26 jueteng collectors fall in P’sinan, Ilocos Sur -- Source: The Philippine Star, Thu, Sep 12 2013 
26 jueteng collectors fall in P’sinan, Ilocos Sur
By Jun Elias (The Philippine Star) | Updated September 13, 2013 - 12:00am
CAMP FLORENDO, La Union, Philippines – Going all-out against all forms of illegal gambling, the Region 1 police arrested 26 jueteng bet collectors in two separate operations in Pangasinan and Ilocos Sur yesterday.
Chief Superintendent Ricardo Marquez, Region 1 police director, said 24 suspected jueteng personnel were arrested in Barangay Paras, Candon City, Ilocos Sur while sorting out their collections.
Seized from them were assorted gambling papers marked with jai alai allegedly owned by Meridien Vista Gaming Corp., P60,800 in bet money, and jueteng paraphernalia.
In Pangasinan, two search warrants for illegal gambling resulted in the arrest of a suspected jueteng financier, a certain Ricardo Ferrer, 51, and a bet collector, one Edzel Tantay, 30, in the Lingayen town proper. The two yielded P29,270 in bet money and jueteng paraphernalia.
Marquez said appropriate charges were filed against the 26 suspects for violation of Republic Act 9287, which increased the penalties for the illegal numbers game.
Marquez said police will double their efforts to contain jueteng and other forms of gambling.
“We will continuously conduct intensified operations to stamp out illegal gambling in the Ilocos region,” he said.
Tang Inyong Bunoan of Barangay Quirino, Tagudin and Northern California, RIP -- lv, Fri, Aug 16 2013 
Inyong Bunoan of Barangay Quirino passed away in the Philippines Aug. 12, 2013. He was a resident of Northern California (San Jose?) prior to his family bringing him to the Philippines. He passed away a few days after his arrival in Barangay Quirino, Tagudin. He survived by his wife Veroning and their seven children - Sammy, Fatima, Thomas, Ilyo, Lovely, Russel, Ferdinand and his grandchildren. May he rest in peace.
EDSA Tayo, Sept. 11 at EDSA -- Source of the Article: manilastandardtoday.com, Fri, Aug 30 2013 
‘People March’ shifts to EDSA
By Rio N. Araja | Posted on Aug. 31, 2013 at 12:02am
Social media link groups for Sept. 11 ‘Edsa Tayo’
Amid criticism that the Aquino administration was giving special treatment to suspected pork barrel scam mastermind Janet Napoles, more groups and individuals pledged support for another mass action to demonstrate their anger at how the government is supposedly misusing taxpayers’ monies.
This time, the protest rally, dubbed “Edsa Tayo,” will be held on Sept. 11 at the Edsa Shrine, site of the two People’s Power uprisings that resulted in the ouster of two Philippine presidents.
Like the “Million People March” at the Luneta where 100,000 people gathered last Aug. 26, the Edsa Tayo protest is being organized by small groups and people linked only by social media, like Facebook and Twitter.
The rally got a boost on Friday as well-known celebrities, like actresses Nora Aunor and Anne Curtis-Smith, announced that they will be joining the demonstrators in expressing their dismay at the pork barrel system which they perceive to be a channel of corruption.
60-year-old veteran actress Aunor said she will join Edsa Tayo during a press reception after she was named best actress at the 3rd Sakhalin International Film Festival last Aug. 23 in Russia.
On the other hand, the younger Curtis-Smith, who has more than 5.2 million followers on Twitter, has repeatedly expressed her dismay at government misuse of taxpayers’ monies, and announced she will joining Edsa Tayo along with other showbiz personalities.
Shortly after the arrest of Napoles, Curtis tweeted “Now that Napoles has surrendered & is ‘safe’ from anyone threatening her life, she better squeal on who else was in on this pork barrel scam… She OWES us that. #napoles.”
The group organizing Edsa Tayo said the demonstration should be considered a prayer vigil against corruption. The group explained in a statement why they are organizing the event.
“We feel the government is just ignoring us,” the group said in one online discussion group.
“Our anger has multiplied and it continues to grow every time we hear or read about the corruption in government,” the group added. “We fume each time we hear of how some government official has stolen the money that is supposed to be for projects meant for uplifting the lives of the poor.”
“[It’s] because we believe in EDSA. It was in EDSA, not Luneta, where the dictator Ferdinand Marcos was toppled. It was in EDSA where Erap was ousted. And we believe it will be in EDSA where the pork barrel system will end,” the group said.
Another cause-oriented group Organizing for the Philippines, led by Manuel SD Lopez, said their participation in the Edsa Tayo will likely lead to bigger protest actions that they will stage until the pork barrel system is abolished.
Lopez said their group members have started a 100-day countdown for the government to identify those involved in the misuse of pork barrel and prosecute them.
Meanwhile, Malacanang had earlier said it is not bothered by Edsa Tayo because the Aquino administration is united with the people in aspiring for a corruption-free bureaucracy.
“The people who went there are our allies against corruption,” Lacierda told journalists after the Million People March.
“What really matters now is Janet Napoles has surrendered and in the hands of prosecutors so the wheel of justice can roll and unveils the truth,” Lacierda said.
Lacierda reiterated that the nation should rejoice that Napoles chose to surrender to give light to the issue so justice will roll instead of being critical of Napoles decision to surrender to the president.
