Just an interesting article -- Source: The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Tue, Mar 04 2014  Forbes’ 10 richest in PH for 2014
11:36 am | Tuesday, March 4th, 2014
MANILA, Philippines – Below is Forbes’ 2014 list of the 10 richest people in the Philippines and their networth:
Henry Sy ($11.4 billion)
Lucio Tan ($6.1 billion)
Andrew Tan ($4.1 billion)
Enrique Razon Jr. ($4.2 billion)
John Gokongwei Jr. ($3.9 billion)
David Consunji ($3.3 billion)
George Ty ($2.3 billion)
Tony Tan Caktiong ($1.7 billion)
Robert Coyiuto Jr. ($1.5 billion)
Andrew Gotianun ($1 billion)
ST. AUGUSTINE'S SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2nd Grand International Reunion (SASAA II) -- MB Adm for Rossana Somera Lirio (SASAA), Sun, Feb 16 2014 
To All Alumni of the ST. AUGUSTINE'S SCHOOL, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur:
Mark your calendars for the ST. AUGUSTINE'S SCHOOL ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 2nd Grand International Reunion (SASAA II) to be held at
THE ORLEANS HOTEL & CASINO in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA on
AUGUST 1, 2, & 3 2014.
Please note the following additional information in making your
*Prior to cut-off-date, JUNE 26, 2014, everyone is encouraged to book
hotel room reservations online: address: www.orleanscasino.com/groups.
To receive the special group rate, enter assigned
RESERVATION ID: A4SAC08.
*Prior to the same cut-off-date, book hotel reservations direct by calling
(800) 675-3267 toll free or (702) 365-7111. To receive the special group rate, indicate group name: ST. AUGUSTINE'S SCHOOL.
Please disregard the telephone number printed on the dinner tickets.
We apologize for the confusion it may cause.
*Special group rates (Sunday to Thursday: $34.00, Friday to Saturday:
$79.00 plus tax and resort fee) will be awarded only to those who mention
the Group ID or Group Name. Please remember to mention any of them.
Please help the PLANNING COMMITTEE spread the word.
To celebrate Chinese New Year, here are some of the restaurants you could go try while you are in Manila's Chinatown for the Chinese New Year festivities. Most of the restaurants in the list are located in Binondo (the Chinatown of Manila). These restaurants are few of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Manila and the whole country. I am glad that they are still around and people are patronizing them after all these years. I always enjoy this part of Manila along with the neighboring area of Quiapo and Divisoria. It is a busy area but this what make this area (Quiapo/Binondo/Divisoria) interesting and shopping is great. You will find almost everything you need here at bargain prices. By the way, the Manila Chinatown is the oldest Chinatown in the world according to Wikepedia. The article below is from the Coconuts Manila website.
14 oldest Chinese restaurants in Metro Manila
By Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
Posted at 01/27/2014 1:18 PM | Updated as of 01/29/2014 2:47 PM
As early as the ninth century, the Chinese have been coming to the Philippines not only to trade, but also to share their cuisine with us. Here, Coconuts Manila presents 14 Chinese restaurants with at least 45 years of operations in Metro Manila — from Binondo and Sta. Cruz to Caloocan City — that have helped shape and define Chinese food for Filipino foodies.
1. Toho Food Center
Toho Food Center. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
Move over Ambos Mundos (c. 1888), this is Manila's oldest restaurant, and it's still owned by the same family that founded it. Despite its new brand name, however, most people still refer to Toho by its original identity: Antigua. According to the book "The Governor General’s Kitchen," Antigua was founded by Manuel “Po Kong” Bautista in 1866. He named his restaurant Antigua because he was said to value things whose qualities have proven their worth over time. As for its current name, the owners say that it is the English translation of the Hokkien word "just enough.” Historical personalities who have dined here include four Philippine presidents, actor Fernando Poe Sr, actress and singer Katy de la Cruz and Manila Mayor Arsenio Lacson.
Must order: During the 1930s, some of the more popular dishes on its menu included dishes like sopa de nido (bird’s nest soup), camaron rebosado (fried shrimp), pinsic frito (fried wonton) and bijon tostado (toasted fried bihon) — all are still in the menu. Toho's bestseller is pansit canton (stir-fried noodles, P125). It is said that people used to line up as early as 11 a.m. and again at 5pm just to buy the freshly cooked noodles. Another must-try is roasted pork asado (P180 for one-fourth kilo). Cooked fresh daily without the use of artificial coloring, it is beautifully sweet and tender and usually sold out by afternoon.
Hot foodie tip: It is possible to get a taste of the past here at Antigua. Toho offers dishes you don’t normally find in other Chinese restaurants, like pat mi shrimp (battered fried shrimp in spicy sauce, P220). Another item that is not on the menu but you can whisper gently to the waitresses' ear is fried milk (P180), dry-toasted noodles with bits of pork and shrimp that's covered with a sauce made from milk.
Get here: 422-424 Tomas Pinpin St, Binondo, Manila; +63 2 2420294. Mon-Sat 9am-9pm, Sun 9am-2pm.
2. Ilang Ilang Restaurant
Lomi. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
According to the late food chronicler Doreen Gamboa Fernandez, this eatery got its name from the street where it is located, not from the flower. It was originally a noodle shop opened by a cook from Xiamen named Mr Nua and his son Eng Guan, and became a fully licensed restaurant in 1945. But unlike the panciteria around Plaza Sta Cruz, Ilang Ilang did not benefit from a lunchtime crowd, it was their dinner service that was more lucrative. Today most of its business comes from catering parties.
