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Mountain Province News March 2012

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Mountain Province Realty

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Contents

Mt. Province to send 37 athletes to the Palarong Pambansa in Pangasinan

by Juliet Saley


BONTOC, Mt. Province, March 31 (PIA) -- The province is sending a 47-man delegation to join the Cordillera Region team to the 2012 Palarong Pambansa to be held in Lingayen, Pangasinan on May 6-11.

According to Rosendo Cacap of the Department of Education Division Office here, the province’s delegation is composed of 37 athletes, seven coaches, and three officials.

Cacap said of the total athletes, 23 are elementary pupils wherein 10 of them will participate in baseball, four in softball, eight in tennis and one in sepak takraw. The other 14 are secondary students where seven will participate in athletics, two each in archery and arnis, and one each in boxing, tennis and sepak takraw.

Athletes of the province will be leaving for Pangasinan on April 27 before the start of the event for them to have their final training and to be accustomed with the climate in the area.(JBS/PIA CAR-Mt. Province)

Sabangan awards best barangays

by Juliet Saley


SABANGAN, Mt. Province – The awarding of prizes to outstanding barangays of the municipality served as one of the highlights of the recently concluded Gagayam Festival.

At least three barangays stood out as outstanding barangays in at least two areas of local governance.

Adjudged as the best Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) was Barangay Camatagan which received a cash prize of P5,000; second is Barangay Busa with a cash prize of P3,000 and third is Barangay Data with a cash prize of P2,000. Each of them received a plaque of recognition.

These barangays were also adjudged as the best Barangay Peace and Order Council (BPOC). They follow the same order and same prizes as in the best BCPC.

Barangay Napua was awarded as the barangay with best nursery program and Barangay Lagan received the sanitarian award for having the highest number of families with sanitary toilet. Each barangay received a cash incentive of P5,000 and a plaque of recognition.

Moreover, in recognition of the active participation of its athletes in this year’s Cordillera Administrative Region Athletic Association held in Kalinga, the Municipal Government has allocated an amount as incentive to the 24 athletes and four coaches and were awarded during the festival.

Heifer International gives award to its outstanding beneficiary in Mt. Province

by Juliet Saley


SABANGAN, Mt. Province, March 28 (PIA) -- Heifer Foundation awarded this year’s Golden Talent Award (GTA) to Ronald Cardines in recognition of his personal dedication and accomplishments as one of the partner families of the Heifer International Philippines program in barangay Camatagan here.

Program Officer Jun Dom-oguen of Heifer International Philippines-Northern Philippines said the Golden Talent Award is given each year in recognition of the individual or family in each country who has displayed exceptional achievement in converting minimal resources into a sustaining source of income while also assisting other families and their community.

Cardines is the only awardee of the Golden Talent Award of Heifer in the Philippines this year. He received from Heifer a certificate signed by Ardyth Neil, Acting President and Chief Executive Officer and Country Director Hercules Paradiang, and cash amounting to $1,000.

Also, he will be sharing part of the amount to the two Self-Help Groups (SHGs) of Camatagan where he belongs, namely the Sariling Sikap and the Kabadang.

Dom-oguen said the amount to be shared by Cardines to his group mates will be used as a group income generating which the group invest in meat processing.

Heifer, through its partner non-government organization Igorota Foundation Incorporation (IFI), has organized 50 families of barangay Camatagan in 2010 and formed into two Self Help Groups - the Kabadang Self Help Group (SHG) and the Sariling Sikap SHG.

In August 28, 2010, after having undergone the 12 cornerstone seminars, each family received gifts from the 50 original family beneficiaries of the Heifer project in barangay Gayang such as two gilts, four chicken, six coffee seedlings, four guava seedlings, five citrus seedlings, one (100grams )each of plastic sili, zucchini and cabbage seeds, and two chupas bean seeds.

Cardines received his gifts from Leonardo “Narding” Cacap, the Community Animal Health Worker (CAHW) of Gayang who was also the recipient of the Golden Talent Award in the Philippines in 2010. Cardines received seedlings and vegetable seeds of which he planted immediately. He also received a gilt and a boar.

He was trained as a Community Animal Health Worker (CAHW) as para-veterinarian of the Kabadang Self Help Group (SHG) and the Sariling Sikap SHG, which assures good animal management among SHG members. Cardines also conducts regular visit to other SHG members as part of his CAHW duty. He also trained his boar to provide breeding services to members of the SHG and the whole community of Camatagan village.

