to their motorcycle’s engine displacement, participants are required to cover 600-kilometers, stopping to fuel up at designated Petron stations, which also serve as checkpoints. Competitors who log the best fuel efficiency (km per liter) for their respective categories are declared winners. Participants who violate traffic rules and speed limits, and fail to arrive at the assigned checkpoint within the required time—whether too early or too late—are given demerit points or may be disqualified altogether. Taking off from The Laus Group Center in San Fernando, Pampanga, on March 9 and finishing on March 10, the top winners in the motorcycle and scooter categories were as follows:




Fuel Efficiency

Class 1 100cc-115cc Class 2 116cc-125cc Class 3 126cc-150cc Class 4 151cc-200cc Class 5 201cc-399cc Class 6 400cc-649cc Class 7 650cc-799cc Class 8 800cc and up

Robby Malapitan Rommel Enguerra Jun De La Rea John Mark Ramirez John De La Cruz Jeffrey Ocaya Jerry Dizon Elizabeth Perez

Yamaha Sight 115 Kawasaki Z125 Honda CBR150R TVS Apache 200 BMW G310R Honda CB500 BMW X-Country 650 Yamaha Tracer 900

129.87 km/L 67.67 km/L 103.09 km/L 77.22 km/L 58.18 km/L 37.76 km/L 36.86 km/L 34.13 km/L

SCOOTER Category



Fuel Efficiency

Class 1 Scooter 100cc-115cc Class 2 Scooter 116cc-125cc Class 3 Scooter 126cc-150cc Class 4 Scooter 151cc-200cc Class 5 Scooter 201cc-399cc Class 6 Scooter 400cc and up

Jester Carillo Joel Sulquiano Edmond Navarro Venus Lorena Sibug Emmanuel Balmes Oliver Navarro

Honda Beat 110 00 Honda Click 125 Honda Click 150 Yamaha Nmax 155 Kymco Xtown 300 Kymco Xciting 400i

89.29 km/L 68.03 km/L 79.37 km/L 55.56 km/L 39.63 km/L 31.97 km/L

According to Petron Local Station Manager Amerlino Paguia, himself an avid motorcycle enthusiast, “Through this event, we would like to encourage riders to give due attention to their vehicle’s roadworthiness through proper maintenance which, when combined with good riding skills and observance of traffic rules, leads to both road safety and fuel efficiency. Of course, we also want to prove, through this event, that Petron Sprint motorcycle oils and Petron fuels are the best match to deliver outstanding performance in terms of fuel economy, as well as long-distance travel.” Petron Sprint 4T motorcycle oils are designed to meet the unique performance requirements of four-stroke motorcycles. Unlike passenger cars, motorcycle engines require lower oil volume, have higher power output, and operate at higher engine speeds. Petron Sprint 4T oils are formulated with Thermal Control System to enhance the oil’s thermal and oxidation stability, which are critical for motorcycle engines due to their unique operational requirements. Meanwhile, Petron fuels deliver the TriAction Advantage, namely better ending protection for longer engine life, better mileage for longer drives and better power.

Anchor Land tops off The Admiral Hotel


N exciting and exquisite concoction of luxury Filipino hospitality, breathtaking view of Manila Bay and architectural spectacle is coming your way. Anchor Land Holdings Inc. recently celebrated a milestone in the construction of The Admiral Hotel with a topping-off ceremony. This marks the near completion of the structure, signaling the rise of luxury boutique accommodation in the heart of Manila. The Admiral Hotel is classified as a boutique hotel, to be rated as five-star, making it the first of its class in the Philippines. The hotel is set to be an architectural showcase that comes with the world-famous, majestic view of Manila Bay. Keeping the heritage classic design of the old Admiral Apartment, The Admiral Hotel pays tribute to the neo-classical period while beautifully merging it with

contemporary concept and conveniences. Designed by ASYA Design Partners, the architectural firm known for its vast portfolio that includes SM Mega Fashion Hall, City of Dreams and Robinsons Magnolia, the building takes its cue from the scenery and the history of the old Admiral structure. “ASYA designed the entire project to make sure that the units would have a view of Manila Bay. It’s all about getting that spectacular view,” said Albert Yu, ASYA Design Partners chairman. The interior design by EMESAE Design Corp., renowned for Dusit Thani Davao and Shangri-La Fort, is also something to look forward to. “The old Admiral apartment was built in the 1930s and bore the art deco style like most of the buildings during that time. The Admiral

