Feature: Agusan del Sur celebrates 111th Independence Day with colors and vision
As early as 7:00 in the morning, the Naliyagan Plaza was slowly filled with people from various sectors. Clad in barong tagalog and filipiniana, the officials and employees of the Provincial government started arriving for the start of the holy mass which will mark the opening activity of the 111th Independence Day Celebration and the grand opening of the 17th Naliyagan Festival.
No less than Butuan Archbishop Juan de Dios Pueblos with seven other priests officiated the Holy Mass, attended by Gov. Maria Valentina Plaza, her mother, former Gov. Valentina Plaza, her brother, former Gov. Adolph Edward Plaza, Vice Gov. Santiago Cane Jr. and other provincial officials and employees of the provincial government and the private sector.
Upon arrival of the Guest of Honor and Keynote Speaker DILG Secretary Ronaldo Puno, the solemn wreath-laying ceremony started with music background played by the 402nd Infantry Brigade Band. All of the sudden, the silence was broken and the atmosphere became festive when the 402nd Infantry Brigade execute the 21 gun salute. Then everybody marched towards the Naliyagan Plaza stage, joined by the delegations from the 13 municipalities and the lone city of Bayugan who caravanned all the way from their respective municipalities to join the Independence Day Celebration and the opening of the Naliyagan Festival.
In his message, Sec. Ronnie Puno said President Arroyo was right in having the Agusanons close to her heart because Agusannons are resourceful, industrious and peace loving people.
“Kaya pala malapit kayo sa puso ni Presidente Arroyo dahil napakapayapa ng lugar nyo, at sa nakita ko, napakasipag nyong tao na may pagtingin sa hinaharap tulad ng mga lider ninyong sina Gov. Tina Plaza, former Gov. Valentina Plaza and Eddiebong Plaza. (The reason why you are close to the heart of President Arroyo is because you have a peaceful place and as I see by myself, you are hardworking people who have a very good vision for the future like your political leaders namely Gov. Tina Plaza, former Gov. Valentina Plaza and Eddiebong Plaza).
Sec. Puno added that he have traveled from North to south of the country and as he observed, Agusan del Sur has one of the best national highways that can catch the attention of investors and financiers and there is no reason why Agusan del Sur will not economically shine in the near future.
“Another reason why I can say that you will reach the top in terms of economic status is because I see that people in Agusan del Sur are united. Natives and settlers are living together in all the places in Agusan del Sur peacefully while cooperating with each other. In this manner, as the saying goes “United we succeed, divided we fail” it is success that I saw and no failure”, Sec. Puno said.
Gov. Tina Plaza confirmed what Sec. Puno said by saying Agusanons are peace-loving people and are always looking for progress. That is the reason why her administration is doing its best in filling in the people’s need, be it local of foreign funded projects, in order to realize her administration’s seven-point-program.
Right after the short program, 111 balloons and doves were released in the air symbolizing the 111th year of Philippine Independence and freedom. (David M. Suyao, PIA-Agusan del Sur)
Sec. Durano cited Caraga as top priority in RP’s tourism dev’t
BUTUAN CITY (June 15) – Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary and Caraga Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) Joseph Ace Durano assured Butuanons and Caraganons for a tourism development priority in the country.
This was revealed by Sec. Durano in his keynote speech during the “Kalayaan 2009” opening program here on Friday (June 12), highlighting the 111th Philippine Independence Day celebration.
According to Sec. Durano, “Butuan City and Caraga, in general, is one of the latest additions of the beautiful regions of the country that is of top priority under DOT for tourism development.”
Through this, Sec. Durano said, “I am so happy that I was appointed by President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo as CORD for Caraga Region.”
However, Durano stressed that being the CORD for the region, all things set for the benefits of the people will not be achieved, without the assistance of all the regional directors from all departments and agencies of the government.
“I don’t do my work alone. In fact, we have our regional directors from all departments and other agencies of the government to see to it that services will surely be delivered for the development of the region,” Durano said.
Moreover, Sec. Durano stressed that he is grateful and happy working with the government executives in Caraga because he witnessed good coordination and cooperation among the government agencies and departments in Caraga.
“I am very happy to be working with the government executives here in Caraga… For two years that I’ve been the CORD for Caraga, I saw the good coordination and cooperation among the government agencies and departments here in the region,” Durano said.
