Sunday, April 29, 2007

Tagay Drinking in Group

Whenever my father needs help for carpentry job either in constructing house a boat or just any construction project he usually hires two of his favorite Panday (Carpenter). Both called Ninong. To distinguish one with the other, one is called Usahay (he’s an occasional drinker) and the other called Kanonay (all the time drinker). Apparently this two share the same name and the same work but when it comes to drinking they don’t share glass. In our culture when it comes to social group drinking we have typical way; one is assign to tend the drink share the same glass passed on every person on a circle. We call it ‘Tagay’. It’s considered show of brotherhood, camaraderie which is good in my opinion but in the other hand a bad hygienic practice. Like the Ad I saw about handling of beer in bottles (Miller Beer). “You poke it, you own it”. Putting ones finger on the bottle’s mouth is considered bad manner. It just plainly a matter of like after using the restroom we should wash hands.

Speaking of drinking In Libjo here are some of my other observations. No strict rules for the Minors. Anyone can buy liquor or drink alcoholic drinks without any age verification. Generally most of the time drinking is disturbance. Drinking late at night creating noise and disturbing neighbors. Drinking on public places. Like one example a councilor who tolerate drinking in the streets in front of his church.

I mean there is nothing wrong with drinking if only we have common sense of delikadesa or we have such rules to follow. Especially now that I’ve read those moderate drinkers are the least likely to acquire heart diseases. But as a reminder there is always a day you cannot have a drink the ‘Liquor Ban’ during Election Day.

reference added:
Alcohol Problems and Solutions
by Prof. David J. Hanson, Ph.D.
State University of New York at Potsdam

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Lobsters Local in Libjo

Here are the common lobsters that lives in the reefs in Libjo. One that is eaten the local lobster known as Banagan (Spiny Lobsters) and the other two that is usually not eaten the annoying lobster locally called Hanlilitik (Peacock Smasher) and Voigtmann's reef lobster.

Phylum Arthropoda
Class Crustacea
Order Decapoda
Suborder Macrura Reptantia
Superfamily Palinuroidea
Family Palinuridae
Genus Panulirus

Species Enoplometopus voigtmanni
Common Name Voigtmann's reef lobster

Species Odontodactylus scyllarus
Common Name Peacock Smasher
local called Hanlilitik

Here's some reading about lobster farming in Libjo.

Dinagat Island: A thriving aquaculture center
Small town sees success in lobster farming

Monday, April 23, 2007

Happy Celebration Araw ng Libjo

How wonderful and festive day today in Libjo! We are celebrating the very foundation of the town - Araw ng Libjo or Libjo Foundation Day. This event is observed every year the same day we celebrated Earth Day. The town hosted a series of activities the parade, ballroom dancing contest, folk dance, minus-one singing contest finale, volleyball, and basketball, pump boat racing and followed by the coronation night of Ginang Kalikasan (More-Money-Than-Beauty Pageant) a sort of fund generating activity. Barangay turns up hundred percent in the participation even though we have rain late the afternoon. Barangay San Jose and Quezon is one of the best entries in ballroom dancing hilarious full body contact with really superb outfit, our version of ‘Dancing with the Star’.

Got to go. I might miss something :). By the way Simbada is not included in this years program since it is so expensive to host. Photos will just follow.

News: Update on Loreto Ambush Incident

Report said unidentified men fired at the house of a Lakas-CMD mayoralty bet in the newly created province of Dinagat Friday night.

The attack on the house of Loreto mayoral candidate Doandre Bill Ladaga happened a day after one of his supporters was shot.

Police said the attackers fled after sensing that lawmen, who was informed about the incident by no less than Loreto Mayor Dario Pelismino, were approaching. Read more ...

Saturday, April 21, 2007

News: Mayoral Bet’s Supporter in Dinagat Hurt in Ambush

BUTUAN CITY – A supporter of a mayoral candidate in the island town of Loreto in the newly created Dinagat province was wounded in an ambush Thursday morning, police said.

Investigation showed that the victim, Junie Ablites, 35, was driving a single motorcycle when a white Toyota pick-up blocked his path.

Ablites was said to be on his way to a meeting of supporters of Lakas-CMD mayoral bet Doandre Ladaga when he was attacked.

One of two men alighted from the pick-up and aimed a gun at Ablites. The latter jumped out of his motorcycle and ran, but the man chased and shot him in the upper left shoulder.

The gunman hastily left, while Ablites was immediately rushed to the Loreto District Hospital and later transferred to the Caraga Regional Hospital in Surigao City, a one-hour boat ride from Dinagat Island.