Hotel will have some details reminiscent of the art deco era. We have to create a story that would relate to the history of the building. There are furniture pieces, artwork on the wall and even some of the detailing that’s reflective of art deco,” shared Paolo Suarez, EMESAE president. Breathtaking in its grandeur, The Admiral Hotel will bear a façade evocative of European sophistication. At the same time, all 126 furnished suites will have a prime vista of Manila Bay, which looks every bit spectacular from sunrise to sunset. Under the management of Accor Group’s elite Sofitel Collection, The Admiral Hotel is set to provide five-star service for the guests while relishing the breathtaking view of Manila Bay. “For us at Accor, we will provide very hands-on, personal and intimate luxury. It’s really where

people would feel as if they’re walking into their own home. [The service] will be very reflective of Filipino hospitality and we know that the Philippines is very friendly and personal as it is,” Accor Group’s Adam Laker explained. The Admiral Hotel’s location is one of the most sought-after and is deemed as an ideal setting for a hotel anchored on heritage and high-end luxury. “The Admiral Hotel’s prime location at Roxas Boulevard in the historic city of Manila affords guests to both take in cultural sights and enjoy the modern offerings of the nearby Entertainment City as they traverse the scenic stretch of the boulevard. The hotel guests would be able to enjoy the best of both worlds—the old and the new,” Anchor Land Holdings Inc. President Elizabeth Ventura said. “Apart from the location, we aim

Jose Aliling Const. Mgmt. Inc. Area Managers Engr. Romy de la Torre (from left) and Engr. Iandale Valdez; Arch. Paolo Suarez, EMESAE president; Adam Laker, area general manager-PH, ACCOR Hotels Group; Arch. Albert Yu, ASYA principal/chairman; Anchor Land Holdings Inc. (Alhi) CEO Steve Li, Jason Li and President Elizabeth Ventura; Engr. Freddy Rodriguez, Meinhardt Phil. Inc. director; Mr. Manny Sy, New Golden City Builders president; Alhi AVP Engr. Honorio Alvarez; and Senior Project Manager JP Carrillo. to provide the best experience to our market, that’s why we’ve decided to work with partners who have mastered their craft and are re-

nowned in their respective fields,” Ventura added. The Admiral Hotel is set to open its doors to the public this year.

Journey BusinessMirror

»life on the go


Sunday, April 15, 2018


Editor: Tet Andolong

Medical and wellness tourism in the heart of the Philippines



OWADAYS, new reasons to travel are usually for higherpurpose goals, such as volunteerism, spirituality, advocacy, and the holy grail of them all—wellness.

For while many people travel simply for fun and excitement, some people go to specific destinations and even to far-flung places to achieve wellness goals. This is so be-

cause people these days, particularly those who are truly passionate about their health and well-being, have started to care for themselves more and have become more conscious

about their lifestyle. If you frequently visit the social media more often, you have probably seen numerous posts that show people of all ages—from millennial yuppies to middle-aged parents or entrepreneur types—working out or indulging in spa treatments. You also see people going to the beach or just having a staycation as part of their wellness regimen. Wellness has truly become a crucial life goal for many of us. The only real obstacle for most of us in our journey toward our wellness goals is our busy schedule. Weekdays are often spent for work or school. In fact, weekends are the only time we can indulge in wellness activities, yet we still overlook this when weekends come. There is just one simple secret to easily achieving our life goal of wellness, and that is to plan ahead. Plan way ahead of time a weekend getaway, and hie off to a place where we can pamper or even beautify ourselves and make ourselves feel good. So, wouldn’t it be a treat if you could combine a weekend wellness and beautification outing with a relaxing and rejuvenating weekend staycation in a beautiful hotel? It would be, and the good news is that there is such a place where you can enjoy the best of both worlds— Maayo Stay Well in Mandaue, Cebu.

