Friday, March 27, 2009

Boy Daku still for Re-election: Health not a Hindrance

Butuan – Definitely the standard bearer of Lakas-NUCD here in Butuan is bent on running for a re-election comes 2010 National and Local election for his last term.

In a scheduled mayor’s Forum held yesterday, Mayor Democrito D. Plaza II announced he may have kidney ailment, aneurism and recently underwent angioplasty, but he is stronger and capable for serving yet another term and remained unfazed by reports that incumbent 2nd District Congressman Edilmiro Amante will be his contender.

The Commission on Local Elections recently announced the early schedule for the filing of candidacy in November of this year as they prepare for the full automation in 2010 May elections.

With the Mayors’ pronouncement, the two biggest political clans in Agusan shall clash anew. It is to be recalled that in 2007 elections, it was a battle between Mayor Plaza and then incumbent Agusan del Norte 2nd District Congresswoman Maria Angelica Rosedell Amante. She almost won. 2007 election in Butuan was the highest ever recorded history of vote buying by the Amante’s in thousand pesos. Mayor Plaza has been saved by the votes from the outlying barangays whom he had extended help in previous years.

The Mayor added during the said forum, “The 2007 result proves once more, that money is not the barometer in winning the political battle”.

The Lakas-NUCD has yet to convene to formalize its line up for the 2010 elections, to fill in the vacancy for city councillors, having three incumbents who were serving their last terms namely, Salvador Calo,and Rodrigo Dayaday, Atty. Lope Bunol hopes to retire and opted not to have a second term.

Meanwhile, the opposition that is most likely to run in 2010 elections are the following: for Mayor, Edilmiro Amante, former Vice Mayor Angelo Calo, for congressman my DPA told me Jijil Jimenez is being wooed to run again. Number one councillor Erwin Dano is for re-election, and so is incumbent Councillor Atty. Laurence Fortun. To add the list for City Councillor is former Congresswoman Charito Plaza and Ryan Anthony Culima.

Total Darkness on March 28

Butuan City – Taking the first step is as easy as turning off a light, this is what the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer Forester Alexander Alaan reminded stakeholders in a symposium on Earth Hour held yesterday afternoon at the People’s Hall, city hall.

On March 28 at 8:30 in the evening, Butuan will join the one billion people around the globe, in more than 1000 cities from business, government and the community in switching off their lights for one hour, and sending a message to world leaders in the lead up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference Copenhagen 2009 the concern towards a commitment that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the short and long term benefit of planet Earth in order to avert widespread disastrous impacts especially in developing countries like the Philippines.

Mayor Democrito D. Plaza II with some guests and participants will lead on the night of March 28 for a short program at the Rizal Park. A few minutes after the scheduled switching off of lights, a police siren will be heard signaling the start of the countdown and at exactly 8:30, lights will be switched off. A ceremonial switch will be prepared at the Rizal Park.

The city government aims for a total darkness in the city's main thoroughfares, landmarks and large establishments, and hopes a 100 percent support from residents.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

DBM-Caraga 34m Building Inaugurated by Sec. Rolando Andaya

The Department of Budget and Management Caraga Regional Office finally had its dream comes into reality, when it inaugurated its 34 million worth building located beside Iglesia ni Cristo, a few steps turning left along J Rosales Avenue.

The birth of Caraga Region paved the way to the operationalization of DBM Regional Office, by virtue of the Department Order No. 98-21 issued by then DBM Secretary Benjamin E. Diokno on November 3, 1998.

Way back then, the DBM office was located on the second floor of Llido Building, Ochoa Avenue, Butuan City, and to initially undertake the functions of the new Regional Office, a skeletal force consisting of one Senior Budget and Management Specialist, Accountant III, and a Driver pioneered the operations in CARAGA Region under the stewardship of then Director IV Norberto A. Almaden who also served for the time being as concurrent Regional Director of DBM Regional Office X.Initial operation started in April, 1999 catering only to DPWH Regional and District Offices. With the addition of two more technical staff transferred from RO X in August, 1999, the regional office’s coverage extended to other regionalized agencies of CARAGA, among which are SUCs, DECS (now DepEd), TESDA, CHED, DOH, Local Water Districts, and Local Government Units operating within the four major provinces of the region, namely, the Provinces of Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur and the cities of Surigao and Butuan which were before under the coverage of Regions X and XI. As the clientele agencies of the regional office were getting bigger, another three personnel were hired in September, 1999 to complement the staffing requirements of DBM - RO XIII.On the same month, the office was provided with an Assistant Regional Director in the person of Director III Joecel F. Obenza.

