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Angeles City News October 2014

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Herbal remedies for diabetes.JPG
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
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Angeles City Catholic Church
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Sacrifice of the faithfuls by crucifying themselves.
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A Barangay Clearance is NEEDED in order to get a Business License.
So why is the barangay name not in most business addresses?
Ask your Barangay Captain/Chairman to create a Resolution to make it mandatory to put the barangay name in all Business addresses.

Semiconductor company braces for exciting future of industry

By Kenneth M. del Rosario

“There is only growth in the (semiconductor) market and we do not see it slowing down anytime soon,” said Dongjoo Kim, the company’s chief finance officer.

PSPC’s products are found inside the fancy body of a smart device. So if the name PSPC does not ring a bell to most people, perhaps the company where it supplies most of its semiconductor work does—Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.

Through Samsung, PSPC also reaches other respected global brands such as Apple, HP, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, Lenovo, and Dell.


PSPC has an existing manufacturing plant located in a 146,363 sqm property at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga. Its process flow includes memory assembly, test, and module. The company started operations there in 2011.

After three years of successful operations in the country, PSPC is preparing to go public very soon. The company’s plan is to maximize production on its existing plants to continue catering to its clients’ needs in memory-based semiconductors. At the same time, putting up another manufacturing plant that would consider the manufacture of memory devices for high-end cellphones would allow PSPC to serve a whole new segment of customers.

“PSPC has never been more optimistic about its future growth. We see that current market demand is driving the industry forward, sophistication of processes and production have improved our efficiencies and capacity, the push for continued innovation and the rise of virtualization,” he said.

PSPC continues to invest in its Clark hub because of its strategic location; favorable policies inside the freeport zone; close vicinity to the airport; pool of skilled talents; and the Filipinos’ proficiency in English.

It helps that the country has been enjoying economic growth that are the envy of other Asian countries. Kim said: “We are keen in making PSPC the leader in semiconductor production in the country and hopefully the region. There’s still a lot of opportunity to be had and we have barely scratched the surface.”

CA rules in favor of Clark project

By business.inquirer.net

MANILA, Philippines–The Court of Appeals has issued a writ of preliminary injunction against a dismissed contractor of the 177-hectare Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) in the Clark Freeport Zone, effectively allowing project owner Global Gateway Development Corp. (GGDC) to proceed with the project, including the construction of The Medical City (TMC) Clark, a world-class 150-bed hospital, by December this year.

In a nine-page resolution, the Court of Appeals’ 8th Division on Oct. 21 ruled against Peregrine Development International Inc., the disgruntled contractor, which has been trying to block the development of The Medical City hospital and GGLC.

The court also issued a writ of preliminary injunction, stopping Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 58 Presiding Judge Omar T. Viola from issuing further decisions on the case. Judge Viola earlier ruled in favor of Peregrine, despite the ongoing arbitration case between the two companies in Singapore.

The appellate court earlier ruled in favor of GGDC to regain control of the Global Gateway Logistics City project, a master-planned “aerotropolis” in Clark Freeport whose development is being blocked by Peregrine Development.

GGDC has invested over $100 million in GGLC which is seen to create over 300,000 jobs and an annual payroll of $600 million.

GGDC president Mark Williams said the court’s decision would help the company to complete works on the world-class TMC hospital project by the end of the year. He said the hospital project would provide world-class health services for thousands of Filipinos in the region.







==‘Stampita’ brings saints back to kids==

By Tonette Orejas (Philippine Daily Inquirer)

PAMPANGA, Philippines—Colorfully illustrated stampita (prayer cards) are the latest addition to local efforts to make All Saints’ Day in Angeles City more of a Catholic holy day.

The prayers cards are exclusively made for more than 600 students who are dressing up like the holy and martyred men and women of the Roman Catholic Church, instead of donning costumes of ghouls, ghosts, vampires, monsters and demons for the Halloween event in the city.

The prayer in the card was given by Msgr. Eugene Reyes while the illustrations were made by Bryan Paguio.

The lives of saints have increasingly been the focus of All Saints’ Day at the Holy Rosary Parish in Angeles City through Bishop Pablo Virgilio David beginning 2011 and at nearby Holy Angel University (HAU) since 2012.

Robert Tantingco, executive director of HAU’s Center for Kapampangan Studies (CKS), said this was because the original intent of Halloween was to celebrate the saints, not the devils, since it’s the night before All Saints’ Day.

“Halloween is short for Hallows’ Eve, and hallows is old English for saints,” he said. Catholics have around 10,000 saints, according to the the website catholic.org.

Stampita, said Tantingco, are prayer cards commemorating feast days or religious events. These are distributed to the faithful as mementos or souvenirs.

In effect, the devotion to saints is revived.

What HAU retained is the “trick or treat” part of the western rite.

Children go the rounds of offices, receiving chocolates, candies or fruits.

Hymn to saints

Aside from distributing stampita, the center and HAU’s Institute for Christian Formation are also teaching children to sing the “gosu” or traditional Kapampangan hymn to saints.

In Pampanga province, the seat of the Augustinian mission starting 1572, there is a gosu for every patron saint of towns and cities.

There’s a hymn for St. Lucy in Sasmuan town, St. Bartholomew in Magalang town, St. Andrew in Candaba town, St. Catherine in Porac and Arayat towns, St. Isidore in the village of Dau in Mabalacat City, St. Nicholas in Macabebe town, St. James in the community of Betis in Guagua town and St. Michael in Masantol town.

Kapampangan, who converted into Christianity during Spanish colonial times, practiced the magguso by going from one house to another, singing and receiving either money, live chicken or vegetables. The money is used to buy candles for the dead.

The gosu, Tantingco said, is like the “pamangaladua.” In singing the gosu, the faithful ask a saint to help bring eternal peace to a departed loved one. The pamangaladua, on the other hand, prays for the soul of dead members in a family.

“It’s a very touching gesture of communal spirit where neighbors or strangers offer prayer and entertainment to ease the household’s grief or longing for a lost loved one,” he said.

“In a way, this explains that mysterious term we learned in catechism,” the communion of saints,” where the community of those already in heaven supposedly remains united with the community of those still on earth,” he said.

CKS published the book, “Gale at Gosu,” by Crispin Cadiang, a former priest, who composed “Ibpa Mi” (Our Father) and 461 liturgical songs. The Aguman Talasulat Capampangan (Agtaca or Fraternity of Campampangan Writers) has been reviving the gosu since 2006.

In the former town of Betis, which was annexed to Guagua in 1904, All Souls’ Day or “undas” is observed for nine days—a rite that is not done elsewhere in the country.

Every afternoon, Catholics in Betis light candles, offer flowers and recite the Rosary. In the middle of the cemetery is a chapel that was built high to overlook the tombs. At dusk on the ninth day, the priest celebrates Mass and bless tombs.

2nd cooperative summit held in Angeles City

By Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay

ANGELES CITY -- As part of its thrust to strengthen the capacity of the cooperative sector, the Angeles City Cooperative Development Council (ACCDC) recently kicked off the Second Angeles City Cooperative Summit at the Angeles City Library and Information Center.

The event dubbed, "The Coop Challenge, Expand the Membership, Build Future Together" was in cooperation with the Cooperative Development Authority (CDA) as part of the month-long celebration of the National Cooperative Month.

The CDA is the lead government agency mandated by virtue of Republic Act 9520 (Philippine Cooperative Code of 2008) to promote the viability and growth of Philippine cooperatives. It is the only government agency that registers cooperatives.

The CDA defines a cooperative as “an autonomous and duly registered association of persons, with a common bond of interest, who have voluntarily joined together to achieve their social, economic and cultural needs and aspirations by making equitable contributions to the capital required, patronizing their products and services and accepting a fair share of risks and benefits of the undertaking in accordance with the universally accepted cooperative principles.”

“The real purpose of building a cooperative is to uplift the socio-economic condition of the members. The main objective is to persuade the ordinary citizens to join an organization, which will help them in building their own business or livelihood,” explained Marieta Chua, director of CDA Central Luzon.

Based on the latest data of the CDA, as of 2014, there are at least 120 cooperatives in the region. Currently, the CDA is focusing on empowering the cooperatives, which cater to the farming and fishing sectors.

Additionally, the CDA urges the already existing cooperatives to create programs, which will genuinely respond to the needs of its members.

