Monday, September 29, 2014

World Rabies Day

  1. Rabies is a zoonosis (a disease that is transmitted from animals to humans) that is caused by a virus. 
  2. It is known to be present in more than 150 countries and territories of all continents except Antarctica.
  3. Rabies is a 100% preventable disease that causes inflammation of the brain and eventual death. There is no way to stop or retard the progression of the disease once it has begun, and death almost always results within two weeks.
  4. Rabies is wide-spread and potentially threatens over 3 billion people in Asia and Africa, where people most at risk live in rural areas with very limited or no access to human vaccines and immunoglobulins.
  5. Rabies is present in the nerves and saliva of an infected animal. While human beings usually cannot fight a potential rabies infection without medication, some bird species have been known to develop antibodies and recover from the disease.
  6. September 28 is World Rabies Day and it has been recognised as such by the United Nations and marked every year since 2007. The first World Rabies Day campaign took place in September 2007 as a partnership between the Alliance for Rabies Control and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, USA (CDC), with the co-sponsorship of the World Health Organization (WHO), the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO/AMRO).The day has been chosen as the World Rabies Day because it is the death anniversary of Louis Pasteur, who developed the first rabies vaccine.
  7. There is hope for a cure for rabies. In 2004, American teenager Jeanna Giese became the first known person to have survived an infection of rabies without being vaccinated. She was bitten by a bat on her way back from school, and received no further treatment after the bite wound was treated with hydrogen peroxide. She developed neurological symptoms after 37 days and was eventually diagnosed with rabies. The doctors put Giese into an induced coma to temporarily halt brain function, which they thought would halt the progression of the disease. Giese was given a mixture of ketamine and midazolam to suppress brain activity, and the antiviral drugs ribavirin and amantadine, while waiting for her immune system to produce antibodies to attack the virus. The treatment succeeded and came to be known as the Milwaukee protocol. Though Giese had difficulty with walking and balance for several years hence, she became the first person to be cured of rabies.
  8. Similar treatment has proved successful in 2 of another 20 patients so far. Overall, the treatment seems to have a success rate of less than 10%. However, it provides hope for an eventual cure for rabies. Until then, it is best to take precautions to avoid animal bites, and seek immediate and appropriate treatment if bites occur.
  9. The problem with rabies is that symptoms do not usually occur immediately, but vaccinations must be taken within 48 hours (and an absolute maximum of a week) to prevent rabies from occurring after a dog bite. The symptoms (if post-exposure treatment is not taken promptly and correctly) usually manifest within one to three months, though there have been cases of symptoms occurring within a week, and after six years. The time lag between the bite and symptoms happens because the rabies virus must reach the central nervous system before the occurrence of symptoms. Additionally, it is thought that the distance of the place of bite from the brain and spinal cord also determines the period of onset of symptoms. According to WebMD, rabies symptoms initially feel like influenza. They include fever and tingling at the site of exposure (the bite). After a few days, the person may develop violent movements, fear of water (hydrophobia), paralysis of the body, inability to consume food, confusion, loss of consciousness and an urge to bite others. Paranoia, anxiety, double vision and hallucinations also may occur. The end result is almost always death. With the progression of the disease, the dog may become very sensitive to light, sound and touch. It may hide in dark places and develop paralysis of the throat muscles, which could result in foaming at the mouth. Paralysis of hind legs is also possible. Loss of appetite, weakness and seizures may also occur. Eventually, the dog dies.
  10. According to the National Guidelines on Rabies Prophylaxis (of the Government of India), firstly, it is essential to immediately wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. This is known to reduce the threat of infection. Next, it is necessary to visit a clinic which provides anti-rabies vaccination as soon as possible. The doctor usually checks the area of the bite and decides treatment based on it known as Post-Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP). The treatment usually involves administration of anti-rabies vaccine on days 0, 3, 7, 14 and 28. Rabies Immunoglobulin (RIG) is also administered. The treatment is given both intra-dermal and intra-muscular. A tetanus shot and a course of antibiotics may also be recommended.
  11. There are two types of Rabies Immunoglobulin (RIG), which is essential to prevent rabies (vaccination alone is not enough after being bitten). Either can be provided to the bitten person:
    1. Equine Rabies Immunoglobulin (ERIG): ERIG is produced from hyper-immunisation of equine animals. It is cheap and readily available in India. The dose of ERIG is 40 IU per kg body weight of patient.

      Purified chick embryo vaccine or purified duck embryo vaccine would be provided in addition to ERIG/HRIG.

    2. Human Rabies Immunoglobulin (HRIG): HRIG is expensive but free from any side effects. The dose of the HRIG is 20 IU per kg body weight. 
  12. It is important not to miss out on any anti-rabies doses. If a dose is missed on any day, it is necessary to take it as soon as possible. Abandonement of subsequent doses after the first medication on Day 0 can result in eventual development of rabies.

On World Rabies Day, here's all you need to know about rabies and its prevention
World Rabies Day
World Rabies Day From Wikipedia
World Rabies Day is September 28
Rabies still kills
World Rabies Day Raising Rabies Awareness
CDC Features World Rabies Day

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Miguel Malvar

  1. Miguel Malvar y Carpio was born on 27 September 1865 in New York street in Cubao, Quezon City, to Maximo Malvar (locally known as Capitan Imoy) and Tiburcia Carpio (locally known as Capitana Tibo).
  2. In 1891, Malvar married Paula Maloles who was the beautiful daughter of the capitan municipal of Santo Tomas, Don Ambrocio Maloles. Ulay, as she was locally known, bore Malvar thirteen (13) children, but only eleven (11) of them survived: Bernabe, Aurelia, Marciano, Maximo, Crispina, Mariquita, Luz Constancia, Miguel (Junior), Pablo, Paula, and Isabel. Malvar had the habit of bringing his family with him as he went to battled during the Philippine Revolution and the Philippine-American War. 
  3. General Malvar assumed command of the Philippine revolutionary forces when Emilio Aguinaldo surrendered to the Americans in 1901.
  4. General Malvar surrended to General J. Franklin Bell on 13 April 1902 mainly due to desertion of his top officers and to put an end to the sufferings of his countrymen.
  5. After the war, General Malvar refused any position which the Americans offered him and he died in Manila on 13 October 1911 due to liver failure.
  6. General Malvar was buried in his hometown, Santo Tomas, Batangas on 15 October 1911.
  7. According to some historians, he could have been listed as one of the presidents of the Philippines but is currently not recognized as such by the Philippine government.
  8. Malvar, Batangas is a second (2nd) class municipality which was named in honor of the late General Miguel Malvar.
  9. Malvar, Batangas was created a municipality by virtue of a proclamation by the acting Governor General of the Philippines Honorable Charles B. Yeater, on the 16th of December 1918. The proclamation took effect on 10 January 1919 and on the same day the municipality was inaugurated. Luta was Malvar's old name before it became a municipality.
  10. The Miguel Malvar class corvette was named after General Malvar which is a ship class of patrol corvettes of the Philippine Navy and are currently its oldest class of corvettes.
  11. On 18 September 2007 Congressman Rodolfo Valencia of Oriental Mindoro filed House Bill 2594 declaring General Malvar as the second Philippine President, alleging that it is incorrect to consider Manuel L. Quezon as the Second President of the Philippine Republic serving after Emilio Aguinaldo: "General Malvar took over the revolutionary government after General Emilio Aguinaldo, first President of the Republic, was captured on March 23, 1901, and [was] exiled in Hong Kong by the American colonial government---since he was next in command." Also, in October 2011, Vice President Jejomar Binay sought the help of historians in proclaiming revolutionary General Miguel Malvar as the rightful second President of the Philippines.