As clientele grew, DBM office transferred to a two-storey R. Tiu Building situated at JC Aquino Avenue in January 2001, making it more accessible to everyone, now having a total of 19 staff.

ARD Joecel F. Obenza took the post to head the Regional Office as the newly appointed OIC-Regional Director in view of the retirement of Regional Director Norberto A. Almaden on December 24, 2001.

In December 2004, DBM acquired a 2,544 sq. m. lot at Jose P. Rosales Avenue, Butuan City for a regional office site and the Procurement Service Depot,
On March 19, DBM staff is as busy as a bee, with no less than Budget Secretary Rolando Andaya Jr. graced the event as the guest speaker, of the blessing & inauguration of the 34 million 3 storey building with a roof top of DBM Regional Office and DBM Hostel.

Arch. Emiliano Villocido Jr. of DPWH District Office did a great job having envisioned a modern concept, using the state of the art facilities. The main entrance is an automatic sliding door, all offices located on its 1st floor has a glass divisions etched each on its doors the assigned department. Also located on the first floor is a room allocated solely for the assigned Auditor of the Commission On Audit, Library and server room.

The 2nd floor is where the Regional Director and Assistant RD rooms located, equip with modern technology (flat screen touch screen TV/DVD) fronting it is the Cashier's cubicle and receiving area, and a conference room.

The 3rd floor is a huge badminton area, which can also be used as a function area, while the roof top has a basketball court with one goal ring ba tawag ana hahahaha.
At the back of the DBM Building is a 3 floors Hostel, each room has its own toilet/bathroom, and a flat screen TV with big airconditioning units. The DBM Hostel has its own dining and kitchen areas located on the ground floor.

I would also like to mention, that the chandeliers were awesome, it rotates.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Tek Bok

High School graduates this year who wish to pursue a career in Tourism or Hotel and Restaurant Management, Ladderized Education can turn dreams into the stuff of which realities are made.

The Tourism/HRM Ladder - in the field of hotel and restaurant management is
readily reachable under the Pinoy Ladderized Education Program (Pinoy LEP). You
can consider enrolling fi rst in any of the related College Tek-Bok courses and work
your way towards higher levels of success, whether or not you complete a Higher Education Degree Program.

After completing related College Tek-Bok courses and obtaining the corresponding
National Certifi cates (NCs), you have better chances of landing a job, and earning
money, to enroll and to complete a Higher Education College Degree Program,
should you want to do so.

There are a variety of paths you can take to fi nish your B.S. Hotel and Restaurant
Management (BS HRM) Degree, for instance:

1) You can receive a PGMA LEP
or TWSP scholarship to start up
in College Tek-Bok and take up
Food and Beverage Services NC

2) After six months, you can pass
Competency Assessment and
acquire the National Certifi cate
for Food and Beverage Service
NC II to rise to a job platform as waitress or a service crew member. For
another six (6) months you can enroll again, pass assessment and acquire
National Certifi cate for Commercial Cook NC II and work as such.

3) Another set of College Tek-Bok courses, Housekeeping NC II and
Baking/Pastry Production NC II, will allow you to ascend to a higher
job platform in a hotel.

4) After working and saving more money, you can return to College Tek-
Bok to acquire new skills in Bartending NC II and Front Offi ce Service
NC II that will bring you yet again to the next higher job platforms.

5) Each time you ascend, you are empowered to earn and save more money
for Higher Education College, as well as to acquire more credit units to
complete your full B.S. in Hotel and Restaurant Management Degree.

Just as importantly, you acquire vital work experience in each area of hotel
operations--- experience which the industry normally looks for in candidates aspiring
for top positions in Hotel and Restaurant Management.

By the time you graduate, your accumulated work experience gives you valuable
competitive edge over those who completed the Degree straightaway within the
traditional, uninterrupted span of four (4) years, but who have no Tek-Bok experience
and no National Certifi cations to show.

Under the Embedded Model, students who enroll in a Ladderized Degree
Program in Tourism/HRM, and cannot or do not wish to fi nish Higher Education
for one reason or another, may fall back or rely on their earned College Tek-Bok
qualifi cations and National Competencies for the years of study they completed.


