Archive for January 2, 2017

Toff, Mayor Belen to bolster Bangus Festival to spike tourism


By Mortz C. Ortigoza
DAGUPAN CITY – Pangasinan fourth district Rep. Christopher de Venecia said he will collaborate with Mayor Belen Fernandez to buttress and spruce-up the Bangus Festival to be in the league of iconic festivals like Ati-Atihan, Sinulog , and Dinagyang.

toff-barangay-nightBARANGAY NIGHT. 4th District Rep. Christopher “Toff” de Venecia speaks before the barangay officials of the 31 villages of Dagupan City during the Barangay Nights held at the city plaza. With him are Mayor Belen T. Fernandez  and his parents former five-time House Speaker Jose de Venecia and former Congresswoman Gina de Venecia. MORTZ C. ORTIGOZA.

 

The Ati-Atihan Festival is a feast held annually in January in honor of Sto. Nino or Infant Jesus that ends on the third Sunday in the island and town of Kalibo, Aklan province. The Sinulog-Santo Niño Festival is an annual cultural and religious festival held on the third Sunday of January in Cebu City, and is the center of the Santo Nino Catholic celebrations in the Philippines.
The Dinagyang Festival is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January, or right after the Sinulog in Cebu and the Ati-Atihan Festival in Kalibo, Aklan.

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January 2, 2017 at 11:15 pm 1 comment

Pogo Grande’s January 1 celebration toned down


By Yolanda Sotelo
DAGUPAN CITY – Old habits refused to die for residents of Pogo Grande village which celebrate new year’s day at high noon of January 1 with kindling of thousands of firecrackers hanged above the main road.
But the party was of much lesser scale, and the firecrackers were exploded only in front of the houses and no longer stringed and hanged over the 400-meter  road.
When in the past years, up to 100,000 “rounds” of oversized  “triangles” were used, only 3,000 rounds were used in front of the house of former barangay captain Jose Jesus (Jojo) Ramos, one of those who started the tradition 17 years back, said.
Ramos said the residents longed for the revelry during which firecrackers exploded for 30 minutes to one hour, starting at mid day of the first day of the year. But the barangay officials could not defy the call of the police to stop the practice.
Many villagers could not resist exploding big firecrackers in their front yards and in the streets, although not as plenty and not as defeaning as they did in the past years.
In neighbor barangay Malued, every 300 meters, the road was lined with stringed firecrackers called Judas belt, on which oversized triangles were tied at the end.
The residents, some carrying babies, stopped vehicles passing through the area when they kindle the firecrackers that explode for about five minutes.
When the Inquirer asked a resident why the activity was still done despite the police’s order, he said, “there are no police now.”
Supt. Niel Miro, city police chief, said a police patrol was going around the barangays where the residents have the unique new year celebration.
“Malungkot ngayon,” a resident said of the stoppage of the tradition. “It was like a fiesta here every January 1. Now its very quiet.”
But others are thankful.  Charisse Fajardo said some residents leave the village on January 1 because they could not bear the noise and the air pollution created by the firecracker explosions.
Another elderly lady, who refused not to be named, said he would cover her ears as she cuddled her pets during the one-hour “putukan.”
She was not entirely against the celebration but gets afraid that accidents like fire could occur.
But it may not be the end of unique merrymaking for the Pogo Grande residents in the coming years.
Ramos said he would convince the village leaders to come up with another noise-creating event – the use of torotot (trumpets) by every resident.
“It may be too late to implement the torotot event this year. But maybe we would do it next year,” he added.
Village chair George Galvan said the village leaders decided to cancel the spectacle after the police asked them to put it to end.
“They have not shown us any document that the national leadership banned the use of firecrackers, but we agreed to stop the practice because we do not want to go against the law,” he said.
Days before January 1, he had bought 10,000 one-star triangles for the high noon revelry which a worker is stringing together.  He said he would use them at midnight or give them  away to his friends.
He said some villagers and their friends from other towns asked  the village officials about the sudden termination of the unusual festivity, “but I explained to them that we have to abide by the law.
For almost two decades now, Pogo Grande did not produce thunderous  noise when the clock strikes 12 at midnight of December 31.
But when the clock strikes 12  at noon on the first day of the year, all hell break loose, with about 100,000 of firecrackers  ignited above the road, creating a series of deafening  explosions that shake the ground and send thick, black smoke into the sky.
Cats and dogs are seen whimpering in anguish as their owners clap and cheer everytime a major explosion occurs in between smaller explosions, created by firecracker much bigger than the already illegal five-star triangles. A firetruck and an ambulance are parked nearby, ready for any emergencies.
After an hour of continuous explosions, residents and their visitors partake of tables lain with goodies.
But the unique celebration is no more.
Ramos, one of those who started the tradition and who yearly contributed thousands of firecrackers, said he did not order anymore when talks started about the national leadership banning firecrakers .
“I usually order up to 20,000 pieces of five star triangles and 5,000 much bigger ones, from two local manufacturers,” he said.
But when his “sukis” approached him last September, he told them about the possibility of cancellation of the High Noon revelry.
Ramos  recalled how the practice started in the late 1990s: “We gathered unsold firecrackers and fired them at noon of January 1. We did not intend to invent a tradition but through the years, residents  were getting more interested in what we were doing and we were attracting more spectators. And then we seemed to challenge ourselves to make the lines longer and the firecrakers, bigger.”
 If there are people affected by the sudden stop of the boisterous party, it is the manufacturers who lost a “market” for their products.
Ramos said he usually advanced the payment for the firecrakers he ordered so they need not borrow from usurious money lenders.
“I told them I won’t be buying anymore,” he said.

