=> NOV (01-30) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => OCT (01-31) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => SEP (01-30) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => AUG (01-31) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUL (01-31) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUNE (01-30) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAY (01-31) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => FEB (01-28) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JAN (01-31) 2010 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => DEC (01-31) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => NOV (18-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => NOV (01-17) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => OCT (01-31) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => SEP (01-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => AUG (21-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => AUG (01-20) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUL (15-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUL (01-15) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (27-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (17-27) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (11-17) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (01-10) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAY (14-31) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAY (01-14) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => APR (22-30) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => APR (01-22) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAR (28-31) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAR (01-27) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => FEB (24-28) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => FEB (01-24) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JAN (26-31) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JAN (15-26) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JAN (01-14) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => DEC (23-31) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => DEC (11-23) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => DEC (01-11) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => NOV (28-30) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => NOV (18-28) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => NOV (07-18) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => NOV (01-07) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => OCT (19-30) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => OCT (10-19) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => OCT (01-09) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => SEP (25-30) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => SEP (19-25) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => SEP (01-17) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => AUG (19-30) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => AUG (01-18) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUL (17-31) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUL (01-17) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (27-29) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (22-26) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (12-22) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => JUN (01-09) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAY (23-31) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAY (15-23) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  => MAY (01-14) 2008 TACLOBAN NEWS
  Copyright © 2007 - 2018
JUL (01-15) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS


>>> JUL (01-15) 2009 <<<

Local news for Tacloban, Leyte, Philippines continually updated.
Definitive Source of News and Information about the Tacloban region

Tacloban Hotels
Tacloban Hotel Reviews
Tacloban Restaurants
Tacloban Restaurant Reviews
Tacloban Real Estate

Tacloban Attractions
Tacloban Travel Guide
Tacloban Rent-a-Car
Tacloban Maps
Tacloban News

Tacloban Travel Packages
Tacloban Nightlife
Tacloban City Forum
What's NEW?
Find lost relatives/friends

Jul 15, 2009

Outbreak in Eastern Visayas?

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- Confirmed influenza A(H1N1) cases in Eastern Visayas have risen to 96 as of Monday with majority of the patients reported in schools, the Department of Health (DoH) said.

DoH regional epidemiologist Nicholas Bautista raised the possibility of a community outbreak with at least 242 persons placed under observation. Students accounted for 80% of suspected cases.

"There's a cause for alarm since this flu hit 50% to 60% of children in one classroom. We fear that it will go to the community and be transmitted to high risk group," Mr. Bautista said.

In this city and in nearby Palo town, confirmed cases were reported in Cirilo Roy Montejo National High School, Rizal Elementary School, Leyte Normal University, STEFTI, Sacred Heart Seminary, Sto. Niño SPED Center, Bethel International School, Kapangian Elementary School, St. Therese Child Development Center, Sacred Heart Seminary and Saint Scholastica's School.

The region's biggest secondary school, Leyte National High School, with a student population of over 6,000 has confirmed cases.

"Classes were suspended in some sections to prevent the spread of the virus," Mr. Bautista said.

Only the schools from Leyte and Eastern Samar have so far been giving reports of suspected cases. "The community is still silent. There might be positive cases but it's not reported to us," he added.

Mr. Bautista said the DoH will hold a summit today to raise awareness on the virus among city school, local government and Commission on Higher Education officials.

A World Health Organization report has projected that the virus could infect up to 1.17 million people in the region, representing a third of the population.

Private hospitals have been tapped to treat patients. The congested Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center, which is the only referral hospital in the region, has only three beds for confirmed cases and seven beds for cases under observation.

Jul 14, 2009

Only daughter Sofia, not Alfred and other members of Romualdez family, has contracted A(H1N1)

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- City Councilor Cristina Gonzalez-Romualdez clarified yesterday that only their daughter Sofia, and not her husband, City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, or any other member of their family here in Tacloban, contracted the A (H1N1) virus.

Reached through her mobile phone, Councilor Romualdez debunked rumors that she, the mayor or any member of their family other than their eldest daughter Sofia, is sick with the disease.

"Walang katotohanan ‘yan. The mayor is well and healthy. In fact, he told me that he reported for work yesterday at his office at the City Hall. As for me and other members of our family, we are also doing well. It is only our eldest daughter Sofia that tested positive of the disease," she said.

"But if ever I and the other members of the family contracted the disease and tested positive of it, we will not hesitate to inform the public because it is the most appropriate thing that we could do in such circumstance," the councilor added.

Rumors have been circulating and some radio commentators have been reporting over their radio programs that Mayor Romualdez and other members of the mayor's family here in the city have contracted the dreaded disease.

Councilor Romualdez disclosed that she is now in Manila after she brought her daughter there for treatment.

"She (Sofia) went home from the Bethel International School last July 6 feeling ill and feverish," she disclosed.

