Archive for December, 2017

San Manuel’s ‘Hollywood Show’ lures thousands every night

 By Yolanda Sotelo

SAN MANUEL– This agricultural town turned its public square into a fascinating world of Hollywood movies which has been luring thousands of spectators every night since November 29.

Image may contain: outdoor

When the sun has set and the multi-color lights are switched on, the characters of 17 animation and fantasy movies almost come to life, enthralling both the young and old who come from different towns and provinces.

The movie themes are depicted in a limited 144-square foot of space, although the “artists” can go as high as they want, taking into consideration of course, the safety of each booth, says San Manuel tourism officer Vi Corpuz.

“Now showing” are Avatar, Lord of the Rings, Lion King, Cars, Star Wars, Kung Fu Panda, Avengers, Inside Out, Sponge Bob, Rudolf the red-nosed reindeer, What happened in Vegas, Pirates of the Caribean, Moana, Gods of Egypt and Malificent.

The “artists” are the local government employees themselves, Corpuz said. Each LGU department, including Department of Interior and Local Government and the water district office, select which movie to portray and conceptualize how these are presented.

“Sometimes we consult professional artists, but in the end, it is mostly our ideas that we build,” Corpuz says.

 Each is given P50,000  budget to come up with the production.

While every shimmering and awe-inspiring production elicits ohs and ahs from the spectators, they are made mostly from scrap, recycled and indigenous materials.

This is in keeping with the town’s program to be as environment-friendly as possible, says Vice Mayor Salvador Perez.

Closer looks would reveal that the materials used  – jute sacks for the clothes of Frodo of the Lord of the Rings,  talahib (reed) for his hair) and cigarette foils to cover his barrow blade.

The employees get creative with whatever available materials in the area, transforming used foams into a fiery dragon in Avatar, discarded cartoons into cars and plastic bottles into walls.

The other materials used are plastic softdrinks bottles, plastic spoons, corn cobs, coconut shells, dried beans, shells, rice hulls, bento boxes, marbles and woods.

“As early as June, employees start to collect plastic bottles and other waste materials that they can use, from schools and cockpits,” Corpuz said.

In October, they start conceptualizing and then building their displays, ready for opening on November 29.  The employees worked after office hours and on weekends.

The “show” runs for more than a month or until the first week of January.

“We don’t turn off the lights until the last visitor has left, usually after midnight,” Corpuz said.

This is the fourth year that the town, which hosts the San Roque Multi-Purpose dam, establishes what it calls a “Christmas Village” but which veers away from the usual “Belens.”

On its first year, the village was themed “Candylandia,” the second year it was world’s landmarks like London Bridge and Legoland. Fantasy movies marked the third year. Next year’s theme would be themed Wow Philippines.

The town used to be known for the dam, now it is getting known for the Christmas Village, Corpuz said.


December 26, 2017 at 7:31 am Leave a comment

ORTIGOZA: What constitutional amendments? Just change the PSA to draw investors


Sa Pilipinas meron ho tayong 2.76 million (January 2017 NEDA) na unemployed at 2.2 million na overseas foreign workers (OFWs) as of 2016 according to

Ilagay natin na kalahati sa OFWs na ito ay napilitan lamang magtrabaho abroad because of glaring unemployment problems dito sa Pinas. So, kung may pagkakataon na may trabaho dito, ay dito na nila pipiliin na mamalagi.

Siyempre, malapit sa pamilya at peace of mind kay mister na nasa abroad.

Why? Anak ng baka, mababantayan niya si misis sa lurking adulterous relationship sa kay kumpare na mukhang matagal ng may pagtitinginang malagkit ang dalawa sa isat-isa.

Sanamagan, that’s the social cost of working abroad!

So how can the government mediate for these unemployed and OFWs to have jobs in the country?

Singapore, Malaysia, and Vietnam took most of the Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in the ASEAN – 10 Region with U.S $77.83 Billion for the three of them while the Philippines got $7.93 Billion, according to the 2016 ASEAN Investment Report.

Our lethargic FDI figures happened because, one reason, our law dangles only 40% and even 30% for the foreign investors to control the capital of the corporation here while the Filipinos are given 60% and even 70% control of the business.

Sa media industry nga 100% Pinoy ownership, pero iyan ay nasa Constitution at hindi nakalagay sa Public Service Acts.