Must order: According to the book "The Governor General’s Kitchen," Ilang Ilang was known for its wide variety of noodle dishes. Regulars still swear by their bowl of lomi (thick noodles cooked in a thick and starchy egg broth, P115). They are also known for their rellenong hipon (stuffed deep-fried shrimp, P175), rice wine spare ribs (P195) and chami (P115). They are also the only ones we know who make fried gabi (P15), little balls of fried mashed taro that works well as a snack, a dessert or even as accompaniment to a savory dish.
Hot foodie tip: Because of Ilang Ilang's catering operations, it has a variety of dishes you wouldn't normally find in a regular panciteria. Some dishes require to be ordered in advance, like the braised pork with cua pao (P580) and eight treasures stuffed chicken (P480).
Get here: 551 Ilang ilang St. San Nicolas, Manila. +63 2 2419297, +63 2 2423266. Daily 8am-10:45pm.
3. Ramon Lee’s Panciteria
Pinsec frito. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
Ramon Lee came to the Philippines from Guangdong province with the goal of opening his own restaurant and earning enough money to go back to China to marry his fiancée Wong Yok King. In a few short years he was able to tick both boxes, but then World War II broke out and his restaurant was destroyed. Not one to wallow in despair, he immediately reopened at a new location on Ronquillo Street. His wife gave him a recipe for fried chicken and it became an instant hit. Mr. Lee knew that not everyone could afford to order fried chicken, so he introduced six-peso set meals that included the dish. One fan of Ramon Lee's fried chicken was Ferdinand Marcos.
Must try: The value lunch meals are still available with soup, rice, chicken and two side dishes, however they now cost P155 (inflation, darlings!). A whole fried chicken sets you back P330.
Hot foodie tip: Aside from fried chicken the menu boasts other panciteria classics such as cameron rebosado (deep-fried shrimp, P240), ampalaya con carne (stif-fried beef stir with bittergourd, P220), pata tim (sweet braised pork, P295), morisqueta tostado (fried rice, P35 per bowl) and bijon guisado (fried bihon, P200). Filipino dishes have also made it to the menu: kalderetang baka (beef and tomato stew, P245) and, a recent invention, sisig (P215).
Get here: 540 Ronquillo St, Sta. Cruz, Manila, +63 2 7330642. Mon-Sat 10 am-10pm, Sun 9am-10pm.
4. Ma Mon Luk
Siopao. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
Ma Mon Luk arrived in Manila in 1918, with nothing but a determination to make his fortune here so he could go back to China and marry his sweetheart. He worked as a street vendor peddling chicken noodles from two large metal cans that he balanced on his shoulders. Being a natural showman, he would attract customers by singing and performing tricks. Eventually he became so popular that people would seek him from his post on the corner of Onpgin and Salazar Streets. Eventually he saved enough to open his own restaurant in the 1930s. It was then that he named his dish Ma’s Mi or literally Mr. Ma’s noodle. The name stuck and Filipinos now refer to any noodles-and-broth dish as mami. Ma eventually earned enough to marry his sweetheart and bring her to Manila. He went on to introduce a new dish, the siopao, to the general public. At first people were hesitant to try it, but Ma succeeded in not only making them try the hot steamed bun, it went on to become one of the best-loved Chinese dish in the country.
Must try: It is not hard to decide what to eat here as you have only two types of mami and two types of siopao to choose from. Pair either one with siomai (pork and shrimp dumpling, P45 for two pieces). A warm bowl of their regular chicken mami (P95) and asado siopao (roast pork siopao, P45) will only set you back a mere P140.
Get here: 545 Quezon Blvd, Quiapo, Manila, +63 2 7337596. Daily 9am to 8pm.
5. Boy Ching Woo
Pancit Shanghai. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
When war broke out between China and Japan, Nicolas Woo Sr fled to the Philippines as a refugee from Macau. He ended up in what was then the small town of Caloocan (the concept of Metro Manila did not exist back then). To survive, he opened a small panciteria on the corner of Mabini and J Rodriguez Streets. It later became popular for its line of noodle dishes such as the lomi, miki and pancit alanganin ("alanganin" means incomplete in Filipino and this dish is essentially pancit lomi without the egg). When his son Nicolas “Boy Ching” Woo Jr took over the eatery, he added more dishes to the menu such as battered chicken, lechon con tokwa (roast pork and bean curd) and beef rumble (chop suey but with beef strip instead of liver). The restaurant has since moved to its own building further inside J. Rodriguez Street and is now being managed by third generation Woos.
Must try: Signature dishes that have become popular like pancit alanganin (P80) and pancit miki guisado (fried thick noodles, P80). You definitely get your money’s worth if you order the pancit Shanghai (P120), a big bowl of flat egg noodles stir-fried with ham, roast pork, garlic and vegetable. The signature battered chicken (P170) is worth a try as is the beef rumble (P180) which is a bit on the sweet side.
Hot foodie tip: They also have other classic panciteria fare like pata tim (P400) and a selection of Filipino dishes such as sinigang (P120) and crispy pata (P390). Interestingly enough they also offer lasagna and baby back ribs for take away.
Get here: 103 BCW Building, J Rodriguez St, Caloocan City, +63 2 2871430, +63 2 2831499. Daily 11am-11pm.
6. Chuan Kee
Since the 1940s
Kiampong. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
Businessman Co Bio Tsing founded this popular corner eatery in Chinatown. It was originally a grocery with an eatery attached, but it became well known for its kiampong (rice cooked in pork stock). When Co retired to Hong Kong in the 1990s, none of his children were interested to take over, so Gerry Chua of Eng Bee Tin bakery bought the place and gave it a 21st century makeover but retained its old-world charm. Chua has since gone on to open a more upscale version of the restaurant on the second floor, which he now calls Café Mezzanine.
