Iloilo boys choose sex over shabu
By Alex P. Vidal/ PNS
-- They would rather take the risk of impregnating their girlfriends and end
up as teenage fathers than ruin their future in shabu (metamphetamine
“At least with our girlfriends, we can spend our leisure time, experience
ecstasy and get high without destroying our brains,” said Ryan Roy, 16, and
Gregory, 17 (not their real names), both third year high school students in
a Calumpang, Molo public school.
Gregory said he and his 16-year old girlfriend, Grace (not her real name),
also a student of the same school, would meet at the food court of Robinsons
Mall in the City Proper twice a week at around 2 in the afternoon, take a
cab and proceed to a drive-in motel in Baluarte, Molo.
“We would make love and have sex for three hours. No drugs. No shabu. Only
sex because we love each other,” said the pony-tailed Gregory in vernacular.
Gregory said his parents, both government employees, “never interrogated”
him every time he went home at past 6 in the evening.
He said he was never afraid that Grace would get pregnant “because I always
used a condom”. Gregory got the condoms from his father, a utility in a
public health office, who “stockpiled” them in the master’s bedroom.
“My father would always give us condoms and jokingly tell us to use them in
case of emergency. Our mother would just give him a dagger look but does
nothing to discourage us from accepting the condoms,” added Gregory, the
second in the brood of four (all male). “I suspect tatay is also using
Ryan Roy’s girlfriend, Jannah (not her real names), 18, would fetch him
every 4 in the afternoon at an internet café in another downtown mall where
he regularly plays computer games with his fellow male internet habitués.
Jannah is also a high school student in another public school in Molo. Ryan
Roy describes her as “a tall girl with tattoo on the left side of her
“Kuhiton ya lang ko sa likod, lakat kami dayon kag mag sakay sa taxi pakadto
sa (name of the drive-in motel) (She would just touch my back and we will
immediately leave and board a cab going to the drive-in motel),” Ryan Roy
“We do it twice a week; sometimes three if we have enough savings. I choose
to go with her rather than risk being influenced by my friends who use drugs
regularly,” he said.
Ryan Roy did not explain whether they use contraceptives but said he fell in
love with Jannah “because she taught me how to become a man”.
If Jannah gets pregnant, Ryan Roy said “I will elope with her”. “Having sex
(with Jannah) is better than getting hooked in drugs,” he said.
Both Ryan Roy and Gregory admit they smoke cigarettes and drink alcohol
occasionally, but never drugs, they swore.
Ryan Roy said shabu trafficking is “very rampant” in their campus.
Unidentified persons believed to be drug couriers have been regularly seen
in their school premises and school authorities were reportedly helpless and
could not neutralize them.
Researchers said that in 2002, almost half (47%) of young people smoked; 70
percent drank alcohol and a “small percent” engaged in drugs (shabu and
Drugs, drink, premarital sex
A rising trend of drug use was seen in 11 percent of boys and girls, and it
is rampant in high school and college. Two out of 10 young persons (23%) had
The researchers noted that risk-taking behavior is not usually done in
isolation of each other, but rather, they are interlinked—those who smoke,
drink and use drugs are more likely to have sex. On the other hand, having
sex is most strongly linked to drug use, than with smoking and drinking, and
later, to thoughts of suicide and violence. Researchers call this multiple
In risk-taking, it was reported that boys exhibit a stronger tendency of
involvement than girls. It would always be the boys who start first, or that
more boys are into an activity than girls. This is reportedly explained by
the socialization practices of parents and adults, who still give more
freedom to boys than girls in their traditional way of raising children.
The Dangerous Drugs Board and the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency
reported that 3.4 million Filipinos are on illegal drugs. An estimated half
of this or 1.8 million are young people. The Young Adult Fertility and
Sexuality Survey also found an apparent rise in the proportion of young
people exposed to drugs. For both sexes, the six percent level in 1994
doubled to 11 percent in 2002, reports said.