For decades this First Filipino Policy I called xenophobic or bias against foreigners deprive us with the presence of more FDIs where many of them even transferred, as a contract with the host country, their technological blue prints how they manufactured their products. (more…)

December 26, 2017 at 7:23 am Leave a comment

Espino inducts new officers of KBP Pangasinan Chapter

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

 LINGAYEN- Governor Amado “Pogi” Espino III inducted the newly elected officers of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas (KBP), Pangasinan Chapter held at Sison Auditorium on December 21.

 The affair was also dubbed as the Broadcasters and Awarding Night with the theme  “Promoting Unity through Fairness, Responsible and Excellent Service for Every Filipino.”

 The new officers are: Chairman Mark Espinoza (RMN/IFM), Vice Chairman Emmanuel Sibayan (Love Radio), Secretary Jay Mendoza (DZRD Sonshine Radio), Treasurer Gina Almazan (ABS-CBN/MOR), Auditor Josie Sarmiento (Bombo Radyo), and Standards Performance Officer Bernie Erasquin (Radyo Pilipinas). (more…)

December 26, 2017 at 7:17 am Leave a comment

Villasis conducts HIV/AIDS symposium

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

 VILLASIS- The Municipal Health Office (MHO) here conducted recently a HIV/AIDS symposium at the Villasis Covered Auditorium, which was attended by 267 participants composed of the teaching staff of Don Ramon E. Costales Memorial National High School, barangay officials and barangay health workers (BHWs).

Municipal Health Officer Gloria A. Liberato said the symposium aims to educate and to spread awareness to the residents of this town about human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS)- its causes, and symptoms.

It can be recalled that as of December 2016, this town has eight HIV cases, a part of the HIV/AIDS cases in Pangasinan.

Pangasinan has the most number of HIV/AIDS cases in Region I.

The symposium is also in connection with the World AIDS Celebration that carry the theme: “ Increasing Impact through Transparency, Accountability and Partnerships”.

Discussed during the symposium were AIDS stigma and discrimination, understanding and identifying HIV: HIV Related Infections and Co-Infections, Global Epidimiology of AIDS, sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and sexually transmitted infections (STIs) and HIV Diagnosis and Treatment.

Mayor Nonato S. Abrenica shared the current data on HIV/AIDS cases according to age and gender. (more…)

December 26, 2017 at 7:13 am Leave a comment

Dagupan wins 59 in regional schools press conference

DAGUPAN CITY – The city scored a total of 59 winnings in the 2018 Regional Schools Press Conference held in San Carlos City, Pangasinan on December 12-14.

At least 23 students have qualified to the National Schools Press Conference to be held in Dumaguete City.

Schools Division Superintendent Dr. Lorna G. Bugayong disclosed that the city has scored a total of 32 individual winnings, five team winnings, 22 school paper winnings for a total of 59 winnings.

The winners were all presented and acknowledged during the flag raising ceremony at the city plaza on December 18 by Mayor Belen T. Fernandez.

“Our city is indeed so blessed. Our children have been victorious in any field of endeavor be it in sports, music and now in writing. Our city itself is also winning numerous awards like the Seal of Good Local Governance for three consecutive years now. We are also finalist in the National Child-Friendly Municipalities and Cities and we were also recognized as the Most Competitive City in the entire region, a feat that we have not gained in the past,” said Fernandez.

In line with this, Fernandez disclosed that preparations are underway for the First Journalism Summit in the city by next year onJanuary 29-31.

The summit aims to promote and enhance the talents of the children in journalism with lectures from well-known journalists, locally and nationally.

Assistant Schools Division Superintendent Lourdes Servito said Dagupan is now number one not just in sports but also in academe.

She said the students who participated in the conference mostly won in feature writing, news writing, sports writing, photo-journalism and cartooning.

They also excel in TV and scriptwriting, broadcasting and collaborative desk top publishing.

The school papers also were best in feature page, layout design and sports page.

Among the winners was Young City Mayor Jilian Kay Madison S. Fernandez of the Pangasinan Universal Institute who won 1st place in feature writing in English. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO)


December 26, 2017 at 6:37 am Leave a comment

Chua: Penalty too harsh

By Virgilio Sar. Maganes

ASINGAN- The penalty is too harsh.

 This was the reaction of Mayor Heidee Ganigan- Chua of this town  on the decision of the Office of Ombudsman suspending her and Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez Jr. for one year following the seven-page decision on October 13 signed by Ombudsman Conchita Carpio-Morales.