Police later identified the Toyota pick-up with license plate GED 551 as allegedly owned by mayoralty candidate James Gupana. Read More ...

News: Korean joins Dinagat Island Politics

SURIGAO CITY - A 64-year-old Korean businessman married to a Filipina has joined local politics and is running for mayor of the seaside town of Basilisa in the newly created Dinagat Islands province.

Sangkil Ham Park, a naturalized Filipino, registered himself as "Chairman" in his certificate of candidacy (COC) and is running as an independent.

He is the Chairman-Founder of the Philippine-Chason Charity Foundation.

Park claimed he has been staying in Basilisa town for 10 years and six months prior to the May 14, 2007 elections, according to records obtained by THE STAR from the Commission on Elections (Comelec).

Park was born in Seoul, South Korea on Jan. 10, 1943. He currently resides at Purok 8, Barangay Tag-abaca, Basilisa, Dinagat Islands. Read More ...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Provincial and Local Candidates

Here’s our list of Candidates in the Province of Dinagat Islands and local candidates for the Municipality of Libjo. We will post other local candidates from other municipality as it becomes available. Board Members were divided into two districts. District 1 consists of Loreto, Tubajon, Libjo and Basilisa and District 2 consist of Cagdianao, San Jose and Dinagat.

Governor: Jade E. Villaroman

Congresswoman: Glenda B. Ecleo

Vice Governor: Elvis Dela Merced

Board Members District 1:
Merlinda D. Lagroma
Gracelyn B. Ecleo
Domingo L. Torotoro
Rolizabeth T. Ladaga
Ukem Ecleo

Board Members District 2:
Norberto A. Sarita Sr.
Zacarias N. Vales
Mario P. Menil
Nilo P. Gulfo
Bernardino Alcaria Jr.

Mayor: Sonny Llamera

Vice Mayor:
Romy Villarosa
Ale Cabajes

Jack Llamera
Roger Magpatoc
Jimmy Taasan
Ebong Cabajes
Dodo Edera
Cuay Simbajon
Lourdes Creencia
Frank Areglo

Councilors (Independent):
Junior Dacles
Aurora Pertos
Liezl dela Cruz
Amy Baynosa
Boy Dellera
Kawit Conales
Luz Bua
Nick Oriat

Friday, April 13, 2007

Welcome to Habal-Habal Country

We have heard Dinagat Island National Highway is expected to start this year. Let me ask everyone … what do we expect from a 100 million-road project? Or we’ll simplify it this way; we have around 100 kilometers road to build and 100 million pesos to spend. That brings us more or less a budget of 1 million pesos per kilometer span. Would this be enough? Would this road be designed for 4-wheel vehicle? Would this be 2 lane asphalt or concrete? I supposed this could be done easier this time since road is already existing compared to starting from scratch cutting trees, clearing hills and forest. But remember this highway is been declared DONE long time ago in the 70’s during Navarro’s term. I’m also thinking after the build would there be budget to maintain the highway?

This is PROGRESS. Indeed a good government investment. A road access to each town is a good deal. Now we have an option. We can choose not to survive more than two hours of waves. We can transport goods faster, safer and less expensive. Fast and convenient transportation brings opportunity. This will also bring more tourists and investors in the Island.

But on the other hand one sector is opposing the idea of a highway (Habal-Habal Operators). I supposed they don’t want another kind of transport to take place since this is where they earn a living. Hmm maybe they just cherished the rough bumpy riding cowboy-like drive. Or they just want to be included or be involve. How about we will just call the project Habal-Habal Highway after all this is Habal-Habal country. (photo by Bobby Timonera)

Link to latest update...

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Dinagat Island Dive Information

Travel time: Approximately 3 hours
Dive level: Advanced/Experienced
Dive type: Safari

Rocky islet off Dinagat

There are spectacular (and mostly unexplored) underwater caves, mounds, and pinnacles in and around the cluster of mostly uninhabited rocky islets just off the coast of Dinagat, located between Southern Leyte and the province of Surigao del Norte, of which it is part.

Activities range from deep dives (visibility is often 40+ meters) to snorkeling in the shallows. However, due to the area’s strong and tricky currents, we recommend it only to experienced divers with 100+ logged dives.

The best time to visit Dinagat is from April to November.


News: Dinagat Project Exempt from Election Ban

Unaffected by the election ban, four of the government’s 21 priority road projects are up for completion before the end of the year.

