Sneak a Peak at the
Ultimate Party Grounds – Balyuan Park
By CATHERINE JANZ R. SICOY, KIMRO
May 29, 2006
Nites formally opens through a ribbon cutting ceremony initiated
by Executive Asst. Regal Oliva last May 27, 2006 at the Balyu-an
Leyte – The
usual quite and tranquil nights of the
was broken in the Launching of the city’s MAGZ Nights last Saturday,
May 27, 2006.
More often than not,
you come here to find peace and serenity, to search your soul and
gather your thoughts after a busy day at the office or school. But
every night (for forty nights) will be different, for this time,
you’ll be here to party and to have fun! You’ve come to the right
place too because bands and artists from Cebu and Manila will be
performing live to keep you entertained on the nights to come.
The place was like a
beckon in the usually dark streets of the city with its attractive
backdrop and bright lights. An array of native, colorful, and equally
exciting kiosks surrounded the area all ready to take your orders to
keep you satisfied and quench your thirsts. Of course, the event would
not be complete without music. A unique blend of pop, rock, and funky
music floated in the air. Enough to set the crowd into a party mood
and into the spirit of the festivity.
The cutting of the
ribbon by the ever dynamic and gracious Regal Oliva (Executive
Assistant Officer) signaled the official opening of the party. Among
the local artists and bands that kept the crowd alive and occupied
were the City Band, Ms. Daryll Gariando, Mr. Robert Jejando and the
acoustic duo Power of 2. Dancers like the Expidition Dancers, Dance
Revolution, Fast Trak, Human Act, and G-Boys were just among the
performers who gained the apt attention of the whole public.
All of you there who
are looking for a nice night out with gentle breeze of the ocean
touching your face accompanied by a comforting and groovy music to
sooth your tired senses. Come and sneak a peak to the entertainment
that is more to come at the perfect party venue- MAGZ Nights at
“We promise nights of pure fun and entertainment”, declared Regal.
Definitely, more is coming.
“Dreams Do Come True…”
By CATHERINE JANZ R. SICOY, KIMRO
May 24, 2006
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– The Social Development Center for street children has already
opened its doors to the less fortunate children of this city. A home
for less privileged and needy street youngsters is now proudly
standing in the once vacant lot at Barangay 108, Tagpuro,
“I call this Center a
‘house of friendship’ because I believe that it is the best instrument
for all of us to be together”, Mrs. Baltazar, City Social Welfare and
Development officer, earnestly stated during her opening statement in
the inauguration of the Center. “Indeed, this undertaking is not an
effort of one but of many individuals and other organizations who
believe in what the establishment can do for the welfare of the street
children in the city”, she further added.
The event started with
a holy mass led Rev. Romeo Obach, CSSR. Among the honored guests were
Hon. Alfredo T. Romualdez represented by Mr. Bertulfo Raquel
(Executive Assistant Officer); different department heads and
employees; lot donors, Mrs. Silvina Cordero Vda de Osuyos and Mr.
Beinvinido Osuyos; together with volunteers from he Philippine
Association of Social Workers-Tacloban Chapter, Volunteers for the
Visayan, Streetlight Philippines (a Norway-based organization) and
other NGOs and GOs who in one or the other contributed to the
establishment of this shelter.
anticipation was evident in the faces of the children as they sat
along with other honored guests and visitors of the event. Robert
Trinidad, 15 years old, was picked-up along the port’s area of the
city, shyly disclosed that he has been in the streets for eight long
years now. The boy openly said that he was grateful to all the people
who have made this project possible. Another girl, Jocelyn de la
Cruz, 13 years old, who have been wandering the streets for almost six
years now, simply said “thank you”, a short word but meaningful
“I am very happy, in
my heart I want to help all of them. It is my hope that these children
will have all the help they need. ”, Mrs Silvina Osuyos tearfully
stated. Her son, Mr. Beinvinido Osuyos shares the happiness of her
mother in helping these poor youngsters.
children, 5 of them girls will inhabit the Center. As part of the
program, they will be provided with psychosocial and educational
assistance to help them emerge as productive and better citizens of
Finally, as the Hon.
Alfredo T. Romualdez would have said, “this undertaking will help
ensure a purposeful and meaningful life to these poor ones”.
Address insurgency through poverty
alleviation – LCDE
By RANDY ANTONI, LCDE Advocacy Officer
May 23, 2006
LCDE giving relief goods to the affected
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– A top official of a non-governmental organization here has raised
concern over the intensifying armed conflict in the region and called
on the government to address insurgency through poverty alleviation.
