July 24 2014 - The new Dept. of Education building in Calero, Calapan City, Or. Mindoro funded by DepEd. 
Happy Birthday to Calapan City ! It became a city on Feb. 2, 1998 under the term of pres. Fidel Ramos, Mayor Arnan Panaligan and Congressman Renato Leviste. 
Who would it be? Vote for the best on May 13, 2013 !!!
Here's a list of candidates in Oriental Mindoro :
First District         Doy Leachon
                           Ato Leviste
                           Nico Valencia
Second District    Rey Umali
Provincial Governor
                          Boy Umali
Vice Governor
                          Bonz Dolor
Sanguniang Panlalawigan
First District
Arago Ryan
Atienza Zeus
Bugarin Jun
De Chavez Ishmail
Ferraren Pol
Infantado Raf
Joson Philip Cesar
Luna Juan Paolo
Malapitan Jojie
Second District
Andaya Manuel
Buenaventura Butch
Camo Lito
de Roxas Flor
Delmo Dunhill Marcelo
Dimapilis Jerwin
Liwanag Nino
Narito Severino
Soller Butch
Talens Mae
Mayor - Calapan City
Arnan Panaligan
Jojo Perez
Vice Mayor - Calapan City
Bong Brucal
Robert Concepcion
Gilbert Repizo
Councilors - Calapan City
Abas Abraham
Agua Asel
Alaraz Rommel
apasan Eric
Arce Ignacio Ronaldy
Cabailo Brod Pit
Constantino Joemar
Cueto Gil
De Jesus Mylene
Flores Boy
Ilagan Rexon
Ilano Edel
Infantado Boy
Leachon-Balbuena Chi
Leido Ava
Levista Edu
Leynes Glen
Merano Noel
Neria Jocy
Panahon Eli
Rafa Ante
Ramirez Gil
Raquepo RR Roy
Tanyag Bel
Tolentino Jose
Tolentino Ramil
Tuquero Kelly
Patrick dela Rosa
diony Hernandez
Rey Marco
Allan Roldan
Vice Mayor
Eric Castillo
Graciano dela chica
Lau Roldan
ronaldo Morada
Roy Mudanza
Vice Mayor
Doms Caramaoan
Donato Manato
Bobot Umali
Vice Mayor
Alfie Montalbo
Robert Gonzales
Edna Villas
Vice Mayor
admin aceron
Teresita Bantugan
Guillermo Salas Jr.
Romeo Alvarez
Loreto Perez
Vice Mayor
Rimando Recalde
Ramon Solas
Part Two of Candidates Listings (see Part One above)
Angie Casubua
cholie fuentes
Mark Marcos
Bert Mendoza
Vice Mayor
Toti Arago
Joel Teves
Vilma Vargas
Rey de Lara
Joel Maliwanag
Celestino Papasin
Vice Mayor
Alvin Go
Armando Samarita
Cesar Sucgang
Tony delos Reyes
Fred Hernandez
Obet Morente
Vice Mayor
cora Agarap
Aris Baldos
Edwin Hernandez
Jennifer Cruz
Leandro Panganiban Jr
Vice Mayor
Bodog Oliveros
Raul Pagcaliwagan
Pto. Galera
aristeo Atienza
Hubbert Dolor
Vice Mayor
Jaime Delgado
Virleo Persia
Robinhood Ylagan
Celso Dimapilis
Jackson Dy
Vice Mayor
Violeta Dimapilis
Felipe Sombillo
San Teodoro
Homer Alumisin
Marvic Ferraren
Vice Mayor
Kinoy Arguelles
Manuel Bae
Rolly Arreola
Vice Mayor
Marvin Umbao
Lito Malabanan
Alfredo Ortega Jr
Vice Mayor
Dolor Gasic
double click this picture
double click this picture
SONA 2012 by Pres. Benigno S. Aquino III...if you prefer in English, scroll to the bottom of the speech and click "translated in English".

Posted 7/17/12 Pandanggo sa Ilaw, originating from Mindoro, remains one of the most popular and enduring... folk dances of the Philippines. Audiences continue to be astonished by the dancers’ ability to move as fluid as the lighted oil in the lamps they have to balance on their heads and their hands.

When the lights are out, the performance continues—unlike in other dances. In the dark, dancers are no longer the stars. They are reduced to faceless bearers of light.

“It is so beautiful to observe how graceful the lights glide and move,” said Rhodora Barojabo a finalist of the Gawad Geny Lopez “Bayaning Guro” Awards, who is a bearer of light in her own city of Calapan , Oriental Mindoro. 
Gawad Geny Lopez is the Lopez group of companies' annual search for Filipino leaders who help their communities and inspire love of country.

A dedicated music, arts and physical education teacher at Jose J. Leido Jr. National Memorial High School , Barojabo wishes to change one child at a time by teaching cultural dances.

“I want to teach children folk dances so they would have a strong sense of identity and pride in Mindoro and have discipline,” she said. “Children should be disciplined and learn to respect. Dance is nothing if you do not have these.”

A Calapan dance

Because she wanted Calapan’s identity to shine brightly like the Pandanggo oil lamps, she thought it would be good to make a dance that reflects Calapan culture. She called it Hayuma Calapeña.

“Naghahayuma is the local term for sewing a net,” she said. Calapan is a coastal city and fishing is Mindoro ’s main source of livelihood.

Many dances focus on the act of drying the fish or fishing itself, but none has paid attention to the tools needed for making a living, like sewing the fish nets, she said.

A difficult and tedious process, sewing a net could take a whole day or two, demonstrating how crucial the quality of the nets are to their lives, she said.

The Hayuma Calapeña needs both boy and girl dancers, “to show how families in Calapan help each other, also how positivity and romance blossoms in hard times,” she said.

The performance emphasizes the community’s cooperative nature where girls sew the nets and the men lay them out and then throw them back to the ladies to check the quality, she said.

The boys wear long pants with native salakot hat and the girls wear bandanas, skirts and pants. The movements are graceful yet lively.

The full body cover, which is a protection against the blazing sun near the sea, is complemented by the “fluid yet joyful” movement and music.

The light-hearted music of the dance was composed by her uncle, Oscar Nicasio, a former member of the Nicasio Brothers band that played string instruments.

Light in the dark

Residents of Calapan were not supportive of her endeavors in the beginning. When she asked that some of the children be excused from class so she could teach them the dance, she said parents would get annoyed and say their classes were more important. Some parents and teachers went to the extent of telling the children to their faces that they could not dance, she said.

Lacking support when she began teaching in 1991, she had to turn to well-off families because they could spare some money for the costumes.

Despite the obstacles, she continued to work hard to develop the Hayuma Calapeña until 1999 when it won in a Department of Education contest to promote local culture. “All the Calapañans became very supportive,” she said proudly.

With newfound popular support, it became easier for her to find children not only willing to learn the dance but also to change their perspectives about their future.

“I would not want to impart anything to these children that they won’t use in the future,” said Barojabo, “The discipline that comes with dancing would help them in their future endeavors.”

She said that one male student, who did not even know how to dance, told her that her dance lessons kept him away from gangs.

Dancing, she said, has helped her students who have graduated to gain college scholarships. “Not only dance troupe scholarships, but also varsity scholarships. Their discipline helped them,” she said.

She said her favorites are students who do not even know how to dance. “I think that their discipline is inspiring, although obviously they would not be great dancers but it shows that hard work would help you in any aspect of your life,” she said.

Barojabo’s dream

The very strict dance teacher said that she wishes that children would grow up to become disciplined leaders to sustain the flourishing community. A disciplined environment helps as well, she said. Mayor Salvador Leachon’s main project is making Calapan City the most disciplined city.

Aside from discipline, “I also want a city with a strong sense of identity, that is why I am an advocate of folk dances,” she said.

She also said that it would be nice to have a festival that is a Calapan staple: “Like Aklan’s Ati-atihan, I hope we would have a festival that would be popular so that more and more tourists could see how beautiful our city is.”

Barojabo said that, “Knowing your identity coupled with discipline, there is no way that you would fail.”
Kristia Kaye Nable
Kristia Kaye Nable

Posted 4/4/2012
- Congratulations to Kristia Kaye Nable for winning the title of Mutya ng Lungsod ng Calapan 2012 on 3/18/2012. A student of the Divine Word College majoring in Psychology, Kristia competed with 10 finalists. As the winner, she was awarded 30,000 pesos cash and other awards during the pageant.  The event was to celebrate the 14th City Founding Anniversary of Calapan.  A total of 23 applicants joined the contest down to 10 finalists on pageant night. For more info click this link : Kristia is the daughter of Noel and Daye Perilla Nable of Calero and niece of Dan Nable, current president of OMASC. 
Posted 3/2/2012

President Aquino led the inauguration today of a 2.1 megawatt hydroelectric power plant in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro.  The Linao-Cawayan mini-hydro power plant, located in the orthern part of Mindoro within the Linao-Cawayan River is now fully operational.  The ceremonial switch-on though was held at the compound of Oriental Mindoro Electric Corp. (ORMECO) in Calapan City.
Posted 1/25/2012 - HIAns meet the officers of HIA Alumni Association 2012.  You are all invited to join the 75th year anniversary to celebrate the golden jubilee in Calapan City.  For details, please contact Dr. Emmanuel Priela, president, at .
2 0 1 2 - The Year of the Dragon
2 0 1 2 - The Year of the Dragon

Personality Traits of the Rat:
Charming, social, and quick witted, rats are happy and popular people. Rats are always on the go and find safety in numbers. Rats are detail oriented, hard working, and overambitious. They are able to accumulate wealth easily - and do not part with money as easily. You will make a good architect, salesperson, or campaign manager.
Personality Traits of the Ox:
Patient, determined, and easy going, you never miss a beat. The Ox person succeeds at their own merits. Hard working, logical, and tenacious, the ox can be trusted to get the job done. By nature, the ox is methodical, sticking to routines and tradition. The rigidity and militant style of the Ox often results in an unapproachable and intimidating personality. You will be happy as a tennis pro, surgeon, hair stylist, or rock climber.
Personality Traits of the Tiger:
Tigers are romantic, lovable, magnetic and independent. The tiger is an optimist. You are brave, kind, daring and full of feeling. You might be a race car driver, animal trainer, reporter, or soap opera star.
Personality Traits of the Rabbit:
Rabbits are selfless, neat and tidy, and get along well with their brothers and sisters. Rabbits lead the good life and are the most fortunate of all animals. Rabbits live by the Golden Rule and wouldn't think of breaking it. You are well suited as a banker, lawyer, interior designer, or video-game player.

Personality Traits of the Dragon:
One of the most showy characters of the zodiac chart, you are imaginative, lucky, full of fun, and energetic. Dragons are the doers of the world. You don't sit around waiting for things to happen, you make things happen. You demand perfection from yourself and from others. You will make a good talk-show host, artist or diplomat.


Personality Traits of the Snake:
Snakes are governed by their innate wisdom and intuition. Snake people think alot. Snake people are fast learners and will never make the same mistake twice. Snakes like the best things in life. Yin to the Dragon's Yang, you are mysterious, quiet, and a deep thinker and would be successful as a philosopher, fortune-teller or best friend.


Personality Traits of the Horse:
A horse person loves freedom. You are cheerful, talkative, a hard worker, and a bit of a show off. Horses will compliment to get a compliment. You are headstrong, quickminded and don't tolerate those who are not "up to speed." Able to do ten things at once, the horse dislikes idleness. You will be best as an explorer, writer, or debutante.
Personality Traits of the Sheep:
You're a strong believer in what you do, gentle and loving, and very talented in the arts. The sheep is ultrasensitive, altruistic, and sincere. Sheep individuals follow the crowd and seldom lead. You will make a good author therapist or landscape architect.


Personality Traits of the Monkey:
You are very smart, have a lot of wonderful ideas, but are full of mischief. Like a baby learning a new skill, the monkey will clap in delight at learning a new skill. You'll perform it over and and over again until the skill is mastered. Monkeys are extremely competitive and need to do things better than anyone else. You will be good at everything you do, from magician to head of state


Personality Traits of the Rooster:
You are neat as a pin, have lots of confidence, and would like everything to be perfect. You are brutally honest and candid. Roosters are proud animals that are detail oriented perfectionists. You will be happiest as a fashion model, actor, or world traveler.


Personality Traits of the Dog:
Keeping an eye on everything, you are alert and dependable. Compatible, compromising, loyal, and unprejudiced, dogs are there when you need them. While you are usually a friendly, affectionate and kind individual, you will fight to the end for a cause you believe in. You're a person of high intelligence, but don't express your thoughts and feelings to others. You will be an excellent secret agent, psychiatrist, or librarian.
Personality Traits of the Pig:
You are happy, good-natured, outspoken, but a little too trusting. Pigs are the nicest people to know. A pig will remain your friend for life. You might do well as a craftsperson, art collector, or comedian.

1944        Monkey
1945        Chicken
1946        Dog
1947        Pig
1948        Rat
1949        Ox
1950        Tiger
1951        Rabbit
1952        Dragon
1953        Snake
1954        Horse
1976                    Dragon
1977                    Snake
1978                    Horse
1979                    Sheep
1980                    Monkey
1981                    Chicken
1982                    Dog
1983                    Pig
1984                    Rat
1985                    Ox
1986                    Tiger

Posted 1/11/2012
- This is Lola Piling dela Cruz of Calapan City.  Anyone who can trace her relatives wherever they are, please contact Agnes Cay Rivera, also of Calapan City thru Facebook.  She found Aling Piling walking at Paseo de Roxas the other day.  Agnes was kind-hearted enough to buy her food, gave her money but had to leave Aling Piling at Jollibee there.  , Aling Piling was part of a group who was brought to PGH for some medical project or something  but when the funds of this project ran out, Aling Piling's group was dispersed.  Now she is all by herself (it looks like) but was able to give her name and where she is from to Agnes. Big thanks to our kababayan, Agnes,  for posting it in the Facebook and for the help given to Aling Piling at that moment. 

We would like to help, too,  in the big search and this is a community service to help her find her family, relatives and friends. If she looks familiar to you or if you know people who might know her, please go to our guest book section and send us your message if you are interested to help in the search. Or email . We plan to put together all the information that we will be receiving, if any.  Salamat po !

From New York City, Happy New Year !  May you all have a happy, healthy and wealthy 2 0 1 2  !!! 

Posted 12/11/2011 - Heavy rains in Mindoro caused this bridge that link Calapan City and Puerto Galera collapsed.  We will keep you updated on recent developments.
Flooding in Calapan City due to heavy rains.
Posted 11/24/11 -  Remembering William Finnemann, SVD  (1882-1942) He was born on December 18, 1882 in Hultrop, Soest, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany. He was a priest of the Society of the Divine Word. He was the first SVD auxiliary bishop of Manila and probably the first German to become a naturalized Filipino citizen. In 1936, Bishop Finnemann was appointed the first bishop of Mindoro.  He was martyred on October 26, 1942 for refusing to convert the convent of the Holy Spirit Sisters into a prostitution house. The Japanese soldiers bound his hands and feet, tied his body to a huge rock and dropped him overboard alive into the sea near Verde Island in Batangas, Philippines
Posted 11-11-11
It's Oriental Mindoro's 61st Founding Anniversary !  Celebrations run from November 13-15, 2011 in Calapan City. 
Posted 11-11-11
Here are the candidates vying for the title of Miss Oriental Mindoro 2011 .....  Celebrations run from Nov. 13-15 , 2011 in Calapan City. And the winner for Miss Oriental Mindoro 2011 is Miss Socorro! First runner-up is Ms. Bongabong; second runner-up is Ms. Pinamalayan; third runner-up is Ms. Calapan City; Miss Tourism is Ms. Bansud; and Miss MAHALTA is Ms. Puerto Galera!

Posted 10/4/2011
- Congratulations to Dan Nable of Calapan City on his new position as the new president of Or. Mindoro Association in Southern California (OMASC).  Dan was inducted on September 17, 2011 during OMASC's ball at Marriott Hotel, Los Angeles airport location.  For more photos, go to Photo Album page, left side.

Posted 9-27, 2011 - Meet the new OMASC officers who were inducted on September 17, 2011 at the Marriott Hotel, Los Angeles airport location.  Dan Nable was inducted as the new the incoming president. Congrats, Dan !

Posted 10/10/2011 - The new Robinsons Mall in Calapan City.  Opening day was on September 7, 2011.  It is located infront of Filipiniana Hotel.  Just another addition to the progress taking place in Mindoro. For more photos, click Photo Album page, left side.
Posted 9/23/11 - His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III was conferred honorary Doctor of Laws at the Fordham University in the Bronx, New York on September 19, 2011.  Filling the hall's capacity of 400, Fil-ams and Pinoy students at Fordham witnessed the ceremony which started at 1 pm. 

President Aquino arrived at the campus at 12:45 pm and was received at the steps of the Keating Hall. He was greeted by Fordham University President, Father Joseph McShane, S. J. and was escorted to the Terrace of the Presidents.  A spray of greens with yellow ribbons was given to Pres. Aquino to place on the step where his mother's name is etched.  From there, he was escorted to Keating Room 100 where he was given the academic gown for the ceremony.

A small group of Fordham University students presented him with a gift from Fordham's student body and a few members of the Board of Trustees.  Father McShane also presented a gift on behalf of the University.

The official ceremony ended at 2 p.m. A reception in his honor was held at the Terrace of the Presidents following the ceremony.

Few Mindorenos were fortunate to be  invited as part of the audience during this important event.  Florante Villarica with wife, Beth, Juliet Payabyab, Christine Balingao and Mercy Pastrana Mosley represented the Mindoro group during the ceremony. Not to be forgotten was the presence of two Mindorenos at Pres. Aquino's event the next day at the Asia Society.  Sylwin Lazaro with wife, Imelda were lucky to be part of the very limited 250 audience to witness another event, another speech and another unending applause for our President.  For pictures of this event, go to Photo Album page of this website. Enjoy !

Benigno S. Aquino III/Doctor of Laws
This is a very fitting year for Fordham University to bestow its highest honor on the President of the Philippines.  This year marks the 90th anniversary of Fordham's long-standing ties with the people of the Philippines, and with our sister Jesuit institution, the Ateneo de Manila University. Many great Filipinos have graduated from the Ateneo, including Dr. Jose Rizal, the Philippine national hero.  Today's honorary degree recipient, President Benigno Simeon C. Aquino III, also has long-standing ties with the Ateneo and the Jesuits.  he is a three-time graduate of the institution: from its Grade School in 1973; the High School in 1977; and from the College, with an A.B. in Economics in 1981.

Mace Bearer - Joel R. Reidenberg, President of the Faculty Senate
Master of Ceremonies - Stephen Freedman, Provost
Invocation - Joseph A. O'Hare, S. J., President Emeritus
National Anthems - The Philippines and The United States - Maxine L. Cruz-Am, Trisha Emborgo and Danielle Escot flores.
Greetings - Joseph M. McShane, S.J. President
Reading of Citation - Nancy A. Busch, Dean, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
Faculty Sponsor - henry m. Schwalbenberg, Associate Professor of Economics and Director of the Graduate Program in International Political Economy and Development
Conferring of the Degree - Joseph M. McShane, S.J. and John N. Tognino, Chairman of the Board of Trustees
Response - Benigno S. Aquino III, President of the Philippines


Posted 9/12/11
- CALAPAN—A Calapeno was named Nurse of the Year during the 2011 Star Awards of the Brighton and Sussex University Hospitals (BSUH).Teodoro “Junjun” Medran Jr., 38, a clinical charge nurse at the Royal Sussex County Hospital in the United Kingdom, was chosen from over 60 nominees, mostly British, by patients, colleagues and a board of judges that included member of parliament Nicolas Soames, a grandson of the late prime minister Winston Churchill.

Following the award, Medran said in an e-mail that he was cited by the Philippine Embassy in London for being a good example for overseas Filipino workers (OFWs) and struggling parents.Medran has also been nominated for the Blas Ople Bagong Bayani Award2011, which recognizes the role of OFWs in fostering high standards of responsibility, efficiency and integrity among overseas workers; and in promoting the welfare of OFWs.

Now on its second year, the Nurse of the Year award is given by the BSUH National Health Services in cooperation with The Argus newspapers.  Last year’s awardee was a Briton.The BSUH is described in its web site as the regional teaching hospital operating across two sites: the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and the Princess Royal Hospital in Haywards Heath.Medran said the award was a recognition of the hard work and professionalism of Filipino nurses and OFWs.The Department of Foreign Affairs estimates that 250,000 Filipinos live in the UK.As clinical charge nurse, Medran said part of his job was to certify dead patients who, sometimes, did not have relatives. “I make sure I am with them (before they die), holding their hands, reciting prayers. I always whisper in their ears my wish that they be reunited with the Lord in heaven,” he said.

“I always make my patients happy by singing love and joyful songs to, at least, ease their anxiety.  There’s so much from within to share,like love-filled childhood,” he said.Medran said he learned his empathy for others from his father, who would give away even the food he was about to eat if somebody asked for it. His father believed the giver was more blessed than the recipient.

A graduate of Arellano University at 18, Medran went to the UK in 1999, after working at the Lung Center of the Philippines for six years, then  the Philippine Heart Center for two years. He  was also a college lecturer while waiting for the board examination results.“Almost half of my life was spent in the hospital so I said, ‘Why not treat everyone as a family member, too?’ It must really be a calling because I continue to be excited everyday in doing the same job,” he said.He saw his work as more than just caring for the human body and saving lives.  “To touch the soul and emotion of another,  I always put myself in someone else’s shoes and always feel that I am a member of the families of my patients.  When they are lonely or without visitors, I like feeding them if they can’t feed themselves and making them look good by giving them a shave and cutting their hair.  I believe that if they look good they will feel good,” he said

Former patients who returned to the hospital would always ask for him upon admission. Medran would give them a hug, happy to see that they had recovered.He said, though there were challenges, his courage and strong faith in God enabled  him to overcome the obstacles.Medran is married to another nurse, Cindy Laroco of Baguio City, who works in the same hospital. They have three children: Michaela Argenta, 6; Thea Mikayla, 5; and Theodore, 3.

Posted 9/8/11 - Bernard H. Morillo, Electrical Engineer: Traversing the Path of Greatness

The discipline has honed these very qualities in the persona of Engineer Bernard H. Morillo, a man whose life tells a tale of perseverance, hardwork and passion.

Engr. Bernard Morillo, the son of Jose R. Morillo and Pureza H. Morillo, finished his primary education in Oriental Mindoro. His high school years were spent at the Divine Word College of Calapan. He took up BS Electrical Engineering at the Technological Institute of the Philippines in Manila and earned his license in electrical engineering shortly after earning his college degree. He is happily married to Architect Maria Cecilia L. Morillo and has four lovely daughters: Bernice Cecilia, Bernadette Cecilia, Bernadine Cecilia and Bernette Cecilia.

Distinguished as one of the most reputable electrical engineers in the Philippines, Engr. Morillo has devoted more than twenty years of life exploring, learning and immersing himself in his chosen field of discipline. His expertise in his craft is attributed to his past work experience in the country’s top electrical companies: National Power Corp. /ABB, Westrade International Co. and Ampere Technology, Inc. His enthusiasm in electrical engineering has brought him to the different parts of the world, steadily increasing his knowledge of the field by attending seminars and trainings in Germany, Nevada, Chicago, Singapore, Spain, Italy, France, Turkey, Dubai, Malaysia, South Korea, Taiwan, Vietnam and Hong Kong.

A socially active individual, Engr. Morillo is currently the overall Chairman and Vice President of Society of Philippine Electrotechnical Constructors and Suppliers, Inc. and Vice President of the Rotary Club of San Juan, where he has the distinction of being a multiple Paul Harris Fellow. He is also affiliated with different organizations like Institute of Integrated Electrical Engineers, Metro Manila Builders and Developers Association, Electrical Engineers Golf Club, Inc., Architectural Center Club Inc., Philippine Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Club Filipino, The Orchard Golf and Country Club and The Association of Mindoreños, Inc.

Engr. Morillo continues to endow local and international clients with exemplary workmanship he has been known for over the years. He has pursued excellence in his chosen field, successfully establishing himself both as a proficient engineer and a skilled entrepreneur. Today he owns and co-manages 19 companies with varied fields of interest. He is the Chairman of Plug Electric Manufacturing Corporation, PEMCOR Vismin Inc., PEMCOR Konstruction Corporation, PEMCOR GenSan Inc, Bare Electrique Systems Inc, BHM Equipment Supplies Inc., BHM Business Process Outsourcing, Inc., BHM Games Studio Corp., Electrosoft Inc., Fronter Freight Forwarder Inc., Guernica’s Tapas Bar and Restaurant, Inc. and Shinen Media Technology Corporation; the Director of Metaphor Construction Corp., Patio Guernica’s Restaurant, Inc. and Power Control Specialist  Inc.; and the Managing Director of Beehive Digital Studios  Inc., DynaPower Corporation, Fast East Energy Resources Inc. and Innovative Controls Inc.

As proof of his entrepreneurial prowess, he was awarded the 2010 Association of Mindoreños Inc. (TAMS) Outstanding Mindoreño Award in the field of Entrepreneurial Management on the 17th of October 2010. His societal contribution was also recognized when he was given a Certificate of Gratitude by MLQU School of Engineering for donating a Research Laboratory Equipment for Electricity Trading Parameters last September 26, 2008.

BHM recieving the TAMS award
From left to right: Dr. Greg R. Lamanilao, Chairman of Awards Committee; Hon. Sherwin N. Tugna, CIBAC Party List Representative; Hon. Rodolfo G. Valencia, Congressman of 1st District Oriental Mindoro; Engr. Bernard H. Morillo, Chairman, PEMCOR Group of Companies; Mr. Jolly L. Ting, Chairman Emeritus of The Association of Mindorenos; Hon. Alfonso V. Umali Jr., Governor of Oriental Mindoro; Hon. Reynaldo V. Umali, Congressman of 2nd District Oriental Mindoro.

Throughout the years, Engr. Bernard H. Morillo has successfully embodied the rare qualities of creative initiative, innovation, practicality and competence—a true epitome of a man traversing the path of greatness.

Why he is a “Winner:” Engr. Bernard Morillo, in all his 39 years has achieved what others only dream of in a lifetime. His philosophy in establishing numerous companies is not for the accumulation of wealth but the creation of opportunities – to help those who deserve his help.

-Written by Nadia M. in collaboration with Jovie S.