Must try: Definitely you must try the kiampong (P38), available as soon as the store is open at 6 a.m. Chuan Kee is also among the few Chinese restaurants in Binondo that you can try herbal tonics lovingly prepared by Tsinoy moms and grandmothers for their family. Among them are the xibut soup (P160) and the go kong (P135).
Hot foodie tip: They also have the supposed aphrodisiac “Soup no. 5” (P220) on the menu. But according to Chua, the reason it is called as such is because of the five herbs used in the soup. The restaurant is also popular for its line of fresh fruit shakes (P50-P55).
Get here: 650 Ongpin cor Yuchengco Sts, Binondo, Manila; +63 2 2888888 loc 119. Daily 6am to 10pm.
7. Ongpin Mañosa Co.
Lomi. Photo by Anson Yu, Coconuts Manila
The word mañosa supposedly means “skillful” in Spanish. But since most of our Spanish words are filtered through Mexico it could also mean “clever.” If that was the intent of the owner, then he probably wants to imply he is skillful and clever when it comes to cooking and running a restaurant. But another possible explanation as to why the owner named this restaurant Mañosa is that it was his family name. Whatever the reason, this restaurant must be doing something right to stay around for nearly seven decades. In recent years it has expanded to a number of locations around the city, but regulars say that the best one is this branch.
Must try: Despite starting out as a panciteria, the menu at the original branch stay close to its Tsinoy roots. You won’t find pata tim or ampalaya con carne, as in other panciteria. They emphasize more on dishes that are close to the Tsinoy’s heart like maki (pork meatballs in starchy soup, P100) or the machang (rice dumpling, P80).
Hot foodie tip: They are also known for noodle dishes, all of which they serve from bowls that runneth over. Popular among regulars is their chami (fried thick noodles) which is available as a regular (P105) or special (with added extra topping, P135) order.
Get here: 926 Ongpin St, Sta Cruz, Manila; +63 2 7333179. Mon-Sat 9am to 10pm, Sun 9am-9pm.
Naragsak nga Aldaw Dagiti Puso kadakayo amin.
Here are some Ilocano love songs that I put together for your listening enjoyment this Valentine's Day.
I hope you enjoy the songs.
Happy Valentine's Day everyone.
To select a song, go to the playlist by clicking the playlist button at the bottom of the screen.
(R.I.P). Delia Somera, wife of Fred Somera (Magsaysay District and San Juan, LU), was called by the Lord on Jan. 29, 2014. She is the mother of Willy, Theresa, Janice and Eric.. Kindly include her in your prayers. May she rest in peace. -- Atty. Romeo J Somera, Esq., CPA (Godspeed Delia), Wed, Jan 29 2014 
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Two major expressway projects that would make travel faster from Manila to Ilocos and vise versa -- , Fri, Jan 24 2014 
TPLEX and the Skyway 3 connector project would make all this possible in a few years (about 3 years or so). TPLEX(Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) is the expressway going to the Ilocos via NLEX (North Luzon Expressway) and SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) while the Skyway 3 elevated expressway connects NLEX and SLEX (South Luzon Expressway) starting from Buendia in Makati to Balintawak in the northern part of Metro Manila. I am sure a lot of us from the Ilocos including myself who drive or take the bus to go to and from Manila are eagerly awaiting for the opening of these expressways for it would be faster and safer.
Depending of where you live in the Manila area, it takes about an hour or two to get into NLEX(North Luzon Expressway) which connect to the SCTEX/TPLEX in Mabalacat, Pampanga. Sometimes it could even take longer than 2 hours especially when you hit the road at the same time when the truckers are trying to get out of the Metro to beat the time they are supposed to be out of the Metro roads or if there is an accident.
The current administration has not done any big infrastructure project since Pres. Benigno Aquino became the president. It is nice to see that they are finally doing something to start these badly needed infrastructure projects since the president only have two more years to go. Construction for the two expressways are now both in full blast.
They also have another connector project that would connect NLEX and SLEX and I think the construction would start this year as well (sometime in the middle of the year). This expressway which would rival Skyway 3 would go through the western part of Manila via the Port of Manila and would also commence in Buendia, Makati.
Kudos to all the people who are making all these expressway projects possible for the benefit of the Filipino people. Of course there is a catch. You have to pay the tolls, but I think people would not mind paying since these expressways would be faster and safer to use than the other highways.
Since, we've talked about the pork barrel (PDAF) here in this mb, here is another form of pork barrel being cooked by the congress people in the Philippines in the form of new lump sum appropriations. These people just don't want to give it up. Tuloy pa rin ang ligaga. -- Source: The Philippine Star, Wed, Jan 22 2014 
Executive, legislative branches told to answer allegations on new lump sums
By Edu Punay (The Philippine Star) | Updated January 22, 2014 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) yesterday ordered the executive and legislative branches to comment on allegations by former Manila councilor Greco Belgica that this year’s national budget has lump sum appropriations similar to the scrapped Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF).
The SC also opted not to immediately rule on petitioner’s request for a status quo ante order that would prevent the government from touching four non-itemized appropriations in the 2014 General Appropriations Act.
Instead, it directed the Palace and Congress to first submit comments explaining the four assailed items in the budget – Unprogrammed Fund, E-Government Fund, Contingent Fund and Local Government Support Fund – which petitioner likened to the PDAF that was declared unconstitutional in November last year.
