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A slogan alone cannot sell a country

Stockshoppe |

SCENIC El Nido, Palawan, needs no sales pitch. Freesurf69 |


By Roger Pe

good product will sell by itself through sheer word of mouth. An even greater one, reinforced by great advertising, channeled strategically—as in The Art of War— through innovative media, is a winning combination.

So a slogan alone cannot sell a product, a service or a destination. In the Philippines some quarters refuse to change a slogan for tourism because it has won awards overseas. People tend to keep a blind eye on real effectivity results done by a reputable research organization. According to a study made by AGB Nielsen among foreign tourists in March and April this year, the majority of the respondents

liked the slogan “It’s More Fun in the Philippines.” However, only a few were interested to visit the country. The study noted that 65 percent of European respondents liked the campaign, but only 26 percent had the intent to visit the Philippines. Likewise, 72 percent of North American respondents liked the slogan, but only 45 percent wanted to visit the country. Continued on A2

No need for Charter revision to open up telco market—PCC


Play an active role

By Lorenz S. Marasigan

This is according to Philippine Competition Commission (PCC) Commissioner Johannes Benjamin R. Bernabe. In a recent presentation, Bernade said the government only needs to amend the decades-old Public Service Act of 1936 to allow foreigners to own and operate a telco carrier in the country. “Article XII of the Constitution refers to the operation of public utilities owned by Filipino citizens. But nowhere in the Constitution is public utilities defined,” he said. “It is defined

under the Public Services Act of 1936, which hasn’t been sufficiently and comprehensively reviewed since the 1930s.” The Public Services Act enumerates businesses deemed as public services, including telecoms, thus, including the sector under the constitutional provision on 40-percent foreignownership cap.  “If we revise that 1930s legislation and limit the enumeration included in it, then we are effectively limiting what the prohibition in the Constitution would refer to. So, if we take

PESO exchange rates n US 49.7740

Mast3r |

AGAYTAY CITY—There is no need for a constitutional amendment to open up the capital-intensive, innovation-driven telecommunications market to foreign players. Lawmakers simply need to amend an “archaic” law that lists the sector as a public service.

away telecoms, for instance, in the enumeration under the Public Services Act, then it will no longer be subject to the 60-40 requirement,” Bernabe said. President Duterte last week threatened to open up the telco

market to foreign players to force companies to step up their game, cut their prices and promote inclusive growth. According to Bernabe, the antitrust body will be proactive in pushing for the amendment of

the antiquated legislation, which also fines telcos a mere P200 per day on complaints, an amount which the National Economic and Development Authority (Neda) estimates is equivalent to about P1.4 million at present.

“We are advocating even within the commission that we adopt the proposed legislation that was prepared in the last Congress in trying to push for a limited enumeration of what constitutes public services,” he said. The 16th Congress was not able to pass the law “for fear of anti-nationalistic” issues sprouting during the national elections in May.  Bernabe added: “I think we need to take an active role in pushing for that legislation, because even if we try to install competition disciplines in public utilities sectors, and there’s a 60-40 requirement in place, it’s going to be very difficult to encourage competition.” He explained liberalizing the public utilities sector through an amendment of the law will help push for more competition disciplines in the market, thus benefiting the consumers with lower prices and more innovations.  Telecommunications is a capital-intensive and innovation-driven sector. Because of the restrictions, foreign players cannot fully participate in the wholesale market segment—now occupied by PLDT See “Telco,” A2

n japan 0.4366 n UK 62.6356 n HK 6.4175 n CHINA 7.2278 n singapore 34.9095 n australia 36.9224 n EU 53.0840 n SAUDI arabia 13.2752

Source: BSP (2 December 2016 )

NewsSunday BusinessMirror

A2 Sunday, December 4, 2016

Continued from A1

While 67 percent of respondents from Japan, Saudi Arabia, India and Australia thought the campaign was good, only 40 percent had plans to see the Philippines. In Southeast Asia 59 percent of the respondents liked the campaign, but only 36 percent wished to come to the country. Is it time to create a more focused, better positioning, less generic and original slogan? Some people say yes. At the end of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo’s term, the country’s tourist-arrival number was 3,520,471. At the end of President Benigno S. Aquino III’s term, or over a six-year period, it jumped to 5,600,000, or an increase of 65 percent. Some say the increase could have been bigger because the Department of Tourism (DOT) had a budget much bigger than in the previous administration.

Tourism slogans worldwide

There are many memorable slogans that have built great brands all over the world. A number of them still stick, but a few proved disastrous to advertisers. The iconic “I New York” seduced millions to the city that never sleeps and kept hundreds of NYC T-shirt vendors in business for the past 30 years. In a recent article published by Time Magazine, it said that others were not so effective. Andalucia’s “There’s Only One” and

New South Wales’s “There’s No Place Like It” could both be “easily applied to Changi Prison or a toxic rubbish dump in Nigeria.” Tourism Australia had the infamous “Where the Bloody Hell Are You?” campaign. It garnered a lot of publicity, but was banned in England. “The problem with many slogans is that, regardless of whether they strike a chord or not, they’re not always accurate when describing the destination they’re promoting. Some bend the truth a little, while others just blatantly lie about their destination to get you to come,” Time said. The magazine also cited London’s “See the World. Visit London” slogan. While it meant a city with cultural diversity and you can rub shoulders with people from all around the world, the problem is, “it is expensive and costs as much as traveling to some countries in the world.” On France’s “Rendezvous en France”, Time said: “The problem with this is that if you don’t understand French, you’re not going to go. Worse still, the prospective tourist might think ‘rendezvous’ is some kind of communicable disease, which is rampant in France, and choose to go to Italy, instead,” it said. A few Asian countries seemed to have followed a two-word template: “Amazing Thailand”, “Incredible India”, “Wonderful Indonesia”, “Truly Asia” and “Your Singapore”. The Phil-

ippines could have belonged to the club had it stuck to “Wow, Philippines”. Wait, the Top 5 most visited countries in the world don’t even flaunt their slogans. So when was the last time the people saw commercials for Brand France, China, US, Spain? Nobody even remembers their current slogans, nor people even care if they have one at all. Don’t people only remember beautiful experiences and memories? To drive tourist traffic, US cities regularly create new logos, slogans and marketing campaigns. Time said, however, “Locals tend to view the efforts largely as nonsense, or worse, a big waste of taxpayers’ dollars.” It cited the Indiana Office of Tourism Development, which unveiled a new slogan for state tourism marketing, “Honest to Goodness Indiana,” which was replacing the previous slogan “Restart Your Engines”. It responded to criticism that the new “slogan doesn’t have anything to do with travel or tourism, and reinforces stereotypes of Indiana residents as “unsophisticated bumpkins.” It also highlighted the insights of tourism and community-development expert Roger Brooks, who had said people don’t decide to go somewhere just because of a slogan. “Do you go to Disneyland or Disney World because its slogan is ‘The Happiest Place on Earth’? Of course not, we go there because of our perception of it,” he said.

A slogan alone cannot sell a country

Time also mentioned Colorado’s newly launched slogan (“It’s Our Nature”) and published a comment made by a professor at a university: “It looks like something my students could have put together in five minutes. It’s very weak and has noncreative effort.” Slogans come and go. Some will resonate and be successful, some will be remembered and some will be forgettable or, worse, bashed. The BusinessMirror asked some people about their comments on how to make the Philippines more attractive to foreign tourists. Here they are: n Suzette Defensor, creative di rector and consultant for Expat Magazine: “Different tourists, different strokes. Backpackers and beachbuds are okay with reasonably equipped lodgings. Upscale tourists are more demanding and exacting. The latter have purchasing power, including Chinese and Japanese, who come here for the casinos and golf. A tagline is just a tagline, the DOT can splurge on road shows, but the effect will not be significant if the basics are not in place. Peace and order, Internet, transportation problems should be addressed. “We need to focus and own a specific advertising proposition, ’yung atin lang talaga, like the Singapore girl of the airline, which became a symbol of the country. Bring back Manila International Airport. The world knows Manila. Sell the place, not a person the world is not familiar with.


It’s easier said than done. But I think people need to start seeing and believing that we have become a flawed and bad society in many aspects. We need to address this, and the private sector has to take the lead.”


Here are a few of the biggest slogan mistakes in the history of international marketing, as compiled by Mike Fromowitz, a longtime Asia-Pacific adman, a friend and currently CEO of Ethnicity Multicultural Marketing in Toronto: n Electrolux. A memorable Swedish campaign in the 1960s claiming “Nothing sucks like an Electrolux”. n Pepsi. Pepsi’s “Come Alive with the Pepsi Generation” in Taiwan meant “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”.  n KFC. The “Finger-licking Good” slogan meant “Eat your fingers off” in China.  n Schweppes. It meant “Toilet Water” in Italy, making its popularity in the country to dive. n Mercedes-Benz. Launched under brand name “Bensi” in China was a bad call as the name meant “rush to die”.  n Ford. Ford didn’t realize that Pinto meant “tiny male genitals” in Portuguese when it launched the brand in Brazil. n Parker. In Mexico Parker Pens promise “not to leak in your pocket and impregnate you”.  n Colgate introduced a toothpaste in France called “Cue,” the name of a notorious porno magazine.

continued from A1

Inc. and Globe Telecom Inc.—thus, limiting the number of players that can infuse capital and allow the transfer of technology.

Salceda bill

n Adrian Williams, Filipino-British entrepreneur: “Our infrastructure is not great. Efficiency and clarity need to be improved to help people get around easily. We need to agree on and implement a global set of Filipino brand principles. We don’t have one. We have everything China, Thailand, Japan have, yet we Americanize everything.” n Toti Soliongco, veteran advertising man, professor of Advertising at the University of Asia and the Pacific: “But for the attraction part, in a way, we are coming from a negative space—brought about by negative reports around the world about the issue of extrajudicial killings, and all. This is something that may have to be neutralized. Take the conversation away from our political figures. That’s why I think it needs to go back on a ‘charm offensive’— highlight the Filipino’s natural asset, and that is hospitality. “Tell the world that we are sincerely desiring their presence. Pinoys are known as good people, people who care a lot [that’s why domestic help all over the world are known as indispensable members of their households]. Bring the communication back to honest-to-goodness, sincere ‘come and visit us.’ “Feature our young people, young, good, people. I think we need a whole lot of ‘good citizenship’ programs for all. Go back to reinforcing virtues and values among our people, the culture of self-entitlement is such that it has affected all sectors of society. We need a strong campaign for this.

In the lower chamber, Rep. Joey S. Salceda of Albay proposed to amend the 80-year-old law, saying that it no longer sufficiently addresses the changes in the economic framework brought about by globalization and rapid technological innovation. Under House Bill 4468, the law will be adjusted to define public utility as “as a public service that regularly supplies the public and directly transmits and distributes to the public through a network its commodity or service of public consequence.” Salceda’s proposal also removes electric power generation, electric power supply, gas supply, petroleum supply, transportation, telecommunications, broadcasting and other public services from the list of public utilities currently defined by the law. “Competition and foreign investment are inhibited, because limitations that should only apply to the operation of a public utility are usually also applied to all public services,” the bill read.  Bernabe is hopeful that such an amendment will be passed by the 17th Congress, so as to help the competition commission do its mandate

of promoting healthy and competitive markets in the Philippines. “We hope that amendments to the law will be passed in the current Congress. And I think that the educative process will have to be initiated and pursued by different sectors. We all have to come to an understanding that liberalization is necessary, and that it does not necessarily mean deregulation —in fact, the more you liberalize, probably, the greater is the need for regulation,” he said.

