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Old January 29th, 2008, 04:41 PM   #301
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Cool. Thanks!
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Old January 30th, 2008, 12:01 PM   #302
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Newly discovered cave system in Nueva Vizcaya could be RP’s longest
By Charlie Lagasca

Wednesday, January 30, 2008
The Philippine Star online

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya – Another cave system here –-probably the country’s longest –-was discovered by a group of veteran mountaineers and spelunkers in a remote mountain area, which already hosts a series of spectacular cave formations, including the fifth longest cave system in the country.

Based on estimates, the newly discovered cave in barangay Pao, Kasibu town is at least 20 kilometers long, not including other passages and arteries, said Genaro Basilio, one of the founding members of the Nueva Vizcaya Mountaineering Club.

Basilio said they came across the cave system during one of their recent spelunking adventures in one of the province’s vast mountain areas, particularly in remote barangay Pao.

Basilio’s group also explored the 4.5-km Alayan cave located in the same town, which is the country’ fifth longest cave system.

“The possibility that the cave system in Pao is the longest in the country came about after an hour of exploring the cave and seeing that there seemed to be a long way ahead,” said Basilio, who also heads the provincial government’s public affairs, information and assistance division.

The new, largely unexplored cave system, which begins at Barangay Pao, swerves around underground through centuries-old crystal clear stalactites and stalagmites –-both giant-sized and medium sized -– until it reaches barangay New Gumiad in another town, Dupax del Norte. It is estimated to be a 15.7-km stretch.

Using the spelunkers’ practical method in measuring a cave system, rice bran or ipa was poured into the river at the cave entrance in barangay Pao and ended up in barangay New Gumiad.

“Our group decided to put a lot of rice bran (ipa) in the fast-flowing water inside the cave. Later, we found out that the rice bran reached as far as New Gumiad (formerly barangay Diayan), which was 15.7 km away, presuming the cave went straight there,” Basilio said.

Basilio said their group, with some recognized caving experts, both from the government and private sector, is now in the process of further exploring the cave with the use of appropriate gadgets to validate its total estimated length for it to be officially recognized as the longest cave system in the country.

“We, local outdoor enthusiasts, have plans to explore the whole cave system pending our request for funding of an expedition by sponsors so that this part of the province may become not only a geological find but also an ecotourism potential,” he said.

Present records of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources show that the 15-km Saint Paul Cave in Palawan is the country’s longest cave system; followed by the 8.87-km Odloman Cave in Mabinay, Negros Oriental; the 7.65 km Odessa-Tumbali Cave in Peñablanca, Cagayan; the 5-km Langun-Gomingob Cave in Calbiga, Samar; and the 4-km Sumaging-Latipan-Lomyang Crystal System in Sagada, Mountain Province.

However, in the records of the Philippine Caving Society, the Alayan Cave System in Barangay Capissaan in Kasibu was recorded to be the fifth longest at 4.5-km.

Early explorers, including Basilio’s group who had only been able to enter within one-hour’s distance from the cave entrance in barangay Pao, said that the cave system has centuries-old spectacular rock formations and a swiftly flowing underground river stretching from Pao to New Gumiad.

“There is a big possibility that it has a big cavern underground formed by the flowing river,” Basilio said.

This landlocked province has long been known for its spectacular caving system in Kasibu town. The Alayan cave is touted by the Department of Tourism to be world-class for its magnificent rock formations.

Seeing the province’s tourism potential, the local government led by Gov. Luisa Lloren Cuaresma is keen on transforming Kasibu, also one of the region’s major vegetable and citrus-producing towns, into one of the country’s major ecotourism destinations.

"Shall your brethren go to war, and shall ye sit here?"
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Old February 1st, 2008, 02:56 AM   #303
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Tribu Ivatan from Batanes joining the Dinagyang Festival in Iloilo City.

Hope that Ivatans enjoyed their stay in our city.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #304
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Originally Posted by pamysabel View Post
I'm going to Batanes in May 19 (to sawa--will be buying a one-way ticket ). Ok pa ba ang weather that time o maulan-ulan na?

Other questions:

Worth it ba magpuntang Itbayat?
OK ba sa Shanedel's? Magkano ang rates nila?