Tambis has different variety, this is the type that sometimes people would refer to as "macopa" but it is not. Tambis - water apple or syzgium aqueum - is cruncy, watery and pinkish in color. It's not yet in season, maybe in the future i could provide a picture of the Native Tambis which is much smaller and not that sweet.

Saturday, March 14, 2009



Global warming is being felt and we should take action to save mother earth. Let's stop complaining of the extreme weather we've been experiencing. On March 28, 2009, for an hour, beginning 8:30 in the evening, let's all switch off our lights as a gesture to aupport VOTE EARTH.

Friday, March 6, 2009

No SMS Day this Lent

Catholics traditionally give up a vice or a special treat for the five weeks between Ash Wednesday and Easter, but for some adherents, figuring out what to give up has always been a challenge.

Giving up meat on Friday is a classic idea, and many of the faithful are prone to giving up sweets, coffee, or alcohol.

But the Church is muscling its way into the modern era, like it or not, and Rome has suggested a new way for Catholics to show their devotion to their religion and preparation for atonement during Easter: Give up text messaging, and other guilty pleasures of modern society.

"No SMS day" does more than just inconvenience the user and remind him of both the blessings of technology and the importance of personal, human interactions: One diocese notes that abstaining from texting was a helpful way for Catholics to draw attention to war in the Congo, where many mines producing minerals essential to the creation of cell phones are located and where violent and bloody conflict has raged for years.

And texting isn't the only modern vice the Church would like you to avoid for the next 40 days. In Turin it's suggested you shun television. In Trento, Italy, a calendar of tech-free living has been generated, suggesting different gadgets be given up for a week at a time -- no cars one week, no iPod the next.

That said, even the Church is pragmatic on the realities of living in the 2000s without modern trappings. Says one Roman priest: "If the use is capricious, then abstinence is welcome, but if technology is needed for work it makes no sense."

What do you think? Could you go 40 days without texting? (yahooblog/jem)

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Babae, Yaman ka ng Bayan

Caraga Region, Atty. Pintor stressed that with the increasing number of cases pertaining to violence against women and their children, GADCC and CHR is closely monitoring such cases in coordination with concerned authorities.

“Out of this increasing number of cases, rape posted the highest. And as the chairman of the council, I can assure the public that we are closely monitoring cases pertaining to violence against women and children,” Pintor said.

Anchored on the theme “Babae, Yaman ka ng Bayan” (Woman, you are the nation’s wealth), this year’s theme highlights the critical role of women in nation-building and recognizes that women are an important resource who can contribute to the reduction of poverty.

The theme also supports the fulfillment of the country’s international treaty obligations, particularly the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against women (CEDAW), the Millennium Declaration, and the International Labour Organizations (ILO) conventions.

This year’s celebration is in cognizant of the Arroyo administration’s Ten-Point Agenda and the Medium-Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP) from 2004-2010 which identifies the creation of three million enterprises and ten million jobs, with women as the main target of micro-finance initiatives.

The objective of this year’s celebration is to serve as a venue for sharing of inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs, lessons learned and good practices in entrepreneurial activities.

It also serves as a channel for the nationwide campaign to promote women’s economic empowerment and rights through entrepreneurship.

Meanwhile, GADCC-Caraga, the lead committee of the annual celebration in the region was organized in 1998 thru Resolution No. 38, Series of 1998 of the Regional Development Council (RDC), placing the committee under the council. (PIA-Caraga/jem)

Nice View

Taken during sunset on my way home from Cagayan de oro City, 4 hour travel from Butuan City...nice site, so at peace, the calmness of the sea water is very relaxing

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

RP to host World Health Tourism Congress on March 26-28

The Philippines will firm up its position as a global and wellness destination in Asia by being the first Asian country to host the prestigious 2009 World Health Tourism Congress (WHTC) at Sofitel Hotel on March 26 to 28.

The initial WHTC was hosted by Germany in 2006, followed by Cyprus in 2007 and Spain in 2008.

The Philippines made a successful hosting bid in November last year, according to Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary Joseph Ace Durano.

Durano said that the occasion will mark the country's position as a global and wellness destination as thousands of leading health and wellness tourism players from all over the world meet in Manila.