Hanging issues

But opening up the market to new telco entrants without addressing the pressing issue on spectrum holdings would only thwart competition. The antitrust body was in the middle of reviewing the deal between the telco duopoly and San Miguel Corp., when the Court of Appeals decided to temporarily stop the competition commission from evaluating whether the transaction was anticompetitive.  To recall, PLDT and Globe coacquired San Miguel’ telco assets for roughly P70 billion in May. Such a transaction gave the two telcos access to a swathe of frequencies that the budding third player previously held.  The two telco titans then proceeded to utilize a huge portion of the spectrum holdings, and decid-

ed to return some to the National Telecommunications Commission. The deal was signed just a few days before the implementing rules and regulations of the Philippine Competition Act was released.  Hence, the two telcos contested the review, citing that the deal was only under the transitory rules and regulations, which specifies that mergers and acquisition amounting to P1 billion and above should be notified to the antitrust body, and is then “deemed approved” after such notification.  “I think that issue has to be resolved. We think, obviously based on our initial review of the acquisition, that there are concerns about limited amount of spectrum available,” Bernabe said. “Will spectrum necessarily have to be freed up? We think so.” According to experts, the remaining frequencies with the telco regulator are not enough for a third player to compete with the duopoly.  PLDT enjoys the lion’s share of the total spectrum holdings in the Philippines at 42 percent. Globe, on the other hand, holds 34 percent of the total.  Combined, various other small companies hold 9 percent, while 15 percent of the total frequency holdings are still with the regulator, waiting to be auctioned off. • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion

The World BusinessMirror

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Brexit turmoil may take 20 years to resolve, British economist says


ONDON—The full effects of Brexit on Britain’s trading relations may not be resolved for a further 20 years, a leading economics commentator has claimed. “Brexit negotiatio—narrowly defined—will be over in two years; but the creation of a postBrexit going to take, certainly, far longer,” British economist and writer Martin Wolf told Xinhua in a recent exclusive interview. However, in an assessment of the complex road ahead for Britain as it creates new economic and trade ties, Wolf warned that exit from the European Union (EU) was merely the first step on the journey. “We will be making up a new trade policy, which will probably take us 20 years,” said Wolf, who is the associate editor of the Londonbased daily newspaper the Financial Times and also its chief economics commentator. After the referendum vote on June 23 to leave the EU, making Britain the first nation in the 28-member bloc to do so, Britain’s path to exit and beyond has been unclear. Only two milestones are certain; the first is that exit is triggered by Britain activating Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. This was adopted by the EU in 2009 and provides a mechanism for a country to quit. The second is that the triggering of Article 50 starts a countdown of two years, during which time negotiations on exit take place. At the end of that time, the Britain leaves the EU. But even that exit of the EU may not be final. Negotiators on both sides may choose to create a transitional period between a formal exit and a formal cessation of EU rules and regulations by Britain. Some business leaders, politicians and economists are in favor of this approach, as it would allow trade and services to plan for a new environment rather than quickly jumping from the old EU business regime to a new Britain-only one. For Wolf, the Brexit negotiations are a forest of problems, and it is difficult to see light beyond their gloom. “This negotiation will largely be about exit and there are a lot of issues to discuss. It is quite possible this is all it will be about and it is quite possible there won’t be agreement, in which case Britain will find itself exited without agreement and we will be in limbo,” he said. Wolf believed that the four pillar principles of the EU single market—the free movement of goods, capital, services and people—were incompatible with the mandate that British Prime Minister Theresa May’s new government has taken from the referendum result. He saw membership of the EU customs union, which provides tariff-free trade within the EU and imposes tariffs on selected external trade entering the union area, as incompatible with the government’s Brexit stance. Wolf said: “I presume that our government will try to reach an

agreement on at least a transitional trade arrangement with the EU. We don’t know what it will try to seek, but I think given that it wishes to impose controls on immigration— the PM sees that as the paramount objective—that means we cannot stay in the single market. I don’t believe the EU will agree to let us in the single market. “I don’t think it will be politically tenable for the UK to stay in the customs union, because that means we cannot have our own trade policy, and I think the Brexiteers will break the government if we don’t get out of the customs union.” Wolf believed that there was a possibility of trying to reach, at least as a transitional arrangement, a free-trade agreement (FTA) with the existing members of the EU; an arrangement that would allow the Britain to make FTAs with other countries. The EU negotiates on trade as a bloc, and as long as the Britain remains in the EU it cannot begin FTA negotiations with other nations. But Wolf pointed out that a UKEU FTA would not replicate current conditions, and there would be change and turbulence. “The change will be somewhere between bad and disastrous. It is absolutely unambiguous that the UK’s access to the EU market will be worse and we won’t have better access to anywhere because no one is going to negotiate with us until we have left the EU,” Wolf said. There could be an FTA with the EU, but rules of origin restrictions—where parts, for instance, of cars or aircraft were manufactured—would be complex. Wolf said: “We can have an FTA on goods, with absolutely nothing in the service sector; I believe it could be decided by the EU under qualified majority voting and that would make it relatively easy to agree. “Since there are a number of EU countries for whom the UK is an important market, Germany for instance, it is conceivable to me that a FTA in goods could be agreed. “It might also be possible to get agreement on some areas of services on the basis of equivalence regimes, but here, as far as I can see, we would probably need unanimity and I’m not sure unanimity could be agreed,” he noted. Wolf said his estimate was that at the end of two years the “best that we could hope for is an FTA in goods, probably nothing in services, just conceivable coverage of some financial services.” But what of trade with the rest of the world? After an EU deal, Britain would deal with its English-speaking potent i a l pa r t ners — t he US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand “because they are relatively simple and straightforward and would indicate [the government] is doing something; if TPP [TransPacific Partnership] existed we might try to dock on it, but it doesn’t look likely,” Wolf said. Or Britain might go for trade deals across the globe with other partners. PNA/Xinhua

Fuel for sale on the sidewalk in Basra, 340 miles (550 kilometers) southeast of Baghdad, Iraq, on December 1. War-weary Iraq hinges hopes on Opec agreement to cut production to meet the massive needs of its costly, twoyear-old war against the Islamic State extremist group, and to refresh its ailing, oil-reliant economy hammered by plummeted oil prices. AP/Nabil al-Jurani

Goldman sees oil breaking $60 if Opec deal done as promised


il prices may break above $60 a barrel if the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (Opec) and Russia fully adhere to their promises to pump less, Goldman Sachs Group Inc says.

West Texas Intermediate (WTI) could rise by $6 above the bank’s current forecast of $55 a barrel and $56.50 for Brent in the first half of 2017, Goldman Sachs said in a November 30 note. That’s if the organization complies as promised with a new production target of 32.7 million barrels a day, coupled with 350,000 barrels a day in cuts from non-Opec members Russia and Oman. Banks from Goldman to UBS Group AG are turning more bullish on oil after the  Opec’s first agreement to reduce output in eight years. The group’s deal to curb production by 1.2 million barrels a day was broader than expected, with Russia nodding

32.7M The number of barrels a day Opec’s new oilproduction target

to unprecedented cuts. Morgan Stanley predicts the market to rebalance in the first half of 2017. “Focus will now shift to implementation,” with the deal agreed to in principle and country level quotas established, analysts, including Damien Courvalin and Jeffrey Currie, said in the note. “The catalysts for a further rally

in prices will need to come from confirmation of participation by non-Opec producers, evidence of compliance by Opec producers and more clarity on what Iran has agreed to do.” The bank ’s main forecast is based on Opec cutting oil production to 33 million barrels a day, reflective of a 73-percent compliance to Wednesday’s target. Also prices above $55 are not sustainable should US shale producers ramp up output, as well as if there is greater brownfield spending elsewhere, Goldman said. Oil at that level would lead to a “sizeable shale response,” adding 800,000 barrels a day in 2017 versus oil at $45, the bank said, reiterating its WTI crude forecast of $50 for the second half of next year.

Vienna agreement

Brent, the benchmark for more than ha lf of the world ’s oil, surged by the most since February on Wednesday after the Opec agreement in Vienna. Futures for Februar y settlement rose 1.2 percent to $52.48 a barrel on the London-based ICE Futures

Eu rope e xc ha nge at 3:47 p.m. Singapore t ime. W T I for Ja nu a r y del iver y was at $50.02, up 58 cents, on t he New York Merca nt i le E xc ha nge. Opec’s deal achieves a broad consensus with Libya, Nigeria and Indonesia exempt, a modest growth allowance for Iran based on secondary sources, and a 4.6-percent cut across other producers, according to Goldman. While  the group plans to hold talks with non-Opec producers next week in Doha, Opec will meet again on May 25 next year, at which point it intends to extend the cuts by another six months. Other banks are also cautiously optimistic. The cuts will likely trigger inventory draws in the first half of 2017, according to UBS, while Morgan Stanley says the energy industry is likely to see another wave of “notable” investments within the US, as well as in other regions. If Opec loses discipline, the market could be set up for disappointment in the second half of 2017 as investments could be limited later in the cycle, according to Morgan Stanley. Bloomberg News

‘Americans, not Mexicans, should worry about Trump’ B

illionaire Carlos Slim, Mexico’s richest person, said Americans have more to worry about under Donald J. Trump than Mexicans because the presidentelect could cost the US its place as the world’s leader. “I would be more worried if I were an American,” Slim said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “If you are going to close the economy, it is bad. He has the risk to lose the international leadership of the United States. “You are the leaders in technology, but there are other countries moving there— China, Israel—and everyone wants to improve,” Slim

said. “I think that is a main issue.” Mexicans, meanwhile, will benefit if Trump meets his goals for adding jobs and improving US economic growth, Slim said. He said he doesn’t know Trump and hasn’t spoken with him. Slim has felt the effects of Trump’s election personally. The Bloomberg Billionaires Index estimates the dollar value of his fortune at $48.1 billion, down from more than $55 billion in the days before Trump’s victory over Hillary Clinton sent the peso nosediving. Mexico, which counts the US as its biggest trade partner, needs to spend on public and private in-

frastructure projects, like airports and ports, Slim said separately at a Bloomberg summit in Mexico City. “What is happening with this shock is that Mexico needs to turn back to Mexico,” Slim said. “Now we need to get back to Mexico and focus on the internal economy and try to get back to the economy we have forgotten for many years.” Slim was joined on a panel at the event by Michael R. Bloomberg, the majority owner of Bloomberg News parent Bloomberg LP. Bloomberg said he did talk to Trump by phone this week and gave him advice on how to select the right people for his team.

Popular Vote

Slim, 76, was chauffeured to the event on a motorcycle, making up for lost time after his car got stuck in heavy Mexico City traffic. While the biggest chunk of Slim’s fortune comes from his telecommunications company, America Movil SAB, he has also invested in infrastructure projects in Mexico, Latin America and Spain through other companies. While he noted that Trump lost the popular vote, Slim said Trump’s election was related to a decline in high-paying manufacturing jobs in the US, replaced by work that requires few skills and pays little.

“This shock will make us realize things have been changed,” he said. “There will be a lot of unemployment in young people and lack of opportunity because of the changes in the economy that is moving traditional jobs out of the economy, and we are not moving to solve all these problems.” Trump said during his campaign that Slim, a top shareholder in New York Times Co. and a Clinton Foundation donor, was working alongside Clinton’s campaign to help generate negative coverage of him. At the time, a Slim spokesman said the billionaire had never met Trump

and was not interested in US politics. While Slim is the biggest holder of New York Times Class A shares, with 12 percent, the Ochs-Sulzberger family holds Class B shares with special voting rights that give them control of the newspaper publisher. Days before the election, Slim told reporters at an event in Mexico City that Trump would destroy the American economy if he imposed tariffs, like the 35-percent levy the presidential candidate proposed for Mexican-made cars. Such costs would lead to higher, disruptive prices, Slim said. Bloomberg News


Sunday, December 4, 2016

The World BusinessMirror

For Americans, Trump’s tariffs on imports could be costly By Paul Wiseman And Joe Mcdonald


The Associated Press

ASHINGTON—American consumers and businesses would pay—literally—if President-elect Donald J. Trump followed through on his campaign pledge to slap big taxes on imports from China and Mexico.

Trump said during the campaign that he’d impose tariffs of 35 percent on Mexican imports and 45 percent on Chinese imports to protect American jobs from unfair foreign competition. Companies that import those goods would pay the tax at the border. Many of those firms would likely try to heap as much of the cost as possible on their customers. The result is that American consumers could end up paying more for foreign-made clothing, tablet computers and other electronics. A 45-percent tariff on Chinesemade goods could drive up US retail prices on those goods by an average of about 10 percent, Capital Economics has calculated. Consumers would find it hard to escape the price squeeze. “ T here are few alternative sources for the main products the US buys from China,” says Mark Williams, Capital Economics chief Asia economist. He notes, for example, that China supplies about 70 percent of the world’s network equipment, cellphones, laptops and tablet computers. Since Trump’s election, his team has de-emphasized the use of tariffs, describing them as a potential tool to be used to pry concessions from America’s trading partners. “Everybody talks about tariffs as the first thing,” Wilbur Ross, an investment banker who is Trump’s choice for Commerce secretary, told CNBC on Wednesday. “Tariffs are part of the negotiation.” They would also be risky. Tariffs could ignite a trade war if, as expected, China and Mexico retaliated by imposing tariffs or other sanctions of their own on the US. Analysts say Trump might rethink his tough trade talk once he fully weighs the costs—not all of which would be economic. A trade war would likely have diplomatic consequences, making it harder, for example, to enlist China’s help in trying to defuse the threat from North Korea’s nuclear ambitions.

