Mindoro Photos


Aksidente sa Mindoro (Joke)

MEDIA: ‘Lo, kayo daw po’ng saksi?

LOLO: Ay uwo! Ika’y pumarne dine sa silong. Kung ako pa naman ang dadais sa iyo para magsalaysay ay sulong!

MEDIA: ‘Sensya na po sa abala.

LOLO: Ako’y naka-ungkot laang dine at karakaraka’y ako’y nagitla sa busina. May mag-inang hasing-hasi pa ng paghihikap ay gab-eng gab-e na! Bakingga aring dyip ay saksakan ng tulen? Ay di ako’y palakat na sa mag-inang di naiingli! Aba’y maiipit na’y naka-umis pa! Kainaman! Hayown! Sa pag-iwas ng dyip ay sumalya sa tarangka, tiklap ang tapaludung lasa ko’y kawangki ng
nilamukos na kiche. Pagkakabugnot ng drayber! Ngalngal e!

MEDIA: Ano raw?


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Philippines Mangyan tribe on indefinite hunger strike over Norwegian Mining Project

See forwarded media reports below of hunger strike by Indigenous Peoples in the Philippines in Manila, outside the headquarters of the Department of the Environment and Natural Resources, in relation to the issuance of a mining concession in the Mangyans ancestral lands and watershed area for the Island of Mindoro (details at http://earthjedi.blogspot.com ). The latest news is that someone has also started a hunger strike in Rome at the World Food Summit in protest against the issuance and project.

The strike is having some effect as Secretary of the DENR Atienza is coming under pressure as a result of the national and international press coverage to justify his decision and Intex's shares were halted on the Oslo stock exchange as they fell due to bad publicity and uncertainty. However we need to put as much pressure on the Government of the Philippines (and also the company Intex Resources of Norway and the Norwegian Government) to cancel the Environment Clearance Certificate, as they have already attempted to fluff the issue by saying they will suspend the ECC for 90 days - i.e. to end the hunger strike and then have mining proceed as planned. The hunger strikers have rightly described this as a sham and decided to continue with their action until the ECC is cancelled.

The last of the two reports attached below are Support Statements that the Working Group on Mining in the Philippines and LRC have sent to the hunger strikers. PLEASE SEND LETTERS OF SUPPORT TO: roslynarayata@yahoo.com.ph; nc@alyansatigilmina.net; whit@piplinks.org ; lodel@piplinks.org


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Philippine suspends ECC of Mindoro nickel project

Business Mirror quoted Philippines environment secretary Mr Lito Atienza as saying that he has decided to suspend the environmental compliance certificate of a Norwegian mining firm in Mindoro after speaking with local government officials from the provinces of Mindoro Occidental and Oriental.

Earlier, executive secretary Mr Eduardo Ermita said in his weekly news briefing that Mr Atienza gave the assurance during a phone conversation on allegations that the DENR had issued an illegal ECC to Intex Resources.

Mr Atienza decided to suspend the ECC issued to Norwegian company Intex Resources for the Mindoro nickel project following a dialog with local officials and representatives of various stakeholders from Oriental and Occidental Mindoro.

He said that he would immediately look into the ECC, which he signed, on the assumption that the 11,000 hectare mine site is not within a watershed area, and that all requirements in the issuance of such ECC were fully complied with. He added that "As it appears, there was no consultation. That’s why I will look into it."

He also said for the project to proceed, there will be a genuine consultation with the concerned local government units, the communities, the Catholic Church, indigenous peoples and all other stakeholders in Mindoro.

(Sourced from www.businessmirror.com.ph)


Proud Mindrenian Blog

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Salitang Mangyan

dadaruwo - San ka pupunta?

daginano - San ka galing?

kanwatam - kain na tayo

sakboy - tuloy po kayo (or pasok po kayo sa bahay namin)

faduksay - brother or brethren

masine - maganda (good) i.e. magandang umaga - masine fag balabag
magandang gabi - masine fag yabi


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Calendar of activities for the 2010 polls out

The Commission on Elections (COMELEC) en banc has released the calendar of activities and periods of prohibited acts in connection with the conduct of the May 10, 2010 national and local elections.

