Tuesday, July 28, 2009

More "roots"

Kiblawan, Davao del Sur - Elements of Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) - Region XI, raided another marijuana (cannavis sativa) plantation in Baranggay Kimlawis Monday afternoon. A firefight ensued when armed bandits, believed to be the guards of the plantation, tried to drive away the raiding team. After four encounters, bandits, together with the suspected cultivator, retreated to unknown direction allowing the police to enter the site.
More than one thousand seven hundred fully grown marijuana were uprooted by PDEA and were immediately brought to Kiblawan Police station as evidence. After taking samples for case filing, authorities immediately burnt the marijuana trees in front of the residente to serve as a warning to those who continue to cultivate the prohibited marijuana. Kiblawan is considered as the major source of marijuana in the region becuase of large plantations like this. PDEA vowed to continue with survielance and monitoring to erradicate cultivators.
This is the second largest operation from the months of May to July this year. Last month, PDEA successfully uprooted more than three thousand fully grown marijuana from the same baranggay, ready for selling.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

They ate my dead cells

Before leaving Manila last Saturday, my friend, Cluadette, invited me for a stroll at Ocean Park. My flight was scheduled at seven in the evening so i still had ample time. After fetching her in Makati, we went straight ahead to Ocean Park. Been to Manila several times but this was our first time to visit the park. Weve heard so much about it and it did impress us when we were there. No wonder they call it the first "state-of-the-art Oceanarium, open water marine habitat,." Aside from marine attraction, it also contains boutique mall, restaurant row and function facilities all located in one complex. As we went inside, Claudette and i was so amazed with so many species of marine creatures, big and small. It was so entertaining that we forgot about what we wanted to try here, the fish spa.
After the tour, we went staright to the second floor for the fish spa. They say its good for those who have skin desease. the spa utilizes what they call Doctor fish. "The fish are like combfishes in that they only consume the affected and dead areas of the skin, leaving the healthy skin to grow, with the outdoor location of the treatment bringing beneficial effects. These little dermatologists are used there to give relief to people with various skin disorders, including eczema, psoriasis and dermatitis."
As i soaked my feet in the pool, school of Doctor Fish immediately swarmed my feet and start working. It tickles and we were so noisy at pool spa, laughing as the fish slowly scraped the dead skin out of our feet. Its refreshing and it really cleaned our feet. I can't wait to visit again soon.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pupils experienced the darkening of the sun

I can still remember how i and my classmates banged the tin drums to make noise as we watch the darkening of the sun. Our folks told us the noise was necessary to drive away the dragon that ate the sun. I was grade one then. Aside from making noises, we also watched through a pale of calm water how ths sun grew darker and darker untill it was covered by the moon.

I can't remember the year, but the excitement lingers, the same excitement that i saw among the pupils of Bansalan Central Elementatary School this morning. About 10:30 in the morning, teachers decided to allow their pupils to watch how solar eclipse work. Using a plastic film from car tint, children looked through it to see the sun clearly as a portion of the covers it. In countries like China, it was a total eclipse, but here, Filipinos enjoyed a partial eclipse.

"On Wednesday, 2009 July 22, a total eclipse of the Sun is visible from within a narrow corridor that traverses half of Earth. The path of the Moon's umbral shadow begins in India and crosses through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Myanmar and China. After leaving mainland Asia, the path crosses Japan's Ryukyu Islands and curves southeast through the Pacific Ocean where the maximum duration of totality reaches 6 min 39 s. A partial eclipse is seen within the much broader path of the Moon's penumbral shadow, which includes most of eastern Asia, Indonesia, and the Pacific Ocean."

