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Department of Foreign Affairs-updates

RP Embassy in Abuja celebrates Eid Al-Fitr

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:42 AM PDT

PH-155-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Abuja celebrated Eid Al-Fitr last 20 September. Guests included members of the Filipino community, Nigerian business people, and the officers and staff of the ASEAN Embassies in Abuja, including the Ambassadors of Thailand and Malaysia and the Charge d’Affaires of Vietnam and Indonesia.

Charge d’Affaires, a.i., Alex V. Lamadrid welcomed the guests on the occasion of Eid Al-Fitr. This is the first time that the ASEAN Embassies in Nigeria attended the Eid Al-Fitr celebration in the Philippine Embassy.

Post’s muslim staff Mr. Said Bacolod led the invocation and Alimoden Emam read the Qur’an.

A film on the life of the Prophet Muhammad was also shown during the program. END



St. Petersburg hosts first Philippine Studies Conference

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:20 AM PDT

PR-744-09, 22 September 2009 – A Philippine studies conference was held for the first time ever in St. Petersburg, the former imperial capital and now the cultural capital of Russia, one of the leading countries specializing in the field, the Philippine Embassy in Moscow reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

“Pilipinas Muna! (The Philippines is a Priority!)” was held on September 14-15 at the conference hall of Pavilion 6 in LENEXPO, organized by the Peter the Great Museum of Anthropology and Ethnography (Kunstkamera) of the Russian Academy of Sciences, with the cooperation of the Philippine Embassy and the Philippine Honorary Consulate General in St. Petersburg.

In the opening ceremonies, Philippine Ambassador to Russia Victor G. Garcia III praised the organizers, led by conference chair Dr. Maria V. Stanyukovich, chair of Kunstkamera’s Department of Australia, Oceania and Indonesia, for putting Russia on the map “firmly as one of the poles of research on the Philippines.”

Honorary Consul General Sergey Alexeev remarked on St. Petersburg’s links to the Philippines, noting how the trading ships that eventually made its way to the Far East were built and licensed by the Russian Imperial Court in the former capital. Kunstkamera Director Professor Yury K. Chistov remarked about the new academic milestone achieved by the holding of the conference.

Moscow-based historian and political scientist Victor Sumsky emphasized that the conference took in an impressive range of disciplines represented in Philippine studies: linguistics, literature, folklore, history, anthropology, sociology, political science, economics, geology, visual and graphic arts, performance arts and naval engineering.

The two-day conference, which was also attended by three professors from the University of the Philippines – Drs. Crisanta Flores of the Filipino Department, Jima Umala and Wystan de la Peña of the Center of International Studies – attracted the early support of President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo during her visit for the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in June.

During that visit, President Arroyo took keen interest in early historical references about the Philippines and Russia, such as the Latin translation of Italian chronicler Antonio Pigafetta’s account of Ferdinand Magellan’s circumnavigation of the world in 1522, a copy of which reached Russia and was translated in Russian presumably between 1525 and 1530.

A copy of the translated manuscript was believed to have been among the documents in the Saltykov-Shchedrin State Library in St. Petersburg. The collection from that library became part of the core of what eventually became the Lenin Library or now the Russian State Library.

Apart from UP and Kunstkamera, the institutions represented in the conference were: St. Petersburg State University (SPbSU), Moscow Lomonosov State University (MSU), St. Petersburg Institute of History, Institute of World Economics and International Relations, Russian State Humanitarian University, Northwest Academy of Public Administration and State Russian Museum.

The conference, which is the second ever of its kind in Russia, was dedicated to the 80th birthday of Dr. Gennadiy Evgenyevich Rachkov, a specialist in Tagalog linguistics and the founder of Tagalog Department in SPbSU’s School of Oriental and African Studies.

A side exhibition featuring the oil paintings of Mme. Concepcion G. Garcia and Papo de Asis as well as photos from Philippine daily life taken by Russian photographers Alexandra Romanova and Alexey Stoyda and loaned from the collection of Gennady Grustsya, head of exhibition organizers Golden Dolphin, was opened by Ambassador Garcia, Honorary Consul General Alexeev, Director Chistov and Dr. Elena G. Tsaryova, curator at the Kunstkamera.

The two paintings of Mrs. Garcia entitled “Tres Marias” and “The Making of the First Philippine Flag” were also praised by the conference participants.

Dr. de la Peña said he was impressed with the extent and seriousness of the research presented by the Russian academicians. In particular, he cited papers on the accusativity and ergativity in the Tagalog language, the study of Ilocano Lam-ang epic, the population of the Philippines and the evolution of human groups inhabiting the Pacific and on Francisco Balagtas.