Posted 8/20/11 - MANILA, Philippines—Following are the top 10 nursing board examinees:
1.  Jomel  Garcia  Lapides, University of the Philippines-Manila—88.40%
2.  Hazel  Cortes  Crisostomo, University of Santo Tomas—87.40%
Beverly Lynne  Yao  Ong, University of Santo Tomas— 87.40%
3.  Ivy Grace  Cuadra  Lim, Far Eastern University-Manila—87.20%
4.  Ameera Sarah  Niebres  Baylon,  Camarines Sur Polytechnic College-Nabua—87%
Kim Carmela  Dee  Co,  University Of The Philippines-Manila—87%
Ralph  Jarilla  De Leon,  Metropolitan Hospital School of Nursing—87%
Patricia  Teodoro  Pintac, Cebu Doctors University—87%
Nadine  Cedeño  Sameon, University of Saint La Salle—87%
5.   Mary Bianca Doreen  Fernandez  Ditching, University of Santo Tomas—86.80%
Channiel Pauline  Mijares  Luciano, University of Santo Tomas—86.80%
Patrick Ranier  Agupitan  Latoza, Our Lady of Fatima University-QC—86.80%
Raymark  Domingo  Salonga, University of the Philippines-Manila—86.80%
6.  Maria Theresa  Daclan  Bido, Lourdes College—86.60%
Princess Samantha  Valencia  Buban, University of Santo Tomas—86.60%
Johnel Carlo  Cristobal  Estrella, Far Eastern University-Manila—86.60%
Florence Jill  Dela Victoria  Polina, STI College Cebu, Inc.—86.60%
Jacob  Cabrera  Reyes, Cebu Normal University (Cebu State College)—86.60%
Nicole Marie  Tiglao  Severino, Angeles University Foundation—86.60%
Maria Jalyssa  Pascua  Tan, University of the Philippines-Manila—86.60%
7.   Frances Mae  Tupas  Baquillos, Riverside College—86.40%
Amparo Marie  Medina  Bayongan, University of Santo Tomas—86.40%
Rose Ann  Labrague  Canlapan, Holy Angel University—86.40%
Dee Zyrie  Alli  Divina, Far Eastern University-Manila—86.40%
Catherine Joyce  Distor  Go,  Saint Louis University—86.40%
Angela Nicole  Rago  Ocio, Xavier University—86.40%
Bianca  Malilay  Velando, University Of The Philippines-Manila—86.40%
8.   Argee  Abunda  Alonsabe, University of Saint La Salle—86.20%
Lowel Andrew  Andales  Batomalaque, Cebu Normal University (Cebu State College) —86.20%
Lora  Enriquez  Jarabelo, University of Santo Tomas—86.20%
Mishael Kate  Ilagan  Mendoza,  De La Salle University-Health Sciences Institute—86.20%
Jan Joel  Lalic  Simpauco, University of Santo Tomas—86.20%
Alvin Duke  Roberto  Sy,  University of the Philippines-Manila—86.20%
Cherryl Joyce  Cabatingan  Tan,  Velez College—86.20%
9.   Ruth Marie  Dela Cruz  Andoque, West Visayas State University-La Paz—86%
Paolo  Holandez  Andrade, University of Santo Tomas—86%
Thea Mae  Medalla  Baronda, Velez College—86%
Emmanuel Arianne  Mendoza  Bastasa, Manila Doctors College—86%
Maria Katrina  Mitra  Capellan, University of Santo Tomas—86%
Emmanuel  Demigillo  Debuque, University of Santo Tomas—86%
Katherine  Alegre  Flores, University of Santo Tomas—86%
Maria Reylan  Magallanes  Garcia, West Visayas State University-La Paz—86%
Debby Grace  Tabugo  Jardiolin, Saint Paul University-Iloilo—86%
Josephine Ann  Jablo  Necor, Far Eastern University-Manila—86%
Royce Jasper  Uy  Ong,  University of Santo Tomas—86%
Rochelle  Realino  Perlas,  Emilio Aguinaldo College-Manila—86%
Jann Marvin    Posada, Catanduanes State Colleges-Virac—86%
Kyle Nicole  Torrilla  Teruel,  West Visayas State University-La Paz—86%
10.  Shane Alexis  Allanigue  Abella, Saint Paul University-Manila—85.8%
Christine Corintha  Daway  Almora, University of Santo Tomas—85.8%
Jan Briane  Fabie  Astom, Saint Paul College-Bantay (St.Paul-Vigan)—85.8%
Jasper Joseph  Carag  Ballecer,  Saint Paul University-Manila—85.8%
Gloria Isabel  Labrador  Baltazar,  University of Santo Tomas—85.8%
Maria Ronallaine  De Leon  Bello,  University of Santo Tomas—85.8%
Ma Aileen Bianca  Real  Bose,  Bicol University-Legazpi—85.8%
Jane Febe  Booc  Cabatingan, Cebu Normal University (Cebu State College) —85.8%
Deo Robert  Bodiongan  Castro, Cebu Doctors University—85.8%
Angela  Valerio  Coronado,  Far Eastern University-Manila—85.8%
Judith  Pajigal  Cuadra,  Holy Name University (For. Divine Word-Tagbilaran) —85.8%
April  Luz  Del Mundo,  Central Colleges of The Philippines—85.8%
Khris  Chan  Dy,  University of Pangasinan—85.8%
Mei Joy  Castillo  Flamiano,  Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela—85.8%
Kelci Mae  Tan  Francia,  University of Santo Tomas—85.8%
Jayvie  Bacud  Gacutan,  Medical College of Northern Philippines—85.8%
Sarah Agnes Mary  Reyes  Lim,  University of Santo Tomas—85.8%
April Wine Yogi  Sayas  Manigbas, Lyceum of the Philippines University-Batangas, Inc.—85.8%
Eirene Joy Louise  Noveza  Ocampo,   Far Eastern University-Manila—85.8%
Mary Jane  Turno  Ocampo, Saint Louis University—85.8%
Iris Mae  Belgado  Relles,  Bicol University-Tabaco—85.8%
Gee Blossom  Barba  Robino, Saint Paul University-Iloilo—85.8%
Ability-Ann  Gayoma  Tacaisan,  West Visayas State University-La Paz—85.8%

State of the Nation Address
of His Excellency Benigno S. Aquino III
President of the Philippines to the Congress of the Philippines
Session Hall of the House of Representatives
July 26, 2010
[Batasan Pambansa Complex, Quezon City]

Speaker Feliciano Belmonte; Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile; Vice President Jejomar Binay, Chief Justice Renato Corona, Former Presidents Fidel Valdez Ramos and Joseph Ejercito Estrada; Members of the House of Representatives and the Senate; distinguished members of the diplomatic corps;
My beloved countrymen:
Our administration is facing a forked road. On one direction, decisions are made to protect the welfare of our people; to look after the interest of the majority; to have a firm grip on principles; and to be faithful to the public servant’s sworn oath to serve the country honestly.
This is the straight path.
On the other side, personal interest is the priority, and where one becomes a slave to political considerations to the detriment of our nation.
This is the crooked path.
For a long time, our country lost its way in the crooked path. As days go by (since I became President), the massive scope of the problems we have inherited becomes much clearer. I could almost feel the weight of my responsibilities.
In the first three weeks of our administration, we discovered many things, and I will report to you some of the problems we have uncovered, and the steps we are taking to solve them.
This report is merely a glimpse of our situation. It is not the entire picture of the crises we are facing. The reality was hidden from our people, who seem to have been deliberately obfuscated on the real state of our nation.
In the first six years of this year, government expenditure exceeded our revenues. Our deficit further increased to PhP196.7 billion. Our collection targets, which lack PhP23.8 billion, were not fully met, while we went beyond our spending by PhP45.1 billion.
Our budget for 2010 is PhP1.54 trillion. Of this, only PhP100 billion – or 6.5% of the total budget – can be used for the remaining six months of the current year. Roughly 1% of the total budget is left for each of the remaining month.
Where did the funds go?
A calamity fund worth PhP2 billion was reserved in preparation for anticipated calamities. Of this already miniscule amount, at a time when the rainy season has yet to set in, PhP1.4 billion or 70% was already spent.
The entire province of Pampanga received PhP108 million. Of this, PhP105 million went to only one district. On the other hand, the province of Pangasinan, which was severely affected by Typhoon Pepeng, received a mere PhP5 million, which had to be used to fix damages inflicted not even by Pepeng, but by a previous typhoon, Cosme.
The funds were released on election month, which was seven months after the typhoon. What will happen if a typhoon arrives tomorrow? The fund has been used up to repair damage from typhoons that hit us last year. Our future will pay for the greed of yesterday.
This is also what happened to the funds of the MWSS. Just recently, people lined up for water while the leadership of the MWSS rewarded itself even though the pensions of retired employees remain unpaid.
The entire payroll of the MWSS amounts to 51.4 million pesos annually. But this isn’t the full extent of what they receive: they receive additional allowances and benefits amounting to 81.1 million pesos. In short, they receive 211.5 million pesos annually. Twenty four percent of this is for normal salaries, and sixty six percent is added on.
The average worker receives up to 13th month pay plus a cash gift. In the MWSS, they receive the equivalent of over thirty months pay if you include all their additional bonuses and allowances.
What we discovered in the case of the salaries of their board of trustees is even more shocking. Let’s take a look at the allowances they receive:
Attending board of trustees and board committee meetings, and you get fourteen thousands pesos. This totals ninety eight thousand pesos a month. They also get an annual grocery incentive of eighty thousand pesos.
And that’s not all. They get a mid-year bonus, productivity bonus, anniversary bonus, year-end bonus, and financial assistance. They not only get a Christmas bonus, but an additional Christmas package as well. Each of these amounts to eighty thousand pesos. All in all, each member of the board receives two and a half million pesos a year exclusive of car service, technical assistance, and loans. Let me repeat. They award themselves all of these while being in arrears for the pensions of their retired employees.
Even the La Mesa watershed wasn’t spared. In order to ensure an adequate supply of water, we need to protect our watersheds. In watersheds, trees are needed. Where there should be trees, they built homes for the top officials of the MWSS.
We cannot remove them from their positions quickly because they are among the midnight appointees of former president Arroyo. We are investigating all of these things. But if they have any shame left, they should voluntarily relinquish their positions.
Now let’s discuss funds for infrastructure. The DPWH identified two hundred forty six priority safety projects to be funded by the motor vehicle user’s charge. This needs a budget of 425 million pesos. What they ended up funding were only 28 projects. They disregarded 218 projects and replaced these with seventy projects that weren’t in the plans. The 425 million pesos originally asked for became 480 million pesos, increasing because of projects allocated for a favored few.
These projects make no sense: unstudied and unprepared for, sprouting like mushrooms.
The era of such projects is at an end. Under our administration, there will be no quotas, there will be no overpricing, the funds of the people will be spent for the people.
There’s more. Five days before the term of the previous administration ended, they ordered 3.5 billion pesos to be released for the rehabilitation of those affected by typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng. This was supposed to fund eighty-nine projects. But nineteen of these projects amounting to 981 million pesos didn’t go through public bidding. Special Allotment Release Orders hadn’t even been released and yet the contracts were already signed. It’s a good thing Secretary Rogelio Singson spotted and stopped them. Instead, they will all go through the proper bidding, and the funds will be used to provide relief to those who lost their homes due to typhoons Ondoy and Pepeng.
Let’s discuss what happened in Napocor. From 2001 to 2004, the government forced Napocor to sell electricity at a loss to prevent increases in electricity rates. The real motivation for this is that they were preparing for the election.
As a result, in 2004, NAPOCOR slumped deeply in debt. The government was obligated to shoulder the 200 billion pesos it owed.
What the public thought they saved from electricity, we are now paying for using public coffers. Not only are we paying for the cost of electricity; we are also paying for the interest arising from the debt.
If the money we borrowed was used properly, then there would be added assurance that constant supply of electricity is available. However, this decision was based on bad politics, not on the true needs of the people. The people, after having to sacrifice, suffered even more.
This is also what happened to the MRT. The government tried again to buy the people’s love. The operator was forced to keep the rates low.
In effect, the guarantee given to the operator that he will still be able to recoup his investment was not fulfilled. Because of this, Landbank and the Development Bank of the Philippines were ordered to purchase the MRT.
The money of the people was used in exchange for an operation that was losing money.

Let us now move on to the funds of the National Food Authority (NFA).
In 2004: 117,000 metric tons (of rice) was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they (the government) bought were 900,000 metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than seven times the amount of shortage, they still bought more than what was needed.
In 2007: 589,000 metric tons was the shortage in the supply of the Philippines. What they bought were 1.827 million metric tons. Even if you multiply for more than three times the amount of shortage, they again bought more than what was needed.
What hurts is, because they keep purchasing more than what they need year after year, the excess rice that had to be stored in warehouses ended up rotting, just like what happened in 2008.
Is this not a crime, letting rice rot, despite the fact that there are 4 million Filipinos who do not eat three times a day?
The result is NFA’s current debt of 177 billion pesos.
This money that was wasted could have funded the following:
- The budget of the entire judiciary, which is at 12.7 billion pesos this year.
- The Conditional Cash Transfers for the following year, which cost 29.6 billion pesos.
- All the classrooms that our country needs, which cost 130 billion pesos.
This way of doing things is revolting. Money was there only to be wasted.
You have heard how the public coffers were squandered. This is what is clear to me now: change can only come from our determination to stamp out this extravagance and profligacy.
That is why starting now: we will stop the wasteful use of government funds. We will eradicate projects that are wrong.
This is the point of what we call the zero-based approach in our budget. What used to be the norm was every year, the budget merely gets re-enacted without plugging the holes.
Next month we will be submitting a budget that accurately identifies the problem and gives much attention on the right solution.
Those that I have mentioned were only some of the problems we have discovered. Here now are examples of the steps we are undertaking to solve them.
There is a case of one pawnshop owner. He purchased a vehicle at an estimated cost of 26 million pesos.
If he can afford to buy a Lamborghini, why can’t he pay his taxes?
A case has already been filed against him. Through the leadership of Finance Secretary Cesar Purisima, BIR Commissioner Kim Henares, Customs Commissioner Lito Alvarez, and Justice Secretary Leila de Lima, every week we have new cases filed against smugglers and against those who do not pay the right taxes.
We have also already identified the suspects of the cases of Francisco Baldomero, Jose Daguio and Miguel Belen, 3 of the 6 incidents of extralegal killings since we assumed the Presidency.
Fifty percent (50%) of these incidents of extralegal killings are now on their way to being resolved.
We will not stop the pursuit of the remaining half of these killings until justice has been achieved.
We will hold murderers accountable. We will also hold those who are corrupt that work in government accountable for their actions.
We have begun forming our Truth Commission, through the leadership of former Chief Justice Hilario Davide. We will search for the truth on the alleged wrongdoing committed in the last nine years.
This week, I will sign the first ever Executive Order on the formation of this Truth Commission.
If the answer to justice is accountability, the answer to the dearth in funds is a new and creative approach to our long-standing problems.
We have so many needs: from education, infrastructure, health, military, police and more. Our funds will not be enough to meet them.
No matter how massive the deficit is that may keep us from paying for this list of needs, I am heartened because many have already expressed renewed interest and confidence in the Philippines.
Our solution: public-private partnerships. Although no contract has been signed yet, I can say that ongoing talks with interested investors will yield fruitful outcomes.
There are some who have already shown interest and want to build an expressway from Manila that will pass through Bulacan, Nueva Ecija, Nueva Vizcaya, until the end of Cagayan Valley, without the government having to spend a single peso.
On national defense:
We have 36,000 nautical miles of shoreline, but we only have 32 boats. These boats are as old as the time of (US General Douglas) MacArthur.
Some had this proposition: they will rent the Navy headquarters on Roxas Boulevard and the Naval Station in Fort Bonifacio.
They will take care of the funding necessary to transfer the Navy Headquarters to Camp Aguinaldo. Immediately, we will be given 100 million dollars. Furthermore, they will give us a portion of their profits from their businesses that would occupy the land they will rent.
In short, we will meet our needs without spending, and we will also earn.
There have already been many proposals from local to foreign investors to provide for our various needs.
From these public-private partnerships, our economy will grow and every Filipino will be the beneficiary. There are so many sectors that could benefit from this.
We will be able to construct the needed infrastructure in order to help tourism grow.
In agriculture, we will be able to have access to grains terminals, refrigeration facilities, orderly road networks and post-harvest facilities.
If we can fix out food supply chain with the help of the private sector, instead of importing, we will hopefully be able to supply for the needs of the global market.
The prices of commodities will go down if we are able to make this efficient railway system a reality. It will be cheaper and faster, and it will be easier for travelers to avoid crooked cops and rebels.
A reminder to all: creating jobs is foremost on our agenda, and the creation of jobs will come from the growth of our industries. Growth will only be possible if we streamline processes to make them predictable, reliable and efficient for those who want to invest.
We make sure that the Build-Operate-and-Transfer projects will undergo quick and efficient processes. With the help of all government agencies concerned and the people, a process that used to take as short as a year and as long as a decade will now only take six months.
The Department of Trade and Industry has already taken steps to effect this change, under the leadership of Secretary Gregory Domingo:
The never-ending horror story of registering business names, which used to take a minimum of four to eight hours depending on the day, will be cut down drastically to fifteen minutes.
What used to be a check list of thirty-six documents will be shortened to a list of six, and the old eight-page application form will be whittled down to one page.
I call on our local government units to review its own procedures. While we look for more ways to streamline our processes to make business start-ups easier, I hope the LGUs can also find ways to implement reforms that will be consistent with the ones we have already started.
All will certainly benefit from this streamlining — be it businessmen, soldiers, rebels and ordinary Filipinos. As long as the interests of Filipinos will not be jeopardized, we will explore all available avenues to make this a reality. We must start now, and we should all help achieve this and not stand in each other’s way.
The time when we will no longer be made to choose between our people’s security and the future of our children is upon us now.
Once we implement these public-private partnerships, we will be able to fund public service in accordance with our platform.
This will enable us to fund our plans for education.
We will be able to expand our basic education cycle from seven years to the global standard of twelve years.
We can build more classrooms, and we will fund service contracting under the Government Assistance to Students and Teachers in Private Education Program (GASTPE).
Conditional cash transfers that aim to lessen the burden of education on parents will also be funded if this partnership becomes a reality.
Our plans for improving PhilHealth can now be within reach.
First, we will identify the correct number of Filipinos who sorely need PhilHealth coverage, as current data is conflicting on this matter. On one hand, PhilHealth says that eighty-seven percent (87%) of Filipinos are covered, then lowers the number to only fifty-three percent (53%). On the other hand, the National Statistics Office says that only thirty-eight percent (38%) of Filipinos are covered by Philhealth.
Even as we speak, Secretary Dinky Soliman and the Department of Social Welfare and Development are moving to implement the National Household Targeting System that will identify the families that most urgently need assistance. An estimated 9 billion pesos is needed in order to provide coverage for five million poor Filipinos.
Our country is beginning to see better days ahead. The private sector, the League of Provinces headed by Governor Alfonso Umali, together with Governors L-Ray Villafuerte and Icot Petilla, are now ready to do their share when it comes to shouldering the financial burden. I know that the League of Cities under the leadership of Mayor Oscar Rodriguez will not be far behind.
If the local governments share in our goals, I know that I can surely count on Congress, the institution where I began public service, to push for our agenda for change.
Our Cabinet has already showed it skill by identifying not just problems but also proposing solutions in a matter of three weeks.
In the aftermath of Typhoon Basyang, we were told by those in the power sector that we would be without electricity for four days. The quick action of Secretary Rene Almendras and the Department of Energy resulted in the restoration of power to almost all those affected within twenty-four hours.
The so-called water shortage in Metro Manila was quickly attended to by Secretary Rogelio Singson and the Department of Public Works and Highways. Secretary Singson did it without prodding, which alleviated the suffering of those affected.
We also witnessed the competence and initiative of those we appointed to be part of our Cabinet. It is but just that they not be forced to go through the eye of a needle to be confirmed by the Commission on Appointments. Should this happen, competent Filipinos will be encouraged to help our country by becoming public servants.
In the soonest possible time, we will convene the Legislative Executive Development Advisory Council (LEDAC) to discuss the important bills that need to be addressed. Rest assured that I will keep an open mind and treat you honorably.
We will push for the Fiscal Responsibility Bill, which will limit spending bills only for appropriations that have identified a source of funding. We need 104.1 billion pesos to fund those laws already passed but whose implementation remains pending because of lack of funds.
We will re-evaluate fiscal incentives given in the past. Now that we are tightening our purse strings, we need to identify those incentives that will remain and those that need to be done away with.
We will not allow another NBN-ZTE scandal to happen again. Whether from local or foreign sources, all proposed contracts must undergo the scrutiny of correct procedures. I now ask for your help with amending our Procurement Law.
According to our Constitution, it is the government’s duty to ensure that the market is fair for all. No monopolies, no cartels that kill competition. We need an Anti-Trust Law that will give life to these principles, to afford Small- and Medium-Scale Enterprises the opportunity to participate in the growth of our economy.
Let us pass into law the National Land Use Bill.
It was in 1935, during the Commonwealth, that the National Defense Act was passed. There is a need to amend for a new law that is more responsive to the current needs of national security.
I appeal to our legislators to pass the Whistleblower’s Bill to eradicate the prevalent culture of fear and silence that has hounded our system.
We will strengthen the Witness Protection Program. We must remember that from 2009 to 2010 alone, cases which involved the participation of witnesses under the program resulted in a ninety-five percent conviction.
There is a need to review our laws. I call on our lawmakers to begin a re-codification of our laws to ensure harmony in legislation and eliminate contradictions.
These laws serve as the basis of order in our land, but the foundation of all rests on the principle that we cannot grow without peace and order.
We face two obstacles on our road to peace: the situation in Mindanao and the continued revolt of the CPP-NPA-NDF.
Our view has not changed when it comes to the situation in Mindanao. We will only achieve lasting peace if all stakeholders engage in an honest dialogue: may they be Moro, Lumad, or Christian. We have asked Dean Marvic Leonen to head our efforts to talk to the MILF.
We will learn from the mistakes of the past administration, that suddenly announced an agreement reached without consultations from all concerned. We are not blind to the fact that it was done with political motivation, and that the interest behind it was not that of the people.

We recognize the efforts of the MILF to discipline those within its ranks. We are hopeful that the negotiations will begin after Ramadan.
To the CPP-NPA-NDF: are you prepared to put forth concrete solutions rather than pure criticism and finger-pointing?
If it is peace you truly desire, then we are ready for an immediate cease-fire. Let us go back to the table and begin talking again.
It is difficult to begin discussions in earnest if the smell of gun powder still hangs in the air. I call on everyone concerned not to waste a good opportunity to rally behind our common aspiration for peace.
Our foundation for growth is peace. We will continue to be shackled by poverty if the crossfire persists.
We must understand that now is a time for sacrifice. It is this sacrifice that will pave the way for a better future. With our freedom comes our responsibility to do good unto our fellows and to our country.
To our friends in media, especially those in radio and print, to the block-timers and those in our community newspapers, I trust that you will take up the cudgels to police your own ranks.
May you give new meaning to the principles of your vocation: to provide clarity to pressing issues; to be fair and truthful in your reporting, and to raise the level of public discourse.
It is every Filipino’s duty to closely watch the leaders that you have elected. I encourage everyone to take a step towards participation rather than fault-finding. The former takes part in finding a solution; from the latter, never-ending complaints.
We have always known that the key to growth is putting the interest of others beyond one’s own. One thing is clear: how do we move forward if we keep putting others down?
How will those without education secure quality jobs? How will the unemployed become consumers? How will they save money for their future needs?
If we change all this, if we prioritize enabling others, we will open a world of opportunities not just for ourselves but for those who direly need it.
We have already begun the process of change, and we are now able to dream of better things for our country. Let us not forget that there are those who wish us to fail, so that they will once again reclaim power to do as they please at the expense of our people.
My firm belief is that our fate is in the hands of God and our people. While we focus on uplifting the lives of our fellow men, I have an unshakeable faith that Almighty God will give us His blessings and support. If we remain firm in our belief that God is on our side, is there anything impossible for us to achieve?
The mandate we received last May 10 is testament to the fact that the Filipino continues to hope for true change. The situation is not what it was before; we can all dream again. Let us all become one in achieving a fulfilment of our hopes and aspirations for our country.
Maraming Salamat Po!

Posted 5/31/11 - Join us in welcoming Mindorenos Italia (MI) to our Mindoro website.  Thank you, Raquel, for this article.

By: Raquel Romero Garcia
Rome, Italy - A newly-formed organization of Mindorenos in Italy called Mindorenos Italia (MI), is preparing for the competition in celebration of the 113th Philippine Independence Day in Rome, Italy on June 12. Dubbed as “Kalayaan 2011”, the celebration will showcase some of the different tribes in the Philippines. The guest of honor, Mayor Johnny Alemano of Rome, is expected to attend the occasion.
Mindorenos Italia adviser and Island Observer news correspondent Raquel Romero Garcia said that some seven Filipino organizations and communities   will join in the competition of tribal dances. Mindorenos Italia will present a Mangyan dance in Hanunuo or Buhid attire in Piazza Ankara here in Rome. The Hanunuo and Buhid and two of the several tribes of Mangyans living in the island of Mindoro.
Winners will get €500 for the first place; €300 for the second place; and €200 for the third place.
Garcia said that MI members will also join in the parade in the morning and  ordered t-shirts in the Philippines with MI logo embroidered on the chest. Men are encouraged to wear g-strings during the parade. Competition of tribal dances will be held after the parade. Cultural program and raffle draw will follow after the competition.
To foster camaraderie, MI will also have  its own tent ( tent #51) where the members can stay and share their food and drinks with other members and other non-members  Mindorenos who will watch the event.
 Meanwhile, GMA kapuso stars  like Troy Montero, Aubrey Miles, Candy Pangilinan and other showbiz personalities are also expected to provide entertainment to the crowd.---------

Posted 5/7/11 - The New Oriental Mindoro Medical Center replacing the old provincial hospital :Residents of Oriental Mindoro province would have better access to health care with the opening on Friday, April 28, 2011,  of the new Oriental Mindoro Medical Center, in Calapan City. Governor Alfonso V. Umali Jr. said the province could now offer better health service to its people with the opening of the 200-bed facility in Barangay Sta. Isabel.

The hospital, built for P200 million, was mainly funded by a European grant with counterparts from both the local and national governments, said Umali.The Department of Health recently approved P232 million for the completion of all satellite hospitals in Oriental Mindoro located in the towns of Pinamalayan, Bulalacao, Roxas, Naujan, Mansalay, and Puerto Galera; the rural health unit in Socorro; as well as its counterpart fund in the construction of the Oriental Mindoro Medical Center.

The establishment of a new provincial hospital in Oriental Mindoro was part of the Health Sector Development Program of the national government, which was launched in 16 pilot provinces in the country, according to a statement released by the provincial information office here.

Posted April 24, 2011
Miss Earth picks Calapan City pageant site ....Miss Earth organizers have announced that the next segment of the pageant will be held at Calapan's Discipline City, which will be hostingthe long gown competition on May 5.  Miss Earth candidates from around the country will hold a motorcade, conduct tree-planting activities and visit the city's tourist spots. The nationwide competition will help boost the tourism potential of not only Calapan City but the entire province of Oriental Mindoro.
The event would bolster local tourism and economy to serve as an opportunity to showcase its capability to host similar events in the future.
Posted 3/15/11 - Lola Toyang, 105 years old of Baco passed away today in Baco, Oriental Mindoro.  
As you may recall, we featured her in our Special People column in 2009.  Let us offer prayers for the repose of her soul and remember her as the oldest Mindorena up until her death. Mrs. Dorotea Oliva vda de Aguilar was born in Vigo, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro in 1906. She was known as  Lola Toyang who married Geronimo "Lolo Tomong" Aguilar  at the age of 20. They were blessed with nine children, Saling, Choleng, Angko (deceased), Diony, Rading (deceased), Rene, Nestor (deceased) and Anie (deceased). In the ealry 1950s, Lolo Tomong became the Vice Mayor of Baco.  The Aguilar clan grew to a big family of 46 grandchildren and 79 great grandchildren and 3 great, great grandchildren.  Lola Toyang's favorite pastimes were playing solitaire, gardening "gusad", weaving "dinugton" and "hiniksik". The family was not without its own pain with the death of her husband in 1970, and 5 sons, Nestor, Anie, Rading, Danny and Angko. She also outlived two of her grandchildren.  In 2003 her successful cataract eye surgery made her vision back to 20/20.  She had an active memory, remembered events and recognized family and relatives who have been away and seldom see.  She prayed rosary twice a day, 6 PM and 12 midnight ,mentioning all her children, grandchildren with husbands and wives, close nieces, nephews and even "inaanak sa kasal". And, she used webcam to communicate with her family abroad.

Her diet was focused on vegetables, fruits, fish and manggang hilaw, ginayat sa tubig at asin (her secret of longevity ? ).  

If you wish to contact her family, send an email to Volet Turalba at  

Taken in 2008 New Year !

Posted 2/12/11
Mindoro Marinduque Romblon Palawan (MIMAROPA) Regional Athletic Association Meet 2011 to start on February 12 in Calapan City, the host city.  Activities will end on February 18, 2011.  City Mayor Doy Leachon, Vice City Mayor Jojo Perez and DepEd are preparing for the arrival of President Noynoy Aquino for the opening ceremony on February 13.  All activities will be at the newly-renovated Governor Alfonso Umali, Sr. Gymnasium.  It includes swimming events, sepak takraw, volleyball and athletics.

Also on February 13, a press conference will take place in addition to the Opening Ceremony, Parade, Tinghoy Dance Fireworks Display and Governor's Ball.

Billeting Quarters:

JJLJMNHS Puerto Princesa (600 delegates)
JJLJMNHS DepEd Regional Staff (30 delegates)
JJLJMNHS Calapan City (500 delegates)
Calapan Central School Marinduque (400 delegates)
Camilmil Elementary School Occidental Mindoro (300 delegates)
Adriatico Memorial School (AMS) Palawan (600 delegates)
Sto. Niño Elementary School Romblon (200 delegates)
DWCC High School Oriental Mindoro (650 delegates)

Playing Venues:

JJLJMNHS Athletics, Sepak Takraw, Volleyball, Swimming Events
JJ Gymnasium Gymnastics, Sipa, Taekwondo, Dance Sports
City Plaza Boxing
DWCC Field Football, Softball, Tennis
AMS Gym Arnis Elementary
DepEd City Division Conference Hall Chess
Minscat Field Baseball
Minscat Activity Center Table Tennis
Sto. Niño Elementary School Gymnasium Basketball
Back of the New City Hall Archery

Alternative Playing Venues:

Brgy. Lumangbayan
Brgy. Salong
Brgy. Niño
Posted 1/9/11 

Our new palengke in Calapan City  inaugurated by President Noynoy Aquino. See more pictures in our photo album under Events in Mindoro. Come and visit Mindoro, again, next year !

Posted 1/5/11 - Meet our past and present presidents !

President of the 1st Philippine Republic

1st President of the Commonwealth
of the Philippines

President of the 2nd Philippine Republic

2nd President of the Commonwealth
of the Philippines

Last President of the Commonwealth
and 1st President of the 3rd Republic

2nd President
of the 3rd Philippine Republic

3rd President of the 3rd Philippine Republic

4th President of the 3rd Philippine Republic

5th President of the 3rd Philippine Republic

6th President of the 3rd Philippine Republic and 1st President of the 4th Republic

1st President
of the 5th Philippine Republic

2nd President
of the 5th Philippine Republic

3rd President
of the 5th Philippine Republic

4th President
of the 5th Philippine Republic

15. Benigno Aquino III
6th President Philippine Republic
2010 -


Posted 12/27/10
Historic Blizzards: Sixty-three years ago today, New York experienced another epic snowstorm: the North American Blizzard of 1947. Accounts from that day describe a city paralyzed — cars and buses were abandoned in the streets and neighbors took refuge in the few houses lucky enough to stockpile heating coal.

