Showing posts from January, 2014

‘Yolanda’ relief volunteers, partners, employees honored

The DSWD Field Office VI highlighted the celebration of the agency’s 63rd founding anniversary by recognizing the effort of people who helped the victims of calamities that recently hit the region.

With the theme “Kaagapay sa Pagbangon at Bagong Simula,” more than a hundred --representing individuals, companies and institutions--were honoured during the celebration. DSWD employees who have rendered more than 10 years of service were also given recognition.

Meanwhile, Iloilo City Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, in his inspirational message,said at the height of the relief operations for Typhoon Yolanda-affected families, a lot of criticisms were thrown against the government but the “DSWD maintained its integrity.”

The mayor stressed he is confident the city can achieve its goals in improving lives of less fortunate communities because there is DSWD that is always willing to work with them.

During the anniversary celebration, Iloilo City government received a special award for its exemplary…

What the Year of the Wood Horse means for Iloilo City

Many people say that the Year of the Wood Horse is a year of “blessings in disguise” – a phrase commonly associated with bad incidents that produce good results. But for Iloilo City, the Year of the Wood Horse will usher in more foreign and national investments that will translate to more employment for Ilonggos.
“According to Feng Shui, the spirit of the horse is very active. It brings good luck, opportunities and good prospects to our country,” said Felipe Uygongco, president of the Iloilo Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce.
“Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog is a good mayor and he is the kind of person who believes in zodiac signs. So, we have lined-up many investment opportunities. There are foreign and national companies that are coming to Iloilo. It’s a good prospect for continued progress,” Uygongco added.
Among them are 300 Filipino-Canadians who are going to Iloilo this year. Uygongco said they promised to invest in Iloilo City because of the peace and order situation here. “They h…

Chinese students share culture to public schools

Chinese students will visit public high schools in Iloilo City to bring and share their culture, customs and practices in time with celebration of Chinese New Year Jan. 31.

Hua Siong College of Iloilo will hold a pre-Chinese New Year event that will entertain students of Jalandoni Memorial National High School on Jan. 29 at 9 am.
Sun Yat Sen High School will showcase their wares at Mandurriao National High School at 10 am.
Iloilo Scholastic Academy will be performing at Bo. Obrero National High School on Jan. 30 at 9am and mall show at SM City Events Center at 2 pm.
Performances include dragon and lion dances and other presentations reflective of the Chinese norms.
The outreach activities are organized in partnership with the City Government.
Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog wants the Chinese culture and tradition be conveyed to city’s public school students as part of their learning about other countries. “This is to show how important are the contributions of Chinese community to the city,” h…

Actress Kim Chiu to grace Iloilo’s Chinese New Year celebration

There are so many things to look forward to during the celebration of the 2014 Chinese New Year in Iloilo as we usher in the Year of the Wood Horse on January 31, 2014.
First, actress Kim Chiu will join the grand parade and entertain the audience during the cultural program on Friday. Second, you’ll have the chance to enjoy a wide array of Chinese and Ilonggo dishes at the food festival along the Iznart Extension strip. Third, President Benigno Simeon Aquino III has declared January 31 a holiday, thus giving every Ilonggo, Tsinoy and Chinese the chance to participate in the fun fare.
The 2014 Chinese New Year in Iloilo is spearheaded by the Iloilo Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce headed by Felipe Uygongco. According to Ian Eric Pama, executive director of IFCCC, this is the 12th year that the city will celebrate Chinese New Year. “This year, we are ending the full cycle of the 12 zodiac signs. Iloilo City, apart from Manila, is the first one to celebrate the full cycle this year.…

Dinagyang Sponsors’ Mardi Gras

Sponsors of the Dinagyang Festival also have their mardi gras.

For 2014, it was held in the afternoon of January 25. The parade started from Mapa Street. Then the groups performed at the Freedom Grandstand. After that, the parade passed through JM Basa Street until General Luna.

According to Mayor Jed Patrick Mabilog, the activity was a showcase of stakeholders who have been supportive of the development efforts in Iloilo City.

Dinagyang Festival is hailed as the best tourism event in the country, he said. It showcases the best local governance practice in public-private partnership./Purr

Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Website
Iloilo Dinagyang Festival Facebook Page
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Opus Dei head who visited Manila and Cebu to be beatified

Bishop Alvaro del Portillo was the first successor of Opus Dei founder St Josemaria Escriva

In a letter addressed to the Prelate of Opus Dei, Bishop Javier Echevarria, the Holy See confirmed Pope Francis’ approval of the beatification of Alvaro del Portillo, which will be held on September 27, 2014, in Madrid, del Portillo’s hometown. Faithful from all over the world are expected to participate in the ceremony, including many from the Philippines.

