Archive for the ‘Caceres. Naga City’ Category

Francis B. Pena, Singapore Airlines’ 2009 Awardee for Customer Service

March 9, 2009

It’s with unabashed pride and gladness that UP Ibalon-Bicol congratulates Francis B. Pena for being chosen as Singapore Airlines’ 2009 CEO TCS Awardee for outstanding customer service.

A friend of Ibalonians, Pena who hails from Naga City, Philippines is an alumnus of Ateneo de Naga HS Class’73 and the University of Nueva Caceres BSN ’78. For his exemplary work, outstanding company contributions, and admirable 25-year dedication to the core values of the organization, he will be feted in an evening celebratory reception at 6:30 at the Raffles Town Club in Singapore, on 22 April 2009. His selection to the prestigious distinction is announced by Patricia Ow, Customer Affairs Manager of the Singapore Airlines. =0=


Naga City And The Independent Component City Classification

November 18, 2008

A Highly Urbanized City (HUC) in the Philippines is politically and financially independent of the province where they nominally belong, if ever. Among the HUCs in the Philippines are: Manila, Quezon City, Makati, Caloocan, Pasig, Marikina, Taguig, Mandaluyong, San Juan, Pasay, Paranaque, Las Pinas, Muntinlupa, Malabon, Navotas, Valenzuela in the NCR; Cebu City, Mandaue and Lapu-lapu City in Metro Cebu; Baguio, Angeles, Olongapo, Lucena in Luzon; Puerto Princesa in Palawan; Iloilo, Bacolod and Tacloban (upon approval in a referendum) in the Visayas; and Davao, General Santos, Butuan, Cagayan de Oro, Iligan and Zamboanga City in Mindanao for a total of 33. Twenty-one of these cities have their own representation in Congress and some have more than one representative.

Being independent, the HUC’s legislation is no longer subject to review by the Provincial Board and it stops sharing its revenue with the province. Hence, HUCs are first-class divisions like provinces though for cartographic convenience they are not depicted separate in most maps.

HUC residents cannot vote nor run for provincial offices. However four or five HUCs have still political rights in the provinces where they nominally belong. This is so because the Local Government Code guarantees that cities converted to HUC after 1987 will have their charters still operational. So Lucena and Mandaue residents can still vote and run for provincial elections. Tacloban, a newly-declared HUC will probably belong to this category if the residents agree to the conversion. Lapu-lapu and Puerto Princesa residents, however, can only vote in the provincial elections.

On the other hand, most cities in the Philippines are Component Cities. Politically they are not yet independent of the province since its residents can still vote and run for provincial elections. Though its source of the Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) is different from that of the province’s, it still shares part of its revenue with its province.

In between the two classes are the Independent Component Cities (ICC). Only four cities clearly belong to this category: Santiago in Isabela, Dagupan in Pangasinan, Ormoc in Leyte and Naga City. They are partly independent of the city where they nominally belong but the exact terms are set by their respective city charters. Santiago and Ormoc residents cannot run and vote in provincial elections while Dagupan and Naga residents can run but but not vote in provincial elections. Still, ICCs are legally and financially independent of the province they nominally belong to.

Being big urban centers HUCs host the intellectual, artistic, academic, political and financial cream of the province where they nominally belong. Even the media and religious is centered in the HUCs. Banning them from running for provincial offices severely depletes the talent pool available and the level of debate. Whatever the railings of the city’s cream against the province’s leadership it won’t matter at the provincial level because anyway they don’t vote nor do they contribute to the provincial coffers. And this is the reason why some provincial governments get away with inanities and its residents have to be “content” with second-rate and not-so upright administrators and politicians. In many instances people will see that the city councilors are even superior to the provincial board members and the city mayor is head and shoulder above the governor.

Dagupan and Naga residents can share its political talent with the province but being unable to vote it practically dooms the chances of its best sons and daughters. This practically guarantees second-rate-ism.

There have been soundings to convert Naga City back into a Component City. All is needed for this is a congressional amendment to the city charter to enable city residents to vote in the provincial elections. This has to be followed by a plebiscite.

I wonder if the incumbent congressman will do this. And it is the normal custom in Congress that another congressman will not table a bill that concerns the turf of his colleague.