Cardines served not only his group mates but also offers his services free to other SHGs and the whole community as well. He was also tapped to help in selecting and in procuring animals which were distributed to family beneficiaries of Heifer project in other areas in the province such as Kayan, Tadian, Bauko and in this municipality.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)






NSO conducts assessment of RSBSA regional implementation data enumeration results

by Carlito C. Dar


BAGUIO CITY, March 27 (PIA) - - The National Statistics Office- Cordillera Region (NSO-CAR)recently conducted an assessment of the Regional System for Basic Sectors in Agriculture (RSBSA) which they piloted in the provinces of Abra, Apayao, Ifugao, Kalinga and Mt. province.

NSO Regional Director Olivia Gulla, in an interview, said that the activity which was participated by provincial statistics officers, regional and provincial statisticians and statistical coordination officers, aims to review the implementation of the RSBSA in Cordillera in preparation for its report to the National RSBSA Summit.

Gulla disclosed that they assessed the performance of their organizational units as well as illicit recommendation and identify the driving and restraining forces for each unit in the implementation of the RSBSA, in line with their goal of further improving the conduct of succeeding RSBSA-related activity.

According to Gulla, the RSBSA is an initiative of the Good Governance and Anti Corruption (GGAC) cluster of the national government that is being chaired by President Benigno Aquino III. It aims to establish a comprehensive and systematic information system that will cater to the various data and information needs of economic development planners.

“The RSBSA is an electronic compilation of basic data and information on farmers, farm laborers and fisherman, which our economic development planners can use for national and/or sub-national development planning of agriculture/fisheries – related programs and services”, Gulla stressed.

The RSBSA, a project being spearheaded by the Department of Budget and Management (DBM) in partnership with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), Department of Agriculture (DA), Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) and NSO, is piloted in the country’s 20 poorest provinces which include the Cordillera provinces of Abra, Apayao, Kalinga, Ifugao and Mountain Province.

NSO- CAR conducted data enumeration in 303 barangays in Abra, 175 barangays in Ifugao, 152 in Kalinga, 133 in Apayao and 144 barangays in Mt. Province. (JDP/CCD-PIA CAR)

New Education director faces more challenges

by JM Agreda


AFTER six years as Baguio City’s division schools superintendent, Dr. Ellen Donato was appointed as the new regional head of the Department of Education (DepEd).

She was recognized by Mayor Mauricio Domogan in last Monday’s executive-legislative meeting for her contributions to the education sector, particularly in the local schools’ division.

The mayor also welcomed the new division schools superintendent Dr. Mary Langayan, who served as the division school superintendent of Mt. Province.

In an interview, Dr. Donato said the region will continue to go by the mandate of the Aquino administration in spreading quality education all throughout the Cordillera.

“We have to contain some of the problems common in the provinces that include the distance of access and communication and lack of teachers and classrooms being encountered in schools in far-flung towns and barangays,” she said.

She added that DepEd’s focus this year is in the implementation of the K to 12 program and the indigenous education and research.

With March being graduation month, she stressed the full implementation of the DepEd order on no collection of graduation fees.

However, the fees being encountered by parents of graduating grade six and fourth year high school students are those set by the parents themselves through the various Parents and Teachers Association.

She said parents agree among themselves on basis of continuing cultural traditions on what fees are to be paid for the graduation ceremony slated on March 28 and 29 in public schools nationwide.

2-day jobs fair slated in Mt. Province

by (Andrew Doga-ong


BONTOC, Mt. Province -- The Provincial Government has scheduled a two-day jobs fair on April 2 to 3 to provide job seekers in the province an opportunity to find work.

Ernesto Emilio, Public Employment Service Office manager, said the holding of the jobs fair, which is one of the highlights of the 45th foundation anniversary of the province, is part of the Provincial Government’s initiative to address the problem of unemployment in the province.

Emilio said the Provincial Government, in coordination with the Department of Labor and Employment, will invite through the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration seven licensed recruitment agencies with good performance and whose job orders at least match the skills, trainings, courses and specialization of local jobs seekers.

Skills registry of the province reveals that there are hundreds of skilled and highly trained manpower and even qualified degree holders who remain unemployed.

Emilio said that while some national line agencies and local government units provide temporary employment opportunities to job seekers usually on job order or contractual appointment basis, they cannot accommodate all due to limited funds.

Local officials noted the yearly the increasing number of job applicants coming to the provincial and municipal employment service offices looking for possible employment within the province or elsewhere.

