Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Breaking News: Pump Boat Capsized 3 Dead

Bad weather believed to be the cause a boat accident resulted in 3 deaths in Libjo. The pump boat named "Punta Villa" capsized due to heavy waves and wind. The named boat is owned and is the personal transport of Libjo Vice Mayor Villarosa. Names of the victims still unknown.

Correction: A farming family of 6 from Balite traveled across Libjo Bay using their own pump boat and capsized close to barangay Quezon. Three of the kids died. The family believed to be a member of Plaridel PBMA Chapter which Villarosa is the head. “Gipanggutom naman gud to sila bisan bayod niresgo lang gihapon sila kay mag kuha ug bugas sa Kaitan” our source Danny Sarsadillas said. (They’re hungry and no food to eat, so they just decided to cross to get some rice in Kaitan – barangay Plaridel).

It was mistakenly reported since the term used is "sakop ni villarosa" so literally, it is believed to be their worker and assumed they are using the punta villa pumpboat.

Monday, January 29, 2007

News: Majority of poll aspirants wanted to join PGMA ticket

In Dinagat Islands, no opposition bets were seen to go against powerhouse Ecleo political family of Congresswoman Glenda Ecleo of Lakas-NUCD. Three of the Ecleo siblings are municipal mayors of the seven towns of Dinagat Islands.

Ecleo together with Surigao del Norte Vice Governor Rodolfo Navarro were appointed by President Arroyo based on consensus with Mayors in MalacaƱang last 2005 to head the Lakas party in Surigao del Norte, as Lakas Provincial Chair and Vice-Chair respectively.

But House Speaker Jose De Venecia issued certificate that Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Barbers is still the Lakas Provincial Chair and his brother, Rep. Robert Ace Barbers as District Chairman.

Navarro and his group which includes Board member lawyer Victor Bernal claimed they are also fielding local bets for the local May polls but is under the Arroyo administration ticket.

Navarro wanted to run for Governor with lawyer Bernal as his running mate.

Their ally, President of the Surigao del Norte Municipal Mayors’ League, Tubod Mayor Guillermo Romarate, Jr. who repeatedly expressed in public his desire to run for Congress against incumbent Gov. Robert Lyndon Barbers who is in his last term have announced in a press conference last week that he will not run under a free zone basis.

But former Surigao del Norte Governor Francisco Matugas and his brother real estate developer, Engr. Ernesto Matugas who are also identified with the administration party KAMPI are also fielding mayoralty candidates for the 20 towns of Surigao del Norte.

The former Surigao del Norte Governor is seeking gubernatorial post he once held for three terms while his brother Ernesto is running for Surigao City Mayor also under Arroyo’s KAMPI. More...

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Skirmishes of the disgruntled

Funny or horror of some sort, our sources said last January 22, 2007 a delegation is organized to welcome a MNLF General in Libjo to administer an oath of new local recruits.

Considered “Peaceful Outlaw” in some parts of southern Mindanao MNLF (Moro National Liberation Front) is gaining control and getting support from local residents. Sources said Libjo is the focal point of recruits in Dinagat Island as Dapa is in the Island of Siargao. The said recruits are supposed to be receiving an outstanding amount of P18,000.00 a month. And was believed to be the grass root of Nur Misuari’s organization to vote for him in this Senate of the Philippine Congress.

New sets of officers is lead by Major Gerry Ebrao (Commanding Officer), Captain Jose(Gotgot) Pariente, Captain Juvy Andit, Captain Abdol dela Cruz, etc, with over 100 commission officer including Leut. Baytic Ecuben, Leut. Ricky Torillo and Leut. Myrna Lisondra.

The awkward part is … these people were not muslim and is not considering converting like Robin Padilla. And I supposed not looking for a hands-on experience in Jolo, Sulu. Libjo has been long a peaceful town and insurgents free. Life still goes on as usual.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Why do we run for office?

It really makes me ponder why a person wants to own a public office? Is it because of power? For money, since public office is another kind of business? Control, so you can run a business without red tapes? Fame, so you will be popular and can spend more during fiesta or become Ninong/Ninang on every wedding? Or just simply because they cannot find a job that can makes a good living? Does it mean if only we have good livelihood we will not aspire to run for office? And what makes it so special?