“It will only result in collateral damages to both sides,” economist Song Lifang of Renmin University in Beijing says. Even without a broader conflict, tariffs can damage corporate America. Back in 2002, President George W. Bush imposed tariffs of up to 30 percent on imported steel. American steel producers took advantage of the tariffs to raise their own prices, thereby squeezing US industrial companies that buy steel. The Consuming Industries Trade Action Coalition, representing steel buyers, has said the tariffs cost thousands of US jobs. “That was an awful thing for us,” says Bill Smith, president of Termax Corp. of Lake Zurich, Illinois, which makes fasteners for the auto industry. “We are pretty nervous here at Termax” that Trump will target Chinese steel with tariffs again. Smith says Termax wouldn’t be able to pass along the higher cost to its automaker customers—“They can just choose to use a different [foreign] manufacturer”—and would have to absorb the costs itself. Ford Motor CEO Mark Fields warned on CNBC last month that a 35-percent tariff on imports from Mexico, where Ford is building its Focus compact car, “would affect the entire auto sector.” Trump’s proposed tariffs reflect frustration over the trade deficits in goods the US runs with China ($367 billion last year) and Mexico ($61 billion). The deficit is the gap between the value of the goods the US exports and the larger value of the goods it imports. China’s Global Times newspaper, published by the ruling Communist Party’s People’s Daily, speculated that if Trump’s proposed tariffs are enacted, “China will take a tit-for-tat approach.” “A batch of [US] Boeing orders will be replaced by [Europe’s] Airbus,” it said. “US auto and iPhone sales in China will suffer a setback, and US soybean and maize imports

In this file photo, a container is loaded onto a cargo ship at the Tianjin port in China. American consumers and businesses would pay, literally, if President-elect Donald J. Trump follows through on his campaign pledge to slap big taxes on imports from China and Mexico.

will be halted.” Farmers in Mississippi, Missouri, Tennessee and Arkansas would suffer if China targeted American soybeans in retaliation for any Trump tariffs, according to the Peterson Institute for International Economics. It said rural Sharkey County, Mississippi, could lose up to 40 percent of its jobs. Beijing could also restrict access to finance and other service industries, says Zhou Nianli, a professor at the China Institute for World Trade Organization Studies at the University of International Business and Economics in Beijing. “If he really put what he claimed during the campaign into practice,” Zhou says of Trump, “China may create trade barriers for US service industries that are thirsty to get into China’s markets.” At Termax, which employs 435 US workers, Smith also worries that a trade dispute with China would jeopardize his company’s access to rare earth magnets it buys exclusively from China. The Trump transition team declined to respond on the record. But his team has argued that fears of a destructive trade war are overblown. Trump advisers Ross and Peter Navarro, an economist at the University of California, Irvine, wrote in


We are world’s largest producer, and they are the world’s largest consumer,” they wrote of China. “If China cuts off American farmers, Chinese people will go hungry.” —Navarro and Ross September that the “fear-mongering fails to understand the negotiating power of the US.” The threat of tariffs, they wrote, is a tool to compel others to abandon unfair trade practices: “All of the countries now running major trade surpluses have far more to lose by disrupting trade.” Navarro and Ross disputed the Peterson report that predicted big potential losses for US soybean farmers. “We are world’s largest producer, and they are the world’s largest consumer,” they wrote of China. “If China cuts off American farmers, Chinese people will go hungry.” Tariffs are meant to give American-made products a price advantage by making their foreign competition more expensive. They have had a disreputable image since the US’s Smoot-Hawley Tariff Act of

1930 disrupted trade during the Great Depression. Economist Barry Eichengreen of the University of California, Berkeley, has argued that tariffs aren’t necessarily flawed policy. At times when inflation is too low—as it’s been in the United States and Europe since the Great Recession began in 2007—tariffs can raise prices and encourage consumers to spend to avoid paying more later. Such spending helps drive economic growth. Higher inflation can also make it easier for consumers and businesses to repay loans. Still, even Eichengreen cautions that there are more effective ways than tariffs to lift prices—notably old-fashioned stimulus through tax cuts and stepped-up government spending, both of which Trump is also proposing.

Many analysts say the US should also develop more efficient ways to help American workers who lose jobs to foreign competition—in part through expanded training programs—rather than punishing foreign competitors. Tariff disputes can take unexpected turns. In 2009 the Obama administration imposed tariffs on tires from China, charging that a surge in Chinese imports was hurting American tire makers. Beijing fired back by imposing a tax of up to 105 percent on US chicken feet—a throwaway item in the US that’s considered a delicacy in China. Gary Hufbauer and Sean Lowry of the Peterson Institute found that the tire tariffs probably saved 1,200 jobs in the tire industry. But consumers paid more than $900,000 in higher prices for every job saved. Overall, Peterson estimates that Trump’s policy could trigger a trade war that would throw the US into recession and wipe out 4 million jobs. “A lot of us are hoping that his overriding need to grow the economy and create jobs will soften and mitigate some of the more harmful actions he could take on the trade front,” says Joshua Meltzer, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution.

Fidel Castro clung to socialism, mentored new leftists By Michael Weissenstein & Paul Haven The Associated Press


AVANA—Fidel Castro’s revolution was slowly dying—or so it seemed. Communism had collapsed in Europe, and Cuba’s Soviet lifeline was severed. Food was in short supply. Power outages silenced TV sets normally tuned to a nighttime soap opera. Factories rusted in the tropical heat. The title of an American book seemed just right: Castro’s Final Hour. That was in 1992. Castro’s “final hour” became weeks, then months, then years. Even as China and Vietnam embraced free markets, Castro clung to his socialist beliefs and Communism’s supposed dinosaur went on to rule for another decade-and-a-half. Along the way he became godfather to a resurgent Latin American left, mentoring a new generation of leaders: Hugo Chavez of Venezuela, Evo Morales of Bolivia, Rafael Correa of Ecuador. No other Third World leader prompted so much US hostility for so long. Castro brought the planet to the brink of nuclear war in 1962,

sent tens of thousands of troops to aid leftist governments in Africa and nurtured guerrilla movements that fought US-backed governments across Latin America. He endured a crippling US embargo and outlasted 10 US presidents—all of them preaching regime change in Cuba— finally resigning 11 months before Barack Obama moved into the White House, not from US pressure but because of serious illness. After Castro transferred power to his brother Raul, first temporarily in 2006 and then permanently on February 19, 2008, he survived another eight years in quiet retirement before finally dying on Friday. By hanging on in the shadows, he helped his followers avoid political unrest and ease the island into a communist future without the only leader most Cubans had ever known. To the end, Castro remained a polarizing figure. For many he was a champion of the poor who, along with Ernesto “Che” Guevara, made violent revolution a romanticized ideal, a symbol of liberation who overthrew a dictator and brought free education and health care to the masses. To exiles who longed for Castro’s demise, he personified a repressive regime that locked up political

opponents, suppressed civil liberties and destroyed the island’s economy. Hundreds of thousands of Cubans began fleeing north almost immediately after Castro’s 1959 revolution as he started turning exuberantly capitalist Cuba into a socialist state, dismaying reformists who thought he meant only to topple thuggish strongman Batista and restore democracy. The exodus transformed not only Cuba but also parts of the United States, most notably South Florida, which became the center of virulent anti-Castro sentiment. As Cuban exiles gained political strength, they became a bulwark against softening America’s trade embargo against the island. To those whose families were uprooted and saw their properties seized, Castro was nothing less than a tyrant. But love him or hate him, there was no denying that Castro played an outsize role on the world stage for much of the 20th century, all from his perch on an island smaller than Pennsylvania that had once been better known as a place for gambling and sunbathing. Castro’s barbudos, as the bearded rebels were known, marched triumphantly into Havana days after Ba-

tista fled on January 1, 1959. The US was among the first countries to recognize the new government. But the rebels’ image quickly darkened as impromptu courts sent officials of the old regime to the firingsquad wall. Castro was outraged at the resulting US criticism, calling it “the vilest, most criminal and most unjust that has been launched against any people.” It was a tone of righteous indignation Castro would return to time and again over the decades, convinced to the end of the justice of his revolution. The man who would become a global symbol of communism was the son of a rugged, self-made capitalist. Angel Castro had come from Spain’s impoverished Galicia province to fight against Cuban independence, and settled in the new nation in 1902 as a landless laborer. Barely literate, he organized contract labor for the US-based United Fruit Co. and bought land, eventually building a 32,100-acre farm in a lawless, backward part of eastern Cuba. Decades later, the farm would become the first property officially confiscated by his son’s government under a land-reform program.

People sit outside a restaurant as they wait for the motorcade transporting the remains of Cuban leader Fidel Castro in Havana, Cuba, early Wednesday morning. Castro’s ashes have begun a four-day journey across Cuba from Havana to their final resting place in the eastern city of Santiago. AP

Fidel Castro was born on August 13, 1926, to Angel’s maid, lover and eventual second wife, Lina, who also had roots in Galicia. He grew up in a rambling two-story wood house, attended a one-room plantation school and learned to hunt. Younger brother Raul once tended bar at the family’s roadside saloon. Castro later said that life among the barefoot sons of poor farm laborers helped form his social conscience. By some accounts, he squabbled with his father over their treatment. Castro attended Roman Catholic

Church schools in the eastern city of Santiago and then in the capital, Havana, where he was named the country’s best schoolboy athlete as a basketball player. He also loved baseball, though the legend he was scouted by Major League Baseball is untrue. While studying law at the University of Havana, Castro plunged into the chaotic political scene of the day, joining violent student “action groups.” He was arrested, though never charged, in the 1948 slaying of another group’s leader.

Biodiversity Sunday BusinessMirror

Asean Champions of Biodiversity Media Category 2014

Sunday, December 4, 2016 • Editor: Lyn Resurreccion


Entrance to the Puerto Princesa Underground River in Palawan, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization World Heritage Site, and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature. Wikimedia Commons

Saving bats one cave at a time M

By Jonathan L. Mayuga


illions of years ago, primitive people dwell on caves, generally defined as large holes formed by natural processes—usually in the side of a cliff or hill, under the ground or underwater—big enough for humans to enter.

C aves cont i nue to at t rac t people for different reasons because of the mystif ying secrets of their existence, the aesthetic beauty, and the thrills of a new experience and adventure. There is more to the fascinating characteristics of rocks, unique shapes, rock formations or the physical features of caves that make them unique, which is of utmost importance, if we are to protect and conserve our natural environment and unique wildlife, officials of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) said.

Ecosystem within an ecosystem

“Caves are unique ecosystems within an ecosystem. They are habitats to unique species that can be found in that ecosystem,” said Director Theresa Mundita S. Lim of the DENR’s Biodiversity Management Bureau (BMB), underscoring the need to protect and conserve caves and the diverse cave-dwelling wildlife species. Lim said pr udence dictates extensive research and study to know more about what we stand to lose rather than what is to be gained in ex ploiting caves and cave resources. Republic Act (R A) 9072, or the Caves and Cave Resources Protection and Conservation Act, on April 8, 2001, mandates the DENR to take the lead in conserving, managing and protecting caves and cave resources as part of the country’s natural wealth. The law prohibits acts that cause


The number of known caves in the Philippines

the degradation of caves—even before discovery—as part of the country’s natural wealth. B esides t rea su re hu nt i ng , threats to caves and cave resources are harvesting of natural resources, such as crystal stones, stalactite and stalagmites, guano (a natural fertilizer), bird’s nest (an ingredient of a delicious soup, and wildlife species for food, trophy and illegal wildlife trade and, lately, tourism.

Home to unique wildlife

According to Lim, caves are home to threatened wildlife—including bats, birds, snakes, frogs, turtles and other reptiles—and in case of caves with lagoons or underground rivers, they are home to fish and water-dwelling species. In other countries where they exist, bears, lions, wolves and other wild animals dwell in caves. Each cave is unique, as well as the species that thrive within, Lim said. In the Philippines most caves host insects, the natural prey of bats, frogs, lizards and other wildlife. The Caves Act prohibits activities like destroy ing, disturbing, defacing, marring,

altering, removing, or harming the speleogen or speleothem of any cave or altering the free movement of any animal or plant life into or out of any cave; gather ing, collecting, possessing, consuming, selling, bartering or exchanging or offering for sale without authority any cave resource; and counseling, procuring, soliciting or employing any other person to violate such prohibited acts. Internet sources say the term speleogen means relief features on the walls, ceiling and floor of any cave or lava tube, which are part of the surrounding bedrock, while speleothems are structures formed in a cave by the deposition of minerals from water, e.g., a stalactite or stalagmite. The law imposes a penalty of imprisonment from two years to six years, or a fine ranging from P20,000 to P500,000, or both for anyone caught violating the law.

