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Serving a seamless society


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Having brunch in Hong Kong


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Reducing emissions


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TEAMWORK. These men who are residents of a fishing village work hand in hand to carry a neighbor’s fishing boat unto the sea shore, a proof that concerted effort makes a task easier and faster to achieve, in Purok Pisces in Lasang, Davao City yesterday. Lean Daval Jr.

Holcim is No. 1

City gov’t. bares top 10 taxpayers By EJ Dominic Fernandez


Murray wins third Australian Open title

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HE Davao Union Cement Corporation, now Holcim, ranks first in the list of Davao City’s top 10 taxpayers for 2012 in runaway fashion, followed by five shopping malls, two telecommunication networks, a hotel and a hospital. Records obtained from the office of acting City Treasurer Anastacio Jardin Jr. showed that Holcim, a cement-producing company, paid P30,091,142 in real property tax for 2012. The joint venture of Ayala Land Inc. and Anflo Management and Investment Corporation, Accendo Commercial Corp., which owns the Abreeza Mall was the second highest taxpayer with P13,090,934. In third place was Davao Sunrise Investment and Development Corp, owner of Victoria Plaza, with P12,703,740 followed by Smart Communications Inc., at


Top Taxpayers

Taxes Paid

1. Holcim


2. Abreeza Mall


3. Victoria Plaza


4. Smart Communications Inc

12, 653,635

5. Halifax Davao Hotel Inc.,


6. San Pedro Hospital


7. Globe Telecom


8. SM Prime Holdings Inc.


9. DSG Sons Group Inc.


10 New City Commercial Corp.




World Interfaith Harmony Week slated February 1-7


By Che Palicte


ELIGIOUS LEADERS will celebrate the World Faith Harmony Week on February 1-7 at the SM Annex. Vivien Nobles, a Hindu pranic healer, announced this yesterday at the weekly Kapihan sa Dabaw. The week-long celebration, to be participated in by various religious groups and private organizations, and will feature different activities. “We will journey together to celebrate and live out interfaith harmony guided by the love of God and the love of

neighbor. This special week is gaining great attention in the world and is a lucid sign of hope,” Nobles said. “Religion is the most important force in acquiring harmony and peace in the world,” she added. Nor Asiah Adilao, a representative of the Muslim community, bared that among the activities are student leaders confluence for harmony, interfaith prayer and harmony meal, future of power dialogue, photo exhibit, song and poetry composition,


INTERFAITH. Sister Cris G. Lagunsad, (center) together with Vivien C. Nobles (left) and Nor Asiah M. Adilao promotes the World Interfaith Harmony Week 2013 slated on February 1-7, 2013 in various venues around Davao City in the weekly Kapehan

sa Dabaw media forum at the Annex of SM City Davao yesterday. The event aims to recognize the need of dialogue among the different faiths and religions and their contribution to world peace. Lean Daval Jr.

Water interruption Awardee is Davao-based in Mintal, Catalunan


HERE will be an 8-hour water service cut on Wednesday, January 30, 2013 from 9:00AM until 5:00 PM in Purok 1 Sto. Niño de Palaboy in Km.13, Mintal & Nalaza Compound in Catalunan Pequeño. The Engineering and Construction Department of DCWD will tap a newly installed pipeline for the mainline improvement at Vicente Bansag St., Nalaza Compound, Catalunan Pequeño. DCWD acting general manager Engr. Edwin V.

Regalado said that above mainline improvement is part of DCWD’s system upgrading to cater additional service connections in Nalaza Compound. Water supply may be restored earlier if work goes smoothly or later if unforeseen problems arise. He also said that concessionaires living in the affected areas are advised to store enough water prior to the scheduled water interruption to avoid problems. He likewise appeals to them for un-


Agri firm exec asks

BPO firm gets 2 world awards By EJ Dominic Fernandez


DAVAO CITYbased business process outsourcing (BPO) company has two won international awards for rendering quality service to their clients in various foreign countries. The bigtime winner is Next BPO Solutions, a tiny company started by Xavier Eric Manalastas, its president and chief executive officer. Manalastas bared

during yesterday’s edition of the weekly Kapehan sa Dabaw media forum at the SM Annex in Ecoloand, Matina, Davao City, that his company will receive the International Award for Quality and Technology from Business Initiative Direction (BID) during the BID International Convention for Quality on April this year in Frankfurt, Germany and the Leadership and Excel-


ing weather condition and the increasing population. Leano said climate change has a worldwide effect that brings drought in the Western Hemisphere and powerful storms in the Eastern Hemisphere like typhoon Pablo which hit the Caraga and Davao regions. “The significant weather anomalies in 2012 happened all over the world and are projected to happen again,” he said, adding that food production must be responsive to the growing population which is projected to reach nine billion by 2050. He said given these challenges, it is the commitment of their firm to produce more food while protecting the environment.

Earlier, Judith Castres, spokesperson of the local government of Boston, cited the need for a livelihood that will provide income to coconut communities displaced by typhoon Pablo in Boston, Davao Oriental as a sustainable livelihood is important for affected residents to regain their purchasing power and spur the local economy. Many families had depended much on the coconut industry for the education of their children and to support their daily needs. “The relief operation runs fine in our town, but we need to go beyond the dole out mentality and provide better livelihood opportunities for our constituents,” Castres said. [PIA 11Joey Sem G. Dalumpines]

lence Award to be given during the International BPO Summit next month in India. “Our company will receive the International Arch of Europe Award for Quality and Technology in the Gold Category in Frankfurt Germany in April and the Leadership and Excellence Award in India earlier on February 14,” Manalastas said.

“It puts us at par with the top corporations of the world because this is actually given to the fortune 500 companies,” he said. He added that although “we are far from that but we already won this award, which means, we can already provide high quality service.” The award strength-

ing black shirts imrinted with “Be honest” slogan. The Association of Regional Executives of National Agencies (ARENA) 11, which represents 155 national government agencies in Region 11, supports the advocacy. Engr. Mariano Alquiza, regional director of the Department of Public Works and Highways 11 and ARENA 11 president, said the advocacy is a concrete manifestation of the BCBP’s vision and mission to be a catalyst for change. “Honesty in serving the people is tantamount to public trust,” he said. The campaign, he added, is meant not only to produce competent leaders, but also leaders with “a heart for justice, honest governance and honest service for the betterment of our people.” The BCBP, ARENA 11, Department of Tourism (DOT) 11 and Mabuhay Taxi signed a memorandum of agreement in support of the campaign. DOT 11 regional director Arturo Boncato, Jr.,

said in his message of support, that honesty is a key to the tourism industry, which he described as “the most beautiful and biggest industry in the world.” Boncato said the industry is “the window to our honest hearts.” Taxi drivers, he noted, are effective in showing the meaning of honesty. Ryan Tan of Mabuhay Taxi committed to help in the campaign by posting stickers in all its Black and Blue cabs. Taxi drivers in the city, Boncato said, are celebrated all over the country, adding, “we have a reputation for taxi drivers returning one peso change or a bag full of money. With 180 members, Loreña said BCBP Davao West is open for support from politicians such as Davao City councilors and persons of different faiths “We also welcome support from candidates, but it is not part of our program to campaign for them,” he stressed. [Lorie Ann Cascaro/MindaNews]


‘Be honest’ poll campaign launched

Why not plant cash crops T in Pablo-affected areas?

N agricultural firm executive encourages farmers in the areas ravaged by typhoon Pablo to plant fast-yielding crops while waiting for banana and coconut industries to get revitalized.. Speaking during the 8th Mindanao Media Summit held over the weekend, Rufino Leano, research and development specialist of Monsanto Philippines, said the areas devastated by the typhoon last December need crops that can be harvested in a shorter period of time. “We encourage the planting of cash crops in Compostela Valley and the communities of Davao Oriental,” Leano said, adding that the farming technology nowadays has to contend with the chang-

First award to be received in India, the second in Germany

HE Brotherhood of Christian Businessmen and Professionals (BCBP) Davao West Chapter launched Saturday its “Be honest” advocacy in Davao for the May 2013 mid-term polls. However, Rodolfo Loreña, chapter head, said their advocacy is not just during elections “but in every area of our lives, in profession and business, we will carry the advocacy.” BCBP began its advocacy in 2007, he added. Loreña said the group will engage in dialogues with candidates in the city to ensure the latter’s honesty during the campaign, particularly by refraining from buying votes and other forms of cheating. The 45-day election campaign period begins on March 29. Loreña added that if the candidates win, they should continue being honest by preventing red tape and other forms of corruption in g o v e r n a n c e . The group also launched the “mall walk” where members and supporters will go to malls, wear-


EDGEDAVAOVOL.5 ISSUE 234 •TUESDAY, JANUARY 29, 2013 DavNor recent flooding displaced more families than Pablo


HE recent flooding in Davao del Norte due to incessant rains of the tail-end of the cold-front must have gone beyond the level reached during the onslaught of typhoon Pablo as more families were displaced than the number of those who had left their homes in December last year. Progress report released by Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) last Friday showed a total of 59,008 affected families with a number of affected individuals which ran a total of 274,537. Of the affected families, a total of 18,874 families left their homes to seek refuge in various evacuation center set up in Tagum City and in six other municipalities particularly in Kapalong, Carmen, Braulio E. Dujali, Sto. Tomas, Asuncion, New Corella where flood waters swamped significant portions of the 84 affected barangays. The number of affected families during the recent flooding in Davao del Norte went 52 percent more than the 38,876 monitored affected families during the flooding triggered by super-typhoon Pablo in December last year. The fresh flooding in the province also displaced 56 percent more than the 12,114 logged by the PDRRMO as the final number of families evacuated during the Pablo flooding which affected 147 barangays in eight towns. PDRMMO Davao del Norte has yet to come up with its final report on the impact of the tail-end of the cold-front but ini-


tial assessment revealed incidents of flood waters overflowing the national highways, not experienced in December. Soaked with flood waters from the Liboganon, Tuganay and Saug rivers, along the highway town of Carmen, alone, declared Tuesday last week, more than P21 million damages to crops and fisheries. The tail-end of the cold-front which poured incessant rains of 10 millimeters to 15 millimeters per hour for about three days, also caused the death of three individuals identified as Glenn Custodio, 37 years of age of Barangay San Miguel, Tagum City; Jose del Campo, 79 years of age of Barangay Pagsabangan, Tagum City; and Teresa Acar Jamero , 90 years of age, of Barangay New Bantayan, Asuncion. One was injured and another was missing. The flooding casualty recently logged by PDRRMO was higher than what was recorded during Pablo flooding which rendered one dead and three injured. Friday initial data from PDRMMO revealed 5,233 hectares of damaged agricultural areas planted with various crops mostly rice and banana, and 19 hectares of fisheries. The recently logged damages to agricultural areas in Davao del Norte was added on top of the 16,828 hectares affected by the flooding incident in December, bringing about a toll on crops and fisheries estimated at P3.6 billion and P143.8 million damages to various infrastructure. [PIA 11/ Jeanevive Duron-Abangan]

TOP PERFORMER. Tagum City Mayor Rey T. Uy and PESO Tagum Manager Nilda Garcia show their respective plaques of recognition along with the staff of the Public Employment Service and Special Community Development Program Division which was awarded as Region 11’s top-performing PESO for component city category by

and income. The governor said that quality roads and bridges are critical links to a better economy and a better future. Yet, according to him, these vital infrastructures

the Department of Labor and Employment. Also in photo are City Councilors De Carlo “Oyo” L. Uy, Maria Lina F. Baura, Francis C. Remitar and Joedel T. Caasi as well as City Human Resource Management Officer Edna J. Quilario and Tribal Chieftain Datu Rudy Onlos. [Leo Timogan/CIO Tagum]

PESO-Tagum City is region’s top performer T

HE Public Employment Service Office (PESO) of the City Government of Tagum sustained its hold on the top spot after being awarded as the top-performing PESO institution in Davao Region for year 2012 awarded last January 17, 2012 in Davao City by the Department of Labor and Employment. Both Mayor Rey T. Uy and PESO Manager Nilda Garcia were also recognized for trailblazing the

mandate of PESO in the city, with the latter being lauded for her tireless 19 years in service as Tagum’s PESO Manager. Last year, PESO Tagum was also accorded the Hall of Excellence—the second time it clinched this award for the component city category. PESO Tagum was acclaimed for its excellent management of the Labor Market Information, a record-high 91% rate in the

Talaingod residents urged to capitalize on good roads

AVAO del Norte Governor Rodolfo del Rosario asked the constituents of the tribal town of Talaingod to take full advantage of excellent road conditions to improve productivity


will come to naught if the communities don’t maximize their benefits in enhancing economic productivity and bettering their quality of life. “Gamita ninyo ang maayong dalan alang

