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Angeles City - Archived News

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Angeles City
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How to get the best out of the Malunggay
Moringa (Malungay) leaves compared to common foods
Values per 100gm. edible portion
Nutrient Moringa Leaves Other Foods
Vitamin A 6780 mcg Carrots: 1890 mcg
Vitamin C 220 mg Oranges: 30 mg
Calcium 440 mg Cow's milk: 120 mg
Potassium 259 mg Bananas: 88 mg
Protein 6.7 gm Cow's milk: 3.2 gm

Contents

CDC supports 10th TCS Clark Animo International Marathon

(PR)

CLARK Development Corporation (CDC) recently expressed its support to the staging of the 10th TCS Clark Animo International Marathon which will be held in Clark Freeport on March 10 of this year.

CDC together with Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), Angeles City Government, Medical City and Lasik Center – AUF conveyed their support of the said event which is organized by the De La Salle Alumni Association- Pampanga Chapter (DLSAA-Pampanga).

CDC president and CEO Noel Manankil lauded the event during a press conference held at the Clark Global City.

In a statement, DLSAA – Pampanga president Melvin Panlilio said that this year’s event will offer a more exciting experience for participants as the courses for the marathon have been given international certification.

“We’re likewise proud to announce that for 2019, our courses have been given international certification by the International Association of Athletic Federations and the Association of International Marathons and Distance Races (IAAF-AIMS),” Panlilio said.

Meanwhile, some 10,000 runners are expected to participate in the event which will feature various distances like 42.2 km marathon, half marathon, as well as 10 km, 5 km, and 2.5 km courses. Cash prizes will also be awarded to first, second and third placers of the various categories while a special award will be given to participants with the best costume.

Apart from their mission of successfully holding the marathon, the DLSAA- Pampanga also aims to give back to the community. The proceeds of the run will be used to fund their organization’s environmental and community projects like tree planting, maintenance of Angeles City Watershed, support for the La Salle Botanical Gardens in Alviera, Porac as well as the Yellow Boat Foundation for the marginal school children of coastal Pampanga.

The said event is also supported by Tata Consultancy, one of the biggest consultancy company in this Freeport. DLSAA- Pampanga encourages prospective participants to register at www.tcsclarkanimo.com.

Quarrying destroys dike sections in Angeles City

By Tonette Orejas (/lzb, Inquirer Central Luzon)

ANGELES CITY – Three sections of the slope protection of a dike controlling the flow of Mt. Pinatubo’s lahar on Abacan River here have slid down on Wednesday morning.

A resident in Barangay (village) Ninoy Aquino where the dike is situated described the damaged portions as having “fallen down like a curtain.”

Arnold Ocampo, assistant district engineer of the Department of Public Works and Highways’ Pampanga Third District Engineering Office, said the damage was caused by quarrying on the Mexico town side of Abacan, making the river bed fall by three meters.

The damaged sections spanned 50 meters, 60 meters, and 80 meters, all on the side of Barangay Ninoy Aquino, Ocampo said.

No families were directly in harm’s way, he said.

Ocampo noted that the DPWH began doing remedial measures on Wednesday. A bulldozer machine was also sent to temporarily rechannel the water away from the damaged portions.

Because the structure was completed and accepted in 2016, he said the DPWH would need to reinforce it at a cost of about P20 million.

Rivers in Pampanga are quarried for sand needed by the construction sector.

The local governments are checking if operators have permits to quarry on Abacan River.

Mayoralty bet eyes tourism for employment, economy

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

CITING an international travel and tourism report that for every 30 new tourists, one new job is created, Angeles City mayoralty bet and Alexander Cauguiran vowed to push the city’s tourism industry to be “one of the key drivers for employment and business opportunities for its residents.”

“According to the World Economic Forum (WEF) travel and tourism report,” the Kambilan official candidate said, “thirty new tourists create one job at the point of destination. This means that if 600,000 new tourists come to Angeles City in one year, we will be able to create 20,000 jobs. With the upgrading of the Clark International Airport (CRK) to service eight million passengers per year, we need to create attractive tourist packages and build better ground infrastructure to increase our share of domestic and foreign tourist arrivals.”

Cauguiran, who was president and chief executive officer of the Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC) before he filed his certificate of candidacy, issued the statement following the commitment of North Luzon Airport Consortium (NLAC) to invest P6 billion for the modernization of Clark International Airport (CRK) and double its terminal capacity to eight million passengers per year.

Describing its vision for the CRK, Josephine Gotianun-Yap, president and chief executive officer of the Filinvest Development Corporation (FDC), one of the firms that comprise the NLAC, said that transforming “the CRK into a world-class airport will help boost the region’s tourism industry and related businesses.”

“It is NLAC’s vision to redefine the air travel experience at Clark International Airport. The airport will be the Northern and Central Luzon’s gateway, connecting the region to the rest of the Philippines and the world,” Gotianun-Yap said.

“The more tourists,” Cauguiran said, “the more jobs, the more tourism-based enterprises we create. This is precisely the reason why regions, provinces, cities, and municipalities are aggressively competing to attract more tourists to their destinations. Metro Manila and Cebu have become the country’s top tourist destinations primarily because of their airports. But with a bigger and more modern international airport we can now be at par with other top destinations.”

“Aside from generating employment,” Cauguiran said, “the tourism value chain benefits a wide range of local businesses including hotels, restaurants, resorts, transport, travel agencies, health and wellness, souvenirs and handicrafts, food production, other tourism-related enterprises. Tourism is like an export without the goods and services leaving their location. It is a veritable goldmine that we must aggressively but sustainably as well as responsibly exploit.”

“Employment opportunities,” he explained, “will not be solely confined to graduates of tourism courses, as businesses will need drivers, tourist guides and translators, IT technicians, accountants, bookkeepers, cashiers, clerks, janitors and utility men, and other forms of jobs.”

“Our challenge,” he said, “is to be more competitive with other destinations. The best way to do this is to adopt a well-studied framework for travel and tourism competitiveness which the WEF has provided.”

“In the last meeting of the Hotel and Restaurant Association of Pampanga (HARP),” Cauguiran said, “I have briefly discussed the specific concerns that the city government must address in the context of the WEF travel and tourism competitiveness model. The four pillars of that model include: Enabling Environment, Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions, Infrastructure, and Natural and Cultural Resources.”

“In our party’s platform of government, “he explained, “our initiatives for Enabling Environment include, the ‘ease of doing business;’ development of IT mobile access to information on services, programs, and activities of the city government; grant of fiscal and non-fiscal incentives for construction of new hotels and tourism establishments adopting green architecture; ensuring industry workers’ access to quality hospitalization services at the Ospital ng Angeles (ONA); maintenance of peace and order and solutions to vehicular traffic problems; and improvement of sanitation and hygiene throughout the city.”

“Initiatives under Travel and Tourism Policy and Enabling Conditions,” he continued, “shall include a 5-year tourism development plan in coordination with the private sector and tourism-related organizations, and the Department of Tourism and its attached agencies; implementation of a branding strategy for Angeles City in coordination with the Tourism Promotions Board (TPB); and yearly strategic planning to be participated in by the city’s tourism industry stakeholders.”

“In support of the private sector’s improvement of their hotels and ground infrastructure, the city government shall initiate the construction of “last mile” roads connecting the national highways with existing or potential tourist destinations areas in the city in coordination with the Tourism Infrastructure and Enterprise Zone Authority (TIEZA); and the installation of more streetlights in areas frequented by tourists,” he said.

As one of the founders of Tigtikan-Terakan Keng Dalan (TTKD) which has now gained widespread popularity, Cauguiran vowed to make the event as one of the yearly attractions for domestic and foreign tourists. “We want it bigger, better, and more tourist-friendly,” he said.

Cauguiran also proposed the establishment of a world-class cuisine institute to be funded by the city government, to make Angeles City internationally known for its food and delicacies. “We shall promote our culture, as a showcase of our identity and as a source of pride of Angelenos,” he said.

“We shall coordinate with the National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA) and the National Historical Institute of the Philippines (NHIP) to help identify, preserve and protect more historical, religious, heritage, and cultural sites in Angeles City,” Cauguiran said.

Angeleños fete Ms. Tourism World Intercontinental 2019

By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario

ANGELES CITY -- Miss Tourism World Intercontinental 2019 Francesca Taruc was warmly welcomed by Angeleños as she returned home on Monday, a week after winning the beauty title.

Taruc, who paid a courtesy call on Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno, was greeted and congratulated by city government officials, employees, friends, and fans who supported her throughout her 23-day pageant journey in Nanjing, China.

A certificate of distinction was awarded by the city government to Taruc “for giving pride to the city and its people.”

The recognition was also bestowed to her as “a manifestation of the local government’s appreciation of her achievements that placed Angeleña beauty, confidence and wit to the international pageant arena”.

In an interview with the 20-year-old lass, she said that joining beauty pageants has been her holy grail since she was young.

As she pursues her dreams of becoming a beauty queen, Taruc has earned local and national titles such as the Mutya ning Angeles-Youth Ambassador in 2017 and Miss Freedom of the World-Philippines in 2018.

“Honestly, it still hasn’t sunk in yet. I still remember attending the flag ceremony here to ask for your support and now, you are all congratulating me,” she said.

Talking about her plans after winning the first international crown for the Philippines for 2019, Taruc said she will soon return to China to fulfill her duties as an international ambassadress.

Taruc said that she also plans to pursue a career in show business and join Binibining Pilipinas, with the hopes of bringing home another international crown for the country.

“I will also be active in charities and other meaningful causes,” she said.

Pamintuan, for his part, said that “Angeles City is indeed privileged to have a beauty queen whose backstory is more than the usual plot of failure and conquest. You are destined to triumph and give pride to the city just like the legacy of your ancestors.”

Francesca, or Fran as she is fondly called by her family and friends, was born in San Luis town and was raised in this city.

She holds a degree in Communication Arts from Holy Angel University.

Angeles clan grows with city

By Tonette Orejas (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

ANGELES CITY — Without fail for the past 25 years, one of the city’s oldest clans has been holding reunions that nurture the value of family heritage.

On Jan. 13, about 600 members of the Valdes clan will assemble at Ely’s Orchard in Barangay Mining, where the gatherings began in 1995, according to Eloisa Rivera-Narciso, granddaughter of Agripina J. Valdes and Orchard owner.

Their forebears, Francisca Valdes and Cenon de Jesus, lived in Bacolor town and migrated elsewhere in Pampanga. Cenon’s namesake was a revolutionary during the Spanish colonial period, while the children used their mother’s family name.

Three of the children — Agripina, Maria and Emiliano — settled in Angeles, then named Kuliat town, to raise their families. Their sister Agueda migrated to Zamboanga while brother Pedro moved to Malabon.

Married names

After the 1896 Revolution, half of them again used De Jesus as their surname.

“The surname Valdes may not be often heard now in Angeles as the female Valdeses have assumed their married names,” Narciso said in a narrative.

Villages in Santa Maria, where the Tinio family settled, are named after their mother, Maria Valdes de Jesus Tinio, she said.

“Agripina J. Valdes is the grandmother of the Riveras, Jimenezes, Tiamzons, Garcias [and] Dizons,” Narciso said.

Before World War II broke out, Emiliano J. Valdes became mayor of Angeles. He donated 5 hectares with a two-story building to serve as hospital for people with tuberculosis.

The main street of Marisol Village at Barangay Ninoy Aquino leading to TB Pavilion was named after Emiliano, who was said to have started the cane industry in the Philippines in 1910, and produced and exported cane furniture.

Family lines

Two prewar mansions in Angeles belonged to the Valdeses.

Dr. Gregorio Valdes served as councilor and health officer for two decades. Tramo, the road near the railway, was named after him.

They are related to Supreme Court Justice Camilo D. Quiazon, former Education Secretary Armand Fabella whose family started Jose Rizal University and who donated land for hospitals in Manila, Ambassador Carlos J. Valdes, and businesswoman Florencia Coronel who forged the Cinderella shopping brand.

They are also relatives of Fr. Rodolfo Rody Valdes, SJ; Sister Maria Cecilia Valdes; culinary arts celebrity Africa Valdes-Reynoso, matriarch of the Valdes-Reynoso families of culinary fame; and furniture manufacturer Remedios Panlilio.

A forerunner of the country’s department stores was Valleson (Valdes Lilles de Leon), which operated after World War II.

The Jan. 13 reunion gathers the families of Sisenando, Pedro, Emiliano, Agripina, Maria and Agueda, who belong to the Valdes family line of Francisca; Galicano, Paula and Apolonia from the first generation’s Ignacio; Felisa, Leonardo, Florencia and Laurentina from Leodegaria; and Felicisima, Jose, Pedro, Rosario and Florentina from Roman.

Anna, a first generation Valdes, died at infancy.

After the Reynosos, Tinios, Quiazons, Coronels, Lilleses and Narcisos organized the first reunion, Fabella made the genealogy book and directory of the Valdeses.

“Family has always been very important to the early Valdeses. In gatherings, they would always talk of their ancestry and pride themselves with their achievements. To this day, the current generation looks up to their forebears and emulates their goodness, brilliance, stature and dignity,” Narciso said.

Clark Corp, firm ink MOA to develop facility for eco-friendly materials

(PR)

CLARK Development Corporation (CDC) recently inked a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with Green Antz Builders, Inc. (Green Antz) to develop an Innovation, Research and Development Facility and Training Center that will be instrumental for generating eco– friendly construction materials.

CDC President-CEO Noel Manankil and Green Antz President-CEO Rommel Benig signed the MOA which will help usher collaborative efforts in exploring ways and means in promoting the conservation of the environment by developing eco-friendly supplies including eco-bricks and porous pavers.

Green Antz, a provider of environment–friendly products and solutions for the construction industry will collaborate with CDC for the construction and development of the said facility which is envisioned to be a platform in revolutionizing environment-friendly products.

The partnership between the state-owned firm and Green Antz will also reinforce their mission to formulate programs that will encourage participation from all stakeholders in the Clark Freeport to disseminate proper ecological practices to business enterprises in pursuit of a clean and safe environment.

Manankil said the project is part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) program of the state-owned firm that is geared towards the promotion of environmental consciousness.

“The project is more aligned to a CSR concept. And the next step after the completion of the construction of facility will be identifying and awarding to the beneficiaries the training and empower them to have successful stories so that the support of the management would always be there,” he said.

Accordingly, Benig said that their partnership with CDC will create a platform in realizing their mission to raise awareness of environmental preservation not only in this Freeport but also for other areas across the country.

“To really clean up the Philippines, one community at a time and one break at a time,” Benig said.

Another Filipina wins in international beauty pageant

(CNN Philippines Staff)

Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, January 9) — The Philippines welcomed 2019 with a win in an international beauty pageant.

Philippine bet Francesca Taruc was crowned Miss Tourism World Intercontinental 2019 in Nanjing, China on Tuesday.

Her win comes less than a month after the country's pride Catriona Gray bagged its fourth Miss Universe crown.

Tatarsan was the first runner-up, while Ukraine bagged the second runner-up title.

During the preliminary competition, Taruc, who is based in Angeles, Pampanga, shared that she was awarded "Best Body."

Her homecoming will be on Thursday.

CDC welcomes 500 Chinese tourists

By Reynaldo G. Navales

THE Clark Development Corporation (CDC) recently welcomed some 525 Chinese tourists who arrived on board luxury cruise ship MV World Dream, which docked at the Alava Wharf in the Port of Subic Bay.

Passengers of the said cruise ship were then transported in 15 buses to visit various destinations such as the Nayong Pilipino and Clark Museum.

Clark Freeport and Subic are increasingly becoming popular destinations for cruise ships. Several cruise ships now call on the Port of Subic Bay.

The CDC said that together with Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), they have been undertaking capacity-building initiatives to address the influx of Chinese tourists and investments.

Recognizing China as one of its major markets for tourism and business-related pursuits, it can be recalled that CDC entered in a memorandum of understanding to give better services by fully understanding language and culture.

This was signed along with SBMA and University of the Philippines Diliman Confucius Institute to train their officers and front line services staff on learning Mandarin language.

The conduct of the said training is seen to give better services to foreign tourists to usher in better communication by understanding their culture.

More Angeles villages receive brand new garbage trucks

(SunStar Pampanga)

ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno led the turnover of 14 dump trucks to the third batch of recipient-barangays during the flag raising rites at the City Hall on Monday, January 7.

The ceremony marks the completion of the City Government’s distribution of garbage trucks.

“We have successfully turned-over all the garbage trucks to our 33 barangays. Our goal here is to assist and equip our villages with equipment necessary for their solid waste management campaign,” said Pamintuan.

The brand new Hino garbage trucks were formally received by all the village chiefs and councilmen of each respective barangays.

Vice Mayor Nepomuceno reminded the village officials to take good care of the vehicles as these will be of great help to bolster the city’s waste disposal campaign.

“We were never picky on which barangay shall receive these garbage trucks for we believe that the problem of one barangay is the problem of the city as a whole. We are all in this together since cooperation in any government undertaking is indispensable,” the vice mayor said.

The mayor pitched a hint on the groundbreaking of the first Waste2Worth facility in the Philippines this year which will be built in the city.

It is remembered that in 2017, Pamintuan inked a Joint Venture Agreement with Procter & Gamble for the establishment of the facility which is seen to help the city intensify its ecological solid waste management and cut government’s spending on waste disposal.

“What we can do now, we can do better; what we can do five years from now, we are doing it here. I would like to express my gratitude to our villages who have been painstakingly performing their mandates as front-liners of government service,” the five-term mayor said.

“We will continue the legacy of good change. I may not be here as your mayor but rest assured that the interest of the city government for development for its people will be forever etched,” Pamintuan said.

Joining Pamintuan and Nepomuceno in the turnover ceremony are Hino Motors Philippines – Pampanga Chief Operating Officer Marco Hizon, Development Bank of the Philippines Senior Manager Regin Soliman, and Account Officer Aileen Candelaria.

Also present during the rite are incumbent Councilors Edgardo Pamintuan Jr., Danilo Lacson, Jericho Aguas and wife JC Parker-Aguas, Alexander Indiongco and wife CLAC President Thelma Indiongco, former City Communications Officer Jay Pelayo IV, Tabun Barangay Captain Alma Mercado, Mining Barangay Captain Chris Cortez, and Raco Del Rosario.

Angeles City, firm tie up for environment program

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

ANGELES CITY -- The City Government has tied up with a septic tank disposal firm to remove used oil from drainage systems which partly causes flooding in the city.

Councilor Jesus "Jay" Sangil said the cooperation of the local government unit (LGU) with Soliman E.C. Septic Tank Disposal was made following the amendment of Section 87 or the Disposal of Septage, Grease, Used Oil and Used Cooking Oil of the City Ordinance Number 431 Series of 2017 otherwise known as the Angeles City Environment Code.

Sangil and Councilor Edu Pamintuan sponsored an ordinance amending Chapter 7 and 13 of the said ordinance to implement the project.

The pilot project was conducted in Barangay Santo Domingo Saturday, January 5, according to Sangil.

"Of course, we will do the same thing in other barangays. This is the first time in Angeles City, hauling of collected used oil held on January 5, at the Barangay Hall of Santo Domingo," Sangil said.

The councilor described the project as partnership of the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (Cenro) and the Soliman EC.

Sangil thanked Association of Barangay Councils president Jerry Alejandrino and the Santo Domingo barangay officials led by village chief Oliver Chaneco for supporting the project.

"Sa konting malasakit, we are saving our communities and our city from massive flooding and environmental disaster," Sangil said.

He said the effort is also in line with Soliman EC's project dubbed "Iwas Baha, Iwas Sakit, Konting Malasakit.”

Aqua Planet in Clark reopens

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT— Aqua Planet has announced its reopening on January 15 after being closed for maintenance and other safety concerns for three months.

The reopening was announced with new ticket prices at P1,180 for adults and P980 for kids below four feet every weekend (Saturdays- Sundays) or weekday rates at P950 for adults and P750 for kids.

Senior citizens can avail of their 20 percent discounts as well as persons with disabilities (PWDs) while infants are free of charge.

However, online booking is yet to be announced.

Aqua Planet, which is now headed by acting general manager Simon Jiang, has passed the third-party certification which means it is now at par with international standards in terms of safety.

BB International is the developer of the 10-hectare water theme park located at the northwest section of this freeport. Aqua Planet is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.

DepEd to conduct training on innovative teaching

By PRINCESS CLEA ARCELLAZ

THE Department of Education (DepEd)-Central Luzon is setting the path of public school teachers into practicing a more developed and competitive teaching method.

Starting January, a total of 100 selected educators in Central Luzon will undergo a flexible learning course which aims to develop and enhance their facilitating skills as Southeast Asian teachers.

The chosen teachers will be enrolled in the online training course entitled “Gearing up Responsible and Outstanding Teachers in Southeast Asia for the 21st Century (GURO21)” and will run from the third week of January until the last week of March.

The 54-hour self-pace training course seeks to build the competencies of teachers for them to effectively play their role as learning leaders of the 21st century in a knowledge-based economy.

“The Department of Education Regional Office III initiated this effort in partnership with the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization or SEAMEO Innotech and allotted the registration fees for the 100 teacher recipients coming from the twenty schools division offices in the region,” DepEd-Central Luzon director Beatriz Torno said.

The GURO21, developed based on the Southeast Asian Region-validated Competency Framework for Southeast Asian Teachers of the 21st Century, is a menu of flexible learning courses that aims to address the teachers’ needs in relation to the technological advances and changing educational trends of the 21st century.

It is also expected to enhance the teachers’ knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values (KSAVs) on teaching and learning in the new century that they can pass on to their students to help them face challenges.

The learning process involves use of self-instructional modules, synchronous and asynchronous discussion sessions, provisions for learning support, and face-to-face or online revalida.

Successful course completers will receive an international course certificate from SEAMEO Innotech and at least six units of advance academic credit from SEAMEO Innotech partner universities.

SM, CGC mulling hot air balloon fiesta in Clark

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT – Plans are afoot that SM Supermalls owned by SM Prime Holdings, Inc. and Clark Global City (CGC) owned the Udenna Group of Davao businessman Dennis Uy are planning to hold the hot air balloon fiesta here in March.

This developed after the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) led by Capt. Joy Roa recently cancelled the annual event for what it said was “lack of government support.” According to Serafin Tolentino, one of the organizers of the Lubao International Balloon Festival (LIBF) who is privy to the negotiations, the two private corporations in partnership with the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) and its subsidiary the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) are in the thick of plans on how to conduct the hot air balloon fiesta here with limited flight capabilities.

This means that only tethered hot air balloons will fly. The event is planned in the first week of March at the back of SM City Clark at the sprawling area of the 177-hectare CGC which is now being advertised as the next center of economic growth in the country.

Tolentino said the activities at the Clark airport cannot be compromised with a Notice To Airmen (Notam) to allow the hot air balloons to fl y with the wind, thus the tethered flights.

However, Tolentino said the Lubao International Hot Air Balloon Festival is set on April 5,6 and 7 at the Pradera Verde in Barangay Prado Siongco in Lubao where balloonists from all over the world are set to participate.

Meanwhile, the PIHABF, held annually every February in this freeport for more than two decades, has been cancelled for this year, according to its announcement.

The organizers of the event said the holding of the annual spectacle did not push through for this year due to lack of government support.

“We regret to inform you that because PIHABF has not received the commitment from our government partners on time, we will not be able to organize the annual The Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (and The Weekend of Everything that Flies!) in Clark this coming February 2019,” a statement from PIHABF said.

“Thanks to everyone’s abiding enthusiasm, the Philippine International Hot Air Balloon Fiesta (PIHABF) hosted 22 years of ‘A Weekend of Everything that Flies’ in Clark, Pampanga,” it added.

However, the PIHABF also said it may organize air shows outside this freeport for this year. “We will announce plans and developments on our website, www.philballoonfest.net, and social media channels and we welcome your continued enthusiastic participation,” the PIHABF said.

The PIHABF said the event is the longest-running sports aviation event in Asia, gathering aviators and spectators from around the world for four days of non-stop flying action.

“From hot air balloons to aerobatic exhibitions, formation flying to radio-controlled aircraft, paragliding, skydiving, and dozens of on-ground activities, visitors are always guaranteed to have an unforgettable weekend,” the PIHABF said.

It can be recalled that hot air ballooning started in Clark in 1994 to drum up attention and support to this former US air base which was devastated by the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo three years earlier.

The Department of Tourism formed a committee through its Secretary Mina Gabor with regional director Ronnie Tiotuico as executive director who then organized the first hot air balloon fiesta with original members Noel Castro, Bernie Bituin, Joel Santos, Lerma Quiambao, Sol Medina, Raidis Plateros and Tolentino.

Joining the organizing committee were Korean businessman and hot air balloon pilots Sung Kee Paik, British Airways general manager John Emery and German aviation enthusiasts Max Motschmann. In 1996, the event was transferred by the DOT to Air Ads, Inc. led by Roa.

SM Clark gives ChriSMiles treat to kids

(PR)

FOR the past years, SM’s ChriSMiles has brought a genuinely sweet smiles to underprivileged kids, it’s an annual “Share Your Blessings” activity of SM employees that helps extend the joy of Christmas and touch the lives of those in need.

“I know waking up very early in the morning is not in your system, but for the sake of giving joy to these kids, you came,” SM Olongapo mall manager Mark Herrera said in his speech.

“ChriSMiles is just one of the programs of SM Cares, a simple way of giving back to the community,” he added.

This year, the mall has chosen Barangay Gordon Heights as beneficiary. Kids were welcomed in the mall where they received gift packs and enjoyed the parlor games and dance number prepared for them by volunteer employees. These kids also showed their talents in dancing and singing in return.

“Sa ngalan po ng Barangay Gordon Heights kami po’y nagpapasalamat sa SM dahil ang mga bata ng barangay ang inyong napili para sa activity na ito (In behalf of Barangay Gordon Heights, we thanked SM for choosing our kids in the barangay of this activity),” said Nancy Bolo, purok leader.

SM City Clark

SM City Clark volunteers shared their time, resources and walked at least one kilometer for the ChriSMiles project to bring holiday cheer to the kids of Sitio Haduan in Mabalacat.

About 50 Aeta children ages five to 12 years old enjoyed a day of fun.

To make the activity more meaningful for the beneficiaries, the employees distributed meals, gifts wrapped by the employees themselves and shared the Bears of Joy.

“ChriSMiles”, is a nationwide employees’ volunteerism activity of SM Supermalls that aims to bring smiles to chosen beneficiaries. The program also encourages all SM employees to be more appreciative of their blessings by sharing these with the underprivileged sectors of society.

