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CAFGUs Get Stern Warning to not Involve with Politicians

CAFGUs Get Stern Warning to not Involve with Politicians
Vox Bikol
In past election history in Masbate and even Sorsogon and Catanduanes provinces, CAFGUs were reportedly used by politicians as “body guards.
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Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

DOST pushes science, biotech program to strengthen MSMEs in Bicol

NAGA CITY—The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) is aggressively pushing in Bicol a program to further strengthen micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) to become the backbone of the country’s economy.

As driving forces for manufacturing and production, MSMEs are the bedrock for economic stability, forming 99.6 percent of all enterprises and 60 percent of all exporting firms in the Philippines.

They also employ 53 percent of the country’s labor force, said DOST regional director for Bicol Tomas Briñas at the SM City Events Center here over the weekend.

The facility was the venue for the five-day Southern Luzon Cluster Science and Technology (S&T) Fair that ended on Sunday and brought together the DOST and local MSMEs into showcasing the latest visual and interactive breakthroughs and technology-generated, -developed and -commercialized products.

Anchored on the theme “Responding to Global Challenges Through Science and Technology,” the S&T fair was a joint initiative of the DOST regional offices in Bicol, the National Capital Region, Central Luzon, Calabarzon and Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon, Palawan).

In urging Bicolanos to engage in manufacturing and production, DOST Assistant Secretary Mario Bravo, who represented Science Secretary Estrella Alabastro, said during the culmination day of the event that the agency is presently accepting applicants for its Small Enterprise Technology Upgrading (Setup) program.

Setup, he said, is the umbrella program that provides both technical and financial assistance to S&T-related activities of MSMEs.

These activities include technology and raw-materials acquisition, training and consultancy, Bravo said, adding that Bicol has been allocated by the DOST some P6 million to finance these activities this year.

“Setup provides new technology, manpower training, capital, product markets, product standards and testing facilities, packaging and product labeling, raw materials, information and better transport facilities,” Ma. Josefina Abilay, DOST regional director for the Mimaropa said.

The program is a nationwide strategy to boost MSME productivity and competitiveness via technology innovations and the technical interventions involving it result in enhanced product quality, upgraded human resources, cost reduction, effective waste management and tuned-up operations, Abilay said.

Bravo said with Setup, MSMEs can find answers to enterprise challenges and problems; get technical advices from consultants, training for workers; and acquire new equipment to mechanized and improved product lines.

It also provides for standardized and improved product quality for more competiveness with proper labeling and packaging, he said.

Qualified beneficiaries for Setup are Filipino entrepreneurs operating MSMEs classified under priority sectors, such as food processing, furniture, gift items and decorative handicrafts, marine resources, horticulture like cutflowers, fruits or high-value crops and metal processing.

“Through this program, we are expanding the whole gamut of economic activity as the vital role of MSMEs is recognized and so are their needs,” Bravo added.

Briñas said the S&T fair acquainted the public about the role in manpower development of the agency’s Science Education Institution-Human Resource Development Program.

Product-technology upgrading, employment and investment generation and enterprise development via DOST programs were also showcased in the fair.

Briñas said these programs are aimed at building up massive advocacy, promotion and application of science and technology among the citizenry.

Entrepreneurs engaged in MSMEs were also taught food safety and appropriate packaging, while attendees in the scientific fora underwent sessions on biological control for the management of Brontispa longgisima in coconut, risk mapping, pili pulp oil, indigenous herbal medicine, avoiding the inevitable health-related effects of calamity, alternative energy and understanding the weather, he said.

Under the techno-demo, participants were taught how to cook and prepare nutritious snack food, he added.

Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent
Sunday, 29 November 2009 19:03

Filed under: Invest in Sorsogon, Negosyo Tips, Sorsogon News Updates, , ,


They have been called everything from the country’s “contemporary heroes” to the “new middle class”—a clear testimony of how Filipino migrant workers have become a modern Philippine phenomenon.

Filipinos working offshore have proven time and again that they are indeed an economic force to reckon with. Only last year, amid the global financial turmoil, remittances sent by overseas Filipino workers amounted to $16.4 billion, an impressive figure which helped buoy the country’s economy.

However, ask any OFW about his long-term plans and chances are these always include returning to the Philippines to retire and be reunited with his family. Coupled with the uncertainty of living in a foreign land, especially with such unsettling events like the global financial crisis, more and more OFWs are seriously pondering their future.

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) has recognized the need to help migrant Filipino workers plan prudently for their future and that of their families back home.

The BSP’s Financial Learning Campaign (FLC) was created in 2005 to cultivate financial education and promote savings and investments among OFWs and their beneficiaries.

Its establishment has been spurred by a 2004 Asian Development Bank Study which concluded that Filipinos working in other countries have huge potential for savings mobilization.

Furthermore, BSP Consumer Expectations Surveys from 2004 to 2008 showed that apart from expenditures on food, clothing, and housing, remittances were also used for education, medical care, purchase of real estate, and savings.

The Financial Learning Campaign was first launched in Cebu City on February 28, 2006. Since then, a total of 37 FLCs have been conducted in 25 cities and provinces in the Philippines.

Local FLCs target OFWs who are either waiting to be rehired or are on vacation in the Philippines. Beneficiaries of migrant Filipino workers, mostly parents and spouses, also benefit from the campaign.

Last year, the BSP began conducting international roadshows in various countries. More than a thousand Filipino workers in Hong Kong, Singapore, Korea, Saudi Arabia, Italy, and the United Kingdom have since participated in the BSP’s financial education program.

One of the most basic lessons stressed during the FLCs is a financial paradigm shift: Instead of saving whatever is left of his income after all the expenditures have been made, an OFW is encouraged to spend what is left of his income after allocating a portion of his earnings to savings and investments.

The FLC team briefs the OFWs and their families on various investment outlets and savings instruments available in the market. Such outlets and instruments include savings deposits, time deposits, life and non-life insurance, government securities such as treasury bills, corporate bonds, and real estate.

OFWs are likewise given ideas on possible businesses they could venture into, such as franchises and agri-business.

Jaime Augusto Zobel de Ayala, chairman and CEO of the Ayala Corporation, was right in saying that at the end of the day, the option to stay or leave the country is a personal choice.

Equipping migrant Filipino workers with the proper knowledge empowers them to make the right choice about their future. By having control over their finances, Filipinos can leave the country because they choose to, and not because they need to.

November 29, 2009, 5:25pm

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


Prior to my return to overseas work assignment, I spent the last hours of my stay in the Philippines inside a church in Makati with my wife. Initially, I thought of watching a movie but I realized that we need a solemn moment of solitude. The last hours before my flight schedule proved to be the most trying moments of my life as if I really hope that I could freeze the clock from ticking away precious seconds of my life.