After "sun watching," pupils went back to their classroom to discuss the natural phenomenon. I had a chance to sat during their class and it was fun to watch the children discuss what they saw over that plastic film.
For teachers, it was a rare opportunity for pupils to see this phenomenon. They were a bit luckier than other areas in Davao region because of fair weather. In some areas, students were not able to see the eclipse due to scattered clouds. According to NASA, the next solar eclipse will happen on July 11, 2010 which will be visible in Argentina.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Masked Students

It's been ten days after classes in Don Mariano Elementary School in Digos City was suspended. A grade three pupil was diagnosed positive of A(H1N1) virus. Today, the school opened the whole SPED Center building as classes resumes for Grade A1 up to Grade A6. While gathering data for my feature story this afternoon, i noticed that most of the pupils are now wearing face masks in spite of the advisory that the school is already virus free.
I can't help but ask them why. the children told me their parents strictly told them to put on masks wherever they go, even during classes. Parents are cautious of their children's health especially that at present, there are 57 positive cases in Davao region, 42 if which are from Davao City and three from Digos City. Although health officials are happy that parents are now aware, health officials are also alarmed that it might cause panic among residents. Dr. Roland Jumilla, Digos City health officer said, the virus is already contained if not totally eradicated since the three positive patients in Digos City live in one compound only and is now being quarantined.
Dr. Jumilla added, residents should not be afraid of the virus for it is curable and can be avoided with proper intake of vitamins, healthy lifestyle, and proper hygene. After all, its just a flu with a different name.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Half bloody to me

I've waited for two years, and this is all i got? Said the lady beside me inside the cinema after watching Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince last night. I myself felt a craving for more action and thrills like the previous episodes, more exciting fight scenes maybe. I was able to read the book, and i think it lacks the excitement as i was reading it. Which made me think i did not get what i wanted to see. It is like "half bloody" to me. But David Yates was successful in sustaining my interest of the story, that i really wanted him to make the sequel tomorrow.
Here are some comments i read from other blogs. You might want to leave yours too after watching the movie.

"After the clumsy storytelling and hollow action of some of this summer’s Hollywood blockbusters, Yates’ latest Potter is a shining beacon of quality."
Charles Gant
Heat Magazine

"This is the least involving of the series so far, with an unclear storyline and action set-pieces that fail to convey the excitement of the book."
Christopher Tookey
Daily Mail [UK]

"It's a more mature magic. ... Now subject to the same raging hormones as any other 16-year-olds, our spell-casting heroes are learning to brew love potions this year, with results mostly played for laughs."
Bob Mondello

"So yes, Half-Blood Prince is a bloody good time, and the best summer blockbuster film since Star Trek, but make sure you make the time to sit down and read the books if you haven't."
Matthew Razak
DC Examiner

Still feels "half bloody" to me...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

I got a new phone

Remember the phone that i threw away from third floor of our apartment? I was saddaned for a while. It's been useful to me especially its wifi service. I used to write my script there everytime i ran out time. It was not that expensive, in fact, others call it poor man's blackberry (N63).

I could not live a day without a phone so i just closed my eyes when i purchsed a new one. I was looking for a more useful kind that has wifi, mms, and music, videos, and email with a large amount of storage capacity. A friend told me to pick Nokia 5800.
Did i make the right choice? check this out:
Touch. Play. Share.
One touch takes you to music and up to 35 hours of crystal clear hi-fi on an advanced multi-format player. One touch takes you to the Video Centre, a great way to watch in high-resolution widescreen. Play with a 3.2 megapixel camera for great photos and smooth landscape video, then seamlessly share them online.

This amazing 3.2” high-resolution touchscreen looks unlike any other and puts everything at your fingertips. Fit for one hand, featuring responsive touch and stylus input with tactile feedback.

One touch to music, video, and more. The dedicated Media Bar means mobile entertainment is always on hand, with superior surround sound and high-resolution widescreen viewing.
Featuring you, your friends, 3.5G connections, and a 3.2 megapixel camera. Put your favourite people on your home screen and share moments and media as they happen.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Healing mass for Cory

