Monday, September 22, 2008

farming project for city jail inmates

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! It’s another week. Let me start it off with the good news, at least for those from Calbayog. As per Presidential Proclamation No. 1624, October 16, 2008 has been declared as a special (non-working) day in Calbayog. Of course October 16, 2008 is the date when Calbayog City turns 60.

* * *

Mayor Mel Sarmiento is currently in New York. He will be giving a presentation during a side event of the UN High-Level Event on the Millennium Development Goals.

* * *

So, the U.S. economy is still the news. Why do I say that? Well, it’s still part of Jay Leno’s late-night jokes last week. Take this: “President Bush has finally come up with the solution on the current mess that hit the U.S. economy. And the process or solution starts in January of 2009. Yes, the day he leaves office.”

In a spiel in her 1999 New Year’s eve concert, Barbra Striesand said that if a dove flaps its wings in China, the wind currents shifts for thousands of miles across mountains and seas. It was her poetic way of saying that the events in the world are interconnected. That everything we do has a ripple effect, that we are all interconnected and that we have the responsibility to look out to one another.

So, what about that spiel? Well, that’s what came to mind upon hearing the line “pagbahing ng amerika, trangkaso ng Pilipinas” or something to that effect. Ah, corporate America. Why is it that if they have the good news, meaning the big companies earn big, not all outside America benefit; but when their stocks came tumbling down, everybody outside America tremble. Let’s take this: news had it that Goldman Sachs profits for this time of the year dipped by 70%, thus they earned only 810 million dollars (more or less). Can you imagine their earnings if it’s a normal year? No need to do the math.

* * *

Now here’s an item which I believe deserves our attention. More that a week ago, the City Mayor led a program at the Calbayog City Jail. That program was the Farmers’ Field Day and FFS Graduation. It was a part of the Palayamanan Project. So, what about it? It has to do with farming for the inmates at the City Jail.

Let me give you details of that project which I got from the DA leaflet.

Palayamanan involves the use of indigenous knowledge and research-generated technologies and farming systems adaptable to the local conditions which are combined to increase productivity, profitability and enhance sustainability of the farm. This concept makes use of available farm resources and highlights the interconnectivity between each resource and by-product in the various technology components of the farming system.

With rice as a base crop, other crops, aquaculture, livestock, pomology, biomass recovery system and other farming ventures are integrated to maximize the use of local resources.

The “An Palayamanan San Siyudad Sa Calbayog” Project is located in Sitio Tomalon, Brgy. Gadgaran, Calbayog City. The project is implemented through the collaborative efforts of PhilRice, DA-RFU 8, the City Government of Calbayog and the Bureau if Jail Management and Penology (BJMP). It started with pre-implementation meeting with the stakeholders on September 2007 and followed by the Participatory Rural Appraisal (PRA) on November 2007. Relevant information was gathered from the farmers in the nearby barangays as well as from the inmates of the City Jail.

The technology on hybrid rice production was first introduced thru season-long Farmers’ Field School on December 2007 with fifteen (15) participants: ten (10) inmates and five (5) farmers.In addition to rice, tilapia was cultures with 15,000 tilapia fingerlings stocked in the 600 sq. m. pond. Also the 300 sq. m. area was planted with assorted vegetables. Eight Hundred (800) hills of eggplant and a 2,500 sq. m. rice area outside the jail was also planted on and was managed by the farmer participants.

A project was started with twenty-two (22) heads of chicken. This was done in collaboration with the GMA Livestock Program.A Season-long Farmers’ Field School on vegetable production is on-going involving twenty-five (25) participants: twenty (20) inmates and five (5) farmers.Other activities in line are:
  1. Season-long Farmers’ Field School on Tilapia Culture in collaboration with the BFAR.
  2. Excavation of the SWIP project and proposed hatchery for tilapia breeder stock. The area in consideration is 1,500 sq. m.
  3. Establishment of farm house outside the city jail.
  4. Contouring of the hillside to be planted with fruit trees and pineapple.

