Tuesday, December 11, 2012

18th Hot Air Balloon festival

The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Foundation Incorporated has set the 18th hot air balloon festival on February 21 to 24, 2013.

A memorandum of agreement (MOA) was recently forged by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), PIHABF, and Manila International Airport Authority (MIAA).

Officials present during the agreement signing at the MIAA board room were President and acting CDC President Arnel Paciano Casanova; CIAC President and Chief Executive Officer Victor Jose Luciano and PIHABF President Captain Joy Roa.

The upcoming 18th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta titled “A Weekend of Everything that Flies” will be held at the Omni Aviation Complex in the Clark Freeport.

CDC Tourism Promotions Manager Noemi Garcia, MIAA General Manager Jose Angel Honrado, CDC Executive Vice-President Philip Panlilio, CIAC Executive Vice-President and COO Bienvenido Manga and CDC Assistant Vice-President Bernie Angeles were also present during the MOA signing.

In 2012, some 26 balloons, including six specially shaped balloons with shapes of a car, birthday cake, ice cream, Sunkist, and a Kiwi mascot, were flown.

by: Reynaldo Navales

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Withdraw Pamintuan awards – newsman

Veteran mediaman Robledo Sanchez on December 4 forwarded a letter to Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Secretary Manuel “Mar” Roxas II requesting the agency to review the awards given to the Pamintuan administration.

In his letter, Sanchez said the issue of irregularities surrounding the Pamintuan administration, particularly the controversial “ghost employees” in the job order appointments, do not resonate with the corrupt-free government advocacy of the Aquino administration.

A copy of the letter was also forwarded to DILG regional director Florida Dijan.

Sanchez also cited the case of several barangay officials who denied any knowledge about the inclusion of their relatives’ names in the list of the Pamintuan administration’s job order appointments.

According to the barangay officials, the names of their relatives have been included in the list of job order employees even when their relatives are not even working for City Hall and have never received any salary from the City Government.

Among these officials are Barangay Lourdes Northwest Kagawad and Councilmen’s League of Angeles City (CLAC) Vice-President for External Affairs William David, Barangay Cutcut Kagawad and CLAC Executive Vice-President Roy Ogurida, Barangay Salapungan Kagawad Renato Coronel and Barangay Margot Kagawad Nenita Ferrer.

Sanchez also cited the observations of the City Project Monitoring Committee regarding the projects of the City Government, which are allegedly poorly planned, poorly constructed and perceived to be overpriced.

Sanchez also mentioned the several irregularities cited by COA in its Annual Audit Report for Angeles City for the year 2011, which include unliquidated cash advances amounting to P19.4 million, unbooked hospital equipment donations amounting to P13.9 million, and reimbursements of non-petty expenses amounting to P9.6 million.

On October 19, 2012, Sanchez filed graft and corruption charges against Pamintuan, City Accountant Wilfredo Tiotuico, City Budget Officer Fe Corpuz, City Treasurer Juliet Quinsaat and other department heads over the 2,506 job order employees employed by the Pamintuan administration.

by: Reynaldo Navales

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Barangay leaders’ kin tag as ‘ghost employees’

Robledo Sanchez has continued revealing pieces of evidence on the "ghost" job order employees appointed by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.
In a press statement, Sanchez said relatives of several barangay officials are under the payroll of Pamintuan as job order employees.
“Ang masama pa dito, ang mga residente ng barangay mismo ang magpapatunay na ang mga kamag-anak ng mga barangay official na kasama sa job order ay hindi naman talaga nagtatrabaho,” Sanchez said.
Sanchez was referring to Edward “Sakurai” Gueco, son of Barangay Malabanias Kagawad Antonia Gueco, who is listed as an Administrative Assistant and earning a daily rate of P500.
Sanchez said barangay residents attest that Edward Gueco is not actually working for the City Government and is, in fact, in Singapore.
Sanchez also cited the case of Nestle Joy Paras, wife of Malabanias Kagawad Edwin Nacu’s brother, who is allegedly not reporting for work because she is at home taking care of her two children.
Paras is also designated as an Administrative Assistant under the Philhealth Program of the Office of the Mayor and is given a daily rate of P500.
“Kung may mga sumesweldo kahit hindi naman nagtatrabaho, ibig sabihin, nagtatapon ang administrasyon ng pera ng mga mamamayang nagbabayad ng tax,” Sanchez said.
Also included in the names of job order employees listed by Sanchez are Jonathan Gonzales, son of Malabanias Kagawad Santiago Gonzales, Norberto Tanhueco, husband of former Barangay Pulung Bulu Chairwoman Gloria Tanhueco, Daniel Zaballa, husband of Pulungbulo Kagawad Lorna Zaballa.
“Mukhang gumagawa ng political machinery ang administrasyon,” said Sanchez. “Pero ginagawa nila ang political machinery na ito at the expense of the people. Pera iyan ng tao.”
On October 19, 2012, Sanchez filed a complaint against Pamintuan, City Accountant Wilfredo Tiotuico, City Budget Officer Fe Corpuz, City Treasurer Juliet Quinsaat and the different respective Department Heads before the Office of the Ombudsman in relation to the 2,506 job order employees of the City Government.

by: Sunstar Pampanga

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Clark workers to get more jobs

 Congressman-wannabe Francis Nepomuceno said he is in talks with union leaders of the Clark Freeport Zone (CFZ) in a bid to give more jobs to some 70,000 CFZ workers of the city.

Nepomuceno said he will provide livelihood opportunities, which will come in the form of cooperatives, to the Clark workers through their respective unions such as the Samahang Manggagawa ng DMIA (SMD), Association of Concerned CDC Employees (ACCES), and Association of CDC Supervisory Personel (ACSP).

“Nais po nating pangalagaan ang karapatan ng mga manggagawa sa Clark Freeport Zone dahil sila po ang mga bayani na nagtataguyod sa ekonomiya hindi lamang dito sa Pampanga kundi sa buong bansa,” Nepomuceno said.

The Clark Development Corporation (CDC), earlier, reported that the number of CFZ workers reached more than 70,000, an all-time high employment record.

The CDC-Customer Service Department added there are now 70,097 workers, an increase of 3,874 from June to July of 2012.

Nepomuceno said more workers will be needed as more business firms are to be located in the Clark Freeport Zone. Tourism-related projects in Clark are also expected to increase employment opportunities, not only for the residents of the Metro Clark area, but also in the provinces of Tarlac and Pampanga.

He said several business process outsourcing (BPO) and industrial firms have plans to expand their operations in Clark and this will generate more jobs.

by: Rey Navales

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Nothing wrong with backchannel talks

Sen. Drilon said he sees nothing wrong with Trillanes' backchannel talks with the Chinese since these were authorized by Malacañang. Trillanes earlier said it was Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa who authorized the backroom negotiations with the Chinese.

In interviews conducted by the Philippine Daily Inquirer, Senator Antonio Trillanes IV emerged as the negotiator working independently for President Benigno Aquino in Beijing.

In a phone interview, Trillanes said, “If Secretary Del Rosario was only close to being effective as a foreign secretary, then there wouldn’t be any need for a back channel in the first place.”

Trillanes has made no secret about his opinion that Del Rosario is unfit to represent the Philippines on the negotiating table with China because of his allegedly rabid opposition to any peaceful settlement with Beijing and his purported desire to bring the United States into the confrontation.

The senator said this was shown by a series of actions Del Rosario had allegedly made that appeared to intensify, rather than ease, the conflict between the two countries.

Trillanes earlier accused Enrile of being a lackey of former President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, saying the Senate President is pushing for the passage of a measure to split Camarines Sur.

On the other hand, Enrile accused Trillanes of selling out the country to Chinese interests after being involved with backchannel talks with Chinese officials

Sen. Franklin Drilon on Thursday admitted he is saddened by the ongoing word war between Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Sen. Antonio Trillanes IV.

Drilon said it was the first time that he has seen such conduct in his 15 years in the chamber especially after the two senators started resorting to personal attacks.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Next DILG Secretary

President Aquino will announce his choice for the new interior and secretary before he leaves for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (Apec) Summit in Russia next week.

