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JUN (17-27) 2009 TACLOBAN NEWS
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Jun 27, 2009

Sangyaw Festival to be staged on Monday

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The revived Sangyaw Festival of Tacloban City is set to be staged in this city on Monday, June 29.

Contingents from the cities of Cebu, Legazpi, Isabela (Basilan), Santiago (Isabela) Iloilo, Bacolod, Legazpi and Surigao, and this city; and the municipalities Naval (Biliran) and Basey (Samar) would be parading on major streets of the city and in the process, make three stops to dance perform, as they vie for the top prize worth half a million pesos.

"We are expecting grand and spectacular presentation by each of the participating contingents," Malou Tabao, focal person of the Sangyaw Festival, said.

The Sangyaw Festival is part of the cultural activities of the city's 120th fiesta celebrations.

Tabao said that the parade would start at exactly 1 p.m. with all the participants including famous television and film actress Karylle. The start of parade is in Magsaysay Boulevard and it would cover about three kilometers.

Joining Karylle during the grand parade are actors Christian Bautista, Luis Manzano, Cesar Montano, and Dingdong Dantes.

Also expected to participate in the parade are "political heavyweights" headed by Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile.

Joining Enrile are former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, Senator Manuel Villar, Senator Francisco "Kiko" Pangilinan, Ilocos Norte Representative Ferdinand Marcos Jr., former Ilocos Norte Congresswoman Imee Marcos, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando, former Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Lyndon Barbers, Marikina City Mayor Maritess Fernando, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Casurra, Santiago City Mayor Amelita Navarro and Cebu City Vice Mayor Michael Rama.

Cebu's Sinulog Festival, Bacolod's Masskara Festival, Isabela's Cocowayan Festival, Iloilo's Dinagyang Festival, Surigao City's Karadjaw Festival, Santiago's Pattaradday Festival, Basey's Kawayan-Banigan Festival, Legazpi's Magayon Festival and this city's Tribu Kabatuk are the main participants of the Sangyaw Festival.

The prize for the winning contingent would be P500,000 while the second best would receive P300,000. The third placer would receive P200,000. Each contingent would perform for three minutes in designated streets, namely, Imelda Street, Rizal Street and Justice Romualdez Street before they perform for five minutes at the Balyu-an Amphitheater.

In addition to the cultural contingents from outside Tacloban, the parade will also feature for the first time 10 competing school and community-based contingents from this city.

These schools include the Holy Infant College (HIC), Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), AMA Computer Learning Center (ACLC), Panalaron Elementary School, Rizal Central School, Cirilo Roy Montejo National High School (CRMNHS), and San Jose National High School (SJNHS). The participating barangays are Brgy 49 and Brgy. 60-A.

The grand champion of the School and Community-Based Category will receive P200,000, 1st runner-up P150,000 and the 2nd runner-up P100,000. Just like the other contingents, the participants in the School and Community-Based Category will also perform at the designated streets and at the Balyuan Amphitheater.

Tabao said that over 1,000 persons would be participating the afternoon parade, reason for the Tacloban City Police Office (TCPO) to deploy over 200 policemen and other security personnel to ensure order and security.

A brainchild of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the Sangyaw Festival was first staged in the city in 1974 as part of its fiesta celebration.

Sidelined for more than 20 years, the festival was revived last year by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

The City Tourism Council headed by City Councilor Cristina Gonzales- Romualdez is in-charge of overseeing and coordinating all activities related to the festival.






Jun 26, 2009

Pintados, provincial government to stage Kasadyaan Festival

By Ahlette C. Reyes

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Pintados Foundation Inc. and the provincial government of Leyte is all geared to stage its Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival this Saturday, June 27, the former's 22nd and the latter's 14th festival this year.

In the official list in the Free Interpretation category of the Kasadyaan, eight festivals from eight municipalities in Leyte will compete on Saturday's festive street dancing around the city and grand presentation at the Leyte Sports Development Center.

In the Pintados-based category, there are five official contingents, according to Pintados Foundation Inc. (PFI) President Eugene Tan, who would also do their street dancing followed by the grand presentation.

Aside from the dance festival contigent, the Merrymakers' competition is still included in the grand parade.

This year's official list in the Kasadyaan Free Interpretation category is minus the three-time grand champion Buyogan Festival which has already been named as Grand Slam champion for winning straight three festival competitions after it captured the grand prize in last year's Pintados Kasadyaan Festival, Sinulog Festival and Aliwan Fiesta respectively.

The Buyogan will still grace Saturday's parade as guest contigent.