On my way to the airport, we have to go back to our house to pick up my youngest daughter to go with us during the airport send-off. On our way to the airport the rain pours as if God in high heavens is sharing with me the pain of leaving a family behind.

The car I was driving of all the times suddenly had a mechanical trouble leaving me no choice but to ask my brother to send the car back home and hailed a taxi instead in the middle of the rain pouring at intermittent intervals.

(1:30 pm: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines)


 I asked my wife to board the taxi waiting at bay and to her hesitation, I reasoned that they have to go before heavy rain pours, not from above but from my eyes. 
– G Marcelo


At the airport, I asked my wife to board the taxi waiting at bay and to her hesitation, I reasoned that they have to go before heavy rain pours, not from above but from my eyes. I pretended to be fine even though I was not. As the taxi sped away from my view, thoughts of running after the taxi to bid farewell to my wife and daughter comes to my mind but my legs and feet proved to be powerful than my thoughts. Finally, they’re gone and out of my sight, I was left alone and with a heavy heart, I dragged my feet inside the airport terminal and found myself standing aimlessly in front of an X-ray machine.

A sign visible to all incoming passengers telling us of things prohibited in all hand-carried and check in luggage. The person manning the X-ray machine ensures that all passengers pass through the metal detector and have to be stripped of metal objects. The X-ray machine scans all bags and luggage that pass though the conveyor. However what the X-ray machine and the metal detector failed to see are the tears in my eyes and my bleeding heart.

(2:10 pm: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines)

Inside the terminal, the check in counter as expected is chaotic. Passengers come and go and from the piles of passengers queuing to check in their luggage. One can easily discern a passenger on leisure trip, with a face beaming with pride and excitement from the one driven away from his family not by choice but of dire needs whose face is masked by strong determination but with a heart that bleeds inside.

At the boarding area, I saw a batch of passengers disembarking from the plane’s aisle with their face beaming with excitement to reunite with their loved ones – exactly the same euphoria I felt on my way back to the Philippines during my 2-month vacation.

(3:45 pm: Ninoy Aquino International Airport – Philippines)

The PA system announces the boarding call to remind passengers bound for Abu Dhabi to board the plane. As the ground steward announces the order of boarding by seat number, I remember praying, wishing that my seat number’s row be overlooked. As I enter the plane, my heart is pounding and my shoulder becomes heavy not by the weight of my bag but of my emotion. While the plane is on its way to the runway, I wanted to tell the stewardess to ask the pilot to stop the plane to let me out but again, reality reminds me of the need to go.

(11:45 pm: Dammam International Airport – Saudi Arabia)

I arrived in Dammam after a connecting flight from Abu Dhabi. After I checked out from the immigration counter, I saw two of my officemates who patiently waited for hours. We headed straight outside the airport terminal only to find our company car towed by airport’s park and ground employees. We found the car in the impounding area and while my companion is paying the impounding fee, I remained inside the car recalling the events that had passed for the last 24 hours.

(1:45 am: Jubail City, Saudi Arabia)


 I opened my room’s window and I glanced upon the tall chimneys of petrochemical plants nearby that breaths fire in the sky. The chimney breaths fire like a dragon but the fire couldn’t dry the tears on my pillow. 
– G Marcelo


We reached our accommodation and headed immediately to my room only to find that air-conditioning unit is not working. I opened my room’s window and I glanced upon the tall chimneys of petrochemical plants nearby that breaths fire in the sky. The chimney breaths fire like a dragon but the fire couldn’t dry the tears on my pillow. As I glance to the 4 corners of my room, I knew that I’m alone – again. My body is exhausted but my mind keeps on resuscitating the events I had during my short stay with my family back in the Philippines – sleepless in Saudi Arabia.

I don’t want to unpacked my suitcase for I was imagining that tomorrow, I will be back to Philippines and to be with my family and to never be separated from them again. But how is that? I quipped. Will I resign from my job? What shall I tell my boss? I have just arrived from a vacation then I will resign? Ok, granting my boss allows me, what’s next? Will it be “And they lived happily ever after” story? I don’t know, I just really don’t know.

(3:00am: Jubail City – Saudi Arabia)

I still couldn’t sleep so I tried to keep myself busy so as not to give my mind a chance to procrastinate. I clean the toilet seat and floors, I cleaned the room, wipe off the dust in my cabinet, on the windows, tables until I come across with files of my family’s pictures and letters from my children and wife. In one of the letters, I saw the Toblerone chocolate given to me by my daughter as her gift before my flight, at that time, I feel like dying.

I know that days before my next vacation are still far but if only God would allow me to make one wish, it would be an opportunity to work in a place where my heart is – my family. – GMANews.TV


Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, ,

GMA to DepEd: Replicate ‘kariton’ classroom

MANILA, Philippines – President Arroyo directed yesterday presidential adviser on education Mona Valisno to replicate the kariton classroom system in areas not reached by the Department of Education.

Following the worldwide recognition that CNN Hero of the Year Efren Peñaflorida’s kariton (pushcart) classroom has generated, the government is now adopting the strategy to reach out to school children, especially in remote areas in the country.

Yesterday, Peñaflorida was conferred the prestigious Order of Lakandula with the rank of komandante at Malacañang for the honor he and his Dynamic Teen Co. (DTC) brought to the country on a worldwide stage. His parents, Lucila and Efren Sr., accompanied him to Malacañang.

The President told Valisno to work with non-government organizations such as the DTC and support them in education programs for children.

She said the focus should be on children from poor families who most likely would have lesser access to education.

“If Kenya was able to have success replicating the program, then there should be no reason for the Philippines not to do this too,” she said.   – Marvin Sy


(The Philippine Star) Updated November 28, 2009 12:00 AM

Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Inspiration, People who inspired Us, ,

Keep Christmas ‘simple but meaningful,’ DepEd chief tells schools

MANILA, Philippines—Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has instructed schools to keep “simple but meaningful” their Christmas parties due to the recent calamities that struck the country.

Lapus said schools should even consider cancelling their Christmas parties and donating the funds for these celebrations to calamity victims.

“The difficult economic times call for austerity and simplicity…Much suffering has been experienced, but it should not stop us from ending the year with the spirit unbowed and full of hope,” Lapus said.

He noted that the severe difficulties during the past months brought about by the global financial crisis and by the series of typhoons have tested the Filipinos’ resiliency.

“Schools or offices which decide to forego Christmas parties (should) consider donating the savings to relief assistance for families still reeling from the destruction caused by recent calamities,” Lapus said.

Decorations should be simple, inexpensive and to the extent possible, produced by students and staff. Violators will face administrative sanctions, he added.

Lapus, through DepEd Order 114 series of 2009, said contributions for celebrations in schools or offices whether in cash or kind should be strictly voluntary.

Moreover, gift-giving should be “guided by the spirit of sharing and should not lead to extravagant spending,” Lapus said.