Executive Director of the
for Development, Inc. (LCDE), said that they are alarmed over the
intensifying clashes between government troops and the communist
rebels as these affect the livelihood of the farmers.
“Due to the intense
armed conflict in the region, many peasant communities are forced to
flee their homes and sources of livelihood,” she said.
added that the poor situation of the affected communities aggravated
after their displacement.
“This is very alarming
considering the fact that they were already in economic difficulties
even before the evacuation,” she said.
Jerusalem issued this
statement following the relief mission they conducted last May 19 in
Brgy. (village) Calapi in Motiong, Western Samar where they served
peasant families from three villages affected by armed conflict.
The LCDE is a
non-governmental organization assisting natural and man-made
disaster-stricken communities in Eastern Visayas.
More than a hundred
families from the villages of Beri, San Andres and Sto. Niňo in
Motiong (about two-hour travel by bus from
were forced to descend from their barrios on March 6 and sought refuge
in Brgy. Calapi.
The villagers had
reasons to evacuate.
On the evening of
March 5, a farmer in Brgy. San Andres identified as Noel Labong, was
shot dead in front of his family by three unidentified men believed by
the villagers to be soldiers.
According to the
account of the victim’s wife, it was about 9:00 p.m. when the
assassins wearing bonnets and plain clothes barged into their house
and dragged the victim out where he was shot on the head.
A villager testified
that he saw a man in military uniform standing in front of the house
of the victim just before the shooting incident.
Shortly after the
murder of Noel, unidentified men abducted his brother Levi Labong. The
victim remains missing to this day.
Prior to the killing
and forced abduction in Brgy. San Andres, incidents of abuses had been
reported in Brgy. Sto. Niňo.
On March 2, a farmer
identified as Antonio Mabilog, was beaten by three unidentified men
while he and his wife were working on their farm. The suspects, clad
in military uniform, were asking the victim to point to them where the
communist rebels are camping.
On the same day,
alleged soldiers set the house, owned by a certain Segundo Gabane, on
fire. About 30 sacks of kalinayan, a good variety of upland rice, with
an estimated market value of Php 24,000 were also burned down.
Although there were no
direct witnesses, the villagers believed the arson was perpetrated by
Village chief Alnario
Gabane said they (villagers) reported to him that just before the
incident, army troopers arrived in the barrio and headed to the
direction where it happened.
In Brgy. Beri,
residents reported that on February 23, they heard successive gunshots
interspersed with big explosions coming from the forested area of the
village; it lasted for about one minute.
Gabane lamented that
the situation of the affected villagers worsened after their
“The villagers are
having more difficulties in meeting their daily needs, food
especially, since they were not able to attend to their farms from
March 6 until 23, the day they started returning to their barrios,” he
disclosed. He added that their newly grown crops were also destroyed
by tropical storm “Caloy,” which hit the region just two weeks ago.
To date, the majority
of the villagers already returned to their communities after a certain
Lt. Agoy ordered them to go back. About 15 families, however, opted to
stay permanently in Brgy. Calapi and nearby barrios for fear of their
Mabanan, village chief of Brgy. Beri, disclosed that those who refused
to go back to their villages have become either tenants or farm
evacuation, these villagers could at least get a daily income of more
than a hundred pesos from tilling their own farms. As tenants, they
now only get a daily income of more than Php 27 since they have to
give the landowners 75 percent of their harvest as payment for land
rent,” he said.
Mabanan said that
those who work as farm laborers are paid Php 50 a day, however, they
do not have regular income since they are only hired during cropping
“To get additional
income, some of them would offer their services to farmers such as
helping the latter in delivering their produce to the market once or
twice a week in which they are paid Php 30,” he further said.
Economic security, not
Jerusalem said that
the armed conflict would only intensify and continue to devastate the
lives of the peasant communities if the government continues to launch
military offensives against the communist rebels instead of striking
down the root cause of insurgency.
“The government could
put an end to the long running armed conflict by addressing insurgency
through poverty alleviation,” she said.
She added, ”The
government should recognize the fact that there is insurgency because
of social injustice and the inequitable distribution of economic
resources in the country. It can only be solved by providing the poor
long-term economic security,” Jerusalem said.
Industrial peace, safety are top
priority in the workplace
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA-Samar)
May 14, 2006
Director Forter Puguon (center) discussing issues on labor
practices in Samar during the recent CCATMAN Weekly Kapehan TV
program at Cocina de Cabral, Catbalogan, Samar.
Industrial peace and occupational safety standards are considered top
priority in the workplace.
