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Gov. Petilla speeds through typhoon-hit coastal barangays to distribute relief goods, calamity financial aid

Power in region 8 now fully restored, TransCo says

Frank leaves province P5M damages, Eastern Samar in state of calamity

Samar’s mussel industry threatened

Pacific Friendship 2008 visits Gandara

Samar solon sponsors surgical mission with UST Medicine Class of 1964

8th ID releases P147,600 for Balik-Baril Program

Mass surrender of NPA supporters in Eastern Samar

LMP holds Visayas island cluster conference

Mayaw-Mayaw takes center stage at Kamurayaw Festival in Pinabacdao, Samar


Planet Hollywood hotel to host Pacquiao vs. Valero title fight

July 12, 2008

LAS VEGAS, Nevada  –  Top Rank Promotions has picked Planet Hollywood Hotel & Casino as the venue for the November 15 first defense of World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion Manny Pacquiao versus Edwin Valero of Venezuela scheduled for 12 rounds.

This was learned after Nevada State Athletic Commission (NSAC) executive director Keith Keizer confirmed the rich promotional outfit owned by Bob Arum has filed an application at its office to stage the multi-million championship fight.

This will belie the reports earlier that Valero (24-0, 24 KOs), will face Pacquiao (47-3, 35 KOs) in Houston, Texas after the NSAC “had refused” to grant a license to 26-year-old southpaw from Bolero Alto, Merida, Venezuela.

Valero had been suspended by the New York boxing commission when he failed in a medical examination conducted after he met a vehicular incident in 2004. He had been fighting in Japan under the tutelage of prominent Japanese promoter Akihiko Honda.

Although he is currently the World Boxing Association (WBA) super featherweight titlist, Valero has agreed to fight Pacquiao in the 135 lbs “provided that it is a world championship.”

Pacquiao, 29, will arrive here for the fight of his protégé, North American Boxing Federation (NABF) super bantamweight king Bernabe Concepcion who will face Adam “El Toriro” Carrera in a 10-round non-title tiff underneath the Miguel Cotto versus Antonio Margarito world welterweight tussle at the MGM Grand.

Meanwhile, Top Rank has hired a crack physician to review Valero’s medical records which will be forwarded and assessed by the Nevada State Athletic Commission Medical Advisory Board (NSACMAB).

Located on Las Vegas Boulevard South right in the middle of the strip, the hotel, dubbed as “The House that Fame Built”, is a Sheraton Resort and is the hottest new resort in Las Vegas. This beautiful Vegas resort features more than 2,500 uniquely comfortable and chicly designed rooms and suites with breathtaking views of Las Vegas.

The centerpiece of the resort is a gorgeous new three-acre casino laid out beneath a soaring 75-foot ceiling. Surrounding it is a world of inventive and high-tech energy including both exclusive and casual restaurants, pulsing nightclubs, happening bars, calming spa facilities, and world-class entertainment venues as well as romantic wedding chapels and state-of-the-art meeting facilities, all connected to the 170 retails stores in the renowned fully-enclosed Miracle Mile Shops.





Sec. Claudio leads forum on food and energy security in Catarman

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 10, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  A Forum on Food and Energy Security is scheduled to be conducted at the Provincial Capitol of Northern Samar on July 15, 2008, 4:00 - 5:30 in the afternoon.

Political Affairs Secretary Gabriel Claudio
Sec. Gabby Claudio

Assistant Secretary Ian Norman Dato said that this is a continuation of the series of fora on food and energy security that have been conducted in the various parts of the Region in the past four weeks.

Political Adviser, Secretary Gabriel Claudio will once again head the Forum which is aimed at explaining to the people that the current problems besetting the country are part of a global problem on food and energy security and that the country’s problems is just a microcosm of a global situation.

The Forum also seeks to inform the people the initiatives and programs, the government has put in place and the many more in the pipeline, in order to mitigate the impact of the current problem which is the aftermath of a world situation.

