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March - APRIL 2013 P










your home your choice Design . Build . Sell Maximize returns on your investments


HORROR-PROOF YOUR WEDDING What every bride should know

A Home like no other in the Golf Estate BWM Magazine





esign, Build, and S ell. HomeChoice Planners Construction Corporation is a localbased construction company in Cagayan de Oro City that builds residential houses for seven years now, providing quality, high-end designs and concepts beyond one’s imagination. The company was founded by Robinson P. Masangcay in 2006 as HomeChoice Builders Corporation before becoming HomeChoice Planners Construction Corporation in 2009. Hom e C h oi c e c ont i nu e s to deliver excellent houses, completing customized and complex project designs in perspective with the client’s needs, concepts, and designs. HomeChoice is a clientfocused company where the client’s convenience, desires and inputs are put into play while the plans are being laid-out, putting a premium on holistic development with client for complete satisfaction on the final home. Mrs. Joy Villanueva, a satisfied client tells us the story of her dream house; “the house is excellently done, we opted for a smaller house since my husband, Rogelio, is abroad and we only have one son, and sooner or later – he’ll have a family of his own “. These were the words from a satisfied client, as HomeChoice worked with her from the initial concept stages through actual

production and final turnover of their small but spacious home at Xavier Estates. Joy enthused “our home is big enough that I am satisfied with the living space, the design is laid-out for our convenience, before construction began, HomeChoice and I sat down to discuss the plan and customized the designs”. HomeChoice’s motivation and responsiveness towards serving clients and other people reflects the values of its founder, Robinson P. Masangcay, the staff, designers and people behind each satisfied client and each beautiful home. HomeChoice demonstrates its capability to construct sup e r i or g r a de re s i d e nt i a l houses; and soon enough, commercial buildings will be included. It has shown its ingenuity by venturing through new innovations; for one, the Plaswall Building System or also known as the “brickless technology”. HomeChoice is the first ever to use and market such technology here in Cagayan de Oro City. HomeChoice ser vices include architectural design, interior design, construction management, general construction, renovation, a lt e r at i on , a d d it i on , a n d extension of building or designs. 2nd Floor, Unit 2, PODC Bldg.3, Masterson Avenue, 9000 Cagayan de Oro City.

CONTACT HOME CHOICE : (088) 851-8947, 09064115404, 09186048707 or email them at Visit them on the web at





Investments, Time Deposit

When Thinking of Consider a


hen people think about investments, several things come to mind – stocks, bonds, treasury bills, real estate, and others. But another form of investment that seldom comes just as easily as the aforementioned ones is a time deposit. A time deposit, especially with a reputable and stable bank, is one sure way to reap a future financial windfall. While time deposits or TD’s are indeed deposit products, unlike regular savings deposits, a TD often has a higher interest rate. The rates differ according the type of time deposit and the norm is the longer the deposit stays with the bank, the better the interest rate. This is the downside though of a TD: it cannot be withdrawn just as easily as that of a regular savings deposit. It has to stay with the bank for an agreed period or “term”. After the term, the principal amount can be withdrawn with the accrued interest, or, if the depositor chooses, it can be held for another term. In addition, interest rates may also be driven by market factors. However, unlike investing in the stock market, or worse, gambling your money away at the casino or betting on horses, a time deposit in a reputable bank is probably the safest way for an individual to save and grow his or her money. However, before rushing off to save your hard-earned money in a TD, there are several factors to consider first. Mr. Jesus Vicente Garcia, Executive Vice-President and Branch Banking Group Head of Philippine Veterans Bank advises individuals to look beyond the interest rate when shopping for time deposit products. Individuals should also consider the bank’s reputation and understand that not all time deposit products are alike. They should also read the fine

print and understand all the terms and conditions of the time deposit product before signing the dotted line, so to speak. MAXIMIZED RETURNS ON A LONGTERM TD INVESTMENT Philippine Veterans Bank, a commercial bank with a network of 60 branches nationwide, offers time deposit products with terms of 30 to 360 days. But for the past couple of years, it has also been offering individuals a long-term time deposit product that will deliver a financial windfall at the end of five years: MaxiReturn Time Deposit. “Our Maxi-Return Time Deposit is one of three long-term TD products currently offered by the bank that offers maximized return on your investment,” said Mr. Garcia. “And this is because of the 5% interest rate we can give you.” Veterans Bank Maxi-Return Time Deposit promises a generous return on the deposit amount an individual makes at the start of the term. A P500,000 deposit today will earn an estimated interest of P141,855.79 at the end of the term. “Our Maxi-Return TD is quite affordable,” said Mr. Garcia. “For as little as P100,000, you can already open a 5-year TD with Veterans Bank. You get all benefits especially the high interest rate of 5% that is monthly compounding.” Mr. Garcia is also proud to say that all of Veterans Bank’s time deposit products come with free insurance incentive. Every time deposit opened guarantees the depositor with an accident insurance coverage worth the deposit amount or up to P5 million. “Our insurance incentive for MaxiReturn is more special because aside from the accident insurance, it also has a In-Hospital Income Benefit whereby if the individual gets hospitalized for at least a day, he or she can receive a cash benefit equivalent to 0.10%

of his or her deposit amount,” added Mr. Garcia. “That makes the product even more attractive. You’re not only saving for your future but you’re also insuring yourself and your family.” Long-Term Time Deposits Still Attractive Investment Option Since Veterans Bank launched its long-term time deposit products two years ago, the market response has been overwhelming. According to Mr. Garcia, the bank achieved its target of hitting Php 2 billion for its long-term time deposit products last year. This year, despite the economic slowdown globally, Mr. Garcia still believes that TD products will still be an attractive investment given that the Philippine market has experienced an uptick of late. “People, especially those looking for long-term financial rewards, will still look at time deposit products that will be offered by banks,” said Mr. Garcia. “And I still believe that with 5% interest and free accident insurance incentive, our Maxi-Return TD will still be foremost in their minds.” Indeed time deposit products will be a success mainly because people will always want to secure their future and are always looking for a safe yet enriching investment.

EVP Jesus Vicente Garcia






More about one town one product By: PED T. QUIAMJOT

ONE of the unexplored small enterprises that have not been given importance in Mindanao is the footwear industry for the need of more than 25 million Mindanaons and to the other 67million Filipinos. Many of the shoes and footwear that are displayed and sold in the malls or the local stalls are imported brand coming from the People’s Republic of China. Others are under foreign manufacturing licenses that are either made in Vietnam or Malaysia. The same with the second hand shoes peddled by hawkers at the “ukay-ukay” stores are Hongkong if not Korean made. How did this disparity of free trade and importation manage to slip in our country vis-avis to our exports? Why were the importations of used and second hand shoes allowed by the Bureau of Customs? This could be the primary reason why the Philippine shoe products from the 20 or more Marikina manufacturers are losing its

competitiveness against the imported footwear flooding the local market? The provinces of Masbate and Bukidnon have abundant source of rawhide leather coming from the cattle industries of these regions. High quality material can also be produced from the skins of crocodiles cultured in the Farms of Puerto Princesa and the Crocodile Farm of Davao City. Various livestock industries in the Philippines have the capacity for the rawhide materials. Goat skins can be made into fine leather but we like to cook and eat them instead as “Papaitan”. We have many local designers that have earned accolades in the fashion scenes abroad yet Philippine shoe products are unheard in the international fashion scene. During the early 80’s when the former First Lady Imelda Marcos used to order dozens of shoes from the local Marikina producers to be worn for her countless trips abroad. She was widely criticized for her extravagance

