Peasant women brave
March 14, 2007
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– On the occasion of this year’s commemoration of the International
Women’s Day, three peasant women braved the challenge of shopping all
their families’ essentials for a measly sum of P100.
This, according to
Diana Ragub, Campaign and Advocacy Coordinator of the peasant group,
Samahan han Gudti nga Parag-uma ha Sinirangan Bisayas (SAGUPA-SB),
depicts the troubles that every peasant woman go through everyday just
so all their necessities will be covered by the ample income that they
have. Like their husbands, Ragub said, peasant women are likewise
saddled by the pressure of keeping a healthy, nourished, educated
family, while receiving meager income from their day-to-day work in
“Based on the surveys
conducted by government statistic offices and even by the Bureau of
Agricultural Statistics, majority of the families in the region which
subsist mainly on agriculture has an annual income of P30,000-P39,999.
Of the 64,803 families which rely on agriculture, majority or 15,299
have a meager income of P82-109 per day from which they derive their
needs--- from food, clothing, water and electricity, health care and
education of children,” said Ragub.
Malou Arcones, 36, a
mother of six, was among the peasant women who braved the challenge.
Her husband, Toto, 37, is a fisherman who accepts “sidelines” in
carpentry work, farm work, taking care of fish cages, among others. He
earns P100-P150 per day on the average. Malou recounts how they
survive on such a meager amount – having viand only if Toto comes home
with fish caught at sea, selling sampaguita necklaces in the
market to augment their income for the children’s baon to
school, gathering wood in the forests of Basey for firewood as they
cannot afford fuel. In order to augment their income, Malou applied as
sitter of a two-year old child in a nearby barangay for P50 a day.
Last March 8, she was
given P100 and was ask to purchase what her family needs for one day.
She bought one kilo of NFA rice for P18, fish for P20, pakbeton
for P20, ¼ kilo of dried fish for P17, three pieces of egg for P16.50,
vinegar for P5 and ginger for P2. She still had P1.50 left as change.
“This is not even
enough considering that there are eight of us in the family. This kilo
of rice is only good for one meal. In case my children would ask for
baon, I would not be able to give them anything considering that only
P1.50 was left,” said Arcones.
Ragub said that
most farmers and fisherfolks would purchase for their food needs if
pressed by the situation over other basic needs.
A wonderful Silver
Episcopal Jubilee celebration
By ODON SABARRE
Around 12 o’clock noon
of October 16, my good friends Nydia Yap, Mila Cadiz and Tita Chan
rode off to Naval Leyte to greet best wishes to a dear friend of ours,
Msgr. Filomeno Bactol D.D, Bishop of Naval who was celebrating his
Silver Episcopal Jubilee.
We arrived at about 2
p.m., and we were received gracefully with garlands and souvenirs for
Msgr. Bactol treated
us to a merienda of Carigara delicacies and their delicious “suman.”
He left us for a while
because he was going to attend the Forum whose topic was BEC: An
instrument of Renewal for the Clergy given by Msgr. Jose Marie Delgado
and the Naval Experience given by Fr. Marvyn Maceda.
Later, Bishop Bactol
asked us to accompany him to a nearby bridge where he would all
welcome the former First Lady Mrs. Imelda Romualdez Marcos who was
arriving all the way from Manila. Mrs. Marcos was with her “Blue
Ladies” Luz Mate, Lily Montejo, Lus Bakunawa, Fe Bautista and her
Then we all went to
the office of Naval Mayor Gerry Espina who warmly welcomed all of us.
Nydia and company had
to go back to Tacloban because she was going to entertain the National
President of the Filipino Chinese Catholic Association of the
Philippines, Mrs. Conchita Tan, who happens to be her close friend.
I was left behind
because I was going to do an interpretative dance number titled
“Lessons We Learned” and Msgr. Ben Sabillo was supposed to sing it. Do
you know that I danced together with my late brother, Tommy, (we were
known as the SABARRE BROTHERS) during Msgr., Bactol’s Ordination in
Palo, Leyte as a Bishop 25 years ago? I was so delighted that I was
going to dance for him again. I still remember that Mrs. Imelda R.