“Nahuli na si Janet Napoles. Pero bakit parang hindi masaya tayong mga Pilipino? Para kasing moro-moro (Janet Napoles has been arrested. But why are Filipinos still unhappy? Because it appears to be scripted),” writer Junep Ocampo, one of Edsa Tayo’s organizers, posted on Facebook.
Ocampo reiterated in a radio interview on Friday that Edsa Tayo organizers are further angered by government pronouncements that the Aquino government was on the side of the protesters, a view echoed by organizers of the Million People march last Aug. 26.
“Mr. President, you are not on our side. We are not on the same side,” said Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña and Renato Reyes of the Bagong Alyansang Makabayan, two of the organizers of the Luneta march.
The two said the Aquino administration does not share the protesters’ sentiments since Aquino himself does not want to do away with his Special Purpose Fund, otherwise known as the “executive pork barrel.”
The protesters’ plaint, however, appeared to have fallen on deaf ears, as the Palace refused to let go of the Special Purpose Funds which stands at P957 billion this year and the P5.25 billion President’s Social Fund as of December last year.
Deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte explained that “by the very nature of some of these funds, it is obviously something to draw out of in times of need. And also, if I can point out, these funds are subject to audit of the Commission on Audit.”
Valte explained that the PSF ballooned from P1 billion to P5.2 billion under Aquino’s term because of the increase in remittance from the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corp.
But former National Treasurer Leoner Briones said the government must also abolish the SPF. “It is high time to expand the scope of our advocacy from a small portion of the special purpose fund, which is the pork barrel, to the whole SPF itself,” she added.
BEST RESTAURANTS IN ILOCOS SUR -- Article Source: GMA Network News, Sat, Aug 24 2013 
Here are the best restaurants in Ilocos Sur according to the staffs of GMA news who went and cover the restaurants in Ilocos Sur for the GMA TV Network. It looks like most of the restaurants in this list are located in Vigan. The folks in Tagudin have no choice but to go to places like Vigan or San Fernando if they want to go and eat in a good restaurant. What they have in Tagudin are basically just small eateries catered to the lunch time crowd and travelers from the buses that stop at these restaurants along the highway. Actually, the people in Tagudin would not go to the restaurants in Vigan or San Fernando unless they get hungry while they are there doing something such as running errands. It is just too far. It is at least an hour to get to San Fernando and an hour and a half to Vigan from Tagudin. There is one restaurant in Candon that is included in the list but it would still take 30 to 40 minutes to get there. The restaurant in Candon called Bistro Candon is located at the Four Brothers compound in the northern part of downtown Candon along the national highway. We pass by this restaurant all the time when we go shop at Four Brothers but I did not know that this is a good restaurant. I am looking forward to trying this restaurant next time we go to Candon. I hope that the food would look as good as what is being shown in the video, and also affordable to everyone. I agree with what they said about Café Leona in Vigan. I had a chance to eat there this year and I think the food is good and their prices are reasonable. It is popular so expect to see a lot of people there especially during lunch time if you are planning to go and try the restaurant which is located right at the entrance of Calle Crisologo at the old part of Vigan near the plazas. I hope that we will also have a good full time restaurant in Tagudin so we don’t need to go to Candon, San Fernando or Vigan . Perhaps a rich businessman or a businesswoman would come along and build one for us in Tagudin.
Ang Pinaka’s Top 10 Restaurants in Ilocos Sur
July 18, 2013 3:54pm
After touring Ilocos Norte’s homegrown restaurants, GMA News TV’s award-winning info-tainment countdown “Ang Pinaka” went on a search for the best dining spots of Ilocos Sur.
If you ever find yourself in the province and can’t decide where to eat, let this list of restaurants be your guide!
10. CTL Resto Grille
CTL Resto Grille is located inside Casa Teofila Lodge, an old Spanish house renovated to accommodate tourists.
CTL Resto Grille specializes on traditional Ilocano dishes. Their bestsellers include pinakbet (P75), buridibod (P95), igado (P85), and pinaupong tilapia (P80).
Check out CTL Resto Grille at Pantay Daya, Vigan City.
9. Leila’s Cafe
Customers will feel at home amidst the colorful interiors and rustic ambiance of Leila’s Cafe. “Para siya talagang bahay,” says, Janina Medina, owner of Leila’s Cafe. “Para ma-feel ng ‘yung hospitability [ng customers.]”
The restaurant offers Ilocano fusion cuisine. Crowd favorites from their menu include longganisa break (or longganisa crepe), bagnet carbonara, bakareta (beef caldereta), bagnet dinardaraan, and Graceland, a crepe filled with peanut butter, banana, and bacon.
Leila’s Cafe is located on General Luna St. Barangay 5, Vigan, Ilocos Sur.
8. Kusina Felicitas
Kusina Felicitas is the main restaurant of Grandpa’s Inn. The restaurants serves authentic Ilocano dishes such as their bestselling pinakbet with bagnet (P180), sinanglao (P190), poqui poqui balls (P125), and dinengdeng with tilapia (P125).
For a taste of true Ilocos, visit Kusina Felicitas at #1 Bonifacio St. Corner Quirino Blvd., Vigan City.
Abuelita’s is a restaurant located along Mabini street, near the famous Calle Crisologo in Vigan that serves traditional Ilocano fare.