Chua and Lopez were penalized for “conduct prejudicial to the best interest of the service, simple misconduct and violation of the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards of Public Officials and Employees” for printing their pictures and names on the town’s ambulance. (more…)

December 18, 2017 at 10:10 pm Leave a comment

Dads to replace suspended Mayor, Veem

By Mortz C. Ortigoza

ASINGAN – A lady councilor here said the first top two elected municipal councilors will replace temporarily the mayor and vice mayor here who were suspended for one year by the Ombudsman.

Councilor Evangeline Dorao said Councilors Joshua Viray Mel Lopez will replace Mayor Heidee Chua and Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez Jr. after the Ombudsman Conchita C. Morales issued a suspension order last October 13 against them.

She said the assumption of Viray and Lopez will take effect after the full implementation of the order by the Department of Interior & Local Government that could be anytime from now.

“I was the only one to had the courage to write the Ombudsman and their indifference (Chua and Lopez) not to reply on my letters,” Dorao told this paper. (more…)

December 18, 2017 at 10:07 pm Leave a comment

Ex – prisoner warns people on hard jail life

                                                  By Mortz C. Ortigoza

DAGUPAN CITY – A convicted cattle rustler in Pangasinan recalled the hardships as a detainee for years at the jail here and at the National Bilibid Prison in Muntinlupa.

Jose de Guzman (not his real name) told Northern Watch Newspaper that aside from the skin diseases like galis (scabies) that afflicted him inside the Bureau of Jail, Management, & Penology (BJMP) during  his two years and two months detention, he slept squatting because the cement floor was  full of prisoners who lay like sardines because of congestion.


HELL – The hellish existence of being a detainee in a Philippine prison.
Photo Credit: News.comau         

The BJMP’s buildings have been occupied by more than one thousand inmates despite the capacity of the dormitories of 300 detainees. (more…)

December 18, 2017 at 9:58 pm Leave a comment

MAGANES: Ombudsman and the fight against corruption


President Rodrigo Duterte  promised to eradicate corruption in the country although he admitted that he’s hard up in doing so. He fired some close friends and those who helped him during the 2016 elections even with only  wisp of rumors on corruption activities. Indeed, President Duterte is sincere in his quest to eradicate corruption in all levels of bureaucracy, from the national down to the local government units.

However, the problem is that President Duterte is doing the anti-corruption crusade by himself. He has distanced himself from the Office of the Ombudsman, a constitutional body that is mandated to curb or eradicate corruption in the country. Perhaps, the President is that too eager to eradicate corruption that he has lost sight on the duties and functions of the Ombudsman as mandated by the 1987 Constitution. He could easily fire his appointed men and that’s his prerogative. But how about those officials and employees covered under the Civil Service Commission?

The Office of the Ombudsman is an independent body. It has the following duties and responsibilities: investigate and prosecute on its own or on complaint by any person, any act or omission of any public officer or employee, office or agency, when such act or omission appears to be illegal, unjust, improper or inefficient.  It has primary jurisdiction over cases cognizable by the Sandiganbayan and, in the exercise of his primary jurisdiction, it may take over, at any stage, from any investigatory agency of Government, the investigation of such cases (Sec. 15(1) R.A. No. 6770; see also Sec. 13(1), Article XI, 1987 Constitution); direct, upon complaint or at its own instance, any officer or employee of the Government, or of any subdivision, agency or instrumentality thereof, as well as any government-owned or controlled corporations with original charter, to perform and expedite any act or duty required by law, or to stop, prevent, and correct any abuse or impropriety in the performance of duties (Sec. 15(2) R.A. No. 6770; Sec 13(2) Article XI, 1987 Constitution); direct the officer concerned to take appropriate action against a public officer or employee at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law, and recommend his removal, suspension, demotion, fine, censure, or prosecution, and ensure compliance therewith; or enforce its disciplinary authority as provided in Section 21 or this Act: Provided, That the refusal by any officer without just cause to comply with an order of the Ombudsman to remove, suspend, demote, fine, censure, or prosecute an officer or employee who is at fault or who neglects to perform an act or discharge a duty required by law shall be ground for disciplinary action against said officer (Sec. 15(3) R.A. No. 6770; see also Sec 13(3), Article XI, 1987 Constitution); and, direct the officer concerned, in any appropriate case, and subject to such limitations as it may provide in its rules of procedure, to furnish it with copies of documents relating to contracts or transactions entered into by his office involving the disbursement or use of public funds or properties, and report any irregularity to the Commission on Audit for appropriate action (Sec. 15(4) R.A. No. 6770; see also Sec. 13(4), Article XI, 1987 Constitution).