Marcos, the First Lady then, was his “ninang” in that special
The affair in the
evening was BEC: Fiesta sa Nayon and it narrated Msgr. Bactol’s
journey to Bishophood. In between the narration were musical numbers.
I was so impressed together with everyone; with the students from NIT
(Naval Institute of Technology) where they performed in total darkness
and the only ones that you could see were their gloves in ultra violet
rays where they created images of birds flying, letters and signs,
depicting the 25th anniversary of Msgr. Bactol. Mrs. Marcos was
gasping a lot of Oh’s and Ah’s in her admiration.
Later, in my number, I
prayed hard and asked our Dear Lord for assistance because my audience
in the Presidential table were the Celebrant, Bishop Filomeno Bactol
together with Bishop Leonardo Medroso, Bishop Emmanuel Transe, Bishop
Angel Hobayan, Mrs. Imelda Marcos together with her Blue Ladies, Mayor
Gerry Espina, Virgie Veloso, and lots of priests and nuns in the
Praise the very good
Lord, I did my number very well, and I got a “Bravo” from Mrs. Marcos
and thunderous applause from the audience.
I was so elated when
Bishop Transe told me that they are my silent admirers of my craft.
Bishop Dean congratulated me warmly and told me that I can still
“You were great”! “I
just see and read you in the papers and it is my first time to see you
dance and I am impressed, wished I could have seen you during your
younger days” exclaimed Mayor Espina.
“Nagparayaw ka gu hin
ora-ora kay nakadi hi “ma’am,” teased Mana Lily Motejo. Mana Luz
Bakunawa told me that she was impressed with my “turns” or
I am thankful to our
Dear Lords because at my age and my weight, I can still manage to
The next day, Oct. 17,
at about 9:30 am, it was the Celebration of the Holy Eucharist in the
Cathedral Church of our Lady of the Holy Rosary, I saw in the corridor
the former Mayor of Tacloban, Uldarico Mate, and asked him, who is his
companions were and he answered, “Upat nga Chicks” and when I went
inside the church, the 4 chicks happened to be “hens” already, because
they were namely Mana Miming Dublado, Mana Daisy Soledad, Mana Fely
Ortega, and Mana Beny Santiago Johnton. Next to arrive in the church
was our gorgeous Congresswoman of the First District, Congw. Remedios
“Matin” Petilla who came with her close friend Cora Quintero Villareal.
She was really stunning with her Filipina Kimona and skirt, I asked
for Gov. Jericho Petilla and she told me that all Governors were in
Cebu for a conference.
In about 10 minutes,
Mrs. Imelda Marcos together with her entourage arrived and lots of
friends and fans came to greet her. Parang “Artista” ang dumating. She
looked very regal and lovely and she looked trimmer.
Then the Mass started
with the procession of about 80 priests, followed by the 7 Bishops,
the Main Celebrant Bishop Bactol. He looked very serene and holy. The
Bishop who just arrived was Bishop Maximiano Cruz and Bishop Isabelo
In the procession, I
saw Fr. Fabian Mariano, Fr. Oscar Florencio, our Parish Priest of
Sacred Heart, Fr. Noel, the Rector of the Calbayog Seminary and lots
of others who are mostly my friends.
Letters of the best
wishes from a lot of Bishops all over the country and from POPE
BENEDICT XVI were read and the Mass formally started.
I could see that a lot
of people really love and care for Bishop Bactol because of the
enormous attendance of his relatives, priests, nuns from different
Congregations, members from Catholic Organizations, and friends. And
they all line up during the “Offertory” to give something. Congw.
Petilla and Mrs. Marcos brought the CHALICE OF THE BREAD AND WINE.