The SC gave respondents, including Executive Secretary Paquito Ochoa Jr., Senate President Franklin Drilon and Speaker Feliciano Belmonte Jr., ten days from receipt of notice to comply with the order.
In a 21-page petition for certiorari filed last Jan. 13, Belgica questioned the legality of the four items he branded as “lump sum discretionary funds in the 2014 GAA.”
Belgica, a petitioner in the celebrated court ruling on the congressional pork barrel, has argued that the executive and the legislative branches of the government have ignored the high court’s ruling against PDAF.
Headlines ( Article MRec ), pagematch: 1, sectionmatch: 1
The four lump sum appropriations amount to P143.78 billion or 8.94 percent of the 2014 budget of P2.265 trillion.
He alleged that the inclusion of four lump sum items in the budget violates the constitutional provision on separation of powers because it leaves the legislative branch at the mercy of the President in terms of fund allocation.
Belgica did not include in his petition the calamity fund dedicated to the rehabilitation of Eastern Visayan provinces devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda last year.
“We never assailed the calamity fund. We believe it must be localized,” he said, apparently in response to lawmakers’ pronouncements that his petition was insensitive to victims of the calamities.
Petitioner alleged that the 2014 GAA continued the illegal practice of lump sum appropriations and simply passed on the responsibility of identifying specific projects for appropriation to the agencies concerned.
RETIRED U.S ARMED SERVICES -- QUINTIN L. VISQUE, Wed, Jan 15 2014 
CALLING CALLING ALL HANDS. FELLOW TAGUDIANS IF YOU ARE A RETIRED U.S. ARMED FORCES NAVY MARINES ARMY COAST GUARD AIR FORCE. PLEASE PUT YOUR NAME RANK,RETIREMENT DATE AND BRANCH OF SERVICES ON THE LIST.
Related post to the news article below regarding the opening of the Tarlac City to Gerona segment of the Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway -- , Sun, Oct 27 2013 
NLEX (North Luzon Expressway)- Green
SCTEX (Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway) - Orange
TPLEX (Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway) - Not Shown. It starts in Tarlac City and it ends in Gerona but eventually will end in Rosario, La Union. SCTEX and TPLEX connects seamlessly.
Now that the TPLEX interchange in Gerona, Tarlac is now being opened, here is a more detailed information for the NLEX, SCTEX, and TPLEX expressways that you would take to go to Ilocos/Baguio from Manila and vice versa. I hope that this would be a clearer picture for those of you who are not familiar with this route especially for the "balikbayans" or foreigners out there who are planning to drive in the Philippines while vacationing here. I would suggest though to just hire a driver because driving in the Philippines could be very risky. Driving here is quite different from the way people drive in other countries and not all roads and highways are well maintained which is one of the reasons why there are many accidents happening in the Philippine roads and highways.
Not too long ago, people would just take the McArthur Highway or also called Manila North Road all the way to Ilocos Norte from Manila but with these new expressways in Central Luzon, people can now have a safer and a more convenient option driving to the North from Manila and vice versa. Though not as extensive as compared to other road networks in other countries, these expressways do help in reducing travel time.
Going to Ilocos, you would take NLEX (formerly North Diversion Road in the 60s and 70s) then you would take the SCTEX Exit in Mabalacat Pampanga. This would take you to SCTEX Expressway which ends in Tarlac City (after Hacienda Luisita). However, this is also the point where TPLEX begins. Keep driving passing through the town of Victoria until you reach the next exit which is Gerona (the end of the line for TPLEX for now) then take Gerona-Guimba-Pura Road to McArthur Highway. I believe there is a Max’s Restaurant, a gas station and a stop light at that area of the McArthur Highway where you would turn right from Gerona-Guimba-Pura Road. If you are driving from the North going south to Manila, just do the reverse and make sure to turn left at Gerona-Guimba-Pura Road from McArthur Highway otherwise if you’ve passed beyond the Isdaan Floating Restaurant in Gerona, you’ve missed your turn going to TPLEX.
Be ready to stop to pay toll fees at exit points. I am not sure about the rates for the toll fees but expect to pay at least around 270 pesos from Balintawak to Gerona.
Feel free to correct me if some information I’ve provided is incorrect. Any additional info regarding the expressways that you might want to add is also appreciated.
The new chief at the Tagudin General Hospital and Capillariasis Center - Dr. Audie Narcise -- , Tue, Dec 10 2013 
Dr. Audie Narcise with Vangie Valdez Kelly(President of the Tagudinians of Northern California) taken at the Tagudin General Hospital in Bio, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur
Dr. Narcise is the son of General Emilio Narcise and the late Mrs. Angustia Narcise of Las-ud, Tagudin. He was the Chief of Hospital at the Central Ilocos Sur District Hospital in Narvacan, Ilocos Sur for a long time until he was assigned to Tagudin General Hospital this December of 2013.
PAF man drowns after saving 2 siblings -- Source: http://www.tempo.com.ph/, Wed, Jan 01 2014 
CAMP PRESIDENT QUIRINO, Ilocos Sur – A junior officer of the Philippine Air Force (PAF) drowned Sunday morning after being hit by big waves after saving his two siblings who were first taken by strong water current at a beach in Barangay Libtong, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.
Senior Inspector Napoleon Gao-ay, Tagudin town chief of police, identified the victim as First Lieutenant Mark Alvin Lagria, 29, a PAF officer assigned to the Camp Brigadier General Benito Ebien Airbase, Lapulapu,
Mindanao and resident of Barangay Lasud, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur.
The victim with his fellow PAF enlisted man, Sergeant Almar Laping, his cousin Darryll Murillo, 16; and his younger brother Daniel Lagra, 22, went to Libtong beach to swim.