and branded as “Imeldefic”. Few took credits that she was advertising and promoting Philippine made foot wears abroad. Nobody took notice that when the Philippine Trade Center was opened in New York located at the famous World Trade Center Building many Philippine shoe products were prominently leveled and displayed. The Philippine Trade exhibits has long ceased and closed before the World Trade Center was bombed and destroyed in the famous 911 incident. The footwear industry is one of the most important economic activities next to food and clothing. People moved and travel with all types of shoes and footwear’s in their lifetime. Man can survive not to have a luxury vehicle or an Armani suite but he may not do without shoes. We provide our children a minimum of three types of foot wears a year for their safety and comfort. The same with the pragmatic thinking of an average Filipino to own the basic 3 foot wears, of a slipper, a leather shoes and an athletic shoes to as far as our indigenous brothers who lives in the mountains of Compostela Valley and the Igorots of Banue. While travelling around the major cities of Mindanao, it came to the reality of our economics that

we have not been able to produce a single shoe manufacturing plant in our region to deliver the 75 million pairs of footwear worn by more than 25 million Mindanaons. It is a dismal failure that the one town one product encouraged by the government is not working in the shoe-manufacturing sector in our country. Do we lack investors to explore its development? Or the Board of Investments has forgotten to promote or encourage shoe manufacturing in Mindanao, a reason many prefer instead to wear the imported shoes associated with the tongue twisting foreign brands? With the BOI mandate to promote bilateral trade pacts with the free economic enterprise worldwide, expanding the one town one product in Mindanao may need the BOI endorsement for the possibility of a shoe brand to be manufactured at the Phividec industrial estate in Misamis Oriental Many Economic Zones in this country were created and funded by the government to pump prime the manufacturing sector. Business locators were granted tax incentives to reduce the cost of doing business and be competitive in the export market. Filipino entrepreneurs as it appears are on the top list for lending support by government banking institutions to raise capital.



aHOUSE like No other in theGOLF ESTATES


s you enter the gates of the pueblo de Oro Golf & Country Club and Golf Estates, you see a number of large, attractive houses on the right in What is called Cluster 1.One of these houses that is easily catches everyone’s attention is a modern glass house which Architect Rey Galua, and his family called home. The house is interesting and unique not only because it does not look like your typical house, it was also carefully designed and built to achieve maximum energy savings and the least amount of carbon foot print. Hence, it is environment friendly and is a model for promoting Sustainable Development. Built on a 425 square meter lot in 2012 by Arch. Galua based on a design he prepared for his final study toward a PhD in Sustainable Development, the house boasts such features as cross ventilation which brings indoor wind speed at 10 feet per second, thus keeping the house comfortably cool inside sans the need for air conditioning, with temperature at a maximum of 28 degrees even a high noon. The materials used for the house, which consist mostly of glass and aluminum (which are recyclable materials as against carbonheavy concrete) also ensure maximum lighting without any need for electricity during the day resulting in at least 40 percent savings in energy consumption over traditionally built houses. The house also has

a garden rooftop, which is not only pleasing to the eye but also kind to the environment, as “it could absorb an estimated 20 tons of carbon over 20 years”, says Arch. Galua. The house also has such energy and resource saving features as solar water heating and rainwater harvesting. You can see that a lot of thought really went into the building of the house as side from all the energy saving and environmentfriendly features, the house is also disabled friendly with ramps all over, aside from standard stairs. Also, while traditional two-storey houses has the living room and kitchen downstairs and the bedrooms upstairs, the Galua home has it reversed: the living room and kitchen as well as the entertainment room and guest room are upstairs while the three bed rooms, including the master bedroom are all downstairs. Though a little unconventional, the setup really makes a lot of sense. “When I get home late at night, I can just go straight to my bedroom,” says Arch. Galua. “On the other hand, when we have guests, they are able to get a better view of the Golf Course,” he adds. Though not a golfer and while they have a couple of other properties in the City, they chose to build their home and reside in the Pueblo Golf Estates as “it is not congested and is incomparable to other subdivisions.” Asked if he would recommended locating at the Golf Estates to others, his quick reply was “Of course!”

rdGalua Associates

ARCHITECTS . ENGINEERS . CONSULTANT Mandumol St., Upper Macasandig, Cagayan de Oro City Telefax: (088) 857-8586 Mobile No. 09177120047 Email: / /






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E YOUR HOM E IC O H C R YOU ild . Sell Design . Bu

Hey there! It’s been a while. Like any race, there are obstacles to conquer and hurdles to jump over. A race against time. A break from the conventional. We take you on an amazing and oftentimes exhausting journey of our newest edition of the BWM Magazine. Here, we had the pleasure of meeting new friends, clients and worked with great people. Sure, we have had obstacles and hurdles but since you got to read this note – it means we as a team did some team work to bring you this magazine. The BusinessWeek Mindanao Advertising and Promotions has a very simple mission – to bring you the best. This is easier said than done, of course. This is not a one shot deal, but rather a process – of constant learning and constant synergy. The old adage goes “two heads are better than one”, our dear readers, we bring you the double cover. The first cover is BusinessWeek Mindanao where we bring you a best of business and lifestyle fusion. Here we feature businesses, real estate,

construction, small and medium enterprises, multilevel marketing and a lot more. The second cover, however, took us out of our wits a couple of times – but it is here. The Cagayan de Oro TIMES takes new and dynamic venture as part of this monthly magazine. On this side of the magazine we feature PROfiles – here we get to know more about the people behind every successful endeavor, be it business, politics, public service, institutions, SME’s, sports, lifestyle and everything in between. This month we feature public servants on the TIMES side; this will give you a better understanding of who the people are behind the constituency. Their stories – their service to the people. This is a start of something more concrete, more structured, and more fluid synergy between the men and women behind BusinessWeek Mindanao Advertising and Promotions. Now, time to get up and move forward.






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Dante Sudaria Publisher

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DENR, DOLE cite Steag for superior environment, health and safety performance


TEAG State Power Inc. (SPI) received recently two distinguished national awards in recognition of its social and environmental performance. The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) conferred to SPI the DENR Official Seal of Approval for the company’s exemplary environmental performance. SPI is one of the 18 industries in the country, and among the five companies all over Mindanao that made it to Track 1 of the DENR’s Philippine Environment Partnership Program (PEPP). PEPP-Track 1 industries are large companies that go beyond compliance and driven by competitiveness, image and supply chain requirements to improve performance. To qualify in the award, companies must have no case filed with the Pollution Adjudication Board for the last three years prior to the date of awarding; are in full compliance

of all applicable environmental laws and proven to show cleaner production processes and superior environmental performance by a third party auditor. SPI also received recently another prestigious national award: the Department of Labor (DOLE) Secretary Award of Distinction. DOLE cited SPI’s meritorious achievements in promoting and implementing safety, health and environment programs. The award was presented by DOLE Secretary Rosalinda Baldoz during the 8th Gawad Kaligtasan at Kalusugan (GKK) ceremonies at the Occupational Health and Safety Center (OHSC) in Quezon City. SPI joined the ranks of 23 outstanding industries honoured by DOLE nationwide and the only company in Northern Mindanao to receive such distinction. SPI’s award winning best practice include the attainment of more than three (3) million safe man hours with ZERO lost time due to accident, the well

entrenched workplace health, safety and security programs, community development and environmental protection initiatives, the integration of corporate social responsibility in every aspect of business operations, aggressive wellness campaigns and illness prevention programs, as well as operational efficiency and achievement of business goals through a healthy and highly motivate workforce. SPI is the holding company of the 210MW (net) Mindanao Coal-Fired Power Plant located at the PHIVIDEC Industrial Estate in Villanueva, Misamis Oriental. It has established and sustained a reputation as one of the industry leaders in highly efficient, reliable and responsible power generation from coal. The company is majority owned by Steag GmbH, which is Germany’s 5th largest electricity producer and market leader for integrated solutions in power and heat generation.