Miguel Malvar
Malvar, Batangas
Proclamation No. 853, s. 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

First Dismissed Sandiganbayan Justice

  1. Ong is the first Sandiganbayan justice dismissed by the high court. Prior to Ong, the anti-graft court indefinitely suspended Sandiganbayan Presiding Justice Francis Garchitorena in 2001.
  2. Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory S. Ong was dismissed on 23 September 2014 by the Supreme Court (SC) for “gross misconduct, dishonesty and impropriety” over his links to the alleged pork-barrel scam architect Janet Lim-Napoles.
  3. This was the second offense committed by Ong. In 2011, the SC ruled with finality that Ong had committed conduct unbecoming of justices when he and two other Sandiganbayan justices mishandlled the trial of cases in Davao City in April 2006. Assistant Prosecutor Rohermia Jamsani-Rodriguez had alleged that the anti-graft court's Fourth Division simultaneously heard two cases together, with Ong hearing one case by himself, while the two other magistrates heard the other. The Sandiganbayan's Fourth Division compromised their ability to function as a collegial body when its three members heard two cases simultaneously, the Supreme Court said in its ruling.
  4. Ong's dismissal came with the "forfeiture of all retirement benefits, except accrued leave benefits, if any, and with prejudice to reemployment in any branch, agency or instrumentality of the government including government-owned and controlled corporation." The SC said its decision was "immediately executory."
  5. Ong was born on 25 May 1953 in San Juan City, Manila. He finished elementary and high school education at the Philippine Chinese Chen Kuang (1966) and at the Jose Rizal College (with honors, 1970), respectively. He earned his AB Political Science degree at Far Eastern University (1975), and his Bachelor of Laws at San Beda College of Law (1979), where he became Grand Judex of Lex Talionis Fraternitas. He passed the 1979 Philippine Bar Examination with a bar rating of 76.45%. He studied Master of Laws at the Manuel L. Quezon University (1992).
  6. Ong was the most senior associate justice of the Sandiganbayan or the longest-sitting justice of the anti-graft court. Ong was appointed associate justice and the chair of the fourth division of the Sandiganbayan by former president and Manila City mayor Joseph “Erap” Estrada on 5 October 1998, making him the longest sitting justice. He was scheduled to retire 25 May 2023 when he reaches 70.
  7. He was promoted as SC justice on 16 May 2007 during the Arroyo administration but it was withdrawn after his citizenship was questioned. Since the creation of the Philippine Supreme Court in 1901, no presidential appointment of a Supreme Court Associate had ever been nullified by the High Tribunal. But on 3 July 2007 the Adolfo Azcuna judgment made history. The Court granted the petition of two foundations that sought to block Ong’s appointment over the citizenship issue. Azcuna wrote that Ong would be unable to join them on the bench "until he had proven in court that he was a natural-born Filipino citizen and corrected the records of his birth and citizenship". The court declared its decision to be final and effective immediately.
  8. Ong was the seventh richest associate justice in the Sandiganbayan with a net worth of P16 million, according to his 2014 Statement of Assets, Liabilities, and Net Worth (SALN).
  9. Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno ordered an investigation against Ong after Benhur Luy and Marina Sula, whistleblowers in the P10-billion pork barrel scam, accused the anti-graft court justice as the contact of Janet Lim-Napoles, alleged mastermind in the fund anomaly.
  10. Ong, was the chairman of the Sandiganbayan's Fourth Division, who allegedly fixed the 2010 decision that acquitted Napoles and her husband, Jaime, over the anomalous sale of 500 Kevlar helmets to the Philippine Marines in 1998.
  11. Napoles, currently detained on illegal detention charges and is facing separate graft and plunder charges, is accused of using bogus non-government organizations to misuse lawmakers' Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), the formal name of pork barrel. 
  12. Voting 8-5-2 or eight in favor of Ong’s dismissal, five against and two abstentions, the high court in a per curiam (by the court) decision said: The “totality of the circumstances of such association strongly indicates (Ong’s) corrupt inclinations that only heightened the public’s perception of anomaly in the decision making process.”
Those who voted for Ong’s dismissal were:
* Chief Justice Maria Lourdes Sereno,
* Senior Associate Justice Antonio Carpio,
* Associate Justices Arturo Brion,
* Mariano Del Castillo,
* Martin Villarama Jr.,
* Estella Perlas-Bernabe,
* Marvic Leonen,
* and Francis Jardeleza.
Those who dissented were:
* Associate Justices Lucas Bersamin,
* Presbitero Velasco,
* Jose Perez,
* Jose Mendoza, and
* Bienvenido Reyes.
Out of the 15 SC magistrates, two justices have abstained from the case — Teresita Leonardo-de Castro and Diosdado Peralta — former colleagues of Ong in the anti-graft court or the Sandiganbayan.

Sandiganbayan Justice Ong resigns
Palace lauds SC decision vs Ong
Sandiganbayan Justice Gregory Ong dismissed over Napoles link
Sandigan Justice Ong dismissed
Who is Sandiganbayan Associate Justice Gregory Ong?
Gregory S. Ong

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Martial Law in the Philippines

Proclamation No. 1081 read in part:
My countrymen, as of the twenty-first of this month, I signed Proclamation № 1081 placing the entire Philippines under Martial Law...
— Ferdinand Marcos, September 21, 1972

  1. Martial law in the Philippines (Tagalog: Batas Militar sa Pilipinas; Spanish: ley marcial en Filipinas) refers to several intermittent periods in Philippine history wherein the Philippine head of state (such as the President) proclaims that an area is placed under the control of the Armed Forces of the Philippines. Martial law is declared either when there is near-violent civil unrest or in cases of major natural disasters, however most countries use a different legal construct like "state of emergency".
  2. Typically, the imposition of martial law accompanies curfews, the suspension of civil law, civil rights, habeas corpus, and the application or extension of military law or military justice to civilians. Civilians defying martial law may be subjected to military tribunals (court-martial).
  3. On 30 August 1896, Spanish Governor-General Ramón Blanco, 1st Marquis of Peña Plata, declared "state of war" in the provinces of Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Pampanga, Tarlac, Laguna, Batangas, and Nueva Ecija and place them under martial law.
  4. On 23 June 1898, another decree signed by Emilio Aguinaldo was issued, replacing the Dictatorial Government with a Revolutionary Government, with himself as President.
  5. On 22 September 1944, martial law came into effect when President José P. Laurel of the wartime Second Philippine Republic (puppet-government under Japan) placed the Philippines under martial law in 1944 through Proclamation No. 29, dated 21 September 1944.  Proclamation No. 30 was issued the next day, declaring the existence of a state of war between the Philippines and the US and Great Britain. This took effect on 23 September 1944.
  6. On 21 September 1972, but it was actually signed on 17 September 1972 by President Ferdinand Marcos. The formal announcement of the proclamation was made only at seven-thirty in the evening of 23 September 1972, about twenty-two hours after he had commanded his military collaborators to start arresting his political opponents and close down all media and retail (fashion, food, religious, sports) establishments.
  7. Proclamation № 1081 was the declaration of Martial Law in the Philippines by President Ferdinand E. Marcos. It became effective throughout the entire country on 21 September 1972, and was announced to the public two days later. It was formally lifted on 17 January 1981—six months before the first presidential election in the Philippines in twelve years.
  8. Under the pretext of an assassination of then-Defence Secretary (now Senator) Juan Ponce Enrile and an ensuing Communist insurgency, President Marcos enacted the Proclamation that he might be able to rule by military power.
  9. He initially signed the Proclamation on 17 September 1972, but it was postdated to 21 September 1972 because of Marcos' superstitions and numerological beliefs. Marcos formally announced the Proclamation in a live television and radio broadcast from Malacañang Palace a further two days later on the evening of 23 September 1972.
  10. The following year, President Marcos replaced the 1935 Constitution with a new one that changed the system of government from a presidential to a parliamentary one, with himself remaining in power as both head of state (with the title "President") and head of government (titled "Prime Minister"). President Marcos also manipulated elections and had his political coalition–the Kilusang Bagong Lipunan (KBL; English: New Society Movement)–control the unicameral legislature he created, known as the Batasang Pambansa.
  11. President Marcos formally lifted Martial Law on 17 January 1981, several weeks before the first pastoral visit of Pope John Paul II to the Philippines for the beatification of Lorenzo Ruiz.
  12. On 4 December 2009, in the wake of the Maguindanao massacre, Macapagal-Arroyo placed Maguindanao province under a state of martial law, through Proclamation No. 1959. The declaration also suspended the writ of habeas corpus in the province. The announcement was made days after hundreds of government troops were sent to the province, which would later raid armories of the powerful Ampatuan clan. The Ampatuan family was implicated in the massacre, which saw the murder of 57 persons, including women members of the rival Mangudadatu clan, human rights lawyers, and 31 media workers. This was considered the worst incident of political violence in the nation's history. It has also been condemned worldwide as the worst loss of life of media professionals in one day in the history of journalism. Macapagal-Arroyo lifted the state of martial law in Maguindanao on 12 December 2009.


Proclamation No. 1081
Martial law in the Philippines

Thursday, September 18, 2014

12 2nd Big Apple Awardees including 1 Filipino

The Big Apple Awards is a citywide recognition program open to all full-time teachers in New York City public schools. Twelve award recipients, along with more than 100 finalists and semi-finalists, were honored in a ceremony at Gracie Mansion.

