Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Call for Admission and Scholarship applications for Diploma in Multimedia Journalism

Quezon City, 2 December 2011. ACFJ now accepts applications for admission and scholarship for the Diploma in Multimedia Journalism. The deadline is Wednesday, 15 February 2012 for the 2012 offering which begins in May.

The Diploma in Multimedia Journalism (DMJ) is a one-year program seeking to provide Asian working journalists with a broad perspective and the practical skills to undertake cross-platform multimedia journalistic projects.

Admission is limited to 15 students. Scholarship grants are available to Asian journalists on a competitive basis.

The program comprises seven courses, including a capstone project, as follows:

Fundamentals of Multimedia Journalism: provides an overview of the theories and practices of multimedia journalism.

Newsgathering for Multimedia: seeks to develop and sharpen the students’ abilities to gather and report news for the multimedia format.

Mobile Journalism: Mobile Journalism trains students to employ a variety of tools and technologies to report news in a fully multimedia manner.

Convergence Theory: discusses changing journalistic practices including new techniques for visual framing and composition, audio production, and efficient content delivery.

Multi Platform Practice: seeks to further develop the students’ core skills in multimedia reporting such as blogging, social networking, digital audio and podcasting, as well as shooting and editing of digital photos and videos.

Interactive Media Literacy: allows students to learn and reflect on theories and practices in media literacy on an interactive platform.

Multimedia Journalism Project: is the capstone course that allows students to produce a major multimedia story under the guidance of an adviser.

The Diploma in Multimedia Journalism, a distance learning program via the Internet, has been specially designed to allow working journalists to study and work at the same time. The courses are conducted either entirely online or using a fusion of online and on-campus methods, i.e. hybrid courses

Application forms for admission and scholarships are available for download at (under Resources) or upon request. Send email to:

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Finalists of the Dr. Juan Escandor Search for Best Human Rights Teaching in the Municipality of Gubat

Congratulations to the following finalists of the Dr. Juan Escandor Search for Best Human Rights Teaching in the Municipality of Gubat:

Ms. Peachie Aricheta - Bagacay Elementary School
Mr. Marlon Panuga - Gubat North Central School
Ms. Evelyn Farenas - Carriedo Elementary School
Mr. Joseph Escober - Patag Elementary School
Ms. Marlyn Gerona - Aguinaldo Elementary School
Ms. Amelia Deyto - Gubat North Central School

They submitted the best lesson plans integrating human rights concepts. Yesterday, they all had a demo teaching executing their lesson plans at Gubat South Central School.

The judges yesterday were Mr Florencio Bermundo, Prof. Mila Ragos, and Fr. Gerry del Prado. We will announce soon the the top three winners. The awarding will be on Dec 15, at the opening of the Christ the King Christmas celebration.

Friday, December 09, 2011

Gift-giving by the parish

The Parish of St Anthony de Padua will be giving gifts this Christmas to indigent families. If you want to help, you can send secondhand clothes, toys, food to the parish. For inquiries, you can call Ms Lulu at 311-1677 or Maam Del at 0933-3697406.

Job opening: Community Empowerment Program Coordinator

The Office for Community Development of Arellano University is in need of a Program Coordinator for its community Empowerment Program. Interested applicants may contact and submit application letter and resume to Ms. Andreline D. Ansula, OIC Director, of Office for Community Development, Rm. 2 Elementary Building, Arellano University, Legarda Campus or call Tel no. 7347371 loc. 238 c/o Lerma Lazarte or Lyndy Berdin or email to

job Description: Community Empowerment Program
1. Shall coordinate with partner communities regarding planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of AU activities in their area in coordination with different institutes.
2. Shall formulate systems to ensure Arellano's collaborated efforts are directly benefiting partner communities
3. Shall develop/write concept papers/project proposals to CEP.
4. Shall prepare modules and conduct community-based workshop and trainings in coordination with ComDev Coordinators of concerned institutes.
5. Shall facilitate/assist partner communities in the process of developing community projects.
6. Shall undertake collaboration and coordination work with partner community and develop/forge AU partnership with existing and target partner communities.
•Liaise with community representative and explore/plan projects with them.
•Assist in organizing and implementing activities of the communities.
•Coordinate Arellano efforts in communities.
1. Shall facilitate/coordinate training and ComDev activities with partner communities.
• Conduct field visits and integrate with the community
2. Shall submit documentation of activities and progress/accomplishment reports tot eh Director/supervisor.
3. Shall support and coordinate with other staff members for other projects of the office.
4. Shall perform other duties assigned by the office Supervisor and/or Director.

Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Get-together of Gubatnons in Manila

SARUNG BANGGI: An Acoustic Night! :)

When: Saturday, December 10, 2011
Time: 6PM - 1:30AM
Where: My Bro's Mustache, Sct. Tuazon cor. Sct. Madrinan, Timog, QC (Near Shell Station)

Ticket: PhP 150. For inquiries and reservation, please call/text: 09175574205/09228625919.

Proceeds of the concert will be used for environmental management workshop of Burugkos, Inc in coastal barangays in Gubat, Sorsogon; capacity building seminars, Career Orientation Program for high school students, Rizal Day Clean-up 2012 and other projects.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Division Math Competitions

I was at the Gubat North Central School (GNCS) to address the province's best math pupils for the Division Mathematics Competitions. In my address to the teachers and pupils, I remmebered three of my great Math teachers who can serve as exemplars to the teachers: 1) Ms Caridad Erestain, my grade three teacher, for her dedication, 2) Ms Carolina Escueta, my grade 5 and 6 math teacher, for her emphasis on rote learning, and 3) Ms. Monina Fajardo, my second year math teacher, for her emphasis on kindling the students' intellectual curiosity in solving math problems in everyday life.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Job opening: Program and field officers

Starting January next year until 2013, the Municipality of Gubat and the Philippine Center for Civic Education and Democracy (PCCED) are partnering for a special project entitled Promoting Democratic Values in the Barangays of Gubat, Sorsogon. The project, which will include all 42 barangays of the municipality, is intended to 1) improve community conflict resolution mechanisms in the barangays (Barangay Rule of Law Seminar)and 2) promote community participation for the diagnosis of problems and strategies faced by the barangays (Participatory Budgeting).

