Archive for September, 2008

Obituary: Ramon Septimo of Naga City

September 30, 2008

Ramon Septimo, loving father of Ibalonians Tootsie and Monette Septimo, passed away on September 19, 2008 in Naga City, Philippines. He was interred a week after on September 26, 2008.

UP Ibalon extends its heartfelt sympathy and prayers to Mr. Septimo and his bereaved family—for Mrs. Sally Septimo and children Josephine, Marjorie, Michael, Tootsie, Bong, Janet, and Monette.=0=

Drs. Rommel & Annelee Lojo’s NY Visit

September 30, 2008

Seen last week in New York is Ibalonian Dr. Annelee Badiola-Lojo with hubby Dr. Rommel Lojo who comes from Manila to visit friends and relatives in Chicago, New York & San Francisco. In a reunion, the couple was with the Badiola family particularly sister Acela “Bingbing” Bretan, hubby David & little Brandon of Long Island, NY. Cousins Drs. Totie and Marietta Mesia were there to share happy and memorable moments. =0=

Worsening US financial crisis spreads overseas

September 29, 2008

The Asian markets open today with grim news that the Dow Jones industrials plunged 780 points after the US government failed to pass the $700 billion bail-out package that is hoped stabilize the floundering economy. Today’s trading is expected to be bad overseas. With little time to waste, Capitol Hill is back to rewrite a bill that is deemed vital in averting a domino-effect in cash-strapped financial institutions threatened by bankruptcies.

But Wall Street found further reason for worry overseas, as the fallout from U.S. economic problems keep spreading. Three European governments agreed to inject Fortis NV with a $16.4 billion bailout. Fortis, with has headquarters in Brussels, Belgium and Utrecht, Netherlands, is Belgium’s largest retail bank.

The British government, meanwhile, said it is nationalizing mortgage lender Bradford & Bingley, which has a $91 billion mortgage and loan portfolio. It was the latest sign that the credit crisis has spread beyond the U.S. “—-AP (09/129/08,Paradis,T)

Americans, skeptical of the political maneuverings in the Congress, are enraged by the uncertainty Wall Street has placed their jobs, savings, homes, investments, and retirement plans. With few options in sight, they wait for the government to shore-up the economy with the bail-out proposal whose final result is unclear. The public seems inclined to focus on a solution for now, but the blame is trickling in, highlighting the greed, negligence and corruption. =0=

12th OK Bikol Fair to Showcase Bikol Region’s Raw Materials

September 29, 2008

by Micky T. Cabañes, DTI-V

The 12th Orgullo Kan Bikol Regional Trade Fair promises to be a best selling fair this year as it once again brings to the fore the beauty and bounty of Bicolandia on October 2-5 at the SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City.

“For the first time we are going to show to the public, especially to our institutional buyers, what other natural resources Bicol has to offer thru the “Raw Materials Showcase”, Regional Director Jocelyn L. B. Blanco of the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) disclosed. The Bicol Designers Association (BIDEAS) will set up a Special Setting showcasing these different raw materials that had been transformed into novelty artworks.

“This year, new products and new designs will be offered for sale and order-taking and we hope to generate sales of about 16 million pesos, surpassing last year’s sales”, confirmed Dir. Blanco. Around 95 new products/designs coming from 36 manufacturing firms were developed thru the product development efforts of the members of BIDEAS. Products under the One-Town-One Product (OTOP) Program will also be featured in this fair.

Another highlight of OKB 2008 is the launching of the OK Bikol and Chosen Pili trademarks. The OK Bikol trademark will be the official trademark of the OK Bikol Association in the succeeding OKB Fair while the Chosen Pili trademark is a quality mark and was used by the pili processors who joined the Hongkong Food Exposition (HOFEX) last August 2008 under the BIZDEV (Business Development) Program of DTI-V for Food Processors.

Both trademarks are already in the process of being registered with the Intellectual Property Office (IPO) by the OK Bikol Association. Yet another highlight of the Opening Program is the Oathtaking of the new set of officers of the OK Bikol Association under the leadership of Mr. Erwin Pereña. Dir. Blanco said that with these developments, the mounting of OKB Regional Trade Fair next year may be handled by the OK Bikol Association, with the DTI just providing the needed assistance.