Furthermore, the Forum shall exhort the citizenry to do their part in solving the problem by presenting to them various concrete ways and means they can undertake to help the government solve the problem.

Before the Forum, the group headed by Secretary Claudio will conduct inspection of the Catarman Public Market in order to monitor the availability of NFA rice in that part of the country.

The Forum will have a multi sectoral participation with the local government officials, representatives of the government line agencies, the academe, the businessmen and leaders of non-government organizations expected to be in attendance.

As in the previous for a, the inputs, the insights, and recommendations of the Regional Directors with respect to the programs to mitigate the food and energy situation are essential to the people’s genuine understanding of the problems that are upon the country and the government’s response to them, thus the need for them to be present, Asec. Dato said.

It is hoped that the Forum will move the participants to answer the call of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo to join hands and unite in doing their share in order to cushion the impact of the weakening world economy by ensuring food security and implementing measures to conserve energy.





Young Leyte dancers represent RP in 5th Asian-Oceania International Children’s Folkloric Fest in Jakarta

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 10, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The story of the young and talented dancers of the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group, the Junior Dance Company of the Leyte Dance Theater under the tutelage of Sir Jess de Paz, will never fail to inspire all budding young dancers not to be ashamed to express themselves through dance.

These young dancers, most of who are in elementary and high school, have the very rare opportunity to represent their country as this year’s representatives of the Philippines to the 5th Asian Oceania International Children’s Folkloric Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia.

This was learned in an interview with Mr. Jess de Paz in the most recent episode of Panindugan TV program of the Philippine Information Agency, right at the dance studio where the young dancers were practicing the day before they left for Indonesia.

The young children are scholars, most of who comes from various public elementary and high schools in Tacloban and nearby municipalities. While their counterparts are playing, these young dancers are sweating it out training and perfecting their dance steps and forms.

The young dancers compose the first batch scholars of the Kaliaawan Performing Arts Group which was established by Mr. Jess de Paz with the sponsorship of Leyte Park Resort Hotel, about six years ago.

Mr. de Paz said that he envisioned the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group as a training ground for future Leyte Dance Theater members who are interested in teaching dance and choreography.

At the same time, it also provides opportunities for the children ages 9-15 to avail of free training in the different forms of dances- folk, ballet, jazz, and contemporary, as Engr. Wilson Chan of the Leyte Park Resorts partly subsidized the program.

The young dancers are among the 40 who passed the rigid auditions given to different public elementary schools in Tacloban City. These children are indeed lucky because they are the only dance group in the Region who are being trained professionally as performing artists.

Mr. de Paz said the participation of the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group to the Jakarta Children’s Folkloric Festival which runs from July 4-12, 2008, was made possible, through the endorsement of CIOFF Philippine Chapter President, Ms. Corazon Inigo.

For the second time, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts has financed the travel expenses for the group as official representative of the Philippines to the Festival, Mr. de Paz said.

The first time was in 2006 when the group represented the Philippines in the same Festival which was then held in Istanbul, Turkey.

The performers who are now in Jakarta are Querima Lovely Agullo, Mark James Catindoy; Marco Paolo Chumacera; Randylou Kenneth Corregidor; Jerine and Jeserie Culajara; Zyrha Mae Del Pilar; Lydon Jay Ebin; and Jessica Cristy Fabi.

Also included areHanna Kristtina Mari Lagutan; Shev Lira; Mara Angelie Roa; Edzel Bardiago; and Jade Patrick Misa.

The musicians are Nieson Castil; Mark Ryan Torrente who also acts as assistant choreographer; Josephine Flores; and Vilma Natividad. Thely Agullo is the Costume Mistress; Daniel Guarino is the Props Manager; Imelda Lagutan is the assistant head of delegation; Jerry Mores is the choreographer and lead musician and Mr. Jess de Paz is the Head of Delegation and Artistic Director.

On July 4, the young Filipino dancers performed for ten minutes at the Ancol Recreation Park. On July 5, they rehearsed together with the other 9 participating groups from various countries, at the Pekan Raya Jakarta and on July 6, all the participating groups paraded at the Pekan Raya Jakarta.