He said Disruption of academic activities in schools and delivery of departmental services should likewise be minimized.

The Christmas break in public schools begins, Dec. 19, 2009. Classes will resume on Jan. 4, Lapus said.


By: Philip Tubeza- Philippine Daily Inquirer

Filed under: Education, ,

Lapus: Let’s make television programming more child-friendly

The National Council for Children’s Television (NCCT) signed today a
memorandum of agreement with the Kapisanan ng Brodkaster sa
Pilipinas (KBP) and the Philippine Association of National Advertisers
(PANA) to monitor and handle complaints against “undesirable” TV
programs and commercials that are harmful to children.

“Our television programs must increasingly become reliable resources
for learning among our children, and not a source of negative influence,”
said DepEd Secretary Jesli Lapus.

Lapus added that the TV is still the most widely used source of
entertainment among Filipino children. He added that KBP and PANA
will play a major role in protecting children from TV shows and
commercials that show excessive sex, violence and other viewing fares
that are unfit for minors.

“We welcome this partnership that promotes positive TV programming
that puts premium on educational and responsible entertainment content
for our children,” Lapus stressed.

During the signing of the agreement, representatives from major
television networks were also present to discuss Republic Act 8370,
otherwise known as the Children’s Television Act.

Through the KBP and PANA, concerned TV stations and advertising
agencies will have a venue to have a “constructive dialogue” about
formulating protective measures for TV such as the Violence Rating
Code and Children’s Block Time programming or “C” Time.

NCCT Chief Jonathan Malaya called on the TV networks, advertisers
and child-focused NGOs to work together so that TV programming
contribute to the shaping of positive values, culture, and behavior among
Filipino children.

Participants in the dialogue included key KBP and PANA officials, TV
network heads and head writers of TV stations such as ABS-CBN,
GMA7 and TV5.

Filed under: Education, ,

Succeed with a Positive Attitude

Friends, please take a moment to watch this short video clip about ” Succeed with a positive attitude”. Dios mabalos!

Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration,

BDO’S Promo for Remittance Clients

BANCO De Oro Unibank, Inc. (BDO) has launched a new promo that will give clients opening new BDO Kabayan Savings account the chance to win huge prizes.

With “Easy Asenso, Instant Panalo..Hatid ng BDO sa Pamilyang OFW”, customers availing of the Bank’s special remittance account for overseas workers and their beneficiaries, will earn the chance to win P10,000 worth of grocery items; P40,000 worth of Home Appliance Shopping; and a brand new Nissan Sentra 1.3 GX M/T.

Easy Asenso, Instant Panalo!
Open a BDO Kabayan Savings Account and get a chance to win a 2009 Nissan Sentra, Grocery or Home Appliance Shopping Spree!


Promo Mechanics

  • Open a BDO Asenso Kabayan Account to get
    one (1) electronic raffle entry.
  • For every raffle entry, you get a chance to win
    any of the following:


    • Php 10,000 worth of Grocery Shopping
      Spree (4 winners per draw)
    • Php 40,000 worth of Home Appliance
      Shopping Spree* (4 winners per draw)
    • One (1) brand new 2009 Nissan Sentra
      1.3GX M/T (1 lucky Grand prize winner)
  • For each draw, there will be one winner in the National Capital Region (NCR), Luzon, Visayas
    and Mindanao.
  • Raffle Draw Dates:
Raffle Prize Period Covered Draw Date
Grocery Shopping Spree Nov. 3, 2009 – Jan. 31, 2010 Feb. 14, 2010
Nov. 3, 2009 – April 30, 2010 May. 14, 2010
Home Appliance Shopping Spree Nov. 3, 2009 – July 31, 2010 Aug. 14, 2010
Nov. 3, 2009 – Oct. 31, 2010 Nov. 14, 2010
2009 Nissan Sentra 1.3GX M/T Nov. 3, 2009 – Oct. 31, 2010 Nov. 14, 2010
  • All winners will be chosen via electronic raffle.
  • Each entry may only win once per draw.
  • All raffle draws will be held at the BDO Remittance Unit 2/F, BDO Building, Paseo de Roxas
    cor. Senator Gil Puyat Avenue, Makati City in the presence of a DTI representative.
  • Participants may have multiple entries as long as the accounts opened remain open and
    active during the promo period.
  • Winning entries will no longer be included in the succeeding raffle draws.
  • All winners will receive a telephone call and registered mail.
  • To claim the Grand prize, the winner should bring one (1) valid ID and the registered mail
    received and present these to BDO Remittance Unit, 2/F BDO Building, 3851 Sen. Gil Puyat     Ave., corner Paseo de Roxas, Makati City.
  • For Shopping Spree winners, they will receive a telephone call from a BDO representative to
    set the Shopping Spree date at the nearest SM Supermarket, Savemore or SM Appliance     Center.
  • If there is no SM Supermarket, Savemore or SM Appliance Center located in the winners’     province/area, the winner will instead receive a check with the amount similar to the prize
    won for deposit to his/her Kabayan Savings account. The winner may claim the check at
    his/her branch of account on the agreed schedule.
  • The Grand Prize winner shall pay for the car registration while Quarterly Draw winners shall     shoulder the delivery charges for groceries / home appliances.
  • BDO shall shoulder the 20% promo tax for prizes worth more than Php10,000.
  • Prizes should be claimed within sixty (60) days after the registered mail is received.
    Otherwise, prizes will be forfeited with prior approval of DTI.
  • All prizes are non-transferable and non-convertible to cash.
  • All employees of BDO Unibank, Inc. and their relatives up to second degree of affinity and of     consanguinity are disqualified to join the promo.

Promo Period: November 3, 2009-October 31. 2010
Per DTI-NCR Permit No. 5535 Series of 2009

In participation with:

Filed under: e-Banking, Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, , ,

Five Traits a Guy Should Have Before You Get Serious

Wondering about the qualities that really matter in a boyfriend when you’re thinking long-term love? These five characteristics are the ones you should be looking for.

By Mina Azodi

You get butterflies when you see him, your heart pounds if he calls, and kissing him literally causes goose bumps. With chemistry this amazing, you’d figure you’re destined to be together.

As it turns out, not necessarily. “We often mistake a strong physical connection as a sign that two people are meant for each other,” says Paul Dobransky, MD, founder of Yes, chemistry is key to a lasting bond, but it isn’t the final word. Other factors should be considered too, and they take some sussing out. New findings describe the characteristics in a guy that actually predict relationship success, some of which you may be overlooking.

1. He Knows What He Wants
Any guy you’re serious about should be able to articulate his long-term goals and passions (sorry, fantasy football and Xbox don’t count). He can’t ally himself with you until he has a sense of how he envisions his life in the future … and how you fit in. “If a man has no idea what he wants to be when he ‘grows up,’ then it will be impossible for him to commit to you,” says Dobransky.