Bishop del Portillo was in the Philippines on January 21 to February 1, 1987 for a pastoral visit to the members and the different apostolic and social projects of Opus Dei in the country.

Cardinal Sin hosted a dinner for him at Villa San Miguel, during which the late Cardinal thanked the Prelate for the work of Opus Dei in the Philippines, “spreading the message of the universal call to holiness among the lay faithful and bringing spirituality to the secular environments where the priests and religious cannot reach,” the Cardinal said. Bish…

More global promotion for Dinagyang eyed

Dinagyang Festival has a full year ahead as the City Government plans to bring it to places outside the country to get more international exposure.

Mayor Jed Patrick E. Mabilog is entertaining the idea of bringing the winning tribe in this year’s Ati Tribes Competition to countries with direct flights from Iloilo, specifically Hongkong and Singapore.

He consulted with city department heads and officials during their regular Wednesday meeting January 22.

“With almost P4 million being spent for Aliwan Fiesta, the funds could be used instead to go global; we need to level up and promote Dinagyang not only here in the Philippines but also abroad,” he said.

This will give overseas Filipino workers the opportunity to see the festival and hopefully encourage them to come home to Iloilo and join in the actual celebration every January, the mayor added.

Even Philippine Ambassador to Canada Leslie Gatan, who was here for an Investment Fair on January 21, was impressed with the festival that he …

Courageous mom saves family

Disaster preparedness lecture helped  Pantawid Pamilya mother save her family DAO, Capiz -- Cristina Bendoy, 33, of Brgy. Manhoy in Dao, Capiz packed essentials such as flashlight, food and clothes when she and her family needed to evacuate their home to avoid the heavy rains and powerful wind brought by super typhoon Yolanda.
Community risk reduction and preparedness is one of the things that Cristina learned in the Family Development Sessions (FDS) of Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program. FDS, conducted once a month, serves as a venue where topics on effective parenting, husband and wife relationships, child development, laws affecting the Filipino family, gender and development and home management are discussed. In one of the sessions, beneficiaries were taught to be disaster-ready – a very useful topic as the Philippines is prone to typhoons and other disasters. So when typhoon Yolanda made a landfall on November 8 in Western Visayas and other parts of the country, Cristina and her f…

Stories of triumphs and the Sto. Nino

Award-winning news magazine program Kapuso Mo, Jessica Soho tackles fascinating stories of feats and festivities this Sunday on GMA7.
Last week, KMJS featured the story of Rose “Osang” Fostanes, a Filipina caregiver who became finalist in X Factor Israel. On Wednesday morning, Osang unanimously became the grand winner of the singing competition. Will this lead to a better future for Rose and her family?
Meanwhile, more than four centuries after it reached Philippine shores, many Filipinos still put their faith on the Sto. Niño de Cebu. This Sunday, hear more about the miraculous encounters of people who have faith in the Sto. Niño.  Aside from the ati-atihan dance, a group of men have been catching the attention of residents in Manila during the Sto. Nino festivities.  These men are called Tondo Hunks who do not only reveal their bodies to show off but also consider participating in the parade as part of their devotion.
This week’s episode will also feature different kinds of pakbet dish…

Toxic monsters in popular clothing brands threaten our children

Hazardous chemicals have been found in children’s clothes and shoes made by major brands including Disney, Burberry and adidas, according to a new investigation released today by Greenpeace East Asia.

Testing has been completed on products sold by 12 brands across the industry, including American Apparel, GAP, Primark and Nike for the report “A Little Story About the Monsters in Your Closet”. The findings showed little distinction between the levels of hazardous chemicals in clothing made for children -- a group particularly vulnerable to the effects of these chemicals when released into the environment -- and adults when compared to previous studies. The samples tested included products sold in the Philippines.

“This is a nightmare for parents everywhere who want their children to wear clothes that don't contain hazardous chemicals,” said Abigail Aguilar, Toxics Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia. “These chemical ‘little monsters’ can be found in everything—from exclusive l…

Emerging from the shadows

The strong winds and rains brought about by mega typhoon "Yolanda" have disconnected power lines in many areas in the Visayas, leaving residents going about their daily lives in darkness for several weeks.
But thanks to a project called Liter of Light, about 2,000 solar light bulbs made of plastic bottles in Tacloban and Cebu were installed, giving residents a glimmer of hope in their condition.
Just recently, Kara David of News To Go under GMA Network, interviewed Illac Diaz, executive director of Liter of Light.
Here’s the transcript of the interview, as emailed by GMA Network.
Illac: Sa dami ng bagyo na tumatama, dapat tayo nangunguna sa solusyon at ideas dahil lagi nangyayari. At dapat long term, di lang immediate - pagkain, medicine, tubig - kundi long term. Swerte dahil ang liter of light, pwede maging massive implementation sa area na nangangailangan ng kuryente.