The three-day meeting will gather the world's best health and wellness service providers and corporate buyers for workshop and one-on-one business sessions to enable all parties to supply contracts, establish market linkages, form partnerships and do various mutually beneficial transactions.

The WHTC will also strongly focus on sports medicine, medical and cosmetic treatments.

Participating solution providers such as hotels, spas, health resorts, airlines, ambulance companies, medical services agents, inbound tour operators specializing in health tourism and general hospitals and clinics, especially those engaged in cosmetic dentistry, plastic surgery, orthopedic and sports medicine would be given all the opportunity to transact business.

"The DOT will match the services with the needs of corporate buyers who have pre-qualified as ultimate decision-makers in their respective organizations for matters of well-being and medical travel," said Tourism Undersecretary Cynthia L. Carrion.

The corporate buyers, according to travel industry leader Angel Ramos-Bognot, are health officials of various countries, particularly from the Arab world who are the biggest spenders in medical travel.

So are insurance companies whose network managers decide where to send their clients; third-party medical agents coming mostly from North America and Western Europe who combine travel arrangements with medical treatment, and outbound operators in search of health and wellness destinations for their clients back home.

The Philippines' participation and hosting of the event will make it possible for clients and health industry players to meet in an environment that is exclusively for business, and where they will have undivided attention of their potential customers away from trade shows and exhibition noise. (PNA/jem)

“Walk-for-a-cause” and “Hataw” exercise kick-off Women’s Month Celebration in Caraga

Women in Caraga Region converge on March 3 at Butuan City Hall grounds to mark the celebration of Women's Month.

As mandated in Proclamation No. 227 “Providing for the observance of the Month of March as ‘Women’s Role in History Month’, the Gender and Development Coordinating Committee (GADCC) of Caraga Region spearheaded the conduct of Women’s Month Celebration with the theme “Babae, Yaman ka ng Bayan”, which was highlighted with a fun walk dubbed “Walk-for-a-cause” in the opening ceremony followed with a “Hataw Exercise”.

GADCC Chairperson and Commission on Human Rights (CHR) Caraga Regional Director Atty. Marilyn Pintor welcomed and acknowledged the presence of the participants from the government and private sectors who also participated in the “Walk-for-a-cause” which started at 5:30 in the morning from the Agusan del Norte Capitol grounds and proceeded to Butuan City Hall, and also joined in the Hataw Exercise.
In her speech, Atty. Pintor said that this year’s theme highlights the critical role of women in nation-building and recognizes that women are an important resource who can contribute to the reduction of poverty, and it also supports the fulfillment of the country’s international treaty obligations particularly Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Millennium Declaration, and International Labour Organizations (ILO) conventions.

“To serve as a venue for sharing of inspiring stories of women entrepreneurs, lessons learned and good practices in entrepreneurial activities; and to serve as a channel for the nationwide campaign to promote women’s economic empowerment and rights through entrepreneurship are the two main objectives of this year’s celebration” Atty. Pintor added.

Another activity will be conducted on March 10, 2009 dubbed as “Kalandrakas sa Kababaihan 5” which is said to be a venue for Technology transfer for Livelihood opportunities and skills development, trade fair, ukay-ukay, GAD film showing, beauty and massage parlors, parlor games, and creates a venue for information dissemination on GAD issues and concerns.

Also, on March 31, 2009, a sportsfest and culmination activity will also be conducted at the Philippine Ports Authority grounds. (pia caraga/jem)

Monday, March 2, 2009

Mabua Pebble Beach

Located 30 minutes from Surigao City - which is a 3 hour ride from Butuan City - a unusual, unique beach tourists will love it. You don't see sands, everywhere are pebbles and rocks and crystal clear sea water. This would be everybody's favorite place to unwind, spend the night with the family. The rock formation serves not only for kids to climb on but also perfect as diving boards. Or you can climb and sit on the rocks under the coconut trees on the mountain top, enjoying the scenic view or just settle yourself above the huuuuge rocks along the hsoreline and gazed at the sun setting beautifully.
A place for bonding.....chillin.....or if you want a piece of solitude...this is a perfect place for you.
Along its shores are native cottages, but it also have a nice, clean pavilions. Mt. Bagarabon Mountain Resort has Caba-Caba (butterfly)Suites, Hayahay (relaxing) suites and filipino foods were a delight for foreign tourists.