It is my long-held belief that independent HUCs and ICCs are an unnecessary evil in a provincial setting. It is just alright in the National Capital Region (NCR). But in a provincial setting it simply disenfranchises the best talents of the province.

(Photo credit: gorio belen)

Obituary: Soledad Kitaguchi Cervantes of Naga City

October 19, 2008

UP Ibalon expresses its grief and sympathy in the passing of Mrs. Soledad Kitaguchi Cervantes, 78, of Abella Street, Naga City, Philippines on October 17, 2008, her natal day.

Her mortal remains lie at the Funeraria Imperial until Saturday, October 25, the day of her interment in Naga’s Santo Nino Memorial Park.

She is the loving mom of Atty. Ramon K. Cervantes, a Human Resource officer of Land Bank, Manila, Philippines and Lolita K. Cervantes, a mentor of the Camarines Sur National High. UP Ibalon members request readers to pray for the eternal repose of Mrs. Cervantes. =0=

From Dan Daz’ Lens: Miss Bicolandia 2008 Melody Gersbach

October 3, 2008

People often say that ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder,’ and I say that the most liberating thing about beauty is realizing that you are the beholder. This empowers us to find beauty in places where others have not dared to look, including inside ourselves. “–Salma Hayek (Mexican-Lebanese actress.)

Ugly incidents spoil start of Penafrancia Fiesta 2008

September 15, 2008

A rumble among a group of teenagers during the traslacion, a rock-throwing incident, a devotee suffering a heart attack, and a deranged man firing gunshots, later arrested, as he took school children hostage in a chartered bus from La Consolacion Academy prompted Caceres Archbishop Leonardo Legaspi to seek more security measures as the fiesta starts. (

As part of the crowd control being readied, Church authorities, veering away from tradition to keep peace and order, are considering to disallow the people from carrying the image of the Virgin of Penafrancia. The ugly incidents may be interpreted as signs of modern influences in the traditionally faith-based celebration affected by present-day commercialism and secularism. =0=

Penafrancia Fiesta 2007: Wilma Rojas’ Voyadores

September 15, 2008

The day before the Thanksgiving Mass at the Penafrancia Basilica which marks the end of Ina’s September feast, the fluvial procession in Naga River brings the voyadores—the all-men boat crew of the Patroness of Bicol tasked to bring the image of Nuesta Senora de Penafrancia to its abode in Balatas village.

UP Ibalon’s Wilma Rojas shows her interesting collection of river scenes showing the men who brave the murky river in 2007’s river parade. It gives a preview of the religiosity, reverly, and merriment of the procession’s reenaction on Saturday, September 20, 2008. Uniquely absent are the women who are asked to just watch at the side with the children. Traditionally, the women are disallowed to be in the boats where only men are privileged to be with the Virgin’s icon as she courses home to be in her shrine. =0=

Traslacion 2008

September 12, 2008

The annual transfer of the image of Ina, the Virgin of Penafrancia was held on Friday, September 12, 2002 in Naga City, Philippines. The huge religious procession known as Traslacion brought the Virgin’s ebony statue from the Penafrancia Church to the Metropolitan Cathedral.

UP Ibalon’s Edna Fatima Balaquaio was there to witness the event which marked the series of festivities which will culminate in the Fluvial Procession and Thanksgiving Mass on September 20 and 21, 2008 respectively. The Penafrancia Fiesta is expected to attract about a million visitors and devotees.


Miss Bicolandia 2008 Search is On!

August 30, 2008

The Penafrancia Fiesta heats up with the presentation of candidates for the Miss Bicolandia 2008, the traditional search which highlights the famed annual festival of the Bicol region. On August 23, 2008, 20 hopeful candidates from different cities and provinces have been chosen from in an exciting poolside selection held at the Naga City Civic Center. In a dazzling evening pageant-competition, the winner will be crowned at the UNC Sports Palace on September 17, 2008.

