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Cagayan de Oro City News December 2018

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Cagayan de Oro City within Misamis Oriental
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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
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Cagayan de Oro City Public Market
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The river of cagayan de oro city
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St. Augustine Metropolitan Cathedral
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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.
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Flood Waters in the streets of Cagayan de Oro City
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Cagayan de Oro City Buildings
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Bus Terminal, Bulua, Cagayan de Oro City

Police: NorMin, Oro Christmas revelry peaceful


POLICE officials on Thursday, December 27, said the zero Christmas revelry-related incidents can be attributed to the "maturity" and "discipline" of the people.

Superintendent Surki Serenas, spokesperson of the Police Regional Office-Northern Mindanao (PRO-10), said Christmas celebration across the region was generally peaceful as no untoward incidents were recorded during the Christmas eve.

Serenas said authorities noted the zero fire cracker-related cases, zero stray bullet and zero fire incident.

"We attribute the tranquil Christmas eve to the maturity of the people. Gone are the times where your neighbors fire their M16's indiscriminately to welcome Christmas," Serenas said.

"Filipinos in general are law-abiding people. We tend to follow the law when it is strictly enforced. In the present situation, the prevailing martial law in Mindanao is significant harbinger of the mindset," he added.

Serenas also said "the regulatory laws, which have been there for years, empowered the state law enforcers to strictly implement the law. Hence, the common offenses and infractions of local ordinances have been brought to nil."

However, in Cagayan de Oro City, police investigators are looking into an alleged victim of firecracker.

Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa II, spokesperson of the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo), said a certain Aileen Anog, 34, resident of Zone 8 Bulua, this city, went to the JR Borja General Hospital to get treatment after she was allegedly blown off by a firecracker.

Investigation disclosed that the victim suddenly left the hospital when she was called for her turn for medical treatment.

Operatives also failed to locate the victim in the address written in the hospital record. Also, the victim did not report the incident to the police.

"We will investigate pero maglisod ta kung dili ma-locate ang victim," Hortillosa said.

BFP bans Sky Lanterns this yuletide season

By Jasper Marie O. Rucat

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Bureau of Fire and Protection (BFP) announces its total ban of selling or using Sky Lanterns as fireworks this yuletide season.

BFP Inspector Arnolfo Nabua of Cagayan de Oro City explained so many areas in our community have roofs that are prone to fire, not yet made up of concrete or corrugated metal sheet. If it happens, the drops from the Sky Lantern could cause fire.

In Talakayan sa PIA, media forum with the Task Force Oplan: Iwas Paputok in Cagayan de Oro City, Nabua said the goal of BFP is total eradication of fire incidents during yuletide season.

“If not totally eradicated, ma minimize man lang. – If not totally eradicated, at least up to a minimal,” he added.

We have Oplan Paalala Iwas Paputok, campaign about fire safety, Nabua said. These include lectures and conduct of recorrida of fire trucks, roving around the city to share the information.

“Busy ang Bureau of Fire mag conduct og inspection kung asa nato gidesignate nato nang magbaligya anang fireworks or firecrackers. – The Bureau of Fire is busy with inspection of fireworks and firecrackers at designated areas in the city,” Nabua said.

As of now, BFP clarified “no fire from firecrackers related incident.”

In the past two years, there was one casualty from firework fire related incident in Gingoog City, Misamis Oriental.

This year, he said, there have been 376 fire incidents with damage of P83 million in the region.

"In Cagayan de Oro, from January up to December, based on our records," he said "there had been 64 fire incidents and aggregate damage of P16 million."

Most of these fires are caused by electrical faults, he said.

Last year, there were P26 million aggregate damage. He explained the trend has been decreasing since last year because of their strategy called “swarming.”

Wherever the fire is located, a nearby station would immediately respond. He added, they have fire volunteers from auxiliaries who can also respond. This would prevent the spread of fire.

He also urged the media to report any fire incident at their hotline numbers: (088) 727580 extension: 160 or through their mobile number: 09267520623 or with the City’s hotline 911.

This campaign is for public safety and to celebrate Christmas and New Year Peacefully, he explained.

Meanwhile the Philippine National Police (PNP) in region 10 is on full alert status.

Famous Belgian Waffles opens in SM City Cagayan de Oro


THE Famous Belgian Waffles, one of the most popular waffle brands in the Philippines, had its grand opening at SM City Cagayan de Oro last Tuesday, December 18, introducing a new look and added variety of waffles to Kagay-anons.

Located at the SM City Cagayan de Oro's ground floor, near Chowking and the mall's event center, Famous Belgian Waffles' eye-catching counter-type outlet measures 22 square meters and can accommodate at least 24 customers for their tables and chairs.

According to Alrey Regondola, the marketing officer of Famous Belgian Waffles, this is their first company-owned counter-type outlet in Cagayan de Oro City, as most of their stores are franchised kiosks or carts.

"Our customers, especially we offer drinks, they want na may sitting area so they can enjoy the coffee. Yung waffle kasi is a grab and go snack, but for the coffee you want to drink it with waffle and chit-chat with your friends," Regondola said.

Apart from their new look, they added new products such as Corned Beef with Egg and Cheddar waffle sandwich, Cookies and Cream, Smores and others.

Regondola also shared that they were pleasantly surprised by the high sales they were able to maintain until now since their soft opening on December 1, as he initially expected that it will only last for a week.

Apart from their grand opening in Cagayan de Oro, they also opened another company-owned outlet in Robinsons Place Iligan last Wednesday, December 19.

The year 2019 will also be a busy one for Famous Belgian Waffle as they will be launching several activities and events that the Kagay-anons will have to look forward to.

According to Regondola, early next year, Famous Belgian Waffles will be offering their party package for weddings, debuts, Christmas and thanksgiving parties, corporate events and others.

"We'll be having our warehouse here, near SM CDO uptown. So, we are tapping to create a party package for events here in CDO kasi malapit lang yung warehouse," Regondola said.

The party package, he said, starts at P8,900 for 100 pax, which includes the Famous Belgian Waffle collapsible cart, two crews, choices of Simply Perfect Menu and waffle cake for the celebrant.

They will also be introducing the Chicken Waffle Sandwich, an addition to their Savory menu, which will consist of chicken strips, lettuce and tomatoes.

"It’s healthy, cause there are customers that are asking at least healthy options. This is one of our healthy options," Regondola said.

Famous Belgian waffle will have its second National Waffle Day celebration on September 15, 2019, wherein customers or mall goers can choose any filling to create their own waffles for free.

"We already launched National Waffle Day last September 15 [this year]. We make it official that every September 15 is a National Waffle Day here in the Philippines," Regondola said.

He added that the selected venue for the National Waffle Day celebration is their counter-type outlet in SM City Cagayan de Oro.

A day after, on September 16, 2019, Famous Belgian Waffle will be celebrating its 7th anniversary and as part of the celebration, the first 100 customers in each of their outlets and franchise nationwide will each receive a free Chocolate waffle.

Famous Belgian Waffle will also be opening their second out of the country branch in Kuala Lumpur, the first being in Canada.

According to Regondola, they are also aiming to convert all kiosk and cart into counter-type next year and also launch their Wagon Waffle.

"Now we're ready for more outlets, more events for next year," Regondola said.

CDO dads approve P8-B annual investment plan

By Ercel Maandig (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- The City Council has approved the local government's PHP8-billion Annual Investment Plan (AIP) budget for 2019 on Thursday.

Approved unanimously, the AIP budget was endorsed by the committees on planning and development, and on laws and rules.

Councilor Ian Mark Nacaya, who chairs both committees, said the AIP allocation constitutes the third annual component of the updated City Development Investment Program (CDIP) for 2017 to 2019 consisting of programs, activities, and projects of the city.