“I am hearing a lot of positive feedbacks from them, saying that they receive a lot of benefits from the cooperatives. They benefit the most from the start-up capital provided by the cooperative, which the members usually use for their farms or small businesses. There are many members who were able to send their children to schools because of the cooperative,” said Chua, adding that the summit also witnessed the signing of the memorandum of agreement between the CDA and the ACCDC.

Meanwhile, the officials of the ACCDC are planning to conduct the “Lakbay-Aral” program, which includes field visits to observe the best practices of successful cooperatives in the region.

Phil Expo 2014 seen to highlight Clark as global gateway

By Azer N. Parrocha, Agence France-Presse

MANILA - The Clark International Airport will be the highlight of an upcoming international expo set to boost the rise of North Philippines as a global tourism hub, according to the Department of Tourism (DOT).

Dubbed as the NorthPhil Expo 2014, DOT Central Luzon Regional Director Ronaldo Tiotuico said that the event will further highlight the inevitability of Clark as a premier global gateway even by mere capacity alone.

The expo is slated at the Event Center of the SM City Clark at the Clark Freeport Zone in Pampanga on November 14 to 16.

“Aptly, we are adopting this year’s World Tourism Day’s theme Tourism and Community Development for the NorthPhil Expo 2014 to underscore the urgent need for product development to make the local industry keep up with the continued surge of visitor arrivals in the region,” Tiotuico said in a statement.

Tiotuico said that the current and potential capacity of Clark can complement, absorb and conveniently accommodate any spillover airlines from Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA), prompting foreign carriers to give Clark some serious considerations.

“Now add this looming scenario to the consistent rise in Clark’s passenger volume of 1.2 million in 2013 alone on top of the 2.6 million domestic travellers in the region in 2013, plus the quality road infrastructure in Luzon north of Metro Manila and its mall of landbased attractions and destinations, and you have a great recipe for a tourism boom in your hands,” Tiotuico explained.

He said Clark’s 1.2-million passenger volume was a 73-percent increase from 2012, which could continue to provide the momentum for NorthPhil tourism’s exponential growth.

DOT said that the exhibit will showcase tourism and travel destinations, products and services, provincial pavilions, corporate booths offering affordable and excellent tour packages, and traders’ booths selling arts and crafts, souvenirs and regional delicacies.

There are also business and social functions that include networking reception for exhibitors, all comprising the tourism industry sectors such as agri- and eco-tourism and leisure properties, airlines and air alliances, cruise lines, hotels and resorts, medical tourism hospitals and wellness and fitness centers, national and local government agencies and tourism boards, retirement villages, restaurants, spa resorts and destinations, themeparks and amusement centers, time share properties, tour and transport operators, and travel and tourism associations.

Among the activities in the event include a NorthPhil Expo Quiz Bee Challenge, Flairtending Competition (professional and amateur categories), corporate gameshows and raffle draws, cultural presentations, arts and crafts demonstration.

Expected to come to the event are business, trade and tourism organizations, MICE organizers and planners, educational institutions, international and domestic travellers, local, foreign and corporate buyers, tour organizers, planners and holiday specialists, travel agents and tour operators, travel enthusiasts, and the general public.

The expo will be opened from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and is touted to be the biggest in NorthPhil Expo’s nine-year history.

It is organized by the DOT offices in Central Luzon, Cagayan Valley, Ilocos Region and the Cordilleras, and supported by the Association of Tourism Officers of Central Luzon.

CA rules in favor of GGDC

By Reynaldo G. Navales


CLARK FREEPORT -- The Court of Appeals (CA) has issued a writ of preliminary injunction against a dismissed contractor of the 177-hectare Global Gateway Logistics City (GGLC) here, which in effect allows Global Gateway Development Corporation (GGDC) to proceed with the project.

In its nine-page resolution dated October 21, the Court of Appeals Eighth Division ruled against Peregrine Development International Incorporated (Peregrine), the disgruntled contractor of the GGLC and The Medical City (TMC) Clark, a world-class 150-bed hospital, which is expected to be completed by December this year.

In its nine-page resolution dated October 21, the Court of Appeals Eighth Division stated, "This court resolved to grant the prayer of petitioner (GGDC) for the issuance of writ of preliminary injunction after it has been satisfactorily shown that the legal requirements for the issuance of preliminary injunction are present in this case."

The CA also issued a writ of preliminary injunction, stopping Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 58 Presiding Judge Judge Omar Viola from issuing further decisions on the case.

Viola earlier ruled in favor of Peregrine despite the ongoing arbitration case between the two companies in Singapore.

The Appelate Court has also manifested its opposition against implementation of the RTC decisions dated June 13 and 27 as well as the June 30 writ of preliminary injunction issued by the judge.

The Court of Appeals ruled to stop Viola from "conducting further proceedings in said case as well as in the related case of petition for indirect contempt pending the final resolution of this petition or until the writ is lifted by the court."

The CA has earlier ruled in favor of GGDC to regain control of the Global Gateway Logistics City project, a master-planned "aerotropolis" in Clark Freeport.

GGDC has invested over US$100 million in GGLC, a major development project conceived by the Philippine government and designed by best Filipino architects and urban planning professionals.

The GGLC project is seen to create over 300,000 jobs, over 5.8 million square meters of floor space and an annual payroll of US$600 million.

GGDC President Mark Williams said the decision of the Court of Appeals will help the company to complete TMC hospital project by the end of the year.

He said the hospital project will provide "world-class" health services for thousands of Filipinos in the region.

Following the CA decision, GGDC plans to start the construction of five buildings adjacent to the TMC with about 10 to 12 floors each, Williams added. GGDC is investing another $100 million for the five buildings, according to him.

The Clark International Airport Corp. (CIAC) earlier affirmed CIAC's commitment to the terms of lease agreement with GGDC.

GGDC and CIAC signed a 50-year lease agreement on July 16, 2008 for the 177-hectare project, which came to a halt this year, after Peregrine filed a case in court.

"Of particular importance is GGDC's development and completion of the Medical City hospital in time for the APEC conference next year. We fully support these initiatives which we consider a faithful compliance to our lease agreement," CIAC said.

KGL Investment Company (KGLI) is a private equity investment company focusing on development and investments in the sectors of Infrastructure, Logistics and Transport, Oil & Gas, Energy & Power and other Diversified Sectors in the Middle East, Asia and Emerging Markets.

KGL Investment has always played an essential role in advising select Governments on required developments and improvements in the country’s infra-logistics, Williams said.

"Our key investors and partners are all Gulf Countries government entities and select group of local private investors. KGLI has successfully provided advisory services to more than 15 infra-logistics transactions in the Middle East, North Africa and Asia," he stated.

KGL Investment Company’s Team is comprised of experienced investment and operational professionals with expertise critical to its strategy.

The Team brings over 125 years’ experience in infrastructure, logistics and transportation to the benefit of its strategic investments in multiple countries around the world, according to Williams.

After hiding for 5 years, trafficking suspect falls

By Bernard Galang

ANGELES CITY -- A suspected human trafficker here was arrested five years after the court issued a warrant of arrest against him.

Agents of the Pampanga Criminal Investigation and Detection Team (CIDT) swooped down the notorious white slavery center here known to local folks as “Area” in Bgy. Sta. Teresita and arrested Ramil “Bong” Cadiz last Thursday evening.

“Area” is a slum-type place at the backstreets of the Henson Road and is known among city residents as being tightly guarded by thugs and goons who earn from prostitution of scores of women being kept in brothels.

Chief Inspector Eugene Rebadomia, Pampanga CIDT chief, said the warrant of arrest against Cadiz was issued by Judge Angelina Paras-Quiambao of the Angeles City Regional Trial Court Branch 69 in March 2009 with no bail recommended.

The arrest of the suspect was made after a group of concerned citizens wrote a letter to Dept. of the Interior and Local Government Secretary Mar Roxas complaining about the rampant and persistent prostitution and drug-trafficking along “Area” and other parts of Bgy. Sta. Teresita.

1st Angeles City Arnis fest on

By Ferth Vandensteen Manaysay

ANGELES CITY -- This city is holding the First Angeles City Arnis Festival Championship on October 25 until October 26 at Robinsons Place in Balibago, Angeles City.

The said competition is sanctioned activity by Arnis Philippines, Inc. (ARPI) and will be administered by ARPI technical officials.

The activity is part of the 50th Founding Anniversary of Angeles City and is organized by the Pro-active Arnis League in cooperation with the Angeles City Tourism Office, Mayor’s Office, Angeles City Sports Office and Department of Education-Angeles City.