Governor Rodolfo del Rosario urges his constituents to take full advantage of excellent road conditions to improve productivity and income. [Noel Baguio]

sa pag-usbaw sa produksyon ug sa pagpalambu sa kahimtang sa kinabuhi (Make good use of the road to increase production and income towards better quality of life),” del Rosario told residents, during groundbreaking rites of the improvement of junction Sto. Nino-Sitio Igang–Palma Gil Road project in Talaingod, Davao del Norte. The concreting of the 5.934-kilometer road project worth P40.6 is being implemented under the Agrarian Reform Infrastructure Support Program (ARISP) of the Department of Agrarian Reform funded by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The provincial government and the local government unit of Talaingod are putting up another counterpart fund of over P60 million for the improvement of the Palma Gil - Dagohoy road project, as well. [Noel Baguio]

referral and placement for the year 2012 and the career and employment counseling. Special programs initiated by PESO Tagum also contributed to the city’s latest award and this includes its implementation of the Special Program for the Employment of Students (SPES), the Grow Micro Program which provides initial capital to micro-scale entrepreneurs and its up-to-date Skills

Registry System. The office’s programs focused on Overseas Filipino Workers and persons with disabilities also add weight to the said award. Aside from this, PESO Tagum was also awarded with a Special Citation for its Labor Market Information Program for its timely and relevant posting and announcement of job vacancies as well as the supply and demand. [Louie Lapat/CIO Tagum]

Uy warns typhoon victims of job scams


OMPOSTELA Valley Governor Arturo Uy warned Typhoon Pablo victims to be wary of job offers that are too good to be true as these might turn out to be job scams. “Naa ko’y gipangutana nga residente kay naluoy ko kung kinahanglan ba niya ang tarbaho pero nibalibad sya kay gi-offeran sya manarbaho sa Digos (I asked a resident out of pity if he needs work but he declined saying he was offered a job in Digos),” Uy said. Uy said he was told that the offer was very attractive as the man was promised a monthly salary of P10,000 just for working in a poultry farm in Digos with free house, food and fare. But after one week he came back and told me na “giilad ra sila (they were duped). Apparently, Uy said, the poultry job promised by the recruiter is not

even existing because there is as yet no poultry where they can work. The monthly salary was also only P3,000 without the promised free housing. To make it worse, he said, the recruited workers were supposed to establish the poultry farm by themselves. Uy said residents of area stricken by Typhoon Pablo should be careful when dealing with recruiters especially now because these unscrupulous people will take advantage of them because of their vulnerability. “Kabalo nang mga tawhana nga musukul gyud bisag unsa nga tarbaho ang mga tao diri kay wala gyud sila kapaingnan, (these recruiters are aware that the typhoon victims will grab any opportunity to work because they have nowhere to go),” he said. [LOVELY A. CARILLO]




Climate and Clean Air Coalition to work with oil companies to reduce emissions


VER a dozen Ministers from countries around the world released a statement yesterday calling for accelerated action to substantially reduce venting, leakage, and flaring of natural gas from oil and gas operations worldwide. Specifically, the Climate and Clean Air Coalition intends to work with leading oil and gas companies to achieve substantial global methane and black carbon emission reductions. It is estimated that over 8 percent of total worldwide natural gas production is lost annually to venting, leakage, and flaring. In addition to U.S. $27 to $63 billion in energy and economic losses, these activities result in nearly two gigatons of CO2 equivalent of greenhouse gas emissions per year, over 80 percent of which are methane emissions ? making oil and gas operations the second-largest source of global anthropogenic methane emissions behind agriculture. Flaring releases substantial amounts of black car-

bon, which is particularly harmful to human health and areas like the Arctic. The Climate and Clean Air Coalition aims to help companies accelerate and expand voluntary emission reductions where there are cost-effective opportunities to do so, and to showcase progress by companies that are already taking significant action. This effort will build upon and scale-up the achievements of the Natural Gas STAR International Program, the Global Methane Initiative, and the Global Gas Flaring Reduction Partnership. The Coalition will work with leading oil and gas companies to collaboratively design an initiative that will quickly and meaningfully achieve substantial climate, air quality, health, environmental, operational, and financial benefits. Initial CCAC engagement with interested oil and gas companies is commencing and will accelerate over the coming months. Ministers from additional CCAC countries are also expected to join the effort.

The Coalition (www., which was launched by six countries and the UN Environ-

ment Programme in February 2012, now consists of 28 state partners and other key institutions like

the World Bank, and is already acting on several fronts to reduce shortlived climate pollutants

such as methane, black carbon, and many hydroflourocarbons (HFCs). [UNEP]

OVERNMENTS need to spark a lightweight revolution in the way things are made so the world can keep up with the demand for resources, say scientists. They say homes will have to be built with less cement; cars with less steel; and gadgets with less plastic. And it will need to be done in a way that radically cuts emissions from producing the materials, they add. These are among the conclusions presented in the journal Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society A. Several papers in the journal tackle the dual problem created by the increased demand for goods as people grow richer and population increase, coupled with the threat of climate change. One paper warns that unless demand for materials from UK primary industry is reduced, Britain will need the equivalent of a four-fold increase in nuclear power or a 40-fold increase in wind power to meet its target of a 80% reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 from pre-industrial levels. The paper, by UK government chief energy scientist Prof David MacKay, says readers can draw their own conclusions as

to whether it is feasible to generate this amount of clean energy. ‘Little incentive’ Another author, Julian Allwood, from Cambridge University, has been studying the five most energy-intensive sectors: steel, aluminium, cement, plastics and paper. He says these already use energy more efficiently than other sectors because their energy costs are high - so there is a finite amount they can improve. The answer is for society to demand less of the materials in the first place, he says. “We can use much less cement in buildings than we do at the moment,” he told BBC News. “The thing is that it takes more time to design buildings with less cement, and it takes more effort for builders. Labour is expensive and cement – relatively – is cheap, so there’s little incentive to change.” Dr Allwood added that the same thing could be said of car manufacturing. “Engineers are constantly improving engine efficiency but these improvements are being swallowed up because people want to drive bigger cars with more acceleration. [BBC Nature]

Savings needed to meet National Greening Program future demand for resources gets boost from DA in R12 G


HE Department of Agriculture Regional Field Office 12 Monday announced that it has provided at least 14,700 assorted planting materials in support to the National Greening Program of the government spearheaded by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. These include coffee, durian, marang and narra seedlings. Others include mango, lanzones, rambutan, coconut, cacao and other fruit-bearing tree seed-


lings. DA-12 Regional Executive Director Amalia Jayag-Datukan said the regional department has been involved in tree growing activities conducted by Koronadal City. On its 2nd Tree-Growing Festival held recently, DA-12 delivered 4,000 planting materials being part of the said activity. On the other hand, the department also distributed 10,000 pieces of assorted seedlings to the City Government of General Santos.

The DA-12 also actively participated in the celebration of the Regional Development Council (RDC) Week with a Tree Growing activity. Around 70 employees from DA 12 joined the planting of more than 1,600 indigenous and fruit-bearing trees at Purok Pantalan, Barangay San Jose in Koronadal City. Besides DA, hundreds of employees and officials of the member agencies of RDC 12 also participated in the activity which aims to help fight global warming.

DA, through its High Value Crops Development Program, is the producing agency of high value commodities through DA-12’s research stations. Meanwhile, more than 77,000 fruit tree seedlings were purchased by Congressman Jesus Sacdalan through its Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) coursed through the DA for its tree planting activities in the highlands of Libungan and Alamada covering the watershed areas, among others. [PNA]

Control Office chief. He said such possibility is not remote since South Korea has technologies for the target rehabilitation work. “South Korean officials concerned also expressed willingness to assist us in the work,” he added. Government continues its bid to rehabilitate river basinsnationwide, noting those areas have the highest potential uses but are

suffering from declining carrying capacity and deteriorating life support systems. Among causes of such degradation are pollution, diminishing groundwater resources, biodiversity loss and declining local productivity, authorities noted. “Climate change will worsen conditions in our river basins,” Tuddao further said. He said capacity-build-

ing training and support in preparing documents like feasibility studies are among South Korea’s possible assistance to the Philippine river basin rehabilitation bid. Tuddao said he came across several South Korean rehabilitation technologies while attending there last week a conference on restoring Southeast Asia’s rivers and river basins. [PNA]

PHL eyes SoKor as river basin rehabilitation partner

HE government is looking into possibly partnering with South Korea on rehabilitating rivers and river basins nationwide. “We and South Korea’s environment ministry might sign this year a memorandum of agreement on the matter,” said Dr. Vicente Tuddao Jr., the environment department’s new field operations director and former River Basin



Agriculture, fisheries sector to benefit from new public-private partnerships


HE National Economic and Development Authority said public-private partnerships (PPPs) for infrastructure and value-chain development will be strengthened this year to sustain growth in the agriculture sector. “Support from the private sector is seen as a major contributor to the government’s efforts to quickly deliver the needed infrastructure and services in the agricultural and fisheries sector,” Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan said. Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General, noted that a value-chain approach, wherein stakeholders are strategically connected from the production to marketing stages, is central in determining the appropriate mix of interventions necessary in making the sector an entry point for overall inclusive growth. “For 2013, the sustained development of the agriculture and fisheries sector remains critical to achieve the overarching goal of inclusive growth and poverty reduction particularly in rural areas,” he stressed. PPP projects, such as irrigation infrastructure,

food supply chain, and postharvest services are eyed this year, the Cabinet official said. Production centers for various farm inputs, fish farming infrastructure, and market and trading centers are also considered under the said project schemes. According to the Socioeconomic Report (SER): 2010-2012 recently released by NEDA, upgrading of rural infrastructure and facilities, enhancements in markets and regulatory competence, and improvement of credit access were undertaken to boost agricultural production and marketing. The report said that 1,752.7 kilometers of farm-to-market roads have been constructed and rehabilitated/repaired from July 2010 to June 2012. Irrigation facilities that primarily supported crop production were also built and maintained, resulting in a total of 17,564 hectares (ha) of new areas irrigated, 81,468 ha rehabilitated, and 16,043 ha restored. The SER also reported that the National Irrigation Authority operates and maintains 212 national irrigation systems with a total service area of 783,457 ha and total

effective irrigated area of 1,135,650 ha. To achieve the 4.3-percent to 5.3-percent growth target for the sector this year, the government continues to invest in the construction of strategic rural infrastructures, such as farmto-market roads, irrigation facilities, postharvest facilities, among others. The SER also reported that the crop subsector will continue to be a growth driver through improvement of productivity and access to domestic and international markets, expansion in area planted supported by responsive, effective and efficient agricultural services. The fisheries sector, on the other hand, will aim to adopt a triple strategy of regeneration, protection and sustainable production. Establishment of mariculture parks, nurseries and hatcheries and promotion of coastal resource management will be pursued. The SER is an assessment of the first two years of the Aquino administration in relation to the targets and strategies set in the Philippine Development Plan (PDP): 20112016.