A major winter storm pounded the New York region on Sunday and overnight into Monday, bringing travel to a standstill and even causing thunder and lightning in the snow.

New York City, eastern New Jersey and western Long Island were the hardest hit by the storm, which blew up the Atlantic Coast on Sunday night and continued up to the Monday morning commute, unleashing powerful winds and grounding cities to a halt.

New York's three major airports were shut overnight after at least 2,000 flights were canceled on Sunday, and not due to reopen until 4 p.m. (2100 GMT).



Posted 12/15/10

Sto. Niño de Calapan Festival 2010-2011 EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE



Hermano Mayor

Mayor Doy C. Leachon



Fiesta Program Director

Vice Mayor CA Jojo S. Perez



1st Vice-Chairman

City Planning Officer Marvin L. Panahon



2nd Vice-Chairman

City Health Officer Lisa Llanto, M.D.




Mr. Leiffrey Gargullo



Assistant Secretary

Ms. Imelda Pangilinan




City Engr. Benjie Acedera




City Accountant Edgardo Basilan




City Information Officer Marvie D.  Manibo


City Tourism Officer E. Lowell Goco


Orange Health Card Manager Dodie Tubig


Mr. Ferdinand Abas



Business Managers

Mr. Osias Navarro


Mr. Cris Abel


Mr. Willy Apacible


Mr. Willy Caballero



Advisory Council

Former City Mayor Carlos Brucal


Ms. Marilyn Manigbas


Fr. Ness Adalia


_DSC0530Matapos ang pagpapakilala ng mga opisyal ay isang Fluvial Parade ng imahe ng Mahal na Patrong Sto. Niño ang isinagawa mula sa kahabaan ng J.P. Rizal Street patungo sa Barangay Wawa. Isinakay ang patron sa bangka patungo sa Barangay ng Tawagan. Dumalo din sa nasabing parada ang mga bangkero, PNP-Maritime Group gayundin ang Public Safety Department (PSD) Rescue Team at Philippine Coast Guard (PSG). Habang ipinaparada ang Mahal na Patron ay nagkaroon ng presentasyon ang mga mag-aaral ng City College of Calapan o ang Teatrong Panlungsod. Isang maliit na programa naman ang isinagawa sa Brgy. Tawagan.

Matapos nito ay muling binagtas ng Mahal na Patron ang daan mula sa Brgy. Tawagan hanggang sa Sto. Niño Cathedral.

Nagpapasalamat si Mayor Doy at Vice Mayor Jojo sa mga nakilahok sa pagbubukas ng kapistahan. Maasahan umano ang mga magagandang programang inilaan para sa kapistahan sa ika-1 ng Enero 2011. 

Posted 12/1/10 -

The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony in NYC was held last night with live and taped performances from 7 P.M. – 9 P.M. Celebrity performers included Charice, Sheryl Crow and Susan Boyle. The tree, a Norway Spruce, is illuminated by 30,000 environmentally friendly LED lights, runs on five miles of wire and is crowned by a Swarovski crystal star!

Millions of New Yorkers and tourists come to see the tree while many get to ice skate on the Rockefeller Center Ice Skating rink to the right.
The tree will be illuminated from 5:30 A.M. – 11:30 P.M. daily, all day (24 hours) on Christmas Day and 5:30 A.M. – 9 P.M. on New Year’s Eve day.

The Rockefeller Center plaza heading towards the tree is occupied by the traditional horn-blowing angels.The Christmas tradition began in 1933! The tree will be there until January 2, 2011 !


Posted 11/27/10    An Appeal to all fellow Mindorenos worldwide

Greetings of God’s Peace and Love from Sto. Nino Cathedral Parish Family!
We are proud to announce that Sto. Nino Cathedral will celebrate its 50th year of Consecration on July 15, 2012. It was on July 15, 1962 when Rufino Cardinal Santos, Archbishop of Manila officiated the solemn consecretion of the Calapan Cathedral of the Holy Infant. Bishop William Duschak, SVD, DD was the Apostolic Vicar and the person behind its successful construction.
In view of this very remarkable event, the Parish Pastoral Council, Parish Finance Council and the whole family of Sto. Nino Cathedral parish decided to have a two-year preparation. With our chosen theme GININTUANG PASASALAMAT: SIMBAHANG IPINUNLA, HAPAG NG PAGPAPALA , this was launched last July 15, 2010 during the 4th year anniversary of the Pastoral Core Program of the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan; Hapag ng Pamilyang Mindoreno. During the two-year preparation we are highlighting the three Hapag of the Pastoral Core Program:
July 15, 2010             -
February 14, 2011
Hapag ng Salita ng Diyos
(Table of the World of God)
February 15, 2011    -
October 14, 2011
Hapag ng Eukaristiya
(Table of the Eucharist)
October 15, 2011     -
July 14, 2012
Hapag Kainan
At the same time, we are also on an intensive campaign to support the TAPONG SA HAPAG – a Stewardship of Time, Talent and Treasure which is on its second year of implementation.
Indeed, Sto. Nino Cathedral as a church structure has already become a landmark not only in Calapan City but also in the whole province of Oriental Mindoro and in the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan. It is the center of all major liturgical celebrations of the Apostolic Vicariate. Both Calapenos and Mindorenos, visitors and tourists who come to Calapan City have one thing to say about the Sto. Nino Cathedral – “It is very much alive”. People can’t help but be impressed by the big crowd of worshippers who gather at nine Holy Masses on Sundays, two daily Holy Masses, and if you happen to be there on big feast like Christmas, New Year, Holy Week, Easter and even during Diocesan liturgical celebrations, then, you too, can vouch that the Cathedral of Sto. Nino has contributed much to our spiritual well-being.
After almost fifty years of existence, the Cathedral now needs major repairs and renovations. To mention some, the restoration of the Cathedral pipe organ, which is one of the 3 biggest pipe organs in the Philippines; repainting of interior and exterior walls; repairs and repainting of roofs; repairs of deteriorating portions of the structure; refurbishing of the church pews and other furnitures; renovation of the Blessed Sacrament Chapel and other necessary facelift. Our estimated budget to meet all of these is more or less five million pesos (P5,000,000.00)
In this regard, we are knocking at your hearts, asking your generosity and financial support. Whatever amount that you will share will be a big help for the realization of our projects and most of all as a sign of gratitude to God for the gift of Sto. Nino Cathedral in our midst. We believe that God gives us the strength to do what God leads us to do. With faith and dedication, we can make this fund raising support our endeavors for Sto. Nino Cathedral and for God.
We also extend our invitation on the 50th Anniversary celebration: Thanksgiving Eucharistic Celebration and the Re-dedication of the Sto. Nino Cathedral on July 12, 2012 at 9:00 AM.
Please accept our appreciation for all the financial support you have extended before to Sto. Nino Cathedral. Thank you very much in advance for heeding and accommodating this request and appeal. May God bless you always.
Prayerfully yours,
SGD. SIS. NYMPHA G. MENOR                                                SGD. BRO. MAURO M. FERAREN
Parish Pastoral Council Coordinator                                      Parish Finance Council Treasurer
SGD. Rev. Fr. RICHARD ADRIAN S. DOLOR                             SGD. REV. FR. NESTOR J. ADALIA
Parochial Vicar                                                                       Parish Priest/Vicar General
                                                       Apostolic Vicar of Calapan
P.S. You may personally hand over your donations to the Parish office, or you may deposit/transfer your donation thru the following bank accounts (all Calapan Branch) we opened for this purpose. Thank you very much.
1. Philippine National Bank
Sto. Nino Cathedral Parish
2. Banco de Oro (BDO)
Sto. Nino Cathedral Parish
3. United Coconut Planters Bank (UCPB)
Sto. Nino Cathedral Parish

Should you need more information or details, please email, oscar ricaflanca at or Bishop Cajandig in Calapan City.

Everyone, let us support this fundraising as explained above.  Salamat po !
Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US !!!
Happy Thanksgiving to all in the US !!!
Balato naman dyan kung mananalo kayo !
Balato naman dyan kung mananalo kayo !

Posted 11/21/10

No winner na naman in Saturday's draw.   The grand prize will now be bigger than thelast amount of  535 million ! 

 Posted 11/17/10

Sino kaya ang mananalo ?

No one was able to correctly guess the six-number combination of 53-09-45-24-50-29.The prize reached P495,597,376.80, currently the record holder for the biggest lotto jackpot in PCSO history.Launched in April this year, the 6/55 Grand Lotto replaced the high-end Power Lotto in a bid to raise more funds for the PCSO's charity projects.

The next draw for the 6/55 Grand Lotto is on Saturday night. The jackpot has been projected to reach P535 million. Yoong nasa Pinas, bili na kayo at yoong nasa abroad, magpabili na tayo...Good Luck !

Here's 1, 2 and 3 (and 4 and 5) punches for you :)
Here's 1, 2 and 3 (and 4 and 5) punches for you :)

Posted 11/14/10
ARLINGTON, Texas -- It's official: 120-108, 118-110, 119-109. It's a blowout win for Manny Pacquiao. Well deserved. Tough fight, too. Antonio Margarito would have beaten a lot of guys with his effort, but Pacquiao is simply an indomitable force.

Bob Arum looks down at press row and smiles. Lots to be happy about. Pacquiao proves his brilliance in another weight class and Margarito shows he can still fight. Win-win. The post-fight press conference should be interesting, as we'll see what the story is with the pre-fight controversy.

Round 12

Margarito looks like a Law and Order victim. Pacquiao coming in, looking for the knock-out blow. Combinations stinging Margarito. No hard kill shots just yet. Pacquiao hitting Margarito everywhere. Don't know how Margarito is still standing. Round over, fight over.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 11

This could be Manny's chance to go in for the kill. Margarito on the defensive. Pacquiao connecting. Margarito still trying to jab. Wow, Manny hammers Margarito right up the middle. Margarito still throwing though. Ref checks Margarito's vision again. Good to go. Manny continues to toss combinations at Margarito. Margarito backed up. Still standing. Good round for Pacquiao. You have to wonder if at this point, Margarito's corner stops it. He's getting punished.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 10

The ref checks Margarito's vision. Cut is pretty bad under that eye. Margarito's shots are getting wider. Pacquiao connecting with combinations up the middle. Good combination by Pacquiao. Margarito may be hurt. Strong combination by Pacquiao. Margarito hurt! Manny can't close though, and Antonio is saved by the bell.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 9

This fight is going at an amazing pace. I don't think I've ever seen Pacquiao this winded before. Back on the ropes, Margarito throws wide and connects. Pacquiao's punch output has slowed some. Hard right by Manny. Both fighters trying to land something. Margarito pawing at that cut. Close round but another one for Pacquiao.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 8

Both fighters look a little winded at the start. They brawl on the ropes! Hard uppercut by Margarito. They are on the ropes again. This is not the fight Manny wants. On the ropes again. Margarito throwing haymakers now, and landing many. Good round for Margarito.
10-9 Margarito

Round 7

Ref brings Margarito over to the doctor to look at the cut. Doc says it's OK. Margarito's right eye is almost closed. Pacquiao dances, Ali-stye. Pacquiao circling Margarito, rocks him with a left hand. Margarito pushes Pacquiao to the ropes but Pacquiao counters and sends him backwards. Close again, but another one for Manny.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 6

Margarito continues to move forward. He's looking to pin Manny down but can't find him. Hard counter punch combination by Manny. Manny is almost waiting for Margarito to open up so he can trade with him. Thudding body shot by Margarito. Hard shots by Margarito! Manny crouches, almost goes down. Pacquiao flurries back, moves Margarito back. Great round. Give this to Margarito.
10-9 Margarito.

Round 5

Margarito may have a broken cheek bone. Margarito comes forward, throwing everything now. Pacquiao responds with a flurry of his own. Hard left hook by Pacquiao. Manny's punches are coming from everywhere. Margarito connects with a combination, but Manny isn't fazed. Taps his gloves again. Good series of combinations by Pacquiao ends the round.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 4

Pacquiao snapping Margarito's head back. But Margarito is getting more successful getting Manny to the ropes. There's a cut below Margarito's right eye. Pacquiao sees it, is targeting it. Hitting him with everything now! Margarito is hurt! That cut is gushing. Wildly swinging. Ties Pacquiao up. That cut is engulfing Margarito's right cheek. Big round for Pacquiao.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 3

Margarito looks a little winded. Just a little. Pacquiao drills him with a 1-2 combination. More combinations from Manny. Margarito keeps reaching with that jab. Margarito keeps pressuring. His defense is a little better than I thought. Margarito flurries; Pacquiao flurries back. That straight right and left is open for Pacquiao. Margarito is letting them through. Another close round. I give it to Pacquiao.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 2

The two are slugging it out now. Pacquiao getting the better of it, but Margarito landing. Margarito doing a lot of one-punching and Manny is throwing in bunches. Manny on the ropes, not where Roach wants him to be. Manny working the body. Tapping his head and gloves, daring Margarito to come in. Close round, give it to Pacquiao.
10-9 Pacquiao

Round 1

Pacquiao offers to touch gloves and Margarito ignores him. Both circling. Margarito using the jab early. Pacquiao looking to get inside. Good combination by Pacquiao. Straight left by Manny. Manny getting busier. Hard left by Manny. Margarito pawing with the jab. Manny swinging free now. Margarito's jab is decent but he's not throwing it enough. Score this one for Manny.

Pre-fight notes

• Welcome to Cowboys Stadium, where a packed house (40,000 tickets were sold as of Friday and promoters are eyeing a 60,000 gate) is here for the super welterweight showdown between Manny Pacquiao and Antonio Margarito.

• Earlier tonight Pacquiao weighed in on the HBO scales at 148 pounds while Margarito rehydrated to 165 pounds. That's a huge weight difference and makes Margarito easily the biggest fighter Pacquiao has ever faced. Put in another context, it's basically a super middleweight taking on a welterweight.

• Is the weight difference going to be an issue? I can tell you that there are many people in Pacquiao's camp who are unhappy with his decision to not pack on the pounds for this fight. Pacquiao thinks he loses too much speed, and it's hard to argue with him given his staggering success. But Pacquiao better be careful because illegal hand wraps or not, Margarito is a big, heavy-handed puncher who has the pop to put him down.

• Another reason to expect a knockout: both fighters will wear eight-ounce gloves. I was told 10 ounces were an option but the choice was eight.

• Stakes are high for both these guys. If Pacquiao wins, he keeps alive the possibility of a fight with Floyd Mayweather and the gazillion-dollar payday that comes with it. Margarito probably needs this fight even more. He was suspended for a year after trying to load his gloves in the Shane Mosley fight, and his one fight since then (a decision win over Roberto Garcia) didn't move the needle. A bad loss could end his career as a network fighter.


Posted 11/10/10

Clinton paid Aquino a courtesy call in Malacañang. The meeting, initially scheduled for 30 minutes, lasted for more than one hour. Clinton left at 4:20 p.m. President Aquino discussed the conditional cash transfer as a short term anti-poverty measure and the long term programs as our investments in education and basic health care. former President Clinton, on the other hand, said the conditional cash transfer is a good idea and that he fully supports the conditional cash transfer program of the Aquino administration as a means of reducing poverty.The Clinton Global Initiative is a non-government organization headed by the former US President that is geared towards helping reduce poverty incidence worldwide. Clinton offered his NGO’s assistance in helping the Philippines achieve rice self-sufficiency. Clinton knows that the Philippines is a major importer of rice and it is  important to see that the Philippines can grow its own rice. The issue of the country’s indigenous sources of energy was also discussed in the context of the tightness of the supply of power.

Posted 11/9/10

The 6/55 Grand Lotto jackpot is expected to hit P375 million by the time the next draw is made on Wednesday night.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office gave this estimate Tuesday morning as no one won the P354,596,432.40 jackpot in Monday’s draw.

Posted 11/3/10

The jackpot in the 6/55 Grand Lotto in Manila is expected to exceed P300 million by Wednesday night’s scheduled draw, the first time in the seven-month history of the new lotto game.

The Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office said no one was able to win the P295-million jackpot on Monday night. The winning combination was 08-49-29-35-28-45.

Good luck to all risk Lotto now !


Posted 10/17/10
Tilapia,one of the major fish products of Oriental Mindoro, will now be started to culture and process here using modern aqua-culture technology to further enhance production and big profit to Mindoro’sfisher folk.  As part of the project, Golden Echo Greenfarm Corp., which was represented by its president Atty. Manoling Moje and Filipino-Chinese businessman Don Juliano Lim during the MOA signing, will lead in the farming and processing of tilapia in its breeding farm, using the latest and modern technology on fish farming.

Posted 9/23/10
Fil-ams in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, Massachusetts and Connecticut gave a warm welcome to His Excellency President Noynoy Aquino in New York today.  With a small delegation from Manila, P-noy as he is fondly called now, was in NY for the UN Assembly.

The Fil-am community, business leaders, investors, friends and relatives gathered at 4 pm to hear him speak at the Baruch College in Manhattan.  An audience of 1,200 cheered when he and his delegation went on the stage and subsequently made his speech from the heart in Tagalog.  Mindorenos were lucky to have been invited to become part of the delegation to witness this special event.  With a very limited distribution of tickets, Wilfredo Saulong, Alvin Saulong, Ernie Santos, Oscar Canete, Willie & Amor Adeva, Christine Balingao, Mercy Pastra Mosley and Juliet Payabyab came and were all enthusiastic to get on line as early as 4 pm for the 7 pm arrival of P-noy. 

Everything went smoothly from the beginning to the end.  Everyone was handed a brown bag as they exit the hall.  A simple gesture but meaningful to all !  For pictures of the event, please go to our photo album.  Enjoy !

Posted 9/6/10

Cheers for the Association of Calapenos USA (International) based in Northern California!!! Angelito "Boyet " Martinez was installed as the new president and together with the rest of the officers and advisers, they were inducted by the outgoing president, Jimmy Chua on Saturday, August 21, at the Tahiti Village ballroom. In an effort to reach out to other Calapenos, they hold their annual ball in different locations.  Their first anniversary ball was in November 2007 at the Embassy Suite in San Francisco, the second on October 2008 at the Marriott Hotel in Burbank , the third in Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas and the most recent one, at the Tahiti Village in Las Vegas.  The theme was Hawaiian highlighted by a surprise number by the officers and members.  With just a few practices, the group superbly did moves to the tune of Tiny Bubbles for the ladies and Pearly Shells for the Boys.  The place was well-decorated  with votive candles and bubbles to welcome the dancers.

At the reception area, mini-signs were placed all over indicating different streets in Calapan City.  Tons of leis were distributed to each attendees making it more festive than ever with their Hawaiian outfits.  So congratulations is in order to everyone in the various committees who made extra efforts to make this event a successful and memorable one for all.  

Pictures are now posted in our PHOTO ALBUM under Calapenos in LV. Go ahead and click it now.  Enjoy !   

All Calapenos, wherever you are, are invited to join us next year's ball, date and venue to be announced soon. This occasion will not only reunite fellow Calapenos but also to meet new friends.  It promises to be another  exciting event for all of us.  See you next year !

How To Get To Bulalacao, Or. Mindoro  By Road

Bulalacao by road offers easy travel access today from the North - from Calapan City or Roxas town on Mindoro Island or, from Manila via Batangas Port or from San Jose, Occ. Mindoro.

A fully concreted road connects Roxas town to Bulalacao and offers predictable travel times. Also a fully concreted road between San Jose and Bulalacao is almost complete but a little challenging in the wet season (June to September). By the end of 2010 it is scheduled that the final six-kilometer section will be completed, making the journey time from San Jose airport to the first of Bulalacao's beaches by road just a 20-minute drive and to Bulalacao town, one hour or less.

How To Get To Bulalacao By Air Conditioned Bus

To get to Bulalacao by bus is already easy. Dimple Star bus company offer four-times-daily, air-conditioned bus trips from Cubao, Quezon City, Metro Manila. The fare is Php700 per person, one way and the journey takes between 8 - 10 hours, depending upon the Batangas ferry schedule and traffic conditions. The first air conditioned bus trip each day is at 6.00am (06:00hrs). If you book ahead then you can also catch the Bulalacao air conditioned bus at Dimple Star's Pasay terminal near the corner of EDSA and Taft Avenue.

There are a also number of minibus operators who offer an air-conditioned bus service direct from Calapan City (Mindoro) to Bulalacao with fares ranging from Php350-450. The journey time from Calapan is between 4 - 5 hours.

Note: once the road from Roxas to Bulalacao is completed at the end of 2009 the overall journey time from Manila to Bulalacao will be cut by at least one hour.

How to get to Bulalacao from Boracay / Caticlan. From Boracay / Caticlan there is a roll-on-roll-off (ro-ro) ferry service to Roxas town (Mindoro). From Roxas town you can connect with the air-conditioned bus services from Manila and Calapan to Bulalacao or, you can enjoy the frequent rustic jeepney services.

Fly To Bulalacao

At the time of writing, there are three airlines that fly to Bulalacao (via San Jose) daily from Manila International Airport NAIA: Cebu Pacific Air, Zest Airways and PAL Express all fly to Bulalacao from Manila. The flight to Bulalacao from Manila International Airport NAIA to San Jose airport takes between 45-60 minutes. Airfares to fly to Bulalacao currently vary from Php 728 - Php 1,680, one way, depending upon the day and time of travel. When you fly to Bulalacao it pays to book on-line, through the Internet, as there always seems to be a special / budget / cheap airfare available if you are not tied to a particular date of travel. Fly to Bulalacao arrival/departure times: the first flights usually arrive at San Jose airport around 7.00am (07:00hrs); the last plane to fly to Manila International Airport NAIA from San Jose airport is usually around 4.30pm (16:30hrs).

From the airport terminal, take a tricycle or minibus to the bus terminal in San Jose (approx: Php 60-100), where you can find transport to Bulalacao. If you miss the last trip to Bulalacao we can recommend the El-Mora Hotel for an excellent overnight stay in San Jose. The first bus trip in the morning from San Jose to Bulalacao is usually around 6.00am (06:00hrs). The road trip to Bulalacao from San Jose (currently) takes between two and four hours, depending upon the state of the road. (see also How To get To Bulalacao By Road above)

Whichever way you choose to get to Bulalacao you will be glad you made the effort


Posted 8/10/10
Just sharing this info. to all....

COA list: Highest paid government officials in 2009

Name of Officer (Mother Unit) Amount
1. Arreza, Armand D. (SBMA) -- 26,865,923.20
2. Ricafort, Benigno (CDC) -- 14,506,466.74
3. Garcia, Edgardo F. (DBP) -- 12,718,942.61
4. Tetangco, Amando Jr. (BSP) -- 10,772,830.14
5. Bitonio, Benedicto Ernesto Jr. R. (DBP) -- 9,309,042.75
6. Geronimo, Rolando (DBP) -- 9,080,633.12
7. Abaya, Narciso L. (BCDA) -- 7,654,597.14
8. Templo, Horacio T. (SSS) -- 7,073,488.92
9. Samia, Armando O. (DBP) -- 6,983,533.14
10. Quirino, Ma. Therese (DBP) -- 6,753,136.41
11. Puno, Isaac III S. (BCDA) -- 6,010,701.40
12. Guevarra, Jesus II (DBP) -- 5,672,395.45
13. Suratos, Armando L. (BSP) -- 5,525,347.73
14. Maldia, Wilfredo C. (LBP) -- 5,473,755.94
15. Sarmiento, Andres C. (LBP) -- 5,406,907.99
16. Garcia, Oscar O. (MWSS-CO) -- 5,401,391.22
17. Tejada, Benilda (DBP) -- 5,216,276.46
18. Allado, Diosdado Jose M. (MWSS-CO) -- 4,969,239.59
19. Selispara, Cresencio R. (LBP) -- 4,917,216.99
20. Guinigundo, Diwa C. (SSP
) -- 4,889,136.21
21.Guevarra, Simeona S. (LBP) -- 4,849,701.21
22. Roca, Miguel (SSS) -- 4,840,260.67
23. Veran, Nenita H. (LBP) -- 4,801,142.41
24. Espenilla, Nestor Jr. A. (BSP) -- 4,763,694.15
25. Favis-Villafuerte, Nelly (BSP) -- 4,654,176.05
26. Reyes, Alfredo C. (MWSS-CO) -- 4,641,381.01
27. Mahusay, Ferdinand P. (MWSS-CO) -- 4,622,760.13
28. Sulaik, Lorenzo S. (MWSS-CO) -- 4,562,181.34
29. Arnaez, Aurora R. (MWSS-CO) -- 4,540,957.28
30. Borromea, Cecilia C. (LBP) -- 4,521,459.80
31. De Zuñiga, Juan D. (BSP) -- 4,214,653.50
32. Antonio, Alfredo C. (BSP) -- 4,498,715.73
33. Boncan, Raul A. (BSP) -- 4,456,222.10
34. Pico, Gilda E. (LBP) -- 4,455,831.34
35. Nograles, Jose C. (PDIC) -- 4,454,109.50
36. Amatong, Juanita D. (BSP) -- 4,448,201.43
37. Cruz, Macra A. (MWSS-CO) -- 4,372,531.30
38. Zosa, Aileen Anunciacion R. (BCDA) -- 4,302,811.80
39. Singzon, Imelda S. (PDIC) -- 4,293,781.60
40. Orseta, Cristina Q. (PDIC) -- 4,292,508.79
41. Bunye, Ignacio R. (BSP) -- 4,283,173.61

SBMA - Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority
CDC - Clark Development Corp.
DBP - Development Bank of the Philippines

BSP - Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas
BCDA - Bases Conversion and Development Authority
SSS - Social Security System

LBP - Land Bank of the Philippines
MWSS - Metropolitan Waterworks and Sewerage System
PDIC - Philippine Deposit Insurance Corp.
List of principal officers and members of governing boards of GOCCs and their subsidiaries and secretaries, undersecretaries, assistant secretaries and other officials of equivalent rank of NGAs who received salaries and allowances in FY 2009

Posted 5/2/10

It's time to elect or re-elect your chosen candidates in the upcoming elections in the Philippines.  May 10 is our election day.  And if you have not gotten a list of our candidates, here they are:

House of Representatives (Congressman):
1st District:
 Aceron Maria Estela Felipa (Estee) Manahan  - NP
 Aranas Alex Marasigan - PMP
 Leviste Renato Villapando - NPC
 Talagtag Jaime Milla - IND.
 Valencia Rodolfo Garong - LKS-KAM

 2nd District
Abao Benrome Selda - IND.
Janda Edmundo - Aksyon
Salcedo Ephraim Cuadra - PMP
Umali Rey Villar - LP
Venturanza Thaddeus Enriquez - LKS-KAM
Yap Anthony Lee

For Governor:
       Panaligan Arnan Capulong - LKS-KAM
       Umali Alfonso Jr - LP

For Vice Governor:
      Bacay Marcos Abrenica - IND.
     Dolor Humerlito Atienza - LP
     Infantado Rafael Landayan - LKS-KAM

House of Reprsentatives (Congressman)
        Garillo Josefino Abeleda - PGRP
        Pimentel Sam Silangan, Sr. - IND.
        Samala Clarita Joaquin - Aksyon
        Tria Ben Navarro - NPC
        Villarosa Ma. Amelita Calimbas - LKS-KAM

For Governor:
       Dimayacyac Regalado Magboo - PGRP
       Omanio Ronnie Maat
       Sato Josephine Ramirez -NPC

For Vice Governor:
      Barrera Marleo Reyes - LKS-KAM
      Mendiola Mario Gene Jaro - NPC

We hope to bring more names in other levels soon.  Keep visiting our website.  Salamat po !


Posted 7/27/10

CALAPAN CITY – A young Mindoreña has been chosen as one this year’s five “outstanding grand winners” of the recently concluded Pambansang Gawad sa Ulirang Kabataan for her invaluable achievement as a youth and student leader.

Bianca Nerizza A. Infantado, a 16-year old high school graduate of Jose J. Leido Jr. Memorial National High School (LEMNAHIS) in this city who represented Region 4B (MIMAROPA Region), won the top five of the said annual achievement award sponsored by the Department of Education (DepEd).

For winning the top five youth role models nationwide, judges of the said award considered Infantado’s maintenance of outstanding scholastic records during her stay in LEMNAHIS, the biggest public high school in Oriental Mindoro province and the whole Mindoro Island.

Infantado, the award statement’s said, “… exhibited her diligence, enthusiasm and perseverance in attaining the assigned tasks…” being the president of Supreme Student Government, the student governing body of LEMNAHIS.

She also earlier copped this year’s Development-Oriented Youth (DOY) award for leadership category in this city, Gintong Kabataan Award of the Oriental Mindoro provincial government, and the national level’s Chief Girl Scout Medal Scheme Award.

The young Infantado’s proud parents, Bowie and Nancy both stated that “(Bianca’s) commitment and total involvement to the different school activities, trainings, seminars and workshops on different fields and guilds, enriched and augmented her true character being a leader both at home, in school and in the community.”