"Like any other mother, I became worried. Initially, we thought that she contracted Dengue. After tests showed that she was negative of Dengue, we became more worried and had her tested for A (H1N1) at the Department of Health (DOH). Then we brought her to Manila for treatment. After we arrived in Manila on Thursday, City Health Officer Jaime Opinion relayed to us that the test administered by the DOH confirmed that our daughter is indeed positive of the virus," added Councilor Romualdez.

Since arriving in Manila, according to the councilor, their daughter has responded well to treatment.

"Sofia has responded well to Tamiflu. Diana, our other daughter, and I are in self-quarantine in our house here in Manila. Hopefully, we will be able to return to Tacloban a week or two from now," Councilor Romualdez said.

In the same interview, Councilor Romualdez appealed to Taclobanons to remain calm and immediately report suspected cases of A (H1N1) to the DOH and other concerned authorities and agencies

She further said that once she returns back here she would introduce measures that will help combat and prevent the spread of A (H1N1) virus.

"I and the mayor are very much concerned on the effects of the disease on the health of Taclobanons. We will do anything to help Taclobanons and prevent the spread of the disease," she stressed

Influenza A (H1N1) is caused by a novel virus that resulted from the reassortment of 4 viruses from pigs, human, and birds. This new virus causing illness in people was believed to have originated from Mexico, and first detected on people in April 2009 in the United States.

Infected persons maybe contagious from one day before they develop symptoms to up to 7 days after they get sick. Children might potentially be contagious for longer periods.

The spread of the virus could be prevented by observing proper personal hygiene, increasing body's resistance, and practice social distancing.

Here in Eastern Visayas, more than 90 cases of A (H1N1) have been reported. In addition, the DOH is monitoring hundreds of individuals for signs and symptoms of the disease.

So far, there has been no fatality in the region arising from the said disease.

Jul 14, 2009

Tacloban City mayor's daughter has A(H1N1)

With a report from Ranulfo Docdocan

ABS CBN News - Philippines

A daughter of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and former sexy actress, now city councilor, Cristina "Kring Kring" Gonzales has tested positive for influenza A(H1N1) virus, a local health officer announced Monday.

Dr. Jaime Opinion, city health officer, said the couple's daughter caught the disease from an infected classmate at the Bethel International School in Palo, Leyte.

Opinon said the school's classes have been suspended. He asked other students who may have had contact with the mayor's child to go on self-quarantine.

The health officer said the mayor's daughter is one of the 24 confirmed A(H1N1) cases in Taclocan City, which has the highest number in Eastern Visayas. He added that there are 50 more people being monitored manifesting flu-like illness.

Opinion said the Cirilo Roy Montejo National High School in Taclocan City has already suspended classes after a three students were confirmed positive for the new influenza virus.

Other schools in Tacloban City with infected students are the Sto. Niño Sped Center and the Leyte Normal University, he added.

Hew said three more schools in the city are being monitored for possible confirmed A(H1N1) cases.

Jul 14, 2009

Kring-Kring Gonzales's daughter get A(H1N1) - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The daughter of Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and former actress and now city councilor Cristina "Kring-Kring" Gonzales is the latest victim of the Influenza A (H1N1) virus in this city.

Tacloban City Health Officer Jaime Opinion said on Monday that the 10-year-old daughter of Romualdez contracted the disease from a classmate at the Bethel International School, a private school located in Palo town, Leyte.

Two schools from Palo town, namely, the Philippine Science High School and Saint Mary, have confirmed H1N1 flu cases or have placed several people under observation.

Opinion said the daughter of Romualdez tested positive for the virus on Friday and was immediately brought to a private hospital in Manila.

In a radio interview, Councilor Gonzales-Romualdez said that her daughter was doing well.

"We don't have any intention to hide her condition," she told station dyVL yesterday, referring to rumor that circulated in the city that they tried to hide her daughter's condition from the public.

Opinion said classes at the Bethel school were suspended for seven days. The young Romualdez was on her fourth grade.

He said that 10 students from the Bethel school have been placed under observation.

Opinion said he had advised Mayor Romualdez and wife Cristina to go on quarantine for 10 days.

Romualdez did not report to the City Hall on yesterday.

Jul 13, 2009

CLO generates revenue of P69M in 1st  semester

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The City Licensing Office (CLO) has generated a total of P69 million in the first semester of this year.

Atty. Rhyna Peñaranda, city licensing officer-designate, said that the figure is P7 million higher than the income derived in the first six months of last year.

Based on a report furnished by Atty. Peñaranda, the CLO collected P62 million from January to June last year.

Peñaranda attributed the increase in earnings mainly to the creation of the Mayor's Inspection Task Force.

The Mayor's Inspection Task Force was created by the City Government of Tacloban last March to monitor the compliance of business establishments on the city's Revenue Code. Seven teams comprising the task force has been going around the city to implement door-to-door monitoring to determine businesses without permits and to check if those declared in the application for licenses coincide with the actual operations.