Bestselling items from Abuelita’s menu include their native bibingka (P13 per piece), empanada (P30), croquetas (P40), pinakbet (P40), igado (P45), sinanglao (P55), and dinengdeng (P35).
To satisfy your lutong-bahay cravings, visit Abuelita’s at 39 Gov. A Reyes St. Corner Mabini, Vigan City.
Kuboville, or ‘Kubo Village,’ is famous for its mix of traditional Filipino and Thai dishes. From their Thai menu, bestsellers include tom yum (P245) and phad thai (P95). Meanwhile, if you’re craving for Filipino cuisine, be sure to try their beef tapa (P135), locobaco (or chicken Inasal with rice) (P99), and vegetable spring rolls (P35).
Visit Kuboville at Barangay III Salcedo St. Barangay 3, Vigan City.
5. Ihawan sa Caoayan
If you’re craving for inihaw classics such as inihaw na liempo and barbeque, Ihawan sa Caoayan is the place to be. Ihawan sa Caoayan, however, has more to offer than their grilled food. Must-trys from their menu include puque sashimi (P175), prawns with pineapple (P220), sizzling mixed seafood (P195), and ginataang alimango (P400).
Check out Ihawan sa Caoayan at Don Alejandro Quirolgico Caoayan, Ilocos Sur.
4. Los Majitos de Vigan
Los Majitos de Vigan, which translates to the little treasures of Vigan, used to be a souvenir shop before being transformed into a restaurant.
Los Majitos serves a combination of Vigan delicacies with a Western twist. Bestselling items from their fusion cuisine include bagnet wraps (P150), nachos platter (P150), carbonara (P100), and longganisa rice omelette (P120).
Visit Los Majitos at General Luna St. corner V. Delos Reyes, Vigan City.
3. Hidden Garden
Originally opened as a garden store in the early seventies, Hidden Garden was transformed into a full-blown restaurant after several queries were made by customers. “Maraming nagtatanong [kung bakit] wala man lang maiinom o makakain inside the garden,” says Francis Flores, owner of Hidden Garden.
Hidden Garden specializes in authentic Ilocano fare. Must-trys from their menu include sinigang na bagnet (P190), pinakbet with bagnet (P150), poqui poqui (P100), and longganisa (P130).
Visit Hidden Garden at 56 Barangay Bulala, Vigan City.
2. Bistro Candon
Bistro Candon was started in 1999 by Peter Nic Rodriguez, an executive chef trained in Switzerland and New York.
Must-trys from Chef Nic’s menu include dinengdeng na papaya with clams (P175), dinengdeng na bamboo shoots with saluyot and inihaw na bangus (P175), vigan longganisa pizza (P185), igado (P185), and poqui poqui with bagnet pizza (P180).
Bistro Candon is located inside the Four Brothers Compound, Candon, Ilocos Sur.
1. Cafe Leona
Cafe Leona is located along Calle Crisologo, right in the heart of Vigan City. It is named after the popular Ilocano poet Leona Florentino, who is also the original owner of the house in which the restaurant is located
Despite its Spanish feel, Cafe Leona actually serves a mix of Filipino, Japanese, European and other international cuisines. Bestsellers from this diverse menu include their bagnet bacon maki (P180), longganisa maki (P160), poqui poqui (P130), pinakbet pizza (P325), caoayan special pizza (P350), and bagnet KBL pizza (P375).
SAS Alumni International Appoints Ms Elizabeth Somera Vice-Chair of the Scholarship Committee
(Ms Elizabeth Somera's photo at right courtesy of Baraboom Barabing Studios, San Remo, Italy. Her short bio follows.)
"Education is Freedom"
A member of SAS Class 1981, Liza Somera graduated from SAS high school with honors. She was a UNP/DOST Academic Scholar. Liza Somera graduated Cum Laude from the University of Northern Philippines in Vigan, Ilocos Sur. At UNP she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Physics in 1985. While attending college, Liza immersed herself deeply in academics and in other scholarly pursuits. She was also very actively involved in spiritual formation and community service. An active member/officer of the Legion of Mary and the Legion’s choir, she served during weekly Eucharistic celebrations, liturgies mostly held in hospitals and in private homes.
Immediately upon her graduation from the University of Northern Philippines (UNP), she was hired by her Alma Mater St. Augustine School (SAS) as a Secondary School Math/Science Teacher for the school years 1985–86 and 1986–87. From there she went to work as a Secondary Math/Science Teacher for St. Theresa’s College in Quezon City from 1988 to 1994 and for Claret School in Quezon City from 1994 to 2002.
Liza currently lives and works in the thriving city of Houston, in the great state of Texas. This is where she gained the handle "Texan Lizzie". Starting in 2002 and up to the present time she is affiliated with the Community Services in the Houston Independent School District where she works as a Special Education teacher (EC-12th), Math teacher (6th-12th), and as a Science teacher (8th-12th) grades. She spends her evenings working as a Math consultant for a tutoring company. In addition to being an expert PC and MAC user, her hobbies include swimming, hiking, doing fitness exercise and hanging out by the beach.
Ms Liza Somera was the first volunteer officer of SAS Ai, Inc. She accepted the position of Treasurer for the fledgeling non-profit organization. Due to an ever increasing workload she had to request relief from the position, now currently and ably filled by Ms Estrellita G Purugganan. Liza is an active member of the Board of Directors, is herself a consistent contributor to the scholarship fund and is a most serious advocate and champion of SAS Ai's mission and vision.