Posted 6/30/10
Inaugural speech of Pres. Noynoy Aquino.
English Translation (Speech was in Tagalog).
His Excellency Jose Ramos Horta, Former President Fidel V. Ramos, Former President Joseph Estrada, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and members of the Senate, House Speaker Prospero Nograles and members of the House, justices of the Supreme Court, members of the foreign delegations,Your Excellencies of the diplomatic corps, fellow colleagues in government, aking mga kababayan.

My presence here today is proof that you are my true strength. I never expected that I will be here taking my oath of office before you, as your president. I never imagined that I would be tasked with continuing the mission of my parents. I never entertained the ambition to be the symbol of hope, and to inherit the problems of our nation.

I had a simple goal in life: to be true to my parents and our country as an honorable son, a caring brother, and a good citizen.

My father offered his life so our democracy could live. My mother devoted her life to nurturing that democracy. I will dedicate my life to making our democracy reach its fullest potential: that of ensuring equality for all. My family has sacrificed much and I am willing to do this again if necessary.

Although I was born to famous parents, I know and feel the problems of ordinary citizens. We all know what it is like to have a government that plays deaf and dumb. We know what it is like to be denied justice, to be ignored by those in whom we placed our trust and tasked to become our advocates.

Have you ever been ignored by the very government you helped put in power? I have. Have you had to endure being rudely shoved aside by the siren-blaring escorts of those who love to display their position and power over you? I have, too. Have you experienced exasperation and anger at a government that instead of serving you, needs to be endured by you? So have I.

I am like you. Many of our countrymen have already voted with their feet - migrating to other countries in search of change or tranquility. They have endured hardship, risked their lives because they believe that compared to their current state here, there is more hope for them in another country, no matter how bleak it may be. In moments when I thought of only my own welfare, I also wondered—is it possible that I can find the peace and quiet that I crave in another country? Is our government beyond redemption? Has it been written that the Filipino’s lot is merely to suffer?

Today marks the end of a regime indifferent to the appeals of the people. It is not Noynoy who found a way. You are the reason why the silent suffering of the nation is about to end. This is the beginning of my burden, but if many of us will bear the cross we will lift it, no matter how heavy it is.

Through good governance in the coming years, we will lessen our problems. The destiny of the Filipino will return to its rightful place, and as each year passes, the Filipino’s problems will continue to lessen with the assurance of progress in their lives.

We are here to serve and not to lord over you. The mandate given to me was one of change. I accept your marching orders to transform our government from one that is self-serving to one that works for the welfare of the nation.

This mandate is the social contract that we agreed upon. It is the promise I made during the campaign, which you accepted on election day.

During the campaign we said, “If no one is corrupt, no one will be poor.” That is no mere slogan for posters—it is the defining principle that will serve as the foundation of our administration.

Our foremost duty is to lift the nation from poverty through honest and effective governance.

The first step is to have leaders who are ethical, honest, and true public servants. I will set the example. I will strive to be a good model. I will not break the trust you have placed in me. I will ensure that this, too, will be the advocacy of my Cabinet and those who will join our government.

I do not believe that all of those who serve in our government are corrupt. In truth, the majority of them are honest. They joined government to serve and do good. Starting today, they will have the opportunity to show that they have what it takes. I am counting on them to help fight corruption within the bureaucracy.

To those who have been put in positions by unlawful means, this is my warning: we will begin earning back the trust of our people by reviewing midnight appointments. Let this serve as a warning to those who intend to continue the crooked ways that have become the norm for too long.

To our impoverished countrymen, starting today, your government will be your champion.

We will not disregard the needs of our students. We will begin by addressing the glaring shortage in classrooms and educational facilities.

Gradually, we will lessen the lack of infrastructures for transportation, tourism and trade. From now on, mediocre work will not be good enough when it comes to roads, bridges, and buildings because we will hold contractors responsible for maintaining their projects in good condition.

We will revive the emergency employment program established by former President Corazon Aquino. This will provide jobs for local communities and will help in the development of their and our economy.

We will not be the cause of your suffering or hardship. We will strengthen collections by the Bureau of Internal Revenue and we will fight corruption in the Bureau of Customs in order to fund our objectives for the public welfare, such as:

• Quality education, including vocational education, so that those who choose not to attend college or those who cannot afford it can find dignified livelihood;

• Improved public health services such as PhilHealth for all within three years;

• A home for every family, within safe communities.

We will strengthen the armed forces and the police, not to serve the interests of those who want to wield power with impunity, but to give added protection for ordinary folk. The armed forces and the police risk their lives daily so that the nation can live in peace and security. The population has doubled and yet their numbers remain unchanged. It is not right that those who make sacrifices are treated pitifully.

If there was a fertilizer scam in the past, today there will be security for farmers. We will help them with irrigation, extension services, and marketing their products at the best possible prices.

We are directing Secretary Alcala to set up trading centers that will directly link farmers and consumers thereby eliminating middlemen and opportunities for corruption. In this way, funds can be shared by farmers and consumers. We will make our country attractive to investors. We will cut red tape dramatically and implement stable economic policies. We will level the playing field for investors and make government an enabler, not a hindrance to business. This is the only means by which we can provide jobs for our people.

Our goal is to create jobs at home so that there will be no need to look for employment abroad. However, as we work towards that end, I am ordering the DFA, POEA, OWWA, and other relevant agencies to be even more responsive to the needs and welfare of our overseas Filipino workers.

We will strengthen the process of consultation and feedback. We will strive to uphold the constitutional right of citizens to information on matters of public concern.

We relived the spirit of people power during the campaign. Let it take us to good and effective governance. Those who believe in people power put the welfare of others before their own.

I can forgive those who did me wrong but I have no right to forgive those who abused our people.

To those who talk about reconciliation, if they mean that they would like us to simply forget about the wrongs that they have committed in the past, we have this to say: there can be no reconciliation without justice. When we allow crimes to go unpunished, we give consent to their occurring over and over again. Secretary de Lima, you have your marching orders. Begin the process of providing true and complete justice for all.

We are also happy to inform you the acceptance of Chief Justice Hilario Davide of the challenge of strengthening and heading a Truth Commission that will shed light on many unanswered issues that continue to haunt our country.

My government will be sincere in dealing with all the peoples of Mindanao. We are committed to a peaceful and just settlement of conflict, inclusive of the interests of all -- may they be Lumads, Bangsamoro or Christian.

We shalI defeat the enemy by wielding the tools of justice, social reform, and equitable governance leading to a better life. With proper governance life will improve for all. When we are all living well, who will want to go back to living under oppression?

If I have all of you by my side, we will be able to build a nation in which there will be equality of opportunity, because each of us fulfilled our duties and responsibilities equally.

After the elections, you proved that it is the people who wield power in this country.

This is what democracy means. It is the foundation of our unity. We campaigned for change. Because of this, the Filipino stands tall once more. We are all part of a nation that can begin to dream again.

To our friends and neighbors around the world, we are ready to take our place as a reliable member of the community of nations, a nation serious about its commitments and which harmonizes its national interests with its international responsibilities.

We will be a predictable and consistent place for investment, a nation where everyone will say, “it all works.”

Today, I am inviting you to pledge to yourselves and to our people. No one shall be left behind.

No more junkets, no more senseless spending. No more turning back on pledges made during the campaign, whether today or in the coming challenges that will confront us over the next six years. No more influence-peddling, no more patronage politics, no more stealing. No more sirens, no more short cuts, no more bribes. It is time for us to work together once more.

We are here today because we stood together and believed in hope. We had no resources to campaign other than our common faith in the inherent goodness of the Filipino.

The people who are behind us dared to dream. Today, the dream starts to become a reality. To those among you who are still undecided about sharing the common burden I have only one question: Are you going to quit now that we have won?

You are the boss so I cannot ignore your orders. We will design and implement an interaction and feedback mechanism that can effectively respond to your needs and aspirations.

You are the ones who brought me here—our volunteers—old, young, celebrity, ordinary folks who went around the country to campaign for change; my household help who provided for all my personal needs; my family, friends, colleagues at work, who shared, cared, and gave their support; my lawyers who stayed all hours to guard my votes and make sure they were counted; and the millions of Filipinos who prevailed, kept faith, and never lost hope - I offer my heartfelt gratitude.

I will not be able to face my parents and you who have brought me here if do not fulfill the promises I made.

My parents sought nothing less, died for nothing less, than democracy and peace. I am blessed by this legacy. I shall carry the torch forward.

My hope is that when I leave office, everyone can say that we have traveled far on the right path, and that we are able to bequeath a better future to the next generation. Join me in continuing this fight for change.

Thank you and long live the Filipino people!
Posted 6 /19/10

United Mindoro International, Inc. , an association of Mindorenos in the tri-state area, is holding its Annual Summer Picnic on August 28, Saturday from noon to evening.  We invite all Mindorenos, wherever you are, your friends, relatives and neighbors to come and join us in Astoria Park (Queens), Astoria , New York. It's under the Triboro Bridge. Bring your favorite dish, dessert and folding chairs, mahjong set, swimwear, skateboard, bike, etc.  Enjoy the breeze from the river and display of speedboats during the day.

If you are not based in the tri-state area, please extend this invite to our fellow Mindorenos.  Contact persons are Juliet 718 267 0221, Ric 718 805 0175 and Mercy 646 918 4942. 

Extra, extra, extra !..Boyet Martinez and wife, Tess and children were here in NY for a visit last week promoting the 4th Calapenos Ball in Las Vegas on August 21.  Glad to see you, again, Boyet.  He is the current president of the Calapenos USA International, Inc. 

We found Msgr. Bayani Valenzuela recently.  He is from Calapan, HIA Batch 65, classmates of Anita Chua, Vic Evora, and more.  After a long search, someone told me that he is right here in NY in the parish of St. Theresa Chuch in the Bronx.  Welcome, Msgr. Bayani to our association !!! Hope to see you soon.
2010 Election Results in Mindoro

Congressman - Rodolfo Valencia, 1st District, Oriental Mindoro
                       - Rey Umali, 2nd District, Oriental Mindoro
                       - Amelia Villarosa, Occidental Mindoro

Governor        - Alfonso Umali, Jr. , Oriental Mindoro
                       - Josephine Ramirez Sato, Occidental Mindoro

Calapan City -  Doy Leachon, Mayor
                        Jojo Perez, Vice Mayor 
Baco             -  Graciano dela Chica
Bansud         -  Ronaldo Morada
Bongabong   -  Hercules Umali
Bulalacao      -  Ernilo Villas
Gloria            -  Loreto Perez
Mansalay      -  Jose Ildefonso Maliwanag
Naujan         -  Romar Marcos ( passed away last week)
Victoria         -  Alfredo Ortega
Socorro        -  Ma. Fe Brondial
San Teodoro - Apollo Ferraren
Roxas           - Jackson Dy
Puerto Galera - Hubert Dolor
Pinamalayan  -  Wilfredo Hernandez, Sr.

Rhap Salazar
Rhap Salazar

Posted 4/12/10
Rhap Salazar, the Pinamalayan singing sensation who wowed Emmy-award winning talk show host Ellen DeGeneres, was among 41 Filipino artists honored by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo Friday for bringing pride and honor to the country through excellence in arts and culture.

In simple ceremonies held at the Rizal Hall in Malacañang, President Arroyo led the recognition of the 41 artists  in various fields with trophies sculptured by National Artist Abdul Imam. The other notable awardees included Brillante Mendoza, who won best director at the 62nd Cannes Film Festival for his film ”Kinatay”; Pepe Diokno, who garnered the award for the best Debut Film at the 66th Venice International Film Festival; and Gina Pareño, who won as Best Supporting Actress at the 3rd Asian Film Awards.

Salazar, who hails from Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro, received the “Ani ng Dangal” award for being the Grand Champion Performer of the World at the 13th World Championships of Performing Arts. The 2nd ”Ani ng Dangal”, organized by the National Commission for Culture and Arts (NCCA), is part of the celebration of the National Arts Month this February as per Presidential Proclamation No.683 in 1991.

In a related development, NCCA executive director and Presidential Adviser on Culture Cecile Guidote Alvarez said the Philippines was declared by the ASEAN as its Culture Capital for 2010 to 2011.Because of this, Guidote said Philippines was chosen to host the 4th ASEAN-Ministers for Culture and Arts Meeting and SOMCAplus 3 Meeting from March 23 to 26 at Clark in Pampanga.


Posted 4/7/10
Congratulations to Vice Gov. Estee Aceron for being featured in NBN Channel 4 Hatol ng Bayan 2010 last week.  She was interviewed by Mario Garcia.  To view it, please click this :  and type Estee Aceron Hatol ng Bayan 2010 (two parts) in search.  Happy Viewing !

Posted 3/25/10
Earth Hour 2010...This March 27 Saturday is Earth Hour , a global event run by the Worldwide Fund for Nature.  The idea is for people to turn off their non-essential electrical appliances and lights from 830 pm to 930 pm, local time. 

Started in Sydney, Australia in 2007 when million homes and businesses turned off their lights for one hour to make their stand against climate change.  A year later and EARTH HOUR became a global sustainability movement with 35 countries participating.  WWF is the largest and most respected independent conservation organization in the world. Its mission is to stop the degradation of the earth's natural environment and build a future where people live in harmony and nature.

The Philippines is third in most participating country.  Second is Greece.


It's time to say penance, pray and greet your loved ones on Easter Sunday. Here are important dates to remember for Roman Catholics:

March 28 Sunday  Palm Sunday
March 29 thru April 2 Holy Week
April 3 Sabado de Gloria
April 4 Easter Sunday

May you all have a peaceful Easter week wherever you are.

HIA Class 1960 reunion in Calapan City
HIA Class 1960 reunion in Calapan City
Posted 3/6/10

Classmates forever ! HIA Class 60 had another reunion last February 13 in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.  As shown in the picture, a vibrant group celebrated it with a mass at the Pachoca church, also in Calapan City.  Congratulations to you, all, for another job well done !

On some miscellaneous items, we take note of the following :

Robinson's mall will soon rise at the Xevera Neo Calapan in Nacoco, Calapan City, next to Filipiniana Hotel.  It will start the coming in of private investments in Calapan City.

Barangay Health Center and/or Multi-purpose Hall was recently inaugurated in Tiguisan, Pinamalayan , Oriental Mindoro.

Rachel Ann Bustamante of Victoria, Or. Mindoro will join the Bb. Pilipinas 2010 pageant as one of the candidates vying for Binibining Pilipinas 2010 title.  The pageant will be held on March 6 at the Araneta Coliseum. Rachel was our Miss Oriental Mindoro 2008.

Shopping in the Philippines --- an added tourists attraction !  The Dept. of Tourism has launced the Mabuhay Shopping Spree to project the Philippines as an exciting shopping and entertainment destination.  DOT offers attractions like health and medical, adventure, ecotourism, cultural and historical landmarks.

May 10 election is fast approaching and in Mndoro, candidates for Congressman (1st and 2nd district) , Governor, Vice Governor, Mayors, Vice Mayors, Councilors and provincial board members are now getting ready for their hectic campaign schedules. We hope to release official candidates soon for everyone to be able to campaign and support their chosen ones back home.


Posted 2/14/10
Lion dancers parade in Manila's Chinatown to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year and welcome the Year of the Tiger.


The Chinese have known it since forever, so it has always been the major color at the start of each New Year, during weddings, at happy celebration occasions and to contain money when giving it as gifts to one's loved ones.  Red Envelopes/Red Packets (or Hong Bao) are always red in color.  So when anyone wants extra lucks in their lives, this is the color they call on.  The color of red is the purest Yang and signifies the Fire element whose energy rises upwards, brings fame, attracts a good name and welcomes honor into your it is the all-time lucky color!


 Lucky You ! 
For a mere P20, a lone bettor from the 2nd district of Quezon City won Thursday's SuperLotto jackpot prize of P201,473,805.60 but has yet to claim the money.

No one has gone to the PCSO office in Quezon City to get the prize. The winning combination numbers 5-10-16-29-38-48 was won through a "lucky pick" or a system-generated selection of numbers.




Posted 2/2/10
A total of 37,527 out of 94,462nursing graduates passed the November 2009 licensure examination, for a 39.73 percent passing rate.Most of those who garnered the 10 highest scores came from schoolsoutside Metro Manila. The examinees who posted the 10 highest scores were:

1. Clarie Morales Bontol of Iligan Medical Center College, Inc. (87.80%)

2. Bryan Noel Cueto Asis of Lyceum of Batangas (87.60)

3. Dickson Araza Laude of St. Scholastica’s College of Health Sciences-Tacloban (87.00)4. (86.60) Sarah Beth Zapanta Bendoy of First Asia Institute of Technology & Humanities; Cyrel Alexandra Infistan Diolazo of Arellano University-Manila5. (86.40) Cliff Richard de Dios Bermudez of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; Katrina Isabel Villa Doromal of St. Paul University-Iloilo; Rio Michelle Yap Renomeron of San Pedro College-Davao City.


Four tied for sixth place (86.20), five for seventh place (86.00), nine for eighth place (85.80), 11 for ninth place (85.60), and 11 for 10th place (85.40).

Those who garnered the 6th to 10th places were:

6. (86.20) Greatsky Calayag Castuciano of Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela; Jobilee Sahagun Foronda of De Los Santos-STI College, Inc-(Delos Santos S.N.); Donald Bancud Paloma of St. Paul University-Tuguegarao; Karla Andrea Corneja Yap of University of St. La Salle

7. (86.00) Chastine De la Cruz Jambalos of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; Felina Joyce Llamado Posadas of St. Paul University-Iloilo; Perla Bargo Santiago of St. Dominic Savio College; Camille Abiera Sistoso of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; Dennis Michael Esteban Zequerra of Cotabato Medical Foundation College

8. (85.80) Joanna Marie Sajise Alvaro of Central Philippine University; Karen Lim Cheng of Xavier University; Krizzia Mae Villareal de Guzman of Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela; Richard William Dulalas Domondon of Ramon Magsaysay Technological University-Iba; Angelo Garcia Galvan of Central Luzon Doctor’s Hospital Educational Institution; Lilia Calle Piramide of St. Dominic Savio College; Robert Carandang Reña of Lyceum of Batangas; Vyklyn Jimeno Testa of Aklan State University (Aklan S.C.A.-Banga); Cornelio Cezail Flores Villanueva of Mabini College

9. (85.60) Sheila Perico Casano of Our Lady of Fatima University-Valenzuela; Krystle Go Din of St. Paul University-Iloilo; John Stephen Tiongson Humiwat of St. Mary’s University; Woodrose Charm Paciente Kwan of Dr. Carlos S. Lanting College-QC; Nerissa Naval Layag of St. Dominic Savio College; Kristin Angeli Pastor Legislador of University of St. La Salle; Myrtle Shekinah Cabuyao Lopez of Southern Luzon Polytechnic College-Lucban; Suzanne Joie Napod Maño of Adventist University of the Philippines; Manelee Pescadilla Mijares of University of St. La Salle; Juan Alfred Germino Norte of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; Garlene Anne Estanislao Rebollos of Sultan Kudarat Educational Institution

10. (85.40) Joanna Iris Lee Avena of St. Paul University-Iloilo; Erwin Garces Bodiongan of Misamis University-Ozamis City ; Steve Oliver Yap Coo of Central Philippine University; Stephen Albert Lim de Castro of Southern Luzon Polytechnic College-Lucban; Princess Camille Rodriguez de Guzman of Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila; Felamie Anne Vigo Ducotan of St. Paul University-Iloilo ; Mary Kristine Teraza Labanta of St. Scholastica’s College of Health Sciences-Tacloban; Giselle Dawn Vijar Mamaril of West Visayas State University-La Paz; Samuel John Sayoc Saludez of St. Paul University-Tuguegarao; Angelo John Villasana Tacuban of West Negros College; Maria Cecilia Cervantes Tejedor of St. Dominic Savio College.....

Congratulations to you, all !

And now , go to JOKES column, left side, too, for new jokes....


Amanda Evora
Amanda Evora

Posted 1/22/10

Introducing Amanda Evora...a 25-year old skater who will compete in the 2010 US Figure Skating championship with partner Mark Ladwig.  The pair was nominated to represent the US at the 2010 Winter Olympics.  Amanda was born in New York, raised in Texas and has been a resident of Florida for several years now.  

Amanda is 2010 US Silver medalists, and 2007 & 2009 pewter medalist. She is the daughter of our very own, kababayan, Vic Evora and his, wife, Anne.  Congratulations and good luck  to Amanda and Mark !  We are very proud of you !!!

On another happy note....
OCEAN CITY, NEW JERSEY AND SAN JOSE, OCCIDENTAL MINDORO FORGE SISTER CITY RELATIONS...Ocean City, New Jersey,  will host tribute for the Philippines in June 2010.  The place is a resort island that promotes itself as "America's Greatest Family Resort" and has forged sister city relations with San Jose, Occidental Mindoro, Philippines. Council President Susan Shephard has stated that this relationship will be mutually beneficial to both municipalities” and that it gratefully acknowledges and welcomes San Jose, Occidental Mindoro as its official Sister City. San Jose, for its part, looks forward to undertaking various projects with Ocean City in the fields of education, trade and industry, health, social welfare, tourism and environmental protection, and economic management. 

Ocean City expects to benefit from the sister-city relations by expanding its network and contacts with tens of thousands of Filipinos residing in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware.  The city wants to position itself as an attractive destination for Filipino-American families, especially during summer and vacation seasons when as much as 100,000 local tourists visit the city to enjoy its beaches, boardwalk, and other amusement and entertainment places. 

Following the formalization of the sister-city relations, Ocean City will honor the Philippines in a two-day tribute entitled “Ocean City Salutes the Philippines” to be held on 26-27 June 2010 at the Music Pier of Ocean City boardwalk.  The tribute, to be highlighted by Philippine trade fair, tourism exhibit and musical performance, will expose the Philippines to Ocean City’s regular tourists.  Philippine made-crafts will be showcased and sold at the event.  Likewise, the tourism exhibit will feature the many attractive tourist destinations in the Philippines. Filipino-American entertainers, singers and dance groups will also perform at the musical concert to be held on the night of 26 June. 

While Ocean City has year-long activities, it will mark the first time that it will feature a country.  Mr. Rene Sese, a Filipino-American resident of Ocean City who was born in San Jose, Occidental Mindoro was instrumental in making the sister-city relations possible.  A promoter and entertainer by profession who was recently designated as Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Ambassador for Tourism, Mr. Sese will help in the preparations for the two-day tribute for the Philippines in coordination with the Ocean City’s Chamber of Commerce and City Council and with the New York-based Philippine Consulate General, Philippine Trade and Investment Center and the Philippine Department of Tourism. Officials of the Philippine Consulate General New York, led by Consul General Cecille Rebong, traveled to Ocean City on 14 January 2010 to meet with Ocean City Mayor Sal Perillo, Mr. Mark Soifer (Ocean City Public Relations Director), the officers and members of the Ocean City Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Mr. Sese. They also discussed the preparations for the two-day tribute for the Philippines in June 2010. 

For more information about Ocean City’s two-day tribute for the Philippines, interested parties may contact Mr. Mark Soifer at (+609)-525-9300 or, Mr. Rene Sese at (+609) 398-3342 or or Consul Zaldy Patron at (+212) 764-1330 ext. 602 or 

Relevant information about Ocean City may be obtained at  

Calling all Mindorenos, please pass the word and invite our kababayans around New Jersey, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New York.  See you all there !





Posted 1/6/10

A lucky Pinoy.... 
A  37-year-old delivery man from Parañaque City who claimed a P111-million bonanza on Monday was the sole winner of last week’s 6/49 SuperLotto draw in Manila.The instant multimillionaire went to the Philippine Charity Sweeptakes Office in Quezon City accompanied by a lawyer to collect his cash.  The lucky bettor spent a mere P80 for his ticket and picked what turned out to be the winning combination of 15,27,17,37,18,11 drawing on December 29. The winner has also signified his intention to donate part of his winnings to charity.

In February last year, two winners from the cities of Pasig and Caloocan shared a whopping P347 million, the biggest prize in SuperLotto history.In May, two winners from Sta. Maria, Bulacan, and Pateros, Metro Manila, split the P188-million jackpot.In September, a 44-year-old taxi driver, who placed only P60 in bets, took home P150.9 million for his wife and three children.The second biggest SuperLotto jackpot ever went to a 61-year-old construction worker from Novaliches, Quezon City, who took the P249-million prize in April.

Congratulations to past and present winners !
These parols were shipped directly from Manila to NYC in time for the holidays. DOUBLE CLICK THIS PICTURE.
These parols were shipped directly from Manila to NYC in time for the holidays. DOUBLE CLICK THIS PICTURE.

Posted December 31, 2009

We wish you a Happy New Year wherever you may be these days !  Enjoy your time off, the company of your loved ones, shopping and eating.  See you again next year....January 1, that is ! 

Thank you all for visiting our Mindoro site . Hope you will continue checking what's the latest in Mindoro.  Salamat po !

This collection of parols made of capiz are now on display at the Philippine Center lobby in New York City.  It catches attention on Fifth Avenue and we truly enjoyed the different designs dedicated to the Filam community in the East Coast.
At last, Mang Mindo will be enjoying the crispy air of MINDORO !!!
At last, Mang Mindo will be enjoying the crispy air of MINDORO !!!

Posted 12/27/09

46 persons are still missing after a Roll-On/Roll-Off ferry MV Baleno sank off Isla Verde, between Batangas City and Calapan City last Saturday, Manila time.  Total on board was 88.  Some of the survivors said that water seeped into the ferry's bow causing the ferry to tilt on the side and eventually sink.  Philippine Coast Guard station also said MV Balleno, an inter-island ferry, was hit by big waves causing it to sink.

MV Balleno is operated by Besta Shipping Lines and has a capacity of 250. It left Calapan City at 9:18 PM Saturday, Manila time.

On a happy note, a Max's Restaurant , Filipino Food Chain, was opened in Calapan City on December 1 with Elsie Basco, MD and Wilfredo Aceveda, Branch Manager as the key people managing this 115th Branch in the Philippines.  

Barangay Libis, Calapan, Or. Mindoro.
Barangay Libis, Calapan, Or. Mindoro.

Posted 12/21/09 
Fifty two (52) senior citizens were among the graduates of the Language Learning Program - Plus at St. Benedictine Nuns Monastery, Barangay Salong, Calapan City last December 11, 2009. Other trainees finished the Specialized English Enhancement Course for Elementary and High School Teachers and Other Language Users, English Language Proficiency, and Finishing Course for Call Center Agents. DepEd Oriental Mindoro, DepEd Calapan City and the Federation of Senior Citizens Association Calapan City (FESCACC) participated in this undertaking. The Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro thru Governor Arnan C. Panaligan, TESDA, Pilipinas Shell Foundation, and Malampaya Joint Ventures were the principal sponsors of the program.
The free Basic IT Training for Senior Citizens is the first in the region if not in the country. According to Panaligan, the training for senior citizens will resume next year. This is in tune with the government programs for graceful aging. Do not be surprise if very soon you will be chatting with any of them in the internet and exchanging views with them in your facebook.Meanwhile, last  December 12, FESCACC  and the Philippine Institute of Civil Engineers (PICE) Oriental Mindoro Chapter together with their junior campus members from Divine World College of Calapan (DWCC) signed a memorandum of agreement for the latter to prepare a perspective and structural plan for a senior citizens’ complex in a one hectare lot. It will house the office, social hall, home for the aged, with provisions for retirement home and a mini green park. Oscar E. Ricaflanca, FESCACC President, represented the seniors while PICE President Engr. Jaime Tolentino and Engr. Aiza Sobrepena, student adviser for PICE, represented the group of civil engineers. The signing was witnessed by the FESCACC Board of Directors and civil engineering students from DWCC.According to Ricaflanca who was elected FESCACC president barely 7 months ago, senior citizens can now buy their one month maintenance medicines at a 20% discounts from any drugstore chain in Calapan City. Before, seniors were  only allowed one week medicine supply at 20% discounts.  Following a couple of letters to the management of these drugstore chain requesting considerations particularly for those residing in far off towns and barangays, seniors are now allowed to enjoy this great benefit.
Ricaflanca also disclosed what he learned about Section 32 of the General Appropriation Act (GAA) which provides for 1% budget allocation for programs and services for Older Persons (OPs) and People with Disabilities (PWSs). This, he added, is to be taken from the annual Internal Revenue Allotment (IRA) of the local government units. (LGU). This revelation should translate to more projects to benefit our senior citizens.
Ricaflanca, who was at one time the Barangay Chairman of Libis, Calapan City, has done remarkable projects in his community. Libis is the only barangay in the island of Mindoro that complies to RA 9003 otherwise known as Ecological Solid Waste Management Act of 2000. They collect segregated waste daily from every household in their barangay using tribikes. Biodegradable waste are then grinded with a grinding machine and are processed as organic fertilizer while recyclables are sold to junkshops. The project was funded by Malampaya Joint Venture Partners in coordination with Pilipinas Shell Foundation, Inc. During his tenure, he solicited the help of PICE thru their DWCC chapter to conduct a topographic and demographic survey of the barangay. He was also the official who commissioned the design of the barangay’s website.
Mindorenos sponsored the seventh Simbang Gabi at the NY Consulate with Ambassador Hilario Davide, Jr. as special guest -
Mindorenos sponsored the seventh Simbang Gabi at the NY Consulate with Ambassador Hilario Davide, Jr. as special guest - Dec. 16,2009
Posted 12/17/09
Mindorenos in NYC and tri-state area sponsored the 7th Simbang Gabi sa Konsulado (NY) last night at the Philippine Center on Fifth Avenue, Manhattan, New York.  It was their annual sponsorship in the seven-night Simbang Gabi at the Consulate.  Attendees were Ambassador Hilario Davide, Jr, and wife, Gigi, Consul General of the Philippines, Cecille Rebong and visiting Vice Gov. Estee Aceron Bisnar with husband, Capt. Chito Bisnar.  Officers and members of the Mindoro attended, as well.