The eight festivals competing this year includes the Sinulog Festival of Isabel, Leyte; Bato Balani Festival of Bato, Leyte; Pamilipig Festival of Sta. Fe, Leyte; Pasaka Festival of Tanauan, Leyte; Lingganay Festival of Alangalang, Leyte; Karatong Festival of Dulag, Leyte; Viajedores of Lapaz, Leyte and Lantawan Festival of Capoocan, Leyte.

Dulag's Karatong were last year's runner up in the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival and went on to gain the fifth spot both in the Sinulog Festival in January and the Aliwan Fiesta last April.

The parade this Saturday would start at 9 a.m. that would follow the same parade route used last year, with all the contingents to assemble at the Leyte Sports Development Center. The grand presentation is expected to start at 1 p.m. giving the contingents time to take their lunch and prepare for their stage performance.

As per the request for special permit sent to the city mayor's office by the organizers, the parade route would follow the same route last year: from the assembly area inside the LSDC, going out to Sta. Cruz, Paterno, Avenida Veteranos, Real, Justice Romualdez, Rizal Avenue, Avenida Veteranos, Paterno, then back to the LSDC.

Meanwhile, PFI Pres. Tan said they remain hopeful they would be granted a special permit for Saturday's parade.

"We still believe in the good intentions of the mayor since this is all for the people of Tacloban," Mr. Tan said.

He added that the festival organizers have already made their final meeting last Tuesday with the security and crowd personnel, volunteers and the Philippine National Police both coming from the city and the provincial office to settle on the parade route and ensure a safe and secure conduct of the festival parade this Saturday.

Meanwhile, it was learned, the Grand Festival Champion would receive a cash prize of P500,000 and earn the chance to represent their town and the province in upcoming national festival competitions.

Runners-up would also received cash prizes with P300,000 for the first runner-up, P250,000 for the second runner-up, P200,000 for the third runner-up, P100,000 for the third runner-up and P50, 000 for the fifth runner-up.

In the Pintados-based category, grand prize winner would receive P30,000, with P20,000 and P10,000 cash prizes to the first and second runner up. Consolation prizes also await non-winners. All contingent in this category were also given subsidies by the Pintados Foundation, according to Mr. Tan.

In 1986, the Pintados Foundation, Inc. was formed with founders composed of civic-minded businessmen and entrepreneurs of Tacloban City started organizing some religious-cultural activities for the Tacloban City fiesta in honor of Sr. Santo Niño. Thus, the celebration of the Pintados Festival ushered in.

The Pintados Festival showcases the rich cultural heritage, indigenous music and dances of the people of Leyte and Samar enhancing the religious-cultural heritage of the Pintados.

The Leyte Kasadyaan Festival of Festivals is a celebration that showcases the unique culture and colorful history of the Province of Leyte. This festivity was first celebrated in 1996 through the inspiring leadership of former Leyte Governor Remedios Petilla. Each municipal festival has a unique storyline that proudly portray their local history, folklore, legend and way of life.

The Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival is said to be one of the most colorful events in the country with its own unique flavor, recalling the Pre-Spanish history of the natives, retelling various stories from wars to folk religions.






Jun 26, 2009

Leyte festival tiff

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- A long-running tiff between former House representative Remedios Petilla and Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez has marred the annual celebration of the Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival.

Ms. Petilla yesterday obtained a temporary restraining order (TRO) blocking for 72 hours Mr. Romualdez's rumored move to prevent the parade and street dancing today. Mr. Romualdez, for his part, denied that he threatened to stop the festivity.

He said he was willing to adhere to the TRO but the city legal officer has already filed an "urgent motion to dissolve" the court order. Mr. Romualdez has accused the provincial government, headed by Ms. Petilla's son, of not properly coordinating with the city government regarding the holding of the festival as part of the city's fiesta celebration.

Ms. Petilla also denied this, saying they filed a letter-application for the issuance of a special permit for the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival parade and street dancing scheduled this morning.

The Pintados and Kasadyaan were merged into one festival during Mr. Petilla's first term as provincial governor. This is held during the Tacloban city fiesta set for June 29 this year, but had to be moved to June 27 to give way to the city-organized Sangyaw Festival. The city government revived the Sangyaw Festival, which was conceptualized by the mayor's aunt, former First Lady Imelda R. Marcos.






Jun 24, 2009

Biz tycoons see Tacloban as next center of commerce

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- "Business tycoons in Manila are now looking at Tacloban as the next center of commerce and economic activity in the near future in the country." These were the words of DILG Sec. Ronaldo "Ronnie V. Puno who visited the city last June 18.