At the end of the conference, Dr. Stanyukovich drew up by acclamation a resolution for the organizers and participants to organize a follow-up conference, possibly in Manila, and to publish the papers and proceedings in both English and Russian.

With the MSU and SPbSU offering undergraduate and post-graduate studies on the Philippines, Russia is one of the leading countries in advancing Philippine studies in Europe if not the world.. Other leading countries are the United States, Australia and Japan. In Europe, Russia and Netherlands lead in scholarships, followed by Spain, Great Britain and Germany.

Russia’s contribution to Philippine studies was acknowledged during President Arroyo’s visit to Moscow in June, where she conferred the Presidential Medal of Merit to Rizalist Dr. Igor Podberezksy for his pioneering work of translating eight volumes of Philippine literature into Russian and penning eight monographs and more than 100 articles on the Philippines in a 55-year career.

The first ever academic conference on the Philippines was held in Moscow in the early 1990s. Organized by the Nusantara Society in Moscow, the one-day “The Philippines in the Malay World” conference gathered specialists from MSU, Moscow State Institute of International Relations, Institute of World Economics and International Relations and the Pushkin Institute of World Literature. END



Lloyd’s opens Davao Gulf Lay-Up Facility to International Shippers

Posted: 22 Sep 2009 12:04 AM PDT

PR-743-09, 22 September 2009 – Philippine Ambassador to the Court of St. James in London Antonio M. Lagdameo reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the Lloyd’s Joint War Committee (JWC) has decided to delist Davao Gulf from its areas with perceived enhanced risk.

The September 14 decision will make anchorage areas in Davao Gulf – particularly Malalag and Bunawan Bays, Pujada Bay and Mayo Bay – a more attractive option for international shipping companies which intend to lay-up their idle vessels at the facilities opened by the Philippine Government for this purpose.

Ambassador Lagdameo, who is concurrently the Permanent Representative of the Philippines to the International Maritime Organization, welcomed the JWC decision, and said; “London is considered as the maritime capital of the world. The decision taken by the Joint War Committee a few days ago validates the satisfactory efforts undertaken by Philippine government agencies to make Mindanao a stable and peaceful place for international shipping companies to do business.”

Last May, MARINA Administrator Maria Elena Bautista led a delegation of officials from the Philippine Embassy in London and the Philippine Coast Guard to meet with officials of Aegis Defence Services (Aegis), the external security consultant of JWC, to formally brief them on the peace and order situation in Davao Gulf. Administrator Bautista highlighted the peaceful environment in Davao Gulf which is supportive of attracting international shipping companies to lay-up their idle merchant vessels in the area.

A team from Aegis was then invited to the Philippines in mid-August to inspect the measures undertaken by the national and local government agencies to eliminate or minimize any security risk to international merchant vessels that would be availing of the lay-up facilities in Davao Gulf. It was this team that briefed the JWC on the situation prevailing in the Davao Gulf Area.

The JWC is composed of underwriting representatives from both the Lloyd’s and company markets of the International Underwriting Association. It represents the interest of those writing war and related risks within the London market and meets quarterly. END



RP Embassy in Seoul leads ASEAN Campus Tour

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 10:43 PM PDT

PR-742-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Seoul in cooperation with the ASEAN-Korea Center led the first leg of the ASEAN School Tour Program at the Cheongduk Elementary School, Seoul on September 5.

The group accommodated 180 Korean elementary students. Participants had a taste of Philippine culture through the demonstration of festival costumes, photos of famous Philippine tourist spots, crafts, textiles and other cultural items.

Volunteers from the Pilipino Iskolars sa Korea (PIKO) conducted a briefing to the students. Selected students were also entertained by the basic dance steps of the “Tinikling”.

Other ASEAN member countries also showcased their country’s cultural items and other informational materials in their respective booths.

The ASEAN Campus Tour will be brought to nine other elementary schools around Seoul until November 7. It is being organized by the ASEAN-Korea Center and 10 other embassies of the ASEAN member countries in Seoul to raise awareness and understanding on ASEAN member nations and to promote ASEAN culture among the students in Korea.

Ambassador Luis T. Cruz and Secretary-General Young Jai Cho of the ASEAN-Korea Center headed the campus tour. END



San Diego Padres’ Filipino Heritage Night

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 08:05 PM PDT

PH-154-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in Los Angeles reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs that the San Diego Padres hosted a Filipino Heritage Night at the Petco Park in San Diego, California last September 15.

Photo shows Manny Pacquiao (center) being presented a Proclamation from the City of Chula Vista honoring him for his outstanding achievements. With Pacquiao are (from left) Consul General Mary Jo Bernardo Aragon; Shirley Grasser Horton, California Legislator (2002-2008); and Jeffrey Moorad, San Diego Padres CEO.