Thank you!
As Ashley12 said, Itbayat is a nice island. The 3-hour boat ride is nice during a calm day, and the port is one experience you wouldn't ever forget. I believe you have to hike through the island to appreciate it better. The views at Rapang are spectacular.

We went to Batanes during the month of April. We had clear blue skies then.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 04:51 PM   #305
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ang ginaw siguro ngayon sa batanes...

i heard that the president of taiwan will visit this place next...

"The problem with the Future is that it keeps turning into the Present" — Hobbes

“Time is more valuable than money. You can get more money, but you cannot get more time.” — Jim Rohn
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Old February 6th, 2008, 05:18 PM   #306
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great news indeed..

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Old February 12th, 2008, 05:30 AM   #307
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"I Love Quirino Caravan" launched in Mangandingay
(Source Linkie)

Cabarroguis, Quirino (February 12) -- Governor Dakila Carlo E. Cua led the launching of the "I Love Quirino Caravan" last February 6, 2008 at the Barangay Mangandingay Gymnasium here.

Dubbed as Dakilang Paghahatid ng Serbisyo mula sa Kapitolyo ng Quirino, the project has benefited thousands of residents who received various forms of assistance from the government.

In his opening message, Governor Cua said the project has been conceived in his sincere desire to bring the services of the provincial government and various national as well as non-governmental organizations closer to the people. He also said this is a response to the immediate needs of the Quirinians especially those who are below the poverty line.

The CARAVAN is supported by all the offices of the provincial government and various national government agencies such as the Department of Interior and Local Local Government (DILG), Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), Philippine National Red Cross (PNRC), Philippine National Police (PNP), Department of Health, Non-Governmental Organizations and others.

These agencies brought various services such as medical/dental mission, livelihood assistance, BMI Watch and Nutrition Counseling, legal/family counseling, land titling, Information campaign on the benefits of paying taxes, environmental protection, disaster management, peace and order and drug prevention, blood letting, RPM classes, tourism awareness, promotion of Quirino Polytechnic College, improvement of farm to market roads and others.

Under the improvement of roads, Gov. Cua has approved the barangay resolution requesting for the gradering of roads of said barangay and immediately instructed the Provincial Engineer, Ireneo Benavidez to bring dumptrucks, loaders and grader for the immediate gradering of the roads.

Barangay Captain Arwin Agbayani has expressed gratitude to the governor and to the agencies supporting the CARAVAN for choosing his barangay to be the first recipient of the project. He said this project is a big help to the residents of Mangandingay.

Cua also granted the request of Mangandingay Elementary School headed by Principal Elenita Ugot for the fencing of the school.

The Caravan initiative is also aimed at consulting with the barangays about their needs and to provide technical assistance in drafting their development plans.

Luningning P. Rhodes, Provincial Nutrition Officer and coordinator of the project said that a similar caravan would also be held in Ponggo, Nagtipunan on February 8, 2008.
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Old February 17th, 2008, 07:56 AM   #308
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im leaving for batanes early tomorr for another presswork. i checked our itinerary and we will be touring the entire batan island tomorrow then Sabtang island on tuesday. ill be back manila on wednesday. ill post pics here pag balik ko.. trip is sponsored by EPSOn

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Old February 21st, 2008, 06:48 AM   #309
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I really hope our next trip will be there. Apparently, for one who lives in Cebu, transportation cost is really expensive. (sigh) The best plan is airplane from Cebu to Manila then Manila to Laoag then Laoag to Basco. It just costs too much. whew! At least reading your posts and looking at your pictures could ease our longings. Thanks, especially to ashley.
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whatsoever of good fame, if there be any virtue, if any
praise of discipline, think on these things ...

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Old February 21st, 2008, 04:25 PM   #310
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estimate ko mga approx 20K ang budget ng epson sa amin when we had our media familiarization tour. multiplied by 30 of us, then add those foods and drinks the we ordered at the bar, charge lahat sa kanila.

but i have seen some travel pckages that are approx 17K all in. OK na yun. based from my experience, the 17K package tour is already worth the price.

dapat matibay lang tuhod mo sa kaka akyat -baba sa mga hills. and you should have all the guts to try sailing to Sabtang. its quite scary for first timers , but definitely worth all the adventure.