To undertake this project, the PCCED is hiring a program offocer and two field officers. To apply, please see the official job opening announcement.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

They that have power to hurt, and will do none

To celebrate November's being the National Reading Month ( and because the Kabataan party-list is exhorting everyone to pose with his favorite book to revitalize reading as a social activity), I am posing below with one of my favorite books: Nelson Mandela's Long Walk to Freedom.

The book had a huge impact on me, perhaps because I read it when I was fairly young (fourth year high school). I think the books you read when you were young have a tendency of becoming the most influential on you. Long Walk to Freedom was the book that first gave me a glimpse of public life, how politics could consume the life of one man, and how involvement in politics could transform the lives of other people for the better.

Fifteen years after reading this book, what I remember now were the scenes of daily humiliation Mandela was subjected to: being stripped naked, being taunted by ignorant prison authorities who were his social inferiors, the humiliatingly meager food rations. And Mandela hated them all. I remember reading there was one remarkably painful time when he promised to himself that one prison guard would be "as poor as a church mouse after I'm through with him."

And yet when Mandela became president, when he now had the opportunity to exact vengeance on that guard, he did not. As I grew older and as I have come to observe the behavior of other people, I realize that a modicum of power and authority can greatly change a man's behavior and personality. There are also other people who have all the appearance of virtue simply because they were never in a position of power to be otherwise. In college, I came across a beautiful phrase from Shakespeare's Sonnet 94: They that have power to hurt, and will do none. Yes, Nelson Mandela was one of those rare men.

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. It taught me the virtue of patience and waiting, and the necessity of magnanimity in politics. I consider this book one of my reading life's treasures.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Training of day care workers

Earlier this morning, I was in Sto. Domingo, Albay, for the training/induction program of our Gubat Day Care Workers facilitated by the National Early Childhood Care and Development Council. This activity is in preparation for our building a childhood care and development center at the Aguinaldo Elementary School, which is intended to, among others, upgrade the skills of our day care workers. The municipality is partnering with the Council to improve early childhood education in the municipality.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Job opening: early childhood education teacher

The National Early Childhood Care and Development Coordinating Council is hiring a teacher to handle early childhood education in a center we will be building at the Aguinaldo Elem School. If you are an elem education grad, has been ranked by DepEd, bring you personal data sheet and come to the municipality 6 AM this Wednesday. There's a free jeep you can take going to Legaspi for the job interview.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress

In celebration of November, which was declared by the Department of Education as the National Reading Month, we are going to screen the film Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress on Saturday, November 26, 7 PM, at the Encinas Pavilion.

Set during the Cultural Revolution in China, Balzac and the Little Chinese Seamstress is a coming-of-age story of two teenagers from bourgeois families who were sent by the Communist government to the countryside to be re-educated by the rural villagers. Staying in the mountain village, they fell in love with one girl and, along the way, discovered the illicit pleasure of reading Western literature forbidden by the government.

Balzac had me at its first scene where to escape the destruction of a prized violin and hide their attachment to Western bourgeois music, the two teenagers misrepresented Mozart's Divertimento, K 334 as being entitled Mozart Thinking of Chairman Mao. After which, the village chief, knowing no better, pompously proclaimed that indeed Mozart is always thinking of Chairman Mao. Hilariously funny.

This is one of my all-time favorite films.It has gorgeous landscape, a wonderful story, a political subplot and a heartbreaking ending. I think anybody who loves reading literature will fall in love with this film.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Clash of the Titans

When I was a Grade six pupil (or perhaps It was during the fifth grade, I don't exactly remember now), we had lessons about the different parts of the universe: the planets (named after the Roman Gods), the galaxies and, of course, the many constellations with strange names like Hercules, Pegasus, Andromeda and Perseus. It was also by this time that I came across Edith Hamiton's Mythology, although I do not remember how I got hold of that book. Books were so scarce then when I was growing up and no teacher encouraged reading, so I think it must be a copy a classmate must have lent me.

I remember I really loved that book. It had so many wonderful, magical stories about heroes conquering powerful enemies, gods scheming against each other and, of course, love unrequited. When I was a boy, I had a taste for fantasy stories. My favorite komiks were Kuwento and Pinoy Komiks, and every week starting from Grade 2, I would go to the Enaje komiks joint in Balud to read all the komiks there for only ten centavos each. Whenever I walked home from school, I would always pass by the big tree in front of the church and take a peek at the hole on its trunk. And I believed if I religiously look hard enough, a duwende might judge me worthy of friendship, and show himself to me and give me untold riches which I could bring to my parents (I guess I was materialistic as a kid, probably the reason why no duwende bothered with me).

Anyway, for a year or so sometime around grade six, I was mythology-crazy. One day, I would imagine myself Zeus hurling thunderbolts against my classmates. The next day, I would be daydreaming of travelling away riding Pegasus. Sometimes I would like to be just bad and conquer Olympus and take all the gods as my prisoners. It was also during this time that I, together with some friends, began hunting for betamax tapes on mythology. And it was at Chia's video store that I got The Clash of the Titans, about Perseus, his love Andromeda, the flying Pegasus and the deadly Medusa.

I will be watching The Clash of the Titans again at Encinas Pavilion, 7 PM, this Saturday November 19. It is a classic fantasy film I am sure every kid will enjoy, and yes, it is much, much better than its recent remake, which you probably might have seen recently on HBO. You can read more about the film here on Wikipedia.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Photo contest


Manila, 25 October 2011 – Dun & Bradstreet Philippines (D&B) is inviting all amateur and professional photographers residing in the Philippines to showcase their talent by submitting entries to the Dun & Bradstreet Photo Challenge. Entries may be entered under any of the following categories: Philippine Skyline, Famous Landmarks and Places in the Philippines, The Global Filipino Businessperson in Action, SMEs: The Backbone of the Philippine Economy, The Power of Information, BPOs as a major driving force in economy growth. Multiple entries per contestant are allowed.