While swimming at the beach at about 7:30 a.m., cousins Darryll and Daniel were taken by strong water current. The victim rushed to rescue them.
Upon saving his two siblings, the victim was hit by big waves and went missing at sea.
Police and the town’s rescue team retrieved the victim’s body. (Freddie G. Lazaro)
Captain Pedro Navarro - "Anak ti Tagudin" -- , Tue, Dec 10 2013 
I am thankful to the folks at the “precidencia” for remembering these people who gave honor to our beloved town of Tagudin and also for reviving the culture of our town. I've heard that there are plans to bring back zarzuelas, and to have more exibits similar to the Navarro exhibits and other cultural events related to the town of Tagudin. Thumbs up and way to go Tagudin! I got this flyer through our neighbor Gloria "Aby" Agas one day when she came and attended my mother's 1st year death anniversary novena. I have't heard of Captain Pedro Navarro until manang Aby told me about this famous son of Tagudin. My grandfather might had told us about this famous musician when I was growing up but I never remembered the name Captain Pedro Navarro. She was very happy to tell me that I was related to this famous musician. Captain Navarro is a cousin (not sure what degree) of my grandfather Vicente Dauz and his other cousins (Antolin, Carmen, Ciriaco, Ilang, Ramon, et al.) of Jardin/Quirino or "laud" as the folks in the town proper or "poblacion" call it. "Daya" is what we call the eastern part of the town proper. Tagudin is one big family. A lot of people are related one way or the other. In fact Manang Aby Agas told me that I am also related to her. I am happy and honored to know though that I am related to this famous musician from Tagudin.
Go enjoy the exibit.
Thank you again to the folks who've made all this possible for all Tagudinians.
Here is another article that was posted in the Philippine Daily Inquirer awhile back regarding Captain Pedro Navarro:
UP Symphonic Band to play Navarro works
By Antonio C. Hila
Philippine Daily Inquirer
11:31 pm | Sunday, July 7th, 2013
Capt. Pedro Navarro
Symphonic band enthusiasts are in for a rare treat as the UP College of Music presents the UP Symphonic Band in a concert at the Abelardo Hall Auditorium on July 18 at 6:30 p.m.
Dean José Buenconsejo of the UP College of Music says the concert is part of the Philippine music heritage series of the school.
The concert is billed “An Ode to the Filipino People,” as the band will render all-Filipino symphonic-band original compositions. Rodney Ambat will conduct the UP Symphonic Band.
Buenconsejo says the concert pays tribute to music leaders who made remarkable contributions to the development of band music in the country, especially during the early 20th century when the pre-war Philippines Constabulary band, founded by the Afro-American Walter H. Loving in 1902, was hailed for its high level of musicianship.
The compositions of Capt. Pedro Navarro, who succeeded Loving in 1916, highlight the concert’s program. Only nine of his pieces survive today even as research is being relentlessly done to find more. His music, musicologists say, is composed for band with light, sometimes whimsical melodies, and combines both Spanish and military influences.
Navarro won the admiration of leading band conductors of his time, including John Philip Sousa.
Born on June 29, 1879, Navarro hailed from Tagudin, Ilocos Sur. He studied under maestro Marcelo Adonay from 1894 to 1898, and José Masslovet, a Spanish violin teacher.
UP SYMPHONIC Band with professor Rodney Ambat conducting
In 1899, he joined the US Volunteer Band. Loving heard him and succeeded in recruiting him and assured him of better opportunities in the PC Band, even if he had “better pay and privileges” in his former unit.
In 1916, Loving got sick and retired from the band. He passed on the baton to Navarro in a fitting concert at the Luneta as the band played “Auld Lang Syne.”
Navarro’s stint as conductor of the PC Band lasted only for a year as he retired in 1917.
Navarro’s works to be played are: Paso Doble; Petit Divertissement for Trombone, with Josua Mesa as soloist; “The Bonnet”; “Id Est,” Solo for B Flat Cornet, with Jasper G. Peralta as soloist; and “Col. Loving March.”
Other works to be performed are: Marcha Patriotica by Daniel Fajardo; Overture by Fr. Amado Buencamino; Antonino Buenaventura’s “Ode to the Republic” and “Sa Dakong Silangan”; Lucio San Pedro’s “Lahing Kayumanggi”; and Valentin Mechilina’s “Sa Dalampasigan” Overture and “Lulay” March.
An educational exhibit highlighting Navarro’s career is set up at the Abelardo Lobby by Dr. Mary Talusan, the latter’s granddaughter.
Clicking the sites are not working. -- Atty. Romeo J Somera, Esq., CPA (Please be generous), Tue, Nov 19 2013 
I have been informed that clicking the sites provided to channel your donations may not be working. If such is the situation please copy the sites in your browser and you will be brought there. Sorry for the inconvenience. Here are the sites again. Thank you.
Larry, could you kindly post the message below at your MB. Thanks -- Atty. Romeo J Somera, Esq., CPA (You will be rewarded tenfold;God is watching), Mon, Nov 18 2013 
Instructions on how & where to send your donations can be found at all SASAI websites.It is preferred that donations be made via credit cards [(Visa, MC & Discover)-it is 100% secured] because you will be instantly provided a receipt of your donations. When you donate by credit card, in the Instruction part please annotate that it is for Yolanda Victims. The websites are: www.sasaiinc.org; wwww.sasaiinc.com; and http://sastagudin.wikifoundry.com. When we did this for the victims of Ondoy and Peping, we provided an accounting of all the donations and every of penny went to the victims through the Office of the Mayor, Tagudin and the Directress/Principal of SAS. Not a single penny was spent for general and administrative expenses. At my personal expense,I made personal deliveries to both the Mayor and Sister Connie. We all reported it here at this MB. And, except for the personal delivery, we shall be doing the same thing (accounting and posting at this MB) again for any funds that will be raised for Yolanda victims. I Pray that even though we are far from the affected areas, you would be very generous in your help. Thank you very much.
