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Name:  Cesar Torres
Date:   6 October 2006

Senator Pimentel and the Hilarious Situation of Land Grabbing among Municipalities in Samar

Well, Powerful People of the Province of Samar. Here it is. Senator Pimentel himself, the Father of the Local Government Code.

But Sir, I ask myself: there are supposed to be experts, technicians, surveyors, geodetic engineers whatever in some offices in our sprawling bureaucracy, i.e., Bureau of Lands, Department of Local Government, Budget Commission. (But I remember during the time of Malakas and Maganda, my Samarnon friends were just playing mah jong in the ornate offices of Kokoy's baggage carrier in Quezon City. But there were serious Samarnons who were really working their butts off. I think I was one of them. As Technical Consultant of the late Deputy Minister Salvador Socrates. Hahahahaha.) So que paso?

The Rule of Law, people. Let the administrative and judicial process go on to settle this hilarious issue: a town land grabbing the territory of another town. Hahahahaha.

Senator Pimentel Sir, on second thought, I fervently hope that this will not deteriorate into a shooting war of the policemen of the two towns and the supporters of the town officials of Pinabacadao and Villareal, Samar. It would be a waste bullets, and lives, and time, and medicine, and cotton bandages, and coffins. The leadership of Pinabacdao is competent. If you recall, the World Bank "Panibagong Paraan" Contest awarded Pinabacadao P1 million for its livelihood proposal.

And it would have not escaped your attention, Senator Pimentel Sir, the Mayor of Villareal, Samar, Reynato Latorre, has been at the forefront of repairing and cementing an 8-kilometer public road which was almost an inexhaustible source of looted, corrupted, plundered people's money before. Of course we Villahanons from all over the Internet were contributing our inspiration, our emails, our dollars, our Euros, our Yens, etc to this once-in-a-lifetime project of a municipality. Even the Japayukis in Japan, the brutalized maids in Hongkong, Singapore, Europe, and the Middle East were contributing to this Bayanihan Road in Villareal, Samar.

Anyway thank you sir. More power to you. Pero ingat ho kayo sa Maynila. Baka kayo hindi lang sampalin diyan. Baka ipabaril kayo. Hindi kayo upright na babalik sa Cagayan de Oro. Sayang ang bala. If Mindanao, Sulu, Basilan will become a "Federal Republic" of this Bangsa Kasuko-an, isama niyo na lang iyong Samar at Romblon. If Samar will secede or become a Federal Republic, whatever, Morgan Benedicto of Romblon wants Romblon to be part of Samar. You have met Morgan Benedicto in 2003 during that OAV-Dual Citizenship-Goldilocks Forum in San Francisco when we wanted you to run for President.

Cesar Torres

-----Original Message-----
Sent: Thu, 5 Oct 2006 10:58 PM
Subject: RE: This is hilarious! A town grabbing land from another town?

Nothing extraordinary about the news. There are several territorial boundary disputes between towns. The local government code provides a solution to those disputes.

Best regards.

Office of Senator Aquilino Q. Pimentel Jr.
Senate of the Philippines
Pasay City

Name:   Jarie Engo
Address:   Proj. 8
Quezon City, Manila, Philippines
Email:   jarie_cute02
Oct. 4 2006

Mahal kung mga tga Potong Dako na salamat ha iyo sa pag suporta sa aton bgy. bisan la makuri an aton kamutangan, hello sa Engo family, THANK U VERY MUCH......

Name:   Alona Mastelero-Strand
Address:   Skarvet.29,
Tyssedal, Norway

Hei, hallo!

Kumusta na mga igkase ko samarnon? Happy fiesta pala sa Sulangan (Silanga) buwas, Oct 4 2006! Ha akon mga kabugtuan, kasangkayan, ako niece nga c Mary-jane! at labi na god ang akon sobra kabuotan nga bestfriend ko nga nagin bilas ko, kay magbugto an amon mga asawa dd ha Norway, kay ada hya yna namatron ha Sulangan!