Coming from a disadvantaged family herself but fortunate enough to secure scholarship funding for her college education, she has first hand knowledge and personal experience on the hardships that befall bright and promising students who come from disadvantaged families and their search for financial aid to get a good education. She had to participate in a competitive provincial examination to get the scholarship funding for her college education.
SAS Ai is most certainly blessed with Ms Somera's volunteerism, dedication, devotion to the idea that education is freedom. Her solid commitment to helping our bright kids get a good high school education at SAS exemplifies SAS Ai's gold standard scholarship program. We feel our SAS Ai scholars are disadvantaged enough to need financial help but bright enough to deserve every help we can give them.
Please join me in congratulating Ms Elizabeth Somera on her well deserved appointment as Vice Chair of the Scholarship Committee for SAS Alumni International, Inc.
SAS Ai, Inc. is a public charity organization recognized by the IRS as a non-profit corporation under the 501(c)(3) tax code. Donations to the scholarship fund are appreciated and are tax deductible. SAS Alumni International, Inc. spans the globe reaching out to the many successful professional fellow Augustinans who live, work, and/or retire all over the world. Go to our website for more information and to donate to the scholarship fund.
SASAI WELCOMES ITS NEW INCOMING PRESIDENT, LEONARDJON BUENAVISTA -- MB for Atty. Somera, Thu, Aug 08 2013 
Toast To The Incoming President of SASAI, Leonard Buenavista
In its August 2013 (Aug.1-5) Annual Officers meeting held at the Saint Augustine’s School Alumni International headquarters in Cantonment, Florida, and hosted by VP-Secretary Deacon Tom Buenavista, the outgoing and incoming officers of SASAI witnessed the installation of its incoming President, CEO and Board Chairman, Leonardjon Buenavista, an engineer by profession. Leonard is from Dardarat, Tagudin Ilocos Sur, SAS alumni, currently residing in the San Francisco Bay Area, California. Outgoing President, Atty. Romeo J. Somera, Esq.,CPA, was voted in as President Emeritus. Officers who were unable to physically attend the 4 day meeting, particularly those from the Philippines and other parts of the US were able to participate in the meeting and discussions via teleconferencing. A planned celebration in honor of the first 8 SASAI scholars (from 1st year to 4th yr. high school at SAS, who are graduating from high school this school year, is in the offing. These SASAI “pioneer” scholars were sponsored by RHW Foundation, G&E Sprenger and Peter and Nora (nee Leonora Lucero from Farola) Sprenger. Including these graduating seniors, there are 26 SASAI scholars currently enrolled at SAS.
Enough is enough. Please join the rally for the abolition of Pork Barrel or PDAF. Aug. 26 at Luneta. -- Source of Article: The PHilippine Daily Inquirer, Mon, Aug 19 2013 
Angry citizens set people power vs pork on Aug. 26
By Leila B. Salaverria, TJ Burgonio
Philippine Daily Inquirer
2:35 am | Tuesday, August 20th, 2013
If disclosures on raids on public funds won’t break the legislators’ tenacious hold on the pork barrel, maybe the people’s outrage will.
Calls for a mass public gathering at Rizal Park in Manila to show citizens’ outrage over the misuse of public funds have arisen on the social networking site Facebook following revelations of anomalous transactions.
Netizens have set Aug. 26 as the day to show their disgust. It also happens to be a public holiday in observance of National Heroes’ Day.
President Aquino and many lawmakers have so far rejected calls to abolish the pork or the Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF), and instead pushed for reforms on how it is used.
The “Million People March to Luneta” was inspired by a Facebook post from music production manager Ito Rapadas, who said that there must be a million marchers to compel legislators and government officials to put a stop to pocketing pork barrel funds.
“The dominant emotion is anger and outrage,” Rapadas told the Inquirer, explaining why he decided to make the call to action.
People who are paying taxes faithfully could not accept that the money was being misused, he said.
“The dominant picture in everybody’s mind is the struggling Pinoy worker/employee toiling and paying faithfully their obligations to government. And using that mental image together with my notion of a ‘million people’—I thought it was time for taxpayers and the silent majority to express our displeasure. It’s not an original thought to demonstrate or protest because many organizations are now calling for action,” he said.
The Commission on Audit on Friday reported that some P6.2 billion from the PDAF of 12 senators and 180 representatives had been transferred to 82 nongovernment organizations, including bogus ones and those set up by legislators or their relatives, from 2007 to 2009.
Ten of the NGOs had links with businesswoman Janet Lim-Napoles, who allegedly converted P10 billion in pork barrel of 28 lawmakers into kickbacks over 10 years through her company JLN Trading Corp., using dummy foundations, fake beneficiaries and bogus signatures of officials.
That same day, several faculty members from the University of the Philippines called for the abolition of the pork barrel fund.
Rapadas’ post was shared by friends on Facebook and it got the attention of Peachy Rallonza-Bretaña.
Bretaña then reposted it and set the Aug. 26 date for the gathering. Rapadas said he did not personally know Bretaña and the other people who set up the Facebook page for the event.
In a Facebook post, Bretaña said the event was planned to be a “pocket picnic” and a “colorless” event in Rizal Park where no person would be tagged as the organizer, “because each one of us is the organizer.”