Under the AIP, Nacaya said PHP3.3 billion will be utilized for economic development services, PHP2.8 billion for social development services, and PHP1.9 billion for general public services.

Vice Mayor Renier Uy said the bulk of the AIP budget consists of economic development services that will include programs for tourism and cultural affairs, agricultural productivity, community development, and environmental projects.

AIP will also fund the Oro Youth Development programs, City Sports and Cultural Development, and City Housing and Health programs as well as the services and programs for Indigenous Peoples (IP) and for emergency welfare and crisis intervention.

DOH starts campaign on OPLAN: Iwas Paputok

By Sheena Pabia (PIA10 intern)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The Department of Health (DOH) Region 10 spearheaded its campaign on OPLAN: Iwas Paputok during Talakayan sa PIA on December 20 held at SM CDO Downtown Premier.

Together with the regional task force and local government of Cagayan de Oro, Dr. David Mendoza, chief, Local Health Support Division of DOH emphasized their role in the task force is on the surveillance side.

“We have now created fireworks related injury,” he said. With this surveillance system, Mendoza said, we will be monitoring the use of fireworks, type being used and injuries related to fireworks. This will transcend to policy and to be implemented later with our partner agencies, he added.

“Kung nabuthan, na samdan, adto ta sa among mga hospitals. Ang amo is more on human health. – If you are injured, go to our hospitals. We are on human health,” he said.

He also emphasized that their goal for next year is zero casualties. It is really possible, he said.

One, there should be cooperation of agencies involved. Two, based on the previous trends from the previous year’s up to last year, there had been a decrease of injuries. In 2017, we had 62% decrease in the number of cases of firework related injury, Mendoza said.

In 2016, we had 28 injuries and in 2017, only 10, he added.

“Ang atong tumong og tinguha is how can we sustain nga munaog na? – Our goal is how can we sustain that the numbers will still go down?” Mendoza reiterated.

He added, in terms of readiness of our hospitals, “Bahalag ma desgrasya basta dili mamatay. – No matter the person gets injured, as long as he or she will not die.” All our hospitals, government or private should be ready.

Northern Mindanao Medical Center in Cagayan de Oro has a special lane for fireworks related injury to ensure zero casualty. “Mag saba-saba ta using all kinds of saba except pabuto. – We will make all kinds of noise except firecrackers.”

Based on the law, there are only select kinds of fireworks allowed for use. Mendoza revealed, it is very small and it is an illegal firecracker but still the number one cause of injury during Yueltide season, Picolo. Next is Kwitis.

Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) City Director Jane Docallos, also shared they have identified a specific area in the city allowed solely for the trade of fireworks and firecrackers in the city at Rodelsa/Rotunda area.

She reiterated, there are two types of illegal selling of fireworks either they don’t have a special permit or they are selling an illegal item.

The task force in Cagayan de Oro, she announced will have surprise raid. We are also requesting retailers to tell us if there are other retailers selling illegal firecrackers.

DILG has allowed brgy. Tanods with the help of the police to confiscate the items. Among the problems is that these illegal firecrackers have been included to sell in the sar-sari store, Docallos said.

Atty. Fel Brillantes, legal officer and chief of Consumer Welfare Division of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) region 10 said selling of firecrackers is regulated not prohibited.

The Philippine National Police (PNP) has a list for what kind of firecrackers allowed to be sold. In terms of standard, he said, PNP will measure gun powder content. Measurement is one teaspoon or 1.3 grams more or less. If it exceeds the allowable or tolerable gun powder, then that can be declared illegal.

“Ang problema nato is as consumers, we will never know kung unsai sulod ana sa gun powder content. – The problem with us consumers is we will never know what is inside the gun powder content,” Atty Brillantes said.

So consumers will look into if the manufacturer is legal. If the firecracker is imported, that is an absolute no. “Bawal ang mga imported firecrackers. – Imported firecrackers is illegal,” he reiterated. But if locally manufactured, DTI comes in because DTI regulates the manufacturers.

In Cagayan de Oro, there are no firecrackers manufacturers here, he said. Most likely they are from Bucaue Bulacan, maybe also from Bohol, Ilio-ilo and some parts of Cebu. But we make sure that what are sold in the market should be from authorized or licensed manufacturers.

The role of the government is very important but equally important is the role of the consumers because if we patronize the buying of these products of illegal source, of course they will flourish, Brillantes said.

“So dako kaayo ang responsibility sa consumer. – The consumer has a big responsibility,” he added. Since 2013, DTI has already helped in this campaign, but with the release of Executive Order 28 of President Rodrigo Duterte providing for the regulation and control of the use of firecrackers and other pyrotechnic devices, he said, they were happy about it.

DICT facilitates local startup meet-up in CDO

By Sheena Pabia (PIA 10 intern)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--The Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) gathered some 20 technopreneurs for a Local StartUp mapping with Focused Group Discussion (FGD) and community meetup to evaluate and strengthen the startup ecosystem here.

“The main goal is to have this ecosystem included in the cities just like Cagayan de Oro so that IT-BPM industry will come back in,” said Engr. Eugene Raposala III of DICT.

The investors have a score card to determine if the city has this ecosystem, and if they see we are ready, they will put us back in the top 100 IT-BPMs ready cities in the world, he added.

During the mapping, successful tech startup entrepreneurs shared their journey on how they built their own businesses. They also gave advices and some words of wisdom to those aspiring tech startups.

One of the speakers, CEO and co-founder of Pinoy Travel, Aurora Soriano shared "you need to find a problem in your community. There are problems everywhere," she said, "and use technology to solve the problem."

In her experience, she had to find her startup business in the bus terminal.

With flocks of people going to their hometown especially during holidays, she thought, if these people only knew the schedule of these buses, they won’t have to wait for hours for availability and push themselves with everybody else to get a ride to their hometowns.

In 2012, she created a website called Pinoy Travel, where just like booking for air flights, now travellers can also book their bus trips.

She said, technology is a good way to resolve things because it is cheap.

She cited Grab, where with just a software, the problem in taxi transportation is fixed. Plus, they don’t have that many people to maintain that service.

Now, she is trying to deal with local bus companies in Cagayan de Oro to join her website so that they too can experience having to upgrade with technology as tourists do not only come from the Philippines but also other countries like China, Korea and others.

John Vincent Fiel, co-founder of Wela School Systems, a local tech startup in Cagayan de Oro City reiterated that an app or software should be something that can solve a problem of a person or community. “First, mangita gyud og problem sa tao – First, look for a problem,” he said.

His team came up with a software that helps schools with more efficient grading systems. Teachers specifically would no longer use manual calculations but through a software installed in their computers.

He said he will not force everyone to be entrepreneurs. “Each one of us is unique,” he said.

But these movements, startup meetup can spark those who don’t know that this can be done or those that have the potential but just need more influence.

“For employees, I’m not saying that they are apart because in the startup we need people also,” he said.

His advice: “Go to companies that are very innovative, active and would give you so much learning and experience.”

The mapping aimed to support DICT's seedPH program in building and establising a network to organize a startup ecosystem in local communities.

The event was partnered by IdeaSpace Foundation and Cagayan de Oro ICT Business Council.

300 Cugman households benefit from water supply project

By Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA) -- Cagayan de Oro Water District (COWD) and Local Government Unit (LGU) of Cagayan de Oro turned over the completed well rehabilitation project with supply, installation and commissioning of submersible pump to the Zone 6 and Zone 9 neighborhood association of Barangay Cugman, Cagayan de Oro City, benefitting about 300 households.

The event was graced by the presence of City Mayor Oscar S. Moreno, Councilors Suzette Magtajas-Daba and Alam Lim, the COWD Board and Management and Barangay Cugman Officials.