Those interested to join may view the complete mechanics and submit their entries by visiting the Dun & Bradstreet Photo Challenge website at The contest runs from October 20 to November 20, 2011. Contest winners will become proud new owners of Canon digital cameras.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Upcoming TESDA training at the municipality

Below are the upcoming trainings to be undertaken by the municipality. If you are interested or have some inquiries, please see PESO Manager Rowena Fajardo at Civil Registrar's Office (tel 311-1061)

TVET Schedule for the last quarter of CY 2011

1. Shielded Metal Arc Welding NC II (SMAW)
2. Electrical Installation & Maintenance NC II (EIM)
3. Carpentry NC II

Community-Based Training for Enterprise Development (CBTED) & AHMP Program

1. Hydroponic Gardening
2. Gulayan sa Paaralan & Barangay
3. Pili Shellcraft & Fashion Accessories Production
4. Paper Recycling

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Bagong gawang spillway sa Anibong, Barangay Bulacao

Ito ang bagong gawang spillway sa Anibong sa Barangay Bulacao na pinondohan ng PDAF ni Congressman Ramos. Maaari nang dumaan ang mga taga Barangay Sangat sa Barangay Bulacao kung patungo sa poblacion. Kung inyong matatandaan, ang bahaging ito ay wasak sa loob ng mahabang panahon.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Call for applications: American Studies Ph.D. program

The University of Heidelberg seeks applications for its Ph.D. program in American Studies at the Heidelberg Center for American Studies(HCA). This structured, three-year English-language program is open to German and international applicants who wish to earn a research-oriented academic degree. The program aids students in acquiring the skills to independently conduct major scholarly research in the fields of American history, politics, geography, literature, and cultural studies. It not only offers a modern multidisciplinary curriculum but is particularly committed to building a true community of scholars by fostering academic debate and continual exchange among its participants.

Unlike Ph.D. programs in the United States, this program does not include a preliminary phase ending with a preliminary or comprehensive exam. This means that no automatic master's degree will be awarded and that students will not have time to develop their dissertation topics while enrolled in the program. Instead, acceptance to the Heidelberg Ph.D. program in American Studies requires a well developed advanced concept of a research project.

To apply successfully, a candidate needs to fulfill not only the general entrance requirements but she or he also needs to write a meaningful proposal. The proposal should outline the guiding questions of the dissertation project while embedding them in current academic debates and show that the dissertation will make an original and
important contribution to a particular field of research. The proposal should also list the source materials that will be used and provide a realistic timetable for the completion of the project.

Applicants also need a letter of intent from a professor at the University of Heidelberg that she or he is willing to be their advisor for the envisaged project. Candidates need two letters of recommendation that not only assess the applicant?s academic qualifications but also evaluate the proposed dissertation project.

Once accepted, students are expected to take one class on method and theory, one class on academic writing as well as a presentation and media skills class. For the entire duration of their enrollment, students are expected to attend the Ph.D. colloquium. Regular progress reports and orientation talks with advisors are also an integral part of our Ph.D. program. There are no tuition fees.

Upon completing the program, the graduates are awarded either a Doktor der Philosophie (Dr. phil.) or a ?Doctor of Philosophy(Ph.D.) according to their choice.

The deadline for submitting applications for the next term (winter semester 2012, October) is February 15, 2012.

Monday, November 07, 2011

Marathon reading of the Noli Me Tangere

We are holding a marathon reading of the Noli Me Tangere on Dec 29-30 at the Monreal Ruins, BU Gubat. We are looking for volunteers who can read aloud two pages from the novel. Readers can either read their pages at the Monreal Ruins or, if you are abroad and can't attend the event, you can join us via online video call or by a pre-recorded video. Join us in celebrating the life of Jose Rizal and his great novel. Sign up here.

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Save the date: December 10

Burugkos Inc is organizing an acoustic night at My Bro's Mustache on Scout Tuazon, Timog on the night of December 10. Proceeds from the event shall be used, I was told, to fund a waste management seminar for Barangay Rizal. If you are meeting your friends come Christmas season (or having a Christmas party), you can have your celebration during the acoustic night event. That way, you also get the chance to meet other Gubatnons in Manila.

Saturday, November 05, 2011

Barangay Carriedo Bridge Project

Earlier this morning, I was in Carriedo for the formal turnover of this bridge project which will help control the flooding during heavy rains and make for a safer way going to Barangay Manapao. The project was funded by the PDAF of Congressman Ramos.

Thursday, November 03, 2011

The Dr. Juan Escandor Search for Best Human Rights Teaching in the Municipality of Gubat

First Prize: Samsung N100-MA02 Netbook

Second Prize: Canon Powershot A800 Digital Camera

Third Prize: Nokia C3 Phone


1. The contest is open to all public elementary school teachers regularly employed by the DepEd in the Municipality of Gubat.

2. Entries should be lesson plans designed to be taught within 40 minutes and prepared for any grade level or subject area, except Makabayan and Edukasyon sa Pagpapahalaga. You may choose whatever specific human right you want to feature in your lesson plan. Please refer to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR) and the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR).

3. The lesson plans will be judged by how well they are able to seamlessly integrate human rights concepts into regular lessons. Please make the lesson plan as detailed as possible (including descriptions of teaching materials you want to use in your execution of the plan).

4. The lesson plans are preferably to be submitted digitally by e-mail to both and, but hard copies may also be submitted to the Mayor’s Office. Please include your name, name of school where you are regularly employed, and contact number.

5. The lesson plans will be collectively vetted by a committee. The committee will choose the best seven lesson plans among those submitted. The teachers who submitted the best lesson plans will each be observed to determine how well they execute their respective lesson plans. From the seven finalists, the top three to win the major prizes will be chosen.

6. A teacher is allowed to submit only one entry.

7. Deadline for the submission of entries is November 14, 2011. Teaching demo of the best seven lesson plans is to be scheduled on November 18, 2011. Awarding of prizes will immediately follow at the Monreal Ruins inside the BU Gubat Campus at 3 pm.