The COMELEC, in Resolution No. 8646, promulgated July 14, 2009; said the election period will run from January 10, 2010 until June 9, 2010. Prohibited during this period, the COMELEC added are the alteration of territory of a precinct or establishment of a new precinct; the bearing, carrying and transporting of firearms and other deadly weapons in public places; suspension of local elective officials; and transfer of officers and employees in the civil service, etc.

The COMELEC pegged the campaign period for candidates for President, Vice-President, Senators and Party-List groups to February 9, 2010 until May 8, 2010.

Meanwhile, the campaign period for candidates for members of the House of Representatives and elective provincial, city and municipal officials will start March 26, 2010 and will end May 8, 2010.

The COMELEC has also set August 17, 2009 as the last day for filing of petitions for registration of political parties and for parties, organizations and coalitions under the Party-List system of representation.

The filing of certificates of candidacy (COCs) for all elective positions will run from November 20, 2009 until November 30, 2009. During the same period, registered party-list groups may also file manifestations of intent to participate in the party-list elections.

Casting of votes by overseas absentee voters (OAV) will start April 10, 2010 (Host country time) and will run until 3:00 PM of May 10, 2010 (Philippine Time).

Meanwhile, the country's voters have from 7:00 AM until 6:00 PM to cast their votes on Election Day, May 10, 2010.

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Pandanggo sa Ilaw

It is home to the cultural dance called "Pandanggo sa Ilaw" meaning 'Fandango with light'. The term pandanggo comes from the Spanish word fandango, which is a dance characterized by marking time with a clack of castanets, snapping of fingers, and stomping of feet in triple-time rhythm.

Pandanggo sa Ilaw - The word pandanggo comes from the Spanish dance "fandango" characterized with lively steps and clapping while following a varying ¾ beat. Pandanggo requires excellent balancing skill to maintain the stability of three tinggoy, or oil lamps, placed on head and at the back of each hand. This famous dance of grace and balance originated from Lubang Island, Mindoro.

Mindoro, Nilindol!

MAG: 6.0
UTC DATE-TIME: 2009/09/18 06:23:58
LAT deg: 12.573
LON deg: 120.469
DEPTH km: 50.1

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Karera ng Kalabaw (Alcadesma Fiesta, Bansud)

Brgy. Alcadesma Fiesta
Bansud, Oriental Mindoro

Isa sa highlights ng okasyon ang karera ng Kalabaw at Kabayo...
Heto ang ilang larawan...

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Apo Reef Natural Park

One of the best dive spots in the world. Apo Reef is the largest atoll-like reef in the country. Its crystalline blue water covering an area of 35 sq. miles teeming with a wide variety of marine life presents good diving opportunities. The reef is divided by a narrow channel into north and south lagoons.

The channel runs east to west from 1.8 to 27 meters deep with a fine white sand bottom, numerous mounds and patches of branching corals under the deep blue water. No wonder the reef abounds with 285 species of colorful marine fishes including families of sharks, stingrays, mantas, schools of jacks and snappers, tropical aquarium fish and the crevice-dwelling moray, blemish and gobie.

It has no less than 500 species of corals both soft and hard. APO REEF has three islands: Apo Island, Apo Menor and Cayos del Bajo with white sandy beaches ideal for recreation and sporting vacation. Its smooth current provides excitement and convenience to both beginners and advance divers.

Contact infos of public officials (Occidental Mindoro)

Please contact the concerned officials if you have any public concerns.

An Open Letter to The Public Officials of San Jose

This is the link

This is an open letter written by Dino Carnay (originally published on June 18, 2009), in response to the amount of complaints regarding the lack of progress in San Jose, as told by the members of the DWCSJOM e-group. It is re-published here with only minimal edits.