Puno made such statement before Mayor Alfred S. Romualdez , different LGU officials, and the huge crowd at the Tacloban Astrodome during the recently conducted symposium called " Mobilizing Local Response to Global Challenges".

According to Sec. Puno, with the growing economy of the city, Tacloban is now on the verge of economic boom especially that it is strategically located as the gateway to Luzon and Mindanao areas. Even big businessmen in Mindanao are now considering putting up big business in the city. He asked the people of Tacloban and its neighboring cities and municipalities to prepare for the future of this city.

As earlier stated by Mayor Alfred Romualdez, at present there are over 13,000 big and small establishments operating in the city to date, which thru the improved licensing system of city government, most of them have applied and paid business permits.

Under the present administration of Mayor Romualdez, he converted the Kanhuraw Convention Center into a Business One Stop Shop (BOSS) designed at a more systematic and fast issuance of permits for the convenience of the public. According to Romualdez, for the last 5-6 months that its been operating it contributed already over P5 million to the city government's coffers.

Another indication that Tacloban is booming and commerce is really healthy, is the number of different banks operating within the city with at least over 40 banks in all -and it continue to grow even more with the recently opened Security Bank located at the corner of Rizal and Burgos streets.

Last June 11, the Robinson's Place opened in Tacloban- this too is another economic booster for the city being the first biggest mall in eastern visayas region. This is a multi billion investment of the Gokongweis here that was made possible thru the encouragements of the Romualdezes.

Sec. Puno congratulated Mayor Romualdez for the new Robinsons Place saying that for sure this has provided employment to hundreds, if not thousands, among the residents here, which he said, is the program of the administration to reduce some more the unemployment rate around the country.






Jun 24, 2009

10 city schools, barangays to join Sangyaw Festival

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Ten schools and barangays within this city have confirmed that they will join and compete in the upcoming Sangyaw Festival.

This was disclosed by City Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, chairwoman of the City Tourism Council (CTCs). The CTC is in-charge of all activities related to the Sangyaw Festival.

According to Councilor Romualdez, the eight schools and two barangays will compete in the School and Community-Based Category of Sangyaw.

These schools include the Holy Infant College (HIC), Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), AMA Computer Learning Center (ACLC), Panalaron Elementary School, Rizal Central School, Cirilo Roy Montejo National High School (CRMNHS), and the San Jose National High School (SJNHS). The participating barangays are Brgy 49 and Brgy. 60-A.

Councilor Romualdez said that the participating contingents will be competing for big prizes at stake.

The grand champion of the School and Community-Based Category will receive P200,000, 1st runner-up P150,000 and the 2nd runner-up P100,000. Non-winning contingents will receive consolation prizes from the organizers, it was learned.

Aside from the cash prizes, the participating contingents will also compete for several special awards including Best in Music and Best in Street Dancing.

"This is for the first time that schools and barangays will be competing in the Sangyaw Festival since its revival last year. With their participation, we are assured of a bigger celebration of the Sangyaw Festival this year," the councilor stressed.

It can be recalled that last year's Sangyaw Festival only featured a competition between cultural contingents from several cities across the country.

Started in 1974 and a brainchild of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Sangyaw was revived last year by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez after being sidelined for more than 20 years.






Jun 24, 2009

Balik-Tacloban Night slated on June 29

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The holding of the Balik-Tacloban Night will push through as scheduled on June 29.

However, instead of being held at the newly-opened Robinsons Mall, the event will be held at the Baluarte Convention Center in San Jose, this city.

"During our last meeting, it was agreed upon by members of the foundation that the Baluarte Convention Center would be the new venue of the activity.," Sangyaw Foundation president Alex Montejo told the Express.

Tacloban Sangyaw Foundation, in cooperation with the Tacloban Host Lion's Club, will jointly host this year's Balik-Tacloban Night.

A yearly event, the Balik-Tacloban Night is meant to raise funds that will be used by the Tacloban Sangyaw Foundation for various socio-cultural activities it sponsors here in the City of Tacloban.

Hundreds of balikbayans, prominent political leaders headed by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, and other Taclobanons are expected to grace the gathering.

Tickets for the event are available at Hotel Alejandro or any member of the Sangyaw Foundation and the Lion's Club.






Jun 24, 2009

TS Feria hits Eastern Visayas; brings damage to crops, homes, properties

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- Tropical storm Feria entered the area of Eastern Visayas on June 23 and caused damages not only to agriculture but also to properties and homes in Region 8, especially in Eastern Samar where the storm had a landfall.

