Palm Grass Hotel
to screen a community-created short fiction film to remember the
1898 Cebu Revolution
May 10, 2018
CEBU CITY – Palm
Grass, Cebu’s only heritage hotel, as part of its Heritage Awareness
Campaign, offers a series of firsts to the public in commemoration
of the 120th year of the Cebu Revolution vs. Spain.
On May 20, 2018, Cebuanos
mark the 120th anniversary of the second phase of the 1898 Cebu
Revolution, when Cebu Katipunan leader Heneral Luis Flores regrouped
the Cebu Katipuneros after a temporary setback upon Leon Kilat’s
murder on April 8, 1898.
This May 20, 2018, 6 p.m.
to 9 p.m. at Hawanan Tres de Abril, Palm Grass will hold a special
screening of the short film fiction, “Kinasing” by video creator
Prospero Laput of Hong Kong-based Asia-Pacific Focus Features, in
cooperation with Palm Grass Hotel and Cebu students.
This will be the first
time in Cebu that a short fiction film would tackle the modern-day
relevance of the 1898 Cebu revolution, where a fictional descendant
of Heneral Luis Flores meets a lovely puso-maker from Pasil.
Puso, specifically, the
kinasing, is the central object in this short film and is used to
highlight a historical context and progression.
In this film, the puso-makers
are honored in a song based from a poem that tells about their
pains, struggles, dreams and journey towards a better society. Young
Cebuano artists composed, arranged and interpreted the song.
In addition, students from
two state universities, mga Iskolar ng Bayan of Cebu Normal
University and University of the Philippines-Cebu, are a huge part
of this film production as they are involved from writing the
script, casting, and crewing the short film.
“It’s a real challenge to
organize a short-film production with very fresh talents who either
just graduated from school or are still in school. But somehow
community-driven projects like this are getting to be a familiar
terrain in my marketing and communications content creation
portfolio. And Palm Grass did an excellent job in organizing the
kids into a formidable indie film crew!” says Laput.
In March 2018, Palm Grass
Hotel, with UP-Cebu alumnus Prospero Laput of Asia-Pacific Focus
Features, led workshops on Motion Graphics and Video Creation
participated in by selected University of the Philippines-Cebu and
University of San Carlos students. The workshops were able to
produce two videos on the 1898 Cebu Revolution vs. Spain.
Palm Grass, the Cebu
Heritage Hotel, is facilitating awareness on the 1898 Cebu
Revolution by hosting and leading the community, especially the
youth, in creative ways to relive this nearly forgotten period in
will follow after the Kinasing film screening.
dominate 11th Olango Challenge in Cebu
May 9, 2018
CEBU CITY –
Twenty-year-old Jux Keaton Solita and 15-year-old Raven Faith
Alcoseba were declared 6-kilometer competitive champions during the
11th Olango Challenge organized by Philippine Business for Social
Progress (PBSP) and Philippine Swimming, Inc. (PSI) in Cebu last
Solita, a student of
University of Santo Tomas (UST) in Manila, bested his
contemporaries, including Cebu elites Alfred Latrell Pacabis and
Michael Ichiro Kong, with a time of one hour, twenty-three minutes,
and 15.56 seconds.
Alcoseba, on the other
hand, thwarted former champion Karen Mae Indaya’s chance of a
three-peat by besting the 6-kilometer competitive female swim in
1:33:13.87. Seventeen-year-old Indaya, meanwhile, finished second
with 1:36:58.37, followed by Erica Lukang, 23, with 1:37:59.88.
For the 6-kilometer
competitive male swim, Batangueno Ron Villamor, 16, came second with
one hour, 24 minutes, and 17.69 seconds, while fellow UST swimmer
Allen Miranda finished third with 1:24:30.60. This is the first
Olango challenge that featured 6K competitive male winners not
hailing from Cebu.