After the opening program, Secretary Durano led awarding of Comprehensive Livelihood and Emergency Employment (CLEEP) Projects, Certificates of Employment, and Certificates of Scholarships/Trainings in support to the efforts of the national government in mitigating global financial crisis in the country. The awarding ceremonies took place at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
Kalayaan 2009 Celebration
Butuan Mayor pays tribute to migrant workers as “modern heroes”
BUTUAN CITY (June 15) – City Mayor Democrito Plaza II here honored Filipino migrant workers as “modern heroes” of the country.
In his speech delivered by Vice-Mayor Dino Claudio Sanchez during the opening ceremonies of “Kalayaan 2009” on Friday, June 12, 2009 at the city’s Rizal Park, Mayor Plaza emphasized the role played by Filipino migrant workers in boosting the country’s economy despite of the global financial crisis.
According to Plaza, this year’s Independence Day Celebration must give venue to “recognize the enormous contributions of generations of Filipino migrant workers in building a more vibrant Philippines.”
Plaza also stressed that “after more than a hundred years of the proclamation of the Philippine Independence, our country continues to look for more modern heroes who are willing to serve and protect the best interests of our people.”
The celebration of the 111th Philippine Independence Day here started with a motorcade participated by all regional line agencies and the local government units of this city and all municipalities of the province of Agusan del Norte.
A short program then followed marking the formal opening of the activity and was graced by Department of Tourism (DOT) Secretary and Caraga Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) Joseph Ace Durano who gave his keynote speech.
Sec. Durano also led the ceremonial hoisting of the Philippine flag assisted by some local officials of the city headed by Mayor Democrito Plaza II who is represented by Vice Mayor Dino Claudio Sanchez. Some regional heads of offices also joined the Secretary.
After the opening program, the celebration continued with the awarding of employment contracts, livelihood funding checks, and Pangulong Gloria Scholarship coupons held at Almont Hotel’s Inland Resort, this city.
This year’s celebration of the 111th Philippine Independence is anchored on the theme: “Kagitingan, Kagalingan at Kasipagan tungo sa tunay na Kalayaan”. The celebration was spearheaded by the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE)-Caraga Region where a Mega Jobs Fair was conducted with 37 local and overseas companies participating. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
DOT chief lauds DepEd-Butuan, Agusan del Norte
BUTUAN CITY (June 15) – Tourism Secretary Joseph Ace Durano who is also the Cabinet Officer for Regional Development (CORD) in Caraga lauded the Department of Education in the divisions of Butuan City and Agusan del Norte.
Delivered before the crowd estimated at around 2,000 attending the opening program of the “Kalayaan 2009” in commemoration of the 111th Philippine Independence Day here on Friday (June 12), Sec. Durano said the performance of the elementary pupils and high school students during the program is a proof that DepEd is geared towards giving excellent basic education to youths of this region.
This is the opening statement of the Secretary after he was introduced by pupils of Butuan Central Elementary School (BCES) Science and Technology Center in a speech choir performance.
Overwhelmed by the performance of the pupils, Sec. Durano said “Siguro kung naa ko’y mga dagko nga events, kung pwede, dad-on ta mo aron kamo ang mag sige ug introduce nako” (Maybe if I have big events, I will bring you so that you be introducing me in all those events), Sec. Durano said.
With this, he congratulated DepEd for giving proper training to students. “I really have to congratulate the DepEd here in Butuan City and in Agusan del Norte. It’s not only the speech choir performance is given due recognition but all the performances that has been shown this morning by your students must be lauded, as well”, Durano said.
“Usually, kung i-introduce ang usa ka speaker, ang kadghanan magduka… Pero sa inyong pag-introduce kanako karon, wala gyu’y nagduka… Hasta ako, nawala akong duka” (Usually, if a speaker is being introduced, majority is sleepy… But with the introduction you made for me, nobody is sleepy… including me), Durano added.
Aside from BCES, Sec. Durano also lauded the students of Agusan National High School for giving very nice performances both in singing and dancing through the students of the Special Program for the Arts (SPA) curriculum.
Also, BCES Special Education (SPED) Center Special Children were given recognition by Durano who also rendered interpretative dance. The performers were composed of visually- and hearing-impaired pupils.