As of 9:00 o'clock last night, the Regional Disaster Coordinating Council Operations Center in Eastern Visayas reported the occurrence of tornado in Can-avid, Eastern Samar which totally damaged 15 houses at Barangay Rawis.

The tornado also caused the damage of 2 houses at Barangay Carolina, three houses at Barangay Malogo and partially damaging school buildings at Eastern Samar State University Can-avid Campus.

Reports received by the RDCC 8 Operations Center indicated the a minor landslide at Barangay Taa caused partial damages to the Taa Elementary School.

Meanwhile, a fisherman from Bogo, Cebu, by the name of Wilmo Cantilan, was swept by current and is now at sea in the vicinity of Isabel, Leyte.

Furthermore, tropical storm Feria caused 432 passengers to be stranded at the Dapdap and Looc Ports at Allen, Northern Samar, Mr. Rey Gozon, the Opcen manager said.

Classes at the elementary and highschool levels in Tacloban were suspended on June 23 due to tropical storm Feria. Students of the various colleges and universities were sent home at noontime as heavy rains and gusty winds heralded the presence of Feria in the area.

Even the personnel of various government and private agencies were also dismissed early as the whole Region was engulfed by total darkness due to power interruption which lasted until late in the afternoon.

Luckily, no damage to life has been reported.






Jun 24, 2009

No classes in Tacloban for 2-day city fiesta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The city schools division here will suspend classes in the different elementary and secondary schools on June 29 and 30, vesper and feast day of the city fiesta, as precautionary measures against the Influenza A (H1N1) virus.

Ronelo Al Firmo, Tacloban city schools division superintendent, on Monday said that while classes will be suspended on these dates, students will have to stay in their respective homes and refrain from joining the festivities-which is expected to draw many visitors, including balikbayans and foreigners-to avoid contamination.

He said students and their parents will be advised of such precautionary measures.

The Sangyaw Festival, which is a crowd drawer, will be held here on June 29. The city fiesta is scheduled on June 30.

Although there has been no confirmed H1N1 case in Tacloban City, some city residents, particularly students, have had close contact with persons afflicted with the swine flu, Firmo said.

This was the reason a private school in Tacloban City, with both elementary and secondary students, recently suspended classes, he said. /inquirer
Firmo added that he had already deployed their medical teams, together with some personnel of the City Health Office, to monitor the different public schools in the city.

He said there are about 31,000 elementary and high school students in Tacloban City.

So far, Eastern Visayas already has five confirmed H1N1 flu cases and several cases under observation (CUOs).






Jun 23, 2009

Storm impact

BusinessWorld Online, Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- Public transport in Eastern Visayas was paralyzed yesterday due to heavy rains and strong winds from tropical storm Feria.

At the Tacloban airport, hundreds of passengers were stranded after their flights were cancelled following the weather bureau's declaration of Storm Signal 2 for the region.

The Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippines said four afternoon flights, two each by Philippine Airlines and Cebu Pacific, were cancelled. Sea transportation was also suspended.





Jun 23, 2009

Politicians, actors to grace Sangyaws

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- More showbiz stars, prominent political figures, and renowned media personalities will be coming here to grace the upcoming Sangyaw Festival.

In a press conference held at the Balyuan Convention Center on Friday, City Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez, chairwoman of the City Tourism Council (CTC), disclosed that more "stars" in the showbiz, political, and media worlds have confirmed that they will be coming to this city on June 29 to join Taclobanons in celebrating the Sangyaw.

"(Christian) Bautista and (Luis) Manzano have accepted our invitation to join other showbiz stars in the grand parade on the 29th, "she revealed.

Those who have earlier confirmed their participation in the Sangyaw were singer-actress Karylle and actors Gabby Concepcion, and Jericho Rosales.

In addition to them, according to Councilor Romualdez, actors Cesar Montano and Dingdong Dantes will also join the parade courtesy of Globe, their corporate sponsor.

Councilor Romualdez said the City Government is also expecting the presence during the Sangyaw of many more "political heavyweights."

The additional guests expected from the political world are former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, Senator Manuel Villar, Metro Manila Development Authority (MMDA) Chairman Bayani Fernando, Surigao del Norte Governor Robert Ace Barbers, Marikina City Mayor Maridess Fernando, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay, and Surigao City Mayor Alfonso Casurra.

The aforementioned political leaders will be joining Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile and Senator Francisco "Kiko" Pangilinan who have already confirmed their attendance in the festival.

From the media world, six to eight personalities headed by showbiz columnist Aster Amoyo and Philippine Star entertainment writer Ricky Lo will cover the event for Manila-based publications.

"With the array of prominent guests and participants, we are in for a bigger and grander celebration of the Sangyaw Festival this year," Councilor Romualdez assured.

