Cagayan de Oro City News

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Cagayan de Oro - Archived News

Cagayan de oro city river.jpg
Aerial View of Cagayan de Oro City


Cop involved in illegal drugs nabbed

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

A FEMALE police officer of Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) was arrested by anti-narcotics operatives, the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency in Region 10 (PDEA-10) said Tuesday.

Arrested was SPO1 Nancy Peralta, 44, assigned at the Macabalan police station, said Emerson Margate, PDEA-10 regional director.

Margate said Peralta was apprehended during a buy-bust operation at Silver Creek subdivision in Barangay Carmen around 10:30 a.m. Tuesday.

The PDEA agents confiscated 16 sachets containing what authorities suspect as shabu, an illegal drug, totaling to 15 grams with an estimated street value of P75,000.

Apprehended with Peralta were Rodel Castillon and Arlen Lindongan who were inside Peralta's residence during the operation, Margate said. He added the PDEA-10 operatives caught the three suspects as they were about to take begin their "shabu" session.

The suspects will go through urine test to verify if their alleged use of illegal substances is founded.

Margate said they had been closely monitoring Peralta’s activities since her name surfaced last year as one of those allegedly involved in illegal drugs.

“Etong si SPO1 Peralta, matagal na pong minamanmanan (We had been closely keeping an eye on SPO1 Peralta). Maraming reports dumating sa office namin, and from other law enforcement units,” he said.

He added PDEA-10 operatives conducted a follow-up operation after arresting Peralta but it turned up nothing.

Margate clarified Peralta’s arrest has no connection with the apprehension of retired policeman Reynaldo dela Victoria during an entrapment operation by PDEA-10 on September 2, 2014.

Taken from dela Victoria’s possession during the buy-bust was the suspected shabu, weighing about 25 grams, with an estimated worth of P175,000.

‘High-level suspect’

Margate said the operation was in coordination with Cocpo’s City Intelligence Branch (CIB).

He admitted the PDEA-10 found it hard to build up their case against Peralta because, as a law enforcer, she was careful and knew the ins and outs of anti-drug operations.

Three weeks ago, he said the agency had a break that led to Peralta’s arrest.

But Margate believes since Peralta is a police officer, “marami siyang connection with illegal drug traffickers not just in the city but in the region. Ma-classify natin siya as ‘mataas’ (high-level suspect).”

Meanwhile, the Macabalan police confirmed to this paper that Peralta has been assigned to them after being transferred from the Agora police station within this year.

Inspector Sebastian Balagot Jr., Macabalan deputy station commander, told Sun.Star Cagayan de Oro by phone Tuesday evening that Peralta is one of their own but she was facing administrative cases for having been absent without leave (Awol) and negligence of duty for failure to report since September 1, 2014.

Balagot said they have been monitoring Peralta as they received information that she has been allegedly involved in dealing in illegal substance.

For his part, Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, Cocpo’s chief of operations and plans branch, has also confirmed in a text message that Peralta’s arrest was a result of a joint operation of Cocpo and PDEA-10.

“We have close coordination with PDEA-10 to conduct illegal drugs operations especially involved uniformed police personnel, as part of the ‘Oplan Bahay Linis’ (cleansing the Cocpo organization),” Gonda said.

Detained at the PDEA-10 detention cell on Tuesday, Peralta refused to talk to reporters and instead told them to speak with her lawyer on any query regarding her arrest.

Margate said Peralta confessed she was a user, but denied being a drug dealer.

He added they also received information that she has many runners who sell the substance to her clients.

Cops nab suspect tagged in Korean kidnapping in 2011

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

ONE of Northern Mindanao’s most wanted persons tagged in the kidnapping-for-ransom of a Korean in 2011 was arrested by the police Sunday evening.

The suspect was identified as Zaldy Saranggani, also known as Eliasar Saranggani, who has a pending warrant of arrest under Criminal Case no. 6559-11 issued in Marawi City on September 15, 2011 by Judge Wenida Papandayan of Branch 10, Regional Trial Court of Lanao del Sur.

He was presented to City Mayor Oscar Moreno at his office Monday morning.