"Proprietors of establishments found by the task force to be operating without permits have been coming to our office to apply for one," Peñaranda revealed.

Of the more than 5,000 business establishments inspected so far by the Mayor's Inspection Task Force, 3,000 plus were found to be operating without business permits.

Another reason for the increased earnings, according to Peñaranda, is the increasing number of investors putting up businesses in the city.

Scores of new businesses have been established in the city since it was declared a highly-urbanized city (HUC) late last year.

Of the P69 million, based on the same report, P57 million came from the graduated fixed tax, annual permit, CEO, garbage, and billboard fees.

The remaining P12 million was derived from fees on police clearance, tourism, zoning certification, RPT clearance, business stickers, franchises, and other miscellaneous fees.

Jul 10, 2009

Pino restaurant opens at Robinsons Place

By Joey A. Gabieta & Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- A fine dining at a very reasonable price?

No kidding. But yes, Virginia, it's true.

And this is at Pino! which is located at the ground floor of the Robinsons Mall here in the city.

Joel Rama del Prado, managing partner of Pino!, said that while their place look so classy and urbane, not their price.

"While we have an ambiance for the A and B classes, our price are very reasonable and affordable," del Prado said.

The Pino! branch here in Tacloban is its first venture outside Cebu where its main branch is located and been in business for over two years. The fine dining restaurant is also owned by the Mhulliers.

The official said that Tacloban was not included in their original expansion plan until the Gokongwies and City Mayor Alfred Romualdez convinced them. The restaurant held a soft opening last June 11 at Robinsons Place Tacloban.

"I was hesitant of expanding here because there's not even one single taxi operating in Tacloban. However, I'm happy with the acceptance of people here," Del Prado said.

Pino! started its operations here in the city on June 11 during the opening of the Robinsons Malls with its 31 staff at the beck and call of the customers. It will have its "formal opening" on August 7 yet. It is open from 10 in the morning until the last guest has his dining done.

Aside from offering its usual menu of vegetables, noodles, rice, salads, coups and appetizers, Pino is highly considering to make local dishes of store location as part of the list of diner's choice.

Pino! can accommodate 80 persons to relish the sumptuous and uniquely presented Filipino foods.

Among the menu customers could enjoy in Pino! include some of the all-time favorites among us Filipinos pinakbet, Bicol express, tortang talong, pancit canton and of course. Oh yes, these very original viands can be eaten with much gusto with the bamboo rice.

The menu also adapts cuisine learned from foreigners, particularly Spaniards and Chinese.

Del Prado said that Pino! was designed to promote Filipino foods which in the process, help promote the tourism industry. Fact is, its name was derived from the Filipino word which means "fine."

He also said that they are planning to open more branches in other key cities in the country to start right in Quezon City.

The fine dining restaurant is part of the M Lhulier Group of Companies.

Jul 09, 2009

Repair of DZR Airport terminal to start this month

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The dilapidated terminal of the Daniel Z. Romualdez Airport here is to undergo repair within the month with a budget of P10 million.

The repair of the airport terminal, however, is independent and separate from the major rehabilitation plan of the said airport, stressed Sergio Sumergido, officer-in-charge of the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines-8.

"The (physical) condition of the terminal is no longer conducive to our passengers. Some of its ceilings need to be fixed," Sumergido said, explaining the repair work to be done at the terminal building.

It was learned from him that the Cebu-based Vargas Construction Company would undertake the repair of the terminal building.

Sumergido said that the construction company is just waiting on the issuance of the notice to proceed (NIP) from the Department of Transportation and Communications for the repair work to start.

"But the repair work will start anytime this month and is expected to be finished within 90-day calendar day," the CAAP officer-in-charge officer said.

He, however, said that he has no idea what is the specific scope of work with regard to the repair of the terminal building, which was constructed in 1974.

But for sure, Sumergido said, once finished, the DZR terminal building would not only make the passengers comfortable while waiting for their departure but "aesthetically" good to look at.

"Its present condition is not really good to look at. But with the repair, its aesthetic value would be enhanced," he said.

"Of course, the main reason for the repair is to make our passengers more comfortable," Sumergido added.

It was learned from him that the major rehabilitation of the DZR Airport would proceed as planned.

"It will take some time for the rehabilitation of the airport to start. But meanwhile, we have to repair our terminal building for the convenience of our passengers," Sumergido said.

In fact, asphalt overlay of the runway and construction of shore protection of the airport in the amount of over P600 million has started already, he said.

Last April 28, President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo led in the groundbreaking of the DZR Airport planned rehabilitation attended by several regional officials and Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

Meantime, Sumergido said that there is really a need for the airport to be given a face-lift considering the volume of passengers is in the uptrend.

The DZR Airport is the region's premièred airport with the Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, to include the new player Zest Air, have a combined 11 daily flights for Manila and Cebu.

From January up to June this year, more than 637,000 passengers, both incoming and outgoing, used the DZR Airport in going to their respective destinations.