More than 3,000 employees of SM Supermalls brought cheers through various charitable activities throughout the Christmas season.

Village chairman calls for Angeles leadership change

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

MALABANIAS Chairman Reynaldo "Jumong" Gueco urged his fellow barangay officials and constituents to support the call for a change in leadership in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The city is shared by some 14 barangay chairmen.

Gueco said that members of the village chiefs' group called Jungle 14 reunited after the demise of City Mayor Carmelo "Tarzan" Lazatin and discussed their advocacy.

The group agreed to support the mayoralty bid of Lazatin's son, Councilor Carmelo "Pogi" Lazatin, who is running under the Partido Federal ng Pilipinas, Gueco said.

Members of the Jungle 14 recognize the need to pay back for the legacy of Congressman Tarzan Lazatin, according to Gueco.

“Congressman Tarzan Lazatin in his over 30 years of public service was not involved in issues of corruption and irregularities. He was the father of resettlement centers for Mount Pinatubo victims. Many roads and bridges were built and many people benefited from services during his terms,” Gueco said.”

“It's payback time. If we really love Congressman Lazatin, we should support his sons, Councilor Pogi Lazatin and Congressman Carmelo

‘JonJon’ Lazatin II,” he added.

Christmas in Central Luzon safe, peaceful

By PRINCESS CLEA ARCELLAZ

CENTRAL Luzon police on Thursday, December 27, said Christmas celebration in the region was generally safe and peaceful.

“Central Luzon’s Christmas celebration is generally safe and peaceful with zero-crime incident reported particularly in the eve of Christmas (December 24) and on Christmas Day (December 25). There was no single reported case of indiscriminate firing and stray bullet incidents noted from the police and military as well as from the civilian sector,” said Chief Superintendent Joel Napoleon M. Coronel, Police Regional Office in Central Luzon (PRO-3) regional director, said.

He added that the situation was a result of PRO-3’s tight security measures and intensified police visibility.

“This can be attributed to the tight security measures and intensified police presence being conducted by the entire PRO-3 personnel in line with the strict implementation of “IMPLAN 29/2018” (Ligtas Paskuhan) through the continuous conduct of checkpoint operations, security inspections among bus terminals and other places of public convergence, stringent anti-criminality information drive as well as public support and cooperation,” he said.

Coronel once again called on the public for cooperation to keep Central Luzon safe and peaceful, especially this coming New Year’s Eve on December 31.

“Once again, I enjoin our communities to continuously cooperate and work with us so that we can all celebrate the coming festivity safely and joyously,” Coronel said.

Gov’t lauded for awarding Clark airport operation to Changi group

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

CLARK FREEPORT --- The Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc. (PamCham) lauded the government for awarding the operation and maintenance of the Clark International Airport to a Changi-led group.

This was gleaned in a statement sent to SunStar Pampanga over the weekend.

"The PamCham lauds the government for successfully bidding out the operations and maintenance contract (O&M) of the Clark International Airport in record time and yet carried out in a very transparent manner with its transaction adviser, the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank (IFC-WB), that aired all the activities live on its social media pages," the statement read.

The quality of service and passenger experience in the airport is expected to be maximized with the operation and maintenance expertise of the Changi consortium.

"The careful and rigorous selection process undertaken by the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), in partnership with the Department of Transportation (DOTr), that led to the awarding of the contract to the consortium led by Changi Airport Group, operator of the number one airport in the world, also composed of the Filinvest Development Corporation, JG Summit Holdings, Inc., and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions, Inc., assures the chamber that the best airport service and VIP passenger experience awaits local and foreign travelers in Clark," the PamCham added.

This North Luzon Airport Consortium brings together Changi’s expertise and experience, and Filinvest and JG Summit’s strengths in the local development market, the chamber stated.

PamCham officials and members also commended President Duterte for convertin Clark airport into one of the country's main gateway.

"We commend the Duterte Administration for heeding the appeal of the business community in Pampanga and Central Luzon, for the full development of the Clark International Airport as Asia’s next premier gateway. Once a dream, now finally becoming a reality through its massive infrastructure program - Build Build Build," the business chamber added.

Firm faces raps for failure to remit withholding tax

By IAN OCAMPO FLORA

THE Bureau of Internal Revenue (BIR) Revenue Region 4 filed charges against Great Fortune Agro Corp. for alleged 23 counts of “Willful Failure to Remit Taxes Withheld” on the compensation income of its employees and creditable income taxes withheld from 2015, 2016 and 2017.

The BIR also named as respondents the firm’s president Emerson Co and treasurer Edward Co.

The BIR, in a press conference, said that records show that Great Fortune Agro Corp., a registered taxpayer of RDO 21A – North Pampanga, filed 12 BIR Form No. 1601-E and eleven BIR Form No. 1601-C through electronic Filing and Payment System (eFPS), however, despite repeated notice, the subject corporation failed to remit to BIR RDO 21A – North Pampanga, the taxes it withheld.

BIR regional director Jethro Sabariaga said that such failure to remit is punishable, for each act or omission, by a fine of not less than ten thousand pesos and suffer imprisonment of not less than one year but not more than ten years and a penalty equal to the total amount of the tax not accounted for and remitted.

The corporation, upon conviction for each act or omission, shall be punished by a fine of not less than P50,000 but not more P100,000.

Bong Go to work on 4-year term for barangay leaders

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

SENATORIAL aspirant Christopher “Bong” Go has vowed to work on the extension of terms among barangay officials from three to four years.

Go issued the statement during a gathering of Aetas in Central Luzon in Clark Friday, December 21.

Dring the event attended by more than 3,000 Aetas from Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga and Tarlac, Go said he already talked to President Duterte about his plan to exetend the terms of barangay chairmen and councilmen.

Incumbent barangay leaders' terms was already reduced to only two years following the extension of terms of the previous village officials, according to Go.

“Nakausap ko po si Pangulong Duterte. Kung sakaling kaawaan po ako isusulong ko po yung pag-extend ng termino ninyong kapitan kasi kulang yung two years ninyo. Atsaka kinain ng previous term yung isang taon ninyo. Anong magagawa ninyo sa dalawang taon? Dapat minimum of four years ang inyong term (I talked to President Duterte. If they pity me, I will push for the term extension of barangay captains because two years is not enough. Besides, one term has already been taken previously. What can you do in two years? The term should be a minimum of four years),” he added.

In coordination with Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) Undersecretary Martin Dino, Go said he is pushing for the extension of the village chiefs' terms.

He also vowed to prioritize the Magna Carta for barangay chairmen.

“Nagusap na kami ni Usec Dino, ilalaban namin yung magna carta para sa mga barangay chairmen (Undersecretary Dino and I already discussed this and we will fight for the magna carta of barangay chairmen).”

If elected senator, Go said he will implement medical programs, anti-drugs, peace and order, agriculture, education and others.

Go told newsmen that there is a need to help the indigenous people all over the country. “Marami silang nabanggit na issues at problema so kailangan tulungan natin sila, mga Pilipino din naman ang mga yaan (They mentioned a lot of issues and problems so we need to help them. They are Filipinos anyway).”

Local officials present during the event initiated by the Alayansa Ng Katutubong Ayta n Pilipinas (AKAP) were Former President and Pampanga Second District Representative Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda, Vice-Governor Dennis Pineda, Angeles City Mayor Ed Pamintuan, Mabalacat City Vice-Mayor Christian Halili and others.

Various organizations in Central Luzon, including the Alpha Phi Omega, Guardians, and Masons, vowed support to Go's senatorial bid.

Changi-led consortium to take over Clark airport ops, maintenance

By JON VIKTOR D. CABUENAS (/NB, GMA News)

A consortium led by the Changi Airport Group — operator of Singapore's famed Changi Airport — is set to take over the operations and maintenance (O&M) of the Clark International Airport.

In an emailed statement on Thursday, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said the P5.61-billion contract for the O&M of the CIA was awarded the North Luzon Airport Consortium (NLAC) consortium on December 19.

NLAC counts as members Changi Airports Philippines Pte. Ltd., a fully-owned subsidiary of Changi Airports International Pte. Ltd; Filinvest Development Corp., JG Summit Holdings Inc., and Philippine Airport Ground Support Solutions Inc.

"The bid was awarded after the Special Bids and Awards Committee conducted a stringent and very transparent process with the International Finance Corporation of the World Bank (IFC-WB) as its transaction adviser, and the Public-Private Partnership Center (PPPC)," the BCDA said.

With a 25-year concession period, NLAC will take charge of the development and marketing of the Clark International Airport as a major gateway to Northern and Central Luzon.

The project involves the operations and maintenance of the existing and the proposed new passenger terminal buildings on the airport located in the Clark Special Economic and Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga.

The Changi Group was also earlier tapped by the NAIA Consortium to provide technical support in the bid to rehabilitate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA).

NLEX-SCTEX all set for Christmas rush

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

CLARK FREEPORT -- The NLEX Corporation, concessionaire of NLEX-SCTEX, is ready to implement its “Safe Trip Mo Sagot Ko” motorist assistance program for the anticipated 10 percent surge in traffic volume on Christmas and New Year holidays.

The SMSK is the motorist assistance program of the Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) to ensure hassle-free travel during holidays in NLEX-SCTEX.

With the peak travel season expected to start by the third week of December 2018, NLEX-SCTEX traffic personnel will render extended working hours beginning December 14 for intensified operations. They will be prepared to assist motorists and closely monitor traffic conditions at Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue, Bocaue, Luisita, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas as well as at the SCTEX Mabalacat ramps and NLEX-SCTEX fuel stations.

During the peak hours of December 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, the Balintawak Toll Plaza will open a maximum of 28 toll collection points while Mindanao Avenue and Tarlac toll plazas will have a maximum of 10 and 28 toll collection points, respectively, to better accommodate motorists going to the provinces in the north. The Bocaue Toll Plaza will open 44 toll collection points during the same period.

Portabooths and portable toll collection handheld units will be used to lessen motorist waiting time at the toll plazas.

On December 25, 26, and 27, the Bocaue Toll Plaza will open about 50 to 60 toll collection points to serve motorists bound for Metro Manila. The set-up will be the same on January 1 and 2, 2019.

The entry lanes of Tarlac Toll Plaza will also be increased to 5 instead of the usual 3 to facilitate faster transactions during traffic surges. Toll tellers at the said plaza will also be ready to issue pre-encoded transit tickets to southbound motorists.

The additional toll lanes at Angeles (2), Mexico (1), San Fernando southbound entry (1) and San Fernando southbound exit (2) will also be operational in time for the holidays.

Free towing services to the nearest exit will be available for Class 1 vehicles from 6 a.m. of December 22 to 11:59 p.m. of December 23 and from 6 a.m. of January 1 to 11:59 p.m. of January 2.

The tollway company will also set up counterflow lanes in strategic areas to ensure smooth traffic flow in case of untoward incidents.

Clark airport lists 2.5-M passengers

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

CLARK FREEPORT -- THE Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) said it broke the 2.5-million passenger mark on Monday, the highest number in passenger traffic in the airport’s 23-year history.

“We tallied a total of 2,500,052 passengers as of 7:58 p.m. on Monday (December 17), the highest record, so far, in the history of CIAC, which means more revenues for the government and more flights to come,” Jaime Melo, CIAC president, said.

The CIAC executive added this all-time high record was reached via Emirates Flight No. EK338 bound for Dubai. By December 31, CIAC is expected to tally in a total of 2,611,362.

“What was once relegated as just a dream for CRK is now working in full throttle. Since President Rodrigo Duterte called for the greater utilization of Clark airport in 2016, CIAC was able to increase flights and passenger volume and profitability has also improved commensurately, a huge improvement from three to five years ago with more airlines signifying to mount flights,” he added.

The average daily passenger volume at the CRK is 8,000 and served by a total of 656 weekly flights, 202 of which are international flights while the remaining 454 are domestic flights.

The airport chief said these record-breaking figures are attributed to the Duterte administration’s full support, citing Transportation Secretary Arthur Tugade, whose agency oversees the airport’s operation, and CIAC’s parent company, the Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA), headed by its president Vince Dizon.

Also this year, CRK tallied a total of 242,840 passengers from May 1 to 31 - the highest monthly total passengers recorded while the biggest number of travelers served in just one day was last May 26 at 8,662 passengers, the CIAC chief added.

“The dream has further come to reality now that a new terminal building will be operational by 2020 and able to accommodate an additional 8 million passengers per annum,” Melo said.

By the end of the year 2022, CIAC’s target is to have 4,457,046 passengers flying via Clark.

International destinations from Clark include Doha and Dubai in the Middle East, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Taipei and Singapore while negotiations are ongoing for airlines to mount Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur flights, among others.

The airport is also connected to major domestic destinations including Cebu, Boracay, Bacolod, Davao and Palawan.

Hevea Hotel & Resort now open in Angeles City

By ERIKA MARIEL GINES

LOOKING for the best enclave within the city? Finding a piece of home in the busy streets of Angeles City can be daunting at times, but not anymore, as Hevea Hotel and Resort has recently opened its doors to discerning guests.

Modern, elegant, and strategically located within the city’s major landmarks and is only a mere 15-minute drive from Clark International Airport, the hotel promises a one-of-a-kind respite where you’ll feel closest to nature.

With its 120 well-appointed and luxurious suite rooms, it has set its standards high enough to give local and international guests a quality and well-deserved lodging experience that is incontestably warm and welcoming.

Hevea Hotel & Resort Chairman and CEO Lee Seung Keun shared that opening of the property was driven by his desire to offer the most convenient and satisfactory accommodation in the area –making it the perfect choice for smart travelers.

He said he is honored to help bring growth and progress to the thriving community, through the new development.

“Over the past decade, while visiting here, I was mesmerized by its scenic climate. I started dreaming and planning this project to create the best place where family, friends, locals, and tourists alike can relax and unwind,” he noted.

“I believe that everyone is entitled to the privilege of experiencing heaven through comfortable, spacious, and clean rooms as well as serene and tranquil surroundings,” he added.

The executive highlighted that the business and leisure destination also takes pride of its complete amenities like swimming pool; F&B outlets namely The Table Restaurant which serves an array of Filipino and international specialties and The Cafe which offers exquisite coffee, refreshing drinks, and delectable appetizers; and three function rooms perfect for special celebrations and corporate gatherings.

Moreover, General Manager Rowena Villanueva said that more than its world-class accommodation services, Hevea Hotel & Resort boasts of its competitive rates.

“This holiday season, as part of our Christmas treat and grand opening promo, we’re offering our 45-square meter Deluxe King suite for as low as P3,800. We also have the Deluxe Twin and Family Deluxe suites for a very affordable price,” she relayed.

“All these rooms are equipped with stylish furniture pieces, state-of-the-art automatic key card system, electronic doorbell, 42” flat screen TV set with cable network, mini bar, hot and cold shower with bath sets, in-room electronic safety box deposit, and of course high-speed wireless internet access, all to assure that occupants get a well-deserved lodging experience that is unlike any other,” she concluded.

For a blissful getaway “where heaven meets nature,” visit Hevea Hotel & Resort located at Lot 4, Furniture Village, Fil-Am Friendship Highway, Brgy. Cutcut, Angeles City, Pampanga. For bookings and reservations, call +45 436 5932 / 0927 596 8282 / 0939 144 7000.

Midori grants Christmas wishes of 800 children

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

THE Midori Hotel and Casino has granted the Christmas wishes of some 800 children, who are mostly Aetas, as part of its yearly gift-giving project dubbed Angels' Dream.

Dr. Irineo Alvaro, BB International president and Midori hotel general manager, led the ceremonial distribution of gifts during a ceremony at the hotel Tuesday, December 18.

During the event, Alvaro told the kids that Christmas is the time when people share their blessings to each other.

“In our own little way, this is how we express how thankful we are, the group of BB International which operates Midori, Aqua Planet, Eaglesky to share our blessings to little children,” Alvaro said.

Chan, for his part, said the beneficiaries of the Angels' Dream are expected to reach 1,000 next year.

More than a month after the launch and hanging of wishes, the 800 kids are back to the hotel to receive their presents and fulfill their dreams.

After the gift-giving day, Midori representatives will personally visit schools in in Sapang Bato, Sitio Target and Monicayo, Haduan, Calapi, Macapagal and Marcos Village.

Midori’s top officials including Midori Casino general manager Manny Aure were present.

Jumong Rogando, a pupil at Sapang Bato Elementary School, shared his experience and delivered his gratitude to the Midori and its executives.

“Kami po ay lubos na nagpapasalamat sa mga biyayang ipinagkaloob ninyo sa amin. Sa oras pong ito ay umaapaw sa aming mga puso ang galak dahil ipinagkaloob kayo sa amin ng Poong Maykapal/Apu. Mula po sa aming mga batang Ayta, maraming-maraming salamat po sa inyong lahat.”

Angels’ Dream is the corporate social responsibility program of Midori Clark Hotel and Casino. Launched in 2016, the program granted the wishes of about 300 Aeta kids during its first year and 600 wishes last 2017.

On its third year, the program had aimed to beat its 2017 record by fulfilling the wishes of 800 Aeta kids.

Darlene Achumbre, Midori Hotel's assistant sales and marketing manager, said that “Angels’ Dream aims to make the Yuletide Season even brighter, more meaningful and something that always leaves a jolly mark on the heart.”

Achumbre thanked their sponsors and the media for supporting their “noble project.”

Dine and Drive in Clark

By Bernard L. Supetran

MENTION Clark and two things immediately come to mind—world-class golf and a gastronomic journey—and for good reason. Since reopening as a free port and tourist zone in the mid-1990s, it has hosted countless of golfers from all over the world who would later wolf down on dishes in the heart of the country’s acknowledged “culinary capital.”

Two decades hence, this merry mix of drive and dine continues, only this time more seamlessly, at Quest Plus Conference Center, located at arguably the most enviable spot in the sprawling colony.

Nestled in the heart of Filinvest Mimosa Leisure City, the property is a reincarnation of a landmark hotel, which is being jazzed to be an integrated estate up by its new developers. The refurbished hotel has 303 rooms, six private villas, a grand ballroom and a rebooted restaurant, which has tickled the palate of Kapampangans and the dining public at large.

Across the hotel will rise a cluster of low-density lifestyle boutiques whose design will adopt to the natural environment.

Then, throw in a par-72, 18-hole course, and you have a consummate “dine and drive” experience in a scenic getaway just an hour north of the metropolis.

But first, we dine.

Mequeni Live, the all-day dining restaurant of Quest Plus, is the new edition of the well-loved Mequeni, which has been perpetually on Pampanga’s foodie list. Literally meaning “come here”, the newly relaunched resto beckons you to feast on its succulent buffet, which spans grilled, dim sum, noodle, appetizer, dessert, fry, pizza, sushi and Kapampangan food.

What makes this unique is its nine “live” stations where your choice dishes can be cooked your way by the resto’s chefs. Enhancing the dining experience is the cozy interiors, elegant furnishings and the soothing music at the Mequeni Lounge.

Not to be missed is the inimitable flair of Pampango dishes, most notably the pork sisig which the food and beverage managers of Quest Plus painstakingly researched in communities to be as faithful as possible to its traditional rendition. Connoisseurs who have sampled the hotel’s version would swear to their parents’s grave that it is as authentic as it can be, close to what celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain would have feasted on at a popular eatery in Angeles City.

Also within Mequeni Live’s spread of provincial delights are the all-time favorite noodle palabok, the paella-like bringhe sticky rice, kalderetang kambing (goat stew) and a rotating cycle of Filipino signature dishes prepared by chefs who hail from Pampanga.

Your craving for international flavors won’t be disappointed by Mequeni Live’s array of Japanese, Chinese, Thai and Italian specialties.

If you got a sweet tooth, the dessert section is a visual delight, specially with the rotating rainbow-colored gelato wheel.

For a nightcap, you can sip your favorite spirit at Charley’s Bar, a favorite watering hole in the freeport zone, particularly by sports aficionados.

An innovation that the hotel introduced is the Q Executive Lounge, which is exclusive to those booked in Club Rooms and Suites, and likewise serves as an express check-in counter. At the panoramic seventh floor, guests can partake on a relaxed breakfast, all-day coffee, refreshments and sunset cocktails, or conduct business in the lounge’s function rooms.

Families or small groups who need their own space can stay at the stately villas, which can be booked as a three-room mansion, or as three separate bungalows each with a private pool and a view of the golf course. Built purposely for the American and Russian heads of state who attended the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit, the villas can give you that presidential feeling even for a few fleeting hours.

After we dine, we drive.

A must-do in the free port is to play golf, a sport associated with Clark for more than a century, dating back to the heydays of American air servicemen.

Complementing Quest Plus is the adjacent Mimosa Golf Course, which boasts of world-grade fairways that make for a game worth remembering. With the hotel and course now owned by the Filinvest Hospitality Corp., getting your golfing slot is as easy as it can get.

The Nelson and Haworth-designed course is friendly enticing greenhorns to get their hand in golfing for the first time, and get hooked into it.

The driving range is equipped with 12 covered hitting bays, complete with practice greens and bunkers on both sides. There is also a large putting green beside the clubhouse near the starters’ area where you can perfect the simple but tricky art of putting and scoring a birdie, coupled with body English.

Each hole has a unique character, which only the seasoned and sun-tanned golfer can effectively map out. But suffice it to say that its undulating fairways, crisp countryside air and perfectly manicured greens are enough to make a newbie a convert to this elite sport.

After a game, take a break and dine at Q by Mimosa, a Korean restaurant inside the pro-shop. With its stunning sceneries, the golf course is also famous for the Hilltop Garden, which is ideal for intimate gatherings, special events or simply for chilling out and watching the world go by.

But if swinging clubs isn’t your cup of tea, the hotel can arrange other recreational activities, such as culinary and heritage tours around Pampanga, horse-back riding, mountain biking, ultralight plane flight, or a foray into the Aeta’s ancestral domain.

With great food and gorgeous greens, Quest Clark is undoubtedly the best place to dine, drive and do everything in between.

P1 M marijuana leaves seized in Angeles City; 4 arrested

By Franco Regala

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – Authorities confiscated some P1 million worth of dried marijuana leaves in a buy – bust operation here, the Police Regional Office 3 (PRO3) disclosed Saturday.

Chief Supt. Joel Coronel, PRO3 director said the drug sting targetted Jayvee Canillo, 21, of Marikina City.

Three of his cohorts were also arrested during the operation and were identified as Charles Liclican, 26, of Baguio City; Joshua Manzan, 22, of Manila and Nicole Meneses, 23, of Baguio City.

They will be charhed with violation of RA 9165 or the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act 2002.

Senior Supt. Enrico Vargas, Angeles City police director, said that an undercover police officer transacted with Camillo who sold him P500 worth of marijuana leaves.

When he sensed the operation, Canillo, according to the police, tried to flee.

It was during the chase in his residence that the three other suspects were spotted packing marijuana leaves in palstic bags, worth approximately P1 million.

When frisked, Canillo yielded the marked P500 bill.

Vargas said appropriate charges will be filed against the arrested suspects.

Pampanga ‘Food Street’ soon in Clark

By Reynaldo G. Navales

TOURISTS and guests in the Clark Freeport Area will soon have a better experience of Kapampangan culinary delights and local products through Pampanga “Food Street” that will soon open.

The Pampanga Food Street will feature 43 stalls which will showcase authentic Kapampangan cuisine and souvenir items. It is located along the Cardinal Santos Street adjacent to the parade grounds.

The Clark Development Corporation Engineering Services Department (CDC-ESD) had recently announced on radio that construction of the said establishment will soon be finished to offer better experience to tourists and guests visiting the Freeport.

The CDC–ESD also reported that the development and improvement of the CDC Children’s Playground, also near the Parade Grounds, is also on-going. The work involves site development, landscaping, installation of playground equipment for the over-all beautification of the site.

Other improvement projects in this Freeport include the asphalt overlay along M.A. Roxas Highway and provision of bike lanes among others.

Angeles, Olongapo pilot areas of anti-crime programs in C. Luzon

By Ric Sapnu (PNA)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga — The two highly-urbanized cities of Angeles and Olongapo were chosen as pilot areas for the implementation of the Barangay and Pulisya Laban sa Krimen (BPLK) program in Central Luzon.

The BPLK is a crime prevention program that emphasizes the partnership of the community and the Philippine National Police (PNP) to combat criminality and aims to promote safe, peaceful and orderly communities.

DILG-Angeles City Director Martin Porres B. Moral said at the sidelines of the "Orientation on Barangay and Pulisya Laban sa Krimen" program for local officials in Angeles City on Thursday, that the BPLK program emphasizes partnership between the barangay and police with the participation of business sectors, non- government organizations, civil society organizations, faith based organizations and other volunteer sectors.

“It is designed to enhance awareness on the importance of collaboration among various stakeholders in the community in peace keeping efforts,” he said.

Moral said DILG-Angeles City, in coordination with the Angeles City Police Office (ACPO), has started conducting orientation on the BPLK program for the city’s 33 villages.

He said the ACPO partners discussed topics on understanding criminality, crime prevention and the role of police and the community in crime prevention to the barangay officials.

“I am encouraging the punong barangays to issue an executive order organizing the neighborhood watch, who will serve as the auxiliary team of the Barangay Peace and Order Committee,” he added.

Through the neighborhood watch, he said, citizens remain alert for suspicious activities and report such to appropriate authorities like the barangay officials and the police.

“Through this way, collaboration and partnership will be strengthened as one of the means in addressing criminality,” he added.

Wyndham Shares Christmas Cheer with Aeta Community in Pampanga

(Press release)

CLARK, PHILIPPINES – Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific staff based in Clark in the Philippines personally delivered gifts to more than 50 children living in the rural community of Sitio Monicayo earlier in the week.

The initiative was inspired by the company’s philanthropic program, Wishes by Wyndham, which aims to improve the lives of children and their families.

Sitio Monicayo is a small community formed by nearly 500 Aetas who relocated after losing their homes in the mountains after a 1991 volcano eruption. While the community has access to electricity and water today, its economic wellbeing is entirely dependent on the yield of a group of small farms.

A small team of employees visited on Wednesday to distribute the gifts, which were donations from over 170 staff employed by Wyndham in the Philippines.

“This initiative is our way of giving back to the local community and we all felt a sense of fulfilment to see children smile. This was a huge effort from our team, who personally paid for, sourced and packed canned foods, toys, clothes and storybooks, and prepared meals for the kids,” said Jerry Estrada, Director of Operations, Wyndham Services Asia Pacific (Philippines) (WSAPPI).

“This is the second year that the team organised an outreach for children and we are looking forward to conducting this initiative in the years to come.”