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 05:20 PM   #311
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NVizcaya town grateful for mining firm's presence

QUEZON, Nueva Vizcaya (February 22) -- With its meager funds, local officials here have expressed their praise and gratitude for the presence of a British-owned mining company which is currently doing exploration activities for gold, molly and copper deposits in barangay Runruno here.

"They helped us a lot in terms of many assistance ranging from relief, rescue and evacuation during disasters and provision of livelihood projects, employment and other social projects," said councilor Wilfredo Pulido.

The Metals Exploration, Inc. (MTL), as part of their social obligation within the affected communities have poured at least P23 million as initial funding for its various programs, projects and activities designed to help and uplift the status of the villagers.

Pulido said these projects include the subsidy for teachers in their municipality, the training and employment of Out-of–School Youths (OSY), feeding programs for malnourished children, employment of villagers with the company, provision of hanging bridges, repair of roads and bridges and establishment of tree nurseries which will be utilized in reforestation of denuded mountains in the town.

"In fact, during the onslaught of typhoon "Yoyong" in 2005, MTL was the first agency who extended assistance to us," Pulido said.

He said their presence is much felt at the time when the local government unit is struggling to operationalize into its normal status.

"We have meager funds as of the moment because of fund drain and compromises to a loan at a high interest but we are happy and satisfied with their presence inorder to help us recover," Pulido said.
(PIA NVizcaya)

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Old February 22nd, 2008, 05:22 PM   #312
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Japan, Korea eye P1.5 B invest in Aurora

The Philippine Star

BALER, Aurora - A group of Japanese and Korean investors is eyeing P1.5 billion worth of investments in the province.

Businessman Romeo Callanta, chairman of the RC Electric Corp. and a consultant of Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo, told The STAR that the foreign investors are embarking on a joint venture to set up a facility and ice plant at the Mariculture Park in Casiguran town.

"They want to pour their money to Aurora (ASAP) as soon as possible," said Callanta, who is a local partner of the Japanese-Korean group of businessmen.

He said that Angara-Castillo is very excited over the project which is expected to further stimulate trade and commerce in the province, which used to belong to the so-called "Club 20," or the 20 poorest provinces in the country. "In fact, Angara-Castillo is bullish over the prospects of Aurora to become an investments destination," he said.

Callanta said the foreign investors signified their intention to put up projects in Aurora following the holding of the first Aurora investments summit in Clark Field, Pampanga last month where they met Sen. Edgardo Angara, Angara-Castillo and House Deputy Majority Leader Juan Edgardo Angara.

"This was the fruit of the investments summit hosted by the province of Aurora," he said. He added that the foreign investors have a Letter of Credit amounting to as much as $30 million.

Callanta said that foreign businessmen are bullish about the prospects of investments in Aurora, particularly with the setting up of the Aurora Special Economic Zone (ASEZ). He said that the investors are not just eyeing Casiguran town but also the towns of Dingalan and Dipaculao and the capital town of Baler for future investments.

Earlier, Sen. Angara, who initiated the investments summit along with Angara-Castillo and House Deputy Majority Leader Juan Edgardo Angara, said tax incentives await investors at the ASEZ.

These incentives include income tax holidays, net operating loss carryover, a five percent tax rate on gross income, accelerated depreciation, capital equipment exemptions, tax and duty-free importation of source documents by information technology registered enterprises, raw material incentives, incentives on breeding stocks and generic materials, exemption from wharfage dues, deferred imposition of the minimum corporate income tax, tax treatment of merchandise and services and employment of foreign nationals.

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Old March 3rd, 2008, 05:50 AM   #313
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Nueva Vizcaya opens sports complex

by Ben Moses Ebreo

BAYOMBONG, Nueva Vizcaya -- The provincial government here recently opened the School Sports Complex in this town after the completion of its rehabilitation and development works.

The more than P10.8 million - center bleacher and the construction of 11.85 meter x 42.00 meter building was formally inaugurated last week, attended by local government and school officials in the province.

The project was funded by the provincial government through the Special Education Fund (SEF).

In her message, governor Luisa Cuaresma urged teachers to help the local government unit in encouraging parents to pay their Real Property Taxes(RPT).