A total of 143 Bicolano entrepreneurs will be selling their wares ranging from home furnishings, giftware, holiday décor, wearables, fresh & processed food products, organic & natural products, cutlery, and furniture. Among the six provinces, Albay has the biggest number of exhibitors with 38 MSMEs, followed by Catanduanes and Sorsogon with 16 MSMEs each. Camarines Sur has 15 MSMEs while Camarines Norte and Masbate have 13 and 10 MSMEs, respectively. Committed to developing new entrepreneurs in the countryside, a total of 40 new entrepreneurs will be participants to this year’s OKB fair.

Aside from the regular MSMEs assisted by DTI, 35 Comprehensive Agrarian Reform Program (CARP) beneficiaries/entrepreneurs will be joining OKB at Megamall. All these beneficiaries are assisted by DTI through the livelihood program under CARP. Each province will occupy one booth for the different products of said CARP beneficiaries.

Another special feature of OK Bikol Trade Fair is the Gayon Bikol Fiesta. It can be recalled that last year, Gayon Bikol Fiesta of the Department of Tourism (DOT) joined Orgullo Kan Bikol Fair for the first time which brought in a total gross sales of 14 million pesos.

“Now on our second year with OK Bikol, we will once again treat Bicolanos and the general public with our rich cultural tradition thru performances by Bicolano artists and we will showcase the beautiful tourist destinations that are found in the region”, Director Maria Ong-Ravanilla of DOT here said.

Lined up for the duration of the fair are performances/shows of LRay Villafuerte Cultural Group, Universidad De Sta. Isabel Cultural Group, Kundiman Champion Ms. Vanessa R. Rayel, Top Magician of the Philippines Mr. Lou Hilario, Pork Barrel, Artists Ms. Lou Bonevie and Mr. Gino Padilla and with special participation of Kadangyan Band of Baguio.

“A Culinary Product Presentation featuring food products from Gubat, Sorsogon and Product Presentation of Misibis Discovery Bay will still form part of the Bicol Fiesta treat”, Ravanilla added.

The Opening Program will be held on October 2, 2008 at 10:00 o’clock a.m. at the Megatrade Hall 2, 5th Level, Bldg. B, SM Megamall, Mandaluyong City. This will be attended by Congressman Edcel C. Lagman, Gov. Joey S. Salceda, USec Merly Cruz of DTI, USec Oscar Palabyab of DOT, other DTI and DOT officials, Bicolano congressmen, governors and other LGU officials of Region V.

OK Bikol- Gayon – Bikol Trade and Tourism Fair is sponsored by the Department of Trade and Industry Region V, Department of Tourism Region V, PHILEXPORT Bicol Chapter, OK Bikol Association, Bicol Designers Association and Leighton.

Despite ban, 15,000 OFW’s work in Iraq

September 28, 2008

The ban against taking jobs in Iraq has not been heeded by those who seek work even in places that are dangerous. To date the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) reported 15,000 Filipinos had been employed in Iraq in defiance to the 2004 prohibition by DOLE after the abduction and release of truck drive Angelo de la Cruz. Malaya (09/27/08, Naval, G.)

With high paying job offers that they can’t resist for they almost don’t have them in the Philippines, overseas foreign workers (OFW’s) sneak into Iraq from nearby Kuwait, Bahrain, Qatar, and Dubai to work, braving the perilous conditions of war.

Embarrassing the government, OFW’s defy orders and brush aside the dangers they put themselves into. In their desperation, they ignore the authorities, making the country’s laws meant to protect them, useless. The labor department has little choice, but to reconsider lifting the ban that lacks teeth and relevance.

On top of it, the country must widen its job pool not only for returning OFW’s, but for those who are forced to look for employment abroad at the expense of being separated from their families. Many jobs offered to Filipinos are menial and those that have few takers. Dependence on other countries for these jobs is dangerous for the future of the nation. =0=

China’s Shenzhou-7 spacecraft, its melamine-contaminated milk & RP’s incapacity to do lab tests

September 27, 2008

The Beijing Space Command and Control Center announced the successful space walk of astronaut Zhai Zhigang who carried a Chinese flag outside the orbit module. The proud news of being the third country to ever do such a feat in space is bogged by the worsening embarrassment from the sale of melamine-tainted milk which sickened more than 53,000 children (mostly in China,) and blamed for the death of at least 4 people. Melamine-related illnesses had been reported in Taiwan, Shanghai, and Hong Kong.

The Chinese adulterated milk has crept into other dairy and food products including the popular “white rabbit” candies, chocolates, ice-cream, yoghurt, pastries and confectioner’s biscuits. This food safety scandal has been on-going since last year when China has been under criticism for improperly selling pet food, toys, toothpaste laced with industrial toxins. The European Union, Japan, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are among countries which banned the Chinese imported milk.