The outreach was a partnership with the Lions Club Philippines, which organised a medical and dental check-up for 250 adults on the same day.

WSAPPI, a subsidiary of Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific, employs over 170 staff in Clark across a number of different functions, including customer support, technical and IT support, communications and creative services, human resources, finance, customer experience, sales, revenue and marketing.

The office is located at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, a two-hour drive from the capital city of Manila.

Pogi Lazatin continues Christmas tradition

(Press release)

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – Opposition Councilor and Mayoralty Aspirant Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. continues his annual Christmas tradition as he distributes Christmas hams to Barangay leaders and Senior Citizens in all 33 barangays of this city.

Since 2014, Lazatin has distributed some 8,000 Christmas hams every year as a way of thanking people for their continuous support for him ever since he entered public service back in 2013.

“Magmula po ng una akong manungkulan bilang konsehal ay walang sawa po ang natanggap kong suporta, which is why I have made it a point to show my gratitude every Christmas,” Lazatin said.

“Kung tutuusin, maliit lang po na bagay ang pamimigay ng ham compared to the overwhelming support I’ve received, but I hope that in this manner, I am able to show how thankful I am,” he added.

Lazatin also announced that when elected, he will endeavor to bring back his father’s former program of providing free medicine in rural health centers, which has been discontinued in recent administrations.

Lazatin added that he aims to raise the level of health care for Angelenos through the renovation of all existing health centers in the city and enhancing the capabilities of the city’s health workers through continuous training.

The provision of free medicine and providing access to affordable healthcare has always been the cornerstone of the ‘Lazatin brand’ of public service, even during the time of Lazatin’s father, and Pogi Lazatin wishes to continue it.

Angeles City candidate crowned Mutya ning Kapampangan 2018

By Leah Isidro De Fiesta

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO -- Out of the 22 candidates vying for the Mutya Ning Kapampangan crown, Angeles City's Angela Maria Robson won the title.

She also got the Miss Photogenic and the most elegant gown of the night.

The coronation night was held at Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center (BZGCC) Monday, December 10, where Governor Lilia “Nanay” Pineda lauded the Kapampangan beauties, saying they all deserved to bring home the crown.

For her, it is already a privilege to stand in front of the crowd to represent their respective cities and municipalities.

Robson will also be representing the province in the Miss Millennial in Eat Bulaga, the country's top noontime show.

Meanwhile, Miss Lubao, Reziah Angelica Famorcan, bagged the Miss Angel Skin and first runner-up followed by Kim Leana Pabustan of Mabalacat City (second runner up) who was also hailed as best in swimwear and Miss Montage Choice Award; Mickey Charles Dimacali of San Luis (third runner-up), also the Best in Pre-Colonial costume and Queen of Estancia 2018; and Angelica Bianca Lapuz of Mexico (fourth runner-up), got the Miss Ysa and Body Experts, Best in Talent and Miss Texter's Choice.

Other special awards were best in casual wear, Miss Nuan Model of the Year, Miss Aguman Kapampangan UK, and Miss SM Choice Award for Jaimee Nicole Manio, Mutya Ning San Fernando.

Kervee Mae Cabuso of Guagua was awarded as Miss Congeniality; Jessa Paran of Bacolor as Miss Telegenic and Miss Yuki Skin Care Pampanga; Micah Songco of Floridablanca as Miss Dream Aesthetica; Kristine Heide Manarang of Sto. Tomas as Miss Ysa and Body Experts; Irah Bonifacio of Porac as Miss Ellie Beau PH and Jessel France Navarro as Darling of the Press and Miss Yuki Angeles.

The coronation night was attended by Vice-Governor Dennis “Delta” Pineda, Provincial Board members, local chief executives headed by Lubao Mayor Mylyn Pineda-Cayabyab, department heads led by Provincial Administrator Andres Pangilinan, Jr. and popular artists such as Ruby Rodriguez and Kenneth of Eat Bulaga; host-comedian Vice Ganda of ABS-CBN noontime show, It’s Showtime; and basketball players Calvin Abueva and Arwind Santos of the Philippine Basketball Association.

Pineda commended the efforts of the Mutya Ning Kapampangan committee headed by Board Members Cherry Manalo and Fritzie David-Dizon and the Arts, Culture and Tourism Office of Pampanga.

WATCH: Kapampangans preserve indigenous 'Kulitan' script

By Rosette Adel (philstar.com)

ANGELES, Pampanga — At least once a month, well-known cultural activist and an internationally acknowledged expert on Kapampángan language and culture Mike Pangilinan works on preserving Kulitan—one of the indigenous writing systems of the Philippines—by teaching it to fellow Pampangos and others who are interested.

The Kulitan script is used to write Kapampangan, a language spoken in Pampanga and in nearby areas.

https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x6xf8vy

Pangilinan started teaching the basic Kulitan script in April 2016 when he was invited to give the staff of the Arts, Culture and Heritage Division of the Angeles City Tourism Office lessons in it. His lecture received good feedback and attracted more students than the ACTO could accommodate.

Herminia Pámintuan, called the Mother of the Kapampángan Cultural and Linguistic Revival of Angeles City, inaugurated the Sídduan ning Kabiasnan Kapampángan at Pámanigáral Kulitan (Institute for Kapampángan Research and Kulitan Studies) in October 2016 so Pangilinan could hold regular lectures on Kulitan.

Pangilinan also holds lectures on Kapampangan language, history, and culture.

Earlier in 2016, he was was given the Talasínup king Singsing (Keeper of Heritage) lifetime achievement award by the local government and people of Angeles City for his expertise on the Kapampángan language and script. Kulitan better represents Kapampangan

Pangilinan stresses the importance of learning Kulitan, saying it represents the language of the Kapampangan people. He said Kapampangan is currently endangered because some parents are no longer passing the language on to their children, hence his passion to further preserve both Kapampangan and Kulitan script

“It accurately represents the Kapampangan language – the sounds of the Kapampangan language ... unlike the Tagalog, who only have five vowels,” Pangilinan says of Kulitan during the Skechers’ Heritage Walk in Angeles, Pampanga in September.

READ: Travel guide: Discovering Angeles City through heritage, culinary walking tour

“We have more than five vowel sounds that are accurately represented in Kulitan,” he adds. More to pre-Hispanic writing than Baybayin

Pangilinan says some Tagalog students have also noted the difference between the Kapampangan and Tagalog script Baybayin.

Due to this, Pangilinan says he is not in favor of making Baybayin, one of the pre-Hispanic writing systems used in the Philippines, as the country's national writing system.

In April this year, a committee of the House of Representatives approved House Bill 1022 or the proposed "National Writing System Act" to declare Baybayin the Philippines’ national writing system.

READ: House panel approves use of Baybayin as country's national writing system

The bill was filed by Rep. Leopoldo Bataoil (Pangasinan). It was supported by the Department of Education, the National Commission for Culture and the Arts and Buhayin, a Baybayin advocacy group.

“The importance of writing in general and of the alphabet in particular for the preservation and progress of civilization is incalculable,” Bataoil was quoted in April in a press release from the House Press and Public Affairs Bureau.

Pangilinan, however, says Pampanga should retain its own indigenous writing system.

“So, that’s why you cannot impose someone else's script on our script,” Pangilinan says.

“We don’t approve that Baybayin bill or whatever it is ‘cause we have our own writing which are accurately represents our own language,” he adds.

At present, Pangilinan offers basic Kulitan classes at least one Saturday month at the receiving lounge of ACTO. The class size is limited to ten participants.

House approves bill renaming Clark airport

By KEITH A. CALAYAG (SunStar Philippines)

THE House of Representatives passed on third reading a bill that seeks to rename the Clark International Airport in Angeles City, Pampanga to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.

A total of 199 lawmakers voted yes to House Bill 8649 during the plenary session on December 3. No one voted against it.

The bill mandates the Department of Transportation to place appropriate markers on the airport and its facilities and issue the necessary orders and circulars to implement the provisions of the Act.

Authors of the bill are Majority Leader Rolando Andaya Jr., Deputy Speaker Arthur Yap, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Rodante Marcoleta (Partylist, 1-Sagip), Representative Carmelo Lazatin II (1st District, Pampanga) and Representative Aurelio Gonzales (3rd District, Pampanga).

According to the authors of the measure, it is but fitting to revert the name of the airport to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport in honor of the late former President Diosdado Macapagal.

On July 27, 2018, the Provincial Board of Pampanga issued Resolution 5124, titled “A resolution urging His Excellency President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and both houses of Congress to issue a presidential proclamation and appropriate legislation, respectively, reverting or renaming the Clark International Airport located at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga to Diosdado Macapagal International Airport.”

The present board of the Clark International Airport likewise approved a resolution renaming the airport as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport on the 108th birthday of the late President last September.

The renaming of the airport was pushed during the administration of former President Benigno Aquino III.

Macapagal is the father of former President and now House Speaker Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.

Group eyes firms support on watershed protection

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

ANGELES CITY -- A newly-formed green organization is eyeing the support of various companies on water stewardship and watershed protection.

The Pampanga Aguman Da Reng Talaingat Danum (PADRTD), headed by businessman Louie Reyes, is set to coordinate with all stakeholders including the corporate sector to ensure the sufficient water supply for future generations.

The group's officers stated that they already tap several companies around the Metro Clark area which utilize a big volume of water.

Reyes, a former city councilor here, said that the organization has already applied for a Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) registration to support the implementation of its projects.

Renato "Abong" Tayag Jr, an environmentalist and members of the PADRTD, has underscored the need to reforest Barangay Sapang Bato and other adjacent upland villages which serves as watershed of the city and other nearby places including Mabalacat City.

Paolo Pagaduan, project manager of the World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines (WWF), recently met with officers and members of the PADRTD and discussed several principles regarding water stewardship and environment project implementation.

"We call the program water stewardship, primarily this is for getting support from corporates. Obviously, we need resources to move and do what we want to do," Pagaduan said.

The organization is set to implement a hydraulic ram pump project which will serve as irrigation for tree seedlings that will be planted at the Sapang Bato area.

Reyes said the ram pump will not use energy and will rely on gravity.

With the ram pump, water from a spring or stream in a valley can be pumped to a village or irrigation scheme on the hillside.

Wherever a fall of water can be obtained, the ram pump can be used as a comparatively cheap, simple, and reliable means of raising water to considerable heights.

Angeles Water District inaugurates 2 pumping stations

(SunStar Pampanga)

THE Angeles City Water District (ACWD) has inaugurated two pumping stations which are expected to prevent the recurrence of water shortage in barangays Margot and Sapangbato.

Engineer Reynaldo Liwanag, ACWD general manager, said the commissioning of the two pumps will ensure sufficient water supply in the two upland villages which was affected by water shortage early this year.

On June 10, 2018, the ACWD completed its P10 million-pump in Sapangbato ending the water crisis which started in February this year. The water shortage stemmed from the reduction in the volume of supply the water district procures from the Clark Water.

The Sapangbato Pumping Station has a capacity of 12 liters per second which can supply more than 1,000 households, according to Liwanag. The ACWD constructed a separate pumping station in Barangay Margot which was commissioned in July this year.

Liwanag said the two pumps can provide water supply to more than 2,800 concessionaires in the two villages. Five months ago, the City Council declared a state of calamity in the two barangays following the water shortage.

He then assured the local officials that their pumps will be completed and water supply will be restored in four months.

City gov’t needs to be a business partner – Lazatin

(Press release)

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – Opposition Councilor and Angeles City Mayoralty Aspirant Carmelo “Pogi” Lazatin, Jr. declared that the city government needs to partner up and work closely with the private sector, in order to further enhance the growth of the business sector in the city.

Lazatin made the statement during the Angeles City’s Mayoral Candidates Forum sponsored by Hotel and Restaurants Association in Pampanga, Inc. (HARP) on November 21 at Oasis Hotel, after he was asked about his plans on how to support and sustain the business sector in the city once he is elected as mayor.

Further, Lazatin added that his first order of business in office will be to clean out the “rotten eggs” in the city government, especially those who use their position to extort businesses in the city.

“Ang magiging administration po natin ay may paninindigan,” Lazatin stressed, “Ang ibig pong sabihin nito, we will clean out the corrupt employees in the city government, regardless of their affiliation.”

Lazatin also said that the application for business permits in the city will be effectively modernized under his administration.

“The present Business- One-Stop-Shop was first implemented during the administration of my father,” Lazatin said, referring to former three-term Angeles City Mayor Carmelo “Tarzan” Lazatin, “Under our administration, we plan to improve this further by properly implementing the city’s online business application system, starting with proper information dissemination. We are in the age of information technology and we need to take advantage and use it to improve the delivery of public services.”

At present, the Angeles City Government has an online business application system in place called E-BOSS or Electronic Business One- Stop Shop, however, the service has yet to be widely used by businesses in the city.

According to the Business Permit and Licensing Division, in 2017, only 16 businesses applied for their permits through the E-BOSS system.

Pampanga 2018 Gawad Kalasag Nat’l Awards grand winner

By Joel Mapiles (PNA)

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO, Pampanga -- The province of Pampanga bagged the Best Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance Award given by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) during the 20th Gawad Kalasag National Awards program on Tuesday.

The award was personally received by Vice Governor Dennis "Delta" Pineda, 3rd District Board Member Rosve V. Henson, Angelina S. Blanco, head of the Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (PDRRMO), and other provincial officials during the awarding ceremony held at the AFP Theater in Camp Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo, Quezon City.

The provincial government received a PHP500,000 cash incentive as part of the award.

The National Gawad Kalasag award for Excellence in Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance was signed by Defense Secretary Delfin N. Lorenzana as chairperson of the NDRRMC and Undersecretary Ricardo B. Jalad, executive director and Civil Defense administrator.

“Pampanga has been chosen for its effective utilization of the local disaster risk reduction and management funds to address risk-based issues, thereby, ensuring that response actions in times of disasters are in place,” the citation read.

The NDRRMC also recognized the efficient and innovative DRRM systems, processes and protocols as demonstrated in its reporting system, incident command system, contingency planning, communication flow, and response operations, including advanced collapsed structure search and rescue, and vehicular extrication, among others.

Pampanga was also cited for its heightened disaster risk awareness and the promotion of inclusive participation through the involvement of the "Nanay" community workers’ education, business communities in the information education and communication on DRRM.

The NDRRMC also lauded the efforts of the provincial government of Pampanga for undertaking disaster prevention and mitigation measures through the year-round desilting of rivers and waterways to address flood susceptibilities in the communities.

The province's eco-friendly and gender-responsive permanent evacuation centers, which can accommodate enough number of evacuees with complete facilities applying the Build Back Better principle to ensure the safety of evacuees, was also recognized.

The NDRRMC said the accomplishments of the provincial government of Pampanga are all notable contributions to the national efforts to build a safer, climate change adaptive and disaster resilient Philippines, worthy of emulation by the people and recognition from the Gawad Kalasag.

"Expect a more determined and intensive approach to ensure the safety of the Kapampangans from different disasters and calamities," Blanco said as she expressed gratitude and appreciation to all council member agencies for their concerted efforts in pursuing a disaster-resilient Pampanga.

Meanwhile, Angeles City and the City of San Fernando landed second place for Best Disaster Risk Reduction and Management and Humanitarian Assistance Award in the highly-urbanized city and component city categories, respectively. Each received PHP200,000 cash incentive.

The other two finalists for best provincial DRRM are the provinces of Quirino and Dinagat Islands, each received a plaque of appreciation and PHP200,000 incentive.

Preview of Kapampangan Pop Song Festival 2018 entries held

(PR)

ALL 10 entries for the most awaited Kapampangan Pop Song Festival (KPSF) in Angeles City are set for the grand finals on December 11, 7 p.m., at the AUF Sports and Cultural Center.

An exclusive preview of all the compositions was held recently with Angeles City Heritage, Culture and Arts Officer Joy Cruz, Culture and Arts Council of Angeles Executive Director Wing Pingol, Angeles University Foundation (AUF) President Dr. Joseph Emmanuel Angeles, AUF Center for Culture and the Arts (AUF-CCA) Director Gildo “Boron” Garcia Jr., and all the composers of the songs.

Garcia presented the songs of the 10 finalists to give everyone an idea on how the entries were arranged and recorded through the help of Filipino music genius and composer, Vehnee Saturno.

All entries are set to be heard in various occasions and events in and around Angeles City. The order of presentation, scheduled interviews, promotions and guesting were also finalized during the call.

"The contest seeks to perpetuate the Kapampangan prose in its stylish and rhythmical form while harnessing the aptness of talents of the Kapampangan songwriters and championing solidarity among different cities and towns of Pampanga," said Pingol.

“This event will be an annual activity in line with the celebration of Fiestang Kuliat,” he added.

Meanwhile, the theme for the first-ever KPSF is “lugud” or “love”. The public is urged to vote for their favorite composition through text votes by keying VOTE Song Code and send to 8933. Voting is exclusive for Smart, TNT, and Sun Cellular subscribers.

The final entries with their composers and corresponding codes are [RF1] “Dalagang Kapampangan” by Clark Vencci Pelayo; [RF2] “Sabi Da” by Romeo Canilao; [RF3] “Bulan” by Calvin Concepcion and Jhon Sevilla; [RF4] “Kanyaman Lulugud” by Leonardo Calma and Paul Edward Concepcion; [RF5] “Aguiang Na” by Dennis Gomez, Eleonor Rodriguez, and Harold Diamsay; [RF6] “Ika Mu” by Kenneth Macapugay; [RF7] “Lugud Mu Ing Bie” by Shane Kim Lumanog; [RF8] “Pengakung Luguran” by Richard Co and Jemima Co; [RF9] “Prinsesa” by Mark David Ocampo; and [RF10] “Kampay” by Daniel Dato.

The Kapampangan Pop Song Festival is a songwriting competition with the Kapampangan language as the medium. The event is in line with the city’s advocacy on promoting Kapampangan as Angeles City’s official language alongside existing national languages.

SEA Games champ urges fellow athletes to dream big

By Mar Jay S. Delas Alas

ANGELES CITY (PIA) -- Keep dreaming big so the bigger you dream, the farther you get.

This was the message of two-time Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) Gold medalist Nikko Huelgas to fellow athletes during the One-Year Countdown for SEA Games 2019 held at Bayanihan Park.

Huelgas, also the Chairperson of the Philippine Olympic Committee Athlete’s Commission, shared the journey of achieving his dream of becoming a national athlete and eventually bringing home gold medals in the triathlon event of the SEA Games.

“We [the Philippines] last hosted the SEA Games back in 2005 and if I can remember it correctly, I was just 14, a young high school student playing badminton as a varsity and at the same time, I didn’t know about anything about the SEA Games,” Huelgas said.

He shared that he dreamed of becoming a national athlete realizing the essence of sports in the community.

“It’s not about only the games — it’s about hearing the word national athlete — and being a national athlete, being an inspiration, being a role model and what it does to the community,” he said.

“That’s what sport does. That’s what the SEA Games does. It gives us dreams. It gives us a purpose to do something,” he furthered.

Huelgas urged his fellow national athletes to serve as inspiration to the youth and to those looking up to their dreams.

“To all our national athletes, I wish you guys that you give your very best in order for this event to create an impact not only to athletes but to everybody here in the Philippines and in Southeast Asia that we can make a difference,” he stressed.

Huelgas is the first Filipino athlete to win the Gold medal in the SEA games triathlon in 2015 in Singapore and successfully defending his title in the following meet in 2017 in Malaysia.

The 30th SEA Games will be held from November 30-December 11, 2019. A total of 9,840 athletes from 11 countries will compete in 529 events of 56 sports. There are 47 venues in three competition hubs namely Clark, Subic and Metro Manila.

It carries the theme “We Win as One” which encapsulates unity, togetherness, and singularity of purpose and the desire to work together in a diverse community to achieve peace, progress and inclusivity. (CLJD/MJSD-PIA 3)

‘Sports can fight drugs, build goodwill’ -- Cayetano

By Mar Jay S. Delas Alas (CLJD/MJSD-PIA 3)

ANGELES CITY (PIA) -- Philippine Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) Organizing Committee Chairperson Alan Peter Cayetano stressed the role of sports in bringing positive transformation in the community.

During the One-Year Countdown to 2019 SEA Games held at the Bayanihan Park, Cayetano said sports participation prevents drug use among the youth.

“How many of us are caught in the problems in our nations especially of drugs and instead of saying, ‘Don’t do drugs,’ we’re telling them alternatives and sports is one thing that can fight drugs,” the official said.

“Athletes sacrifice eating delicious food. They sacrifice sleeping late and going to parties. So definitely, drugs are out when you’re into sports,” he added.

Cayetano also said sports is one of the best kinds of diplomacy among neighboring countries.

“Sportsmanship, camaraderie, brotherhood, sisterhood and building goodwill are all essential in transforming into a strong community,” he said.

He noted the importance of coming together of the Southeast Asian countries for the 30th SEA Games which proves strong relationship and unity among other nations.

“Sixty years ago in 1958, the games were conceptualize. The next year, six countries came together with the hope and aspirations of fostering friendship and a sense of community,” he furthered.

The 30th SEA Games will be held from November 30-December 11, 2019. A total of 9,840 athletes from 11 countries will compete in 529 events of 56 sports. There are 47 venues in three competition hubs namely Clark, Subic and Metro Manila.

It carries the theme “We Win as One” which encapsulates unity, togetherness, and singularity of purpose and the desire to work together in a diverse community to achieve peace, progress and inclusivity.

PSC assures world class sports facilities for Filipino athletes

By Cherie Joyce V. Flores (CLJD/CJVF-PIA 3)

ANGELES CITY, Dec. 2 (PIA) -- Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) assures world class sports facilities for Filipino athletes with New Clark City (NCC) at the center of it.

“It has always been our mission to put Filipino athletes on the world stage to compete against the world’s best,” PSC Chairperson Butch Ramirez said during the One-Year Countdown for the 30thSoutheast Asian Games (SEA) Games 2019 held at Bayanihan Park.

“As part of our commitment to our athletes, hectares of land in Capas, Tarlac are now being develop into a world class sports facility for the SEA Games. The NCC Hub will host the banner of sports for the games,” Ramirez, who is also Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee Co-Vice Chair furthered.

“It will contain a 20,000 seating capacity Athletic Stadium, 2,000 seating capacity Aquatics Center, an Athletes’ Villageand high-performance gym that will offer the latest scientific training equipment and methodology,” he disclosed.

After SEA Games, the sports hub will become a training center not just for the Filipino athletes but also athletes from around the world.

“To our National athletes and to those who aspire to represent our country, believe in yourselves because we believe in you,” Ramirez emphasized.

“Together we can make great things happen. We will continue to develop the athletes of tomorrow and the future of global sports and the Philippines will be at the center of it,” he said.

The 30thSEA Games will be held from November 30-December 11, 2019. A total of 9,840 athletes from 11 countries will compete in 529 events of 56 sports. There are 47 venues in three competition hubs namely Clark, Subic and Metro Manila.

It carries the theme “We Win as One” which encapsulates unity, togetherness, and singularity of purpose and the desire to work together in a diverse community to achieve peace, progress and inclusivity.

Countdown to SEA Games 2019 begins

By Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu (CLJD-PIA 3)

ANGELES CITY (PIA) -- Preparations for the 30th Southeast Asian Games (SEA Games) 2019 officially came to a full swing Friday evening with the unveiling of a countdown clock at the Bayanihan Park.

“The activation of this countdown clock represents our optimism for a future that is full of promises. It symbolizes the common aspirations of our South East Asian family for a stronger regional community that is bound by friendship, camaraderie, cooperation, and teamwork,” Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea said.

“The next 365 days will be more than just a period of anticipation and excitement for the Philippines. It will also be a challenging time for the entire country as we prepare to host the biggest sports event in the region. We are confident that the Philippine SEA Games Organizing Committee with the help of the Philippine Sports Commission and the Philippine Olympic Committee will hurdle all obstacles along the way,” he added.

“Our hosting of this biennial event comes at a time when the government has embarked on an ambitious infrastructure development program. From our seamless network of highways that traverse the plains of Central Luzon to the Clark International Airport to the world class facilities the we erected for this games (in New Clark City), we can confidently claim that the Philippines is indeed ready to become a regional hub of international sporting events,” the cabinet official furthered.

“This is also a time for the Philippines to show the rest of the world the warm Filipino hospitality and our drive to excel in various fields of sports. It is indeed a chance for our athletes to compete and at the same time forge lasting friendships with their counterparts from other countries,” Medialdea said.

A time honored tradition of the SEA Games, the Philippines as host country leads the Countdown Ceremony to signal the start of a series of activities, functions and gatherings leading up to the Opening of the 30th SEA Games in 2019.

The logo- 11 colored linked rings- brings together and incorporates the 11 participating countries laid out in the likeness and figure of the Philippine map.

The 30th SEA Games will be held from November 30-December 11, 2019. A total of 9,840 athletes from 11 countries will compete in 529 events of 56 sports. There are 47 venues in 3 competition hubs namely Clark, Subic and Metro Manila.

Opening Ceremony will be held at the 55,000 seater Philippine Arena in Bocaue, Bulacan on November 30. The Closing Ceremony, on the other hand, will be at the 20,000 seater Athletics Stadium at New Clark City in Capas, Tarlac.

The theme “We Win as One” encapsulates unity, togetherness, and singularity of purpose and the desire to work together in a diverse community to achieve peace, progress and inclusivity.

Season of joy ushered in at SM City malls

By Bong Lacson

IT HAS not only begun to look, but really feels now like Christmas as SM City malls in Central Luzon ushered in the season of good tidings and great joy over the weekend with their traditional centerpieces on the Yuletide celebration.

Without the least forgetting the reason for the season – the sharing of blessings, SM, in this wise, the children in need.

A “Spectacular Christmas” of circus tents and magic mirrors, ice cream and cookie carts, with a 30-foot-tall Christmas Tree opened Friday at SM City Clark with Mabalacat City Mayor Cris Garbo leading local government executives doing the launching, along with SM regional VP Junias Eusebio and mall manager Andrea Madlambayan. Christmas carols performed by the AUF Concert Chorus enlivened the event.

Twenty wards of the Tulay Foundation were the beneficiaries of SM’s Christmas Bears of Joy project.

Earlier Friday, SM City Telabastagan lighted its 20-foot Ice Cream Tree to the delight of 20 kids from Blossomforth School, the beneficiaries of the mall’s gift giving. At the opening were VP Eusebio and mall manager Bong Garcia.

On Saturday, the country’s longest shopping mall – SM City Pampanga – did its turn of uncovering its “Tea-rrific Christmas” with an English tea party theme and its own 30-foot Yule tree as centerpiece.