Human Rights Seminar-Workshop for Teachers

The weekend of October 22-23, we held a Human Rights and Peace Seminar Workshop for Teachers at the LIKAS Ridge Training Center in Irosin (very nice place, clean and comfortable dorm beds). The over-all goal is to inject human rights concepts into elementary school curriculum. We invited the teachers whose pupils' average marks in the fourth periodical exam last year were the highest in the municipality.

The project was conceptualized by the municipality and was financially supported by the Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP). Mr Florencio Bermundo, Values Education supervisor for the Division Office gave the welcome remarks. Director Ana Elzy Ofreneo of the Commission on Human Rights's Education and Research Office and Dr. Aurora Parong of Amnesty International Philippines gave lectures on human rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

We were also generously granted a personal sharing and reflection by Mrs. Zenaida Enaje, former principal of Gubat National High School and sister of martial law martyr Dr. Juan Escandor. Later in the program, we were also joined by Karapatan-Bicol and Father Bong Imperial of the Our Lady of Penafrancia Seminary (OLPS) for a conversation on human rights concerns and issues in the Philippines today.

Nothing is better for us as citizens than to get a human rights education. The Philippine Constitution deems it very important that it tells us to have one. I myself have very fond memories of a human rights class I had under Professor Miriam Coronel-Ferrer, now a member of the GRP peace panel talking with the NDF.

There are some people though who believe that a human rights education makes us selfish, but it was because people were not even aware of a self with inalienable rights the state cannot encroach upon that in times past whole populations were decimated. When we become better aware of our rights, we become better aware of our political obligations as citizens because whether we like it or not, yes paradoxically, it is the existence of the state, our sometimes very oppressor, that also guarantees the protection of our rights.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tong Hua (Fairy Tale)

Check this great song by Malaysian Chinese Michael Wong. The song is six years old or so and was a huge hit across the Chinese-speaking world when it was released. I can't shake off this song for the last few days, makes me regret terribly the fact that I don't speak Mandarin.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Arthur Rimbaud's Illuminations

It was I think during my second year at the university that I saw this small film called Total Eclipse about the tumultuous relationship between the poets Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, two people gone drunk with poetry. The film was almost unremarkable except for the fact that it starred the young Leonardo DiCaprio who later on will become one of the biggest stars in Hollywood.

A few months ago, there was this New Yorker piece on Rimbaud which again piqued my curiosity. Apparently, Rimbaud started writing poems at the age of sixteen, ran away from home, took the literary world in Paris by storm and then, after a violent fight with Verlaine wherein he shot the latter's ear, quit writing at around the age of twenty. The New Yorker piece points out that Rimbaud went back home home, later lived in Africa to become a merchant of, among others, coffee, and at the age of 37 died of cancer.

And so I took up my copy of Rimbaud's Illuminations I got many years ago from a bargain bin at Book Sale and finished reading it during one of the nights I was in Manila attending a conference. Was the book good? Ahhh, I think I missed the proper time of reading the book, and I regret it. I should not have tarried, should have read it when I was seventeen. Now, all the book's teenage angst and dreaminess is lost on me.

On hindsight though I now better understand one classmate I had in a class in Spanish, who was an aspiring poet then. He was probably under the spell of Arthur Rimbaud. But everybody grows up. Even Rimbaud did.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Job Opening

Senator Pangilinan tweets tha he needs a political communications person, preferably with TV news experience. Contact Renan Dalisay at 5526732.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

International Criminal Justice Forum

Advancing Philippine Contributions
to International Criminal Justice

with a keynote address from

Judicial Candidate to the International Criminal Court
Senator of the Republic of the Philippines

Discussants: Prof H. Harry L. Roque. Jr. of IILS
& the chair of the Commission on Human Rights chair,
Loretta Ann Pargas Rosales

9:30 am-12 noon, Friday, 21 October 2011
Malcolm Theater, Malcolm Hall, College of Law, UP

Sponsored by
The Institute of International Legal Studies
of the UP Law Center and the
Philippine Coalition for the International Criminal Court

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Marathon reading of the Noli Me Tangere

Every December 30, local government units are enjoined to honor our national hero Dr. Jose Rizal. This is why we see wreath laying ceremonies in front of Rizal monuments in every town (come to think of it,which town has no monument?).

2011 is the sesquicentennial (150th) anniversary of Rizal's birth, so I figure we must do something really special this year. And then I got to thinking: What could be more commemorative of the greatness of a man than to honor the work for which he was pilloried?

Rizal was meted the death penalty for writing two subversive novels, the Noli Me Tangere and the El Filibusterismo, two novels which, according to the noted scholar Benedict Anderson, made us imagine our country for the first time as a community, as one comprised of Filipinos, not merely indios who were subjects of a distant empire. It was in the Noli and the Fili that we first read about ourselves. Those two novels, according to Anderson, invented in our minds the concept of our nation.

And what greater way to honor a literary work than to read it? So on December 29, 7 AM, we are going to begin a marathon reading of the Noli Me Tangere. We are seeking volunteer readers who will each read aloud two pre-assigned pages from the Noli and, as much as possible, deliver his reading dressed as a character from the novel. Everyone will also be encouraged to bring food and beverage mentioned in the novel.

We want to make the event global (Rizal, after all, was hopelessly itinerant) and thus we welcome readers from abroad who can deliver their reading pre-recorded or live via Skype or Yahoo video chat.

Venue is tentatively set at the Monreal Ruins (inside Bicol University Gubat) on Rizal Street.

If you want to join, send me a quick message at ronnelATgmailDOTcom or message me through facebook. I will email you your assigned pages. We plan to serve tinola and tsokolate of uniform viscosity for everyone, no ah no eh.

Wednesday, October 05, 2011

Call for Proposals: IPC Merit Research Awards. Deadline on Nov. 21

The Institute of Philippine Culture, School of Social Science welcomes proposals for the IPC Merit Research Awards. With funds provided by the Ford Foundation, the awards seek to advance research in the social sciences. Proponents are asked to present a written proposal with clearly stated research objectives, the proposed study's theoretical significance, and the research methods required.