Bukidnon: A living museum By CHENG ORDONEZ, Associate Editor

“This is the only place where the clouds kiss its people. It is not only ecotourism, adventure, nature, agri-tourism, but it is best example of wellness and the air is so fresh that it even cleanses your spirit.” - DOT Regional Catalino “Butch” Chan III BUKIDNON, with its beautiful lakes, best cowboys and abundant agricultural products, is an authentic area for ethnic presentations. Commended for its successful staging of the Kaamulan Festival 2013, Department of Tourism Regional Director Catalino Chan described Bukidnon as “a living museum.” “Bukidnon has a new sense of pride. It is now gaining a far better performance in the tourism map of the country. It is now a by-word in adventure tourism, and soon to be an agrieco-nature-retirement center in Mindanao. Almost all travel agencies in Cebu and in Manila are now selling the adventure package tour in Bukidnon. It is a package tour that is actually

selling almost like hot cakes,” Director Chan announced during the during the awarding rites of the Kaamulan Street Dance and Ground Competitions in Malaybalay, Bukidnon. Director Chan said the Kaamulan festival is perhaps the result of the product of 36 years of staging. Sungkod Kamanga is participated by the Lumads alone while Kaamulan is a joint celebration of seven or eight tribes of Bukidnon and the people of Bukidnon. “This is because even with the advent of modernization, the people are still adopting some of the customs and traditions of our forefathers, the pananghid, kasal, bunyag, pamalaye or even courtship,” Dir. Chan explained. He said: “Bukidnon is the home of the

country’s cowboys, topnochers in professional exam, two consecutive overall champion of the Kumbira Culinary competition, Philippines best cultural master on bead works proclaimed by the National Commission for the Culture and the Arts, Philippines best brewed coffee of the monks and Hinaliban, home of the beautiful lakes -- Lake Apo is declared as one of the emerging destinations in the country as proclaimed by the Women in Travel Association of the Philippines and the BSU Chorale that amazed the people in Manila during the Pasundayad Sa Northern Mindanao at Mall of Asia.” The ethnic dance with the storyline of a giant, harassing a food-abundant community, killing a beautiful woman, who is a cousin of three datus and whose blood flowed all over the place and literally painting the town red, is a big winner, bagging this year’s Street Dance and Ground Competitions during the Kaamulan Festival of the Province of Bukidnon, held from the second half of

February to early March. The top awards in the festival’s two big categories went to Kitaotao, a town in Bukidnon named after a Manobo leader Datu Tayaotao, who bravely and successfully helped a Muslim Datu fight against the invasion of the Spaniards and, in gratitude, the Muslim Datu offered his only daughter in marriage and gave him a huge area of land he named after Datu Tayaotao which later on became Kitaotao - the Land of Wealth. Kitaotao is diverse in ethnic groups. Among the domineering tribes are the Dumagat, the Matigsalog and the Manobo. The presence of the cultural communities in the locality with its unique customs and traditional practices made Kitaotao a cultural tourism destination of Bukidnon. Malaybalay City, the capital of Bukindon, has flourished in food, business and cultural activities with songs and dances that were truly ethnic during the

Kaamulan Festival held recently. With the theme: “Sustaining Culture and Unity Towards Progress and Development,” Kaamulan 2013 lived up to the expectations of both local and foreign tourists who were amazed by the kind of festival this province in Northern Mindanao is celebrating every year. Garden shows, Food Fest, Agri-Fair, Indigenous Bazaar, Livestock Show converted the Capitol grounds into a marketplace, like in the old times, except that there were already modern commodities put up for sale. Kaamulan also involves unique sporting events, like Rodeo and the modern motocross, Moto Trail Challenge, wall climbing and a lot more. No wonder, young and old alike from the different parts of the country come and troop to the Kaamulan Festival. The Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional Office 10 declared the Kaamulan Festival as one of the best festivals in the country today, urging the local government unit and private entities to put up more accommodations accredited by DOT 10 to house the increasing number of local and foreign tourists year after year. Director Chan described the Kaamulan Festival 2013, in his message during the awarding of the Street Dance and Tableau Competitions on March 2, 2013, at

the Capitol Grounds, for being the “best in presentation for eco-tourism; best ethnic festival; and having the best floats” in a cultural festival. The regional tourism office assisted the Province of Bukidnon technically in the amount of P250,000 for this year’s Kaamulan Festival. “It is my wish that we can bring the Kaamulan Festival to Manila and show the world how wonderful it is,” Dir. Chan said. For his part, Bukidnon Governor Alex Padua Calingasan and Vice Governor Jose Ma. Rubin Zubiri, Jr., thanked all the eight contingents for joining the Kaamulan 2013, and extending their gratitude to Director Chan and DOT 10 staff for their support. “It is our vision to turn Bukidnon into a tourism adventure destination and eco-agricultural capital of the Philippines five years from now,” Gov. Calingasan said. Second placer in the Street Dance Competition was Talakag followed by Valencia City. In the Ground Competition, second placer was Valencia City with Talakag in the third place. Winners in the Float Competition were the following: Talakag – 1st place, Dangcagan – 2nd and Don Carlos in the 3rd place. GIANT ARAGASI Kitaotao, a place loved and blessed by Manama (God) with the abundance of fruits from the forest and meat from the deer (salawing), wild pig (beboy

nemahintalunan), monkeys, fishes and edible forest rats (talibaboy). One day the tribe could not go hunting or gather food because they fear the Aragasi – a giant man believed to eat humans or any creature for his food. The three cousins Datu Lana, Tulalang and Agyo used a woman as bait to capture the hideous creature. They manage to catch the Aragasi but were unable to save the beautiful woman for she died in the hands of the Aragasi. Her blood flowed all over the place, and the land where the beautiful woman died became red. The tribe brought the giant into Sinangawan mountain cliff. The three cousins Datu Lanang, Tulala and Agyo casted a spell over the giant that turned the latter into a huge white stone permanently fixed on a very high cliff overlooking the Pulangi river. From then on, the giant could no longer bother the tribe. So, as a gesture of thanksgiving, the tribe honored the three cousins with an indigenous ceremony. THE GATHERING Kaamulan is from the Binukid word “amul”, which means “to gather”. It is a gathering of Bukidnon tribepeople for a purpose. It can mean a datuship ritual, a wedding ceremony, a thanksgiving festival during harvest time, a peace pact, or all of these put together. Showcasing the unique indigenous culture of Bukidnon, the Kaamulan is held annually in the province from the second half of February to March 10, the date that marks the anniversary of the creation of Bukidnon as a province in 1917. As an ethnic festival, the Kaamulan celebrates the customs and traditions of the seven tribal groups that originally inhabited the Bukidnon region, namely, the Bukidnon, Higaonon, Talaandig,


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Manobo, Matigsalug, Tigwahanon and Umayamnon. Several tribal folks representing these seven hill tribes of Bukidnon gather in unity with the local dwellers in town, wearing their intricately woven costumes studded with trinkets, anklets, earrings, necklaces, leglets, headdresses and amulets. They dance together, chant, perform ancient rituals, and compete in indigenous sports. What makes the Kaamulan Festival unique is the presence of the tribe-people themselves in the dance presentations. They dance with their authentic ritual moves and clothing, which other festivals in the country can hardly have. The Provincial Government of Bukidnon will be celebrating its Centennial Year on September 1, 2014. The basis of such was the research findings of the National Historical Commission of the Philippines, duly signed by Dr. Maria Serena I. Diokno, dated May 31, 2012, stating that the province of Bukidnon was created under Act No. 2408 that took effect on September 1, 1914. Such creation was affirmed and adopted then by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) headed by Vice Governor Jose Ma. R. Zubiri, Jr.