Thirty kids under the care of the Autism Society of the Philippines- Pampanga Chapter received gifts from the mall handed by Mexico Mayor Teddy C. Tumang and SM’s VP Eusebio and mall manager Aaron Montenegro.

Giant multi-colored Christmas balls arranged in the form of tree is the centerpiece display at SM San Fernando-Downtown opened last Sunday by city Vice Mayor Jimmy Lazatin, Sto. Tomas Mayor John Sambo and SM VP Eusebio and mall manager Lana Erroba.

Daycare kids from Barangay San Pedro Cutud received bags of goodies from the mall while being entertained by Santa and Peter Pan.

In their brief messages, the local government executives found common ground in hailing SM for its “gift-giving grace” not only at Christmas to children, but also throughout the year with socio-economic benefits accruing with the malls’ presence in their localities throughout the year.

Angeles City gov’t releases accomplishments of Mayor Pamintuan

(Politiko Central Luzon)

The city government of Angeles in Pampanga released on Friday a list of accomplishments by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan since assuming the city’s top post in 2010.

The Facebook page of the Angeles City Information Office said Pamintuan, who will end his final term as city mayor next year, even went beyond his promises in 2010 which were contained in his “Contract with the Angelenos.”

Among the successful projects cited are the establishment of the City College of Angeles, the improvement and expansion of the Ospital Ning Angeles, the establishment of the Agyu Tamu Emergency and Disaster Command Center, and the provision of additional police cars that contributed to the city’s declaration as the most peaceful in Central Luzon and the 5th nationwide.

Pamintuan was also credited for the construction of the Angeles City Public Cemetery, and the modernization of the Pampang Public Market.

In the field of heritage, culture and the arts, the politiko made sure it is not left out by allocating funds and personnel for the improvement, for example, of the so-called Heritage District, with the Plaza Angel as centerpiece.

It cited the recognition that the city government earned from the Department of Tourism’s Association of Tourism Officers of the Philippines, and from the National Commission for Culture and the Arts.

Tourism seen incentivizing good governance CL-wide

(Press release)

The physical and socioeconomic benefits of tourism will form part of the exhibits of Central Luzon (CL) at the North Philippines (NorthPhil) Tourism and Travel Expo slated at the SM City Clark on November 16 to 18.

The exhibits will highlight tourism worthiness as the ultimate manifestation of good governance, which all the local government units (LGUs) in NorthPhil can aspire for, according to the Association of Tour Officers of Central Luzon (Atocel), which is anticipating the rise of new Clark and Subic cities on the tide of massive infrastructure development under the government’s ongoing Build, Build, Build program alongside private investments.

Atocel president Michael Palispis said LGUs in CL would have to level up to keep astride with and cash in on the benefits of such developments.

“Tourism worthiness encompasses, not just infrastructure and tourist attractions, but also all the qualities of good governance that includes safety and security, economic productivity, cultural values, social behavior and attitudes, a healthy business and natural environment, a well-educated populace, transport and telecommunications connectivity, and many other factors that define a CL visitor’s experience,” Palispis explained.

“The goal for the LGUs in CL and the rest of NorthPhil is to attain a level of certainty that they won’t miss out on the benefits and opportunities from tourism, whose uptrend is projected to continue despite all the fuel price hikes,” Palispis added.

Constituting Central Luzon are the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Pampanga, Tarlac and Zambales, with an aggregate 2017 tourist volume of 3.42 million comprising 2.91 million domestic, 481,436 foreign, and 14,254 overseas Filipino workers, according to the American Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines Inc.

The inbound tourist volume in Central Luzon, according to the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA), grew by 9.3 percent in 2017 when tourism industries contributed 12.2 percent to the economy from 8.6 percent in 2016 as measured by the share of Tourism Direct Gross Value Added (TDGVA) in the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).

“The TDGVA amounted to PhP 1,929 .3 billion (P1.93 trillion) at current prices in 2017. This is higher by 24.2 percent than the previous year’s record of PhP 1,553.7 billion (P1.55 trillion),” the PSA report stated, also citing the rise of inbound tourist spend by 43.9 percent in 2017.

Likewise on the upsurge was domestic tourist spend, which grew by 25.5 percent to Php 2,644.8 billion (or P2.645 trillion) in 2017 from PhP 2,108.2 billion (or P2.1 trillion) in 2016.

Share of tourism in total national employment in 2017 was placed by the PSA at 13.1 percent.

On the other hand, total contribution to GDP is projected by the World Travel & Tourism Council to rise by 5.3 percent yearly to USD108.2 billion (Php5,134.2 billion or Php5.134 trillion) at 20.7 percent of the GDP in 2027.

“Thus, our LGUs shouldn’t miss out on that golden opportunity from tourism, which we strive to showcase at the NorthPhil Expo in Clark,” Palispis said of Central Luzon’s unique exhibits.

Central Luzon covers the region at the immediate north of Metro Manila and spans the full breadth of this part of the archipelago from the coastal provinces of Pangasinan, Zambales and Bataan at the West Philippine Sea to Aurora Province at the Pacific Ocean The Central Luzon exhibits are among those displayed in 104 booths featuring all tourism sectors in North Philippines and other parts of the archipelago, including Asia.

Co-organized by the Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon (ATOCEL) and managed by the Philippine Exhibits and Trade Corp. (email: northphilexpo@gmail.com, and website www.northphilexpo.com), the expo is supported by the Department of Tourism, the Angeles City government, the provinces of Aurora, Bataan, Pampanga, Tarlac, and Zambales, Clark Development Corp., Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority, Tourism Infrastructure & Enterprise Zone Authority, and Cebu Pacific Air as sponsors.

Pampanga city, town cited for heritage programs

By Tonette Orejas

ANGELES CITY—This city in Pampanga province was an American base town that fell on its knees in 1991 when Clark Air Base shut down and Mt. Pinatubo erupted.

Magalang town, located at the foot of Mt. Arayat, battled with nature’s violence, transferring locations three times as rivers overflowed and changed course.

The two communities’ fortitude and ability to sustain their culture entitled them to this year’s Philippine Heritage Awards.

Angeles stood out for its support for its heritage program while Magalang was recognized for safeguarding its intangible cultural heritage.

President Duterte gave out the awards last month in Malacañang.

Angeles City’s heritage conservation work during the term of Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan spanned seven years beginning with the issuance on Dec. 11, 2011, of an executive order that created the Angeles heritage district working committee composed of both public and private sector representatives.

City’s soul

The committee promised “not only [to] provide for the physical health, education, livelihood of our citizens but their souls as well, [given that] the old buildings are the soul of the city while culture, arts and heritage are the people’”

Four years later, the city council passed the ordinance declaring the Angeles City heritage zone and adopted the implementing rules and regulations on Jan. 26, 2016.

In March 2016, the council exempted owners of historical and cultural buildings and structures in the city from paying real property tax.

Urban renewal

A study in 2015 showed that urban renewal oriented on protecting cultural artifacts had “restored the pride and dignity of the Angeleños.”

Ma. Lourdes Paras-Lacson grew up seeing big, hand-carried lanterns accompany the “nine nights of Christmas” processions and masses leading up to “Misa de Gallo” (Christmas Eve Mass).

By the time Lacson was elected the first woman mayor, the “lubenas” tradition had waned although it survived when the practice was moved first from Arayat to Macapsa (now Barangay Escaler) in 1605, then to San Bartolome (also called Balen Melacuan, now part of Concepcion town, Tarlac province), in 1734 and to Barangay San Pedro in 1863.

Community undertaking

Magalang tourism officer Ryan Miranda said Lacson asked for allocations from the local budget to preserve the lubenas and supplement the community donations.

She facilitated meetings between the village and pastoral councils to make the lubenas a real community undertaking for unity as well as peace and order.

“The significance of lubenas lies in its being able to unite the villagers in undertaking the nine-day event, provide a visual form of catechism for youngsters, deepen the Christian faith and enliven the communities during Christmas,” Miranda said.

ACWD eyes septage management implementation by early 2019

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

A TOP official of the Angeles City Water District (ACWD) said the water facility's septage management system will likely start by the first quarter of 2019.

ACWD general manager Reynaldo Liwanag said the water district is waiting for the approval of its proposed environment fee rates from the Local Water Utilities Administration (LWUA).

"LWUA is the one who will authorize me to collect the environment fee from the concessionaires of the Angeles City Water District," Liwanag said.

The environment fee is expected to be pegged at 10 percent of the monthly water bills of consumers, according to him. "For example your montly for the water consumption for this month is worth P220, you will pay 22 pesos on top of your water bill."

Septic tanks will be desludge in three to five years, Liwanag added.

"Within three to five years, you are paying in installment the environment fee based on the volume of water you consumed," the ACWD official said.

But Liwanag clarified that the septic tank desludging fee will have a cap of P4,500 to P5,000.

Septage Management System refers to the comprehensive programs for managing septic tanks and the procedures for the desludging, transporting, treating and disposing of septic tank contents.

The ACWD has constructed a septage water treatment plant inside its 4,000 square meter property in Barangay Cutud, Liwanag said.

The water district spent around P100 million for the project which is expected to get an accreditation or permit from the city government by December this year.

Liwanag said the Supreme Court has directed the city government to implement the project and majority of the city officials supports the ACWD's septage management system.

Aside from providing potable water to some 55,000 consumers, the ACWD is also mandated to implement the septage project.

"There is a mandamus from the Supreme Court that by 2020, all septage management systems should be put up by water districts and local government units in Pampanga, Bulacan and other places draining water and have indirect contribution to the pollution at the Manila Bay," Liwanag said.

The ACWD has acquired two trucks worth P20 million which will be used in the collection of sludge from the septic tanks, the water district official added.

Angeles City, property owners ink land acquisition pact

(PR)

ABOUT 213 residents in Barangay Pampang, Angeles City are set to acquire their respective land titles as the local government through the Local Urban Poor Affairs and Housing Office (Lupaho) and private individuals inked a memorandum of agreement (MoA) on Tuesday, November 6.

The MoA was signed by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, Vice-Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno, Councilor Amos Rivera, Pampang Barangay Captain Luis de Luna, LUPAHO-OIC Jericho Baldemor, Attorney-in Fact Renee Rose Marie Serrano, Carmelo Virgillo Lim, and Homeowners Association President Geralyn Cura.

The beneficiaries of the MoA from Purok 5B in Barangay Pampang are seen to benefit from the land acquisition program of the city. The property is owned by the Lim, Santos, Serrano, and Nepomuceno families.

The MoA states the sale of the property to the amount of P1,000 per square meter if paid in cash basis within a period of one year; or an amount of P1,500 per square meter if payable within a period of three years.

According to Rivera, Lupaho is mandated to perpetually render efficient and effective public service to indigent Angeleños by providing them decent homes which can truly be called their own. The city councilor also urged the beneficiaries to practice the honor of settling obligations as stipulated in the MoA.

Also during the ceremony, a total of 38 individuals from Purok 2 in the same village received their land titles.

Meanwhile, Nepomuceno acknowledged the generosity of the Lim, Santos, Serrano families and their descendants for collaborating with the city in the realizing the land title distribution.

Nepomuceno led the oath taking of the newly elected homeowners association officers shortly after the turnover ceremony.

For his part, Pamintuan expressed his appreciation to the unparalleled generosity of the land owners for helping the city accomplish its Contract with the Angelenos (CWA) especially on programs concerning the urban poor sector.

The mayor added that the active involvement of the benefactor families manifest their unity with the administration’s efforts to achieve “zero informal settlers” in the city.

In the same way, Pamintuan inspired the beneficiaries to be responsible in keeping what is stipulated in the MoA by religiously paying their dues. He assured everyone that the city’s program on low cost housing will be sustained by the local government in the coming years.

Also present during the signing of the MoA were Councilor Edgardo Pamintuan Jr., City Communications Officer Jay Pelayo IV, Barangay Captain Chris Cortez of Mining, Barangay Captain Alma Mercado of Tabun, Councilor Jericho Aguas and wife JC Parker-Aguas, Councilor Alexander Indiongco and wife CLAC President Thelma Indiongco, and Raco Del Rosario.

SSS offers loan to pensioners

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

CLARK FREEPORT -- The Social Security System (SSS) is now offering its Pension Loan Assistance Program for retirees.

This was disclosed on Wednesday, November 7, by Gloria Corazon Andrada, SSS Central Luzon 2B head during the monthly media forum of the Pampang Press Club and Widus Hotel and Casino dubbed Talk Widus.

"The SSS nationwide has rolled out Pension Loan Assistance Program for retirees. We all know that our pensioners go to different lending institutions for emergency expenditures like the tuition fees of their grandchildren and others," Andrada said.

SSS initiated a loan program for retirees which may reached double of the value of their monthly pensions or up to P32,000, according to the SSS officer.

Andrada however clarified that only pensioners aging 80 and below are qualified in the new SSS loan program.

Retirees who are interested to avail of the loan should personally visit any SSS branches nationwide, she added.

During the media forum, Andrada also bared the agency's extended loan restructuring program which will end April 1, 2019.

The restructuring program is open to SSS members with outstanding loan balances, she said.

"All of those short term loans like salary loans, calamity loans are covered by the program," Andrada added.

Members, who will avail of the loan restructing program, may pay at once or installment within five years, she said.

SSS members will have to pay a penalty of one percent per month or 12 percent per year, Andrada added.

7 Beans Café now brewing in AC

By Ashley Manabat and Ning Cordero

ANGELES CITY – A coffee shop well suited for millennials as well as for coffee enthusiasts is now brewing at the heritage district in Barangay Sto. Rosario here in front of Imerex Hotel.

The 7 Beans Café along Miranda Street was formally opened on Oct. 30 by the Mercado family.

Unlike the regular coffee shops, 7 Beans Café, acquaints the customers with the finest coffee, delicious food and homey ambiance resulting to extraordinary dining experience.

Alena David, store supervisor, said 7 Beans Café serves seven different kinds of coffee bean origins, both local and international, as well as all-time favorite dishes.

“We used to serve only one distinct coffee beans, that is Sagada beans, but now we have international coffee beans like Ethiopia and Columbia and local beans like Benguet and Atok,” she said. “But our signature drink is still Sagada,” she added.

Serving the right brew and right meal make a big difference. 7 Beans Café also has Kapampangan all-time favorite food on the menu.

“We serve food like kare-kare, sizzling sisig, caldereta and even sinigang na salmon as well as all-day breakfast, pasta and sandwiches,” she said.

If there’s another thing 7 Beans Café is known for, it’s their nostalgic and homey restaurant design, each corner is worthy of a snap on Instagram.

David said the ambiance of the coffee shop is now more conducive unlike before where the ambiance is more modern inside the Imerex Hotel. The ancestral house atmosphere is more Instagramable especially for millennials,” she explained.

7 Beans Café is open daily from 10 am to 11 pm.

SM joins quarterly nationwide simultaneous earthquake drill

(PR)

SM MALLS in Pampanga joined the Nationwide Simultaneous Earthquake Drill (NSED), a quarterly National Distaste Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC)-led activity that seeks to educate public on disaster preparedness against earthquakes and to showcase government capability on disaster response.

With the holiday season picking up, SM malls in Pampanga, Clark, San Fernando Downtown, Telabastagan and Savemore Market Apalit held simulations on earthquake and evacuation participated by customers, employees, affiliates, tenants, and staff on its continuous promotion in providing education and awareness to its front liners and partners on these natural and/or man-made catastrophes through conducting regular seminars on safety and evacuation.

Over 1,500 participants including customers, tenants/affiliates, BPO and SM employees and agencies participated in the simultaneous drills. The malls in Pampanga, San Fernando Downtown and Telabastagan were fully supported by local government partners present from Bureau of Fire Protection Mexico (BFP) headed by SI Josie Lising, BFP City of San Fernando SFO3 Melvin Manlutac, Philippine National Police (PNP) City of San Fernando, Provincial Disaster Risk Reduction Management Office (PDRRMO) representatives Rowel Tablante, Mark Sarmiento and Antonio Dungo who have been training and in close coordination on earthquake and fire simulations in SM malls in Pampanga.

All SM malls nationwide actively participates in this worthy and life-saving endeavor. A regular seminar is held to tenants on the proper duck, cover and hold position in times of earthquake and evacuation over mall orientations.

Mayoral aspirant asks city officials to stop P1-B worth of projects

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

ANGELES CITY -- Mayoralty candidate Alex Cauguiran has asked incumbent Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Vice-Mayor Bryan Nepomuceno, another mayoral aspirant, to stop the P1-billion worth of projects in the city.

In a press statement, Cauguiran described as “totally inconsiderate” the city government’s decision to acquire the loan from the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) to construct a new City Hall building and a modern sports complex.

“The mayor and vice-mayor must first address the basic priority needs of the city and its residents, to provide better medical and health services, and expand opportunities for free college education, before constructing these modern facilities,” Cauguiran said.

Cauguiran urged Pamintuan and Nepomuceno to “stop all these projects as no award has been made yet.”

“How can we in conscience put the convenience of local government unit (LGU) officials over and above the need for medical services of our residents, most of whom cannot afford to go to the private hospitals? Build a sports complex or provide more opportunities for free quality education? If you are truly responsive to the needs and priorities of our

fellow Angeleños, please listen to the people and stop your extravagant projects,” he added.

Cauguiran, former chief-of-staff of Pamintuan, said LGU officials should instead channel the funds to address the inadequacies at the Ospital ng Angeles (ONA) and to accommodate more poor but deserving students at the City College of Angeles (CCA).

Last February 26, Pamintuan requested from Nepomuceno an authority from the Sangguniang Panglungsod to enter into and sign a loan agreement amounting to P1-billion with the DBP.

Among the projects cited by Pamintuan to be funded from the loan were a new five-storey city hall in the amount P580 million; office equipment, furniture, and computer hardware and software at P25 million; sports complex and equipment for P360 million and a multi-level steel parking at P60 million, for a total of P1.025 billion, according to Cauguiran.

“The city government will be heavily burdened for the payment of these loans over a period of 15 years and will add up to the previous borrowings of the LGU. Remember that last year alone, the city government appropriated P176 million to service its outstanding loans,” Cauguiran said.

Cauguiran said based on official documents, two term loans were signed between the city government and the DBP, one in the amount of P1,043,000,000, and another at P183,800,000 for a total of P1,226,800,000.

“Both loans were notarized on the same day, June 18, 2018,” Cauguiran added.

Cauguiran also said that on July 18, both Pamintuan and Nepomuceno approved City Council Appropriation Ordinance No. 325, S-2018 (PO-1045-07-18) which included the funding of the new city hall, sports complex, multi-level steel parking, and other related capital expenditures amounting to P1.025 billion.

The bidding for the sports complex was conducted on September 25 while that of the new city hall is scheduled on November 13, Cauguiran disclosed.

Cauguiran is the former Clark airport president who was lauded for his results-oriented managerial skills and credited with the increase in flights, destinations and number of passengers at the so-called premier airport of the North.

He is running under the Kabilan Party of incumbent Pampanga governor Lilia Pineda and supported by majority of the card-bearing members of the Partido Abe Kapampangan, a party he helped established in 2012.

CDC execs, staff to undergo Mandarin language training

(PR)

CLARK FREEPORT -- Clark Development Corporation (CDC) officers and front-line staff will undergo basic Mandarin language course in one of the top universities in the country.

This was gleaned in the three-year Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) signed between CDC and the Confucius Institute–University of the Philippines Diliman (CI-UPD) here.

The said MOU signed by CDC President and CEO Noel F. Manankil and UP Diliman Confucius Institute (UPD-CI) Chancellor Michael L. Tan serves as part of the state-owned firm’s support for its employees’ capacity - building program.

Recognizing China as one of its major markets for tourism and business-related pursuits, CDC entered in an MOU to give a more improved services by fully understanding language and culture.

The MOU was also a result of the influx of Chinese investments, tourists and guests in this Freeport and the country.

Mabalacat City Mayor Crisostomo Garbo and Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) Administrator Wilma Eisma also signed up and partnered with CI-UPD.

CDC Chairman Jose “Ping” De Jesus with Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, Confucius Institute – Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Director Lourdes Nepomuceno, Mark Nepomuceno, CDC Tourism Promotions Manager Noemi B. Julian and other officials from Xiamen University and Mabalacat City College were also present to witness the said signing.

The CDC – Tourism and Promotions Division stated that in June and September of this year, around 4,000 Chinese tourists have toured Clark from cruise ships that called at the port of Subic.

There are also several Chinese investments in Clark which cater to mainland Chinese and Taiwanese tourists.

Council Magsaysay backs Councilor Pamintuan’s bid for Angeles VM

(Politiko North Luzon)

San Juan, La Union Councilor Miguel “Migz” Magsaysay is backing the vice mayoral bid of Angeles City Councilor Edgardo “Edu” Pamintuan Jr.!

Magsaysay posted a picture of him partying with the Angeles politiko during this year’s Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan Festival in Angeles.

“All in support for the incoming Vice Mayor of Angeles City @edupamintuan #mrviceps #tigtiganterakankengdalan #letitBE,” said Magsaysay.

What an alliance!

Converge CEO Dennis Uy sponsors Angeles’ TTKD 2018

(Politiko Central Luzon)

Angeles City went all-out in this year’s Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan (TTKD)!

Mayor Edgardo “Ed” Pamintuan Sr. said Converge Chief Executive Officer Dennis Uy was among the major sponsors of TTKD 2018.’

The politiko posted a picture of him with Uy and the latter’s wife Grace Yao-Uy during the celebration.

“Dennis Uy‘s one of our major sponsors at TTKD 2018, representing CONVERGE solutions. With wife Grace Yao-Uy… Thank you, Converge!” said Pamintuan.

Horticulture enthusiasts stage Bonsai open competition, exhibit

(PR)

ANGELES CITY -- Horticulture enthusiasts displayed their works and artistry as the Kapampangan Horticulture and Bonsai Society (KHBS) staged the 15th Regional Bonsai and Suiseki Competition on October 26 to 28 at the MarQuee Mall Activity Center.

Themed “Bayung Pun, Bayung Suli”, this year’s exhibition cum competition was held in collaboration with the City Government of Angeles through the Angeles City Tourism Office, and the City Information Office.

The annual event has been a convergence of horticulture hobbyists, enthusiasts, and collectors from the organization’s affiliated clubs, associations, and friends. A total of 106 entries participated this year in the said competition.

The program kicked off with a ribbon cutting ceremony led by City First Lady Herminia Pamintuan, Besco CEO Im Yee Gin, KHBS President Bong De Luna BSAPI President Vincent Ferrer, KHBS Secretary Averell S. Laquindanum, and KHBS Vice President Dr. Ric Ramos.

“Working with nature including bonsai trees can help everyone become a better and a more peaceful person. The theme also represents the organization’s new sets of leaders wherein innovations and changes will be introduced in the coming years,” De Luna said.

Meanwhile, BSAPI President Vincent Ferrer said that growing and tending to bonsai trees is a wonderful avocation and enormous stress reliever, thus encouraging everyone present to do the same. “Judging this year’s competition was tough yet dynamic and challenging but believes the winners were all deserving”, he added.

Aside from the bonsai exhibition, the event also featured ‘Suiseki’, a delicate and traditional Japanese art that studies naturally formed stones as objects of beauty and enjoyment.

Overall, the aim of the presentation is to advocate the appreciation for the craft and to share the instinctive beauty of these miniature trees and stones to the curiosity of the viewing public.

For his part, Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno lauded KHBS for promoting Horticulture not only as a hobby but an artistic pursuit that provides livelihood opportunities through bonsai propagation.

The event is part of the city’s month-long Fiestang Kuliat celebration.

Angeleño youth get familiar with Kapampangan traditional Games

(PR)

ANGELES CITY -- Youth from various schools and villages in this highly-urbanized city participated in a series of day-long tournaments featuring traditional Kapampangan Games as the city government here staged the 2018 edition of “Mamialung Tamu!” (Let’s Play!)

The Angeles City Tourism Office (ACTO) in partnership with the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Angeles City Sports Office (ACSO) organized this year’s festivity at the Estacion de Angeles (PNR) People’s Park on October 26.

The event was attended by more than 50 children from the four school districts of Angeles City. Players wearing colored shirts representing the north, south, east and west school districts added to the festive mood of the activity.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said that “Mamialung Tamu” was conceived to serve an avenue for the contemporary youth to grasp a first-hand experience of various age-old Kapampangan games.

“With Mamialung Tamu, we are embedding a mindset that there are a bunch of activities that our youth can enjoy aside from using their gadgets all day long. This also inculcates the sense of leadership, patience, and determination among competing teams which are important to the holistic development of our youth,” said Pamintuan.

Among the game events that were opened during the play-offs are Gulyot, Kusugan Tansan, Labulan Goma, Lundagan Goma, Patintero, Perdigana, Piko, Remborak, Samsamang Panyu, Tatsing Bola, Tiraan Lata and Tumpakan Goma.

Arsenia Ponce, marketing and tourism promotions head of ACTO, said that the event also aimed at reviving the Filipino culture and traditions among the youth. She also emphasized that the continuation of this event will assure the maintenance of the Indigenous Kapampangan games in the generations to come.

Meanwhile, Vice-Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno graced the occasion as the “Mamang Sorbetero” or ice cream man where he offered sorts of refreshments to the contingents. He then joined some of the traditional games and played with the participants.

“Having experienced our traditional games gives me bliss. This has been a tradition in Angeles City and I hope that our youth will continue in participating as it is intended for them. Rest assured that the city government will continue its programs that promote cultural heritage and activities that are pro-youth,” said Nepomuceno.

Also present during the event were Councilor Jericho Aguas and his wife JC Parker-Aguas, and Barangay Captain Alma Mercado of Tabun. Mamialung Tamu is one of the most celebrated sports event of the month-long Fiestang Kuliat in the city.

Jampacked street party beats records

(PR)

MORE than 80,000 residents and tourists flocked to Angeles City’s highly-anticipated Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan (TTKD) in 2018, setting a new record in number of attendees.

The number was based on the ticket sales of JCI Angeles Culiat, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan announced during the flag raising ceremonies at the city hall Monday, October 29.

During the festival’s opening day on October 26, Pamintuan expressed that he was overwhelmed by the massive crowd.

“Twenty-six years have passed but Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan is still an event worth waiting for,” he said. The festival serves as the climax of the month-long Fiestang Kuliat.

Pamintuan was emotional as he announced that it will be the last under his administration.

The mayor, who has served a total of five terms, pioneered TTKD during his first term in October 1992 with the primary goal of uplifting the dampened spirit of the Angeleños in the aftermath of the Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

“After all the difficulties we have experienced, our city was built again and eventually became one of the prosperous cities in the Philippines,” the mayor said.