The competition will open at 1:30 pm and will feature arnis enthusiasts in the elementary and secondary (13 to 17 years old) and seniors (18 years old and above) categories, who will compete in Anyo and full contact class.

Those wishing to join the arnis festival can get in touch with Joel Madrona of Pro-active Arnis League at 09194280023 or 09179535508.

October 24 declared a holiday in Angeles City

By Aries Joseph Hegina (INQUIRER.net)

MANILA, Philippines — Malacañang has declared October 24 as a special non-working holiday in Angeles City, Pampanga province.

According to Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., the declaration was made in order for the city’s residents to participate in the celebration of Kuliat Festival (Fiestang Kuliat) and the “Tigtigan Terakan Keng Dalan,” a street singing and dancing festival.

The festivities commemorate Angeles City’s “resiliency and dynamism” during the aftermath of the 1991 Mt. Pinatubo eruption.

October 13 was earlier declared as a special non-working holiday in Angeles City to mark the launch of the said festivities.

Binay: Broadcasters to have own homes

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- Broadcasters will have more good news to relay after they get their own houses.

This was the statement of Vice President Jejomar Binay after the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Pag-Ibig Fund and the Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas (KBP) Tuesday night.

"Malamang ay dadami na ang masasayang ulat ng mga broadcaster nating kasamahan kapag nagkaroon na sila ng sariling bahay," Binay, chair of the Pag-IBIG Fund Board of Trustees, said during the signing.

Binay added that he was aware of the plight of many broadcasters and journalists who do not have their own homes. "It is for this reason that I instructed Pag-Ibig to explore a partnership with KBP to help address some of your members’ housing needs. I understand that the Pag-Ibig Home Lending Programs have already been presented to you in one of the meetings between KBP and Pag-Ibig regarding the matter."

"I have been regularly apprised of the developments of your meetings. In fact, I have been informed of the proposal to implement a housing project called 'Broadcaster’s Village," said Binay.

While the proposal for the "Broadcaster's Village" was a good long-term project, said Binay, he also discussed with Pag-Ibig President Darlene Berberabe the need for more immediate measures to provide houses.

"And we can definitely do that through Pag-Ibig’s Home Matching Program. For example, if members of one KBP chapter wish to buy housing units in a particular area, the Business Development Sector of Pag-Ibig will coordinate with our partner-developers that have existing projects in that location so we can find available units that matches their needs and capacity to pay.”

“The acquisition of these housing units will be through Pag-Ibig housing loan. And as a value-added service, the Business Development Sector may even work out for discounts from our accredited developers," the Vice President said.

He added that such a scheme would be a win-win situation for the developers, Pag-Ibig, and the members themselves.

"The Home Matching Program can also be done through Pag-Ibig's inventory of acquired properties. It actually works in a simple way. A Pag-Ibig accredited contractor renovates the acquired property chosen by the borrower to make it move-in ready. Once it is done, the borrower simply moves in hassle-free," he also said.

Binay also guaranteed that housing units acquired under this scheme is affordable.

According to Binay, 96 percent of Pag-Ibig's acquired properties inventory have a price range of P172,000 to P737,000. The lowest monthly amortization rate is P1,501.

"Pag-IBIG has about 72,000 acquired properties located in different areas across the country. While not all of these are ready for disposition, I can assure you that there are enough units in our inventory to choose from. In the National Capital Region alone, 21,000 units are available for disposition," he said.

Binay also related the success of members of transport groups that also entered into an agreement with Pag-IBIG in 2011.

"Halimbawa po, yung isang miyembro ng asosasyon ng drayber ng UV Express na dating nangungupahan ng P2,000 kada buwan, ngayon po ay may sariling bahay na at hinuhulugan niya ito ng P2,500 kada buwan, hindi malayo doon sa binabayaran niya noong nangungupahan pa sila ng kanyang pamilya," Binay said.

Binay also revealed that there is an existing program for minimum-wage earners where they can avail of a loan from P450,000-P750,000, with interest rates ranging from as low as 4.5 percent to 6.5 percent, depending on the income of the borrower.

“Para naman po sa gusto ng malaking bahay, nagpapautang po ang Pag-Ibig ng hanggang P6-million basta lamang matugunan ng isang qualified borrower ang lahat ng kinakailangan. Market competitive rin ang interest rates namin dito dahil 6.985 percent lang ang pinakamababang interes para sa three-year fixed pricing period," he added.

Binay added that the agency has also partnered with different sectors such as transport groups, employers, and local government units for the housing needs of their beneficiaries.

"We acknowledge that the need for housing is not only confined to the informal settlers – the reason we introduced and implemented innovative programs that cut across all sectors of our society," said the Vice President.

"At ngayon po, hindi na naghihintay ang Pag-Ibig na may lumapit sa aming tanggapan para magtanong patungkol sa mga programang pabahay. Kapag nalaman namin na may pangangailangan sa pabahay ang isang grupo, kami na mismo ang nakikipag-ugnayan sa kanila," Binay also said.

Under the MOU, Pag-Ibig will provide KBP with available corporate-wide housing inventories on a regular basis, which will serve as ready inventories for KBP Member Network-employees.

It will also provide housing loan counseling to prospective KBP Member Network-employee borrowers and assist in the initial housing loan documentation.

As well, it will approve housing loan applications of KBP Member Network-employees qualified under existing Pag-Ibig Fund policies and guidelines and enter into a Collection Servicing Agreement between Pag-IBIG Fund and KBP Member Networks for the collection of the monthly amortization and payment of loan of the beneficiaries.

It will also provide the KBP with other home financing schemes subject to the existing guidelines of Pag-Ibig Fund.

Green Canyon Resort, the harmony between art and nature

By Doods L. Maglaqui

Photography Lessons & Photowalk. Basic Culinary Lessons. Woodworking. Pyrography. Painting Lessons. Swimming.

These and more were the fun activities that Green Canyon Resort prepared for the press during its media launch last Friday, October 10.

“We developed and built the resort using sustainable and efficient techniques that are environmentally friendly as well,” expressed Green Canyon’s Brand Manager Abel Jose.

Green Canyon Resort is located at Clark Freeport Zone in Angeles City, Pampanga – just less than one-and-a-half hour drive from Manila. The 29-hectare green property offers the best seat to watching the interplay of nature and art with the breath-taking Sacobia Valley as natural background. It’s the best weekend getaway to commune with nature and appreciate art with the whole family and friends.

The resort not only serves as relaxing sanctuary, but also as pampering venue for corporate and special events. Guests get to enjoy the exclusive amenities that include an events venue pavilion, a large outdoor resort pool, a family-friendly wave pool, a massage salon, an activities center for children and art workshops. And for those who love adventure, explore the rough terrain using the ATVs (all terrain vehicles), walk through the hanging bridge, pedal your way around the biking trail or hike through the scenic canyons. The adventure makes it more fun with the sumptuous Asian-fusion dishes served by its signature restaurant, Palette.

On top of its green environs, Green Canyon Resort takes pride in its 60-room boutique art hotel. It houses artworks and furniture designed by its resident artist and furniture designer Niccolo Jose. The US-educated artist is known for his pyrography, the art of decorating wood with heated tools.

“Wood is very versatile. For me, it’s about development...,” shared the multi-talented visual artist.

Niccolo boasts that no two rooms in the hotel are alike as each room is carefully designed making it truly a masterpiece. Even the sculptural pieces and art installations found in the resort are nature-inspired masterpieces. And it makes you feel like walking through an art gallery.

“The resort started before I even started my art career, four years ago. I do a lot of thinking in this place.” This premiere city getaway and recreational destination gives you the symphonic harmony of art and nature.

After all, Green Canyon Resort is not branded as the country’s first-ever eco-art resort for nothing.


Bishop, Angeles mayor cite partnership

By Joey Pavia (Contributor)

ANGELES CITY – "It's a dream come true. This is an accomplishment of partnership."

Thus said Most Rev. Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” David in his speech shortly before joining the Angeles City government officials and workers, businessmen, volunteers and village officials in a “boodle fight” at the People’s Park here over the weekend.

David, auxiliary bishop of San Fernando who is based at the Holy Rosary Parish Church here, expressed gratitude the genuine partnership between the public and private sectors for the development of the People’s Park at the old railway of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

“It’s not only our gardens in our homes that must be beautiful but all the gardens and parks as well, especially those which are in public places,” said David.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said “at least 95 percent of the funds used for the park came from the private sector.” He added that “we would have waited for at least one year before we can even start to build the park if we will use public funds.”