The sentiments of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro residents are hard to ignore. Day in, day out… they are deprived of a better service.

Genuine Interest

We do not believe that the present public officials cannot do something about the roads, public amenities, roads and public services. We believe that in order for San Jose, Occidental Mindoro to progress, there should be a genuine interest for public officials to spend the taxpayers' money to projects that are essential and useful to the citizens.

We know you could agree with us, we understand the hardships of raising funds and everybody are aware that at the end of the public officials' term. They have not done so much (we're not saying public officials are not doing anything or have not done any contribution for a progressive San Jose). Are the residents requesting for real progress? Yes.

see more bout this open letter here

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Saknungan Festival

Festival incorporating the exhibition of the cultural heritage of Mindoro’s ethnic communities.

For more information please contact:

San Jose Tourism Office
Tel. No. (632)89235.45 to 46

April 27- April 30 | San Jose, Mindoro Occidental

Bahag-Hari Festival

A colorful celebration highlighted by street dancing, a parade of float and a different Moriones Festival.

April 24 | Pinamalayan, Mindoro Oriental

Tara na! Byahe Tayo!

Mamburao seeks to find place in the sun

AFTER taking a Roro vessel from the Batangas pier, you reach Abra de Ilog, one of the entry points into Mamburao, capital of Mindoro Occidental.

Mindoro Occidental is the western part of the island province of Mindoro, south of Batangas.

The drive from the Abra de Ilog pier on the cement-paved Mindoro West Coast Road follows the ridge of high rolling mountains on one side and rice fields on the other, with intermittent glimpses of the Mindoro coast. It’s an arresting vista, but investors have yet to arrive.

Mamburao, though quite accessible, is relatively undiscovered. There are few tourist arrivals. Unlike rough and rowdy Puerto Galera, in neighboring Mindoro Oriental, Mamburao is laid-back. Almost as if it’s set in the ’60s, the sleepy town, like any community where farming and fishing are dominant, shuts down at dusk.

Occidental Mindoro is basically an agricultural province. Principal products are rice, coconut, peanut and abaca. The waters on its western coast comprise one of the most important fishing grounds in the country. But here, the sea and rice fields are still the fixed boundaries of a man’s life.


While its natural, economic and political shortcomings, lack of trademark produce, and other problems have all added to its provincial backwater reputation, Mamburao is also a land unspoiled by mass tourism, where mountains drop to blue coastal waters, and sandy beaches lined with swaying palm trees.

It’s a setting that could be the next place for eco-tourism without the messy and amateurish planning of other destinations. It even has a good airport (now used by a flying school and for chartered planes), which adds to its tourist potential.

Mamburao has a long coastline of unpopulated sandy beaches in rustic surroundings, similar to those of small towns in the outer Hawaiian Islands. The abundance of its possibilities can be seen in a day it takes to drive around the town and back.

The landscape changes from grassy hillsides to green rice paddies, mangroves and flat savannah. Numerous rivers and tributaries flow from the mountains of Occidental Mindoro down to Mamburao and the neighboring towns.

A cruise down the Mamburao river is everything a river cruise should be: slow, peaceful, with only the sounds of nature to accompany you down the riverbend and back.

A trek through uncharted rocky trails leads you to unspoiled pool springs and waterfalls and gives you a thrill of discovery.

The town proper hums with small-town activity in the day. The municipio, though in the middle of repairs, is a hive of town servants going about their workaday tasks.

The farmers are working the land, the children are in school, the fishermen’s catch are in beds of ice in the wet market, or on a roro bound for Manila, and the retailers sell their goods ferried in from Batangas and Manila. It’s economic activity all right, but it needs a boost.


Something is happening here. Change is coming – in a good way. A concerted public campaign to get everyone involved has begun.

Beyond the lure of using its physical beauty is a socio-culture development plan for a town that can finally stamp its identity on such products as vinegar, fish sauce and bagoong under the Mamburao brand.

