Archive for the ‘New Year’ Category

Holiday Photos from UP Ibalon & Friends Part I

January 7, 2009

Robert and Vines Nolasco-Ries from Indiana

UP Ibalon’s toxicologist Dr. Divinia N. Ries and hubby Bob have reasons to be happy. It’s not because the lovely Indiana family has Chamrin Rae (child of Pat and Myra) has those round huge eyes and blonde hair, but because the little cute babe has the smile of grandma Divinia.


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Gods, Julie and Thia Lanuza of Vancuover, BC, Canada

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The Gotico Family of Stockton, California



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Dr. Rey and Doreen Tolentino-Gonzales

New York psychiatrist DTG with hubby Rey in a memorable picture taken from Los Angeles, California with wonderful children Jun Rae and Dorothy Rae. Doreen looks forward to a busier, but happier year as she assumes a new job close to her home in July 2009.

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Our Lady of Penafrancia Devotees Association of New York, New Jersey & Connecticut (OLPDA)

In a festive Christmas party on December 20, 2008, officers and members of OLPDA, all Ina’s devotees came together for a celebration of gift-giving and sharing in Jersey City, New Jersey. The decades-old religious organization continues to draw Bicolanos of faith in the Northeast area.




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Sarah Pavilando of Cola, South Carolina

Supermom and former Naga City resident, Sarah happily leads her brood in South Carolina. The bubbly smart Bicolana is an alumna of Colegio de Sta Isabel, HS batch 1982.

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The Banzon and Flotildes Children in Vancuover, British Columbia

Settled in Vancouver, British Columbia are Dr. Yasmin Paje-Banzon (CSI’72) and hubby Joel. Just like Sofronio Flotildes, Jr. (AdenUHS’73) and wife Rose, they raise cheery healthy children in the Canadian Northwest.

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2007 Holiday Fun of AdenUHS’73 in Naga City

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Ben & Baby Gulfo of Alberta, Canada

From Calgary, Alberta, Canada, Ben and Baby Gulfo with son Mark played host for Ferdie and Jill Bermillo Ocampo, Karen Delvo Ocampo and Divine Borja of Bombon, Camarines Sur during the 2009 new year celebration.



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Campaign against firecrackers and fireworks

December 31, 2008

A counter-move against the merry tradition of bidding a noisy ending of the year, young students in Manila staged rallies against firecrackers. In a gathering spearheaded by EcoWaste foundation, environment-conscious students in Malate, brought attention to the dangers and polluting effects of firecrackers during the holiday.

In Negros Occidental and Cadiz City, an estimated P300,000 and P100,000 worth of illegal pyrotechnic devices respectively were confiscated by authorities. Similar operations where conducted in various cities all over the country as the new year draws near.

Although the Department of Health (DOH) has made headway in discouraging the use of firecrackers with the use of explicit anti-firecracker ads, hospitals in the country are in “Code White Alert” in anticipation for more people who might need medical attention. More than a hundred injuries have been reported including at least three directly inflicted by gunfire.

The argument against the firecrackers and indiscriminate gunfire at this time is easy to understand, but annually, Filipinos needed to be reminded of the risks and perils. Students and concerned Filipinos standing against firecrackers are helpful in getting this message across. (Photo Credit: Malaya/ Philip Duquiatan) =0=

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Firecrackers to rid us of bad luck of the past year

December 29, 2008

There is urgency in the young man who works fast at a deadline. He is one of the fire-cracker makers in one of the busy pyrotechnics hub in Bulacan from where many fireworks on the streets come from. Dirtied by gunpowder and grime, the man rushes firecracker production in his make-shift factory during the Christmas holiday, oblivious of the risks it poses on his life and on his neighbor.

Revelers this Christmas and new year seek to buy fireworks for their rowdy celebration. By our tradition, the bang and bright display are ways to mark the coming year —the Filipino merry-making which doubles as an occasion to ward off bad luck.

According to our folk beliefs detonating firecrackers is needed to invite life’s good forces on the first day of the year. Whether this is true or not, we are thrilled by the spark and sound of firecrackers. A fast buck can be gained by trading watusi, bawang, “belt of judas, and lolo when the demand is there.

Body injuries and burns are some of fireworks’ drawbacks. Eardrums have been ruptured by the loud blasts. Explosive debris have pierced the eyes. Houses have been gutted down and many mutilations and deaths have been reported. Last year, the Department of Health (DOH,) has listed about 750 fire-cracker injuries. Public hospitals are now on alert in anticipation for those who may be brought to the emergency rooms.

As of December 21, 2008, it was reported that of the 119 holiday-related injuries documented, 115 were from firecrackers and fireworks,, 3 were gunshot wounds and 1 from ingestion of watusi.

There is obviously a need to regulate the use of pyrotechnics for the protection of the public. Shoddy manufacture of firecrackers brings problems of safety, giving a boost to the sale of the ones imported abroad. There’s little implementation of laws—even gunfires and pistol shots are recklessly substituted for fireworks at the height of celebration. Though most of us know the dangers, the relentless campaign for the safe use of fireworks during holidays remains a job in progress.(Photo Credits: _gem_s; Reuters/ Ranoco, Romeo; Reuters/Ranoco, Romeo; persesverando)=0=

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