“I am very happy when I see children playing at the park. What will they do or what will the parents bring their kids to if there is no park here?” said Pamintuan, who was joined by his wife Herminia, businessmen Rogie Ayson and Bernie Cruz and some 150 others in the boodle fight.

Pamintuan lauded David “for initiating the transformation of the dirty old railway into a park.” He added that the bishop had asked the city government last year to restore the old railway station “for historical purposes.”

David adopted a section of the park which will be filled with ornamental plants.

Alexander “Alex” Cauguiran, focal person for the People’s Park, disclosed that P350,000 in cash was donated to them. He added that about P1 million in cash and materials were used for the park since it was started in July 2014.

Cauguiran mentioned all the institutions and people who helped put up the park, which is at Barangays Agapito Del Rosario, Claro M. Recto, Lourdes Sur East and Lourdes Sur.

Cauguiran hailed the transformation of the more or less two-kilometer PNR railway and its area from a “very dirty place to a park filled with ornamental plants, vegetables, sports and recreational activities.”

Pamintuan said “with the help of Reghis Romero, we will revive the railway station the way it used to be. He was referring to prominent businessman Romero of this city, who reportedly shouldered the expenses for the restoration of the train station.

Cauguiran said the boodle fight was done to thank “all the small and big efforts of the makers of the park.”

Angeles People’s Park ‘dream come true’

By Joey Pavia

ANGELES CITY -- “It’s a dream come true. This is an accomplishment of partnership.”

Thus said Auxiliary Bishop Pablo Virgilio “Ambo” David in his speech shortly before joining the Angeles City government officials and workers, businessmen, volunteers and village officials in a “boodle fight” at the People’s Park here on Friday afternoon.

David, auxiliary bishop of San Fernando who is based at the Holy Rosary Parish Church here, expressed gratitude to the partnership between the public and private sectors for the development of the People’s Park at the old railway of the Philippine National Railways (PNR).

“It’s not only our gardens in our homes that must be beautiful but all the gardens and parks as well, especially those which are in public places,” said David.

Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan said “at least 95 percent of the funds used for the park came from the private sector.” He added that “we would have waited for at least one year before we can even start to build the park if we will use public funds.”

“I am very happy when I see children playing at the park. What will they do or what will the parents bring their kids if there is no park here?” said Pamintuan, who was joined by his wife Herminia, businessmen Rogie Ayson and Bernie Cruz and some 150 others in the boodle fight.

Pamintuan lauded David “for initiating the transformation of the dirty old railway into a park.” He added that the bishop had asked the city government last year to restore the old railway station “for historical purposes.”

David adopted a section of the park that will be filled with ornamental plants.

Alexander “Alex” Cauguiran, point-person for the People’s Park, disclosed that P350,000 in cash were donated to them. He added that about P1 million in cash and materials were used for the park since it was started in July 2014.

In his speech, Cauguiran mentioned all the institutions and people who helped put up the park, which is at Barangays Agapito Del Rosario, Claro M. Recto, Lourdes Sur East and Lourdes Sur.

Cauguiran hailed the transformation of the some two-kilometer PNR railway and its area from a “very dirty place to a park filled with ornamental plants, vegetables, sports and recreational activities.”

Pamintuan said “with the help of Reghis Romero, we will revive the railway station the way it used to be. He was referring to prominent businessman Romero of this city, who reportedly shoulder the expenses for the restoration of the train station.

Cauguiran said the boodle fight was done to thank “all the small and big efforts of the makers of the park.”

‘Big Bite’ seen to generate P10-M in sales

By Joey Pavia (Contributor)

ANGELES CITY -- Ayala officials on Friday led the opening of the three-day second “Big Bite: The Northern Food Festival” at the Marquee Mall here and the food festival is expected to generate some P10 million in sales.

At least 128 food and delicacies makers are participating in the food festival which started October 17 and will culminate today.

“Each stall will have sales ranging from P100,000 to P150,000 per day. At least P10 million will be generated from the sales of products,” said Mark Sablan, Ayala Land senior division manager and general manager of Marquee Mall.

“It’s definitely successful because the number of participants increased,” he added. At least 100 stalls joined the first-ever Big Bite festival in the same venue last year.

Sablan joined Rowena Tomeldan, Ayala Land Inc. vice-president and head of operations and support services, in the ceremonial cooking of the showcase giant plate of sizzling sisig, a popular dish in Pampanga.

“This is a testimony that Pampanga in general and Angeles City in particular are not only the culinary destination of gourmands all over the country but are now the culinary capital of the country,” said Angeles City Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan.

“With sizzling sisig is the icon of all dishes north of Manila,” he added, referring to the 11 feet in diameter sizzling plate of sisig cooked especially for the occasion.

Pamintuan was joined by his wife Herminia during the opening of the event which started at 7 am on Friday.

Sablan said at least 100,000 people will visit Marquee Mall daily due to the growing popularity of the Big Bite festival. He said they have between 50,000 and 70,000 mall goers daily.

Sablan said that the food festival “is one of the corporate social responsibility of the Ayala group.” He said that all the food makers were not charged a single centavo for participating in the event.

Various food products are showcased in stalls from the Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, Central Luzon and Cordillera Administrative regions.

In partnership with Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Angeles Tourism Office, North Luzon Expressway, Bank of the Philippine Islands and the Lifestyle Network, Big Bite also showcased delicious and popular dishes for tourists and locals.

Cooking demonstrations, food art, free food samples, and live entertainment were also held during the festival at the open space of the Ayala-owned mall.

“From condiments, spices, to coffee and jams, to local favorites such as Ilocos empanada, bagnet, puto calasiao, there is something for every taste bud. Enjoy these foods or bring it home for pasalubong. To celebrate the country’s growing street food scene, Big Bite offers a new aisle on the festival grounds that offer Street Food specials. These are the food delights that people flock to in every street corner, from ice scramble to strawberry taho, to binatog (boiled corn with grated coconut and salt), and sorbetes (local ice cream),” said The Rod Magaru Show.

“Art installations by award-winning visual artist Leeroy New and the Pampanga Arts Guild will be on display throughout the festival days. Visitors will also have a chance to see their favorite Lifestyle Network chefs, Chef Sandy Daza of Foodprints and the lively Chef Sharwin Tee of Curiosity Got the Chef up close as these masters share their culinary skills and talent through live cooking demonstrations,” added the Philippine entertainment and lifestyle website.

Clark and Central Luzon

Noel G. Tulabut (My Palm Notes)

CLARK clean up to no let-up.

This, we see as Clark Development Corp. is on full throttle in its beautification drive inside the Clark Freeport (and the Special Economic Zone in the sub zone too).

No less than CDC President Art Tugade himself is taking charge of the improvements, leading his associates and managers in ocular inspection of the renovation, new construction and rehabilitation of facilities and buildings.

Foremost to note is the total facelift of the Parade Grounds, particularly its jogging path.

The last time the pavement of this 2.5-kilometer tree-lined walkway was given major repair was during the time of Atty. Emmanuel Angeles as CDC’s top honcho. If my memory serves me right, the pavement had an asphalt overlay when local but triple AAA contractor RD Policarpio obliged to his request to help in the project.

On a daily basis, the jogging path is host to hundreds who want to take a breather and fresh air they get that one could only get inside Clark Freeport.

The buildings around the area are also being dressed up as well as other portions of the Freeport in time for the Senior Officers Meeting from about 21 countries in January 2015 as part of the APEC Summit.

Among the new centerpiece structure will be the new rotunda at Clark’s main gate which is set to become the biggest in the country when it gets completed by December this year. It would have Sundial, a mini cultural center that would spruce up the Bayanihan Park.

The Clark Museum is also being renovated and I heard there would be High Definition displays that would show the rich cultural heritage and history of the former airbase from the time it was discovered by the Americans.

+++++

The Social Security System continues to improve its services in Central Luzon, considering its two million members in the prime region.

The SSS has more than two million members in Central Luzon, including about 1.3 million registered employees, 5,036 household employees, 452,003 self-employed, and 208,911 voluntary members.

Part of the initiatives is the AlkanSSSya project, a microsavings program which offers convenient remittance of contributions to encourage members of the informal sector groups to register as self-employed or revive their membership.

Large metal boxes with secure individual mini-compartments are now being installed in accessible locations to store daily AlkanSSSya savings of members. The savings are accounted for and picked up by an SSS collecting agent at the end of every month.

A report by colleague Joey Pavia in this paper states that the program has so far attracted 17,601 individuals from 188 informal sector groups in Central Luzon.