Elma Tejada is in the mayor’s team as tourism officer, a Mambureño who came back after years of working abroad. She represents the new breed of movers who are not just waiting for development to happen, but are also taking charge of their future. She and a few others are slowly changing the face of Mamburao for the next generation.

The Mamburao Planning Evaluation Report made by an independent body of architects, planners and engineers, was a first step in this direction.

Mayor Anthony Villarosa says, “There must be a plan that will generate development to a higher stage and that will mean growth for Mamburao, so that its people will have higher incomes similar to their counterparts in developed towns and cities in the country. A strategy that will spread benefits to the people and bear fruits that will be sustainable over time. At the same time, I do not want a ‘Divisoria’ type of urban sprawl in Mamburao. Urban growth should be ordered and should happen as aesthetically as possible.”

It’s a call for all Mamburenyos to pitch in, so that it can find its place in the sun.


Formerly called Mait, Mindoro was known to Chinese traders even before the coming of the Spanish.

In 1570, the Spanish began to explore the island and named it “Mina de Oro” (mine of gold) after finding some of the precious metal, though no major gold discoveries were ever made.

In the early years, Mindoro was administered as part of Bonbon, now Batangas. Early in the 17th century, the island was separated from Bonbon and organized into a corregimiento. Mindoro became a regular province in 1921.

On June 13, 1950, it was divided into two provinces, Occidental Mindoro and Oriental Mindoro. The plains of Occidental Mindoro are inhabited by the Tagalogs and the remote forested interior by the Mangyans, who lead a semi-nomadic existence.

How to get there
1. From Manila by bus to Batangas pier (JAM, JAC and Tritran Terminals in Cubao or Buendia)
From Batangas pier to Abra de Ilog pier (two-hour roro vessel, Montenegro Shipping Lines)
Abra de Ilog pier to Mamburao (tricycle, jeepney)

2. From Manila by private car to Batangas pier (take SLEX and Star Tollway and exit at Balagtas, Batangas). Drive your car onto the ferry to Abra de Ilog pier.
Once in Abra de Ilog, head directly to Mamburao via the main national road (30 minutes).

3. Chartered plane lands in Mamburao airport (40 minutes’ flight from Manila to Mamburao)

For details and inquiries, call Elma Tejada, Mamburao Tourism Office, at t 091..., or e-mail elmatejada121@gmail.com

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Board Member Randy Ignacio at Prov'l Assistant Agriculturist Peter Alfaro, sumuko na sa batas

Matapos ang halos anin na buwang pagtatago sa batas, sumuko sa mga awtoridad kahapon ng umaga Pebrero 16, 2009 ganap na alas 8:00 ng umaga sila Board Member Randolph "Randy" Ignacio, dating bokal at ngayon ay Provincial Asst. Agriculturist Peter Alfaro at Gaspar Bandoy Sr. close in security ni Former Mayor Joel "big J" Panaligan ng Mamburao.

Sa bisa ng warrant of arrest na inisyu ni Judge Ulysses Delgado RTC branch 44 Mamburao noong Setyembre 2008 sa kasong "Serious Illegal Detention" na isinampa sa kanila ng mga kaanak ni Romulo De Jesus Jr., isang public school teacher sa nabanggit na bayan.

Matatandaang sinampahan ng kasong Serious Illegal Detention sila Ignacio, Alfaro, Bandoy at Atty. Judy Lorenzo ng COMELEC sa ginawa nilang illegal na pag kulong kay De Jesus, kasagsagan ng bilangan noong 2007 local election. May mga hawak di umanong pekeng balota si De Jesus at involved sa ballot switching kaya nila ito ikinulong.
Ang tatlo ay sinamahan ni PNP PD P/Supt. Caessar Daniel T. Miranda sa kanilang pagsuko sa RTC branch 44 sa bayan ng Mamburao.