It's been months since my last day off. My boss asked me to work even on weekends due to lack of manpower. Last Thursday, i received a text message from a friend inviting me to an island getaway on Sunday. I thought i should insist to have that weekend day-off this time. When i approached my boss last Friday, he again asked me to do another "gratis amores" on Sunday. I hated my boss that time. But when he told my how important it is for us to work on Sunday, i changed my mind. I said to myself, "for the mother of Philippine democracy, i won't hesitate to work."
ABS-CBN spearheaded a nationwide healing mass for former president Cory Aquino on Sunday, which was aired simultaneously nationwide. I was tasked to report for the healing mass at Shrine of the Infant Jesus of Prague. More than three hundred supporters and former members of Yellow Friday Movement prayed together for the recovery of Mrs. Aquino. The shrine is special to Mrs. Aquino for it is one of the places she visits to meditate everytime she is in Davao.
Aquino was confined in the hospital recently to seek medical attention for her loss of appetite attributed to the illness (colon cancer) that she has courageously battled for over a year and a half.
To those who joined the healing mass, former President Aquino was a key figure in achieving democracy in 1986. She was also instrumental in inspiring many Filipinos to take action to end dictatorship in the country. I too prayed for her. In my heart, i owe her so much. She helped me before in ensuring peace and democracy in our place in Lanao, i believe its my time to help her too, even in prayers.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I threw my phone from the third floor

I was running while climbing up the stairs just to get to the third floor on time before sunset. It was the first time in three months since i saw sunset from our apartment balcony. i was holding my camera, my cellular phone on the other hand. I thought i saw the couch in my left side. Due to excitement, i threw my phone on the couch and took as many shots as i could just to get the perfect shot. As i review my pictures, i walked in the direction of the couch where i thought it was only to realize the couch was in my right side. I actually threw my cellphone from third floor to the living room at the ground floor. From the top, i saw my phone turned into pieces. I just bought that three months ago.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Citizen Journalism Seminar at HCDC, Davao

Davao City - More than a thousand Boto Mo Ipatrol Mo volunteers attended the Citizens Journalism Seminar at Holy Cross of Davao College Gym on Friday. The seminar aims to educate volunteers on journalism ethics, visual story telling, and their responsibilities as partners in keeping an eye on the 2010 elections.
Veteran and multi-awarded broadcast journalist Maria Ressa (SVP for News and Current Affairs, ABS-CBN) and Charrie Villa (Head, News Gathering, ABS-CBN) were among the speakers while anchor/reporter Atom Araullo helped the participants as the moderator.
The Citizens Journalism seminar also aims to inform the volunteers of their responsibilities as patrolers and teach them the basic journalism concepts.
Citizen Journalism is the concept of members of the public "playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting, analyzing and disseminating news and information."
According to the seminal 2003 report We Media: How Audiences are Shaping the Future of News and Information,” Authors Bowman and Willis say: "the intent of this participation is to provide independent, reliable, accurate, wide-ranging and relevant information that a democracy requires."

People without professional journalism training can use the tools of modern technology like internet and cellular phones “to create, augment or fact-check media on their own or in collaboration with others. For example, you might write about a city council meeting on your blog or in an online forum. Or you could fact-check a newspaper article from the mainstream media and point out factual errors or bias on your blog. Or you might snap a digital photo of a newsworthy event happening in your town and post it online. Or you might videotape a similar event and post it on a site such as Youtube (Wikipedia).”
While i was doing my interview, a student came to me and asked me, "are Filipinos ready for this?" Yes, i believe we are all ready for this. The concept of citizens taking part in public awareness has been proven so many times especially when the ABS-CBN launched the Citizen Patro, Boto mo i patrol mo, bayan mo i-patrol mo, and in 2009, BMPM Ako ang simula.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Don't mess with martial arts expert



Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Another Dolphin Died in Davsao Gulf

Sta.Cruz, Davao del Sur - Fishermen in Baybay, Coronon discovered a lifeless dolphin that was washed ashore Monday evening. The dolphin weighs about seventy kilos and about six feet long. Romeo Montesori fisrt discovered the dolphin. He thought it was a tuna so they tried to poach it but some of the residents warned them about the penalties in dolphing poaching. They immediately reported it to local police.