Vice-Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno reiterated in his thanksgiving speech that the two-day merriment has become “a tribute to the resilient and triumphant Angeleño spirit”.

The opening salvo included dance performances from the city’s premiere dance groups and performing arts companies such as the City College of Angeles Band and Street Dancers, ACNTS Drum Lyre Band/Street Dancers, Republic Central Colleges Street Dancers, Francisco G. Nepomuceno Memorial High School Street Dancers, Angeles City National High School, Systems Plus College Foundation, and the Sinukwan Kapampangan Center for the Arts.

There were food stalls as well as diverse forms of entertainment featuring celebrities and music artists from the local and national scene.

Local artists and government officials were also given the venue to showcase their talents with the Artists Village and the Kagawads Got Talent event, while Pamintuan rendered his handpicked The Beatles’ songs at the “Let It BE” stage.

The TTKD committee for peace and order disclosed that it has deployed more than 1,200 police personnel to ensure the safety and security of all the attendees. Various groups of volunteers reinforced the peacekeeping action teams.

Complementation key to CL tourism growth

By Malou Dungog

CLARK FREEPORT – The Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA) is seeking to integrate tourist destinations in the neighboring provinces of Pampanga, Tarlac, Bataan and Zambales to further sweeten the pot for the cruise tourism program of the Subic Bay Freeport and create inclusive growth in the region.

In the News@Hues media forum of the Pampanga Press Club at the Park Inn by Radisson Clark recently, SBMA chairman Wilma T. Eisma said there is a need for local communities in Central Luzon to open up more attractions and strengthen each other’s tourism offerings through tactically- coordinated programs.

“Our strategy is for Subic to become the anchor cruise ship destination, but it’s actually not only for Subic but for the inclusive growth of all of us as well,” Eisma explained.

She pointed out that cruise ship passengers disembarking in Subic have frequented various destinations in Clark Freeport, as well as attractions like Las Casas De Acuzar in Bataan and mango farms in Zambales.

“The idea is to come up with curated experiences that we can commonly sell to tourists,” Eisma said.

“Zambales will have agro-tourism, Bataan and Tarlac their historical sites, while we can bring cruise ship passengers for a food trip in Pampanga to sample the popular local cuisine.”

“There is a lot of opportunity, and a lot of dreams that we can realize through the cruise ship program. The key is complementation and the strategy is to sell your own destinations as well as those of your neighbor’s,” she added.

As of now, the SBMA’s cruise ship tourism program is running smoothly, Eisma said, with Subic hosting 17 ship arrivals since February and expecting up to 10 more arrivals before the end of the year.

She added that Subic has already confirmed the arrival of 20 trips for next year, including “Spectrum of the Seas”, a 5,000-capacity cruise ship being built for launching next year by Royal Caribbean International, one of the biggest cruise lines in the world.

Last month, the Central Luzon Regional Development Council cited the SBMA for developing Subic into a premier cruise ship destination in the country and noted that cruise ship arrivals in Subic this year had generated more than P85-million worth of economic activity.

These came in the form of income from cruise ship passengers’ visits to theme parks, local transportation costs, port fees, purchase of local products, dining, and other services provided by tourism-related establishments.

To further build up the Subic cruise ship program, Eisma said the SBMA is seeking the approval of a visa-free scheme for tourists arriving at the Subic Bay Freeport that would also invigorate the tourism industry in neighboring areas.

She said the Subic agency is now working with the Office of the President and concerned agencies to amend EO 271 signed by President Fidel Ramos in 1995 that allows foreign nationals visiting Subic to stay within the free port for a maximum of 14 days without visa.

“I’m very, very hopeful that our visa-free proposal will be granted soon, because once that happens Central Luzon can expect a deluge of tourists and we would surely get our hands full,” Eisma said.

She said the SBMA is continuously working with officials of Clark Freeport and government executives in Zambales, Bataan, Pampanga and Tarlac to plan out tourism cooperation programs, including the hosting of the Southeast Asian Games next year.

In the same forum, SM Clark public relations manager Venus Manalang noted that the renowned mall chain has been accommodating cruise ship passengers who arrived from the Subic Freeport and expressed support to SBMA plans to promote tourism in Central Luzon.

“If the SM Olongapo City branch opens their doors earlier than the scheduled work hours to accommodate cruise ship passengers, the SM Clark branch will also find ways to heighten the interests of cruise ship passengers who will visit our branch,” Manalang said.

CBS hosts DepEd venture financial wellness meet

By Chris Navarro

IN RESPONSE to calls by education officials and economic managers for initiatives to promote personal finance education, China Bank Savings (CBS) recently sponsored a Central Luzon-wide financial wellness meet dubbed “CBS DepEd Venture 2.0: Alay sa Mga Guro” at the Grand Palazzo Royale in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Over 500 principals, teachers and non-teaching staff representing public elementary school and high school teachers in the provinces of Pampanga, Bulacan, Bataan, Tarlac, Zambales and Nueva Ecija attended the intensive course in money management.

With the Department of Education (DepEd) and the Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas underscoring the need to enhance financial knowledge among Filipinos, China Bank Savings rolled out the nationwide CBS Financial Wellness Roadshow last September 6.

The CBS Financial Wellness Roadshow is the ongoing advocacy program on personal finance for public school teachers, with whistle stops in 13 cities including the Visayas and Mindanao regions. The program took off from the successful DepEd Venture financial wellness event organized last year in Manila in partnership with (DepEd).

CBS DepEd Venture 2.0 in Angeles City served to highlight the bank’s nationwide advocacy program. This year’s meet was anchored on the seminar “Charting the Course of your Financial Life” and featured financial adviser Rex Mendoza, president and CEO of Rampver Financials. Takeaways from the seminar include practical skill sets for making smart financial decisions, conserving family assets, and preparing for a worry-free retirement.

The program was formally opened by DepEd Regional Director Dr. Beatriz G. Torno and keynoted by Undersecretary Victoria M. Catibog on behalf of Education Secretary Leonor M. Briones.

Thousands to flock to biggest football event

(SunStar Pampanga)

MORE than 7,000 football enthusiasts are expected to flock to Clark Freeport to witness the staging of the biggest football tournament in the country dubbed as “Pinas Cup 2018” on October 27 to 30.

Organized by Manila Soccer Academy in cooperation with Philippine Football Federation, the event will bring together some 115 teams including participants from across the country.

Spectators and supporters of competing teams coming from Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan De Oro, Bicol and Metro Manila will also come over to cheer and enjoy the festivities during the four-day football tournament.

Representatives from leading schools and universities in the country such as Ateneo, University of the Philippines, La Salle, and Xavier School and other selected schools will also join the competition.

Clark Development Corporation (CDC) is coordinating with the organizers to ensure the success of the said event, which is being held for the third time in Clark.

In a statement posted in their website, the organizers of the event have cited the suitability of Clark as a location for the said tournament and its potential as a premiere sports-tourism destination.

“Clark Freeport Zone is now a primary sponsor. They provide us with eight full size pitches and five small size pitches and have agreed to maintain the pitch to a well acceptable standard and playing quality. We also find Clark as an ideal venue to host national and international teams with the international airport, numerous hotels in the area as well as various entertainment attractions,” the organizers said.

This year’s Pinas Cup will include girls, women's and men's categories, making the tournament a family affair.

Clark hosts Pinas Cup 2018

By Ding Cervantes

CLARK FREEPORT – This freeport is premium spot for over 7,000 football enthusiasts as it hosts the biggest football tournament in the country dubbed as ‘Pinas Cup 2018’ on October 27 to 30.

Organized by Manila Soccer Academy in participation with Philippine Football Federation, the event will bring together 115 teams including participants from Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Indonesia, and Thailand among other countries, the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) said.

CDC said “supporters and spectators of competing teams coming from Cebu, Davao, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cagayan De Oro, Bicol and Metro Manila will also come over to play, cheer and enjoy the festivities during the four-day football tournament here.”

Representatives from leading schools and universities in the country such as Ateneo, University of the Philippines, La Salle, and Xavier School and other selected schools will also join in the competition, it added.

Pinas Cup is now on its third year here. In a statement posted in their website, the organizers of the event cited the suitability of Clark as a location for the said tournament, citing the freeport’s “potential as a premiere sports-tourism destination.”

“Clark Freeport Zone is now a primary sponsor. They provide us with 8 full size pitches and 5 small size pitches and have agreed to maintain the pitch to a well acceptable standard and playing quality. We also find Clark as an ideal venue to host national and international teams with the international airport, numerous hotels in the area as well as various entertainment attractions,” the organizers said.

This year’s Pinas Cup will include girls, women’s and men’s categories, making the tournament a family affair which attracted a number of international youth teams to come and experience football games, including the beauty and festive culture of the country.

Angeles City officials receive National Heritage Award

(Politiko Central Luzon)

Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno of Angeles City, Pampanga led in receiving Wednesday the Philippine Heritage Awards to the city government of Angeles.

The Presidential citation and Philippine Heritage Award were presented to the city government of Angeles under the Heritage Program Support Category, “in recognition of its exemplary work and contributions in the area of heritage preservation and conservation efforts through its Cultural Renaissance of Angeles City Program.”

The citation noted that the local government’s program “provides a long-term sustainable vision and blueprint for the local government, non-governmental organizations, religious institutions, private entities and members of the community to successfully collaborate in protecting and preserving heritage sites and infrastructure.”

The event was held at Malacanang Palace, with President Rodrigo Duterte conferring the awards together with National Commission for Culture and the Arts Chairman Virgilio Almario and Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea.

The Philippine Heritage Awards was among four awards given out. The three others are the National Artist Award, the National Living Treasures, and the Presidential Medal of Merit.

It is the first time that the NCCA is presenting the Philippine Heritage Awards as it recognizes special achievements and important contribution and services in the area of heritage preservation and conservation efforts, in accordance with the National Cultural Heritage Law.

Nepomuceno received the citation in plaque, while Angeles City Councilor Edgardo Pamintuan, Jr. held the trophy.

On his Facebook page, exclaimed, “To God be all the Glory!” as he shared screenshots of his and Nepomuceno’s appearance on the RTVM coverage of the event.

Metro Pacific Tollways gears up for ‘Undas’

By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario and Manny Balbin (PNA)

CLARK FREEPORT, Pampanga -- The Metro Pacific Tollways Corporation (MPTC) announced on Tuesday the boosting of service capacity of its expressway network to provide more convenient travel to the public, particularly in the coming holidays.

MPTC is the holding company of North Luzon Expressway (NLEX), Subic- Clark-Tarlac Expressway (SCTEX), and Cavite Expressway (CAVITEX).

MPTC president and CEO Rodrigo Franco, during the “Safe Trip Mo, Sagot Ko (SMSK)” press conference held at the Luxent Hotel in Quezon City, said they will continue to enhance traffic management and toll collection services for the convenience of motorists.

He said no road works will start from Oct. 26 to Nov, 5 this year on any of the three expressways.

Lawyer Romulo S. Quimbo Jr., NLEX Corporation senior vice president for communication and stakeholder management, said from Oct. 26 to Nov. 5, NLEX-SCTEX traffic management teams will adopt extended working hours to closely monitor and manage the expected high volume of vehicles in Balintawak, Mindanao Avenue, Bocaue, Sta. Ines, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas.

Additional patrol and incident response teams will also be deployed in critical areas to immediately assist motorists.

During the peak periods of Oct. 26, 28, 31, and Nov. 1, the Balintawak Toll Plaza will open a maximum of 28 toll collection points while Mindanao Avenue, Tarlac, and Tipo toll plazas will open a maximum of 10, 20, and 6 toll collection points, respectively.

Portabooths and portable toll collection equipment will be used to lessen motorists’ waiting time at the toll plazas.

By Oct. 28, Nov. 1, 2, 3 and 4, the Bocaue Toll Plaza will have a maximum of 60 collection points for southbound motorists. Toll tellers at the Tarlac Toll Plaza will be ready to issue pre-encoded transit tickets to motorists.

During the same period, CAVITEX will field more patrol teams to manage the traffic and assist motorists.

Construction along the mainline road at the NLEX-SCTEX-CAVITEX will be suspended from Oct. 26 at 5 p.m. to Nov. 5 at 9 a.m.

The MPTC and its partners will likewise set up SMSK Motorist Camps and provide free calls, Wi-Fi, drinking water, basic mechanic services and first aid treatment in designated locations.

The SMSK will also provide 24-hour free towing services to the nearest exit for Class 1 vehicles from Oct. 31, 6 a.m. to 11:59 p.m. of November 4.

“One of the advanced enhancement for the digital world of MPTC is real-time traffic situation at the NLEX-SCTEX, which can now be viewed via Facebook Live on the NLEX Corporation Facebook page from Oct. 31-Nov. 4,” Franco said.

In the expansion projects, the NLEX Corporation is constructing new toll lanes in four toll plazas in Pampanga aimed at matching the rapid pace of the province’s traffic growth.

Among these toll plazas are in San Fernando (southbound entry and exit), Mexico, and Angeles.

“Two more toll lanes at the San Fernando southbound (SB) exit and one additional toll lane at the SB entry are in the works to accommodate the increasing traffic volume. The Angeles toll plaza will be augmented with two entry lanes and one exit lane, while another toll lane will be built at the Mexico northbound exit. Additional lanes will likewise be constructed at the connecting ramps of NLEX and SCTEX in Mabalacat City," Franco said.

Meanwhile, the Cavitex Infrastructure Corporation is set to fully open the Marina left-turning flyover to pave way for smoother traffic flow and eliminate the existing traffic lights.

All these enhancements are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

In toll and traffic system enhancements, Renato Punzalan, vice president for Tollways Development and Engineering South, said the MPTC continues to innovate through systems enhancements in NLEX, SCTEX, and CAVITEX in an effort to elevate customer experience.

“To accommodate the increasing number of Easytrip subscribers, some cash and mixed toll lanes in NLEX will become exclusive electronic toll collection (ETC) lanes,” Punzalan said.

“From 15 exclusive ETC lanes in 2017, NLEX will now have 27 exclusive ETC lanes for Easytrip subscribers. At Cavitex, two toll lanes at the Parañaque Toll Plaza will be converted to exclusive RFID lanes,” he added.

Over at the SCTEX, four emergency call boxes (ECB) are currently being installed at Dinalupihan (Subic-bound), Porac (Subic-bound), Dolores (Tarlac-bound), and San Miguel (Tarlac-bound) to ensure the security and safety of motorists.

Punzalan noted that the call boxes will enable distressed motorists to directly and quickly reach the SCTEX Traffic Control Room and allow SCTEX teams to respond faster.

"The new call boxes are also equipped with cameras for better roadside management," he said.

Meanwhile, variable electronic message signs providing useful and updated traffic information will also be put up at the Floridablanca (Subic-bound), Concepcion (Subic-bound), Porac (Tarlac-bound), and Bamban (Tarlac-bound) interchanges.

SM to develop 10 hectares in Clark

By Jenniffer B. Austria (/Udenna Corp)

Property developer SM Prime Holdings Inc. signed a sublease agreement with Global Gateway Development Corp. of businessman Dennis Uy to develop 10 hectares in Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga province.

GGDC, the owner and developer of a 177-hectare mixed-use development in Clark, said in a statement SM Prime would initially sublease five hectares of Clark Global City, with an option to lease another five hectares within the next three years.

The subleased space will expand the adjacent retail, office and hotel developments of SM Prime in Clark Freeport Zone. SM has a shopping mall along M.A. Roxas Ave. in Clark Freeport, Angeles City.

“Clark Global City provides us another platform to help develop Clark and thereby unlock employment and business opportunities in the region,” said SM Prime executive committee chairman Hans Sy.

“We will explore more opportunities to contribute to the transformation of Clark as a premier investment destination in Asia-Pacific,” he said.

Clark Global City is a master-planned development with a buildable area of more than 123 hectares. It will host top-grade office buildings, up-market retail outlets, contemporary academic centers, sports centers, an urban park, an iconic tower, a hotel and casino and modern support services and amenities.

Clark Global City is home to a 173-bed hospital under The Medical City brand along with two fully leased out Grade A office buildings.

The existing office buildings, with 57,000 square meters of leasable office and retail spaces, form part of a complex called West Aeropark. Three more buildings, which have been pre-leased, are under construction at the site.

“Having SM Prime as one of our anchor locators boosts our efforts in developing Clark Global City as the country’s new center of business, life and innovation,” GGDC chairman Dennis Uy said.

“We look forward to welcoming more companies and investors as partners in realizing our vision for Clark Global City, which we believe will translate to more jobs and better living conditions for our fellow Filipinos,” Uy said.

GGDC is wholly-owned subsidiary of Udenna Development Corp., the real estate and property development arm of one of the fastest-growing holding companies in the Philippines.

‘Commercio’ to reopen in Clark for Christmas

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

IN TIME for the Yuletide season, “Commercio Central” is set to reopen at Clark Freeport in a “lifestyle market” format.

Clark Manabat, one of the organizers of Commercio, said that the soft–opening will be on October 26 while the grand reopening will be on November 6.

On its second season, the lifestyle-weekend market at the Parade Grounds will feature some 50 concessionaires with additional kiosks that will showcase authentic Kapampangan dishes and products.

Manabat also mentioned that different goods from other provinces will also be available at Commercio.

“Commercio will offer authentic Kapampangan foods like sisig, ihaw-ihaw and street foods. We will also have products coming from other provinces like Ilocos with their empanada and also products from Baguio,” he said.

Manabat said that during the grand reopening, guests and tourists can expect a variety of new activities that will help to promote tourism here. He added that several competitions will be conducted which will be participated by different schools and barangays near this Freeport.

“Our activities will be until December. We have singing and dance competitions with schools in Angeles and Mabalacat cities as yung mga target participants. Then we will also have a battle of the bands, plus a drum and lyre competition for different schools and barangays,” he said.

Manabat said that a lighting ceremony and a dinner for a cause will also be held in December to support the Aeta community here.

He added that with the vision of Commercio in promoting tourism, they are trying to reach out to local government units (LGUs) to help different municipalities in promoting their local products through Commercio.

“We also ask support from the LGUs to raise awareness about the local products of municipalities sa Pampanga. With the support of House Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo and Governor Lilia Pineda, we asked for their help if they can give us a way to introduce to them Commercio so at least the products each municipality will be promoted through Commercio,” Manabat said.

Senior citizens converge for Elderly Week celebration

(PR)

ANGELES City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan and Vice-Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno joined thousands of Angeleño senior citizens on Wednesday, October 17, to celebrate this year’s Elderly Week at the MarQuee Mall Activity Center.

Spearheaded by the Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca), the celebration with the theme, “Kilalanin at Parangalan: Tagasulong ng Karapatan ng Nakakatanda tungo sa Lipunang Mapagkalinga”, aims to empower and give recognition to the elderly sector for their invaluable contribution to the society and nation building.

During the event, the city government officials led by Pamintuan gave special song numbers for the attendees. OSCA also prepared song and dance numbers, and raffles which were actively participated by the elderly.

In his speech, a sentimental Pamintuan bid his farewell to the elderly as he is about to complete his final term as mayor of the city.

The mayor also emphasized in his message the need to give the younger generation of public servants the opportunity to lead the city.

For his part, Nepomuceno emphasized that the fete serves to increase public awareness on different issues affecting senior citizens, and to highlight the elderly as potent sector of the society.

By virtue of Proclamation No. 470, “Elderly Filipino Week” has been a yearly celebration held every October to pay tribute, give encouragement and support, as well as recognize the rights of the senior citizens.

Travel guide: Discovering Angeles City through heritage, culinary walking tour

By Rosette Adel (philstar.com)

PAMPANGA, Philippines — When we speak about heritage and culinary walking tour in Luzon, the places that usually pops our mind are the Old Manila and Vigan, Ilocos Sur.

Little did we know that just around two hours away from Manila, a hidden gem in Pampanga is waiting to be discovered.

Pampanga is known as the culinary capital of the Philippines but one of its cities, Angeles City, also houses several cultural and historical spots worth visiting and exploring.

Philstar.com recently embarked on a heritage and walking tour to the foodies’ paradise and rich city of Angeles. We have listed down the places and restaurants to visit to enrich your wanderlust and fill your tummies.

First stop: Holy Rosary Parish Church

Begin your walking tour with a food for the soul and visit the 141-year-old Holy Rosary Parish Church located at the heart of Angeles City.

The historic church, formerly known as “Santo Rosario Church,” is situated in front of the city’s Old Municipal. It has been declared as one of the most important cultural properties by the National Museum.

Holy Rosary Parish Church is also considered as one of the chief landmarks of Angeles City as its structure stood the test of time and surpassed the World War II. The church's bellfry was destroyed during the war in 1940 but it now stand beautifully in the capitol where restored cobblestones roads can also be found.

Second stop: Café Fleur

For a hearty breakfast, one is suggested to add celebrity chef Sau Del Rosario’s Café Fleur in their top priority food stop.

This café features avant-garde Kampampangan cuisine in a simple and cozy setting.

Among the breakfast meals to try are daing na bangus, Fleur’s French toast, Lucban longganisa, scrambled eggs partnered with fried rice or sinangag. The café’s organic, fair-trade coffee by Volcano coffee should also be checked out.

Third stop: The Pamintuan Mansion

What better way to burn your breakfast calories is to visit one of the most historical places in Angeles City called “The Pamintuan Mansion.”

Although it is popularly known as Pamintuan Mansion, this heritage house is Angeles City’s Museo ng Kasayan ng Panlipunan ng Pilipinas.

The house is built by rich Pampangeños, Mariano Pamintuan and Valentino Torres, as a wedding gift to their son, Florentino.

What makes this mansion historic and special are not just its grandiose structure and antique pieces but also because it used to serve as the headquarters of General Antonio Luna and General Arthur MacArthur in 1899.

The site is also where the Philippines' Independence was first declared where former President Emilio Aguinaldo held celebration.

The mansion is the highest structure in Angeles. From its rooftop area, you can view Mt. Arayat and the rest of the city.

Fourth stop: LA Bakeshop

After enjoying the educational trip to The Pamintuan Mansion, a good way to follow it through is by visiting the store that offers the original cheese bread in town, LA Bakeshop. Established in 1985, this shop offers quality bread that can also serve as your souvenirs.

Aside from cheese bread, Spanish bread from this bakeshop is also a best-seller and a must-try.

Fifth stop: 25 Seeds

For lunch, another gem from chef Sau, 25 seeds, is a must-visit food-stop.

The restaurant is centered on a farm-to-table concept. This is where you can taste delightful Kampangpangan dishes with a modern and fusion take such as Sisig Paella, Crispy Pork Belly with Truffled Macadamia Kare-Kare, and crispy okay, among others.

25 seeds is located at the Dycaico Ancestral House where Café fleur is also situated. The restaurant promotes sustainable food creations and help boosts the farming business in Angeles by using their crops as ingredients.

Sixth stop: Toll House

A Filipino road trip is nothing without merienda, so a visit to Angeles City’s Toll House is also obligatory.

This family-run restaurant which has been around in the city since 1988 is a favorite among the locals because of its affordable desserts and nostalgic comfort food. The place itself gives a homey vibe making it truly family-friendly.

Toll House now has four other branches outside Angeles but its main branch in Sto. Rosario has since become an icon. For 30 years now, it continues to appeal to students and family members as it is also located near the church and school.

The restaurant also used to only sell few dishes but when it expanded, the management decided to offer other dishes and pastries. They are best known for baked macaroni, clubhouse sandwich, pandan and black forest cakes, as well as shepherd’s pie, among others.

Seventh stop: Bale-balayan Museum

After all the calorie-intake, a visit to Bale-Balayan Museum for the Poor Center For Transformation Through Arts is always a good idea. This museum was established by artist Peter de Vera who has a huge collection of musical instruments.

Instead of just making it a typical museum where one can explore musical instruments and his other artwork collection, he opened it to street kids who wanted to learn about performance arts. Bale-Balayan is now home to 40 aspiring and talented kids who also entertain and perform for guests in the museum.

While visiting, these kids will perform for you and encourage you to help other street children who are willing to be transformed by music and education.

Eighth stop: Pigs and Pints

Cap off the whole heritage and food tour with drinks and dinner at nose-to-tail-gastropub Pigs and Pints.

Nose-to-tail is a concept reitroduced into the Western culinary mainstream by Henry Ferguson from the United Kingdom in 1999.

This gastropub conceptualized by executive chef Bong Sagmit is perfect for night-outs and casual hangouts with friends and families who would like to enjoy good food and music. It offers craft-beer and pub grub such as seafood paella, fresh oysters sourced from Caticlan, pulled beef shank as well as other bar chows, wings, sweet potato fries, and chicharon, among others.

You can enjoy this heritage and walking tour with travel essentials such as your trusty umbrella, hydration bottle, and wearing a comfortable footwear like the Skechers’ GOwalk.

Global lifestyle brand Skechers has just launched its latest and most technologically advanced walking footwear in their famous GOwalk collection: the GOwalk Evolution and GOwalk Revolution that surely helped make the walking tour easier.

As a review of the shoes, the ultrago cushioning made the walk bearable as it is very lightweight and carries responsive midsole perfect for walking. Despite the heat, your feet will still be happy due to the breathable air cooled gogamat insoles feature of the shoes.

Whether you are a history junkie or a curious foodie, gearing up best for walking tour in Angeles City will satisfy you and fulfill your travel goals as it showcased important landmarks and a food establishments that mirror the culinary expertise of the city. Surely, Angeles City, Pampanga is a one-stop-shop for culturual, history and food trip.

FIESTANG KULIAT : Angeleños witness Serenata ‘18

(Angeles City CIO with reports from Ana Mira Cunanan and Leian Chelo Ibe)

ANGELES CITY – Hundreds of residents and tourists here troop the Sto. Rosario Heritage District on October 13 to experience a night of musical spectacle as the city government here stage a bigger ‘Serenata’ as part of the month-long Fiestang Kuliat.

Serenata or “Serenade” has been a tradition in Angeles City held every second week of October, a day before the Feast of Our Lady of Holy Rosary La Naval de Angeles. The Band 88 of Sta Maria, Bulacan and Band 33 of San Antonio, Bacolor participated in this year’s edition of the event with no less than 50 brass band members per delegation.

“Serenata is staged every year so that people can experience our beautiful city and its rich arts and culture. It has also become the city’s tribute to one of its patron saints, the Our Lady of Holy Rosary,” Angeles City Tourism Office (ACTO) head John Montances said in his welcoming speech.