Aside from the jobs fair, Emilio said there will also be a pre-employment orientation seminar on said dates for the prospective overseas job applicants to warn them against illegal recruitment. He said topics to be discussed include the modus operandi used by illegal recruitment agencies to entice unsuspected victims and the “10 don’ts to avoid illegal recruitment.”

The implementing guidelines of the Overseas Filipino Workers (OFW) Assistance Program of the Provincial Government will also be discussed.

The said program was launched last year to partly address the mounting unemployment problem in the province. It specifically seeks to help jobseekers for employment overseas by providing loan assistance for the processing of papers, air fare and other requirements.

The program, which has already benefited a number of OFWs, had initial funding of P3 million given as loan assistance to those interested to work overseas.

Surgical-medical-dental mission set for Langay Festival

by Juliet B. Saley


BONTOC, Mt. Province, Mar. 22 (PIA) -- The Lang-ay Festival which highlights the province's foundation anniversary will not only highlight and showcase the unique culture of the Igorots in Mountain Province but it will also be a time for treating ailments.


In her report during the monthly Provincial Health Board meeting this week, Bontoc General Hospital chief nurse Alfaretta Yampan said that the hospital will be conducting a medical and dental mission on April 2-4. She asked the participation of the different municipal health officers of the province to help during the said event.


Yampan reported that a surgical team from the Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center (BGHMC) headed by Dr. Jimmy Cabfit will be coming for a surgical mission on April 9-10. Screening and listing of patients started in March 1, 2012 and ends on March 31, Yampan added.


Aside from these two activities, there will be also a free endoscopy to be administered by Dr. Rommel Palaganas at the Bontoc General Hospital on April 10.


Yampan said screening for the endoscopy is on going at the Bontoc General Hospital which is being conducted by Doctors Marceline Bacwaden and Guillermo Subala.


Another activity is the operation “Tuli” to be conducted at the Bontoc General Hospital on April 11-13, 2012. (JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)

Doctor warns betel nut chewers on risk of mouth cancer

by Andrew B. Doga-ong


BONTOC, Mt. Province, Feb. 18 (PIA)-- A health official advised betel nut chewers to stop the habit or they run the risk of acquiring the dreaded oral or mouth cancer.

Dr. Yvonne Gatawa of the Bontoc General Hospital, in an interview with the Radyo ng Bayan here, expressed this concern as she promoted oral health as an effective preventive measure against mouth cancer.

Gatawa said various health studies reveal that people who chew betel nut with lime have an increased chance of developing mouth cancer but people who chew the mixture with tobacco have an even greater risk of the disease.

She cited the International Agency for Research on Cancer findings which regard the chewing of betel nut to be a known human carcinogen. Health officials said mouth cancer can develop in any part of the mouth, including the tongue, gums, the skin lining of the mouth or the lips.

To prevent the betel nut- related mouth cancer, health authorities advised chewers to stop or avoid chewing the betel nut on its own or in combination with tobacco.

Chewing of betel nut on its own or with mixture of lime and betel leaf and even tobacco is a popular habit in the highlands. It gives a mild rush of energy and stimulates the saliva gland which makes the chewer to constantly spit.

Tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol intake are also cited as the major causes of oral cancer, not only lung cancer.

Gatawa said the Bontoc General Hospital so far recorded two cases of mouth cancer which is not caused by betel nut chewing but associated on tobacco smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.

Mouth cancer has the following warning signs: Sore spots or ulceration of lips, tongue or other area inside the mouth that does not heal promptly; Swelling of the lips, gums or other area inside the mouth; difficulty in chewing or swallowing; repeated bleeding in the mouth with apparent cause, and numbness or loss of feeling in any part of the mouth. (JDP/AD- PIA CAR, Mt. Province)

Feeding program benefits 6,000 preschoolers in Mt. Province

by Andrew B. Doga-ong


BONTOC, Mt. Province, Mar. 15 (PIA) -- At least 6,000 preschoolers enrolled in the different day care centers in the province are benefitting from the supplemental feeding program of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD).

The day care children started receiving the supplemental feeding in October last year and will continue until April this year to complete the 120 days.

The feeding program which seeks to improve the nutritional status of children three to five years old is a provision of food in addition to the regular meals provided by the family to currently enrolled day care children.

The program requires the giving of nutritious foods preferably indigenous foods to the preschoolers which are prepared by their parents using a prescribed menu.