* * *

Wedding Bells. Leo Aler (of Begaho, Oquendo) and Chistine Escobar (of Matobato) will get married tomorrow. The Wedding Mass will be held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Reception will follow at the Cardinal Rosales Hall of the Centennial Pastoral Center.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, September 19, 2008

ayor Mel Sarmiento to speak at a UN Side Event on MDG

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express with the title "reinventing")

Hi there! Have you been following the news lately? Well, my apologies to our brothers in Mindanao who are suffering from flooding on top of the fighting between government troops and the rebels, it’s sad but news about your plight is not the order of the day. People, or should I say the powerful media entities (and I guess I have to include some of our lawmakers) are into the latest bomb or dud (depending upon which side of the political fence one is into) to hit the Senate - of course it’s none other than the latest Lacson expose.

Talking about the news. The big news is not exactly nice: Lehman Brothers has collapsed; and world economies held its breath. And the Philippines? Mareng Winnie said it best, that the fundamentals of the Philippine Economy are intact. On the other hand I’m still waiting if there would be some lawmakers or anybody who will give Arroyo the flak for the Lehman collapse. Well, already one lawmaker went on TV questioning why our economy should be tied to that of the U.S. I’m no economist, but I think there is something quite not right with that inquiry.

And hmm, they are into something new at the Senate. Just when I thought that the usual grandstanding err, investigation (where one gets free media mileage on TV) was the order of the day (what with the latest issue on insertion), some of the members of the upper chamber are into either a walkout or simply being out (on a boycott). Now that’s what I call reinventing (or should I say repackaging?).

* * *

Mayor Mel Sarmiento is off to New York. He will be speaking as Philippine representative in the Side Event of the United Nations (UN) High-level Event on the Millennium Development Goals. The said side event will focus on Local Poverty Reduction and MDG Localization and for scaling up implementation to achieve MDGs.

For a short backgrounder. On September 25, 2008, a High-level Event (HLE) on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) will be jointly convened by the (UN) Secretary-General and the President of the (UN) General Assembly to reaffirm existing commitments and evoke new ones needed to achieve the MDGs by 2015. The HLE will bring together Heads of States or Government, as well as leaders of the private sector and civil society.

The HLE takes particular note of the fact that while many developing countries are on track to achieve some of the MDGs, large disparities persist across and within countries.

THE OBJECTIVE OF THE SIDE EVENT. The side event aims to share practical policy innovations amongst participants by highlighting challenges and key elements of success in scaling-up MDG localized interventions.

Over the years, some innovative local initiatives have been developed in different parts of the world to achieve the MDGs. However, these good practices and their key elements of success have not been shared widely for substantive discussions. Therefore, the side event will aim to:
  • Facilitate the exchange of country case studies (good practices) along key elements of success on local poverty reduction and MDG localization/scaling up good practices;
  • Promote strategic partnerships to effectively advocate for MDGs
  • Promote policy innovation for reducing the national – local gap.

During the roundtable discussion, Mayor Sarmiento’s presentation will attempt to answer the following critical questions:

  • What are the major challenges for policy alignment for MDG planning and implementation at national and local levels.
  • How these challenges have been overcome?
  • What are, in the country’s context, effective way to sensitize local government and parliamentarians on MDG?
  • In sum, what are the key elements of success in bridging the gap between national and local levels in scaling up MDG implementations?

Other countries invited to the Side Event are Brazil, Uganda, Liberia, Rwanda, Vietnam and Kenya.

* * *

A week ago today, Mayor Mel Sarmiento led the guests during the Farmers’ Field Day and FFS Graduation at the Calbayog City Jail. This is a part of the City’s Palayamanan Project. More details next issue.

* * *

Condolence to the Sabenicio Family. Mr. Felicissimo “Isin” Sabenicio Sr., the former Municipal Mayor of Sto. Niño was laid to rest yesterday. He returned to his creator on September 8, 2008. He was 84.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Patrun sa Calbayog

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! We have been treated to the decision (or result) of the investigation of the CA justices. All I can say is “bitin”.

Maupay nga Patrun Calbayog!” Well, that greeting was supposed to be for my column a week ago today. Thanks to the flurry of activities, I’m greeting you only today. That day’s main event was the Pontifical Mass at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. Bishop Isabelo Abarquez presided over the said celebration. Concelebrating with him were Msgr. Max Cruz and a good number of priests from the Diocese of Calbayog. The recent fiesta celebration had four hermanas mayores namely Minda Tabones – Llamas, Lor Obong – Fresnedi, Marie Acuesta – Sauz and Zoraya Zuñiga – Macaraig.