In the warrant, Papandayan had ordered the apprehension of Saranggani, Abu Bakal, and others who are only known by their aliases as Commander Antig; Engineer; Anwar, also known as Ano, Anwar Ampaso and Mohammad Anwar; Palos; Malik; and Salem.

Prior to his arrest, Saranggani’s known address was Tabing Dagat in Opol town, Misamis Oriental, but he was caught by the authorities at Muco Street, Zone 10, Zayas, Barangay Carmen, at around 6:30 in the evening on September 28.

Chief Inspector Lemuel Gonda, Cagayan de Oro City Police Office’s (Cocpo) chief of operations and plans branch, said Saranggani was arrested due to the kidnapping of a Korean, who was eventually released, almost three years ago.

Gonda, however, said investigators are still determining if the kidnapping of the victim was due to mining or that some US$ 20,000 was paid as ransom to the abductors.

He said since the warrant was issued in 2011, authorities had been hunting Saranggani and his cohorts.

Gonda said the suspect did not resist arrest since he was surrounded by law enforcers composed of members of Cocpo’s City Public Safety Company, the Anti-Kidnapping Group (AKG) and the Philippine National Police’s Regional Intelligence Division (RID) and Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) of Misamis Oriental.

Gonda said Saranggani denied he is part of the group that kidnapped the victim, although report said that he allegedly acted as negotiator in the abduction of the Korean.

Gonda said it is the right of the suspect to deny his involvement, but that the court will not issue a warrant of arrest unless there’s a probable cause.

He added Saranggani will be brought to Marawi City, so he can face the case filed against him there.

In the wake of Saranggani’s arrest, Gonda said authorities are also going after his alleged accomplices.

Oro water safe, potable

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

CAGAYAN DE ORO - An official of the city’s water utility company has assured its thousands of concessionaires that the water from their faucets is safe for drinking.

“We would like to assure that the water supplied by Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) is safe and clean,” said Ladele Sagrado, COWD public information and relations division manager.

Sagrado made this assurance following City Councilor Zaldy Ocon’s special report in a recent session of the city’s legislative body. A video footage from the inspection was shown during the session on September 15.

Ocon, the City Council’s environment committee chair, said he received concerns on the safety of the water being supplied by Rio Verde Consortium, Inc.

Ocon said to protect the health of the city’s consumers, he convened a group that conducted an ocular inspection in Bubunawan River in Kiliog in Libona town in Bukidnon where Rio Verde acquires the potable water that it supplies to COWD.

He said the inspecting team, which included representatives from COWD and Rio Verde, also visited the Lapinigan Creek, in Libona.

The group observed during the inspection that the water in Bubunawan was bluish, while in Lapinigan it was brownish.

He is worried that the water supplied by Rio Verde to COWD might contain pollutants from alleged agri-chemical wastes runoff in nearby pineapple plantation to creeks and rivers.

Rio Verde provides about 30 percent of the total water production that COWD supplies to its estimated 70,000 consumers.

To allay fears, Sagrado said water district is constantly monitoring the quality of water both from its deep wells and Rio Verde.

“So far, [there are] no complaints of water-borne disease… or adverse effects from contaminants in the water. Our water is safe,” she said.

She furthered that aside from the daily chlorination of its water supply, COWD also obtains samples of water from different sampling points and subject these to bacteriological test.

Another set of samples is also brought to accredited laboratory in Cebu to check the chemical and physical properties of the water.


On its website, the Water Research Center said: “Although several methods eliminate disease-causing microorganisms in water, chlorination is the most commonly used. Chlorination is effective against many pathogenic bacteria, but at normal dosage rates it does not kill all viruses, cysts, or worms. When combined with filtration, chlorination is an excellent way to disinfect drinking water supplies.”

In an article published in this paper early this year, Ralph Abragan, of the group Save CDO Movement, alleged that Rio Verde’s equipment couldn’t detect traces of agri-chemicals (pesticides, herbicides and nematicides) in the water.

Abragan also said that Lapinigan Creek contributes water to Bubunawan River.

The same article quoted COWD general manager Rachel Beja as saying that although the water utility, like Rio Verde, has no facilities to detect toxic chemicals in the water, she said the water utility follows the prescribed guidelines set by the Philippine National Standards for Drinking Water (PNSDW).