Aside from the money
given by his well-off friends, he received tomatoes, pipino, kilos of
rice, camotes, papaya and other simple gifts from simple folks just to
show their love admiration and gratitude to the good Bishop. Bishop
Medroso was excellent in his Homily.
The Mass ended with a
“Thank You” speech from the celebrant and he gave a gift to Mrs.
Marcos, 5 volumes of the speeches by the late President Ferdinand
Marcos, which were compiled by his student, a Seminarian during his
The celebration ended
with a sumptuous lunch. Later everyone started heading for home. I
rode back together with Msgr. Ramon Aguilos, parish priest of San
Jose, and we agreed that indeed the whole affair was beautifully and
really blessed by heaven.
To Bishop Bactol,
my heartfelt congratulations and hoping to perform for you again in
your GOLDEN EPISCOPAL CELEBRATION in the year 2031.
author with former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos and Naval mayor
Felomino Bactol and former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos. Also in
photo (from L-R) Bishop Angel Hobayan, Bishop Pedro Dean, mayor
Gerry Espina and Mrs. Luz Mate.
Infantry Division cites gain in 2006
By 1Lt. MARIO JOSE M. CHICO, (INF) PA
Catbalogan, Samar – The year 2006 proved to be another fruitful year
for the army troopers of the 8th Infantry Division, Philippine Army.
These were the words given by no less than the Commanding General of
the 8th Infantry Division of the Philippine Army, Maj. Gen. Rodrigo F. Maclang AFP, during the Command Conference he personally presided at
Headquarters, 8th Infantry Division in Camp Lukban, Maulong,
Catbalogan, Samar on January 9, 2007.
The said conference
was attended by all field commanders of the Philippine Army operating
in Eastern Visayas under the Command and Control of the 8th Infantry
Division. It was held after the traditional New Year’s Call to the
Commanding General held earlier of the day at Camp Lukban
Maj. Gen. Maclang
cited the accomplishments of the 8ID prominent among which are the
neutralization of Communist Terrorist Leaders (CTL) Glicerio Roluna
alias Jay-R, of Southern Leyte CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist group; CTL
Bebiano Rentillosa alias Sinto, of North Leyte CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist
group; CTL Nestor Caliwan alias Hanao, former leader of Mt. Amandewin
Extortionist Group; and the latest was CTL Zacarias Nobes alias Cadoy,
leader of Front 1 of CPP-NPA-NDF terrorist group in Northern Samar.
All of these personalities were operating in the Eastern Visayas under
the command of CPP-NPA-NDF headed by the erstwhile priest-turned
terrorist, Fr. Santiago Salas.
Likewise, Maj. Gen.
Maclang praised the people of Leyte for helping the government in
exposing the evil acts perpetrated by the communist terrorist group in
the discovery of the Mass Graves in Inopacan, Leyte. He also exhorted
the people of Eastern Visayas to be extra vigilant in guarding our
democratic freedom and our children from exploitation by these
barbaric terrorist preying on the youthful innocence of the children
they are targeting for recruitment in armed conflict which is a clear
violation of existing international laws on protection of minors. This
is evident in the successful rescue efforts undertaken by the army to
some six (6) minor combatants being used by the communist terrorist in
their extortion and wicked activities.
The year 2006 also
showcased the Army’s true and genuine concern to the people of Eastern
Visayas as exemplified by the 8ID troopers sincere commitment of
serving the people beyond the Call of Duty, when they spearheaded the
conduct of Rescue, Relief, and Retrieval efforts together with the
different local and international rescue units during the infamous
Guinsaugon Mudslide tragedy at St. Bernard, Southern Leyte. The
personal sacrifices of our troops during that fateful event earned the
admiration and respect of the Filipino people.
Maj. Gen. Maclang
enjoined all Officers and men of the 8th Infantry Division “to pursue
with firm resolve the dynamism you have constantly manifested as we
move on to another promising year ahead of us. Let us not rest on our
laurels. Let us all work hand in hand in bringing the 8th Infantry
Division to a brighter future”.