We saw posted in Facebook last week a news item about Sen. Panfilo “Ping” Lacson confirming his interest in the position of DILG secretary

A closer look at the news item, however, showed that the date was June 2012 after President Aquino announced that two senators are being eyed for a cabinet position after their elected term expires in June 2013.

When asked if they were Lacson and Sen. Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, Aquino replied, ““Those two in particular.”

Cebu City Mayor Michael Rama  made his own proposal, saying former tourism secretary Robert “Ace” Durano would be a suitable DILG secretary.

He said Durano proved his management capabilities during his time as tourism secretary.

Durano also has a background in local governance being a former congressman of Cebu’s 5th district, Rama added.

Among the nominees for the DILG post were Cavite Rep. Joseph Emilio Abaya.

Abaya is being lobbied by Transportation and Communications Secretary Mar Roxas while President Benigno Aquino III reportedly has  eyes set on Sen. Panfilo Lacson.

Like Robredo, Rama said the next DILG Secretary should have occupied a local elective position or has ties with the academe with exemplary management capabilities.

“If the next DILG secretary has no exposure with local government units he will have  a hard time,” he said.

Rama said Manila Mayor Alfredo Lim is another likely candidate due to his previous stint as DILG secretary.

As chairman of the Regional Development Council (RDC), Rama said he can campaign for Durano’s candidacy.

He said he tried but was unable to contact Energy  Secretary Rene Almendras and Budget Secretary Buth Abad about his suggestion.

Robredo, whose appointment as DILG secretary was made only in June 2011 after almost a year as acting secretary (he was never confirmed by the Commission on Appointments ) was asked if he thought he still enjoyed the trust and confidence of the President and he said,”Yes.”

It is understandable that political groups would want dominion over DILG because not only does it have supervision over the Philippine National Police but also the local government units.

The LGUs are composed of 79 provinces, 38 cities and Metro Manila. It’s a potent political network.

Balay is said to be concerned that if Lacson makes good at the DILG, especially in the matter of peace and order, he would think of running again for president in 2016 and would be a stumbling block to Roxas presidential bid.

Just a thought: if Lacson makes good in the DILG, would that not be good for the country? Why would the peace and order situation in the country be held hostage by the presidential ambition of one politician?

One legitimate observation about Lacson, however, is that his rigid style of leadership may not sit well with local politicians.

Even if Lacson would not join the presidential race in 2016, he is seen as more leaning towards the Samar faction than Balay. If that’s the case, Balay would be worried that the LGU network would be used for Binay instead of them using it for Roxas.

Two factions in President Aquino’s Cabinet—dubbed the “Balay” and “Samar” groups, based on their area of operations during the 2010 presidential campaign—are competing to have their candidates fill in the DILG post.

Robredo’s successor would be the main agenda at the Aug. 29 meeting of the Liberal Party at its Balay headquarters in the home of Roxas, also LP president, in Cubao, Quezon City.

Aside from Abaya and Lim, also being considered were former Isabela Gov. Grace Padaca and Davao City Vice Mayor Rodrigo Duterte.

But sources said the emergence of Vice President Jejomar Binay of the Samar group as a potential successor of Robredo in the DILG has led some party members to call on Roxas “to step up to the plate and move to the DILG.”

The Samar group was Mr. Aquino’s campaign team on Samar Avenue in Quezon City.

In Cebu, a caravan held by the Criminal Investigation and Detection Group (CIDG) and Community Investigative Support (CIS) to honor Robredo passed by major streets in Cebu and Mandaue cities yesterday afternoon.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Ano ang Naaalala Mo Sa MT. PINATUBO ERUPTION Dalawang Dekada Ang Nakakaraan?

Ang Pinatubo ay isang "bulkang natutulog" sa loob ng halos limang siglo at ito ang naging tahanan ng mga kababayan nating mga aeta o ita mula nang dumating ang mga Kastilang sumakop sa atin noon. Sa kanyang pagkagising, napilitan ang mga naninirahan dito na magsilikas at pumunta sa kabayanan. Natatandaan ko noong mga panahong iyon ang pagdasa ng mga katutubong "Agta" sa Maynila. Sinakop nila ang lahat ng pwedeng sakupin. Ginawa nilang isang malaking evacuation center ang kahabaan ng lansangan. Noong una ay nagbibigay pa kami ng tulong sa mga namamalimos at nagbabahay-bahay dahil sa awa pero nang lumaon ay 'di na dahil sa dami nila. Hindi ka na magugulat noon kung makakakita ka ng mga batang itang naghahabulan sa mga islands ng EDSA.

Ang totoo rin, sa kanyang pagputok ko lang nalaman na pwede pa lang maging bulkan ang isang bundok! Nasanay kasi ko na kapag bulkan ang tinutukoy, “volcano” ang inilalagay sa hulihan ng pangalan tulad ng sa Mayon at Taal.

Isang “nobody” ang bulkang ito kaya nga siguro “Mt. Pinatubo” ang ipinangalan ni dating presidenteng Ramon Magsaysay, isang tubong Zambales, sa kanyang C-47 presidential plane para ito ay makilala. Ang siste nga lang, mas nabaon sa limot nang mag-crash ito sa Cebu noong 1957 na naging dahilan ng pagkasawi ng presidente at kasamang 24 katao.

Hindi pa nakakaahon ang administrasyon ni yumaong Tita Cory sa pagkabulabog ng Luzon dahil sa lindol ng July 16, 1990, isang kalamidad pa ang sumubok sa kanyang panunungkulan. Maraming eksperto ang nagsasabing ang lindol ng 1990 ang isa sa mga dahilan kung bakit sumabog ang bulkan. Ang epicenter kasi ng 7.7 na pagyanig ay nasa Cabanatuan, 100 km lang ng Pinatubo. Dalawang linggo matapos ang malakas na lindol ay nakakitaan ng mga “volcanic steams” ang bundok ngunit ito ay hindi itinuring ng mga siyentipiko bilang “eruptive activity”.

March 15, 1991 nang unang magpakita ng senyales ang Pinatubo na gusto nitong magpasabog ng kung ano mang nararamdamang init nito sa katawan. Sunud-sunod na pagyanig at pagbuga ng SULFURIC ASHES ang naranasan ng mga taong naninirahan malapit sa kinatatayuan nito sa mga sumunod na buwan. Nagsimulang magbigay ng babala ang PHIVOLCS o Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology na kailangang lisanin ang mga lugar na malapit sa bundok. Ang unang “magmatic eruption” o ang pagkakataong nilabasan na ang bulkan ay naganap noong June 3, 1991. Ito ay nasundan pa ng ilang pagsirit noong June 12, 13, at 14. Nanlupaypay na ang tigasing bundok noong June 15, 1991. Nagbuga lang naman daw ito ng 800,000 tons ng zinc, 600,000 tons ng copper, 550,000 tons ng chromium, 300,000 tons ng nickel, 100,000 tons ng lead, 10,000 tons ng arsenic, 1000 tons ng cadmium, and 800 tons ng mercury.

Kitang-kita ko sa teevee kung paano nilamon ng abo ang mga lugar na malapit dito. Laman ng mga balita ang paglubog ng mga lugar sa Pampanga - mga bubungan nalang ang makikita sa mga bahay na nakatirik doon. Animo ay naging isang malaking disyerto ang dating masiglang kapatagan. Mas mahirap ang mga sumunod na araw matapos ang pagsabog dahil tag-ulan na nang mga panahon iyon. Nang maghalo ng tubig-ulan at abo galing bulkan ay nabuo ang tinatawag na "LAHAR" (Naaalala ko tuloy bigla 'yung asong si Laharsky na alaga ng pinsan kong si Bambie). Sinubukan itong solusyunan ng pamahalaan sa pamamagitan ng mga istrukturang tinawag na MEGADIKES pero ito ay nauwi sa wala dahil tinipid ng mga potang kurakot at balasubas na mga inhinyerong pulpol. Ang mga pananggala sana sa lahar ay walang tibay kaya ito ay gumuho.