A brainchild of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, the Sangyaw Festival was first staged in the city in 1974 as part of its fiesta celebration.

Sidelined for more than 20 years, the festival was revived last year by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez.

The City Tourism Council headed by Councilor Romualdez is in-charge of overseeing and coordinating all activities related to the festival.






Jun 22, 2009

Police probe gun incident in Tacloban SP session hall

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The Tacloban City Police Office (TCPO) is conducting further investigation on the alleged gun incident involving City Councilor Ranulfo "Bob" Abellanosa that occurred Wednesday night during a session of the Sangguniang Panglungsod.

In an interview, Police Senior Superintendent Brigido Unay, the TCPO chief, disclosed that he has already directed Sr. Insp. Amancio Longjas, the chief of the Investigation Section at the TCPO, to dig deeper into the incident where Councilor Abellanosa was seen allegedly carrying a gun inside the session hall of the Sangguniang Panglungsod of Tacloban while the session was going on.

"The Investigation Unit headed by Insp. Longjas is currently reviewing affidavits of witnesses and conducting further investigation as the details of the incident are not yet complete," Unay said.

"What action we will initiate, whether we file a case or not against Councilor Abellanosa before the City Prosecutor's Office, would depend on the report and recommendation that will be submitted to me in a few days by Insp. Longjas, " he added.

The ongoing investigation stemmed from an incident that occurred last Wednesday while the City Council of Tacloban was holding its regular session.

According to the police incident report, around 7 p.m. while Councilor Abellanosa was delivering his speech inside the Session Hall, Alfredo Padernos and Katrina Torres, staff at the City Information Office and Office of Councilor Rachelle Pineda, respectively, had allegedly both personally observed that something was bulging at the back of the right side waistline of Councilor Abellanosa.

After Councilor Abellanosa ended his speech and had already returned to his table, Councilor Bianco Mate then took the podium to deliver his own speech. However, before starting his speech, he manifested that he would like to inquire from Councilor Abellanosa as to what is bulging on his back right side waistline, whether it is a handgun or a cellphone.

When Councilor Abellanosa was pressed by Councilor Mate to explain the bulge at his right waist, he reportedly stood up and said, "What is happening here? I'm already being insulted! I don't like it anymore." And while uttering these words, Councilor Abellanosa walked towards the Administrative Section and after opening the side glass door, he allegedly hurriedly took out from the right back of his waist a handgun of an unknown caliber and passed the same to someone inside the ante-room of the Administrative Section.

After passing the alleged handgun to the person inside the room, Councilor Abellanosa returned to his table saying," this is already to much, I would not be bringing a gun here." While uttering those words, witnesses saw him repeatedly banging on his chest, albeit nervously.

The elements of the SWAT team and the Staff Duty Officer immediately proceeded to said place in response to the call for police assistance initiated by Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez. When they arrived, they investigated the particular incident of the reported firearm which they were not able to seize from Councilor Abellanosa for it was allegedly passed on to an unidentified man.

As a consequence of the incident, Chief Unay said that the TCPO is mulling putting up a police post in the vicinity of the session purposely to frisk everyone who will attend the said activity before the start of the session if only to allay fears of the alleged incident to happen again.

"I'm preparing a communication addressed to Vice Mayor Arvin Antoni regarding our plan," he disclosed.





Jun 19, 2009

10 cities confirmed to participate in the Sangyaw Festival

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Ten major cities around the country have confirmed that they will be sending their own cultural contingents to participate in the upcoming Sangyaw Festival.

This was disclosed by City Councilor Cristina Gonzales Romualdez, chairperson of the City Tourism Council (CTC). The CTC is in-charge of all activities related to the Sangyaw Festival.

"We have sent invitations to different provinces, cities, and municipalities across the country and 10 of them have confirmed that they will join and compete in the Free-Interpretation Category of Sangyaw this coming June 29," she disclosed.

According to Councilor Romualdez, these places included the cities of Cebu, Iloilo, Bacolod, Isabela (Basilan), Legazpi and Surigao.

"They will be accompanied in coming here by their respective city officials," the councilor revealed.

In addition to the contingents from outside the city, 10 schools and barangays within this city have also confirmed that they will join and compete in the School and Community-Based Category of Sangyaw.

These schools include the Holy Infant College (HIC), Eastern Visayas State University (EVSU), AMA Computer Learning Center (ACLC), Panalaron Elementary School, Rizal Central School, Cirilo Roy Montejo National High School (CRMNHS), and the San Jose National High School (SJNHS). The participating barangays are Brgy 49 and Brgy. 60-A.