Presidential Management Staff director general Cerge Remonde yesterday said the P21-billion Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway Project and the P138.5-million Edsa rehabilitation projects are among the four targeted for completion between now and December.

The two others are the P2.5 billion Southern Tagalog Arterial Road 2 from Lipa to Batangas cities and the P100-million Dinagat Island Road.

Acting Public Works and Highways Secretary Manuel Bonoan said the 20 priority road projects and one bridge project with a combined cost of P96.6 billion are exempted from the construction ban imposed by the Commission on Elections during the election season. Read more ...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Jerrys Style Shopping in Libjo

Most likely if your from Libjo Dinagat Island or Surigao you know what I'm talking about. Jerrys is a shopping mall in Surigao City a different kind of store concept than Sari-sari where shoppers will choose what kind of item they're going to buy and pay it at the checkout counter. Long been in places but new to the town this idea gives customers ease, choice and less man power and meaning less expense to run a store. And much better if in result customers gets back the saving by cheaper goods.

Different stores has different concept. Stores in the US for example have some of these cost savings measures. Let the customers use their 25cents coin to borrow a shopping cart. That is they don't employ (pay) people to keep shopping carts in one place since shoppers will take care for it themselves. Cut the cost of shopping bags or baggers (you have to pay for the bags). Run a store with only 2 personnel. And bring the prices down to the advantage of the customer.

Anyways, the store I’m telling here will soon rise in front of Gotiay's residence in Libjo. Remember the old house next to the Tyang-gihan (Mercado)? The building is still under construction.

I'm just hoping here, establishment like this be successful and pay more taxes and not be considered a Sari-Sari business.

Sari-Sari Stores

Considering the mercantile attitudes and sales abilities of the Filipinos the publicist Regalario wrote once: “Give a Filipino thousand pesos and he probably will use this sum as a start-capital for a small retail-business". This thesis seems to be confirmed, if you look in a typical street of a Philippine barangay. With few exceptions one sari-sari store follows the other. You could gain the impression, that every house is or has a little street store - the Philippines as an agglomeration of small and smallest micro enterprises. The ubiquitous sari-sari stores are also belonging to the typical inventory of the Philippines like the Jeepney, Barong or the Sampaguita garlands. They can provide the owners with an additional income.

Sari-sari stores are often little wooden huts. A oversized billboard, emphasizing the importance, can contrast with a narrowly cut sales window. A look into the sales window shows a little room in semidarkness filled with properly arranged goods. Here basic commodities are sold: i.e. rice, salt, sugar, preserved foods, calorie-rich candies, detergents, batteries, shampoo or floor wax. Very often soft drinks and surely also beer and gin are bestsellers. Cosmetics are bringing higher profits, so they are exposed in a favourable position. Fruits (for example bananas) and vegetables can be added, particularly if there is no “Wet Market " with fresh products in the neighbourhood. A western observer can be astonished, seeing the sale of only one or two cigarettes. Sandals can be a special offer attracting possible buyers. Sometimes the exposed range of goods is thinned out to reduce the taxation by official and unofficial authorities. But the range of goods seems to be very similar even if there is a strong competition with other sari-sari stores in the neighbourhood. New products need further investments and the demand may be only small.

Sari-saris have an important social function in everyday life. Here you can hear the newest gossips and you can have a little chat. In the morning you see perhaps women with their children, clinging on the apron strings and pleading for sweeties. Later the pupils come for a Coke or a comic strip. And in the evening men can sit on provisory benches smoking cigarettes or drinking beer and Ginebra, just to forget the frustration of the day or to have some entertainment. With closing time the store gets very well secured, because you never know … read more

Monday, April 02, 2007

Island's Way of Life and Diet by Richard Parker

Richard Parker's from UK now lives half each year in GL (General Luna) in Siargao. He is currently doing a study about the way of life and diet in the Philippines particularly in the Island of Siargao. He also owned and managed a website containing rich information about Seashore Food, Early Human Diet, Fishing, Fruit & Vegetables, Animals and the Philippines itself. Information mostly related to Siargao but since Dinagat and Siargao is a just neighbor, the two islands share some common culture. This is a good source of information for those of you who want to know more about our culture in the Island. That is from an outsiders (foreigner) point of view. You can visit his site at

By the way this is some of what he says about our LibjoLIVE!:
Your weblog is wonderful. I enjoy it greatly. I also liked your post about spider fighting - I've only just learned about this (lawa ???) and it sounds fun. Perhaps we could organise a Siargao/Dinagat Spider Derby, and give a lot of pleasure to those who cannot afford to maintain fighting cocks or Manny Paquiao.