This was stressed by
Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Regional Director Forter
Puguon as he conferred with some 25 employers in Catbalogan town
According to Puguon in
the Employers Forum held at the Cocina de Cabral, industrial peace is
meant to preserve peace in the workplace. It could mean, he said that
the employees are satisfied with their wages and benefits. If the
employee is not, it could spell trouble because he might be restless
and demand full implementation of labor standards. If the employer
does not recognize this, tension could rise and peace is disrupted.
This tension, he added can be solved by a peaceful and reasonable
compromise, if it fails, the establishment could close shop and the
workers lose jobs.
On the other hand,
occupational safety standards, said the director are basic
requirements to be met to ensure that a few or no accidents occur in
the workplace. Better productivity is seen when work is not disrupted,
He cited the provision
of proper lighting and ventilation; if the place he said is not
properly lighted, employees may trip or slide that may cause them
injuries, miss work and the whole entity’s productivity is affected.
When employers observe
proper occupational health standards, significant returns are
attained, the youthful director reminded Catbalogan’s employers.
In a related
development, DOLE’s field office representative Fe Estrella told PIA
that worst cases relayed to DOLE includes non payment of wages. The
problem is easily resolved with DOLEs intervention.
Puguon said that DOLE
conducts the Employers Forum yearly so that the employers may learn,
appreciate and comply with the laws governing workers. He acknowledged
the response from the employers who took time out from their schedules
to attend the forum, he also informed them that they are considered
the backbone of the economy. The President of Catbalogan’s Chamber of
Commerce, Dr. Beng Baillo also expressed in agreement that they too
have benefited from the forum.
Other topics discussed
include Workers Rights and Obligations, Management Prerogatives and
Responsibilities, National labor Standards Framework and Anti-Sexual
Harassment Law. The DOLE team composed of Dir. Puguon, Ms. Fe Norma
Valuis and Maritess Vinas proceeded to
for the same forum.
Army Soldiers: Saving
lives is our concern!
By Maj. MANGINTONONG A. TOCALO (INF) PA
April 29, 2006
CAMP LUKBAN, Catbalogan, Samar – With a desire to preserve the value and sacredness of
human life, 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army through the Camp
Lukban Station Hospital, led by its Commanding Officer, Lt Col Ramon
Bonoan MC (PA), has once again took the courage in facing the risk of
immediate patient evacuation from Camp Lukban, Catbalogan, Samar to
the Armed Forces of the Philippines Medical Center (AFPMC) at V. Luna
Road in Quezon City, mainly to ensure the survival of a soldier’s
dependent from certain death.
9-day old Baby Boy
Fabroa, was supposed to undergo neurosurgery operation at Bethany
Hospital in Tacloban City where he was admitted after birth for an
initial diagnosis of Septicemia Neonatorum - a systemic infection of
Lack of funds however
forced his father, Corporal Edwin Fabroa, to bring him home instead
and find some other ways to resolve the problem.
Cpl Fabroa’s faith and
fortitude brought him to
Camp Lukban Station Hospital’s
doorstep where he found himself talking to Lt Col Bonoan, who upon
learning the situation, immediately sought the Command’s consent to
carry out the patient’s evacuation.
Upon arrival at the
AFP Medical Center at 3:00 A.M. on March 8, 2006, Baby Boy Fabroa was
checked and diagnosed finally to have subdural hematoma with
intervetricular bleeding on his left ventricle. His attending military
physician immediately subjected him to Craniotomy (surgical) operation
wherein 250 milliliters of blood was evacuated from his brain. He was
unquestioningly attended by Cpt Benzale who declared the operation a
success after five hours. Baby Boy Fabroa is now recovering at the
AFP Medical Center’s
The surgery may have
left him a scar. But he would surely be grateful, for every glimpse of
it would make him remember God who, through our institution and
valiant men has extended his existence to savor life’s sweetness.
With a mandate to
protect the security of our state, constitution and people, the
Philippine Army was organized and trained primarily to neutralize the
state’s enemies through the use of force. But its aspiration for the
preservation of human life makes the Army innovate itself to actively
participate in nation building and other civil-related activities in
addition to its customary role of conducting combat operations.
includes 8th Infantry Division’s participation in the search and
retrieval operations during the “Fluvial Parade Tragedy” at San
Ricardo and “Mudslide Tragedy” at Guinsaugan, St. Bernard,
Southern Leyte respectively. Amid lack of technical expertise and
equipment, Army soldiers braved themselves in optimistically facing
the hazardous site condition with the hope to find signs of life.