TOYM awardee admits
award compels him to push for excellence
By NINFA B. QUIRANTE (PIA
January 12, 2007
CATBALOGAN, Samar –
Twelve Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) awardee Romeo Federico Quimbo,
Chairman/Executive Officer (CEO) of Pag-Ibig Fund admits his award
compels him to strive for excellence.
In a phone interview,
Miro as fondly called by his friends bared that while others regard
awards as an end in itself, he feels it an additional responsibility
to achieve more.
He said he entered
Pag-Ibig only in 2001 as deputy CEO. He said he initiated reforms to
show that a government can be at par with the private sector.
His initiated reforms
paid off when Pag-Ibig became the 8th largest in net income in 2005.
“Only the giant
telecommunications company were ahead of us “the young Quimbo added.
In the housing
program, Miro proudly bared that they had a 300% increased Output in
The TOYM awardee who
traces his roots to Catbalogan, Samar said he intends to stay with
Pag-Ibig until 2010, after that he plans to move somewhere else.
“I want to give way to
others who may have better ideas,” he humbly explained.
UP close and personal
The young Quimbo who
still speak flawless Waray is married to a daughter of DOST Secretary
Estrella Alabastro and they have two very young sons.
As a student at UP Law
School, he said he was not really the so called valedictorian, “safe
it is to say that I just belong to the top 20.”
Miro as young UP stude
said he was involved in UP activism and other outreach programs.
Though Miro left
Catbalogan while he was an elementary he found memories of the place
still vivid. He remembers his childhood activities with playmates
Gerry Muñoz and now Catbalogan Vice Mayor Van Torrevillas.
Miro likes to recall
his trips to Imelda Park,
and the small town celebration of school and church events even the
Sisters of charity rituals he remembers.
Buddy, Gerry Muñoz,
recalls that as young children they would race to the Grandstand
(Sports Oval in downtown Catbalogan) whenever a helicopter would be
heard. The experience of seeing a helicopter for them was
unforgettable and that the VIP they see aboard the helicopter kept
them in awe.
When Miro boarded a
helicopter with Kabayan Noli de Castro (to inspect housing project)
and landed right there in the same oval where he and playmates
frolicked in younger days, Miro and Gerry remembered ‘those days” and
like them young boys ogled at Kabayan and Miro.
“Little did Miro know
it would also happen to him, “ Gerry offered grinning.
“That is why,” Miro
said, “ I wish my kababayan will not put limit in their goals.”
In a family of ten
children, life was not all comfort for the youngest Miro, but
overcoming the challenges; most of his siblings went to law school and
successfully hurdled the difficulties.
Miro wants to
inspire his fellow Samarnons to hit the challenge.
“While the struggle
for Manileños is a little uphill, ours is most uphill but with the
right perspective, one from a small town Catbalogan can excel.” Miro
Oh yes, he wants to
periodically return to hometown Catbalogan and in the immediate future
return to an old stall in the town market with old buddies Gerry and
Van and consume the best tasting “badhuya” one can only find in
making a difference in the lives of rural folks
By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– Whoever said that students are not capable of helping the
community, that all they do is read books and go to school?
The students of the UP
Manila School of Health and Sciences, a ladderized health education,
based in Palo, Leyte, are silently making a difference in the lives of
the people in the rural areas of Leyte.
These students who
come from all over the
especially in places where health workers are a rarity, are assigned
to different barangays and help the people formulate their barangay
health plan. They help the barangay people identify the problems and
the needs and together they find solutions to the health problems of
Closely observing the
UPMSHS students assigned in two barangays of Tanauan,
Leyte, as they presented on December 16, the Barangay Health Plan
they developed together with the whole barangay, PIA saw how the
students immersed themselves in the community and how the community
accepted the students.
The students with the
help of the barangay, make surveys in all aspects of health, from the
number of malnourished children, sanitary disposal of wastes, potable
water, including the resources available in the barangay that can help
solve the health problems.