Bats: Keystone species

Among the cave-dwelling species, bats are of utmost importance. W hile some bat species live in forest trees, most dwel l in caves, such as the g iant fr uit bats—a lso ca l led “ far mers of the forest” because of their seed dispersal or ger mination function, said Joseph B. R asa lan, ecosystems management specia list I of the Caves, Wetlands and Other Ecosystems Division (Cawed) of the DENR-BMB. “Insect bats also have important ecosystem functions because they help control insect population,” he said. Rasalan, DENR-BMB Cawed’s point person for cave ecosystem, said it is important to maintain a healthy population of bats to sustain life in caves. He said bats produce guano, the accumulated excrement of cavedwelling bats, which supports life inside caves. “In the absence of sunlight inside caves, guano provides food to invertebrates,” he said. He ex plained that because plants are unable to grow inside caves in the absence of sunlight, guano takes its place as a source of

nutrition and key to the survival of invertebrates. As a manure, guano is an effective fertilizer and has a huge demand among organicfarming practitioners.  

Threats to caves and bats

Harvesting of guano and other cave resources disturbs roosting bats, Lim said. Bats are sensitive to human activities. Some bat species tend to relocate in other caves to avoid human activities, such as harvesting of guano deposits and other cave resources. “Bats don’t like being disturbed and they tend to leave the caves,” Lim said. Without bats, invertebrates would have nothing to feed on, adversely affecting the food chain, leading to ecosystem imbalance, she said. As caves are also popular tourist attractions, the DENR-BMB considers tourism a big threat to caves, highlighting the need to regulate cave tourism, to ensure that only caves fit for ecotourism will be used for such purpose. The Philippines host hundreds of caves that attract tourists—such as the Puerto Princesa Underground River, a United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization/World Heritage Site and one of the New Seven Wonders of Nature.

Cave conservation program

Because of the threats to caves and cave resources, the DENR is pushing for the classification of caves according to their importance as part of its cave-conservation program. While scientists classify caves according to the nature of mineral deposits and geological formations, the DENR classifies caves according to their importance. Since 2001, the DENR has classified 454 caves, from around 3,000 known caves in the Philippines. It takes time to classify caves because of government’s limited resources. A team of experts from the DENR’s BMB, Mines and Geosciences Bureau, National Historical Institute, academe and scientific community are tasked to assess the caves and come up with recommen-

dations.From the recommendations, the secretary of the DENR will issue an administrative order classifying the particular caves. The team of experts, led by the DENR-BMB, classifies caves according to their scientific, economic, educational, cultural, historical and aesthetic value. The DENR’s cave-classification project aims to guide national and local governments and other stakeholders on how to sustainably manage caves and cave resources, Lim said. The DENR also creates a Cave Management Board for every cave it has classified to formulate policies on how to manage, conserve and protect the cave and its resources, as mandated by RA 9072. Lim underscored the need to step up cave visits to determine their importance and value and plan ways to effectively manage, protect and conserve these unique ecosystems. Many of the caves are within declared protected areas (PAs).   There are 240 declared PAs, which covers around 5 million hectares of terrestrial and marine areas.   Some caves are situation in ancestral lands covered by certificate of ancestral domain titles, lands owned by local governments or private landowners.   Cave classification aims to st re ng t he n co op er at ion a nd exchange information between governmental authorities and people who use caves and cave resources for scientific, educational, recreational, tourism and other purposes. Experts, she said, need to classify caves to guide concerned authorities on how sustainable the caves and its resources are managed.  “Some caves can be used for tourism or for scientific studies and research, but some caves may be classified as restricted to destructive human activities,” she said.  

Forum on caves

ON November 9 and 10, the DENR held a first-of-its-kind forum at the National Museum of Histor y Auditorium in Manila to highlight the importance of preser ving caves and karst systems. The forum brought together representatives from

national government agencies, local government units and academe, as well as cave experts and stakeholders to tackle the latest practices in manag ing caves and karst systems. Organized by the DENR-BMB, through Cawed and the National Cave Committee, the forum aims to enhance the understanding on the interaction between people and caves. Cave experts, led by Dr. Fernando Siringan of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute, presented research papers and reports about caves and karst systems. In Siringan’s presentation, entitled “Accretion Rates and Paleoclimate Records of Philippine Stalagmites,” he noted that climate change could directly affect stalagmite formation since the decrease in the amount of rainfall slows down its accretion rate. Stalagmites are important to caves because they provide shelter to cave-dwelling bats. Together with stalactites, they fuse to form a column or pillar that helps support the roof of the cave. Marc Metens of the Zamboanga Peninsula Cavers Association discussed the basic safety for cave researchers and enthusiasts.  Metens emphasized the importance of planning caving trips, the potential dangers in caves.  Elizabeth Maclang, manager of the Puerto Princesa Underground River (PPUR) Program, talked about the challenges in the management of PPUR and underscored the need to take into consideration the river’s carrying capacity. Maritess Agayatin of the BMBCawed said in the same forum that working together and helping each other for the preservation of Philippine caves is of utmost importance. She enjoined various stakeholders for a collaborative effort in the conservation and management of caves. The DENR, Lim said, is pushing for the protection and conservation of caves to help save bats—a keystone species that will help maintain a healthy forest and help prevent biodiversity loss—one cave at a time.

Faith A6

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Editor: Lyn B. Resurreccion

Saint Nicholas of Bari, ‘Santa Claus’ By Corazon Damo-Santiago


Residents and the police gather near the blanket-covered body of a man killed, along with four others, in an alleged police antidrug operation in Manila, Philippines, on November 10. The death toll in the unrelenting war on drugs under President Duterte has climbed to more than 4,000 since he assumed the presidency on June 30. AP/Bullit Marquez

Bishop alarmed: Public ‘desensitized’ amid killings


s the drug-war death toll nears 5,000, a Catholic bishop is concerned that many Christians have become desensitized to the deliberate ending of human life.

Bishop Joel Baylon of Legazpi said it is unfortunate that the strong moral outcry for life is seemingly disappearing. “We are sadly witnessing a growing callousness among our people, accepting these as a fact of life; for they say, these persons were after all drug addicts and, therefore, they deserved to die,” Baylon said.


“What is happening to us? Have we become so heartless that we cannot anymore feel for them, their families and the loved ones they have left behind?” he asked. In a open letter to President Duterte, Baylon pointed out that the drug problem in the country,


The estimated number of people killed in the Duterte administration’s war against drugs

no matter how bad, will never justify summary executions. “We support your drive against illegal drugs and other forms of criminality, but we question the method, for ‘the end does not justify the means,’” the prelate said.Instead of encouraging more

killings, the bishop urged Duterte to examine his approach to eliminating the drug menace and to exert more efforts to stop violence.

‘House of Hope’

“Mr. President, we urge you to order, especially these extrajudicial killings, be stopped and investigated; and those responsible arrested and brought to justice”, he said. The prelate also announced the establishment of his diocese’s “House of Hope”, a commu n it y- ba se d re h abi l it at ion program for drug-dependents. The effort, he said, also aims to provide recovery coaching, spiritual guidance and life-skills training to substance users. “ T hrough this modest, but sincere effort, we not only want to help t hese retur nees, but a lso assure them that in life there are second chances and the oppor tunit y to do and be better,” Baylon said.

Cardinal Quevedo: Justice after church bombing

Meanwhile, Cardinal Orlando Quevedo of Cotabato has called

for justice for the survivors of a bomb attack outside a church at the end of the first Mass on the first Sunday of Advent. At least two people were injured when an improvised explosive device went off outside the church’s gate in Esperanza, Sultan Kudarat, as parishioners left the church at around 6:30 a.m. “I appeal to our security police forces to ferret out those responsible and bring them to justice. Let us all be vigilant against acts of terrorism,” the prelate said in a statement. “It is an attack on innocent human lives. It is also an attack on freedom of religion and freedom to worship,” he said. The blast, he added, was also made worse because of the sacredness of the place and the event that had just taken place. The cardinal described the explosion as “pure terrorism”. “As the leader of the archdiocese of Cotabato, I voice my strong condemnation against this irrational act of terrorism,” he said. No group has so far claimed responsibility for the attack. CBCPNews

aint Nick, or Santa Claus, is a man who never fails to bring smiles on the faces of children during the Christmas season. Skinny or husky in red suit and white fur, he is identified as a holy man of long ago. His name is Nicholas, Bishop of Myra in Asia Minor, a place in the southern cost of the modern-day Turkey. An only child of a wealthy family, he is charitable to the needy and generous to the poor. After distributing his possessions to the poor, he entered the seminary. His uncle, also named Nicholas, the Bishop of Patara, ordained the younger Nicholas to priesthood. He became an Abbot and later as Bishop of Myra. During his time, a heresay initiated by Arius, a priest, professed that Jesus was not God but only a man. Nicholas, in the assembly of bishops, signed the document affirming the divinity of Christ in the Council of Nicea in 325. He suffered imprisonment and torture during the persecution of the church under Diocletian, when churches were destroyed, sacred books were burned and Christians were tortured and executed. He was “one of the few saints who escaped martyrdom.” He died at 65 in 345 or 350 and is depicted as an old Santa Claus, jolly and generous. Christians in Myra, to honor his memory, leave gifts for their children, on the eve of his feastday by their bedside to surprise them. In 1087 his relics were allegedly stolen from his church in Myra and brought to Bari, Italy, by Italian sailors or merchants. Now, his relics were enshrined in Saint Nichola, Bari, Italy, and venerated to this day for their healing powers. Numerous churches had been named after him, 2,000 in Europe, 400 in England, 300 in Belgium, 34 in Rome and 23 in the Netherlands, according to Saint Nicholas center.

Miracle worker

A miracle worker, he is the patron of difficult cases, like Saint Jude Thaddeus and Saint Rita of Cascia. A friend and protector of people in trouble, he is the patron saint of orphans, lawyers, laborers, travelers, merchants, prisoners, maidens, paupers, judges, bakers and pawnbrokers, among others. When Pope Urban II went to Bari in 1089 for the transfer of the relics of Saint Eustachius to the church, he also consecrated an altar in honor of Saint Nicholas. Malcolm Day in A Treasury of Saints chronicled how a fragrance of myrrh filled the air. Pilgrims came to enjoy it and regarded him as Patron of Perfumes, and his shrine became a center of pilgrimage in Europe. Church literature is replete with the miracles he performed to help the poor. During his time, a dowry is a must for girls to marry. A very poor father was worried about his three children doomed to poverty or prostitution for his inability to produce a dowry for them. The generous Nicholas, under the cover of the dark night, threw three bags of gold coins in the open window for their dowry. The third time he did it the father saw him and the story spread. In a pilgrimage to Holy Land a storm threatened to wreck a vessel with three terrified sailors. Nicholas prayed and rescued the sailors. His kind deed spread and he was named the patron of sailors and voyagers. On December 6, his feast day, his image is taken out to the sea on a boat and returned

Russian icon depicting Saint Nicholas with scenes from his life. Late 1400s or early 1500s. National Museum, Stockholm, Sweden. Wikimedia Commons

in the evening with a torchlight procession as patron saint of mariners. In France a story is told of how he saved three small children who were captured by an evil butcher. He rescued the children and returned them to their families. While traveling in Athens, he stopped at an inn for the night. He dreamt that the innkeeper murdered three theology students and hid their remains in a tub. After praying, he called the innkeeper who showed the tub. And the saint restored the students to life. The first story, which made him famous as a protector of children happened in Myra. On the eve of a feast day, a bond of Arab pirates took Basilio and made him a cupbearer of the Emir. On the following year’s festivity, Nicholas returned the boy to his parents after blessing him. Since then, he became known as a protector of children. Even in death, his face as a patron of the needy flourished. In the cathedral where he was buried, a unique relic formed on his grave. Called “Manna”, it healed people who touched it.