Don’t assume he’ll work things out, because when he does, you may realize his ambitions don’t mesh with yours. “This mistake has contributed to the starter-marriage phenomenon, in which couples in their 20s and 30s suddenly realize they’re going in different directions and divorce at an early age,” says Dobransky. “It’s preventable as long as you’re both clear about your plans.”

2. He Has a Sunny Outlook
A recent study led by the University of Oregon found that women who had upbeat partners felt more satisfied in their relationships and — this is huge — that the man’s level of optimism determined the relationship’s staying power. Not only is it nice to have someone help you see the silver lining of a situation that totally sucks, but cheerful guys are good at keeping things in perspective, so they don’t let little conflicts get to them and can go with the flow.

Along with having an optimistic POV, it’s also crucial that the guy you’re seeing can make you laugh. “It’s an important stress valve for any couple,” says Les Parrott, PhD, coauthor of Trading Places.

“Having a sense of humor helps you weather the rough patches that you’ll inevitably encounter together.” It shows that he is able to let loose and doesn’t take things too seriously. Plus, you’ll have a better time together if you can see the funny side of things.

3. He’s Open to Changing for You
It’s true you may not be able to change a man, but a guy should want to change for you. If a facet of his behavior irks you (for example, maybe he’s not attentive enough in certain circumstances), he should be game to hear you out, listen to how you’d like him to do things differently, and then act on those suggestions. “When a guy is truly in love, he is more self-reflective and will work on the aspects of himself that bother you,” says Diana Kirschner, Ph.D., author of Love in 90 Days. “Studies have found that successful married couples change each other quite a bit over time.”

More important, a man needs to have the capacity to transform and grow with you — e.g., he takes an interest in going to art galleries with you, even if he’s more of a couch-and-ESPN kind of guy. “If he’s not willing to expand his interests to mesh with yours, you’re going to outpace him,” explains Kirschner. “It’s likely you’ll grow restless, and the relationship will become stale.”

4. He’s Still a Little Mysterious
The beginning of a relationship is always superexciting because you’re just getting to know each other. But even after the newness wears off, it’s essential that a man keeps you guessing. “If you can never quite pin down what makes him tick, that’s actually a healthy thing,” says Kirschner. Although at first you might feel more bonded to a guy who shares tons of personal info with you, over time, you risk losing the intrigue that pulled you to him initially. You might start to see him as more of a friend than a romantic partner.

Of course, you want him to open up about topics like his family, but he should keep some boundaries too. Relating every detail of his life (think updates on his nasty toe fungus) is relationship-killing TMI. A good gauge in the early stages of coupledom: He doesn’t spill all about his pals. “It’s an indicator that he understands how to keep things private,” says Kirschner.

5. He’s Responsible with Money
Besides giving you a heads-up about money-related conflicts you might encounter in the future (one of the topics long-term couples argue about most), how a guy handles cash reveals a lot about his character. Positive signs: He keeps the receipt after paying for a meal or you notice several credit-card offers in his stack of mail (it may indicate he has good credit).

“A man who doesn’t track his money shows a lack of patience and self-control,” says Dobransky. “In fact, guys who are financially reckless share many traits with men who cheat.” But you also don’t want to be with a tightwad. If a dude doesn’t splurge now and then, it may mean he’ll be stingy in other ways, such as in bed or when compromising during a fight.

Filed under: Love, Courtship and Marriage, Youth,

RP eyes OFW protection in Israel with honorary consul

The Philippine government expects to ensure more protection for overseas Filipino workers in Israel following the appointment of a prominent lawyer as new honorary consul general there.

Boaz Waksman was sworn in to office as the Philippine Honorary Consul in Ashdod with consular jurisdiction over Southern Israel last week, the Department of Foreign Affairs said.

“Mr. Waksman, a prominent and practicing lawyer, is engaged in the tourism industry for the past 30 years. He owns and operates Ophir Tours Limited, one of Israel’s leading tourism companies with at least 24 branches in all of Israel,” the DFA said.

Citing a report from the Philippine Embassy in Tel-Aviv, the DFA said Waksman’s assumption of office took place after the Israeli Foreign Ministry gave its consent to his appointment.

Philippine Ambassador to Israel Petronila Garcia presented the Consular Commission signed by Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and issued to Waksman.

Yitzhak Eldan, Chief of Protoocl of the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs, handed the execuatur signed by President Shimon Peres.

Garcia welcomed the appointment of Waksman and expressed hope that his appointment will usher more tourism, trade and cultural exchanges between the two countries.

“The Ambassador also pointed out that the protection of the overseas Filipino workers is one of the priorities of the Embassy and an Honorary Consul covering the southern part of Israel will definitely aid the Embassy in performing this task,” the DFA said.

Israeli Chief of Protocol Eldan congratulated the Philippine Embassy for choosing Waksman, emphasizing that he is the most appropriate person for the job.

Eldan also praised Filipino workers in Israel, who he said are indeed one of the best in the world.

For his part, Waksman vowed to promote the interest of the Philippines and the Filipino workers in Israel, adding he will work hard to further advance not only tourism but also trade and cultural relations between the two countries.

He added that his appointment as Honorary Consul of the Philippines is a great honor and his service to the Philippines a small token of his appreciation to the Philippine Government and the Filipino people for saving Jewish refugees during the Holocaust of 1939.

Waksman’s appointment came several months after Yair Ephrati, one of the leading businessmen in Israel, was appointed as Honorary Consul in Jerusalem. – GMANews.TV

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Rehired OFWs corner nearly all work contracts

CONTRACTS for overseas work over a five-year period benefited more rehired land-based overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), government data showed.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration’s (POEA) five-year data also revealed that last year, the number of rehired land-based OFWs reached a five-year high of 597,426, from 419,505 in 2004.

Data further showed that on average, rehired land-based migrant workers made up nearly 46% of total of deployed land- and sea-based OFWs.

POEA’s 2008 Statistical Compendium, uploaded to the agency’s Web site only last month, said the country deployed last year a record 1.2 million OFWs.

Rehired land-based OFWs are those who returned to the country and were deployed overseas on new contracts. Four years ago, their share in the total 933,566 deployed overseas was only at nearly 45% (419,505).

Newly hired land-based OFWs consistently made up 30% of annual OFW deployment.

Newly hired workers deployed means the POEA has provided new jobs for would-be overseas workers, as securing jobs for overseas employment is part of the Arroyo government’s strategy to generate one million new jobs for Filipinos every year since 2004.

The POEA deployed 284,912 newly hired land-based OFWs in 2004.

The number grew by 32% to 376,973 last year.

Meanwhile, the number of seafarers has been decreasing in the last two years, even as the figure reached a high of 274,497 in 2006.