This traditional Simbang Gabi, now on its 24th year, is a regular event for all Filipinos in NY, NJ and nearby states.  Parols made of capiz and paper artwork are now on display at the lobby of the Philippine Center in Manhattan.

Some of the Calapenos who attended last night were Oscar Canete, Claire Mendoza, Feliciana Dakis, to name a few.  Other Mindoro towns were also represented i.e. Andrea Ampara Mahiya of Baco, Wilma Py Ababon of San Teodoro, Ronald Labaguis of Pinamalayan, and Ivy of Roxas.  A little salu-salo with "hamon" was enjoyed by all after the Mass, with Vice Gov. entertaining Mindorenos and non-Mindorenos, as well.

From all of us in the East Coast, to all Mindorenos worldwide, Happy Holidays !
Posted 12/11/09
The province of Occidental Mindoro has passed an ordinance banning large-scale mining in the province for 25 years, a local news site reported Friday. On its website, The Mindoro Post reported that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of the province passed the ordinance last November 23 and was signed into law by Governor Josephine Ramirez-Sato on November 27. The province of Oriental Mindoro also passed a similar mining ban in 2002.

Occidental Mindoro in its edict bans “land clearing, prospecting, exploration, drilling, excavation, mining, transport of mineral ores and products and such other activities in furtherance of and/or preparatory to all kinds and forms of large-scale mining in the province of Occidental Mindoro for a period of 25 years.”Sato said the mining moratorium “is a manifestation of our inherent right to self determination.”

“The people of Occidental Mindoro believe that a strong agriculture is the backbone of our economy. We have brought our agricultural productivity to a level higher than that of national average yield,”The ordinance was passed even as three large-scale mining firms were given clearances by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to explore mineral resources on the island, The Mindoro Post said. It cited the need to protect Occidental Mindoro’s ecology, noting the poor environmental record of large-scale mines in the Philippines.

Sec. Atienza showing documents indefinitely revoking the mining permit.
Sec. Atienza showing documents indefinitely revoking the mining permit.

Posted 11/30/09
After 11 days of protest fast, the Mindoreños finally ended their hunger strike Friday when EnvironmentSecretary Lito Atienza announced the temporary revocation of the controversial environmental compliance certificate (ECC) for large-scale mining issued to a Norwegian company that would be located in watershed areas and Mangyan ancestral domain. Atienza made the announcement after the Mass of thanksgiving on the sidewalk fronting the offices of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources Friday morning. Two bishops and about a dozen priests concelebrated the Mass which was attended by Mangyan hunger strikers, nuns, anti-mining advocates and local government officials of Mindoro.

The DENR Special Order signed Friday by Atienza temporarily revoked the ECC issued to Intex Resources last October 14."In the interest of the service and in view of the seriousness or the allegations attendant to ECC-CO-094-007-2721 dated October 14, 2009 issued by this Department in favor of Intex Resources for the Nickel Mining Project in the Provinces of Oriental and Occidental Mindoro, the ECC is hereby temporarily revoked pending completion of a thorough and impartial investigation that will validate all allegations," the order said.

Last week, the hunger strikers that included priests briefly ended their fast and rejoiced when they thought the ECC had been indefinitely suspended. They later found out that Atienza merely issued a 90-day suspension order. Thus the hunger strikers resumed their protest.On Friday, Atienza admitted to anti-mining advocates, bishops, the clergy and religious present that there was a lapse in the process of issuing the said ECC."May pagkukulang," (There was a lapse), he said, adding that he wanted to know why the ECC was issued despite the fact that the proposed mining project was in a watershed area."They told a lie," Atienza said without naming who misled him into signing the ECC. "There must be punishment."

But Atienza also stressed that due process must be followed, hence the "temporary revocation.""We have to investigate, we have to prove that this is in a watershed area. It is not enough to cancel," he said. The temporary revocation, Atienza assured, meant that "nothing should move." Atienza called for the creation of an "independent, impartial investigating" group which will include civil society groups and representatives of the indigenous communities of Mindoro to examine the serious allegations of the protestors.The report and conclusion of the investigation shall be submitted to Atienza 15 days after the completion of the task and will be "the basis of resolving the issues surrounding the ECC."



Posted 11/23/09
Efren Peñaflorida, who started a "pushcart classroom" in the Philippines to bring education to poor children as an alternative to gang membership, has been named the 2009 CNN Hero of the Year.CNN's Anderson Cooper revealed Peñaflorida's selection at the conclusion of the third-annual "CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute" at the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood on Saturday night.

The gala event, taped before an audience of 3,000 at the Kodak Theatre, premieres on Thanksgiving, November 26, at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the global networks of CNN. The broadcast, which honors the top 10 CNN Heroes of 2009, features performances by Grammy Award-winning artist Carrie Underwood, R&B crooner Maxwell and British pop sensation Leona Lewis.

Peñaflorida, who will receive $100,000 to continue his work with the Dynamic Teen Company, was selected after seven weeks of online voting at More than 2.75 million votes were cast.

"Our planet is filled with heroes, young and old, rich and poor, man, woman of different colors, shapes and sizes. We are one great tapestry," Peñaflorida said upon accepting the honor. "Each person has a hidden hero within, you just have to look inside you and search it in your heart, and be the hero to the next one in need.

Gallery: CNN Heroes: An All-Star Tribute
Video: CNN Hero of the Year named

"So to each and every person inside this theater and for those who are watching at home, the hero in you is waiting to be unleashed. Serve, serve well, serve others above yourself and be happy to serve. As I always tell to my co-volunteers ... you are the change that you dream, as I am the change that I dream, and collectively we are the change that this world needs to be."

The top 10 CNN Heroes, chosen by a blue-ribbon panel from an initial pool of more than 9,000 viewer nominations, were each honored with a documentary tribute and introduced by a celebrity presenter. Each of the top 10 Heroes receives $25,000.


Mock funeral - Intex & Atienza's coffin
Mock funeral - Intex & Atienza's coffin
Posted 10/30/09 (visit this site, too)

CALAPAN CITY – Around two thousand (2,000) Mindorenos from different sectors staged a mock funeral procession for Intex Resources and Secretary Joselito Atienza of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to protest against the ill-omened issuance of the Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) of Intex Mindoro Nickel Project.

Coffins marked with INTEX logo and photos of DENR Secretary Atienza, were paraded in the procession coinciding with the traditional celebration of All Souls’ Day. The event signified the grave dismay of civil society organizations including the Catholic Church together with the local government, led by Governor Arnan Panaligan, Congressman Alfonso Umali, Jr., Mayor Alfredo Ortega Jr. of Victoria, Mayor Doy Leachon of Calapan, together with the Members of the Sangguniang Panlalawigan ang Sanggunian Bayan of Victoria, and other prominent political leaders of the province.

Priests came in their cassock bearing anti-mining placards. Bishop Warlito I. Cajandig also delivered his message during the program, challenging the people to hold on to their faith and to strengthen their ranks against those who are using money as bait to accept mining. Fr. Edu Gariguez of Alyansa Laban sa Mina (ALAMIN) slammed DENR Secretary Atienza because he railroaded the issuance of ECC on October 14, 2009 during the massive flooding incidents, which recently happened in Marikina, Antipolo, Rizal and Northern Luzon. These calamities should have prompted Secretary Atienza to think twice before granting the ECC to INTEX considering that Mindoro is an Island Province, with very fragile ecosystems.”

“The ECC gave the green light to Intex Resources to proceed with the implementation of the mining operations in the municipalities of Victoria, Oriental Mindoro and Sablayan, Occidental Mindoro despite the lack of ‘social license’ from the local governments”, added Gariguez.

“Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Resolution No. 719-2009, dated October 26, 2009, denounced in clear terms the issuance of ECC by the DENR to Intex Resources, for it directly violates the Provincial Ordinance imposing a 25-year moratorium in the province of Oriental Mindoro, and the ECC was issued in complete disregard of the opposition of most numbers of local government units, the church and the civil society groups, both in Oriental and Occidental Mindoro”, said Gariguez.

According to Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) national coordinator Jaybee Garganera, the issuance of ECC is deemed highly irregular and patently questionable because according the SP Resolution: “the approval and issuance of the ECC is premature and short of procedural and substantial requirements particularly on the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) process, considering that the Review Committee has not come up with its recommendation when Secretary Atienza issued the ECC.”

“Secretary Atienza shoud be ousted for his dreadful acts! It is horrific and ironic for a DENR secretary to consistently favor big mining companies over the conservation and preservation of environment, which provides benefits the Filipino people more rather than mining,” exclaimed Garganera.

The ECC granted allows for the extraction of nickel ore covering 11, 216 hectares of mining tenement, a big part of which is identified as critical watershed catchment of Mag-asawang Tubig and Bucayao River systems, as affirmed by the recently concluded Norwegian Agency Development Corporation (NORAD) study. House Resolution No. 25 states that the mining site encroaches on the largest source of irrigation water for the 40,000 hectares of rice lands in Calapan City, and the towns of Naujan, Baco and Victoria, Oriental Mindoro.

“The province of Oriental Mindoro, which is ranked third as the province that produces the most food in the country, and known as the food basket of the southern Luzon region is threatened by Intex Resources’ attempt to open up a nickel mine despite local opposition. The proposed mine site is located within a critical watershed area that provides the irrigation for 70% of the provinces vital rice fields and fruit plantations. Thus, the INTEX ECC should be revoked!” concluded Garganera

In Occidental Mindoro, the Municipality of Sablayan is one of the major rice- and corn-producing areas in the province and any major mining operations would greatly affect the agriculture production and endanger social economic conditions in the area. Sablayan’s 22 barangays and its Sangguniang Bayan are opposed to mining operations expressed through their respective resolutions and through a municipal mining moratorium ordinance.

For more information:
Fr. Edwin A. Gariguez, ALAMIN, (0919) 8005595,
Jaybee Garganera, ATM Coordinator, (0915) 315.37.19/ Roslyn Arayata, ATM Policy Officer (0917) 521.7937

Posted 10/23/09
Mindoro Mining -
The people of Mindoro are furious with the DENR’s approval of Environmental Compliance Certificate (ECC) for the operation of the Mindoro Nickel Project by Intex Resources.To express our protest, from November 17 onwards, volunteer-campaigners mostly from Alyansa Laban sa Mina (ALAMIN) will hold a HUNGER STRIKE AND FASTING, in front of the DENR Building in Visayas Avenue, Quezon City.
There are already 25 persons who are determined to fast or not to take anything except water, while holding a peaceful vigil in front of the DENR to manifest the protest of the people of Mindoro against the questionable and spurious approval of ECC to Intex Resources by the DENR.
The said hunger strike is planned to be held for indefinite number of days until the ECC is reconsidered and revoked by DENR Secretary Atienza.  
On the first day of the vigil (November 17), the 25 hunger strikers will be joined by representatives from the local government units both from Occidental and Oriental Mindoro. The presence and participation of the following local government officials are expected but still to be confirmed, namely: Governor Arnan Panaligan (Oriental), Governor Josephine Ramirez-Sato (Occidental), Vice Governor Estella Aceron (Oriental), Vice Governor Mario Gadiano (Occidental), The Municipal Government of Victoria led by Mayor Alfredo Ortega and Vice Mayor Luis Castillet, the Municipal Government of Sablayan led by Mayor Godofredo Mintu and Vice Mayor Eduardo Gadiano, and other LGU officials.
On the second day of the vigil (November 18), the 25 fasters will be joined by the representatives from the Church, the Apostolic Vicariate of Calapan led by Bishop Warlito Cajandig and the Apostolic Vicariate of San Jose. The attendance of the two bishops is still to be confirmed. But priest and sisters from the two Vicariates have expressed their willingness to join the vigil and peaceful prayer protest. Seminarians too from stakeholder provinces will join the second day vigil. Bishop Broderick Pabillo of the CBCP-NASSA will be invited to celebrate the Eucharist for the group.
On the 3rd and 4th day of the vigil (November 19 and 20), the 25 hunger strikers will be joined by representatives of peasant group coming from Mindoro and other parts of the region to express their solidarity being one of the primary sectors that will be affected by the mining project. The national peasant federation of PAKISAMA is to be invited, along with other organized peasant groups.
On the 5th day of vigil (November 21), the 25 hunger strikers will be joined by the civil society organizations led by Alyansa Tigil Mina. Other development, HR and environmental organizations to be invited include: LRC-KsK, Philippine Misereor Partnership (PMP), PANLIPI, Ateneo Human Rights Center, ULAN, Haribon, among others. Fr. Robert Reyes will be invited to lead the prayer vigil and to do a “Takbo Alay Para sa Kalikasan” along with other campaign activities.
The succeeding program of activities for the vigil and participation of other solidarity groups/sectors days will be arranged in coordination with Alyansa Tigil Mina (ATM) and other Manila-based NGOs.
Please join us in this campaign to save our environment!
For more details, please contact:
Fr. Edwin A. Gariguez, ALAMIN/Mangyan Mission
Email address:


All roads led to Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on September 26.  Over 300 guests came to celebrate the 3rd Annual Fundraising & Dinner-dance of the Association of Calapenos USA International.  Jimmy Chua, president, Elsa Abilar Quindor, Vice President, Paz Castillo Iturralde, Secretary and Ball Chair,  Adelmar Oliva Silvestre, Treasurer, Nestor Calata, Auditor and Vera Regis, PRO did a good job in entertaining their guests. Ruby Mendoza Navarro and husband, Louie, Myrna Masilang Vilas, Drs. Ting and Len Luna and the first lady of the evening, Prez Chua, wife of Jimmy were equally attentive to all Calapenos who arrived for this much-awaited event. 

Many Calapenos who came from as far as Calapan City, Canada, New York, Arizona, Hawaii, Texas and New Jersey, had a good time dancing until 1 AM.  Everyone was glad to see our very own, Charo Santos with sister, Malou and Vice Governor Estee Aceron with husband, Chito grace the occasion.  The highlight of the evening was the crowning of the new Mrs. Calapenos International, Bebot Uriarte escorted by her brother, Roy. Bebot joined the pageant with the goal of helping the less fortunate in Mindoro thru the projects of the association.  Everyone, let us congratulate the offficers and members of this association for another job well done.  Go to photo album now for their pictures.

Posted 9/13/09

The Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative (Ormeco) has been granted a 400 million loan from DBP to fund the construction of the 4.2  megawatt Linao Cawayan mini-hydropower project in San Teodoro, Oriental Mindoro.  The proposed mini-hydropower plant is a run-of-river type, which taps the potential of the Linao Cawayan and Alag rivers in Oriental Mindoro.  It is expected to gerate an average of 109 gigawatt-hrs of electricity per year, which is equivalent to the consumption of 37,375 barrels of oil.

The planned hydropower project will reduce approximately 11,409 tons of carbon dioxide output per year.

Wind Power Ventures for Mindoro - Eurus Energy Japan Corp. and Korea East-West Power Co. organized the Alterenergy Philippine Investments Corp. as holding co. for possible investments in the renewable energy sector.  It will study the feasibility of setting up a wind farm in Occidental Mindoro, Laguna and Rizal.
Posted 8/31/09

Summer is almost over.  Hope you had a wonderful one !  If you live in an area where Fall is almost around, get ready for trips to places to enjoy Foliage. 

On another note, national election in the Philippines will be in May 2010.  The Philippine Consulate General of New York has just ended their campaign for Overseas Absentee Voting (OAV). There was a big turnout yesterday at the Consulate.  It was also the day when dual citizens took oath and was officially given certificates to that effect.  Dual citizens and/or OAV registered Filipino citizens can now vote in the upcoming election in the national level only. 

Calapenos USA International is now busy preparing for its third anniversary celebration at Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas on September 26.  Many Calapenos from Calapan are scheduled to fly to Las Vegas for this much-awaited event.  Charo Santos will be the guest of honor.  If you are interested to attend, please email
The late Cory Aquino.
The late Cory Aquino.
Posted 8/4/09

Cory C. Aquino, the first woman to lead the Philippines, had been battling colon cancer since March 2008 and died of cardio-respiratory arrest at 3:18 a.m. Saturday (3:18 p.m. Friday ET), August 1  Manila time. Philippine President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo has also announced a 10-day mourning period for the former president.

The political novice took over the leadership of her husband's movement after his death and challenged Marcos in a 1986 election, making a yellow dress her trademark and bolstered by the support of the country's Roman Catholic churches.

The Yellow Tide - Aquino turned yellow into the color of her campaign. It was, personally, one of her favorite hues; but its political significance stemmed from the yellow ribbons tied around Manila's trees and posts (inspired by an American pop song) by the supporters of her husband to welcome him on what proved to be his tragic return home. Her rallies were seas of yellow.

On another note, let us all congratulate Rhap Salazar of Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro who won the title of Junior Grand Champion performer of the world and also Grand Champion solo vocalist of the world in the recent World Championship competition of Performing Arts.  It was joined by 20 countries in Los Angeles, CA on July 11 to 18, 2009.  Rhap brought home seven medals that he has won in different categories.  Congratulations, Raph !!!

Posted 7/27/09

Please see new travel tourism website for Bulalacao that may be of interest to you. It's

New Mindoro Provincial Hospital - It was announced that the new Mindoro Provincial Hospital is now 25 % completed in its new location.

On another note, P200 million was appropriated for the construction of a new public market to be done by R11 Building Inc. of Quezon City. 

And now for the happy event in the East Coast....The annual Mindoro picnic held in NYC was a success, again.  With over hundred Mindorenos and their friends and relatives, the annual family picnic started at noon and ended around 6 pm.  Naujenos, Pinamalenos, mga taga Bongabon at Calapenos all gathered in this spacios Astoria Park, complete with around 20 dishes and desserts, fruits, drinks and more.  The Agudos, Uriartes, Cuetos, Agays, Mercados, Saulong, Palustres , Felix familiy , Atienzas of Pinamalayan, Pesigan of Naujan, Habats of Socorro, to name a few were glad to see old and new friends. Pictures of this event will be posted soon in our website.

Thanks to all who brought food and their specialties like special bibingkang kanin of Willie Adeva.  Thanks, too, for those who drove to NYC coming from as far South Jersey and Connecticut.  See you , again, next year .

Calapenos USA International, Inc. is reminding everyone of the upcoming 3rd Anniversary Ball in Las Vegas.  It will be on September 26, Sat. at the Orleans Hotel.  For reservations and other details, please email or

See you all in Las Vegas !
LtoR: Sen. Cayetano, Consul General of the Phil. Cecille Rebong, VP Noli de Castro, Amb. Hilario Davide, Jr. and Sen. Ma
LtoR: Sen. Cayetano, Consul General of the Phil. Cecille Rebong, VP Noli de Castro, Amb. Hilario Davide, Jr. and Sen. Manny Villar. Front row: Ric Agay of Calapan City, asst. to Parade Chair Juliet Payabyab of Calapan City.
Posted 7/2/09
What a celebration in New York City !   A well-planned parade, food festival, cultural presentations and more, all done in one day on
June 7, right on Madison Avenue from 40th Street down to 23rd Street.  The event was the annual independence day celebration participated in by the states of New Jersey, Connecticut, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New York and Canada.  Now on its 111 th anniversary of Philippine Independence and 20th year of celebrating independence in the East Coast, thousands gathered as early as 11 AM to get a glimpse of VP Noli de Castro, Senator Manny Villar and wife, Congresswoman Cynthia Villar, Senator Allen Peter Cayetano and wife, Congresswoman Cayetano who all flew to NYC to join the grand parade.  Other celebrities included GMA7 actors and actresses i.e. Dingdong Dantes, Aljur Abrenica, Mylene Dizon to name a few.  Philippine government officials marched in the spearhead area of the parade headed by Consul General Cecile B. Rebong , Amb. Hilario Davide, Jr. and wife, Gigi followed by the parade chairman, Juliet Payabyab of Calapan City.  Some Mindorenos lent a helping hand in the preparations like Ric Agay, Rose Javier, Rea Pascua, Cecille Pilien Infantino, Feliz Dakis Drefus, Mercy Pastrana Mosley, Mel Panaligan, Willie Adeva, Imelda and husband, Sylwin Lazaro in addition to 100 Fil-am volunteers who tirelessly worked for the last three months to ensure a successful and memorable independence day celebration.  A large number of Mindorenos also participated by marching under the banner of "VISIT MINDORO" to promote Mindoro tourism with Aster Tecson as the photographer at-large. A sea of yellow tshirts once again was displayed duplicating the most recently held Balik-Mindoro in Mindoro on February 09.  VP Noli spent sometime talking to the Mindoro group during the assembly time on Madison Ave and was excited to see them as they passed the grandstand.  Lumen Panahon of California came, too,  to celebrate and march with her fellow Mindorenos. 

A cultural presentation followed after the 2-hour parade which included 14 floats, 10 marching bands, stiltwalker, stiltband, open cars and 100 Fil-am civic organizations as parade marchers.  Blessed with a good and crispy weather and a $ 200,000 fundraising effort by the organizers,  the event ended at 6 pm. 

Before the grand parade, a Miss Independence (Miss Diwa locally) was chosen to become as Ambassadress of Goodwill to the Philippines during her one year reign.  And, once again, we are proud to announce that the newly-crowned Miss Diwa was Monica Leynes Castillo Meares whose mother, Faith Leynes Castillo-Meares,  was from Calapan City. She won the title during the pageant of 8 beauties with her winning answer about being a Fil-am kid keeping the Filipino traditions, values and respect for elders.  To capture more details, please go to Photo Album for lots of pictures. Enjoy !

On another note, it's picnictime for Mindorenos in the tri-state area of New York, NJ and Connecticut on July 25, Saturday.   Fellow Mindorenos, wherever you are , please come and join this annual family picnic in Astoria Park, Astoria, Queens, New York from noon to evening.  Bring your favorite dish, folding chairs, swimsuit, rollerblade, skateboard, bikes and favorite games.  It will be another fun day.  Enjoy the breeze from the river and olympic-size pool in the area.  For details, please email or call Juliet 718 267 0221 and Ric 718 805 0175. Invite your friends, relatives, neighbors and co-workers. Special guests are Luz Acosta and husband, Jun Pait, of Las Vegas who will arrive in NYC two days before the picnic.

Come one, come all to the upcoming Calapenos dinner and dance in Las Vegas on September 25.  It will be held at the Orleans Hotel.  Reservations are now being accepted both at the hotel and for the event. Email for more information.  Calling all Mindorenos especially Calapenos to attend this 3rd anniversary year sponsored by Calapenos USA International, Inc. with Jimmy Chua as the current president. This is your chance to meet Charo Santos in person at pati na yoong mga kapitbahay natin sa Calapan (now called Neo (new) Calapan City !

Dr. Ninfa Medina Saunders of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.
Dr. Ninfa Medina Saunders of Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro.

Posted 6/15/09

Here is something we, Mindorenos have to be really proud of.  Our very own Dr. Ninfa Saunders has been voted as one of the Top 100 Most Powerful People in Healthcare (Modern Healthcare Magazine) with President Barack Obama, Newt Gingrich and Nancy Pelosi.  There is an ongoing nomination in this website. 

I am asking for your generous support to reach out to our fellow kababayans to pass along this email so that Dr. Saunders will be able to reach the top ten. 

Hello, fellow Mindorenos, it only takes a minute !  Please click on the above link and nominate our very own Dr. Ninfa Medina Saunders.  Salamat po !

Posted 5/30/09
Calapan City gets LIGHTS ON , a traffic light, that is !  Traffic lights will be installed next month on JP Rizal Street as announced by Mayor Doy C. Leachon on May 18 at the City Hall Executive Conference Room.  This project is consistent of his goal to make Calapan City a disciplined city.  This traffic light installation is just an addition to projects that are already in place in Calapan City such as No Jaywalking, 10-minute Parking, Motorcycle Parking Bay and Wearing of helmets for motorcylists.

On another note, the town of Socorro is getting a new Socorro Health Unit.  A check for P2.5 million was given by the provincial government to the town of Socorro in support of this project and a total of 532 Philhealth ID cards for free health insurance will also be processed and will be given to qualified families. 
Let's celebrate our 111th Anniversary of Philippine Independence !!! By now, preparations are underway  and almost complete in various states  to commemorate this event.  And in celebration, here are the following important dates to appreciate our freedom :  5/19/1898 - Emilio Aguinaldo returned to Manila from exile in HongKong.  The United States had invited him back from exile, hoping that Aguinaldo would rally the Filipinos against the Spanish colonial government.  6/12/1898 - Emilio Aguinaldo declared Philippine Island's independence from Spain.  6/23/1898 - A revolutionary government with Emilio Aguinaldo as its president was established.  9/15/1898 - Malolos Congress was established drafting the constitution of the new republic.  11/29/1898 - Philippine revolutionary congress approved a constitution for the new Philippine Republic.  1/1/1898 - Emilio Aguinaldo declared president of the new Philippine Republic.

In New York City, 100 Filipino-American organizations, with 50 members or more per association,  are now officially registered to join and march in this annual grand parade on Madison Avenue, between 40th Street and 26th Street on June 7.  Madison Avenue will be closed from 12 pm to 6 pm accommodating the parade from 12 PM to 2 pm followed by Street Festival and Cultural Presentation until 6 pm.  Vice President Noli de Castro and Senator Manny Villar will be joining this event, too, and actors and actresses from the Philippines, as well.  There will be 15 decorated floats, 10 marching bands and a display of our history and culture during the parade.  Come one, come all if you are in the East Coast, as a resident or as a visitor.  Juliet Payabyab, parade chairperson of this event, invites you on behalf of the PIDCI organizing committee to be part of this much-anticipated event in the East Coast.

See you on Madison Ave on June 7  !!!

Posted 4/20/09


Calapan City - Stefanio Andrenicus Abaca Robin is No. 9 in 303 graduating class in Philippine National Police Academy (PNP). Congratulations to you "Nicus", from Mindorenos worldwide  !

Calapan City - Rogelio "Joey" Antonio, Grand Master, led a group of Filipino Chess Masters in the 18th Annual North American Open Chess Championship on December 27 at the Bally's Casino Resort in Las Vegas, NV.  He scored seven straight victories in the US circuit this year including the recent 10th annual Joseph Ileto Memoria Open Chess Championship.

Calapan City -------- Dr. Anthony Leachon - one of the Top Ten Filipino Physicians awarded last Sept. 29, 2008 at Manila Hotel.
Bongabong --------- Mario  Macalindong - comic illustrator working for Director Carlo Caparas. He will soon release a caricature for all three winners of Balik Mindoro 09 reunion themes won by Julie Lao, Ester Paras Jose and Josephine Padilla.
Naujan/Calapan --- Louie Dalisay - songwriter and music arranger with clients outside the Philippines, too.  He will compose a song for our upcoming Balik Mindoro 09.
Bongabong --------- Lito Camu, composer and star celebrity at Wowowee program. Known for his composition of Ocho-ocho and Spageti.
Calapan City - Ernie Cleofe, President, OMASC (Southern California)
Calapan City - Jimmy Chua, President, Calapenos International (Northern California)
Mamburao ---- Feddy Catama, President, Midwest Asso. of Mindoro (Chicago)
Pinamalayan - Rolly Mangante, President, United Mindoro Asso. of Toronto
Pola -  Noli de Castro, Vice President of the Philippines
Bongabong - Nestor M. Mantaring, NBI Director
Pinamalayan - Thaddeus E. Venturanza, SEC Commissioner
Bongabong - Reynaldo V. Umali, Deputy Commissioner Bureau of Customs 
Occidental Mindoro - Amelita Villarosa, Congresswoman & Deputy Speaker of the House 
Calapan City - Engr. Florante Soriquez, Undersecretary Dept. of PW & Highways 
Calapan City - Patricia Aragon Sto. Thomas, DBP Chairman
Bongabong - Dr. Rosalinda Bondal, former Makati Councilor
Calapan City - Charo Santos, President ABS CBN
Bongabong - Lito Camo, Composer of Wowowee
....more to come (please contribute more names on national level only worldwide - current positions or previous) !
Posted 4/14/09

Vice President Noli de Castro has accepted an invitation to be one of the VIP guests in the upcoming 111th Philippine Independence Anniversary Commemoration in New York City.  The Philippine Independence Day Committee, Inc. (PIDCI), the organizing committee for this event, in cooperation with the Consulate General of the Philippines and Honorary Adviser, Cecille B. Rebong, together with parade chairpersons, Juliet Payabyab and Gani Puertollano, an invitation was sent last month for the June 7 grand parade on Madison Avenue, New York City.  PIDCI president, Gerry Austria has officially informed the Fil-am community of Vice Pres. Noli's arrival for this event.