Priority Research Areas

The program puts priority on five substantive thematic clusters:

1. Social justice, poverty, and well-being;

2. Civil society, social change, cultural- and spiritual- based values;

3. Asset building and social capital formation in community-based health, education, shelter, and natural resource management;

4. Cultures of work, conflict, and peace; and

5. The impact of globalization on people's everyday lives.

Within these thematic clusters, specific substantive areas would include:

a. Religious change and transformation;
b. Families, childhood, youth, and aging;
c. Culture, political leadership, and state power;
d. Critical analysis of citizenship and civil society;
e. Forms of governance;
f. Corporations and private authority;
g. Social dynamics of agriculture and the environment;
h. Articulations of the global-local nexus; and
i. The coexistence of "modernity" and "tradition".

Proposal guidelines

Research proposals should not exceed 2,500 words. The proposed project must be completed within 12 months. The maximum research award is P500,000.00.

The IPC Merit Research Awards are granted on a competitive basis.

The deadline for submission of research proposals this year is November 21, 2011.

To download the MRA Guidelines and Application form please visit the IPC website:

For inquiries and more information, please e-mail Dr. Ma. Elizabeth J.

Macapagal, IPC Associate Director for Research (

Monday, October 03, 2011

Job opening: Pol Sci Teacher

The Department of Political Science is now accepting applications for full-time teaching positions for academic year, 2012-2013. Applicants for full-time positions should have a master's degree in political science or a related field (e.g. public administration, international studies/relations), preferably with teaching experience and Ph.D. units. Interested applicants may contact Prof. Ruth Lusterio-Rico, Chair of the Department of Political Science, through or

Anne Curtis and Nora Aunor smoking

First of all, let me say that Anne Curtis looks wonderful on this month's Rogue cover and Yes Magazine probably caught the real Nora Aunor on its cover photo, as editor Joanne Maglipon emphasized in an interview. But I think it was wrong to show them with cigarettes on magazine covers everybody, including children with impressionable minds, could see in the newsstands. Because this is one major path how people end up with a smoking habit: When they were young they saw adults smoking and as teenagers, in a hurry to grow up, they copy the vestiges of adulthood, the most visible of which is smoking. And when they grow older and begin to know better, they are already hooked with a habit and could not get out of smoking, even if their lives depended on it.

The magazine covers peddle the idea that smoking is sophistication. This is so trite and 1970's where the easiest thing for a stylist to do to make a woman appear sophisticated and modern is to let her light up. The magazine covers may or may not have violated the law, but celebrities should be more responsible with the images they project on children. We could pull down perfectly healthy bodies (albeit in underpants) in Guadalupe, surely we could all do better than pose with life-destroying accessories on magazine covers.

By the way, if you feel offended by Rogue, you can switch to reading Esquire Philippines (Lovi Poe can be found at the link), which had its debut issue this month with Manny Pacquiao on the cover.

Sunday, October 02, 2011

Sinakiki at the Kasanggayahan

The Municipality of Gubat participated in the cultural parade marking the official opening of Sorsogon's Kasanggayahan Festival. Elementary school teachers, Sangguniang Kabataan officials and other friends volunteered to showcase the Sinakiki, which I was told was Gubat's unique way of dancing the pantomina. Mr Albert Estrellado of Gubat North Central School trained the dancers; Ms Rebecca Ermino, Tourism officer-designate of the municipal government, coordinated the effort.

Governor Raul Lee officially opened the Kasanggayahan celebrations at the Balogo auditorium, with Senator Francis Escudero as special guest.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Schedule of 4P's payout

After a long wait, finally, the 4P's conditional cash transfer benificiaries in the Municipality are going to receive their first payout. Here is the schedule of the distribution, which will start as early as 6:30 AM:

Sept 29 (Andaya Gym)

Morning: Ariman, Balud del Sur, Pinontingan, Paradijon, Luna Candol, Manook, Cota na Daco, Villareal

Afternoon: Panganiban, Buenavista, Balud del Norte, Carriedo, Beriran, Benguet

Sept 30 (Andaya Gym)

Morning: Nato, Patag, Tigkiw, Togawe, Union, Nazareno, Sta. Ana, San Ignacio

Afternoon: Sangat, Dita, Lapinig, Tagaytay, Cogon, Paco, Cabiguhan, Jupi

October 3 (Encinas Pavilion)

Morning: Rizal, Bentuco, Tiris, Bagacay, Manapao, Naagtan

Afternoon: Tabi, Ogao, Cabigaan, Bulacao, Payawin, Casili

Friday, September 23, 2011


The Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau (WLB) is a feminist legal nongovernment organization composed of women’s rights activists and advocates. They are professionals in the various disciplines of the law and social science, social work and community development addressing women’s issues and concerns. Specifically, its mission is primarily to actively engage in advocacy together with other women’s groups to transform the law and the legal system, and engage its institutions,towards the empowerment of women,especially in the grassroots. This is being pursued in furtherance of the right of women to self-determination and the advancement of their dignity, rights and leadership, in concert with national and global movements for alternative development.

The WLB is in need of a full-time program officer who possesses the following qualities:

Has a keen interest and prior involvement in developmental work, social change and
women’s rights advocacies
Has good research skills
Has good communication (oral and in writing) skills in Filipino and English
Must have good interpersonal skills, is responsible, and takes intiative
Is self motivated and can work well individually as well as with a team

We hope that the candidate will be able to start work as soon as possible. Interested applicants must submit their resumé and sample written work to the:

Rm. 305 CSWCD Building, Magsaysay Avenue, UP Diliman, Quezon City
Email: and
If you have questions, feel free to call us at 921-4389.

Funding opportunity for human rights projects

Karapatan sa Malikhaing Paraan (KaSaMa) is inviting eligible Civil Society Organizations to submit innovative Philippine human rights project proposals for grants/funding by international partners.