On Sunday, the young Filipino dancers were given 10 minutes to perform at the Maxima Dufan and on July 8, at the Mal Ciputra and Ancol Plaza Semanggi.

On July 9, the group will perform longer, 15 minutes to be exact, at the Ancol Recreation Park/Beach while on July 10, at the Ancol Recreation Park/Arts Market, the group will perform for 20 minutes.

The closing ceremony will be on July 11, at the Ancol Recreation Park /Putri Duyung Cottage.

Here is wishing the young dancers of the Kaliawan Performing Arts Group the very best.





Region 8 bikers converge for a 2-day summit

By BONG PEDALINO (PIA Southern Leyte)
July 10, 2008

HILONGOS, Leyte  –  Various bikers’ organizations in the entire region are expected to descend to this town by weekend, July 12-13, to promote “biking and non-motorized transport as a social development cause for healthy lifestyle, healthy economy, healthy environment.”

In a press release emailed to PIA, among the groups identified as the organizers of the activity included the Team PEDAL TREKKERS of Hilongos, LGORA OF Palo, NABIC of Abuyog, Bilin ng Mamamayang Konsyumer (BILMAKO) and the Environment Legal Assistance Center (ELAC).

“This is a call for everyone to contribute to lighten the burden amidst oil crisis and global warming,” the press statement said.

In the afternoon of Saturday, July 12, at about five to six, a “fire bath at the park” will be held in the sprawling playground of the Hilongos National Vocational High School (HNVHS), wherein all participating bikers – men, women, and children – will take a bath using water hosed from a fire-truck.

The fire bath event will be one of the major highlights of the two-day conference which was being sponsored by Hilongos Mayor Panfilo Go and the Municipal Council.

“The two-day activity opens in the morning of July 12, Saturday, with the traditional fun race engaging veteran bikers and teen-agers in different categories to foster camaraderie and common values among bikers from different provinces,” the statement said.

This will be followed by an interactive program on healthy lifestyle and a healthy environment.

The morning of Sunday July 13 will feature a bike parade led by a caravan of pedicabs belonging to the Hilongos Pedicab Operators and Drivers Organization (HIPODA), the bikers, and fully supported by the Hilongos Police, Health workers and Firemen.

“The Bike Summit will culminate in the official declaration of the HNVHS Sports Complex as the First Bike Park. Bikers will plant hundreds of fruit bearing trees at the Bike Park and turn them over to Hilongos Mayor Panfilo Go and school officials for proper care,” the press statement further said.





Samar PDCC convened, launched disaster preparedness activities

July 8, 2008

CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar  –  Three days after typhoon “Frank” hit Samar, the Samar Provincial Disaster Coordinating Council (PDCC) was first convened last June 24. Mr. Romeo Reales, the Provincial Administrator, issued a memorandum, dated June 23, 2008, in behalf of the governor directing heads of national and local agencies to attend the PDCC meeting at 9:00 A.M., the following day. Despite being questioned for not having followed the protocol where the DILG as the council’s secretariat should formally call on the attendance of all members, Mr. Romeo Reales presided over the said meeting. The late notice sent to the members explains why there were just 15 offices which were represented.

Samar PDCC meeting
The July 1 PDCC meeting at the Samar SP Session Hall

During the said meeting, discussions on the urgency of reactivating the PDCC, reorganizing its membership and the identification of the Area Coordinating Council were recommended. Members were also made to submit assessment reports and actions taken regarding typhoon damages. Deadline for its submission was set last June 26.  The reports will be made as basis for the declaration of a state of calamity in the Province.

It must be recalled that the Office of the Governor has always been under fire by the media for its inability to convene the PDCC for the past six years now. The absence of an Area Coordinating Center, which will serve as the receiving office for all reports of damages and requests for assistance and act as the dispatch center for all rescue and relief operations during calamities, was identified as the reason why no assistance from the national level has been extended to Samareños. Thus, it was resolve that a portion of the governor’s office will be the province’s ACC and that both personnel and communication facilities will be provided in order that such office becomes functional.