Nakakulong na sa Mamburao Provincial Jail sila Ignacio, Alfaro at Bandoy habang nakakalaya pa si Atty. Judy Lorenzo ng COMELEC. Walang inirekomendang bail ang korte sa kanila dahil heinous crime ang Serious Illegal Detention. Mariboy Ysibido

11 more Mangyans pass Licensure Exam for Teachers

Another eleven (11) Mangyan Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Elementary Education graduates passed the Licensure Examination for Teachers (LET) given by the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC) in September 2008.

Some of these board passers are already teaching in Mangyan community schools as professional and volunteer teachers.

1. Erol Antaw, full-time teacher, Mangyan Education Center (MEC, a private secondary school) in Bait, Mansalay

2. Atoy Tugas, full-time teacher, Akliang Primary School, Bongabong

3. Noel Taywan, municipal-funded teacher, Paitan Elementary School

4. Nelsa Banay, municipal-funded teacher, San Roque Elementary School

Taywan and Banay teach a class composed of Mangyans and Tagalogs (lowlanders).

5. Mayette Espiritu, Tauga Diit Primary School in Bongabong

6. Laarni Reyes, Iblagon Primary School in Roxas

7. Uyan Rag-op, Abintang Primary School in Bulalacao

Espiritu, Reyes and Rag-op are currently on their community service as volunteer teachers as part of their college scholarship grant received from Mangyan Mission (MM).

8. Rolyn Banay

9. Alicia Baruyot

10. Jessica Gawid

11. Darwin Ondoy

The last four are fresh graduates who opted to pass the LET first before taking on the responsibility of teaching. Some took their oath as professional teachers last December 6 at the Philippine Regulatory Commission (PRC) in Lucena City.

Some of these Mangyan LET passers were MM scholars and Provincial Planning Development Office (PPDO) scholars. MM scholars are expected to complete one year of community service in different Mangyan communities after they finish their degrees. They receive Php 2,000.00 as their monthly allowance as teachers.

Two other Mangyans passed the LET given last April.

Today, Oriental Mindoro has 172 Mangyan teachers educating children and youths in far-flung Mangyan villages. Out of these 172, forty (40) are LET passers.

Mangyans find it difficult to pass the LET because their English comprehension is not that good and they find it difficult to express themselves in a language rarely heard and used in their communities.

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Mangyan Heritage Center Blog

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I-Witness: Alamat ng mga puting Mangyan

(Myth of the White Mangyans)
An I-Witness documentary
Aired last January 28, 2008
GMA-7 / Pinoy TV

Howie Severino travels to Mindoro to investigate the legend of “lost tisoys,” a tribe of Mangyans called Olandes, mountain people in Mindoro descended from shipwrecked Dutch sailors.

Various people give conflicting accounts, including a scholar who proclaims that the “white Mangyans” are a myth, along with other popular beliefs such as Mangyans with tails.

But are the white Mangyans really a myth? In a Mangyan tiangge in the remote village of Bait, Howie is told of Mangyan tisoys in the local high school. He finds them there and learns they come from a mountain community called Panaytayan.

But it is not what he expected.
Descending not from Dutch sailors from centuries ago, the tisoys are four children of a Dutch priest who married a Mangyan and has lived in splendid isolation for four decades. He is now among the foremost experts on Mangyan culture. In the village, he has set up institutions designed to teach and preserve ancient tribal practices such as the script, music, and weaving.

His daughter Anya is a 23-year-old tisay who proudly calls herself a Mangyan and is following her father’s footsteps in championing the Mangyan while presenting a new face of the tribe to the outside world.

She accompanies her bahag-clad, betel-chewing uncle Anheng as he ventures down the mountain to town, faces of the old and the new Mangyan. As Anya and her siblings age and produce families of their own, the myth of the Olandes village may yet become a reality.

Cinematography: Egay Navarro
Director: JJ Villamarin
Field producer: Rommel Bernardo
Executive producer: Ella Evangelista

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Spirit FM DJ Search 2009


the DJ SEARCH 2009

get a chance to sign an exclusive contract as DJ in DZSB 104.1 SPIRIT FM!
submit your resume to:

Parish Office, St. Benedict Chaplaincy,
Bgy. Lalud, Calapan City

or call (043)2867417
deadline is on Feb 17 (Tuesday).