Councilor Romualdez said that the participating contingents will be competing for big prizes at stake.

The top winner in the Free-Interpretation Category will receive P500,000, second placer P300,000 and the third pacer will bring home P200,000.

In the School and Community-Based Category, the overall champion will receive P200,000, 1st runner-up P150,000 and the 2nd runner-up P100,000.

In both categories, the non-winning contingents will receive consolation prizes from the organizers, it was learned.

"Compared to last year, we have more contingents participating. With that, we can assure you that we will have a bigger, merrier, grander celebration of Sangyaw this year.

Last year's celebration was participated in by Tribu Kabatuk, the eventual winner, and five cultural contingents from the cities of Cebu, Marikina, Makati, Isabela and Bacolod.

Started in 1974 and a brainchild of former First Lady Imelda Marcos, Sangyaw was revived last year by Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez after being sidelined for more than 20 years.






Jun 19, 2009

Mayor Romualdez leads groundbreaking rites of Women's Shelter today

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Construction of the first-ever Women's Shelter in this city will finally start after its groundbreaking rites today, June 19.

The groundbreaking ceremony will be lead by City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and City Councilor Cristina Gonzales-Romualdez.

Also expected to grace the occasion are other members of the City Council, department heads and other officials of the city government.

Councilor Romualdez, the chairwoman of the Committee on Women and Children at the Sangguniang Panglungsod, and the one who actively pushed for the project, said that construction work on the shelter will commence immediately after the groundbreaking ceremony, which will be held at the grounds of the old CSWDO building beside the Tacloban City Police Office.

One of the priorities of the City Government of Tacloban for this year, the Women's Shelter is meant as a temporary shelter for abused and battered women from this city.

Based on the project plan, the proposed building would be a two-storey structure with complete amenities that would be big enough to accommodate 10 occupants.

For security reasons, the new building would be constructed near the Tacloban City Police Office.

It was learned that the city government allocated more than P4 million for the completion of the project. Construction is expected to be finished before the year ends.






Jun 19, 2009

Third A(H1N1) case in
Eastern Visayas

By Joey A. Gabieta

Inquirer.net - Philippines

TACLOBAN CITY -- The regional office of the Department of Health in Eastern Visayas said that a 14-year-old girl has tested positive for the influenza A (H1N1) virus, the third confirmed case in the region.

The girl is a student of the Philippine Science High School in Palo, Leyte, where the region's first H1N1 case, also a 14-year-old student, was confirmed.

DOH Eastern Visayas regional director Dr. Edgardo Gonzaga said that the girl and the first H1N1 case, a boy, were classmates.

"She is now confined at the government-owned Eastern Visayas Regional Medical Center after she was first treated in a private hospital on Wednesday," Gonzaga said Friday.

The teenage boy and the other H1N1 case, a 44-year-old seaman, were also confined at the medical center and were doing well, Gonzaga said.

Gonzaga said that with the infection of the 14-year-old girl, the number of H1N1 cases in the region could rise.

"That is why, we are doing contract tracing," Gonzaga said.

In the case of the PSHS, the DOH has been monitoring the health of the 40 students believed to have had close contact with the two confirmed H1N1 cases.

The school suspended its classes on Tuesday.

Gonzaga said that 22 boys were quarantined on the third floor of one of the school's buildings while the girls were on the second floor.

Seven of the school's campus personnel, who were in contact with the students, were also being closely monitored.

The quarantined students were either suffering from fever, cough and sore throat, symptoms of the H1N1 virus, Gonzaga said.

Swab samples were taken from the students for testing at the Research Institute for Tropical Medicine in Muntinlupa, Metro Manila, he said.






Jun 19, 2009

Region 8 welcomes giant investor in Tacloban

Philippine Information Agency

Tacloban City -- While some big enterprises are closing shop in some parts of the world, Region 8 recently welcomed the opening of Robinsons Place Tacloban, the newest store of the Robinsons Malls which is the second largest shopping mall and retail operator in the Philippines.

So far the biggest shopping mall in the Region, Robinsons Place Tacloban is located within the city's expaqnding commercial district at Marasbaras District, about one kilometer away from the airport and four kilometers away from Tacloban downtown area.

With a floor area of 31,000 square meters for the mall and 5,000 square meters for the BPO building, where TeleTech Tacloban is soon to open its newest site in the country, Robinsons Place Tacloban boasts of complete in-store facilities that include a department store, appliance center, food court, supermarket, amusement center, and a state-of-the-art Movieworld Cinema.