Initial assessment of the Provincial Nutrition Council on the feeding program reveals that the eating habits and nutritional status of the day care children are improving.

“The preschoolers even pray before and after snacks and that they are also practicing proper table manners,” observed Arlene Fillag, Nurse II of the Department of Education during the program monitoring.

Jill Faed of the Department of Interior and Local Government also noted the cooperation and resourcefulness of the parents in sourcing out and preparing the right food for the day care children.

The council however advised parents in some daycare centers to serve the right quantity of snacks to avoid overweight as shown in the initial weight of some of the children.

The council said parents in some day care centers should control the snacks they serve so as not to loss the appetite of children to eat their lunch.

DSWD Cordillera regional Director Isabel Sy-Nilas in August 2011 turned over a check worth P9,168.125 to the provincial government which was also downloaded to the ten municipalities to fund their respective feeding programs.

Social workers said the feeding program is one of the government’s contributions to the early childhood care and development programs as it also responds to one of the Millenium Development Goals which is to eradicate poverty and hunger in the country. (JDP/AD- PIA CAR, Mt. Province)

Mt. Province dads seek financial support for trading center, post-harvest facilities

by Juliet B. Saley


BONTOC, Mt. Province, March 14 (PIA) -- In support to the vegetable producers in the province, the Sangguniang Panlalawigan passed a resolution addressed to Agriculture Secretary Prospero Alcala requesting to allocate P2 million for the construction of a trading center in the vegetable producing-town of Bauko.


The resolution cited that the province ranks among the large-scale producers of various vegetables and staple crops which are sold in various market outlets throughout the country.


However, the main problem that hinders production of local farmer producers is the absence of a trading center in the province where the farmers can market their produce so that they need not travel to other places and considering that transportation cost has tremendously increased due to the escalating prices of oil.


The nearest major trading center in which farmers can sell their produce by the truck loads is at the La Trinidad Trading Post in the capital town of Benguet province.


Meanwhile, the barangay officials of Buringal in Paracelis are requesting the Sangguniang Panlalawigan to allocate P300,000.00 for the construction of one unit of multi-purpose pavement at Bangad, Buringal.


The barangay officials stated in their resolution that their barangay covers half of the total area wherein corn and rice production are the primary sources of livelihood of the people. They added that due to the absence of post-harvest facilities, the palay and corn seeds are being rotten and sometimes they germinate specially during rainy days which cause great loss to farmers who depend on their harvest to support their families.


Unable to address this problem, the SP here passed a resolution addressed to Senator Ferdinand Marcos, Jr. requesting him to extend financial assistance for the construction of multi-purpose pavement not only in barangay Buringal but in the nine barangays of Paracelis considering that the municipality is one of the large-scale producers of corn in the Cordillera region and Luzon area.


The SPsaid the farmers in the nine barangays of Paracelis are in dire need of post-harvest facilities which are very crucial to prevent the spoilage of produce especially during rainy season.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)

DOLE allots livelihood assistance to micro-entreps in Mt. Province

by Juliet B. Saley


BONTOC, Mt. Province, Mar. 12 (PIA) -- Ninety nine (99) micro-entrepreneurs in the towns of Bontoc and Sagada are set to receive livelihood assistance from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE).


Miguela Limmayog, DOLE Provincial Field Office head here said the the agency has allotted the amount of P717,085.00 which the beneficiaries share in terms of equipment, raw materials, tools and other inputs needed in their trade which is purposely for the enhancement of their livelihood projects to help them increase their production and primarily to increase their family income.


Of the total amount, P170,750.00 is allotted to the 34 members of the Chaoang Women Organization in barangay Can-eo of this municipality, for the acquisition of weaving materials and other inputs needed, and P99,997.57 for the 20 members of the Bee Keepers Association (Beekas) of Sagada for the acquisition of bee keeping equipment and materials.


The remaining amount is allotted to purchase the needs of the 99 individuals such as food vendors, vegetable gardeners/vendors, grain retailers, canteen owners, hog raisers, sewers, farmers (rice and corn), sari-sari store owners, hollow block makers, snack food sellers, auto repair shop owners, wine producers/sellers, butchers, muscovado producers, computer shop owners, scrap/junk shop owner, coffee shop owners, backstrap and loom weavers, carpenters, masseurs, furniture maker, and abaca scrunch maker.


Limmayog said some of the materials, equipment and other inputs will be distributed to the beneficiaries this month while the others will be distributed next month.