“Teachers are the heart and soul of all our schools, and these awards recognize the transformational impact they have on our students and families every single day,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. 

The winners of the second (2nd) annual Big Apple Awards: Recognizing Teacher Excellence in New York City, which celebrate the incredible and life-changing work of public school teachers in New York City.
  1. Phyllis Berk Pre-Kindergarten teacher, P.S. 188 Kingsbury (26Q188) Phyllis Berk is a passionate advocate for pre-kindergarten because, as she says, “this is where it all starts.” From exploring the type of cloud that will hold the most water to using a Vaseline-covered leaf to make predictions (along with a game of telephone), Phyllis mixes creativity and rigor to create a classroom environment where each child is valued and challenged. She also helps her students see beyond their classroom by engaging in a pen pal program with students in Botswana. (Her students have corresponded with pictures and letters, and led a fundraising drive for a new library). As an active UFT delegate, Phyllis facilitates dialogue between faculty and school leadership, leading to solutions that support the entire school community.
  2. Margaret Boyd 7th grade Math teacher, New York City Lab Middle School for Collaborative Studies (02M312) Margaret Boyd “is passionate about math, and her love of teaching comes across in lessons which make learning math fun,” a parent of a student in her class writes. Her classroom exudes joy; students recently passionately debated which polygons would have the greatest area (no rulers allowed!). Margaret also provides opportunities for her students to demonstrate their expertise as “mathletes” in the Continental Math League, the AMC8, and the New York Math League. In addition to her responsibilities as the math chair, Margaret is committed to providing a safe space for all students to learn, including by serving as a school-wide dean and helping craft the school’s anti-bullying policy.
  3. Ramil Buenaventura 7th and 8th grade Math teacher, Renaissance Charter School (84Q705) Ramil Buenaventura moved to New York after 13 years as a school teacher and administrator in the Philippines. With ten years under his belt working here, his classroom provides exceptional examples of integrating mathematical practices and common core standards into math lessons. Ramil uses project-based learning, "pi" challenges, and student-created videos to help his class achieve.  And he continues to maintain a close relationship with his country of origin: After Typhoon Haiyan devastated the Philippines last fall, he coordinated a School Relief Drive for victims with his advisory class. All of his efforts, Ramil says, are worth it for the success he sees in his students: “This is the essence of why I am a teacher.  As I see these gains and successes, they challenge me to gain more so I can give more.”
  4. Nekesha Bynum 3rd grade teacher, P.S. 310 (20K310) “In this class, one of the important lessons we learn every day is the importance of sharing,” explains one of Nekesha Bynum’s students. Indeed, excitement was abounding on a recent morning when students were able to mix and mingle to Pharrell’s “Happy” and then asked to freeze to share a new learning with a partner. Nekesha’s enthusiasm and expertise has led to great gains for her students, with 86% of her students advancing more than four reading levels during each of the last four years. She says her nine years in the classroom has led to her finding additional ways to support the learning of her colleagues; Nekesha serves as a member of the Core Instructional Team, a mentor teacher, and an adjunct professor at Brooklyn College.
  5. Doreen Donnelly 3rd grade teacher, TAG Young Scholars (04M012) Colleagues describe Doreen Donnelly’s classroom as “a mecca for teacher training.” She invites her students to make their thinking visible, often through a shared text. (A recent class involved her third-graders looking at figurative text in Langston Hughes’ “A Dream Deferred” and then creating their own poems). In addition to this shared inquiry approach, Doreen has leveraged her previous experience  managing a media company to collaborate with a non-profit theatre troupe, “The Story Pirates,” to encourage more creative writing at her school. She also designed and launched a morning and afterschool program for students who needed additional support. Her investment in her school community has paid off: This past year TAG Young Scholars was named one of the top-performing 25 schools in all of New York State. 
  6. Irina Gonzalez 8th grade Social Studies teacher, J.H.S. 123 James M. Kieran (08X123) Her principal says that Irina Gonzalez “works tirelessly on behalf of her students and our entire school community.” Her nominator, a colleague at her school, says she is a “prototype of what an exemplary teacher should be.” In just two years, Irina has contributed in significant ways to her school and her classroom: leading and chairing the Social Studies department, creating new document-based questions to support her English Language Learners, and coaching her students to a third place victory at the National History Day Regional Competition. In addition, Irina continues to pursue her own professional development by representing her school at the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, which is committed to the improvement of history education.
  7. Joseph Pesqueira 11th grade Social Studies teacher, Bronx Center for Science and Mathematics (09X260) One of his students describes Joseph Pesqueira as the “most dedicated person I know…not only is he there as a teacher, but he is a great man overall.” His student-centered classroom is often “flipped,” which means students take notes on pre-recorded online lessons at home and then come to class ready for rich classroom discussion. (To ensure access, Joseph comes to school early every morning to provide computers to students who do not have Internet at home). A recent discussion on which piece of literature was most important in the development of America included a comparison to the Declaration of the Independence as a ‘break-up letter.’ His work has led to great success for his students: His principal noted that an unprecedented 96 % of his U.S. History students passed the Regents exam, with three out of four students passing with an 80 or higher.
  8. Jessica Russo Special Education teacher (Grades 2-5), P.S. 55 Henry M. Boehm (31R055) “Jessica is one of the most amazing teachers I have ever met,” writes a parent. “She taught my daughter, who has Down syndrome, things that I only dreamed she would be able to do.” Jessica Russo carefully matches the needs of her exceptionally diverse set of learners to an expansive repertoire of instructional strategies. Her positive classroom environment, the real-life connections she makes with her students, and the seamless integration of paraprofessionals in her classroom together provide tremendous support to her students. She is also a resource for colleagues, serving as a mentor, a member of the RTI team, and a model classroom teacher for other special education teachers in the district.
  9. Jacqueline Stokes Special Education (District 75, students 16-21), The Richard H. Hungerford School (75R721), Stapleton, Staten Island Jacqueline Stokes has been a valued part of the Richard Hungerford School since she asked to be a volunteer there at the age of 11. She kept coming back – first as a sign language paraprofessional for seven years and now as an educator who is known for her passion and her partnerships with her students’ families, including daily phone calls to discuss her students’ successes. Outside of the classroom, Jaqueline continuously seeks opportunities to develop her professional skills to ensure she meets her students’ needs; she attended the TEACH program at Duke University, is ABA trained, and supports new teachers at Bank Street who are working with students with Autism. Her dedication to her students’ success has resulted in the highest scores on alternative-assessments at her school. 
  10. Kathryn Vitale 8th grade English Language Arts teacher, Frederick Douglass Academy VIII Middle School (19K452) On Kathryn Vitale’s classroom door, students see the following message: “Welcome. Take off your shoes and stay a while. This place is HOME. Here, your voice matters. Here, you are part of something special, and it is only special because you are here.” Indeed, Kathryn makes every day special because of her ability to, in the words of her principal, “think of innovative ways to make concepts like ‘central idea’ cool.” Her scholars drive the learning in her classroom and beyond, where they participate in her school’s NYC Urban Debate League team (which Kathryn started), poetry slams at the Nuyorican Poets Cafe, and writing retreats at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Kathryn also contributes to her larger school community, including revamping her school’s extended day program and creating opportunities for colleagues to teach together and learn from each other’s practices.
  11. April Yee 1st grade (Bilingual) teacher, P.S. 105 The Blythebourne (20K105) When you walk into April Yee’s classroom, you can feel the positive energy as you see her first graders take on leadership roles – coordinating transitions, giving each other constructive feedback, and even rewarding each other with stickers. As an English Language Learner herself, Chun Yan knows what it takes to support each and every one of her 32 students, many of whom are newcomers to the United States. Her students benefit greatly from her dedication: they have the greatest NYSESLAT growth in her school, with 80% of students exiting her class on or above grade-level. Her commitment to her school extends beyond her classroom, too: April Yan engages in professional learning, writes curriculum maps, and mentors novice teachers. As she describes it: “Teaching is not a job or even a career; it is my life.”
  12. Laurence Minetti High School Art teacher, Collegiate Institute for Math and Science (11X288) Big Apple Arts Award Recipient “My school is my home,” Laurence Minetti says. Laurence has the unique opportunity to teach at the same high school campus from which he proudly graduated, and to follow the footsteps of his mother, who was also an educator. His nominator describes his classroom as a “laboratory for his colleagues to visit.” Indeed, it’s a place where self-expression is encouraged and where students learn to be “constructive critics.” As a result, his students see art as a way to build self-confidence, motivation, and courage. His students 'masterpieces are exhibited throughout the entire building. Laurence takes on leadership roles outside of the classroom, training staff on the Common Core shifts, helping to launch an AP Art Studio class on the campus, and organizing a $10,000 beautification initiative.
Eligibility: current, full-time NYC Department of Education and charter school teachers who have demonstrated exceptional success in the following areas: Impact of Students’ Learning + Instructional Practices + Professional Contributions.