In spite of the fact, COWD is doing its own monitoring and testing of the quality of water, Sagrado said: “Ato gihapong gi-appreciate ang efforts ni Kag. Zaldy Ocon, especially in addressing these concerns.”

Nonrevenue water

Sagrado said COWD is in the process of putting up “electromagnetic flow meters” that would determine and study the flow of water.

Through this device, she said, “Makita nato sa atong study unsay areas nga naay tubig, unsay oras sila naay tubig, so appropriate measures could be taken.”

She said the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (Jica) has trained COWD employees on nonrevenue water (NRW) management and also lent the firm its equipment that detects leakages, most especially those not seen by the naked eye.

The International Water Association defines NRW as “water that has been produced and is ‘lost’ before it reaches the customer. Such losses may be caused through leaking and burst pipes, illegal connections and metering inaccuracies, for example.”

Sagrado said there are instances that certain areas of the city experience water interruption due to scheduled and sudden repairs on pipes, some of which are more than 40 years old and need rehabilitation.

Ex-Misamis town exec stabbed dead

By Gerry Lee Gorit (The Philippine Star)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, Philippines – A former mayor of a town in Misamis Oriental was stabbed dead in Cagayan de Oro City Friday.

Police said former Claveria town mayor Imelda Caabay was walking along Daumar street when she was stabbed by a woman.

Caabay died hours later at the Maria Reyna Hospital, where she was taken with the blade still embedded in her body.

A hospital guard said the victim was able to describe and identify the suspect, who was reportedly her relative.

Police have launched a manhunt for the suspect, whose name was withheld pending investigation.

Caabay’s remains were taken to the Cosmopolitan Funeral Homes in Cagayan de Oro City, about 47 kilometers away from Claveria.

Moreno underscores inclusive growth in Oro

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

MAYOR Oscar Moreno has underscored the importance of inclusive growth as the element that will drive Cagayan de Oro City to progress and development.

Speaking before business leaders and stakeholders during the opening of the Mindanao Food Congress at a hotel Wednesday afternoon, Moreno said it is vital that everyone in the community work together to achieve the common goal.

The mayor also emphasized the principle of less dependence on the national government in the implementation of programs and projects.

He said that when he became the governor in Misamis Oriental in 2004, he “had changed the approach [and] adopted the strategy of less reliance on national government, [focusing] on our own strength.”

That way, he added, “we don't only build on our own skills and talent, we have also relieved the national government from the burden of having to attend to all the needs of the local levels.”

“What the most important need is we develop a good working relationship with the national government, a relationship of not only partnership but deeper than that,” Moreno said.

In a partnership, he said mutual trust is an essential element in a relationship, and without it, a partnership cannot flourish.

“But my relationship with the National Government is much deeper than that, to the point that I would even talk there isn't national [and] local governments, just one government. That’s because of convergence. That is exactly the challenge in the local government level, how the national agencies in the local level work as one na tulungan,” he added.

During his stint as the governor, Moreno espoused the concept of “kurambos” or “ambagan” (working together) and this time as the city’s local executive he re-introduced it, with good results.

“This congress is certainly a manifestation of a good relationship with the business community and with the support of national agencies,” he said.

But Moreno said, “I hope we can really do a lot more in terms of not only infrastructure [but to address] yung mga mahirap na indicators.”

He said the country’s economy is doing well and investments are coming in, “pero yung figures on poverty and unemployment, mataas pa rin.”

Moreno also discussed about the dynamics between the government and the people.

“My philosophy is, these roles of checks and balances, separation of powers, yang lahat na yan are all meant to make government more efficient, more accountable, but none of these and all of these combined are not meant to paralyze government,” he said.

Paralyzation, he added, should never be a result of any of these based on the principle of government of the people, by the people and for the people. “How can the people now be prejudiced by government itself when government is supposed to serve the people?”

Moreno said the city has an additional task, that is, “to provide the leadership to Region 10, and hopefully region 10 will lead the way for Mindanao.”

But to achieve that, he said peace and order plays a vital role in this agenda.

“While all governmental deliverables are important, if you have no peace and order medyo bigat talaga ang problema, especially since Cagayan de Oro is soaring to greater heights,” he added.