Stat Watch

1. Gross National Income Growth Rate (At Constant 2000 Prices)

5.8% 1st Qtr 2012

2. Gross Domestic Product Growth Rate (At Constant 2000 Prices)

6.4 % 1st Qtr 2012

3. Exports 1/ 4. Imports 1/ 5. Trade Balance 6. Balance of Payments 2/ 7. Broad Money Liabilities

4.1 % May 2012 P131,403 million May 2012 P 5,075 billion Apr 2012

9. National Government Revenues 10. National government outstanding debt 11. Peso per US $ 5/

P 42.78 Jun 2012

12. Stocks Composite Index 6/

5,091.2 May 2012

13. Consumer Price Index 2006=100

130.1 Jun 2012

14. Headline Inflation Rate 2006=100

2.8 Jun 2012

15. Core Inflation Rate 2006=100

3.7 Jun 2012

16. Visitor Arrivals

349,779 Apr 2012

17. Underemployment Rate 7/

18.8 % Jan 2012

18. Unemployment Rate 7/

7.2 % Jan 2012

Average December November October September August July June May April March February January




42.85 42.70 42.86 42.66 43.62

43.31 43.64 43.27 43.45 43.02 42.42 42.81 43.37 43.13 43.24 43.52 43.70 44.17

45.11 43.95 43.49 43.44 44.31 45.18 46.32 46.30 45.60 44.63 45.74 46.31 46.03

TATE agencies should further accelerate their strategies to achieve targets in the transportation sector by 2016, according to the newly released Socioeconomic Report (SER): 2010-2012 of the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA). “While the quality of our national roads and bridges significantly improved since 2010, the actual output indicators as reported in the SER are actually slightly below the targets for 2011. Implementing agencies need to double their efforts,” said Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio M. Balisacan. According to the SER, while the percentage of paved road length increased to 78.87 percent (out of the total 31,242 kilometers) in 2011, this was still slightly below the year’s target of 79.0 percent. Also, the percentage of length of permanent bridges along national arterial roads went up to 94.63 percent (out of 330,089 lineal meters), which is slightly below the 95.0-percent target in 2011. Balisacan stressed the need to accelerate the approval and adoption of the National Transport Policy (NTP), which will ensure coordination among transport agencies. “The NTP needs to be implemented to bring about a more

integrated transport network and centralized collection, monitoring and evaluation of needed information and statistics to track the development of the subsector,” said Balisacan, who is also NEDA Director-General The NTP is a comprehensive long-term policy framework that will guide the accomplishment of transport objectives and goals, such as the restructuring of the subsector. The policies espoused under the NTP will ensure that government decisions are predictable and consistent, thereby promoting accountability as well. A draft Executive Order on “Adopting a Policy Framework that Sets the Direction of and Parameters for the Development and Regulation of the Transportation System in the Philippines” is currently being reviewed. For the water, air, and rail transport subsectors, individual agencies’ performance against target have mixed results in terms of attainment of objectives, according to the SER. The report showed that the Philippine Ports Authority (PPA) constructed and rehabilitated Passenger Terminal Buildings (PTBs) in selected ports nationwide that gained an additional seating capacity of 1,166 seats in 2011. This was 126.05 percent over the year’s target. “However, partly due to eco-

nomic downturn and competing transport modes like air transport, the expected passenger volume in PPA ports for 2011 did not materialize, leading to the subsector’s recorded negative performance,” said Balisacan. Meanwhile, the air transport subsector had a good performance in 2011 due to the expansion of both airport facilities and air services, and the introduction of low cost fares by airlines and cheaper tourist destinations. “Except for Clark International Airport (CIA), all major gateways exceeded their 2011 targets in terms of increasing the annual international and domestic passenger,” he said. According to the SER, airports under the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines (CAAP) collectively increased passenger volume by 129.55 percent; Mactan-Cebu International Airport by 295.75 percent; and Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) by 207.93 percent despite the current congestion in its runway. On the other hand, CIA posted a performance rate of only 26.25 percent in 2011. In the rail transport subsector, the Light Rail Transit (LRT) Lines 1 and 2 in Metro Manila were not able to meet the 2011 target for the actual increase in the consolidated passenger volume. With these, Balisacan said

the government will undertake several planned activities to improve the state of the country’s transportation sector. “Prospects for the roads and bridges subsector will also involve public-private partnership programs to augment regular budget allocation,” he said. Several capacity expansion programs are planned for existing transport infrastructure facilities across all modes. For instance, the Capacity Expansion program for the Metro Rail Transit 3 will be pursued to help alleviate traffic congestion in Metro Manila. Also, the completion of the Roll-On/Roll-Off (RORO) Spine Project will provide quality and adequate multimodal transport services through a combination of quality highway systems and modern, fast and safe RORO ferry services with matching port/ terminal facilities. For the air transport subsector, continuous decongestion efforts in NAIA will include airline time slotting in coordination with CAAP, Civil Aeronautics Board, and local carriers, among others, to lessen runway occupancy time. “The continuous implementation of the open skies policy will boost tourism and commercial activities especially in regions where international gateways are located,” said Balisacan.


ary Security Bank Savings (SBS). Pursuing a rapid expansion program, SBC opened 34 new branches for the main bank, with focus on Metro Manila. Twenty four of these new branches are in formerly restricted areas of Manila, Makati, Mandaluyong, Parañaque, Pasay, Pasig, San Juan

and Quezon City. This is part of the 50 new licenses for additional branches granted to SBC by the Monetary Board. Meanwhile, two branches were also opened in the unrestricted areas of Tugatog, Malabon and Karuhatan, Valenzuela. SBC’s main bank and its savings bank now have 126

branches in Metro Manila. Strengthening its presence in the regions, SBC opened four branches in Luzon in the areas of Balanga and Olongapo in North Luzon and Calapan and Puerto Princesa in South Luzon. Branch network in Luzon now totals 52. In the Visayas, SBC now has branches in Roxas City in Capiz and Lapu-Lapu City in Cebu, bringing the total to 16 branches. In Mindanao, the bank now has 14 branches as it opened new ones in Davao and Zamboanga. Security Bank’s total distribution network expanded by 53% with the new branches opened in 2012. To better serve customers’ needs, SBC also concluded the year with 279 automated teller machines (ATMs) in strategic locations nationwide. Security Bank is geared for further growth and on track of its aggressive expansion efforts to provide customers more convenient locations for easier access to the bank’s products and services.

Security Bank Group opens 2013 with more branches nationwide

ECURITY Bank Corporation (SBC), awarded as Bank of the Year 2012 for the Philippines by The Banker Magazine of London’s Financial Times, added 72 branches to its network, opening 2013 with a total of 208 branches nationwide – 170 for its main bank and 38 for subsidi-

MONTHLY AVERAGE EXCHANGE RATE (January 2009 - December 2011) Month


NEDA urges acceleration of govt strategies to achieve transport sector targets by 2016 S

USD 4,931 million May 2012 USD 4,770 million Apr 2012 USD -135 million Apr 2012 USD -209 million Mar 2012 P 4,580,674 million Apr 2012

8. Interest Rates 4/


COMMON PRACTICE. A “habal-habal” driver and his passenger are seen traversing a national road without the prescribed helmets, reportedly a common practice in the area outside the city proper, specially in Tibungco, Davao City yesterday. Lean Daval Jr. as of august 2010

Cebu Pacific Daily Zest Air Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Philippine Airlines Daily Philippine Airlines Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Thu/Fri/Sun Philippine Airlines Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Silk Air Mon/Sat Cebu Pacific Thu Cebu Pacific Tue/Wed//Sat

5J961 / 5J962 Z2390 / Z2390 5J593 / 5J348 PR809 / PR810 PR819 / PR820 5J394 / 5J393 5J599 / 5J594 5J347 / 5J596 5J963 / 5J964 PR811 / PR812 5J595 / 5J966 MI588 5J965 / 5J968 5J965 / 5J968

5:45 5:45 6:00 6:10 7:50 7:50 8:00 9:10 9:40 11:30 12:00 12:55 12:55 13:35

Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Cebu-Davao-Iloilo Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Zamboanga-Davao-Zamboanga Cebu-Davao-Cebu Iloilo-Davao-Cebu Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Cebu-Davao-Manila Davao-Cebu-Singapore Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila

6:15 6:25 6:30 7:00 8:50 8:10 8:30 9:40 10:10 12:20 12:30 09:05 13:25 14:05

Silk Air Mon/Sat Silk Air Wed/Sun Silk Air Thurs Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Wed/Fri Philippine Airlines August Zest Air Daily Cebu Pacific Daily Philippines Airlines Daily Cebu Pacific Mon/Tue/Thu/Sat Cebu Pacific Daily Cebu Pacific Tue/Sat/Sun Cebu Pacific Daily Airphil Express Daily Philippine Airlines Daily except Sunday Philippine Airlines Sunday

MI588 / MI588 MI566 / MI566 MI551 / MI551 5J507 / 5J598 15:55 Z2524 / Z2525 5J967 / 5J600 PR813 / PR814 5J215 / 5J216 5971 / 5J970 5J973 / 5J974 5J969 / 5J972 2P987 / 2P988 PR821 / PR822 PR821 / PR822

18:55 18:55 15:45 15:00 Mani2Mani 16:05 16:35 16:55 18:00 18:40 20:00 20:30 20:30 21:20 22:20

Davao-Singapore Davao-Singapore Davao-Singapore Cebu-Davao-Cebu 16:50 Cebu-Davao-Cebu Manila-Davao-Cebu Manila-Davao-Manila Cagayan de Oro-Davao-Cagayan de Oro Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila Manila-Davao-Manila

13:35 15:20 12:05 15:30 16:45 17:05 17:45 18:20 19:10 20:30 21:00 21:00 21:50 22:50



DSWD core shelters survive Typhoon Pablo A

LL 27 units under the core shelter program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) which were constructed in Barangay Carmen, Boston town, Davao Oriental remained standing following the onslaught of Typhoon Pablo last December 4. “Our core shelters are structurally-strong and environment-friendly shelter units which can withstand wind velocities up to 180 kph, intensity four (4) earthquakes, flooding and other similar hazards.” Raquel E. Nunez stressed in her speech during the inauguration and blessing of the core shelter units last October. Costing P70,000.00 each, the DSWD core shelter units were built in the town’s one-hectare relocation site, a mere 10-minute ride from the poblacion. The 27 family-beneficiaries are flash flood victims whose houses were situated near the riverbank. The occurrence of ‘Pablo’ just confirmed the toughness of the structures. Municipal Information Officer of Boston Judith Castres shared of his inconceivable ordeal. He likened ‘Pablo’ as the savage

devil himself, viciously extinguishing anything, anyone that crossed its path. If anything or anyone is left unscathed by its wreckage, it returns with intensified fury, overpowering, smashing, twisting and maiming all that remained standing. But the DSWD shelters defied its mercilessly wrath. “In the aftermath of the typhoon, we noted that the surrounding structures and coconut trees were practically smashed to the grounds yet the core shelters in Brgy. Carmen remained whole except for about 10 units whose roofing materials were seized by the fury of ‘Pablo’. In fact we were amazed with the sturdiness of the DSWD housing. Wala dyud natandog ang mga balay. Natanggal lang ang mga atop sa uban pero ang tanan balay nagpabilin nga mibarog luyo sa pagkuso-kuso ni Pablo, (The houses remained intact. The CGI sheets of some were ripped up but all houses stood solid despite the ferocity of Pablo). The DSWD-CSAP (Core Shelter Assistance Program) is extended to individuals or families left homeless by di-

The core shelters of the Department of Social Welfare Development in Boston town after ‘Pablo’.

sasters. The project is a community development initiative utilizing the principles of community organizing, convergence of services and capability building. DSWD in coordination with local government units and some congresspersons also built core shelters in Banaybanay, San Isidro, Gov. Generoso, Mati City, Lupon and Tarragona in Davao Oriental; Malita, Hagonoy and Bansalan in Davao Del Sur; Maco in Compostela Valley; and Talaingod in Davao Del Norte. Core shelter beneficiaries are organized into

Neighborhood Association for Shelter Assistance (NASA) and undergo Values Formation Orientation. Through this, they learn to understand their situation and their problems at hand and intently work to arrive at solutions. The bayanihan spirit has unified the community in Boston. Each family settler has become responsive, mindful and caring towards his/her neighbor. When they have problems in the family and community, they talk it out and consult the officers to help settle issues. At its ground breaking rites in 2011, former May-

Globe joins Metro Weather for free and near real-time weather data


EADING telecommunications company Globe Telecom has joined Metro Weather online weather project in Metro Manila, Rizal and Corregidor designed to provide free and near real-time weather data necessary to help people prepare for typhoons, heavy rains, and severe flooding. By providing information and communications

infrastructure to Metro Weather, Globe hopes to promote awareness of environmental issues to its employees and stakeholders, and prompt them to participate in activities that help conserve the environment and mitigate climate change. “We’re delighted to be part of the Metro Weather alliance which is a very important endeavor that


will surely enable various organizations to increase their readiness and disaster risk resilience. The Globe way is all about transforming lives with innovative solutions. We will be remiss in our sustainability efforts if we are not involved in taking care of the community and the environment,” said Rob I. Nazal, Head of Globe Corporate Social Responsibil-

US Ambassador to the Philippines Harry K. Thomas, Jr. (left) and Globe Corporate Social Responsibility Head Rob I. Nazal share a light moment with Manila Observatory Executive Director Antonia Loyzaga during the launch date of the Metro Weather automated weather station in Corregidor.