Jul 09, 2009

Tacloban police to reactivate bike patrol

By April Rose Q. Uykieng

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Sr. Supt. Brigido B. Unay yesterday said they would be reactivating the bike patrol for the proposed Tourist Protection Unit that they would set up in the city as a deterrent to crime.

Lately, there have been reports of theft and snatching in the city. Among the victims were two students who lost their cellular phones to snatchers but the policemen later returned the cellular phones to the owners after they apprehended the culprits. Another person also lost his laptop that was stolen from his car.

Although the police are making their rounds and their duties, Unay said "there is a shortage of policemen in some stations and I have already requested more policemen to be added to maintain peace and order and to ensure the safety of the Taclobanons."

Unay said they have a new set up, called ‘Uniform Crime Performance Evaluation', in which they will implement the proposed action plan of 12 hours duty for every policeman.

"As of now, some policemen are making 24-hour duty which somehow violates the Civil Service Law, that every employee will only observe a 8-12 working hours. There is really a need for more law enforcers to maintain the safety and peace in the city. The actual number for the population of Tacloban is more than 251,000 and the supposed policemen to be installed in the city is around 400."

Jul 07, 2009

Mang Inasal to open another branch in downtown Tacloban

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- A group of franchisee is looking at opening another Mang Inasal restaurant in this city after noting a wide acceptance of the Ilonggo-taste grilled chicken in the region during the opening of its first branch at the Robinsons Place.

Tacloban Branch Manager Kerwin Cornico said plans were laid for expansion of grilled chicken restaurant to the downtown area of the city by next year.

"Since we're still new here, we have to concentrate on our first branch but the franchisee is upbeat of opening a new branch in this city. Tacloban is a big market. We want to introduce a food cooked in a different way," Cornico said in an interview.

The said restaurant was the first branch of Mang Inasal Phils., Inc. in Eastern Visayas with franchisee from this city and from Metro Manila. Currently, it has 143 branches nationwide. The goal is to open 300 stores in the country by 2012.

"This is the first time to bring Iloilo's specialty to Tacloban. This makes a difference because chicken is grilled and not fried," Cornico added.

He claimed that the use of local herbs and spices makes the chicken taste good. The chicken is held by a bamboo stick and the rice is wrapped in bamboo leaf.

The first branch in the region of the fast growing quick serve restaurant opened last June 11 in a 161 square meters floor area of the Gokongwie-owned mall.

"Since our opening, hundreds of people have been coming everyday to dine in," the store manager said.

The unlimited rice offer for their "Paborito Meals" is also one factor attracting costumers, according to Cornico.

Established by businessman Edgar Sia II, the restaurant business started in Iloilo City on December 12, 2003. Motivated by good sales, it branched out to the rest of Visayas, Mindanao and Manila. It started franchising in 2005.

The restaurant has elements that bear a distinctively Filipino's stamp-grilling with charcoal, rice wrapped in banana leaves, a marinade concocted out of local spices and herbs, bamboo sticks for skewers, and the ambience that encourages kinamot (eating with the hands) whenever chicken inasal is served.

Aside from grilled chicken, the restaurant also offers sisig, grilled pork, bangus, chicken feet, wings, pecho, liver and baticulon, fish and pork sinigang, batchoy, bihon, pancit molo, pinoy burger, pinoy mirienda, pinoy panamis, pinoy pampagana, among others.

The company has branches in Bacolod, Iloilo, Roxas, Metro Manila, Cebu, Davao, Kalibo, Tarlac, Boracay, Antique, Mindoro, Batangas, Pampanga, General Santos, Tuguegarao, Iligan, Bulacan, Cavite, Baguio, Laguna, Panabo, Cagayan De Oro, Lucena Surigao, Palawan, Agusan Del Sur, Malabon, Zamboanga Pagadian, Koronadal, Rizal, Pangasinan, Dipolog, La Union, Ozamiz, Kabankalan, and Tacloban.

Jul 07, 2009

Waraynons told: Be vigilant during typhoon months

By Melanie L. Bingco

ABS CBN News - Philippines

The Philippine Atmospheric Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration in Tacloban City has warned the public to be vigilant during typhoon months, which starts from the month of July to December.

"Three typhoons are expected in July but that doesn't mean that we are going to have all the three this month, that's only a prediction," said Nilo Polinas of PAGASA.

He however stressed the importance of always being informed of the weather condition so that tragedies will be avoided in case typhoons hit the region.

"Usually if the weather disturbances enter the country through Surigao area, people have to be careful since it will traverse Eastern Visayas," he said.

An average of 20 typhoons affect the Philippines every year.

Jul 06, 2009

Alfred to sue those "accountable" in the issuance of TRO on festival parade

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Mayor Alfred Romualdez said he is now readying a legal action against those "accountable" in the issuance of a temporary restraining order prohibiting him to stop the holding of a street dance of the "Pintados Kasadyaan Festival" last month.

The TRO issued against him, representing the city government, was "dangerous and illegal," Romualdez claimed.