Fellow Mindorenos and non-Mindorenos in the area of New Jersey, New York, Delaware, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Virginia and Maryland are welcome to watch or  join this parade.  Mindorenos will be marching as a group with a "VISIT MINDORO" banner in support of Mindoro tourism.  If you are interested to join the parade or simply want to watch, please email Yellow gold Mindoro tshirts will be provided.  Wear khaki color pants and comfy shoes for the parade.  Madison Avenue will be closed from 40th street down to 21 st street from noon to 7 pm for this much-anticipated celebration.

Those participating in the parade can be part of the private audience that the group will be arranging (again) with VP Noli.  Come one , come all !  Meet the delegations from Canada , California and Kansas (Mindorenos and non-Mindorenos) and a dance troupe direct from Iloilo.  It will be an exciting parade, now on its 17th year, with 20 floats, 10 marching bands, and 100 Fil-am organizations and businesses joining.  More VIPs and actors and actresses from the Philippines were also sent invitations to grace the affair. Fil-am mainstream newscasters i.e. Nina Pineda, Hazel Sanchez and Kristine Johnson will serve as masters of ceremonies at the grandstand.  For more developments, keep visiting our website so you can adjust your visit to the Big Apple to see this parade. 

On another note, we were pleased to welcome Mayor Doy, his wife, Rona, son, Red, daughter, Beige and his Dad, Judge Emilio Leachon to  New York City.  The family had a two-day sightseeing tour in Manhattan and New Jersey and will continue to visit more places in the US before they head back to Manila.  Wish you all a happy and safe trip, Mayor Doy !
Posted 3/31/09

Yes, I am Joe Mari Chan and I was in Calapan City on February 27, 2009.  Thanks to the organizers of the "Bahay ng Pari" fundraising event for inviting me, says Joe Mari !  This project, a retirement home for catholic priests of Mindoro, is intended to take care of the aging priests now and in the future.  The event was a success and it generated generous donations to this good cause.

Let us continue supporting this project ! And, of course, we have some pictures of the event for you.  Go ahead and click the photo album now !
Here is the new terminal building at Calapan City...for those who have not been home lately !!!
Posted 3/23/09
Proud to be a Mindoreno !
Meet Diane Arevalo of Calapan City and a student of Divine Word College located in  Calapan City. She was Miss Oriental Mindoro 2007. She also joined the recently concluded Bb. Pilipinas pageant on March 7 at the Araneta Coliseum. Indeed, we are proud to announce that Diane made it to the top 10 finalists that night. Congratulations, Diane,  from all of us, the Mindorenos worldwide.


Balik Mindoro 09 pictures are now in photo album (partial) ! More to come...Keep visiting the website and see what pictures have been added, so far.

Review them, over and over again. Meron nadadagdag na bago at saka sa luma (me pahabol).
Posted 3/19/09
All 350 pictures of Balik Mindoro 09 are now posted, in four different albums.  Go ahead and click them now.  View them in sequence to enjoy the event.  Feel like you were with us in Mindoro..........Enjoy !

Posted 3/16/09

Here is a tula dedicated to you and to all the Balik-Mindoro 2009 group.

From Ante Villarica:

Balik Mindoro 2009

Mga karanasan, kay sarap i-k’wento
Mga kababayang mga Mindoreno,
Buhat California, New York at Chicago,
At sa ibang dako’t bahagi ng mundo,
Nag excursion kayo pabalik Mindoro.

Nahihili kaming mga naiwanan,
Di namin nalasap, inyong naranasan,
Nguni’t sa balitang mga kasayahan,
Para na ring kami’y nar’yan sa pistahan.

Juliet, bilib kami sa iyong pakana,
Dapat na bigyan ka ng “Gawad  Paghanga”,
At lahat ng taong katulong gumawa,
Mabuhay po kayo, sana’y huwag magsawa.

Mga opisyales at ang kawanihan,
Ng Silangang  Mindoro, ng Lungsod Calapan,
At ang nagsidalo sa “Grand Salubungan”,
Dapat din purihin at pasalamatan,
Sa palatuntunan nilang ginampanan

Congresswoman Amy, buhat sa kanluran,
Si Representante Boy, isang kaibigan,
Puno ng probinsyang si Gobernador Arnan,
Vice Governor Estee, champion sa kantahan,
Alkaldeng makisig,  Doy ng Calapan,
Utang sa kanila, tagumpay  ng  bayan,
Sa pagbigay-pugay sa mga kabayang
Bihirang umuwi sa sariling bayan.

Mabuhay! Mabuhay! Magbunyi ang lahat,
Pati na rin kaming  hindi napatapat, (ang pag-uwi)
Baka sa susunod ay  maging mapalad,
Mapasama na rin sa pagbabalik-lakad.
(Kung ‘yan ay sakaling may muli pang balak,
Na ipagpatuloy sa taong tutulak.)

-ni Gat Sandugoo (FDV)
BREAKING NEWS  !!! (scroll down for Part I, II, III and IV the end na)
palaging me kasunod ito, basahin pababa !

The Balik-Mindoro 2009 (reunion of all Mindorenos regardless of which town and school they were from) event is over but the memories continue.  All of us are still dreaming and just can't wake up to the fact that the activities, the very warm receptions from Congressman Boy Umali, Governor Arnan Panaligan, Mayor Doy Leachon, former Assemblyman Bong Ignacio and several mayors plus the attention that we all got from the townspeople were all remarkable, unbelievable and exceptional. It was the first time in Mindoro's history that they held such event and entertained to the fullest their Balik-Mindoro kababayans

To start with, we would like to share with you the actvities that took place on:

                                            PART  I (posted 2/25/09)

Feb. 18 Wed.     HE President Arroyo hosted lunch for all of us at
                          Malacanang, complete with 15 press people from the
                          media.  She graciously mingled with us, talked to us,
                         and  was patient in group and individual picture-taking
                         sessions.  Congressman Girlie Villarosa of Occidental  
                         Mindoro and Undersecretary of Tourism, 
                         Mr. Oscar Palabyab were there, too, to welcome us.
                         But before we left for Malacanang, we had to 
                         assemble at the condotel location at 8:30 am. All of us
                         were there on time for departure except for one so we
                         had to leave her behind.  Pero naka-habol naman 
                         before Pres. Arroyo arrived for the lunch. So nahuli 
                         man daw at magaling , eh naka-habol din !!!

                         Later in the afternoon, we all checked in at
                         condotel in Makati.  Balance of the day was spent in
                         exploring Glorietta 1 thru 5 which was just a stone-
                         throw away from the condotel.

Feb. 19  Thurs.  As scheduled, the tour bus picked us up at the
                          condotel.  Just as we were about to leave, we 
                          realized that we left one person behind (again).
                          But someone saw him running after our bus so we 
                          had to stop and get him !  

                          First itinerary was a rolling tour in the Makati financial 
                         district and the new condos already occupied.  A very
                         modern city "ala eh style manhattan" mandin. Then to
                         global city, and to the biggest American cemetery 
                         outside the United States.   We never knew that 
                         there is a such a huge and well-maintained place like 
                         that in Makati. 

                         Then while on the bus, we saw this "nilagang saging" 
                        so pinakyaw namin ang tinda noong bata.  In few more
                        minutes, we saw lanzones naman at ganoon din ang
                        ginawa namin.  All of us were craving for those since 
                        we landed in Manila. 

                       And not to be missed, the next stop was the Coconut 
                       Palace where we heard a detailed history of who
                       stayed there and how it is being used these days.  
                       Then back to the Palace Museum in Malacanang for a
                       grand tour of that place.  These places were very
                       familiar to all of us but just didn't bother seeing them  
                       while growing up.  But now we did and no regrets.  

                      Dinner was at Cabalen for all of us.

                                                   PART  II (posted 3/1/09)

Feb.20 Fri.    We left Makati at 5:00 am and arrived at Batangas pier
                      at 7:30 am.  The Tourism staff were already waiting 
                      at the entrance gate. They escorted us to the
                      Mabuhay Lounge where we were all treated to a buffet 
                      breakfast and musical entertainment.  Congressman Boy
                      Umali and former Assemblyman Bong Ignacio were
                      there to welcome us and as participants started 
                      arriving, TV Net started rolling their cameras to capture
                      the momentum, long-lost classmates, neighbors and
                      friends screaming with joy when they saw each other at
                      the pier. Half of the area inside the pier was blocked for
                      us causing passengers to gather around and see what
                      was going on !

                     Then it was time to board the new RS superferry.  We 
                      occupied the whole first level of the boat with the TV Net
                      still rolling their cameras to capture the smiling faces of
                      the almost 100 (combined) Balik Mindoro on board.

                      Arriving in Calapan pier at 11:30 am after just an 
                      hour ride, a welcome lei was given to each participant
                      as they get off the boat, then passed the marching
                      band and on to the buses, vans and cars waiting to 
                      take us all to El Pueblo resort to checkin.  Thirty minutes
                      later , we all went to Capitol where we were met by
                      Gov. Arnan, Vice Gov. Estee, members of Sangguniang
                      Bayan and department heads.  It was their welcome
                      lunch reception for us complete with performances by
                      the Calapan Vendors asso. and the local singing idols.  

                      Francis Pangilinan of Canada ( a Balik Mindoro delegate)
                      was declared to be the "Governor of the Day" by
                      Governor Arnan.  Francis was given the sash and
                      standing ovation from the crowd. He was so thrilled to
                      accept the title and truly enjoyed being the Governor for
                      the day. He was joined by long time friend, former
                      Assemblyman Bong Ignacio and high school classmates
                      led by Resty Fernandez Asi.

                                    Part III  (posted 3/3/09)

After the turnover ceremony, the Calapan Vendors Asso.
                      did a musical dance number followed by local
                      singing idols.  The buffet lunch was so delicious and
                      was perfect for the hungry group from abroad.  Ang
                      sarap ng luto talaga !!!

                     Then we moved on to City Hall where Mayor Doy Leachon
                     of Calapan City and party were waiting.  Again, welcome
                     leis made of sea shells and flowers were given to each
                     one of us as we entered, complete with banda ulit.  This
                     time, the atmosphere was different. It was in an open
                     air/atrium setting.  Tables were set up outdoor and
                     buffet dinner was already ready when we arrived,
                     complete with inihaw na tanige, barbeque, lots of Pinoy
                     authentic foods and desserts.

                    Jonathan Cueto Magpantay was given the sash as Mayor
                    of the Day in a simple ceremony. He also received the
                    symbolic key to the City from Mayor Doy.  Juliet Payabyab,
                    the organizer of the Balik Mindoro event, was asked to
                    introduce the 70-people delegation from abroad.  For
                    entertainment, young performers did some numbers
                    "ala Broadway style" showing the history of Mindoro. 
                   The show was so touching as it displayed the ups and
                   downs of our province.  Nakakaiyak ang play nila and it
                   was brilliantly done by the youth group. Ang gagaling !
                   (So now we know what happened back then as portrayed
                   in the play.)

                   After the dinner and entertainment, we were all
                   transported to San Vicente, JP Rizal St.  which was closed
                  for the much-awaited Mardi Gras/Street Dancing. It was
                  like a fiesta !  People lined up on the streets (10 blocks)
                  to see various dance troupes performed live on the
                  streets.  There were tinikling, binasuan, pandanggo sa
                  ilaw and many more simultaneously performing to the
                  delight of all.  Balik Mindoro group was asked to dance
                  pandanggo sa ilaw with the performers at siempre,
                  nagpakitang gilas lahat.  Sumayaw din ang Balik Mindoro
                  Then we were escorted to the stage.   At habang
                  naglalakad kami, bumibili kami ng mga tinda, bawang na
                  mani, palamig, suman, siopao, souvenirs, chicharon, at
                  marami pang iba, talagang fiesta sa San Vicente.

                 Me banda ulit sa stage , courtesy of San Miguel Corp.,
                 VG Estee was asked to sing while Balik Mindoro did a line
                 dancing.  Gov. Arnan and VG Estee were with us again
                 at nakihalo sa saya namin. It was a special night as
                 we were given super attention during the Mardi Gras.  We
                 were  all wearing our yellow Balik Mindoro tshirts that night.

                So medyo pagod na kami around 11 PM that night kaya off
                we went to our sleeping quarters !

                                       Part IV  (posted 3/6/09)

Feb. 21 Sat. Eto na ang motorcade....Assembly time and place, 830 AM 
                at Calapan City Plaza. We took time in taking pictures infront
of our landmark, the "Mangyan" and around the newly-
                renovated Plaza complete with Abacus lights, trees at mga
                upuan.  As more cars and vans kept coming in to join the 
                motorcade, the BM 09 group just couldn't stop posing for
                more pictures, parang mga bata talaga, just like the old 
                days !  And soon it was time to start the motorcade !  Jimmy
                Chua was designated to be the escort of our Mrs. Balik
                Mindoro in the person of our very own, Rose Javier of NJ 
                while Miss Oriental Mindoro gladly joined as additional 
                beauty during the motorcade.  It was a mile- long line up of
                cars, vans, motorcyles and bus all decorated with white 

                After an hour of parade around the town, we all proceeded 
                to El Pueblo resort for the barrio fiesta celebration.  No 
               transportation was allowed to enter, everyone had to walk
               from the entrance, para talagan fiesta sa baryo !  And as
              they approached the well-decorated place, the marching
              band started playing to welcome each one (again).  Then on
              to the tables to relax a bit.  Buffet lunch was served later
              then series of Filipiniana dances and a demo kung papaano
              ginagawa ang nilupak.  A short time was also saved to show-
              case local talents (mga Balik Mindoro yon) dance tinikling.
              Merong marunong at meron talagang di marunong pero sport
              naman, sumayaw din !  VG Estee, Mayor Doy, Board Member 
              Boy Infantado, Assemblyman Bong Ignacio, Francis Pangilinan
              (ex governor of the day) and Linda Macalintal, Jonathan
              Magpantay, to name a few tried a few steps of the tinikling.It
             was hilarious to watch their foot or both feet caught in between
             the bamboo.  

            Towards the end of the celebration, BM 09 group participated
            in the Palarong Pilipino (for the young o.n.c.e.).  Talagang game
            lahat, me nanalo, me nadapa at me tuwang-tuwa !

            Then breaktime came to relax, time for hairdo, makeup, etc. for
            the grand ball. The four hairstylists came into action, pinaganda
            ang mga "girls" while the boys naman, got ready with their
            barong !

                                The  Grand Ball/Gala Night

            7pm guests started arriving, almost all in gowns and cocktail
            dresses while men came in barong as required.  The band 
            started playing in the front of the hall while a young violinist
            entertain the guests as they check their seat assignments.
            Fresh roses and votive candles decorated the tables.  Spot-
            lights were properly positioned to highlight the event. Wines
            and food were ready to be served.  Lola Toyang and family
            was first to arrive, even ahead of the BM 09 group.

            Guests started dancing while the rests couldn't stop saying
           "hi" and "hello" to familiar faces.  Then came the grand entrance
           of all BM 09 participants.  From the back, they were elegantly
           presented in single or in two's. Then appreciation awards soon

           Lourdes Agay Dabandan got the Mindoreno Retiree of the Year
          while Dr. Ninfa Medina Saunders received the Outstanding 
          Mindoreno award for her accomplishments in the national level
          in the United States.  Gov. Arnan and VG Estee presented the
          awards to both of them.  Juliet Payabyab was also presented 
          with a bouquet from the BM 09 group as their appreciation for
          handling the BM 09 event.

          Congressman Rod Valencia came, too, with his lovely daughter,
          Jojo.  They had a good time dancing and meeting our guests.

          Emcees were  Paz Castillo Iturralde of California and
         Max of Calapan City. Three  beauties were crowned, 
         presented with bouquets and sashes.  Miss Oriental Mindoro and
         her runner up joined Rose Javier,our Mrs. Balik Mindoro 09, during
         the pageant.  The corporate and individual sponsors, the 
         government officials, guests, BM 09 delegates and everyone who
         supported the event , especially Orlando Tizon of the Department 
         of Tourism and his staff, VG Estee, Juliet's family, El Pueblo 
         were all acknowledged and given recognition for their 
         unconditional  love and support to this project.  Maraming
         salamat po sa inyong lahat !

Feb. 22 Sun. concelebrated Mass na ito, last day of activities. Apat na
        pari ang nag-celebrate ng Mass at siempre nandoon lahat kami.
        Then we said goodbye to those who were rushing to catch the
        superferry !  Salamat ulit sa lahat.

                                      T h e    E n d


Balik Mindoro 09 pictures...coming soon !
Here you go, folks !  Our logo for the 3-day event to be used in all streamers, banners, tshirts and key chains.  Don't miss checking our website for our activities.  Travel with us, enjoy the events, in spirits if you are not joining us on Feb. 20.  Wish us all the best, good weather, good company and most of all, a happy and safe trip !!!

There are streamers all over Calapan City by now inviting everyone there to see the fireworks display during the Mardi Gras night on February 20 at JP Rizal St., in San Vicente.  Start calling your friends and relatives in Mindoro and share this news.  It's for all and it is open to the public to see and 7 PM !!!
Posted 2/12/09

Governor Arnan Panaligan welcomes Balik - Mindoro 09  !!! On arrival day, a welcome reception is scheduled at the Capitol for all Balik Mindoro participants.  Welcoming party includes Governor Arnan, Vice Governor Estee, Sangguniang Panlalawigan board members, Provincial Tourism Office and heads of various government agencies of Region IV. There will be an entertainment and lunch at Capitol Square. Later in the afternoon of the same day, the group will move to City Hall to meet with Mayor Doy Leachon of Calapan City for another round of welcome party to be hosted by the muncipal government.  There will be an entertainment, too, and this time, a dinner reception will follow. Thank you all for your warm reception !

Posted 2/6/09

Philippines, here we come !  The Mindoro Group is set to meet with President Arroyo at Malacanang Palace.  For those included in this appointment with Pres. Arroyo, please get in touch with us as soon as you can to give you specific time, exact date to meet her (as approved by the president herself) , and place of assembly.  

And to our beloved Mindoro,we shall see you soon, ready to reminisce, one more time, happy days in Mindoro.

Upon arrival in Calapan City on Feb. 20, the chosen "Governor of the Day" will receive the symbolic key to the province of Oriental Mindoro from Governor Arnan Panaligan and the "Mayor of the Day", the symbolic key to the town of Calapan City from Mayor Doy Leachon.   Who would they be ?  Find out later as to who will be honored in two separate ceromonies complete with entertainment, reception lunch and/or dinner.  Keep checking the website.

And later on, find out who will be our Miss Balik Mindoro, Mrs. Balik Mindoro and Mr. Mindoro....

Hello, mga Kababayan !
Welcome "leis" are now ready and will be given to each Balik Mindoro participant as they get off the supercat ferry on February 20.  Complete with marching band, full coverage of media, welcome leis, welcome committees, and more, how exciting would that be so keep traveling with spirits and feel the excitement, too !

Hi, my name is....
Hi, my name is....

Naku, malapit na nga pala akong umalis pa Mindoro !
Well, mga kababayan, I am one of the Balik Mindoro participants.  I need to pack my things now.  Some have already left for Manila, some will leave between February 1 thru 15 to be in time for checkin at condotel in Makati on February 18.  Sayang, di kayo umabot sa campaign.  Better luck next time, ano. But if you are already in our waitlist, you can still come, siempre. Otherwise, just wait for our pictures in our website after the event !

Image last, we can taste them all again, fresh and always available from Batangas to Mindoro  sa February 20 Friday, see you at Batangas pier before 9 AM.
Mrs. Dorotea Oliva vda de Aguilar in 2006 100th birthday celebration.
Mrs. Dorotea Oliva vda de Aguilar in 2006 100th birthday celebration.
Posted 1/30/09
Happy Birthday to Lola Toyang (again)  !  Mrs. Dorotea Oliva vda de Aguilar will celebrate her 103rd birthday next month.  What a cool Lola we have ! She was born in Vigo, Lubang, Occidental Mindoro on February 6, 1906 to Bernabe and Maria Oliva.  She and Lolo Tomong (her late husband) settled in Baco in the 1950s . Later on, Lolo Tomong became the town's Vice Mayor. Lola Toyang is a rock, and by all accounts, a woman of great ability and force of character.  She will join us on February 21 at the formal ball of our Balik Mindoro, health permitting.  For a detailed bio and more pictures of her, go to Special People column.
Posted 1/27/09
Here you go, folks !  Presenting to you cartoon artwork by Mario Macalindong of Bongabong as symbolic drawing of our upcoming event next month aka Balik Mindoro 09 !  Each registered participant  is now ready and will be in Manila on or before February 18 for a get-together dinner first. The group will meet at specific meeting place equipped with contact numbers and complete itinerary !  And for those who didn't make it to the list, there will always be a second time, next time,and good time !
And here is another accomplished artist from Barcenaga, Naujan, with his music and lyrics dedicated to Balik Mindoro !

Louie M. Dalisay
, Wednesday, January 28, 2009

inspired by the theme: Saan ka man sa mundo, balik mindoro. 
i wrote this song for all mindorenos out there.. the title itself reminds us that, gaano man kalayo ang ating narating, iisang karanasan pa rin ang ating babalikan, at yun ay ang mga araw sa sarili nating bayan.




































Ayan, masaya na si Lolo at si Lola, dadating na daw ang mga apo, pamangkin, kapitbahay at mga kaibigan nila sa Feb. 20.  Siempre, masama sila sa grand ball sa February 21, Sabado naman yon at barrio fiesta lunch sa tabing dagat pa. Make our  Lolo and Lola soooo happy !!!

Yes, fellow Mindorenos, we are almost there.  Preparations for our upcoming Balik Mindoro 09 on Feb. 20 - 22 in Calapan City are almost complete.  Specific details, meeting place, time and contact persons. phone numbers in Manila and Calapan City will be given directly to participants only before they leave for Manila.  These specific details will not be posted in our website for confidentiality purposes.   If you are a registered participant, take time to email  to make sure that you have these exact details. They are  "for your eyes only" ! See you in Manila on Feb. 18 and/or at pick up location on Feb. 19.  It's sightseeing tour in Manila with a tour guide.  Learn our history, one more time and more.
Re-introducing to you, Mang Mindo, our mascot cartoon created in 2007 by Aster Tecson for our website.
Re-introducing to you, Mang Mindo, our mascot cartoon created in 2007 by Aster Tecson for our website.
Posted 1/11/09
Mang Mindo , our mascot cartoon for our website, has something to share with it is !Another year has passed and we're all a little older. Last Summer felt hotter and Winter seems much colder. I wrack my brain for happy thoughts, to put down on my pad, but lots of things that come to mind, just make me kind of sad.  There was a time not long ago, when life was quite a blast. Now I fully understand, about "Living in the past". We used to go to friends homes, baseball games and lunches. Now we go to therapy, to hospitals, and after-funeral brunches. We used to have hangovers, from parties that were gay (happy, we mean). Now we suffer bodyaches, and sleep the night away. We used to go out dining and couldn't get our fill. Now we ask for doggie bags, come home and take a pill. We used to travel often, to places near and far. Now we get backaches from riding in the car. We used to go out shopping, for new clothing at the Mall, but, now we never bother...all the sizes are too small......That, my friend is how life is, and now my tale is told. So, enjoy each day and live it up...before you're too damn old !!!.....So let's join the Balik Mindoro 09 and see for yourself the progress and feel the joy of being a Mindoreno, one more time !
The Oriental Mindoro Electric Cooperative Inc. (Ormeco) received P167.32 million loan from the National Electrification Commission (NEA) as financial assistance to make the power corp more viable and competitive in the energy industry.  The projects to be implemented include the energizing of sitios/puroks, the connection of new consumers rehabilitation/revamp and upgrading of distributing energy electric system, acquisition, upgrading and rehabilitation of power transfusion.  Interest rate is 9 1/2 %, payable in 15 years with 6 months grace period.



At Anahaw Resort in Balite, Calapan City
At Anahaw Resort in Balite, Calapan City
Posted 1/2/09

Preparations for the Balik Mindoro is almost complete !!!

Everyone, here is the Mindoro team, counterpart of US team preparing for the Balik-Mindoro event ! Headed by Orlando Tizon of Calapan City, (3rd seated from left in picture),and Senior Tourism Operations Officer, the Mindoro team committee is ready to implement the plans and activities as scheduled. Dubbed as the pro in Mindoro in handling such kind of events, the Balik Mindoro participants are assured of quality entertainment, organized itinerary and warm welcome from Mindoro. The team met with Juliet Payabyab on December 5 at Anahaw Resort in Balite, Calapan City to finalize the details.  The US team, headed by Juliet , includes Wilfredo Saulong, Rick Agay, Rose Javier, Tawel Abeleda, Rick Agay, Mercy Pastrana Mosley, Aida Mercado Abas, Andrea Amparo Mahiya, Nora de Chavez Benitez, Rea Wagan Pascua, Alvin Saulong, Cecille Pilien Infantino, Rory Adeva Angara, Atty. Bobby Hernandez and Willie Adeva.  Thank you all for helping out ! Keep checking the Balik Mindoro 09 page for updates of our itinerary !
Starting in mid of this month, fares for low season are out. Start booking your flight to Manila by then.  Just remember that you must be in Manila, on or before February 18 (Wednesday) to join the Feb. 19 (Thursday) early a.m. Manila sightseeing tour (new tourists attractions) and possible Malacanang Palace Museum tour.  Then at night, group lakwatsa at greenbelt area !  Then all-together leave for Batangas pier (or catch us in Batangas pier) where an entertainment and light breakfast are waiting. You have to be in Batangas City before 9 AM on Feb. 20 Friday.  Otherwise, you'll the miss the boat  :) 
Maligayang Pasko at Manigong Bagong Taon sa inyong lahat, from Mindoro International.  (Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all, from Mindoro International).  May you all have a happy, healthy and wealthy 2009.  Thank you, too, for your unconditional support to our website, !!! Almost 30,000 na po ang website visitors natin .

Posted 12/16/08
Meet the candidates for Miss Oriental Mindoro 2009pageant during the courtesy call on Governor Arnan Panaligan in November.  All towns were represented.  We shall announce soon who won in this contest.  She will be gracing the Balik Mindoro 09 grand ball and will be one of the three beauties to be crowned during the much-awaited formal ball honoring Balikbayan participants.

Here are the candidates: 

Ms. Baco - Marie April Jeannel Aboboto
Ms. Bansud - Jessa Arren Orense
Ms. Bongabong - Abby Gale Rey
Ms. Bulalacao - Charity Valdez
Ms. Calapan City - Sheila Rosales
Ms. Gloria - Veronica Sunio
Ms. Mansalay - Mary Jewel Orejuela
Ms. Naujan - Donna rae de Castro
Ms. Pinamalayan - Iowa Kim Flores
Ms. Pola - Ruby Jean Gardoce
Ms. Pto. Galera - Sophia Paquio
Ms. Roxas - Bianca Festejo
Ms. San Teodoro - Lineth Sales
Ms. Socorro - Kristine Joy Fabunan
Ms. Victoria - Rachel Ann Bustante
Outgoing Ms. Oriental Mindoro - Diane Arevalo

Who will it be ?  Who will be the next Miss Oriental Mindoro 09 and the 1st Ms. Balik Mindoro - Philippines 09  ?

Coming up next are the Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board keep visiting our website for more exciting news and events.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members taken on Dec. 8, 2008 before the regular session at the Capitol building, Calapan
Sangguniang Panlalawigan Board Members taken on Dec. 8, 2008 before the regular session at the Capitol building, Calapan City.DOUBLE CLICK THIS PICTURE !

Posted 12/21/08
Now that we are almost there in completing the preparations for our upcoming Balik Mindoro 09, we would like you all to learn more about our Mindoro.

Sangguniang Panlalawigan (SP) Province of Oriental Mindoro functions as the Legislative body of the Province. The SP presiding officer is Vice Governor Maria Felipa (Estee) Aceron and members are :

From 1st District: Honorable Board Members Maria Fe Brondial, Humerlito Dolor, Philip Joson, Abraham Abas
From 2nd District: Honorable Board Members Ramil Dimapilis, Ernesto Liwanag, Ferdinanc Thomas Soller, Corazon Agtarap, Romeo Buenaventura, Jr.
Ex-officio Members: Roberto Concepcion, Raul Pagcaliwagan, Myrna Krishma Normina Mendoza

Aside from the regular sessions on Mondays and scheduled Committee Hearings, SP is continously providing financial assistance thru requests from other Local Government Units (LGU) and non-government organizations (NGOs).  SP is also working on the immediate passage and approval of different codes for the common good of every Mindorenos and as required by the Dept. of the Interior and Local Government (DILG).  Besides this group picture, individual pictures of our Board Members are now in our photo album.  Go to Mindoro Visit album to view them and see their short bio, too. 