Meanwhile, Charles James
Lipura (53:33.02) and Justine Garrido (1:02:46.28) took the 3K
competitive male and female titles while Renz Corbin emerged as the
3K fun champion with 53 minutes and 49.02 seconds. Kevin Alvarez and
Jose Antonio Aboitiz had a 1-2 finish in the 6K fun side with a time
of 1:00:29 and 1:04:28, respectively.
Around 130 swimmers
participated in the country’s premier open water swimming event
organized for the benefit of senior high school students on Olango
The Olango Challenge
follows the format of the open water swim category of the Beijing
Summer Olympics in 2008 and will feature the competitive men’s and
women’s 6K and 3K divisions; and the 6K, 3K, and 1K fun categories.
Swimmers navigated a rectangular race course fronting Pacific Cebu
Swimming for classrooms
It was the first time for
14-year-old Francexianour Travero to join the 6-kilometer
competitive swim of the Olango Challenge, making him the youngest
swimmer of the category. In spite of having previous experience in
other open water swimming events, he finds the Olango Challenge the
most challenging because of the distance and the current, making his
finish one of the most fulfilling experiences of his life.
“What also makes it
special is the idea that I, a 14-year-old, was able to contribute to
students like me,” he said.
Travero is joined by his
uncle and friends from Leyte’s Energy Development Corporation, who
have been supporting the event since last year.
and government agencies helped ensure the safety and success of the
event. Officers and rubber boats from the Navy were deployed while
the Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary provided 14 marshals around the
racecourse. A combined 30 lifeguards from the Philippine Red Cross-Lapu-lapu
Chapter and PSI, 18 paddler-marshals from Island Buzz Philippines
SUP and Kayak Adventures, and 10 divers from Kapit Sisid Free Divers
also served as marshals of the event.
Doctors and nurses from
the Cebu Provincial Health Office as well as paramedics and
ambulance unit from the Emergency Rescue Unit Foundation were also
present. Fifteen radio communicators from the Kabalikat CVCOM,
meanwhile, ensured the smooth coordination between the safety teams.
Launched in 2008, the
event has gathered over 900 swimmers and raised more than P15
million to fund nine classrooms in Candagsao, Caw-oy, Tungasan, and
Talima elementary schools on Olango island.
It also supported the
senior high school education of 190 students from Sta. Rosa and
Nemesio-Epifania Memorial National High Schools through the
provision of shielded metal arc welding equipment, sewing machines
for dressmaking classes, immersion uniforms, assessment fees for
national and technical vocational certifications, and monthly
allowances for the students.
This year, the proceeds
from the swim meet will be used to provide laboratory equipment for
more schools on the island.
The event is sponsored by
Aboitiz & Company, Dow Chemical Philippines, Inc., Oriental Port &
Allied Services Corporation, Mactan Enerzone, the Visayan Electric
Company, Ramon Aboitiz Foundation, Inc., City Savings Bank, FINIS,
GMR Megawide Cebu Airport Corporation, TMX Philippines, Inc.,
MEDICard Philippines, PASAR Corporation, Monde Nissin Cebu,
Philpacific Insurance Brokers And Managers, Inc., Philippine Long
Distance Telephone Company, Pocari Sweat Philippines, Golden Prince
Hotel & Suites, SM Investments Corporation, Cebu Trip Rent-A-Car,
Scotty’s Dive Shop, All Flip Flops, Boyla Diving Resort, Wellmade
Motors & Development Corporation, Castle Peak Hotel, and San Miguel
Construction/ Extension of Flood Control Structure along
Busali River, Phase 2, Biliran, Biliran is on-going with 38%
accomplishment as of April 30, 2018 under contract with B.M
Marketing. The completion of this project will provide a
structure that will avert flooding thereby preventing damage
to the existing Bridge located along the National Highway
which is the only access in going to the only Provincial
Hospital and Port under PPA from the eastern part of the
in full swing of 2018 project implementation
May 8, 2018
NAVAL, Biliran –
The Department of Public Works and Highways Biliran District
Engineering Office (DPWH-BDEO) is now in full swing in the
implementation of its year 2018 Infrastructure Projects.