* * *

I would have wanted to enumerate what transpired during the recent fiesta celebration. But I already had these in my blogs so I settled for an old account, a very old account - 1912 to be exact – of the fiesta celebration in Calbayog. I got this from the September 1912 issue of the Eco de Samar y Leyte and written by someone who called himself “namatrun”. And thus explains today’s title. And the copy I got was not a clear one and that’s the reason why there are blanks in today’s feature.The account also mentioned the name of one Señora Trinidad Camilon. If one is to check the list of the hermanas pasadas in the Calbayog Fiesta souvenir programs, that name is the first entry in the said list.

* * *

Here’s that article entitled “An Patrun sa Calbayog”

“Masadya, maribhung, malinao an cadagatan, mahayag an langit, mapaua an adlao sama san daguay sin usa nga Angel, amo _______ san ca-adlauan sadto san mahal nga Patrona dinhe sa Calbayog nga guinsalinorog sadton 8 sini nga bulan. Ngatanan mga binohat dao nabuñog san cahayag ni Maria Santissima dida san adlao san iya pagcatauo. Tubtob san ante vispera, nag ticang an pag-abut san magcalainlain nga domoro-ong, labi na an Cat_____on. San mga balay, mga cadalanan nacarahibut an tauo guican sa magkalain-lain nga dapit. San visperas san aga, nag suot na an tauo dinhi sa ciudad nga tungod san cadamo, macuri magpaca-agui an mga caleza. San pag a las doce catapos pagpahibaro san linganay sa Catedral san mahal nga Patron. Pagcabuas an mga musico san Parroquia ug sa Ipao nag libot san bungto. Ug san pagcaculop, nag canta san visperas an _____ nga cura san Catedral R. P. Jose Diaznes. Pag ca aga _______, san may mga a las 4 nag Diana an mga musico nga _______ san pagtauagtauag sa Catedral, sin usa cadali napuno san maniringba san siapa nga misa san Señora nga may mga lima nga mga babayi lalaqui bata tigurang nga dinara-on sa pag _____ san mahal nga lauas ni Jesucrisdto. Ug hasta san a las 7 nga eguin repique sa misa Mayor, waray pahuway an tauo nga maniringba san damo nga capadian nga nagmisa. San mga a las 8 amo an eguin ticang san misa cantada nga dinoyogan san ma ranog nga Organo, sa Catedral paroc san Señor Obispo. An misa nga guin canta an guin ngangaranan Pedro de las Heras, an masabut ug bantugan nga organista si Sr. Malaquias Nonato, Professor san musica sa Seminario eguin paquita an iya quina-adman dida san pag doyog niya san organo, cay pacasiring namon dao nahimomotang cami sin Paraiso san pagbati namon sadto nga mga awit. An nagcanta amo an mga capadian sa Seminario nga alagad san ira cabatiran ug maluay nga tingog inabutan an mga maniringba sin cahinoclob. An nag misa an Cura san Catedral linoyoloyohan san mga ministros nga si D. Ignacio Arganda, Diacono ug si D. Ramon Codilla Subd. Catapos san Evangelio nag wali si P. Conrado Maga, Coadjutor sa Catedral.”

“An Señora opod an mga magtoto-on sa Seminario ug mga Seminarista, nag tambong didto san iya trono. Sugadman an mga Colegialas opod an mga Madres naray caculang. Catapos san misa, nagsugod na liwat an aringasa ngan ribhong, cay an mga estudiantes sa Colegio sa San Vicente nga guican sa Singbahan vinistihan sin mga cadete, nag ejercicio ug nag parada sira sa cadalanan nga nacalingao san mga tauo. Pagcacolop may mga a las 3 pinangolohan san Presidente Sr. Malaquias Nonato, nag tiroc an mga sacop san Sociedad Milagrosa ug nag buhat sin rumba, carrera de bicecleta, juego se anillos y Cintas canan bag-ong tubo mga hatag hasta magcalainlain nga premio. San pagca a las 5 guin himua an macaserendac nga Procesion nga inopdan ni P. Bonifacio Villora Cura sa Oquendo, linoloyohan san mga Seminaristas inopod man an Señora nga guin lilibutan san mga capadian. An carro matahum caupay, mapaua, tacos ug angay nga nahimomotangan sen mahal nga Patrona, halad san ma-abiabihon nga Hermana Mayor si Sra. Trinidad Camilon. An ira balay pono pono sin tauo ticang pa san tinicangan san novena nga guin solemne sa ira. Diri hicalimtan an camapuanguron san mga anac, labi na si Sra. Lolay ug si Loling nga uaray hingan san cahago, paglipay san ira mga dapit.”