Metro Weather utilizes 30 automated weather stations (AWS) placed in sites hosted by Globe and other partners which include MMDA and Chevron (through Caltex retail stations) in critical Metro manila cities and strategic areas in Rizal such as Antipolo City, Rodriguez, Angono, and Jala-Jala as well as in Corregidor. Also involved in the alliance are ADMU and MO. Aside from hosting some of the AWS sites, Globe also powers the data transmission from the weather stations to the Metropolitan Development Authority (MMDA) through Manila Observatory (MO) and Ateneo de Manila University (ADMU). In turn, information can be accessed free of charge via www.,, and MMDA’s Metro Manila Traffic Navigator web app. Data includes information on current rainfall, temperature, relative humidity, wind speed and direction, barometric pressure, solar radiation and ultraviolet index.

or Ramie B. Rosit of Boston expressed his gratitude to the department. He also reminded the recipients to maintain their homes, get involve and work hard to make the project successful. “If we do well with this one, we may be able to get additional units from DSWD for the other disaster victims in our town,” he challenged in their local Dabawenyo. Even in her message, former DSWD Director Ester A. Versoza urged beneficiaries in Cebuano: “Love your home because is it life itself. It gives you happiness, shelter and privacy. Make sure that

you actively participate in community affairs and nurture a harmonious relationship among your neighbors. Sustain the project and let’s work hard to make this site become a model community for CSAP in Davao Oriental.” In the same event, Brgy. Captain Rosalinda A. Adalim warmly conveyed in Dabawenyo, “We have longed for this dream to come true and now it has been fulfilled finally. Let us treasure this.” Having bravely overcome Typhoon Pablo, the core shelters must be treasured the more. [DSWD]

Sun, Smart donate P10 M to help rebuild communities


EADING telecommunications firms Sun Cellular and Smart Communications recently donated P10 million to the PLDT-SMART Foundation to help rebuild communities of the Typhoon Pablo victims in Mindanao. Apart from setting up free call stations and emergency communication measures in the typhoon-affected areas, Sun and Smart have gone further to support the MVP Group and the PLDTSMART. Foundation in raising funds for relief as well as the rebuilding of homes and restoration of livelihood sources for the typhoon victims. “Seeing how this typhoon has devastated Mindanao, we join the rest of the nation in its ongoing support operations and extend our resources to help our typhoon-hit kapatids rise through these tough times,” said Orlando B. Vea, concurrent Chief Executive Officer for Sun Cellular and Chief Wireless Advisor for Smart. With the developmen-

tal planning and community restoration efforts already underway, Sun and Smart also continue to spark generosity among mobile subscribers by tapping on their existing over-the-air technologies and putting up a centralized text donation service for the benefit of these typhoon victims. “As we aim to facilitate the coming in of more relief funds, we have also made it easier and more seamless for our subscribers to send in their donations through text,” explained Vea. “This way, we hope to foster thebayanihan spirit and encourage more Filipinos to help out their fellowmen, especially in these times of need.” Both members of the country’s largest telecommunications conglomerate, as well as the MVP Group of Companies, Sun Cellular and Smart Communications continue to join forces and partner with different organizations to put up sustainable programs for disaster response and emergency relief.





FOI in ICU: A call for rescue by P-Noy

HE Freedom of Information (FOI) Bill is on the throes of death. With just six session days left before the House of Representatives adjourns for the May 2013 election campaign, one and only one miracle could save it from certain perdition -a certification on the urgency of its immediate enactment by President Aquino himself. It should not have reached the ICU, if only the House did something more than nothing on the FOI bill during its three session days last week. On Session Day 1, the House did not even enroll the bill in its order of business, even as it had been in the Order of Business for reference to the Rules Committee on Dec. 18, 2012 yet. On Days 2 and 3, just when the Bill had already been calendared for sponsorship and plenary debate, a legislator threatened to question the quorum for a motion too parochial and self-serving, and kept the entire House hostage to his whim. Yet still, the House leaders allowed three privilege speeches, and over an hour of interpellation for one, on Day 3. The legislator and the House leaders did not allow even a single minute of discussion on the FOI bill. Last week’s events point to a House conspiracy to kill the bill led no less by Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr. and Majority Leader Neptali Gonzales II, and with the many habitual absentees of the House in cameo role. After opening the session and immediately leaving the presiding chores to a Deputy Speaker on day 1, Belmonte was not to be seen again on the floor last week. The same goes for his Majority Leader, who showed up for just a few minutes on Day 3. That was as far as they went to demonstrate their leadership of a chamber turned totally inept to take action on the FOI bill by a legislator on tantrum mode. In recent weeks, Belmonte and Gonzales had assured that they wanted the plenary debate on the FOI bill to proceed posthaste. For a minute, the broad coalition of FOI advocates and authors had thought the duo had stopped their dribble drivel on the bill. Last week’s events, however, made it all plain to everyone: after the drivel comes now a plot to murder the bill in the House through sheer ineptitude and deliberate actions of its leaders, the chronic absenteeism of majority of its members, and the resort to absurd tantrum ploys of one legislator. We smell the stench of death in progress for the FOI bill. We see a rerun of the farce on the FOI bill that was staged by the 14th Congress under Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr. It’s all the same save for one twist -- Belmonte’s 15th seems more duplicitous. It declares full lip-service commitment for FOI but also employs full-throttle theatrics to prevent the bill’s passage. That Belmonte’s House has failed the people on the FOI bill is an indisputable fact. For one, the legislator in tantrum allowed

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other matters to be discussed by the House last Tuesday and Wednesday but it was only when the FOI bill was about to be taken up did he insist on his quorum question. For another, the all-powerful Rules Committee led by Gonzales is not exactly helpless to act on matters of agenda. It did not intervene for the FOI bill. For a third, that the House could not achieve a quorum is not a problem that citizens should have to deal with -- lawmakers are precisely paid handsome fees, on top of fat slabs of pork money, to legislate. Their minimum obligation is to attend all sessions, without fail. Belmonte and Gonzales have the command responsibility to see to this. For a fourth, Belmonte and Gonzales could have declared the FOI bill urgent pursuant to Rule X, Section 52, of the House Rules, thereby paving the way for the adoption of a timetable for debate and voting on FOI. Finally and most important of all, Belmonte and Gonzales could have prevented the deliberate delays on the consideration of the bill by Rep. Ben Evardone at the committee level, which got the FOI bill in its code blue condition in the first place. Fact is, as Evardone hemmed and hawed, legislators in favor of the FOI bill launched an initiative to use Rule IX, Section 37, Par. 1 of the House Rules allowing 1/4 of the members of a committee to call a hearing. But presented with the notice of hearing signed by more than the eight Committee members needed to put the rule in effect, Belmonte prevailed upon the group to allow Evardone to call the hearing instead, allowing Evardone to further delay committee action. With three session days wasted and only six more to go, the last remaining trigger for the House to finally act on the bill is a certification from President Aquino on the urgency of its immediate enactment. Three years ago as a candidate for president, Aquino had promised to support the FOI bill and accord its passage top priority. Now President and also chairman of the ruling Liberal Party coalition in the House, he has both power and duty to fulfill his promise and to do his part to save a bill that will enable the Constitutionally guaranteed rights of the people to information, and to transparency and accountability in government. Failing in this, the President would have also failed a most important test of leadership. If he should choose to stand idly by, when in fact he could have intervened to rescue it, by his inaction he will have also joined the ranks of his murderous allies. Today, the people will march again to Mendiola to lay at the doorstep of President Aquino the FOI bill, limp and nearly lifeless. Save it, the President can. Kill it, the President can, too. In the name of the Constitution, the people, and daang matuwid, the correct choice is clear: Certify the FOI bill as urgent! ANTONIO M. AJERO Editor in Chief


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The slaying of a tech hero ( 1st of two parts )



PPLE’S quarterly results this week drew a flood of reactions – almost all negative. Given how well the company did under almost any absolute measure, this is odd, though, for Wall Street, not necessarily surprising. But the arc of Apple’s rise and temporary fall tells a more troubling story about our current inability to maintain positive momentum about any aspect of our culture. We slay our heroes with casual abandon. Then we wring our hands about the absence of positive catalysts in our world today. Apple’s stock, already in relative free fall from an all-time high of more than $700 a share, plunged nearly 12 percent on the news. The company has now lost 35 percent of its value in four months – which represents an astonishing $235 billion. This decline alone is larger than all but three companies in the S&P 500, and larger than the gross domestic product of more than 140 countries. That equity collapse was echoed by deeply pessimistic analysis of the company in the financial and tech media. Jim Cramer of CNBC railed against the postSteve Jobs management under chief executive officer Tim Cook for failing to communicate a compelling vision. Others were less kind, dismissing the company as having no pipeline, no vision and little growth. “I think this is a broken company,” said noted investor Jeffrey Gundlach. Apple matters on multiple levels: it is still (barely) the world’s largest company by market cap; it has been cited as a beacon of American innovation, led by a rare visionary, Steve Jobs, who resurrected the company he’d founded in the decade before his death; its products have been more than just hardware devices – consumers view them as a talisman, defining identities and allowing people to manifest their personal and professional lives as they chose. In the past few years, its stock price has been a proxy for that enthusiasm. So what happened? What’s most stunning about Apple’s stunning and sudden fall is that it is unfolding in the context of still stunning actual results. Not only has the company not ceased growing, it is expanding at an astonishing clip. Its revenue in the fourth quarter of 2012 was $54.5 billion compared to $46.33 billion a year ago – which is a rise of 18 percent. Eighteen percent in a world economy that is barely growing 3 percent. It sold 47 million iPhones in the quarter compared to 37 million a year ago, and 23 million iPads compared to 15 million a year ago. Yes, Apple earnings were flat, and stock market mavens point ominously to declining margins and shrinking earnings as telltale signs of trouble. But that isn’t a sign of shrinking market share – which has been nearly fatal for former leaders such as Blackberry and Nokia. No, Apple increased its global share of smartphone sales in a market that is hardly robust – as Samsung, Apple’s main competitor revealed as well. And issues of tight margins and spending more money to produce and market the same products are hardly Apple-specific and often given a pass by investors for companies such as Amazon or LinkedIn.



Flashback: Strings of flood in my childhood

HEN a friend in Davao City posted on Facebook that she is now officially a certified flood victim, I was tempted to tell her I’ve always been one—45 or so years ago. The city I grew up was regularly visited by floods, and locals have accepted it like one’s tradition. This is due to the traditional rains that come every January. And since we’re blindly proud to call our city the “Timber Capital of the Philippines,” we never saw anything wrong with it. Back then, I supposed we never saw the link between the floods and the cutting of trees. The loggers, belonging to the local elite political families, just cut, cut and cut the trees. The floods were infamous and dreaded by my relatives in Cebu and Bohol. My aunts would teased us as the” family from Bahaan City,” and never would they be interested to visit again. But once when Bohol was in drought, my father hit back, telling them, “We’ll send you flood waters.” But I loved the floods. What child of five would not? When the water rose outside our rented wooden house, I leaned over the veranda and talked to the fishes. The tiny haluans and guramis (fish varieties) became my companions while the folk were in school or at work. How they loved the bits of


SPECIAL FEATURE BY RAMON JORGE B. SARABOSING bread that I feed them. When we built our own house towards the end of the road, the world--and the floods—doubled. All around were vast tracts of grass with wild ducks ascending and descending. I saw them every morning and afternoon, taking off and landing, seemingly fearless and unconquerable. During elementary years, it was “SOP” (standard operating procedure) that when rains come heavy at night and towards the morning, there will be no class for me. How I loved it. I kept hoping it will rain the whole week. Upon high school, I became wiser. You automatically know there is no point of going to school. The classroom would be half-empty the next day. The day after, the evacuees would take over. The place to go then for my classmates and me was the Magsaysay Bridge. We would gaze at the over-flowing Agusan River with its menacing sight. Heavy currents bringing all kinds of debris rolled fast and past where we stood. I thought I felt my feet tremble. There were floods (lasting two to three days) that I was lazy to go

out. Sometimes I just enjoyed the hand-made”gakits” (raft) to wade in the neighborhood. One big flood was in 1981. The floodwaters lasted for two weeks that we were forced to go to Cebu because my mom could not take the cold anymore. It was getting to be miserable. We could not even visit the wake of an old woman who was dear to us in the neighborhood. So we took a boat that docked at the riverside. Luckily, the current was not that strong. Minor floods then come and go, some negligible or too ordinary. But another big one came in 1991 when floodwaters from the Agusan River spilled dangerously a kilometer away to the national highway. On the radio, I heard for the first time an environmental debate between a politician’s paid commentator and an unknown environmentalist. The former said “there was nothing to worry as this was a natural cycle occurring every 10 and 20 years.” But he never answered the issue of vanishing forests. Of course we keep on hoping the floods would “vanish” from our existence forever, but unless our drainage systems get fixed too, we’ll probably be telling our fellow Mindanaoans this: “Welcome to the club of certified flood victims!” [Ramon Jorge B. Sarabosing/ MindaNews]

Center of political brawl and dispute

EQUIRES AN ENVIRONMENT OF CIRCUMSPECT – Of all the branches of government, the legislature, Senate in particular, is the one that requires the utmost respect for its process of ensuring to enact laws of national interests, and in gorgeous foundation. The primary reason is that public confidence in the integrity and uprightness of the Senate is groundwork for stability, credibility and political order. The Senate being a political department of government like the House of Representatives – whose reason for existence is that, slowly but gradually, is now the center of political brawl and controversy. By the very nature of the functions of the Senate there must be a fair and free flow of debate among its members. Furthermore, the Upper Chamber requires an environment of judiciousness. Violation of the house rules with more damaging effect on the dignity and reputation of the Senate or any legislative body in established democracies are likely to be given appropriate action. Dissatisfaction, arguments and bitter side comments have been known to arise when one feels disadvantaged in the distribution, notably the unequal amount of Christmas “cash gifts,” as in the case of Senator Allan Peter Cayetano. The object of his ire no less is Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile who allegedly plays favoritism in giving dole outs to members of the chamber. Apparently the senator-protagonists deliberately play up the brewing issue on the floor perhaps in an effort either to attract listeners and

sympathizers or just pure self-aggrandizement . What public good can be served when senators fight their “personal dispute” in the Senate floor supposedly the bastion of respect and nobility? Obviously, the fact that this has an adverse effect on national interests, not to mention the Filipino psyche, is of no concern to them. Many questions were raised in the light of the recent word war waged against each other by Senators Enrile and Cayetano where heated discussions veered away from the real issue. Both exchanged barbs scoring in “harsh language” and explained away that insulting incident. The heated exchange served no objective except to expose an acrimonious relationship between two warring lawmakers and revealed how a dignified lawmaking body can be used by its members as a tool for advancing and protecting personal interests. Perhaps at this stage President Benigno Aquino III has already called the attention of the two, instructed to stop their senseless bickering and instead focused their effort in ratifying priority legislative measures. But that doesn’t mean muzzling the squabbling senators – responsible and credible members of the Senate supposedly do not need to be muzzled.