Isang umaga ay nagising kami na may bumabagsak na snow mula sa kalangitan. Hindi pa naman winter kaya kami ay nagtaka. Mas nagtaka kami nang maalala naming nasa Pilipinas nga pala kami kaya imposibleng magka-niyebe! Abo pala ang bumabagsak na 'yun. Parang 'yung sa isang scene sa pelikulang "Schindler's List" kung saan tinangay ng hangin ang abo ng mga Hudyong sinunog. Hindi lang sa Pampanga at Maynila ito naranasan dahil hanggang Vietnam, Cambodia, at Malaysia ay umabot ito. Napakahirap ng may ashfall dahil kailangan mong linisin ang bubungan mo kung ayaw mong gumuho ito dahil sa kabigatan. Sa totoo lang, ito ang naging sanhi ng pagkamatay ng karamihan. Kailangang sarado rin ang mga bintana para 'di pasukin ng alikabok ang bahay. Mayroon namang isang balita sa tabloid noon ang kumalat - ang Pinatubo daw ay nagbubuga ng mga old coins dahil may nakukuha raw nito ang mga naglilinis ng bubong ng mga bahay ng apektadong lugar! Natawa nalang si Ka Ernie nang mai-feature niya ito sa kanyang segment sa TV Patrol. Taena naman kasi ang kabobohang pinaniwalaan ng iba!

Ang abong ibinuga ang bumalot sa alapaap ng mga lugar na malapit sa bulkan at ito ay isang dahilan para maging madilim ang kapaligiran. Malaki ang naging epekto nito hindi lang sa atin kundi pati na rin sa buong mundo. Dahil sa laki ng aerosol na ibinuga sa stratosphere, nagkaroon ng climate change - bumaba ang global temperture ng 0.5 °C (0.9 °F). Naging dahilan din ang Pinatubo sa maliit na pagkasira ng ozone layer.

Sa kabila ng pagpapahirap nito sa ating bayan ay maraming mga militanteng grupo ang natuwa sa pagsabog ng bulkan dahil natupad na rin sa wakas ang kanilang pangarap na mapaalis ang mga base-militar ni Uncle Sam na U.S. Naval Base Subic Bay sa Olongapo at Clark Air Base sa Pampanga. Ilang kilos-protesta ang 'di pinansin ng mga puti pero nang sila ay maambunan ng abo, nagmamadali silang lumisan paalis ng Pinas. Kawawa naman tuloy ang mga entertainers at hospitality gurls nating naiwanan.

Bilyun-bilyong pesoses ang nawala dahil sa pagkasira ng mga ari-arian, panananim, at iba pang mga istruktura kaya nahirapan ang pamahalaan na muling makabangon. May mga NGO's ang nagtulungan upang mabigyan ng kabuhayan ang mga naapektuhan. Naaalala ko 'yung panahon na napakaraming ibinebenta ang SM na mga keychains, figurines, at kung anu-ano pang borloloy na gawa sa volcanic debris. Ang kita daw nito ay igugugol sa pagtulong sa mga nasalanta. May mga grupo namang gumawa ng hollow blocks mula sa mga gabundok na abong naibuga ng Pinatubo ngunit 'di naman ito napansin ng mga hardwares dahil mahinang klase ito sa construction.

Ang bangungot na inihatid sa atin ng kalamidad na ito ay mahirap malimutan. Ngunit mula sa pagkakalugmok natin ay kinaya nating muling makabangon. Ang balita ko, isang napakagandang tourist spot na ang bunganga ng Pinatubo. May nabuo ditong isang lawa na talaga namang dinadayo ng mga dayuhan.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Philippines 'willing to share' Spratlys

President Benigno Aquino III is willing to share with other countries in the region the benefits of the natural gas deposits in the disputed territories in the West Philippine Sea. But he said he will not be a party to the ceding of portions of the Philippine archipelago to a foreign power like China.
Speaking before a general assembly of alumni of US universities late Wednesday, Aquino said the Philippine government continues to talk with the Chinese for a mutually beneficial solution to their standoff over the Panatag (Scarborough) Shoal as well as other disputed territories in the area.
"I am not empowered to give up any of our territory," the President said in answer to a suggestion that "a win-win solution" might be for the two countries to split the US$35 trillion worth of natural gas that another disputed territory, the Recto Bank, is believed to hold.
The Recto Bank (international name: Reed Bank), which lies within the Philippines' 200 nautical-mile (370 kilometres) economic zone, is located abut 150 km east of the Spratly chain of islets, which is claimed in whole or in part by Brunei, Malaysia, Taiwan and Vietnam, as well as the Philippines and China.
The Recto Bank, which is said to have oil and gas deposits that reach deep into the Cuyo Islands in Palawan, has been the subject of numerous exploration campaigns by the Philippines in the past.
The Philippines last year filed a diplomatic protest against China after two Chinese ships reportedly harassed a vessel that had been contracted by the government to undertake oil exploration activities in the bank.
Aquino acknowledged that the huge benefits from the resources in the disputed territories could free the region from dependence on fossil fuel from Middle Eastern and North African countries.
"If we are able to exploit these resources, that redounds to benefits for the entire region," he said.
He said the parties to the dispute "should work towards easing the problems and the concerns of our respective peoples in the here and now and not in some future date where, you know, it is not a fair solution."
"If it's clear that we have a 200-mile economic zone, exclusive economic zone, designated by the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Seas, and both of us are parties to it, is it too much to ask that our rights are respected by our neighbours in the same token that we respect their rights?" he said.
The President said the Philippines doesn't have to be "the sole winner of exploitation of resources" in the disputed areas. He said the country has always been a good neighbour to other countries in the Asia Pacific.
However, it has to draw the line when it should look after its rightful interests, he said.
"Recto Bank is 80 miles from us. There are areas that are even closer...So if we keep on subtracting about 30 per cent-and not to be flippant about it-if you don't draw the line somewhere, will we be having claims against us on the Pasig River or other rivers?" he added.
He stressed that the Philippines was resolved on a peaceful and diplomatic solution to the disputes with China, noting that it cannot afford to engage Beijing militarily.
"So we are exploring ways and means to resolve the conflict. We keep on reemphasising that we are not for conflict. We do not want to present a threat to them in any shape, manner or form, or whatsoever in terms of military action," he said.
"If it were just a boxing match, they're 1.3 billion and we're 93 million. We will not prevail. That is not the route and our Constitution actually prohibits it," he said.
Paranaque Rep. Roilo Golez said there is an upside to the tension between the Philippines and China over the Panatag Shoal dispute.
He said the Philippines' refusal to bow down to China has united many Filipinos against a common enemy and earned the country respect from other groups and nations.
"This extended standoff, with the Philippines not buckling down against the world's second most powerful country, is gaining for us international respect and moral support," Golez said in a statement.
"It is a unifying and rallying force. Even Filipino groups outside the country have mobilised themselves in support of our cause," he said.
It also shows the world that the Philippines has a strong and steadfast foreign policy that does not crumble under economic pressure and veiled military threats, Golez said.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Radical changes by MMDA

Filipino artists paint a mural on a wall in EDSA, a main highway, with air-purifying paint in Metro Manila February 1, 2012. A local paint manufacturing company is doing large massive artworks using paints that can clean noxious air pollutants along EDSA, a 24 kilometer stretch highway in Metro Manila, which is reported to have the fourth most polluted air among major cities in the world.

To develop Metro Manila, it may be necessary for the city to move out.

Metro Manila Development Authority chairman Francis Tolentino said Friday that to make a better Metro Manila, there must be radical changes, which might include relocating the seaport to Batangas.

The old seaport space could then house a new Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Speaking before the Philippine Tour Operators Association, Tolentino said Singapore, Hong Kong, and Japan have airports by the sea. "It's only here where the airport is inside a subdivision," he said.

In a related development, Transportation and Communications Secretary Manuel Roxas II said over DZMM on Friday that air operations may also have to be moved to Clark in Angeles because the runways in NAIA are congested.