Saint Nicholas; Modernized

In the 11th century, a custom of distributing sweets to children on December 6, the Eve of his feastday, originated. A folklore in Nor thern Germany transformed him to Weihnachtsmann, the man Klaus of Christmas Eve or Father Christmas. Although the Reformation in Europe during the 1500 stopped the practice of honoring saints, Santa Claus remained an important historical figure. When the Dutch Protestants arrived in New Amsterdam (New York) in the 17th century, they brought with them Sint Nikolaas/Sinterklaas, the tradition of gift giving, as part of Christmas holiday. In 1822 Dr. Clement Clark Moore, a professor at New York’s Seminary, wrote: “A visit from Saint Nicholas. He was the first to describe him as a jolly old man whose round belly shook when he laughs, Ho… ho… ho…” Thomas Nast a German cartoonist used Moore’s description in drawing Santa Claus. Harper’s Weekly published Nast’s Santa, which today is the model used to depict him. American writers invented his riding on a sleigh with reindeers from the North Pole, coming to houses through the chimneys and leaving gifts under the Christmas tree. Santiago is a former regional director of the Department of Education National Capital Region. She is currently a faculty member of Mater Redemptoris College in Calauan, Laguna.

French Carmelite monk Fr. Marie-Eugene who visited PHL beatified A Carmelite monk, who laid the cornerstone in the 1960s of what is known today as the National Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Broadway, Quezon City, was beatified on November 19 in Avignon, France. Venerable Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus, OCD, a French national, visited the Philippines twice in his capacity as Vicar General of the Discalced Carmelites and even tried crossing the treacherous Lamon Bay in Infanta, Quezon, to visit the Carmelite mission on Polillo Island in Quezon. For a time, the Prelature of Infanta was under the Carmelite bishops, notably Bishops Patrick Harmon Shanley, OCD, from February 17, 1953, until his resignation in June 23, 1961; Bishop Julio Xavier Labayen, OCD, from July 26, 1966, until he retired on June 28, 2003; and the assumption of Bishop Rolando Octavus Joven Tria Tirona, OCD, from June 28, 2003, until his appointment as Archbishop of Caceres on September 8, 2013. Beatification is a step toward canonization, permitting public veneration.

The boy who dreamt to be a priest

Fr. Marie-Eugene was born on December

2, 1894, in a mining town in southwestern France. Baptized Henri Grialou, he dreamed of becoming a priest even as a child. The family had meager resources. His father Auguste Grialou died unexpectedly and his mother Marie Miral was left to take care of their five children. The young Grialou, barely 11 years old, accepted a scholarship that brought him to a seminary run by a religious congregation in Italy. His separation from his mother was painful for both of them, and after a few years, Grialou returned to his family, now determined to work and save enough money to pursue his religious studies. His mother took on odd jobs to support his studies in the seminary. As a seminarian, Grialou discovered the life of then-Sister Therese of the Child Jesus, who is now a saint. World War I disrupted his studies at the seminary and by the end of the war, he held the rank of lieutenant and prospects of a brilliant military career beckoned to the young officer. He declined, went back to the seminary, and was ordained priest on February 4, 1922. Despite his mother’s objections, Fr. Grialou entered the Carmelite novitiate. He then

Filipinos witness the beatification rites of Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus at Parc de exhibition in Avignon, France, on November 19. CBCPNEWS

changed his name to Fr. Marie-Eugene of the Child Jesus upon donning the Carmelite habit.

Founder of Notre Dame de Vie

At the start of his ministry, Fr. Marie-Eugene

began spreading the teachings of Carmelite saints and wrote books with special emphasis on the integration of prayer and action in daily life. He wrote the book titled Je Veux Voir Dieu, which is known

in its two-volume English translation as I Want to See God and I am a Daughter of the Church. The French text has since been translated into six other languages. Fr. Marie-Eugene was convinced that Carmelite spirituality can be lived by all Christians whatever their profession or status in life. So he founded the  Notre Dame de Vie Secular Institute in 1932 together with Marie Pila. Initially, it was a secular institute for women. Today it consists of laypersons, priests and married couples working in five continents. The priests are mostly diocesan while the laypersons work in various professions. Filipino members work in Bulacan, Zambales, Manila, Quezon, Laguna, Camarines Nor te, Camarines Sur and Davao. Some are also in Taiwan, Canada, Mexico and Benin. At the time of his death in 1967, Fr. Marie-Eugene was the Provincial of the Carmelite monasteries of Avignon-Aquitaine in Southern France. Pope Benedict XVI proclaimed him Venerable in 2011 and earlier this year, Pope Francis approved the inexplicable healing

of a child attributed to his intercession.

PH delegation at beatification

The Philippines was represented during the beatification rites of Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene at the Parc de Expositions in Avignon, France. Infanta Bishop Bernardino Cor tes led the delegation together with Daet Bishop Emeritus Benjamin Almoneda. Fr. Aldrin Lopez. The Ladies Branch superior Juliet Garan led the Notre Dame de Vie Institute congregation. Representing Pope Francis, Cardinal Angelo Amato, Prefect of the Congregation for the Causes of Saints, presided over the beatification rites. Infanta, Quezon, was one of the places Blessed Fr. Marie-Eugene visited in the Philippines. Established in 1950, the Roman Catholic Territorial Prelature of Infanta was headed by three Carmelite bishops in succession. Cortes was once Auxiliary Bishop of Manila prior to his appointment as the first non-Carmelite Ordinary of Infanta. Melo M. Acuña/CBCPNews

Tourism&Entertainment BusinessMirror

Editor: Carla Mortel-Baricaua

Sunday, December 4, 2016


Your search for Camelot begins

and ends in Bournemouth


Story & photos by Recto Mercene

ournemouth and Edinburgh are but two of the many English words often mispronounced.

A view of the Bournemouth’s East Cliff from the pier

A Scot I met recently in London told me that many Englishmen pronounced Scotland’s capital as Eden-boro. Scots, he said, prefer it Eden-bra. But never Eden-borgh, as many Filipinos and other nationalities would say it. Bournemouth is pronounced Born-moth, not born-mouth (yes the winged animal, not the orifice). The point I am trying to get is that if you ever visit London, spare two days or three and drop by Bournemouth. It is probably the Camelot of Arthurian legend in Great Britain. Many writers have mistaken Camelot sometimes with real cities, though, more usually, its precise location is not revealed. Most scholars regard it as being entirely fictional. It made into a movie of the same title, with King Arthur (Richard Harris) and his Queen Guinevere (Vanessa Redgrave) as lead stars. The dashing and stalwart Lancelot (Franco Nero) became a member of the fabled Round Table, but soon finds himself enraptured by the lovely Guinevere, resulting in a ménage à troi. Bournemouth geography seems perfect for “Camelot, located nowhere in particular, [but] can be anywhere,” the blurb says. Arguments about the location of the “real Camelot” have occurred since the 15th century and continue to rage today in popular works and for tourism purposes. Fret no more. Bournemouthcum-Camelot is real. It is a seaside resort on the southern coast of England. It is known for its 7 miles of beaches, Victorian architecture and buzzing nightlife. The resort is also home to Bournemouth Pier, now a

center of activity with an obstacle course, a climbing wall, a zip line and coffee shops. The 3-kilometerlong Bournemouth Gardens offers rock gardens, an aviary and plant species from three continents. I was in London in autumn this year and visited Bournemouth, trying to relive my days as a Colombo student, sent by the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines to specialize in air-traffic control decades ago. This year I took a bus from London and covered the 129-mile (207-km) distance to Bournemouth in two-and-a-half hours. From the bus stop, I walked to my hotel in a slight drizzle, I didn’t even deign to cover my head. Then I overheard the reaction of an Englishman, who also came to visit, commenting about the weather. “It’s pouring rain outside. It’s horrible!” he complained to the hotel clerk. This guy’s comment, I was told, is common from those pampered by Bournemouth’s temperate clime. I wonder how he would react if caught by our tropical downpour. I bet he might conclude Noah’s deluge had come. There is no more appropriate time to fly to London than these days, when the price of fuel is at its lowest. There’s stiff competition among airlines. Airfares have dropped dramatically. Also, the exchange rate of the pound versus the peso is at its lowest in years, currently trading at P62 for every £1. In June 2016 the rate was £69 to P1 and in October it was £59.7 to P1.  Legacy carrier Philippine Airlines (PAL) resumed its flight to London in 2014, after an absence

of 15 years. PAL’s Manila-London non stop flights serve as direct link between the Philippines and Europe. The Manila-London flights are mounted between the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Terminal 2 (Naia 2) and the Terminal 4 of Heathrow Airport. If you surf the Internet, you’ll find bargain prices at very affordable prices. This year PAL offered introductory fares to London, charging $442, equivalent to about P19,385, for a one-way ManilaLondon economy flight. Businessclass seats were sold for an all-in price of $1,292, or about P56,655. There are 250,000 Filipino residents in London, and a recent survey found that there are 300 languages spoken in Greater London.   From London, take the bus or train at the Victoria Station. The cost is £35 one way, (the train cost £100 one way, about P6,200), but the ultramodern bus will whisk you away in pampered comfort. The vehicle is equipped with collisionavoidance system (CAS), the same safety feature of modern jetliners, plus a vacuum-operated toilet at the back of the bus.  Your visit would be rewarded by finding yourself transported to the Victorian age, surrounded by many of the remaining red brick buildings and churches common to that era. There are modern altars to conspicuous consumption, too. Debenhams, Marks & Spencer, Beales, Zara, H&M, Russel and Bromley, (selling the most mouthwatering lines of shoes for men and women). The Bournemouth Library occupies an entire block, and the Bournemouth International Center is host to pop concerts, conferences and exhibitions throughout the year. There are bookshops and oases of al-fresco cafés jostling alongside restaurants, boutiques and department stores. Bournemouth proper is a small place, and everything that you might wish to see are within walking distance. Most areas frequented by tourists and locals have been pedestrianized. The faux cobble stones of red, orange and yellow bricks are smooth and ideal for walking. Bournemouth offers some 250 top-quality restaurants, serving not only local produce but some of the best seafood in Britain. Once you decide to go, the Internet will direct you to Bournemouth’s wealth of accommodations, from cozy bed and breakfast to boutique-style hotels and self-catering mom-and pop-homes. There’s something for everyone. The center of the town is dominated by the Lower and Central Gardens, an oasis of calm and meditation. Stretching from the seafront up through the town to

Mallard and other wildbirds seek the warmer climate of Bournemoth.

the borough boundary with Poole, the gardens are approximately 3 km in length. Bournemouth Gardens is among the 1,600 listed in Historic England Register of Historic Parks and Gardens. Stretching from the iconic Bournemouth Pier toward the city center, the garden is populated by wild ducks, pigeons and various species of seabirds freely mingling with people.  The lower gardens start at the seafront and are very popular, hosting a range of events and attractions throughout the year, such as bandstand concerts, candlelight nights and art exhibitions.  Don’t be surprised if you find a preponderance of senior citizens, husband and wife, hands clasped together, mingling with the crowd. They’re having tea, shopping, or sunning themselves in the parks and lawns. Many of the seniors also roam the streets in wheelchairs. This place is retirement haven and many Englishmen and foreigners, have chosen to live their remaining days here. Thomas Hardy, a Victorian novelist and poet of the 18th  century, describes Bournemouth as; “a glittering novelty”, .“a  Mediterranean  lounging place in the  English Channel”, and “a fascinating, pine-scented phenomenon.” The scent of pine is gone, like those in Baguio City, but the huge pine trees remain as landmarks, as well as Saint Peter’s Church (1879), the Merton Russell-Cotes Museum and the Bournemouth Pier. The Pier is not, in any way, like our piers, as you might imagine, having been accustomed to the home of roll-on, roll-off boats, such as Batangas Pier, Dalahican Pier in Lucena City or Boracay Pier and the South Harbor. “Located in the most vibrant and cosmopolitan town on the south coast, surrounded by some of the UK’s most beautiful beaches. Bournemouth Pier is set in between 7 miles of smooth sand and crystalline water,” goes the tourist blurb. “Bournemouth Pier offers a great variety of attractions for all ages, whatever the weather, providing a fun day out all year round.” It keeps me wondering