Contractors mostly started
at their own risks to attain the target schedule and to avail of the
good weather condition.
As of April 30, 2018, the
district has an overall actual accomplishment of 16.82% with a
positive slippage of 3.30%.
Previously, the district
has been allotted P1.8B for the implementation of 61 projects.
However, Engr. Rosario B. Rosete, Planning and Design Section Chief
said that the budget for one project which is the Rehabilitation/
Major Repair of CarayCaray Bridge project along Biliran
Circumferential Road (BCR), Naval, Biliran will be reverted to DPWH
Central Office due to damages on abutments caused by Tropical Storm
“Urduja” on December, 2017 which is supposed to be the site for the
Out of its 60 projects, 38
are on-going, 18 are Not-Yet-Started (NYS) and four are already
completed with now a budget amount of P1.6B.
The completed projects are
the P3.6M road widening at Villa Enage, Biliran, Biliran; P1.4M
rehabilitation/ major repair of Kaulangohan Bridge along Biliran
Circumferential Road (BCR), Caibiran, Biliran; P943,000
rehabilitation/ major repair of Cabadiangan Bridge along Naval-Caibiran
Cross Country Road (NCCR), Naval, Biliran; and P1.4M rehabilitation/
major repair of Calambis Bridge along BCR, Caibiran, Biliran.
Rosete said that the
district had already bid-out 52 projects as of April 30, 2018 while
eight projects are scheduled to be bid out on a later date.
of DaangMaharlika (SM) (San Isidro-San Juanico Bridge),
Projects at 91.34%
MAE ANGELICA R. COMOTA
May 7, 2018
CALBAYOG CITY – The
Department of Public Works and Highways Samar First District
Engineering Office (DPWH-SFDEO) reports a 91.34% accomplishment on
its 2017 Regular Infrastructure Projects.
According to District
Monitoring Engr. Nena Dotado, as of April 30, 2018, 44 projects are
completed while 15 are still ongoing. Most of these ongoing projects
cost P50M and above and cover the improvement and widening of Daang
Maharlika and the upgrading of the District’s major bridges.
Setbacks in project
implementation include problems with Road Right-of-Way acquisition
and the arrival of Typhoons Urduja and Agaton during the latter part
of last year.
The District office has
put in place measures to reach its targets, citing proper
coordination between the District’s project engineers and the
contractors as the key to speeding up project implementation.
“I have already issued a
memorandum directing our project engineers to fast track the
remaining 2017 projects. We also now have a monthly coordination
meeting with contractors so that any issues and concerns regarding
project implementation can be quickly and easily resolved,” said
Construction Chief Engr. Carlos Rañola.
On top of the 2017
projects, SFDEO is also implementing 146 regular infrastructure
projects for 2018 and records a 4.11% accomplishment as of date of
institution, community raise concerns over DENR’s lift of suspension
on special use in protected areas
May 7, 2018
QUEZON CITY – The
Center for Energy, Ecology, and Development (CEED), a think-do
institution focused on issues pertaining to the integrity of
ecosystems, questioned the DENR’s recent lifting of the suspension
on the issuance of Special Use Agreements in Protected Areas (SAPAs).
SAPAs are binding
instruments that allow individuals or groups to access and use
protected areas to supposedly reduce poverty incidence and earn
revenues for the management of protected areas. The DENR
indefinitely suspended the issuance of SAPAs on 2011.
“The reasons for reopening
protected areas to special use are unclear. It is also uncertain
whether previous issues surrounding SAPAs are addressed in the
additional rules. Is the community given priority employment? Are
there now benefit sharing schemes with the community? Are there
stricter standards for applicants to ensure that they are indeed
stakeholders of the protected areas and not just big companies
coming in to earn profit?” CEED Legal and Policy Officer, Atty.
Avril De Torres said.