ACTO Deputy for Heritage, Culture and Arts, Joy Cruz explained that the tradition dates back in 1860 and was discontinued during the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo in 1991.

This year, ACTO is bringing back this traditional openair musical extravaganza featuring top rondalla and brass bands in the province serenading to the tune of folk and contemporary music.

Cruz also stressed that during the first term of Mayor Ed Pamintuan in 2011, he started the Serenata again as “he wants to maintain this old tradition among Angeleños”.

“He [Mayor Pamintuan] is pushing the development of the city as a cultural destination and center for the promotion and preservation of culture and tradition,” Cruz added.

For his part, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan emphasized that the centuries-old traditions of the Angeleños weave the invaluable assets of the city’s rich artistic tapestry.

“These traditions reflect who we are as Angeleños. I hope that this cultural renaissance in the city will continue for this will pave the way to the rediscovery of our tangible and intangible cultural assets,” Pamintuan said.

Joining the mayor and the jampacked crowd were Vice Mayor Bryan Nepomuceno, Councilor Edgardo “Edu” Pamintuan Jr., City First Lady Hermita Pamintuan, Barangay Captain Andy Tan of Lourdes Northwest, and Office for Senior Citizens Affairs (OSCA) Head Gloria Tanhueco.

The ceremony ended with a spectacular fireworks display.

DM Group celebrates 1st year anniversary

(PR)

THE DM Group of Companies celebrated on Thursday, October 4, its first year anniversary with the grand opening of its newest member, Shiners Carwash and Auto Detailing/Painting located at DM Building, Henyfel Street, Balibago in Angeles City.

Jeffrey del Mundo, chairman and CEO of DM Group of Companies who celebrated his birthday that same day, said that he is very thankful for the support of loyal customers who have been instrumental in the success of the DM Group.

“We owe our first year to our loyal customers who have been with us since the very beginning and to the men and women behind the DM Group of Companies. Let us continue to work together in order to provide the quality services and products that our customers truly deserve. Let us strive for excellence because our customers only deserve the very best,” del Mundo said.

The DM Group of Companies members are DM Prime Holdings, DM Real Estate, DM Leisure, DM Construction and DM Holdings Company.

Also under the DM Group are Techno Global Infinity Solutions a business process outsourcing company; Lemon Bar and KTV, the most modern bar and KTV in Metro Angeles; DMX Boxing and Fitness Gym, the cleanest and most equipped boxing and fitness gym; Lemon Jar, a health thirst quencher and healthy cafe with sandwich and pasta options; Lemon Kitchen, a unique tapsilog restaurant concept; Idrink H20, a clean drinking water provider for residences and business establishments; and Velvet Ganache, the best boulangeria and patisserie in the Metro.

Shiners Car Wash, the new edition to the DM Group provides the most advanced techniques in car wash and auto detailing services.

NLEX expands Pampanga toll plazas in 3 major exits

(Manila Bulletin)

The NLEX Corporation has undertaken several expansion works in its expressway by constructing additional toll lanes in four toll plazas in Pampanga.

Among the toll plazas undergoing expansion are in San Fernando, Mexico, and Angeles, all aimed at matching the rapid pace of the province’s progress. This is according to Lawyer Romulo S. Quimbo, senior vice president for communication stakeholder management.

“Apart from increasing the service capacity, the NLEX enhancement projects will considerably bring relief to motorists by reducing transaction time at the toll lane,” said Quimbo.

In Pampanga’s capital city, two more toll lanes at the San Fernando southbound (SB) exit and one additional toll lane at the SB entry are in the works to accommodate the increasing traffic volume in Pampanga. Total lanes of the SB entry and exit will now be six and five, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Angeles toll plaza will be augmented with two entry lanes and one exit lane, bringing the total toll lanes to 10. This move is expected to alleviate mounting traffic issues in Angeles City, which is also one of the busiest areas in NLEX.

The NLEX Corporation will likewise add another toll lane to the Mexico toll plaza exiting northbound to serve the growing number of motorists traveling in the area.

Additional lanes will be constructed at the connecting ramps of NLEX and SCTEX. All these enhancements are expected to be completed by the end of 2018.

The City of San Fernando has been one of the centers of trade and commerce in the Central Luzon region, playing host to shopping districts and several business establishments. Its proximity and access to other provinces such as Bataan, Nueva Ecija, Tarlac, and Zambales makes it a vital industrial corridor.

Economic activities are also steadily rising in Mexico due to several housing developments in this first-class municipality.

Earlier this year, the tollway firm finished the expansion of the northbound exit ramp of San Fernando Interchange which has since prevented traffic bottlenecks especially during rush hours.

SSS Luzon Central Division 2 awards top employers

By Mar Jay S. Delas Alas (CLJD/MJSD-PIA 3)

ANGELES CITY, Sept 26 (PIA) -- Social Security System (SSS) Luzon Central Division 2 recognized its top employers during the 2018 Balikat ng Bayan Awarding Ceremonies held at the Holy Angel University.

SSS Division Vice President Gloria Corazon Andrada said the event, which is part of their 61st Anniversary celebration, seeks to honor and give recognition to valued employers who exemplify outstanding compliance to the provisions of the Social Security Law in terms of reporting of employees and the prompt payment of correct contributions.

Awardees were chosen by SSS branches in the provinces of Bulacan and Pampanga and city of Olongapo based on compliance to the Social Security Law provisions, accurate and timely submissions of reports, and participation in SSS programs.

Syngular Distributor Inc. from Meycauayan City was hailed as the division winner under the small account category.

Other honorees in this category include Boomerang Hotel, Amihan Medical Ventures Inc., Archer Realty and Development Corporation, Bow Ships Management, M.S. Mallari Construction, and Pacific Waves Resort Inc.

Meanwhile, NTI and JJV Transport Corporation from Baliuag, Bulacan bagged the division title under the medium account category.

Other awardees under this category were Pacific Breezes Inc., Subic Bay Travelers Hotel and Event Center, Philippine Aminosan Corporation, and Oria Agrotech Inc.

“We believe in the mission of SSS since our company really values our employees very much and I think this is a nice award because it really shows our commitment to our people,” Syngular Distributor Inc. owner Timothy Jon Sy said.

Angeles City Vice Mayor Nepomuceno holds medical mission

(Politiko Central Luzon)

Angeles City Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno of Pampanga sponsored on Saturday a medical mission in one of the city’s barangays.

The event in Barangay Sapalibatud, which offered consultation services for pedia, adults, dental and ophthalmology, was augmented with free legal and notarial services, as well as registration for solo parents.

Nepomuceno is a lawyer by profession.

Photos of the event shared in the official Facebook page of Barangay Sapalibatud showed Barangay Captain Romeo was present, too.

City Councilor Joseph Alfie Bonifacio, a dentist, participated by applying his profession. Fellow councilor Edgardo Pamuntuan, Jr. was in attendance as well.

Chef Sau, Pig & Pints' Bong Sagmit team up for 9-course Pampanga dinner

By Joko Magalong-De Veyra

ANGELES CITY -- 25 Seeds, the farm-to-table restaurant of celebrity chef Sau Del Rosario, is pushing the culinary envelope further with a field-to-table nine-course dinner dubbed Bulung.

A collaboration between Del Rosario and chef Bong Sagmit of Pigs & Pints and BBQ & Company, this one-of-a-kind dinner takes foraged ingredients from around the mountains, plains, and backyards of Pampanga and turns them into the basis of exquisitely plated dishes.

“When we talk about food, he [Sagmit] talked about a lot of ingredients that I didn’t know about, so I became curious. In our organization, we’re adamant about promoting Kapampangan food, at the same time, safeguarding our traditions, and then wanting to bring back those all recipes. We start of by looking back and tracing the food prints. We started to talk to the lolas, we started foraging local ingredients,” explained Del Rosario of their collaboration.

Why is it called Bulung? Del Rosario said the word “bulung” has two meanings -- it can mean “leaf” and it can mean “whisper.”

“Gusto ko maging bida 'yung mga leaves," he said. "We should spread the word for these indigenous ingredients. It’s important to show the people how important it is to have these plants, and grow them in your backyard.”

Bulung was a dinner of fusion, especially in terms of styles. Del Rosario’s background is French and classical, and his flavors are deeply rooted in the traditional tastes of Pampanga — rich and luxurious. Sagmit, on the other hand, has a more modern cooking style, showing ease in using molecular gastronomy techniques, with a multi-component-ed approach to the creation of his dishes.

Both being members of Kulinaria Pampanga, one would think that they would go the Filipino/Kapampangan food route, but instead they opted to create dishes that highlighted ingredients, without limiting themselves in terms of cuisine.

“We don’t want to restrict ourselves. We still want to be Kapampangan. We still want to be rooted in Kapampangan heritage. But we want to break out in the sense that when it comes to techniques and profiles, it’s borderless… just like food,” Sagmit said.

Together, they created a unique dining experience, perhaps the first of its kind in our country. And as foraging is a celebrated trend abroad with many Michelin starred chefs turning to this practice for inspiration, it’s exciting to know that the culinary minds in the Philippines aren’t far behind.

With Bulung pop-up dinners set happen soon, here’s a peek at what we had during our Bulung dinner:

FIRST COURSE : Sorrel

Fresh and juicy Aklan oysters served in a half shell. This was a refreshing course, all the accompaniments served to heighten the freshness of the oysters. A tabon-tabon vinaigrette added a fruity acidity, balanced with a sweet guava granita, with dehydrated ashitaba adding earthiness

SECOND COURSE: Pancit-pancitan

One of our favorites during this dinner. A coconut shell container comes to the table under a dome of guava smoke. Inside is a mix of ingredients -- a sous vide egg, some cacao nibs, paco, dehydrated mushrooms, greens like pusa-pusa and ashitaba, and even a brown butter “soil,” bound together with a splash of batuan vinegar. Break the yolk and mix it in, and when you take a bite—you get a taste that’s unique and strangely satisfying. It’s rich in the mouth because of the yolk, multi-textured because of the soil, fresh and herbaceous because of the greens, and in the end—you get a hint of chocolate/cacao. This author found herself taking more and more bites to understand its appeal, until I realized that I’ve finished the whole shell. THIRD COURSE: Betel

This dish made me understand why older people find chewing betel an enjoyable pastime. Who wouldn’t want to put betel leaves in their mouth after this dish? Sublime and delicious, this course was this author’s hands-down favorite -- a perfectly seared scallop with a sweet and spicy lemon grass chili salsa, toasted coconut, pili nut, and some nasturtium (edible flowers) is the filling for a betel "cigar" that you roll up and put in your mouth. Sweet, luscious, and nutty, the betel grounded the dish with a stronger arugula-like nutty bitterness.

FOURTH COURSE: Kaffir

Ulang, this glorious crustacean, found its perfect match in a puree of ripe and green papaya with a sauce of coconut cream. Papaya added a fruity sweetness to the palate, that accentuated the natural sweetness and richness of the ulang, with the Chinese malunggay adding a sour component to the dish.

FIFTH COURSE: Aro-arosep

Simple. This grilled mackerel dish hid some nice surprises, like the paper thin and sweet candied bougainvillea petals (a brilliant delicious invention) and dehydrated pumpkin, eaten with bites of salt and umami from the aros-arosep, and acidity form a dalayap banana vinegar.

SIXTH COURSE: Alibangbang

A fork-tender cube of etag pork (preserved meat from Sagada) was cooked wrapped in avocado leaves, and served with a alibangbang consommé poured table-side. This is the chefs' version of “sinigang.” Etag didn’t pull punches in terms of flavor, salty and distinct.

SEVENTH COURSE: Sprout

One of the most striking plates of the evening, leaves of cadena de amor join a slice of sous-vide duck sitting on a sweet potato puree and a romaine hearts duck jus. What makes this dish sing is the addition of carissa berries and mulberries, with their sweetness and acidity complementing the duck flavors.

EIGHT COURSE: Gotu Kola

According to the chefs, this was their interpretation of “pochero.” It has all the components in one bite – an annatto-tinged deep-red beef sauce, with melt-in-your-mouth beef topped with a banana puree and ternatea (blue pea) petals, with leaves of sautéed brussell sprouts. Heavy and rich, it was the perfect size for a filling bite to end the savory part of this meal.

NINTH COURSE: Stevia

There are two components to this dish—a luscious sampaguita scented tibok-tibok (carabao’s milk pudding) with dalayap, coconut cream, and jackfruit puree, garnished with stevia leaf in a jar, and half of a grilled senorita banana with cinnamon. Whether you take a bite separately of each, or take a bite with both components, you will be satisfied. The tibok-tibok was deliriously creamy, and the grilled banana sweet and beautiful

Pokhara Junket Casino opens in Clark

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT – The first of its kind in Clark, Pokhara Junket Casino formally opened on Wednesday at the ground floor of the Xenia Hotel here.

Amid the typical gaming experience offered by casino establishments here, Pokhara dares to differ by developing a fresh market for junket players, agents and operators.

During its formal opening, Pokhara said it is committed to rendering exceptional service establishments through its highly proficient team members who vow to promote great value to its patrons within its spacious mass gaming floor, six exquisitely designed VIP rooms and nightly live entertainment.

“We are aligned with the Bases Conversion Development Authority’s positioning of Clark as being renowned in Asia, if not internationally, as we aim to bring in international patrons for an exciting gaming experience,” Angel Rosas, Pokhara’s spokesperson said.

“As an effect, this is also foreseen to help boost business in the area,” she added.

Catering to purely foreign gaming patrons, Pokhara is strategically located less than five minutes away from the Clark International Airport. This new establishment promises a luxurious experience to players of good taste with 15 gaming tables ranging from Baccarat, Super 6, Blackjack, Pontoon and Roulette.

To widen its exclusive foreign market reach, the Pokhara management formed a partnership with Hana Tour, the largest travel and tour service provider in South Korea with 29 branches in major cities around the world.

Meanwhile, its strong relationship with Xenia Hotel commits to providing “first rate facilities and impeccable service to guarantee a stay of absolute convenience.”

PJC is owned and managed by seasoned businessmen in various fields, with experienced gaming consultants to boot. The operation is regulated and monitored by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.

Clark Marriott Hotel opens, grandly

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT – The first five-star hotel here is now open to the public after its grand opening on Friday.

Clark Marriott Hotel, owned by Widus Philippines Inc., is strategically located at this freeport making it the perfect destination for business meetings, life’s celebrations, or for one’s simplest pleasures or staycation needs.

“I’m very, very excited of course. This is the first fivestar hotel here but I am very glad that I am going to play a role in the development of Clark with the new Clark City and I want to show that someone from the private sector like me can contribute something,” said top Korean businessman Daesik Han, Widus president and CEO.

Set in the heart of this freeport amid a flourishing urban development, the Clark Marriott Hotel is only 2.6 kilometers from the Clark International Airport (CIA) or five to 10 minutes away by car and within the central business district providing easy access to major corporate businesses, government entities and wellknown city landmarks.

“We would like to congratulate Marriott Clark, especially Mr. Han for the newest attraction in Clark,” said Clark Development Corp. (CDC) president and CEO Noel F. Manankil.

“We are happy to be open. It’s an exciting day but still a lot to go. I am looking forward to let everybody know that we are here and it’s an exciting product for everybody to experience,” Clark Marriott Hotel general manager Goeran Soelter said during the grand opening hosted by celebrity model and actress Rufa Gutierrez.

Victor Clavell, Marriott International vice president for the Philippines said the opening of Clark Marriott is “a great example of how Marriott Hotels is inspiring brilliance through its expansion into surprising destinations.”

He said “international guests have endless options to explore new ways of thinking about Clark as a travel destination” as Clark is home to the country’s future premiere gateway, the Clark International Airport which boasts of increasing budget flights and flight destinations to key cities in Asia and the Middle East.

Clark Marriott Hotel has 260 well-appointed rooms, five restaurants and bars, event places such as the Grand Ballroom that can accommodate 360 guests, Meeting Rooms 1 and 2 that can hold a maximum of 80 guests each, and Meeting Rooms 3 and 4 at 30 and 20-person capacity respectively.

Relaxation and recreation await guests at the Quan Spa, Pool Bar, Fitness Center and Kids Club.

Contemporary design and local touches blend to create a distinct and vibrant aesthetic with the lyrics of the Kapampangan folk song “Atin Ku Pung Singsing (I have a ring)” emblazoned on the wall leading to the dining area.

Amenity-filled guest rooms, progressive dining, cutting edge technology, flexible and exemplary meeting facilities and a brand-new social event experience make every guest stay special, according to Soelter.

Innovative spaces, such as The Lounge allows guests to seamlessly blend work and play. Modern and sophisticated in its approach, providing experiences that keep the mind balanced, sharp and inspired, the hotel is the ideal starting point for travelers to do their business or discover the bustling city of Clark.

Boldly transforming itself for mobile and global travelers, Marriott Hotels inspires brilliance leading the industry with innovations. Guests can experience the ease of mobile check in and enjoy an elevated guest experience through Mobile Guest Services, seamlessly delivered with the globally renowned Marriott Hotels service.

“We are very happy to partner with Marriott International in welcoming and providing premium accommodation to visitors at Clark Marriott,” said Han.

“The Marriott Hotel’s name is a prestigious addition to Widus and together with Marriott, we are committed to offering travel, leisure and recreational experiences that will appeal to the most discerning of visitors,” he added.

To know more about the hotel, guests may call (045) 598 5000 or visit www.marriott.com/crkmc. And to keep up on their latest offerings, guests can follow Clark Marriott Hotel on Facebook and @clarkmarriott on Instagram.

Marriott Hotels is the flagship brand of Marriott International Inc. .

Lions Club hosts symposium in Lubao

By IAN OCAMPO FLORA

THE Angeles City Clark Balibago Lions Club launched its Symposium Roadshow project that aims to discuss community issues with target communities.

With its theme of “Education, Engagement, Empowerment,” the series of talks aim to tackle pressing community issues with a variety of sectors in Pampanga at a different location each time.

The first such symposium, held in San Vicente National High School in the Municipality of Lubao, discussed illegal drug abuse with adolescent pupils.

The crowd of 120, mostly student leaders, were briefed by resource speakers Arnold Quiambao and Vidal Busa of the Mabalacat City Anti-Drugs Abuse Movement, Inc. (MACADAM) on a comprehensive situationer of the substance abuse problem in the country as well as its adverse effects on one’s health.

Principal Rick C. Balingit expressed his gratitude to the Lions Club for launching its activity at the school.

San Vicente Barangay Captain Getulio Banal espoused the importance of stakeholder cooperation such as the symposium in confronting the problem of illegal drugs.

“This project underscores education on pertinent issues not usually part of conventional learning and community life, thus making attendees more informed on consequential matters of present time,” Sol Flores, Jr., president of the Angeles City Clark Balibago Lions Club, said.

Other subjects of future symposiums lined up are Mental Health, Kapampangan History & Heritage, Career Counseling, Local Governance, Violence Against Women & Children, and Corporate Social Responsibility.

The Lions Club will be partnering with more educational institutions and local government units across the province to cater to underserved sectors. Flores noted that the undertaking is in line with the current theme of Lions Clubs International in reaching ‘Beyond the Horizon.’

“Through opening new opportunities of educating and serving our underprivileged & less—fortunate, we ultimately empower more and more communities in need,” Flores added.

CDC, GenSan forge accord

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT— Dubbed as “a partnership for investment,” the Clark Development Corp. (CDC) and General Santos City (GenSan) in South Cotabato recently signed a joint intent for collaboration.

A statement from the CDC said the accord is meant to expand its partnership for investments.

CDC president-CEO Noel F. Manankil signed the agreement with GenSan City Mayor Ronnel Rivera during the latter’s visit here.

According to Rivera, the activity is a preliminary step in strengthening linkages between the city and this freeport to help achieve mutual economic benefits.

The partnership also promotes collaborative undertakings in the promotion of air connectivity of both areas through their airports, organization of trade and business missions that focuses on tourism and investments, and exchange of best practices on areas such as agro-industrial development and environmental protection.

Manankil encouraged the local government of GenSan to push for stronger air connectivity between Clark airport and General Santos City. He also mentioned the potential of GenSan as a tourist destination.

“We will be very happy if we have a direct air connectivity from Clark to Gen San. Kasi kilala ang GenSan sa kanilang mga tuna and sa mga magagandang beaches na pwede ring puntahan ng mga turista (Because GenSan is known for its tuna and its beautiful beaches that can be visited by tourists),” Manankil said.

The signing was also witnessed by CDC officers and some 20 delegates from General Santos, formerly known as Dadiangas — a first class a highly urbanized city in Soccsksargen in Mindanao, which also had a study tour here.

Duterte declares holidays in Angeles City on Oct. 15 and 26

(Politiko Central Luzon)

President Rodrigo Duterte declared Oct. 15 and 26, 2018 as special non-working days in Angeles City, Pampanga.

Duterte issued Proclamation No. 589 on Sept. 13, through Executive Secretary Salvador Medialdea, declaring said holidays as Angeles City celebrates Fiestang Kuliat and Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan.

According to the proclamation, Angeles City will mark the opening of the Kuliat Festival and the Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan, a festival which symbolizes the resilience of the people during the Mt. Pinatubo eruption, on Oct. 15 and 26, respectively.

“It is but fitting and proper that the people of the City of Angeles be given full opportunity to celebrate and participate in these occasions with appropriate ceremonies,” the proclamation states.

Fiestang Kuliat is observed every October since the 1990s when it was first held, encompassing the feast day celebrations of the city’s patron saints – the Blessed Virgin of the Holy Rosary, the Lord of the Holy Sepulcher, and the Holy Guardian Angels.

Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan, conceived to uplift the spirits of the Angelenos after the devastation caused by the Mt. Pinatubo eruption in 1991, is among the highlights of the Kuliat Festival and is the city’s version of the Mardi Gras or Oktoberbest.

DFA gives cash aid to stranded OFWs at Clark

By Marna Dagumboy Del Rosario (PNA)

CLARK, Pampanga -- Overseas Filipino workers (OFWs), whose flights at Clark International Airport were cancelled due to Typhoon "Ompong", were each given a PHP5,000 cash assistance by the Department of Foreign Affairs (DFA) on Saturday.

DFA Assistant Secretary Elmer Cato, who supervised the desks, said Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano himself instructed the regional consular office staff based in Angeles City and San Fernando to set up the assistance center inside the terminal of the Clark International Airport.

Cato also said the DFA staff began processing claims early morning of Saturday to ensure that stranded OFWs would be given assistance to cover for their meals, accommodation and other expenses.

“Operations staff of the Clark International Airport Corp (CIAC) also helped in the process,” he said.

The DFA assistance desk was to receive at least 100 OFWs traveling through Clark, whose scheduled flights were cancelled due to the inclement weather.

"Government presence here at Clark is definitely felt for our stranded kababayans (countrymen), thanks to President Duterte and DFA Secretary (Alan Peter) Cayetano," said Alex Cauguiran, CIAC president, who was also overseeing terminal operations.

Glicelito Nelmida, an OFW whose flight to Hong Kong was cancelled, traveled with his family and friends all the way from La Union province to send him off.

“I am thankful for the government's cash assistance as I was really worried because of the cancelled flight but this (cash assistance) will help pay for our transportation expenses back to my hometown,” Nelmida said.

CIAC said international flights cancelled as of Saturday morning include those to Hong Kong (Cathay Dragon and Cebu Pacific), Singapore (Air Swift and Jetstar), and Macau (Cebu Pacific).

Areas placed by authorities under the strongest typhoon warning are provinces, where frequent travelers using Clark airport come from, such as Cagayan, Isabela, Apayao, Abra, the Ilocos provinces, Batanes, La Union, Kalinga, Mountain Province, Benguet, Ifugao, Nueva Vizcaya, Quirino, and northern Aurora.

Quest gives back, holds 3rd blood drive

(Press release)

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE – Quest Plus Conference Center Clark held its third run of the Quest blood drive activity in partnership with the Philippine Red Cross. The said event was successfully held last September 10, 2018 wherein a number of participants, mainly employees of the hotel and Mimosa Golf Course, had the privilege to donate blood and do goodwill for the community.

With a total of 34 bags of blood donated and endorsed to the Philippine Red Cross, Quest Plus continues its advocacy of giving back to the community. The event’s tagline “Every blood donor is a Hero” perfectly describes the generosity of the donors on the said event.

For more information about Quest Plus Conference Center Clark, visit www.questhotelsandandresorts.com/clark or call (045) 599 8000.

ABOUT CHROMA HOSPITALITY

Chroma Hospitality, Inc. is a young, forward-thinking company crafting bold, innovative hospitality brands. Owned by Filinvest Hospitality Corporation, Chroma is the management company behind Crimson Hotel Filinvest City, Manila, Crimson Resort and Spa Mactan, Cebu, Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Cebu City, Quest Hotel and Conference Center in Clark, Pampanga, and the highly anticipated Crimson Resort and Spa Boracay. For more information please visit http://chromahospitality.com/

EdPam leads PHL delegates at the 2018 China-ASEAN Mayors’ forum

(Angeles CIO)

NANNING CITY, Guangxi — As part of the Philippine delegation headed by House Speaker Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo and by the invitation of the China- ASEAN Mayors’ Forum (CAMF) organizing committee, mayors of the League of Cities of the Philippines (LCP) attended the 4th CAMF on September 8-9, 2018 to witness first-hand how local governments can greatly benefit from a strategic partnership between China and the ASEAN.

The forum took place in Nanning, Guangxi, China and focused on urban and local government cooperation towards the implementation of China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) and the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area—strategic frameworks that aim to enhance China’s connection with the rest of the ASEAN market.

The event consisted of four plenary sessions that discussed financing for city infrastructure; technological innovations for smart cities; city inter-connectivity, transportation, and logistics; and innovations related to the cooperation of cross-border cities.

LCP National President and Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan was one of the resource persons invited to deliver a speech at the session on financing urban infrastructure which was held on the first day of the event.

In his speech, Mayor Pamintuan emphasized the need to mobilize resources to strengthen local infrastructure in the Philippines in light of cities’ vulnerability to climate change.

“Being the engines of national growth and home to most of our peoples, I am positive that we will suffer the hardest blow if we fail to act immediately on making our cities more prepared to the inevitable impacts of global warming. Philippine cities are especially exposed to such threats considering the geographic location of the country,” said Pamintuan.

On the second day, attendees witnessed the signing of a cooperation agreement between the LCP and the Guangxi Association of Mayors.

Under the said agreement, both parties aim to promote inter-city partnerships by engaging in “various forms of communication” and other means of cooperation towards the realization of the BRI; fostering mutual development especially in the development of the 21st Century Maritime Silk Road; and regularly attending the CAMF to promote the event as a platform for inter-city cooperation.