Farmers group slam appointment of Palparan to DDB

MANILA, Philippines — President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo’s naming of controversial retired Maj. Gen. Jovito Palparan as an official of the Dangerous Drugs Board (DDB) is dangerous to the agency, but she was just being consistent.

This observation was from the militant peasant group Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas (KMP), which lamented on Saturday that Palparan’s appointment came at a time when farmers were commemorating the 22nd anniversary of the Mendiola Massacre.

Thirteen militant farmers were killed and over a hundred others were injured when government troops fired live bullets on protesters trying to march to Malacaňang Palace 22 years ago to demand genuine land reform.

"Major Gen. Jovito Palparan is yet to pay for his crimes and now Mrs. Gloria Arroyo considers him to the drugs board post. Their teamup, as Arroyo self-proclaimed herself as an anti-drug czarina, is still bonding, as how they dealt with the legal-democratic movement, attempting to wipe-out activists that call for genuine land reform and Arroyo's ouster," said Danilo Ramos, KMP secretary-general, in a press statement.

Palparan has been blamed by activist and human rights group for the disappearances and summary executions of a number of leftist activists in the central and northern Philippines when he was in the active military service.

KMP said that since Mrs. Arroyo assumed the presidency in 2001, a total of 933 people became victims of extra-judicial killings, of which 528 were peasants and 109 were KMP leaders.

It said there were also 129 peasant activists and leaders who were victims of enforced disappearances and scores are accused of criminal cases and imprisoned in different jails around the country.

“Of this Arroyo's sickening human rights record, Gen. Palparan served as one of the promoter as he experimented on the activists of Oriental Mindoro in 2003 to 2004," the group said.

Palparan has repeatedly denied the charges, but maintained that his campaign against the communist movement had been very effective.

"The peasants call for punishment for Palparan as even the United Nations Humans Rights Committee concluded that the government and military are responsible to the murders of Eddie Gumanoy and Eden Marcellana in 2003 in Oriental Mindoro," said Ramos.

Eddie Gumanoy was the former chairperson of Kasama-TK (KMP Southern Tagalog chapter), while Eden Marcellana is the Karapatan-Southern Tagalog secretary-general and wife of Kasama-TK secretary-general Orly Marcellana, who is included in the ST 72, framed up with multiple murder case.

"The Arroyo government is really consistent, as those who commit crimes against the people are being promoted or assigned with luxurious posts. We firmly believe that Gen. Palparan is not considering the post to resolve the drug problem but attracted with the level of bribery hounding drug cases, such as the alleged P50 million bribe," Ramos explained.

KMP affirmed opposition to Arroyo's consideration of Palparan to the drugs board post, instead he should be castigated. Also, the group believes that the drug problem would never be solved under the Arroyo regime as Mrs. Arroyo herself is grossly corrupt, as she is involved with the P728 M Fertilizer Scam, P217.8 M Rice Scam and more. The corruption in the Justice department is just an offshoot of her governance.

"Certainly, if Gen. Palparan gets the post, either we all get killed being framed up as pushing drugs, or we get arrested accused of being drug pushers and users," Ramos said. The group believes that the drugs body would also be used against activists who is calling for Arroyo's ouster. - GMANews.TV

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QUEMARLABARO Regional Youth Camp 2009

The Southern Tagalog Youth Ministry is called the QUEMARLABARO, derived from the names of the provinces of its member prelature, dioceses, archdiocese and apostolic vicariates composition.