"What if there is a man holding a gun without a permit to carry a firearm but the court will tell me not to take any actions against him? That what exactly they did to me with that TRO," Romualdez said.

The city mayor said that he would bring his case all the way to the Supreme Court.

"That was very dangerous; it could set a bad precedent. That is why, I will bring this matter up to the Supreme Court...against those accountable," Romualdez said, describing the TRO.

He also claimed that the TRO issued against him, representing the city government, was "illegal" citing opinions he received from a legal person whom he did not identified.

As to who could be accountable, the city mayor did not elaborate.

On June 25, Regional Trial Court Executive Judge Crisologo Bitas issued a TRO against the mayor and his "agents" to include members of the Tacloban City Police Office to cease and desist from stopping and preventing the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival of its street dancing and presentations in the city.

The holding of the twin-bill festival was in connection with the annual fiesta of the city, which has ceased to be under the administrative control of the provincial government since last year when it became a highly urbanized city.

The petitioner of the TRO was former Leyte Representative Remedios "Matin" Petilla, executive chair of the Pintados Kasadyaan Executive Committee who filed the TRO on June 24.

Petilla, representing the foundation, claimed on her petition that denying them to stage the parade for the fiesta would deprive them their constitutional right to free expression of their cultural and religious heritage.

With the TRO issued by the court, contingents of the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival were allowed to use the city streets on June 27 though they were met with a group expressing their criticisms against the management of the Leyte Metropolitan Water District.

Romualdez said that the issuance of the TRO was obviously done hastily as he claimed that he was not given time by the court to answer the petition filed against the city government.

"City Hall is not that far from the (Bulwagan ng Katarungan) building. They have called me to answer their petition. But no, no one informed me about it. What I received was a copy of the TRO," he said.

He said that he was "surprised" on the TRO issued against him and the city government.

The TRO issued by the court, the city mayor claimed, was not a permit which could allow the organizers to parade in the city.

He maintained that the issuance of a permit is within his discretion being the chief executive of the city.

"But I knew the reason why they insisted in holding their festival here in the city. All they wanted was media mileage and to taunt me. If I insisted of dispersing them, they would claim that I am abusive," he said.

Romualdez said that during the time of the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival, he never lifted a finger to issue any order to the city policemen to disperse the crowd and those who joined the parade.

"I just stayed home with my kids," he said.

Jul 05, 2009

Despite conflict with Tacloban, Leyte to pursue Pintados fest

By Jack Gadaingan

Manila Bulletin

TACLOBAN CITY -- Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho L. Petilla said the province of Leyte is now more determined to continue in the coming years the holding of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals that has already become a tradition that the people look forward to every year.

This resolve came after this year's Pintados-Kasadyaan festival street parade was marred by untoward incidents that forced the anticipated street-dance parade to take a different direction from its traditional route.

The city government of Tacloban had refused to issue a parade permit to the Pintados-Kasadyaan organizers despite the fact that a temporary restraining order (TRO) was issued by the court to pave the way for the holding of the street-dancing show.

And, on June 27, the date for the Pintados-Kasadyaan parade, the city government of Tacloban under the leadership of Mayor Alfred Romualdez conducted its very own pedicab race on the same route and time with the slated parade.

Likewise, a gathering of people, some admitting to waiting for distribution of food and P200 each, were congregated along the parade route to supposedly conduct a rally against the Leyte Metropolitan Water District, the water utility controlled by the province of Leyte.

Because of such incidents, Petilla said he can only "expect the worst and hope for the best" when the province of Leyte staged the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival the next time in the city of Tacloban.

"This festival has already become a breeding ground of festival champions with our contingents winning big in major national festival competitions, so I do not see any reason why we should end this," Petilla said.

He added that the thousands of people who trooped to the Leyte Sports Development Center, packing the bleachers to the brim some hours before the grand presentation, only showed that the event has already been ingrained in the collective psyche of Leytenos who yearly look forward to see the cultural affair.

Jul 04, 2009

Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile urges DOT to market Sangyaw Festival

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile urged the Department of Tourism (DOT) to market the Sangyaw Festival of Tacloban abroad in the bid to bring more tourists to the city.

"The Sangyaw Festival is so impressive that it could be in the list of must-see attractions in the country. I strongly recommend to the DOT and to the people who are marketing our country's tourism assets abroad to include this spectacular festival," the Senator said.

Enrile was one of the visitors during the June 29 parade and street dancing of 14 contingents of Sangyaw Festival. He also joined the parade last week around the major routes of the city.

The contigent of "Bonok-Bonok" Festival from Surigao City was adjudged as this year's champion of the Sangyaw Festival, bringing with them half a million pesos as their winning prize.

Another crowdSs favorite during a showcase at the Balyuan Amphitheater is the "Banigan Festival" from Basey, Samar which was named as second prize winner, bagging P300,000 in the process.

The third price winner was the "Pattaraday Festival: Araw ng Santiago," from Santiago City in Isabela bringing home a P200,000 cash prize.

