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Showing posts from May, 2014

The Ilocos Times May 26-June 1, 2014

Sweltering storms

“El Niño ” is suddenly in the headlines as thermometers surge and we all swelter.  So, what is “El Nino”?  How does that differ from “La Niña”? Above all, how does that affect our daily lives? The scientific explanation is dense: “Large-scale ocean-atmosphere climate interaction linked to a periodic warming in sea surface temperatures, across the central and east-central Equatorial Pacific.” Got that? No. Transposed into layman’s language that means: Warmer water, in the Pacific Ocean, that messes up normal weather patterns across the world. El Niño of 1997 bore “more energy than a million Hiroshima bombs” writes National Geographic. “By the time it had run its course eight months later,” it had deranged weather patterns worldwide. The death toll rose to 2,100 and property damage bill crested at US$33 billion dollars. In Peru, this  caused  massive rainfall which led to deadly flooding and mudslides. El Niño whipped Hurricane Linda off the coast of Mexico, which turn

Business groups call on gov’t to define power supply and rate as key to sustainable and inclusive growth

Nine major business organizations have urged government to define power supply security and competitive power rates as major twin initiatives to realize aggressive industrialization and inclusiveness, with public and private sector working together to achieve these objectives. In a joint letter to President Benigno Aquino III, the Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PCCI), Alyansa Agrikultura, Chamber of Mines of the Philippines (COMP), Employers Confederation of the Philippines (ECOP), Philippine Exporters Confederation (Philexport), Semiconductor and Electronics Industries of the Philippines (SEIPI), American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (AmCham), European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) and the Korean Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (KCCP pointed out the importance of having a clear program for achieving reasonable and competitive power rates as key to accelerating industrialization, bringing in significant foreign direct investments, cr

Batac has new city agriculturist

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter Batac City —In pursuance to RA 7160 otherwise known as the Local Government Code of 1991 which mandates the appointment of a city agriculturist, the city council headed by Batac vice mayor and presiding officer Ronald Allan Nalupta approved the appointment of Ms. Merryline Gappi as new city government department head I or the city agriculturist of Batac. During the deliberation at the city council for its approval, the measure which was certified as urgent by Batac mayor Jeffrey Jubal Nalupta, the issue focused on Ms. Gappi’s erstwhile current position as section head of the city agriculture office. Ms. Gappi was also queried on the problems of farmers and zanjeras in Batac, which she answered sufficiently. After the approval of the council, Mayor Nalupta congratulated Ms. Gappi. The mayor, being the appointing authority, said he believes in the capacity, potential and performance of Ms. Gappi. He added that the new agric

City futures in transformation

Participants of the UNESCO Futures Forum-Workshop Resilient Cities, Brighter Futures attended by mayors, administrators, planners, academics, NGO leaders, bankers, social scientists and futurists from different parts of the country and the world. (Shermon O. Cruz) By Romelene Pacis Contributor “Many cities are beginning to imagine alternative futures for themselves that go beyond the tradition of only providing for roads, rates and rubbish. Cities do now have the ability to influence climate change and the future in general. While many Asian cities remain locked in the bigger is better race and fighting for constructing the tallest building, healthy cities are emerging and some, like Laoag, are setting the example for ‘Glocalization’ in the Philippines and if it emerges the Asia Pacific region as well. If more forward looking politicians emerges a broader vision of the city could be created. If Laoag succeeds, it could be used as a template for the preferred city idol, if

Pagudpud needs a fire truck

By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter PAGUDPUD, Ilocos Norte—The popular tourist destination of Pagudpud has no functional fire truck. Pagudpud mayor Marlon Sales said a house at Brgy. Baduang already burned into ashes before responding firefighters from the neighboring Bangui town reached the area on the evening of May 22 when a fire broke out. “Should there be a fire truck on standby in Pagudpud town, several damages to properties and possible loss of lives due to fire incidents could have been avoided,” the mayor said citing the need for a fire truck in the municipality. According to Sales, a mini fire truck was earlier donated to the Pagudpud municipality during the past administration of then Pagudpud mayor Matilde “Maja” Sales but unfortunately it was not properly turned-over to the municipality when he assumed as mayor in 2013. In view of this, the Pagudpud mayor has reiterated his request to the Department of Interior and Local Government to set up a Bure

Emapanada battle: Vigan vs Batac

While this popular delicacy is not an Ilocano original (It was introduced here by our Spanish colonizers), empanada has become as Ilocano as saluyot , marunggay , and baggoong . It comes from the verb empanar , meaning to wrap or coat in bread. In the Ilocos dichotomy that is Norte and Sur, two versions emerged from two key locations: Batac and Vigan. It’s not the first time someone compared the two Ilocos empanadas, but I will be more upfront about my verdict. This comparison is a product of a series of store visits, interviews with tourists and locals, online reviews, direct observation, and, of course, product tasting conducted this summer in the respective empanada centers (empanadaan) of Vigan, Ilocos Sur and Batac, Ilocos Norte. How do we proceed with the comparison? Taste, I admit, is highly relative because one comfortably prefers what she is accustomed to. Ilocano anthropologist Malot Ingel, for instance, said, “…kung ano ‘yung alam kong lasa, mag-i-stick ako