ASSISTANCE TO THE VICTIMS OF TYPHOON YOLANDA -- Atty. Romeo J Somera, Esq., CPA (Give until it hurts), Wed, Nov 13 2013 
Larry, through this MB, let us float the idea of helping the victims of Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda). Because of the logistical problem on in kind donation, the best way is just to have donations in money.Tacloban and the rest of Leyte, as well as Samar will be saturated with assistance, both in kind and money, so we can pick a town or two to assist. I will find a reliable contact (either an officer of a local Lions Club or Rotary International-what I have in mind is Mr. Bobbit Avila, Lions Club Officer of Cebu City and a columnist of the Philippine Star)who will be asked to account for every penny of what would have been donated. Everything will be transparent. Communities (cities, town and villages) in the northern part of Cebu, like Bogo, Medellin, Daangbantayan, Malapascua and Bantayan Island were all devastated. Loss of lives were minimal because there was no storm surge from the sea. I don't know if there is any interest but its worth asking the community. I will volunteer to coordinate and set up everything, and communications with whoever we select in Cebu will be shared with everybody through this MB. If we don't get any positive response, at least you and I, Larry, tried. Thanks.
Empire State Building lights up for #YolandaPH victims -- From Yahoo News Philippines/Southeast Asia, Sat, Nov 16 2013 
The world-famous Empire State Building shone brightly in red, blue and yellow November 15, 2013, in solidarity with Filipinos devastated by monster storm Yolanda (international name: Haiyan). New York City's popular landmark will feature the Philippine flag's colors for two days in an effort to raise awareness about the storm's impact. Filipinos and foreigners in the United States have posted photos of the memorial, along with prayers for victims and struggling survivors.
For our kababayans living in the US, here is an article on how to donate to the victims of typhoon Yolanda / Haiyan -- From Yahoo News, Sat, Nov 16 2013 
How to help donate to victims of Typhoon Haiyan
By Eric Pfeiffer, Yahoo News | Yahoo News – Mon, Nov 11, 2013
With reports of more than 10,000 estimated casualties, and an excess of 9 million people affected, Typhoon Haiyan is one of the most devastating storms ever to make landfall.
With the Red Cross and other agencies saying they expect the number of casualties and total damage from the storm to soar, there are many organizations stepping up to provide relief to the victims and families of Haiyan.
Here are just some of them:
American Red Cross: Sent support specialists to help the hardest hit areas.
Direct Relief International: Direct Relief is collaborating with its partner on the ground, Asia America Initiative (AAI), to coordinate the delivery of needed medical aid, which is expected to arrive in the Philippines capital, Manila, early next week. The donation contains antibiotics, pain relievers, nutritional supplements, anti-fungal medications, wound dressings, and chronic disease medicines.
Global Giving: Initially, the fund will help first responders meet survivors' immediate needs for food, fuel, clean water, hygiene products, and shelter. Once initial relief work is complete, this fund will transition to support longer-term Haiyan recovery efforts run by local, vetted Filipino organizations.
Mercy Corps: Mercy Corps is launching immediate relief efforts after one of the strongest storms in recorded history devastates the Philippines.
Oxfam: Oxfam rapid assessment teams are poised to provide emergency supplies and shelter in parts of the Philippines hit by Typhoon Haiyan.
ShelterBox: Donations designated toward ShelterBox’s Typhoon Haiyan relief efforts will be used to supply the most vital equipment needed and will not be assigned box tracking numbers. Each ShelterBox supplies an extended family with a tent and essential equipment to use while they are displaced or homeless.
UNICEF: UNICEF is working to provide safe water, hygiene supplies, food, shelter and a safe environment to recover.
World Food Programme: WFP is mobilizing quickly to reach those in need. Please make a donation now to provide emergency food assistance to families and children.
It gets very busy at the cemeteries in the Philippines on All Soul's Day which is usually celebrated on the 1st and 2nd of November, and the Tagudin cemetery is no exception. There was a typhoon passing through but that didn’t stop the people from going to the cemetery. Luckily It did not rain much during the day. It was just overcast which actually made it more pleasant to go to the cemetery because we didn’t have to deal with the heat. It did rain heavily the night before however.
As usual, it was crowded. There were vendors parading their wares all over the cemetery. They were selling all kinds of things such as fish balls, cotton candies, and so on but the most salable items for the vendors were of course candles. I even got a pair of finches for my aviary.
Though crowded, It was nice to see people visiting their departed loved ones. I’ve seen some people having picnics with food they brought with them. The cemetery was a place for some folks to have their family get together. There was a mass held right in the middle of the cemetery which I attended.
Overall, it was a good All Soul's Day in Tagudin this year. It was celebrated peacefully without any problem.
To view the rest of the photos, please click: Slideshow
Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway -- Source: The Manila Times, Fri, Oct 25 2013 
Here is a good news for those people who commute between Manila and Tagudin. The Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union (TPLEX) is finally opening the first phase of the expressway project from Tarlac City to Gerona. It is only for a distance of 17 km but at least it will save you time particularly at Tarlac City where traffic is bad all the time throughout the year. I wonder though how you would transition from NLEX to this new expresway. At present, NLEX ends in Mabalacat, Pampanga then you would have to exit the expressway and get on to McArthur Highway for a few kilometers more before you reach Tarlac City. I wonder if there is a connecting road that seamlessly connect to TPLEX? This is really good news for everyone and I hope they speed up the remaining unfinished portions of the expressway all the way up to Rosario.