We shudder to think what the consequences might be if the press continues to play up the negative feelings of the wary public – aghast and disappointed of what had happened at the Senate. The people may have the right to know about the laws of national concern enacted by Congress but it also reserves the right to be spared from virulent verbiage that has little to do with them in the first place. It would make more sense if our senators would set aside self-righteous pride and apply a variety of approaches that would better serve the public’s need for uplifting their standard way of living. It is absolutely essential to look closely into the people’s concern and now is the appropriate time as we are at the stage of a stormy and tempestuous era preparing for the start of a new but challenging one. Perhaps our lawmakers should give the public sufficient grounds to believe that they will take their role as molders of statutes seriously and with a sense of responsibility. But from a moral standpoint, the warring senators instead chose the easy way in patching their differences, resorting to bitter side comments and verbal scrimmage to perpetuate personal ends. Sad to lament, they made the Senate a “chamber of joke and travesty.” This certainly violates the code of conduct and ethical standards of the Senate. What kind of values will the people of the future ascribe to the sum of their job? How would the public judge the record of events in the Senate chronicles they leave behind? For sure most will be inclined to be critical.


Davos prescriptions for the U.S. economy ( 1st of two parts ) ANALYSIS BY CHRYSTIA FREELAND


ET ready for a new elite consensus on the U.S. budget deficit. One of the functions of the World Economic Forum – decide for yourself whether this is a virtue or a vice – is to give the plutocrats a venue for figuring out their party line. Think of it as crowdsourcing for the 0.1 percent. For a long time, the conventional wisdom among this crew has been that the deficit and the debt were the United States’ chief economic problems. That’s why I wasn’t surprised when Martin Sorrell, the head of the global communications giant WPP, referred to the deficit as the country’s most important economic issue at a breakfast discussion he moderated at the forum this week. The conversation was off the record, but when I asked Sorrell if I could quote his comment, he happily doubled down: Not only was the deficit the United States’ most important economic woe, it was the most important economic issue in the entire world. “This is the world’s gray swan,” Sorrell told me, in a play on the idea of unpredictable, powerful “black swan” events, popularized by the financial scholar Nassim Nicholas Taleb. Most of the panelists (disclosure: I was one of them) at the WPP conversation agreed with Sorrell – but that Davos consensus may be on the verge of shifting. One of the most convincing signs of that switch came from an interview I did here with Lawrence H. Summers, a Harvard University economist and a monthly columnist for Reuters. Summers, as he put it himself, is hardly a radical – his resume includes stints as secretary of the Treasury, president of Harvard, and President Barack Obama’s chief economic adviser. He is also an academic economist in excellent standing: Summers was one of the youngest tenured professors at Harvard and a recipient in 1993 of the John Clark Bates Medal, which is awarded every two years to the best economist under 40. Most importantly of all, when it comes to the deficit debate, Summers is a political protege of Robert E. Rubin, the Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton whose hawkishness on the deficit was so iconic that it inspired the always quotable political maestro James Carville to muse that he wanted to be reincarnated as the bond market, because it was, in the Rubin world view, omnipotent, a characteristic to which Carville aspired. All of which is to say that Summers is the closest the Davos set comes to the Delphic Oracle – 150 people were turned back from his event this week – and a historic deficit hawk in very good standing. That’s why Summers’ relatively dovish comments about U.S. deficit reduction should carry such clout. Summers’ most important point was that economic policy is more like medical treatment than religion. It isn’t a dogma that should be cleaved to under every circumstance. Instead, it is a doctor’s black bag, whose particular instrument depends on the specific patient.



NATION BRIEFS Pres. Aquino says



first-time senatorial candidate in the coming May elections has joined earlier petitioners seeking to abolish political dynasties in the Philippines. In a 21-page petition for mandamus, lawyer Ricardo Penson asked the Supreme Court to compel Congress to pass an enabling law defining what a “political dynasty” is, as stipulated under Section 26 of the 1987 Philippine Constitution.



fter six petitions challenging its legality, Republic Act 10354 or the Responsible Parenthood and Reproductive Health Act of 2012 has found an ally in a former lawmaker and a group of mothers who took to the Supreme Court on Monday to support the controversial law. In a motion to intervene, former Akbayan party-list Rep. Risa Hontiveros-Baraquel and a group of mothers insisted that claims by critics of the law that contraceptives have an “abortifacient nature... have no medical basis.”



olice may be one step closer to getting the armed men behind last weekend’s robbery at the SM Megamall, after identifying some of the suspects. Eastern Police District head Chief Superintendent Miguel Laurel said they found matches between some of the suspects and their rogues’ gallery. Hel did not immediately name the suspects, whose images he said were taken from SM Megamall’s closed-circuit television footage.



olice took into custody a man who broke into the office of Metropolitan Manila Development Authority Chairman Francis Tolentino last weekend. The suspect was initially identified as Gilbert Moncano, a resident of Makati City. He reportedly managed to enter Tolentino’s office via the air-conditioning ducts, and get to other areas of the MMDA office. But police are looking into the motive behind the break-in, as no money or food was taken.



US not exempt from laws E P

HILIPPINE President Benigno Aquino has welcomed the US Navy’s apology for a minesweeper that went aground on a World Heritage-listed coral reef, but said they would not be exempt from penalties. The priority was to remove the damaged USS Guardian from Tubbataha Reef even as an investigation was under way to determine why it strayed into the area, Aquino told reporters in Davos, Switzerland, according to transcripts released Sunday. “We’d like to thank them for respecting our sovereignty and are very careful about our sensitivities,” Aquino said of the apology last week by the US embassy and the US Navy. “But that doesn’t exempt them from having to comply with our laws,” he said. The 68-metre (224 foot) vessel has been stuck since January 17. Its hull has been punctured and is now flooded. The US Navy last week raced to remove some 57,000 litres (15,000 US gallons) of fuel from the ship, while awaiting the


Philippine President Benigno Simeon Aquino attends a session of the World Economic Forum at the Swiss resort of Davos, on January 25. Aquino has welcomed the US Navy’s apology for

a minesweeper that went aground on a World Heritage-listed coral reef, but said they would not be exempt from penalties. [AFP]

arrival of two bigger crane ships to pluck the Guardian from the reef. The incident has caused anger in the Philippines, a former American colony and ally in the Asia-Pacific. While both the embassy and the head of the US Navy’s Pacific fleet have apologised for the incident, they have not yet explained the exact cause. The head of the marine park supervising Tub-

bataha has said the ship ignored warnings that it was entering a protected marine sanctuary. The government last week said it was seeking heavy fines for the coral damage, but Aquino said penalties would have to be assessed after the vessel is salvaged. About 1,000 square metres (3,280 square feet) of coral has been impacted, or about less than one percent of the entire ma-

rine park. Tubbataha is a UNESCO World Heritage site in a remote part of the Sulu Sea famous for its rich marine life and coral that rival Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Under Philippine law, the sanctuary is off-limits to ships except for research or tourism vessels approved by the government. “They violated it, there are penalties,” Aquino stressed. [AFP]

the wealth of Chinese officials. The petition, which took the form of a full-page advertisement headlined “Secrecy breeds corruption”, was published in five local dailies and signed by nearly 1,800 reporters, journalism professors and students who urged the government to drop the plan. “Freedom of the press and free flow of information is a cornerstone of

Hong Kong’s success,” the petition read. It called on the city leader Leung Chun-ying to “withdraw this retrogressive regulation which grossly impinges on freedom and openness, and stop pushing for this heinous law to limit press freedom”. The former British colony, which reverted to Chinese rule in 1997, maintains a semi-autonomous status with guarantees of

civil liberties -- including press freedom -- not seen in mainland China. Under the proposal, corporate directors could apply to have their residential address and full identity card or passport numbers blocked from public view -- a bid the government said was meant to protect their privacy. But the plan has sparked an uproar among journalists as it comes amid concerns over Beijing’s meddling in local affairs and after a number of reports focusing on the wealth and assets of China’s ruling elite grabbed headlines. Financial newswire Bloomberg has said it used Hong Kong and Chinese identity card numbers from corporate filings to chart business ties and a list of investments made by the extended family of China’s incoming president Xi Jinping in a report published in June last year. The New York Times also said it used such information from Hong Kong over a story in October that showed outgoing premier Wen Jiabao’s relatives had control of assets worth at least $2.7 billion, a report Beijing branded as a smear.

HK journalists publish press freedom petition

ONG Kong journalists ran a petition in newspapers on Monday urging the city’s Beijing-backed leader to withdraw a proposed law which they said would infringe press freedom. Local and foreign journalists have slammed a government plan to restrict access to information about company directors, after such details were used in a series of investigative reports to expose


gyptian President Mohamed Mursi declared a month-long state of emergency in three cities on the Suez Canal, where dozens of people have been killed in protests that have swept the nation and deepened a political crisis facing the Islamist leader. Hundreds of demonstrators in Port Said, Suez and Ismailia turned out against the decision within moments of Mursi’s announcement late on Sunday that came after the death toll from protests and violence that erupted last week hit 49 people.


15-year-old boy was the latest violator of an ongoing election gun ban meant to minimize violence during the period leading to the May 13 elections. The minor, whose identity was withheld, was caught at a checkpoint on Gladiola Street in Makati City. He yielded a cal-.45 pistol with six bullets, and was turned over to the local Department of Social Welfare and Development office.


PRESS PROTEST. Photo illustration of a newspaper stand in Hong Kong. Hong Kong journalists ran a petition in newspapers on Monday urging the city’s Beijing-backed leader to withdraw a proposed law which they said would infringe press freedom. [AFP]









hina expressed concern on Monday after Japan unveiled plans to boost the number of its military personnel, as a bitter territorial dispute between the two countries drags on. Japan’s Defence Minister Itsunori Onodera said on Sunday the government would increase the number of personnel, now standing at about 225,000, by 287 in the next fiscal year starting in April, the biggest rise in two decades. The figure represents an expansion of about 0.1 percent.

lobal powers and Iran should “stop behaving like little children” and agree a date and place for new talks on Tehran’s nuclear programme, Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov said on Monday. European officials have accused Tehran of stalling on arranging a meeting with the six nations, including Russia, that are trying to prevent Iran developing atomic weapons. Tehran says its nuclear programme is entirely for peaceful purposes. t least 50 people including policemen were injured in Bangladesh on Monday as Islamist activists protested against the prosecution of their leaders on charges stemming from a war of independence 40 years ago, police and witnesses said. Protesters set off crude explosives and threw bricks at police who tried to disperse them with teargas, batons and some shots in the air, witnesses said. razilians on Monday were mourning the victims of a nightclub blaze in a small college town that left more than 230 people dead and over 100 injured, with many still fighting for their lives. Shocked survivors, mostly science students in Santa Maria, described how scores of revelers were trampled to death or succumbed to smoke inhalation as blocked exits and rising flames caused panic.