To ensure continuous and effective implementation of the project, the beneficiaries shall enter into a memorandum of agreement (MOA) individually with the DOLE. Under the MOA, it is provided that the beneficiary shall use the livelihood assistance provided by the DOLE to its fullest and exclusively for the enhancement of the livelihood project that was approved and not for other purposes.


This program intends to assist the disadvantaged workers which include the workers in the informal economy engaged in small livelihood undertakings such as ambulant vending or peddling, driving and operating tricycle or pedicab, small construction works, home-based works, farming, fishing providing ambulant services, and other vulnerable group of workers that include the out-of-school youth, out-of –work women, persons with disability, indigenous peoples, parents of child laborers, displaced workers and older persons; community groups consisting of unemployed and underemployed persons in communities with high poverty incidence; and low-waged workers seeking to augment their income through the provision of working capital in term of raw materials, equipment, tools, jigs and other inputs that will support the establishment and/or enhancement of individual, group or community undertakings.(JDP/JBS-PIA CAR, Mt. Province)

Wind farm to be set up in Mountain Province

by Artemio Dumlao


MANILA, Philippines - The first wind farm in the Cordillera region and the second in Southeast Asia will soon rise in Mountain Province.

Renewable energy firm PhilCarbon is developing a 15-MW wind farm in the boundary of Besao and Sagada towns with the support of host indigenous communities.

“The reason for the support is that the pro-ject is non-polluting, it does not destroy the environment and it benefits the community”, said PhilCarbon chairman Rufino Bomas-ang.

Bomas-ang said 25 wind turbines will be erected along the Pilao-Langsayan Ridge, with each turbine designed to generate 600 kilowatts for a total of 15 megawatts of power.

Sagada Mayor Eduardo Latawan Jr. urged host IP communities to reflect on the development opportunities being offered by the renewable energy project.

Mountain Province consumes around 5-6 MWs of electricity and the excess power could be sold to the Luzon grid.

The Sagada & Besao Power Corporation, a subsidiary of PhilCarbon, will spearhead the development, construction, operation and maintenance of the wind power plant.

When operational, the wind farm would become the second to be put into operation in Southeast Asia.

The Bangui wind farm operated by Northwind Power Corp. has been providing power in Ilocos Norte for a decade and has become a tourist site in the region.

Ruth Yu-Owen, president of PhilCarbon, said that the project will play a pivotal role in the development of the host communities.

“Once the wind mills start generating power, the host LGU will automatically be entitled to royalty shares equivalent to P0.01 per kilowatt-hour generated,” Owen explained.

She said that the royalty will be divided among the host LGUs, with 25 percent going to the barangay, 40 percent to the municipality and 35 percent to the province.

The host towns were assured that PhilCarbon will pay its business permit and real property taxes to the local treasury to boost revenues.

Like Bangui in Ilocos Norte, she also expects that the wind mills will become a major tourist attraction in Sagada and Besao.






Paracelis Hospital to benefit in safe water program

by Juliet B. Saley


BONTOC, Mt. Province, Mar. 10 (PIA) -- Paracelis District Hospital has been identified as a priority beneficiary of the “Sagana at Ligtas na Tubig Para sa Lahat” program, based on the given criteria: level of waterlessness, water borne diseases, and poverty incidence.


The participation of Mt. Province in the project necessitates the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement to set out agreements with the province, Department of Health (DOH), Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG), National Anti-Poverty Commission (NAPC); stipulating the detailed responsibilities of the parties during the implementation of the project.


Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan here passed a resolution authorizing Provincial Governor Leonard Mayaen to enter into a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with the DOH, DILG, and NAPC for the implementation of the said program.


As stated in the resolution, the government has committed to provide water and sanitation to waterless communities in line with the Millenium Development Goal (MDG) target of reducing by half those population without access to safe and potable water.


The program is designed to provide grant financing and capacity building for the implementation of water supply projects in waterless municipalities, in poorest barangays with high level of water born diseases, in resettlement areas and public health centers with access to safe water.


Under the program, DOH is responsible for the provision of grant financing for the implementation of the projects.


Meanwhile, the DILG is responsible for enhancing the capacity of the local government units and water service providers to plan, implement and operate the projects, and the NAPC is responsible for the overall coordination and monitoring of the program. (JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)

Farmers Learn Stress-Tolerant Rice Development

by MARVYN N. BENANING


MANILA, Philippines — Upland farmers from the Cordillera visited the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Baños, Laguna on March 7 and got day-long training on the culture of stress-tolerant rice varieties.