"Since this is funded through the SEF, I am requesting you to help us in disseminating our advocacy on the early payment of our real property taxes. In this way, our SEF will increase which in turn will be used for more projects that will benefit Novo Vizcayanos," Cuaresma said.

In 2006, typhoons knocked down the sports complex' wooden building and bleachers, prompting the provincial government to allocate funds for its immediate rehabilitation.

The sports complex here serves as a venue to various provincial sports activities and celebrations of the province such as the annual "Panagyaman"(Thanksgiving) festival, provincial sports meet and many others.
(PIA NVizcaya)

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Old March 7th, 2008, 07:29 AM   #314
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Foreign investors eye P120-M cable car project in Aurora

By Manny Galvez

DINGALAN, Aurora – A group of Japanese, Korean and Filipino investors are eyeing a P120-million cable car project in this coastal town, which could help promote the province as an investments and tourism haven and perk up the local economy.

Businessman Romeo Callanta, chairman of the RC Electric Corp. (RCEC), told The STAR that the cable car project will be the first of its kind in the country and will be similar to the cable car line in the Hong Kong Ocean Park.

Callanta, a consultant of Aurora Gov. Bellaflor Angara-Castillo and local partner of the foreign investors, said they are eyeing to install the cable car along a nine-kilometer area in this town, through an aerial cruise with a panoramic view of the Pacific Ocean as backdrop.

“This will officially be the first commercial cable car project in the Philippines and this will be located in Aurora,” he said. He said there is an existing cable car project at the Tagaytay Highlands but this is used exclusively by golfers.

Callanta said the Japanese and Korean investors are eyeing to install up to 50 units of cable cars with a loading capacity of six passengers each or 300 passengers per round trip.

Each ride is expected to cost P100. Callanta also said the provincial government is expected to generate income from the operations of the cable car line of P83 million or more. In addition, local residents will be employed in the project.

“Essentially, it will have a domino effect in Dingalan and the entire Aurora,” he said.

Ben Mina, provincial environment and natural resources officer of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, said the cable car project will also enhance the province’s image as a potential eco-tourism site in Central Luzon. Along the route of the cable car line, also being eyed is a booking office for passengers and a one-hectare commercial area which will house souvenir shops, coffee shop, theme park, playground, eight waves swimming pool similar to the 8-Waves Park in Baliuag, Bulacan and fastfood outlets of such food chains as Jollibee and McDonald’s.

Callanta said that aside from Hong Kong, other countries which operate a cable car line are the United States, Japan, Switzerland, Germany and other European nations. He cited that in Switzerland, there is a popular place known as Iceglaze where cable cars are the mode of transport.

Angara-Castillo said the provincial government will provide tax incentives to the foreign investors who would invest in the cable car project. She said that the provincial government will not spend a single centavo for the project.

She hinted that several prospective investors have signified interest to put up businesses in the province, noting that at least P1.5 billion in outside investments is being worked out by the provincial government.

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Old March 7th, 2008, 09:45 PM   #315
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Cagayan Valley Regional Thread

Region 2


The island-province of Batanes was created by a series of volcanic activities and other geologic forces millions of years ago.

The province is home to the famous Ivatans who are nationally acclaimed as the “True Insulares.” The Ivatans are of Malay stock, tracing their roots to early immigrants from Formosa, Taiwan as well as Spaniards who came to the island in the 16th century. Being an insular people, the Ivatans have kept the purity of their gene pool through time.

Batanes lies at the northernmost tip of the Philippines, where the Pacific Ocean merges with the South China Sea. It is composed of three major islands, namely: Batan which contains the capital town of Basco, Sabtang, and Itbayat. Close by are seven islets including Amianan, which is the closest to Formosa. Thus, Batanes has been identified as the country’s potential gateway to East China.


Cagayan is the Regional Seat of the Cagayan Valley Region.

Tuguegarao City, the capital, is the seat of commerce and trade and center for learning. The province has 73 percent of the region’s potential fishing area.

Known as the spelunker’s, trekker’s, and gamefisher’s paradise rolled into one, Cagayan provides a never-ending adventure with ecotourism in the forefront of its offering. Both foreign and local tourists continue to explore its caves, engage in gamefishing expeditions, trek its mighty mountains and retreat to its centuries-old churches.