Over the five-year span, deployed seafarers accounted for a quarter of total OFW deployment.

Rehired land-based OFWs also represent the most number of overseas work contracts processed by the POEA from 2006 to 2008, the agency’s data revealed.

Compared to the overseas work contracts processed by the POEA for newly hired land-based OFWs and seafarers, rehires got almost all of the processed work contracts.

Processed work contracts for rehires accounted for nearly a hundred percent (96.09%) or 470,390 of the total 489,528 contracts three years ago. It dipped in 2007 but went back up to nearly 98% last year (or 597,426 of 610,561 work contracts).

Rehires seem to have elbowed out new hires from the job market in 2006 as only 81.97% of the latter got contracts from the 387,533 new overseas work contracts made available for them that year. However, contracts for newly hired OFWs last year logged a higher processing approval. Nearly 95% of the total 394,977 new work contracts were secured by new hires.

Many work contracts for seafarers, however, remain vacant. Some 80,832 seafarers’ work contracts were unfilled in 2006. The figure reached 123,054 the year after and to 197,143 last year. Still, the country supplies the most number of seafarers in the world, with a quarter of the global total.

The POEA said it processed more than 1.2 million work contracts for land- and sea-based jobs in 2006. The number rose by just above a hundred thousand in 2007, and to nearly 1.5 million work contracts last year.

Still, there were contracts that were not filled: 162,823 in 2006, 228,254 in 2007; and, 228,282 in 2008.

Year-on-year growth rates for deployment reached their highest in 2008 for both new hires and rehired land-based OFWs (20.34% and 20.01%, respectively), as the decline in seafarers’ deployment is now on its second straight year. — Jeremaiah F. Opiniano, OFW Journalism Consortium

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs, , ,

Delay new test for Saudi-bound nurses—POEA

November 25, 2009 13:38:00
Veronica Uy

 MANILA, Philippines— The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) has asked the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to delay the implementation of its new test for foreign nurses seeking work there.

Saudi is the biggest employer of Filipino nurses. POEA records show that the number of Filipino nurses deployed to Saudi has steadily increased over the past four years. A total of 5,640 Filipino nurses were deployed to Saudi in 2004; 4,627 in 2005; 5,640 in 2006; 6,266 in 2007; and 7,955 in 2008.

In an interview, POEA Administrator Jennifer Manalili told the new Saudi requirement, similar to the one required by the United States’ Commission on Graduates of Foreign Nursing Schools (CGFNS), requires the so-called prometric examination.

The testing fee of $85, as in the NCLEX (the nursing licensure test in the US), is to be shouldered by the examinee

However, Manalili said, the Philippine government can hardly implement the new requirement because it has not been fully disseminated and preparations for its implementation are still underway.

She said personnel changes in the Philippine diplomatic post in Saudi and the Saudi embassy here are also making it difficult to implement the new test.

Manalili said POEA does not even have a complete list of the testing venues in the Philippines.

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs, POEA-Advisory,

Saudi imposes new exam for foreign nurses

(The Philippine Star) Updated November 24, 2009 12:00 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Fewer Filipino nurses are likely to get employed in Saudi Arabia in the coming months with the government there imposing stricter requirement for the hiring of foreign workers.

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) yesterday reported that the Saudi government is now requiring all foreign nurses, including Filipinos, to hurdle an additional examination prior to their employment.

“The Saudi Council mandates all foreign nurses to pass the Prometric Exam before working in the Kingdom,” POEA chief Jennifer Manalili disclosed.

Manalili said the prometric examination is similar to the licensure examination administered to nursing graduates in the country.

In the Philippines, Manalili said, the accredited testing center is Thomson Prometric at the Ateneo Professional Schools in Makati City, with telephone number 892-0383 and website

Manalili added that the examination is scheduled Tuesday until Friday, with a fee of $90.

Local recruitment industry leaders are worried that the imposition of the new requirement would lead to the reduction in the number of Filipino nurses hired in Saudi Arabia.

Based on POEA data, more than 130,000 nurses have left for abroad from 1992 to 2007.

Saudi Arabia is among the biggest employers of Filipino nurses, including those who were not fortunate enough to pass the board. – Mayen Jaymalin


Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs, POEA-Advisory, ,

POEA lists travel advisories for returning OFWs

In order to facilitate the issuance of Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) travel exit clearances (OECs) to returning OFWs during the Christmas and New Year Holiday Season, please be informed of the following:

The POEA Balik-Manggawa Processing Division experiences a surge in the number of applicants for OECs at the start of the Christmas peak season. This number is double the usual of 1,000 per day.

Congestion and security are major concerns at the POEA premises. Complicating this situation is the number of OFW applicants who have immediate flights.

In order to pace, declog or deload the processing of OECs, the POE advises the following:

1. OFWs who have just arrived are encouraged to apply for their OECs early either at the POEA main office or at the nearest POEA regional offices and extension units, or avail of the OEC delivery service, so that they can avoid last minute problems prior to their return flights.

2. Departing OFWs who will return during the Christmas season are encouraged to apply for their OECs at the Philippine Overseas Labor Offices (POPs) in their host countries prior to coming home. Or, they may apply for their OECs at the POEA main or regional offices early prior to their return flights to their host countries.

3. Regular processing of OECs has been discontinued at the NAIA Labor Assistance Center (LAC) except for weekends or emergency exit within five (5) days from entry. OFWs must apply for their OECs with the POEA main or regional offices prior to their return flights.

4. OFWs who have not yet registered with the POEA are advised to bring their contract and / or certificate of employment, and other proofs of employment in order to be documented and be issued an OEC.

5. OFWs to regularly check the POEA website at for advisories especially before they book their flights.

The POEA regional extension unit-10 in Cagayan de Oro is located at the G/F Trinidad Bldg., Yacapin St., Contact Numbers: 724824 / 729465. (POEA)

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, POEA-Advisory, , ,

RP Embassy Conducts Livelihood Training on Pizza Making for OFWs in Brunei Darussalam

RP Embassy Conducts Livelihood Training on Pizza Making for OFWs in Brunei Darussalam

Posted: 25 Nov 2009 12:38 AM PST

25 November 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Brunei Darussalam, through the Philippine Overseas Labor Office (POLO), conducted a free training session on pizza -making for Filipino expatriates in Brunei last November 22. The event was sponsored by the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration (OWWA).

The training programme aimed at equipping the participants with new knowledge, skills and techniques in pizza-making; teaching them alternative means in cooking pizza; and enhancing employability options for livelihood/income generating project in preparation for their reintegration in the Philippines.

Ms. Rhodora Sta. Maria Quiambao acted as the resource speaker during the training. A total of 25 participants attended the program. Some even brought along their children, who actively participated in the hands-on preparation of pizza-making, Welfare Officer Zenaida S. Ramos reported.