LC all set for 2014-2015 school year

By Dominic B. dela Cruz Staff Reporter AFTER KICKING off Brigada Eskwela 2014 at the Balatong Integrated School on May 19, the Laoag Dept. of Education division said they are now ready for the opening of classes on June 2. Dr. Cecilia P. Aribuabo, city schools division superintendent said they have sufficient teachers for the coming school year. She also stressed that schools have been advised not to collect fees during enrolment unless the parent would be willing to pay the allowed fees. Among the allowed fees are Girl/Boy Scouts fees and the anti-tuberculosis fee. Dr. Aribuabo added that contributions are pegged at P250 for elementary pupils and less than P500 for secondary students. Wearing of uniforms is also voluntary but she pointed out that uniforms are for the pupils’ and students’ safety as they can easily be identified if they roam around. She stated further that uniforms would eventually be a savings for parents as they would no longer need to buy

National council for dragon fruit organized

Editha Dacuycuy (center) file photo By Leilanie G. Adriano Staff Reporter IN A BID to further boost the dragon plant industry in the country, the Philippine Dragon Fruit Growers and Processors National Council was organized recently to make its presence felt in the export market. Led by its president, multi-awarded farmer scientist and entrepreneur Edita Aguinaldo-Dacuycuy of REFMAD Farms, the pioneering dragon fruit plantation in Ilocos region, the newly-organized council backed by various government agencies including the Department of Agriculture, Department of Agrarian Reform and the Ilocos Region Agriculture Resources Research and Development Council (ILARRDEC) aims to promote dragon fruit as a promising high value crop with a great demand in the export market. At present, there are at least 40 active members in the council composed of big time players in the agriculture industry. “By coming as one, we envision to make the Philippines known for its quality f

Brgy. 15 (Laoag City) elderlies go on a picnic

RELAX, RENEW, REFLECT. Top Photo shows senior citizens of Brgy. 15, Laoag City, with all smiles partaking lunch during the picnic to relax, renew, recharge and reflect. (From left) standing, Naring Matias, board; Cresen Nolasco, Loi Fausto, and Merlene Alvarez, board and third from R; Romana Fernandez, Treasurer. (Inset left): Members of the board singing together, “Diay Baybay”, with the following lyrics to remember: “Sadiay anian a ragsak” (relax)/ “Sadiay awan ti rigat”, (renew)/ “Sadiay makalinglingay diay baybay ket nalinak” (reflect). From Left -  with microphone, Dolores Pedro, secretary; Loi Fausto, Merlene Alvarez, members; Mariano Eugenio, with hat, president; Romana Fernandez, treasurer, and Avelina Alipio, asst. secretary-treasurer. (Inset right): Lolas with their grandchildren enjoying the clear water to relieve them from the summer heat, besides the fun and laughters. The Senior Citizens Association of Barangay 15, Laoag City, recently went to a picnic at th

37 IN students qualify for DOST scholarship

By Kent Jerico Ramil DOST OF THE 274 high school graduates from the different municipalities and cities of Ilocos Norte who took the scholarship examination, 37 qualified for the Dept. of Science and Technology scholarship. The passers were mostly from Laoag City, Batac City, Bacarra and Bangui, which accounted for the highest number of passers. Adams and Dumalneg, on the other hand, accounted for the least number of qualifiers. The scholarship qualifiers belong to the economically disadvantaged families who qualified under the Republic Act 7687 scholar grants.  These scholars will receive free tuition fees, monthly stipend and book allowance, among others.  The qualifiers who will avail of any of the science and technology undergraduate scholarships may pursue a four- or five-year college degree in priority science and technology fields.  They can enroll in state universities and colleges and other higher educational institutions recognized by the Commission

Ilocos Sur farmer produces quality coffee beans

Robusta coffee, Sigay’s one-town-one-product.  By Reynaldo E. Andres MMSU SIGAY, Ilocos Sur —Coffee traders in Ilocos region who are looking for aromatic coffee beans like those produced in Batangas and Cavite need not go too far. They can find them in the farm house of Simeon Acbayan, 61, at Brgy. San Elias, Sigay, Ilocos Sur. Mr. Acbayan’s farm house is always loaded with sacks of dried coffee beans ready for market. These world class coffee beans are those of the Robusta variety which abundantly dot a two-hectare slopes of a hill owned by Mr. Acbayan. Because of Mr. Acbayan’s success in producing quality and aromatic coffee beans, Sigay has now become a well-known trading “entrepot” center of small and big time coffee traders in Luzon. In fact, the local government of Sigay has made this morning beverage as its one-town-one-product (OTOP) since 2009 and recommended Mr. Acbayan to the Ilocos Agriculture, Aquatic and Natural Resources Research and Developm