(With DOT 10/Bukidnon Tourism Office researches)





Why study music in summer? “Music is one of the few activities that engages both sides of the brain. Most people have one side of the brain developed more than the other, but life shows that many successful people become successful because both sides of their brain are equally developed. Steve Jobs was successful because he had both the creative and analytical sides equally developed. Developing both sides of the brain is what makes a happy child, and a well-balanced and successful adult”.” ~ Tamriko Siprashvili

Summer time is happy time for most of the kids and teens likewise it should not be less than productive than the other times of the year. Even when school is out learning should be continuous; though upfront you are not learning academically but developing the other skills have a greater impact later on in life. I have students as young as four years old who started singing with me even when I can barely understand the words they were singing but after a year of constant training their diction, voice quality and stage presence began to progress and

as an impact to their academics majority of them are top students in their classes this school year. Personally it was already late in high school that I knew I had the gift in singing and so I began taking voice lessons as well. When I got to college and even when I was still in the BS Nursing course, music was still a big part of me and I guess it’s one the major reasons why I made the decision to pursue a career in music and communications. I concentrated on choral music while studying Mass Communications and it was then that I became a Dean’s-lister and finish the course with very good academic grades even with the very hectic schedule as a performer and a non-academic scholar. You might not see right then and there the effects of such musical trainings but sooner or later, you will realize its big impact, as discipline, patience and perseverance guide you in your day to day life. Taking music for summer classes will not only develop

your other side of the brain but likewise it will give you a glimpse of the gifts you have within. Also, I agree with Tamriko Siprashvili as he says “Exposing you to a musical instrument provides an opportunity to learn something new every day and gives you an endless supply of genres and styles of music to explore. The avenue to learning to play music is regular practice. Devotion to weekly lessons and the discipline to practice every day teaches and hones qualities that children are not required to use in our fast-paced, modern world where instant gratification beckons”. For those of you who are already enrolled in music classes, keep it going but for those who have not started yet, find a summer school now that suits your musical skills. I would also like to invite those who are interested to join me for a one on one / group summer voice practical workshop. For inquiries call 09063893121, limited slots only. Enjoy your music filled summer!


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Biyahe kiraw ta sa By CHRISTINE CABIASA


lunged as the country’s City of Love, Iloilo has never failed its constituents in enticing local and foreign tourists through bursting out to the world what this 4,663 sq. km province can offer. Iloilo has been endowed with majestic tourist destinations and has been gifted with tender and loving people, as they say, “the best of Iloilo is their people”. From hops to folks to delicacies, I may say Iloilo got it all. Iloilo, the home of the famous Dinagyang festival, stately mansions, majestic century-old churches, unsoiled countryside and exotic delicacies is where every tourist wants to venture. Wanna know a bit of it? Come. What was best with our jaunt was that it was the first time for the Liceo de Cagayan University, 4th year Mass Communication students to come anew to a place together. Actually we call our group as “Crocs”. Why? Simply because our friendship is as hard as what a crocodile skin is. Well, what would you expect? Of course sky high fun, all-out-laughter, and jump shot moods, entirely suited for the group to enjoy and cherish. We had prepared everything two weeks before February 24, from plane ticket booking to hotel accommodation reservation; all were heads off for the trip with persistence “What will Iloilo offer?” Indeed, Iloilo is one of the paramount. Anywhere in the downtown, their culture is of

great stature. The province of Iloilo is widely known for its beautiful old world architecture similar to that of Latin American countries. Spanish colonial churches are amongst the well-known tourist sites in the province. Of course, we did not lose a minute to whistle-stop the abode. One, the Plazuela de Iloilo, termed as the Little Vegas of Iloilo. Somehow, literally the “Little Vegas”. From inception to completion, Plazuela de Iloilo was furnished as a strip mall along Diversion Road in Iloilo City which has been one of the most awaited developments in the city. The Spanishinspired architecture has made it a unique dining and recreation destination. “It feels like I’m in a foreign country.” Amidst our planned spree to SM City, Plazuela was better which made us crave to go there instead. “Tsada kaayu bay”, “Mura pud tag naa sa gawas ani”, “Gusto ko magpuyo diri”, whoah! Those words explained what Plazuela is. Plazuela has restaurants wherein you can dine and have sumptuous courses with a Spanish accent on the venue. It has a little park also fitted for family outings and friends’ getaways, enjoying the moonlight breeze with water fountains all healthy for the eyes. Been from that Spain-like place of Plazuela, the “Crocs” then headed to the island paradise of Guimaras. White sand beaches, splendid resorts, tender people, beautiful tourist spots, and of course Guimaras mangoes will always be on the list.

Ate Chiara with Guimaras’ best mangoes.

Maskomistas savoring fresh air amidst scorching heat of the sun at Raymen Beach Resort, Guimaras Island.

O I L O IL The high five at the Plazuela de Iloilo, the Little Vegas of Iloilo.

Maskomistas at Rizal Wharf, Guimaras Island.

All were first timers in the island. We went to Raymen Beach Resort for lunch then enjoyed the scent of the white sand and sea breeze under the scorching heat of the sun. Really beautiful. We saw the neighboring islands and from afar, we know all were endowed with magical resources just like Guimaras. Horah! Guimaras is a place like no other. That leap that I’m sure the “crocs” won’t forget. Oh, who won’t defy for Guimaras? It houses the “sweetest mangoes in the Philippines”. At Raymen Beach Resort, we met foreign tourists also; there were Koreans and Japanese day-trippers. I saw in their eyes that for them Guimaras is truly a paradise; it was for us, how much for them, right? Shots from cameras were everywhere, everybody were busy for photo ops. After that beach escapade, we went to Brgy. San Miguel to buy delicacies as “pasalubong”. It was my first time to see mango ketchup and mango piyaya. So tempting. Looks delicious. Mouth watering. Splendid. And, who will forget mangoes from Guimaras? Of course, as we headed our way back

to Rizal wharf, we dropped by mango fruit stands; and seeing those mangoes, touching them, smelling them, they were really different from the usual. Guimaras mangoes were creamy and taste very sweet. “Pinakalami ug pinakatam-is nga mangga nga akong natilawan”, I uttered. Off the record, Iloilo trip was the best ever bonding the Maskomistas got. We had the best laughter, the best smiles, the best conversations, the best jokes, in short, all was the best ever. I almost ran out of words for that trip; it does not mean I cannot think of something but this feature could not grip the happiness I felt. To this writing, we had already graduated last March 22 yet I will never and I can never forget the “crocs” for giving an ordinary person like me those extraordinary experiences for our four years being together. The time we will meet again, I hope we will talk about those memories again and again and will relive them through the test of time. I say, that Iloilo trip is a living testimony of what kind of friendship I had with them. I love you “crocs”.