Wednesday, September 17, 2014

17 September 2014, 399th Foundation Day Los Baños, Laguna

  1. Los Baños is a first class urban municipality in the province of Laguna, Philippines. 
  2. The town is located 63 kilometres (39 mi) southeast of Manila and is accessible via the South Luzon Expressway.
  3. Los Baños has a total land area of 56.5 square kilometers (5,650 hectares) and is bordered on the south and southwest by Mount Makiling, on the north by Laguna de Bay, on the northwest by Calamba City and on the east by the town of Bay. 
  4. The town of Los Baños is crossed by five rivers or creeks:
    1. The Dampalit river, which is named after an edible herb Sesuvium portulacastrum which often grows near river shores, originates on the north face of Mt. Makiling east of the Philippine High School for the Arts, and feeds into Laguna lake at the boundary of Barangays Lalakay and Bambang.
    2. The Saran creek, whose headwaters begin somewhere near the municipal dumpsite, flows through Barangay Anos near the municipal cemetery, and feeds into the lake at Barangay Malinta.
    3. The Pele or Pili creek, named after the Pili tree (Canarium ovatum), flows through the west side of Barangay Batong Malake and has its mouth at the boundary of Barangays Malinta and Mayondon.
    4. The Molawin River, most familiar to UPLB students because it flows through the UPLB campus and the Makiling Botanic Gardens, is named after the Molave tree (Vitex parviflora).
    5. The Maitim river, whose name simply means 'black', flows through the westernmost portions of Los Baños, marking the town's boundary with its neighboring town of Bay. The Molawin and Maitim rivers merge just a few meters before feeding into Laguna de Bay at the shore of Barangay Maahas
  5. The town's name literally means bathing places and it was once called as "the town with many hot baths" during the Spanish period. 
  6. Los Baños started as a settlement, a barrio of Bay, called Mainit, the Tagalog term for "hot" and alludes to the thermal springs at the foot of Mount Makiling and by 1589, through a Franciscan Friar, it became popularly called by its present name: "Los Baños," which is Spanish for "bathing place."
  7. In 1595, a temporary building made of bamboo and cogon was built to serve as shelter for the patients who journeyed to Mainit to seek cures for their ailments. It was on 15 September 1615 when the Friars administered Los Baños as a separate town from Bay.
  8. The early traders from Las Pinas such as the "Eusebio clan" and from Manila the "Lopez clan" are considered the earliest to have established farming and business establishment in the area followed by the Kalaws, Clemente and De Castro clan who are all related to each other.
  9. One of the country's leading academic institutions, the Univerity of the Philippines Los Baños (UPLB), was founded as the College of Agriculture in 1909 and being a center of knowledge in various fields especially in the sciences, Los Baños is widely known as a "Special Science and Nature City of the Philippines." and the town was proclaimed as such on 17 September 2000 by then President Joseph Estrada. 
  10. Los Baños also hosts other foreign and local and international research centers, such as the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI), the Philippine Rice Research Institute (Philrice), the Philippine Carabao Center at the Univerity of the Philippines Los Baños (PCC at UPLB), The ASEAN Center for Biodiversity, National Institute for Molecular Biology and Biotechnology (NIMBB/BIOTECH), and the Southeast Asian Ministers of Education Organization-Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture (SEAMEO-SEARCA).  
  11. Los Baños is also famous for its delicacy, the buko pie or coconut pie. Dairy products such as fresh milk, chocolate milk, kesong puti or native white cheese, pastillas, and yogurt are available at the Dairy Training and Research Institute (DTRI) and at the Philippine Carabao Center which are both located at UPLB.

Los Baños, Laguna
Proclamation No. 852, s. 2014
Los Baños

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Magnificent 12 or Malevolent 12?

1991 was the year that was...

In 1991, the Philippine Senate rejected the US bases treaty in a vote of 12-11. The 12 senators became known as the “Magnificent 12.”

Now called the Magnificent 12, they were derided then as the Dirty Dozen and accused of being out of touch with the rest of the country.

The Magnificent 12 comprised then senators Agapito Aquino, Sotero Laurel II, Ernesto Maceda Jr., Orlando Mercado, Aquilino Pimentel Jr.,Rene Saguisag, Jovito Salonga, Wigberto Tanada, and Victor Ziga supported Resolution No, 1259 of Non-Concurrence to a "Treaty of Friendship, Cooperation and Security" or the proposed agreement that would have allowed the US military bases to stay in the country for another decade.
  1. Former senator and senate president (July 27, 1987-January 1, 1992), Jovito R. Salonga -
    "In our history as a nation, our best years were when we took our destiny in our hands and faced the uncertain future with boldness and hope and faith. Those were the times when Filipinos experienced a sense of national renewal and self-respect. The Revolution of 1896, the battle for the liberation of the Philippines from 1942 to 1945, the struggle for freedom during the darkest years of Martial Law culminating in the mountain peak experience of EDSA in February 1986, how can we ever, ever forget these high moments in the life of this nation?

    "September 16, 1991 may well be the day when we in the Senate found the soul, the true spirit of this nation because we mustered the courage and the will to declare the ned of foreign military presence in the Philippines, and helped pave the way to lasting peace here and in the world. "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they sall be called the children of God", our Lord said in His deathless sermon on the mount.

    "Therefore, I vote No to this treaty, and if it were only possible, I would vote 203 million times No. I also vote as sounding YES to this resolution of non-concurrence.

    "Salamat po at Mabuhay and bansang Pilipinas"
  2. Former senator, Sotero H. Laurel -
    "I realized, Mr. President, how difficult it is for propularly elected public officials to disagree with the sovereigh people on matters that directly or indirectly affect them. Easier it is for them to say "Show me where the people are going, and I shall lead them". But the times, Mr. President, call for moral courage: the courage to differ and take a position on controversial issues in the larger interest of all the people themselves. It is now time for inspired and well-informed leadership, and it is itme for leaders to lead.

    "In the pursuit of our common goal to build a new world order of democracy, peace, freedom, and security, it is also better, I believe, to be a strong independent ally than remain a weak and subservient sattelite. For these considerations, Mr. President, based on law and reason, I vote for the resolution of non-concurrence, which of course, means I also vote against the treaty."
  3. Former senator and senate president (November 17, 2008-June 30, 2010 & July 26, 2010-June 5, 2013), Juan Ponce Enrile - "We collectively echoed the sentiment of the Filipino people to unshackle themselves."
    "I have a higher estimation of our people's capabilities than this moment entertains. I have a higher opinion of Filipino courage than this government has, because it rescued me at EDSA. I calculate a higher sum of our military's collective strength than its poor leadership claims for it, because I saw it go through many victories in my time. Finally, I have a higher vision of this country's destiny than as a depot of diminishing importance of a foreign power.

    "The country we can be - strong, proud, progressive - is dying to be born, but cannot until this unequal relationship expires. A new dawn is aching to break but cannot until the senate lays down its final verdict on the U.S. bases and a long unequal relationship.

    "That verdict can only be as I hereby vote: no, no and no. No more and never again. God save the Republic.

    "Long live the Filipino people.
  4. Former senator and President of the Philippines, Joseph Ejercito "Erap" Estrada - "our finest hour"
    "We have a shameful past which we now must redeem. Let this be our finest hour as we face the judgement of history.

    "Kinakailangan po natin ngayon na magkaisa. Kinakailangan na po nating magbuklod-buklod... sa iisang diwa... sa iisang layunin... sa iisang paninindigan at paniniwala... na tayong mga Pilipino lang ang makakapagligtas sa kapwa Pilipino. At kapag nagawa po natin ito, sisikat na muli ang araw sa lupang hinirang.

    "We must now complete the unfinished task -- our unfinished revolution, not with bloodshed as our forefathers did, but with the stroke of a pen. We merely have to sacrifice our comforts while our forefathers had to give up their lives."
  5. Former senator, Victor Ziga - "one of my proudest moments because the Senate had been able to resist fancy rhetoric and cheap propaganda."
    There appears to be a growing orchestrated attempt to create a supposed clamor for the ratification of the proposed treaty. The tactics being employed remind us of the same attempts to gain popular acceptance for martial rule.