The project costs PhP 320,562.00, COWD said.

It was completed on July 20, 2018, a brief time after the City Mayor endorsed the project to COWD to be financed through the 6 Million Fund yearly allocation.

Pag-IBIG Fund CDO moves to new office

By Recthie T. Paculba (RTP/PIA10)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)— A bigger, more convenient and comfortable office awaits the clients of Pag-IBIG Fund CDO Central Members Services Branch at Puregold Building, Lapasan, this city.

Pag-IBIG Fund Deputy Chief Executive Officer Alexander Hilario Aguilar said the transfer and expansion intend to “make Pag-IBIG services more accessible to all our members.”

Aside from heavy traffic congestion in their previous location at J.R. Borja Street, Aguilar said the new office is more spacious, modern, and accessible.

CDO Branch Manager Susan Cezar said the new office offers services on online registration for employers, employees and individual payers and releasing of loyalty cards, receiving and processing of applications for membership, short term loan (STL), provident claims and request for merging, refund of STL, overpayments and members savings information.

They also accept payments for membership monthly savings, STL amortizations/dues and housing related dues, attend to client's queries on membership, STL and housing, and receive and process applications for fund coordinators club, employer’s annual certificate, certificate of employer’s registration, and penalty condonation, per Pag-IBIG Fund Circular 404.

For his part, Mayor Oscar Moreno said Pag-IBIG Fund has been an instrument of the government to address housing and resettlement issues.

"Grabe ang demand sa housing (the demand for housing is high). If the government were to do nothing, the price of housing will be unreachable to many," Moreno said.

Together with Pag-IBIG Fund, Moreno said the city now works to attract developers so the socialized housing will be undertaken in the city and to make the price per housing unit more affordable to the beneficiaries.

The new office of Pag-IBIG Fund CDO Central Members Services Branch is open Mondays to Fridays, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..

Oro urged to protect coastal areas


AS CAGAYAN de Oro continues to enjoy growing industries and developments, the Macajalar Bay Development Alliance (MBDA) said the city must also step up in implementing policies to protect the city's coastal areas.

During its appearance at the City Council on Monday, the MBDA pointed out that Cagayan de Oro needs to improve its coastal management.

Hilly Ann Roa-Quiaoit of the MBDA said, it is difficult to maintain healthy bay particularly in the city since this is where urban development is.

"It is difficult to balance economics and environmental protection especially in a city," Quiaoit said.

The environmental group was in the City Council to present the 10-year plan of the MBDA in their coastal management plan. The plan includes expanding marine protected areas in each of the 14-member municipalities and establishing zonation along the coastal areas.

Quiaoit said they need the approval of the City Council so the city will also adopt the 10-year plan.

"It is important to establish zoning, to identify which areas are okay with tourism and which areas are prohibited with any developments to preserve our seas," she said.

Christine Galarrita, also of the MBDA said, over the years, the local government units from Laguindingan to Kinoguitan are supportive of their plan, and some are really taking seriously the campaign by allocating budgets for coastal management.

Galarrita said they want all coastal areas of Misamis Oriental, along the Macajalar Bay, to be like Laguindingan cited for having the cleanest coastline in the country.

According to MBDA, the Macajalar Bay is a major fishing ground in Misamis Oriental of Region 10, Northern Mindanao. It is 50-km wide at the mouth and 30-km long, with an area approximately 1000 km2. It is considered the gateway to Northern Mindanao, with heavy, medium, to light industries, with rapid development and strong coastal migration, threatening the condition of the bay.

MBDA is composed of the provincial government of Misamis Oriental and 14 coastal local government units (LGUs), namely: Cagayan de Oro City (Chartered), El Salvador City (Component), Alubijid, Balingasag, Binuangan, Jasaan, Kinoguitan, Lagonglong, Laguindingan, Opol, Salay, Sugbongcogon, Tagoloan and Villanueva.

Cagayan de Oro to hold first design conference in February 2019

By Angelo Lorenzo (

The Oro Design Conference provides a platform for the growing community of designers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao, says project head Karl Adrian Aguro

CAGAYAN DE ORO, Philippines – The City of Gold Friendship is looking forward to its first design conference in February 2019.

Dubbed as the Oro Design Conference, it will provide an avenue for local artists, particularly those who are pursuing graphic design and other related fields in the creative industry, to learn from experts of the craft and meet with fellow artists in the region for future collaborative projects.

“This is meant for the growing community of designers in Cagayan de Oro and Northern Mindanao,” Karl Adrian Aguro, the project head, said in an interview.

Aguro, who earned his fine arts degree from the University of San Carlos, has become one of the prominent graphic designers in Cagayan de Oro after establishing a design studio that specializes in branding and identity, print and publishing, and packaging design.

This year, he teamed up with local artists to organize the conference.

“We have a diverse set of talents here,” said Aguro, pointing out that artists in the region will grow and improve when they find avenues to share their skills and meet people who share the same passion.

First design conference in CDO

Taking inspiration from several design conferences annually held in Manila, Cebu, and Davao, Aguro and his team envisioned for Cagayan de Oro to have its own design conference so that local artists will not have to go elsewhere. After months of planning, the conference will finally come to fruition.

However, the Oro Design Conference is not exclusive to Cagayan de Oro but spans Northern Mindanao.

The conference will feature speakers that have accomplished promising careers in their fields. They include artist and entrepreneur AJ Leon, illustrator Geraldine Sy, comic book artist Harvey Tolibao, motion designer Megan Palero, designer and illustrator Raxenne Maniquiz, and representatives from design studio Vigi.

Like design conferences all over the country, the Oro Design Conference is planned to be held annually. It is slated on February 9 and will take place at the Capitol University Mini Theater.

“It’s important to start a community of artists here that support each other and do honest work,” Aguro said.

Aguro and his team are promoting the event through the conference’s official social media handles. He hopes the conference will give encouragement to creatives in this city and Northern Mindanao.

The conference is open to both students and professionals.

Opportunity for local artists

For Nikko Tan, a motion and graphic designer in one of the growing design studios in this city, the conference will open many opportunities for local artists.

“I look forward to creatives gathering together,” said Tan, a member of Aguro’s creative team.

Tan, who has 7 years of experience in art direction and animation, among other crafts, said that artists can learn from one another.

“I hope this will nurture a sense of identity and visibility for designers here, and will also inspire younger individuals who have a calling for design or any creative venture,” he added.

Tan said perspectives and traits make Cagayan de Oro artists unique.

“Many artists and designers in CDO are driven and passionate,” he said. “Their works go beyond expectations.”

With diverse talents come opportunities where local artists, their works, and their skills can be showcased and honed. Oro Design Conference is set to provide this avenue in this city and Northern Mindanao next year.

Michael Bacol: Oro’s rising artist


CAGAYAN de Oro City is recently showing so much progress particularly in business. The same can be said for arts as the city is beginning to show growth of budding local artists and art enthusiasts.

Albeit there is still the need to further promote the city's local artists, encouraging art lovers to patronize local artworks.

Nonetheless, one cannot deny that Cagayan de Oro has talented artists. While some are still starting to create a name for themselves, there are some who have been doing exhibits and joining regional and national (and even international) art competitions.

Recently, a Kagay-anon artist won as one of the top five winners of the Philippine Art Awards (PAA) National Competition for 2018 last month.

The Philippine Art Awards is a national visual art competition which helps in the contemporary art development in the Philippines.

Last November 22, Michael Bacol from Barangay Concepcion, Cagayan de Oro City won the award for the Mindanao Regional Competition of PAA and the Award of Merit for the PAA National Competition.