OFW Odyssey/Canopy & Couch


Palatable Asian dishes


THERE have always been rooms for Asian food in UAE’s sprawling geography, where almost all kinds of dishes are scattered in pleasant dining places in its seven Emirates. But this one I walked into was, at its best, an Asian cuisine restaurant, where family and friends can escape from downtown rushkind of food and taste palatable Asian food with culinary consciousness. Wok In restaurant is truly a walk-up restaurant, where people from all walks of life can easily drop by, simply because it is within the heart of Deira, and once you have located Movenpick Hotel Deira, you’ll find Wok In easily situated at its ground floor, where you can find solace in that Asian cuisine restaurant, which opened early 2011, when I was there, and shortly after Movenpick Hotel did. Wok In restaurant coalesced at Movenpick Hotel and it reshaped the notions of Asian food in restaurants to its best. As swoon as I was seated and opened the menu, I was hooked to one appetizer like a magnet. I must admit, I’m a vulture of Japanese food -- California Maki (Wok In’s had avocado in it instead of mango), Shrimp Tempura, Tofu, and served with Wasabe. As soon as the order came, which was commendably fast, I grabbed a pair of chopsticks and dipped a whole California Maki into the Wasabe stirred in black sauce. As if I wasn’t satisfied with Wasabe’s biting upshot, I put on more Wasabe; and some more until I felt ‘that’ prickle-tingle feeling ran up my nostril and went up my head, whew! And, there, I thought my night was fantastic and complete. But then, the Laksa Soup was a surprise. It’s a seafood soup with coconut milk, shrimp, calamares, fish cake, egg, a taste of chicken powder with noodles and bean sprouts as main mantles. It was the best soup I ever tasted in Dubai. Wok In’s kitchen is nestled at the center of the restaurant itself, and every diner can see the chopping, the mixing, the frying, the grilling – real cooking being done there; and, there was the most-awaited part – The Noodle Show – a cook, who has Chinese features, performed an over-the-top moulding of pasta. It looked easy on him but, definitely, the skill he has can’t be transferred to anyone as easy as you see him perform it. Restaurant guests moved up close to him for picture-taking. Like seeing a clown performing, children, who were with some guests, were delighted by his

performance. They chuckled at the performing cook’s way of throwing the moulded flour left and right, stretching it and dropping it over with a loud sound at the work table. I felt like I was in an amphitheatre, where the diners belong to social strata converged there for the performance. The centrality of the kitchen catches everyone’s attention and the funicular-like throwing and dumping sound by the performing cook reminded me of Chinese ritual dances. Like the others, I enjoyed the show all throughout. It’s a good thing the main coarse, came after the show. I picked Thai duck Curry for the main course. Grape and pineapple reduced to nil the usual ambivalent duck taste, and I know it has been pickled overnight. Shipped from Brazil, the roasted duck was tossed in coconut milk, some fennel, a taste of lime and sweet basil veiled with cherry tomatoes and mixed in red curry paste. And the Chinese fried rice mixed with prawn, carrots enlivened with mushroom spring onion perfectly suits the course. I also got Sambal Prawn mantled with kangkong. It was the kangkong leaves that I was attracted to. Having missed home, I missed the typical green vegetable leaves we abundantly have in our country. Sambal Prawn is not new to Filipinos. It’s a dish common to most of us and Asian countries like our neighbors, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand and China. Wok In restaurant is Dubai’s pelagic pleasure, so to speak, in terms of seafood. Wok In is the restaurant truly meant for Asian cuisine, which is almost illusory here and the flavors were fleeting. With Wok In, Asian dishes endure and instant memories of time and home places, wherever you came from in Asia, ultimately come alive, even as you can speak as much Asian with the staff inside Wok In restaurant. Easily the best in Asian food in Dubai -- fresh and cooked while you look! It’s a perfect dinner spot for family, friends or couples or even for a birthday bash! I wish I could have another night to walk up to Movenpick’s Wok In because the restaurant’s staff were incredibly nice. Definitely, there’s more than biting in Wok In. Oh, sure, I’m a carnivore but I should like to take on the crabs, as well. At Wok In, you’re not just be sitting there waiting. You’re going to enjoy the “Noodle Show” and you’ve got to admire the food preparations too. Wassalam.

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ng’ i r e t a w h t u o m ‘ Oro’s

s b i R k c a B y Bab



have been roaming around the city in search of great food at best value for my money. All work without great food to satisfy your taste – will get you nowhere. Comfort food is what others would call it. Is it really hard to find here in the Oro? If one is a jeepney commuter en route to Limketkai Mall passing by Barangay Nazareth, chances are you’ve passed by this small place – with a big taste. You bet. Hungry. That was the word of the hour after the early morning workloads, while some

were already on their “lunch dates” and business luncheons, some of my colleagues couldn’t decide where to eat. We were too picky that day, we wanted that ‘busog’ factor but without piercing through our pockets. Then, as if following a smoke signal through the dizzying hunger, my colleagues and I ended up at Tomas Saco – 16th streets, (the crossroad of Barangay Nazareth and Barangay Macasandig) to a small place called Capt. Richie’s Baby Back Ribs. PROBLEM SOLVED!!! Capt. Richie’s Baby Back Ribs is an authentic

Kagay-anon rib barbecue at its finest quality and the best value for your money. Capt. Richie’s spent months creating and perfecting the flavor that suit the Kagay-anon taste buds. This gives locals more value than what they actually pay for. Nic, the attendant and cook at Capt. Richie’s, spoon-fed me through the process of the mouthwatering baby back ribs. First the meat slabs are marinated then tenderized through a twohour boiling or what is commonly known as “latan” (tenderize through boiling), and then stored through sealed containers ready for grilling. Once a customer drops in, the grills heat up and the rib slabs now sizzle giving off that distinctive

smell of flavored smoke, in sync with the sizzling sound of meat cooking. A few minutes later, when the meat browns up and looking really tempting. Did I mention you can see it cooking right in front of you? Imagine the look on my hungry face. A special sauce of your choice, hot and spicy or original, is then carefully poured onto the grilled tender baby back ribs. SERVED! The ranch taste is simply amazing on the palate, with the tender meat melting inside your mouth – from hungry to speechless as I try to savor the flavor of the hot and spicy variant... and the original. FULL! Go give them a try. They do take-out, pick-up, and deliveries, call them at 0905-613-9372.




ne of the party list groups seeking a seat in the Lower House has a most unusual advocacy: the establishment of a nationwide network of autonomous “bioethanol farms” anchored on that humblest of agricultural crops, the sweet potato or camote. Engr. Joffrey E. Hapitan, first nominee for Ang Agrikultura Natin, Isulong! (AANI) relates how his advocacy started

gasoline because its 5 percent water content doesn’t mix well with gasoline. “Bioethanol is also a good fuel substitute for LPG but burns cleaner, is renewable and much cheaper,” Engr. Hapitan noted. “When used for cooking, only P3.00 worth is needed to cook one kilo of rice.” Hydrous bioethanol (95 %) has an Octane rating of 108 which is superior to gasoline’s rating of below 100. This is why bioethanol can achieve the same mileage as gasoline even if gasoline has a higher heat value than bioethanol. An engine running in bioethanol is normally cooler than engines that use gasoline. Unlike gasoline, bioethanol does not contain sulfur impurities and is not corrosive. Furthermore, bioethanol will help mitigate the build-up of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere since it has a carbon neutral