    I refuse to ride the crest of this fleeting popularity. I refuse to be deceived by fancy rhetoric and cheap propaganda. I refuse to sacrifice our national interest in exchange for a bundle of vague promises. Rather, I choose to continue to work for what I believe is right and just for our country. I therefore submit my action to the lasting judgement of history with my conscience and my conviction as my cause.
  6. Former senator, Agapito "Butz" Aquino, brother-in-law to then President Corazon Aquino - "I love my country more than I love my President."
    "I am calling on the Filipino people to take heart in this dawn of our nation's birth. With our redeemed pride and honor, let us join hands, roll up our sleeves, and get down to work toward the long-overdue overhaul of our society. Together let us hasten the emergence of a hardworking, confident, self-reliant, community-oriented, civic-minded, and law-abiding citizenry.

    "By insisting on my stand of rejection, I have risked the comtempt of my friends, lost the support of my constituency, and earned the anger of the president whose opinion and approval I value. Nevertheless, I stand firm in my decision to vote against the proposed treaty. As i have already said, I love my country more than I love my President"
  7. Former senator and senate president (November 13, 2000-June 30, 2001), Aquilino Pimentel Jr., - "Go ahead. Do your worst and we shall do our best." 
    "We who vote on this treaty have been subjected not only to pressures, but also to threats. In my case let me tell all concerned that during the past regime, I have laid my life on the line. I have been arrested and jailed no less than four times. I have been ousted from office twice - all because I would not bow down to the imposition of a dictatorship that was, by the way, kept in place through U. S. support, and because I had wanted to contribute my bit to keep alive the flame of freedom that illuminates the country today.

    "On this day, therefore - the day of our final deliverance, I hope, from the clutches of a colonial power - I say to those who threaten us with political oblivion or physical extinction for our vote of rejection: Go ahead, do your worst, because we will do our best"
  8. Quezon Representative Lorenzo Tanada III, son of former senator Wigberto Tanada - "the bases treaty gave US forces 500 hectares of what had been hunting grounds of the indigenous Aetas of Zambales. The Aetas were given the exclusive right to scavenge off the scraps." 
    "Today is our turn to perform our duty to history".

    These words were uttered five years ago, yet they now are more relevant than ever. In the words of Senator Lorenzo M. Tanada "We could live with certain shortcomings or even mistakes in the choices we may make regarding our form of government or electoral systems, but in the matter of drafting or enforcing a sovereign charter or defining a self determined direction for our future, we cannot shirk our historic responsibility, in the supreme task in building a sovereign nation.
    Mga kababayan, tanggihan natin ang tratadoing ito. Tanggapin natin ang pagsubok nang pambansang kasarinlan at kapangyarihan tungo sa kapayaan. Ngayon na! Mabuhay ang sambayanang Filipino.
  9. Former senator, Orlando Mercado, who served as Defense secretary under Estrada - "today, we have only ourselves to blame and to praise" and "the plan is that we will stand on our own."
    "With my vote, I call upon the people to hold firmly and dearly on to national pride and self-respect. These are not mere words, as some of those driven by despondency to cynicism sneer at. "We cannot eat our pride", they say, and appealing to basic needs, ridicule the people's capacity to sacrifice with dignity intact. They would want us to swallow our pride by accepting this grossly inequitable treaty.

    "National pride and self-respect are not mere words. They are solid and indispensible values that we must nurture and strengthen within ourselves. They are what make a nation and not just a population.

    Vote YES to non-concurrence"
  10. Former senator, Rene A.V. Saguisag -
    "It is true that jobs and money may be lost; however, this expected consequence yields to time and effort. But no nation becomes great without being prepared to give up much more than these. Success as a nation can only come after effort, unity, hard work, and fervent prayer. And it crowns struggle, sacrifice, selflessness, self-reliance, and self liberates from the dangers of our own fears, insecurities, diffendence, and timidity.

    I vote YES to friendship. I vote YES to cooperation. I vote NO to the basing rights agreement - one thousand and one times NO."
  11. Former senator and senate president (October 10, 1996-January 26, 1998), Ernesto Maceda -  
    "I refuse to be hounded by the phantoms of Malacanang, I heed the call and clamor of the youth who have shouted so long , "This is our generation, this is our future. Set us free today. Unchain us now. Vote NO to further domination by the United states".

    "I share in the dream of those who will not surrender to despair; and so in conscience I join them in rejecting this dracula of a treaty, this insult to the national intelligence, this disgrace to the worst diplomacy. I join them in following my conscience in rejecting this document.

    "In this summer of disaster and discontent, I vote NO to a document of emnity, division and disadvantage, and another instrument of surrender.
    "Mr. President, at three o'clock in the afternoon for God and country, consummatum est"
  12. Former senator and vice president of the Philippines, Teofisto T. Guingona, Jr. -  
    "This is a decision to break off from the shackles of the past. It is time we came into our own, time to become fully self-reliant, time to stand by ourselves in cooepration with others as equals, time to end our dependency relationship with the United States of America, which it spawned at times to their interest and advantage.
    "Men like Andres Bonifacio, Manuel L. Quezon, Claro M. Recto, and Lorenzo M. Tanada dreamt of breaking the shackles of foreign dominance. We are Filipinos, and the destiny of our nation lies in us. Let us stand together. Let us face the challenge. Let us build the future"

Enrile: US access to PH bases may violate law
Primer on EDCA, by one of ‘Magnificent 12’
Where are the magnificent 12 the dirty dozen?
Senators remember day when they rejected US bases treaty
20 years later, senators who rejected US bases hailed anew
'Magnificent 12' members join 20th anniversary celebration of US bases rejection
Lessons from September 16
Beyond Sight – The false patriots
The Day the Impossible Happened
The Magnificent 12 and the U.S. BASES
September 16, 1991: The Day the Senate said ‘No!’ to Uncle Sam
Philippine Senate terminates US bases

President of the Senate of the Philippines
Roll of Senate Presidents

Monday, September 15, 2014

16 September, Foundation Day of Bontoc, Mountain Province

  1. Bontoc (Filipino: Bayan ng Bontoc), (Pangasinan: Baley na Bontoc) is a second class municipality and the capital of Mountain Province, Philippines. 
  2. Bontoc is the historical capital of the entire Cordillera region since the inception of governance in the Cordillera.
  3. The province is very mountainous. The word Bontoc is derived from two morphemes “bun” meaning heap and “tuk” meaning top which when taken together means mountain.
  4. Kane, American Supervisor and then Governor, established the capital here after the Philippine Commission passed the Mountain Province Act, building a provincial building, hospital, doctor's office, nurse's home, a school, provincial prison and the Tagudin-Bontoc trail, which by 1926, could accommodate a small car.
  5. The municipality also celebrates annual Am-among Festival and Lang-ay Festival.
  6. BONTOC lies on the banks of the Chico River about an hour east of Sagada. Primarily used by tourists as a transport hub, the town is also a good base for trekking and has easy access to the beautiful Maligcong rice terraces.
  7. Bontoc is home to the Bontoc Tribe, a feared war-like group of indigenous people who actively indulged in tribal wars with its neighbours up until the 1930s. Every Bontoc male had to undergo a rites of passage into manhood, which may include head hunting, where the male has to journey (Sometimes with companions) and hunt for a human head. The Bontocs also used the jaw of the hunted head as a handle for its gongs, and as late as the early 1990s, evidence of this practice can be seen from one of the gongs in Pukisan, Bontoc.
  8. Bontoc is the home of the Ifuntok Language, which has variable dialects under it. However, the Original Ifuntok Language is fast dying out, as more of the younger generations speak a mixture of Ilocano, Tagalog, and Kankanaey Dialects. This is partly due to the frequent contact of the younger generations with other regions of the Philippine nation. Some words are not in use anymore. Within the Bontoc proper, only 40% of the local population can communicate using this language without diluting their daily language with other languages/dialects.
  9. The local economy depends largely on small trades and agriculture. This capital town's biggest economic potential is tourism with its smaller rice terraces in Barangay Bay-yo, Maligcong and other areas.
  10. The road from Baguio to BONTOC is the Halsema Highway or “Mountain Trail”, a narrow, serpentine gash in the side of the Cordillera that’s sometimes no more than a rocky track with vertical cliffs on one side and a sheer drop on the other.
  11. Fourteen (14) people, that included Filipino comedian Tado Jimenez, a Dutch woman named Ann Van de Ven and a Canadian man named Alex Loring, were killed when a bus fell into a 500-meter-deep ravine in Sitio Pagang at 7:20 a.m. on 7 February 2014.