Sangguniang Panlalawigan Resolution No. 296-2008 was approved on February 08 requesting Honorable Sergio O. Valencia, Chairman, Philippine Charity Sweepstakes Office (PCSO) to grant the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro 4 units of ambulance. The provision of ambulance is much needed in the province of Oriental Mindoro since the province lacks health institutions properly equipped withthe required medical facilities and specialists. 
Regional Profile Region IV-B - MIMAROPA (Mindoro, Marinduque,Romblom and Palawan).  Executive Order No. 103 dated May 17, 2002 divided Region IV into IV-A (Calabarzon - Cavite, Laguna, Batangas, Rizal and Quezon) and IV-G (Mimaropa).  Regional Office is in Calapan City, Oriental Mindoro. 
P61 M rehabilitation of Baco-Bucayao River Irrigation System (BBRIS) is 95 % completed as of June 2008.  It will irrigate more than 4,000 hectares of prime palay production areas in the province that will boost Oriental Mindoro's role as the rice granary of Southern Luzon.  This amount was allocated by the National Irrigation Administration for BBRIS.


Posted 11/30/08

Here you go, in less than three months, we shall see each other in Mindoro for the much-awaited Balik Mindoro 09 event on February 20 to 22.  Please keep on checking Balik Mindoro 09 (left side) page for updates.

I shall report to you in two weeks the outcome of my in-person meetings with the various committees that will handle the planning and implementation of this three-day event. I am taking this opportunity to sit down with them while on a visit next week to attend the funeral of a very close relative of ours, our beloved Lola Kindang, in Calapan City.  

As a reminder, please don't miss to register as a participant in the Balik Mindoro 09. Your registration fee must be received on or before end of December. Please email us at or call 718 267 0221 (Juliet) to  find out where to mail the check. Registration is a must to be counted and given official badges or IDs.  Salamat po ! 

To our new visitors, this is Mang Mindo, our Mascot Cartoon created on Oct. 21, 2007 for our website by well-known artis
To our new visitors, this is Mang Mindo, our Mascot Cartoon created on Oct. 21, 2007 for our website by well-known artist, Asterio Tecson of Calapan City.
A big "HELLO" from Mang Mindo, our website's mascot, which was created by artist, Aster Tecson of Calapan City on October 2007.   Mang Mindo would like to share the lyrics of our Mindoro song, courtesy of Percy Aranas, president, The Association of Mindorenos in Manila. 

Everyone, please cherish the lyrics, the song and the thought of being a Mindoreno !!!

O Mindoro lalawigang pinagpala
Ng kamay ng kalikasa't ni Bathala
Sa buhay mo'y napisan ng lahat yata
Ang ganda at katangiang pambihira.

Sa puso mo'y may puri ka't karangalan
Sa dibdib mo'y may giting ka't katapangan
Sa ulo mo'y may talino't karunungan
May wika ka, bisig, ganda't kayamanan.

Kaya naman lalawigan sakdal ganda
Ika'y aking hahangaan sa tuwina
Tutulaan ng tula ko ng pagsamba
Aawitan ng awit ko ng pagsinta.

Kaya naman lalawigan sinisinta
Ika'y aking mamahalin sa tuwina
Sisikaping umunlad ka at lumigaya
Habang ako'y may buhay pa at hininga.

(Composed by the late Mrs. Guadalupe Sto. Domingo of Calapan City. )

Posted 11/10/08

On Balik-Mindoro 09 reunion, Welcome Messages from Governor Arnan Panaligan, Vice Governor Estee Aceron and Mayor Doy Leachon are now posted in Balik Mindoro 09 page (see left side column).  Everyone, please open Balik Mindoro 09 page and see the entirety of their welcome messages.  As a preview, here are the excerpts :

"This reunion, dubbed as Balik Mindorenos 2009", is a rare opportunity for the Mindorenos from various parts of the world to visit their home province and have a reunion with their relatives, friends and "kababayans" after several years living abroad"....signed Governor Arnan Panaligan.

"I believe, as you revisit the province, it will not only serve as a great opportunity to exchange expert views on issues concerning the development of our province but will also help boost the tourism industry of the province for which the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro envisioned as the Philippines' emerging eco-tourism destination"...signed Maria Estela Felipa M. Aceron, Provincial Vice-Governor.

"The City Government of Calapan and all the Calapenos would be very much willing to open their doors and accept their fellow Mindorenos who had been away from our island for a number of years now. Witness how economic development and progress has enveloped our city and our beloved island and more importantly, how we kept its hometown appeal in the midst of the march towards modernization"...signed Atty. Paulino Salvador C. Leachon, City Mayor.

Town of Bansud, Oriental Mindoro introduces "Burnham Park" version -  Mayor  Ronnie Morada is proud to welcome families and friends enjoying the facilities of the newly-opened Burnham Park Bansud-version in their town. Additional "bangkas" or flat small boats will soon be introduced to accommodate more visitors and local residents in Bansud.  Congratulations to you, Mayor Morada and to the people in Bansud enjoying their park and now this 5,000 sq. meter lagoon.  

Pictures of Calapenos USA International dinner-dance on October 25 held at Marriott Hotel Burbank location is now in our photo album. Enjoy ! 

Commission Thad Enriquez Venturanza during his brief visit in New York City - Oct. 30, 2006.
Commission Thad Enriquez Venturanza during his brief visit in New York City - Oct. 30, 2006.

Posted 10/31/08
We just can't stop adding more and more Mindorenos who deserve to be recognized !  This time, we have Commissioner Thaddeus Enriquez Venturanza of Pinamalayan.  "Thad" ,as we all call him,  is one of the five-member commission en banc of the Securities and Exchange Commission.  He was an audit and law practitioner prior to his appointment to this prestigious position on September 11, 2006. 

He finished Accounting at San Sebastian College and became 15th placer in CPA Board Exam after graduation. He joined SGV as an auditor and then established his own private practice as an audit partner at Venturanza & Associations, CPAs.  Later on, he continued studying Law at Ateneo de Manila University and topped the bar as 5th placer in September 1989.  With a strong desire to serve fellow Mindorenos, he served as the Vice Governor from 2001-2004.

Thad is married to Pilita Quizon, current Deputy Executive Secretary. She is the daughter of Judge and Zenaida Paras Quizon of Calapan City,  They are blessed with four children, namely, Isay, Sinta, Sari and Gab. 
Let us preserve our pristine beaches, livelihood and good health in Mindoro !
Let us preserve our pristine beaches, livelihood and good health in Mindoro !
Posted 10/17/08
Calapan City
- More than 4,500 anti-mining advocates formed a human chain along J.P. Rizal Street here on October 16 Thursday to urge President Macapagal-Arroyo, who arrived for a peace council meeting, to respect a mining moratorium. The human chain was timed by the multi-sectoral Alyansa Laban sa Mina (Alamin, Alliance Against Mining) for the arrival of Arroyo after lunch for the Local Peace and Security Assembly (LPSA) of the Mimaropa (Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Palawan) region at the Filipiniana Hotel here.

Joining the protest were representatives from indigenous peoples' groups, the church, Rotary Club, cooperatives, barangay (villages), religious groups and academe. At the LPSA, a two-page position paper on ecology, food security and the threats posed by large-scale mining by the Intex Resources Corp./Aglubang Mining Corp. in Oriental Mindoro was presented to Arroyo by participants led by pastors of different parishes, leaders of people's organizations and civil society groups.

Anti-mining activists say the concession threatens the towns of Naujan, Baco and Victoria, and Calapan City, which had a combined rice production of nearly 170,000 metric tons in 2006, or about 50 percent of total provincial production, enough to feed more than 783,000 people for a year. The 9,720-hectare mining site also covers the ancestral domain claim of the Alangan and Tadyawan Mangyan communities, who stand to be displaced. In July 2001, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, through then secretary Heherson Alvarez, revoked the mining concession, citing the environmental and social impacts of the project. But on March 10, 2004, the Office of the President revoked the notice of termination/cancellation earlier issued against the Mineral Production Sharing Agreement of Aglubang Mining Corp., despite a 25-year-mining moratorium declared by the provincial board on January 28, 2002.

For more details of this rally, please access "Mining in Mdo." page on the left side column of this website. 

Mario Ilao Macalindong with Director Carlo J. Caparas.
Mario Ilao Macalindong with Director Carlo J. Caparas.
One more time, "Proud to be a Mindoreno" - Meet Mario Ilao Macalindong of Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro.  Mario is a born artist. 
He is both a scriptwriter and an illustrator in the local comics industry.
As a scriptwriter, his entry in the Gantimpalang Carlo J. Caparas Comics Scriptwriting Contest in 2007 was chosen as one of the 30 finalists held at the Malacananang Press Office. Highly skilled and proficient in printed illustration, he is also into animation as layout artist, specifically as scene planner artist. 

Other known artists from Mindoro are Aster Tecson of New Jersey and Calapan City, Julie Lao, book author of Virginia Beach and Calapan City,
Lito Camo, composer and part of Wowowee of Manila and Bongabong, and Mario Ilao Macalindong.  If you know more Mindorenos making good in their chosen fields, feel free to submit it to our website. Email it to  Salamat !

Mario has also done illustrations for a number of DepEd textbooks published by Dane Publishing House (Manila). Watch for Mario's profile coming soon in our Special People column.




Posted 10/9/08
Just five more months and off we go to Mindoro for our 1st Balik Mindoro reunion on February 20 to 22.  If you have not gotten any call so far, chances are your name/s is still not on the confirmed list.  Please email  ,as soon as you can, to simply say you are joining.  Registration forms will be sent to you right after that.  It is important that we get you listed as Malacanang audience is limited to 38 only (hopefully it can be increased later) but attendees for the Balik Mindoro in Calapan City is unlimited (you still need to register and be counted for badges distribution, headcount for lunches, dinners, grand ball and activities).

Again, here is our itinerary if you are still thinking of joining:

February 19 Thursday    tentative courtesy call with President Arroyo
                                          (only if you want to be included here)
                                      confirmed FREE half-day sightseeing in Manila
February 20 Friday         leave Manila for Calapan City (or meet you in 
                                         in Calapan if you are already there)
                                      Upon arrival in Calapan City, to be welcomed by 
                                         a marching band, then fiesta celebration at 
                                         night, cultural presentation and coronation of 
                                         of muses, open to public but Balik Mindoro
                                         attendees will be in a preferred seating area
                                         (that's why you need to be registered and 
February 21 Sat.           daytime activities planned
                                     At night, GRAND BALL with live music band, formal
February 22 Sun.          concelebrated mass, breakfast follows
                                    Optional : overnight stay at Boracay

See you in Mindoro and keep visiting the website for updates.

Speech Lab for Oriental Mindoro - Specialized English Enhancement Course for high school and elementary public school teachers and other language users was recently launched in Calapan City.  The course is designed to enhance the English proficiency of teachers, technical and vocational trainees and other language users in Oriental Mindoro.  It will enable the trainees to acquire up-to-date  knowledge in English.

Governor Arnan C. Panaligan and Mayor Doy Leachon of Calapan City had the opportunity to test the courseware presented by Interactivie Language Solutions Inc.  A speech lab with 20 functional computers and a conference room is located at the provincial capitol.  Both the provincial government of Oriental Mindoro (PGOM) and city government purchaswed the courseware account.  Malampaya Foundation will fund personnel services and workshop for the trainees.  About 300 teachers and other beneficiaries will be trained at the Speech Lab.

Another Mindoreno to be proud of !This time, he is from  Pinamalayan, Oriental Mindoro.  Meet Atty. Romeo Buenaventura, Jr., a practicing lawyer and current Board Member, District II of the province of Oriental Mindoro.  On his recent visit to New York, Jun, as we all call him, eagerly presented to Juliet Payabyab, president of Mindoro International, Mindoro's plan of welcoming the attendees to the three day event dubbed as "Balik Mindoro 2009" on February 20-22, 2009 in Calapan City. In his capacity as board member, he sponsored an Ordinance which was unanimously approved by the Sangguniang Bayan members declaring the month of February as Balik-Mindoro month.  The Ordinance was approved to boost the eco-tourism industry of the province in line with the program of the national government. Migrant Mindorenos are encouraged to visit the province to boost not only tourism but the economy of Mindoro, as well.

The Ordinance further states that to entice Mindorenos, their guests or visitors, companions, relatives and friends to visit Mindoro, a relevant and sound program recognizing and honoring their great contributions to the province will be instituted and that a wholesome entertainment will be provided. The Provincial Tourism Office will organize, formulate, design and implement entertainment during the celebration.   From all of us worldwide, we express our sincerest thanks to Governor Arnan C. Panaligan, Vice Governor Estee Aceron, Mayor Doy Leachon, Vice Mayor Ralph Infantado, town Mayors and the Sangguniang Bayan 1st and 2nd District members, ex-officio members and Senior Tourism Operations Officer, Orlando B. Tizon for their time, efforts and unconditional love and support to this project.  "We shall return" to Mindoro !!!


Posted 10/2/08
And the winner is...."Buong Mundo, Balik Mindoro 2009"  !!!  Cheers to the winning entry in the recently launched Name Game contest for the best theme for the  1st Balik Mindoro 2009 next year.  The winning theme was submitted by Julie Lao  of Virginia.  Julie will receive $ 50 for being the first prize winner.  

The second place or winner is Ester Paras Jose of Los Angeles, CA for her "Mindoro, my homeland forever" entry while the third prize or winner goes to Josephine Padilla of Calapan City for her "Bayan Mo Bayan Ko Mindoro" entry. Each will receive $25 for being the second and third winners, respectively.   Congratulations to you all and see you in Calapan City next year. And mucho gracias to all who participated in the voting for the best themes.  Salamat, ulit !

"Buong Mundo Balik Mindoro 2009" will be our official theme and will be used in our logo for banners, streamers and others while the second and third themes will be for souvenirs and other related stuff.
LtoR: Arnold Tolentino, Lito Camo, Juliet (Calapan), Jun Manahan and Jing Oliva, all from Bongabong.
LtoR: Arnold Tolentino, Lito Camo, Juliet (Calapan), Jun Manahan and Jing Oliva, all from Bongabong.
Lito Camo, proud to be a Mindoreno !  Not too many know that the well-known novelty songwriter and artist was born and raised in Bongabong, Oriental Mindoro. His parents are Marcos and Baby Fadre Camo.  Yes, he is one of us and he is proud to be a Mindoreno.

Lito was given a warm welcome by Juliet Payabyab, president of Mindoro International and Lito's kababayan na mga taga Bongabong, Jing Oliva and Arnold Tolentino of Los Angeles, Jun Manahan and Luis Masangkay of New Jersey during his brief visit in Manhattan yesterday. For those who regularly watch him at Wowowee and to Mindorenos worldwide, Lito is the famous songwrrter who composed the famous Ocho Ocho, Spageti, Chicharong Bulaklak and many more.  He wrote, too, jingles for commercials and television shows.  He had a breakthrough in 2001, with the song "Bakit Papa, tawag mo ako", followed by Ocho Ocho.  He also wrote songs for Manny Pacquiao. His profile will be posted soon in our Special People.  Keep visiting our website to check it out.
Posted 9/26/08

In any order, here are the winning TOP SIX themes :

Balik-Mindoro Balik-Saya 2009
Buong Mundo Balik Mindoro 2009
Bayan Mo Bayan Ko Mindoro
Mindoro My Homeland Forever
Balik-Mindoro 2009
Isang Bayan I-Sandugo

The winning theme will be picked from these top six and will be posted soon.  Congratulations to all and thanks to all who participated in our Name Game contest.  Watch for the winner !

Calapenos International, Inc. - Happy 2nd Year Anniversary to Calapenos International, a 501 C not-for-profit organization based in California.  On October 25, an expected three hundred attendees, mostly from Calapan, will gather at the Marriott Hotel in Burbank, California (across the Burbank airport) to celebrate its second year of existence.  Their first year anniversary last year was held at Burlingame, California.  Jimmy Chua, current president, and officers and members, as well, would like to invite all Calapenos, wherever you are, to join this much-anticipated event on Oct. 25.  Contact person is Paz Iturralde at

Congressman Rodolfo Valencia has asked the Sandiganbayan for a review of his convictions for graft involving the  P2.5 million calamity loan fund.  Valencia delivered a speech at the plenary session of Congress and said utmost care must be exercised to spare the innnocent ones.  Valencia exhibited to his colleagues Presidential Proclamation 306 issued by then President Fidel V. Ramos in 1993 declaring a state of calamity in Mindoro Oriental as a result of a series of typhoons that hit the province including documents and manifestoes serving as an evidence on the validity of his humanitarian and office initiatives, as governor then.

First District Congressman Alfonso "PA" Umali, Jr. also delivered a privilege speech reiterating innocence because his participation in the case as then provincial administrator was merely ministerial. 

"Bayanijuan" goes to Calapan City to help fight malnutrition - A 120-day feeding program was organized by the ABS-CBS Foundation Inc. (AFI) for the "Bayanijuan" advocacy program of ABS-CBN as part of the company's 55th anniversary celebration.  Calapan City is among the places that needs assistance because of the high incidence of poverty.  ABS-CBN employees and talents led by its president, Charo Santos-Cancio shared quality time with the pupils of Adriatico Memorial School to help in the feeding program supported by Knorr.  The ABS-CBN talents also played with the kids as they joined the games prepared by the "Bayanijuan" organizers.  It will also distribute education TV packages in Calapan City that contains 29" TV set, a DVD player, and 400 lessons in Arithmetic, spelling and Philippine history. (article courtesy of Island Observer).


Posted 9/18/08

Would you help us select the best theme for our Balik-Mindoro ? As you know, we need the best theme/logo for next year. So go ahead and select one and email your choice to us at or post it in our Guest Book. 

We are currently at the height of selecting the TOP SIX themes for our Balik-Mindoro reunion next year. It is getting exciting as website visitors continue to pick their own choice from the lists of themes that we posted a week ago.  The TOP SIX will be posted next week and from this top six, the winning entry will be selected. So abot pa kayong mamili. Scroll down for the lists of themes and pick your choice.   Sige na, give us your chosen theme !

A film shot in Mindoro -  a screening of the movie "BRUTUS" will take place in Chicago on October 24 and 26.  The film which was shot in Mindoro is about two Mangyan children. The film already won four awards and is now joining the 44th Chicago International Film Festival. It would be nice if Mindorenos in the vicinity of Chicago or if you plan to be in Chicago to take time seeing this movie. It concerns Mindoro.  Next screening will be in Hawaii also in October  but no details are available as this writing. Should you be interested to get more information, please visit


We are happy to report to all Mindorenos visiting our website that in one year's time, we found hundreds,and got them connected, long lost friends, classmates, relatives, neighbors, loved ones and acquaintances.  Current news and events about Mindoro, the province and Mindoro associations worldwide plus special people from Mindoro were featured thanks to our contributors.  Mindorenos were reached out to simply make them aware of our website, their classmates, and the progress happening in Mindoro. Likewise, Mindorenos from Canada, USA, Germany, Australia, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam, South Korea, Hawaii, Qatar, and many more posted their greetings in our Guest Book. Readers responded to them that paved the way to constant communications .  Others simply  say it was good having such an informative website that enriches someone's life !

And the highlight of our efforts is to organize our 1st Balik-Mindoro event next year with the help of our municipal government and Provincial Tourism Office.  The date is on February 20 to 22, 2009  !!!  With it comes a "theme" which we will use for our banners, streamers, tshirts, key chains and other sourvenirs.  

But who would it be (winner) and what would it be (theme)  ?  Scroll down and choose which theme you prefer.  These entries made to the finalists stage.  And now we are about to pick and publish the top six soon and from there, we will choose the final winning entry.  Keep visiting our site to see who would it be and what would it be ...pick your choice, too ! Email your pick to or post it in our guest book.
But who would it be ?
But who would it be ?

Posted 9/10/08
Name Game
"search for a theme" which ended last Augut 30 now releases the finalists ! Following are the entries that made to the final selection stage (listed in any order) :

Buong Mundo Balik Mindoro 2009
Mindoro, Malayo man, Malapit din, dapat bisitahin !
Balik Mindoro Balik Saya 2009
Reunion na Fiesta pa !
Isang Bayan, I-Sandugo
Aming Mindoro
Kahit Nasaan, Mangyan pa rin
Mindoro Marangal, Mangyan
Mindoro, My Homeland Forever
Mindoro Di Kita Iiwan
Bayan Mo Bayan Ko Mindoro
Mindoro Visit '09 Para sa Lahat
Nandito ako...taga Mindoro
Uwian sa "2009" getz mo?
Balik Mindoro 2009 

The winning entry will be selected from the above and will be posted next week !  Advance congratulatios to the winner.  Find out who would that be...keep visiting our website.  Salamat po sa mga sumali ! 

Oriental Mindoro Congressmen sentenced - From: Manila Standard/Today-September 10, 2008 Graft court sentences 2 congressmen to 10 years. THE anti-graft court yesterday sentenced two congressmen and four other people to 10 years in jail for illegally disbursing P2.5 million in funds from the Mindoro provincial government in January 1994. The Sandiganbayan’s Fourth Division also perpetually disqualified from public office Oriental Mindoro Reps. Rodolfo Valencia (First District) and Alfonso Umali Jr. (Second District) and their co-accused Pedrito Reyes, Jose Enriquez, Jose Leynes and Alfredo Atienza.

Valencia was Mindoro’s governor, and Umali his administrator, when the provincial government released the P2.5 million in the form of a loan to Atienza, a private citizen, to repair his vessel ferry.Atienza claimed he needed the money to repair his ferry, which the provincial government had been using to help in recovery efforts following the onslaught of four typhoons that hit the province in December 1993.Valencia admitted providing him with the loan.But the Sandiganbayan ruled that the loan was illegal, saying it served no public purpose and was grossly disadvantageous to the government.

“In fact, under the credit agreement, accused Atienza had no obligation whatsoever to deliver upon a public purpose,” said the decision written by Associate Justice Jose Hernandez.The case against Valencia and Umali had reportedly caused a rift between the Sandiganbayan and the House of Representatives, and apparently due to the House’s repeated refusal to enforce the anti-graft court’s 90-day preventive suspension against the lawmakers.At one point, the Fourth Division was said to have threatened to cite then Speaker Jose de Venecia Jr. for contempt for refusing to comply with its order.

In the House, Speaker Prospero Nograles Jr. said they were saddened by the Sandiganbayan’s decision.“But since this is a judicial proceeding, we await the finality of the decision as the accused still have the right to appeal the decision,” he said in a text message to reporters.Valencia and Umali said they would appeal.They were expected to post another P30,000 bail for their provisional liberty. (article provided by Romy Sager).


Posted 9/4/08

"Tulong ke Henry",
an appeal for funds for medical expenses!  Calapenos International of Northern California has launched a campaign to extend immediate assistance to Henry Iguban of Calapan City.  Henry, 28 years old,  is suffering from kidney failure and is now undergoing dialysis treatments, treatments that will save his life.  While waiting for a kidney transplant, and due to the high costs of weekly treatments (twice a week) , Henry and his family are appealing to all Mindorenos, especially the global Calapenos,  for financial help so he could continue receiving the treatments. Donations can be done by check payable to Calapenos International (memo: Henry Iguban) and can be mailed to Paz Iturralde, 151  87th, Suite # 9, Daly City, CA 94015.  For more details, please email, contact in the USA or , contact in the Philippines for donations in pesos. Benjie's phone no. is 043 288 2052 and 650 200 5091 for Paz. Or email us to inquire.

Any amount will do and will tremendously help Henry.  As treatment must be done regularly on a weekly basis, we appeal for your immediate response by sending your check to Calapenos International as soon as possible. We are also appealing to all Mindoro associations and individual Mindorenos for donations.  Salamat po sa inyong tulong para ke Henry. Mindorenos, let us give Henry the chance and means to live longer...with your help. 

Mindoro Association in Vancouver, B.C. -
It was their turn to enjoy the last few days/weeks of warm weather.  Mindorenos in Vancouver did exactly what we had in mind all Summer and that was to hold a get-together, meet old and new friends and have fun. On August 30, they all met at the John Henry Park (Trout Lake) in Vancouver for their annual picnic bringing lots of foods including the favorite of all, our Pinoy-style lechon! Congratulations to all who spearheaded this gathering namely Mila Basa de Mesa (Naujan), Nick (Jun) and Hermarie Tolentino Cobarrubias (Calapan), Romy & Modeng Tolentino (Calapan), Romy & Elsie Babia (Victoria), Larry Sia (Pinamalayan) and Ruben & Lita del Valle (Calapan) and thanks to all who came and showed support to the organization.  See you all again next year !  For pictures of this picnic, go to photo album and view them now.

Search for our theme is over... We will post the entries who made it to the final selection stage anytime soon.  The winning entry will be picked from these selections. Thanks to all who participated.  And now, let's wait and see which of these entries will be picked as our theme for the Balik-Mindoro reunion next year !

Calapenos attended this community event in support of fellow Calapenos in South New Jersey.
Calapenos attended this community event in support of fellow Calapenos in South New Jersey.

Posted 8/20/08

POWER TRIO, all from Calapan City !!!
  Aliena Cueto Magpantay, president-elect of Philippine Community of Southern New Jersey, Inc. (PCSNJ - not a Mindoro asso. but Fil-am community), Dr. Alex Cueto, inducting officer and Dr. Ninfa Medina Saunders, guest speaker,  became the most applauded community leaders and special guest on August 16 at the Clarion Hotel, Cherry Hill, New Jersey.  The event was PCS NJ's 22nd Anniversary and 19 th Induction Ball honoring the outgoing president and the incoming president, Aliena,  for 2008 - 2010.  Fellow Calapenos and Mindorenos attended this huge affair in support of Aliena , Dr. Alex and Dr. Ninfa.

PCSNJ has been in existence for 22 years . It owns a Filipiniana library and Philippine Community Center that serves the Fil-am community in South New Jersey and nearby areas.  It advocates the culture and arts in all aspects of the community, especially in instilling leadership and appreciation of the Filipino culture in the younger generation. 

Aliena has been an active member and officer of PCSNJ, and Dr. Alex Cueto, a well-respected and recognized civic leader, is one of the pillars and longtime supporter of the association. Dr. Ninfa Medina Saunders, the daughter of Mr. Fidel Medina (HIA beloved Math teacher), is currently the Executive Vice President and COO of Virtua Health group which owns four hospitals, two rehab centers, senior services, home care, ambulatory and outpatient services in New Jersey.  Since her joining the company, Virtua Health became # 1 for the last five years in New Jersey, up from # 45 before her time (Dr. Ninfa's profile to follow in our Special People column).

Congratulations and more power to you all. Congratulations, too, for being outstanding Calapenos. Mindorenos worldwide are proud of your achievements in community service and in your chosen professions.  Go to photo album for more pictures of this event and more pictures in Meet my Family and Calapenos albums.


Maghanda na po tayo para sa 1st Balik-Mindoro next year !!! In the spirit of togetherness and in support of Mindoro tourism, let us join the Mindoro Reunion in February, 2009.   This is for all Mindorenos living abroad and in the Philippines regardless of which town you're from.  Sama-sama tayong mag-celebrate, parang fiestahan ulit sa Calapan City.

Here is our tentative itinerary :

Feb. 19 Thursday    for those who could come on the 19th...
                               possible courtesy call in Malacanang then
                               followed by a FREE half-day sightseeing tour
                               in Manila (airconditioned bus).

Feb. 20 Friday     leave for Calapan City from Batangas City Pier (we will 
                               post departure times later)
                           arrive in Calapan City early a.m. to be welcomed by
                              a marching band (only for two big arrivals)
                           lunch to be served
                           At night, fiesta na ! Cultural presentation, and
                              coronation of muses. Open to public with food 
                              vendors, palamig, sinulbot, barbeque, etc.

Feb. 21 Sat.       daytime activities/llunch included
                          Grand Ball - formal, at night with live music band

Feb. 22 Sun       concelebrated Mass at the Cathedral
                          after Mass, leave for Boracay (optional tour) for 
                          overnight stay. then another overnight in Puerto
                          Galera the following day.

                          The following week, a ballroom night at Funn Side in
                          QC is planned. Will post more details later.

So, eto na po ang itinerary natin.  Kaya mag save na tayo at bumili na ng Summer clothes for next year if you are in Winter zones next month. Salamat po !

Health Watch Series....Walking is a gentle, low-impact exercise that can ease you into a higher level of fitness and health. It's one of your body's most natural forms of exercise. It's safe, simple, doesn't require practice, and the health benefits are many. Walking keeps your heart healthy by lowering low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol (the "bad" cholesterol) and raising high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol (the "good" cholesterol). A regular walking program also reduces your risk of developing high blood pressure, a factor that also contributes to heart disease.

Posted 8/6/08

We are happy to announce that the Sangguniang Panlalawigan of Oriental Mindoro has passed a Provincial Ordinance appropriately called "Balik-Mindoro Ordinance" declaring the month of Febuary (2009) as Balik-Mindoro month.  As confirmed, this Ordinance was unanimously approved by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan members from the 1st District and 2nd District including the ex-officio members. The said Ordinance was also approved and signed by Diwata H. Fetizanan, Secretary to the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Hon. Maria Estela felipa M. Aceron, Vice Governor and Presiding Officer and Hon. Arnan C. Panaligan, Provincial Governor. 