AANI visits the first community-based microscale bioethanol production facility in Brgy. Cangag, Isabel, Leyte

when climate change wreaked havoc with their 100-hectare cooperative farm in Leyte. “Together with my co-employees at Philippine Phosphate Fertilizer Corp. at Isabel, Leyte, we pooled our savings to acquire a piece of idle land in the hills of barangay Cangag and planted it to mango. However, the changes in the climate patterns of the region brought by global warming rendered their mango farm unprofitable,” Engr. Hapitan relates. “Instead, we planted about 25 hectares to sweet potato or camote as feedstock for a bioethanol facility. We fabricated the basic equipment that allows us to cook, ferment and distill the camote into 95 percent ethanol.” The 25 hectare camote farm has been able to provide enough feedstock for a village-level processing facility which produces 500 liters of bioethanol per day which is sold to members of our cooperative at P45/liter ex-farm. “Our members use bioethanol as a 100 percent substitute for gasoline in their motorcycles and tricycles, since hydrous bioethanol (95% ethanol) is a good substitute for gasoline as fuel for motorcycles, tricycles, grass cutters and motorized bancas,” he noted. However, he cautioned that hydrous bioethanol is not to be used for blending with

infrastructure for rice production.” Not only does a one hectare bioethanol farm cost less to develop but has a much higher return than a hectare of irrigated rice land. “We are able to produce 8,000 liters of bioethanol per hectare per year. At P45 per liter, this will translate to P360,000 annual revenue per hectare,” Engr. Hapitan explained. “In contrast, a palay yield of 100 cavans per

Bioethanol can cook 1 kilo of rice for only 3 pesos.

This tricycle uses bioethanol instead of gasoline.

business cycle. The carbon dioxide emitted during the fermentation process and the combustion of engines are compensated for by the volume of CO2 absorbed by the camote from the atmosphere through the process of photosynthesis at the camote farm. Engr. Hapitan also cites how a one hectare bioethanol farm costs much less to develop compared to an irrigated rice farm of the same size. “It only costs P25, 000 per hectare to convert idle land to camote production, fully harnessed with a small-scale bioethanol processing facility,” he said. “However, it is costing our government P250, 000 per hectare for a fully irrigated facility and

hectare just produces 200 cavans for two cropping period per year. At P600 per cavan of palay, annual revenue for palay production would only be P120, 000 per hectare per year.” With the additional revenues generated from idle lands converted to productive bioethanol farms, our country can easily generate a cash surplus that would allow us the flexibility we need to meet our various food requirements, Engr. Hapitan notes. The accelerating conversion of agricultural lands to commercial and industrial use, the migration of farming families to urban areas in search of better incomes, and the increasing demand for food production are all conspiring to make farming an endangered occupation in the Philippines. Unfortunately, the urbanization of farmlands and the migration of farming families to urban areas have only worsened the situation, with food production declining and demand for food products in urban areas skyrocketing. Development planners have long advocated a shift to alternative farming practices and products which would make farming an attractive option for the younger generation and stop the migration of youths to the bright lights of the city.

Among the development issues that can be addressed by such alternatives are stabilizing the prices of food in rural areas while raising incomes for farming families in the rural areas, stabilizing fuel prices through the production of biofuels, raising farm productivity without prejudice to the long term sustainability of farm lands and danger to the ecology. Traditionally viewed as the poor man’s staple in times of drought, famine or other disasters, sweet potato (camote) has the potential to serve both its traditional role as a food staple in the rural areas but could step up to become a strategic source of

bioethanol for the country’s energy and transportation industries. Camote by nature stores energy via photosynthesis in its roots which can produce 95% hydrous bioethanol which can fuel motorcycles, farm machines, motor bancas as well as a clean cooking fuel. Through cooperatives managed by farmers themselves, sweet potato farming and bioethanol production can transform marginal farmers and farmlands into key agents of change for the upliftment of the national economy through village level processing of camote bioethanol for both energy and food security.

MGA TUMONG SA AANI 1. Bag-ong teknolohiya aron pakusgon ang atong agrikultura nga igo sa atong panginahanglanon. 2. Lig-on nga panginabuhi ug igong kinitaan sa mag-uuma aron matubag ang ilang nag-unang panginahanglanon. 3. Mahimong andam ug lig-on sa pausab-usab nga klima sa atong nasud. 4. Igong tinubdan sa pagkaon alang sa galambo nga populasyon sa atong nasud. 5. Makasarangang presyo sa palitunong pagkaon aron mosolusyunan ang pagtaas sa kalisud sa atong nasud.

TOP 10 Legislation nga buot iduso sa AANI 1. Mapasang-at ang Agricultural Act of 2013 nga maoy mohatag kusog sa mga gagmay’ng mag-uuma aron madasig sa sektor sa pag-uma ug palambuon ang sistema sa produksiyon aron sa ingon motaas ang kinitaan.

tuig. 6. I-organisa ang mga gagmay’ng mag-uuma aron mapabarug ang lig-on ug lambo nga komunidad sa mag-uuma sama sa sistemang Kibbutz nga modelo sa Israel.

2. Palapdan ug palig-unon ang Philippine Crop Insurance Commission (PCIC) aron mahatagan og ‘insurance protection’ ang mga pananom sa mga mag-uuma.

7. Hatagan og suporta kon subsidy ang tanang mga mag-uuma nga adunay yutang ubos sa 7 ektarya.

3. Gamiton ang pork barrel kon PDAF sa mga ginsakpan ug igahin lamang kini sa pagpalit sa mga gamit sa pag-uma sama sa hand tractors, palay thresher ug truck mounted rice milling machine, ug uban pa. Unahon niini ang gagmay natong mga mag-uuma. 4. Hatagan og tax holiday ang tanang farm inputs, lakip na usab sa mga namuhunan sa pagmugna og makinaryang pangbukid. 5. Mahatagan og ‘special re-discounting window’ ang mga mag-uuma ug limitahan ang interes sa pautang gikan sa 2 porsiyento (2%) hangtod 4 porsiyento (4%) lamang matag tuig sulod sa napulo ka



8. Himuong bag-o (modernize) ang pag-uma, palambuon ang mga kolektiba sa kabukiran pinaagi sa paggamit sa makinarya ug makasiensiya nga pagtanom. 9. Unahon ang mga programang pag-uma aron palambuon ang ani sa palay ug uban pang pananom isip kabahin sa kampaniya alang sa nasudnong seguridad sa pagkaon. 10. Ipatuman ang National Land Mapping Program aron maundang sa hingpit and land conversions nga maoy hinungdan sa pagka-ubos sa yutang gi-ugmad ug pagdaghan sa lugar nga komersiyal ug pangindustriya.








WHY CAMOTE? The accelerating conversion of agricultural lands to commercial and industrial use, the migration of farming families to urban areas in search of better incomes, and the increasing demand for food production are all conspiring to make farming an endangered occupation in the Philippines.

tion and stop the migration of youths to the bright lights of the city.