Local Government of Bontoc Mountain Province, Philippines
Bontoc, Mountain Province
Proclamation No. 859, s. 2014
TripAdvisor Bontoc Philippines
Bontoc bus crash may have been caused by loose brakes—LTFRB chair

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Some September Celebrations in the Philippines

  1. TUNA SA GENSAN or TUNA FESTIVAL - (General Santos City) 3-5 September or 5-12 September
  2. HADANG FESTIVAL - (Calbayog, Samar) 7 September
  3. KARATONG FESTIVAL - (Dulag, Leyte) 7 September
  4. SARAKIKI - (Calbayog City, Samar) 1-8 September "The Filipino passion for cockfighting is celebrated with dancing and costumes which mimic the movements and appearance of the brave birds."
  5. PANAGDADAPUN - (Cabarroquis, Quirino) 8-10 September "Presentation of 19 cultural groups residing in the province."
  6. BONOK-BONOK FESTIVAL & SILOP CAVE ADVENTURE - (Surigao City) 9 September or 10 September "Behind Surigao's talented culture is its original tribal background. The Surigaonons go back to their roots this month as they celebrate their heritage with a loud, noisy street dancing parade."
  7. PEÑAFRANCIA VIVA LA VIRGEN (Naga City, Bicol Region) - 2nd to 3rd week of September or 16 September (3rd Saturday of September) "Bicol Region's largest celebration is an annual affair that combines religion with culture and tradition, stuffing it all in a 9-day fiesta of biblical proportions."
  8. T'BOLI TRIBAL - (South Cotabato) Third Week of September "The culture of this unique tribe is celebrated in South Cotabato."
  9. KASADYA FESTIVAL - (Iligan City, Lanao Del Norte) 28-29 September 
  10. ARAW NG SIQUIJOR - (Siquijor) Third Week of September "Solili street dancing depicts the marriage rituals of the locals in Siquijor."
  11. BANIGAN FESTIVAL - (Basey, Samar) 28–-29 September 
  12. D'DALAYLAY FESTIVAL - (Jalajala, Rizal) 29 September 

Philippine Festivals
Monthly Celebrations

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Leo Tolstoy

  1. Count Lev Nikolayevich Tolstoy also known as Leo Tolstoy, was a Russian writer, philosopher and political thinker who primarily wrote novels and short stories, born on 9 September 1828 at Yasnaya Polyana, the family estate in the Tula region of Russia.
  2. The Tolstoys were a well-known family of old Russian nobility. He was the fourth of five children of Count Nikolai Ilyich Tolstoy, a veteran of the Patriotic War of 1812, and Countess Mariya Tolstaya (Volkonskaya). Tolstoy's parents died when he was young, so he and his siblings were brought up by relatives.
  3. During his 1857 visit, Tolstoy witnessed a public execution in Paris, a traumatic experience that would mark the rest of his life. Writing in a letter to his friend Vasily Botkin: "The truth is that the State is a conspiracy designed not only to exploit, but above all to corrupt its citizens ... Henceforth, I shall never serve any government anywhere."
  4. On 23 September 23, 1862, Tolstoy married Sophia Andreevna Behrs, who was 16 years his junior and the daughter of a court physician. She was called Sonya, the Russian diminutive of Sofya, by her family and friends. They had thirteen children: 
    1. Count Sergei Lvovich Tolstoy (July 10, 1863 -– December 23, 1947), composer and ethnomusicologist
    2. Countess Tatyana Lvovna Tolstaya (October 4, 1864 -– September 21, 1950), wife of Mikhail Sergeevich
    3. Sukhotin Count Ilya Lvovich Tolstoy (May 22, 1866 –- December 11, 1933), writer 
    4. Count Lev Lvovich Tolstoy (June 1, 1869 – October 18, 1945), writer and sculptor
    5. Countess Maria Lvovna Tolstaya (1871–1906), wife of Nikolai Leonidovich Obolensky
    6. Count Peter Lvovich Tolstoy (1872–1873), died in infancy
    7. Count Nikolai Lvovich Tolstoy (1874–1875), died in infancy
    8. Countess Varvara Lvovna Tolstaya (1875–1875), died in infancy
    9. Count Andrei Lvovich Tolstoy (1877–1916), served in the Russo-Japanese War
    10. Count Michael Lvovich Tolstoy (1879–1944)
    11. Count Alexei Lvovich Tolstoy (1881–1886)
    12. Countess Alexandra Lvovna Tolstaya (July 18, 1884 –- September 26, 1979)
    13. Count Ivan Lvovich Tolstoy (1888–1895)
  5. The marriage was marked from the outset by sexual passion and emotional insensitivity when Tolstoy, on the eve of their marriage, gave her his diaries detailing his extensive sexual past and the fact that one of the serfs on his estate had borne him a son.
  6. The Tolstoy family left Russia in the aftermath of the Russian Revolution, and Leo Tolstoy's descendants today live in Sweden, Germany, the United Kingdom, France and the United States. Among them are Swedish singer Viktoria Tolstoy and Swedish landowner Christopher Paus, Herresta.
  7. Tolstoy returned to Yasnaya Polyana and founded thirteen schools for his serfs' children, based on the principles Tolstoy described in his 1862 essay "The School at Yasnaya Polyana". Tolstoy's educational experiments were short-lived, partly due to harassment by the Tsarist secret police. However, as a direct forerunner to A. S. Neill's Summerhill School, the school at Yasnaya Polyana can justifiably be claimed the first example of a coherent theory of democratic education.
  8. Tolstoy was a master of realistic fiction and is widely considered one of the greatest novelists of all time. He is best known for two long novels, War and Peace (1869) and Anna Karenina (1877).
  9. Tolstoy is equally known for his complicated and paradoxical persona and for his extreme moralistic and ascetic views, which he adopted after a moral crisis and spiritual awakening in the 1870s, after which he also became noted as a moral thinker and social reformer.
  10. A 2009 film about Tolstoy's final year, The Last Station, based on the novel by Jay Parini, was made by director Michael Hoffman with Christopher Plummer as Tolstoy and Helen Mirren as Sofya Tolstoya. Both performers were nominated for Oscars for their roles. There have been other films about the writer, including Departure of a Grand Old Man, made in 1912 just two years after his death, How Fine, How Fresh the Roses Were (1913), and Leo Tolstoy, directed by and starring Sergei Gerasimov in 1984.
  11. There is also a famous lost film of Tolstoy made a decade before he died. In 1901, the American travel lecturer Burton Holmes visited Yasnaya Polyana with Albert J. Beveridge, the U.S. senator and historian. As the three men conversed, Holmes filmed Tolstoy with his 60-mm movie camera. Afterwards, Beveridge's advisers succeeded in having the film destroyed, fearing that documentary evidence of a meeting with the Russian author might hurt Beveridge's chances of running for the U.S. presidency.
  12. Tolstoy died on 20 November 1910 at the age of 82 at Astapovo, Russian Empire due to pneumonia.