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January 2, 2017 at 11:10 pm Leave a comment

Dagupan bangus producers miss the U.S. market – Piñol


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January 2, 2017 at 10:56 pm Leave a comment

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January 2, 2017 at 10:46 pm Leave a comment

 EDITORIAL: Bagong pag-asa ng mga mamamahayag 


Papasok na ang bagong taong 2017.Habang pinagninilayan kung ano ang mga mangyayari sa susunod na taon, ang mga lehitimong mamamahayag sa Pilipinas ay nagkaroon ng bagong sibol na pag-asa para matigil na ang pagpapatay, pananakit at panliligalig mula sa mga pulitiko at mga kriminal sa lipunang ginagalawan.
Noong Oktubre 11, 2016 pinirmahan na ni Pangulong Rodrigo Duterte ang Administrative Order No. 1 para itatag ang “Presidential Task Force on Violence Against Media Workers. Ito ay naglalayon ang ibayong pagprotekta sa mga mamamahayag sa kanilang tungkulin bilang kasapi sa tinatawag na “Fourth Estate”.
Ang nasabing “task force” ay binubuo ng siyam na katao na kinabibilangan nina Department of Justice (DOJ) Secretary Vitaliano Aguirre II, Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCO) Secretary Martin Andanar, mga kalihim ng DILG, Department of National Defense; Solicitor General; executive director ng Presidential Human Rights Committee; Chief of Staff ng Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP); Director-General ng Philippine National Police (PNP); at ang Director ng National Bureau of Investigation (NBI).
Sa ilalim nito ay ang Task Force on Media Security na pinamumunuan ng Executive Director na may ranggong Undersecretary. Hinirang ni Pangulong Duterte noong Disyembre 9 para pamunuan ito ni Joel Sy Egco, na isa ring mamamahayag at dating pangulo ng National Press Club.
 
Sa pagbalangkas ng AO 1, isinama ang mga ibat-ibang organisasyon ng mga mamamahayag gaya ng National Union of Journalists of the Philippines (NUJP), Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) at National Press Club (NPC). Layunin ng “task force” ang maging “pro-active” at hindi “reactive” sa mga nagyayaring karahasan sa mga mamamahayag.
Unang mamamahayag na tinutulungan ng “task force” ay ang kolumnista sa pahayagang ito at komentarista sa radyong DWPR ng Dagupan City na si Virgilio Maganes. Noong Nobyembre 8 , mga ika- 5:45 ng umaga habang papunta sa bayan ng Villasis na lulan ng traysikel, siya ay pinaputukan ng apat na beses ng “motorcycle riding in tandem”. Isa dito ang tumama sa kanyang katawan at sa kabutihang palad ay nakaligtas sa naturang insidente. Pulitika ang inisyal na dahilan ng imbestigasyon ng pagbaril sa kanya. Natukoy na ang mga suspek at nasa pagkilos na ng Opisina ng Prosekusyon upang ang mga ito ay madakip.
Una namang biktima na napaslang sa ilalim ng ‘task force” ang mamamahayag na si Larry Que , publisher ng Catanduanes News, dahil diumano sa pagtuligsa niya sa mga lokal na opisyal sa nangyaring pagkadiskubre ng “shabu laboratory” sa Catanduanes. Siya ay binaril sa harap ng Land Transportation Office (LTO) noong Disyembre 20 at tinututukan na ngayon ng mga awtoridad ang dahilan sa kanyang pagkapaslang.
Maraming mamamahayag na ang napaslang sa mga nakaraang administrasyon. Ngayon lang nagkaroon ng sapat na pagtutok sa mga insidenteng ito na nagbibigay ngayon ng tibay ng loob at katiwasayan ng kaisipan ng mga mamamahayag sa buong bansa.