Kanina Oct 3, 06, nagpa-blessing hya han iya balay. Mads, congrats sa new haus mo! Sana mag-enjoy ka han imo first time nga naka-pamatron mo, sana di ka magmaan bisan, natuman nga my bagyo ang pagbakasyon mo, para "maranasan mo kon ano an patron?, alumni? Para pagbakasyon ko sa 2008 umupod ka ha akon!

"jJeg håper du kose seg der! Ellen Marie and Alexander Johan missed u na! Pagnagpunta kami sa Odda, sabi nla "Mamma daan tyo sa opis nla Tante at Onkel!


Name:   Waray Waray

It's disconcerting to know the unavailability of certain means or forms of transport from point A to point B in the province of Samar hinders economic development and one's desire to freely travel anyplace and any method. This is no doubt a self-inflicted wound since other provinces in the region and the nation are not deprived of air, water and land transports.

The greatest irony's Samar needs all the necessary vehicles to move humans, commerce and industry to keep the wheel of progress moving. Since the invention of the steam engine and the wheel, nations progressed incrementally but the province of Samar, RP rationalizing to find out why's just another waste of energy.

it's time for the people and leaders of Samar to assert their rights to good transports. To petition redress of grievance to the national govt's God giving right.

Name:   Nympha Yancha Salem
Tulare, California, USA
 September 30, 2006

My best wishes to all my fellow Basaynons in Basey, Samar during this festive celebration of our town fiesta honoring St. Michael the Archangel. Unta ca-upod aco hit iyo calipayan dida. Namimingaw gud aco hit acon bungto nga nataw-an labi labi gud han acon mga cabugto-an og mga casangcayan. I wish I could also join my classmates on what would be our 50th high school class reunion on this first of October. My heart and spirit are with you even if I am not. Mabuhay an Basay og an provincia han Samar! 

Name:   Alyc Industries/ P. Alli
Pacific Place, Pearl Drive, Ortigas Center, Pasig City 1605, Philippines
Sept. 30, 2006

We are looking for reliable, small or big, from Samar-Leyte, supplier of seafood products, fresh-frozen, for export for the following items: black tiger prawns, gindara, mussells (tahong), milkfish, tilapia, espada, talakitok, seacrabs (processed meat), etc.  Pls contact us via email at: Quote ref.FOB Manila. Our minimum requirement is 10 x 40 ft. refrigerated container per week, for all items above.

Name:   Aida Luma-ad Lachnitt
Address:   Cany - Barville Str. 70, Rheinland – Pfalz,
Wörth 76744, Germany
September 29, 2006


Kumusta na kamo mga taga my family there, yana la ako nakag email kay busy mangod ako tak mga batus nag eeskwela naman hira baga medyo naka kapag adjust nagad hira yana.

Marisyo an akon pagbakasyon miss ko na liwat kamo he he he next time na la utro kalooy sa Diyos. My greetings to all the staff of this site thank you so much and more power...

To Mrs Lea Pait Rafales and Maureen Abelido Abaigar ipapadara ko nala an mga picture angan angan la ha kay medyo busy pa ako, and to Mr.Ireneo Jabonete an aton mga picture han parade han Basketball ha imo ko ipapadara ipakita nala hit aton Batch. Kumusta nala ha iyo ngatanan God Bless!

Name:   Loreto Masadre
Marikina Heights, Marikina City, Metro Manila
Email:   loreto.masadre@essochad.hallib
September 29, 2006

To Ray Gaspay,

Great to view your website. See the picture "Darna ako" and have in mind we Filipinos will get free of problems for this photo. Hope to see a section for photo galleries.

Greetings from Chad, Africa.