Unfortunately, the urbanization of farmlands and the migration of farming families to urban areas have only worsened the situation, with food production declining and demand for food products in urban areas skyrocketing.

Among the development issues that can be substantially addressed by such alternatives are stabilizing the prices of food in rural areas while at the same time raising incomes for farming families in the rural areas, stabilizing fuel prices through the production of biofuels with encroaching into farmlands traditionally devoted to food production, raising farm productivity without prejudice to the long term sustainability of farm lands and danger to the ecology.

Development planners have long advocated a shift to alternative farming practices and products which would make farming an attractive option for the younger genera-

Traditionally viewed as the poor man’s staple in times of drought, famine or other disasters, sweet potato or camote has the potential to serve both its traditional role as

a food staple in the rural areas but at the same time become a key source of bioethanol for the country’s energy and transportation industries. Camote by nature stores energy via photosynthesis in its roots which can produce 95% hydrous bioethanol which can fuel motorcycles, farm machines, motor bancas as well as a clean cooking fuel. Through cooperatives managed by farmers themselves, sweet potato farming and bioethanol production can transform marginal farmers and farmlands into key agents of change for the upliftment of the national economy through village level processing of camote bioethanol for both energy and food security.


Engr. Joffrey E. Hapitan demonstrates cooking rice with bioethanol to Gen. Danny Lim. Step 1: Weigh 1-kg of rice

Step 2: Rinse & add 5 cups of water

For more inquiries please don’t hesitate to contact :

JOFFREY E. HAPITAN Step 3: Add 60-mL of biothanol fuel (P3.00)

Step 4: Light the burner


JOSE C. POLICARPIO, JR. Secretary General


Step 5: Burner ready to commence cooking

Step 6: Commence cooking. No visible smoke.

Health IN Focus


by Dr. Mary Jean Loreche

H7N9: Deadlier Than H5N1? The most current eye catching news , if one were to read or watch television, talking of around the world headlines are: the Boston Marathon unfortunate event, the Margaret Thatcher farewell to this earthly life, the Recin poisoned letters ( which I would like to write on, sometime soon ), Texas Fertilizer Blast and the one that can affect us: the newly named H7N9 Avian Flu Virus. To date, the number of confirmed diagnosed cases and the mortality rate of patients with H7N9 seem to continue on the upward trend. This is kind of scary because, as it is, the illness may not just be contained in China, but, has the potential to enter our country. H7N9, belong to the Avian Influenza A viruses that affect humans. In 2003, H5N1 had approximately 600 cases affected, in over 15 countries. And, this time, H7N9, though the latest report has it at 38 confirmed cases, with 6 deaths, it is still too early to predict as to its capability to further increase the number of cases. Just as H5N1 started from China, H7N9 once more was traced to Eastern China at the Yangtze Delta Region.

There are certain things that we need to understand and know, when confronted with the emergence of diseases such as this. First, the mode of transmission. Avian Influenza A Viruses usually do not usually affect humans. The cases where humans get to be affected by these type of viruses, occur from direct or close contacts with infected poultry. Nevertheless, we should not be lulled into thinking that a person to person spread is impossible. With this always at the back of our minds, we learn to appreciate the importance of monitoring the cases. 2nd, the signs and symptoms can overlap with other pathogens or disease causing micro-organism. Most viral illnesses present with fever, cough, sore throat, for the milder non-fatal clinical manifestations. At the extreme side of the illness, where the illness is severe, the patient may manifest as viral pneumonia with respiratory symptoms like difficulty of breathing, and even respiratory failure. There are instances when the sensorium of the patient may change and a multi-organ failure ensues, eventually leading to death. Where

before I keep reminding our readers that Clinical data ( which is gathered through a thorough history taking and physical examination ), plays a central role in the diagnosis, in this particular instance, avian flu influenza A viral infections cannot be detected through clinical data alone. A history of travel to an affected country coupled with the signs and symptoms as discussed above should alert the Clinician on the possibility of the illness. Thus, the 3rd thing that we need to understand: in instances where laboratory testing is a MUST be examination, it is important that we adhere to the required specimen for submission. For viral infections, a nose or throat swab from the sick person during the first few days of the disease is collected and sent to the Laboratory. Molecular testing or culture is done and not all Laboratories have the capacity to do the test. In developed countries, they are most capable of performing the examination, but, in countries like our own, we may have to send the specimens to a central laboratory that has the capability to do it. 4th, diseases caused by a new strain like H7N9, vaccines may still be a thing of the future. Anti-viral drugs

. 23

may be used as the mainstay in treating these patients, but the possibility of the emergence of a drug resistant viral strain is something that we need to watch out for. Getting the vaccine for the common influenza may help though in minimizing some of the effects of the new strain, should one get were affected with the infection. Lastly, the unpredictability of what and how far the H7N9 virus can go, in terms of spread , should not make us sleep on what we each must do: proper hand washing, and the cooking of poultry meat all the way, with vigilance as to the source of the poultry, and keeping one’s immune system strong, are simple measures that can help us fight against the disease.

An electron microscope image shows the H7N9 virus which can take on a variety of shapes. (Center for Disease Control and Prevention, C.S. Goldsmith, T. Rowe)



Xavier Ecoville coop releases 1st batch of loan By Ryan Louie G Madrid and Althea Dianne Felix, Contributors


s part of facilitating livelihood development in Xavier Ecoville, the Xavier Ecoville Multipurpose Cooperative (XEMPCO) released Wednesday, Apr 24, the first batch of loan amounting to P285,000.00 for 36 individuals. XEMPCO, established last year in Xavier Ecoville, the Xavier University-led resettlement site in Brgy Lumbia for Sendong-affected families, has started processing loan applications since December to assist in the livelihood needs of the community. The cooperative’s lending enterprise lets members apply for loan of up to Php 10,000 with a monthly interest rate of 3 percent. Loan applications for batch 1 were granted to business proposals that include retailing, meat vending, repair shop, sewing and food processing. Funded by the Peace and Equity Foundation, the lending

enterprise is an answer to the Sendong-affected families’ need for capital to start up or upscale their small enterprises, said Nancy Joy Tolinero, Community and Enterprise Development team leader of the project management team at Xavier Ecoville. “The lending program, aside from providing capital, also develops a person’s morale by fostering trust in his capacity to pay back his loan,” explained Tolinero. Receiving the loan The 36 individuals who make up the first batch of debtors were asked to go to the XEMPCO office where they were given priority numbers and made to sign promissory notes and acknowledgement receipts. After signing the papers, each of them wore hopeful smiles as they received their loaned amount. Margielene Edulsa, 32, who was among the first batch of

approved loan applicants, said in the vernacular, “I’m happy since I can add the money as capital for my rug-making business” Another debtor, Rose Marie Parado, 25, has other plans. “I’ll be dividing this (money) between my small business and what my family needs in the upcoming days.” Edulsa and Palado may apply for another loan in the future once they have paid their initial loans. The second batch of loan applications is currently being processed. XEMPCO, duly-registered by the Cooperative Development Authority, is operated by community volunteers and facilitated by the project management staff from Xavier University to assist in the livelihood development of Xavier Ecoville. Its enterprises include savings and credit, wholesaling, tree nursery, sewing, food processing and bakeshop.