Maayo in Cebuano means good, kind or well—a reflection of what the hotel stands for in terms of its people, the place, as well as its services and facilities.

The Maayo experience

Maayo Stay Well is Cebu's first four-star hotel and wellness complex that combines top-ofthe-line hotel services, gamechanging integrative medicine and professional aesthetic services in one world-class facility. It is currently at the forefront of the country’s burgeoning medical-tourism industry, with its world-class complex that provides an integrated line of services aimed at providing a holistic patient-centered wellness experience. Located on Plaridel Street, Mandaue City, 15 minutes from the Mactan International Airport, the Maayo Stay Well is near Mactan Island’s pristine beaches, as well as Cebu’s bustling metropolis, shopping destinations, and entertainment hubs. And these are only more reasons to go. Maayo in Cebuano means good, kind or well—a reflection of what the hotel stands for in terms of its people, the place, as well as its services and facilities. Maayo represents wellness, beauty and recuperation, particularly for those who need to not only strike a work-life balance, but would also like to feel good about themselves.

Maayo Well offers aesthetic procedures by doctors with world-class training and decades of experience.

Maayo represents wellness, beauty and recuperation, particularly for those who need to not only strike a work-life balance, but would also like to feel good about themselves.

Maayo Hotel and Maayo Well

The Maayo Hotel is the hospitality component of the facility and serves as both a haven for travelers and vacationers and a wellness sanctuary for those wanting to experience Maayo's holistic services. From the moment the guests step into the lobby and take the first sip of the complimentary fruit drink, to the minute they receive turn-down service that comes with petite desserts to cap off their day—they will feel like royalty. Whether guests stay at a standard room or a suite, the empathy used to imbibe each room with thoughtful personality is strongly felt. Maayo Hotel has 229 guest rooms painted in soothing hues and palettes that inspire relaxation and solace. It is also equipped with function rooms, a gym and spa, an infinity pool with a panoramic view of the city, as well as an outdoor jogging trail and a space for yoga. In turn, Maayo Well is the wellness and beauty component of the facility, and is a modern outpatient clinic designed to provide a seamless guestcentered wellness experience. Maayo Well offers world-class outpatient services—these are medical procedures and tests that can be done without an overnight stay, many of which can be done in a few hours. Maayo Well offers ambulatory care services and surgeries

Maayo Hotel in Mandaue, Cebu, has 229 guest rooms painted in soothing hues and palettes that inspire relaxation and solace.

in the lines of general medicine, dental, aesthetic, nutrition, physical wellness, as well as gender-specific wellness. And these are performed by internationally and locally trained field specialists. You can get a well-deserved, expertly executed hydrofacial, lightening or age-defying facial. Body toning Discovery PICO treatment, body-contouring Exilis, restorative dentistry, oral prophylaxis, rejuvenating health drips and infusions are also part of the Maayo Well’s repertoire. Although Maayo Well offers many health-centered services, unlike a hospital, there is no intimidating clinical vibe and no harsh smell of medicine and hospital chemicals. It is even a rarity to see staff and doctors roaming the halls as if they were doing their rounds. This is to ensure

that guests do not get the stiff and overwhelming hospital vibe that oftentimes scares them and makes their medical experience stressful. A unique but important element of Maayo Hotel and Maayo Well is the unparalleled discretion and security that its guests are offered. There are discrete entrances and exits in the facility for guests who prefer to make their wellness experience private, or to just keep to themselves during their stay. Indeed, Maayo Stay Well is there to serve people who are in search of a rejuvenating place to stay and be well, and help them achieve their wellness goal. Maayo Stay Well is the perfect place not just for a restful staycation, but also for a unique “beautication,” where beauty and wellness await the weary traveler.

Businessmirror april 15, 2018  
Businessmirror april 15, 2018