KaSaMa is a funding initiative by international partners to support innovative human rights projects, which would respond to a wide range of human rights issues and themes such as civil, politicial, economic, social, and cultural rights. KaSaMa is being implemented by a consortium secretariat composed of the Ateneo Human Rights Center, Ateneo School of Government, and the Caucus of Development NGO Networks. And it is being organized in partnership with the following international partners: the Australian Embassy, British Embassy Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands, the Delegation of the European Union to the Philippines, New Zealand Embassy, and the Spanish Embassy, through the Spanish Agency for International Development Cooperation. Also supporting KaSaMa is the Commission on Human Rights,

Proposals must be implementable within a year, beginning in 2012.

Proposals may be submitted through email, fax, or regular mail (courier), and should be received by the secretariat on or before the 28th of October 2011.

For more information on the complete guidelines and to download the applications forms, please visit the KaSaMa website by clicking on this link

For submissions and inquiries please email or you may contact:

Phillip Don G. Recentes
Telephone/Fax Number: (02) 920-2920 or 426-6001 local 4644
Mail/Post to: Ateneo School of Government, Pacifico Ortiz Hall, Social Development Complex, Ateneo de Manila University, Loyola Heights, Quezon City

You may also contact the following numbers for specific concerns:
KaSaMa Proposal Guidelines at 920-2595 (Please look for Eric Javier)
KaSaMa Roadshow and Events at 899-7691 local 2123 (Please look for Anna Carillo)

Tatine G. Faylona
Senior Political and Cultural Affairs Officer
Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands
26th Flooor, Equitable Bank Tower
8751 Paseo de Roxas
Makati City, Philippines
Phone +63 2 786 6666
Fax +63 2 786 6600

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Banning or regulation of plastic bags

The Sangguniang Bayan is currently deliberating on a draft bill regarding the regulation or banning of plastic bags in the Municipality of Gubat. The objective of the bill is to minimize the waste we are currently generating especially  since we are beginning to see plastic waste floating in bodies of water in the municipality. Please sread the draft legislation here. We very much welcome feedback from you guys. If you have comments or concerns, message me through Facebook or email our environment officer Ms Lea Santos at leasantos510ATgmailDOTcom. You can also write your favorite Sangguniang Bayan member for your concerns. I’m sure they will welcome your letter.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Fare hike for tricycles

After extensive consultations with various sectors and the different barangays, the Sangguniang Bayan has promulgated a fare increase for tricycles plying routes in Gubat. On Thursday this week, we will be meeting with the various tricycle operators to determine the final mechanics of the implementation and iron out possible kinks in the implementation (like what to do with tricycle operators who do no want to avail of the fare increase). You can find the new tricycle fares here in Municipal Ordinance No. 2011-004.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Human Rights Training

Southeast Asian Human Rights Studies Network (SEAHRN)

Training on Academic Research
In Human Rights and Peace and Conflict
Organized by the Southeast Asian Human Rights Studies Network (SEAHRN)
In collaboration with
Centre for Southeast Asian Social Studies, Gadjah Mada University
Centre for Human Rights Studies, Islamic University of Indonesia

Dates: 24-28 October 2011
Venue: Yogyakarta, Indonesia

The Southeast Asian Human Rights Studies Network (SEAHRN) announces the call for applications to the Training on Academic Research in Human Rights and Peace and Conflict. The training is organized to enhance knowledge and deepen understanding of researching human rights, peace and conflict issues in Southeast Asian countries through collaborative research.

The training intends to bring together thirty (30) emerging researchers (academic and NGO based) and/or graduate students who are currently conducting research on human rights in Southeast Asia. Participants must be attached to an institution working on human rights in a research capacity, or be a graduate student researching human rights. Full and partial scholarships are available for SEA nationals based in SEA. Applicants are invited to submit an application including a research proposal on issues concerning:

Challenges to human rights and peace in Southeast Asia

Rights of vulnerable and marginalized groups

Gender, sexuality and women’s rights

ASEAN and human rights

Development, environment and non-state actors

Human rights and democracy

Migrants, refugees and stateless persons

Other issues of high relevant to human rights in SEA

Workshop participants will gain an understanding of how to develop and design research projects specifically for human rights and peace and conflict issues. These include data collection on, researching on sensitive issues, research and advocacy, and human rights and peace and conflict theory in research. Through an intensive training with experts from the region the participants will develop their capacity to undertake accurate and effective research which contributes to the realization of rights in South East Asia.

Interested applicants are encouraged to fill in the application form available at Applications should be sent to by 23 September 2011. Participants will be notified by 7 October 2011.

Friday, September 02, 2011

New ID Cards for barangay officials

Our barangay officials in the Municipality of Gubat now have ATM-type identification cards issued to them (shown right), a huge improvement from the past's laminated ID cards (shown left). The new cards also cost the barangays less than the old ones. Jalaw Figueras designed the new card.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


Philhealth has has released the specific amounts or case rate packages available to members for certain surgical procedures and ailments such as dengue, hypertension and pneumonia. If you are a college student in Manila , you can join the 22nd National Statistics Month essay Writing Contest; guidelines can be found here. The Mayo Clinic gives these tips on how to prevent dengue. And no, fumigation does not effectively work against dengue, as pointed out by the Department of Health and as Prof Michael Tan relate in his Inquirer column a year ago. Also, don't miss reading this great New Yorker piece on the mission that killed Osama bin Laden, which reminded me of just how much I enjoyed reading Mark Bowden's Black Hawk Down.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Various announcements

VSO is looking for volunteers, 18-25 years old, who can render service in Bohol for three months and Bardford City, United Kingdom also for three months. See their page here for more information. Application forms are available at the Mayor's Office. JICA is sponsoring a training programme for young leaders. To apply, see here. The activities for the celebration of the Kasanggayahan Festival 2011 in Sorsogon have been announced and can be found here. Burugkos, Inc's will hold a Career Orientation Program for high school students in Gubat on Saturday (20 Aug) at Gubat National High School. Registration starts at 8:00 AM. It's free and open to all third year and fourth year high school students.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Blogging by Android

I have recently got an Android smartphone (my first smartphone) and I am amazed at how it keeps you connected instantly all the timw. You can twit, check on facebook, text, skype call, you name it. And apparently, you can also post blog entries through an app called Blogger-droid, which I am testing now to see if it adequately works. If it does, I hope the convenience of blogging from my phone will lure me back to the blogosphere.
Published with Blogger-droid v1.7.4

Saturday, May 14, 2011

BU Gubat Scholarship Qualifiers

A week ago, the municipality's scholarship committee conducted examinations among those accepted enrollees of the Gubat Campus of the Bicol University to determine who can qualify for the thirty scholarship grants to be made by the municipality. The selection of the scholarship grantees is based on their combined municipal exam and BU entrance exam scores. The top thirty in the combined scores automatically qualify for the scholarship grant of the municipality, subject to the condition that they are able to meet the other requirements as to family income, average grade of 85% in high school, etc.