Clearing the seaport will also remove container vans and large trucks in the port and San Marcelino areas, Tolentino said.

However, to execute such a plan and to extend planned Roxas Boulevard all the way to Navotas, require a large-scale relocation of residents, he said.

Metro Manila will also have to expand to parts of Rizal, Bulacan, and Laguna, he said.

A six-lane Skybridge from Quezon City to Makati is also being eyed. Tolentino said the Skybridge is expected to reduce 40 percent of traffic from Epifanio Delos Santos Avenue.

A planned extension of train lines to Cavite and Antipolo is also expected to decongest Metro Manila, which has around 14 million residents.

He said these proposals are part of Metro Manila Greenprint 2030, a long-term development plan that seeks to raise the standard of living in the metropolis.

Greenprint is currently being formulated and a final development plan is expected by June next year.

"The model here is to relocate little by little our government center," he said.

He said the same was done in Malaysia, where government offices were moved to Putrajaya from Kuala Lumpur in 1999. 

Brazil also founded Brasilia in the 1960s to replace Rio De Janeiro as the capital.

"We can retain the current spaces for heritage, residential, and mixed-use purposes," he said, but Manila has to move away from the center.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

The Scarborough Shoal Incursion

A diplomatic cable released by whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks said China could not specify a historical document to support its claims to disputed islands in the West Philippine Sea.

In diplomatic cable 08BEIJING3499 sent to Washington by the US embassy in Beijing on Sept. 9, 2008, a Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) official and a local scholar could not identify specific historical records to justify China’s “Nine Dashes” claim that covers the whole Spratlys and areas within other countries’ exclusive economic zones.

MFA Department of Treaty and Law Oceans and Law of the Sea Division Deputy Director Yin Wenqiang told a US embassy political officer on Aug. 30, 2008 that “China has indisputable sovereignty over the islands in the South China Sea and the adjacent waters.”

China has dispatched a powerful military vessel in the South China Sea after rejecting a Philippine proposal to submit the Panatag Shoal dispute, now on its 10th day, to international arbitration, Chinese media reported Thursday.

The English-language China Daily based in Beijing said China’s most advanced fishing patrol vessel, the Yuzheng 310, had been sent to protect Chinese fishermen in the region, which Manila calls the West Philippine Sea.

The newspaper, regarded as a guide to official Chinese policy, said that Beijing’s latest moves underscored its “determination to protect its maritime interests in response to Manila’s refusal to withdraw ships from Chinese waters.”

Yuzheng 310, described as the fastest fishery administration vessel, left Guangzhou on the Pearl River just outside Hong Kong Wednesday morning for an undisclosed place in the South China Sea, it said.

“Yin admitted he is not aware of the historical basis for the ‘Nine Dashes’ and only mentioned unspecified ‘Chinese historical documents’ that indicate the basis for China’s claims on territory west of the Philippines,” the US embassy official said.

According to Wikileaks, Yang said China’s claims “date back to ancient times, prior to the development of the modern nation-state.”

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Are prostitutes criminals?

R.A. 10158, an act decriminalizing vagrancy or Article 202 of the Revised Penal Code, was published today Apr. 4, in Manila Bulletin and The Philippine Star. The law takes effect on April 19, 2012 or 15 days after publication.

Liza Gonzales, a survivor of prostitution, said in a statement furnished by Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP), “They just passed a law which is highly discriminatory against women. We were singled out, targeted as criminals, while the pimps are decriminalized."

Originally, pimps were identified as belonging to the class of vagrants under the Revised Penal Code. Therefore, with vagrants dropped from the Code under the new law, pimps have also been excluded from being criminally liable.

Jean Enriquez, executive director of CATW-AP said she was shocked by the developments. “It’s the height of betrayal this Lent,” she told. CATW-AP also organized the march held Tuesday.

CATW-AP said that along with allied organizations, they have spent the last nine years lobbying to pass a comprehensive anti-prostitution law which will repeal the Vagrancy Act, not amend it. Their intent is to decriminalize the victims, but punish the buyers and the business.

Enriquez said that prostitutes never “dreamt to be a prostitute as a girl nor were they lazy.” They were “pushed by economic and gender-based violence” and “pulled by the market of buyers and sex profiteers.”

During the dramatization of the Stations of Cross at the rally, “a victim of prostitution and incest spoke,” said Enriquez. She represented the second station, which protestors renamed “Magdalena was sexually abused by her own uncle and grandfather.”

However, they were unaware then that the bill had already been signed into law by on March 27, or seven days earlier, by President Benigno “Noynoy” Aquino.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Katrina Halili confirms pregnancy; Kris Lawrence is the father!

Katrina Halili is allegedly leaving the GMA-7 soap “My Beloved” because of a believed pregnancy that is spreading through the gossip columns of the media. She is playing the antagonist in Marian Rivera and Dingdong Dantes’ love story but maybe not for much longer.

Not only a contraversal pregnancy but also badly timed affecting her current TV show’s filming. Katrina Halili is 3 months pregnant by R+B Singer Kris Lawrence.

"Tinanong ko ang sarili ko kung ready na ba ako na iba naman ang pagtuunan ko ng pansin, at okay naman po. Blessing po ito sa akin kaya masaya po ako," Katrina said

The speculation started from rumours of an actress in the Philippines TV circuit that is part of a primetime soap currently airing is pregnant with her longtime boyfriends child. They had been dating a long time before the video scandal came out yet they broke up because of it.

Is the rumours true or just a media circuit spin to get some free publicity? your guess is as good as mine.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Dialysis centers in 2 Pampanga towns from Vice Gov. Yeng Guiao

The three-termer vice governor also said that construction will start next month.

“We are looking at having the center in Magalang operational by May this year. After that, we will move on to Mabalacat for another dialysis center, he said.

Vice Governor Joseller “Yeng” Guiao said over the weekend that he and some private partners will build dialysis centers for the poorest of the poor in Magalang and Mabalacat towns.

“We will start with a building worth P1 million to P2 million at the Andres Luciano [formerly Balitucan District Hospital] Medical Center in Magalang. Then, we will replicate this in Mabalacat so patients from nearby towns like Arayat and Mexico could also avail of services in the dialysis centers,” he said.

Guiao stressed that the centers will have 10-bed capacities and would be fully equipped.

“Each building or center will have a capacity of at least 10 beds each. They would be completely and fully equipped. These are in support of Governor Lilia Pineda’s priority health agenda and in line with the administration’s public-private partnership thrusts,” he added.

Guiao recently donated 16 motorized hospital beds to the Andres Luciano Medical Center.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

DMIA mas papatok ba kung ibabalik sa dati nitong pangalan na Clark International Airport?

RA 10086 - An Act Strengthening People's Nationalism through Philippine History by changing the nomenclature of the National Historical Institute of the Philippines, strengthening its powers and functions and for other purposes. Under this Act a revised guidelines were issued: I. Who may name of rename - all public... places (national properties) may be named or renamed by the Phil President through a proclamation or by through legislation III. Character of names - 1. Proposed names must have historical and cultural significance and must contribute to the positive development of national pride through the good example exhibited by the name being used IV. NAMING/RENAMING AFTER PERSONS 1. Street. plaza or any public place may be named or renamed to honor a person or family who contributed to the welfare of the Filipino People. 3. Public places such as the those already named after (Philippine) presidents, national heroes cannot be replaced with the names of people of lessed importance.

Both CIA and DMIA were not named in accordance with this guidelines. DMIA name was approved by the CDC board resolution of 2001, CIA name has no resolution. There is presumption of regularity in using the name DMIA on account of this resolution and two (2) Executive Orders (EOs 193 and 716) empowering Clark International Airport Corporation to manage and operate the Clark Civil Aviation Complex comprising 2,200 hectares and the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

Who is Clark and Who is Diosdado Macapagal?