HIV/AIDS awareness rising among Clark workers

By Ashley Manabat

CLARK FREEPORT – The number of human immunodeficiency virus/acquired immune deficiency syndrome (HIV/ AIDS) cases in the workforce here is now “progressively increasing” in numbers.

This was the report made by Dr. Clemencita Dobles, health and sanitation manager of the Clark Development Corp., during the media forum “Balitaan” organized by the Capampangan in Media, Inc. in cooperation with the CDC at the Bale Balita here on Friday.

Dobles said out of about 55,000 HIV/AIDS positive cases in the country, more than a thousand are reported in nearby Bulacan province and more than a thousand more are reported in adjacent Angeles City in Pampanga.

Tuberculosis (TB) is also high with some afflicted with HIV that is why it is now called TB HIV, Dobles said.

She said the age group that is more affected now is that of the working class between 24 to 35 years old.

She said the National Capital Region (NCR) remains the number one affected region while Region IV-A (Calabarzon) is number two and Regions 3 and 7 (Central Visayas) are at number 3. But all regions are now affected, she added.

Dobles said in 2008, there is one HIV positive case per day but now it’s 31 HIV positive per day and these are only the reported cases and those that have been tested.

She said categorization is by province and by cities and municipalities since Clark workers go home to their respective cities, municipalities provinces. “The identification of individuals is always based on where they live not where they work,” she pointed out.

That is why Clark is promoting HIV/AIDS awareness for every company here, she said.

“There are several companies where we already conducted awareness at the same time testing,” she said. “For about 100 workers there are about 80 who voluntarily undergo testing and then they will be categorized according to their cities, municipalities or provinces.”

Dobles said her department’s task is mainly regulatory, delegated by the Department of Health (DOH) regional office through a memorandum of agreement.

“We are implementing the Code of Sanitation of the Philippines and we are also implementing the Occupational Safety and Health Standards of the Department of Labor and Employment,” she said. “Our task is to make sure the workers, as they come in healthy they will go home healthy.”

“Based on the laws, we require companies to have their own set-up inside that is why there are many who train for company physicians and nurses,” she noted. “They have requirements for facilities, medical supplies and equipment depending on the size of their employment.”

Dobles said her department also promotes the DOH programs. One example is the awareness on “non-communicable diseases” since they do not involve microbes and they are not about viruses. “These are mainly lifestyle diseases like diabetes and hyper tension,” she said.

“The DOH has a package for essential and non-communicable diseases primarily focusing on diabetes and hyper tensions and the package includes trainings for doctors and nurses to identify and to capture case findings and even provide maintenance medicines so we have adopted that now in Clark we have about now 20 companies enrolled,” Dobles said. “This is very helpful among rank and file.”

In the field of sanitation, Dobles said her department regulates health requirements of locators through sanitation. “We look if they provide adequate rest rooms for such number of employees or bathrooms for persons with disabilities (PWDs),” she said.

Meanwhile, Dobles said the number one cause of disability in the world is depression in work places and skeletal problems is only number two.

She also lamented that the Philippines is late in passing the Mental Health Law as compared to other countries.

“We will also be promoting seminars for Human Resources Departments (HRDs) to teach them how to handle cases of mental health on their level and know where to refer them,” she said.

“It is hard to identify mental health cases because they won’t tell you that is why the health personnel should be very keen in observing the workers,” she added.

“The training is to be able to let the employee talk and share his feelings,” she said. “Unfortunately, mental health problems are not covered by health insurance but with the mental health law it might now be covered.”

AC, PNP conduct LTOPF caravan

(Angeles CIO)

ANGELES CITY – The city government here in cooperation with the Philippine National Police Regional Civil Security Unit 3 (PNP-RCSU3) steered a caravan for the registration and renewal of License to Own and Possess Firearms (LTOPF) held Friday at the city hall grounds.

The caravan was organized by the Office of the City Mayor and the PNP-RCSU to usher the services of the police to the community and further the objective of Republic Act 10591 or the “Comprehensive Firearm and Ammunition Regulation Act”, which upholds the right of an individual to self-defense using firearm, within reasonable means.

Assistant Chief of the RCSU3, Police Superintendent Omer C. Cuadro, reminded that gun enthusiasts and owners are required to secure a license to legalize their possession of firearms.

Registrants were ushered through the process, which composed of a Drug Test, a Neuro-Psychiatric test, Gun Safety certification and the issuance of Police or Directorate for Intelligence (DI) Clearance.

Representatives from the Mountain Clark Firing Range also conducted a Gun Safety seminar for civilian registrants.

For his part, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan stressed the relevance of self-defense, while maintaining peace and order in the city.

“These measures uphold the right to security, and must work for, instead of against, the city’s peace and order; you should remain wise stewards of these firearms,” Mayor Pamintuan reminded the applicants.

Registrants who successfully completed the process will receive a confirmation of their licenses after 7 to 10 working days.

Apl.de.ap mentors youth, scholars in Pampanga about the creative industry

By Cody Cepeda (Content Strategist, INQUIRER.net / JB)

It’s a heartwarming sight that despite the multiple Grammy Awards, countless of hits and worldwide fame, Apl.de.ap of the beloved hip hop group Black Eyed Peas still stays true to his Kapampangan roots.

Apl.de.ap, born Allan Pineda Lindo, has always been open about his humble beginnings, growing up in a remote barangay in Angeles City where he helped his grandfather plant and sell crops, and look after their carabao.

He was born clinically blind and got treatment for his eye condition at the United States, thanks to the Pearl S. Buck Foundation. At 14, he left his hometown of Angeles City for another city of angels, this time Los Angeles, California where he resided with Joe Ben Hudgens, his sponsor and eventually adoptive father.

These days, Apl.de.ap is paying the goodwill forward, as he returned to Pampanga earlier this year to contribute something to the country’s creative industry. Through his namesake foundation, Apl.de.ap is now using his resources and influence to advocate for and groom the creative scene.

The initiative, called the Creative Innovators Programme, has since come to fruition with the help of the British Council, Thames International Business School and the Department of Trade Industry. Apl.de.ap will be providing 20 scholarships to college students, and 20 more slots for professional diplomas to working professionals every year, for the next five years.

Recently, Apl.de.ap took to his Instagram account to share to his fans that he is in the country, by posting a group picture with his scholars.

“Sapang Bato represent! #education #scholars #pride,” wrote Apl.de.ap on Sept. 9, referring to the Sapangbato baranggay in Angeles.

Apl.de.ap arrived in the country over the weekend for the mentorship event of Mentor Me On Wheels. The event was held last Sept. 7 at the Marquee Mall in Angeles City and offered one-on-one mentorship from professionals of various fields in the creative industry such as music, film, photography drama, publishing and graphic design, among others.

Last Sept. 8, Apl.de.ap shared on his Facebook page a photo of him mentoring a young individual during the event.

“It was great to provide some mentorship on how to make it in the music industry,” wrote Apl.de.ap. “It was even more great to see Pampanga again. Let’s use creativity to build a better Philippines!”

It was great to provide some mentor ship on how to make it in the music industry. It was even more great to see Pampanga again. Let’s use creativity to build a better Philippines! #cpo #creativity #design

Apl.de.ap also paid homage to his mother, Cristina, who raised him and his six younger siblings as a single mother, when his African-American father deserted the family after his birth.

“Being home means getting to see Mom,” wrote Apl.de.ap.

Philanthropy isn’t something new to Apl.de.ap. In the past, he partnered with one of the top children’s hospitals in the United States to help save infants from blindness. He, too, has donated medical equipment to the Southern Philippines Medical Center in 2015 to better help in diagnosing eye conditions among newborns.

“I am legally blind that’s why this campaign is very close to my heart,” Apl.de.ap shared then.

Aside from his charity, Apl.de.ap also champions Filipino culture abroad. Last 2016, Apl.de.ap paraded the iconic Sarao jeepney in New York City to celebrate Philippine Independence Day, much to the joy of fellow Filipinos in the Big Apple.

Widus Foundation donates wheelchairs to PDAO

By ERIKA MARIEL GINES

WIDUS Foundation Inc., (WFI) has recently donated 133 wheelchairs to the Persons with Disability Affairs Office of Angeles City (PDAO AC).

“The objective of the WFI Wheelchair Program is to improve the mobility, health, educational and economic opportunities of indigent people with physical disabilities. By closely working with local organizations, WFI seeks to empower the community by extending help in improving the quality of life of its neighbors –especially to those who need it most. Rest assured that our commitment to the PWD sector will not end here,” Neki Liwanag, WFI executive director, said.

The turnover was led by Liwanag, WFI manager Ronnel Golimlim, and Widus marketing manager Sheryl Mamangun together with Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, Councilor Jay Sangil, Vice Mayor Bryan Nepomuceno, Councilor Edu Pamintuan and PDAO AC Officer in Charge Philip Pelayo.

Liwanag also shared that a total of 238 wheelchairs were purchased by WFI, 133 of which were given to PDAO AC, benefiting indigent PWDs in 33 barangays including three resettlement areas in Angeles City. The remaining 105 wheelchairs will then be contributed to DSWD Pampanga to cater to 19 municipalities.

Pamintuan lauded the foundation’s initiative to help enhance the quality of life of Angelenos through its generous donation to the PWD community.

“We’d like to thank Widus for always supporting Angeles City with outstanding projects that will surely go a long way. I hope this could inspire other private sectors to take action and emulate this. Let us take good care of our PWDs,” the city mayor added.

The WFI project is part of the charity arm’s health advocacy program which aims to significantly help improve the welfare of PWDs. Thus, enabling them to progress as an individual and lead a better quality of life.

Attempt to break world record to happen in Clark

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

AN ATTEMPT to break the Guinness World Records title for the longest single line bicycle parade will happen in Clark Freeport on October 28, 2018.

Trinx Bikes, one of the leading brands of bikes in the country partnered with Clark Development Corporation (CDC), Department of Tourism (DOT), CST Tires International, and National Bicycle Organization to unite the whole cycling industry in the country and participate in breaking the current record of Bangladesh in the longest single line of moving bicycles which consists of 1,186 cyclists.

More than the mission of achieving the title, the event also encourages the participants to voluntarily donate to their chosen beneficiaries which include Hospicio de San Jose.

In a statement on their website, One Trinity president Jerry Tiu said that more than the pride that the title will bring to our country, it gives chance to every Filipino to take part in creating history and at the same time help those people in need.

“Doing this event, we give chance to everybody to be part of a history not just for himself but to be proud as a Filipino, to give pride to the Philippines and to help for a cause,” Tiu said.

The said event is for free and encourages various organizations of bikes and cycling enthusiasts to pre-register on their official website at www.trinx.com.ph.

Angeles City launches Kapampangan pop song festival 2018

(PR)

THE Angeles City Government, through the Angeles City Tourism Office (ACTO) in partnership with the Culture and Arts Council of Angeles (CACA) and the Angeles University Foundation (AUF) Center for Culture, launched the “Kapampangan Pop Song Festival 2018,” a songwriting competition promoting the use of Kapampangan language.

The competition is open to all Kapampangan songwriters aged 18 to 40 years old. The entry should be an original composition of the songwriter, and must be written in Kapampangan with the theme “lugud” or love.

The Kapampangan pop song festival aims to preserve the Kapampangan language, while harnessing the talents of songwriters. The competition is also geared towards fostering friendship among Angeles City’s neighboring towns and cities.

“This city has become a benchmark of heritage and culture, owing to the pride of our independent artists who take it upon themselves to conserve and revive our beautiful Kapampangan culture,” said Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

Deadline for the submission of entries is on October 5, 2018 at the AUF Center for Culture or at the CACA Office located at the second floor of the Angeles City Library and Information Center.

Finalists will be announced on October 13 and will be advancing to the Grand Finals slated on December 11 at the AUF Sports and Cultural Center.

The overall champion will receive a cash prize of P75,000, first and second runner ups will receive P60,000 and P50,000, respectively. The best interpreter and the remaining finalists will receive P10,000.

Song entry requirements and mechanics may also be accessed in ACTO’s official website, www.angelescitytourism.ph.

Foundation, Angeles ink pact for establishment of KCHC

By ERIKA MARIEL GINES

WIDUS Foundation Inc. (WFI) forged a memorandum of agreement (MOA) with the Angeles City local government for the establishment of a Kapampangan Cultural Heritage Center (KCHC) at the city mayor’s office on Monday, September 3.

The agreement was signed by WFI executive director Neki Liwanag, Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, and Angeles City Librarian Mila Narsing.

Liwanag said that the signing of the MOA will formalize and strengthen the foundation’s advocacy to restore, promote, and sustain Kapampangan culture.

“Championing and preserving the Kapampangan language, arts, and heritage is one of the foundation’s long-term commitments to the community. By further strengthening a place which fosters free access of information and promotes learning, we are able to nurture, share, and develop our local culture not only for today’s society but also for the generations to come,” Liwanag shared.

Strategically located in the heart of the city, the cultural heritage hub will be sited at the second floor of the Angeles City Library and Information Center (ACLIC) where a modern Information and Technology Center will also stand.

Describing the project as a means of “revolutionizing the way of learning”, Pamintuan expressed his gratitude to the foundation’s continuous educational efforts focused on enriching the community.

“We are glad to have projects like this that support the unofficial renaissance of the city. If it wasn’t for Widus and the volunteer artists’ dedication, there might not have been a notable improvement in the area,” the city mayor added.

Pamintuan also gladly announced that Angeles City is now one of the leading communities in terms of arts and cultural heritage restoration as exemplified by the city’s three-time winning streak in the Department of Tourism (DOT) Pearl Award.

He also envisions the local library’s development to positively impact the community especially the youth.

“This one will surely make a dent on the sustainability of Kapampangan heritage,” he said.

Pampanga LGUs urged to craft strategic plans

(NCS)

LOCAL government units (LGUs) in Pampanga must play the long-term game and be more strategic, according to a top businessman in the province.

Jess Nicdao, president of the Pampanga Chamber of Commerce and Industry (PamCham), said that local government units must shift their gear to longer and more strategic plans to maximize the influx of investments in the province.

"Our LGUs must leave the old practice behind and take a new tack in luring investors to their localities," he said during a forum with members of the Capampangan in Media, Inc. (CAMI) at the Bale-Balita in Clark Freeport over the weekend.

Nicdao noted that LGUs are used to having shorter plans that are usually abandoned when a new mayor is elected.

"There is no continuity so investors are less confident in dealing with the LGUs,” he said.

He said the LGU plan must include infrastructure and traffic management.

"Local officials must able to project what's going to happen and what's going to be needed, say five to ten years from now," he said.

Nicdao noted that there is an influx of investments in the countryside which must be taken advantage of by local governments to boost local employment and uplift the standard of living.

He also urged local officials to tailor their plans according to the Megalopolis Plan of Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, which is based on the local products and resources of every town in every district of Pampanga.

"It's based on a masterplan commissioned by the provincial government and is a very good one," Nicdao said.

Meanwhile, Nicdao said he is in favor of reviewing the draft Constitution to provide safety features on the economy before any shift on federalism is made as pointed by business leaders and economic managers.

"We're safe that way," he said.

Nicdao, who is on his second term as PamCham president, bared that the chamber has already pushed for several projects in line with further promoting Pampanga as an investors’ destination.

“Under the leadership of PamCham chairman emeritus Levy [Laus], we’ll continue this advocacy,” Nicdao said.

Kko Kko now open at SM City Clark

By ERIKA MARIEL GINES

WHEN you think of Korean food, the usual Samgyupsal on the grill comes to mind. But there’s more to it than that, and one of the Metro’s well-loved Korean restaurant chains, Kko Kko, is determined to redefine the way Kapampangans see and experience Korean cuisine.

Uniquely named after the way how chicken cuckoos in Korea, Kko Kko (pronounced as Ku-Ku), on Friday, August 31, opened its 8th branch at SM City Clark. The newest branch is the dining hub’s first branch outside Manila, according to its owner, renowned TV personality Grace Lee.

“We decided to branch out in Pampanga primarily for the reason that the province is very close to my heart and the fact that Kapampangans are hardcore foodies,” she said.

“Through this expansion, my team and I are committed to elevate the Korean food experience of our valued customers through offering a wide range of Korean dishes that are simultaneously traditional yet modern,” she added.

She highlighted that Kko Kko takes pride of its authentic Korean chicken dishes, that her mother Song Soon Ill has passed on to her. She said that she added some twists to further improve their family’s heirloom recipes.

“We actually specialize in Korean chicken, because when my mom, who is the real purveyor of Kko Kko, realized that while the country is rife with Korean restos, they serve very limited choices of food like chicken, which can be cooked and served in variety of unique and delicious ways,” she explained.

“Here at Kko Kko, we offer out-of-the-box dishes that can satisfy even the most discerning diners. For starters, we have our best-selling Chicken Cheese Fondue, which will surely delight everyone’s taste bud with its boneless chicken chunks tossed in Yang Nyum sauce of your choice, French fries, and homemade onion rings that you can dip in a bread bowl full of melted mozzarella cheese,” she continued.

Aside from the superbly cheesy treat, the passionate restaurateur shared that it is highly-recommended to sample Kko Kko’s signature chicken fares available in six variants: Original, Yang Nyum, Snow, Chicken Popcorn, Padak, and Boneless Chicken Melt. Samgyetang or Chicken Ginseng Soup, considered a power food by most Koreans for its health benefits, is also a must-try.

Moreover, Lee said that Kko Kko’s menu is also filled with selection of Korean street food. Among others, the Tteokbokki is not to miss. It is a mix of ramen noodles with a savory broth filled with ricecakes, fishcakes, cabbage, leeks, and cheese. Customers can choose from three different flavors: Original, Creamy, and Bul (2X Spicy).

Crowd-pleasers and classic favorites like Bibimbap, Beef Bulgogi, Samgyupsal BBQ, Kimchi Jijigae, Japchae, Kimbap, and Rabokki sets are also available.

To complete the ultimate Korean food trip, Lee said that the Kko Kko also offers Bingsu in four delectable flavors: Red Bean, Coffee, Banana, and Peach Cheesecake. In addition, customers can also opt for another refreshing treat, the Soju Slush, a Soju cocktail infused with sweet and tangy Melona-inspired flavors such as Salted Caramel, Strawberrt, Melon, Banana, and Yakult.

College, Smart to develop 1st Kapampangan literacy app

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES (PR)

THE City College of Angeles (CCA) and Smart Communications have partnered to develop the first-ever Kapampangan learning application.

The mobile app, which will be named “Singsing” (based on the Kapampangan folk song), will feature native contents like the Kapampangan indigenous script, numbers, songs and stories designed for Kindergarten up to Grade 3 learners.

“The coming up of the ‘Singsing’ is basically based on the thrust of the government to promote mother tongue-based learning,” said Darwin Flores, Smart Communications’ head for Community Partnerships.

Under the project, the Sídduan ning Ámánang Kabiasnang Kapampángan (Institute for Kapampángan Cultural Heritage) will give focus on the content, while Smart and CCA will lead the technical aspect of the application, which includes graphic design, animation, storyboarding and digitization.

CCA president Dr. Richard Daenos said that the project solidifies not only CCA’s but the city’s commitment in promoting the use of the Amanung Sisuan through digital learning.

Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan emphasized the project as a good way to utilize technology especially now that almost everything is digital.

“We should not compromise our culture and heritage in this digital age. In fact, these should work hand in hand to strengthen basic education learning through the mother-tongue,” said Pamintuan.

Daenos and Flores finally signed the memorandum of understanding during the kickoff on Thursday at the Newpoint Mall, and in celebration of the Aldo ning Amanung Sisuan.

The application is expected to be fully uploaded and accessible through Google Play for free in November 2019.

Quest Clark receives TripAdvisor award

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

CLARK FREEPORT -- Quest Plus and Conference Center Clark has received an excellence award from TripAdvisor, a world-renowned travel website.

General Manager Patrick Beck said Quest Plus Clark is elated to share that it has received the Certificate of Excellence from the American travel website.

TripAdvisor is a platform for travelers to share honest reviews, feedbacks and travel-related comments about hotels, restaurants, and tourist spots around the world.

The TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence lauds hospitality businesses that deliver consistent excellent service.

The award is presented to 10 of the total number of business entities registered in the travel website.

Despite its ongoing renovations, Quest Plus Clark has proven that the inconveniences will not deter the staff and management in providing quality service to its guests and clients, said Beck.

Customer service is the driving force behind the certification and this is what the management plans to continuously improve, he added.

“With the upcoming launching of the Mequeni, the hotel’s iconic all-day dining restaurant; eQuinox, a fitness center which offers cross fit and various training equipment; and holiday promotions and packages in the offing, there is certainly more to look forward,” Beck said.

“Our quest for excellent service doesn’t end here. This Certificate of Excellence from TripAdvisor inspired us to do more and we are very excited for what is yet to come,” he added.

SAP Bong Go keynotes 69th Pampanga Press Club Anniversary

By Marie Joy L. Simpao

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE, Pampanga (PIA) -- Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go keynoted Wednesday(August 29) the 69th Founding Anniversary of the Pampanga Press Club and the 2nd anniversary of its online news portal iOrbit.

In his speech, Go highlighted the significant contribution of the organization and its members in delivering news to the public and in developing their ideas.

“In its almost seven decades of existence, Pampanga Press Club has welcomed and nurtured respected names in journalism, thus its impact on the social and political landscape of the province and even of the country cannot be disregarded,” he said.

Go also commended the press club for being able to come up and sustain its online portal.

“Being in the world wide web shows that you are dynamic and innovative. You embrace technology and adapt to the times so that you can continue serving the public,” he added.

In his message, he also said that while the government and media have different views most of the time, he believes that he was invited because the press club wants an honest and open relationship with the government.

“We support you in your pursuit for truth within the boundaries of the law. We will provide you with all the information and assistance that you need. The government fully supports and protects you. In fact, we have a task force against media killings,” he said.

In closing, he challenged the Kapampangan journalists to continue with their programs and projects to benefit both the public and their profession.

The celebration bears the theme “Informing the Public through Responsible Journalism”. (CLD/MJLS-PIA 3)

SM City Clark hosts Dream Themes 2018

By ERIKA MARIEL GINES

SM CITY Clark and Philippine-based magazine Wedding Essentials, over the weekend launched the Pampanga-leg of Dream Themes 2018, a bridal roadshow featuring the province’s talented event stylists and designers.

SM City Clark assistant mall manager Ryan Pamintuan shared that the mall is privileged to host for the first time the acclaimed event which will run until Friday, September 7.

“It is our pleasure to welcome here at SM City Clark, the first provincial leg of Dream Themes, a pioneering series of wedding exposition which showcases luxe tablescapes, classic and avant-garde bridal wear, and other wedding suppliers, bringing it closer to shoppers, and inspiring them in creating their own dream weddings,” he said.

“We are honored to partner with the premier wedding magazine in the country, the Wedding Essentials, in celebrating the Filipino ingenuity and creativity through the vision of our very own Kapampangan event stylists and sought-after designers,” he added.

Included in this year’s line up of exhibitors are stylists Pancho Pantig of Plumeria, Janette Garbes of The Flower Garden, Allen Uy and JP de Jesus of Blooms 2710, Badang Rueda of Victorian Blooms; designers Mich Viray, Jojo Macapinlac, Frederic Policarpio, Glen Canlas; cake suppliers The Cake Giant, Bread O’Baking, For Heaven’s Cake by by A, Guilty Pleasures by Finn; and renowned event coordinator Voltaire Zalamea.

Moreover, SM affiliates SM Home and SM Gift Registry are also part of the expo, offering soon-to-weds and their guests a wide selection of accessories and wedding gifts.

Wedding Essentials editor-in-chief Kitten Zapata noted that she values SM City Clark’s support for the annual wedding fair.

“We’re very happy to partner with SM’s Regional Group here, they are very accommodating and we are grateful to them for giving us the opportunity to gather the emerging and up-and-coming wedding professionals in the province,” she relayed.

“Personally, I love Pampanga and I really admire the works of the Kapampangans. We’re very proud to promote them as it is really our thrust to help local suppliers and recommend their creations and services for future grooms and brides,” she concluded.

Bizman cites RFC help to local economy, tourism

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

ANGELES CITY -- Businessman Rene Romero has cited the contribution of the recently-concluded Rain Forest Challenge (RFC) Global Series Philippines four-wheel drive race to the local economy and tourism.

Romero, who is also the event chairman of the RFC Global Series Philippines, said the event has given participants, including their families and friends, the opportunity to visit and see Pampanga, which became the venue of the race for two consecutive years.

“We were able to contribute to our tourism and economy because there were 236 cars that went to Clark Freeport on the first day alone. About 180 on the second day and about 120 on the third and fourth day,” Romero said.

The 4X4 off-road competition was held last August 24 to 27 in Mabalacat City and the towns of Porac, Floridablanca and Arayat.

Romero thanked Clark Development Corporation (CDC) and Petron for sponsoring the four-day event.

“We are very happy that the recently-concluded RFC Championship in the Philippines was very successful. There was a big improvement compared to last year’s event,” Romero said.

Romero at the same time lauded the local government units for supporting the Philippine leg of the sports event.

“Our mayors, Cris Garbo of Mabalacat; Carling Dela Cruz of Porac; Darwin Manalansan of Floridablanca and most especially Mayor Bon Alejandrino of Arayat, the most supportive local government unit for the past two years,” Romero said.

Using his Toyota Land Cruiser, Randy Sobrepena of the Pampanga Off-Roaders Club Incorporated (Porci) emerged as winner among the 46 competitors, according to Romero.

Romero said Sobrepena, together with the other winners and the RFC Philippine team, will be sent to Malaysia in November this year for the RFC international competition.

“We want to send a Pinoy team of off-roaders to the Malaysia challenge, which is a gathering of international off-roaders,” Romero said.

The RFC Global Series Philippines and sports magazine had featured the race venues in Pampanga, according to him.

“This is one way of helping the government and the people marketing our place. We are promoting our province in terms of sports tourism. I am very happy that the organizing committee of RFC Philippines, headed by Robbie Consunji, selected our area as the venue for two straight years,” Romero said.

PDI hosts 2nd Google local guides photowalk in Angeles

(SunStar Pampanga)

THE Pampanga Digital Influencers (PDI), a Pampanga-based group of bloggers, photographers, and social media influencers, in partnership with Google Business Group Pampanga, over the weekend conducted its second “Google Local Guides Photowalk” dubbed “Ikadwa”.

PDI co-founder Armela Patalud, during the activity held at Nepo Center in Angeles City, shared that the event aims to help promote the different business establishments in the area by updating their existing information on Google.