The Tribu Kankabatok of the city did not join the competition but they've made a presentation.

"My heart is filled with pride as I watched the enthralling and awesome showcase of Tacloban's finest talents during the Sangyaw Festival Parade. It must be mentioned that Tacloban City, and Eastern Visayas in general, is a gold mine of talents. I commend the festival participants for their creativity, talent and ingenuity in their performances," the Senate chief added.

The cultural festival, which was created by former first lady Imelda Marcos, was revived by Mayor Alfred Romualdez last year and is being held every 29th of June.

Jul 04, 2009

"Sangyaw Festival was a big success" - Councilor Romualdez

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- "The festival was a big success," this was the assessment of City Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, chairwoman of the City Tourism Council (CTC) regarding the just-concluded Sangyaw Festival.

The CTC headed by Councilor Romualdez has overseen and coordinated activities in the run-up and during the main festival celebration on June 29.

Speaking during a press conference held at the Balyuan Building on Wednesday, July 1, Councilor Romualdez said that they in the city government were very much satisfied and happy that almost all went well with the second staging of the revived festival.

"Many of the contingents and prominent personalities from the entertainment, political, and media worlds we have invited graced the event. Business was brisk. Hotels were fully booked and tourists, local and foreign alike, visited the city in droves. These showed that the festival was a big success," said Councilor Romualdez, who was joined in the press conference by City Councilors Cristeta Pedrosa, Pax Pacanan, Sambo Yaokasin, Robert Hernandez, and Bianco Mate.

There were 17 cultural contingents from within and outside the city that joined in the festival. In addition, Sangyaw was graced by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos and Sen. Manny Villar, a "presidential hopeful" and numerous other stars from the entertainment, political, and media world.

Also, businesses and hotels experienced an upsurge in sales and bookings in the duration of the festival.

"Another indicator of success was that activities related to the festival, especially the grand parade, were conducted with only minor hitches. Also, success was seen through the thousands of people who poured into the streets and other venues to watch the parade and attend other socio-cultural activities," the councilor added.

Thousands of people lined up the city's major thoroughfares Monday afternoon in an unprecedented display of pomp and revelry.

The Balyuan Barbecue Park, Amphitheater and the Tacloban City Convention Center (Astrodome), venues of concerts and other entertainment during the weeklong festivities were also filled with people at nighttime.

Councilor Romualdez then acknowledged the support extended by the Church, business establishments, barangays, government agencies, and other sectors and organizations to the "success" of the festival

"This is clear an indication, that our festival has already gained recognition and strong support from the different sectors- business, civic, and the community. We wish to thank all of those who supported us in this endeavor," said Councilor Romualdez.

A brainchild of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the Sangyaw Festival was first staged in the city in 1974 as part of its fiesta celebration.

Sidelined for more than 30 years, the festival was revived last year by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

Jul 03, 2009

City councilors vow to make Sangyaw Festival more impressive

By April Rose Q. Uykieng

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- With the success of the Sangyaw festival, majority members of the city council are pushing for a more impressive Sangyaw Festival in next year's fiesta celebrations in order to promote tourism to the international level and have more visitors coming in and joining the festival.

Councilor Jerry "Sambo" Yaokasin said that an amount of P5 million was recently allocated for this year's Sangyaw festival which aims to promote tourism in the city.

"We are promoting tourism to Tacloban and pushing the economic status of the city. We are hoping that Tacloban will be known not only nationally but also internationally,"Yaokasin said.

"It is a conservative budget. But hopefully by next year the budget will be more than 5 million. It's an annual budget and the city has funds for it coming from the Tourism Program. It's money well spent," Yaokasin added.

Yaokasin also said "there is a breakdown report that the City Tourism Council already submitted. It is shown there down to the last centavo is accounted for."

This report on Sangyaw's funding was supported by Councilor Bianco Mate and Councilor Cristeta Pedrosa.

"The 5 million budget is a conservative amount. That amount is the liquidation of the previous year. However, the city is already a highly urbanized city so we can afford to have a higher amount for the next year's festival," Councilor Mate said.

In another development, the issue on garbage that were scattered around the city on the day of the Kasadyaan Festival parade, Councilor Mate said, "Actually, what happened was that the garbage trucks were blocked by the PNP personnel to enter the city. That was the reason why the garbage were not collected on that day and on time. There is a schedule for garbage collection around the city."

Councilor Rufino Pacanan suggested that garbage should be taken out by the establishments at night, and be collected by garbage collectors during the night time. So it will not cause traffic jam.

The city councilors want to have unity with the Provincial officials for the next year's celebration of Sangyaw.

"We are open to unifying the two festivals. It would be good to have one big festival rather than have two and be in bad terms with the other," this from Councilor Cristina Romualdez.

"Para naman ito sa celebration ng Sto. Niño festivity hindi naman ito para sa amin lang. This is for all Taclobanons to enjoy and who wants to celebrate the fiesta," she said.