Bretaña, in her post on the event’s Facebook page, also said the gathering should not be a march or a rally since no one would get a permit for it.
“It should be a gathering of a multitude of our own little groups to show them who their boss is. We are the boss! We have forgotten this and we should lay claim to it,” she said.
The Aug. 26 event is intended to send the message that the people want the pork barrel scrapped, and that the senators and representatives implicated in the pork barrel scam must be investigated and charged accordingly.
It is also meant to show support for the Ombudsman’s investigation of the anomalies.
Rapadas said there was a “spontaneous feel about the whole thing,” since based on the Facebook page, there was no organization or committee handling the event. There seemed to be no program planned as well.
He expressed hope that the gathering would be peaceful and orderly and that those who decide to organize into committees would be able to maintain security measures during the event.
Rapadas appealed to legislators to put a stop to the pork barrel scam, and to allow the fair and transparent investigation of practices so that similar schemes would not be repeated in the future.
As soon as details of the event were posted on Aug. 17, it quickly made the rounds of Facebook and the micro-blogging site Twitter. After two days, a total of 5,532 users accepted the invitation and said they were “going,” while 872 responded with a “maybe.”
Some 45,044 Facebook users also received the invitation and have yet to respond.
Confirming his attendance, Jerry Salting Udarbe wrote, “If we don’t protest, the corrupt will think that we don’t care if they pocket the taxes that we pay.”
We’re the boss
“Tayo ang mga bayani at tayo ang boss ni PNoy… So it’s time to remind him!!!” commented Lilian Garcia Flores Quiambao on the same page.
“The only thing necessary for massive corruption to continue in this country is apathy among its citizens. Now is the time to be heard,” Andrew Agunod said on his Facebook page as he shared the details of the gathering with all his contacts.
Tina Manalo Newman asked: “Paano kaya nakakatulog ang mga sangkot dito?”
Details of the event were also shared on Twitter, with users reposting the meme, “I pay my taxes on-time and in-full. You, my government, owe me a full explanation.”
“When u pay 32% of your income sa taxes at napupunta sa wala isn’t it about time na magwala ka na join the #millionPeopleMarch to Luneta,” tweeted user @cunelva.
“If I were in Manila, I would DEFINITELY go to that pocket picnic at Luneta on 26th of August. Pera ko ang parte sa ninakaw nila!” user @imJanina tweeted.
User @jin_eus asked, “Why just march? Why don’t we all stop paying income taxes until they sort this out and ensure that this won’t happen again?”
“I have never attended any rally back in UP. Kahit sa mga walk-outs. But this one is different,” tweeted user @iansomosa.
Legislators who have called for the pork barrel abolition are supportive of the event and intend to join it.
ACT Teacher Rep. Antonio Tinio, who plans to attend the gathering, said it didn’t matter if the event would hit the one million mark or not. What was important was the fact that people were angry and showed it.
“There should be more of these protests throughout the country. Whether one thousand or one million show up, it’s important that citizens, outraged by the pork barrel scam, are now spontaneously mobilizing and calling for the abolition of the pork,” Tinio said.
He said this would just be the first of several mobilization moves against the pork barrel system, which would “make P-Noy’s continuing support for the pork ultimately untenable.”
Bayan Muna Rep. Neri Colmenares also planned to attend the event, and believes that the presence of lawmakers against the pork should not be seen as politics affecting the event.
“The pork barrel is an issue that transcends everybody,” Colmenares said.
Buhay Rep. Lito Atienza said in a phone interview that he was looking into the Aug. 26 gathering, and if there were no politics behind its organization, he would personally join it.
Atienza, who has vowed not to use the pork barrel, said he had seen how people have become so angry over the pork barrel system. He added that it would be a good move to suspend its implementation now in preparation for its eventual abolition.
He said it was not true that everybody was expecting lawmakers to shell out funds for projects. Only those who were used to getting money from politicians expected anything from them. Those who understood the pork barrel system actually abhorred it, he added.
Militants to join
The militant Bagong Alyansang Makabayan said it would join the event, according to Renato Reyes.
Aquino’s allies from Akbayan joined appeals for the abolition of the pork barrel, saying it was “incompatible with the President’s reform agenda.”
“We call on President Aquino to support us in our call for the total and unconditional abolition of the pork barrel system. This is a system that has been exposed time and again as a tool of patronage politics aimed to foment elite rule through political dependence,” Akbayan Rep. Walden Bello said in a statement.
Akbayan Rep. Ibarra Gutierrez also said Congress could no longer ignore the exploitation of the PDAF and must act decisively.
“While a gradual phase out of the PDAF to ensure the implementation of budget reforms and the readjustment agencies’ priorities to deliver basic services to the people would have been ideal, the extent and pervasiveness of last week’s appalling revelations demand that we cut clean by doing away with the entire pork barrel fund,” he said.
The President needs strong political will to scrap the pork barrel, but he risks exposing daang matuwid (straight path) as a mere slogan if he ignores calls for this, former National Treasurer Leonor Briones said on Sunday.
Briones and political analyst Bobby Tuazon agreed it would be easy for the executive department to tweak the budget and distribute the pork barrel fund to priority projects, through government agencies.
That way, the government would also eliminate political dynasties that survive on pork barrel to perpetuate themselves in power, and usher in a new breed of politicians, he said.