Clark is Major Harold Clark, and american pilot who perished in a seaplane crash in panama in 1917. During the early years of Phil-American of the last century, the american cavalry forces made a camp or fort north of Angeles, and by virtue of an EO of american president Theodore Roosevelt issued on Sept of 19003 named it as fort stotsenburg. later it became an airfield with the advent of the airplanes and named it as Clark Air Field and in 1949 as Clark Air Base. This name Clark is an imposition to us by our former colonial masters. Tanong ko po - and pag gamit ba ng pangalang clark ay naaayong sa itinatakda ng NHCP guidelines under article I section 1. and under article IV section 3 and 4? Ang paggamit ba ng pangalang Clark ay nakakadagdag sa ating pambansang dignidad? Ano ba ang magandang halimbawa na dapat tularan ng kabataang pilipino sa nagawa taong Clark sa ating bansa? Ano ba ang nagawa ni Clark para mag contribute sa "welfare of the filipino people? Ang gusto ng CIAC board ay ipangalan nalang kay Disodado Macapagal ang terminal at ang airport ay kay Clark - please read again sec 3, article IV of the guidelines - kapag naipangalan mo na sa isang presidente ng ating bansa and isang public place hindi na po ito pwedeng ipangalan sa isang tao na mas mababa and posisyon sa presidente. Presidente po si Disodado Macapagal tapos ang balak ng CIAC ay ipangalan nalang sa kanya ang terminal, at ang buong airport facilities at aviation comples ay ipangalan kay Clark, ang terminal ay isang bahagi lamang ng airport. Hindi po ba demotion ito under the guidelines?

Sino naman po si Diosdao Macapagal - siya po ay first kapampangan president of the philippines, he is the fahter of land reform law that "emancipipated" the farmers from the bondage of the soil they tilled. Galing pos siya sa mahirap na pamilya, Naigapang po niya and kanyang sarili sa pagaaral sa pagtulong ng mga kamaganak at mga mababait na pilantropo para makatapos ng kolehiyo, abugasya, naging congressman at naging presidente. Hindi nabahiran ng anumang anomalya ang kanyang administrayon. Noong pong presidente siya mula 1960-1964, Philippines is second in Asia after Japan in terms of economic develpment. Isa siyang magaling na manunulat at poetang kapampangan, artista sa entablado at marami pang iba. Huwaran po siy at dapat tularan ng mga kabataan dahil sa kanyang marangal na pagkatao. Isang mahirap o dukhang pilipino na nagsikap na magaral at naging presidente ng ating bansa. Kaya ang bansa po sa kanya ay "the poor boy from lubao, pampanga.

Tanong ko po ulit, sino and dapat tularan s Maj. Harold Clark ba na isang amerikano o si Diosdado Macapagal, isang maralitang pilipino na naging presidente ng pilipinas? Sino po ba sa kanila and nagdadagdag ng pambansang dignidad as ating bansa, sino ang nakatulong sa kanila para sa kagalingan ng mga pilipino? Basahin po natin ang guidelines and tanungin po natin ang ating sarili, pipiliin po ba natin ang ating kapwa pilipino o ang pangalang idinikta sa atin ng mga dating colonial masters natin.

Maraming salamat po.
- by: Alex Cauguiran

Monday, March 5, 2012

Bakit ang Pera, may Mukha? Bakit ang Mukha, walang Pera?

Filipinos are notorious for their short memories and this explains why the government erects and maintains monuments, markers, landmarks and shrines all over the archipelago to remind Filipinos of a glorious past. This also explains why we have a government agency responsible for history—the National Historical Commission of the Philippines—which was recently given the responsibility of overseeing memorials, commemorations and holidays.

Marami na ang naisulat tungkol sa pera. May kanta tulad ng naririnig niyo ngayon na gawa ng The Youth at ginawan ng rendition ng Parokya ni Edgar. Mayroong "Money, Money, Money" ng Abba at "Money for Nothing" ni Dire Straits. Sabi nila, "Money is the root of all evil". Sabi ng iba ay "Umiikot ang mundo sa pera". Kung ang sabi ni Kuya Kim ay "Ang buhay ay weather-weather lang", sa iba naman ay "Pera-pera lang 'yan!".

Just in time for the Yuletide, inilabas na ng Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas ang mga bagong itsura ng pera ng mga Pinoy. Sa internet ko lang ulit ito nakita, courtsey of Yahoo! News. Sa aking opinyon, maganda ang naging disenyo ng mga bagong bayarin. Akma ang ginawa nilang gawing parang "business card" ng Pilipinas ang mga pera natin. Sa harapan ay naroon ang kasaysayan habang sa likuran naman ay naroon ang mga tourist spots na ipinagmamalaki natin sa buong mundo. Kung isa akong isang dayuhang mamamasyal sa Pinas, makakatulong ang pera sa aking itinerary.

Gusto ko lamang bigyang puna ang mga bagong pera natin.

BENTE. Sigurado akong isa ito sa pinakamaraming magiging laman ng mga sobreng ipamimigay sa mga bata bilang aginaldo ngayong Kapaskuhan. "Galing kay ninong at Ninang". Ang hirap gastusin kasi bago, mabango, at malutong. Pero huwag ka, mga ilang araw lang na ganun at mauubos rin naman. Hindi ko alam kung sa computer ko lang pero parang nag-iba ang kulay nito. Kaugnay kay Manuel Quezon ang lahat ng nasa harapan. Nandoon pa rin ang Palasyo ng Malakanyang. Makikita pa rin kaya 'yung anino ng taong nasa bintana na nakaimprenta sa lumang bente? Hindi ko alam kung bakit mula isang libo ay bumaba papuntang bente ang Banaue Rice Terraces.

TAPWE. Mukhang kulay pula pa rin naman. Kung sakaling magtatanong ka kung bakit 'yung landing ni McArthur sa Leyte ang kaugnay Late President Serge, ito ay dahil sa siya ang Vice President nang pumanaw si Quezon at noong patapos na ang WWII. Taal Volcano ang nasa likuran. Puwede na rin dahil isang natural wonder ito pero mas "wonderful" ang Banaue, 'di ba?

UBE. May halaga pa ba ang sandaan? President Roxas ang nag-author ng pagkakaroon ng isang central bank kaya kung maalala niyo, pektyur ng BSP ang nasa likod ng dating sandaang piso. Okay ang choice na Mayon Volcano at butanding. Kaso wala na ang security feature ng perang ito tulad ng nasa dating sandaan na may "bangkosentralngpilipinasbangkosentralngpilipinas..." sa mismong pektyur ng gusali.

ARROYO BILL. Dios ama. Dios anak. Diosdado Macapagal. Ito ang pinakapangit sa lahat ng designs. Parang walang theme. Connect the dots. Dahil siya ang nagpalit ng Independence Day from July 4 to June 12, nasa perang ito ang Aguinaldo Shrine at Barasoain Church na nasa dating lima at sampung pisong papel, respectively. Kita pa rin ba si muning sa bandang itaas ng simbahan? Chocolate Hills at tarsier, wala na ang tatalo pa kapag Bohol ang napag-usapan. Mas may value ito kaysa ipakita ang EDSA Dos. Okay na sana pero taena, ano 'yung nasa bandang kaliwa sa ibaba? May kutong-lupa? Ah hindi pala, nuno sa punso! Ang liit-liit na nga, pinaliit pa. Paksyet, bakit hindi nalang kasi binura?!

NINOY BILL.Mukhang suwerte na itong perang ito dahil hindi na nakasimangot si Ninoy at hindi na rin nakakulumbaba. Wala na ang treseng "500". Wala na ang treseng tao. Wla na 'yung ahas na nakapulupot. Wala na rin ang treseng bituin. Medyo nakakatuwang makita na after ilang years ay nagsama na rin sila ni Tita Cory. 'Yun nga lang, sa harap ng pera! May security feature ang parrot na nasa pera - nag-iiba ng kulay ang batok nito kapag inikot ng ninety degrees. Nagiging green mula red color.