According to CEED
Executive Director Gerry Arances, the need to protect our
environment is a key element of adaptation to climate change. “In
this age of climate change, we should know that the conservation and
protection of our ecology generates more benefits than its
extraction and utilization. The development fees that may be earned
from the use of protected areas are negligible compared to a healthy
environment’s protection from disasters, promotion of biodiversity,
and resiliency from climate change impacts.”
“Being consistently in the
top 10 most vulnerable countries to the impacts of climate change,
the ability of our country’s ecosystems to deliver essential
services is already under stress. Regardless of the profits that may
be generated from SAPAs, we shouldn’t subject our last frontiers to
further stress by allowing special use,” De Torres added.
Concerned Citizens of Sta
Cruz, Zambales Chairperson Doctor Ben Molino strongly objected to
the issuance of SAPAs, “even without special use agreements, the
protected areas in Zambales are already in peril from existing coal
plants and destructive mining operations. We cannot and should not
allow further activities that would lead to further destruction of
our lands, seas, and bays.”
“This measure does not
only open protected areas to use, it could also potentially open a
floodgate for more ecological destruction,” Arances added.
“strongman” image, a facade of cowardice
May 4, 2018
QUEZON CITY –
“Strongmen” like Rodrigo Duterte exercise power through State terror
and violence with impunity, couched in populist language that
misleads the public and trains the guns of his armed forces and
police on his perceived enemies – the people.
His “strength” comes from
dehumanizing the urban poor and workers by calling them “drug
addicts” and “lazy criminals,” by tagging activists and political
dissenters as “terrorists,” and by branding any and all criticism to
his anti-people policies as forms of “destabilization.”
Contrary to Duterte’s
statement that he has not put his critics in jail, Karapatan’s
documentation puts the number of activists arrested and still
currently detained under Duterte at 173, out of the 503 political
prisoners in the Philippines. Majority of them are peasant and trade
union leaders, members of people’s organizations and organizers who
have been working with the poor communities to push for genuine
agrarian reform, living wages and security of tenure, accessible
social services, among others.
The number includes the
six young peasant organizers illegally arrested in Mabinay, Negros
Oriental, peasant leaders of Compostela Farmers Association, farmers
in Batangas, teachers and supporters of Lumad schools – all charged
with false criminal offenses in an attempt to justify their
incarceration. Rafael Baylosis, peace consultant of the National
Democratic Front of the Philippines, and his son-in-law, trade union
organizer Marklen Maojo Maga, were also arrested and are detained
because of fabricated charges.
His vengefulness against
his critics who are vocal against human rights violations in the
country has resulted to the drawing up of a fake terror list which
includes UN experts and human rights defenders and to the daily
threats and harassment against activists. Laced with so much
vitriol, his vindictive orders and pronouncements against foreign
observers and missionaries like Sr. Patricia Fox have resulted to
violations on the exercise of free speech and expression. His mad
thirst for sole control of power is driving him to persecute
officials in other branches of government who do not share his
propensity for brazen acts of violence.
persona is actually a facade of cowardice of a megalomaniac. Like
all other previous and current despots and tyrants, his so-called
strength is an expression of his greed for power. What he truly
fears is the people’s exercise of our sovereign will to exact
justice and accountability.
movements, civil society groups launch protest action against ADB
“dirty energy policy”
May 4, 2018
MANDALUYONG CITY –
Members of Asian grassroots movements and civil society groups
staged a lightning rally at the gates of the Asian Development Bank
(ADB) Headquarters on the 2nd day of the Bank’s Annual Governors
Meeting, bearing signs that call for the international financial
institution to “Stop Funding Dirty Energy.”
According to Asian
People’s Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) Coordinator Lidy
Nacpil, the protest action served to drive home the urgency of Asian
people’s call for ADB to halt all forms of support to dirty fossil
fuel energy projects, especially coal plants.
“Each year, our call
against the Bank’s support for dirty energy intensifies in urgency.
