Eid’l Fitr

The City Council will not hold its regular session today to prepare for the Eid’l Fitr celebration ending the holy month of Ramadan. The national government has declared October 1 as a non-working holiday to join Filipino Muslims in marking the end of fasting.

We greet our Muslim brothers and sisters a happy Hari Raya!

On Thursday when work resumes, it would signal a busy week with the Consumer Week celebration with the consumer fair, seminars and other activities at G Mall. My office partly funded (P100,000) the activities spearheaded by the Department of Trade and Industry. This year’s theme is “on the healthy and safe side of living.”

I am also holding a 2-day seminar-workshop for our Barangay Business Enterprise Development Program on Thursday and Friday at the City Council.

On Saturday, the Davao City Bowling Association will kick off its high school bowling tournament at Dover Lanes. Big thanks to Petronas for sponsoring the event.

Next week, the Dancesports Team Davao will hold the following activities:

October 6 – 4 p.m. 2008 Davao Open Latin Competition; 8 p.m. Champions & Stars Dancesport Showcase (Recreo Ballroom Center)

October 7-8 – 10 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Dancesport Congress and Workshop (G Mall)

Dancesport is the latest addition to the roster of the Davao City Sports Council, Inc. which I chair. Its representative is Jeannette S. Ortiz.


The city government will honor today in two fitting ceremonies 40-odd employees who are retiring this year. The first event is during this Monday’s flag-raising rites, and the other in a salo-salo at the Grand Men Seng Hotel.

The city government through its PRAISE (Program on Awards and Incentives for Service Excellence) has been giving due recognition to its employees for outstanding service, including these long years of dedicated work by this year’s retirees. Rosalinda Calanog holds the distinction of serving the longest at 44 years followed by Daisy Ranon at 42 and Erlida Sanchez, Mayor Rody Duterte’s secretary during his early years, serving 41 years. One of those who has abbreviated his service is Mayor Duterte’s trusted lieutenant Leoncio Evasco, Jr. at 18 years. He ran and won as mayor in his hometown in Bohol in last year’s election.

Here are the rest – Elena Alconaba, 15 years; Ruth Amerkhan, 19; Hernany Ariola, 18; Loretta Bascon, 28; Renato Belen, 31; Ediltrudes Bernado, 33; Noli Blanco, 36; Jorge Bucao, 35; Luisita Castro, 36; Ma. Eva Flor Cid, 17; Bona Clamar, 34; Henrietta Coronales, 38; Freya Crusit, 40; Thelma dela Cruz, 40; Rosario Denzon, 21; Jaime Dubluis, 31; Elvy Guibelondo, 17; Victoria Ismael, 30;

Agustin Israel, 18; Julieta Lastimosa, 35; Angelita Longino, 16; Montano Malaki, 31; Sonia Mangune, 39; Charlita Minoza, 36; Rodolfo Nagac, 35; Lucia Odo, 38; Erlinda Orbeta, 15; Elizabeth Paragoso, 35; Trifona Paranial, 34; Maximiano Ponteras, 15; Angelina Robles, 31; Alejandro Saja, 14; Julita Sy, 33; Eugenia Tambis, 15; Florendo Tanji, 26; Arnel Villalba, 22.

Off with flu


From my inbox are two interesting proposals:

Elmer Soriano, my mentor in wikislation, is now at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government in Cambridge. He is attending a course on Leadership for a Networked World. He is cooking up new ways to promote e-governance and e-citizenship and he wants me to collaborate with him. I said OK.

And from La Trobe University in Melbourne, I received a request from Skilty Labastilla, from Agusan del Sur, who plans to do research work in Davao.

He wrote: “I am interested in examining the lives of low-income young men in Davao City, specifically their experiences as they transition to adulthood. What are their aspirations and how do they go about achieving them? As we know, men in the Philippines are expected by society to provide for their families. But with the difficulties that they are facing, how do they manage to do that? These are just some of the important questions that I intend to find out as I will live inside (or near) a low-income community in the city.”

I am writing his university to support his research study here.

6:02 a.m.

School games

The University of Mindanao commenced with its annual Intramural Games yesterday. Before the opening parade, the faculty club at the College of Arts & Sciences held the induction of its new set of officers. I administered their oath.

Kudos to Prof. Randy Ponteras for the very active faculty club. Best wishes to all the competing teams. I am not sure which side to root. You see, I got involved with three departments at the university – Commerce, Engineering and Arts & Sciences.

Just after graduating from the Davao City High School in 1974, I joined the then Junior Executive Training (JET) program of UM for working scholars. I was assigned as an assistant to the Dean of the College of Commerce. When I finally enrolled for my course, I took up Mechanical Engineering. But after being active in campus politics, I shifted to Political Science at the College of Arts & Sciences.

I did enjoy my life in college where I met friends who are still very much in touch with today. In fact, I just read the emails of my college buddies Rafael “Nikki” Gomez and Henrylito Tacio, two of our best campus writers back then. Both pursued careers in writing. And both are accomplished in the game.

At lunch today, I am attending a conference called by Philippine Sports Commission chair Butch Ramirez regarding the proposed Children’s Games in November. Part of the grassroots sports program of the PSC, the national games for children in elementary schools is planned to be held in Davao City.

We’re hoping to scout our future Olympians in this proposed Children’s Games. Wish us luck.

6:41 a.m.

Roads and bridges to nowhere

The Philippines is catching up fast in aping the presidential derby in the US.

The “bridge to nowhere” in Alaska is a hot topic pitting Democrats against Republicans.

Here, there’s a rumble by several presidential wannabes on the “road to nowhere” in Metro Manila.

Senator Ping Lacson exposed the double funding of the controversial road in the 2008 and 2009 budgets. Korina Sanchez, gf of Senator Mar Roxas, thrash it in her popular radio program. There were insinuations it was a pet project of Senate President Manny Villar to benefit his housing projects. A Senate Resolution to probe the anomaly was signed by a number of senators, including Senator Roxas, Senator Chiz Escudero and Senator Dick Gordon.

I am sure this gang fight would not be amongst just these five “presidentiables.” Soon, others would join the fray.

But would probing this issue lead the nation to somewhere? I doubt very much.

Have you not heard the joke dating back from the old days of martial law about the road around Lake Lanao? Well, it has been paved several times over! But nowhere can one see it or set foot on it.

Oh, nothing new really in Pinoy politics when trapos can promise bridges even where there are no rivers.

5:37 a.m.

Admirable airline

Here’s another reason why Singapore Airlines is a class above the rest.

Starting today, it would reduce fuel surcharges on certain flights. Just when other major airlines are starting to squeeze passengers pocket dry with luggage fees, Singapore Airlines is rolling back on fuel levy as the price of crude oil plummets from its $147 per barrel highs last July.

Local carriers PAL and Cebu Pacific should follow this lead to be fair with their passengers.

4:55 a.m.