Pending their submission of the requirements to the Office of the Mayor, the students in the list here are our first batch of scholarship grantees. If you see your name on the list, please coordinate with Mr. Agerico Barcebal or Ms. Grace Escurel for the submission of the requirements.

TO know the requirements, and to read the other details about this scholarship project of the municipality, please read the complete implementing guidelines.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Job opening: Planning Coordinator

Municipal Planning and Development Coordinator
Municipality of Gubat
Gubat, Sorsogon


Holder of a college degree preferably in urban planning, development studies, economics, public administration, or any related course from a recognized college or university
First grade civil service eligible or its equivalent
Three (3) years experience in development planning or in any related field
Resident of the Municipality of Gubat


Formulate integrated economic, social, physical, and other development plans and policies for consideration of the local development council.
Conduct continuing studies, researchers, and training programs necessary to evolve plans and programs for implementation.
Integrate and coordinate all sectoral plans and studies undertaken by the different function groups or agencies.
Monitor and evaluate the implementation of different development programs, projects and activities in the municipality in accordance with the approved development plans.
Prepare comprehensive plans and other development planning documents for consideration of the local development council.
Analyze the income and expenditure patterns and formulate and recommend fiscal plans and policies for consideration of the finance committee.
Promote people participation in development planning within the local government unit.
Exercise supervision and control over the secretariat of the local development council.

For interested applicants:

Letters of application and resumes with the following attachments shall be accepted until February 18, 2011:

-photocopy of credentials
-photocopy of certificate of civil service eligibility
-photocopy of certification signed by the Head of the Personnel as to the experience required by the position

Please submit your application and the required documents personally to Ms. Aida Mendivil. You can also send your application by email to and/or

2. Qualified applicants shall be informed prior to the examination. Written examination for the qualified applicants shall be on February 21, 2011, 1:30 PM.

3. Panel interview is on February 23, 2011, 1:30 PM. Successful applicant shall begin work in March.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Ulat sa Bayan

It has been seven months since we, your municipal officials, were elected to office, and six months since we assumed the responsibilities of our respective offices. For those who like to keep count, that leaves us two and a half years more to do the things we vowed to do.

Being asked to take stock after only six months in office is a duty that any reasonable official, aware of the temporal limits of a popular mandate, can only reasonably approach with alarm and not an insignificant amount of dread.

I must say that faced with the responsibility to give an accounting of the past, my first impulse is to tally the days, to deliver to you the number of seedlings planted, the patients seen, the goats dispersed, the disasters averted by our Assistance in Crisis Situations (AICS) fund. That accounting would probably be more accurate and yet, in a way, less true. Without data to plot them in a time series, few people would know what to make of them. Anyway, for those interested to see the absolute figures, our various heads of offices should make them available to anyone interested.

I guess people have not elected me to tally things up and deliver a scoreboard. So today I’ll speak of things that are foremost in my mind.

I was fortunate to assume office in July 2010 and find money in the treasury more than enough to tide the municipality for another half year. This, of course, speaks well of the fiscal prudence of our then outgoing mayor and made me resolve to maintain the same prudence with which former Mayor Deogracias Ramos Jr. handled the municipality’s account for many years.

As of December 31, 2010, our municipality has Php. 16,021,042.65 in net savings, partly because, here I plead guilty, I am a man naturally averse to parting with money. And also partly because, last year being an election year for barangay officials, I did not want the release of funds to be in lockstep with the barangay elections. I figure there would be plenty of time later to get barangay projects done once the election is over. I thought it prudent and wise for a first-term mayor to first observe the cash flow in the municipality during his first months before commiting huge amounts of money especially in an election year.

A review of the list of infrastucture projects I approved last year would show that they were mostly for small improvements in various schools, the biggest being the construction of covered canal at the Gubat North Central School, to drain the water perenially flooding the school’s playground and walkways.

I am happy to note that our collection from the public market has increased by a million pesos in 2010, now at Php. 3,444,665.50. Our effort at collecting the arrears of our market lessees is paying off. I hope that we will see the time when our public market will be self-liquidating, able to pay for its own operations and upkeep.

We are taking significant strides in promoting the health of our mothers. Compared to last year 2009, more pregnant women received prenatal care in 2010, as confirmed by all the key indicators prepared by our rural health unit. Our lying-in clinic delivered 603 babies in 2010, a 22 % increase from 2009’s 494 deliveries, also a good sign that mothers are realizing the importance of delivering their babies in a a health care facility better able to safeguard the health of both the mother and the baby.

After they have given birth, more of our mothers are also receiving health care.

As some of you may have noticed, a significant number of our townsmen suffer from mental illnesses. Our Rural Health Unit, through the leadership of Dr. Anthony Lelis, has conducted trainings for our health care workers on how to best manage such patients. Next year, we will be extending the same training to the relatives of the patients themselves, to better equip them to take care of their kin.

However, our rural health unit is seeing more cases of tuberculosis, partly because of better efforts at diagnosis and, of course, owing to the highly infectious nature of the disease. It is essential therefore tha we redouble our efforts at combatting this pernicious disease that is sapping the energy of our people. We cannot afford to be complacent as a multi-drug resistant strain of TB is now in our municipality.

As I see it, our main task is to raise the health literacy of our people.Last year, we undertook a massive health awareness campaign in every barangay and selected schools. What is remarkable about this is that we carried out the campaign through the volunteer work of young nurses. This year, we hope to continue that effort.