He quoted SSS VP for Central Luzon Vilma Agapito in the continuing success of the project, saying “the figures show that a lot more workers now recognize the value of social security and saving for future contingencies. The growth also reflects the success of our activities to improve services delivery and widen our membership reach.”

The SSS has also noted a 13.99-percent increase in its collections from self-employed and voluntary members in the region following the series of SSS AlkanSSSya coverage drives for workers in the informal sector and job order and contractual employees of local government units.

Agapito said the program was later adopted to cover JOs and contractual employees in LGUs who are non-GSIS members. She said that these members are currently served by 19 branches and 13 service offices, of which nine are in malls.

SSS has been establishing more offices nationwide “to give members a more convenient location and faster way to benefit from SSS programs and services.”

For 2014, the SSS has opened two new branches in Central Luzon, located in Bocaue, Bulacan and San Jose, Nueva Ecija, and two services offices located in Robinsons Mall Malolos and BHF Family Plaza in Dagupan.

All these improvements and services, by the way, are being made known to the public in an intensified information drive.

No less than SSS President and CEO Emilio de Quiros Jr. is reaching out to SSS members, the media, and other stakeholders in bringing about these bits of info that are essential but often ignored by people.

In his recent trip to Tarlac (the 4th of his nationwide road tour), De Quiros personally led SSS officials in bringing about more good news and services that go beyond proving the stability and dependability of SSS.

He reported that the agency now has at least 31,387, 446 members and its total assets has reached about P436 billion.

Quiros said the government agency's assets increased by over P163 billion in five years. SSS had only about P290 billion worth of assets in 2009. The agency is well on its track to reach its P500 billion asset by 2016 when President Aquino leaves Malacanang.

In Central Luzon alone, the SSS said it collected a total of P2.4 billion in contributions from members within Central Luzon as of July 2014, up by 14 percent from the same period last year. They come from members in Tarlac, Pampanga, Aurora, Nueva Ecija, Zambales, Bulacan and Bataan.

Great job there. Let its officers and members take a bow.

Angeles to celebrate new festival of Angels

(AC-CIO)

ANGELES CITY -- Angels from the heavens will flock to the Sto. Rosario Heritage District, this city, as the local government here launches a new festival dedicated to the Angeleños' patrons and guardians.

Dubbed as "GraciAngeles", the festival marks the celebration of the Fiestang Angel in the city, which is a new addition to the fiestas being celebrated every October: Fiestang La Naval on the second Sunday and Fiestang Apu Mamacalulu on the last Friday.

The event will be held today, (October 17), at 7 p.m. and is part of the city’s Fiestang Kuliat 2014 Socio-Civic cluster activities.

According to Peter de Vera, GraciAngeles is a stylized fusion of the words "gracia" and "Angeles" which, when combined, means "blessing from the Angels".

"GraciAngeles is 'heaven on Earth' as we witness the descent of the Angels from heaven who deliver messages of peace, love and prosperity to the people," said de Vera, who adds that "…through this festival, we are also invoking our patrons, the Los Angeles de los Custodios, for their continuous protection of our people and of our city."

"Angeleños should also expect street performers dressed in an all-white Angel costumes and additional props like the 'human karosa' to enhance the festival’s production value," de Vera stated.

For his part, Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan invited Angeleños' to witness this event, which is the first ever to be held in the city.

"This is another effort of the local government to preserve the cultural, historical and traditional aspects of the city. As such, we are working closely with the Holy Rosary Parish in our celebration of these religious and socio-civic events not only during our fiesta month of October, but all year round," Pamintuan said.

GraciAngeles' is the socio-civic counterpart of Fiestang Angel, which was reintroduced by the Holy Rosary Parish as one the city’s three major religious fiesta celebrations for October.

The Holy Rosary Parish has been celebrating Fiestang Angel since 2012, and today, with their active participation with the local government, the said celebration is now part of the annual Fiestang Kuliat calendar.

Smart provides weather updates

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- Smart Communications Incorporated (Smart) has upgraded its programs providing weather update which will help its subscribers during heavy rains and onslaught of typhoons.

These days, an afternoon thunderstorm can easily flood streets, cause heavy traffic, and aggravate the woes of drivers and commuters.

And with storms getting stronger and more frequent each year, people—especially those living in disaster-prone areas—need timely, accurate information well before disaster strikes so they can take precautionary measures to evacuate or save their belongings.

A lot of that information is now readily available via easy-to-use mobile phone applications. These applications include RaincheckPH, Project Noah and MMDA app.

"This is one set of apps that we hope more people will use during this typhoon season by taking advantage of Smart's Free Internet offer," said Ramon R. Isberto, Smart's head of public affairs. "We should make it habit to use these apps to be prepared for possible weather disruptions."

The following mobile applications or websites can be accessed on your feature, Android, or iOS phones:

RaincheckPH

With latest data from the DOST’s Project NOAH presented in a visual, easy-to-understand manner, RaincheckPH gives you timely alerts whenever a thunderstorm or strong typhoon is headed your way. Just pick your location from the list of areas provided by the app and you’ll receive accurate notifications whenever heavy rain or thunderstorms are approaching the city you’re currently in.

MMDA app

A joke going around the Internet goes: “Metro Manila’s instant traffic recipe: just add water.” Even the lightest rains today can instantly cause heavy traffic, so make sure to check the traffic situation on your route by downloading the official MMDA app.

Project NOAH

The Philippine weather bureau’s Doppler radars provide accurate and helpful visuals of every type of weather disturbance, especially typhoons. The good news is you can see these Doppler radar images and more by downloading the official Project NOAH app, which has proven to be helpful in helping people stay informed in times of extreme weather situations.

InterAksyon.com

For up-to-date information about traffic situations, flooded streets, and class suspensions during typhoons, it’s best to get timely, accurate news alerts from sites like InterAksyon.com, the online news portal of TV5. And with the InterAksyon.com site now formatted for mobile devices, you’ll be assured that accessing the site won’t be very data-heavy.

Facebook and Twitter

Social media has become an invaluable tool during disasters, especially in rallying support for relief operations and warning people about impending calamities. With Smart’s Free Internet offer now made better with Unli Facebook, you can stay in touch with relatives and share key information that could potentially save a life or two during these tough situations.

Smart Communications launched its free Internet promo last September, initially for prepaid subscribers of Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk N Text and then later included postpaid and broadband subscribers as well. The period of the special offers was also extended from end-November to January 5, 2015.

Under this promotion, active subscribers of Smart, Sun Cellular and Talk N’ Text have free access to 30 MB of mobile Internet per day. To avail themselves of the offer, subscribers only need to text FREE to 9999. Registration is free and must be done on a daily basis to enjoy the promo every day until January 5, 2015.

Aside from preparing for disasters, the Free Internet offer enables subscribers to, among other things, visit their favorite social networking sites like Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, stream music through SPINNR, shop online, send and receive email, and search for information.

Proudly Kapampangan

By Maan D’Asis Pamaran

The Philippines, being an archipelago, has different languages, traditions and sub-cultures. To this day there are instances where bias and misconceptions come into play, depending on what part of the country you or your family hails from.

True-blue Pampanguenos such as celebrity chefs Sau del Rosario and Emily Galang are some of the warmest most welcoming people in the local food industry. Pampanga's cuisine is known for its rich flavors and exotic ingredients. This carries over into the local’s food preferences. As Angeles City Mayor Ed Pamintuan jokingly said during the launch of the Big Bite! food festival at the Marque Mall, “If you invite a Kapampangan to a celebration in your home, you had better be sure that your cooking is really good, otherwise, your guest will go to your kitchen and show you how it’s done.”

One of the dishes this region can be really proud of is the Sisig, one of the latest food finds Western culinary experts are raving about. To quote Anthony Bourdain, who has become the unofficial champion of Pinoy food worldwide, this pork hash (as described by New York Times writer Ligaya Mishan) is “a divine mosaic of pig parts, chopped and served sizzling and crisp on one side on a screaming platter, then you’ve yet to have one of the world’s best beer-drinking dishes.”

There is more to discover when it comes to Northern cuisine. Filipino foodies and foreign friends can experience a hundred choices at the coming Big Bite! Food Festival to be held at the MarQuee Mall in Angeles, Pampanga on the 17th to 19th.

Aside from Pampanga’s best—Sisig, Betute (stuffed frogs), Camaru (sautéed crickets), and halo-halo, stalls will also be serving up items such as Ilocos Empanada, Bagnet, Tugerarao Longanisa, and a sundry of kakanin.