Name:   Edna English
Date:  Sept 29 2006

Oo ngay an patron sa Gandara. Maupay na patron sa iyo dida. Hello to Dan & Rea Labalan & family....Gandara-Calbayog multicab hello sa iyo sa mga driver…hi my Jack ikaw la gihapon bantay san pila.......hello san akon pata baby garnica & family.......salamat.

Name:   Edith Egargo
Sept 28, 2006

Just stopping by to say happy fiesta Gandarenos!!! and keep n touch to Msgr. Jun, Fr. Tito Voz.

Name:   Juvy
Address:  163 St 105-9570,
Edmonton, Alberta T5P3M7, Canada
Date:    Sept.26, 2006

To the staff,

My deep appreciation for creating one like this..I'm so pleased that finally I can see and know what's going on in my favorite place San Vicente (Catalab-an) Eastern Samar and the whole of Eastern Samar, my parents hometown.

My pangungumusta to the hardworking Governor of Eastern Samar Mr. Ben Evardone, sir, I hope everythings doing well with you and your family. And my birthday greetings though its a bit late, still happy birthday!!  Thank you.

Name:   Waray waray

Bad roads and bad politicians are ubiquitous in the province of Samar ever since one can remember. Bad politicians can't build good roads, and conversely, bad roads can't make a politician good. But a good politician can't necessarily build good roads, since good roads are not a function of good politicians.

Could bad politicians possibly build good roads? Are bad roads the workings of bad politicians? Bad and good are labels or value judgments attached to tangible and intangible things. Take them away and roads and politicians are the reality in Samar.

Name:   Cesar Torres
25 September 2006

"Disgusting!" says Bishop Jose Palma of Samar and Leyte

I could not believe what I heard when that unflattering, dramatic, almost unholy expression coming from one of the most respected members of the Catholic Church in the Philippines was expressed with such force.

So I asked the Bishop.  "Can I quote you on that?" He responds:  "Oh yes!  I have been saying that in Samar for a long time now!"

The Bishop added:  "If the repairs are being done, this is long overdue. In fact, I will not even say 'Thank you!' to them.  They should apologize to us.  And if the aim of this caravan is to dramatize the situation of that road, and the road builders are indeed starting the work now, I just hope and pray that they do it good this time."

This exchange happened yesterday, September 24, 2006, in the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church in Daly City, a church so popular among the Samarnons and the Filipinos in the San Francisco Bay Area.  It’s Parish Priest is the Rev Tony Petilla, of Samar and Leyte, Calbayog and Palo. Fr. Tony is the primus inter pares of Samarnon priests in America. His Parish is memorable especially to Catbaloganons.  They hold novenas there, their fiestas, rehearse their "Curadang" and their "Rigodon" especially when the revered and ilustrious Samarena, the late Naty Villarin Silva Padul was still the leader of the Samarnons in America.

We members of the "Katbaloganon Male Choir" would practice our Samarnon, English, and Imperialistang Taga-ilog songs there, especially our favorite song, "Ikaw, an inop han akon dughan..." (When we sing this during masses, I could see tears streaming from the cheeks of the Samarena women.) After the practice and the rehearsals, we would have singing and kuratsa. Then we had to clean the Social Hall, put back the tables and the chairs in their original places, wipe the floor and the comfort rooms. I remember an incident of one of the greatest Catbalogan and Samarnon I have ever known, Catbalogan ex-vice Mayor, Jose Vasquez. One time, when it was time to clean the place, he said to us:  "In America, I studied how to do this.  So this is what I am going to do.  You younger ones, just fold the tables and stack the chairs on the walls and in their closets.  I will clean the Men's Rest Room..." I could not believe what I heard. Coming from a member of one of the most prominent families in Catbalogan and Samar. His humility is engraved in my heart till Mt. Huraw turns to dust or Morgan Benedicto's marbles turn to jelly fish in Sibuyan Sea.

