Search and You Shall Find in My World

29 January 2010

Bohol made a big turn-around

A few years back, 1995 I think, I was one of those people who were given the task and the chance to explain and cascade down to the people who themselves formulated the Vision of the province of Bohol. The Vision states-
Bohol is a prime eco-cultural tourist destination and a strong agro-industrial province with an empowered and self-reliant people who are God-loving, law-abiding, proud of their cultural heritage and committed to the growth and protection of the environment.
It was a turning point of the province of Bohol since the vision became a unifying element among the various sectors of the province, noting the Boholanos' love and desire in the preservation of its unique ecological and cultural environment.

The young governor Rene Relampagos and head of legislation vice-governor Edgar Chatto fought for it and made waves stirring their own kind by introducing a human touch to the not so famous government procedures. Until now, no one can deny the fact that Bohol still is in the limelight because of the introduction of this Vision, Mission, Goals and Strategies to the people.

Bohol made headlines again when it formulated and made into law the Bohol Environment Code. Later, Bohol applied and was the first local government unit in the Philippines accredited to the pesky Environmental Management Standards (ISO 14001).

But right now, as the political leadership changes every elections, the Vision of Bohol is starting to get clouded by selfish motives other than the preservation of Bohol's environment. In fact, I have seen through my own eyes the burning of plastic materials right at the Governor's Mansion, a clear indication that the Bohol provincial government already abandons their ISO 14001 certification.

Sadly, the news of a plan to setup five islets on Panglao (Island) Bay for leisure and recreation as Panglao is noted to be, has been approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan (the provincial law-making body) and authorized the governor to sign for a joint-venture with a private developer for this project.

Call this ridiculous but the only place I know who made artificial islands is Dubai and they were a rich country. But my argument is not on the economics of such a crazy idea. My concern is Bohol's, specifically Panglao's environment and the effect of those islets when they are constructed. I am sure, the proponents don't care if hundreds of people will be displaced and their livelihood like fishing will become history. Their arguments will of course lead us to believe that Bohol will become financially rich with those islands.

What has become of the Vision of the province of Bohol? Has it become obsolete? Where are the proponents of the VMGS? What have the concerned organizations done to stop this idea?

My vision might be blurred but I still have the mind to think of the impact this project will give.

Funny that I happened to read present governor of Bohol Erico Aumentado's stirring speech titled The Bohol Environment Code: Anchor of Development Initiatives given during the workshop-forum Policy Review and Reform towards Participatory ENR Governance sponsored by the Ateneo School of Government. In his ending speech Aumentado emphasized-
But in all their aspects, including conflict of interest, political will is the key to the success of any environmental program. This element must underlie and anchor the initiatives to PROTECT, CONSERVE AND HARNESS THE ENVIRONMENT AND NATURAL RESOURCES (emphasis mine) for the well being of the province and our people.
A statement with good intent but no teeth? Well- if Boholanos really are still "proud of their cultural heritage and committed to the growth and protection of the environment," the coming elections in May should elect a standard-bearer who would push for what the people believes and not just someone out for some award-grabbing paper works.

Related articles can be read here-

Picture grabbed from,

28 January 2010

More pics at Osmeña Peak

Thanks again Ryan for the pics.

25 January 2010

Blogging her way to Libel: Ella's case

I am thankful for all the complaining I hear about our government because it means we have freedom of speech. ~Nancie J. Carmody

It used to be.

But lately the government is trying to go after bloggers who blog about its inefficiency. Take the case of Ella who has now a pending libel case against her because she was telling what she saw in the Department of Social Welfare and Development warehouse- hoarded relief goods.

While hundreds suffered during that terrible Ondoy and Pepeng typhoons that hit mostly the Luzon areas, DSWD was slow to distribute its relief goods from international donors saying they lack volunteers to re-pack the goods.

Blogger Ella was there, with a hidden camera to document what happened in that warehouse.