The Guinness Book of World Records awaits the attempt to make the biggest Sisig serving on the 17th and there will be an installation exhibit of food art by hot Pinoy artist Leeroy New and the Pampanga Arts Guild to promote the regions’ specialty dishes in a unique way. Big Bite! admission is for all, and a P1,000 purchase at any MarQuee Mall merchant is equivalent to a free food sample at the event.

5 developers eyeing Green City project

By Jess Malabanan

CLARK FREEPORT – Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova said over the weekend that five property developers and several foreign investors have signified their interest in the multibillion Clark Green City project. Earlier, the Megaworld Corp. and Ayala Land Inc. had also expressed their intention in the mammoth project to be built at the Clark Freeport sub-zone. Casanova said the government is now developing the 35,000-hectare Clark Green City, BCDA’s biggest property, in a bid to create a new metropolis and generate thousands of jobs. “With the congestion in Metro Manila, we need to create new economic markets,” Casanova pointed out. The Clark Green City is near the Clark International Airport and just only 30 minutes from the deep-sea port of the Subic Bay Freeport Zone via the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway. BCDA will offer an initial 1,300 hectares in the proposed Clark Green City and expects some P59 billion in investments for the first five years of development. Clark Green City provides opportunities for 100-percent foreign-owned companies to invest in urban development in the Philippines, as the entire area is a special economic zone. Casanova said BCDA would subdivide the first phase of the project into several parcels, where investors would include real estate developers, industrial park builders, township builders and institutional developers. The project is envisioned to become the country’s first green and smart metropolis. It would be a mix of industrial, institutional and commercial areas, which would apply green technologies by adapting a green building system. Renewable energy from sustainable sources will be used by all facilities and buildings in Clark Green City

ACCTN now serving Arayat town

By Joey Pavia (Contributor)

ARAYAT - The Angeles City Cable Television Network (ACCTN), the leading cable television and internet provider in Central Luzon, continues to expand its service area, this time reaching out to the town of Arayat, Pampanga.

The launching of ACCTN in this town was held during a simple ceremony at the network’s office located at Stall 2 Kibanoff, Santiago Building, Gapan-San Fernando-Olongapo (GSO) Road Purok 7, Plazang Luma here.

ACCTN has about 70,000 subscribers in Pampanga, Tarlac, and Bulacan. It is part of the Converge Information and Communications Technology (ICT) Solutions Group of Companies headed by Businessman Dennis Anthony Uy.

Converge is a technology company that holds a congressional franchise for nationwide fiber-optic broadband to promote access to information and bring technology direct to households via the internet.

“More than bringing entertainment to ordinary families through cable, the vision of Converge and ACCTN is to make access to technology easier, faster and less costly for our people,” Uy said.

While ACCTN is now dominant in Central Luzon and is eyeing expansion in the entire Northern Luzon, Converge on the other hand has completed its fiber optic network in Angeles City and the Clark Freeport.

It is currently laying down its fiber cables in Metro Manila, Uy said.

Once vanishing Kuliat vines now nurtured

By Joey Pavia (Contributor)

ANGELES CITY – It's the first celebration today, October 12, of the so-called “twin fiesta” of this city and the residents and their visitors will again take note of the name "Kuliat."

The last of twin celebrations will be held on the last Friday of October.

The activities and celebrations honoring the city's patron saint and the holy image of Jesus Christ were also dubbed over the years as "Fiestang Kuliat."

Kuliat are coarse woody vines. The indigenous vines flourished in several areas of the then barangay of nearby City of San Fernando.

Hence, it was called “Barrio Culiat (Kuliat)” until it became an independent town on December 8, 1892. It was also described then as the northernmost village of San Fernando.

It was noted during the heyday of Don Angel Pantaleon de Miranda that Angeles City was cleared of the Kuliat vines. Miranda pushed the separation of Culiat – or Angeles -- from San Fernando.

“In 1796, the town head of San Fernando, Don Angel Panteleon de Miranda along with some followers, staked out a new settlement, which they named Culiat because of the abundance of vines of that name in the area. The settlers cleared and cultivated the area for rice and sugar farming," said the history of Angeles City.

“Mariano Henson wrote that the origin of Angeles former name is the plant Culiat, (Gnetum indicum Lour. Merr), a woody vine that is abundant in the place. Today, this vine is said to be an endangered species. The few surviving Kuliat can be found in Palawan and in the botanical garden of UP Los Baños in Laguna. Recent botanical researchers done by the Kapampangan Archeological Volunteers (Kamaru) of Holy Angel University show, however, revealed that some of the Gnetum species still thrive in the thin forests of Sapang Bato (in Angeles City),” said a recent study by local historians Joel Pabustan Mallari and Arnel D. Garcia indicating that the Kuliat vines are vanishing.

Kuliat vines back

In 1994, a group led by the late businessman Tony Angeles formed a chapter of the Rotary Club of Angeles City. It was named Rotary Angeles Kuliat.

“We named our Rotary Club from the original name of Angeles City. Our members wear uniforms having the image of the Kuliat vines,” said Salapungan, Angeles City Barangay Captain Reynaldo “Rey” Malig, who was a pioneer member of the Rotary Angeles Kuliat.

Malig said that he, Angeles and members of the club were curious about the real story behind the Kuliat. Then they found that “the Kuliat were vanishing and the vines could no longer be found in Angeles.”

Malig said that the Rotary Club and volunteers decided to save and nurture the Kuliat vines once they located it. He added that Aetas based in Sitio Target, Sapang Bato informed his group that the vines had been spotted in a mountain near the village.

“For the Aetas, the mountain was just near Sapang Bato. But it was far because they had to walk to locate the vines,” said Malig.

He added that a group of four Aetas and a member of the Rotary Club found the vines sometime in 1999.

Malig and the Rotary Clubs later invited then Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) Secretary Heherson Alvarez to witness the “re-discovery of the Kulait vines.”

He disclosed that Alvarez had given him P10,000 and the fund will be used to preserve and nurture the vines.

Malig donated several Kuliat seedlings to public schools in Angeles City beginning 2000.

Today, the Kuliat vines “are safe and thriving” at the house of Malig in Salapungan. His fence is filled with the old vines and several seedlings are ready for donation to those who are interested to grow it.”

Malig and Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan recently led the ceremonial planting of Kuliat seedlings along Sto. Rosario Street and at the nearby People’s Park.

“Credit goes to Mayor Pamintuan for finding time to check on the Kuliat vines in my house. He is helping bring back the glory days of the once vanishing vines,” said Malig.


SM City Clark marks second National Letter Writing Day

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- The Second National Letter Writing Day was held SM City Clark last Thursday.

The event is in partnership with Philippine Postal service (PhlPost), Department of Education and SM Supermalls.

The event was attended by 122 elementary students from Sta. Maria Elementary School and Special Education School of Angeles City.

About 22 of them were special children with hearing impairment.

The postal awareness campaign aims to develop the writing skills of the students and help them hone their composition skills and foster the enjoyment of sending and receiving letters through the postal office.

"It aims to promote the art of letter writing as a means of communication especially in the digital age. It also aims to help students sharpen their composition skills and enjoy sending and receiving mail," said SM City Clark Public Relations Manager Venus Manalang.

With the theme “Pinasaya,” participating students wrote to their loved ones, family and friends through handwritten letters.

Aside from SM City Clark, some 34 other participating SM malls and 1,000 selected schools joined the event in different parts of the country.

The National Letter Writing Day is PhlPost’s annual event and hopes to secure a presidential proclamation to institutionalize the occasion. It coincides with the Word Post Day celebrated every October.

World Post Day aims to create awareness of the role of the postal sector in everyday life, the United Nations said. The UN said more than 150 countries celebrate World Post Day in different ways.

Some 100,000 students took part in the Second National Letter Writing Day in the entire country.

Take another Big Bite of this northern food festival

By Julie Cabatit-Alegre (The Philippine Star)

MANILA, Philippines - Some things are worth repeating — good things, successful things, fun things — like the Northern Food Festival, “Big Bite!” at MarQuee Mall in Angeles City, Pampanga. After the huge success of the first Big Bite! held last year, this year’s promises to be even bigger.

Over 100 food merchants from as far north as the Ilocos and the Cordilleras, Kalinga, Baguio and Tuguegarao, to Nueva Ecija and Nueva Viscaya, Pangasinan, Tarlac, Bulacan and Pampanga, will be participating in the three-day food festival, from Oct. 17 to 19 at MarQuee Mall, Ayala’s premier shopping, leisure and entertainment destination just an hour’s drive north of Metro Manila.