Holcim... FFROM 1 P12, 653,635.00 and Halifax Davao Hotel Inc., owner of Marco Polo Davao (P 10,306,348). The sixth was San Pedro Hospital of Davao City, Inc., which paid P9,182,520 followed by


Globe Telecom in seventh (P 8,188,397). SM Prime Holdings, Inc., which opened its 46th shopping mall last September, landed 8th at P6,631,319 followed by DSG Sons Group Inc., own-

er of the Gaisano Mall, at ninth with P5,799,215. Finally, New City Commercial Corp., more commonly referred to NCCC, rounds out the top 10 list of taxpayers with P5,716,376.

the people on the power of dialogue, encourage people to appreciate and celebrate their own faith, strengthen networking of different faith traditions, different government and non-government organizations, and

to accept harmony as the only way to bring peace in the world. Lagunzad said the activity is supported by Archbishop Emeritus Fernando Capalla and Davao Archbishop Romulo Valle.

dial to listen to latest daily water updates or call directly its Central Information Unit / complaints center through the 24-hour hotline 221-

9412 or call/text 09277988966 for other updates, complaints, queries and other matters pertaining to DCWD services. [Jerell J. Leonida]

ity and the kind of advocacy that we guys are doing here in Davao, considering that Next BPO Solutions Inc. is a Davao City-based company that started four years ago with only seven people,” Barriga said. Malanastas bared that his firm now employs close to a hundred people. “They did not even know that they won the award; it was actually their clients who voted for them and nominated them,” he added. Barriga said the local BPO industry is inspired by the firm’s amazing achievement. “This is

good news for the local industry as Manalastas would be able to represent better the ICT industry internationally,” he added. “We hope to see more local BPO businesses jumping into the bandwagon, putting in more infrastructures and facilities that will allow us to generate more IT talent to make our graduates better equipped, especially when it comes to software and application making.” Barriga said there are 16,000 people employed by the growing BPO industry in Davao City.

typhoon-hit areas in the region. The WFS was piloted by UNFPA in New Bataan, Compostela Valley right after the onslaught of typhoon Pablo in December last year, aiming to cater to the special needs of the internally displaced women especially the pregnant mothers, nursing mothers, senior citizens and persons with disabilities (PWDs). Razon said the WFS is set up in the evacuation

center where a big tent is installed to accommodate the women who are provided with lectures such as on nutrition, good grooming, migration and trafficking in persons, among others. This space for women also tenders a comfort zone for mothers to breastfeed their babies, the DSWD-XI official told the media during a twoday DSWD Partners’ Forum held last week at Apo View Hotel in Davao City.

FFROM 2 peace and harmony forum and the signing of a covenant. Sister Cris Lagunzad, representing the Sisters of Saint Charles Borromeo, said that the purpose of the celebration is to give awareness to



derstanding and cooperation. The general public may call the DCWD trunk line at 221-9400 and press “1” on their phone



ens the status of Davao City as a premier worldclass destination for the BPO industry, according to Eriberto Barriga Jr., executive vice president of Information and Communications Technology –Davao (ICTDavao). Barriga, Jr. said that “this implies Davao is now a prime destination for BPO services in the Philippines, as there are only two companies in the country which won the award,” adding that the other one is a BPO company based in Manila. “Basically, this award adds to the kind of qual-

Women-friendly space program to be replicated in other areas


HE women survivors of Typhoon Pablo in Monkayo, Compostela Valley province will be served more of their particular needs as a Women Friendly Space will soon be put up in the town’s evacuation centers. Department of Social Welfare and Development regional director Priscilla Razon said the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) will replicate the WFS program not only to Monkayo but also to other



Musikahan to raise funds for Typhoon Pablo victims By ChePalicte


OR A CHANGE, Tagum City’s Musikahan Festival promises to play a new tune this year. Organizers of the 12th edition of the Musikahan set for February 19-24 launched the Creative Cultural Action Program (CCAP) which adds a social responsibility dimension to the already multidimensional annual festival. Tagum Tourism Council chairperson Alma Uy introduced the CCAP during a press conference last Friday which will feature rare performances by world-class talents and a Woodstock-style rock concert aimed at raising funds for charity other than the usual competition offering whopping prize bonanza. Uy said that top caliber performances by a renowned orchestra from Thailand and the popular Madrigal Sing-

ers of the University of the Philippines will headline the cast of world-class artists who have confirmed attendance in the Musikahan, the country’s longest-running music-themed festival. Bangkok’s Sunrise Orchestra, grand prix winner of Musikahan’s Himig Handog competition, is set to conduct celebratory concerts where proceeds go to the victims of typhoon Pablo in Compostela Valley. Another first in this year’s celebration is the Woodstock-inspired “Rock for the Valley”, a three-night non-stop concert featuring some 100 bands and artists from all over the country. “We have invited more than 100 bands to perform for free in a three night show called ‘Rock for the Valley’ and we are still encouraging people with talent

in music to perform for free,” Uy said, adding that they invited musical artists and musical groups of different disciplines (bands, singers and chorale groups) to take part in the CCAP as organizers switch their focus on elevating music as a means to implement social responsibility programs. She added that the choral group competition, the Musikahan’s centerpiece event, dangles a total prize of P250, 000 to the winner. Meantime, Dra. Vivian Galang, who chairs the festival’s Master Classes, said there will be a free seminar on February 22 from 8:00 in the morning till 5:00 in the afternoon which will be conducted by Sunrise String Orchestra. The seminar will have lessons in brass and woodwind instruments and music composition.

severely damaged livelihood and properties in badly-hit provinces, including Davao del Norte. “The concert is also part of the psychosocial process wherein the typhoon victims are entertained and could savor the joy of music, and forget for the time being what they had gone through,” Razon told media during DSWD Partners’ Forum held on January 23-24 in Davao City. In the forum attended by media and information officers of local government units, DSWD-11 said the psychosocial interventions are continuously provided for internally-displaced persons in the typhoon-stricken areas. DSWD-11 Policy and Plans Division chief Raquel Nuñez said volun-

teers from the academe, religious groups and civil society organizations who are social workers and guidance counselors trained to conduct psychosocial support, have been a big help to the agency. Nuñez urged for more volunteers. especially debriefers and social workers who are accredited to administer psychosocial interventions. She said DSWD social workers have been deployed to communities to reach out to typhoon survivors who are not able to go to the camp sites. Nuñez said Unicef (United Nations Children’s Fund) is set to provide a refresher course for social workers as part of strengthening the psychosocial support. [PIA 11/Carina L. Cayon]

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National artists to stage concert caravan for Pablo-hit residents


INGERS Leah Navarro and Danny Javier will lead other national artists in staging a concert caravan set first week of February in Typhoon Pablo-devastated areas in the provinces of Compostela Valley and Davao Oriental. Priscilla Razon, regional director of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD-11), bared that the concert caravan will be held on February 4, 5 and 6 in the municipalities of New Bataan, Compostela and Monkayo in Compostela Valley, and in Boston and Cateel, Davao Oriental. She said the free concert aims to lift the spirits of the survivors of the typhoon that claimed the lives of more than a thousand residents and


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Like Tiger of old Tiger Woods is just 11 holes away from his first title this year.AP



AN DIEGO (AP) -Due to the fog that wiped out an entire day of golf, the Farmers Insurance Open was never going to end on Sunday. Tiger Woods just made it look as if it was over. Hands thrust in the pockets of his rain pants, Woods walked off Torrey Pines in the chill of twilight with a six-shot lead and only 11 more holes standing in the way of winning on the public course along the Pacific Ocean for the eighth time in his pro career. He drove the ball with superb control in the third round on his way to a 3-under 69 to build a four-shot lead after three rounds. He lost control with his driver in the fourth round and still managed three birdies in seven holes. ‘’All we can do tomorrow is go out and try to make him think about it

a little bit and see what happens,’’ said Nick Watney, one of two former winners at Torrey Pines who faced the tough task of trying to make up six shots on Woods. The other was defending champion Brandt Snedeker. ‘’I’ve got a guy at the top of the leaderboard that doesn’t like giving up leads,’’ Snedeker said. ‘’So I have to go catch him.’’ Woods was at 17-under par for the tournament and will resume his round on the par-3 eighth hole. CBS Sports wants to televise the Monday finish - no surprise with Woods in the lead - so play won’t start until 2 p.m. EST. Snedeker played 13 holes of the final round. Watney played eight holes. Both were at 11-under par. Woods played 25 holes. He started with a two-shot lead and tripled it before darkness suspended the final round.

Melo rains threes as Knicks get win


EW YORK (AP) -Carmelo Anthony tied a franchise record with nine 3-pointers, then converted a go-ahead, three-point play with 12.5 seconds left to cap a 42-point night and lead the New York Knicks to a 106104 victory over the Atlanta Hawks on Sunday. The Hawks shot a season-high 60 percent from the field but had their three-game winning streak snapped when Josh Smith, burned on Anthony’s basket, missed a 3-pointer on Atlanta’s final possession. Amare Stoudemire and J.R. Smith each had 18 points for the Knicks, who were 16 of 27 (59 percent) from 3-point range. Raymond Felton had 12 points and 10 assists in his second game back after a 10-game absence with a broken

right pinky. Jeff Teague scored 27 points for the Hawks. Smith added 20 and Al Horford had 16. Anthony matched the Knicks’ record for 3-pointers held by John Starks, Latrell Sprewell (twice) and Toney Douglas. He also tied Richie Guerin’s franchise record with his 29th straight 20-point game. His biggest basket came nowhere near the arc. The Knicks came out of a timeout down by one and Anthony found Smith on him after he was played much of the final period by DeShawn Stevenson, a rugged defender who had frustrated him into a potentially costly technical foul. Anthony blew by Smith to the left, getting fouled as he laid the ball in.

Knee injury cuts Rondo’s season


OSTON (AP) -- Boston Celtics star point guard Rajon Rondo will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee. The news came during Boston’s 100-98 double-overtime win over the Miami Heat on Sunday in which Ray Allen returned to his old home court for the first time. ‘’New guys are going to get an opportunity now,’’ Boston forward Paul Pierce said. ‘’These guys haven’t had a chance to really showcase what they can do.’’ For the past five seasons, Pierce, Allen and Kevin Garnett made up the Big Three. After Allen signed with the Heat as a

free agent in the offseason, Rondo joined that group and became the team leader with his ability to run the offense. He was chosen as the starting point guard for the Eastern Conference in the All-Star game in Houston on Feb. 17. Now the Celtics hope he can be ready for the start of next season. ‘’How far is that?’’ coach Doc Rivers said, ‘’I don’t even know how long that is. Eight months? Nine months? So he’ll probably be ready, but I don’t know. Rondo injured his right knee in Friday night’s 123112 double-overtime loss in Atlanta, a game in which the Celtics blew a 27-point lead, but Rivers said he didn’t know when.





HK win boosts Gilas buildup O

NE SMALL step for the country, one giant step for the

team. That’s how national basketball team coach Chot Reyes describes the recent victory of the SMART Gilas Pilipinas squad in the 19th Super Kung Sheung Cup championship in Hong Kong recently. The win was a big boost for the country’s bid to retain the Southeast Asian Games gold medal and the bigger goal of doing well in the Fiba-Asia Men’s Basketball Championship. Reyes stressed this point on Sunday night after Gilas’ come-frombehind 81-77 win over Southern California-Fukienese Association capped a five-game sweep of the eight-team tournament in the for-

I Bike enthusiasts who took part in the Padyak sa Liwanag salubong on Sunday pose in front of the City Hall after completing the pilgrimage. (DDS FB photo)

mer British colony. The HK championship also capped what Reyes described as a “fulfilling” run of two titles in four tournaments since he took over from Serb Ra-

jko Toroman as national coach last year. Reyes, however, was quick to remind everybody that the Hong Kong title was just part of a long journey for a team

whose biggest goal is to regain Asian supremacy in the Fiba-Asia showpiece which the country will be hosting for the first time in four decades in August.

Lakers shock Thunder L

OS ANGELES (AP) -After every plot twist and dramatic turn in the Los Angeles Lakers’ soap opera of a season, perhaps their stars’ latest identity switches shouldn’t be all that shocking. Kobe Bryant made all the big passes. Steve Nash scored important points down the stretch. Pau Gasol excelled off the bench as the new-look Lakers calmly maintained a fourth-quarter lead on the mighty Oklahoma City Thunder. Bryant had 21 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds, Nash added seven of his 17 points in the final 5 1/2 minutes, and the Lakers held off the NBA-leading Thunder 10596 Sunday. Gasol scored 16 points in a reserve role as the Lakers picked up the most impressive victory of their thoroughly unimpressive season, coolly maintaining a small lead down the stretch of their second straight win after a fourgame skid. With Bryant taking on a playmaking role, Nash stepping up his offensive game and Dwight Howard preaching togetherness, the 19-25 Lakers are cautiously optimistic their latest reboot will work - and even the Thunder were impressed.

Kobe Bryant drives against a tough defense out up by the Oklahoma Thunder. Bryant’s Lakers shocked the Thunder.

