Monday, July 30, 2007

Muthja in 1984 and 2007

Muthja is our basketball team in Libjo way back 1984. Here’s our photo back then wearing the team’s uniform. We won the championship game that year. And in the next photo is the very same uniform my kids are wearing today 23 years later. I told my son, you know what you are wearing the same uniform they are wearing here in the previous photo. My son asked me and he said, ‘Are they still alive?’

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Padala in Libjo Dinagat Islands

Padala in our own definition differs from standard courier and mail service. Courier in the Philippines is LBC, DHL or FedEx for international shipping and mail service is done by Philippine Postal Corporation or Phil Post. Our Padala operates in different way. Usually Padala is something sent through a friend, a relative or someone we know. Almost free of charge much more if it is dub ‘pa-padala lang’. Saving the cost for courier. Padala is a Filipino tradition. Padala from the States and from relatives from the Middle East. We can Google ‘Padala’ with lots of different results. One says ‘it’s the cheapest way to send money’. Other says ‘Gift delivery for the Philippines’. ‘Easier way of giving Pinoy goodies to relatives and friends’ and more.

In Libjo our version of Padala is described as delivery of various stuff. Stuff like letters, packages, orders or sometimes cash. For someone who does the job this is a career. Called transport handyman for times this individual live merely by tip (pang tricycle, snacks). And because they are considered trader they pay no fare. Looks like part of the crew but they are not. They help on the crew on daily task in the boat. The main job is they handle wholesale orders from the stores. They are very important person. Of course everyone knows them. But this is also sometimes a risky business. They are trusted to carry 10’s of thousand of cash. And when it involves cash it always has temptation and risk of being robbed. This business is based on trust and building it takes time. Besides they have to learn to survive storms, waves and be a shipper. Basically live in a boat. Padala mostly works in places where no courier operates or since it is cheaper than courier.

Monday, July 16, 2007

News: Tubajon Municipal Councilor Found Dead

A passenger pump boat named MB Sweet Merah capsized Wednesday dawn off the coast Nonoc Island dawn drowning one passenger -- a newly elected Municipal Councilor of Tubajon town, one missing, while eight others including its four crew members were rescued.

Reports said that while the pump boat was crossing the Surigao Strait, huge waves and strong winds caused the vessel to capsize.

Hours later, a passing motor banca rescued six passengers and four crew members of the ill-fated MB Sweet Merah.

Unfortunately, one of its missing passengers who was later identified as Tubajon Municipal Councilor Florencia Binongo Alinsunod, 68, a resident of Barangay Malinao, Tubajon, Dinagat Islands Province was found dead at the shore of Barangay Talisay, Surigao City.

Another passenger is still missing.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

News: Army Says Ferry Passengers Safe

Forty one passengers, among them a child, of the stranded roll on, roll off m/v Shuttle Ferry 10 are now safe, according to rescuers belonging to the 30th IB Philippine Army based in Surigao del Norte.

Colonel Isidro Purisima, commanding officer of the 30th IB Philippine Army, said the troops coordinated with the Philippine Coast Guard for the rescue operations that started Wednesday afternoon.

Asia Marine Transportation Corporation, which owns and operates the vessel, sought the military's assistance.

"The vessel, which has cargoes of nine six-wheeler trucks, one 10-wheeler truck including its 41 passengers--some bound for Pasay City in Manila others for Leyte, is now anchored one mile north of Rizal Island, Dinagat Islands Province," Purisima said. Read more...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Cassava - Staple food in Dinagat Islands

Did you know my favorite snacks cassava cake, tabirak (ginat-an), linidgid and puto are all made from Cassava? Did you know Cassava has lots of names? We know this as Jaba, kamuting kahoy, kamanting, balanghoy. But in other places they also have different names. Cassava is called mandioca, aipim, or macaxeira in Portuguese, mandio in Guaraní, maniok in Afrikaans and Rotuman, yuca or mandioca in Spanish, muhogo in Swahili,mogho in Gujarati, tapioka in Fijian, kappa or maracheeni in Malayalam, singkong or ubi kayu in Indonesian and Malay language, tugi in Ilocano, balinghoy in Tagalog, maniok in German, Danish and Czech, manyok in Haitian Creole, lumu in Kichwa, manioc in French, mannyokka in Sinhala, khoai mì, khoai sắn in Vietnamese, mianga in Kikuyu and cassave in Dutch.

Myth or not if you plant the cassava stem upside down will produce a poisonous crop. It might be true but one thing for sure, Cassava cannot be eaten uncooked. You know why? It contains free and bound cyanogenic glucosides which are converted to cyanide in the presence of linamarase, a naturally occurring enzyme in cassava. And if this is grown in during drought season will produce more of this toxins. High content of this toxin will also cause Paralytic Neurological disease if consumed in several weeks. But cooking is sufficient enough to remove the toxins.

Besides rice, camote and coconut in Libjo cassava is the main food grown most especially in the upland regions. Its mostly known as substitute to the rice diet.

And so the song says:
Boy: Inday bayle ta
Girl: Di ko ka kapoy
Among pamahaw balanghoy
Among pani-udto balanghoy gi puto
Among panihapon balanghoy gihapon

BTW I have good news, I’ve heard San Miguel Corporation is planning to setup plantation for this crop in the Island.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

‘Good For’ Credit System - Libjo, Dinagat Islands

You wonder how credit system works in Libjo? We don’t have credit cards. People even don’t know what is Visa or Master card. We don’t even have advance banking like ATM (Automated Teller Machines). Credit (Utang) is so important and much more so if you don’t have cash in hand. And that happens all the time. We have what we call as ‘Good For System’. Most of the commerce in the Island is done by this method. Teachers, hospital and municipal staff everyone. This is usually done in stores and not by banks. A written piece of paper for items and goods borrowed, dated and signed. Some even use this paper note to pay workers instead of paying cash in advance. Including small stores getting goods from the larger whole seller stores (we call it Angkat-angkat).

Stores should have a good record keeping. They also maintain an excellent credit evaluation method. They should know whose good payer, whose bad payer and also maintains a credit limit. I believed this will only works in places where people know everyone.

Plain simple and easy. The use of this system is so convenient that you don’t need to carry cash or wallet for cards. All you need is a piece of paper enough to write down items to borrow and sign. Such a powerful piece of paper store requires printing name before the signature to clearly identify whose signing. Since some signatures are hardly recognizable. Why we call it ‘Good For’ System? Because the note always starts with the word ‘Good For’ in the top.

Typically credits (Utang) are paid in the end of the month’s works payday.

Monday, July 02, 2007

News: Green groups want DENR revamp in Caraga

“Manipulations by moneyed illegal loggers in getting legal documents such as log transportation and cutting permits from local DENR offices all over Caraga have been on going for years and must be put to an end," the groups said.

“Alleged illegal logging activities in Caraga do not only destroy our future but also deprive the government of revenues from these illegal loggers who pose as legitimate wood traders but are actually smugglers of (illegally) cut woods," the groups added.

Caraga, noted for its wood-based economy, is composed of five provinces namely Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur and the cities of Butuan, Surigao and Bislig. Read more...