Likewise, for several typhoons in the past that hit Samar, government employees were not able to avail of calamity loans from the GSIS. Still, the absence of the PDCC and the inability to comply with the legal requirements in declaring the province under a state of calamity was positively seen as the underlying reason.

In a follow-up meeting held last July 1, 2008, a kick-off activity for the celebration of the National Disaster Preparedness Month that fall on July, was finally drafted. A mass and a motorcade on July 3 will be joined by all member offices. An earthquake drill in selected establishments will be given by the Office of Civil Defense thru the Department of Trade and Industry on the same date.  On July 17-18, at the Provincial Gym, the Boy Scouts of the Philippines will administer First Aid Seminars to teams who will be directly involved in rescue operations. In addition, the Samar State University will conduct an IEC and Geo Hazard Seminar on July 23, 2008 at the SSU campus.  As a culminating activity, the Bureau of Fire will be conducting fire drills on July 30. All these activities were intended to keep everyone informed and be prepared during disasters.

However, while most people welcome these PDCC developments and while a state of calamity is still undeclared in the province, there are still people who believe that the governor will be pushing for its immediate declaration.  According to a reliable source, there are already disbursements made for relief assistance extended to several municipalities by the office of the governor.  Funds are to be sourced out for the purpose and the 5% calamity fund has been eyed to justify these disbursements, sources said.





23 vintage bombs thrown by unidentified man at the PPA wharf retrieved

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 8, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  About 23 vintage bombs were retrieved after they were allegedly thrown into the waters by an unidentified man on Sunday afternoon, Philippine Ports Authority Manager Winfred Elizalde informed.

Manager Elizalde said that the port security guard accosted a man who entered the PPA gate with a sack full of vintage bombs. The man who claimed to be an asset of the Philippine National Police was allowed entry because he said that he was turning over the said bombs to the PNP at the port area.

Since there are two police units in the Port Area, the CIDG and the Police Maritime Group, the security guard allegedly granted the man entry.

However, it was observed that instead of turning to the right where the Police Groups were housed, the man went towards the wharf area and threw the sack he was carrying.

Manager Elizalde said that when he learned about the incident on Monday, he immediately coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine National Police Region 8.

The Philippine Coast Guard divers retrieved 22 World War II vintage grenades inside the sack. To make sure however, the divers scoured the waters once more and found another one, making the total number of retrieved grenades to 23.

Manager Elizalde called the Explosives and Ordinance Disposal Unit of the Philippine National Police Region 8 through General Abner Cabalquinto. The Explosives and Ordinance Disposal team declared the vintage bombs as active.

The retrieved bombs are now in the possession of the Philippine National Police for proper disposition. Manager Elizalde said even as he gave the assurance that the Port Area is safe and that the Philippine National Police is now making the necessary action as to the identity and motive of the suspect.

The question is why did the man bring the bombs inside the port area and threw them into the water? Another nagging question is where did he get the bombs? There might be more from where he got them and the same might go into the wrong hands. The authorities must be able to answer these questions, and soon.





Radio segment advocating literacy launched in region 8

By Philippine Information Agency (PIA 8)
July 8, 2008

TACLOBAN CITY, Leyte  –  The “Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan” Radio Segment which aims to intensify the Literacy Coordinating Council’s advocacy and social mobilization promoting literacy endeavor through radio broadcast, was launched on July 3 with no less than Literacy Coordinating Council Chairman Ramon Bacani, who is also Department of Education’s Undersecretary.

The launching coincided with the maiden airing of the radio segment live, in seven radio stations in Region 8 strategically located in each of the six provinces of the Region.

The launching was witnessed by the officials of the Literacy Coordinating Council who accompanied Usec Bacani, Dr. Minda Sutaria who is an LCC consultant; Dr. Norma Salcedo who is the executive director; and Ms. Liza Cuizia from the Philippine Information Agency Central Office.