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January 2, 2017 at 10:44 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: My wishes for the year 2017


 vir
To us Filipinos and all other nationalities in the world, December 31 is always worth looking forward to. At 11:50 in the evening of the last day of the year, people start the countdown, watching the seconds tick in their time pieces and at 12:00 midnight the revelry of welcoming the new year is full of life and fun. The sounds of firecrackers reverberate in the air coupled with fireworks displays that look like kaleidoscope in the atmosphere.
In welcoming 2017, almost all activities are akin to those in previous years. There’s the “media noche” where families got together and partook of the sumptuous food prepared. There were lots of exchanging stories, good and bad. Bonding among family members was a common scene. Noises were all over in the neighborhood- sounds from “torotot”, clattering of utensils, empty cans dragged by motorcycle-riding teenagers, banging of doors, etc. All we heard  were sounds to drive away evil spirits and welcome good vibes for the incoming year.
The year 2016 has just ended. It was a year full of events. There were events that are pleasant to recall that we want them to linger for long. There were events too that we wanted to be part of our memories. And, others we want to throw to oblivion. Like in many new years’ celebrations, as 2017 ushers in, we think of better tomorrow. We always expect new horizon in our lives. We always hope that at the onset of each New Year, the best in our lives, families and communities will come. The arrival of the new year is also a chance to do better, to revisit and address the failures of the previous year. We write resolutions and wishes.
Here are my wishes for the year 2017:
First, I wish for the swift resolution of my case by the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor. I figured in a “shooting incident” last November 8 perpetrated by “motorcycle riding in tandem” where I almost lost my life. The “suspects” are still roaming freely and there’s the fear that they will still be used to silence me by those people who premeditated my assassination. That shooting incident has given me nightmares and sleepless nights that until now I have the eerie feeling that it might happen again. Hopefully, the case will soon be forwarded to the Court for proper hearing.

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January 2, 2017 at 10:43 pm Leave a comment

Abrenica bares 9-day activities of ‘Talong Festival’


By Virgilio Sar. Maganes
VILLASIS- Exciting activities will soon unfold in this agricultural town of the eastern part of Pangasinan as it celebrates its 11th “Talong Festival” on January 13 to 21.
Traditionally, the celebration of the town fiesta is centered on the town’s patronal saint Saint Anthony Abbot, but  has metamorphosed into the promotion of its major  vegetable product – “talong” or eggplant.
Under the “one town, one product” (OTOP), an industry and trade promotion by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), the “Talong Festival” was launched in 2006 with its longest “talong” grill along the main thoroughfares of the town.
Years thereafter, the promotion of the festival included the “pinakbet sa kawa” participated in by the 21 barangays (villages), cooking festival on 101 ways how to cook talong that was were consolidated in a coffee table book, and street dancing competitions focusing on the traditional and modern planting practices of “talong”.
Unlike in previous years with 12 days celebration, this year’s “Talong Festival” offers nine days activities.
” The days of celebration were shorter this year because alumni homecomings of various schools and colleges are not included except that of the Don Ramon E. Costales Memorial National High School (DRECMNHS). However, activities to make the festival memorable both for the local residents and “balikbayans” (expatriates) are still there,” Mayor  Nato Abrenica said.

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January 2, 2017 at 10:30 pm Leave a comment

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