“Sa tuig tuig ngatanan quinita nga an pagto-o sini nga bungto ug an ira pag alagad sa Dios nag titidogang la lugod, bisan con guin tatalingoha san iba an pag parong condao calayo, cay an ira an pag contra sa Dios ug pag supil san mga mahi___lo nga pamatasan, cay basi matumanan san ira mga maraut nga guinaui-an ug hunahuna, condi sa Dios uaray magtatamay, may adlao san pag panodia, cay polong pa nga an tinonto mo, intoy, sa lauas mo o-oli.” (namatron)

* * *

Congratulations to SOS Calbayog. The institution will be observing its 38th founding anniversary tomorrow. Their morning activity will consist of a thanksgiving Mass at the Dagum Chapel, followed by a motorcade and Parlor Games. The event will be capped by a Recognition Rites at 4 pm.

* * *

This is it for now. Have a nice week everyone! Ciao!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Heroes and Holidays

(This column appears in today's edition of the Leyte-Samar Daily Express)

Hi there! Sad to miss you again. Well, this time blame it on the forthcoming City Fiesta. Anyway, I should have mentioned this in my columns last week: Bye Beijing, Hello London. Well, I dunnow what surprises await us four years from now in London, but please, enough of the light and sound spectacle. Talking about that spectacle, the Chinese did a feat in showing how many centuries of culture and history in less that three hours of lights and sounds presentation (forget about the lip-synching and the supposedly faked or video-taped portions) what made me wonder is Chairman Mao. Needless to say, he is a big, no, giant figure in Chinese history. But alas he was nowhere to be found in that lights and sounds spectacle.

The last holiday observed last month was National Heroes Day. And from the looks of it, the commemoration of heroes was nowhere in the days’ (I mean the long weekend) itinerary for many Pinoys. Yet another proof of what has become of heroes: being relegated to the history books (some are lucky to make it to bank notes) and be an excuse - a good one - to refrain from work.

John McCain, how could you? In trying to steal the show from Obama, he picks Palin, a neophyte politician as running mate. Well, I like what Jay Leno said on the choice, “(it’s a good combination) Palin is pro-life, and he (McCain) is clinging to life”.

And Georgia. When Russia attacked Georgia, Bush was among those who showed indignation against the aggression. Everyone called for peace. You think the U.S. was honestly for it? In a way yes, otherwise, their energy program would be in peril. Huh? How is that? Well, if one is to take seriously the news from businesworld.com, everything boil down to the construction (or the loss of it) of oil pipeline in the region.

* * *

Last Wednesday, some officers (and members) of the Region 8 Administrators’ League conducted a People’s Day at the City Hall Sala. The City Officials were on hand to for the activity.

* * *

Hadang Festival 2008. The Festival formally opens with a Mass this morning. The ritual opening ceremonies will be held at 6:00 pm tonight at the Nijaga Park.

Later tonight, the Search for Miss Anyag 2008 will be held at the TTMIST Socio-Cultural Center. This is a joint venture of the City of Calbayog and the Rotary Club of Calbayog.

Tomorrow night, the 2008 Hermanas Mayores namely Minda Tabones – Llamas, Lor Obong – Fresnedi, Marie Acuesta – Sauz and Zoraya Zuñiga – Macaraig will tender a dinner (the Hermana Night) at the LMA Auditorium.

On Sunday morning there will be the traditional fiesta Parade. This will be followed by the Grand Hadang Streetdance which will commence at one in the afternoon. After parading around the city, the various festivals invited to the event will do their exhibition at the TTMIST Socio-Cultural Center.

* * *

Wedding Bells: Vani Gabon will get married to Aileen Magno. Fr. James Roa will preside over the Nuptial Mass which will be held at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral tomorrow. Reception will be at the Centennial Pastoral Center

* * *

This is it for now. Let me leave you with something I got from the AD (or announcement) of a local school noted for its supposedly good English. Days to the opening of classes they ran an announcement in the local TV station informing everyone that enrolment is going on and it included this line: “We accept as early as 3 years old”. I think there is something not right somewhere.

* * *

Have a nice weekend everyone! Ciao!

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