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, OFW Livelihood Training, Overseas Jobs,

Tribute to the Overseas Filipino Worker

Isang pagpupugay sa mga bagong bayani ng ating panahon(OFW). Ang SorsogoUnited po ay sumasaludo sa inyong lahat. Dios Mabalos po!

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner, Overseas Jobs

Pagbabalik – Tribute to the Overseas Filipino Worker

A tribute to our Modern heroes, the Overseas Filipino Workers.

Heroes who are extremely working hard for the future of their families back in the Philippines.



Thank you:  pilipinasmabuhay100


My own tribute to our Modern heroes, the Overseas Filipino Workers.

Heroes who are extremely working hard for the future of their families back in the Philippines.


Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner,


Handog para sa mga kababayan nating mga OFW. Welcome home and enjoy your holiday!

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Held like ‘virtual prisoners,’ 12 Filipino seafarers in Athens want to go home

All they want for Christmas is a ticket home.

But the 12 Filipino seafarers who were forced to stay on board their ship that was grounded in Greece for “unpaid cargo claims” would have to ask harder, Akbayan Party-list Representative Walden Bello said on Tuesday.

For more than four months since July 12, the Filipino seafarers on board the Panama-flagged MV Aetea Sierra had not been permitted to step out of their vessel.

“It is bothering to know that, while the captain of the crew was allowed to leave, our seafarers were stuck inside the ship for months to come,” Bello said. “What we should recognize is that, time is of essence as their health conditions are rapidly deteriorating due to limited food and water.”

The seafarers reportedly told Bello that the Philippine Embassy in Greece “was very slow” in responding to their needs. Other government agencies like the Philippine Overseas Employment Agency and the Overseas Workers Welfare Administration were also slow in assisting them.

“They received not a single drop of water or a drop of morsel from the embassy,” Bello’s office added.

But Foreign Affairs spokesperson Ed Malaya told GMANews.TV that the department has already directed the office of Ambassador Rigoberto Tiglao to attend to the concerns of the Filipino seafarers.

“We are already coordinating with the Embassy in Greece to look into their case,” Malaya said.

Bello however, is worried that the Philippine government is not fast enough to respond to the needs of the Filipino seafarers.

“Where is our sense of urgency?” Bello said.

The situation reached a tipping point, Bello said, when one of the seafarers, A/B Florvic Labaco of Quezon City, underwent emergency medical treatment “only after the Greek government allowed him to leave the ship for humanitarian reasons.” – GMANews.TV

Filed under: Kwentong OFW, OFW Corner

Court hears FilCan boy’s discrimination case

CHICAGO, Illinois – The Filipino-Canadian boy who became a victim of racial discrimination in Canada for using spoon and fork while eating in school will finally have his day in court.

The Quebec Human Rights Tribunal will hear the case of Luc Cagadoc on Nov. 23 and 24 against the Marguerite Bougeoys School Board and two other school staff members, according to Fo Niemi, executive director of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations, a Montreal-based human rights advocate group.

The hearing, which is open to the public, will be heard at the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal at the Montreal courthouse (Palais de Justice) at 1 Notre Dame East, Montreal.

Manila-born but Canada-raised Luc Cagadoc was reprimanded by school officials for eating “the Filipino way,” with spoon and fork. Photo courtesy of Ms. Maria Theresa Gallardo

Mr. Niemi said the case was filed by Luc’s mother, Maria Theresa Gallardo.

The case stemmed from the racial discrimination Cagadoc allegedly suffered from school officials in 2006.

Cagadoc, then seven-year-old, was reprimanded by school officials for eating in the Filipino customary manner, with fork and spoon, during a lunch break. He was born in the Philippines but grew up in Canada.

In the controversy that followed, the school principal, Normand Bergeron, was quoted by a newspaper article telling Gallardo, a Filipino-Canadian, that since “you are here in Canada … you should eat the way Canadians eat.”

In September 2008, the Quebec Human Rights Commission (QHRC) found the comments of the educator, Martine Bertrand, discriminatory and violated Cagadoc’s rights.

In Quebec, the QHRC receives and investigates complaints of civil rights violations and takes the case to the Human Rights Tribunal on the victim’s behalf if it finds sufficient evidence of discrimination.

However, the QHRC did not address Gallardo’s complaint against Bergeron. Instead of filing the case before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal, the Commission suggested mediation for both parties.

This prompted Gallardo to launch a fund-raising drive to pay for her lawyer and other expenses that come with filing of the case. With the help of the Center for Research-Action on Race Relations (CRARR), she enlisted the help of René Saint-Léger in her lawsuit before the Quebec Human Rights Tribunal.

Gallardo, a native of Quezon City, is seeking $29,000 in damages from the school board and the two staff members, including Bergeron. – KK, GMANews.TV

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


Guys, here’s another inspirational video that I want to share with you. Hope this will inspire you too and please share it with the people you care about!

This video combines beautiful pictures, inspiring music, and a touching story to help empower people to live more fully.

Filed under: Encouragement, Inspiration, , ,

Tourism execs list CamSur Mayon Donsol as top sites

Tourism execs list CamSur Mayon Donsol as top sites INQUIRERnet
Ravanilla quoted a text message from Carina Escudero of Sorsogon City as confirming theoffseason presence of whale sharks the world’s biggest fish in Donsol

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

RP Embassy in Vientiane Conducts First Financial Literacy Forum for OFWs

RP Embassy in Vientiane Conducts First Financial Literacy Forum for OFWs

Posted: 23 Nov 2009 06:22 PM PST

24 November 2009 – The Philippine Embassy in Vientiane, in cooperation with the Center for Agriculture and Rural Development Mutually Reinforcing Institutions (CARD-MRI) International Office in Lao PDR, organized the first Financial Literary Forum last November 7 at the Chancery.

Mr. Christian Albert Sandoval, CARD MRI’s training expert based in Cambodia, was the Embassy’s resource person. He has an extensive experience in handling training and seminars in a variety of topics particularly financial education such as budgeting and saving wisely. Mr. Sandoval was in Laos to conduct a training program for executives and personnel of Lao financial institutions and microfinance companies.

In her welcome remarks, Philippine Ambassador to Lao PDR Marilyn J. Alarilla stated that this first Financial Literacy Forum on Savings is part of the Embassy’s gender and development program. The forum was organized to reiterate to the Filipino community in Lao PDR the importance of saving for the future. Among the topics discussed were:

a) the common practices/habits that diminish their capacity to save;
b) why overseas Filipinos need to save their money; and
c) how to counter these practices/habits towards simple and doable good saving habits.

In his presentation entitled, “SAVINGS: You can do it!”, Mr. Sandoval emphasized that the forum’s objective is for participants to discover a newfound will, determination and inspiration to start a healthier and better saving practices. He stressed the need to save for future events and expenditures and to build an assets base.