Amid outrage versus greed and corruption, Prime Minster Wen Jiabao promised food safety and ethical standards in Chinese products. This year, the Philippines bought 2 million kilograms of milk from China. Monitoring by the Department of Health (DOH) for illnesses that may be ascribed to melamine-contamination in milk and dairy products is on-going.

The Philippines has meager laboratory capacity to undertake testing for melamine and other poisons. Authorities mull on sending specimens out to neighboring countries the way they did with the endosulfan scare and fatality identification during the sinking of Princess of the Stars three months ago. To avoid future embarrassments, a self-respecting country must put up a decent laboratory of its own. The government must not rely on its neighbors to do its laboratory work. (Photo Credits: AP; Annasea; brutaldolltx) =0=

Update: On September 29, 2008, the popular Cadbury cholocate has been recalled from sale in Great Britain in the wake of melamine-contamination scare. The recall doesn’t cover the Cadbury chocolates being sold in United States.

Paul Newman, actor & philanthropist, at 83

September 27, 2008

Every time I get a script it’s a matter of trying to know what I could do with it. I see colors, imagery. It has to have a smell. It’s like falling in love. You can’t give a reason why,” said Paul Newman, 83, the award-winning legendary actor who played roles in more than 50 films which included Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, The Sting, Nobody’s Fool, and The Hustler. He died Saturday, September 27, 2008 in Connecticut of cancer said publicist Jeff Sanderson.

Survived by wife and fellow star Joanne Woodward, five children, two grandsons, and a brother, the handsome Newman, an iconic versatile movie celebrity received several acting nominations and won his Oscar for his role in “The Color of Money.” He was awarded in 1986 “in recognition of his many and memorable compelling screen performances and for his personal integrity and dedication to his craft.” In 1994, he won a third Oscar, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award, for his charitable work.” AP Movie News (09/27/08)

Detached from Hollywood life, he loved car racing and had been known for his philantrophic work for disadvantaged children and those stricken with cancer and life-threatening illnesses. His vinegar-and-salad dressing company prospered and its profits amounting to about $175 million was donated to charities. One of the most enduring personalities in the movie world, a fine human being, Paul Newman is mourned and will be sorely missed. Photo Credit:; gosssiprocks =0=

September 28, 2008: World Anti-Rabies Day

September 27, 2008

Rabies aka hydrophobia is a viral zoonotic neuroinvasive disease transmitted by infected domesticated animals like dogs and cats. Wild animals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, coyotes and wolverines still affect many people particularly from poor countries. About 15, 000 human rabies cases are reported worldwide.

“The number of cases of rabies in the Philippines which currently ranks fourth worldwide in incidence of the disease is increasing, despite government promises to rid the country of the problem by 2020. In 1998, 362 Filipinos died of rabies, compared with 321 in 1997 and 337 in 1996. About 10000 dogs are believed to be infected with the disease each year. “ Center for Disease Control CDC (2007 Wallerstein, C); BMJ 1999;318:1306.

In observance of the world anti-rabies day, activities to promote the prevention of rabies have been slated in the Philippines. From the, the following are some of them:

Zamboanga City, Philippines (Local event)

Dog Fashion Show II-A World Rabies Day Celebration
Duration: September 28, 2008, 2:00 P.M. to September 28, 2008, 5:00 P.M.

This event started last year during the city’s observance of The World Rabies Day. For this year, we’re doing it again with a carrying theme of; “Trabaha Quita Junto Para El Rabis Ay Queda Historia” — a translated theme from english to chavacano (our local dialect). The event is targeted to the public to increase awareness of healthy and responsible pet-owner relationships and introduce the existing city ordinances (C.O. 241-The Rabies Control and Eradication Ordinance; and C.O. 242-The City Pound Ordinance) and the Animal Welfare Act of the Philippines.

Event is open to public
To get more information: Through radio, television, flyers, posters and personal communication
Contact name: Office of the City Veterinarian-City Government of Zamboanga
Contact email: !Please, turn on JavaScript or go to the contact us page!

Pagbilao, Quezon Province, Philippines (Regional event)

World Rabies Day Commemoration
Duration: September 29, 2008, 7:30 am to September 29, 2008, 12:00 pm

The Center for Health Development for CaLaBaRZon will commemorate World Rabies day by mourning the deaths caused by Rabies which could have been prevented. The attendees will be wearing black shirts and black ribbons. The program will include a motorcade to raise the awareness of the people in the locality and a symposium will be held with students as participants.