About 40 farmers, extension officers, municipal and provincial agriculturists, and project staff from Mountain Province, Kalinga and Ifugao attended the training. “We organized this activity because we felt that rice farmers in the hill and mountain areas, which are often stress-prone environments for rice, could benefit from learning about IRRI’s activities such as the development of stress-tolerant rice varieties and use of post harvest tools,” said Dr. David Johnson, coordinator of IRRI’s Consortium for Unfavorable Rice Environments (CURE.)

“The problems of farmers in the hill and mountain areas don’t get highlighted as much as their counterparts in the lowlands so we wanted to tackle some of these during the series of farmer field day activities,” he added.

The lineup of activities included mini-seminars, exhibits and a forum on various problems affecting rice farmers like pests and diseases, postharvest challenges and fertilizer management.

Farmers and scientists discussed the most pressing concerns in the hill and mountain areas like “giant” earthworms, rice blast, rodent control and poor quality and availability of seeds and how to address all of them.

The farmers attending the field day were given farmers’ kits that included IRRI super bags — special airtight bags that protect stored rice.

IRRI super bags can improve the recovery of stored grain by 10 percent, extend the germination life of seed for planting from 6 months to 12 months, and control insect grain pests without chemicals.

BFP reminds gov't workers in Mt. Province to observe fire prevention measures

by Andrew B. Doga-ong


BONTOC, MT. Province, Mar. 7(PIA)-- The Bureau of Fire Protection (BFP) advised government workers here to always be vigilant and take precautionary measures to reduce the risk of fire in the homes and communities.

Reporting on their office fire safety and prevention efforts, Fire Officer 2 Charles Golocan of the BFP provincial office reminded government employees to remain fire-safety conscious everyday not only during the Fire Prevention Month in March.

Golocan said public vigilance and precaution is still the best means of fire prevention to avert the occurrence of fire that could damage hard earned structures and properties in just few minutes and even result to the loss of lives.

BFP report showed that 19 accidental fire incidents occurred last year, 17 of which are structural fires and two are forest fires, attributed to faulty electrical connections, unattended cooking and children playing with matches or lighters.

The report also indicated a decreasing number of fire incidents with 19 in 2011 compared to the 24 recorded in 2010.

To generate support and cooperation to the government’s fire safety and prevention campaign, Golocan said the BFP had conducted series of trainings, seminars, lectures and disaster drills mostly in schools and to some organizations. He added that some 1,180 business establishments throughout the province were inspected as to their compliance to Republic Act 9514 or the Fire Code of the Philippines. BFP personnel also participated in various clean and green activities of other government agencies and some non-government organizations.

With the Fire Prevention Month observance this March, the local BFP office reiterated the following fire prevention tips to reduce the risk of disastrous fire: have your electrical wirings check by competent electricians to ensure its safety and in good condition, keep matches/lighters and other flammable materials out of the reach of children, never leave what you are cooking unattended, make sure your LPG hose has no leak, put off cigarette butt properly before throwing, business establishment should have fire fighting equipments and get contact numbers of the local fire stations for easier communication in cases of emergency.

The theme of this year’s Fire Prevention Month is, “Makiisa, Makialam, at Maipagtulugan Upang Sunog ay Maiwasan.” (JDP/AD- PIA CAR, Mt. Province)

Teens drown in Sagada river

by Robert L. Pangod


SAGADA, Mountain Province - Two high school students drowned in Pongas River last February 26.

The Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office identified the victims as Zeny Taltala, 14, and Daisy Panpanico, 15, both students of Data National High School and residents of Data, Sabangan, Mountain Province.

Gareth Likigan, who led the Quick Response Team of the Sagada Genuine Guides Association (Saggas) to the site, said the incident happened at 1:30 p.m. The bodies of the two victims were retrieved from the river at about 2:30 p.m.

Based on the report they gathered, Likigan said the victims were among a group of six students, who went to the river for a picnic. After eating lunch, the victims together with fellow student Noemi Bangsoy decided to look for a place downstream where they could practice how to swim.

“Unknowingly, Taltala miscalculated the depth when she plunged into the water. Not knowing how to swim, she became disoriented and sank underwater. Panpanico, who had been standing on the bank, grabbed her hand but she was pulled into the river,” Likigan added.