For every inaction towards the problem of fossil fuels, which has
been established to be the main driver of climate change, Asian
lives and livelihood grow all the more vulnerable as they are
situated at the frontline of climate change’s adverse impacts,” said
“However, ADB’s response
to our urgent, repeating calls has remained to be that of
non-committal lip service,” she added, citing the Asian groups’
“unfruitful” recent engagement with ADB on its Energy Policy.
APMDD Deputy Coordinator
Mae Buenaventura stated that the groups’ call for a review of ADB’s
old and continuously fossil-fuel-supportive 2009 Energy Policy has
been met by a lukewarm response from ADB President Takehiko Nakao,
signifying a lack of seriousness on the part of the major financial
institution to address pressing concerns of civil society groups and
people’s movements regarding the proliferation of dirty energy in
the region and in their communities.
“ADB has merely claimed to
have instituted restrictions in its 2009 Energy Policy, but these
are grossly inadequate in the face of the intensifying climate
crisis,” said Buenaventura.
“This non-committal and
business-as-usual response to the Asian people’s call for an end to
ADB’s support for fossil fuels runs counter to the Bank’s projection
of itself as an institution that listens to civil society groups and
an institution that champions clean energy,” she added.
According to Buenaventura,
the ADB has sought civil society’s input into its 2030 Strategy, but
instills none of the changes urged by the groups. Although the Bank
recognizes the significance of a number of global development
platforms, such as the Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris
Agreement on Climate Change, she claimed that the agenda and
operations in ADB’s Strategy for 2030 and its Energy Policy show no
alignment with them.
“Strategy 2030 makes no
new commitments that address civil society concerns,” said
Environics Trust India Sreedhar Ramamurthi.
“Worse, for all of ADB’s
championing of clean energy, its Strategy 2030 leaves the brunt of
work in the pursuit of a clean energy direction to individual
countries, while the Bank continues to make funding for fossil fuel
available,” Ramamurthi continued.
According to him, ADB’s
outdated and unreviewed 2009 Energy Policy also leaves the Bank
great room for continuing support for destructive fossil fuel
industry activities and false climate solutions.
“Activities that promote
continued coal utilization – such as coal bed methane extraction and
use, coal gasification, and coal scrubbers – along with the push for
the myth of clean coal energy through the practice of Carbon Capture
and Storage (CCS) are all proliferating with green light from a
supposed pro-clean energy ADB,” said Ramamurthi.
Philippine Movement for
Climate Justice National Coordinator Ian Rivera called out the
Bank’s record of financing coal projects that reached $10.735
billion from 2009-2017. Rivera brought attention to projects such as
the Mundra Ultra Mega Power Project in India, Korea Electric Power
Corporation’s 200-MW coal-fired power plant in Cebu province, the
Masinloc Power Partners Ltd.’s 600-MW coal-fired thermal power plant
in Zambales province and the 552-MW coal-fired power plant in
Kauswagan, Lanao del Norte.
“Clearly, the Bank’s
failure to adjust its energy policies and strategies is a result of
its continued, strong financial interest in coal-based power
projects,” said Rivera.
“Amidst the fact that
these projects emit millions of tons of CO2 each year and that there
are global and community efforts to reject fossil fuels which ADB
recognizes, the Bank’s financial interest in coal remains unbudged,”
According to Rivera, ADB’s
continued inaction on pressing global climate demands has incited
further determination and commitment from climate and energy justice
activists to press for the transformation of energy systems in Asia.
“We challenge ADB, an
institution which claims to be for Asian people’s development, to
stop being an obstacle to this process of energy transformation and
to align itself with the agenda of the Asian people – individuals
and communities on the ground that have been impacted most by ADB’s
policies and strategies,” he said.
“Development, the end of
poverty, and the addressing of climate change can be achieved not
through ADB’s business-as-usual approach, but through proactive
strides towards clean, renewable and democratic systems,” he
As a continuation of Asian
civil society groups’ effort to compel ADB’s rethinking of its
energy policies and strategies, groups have also reportedly handed
over a letter – signed by nearly 150 Asian organizations and
networks, which has been endorsed and supported by organizations
from other parts of the globe – to the ADB President and Board of
groups, communities launch protest action against ADB as
May 3, 2018
MANDALUYONG CITY –
Hundreds from Asian civil society organizations and Filipino
communities stormed the gates of the Asian Development Bank on its
51st Annual Meeting, demanding the financial institution to be held
accountable for and to cease its continuous push for anti-poor and
anti-development strategies across Asia and the Pacific.