Mr. Sandoval conducted a financial fitness test in which the participants rated themselves based on the ten questions in the lecture, which he acknowledged as part of a concept of Mr. Francisco Colayco, a well-known proponent of financial literacy for overseas Filipinos. He introduced the formula, “spend less than what you earn”, and other useful tips, advices, guides and suggestions for OFWs to be able to save and avoid unnecessary spending.

Dr. Jaime Aristotle Alip, Managing Director of CARD-MRI, and spouse, Mrs. Aniceta Alip, who were traveling to Hanoi, passed by Vientiane and attended the Embassy’s forum on financial literacy. During the short address to the participants, Dr. Alip said that CARD-MRI, which is a 2008 Magsaysay Awardee for Government Service, has representations in Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos and soon Kenya, where they share experience in microfinance operations.

The participants of the First Financial Literacy Forum on Savings consisted of Embassy officials and staff and their family members, local hires and members of the Filipino community, including consultants, managers and technical personnel in companies, school supervisors, and teachers. The Filipino community expressed deep appreciation to the Embassy for organizing the activity. END

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Our Lady of Fatima Parish bro jupe garalde from donsol leads the the reflection at the second vigil on the visit the JMV image

Our Lady of Fatima Parish bro jupe garalde from donsol leads the
bro jupe garalde from donsol leads the reflection at the second vigil on the visit the JMV image. Posted by gmp at 1002 PM

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

A total of 479 persons were stranded in the ports of Sorsogon and Masbate

‘Urduja’ makes landfall in S. Leyte – Philippines
A total of 479 persons were stranded in the ports of Sorsogon and Masbate In Sorsogon, 277 passengers bound for Masbate were stranded in Pilar port and

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

PGMA, Salceda to ink P977.3-M for 4Ps in Albay

PGMA, Salceda to ink P977.3-M for 4Ps in Albay
Philippine Information Agency – Philippines
4Ps has since been carried out in the provinces of Sorsogon, Masbate and in Libon town in Albay. Salceda is optimistic that the expanded 4Ps will be

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

CSC stude tops Bicol ROTC speech contest

CSC stude tops Bicol ROTC speech contest
Philippine Information Agency – Philippines
Other participating schools were Bicol College (Albay), Camarines Norte State College and Sorsogon State College. Mrs. Aida Alcazar-Naz,

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon – Globe launches Campus Connect

Written by Danny O. Calleja / Correspondent    
Tuesday, 24 November 2009 19:17 

CASIGURAN, Sorsogon—Globe Telecom, one of the leading telecommunications operators in the country, has launched here its Campus Connect Project designed to provide a reliable communication system between local school officials and the community, particularly students and their families.

Under the project, Globe will provide three secondary schools in this fourth-class yet booming municipality with free laptop computers that would form part of the communication system linking the school, students, the community and local government unit, among others. 

The system is equipped with software especially designed to provide efficient exchanges of information, Genevieve Cerdiño, Globe regional business development manager, said during the launching of the project held at the office of town Mayor Ester Hamor here last week.

Through Campus Connect, children or their parents could be reached through their mobile phones by the school administration outside the school campus to relay urgent announcements such as suspension of classes during typhoons or flood situations, Cerdiño said.

The system is also capable of connecting the schools with local, regional and national offices of the Department of Education for easy transmittal of information, guidelines and office directives, among others, she explained.

Use of the Globe Internet and cell- phone network is also provided free for the project, as the telecommunications firm has earmarked over P1 million for this project in this municipality alone, which is so far the only one in Sorsogon, Cerdiño said.

Attending the simple launching rite were school principals Danilo Perez of Del Carmen Memorial High School (DCMHS) in barangay Sta. Cruz and Anastacio Guerrero Jr. of  San Juan High School (SJHS) of barangay San Juan, both in Casiguran.

Apart from the school headed by Perez, the Casiguran Technical School (CTS) and Esteñas Technological High School Foundation, a private educational institution in the municipality, are the beneficiaries of the Campus Connect project, Hamor said.

DCMHS, SJHS and CTS were also given cash assistance by Globe as part of its support to the municipal government’s educational program. Guerrero and Perez said the amount would be used to upgrade their school facilities.

“We are impressed by the educational program being implemented by the local government of Casiguran which was started over 10 years ago by then-mayor Edwin Hamor and pursued by his wife who replaced him after his completion of a nine-year term,” Cerdiño said.

Under the program, Mayor Hamor said all the basic needs of school children such as school supplies, uniform, tuition and matriculation fees, and transportation to and from their schools are provided the municipal government, giving no reason for parents not to send their children to school. 

“This program is one of its kind in the country undertaken by a small fourth-class municipality motivated by its determination to provide basic education to its children as first step toward a brighter future,” Cerdiño said.

Other than the educational program of the municipality, Globe had also extended support to the programs of the Casiguran town government that provides livelihood opportunities for its poor constituents.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

More than 2700 stranded due to ‘Urduja’

More than 2700 stranded due to ‘Urduja’
GMA – Quezon City,Metro Manila,Philippines
Stranded passengers in Southern Tagalog included 10 in Lucena and 25 in San Jose, while those in Sorsogon included 237 in Pilar and 162 in Bulan.

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Close to 400 stranded in Sorsogon, Masbate ports—PCG

Close to 400 stranded in Sorsogon, Masbate ports—PCG – Philippines
By Joanna Los Baños LEGAZPI CITY – At least 399 persons were stranded at the ports of Sorsogon and Masbate provinces Tuesday after the Philippine Coast

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates


By bulanblog
Bulan, Sorsogon, November 18, 2009: A twenty-one gun salute and the rendition of the “Taps” bade farewell to one of Bulan’s most colorful police officers, SPO1 Johnson Sendon Gerola, 51 years old, as he was laid to rest at noon today at
Bulan Forum –

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Bankers volunteer for nature and less fortunate kids

Bankers volunteer for nature and less fortunate kids – Philippines
The following trip, also a collaboration with WWF, took them to Donsol. The bankers learned how Donsol was able to protect the endangered whale sharks which

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

EDC to drive development on five more geothermal plants

EDC to drive development on five more geothermal plants | Think
By lxrichter
Tantoco said the proposed facilities would be built within EDC’s existing concession areas in Dumaguete, Negros Oriental (for Palinpinon), Mt. Apo, Southern Leyte and in Legaspi/Sorsogon (for Bacon-Manito).
Think GeoEnergy News –

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Francis “Chiz” Escudero are political mavericks

The mavericks
Manila Bulletin
FrancisChizEscudero are political mavericks for having stood pat on their principles and integrity, while bucking the culture of “balimbingism.
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

NGO helps organize 11000 SMEs in Sorsogon

NGO helps organize 11000 SMEs in Sorsogon
Business Mirror – Philippines
SORSOGON CITY—As part of its commitment toward poverty alleviation, a nongovernment organization (NGO) serving as a microfinance institution (MFI) based

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

BU stude places 6th in teachers’ board exam

BU stude places 6th in teachers’ board exam
Philippine Information Agency – Philippines
Meanwhile, BU Gubat Campus in Gubat, Sorsogon, has also acquired a passing rate of 26 percent in the elementary level, and 22 percent in the secondary level

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Kuya Ef – Mabuhay Ka!!!