Bangsoy recounted upon seeing her companions drowning, she ran to get a stick for them to hang on but they were already below the surface when she returned.

Andrea Taltala, a relative of one of the victims, said rescuers who rushed to the scene dragged the floating body of Panpanico while a volunteer diver pulled out Taltala’s body underneath the river.

Taltala said a member of Saggas who happened to be nearby tried to revive the victims in vain.

The remains of the victims were brought down to the Corpus Christi Episcopal Church in Suyo and were later turned over to their relatives.

The Narrative Art Of Jef Cablog

by DUFFIE HUFANA OSENTAL


MANILA, Philippines — At his museum, the eminent National Artist BenCab was surprised to learn of artist Jef Cablog’s upcoming one-man show. “Sikat na siya dito (he’s already well-known here)!” he exclaims as we have lunch with Cablog at the BenCab Museum’s Sabel Café in Baguio City.

The question now is why it took so long for Cablog to have his first one-man show? “I’ve worked with many cooperative groups before,” he says, pointing to his involvement with the Tam-awan Art Village in Baguio City. “But I’ve realized that I need to grow as an artist.” The wonderful thing about Cablog, whose self-effacing humility is disarming, is that we realize that no matter where he goes and what he sets out to accomplish, he is still a Cordillera artist. In this manner, Jef Cablog is the quintessential Filipino painter.

One look at Cablog’s striking and fascinating oeuvre and it’ll surprise the art lover to learn that it has taken nearly 10 years since he started painting for the native from Barlig, Mountain Province to have his first one-man show. His alluring portraitures, bold in their choice of subjects, are complex narratives taken from the rich cultural heritage of the Cordilleras region. Cablog’s use of familiar motifs and archetypes (mother and child, the traveling warrior, etc) within the context of his Cordillera heritage is, in part, connected to the larger Cordillera art movement which has Baguio City as its base. This regional visual arts movement has seen the rise of many of the country’s top visual artists, including the aforementioned BenCab, and Kawayan de Guia. What sets Cablog apart, however, is his remarkable aesthetic technique.

Cablog, whose two-bedroom apartment/studio near the Baguio City airport sports impressive views of the city, may be regional in outlook but his influences are thoroughly cosmopolitan. “I look at the works of other artists and of those artists, I have to say, it’s Gustav Klimt and Vicente Manansala that inspire me the most.” Cablog’s alignment to two heavyweights in visual arts (Klimt, the Austrian artist known for his involvement with the Vienna Secessionists, and Manansala, the National Artist who pioneered a form of cubism using transparent layers) leads him to experiment with light, layers, reflections, and refractions. The resulting effect is a haunting image, seemingly frozen in time by many different light and layers. What is more interesting is that Cablog eschews the usage of paintbrushes in favor of palette knives. “I can get more textures by using a palette,” shares Cablog. “I hardly ever use a brush anymore.”

It is also rare for an artist to admit that a narrative sensibility streaks his works. Much of contemporary art is tainted with a cynical sense of isolation. But Cablog not only revels in the narrative qualities of his works; it has become a defining characteristic—so much so that images from his memories imbue his works with an almost-spiritual essence. “I usually use models for my portraits,” Cablog says. “But the elderly warrior with the shield, that’s my father. He started me on the path of stories, so I thought it was appropriate that he be a part of my works. My father would tell me stories about how the old folk [of Barlig] would gather around at nights and tell stories. That doesn’t happen anymore, but I want people to see how we used to live.”

The Cordilleras region is a defining part of Cablog’s oeuvre. The heart of a Cablog work is its connections back to this culture through the prism of his technique. “I am proud to be known as a Cordillera artist,” he declares. And many aspects of his works demonstrate these linkages—the most obvious being costume. “The Cordilleras is known for textile and weaving,” says Cablog. “It’s something that I try to bring out in my paintings.”

Because of this combination of narrative fidelity and regional influence, one can clearly see an emotional resonance in Cablog’s work. It is not of angst-ridden sentimentality, however; there is a pervading sense of the spiritual distinctiveness of nature. This is not surprising, given that Cablog keenly places his practice within the context of the culture and traditions of the Cordilleras, whose people revere nature. Thus, it is in Cablog’s attempt to induce a dream-like state of visual imagination attuned to one’s natural surroundings where his works hit their stride. The subjects that are referenced, therefore, take on the Jungian ideal of archetypes—stemming from the world of Cordillera mythologies and legends. In this way, Cablog seeks to link generational gaps between the indigenous, pre-Hispanic cultures of the Cordilleras with the modern concerns of a rapidly developing region.