Presidential Assistant for Eastern Visayas Cynthia Nierras said that the opening of the Robinsons Place Tacloban is a welcome development not only for Tacloban City but for the province of Leyte and the entire Region 8.

For one, Robinsons Place Tacloban has generated about a thousand employment opportunities for the people of Tacloban and Region 8. It also generated investments as local investors were encouraged to set up their business within the mall.

The mall will have great impact to the City of Tacloban in terms of business taxes that the operator will be paying.

Tacloban City Mayor Alfred Romualdez was quoted as saying that the opening of the Robinsons Place in Tacloban is a manifestation of investor confidence in the city and in the entire Region 8.

Mr. Frederick D. Go, Robinsons Land president and chief operating officer, during the opening of the Mall on July 11, disclosed that next year a 100-room hotel will be built just beside the mall and within the company's four-hectare property.

"The mall is just the first phase of our development. We still have land available around the mall to expand. The economy is not bad and we believe that the mall will do very well here in Tacloban," Mr. Go said.





Jun 18, 2009

Balikbayans expected to come home this June for Tacloban City fiesta

By Jose Rodriguez T. Señase

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Several hundred balikbayans, prominent political leaders and other Taclobanons are expected to grace the Balik-Tacloban Night slated to be held at the Baluarte Convention Center in San Jose, this city, on June 29.

Tacloban Sangyaw Foundation president Alex Montejo said that they are expecting balikbayans from the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, and other parts of Asia and Europe to come home for the Balik-Tacloban Night.

Aside from City Mayor Alfred Romualdez, organizers are also expecting former First Lady Imelda Romualdez-Marcos, Senate President Juan Ponce Enrile, Makati City Mayor Jejomar Binay and Calbayog City Mayor Mel Senen Sarmiento to grace the occasion.

City Councilor Cristina Gonzales, a former singer-actress, will also be there to render a song number.

"With all the prominent guests, balikbayans, and other attendees, we are looking forward to a "big night" full of fun and enjoyment," Montejo stressed.

Held as part of the upcoming Sangyaw Festival, the event is meant to raise funds that will be used by the Sangyaw Foundation for various socio-cultural activities it sponsors here in the City of Tacloban.

The Tacloban Sangyaw Foundation was founded last May 2008 by prominent families in the city. The foundation was formed primarily to coordinate socio-civic groups in connection with the city fiesta and conduct various activities related to the celebration.

The highlight of the event will be dancing and socials. The renowned Tacloban City Band will also be there to entertain guests, visitors, and other attendees.

The activity will be jointly conducted by the Tacloban Sangyaw Foundation and the Tacloban Host Lions Club. Ms. Linda Mendoza is the overall chairman of the event.

Tickets for the event are available at Hotel Alejandro or any member of the Sangyaw Foundation and the Lion's Club.






Jun 18, 2009

Miss Tacloban search candidate plays 'Careless Whisper' on a sax

By Fred Padernos

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- At the strike of the first note of her piece "Careless Whisper" played on a Saxophone, Miss Tacloban 2009 candidate no. 3 Rachelle Erica C. Pineda got the most reverberating applause and screaming from the huge audience who witnessed the Search for Miss Talent held on June 15, at 4 p.m. at the newly opened Robinsons Place.

According to several persons in the audience, the talent showed by Pineda is rarely seen in any beauty pageant, while dance drama, monologue, ethnic dance and interpretative dance are very common.

When asked why she chose the song, Miss Pineda said she really love the song because it is dominated by a saxophone - a wind musical instrument she learned and loved to play since she was six years old.

City Councilor Eden Chua Pineda, mother of Rachelle, who was at all smile while watching her daughter's performance, said that like an ordinary mother, she was very proud of her daughter who received a very good impact from the audience.

The proud mother further told this writer that Rachelle really loves playing musical instruments like piano but she loves more blowing the saxophone and she mastered her craft on the sax especially for the talent portion.

City Councilor Cristina G. Romualdez, who witnessed the Search for Miss Talent, said the presentation of all the 12 candidates were very good and exciting but the results would announced during the pageant night on June 27 at the Astrodome.

Careless Whisper is a 1984 single by the group Wham and sung by George Michael, released by Epic Records in the UK, Japan, and other countries; and by Columbia Records in North America. The song features a saxophone riff, and has been covered by a number of artists since its first release. It was released as a single and became a huge commercial success on both sides of the Atlantic. It reached number one in nearly 25 countries, selling about six million copies worldwide.