Davao eyes Japanese women tourists


avao City has everything going for it in competing as a world-class female tourist destination, targeting particularly Japan’s joshi tabi market. Such is the reason the Department of Tourism (DOT) Mindanao Office Order, created by Secretary Wanda Corazon T. Teo, a former travel agency executive who dedicated a lifetime in promoting international and domestic tourism in Davao City. In line with this objective, Teo tasked Assistant Secretary Eden David, head of the DOT Mindanao Office, and Tourist Attaché to Tokyo Gwen Batoon to organize joshi tabi tour packages.  David said Davao City strongly banks on its lush greenery, rich biodiversity, pristine beaches, exotic gourmet and amenities for wellness services in offering all-female Japanese tour packages. The success of a familiarization tour held last week in Davao City participated in by least 12 major Japanese travel executives and bloggers boded well for DOT joshi tabi program.  “Davao City’s soothing tranquillity, oneness with nature, isolated beaches, Class-A wellness services, particularly massage and beauty care ,and the native cuisine may prove to be irresist-

Members of the Japanese media and tour operators enjoy Eden Nature Park in Davao City.

ible attractions to Japanese women,” Batoon said. The fam-tour group, which included three Tokyo-based women executives, particularly enjoyed the visits at the Malagos Garden, where they mingled with exotic birds. At the honeymooners’ paradise, Pearl Farm Beach Resort in nearby Samal Island, they pampered themselves with gourmet and massage services. Batoon stressed that women travelers are an important travel segment, citing a 2016 Japan Tourism Marketing Co. research that

At the Fil-Jap fellowship night

says 60 percent of women make travel decisions by themselves. The Tourism Attaché said Japanese women travelers are likely to come to the Philippines for its multigateway destination, providing easy access to both urban and natural attractions, and the Filipino’s uniquely warm hospitality. “It seems more reasonable for Japanese travelers in general to fly low-cost carriers to the Philippines and stay here in a luxury hotel with luxury amenities,” Batoon added,

saying that the Philippines has largely been undiscovered to date, with its more than 7,000 islands and the increasing number of high-end shopping malls, resorts and spas in the country. Japan is the Philippines’s fourth-biggest source of inbound tourists, with already more than 360,000 arrivals for the second quarter of this year. In 2015 Japanese arrivals to the country counted more than 490,000, generating 9.25 percent of the total market share.

A view of the shopping district

why, for all the placidity of Manila Bay most days of the years, our tycoon can’t build such a pier as those found in Bournemouth, San Francisco and Los Angeles. They are all money-makers. For such a limited space, these piers are all crammed with a variety of entertainment; fishing, outdoor sports, restaurants, coffee shops and the latest craze, zip lines. Pier 39 in San Francisco, once a mooring place for ocean going ships is now a bustling bayside pier featuring scenic views, sea-lion sightings, eateries, shops and entertainment. The pier in Santa Monica California has been abandoned by ships and now hosts several restaurants and coffee shops. Bournemouth is such a pier now. Constructed at a cost of £2,600 (a princely sum in the olden days) the Pier was opened by the Lord Mayor of London in August 1880. It was actually used for ships’ moorings for more than a century until the advent of jetliners. Ships then sometimes compete to reach the pier first, coming from the Isle of Wight or across the English Channel from France. Thousands of residents would fill the deck of the pier waiting for the arrival of the winner, followed by celebration. I think one of the other reasons to drop by in Bournemouth these days is not only to savor a vanished age but to get a taste of modern amenities, too. Here, prices of the same consumer goods are lower than in London.  Here’s a tip: Bring as little clothing as possible when you visit so that you could cram in your luggage all the goodies you bought at rock-bottom prices. For example, I discovered that Clarks shoes on sale in Bournemouth for  £28 (P1,736 at the rate of £62 per 1P) goes for P7,998 at Clark outlets in Metro Manila. The allure of Bournemouth comes from the fact that its city fathers designed the place to be so kind to its inhabitants. It was founded in 1810, the Victorian age, (1837-1901), which is London’s Golden Age, defined as “a long period of peace, prosperity, ‘refined sensibilities’ and national self-con-

fidence for Britain.” “Before it was founded in 1810 by Lewis Tregonwell, the area was a deserted heathland occasionally visited by fishermen and smugglers. Initially marketed as a health resort, the town received a boost when it appeared in Dr. Granville’s book, The Spas of England,” Wikipedia said. “The town center has notable Victorian architecture and the 202-foot (62-meter) spire of Saint Peter’s Church, one of three Grade I listed churches in the borough, is a local landmark. Bournemouth’s location has made it a popular destination for tourists, attracting over 5 million visitors annually with its beaches and popular nightlife.” The  Merton Russell-Cotes Museum was built  in 1901 and can lay claim to being one of the very last genuinely Victorian houses. Its owner,  Sir Merton RussellCotes, was Mayor of Bournemouth. Russel-Cotes was a Bournemouth hotelier. He traveled the world with his wife to collect paintings, sculpture and artefacts, then sending them home by the boatload. And when his Royal Bath Hotel was crammed full of his treasures, he built a private house and a public gallery, which is now the museum.   Visitors to the museum would marvel at the sheer volume of collections the couple gathered from all over the world. What you see here is only a small part of his vast collections, which are housed in a separate warehouse, the museum’s attendant told me. Traveling on steam ships then, he and his wife had been to all the continents and his vast wealth, (which the museum brochure said was of mysterious origin), enabled him to buy Chinese antiques, African ivory, Grecian vases and marble sculptures, a Spanish armor called “Morion”, silver Indian incense burner shaped like an elephant, various huge paintings and anything worth the collector’s eye. Russel-Cotes did it at a time when wealthy Englishmen and other collectors scoured the world for priceless antiques and collectibles. 

Huma Mediterranean Cuisine opens at S Maison Mall


ollowing the successful opening of AL Fairuz Lebanese Cuisine in SM City— Clark earlier this year, owners of Huma Island Resort & Spa Palawan, wasted no time in preparing to open its first fine-dining restaurant in the Philippines. Offering a wider variety of dishes from the Mediterranean, Huma Mediterranean Cuisine is at the upscale S Maison Mall in Marina Way at the Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City. With a vision of having simple, fresh and natural dishes, doctor and businessman Dr. Hamad Al Tuwaijri and his wife Louisa Al Chaer, the owners, decided to invest and open a series of Lebanese and Mediterranean restaurants around the Philippines. Mediterranean cuisine is one of the most versatile menus one will ever come across. It goes back to Ancient Egypt civilization, so that it is generally believed to be the “food of the gods”. It’s a collection of many cultural, both traditional

and modern culinary practices. Huma Mediterranean Cuisine serves healthy dishes using authentic and fresh spices, traditionally prepared by its culinary team headed by Lebanese chefs. Its well-designed interiors reflect the rich culture of the countries around the Mediterranean Sea, giving guests a feeling that they have just set foot in a Mediterranean country. A perfect canvas that completes the ambiance is the Manila Bay, providing the unobstructed view of the sea. Huma Mediterranean Cuisine is rich in dishes that use olive oil, vegetables, fruits and seafood, which makes Mediterranean cuisine that smart choice for those wanting to eat delicious and healthy food. In addition to Huma Mediterranean Cuisine in S Maison and Al Fairuz restaurant in SM City Clark, other branches will be opening soon at SM Dasmarinas, SM Manila, SM BF Parañaque and SM Seaside Cebu.

A8 Sunday, December 4, 2016




ERENA WILLIAMS has penned an open letter calling out what she sees as double standards faced by women in sports. The 22-time Grand Slam champion writes that women “are constantly reminded” they aren’t men. She said people call her one of the “world’s greatest female athletes,” but noted that male athletes, such as LeBron James, Roger Federer and Tiger Woods, aren’t described by their gender. Williams says the equal pay issue frustrates her because women “have done the same work and made the same sacrifices as our male counterparts.” She said women “must continue to dream big” to “empower the next generation of women to be just as bold in their pursuits.” The letter was published in Porter Magazine and republished by British newspaper The Guardian. AP  



ONDON—A hot line set up in response to sex-abuse claims in British soccer has taken more than 860 calls in its first week. The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said it made 60 referrals to the police or children’s services within the first three days of the hot line’s launch. NSPCC chief executive Peter Wanless said, “We have had a staggering surge in calls to our football hot line, which reveals the worrying extent of abuse that had been going on within the sport.” Former professional players have been speaking publicly over the last two weeks about the ordeals they went through as youngsters at the hands of coaches. Fifteen police forces are investigating allegations of child sex abuse in soccer. AP



RVING, Texas—A person familiar with the negotiations says Major League Baseball and its players’ union agreed to ban smokeless tobacco for all new big leaguers. The person spoke on condition of anonymity on Wednesday night, because the ban is among the details of the sport’s new collective bargaining agreement that have not been announced. The ban does not apply to any player who already has at least one day of major-league service. In addition, several cities have banned the use of smokeless tobacco in ballparks, including Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, and Washington, D.C. The Milwaukee City Council approved a ban last week. In the minor leagues, where players are not unionized, smokeless tobacco has been banned since 1993. As part of the 2012 to 2016 labor agreement, the union agreed that players may not carry tobacco packages and tins in their back pockets when fans are permitted in the ballpark, and players may not use tobacco during pregame or postgame interviews, and at team functions. AP 


Phoenix Fuel Masters Paolo Bugia, Willie Wilson, Doug Kramer, Coach Ariel Vangardia and ​S​imon Enciso pose during a meet-and-greet event​​with the top 12 finalists of the 2016 Pinoy Tsuper Hero (PTH) and 2015 grand winner Reynaldo Samonte. PTH, now on its second year, is the nationwide search​​for the Philippines’s most outstanding driver.

Sports BusinessMirror


By Brian Mahoney The Associated Press

INCE CARTER is no longer the National Basketball Association’s (NBA) highest flyer, though he’s certainly not ready to be grounded. Once one of basketball’s most ferocious dunkers who put opponents on posters long before there were Internet Vines, he can no longer rely just on his athleticism. Nearing 40 years old, the guy who famously put his arm through the rim while winning a dunk contest now often plays below it. Like everyone who wants to keep playing toward middle age, it’s about the mind now as much as the legs. “That’s how I was able to stay around this long, is just, I learned the game,” Carter said. “Not being able to play. Everybody can play basketball, but learning the ins and outs of the game is what has kept me around.” Same with Manu Ginobili in San Antonio, Jason Terry in Milwaukee, Paul Pierce in Los Angeles and Dirk Nowitzki in Dallas, who follow Carter as the oldest players in the NBA this season. “Basketball is a game a lot of people don’t understand,” Terry said. “When you are not as athletically gifted, you still have your brain. I learned from none other than Jason Kidd.” Terry plays for Kidd now, but they were teammates in Dallas when the Mavericks won the 2011 NBA title. Kidd by then was well past his dynamic days as a nightly triple-double threat, a guy who burst into the league with everything but a reliable jumper and left it at 40 ranked third in career three-pointers. “As I got older, the speed limit started coming into effect. Instead of going 55, I could only go 45,” Kidd said. “But, you know, when things started to go a little bit slower, you got to see things a lot better. For me, things were a lot clearer. As you get older, that’s the best time to get better at the game. You can always learn, you can always do something different. For me it was shooting the ball. If I wanted to play for a while I needed to make an outside shot.” Michael Jordan and Kobe Bryant made similar transitions, outworking and outsmarting opponents when they could no longer just outplay them. Now Carter, who will turn 40 on January 26 and ranks in the top 25 in career points and games played, does the same in Memphis—where he surpassed Jordan this season as the oldest player to score 20 points off the bench. Like Jordan, he played at North Carolina for “the mastermind, Dean Smith,” as Carter called him, where even as a teenager he was being prepared for how he would need to play 20 years later. “So he taught us how to learn the game, how to take


VINCE CARTER: Everybody can play basketball, but learning the ins and outs of the game is what has kept me around. AP

your abilities and dominate to the best of your ability,” Carter said. “And with that being said, as I’ve gotten older, just the little things that we tend to not want to do as a young guy stuck with me, as far as just the little things that we say a lot of guys make mistakes on.” Carter acknowledges tiring of the endless “play the right way” mantra preached at Chapel Hill, but now he lives it. He can’t just jump over players like he did to Frederic Weis in the 2000 Olympics , though he quickly earned the trust of first-time coach David Fizdale, who had Carter on the floor defending 21-year-old Andrew Wiggins to spark the Grizzlies’ comeback victory over Minnesota in their season opener. “Again, I’ve said this before, I don’t put limitations on anyone because of age, whether it’s youth or because they’re one of the elder statesmen,” Fizdale said. “Vince Carter, he’s a veteran, he’s a professional, he stays in shape. I always remind people he was the best athlete in the NBA, so his falloff athletically isn’t the same as an average athlete’s falloff.” Dallas Coach Rick Carlisle said the key for players who are effective into their mid- to late-30s is their work ethic, and he marvels at what the 38-year-old Nowitzki puts himself through to keep playing on legs that support his 7-foot frame, particularly in this season when he’s battled an injured Achilles tendon. Medical enhancements have helped, with teams providing such improvements for their players that Mavericks owner Mark Cuban believes young players entering the league now should be able to play into their 40s if they have the talent. “When I first got to the NBA, taking care of your health meant not eating Twinkies before a game,” Cuban said. “Guys would smoke cigarettes, they’d drink, there would be beer—people sometimes would have a beer at halftime. There literally were bars in locker rooms. Things have changed. “The things that we let players do 15 years ago that created inflammation and created orthopedic issues in their bodies, we know not to do as much anymore.” Carter has prolonged his career by becoming a reserve for the last five seasons, and by resisting the urge to create the spectacular highlights that made him the leading votegetter to the All-Star Game four times. The Grizzlies say he’s questionable to play Wednesday in Toronto, his first NBA home, after hurting his hip on Monday. He still gets the Internet buzzing—and occasionally surprises himself—with some vintage Vinsanity, but mostly skips the unnecessary risks to preserve his body to get through the long NBA season. And how many more after this? “I don’t know yet,” he said. “I’m still flying. It’s not time yet.”