Councilor Robert Hernandez thanked the people who made those comments regarding the Sangyaw Festival. "Nagpapasalamat ako han mga tawo nga nagbabatikos ha amon, para upayon pa namon it amon trabaho ngan pa-uru-upayon pa it sunod nga Sangyaw Festival. There is room for improvement that the city and the city councilors can do for the next Sangyaw Festival celebration," he said.

Jul 02, 2009

LMWD GM challenges Mayor Romualdez to put up another water district in Tacloban

By Miriam Garcia Desecada

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The general manager of Leyte Metropolitan Water District (LMWD) has reiterated his challenge to Mayor Alfred Romualdez in his campaign promise for the Highly Urbanized City to put up now the city government-owned water district.

This is what LMWD general manager Nestor "Gang-Gang" Villasin told the media in an interview, stressing that since Mayor Romualdez warned that if there would be a continued poor delivery of water service of LMWD to water concessionaires of Tacloban, it might force the city government to establish a city water district.

Villasin said that LMWD has been no objection and even welcomes this plan of the city chief executive.

"Putting another water district in Tacloban is always a welcome move, and a good plan so that they could help solve the water crisis in the city, pero kon diin hira kukuha hin surok hin tubig it is no longer the problem of LMWD, considering that since I assumed my position as head of LMWD I never claimed that we have sufficient supply of water because of the system of the water distribution that could no longer accommodate the increasing number of water consumers under the coverage of LMWD," Villasin explained.

"Anu pa man an ginhuhulat nira, now that Tacloban is already a highly urbanized city, so it's time for them to put up their own water district," he added.

It was earlier announced by the LMWD management that the design of LMWD system could accommodate 18,000 water concessionaires and it has now reached to more than 27,000 household water consumers.

He said the LMWD has allotted some P25.6 million that will finance the entire project, and the bidding process is going on.

"Hihigupon an tubig tikang hiton aton surok han tubig ha Tingib, Pastrana, Leyte para we could properly distribute the water to the consumers. I am confident there is going to be an improvement as our option right now to solve the water problem in this city," Villasin said.

Villasin is optimistic about the multi-billion worth of water system expansion that will be financed by the Asian Development Bank (ADB).

In fact, he said, the team of ADB is set to present the just completed feasibility about the project next week, hoping that this would be pushed through soonest.

Villasin warned the city government that it is not easy to establish their own water district, considering many laws for them to follow aside from the big budget needed for the purpose.

But Mayor Romualdez has found an ally in the Senate that is willing to help the city's problem of water adequate water supply.

During the visit of Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, he urged Mayor Romualdez to ask a franchise in Congress for the city government to have its own water system.

"I suggested to the mayor to get a franchise from the House of Representatives for this purpose. I am willing to help the city, this is a public utility service, so they could put up their own water facilities, and water is the cheapest one we have natural sources, so there is no reason para magkaroon tayo ng hindi efficient water distribution," Enrile commented.

Meanwhile, the provincial administrator of Leyte, Vincent Emnas, appealed that any rally against LMWD would not be a solution for the water crisis that Tacloban consumers are confronting today.

"Dapat ngani ginhihimangrawan ini han mga concerned officials in LMWD as well as in the city government para mahaagian hin solusyon," Emnas added.

Jul 01, 2009

Archbishop Palma urges prov'l, city officials to unite

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY - The region's highest prelate, Archbishop Jose Palma, exhorted officials from the city and the province to unite for them to achieve their goals that would benefit their respective constituents.
Palma made his appeal to city and provincial officials during his over 30 minutes Homily during yesterday's Pontifical Mass marking the 120th city fiesta.

Officials of the two local government units need each other reason that they should not turn against each other, the archbishop of the Palo stressed.

"We need one another. Our city needs the province (as) the province needs the city," the archbishop said in his Homily attended by thousands of faithful at the Santo Niño Church.

He added: "If we believe that we need other people to lead (our) people, we can say that we are the happiest in the world."

His call was heard loud and clear by Mayor Alfred Romualdez who led the Romualdez-Marcos pack who attended the two-hour Pontifical Mass.

Present were his aunt, former First Lady Imelda Marcos, cousin Representative Ferdinand Martin Romualdez, wife Councilor Cristina Gonzales- Romualdez and his father, former Mayor Alfredo "Bejo" Romualdez, among others.

Conspicuously absent was Leyte Governor Carlos Jericho Petilla, his mother Remedios and their key political allies who normally attend the Pontifical Mass in previous years.

The two influential political families accused each other of undermining the holding of their respective cultural festivals during the city fiesta.

The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is identified with the Petillas while Mayor Romualdez revived the Sangyaw Festival two years ago. The said festival was a brainchild of his aunt, Imelda.

In last year's plebiscite on the bid of Tacloban to become a highly urbanized city (HUC), Mayor Romualdez and Gov. Petilla also traded accusations against each other. The HUC bid of Tacloban was supported by majority of the city's voters effectively making the city no longer part of the administrative control of the province.