Jun 17, 2009

No permit yet for Pintados-Kasadyaan Festival

By April Rose Q. Uykieng

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- The newly appointed Chief of Police of Tacloban City, Police Senior Superintendent Brigido Basio Unay, is not sure what measures or actions to take with regards the upcoming Pintados Kasadyaan Festival parade on June 27, 2009, in which the permit had already been submitted by the Province to City Mayor Alfred Romualdez's office for approval.

Unay said that "Mayor Romualdez will have to talk it out with the Pintados Kasadyaan Committee and the Pastoral Council, so as to have a smooth operation of the parade for that said date."

"We will not be able to pre-determine at this point in time of how to handle the situation, since both parties are still in the process of discussing what will be the best solution and to satisfy the interest of not only both parties concerned but the public as well," he said.

He added: "Whatever the outcome of that meeting, that's the time that we will enforce police for traffic and security measures around the city, as to how many policemen will be needed and for how long the parade would take," he said.

When a worst case scenario arises, for instance that the Mayor will not approve of the permit for the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival parade to proceed, Sr. Supt. Unay said he will maintain peace and order.

As what former Congresswoman Petilla had said, they already submitted the permit to have the parade and to have the street dancing on June 27 to the Mayor's Office.

It is up to the Mayor if he will give the Pintados Kasadyaan the chance to celebrate the Sr. Sto Niño festival, and that it has no political agenda, since it is a celebration of Leyte's patron saint.

Mrs. Petilla also said that "The Sangyaw is allowed to do the street dancing and parade on the 29th, then Kasadyaan Festival should also be given the same treatment, because it would be unfair to those people who want to celebrate and partake in the activities of the Pintados."

For the time being, Unay will wait for the decision from the City Mayor Alfred Romualdez and the Pastoral Council for the Pintados Kasadyaan Festival parade to proceed on June 27, 2009.






Jun 17, 2009

Shakey's bullish on growth of its new branch at Robinsons

By Sarwell Q. Meniano

Leyte Samar Daily Express

TACLOBAN CITY -- Thin Crust Pizza maker Shakey's is bullish of its growth in this city after opening a new branch at the new Robinsons Place Tacloban, bringing the number of Philippine branches to 104.

Louie Cellona, Shakey's Tacloban store manager, said that more people are starting to patronize American pizza as they noted it in their years of operation in Leyte.

"The growth rate here in terms of sales has been very good. That convinced us to open up a second branch in the city," he said, however, he refused to mention figures.

Cellona said that their newest location is ideal because of high foot traffic inside the mall. Hildevanne Food Corporation got the franchise for Shakey's Tacloban branches. About 60% of the branches in the country are company owned and 40% franchise.

"We consider franchisees as our great partners in business. That's the relationship that we want to strengthen," said Coochy Mamaclay, Shakey's brand and local store marketing manager.

Mamaclay said that the new restaurant is the fifth new stores they have opened this year in the country. The restaurant is set to open 12 branches this year. Among these are in Boracay, SM Naga, Shopwise Sucat, Port Area Delgado, Davao Gaisano, Urdaneta, and Pangasinan

The Pizza restaurant has been popularizing Calamari Crunch, Mojos n' Dip, Manager's Choice, Shakey's Special, Shakey's Super Seven, Pepperoni Crunch, Margherita New York Pizza, Grand Slam Pizza, Chick ‘n' Chips, Carbonara Supreme, and Monster Spaghetti Meatballs.

"The product and brand name makes us more competitive at the same time is the quality food and service and the value for money. That's our number one market strategy especially with the economic condition that we are experiencing," she added.

Mamaclay claimed that for the past five years, the restaurant has been experiencing "high double digit" growth rate and in terms of sales and it's been "consistent."

In the National Capital Region, Pizza restaurants has been set up in Muntinlupa, Makati, Caloocan, Las Piñas, Paranaque, San Juan, Mandaluyong, Manila, Pasig, Quezon City, Pasay, Marikina, and Valenzuela

In Luzon, stores are in Baguio, Cavite, La Union, Pampanga, Batangas, Daet, Legaspi, Pangasinan, Bulacan, Ilocos, Naga, Rizal, Cabanatuan, Laguna, Palawan, and Tagaytay.

In the Visayas and Mindanao, Shakey's operates in Bacolod, Cebu, Dumaguete, Iloilo, Tacloban, Davao, Cagayan de Oro, Koronadal, and General Santos.

Based in the United States, the pizza restaurant chain founded in Sacramento, California, on April 30, 1954 by Sherwood "Shakey" Johnson and Ed Plummer, has about 400 stores worldwide. By 1975, the company had expanded to the Pacific Rim, including Japan and the Philippines. The chain is now much bigger in the Philippines than in the US.




    
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