“Again, congratulations to DepEd… That was one of the best performances I’ve seen on Independence Day Celebration,” Durano disclosed. (Robert E. Roperos, PIA-Caraga)
KALAYAAN 09, most solemn and unforgettable for Surigaonons
TANDAG, SURIGAO DEL SUR (June 15) – Surigao del Sur commemorated 111th Independence Day in a solemn and unforgettable celebration, participated by the Local Government of this province headed by Provincial Administrator Johnny T. Pimentel, Mayor Alexander T. Pimentel of Tandag with some local officials and government employees held at Tandag Hall Ground Friday, June 12.
The celebration started at 7:30 in the morning with a chant, followed by the singing of the Philippine National Anthem while hoisting the Philippine Flag and wreath laying ceremonies.
In his message, Provincial Administrator Johnny Pimentel said: “We should be proud to be a Filipino… Whether you’re a government official or employee, I urged everyone to do our part in nation-building, let us be dedicated public servants”.
The distribution of the Pangulong Gloria Scholarships (PGS) coupons to the qualified PGS Scholars highlighted the event.
TESDA Provincial Director Maximo Z. Nebres, Jr. distributed the 150 coupons to the following schools; Saint Michael College, Saint Theresa College, Surigao del Sur Polytechnic State College (SSPSC) Main Campus and SSPSC Cagwait Campus all were from the first District of this province.
According to Mr. Allan Millan, TESDA PGS Provincial Focal Person, Only this province benefited a total of 550 PGS coupons in CARAGA. The 150 were given to the four schools from the first District of this province, 300 coupons for the Access for Youth Training and Employment Center (AYEC) provider, and 250 for the second District of this province.
Also, the Department of Environment and Natural Resources thru CENRO Tandag distributed the Malunggay seedlings and seeds to the officials and employees who joined the celebration.
Meanwhile, the Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) 1st Engineering District headed by Engr. Joseph Calderon, joined the synchronize jobs fairs during the celebration.
According to Ms. Aida Cedro of DPWH, they hired laborers during the jobs fairs, and they received 91 applicants for assessment last June 12. (Nida Grace B. Tranquilan, PIA-Surigao del Sur)
TESDA-Caraga to conduct Jobs bridging, internship program
BUTUAN CITY (June 15) – The Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA), Caraga Region will be at the forefront in the upcoming Jobs bridging and internship program event which will be held on June 26, 2009, in this city.
This significant activity is TESDA’s response to President Gloria Macapagal- Arroyo’s resiliency program to address the present global economic crisis causing many of our locally-employed and overseas Filipino workers who were displaced due to cost-cutting measures of local and foreign companies.
Accordingly, this event will provide an avenue for the displaced workers with other employment opportunities in other companies or a chance to undergo TSDA’s internship program under the Pangulong Gloria Scholarship Grants. This will also give our new graduates an avenue to find employment without going through the rigors of the application process, and going to different places just to land a job.
The event will gather an estimated 3,000 TVET graduates, students and workers all over Caraga to engage with employers from the private sector both locally and overseas manning agencies using a technology-base job-matching encounter.
A nationwide activity will be conducted and to be spearheaded by TESDA where President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo and Secretary Augusto Boboy Syjuco will be the guests of honor.
With this development, displaced workers, graduates from different fields and those interested to land a job are encouraged to join.
For details and inquiries, please contact or visit TESDA-Caraga Regional Office at Balibrea Bldg., Pili Drive, Butuan City or call telephone numbers 341-7776 or 341-5220. (Chiselo Joiada Radaza-Bernaldez, TESDA-Caraga/PIA-Caraga)
Re-creating Balanghai in Butuan
BUTUAN CITY (June 15) – Balanghai Circumnavigation Team is planning to build Balanghai 2, here in Butuan City. This is the latest development announced by former DOTC Undersecretary Art Valdez who made commitment to successfully complete the Balanghai using ancient construction methods that can now be seen at the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP) grounds.
Butuan Historical and Cultural Foundation and Butuan Global Forum will have a great role in raising funds for the realization of the project and of giving opportunity to those living this city to see Balanghai and be part of another important event in the history of tracing back the pre-Hispanic times of sea travel.
The historical wooden boat will be replicated here in Butuan and the process has started by getting an approval from DENR Caraga to obtain materials like the Dungon which will be sourced locally, the same kind of wood used by the team of Balanghai Project Manager Judail Muyong in building Balanghai 1.