TITO VIC AND JOEY. Hanggang ngayon ay 'di ko pa rin alam ang pagkokonek sa tatlong ito. Si Josefa Lllanes Escoda, alam kong siya ang founder ng Girls Scouts of the Philippines. Si Vicente Lim naman, ang alam ko lang sa kanya ay isa siyang kalye na binababaan ko noong pumapasok pa ako sa uste. Si Jose Abad Santos, kalye pa rin ang pagkakakilala ko sa kanya. Astig ang pagkakalagay ng Tubbataha Coral Reefs sa likuran! Pangarap kong makapunta dito kasama ang aking pamilya balang araw. Tulad ng limangdaan, may security feature din ang bill na ito. Nagiging gree from red ang kulay ng clam kapag inikot ng ninety degrees.

Okay ang ginawa ng BSP na ipakita ang mas batang itsura ng mga taong nasa harapan ng mga bagong pera. All in all, maganda talaga ang dating nila sa pagkakakita ko sa monitor ng laptop ko. Ewan ko lang sa actual. Hindi tulad ng pera sa ibang bansa na iisang tao lang ang nakalagay sa lahat ng pera at sa kulay lang nagkakatalo, ang sa atin ay may pagkakakilanlan. Kumpara sa ibang perang nahawakan ko na sa mga bansang napuntahan, may ibubuga ang gawang pinoy!

Friday, March 2, 2012


Some favor the move for sentimental reasons and because the name "Clark" has been known since the Americans used it as one of their biggest overseas military bases.

“Gusto ko na palitan na, na gawing Clark International Airport,” said Ofelia Erum.

A plan to change the Diosdado Macapagal International Airport's name (DMIA) back to the original Clark International Airport has drawn mixed reactions from the public
Others said using "Clark" will avoid confusion.

“Sa abroad, hindi nila alam ang DMIA. Ang alam nila Clark International Airport o Clark Airbase,” said retired Lt. Cristobal Erum.

Clark International Airport was renamed Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in 2003 during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

Although the Clark airport was changed to Diosdado Macapagal in 2003, its international code remains CRK.

While there was a justification for Arroyo to name it after her father Diosdado—it’s in Pampanga province and he was its favorite son—Cony Romero, one of the workers at the Clark museum thinks the renaming was too political.

"Dapat alisin na ‘yung DMIA. ‘Yung Clark original na name niya ‘yun,” said Romero.

Others, however, believe that removing the name of the former president's father is also political.

“Siguro kung icha-change nila sa Clark International Airport, magiging pulitika din knowing the fact na nag-change na nga ng administration. For me it’s OK to use Diosdado Macapagal International Airport,” said Lorin Malonas, a call center agent.

The discussion has also hit social networking sites and is a popular topic among Kapampangans.

Nelson Mallari, an Aeta who has lived in Clark for most of his life, thinks changing names was never a good idea to begin with.

“Kung ano ‘yung dating traditional na katawagan, dapat ‘yun ang masusunod para hindi na masabi na nagiging biased sa pulitika,” he said.

Victor Luciano, president of Clark International Airport Corporation, has offered a compromise: the terminal building will remain Diosdado Macapagal but the airport will be Clark again.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Angeleños Favor 'DMIA' Over 'CIA'

"Angeleños favor the retention of the Clark airport name as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport or DMIA," said Pamintuan, who downplayed reasons given by proponents of the name change.

Through the sponsorship of Councilor Edu Pamintuan, the City Council passed on Tuesday two resolutions supporting the retention of the current name of the DMIA One resolution expresses disapproval to renaming the airport back to "Clark" while the other enjoins Congress to enact a law officially naming it as the "DMIA."

Pamintuan said that renaming the DMIA would be a disservice not only to the Kapampangans (people of Pampanga) but more so to the historical heritage of the country.

"Dropping DMIA in favor of 'Clark' is not justified by the claim that aviation players know the airport more to be 'Clark' than 'DMIA' and that the airport is tagged by the International Air Transport Association (IATA) as 'CRK,' while the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) retains its name when it is still referred to as 'Manila airport' or 'MNL' by IATA," Pamintuan said.

He said that international airports all over the world often have long and unfamiliar names and, altogether, a different IATA code as a "very acceptable practice."

Pamintuan cited the airports in Rome, Italy which was named after their national treasure - Leonardo da Vinci while in New York, USA, the airport was named after former President John F. Kennedy.

Here in Asia, he said Hong Kong which is known as Chek Lap Kok Airport has "HKG" as its IATA code while Singapore's Changi International Airport code is "SIN."

"The practice has been accepted widely and no foreign pilots seem bothered by it," the councilor said.

Pamintuan added: "Changing the name of DMIA to Clark International Airport shall have no significant bearing on the airport's current operation, capacity and potential as a premier international gateway airport."

Clark International Airport was renamed DMIA in 2001 during the presidency of Gloria Macapagal Arroyo.

This was pursuant to Clark Development Corporation's (CDC's) Board Resolution 07-08 approved in July 2001, renaming the Clark airport as DMIA on the occasion of the 91st birth anniversary of the late former president, Diosdado Macapagal, on Sept. 28, 2001.

Although the Clark airport was changed to DMIA in 2003, its international code remains CRK.

Both resolutions stated that: "The basis of the name DMIA is important to the people of Pampanga as it honors one of its respected leaders, Diosdado Pangan Macapagal, who is the ninth President of the Philippines, the 'poor boy from Lubao, Pampanga' who became the first Kapampangan President, and 'Father of Land Reform' of the country."

Manila Central Post Office into a first-class hotel

In 1997, Sino Land (Hongkong) Co. Ltd., a sister company of Far East Organization, acquired the Fullerton Building from the Urban Redevelopment Authority, spending close to $300 million in converting it into a hotel and building the two-story commercial complex One Fullerton. The hotel was officially opened on Jan. 1, 2001.

The Singapore hotel was also originally a general post office building, also known as the Fullerton Building, before its redevelopment into a luxury five-star hotel located at the Central Business District near the mouth of the Singapore River.

The historic Fullerton Building was named in honor of Robert Fullerton, Singapore’s governor from 1826 to 1829, and was used as a post office and even a hospital during the Second World War.

Philpost postmaster general Josie Dela Cruz yesterday announced that there are plans to convert the historic Philpost building in a bid to boost the tourism in the area that would cover Intramuros, Philpost, and Metropolitan Theater;

Dela Cruz said that the Aquino administration is studying the possibility of transforming the five-floors of the Philpost central office into a posh hotel in a bid to boost tourism in the country.

At the center of these grand plans is the 86-year-old neoclassical architecture designed Philpost building. The office building would reportedly serve as the core or catalyst of transformation.

“There is an order that came from the Executive Secretary (Paquito Ochoa Jr.) that created a committee headed by Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima to study the possibility of converting this area, wherein the center is our office, into a tourism development project,” Dela Cruz said.

The group behind the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore is reportedly in talks with the Philippine government for the transformation of the Manila Central Post Office into a first-class hotel. Gemma Cruz Araneta, vice president of the city of Manila’s Historical and Heritage Commission, said the group is currently engaged in negotiations with the government represents the Fullerton Hotel in Singapore.

She said that if the project pushes through, the Philpost building would not be demolished since the investors would be interested to conserve the building. “It is a heritage building...The attraction here is its history. It would be in their (investors) interest to protect and preserve it.”

Apart from Purisima, the other members of the committee would come from the city government of Manila and the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA).
The committee has six months to submit their recommendations.

The planned tourism development does not only affect the Philpost but nearby historical landmarks as well such as Intramuros and the art-deco building Manila Metropolitan Theater.

There is also the possibility that the change would positively spill over to the Binondo area and Escolta.

Coincidentally, the architect for both the Manila Metropolitan Theater and the Philpost was Juan Arellano.

Dela Cruz admitted that she is supportive of the project to convert the historical landmark building into hotel for practical reasons. “The building is too big for us and the maintenance cost (is too much) so it is no longer economical for us.”

The Philpost, a government-run corporation, has been losing money for many years because it could not compete with the private couriers and advance communication such as emails sent through computers and cellular phone textmessaging.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Stefany Marisa Quintos Prescott (Stef Prescott)

Stefany Marisa Quintos Prescott, who is better known by her screen name Stef Prescott (born March 29, 1991 in Seattle, Washington, USA) is a Filipina actress. She was an avenger from StarStruck: The Next Level and was known to be the most controversial of the batch because of her attitude. She was competing for the title of Ultimate Sweetheart which was later won by Jewel Mische. She was the representative of the country on Miss Internet World Pageant but failed to get the crown that once belonged to Carlene Aguilar.