At a sneak preview that was held at the Activity Center of MarQuee Mall, members of the media were treated to a buffet of good eats from the northern regions. There was Vigan empanada and bagnet, longanisa from Tuguegarao, kare-kare and binulo rice (wrapped in banana leaf), pako salad, swam na mais from Pampanga and, of course, sisig.

“It’s the quintessential Kapampangan dish,” says Mark Sablan, general manager of MarQuee Mall. “With Angeles dubbed by the Department of Tourism as the sisig capital of the Philippines, it was just perfect and timely that Big Bite! celebrates the iconic dish at the food festival.”

In a recent review, Ligaya Mishan of The New York Times recognized sisig as “arguably the greatest pork dish on earth.”

Traditionally made of parts from the pig’s face such as the cheeks and ears, and served on a sizzling plate, different versions and presentations have been developed through the years since it was first served by Aling Lucing in an eatery by the railroad tracks in Angeles some 40 years ago.

Chefs Sau del Rosario and Emily Galang showed two different preparations in a cooking demonstration during the program hosted by TV personality Ginger Conejero. Chef Emily prepared her version of sisig done the traditional way.

“Every family in Angeles has their own way of preparing sisig,” she says. Meanwhile, chef Sau did a modern take and healthy version using tuna in his tuna sisig ravioli and tuna sisig steak.

Cooking demonstrations are scheduled during the food festival featuring Lifestyle Network’s celebrity chefs: on the evening of Oct. 18 is chef Sharwin Tee, the first winner of Clash of the Toque-en Ones and star of Curiosity Got the Chef; on Oct. 19, recognized restaurateur and food writer, chef Sandy Daza of Foodprints, together with Atching Lilian Borromeo, famous food historian and expert on traditional Kapampangan cuisine.

A culinary cook-off between top culinary schools in Pampanga and Bulacan is another activity that’s expected to add more sizzle to the festival.

An interesting new feature at the Big Bite! Northern Food Festival is the Street Food Aisle, where you can find both unique and familiar street foods such as Baguio strawberry taho, ice scramble, sorbetes (local ice cream), and binatog (boiled corn with

grated coconut and salt), reminiscent of childhood encounters with itinerant street vendors plying the streets daily around the neighborhood.

Another new attraction are the Food Art installations at the MarQuee Mall park by award-winning visual artist Leeroy New and the Pampanga Arts Guild. Pivi Ann Diaz, Ayala Land marketing manager, commercial business group, explains that each of the installations measuring 3x3 meters depicts the different northern regions through food art forms.

The Bulo’l Cordillera rice god is carved on Styrofoam and covered with mountain brown rice. Representing Region I (Ilocos Region) is the Bojeador Lighthouse carved on Styrofoam covered with tobacco leaves, while Region II (Cagayan Valley) is represented by a fishing net with dried fish. Region III (Central Luzon) is represented by a Christmas Lantern made with Japanese paper and pastillas wrappers, which the province is famous for. The Food Art gallery will also feature the History of Sisig.

“We like to support local and homegrown products and concepts,” says Rowena Tomeldan, Ayala Land vice president and head of operations and support services for the commercial business group. Space at the festival venue is provided free of charge to the food vendors and participants. “We like to provide them the opportunity to showcase and market their products and make them available to more people.”

For a minimum P1,000 purchase, mall shoppers can also enjoy free food samples from food vendors participating in the Big Buffet promo.

The Department of Tourism, a festival partner, has recognized and lauded the Big Bite! Northern Food Festival. Because of its continuing success, replicating the festival in other regions such as Negros, for example, is already in the pipeline, Rowena shares. This is one good thing you won’t mind going back to for seconds, or even more.

PNoy declares October 13,24 as special non-working days in Angeles City

By Carlo Lorenzo J. Datu (CLJD-PIA 3 with Liana Millera- intern)

ANGELES CITY, October 8 (PIA) -- President Benigno Aquino III has declared October 13, a Monday and October 24, a Friday as special non-working days in Angeles City.

Aquino issued Proclamation No. 886 in order to give the people ample time to join the celebration of the Kuliat Festival as well as commemorate the city’s resiliency and dynamism after the Mount Pinatubo eruption in 1991.

According to the City Information Office, among the activities in lined up include Baguis Ligligang Pangkultura: Vocal Solo and Duet Competition and Dance Exhibition @ SM City Clark (October 10-11); SM City Clark 3rd Pyrofest Competition (October 11, 18, and 25); Lutung Kapampangan: A Visual Feast @ Kalye Lakandula (October 15-30); Big Bite: The Northern Food Festival featuring Sisig Festival @ Marquee Park (October 17); Mamialung Tamu: The Kapampangan Traditional Games @ Estacion de Riles (October 18); and Tigtigan Terakan king Dalan @ barangay Balibago (October 24-26).

Two religious events shall highlight the occasion namely Fiestang La Naval Concelebrated Mass and Grand Procession on October 12 and Translacion Procession of Apu on October 25, which shall both, be held at the Holy Rosary Parish Church.

Clark hosts Northern Luzon Shipping Summit

By Reynaldo G. Navales

CLARK FREEPORT -- Around 200 industry stakeholders recently attended the Northern Luzon Shipping Summit at Clark Freeport, which was organized by the Subic Bay International Terminal Corporation.

Clark Development Corporation President Arthur Tugade vouched that the Clark Airport and Subic Bay seaport, which are both former American bases, could be viables gateway for Northern Luzon.

"If we are to aspire for a very effective logistics hub, there must be a partnership between the seaport and the airport. A viable partnership between Clark and Subic can exist and can be revitalized," Tugade said.

"In terms of infrastructure and logistics between Clark and Subic, their status is ripe to establish a supply chain and an ideal gateway. [I hope that after the summit, you will remember] Clark-Subic as the corridor that is prime and ripe for the northern gateway, effective for Northern and Central Luzon, effective for the country as well," he added.

Tugade particularly cited Clark's viability and convenience that drew thousands of visitors here and abroad and allowed businesses to thrive, it being a "seven to 10 minute" economic zone.

"There is nowhere in Asia and nowhere in the world can you find a seven to 10 minute eco-zone. Once you enter the gates of Clark and you are in Clark, wherever you are, wherever you want to go, you will be in your planned destination in seven to 10 minutes," he said.

Tugade added that the shorter travel time of doing business or working on some government requirements also puts Clark at an advantage among other economic zones.

"Here you have the advantage of mobility, of bidding and place of work where your total persona is addressed, where your needs are meant. It gives you that holistic way of doing things," he said.

He noted that even going to Subic only requires short travel, which likewise makes Clark Freeport and Subic viable places for business and leisure.

Shipping executives and officials in collaboration with the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority and other government officials convened the one-day summit for the purpose of addressing shipping problems particularly on routes, not just in Subic but as well in Metro Manila.

Tugade said that since some locators are also doing shipping business out of Clark, it is likewise high time to convene these locators.

He further expressed optimism that the shipping executives could formulate on a long-term basis, a proposition that Clark-Subic can transform itself into a viable profitable logistics hub corridor.

Earlier, Clark has opened its container depot that was also aimed to de-congest Manila ports of its empty container vans.

Rugby stars to raise P5.6-M for PH kids, charities in tourney

By Chris Navarro

CLARK FREEPORT -- The two-day charity tournament initiated by the “Potbellied Pigs” Rugby Football Club of Hong Kong commenced here yesterday at the Mimosa Golf and Country Club amid some rains and cloudy skies to raise one million Hong Kong dollars (P5.6 million) for select Philippine charities, children’s education and training.

As this developed, Clark Development Corporation (CDC) president and CEO Arthur Tugade welcomed the players and their guests from various Asian countries and urged them to maximize their stay at the Freeport.

“Events like this give us so much opportunity to make a difference. I commend the group for reaching out to Filipino disadvantaged children, particularly those in areas covered by the Freeport and those charities that benefit children as well,” said Tugade.

“This is also a great opportunity for our foreign players and guests to savor the environment inside Clark, which has transformed itself from a military airbase to one of the most visited, vibrant and happening places in the Philippines,” the CDC president stressed.

Chris Simpson, director for the charity golf, said some 30 golfers from countries like New Zealand, Thailand, Australia, South Korea, China and the Philippines pulled their (golf) clubs together to hit more than half a million Hong Kong dollars (P2.8 million) for the education of at least twenty children from Angeles and Mabalacat cities.