Monday, September 8, 2014

City of Digos, Davao del Sur

  1. Digos is a second class city in and capital of the province of Davao del Sur, Philippines and is considered as part of Metropolitan Davao.
  2. The city lies on the western shores of the Davao Gulf and southern foothills of Mount Apo on the island of Mindanao, centrally located between the two major cities in Mindanao, Davao City and General Santos City.
  3. It is known for its sweet-juicy 'carabao variety mango,' sold locally and exported abroad, thus being dubbed as the Mango Capital City of the Philippines. 
  4. In the early days, Digos was a watercourse, a meeting place of inhabitants belonging to the Austronesians settled along the southern foothills of Mt. Apo. The Digos River meets the Davao Gulf and it is ideal for fishing and bathing.
  5. During the Spanish Era, a group of natives carrying bows and arrows were approached by some Spaniards traversing the very fertile tracts of land in Davao and there is one Spaniard named Lopez Jaena Pacheco who was also a conquistador during the administration of Governor Claveria serving as the head of the group, inquired about the name of the place from the barefooted natives and believing that the Spaniards were asking where they were bound to, the natives answered "Padigus", which means "to take a bath". Since then the place was identified as Digos.
  6. Before its creation into a municipality, Digos was a barrio of Sta. Cruz, a town 16 kilometers away.  Through the initiation of then Congressman Apolinario Cabigon, Digos, became a regular municipality in 1949 by virtue of Presidential Executive Order No. 236, dated 19 July 1949 issued by President Quirino with a coverage that included the barrios of Tres de Mayo, Goma Bansalan, Matanao, Darapuay and the Poblacion where the seat of government was located. 
  7. Digos in later years, before its conversion into a city, was regarded as the capital town of the Province of Davao del Sur, long before it gained the status of a First Class Municipality in 1993, being center for trade, commerce and education, accruing to its strategic location at the cross point of two principal thoroughfares in the south.
  8. In July 1998, the bid to convert into a city was moved and initiated by Hon. Mayor Arsenio A. Latasa, considering its very satisfactory qualifications required for in R.A. 7160
  9. House Bill No. 5672 dated 24 November 1998, of Congress authored by Hon. Congressman Douglas Ra. Cagas, led to the drafting of Republic Act 8798, converting the Municipality of Digos into a component City of Davao del Sur, which was signed by President Joseph E. Estrada on 14 July 2000, and ratified by the Digoseños on 8 September 2000.
  10. Nickname(s): City of Sweet Mangoes; Clay Capital of Mindanao; Gate City of the South; Champion City of Good Governance
  11. One notable personality from Digos is Kristine Zhenie Lobrigas Tandingan (born March 11, 1992 in Digos, Davao del Sur, Philippines), more popularly known as KZ Tandingan, and is a Filipino singer who rose to fame after winning the first season of The X Factor Philippines in 2012.
Fiestas and festivals
  • Sinulog sa Digos - every January 15
  • San Isidrio Labrador - every May 15
  • Padigosan Festival - every July 19
  • Mary Mediatrix - every August 22
  • Araw ng Digos - every September 8
  • GKK/BEC (Gagmay'ng Kristohanong Katilingban/Basic Ecclessial Community) Fiestas - Depends on the feast day of the patron saint.

The City of DIGOS at a Glance
Digos City | Facebook
St. Benedict's Monastery - Digos
KZ Tandingan

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Grandparents' Day

  1. National Grandparents Day originated with Marian McQuade, a housewife in Fayette County, West Virginia and has been recognized nationally by the United States Senate – in particular by Senators Jennings Randolph; and Robert Byrd – and by President Jimmy Carter, as the founder of National Grandparents Day.
  2. Her primary motivation was to champion the cause of lonely elderly in nursing homes and she also hoped to persuade grandchildren to tap the wisdom and heritage their grandparents could provide.
  3. McQuade made it her goal to educate the youth in the community about the important contributions seniors have made throughout history and she also urged the youth to "adopt" a grandparent, not just for one day a year, but rather for a lifetime.
  4. The celebration not only honors grandparents for nurturing their children’s children, but makes grandchildren aware of the strength and guidance older people can offer.
  5. Some people claim the origin of the holiday resides with the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna of North Syracuse, New York, recognizing seniors and their importance as early as 1961. On February 21, 1990, New York Congressman James T. Walsh recognized the efforts of Hermine Beckett Hanna in front of the U.S. House of Representatives, thanking her "for her important role in the establishment of Grandparents' Day".
  6. In 1973, Senator Jennings Randolph (D-WV) introduced a resolution to the senate to make Grandparents' Day a national holiday. In February 1977, Senator Randolph, with the concurrence of many other senators, introduced a joint resolution to the senate requesting the president to "issue annually a proclamation designating the first Sunday of September after Labor Day of each year as 'National Grandparents' Day'."
  7. Congress passed the legislation proclaiming the first Sunday after Labor Day as National Grandparents' Day and, on 3 August 1978, then-President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation. 
  8. The statute cites the day's purpose: " honor grandparents, to give grandparents an opportunity to show love for their children's children, and to help children become aware of strength, information, and guidance older people can offer".
  9. In 2004, the National Grandparents' Day Council of Chula Vista, California announced that "A Song for Grandma and Grandpa" by Johnny Prill would be the official song of the U.S. National Grandparents' Day holiday.
  10. Since 1999, the official flower of the U.S. National Grandparents Day is the forget-me-not which blooms in the spring.
  11. Countries that celebrate this day are the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, India, Australia, France, Italy, Poland, Estonia, Singapore, Taiwan, and the Philippines.
  12. The Philippines started to celebrate Grandparent’ Day in 1987, which it adopted from the United States.  

Special treats for grandpa and grandma
Grandparents Day Greetings
National Grandparents Day
In 2014, Grandparents Day falls on Sept. 7th
Celebration: Happy Grandparents’ Day!

Saturday, September 6, 2014

7 September, Foundation Day of Bais

    A colorful and lively mardi gras festival participated in by the different barangays, local and national offices in a choreographed street dancing. Magnificent floats and spectacular head dresses can also be viewed during this event. This biggest annual merry making marks the Charter Day celebration of Bais City.
  2. Bais, officially the City of Bais and often referred to as Bais City, is a third class city in the province of Negros Oriental, Philippines. 
  3. Bais City is just about 45 Kilometers (28 mi), or 1 hour drive north of Dumaguete City, the capital city of Negros Oriental province in the Philippines with a total land area of 31,964 hectares (78,980 acres) or over 316 square kilometer.
  4. Bais is best known for its Dolphins off the coast in the Tañon Strait which are the most popular Tourist attraction of the region. Although its premier attraction -- Dolphin and Whale Watching is promoted, one should not expect to see any whales on regular basis. A few whales only have been spotted very rarely in 2012 after yearlong absence.  Dolphins are spotted in big numbers mainly from March until October with the best surface conditions from mid-August to mid-October. Spinner and Bottlenose Dolphins are the most common species in the Tañon Strait.
  5. Bais once belonged to the municipality of Manjuyod and gained “city-status” in 7 September 1968 and belongs to the second district of Negros Oriental.
  6. Other references suggests that the name "Bais" originates from the two bays (Bais).
  7. There is, however, a dispute that the name Bais was taken after the eels locally called "Bais" that used to thrive in the Pelarta River which runs beside the city center. 
  8. Pelarte River has been the source of irrigation water for the nearby sugar farms and also has a big influence on the city's geography, as it deposits sediments in the former mangrove areas during the (formerly annual) flood season and these former mangrove swamps have now dried out and become populated with residents. In the late seventies, under the government of Genaro Goñi, there was established a river control system stretching from the city center towards the low lying areas in order to lessen flooding during the rainy season.
  9. In the early days of Spanish exploration, some Spaniards came upon a swampy land and docked their boats at the vicinity of the two small islets that guarded the village while exploring the place they saw natives fishing along the coast. The Spaniards approached the natives and asked for the name of the place. The natives could not understand Spanish,and believing that the Spaniards were asking for the name of their catch, the natives answered saying "Ba-is", from the day on this swampy valley of the Old Panlabangan and Talamban Hills became known as Bais.
  10. Bais City is the largest producer of raw sugar in Negros Oriental. There are two sugar mills in the city. The Central Azucarera de Bais was established by Tabacalera of Spain in the early 1900s and is one of the oldest in the country. The other mill, URSUMCO (Universal Robina Sugar Milling Corporation) was formerly URSUMCO (United Planters Milling Corporation) and constructed in the mid '70s by Marubeni Corporation of Japan as a project of Ignacio Montenegro (also of Spanish roots).
  11. Other places of interest this location are the historical Central Azucarera de Bais where one can find the Balwain Locomotive is, as well as beaches and a mangrove park.
  • Gen Segrio Sinco - local hero during the Spanish Rule
  • Dr. Vicente G. Sinco - founder of Foundation University, former UP President
  • Jovenal Villanueva-Somoza - World War II
  • Josefa Villanueva-Perez - historian, visual artist
  • Demetrio Larena - civil governor, political hero and co-founder of Silliman University
  • Mileton Larena - political hero and Board Member during the American Regime
  • Emplaz Paulio-Violeta - cultural worker and visual artist
  • Penn T. Villanueva-Larena - cultural worker, civic leader, accredited tour guide, tourism educator and Stamp collector
  • Hermigildo Villanueva - first senator the city and the province has produced

Bais City - Negros Oriental - Philippines
Bais, Negros Oriental
Bais City, Negros Oriental The Home of Dolphin Watching in the Philippines
Bais City, Negros Oriental | Facebook
Proclamation No. 855, s. 2014

Dolphin Watching at Bais City, Negros Oriental
Bais, it's yours to discover!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Tiger Balm King