It added that there were more male users (11% in 1994 to 20% in 2002) than
females, although they exhibited a faster rate of increase compared to males
(1% in 1994 to 3% in 2002). The working youth (18%) were more into the
practice than the in-school ones (7%). Only three percent of youth aged 15
to 24 in 2002 continued to use drugs, showing a double prevalence from 1.4%
But the report said there is some hope. “Young people’s engagement in risk
behaviors appears to be temporary,” and somewhere in time, they find a way
Almost all (94%) of those who have sex said they are not prepared to become
parents, in case their activities result in pregnancy.
Although more young individuals have stayed away from risk behaviors, a
significantly growing number have reportedly engaged in premarital sex, have
been victims of sexual assault, have experienced early pregnancy or
abortion, have smoked, drank alcohol and have used illegal drugs.
Meanwhile, according to the State of the Philippine Population Report,
pornography has captured the interest of a sizeable number of youth,
particularly boys. “Whatever tenets between what is allowed and acceptable
and what is not permissible in media are already thinning fast because of
the emergence of glossy magazines and videos that feature pornography in its
many forms,” the report said.
“This is reinforced by the liberal system of information and of publishing
and broadcasting in the country. This situation leaves judgment entirely on
Young Filipinos live in an environment that continuously stimulates their
eager minds and souls. Everyday of their young lives, they thrive on social
impulses while at the threshold of discovering their bodies, their sexuality
and their place in society.
Perennial floods impede progress of 4 towns
in the First District of Samar
CATBALOGAN, Samar – The perennial
occurrence of floods caused by rampant illegal logging activities in almost
all remote municipalities of this country’s third largest island, the
province of Samar, is considered the biggest stumbling block to rural
Pascual O. Cosmod,
development facilitator of La Paz-Buenabista Agrarian Reform Community in
San Jorge, Samar presented this problem during the first monthly regular
meeting attended by the non-government organizations, people’s
organizations, members of the media sponsored by the Department of Agrarian
Reform provincial field office last August 12, this year.
According to Cosmod, these
occurrences of at least two floods a year adversely affected some 66
barangays within the towns of Tarangnan, San Jorge, Gandara and Pagsanghan,
all in the first district of Samar, and an estimated total area of 4,145
He said when the basin
areas of these four towns some 2,370 hectares of land planted with rice and
vegetable, which are inundated and submerged for 10 to 20 days, resulting to
total damages, both to the crops and the production cost and labor put in by
“An estimated total of
189,600 cavans of palay costing P75.84 million is lost whenever a flood
occurred and submerged the 2,235 hectares for this duration of time - not to
mention those remaining areas slightly affected,” Cosmod said showing the
audience a sketch of the barangays being flooded.
At least 4 major floods,
which occurred in 1961, 1979, 1983 and 1998, affected the flow of road
traffic specifically in the Sapinit, San Jorge area, in as much as the
Maharlika national highway went underwater for 3 days, Cosmod reported.
It was learned that the
perennial occurrence of floods in the Tarangnan-San Jorge-Gandara-Pagsanghan
Basin area greatly contributes to the retrogression of these four
“Yet, no local government
unit has ever made an attempt to arrest the problem through an alternative
drainage system. Probably so, because the attempt would entail millions of
pesos for which these four towns may not be able to raise before the next
big flood occurrence,” he said saying that as of this moment, they were
soliciting the intervention of the national government to alleviate the
harsh effects of this problem that has for more than four decades now been
depriving these towns of their chances of approaching the neighborhood of an
increased agricultural productivity.
Threats to “rice bowl” of Samar
Prior to 1961, the
Tarangnan-San Jorge-Gandara-Pagsanghan Basin area was tagged as the "Rice
Bowl of Samar" for the localities being famous for its abundant supply of
Macarato, native fancy variety rice with an aromatic odor.
The early settlements,
tracing back to the Spanish period (1368-1644), established alongside the
Gandara River and its tributaries the main thoroughfares at that time.
flourished probably through barter trade, as evidenced by Chinese antiques
from the Ming period, as recently uncovered by fortune hunters. The area
experienced in-migration, including the first wave of Chinese settlers
(during the Spanish times) and the second wave in the early 1930s, which
preferred to invest and reside permanently in the place.