The QUEMARLABARO is composed of one Prelature, four Dioceses, one Archdiocese and two Apostolic Vicariates, namely:

Prelature of Infanta, Quezon
Diocese of Boac, Marinduque
Diocese of Gumaca, Quezon
Diocese of Lucena, Quezon
Diocese of San Pablo, Laguna
Archdiocese of Lipa, Batangas
Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose, Occidental Mindoro
Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan, Oriental Mindoro

Camp Organizers, All Set to Lay Down Plans for the Upcoming QUEMARLABARO 2009

(CALAPAN - January 13, 2009) This coming January 22, the Diocesan Commission on Youth of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan is all set to present to the Regional Coordinating Council the plans for the QUEMARLABARO Regional Youth Camp 2009. This will take place during the Regional Conference to be held from January 21 to 23, 2009 at Gumaca, Quezon.

Prior to this is the final discussion of the details of the camp with the Diocesan Formation Secretariat, which will happen on January 16, Friday, at Calapan City.

The QUEMARLABARO Regional Youth Camp 2009 which is scheduled on April 21-24, 2009 at Calapan City, is expected to attract more than 500 delegates from all over Southern Tagalog Region.

Random drug test in high schools

By Jerry E. Esplanada
Philippine Daily Inquirer

MANILA, Philippines -- Starting next March, the education and health departments will jointly conduct random drug testing of students in the 9,300-plus public and private high schools nationwide.

The testing, part of the government's drug education program, “will continue in school year 2009-2010,” Education Secretary Jesli Lapus has told the Inquirer.

“It is timely to do this as illegal drugs have become rampant in some parts of the country,” said Lapus, adding the tests were necessary for the protection of the country's 6.5 million-plus high school students.

Lapus noted that random drug testing has been done in selected schools in the past "and there have been positive findings.”

He was apparently referring to the 2005 drug tests conducted by the DepEd and DoH where some 8,670 students from 287 high schools nationwide were randomly tested for illegal drugs.

At least 115 of those students tested “positive” for methamphetamine, popularly known as shabu, and other illegal drugs, according to a report furnished by Education Assistant Secretary Thelma Santos.

The tests were conducted in all regions except Ilocos, Cagayan Valley, and Mimaropa (short for Mindoro Oriental, Mindoro Occidental, Marinduque, Romblon, and Palawan).

Northern Mindanao topped the list with 13 students found positive for drug use, followed by Central Visayas, Southern Mindanao, and Caraga with 12, 10, and 9, respectively.

According to Santos, “we'll provide the DoH with the list of public and private high schools. It's up to them to choose the schools.”

“The school visits of the drug testing teams, which start next March, will be unannounced,” she said.

Santos clarified that students "will not be forced to undergo drug tests.” But she stressed that “there will be close monitoring of high schools where there's high prevalence of illegal drug use.”

A check with DepEd files showed that as early as August 4, 2003, the agency had issued guidelines on random drug testing of high school students.

Department Order 63, signed by then Education Secretary Edilberto De Jesus, said the activity was pursuant to Section 36-C of Article 3 of Republic Act 9165, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Dangerous Drugs Act of 2002.

The drug tests aim to “determine the prevalence of drug users among the studentry, assess the effectivity of school- and community-based prevention programs, deter the use of illegal drugs, facilitate the rehabilitation of drug dependents, and strengthen the collaborative efforts of identified agencies against the use of illegal drugs.”

According to the DepEd order, “drug test results shall be treated with utmost confidentiality and shall not be used in any criminal proceedings” against those found positive for drug use.

RA 9165, on the other hand, orders the DepEd to “integrate drug abuse prevention concepts into subjects such as Science, Health, and Makabayan in the elementary level, and Science and Technology and Makabayan in the secondary level, as well as in the non-formal education program, particularly in functional education, literacy, and values education.”

The law also calls for the “continuous development, updating, and adoption of learning packages to support the existing drug education concepts in textbooks and instructional materials” and “mobilization of school health and nutrition personnel in complementing classroom instruction on drug abuse prevention.”


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Parish ‘tapungan’ keeps it alive

SOCORRO, ORIENTAL MINDORO – Father Joseph Matulin Boongaling distributed Christmas calendars to his parishioners with a personal message of gratitude.

“This is to thank them for their positive response to the tapungan that aims to make the parish self-reliant,” explains the 42-year-old parish priest of the Holy Family Parish (HFP) here, about 60 kilometers away from the City of Calapan.