It was approved in line with the economic agenda of the Provincial Government of Oriental Mindoro to boost the eco-tourism industry of the province and as one of the programs of the national government. It also serves as an encouragement to all Mindorenos to visit the province. 

The event will also serve as an avenue to effect collaborative developmental underakings/projects between the provincial government and various visiting Mindoro organizations. Relevant activities shall be prepared and presented/offered to visitors and companions of visiting Balik-Mindoro attendees.  The Provincial Tourism Office plans to have effective implementation of this Ordinance to make the celebration a succesful and meaningful for the participants. 

Mindoro International is the main coordinator between overseas and the Philippines in terms of preparations, programs, itinerary and more. Everyone is invited to join.  This three-day on February 20 - 22, 2009 is for all Mindorenos regardless of which town you're from in Mindoro. You may contact us at for more details or if you have any questions.
Mindoro Vice Governor wins Sandugo Award - Vice Governor Maria Estela Felipa Aceron of Oriental Mindoro was honored at the Department of Health (DOH) Region 4's First Regional Sandugo Awardee for local government executives at the Legend Hotel in Puerto Princesa, Palawan last July 22.  The awarding coincided witht he DOH - Center For Health Development (CHD) Region IV-B's celebration of the year's "National Blood Donor's Month".  The Sandugo Award is conferred on local government leaders and individuals who have provided invaluable contributions and support to the DOH voluntary blood service program.

Aceron, the current chair of the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Blood Council , advocates voluntary blood donations thru public education and information campaigns and conducts mobile blood donations province-wide. 

Lubang-Looc International's (LLI) time in Hawaii - a Hawaiian night, that is !   The officers and members of LLI have recently hosted another successful party to raise funds for their on-going scholarhsip program in Lubang-Looc, Occidental Mindoro.  The event was held last July 19 at Lourdess Filipino Restaurant in Woodside, New York. Headed by Resty Aguilar, president, everyone had a good time dancing and meeting fellow Mindorenos and loyal supporters of LLI.  Congratulations to you all at LLI  !!!  Aloha....Pictures of the event are in photo album.

Mindoro International's annual picnic, another memorable event for all in the East Coast - Mindorenos from Connecticut, New Jersey and New York gathered, once again, in Astoria Park, Queens, New York last Sat., July 26.  Old and new members of the association, together with their friends and relatives, were welcomed and duly entertained from noon to late afternoon. Winners of the parlor games received Mindoro tshirts aka Mindoy Ka (for Mang Mindo of our website).   Towns of Pinamalayan, Bongabon, Bulalacao, Naujan, Roxas, Calapan City, Lubang and Mamburao were all represented a the picnic. Sincere appreciation is extended to all who attended and/or participated in the games and to  those who brought in food, ice, chairs, tables, and lots of goodies. You may now view the pictures in our photo album.  
Eto na ang Name Game contest and it's all about Mindoro !!!
Eto na ang Name Game contest and it's all about Mindoro !!!

Posted 7/11/08

Name Game time !!!  As announced earlier, Name Game Contest is now officially on so join now and claim your prize as the winner !

Here it is :  Compose/create an appropriate theme for the upcoming    
                   Febuary 2009 Balik-Mindoro.

Rules or guidelines of the contest:  

Theme must be in English or Tagalog or both. It can contain words or digits or both up to a maximum of five words, with digits counted as one word each, if any,  to fit in a banner, streamer, tshirt or other kinds of souvenirs. No artwork, pictures or borders are to be submitted with your entry to allow the organizers to create the appropriate artwork, pictures or borders for the winning entry. Suggestions, however, are welcome as a side note to your entry.

Theme message must reflect the intended Balik-Mindoro event on February, 2009.

Only one entry per person will be accepted. If multiple entries are submitted, only the first entry will be included.  Entry must be posted in our Guest Book or sent to email on or before August 30 (deadline).  The winning entry and other submitted entries will be posted within two weeks after the deadline.

Contest is open to all visitors of website worldwide.

The most significant and/or meaningful message or theme will be chosen as the winning entry.  Winner will be awarded the $ 50 cash prize.  Winner will be acknowledged in person on the stage during the event and will be given priority seating in all activities, when applicable. 

So, sali na, for fun. It's an exercise of the mind ! Hanggang August 30 ang contest na ito. Puedeng-puede pang mag-research, mag-tanong, tumawag sa friend or mag-recall ng mga nakaraan.

Double click this picture !!! always double click pictures in this website to make the image bigger.
Double click this picture !!! always double click pictures in this website to make the image bigger.

Posted 7/6/08

Halloo (that's in German) from Germany !  Here are the Mindorenos from Bonn, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Berlin.  They all came to meet for the first time, and to some, after 40 long years or so.  What an event it was !  A mixture of the old and the young generations of those who come or have roots in Mindoro, all gathered in one place. It was not difficult to recall the good old days while growing up in Mindoro. For the whole two weeks, they just kept on talking, laughing and reaching out like they were still in Mindoro.  Truly bonded once again, the group is committed to continue what they have started and that is, to meet again and work on a project for Mindoro.  Congratulations to Linda Magtibay Aytin and Christian Icalina for spearheading the preparations of the "grill" time (in Germany) or "picnic" time as we call it in America. "Danke" in German and "salamat" in Tagalog to those who made an effort to come to this first gathering. See you all again, same time next year !  For photos, go to photo album under Mindorenos in Germany.

On a side note, we extend sincere condolences to the family of Kiko Infantado, III (son of Paquito and Fely Infantado) for the lost of his beloved wife and to his sisters, Analyn of Albany, New York and Debbie of Germany. Debbie was not able to join the scheduled reunion as she had to leave for Manila to attend to the funeral of her late sister-in-law. 
For those who are joining the Balik-Mindoro event in Febuary 2009, here are some of the guidelines and/or preview of our tentative itinerary and activities, all subject to adjustments or changes :

Advance registration by email or via post office mail is required. Confirmation will be sent to the participants upon receipt of registration fees (per person basis) which must be converted in US dollar value. It´s KKB...Kanya-kanyang book, kanya-kanyang bayad ! All airline reservations and accommodations will be handled and paid for by the participants themselves. Deadlines and mechanics will be posted in the website. Guests must be pre-registered to be included in activities/meals and ID badges distribution.

The event starts on February 19 in Manila with two big arrivals at the airport to be welcomed with leis (Feb. 18 evening and Feb. 19 morning), then tentative schedule in Malacanang and free half-day sightseeing city tour in Manila (airconditioned bus) or catch us in Batangas City. Depart Manila the following day,Friday,  for Calapan City via RORO with a DJ on board to provide music for entertainment.  Again, two big arrivals will be welcomed at the Calapan City Pier by a marching band, complete with banners and streamers. Fiesta celebration at night, coronation of muses and  cultural presentation are open to the public with Balik-Mindoro registered guests (overeas and Philippines-based)  seated in preferred area. Food vendors are welcome in the vicinity (halo-halo, sago gulaman, sinulbot, BBQ, at marami pang iba) . Daytime activities are scheduled the following day, Saturday, with the grandest formal ball to be held at night with live music band and booths i.e. Mangyan Heritage, souvenirs, and others.  A concelebrated mass at the Cathedral will follow on Sunday.  Then at lunchtime, depart for Boracay via Roxas for an optional overnight stay.  Another optional overnight trip to Puerto Galera will follow after the Boracay trip. Golf Day in Lipa City and ballroom dancing in Quezon City are also being considered after the optional tours. All optional tours and post-Balik Mindoro events are additional costs per participant. For those not joining the optional tours, only registration fee is to be paid for this event that will cover selected meals , grand ball fee and miscellaneous expenses of the event. Actual dates and prices will be posted in the website later. List of recommended resorts, hotels acommodations, meals, manner of payment and many more will be posted later. You can now extend an invite to your relatives, near and far in the Philippines to go home, too, and join us.  Oo, kasali din sila. 

We are promoting this Balik-Mindoro event for all Mindorenos worldwide to experience, one more time, the joy of growing up in Mindoro.  Happy memories are here again !!!
Hinihintay na tayo sa Mindoro. Tricycles in our  home sweet home are getting ready to welcome you all next year !
Hinihintay na tayo sa Mindoro. Tricycles in our home sweet home are getting ready to welcome you all next year !

Posted 6/17/08
Countdown to our 1st Balik Mindoro !!!
  Just NINE more months to go and off we go to ...Mindoro.  Everyone, keep visiting the site for updates of this event.  Watch for the Sangguniang Bayan's Resolution honoring Balik-Mindoro program next year plus invitations to join Balik-Mindoro from Governor Arnan, Vice Governor Estee Aceron, Mayor Doy Leachon and many more. They are excited, we are excited, everyone is excited ! Let's all go for it in...2009 ! 

Money sent home
through banks by overseas-based Filipinos rose 18.4 percent to $1.4 billion in April from a year earlier, much faster than the 9.4-percent increase recorded in March. The inflows in April brought total remittances in the first four months of the year to $5.4 billion, up 14.5 percent from the same period last year. The number of Filipinos who left for work abroad in the first four months rose 14 percent to 399,638, the central bank said in a statement, citing government figures.

The central bank expects total remittances coursed through banks this year to reach a record $15.7 billion, up 9.0 percent from last year's $14.4 billion.

Oriental Mindoro notches second straight victory.  TANDAG CITY: International Master Ronald Bancod made short work of Harold Buo to set the tone for Oriental Mindoro’s 3.5-0.5 conquest of Surigao del Norte Friday in the second round of the 1st Vicente Pimentel Sr. Memorial Inter-Province National Chess Team Championship at the Surigao del Sur Polytechnic State Colleges.Bancod trounced his upset-conscious foe in only 25 moves of Center-Counter. Following their leader’s cue, Christopher Castellano downed Mark Matutina in 35 moves of English Opening and Albert Rivera toppled Janrysare Silvosa in 40 moves. Ralph Reyes averted a shutout by holding Jojo Aquino to a 60-move draw in their Veresov encounter.

“Every win is important in this tournament dahil posibleng magkaroon ng ties at the end of elimination,” said Bancod.The team supported by Gov. Arnan Panaligan of Oriental Mindoro beat Laguna, 3-1, in the opening round Thursday.Joining Oriental Mindoro on top with 4.0 points were Rizal, Kalinga Apayao, Surigao del Sur-Tandag “A” and Surigao del Sur-Tandag “B.”Oliver Barbosa National Master of Rizal defeated Palawan to set up a top board meeting with Oriental Mindoro in the third round.

Tandag “A” and “B” will meet in the third round while Kalinga Apaya will face Bacolod City, Negros.The other fancied teams in the field —Surigao del Sur and Tagaytay City, Cavite—split the point to lead the chase group with 3.0 points.

We are now globally connected with fellow Mindorenos  !!!  It is now possible to exchange or share news from anywhere in the world whenever you want to.  Let us continue "discovering" more and more Mindorenos somewhere out there and let us know how we can reach them to share news about Mindoro and people from Mindoro.  Salamat po !

In the United States, another event will soon take place. Calapenos International, Inc. will celebrate their 2nd anniversary on October 25 at the Marriott hotel, Burbank location in California.  The first was held in San Francisco area last November 2007.   The Calapeno Ball for 2008 will include the Miss Calapan beauty pageant as a means of raising funds for the association's on-going projects.  Candidates are Vanessa Joyce Castor of LA and daughter of Vanni Castor, Michelle Tricia Pait, daughter of Luz Acosta Pait of Las Vegas and Samantha Renee Iturralde, daughter of Paz Castillo Iturralde of San Francisco.  The very supportive and generous Dr. Ting Luna of Calapan City, honorary member and adviser to the Calapenos, is also organizing a golf tournament as another means of fundraising. This year's committees are all revved up to make this affair another memorable event for all of us.  Anyone interested to join may please contact Paz at .

And now, let us meet Penelope Villarica Flores of Calapan  City. Go to SPECIAL PEOPLE (left side) for her outstanding profile.  

Everyone, meet the newly-elected president of United Mindoro of Toronto, Rolly Mangante of Pinamalayan and Emily Abaja Fermin of Calapan City and founder of the association during its meeting and mini-reunion of fellow Mindorenos at Sunrise Restaurant. Pictures of folks in Toronto are now in photo album under MINDORENOS IN TORONTO !!!
Congratulations to Rolly from Mindrenos worldwide.

And now, let us welcome NEVADA MINDORO ASSOCIATION, the newly-created association for all Mindorenos living in Nevada.  Just on its second month and second meeting, the group decided to move on as a team to assist Mindoro and fellow Mindorenos in the area.  Orville Arias was unanimously elected as president. Other elected officers were Val Lopez, Vice President, Minerva Mendez Honkala, Secretary and Website coordinator, Connie Evelyn Tolentino, Assistant Secretary and the group's muse, Luz Acosta, Treasurer, Romy Tolentino, PRO and Business Relations Officer, Rose Castillo Kerley, Auditor and Eddie Infantado, Director. With Minerva as the chairperson, this new team hopes to start their project of donating new and used books to schools in Mindoro. A fundraising effort will start soon to finance the shipment of those books.
Inspired by the succes of the Las Vegas group, Mindorenos in Germany and Mindorenos in Michigan will soon follow in creating more teams with the same purpose of helping Mindoro and fellow kababayan in their respective areas.  Triple cheeers to all of them !!! More power to all of you.

Applications for the new maroon-colored Machine Readable Philippine Passports will be accepted by the Philippine Consulate General New York starting June 2, 2008.  As personal appearance at the Consulate General is required for finger-print and signature capture, applications submitted by mail cannot be processed. The Philippine Consulate General New York will only accept applications for the green Philippine passport until May 30, 2008. Processing of the MRP from the submission of the application form and data capture will be six weeks as all passport are processed by the Department of Foreign Affairs.  For more information, please go or email us at so we can refer you to the right area.
Ala eh sampung trees na lang ito !  10 months na lang pala at kita-kita na tayo !
Ala eh sampung trees na lang ito ! 10 months na lang pala at kita-kita na tayo !
Countdown to our global reunion next year, the 1st Balik-Mindoro event !!!  We knocked down two trees already, one for March and another one for April.  You are now looking at just 10 trees meaning 10 more months to go.  Naku, pano yan, ay di mag-se save na tayo ng $ 4 a day pamula ngayon. Ay gay-on na nga. Para handa na tayo sa airfare at registration fee natin para sa reunion.  Keep counting !!!

Roll on- Roll Off (RO_RO) -The President issued Executive Order 170 in January 2003 to promote private sector participation and investment in the development and operation of the RO-RO ferry system as extensions of national highways under the SRNH. In March 2003, the President launched the first RO-RO route from Zamboanga del Norte to Batangas and, three months later, conducted an eight-day working visit in Mindanao where she issued Executive Order No. 170-A right here in this city directing the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) and inviting local government units (LGUs) to provide improved road access to the RORO ferry system. A year later on March 21, 2004, the President kicked off the SRNH with a four-day caravan covering the provinces and cities of Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Romblon and Batangas City in Luzon; Aklan, Antique, Capiz, Negros Oriental, Negros Occidental.
Posted 5-22-08
Vice Governor Estee Aceron
infront of the UN in New York City - May 16, 2008. As one of the delegates and one of the guest panelists/speakers from different countries and international organizations to the 3rd Helena Benitez Global Forum, she made mention of the actual issues affecting women not only in Mindoro but in the country, as well.  It was a great opportunity for her to revisit the issues concerning our women and see what the rest of the world is doing in addressing the same. A powerpoint presentation of her meaningful speech was well-received and applauded by all attendees. Congratulations Vice Estee for a job well done !

Posted 5/19/08
Consul General of the Philippines in New York, Cecille B. Rebong said the consulate was also pushing tourism besides outsourcing businesses in the Philippines. "We're really working hard to promote the Philippines to people here. We encourage Filipinos here to do 'balik-probinsya' (back-to-the-province) tours," she said. "We're also promoting retirement to the Philippines to our kababayans who are based here," she said.

Meanwhile, preparations for the 1st Balik-Mindoro global reunion are now nearly completed.  This four-day event starts with a FREE half-day sightseeing city tour in Manila, then on to Calapan City for the next three days.  A cultural and entertainment night (with theme) , a grand ball, a concelebrated Mass at the Cathedral City, a Golf Day, ballroom dancing in Quezon City, recognition night, optional tours to Boracay from Roxas, selected Puerto Galera resorts are just a few of the planned activities.  Invites are extended to all Mindorenos in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao.  All town mayors, governors and congressmen were also invited to join this much-anticipated event in Calapan City.  In support of Mindoro tourism and Mindoro municipalities' projects, let us all try to be there on February 19 thru 22, next year !  Specific details will follow soon. For headcount purposes, please consider registering ahead of time to be counted. 

Mini-reunion of Mindorenos in Germany - A small gathering is scheduled on June 18 in Dusseldorf to meet and have fun with fellow kababayans.  If you have friends, relatives, neighbors back home and who now live in the area of Dusseldorf, Bonn/Cologne and Frankfurt, please pass this information on to them.  They may want to join and be happy !  They may contact us at for more details. Expected to join are Aggie Pangilinan, Aida Pangilinan, Marlyn Gutierrez, Linda Magtibay Aytin, Christian Icalina, Neneng Arago, Debbie Luisa Infantado Somer and visiting Juliet Payabyab.

Grand Reunion of OMHS Class 58 - It was almost a week of celebration. The successful reunion for OMHS Class 58 was held on May 3 to 5 at El Pueblo Rizzort in Mahal na Pangalan, Calapan City.  The late Gov Bart Marasigan's position as class president was assumed by his wife, Remy Escalona Marasigan. More gatherings were held at the houses of Letty Abilar Cueto, Lily Menor and lastly at the rest house of the late Gov Bart Marasigan in Canubing. Attendees came from USA, CANADA and even from Australia. Sister Cecilia Ylagan from Michigan, the current vocation director for the Dominican contemplatives, also attended. She happened  to be in Calapan during the Grand Reunion. For pictures of this reunion, go to Photo Album under OTHER PEOPLE & EVENTS.

"Kalayaan 2008", an umbrella organization of the Filipinos in Peel Region, Ontario, Canada celebrates the 110th year of Philippine Independence.  An event is scheduled on May 24 to celebrate, too, their 25th year anniversary.  Dinner-dance on May 24 will include final selection and coronation of Miss Kalayaan 2008 at the Kalayaan Community Center, 5225 Orbitor Dr., Missisauga, Canada.  Ralph Logatoc, a long time friend of Mindorenos, both in Mindoro and Canada, especially the Loarcas, Leanos, Abac family,  heads this event. Together with his wife, Espie, more activities are being carefully planned such as June 14 Cultural Presentation and June 15 Family Picnic Day.  Anyone interested to join, please contact Ralph at cell 647 688 3829.

Posted 4/21/08
It only took one week of planning and reaching out one another.  On April 19, Saturday, Mindorenos in Las Vegas for the first time gathered around to meet and talk and laugh and talk and laugh.  That was it !  It was a moment of rewinding good memories while growing up in Mindoro and just updating where they are now and where they would be in the next few years. Credit goes to Minerva Mendez for coordinating the event and to the attendees who contributed to this successful meeting. With a sincere desire to help Mindoro, the group unanimously chose Val Lopez to be this year's Chairperson for Mindoro projects and mini-gatherings to keep communication alive.  Attendees were Eddie Infantado, Val Lopez, Minerva Mendez, Rose Castillo, Luz Acosta, Jun Pait, her husband and daughter, Trisha and Evelyn Tolentino. They were joined by Orlie Collantes of California , Juliet Payabyab of New York and Orville Arias.  Genny de Guzman and husband, Mario Gamab later on met with them at the Plaza Casino to continue having fun  by dancing and watching the Filipino band, Frontpage who played until midnight.  For pictures, go to Photo Album under Las Vegas visit.
Posted 4/13/08
In Calapan in the 60's civic-minded groups were formed by then the young and vibrant teenagers.  They just needed to do something exciting every Summertime i.e. play basketball, host disco parties, or simply hanging out together for fun.  So, Crusaders, Cobras, Shennanigans and Checkmates were born and became the unforgettable groups of people during that time (and until now). Club sweethearts were crowned during the "strictly by invitations only" grand ball (ballroom dancing 60's version) with "imported" live music band from Manila. Each group would then participate in the annual parade during the town fiesta in January in support of community events.  Officers and members were duly inducted each year with the outgoing welcoming the new set of officers. Picnictime, gatherings, meeting old and new friends, as well, were just a few of the routine activities back then, memories that are now reminisced by  members as they get older, day by day.  And so here they are again, thinking of reviving those groups with the younger generations in mind as the new members. Wherever you are old members, please reach out to your own groupings and plan a reunion of your own in Calapan City.  Your reunion will be synchronized with the 1st Balik-Mindoro week happening on February 19 to 22, next year in Calapan City.  Isn't that exciting ?  The Crusaders have already started reaching out and the Cobras also welcome the same about you guys ? Email if you are interested or simply need to contact them.

Main Event in Calapan City....Oriental Mindoro High School Class '58 will celebrate their 50th year on May 2 to 4, 2008 in Calapan City.  Remy Escalona Marasigan, Lily Menor Secrest, Yoly Marasigan Regala, to name a few, have been preparing for this grand reunion for a number of months now.  Congratulations to you, all !  We are excited for you.  Can't wait to see your photos for our website !!!

Mini-mini reunion in Las Vegas - It's a simple get-together for some Mindorenos in Las Vegas on April 19 (Saturday), just "getting to know you" type of event.  Expected to attend are Minerva "Melba" Mendez Honkala, Eddie Infantado and son, Meynard, Val Lopez, Orville Arias, Eden Barrientos Bangco, Luz Acosta and family, Rose Castillo Kerley, sister of Paz, Katherine Carrera, Lyle Carrera, Jun Anonuevo, Juliet Payabyab and few more TBD.  Let's go, guys, come and join this gathering if you are around Las Vegas or want to come to Las Vegas next weekend. If you have friends from Mindoro in LV, please pass the word. Contact Minerva at 702 606 8287,

United Mindoro Association of Toronto - Activities are as follows:  May 4 Casino Rama fundraising; May 23 6 PM meeting at Prestige Restaurant; June 28 Annual Picnic, contact Beth Ibe.

United Mindoro International - New York - Activities are : April 26 to meet with Percy Aranas, president of The Association of Mindorenos - Manila-based, and who is visiting New York; May 3, sponsor of Fr. Mimo's Acoustic Gospel concert in Queens; June 21, Atlantic City fundraising; June 28 Lubang Looc International Hawaiian Night fundraising.

Calapenos International, Inc. - November 8, 2008 2nd Anniversary Ball. Early preparations are underway for this kind of event, second time around. We are here for you, Calapenos !  Just call and we'll be there, says Las Vegas, New York, Chicago, Calapan City folks !!!
Don't miss seeing, one more time, our famous carabao in Mindoro !  Once again, we invite you to join us in our global reunion in  MINDORO NEXT YEAR...and meet fellow Mindorenos both living abroad and in the Philippines. Let us support Mindoro tourism and in the spirit of togetherness, magkita-kita tayo duon !!! sa February 19 to 22, 2009  ....
Di gay meron nito sa Mindoro ? Oo, at matitikman din nating lahat yan sa February 2009 !!!
Di gay meron nito sa Mindoro ? Oo, at matitikman din nating lahat yan sa February 2009 !!!
Sasama na ang Crusaders group at baka pati na ang Cobras and HIA Batch 64 sa Mindoro Reunion !!! How about your group ?  We now have delegates from LA, SF, Connecticut, Texas, New Jersey, New York and Philippine-based kababayan signing in !!!  Siempre abot pa kayo. Think about it and plan for it now...


Another meeting went very well yesterday, March 16,  for United Mindoro International, Inc., an East Coast- based association of Mindorenos.   It was their first meeting for 2008. With over 20 in attendance, the group welcomed four new members, Rea Wagan Pascua of Bongabong, Mila Cleofe Robleza of Calapan City and daughter, Sharon and Jojo Manato of Bansud.  The meeting was held at Manny's Bake Shop located in Queens and is owned and managed by  Marlyn Chua Hernandez (Calapan City) and husband, Manny (Bongabong).   Projects discussed included recent donations of medical supplies to Or. Mindoro Provincial Hospital in Calapan City and Pinamalayan Health Center, 40 bags of corn seeds to Naujan farmers and electric fans to different towns in Oriental Mindoro.  More similar projects are in the process of completion before the end of this year. 

Other highlights of the meeting were the upcoming spiritual concert of Fr. Mimo Perez of Baco on May 3 for St. Augustine Seminary, casino trip to benefit the association's projects and scheduling of the annual picnic on August 23 in Astoria Park, Queens, New York.  Those interested to help in the fundraising campaign to benefit  the Seminary and priestly vocations  may contact us at 718 267 0221 or email for details. For more pictures of the meeting, go to photo album under UNITED MINDORO.


Posted 2/15/08
Greetings to all from Calapan City!!! This time it is from Juliet Payabyab, the president of United Mindoro International, Inc.- New York-based Mindoro assocation. She just completed visiting 11 towns in Or. Mindoro in just three days. Starting in Calapan, medical supplies (United Mindoro asso.'s donation) were personally delivered to Dr. Fabon, medical director of our provincial hospital. He toured us in the premises and we saw that they badly need mattresses and beds to accommodate more patients.  Then we moved to Baco where we were introduced to Mayor Graciano dela Chica on our first day. The town was very quiet at that time being both a school and working day.  Then on to Dulangan II to personally greet Lola Toyang on her 102nd birthday. At the end we finally met Mayor Apollo Ferraren of San Teodoro.  They were appreciative of our visit and for personally inviting them to our next year's Mindoro Reunion.

On our second day, Naujan was first visited. Mayor Romar Marcos,  Vice Mayor  Wilson Viray, Helen Literal Calusa (sis. of Fr. Pete)  and Agriculturist D. Mercado gladly welcomed us to their town. At the same time they all  expressed their immediate need of corn seeds for their farmers as their corn plantations were recently damaged due to flood. In response, United Mindoro association decided to donate corn seeds to be planted immediately that will cover 40 hectares in Naujan. Then we met Mayor Wilfredo Hernandez of Pinamalayan and Dr. Malaluan, medical director of Pinamalayan Health Center.  Both were happy to receive our donation of medical supplies. 

Around lunchtime, we moved on to meet Mayor Romeo Alvarez of Gloria, Mayor Ronnie Morada of Bansud, and Vice Mayor Donato Manato of Bansud (father of Jojo Manato of Maryland). We were also escorted to Villa Pagasa in Bansud to personally visit the classrooms that were donated by non-Mindoro Filam association in Connecticut. And on our last leg of our trip, we met with Mayor Hercules "Bubut" Umali of Bongabong.  He gave us a lists of what they need for their Health Center whcih we gladly accepted as a form of help to his town. Hopefully, we will be able to complete sending them the items as listed. 

Third day was just another successful trip for us.  After meeting Mayor Alfredo Ortega and Vice Mayor Luis Castillet, Sr., both from Victoria, we were shown their Health Center.  Again, we were given a  list of what they  need. It seemed that Health Centers were needing some basic supplies during our visit.   Then a brief meeting with Mayor Rolando Ariola of Socorro followed and then to Pola to meet their Mayor.  Unfortunately, he was not around but we were gladly welcomed by their staff and Councilor Alex Axalan.  Again, we received one more list of what they need for their Health Center.  These towns received each an electric fan from United Mindoro asso. as they badly needed one due to the hot weather these days. 

And in closing, we finally met Mayor Doy Leachon in Calapan after his trip in Naujan that day.  The whole trip and various visits were remarkable and unforgettable experiences as we were able to see for ourselves what each town needs.  And now we can include them in our lists of projects in the next months to come.

To all our readers from Mindoro, it is never late to extend assistance and/or reach out to town mayors.  They all need our help, in whatever form you can extend.  Start communicating with them and offer some help or simply check what they need and if and when you're ready, you can easily pick the items from their lists and ship it to them. 


Posted 1/ 7/08

Everyone, meet Fr. Pete Literal of Naujan and Pennsylvania.  He is our special feature in SPECIAL PEOPLE column.  Go to the said column for more details.

The town of Naujan, Oriental Mindoro was placed under a state of calamity in November 2007 due to heavy damage caused by tropical storm Lando or Hagibis (international codename).  Naujan town Mayor Romar Marcos said 15 to 20 villages were submerged under knee-deep to waist-deep floodwaters and that at least, 2000 families were evacuated from their homes. He said he had asked help from the Calapan City local government and the Oriental Mindoro Provincial Disaster Coordinating council for the evacuation of more families affected by the floods.

Cebu Doctors' University topped the Dentist Licensure Examination last December 2007, accoriding to a release by the Professional Regulation Commission (PRC).  Congratulations to Julie Ann Borromeo Lim of that school.  Borromeo got an 82.47 % rating while Juan Rafael Silva from the University of the Philippines ranked second with 81.92 %.