Yesterday, the Bishop, together with Fr. Luis Llarenas of Villareal, Samar, and Fr. Nonoy Singzon of Calbiga and Catbalogan, and assisted by Fr. Dennis Barlaan of Catarman, and the incredible young priest who is studying in Rome but was formerly assigned to the Parish of San Jose de Buan in the interior of Samar till last year, Fr. Richard Tan, said mass at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church. We were just given one day notice.  But through telephone calls, text messaging, emails we gathered at the Church yesterday.

The fact that the Church was filled to capacity, that we were mesmerized by the Bishop's homily about greatness as being equated with love and service to our fellowmen -- I had not talked to the Bishop about Gugma and the Caravan, perhaps Anita was sending extra-sensory messages to the Bishop about her Gugma to Quint, Joe, David the Balkan, Dr. Saucelo of Makandog fame -- that I issued a $50 check for the retirement of the priests so that they are not forced to have "families" to take care of them when they become old, were probably manifestations of our high regard for Bishop Jose Palma and his entourage of Samarnon priests.

I had met Bishop Palma before in San Francisco during his annual pilgrimage to America asking for our help.  In 2003 when we went to Villareal, Samar, to manage the Feast of the Peruvian Saint, Sta. Rosa de Lima, he was in Villareal, Samar.  The high celebrant. I was amazed at his brilliance.  His sermon was on "Populorum Progressio".  He talked for more than 2 hours. And despite the sweat running like rivulets down my armpits, after all I am used to the cool weather in San Francisco, I was not bored. I was not even fanning myself nor wiping the sweat from my face or my armpits with my handkerchief.  His sermon was delivered in eloquent "Klasikal Samarnon Binisaya" (also known as "Waray" according to Harvey and Jobal.)  I was thinking to myself, listening to his sermon, "Bishop Palma will rise in the hierarchy of the Church.  It those politikos and discriminating Whites who control the Roman Curia will finally realize that God and Christ may not be only blond, white, with green eyes, perhaps, Bishop Palma will become the First Pope coming from the Philippines, the only Christian country in Asia."

Bishop Jose Palma was new to Calbayog in 2003.  Just two years. I think he had come from Iloilo.  Where he was born.

The lovely couple from Calbayog, Nonoy and Butch Fua are the very, very kind and gracious hosts of Bishop Jose Palma, Fr. Luis Llarenas, and Fr. Nonoy Singzon. The Samarnons and their friends will still meet with them on October 28, at the Our Lady of Perpetual Help Church.



Name:   Chris
Pompano Beach , Florida, USA

Well I spend alot of time in Tacloban area and love to explore. My family and all locals allways tell me not to go to Samar due to road conditions. This last trip I went to Marabute [southern samar] and was amazed at the road to Basay was really bad BUT after Basay to Marabute the road was in GREAT CONDITION which is a surprise because I cant imagine that to be a very buisy road as all the villages there are very small. It also makes me wonder why the buisy road is in disrepare but the slow ones are well maintained!!!!

Name:    The Babon Family
Catbalogan, Samar, Philippines
 Sept 23, 2006

To:  All relatives and friends

Please be informed that Dra. LUCRECIA “LUKIE” BABON of Smile Dental Clinic, Catbalogan, Samar, died September 16, 2006, Saturday 6:00 pm.

Her remains lie in state at Samar Memorial Chapel (SMC) Catbalogan, Samar. Internment scheduled September 24, Sunday after the 9:00 am Requiem Mass at San Sebastian, Samar, Philippines.

We request the pious readers to please pray for the eternal repose of the soul of Dra. LUCRECIA “LUKIE” BABON.

From: Her Children Michael, Rico, Obie, Varcity and the Babon family

Name:    Waray Waray

Bad roads in Samar stop commerce, and so with persistent insurgency which slows commerce. Commerce can't take place with the presence of bad roads and endless insurgency. Bad roads hinder the insurgency, and the insurgency promotes bad roads. The ultimate victim's the flow of commerce. Resolution's to stop insurgency and build good roads in Samar. This is the real world.