HAPECO, Brazil—Six players, a handful of support staff and deep sorrow are all that remain of Brazil’s Chapecoense soccer club. They will still try to play again. Because they know that’s what their 19 teammates, who died on Monday when a charter plane ripped into an Andean mountainside, would want them to do. “In the memory of those who died and to honor their families, we will rebuild this club from scratch so it is even stronger,” club director and local businessman Cecilio Hans said. “We had material assets and human assets. Now we’ve lost nearly all of our human assets.” Other clubs in Brazil’s top league are offering to loan players to Chapecoense, with a proposal that the modest

club in deep southern Brazil is guaranteed to stay in the top division for the next three years. “The club will rebuild, I am sure,” said Walter Feldman, secretary-general of the Brazilian Football Confederation. “Eight clubs have already called me to offer concrete, material solidarity. We are studying ways to best help.” The crash occurred as the team was on its way to the opening game of the two-leg Copa Sudamericana final— the No. 2 tournament on the continent. Only three players survived, and all are recovering at a hospital in Colombia: defender Helio Zampier, commonly known as Neto, defender-midfielder Alan Ruschel and goalkeeper Jakson Follmann, whose right leg had to be amputated on Tuesday. At the time they expected to be home watching their team on TV, more than 22,000 Chapecoense fans were at the Arena Conda to cheer, cry, watch videos of tributes coming from all over the world and attend a Catholic Mass. They celebrated the Copa Sudamericana title they hope to share with Atletico Nacional. They used a song created by Atletico fans: “May they hear/all over the continent/ that we will never forget/the champions of Chapecoense.” With the families of the victims on the center of the pitch, fans chanted the names of the players one by one and celebrated 5-year-old Carlos

Miguel, the club’s mascot that many in the city feared to be in the crashed plane. Dressed like a Chapeco indian, Carlos waved to the crowd in tears as the stadium’s big screen showed messages like “heroes” and “forcachape” (be strong, Chape). The few staffers and players who didn’t travel circulated the pitch as fans cheered. Chape, as the team is called locally, reached the top of South American soccer without any superstars—no highprofile players from Brazil’s celebrated national team. It was in Brazil’s fourth division just seven years ago, climbing into the first division by 2014. Now it starts the climb again, and this one is even steeper. Goalkeeper Marcelo Boeck said he and several players had deals to leave the club new one next year. He said they’re reconsidering. “We know this is a different moment, and we are part of it,” he said. “We hope we can help rebuild in the memory of our team.” The rebuilding could start on December 11, the date scheduled for the final round of league matches in the top Brazilian league. Games have been called off this weekend for a period of mourning. Chapecoense’s acting President Ivan Tozzo told reporters on Wednesday the club hopes to play that match against Atletico Mineiro using a primarily junior team. After that match, there is uncertainty over Chapecoense’s future. If the team is awarded the Copa Sudamericana tittle—like its final opponent Atletico Nacional proposed—it would qualify for next year’s Copa Libertadores, the Champions League of South America which begins in February. Chapecoense guaranteed its place in the Brazilian first division for next season, and it is also scheduled

to defend its Catarina state title in the regional championship starting in January. Data analyst Victor Hugo, one of the key assistants to Coach Caio Junior, who died in the crash, said very little remains. “We have a couple of doctors, two physiotherapists, two locker-room staffers, one nurse, one masseur, one goalie coach and me,” he said, speaking at Arena Conda. Hugo said the staff members and six players not selected for the big match in Colombia—some because of injury, others because of the coach’s decision—are trying to cope with the tragedy. “That disappointment over not being chosen to be there was quickly replaced by that horrible mixture of grief, and with some relief just to be alive,” he said. “That will stick with us forever.” Argentine midfielder Alejandro Martinuccio was injured and didn’t travel. He spent on Tuesday answering concerned calls and comforting friends and family of the Chapecoense players. “I am not religious, so this is even more difficult,” Martinuccio said. “I am so sorry that this beautiful story is going to end like this.” Veteran goalkeeper Nivaldo was not selected so he could prepare for his 300th game with the club on Sunday against Atletico Mineiro in the last game of the Brazilian league season. After the accident, the 42-year-old goalkeeper said he would retire immediately, but now he wants to play in the last game to honor his fallen teammates. “My teammates would want us to play that match,” a teary and emotional Nivaldo said. “I just don’t know how I could stand a full stadium with people calling the name of the players [who] died. We will have to try, I think. But that is going to be hard.” AP


A9 Sunday, December 4, 2016 • Editor: Efleda P. Campos


55 old houses in one home in Bataan A boat ride with a view of the Roman Catholic Church


By Joey Pavia | Correspondent Photos by Ric Gonzales

AGAC, Bataan­—At least 55 old houses, one of which was constructed in 1744, are reconstructed at the resort here to highlight a prominent businessman’s love for the arts, culture and heritage of the country. Panoramic view of the Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar Heritage and Convention Center in Bagac, Bataan

Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar (The Philippine Houses of Acuzar) sits on a 400-hectare property facing the West Philippine Sea, and is owned by New San Jose Builders Inc. Chairman Jose Rizalino Acuzar, who decided to collect houses established during the Spanish Colonial era to the pre-World War II period. “Acuzar noticed during his travels to other countries that the local population values their respective” culture,

Casa Majayjay

arts and heritage. It’s not the same in the Philippines. So he decided to do Las Casas and put the houses in one area,” head tour guide Dexter Manansala said to Central Luzon-based journalists during a tour at Las Casas on November 24. “Acuzar said he will restore houses at La Casas as long as he can,” he added. So far, only 26 hectares of the huge land was used for the houses and other amenities. A tour of Las Casa includes sto-

rytelling about the people who lived and dwelled in the houses. “Las Casas Filipinas is not just about the showcase of these colonial houses. It is about the people behind these houses that gives it importance, the stories behind these houses, the kind of life Filipinos had during those times,” a brief about the old houses said. “The heroism, the daily toil, the anecdotes that make up the histories behind these houses. Sometimes, it is about the discoveries in the process of transferring these houses is where the story lies,” it said.

The houses from Pampanga

AT least four of the old houses at Las Casas here were transferred from Pampanga. The houses were from the towns of Candaba, San Luis, Santa Rita and Lubao. In 1961 National Artist for Film Jerry de Leon used Casa Candaba as one

Casa Lubao constructed in 1920

of the settings for the movie Noli Me Tangere. The film was adapted from a novel of Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero. The mansion was originally owned by the Reyes family, one of the richest families in Pampanga during the late 18th century. The house—also known as Casa Bato (rock)— served as the residence of the Spanish Governor General when visiting Pampanga. The house, one of the biggest in the complex, was transferred to Las Casas in 2014. Casa Lubao is the “youngest” among the houses at Las Casas, located about an hour-and-a-half drive from the City of San Fernando, Pampanga. It was constructed in the heart of the town in 1920, a plantation house built by Valentin Arrastia and Francisco Salgado. The house known for its wideopen windows was acquired after World War II by Juanita Arrastia

and her husband, Dr. Wenceslao Vitug. Arrastia and Vitug sent their poor young neighbor, Diosdado Macapagal, to school. Macapagal later became a president of the Philippines. Macapagal’s mother volunteered to be a househelp to the Vitug couple to express her gratitude to them.

The other houses

CASA Majayjay in Laguna was built in 1744. Its restoration at Las Casas is set to be completed this year. The oldest and one of the most prestigious houses in the complex, it used to be occupied by “money lenders with a heart and Indios loaded with gold.” The Casa Hagonoy (Bulacan) has a “love story that went sour.” It was said a young man fell in love with a pretty lass. The woman agreed to marry the man if he would build a big house for them. She also wanted expensive jewelry. The man

Casa Hagonoy

granted her wish, but they eventually suffered the consequences —they died poor. At least 70 percent of the original materials of Casa Hagonoy were transferred to the complex. Other houses were done with less 50 percent of the original materials recovered. Erwin Dona III, director of brand marketing of Las Casas, said Acuzar is now looking for old houses to buy in the Visayas. Most of the houses were from the Luzon and none from the Visayas. It has one from Mindanao —the Casa Maranao which was the house of a datu or sultan. The Las Casas Filipinas De Acuzar Heritage and Convention Center, regarded as the first heritage complex by the sea, is now targeting tourists from Pampanga and Bulacan. Starting December 1, it will offer stress-free travel from pickup points in Bulacan and Pampanga.

A10 Sunday, December 4, 2016

RegionsSunday BusinessMirror

Editor: Efleda P. Campos •

New Quezon province police chief sees drug menace his top priority


Story & photos by John Bello Correspondent

AMP NAKAR, Lucena City­—As he returns home to his own city as the top policeman in Quezon province, he has a mouthful to say in implementing and maintaining peace and order for the police chiefs in 39 towns and two cities in the province. “Always observe the code of ethical standards, have teamwork and coordination in any police operations, avoid jealousy and intrigue, provide easy access to the community you serve, accomplish your task with passion and not only for compliance and always render service with a smile,” Police Senior Supt. Roderick Armamento, newly installed acting police provincial director, told the seated police chiefs at the conference hall here in mixed Filipino and English during the turnover of the command ceremony on Thursday. He replaced Senior Supt. Antonio Yarra, who served his mandate at the Quezon Police Provincial Office (QPPO) for only over four months since his assumption in July. The change of command ceremony was presided by Police Senior Supt. Timoteo Pacleb, deputy regional director for administration in Calabarzon. Armamento said his marching order from Police Director Gen. Ronald M. dela Rosa is to focus on high-value criminal targets, especially on illegal drugs, and sternly reminded the police chiefs: “Huwag na huwag kayong papatol sa droga,” said Armamento, who, in his late 20s, led vigorous antidrugs operations in 1996. Some 20 years ago, he led police intelligence and operations divisions of the Lucena City police station. Now, at 48, Armamento is at the helm of the QPPO, and along with his 1,646 policemen in Quezon province, is faced with the problem of dealing with 39,000 drug dependents in 627 drug-affected barangays out of the 1,242 barangays in the whole province. They are also saddled with the responsibility of rehabilitating 13,670 drug users and 1,413 drug pushers in the province who have voluntarily surrendered to the police from July up to last month. On November 22 the police bagged Sahjid Alcala, son of Cerilo Alcala, in a drug buy-bust operation in Barangay Balubal, Sariaya town. Sahjid was among five other suspects who are supposedly members of the reported Alcala Drug Group spearheaded by the father-son tandem.