Archbishop Palma said that unity not only among political leaders but also even within the community level and the Church would result to peace.

"We need to pray for peace. If there is no peace, there is a Child that is most affected," he said, referring to the city's patron saint, Señor Santo Niño, whom Palma described to be the "Prince of Peace."

"(Hope) there will be peace in our land; will there be peace in our hearts," Palma added.

In his homily, Palma repeatedly underscore the need for peace saying that the Catholic Bishops Conference of the Philippines (CBCP), of he is a permanent member, adding that peace is a very important factor in achieving social change.

He said that this year was declared by the CBCP as the "Year of the Two Hearts for Peace-Building and Lay Participation for Social Change" and likewise as the "Year of the Priests."

Jul 01, 2009

Bongbong to seek Senate seat in 2010 polls, say Imelda and Imee

By Joey A. Gabieta

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY - Fourteen years after of his failed senatorial bid, the only son and namesake of former President Ferdinand Marcos would try again to seek a Senate seat.


Bongbong's mother Imelda and sister Imee, who both said that his election as a senator would benefit not only Ilocos Region but Eastern Visayas as well, separately confirmed this.

The former first lady said that with the plan of her son, who is now representing the second district of Ilocos Norte, to take a second crack at the Senate seat, she would help on his campaign.

The Marcos widow said that with Bongbong at the Senate, Ilocos Norte would not only gain a senator but even Eastern Visayas which has yet to produce a senator in more than three decades.

Imee also revealed during a separate interview the political plans of her brother.

"Well, he is planning to run for the Senate. He is seriously mulling about it," Imee, who was in the city to join Tacloban's 120th fiesta, said.

During the 1995 elections, Bongbong ran but lost during his first Senate try allegedly due to "dagdag-bawas" scheme. At present, he is a member of the House of Representatives representing Ilocos Norte's second congressional district.

Imee said she has no political plan in relation to the 2010 elections, describing herself as "retired" from politics and insisting that she is now into animation and indie filmmaking.

The eldest daughter of Marcos, who ruled the country for 20 years, said that the family is hopeful that what happened to her brother in the 1995 elections would no longer take place.

"Iba na ang panahon ngayon," she said.

As to what political party her brother would join for his second attempt for a Senate seat, Imee could not say yet.

However, Imee hinted that Bongbong might join the Nacionalista Party whose presumptive standard-bearer, Senator Manny Villar, was invited as among the guests of the Sangyaw Festival, one of the highlights of the city fiesta.

Villar was described by Imee as a "friend," adding that the Nacionalista Party was once the political party of her father before he formed the monolithic Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL).

Asked if the family is supporting the presidential bid of the former Senate President, Imee said that they have yet to determine who among the presidentiables they would support.

"But he is a friend and he is a Nacionalista," she said.

But her cousin and Tacloban Mayor Alfred Romualdez announced his support on Villar's 2010 ambition before the more than 1,000 barangay officials of the city during the Tuesday meeting held at the Balyu-an Ampitheater.

He said that his support on the presidential bid of Villar stemmed from his being a Nacionalista, citing that Leyte has been once a strong bailiwick of the party.

Jul 01, 2009

Imelda says move of Tacloban to revive Sangyaw laudable

By Lemuel Pagliawan

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos said the revival of the Sangyaw Festival would showcase the identity and uniqueness of the Waray-waray people.

Marcos, who is in the city to grace the Sangyaw Festival and celebrate her birthday on July 2, said this initiative of his nephew, City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, is simply laudable as this is a thing "above politics".

"Activities like this should be given enough focus and attention as culture is the only instrument that unites the people," Marcos said.

She said other festivals in the city that seem to compete the Sangyaw Festival should just be ignored and not be given due attention as such scenario is but natural in a growing city like Tacloban.

"The city is growing. I believe that whatever is happening in Tacloban would serve as an enriching experience to every Waray here," Marcos said.

It can be noted that Imelda was given the highest award in the recent Sangyaw Achievement Awards night held at the Balyuan amphitheater this city.

Her contribution in promoting the country's culture and the arts proved the former first lady worthy of the award.

Visiting Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile also shared his insight about the Sangyaw festival as urged the Department of Tourism to market the festival to other countries in a bid to attract more visitors and tourists to come and visit the city.

<<< JUL (15-30) 2009 NEWS




Find the best Tacloban hotels, attractions,
travel guides, restaurants and more ..




Join the Fight against the Dengue Fever!
DOH launches 2008 National Anti-Dengue Campaign

Once is not enogh, donate blood regularly
and save lives!

You can help to keep Tacloban City clean and beautiful.
Contact your city officials if there are no trash bins at your
local parks, beaches or public areas!
City Hotline: (053) 321-3369

" ... 1.2 million Tibetans, one-fifth of the
country's population, died as a result of China's policies;
many more languished in prisons and labor camps ... "

Firefox 2
Best viewed with Firefox