Biking boom

MISSED Sunday’s Salubong of the Padyak Tungo sa Liwanag bike pilgrimage. Blame it some late night sleep after a night with Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) guys at Nobi, a new bar in Quimpo Boulevard which boasts of a unique alfresco atmosphere and its bestselling oysters straight from Capiz. It’s waking up with the feeling that you can go straight down the road pumping pedals but the body is just too unwilling to yield. I consoled myself with the news from social media bike friends of the huge turnout of the Salubong which kicked off the World Liwanag Festival, an event that promotes the advocacy of a healthy lifestyle and a better world. I congratulate kabike-kadas Monica Ayala for spearheading the ride and Neng Gomez for surviving the long ride which included an ascent to Calinan. Neng’s husband Nikki Gomez is only too proud of her feat. Despite missing the Sunday morning ride, I got myself on the saddle in the afternoon with high school buddy Tom Villacorta at the Davao Crocodile Park. It’s just good to see that biking is experiencing resurgence in Davao and is now competing with running as the city’s preferred physical fitness activity. Best to say there’s a biking boom again. There’s a bike activity and group practically for everybody—be it trail biking, downhill, cross country, road, or enduro. What’s good is that you can bike from sun up to sundown and dusk ‘til dawn. Fact is, night rides have also become a common fare for Davao’s bike enthusiasts who have found a different thrill and a unique way of calorie-burning in pedalling through the city’s streets at night. With their blinkers flashing and their

DSA. Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte (left) inducts into office the newly elected batch of officers of the Davao Sportswriters Association (DSA) on Saturday at Yellow Fin Restaurant. (DSA pooled photo)

bright white LED lights on, these night riders are your modern day fireflies roaming as street creatures of the night. Bike enthusiasts ride different bike species these d ay s — f r o m the street cruisers to folding bikes, to fixies, to mountain bikes and road bikes. These days, you don’t have to get a high-priced bike to get yourself into biking. Thanks to the surplus bike shops in the city. They’re practically everywhere. If you need a bike that’s ready to ride, these surplus shops offer Korea and China-made bikes at a very affordable price. Pre-loved bikes are also on sale online. My good friend John Tomesa has a flourishing surplus bike business sold online not only in Davao but all over the country. If you are the type who will spend enough for your obsession, there are several new bike shops around town, with some newly-opened shops at the malls. Amidst all that, there is also this growing advocacy by bike enthusiasts for the city to allocate a lane exclusively for bikers. In fact, this is one of the agenda of the Liwanag advocacy. In Manila, the MMDA has started opening a bike lane in Makati area with a few bikes on top for everyone to borrow. There is always a good start and in this maddening world of traffic and rising cost of fuel (another round of increase could come as this hits the press), biking could well ease the street clogging and save some precious lungs too. (Notes: Thank you to Philippine Airlines for the invitation to the 66th PAL Interclub in Cebu City. I think I need to get back into the swinging groove... Congratulations to the newly-elected DSA officers led by Marianne Saberon...Congratulations to the winners of the RSSPC sportswriting competition. Keep on writing.)





Having brunch in Hong Kong WEEKENDS are about going out with friends, eating out at the newest restaurants, getting a drink at the local watering hole and dancing the night away at the club. True that we Dabawenyos would rather end our evening escapades with breakfast at the nearest 24hour McDonald’s or Jollibee restaurant, but brunching is honestly so much more fun as by the time brunch rolls along, which is around ten in the morning, most of us have already sobered up and have already recovered most of our memories from the evening prior.

One of the best places to brunch is in Hong Kong where there is an actual

brunch culture, many thanks to the strong expat community that populates the former British colony. As a friend of mine living in Hong Kong says, you have not experienced living in Hong Kong if you had not had a proper Sunday brunch. The best places to brunch in Hong Kong are at the Soho district, just off Central. It is in the areas between Hollywood

Most of us have already sobered up and have already recovered most of our memories from the evening prior. and Staunton Roads where most of the brunch action happens. Just take the MTR and head towards Central station and take a short stroll up towards the mid-level escalators and up towards Soho. As you get closer to Staunton Road, you notice more and more expatriates on the road, either going or walking back home from a workout at the nearby gym, or just chilling and people watching from the many quaint cafes and restaurants that dot the area. Otoi, JP and I chose to go in between and decided to have brunch at Pure Bar and Restaurant, which is also the name of the gym that is located on the same building. Food and fitness

Hanging out at Portobello.

The scene at PURE.

does mix! I went for their big breakfast since I was famished and did not have a bite to eat all night long. The big breakfast consists of a platter of sausages, poached eggs, baked beans and marmalade toast and was a nice and filling starter for the day. I wanted to pair it with a glass of sangria, or a bloody mary but I decided not to since I believe I had enough alcohol in my already from last night’s drinking and dancing spree. It was fun to just sit down, relax and watch the people go up and down

the steps and going on their Sunday routine. And what makes brunching special, is when you and your friends take the time to watch the world pass by and try to recover pieces from last Saturday night. On the whole though, I guess I can say that the energy of the place is addictive even when it is a lazy Sunday morning and I just can’t wait to go back for brunch again soon. Follow me on Twitter and on Instagram @kennethkingong for more adventures, misadventures and foodie finds in and around Durianburg.



Trust Home Depot launches Valentines promo THERE IS romance in the air and it comes early at Trust Home Depot. As Valentine’s Day approaches, the perennial question of where to take the loved one for a memorable night of wining, dining and romancing arises. Let Trust Home Depot handle that for you.

Trust Home Depot has become unprecedented in its trendsetting in-store promotions—art classes and cooking lessons within the hardware store were two of the successful events— and for 2013, it kicks off with its first offering— the Valentine’s Day promotion. Who says Trust Home Depot can only take care of your home and decorating needs? From January 28 to February 10, 2013, shop at Trust Home Depot and get a chance to romance your loved one for a night in Davao’s best hotels—the Marco Polo Hotel and the Pearl Farm Beach Resort, or take her on a dream date to the city’s exciting dining destinations. You can take home instant premium items as well. For every single purchase of P5,000 and above, the shopper is entitled to draw from the P5,000 and above category bowl of prizes and get the chance to win any of these exciting prizes: Major Prizes: a complimentary overnight stay with meal for two at Pearl Farm Beach Resort; a complimentary overnight stay for two at the Marco Polo Hotel Davao; a CBTL Single Serve Coffee Machine; gift checks from Tiny Kitchen; Beef Pepper Rice Meals from Pepper Lunch; P1,000 Gift Checks from Cellar; P1,000 Gift Checks from Tsuru Japanese Restaurant; and, P1,000 Gift Checks from Coco’s Grill. Minor Prizes: heavy-duty eco-bags; portable flashlights; mugs; button mirror keychains; light-duty eco-bags. For the P1000 to P4999 single purchases, the shopper is entitled to draw from the P1000 to P4999 Category bowl of prizes and win any of these prizes: Major prizes- P500 gift checks from Hukad, Basti’s Brew, Teriyaki Boy, Kangaroo Coffee, Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Cecil’s Snack Inn, and Lachi’s. Minor Prizes: heavy-duty eco-bags; portable flashlights; mugs; button mirror keychains; light-duty eco-bags. Shop at Trust Home Depot from January 28 to February 10 and win that dream date, instantly! For more details of Trust Home Depot’s Valentine’s Promotion, please call 2987878, 295-3588. Or visit Trust Home Depot on Facebook. TRUST Home Depot is at Ecoland Drive, Quimpo Boulevard, Matina (formerly Task Force Davao).



SAG Awards Best & Worst: Justin Timberlake and Sofia Vergara, sexy suits and ‘big boobs’ WITH stars such as Jennifer Lawrence, Daniel Day-Lewis, Claire Danes, Hugh Jackman, and films like Argo, Lincoln, Silver Linings Playbook, and TV series such as Homeland, Breaking Bad and Boardwalk Empire—it can all mean just one thing: the 2013 SAG Awards are seriously glitzy and glitzily serious.

Or something. Anyway, here’s the best, the worst and the craziest stuff we saw: Best Opener: Every year, the SAG awards open with actors explaining how they entered the profession, but even with good tales from Glee’s Darren Criss, 30 Rock’s Jane Krakowski and veteran Hal Holbrook, our favorite was Modern Family’s Sofia Vergara. She recalled telling her disapproving father that since her “big boobs” made her look like a hooker, she would be going into acting. Biggest Miss: Lincoln’s gloriously bewigged supporting actor winner Tommy Lee Jones, he of the Golden Globes glower, missed picking up his trophy—and still finding a way to look grumpy doing it. Had he pulled it off, that would have been some great acting. Least Rock Star Look: Justin Timberlake presented the supporting film actress award wearing a totally sexy suit-and-tie combo. That is, if he’d been our English professor. Insert Skinny Joke Here: Unlike most awards shows, the SAG awards has no time-wasting filler. It’s all meat,--albeit really lean, tanned, designerdressed meat. Biggest Mother of a Joke: Big winner Tina Fey praising her pal from the stage, “Amy [Poehler], I’ve known you since you were pregnant with Lena Dunham.” Hottest Actors In a Threesome: The cast of Modern Family, which took home its third SAG trophy in a row, people. That’s something that doesn’t happen every year, you know. Best Acting: While the show paused as drama series winner Julianne Moore made her way up to the stage, fellow nominee Nicole Kidman remained composed (and beautiful!)

Justin Timberlake, Jennifer Lawrence & Bradley Cooper.

while the camera stayed on her. Most Gracious: During her speech, Julianne Moore thanked a baby, her costar, from Game Change. Loved that. Worst Attempt to Trick Dudes Into Seeing a Musical: Hugh Jackman and Anne Hathaway described the Les Miserables as Wolverine getting chased by Gladiator with some input by Catwoman…and well, frankly, they had us at Wolverine. Most Attractive While Sharing a Teleprompter: If presenters Rose Byrne and James Marsden had a baby, well…they’d probably be surprised since they were just standing there presenting an award together. But you can bet that handsome baby would get thanked by Julianne Moore, too. Best Bit of Classic Television: The everadorable Dick Van Dyke thanked his “lord and savior” Carl Reiner and costar Mary Tyler Moore, before graciously telling the assembled actors that they’d raised the standard of acting and were fine, engaged activists. No one had the heart to tell the venerable performer that, having gotten his lifetime achievement award, he could have totally gone to town insulting the assembled actors if he’d wanted to. Biggest Surprise Win: If perennial award-winner Breaking Bad could ever be seen as an underdog, well, Bryan Cranston’s win over Jon Hamm, Steve Buscemi, Damien Lewis and Jeff Daniels surprised some grizzled award-show watchers. (Yes, we meant

us.) Best Quips: Both top TV winners, Bryan Cranston and Claire Danes, cracked us up with sassy one-liners, he about being “well endowed” with the trophy and she about her Spanx undegarments. Yes,

we kind of like below-thebelt humor. Jessica Chas…tain! The announcer seemed to doublecheck the actress’ name as she walked out to introduce the In Memoriam segment. To her credit, she got it right.

Tina Fey wins best actress in a TV series, comedy, for 30 Rock.

The complete list of 2013 SAG Awards winners The 2013 Screen Actors Guild Awards show at The Shrine in Los Angeles is a night for actors to honor their own. Here is the list of winners. MOVIES: Actor: Daniel Day-Lewis, Lincoln Actress: Jennifer Lawrence, Silver Linings Playbook Supporting actor: Tommy Lee Jones, Lincoln Supporting actress: Anne Hathaway, Les Miserables Cast: Argo Stunt ensemble: Skyfall -----TELEVISION: Actor in a movie or miniseries: Kevin Costner Hatfields & McCoys Actress in a movie or miniseries: Julianne Moore, Game Change Actor in a drama series: Bryan Cranston, Breaking Bad Actress in a drama series: Claire Danes, Homeland Actor in a comedy series: Alec Baldwin, 30 Rock Actress in a comedy series: Tina Fey, 30 Rock Drama series cast: Downton Abbey Comedy series cast: Modern Family Stunt ensemble: Game of Thrones -----Life Achievement: Dick Van Dyke



Miley Cyrus goes braless for Cosmopolitan cover WELL, she’s just being Miley.

Miley Cyrus stunned on the cover of Cosmopolitan’s March issue, sporting a white blazer with nothing underneath. The 20-year-old former Hannah Montana star dished on her fiancé (or “hubby” as she called him in the mag) along with her upcoming record, telling Cosmo which part of her life is the most satisfying. “Number one is my relationship with Liam,” Cyrus said. “That’s what I feel the most confident in because you never know. There’s so much hype behind my new record, but it could come out and, worst-case scenario, everyone f-cking hates it.” And speaking of the Hunger Games star, Cyrus said she too still gets awestruck by how “hot” her hubby-to-be is. “I’ll literally look at him and be like ‘You are hot, dear god!’,” the “Can’t Be Tamed” singer continued. “The other day, I turned on the pool heater and it was steaming, and he walked outside and took off his clothes and jumped in the pool. I was like, ‘I’m gonna faint—the hottest guy of my life is in a steaming pool. This looks like a Playgirl shoot.’” “So, I took a photo and made it the background on my phone,” Cyrus went on. “My best friend grabbed my phone and was like, “Who’s that? He is so hot!”‘That’s my hubby!’” And her record, Cyrus said, is the second most satisfying thing for her.