. 25

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Search for PH’s best agriculture stories

& CAGAYAN DE ORO - This year’s search for best agriculture stories through Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards of 2013 is now officially opened. David Isaac Buenaventura, project director of Cozoz, Inc. in a statement said that the award honors the best agriculture stories and photos in tri-media across the country and the competition has become the most anticipated celebration of the country’s best agriculture journalists. Bright Leaf on its 7th year continues to seek out the best published agriculture stories in print, radio, and television emphasizing special attention on their impact on current agricultural issues and best farming practices on environmental safety and crop sustainability. The award encompasses two categories, the minor and major. For the minor category, it includes best agriculture TV program/


photos launched By Christine H. Cabiasa

Photos courtesy of Bright Leaf Agriculture Journalism Awards

segment, best agriculture radio program/ segment, best agriculture news story (national and regional level), and best agriculture feature story (national and regional). Meanwhile, on the major category, agriculture photo of the year, tobacco photo of the year, agriculture story of the year, tobacco story of the year, and the oriental leaf award. “Bright leaf aims to heighten trimedia practitioners’ participation by actively searching for a bigger number of nominees from more agricultural provinces while at the same time sustaining and strengthening ties with previously covered provinces”,

Buenaventura said. The search is open to all professional Filipino journalists, at least 18 years old residing in the Philippines and at the time of the submission of entries. Entries submitted should only be published, aired or broadcasted locally from September 1, 2012 to August 31, 2013. Contestants can submit as many stories in any of the categories but no story can be entered in more than one category. Submission of entries begins on April 30 and ends on August 31, 12:00 noon. Entry forms can be downloaded from their website,

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SUPER BRANDING by Harry Tambuatco


hen experiencing bad business practices you have a responsibility to make this viral so all will know who to stay away from. This responsibility is to your community to warn others of a sting they may be subjected to. Poor and bad business practice is like a cancer and unless this is incised it will only metastasize. The cancer is the management of the dusit hotel and no less its top man. There is a need to warn the population of the bad management of this hotel. Can you imagine – having promoted ideas and opportunities only to be jerked around is unacceptable. Clients flew in from abroad to meet formally and decisions were made only to be confirmed with a deafening silence. For one reason or other here in the Philippines it seems to have become tradition and the culture at least for the incompetent businessmen with bad to poor business practices to simply ignore decisions that need to be made. Indecision is seems is a negative or a way to telling you they are not agreeable. Why is it so hard to decide to say a no when you are not acceptable to term conditions on proposals? How is it indecision and a straight and direct “no” cannot be communicated and the tendency is to lead the client on and on. Can you comprehend procrastination? Indecision we need to avoid like the plague. Have you noticed that in dealing with government and the judiciary – it’s all about indecision? It is as if no one wishes to take a stand even when they are empowered to do so. When presented with ideas, concepts, inquiries or sheer proposals, it is but formal and businesslike to decide and either confirm or negate, and the sooner the better. To prolong with indecision is to aggravate expense, cost of projects and frustrate sincerity. This is the characteristic of the man I speak of at this hotel. From what we’re told he’s off to a new assignment very soon – thank God. There he may be discovered finally and be relieved of his duties so as to longer frustrate the business community of his incompetence and insincerity. Beware of the dusit and avoid like the plague. He has been weighed, he has been measured and he has been found wanting!

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eddings are indeed one of the scariest, most exciting and most important event two human beings in love look forward into their life. After being engaged, that usually starts after the big “YES” is given by either the bride-to-be or the groom-to-be, depending on who made the proposal, marks a beginning of a stressful yet beautiful series of preparations for the wedding.

The wedding coordinators’ responsibility for the on-the-day coordination service is to ensure the fluid implementation of what has been planned which mainly dictates him/her to troubleshoot anything that goes wrong during the day of the wedding.

It would not hurt to have a professionals’ help in preparing for this most awaited day.

If the couple’s budget is not a question, I strongly suggest that a professional wedding planner be hired to take care of the crucial and most important details up to the implementation and realization of the couples’ dream wedding.

When should you hire Wedding Planner or Wedding Coordinator? Indeed a very important question that an engaged couple should be able to answer.

In Cagayan de Oro City and the rest of Northern Mindanao, full wedding planning and coordination services ranges from about P25, 000 to P50,000.

Before the couple should start to look for the most appropriate and fitting wedding planner/coordinator, both of them should be able to agree on what they want and if they can afford hiring a professional.

Should the couple decide to plan their own wedding, hiring an on-the-day coordinator would be a better option and would be easier on the budget.

Planning a wedding is very different from actually coordinating one. Wedding Planners can coordinate but not all wedding coordinators plan. Wedding Planning services entails involving the wedding professional from the very beginning until the actual implementation of what has been planned. On the other hand, a wedding coordinator can take part on the actual day providing on-the-day coordination services.

In Cagayan de Oro City and the rest of Northern Mindanao, on-the-day wedding coordination services would range from P10, 000 to P15, 000 depending on the number of guests who will be attending the wedding. It is of utmost importance to hire the most appropriate Wedding Planner/ Coordinator to be able to ensure the success of your wedding. Before tackling in detail what a couple should expect from their wedding planner/coordinator, it is important to make sure that you are hiring the right professional for the job.

Here are some tips for soon-tobe-wedded couples to follow in choosing the right Wedding Planner/Coordinator. Take note and consider the following in order to avoid being a victim or simply to “horror proof � your wedding, where your love story becomes a horrific sad experience which is a result of picking the wrong planner/ coordinator.

1. Google your Wedding Coordinator

/ Wedding Planners (WP/WC) name or registered business name. Chances are feedback either negative or positive would come out on the search.



Ask or check on the WP/WC track record or service record and make sure that the prospect WP/WC has a duly registered business with a known business address. There are many who claim that they are legitimate wedding suppliers, mostly on-line, yet they are impostors who post photos and weddings of clients who they claim have availed their services. Be careful of those who have no registered business address or permits. They are most likely only after the would-be-victims money. The longer the WP/WC has been in his/her line of business the more credible he/she is.

3. Ask for their preferred suppliers list. You

may also check on the works of the other wedding suppliers that the WP/WC. It would be an advantage if the WP/WC has a website as well as his/her suppliers. It is so easy to be able to check if what the WP/WC is claiming on his/her portfolio is true or made up.

4. Beware of WP/WC who cannot

provide a list of legitimate suppliers of whom he/she has worked with. Legitimate wedding suppliers have their rates published. Avoid WP/ WC who would not allow you to have direct contact or communication with his/her suppliers and or those who push or make bad remarks to other suppliers. A professional WP/WC can work with anybody and need not give bad comments on certain wedding suppliers so that he/she chooses her suppliers. Beware of these scheming WP/WC. There is a BIG chance of commission cuts or kickbacks.


5. When dealing with your WP/

WC always ask for a breakdown of expenses or an itemized cost estimate so you can confer with the individual suppliers for supplies and or services. Professional WP/WC would even give you a detailed report or itemized vouchers duly signed by individual wedding suppliers.

6. Secure a copy of the WP/WC contract including the terms or service. This would be of great help in determining the scope of work of your WP/WC which dictates your expectations and would be instrumental in avoiding miscommunications or inconveniences. 7. Make sure that before entrusting the preparations for your special day to your WP/WC, you have to make clear that it is your decision as a client and not the WP/WC that must be followed and that transparency in all financial transactions, most especially with other wedding suppliers be given priority.

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BusinessWeek Mindanao Magazine