Name:   Antonio Morales
Address:   Catbalogan,
 20 Sept 2006

My question to Bryan M. Azura's article entitled "A Battle Won" is who lost? It seems that the demise of the impeachment complaint against the sitting president was effectively decided by sheer number. The pro-administration solons simply outnumbered the opposition congressmen. Chiz Escudero, in all his brilliance, simply didn't have the number to start the ball rolling. Impeachment, as a political process, is a numbers game. Again, my question to Mr. Azura is who lost in the process?

Well, he would probably say that it was the opposition congressmen. In reality, the biggest lossers are the people of the republic who will never know whether the complaints lodged by the pro-impeachment solons have basis in fact and law or they were simply harrassment tools of sour lossers. Only the truth can set us all free echoed the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP) but such truth was suppressed effectively by sheer numbers. Such is the reality in a democracy. The majority rules, the minority complains.

Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo (GMA) will go down in history to be the most despised Philippine president with more than -65% approval rating. No other president not even the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was so badly perceived by the people than GMA. A leader's umbilical cord with the people he leads is trust. Without trust, he is nothing more than an unwanted wart.

So who truly won? GMA may have won the battle but she has not won the war. She simply lost the war against the people's continued mistrust and misgivings against her.

Name:   Manny Vesoza
Quezon City
September 19, 2006

Admiral's Eyes Moist on Top Samar Positions

Well-meaning Samareños have urged retired Rear Admiral Eriberto C. Varona to run for either of the top two elective positions in Samar in the 2007 elections. When contacted, the retired admiral remained coy and evasive about the issue but admitted that he has long wished to serve his province mates as they may deem fit. He admitted that it is time for him now to increasingly serve his province mates after having served the national government for a long, long time.

Presently the retired admiral is quietly busy as Chairman of the ZUCIR Foundation, Inc., ZUFI for short, which he founded in 1998, to help the less privileged in society improved their way of life and become more enlightened and responsible citizens of the community. Since its first year of operation, the admiral’s foundation has sponsored two hundred fifty-six (256) annual high school scholarship grants at our local high schools: St. Anthony’s Institute and Zumarraga Integrated School; and, since SY 2000-2001, it has awarded a total of fifty-two (52) annual college scholarship grants, thanks to many kind-hearted benefactors. This school year, SY 2006-2007, ZUFI’s scholarship program is supporting eleven (11) scholars in college and forty-three (43) scholars in high school.

Admiral Varona is presently the Director of the Government Arsenal, a bureau under the Department of National Defense, charged with the manufacture of ammunitions and other munitions for use of the country’s armed forces. He was appointed to his present post on January 31, 2000, ten months after he retired from the Armed Forces of the Philippines following thirty-four (34) years of active commissioned service.

A be-medalled officer, his last posting in the military service was as Commander of the Philippine Fleet. Prior to that, he was Vice Commander of the Philippine Navy; Commander Naval Forces South (Mindanao); and Commander Naval District III (Southern Luzon and Bicol Region). The admiral’s work experience transcends that of the traditional military leader: an environmentalist, an information or computer systems manager, a defense specialist; and a business policy-maker and manager.

Admiral Varona’s life is certainly a storied one. Born to a poor couple, Pablo Varona of Sta. Rita/Basey and the former Carolina Costo of Zumarraga, the admiral relishes his younger days in his native town where his determination to succeed whatever the challenges really started until his retirement from the military service. A product of local schools, he graduated as Valedictorian at both the Zumarraga Elementary School in 1956, and the St. Anthony’s Institute in 1960. Immediately, after graduation, he enrolled as a University Scholar at the National University, working during the day for his living expenses while studying at night. In 1966, he graduated number 6 (Magna Cum Laude) from the Philippine Military Academy. He was a government pensionado at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California where he earned his Master of Science in Meteorology in 1974; and, also at the Australian Defence Force Joint Service Staff College in Canberra, where he earned in 1993 his Graduate Diploma in Strategic Studies.. He likewise earned his Masters in National Security Administration (MNSA) at National Defense College of the Philippines in 1987, at the top of his class, and his Master of Business Administration at the Philippine Christian University in 1991.