Confiscated from Sahjid were 62.3 grams of shabu, estimated to be worth P115,255 and drug paraphelnalia at his home in Phase 2, Woodlanes Estates. The father and son surrendered to the Lucena City police on August 14, accompanied by Athel’s brother, Quezon Congressman Vicente Alcala, and nephew Lucena City Mayor Roderick Alcala. Earlier in September, Athel’s wife and daughter were arrested in a police buy-bust operation. That month the police began to roll out a new antidrugs campaign called United Stand Against Dangerous Drugs (USAD), which, it said, involves multisectoral participation and complements the police’s Project Double Barrel and “Oplan Tokhang” to suppress the drug problem in the Province. Quezon Third District provincial Board Member Vincent Dominic Reyes, Sangguniang Panglalawigan (SP) chairman on the Committee on Peace and Order, has led a committee hearing designed to come up with a comprehensive rehabilitation program for all drug dependents of the province and enable them to get back to normal life. “We are trying to get all views from the different stakeholders on how we can come up with a rehabilitation program in our province to help in the effort of the national government under President Duterte in its fight against illegal drugs in the country,” Reyes said at the Bulwagang Kalilayan here during the SP committee hearing. On October 26, also in the same venue, a drug summit was held in which USAD was formally launched and participants from various sectors—Philippine National Police, military, non-governmental organizations and officials of the provincial government, led by Gov. David Suarez—signed a manifesto of commitment and support for the antidrug program. Suarez said USAD is a locally conceptualized program in Quezon and has not been adopted in any other province in the country. “This program was conceptualized by Quezonians caring for their province to have a better future which is a clean, safe and

PARTICIPANTS in the drug summit sign their commitment of support for “Oplan Double Barrel”, “Tokhang” and United Stand Against Dangerous Drugs at the Bulwagang Kalilayan in Lucena City.

MORE than 1,300 drug addicts and pushers voluntarily surrendered to the police at the Punzalan Gym in Lucena City.

NEWLY installed Police Senior Supt. Roderick Armamento, Quezon police director

CERILO Alcala and son Sahjid walk to the Lucena police station for their surrender.

drug-freeprovince,” Suarez said in his speech before the participants. Juanito Diaz, executive assistant to Suarez, suggested all the peace-and-order councils in every municipality of the province should adopt USAD and come up with their own budget for its antidrugs rehabilitation programs and activities. “The challenge is on the categorization of the drug surrenderees, which could not all be committed to a drug-rehabilitation center so paramenters are needed in the re-

Barangay Against Drug Abuse Council as it is more familiar of the drug problems in the barangay level. Lionel Dalope, Quezon provincial director of the Department of the Interior and Local Government, said the functionality of any antidrugs abuse council should go down to the barangay level and each town should have its own rehabilitation center to deal with the magnitude of the drug-abuse problem in Quezon. The provincial government plans

habilitation program,” Diaz said, explaining some drug dependents may only need to do community service, or undergo counselling and need not be committed to a rehabilitation center. He said the provincial government plans to set up a rehabilitation center for drug dependents in a 3-hectare lot in Calauag town. Diaz also expressed the view antidrug, activities and rehabilitation program for the province should reactivate and capacitate

to allocate funds for the establishment of two drug-rehabilitations centers for drug dependents—one in Calauag town and the other between Lucena and Tayabas cities. Armamento expressed elation 39 barangays in Pitogo town were recently declared drug-free by the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency, saying barangay drugclearing operations will be sustained by the police so that all the barangays in the whole province will finally be declared “drug-free.”

POLICE Senior Supt. Timoteo Pacleb (right), deputy regional director for administration in Calabarzon, turns over the flag of command to incoming acting Quezon Provincial Director Police Senior Supt. Roderick Armamento, while outgoing Senior Supt. Antonio Yarra looks on, at the ceremonial turnover at the Conference Room of the Quezon Police Provincial Office at Camp Nakar in Lucena City.

RegionsSunday BusinessMirror • Editor: Efleda P. Campos

Sunday, December 4, 2016 A11

War dance recalls Zambales town’s religious roots

AYTA natives clash with Christians during the Binabayani dance, which has its roots in the legendary founding of Masinloc town.

Story and photos by Henry Empeño



ASINLOC, Zambales— There is a 400-year-old legend here that recalls an epic battle between native Ayta tribesmen and Christian colonizers. The story is intertwined with the tale about how this town came to be in 1607. As the folklore goes, after the Spanish conquistador Miguel Lopez de Legazpi landed in this part of the country in the late 16th century, a fisherman found a statue floating along the shore on top of a huge bell. When the statue reached the shore of Bani, where the Spaniards first established a settlement here, the bell stopped and refused to move. So the residents tried to lift the statue up and bring it to shore, but, alas, it was so heavy they couldn’t move it, even an inch. The residents then tried every ritual they could think of. They prayed the rosary for nine days and offered the best of

their harvest, but still the statue couldn’t be moved. Then an old man thought of reenacting a war dance between Aytas and Christians, and when this was played out, the statue became so light that it was easily brought ashore. Nowadays, that statue of Saint Andrew is rightfully ensconced at the center of the Roman Catholic church here, a 16th-century Baroque edifice that stands out among Spanish-era churches in Central Luzon, because it was built with coral stone instead of the usual adobe. Local folks think the apostle had chosen Masinloc as his rightful place, and that he favored the war dance because it was his favorite game when he was young. The legend has been passed on

EDILBERTO Ebbat (right) and a young Binabayani initiate

MASINLOC patron Saint Andrew

from generation to generation of Masinloqueños ever since Capt. Florentino Elicaño, one of the earliest inhabitants of Masinloc, related the story in 1621 to his son Gerardo, who would, one day, become the town’s municipal judge.

Cultural attraction

LIKE the legend of Saint Andrew, the war dance that was named “Binabayani”, from the Zambal word for bravery, had since earned a special spot in the town’s history. Reenacted each

THE San Andres Parish Church in Masinloc, Zambales

year on November 30, the feast day of the patron saint, the dance had become a local must-see for both residents and visitors during the town fiesta. Like in the epic battle of old, the contending groups of Aytas and Christians battled it out with spears, knives and shields to the rhythm of native bamboo drums. The Christians, garbed in white outfit and sporting multi-colored headdresses, clearly contrasted with the bare-backed Aytas, their skin blackened with charcoal applied with oil. The modern version of the war dance is gendersensitive: With at least two or three women participants in each group, the ladies armed with their own spears and knives. In measured steps, the adversaries sallied back and forth, charging and defending, knives and bolos and spears clacking loudly against bamboo shields— until the natives were finally vanquished (and hence, gave way to Christianization).


“YEAR in and year out, the “Binabayani” dance is one that we look forward to. It’s a tradition we cannot do without,” said Edilberto Ebbat, 60, among those who teach the war dance to young initiates.

“This is part of our local culture,” added Ebbat, who had similarly blackened his skin and worn a headdress of coarse plant fibers for the occasion. Ebbat, who started joining the ritual dance when he was nine years old, said it is important to teach the younger generations not just the dance steps, but also the story behind the reenactment. He recalled being taught the dance by the fathers of the same kids he had since taught and made part of the team. His group is now composed of youngsters and several “oldies” like him, with the relative ages of the members spanning three generations.

Fiesta feature

AS a popular fiesta attraction, the “Binabayani dance” has now spawned the Binabayani Festival, a competition among local groups aspiring to be the best interpreter of the war dance in its annual reiterations. Vice Mayor Daddy Enciso said the contest has been initiated by the local government unit to preserve the local tradition and encourage residents to learn more about authentic local culture. “There are already two groups doing the “Binabayani” dance, but this is the original,” Enciso said,

CHRISTIAN fighters of the Binabayani dance

referring to Ebbat’s group. He said Ebbat’s group no longer joins the competition and simply makes featured appearances during the fiesta and other community events.

Good business

LOCALS also point out the “Binabayani” competition, in turn, had generated many tourists for Masinloc, some coming from as far as Manila and other provinces in Central Luzon. “Aside from the cultural value of the “Binabayani”, it makes for good business, too,” said Danilo Eclevia, a teacher in a government high school here, who chronicles community goings-on through a social-media page that he administers. Eclevia said historical accounts actually place the founding of Masinloc by Fray Andres del Espiritu Santo, who was born in Valladolid, Spain. The missionary was said to have been sent on a mission in 1606 and founded Masinloc the following year. “This might be the reason Saint Andrew was chosen as the patron saint of Masinloc, because Fray Andres was likely born on November 30, following the custom of early Catholics to name their children after the patron saint,” Eclevia said.  

RegionsSunday A12 | Sunday, December 4, 2016 | Editor: Efleda P. Campos


WHAT used to be a sleepy upland village, Barangay Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, has been transformed into a dynamic industrial estate. Local residents attribute these to the Social Development Management Program of Australian mining firm OceanaGold-Philippines Inc., which operates in the area.

OceanaGold shows how much ‘We care’ L

Story & photos by Leonardo Perante II Correspondent

ONG before OceanaGold (Philippines) Inc. (OGPI) commenced full operation of its Didipio Mine three years ago, a series of social-development programs has been in existence, providing benefits to residents of the mining village.

A FARMER in Didipio, Kasibu, Nueva Vizcaya, takes advantage of the mining road developed by OceanaGold-Philippines to deliver his banana harvest. The mining highway also serves as a farm-to-market road for crops.

A memorandum of agreement was signed among the host village and 11 neighboring communities for the distribution and utilization of the Social Development Management Program (SDMP) funds coming from OGPI.   These gave birth to the “We Care” Program, spearheaded by steering committees representing Didipio Operations, the municipality of Kasibu and Barangay Didipio, to ensure a working partnership.   The SDMP, nicknamed “We Care” has six components that

include environment, education, promotion of sociocultural values, health, employment, business development and infrastructure. From 2013 to the second quarter of 2016, around P500 million was spent for the development of the host and neighboring communities. Recently, OGPI donated P43 million for the construction of a three-story senior high-school building on the Eastern Nueva Vizcaya National High School campus in Barangay Didipio to support the implementation of the Department of Educa-

AS responsible mining advocates, young campus journalists Nonie Perante and Audrey Mae Diaz show a copy of the BusinessMirror that carries their picture in a Didipio cabbage farm.

tion’s (DepEd) K to 12 Program in the mining village. Another P10-million financial assistance was also donated to the DepEd in Region 2 by the mining company, as additional support to the same K to 12 curriculum implementation in 16 schools of Nueva Vizcaya and 18 schools in Quirino for a total of 34 additional beneficiary schools.   About P13.2 million was allotted for scholarships and subsidized salaries of 60 teachers.   It assisted and funded 10 cooperatives in establishing micro and small enterprises, some of which are agriculture-based. It also provided technical assistance to farmers in partnership with local experts. The Didipio Community Development Corp. (DiCorp) was established on August 11, 2011, to assist the local community in creating a sustainable business partnership among enterprising locals. DiCorp Chairman Henry Guay said the community-based business enterprise, composed of 391 Didipio residents, employs 372 local workers who offer services, like food catering, for the OGPI Operations and take charge in maintaining the 22-kilometer service road developed by the mining

FOREST Management Bureau Ricardo Calderon (left) and OceanaGold Philippines Inc. (OGPI) Chairman Jose Leviste Jr. (second from right) lead the ceremonial planting of the one-millionth tree by the mining firm in support to the government’s National Greening Program. Joining them are OGPI Country Director Bradley Norman (center) with Miss Earth Philippines 2015 Angelia Ong and Mines and Geosciences Bureau Assistant Director Danilo Uykieng (right) at the MGB central office grounds Tuesday.

firm from Dibibi, Cabarroguis, Quirino, to the Didipio mine site. The community enterprise generated around P848-million gross revenue from long-term Didipio Operation contracts from 2011 to 2016. DiCorp is one of the two top taxpayers in Nueva Vizcaya, next to OceanaGold. “DiCorp is the best corporate partner that binds original Didipio dwellers providing services of world-class standards,” Guay said. Delta Earthmoving Inc. and other contractors were awarded around P9.1 billion worth of contracts by the end of the second quarter of 2016. Some 107 km of road network were upgraded and maintained. The road has transformed what used to be a sleepy village into a progressive industrial estate. The direct employment of locals in road maintenance is a great advantage for residents who are always given top priority, including women who are assigned to manage road traffic. OceanaGold Sustainable Agro-

CHEFS of Didipio Community Development Corp. (DiCorp) prepare food for thousands of employees of OceanaGold-Didipio Operations. They serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.

forestry Inc., the mining firm’s agro-forestry arm, has already reforested over 1,300 hectares of land, planted 1 million trees and donated more than 500,000 seedlings in support of the government’s National Greening Program. As of June 2016, 1,803 people were employed at Didipio Operations, 98 percent of whom are Filipinos. A total of P786.8 million

was paid as salaries of employees from 2014 up to the middle of 2016, or a monthly average of P26.22 million. An estimated P3.28 billion was paid as income, excise and local business tax from 2013 to mid2016. The company was awarded in 2014 by the Bureau of Internal Revenue as the top taxpayer in Nueva Vizcaya

Businessmirror december 04, 2016  
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