The subjects are both familiar (due to their archetypical nature) and exotic. Cablog’s subjects range from portraits of indigenous girls in native Cordillera dress, to modern musicians, to Baguio urban scenes. Possessing the visual look of light filtered through crumpled paper, the already delicate and sensitive subjects Cablog presents are made even more fragile through his technique. The result is an artist wonderfully sensitive, yet skilled as to represent a bridge between what is traditional and what is modern.

Cablog then becomes a channel between the material and the spiritual. There is a very meditative aspect to his works, falsifying the perceived narrative form. Cablog makes a very strong case for visual arts as a non-linear, non-literal form as he explores the crevices and nuances of the heterotopic space between the past and the present. Whilst oral literature is a fleeting proposition, Cablog imbibes the essences of these tales and presents them on canvas. He shows that there can be a narrative without a story.

It isn’t surprising then that Cablog, who took classes at the University of the Philippines-Baguio, is becoming one of the more prolific members of the Baguio art community. The interactions of this community, and their inevitable collaborations, have made the Northern Luzon region one of the most active art communities in the country. It is apt, then, that Cablog benefits not only from increased attention from scholars, researchers, critics and art patrons – which he has – but also that his works are reaching a milieu that includes inspiration from other famous trans-media Baguio-based artists like National Artist BenCab, Kidlat Tahimik and Kawayan de Guia. These interactions continuously push the discourse forward—with Jef Cablog at the forefront. Taking his place among these prominent art practitioners, Cablog is definitely an artist to watch out for.

Jef Cablog’s First One-Man Show, “Birthmarked”, will open at the SM Megamall Art Center on March 7, 2012 at 6:00pm. Inquiries may be made through Galerie Francesca at (632) 659-2667 or (632) 570-9495.

8 Mt. Province scholars study at UP School of Health Sciences

by (JDP/JBS-PIA CAR,Mt. Province)


BONTOC, Mt. Province, Mar. 2 (PIA) -- Eight students from this province who are beneficiaries of the Educational Assistance Program of the provincial government are studying as scholars at the University of the Philippines School of Health Sciences for school year 2011-2012.


Executive Assistant Cynthia Taguiba, in-charge of the scholarship program of the provincial government here, said of the eight students, three are enrolled in Community Health Worker (CHW), or Midwifery at the University of the Philippines School of Health Sciences (UPSHS) in Baler, Aurora; while the other five are taking up Medicine at the UPSHS in Palo, Leyte.


Taguiba said the School of Health Sciences offers an innovative “step-ladder” curriculum where each student starts at a single point and exits at various levels with varying competencies, first as Community Health Worker (CHW) or Midwife then a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (BSN) degree holder , and eventually as Doctor of Medicine (MD).


The dire need of the community for a health professional remains the top priority in selecting students for admission into the school, which aims to train midwives, nurses and doctors who stay and serve in depressed and underserved areas of the country rather than go abroad.


The School of Health Sciences which was established in 1976 is seen as the solution to the lack and the inequitable distribution of health professionals serving rural communities in the Philippines. It is unique among the colleges and schools of the University of the Philippines since the School of Health Sciences admits students who are nominated by their respective barangay, and students are not also required to take the highly competitive UP College Admission Test (UPCAT).


To qualify in this program, he/she must be a high school graduate who is nominated by the community through a barangay resolution supported by signatures of 75 percent of household heads; preferably 16-25 years old upon admission; must be physically and mentally fit; may not have more than one year of college experience; if out of school youth, preferably for not more than 3 years; parents and scholars must be permanent residents of the community sending the scholar; must come from depressed community in dire need of workers distant from health facilities; family income should be P80,000.00 or lower.


The scholar must be committed to stay and serve in underserved areas of their municipality/province/region; and willing to sign a return service agreement of two years of service for every year of training.


Special privileges of students in the School of Health Sciences include being “Iskolar ng Bayan,” they do not take the UP College Admission Test which is very competitive; free tuition and matriculation fee; use of library facilities; other scholarship benefits such as monthly living subsidy and lodging allowance, transportation allowance while on training, book allowance per quarter, uniforms, medical equipment, student council contribution, support during service leave and board examination which is the responsibility of the sponsoring local government unit/barangay/non-government organization.


Upon completion of their courses, the local government units are expected to employ these scholars.

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