MANILA, Philippines – A Filipino has received international recognition for his innovative effort in educating poor children.

Efren Peñaflorida, who started the “Kariton Klassroom” to bring education to poor children, has been named CNN Hero of the Year, the cable news network announced yesterday.

According to the CNN website
, Peñaflorida was selected after getting the highest number of online votes, which reached 2.75 million in seven weeks.

The 28-year-old teacher from Cavite City bested nine other contenders from different countries.

Peñaflorida received the award from actress Eva Mendes at the conclusion of “CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute” held at the Kodak Theater in Hollywood on Saturday night in the US.

He received $100,000 cash to continue his work with his group, Dynamic Teen Company, according to CNN.

The cash prize is on top of the $25,000 bonus that Peñaflorida received after he was included in the top 10 CNN Heroes.

“Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry,” Peñaflorida said in his acceptance speech before an audience of about 3,000.

Peñaflorida urged the crowd to “be the hero to the next one in need.”

He also called on them to “serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve.”

“As I always tell to my co-volunteers… you are the change that you dream as I am the change that I dream and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be,” Peñaflorida said.

As a child, Penaflorida chose education over gang life in Cavite City and vowed to create a way for other children to make the same choice.

Peñaflorida said he was occasionally bullied and beaten by street gangs, which prompted him to decide to come to the aid of street children and rescue them from poverty and neglect through education.

Peñaflorida created a program that brought books to children in slums and on the streets, and the 10,000 members of his Dynamic Teen Company have brought reading, writing and hygiene to 1,500 youngsters.

“My message to children of all races, please, to embrace learning and love it for it will embrace and love you back and enable you to change your world,” Peñaflorida said.

Peñaflorida’s group was first recognized after it won the Bayaning Pilipino award for its heroic work in bringing education to poor children in Cavite.

Since 1997, more than 10,000 volunteers are now helping in educating more than 1,500 kids in depressed areas in Cavite.

The group later launched the “Kariton Klassroom,” an innovative way of bringing the classroom to the children in the depressed areas.

The pushcart classroom is now complete with teaching aids, blackboards and even folding tables and chairs to allow children to sit and read materials provided in a mini-library – a far cry from the humble effort of loading the books and school supplies in large plastic bags.

Peñaflorida now earns a living as a public school teacher in Cavite but still continues his pushcart classrooms on weekends where volunteers have started teaching the street urchins of Manila.

Peñaflorida recalled that he and other volunteers had to endure discrimination and even being branded as “trash collectors” with their pushcarts whenever they carry out their noble mission.

The public, however, took notice of Peñaflorida’s ingenious way of bring education to poor children by nominating him to the CNN’s list of heroes for this year.

Peñaflorida was a member of Club 8586, a youth group in Cavite that financed his elementary and high school education.

When CNN early this year announced its annual search for Heroes, Club 8586 nominated Peñaflorida.

CNN’s Blue Ribbon Panel sifted through 9,000 nominees from over 100 countries, and soon narrowed down its choices to 28. On Oct. 1 (Oct. 2 in Manila), CNN announced its top 10 finalists for its Hero of the Year. Peñaflorida made it.

A brief moment of triumph

Peñaflorida said his inclusion in CNN’s Top 10 “gave Filipinos a breath of fresh air, a brief moment to cheer and celebrate,” since the Philippines was still reeling from the weeklong floods and devastation wrought by storms “Ondoy” and “Pepeng.”

During gala night, the top 10 CNN Heroes, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel from an initial pool of more than 9,000 viewer nominations, were each honored with a documentary tribute and introduced by a celebrity presenter, according to the Web site. Each of the top 10 Heroes received $25,000.

The finalists were selected by a panel that included former US secretary of state Colin Powell, Whoopi Goldberg and Ted Turner. The winner was chosen online by the public, with nearly 3 million votes cast.

The presenters during gala night included Nicole Kidman, Kate Hudson, Neil Patrick Harris, Pierce Brosnan, Dwayne Johnson, Mendes, Randy Jackson, Greg Kinnear, George Lopez and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.

Grammy Award-winning artist Carrie Underwood, R&B crooner Maxwell and British pop sensation Leona Lewis performed during the gala event.

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper hosted the event that would be shown on Nov. 26, at 9 p.m. EST on CNN.

Before the announcement of winners, Peñaflorida told ABS-CBN that if Filipinos wanted to see change, they should start within themselves.

After receiving the honor, Peñaflorida said more poor and uneducated children will benefit from the award.

He said 90 percent of the cash grant would go to Dynamic Teen Company and the remainder would go to the Church.

“Nothing for me. I was here to represent the poor children (of the Philippines),” Peñaflorida said.

He added the several politicians who have started courting him after making it to the CNN’s top list would not make a difference.

Peñaflorida vowed to continue his work and offer himself as an example of an underprivileged kid who fell victim to violence driven by poverty and yet found a way to lift himself up.

For him, seeing the smiles of the children who rush to meet him when they spot his humble pushcart is enough reward for his efforts.

The Caviteño teacher could be hailed as another icon like boxing legend and seven-world titleholder Manny Pacquiao to many Filipinos.

But for Peñaflorida, as this year’s CNN Hero of the Year, the real heroes are the volunteers of Kariton Klassroom.

“And of course, for the Lord that allowed me to receive this award. He is the reason why I am here,” Peñaflorida said.


Filed under: Education, Encouragement, Inspiration, Sorsogon News Updates, , ,

Senate body wants protection scheme for congressional probe witnesses

Senate body wants protection scheme for congressional probe witnesses
BusinessWorld Online
The Senate committee on justice and human rights chaired by Senator Francis JosephChiz” G. Escudero has approved Senate Bill 3460 last Sept. 24.
See all stories on this topic

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

Sorsogon-BFP intensifies fire safety inspection as Christmas season nears

BFP intensifies fire safety inspection as Christmas season nears
Philippine Information Agency – Philippines
by LG Funtanares Sorsogon City (23 November) — The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) office here, led by C/Insp. Renato Marcial, has ordered fire safety

Filed under: Sorsogon News Updates

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    On February 25, 1862, the U.S. Congress passes the Legal Tender Act, authorizing the use of paper notes to pay the government’s bills. This ended the long-standing policy of using only gold or silver in transactions, and it allowed the government to finance the enormously costly Civil War long ...
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