It is a public office. Public officials are servants for the people not gods. People don't worship them or give them offerings. And they will not own slaves. Can anybody explain to me why he or she spends money for election to win?

FYI. I have a friend named Amstrong. He's my partner in crime during my high school days. Now he's the barangay captain in one of barangays in Libjo.

News: Dinagat officials buckle down to work

SURIGAO CITY -- It will be tough job ahead for the newly appointed interim provincial officials of the newly created province of Dinagat Islands.

President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo was scheduled to appoint last January 19 the interim officials of the newly created province of Dinagat Islands at the San Jose Municipal Cultural Center in San Jose, Dinagat Island.

However, the President cancelled the appointment since she had a trip to Davos, Switzerland to attend the World Economic Forum.

Instead, Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers inducted the interim officials whose term of office ends after assumption of the newly elected Dinagat Islands provincial officials in the May 14, 2007 elections.

Sworn in as interim officials for newly created Province of Dinagat Islands at the San Jose Municipal Cultural Center were: Geraldine Ecleo-Villaroman as Governor, Elvis dela Merced as Vice Governor, Provincial Board members Merlinda Lagroma, Norberto Sarita Sr., Mario Menil, Zacarias Vales, Gracelyn Ecleo, Nilo P. Gulfo, and Elizabeth Ladaga.

"But most likely the same appointed interim officials will file certificate of candidacies for same position for the May 14, 2007 elections," Villaroman said.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Fun to watch a fight

I don't really know if it’s written within our DNA. We love to watch a fight. Since I was a kid, it is fun to watch a fight. Games and sportsmanship? Or not just that. I spend much time looking for the best spider with my friends. Even earn some scratches just to find my number 1 spider (remember the spider with number on its back?). I love to watch it fight. Remember we keep it inside a small matchbox with compartment on it to keep it hungry?

They said, as you grow older this will change. From spider to rooster to human boxing. Then there will be a time that cycle comes back.. from boxing to rooster to spiders. No wonder I found Lolo in Libjo fighting spiders with their grandsons. Just kidding.

Anyway, we loved boxing same as cockfighting. Especially if Pacquao is in the ring. We usually make excuse to spend some money to get together so we could watch Pacquao fight. Chip-in chip-in as what we call it. We brought letson for dinner and watch them in pay per view. Proud and loud.

But did you know there is a more exciting fight that’s coming... '2007 May Election'. Do you think we'll have a good fight?

I hope it will be a peaceful election. And I love to hear from you. Who's running in your town? I'll keep you posted about ours in Libjo.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Native Fruit Favorites

Everyone in my friends when we were young believes someone (not-human) owns a native tree. A superstitious belief that someone planted, taking care and lives in those trees. So if anyone who pick fruit from that tree, he should ask permission from those owners. We do ask ‘Iyo, Iya, Manang, Manong... We are going to pick some fruits okay? Don't give us stomachaches or give us troubles’. Else, something will happen. Like some will get an accident fall, head aches or skin diseases, never know. I remember one tree believed to have a white monkey that lives on it and we don't even have local kind of monkey that lives in the island.

Native trees are usually huge and old and no one planted them. They grow in forest if not in a farm but untouched by landowners. Birds used them for shelter and source for food. And some children do :-).

Summer is the time these trees bears fruits. Exactly the same time with students has no school and lots of free time. Somewhat a lesson for survival since forests has these trees. If you know how to pick this fruits you're surely survive.

Here's a list of some of my favorites;

Pinu-on - Dwarfs food
Paguha - banana

During the loading of Chromite when International ships were in town aside from coconut, I do remember we use some of these fruits to barter for other goods. Foreigners loves it too. I'm wondering, do you think we can produce wine made from Puyangi or Batwan?