A Ph. D. (Environmental Sciences) candidate at the University of Virginia, USA, he holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from Chelsea University, UK. He also attended the Top Management Program at the Asian Institute of Management in 1998. Last year, 2005, he was sent as a pensionado to attend a 12-week Executive Course at the Asia Pacific Center for Security Studies at Honolulu, Hawaii. Admiral Varona is married to the former Portia Eusebio, a former classroom teacher, with whom he has three children: Philbert, an Ateneo law graduate and bar topnotcher; Erwin, a La Salle B.S. Information Technology graduate and anti-virus engineer; and Fatima, an Assumptionista and an airline ground staffer.

Name:   New Yorker
 18 Sept 2006

Regarding the deplorable condition of the Samar roads, I sometimes wonder whether the incumbent officials are just there at the wrong time. They are always at the receiving end of people's ire and discontent over the sad state of our highways.  Add to that the unsolicited comments of self-proclaimed pundits who seem to be always so eager to pounce and strike anonymously.

If one will only go back through the years, Samar had in the past some of the most powerful politicians in the country: Jose "what are we in power for" Avelino; Decoroso "Cosoy" Rosales; the Balites and Abrigos, Yancha, Fernando Veloso and of course Jose Roño, who was the third most powerful man in the country during the Marcos years. During their time, our roads were already bad and certainly not the envy of travelers from other places.  Our elected officials could have easily done something to have them upgraded into world class status, just like the roads in Luzon.

They never did. I'm sure everyone had a share of the loot, perhaps on a smaller scale, because the peso was still strong and the exchange rate versus the dollar was not what it is today. But the truth is, pare-pareho la iton hira mga kawatan, although the modern day politician seems to have developed it into an art. Our province is always last on the list, maybe because it's a God-forsaken place or simply because it is Samar. "Palagi namang binabagyo yan kaya pabayaan mo na lang"; this seems to be the thinking of so many.

Name:   Cesar Torres
18 September 2006

On the checks that were issued for Villareal, Samar, allegedly for specific purposes, and encashed by those who had the authority to encash the checks, which could include the Mayor of Villareal, Samar, Reynato "Boy" Latorre, the inquiry must be answered.  This is very critical because I have waved your integrity all over the world.  This is further complicated because Boy is chairman of Bayan Muna in Samar.  Let it not be said that the leadership of Bayan Muna in Samar is as corrupt as the Trapos in Samar and in Pilipinas.

I have to apologize that I could not respond to an e-mail of my cousin concerning this issue.  I even saw an email addressed to the Office of the President, Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, regarding this matter.

Boy, Babam, or the Treasurer of Villareal, Samar, it is imperative that you respond to this accusation.


Name:   Beth Sizemore
Diamond Bar, CA 91765

Harani na an patron ha Mercedes (Burak), Catbalogan, Samar, September 24. Maupay nala nga patron ha iyo ngatanan dida ha Burak. To Marvie, Naldo & kids, Tito, Linda & kids, Johnny & Lilibeth and kids, Lonie & Genghis & kids. Maupay liwat nga patron kanda Elena, Alex and Family, Tony & Liling & kids, Mana Annie & Tay Nonoy & family, Ana and family, Nay Nene & Tiya Sayong and of course hi 'Donya' our beloved mother, Bebing.

Nathaniel, Mark, Rovena, & Ryan we are all celebrating your birthday on the day of the fiesta even though your birtdays are on different dates this month. Big "H A P P Y  B I R T H D A Y" greetings from all of us in California, Georgia, and Nevada. Pasalamat nala kita han patrona for all the blessings.

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