It is also mandated to request any government agency for assistance and information necessary in the discharge of its responsibilities, and to examine, if necessary, pertinent records and documents (Sec. 15(5), R.A. No.6770; see also Sec. 13(5), Article XI, 1987 Constitution); publicize matters covered by its investigation of the matters mentioned in paragraphs (1), (2), (3) and (4) hereof, when circumstances so warrant and with due determine what cases may not be made public:  Provided further, That any publicity issued by the Ombudsman shall be balanced, fair, and true (Sec 15(6) R.A. No. 6770; see also Sec 13(6), Article XI, 1987 Constitution); determine the causes of inefficiency, red tape, mismanagement, fraud, and corruption in the Government and make recommendations for their elimination and the observance of high standards of ethics and efficiency  (Sec 15(7) R.A. No. 6770; see also Sec 13(7), Article XI, 1987 Constitution); administer oaths, issue subpoena and subpoena duces tecum, and take testimony in any investigation or inquiry, including the power to examine and have access to bank accounts and records  (Sec 15(8), R.A. No. 6770); punish for contempt in accordance with the Rules of Court and under the same procedure and with the same penalties provided therein  (Sec 15(9), R.A. No. 6770); delegate to the Deputies, or its investigators or representatives such authority or duty as shall ensure the effective exercise of performance of the powers, functions, and duties herein or hereinafter provided (Sec 15(10), R.A. No. 6770); and, investigate and initiate the proper action for the recovery of ill-gotten and/or unexplained wealth amassed after February 25, 1986 and the prosecution of the parties involved therein (Sec 15(11), R.A. No. 6770).

At present there are many cases that have been lodged at the Ombudsman against government officials and employees. As the prosecuting body, these cases were either dismissed or forwarded to the Sandiganbayan for full blown trials. While, the Ombudsman is apparently doing its prosecutorial powers, I observed that many complaints were either filed by the political nemesis of  those politicians in power especially in the local government units (LGUs). Thus, we are often surprised that governors, municipal mayors and other officials were either suspended or removed from their positions due to violations of graft and corrupt practices. Hardly we heard that the Ombudsman on its own, without complainants, has filed cases against erring government officials and employees.

The Ombudsman at present has been suspending government officials left and right. I believe that such actions were results of thorough investigations and not tainted with political affiliations or suppressions. On this, I could not imagine that Asingan Mayor Heidee Ganigan Chua and Vice Mayor Carlos Lopez Jr. have been slapped lately by the Ombudsman a one year suspension for placing their photos in an ambulance in October 2016, which was a violation of DILG Memorandum Circular N0. 2010-10. The complainant was a political foe of the two officials and the decision was swiftly done by the Ombudsman.

This was a case of how fast the Ombudsman decided on a complaint unlike before that it took them years to investigate a graft and corruption case lodged against a high official in Pangasinan.

I think it is high time now that President Duterte should seek the help of the Office of the Ombudsman to run after the crooks in the government notwithstanding their political party affiliations if he’s sincere enough to end once and for all the graft and corruption activities of government officials in the country.

(For comments and suggestions, email me at or at Visit my blog “The Roving Pen” at Read the online edition of Northern Watch at

December 18, 2017 at 9:48 pm Leave a comment

KBP-Pangasinan chapter is nation’s best



DAGUPAN CITY – The Pangasinan chapter of the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster sa Pilipinas was recognized  as the best chapter in the Philippines.

KBP President Herman Basbano and  Chairrman Ruperto Nicdao, Jr. led the awarding ceremony during the Incentive Program for 2016  held  at the Clark Freeport in Pampanga on November 16, 2017.

Mark Espinosa, chairman of KBP-Pangasinan Chapter  for 2017, received the award on behalf of the officers.

“We are very happy with this recognition and we will do our best to continue to be of utmost service through proper broadcasting and projects,” Espinosa said.

Espinosa said Pangasinan chapter  has been on the second spot for two straight years and for 2016, the chapter  officers are happy to be declared as number one or the ‘Best Chapter’

KBP-Pangasinan chapter  holds a weekly forum every Thursday in partnership with the Philippine Information Agency and Pangasinan media. Environmental awareness is also being implemented   with the project ‘Oplan Broadcastreeing.”

It has also initiated projects such as ‘Ballet and Ballads’ and Media Tours in partnership with other civic organizations. (VHS/PIA-Pangasinan)

December 18, 2017 at 9:35 pm Leave a comment

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