The first semester of 2011, we are piloting a project that seeks to bring a health care worker in every barangay of the town. We are building a cadre of young nurses to promote community health. We are starting with a handful of barangays. If our pilot project works, we will be extending such program to all the barangays outside the poblacion.

All of this, we are doing to redirect our energies toward preventive health, which is more affordable for the muncipality. This should spare our townsmen from the sorrow of losing someone to diseases easily preventable had a health care worker been continually present to give advise and goad the sometimes recalcitrant patients.
I have instructed all our principals and teachers to redirect the Special Education Fund (SEF) being extended by the municipality toward the maintenance and repair of our students’ classrooms, to see to it that the money is really directly spent for the welfare of the students.

We have also successfully concluded former Mayor Deogracias Ramos’s effort to donate the land currently being occupied by the Gubat National High School, ending the many years of the school’s being, for all intent and purposes, an informal settler.

This year we are launching a scholarship program for the incoming freshmen of the Gubat campus of the Bicol University. We will select deserving but poor students to be thoroughly vetted through competitive examination. We will also initiate a program, with the LGU serving as a conduit to private generosity, whereby private sponsors can adopt deserving pupils by providing a fixed stipend for the school year.

To give recognition to the hard work that our teachers are putting in the classroom every day of the school year, our Local School Board has also decided to search for an outstanding teacher in the municipality every year .
The abaca farmers of Barangays Bentuco, Tigkiw and Togawe now have a quick-drying machine for abaca, cutting down the hours invested in the production of abaca. This should significantly improve the work lives of our abaca farmers. The rice farmers of Bagacay also now have a dryer machine for palay, courtesy of the Department of Agriculture.
Our Municipal Agricultural and Fishery Council (MAFC) was also hailed as being the best in the Bicol region, a recognition of our farmers’ commitment and strength in organizing themselves and partnering with the local government to implement and supervise agricultural projects in the barangays .

We have also partnered with Bicol University in training farmers in agro-forestry, raising livestock, in this case goats, while cultivating trees on the side.

This year, The Office of the Presidential Adviser on the Peace Process (OPAPP) will be rolling out a Php 14 M project to open roads in Barangays Beriran, Carriedo and Sta. Ana, and bring irrigation for Barangays Manapao and Carriedo. It is very rarely that we see such a huge amount of fund invested in the barangay and to be managed, not by the muncipality, but by the barangay and thecommunity themselves. Our municipality will do its best to support the work being done in those barangays to ensure such an opportunity offered by the national government is not squandered.

Our efforts here at the municipality did no go unnoticed outside. We were recognized as the best municipality in the second class income category in the Bicol region by the Department of Interior and Local Government using productivity and performace measurement systems devised by the department.

Our Sangguniang Bayan has also shifted to electronic paperless legislation, only the second in the country to do so, next to Misamis Oriental’s Municipality of Lugait. With the savings on the paper and the ink, our appropriation for office supplies of the Sanggunian was greatly reduced.

Future directions
We have some heavy planning to do this year. My attention has been recently called by the DILG that our Comprehensive Land Use Plan (CLUP) has not been updated since 1991, which is contradicted by our planning office which says we updated the plan in 2000. No matter. Whether the last updating was done in 1991 or 2000, the fact remains we need to update our land use plan this 2011. The CLUP is an important tool with which we could geographically direct the development of our town.

We also have to finalize our Executive and Legislative Agenda (ELA) to show the consensual priorities of our officials.
With all this planning to be done, important documents will need to be prepared, and we would need hard data on which to base our future projections . We need to have solid appreciation of current reality before we go on targetting the future. Planning, without updated information, is nothing more than gazing at the stars.

I will therefore ask the Sangguniang Bayan to reconsider the installation of the Community-based Monitoring System (CBMS), which is an organized way of collecting information at the local level especially geared toward the monitoring and achievement of the Millenium Dvelopment Goals (MDGs). If we have good information on the conditions of each barangay, we can achieve greater transparency and accountability in the decisions made by the barangay and the municipality with regard to resource allocation.

The heavy rains of the recent days showed us one direction toward which we must direct our municipality’s allocation of scarce resources. We need to face up to the times. We live in a changed world, whose meteorology is different from that of the past. We therefore need to climate change-proof our lives, to hope for the best but prepare for the extreme weather we are seeing with greater frequency. This year we are going to deploy our calamity fund for that preparation.

I am resolved to collect the arrears of our lessees in the public market. We cannot afford improvement in the market if we are not collecting anything. Our lessees are also reticent to suggest improvements because they don’t pay anyway. This can not go on.

Without the rent being considered as a regular cost of doing business, our lessees’ business decisions are suspect. An enterprise in denial of operational costs can not exist for long, and the municipality should not be propping up such an enterprise, prolonging the agony of our lessees when they could be applying their energies to something more suitable to their talent elsewhere.

If a business is operating for five to four years at a loss, as some of our lessees claim to be, and could not afford the very, very minimal rent they are oligated to pay, then it is the municipality’s moral duty to offer the market space to other people waiting in the wings. To my mind, it is a simple moral obligation of giving chance to others.

The improvement of our market is the most essential. We must realize our utmost commercial potential as a town, not only to improve the municipality’s treasury but to unleash the energies of our own people. I will therefore be asking our Sangguniang Bayan to pass a new market code in addition to the updating of our revenue code to revitalize our public market and better encourage investments in the municipality.

Perhaps the most remarkable thing that happened this year, which we do not usually take notice of is the string of successful elections we held. In our democracy, transitions of power have become so regular as to be unremarkable. And yet every successful election, every peaceful transition of power where one set of officials leave to transfer the reins of power to another, is a triumph that must be remarked upon and congratulated.

In our representative and republican democracy, the leadership of the officials and a genuine concern for the public good are an important, perhasp the most important, key to progress. And elections give us the power to determine the direction of that progress.

As for myself, let me say a few things. I harbor no ill will against anybody, and wish no harm to anyone. I am not plotting against anybody nor working for the particular interests of one. I am a free man, and, like all the officials here today, I trust that, this year, all will be working for the greatest good of the greatest number in our municipality.

Thank you and may God bless us all.