Pagbangon: Rising from the Ruins

The UP Visayas Chancellor’s Committee on Culture and the Arts in cooperation with UPV Sipat presents PAGBANGON: Rising from the Ruins, an exhibit of photographs by Manuel L. Librodo Jr. at the UPV Art Gallery. Pagbangon will showcase twenty photos, taken from different points in Librodo's decade-long photographic career, that reveal slivers of light -- rays of hope -- in dark places. Pagbangon is Librodo's and UPV's tribute to the spirit of the Filipino people that remains strong and resilient and continues to rise despite the adversities that they face.

The photographs included in Pagbangon reveal the artist's ability to find light (and hope) in any situation. The collection includes very tight portraits that evoke deep-seated emotions in the viewer which are carefully balanced with wide shots that celebrate the strength of the human spirit.

Librodo's photographs evoke the works of photography masters: Karsh's highly-charged confrontational portraits, Bresson&#…

Tourism rebuilding efforts after Yolanda

The Department of Tourism and the Tourism Promotions Board have initiated the Bangon Tours Project in line with the government’s recovery and rebuilding efforts for the victims and survivors of calamities through the promotion of domestic tourism.

It is an invitation to the Filipino market to travel within the Philippines during the holiday period (December to February), visit our fun destinations, and participate in rebuilding efforts.

Some of the areas featured for Bangon Tours include Ilocos, Manila-Tagaytay, Puerto Princesa, Bicol, Cebu, Davao, Bohol, Iloilo, Boracay, Siargao, and Cagayan de Oro-Camiguin.

The first airline partner of Bangon Tours, CEB mounted humanitarian flights for stranded passengers in Tacloban and transported cargo to aid victims of Typhoon Yolanda.  It remains committed to assist in rehabilitation and tourism efforts with the launch of a special Bangon Tour seat sale in the coming weeks, promoting travel within the Philippines in its marketing materials.


How to prevent a measles outbreak in Iloilo

The Department of Health appeals to all parents to have their children vaccinated against measles amid an outbreak of this contagious viral disease in Western Visayas, specifically, Aklan recently.
Dr. Renilyn Reyes, medical specialist of DOH-Center for Health Development, said that as of January 7, 2014, there are 240 confirmed measles cases in the region, with 80% of the cases are in the province of Aklan and the rest are sporadic cases in Iloilo City and Bacolod City, among others.
The measles outbreak in Aklan started in July 2013 with two children dying from pneumonia, one of the complications.
“Sixty to 70% of the victims were not immunized while 20 to 30% were immunized but had a one-shot vaccine failure or there were just some of them who did not develop antibodies after vaccination,” Dr. Reyes said.
She added that while this is a childhood disease, measles has afflicted not only children but also adolescents and adults in Aklan.

ILOILO AT RISK She added that Iloilo City is a…

Human trafficking victims in WV get help

At least 47 victims of human trafficking in the region were provided with financial assistance totalling to P423,500 in the year 2013 by the Department of Social Welfare and Development Regional Office 6 (DSWD 6).

The assistance provided was part of the Recovery and Reintegration Program of the agency to help those who were victimized by human trafficking for them to be able to bring back their lives to normal and avoid falling victims to the crime again.
Of the total amount of assistance released, P380,000 was for livelihood assistance; P21,000 was for support for victims/witnesses; P15,000 was for shelter and transportation assistance and P7,500 for skills training of the victims.

Records of the DSWD 6 show that 26 of the human trafficking cases were forced labor, 13 were sexual exploitation, six were cyber pornography and two were cases of prostitution. It also reveal that most of the victims of sexual exploitation were girls 18 years old and below while majority of forced labor vi…

Integrated farming at home

At the heart of Sitio Pajo, Barangay Napnud in the town of Leganes, Iloilo stands a 2,800-square-meter house and lot that is a haven to a lush garden of flowers and plants, an orchard full of fruit-bearing trees and aviary of love birds owned by the Tolones family.

After being exposed to the sun while walking along the road before reaching the Tolones abode, you will find refuge in the cool air provided by the plants as you enter the compound. The greens are also soothing to tired eyes. If you are lucky, you will see butterflies flying about in this little paradise.
“My brother and I inherited the plants from my mother. It was our generation that started selling plants as a business,” said Araceli Tolones, who is also president of the Leganes Garden Club.

Tolones said she wakes up as early as 3 a.m. and tends to the plants. She also brings some of them for selling at the Leganes Garden Club station at the town plaza.

Farther back and beside the garden is an aviary filled with African…