Valdez and the group of people from Tawi-tawi, the home of the Badjaos' Master Builder who created the Balanghai will be coming over to Butuan to start the construction anytime in July 2009.
The Badjaos from the Island of Sibutu are the last community in the Philippines who knows how to build Balanghai using ancient method.
Initial talks are underway to negotiate PPA to use their area in the construction of Balanghai 2.
Instead of earlier announcement that Balanghai 1 will set sail on June 24, Voyage Balanghai will have its maiden voyage on June 27 following the cycle of the New Moon.
Balanghai Circumnavigation Team led by Valdez will have a 20-man team which will compose the Philippine's Mount Everest team with tourism officials and scientists namely, Leo Oracio, Ervin Pastor Ermita, Noel Winceslao, Karina Dayondon, Janet Belarmino-Sardina, Dr. Ted Esguerra, Fred Jamili and Dr. Walter Villasco, 6 Badjaos who will help in navigating Balanghai, 4 from the Special Operations Group of the Philippine Navy, and hopefully, 2 from Butuan.
The Philippine Coast Guard provided a ship to escort Voyage Balanghai on its journey to show their support.
Voyage Balanghai now included Butuan City as part of its stop over in the 7-leg journey around Philippine waters. It will stay in Butuan for 5 days before proceeding to travel towards Cagayan de Oro City and if luck would have it, Balanghai 2 built in Butuan will now join Voyage Balanghai in circumnavigating the world.
If Balanghai 2 will not yet be finished by the time Voyage Balanghai arrives in Butuan, it will catch up in a much later date.
Meanwhile, local historian Greg Hontiveros will join the Balanghai Circumnavigation Team in one of its leg of the Voyage Balanghai to write a book about the Balanghai: “The Maritime Heritage of Southeast Asia.”
Mr. Hontiveros is the author of "Butuan of a Thousand Years" where he wrote:
"In July 1976, antique hunters hit on the remains of a large wooden boat in sitio Ambangan of barangay Libertad, a couple of kilometers south of Suatan. This discovery was unprecedented in Asia: the balanghai boat relics were the eastern equivalent to the Viking boat discoveries in Northern Europe."
In 1987, President Corazon Aquino declared Balanghai as a national treasure. (Jocelyn E. Morano, dxBN-Radyo ng Bayan Butuan/ PIA-Caraga)
“Agusan del Norte, number 1 province in the region,” says Gov. Amante
BUTUAN CITY (June 15) – “Agusan del Norte is the number one province in the region,” says Governor Erlpe John Amante during the opening ceremony of the 42nd Araw ng Agusan del Norte, today (June 15) at the provincial capitol grounds.
Nonetheless, the governor expresses his goal for the province to be in the top five or ten performing provinces in the country.
“Before, I am elated over the fact that Agusan del Norte is the number one province in the region. Now, I am not contented over this achievement anymore. I do not just want to be the number one province in Caraga, rather I want Agusan del Norte to become one of the top five or ten performing provinces in the country,” says Gov. Amante.
Governor Amante further reveals that when Agusan was divided into two provinces – Agusan del Norte has smaller land area, smaller population and therefore smaller internal revenue allotment or IRA. Yet, these facts did not deter Agusan del Norte to become the number one performing province in the region.
“When Agusan was divided into two, Aousan del Norte was left with a smaller land area, smaller population and therefore smaller IRA. But these facts did not deter Agusan del Norte to become the number one province in the region. The province with smaller land area, smaller population and smaller IRA becomes the number one province in the region,” explains Gov. Amante.
Governor Amante explains that Agusan del Norte enjoys the number one spot not because of good leadership but because its people decided early on to shape their own destiny.
“We are currently the number one province in the region, we are enjoying this status now partly because of good leadership but most of all because our people decided early on to shape our own destiny. We did not or never depended on anyone to achieve what we must achieve,” says Governor Amanter in his message.
When ask how he would compare Agusan del Norte to Agusan del Sur.
Governor Amante cited survey results on the poverty incidence of the two provinces. Amante explains that Agusan del Sur has a higher poverty incidence of 60 percent compared to Agusan del Norte’s 30 percent.
“Well, I do not want to compare. But based on a study the poverty incidence of Agusan del Sur is 60 percent while that of Agusan del Norte is 30 percent. The figure would speak for itself,” says Governor Amante. (Lovely Laudette Gamba, PIA-Caraga)