New chief vows to go after erring cops, illegal drugs

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

UNDER his leadership as the new chief of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), Senior Superintendent Faro Antonio Olaguera vowed to employ the “carrot-and-stick” approach in dealing with his subordinates, especially erring police officers.

Olaguera, who headed the Regional Intelligence Division (RID) of the Police Regional Office (PRO)-Northern Mindanao, replaced Senior Superintendent Graciano Mijares as acting city police director during the turnover ceremony held at the Cocpo headquarters Thursday afternoon.

Mijares will take over Olaguera’s post as the new RID chief.

“As an advocate of the carrot-and-stick approach, I will be quick to reward those who are deserving, giving credit to whom it is due,” he said, but he is also “equally hard to those who don’t toe the line, especially those personnel involved in illegal drugs and other criminal activities.”

He said his plans will conform to the roadmap set by the Philippine National Police (PNP) higher command, with guidance from PRO-Northern Mindanao Director Isagani Francisco Genabe, and cooperation with Mayor Oscar Moreno and members of the City Council.

Olaguera said during his tenure, greater emphasis will be put on campaign against illegal drugs, which will be in close coordination with the Philippine Drug Enforcement Agency (PDEA) in Northern Mindanao, “as this menace continues to pester and threaten the very moral fabric of our society.”

The new Cocpo leader will also continue the city police’s operation against illegal gambling as it will also be “accorded with equal weight and focus.”

Intensify checkpoints

The intensification of the conduct of checkpoints and police presence in the streets as proactive crime-prevention measures will also be sustained, he said.

Olaguera will also maximize the optimum utilization of “force multipliers” (barangay tanods or village watchmen) “as they play a crucial role not only in maintaining peace and order but also in terms of emergencies and disasters.”

He added that barangay officials, who will not cooperate with the authorities in the upholding of peace and order, will be held accountable under the principle of “command responsibility.”

He will also religiously implement traffic rules and related ordinances in consonance with Moreno’s “Hapsay Dalan” program, as he hopes the city’s CCTV will be put in place at the earliest.

Aside from that, Olaguera will see to it that environmental laws will be enforced, as well as strengthen the police intelligence and counter-intelligence efforts, being an intelligence officer himself.

Olaguera wants the police to be respected by everyone in the community and at par with the best in the world, steeped in the culture of excellence, and driven by the virtues of discipline, honor, justice, and valor.

Compromise won't have a place in his leadership when it comes to proper fulfillment of police duties and responsibilities, he said.

“The people -- our bosses -- ertainly deserved no less from us, giving them less than they deserved is cheating them, a violation and desecration of the sacred oath and badge. Service is more than receiving the paycheck every payday, it is a noble profession,” he said.

For his part, Mijares said he was “greatly honored and confident of my successor, he is a worthy brother, he is best qualified and very professional officers, which means, I am leaving Cocpo in good hands, I am leaving Cagayan de Oro in good hands.”

FOOD Industry leaders speak at Dine Philippines in Cagayan de Oro City, Sept. 26

By Lifestyle Section,

After its series of successful seminars in key cities all over the Philippines, the popular DINE Philippines Food Business Seminar Series invades the “City of Golden Friendship,” Cagayan De Oro, on Friday, September 26, at the Grand Caprice, Limketkai.

Now on its third year, the popular food and hospitality industry seminar that brings together topnotch chefs, restaurant owners, hoteliers, marketing managers, and other business leaders to talk about issues, strategies, trends, and concepts that are relevant to the industry. This year’s Dine Philippines series has been well-received in Davao, Zamboanga, and SOCCSKSARGEN will progress to Pampanga, Legazpi, Leyte, Baguio, Laguna, Bacolod and Iloilo.

“The Mindanao stopovers of the DINE Philippines tour is crucial for the country’s competitive positioning in ASEAN integration starting next year. Cagayan De Oro is the key city that serves as gateway to other major growth areas in food and agricultural tourism, such as Iligan, Bukidnon and Camiguin. Further, progress in hospitality and food service is very evident in the city”, according to Courage Asia president, Adolfo Aran, Jr.

The food business seminar is open to all hospitality value chain members, such as restaurant and hotel owners, executives, academicians, hospitality consultants, tour guide operators, etc.