Members of Provincial Fisheries office immediately conducted post mortem investigation and discovered the wounds and scars on its side. Authorities cannot identify yet the cause of death.
Fisheries office also reminded the residents to avoid hurting or poaching dolphins as it is already an endangered specie.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Making Use of Old Perfume Bottles (repost)

Does you room smells like a garage? Or does it stink like a pile of laundry. If you badly need an air freshener but far away from the stores, here’s one practical tip for you. Your empty perfume bottles will help you improve the ambiance of your room or any part of your house. Open your old perfume bottles. Pour a small amount of water into your empty perfume bottles and place it in areas where air flows into your room. Make sure not to cover it so that the scent will spread inside the room. The perfumes that we buy have alcohol content causing the perfume to evaporate when left open. While the scent in the bottle lingers, water will slow down the evaporation of the scent and provides a good source of air freshener. You may also position it near air conditioning systems where scents are carried around your room evenly. Aside from providing instant air freshener, it also cuts extra spending at home. It also gives you the feel of smelling good all the time even inside your room. It will also improve your mood. People used to buy perfumes not just by smelling good but buy expressing your mood. In the same manner, the scent of the “perfume air freshener” will supplement that mood inside your own room. Some people love to go to the spa because of the stress relieving aroma. Your “perfume air freshener” should be a good substitute at home. It will also serve as odor repellant especially in your comfort room. Some people stay longer in the bathroom. Providing better ambiance will also provide lighter feeling. If you have space at the headboard of your bed, you may also put one there to help you sleep better because of better scents while resting. Other than rooms and bathrooms, you may also place it inside your wardrobe closet. As soon as you open your lockers, the air rushes out from inside including the scent from your empty perfume bottles. It also ensures your clothes doesn’t smell old even for a long time inside the closet. Imitations are not recommendable because even the content of the perfume you buy does not last long. Avoid using different kinds of perfume bottle at a time for the mixture of scents might just smell bad. Use one scent at a time according to your mood. To avoid looking messy, make sure you position it in areas not so visible but with enough aeration. Or if not, you can accessorize the bottle to make complement the room’s look. You may also use it as flower vase. The scent will still be there but not for a longer time.
Remember, this is just an alternative freshener while you are away from the grocery stores. It is still advisable to buy antibacterial air fresheners that ensure safety especially on respiratory concerns. So don’t you throw that old and empty perfume bottles away.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Ghost at the accident scene

Since my childhood, i have heard so many stories about ghosts. One time during college, i was left alone in our boarding house at the College Park when i decided to watch the movie Shutter. I did not finish the movie until lately. I thought capturing ghosts in a picture was fake, photoshop works. Maybe.
Last Saturday, during our coverage of the bus accident in Malita, Davao del Sur, where one passenger died instantly, I took pictures of the crime scene for documentation. Its was about twelve midnight when we arrive at the place where the bus landed after falling from deep ravine. While i was reviewing my pictures, on frame caught my attention. At a glance, i noticed this smoke formation in front of the bus. It seems like a man standing in front of the bus. That gave me a chill. I kept my observation to myself, but my camerman was asking why i was so eager to leave the area as soon as possible.
Inside our crew cab, i showed this picture to my team, they were so scared that we left the accident scene immediately. I can't help but ask, who is that man standing in front of the bus?

Sunday, July 5, 2009

One dead, 15 injured as bus falls into ravine in Davao del Sur

One dead, 15 injured as bus falls into ravine in Davao del Sur
abs-cbnNEWS.com 07/05/2009 7:56 PM

A passenger bus fell into a ravine Saturday night in Davao del Sur killing a passenger and injuring 15 others.
The ACF bus was almost totally destroyed after it fell 100 hundred feet into a ravine in Sitio Magasayap in Barangay Kidalapong in Malita town in Davao Del Sur
Reported killed immediately was Arnel Masunong who was reported to have been seated on the front side of the bus. Most of the injured meanwhile were initially taken to Malita District Hospital. Some would later be transferred to Davao Medical Center in Davao City
Initial information said that the bus lost its brakes as it travelled fast along a curve in Magasayap Highway. The driver reportedly lost control of the bus and it went straight to a deep ravine.
“Nag-malfunction ang brake kaya’t nahulog, disgrasya talaga ang nangyari,” said Superintendent Victorina Mendez, Malita police chief.
“Mabilis ang takbo namin, dumiretso na sa bangin, nanalangin na lang ako na ‘Diyos ko iligtas n’yo kami’,” said Philip Geya, one of the passengers who were injured.
Benny Carcillar, the driver of the ill-fated bus, was described in critical condition. The crash pinned Carcillar on his seat. He was brought to San Pedro Hospital of Davao City.
Masunong’s wife, Dina, meanwhile was distraught. She said her husband took a day off from his work and was about to surprise her on her birthday Saturday. She said he was bringing her a cake from the bakery in Digos City where he worked.
“Dadalhan sana daw niya ako ng cake. Di ko matanggap pero anong magagawa natin, disgrasya e,” said Dina.
Malita police meanwhile have coordinated with the management of ACF bus to provide assistance to the accident victims.
The others injured were identified as Rosalyn Bacudo, 24; Maricel Sarana, 21; Rosela Sarana, 41; Antonio Cator, 56 (bus conductor); Danilo Sangcaan, 37; Pebigine Geya, 8; Boy Garcia, 40; Joy Lareno, 30; Lydia Bacarro, 62; Joy Silvano, 34; Janeen Fe Nicole Silvano, 5; Cenon Desucatan, 49 and Edith Doria, 56. (From a report of Francis Magbanua, ABS-CBN Southern Mindanao)