According to Bicol Mail, a leading newspaper of the region, the young beautiful ladies vying for Miss Bicolandia 2008 are: Norify Kristal, Alexandra Raro, Mae Liezel Ramos, and Suserain Algura from Naga City; Alexis Joyce Beldon, Kelly Obligacion, and Amanda Powell from Legazpi City; Melody Adelheid Gersbach and Irene Loterena from Daraga, Albay; Katrina Villanueva (Cabusao), Ariane Natalie Lim (Canaman), Glaiza Reveza (San Fernando), Cherry Rose Juico (Caramoan), and Jean Babor (Baao), all of Camarines Sur; Margie Perena of San Andres, Catanduanes; Maricel Manzano of Masbate City; Honeyly Maninang of Iriga City; and Krystel Joy de los Santos, Ma. Farah Lopez, and Ma. Czarina Paita, all of Camarines Norte. Bicol Mail (08/30/08) (PhotoCredits: JerryLimLee)

Penafrancia Fiesta 2008

July 20, 2008

It’s in September when Bicolanos pay tribute to the Virgin of Penafrancia, the patroness of the Bicol region in the Philippines. Wrapped in lore and tradition, the age-old Marian devotion starts with the Traslacion, a religious procession which brings Nuestra Senora de Penafrancia’s brown image and the Divino Rostro (Divine Face) of Jesus to the Naga Cathedral marking the start of the annual nine-day prayers.

Drawing enthusiastic crowds from all corners of the world, the feast of food, family reunions, prayers, parades, thanksgivings, and revelries, is highlighted by a colorful river procession of devotees and “voyadores,” marking the return of Ina’s ebony icon in her home at the Basilica Shrine. Photo Credits: Raph Garcia/Colnago/etal=0=

Naga City, Philippines


September 3 – September 11, 2008
5:00 PM – Solemn Novenary Masses in honor of the Divino Rostro at the Basilica of Peñafrancia

September 11
4:30 AM – Penitential Procession in honor of the Divino Rostro


4:30 AM – Penitential Procession in honor of the Divino Rostro
6:00 AM – Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Peñafrancia Basilica)
12:30 PM – TRASLACION Procession from the Basilica to Naga Cathedral

September 12 – 20, 2008
5:00 PM -Solemn Novenary Masses in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia (Naga Metropolitan Cathedral)

September 13 (Saturday)
5:00 PM Novena Mass

September 14 (Sunday)
5:00 PM Novena Mass

September 15 (Monday)
5:00 PM Novena Mass

September 16 (Tuesday)
6:00 AM – Pontifical Mass (Naga Cathedral)
Diocese of Virac
8:00 AM – Pontifical Mass (Naga Cathedral)
Prelature of Libmanan
5:00 PM – Novena Mass

September 17 (Wednesday)
6:00 AM -Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Naga Cathedral )
Diocese of Daet
5:00 PM -Novena Mass

September 18 (Thursday)
6:00 AM -Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Naga Cathedral)
Diocese of Sorsogon
8:00 AM -Pontifical Mass
Diocese of Cabanatuan
5:00 PM -Novena Mass
5:30 PM -Union of Bicol Clergy Mass – (Cathedral Church)
7:00 PM -Clergy Night (Archbishop’s Residence)

September 19 (Friday)
4:00 AM – Penitential Procession in honor of Our Lady of Peñafrancia from the Cathedral towards the South
(Downtown Area)
6:00 AM – Pontifical Concelebrated Mass
Diocese of Masbate
8:00 AM – Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Naga Cathedral)
Diocese of Legazpi
10:00 AM – Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Naga Cathedral)
Military Ordinariate
5:00 PM – Novena Mass
7:00PM – Prayer Vigil (Adoracion Nocturna Filipina)-(Naga Cathedral)

September 20 (Saturday) Metropolitan Cathedral
4:00 AM – Penitential Procession in honor of Our Lady of
Peñafrancia from the Cathedral towards North
Bagumbayan Area)
6:00 AM – Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Archdioceseof Caceres)
8:00 AM – Concelebrated Mass
10:00 AM – Concelebrated Mass
6:00 PM – Pontifical Concelebrated Mass (Basilica Diamond Jubilee Pavilion)

– Community Masses at the Basilica Church
at 4:00 AM – 8:30 PM and
Basilica Diamond Jubilee Pavilion
at 5:00 AM –11:00 AM

Basilica of Peñafrancia
6:30 AM – For the Society of Jesus, Vincentians and Daughters of Charity
8:00 AM – Archdiocese of Caceres
9:30 AM – Diocese of Sorsogon
11:00 AM – Diocese of Legazpi
6:00 PM – For the Filipino-Chinese Community