“Of course, ma-shock gyud ka. Kasi at first, they will read what is the description of the work. And then suddenly they said man gud nga it’s about doors so [I said] ‘Oh my God, that's my work.’ And my friend also: ‘That's yours Mike, that's yours,’” Bacol said as described what he felt during the announcement of the top five winners for the PAA National Competition.

“And when I was at the stage, I nearly cried but ako lang gipugnan kay maulaw ko,” he added.

Bacol shared that receiving a national award, and an award from the Philippine Art Awards at that, has given his confidence a boost and made him feel proud and happy of what he achieved.

According to Bacol, his winning artwork, a painting of various kinds of doors, depicts the life of the family involved in the Tokhang campaign in the country.

“It talks about what is the life [of those families who were involved in Tokhang] and what is makita nimo sa ilahang situation,” Bacol said.

“And it’s not about anti but its neutral lang siya. It’s not [about me being] anti or pro, but it’s what I see around our nation, around me. So ako sya gi-express,” he added.

Bacol also mentioned how this is the first time he received an award for winning a national competition as he often got trophies and prizes for winning the regional level art competitions.

In fact, Bacol has won several awards such as the national recognition as a finalist and semifinalist in Metrobank's Made art competition in 2001. It was, according to Bacol, the first award he gained.

In 2003, he was selected to participate in Sungdu-an 3, a major travelling art exhibition organized by the National Commission on Culture and the Arts.

He also qualified as a finalist in the Philippine Art Awards-Philip Morris Art Competition in 2008 and 2010.

Bacol was also able to launch his first solo exhibition entitled “Into the World of Innocence” at the Father Francisco R. Demetrio SJ Gallery of Museo de Oro in Xavier University in August 2017.

Apart from being awarded and invited for art competitions and exhibitions, Bacol is also a grant recipient for a six-month residency program at the Headlands Center for the Arts in Sausalito, California, and International Studio and Curatorial Program in the Big Apple sponsored by the Asian Cultural Council in the Philippines and New York.

Being able to observe the works of the artists from the United States, Bacol was able to notice that the artists in US were not discouraged in their endeavor to make a place for aesthetic through murals.

He has been into arts for more than 40 years, starting in grade school when his drawings were filled with cartoon characters.

And even though he studied mechanical engineering during his college and worked for a few months in an engineering service in Lapasan after he graduated, his love and passion for art did not diminish.

After less than a year, he decided to quit his job and work full time as an artist.

“I feel nga dili ko happy kay naa ko sa office, during drafting sa mga gears. So I decided to quit and mag full time na ko sa art,” Bacol said.

“It’s my passion and I want to create more nga based on my experience and ideas, kay if I work in a company, I feel like crazy because restrictive sya kaayo. So I want it to be free kay I will not be happy siguro if I work in a company,” he added.

In 1999, he joined an art group, the Oro Arts Guild, which is now called the CDO Arts Guild.

“Didto ko nakatuon sa grupo nga art is something that you express what you experience, what you see around you,” Bacol said.

At present, Bacol is working with the Department of Tourism-Northern Mindanao, with the department's plan to launch Art Turismo, a tourism, art and culture campaign, in February 2019.

Oro gov’t, Monark ink partnership for skills training


The Cagayan de Oro City Government has inked a partnership with Monark Foundation Institute (MFI), the country's only dedicated heavy equipment technical institute, to train out-of-school youths at the Cagayan de Oro Technical Vocational Institute (CDO-TVI).

City Mayor Oscar Moreno called the agreement a significant milestone in addressing need for the younger people to be equipped in special skills and give them employment opportunities.

Under the agreement, the Monark Foundation will train the students for free while the foundation can also use the CDO-TVI's facilities free of charge.

“This partnership is to allow our beneficiaries to learn heavy equipment matters using the curriculum of Monark. We hope this partnership will produce desired results,” Moreno said.

Given the trend of expenditures on infrastructure projects in the country, Moreno said the demand for workforce will grow.

“We need our young people to be ready,” he added.

Monark Foundation president Jose Antonio Bason, said they are trying to be more relevant and be connected to the community with the partnership.

Bason said their foundation's goal is to give jobs.

“Our goal really is not to produce competent graduates I have to admit but our goal is to give jobs. We are proud that our graduates for the last 20 years, are all employed,” he said.

“We will strive to make them job-ready not just skills qualified

The city has just opened the CDO-TVI located at the former Agusan National High School.

CDO-TVI is a center-based and community-based skills and livelihood for students from low-income families, out-of-school youths and the marginalized sector.

It is adopting the Technical Education and Skills Development Authority's Unified Programs Registration and Accreditation Systems as well as the Department of Education and Commission on Higher Education's senior high school curriculum for its ladderized courses.

Pasko de Oro icons at Gaston Park


SEVERAL huge Christmas symbols lit up the Gaston Park in Cagayan de Oro City, filling the park with its Yuletide spirit as part of the City Government's Pasko de Oro Icons contest.

"It is a celebration of cooperation [and] unity among barangays. And we have challenged the barangays to come up with their versions of a Christmas icon," Patrick Gabutina, Pasko de Oro coordinator, said.

Thirty-five barangays from all over the city participated the competition, however, only 20 barangays were able to put up their Christmas icons at the Gaston Park during the first day of the judging last Monday, December 10.

According to Gabutina, there will be three judging days for the Pasko de Oro Icons. The first judging day started last Monday night; the second day on or before December 16; and the third day on or before December 29.

The Christmas icons will be displayed until January 5, 2019.

Gabutina said each of the barangays will receive a particular Christmas symbol to present through raffle.

"So they would make their own interpretation of the Christmas symbol. Aside from that, they would insert also their own identity as a barangay," Gabutina added.

The Pasko de Oro coordinator also mentioned that there will be two categories for the Pasko de Oro Icons contest. One is for the numbered barangays (Barangays 1 to 40) and the named barangays (Barangays Bayabas, Tablon, Gusa, and others).

The first prize winner for each of the categories will receive P250,000; the second placer will receive P150, 000; and the third will be given P100,000.

Gabutina added that all the participating barangays will receive P10,000 each.

A special award will also be given to the barangay using recycled materials for their Christmas icon.

"Not necessarily sya nga indigenous but recycled materials because we're promoting a cleaner Cagayan de Oro kay Solid Waste Management nato," Gabutina said.

Apart from the Christmas icons, a food bazaar will also be placed at the Gaston Park.

"We would also like the people of Cagayan de Oro and our visitors to support also our food carts. These are mga individuals that are being supported by the city," Gabutina said.

"This is not just a celebration of Christmas, this is a celebration of our humanity," he added.

CDO group launches renewable energy campaign drive

By Jack Biantan (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY -- Local futsal and football teams are heavily favored to defend their titles in the Northern Mindanao Regional Athletic Association (NMRAA) regional meet, which is set to kick off at the Tangub City Sports Complex, Misamis Occidental on December 15-20.

The Cagayan de Oro Athletic Association (COAA) teams are bolstered by players from top football playing schools in the city -- Xavier University, St. Mary’s School, Corpus School, and Rosevale School.

Girls Secondary Futsal coach Dhon Niño Lazo is bringing a powerhouse squad to protect its five-year unbeaten run in this annual competition to determine the region’s representative to the Palarong Pambansa. The Palaro next year will be in Davao City. Futsal is a football game done inside covered courts instead of an open field.

Six players in this squad played for the Region 10 (Northern Mindanao) Girls Futsal team in the Palarong Pambansa in Vigan. They are Xavier University High School standouts Jillian Nirelle S. Berrgado, Lourinne Jiuseppe C. Lazo, Nizza Jorj C. Lazo, Megan Faye L. Wong, Zippy Moss H. Medalla, and St. Mary’s School striker Maria Chantal P. Van Ommeren.