During the event, five individuals were also honored for their outstanding contributions to the Filipino-American community namely, Retired Assemblywoman Shirley Horton, Judge Lillian Lim, Captain Cesar Solis, Dr. Barbara Yorobe, and Lucy Gonzales. END



San Francisco Giants’ Filipino Heritage Night

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 08:00 PM PDT

PH-153-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco attended the Giants Filipino Heritage Night at the AT&T Ball Park in San Francisco last September 16. Newly-crowned International Boxing Association (IBA) Super Bantamweight champion Anna “The Hurricane” Julaton also attended the event.

Photo shows Deputy Consul General Wilfredo C. Santos with Ms. Anna Julaton, together with Trade Commissioner Josephine Romero, Mr. Anthony Cornista of the Philippine Embassy in Tokyo, and Mr. Al Perez of the Bay Area Filipino American community. END



RP Embassy in Mexico celebrates National Migrant Day

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 07:50 PM PDT

PH-152-09, 22 September 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Mexico participated in the celebration of the National Migrants Day at the Basilica de Guadalupe on September 6.

The Pastoral Care of Human Mobility (PCHM) of the Mexican Roman Catholic Church and the Scalabrini Fathers and Sisters coordinated the mass and the cultural show that were participated in by a number of countries represented in Mexico City, Charge d’Affaires, a.i. Pedro C. Santizo said.

Minister and Consul Lilybeth R.. Deapera, Sister Leticia Gutierrez Guadarrama of PCHM, and the representative of President Felipe Calderon Hinojosa, were the principal readers in the mass.

Members of the Filipino community in Mexico City participated in the event.

Other members of the diplomatic corps in Mexico like Spain, Guatemala, Ecuador, El Salvador, Colombia and Panama also attended the commemoration. END



Filipino Architect Selected as Finalist in Guggenheim Art Shelter Competition

Posted: 21 Sep 2009 07:31 PM PDT

PR-741-09, 22 September 2009 – Filipino architect Gonzalo “Jun” Raymundo, Jr. was selected as one of the top 10 finalists in the prestigious Guggenheim Art Shelter Competition, the Philippine Embassy in Washington D.C. reported to the Department of Foreign Affairs.

The Guggenheim Art Shelter Competition is an exhibition contest sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum and Google SketchUp. It is open to both amateur and professional designers who are challenged to come up with various 3D designs inspired from different shelters in any part of the world using Google SketchUp and Google Earth.

Submissions were received from nearly 600 contestants in 68 countries around the world. Ten finalists were then drawn from this pool of contestants for the People’s Prize Award, which will be chosen through an online public voting.

Mr. Raymundo, based in Quezon City, Philippines, is leading the voting polls.

In a statement, Philippine Ambassador to the United States Willy C. Gaa said Mr. Raymundo has exhibited exceptional skill in design and architecture. “Truly, his work best reflects ingenuity, workmanship and culture that the Filipino people can be proud of. I encourage members of the Filipino community to extend their support to Mr. Raymundo by casting their votes for his meritorious piece of art,” he said.

Mr. Raymundo’s work entitled, “A Bamboo Shelter in a Garbage Dump City,” is a bamboo design shelter built on a concrete base situated at a garbage dump in the Philippines. The bamboo wall represents a strong sense camaraderie or “bayanihan” to signify that “where there is unity there is strength.” His work collectively symbolizes “sustainability and hope.”

The voting period will run until 10 October 2009. A link to the voting page can be accessed at: END



Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

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Filed under: Jokes & Humor,

Local Officials Welcome Coal Mining in Gubat, Sorsogon

Local Officials Welcome Coal Mining in Gubat, Sorsogon – GUBAT, Sorsogon, Sept. 17 (PNA) — The Department of Energy (DoE) has recently awarded a coal operating contract (COC) to a private firm that offered a

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon first eco-house project

‘Green’ home to rise in Bulusan
Charles E. Buban
Philippine Daily Inquirer


MANILA, Philippines—Filipino-Australian Edith Gapas-Dome neither drives a hybrid car nor shops exclusively at natural food and beauty stores. And she doesn’t lose sleep worrying about climate change.

But she is showing the way on how to go green in the house that is taking shape in her hometown of Bulusan, Sorsogon.

Her planned house would make that passionate environmentalist Al Gore proud.

To name a few of the house’s earth-friendly features, the roof will be made of PVC instead of the usual corrugated GI sheets, the concrete walls will have polystyrene (styrofoam) in the middle, and the rooms will be decked out with nontoxic paint.