“I’ve never gotten to make a record like this because Disney’s always been on my back saying, ‘You’ve got to promote the TV show in two months, so make sure your record’s done...and when you promote your record, can you promote the show, the movie and the Hannah Montana record?’ I was basically carrying two people’s careers and trying to make mine the priority. Now, it’s almost like being a new artist and trying to make a first impression. I think the best thing I could have done was take those two years off to really live, because now people don’t think of me as who I was on the TV show.” The starlet’s new record will come with a new sound, she said, which she collaborated on with the

likes of Mary J. Blige and Tyler the Creator. “I wrote this song with Mary J. Blige, and Tyler the Creator heard it and said, ‘I am obsessed with this song, and I will guest on it if you promise me that you will keep it on the album.’ And he killed it! I really didn’t want to make a hip-hop record, and I’m not trying at all to be a Rihanna or a Nicki [Minaj].... that’s not my vibe. When I was growing up, my older brother would sneak me Nelly CDs, my dad had me listening to Dolly [Parton] and Johnny [Cash], and my mom is a complete metal head. So this record is a weird mixture of all that.” Cyrus’ debut album is set to be released later this year. We can’t wait to check it out.

Taylor Swift sizzles in short, gold dress at same event as ex Harry Styles REVENGE sure looks good on Taylor Swift!

The single 23-year-old singer stunned at the NRJ Music Awards held at Palais des Festivals on Saturday in Cannes, France— the same event where her former boyfriend Harry Styles and his One Direction bandmates performed and took home the award for Best International Group. Donning an Elie Saab dress, Jimmy Choo shoes, Ofira earrings, and a single Lorraine Schwartz ring, Taylor continued her plunge neck, mini dress escapade. Amping up the breakup vibe further, Taylor re-

portedly sang “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” at the event with Harry in the audience after she changed into yet another sexy outfit, a tiny black lacy number and knee-high boots. Playing it cool, Harry took to Twiitter after the awards, tweeting: “Thank you so much to @NRJhitmusiconly and our fans for the Award!! See you later .xx.” While Taylor hit Twitter herself the day prior but to tweet a pic of the Cannes sunset. In our opinion, Taylor looks just as bright and beautiful as that sunset! Go, girl!

INdulge! A3


A4 INdulge!



Finding giants in Davao Gulf By Kenneth Irving Ong

SORSOGON may be famous for their Whale Sharks but Davao Gulf has other giants of the sea and these are the giant clams that call the Gulf home. I recently visited the Pearl Farm Beach Resort and was taken on a sidetrip to visit these giants of the sea up close and personal at a marine research facility being run by the Davao del Norte State College. The facility aims to study the waters and creatures that are found within the Davao Gulf, the facility is also where giant clams are protected, raised and studied by the marine biology students of DNSC. While giant clams are reported to produce pearls, these pearls from giant clams are rare and the value of these clams are more for food and for tourism. Diving around the facility and guided by marine biologists, one is instantly surrounded by many giant clams, some almost a

Giant clams as far as the eye can see.

meter wide. I find it fascinating that such immobile animals can have such striking colours of iridescent blue and yellow, and patterns from spots and stripes, so different from the sandy coloured shells of the clams one can find in a souvenir shop. I was also surprised to learn that out of the eight species of giant clams in the world, six now call Davao Gulf home. The marine biologists say that the new species came in thanks to the ballast water of the ships that continually visit Davao Gulf. Given that Davao already is home to the king of fruits, the king of mountains, and the queen of flowers. I feel good that I was also able to visit and see for myself the gentle giants of the clams.

Snooba time at the Pearl Farm Beach Resort.

Davao del Norte State College’s marine research outpost.

This blue lipped giant clam is over a meter wide.






Novak Djokovic (left) walks off the court as the crowd cheered him on lustily, a forlorn Andy Murray (right) follows him after the two fought for the Australian Open title. Djokovic won in four sets.


ELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- No shirt ripping or bare-chested flexing this time. Novak Djokovic completed his work before midnight, defeating Andy Murray in four sets for his third consecutive Australian Open title and fourth overall. It was also the second time in three years Djokovic had beaten his longtime friend in this final. So the celebration was muted: a small victory shuffle, raised arms, a kiss for the trophy. No grand histrionics, although that’s not to say the moment was lost on him. ‘’Winning it three in a row, it’s incredible,’’

Djokovic said after his 6-7 (2), 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 victory Sunday night. ‘’It’s very thrilling. I’m full of joy right now. It’s going to give me a lot of confidence for the rest of the season, that’s for sure.’’ Nine other men had won consecutive Australian titles in the Open era, but none three straight years. One of them was Andre Agassi, who presented Djokovic with the trophy. A year ago, Djokovic began his season with an epic 5-hour, 53-minute five-set win over Rafael Nadal at the Australian Open, the longest Grand Slam final. He tore off his shirt to celebrate, the TV replays repeated constantly at this tournament.

He mimicked that celebration after coming back to beat Stanislas Wawrinka in five hours in a surprisingly tough fourth-round victory this time. Since then, he’s looked every bit the No. 1 player. He said he played ‘’perfectly’’ in his 89-minute win over fourth-seeded David Ferrer in the semifinals Thursday night. Murray struggled to beat 17-time major winner Roger Federer in five sets in the semifinals Friday night, and still had the bad blisters on his feet to show for it in the final. In a final that had the makings of a classic when two of the best returners in tennis were unable to get a break of serve in the first

two sets that lasted 2:13, the difference may have hinged on something as light as a feather. Preparing for a second serve at 2-2 in the second set tiebreaker, Murray was rocking back about to toss the ball when he stopped, paused and then walked onto the court and tried to grab a small white feather that was floating in his view. He went back to the baseline, bounced the ball another eight times and served too long. After being called for a double-fault, Murray knocked the ball away in anger and flung his arm down. He didn’t get close for the rest of the tiebreaker and was the first to drop serve in the match - in the

eighth game of the third set. Djokovic broke him twice in the fourth set, which by then had turned into an easy march to victory. ‘’It was strange,’’ said Djokovic, adding that it swung the momentum his way. ‘’It obviously did. ... He made a crucial double-fault.’’ Murray didn’t blame his loss on the one distraction. ‘’I mean, I could have served. It just caught my eye before I served. I thought it was a good idea to move it,’’ he said. ‘’Maybe it wasn’t because I obviously double-faulted. ‘’You know, at this level it can come down to just a few points here or there.

My biggest chance was at the beginning of the second set - didn’t quite get it. When Novak had his chance at the end of the third, he got his.’’ Djokovic had five break-point chances in the opening set, including four after having Murray at 0-40 in the seventh game, but wasn’t able to convert any of them. Then he surrendered the tiebreaker with six unforced errors. Murray appeared to be the stronger of the two at the time. He’d beaten Djokovic in their last Grand Slam encounter, the U.S. Open final, and had the Serb so off balance at times in the first set that he slipped to the court and took skin off his knee.

ers was the first priority. When Li, China’s top player, reached her first Grand Slam final at Melbourne Park in 2011, losing to Kim Clijsters, the tournament drew 120 million viewers in China. Seeing numbers like these, Tennis Australia signed a three-year deal with China Central Television and the Shanghai Media Group to broadcast the tournament throughout China, with a guaranteed minimum number of hours of coverage. The deal was in place in time for last year’s tournament, which attracted 115 million viewers - without Li or any other Chinese player doing well. ‘’It’ll be very interesting to see what this year’s number is,’’ said Steve Ayles, Tennis Australia’s commercial director. ‘’We’re certainly awaiting that with some anticipation.’’ The tournament has

also tried to build up its brand in China by taking the Australian Open trophy on a tour of the country, creating a Mandarin version of the Australian Open website and setting up an Australian Open account on China’s version of Twitter, Sina weibo. Organizers also set up a tournament for aspiring players from the Asia-Pacific region to compete for a wild card into the main draw. The first edition of the playoff was held in China in October, and the wild cards went to two players from China - Zhang Yuxuan, who competed in the women’s tournament, and Wu Di, who became the first man from mainland China to play in the main draw. More tour operators in China are offering package tours to Melbourne, as well. Ayles said these tennis-themed trips increased by 82 percent this

year. ‘’What it means is when a Chinese player plays particularly well, because we have this all in place, it just heightens level of awareness of the Australian Open,’’ Ayles said.

‘’Right across the board, when we have a player like Li Na play well and get to a final, obviously it helps underpin our strategy in China.’’ Part of the reason for an outreach program like

this is sheer protectionism. Several years ago, Tennis Australia feared it could lose its Grand Slam to a booming Asian city like Shanghai, eager to increase its profile on the global stage.

Chinese interest good for Australian Open M

ELBOURNE, Australia (AP) -- When Li Na saw all the Chinese flags and heard the cheers of ‘’Jia You,’’ or ‘’Let’s Go’’ in Mandarin, during her Australian Open final against Victoria Azarenka, she thought she might have been in Beijing. ‘’I can hear a lot of Chinese fans, yeah,’’ she said after losing to Azarenka in three sets Saturday night. ‘’I was, oh, looks like China Open.’’ Li was joking, but Australian Open organizers would be pleased to hear the comparison. The tournament has long billed itself as the ‘’Grand Slam of Asia-Pacific,’’ and in recent years, it has stepped up its efforts to court increasingly affluent and tennis-mad fans in China. With Li making the women’s final for the second time in three years, this has been easy to do. Attracting TV view-

China’s Li Na slips with an ankle injury in the finals at the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia.





Fighter of the Year

Nonito Donaire was voted 2013 Fighter of the Year by the US Boxing Writers Association.


HE FILIPINO Flash has arrived. Nonito Donaire Jr. has finally earned his place in boxing when he won his first ever Boxing of the Year award from the Boxing Writers Association of America (BWAA) following an outstanding season that saw the `Filipino Flash’ fight and win all of his four matches. The 30-year-old Donaire beat out Mexican star Juan Manuel Mar-

quez, Robert `The Ghost’ Guerrero, Danny Garcia and fellow Filipino Brian Viloria for the coveted Sugar Ray Robinson award. Andre Ward was the winner of the title last year and the same award won by the great Manny Pacquiao three times – 2006, 2008, and 2009. Donaire moved to the super-bantamweight division last year and took on the best fighters of the di-

vision. He won the vacant World Boxing Organization (WBO) 122-lb. crown with a 12-round split decision over Puerto Rican Wilfredo Vazquez Jr, then added the International Boxing Federation (IBC) version of the belt with a dominant 12-round unanimous decision over Jeffrey Mathebula of South Africa middle of the year. Donaire then successfully defended his WBO crown with a ninth-

round stoppage of former champion Toshiaki Nishioka of Japan, before capping the year with a bang following his thirdround demolition of former champion Jorge Arce of Mexico. Various media publications and websites such as Yahoo!Sports, Ring Magazine, and Sports Illustrated earlier named him as the handsdown choice as Fighter of the Year.

The sports complex is thus far the biggest ever in Davao Region. Davao del Sur is also currently constructing its sports complex project in Matti, Digos to the tune of over P500 Million. Governor Del Rosario is making sure everything is in order when the province hosts the Davraa

meet and has met with Department of Education (Deped) officials on the preparations of the weeklong regional sports conclave. The Governor has met with Department of Education XI regional officials last January 11 to ensure the successful staging of the Davraa which will be

hosted by the province for the first time after the old sports complex was gutted down by fire sometime in the early 90s. Tagalo said the provincial government and the Deped Regional Office have agreed to pool their resources together for the week-long school-based sports competition.


Rains derail completion By Neil Bravo


EAVY RAINS last week has forced the temporary halt to the overlaying of the rubber track oval of the Davao del Norte Provincial Sports Complex in nearby Mankilam, Tagum City. The spanking new sports facility will host this year’s Davao Regional Athletic Association (Davraa) meet on February 24-March 1. “The overlaying is already on its second layer but we have to force to postpone the completion of the rubber track because the weather is not ideal and Governor (Rodolfo) Del Rosario does not want to risk it,” Provincial Information Officer Romulo Tagalo told EDGE Davao in Panabo City last Friday. The 12-hectare sports complex was inaugurated last December 12, 2012 by no less than Governor Del Rosario. The sports complex has a main grandstand which seats 5,000, professional lighting facilities, 10-lane Olympic sized pool with a warmup pool and 1,500 seat stands. It also boasts of a fully air-conditioned club house for meet officials and media, while the Phase2 of the project will comprise of the redevelopment of the RDR Gymnasium right behind the pool area.

Serbia’s Novak Djokovic kisses the Australian Open trophy after beating Britain’s Andy Murray in the finals. See story on page 15.

Edge Davao 5 Issue 234  

Edge Davao 5 Issue 234, January 29, 2012