Participants of the seminar shall learn from industry experts as they share their insights on Filipino Competitiveness Amidst the ASEAN Integration. The roster of speakers includes food writer, educator and president of Courage Asia, Adolfo Aran, Jr, who will give a talk on “What’s Hot and What’s Not: Trends in the Foodservice Industry.”

Marketing and operations expert Dan Francisco of Cuptails will talk about “Lessons and Best Practices in Starting a Food Business.” Chef Robby Goco of Green Pastures and Cyma will be talking about “Sustainability in Menu Development.” Serial digital marketer Homer Nievera of and will give his advice on “Online Strategies for your Food Business.” Mindanao advocate, brand architect and strategist Amor Maclang of GeiserMaclang Marketing Communications will discuss the “Five Rules in Local Branding.”

The seminar series is endorsed by The Department of Tourism and supported by the Council of Hotel and Restaurant Educators of the Philippines (COHREP). The event is also supported by Nestle Professional, Nescafe Alegria, Nestea Houseblend, NVIRO Paint, and media sponsors BusinessWorld,, F&B World, Interaksyon Lifestyle,, and

NorMin tourist arrivals up by 96%


DESPITE the tragic whitewater rafting accident in June this year, tourist arrivals in the Northern Mindanao region have increased by 96 percent or 217,253 more compared to the second quarter last year.

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro City is one of the destinations in the region that has been earning millions.

Domestic arrivals account for 98 percent of the tourists while the rest are foreign nationals from East Asia, North America and Europe. Among regional blocs, notable growth in tourist arrivals came from Asean countries with 269 percent.

Among the provinces, Camiguin is the most favored destination by tourists accounting to 201,881 tourists. The second preferred destination is Cagayan de Oro City to Gingoog City in Misamis Oriental.

The tourism department stresses the importance of safety and security of the tourists both domestic and foreign, thus, strengthening ties with the Philippine National Police has been a vital aspect.

“We also know, that to boost tourism more, we should make sure than everyone is safe, and we have put emphasis on that. Our PNP has willingly obliged to strengthen ties with us for our community and as well the protection of our tourists,” Tourism regional director Catalino Chan III said.

The DOT-10 along with its partners, the local government units (LGUs), private sectors and the academe launched the National Tourism Week on September 22 to celebrate the booming tourism industry in the region.

With the theme “Tourism and community development,” the said agency aims at boosting more the tourism in the country for community development.

“You will see that the more tourism grows, the community develops. Tourism and community development is synonymous,” Elena Manalo, supervising tourism operations officer, said.

According to DOT-10, the theme has been adopted from the World Tourism Organization’s world tourism day celebration.

“When we say community development, it means it should start with the community itself. We want to show that more than the sights, food and services, our communities are tourist destinations itself. Our tourism framework plan so far showed positive results, and we are even braded as the 2nd most effective government organization in the country,” Chan said.

Tourism Week opened, anchors in community development

By Jasper Marie Oblina-Rucat (JMOR/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY, September 23 (PIA) – The Department of Tourism (DOT) region 10 opened the National Tourism Week on September 22 in SM City Atrium, Cagayan de Oro City focusing on community development through the tourism industry.

DOT regional director Catalino E. Chan III welcomed guests and participants from the business sector, academe and government agencies who witnessed the opening. He explained that the theme “Tourism and Community Development” is an international theme for World Tourism Day on September 27, focusing on the ability of tourism to empower people and provide them with skills to achieve change in their local communities.

As partner in tourism, senior superintendent Graciano Mijares, Cagayan de Oro city police office (COCPO) chief also expressed message of peace to the community.

Guest speaker Engr. Elpidio M. Paras, owner of Dahilayan Adventure Park, a famous tourist destination in Manolo Fortich, Bukidnon emphasized the importance of tourism to elevate the local economy of the community.

He said that in Dahilayan, he has hired Indigenous People (IP) and even residents in nearby barangays.

He believed that the Adventure Park also contributed in making Manolo Fortich mark its post in the National Competitiveness in the municipal category.

He stressed that if we could make tourists stay one more day in Cagayan de Oro or region 10 then that would make a big difference in boosting the local economy.