Tapungan is like the Tagalogs’ saknungan or bayanihan, which is how HFP calls its parishioners’ voluntary contribution of time, treasure and talents for the needs of the church.

It was launched in May and there are now more than 2,000 parishioners who participate with their monthly share of money, ranging from P5 to P500.

In the case of Antonina Montaril, 55, called Nanay Asuncion, of Barangay Lapog Riversite, she allocates P50 monthly tapong (share), from her fisher-husband’s income.

“Her case inspires us. Really, it’s not so much the amount that matters, but the big heart that responds to God’s love by wanting to share,” says Annie Andrea Luarca, a pastoral associate.

Boongaling says the Holy Family Parish used to be known as “better off” compared to other parishes.

But, he reveals, it was because of earnings from the sacramental fees for the dead and from the parish cemetery.


Boongaling, however, has been careful in implementing tapungan.
It took his team two years of preparations – which included recollections, pilgrimage conference, homilies, festivals and community consultations.

In the parish’s 2007 pilgrimage, Boongaling emphasized that tapungan is a pledge to God and not to the priest, citing Bible passages and explaining where the funds would go.

Luarca, working closely with Boongaling, recalls that the program was not spared from initial doubts and negative reactions because they were changing traditional practices.

“I really was not comfortable that people would ask how much they had to pay for a sacrament because it’s a service of the church,” confesses Boongaling.

With his core team, Boongaling made tapungan creative and colorful to attract attention and excitement, and utilized the LCD projector.

A liturgical musician, he composed an inspirational theme song titled “Sa Diwa ng Kapatiran,” whose tune is that of a lively march.

Luarca explains how tapungan works.

The parishioners are grouped into four zones in the poblacion and 12 communities following a color-coding for practical reasons, like easy segregation, aesthetics and meaning.

An individual gets a one-page letter indicating his pledge of number of hours per week and amount per month to be contributed.

He signs this up and submits it to the parish.

Boongaling returns the letter for a reminder.

A contributor then gets an envelope entitled “Ang Aking Pangako sa Diyos” with the Hapag ng Pamilyang Mindoreño (HNPM) logo covered with plastic.

It contains the name of the zone and community on top. Four columns under it are monthly dates (from May 2008 to May 2009), the amount pledged, the amount received by the counter, and the signature of the volunteer who received the amount.

Luarca said the preparations, while done by volunteers, cost around P5,000 ($102), including photocopying, boxes, clothes bags and tapungan native basket.

Some system

The monthly pledges can be submitted in four ways: During the monthly community Mass, during Tapungan Sunday, which is every fourth Sunday of the month in the parish church (first and second Mass) and individually through the parish office, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Luarca relates: “Now, those without envelopes become curious asking why they do not have one. But it no longer has to be Father Boongaling to explain but those who have pledged.”

The counting of tapong is done on a Sunday after the fourth Sunday by four counters (a leader and three members) from the Pamayanan Pastoral Council (PPC) and Parish Finance Council (Pafinco).

As incentive, the community gets 20 per cent of the total monthly tapong in their area.

This November, Boongaling gladly reports that the tapong collection has increased to P61,000 from P42,632 when it was launched in May.

The monthly parish expenses are about P180,000.

Learning experience

Father Boongaling says his past experiences on voluntarism helped him arrive at the right formula.
He is most grateful to the Hapag ng Pamilyang Mindoreño, the core program of the diocese launched on July 15, 2006 where priests were asked about their dream for their parish.

“I wanted people to make the church a part of their life,” says Boongaling, who is now 15 years old in the ministry.

When he was assigned at the HFP in 2006, he kept in his heart the dream of leaving a legacy in three forms: A self-reliant parish which supports all the needs of the parish; a meaningful liturgy where people understand it, appreciate it and are able to put it into action, and an increase in the number of leaders (koswtowing).

Now Boongaling’s dream is coming alive.

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