The launching was also witnessed by the officials of the Department of Education Region 8, the Philippine Information Agency Region 8 staff, and the members of the local tri-media.

With the Philippine Information Agency as the project implementor, the Literacy Laban sa Kahirapan radio segment hopes to promote the policy thrusts, directions and programs initiated by the Literacy Coordinating Council; to underscore the importance of functional literacy in the empowerment of people and in poverty and hunger mitigation efforts.

Through the Radio segment, the Literacy Coordinating Council hopes to convince the parents on the importance of sending their children to school or to non-formal schools for out of school children; and to encourage out of school youth and Indigenous people to avail of non-formal schools, placements and assessment programs.

More importantly, the Literacy Laban Sa Kahirapan seeks to serve as an instrument of functional literary.

The once a week radio segment will be aired at Radio Diwa and DYVL Aksyon Radyo in Tacloban City, Leyte; Radio Natin in Naval, Biliran; DYDM in Maasin, Southern Leyte; DYMS in Catbalogan City, Samar; DYES in Borongan City, Eastern Samar; and DYSM in Catarman, Northern Samar.

Although the maiden airing was hosted by PIA Director Olive Tiu and was done simultaneously in all the seven radio stations, the radio segment in its succeeding episodes will be hosted by PIA Director Olive Tiu in Tacloban City; Manager Flor Jackson in Biliran; Manager Erna Gorne in Southern Leyte; Manager Ninfa Quirante in Samar; Manager Alice Nicart in Eastern Samar; and Manager Nene Manzanares in Northern Samar.

This will be so because the respective province’s dialect will be used in the succeeding episodes. Director Tiu said that although the dialect in Leyte and Samar is called waray, there is the Estehanon Waray and the Nortehanon Waray which vary greatly. Both Southern Leyte and Biliran speak the Cebuano dialect but they also have different versions of Cebuano.

Director Tiu said that the Philippine Information Agency Region 8 is working closely with the Department of Education in Region 8 particularly the Alternative Learning System Division regarding this project, which is a pilot project of LCC.





Barrera die-hard praises Pacquiao for gesture in helping David Diaz

July 5, 2008

LAREDO, Texas   A classic act.

This was how Escobar Lamazon, a die-hard fan of former world boxing champion Marco Antonio Barrera here, described the "gesture of compassion" of Manny Pacquiao when he tried to help the fallen and dethroned World Boxing Council (WBC) lightweight champion David Diaz who absorbed a heart-rending 9th round disposal loss in their 12-round championship battle at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 28.

"Pacquiao won the hearts of millions of Mexicans who watched the fight because of that single classic act," said the 65-year-old Lamazon who operates a restaurant here.

He was referring to Pacquiao's attempt to bring Diaz back on his feet after referee Vic Draculich pulled the plug two minutes gone in the ninth round as Diaz laid on the canvas.

Minutes ago, Pacquiao uncorked three dazzling combinations and finished of the rock-chinned Diaz with a wicked short left to the right jaw.

The seasoned referee did not bother to count and ruled Pacquiao winner by technical knockout (TKO).

Diaz, who had cuts under his right eyebrow and nose the bridge, was bloodied since round three and was losing in all the three judges' scorecards by a mile when Pacquiao connected the brutal punch.

Lamazon, an American of Mexican descent, said it's been a long time since he saw a boxer trying to help a down opponent especially in world title fights.

"Normally, two boxers in a world championship are really in conflict throughout the fight and they don't care if one of them gets beheaded. That's how brutal boxing can be. But Pacquiao showed the world that boxing is not a brutal sport at all," added the bemoustached Lamazon.

Lamazon said as a Mexican-American "it was but normal that I was hurt" when Pacquiao first demolished in the 11th round his favorite Mexican warrior Barrera five years ago in a non-title fight in San Antonio, Texas.

"But now, I like Pacquiao," he concluded. "No more hatred."



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