Completing the line-up are Monina Marcy F. Alcober, Feona Marie A. Anoos, Patricia Edma, Mikaella Anne C. Lazo, all from Xavier University High School and reinforcements Malika Ingrid A. Chaves of Rosevale School, and Chavonne Joelle T. Uy of St. Mary’s School.

Meanwhile, the father and son tandem of Corpus School coaches Wilbert and Marc Racines are confident they will defend their Elementary and Secondary titles against top teams from the region. Wilbert led the golden finish of the COAA Secondary team against perennial contender Valencia City last year.

This time he is coaching the COAA elementary team while his son Marc has taken over the secondary team.

Rosevale School represented the winning COAA elementary team last year with coach Mario Sumampong.

They are expected once again to face tough challenges from Valencia City, Malaybalay, Bukidnon province and Misamis Oriental province.

“We expect to face Valencia once again in the finals. We are ready for them,’’ said coach Wilbert Racines.

Valencia is the home of the Philippine Football Federation (PFF) training center and football playing schools Central Mindanao University, Bukidnon Faith Christian School, and First Fruits Academy.

Although they have not won against CDO teams in the regional for a long time now, they remain dangerous and may pull out some surprises.

COAA Girls Futsal Team:

Monina Marcy Alcober, Feona Marie Anoos, Jillian Nirelle S. Bergado, Anna Patricia A. Edma, Lourinne Jiuseppe C. Lazo, Nizza Jorj Lazo, Megan Faye Wong, Mikaella Anne Lazo, Zippy Moss Medalla, Maria Chantal Van Ommeren, Malaika Ingrid Chaves, Chavonne Joelle Uy, Coach: Niño Lazo, Chaperon: Kristina Sancebutche, Trainor: Jerney John Miaco.

COAA Elementary Football Girls Team:

Kinsey Drew Yañez, Karstien Dane Yañez, Rawin Gementiza, Kenny Guion, Jrand Hortilano, Armand Noel Lugod, Donn Benedict Ebuña, Von Iriz Quinito, Francis Iverson Sanbaan, Aqeel Usman Amol, Rafael Antonio Yap, Ethan Jay Vistan, Blaine Stevon Paje, Lester Ian Datiles Coach: Wilfbert Racines

COAA Secondary Boys Football Team:

Geo Tacandong, Aeron Subesa, Mhel Tado, Emilio Rubio, Blake Carrera, Krislourd Yañez, Thomas Marfori, James Mocorro, Jesse Bajarla, MJ Hojas, Josh Go, James Averia, Eugene Arriola, Javier Estrella, Dale Anoya,Joshua Montesino, John Gementiza, Joie Gaid, Jr.Coach: Marc Racines.

Homeowners set up first uptown police precinct


UPTOWN residents set up on Monday, December 10, the first Uptown Police Precinct to reach police officers immediately in times of emergency and distress calls.

Arthur Aranas, president of the Morning Mist Village, said this initiative of some 15 homeowners associations, will allow police to respond to their calls immediately instead of going to Carmen Police Station, which is at least four kilometers away from the uptown area.

The homeowners have remodeled a container van and transformed this into an office for the police precinct.

Aranas said this was planned months ago, with the support of Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) and City Mayor Oscar Moreno.

Aranas said City Police director Senior Superintendent Nelson Aganon agreed to assign 10 police officers everyday in the police precinct.

"We are cooperating as a community kay kami raman pud maka-benefit, all of the uptown residents will benefit this police station," he said.

"We are really far from Carmen police, there was one incident when we caught a thief, but we still have to transport him to the police station because we have no available officers here," he added.

However, the long-term request of the uptown residents is the creation of a police station in the uptown part of the city.

"Mayor Moreno also wanted to build a police station there but we are still searching for a space. But that is really our wish," he said.

The container van police precinct is located just beside the Morning Mist Village and near a gasoline station.

Meanwhile, Cocpo spokesperson Superintendent Mardy Hortillosa welcomed this move and thanked the homeowners officers for the unique initiative.

"We hope they will continue to support the police substation, such as giving information and other needs so our police will be effective in their duty," Hortillosa said.

Hortillosa said he understands the need of the uptown area, which is eyed as the next commercial area of Cagayan de Oro.

He said the police too, is eyeing to establish a police station in the uptown, as this area remains a potential target of sensational cases or crimes.

Just last week, a shootout transpired in Mastersons Avenue, Upper Carmen, which left a police officer and the suspect dead and another policeman wounded.

2K join Mindanao's first 'Pride March' in CD

(Justine Gaabucayan (USTP-CdO intern, PNA/PNA Newsroom)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY --This city hosted the first Mindanao-wide "Pride March" in a bid to further diversify and uphold the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, Queer (LGBTQ) community, on Sunday (December 9).

Organized by Mindanao Pride, the pride march is named "Kadaiyahan Festival"--a Cebuano word for "diversity," attended by around 2,000 participants not only from the LGBTQ community but also from other sectors.

Other organizations that participated include Balaod Mindanao, Amnesty International, a representative from the Netherlands Embassy, Spark Philippines, Legal Rights and Resource Center, and the Commission on Human Rights.

Senator Riza Hontiveros, who was a guest of the event, commended the organizers.

”I am very proud in Mindanao pride and Cagayan de Oro city for hosting this for the first Mindanao pride festival. I am very grateful na maging bahagi nang (that this will be part of the) historic occasion na ito guessing for more hope for pushing the Anti-Discrimination Bill," she said.

During the event, the City Health Office provided free HIV testing.

Oro bags ‘Seal of Child-Friendly Local Governance'


THE Cagayan de Oro City Government has been hailed as one of the recipients of the Seal of Child Friendly Local Governance Award for 2017.

The award, which was given last week, marked the city's third time to be recognized as a child-friendly city by the Council for the Welfare of Children.

City Administrator Teddy Sabuga-a said the rating for last year's performance was 44 percent, an increase from the 37 percent rating of the city in 2016.

Sabuga-a, however, noted that the city still has to strive more in reducing the child mortality rate.

But he noted that most of the children who died were not from the city, but from other provinces.

"We cannot prevent them from going here, what we will do is establish a system which will strengthen coordination among local government units so that they can monitor deaths among one of their children, but unfortunately died here in our city," he said.

He said the coordination will also allow a better prevention program to prevent mortality among children.

Despite having a low rating in the mortality category, Sabuga-a said the city thrived in its program for children in conflict with law and nutrition program.

Launched in 2014, the Seal is the advocacy and programming framework adopted by the CWC in response to both national (Child 21 and 2nd National Plan of Action for Children) and international commitments. It is consistent with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN CRC) and it requires the involvement of different stakeholders at various levels.

The Child-Friendly Philippines framework promotes child-friendly local governance wherein local government units give priority to children in their planning, budgeting, legislation and delivery of services and is able to assure that all children enjoy their rights classified as survival, development, protection and participation.

The LGUs shall be audited based on the following criteria: percentage reduction in the deaths among children below five years old or under-five mortality rate, percentage reduction in the number of children under-six with below normal weight, and percentage increase in the number of 3-4- year-old children attending center-based day care services.

The completion rate for elementary schooling, absence of child labor or percentage reduction in child labor cases, percentage reduction in the number of children victims of violence, abuse, neglect and exploitation are also included in the criteria, among others.

Young boxing champ gets inspiration from Pacman

By Jack Biantan (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY —Jerwin "Pretty Boy" Ancajas, just like many boxers in the country today, is inspired to work hard by no other than living legend Senator Manny "Pacman" Pacquiao.

Ancajas, 27, was in the city last Friday (December 7) as a participant to the Mindanao-wide gathering of Christian Pastors.