In Barangay Maghulod
for example, the UP students included in their interventions the
teaching of the mothers on how to make vitamins for the malnourished
children, using the leaves of avocado, malunggay and pandan. The
feeding program for the malnourished children was done by teaching the
mothers nutritious preparations of food which are available in the
With the help of the
students, a one year and two months baby who weighed only 4 kilos when
the students first weighed her three months ago, is now healthier. If
with the help of the students and the whole community, this baby will
be able to play like any other children of her age, then the health
plan of the barangay will be a success and the students’ coming to the
barangay will not be in vain.
These students who are
from the different parts of the country like Antique, Surigao, Palawan,
Agusan, Davao Oriental, Ifugao, Banaue, Samar and Leyte, have been
going back and forth at their assigned interior barangays, Maghulod,
Bantagan and Hilagpad, of Tanauan, for three months already. Having
different dialects and cultures, these students are able to
communicate with the people using the Pilipino dialect.
All scholars, coming
from poor places and barangays, these students will first become
barangay health workers and then midwives. After passing the midwifery
exams, they will be given examinations that will determine if they
could proceed to nursing and then to the medical profession.
these students will go back to serve their own constituents and
thereby help solve the perennial lack of health workers in the remote
areas of the country.
UPMSHS students are doing more than helping the barangay residents to
identify and find solutions to their health problems. They are
empowering the people to make solutions and decisions to their
device invention helps poor families in Western Leyte
By GAY B. GASPAY (PIA 8)
TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte
– An economical energy cooking device innovation, invented by local
inventors in the Western part of Leyte has helped many poor
families in said area.
The invention of the
indigenous energy-saving cooking device called Eco-Electro Charcoal
(EEC) Stove which uses coconut charcoal as a main ingredient and an
AC-DC electric or transistorized blower, Professor Tomas Ediza one of
the three-inventor, in an interview with PIA, attested that the
invention did not only help the family users economically but
restaurant owners as well.
The EEC stove
according to him saves fuel consumption by fifty percent and cooks
faster having a cut off cooking time up to 50%. It’s fire hazard-free
and environmental friendly as well, considering that the stove uses
only charcoal, he added.
The innovation Prof.
Ediza said was patterned after the concept of the melting device used
by bolo-makers of Carigara, Leyte. Applying the existing technology of
personally blowing or fanning the burning charcoal in order to
maintain its fire blazing effect level, this time, he uses an AC-DC
blower using 6-volts electricity or a 12-volt transistorized AC-DC
blower used during blackouts. The EEC-stove likewise is made using
a recycled & indigenous materials that are easy to find in the local
A native of Palompon,
Leyte Prof. Ediza and two other inventors namely Alex Tee and Ronald
Bitor, have already manufactured and marketed more than 1,000 units of
the EEC stove serving clientele not only in the Western part of Leyte
but also in some parts of Reguin 8 and Metro-Manila.
A good number of
clients, who tried using and have tested the stove for quite sometime,
when interviewed during the survey made last August 2004 confirmed
that the EEC stove has helped them economically saving their budget
by half the price compared to the high cost of gas and kerosene which
they usually bought before using the EEC-stove.
high fire level has resulted to a fast cooking effect thereby
cooking a variety of foods in an hour, is just one of the testimonies
made by Aling Virgie and Aling Weling, all restaurant owners of
It is reliable,
dependable and affordable to use, Mang Ambo, a restaurant owner
commented. The EEC stove are made in double burner with tiles, double
burner "kalan-type" and single burner and can be bought with the price
ranging from P1,500 to P2,500.
Prof. Ediza calls
their invention as pang-MASA, pro-Filipino and pro-poor. The invention
was showcased during the Eastern Visayas Consortium For industry and
Energy Research & Development 5th Anniversary Celebration held at the
Eastern Visayas State University gym in Tacloban City together with
other native products and inventions of Region 8.