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Jorge's Dinagat Gallery

Someone I believe needs a two thumbs up about his work! A foreigner, and he fall in love to our place. In deed his interest made him create a website and compiled photos about his visits. Jorge from Germany has interesting photo gallery about our island. Please click to this LINK.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

San Jose Gamay

Barangay San Jose of Libjo also called San Jose Gamay (Little San Jose) in reference to the bigger San Jose the capital of the new island province Dinagat. San Jose is considered the breadbasket of Libjo. Located inland in the central plain, Barangay San Jose has the biggest rice and coconut field in the area. It has access to Gaas Inlet to the Pacific side of the island and situated along the provincial highway going to and from Loreto (north) and Dinagat (south). If then a surfing destination will soon be established in the ocean side of this Island, this will be the "Gateway to the Pacific".

Central to mining, once logging, farming and even fishing San Jose is located close to swamp mangrove area in Gaas Inlet and good for fish farming. And unlike Siargao this is not crocodile infested area :) .

Soil is not barren and not bad as supposed red earth on neighboring barangays. And by looking at the map since this are the central and the only wide flat land area in the island. By comparison to Siargao and Surigao Airports this will soon be the best spot for airport in the Island.

My father once made a welcome banner for the barangay and was disappointed after admitting a mistake instead of "Welcome to Barangay San Jose" he painted "Welcome to Barangay San Joe". By the way, my father's name is Jose and some call him "Joe".

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Dinagat in History

A patrol of Company F. 6th Ranger Battalion, investigating a native hut on Dinagat Island in the Philippines (U.S. Army photograph)

On 17-18 October 1942 the 6th Ranger Battalion seized three islands that guarded the entrances to Leyte Gulf, clearing the way for Sixth Army's invasion of Leyte on 20 October. Encountering little opposition on Dinagat and Homonhon is lands, the Rangers installed beacons to guide the invasion fleet through the channel between them. On Suluan Island Capt. Arthur D. "Bull" Simons, commanding Company B. found the Japanese in a lighthouse surrounded by imposing cliffs on three sides and a steep trail on the fourth. In a daring night attack part of the company cut off a security detachment at the foot of the trail while the other Rangers climbed the cliffs, struck the surprised garrison from the rear, and annihilated them. Having accomplished its mission, the battalion moved to Leyte where it patrolled rear areas and served as a guard for Krueger's headquarters.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lawigan Festival in Loreto

Will Libjo compete with Sinulog in Cebu this month? I have no idea... maybe.
By the way Libjo contingent won in Lawigan Festival contest in Municipality of Loreto last May. Celebrated in May 14-15 , “Lawigan Festival” Legends say that the First settlers of Loreto whose old name was “Mabua” came from Bohol, Leyte and Samar, Mabua came from the visayan word “Bua” which means foamy substance that usually float on the Mabua River . They formed small communities through the place w/c they termed “Lawig” which means Voyage. Each group developed its own culture. As a result, Loreto has a variety of language, customs and way of life . Hence, the “Lawigan Festival”.
Here are some of the photos from Lawigan Festival in Loreto.

IFAD projects in Libjo

Department of Agrarian Reform with funding from International Fund for Agricultural Development (DAR/IFAD's) recently conducted a series of workshops for poverty alleviation program and agricultural development(PAF). This facility could be used only to assist focus poverty groups that are not reached by regular local and national programs. The poorest households through self-help groups in the target sitios shall be the recipient groups for this assistance. Recipients includes some Sitios from Libjo.

The scope for PAF assistance includes the following:

A. Non-Income Generating Project or Welfare Projects

1. Support services for the livelihood improvement of the target sectors and households (e.g. hands-on training, study visits, nurseries and seedlings, among others);

2. Provisions of basic needs through self-help approaches (e.g. community-based health,
promotions of herbal medicine, day care centers, food-for-work, etc.); and

3. Emergency assistance and rehabilitation for direct victims of natural disasters (typhoons, floods, earthquake, droughts, etc.).