The International Boxing Federation (IBF) Junior Bantamweight champion from Panabo City, Davao del Norte, said he owes Pacquiao a lot.

“He is my inspiration and he has embraced me as a member of his MP Promotions. He is a legend and I want to be like him,’’ he said during a press conference here.

Ancajas has very high respect for Pacquiao that he does not even want to be compared to the senator. “We are very different, sir Manny is special while I am just starting to make a name for myself in boxing,’’ he said.

He also asked Filipinos to pray for Manny Pacquiao for the latter's incoming fight against the younger and very aggressive Adrien “The Problem” Broner of the United States next month, in Las Vegas.

There are close similarities between Ancajas and Pacquiao.

Ancajas is also from Mindanao and is also a lefty. And the similarities do not end there. Both fighters are also knockout artists. Pacquaio is older and has fought 69 times, won 60 matches with 39 KO’s, 7 losses and 2 draws.

Ancajas, on the other hand, has fought 33 times won 30, with 20 of them by KO and suffered only one loss and drew once.

His spectacular performances this year on the ring has attracted very important "fans" like the big shot politicians of Cagayan de Oro City, Maxie Jr., and Rufus Rodriguez.

“I met Jerwin last year at a birthday party. He is very humble, very friendly and very talented on the ring. I have become a fan,’’ said former congressman Rufus Rodriguez.

His brother and current Cagayan de Oro 2nd district Rep. Maxie Rodriguez Jr. also admitted to be Ancajas' fan.

“We have been supporting him; in fact, we are planning with my brother to watch his next match in the US next year,’’ Maxie said.

Meanwhile, Ancajas is looking forward to his next fight sometime in February. He has been lined-up by his US promoter Bob Arum of Top Rank promotion to fight WBC champion Srisaket Sor Rungvisai in the US probably in February or March.

Although nothing has been signed yet, Ancajas said that he is being assured by Arum that the fight will happen in the US.

“I already met For Rungvisai in Thailand recently and I saw him fight. I am confident that with God’s help I can win against him, he said.

Ancajas successfully defended his IBF title three times abroad this year. He knocked out Israel Gonzales in February, at the Bank of America Center, Corpus Christi and won via unanimous decision over fellow Filipino Jonas Sultan in Save Mart Arena, Fresno, California last May.

He then escaped a controversial draw over Alejandro Santiago Barrios at the Oracle Arena also in Oakland, California.

Ancajas captured the IBF Super Flyweight title in 2016 over McJoe Arroyo here in Taguig City.

A pumping ride in the famed river awaits you chasing white waters in Cagayan de Oro

By Gelyka Ruth Dumaraos

If there is one thing Cagayan de Oro (CdO) has been known for when it comes to chasing the great outdoors, its white water rafting adventure definitely tops the list.

For years, the gateway to Northern Mindanao continues to welcome visitors, local and international alike, who are up to try the thrilling rapids of the Cagayan de Oro River.

Originally named as the Kalambaguasasahan River, Cagayan de Oro River’s headwaters come from Kalatungan Mountain Range and Kitanglad Mountain Range of Bukidnon and traverses down from the river’s 7,500-feet elevation. Passing through the municipalities of Bukidnon, it finally flows to Misamis Oriental’s Macajalar Bay. The river also serves as a natural boundary between Iligan and Bukidnon, as well as Bukidnon and CdO.

Back in the mid-90s, people of CdO were using bamboo and banana trunks, or inflated tire tubes as they raft through the river. While it’s a popular local practice, it evolved into CdO’s famed outdoor quest thanks to professional groups who unlocked the river’s tourism potential.

Today, CdO has a number of adventure groups whose local guides are trained by the Red Cross, Department of Tourism (DOT) and Coast Guards, and are ready to welcome thrill-seekers for their next exciting ride.

Though first-timers and nonswimmers are all welcome to join the fun, white water rafting is not for the faint-hearted. The activity requires a disciplined, ready-for-adventure attitude and the focused attention to follow instructions whatever it takes.

Beginners can start off with a three-hour river run, consisting of 14 rapids. The longest one is about four hours with 24 rapids to deal with, but this one is best for advanced takers.

As the raft tackles the rapids, the fear will likely be replaced with exhilaration. Each time the raft encounters white rapids, the water velocity increases and so this pushes every rafter to match it with unbounded energy to finish the pounding ride, and to paddle harder if needed.

Amid the pumping adventure also comes the opportunity to commune with nature. These white waters are separated with long and silent river flow with only the chirping of birds and occasional exciting screams of rafters as the only other sounds you can hear.

There’s also a timeout from every thrilling rapid ride that gives the rafters some moments to swim and enjoy its cool waters, or break for some rest before tackling another one.

The rafting adventure can also be complemented with side trips of cave exploration and river trekking.

Gateway to Northern Mindanao

Aside from well-known CdO activities such as rafting, paragliding caving and trekking, the Northern Mindanao is nothing sort of a regular tourist spot.

According to DOT Regional Director Marie Elaine Unchuan, local and international tourists are becoming more aware of Northern Mindanao and its nature adventures in Camiguin, Bukidnon, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental.

Unchuan added that the DOT regional office is hoping for more visitor arrivals to prove that Mindanao is not a dangerous place after all.

“Since the Marawi crisis, some say it’s dangerous to go to Mindanao but that impression is fading,” she says. “More and more people are coming and so myth on safety is being dispelled.”

Moreover, what was once considered as an underrated destination, Northern Mindanao is slowly taking on the dare of being a rising tourism destination, thanks to a development in travel options.

AirAsia recently launched its flights from Manila to Laguindingan International Airport, as well as routes from Cagayan de Oro to Clark and Cebu. The main airport now serves the cities in Northern Mindanao, such as Cagayan de Oro and Iligan and its provinces Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and Bukidnon.

PCOO chief meets with CDO Press Club members

By Jelly Musico (PNA)

MANILA – Presidential Communications Operations Office (PCOO) Secretary Martin Andanar on Friday met with members of the Cagayan de Oro (CDO) Press Club and donated equipment to boost their capability in delivering news and information to the public.

Andanar, a native of Cagayan de Oro, gave two television sets and two heavy-duty desktop computers during a “Christmas Breakfast” with CDO Press Club members led by their president Ruffy Magbanua in Cagayan de Oro City.

“I am here to donate a few goods, not as a Secretary of PCOO, but as a member of the Cagayan de Oro Press Club. It is a privilege for me to be a member of this organization because I’m from Cagayan de Oro,” he told the CDO journalists.

Aside from donating equipment, Andanar announced his proposal to bring the Department of Foreign Affairs’ (DFA) "passports-on-wheels" to the city.

“We are, of course, inviting the KBP (Kapisanan ng mga Brodkaster ng Pilipinas) to join us in this project so we can provide passports to members of the press who have no passport yet,” he said.

In response, Magbanua thanked the PCOO chief for his donation, particularly computers, which will solve the queuing of reporters for breaking news.

“On behalf of the Cagayan de Oro media community, we would like to thank you personally for this donation. It is an added equipment for us to use as members of the press in this region,” Magbanua said.

“On top of that, these additional TV sets will also be useful for our monitoring every day,” he added.

Andanar said he is preparing more projects for the CDO Press Club and other media groups in the country next year.

Committee okays P62.7-M budget for agriculture


CAGAYAN de Oro City’s agricultural and fisheries development projects will get a P62.7-million budget in 2019.

The City Council committee of the whole approved on Thursday, December 6, the City's Agricultural Productivity Office (APO), which includes the upgrading and concreting of farm to market roads worth P200,000, the Integrated Coastal Management Program worth P3.4 million, and farm youth development program worth P315,000.