With everyone pestering the DSWD to distribute those goods, mostly after the published blog, (FYI- various private entities have already distributed theirs way ahead of that government agency that was tasked to give welfare to the people), Ella's blog confirmed how slow government acted on calamities like Ondoy and Pepeng. In fact, our government is more reactive than proactive not just in times of calamities.

And bloggers like Ella are persecuted because of this report. And maybe, just maybe, they will hunt me too.

More can be read here:
Update from Mon Tulfo of on the harassment done by DSWD to Ella: It pays to be honest.

Holy cow!

I was sitting on the right side of the Father contemplating on my woes. Suddenly a woman of age appeared like an angel of misfortune right infront of me, genuflecting, rubbing her neck like that of an x-rated actress full of ecstasy. I was confused. Was she trying to tempt me in this sacred grounds? Did she mistook me for a healing saint?

The woman in my left suppressed a laugh and stared at me like I was the transgressor. I stared back wanting an explanation.

The woman again genuflected and made the sign of the cross and left.

I sighed a relief.

I looked up. Nothing. I looked in my back. There. I was standing infront of the image of Jesus the Divine Mercy. Just as I thought. I was relieved.

23 January 2010

19 January 2010

The rich and the influential still prevails

I don’t know Jason Aguilar Ivler. And he doesn’t know me either, as if I care. I have only read in the papers regarding his notoriety. But recent incidents involving the rich and influential clans have made me wonder if his being caught would really give a positive outcome in the justice system of this country.

Imagine, a million pesos in bounty has to be setup and several administrative costs including financial overheads have been disbursed by the government just to catch one, just one fugitive, a rich spoiled brat accused of killing someone also from an influential family. We are a rich country in this case.

If it could have been an ordinary citizen, like someone from the slums of Manila, killing someone like that son of a government official, the case would have been closed 2-3 days after the heinous crime. But because that SOB Ivler is also powerful, he has to go to the hospital for an operation and treatment of a gunshot in which he triggered. Had it been an ordinary person, he would have been a casualty and would be sent directly to the morgue, if at all. 

But in his case, we only have to wait on the papers on what happens next.

Some background on the Ivler-Ebarle case:

Picture from and like her I would also say if I am killed, you know who did it.

What's up for lunch?

I found a big slab of imported corned beef in my kitchen and do not know what to do with it. Feeling lazy and never wanting to prepare a complicated meal I resort to innovate. What comes to mind is red.

I have leftover red rice. The corned beef is red meat. Sambal is red chili paste. There is a red wine in the corner. So I fried my rice and put in the corned beef and sambal. I have a meal and viand all in one. All red.

One doesn't have to buy expensive food or go to expensive restaurants to have a good meal. You can make your own.

That deserved a dark chocolate and coffee.

The fierce drink that gave me a big hangover

A lethal combination of orange juice (sometimes switched to pomelo juice), fresh calamansi juice, vodka, Sprite and lots of ice, this sweet and potent drink had me wasted for a day or two. Ryan Racal would not divulge the right recipe so you have to guess when you are planning on making this one. He made it by the pitcher and served by glassful, tagay style.

18 January 2010

My Sinulog firsts

I am grateful of Laguna Garden Cafe at their SM City branch for the opportunity to try and loved Puto Bumbong

During my elementary days, puto bumbong was always mentioned in books. I think this is a Tagalog delicacy since I never heard or seen the Visayans cooking it. 

Puto bumbong is actually a suman and not a puto although it tastes like a puto maya only that it has butter (or margarine?) on it and grated fresh coconut. It goes well with that smokey cup of tsokolate.

Another first for me is going to Pasil area in Cebu answering to the invitation of a good friend Ryan Racal. I heard so much of the area and some of them were not good.

But when I went there, my bad impression of the place was gone. The people there are all friendly, warm and true. I had a good time with them and even celebrated with them in their street party. I felt intoxicated by the warm hospitality and the drinks they served.

Went home wasted but happy.

A Study on Lunch: Beef-Flavored Tuna

As expected after a fiesta celebration, a good fish recipe is almost always a must. However, with a big hangover from a three-day drinking binge, going to the market is a great effort. So I make use of what was stored in my kitchen cabinet- canned tuna.