Despite this progress in
time, the prosperity of the area dwindled in 1961 and thereafter, due to
floods, which registered an average occurrence of twice per year.
cause of the problem
Initial investigation made
by the presenter disclosed that the first major flood occurred in the area
was on October 4, 1961. It is said that the incident was long known all
throughout the province (which was then the whole island of Samar),
because the Gandara Bridge was flooded and washed out by the strong flood
currents. Since then, floods have been perennially present - they kept
coming, annually, but the local populace does not give up the hope that one
day soon these will come to a halt.
Oftentimes, government and
private sector organizations wholly blamed this phenomenon of recurring
floods to unchecked illegal logging operations in the watershed areas.
This problem blamed to the
local government units of these four towns for issuing a series of Fishpond
Lease Agreements (FLAs), subsequent construction of fishponds, which cover
more than a thousand hectares of timberland, illegal logging operations.
With dikes averaging a
height of 3 meters, these fishponds serve as a retaining wall that highly
constricts the flow of floodwater. Further, the seawater displaced due to
controls made at the fishpond naturally finds its way to the Gandara River,
thereby contributing to the height of floodwaters, and the tendency is to
back-flow to the upstream areas, which comprise the Basin.
Gandara River and its tributaries
The Gandara River, aside
from being the main water thoroughfare of the Basin residents, serves as the
only drainage system to the Samar Sea. Upstream of Gandara poblacion, it
branches into two main arteries - the Gandara Right River, toward the
direction of the San Jorge-Tarangnan area, and the Gandara Left River, which
leads to most of the barangays of Gandara and the adjoining town of
Approximately, the total
length of the Gandara River
is 80 kilometers, excluding its major tributaries. During heavy rains, as in
typhoons, the Gandara Left River has greater water volume than the Gandara
Right River, and causes the latter to lessen its discharge.
The main tributaries of
Gandara Left River are the Rawis-Carmona Creek with an estimated length of
25 kilometers and the Gandara-San Jose de Buan creek with a length of 30
On the other hand, three
main tributaries supply the Gandara Right River, namely, the Blanca Aurora-Calundan
tributary, the Subol River, and the Sapinit-Pajo River. The Blanca Aurora-Calundan
tributary comprises three rapids and underground water specifically coming
from the Jiabong area and has an estimated length of 28 kilometers. The Subol River
has an estimated length of 36 kilometers, while the Sapinit-Pajo
River has an estimated length of 22 kilometers.
Effects of floods
Since October 4, 1961,
farmers in the Basin area have been at the mercy of floods. With an annual
average occurrence of two floods at an unexpected month of the years,
farming is a gamble - a la suerte!
“It is not surprising why
the landowners in this area, without any opposition as compared to other
areas in Samar, readily offered their lands for sale under the Comprehensive
Agrarian Reform Program (CARP),” Cosmod said.
Cosmod said the direct
effects of these perennial floods are the following: Damages to lives,
crops, and other properties; heavy out-migration to seek jobs; high poverty
incidence; retrogression of the areas affected; pollution of the rivers due
to the length of time of submersion of the flooded areas; prospective
investors hesitant to do business in these four towns; heavy siltation of
the Samar Sea; farmers hesitant to cultivate the lands; the area is not
self-sufficient in rice and other crops; absentee landowners; spread of the
dreaded schistosomiasis disease; and, low land tax collection performance.
Recommended solution and action
The logical solution
presented by Cosmod during the meeting is the construction of a diversion
drainage canal in the Pajo-Bangon Gote area in Tarangnan, as well as the
dredging of the accumulated silts at the mouth of the Gandara River leading
to the Samar Sea.
He explained the proposed
construction of the drainage canal, with an estimated length of 1.5
kilometers will compensate for the constriction made at the fishponds in
Bangon, Goyam and Sondara Islands,
as well as the silt accumulation there. “The proposed drainage canal will
connect the Sapinit-Pajo River to that of Bangon Gote River leading to the
Samar Sea area. Although costly, since it will cut across a hill, it will
compensate, however, with a guaranteed annual production of 379,200 sacks of
lowland rice for two croppings per year and with a guaranteed minimum gross
income of P151.68 million valued at P400 per sack,” he said.