Also approved were the budgets for the Rural Women Management Entrepreneurial Development project worth P445,000 and the Livelihood Enhancement for Small Farmers worth P105,000.

Other APO projects include City Seedling Propagation Project with a budget worth P441,350, and establishment of an Agricultural Training Center in Barangay San Simon worth P3.2 million, among others.

City Councilor Edna Dahino said they are trying hard to finish the budget deliberations before the Christmas break or before the year ends so that the budget proposal will be elevated to the City Council and get approved by January 2019.

This week, the committee of the whole covered and approved the budgets of the Chief Executive Office and the city's program for peace and order.

City Council okays P127-M budget for peace and order


THE City Council's committee of the whole has approved the increase in the budget for the city's peace and order programs next year.

Classified under the Special Purpose of the General Fund, the peace and order program for 2019 has a budget of P127 million, a P67-million increase from this year's P60-million allocation.

The increase, according to information released by the City Council, was meant to finance the city's counter-insurgency efforts, terrorism program worth P37.5 million, rewards and awards system worth P10 million, and another P50 million was allocated in the "other programs" category.

Programs such as Capability Building Program and Enhance Lift and Communication Capability was given P10 million and P20 million, respectively.

City Budget Officer Percy Salazar told the councilors that the increase was proposed to enhance the peace and order efforts in the city.

By 2019, the city will also provide financial assistance to the Cagayan de Oro City Police Office (Cocpo) worth P35.6 million.

CDO students bag DSWD short film award

By Jigger Jerusalem (PNA)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY – A group of social work students from a religious school here won the first Regional Juvenile Justice and Welfare Committee-10 (RJJWC-10) film festival, as part of their advocacy opposing the proposal to lower the minimum age requirement of criminal liability.

The students from Lourdes College bested two other entrants in the short film competition under the student category, with their “Selda Pagbabago” story depicting a troubled teen who had several run-ins with the law. The awarding ceremony was held last Friday (November 30).

The story revolves around “Loloy,” whose life took a turn for the worst when he associated himself with friends who introduced him to crime and drugs. Loloy, however, managed to transform himself through the intervention of concerned individuals, including his mother, a psychologist, and their village leader.

Interviewed on Monday, the film’s director, 19-year old Sweet Diane Mabaylan, a third year Social Work student at Lourdes College, said “Selda Pagbabago” "shows that young people who made mistakes can still turn their lives around.

Mabaylan underscored the role of the society in helping troubled teens instead of putting them in jail.

“Jail is not the solution to transform an erring youth but through proper education,” Mabaylan said.

The film festival was in line with the 7th Juvenile Justice and Welfare Consciousness Week and Children’s Month celebration, spearheaded by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) with the coordination of the Department of Justice, local government units, and nongovernmental organizations.

The other winners are short films created by teams from Kalilangan National High School, and Clarin National High School.

For the professional category, the only entry was “Pagbabago,” produced by the Regional Rehabilitation Center for Youth (RRCY) in Gingoog City.

According to Shaun Alejandre Uy, DSWD-10 social marketing officer, the agency is planning on showing the films to various schools and institutions in support of the agency’s #JailNoChild advocacy, and to oppose the proposal of top government officials to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility.

Oro City Hall lights up for Christmas


THE Cagayan de Oro City Hall lit up with hundreds of colorful lights as it launched its annual lights and sound show "Symphony of Lights" last Monday, December 3, as part of its Pasko de Oro event.

The Symphony of Lights, the City Government's million peso project for the holiday season, will run from December 3 until the Chinese New Year next year, according to City Councilor Jay Roa Pascual, the tourism committee chairman.

Hundreds of Kagay-anons gathered at the city hall grounds to witness the ceremonial switching on of the lights.

According to City Investments and Promotions officer Eileen San Juan, the city spent less this year compared to last year's launching of Symphony of Lights as they reuse the same set of lights.

"Last year, we spent more kay mao man tong pagkuha gyud sa mga lights. Karon, gigamit lang gyapon tong the same lights," San Juan said.

City Mayor Oscar Moreno, for his part, said that even though the lights are all the same, "its how you play with the lights that make it different.”

"The message here is that Christmas is always a season of merriment and joy and happiness and it is expressed via lights," Moreno said.

The city mayor also mentioned his plan for the Ysalina bridge to be lighted not just for Christmas but for the whole year.

"So its a different concept all together, its not for Christmas, its for the whole year. And so, precisely, that's why we're calibrating it, we're lighting the Ysalina bridge after the Christmas is over," Moreno said.

Prior to the launching of this year's Symphony of Lights, the City Government also awarded the winners for the Paskorela and Pasko de Oro Parade competition.

For the Paskorela or Dress Up Your Own Motorela contest, motorela operator Michael Tee (motorela #1299) won the first prize, receiving a cash prize of P40,000.

He was followed by motorela operators Wendell Mercado (motorela #1874) and Arlyn Jun Mercado (motorela #2174) as second and third prize winners, respectively.

Pasko de Oro Parade, on the other hand, the Pedro Oloy N. Roa Elementary School won the Best in Christmas Accent, Most Disciplined and Best Band Majorette awards.

Camp Evangelista Elementary School also won the Best Musicality and Best Band Master awards.

Pedro Oloy N. Roa Elementary School also performed for the crowd gathered in the city hall grounds before the Symphony of Lights was launched.

This is not the end of the city's Christmas celebration for it still has the Christmas Bazaar of the beneficiaries of the livelihood projects of the Bottom-Up-Budgeting (BUB) on December 10 at the Gaston Park and the display of Christmas Icons, a contest participated by different barangays of the city on the same day.

There is also the Bangga sa Daygon, a choral competition participated by elementary school students from all over the city, to be held on December 5 in SM City Cagayan de Oro.

A garden show at Magsaysay Park in Divisoria will also open on December 6.

"We're institutionalizing ang atong events sa Cagayan de Oro and Pasko de Oro is one for our Christmas celebration," San Juan said.

"So we'd like to invite everyone here sa City Hall sa atong lights every night unya dayon ang atong upcoming bazaar also at Gaston Park and display of Christmas icons and ang atong Bangga sa Daygon, to be participated by different schools on December 5. And opening of our garden show didto sa Magsaysay Park on December 6," she added.

Oro Kasanag awards child-friendly barangay, police station


BARANGAY Kauswagan has been hailed as the Most Child-Friendly Sub-Urban Barangay in Cagayan de Oro City again this year during the Oro Kasanag Awards Pasundayag Gabi ng Parangal Thursday, November 29, at the event center of Centrio Ayala Mall.

Barangay Kauswagan won P150, 000 and a trophy as the Most Child-Friendly Sub-Urban Barangay for having the best practices, projects, and programs that uphold the rights of children.

Councilor Peter Jason Balite of Barangay Kauswagan, upon receiving the award, expressed happiness and gratitude, especially since it’s the second time the barangay was awarded the most child-friendly.

He also shared that hard work, unity, and cooperation of the barangay, the community, and the school have been significant factors as to why they were able to sustain their title.

"Ang support sa among community, pagtinabangay namo, especially sa schools namo, nagtabang gyud pag disseminate unsa ang mga rights sa children, ang advocacy namo nga among protektahan gyud sila (The support of our community, especially in schools helped disseminate the rights of the children),” Balite said.

Barangay Canitoan came in second and bagged the cash prize worth P120, 000 and trophy, followed by Barangay Pagatpat which garnered an P80, 000 cash prize and trophy.

Barangays Tablon, Camaman-an, Gusa, Nazareth, Patag, Agusan, and Bulua were also recognized as the fourth to tenth child-friendly sub-urban barangays in the city and received P5,000 and a plaque each.