No less than Her
Excellency, President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Southern Leyte Governor
Rosette Y Lerias, Other Local Executives, International organizations,
members of the media and the local folks have recognized the AFP’s
indispensable contribution during these ill-fated events.
disputably, soldiers are trained to destruct, for the cause of
preserving the interest & security of the nation and the value of the
inviolability of God’s supreme gift - the “Human Life”.
“Passé or Not, there is no way to the next
generation but the CHILDREN”...KAPWA-INA Filipino Mother’s Club in Zurich
By SENTAY BELIZAR-QUITORIO
April 9, 2006
Thelma Dalina-Huber (left), founder and president
of Kapwa-Ina Filipino Mother's club in Zurich, with District Supervisor
Mrs. Josefina V. Yu of Cabuloran elementary school during its launching
of the feeding program.
some of the recipient pupils
BORONGAN, Eastern Samar
– Jose Rizal’s legendary lines could be so obsolete and maybe few, but
there are still people sincerely or not, out of duty or pity, loaded with
interests from personal to socially motivated intentions, care to invest and
ensure the future through the children.
Proliferation of NGOs and
other groups advocating children’s rights and protecting them sprouted like
mushrooms. Integrating programs where these children are found such as the
school and other learning centers, organizations, house of the sick and
abandoned, and orphanages are some of the target avenues of implementing
Very frankly the president
and founder of the KAPWA INA: Filipino Mother’s Club in Zurich during their
latest visit (with husband Walter Huber) addressed some mothers in Barangay
Cabuloran Elementary School, Dagami, Leyte, “if not for these children, I
will never help the school, these children are the source of my impetus,
aside from my own experience of poverty which has brought me a lot of
inspirations and gave me the energy to move on”.
Together with the CO-OPERAID,
a Swiss non-profit organization, where Thelma Dalina-Huber a native of
Barangay Dampigan Dolores, sits as a consultant, the KAPWA-INA launched a
yearlong feeding program for SY 2006-2007 last March 15, 2006.
The entire staff of Mrs.
Nenita M. Talavera , Head Teacher of Barangay Cabuloran Elementary School in
Dagami Leyte, very well appreciated the supply of 5 sacks of rice every
month from the start of the next school year embedded in the amount of more
or less P55 thousand pesos as sustaining fund for the program. Aside from
this fund the Home Economics room was furnished with kitchen utensils and
other needs essential to the program.
For their part, the parents
of the 186 pupils will supply vegetables from their backyard gardens and
they will help cook the food and assist the teachers during the feeding
Comparable to some gigantic
projects of the government, these initiatives of the BIS-Balikatan Samar
Development Projects side by side with the KAPWA-INA and a cultural oriented
group called SAMPAGUITA created impact on poverty alleviation programs and
projects not only in Samar and Leyte but in other parts of the country.
To mention some, the
families and group of women-garbage scavengers and victims of the
Payatas tragedy in Quezon City, rehabilitated school classrooms in Cawayan
Biliran in Northwest Leyte, playgrounds for children in Carolina elementary
school in Can-avid Eastern Samar and Panglao Island Libaong Primary School
in Bohol, school pathways improvement in Buhi Elementary School Camarines
Recently the P120 thousand
pesos worth of a two-classroom renovations and schools playground and
multipurpose-cemented grounds of
Sta. Mesa National
in Dagami Leyte, has brought delight not only to the principal Mr. Alfredo
M. Gaganao but also to the 22 faculty members and 1,073 high school
“I was really amazed and
kind of shock when Thelma and husband Walter came and affirmed to renovate
rooms and convert our flooded laden ground to a useful multipurpose
playground in a matter of two weeks,” Gaganao added “normally it will take
us ages to get attention of these pages of proposals and resolutions
submitted to government offices, and officials to source out funds, that is
why it is like a dream come true for my school…salamat, salamat, salamat,
“We have very little funds
compared to what the government can afford, but we maximize the utilization
through implementing the projects by ourselves no bidding and definitely no
middlemen and no sub contractors, “ Thelma Dalina-Huber added, “we
canvass the price and directly go to the contractors, this is a hands-on
project implementation. But the expenses are recorded and properly
documented and validated to the last centavo that we report to the
organization immediately after the project is finished”.
The monitoring does not stop
when the project is finished. The impact and the effect in terms of changes
in the community are likewise documented. If no evident developmental change
is substantiated the project is stopped and redirected. This was confirmed
by the couple (Walter and Thelma) who implemented the projects themselves as
part of their “holiday vacation”.
As of this date a little
more or less P3.4 million worth of projects were implemented in the
Philippines in favor of the children and young adults distributed all over
the country where members of the
Switzerland-based-and-Migrant-Filipino-managed organizations have identified
poverty stricken areas that need immediate attention.