Filipino-Canadians condemn killing of
Filipino youth in Toronto
June 24, 2004
TORONTO, Canada -
Filipino community groups in Canada condemn the shooting of 17-year old
Jeffrey Reodica by a Toronto police officer on May 21, 2004 that resulted in
his death a couple of days later. Jeffrey was shot three times in the back
after he and his friends were stopped by two plainclothes police officers.
While the Filipino
community in Canada mourns and tries to grapple with the senseless death of
Jeffrey, we are outraged at the brutality that he suffered in the hands of a Toronto
police officer. As Filipino-Canadian youth become prime targets of the
stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination embedded in Canadian
institutions, the future of our already-marginalized community is, once
again, under attack. The fatal shooting of Jeffrey exemplifies the
escalating violence against Filipino youth in Canada.
The continuing struggle of
youth of colour against racist attacks by the Toronto police is a growing
concern amongst visible minority groups in the city. Youth of colour have
been targets of police harassment and brutality, a glaring testimony to the
police department's long history of racial profiling that blames and
criminalizes people of colour.
The killing of Jeffrey
Reodica comes after the death of another Filipino youth in Vancouver in
November 2003. Mao Jomar Lanot was mauled and killed by a larger group of
youth at Sir Charles Tupper Secondary School. The banning of Filipino youth
at Scarborough Town Centre in 1993, hate graffiti and physical violence
against 25 Filipino youth at Vancouver Technical Secondary School
in 1999, and the continuing harassment and labeling of Filipino youth as
gangs by police in Montreal, clearly demonstrate a history of racist attacks
on our community and the racial profiling of Filipino youth. And the youth
suffer more from these intensifying attacks as these go unchecked, and are
even condoned by the enforcers of "law and order."
Everyday, thousands of
Filipinos leave the Philippines
to come to countries like Canada due to the worsening economic and political
situation in the Philippines. We seek a better life and opportunities for
our families and ourselves in Canada. However, reality bites when we come
face to face with the violence of daily exploitation and oppression as
immigrants and as people of colour. As our community struggles against the
alarming violence now increasingly upon us, we can no longer turn a blind
eye to the racism and violence so ingrained and so endemic in the prevailing
The criminalization and
harassment of Filipino-Canadian youth constitute a violation of their human
rights. The destructive impact of systemic and personal racism directed
against Filipino-Canadians jeopardizes our community's future, strongly
disregards our cries for justice, and dismisses our valuable contributions
to Canadian society. It contributes to the further segregation of our
growing community, being the fourth largest immigrant group in Canada. We
must therefore continue to educate and organize our community, unite with
other peoples and communities of colour and win over the other marginalized
and affected sectors of the Canadian populace to challenge and dare to
transform those very institutions that oppress us.
Workers' Support Committee, Philippine Network for Justice and Peace,
Philippine Solidarity Group of Toronto, Philippine Women Centre of Ontario,
The Organizing Committee for a Filipino-Canadian Youth Network.
Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Filipino Nurses Support
Group, Philippine Women Centre of B.C., SIKLAB Ugnayan ng Kabataang Pilipino
sa Canada / Filipino-Canadian Youth Alliance.
Montreal: Centre for
Philippine Concerns Filipino Workers Support Group, Kabataang Montreal PINAY.
Committee for Human Rights in the Philippines, Pilipinong Migrante sa Canada.
for Philippine Concerns
The “Barefoot” soldiers called ALPS!
RICKY J. BAUTISTA
January 12, 2004
Samar, Philippines - It is said that
education is one of the fundamentals in man’s life and it plays a
significant role in our present society. It is one of the important tools
for the development and progress of our country. This general contention is
supported by the Constitutional mandate which states “the State shall
protect and promote the right of all citizens to quality education at all
levels and shall take appropriate steps to make such education accessible to
What should the
government do? Of course, it necessary that the Philippine government
through its agencies become strong partners in delivering to the group – the
out-of-school youth and adults in the hinterland barrios, in which,
education is most wanting and a necessity.