Present day chroniclers say that the name was derived from the word “tagay,” a kind of plant that grows abundantly in the northern part of the province. Thus, “Catagayan” which means a place where the tagay grows abundantly was shortened to “Cagayan,” the present name of the province.


The biggest province in the Cagayan Valley Region, is now one of the premier provinces of the north. It has been dubbed as the “Rice Granary of the North” having been adjudged as the Most Outstanding Province in Food Security in the Gawad Sapat Ani Awards 2000 conducted by the Department of Agriculture. It is also home to the famous Northern Sierra Madre Natural Park, a protected seascape and landscape of exceptional biodiversity.

Santiago City, the commercial center of Region 2, has been declared an independent-component city through a plebiscite on July 3, 1994 under Republic Act 7720.

Cauayan City, the trading center in Isabela, is also a component city ratified in a majority vote on March 30, 2001.

Nueva Vizcaya

The history of Nueva Vizcaya could still be reflected from the culture and customs of its early settlers, which included the Ilongots (now called Bugkalots), Igorots, Ifugaos, Isinais, and Gaddangs. The influx of civilization and the infusion of modern technology to the lifestream of the province induced many immigrants from the adjacent provinces, primarily Ilocanos, Tagalogs, Pangasinenses, Kapampangans, among others.

Located about 268 north of Metro Manila, the province is tagged to be the new alternative destination for outdoor and environment enthusiasts. Considered a watershed haven, it is 70 percent forestland. It is strategically bounded by the Sierra Madre Mountain Ranges, Caraballo Mountains, and Cordillera Mountains. It is also the gateway to the Cagayan Valley Region and the Banaue Rice Terraces, eighth Wonder of the World.


Long before its formal creation as an independent province, Quirino was the forest region of the province of Nueva Vizcaya, inhabited by tribal groups known as the Negritos. They roamed the hinterlands and built their huts at the heart of the jungle.

Quirino lies in the southeastern portion of Cagayan Valley. It is situated within the upper portion of the Cagayan River basin and bounded by Isabela on the north, Aurora on the east and southeast, and Nueva Vizcaya on the west and southwest.

The Ilocano dialect is used widely in the lowlands of the province’s various municipalities while Ifugao is predominant in the uplands.


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Old March 8th, 2008, 08:20 PM   #316
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Nueva Vizcaya eyes 1st class status

Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya -- Had it not for a change in the classification basis in 2001, the Nueva Vizcaya should have been a first–class province.

"The classification of a province changes every three years. If we use the 2001 classification basis, Nueva Vizcaya is already a first–class province," Perfecto Martinez, provincial treasurer told PIA.

He said the classification basis in 2003, where an increased income classification bracket was issued by the Commission on Audit (COA) placed the province under a second-class category.

Martinez said they are optimistic though that the classification basis will not change this year which is set as the next reclassification of local government units to enable the province into its elevation as a first-class LGU.

"Nueva Vizcaya now is a second-class province but operating as a first-class one," Martinez explained.

Second–class provinces are those LGUs who have annual average income for three years of P280 million or more but less than P350 million, according to the latest guidelines. (PIA NVizcaya)

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Old March 9th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #317
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Mining industry boom eyed for Cagayan Valley

Tuguegarao City -- The Mines and Geosciences Bureau (MGB) sees the operation of foreign mining firms in the Cagayan Valley Region as possible source of economic upliftment because of business and job opportunities and social development.

MGB regional director Albert Johann Jacildo said they have identified some areas in the region rich in minerals which they have opened to investors.

These areas are located in the northeastern part of Cagayan, in Quirino, Isabela and Nueva Vizcaya provinces which are rich in copper, nickel, chromites, magnesium, gold and other minerals.

Jacildo said the United States, Japan, China and India are possible investors in our mining industry because of their proximity to the region.

He likewise explained the benefits derived from mining like job opportunities, social and economic development of the area where mining takes place and increased revenue collection.

Jacildo lamented that mining activity in the region is very much opposed by the people because of social acceptability.

Despite advocacies on safe mining operations, they refuse to understand the benefits. They merely focus on its effect to the environment and on the lives of the people.

Jacildo explained that in the permit required from a mining company, the responsibilities during and after the mining exploration are clearly specified. There is also an agreement between the government and the mining firm that 10 years before the contract ends, a fund must be deposited in a bank which will be used for rehabilitation programs in case of destruction during the mining activity.