But since the pork barrel fund is intended to ensure the support of lawmakers for the proposed national budget, it’s tough for the President to heed calls to scrap it, Briones said.
“If he (the President) is his mother’s son, and he says the Filipinos are his boss, perhaps he should listen to his bosses. But is he listening to his bosses? We have to look at the records,’’ Briones said in an interview on Sunday.
“All that he needs to do is delete that line—it’s just one line in the budget,” she added. “It’s all about political will.— With a report from Lawrence de Guzman, Inquirer Research
Tagudinians of Northern California at the Santa Rita Organization of Northern California's Luau Night -- MB Adm for Jim Paredes, Wed, Aug 21 2013 
"Tagudinians of Northern California" group headed by Vangie Kelly went and attended the fund raising of "Santa Rita Organization of Northern California" last saturday, Aug. 18, 2013 in Concord to show support for the cause of the Santa Rita Organization of Northern California. Rose Cruz Encarnacion is the current President of their home town organization of Santa Rita, Pampanga. Rose & Rey Encarnacion are the parents of Rachel, our TIGRE II Queen. They support both Tagudinians of Northern California and Santa Rita Organization of Northern California wholeheartedly.
To view the rest of the photos, please click: Slideshow
Aluling Bridge in Ilocos Sur -- Source: The Philippine Star, Wed, Aug 14 2013 
‘Longest bridge’ to be opened
By Delon Porcalla (The Philippine Star) | Updated August 15, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - Spanning five administrations, the P191.3-million Aluling bridge will finally be opened to motorists traversing Ilocos Sur.
Conceptualized in 1978, the bridge took 35 years to finish.
President Aquino, who described the bridge in his July 22 State of the Nation Address as the country’s “longest bridge” in terms of completion, will inaugurate the viaduct that will facilitate business in the Ilocos Region and the Cordillera Administrative Region.
“We have the Aluling Bridge in Ilocos Sur; 1978 was the year in which the plans for its construction were first laid down on paper. And we made certain that our successors would not merely inherit sheets of paper,” he said, proudly.
The 180-meter Aluling bridge is expected to cut the one hour travel time from Cervantes, Ilocos Sur to Tandian, Mountain Province by half and residents would no longer have to cross the Abra river, which is very dangerous during rainy season. Cervantes town is dubbed as the summer capital of Ilocos Sur due to its cool climate.
Tourism attractions in the area include Bessang Natural Landmark, Gambang Falls, Yamashita Cave and Municipal Tree Park.
The Department of Public Works and Highways under Secretary Rogelio Singson finished the bridge on March 25. The bridge project was conceptualized in 1978 under the Marcos administration but the structure was damaged by flooding in 1990.
The government “restarted” the project in 1999, or during the time of deposed President Joseph Estrada, when there was also a plan to construct the bridge on another portion of the Abra river.
Aquino and Singson will conduct today the inaugural drive-through on the Aluling bridge. The President will also unveil a project marker.
The Presidential Communications Operations Office said the actual construction period of the bridge was delayed and took about 14 years from February 1999 to March 2013 due to several factors.
Among them were additional works that had to be undertaken to transport equipment, unpredictable weather conditions, difficulties encountered in bored pilling and unforeseen events such as a vehicular accident in 2004 that terminated contract of Phase II, and typhoons and flooding that washed away girders.
The Philippines overtaking China??? -- Source: The Manila Times, Thu, Aug 01 2013 
Philippines seen growing faster than China
August 1, 2013 9:37 pm
by Mayvelin U. Caraballo Reporter
The Philippine economy may grow at a faster pace than China in the coming years because of its strong fundamentals, according to Standard Chartered Bank.
In an economic briefing, Marios Maratheftis, global head for the Macro Research of Standard Chartered Bank, said that the bank has been quite positive for the Philippines as it projected a 6.9-percent growth for the country this year before settling to 7 percent in 2015.
“We still are very positive for the Philippines. It’s a positive story. Within the next three, four years there is no reason why the Philippines cannot start growing significantly faster than China for example,” he said.
Maratheftis added that there is no reason why from 2015 onward, the Philippines cannot be growing at 8 percent plus.
He cited leveraging in the Philippines as one of the factors of the positive outlook.
“The levels of debt are very low, so it’s leveraged compared to the rest of the region and compared to the rest of the countries,” he said.
Maratheftis added that the country’s gross domestic product is growing much faster than credit, which he said is a healthy sign.
“It also shows that for the Philippines businesses and households . . . they can create much more economic activities than other countries can,” he stated.
Furthermore, Maratheftis said that the Philippines also emerged as the most exposed and most sensitive country in terms of the development in the United States (US).
“The Philippines is the country which is most exposed to the developments in the US. So when it comes to the Philippines, developments in the US are far more important to the economy than in China,” he said.
Maratheftis added that the exposure of the country to the US economy can be considered good news given that the biggest economy in the world is expected to grow from 1.6 percent to 2.7 percent next year, while China is expected to decelerate next year.
On the other hand, Maratheftis said that one of the downsides of the Philippine economy is lagging foreign direct investments (FDIs).
However, he said that the government’s private-public partnership programs, and the country’s investment grade status from the three rating agencies can be the drivers for FDIs.
“Wherein there is a lot of room for the Philippines to catch up and within that the positive growth story, the private-public partnership model that the government is introducing, which is already a success, and the fact that the country has already been upgraded by the credit-rating agencies are significant drivers of foreign direct investments,” he said.
Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union -- Source: The Philippine Star, Tue, Jul 30 2013 
Poro Pt airport dev’t included in PPP list
By Louella Desiderio (The Philippine Star) | Updated July 31, 2013 - 12:00am
MANILA, Philippines - The development of the Poro Point San Fernando Airport in La Union will be bid out as a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) project, state-owned Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) said.
According to BCDA president and chief executive officer Arnel Paciano Casanova, the Project Development and Monitoring Facility Board of the PPP Center has approved funding support for a feasibility study for the project.
The proposed project has two components. These are the upgrade of the airport facilities to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization requirements for safety as well as to serve larger aircraft; and the construction of an airport terminal with commercial complex.
“Our agreement with the PPP Center states that it will fund the feasibility study, bidding and financial closing for approximately P69 million,” Casanova said in a text message.
He said the PPP Center would start working with the consultants of the project for the feasibility study next month.
He added that the bidding would take place “late next year after the feasibility study.”
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The construction phase is seen to start by the middle of 2015.
“We are confident in the expertise of the PPP Center to take the lead in bidding out the development of the Poro Point San Fernando Airport,” Casanova said.
He also said under the PPP Center, the BCDA expects the development of the project to be fast-tracked.
The development of the Poro Point San Fernando Airport is envisioned to establish an airport that can accommodate direct international flights and serve as a gateway to La Union, Baguio and other tourist spots in the region.
The airport is also seen to provide a link and complement operations of the Clark International Airport.
Casanova said an airport terminal shopping mall similar to Changi Airport in Singapore would also be constructed, although at a much small scale.
La Union airport to become international under PPP
By Camille Diola (philstar.com) | Updated July 29, 2013 - 11:39am
MANILA, Philippines - The Bases Conversion and Development Authority (BCDA) is looking to develop the Poro Point Freeport Zone in San Fernando, La Union as an international airport.
BCDA president Arnel Casanova said in a statement Friday that the conversion of the Poro Point gateway has recently been approved for funding by the government's Public-Private-Partnership (PPP) Center.
The BCDA chief, however, did not mention how much has been allotted for the new international gateway project.
"We are confident in the expertise of the PPP Center to take the lead in bidding out the development of the Poro Point San Fernando Airport," Casanova said.
Casanova, who is also BCDA chief executive, said that Poro Point's proximity to Southeast Asian neighbors makes it an ideal entryway for those markets.
The freeport is only an hour and a half away from Hong Kong, Vietnam and Taipei, and three and a half hours from Japan Singapore and Korea. It is also relatively close to Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia which are only four hours away.
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While accommodating international flights, the airport will also serve as gateway to La Union, Baguio, Ilocos and other Northern Luzon tourist destinations, Casanova said.
He said Poro Point's current facilities will be upgraded to meet the International Civil Aviation Organization requirements.
"An airport terminal shopping mall will be constructed similar to Changi Airport of Singapore, but much smaller in scale," Casanova said.
BCDA is currently preparing the bidding process and targeting to start the construction of the project by 2015.
I just want to share this prayer by St. Francis especially to all Tagudinians. I've posted it here at the mb in the past and I think it is a beautiful prayer so I am posting it again. Take care everyone. -- MB Adm, Wed, Jul 24 2013 
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
Where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury,pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
and where there is sadness, joy.
O Divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek
to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life. Amen
Pinoy Funny Signs -- Only In D Pilipins, Mon, Jul 22 2013 
Signs idiay Pinas. Umis-isemak no makakitaak iti karatola nga kastoy idiay Pinas. Mayat nga pang pa reduce iti stress. You can see signage like these ones all over the Philippines.
Two people got hit by a lightning in Barangay Farola, Tagudin -- Source: ABS-CBNnews.com, Sat, Jul 20 2013 
2 dead in wake of storm 'Isang'
Posted at 07/19/2013 4:53 PM | Updated as of 07/19/2013 4:53 PM
MANILA -- Tropical storm "Isang" claimed the lives of two children and injured two others before it left the Philippine Area of Responsibility (PAR), the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) said on Friday.
The fatalities, 8-year-old Rhea Jane Maseliones and 11-year-old Raymund Jay Maseliones, were struck by lighting in Barangay Farola, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur last July 17.
Two others, 31-year-old Evelyn Cabarsi and 23-year-old Elejo Cabarsi sustained minor injuries due to the lightning.
Meanwhile, at least 30 fishermen from Infanta, Pangasinan were reported missing because of the strorm.
The fishermen, residents of Barangay Cato, set sail a week before the storm hit the country and have not yet returned.
Isang made landfall in Isabela on Wednesday and left PAR the following day.
Two other persons, Evelyn Cabarsi, 31, and Elejo Cabarsi, 23, were injured during the incident.
Local disaster management units have provided assistance to the victims.
Isang affected several areas in Luzon and the Visayas. It left the Philippine area of responsibility on Thursday. But the NDRRMC said the Coast Guard in Aurora province and northeastern Luzon remains on alert and has advised fishermen not to venture out to sea because of big waves.
I just want to thank the Tagudinians of Northern California for this certificate of appreciation that was given to me at the recently concluded TIGRE II. I am very happy and honored for the recognition. I wasn't expecting it. With or without the certificate, I would have aggressively promoted the event anyway through this mb because it is for a good cause and it is my best way of showing my support to the community. THANK YOU again and God bless.