Director Mama S. Macoming,
Chief, Non-Formal Education of the Department of Education Region XII
claimed that one of the main reasons of trouble in Muslim in
areas is lack of education.
Some of the
Muslim residents could hardly adjust and cope-up with the latest skills and
techniques in farming, business and other income generating projects because
they lack the basic foundation of literacy and education.
scenario is not just true to the Muslim communities in Mindanao. It is also experienced on other remote areas in the country, like in
Its hinterland barangays are so isolated that local government unit and concerned national
agencies and NGO’s could not deliver some basic services. A big number of
the populace is neglected. Most of them do not possess or intend to acquire
the basic skills in reading, writing, arithmetic and scientific thinking
In 1995, one of
the pressing issues in the province of
Samar is the prevailing high
illiteracy rate. Speaking of the illiteracy rate of Samar during that time was 84.80% only. Meaning, the literacy
rate in the province is “lowest” compared with other provinces in the region
during that period.
To improve the
plight of these people, the government launched the ALPS with a mission to teach the local folks how to read,
write and count.
Troopers, through the Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS), climb mountain of
forests and cross rivers to reach the latest and most disadvantaged
citizenry in the hinterland barangays hoping to deliberate them from the
bondage of poverty and ignorance. That’s reason why they were sometimes
called as “barefoot soldiers”
Literacy Patrol System that was coined by the Philippine Army Civil
Relations Information Service (PACRIS) in 1979. A younger version of the
program that was called the “Barefoot Soldiers” Program.
The program, the
Army Literacy Patrol System (ALPS), provides basic literacy skills,
livelihood skills training, and continuing education to people in the said
areas. Through this program, the learners were taught the following: a)
reading, b) writing, c) numerical, d) personality development, e) health and
nutrition, f) values education, and g) livelihood skills.
According to a
document furnished to this author, the program traced its beginning
in Central Luzon during the mid 1970’s, when insurgency was at its peak.
Considering therefore that insurgency can never be eradicated with guns and
bullets, the Philippine Army focused its attention not only for the safety
of the people but also on the socio-economic development of the area.
By this, they may
be acquire skills that they can use in their livelihood and to eventually
empower them and live a “descent” and happy life.
Army through the “barefoot soldiers”, introduced the new techniques to fight
a war by giving education and livelihood training to the common farmers,
cultural minorities, out-of-school youth and adults who failed to attend and
enroll in the formal school system by reason of poverty and distance.
In the year 2002,
the “barefoot soldiers” made it to decrease the illiteracy rate of the
province from 15.10% in 1995 to only 2.54% this year. By this, the
Philippine Army’s 8th Infantry Division in close coordination
with the Department of Education in Samar won the second place award in the
national level category for most outstanding literacy programme category, a
joint project of UNESCO, National Commission of the Philippines, Literacy
Coordinating Council, Department of Education, Metrobank Foundation Inc.,
Southeast Asian Ministers Education Organization, Regional Center for
Educational Innovation and Technology and Asian Institute of Journalism and
The award is due
to the best program that has been offered by the organizers to the
constituents of Western Samar particularly in the towns of Matuguinao, San
Jose de Buan, Sta. Rita, Pinabacdao, Sta. Margarita, San Jorge, Paranas,
Motiong, Jiabong and all other towns in Samar that are identified as having
a considerable number of illiterates and lowly educated population.
THE FIRST IN
CALIFORNIA Sari-Sari Store Opens at Glendale Galleria
By Johnny M. Pecayo/ PNS
- Sari-Sari Store, a Filipino-owned retail business
establishment on the second floor of the famous Glendale Galleria, a major
landmark in the City of Glendale, officially opened at 10 A.M., December 27,
to the general public amidst a throng of customers, friends and spectators
witnessing the ceremonial ribbon-cutting ceremony done by Deputy Consul
General Hellen Barber of the Philippine Consulate General.