Another apparent problem in the rejection of certain mining projects is the refusal of some politicians to allow mining activities because of personal interests, Jacildo added. (PIA Cagayan)

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Old March 9th, 2008, 09:47 PM   #318
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Getting Lost: Hidden lagoon


Near the border of Aurora and Isabela is a well-kept secret. For six consecutive years that I had been cruising along the east side of Luzon I did not know it existed. The long stretch of white sand beach shielded it from view. Until one day, while heading north to Isabela, by the power of providence, we were forced to take shelter because of the sudden change in water condition.

The stream on the left closes off when the tide is low locking any boat that may have entered the lagoon. Photo courtesy of Chen Reyes-Mencias

Secret revealed

As we veered off towards shore I wondered where we could possibly be safe from the nasty waves. There were no small coves, no inlets or bays. And yet Ka Dolsing, our boat captain who had been plying this route for more than 25 years steered the boat towards the end of the beach near the rocky point. Curious, I walked towards the bow. The steel blue water gradually turned emerald green as it became shallower. As we went closer I noticed the tall agoho trees peeking from behind tall heaps of sand dunes. The steeply sloping shore indicates enormous waves that must have pushed sand up the beach. Suddenly Ka Dolsing signaled his crew to position themselves along the outriggers. I told myself that we could not possibly just anchor out here where we will be exposed to the waves.

“Saan tayo papunta?” (Where are we going) I could not help but ask.

“Papasok tayo diyan,” (We will go in there) he said stretching his neck to point towards the end of the beach with his puckered lips.

“Saan diyan?” (Where?) I asked again.

“Basta diyan. Makikita mo,” (Over there. You will see.) he replied.

Not too long the beach opened up to reveal a stream just wide and deep enough for the boat. Ka Dolsing expertly maneuvered the banca while the crew pushed the banks with their feet. Slowly we were able to inch our way in until the water became deep enough for it to move without being pushed. After some adrenaline pumping moments we found ourselves in a lagoon that was as still as water in a glass.

“Wow!” I screamed in delight at the enchanting view. I could not believe the magnificence of the landscape and seascape that unfolded before me. There were seven makeshift huts on the beach obviously made by Dumagats, but not we did not see even one of them.

Nature spa

The lagoon is fed by water from the forests of the Sierra Madre mountains and drains out to the sea through the stream. It is fringed by white sandy shores, thick beach forests and mangroves. A small protrusion of land that extends to the middle of the lagoon appears odd being covered with pine trees and wild grass that looked like they have just been mowed. It is a naturally landscaped environment that was simply enchanting.

Ka Dolsing anchored the boat and said that the tide was going down. Hence, we may be locked in for some time. True enough, in about an hour the lagoon turned into a wondrous patchwork of sand bars and shallow pools. The stream from where we came in became too shallow. Certainly there was no way we could possibly leave until the water has risen again.

The land protrusion however kept feeding the lagoon with cold fresh water from a tumbling brook. I decided to cool off and dip in one of the pools. I chose one that was right under a shady tree. It was heaven just lying there on the white sand while water flowed along my arms, legs and my entire body. I relaxed and dozed off a bit but was somehow still aware of what was going on around me. I heard the lapping of the water as it started rising again, I became aware of the sound of the tumbling brook, the flight of toucans in the distance and the swaying of tall trees as they danced with the breeze. It was the best spa treatment I have ever had.

Shark hunters

I was jolted from my reverie by the sound of motors. Two boats landed on shore. Since they could not get into the lagoon, the men on board simply pulled their boats up the beach. They were perhaps also trying to seek shelter. They were shark hunters who make a living selling shark fins to a buyer from Malabon. One of them was a man named Leonardo, a migrant from Quezon. People like him are called “unat” by the Dumagat because they do not have curly hair like they do. He told me that they sell the fins for P8,500 each but is sold several times more to restaurants. They showed me the head of a ten foot shark which they claim to be their biggest catch for the year.