DOT will be celebrating the entire week from September 22 to 27 as National Tourism Week and will provide various activities.

There will be an exhibit of local products and services in the entire Northern Mindanao throughout weeklong celebration at SM Atrium. Everyone is invited to see and choose products that they want.

Also, DOT will have exhibits at Vineyard Polytechnic College, Southern Philippines College and Lourdes College on September 23, 24 and 26 respectively. They have also scheduled film showing and craft demo at Vineyard.

Finally, they will have a search for 2014 DOT-10 Singing Ambassadors on September 26 at SM Atrium and closing program with the Kagay-an Performing Arts on the 27th.

P5-B Oro megadike ‘safer if built far from riverbank’

By Jigger J. Jerusalem

THE farther from the Cagayan de Oro riverbank the proposed megadike is built, the safer it is for the city’s residents, said Mayor Oscar Moreno, who sees the project as a necessity despite the opposition from would-be affected residents.

Moreno said this is one of the observations noted by engineers commissioned by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (Jica) who made the indicative plan of the proposed 12-kilometer megadike.

Estimated to cost more than P8 billion, the megadike, seen to prevent another Sendong-like tragedy in the city, will be built on the river bank at both sides stretching from Barangay Taguanao down to Macabalan.

Working hand in hand with Jica in the construction of the embankment is the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH).

The actual project will cost some P5 billion, while the P3 billion will be for the resettlement of the residents who will be affected by its construction, which is set to start in 2016.

Moreno said the engineers have concluded that based on the amount to be spent for the project, the dike should be built farther from the riverbank since this has its advantages.

He said the experts had considered the contour of the river in designing the megadike.

The Jica engineering team had noted that aside from being built a few meters away from the river, a short embankment will pose lesser risks since the taller the dike the more prone it is to cause massive damage, or the “broken dam effect,” if it breaks.

Moreno said the engineers prefer shorter dike considering the amount of the project since taller embankments will be more dangerous to communities living near the river.

He also explained that the Japanese technical team had not included in the construction two areas—the Rodelsa Circle where a commercial complex owned by the Pelaez family is undergoing construction in Barangay Nazareth and Sitio Puntabon in Barangay Bonbon—since these act as natural “retarding basin.”

A detention or retarding basin, as defined in Wikipedia, is an excavated area installed on, or adjacent to, tributaries of rivers, streams, lakes or bays to protect against flooding and, in some cases, downstream erosion by storing water for a limited period of time.

“I understand that Rodelsa and Puntabon as retarding basins. Concerns have been raised. In fact, I felt that this plan may have unduly caused some problems for the Pelaez family, particularly on the completion of the project,” Moreno said.

The Puntabon, he added, was excluded from the design by the Japanese engineers since their mandate is only to draw up a plan for areas along the river.

Aside from that, entire neighborhoods, particularly portions of Burgos Street, will possibly be wiped off the map if the design is to be followed.

Series of deliberations

But he said the whole design is still an indicative plan, and there will be series of discussions and deliberations before the project is going to be implemented.

“It’s not as if the plan made by the Jica engineers mao nay i-implementar, indicative pa man to siya, storyahan pa,” Moreno said.

“I told them (Japanese engineers), ‘you may have the best plan, but if you cannot implement it, if we cannot implement it, what use is that best plan of yours?” he added.

“They understand that there are reservations and I have expressed those reservations. I just didn’t dramatize it because I don’t want people to say that Jica is not welcome. They are still welcome,” he furthered.

Moreno said: “We have to show that we welcome this (project) because we need this. This is a project that will benefit the entire city. [But] there will be sacrifices.”

He said the city government cannot afford to spend for the social cost alone although it is obligated to provide for the relocation site of those who will be affected by the project.

Before its planned implementation in 2016, some residents and village officials from 15 barangay that are most likely affected have already expressed their opposition to the project.

Even Archbishop Antonio Ledesma, the head of the Archdiocese of Cagayan de Oro, said in a previous interview that the megadike is “not the ultimate solution” to an impending tragedy the city went through when Typhoon Sendong struck in 2011.

Ledesma also questioned the amount of the project which he said is “very costly” adding the government should think of other less expensive alternatives.