“This is actually the second wave of our Google Local Guides Photowalk, wherein we help people and Google by adding, modifying, and reviewing places so that others who are Googling these ventures can get the best and most up-to-date information on them,” she explained.

“During our first Photowalk session held last August 21, we focused on various restaurants and dining outlets at the Nepo Quad 1. After the success of our first event, we then decided and realized that we need to also feature and update information of tenants in and around Newpoint, Nepo Mart, and the Quad,” she added.

During the Ikadwa, over 50 participants composed of photography enthusiasts and university students were divided into smaller groups. Their photos and gathered contact details of the local business units were then uploaded and updated on the Google search engine.

“It is very important that we organize this kind of activity that helps us expose what Angeles City and Pampanga in general is all about. It’s the same reason why we are planning to regularly host this event, maybe twice a month, so that we could scour other areas here in the province,” she noted.

Patalud then disclosed that PDI is set to hold a charity dinner this coming September.

“We are anticipating that this will be our biggest event this year, which will also be in collaboration with Google Business Group Pampanga. The charity dinner will feature heritage dishes and Kapampangan heirloom recipes that we aspire to promote and preserve,” she concluded.

Angeles City celebrates International Youth Day

(PR)

THE Angeles City Government headed by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan through the Angeles City Youth and Development Office (ACYDO) kicked off this year’s celebration of International Youth Day along with youth organizations and supporters gathered at the City Hall on Monday, August 13.

ACYDO head Patrick Cura said the office mandates every youth organization and the young community to help provide a “Safe Space for Youth,” in line with this year’s theme.

A fun-filled celebration dubbed as “Linggo ng Kabataan” is set up in cooperation with the Sangguniang Kabataan (SK) headed by Chairman Arnoah Prince Mandani, along with youth organizations of different barangays and schools, fraternities and sororities in the city.

Booths of exhibits and items created by the youth organizations will be mounted at the City Hall Lobby on August 14, and on the 15th, the employees of the ACYDO will have their Staff Capability Seminar with discussions about the Localization of the Philippine Youth Development Plan.

The City College of Angeles will spearhead a Youth Heritage Seminar-Forum on Thursday, August 16 to involve young leaders in the city’s heritage and cultural awareness drive. This will be followed by a Youth Consolidation Meeting on Friday, and a simultaneous Katipunan ng Kabataan assembly in every barangay on Saturday to culminate the celebration.

Meanwhile, the city’s launching of the celebration on Monday was met with various performances that showcased talents of young Angeleños. Youth organizations in different barangays received their Certificate of Registration after the mini-concert.

Ferdinand Calma, President of the Sigma Kappa Pi Fraternity Alumni Pampanga Chapter, led 9 members of the ACLYDC in a pledge to keep peace and order in the community, focusing on the prevention of frat wars, and hazing as well as the freedom to voice out the opinion of the youth, and to petition their request.

In his message, Pamintuan mentioned young Filipino heroes who fought for the country and shall inspire the youth. “Don’t belittle the youngsters as they will be our future leaders. Instead, let us help them and support them for this generation needs future leaders who are dedicated to serve and make a progress,” the city mayor said.

Angeles City conducts bloodletting drive

(PR)

THE Angeles City Government headed by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan through the Persons with Disability Affairs Office-Angeles City (PDAO-AC) hosted its second bloodletting activity for the year over the weekend at the Legislative hall.

Themed “Give Love, Give Blood, Save a Life. Dugo Mo, Dugtong Buhay,” the activity was organized in cooperation with the Philippine Red Cross - Angeles-Pampanga Chapter, Ospital ning Angeles (ONA), City Health Office (CHO), Angeles City Blood Bank, Angeles City Federation of Persons with Disability, and Bridge to Charity.

“Blood is very much needed especially during cases of emergency. By donating blood, we do not just show our compassion to others but we are also doing something good for our health and body. Donating blood indeed saves lives,” said PDAO-AC head Phillip Pelayo.

A total of 61 bags equivalent to 520 cc units of blood was collected from individuals who volunteered for the said campaign. Participating agencies assisted in screening the donors to determine whether they are fit to donate blood.

Pelayo furthered that the activity also served to empower their sector by passing on resources, services, and assistance that PWDs have been blessed with.

Pamintuan said that the drive also reminds Angeleños to value life and to be of service to others by participating in bloodletting initiatives without anything in return.

“I appreciate the efforts of the PWD sector for helping our less fortunate constituents in need of blood whether they belong to the PWD sector or not,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, the donated blood units may be accessed without charge through the PDAO-AC office located in Barangay Sta. Teresita. The collected units of blood will be stored at the Philippine Red Cross and Ospital ning Angeles.

Clark locator to install 1st industrial-scale solar panel project

(PR)

A MANUFACTURING company of cellulose, collagen and plastic casings and packaging materials for meat products in Clark Freeport will be a pioneer firm among Freeport locators in the country to install the first industrial-scale solar power rooftop project.

During a recent interview with the Capampangan in Media, Inc. (CAMI) at Bale Balita (CDC Media Center) here, Viskase Asia Pacific Corporation (VAPC) plant manager Josh Go said that they already signed a contract to install $680,000 solar panel in their buildings.

According to Go, the project will be installed starting September this year and is slated to be completed by February 2019. He said that Mettle and Grip, a leading contractor and developer of solar energy will be the supplier of the solar panels that will be used for the project.

When completed, the installation of some 1,900 solar panels will help eliminate at least 12.3 million pounds of carbon footprint and will generate 829,580 kwh solar production per annum with a module efficiency of 16.72 percent.

He added that the project is in fulfillment of their thrust to help reduce energy consumption and introduce the benefits of renewable energy to other establishments. He said that this is also a commitment of the company to ensure environmentally sound operations beyond the purpose of reducing their operating costs.

“We are promoting renewable energy and hopefully some other companies inside Clark will also explore this kind of project,” he said.

Meanwhile, Noel Tulabut, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) communications division manager, mentioned that under the Green Building Code, firms that help in the reduction of energy consumption and promotion of renewable energy may get certain incentives from the state-owned firm.

“Under the Green Building Code, companies that will implement renewable energy programs and projects may entitle them to certain incentives,” he said.

Viskase is an American company that manufactures meat product casings. It has introduced the first synthetic sausage casing made from regenerated cellulose which allows large productivity for ready-to-eat meat products.

Quest Hotel and Conference Center, Clark conducts fire drill

(Press release)

CLARK FREEPORT ZONE – Quest Hotel and Conference Center, Clark (QHCP) and Mimosa Golf Course General Manager Mr. Patrick Beck and Security Manager Major Angel Aguas led the first ever fire drill (August 3).

The exercise commenced at 10:31 AM when a CODE 2 was raised at the second floor of the hotel.

QHCP’s Emergency Response Team (ERT) immediately took over the scene assisting guests, contractors, and employees for an organized and calm evacuation process at the Acacia Park.

The ERT members also took part in clearing all the guest rooms, function rooms, and had a close coordination with Clark Development Corporation’s Fire Response Team.

Aside from the fire drill, Mr. Beck also shared to everybody a demonstration on how to properly rescue a victim and the basic steps of firefighting using a fire extinguisher: PASS – Pull the trigger, Aim the nozzle at the base of the fire, Squeeze the handle, and Sweep the nozzle from side to side.

“This is a very helpful exercise for everybody here at Quest Hotel and Mimosa Golf Course as you may never know when a fire might occur. It is very important that we get trained about this that is why there will be more drills to be conducted in the future,” Mr. Beck said.

The activity ended at 10:41 AM where a total of 161 participants attended and are now more knowledgeable on what to do during this kind of incident.

UAP: Implement Architecture Act

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

MEMBERS of various chapters of the United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) in Pampanga have appealed to the local and national government to implement Republic Act Number 9266, or the Architecture Act of 2004.

Architect Andy Gulapa, president of the UAP Angeles Chapter, said that their association, which consists of 40,000 members nationwide, has prepared a position paper for the government to address various concerning the profession.

In 2004, the Congress enacted R.A. No. 9266 or the Architecture Act, according to Gulapa.

“This law categorically provides, without any exemption, that only duly licensed architects can legally sign architectural plans and documents,” he said.

The law further provides that building officers cannot accept architectural plans and documents which are not signed by architects, Gulapa said.

Under the old Architectural Law (R.A. No. 545), civil engineers were expressly exempted from the general rule that only architects can sign architectural documents, he added.

Gulapa stressed that Section 20 (5) of Republic Act 9266 provides that “all architectural plans, design, specifications, drawings and architectural documents relative to the construction of a building shall bear the seal and signature only of an architect.”

“Only architects and no one else, not even civil engineers, can prepare or sign architectural documents,” Gulapa said.

He lamented that some civil engineers are still signing documents classified as architectural documents.

This, Gulapa claimed, is in violation of the Architecture Act of 2004.

The Philippine Councilors League (PCL), which consists of 16,000 members, recently expressed full support for the UAP.

The PCL vowed to initiate an advocacy for the passage of resolution or ordinance enforcing and implementing fully the provisions of RA 9266 and its implementing rules and regulations.

Angeles City council revives bid to rename Clark airport

By Ashley Manabat

ANGELES CITY — Two resolutions have been enacted by the Sangguniang Panlungsod (SP) of this city requesting President Duterte and enjoining members of Congress to rename Clark International Airport (CIA) into Diosdado Macapagal International Airport (DMIA).

The two resolutions, sponsored by Councilor Edgardo “Edu” Pamintuan Jr., said this is in honor of the late President Diosdado Macapagal, the ninth president of the Republic of the Philippines who was also known as “the poor boy from Lubao, Pampanga, who became President.”

The two resolutions, PR-804-08-18 and PR-805-08-18, were unanimously approved during the SP regular session held on Tuesday.

The resolutions were ratified “in keeping with the revised guidelines of the National Historical Commission specifically stating that the proposed names must have historical and of cultural significance and must contribute to the positive development of national pride through the good example exhibited by the name being used.”

On September 28, 2001, during the 91st birthday of Macapagal, the Board of Directors of the Clark Development Corp. approved a resolution renaming CIA into DMIA, only to be reverted back to its former name during the time of former President Benigno S. Aquino.

The resolutions said the right to name our airport is part of our national patrimony, and the Angeleños expressed their disapproval of the decision made by then by the Clark International Airport Corp. to rename DMIA into CIA.

The resolutions said changing the name into DMIA will have no significant bearing on the airport’s current operation, capacity and potential as a premier international airport.

“The name Diosdado Macapagal is important to the people of Pampanga, as it honors one of its respected leaders who became the first Capampangan president of the republic and the father of land reform.”

Pamintuan said Macapagal is one of the better presidents the country ever had and deserved to be honored and emulated by young Filipinos and aspiring leaders for his character and perseverance in overcoming poverty.

Clark is in honor of Harold M. Clark, an American aviation pioneer who had no known ties with the Philippines, he said.

Marriott to open in Clark in September

(PR)

MARRIOTT Hotel will complement the promotion of Clark Freeport as a premiere tourist destination when it opens on September 14.

During the Talk Widus forum of Pampanga Press Club in cooperation with Widus Hotel and Casino held recently in Clark Freeport, Marriott Hotel director for Sales and Marketing Charley Magabo said that one of the goals of their company is to promote Clark as a destination.

“In each of the hotels that I’ve worked with, the first thing that we really promote is the destination. So, of course, whenever we would go out and introduce the hotel, we will sell first Clark and then once they recognized Clark as a destination, that’s the time that we will be presenting the hotel,” he said.

Magabo said the establishment of other hotels here will also help to showcase Clark as a Meetings, Investments, Conferences and Exhibits (MICE) destination. He said that it will also of help to cater to the needs of every guests especially on the influx of investments and tourists here.

“We actually welcome the idea of them coming in to the picture, it’s actually going be helpful for us. It’s very interesting because they know that a lot of investments are being done here in the area and they know that in the future there are a lot of bigger players that are coming in. We are expecting huge conventions and we need help from the, so it will promote not just us but even the entire area of Pampanga,” Magabo added.

Marriott Hotel Clark will be a 16-story building with 260 rooms and will feature various amenities such as ballroom, meeting rooms, interactive-type restaurants, pool and spa facilities. It is owned by the Widus International Leisure Inc.

Marriott is a 5-star hotel brand and currently one of the biggest hotel chains in the world with more than 6,000 hotels and 30 other different brands.

Angeles eateries urged to maintain clean restrooms

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

AN OFFICIAL of Angeles City has urged owners of eateries to provide their customers with clean and fragrant restrooms.

Councilor Jesus “Jay” Sangil said that one way of giving back to the people who visit the city is to provide them with quality services.

The official said that Angeles City is one of the country’s culinary capitals and thousands of local and foreign tourists visit the area to taste local delicacies.

Unfortunately, Sangil said that some business establishments do not even have restrooms with basic needs like soap and tissue.

“We want to show our tourists and guests that comfort rooms in Angeles City are clean and fragrant. No doubt that our food is delicious and world class but some restaurants, sad to say, do not even have CRs,” Sangil said.

He added that he will seek the assistance of local architects to help business owners in the design of a basic restroom.

Sangil a few days ago told SunStar Pampanga that he will ask the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to inspect business establishments violating environment laws.

He said that many restaurants and hotels are discharging and dumping greasy waste into the city roads’ drainage system.

He claimed that this sludge and other waste-clogged canals result to massive flooding.

“We don’t want to experience serious flooding similar to what is happening to the coastal towns of Pampanga and some parts of Metro Manila,” Sangil said.

Student wins over P1 M cash, pilot scholarship in new pageant

By Robert Requintina

ANGELES, Pampanga — A 19-year-old student was crowned Miss Midori Clark 2018 during the inaugural beauty contest perceived by many people as the biggest in terms of prize package given in any national pageants in the country.

Jasmine Omay, a freshman in Tarlac City taking up business administration, won P300,000 cash and P790,000 worth of full private pilot license course at the Omni Airline Training Academy.

“I would like to focus on my reign now because it is very overwhelming. It is not a joke. You really have to work hard for it,” says Omay during an interview after she was crowned at the pageant held at the Midori Clark Hotel and Casino on Sunday.

Omay, who stands 5’8, enjoys watching documentaries, plays the violin and guitar, and is into sports such as volleyball, badminton, chess and swimming.

The freelance model bested 21 other candidates for the national title. During the final question and answer portion, she was asked: “Give your best definition of the phrase the beauty of the new generation.”

Omay says: “We are living in a fast-paced world where we encounter issues and problems. And at this moment, what the generation needs is an inspiration to lead and to inspire other people. And I believe that Miss Midori is not only limited with beauty and brains but also with confidence and also a sense of responsibility. She gives an equal improvement of her responsibilities and she can empower beauty through her advocacy. And let me say this: let us all be Midori-fied and be satisfied.”

First runner-up honors went to Emma Tiglao, also winner of People’s Choice award; Elaiza Dee Elaiza Alzona, 2nd runner-up; Christine Julian, 3rd runner-up; and Anie Uson, 4th runner-up, who won major special awards Miss Photogenic, Best In Swimsuit; and Best In Evening Gown.

Other winners of special awards were: Airish Joy Rivera, Miss Congeniality; Joy Opiaza, Miss Talent; and Mariah Nilo, Aqua Planet’s Choice.

Timmy Diwa, marketing and public relations head of Midori Clark Casino, says the grand winners and qualified candidates of the Miss Midori Clark 2018 contest will be offered employment opportunities by Midori and BBI after the pageant.

The beauty pageant is spearheaded by the Midori Clark Casino which is owned and operated by BB International Leisure and Resort Development Corporation (BBI), one of the prime locators inside Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga, BBI is investing billions to develop more than 120 hectares of prime land in Clark.

Included in BBI’s multibillion-peso investments in Clark is the Midori Clark Casino, said to be the most technologically advanced gaming property in North Luzon which uses full RFID gaming tables and top-of-the-line electronic gaming machines; the Midori Clark Hotel offers luxurious accommodations and a five-star experience to guests traveling north; and Aqua Planet, touted as the most modern and one of the biggest water theme parks in Asia.

Sangil asks DENR to check restos, hotels violating env’t laws

By REYNALDO G. NAVALES

ANGELES CITY -- Councilor Jesus Sangil has urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to check restaurants, hotels and other business establishments violating environment laws.

Sangil underscored the need to inspect the business establishments to prevent massive flooding similar to what happened in several areas in Pampanga, Bulacan, and Metro Manila.

The councilor said that many restaurants in the city are dumping grease into the road drainage.

Other establishments with full septic tank dump elsewhere, according to Sangil.

"In the wake of massive floodings. One of the reason why our drainage are being clogged because many establishments are indiscriminately dumping their waste," Sangil said.

"At the wee hours, tinatapon sa ilang bahagi ng Abacan River or Sapangbalen Creek yung kanilang grease," he added.

According to Sangil, sludge is one of the major cause of floodings. "This is waste and grease oil mixed together," he said.

Sangil also asked the DENR to assign a regular monitoring team checking hundreds of restos and hotels if they are compliant with environment law. "Yung hindi naaareglo!"

"May mga pagkakataon kasi na yung ibang mga business establishments ay inaareglo ang mga ibang inspector or monitoring team at binibigyan ng clearance kahit wala ng inspection," said Sangil.

Restaurants and hotels are mostly located in Barangay Balibago, Malabanas, Anunas while scores of eateries are situated at the city proper.

Pursuing accessibility for PWDs

By Ariel Avendaño

ANGELES CITY, Pampanga – The United Architects of the Philippines (UAP) said the implementation of Batas Pambansa 344 which promotes the welfare of persons with disability (PWD) should be seriously given attention by the government and all other private stakeholders.

During the daylong accessibility audit training dubbed as “Building a better world for all” which was held at the SFJ multipurpose hall in Holy Angel University here, architect Arnel Agustin, UAP – Alaya chapter chair, said there were lots of government and private structures, and similar establishments, particularly in rural areas, that have no ramp facilities for PWDs.

Agustin said it’s about time to comprehensively observe the accessibility law citing section 1 of BP 344 stating that “in order to promote the realization of the rights of disabled persons to participate fully in the social life and the development of the societies in which they live and the enjoyment of the opportunities available to other citizens, no license or permit for the construction, repair or renovation of public and private buildings for public use.

The Act was passed by the Batasang Pambansa on December 7, 1982 which was signed and made into law by the late President Ferdinand Marcos on February 25, 1983.

Corresponding penalty was to be imposed for violators upon the discretion of the court, as stated in the Act.

Participated in mostly by young architects, the training has also highlighted modern and state-of-the-art concepts of facilities for offices such as bathrooms, toilets, ramps and even grab railings which will be conducive for working condition and convenience for PWDs.

On November 22, 2013, former President Benigno Aquino III has signed Proclamation 688 declaring the period of 2013-2022 as the Philippine decade of “make the right real” for persons with disabilities in support of the 3rd Asian and Pacific Decade of Persons with Disabilities.

“By that time, all buildings in the National Capital Region (NCR) should be PWD-accessible,”Agustin said.

EdPam underscores importance of participative governance, thanks AC benefactors

(Angeles City Government Official Website)

ANGELES CITY – Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan, through his State of the City Address (SOCA), took the opportunity to finally express his appreciation to all the people who have contributed to the city’s development and those who are instrumental to the success of his 9-year leadership in this highly urbanized city.

On his 9th Ulat sa Bayan, a sentimental Pamintuan attributed the completion of various programs and projects in the city as products of participative governance and harmonious public-private partnership.

“Nais ko pong bigyang diin na ang anumang pagkilala sa akin at sa ating syudad ay hindi dahil sa akin lamang. Dahil po sa inyong lahat, dahil sa mga kasama ko sa pamahalaang lungsod,” Pamintuan said.

The mayor thanked the Sangguniang Panlungsod headed by Vice Mayor Bryan Matthew Nepomuceno for instituting legislative reforms that brought order and development to the city.

Pamintuan doffed his hat to former president now House of Representatives Speaker Gloria Macapagal Arroyo, and Pampanga Governor Lilia Pineda who have extended support to the MediKalinga Center of the city.

The five-termer mayor expressed his gratitude to the support extended by George Samson of World Medical Relief for various hospital equipment, Dennis Uy for his assistance to the City College of Angeles, Freddie So and the members of the Angeles City Filipino-Chinese Chamber of Commerce for the construction of numerous school buildings, and the Renal Care Unit.

Pamintuan also acknowledged the Partido Abe Kapampangan, and people’s organizations who have backed and supported all city government activities such as the One Million Trees Project, Linis Sapang Balen, and many more.

The city’s cultural workers and artist’s organizations, the Culture and Arts Council of Angeles, the Kuliat Foundation and Angeles City Jaycees, were also acknowledged for helping Angeles shed its ‘sin city’ image into a haven for heritage, arts, culinary and hospitality.

His long-time friend and political ally now President and CEO of Clark International Airport Corporation (CIAC), Alexander Cauguiran, also placed a special part in his speech.

“Our nine-year leadership proved that we are all in for the development of our beloved city. We showed that every Angeleños have roles to play in the development process- this is our brand of governance,” Pamintuan said.

As he ends his speech, the mayor vowed that he would never abandon the city to make sure that all the P3 billion-worth infrastructure projects set here will be implemented. Pamintuan, who is the incumbent Chairperson of the Regional Development Council in Central Luzon and the National President of the League of Cities of the Philippines, is yet to divulge his future political plans.

AC extends assistance to Bataan flood victims

(Angeles City Government Official Website)

ANGELES CITY – The local government here headed by Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan is donating relief goods to the residents of the City of Balanga, municipality of Hermosa in the province of Bataan, which was heavily devastated by last week’s heavy downpour.

Mayor Pamintuan instructed the city’s disaster and emergency response team to immediately extend the aid last Wednesday, July 25.

The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), and the Angeles City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (ACDRRMO) will jointly spearhead the said relief operation.

A total of 500 goods are to be distributed to the victims of the calamity in the province of Bataan which was put under the state of calamity last Sunday after Typhoon Josie have caused heavy rains and flash floods.

CSWDO Head Joy Duaso assured that the city government will readily offer its assistance to their city.

“They can expect that the Local Government of Angeles will not turn a blind eye, this aid is a way of giving back and letting them know that we are here for them in times of need,” said Duaso.

Mayor Pamintuan extended his support to the city of Balanga, recalling the outpouring of aid from neighboring provinces when Mt. Pinatubo erupted in the early 90s. He was then seated as Vice Mayor of Angeles City.

“My sympathy goes to the victims of the typhoon. Rest assured that we will prioritize the extension of aid, as well as hope, to our fellow men in Baataan, in perpetual gratitude to their kindness in our unfortunate moments,” the city Mayor said.

The ACDRRMO was tasked to supervise the transport of the goods, while the local government will remain to be in contact with its neighboring province for further support and assistance.

Angeles City celebrates Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation Week

(Angeles City Government Official Website)

ANGELES CITY - In observance of the National Disability Prevention and Rehabilitation (NDPR) week, the city government here kicked-off the celebration with a flag raising ceremony hosted by the Persons with Disability Affairs Office- Angeles City (PDAO-AC) held on Monday at the City Hall.

With the theme “Kakayahan at Kasanayan Para sa Kabuhayan Tungo sa Kaunlaran”, this year’s 40th celebration of NDPR week, which will run from July 17-23, aims to enhance the knowledge and skills of persons with disabilities (PWDs) in the upliftment of their economic and social conditions.

According to PDAO-AC Head Philip Pelayo, the weeklong celebration is observed annually to promote public awareness and to address issues concerning the PWD sector.

On the other hand, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan assured his full support to the PWDs of the city and he is looking forward to more projects that are beneficial to their sector.

Pamintuan also referred them as valuable assets and that their participation signifies that all of them believe in their capabilities.

“Do not let your disabilities limit you. Being handicapped does not mean that you are less capable. Because in our city, we are making sure that you are granted equal rights and opportunities,” Pamintuan added.

Activities lined up for the NDPR week include: Lecture on Understanding and Exceptionalities and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome Disorder which was held last July 17, 2018 at Marquee Mall Activity Center.

The activity gathered in 300 teachers, health workers, barangay population workers and PWDs to participate in the forum facilitated by Dr. Olga Angelica P. Tulabut, Dean of College of Arts and Sciences at Angeles University Foundation.

On July 18 and 19, Blood Typing services will be extended to PWDs and non-PWDs in the city to be held at Salapungan Elementary School and Department of Education (DepEd) – Angeles City.

To culminate the celebration, the Central Luzon Federation of Persons with Disabilities (CLFPD) will be having a motorcade and a singing contest intended for PWDs in the whole of Region 3 at the Bren Z. Guiao Convention Center on July 23.

Executive Order No. 33 Series of 2018, which renamed the Angeles City Office for Person with Disability Affairs (ACOPDA) to Persons with Disability Affairs Office- Angeles City (PDAO-AC) took effect on July 1, 2018.

To date, the city has 4,300 registered PWDs enjoying various incentives and privileges.

Urban gardening beneficial, wise investment, mayor says

(PR)

ANGELES CITY -- “I would like to invite every Angeleño to start now. Urban gardening is a wise investment that we can provide our families on our own.”

Thus said Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan during the culmination of the city’s month-long celebration of the 44th Nutrition Month over the weekend at the Angeles City Hall.

Pamintuan called on every Angeleño household to kick-start their own backyard gardens and avail of the city’s services like free gardening tutorials and seedlings distribution.

During the event, three activities were held to highlight the benefits of having a vegetable garden through this year’s Nutrition Month theme, “Ugaliing Magtanim, Sapat na Nutrisyon Aanihin!”

A poster-making contest, decoration of booths and a cooking competition were organized by the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), and the City Agriculture Office (CAO) enjoining the participation of various sectors in the city.

CAO Urban and Greening Program Coordinator and Agriculturist Rea Dizon welcomed the guests with a motivational speech encouraging every household and the community to implement vegetable gardening that promotes a healthy lifestyle.

“This practice will create a generation that is healthy and wise. Implementing vegetable gardening would give us a safe and healthy food consumption,” Dizon said.

She also mentioned that this practice could help Angeleños financially, as not only is it thrifty, but it could also provide additional income. The use of recyclable materials such as used tires, and plastic bottles serve as pots.

It was a fruitful event as CSWDO head Joy Duaso said: “There are more participants this year and we are very grateful for their presence and support. We all deserve healthier selves and a better environment.”

In relevance to last year’s Task Force One Million Trees and Gulayan sa Barangay Project, urban gardening is expected to generate local products that provided families nutritious and quality vegetables while earning as well.

Angeles City Archived News

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