Personal life
Stef Prescott was born on March 29, 1991 in Seattle, Washington, USA. Her parents are Julian Paul Prescott, a retired paint consultant and Marisa Quintos, a retired banker. She had experienced living a busy life when she was young. She started swimming at the age of 3 and joined the swimming team at the age of 7. She also joined the soccer team, basketball team and the softball team. She’s also in the dance squad, girl scouts, choir. She enjoys playing musical instruments and doing extra curricular activities. After a few years, the Prescott family moved to the Philippines and it broke her heart. When they finally moved, the first year was the hardest. She didn't know how to speak Tagalog, she didn't know anyone and worst of all, there were no sports.She studied in BHC Educational Institution Inc. in La Union. She was made fun of by her classmates because she looked different. She didn't know this though, because she couldn't understand them. She cried because in Washington she was a good student and here she failed in her Filipino and Social Studies subjects. Being the strong person that she always was, she didn’t give up and studied Tagalog with the help of her mom and cousins.

Before Starstruck
Stef had a taste of glamour when she tried modeling. She did VTR’s every week for a while and fortunately got a lot of projects. She was once a part of a girl group called Angels on ABS-CBN. Her first was for Greenwich commercial that she did with Paulo Avelino. After that she did commercials for Skinwhite, Kit Kat Bar, Head & Shoulders and other commercials abroad. She also did some print ads for McDonalds, Sara Lee, BCNY, CD Jeans and the latest with Wrangler Jeans. Her luck change when her manager asked her if she wanted to join StarStruck, a reality based TV show at GMA 7.

StarStruck: The Next Level
Stef was said to be the controversial for two reasons: 1) her competitive attitude. 2) when she turned down StarStruck's very First Prince, Rainier Castillo on live television when they were both guests of the talk show, She had a good chance of getting the title Ultimate Sweetheart because of her talent and it was proven when she was chosen Best Actress on a kissflick episode. She was picked by dance guru, Douglas Nieras, to be the best dancer among the girls of her batch which was also won by Sheena Halili who was the ex-girlfriend of Rainier Castillo. As for singing, there was tough competition between her and co-survivor, Rich Asuncion. But right after the "Sis-Incident", Rainier Castillo fans boy-cotted Stef Prescott over the Internet. After the contest, it was rumored that the 2 were dating. She was eliminated on March 11, 2007 along with Paulo Avelino. Her very first regular show after StarStruck, was the youth-oriented show entitled, Boys Nxt Door

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Success on Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

About 100,000 people attended the 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012 at the Air force City in Clark, up from last year’s 85,000. Most of them were domestic tourists from Northern Luzon and Metro Manila. Only about 5 percent were foreign visitors.

26 colorful, huge hot air balloons painted the sky, leaving spectators in awe and wishing that they too can join this wonderful ride.

They witnessed the beautiful hot air balloons which come from the different parts of the world, such as California USA, Japan, Korea, Netherlands, Denmark and of course we have from the Philippines, commandeered by licensed balloon pilots from all over the world.

Hot air balloons were designed as Panda, ice cream, cake, sunflower to the delight of the crowd.

The 4-day event from February 9-12 dubbed as a ‘weekend for everything that flies’ also featured aircraft maneuvers and precision flying, ultra light planes and sky diving.

Department of Tourism (DOT) Regional director Ronaldo Tiotuico said they expect to surpass last year’ ticket sales of over P15 million. A one -day pass ticket was sold at P200.

He sees the potential to make the event brighter and bigger, as Philippines is the only country in Southeast Asia, which host the Hot Air balloon fiesta. The biggest hot air event in the world, he said is in Turkey.

"The thrust is to make Clark a sports tourism destination where we can hold event like this hot air balloon festival. The Department of Tourism supports this event which is sponsored by Clark Development Corporation. CDC has already develop sports tourism here such as triathlon, slow -pitch tournament, softball and baseball," he said.

Tiotuico said as the years passed, more and more private companies joined and many shops, fast food opened which also help in revenue generation.

He said hot air balloons cost $20,000-$30,000 a piece, and are imported. He added that there is a potential to manufacture the basket made of rattan here which can carry 2-5 people.

He added that the event also entice companies to advertise through the balloons.

He said Fontana Leisure Parks and Casino, already offers rental of its hot air balloon for P20,000 for two hours.

There are things you should know before riding the balloon. First, you must be with a licensed balloon pilot. And most importantly you must understand that the hot air balloons use propane gas, which is environment friendly, yet more explosive than LPG.

"They (the hot air balloons) are at the mercy of the wind . There is no steering wheel. If the wind is calm, you’ll just stay put. If the wind blows so strong, it has the tendency to shake and set the balloon on fire. The pilot must really really be skilled," he said.

It can go as far as 10 kilometers, an altitude of 15,000 ft. for an hour.

Aside from the balloons, the main attraction were the demonstration flight and skydiving exhibition of Philippine Air force; Philippine, Malaysian, Spain, Australia paragliding exhibition, ultra light flour bombing demonstration, light aircraft balloon bursting competition, and skydiving and tandem jumping exhibition.

The Philippine Air Force led the national anthem, on a parachute while holding the Philippine flag.

Souvenir items like miniature hot air balloons, T-shirts, stuff toys, house decors, toys were sold. Kites and hot air balloon miniatures were priced as low as P50-P60 and as high as P500.

Monday, February 6, 2012

It’s more fun in the Philippines - Hot air balloon festival

The hot air balloon fiesta, one from among the many events the country launches every year, does not set us apart from other countries. Why? Because a lot of countries host balloon festivals yearly.

But what sets us apart is the fact that Filipinos are hosting the festival. And what better explanation can we present than what DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez, Jr. said in launching the newest tourism pitch, "Our strategy is simple: while other countries invite you to observe, Filipinos can promise a more heartfelt and interesting experience. Wherever you go, whatever you do in the country, it's the Filipinos that will complete your vacation and will make your holiday unforgettable."

Come Feb. 9 or any other day until Feb. 12, try squeezing up your time and visit Clark. Bring your cameras as well. Enjoy the activities that the hot air balloon festival can offer, especially the chance to ride in a flying hot air balloon.

Imagining this, I can readily think of a good tourism pitch…Going around town. More fun in the Philippines!

Joining the Philippine flying and air enthusiasts in the four days of fun-filled air spectacle are representatives from Sweden, United States, Hungary, Thailand, Malaysia, Germany, United Kingdom, Netherlands, Finland, Japan, Switzerland and South Korea.

Organizers envisioned the fiesta as a fuel that burns the passion of flying for all ages and help propel the aviation industry forward.

Further, the festival hopes to instill discipline in the pilots participating in it so that they may be safe aviators for the country as well as impart the spirit of volunteerism to everyone.

More than 100,000 tourists from 25 countries are expected to troop to the fields of Clark Freeport next week as the four-day 17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Festival (PIHABF) starts on Feb. 9.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Clark Hot Air Balloon Fiesta 2012

Joining the colorful and uniquely designed hot air balloons that will be dominating the skies of Central Luzon are transport and trainer planes, ultra-light aircraft and helicopters, some of which will be conducting a series of fly-bys to delight the spectators. This year’s major attraction will be a US Air Force F-16 doing flight demonstrations.

Captain Meynard Halili will spearhead the thrilling aerobatics show that will also be staged by ace pilots from the foreign countries.

Used to be shown only on Philippine television as executed by pilots from other nations, dare devil aerial stunts by classic biplane built in the 1940s. The restored PT13 Stearman is also lined up for the event. Brand new Airbus 320s, gigantic military C17, and a CN235 will also be on static display.