I called this creation Beef-Flavored Tuna.

The recipe includes: 1 can of Century Tuna Flakes in Brine, cloves of Garlic (minced), 1 head of Red Onion (diced), a slab of Butter for frying, 1/2 cup of Beef Stock, Sambal (chili paste), Salt (optional) and Pepper.

In a heated pan, I put a slab of butter and let it melt. I added garlic (I like my garlic toasted) and onions until tender. Then I put in the tuna flakes and the beef stock, added sambal, salt and pepper. I let it stand for 5 minutes so that the beef stock would seep in the tuna. Voila!

Perfect for a Bran-Riched Red Rice. Now that is called a healthy meal.

15 January 2010

Soaking wet and loving it

I am very wet and shivering in cold due to the heavy rains during the last day of the novena mass to the Santo Niño de Cebu at the Basilica del Santo Niño in Cebu City just a few minutes ago.

Such a nice feeling when everyone did not mind being wet at all and nobody raised a voice when someone accidentally shoved their umbrellas around.

In one voice we sing praise and glory to God.

And while I was on my way home I met the people of Pasil on the way to the Basilica bringing various Santo Niños happily dancing to the beat of drums and dripping wet in the rain. I felt elated. I joined in.
Viva Señor Santo Niño!

(The heavy rains and strong winds toppled down the mansanitas in the printing press. It was an old tree.)

Sinulog is here!

I was jolted out of bed at 4 in the morning because of the pounding of drums somewhere down in Guadalupe area. WTF! But I realized that today is Friday, the last day of the novena of the Señor Santo Niño of Cebu. Officially, today is the feast day.

I went to the novena mass last night despite the rain and the massive crowd (as in MASSIVE!) and wondered why this country is so religious but is very slow when it comes to prosperity. Does religiosity have to do with development? Does religion have a hand with government corruption? And I mean corruption not only in government. Even that street vendor somewhere is very corrupt, for Christsakes!

Maybe because our being religious is only skin-deep? The pratices the Spaniards taught us were imbedded in our culture but never in our psyche. Ambivalent right? Or were they a mere reflection of what our invaders did in their time and we think it should be okay to be corrupt because we pray for the forgiveness of our sins daily? Daily! Do what I say, is that it?

Anyways- Sinulog is here and time to get ready with that sturdy walking shoes. What you mean you don't know what I mean? Sinulog is basically your exercise time since most of the streets in Cebu are closed for the celebration. The usual 15 minute-ride home would now mean 2 hours of waiting in the taxi. Better walk. Another excuse to do cardio.

And please bring your rainy day gadgets despite Pagasa declaring we would be experiencing warmer weather. It has been raining since Monday and getting worst today.

Pit Señor everyone!

14 January 2010

Superb dinner at Hola España

There are expensive restaurants and there are those who only stop at being expensive. At Hola España (The Terraces at Ayala Center Cebu), they go beyond what we call expensive. In fact we were literally pampered when we had dinner there. Gary, the cute head waiter at Hola, served us.

We ordered Bruschetta first. I think this is more of an Italian fare and not Spanish but who cares? When it arrived, the sight of it was fantastic. We asked for olive oil and balsamic vinegar and extra cheese to go with the bruschetta. It was served with extra care and smile. The taste was heavenly!

Gary gave us more hot bread and butter. I had my San Mig Light.

Then came Paella Valenciana, a combination of rice, chicken, seafood, vegetables and to my dismay, there was pork on it. Not to embarass my friend, I got my small share to taste the saffron the menu stated was there. It was really good but all I could taste was curry. I was thinking saffron tasted different and not curry-like.

The Bacalao ala Viscania was served later, a healthy combination of fish fillet, tomatoes, tender potatoes and olives. It tasted fishy of course and I devoured it with gusto.

A bottle of Spanish white wine suggested by Gary completed the ensemble.

I skipped the creme brulee and opt for the dark chocolate Boktot gave me the afternoon before. 

I had a good life, so to speak.