New tollway to open Tuesday
October 25, 2013 8:25 pm
by Rosalie C. Periabras
Private Infra Dev Corp. (PIDC), the all-Filipino consortium led by diversified conglomerate San Miguel Corp. (SMC), is set to soft-open the first phase of its P23.8-billion Tarlac-Pangasinan-La Union Expressway (TPLEX), the first greenfield road infrastructure project in its portfolio, on October 30.
“This marks our first foray into the construction of tollways and is a major milestone in our infrastructure master plan,” said Ramon Ang, SMC president and chief operating officer.
The company said that on Friday, the Toll Regulatory Board authorized the issuance of the Toll Operation Permit for the expressway after PIDC completed construction this month. The first phase, Section 1A, which provides a seamless connection to the Subic-Clark-Tarlac Expressway , stretches 17 kilometers from Tarlac City to Victoria, then to Gerona, Tarlac.
SMC said that this portion of the toll road, which will cut current travel time to Baguio by as much as 40 minutes, is part of a total 88.6-kilometer expressway, which is seen to accelerate growth in tourism and trade and agriculture in North Luzon. From Gerona, TPLEX will have exits in Paniqui and Moncada in Tarlac; Rosales, Urdaneta City, and Pozorrubio in Pangasinan; and Rosario, in La Union. Completion of the section up to Rosales is scheduled for middle of 2014 while the section up to La Union is scheduled for completion by 2016.
Originally designed as a two-lane road, the TPLEX proponents, led by the San Miguel Group, decided to upgrade it to four to enhance efficiency and road safety, and anticipate future growth in traffic volume. Since its diversification to infrastructure, SMC has been aggressive in pursuing much-needed road projects. In April this year, SMC won the concession to build and operate the Ninoy Aquino International Airport Expressway, which will connect the Skyway system to all three NAIA airport terminals and to the Entertainment City of PAGCOR in the City of Manila, and the Manila-Cavite Expressway.
SMC is also set to start construction of Skyway Stage 3, another major infrastructure project under the Aquino administration that will connect Makati to the North Luzon Expressway and decongest major thoroughfares such as EDSA.
Here are just some photos that I took at the Ayala Rally in Makati. The number of people is not in the millions but it was not small either. People started to congregate at Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas right in the middle of the financial district in Makati at around three in the afternoon. There were speakers and singers one after the other on the stage and the atmosphere was festive but I could also sense that people were angry. They do want the pork barrel gone for good. Unfortunately, it started to rain at around seven PM which drove people away. Otherwise, there would have been a lot more people during those hours in the evening. Except for the rain, the rally went smoothly without a hinge and a lot of people stayed even with the pouring rain.
To view the rest of the photos, please click: Slideshow
SASAI VOTED AGAIN AS ONE OF THE TOP NON PROFIT ORGANIZATION FOR 2013 -- Atty. Romeo J. Somera, Esq. CPA (Education is Freedom), Thu, Sep 19 2013 
To our friends, benefactors, donors and readers and posters of this MB. I am proud to announce that for 2 years in a row now (2012-2013), SASAI has been adjudged as one of the top best non-profit organization, in the U.S. and Canada. This is a testimonial to outstanding services of the officers particularly the Field Team. It is an irrebuttable evidence that your donations (thank you) are being administered effectively with full transparency and accountability. Here is the website. Click the "S" category and scroll all the way to "St" . I hope this works.:
GreatNonprofits: Find non-profits and charities to review, donate, or volunteer. greatnonprofits.org
Find and review charities, nonprofits and volunteering and donation opportunities. Find the best non-profit or charity in your area to volunteer and donate.
So go ahead and send your donations to SASAI. It would be put to good use and every penny (unlike the pork barrel) will be accounted for.BTW, if you are a U.S. taxpayer, your donations are tax deductible
Rally for the abolition of Pork, Makati, Oct. 4, 2014 -- Source: The Philippine Daily Inquirer, Tue, Oct 01 2013 
Million People March to bring call vs ‘pork’ to Makati on Oct 4
By Niña P. Calleja
Philippine Daily Inquirer
9:05 pm | Monday, September 30th, 2013
Million People March. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO
MANILA, Philippines — Organizers behind the social media-driven “Million People March” are taking the mass movement against the pork barrel system to the next level on Oct. 4 — right at the heart of the country’s financial district.
Individuals and organizations behind the previous protest actions against the pork barrel will join forces in a gathering at the corner of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas in Makati City starting 3 p.m. until 10 p.m. on Friday.
“We are inviting everyone to join us again, this time at Ayala Avenue, as this is a continuing movement to scrap the pork barrel,” Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña said at a press briefing by organizers of the Million People March at the Luneta Park in Manila on Aug. 26 and the Edsa Tayo rally at the Edsa Shrine on Sept. 11.
Amid the public outrage, President Aquino and Congress have scrapped the Priority Development Assistance Fund, a lump-sum allocation for lawmakers and a source of kickbacks, in the 2014 budget but kept the pork barrel system. Lawmakers could recommend infrastructure projects such as roads, bridges, classrooms, multipurpose buildings and water supply systems.
Various groups, including #AbolishPork Network led by Archbishop Oscar Cruz, Concerned Citizens Movement led by Harry Roque, religious organizations like the Philippine Council of Evangelical Churches, Babala led by Monique Wilson and militant organizations like Bayan and Sanlakas, announced that the rally in Makati was all set.