Captain Joy Roa, heading the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta, said that following the success of the previous PIHABF festivities, event organizers were even more challenged to come up with new and more surprises on the realm of hot air balloon venture and aviation spectacles to be staged by aviation enthusiasts from USA, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, Poland, The Netherlands, Austria, Japan, England and South Korea.

Special-shaped hot air balloons, which include a car-shaped cutie from Germany, a daisy flower, ice cream cone, and a birthday cake from the United States, “Iwi the Kiwi” from New Zealand and several other regularly shaped huge “flying bubbles” will take the center stage of the festivities.

A fiesta not only coined for fathers and other macho-thinking individuals who love sky stunts and sleek aircrafts, the 17th PIHABF will also cater to moms and their children who are not so attached to machines that defy gravity can go for other “never-a-dull-moment” activities, such as watching skydivers from the Brunei, Malaysia and even from the Philippine National Police make heart pumping mass formation in the sky after jumping from an altitude of not less than 5,000 feet.

Sitting on triangular parachutes powered by lightweight motors, local and foreign paragliders will show spectators that flying could be easy at least from the spectator’s point of view.

With the tempo from marching bands, they can also watch precision drills from different military teams and flying dance shows amid a wide static display of unique airplanes – even those that will bring you back to memory lane on the spectacular history of aviation.

Time will also fly for creative kids who will prefer to stay comfortably at the Children’s Activity Center sponsored by Crayola and Hot Dog on Sticks. From there, they will be taught on kite-making, flight simulators and aviation workshops.

While munching delicious fiesta food, kids can also watch Remote Control car and aircraft competition on specially designated spots.

In case you become mesmerized with flying, display booths of flying schools are within the site for prospective student pilots.

This year’s sponsors include Caltex, Hotdog on Sticks, Rudy Project, SM City Clark, Global Gateaway Logistics Corp., UPS, Krukspec, Isuzu Philippines, Crayola, Sunkist, Philippine Daily Inquirer, ROX Recreational Outdoor Exchange, Yellow Cab Pizza, Close Up, Alveoland, Department of Tourism, Fontana and Air Asia.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

17th Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta

Feb 9 Thursday First Fiesta Day 
5.00-5.45 am Philippine Flag jump 
5:50-6:00am PAF High Speed Opener and SF260 Fly By
5.45-7.00 am Hot Air Balloon flight 
5.45-7.30 am RP / Malaysian / Spain/Australia Paragliding Exhibition 
7.30-8.30 am ACFC Ultralight / Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights and Flour Bombing 
8.30-9.00 am Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show 
9.00-9.30 am AFP/PNP/Brunei/Malaysia Sky Diving Exhibition 
9.30-9:45 am Radio-controlled model aircraft demonstration 
9:45-10:00am USAF F16 Flight Demo
10.00-11.30 am AOPA-P Light aircraft balloon bursting competition
11.30-12.00 nn KAP / KTP Kite Flying Exhibition
12.00-12.30 pm Airlink / WCC / Omni /Aviators/ Alpha flyby 
12.30-1.00 pm Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft Demo 
1.00-1.30 pm Skydiving and Tandem jumping Exhibition 
1.30-2.00 pm Ultralight Flour bombing demonstration 
2.00-3.00 pm AOPA-P Light aircraft balloon bursting competition
3.00-3.30 pm FEATI/PHILSCA Rocketry Demonstration
4:00-4:30 pm Philippine Air Force Silent Drill and SPOW Bomb Sniffing Dog Exhibition
3.30-4.00 pm ACFC Ultralight/Microlight aircraft formation flights
4.30-5.00 pm Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show 
5.00-5.30 pm RP / Malaysian / Spain/Australia Paragliding exhibition 
5.30-6.00 pm Hot Air Balloon Fly-In 

Feb 10 Friday Second Fiesta Day 
5.00-5.45 am Philippine Flag jump 
5.45-7.00 am Hot Air Balloon Flights 
7.00-7.30 am RP / Malaysian / Spain/Australia Paragliding Exhibition 
7.30-8.00 am ACFC Ultralight/Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights and Flour Bombing 
8:30-9.00 am Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show 
9.00-9.30 am Sky diving exhibition 
9.30-10.00 am Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft Demonstration 
10.00-11.00 am AOPA- P Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition 
11.00-11.30 am KAP / KTP Kite flying exhibition 
11.30-12.00 nn WCC / Aviatours / Omni / Aviators/ Alpha/Leading Edge / flyby 
12.00-1.00pm German aerobatic glider flight 
1.00-1:30 pm Skydiving exhibition 
1.30-2:00 pm Jet Turbine Radio-controlled modeller demos 
2.00-3.00 am AOPA- P Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition 
3.00-3.30 pm Car Drifting Display 
3.30-4.00pm FEATI/Philsca Rocketry demonstration 
4.00-4.30 pm ACFC Ultralight/Microlight Aircraft Formation Flights 
4.30-5.00pm Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show 
5.00-5.30 pm RP / Malaysian / Spain/Australia Paragliding Exhibition 
5.30-6.00 pm Hot Air Balloon Fly-In 

Feb 11 Saturday Third Fiesta Day 
5.00-5.45 am Philippine Flag jump 
5.45-7.00 am Hot Air Balloon Flights 
7.00-7.30 am RP / Malaysian / Spain/Australia Paragliding Exhibition 
7.30-8.00 am ACFC Ultralight/Microlight aircraft formation flights and flour bombing 
8.00-8.30 am Tandem Skydiving exhibition 
8.30-9.00 am Turbine RC flying display 
9.00-9.45 am Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show 
9.45-10.30 am Helicopter flight display 
10.30-11.00 am Philippine Coast Guard Rescue Demonstration 
11.00-12.00 am PT13 Stearman / AOPA-P Flyby 
12.00-12.30 pm WCC / Aviatour / Omni / PPA / CIA / Orient / flyby 
12.30-1.00 pm Radio-Controlled model aircraft demonstration 
1.00-1.30 pm Winch-launched German aerobatic glider flight 
1.30-2.00 pm KAP / KTP Kite Flying Demonstration 
2.00-2.45 pm AOPA-P Light aircraft balloon bursting competition 
2.45-3.15 pm Skydiving Exhibition 
3.15-3.45 pm CIAC Fire-fighting demonstration 
3.45-4.30 pm Meynard Halili Aerobatic Show 
4.00-4.30 pm ACFC Ultralight / Microlight aircraft formation flights 
4.30-5.00 pm FEATI/Philsca Rocketry Demonstration 
5.00-5.30 pm RP/Malaysian/Spain/ Australia Paragliding Exhibition 
5.30-6.00 pm Hot Air Balloon Night Glow 

Feb 12 Sunday Fourth Fiesta Day 
5.20-5.30 am Philippine Flag jump 
5.30-7.00 am Hot Air Balloon Flight 
7.00-7.30 am RP / Malaysian / Spain/ Australia Paragliding Exhibition 
7.30-8.00 am ACFC Ultralight / Microlight aircraft formation flights and flour bombing 
8.00-8.30 am Tandem Skydiving Exhibition 
8.30-9.15 am Meynard Halili / Aerobatic Show 
9.15-10.00 am Coast Guard Helicopter Rescue Demo 
10.00-11.00 am Wings Over Asia / AOPA – P Light Aircraft Balloon Bursting Competition 
11.00-12.00 nn CIAC Fire-Fighting Demonstration 
12.00-12.30 nn Radio-Controlled Model Aircraft Demonstration 
12.30-1.00 pm Car Drifting demonstration 
1.00-1.30 pm PT13/ WCC / Aviatour / Omni / Leading Edge/ Airlink flyby 
1.30-2.30 pm KAP / KTP Flying Exhibition 
3:00-3:30pm AFP / Civilian Skydiving Exhibition 
3.30-4.00 pm ACFC Ultralight / Microlight aircraft formation flights 
4.00-4.15 pm PT13 Stearman fly by 
4.15-5.00 pm Meynard Halili aerobatic Show 
5.00-5.30 pm RP / Malaysian / Spain/Australian Paragliding Exhibition 
5:30- 7:30 pm Hot Air Balloon Night Glow And Fireworks