Songbird returns to CDO

Isah V. Red

Out of Regine Velasquez-Alcasid’s 10 Kapuso shows in the regions this year, seven of these were welcomed with rain showers—perhaps a testament to the power of her voice, which jolts the good heavens once in a while.

The multi-awarded singer, aptly titled “Asia’s Songbird,” poured tons of entertainment upon her adoring fans, who all braved the rain to see her, in a recent mall show held in Cagayan de Oro in celebration of the city’s annual Kagay-an Festival.

“They’ve always been warm and welcoming,” shared Regine referring to the Kagay-anons.

It wasn’t the first time for the singer to perform in CdeO but her last was a long time ago—in 2008 to be exact—when she did a concert there with several other OPM artists.

“I remember I had a very good time performing for everybody. I haven’t been back after that,” she recalled.

It seems the Kagay-anons have indeed long anticipated Regine’s return as spectators filled the activity center of the Centrio Mall where she held her Kapuso fans’ day on the night of Aug. 22.

“It’s not every day that Regine’s fans in the regions see her perform on stage, much less for free. And so, as a token of appreciation to the millions of Kapuso followers in the regions who have made GMA their preferred TV network, we bring the star whom they very much admire to wherever they are not only to provide entertainment but more importantly, to make them feel the warmth and love of their Kapuso Network,” said Oliver Amoroso, AVP for Regional TV and Head for Integrated Marketing Services Division of GMA.

Meanwhile, heavy showers failed to dampen the festive spirits of the Kagay-anons who came to see the Bet ng Bayan provincial finals back-to-back with a Kapuso Fiesta at the Las Ramblas of SM City CdeO on Aug. 28.

Bet ng Bayan host Alden Richards, singer Jonalyn Viray, and actress Bettina Carlos shared the stage with numerous hopefuls who battled against one another in a live showdown. Hip Hop World Champion and Philippine All Stars choreographer Kenjohns Serrano was also present in the said event where he not only served as one of the judges but he also showed his dance moves.

“The competition gets tighter and more exciting now that we are having our provincial showdown. From here, Bet ng Bayan moves on to the regional finals. At sa mga nakita namin sa Cagayan de Oro, mukhang talagang mahihirapan ang judges natin to choose. I think the Kagay-an Festival mood, in a way, boost the spirits of the contestants. Ako nga ginanahan din e, seeing our Kapusong Kagay-anons,” told Alden.

Primetime King Dingdong Dantes then bannered the Kapuso Fiesta together with Alden and songstress Maricris Garcia who treated the audience to a night filled with pure fun, entertainment, and laughter.

Dingdong, a strong advocate of education, also mounted an outreach program prior to the mall show at the Consolacion Elementary School wherein school bags were distributed to the students. The fulfillment of said CSR project, he said, wouldn’t have been possible without the help of GMA Regional TV and YesPinoy Foundation.

Afterwards, he joined DepEd’s launching of the national program called Abot-Alam which aims for a “zero out-of-school youth” (OSY) in the Philippines by providing these OSYs jobs and encouraging them to go back to school via the Alternative Learning System.

As commissioner-at-large for the National Youth Commission, that recognizes the importance of exercising one’s right to vote, Dingdong also graced COMELEC’s one-day registration of youth voters at SM City CdeO.

“It always excites me to be here. For one, my dad graduated high school here at Xavier’s Academy. Kaya nga growing up, Cagayan de Oro for me is an important landmark in our family. I’ve been coming here always, and every time bumabalik ako, there’s always a fresh feeling and that is something I would never forget,” he shared.

Kapuso stars who also graced the Kagay-an Festival were Miguel Tanfelix, Bianca Umali, Renz Valerio, and Julian Trono from GMA primetime series Niño. They staged a promo tour at the Pelaez Sports Complex to witness the PE Rhythmic Dance Festival last Aug. 25. GMA Artist Center talent Enzo Pineda, on the other hand, hosted the Miss Cagayan de Oro 2014 Coronation Night on Aug. 23 at the Atrium of the Limketkai Center with My Destiny’s Ruru Madrid who, in turn, serenaded the contestants. Winners of the said beauty pageant boarded the Kapuso float last Aug. 27 with StarStruck alumnus Steven Silva during the Higalas Parade of Float & Icons.

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