Bretaña said organizers expected the protest action on Oct. 4 to be unique and bigger because more employees and workers would likely join.
“Our message stays the same. But now, we are inviting our businessmen and corporate leaders in Ayala to end their fence-sitting and join the people in the call to abolish the pork barrel,” Bretaña said.
Roque appealed to the businessmen in the country to allow their employees to leave their work stations earlier than 5 p.m.
“We have also sent a letter to the officers of the Makati Business Club asking them to join us in the rally,” he said.
The organizers have also asked permission from the Makati city government to have portions of Ayala Avenue and Paseo de Roxas closed during the rally.
“The reason why we are stepping this up is to bring a united mass pressure, a mass movement that can change this broken system,” Rasti Delizo of Sanlakas said.
The program, which would include songs, performances and speeches, will start at 5:30 p.m. on Ayala Avenue.
Patricia Tan, one of the organizers of the Million People March, said politicians would again be barred from taking the stage but would be welcome to attend the rally.
Organizers called the series of protests as a “saga” that would only end if the calls were heard.
“Maybe (on Oct. 4, the government) will hear this growing clamor for change. What we have now is a leaking, bleeding system,” Bretaña said.
An online post on Facebook drew 100,000 people to march to Luneta on Aug. 26 to protest the misuse of the pork barrel funds and call for its abolition. It was followed by pockets of protests held elsewhere.
In Bacolod City, a rally against pork barrel is scheduled for Oct. 14.
Bacolod Bishop Vicente Navarra is calling on Catholics in the Diocese of Bacolod to join the rally at the Bacolod public plaza.
The rally would also push for the protection of human life, promotion of good governance and the abolition of the pork barrel fund.
In a circular, the bishop also advised all priests in the diocese to focus on the issue of the pork barrel scam in their homilies during Masses on three successive Sundays — Sept. 29, Oct. 6 and 13.
The aim of the homilies would be to educate, enlighten and awaken the faithful, he said.
“The glaring reason for the many social ills that beset our country today is the deeply embedded culture of corruption” the bishop noted in his circular. “This is the bitter fruit of our collective indifference and permissiveness.”
The rally will start with a march at 1 p.m. from the Capitol Lagoon Park, Lupit Church and West Negros University in Bacolod City, according to Cruz.
Invited to speak at the Oct. 14 rally are lawyer Romulo Macalintal and Manila Auxiliary Bishop Broderick Pabillo, chair of the National Secretariat for Social Action Justice and Peace. With a report from Carla Gomez, Inquirer Visayas
I finally got a chance to visit Hidden Garden in Vigan. I was impressed with the place. Very nice. The Hidden Garden is actually a restaurant and a garden where the owner s showcase their garden designs. They are in the gardening/landscaping business. Aside from the restaurant and the garden, they also sell plants. The ambiance and the food are great. If you are craving for Ilocano food, they have it here. I think they have the best empanada in town. It is a good place to have lunch or dinner while you are in Vigan. They stop serving food at 7 PM so if you would like to go there to have dinner, make sure to go there before 7 PM. The place is tucked off the main road going to the Pag-Burnayan, Vigan Airport and the Mindoro Beach in a semi-residential area in the western part of the city. It is about 10 minutes away from the city center if you are driving or taking the tricycle. The Kalesa Tours that you hire at the plaza can also bring you to this place. Just make sure to ask your kutsero tour guide to include Hidden Garden in the tour.
To view the rest of the photos, please click: Slideshow
Our condolences to the family of Mang Poleon Zabala of Magsaysay District. May he rest in peace. He was the brother of the three dedicated ladies who have/had been serving St. Augustine Church in Tagudin for a long time - Ms. Salome Zabala, Ms. Medyong Zabala and the late Ms. Betty Zabala.
911 The Edsa Rally -- john (IT'S NOW OR NEVER!), Thu, Sep 05 2013 
We as a whole nation must all join in now and show our support for the 911 EDSA RALLY. We are "THE BOSS" as the president said when he was running for election. But it seems like he has forgotten his "WORDS" to us the people who voted for him. He does not seem to listen to us his "BOSSES".
He said he would abolish the "PORK BARREL" but then we find out that he and his administration is simply taking the name out. Wow, that looks like we will be having a more difficult time looking for pocketed tax payers money if that happens. Simply because if we complain about it we would not know what to call it since it will now be "SIMPLY NAMELESS".
What's also ironic is that whenever an "ALLY" of the administration is named as one of those who is involved in the "PORK BARREL SCAM", Malacanang quickly defends them and their names right away cleared unlike those in the Minority who has to go through a long and thorough investigation. Does that mean all his "ALLIES" are clean? Really now, is that possible at all?
He also said that he is for the "FREEDOM OF INFORMATION BILL" or "FOI". Why does it seem that that he has forgotten about that too? Could it be because there really is a lot of people in the Senate or Congress who really still are making millions from the PDAF that they don't want to pass this bill at all? could it also be the main reason that a lot of people who does not know anything runs for office is because they know they can make millions there once elected doing nothing?
And it also looks like that no matter how most of us tax payers cry about the high prices we have especially with the gas and electric bills the Aquino government is completely deaf and blind about it. He as the president has all the power to control the prices of all commodities just like Mr. Marcos did when he was president. could it be because he, his family and or allies are all the big stock holders of those companies?
When gas prices is about to go up it's even the DOE who announces and defends it even before any oil companies makes any announcement about it. Isn't that very strange?
For one this government to me is one big question. Could it be or should it be trusted completely? Honestly, I don't think so.