"What I have in mind, will be unique, like nothing anybody has seen.  We shall call it after us, Har Par Villa. We will be remembered for generations to come" - Aw Boon Haw ~ 1934
  1. Aw Boon Haw whose name means "gentle tiger", was also nicknamed the "Tiger Balm King".
  2. Aw Boon-Haw (Chinese: 胡文虎; pinyin: Hú Wénhǔ; Pe̍h-ōe-jī: Hô͘ Bûn-hó͘; born 1882 in Rangoon, Indian Empire – died 1954 in Hong Kong), OBE, was a Burmese Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist best known for introducing Tiger Balm.
  3. He was the son of Hakka herbalist Aw Chu-Kin, a herbalist from Zhongchuan, YongDing, Fujian Province in China.
  4. Aw migrated to Singapore in 1926, where he began the business of Tiger Red Balm with his brother, Aw Boon-Par.
  5. It is believed that Boon Haw and his brother, Aw Boon Par, inherited their father's recipe for a soothing oriental ointment. However, various rumours concerning the origins of the balm pervades. There are suggestions that the recipe came from an aged Chinese doctor while others point to a supposed German pharmacist who was a family friend. With Boon Par's pharmaceutical training, they produced Ban Kim Ewe or "Ten Thousand Golden Oil" which they later patented. Boon Haw renamed the ointment the "Tiger Balm" and marketed it throughout Southeast Asia, gaining great fame as the Tiger Balm King. Other "Tiger" products include Tiger Headache Cure, Balashin Sai (Pat Kwa Tan), Chee Thone San, Chinkawhite Wind Mixture.
  6. Aw also founded several newspapers, including Sin Chew Jit Poh and Guang Ming Daily, which are both based in Malaysia today; and Sing Tao Daily, which dates back to 1938 and is currently based in Hong Kong. Aw moved to Hong Kong during the Japanese occupation of Singapore and managed the business from there, while his brother stayed in Singapore until he closed down the factory and went to Rangoon. Aw returned to Singapore after the end of World War II and re-established his business.
  7. By 1920, Boon Haw was easily the richest man in Yangon. According to his Chinese biographer Zhang Ronghe, his business empire reached its peak in the mid-'30s, covering Thailand, Myanmar, Malaya, Indonesia, Hong Kong as well as a dozen cities in China.
  8. His newspaper empire included dailies like the Sing Kong Yih Pao (1935 Amoy), Sing Tao Yih Pao (1938 Hongkong), Sing Pin Jih Pao (1938 Penang), Sing Ming Yih Pao (1946 Bangkok ) and the Hongkong Tiger Standard and Singapore Tiger Standard (1950). This division continued to remain strong in Hongkong as the Sing Tao group, headed by daughter Sally Aw Sian (Aw Sien), until the mid late '80s when unsuccessful dabbling in real estate and other publishing ventures drained the division's coffers.  In mid-1999, Sally Aw sold controlling shares of Sing Tao to Lazad Fund Asia for HK$262 million. 
  9. His empire however faced difficulty in the late 1940s with his son's involvement in a currency-smuggling incident which caused him to lose favour with Chiang Kai-shek's Kuomingtang government. Added to this was his rumoured war-time co-operation with Japan.
  10. While on a trip to Hong Kong from Boston, US in1954, Aw died at the age of 72 from a heart attack following a major operation on 5 September.
  11. His legacy is found in the Haw Par Villas (Tiger Balm Gardens) throughout Asia, with locations in Singapore, Hong Kong, and the Fujian Province of China.
  12. He was also well-regarded for his generosity as a philanthropist.
1. Tay Piah Hong @ Cheng Peng Foong (1885 - 1959)
2. Tan Kim Wee @ Chan Kam Chi (b. 1906) married in 1919
3. Ooi  Geak Cheah @ Wong Yoke Seah (b. 1908) married in 1924
4. Khoo Siew Eng @ Yau Siu Ying (b. 1914) married in 1937
1. Aw Kow (1914 - 1983) married Tan Kah Joo (b. 1923) in 1940
2. Aw Swan (1915 - 1986) married Lim Saw Swee (b. 1918) in 1938
3. Aw Hoe (1921 - 1951) married Chan Sau Yong (b. 1919) in 1939 and Hoi Lan Yin (b. 1923) in 1947
4. Aw Sian (b. 1931)
5. Aw It Haw (b. 1930) married Akiko Nagase (b. 1927) in 1960
6. Aw Jee Haw (1930 - 1942)
7. Aw Seng (b. 1937) married Liow Yee Lee (b. 1932) in 1957
8. Aw Sar Haw (1941 - 1942)
9. Aw See Haw (b. 1950) married Ng Shun Yee in 1975

Siblings Aw Boon Haw and Aw Boon Par were the founders of the iconic Tiger Balm. -- PHOTO: HAW PAR CORPORATION - See more at:

Flashback Friday: 'Tiger Balm King' Aw Boon Haw dies of a heart attack on Sept 5, 1954
Aw Boon Haw wikipedia
Haw Par Villa Photo: Memory of Mr Aw Boon Haw
Aw Boon Haw
Tiger Balm’s poor old lady
Aw Boon Haw the Philanthropist 
The Roar of the Tiger - A Story of the Haw Par Brothers
Aw Boon Haw (1882–1954)
The Tiger Balm Kings How Did They Really Get Their Start?
Aw Boon Haw 胡文虎 

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Monkayo, Compostela Valley

  1. Monkayo is a first class municipality in the province of Compostela Valley, Philippines. 
  2. It has 21 barangays, with Mt. Diwata having the biggest population of 18,072 people. 
  3. The Municipality of Monkayo is a political unit with a land area that was once and for a long period of time a wilderness in the Northern hinterlands of Compostela Valley but today, it is an agricultural town, with vast tracts of land planted to rice and banana. 
  4. The municipality is also host to the gold-rich barangay of Mt. Diwata, popularly known as "Diwalwal" (which in the local dialect means one's tongue is hanging out due to exhaustion), a 1,000-meter high range known for its rich gold ore deposit. 
  5. Monkayo's seat of government is located in Barangay Poblacion, a highly developed rural town center, and is 120 kilometres (75 mi) away from Mindanao's regional center of Davao City, and some 30 kilometres (19 mi) from Nabunturan, the provincial center.
  6. There are two (2) versions of the origin of the name of Monkayo.
    • The name “Monkayo” is derived from a gigantic tree towering on top Tandawan mountains and its northern tip in between and immediately adjacent to the Agusan River. The tree is called “Mondabon Kayo” (Mondabon Tree). It was however shortened by the first settlers of the area as “Monkayo”.
    • In the other related version, it is believed that a certain Fr. Ladour, the first missionary priest assigned in the area, gave the place the name of Moncayo, a snow-topped mountain dividing the kingdoms of Aragon and Castile, in Spain, probably as an analogy to the high mountains in the area that reminded him of his own place of birth.
  7. Monkayo belonged to the northern hinterland of what is now called Compostela Valley and it was occupied by Mandaya, Manobo, Mansaka, Manguangan and Dibabawon people who dwelt on primitive life and lived by hunting, fishing and crude method of farming (Kaingin) long before the Spanish conquistadors penetrated deep in Mindanao in the middle part of the 18th century. These different tribes or groups, each had a bagani as head or chief. They wore clothing and armed with bladed weapons and bows and arrows, they sang hymns called Tudom and long narrative songs called Owaging they danced and held rituals, feasted and chewed beetle nuts. Nevertheless, when Spanish missionaries came, these natives changed their lives and attitudes and eventually receptive to Christian teachings and ultimately embraced Christianity. Today, this municipality still has Mandaya, Dibabawon, Manguangan and Manobo, other tribes have transferred to other places.
  8. In 1918, Monkayo was proclaimed a Municipal District and the position given to the highest official was District President with Adolfo Mongado, the first Mandayan educator who served from 1917-1925 and the first one appointed to the position of District President.
  9. Monkayo became a part of Compostela in 1948.
  10. During the Second World War, Monkayo was made an important military outpost. The 81st Military Division under the command of Col. Kangleon was established in the Poblacion and was named Camp Kalaw.
  11. On 4 September 1954, Monkayo became a separate district and founded as a Municipality by virtue of a Presidential Executive Order No. 65 by the late President Ramon Magsaysay of the Republic of the Philippines and the first mayor was Angelo Ortiz (Sept. 1954–Oct. 1955), who also was responsible for making Monkayo an independent municipality. 

Monkayo, Compostela Valley
Welcome to Monkayo
AboutMonkayo, Compostela Valley
Proclamation No. 857, s. 2014