Shark hunter. Shark fins are sold for P8,500.00 each but the creature’s ecological value is much much higher than this. Photo courtesy of Chen Reyes-Mencias

The frenzy for shark fin soup may have provided a livelihood for men like Leonardo but it has resulted in a disturbing decline in shark population in the wild. The trend is alarming since sharks play an important role in the balance of life. They are top predators culling out populations of species that they prey upon.

If we lose the sharks altogether a new organism will replace its niche and an unknown chain of events can follow. It will disturb the entire food web. Scientists believe that the rapid decline in shark population may be considered as an ecological time bomb. Humans are afraid of sharks and yet sharks seem to have more reasons to fear humans.

Dumagat village

Late in the afternoon when the tide was already high, three boats of Dumagat men, women and children came into the lagoon. These dark, short and curly-haired indigenous peoples are semi-nomads transferring from one place to another depending on where there is available food. They spent the whole day collecting shells, sea cucumbers and octopus from the inter-tidal zone and fishing in the reefs. And now they have come back home. I talked to the chief and asked permission for our group to stay for the night.

He said, “Malaki ang lugar para sa lahat.” (There is enough space for everyone).

The wonderful face of a Dumagat boy framed by speckles of sand. Photo courtesy of Chen Reyes-Mencias

As the day ended men and women settled in their huts while the children rushed to our boat out of curiosity. I asked the children if I could take their picture. They giggled and huddled together. I fired away and showed them their photos. They rolled all over the sand laughing their bellies off. Amid the hearty sound of laughter, fires were lit, water was fetched from the spring, root crops were cooked in pots and fish grilled.

As I stared at the fire, I wondered whether there is indeed space for everyone, in a world where humans seem to rule and other creatures like the shark end up at the mercy of our ignorance, arrogance and greed.

Article from Northern Dispatch Information Service
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Old March 14th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #319
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NVizcaya starts development of airport

BAGABAG, Nueva Vizcaya -- The development works of this town's airport has started last month, according to Air Transportation Office (ATO) officials here.

Jun Afan, officer-in-charge of the Bagabag Airport said they have started the construction of a three-storey Flight Service Station Building and rehabilitation of Power House with more than P 8.1 million fund for its implementation. "This project is expected to be completed in 210 days or seven months. Hopefully, it will be finished on time,"Afan told PIA.

The initial development works, Afan added is part of the full development and upgrading of the Bagabag Airport amounting to P73 million.

The development of the Bagabag Airport is one of the commitments of President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo in his 2007 State of the Nation Address(SONA) which is part of her intention to develop the full potentials of the province that will contribute to the North Luzon Agri-Business Quadrangle (NLAQ).

Afan also disclosed that the other upcoming works for the full development of the Airport here are the conrete paving of its horizontal facilities, security and perimeter fences, expansion of the terminal building and water supply system and acquisition of additional 7,100 square meter lot at the eastern end of the runway.

Afan also expressed optimism that when the Airport will be fully upgraded, more tourists will use the facility as a landing and take off point for their destination in Cagayan Valley and the Cordillera.

"With this development, it will boost tourism, generate employment and livelihood among the residents," he said.

In 2007, Afan said there were at least 200 passengers listed in the record of flights made within the Airport. He said that once the upgraded portions will be put in place, arrival of local and foreign tourists is expected to increase.

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Old March 14th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #320
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DepEd official opens Isabela sports meet, cites advantages

ILAGAN, Isabela -- A ranking official of the Department of Education underscored the importance of physical education and sports among the youth in fostering teamwork and discipline and developing healthy citizenry.

Addressing a mammoth crowd that attended the opening of the Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Association Meet at the Gov. Melanio T. Singson Sports Complex here, National Coordinator Feliciano Toledo II of the DepEd's Task Force on School's Sports said sports competition is appropriate in the education sector, to promote education and development of skills so that the youth can become better learners and productive citizens of the country"

Toledo also cited a provision in the Constitution mandating the promotion of physical education which gives emphasis on the importance of sports competition among the youth.

"Sports keeps mind healthy and good glands better. A healthy and physically fit citizenry begets development," the DepEd official added.

The Cagayan Valley Regional Athletic Association meet, which is perennially dominated by Cagayan and Isabela teams, groups the athletic delegations from the provinces of Cagayan, Quirino, Nueva Vizcaya, Batanes and Isabela and from Cauayan City and Tuguegarao City. (PIA-Isabela)

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