Hello everyone. Here is the slideshow of the first batch of photos that I took at the recently concluded reunion. I hope that you would enjoy watching it especially for the folks who weren't able to attend. Sorry that I won't be able to show the photo and the video coverage for the three day event all at once because it does take time to put it together especially the videos. In fact, I stayed in Vegas for an extra day just to finish this slideshow so I will have at least something to show here at this mb (blog). I will try to do my best to finish the whole thing however (the three day coverage) so hopefully you will not be waiting that long just to see these photos and videos. You probably already have seen them anyway in people's Facebook accounts and other places in the internet.
The first night was the Hawaiian Night. The theme for the night was very appropriate I think because Filipinos especially the Ilocanos are part of the Hawaiian culture. Being in Hawaii for so many years starting when our manongs (and later on with our manangs) started going to Hawaii to work in the sugar cane plantations at the turn of the century, Filipinos certainly have contributed in many aspects of what makes the Hawaiian culture.
For a lot of us, this was a chance to see friends, relatives, and kababayans we have not seen for many years and to be with them for a few hours. It was also a chance to get to know some of our kababayans we haven't met before. It was a night full of fun and camaraderie. I had a blast. I am glad that I was part of the three day event and I thank the Tagudinians of Northern California for putting it together with the support of the other Tagudinian organizations particularly, TASC, ETA, Tagudians of Canada, and Hawaii Tagudinians Association. Mabuhay kayong lahat. Congratulations for the very successful event.
The social part was great but what was more satisfying was people went and attended this event voluntarily and willingly for a good cause - a cause that would help our town of Tagudin and our less fortunate kababayans in Tagudin.
Thank you to the emcees (Marietta Bustamante, Rudy Kelly and David Lagunilla) and to all the performers and congratulations again to all the candidates for the Miss TIGRE II.
If you don't see your photo here, it does not mean that I purposely bypassed you. It just means that I just never got a chance to take pictures of you or probably did not see you. However, your pictures might be in the next batches of photos. Thank you for your understanding.
Enjoy the slideshow.
To view the rest of the photos, please click on the photo above or the link below: Slideshow
Hi again. Here is the second batch of the photos that I took at the reunion – The Gala Night. It took me awhile to put these photos together because I had to do a screen capture from the videos that I took since I didn’t take a lot of photos from my small camera. It took me awhile to sort and prepare these photos so I apologize for the delay and the mediocre quality of some of the photos.
Just like the first night, it was a fun and memorable night for everyone. It was the main event so naturally people came in droves in their best attires to witness the coronation of the winners of Miss TIGRE II and to unwind and relax and to have a good time. There were a lot of dancing and Kodak moments. It reminded me of our town fiesta back home. However, the difference that I have noticed between the states and home is our kababayans here are less afraid to dance. They are not bashful when it comes to dancing, and I think that is great because it keeps the party alive.
The emcees for the night are Manuel Laranang from Tagudinians Association of Southern California and Julia Dauz Lardizabal from Tagudinian Association of Canada. Just like the emcees at the first night, they did a pretty good job. They kept us entertained all throughout the night. Manang Julia did so well that Edgar Fernandez, the president of Hawaii Tagudinians Association said jokingly the he wants to import her to Hawaii to host an event for HTA. Thank you Manong Manuel and Manang Julia.
Thank you again everyone especially to the organizers. Kudos to you for the job well done.
Enjoy the slideshow.
To view the rest of the photos, please click on the image above or the link below: Slideshow
One of the last remaining matriarchs from the Dauz Families, Urbana Dauz passed away peacefully at her home in Barangay Quirino, Tagudin, Ilocos Sur on June 24, 2013. She was in her early nineties. She died exactly two months after the death of her beloved husband, the late Antonio Dauz. As you recall his death was also posted here at the mb sometime last May.
She was a great mother to her nine children and a great grandmother to her grandchildren. She was a housewife but was also a businesswoman. She and her husband were together for over 65 years and they lived mostly in the Philippines. During their later years, they lived in the United States until they decided to go back home for good to the land that they love, the Philippines. She is survived by her children namely Rita, Ernesta, Filomena, Albert, Raymund, Manuel (Nonong), Godofredo, Lourdes, and Bernadette.
Please pray for the repose of the soul of Lola Urbana Dauz.
The first night - Hawaiian Night just concluded. Here are some photos from the first night. More videos and photos will follow in the next few days. Congratulations to all the candidates. Rachel Encarnacion from the Tagudinians of Northern California was announced as the winner for Miss TIGRE II. First runner-up is Rhea Manglapus of Eastern Tagudinians and the second runner-up is Luz Laminoza from Tagudinians of Sourthern California. It was a very successful night and a fun night for everyone. It was good to see all the Tagudinians from the different Tagudinians organizations and Tagudinians from the different parts of the world all in one occasion.
Happy Tagudinians Internantional Grand Reunion and Happy Fourth of July. -- MB Adm, Tue, Jul 02 2013 
Just want to wish all Tagudinians attending the reunion in Vegas
a very happy grand reunion and Fourth of July.
For those people driving to Vegas, please drive carefully and please don't drink and drive.
Have a safe trip to Las Vegas and a safe trip going back home.
Have a great reunion.