Event is open to public

Naga City, Philippines (Regional event)

World Rabies day Celebration
Duration: September 28,2008, 8:00 am to September 28, 2008, 5:00 pm

There will be a free dog vaccination, dog castration and deworming.

Event is open to public. (Photo Credits: Juna Cullador; Bvalves) =0=

US Presidential Election: weighing in who won in the Mississippi debate

September 27, 2008

In the next few hours, analysts will dissect into the strength and weaknesses of the arguments of the two contending presidential candidates. Moderated by Jim Lehrer of PBS, in this first debate, the issues center on the economy and the foreign policy. Sen. Barack Obama and Sen. John McCain cross horns at the University of Mississippi on Friday September 26, 2007 to make their positions known and hopefully earn them votes to win the presidency.

There are arguments to be won for each side, but the final arbiter will be people’s decision on who is the better candidate to be the next US president. The second and third presidential debates are scheduled in Belmont University in Nashville, TN on October 7 followed by the last on Oct 15 in Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York.

Before this first debate, Obama leads against McCain, a windfall from the shock waves caused by the financial meltdown of Wall Street that has brought uncertainty to the US banking system. The economic repercussions of the chaos and uncertainty which ensued have left the world guessing where the economic downturn will end.

If the proposed bail-out by the government on the ailing financial institutions works, the problem will die down without much damage to the public. If the problem lingers, a recession of a magnitude greater than the Great Depression can result in world instability and hardship. This causes tremendous unease in other countries, especially among the fragile ones which can suffer most in a global recession.

Whichever side one looks at the debate, a finer realignment of the electorate will happen. For the disengaged and uncommitted, the debate is a tie. At first glance, Obama has won in the economy part and McCain had an upper hand on the homeland security part.

What the public watches now is the recalibration that can change the outcome of the polls. The Democrats has learned that this election isn’t an easy win even if the Republicans have suffered the tumult brought by the economic downturn. It is the foremost worry of majority of Americans. At this time, an informal poll at AOL website shows McCain leading, but at Yahoo website Obama has an upper hand. (Photo Credits: Cookthinker; AP; Mike Cline) =0=

With Angels Playing, Pitoy Moreno Recreates His Peñafrancia Fiesta in Naga

September 26, 2008

As the excitement of Penafrancia fiesta fades, we have something tantalizing to remember. To be part of the merriment blessed in heaven, in Calauag, Naga City, UP Ibalonian Pitoy Moreno aka Pitmo and his lovely wife Lala Espiritu-Moreno opened their warm and cozy home to friends.

The Morenos successfully pulled through with plenty of help from their two bubbly kids—Ira Nicole, the special 7-year old with a gift of gab who served as Pitoy’s most valuable receptionist. The cute little “miracle girl” whose heart condition called pulmonary stenosis seemed far away, was assisted by her older sister Gwyn Christianne.

The versatile duo wowed their guests with child tales and beautiful music to share. Brimming with earnestness and less-often seen bravado, the two lovely sisters had their musical instruments busy. Like pros from a concert stage, they played violin, marimba, bongus, and piano in front of their admiring guests.

In God’s grace and time, it was clear: the excellent food on the table was more than enough to savor and celebrate. Lala had all the herbs and essences all over the kitchen to add taste to the cuisine. It must be a creation of the true mother of the house from Nabua, Camarines Sur, whose people are well-known for their homestyle cooking, kindness, and hospitable nature.

If famous couturier Pitoy Moreno of Manila wove exquisite clothes which delighted the fashion sense in most of us, our own Pitoy, the civil engineer (with all the bells and whistles that go with it) gave true meaning to hospitality.

With his lovely and tireless wife, the good-humored supermom and entrepreneur from Rinconada, Pitoy was just the right guy to prove that friendships and good times do last—something he must have learned for spending time as OFW away from his loving family when he worked in Brunei, Dubai, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and lately in far Kasakhstan.

Whether Ibalonians Imelda Caballes, Dan Daz, Benny Rayco, Annelee Badiola-Lojo, Mighty Baylon Jovy Mijares or Albert Molina, were present, it must be great to remember them all with Pitoy’s pretty angels who stood guard and played to bring out the zing for this year’s most memorable Penafrancia fiesta. =0=