The ribbon-cutting ceremony was preceded by the releases of
colorful balloons onto the air, just outside the covered area of the
Glendale Galleria, as part of good luck wishes following their beliefs in
the magic of feng shui.
When the group came back, Ms. Barber was requested to deliver a
short message. She said: “On behalf of Consul General Marciano A. Paynor,
Jr., I would like to congratulate the officers and board members of
Intercoastal Distributors, Inc. dba: Sari-Sari Store, for their pioneering
effort in bringing to the mainstream market world-class Philippine made
products through the Sari-Sari Store. This business endeavor will not only
help contribute to the growth of the economy of the City of
and the State of
but will likewise propagate the Philippine industry by showcasing to the
world our ingenuity. Congratulations, and I wish you all the best and
successful business undertakings.”
A brand new pair of scissors, covered with red ribbon, was
handed over to the Deputy Consul General while the officers of the company,
led by its president, Allan Samonte, RN; vice president Cristina S. Samonte,
RN; and Board Members Oscar Parel, president of Eminence Home Health and
Ridgecrest skilled nursing facility; Shaula Ferrer, an accountant; Mark
Lansang, assistant physical therapist; and Josie Villanueva, RN, also a
successful businesswoman in the healthcare industry, positioned themselves
to witness the ceremony. Visibly absent was another Board Member, Violeta
Martinez, RN, who was vacationing in the Philippines with members of her
Marni F. Ocampo, President of Sari-Sari Group of Companies,
Inc., based in New York,
couldn’t make it to the inauguration due to difficulty of airplane flight
Rev. Fr. Mike Wakefield of Granada Hills’ St. Euphresia, also
delivered a meaningful message, wishing and praying for the success of the
business operation of what he coined “variety-variety” (sari-sari).
Following the feng shui tradition, Ed, the designated emcee,
announced that before everybody is allowed entry to the newly-opened store,
the Board members have to roll out 188 oranges onto the floor. “One
represents success, and 8 means wealth, so double 8 means double wealth.”
The rolling out of the oranges was led by Josie Villanueva and Shaula Ferrer, followed by Mark Lansang, two young entrepreneurs who are
venturing into the business, while retaining their respective gainful
Fr. Wakefield then grabbed a bottle filled with Holy water to
begin the blessing at about
assisted by Allan Samonte and Oscar Parel.
After the blessing, Fr. Wakefield invited everyone to come close
to the food-laden table to say a brief prayer. A sumptuous lunch,
consisting of bread, ham, fried chicken, meatballs, rice cake, and soda,
good enough for 200 people, was served for the taking of guests, customers
Deputy Consul General Barber, who came despite not being feeling
well, left with Bert Lavares, immediately after the blessing.
Originally scheduled to open on December 20, the Grand Opening
was moved back to a week later in order to complete the construction and
renovation of the place. The store actually opened last December 23 and has
been generating brisk sales since its door was opened to the consumers of
varied ethnic backgrounds.
A Filipino American TV personality, simply known as Lalaine, an
icon in the daily national TV show of Lizzie McGuire on the Disney channel,
came along with her mother, Lilia, and friends; posed for picture-taking
with the owners, then proceeded immediately to select colorful dresses that
best fit her. “I have never been to a place like this where I was able to
select five different items that I really like, in less than five minutes,”
relates Lalaine to the MANILA-U.S. TIMES when interviewed. She added: “I
could foresee the success of this business judging from the friendly and
professional approach of the owners to their customers, and the quality of
products they sell.”
In no time, Ranella Ferrer, the designated cashier for the day,
was busy ringing the cash register machine as almost everyone who came to
the store, checked out with a minimum of two purchased items. Nicole
Villalobos, a teenager, was seen busy assisting the customers at the
cashier’s area. Ranella, younger sister of Board Member Shaula Ferrer, is a
recording artist and has been performing on Hollywood and Santa Monica.
It was an event to remember. It is the store that the
Philippines must be proud of. It is the place to shop for the best.
Johnny Pecayo, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the MANILA-U.S.
TIMES, was Sari-Sari Store’s director of Events Planning and Publicity.