B. Income Generating Projects

1. Small pilot livelihood and self-help economic activities, with priority given to IPs, small fisher folk, upland farmers, ARBs and marginalized agricultural workers;

2. Direct inputs for the livelihood improvement of the target sectors and households (e.g. farming and fishing implements, livestock; and

3. Small household-based enterprises.

Friday, January 05, 2007

News: Rare platinum metals found in Surigao City island

Dinagat Island in this city has precious and rare metal deposits, according to the results of explorations made earlier by a team of geologists from the United Nations Research Fund for Natural Resources Explorations (UNRFNRE). More

Monday, January 01, 2007

Notes: One Family, One OFW

This is an ongoing notes supporting "One Family,One OFW" plan. You could help us by posting comments. I wish we had a wikipage :-) so you could make correction yourselves.

One Family, One OFW

Keys to Success:
Certification and Licenses
Scholarship and Study Now Pay Later Grant
Training Equipment and Hands-On Experience
Job Network to foreign countries


1. To Train, Certify and or License 16,500 Island resident graduates from Existing professional, skilled and household workers at the end of the target date.
(Figures based on POEA percent rate deployed workers and number of families in the Province)
professional 3,700
skilled 7,800
Household 5,000

2. To setup or outsource a TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority), Trade School (vocational school) and Certification Facility for Computer Technology to facilitate training, licensing and certification.
3. To generate ($peso amount$) of One per Family Government Scholarship Fund and or Bank Grants for Study Now Pay Later.
4. To generate 16,500 jobs abroad through network and government connection at a given target date.

Data Gathering:

Random Notes
1. Concerns on Palakasan on training and job placement.
2. Concerns on Illegal Recruiters.
3. Tesda is possible thru Provincial Board Resolution.

Dinagat Island Population Year 2000
Basilisa (Rizal) 26,489
Cagdianao 12,886
Dinagat 9,883
Libjo (Albor) 16,610
Loreto 8,751
San Jose 25,532
Tubajon 6,800
Total of 132,483
Say 8 members/family 16,560 jobs to generate overseas

Deployed Overseas Filipino Workers (OFWs)
by Occupational Group POEA (2005), (2004), (percent change)
A. Professional and Technical Related Workers 63,941 94,147 -32.1%
Teachers 789 542 45.6%
Nursing Personnel (NEC) 674 323 108.7%
Engineers Civil 625 492 27.0%
Technicians Medical X-Ray 524 408 28.4%
Engineers Mechanical 452 384 17.7%
Draughtsman 442 327 35.2%
Dental Assistants 344 255 34.9%
Aviation Related Workers 211 146 44.5%
Other Professional Workers 59,880 91,270 -34.4%

B. Skilled Workers 133,420 123,525 8.0%
Construction Workers 30,078 22,039 36.5%
Factory Workers 39,477 25,481 54.9%
Building Caretakers and Related Workers 12,607 10,137 24.4%
Sewers and Embroiderers 4,452 3,985 11.7%
Wiremen Electrical 2,991 2,620 14.2%
Tailors and Dressmakers 2,906 2,870 1.3%
Other Skilled Workers 40,909 56,393 -27.5%

C. Household and Related Workers 85,088 62,890 35.3%

D. Other Skills 1,836 1,250 46.9%

TOTAL - New hires 284,285 2/ 281,812 0.9%

Top 10 Destination
1. Saudi Arabia
2. Hongkong
3. United Arab Emirates
4. Taiwan
5. Japan
6. Kuwait
7. Qatar
8. Singapore
9. Italy
10. United Kingdom

Rimittances by OFWs 2005
1. USA US$6.424 B
2. Saudi Arabia 949 M
3. Italy 430 M
4. Japan 356 M
5. Hong Kong 338 M
6. United Kingdom 300 M
7. United Arab Emirates 257 M
8. Singapore 240 M
9. Federal Rep Germany 134 M
10.Canada 117 M
others 1.138 B
total 10.689 B
Skilled workers in need:
automotive technolgy
electronics technology
drafting/CAD technology
computer repair
civil technology

more than 200,000 Filipino seafarers on board international ships, which is around 20 percent of the world total Philippine maritime schools and training centres produce around 20,000 new graduates; of which only 2 to 3 thousand will find a job at sea.

In-House Certification Facility for Computer Technologies:
1. Online courses
2. Certified courses
3. Certification Testing Centers (Prometric / VUE)
4. Facility- Computers and Internet Connection
5. Course Facilitator

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