The top three urban barangays: Barangays 7, 14 and 21 were also awarded with P30, 000, P20, 000 and P15, 000 worth of cash prize, respectively, and a trophy each.

Meanwhile, Bulua Police Station (PS7) was hailed as the Most Child-Friendly Police Station in Cagayan de Oro City and received P100, 000 cash prize.

"I'm very happy, as a station commander, it means a lot to me. Because this is a team effort, it is not only the efforts of the WCPD, but all my personnel help one another to achieve this and I'm very happy," Police Senior Inspector Breccia Deloso Townend of Bulua Police Station said.

According to Townend, one of the reasons why they were able to bag the title is because they were able to sustain their projects.

One of which is a monitoring program that helps the children at risk, those who are victims and in conflict with the law.

"So that they will be given another chance that despite of their circumstances, the choices that they will make will show who they are," Townend said.

Following Bulua police are Lumbia Police Station (PS8), which came in second, Macasandig Police Station (PS9), Cugman Police Station (PS10), and Cogon Police Station (PS2).

According to Mary Kris Gebe, one of the evaluators for the Most Child-Friendly Police Station, noticed the improvement of all the police stations in the city.

"It’s more than just the physical beauty of their police station but yung mga programs nila (they’re programs) and how they connect with the barangay, and how they connect with the schools in implementing the activities for the children," Gebe said.

Oro Kasanag also awarded Agora Police Station (PS3) as a Hall of Famer after maintaining the title of the Most Child-Friendly Police Station for three consecutive years.

"Expected na rin naman namin yung Hall of Famer kay since 2015, 2016, and 2017 na ang Police Station Agora yung nag number 1 always. So this year, hindi na kami nasali sa top dahil nga hall of famer na daw (We expected the Hall of Famer because since 2015 2016, and 2017, Police Station Agora awarded number 1 always. So this year, we are not included in the top because we are hall of famer.)," Jason Sto Domingo, the station commander of Agora Police Station said.

Domingo added that they were able to maintain their title due to the efforts of their Woman and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) officer, Police Officer 3 Cherry Reyes.

"Yung WCPD officer ko dahil sobrang serious sya sa trabaho. Yung lahat ng kailangan i-comply, kino-comply nya. Pag may reklamo sa mga concerning women and children, nandyan siya, talagang tutok siya (The WCPD officer is serious in her job. Anything that needs to be complied, she complied. Whenever there are complaints concerning women and children, she is there)," Domingo said.

Oro Kasanag Award, the official award-giving body for the child-friendly search, aims to acknowledge the best practices of barangays and police stations for the children, who are the most vulnerable sector in the community, according to Oro Kasanag Awards chairman Al Rashide Galaura.

"Para ma push ang atoang mga barangays (So we can push the barangays) and police stations to create projects, services and program that would uphold the four rights of children: survival, developmental, protection and participation," Galaura said.

Galaura added that the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) and the WCPD are the two main factors that they have to evaluate as they are the primary people that will help in the initiatives and services for the right and protection of children.

DICT, Ideaspace hold ‘meetup’ for startups in Oro


THE Department of Information and Communications Technology (DICT) in partnership with Ideaspace Philippines, recently organized a focus group discussion to advance the development of startups in Cagayan de Oro City.

The one day activity dubbed as “Startup Ecosystem Mapping and Community Meetup”, was held in one of the hotels in the city where 20 select participants were invited because they either are experienced or have existing programs and activities that supports startups, technology, design and entrepreneur communities.

The meetup or the focus group discussion (FGD) was designed to establish a collaborative atmosphere among the city’s technology startups and aspiring startups. A gathering of local leaders and community builders in the startup community, ICT council, academe, and the local government unit to evaluate and strengthen the local startup ecosystem.

Engr. Eugene Raposala of the Mindanao Cluster 2 of the DICT, said that the organization of the FGD was to appraise the participants of the current digital startup development program-workshops, trainings, and other activities- designed to promote and support startups and tech/startup communities in the country.

Rapasola said that a startup or tech enterprise typically has three major categories of talent needed in order to launch a startup: Tech-programmer, web developer, mobile developer, coder, software and ICT professional; Design- branding; and the non tech part that handles business, marketing, sales, finance, subject matter expert.

Oro senior citizens get social pension


MORE than 7,000 senior citizens in the city have claimed their social pension from the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) this week.

The city has over 40,000 senior citizens in the city but only those who are registered at the Office of the Senior Citizens Affairs (Osca) received the pension.

The distribution was held in a mall here to make sure that the senior citizens are comfortable while waiting for their turn.

Senior citizens receive P1,500 social pension for the 4th quarter of this year.

The first batch of pensioners came from barangay Lapasan, Cugman, F.S. Catanico, Puerto Gusa, Agusan, Tablon and Bugo. The distribution started last week until last Wednesday.

Qualified senior citizens can still apply at the Osca, the CSWD, or at the DSWD Regional Office. Applicants or their representatives must bring an Osca ID, birth certificate and certificate of indigence upon the application of the program.

Under the Expanded Senior Citizens Act of 2010 or RA 9994, the Social Pension for Indigent Senior Citizens is an additional government assistance which aims to improve the condition of indigent senior citizens by augmenting their daily subsistence and medical needs; reduce incidence of hunger; and protect them from neglect, abuse, deprivation and natural and man-made disasters.

Indigent senior citizens shall be entitled to a monthly stipend amounting to P500 to augment their daily subsistence and other medical needs.

Scientist promotes 'HIV-awareness' mobile game app

By Renee Barrio (USTP-CDO intern/PNA, PNA Newsroom)

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY — One of the scientists behind the creation of a mobile game application that helps raise awareness on human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS) is promoting the use of the technology in the Philippines.

Dr. Emmanuel S. Baja, a Research Associate Professor & Balik Scientist Awardee, said the app was launched online on Dec. 1 last year during the World AIDS Day commemoration in Davao City.

Baja said the "Battle of the Blood" is a one-time download app, where the player can create his or her own avatar to their liking and will be asked for their geographic location at the very start. It has eight stories of people living with HIV.

Players are subject to an age limit, 12+ for the Google Play and 17+ for the Apple store, before playing the game.

The game starts with several questions, such as the demographics of the player, their knowledge, and attitude towards HIV/AIDS. Baja said the data collected by the app are secure and confidential.

He said the mobile game also assists players in finding testing centers in the Philippines, where they could be tested for HIV.

Baja said he believes the digital advocacy game could help find out the status of men having sex with men (MSM) and transgender women (TGW) in the Philippines.

“This is to break the stigma about HIV, as a lot of people are careful of knowing their status,” Baja said, citing two sides of stigma, the self-stigma and the outside stigma, which discourages people from getting themselves tested for the dreaded virus.

He added HIV “is treatable” and free medication is available at the Department of Health (DOH).

“The game gives hope to everyone, saying that it’s really okay if you’re positive or reactive to the virus. Life goes on,” he said, pointing out the game can help people and encourage them to lead a healthy lifestyle and get early testing.

Baja said aside from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Intersex, Asexual (LGBTQIA) community, the mobile game app has obtained the support of schools, local government units, the Department of Science and Technology (DOST), and other institutions like hospitals.

To introduce the game to the public, the proponents of the game have started to advertise the app in Cagayan de Oro through the city's Social Hygiene Clinic, the scientist disclosed.

He said if the rollout for the game is approved next year, he plans to do a school campaign to introduce it even to grades 11 and 12 and also talk to the Commission on Higher Education and the Department of Education about it.

He said once the DOST approves the digital game, he and his co-proponents plan to drive for a widespread use of the app across the country.

He said many people in Davao and the National Capital Region have started to download the app.