For its 51st Annual
Meeting, the Asian Development Bank has developed Strategy 2030 as
its new long-term corporate strategy which groups and communities
condemn to largely ensure private sector profit at the expense of
vulnerable communities and the environment.
According to NGO Forum on
ADB Executive Director Rayyan Hassan, the proposed strategy
emphasizes the need to unlock private capital into development
projects while abandoning systems for ensuring due diligence and
compliance with requirements on environmental impact and social
“This is a clear threat to
the communities and environment that will be facing the aftermath of
various ADB-funded projects. Coupled with ADB’s long-standing
immunity against any accountability, the people are left vulnerable
to destructive project impacts without no one to answer for them,”
Atty. Aaron Pedrosa lambasted ADB for falsely posturing as a partner
for Asia and the Pacific in combating poverty and in promoting a
more resilient and sustainable environment amidst its major role in
the privatization of basic services such as water and power, and in
pushing coal and other dirty technologies in the region.
“Due to the history of
ADB’s conditionalities forcing countries to resort to the
privatization of basic services, the region’s impoverished and
marginalized suffer through the deterioration of the quality and
accessibility of basic services and sharp increases in costs,” said
“Along with these harmful
debt conditionalities, ADB also continues to increase the poverty
and vulnerability of communities and their environment by
introducing and financing dirty energy through coal projects,” he
Asian People’s Movement on
Debt and Development Coordinator Lidy Nacpil cited the bank’s vital
role in the introduction of coal-fired power plants in the
Philippines alone through the implementation of EPIRA in 2001.
“Through EPIRA, which
liberalized Philippines’ power industry, the country was made
vulnerable to big coal investors. Today, we have an avalanche of
coal plant projects being railroaded; with ADB leading the growth of
Philippines’ dirty energy through its million dollar loans for
projects like the Korea Electric Power Corporation’s 200-MW
coal-fired power plant in Cebu and the rehabilitation of Masinloc
Power Partners Ltd.’s 600-MW coal-fired thermal power plant in
Zambales province,” said Nacpil.
Center for Energy,
Ecology, and Development Legal and Policy Officer Atty. Avril De
Torres pointed out ADB’s role in promoting dirty energy as
contradictory to its projected agenda for inclusivity and
sustainability in the Asia-Pacific region and its projected
alignment with the Paris agreement on climate change and other
global development platforms.
“In spite of the
well-established fact that fossil fuels, especially coal, spike the
risk for climate change and in spite of many countries and
communities in the Asia-Pacific region standing on the frontlines of
climate change impacts, the ADB still pushes for fossil fuel sourced
energy more than it does for clean energy,” stated De Torres.
According to Philippine
Movement for Climate Justice National Coordinator Ian Rivera, ADB’s
clean energy commitment of $2 billion a year is trumped by its
financing of coal projects that reached $10.735 billion from
Rivera also condemned
ADB’s push for myths of dirty coal being “clean and efficient”
despite “clean coal” technology still greatly contributing to GHG
emissions and warming of the planet – branding it as yet another of
ADB’s false development solutions.
“If the ADB is truly
serious in aligning with global development and climate commitments,
it should explicitly aim for ending its financing and pushing for
anti-development and anti-climate technologies like coal power –
which only serve private interests while being of great disservice
and injustice to the people,” said Rivera.
“In contrast to the
anti-people and anti-environment development rhetoric rampant in
ADB’s support for destructive policies on energy and other sectors,
there are alternatives towards genuine development – as seen in
largely untapped clean energy – which actually safeguard people’s
interests through the promotion of more democratic and sustainable
systems,” concluded Rivera.