The other funds, Simpson said, are expected to be raised from the rugby tournament set today, September 6, when 16 teams, 12 foreign (expats) and four locals, will battle at the Challenger Field inside the Air Force City.

“Every single cent [collected] goes straight to Philippine charities for the junior rugby development project, feeding program, medical missions, scholarships and charities like Bahay Bata and Duyan ni Mama, among others,” said Simpson.

Richard Lucas, local coordinator for the Fatboy10s activity, said the recipients of the educational fund are being supported in the form of cash allowances, subsidized tuition fees and training [rugby].

They are minors 10 years to 16 years of age who used to stay at the Angeles Bahay Bata Center, an institution in Central Luzon that helps uplift the welfare of street kids, he explained.

He said the beneficiaries are being schooled at three state junior schools which includes include the Angeles City National Trade School and Rafael L. Lazatin Memorial High School, and are given a daily allowance of P50, free uniforms and other school supplies.

The Rugby club’s charity games likewise benefit members of the Clark Jets Rugby, a three year old team that was formed by the club.

Moreover, Angeles City Councilor Maricel Morales, who graced yesterday’s charity games opening, extolled the Potbellied Pigs RFC HongKong for their commitment and dedication to help uplift the lives and welfare of disadvantaged children particularly in her locality.

“I am glad [to note] that their supporters have magnified. It used to be two or three, but I’ve seen a lot of sponsors now. So it is really a growing event that has a purpose of changing lives,” Morales said.

The former actress said the club’s thrust to help children get an education mirrors the local government’s scholarship program at the City College of Angeles (CCA). Barely over two years in operation, she said the school is now subsidizing 1,500 students from only 300 scholars when it started in 2012.

From the heart: LTO-Angeles keen on improving services

(JTD)

ANGELES CITY -- The Land Transportation Office (LTO) in Angeles City vowed that it will continuously improve its facilities to provide utmost comfort and convenience to its clients.

During the agency's second semester "Big Clean Up and Big Sorting Day" on, LTO Angeles City Chief Transportation Regulation Officer Aida Santiago said that serving their clients come from the heart.

"As they say, dapat mula sa puso. That is why we are serving our clients with dedication, love and care, coupled with the further improvement of our facilities," she told Sun.Star Pampanga.

LTO Angeles City's waiting area for driver's license applicants and clients renewing vehicle registration is now fully air-conditioned.

"We want to provide the best environment for our clients. That is why we are seeing to the improvement and upkeep of our facilities, aside from fast service. We process about 500 applications per day and about 1,000 on a peak day like Monday. We want them to be comfortable while waiting for their documents to be processed," she said.

For added convenience, LTO Angeles City has a priority lane for senior citizens, persons with disabilities and pregnant women, plus a special lounge for them.

"In compliance to government directives and laws, we also established a breastfeeding station here. Additionally, the DOTC [Department of Transportation and Communications] has funded the improvement and renovation of our public comfort rooms," she said.

Santiago added that more improvements will be made in the coming days.

LTO-Angeles City has been rated "excellent" by the Civil Service Commission along with Balanga City (Bataan) and the Capas (Tarlac) Extension Office in the commission's report card survey in the first half of the year.

LTO Angeles City was rated 90.41 percent, Balanga 93.12 percent and Capas Extension Office 94.32 percent in the CSC survey.

The three local land transportation offices were among the 28 included in the findings of the latest nationwide survey the CSC conducts regularly among government offices and agencies providing frontline services in accordance with Section 5 of Republic Act 9485, or the Anti-Red Tape Act.

10 of 21 refurbished ‘Huey’ helicopters now in PH

(PNA)

Ten out of the 21 refurbished UH-IH “Huey” helicopters are now at Clark Air Force Base in Angeles City, Pampanga, a military observer said Saturday.

The aircraft are now undergoing inspection and flight testing.

The remaining 11 are expected to be delivered within the end of the year, the observer added.

These planes were acquired as the Philippine Air Force’s “Huey” fleet was whittled down to just 18 helicopters, from an estimated 100, due to airframe aging and accidents.

The contract for the 21 refurbished UH-1Hs is estimated to be worth around P1.2 billion.

It was signed earlier this year with Rice Aircraft Services Inc. and the Canadian company Eagle Copters Ltd.

Pamintuan vows to construct Angeles’ third park

By Reynaldo G. Navales

ANGELES CITY -- Mayor Edgardo Pamintuan has vowed to build the city's third park at the red-light district of Barangay Balibago here.

"A third people's park will soon rise near the Checkpoint Transport Terminal in Barangay Balibago," Pamintuan said.

The mayor decided to put up the third park after the construction of the Plaza Angel in Barangay Santo Rosario.

Aside from this, the City Government also converted the Estacion de Angeles of the Philippine National Railways (PNR) to a community garden, children's playground and a peoples' park.

The local government is set to extend the parks including portions of other barangays covered by the old PNR track.

The third park will be constructed inside a property (120 meters long and 80 meters wide) along a portion of the PNR track at the Checkpoint area in Barangay Balibago.

Pamintuan said the local government is "locating blighted areas or unused lots and transforming them to parks or plazas that people can visit."

"More than anything, the Estacion de Angeles People's Park in Crossing has proven the strength of our partnerships with the business, private and non-government sector here in the city – and we aim to take utilize this advantage by beautifying our city," Pamintuan stated.

"This park was completed through donations and voluntary contributions from private groups and individuals, NGOs and civil society groups," he added.

Following the same formula that led to the success of the rehabilitation of the old PNR station, Pamintuan directed his Chief of Staff, Alex Cauguiran to spearhead the rehabilitation of the Checkpoint People's Park.

The area will be beautified with the installation of benches, park lights and pavements, the mayor said.

Ornamental plants will also be planted and food carts and souvenir kiosks will be placed to encourage people to stay, rest and enjoy, Pamintuan said.

"Parks and gardens are just a few of our initiatives to make Angeles a truly livable city," the mayor expressed.

He clarified that the beautification projects being undertaken by the local government are not only meant for the upcoming Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation Summit next year.

"But more than that, they are also part of the 'Contract with Angeleños' that include the creation or setting-up of pocket parks and gardens all over the city," he said.

Sisig to highlight Big Bite fest

By 9News Online, with a report from Justine Dizon

ANGELES CITY -- Hailed by the New York Times in a review as "arguably the greatest pork dish on earth," this city’s renowned sisig will highlight "Big Bite: The Northern Food Festival" slated on October 17 to 19 at the Activity Center of MarQuee Mall here.

Organizers of the food festival -- MarQuee Mall, in partnership with the Department of Tourism, Department of Trade and Industry, Angeles City Tourism Office, North Luzon Expressway, Bank of the Philippine Islands and Lifestyle Network -- disclosed that Big Bite will be kicked-off with a giant sisig cook-off, symbolizing Angeles City’s major contribution to Philippine cuisine.

Sisig has been celebrated in Pampanga for than 40 years. Traditionally made of pork parts, mixed with spices and served on a sizzling plate, the sisig now comes in other delicious variants, like Sisig Benedict concocted by Angeles City's First Lady Miniang Pamintuan and the ever popular Aling Lucing version.

Along with sisig, Big Bite will also feature "all things delicious" from 100 best and homegrown food merchants from Regions I, II, III and the Cordillera Administrative Region including condiments, spices, coffee, jams and favorites like empanada, bagnet, puto calasiao and many more street food like ice scramble, strawberry taho, binatog and sorbets.

The three-day food celebration will have Chef Sandy Daza of Foodprints and Chef Sharwin Tee of Curiosity Got the Chef in the cooking demos together with other celebrities providing live entertainment during MarQuee Mall’s biggest gastronomical festival. (JTD)

Clark Freeport to use solar power

By 9News Online, with a report from Justine Dizon

Angeles City, Pampanga - A memorandum of agreement was signed recently between the Belgian firm Enfinity Philippines Renewable Resources Inc. (EPRRI) and the Clark Development Corp. that will lead to the establishment of an 11-megawatt solar power project inside the freeport. According to EPRRI officials, the freeport needs 50 to 70 megawatts daily and the said solar project will help locators in Clark with the looming shortage in electric supply next year. EPRRI also said that solar power rates will be cheaper than regular electricity and will attract more potential investors. The project - amounting to P814 million - consists of putting up 220,220 solar panels in a 25-hectare leased property. - 9News Online, with a report from Justine Dizon