(PAGASA 24-HOUR PUBLIC WEATHER FORECAST as of Friday, 02 June 2023) Southwest Monsoon affecting the country. ACTIVE TROPICAL CYCLONE AS OF 3:00 AM TODAY SEVERE TROPICAL STORM MAWAR {2302} (FORMERLY "BETTY") LOCATION: 945 KM NORTHEAST OF EXTREME NORTHERN LUZON (26.9°N, 128.3°E) MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS: 95 KM/H GUSTINESS: UP TO 145 KM/H MOVEMENT: NORTHEASTWARD AT 25 KM/H FOR. Butuan City, Agusan del Norte, Agusan del Sur, Dinagat Islands, Surigao del Norte and Surigao del Sur will experience partly cloudy to cloudy skies with isolated rainshowers or thunderstorms due Southwest Monsoon. Possible flash floods or landslides during severe thunderstorms. Moderate to Strong winds coming from South to Southwest will prevail with Moderate to Rough seas (1.2 to 2.8 meters).


Tuesday, February 8, 2023

Wander through PIA’s “Laag, Caraga”

By Jennifer P. Gaitano


Travel and experience the beauty of a picturesque spot and delectable food without spending much. This is the concept of the new online program of the Philippine Information Agency (PIA) Caraga dubbed  as “Laag sa Caraga”, which features competitive tourist destinations and afforadable local delicacies in the different parts of Caraga region. 

When launched on January 25, 2023, netizens were all smiles as they witnessed the first episode of Laag and learned about the historic Butuan and its local delicacies particularly the Palagsing.

Regional Director Venus Garcia of PIA Caraga elaborated that "Palagsing" has been known as a local delicacy popularly made in barangays Banza and Maug of Butuan City. “The Palagsing Festival is even highlighted as one of the festivities during the Adlaw Hong Butuan Charter Celebration every 2nd day of August.

Palagsing is attributed to the Nipa or Asiatic Palm Tree where “onao” or the nipa starch is harvested from the palm tree. Another popular ingredients are the young coconut meat and brown sugar making  the palagsing moderately sweet, moist and soft. The mixed ingredients  are then tied and wrapped with banana leaves and are boiled for atleast 30 minutes under low fire to create the consistency of the Palagsing.

Through the help of Milagros "Mimi" Torralba, a resident of Barangay Maug, who has been producing and selling palagsing over the years, netizens were able to see the step by step process on how to make the Palagsing and the tedious way  to get the “onao” from the lumbia or palm tree as the foremost ingredient.

“Even the locals who fondly eat the Palagsing were amazed to see  how it is made and wish to discover more of Butuan and other delicacies in the area. Others also encouarages the PIA team to visit other parts of the region which are really abundant in tourist spots and adventures,” Dir. Garcia shared.

Apart from Palagsing during the first episode, netizens were brought to either discover or recall the historic Banza Church Ruins, being one of the known spots in Butuan. It is located at the oldest poblaciĆ³n in the city and the aged ruin of a stone church in the entire island of Mindanao. The church was built in 1625 by the Recollect friars but was reduced to ashes in 1753 by Moro pirates. What remains of the church is part of the bell tower, enveloped by a full grown balete or banyan tree.

“Apparently, with the number of views of our first episode reaching more than a hundred thousand and counting, people from different walks of life have awakened their interest in traveling and discovering places. We know for a fact that most of us were thrilled after a year or two of travel restrictions due to COVID-19 was then lifted and we start to live a life with the new normal and do the things we usually do during pre-COVID days,” Garcia added.

Aside from inculcating mindfulness among local residents to support the micro, small and medium entrepreneurs (MSMEs) who continue to produce local products, the Agency also opts to encourage viewers to help promote their respective local government units which for sure have more to offer in terms of tourism, culture, heritage and tradition.

“By simply posting online the photos or videos of the tourist spots in your area and writing something about the place which people are yet to discover, you can help boost the tourism in your place and entice wanderers to experience what you have shared online,” bared Garcia.

With anticipation of the rising of the economy in the region, Garcia with her team expressed their high hopes that with this new program ‘Laag’, netizens will have more to expect in the coming months, and will be able to discover a lot even without having physically gone to the places yet.

“We will continue to innovate and maximize the use of our platforms, so we could better serve our netizens and help them in any way possible be able to cope with the effects which the pandemic has brought us,” she said.

The Philippine Information Agency provides accurate, timely, and relevant information to enable citizens to participate meaningfully in the democratic process, and technical assistance to other government agencies regarding the communications component of their programs through multi-media strategies. (JPG/PIA-Caraga)