Even the appliances that will be bought are rated to use less electricity, and the bathroom and kitchen fixtures that will be installed are designed to use less water.

First in RP

“My husband and I weren’t planning to go green when we decided to build some sort of a retirement house in Bulusan. But when our architect described the benefits—lower electricity and water bills, better indoor-air quality, plus the fact that we will not be spending a lot of money—we agreed that it would be worth it,” Dome said.

Dome will be the first in the Philippines to benefit from the LuzViMinda Eco-House project that ModernA launched a few months ago.

ModernA is a small but dedicated group of architects that promotes energy-efficient and environmentally sound housing designs for middle-income Filipino home buyers.

Its first project is LuzViMinda Eco-House, which will build relatively inexpensive houses with a low adverse impact on the environment.

“It’s not easy to buy or build an affordable eco-house here in the Philippines. A lot of home buyers here think that green architecture has a price premium and that it’s only for people who can afford it,” explained architect James Jao, who conceived and co-founded ModernA.

“The need for eco-friendly house designs is becoming increasingly urgent. Sadly, this issue has to take a back seat here in the Philippines, where a lot of Filipinos are homeless or living in substandard housing,” he lamented.


But Jao, who completed a bachelor’s degree in architecture at the University of Santo Tomas and a master’s degree in city design and social science at the London School of Economics and Political Science, believes that the LuzViMinda Eco-House project will prove that a middle-income Filipino family can afford to enjoy sustainable living.

To drive home this point, Jao’s team built a mock eco-house and displayed it during the recent Manila Construction Show 2008 held at the SMX Convention Center in the SM Mall of Asia Complex in Pasay City.

According to Jao, the 121-square-meter house (with a 33-square-meter garage and a 20-square-meter loft) serves as a blueprint of Dome’s future house—25 percent more energy-efficient, cheaper to build, and, best of all, constructed in accordance with the strict and world-renowned building regulation standards of the United Kingdom.

“While [the mockup] costs over P1.5 million to build, the price of the actual house is expected to be much lower,” Jao said. “But on the other hand, even at P1.5 million, Dome will no longer have to spend so much on energy and water bills and be able to enjoy a healthy environment with her family.”

Dome said part of the agreement with ModernA was to open her eco-house to the public on certain days for viewing.

Said Jao: “The objective is to gain more support and to prove to more Filipino home buyers that they don’t need to spend much to acquire an environment-friendly house.”

He added that another eco-house was being planned in Cebu.

Green strategies

The way Jao explained it, a LuzViMinda Eco-House utilizes forward-thinking green strategies that promote energy efficiency, conservation and quality of life while taking advantage of the economic benefits of green architecture to keep living costs down.

For example, the PVC roof can reflect 90 percent of the sun’s heat, keeping the house’s interior cool even during the summer months.

The concrete walls with styrofoam filling are not only lightweight and thinner than the hollow-blocks-and-cement combination but are also more durable and provide a more effective barrier to external heat and noise.

Jao is adding a filtration system to allow the use of rainwater for cleaning or watering plants.

Local materials

For lighting, a solar panel will be installed, as well as energy-saving lamps positioned throughout the house. This setup, Jao said, could provide monthly savings of P1,200 on electricity.

All the materials used in the mockup and in the house being built in Bulusan are available locally, Jao said.

Green guide

He said his group spent some time researching “to determine each of the materials’ eco-friendliness” because unlike Europe and the United States, the Philippines had no “green guide” to provide “product recommendations and their relative environmental impacts.”

For a green guide, Jao consulted England’s Code for Sustainable Homes but made some revisions to make it appropriate for the Philippines.

The code works by awarding new homes a star rating from one to six, based on their performance against nine sustainability standards—energy and carbon dioxide emissions, water, materials, surface water runoff, waste, pollution, health and well-being, management, and ecology.

On top of everything else, the LuzViMinda Eco-House project is very flexible in terms of design and materials, Jao said.

“In fact, if the national or local government will provide tax-support incentives, for example—the construction price could go much lower that even mass housing developers may be able to afford it.” 


Filed under: Expat Living in Sorsogon, Sorsogon Expat's, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?

Bulan Sorsogon-Participates in International Coastal Cleanup Day

In Support of the International Coastal Clean-up Day, People from Bulan Sorsogon accept the challenge and picked-up trash along the beaches of Bulan on September 19.  This is a great show of volunteerism!

In Support of the International Coastal Clean-up Day, People from Bulan Sorsogon accept the challenge and picked-up trash along the beaches of Bulan on September 19.  This is a great show of volunteerism!

For the latest Philippine news stories and videos, visit GMANews.TV

Filed under: Encouragement, Sorsogon News Updates, What's Happening Here?,

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