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Passenger bus falls off a cliff in Davao Sur

Malita, Davao del Sur, Philippines — A passenger died when ACF Bus 5400 passenger bus with plate number LVX – 883 travelling from Davao City fell off a cliff at Sitio Magasayap, Baranggay Kidalapong, Malita town past 7:30 in the evening on Saturday. Fifteen other passengers were immediately brought to Malita District Hospital for first aid but later referred to different hospitals in Davao City because of critical condition.
Arnel Masunong, who sat at the first row seat died on the spot. His wife Dina revealed that Arnel took a day off from work to surprise her during her birthday on Sunday.
Survivor Danilo Sangcaan told the news team that prior to the incident, the driver told them they were having problems with the break. Benny CArcillar, the driver of the bus, was advised by few passengers to check the problem but he did not budge.
The wounded were:

10. JOY LARENO, 30

Friday, July 3, 2009

Flaming Plantation

On our way back to Digos City, we saw the firetruck approaching us. Its sirens were sounded. There must be fire i said. I told my driver to track down where they were heading. We lost them at the intersection of Rizal avenue. Good thing my cameraman was quick to notice the tire marks. It led us to Baranggay Dulangan. About three kilometers away, we saw a huge smoke. As we get closer, i thought the fire razed the elementary school because children were rushing out of the school. As we entered the school compound, some curious pupils were rushing towards the fence at the back. As we approached the fence, we saw about a hectare of mango plantation engulfed in fire. Firemen tried to soak the remaining trees wet to save it from fire. The fire lasted more than an hour. Luckily, firemen were able to stop the spread of fire to other plantations.
Digos City fire investigators cannot identify yet the cause of fire. But pupils revealed that they saw a group of out of school youth playing in the area an hour before the fire started. Virgillia Banes, owner of the plantation suspects, vandals intentionally lit the plantation. Because of the fire, about two hundred thousand investment of the Banes family for about twenty years vanished in an instant.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Coastal Clean-Up Drive

Member of PSL Fatima Parish launched on Saturday their coastal clean-up program aimed at ensuring the cleanliness of coastal baranggays in Davao City.
First stop, Baranggay 31-D Boulevard. More than one hundred families live along the coastal line, mostly fishermen. As per observation of PSL Fatima Parish, most of the residents here do not practice proper waste disposal. During the coastal clean-up, PSL Fatima Parish had collected more than eleven sacks full of tetra packs, tin cans, used clothing and other wastes coming from beneath the houses of the residents.
PSL stressed, proper education should be conducted in the area especially on proper waste disposal to protect the remaining marine life in the area where most of the residents get their living.
According to Jeff Hilchey in his book The Importance of Protecting Marine Biodiversity (January 12th,) Earth is a closed system and therefore, all of its life is interdependent, relying upon each other as resources. The more biologically diverse Earth is the better the chance all species will have for survival. Humans abuse much of the Earth’s resources in order to achieve economic success. However, this success comes at the expense of humanity’s future. The resources on Earth have the potential to sustain life indefinitely, if used with caution. However, when exploited, the resources can be lost forever.
The more destruction human inflict on natural resources like the aquatic resources, the more risk the new generation faces. PSL Fatima Parish also asked the residents to help in information dissemination to strengthen the efforts in preserving the marine life in Davao Gulf.